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This is our second cruise, as we did Alaska through Holland-America last year and wanted to get a taste of the Hawaiian islands. Princess offered this 15-day cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii and back. We have friends who have traveled many times with Princess and haven't complained. But our own experience was not as enjoyable. We had issues with dining, with shore excursions, with customer service, none of which were really resolved to our satisfaction. To me it seemed we were at the bottom of the pecking order since Princess rewards return travelers as well as those who book suites and more expensive rooms. We did not feel as welcome as I felt we should have. It was interesting that during a performance in the ship's main theater, the cruise director asked how many in the audience were first-time cruisers and there was a bare smattering of applause. Perhaps younger more active cruisers are choosing other lines like Norwegian which offers many perks even to first-time cruisers. My particular beef this trip was with our dining reservation for two at 5 p.m. which was set up through our travel agent but which Princess wouldn't honor. I argued with the maitre d', the assistant maitre d' and their guest services but all I got out of it were four chocolates and a suggestion that I upgrade to a suite for my next cruise as my dining preferences would be honored then. Yeah, that's not gonna happen. So our other options were to eat at a later time inconvenient to my medications, or to stand in line for a half hour at their anytime dining room to get a table for two at five. Or camp out at the buffet. We also got conflicting information on shore activities at the various ports. Their shore excursions staff said I should have no trouble getting a seat on board the Waikiki Trolley in Honolulu, which Princess has a business relationship with, but we ended up being coerced off a full bus returning to the cruise pier at Waikiki Beach and told to take the city bus instead. When I told the Princess shore excursion staff of my experience, the gentleman took my information and said, "Thank you." I guess that meant, "Now go." Never did get any follow-up from them about it. The food, entertainment and ship activities were all good and I was happy I got to take the ukulele classes which was one of the reasons I booked particularly through Princess. But when you spend thousands of dollars on a vacation like this, the issues you experience are a major turn-off. We didn't have these experiences when we traveled last year with Holland-America.

Not a fan of Princess after this cruise

Grand Princess Cruise Review by michiganmand

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Hawaii
This is our second cruise, as we did Alaska through Holland-America last year and wanted to get a taste of the Hawaiian islands. Princess offered this 15-day cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii and back. We have friends who have traveled many times with Princess and haven't complained.

But our own experience was not as enjoyable. We had issues with dining, with shore excursions, with customer service, none of which were really resolved to our satisfaction. To me it seemed we were at the bottom of the pecking order since Princess rewards return travelers as well as those who book suites and more expensive rooms. We did not feel as welcome as I felt we should have. It was interesting that during a performance in the ship's main theater, the cruise director asked how many in the audience were first-time cruisers and there was a bare smattering of applause. Perhaps younger more active cruisers are choosing other lines like Norwegian which offers many perks even to first-time cruisers.

My particular beef this trip was with our dining reservation for two at 5 p.m. which was set up through our travel agent but which Princess wouldn't honor. I argued with the maitre d', the assistant maitre d' and their guest services but all I got out of it were four chocolates and a suggestion that I upgrade to a suite for my next cruise as my dining preferences would be honored then. Yeah, that's not gonna happen. So our other options were to eat at a later time inconvenient to my medications, or to stand in line for a half hour at their anytime dining room to get a table for two at five. Or camp out at the buffet.

We also got conflicting information on shore activities at the various ports. Their shore excursions staff said I should have no trouble getting a seat on board the Waikiki Trolley in Honolulu, which Princess has a business relationship with, but we ended up being coerced off a full bus returning to the cruise pier at Waikiki Beach and told to take the city bus instead. When I told the Princess shore excursion staff of my experience, the gentleman took my information and said, "Thank you." I guess that meant, "Now go." Never did get any follow-up from them about it.

The food, entertainment and ship activities were all good and I was happy I got to take the ukulele classes which was one of the reasons I booked particularly through Princess. But when you spend thousands of dollars on a vacation like this, the issues you experience are a major turn-off. We didn't have these experiences when we traveled last year with Holland-America.
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