We chose this cruise as it fitted in with the dates for the last week of our 9 week North America visit. Princes tried to 'upgrade' us to a room behind a bulkhead on a lower deck. Lesson, do not tick the upgrade box when you book if you want a particular part of the ship.
Apart from the stateroom, our steward (Simon) and the scenery, it was mostly disappointing.
The entertainment was not to our taste, bingo was a joke, the promotions were relentless, classical pianists and string duo, art shows and auctions are not our idea of pleasant interlude.
Service in the anytime dining was so slow that we missed other activities (we opted for buffet after 2 days to avoid it). Food in buffet was good apart from one luncheon that was rubbish. Theme nights (Mexican/Italian) were in general a failure.
Shore excursions organised by Princess were very good and mostly value for money. Formal nights on the ship are a joke, we are on holidays not going to a funeral.
Gratuities are charged whether you get service or not. On 3 occasions I paid 18% for the privilege of buying my own drinks at the bar as no wait staff were present. Why do you pay a percentage when whether you spend $20 or $2000 you are getting the same service so why pay more if you spend more. It is an antiquated and shameless tradition from a by-gone era that organisations are grasping to retain as a means of milking more from the punter. Promotions by retailers on-board were relentless and flowed to their shore based retail partners who behaved like pimps outside their premises.
The ship is obviously focused for the North American market but as an Australian I felt way out of place. I would not cruise with Princess in this part of the world again.
Cabin and our steward (Simon) were excellent. Princess tried to upgrade us to an alleged better cabin (in behind a bulkhead on the next deck down) but we had that reversed. A lesson for new players, if you want a particular cabin or part of the ship, do not tick the upgrade box.
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