Majestic Princess Cruise Review by iliveinhope14
- Sail Date: January 2018
- Destination: Asia
Booking - In Asian/Chinese market, you cannot book your travel with Princess or your US agent. Chinese agencies prepaid for a block of rooms and manage the block on the ship. Not a big deal but it is very different from normal Princess ships because the ship/hotel management does not directly interface with you while you are on the ship. You have to interface with your travel agency's representative on the ship.
Embarkation - The embarkation process was a mess. Princess cruise does not manage the process. The process is delegated to each travel agencies and port employees. while we were in the gangway. The travel agent demanded for our passport. I asked why they told me it is a Chinese government policy. We did not feel comfortable to give them our US passports while we are in a foreign country. I refused to gave them my passport. The travel agent threatened that I will not be able to board the ship. While since this is not my first time boarding a Princess ship. We basically ignore the travel agent and walked on-board like a pro. Ship crew did not say a word. But keep in your mind, rest of my group went through the trip without their passports.
Stateroom - our room has a balcony. The door was locked by hotel staff. I asked them to open it they refused to do so and told me it is too cold outside. Mind me, I was on a number of Alaska cruises. Not once I was denied balcony access by this reason. We end up complete the trip with a balcony room without access to the balcony. Our room looks nice but we did not have basic supplies like toilet paper. I had to repeatedly request it but the steward very slow on refill it. We end up had to go to public restroom and take toilet paper from public facilities. The layout of the Stateroom is nice and has more space than other classes of Princess cruise ships. Bring your own toilet paper. no kidding
Staff - My guess is Princess is using this ship as a training ground for its staff. All staff from all departments looks green. They speak very little English and Chinese. Staff at Purser's desk does not speak English at all. Generally, we had difficulties to communicate with hotel and restaurant staff.
Dinning - Very different from your normal Princess cruise. You cannot reserve your dinning tables. Everything is first come first serve, which isn't a problem but Chinese culture does not respect waiting in line. Restaurant staff made no effort what so ever to maintain the waiting line. Your average wait is hours to just get into the dinning rooms. I got a feeling this is done by design so that more people use the buffet. There was no formal nights, not special featured menu. Food is so-so.
Entertainment - By this point, my expectation was very low but it still manage to surprise me. Staff made no effort to maintain the order. In theaters, one person would occupy multiple seats throughout the performance. People would walk on seats just to beat you to the empty seats. The only way you can get a seat without getting into a fight is to be in the theater hours before the show.
Public Area - It is a Royal class. But this ship is design for Asia market only, which really means, small atrium, fewer public area. all the space is used for state rooms. It is not the same as Royal Princess. I felt like a sardine in a can when I was at public area. I never experienced that even on smaller (grand class) Princess ships
Excursions - None what so ever. Princess does not provide excursion services on this trip at all. It is delegated to the travel agencies. In my case, we were hauled to a shopping center and a city park in Japan. You don't even have an option if you want to pay for it. At this point, I was royally fed up. I just left the tour agent/guide and went on explore on my own. At which point, she threatened me that I won't be able to get back onto the ship. But luckly, with my US passport and basic Japanese language skills and google translate, we had no issues while we were on our own in Japan. Crew had no issue to let us back onto ship. Just make sure you reserve more time for getting back onboard. Waiting in line is just not a part of Chinese culture and you will be surprised by the things people are trying to smuggle back on board.
Special Surprise - After I am back to United States, the cruise trip did not appear on my travel history. I promptly contacted captain's circle. At first, they had no record of this sailing. I was instructed to send some pictures as proof that I was onboard. I did so. To my surprise, according to Princess's manifest they HAVE NO RECORD OF WE WERE EVER ON-BOARD. My guess is and it is only a guess, the ship's manifest was just fudged by each of the travel agencies. Princess and Majestic never had a true passenger manifest. That's right folks, if you gone missing during this sailing. You are never on the ship. No liability for Princess if you die or gone missing during this trip.
Overall - Do not assume Princess Cruise is what you think of in Asia market. It is a different company and different experience. Majestic Princess is dedicated to the Asia market. I would avoid this ship.
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