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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have taken 21 cruises in the past 6 years. This was our first and probably our last on Carnival. First I will discuss the positive features of our cruise. We were on the 14 day cruise out of NY going to the Panama Canal. The food was ... Read More
We have taken 21 cruises in the past 6 years. This was our first and probably our last on Carnival. First I will discuss the positive features of our cruise. We were on the 14 day cruise out of NY going to the Panama Canal. The food was excellent. We had lobster tails 2 nights and filet mignon on 1 night. The dinner choices were excellent! The had a brunch several mornings where Filet Mignon was also offered! The buffet had many choices. Good burgers, Tacos, Burittos and Pizza and Delli sandwiches. Pizza was offered 24 hours a day which was a plus. As far as entertainment goes the shows were good. We also saw a couple comedy shows which were average. The plus on this cruise were the DJ Xtreme and The Flying Scotsman the cruise director. They were amazing! They were by far the best DJ and the best cruise director we ever experienced on a cruise! As far as the cabin goes we were in 7335 an inside cabin. It was spacious for an inside cabin. Plenty of closet and storage space! Great lighting. Those are our positives regarding the cruise. Now for the negatives. The room was warm. We like to always cool down the room as soon as we arrive. After a day we knew that would not be possible. The thermostat was on the coldest setting yet it was warm and stuffy. We called customer service many times. By the way most times they do not answer their phones and you need to go to from desk. They checked the room and left us a note that the temperature was in the normal range set by Carnival. (74 is normal). To us its warm! Other cruises we can get it down to 68-70. about 5 days into the cruise we complained again about the heat to a night person at the desk. She said she will send someone. Miraculously they did an adjustment and we were happy for several day as the temperature was a constant 68.2! That didnt last for too many days! The temperature rose again to 74 and of course we complained and Carnival said its normal! We then gave up. The temperature around the ship is very uneven. For example, the dining room was cool yet the comedy club would be stifling hot. Even the comedian made a joke about the heat! Obviously the ship has not corrected their air conditioning problem! . The next issue was the plumbing. Its still in bad shape. Our toilet would make loud gurgling sounds at any time of the day for no apparent reason! Once it sounded like it was going to explode! We taped the noise on our phone and showed it to customer service and they just shrugged. A few times the toilet did not flush at all for an hour or 2 nd they start working again. We heard an entire line of toilets were not working for a good part of the day one day. As for the public bathrooms, they were dirty. Carnival cut corners not cleaning bathrooms as often as needed. Locks on bathroom stalls were broken. toilets didnt flush, many times paper towels was missing to hold the door open when leaving. I wish i had a list of all the times there was no soap in the soap dispenser in the mens room! The next problem was the condtion of the ship. Its obvious they fixed the atrium and updated many areas of the ship. But many areas were left in poor condition. There was rust in many areas of the ship. On deck 9 near the pool the floor was all rusted out, there were plastic buckets collecting the water dripping from deck 10 and the grating near the bathrooms was loose and people were constantly tripping on it! On deck 11 we sat by the pool and after a rain the water was running down the rusted stairway in buckets. On deck 9 the metal moulding was being held together with masking tape! Service in the dining room was bad. We had a "senior waiter" for most of the cruise for dinner. He would forget a dish here and there til we finally gave up asking... butter was not given even though we requested it twice. I asked for a club soda with desert every night. I received it maybe 5 out of 14 nights! Courses would be served fairly fast until dessert,.Then came the lull... we would wait maybe 30 minutes for dessert. Teaspoons were not to be had. They were not in our place setting and we had to ask every night. No one ever came to clean up the crumbs on our table after the main course. We would just do it ourselves. Breakfast service was no better. you had to ask many times to receive the items ordered. The condition of the ship as bad as previously described. The entrance to the limelight club had this red carpet that curled. Trip hazard but no one cared! There were broken ice machines in the buffet, electronic door out of order to name a few other problems. Guest services was clueless. For the most part they all were pleasant and courteous. But they did NOT answer phones when you called from the room! we asked them several questions at the front desk and they rarely had the answers. Obviously they were poorly trained about the ship features and events. Norovirus. This ship is an accident waiting to happen. There is a severe lack of hand sanitizers. Soap dispensers in the bathrooms are empty many times. Lack of paper towels to open bathroom doors. The crew is NOT proactive to prevent norovirus. Also the choice of tv stations was bad. We did not have CNBC or Bloomberg. We did not have CNN or any equivalent news station. The tv did not function properly. One station you could barely hear and another station would be blasting! To sum up, the food and dj and cruise director were great. The ship was in bad shape and crew was not properly trained. The ship probably need another week or two in drydock and was taken out too soon for the sake of profits. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We got disable-room , hard to get ,we like 14 days cruise. And was done over. Our balcony was not for wheelchair or scooters ,very narrow ,and doors were old ,we also got locked out .The room was very nice ,clean,great handicap-room . ... Read More
We got disable-room , hard to get ,we like 14 days cruise. And was done over. Our balcony was not for wheelchair or scooters ,very narrow ,and doors were old ,we also got locked out .The room was very nice ,clean,great handicap-room . Spa was disappointing ,thermal loungers were in a small room ,only 6 ,no other chairs. Would not give us a refund ,waste of our money. The Flying scotsman was the Best ,the shows were great ,food was good. Room service was good. Embarking was confusing ,the staff did not know how to help. We went to the Musterstaion and were told it was on 3 deck ,not there ,hard to get back on the elevators ,when we got there ,it was over. They were bringing luggage to the rooms ,so most of the elevators were closed. Disembarking was a nightmare , we waiting over 3 hours before we got somebody to take us out with the wheelchair. Was so disorganized ,they did not have the staff to help the handicap . Everybody was so upset. SO the cruise was disappointing ,because the staff was not trained to do their job. Not going back on the Carnival . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I stayed on Riviera Deck Midship. No balcony but spacious except for the shower. There was a lack of storage space and Small tiny nightstands. We moved the life vests and placed them under the bed so we could use the closet space. It ... Read More
I stayed on Riviera Deck Midship. No balcony but spacious except for the shower. There was a lack of storage space and Small tiny nightstands. We moved the life vests and placed them under the bed so we could use the closet space. It had a nice size tv, we just watched ship cameras or ship location channels. Only used one electrical outlet to plug in our multiport gadget to charge our electronics. The toilet made an unusual sound of a long foghorn after flushing and since I use the toilet 4 times during the night, I thought would wake everyone on my side of the ship. There were no complaints, thankfully. And of course our stewards were courteous and friendly. There was garbage odor on some elevators and smoke throughout the Casino. Deck 3 and 4 were were a pain since at one point or another, a restaurant blocked the front to aft part of the deck. Our Time Dining we requested same waiter Camilo. He is GREAT. Sang songs and danced on some nights. Really great and funny individual. Request for a table he manages and you wont be disappointed. I selected foods I knew I liked so To me, the food was good. Im not a sun worshipper so I wont comment on the pools and chairs. The jogging track is a bit small but I enjoyed the Rope Course. It was complicated at first due to my big gut, but once I got the know how, it was a piece of cake with a bit of sweat of course. Guys Burgers are delicious, the pizza is so-so. Breakfast is same each day with no variety. Had to skip the Midnight Buffet with the Ice And food sculptures due to the mob trying to take pix and the LINE seeming endless. But Im sure it was delicious. ( I didnt gain any weight that night) Bartenders and staff introduced me to some delicious drinks. There were a couple good shows with the singing and dancers but wasnt interested in hypnotism and card tricks. The good seating area in the Liquid Lounge is small. There are poles blocking the way, lighting fixtures if youre too high up, and cant see the stage at all if youre anywhere to the side of the stage. Remodeled and all, from 1 to 5, I rate the ship a 3. Fun Factor I rate the ship a 3 as well. Friendliness I rate it a 5 There were not enough sanitizers and people were hardly using the ones available. I rate cleanliness a 4. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to Costa Rica where neither of us have been, The Panama Canal which neither of us have been to either. We haven't been to Half Moon Cay either. My wife once went to Grand Cayman more than 30 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to Costa Rica where neither of us have been, The Panama Canal which neither of us have been to either. We haven't been to Half Moon Cay either. My wife once went to Grand Cayman more than 30 years ago though. My wife has mobility problems and the many sea days appealed to us. We have been on this ship before, as the Carnival Triumph three times. So this was our fourth time on this vessel although it has been remade since. The embarkation process went smoothly. Did notice that keys to staterooms are no longer given out at embarkation. Stateroom attendant leaves key at stateroom. Can be bad if wrong person gets it. They no longer take picture and use picture on passport for identification. Staterooms weren't ready so we dropped off carry on luggage and went to Lido Deck for refreshment. You will find things about our stateroom in the stateroom section below. The food in the dining room isn't as good as it used to be. The Carnival Sunrise has a new Executive Chef. He likes to cook with spices. We, wife included, do not like spicy food. Ate Salmon most nights. The Beef Wellington, had on one of the three formal nights was good. Most desserts were good. Ate two at times. My wife spread out what she had to other things. Many things were good, service didn't meet former Carnival standards although most times was acceptable. The pizzeria was very good and ate there most days after got finished playing in the casino. The food on the Lido Deck was pretty good too. Had a few burritos that were very good, some of the food at the buffett was good as was the Deli. The Deli had long lines and most times didn't want to wait on them. About Entertainment and Activities: The shows were okay. My wife liked them. We had seem them before. Missed two shows due to doing other things. The enrichment talks were good. As a veteran liked the veteran meeting, and enjoyed the veteran's table at the high tea. Like playing in the casino. Played there every night. Most times played at the craps table and at times played slot machines. My wife likes to play slot machines. Met some people that were known from other cruises. Even made a few new acquaintances, a rarity for me, in the casino. The staff at the craps table was pretty good. They were for the most part, very competent dealers, box men, and pit bosses. Hope they are there when I next go on the Carnival Sunrise in the fall. The Cruise Director was Chris "The Flying Scotsman" Williams. He is a very good Cruise Director. It is no mistake that many of his people are getting promoted. Also of note, although many passengers didn't seem to like Adam, he is very competent and will one day make a fine Cruise Director himself. Houston is a very funny guy. One day he will be a very fine comedian. However, he does many things well on the activities staff. He should be given a night at the comedy club. One day, he might even make a fine Cruise Director. Disembarkation was a complete disaster. They were slow in getting luggage set up in the terminal and that was why we had long waiting times. Had to explain to car service why it took us so long to get off the ship. Next time bring fewer clothes and use laundry room more. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a newly renovated ship going on a 14 day cruise, I was very upset by some extremely negative reviews right before going on this cruise and i wish to put everyone else at ease, we have been on 3 other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a newly renovated ship going on a 14 day cruise, I was very upset by some extremely negative reviews right before going on this cruise and i wish to put everyone else at ease, we have been on 3 other cruises and so far, 5 days in this one is the best so far. I realize that there was a few bugs they needed to work out the first few cruises out of the renovation but things are running very smoothly on this 4th cruise of this ship, i have not seen any construction or finishing that is still not complete, so far no sewer issues. The buffet is very crowded during peak times but we knew this in advance and just worked around it. We have been eating at other venues or during non peak times. Love the blue iguana cantina, guys burger joint and the pig and anchor bbq, the bbq we did on embarkation day, it was like no one even knew it was there!! No lines, i recommend the beef, super tender!! Everything is so new and beautiful, everyone has been super helpful. Our room steward gave us a box fan for my hubby, it's been a life saver!! My advice is to ask for something, you never know if they might have it. Love the ropes course and water slides, never any lines, loving the comedy and entertainment, cruise director Chris is a blast. My daughter has trouble making friends but the youth crew has made things super fun and she had friends by the second day. I can't say enough about the great time we are having on this beautiful ship. It makes me sad that people only leave reviews when they want to complain, life is too short to be negative!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We had experienced a partial panama canal transit and decided we had to do a full transit. The workings of the locks is just fascinating if you've never been through it. It was just a relaxing day watching our ship travel through the ... Read More
We had experienced a partial panama canal transit and decided we had to do a full transit. The workings of the locks is just fascinating if you've never been through it. It was just a relaxing day watching our ship travel through the locks and the gentleman who escorted us on the trip with his facts regarding the canal was very interesting. It's hard to believe in this day and time when something starts deteriorating it is torn down and built anew and these locks are over 100 years old and are still operating in their original fashion with the same wooden gates! Staff on board was very courteous and our room steward, Nyoman and Muss were fantastic. They usually had our room cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast in the morning and were always smiling and making sure that everything was satisfactory. Dining room staff was a little slow the first week, however, they soon learned our beverage of choice and had it waiting for us when we sat down. Menu choices were varied and could have had a little more regular items to choose from, but for the most part, the food was tasty and temperature appropriate. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Princess was doing the Panama canal ... we had been on the sister ship Ocean Princess, so were happy to go on the Pacific Princess. Loved the cruise....weather just o.k. service, food, entertainment great......except for the dining ... Read More
Princess was doing the Panama canal ... we had been on the sister ship Ocean Princess, so were happy to go on the Pacific Princess. Loved the cruise....weather just o.k. service, food, entertainment great......except for the dining room. We were told that princess had changed there dining hours to 5p.m. early and 7:15p.m. for late. Since we like early dining and felt 5 was too early, we chose 7:15..... SURPRISE......each ship can decide on their hours.......5:30 and 7:45. We tried late dining......still at the table at 9:30. We requested early seating, a large table and was given table 34. The next night there were 6 people at a table for 8 including us...and were told that no one was at the other 2seat the previous night. We requested that friends be put at our table and again was told no....the table was full....... we spend 10 nights alone at a table for 8. The Matre De Albert Noversa would walk by each night and ask the diners how everything was. He could see we were alone.....did he not think.....I should try to put them at another table. Or just to lazy or could care less... certainly Not doing his job. I put a note in the suggestion box on board. I HOPE SOMEONE READS IT and that it does not happen to another couple. Makes me question going on another Princess cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Picked this cruise because I wanted to transit the Panama Canal to celebrate my 70th birthday. Everything was just perfect with one glaring exception. I booked one of the 6 Owner's Suites which are all located at the very stern of ... Read More
Picked this cruise because I wanted to transit the Panama Canal to celebrate my 70th birthday. Everything was just perfect with one glaring exception. I booked one of the 6 Owner's Suites which are all located at the very stern of the boat. I purchased Princess' Premium Unlimited Internet Package for an additional $199. The signal strength in our cabin at the stern of the boat was so poor as to be nonexistent. If I took my Ipad to a public area a midship on the boat the internet worked OK (not particularly high speed). If I tried to log on in my cabin either I got no connection or if it connected the signal would be dropped after a few minutes. If you need to stay in touch with the outside world DO NOT book a suite at the rear of the Pacific Princess. Food was better than I expected, especially in the specialty restaurants ($29 P/P upcharge). The public rooms are quite nice and remind you of the luxury liners of the past. The staff on board were all very friendly and knowledgeable. They really strive to make you feel special and they go the "extra mile" to make sure you are enjoying your experience. The boat is quite small (650 passengers) so you get to know almost everyone. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband has always wanted to do the Panama Canal adventure so upon his retirement, we chose the Panama Canal Cruise. We were told by friends, Princess Cruise Line does this cruise. So, we visited our travel club and booked the 15 day ... Read More
My husband has always wanted to do the Panama Canal adventure so upon his retirement, we chose the Panama Canal Cruise. We were told by friends, Princess Cruise Line does this cruise. So, we visited our travel club and booked the 15 day cruise aboard the Pacific Princess. Little did we know what lay ahead!! Everyday was a neat adventure; never a dull moment even on sea days. So much entertainment it’s hard to choose which one to attend. Our favorite port stop was Huatulco! Mexico! Such a quaint secret on the coast line. This town is what it’s all about. Just big enough to taste the real flavor of Mexican life. The people were so nice even when you didn’t purchase their wares. The food was excellent and the setting at the restaurant we ate at was just breathtaking!! We truly think we will revisit Huatulco!! The cruise even had a choir that practiced on sea days and we performed the last day aboard. Such a fun experience. The food choices were excellent and “ If you couldn’t find enough there, something is wrong with you.” Anything you wanted. All our on shore tours were first class. We are already talking and planning our next cruise!! So until next time; “Happy Sailing”. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a destination we’ve wanted to do for awhile. Being from Alberta, Canada we liked that we started in Ft. Lauderdale and sailed through the canal and finishing in Vancouver, BC. From there it was a very short flight home. We ... Read More
This was a destination we’ve wanted to do for awhile. Being from Alberta, Canada we liked that we started in Ft. Lauderdale and sailed through the canal and finishing in Vancouver, BC. From there it was a very short flight home. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a mini suite in which our room steward, Winston, kept very clean. Although we chose anytime dining, we chose not to do it. Instead, we ate breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet where the food was great (sometimes a little too good), but one thing that bothered me was that various passengers refused to wash their hands even when prompted by a crew member. We had huge, delicious meals at both Sabitinis and Bayou restaurants. I would definitely recommend going to either one. You won’t be disappointed. We booked excursions at all our ports of call but would’ve rather done our own thing on a majority of them. We didn’t find them up to Princess standards like others we’ve done on other ships. A special shoutout to the amazing staff in Crooners. Putu, Parban, and Bo became very good friends and I hope that we will cross paths with them again soon. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Always wanted to see the Panama Canai, and do the full cruise through to Vancouver from Ft Lauderdale. A truly amazing experience! GOING THOUGH THE LOCKS-wow-not sure what i was expecting-but it was a very unique experience. This was one ... Read More
Always wanted to see the Panama Canai, and do the full cruise through to Vancouver from Ft Lauderdale. A truly amazing experience! GOING THOUGH THE LOCKS-wow-not sure what i was expecting-but it was a very unique experience. This was one of a few still on bucket list. The staff on this cruise were very friendly and accommodating as needed. Our dining room staff were fantastic, and the food fresh and delicious. This was a cruise to remember-love meeting new people as well. I think Princess did an awesome job of looking after what we required. The excursions we had,were educational, and again all staff informative and helpful.Cartagenha was a little overwhelming with people putting their wears in your face. Overall people very friendly and helpful-trying to meet everyone's expectations. The entertainers on this cruise were awesome-and the cruise directors dealing with everything else going on-they kept everyone very busy. It was an awesome memorable cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a cruise I have been wanting to do for a while. This was a Retirement cruise for me and to celebrate my 20th Wedding Anniversary (close to our wedding date). I was very impressed with the Captain and his crew in sailing of the ... Read More
This was a cruise I have been wanting to do for a while. This was a Retirement cruise for me and to celebrate my 20th Wedding Anniversary (close to our wedding date). I was very impressed with the Captain and his crew in sailing of the Ship through the Panama Canal. You never knew when we were in port due to the expertise handling of the Captain and Crew. Impressed and thrilled with receiving a certificate for sailing through the Panama Canal. Also I want to Thank Princess Cruise for televising the Easter Mass for people who were not able to attend Church Service due to being on the Sea and did not realize that we would be spending Easter on the Cruise. Easter Service meant a lot to me as a practicing Christian. Thank you for that special event to be aired. Loved the Zumba classed to start off our days when we were at sea. Activities were plenty. Dining was superb. Thanks to all who prepared those heavenly meals and exquisite desserts. Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly. Staff was very present and helpful. Would like to do this cruise again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Destination: Panama Canal and it did not disappoint! Very impressed with this cruise. The Coral Princess was our first ship to sail on with Princess a few years ago and it still is one of our favorites. Small enough to enjoy everything, ... Read More
Destination: Panama Canal and it did not disappoint! Very impressed with this cruise. The Coral Princess was our first ship to sail on with Princess a few years ago and it still is one of our favorites. Small enough to enjoy everything, yet large enough to not feel cramped. Love this line! Service is superb in every venue. I don't know how they do it, but everyone remembers your name on these ships. I can't say enough about Club Class dining. Truly a great experience and so worth a few extra dollars. We also enjoy specialty dining once each trip, but really don't need it as the menu in the dining rooms are extensive and varied. From Embarkation to Disembarking the ship, everything about this repositioning cruise was great. Only wish our travel agent with Princess had told us we could continue on to other ports of call. We would have gone on to Vancouver as the ship headed for Alaska. Thanks Princess for making everyone feel so special on your line! Looking forward to our next adventure with Princess! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As you will read from many other reviewers; this was "the worse" Princess cruise I have been on -- and I have been on many, many Princess cruises. Something was terribly wrong with 50% of the interactions on this cruise. To ... Read More
As you will read from many other reviewers; this was "the worse" Princess cruise I have been on -- and I have been on many, many Princess cruises. Something was terribly wrong with 50% of the interactions on this cruise. To be fair, I would like to give you a balanced overview. THE GOOD: Our room steward "Randy" was THE BEST we have ever had. He should be training for Princess on how to take care of Guests. The International Cafe people were very friendly and helpful - but they need more staff for the service - everyone goes there. Two casino people really stood out (Hans and Mario) - they were very professional and helpful to guests (more on the casino later) I liked the new market place for eating and for the layout, colors and seating - the food -- that will be later too. The Crown Grill - excellent Chilean Sea Bass and steak for others. Best food and service. The fitness center - the dry dock brought mostly new equipment. I'm always at the gym on shore and the cruises - they did an excellent job here. And, there were 45+ people in the gym at all time -- just goes to show - if you build it, they will come ;) Traditional dining - good fish, nice salmon, excellent asparagus. THE BAD Customer service desk - clueless people, no help or service. It seemed that half the crew must have been new to the cruise industry and all the guest were the guinea pigs. And they were just plain rude at times. You would be talking with them about a problem - the phone would ring and they would cut you off and spend 5-10 minutes on the phone before coming back to you. Casino manager ( I won't mention names - I do have them, but it's not worth mentioning) shut the casino craps table down around 11 or `11:30 and forced everyone to leave - over and over - who does that? (more on the craps table under horrible) Drinks - every night the same thing at the craps table - hour to an hour and a half before they would come to ask if you wanted a drink. If you wanted one before that, you had to stop gambling and go to the bar to buy one. Why would they do that? The food in the new market place - average - and that is being generous. I did like their sandwiches for lunch. Food over all here was far below what you would normally expect from Princess Cruises. I will say their salads were fresh ! Traditional dining - this is the sad part - 50% of the time the meal was good, the other 50% of the time - I couldn't eat the food. The beef stroganoff - couldn't cut the meat with a steak knife - much less chew it. Braised beef - let's just call it braised fat. Their steaks - I wanted medium rare - it took them four times - each one was rarer than the previous one. People at my table were "mooing" because it was such a joke. The 4th steak was perfect. Their lamb - one bite was all I could do - so bad. The excursion for snorkeling at our 2nd port was nice - but the boat was way too small for the number of people who went on the excursion. THE HORRIBLE: Two main things stand out that really ruined this cruise. As others have said, the excursions were ruined for people and Costa Rica was the worse. Hundreds of people missed their buses because Princess wouldn't let you off the ship - seriously - they kept people in the Princess Theatre with no stickers or organization - when they finally let people out - row by row, dozens of buses had already left. So yes, hundreds of people missed their excursions in Costa Rica !! They reimbursed everyone - but it was the one big excursion I wanted to go on. People were standing in the heat of the day on the dock while they waited. Most excursions were cut in half for their time. Someone mentioned that this happened near the beginning of the cruise and people talked about it for the next week and a half - that is an understatement - people were furious - including me. I will give credit to Gary McNeil - he owned up immediately for all the problems and took full responsibility. Princess should be happy to have people like him. Craps table in the casino - okey, something is up with this and Princess needs to look into the issue. The table was "re-done" in the dry dock and new dice were added. 14 days of playing and every player lost every night. The dice would land and bounce at 90 degree angles. The dice would stop rolling and then "suddenly" flip over one more time. Many players there were commenting on what was up with the dice and table. We've played craps for years in Vegas and on cruise ships. NEVER have I seen the dice act so weird AND have 100% of the people loose at the table for 14 days straight. I'm not accusing them of anything - BUT - they need to look into this. We will not be playing craps on our next cruise with Princess. This is serious folks. FINAL WRAP UP: We did not come back "RENEWED" you will find from other reviewers, this cruise really hurt Princess's reputation in so many ways. Which is sad for me, I really liked them a lot until this cruise :( Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for the full Panama Canal transit. We were on board for the first 15 days from LA to Ft. Lauderdale. The ports visited were Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco Mexico, San Juan Del Sir Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, full transit ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the full Panama Canal transit. We were on board for the first 15 days from LA to Ft. Lauderdale. The ports visited were Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco Mexico, San Juan Del Sir Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, full transit of Canal, Cartegena. This was our 12th Princess cruise and as usual embarkation was smooth and efficient. We enjoyed all the ports and took several excursions - more on that later.The ship had just come out of dry dock. Our balcony cabin was fine except that the balcony had numerous paint chips/rubber pieces all over. In order to get the door to lock we had to slam it. Numerous problems with elevators, laundry facilities didn't work, problem with toilet that was resolved fairly quickly. The food was just ok except for the Crown Grill which was excellent both times we went. Buffet was lacking in selections the few times we ate there, dining room ok, enjoyed the triple smoked burger at the Salty Dog Grill, wanted to go to Planks for the BBQ but was closed the several night we wanted to go. The service in dining room was wonderful, our sever was organized, efficient and very funny. We ate about 1/2 our dinner meals there. Bar service in Crooners was excellent as well. Entertainment was not bad, the production shows ok, comedian was fine, several guest entertainers were fantastic and a few others I could have skipped. Crooners pianist fine, the party band was ok but the other 2 entertainers were ones we checked out once and that was it as didn't enjoy. The destination speaker was outstanding, the other speaker Leo Rossi who talked about his time in rock/roll was interesting. The really ugly part of the cruise were the shore excursions and the staff there. Our Puerto Vallarta excursion was a big disappointment as we only did 1/2 the tour and spent the last 15 min listening to our guide give a sales pitch for his products. We complained to desk and asked for a 50% refund. It took 4 days to hear back and after several lies they refunded us 25%. That was bad enough but the whole fiasco that occurred with the Costa Rica excursions is unforgivable. Except for tender ports we have never met on board somewhere before getting off for an excursion. For some reason this cruise we had to meet in the Princess Theater each day BUT there was no organization, no stickers or tours sitting together. For Costa Rica they had 1 gangway open and lost control as we were all leaving for excursions in long lines, people merging in from all over. We were in the 4th row of Princess Theater - made it to our bus but had to wait over 90 min for everyone to get there due to fiasco. Many people stood out in heat for over an hour, tours were cut short because they started too late - just a general incompetence. People complained to the desk but nothing happened - no apology letter, nothing - no acknowledgement of mistakes or loss of control. Just ridiculous. So bad that for last week of cruise it was a continuing topic of discussion everywhere. I filed a complaint with Princess upon returning home, they responded but all I heard during phone call was excuses - not a real understanding or comprehension of what had transpired. Disembarkation was fairly seamless despite a bit of confusion with the transfer buses. Overall despite everything we enjoyed the cruise but don't think we will be sailing Princess anytime soon as this definitely didn't live up to expectations based on our past experiences. There are other cruise lines such as Celebrity that have better customer service in my opinion. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Panama Canal was on the bucket list, so we pulled the trigger. The price on the Volendam from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco was to good to pass up. This was a 17 day cruise in April so there were kids on board at all, and the average ... Read More
Panama Canal was on the bucket list, so we pulled the trigger. The price on the Volendam from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco was to good to pass up. This was a 17 day cruise in April so there were kids on board at all, and the average age of the cruisers was probably about 75. My wife and I are in our early 50’s so we were some of the youngest on board. We are very active so this review, especially the port stops is geared to the more active types. Volendam is now 20 years old and she shows her age a little bit but it is well taken care of and still very luxurious. It was below capacity (about 1200 passengers) so there were rarely lines anywhere and it is a very spacious considering it’s a small ship compared to most of the big beasts out on the Caribbean. There were plenty of activities on board to keep us busy on the sea days. America’s Test Kitchen was very cool and the EXC port talks and historical talks were fantastic. Pools and hot tubs were never crowded. Our room was an Outside View right on the promenade deck. We were right next to a door leading out to the wrap around promenade, so it was almost like having a balcony…. We loved the accessibility of the room to the walking deck. The had plenty of storage space even with all the clothes we brought for the 17 days. We used the $20 laundry bag service 1 time in the middle of the cruise. The bathroom had been remodeled and the new glass door shower was the largest we’ve ever had on a cruise ship and the temp and water pressure were always consistent. Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale took only about 20 minutes once we got to the terminal which was only a couple miles from the airport. Debarkation took about 30 minutes in SF. Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning was also quite spectacular. All in all, with ship, the canal, calm seas, and 9 port stops, it couldn’t have been better. Every part of the cruise exceeded our expectations. The food and service in main dining room was fantastic and even the buffet was quite good. Room service was also excellent, with a different towel animal every night! That’s 17 different animals…. Cartagena: We took a taxi to the old walled city and walked around for several hours. Beautiful architecture and very Caribbean looking. The port had a shop and a nice aviary for no charge with many parrots and other exotic birds and animals. Leave a half hour to explore this area. Panama Canal: Awesome piece of engineering and history. Very cool to see the lock systems and the many other big ships transiting the canal. Costa Rica: Did a HAL zipline excursion. The place was near the coastal town of Jaco and we rode an aerial tram to the top then zip lined our way down the mountain. There were reptile and butterfly displays at the base that were very interesting. Sadly, we didn’t see any wildlife other than iguanas. Very fun tour though. Nicaragua: Took a peddle taxi tour of the little port town. The place was very poor, but our driver was very cool and spoke good English, so we learned a lot about the country and the politics. Not much to see, but made us appreciate what we have here at home. Guatemala: Took a HAL bus for a “on your own” tour of Antigua. It was about an hour bus ride through the countryside with guides giving some history of the area. Antigua itself was very pretty with many fabulous churches. We walked all over town and it was very nice. Puerto Chiapas: Took a HAL excursion to some Mayan ruins and then to a demonstration of how cocoa beans are grown and processed into chocolate. Nice tour but we thought a little over priced at $100 per person. Huatulco: Our favorite stop. Excellent swim beach right by the pier. We took a $5 taxi to Playa La Entrega a couple mile away and it was great. Excellent snorkeling and many restaurants right on the beach. We were there on a Sunday so many locals were there with us which actually made it more fun. The vendors pester the locals too….. Manzanillo: Ship docks right downtown. Lots of shops right there. We took a grueling hike up to the cross on the mountain to the right of town. We were hot and sweaty but the view was amazing. Puerto Vallarta: Did another zipline tour through HAL. This was a great excursion but only for the very physically fit. Right of the ship we boarded a little speed boat that whisked us about 30 minutes south to a bay where we switch to Unimogs to drive to the Zipline. Basically like an Army truck. Perfect for the crazy dirt road. Then after getting geared up, we rode mules up to the top of the mountain. And then it was more than just ziplines. We also repelled down a waterfall, did 2 giant waterslides, and then a new roller coaster zipline to end the tour. Very awesome!! This was our favorite zipline ever. Cabo San Lucas: Went parasailing then walked all over town. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We were looking forward to Pacific coast stops but Princess revised the itinerary by four days to allow for additional time in dry dock. Vancouver embarkation was smooth as silk and the three day cruise to Los Angles was uneventful with ... Read More
We were looking forward to Pacific coast stops but Princess revised the itinerary by four days to allow for additional time in dry dock. Vancouver embarkation was smooth as silk and the three day cruise to Los Angles was uneventful with two ok production shows and many onboard activities. Dined at Curtis Stone "Share" restaurant which was absolutely superb. Also dined at Steamers which was not ready for prime time. Muscles were dry lacking in cream sauce and some of the clams were cold. Others we spoke with had a much better experience, so they must have improved during the cruise. The new "Fresh Market" is a huge improvement over the crowded Horizon set up. Much more space to maneuver. We used Michelangelo any time dining room which was excellent throughout the cruise. The Dining Room Captain and door assistant were friendly and efficiently processed the many any time diners. Everything we ordered was elegantly severed and tasted great. The Panama canal crossing was made exceptional by a very knowledgeable speaker. She had a informed and unique way of expressing the history of the old canal while informing us of the construction required for the new canal. Our cabin was spacious and kept very clean by our steward. Having a bath tub and the additional shower space was a plus. We had been to all of the stops on other cruises except for Huatulco Mexico where we took a "land & sea" excursion through Princess. The contract company handling the excursion was disorganized so the excursion started and finished an hour late with a lot of waiting time in between sea & land portions. Sights along the way were good. The enrichment destination speaker was outstanding (same lady gave the canal talk). She was very thorough and gave great advise in the time allotted. The fitness center was well equipped and clean. All in all it was a very nice relaxing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Nine of us traveled together to cruise the Panama Canal. Our group consisted of three married couples and three single ladies ranging in age from 50 on up. Despite different interests among the members of the group, I don't remember ... Read More
Nine of us traveled together to cruise the Panama Canal. Our group consisted of three married couples and three single ladies ranging in age from 50 on up. Despite different interests among the members of the group, I don't remember anyone complaining of being bored. Three of us enjoyed the trivia contests, others spent lots of time (and money!) at bingo, some enjoyed the movies and entertainment in the theatre, one single lady in our group enjoyed visiting all of the lounges, and one of the married gentlemen in our party (my own DH) enjoyed hanging out on his balcony, reading and enjoying the scenery. Our signature suite, SY 8094, was situated where the ship juts out and featured a long balcony, which we both enjoyed immensely. My only complaint would be the casino, which was dinky and did not feature a good variety. Of course, I would have done better if I would have stayed away, as I lost a bunch of money. It wasn't like there wasn't enough to do.... The shore stops were long enough to provide a good overview of places that we'd like to revisit. Entertainment was good, food was good, and I would recommend anyone for this ship and PC itinerary! Consistent quality keeps us coming back to HAL. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we live in the Seattle area and love not having to deal with air travel at the conclusion, also because my husband can only walk with a walker. We were familiar with all the ports (only one tender port), and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live in the Seattle area and love not having to deal with air travel at the conclusion, also because my husband can only walk with a walker. We were familiar with all the ports (only one tender port), and we like longer cruises. We booked the Signature Suite. We needed extra room for the walker and no accessible rooms were available. The first glitch we encountered was that there were only 3 people available to get the wheelchair passengers to their rooms so we waited an extra hour to board. Upon eventually arriving at our suite, we were distressed to find that they have scaled down their bathroom doors below standard size, so it isn't possible to get a standard sized walker through the door. He had to grasp the counter and walk the length of the room holding on to reach the toilet. There was a full sized bathtub--useless to us--and the shower was so small with only one grab bar that he could barely use it. It was just about impossible to shower without flooding the bathroom. After having paid a couple of thousand dollars extra for a suite, this was a disappointment. The balcony door is very heavy and the thresh-hold very high. The good: the showroom, The Main Stage, is great for the disabled; one could put another row of seats between the row of seats on the lower floor and access is great. They have UHD huge televisions in the staterooms and a fair assortment of late movies to choose from. However, we couldn't get enough volume to be able to understand the dialog in the movies, while on all other channels you could have blasted it high enough to hear for a half block in either direction. The Main Stage did blast all their shows that loud. We had to go through immigration twice and had a serious issue with getting wheelchair assistance to get on and off the ship. We were misinformed both times by Guest Services. Phone contact, and even personal contact with Guest Services was poor due to lack of fluent English on the part of staff and difficulty hearing them on the phone. We had a dinner in Canaletto's which wasn't any better than in the main dining room. We had lunch in the Pinnacle which was very good, except that they served instant coffee with our dessert. The "worker bees", as always on HAL are wonderful. Food was acceptable, if not great. Over all, I think many cruise lines are subtlety (sometimes not so subtlety) trying to discourage disabled passengers, while trying to appear welcoming for good public relations. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it started in Ft. Lauderdale and ended 21 days later in Seattle plus we got a very large stateroom #8140 w a wrap-around deck on the stern. The first day for embarkation we felt the cruise line was not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it started in Ft. Lauderdale and ended 21 days later in Seattle plus we got a very large stateroom #8140 w a wrap-around deck on the stern. The first day for embarkation we felt the cruise line was not organized and although our luggage was labeled "priority" it was the very last on - not that it mattered but what did is we kept wondering if it would show up at all. But note that the disembarkation was very well organized and fast. Holland America has figured out how to make money - we paid $150 for water, $300 for internet (it is just $150 if you stick to social media only) and they must have saved a lot by purchasing low quality food. The Gala Dinner with filet mignon and crab béarnaise was the worst with crab nearly too spoiled to serve a piece of meat that was not filet mignon but some grass-fed animal's "surprise." Some meals were good but spaced well apart and the Lido food began to taste the same no matter what you took. The crew was very well-trained and friendly. Our Neptune suite was ok but I do not believe this ship was updated in 2017 or 2018 as it was worn pretty well including our suite. The ports of call were good and although many were shipping ports, I understand it is hard to find dock space for a ship sized like Oosterdam. The people we encountered onshore were very friendly. We will use another cruise line for our next cruise maybe we just expected better like we got on the Ruby Princess last year. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a ... Read More
The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a wait of about 30 minutes. when we got to our cabin we found it spotless and our luggage was outside our door. We had a wonderful lunch in the main dining room. Muster was at 3:30 and I love that we no longer have to lug life vests. One thing I did't like was a lot of deck space was removed as was a show lounge so they could add more cabins to the ship. However, despite the higher number of passengers, the ship rarely felt crowded except during show times and many trivia games. Club class dining had impeccable service. Many of the meals were very good but sometimes they weren't. the quality of meat has gone down. We had the best cabin steward. He was like a ghost but had our cabin refreshed twice a day and happily fulfilled any requests. You have to be careful with the ratings on tours. One "Easy" tour had more walking than I could do and I ended up spending most of it on the bus. The tour desk wasn't very considerate of physically challenged people. Favorite ports included the Panama Canal and Fuerte Amador, Punta Arenas Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, and Victoria BC. in Huatulco, there was a horrendous walk from the ship and two three wheel scooters that you could squeeze three people in to get to the shops and tour buses. I think after four times through the canal, it will be a long time before i do this again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, ... Read More
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, took 15 hours, due to malfunction of a A/C button, Embarkation was a breeze, best ever from 17 cruises with 6 different cruise lines. Arrived at 11am, checked in, on board and lunch with-in 1/2 hour. Cabin, A627, balcony, (we usually have inside, but choose the balcony to celebrate our anniversary). Very nice, large and spacious, lots of closet space and hangers. Bathroom the usual ship board bathroom, shower small, we’re 135 and 150 pounds, and we had problems, The cabin steward very nice, can’t remember his name and I’ve lost the paper with it on. We found the comforter too hot for us, he found a light blanket for us to use instead. Dining:- We had “any time dining “ as we east early at home, the MDR opened at 5.15pm every evening, we chose not to eat every evening meal in the MDR, we alternated with the buffet. We also had two B/F’s in the MDR. Lunch and the rest of the breakfast were in the buffet. The food in both areas were excellent and hot, and very tasty. I have a “blue cheese” allergy and the chef at the buffet come and talked with me to assure if there was any blue cheese in anything, it would be noted. Entertainment and Activities :- The evening theatre was excellent, by far the best we’ve seen on a cruise line. The singers and dancers out did them selves, as did the ships orchestra. Through out the ship, there were other performers who were just as good too. During the day I attended all the trivia, and as many games as I could. The cruise director and his 5 crew staff were just a riot, lots of fun. Service:- Service from all the crew, whether the desk, dining, bar, photography etc., were great, always smiling. Ports and excursions:- Ports from F. L to the Panama Canal, we have done them all before, so unless I was looking to send off emails, didn’t get off the ship, used it as another Sea Day. Panama Canal:- didn’t take any tours, relaxed on the balcony and watched the world go by, Puerto Amador, Puntarenas and San Juan Del Sur, just walked around the port. Huatulco Sur:- just walked around town. Puerto Vallarta:- Took a taxi to the “New Beach”, don’t now how new, but it is a quaint beach area, has some interesting statues along the boardwalk. Los Angeles:- Took a four hour ship tour “ Easy City Tour” not what we expected, we thought we would see some “ stars homes”. but no. It was a waste of time and money. Santa Barbara:- A very nice town, just took the shuttle up the Main Street, and saw the Mission museum, San Francisco:- I booked a Alcatraz tour on line, for the first ferry 8.45, you have to book at least a month in advance. It’s an easy 5 minute walk from the cruise port. A very interesting place, and well worth a visit. We took a “bicycle tutu”, along the boardwalk to catch the “ cable car” there was at least an hour wait, and after an hour in the cold wind, we gave up. Took a taxi back to the ship with a small detour to see some sights. Astoria:- a quaint sea side town, there’s a shuttled around town, you pick up at the dock. We visited the “Marina Museum “ Victoria:- Had a taxi tour around town, have visited Victoria before. Vancouver:- Disembarkation time. Very easy, One thing that did puzzle us we didn’t go through any customs either in Victoria or Vancouver, not even at the airport. We did see 12 police embark at Victoria, so may be they check our customs cards there, as we had to fill them out two days before hand. We didn’t travel with children and there was only a hand full on board, Would I travel with Princess again, yes, it was our first time with them, (have sailed 17 times all told) and really enjoyed the ship and line. I liked the way all the entertainment, from trivia, games and musicians and theatre were on two decks, 6 and 7, making it very easy to get from one to another. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise last minute after our transatlantic cruise was cancelled last minute. The cruise was wonderful; the cruise director and staff fantastic, and there were so many activities available each day and night. Both the ... Read More
We chose this cruise last minute after our transatlantic cruise was cancelled last minute. The cruise was wonderful; the cruise director and staff fantastic, and there were so many activities available each day and night. Both the production shows and the music entertainment around the ship were good. Food in the main dining room and buffet was excellent, on par (and sometimes better) than Celebrity. The only drawback was the tours offered. They were pricey and one in particular a "Cooking and Discovery" tour while we were in Nicaragua was very misleading. We arrived at the meeting time for the tour, but had to wait 45 minutes to leave. We then had to wait until a tender filled up to make it to shore. We were put on a tiny bus with uncomfortable seats for a 2 1/2 hour drive. When we got to the city, there were no restrooms available and by now it had been almost 4 hours. At the restaurant we neither cooked nor discovered. Friends at our dinner table took a tour in Panama that was terrible as well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Cabin with Balcony Dolphin 235. Had been planning this trip for about a year and a half. Was a bit concerned after reading so many negative reviews about the ships adding 150 cabins in 2015 without increasing the public space. Our fears ... Read More
Cabin with Balcony Dolphin 235. Had been planning this trip for about a year and a half. Was a bit concerned after reading so many negative reviews about the ships adding 150 cabins in 2015 without increasing the public space. Our fears were unfounded as we found the ship to be no more crowded than any of our past cruises with Princess. The ship was in clean and in good repair. Our cabin was in good condition and the flat screen TVs that have been installed since our last cruise were a nice addition. Note- we had some service people in our room one afternoon that were installing hardware on the TV that will be allowing on-demand viewing of movies and shows. We always opt for any-time dining as we don't do Formal nights, and enjoy the buffet as much as the main dining room. Food, as always was excellent in both venues. Entertainment was what we have come to expect with Princess. I did not care for the 3 productions shows, but my partner did. The magician was great, though a bit raunchy for the crowd lol. Sonia, one of the guest female vocalist was amazing. As stated by others, you need to get to the theater a little early as it does fill up, but we never had an issue and almost always sat in the same spot. Service started off a bit "surly", but once they realized that we said please and thank you and actually engaged in conversation with crew members they warmed up. We heard so many rude and demanding older passengers, it is no wonder the wait staff starts off that way. We booked all of our excursions with Princess, and had one at each port. Very well organized! Overall Princess once again provided us with a memorable and relaxing vacation! Thank you to Chris, Duval, Nelly, Sammy, Tania, Giri, Manuel, Emil and Marius for your great service, it is crew like them that make this cruises pleasurable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on ... Read More
Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on right hand side of old locks. Tip: booking the Sanctuary which on this ship is aft gave us great views of both sides and back. For the front view we had to leave for forward of ship but this was quite crowded. We went down to our port side balcony a few times for a different perspective. Loved being in Sanctuary though as they opened for our reservation at 6am and we stayed all day. Costs extra but worth it. The PC expert gave several talks prior to and after locks. He was interesting and informative. Thought the food was very good. Like the changes in MDR which now offers a select Timon of “starters” then entrees. The Curtis Stone pot pie is excellent! The daily burger offered in MDR is changed up daily and quite good too for a change of pace and likely popular with kids. Drink prices continue to be very reasonable ranging from $8.50 - $10 on average. Ship is in pretty good shape but may be getting close to needing some refurbishment. Definitely smaller ship in comparison of Grand Class which requires some planning. For instance we generally went to Princess Theater or other venues 15-20 min before show times to get a good seat. Not an issue but for those who arrive a minute before it may be hard to find multiple seats together. The chef Gaetano and maitre d’hotel Sylvio are an awesome team. We did Chef’s table which was one of the best culinary experiences of my foodie life! Highly recommend!! Read Less

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