We were on the six day segment from Sydney to Adelaide.
So the major issue with this cruise was the poor attitude and service from the staff. With the exclusion of the cabin stewards, the rest displayed attitudes ranging from indifference to sometimes even hostility. None of the crew seemed to know much of anything about the ship, and seemed annoyed often to even be asked a question. I am not complaining about a single event, but rather a long string of them. This was our fifth cruise and second with Princess. By far it was the worst. Embarkation was smooth. I'll give them that. Shortly after boarding, there was a stand where you could purchase beverage packages. I wanted to purchase a soft drink package, but was told I could not because we were only onboard for 6 days. However, if I wanted to get the booze package that was perfectly alright. I asked for the manager to get an explanation, which basically only consisted of him saying that this was from the corporate office. I then said if its going to be like this I might not want to cruise with Princess in the future, to which he replied that it was OK with him...with a real attitude attached by the way.
I had purchased casino credits online. I do this in order to budget for gambling. I expected to find a voucher in the room, but did not. So, I went to the casino to find out more information. The lady in the casino said she had no idea and directed me to the purser. I went to that desk only to be shuffled back to the casino. I eventually found someone, by the grace of God and luck, who knew something about this. This took at least an hour. So, lets look at this as a chain of events. First, the lady in the casino should have known SOMETHING. Secondly, if she did not, she should have offered to contact the front desk for me instead of shuffling me off. I felt more like a ping pong ball than a guest or customer.
Wait staff in the buffet was hit or miss. One morning at breakfast we had been waiting for some water for nearly 10 minutes. There was no one to be seen. Out of frustration, I got up and got a jug of water myself...and would you be surprised to find out that two servers appeared within less than a minute to tell us we could not do that. POWs get better treatment...as they do not have to beg for water under Geneva convention. That was really what this cruise was all about...don't bother the staff, and if you do, expect some sort of unpleasant outcome...whether its being bounced around like a ping pong ball...or chastised for getting water...or told they don't care if you cruise with them again or not.
Then, I wanted to find out about the laser shooting gallery. No one...out of half a dozen people I asked, knew where it was. I finally located it on my own, and it was locked up tight as a drum. I asked a security person if they knew anything about it or when it would open. They said no and then turned and left like I did not exist, without so much as an offer to call or look into it.
Again, I returned to the customer service desk. There I asked to speak with a supervisor, and a fellow named Oggi came out to speak with me. Oggi was initially very defensive about the churlish nature of the crew, but eventually seemed to be receptive. I think he has heard it several times over. After speaking about the difference between customer service on this ship and others, we spoke about the shooting gallery and I was fairly surprised to find out it was closed on sea days. This makes no sense. There is not that much to do on the ship...so why only open it on days when there is something to do by going ashore?
On to the dining...which was great at the Crown Grill, but atrocious at the buffet. The thing was disjointed with little to know continuity or logic about where to find stuff, except for the desserts and breads. The food was usually luke warm or cold. The only real vegetables would be at the Salad bar, Coffee was never hot.
Now lest talk about the lobster bar. I fancied to treat myself to some grilled lobster. I LOVE lobster and did not think twice about paying extra for this. I am not sure how the chef was trained to cook lobster...but it was certainly not prepared in way I had ever experienced before. It had to have been soaked in salt, boiled in salt, grilled in salt, and rolled in some more salt for good measure. It was so bad I spit out the first bite. I decided not to complain and simply suck this one up because I knew that speaking with the staff would only get me more aggravated. I just wanted the cruise to be over by this point.
The only good place to eat was the pizza place...which was fantastic. The service was great, the food was great, and it came out hot. The staff there should give training to the other crew about service.
I don't expect to have my rear end kissed on a cruise. I think some people do. I do expect, and rightly, that the crew will be helpful and considerate...placing themselves in the shoes of others. That's just basic civility, which they are lacking.
The whole experience with the crew made me very sad...because I always had positive feelings about Princess based on our prior cruise with them. I now have to take them out of the running for future travel because I simply don't want to be mad and aggravated when I vacation.
The cabin was very nice. The shower was easy to figure out, the stewards did a great job.