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198 Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

I gave this cruise a rating of terrible because there was no lower rating to choose. Because I worked 42yrs in an industry that did not allow for the number of days away needed this was our first opportunity to go on my husbands dream ... Read More
I gave this cruise a rating of terrible because there was no lower rating to choose. Because I worked 42yrs in an industry that did not allow for the number of days away needed this was our first opportunity to go on my husbands dream trip. The Panama Canal. Originally we were going to choose the 16 day version of this cruise until we found out that all the ports of call on the first half of the trip, from LA to Panama hand been canceled and we did not want to spend 4days at sea. This in mind we & our best friends (10 time cruisers with Princess) changed to the 10 day version Ft Lauderdale to the Panama Canal and back. This change of itinerary should have been an omen but our 2 cruises with Royal Caribbean & 1 cruise with Princess were all so fabulous in every way that we pushed this warning sign aside and booked the trip. This as our 1st vacation in 16yrs! Little did we know what we were in for, but Princess knew! First I will mention the positive factors. Their names are Ismael & Enrico, our waiter & his assistant, Julian our cabin steward, and Anna a wonderful young woman at the customer service desk who were all the best!!! One of the 2 out of 5 scheduled excursions had a wonderful guide through the rain forest of Costa Rica. That’s it. Nothing else on this trip was a positive except the company of our best friends of 30+ years. Never in my life have I felt so robbed, so despondent and so angry all at one time. Where do I begin? We were only allowed to go on 2 of the 5 excursions we booked as we were not allowed to dock at the other 3 countries. My #1 choose of excursions on this trip was riding horses on the beach in Jamaica. I had the chance to do this once before &ziti was the most fabulous experience of my life. To have a second chance, in the meantime I actually learned how to ride had my own tack, rode weekly, was a dream come true. Strike #1! The Panama Canal excursion was my husband’s dream excursion. He waited for this trip his whole life. He is 14yrs my senior and very fit, and at 77 we probably won’t make the trip again. In addition this was our 40th anniversary trip. The food: all 3 cruises we have been on prior to this one the food was the crowning glory of the trip. Exquisite dishes expertly prepared. A wide variety of fresh expertly prepared meals excellent every one. THE FOOD ON THIS CRUISE WAS WORSE THAN DISAPPOINTING IT WAS DOWN RIGHT MEDIOCRE! The meat had poor flavor and bad color as if it was not fresh. The fish was ok off & on depending on the meal. Princess made a point of using 3 pages online to describe their “Chocolate Journeys” and the extraordinary chef they had on board to create them. Well they were very good but they were only offered 4 times on the 10 day cruise. The menu was on the left side the same every night so if you couldn’t find anything on the right side to like you had something to fall back on. What kind of a menu is that??!!! Breakfast was just ok as was lunch. There was no “Captain’s Reception” as in past cruises even though our best friends were 10 time cruisers. The Horizon Buffet which was described in such luscious terms that I couldn’t wait to eat there not only was not good but it was actually leftovers from the dining rooms from the day before that they tried to spiff up or disguise as something else! Leftovers! Bad leftovers! It got to the point where halfway through the cruise the only thing we looked forward to was desert and it too became repetitive. Overall the food was a complete bust to put it mildly. Entertainment: once again the word mediocre comes to mind immediately. There was one trivia evening that lasted about 45 that we really enjoyed. That’s it. My husband would give a few dollars to the casino at the end of night out of boredom. Shopping: The prices in the shops were, on fragrance about $3 cheaper than home, just no tax. The t-shirts for sale to commemorate the trip were very cheap quality. When I got home & compared them to the ones we punched on previous cruises, that are still fit to wear from 16 years ago, were ten times better quality. The main thing my girlfriend & I bought was “gold by the inch”, which I had experience with and knew that they stand behind their product, had a salesperson who did not know what she was doing, could not add even with a calculator & had to have help with almost every transaction. I bought a necklace and bracelet early in the cruise and when I went to take it off that night it broke, not at the clasp but one of the link fell apart! When I went the next day to return it she had to get her manager who was a nasty, rude, crabby man who actually told me that it was my fault that it broke!!! Oh, I forgot to mention that I had a 10% off coupon and a $25 gift card from the cruise line. I checked the next day at the service desk because I did not trust her math and my gift card had not been deducted!!! The water in the pool was cloudy and no one was in it. Very few deck chairs to be had. This being our 1st vacation in so many years, I stepped up my five day a week workouts at the gym so would look extra nice in my painstakingly chosen new swimming suits. I never even put one of them on! To sum up this cruise: WE SPENT CLOSE TO $10,000 ON A VERY SPECIAL AND LOG AWAITED AND DESERVED VACATION AND GOT A GIANT DISAPPOINTMENT FOR OUR MONEY!!! We spent $10,000 including $1000 on platinum cancellation insurance, which we should have used after the first excursion stop was canceled! PRINCESS CRUISE LINES OWE US A COMPLETE AND TOTAL REFUND! Even that cannot give us back my husbands dream vacation, our 40th anniversary trip vacation or make up for an experience so bad that we will never forget it. Nothing can make this up to us and I intend to share our experience with social media as well. I believe with all my being that Princess knew what going to happen before we sailed and the cruise should have been canceled.......... Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise to see the islands Jamaica, Panama Canal, Cayman Islands , Columbia, and Costa Rica. Unfortunately due to rough water and Corona Virus scare we could only see Columbia and Costa Rica. This was very disappointing ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the islands Jamaica, Panama Canal, Cayman Islands , Columbia, and Costa Rica. Unfortunately due to rough water and Corona Virus scare we could only see Columbia and Costa Rica. This was very disappointing and the water was very rough going from Fort Lauderdale in Florida to Jamaica causing many people to get motion sickness and was the main reason for our ship not stopping at Jamaica. We were stuck on this ship for 8 out of 10 days . The ship is need of interior repairs (floors were rough under carpet causing trip hazards, pipes in ceiling were leaking in hallways) Pools onboard were empty of water due to rough sea conditions. Entertainment was ok but could have been better if they were to make it to the ship, some flights were cancelled the entertainment could't make it to the ship. I would not recommend princess cruises for cruising, I thought they were highly reputable cruise line but I was wrong. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This is a senior citizen cruise and should be advertised as such. Pros: • The room steward & most of the staff was friendly. • The cabins were decent. Cons: • No events to do for younger people • The ... Read More
This is a senior citizen cruise and should be advertised as such. Pros: • The room steward & most of the staff was friendly. • The cabins were decent. Cons: • No events to do for younger people • The showers in the cabin seem smaller than usual. The balcony was filthy. • The food is terrible and the menus are too complicated • Some staff was not so friendly. Even had one roll their eyes at me for no reason • The elevators smelled so bad during the cruise • Dining room is very strict about dress code • The only thing to do on the cruise for younger people is go to the casino or pool • We were only able to go to 2 of the 5 ports and only got a $100 credit per person for that. I understand it’s not Princess’s fault but they should’ve done more. This cruise might be fun if you’re 60 or older. If you’re younger, stay away. There is nothing to do for you. I spent the whole cruise, besides when at port, in my cabin and there wasn’t even any good TV shows or movies on the TV. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I wanted to travel through the Panama Canal on my birthday as I had done the Suez Canal with Celebrity Cruises the year before. I now call Norwegian Cruises - NO Norwegian cruises because anything you ask the staff except for our cabin ... Read More
I wanted to travel through the Panama Canal on my birthday as I had done the Suez Canal with Celebrity Cruises the year before. I now call Norwegian Cruises - NO Norwegian cruises because anything you ask the staff except for our cabin guy is a NO. Or they say yes and then you find out later its a NO. I asked if I could save a space for viewing the Panama and was told Yes, the 13th floor is open 24 hours. 2.45am I set the alarm and went to the 13th floor where I was confronted by the cleaner who told me, NO you can not be here. If you save a place the guy who does the floors will just move all your gear. My cabin mate booked 15 tours with the ship. I booked NONE because of how expensive they were. She paid over $1500US for her tours. I ended up doing a lot of tours she did however found a local at the end of the pier. The most I paid for any tour was $40US, plus I got fed. The ship tour didn't feed them once and gave free time at lunch. My cabin mate sat in crowed buses, was pushed and lost by the tour company twice. The food on board was so inconsistent. The main dining staff slow and untrained. It's like No Norwegian went to the jungle, pulled out a bunch of people, chucked them on the boat and said... you are a waiter, be free. 21 days with little to do, thank heavens we had 15 ports. Mostly it was a money grab. I have never had to pay to play deal or no deal. $29US, not enough players so we were sent away. Talks on herbal medicine turned into buy my acupuncture. They played the same movies on the in room tv over and over and over again. $9.95us to watch a movie on a tiny screen. Want to watch a rare movie with the crowd? You are sitting in the middle of a room next to a bar and coffee maker with people talking, coffee being ground and subtitles because you can't hear what is being said. Unfortunately if you are not in the front seat you can't see these subtitles and only the back of the persons head in front. Then there is the app that you can download. I couldn't believe there wasn't even shuffle board to entertain me, my cabin mate said yes there was, it's on the paper daily hand out. She used this and I used the app with the days agenda. This was the 2nd time I had been to reception saying that the app wasn't up to date. I was told that had I paid the $9.95 fee I would have been given up to date info. This fee allowed me to contact other passengers too. I didn't have anyone to contact as my cabin buddy doesn't like IT. I then asked for a complaint form, NO NORWEGIAN doesn't have these, go online and find one yourself. My eyes were damaged by the pool water. I couldn't see for 30 mins and have been seeing spots ever since. I was shuffled to 3 staff, the 3rd suggesting I pay for the doctor on board at my cost. We will see where that takes me. Another passenger in a motorized wheel chair was being lifted onto the bus when his chair slipped backwards and he hurt his back. The tour operator said it was NO NORWEGIAN responsibility as that's who he booked the tour with. NO NORWEGIAN said it was the tour operator. He is now seeking legal advice. A MONEY GRAB across the board. When attempting to get to the bottom of what % by law they had to pay out on the pokies and speaking to 3 staff I was told that if I put $100 in I would get to keep what ever it paid out. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast because I found fun people and created my own fun things to do. I would not recommend NO NORWEGIAN to anyone, this was my 2nd cruise with them and certainly my last. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My issues are mostly with the home office: 1. With an average passenger age of 66, we were required to stand in a long line to get to the line to go through the metal detector to go to the REALLY long line to check in. We stood in lines ... Read More
My issues are mostly with the home office: 1. With an average passenger age of 66, we were required to stand in a long line to get to the line to go through the metal detector to go to the REALLY long line to check in. We stood in lines for more than 3 hours. There were six people to check 4,000 passengers in--and they shut everything down for a 10 minute break while hundreds of us waited. 2. The shore excursions were hit or miss. A few that we took were excellent, most were OK and a couple were terrible. 3. The main dining rooms had maybe three different menus for a 16 night cruise--very little variety. In addition several of the entrees were very dry. 4. The evaluation process was non-existent. At the bottom of one of the daily newsletters was a note telling us that if we didn't get an e-mail, we could send our comments to a PO Box.Of course, there were no e-mails. I'd like to share some of this with the cruise line, but they have made it very clear that they don't want to hear from passengers. Issues with the cruise itself. 1. On-board communication was terrible.I had to call the front desk to find out which deck we would leave from. A fellow passenger mentioned that we could get our towels folded like animals if we asked. 2. No seats were available for several of the theater performances, including the first night, which had been completely booked before anyone boarded (and no one bothered to inform us that we could book in advance). 3. The final breakfast was a disaster. Many of us like a served breakfast before dis-boarding. Of the three main dining rooms, only one was open. Fortunately we were there when it opened and got seats. The line as we left was very long. It took us a hour and fifteen minutes to get our food. With staff and kitchen help for three dining rooms, surely they could have done an adequate job of staffing for the final breakfast rush. So, the cruise started with a terrible first impression and ended with a bad last impression. In between it was O.K. If this is the way Norwegian treats passengers on its largest, newest flagship, I shudder to think of how they treat people on their other ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting ... Read More
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting thing for that day is going to a lecture about arthritis, something is wrong with that cruise line! I would not recommend Princess for our age group. We were so ready to get off this cruise and get home to our kids. The ship is showing her age, the staff is just there... nothing outstanding, and the choices for entertainment were not well thought out. There were not enough seats for the activities that were worth going to and you literally had to get there an hour before it started to even get a seat. We don't go for the food, but it was decent. The ship is clean, the staff is there to do their job - and that was about it, and the food was edible. Nothing fancy and not worth the money that we paid. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise to see the new locks of the Panama Canal which we did. We were on the same cruise ship in August and it was very good. New chef, captain, and cruise director made it a poor cruise. Main problem was the food in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the new locks of the Panama Canal which we did. We were on the same cruise ship in August and it was very good. New chef, captain, and cruise director made it a poor cruise. Main problem was the food in the dining room. Awful. Cruise director liked to hold everything in the center of the cruise ship which was not large enough for dance lessons and dancing at night. This was a poor choice. We will not use princess for a about 3 years since it was so bad which is disappointing since we just reached elite. I know Princess will not contact us as they are happy to fill up all their cruise ships for now...but that may change!!! As fof the room, it was very good and the steward was above average. Bars were great and bartender Zen was the best ever. Jun the bartender was good as well. Entertainment needs improvement. Getting on and off the ship was above average. We liked using the medallions for getting in the room and charging stuff. However, the poor food made it so our next three cruises we have signed up for will be on Holland American and Viking. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
After 55 cruises, the Crystal Serenity was such a unsatisfactory cruise, we made arrangements to get off the ship in Cabo San Lucas and fly home. Yes we left. This was the first leg of the world cruise and we found it to be a major ... Read More
After 55 cruises, the Crystal Serenity was such a unsatisfactory cruise, we made arrangements to get off the ship in Cabo San Lucas and fly home. Yes we left. This was the first leg of the world cruise and we found it to be a major disappointment. We looked at each other one day, and decided enough was enough and let’s leave. We contacted the concierge and made all the arrangements, got on the tender in Cabo with our luggage and were gone. You are probably wondering how this could happen. Well, let us tell you our feelings about the Crystal Serenity. We had booked this cruise a year in advance and having sailed on the Symphony 10 years ago thought it would be a pleasant experience. We are a well travel couple and in the last 12 months spent a week in Tahiti on the Paul Gauguin and then the St Regis in Bora Bora. In September we did a cruise from Montreal to Newfoundland on the Seabourn Quest. Both of these cruises were very satisfactory and we will be sailing with them in the future. Now on to Crystal. Boarding. We boarded in Miami. It was quick and our cabin 8011 a standard balcony cabin was ready. Our luggage showed up quickly. We remarked how small our cabin was. Not quite 200 sq feet, but we had booked it so that’s what we got. The balcony was nice and had two chairs and a table. Unfortunately most of the time the cushions were wet so we really were not able to use it as much as we would have wanted. There was no fruit, champagne, and I will add no chocolates on the pillows at night. The tiny loveseat in the cabin was not in good repair and when sitting on it one end was sinking in. We nicely ask for a replacement and nothing was done. The next day we ask again not in a pleasant tone, and it was replaced. The mattress was saggy and probably 10 years old. Now you may read about the renovations done to the ship to the tune of $17,000,000. Don’t think for a minute that anything was done to the standard balcony cabins. They were very original. Food: everyone enjoys eating on a cruise, and I must say I honestly could not believe the poor quality food. Everything was overly salty...yes everything. I am convinced that the Chinese Consortium who purchased Crystal have cut costs at every corner. I could not drink enough water. From the beloved Mushroom soup in the Italian restaurant that was inedible due to the sodium, to the bacon at breakfast. There is no way was that made fresh on the ship. I am convinced that the majority of the cooked food was pre-made and sold to Crystal. There was a rumor that they hid the raspberries at the breakfast buffet. I chuckled when I read this so I did a test. I went up and ask the man behind the buffet if there were any raspberries..he looked at me and said to go down a ways and ask the guy there and he would get me some from under the counter. So to keep this short, it was probably the worst food we have had on a cruise ship. Everything about it was prepared on the cheap. I will add that the guys at the Trident Grill could fix an amazing cheeseburger and fries. The Passengers: people were not friendly, did not make eye contact, and were in their own little Crystal world. Most of them were very elderly and only cruised on Crystal and could not believe there were other ships out there that provided a great experience. They were very unsociable except in their little group of friends. The Internet: it was included, but as you know everything that is included is paid for in your all-inclusive fare. To sum it up the speeds were so bad that you could sit and watch a page load. There were those Crystal fans who made excuses for it, but it was unsatisfactory. Shore Excursions: overpriced and very average. Lectures: we did go to the one with Scott Kelly ,the astronaut who spent a year in space. He was very engaging and enjoyable. In summary this was an expensive cruise. We felt like we would just cut our losses and get off, so we did. We stayed four days in Los Cabos and flew home. We call it “making the best out of a bad situation” I personally thing the new ownership has done a disservice to Crystal. Since we have cruised with them previously, I could see the difference and it was not luxury. We will not be cruising Crystal in the future. Update: We received a Certified letter from Crystal Dated March 2, 2020 that we were advised that we were placed on their "Do Not Sail List" Since there never was an issue on the ship, except we requested to leave, it appears this review ruffled a few feathers". Additionally they referenced a booking which we had cancelled for 2021. This was signed by someone in customer service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
1. Terrible food. 2. No vegetarian choices. 3. Limited food choices 4. Poor service. (Except for cabin steward ). 5. Didn’t show college football ... Read More
1. Terrible food. 2. No vegetarian choices. 3. Limited food choices 4. Poor service. (Except for cabin steward ). 5. Didn’t show college football championship games - all 30 TV’s were tuned to a Single meaningless European soccer game. !!! Other cruises, by comparison, broadcast these games in their theatres , with hundreds in attendance. These idiots didn’t even realize what they’d done. 6. Horrible and poorly planned excursions. Worst ever. Getting off the vessel every day took an hour and we felt like cattle. We took a 6 hour trip - over lunch - and all we got was a single bottle of water and a piece of bread. Prisoners get better treatment. 7. Worst cruise director I’ve ever seen. 8. They Nickel and dime you for everything. 9. Gratuities over $50 per day - were basically paying for staff - over above our $10K cost Avoid this cruise at all costs. There are So many other better options out there Never using Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Was offered a deal at 1/4 of original price! Ship was fully booked. Worst Food/Service/Entertainment of any Princess cruise I have ever sailed. Ships staff were poorly trained. Ship badly needs a complete overhaul. Buffet was a ... Read More
Was offered a deal at 1/4 of original price! Ship was fully booked. Worst Food/Service/Entertainment of any Princess cruise I have ever sailed. Ships staff were poorly trained. Ship badly needs a complete overhaul. Buffet was a mystery, only about half the dishes had signs, about 10% had the wrong signs. Some tables did not even have salt and pepper shakers. Ice machine in one side was down for 3 days. People who were supposed to bus the tables, looked straight ahead and would only come to the table if called. Phone in room didn't work (auto dial features). Many of the elevators had buttons that didn't t light up or had to be pressed several times. On some floors, some call buttons did not work. Ships power completely failed for 15 minute, no propulsion, electricity! Several of the tenders were inoperable, so on tender ports, there were an inadequate number of tenders. Ships paper sometimes listed incorrect time of events.Listed incorrect TV channels for canal commentary. Loved the dance band but I have never seen a group take 20 minutes every time to set up and do a sound check. As a result, they always started late (but quit on time). Took the photo package and (as we had always done on other princess ships) requested that they hold photos till end of cruise. They gave us a hard time, but eventually agreed to hold the pictures. One person claimed they couldn't find the package, another found it immediately. Talked to many other passengers (who also had cruised frequently with Princess) they all were extremely disappointed with this sailing. The only positive note was our room steward, he did a great job. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose Princess because we had never taken this line before and we wanted to take the family to Alaska this summer and had to check the line out. Embarkation was a couple of hours late with no explanation. Our cabin was as expected. ... Read More
We chose Princess because we had never taken this line before and we wanted to take the family to Alaska this summer and had to check the line out. Embarkation was a couple of hours late with no explanation. Our cabin was as expected. We could have used an extra chair, but we made do. Our luggage did not make it to our cabin until after late dinner. So we had dinner in our clothes that had been traveled in all day. We wanted to traverse the Panama Canal during the holidays, but Princess didn't seem to want to celebrate the holidays. There was a smattering of Christmas trees and one Menorah and that was it for decorations. The crew sang carols once. Other lines have made us feel like we were in a winter wonderland. The dining room food was 90% great and if it wasn't they would try to make it great. Always eat in the dining room. The hot dogs in the Salty Dog are also good for a snack. Never eat in the buffet...… You have been warned. Now for the worst part of the cruise. Our excursion in Panama City uses tenders (life boats.) Two of the tenders were not working. A third tender broke down with people on it. How could this be???? What if there was an emergency? Didn't they check these before we left? So our 8 hour day turned out to be a 4 hour day and we could not get to any of the excursions planned because everything was so far away. Thank you Princess for ruining my time in Panama. Late that night, our ship LOST POWER. Yes, we were floating at sea with no power, no lights, no nothing. No emergency power. And, no one came on the intercom to reassure the passengers for 15 minutes. Another 15 minutes before power came back on. Lots of "technical issues" on this ship. Sound system, etc. Now for the positive. The employees: the dining staff, the cabin stewards, the bartenders, all had the best customer service of any ship. That is the one thing that Princess does the best. They know how to train their personnel in customer service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I went on the cruise with 5 friends. Things were not up to Princess Standards. The room movie movies were all very old flicks, Nothing recent. There was no Zumba class. No instructor. They could have found a Zumba video. The ... Read More
I went on the cruise with 5 friends. Things were not up to Princess Standards. The room movie movies were all very old flicks, Nothing recent. There was no Zumba class. No instructor. They could have found a Zumba video. The entertainment except for 3 times, was horrible. At Panama getting off the ship was delayed for well over two hours. The food in the dining room was up to Princess standards, and the service was excellent. The food in the buffet was boring to say the least. And not many choices. The Steak house was fine and also the service. The river rafting in Costa Rica was a plus. The seafood extravaganza was /shrimp and Small oysters. Discraceful. The tour in Cartegena was okay. and the tour in Hualitco was fine going on a catamaran and a private beach. The captains welcome lacked decent horsderves. The cycles in the gym were not very good. And finally, in the spa,my friend went for a mud bath, and there was an extra charges of a $79. gratuity put on the room bill. Getting off the ship in California went smoothy, as getting aboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Expected a lot more for Xmas cruise; few decorations and little music/shows. Only decent production show was broken; entertainment not good except 2guest entertainers. Public bathrooms constantly dirty and toilets broken; water on floors; ... Read More
Expected a lot more for Xmas cruise; few decorations and little music/shows. Only decent production show was broken; entertainment not good except 2guest entertainers. Public bathrooms constantly dirty and toilets broken; water on floors; dangerous. Elevators not working well; I was stuck in one twice, doors close on you and some floor buttons won’t work/light up. One night all 4 engines blew and no power. We were stuck in the dark in a part of our mini-suite that didn’t have a small back up light. I had to hold up my non-walking spouse, who was “transferring” at that time. The joke/saying by passengers is “technical problems”, as we heard it announced a lot. Our cabin awful: the HVAC broken all the time; it would be too hot or too cold, and they couldn’t seem to regulate, and this affects my spouse with M.S. We were in ADA cabin, and my spouse in wheelchair couldn’t use balcony as you can’t close balcony door from outside and ramp deployment mechanism broken and old and they couldn’t fix; also the balcony door got stuck in the open position several times. Cabin toilets broke a lot. Shower drips all the time, without stopping. I injured myself, my hand, trying to show cabin attendant how to work/turn ADA shower nozzle/bar. Takes hours for someone to come and fix anything and it keeps breaking anyway. I spent 1/2 my vacation waiting for people to show up to”fix” things. Refrigerator in room broken and leaky. Front desk mostly takes 20-30 minutes to answer phone;quicker to walk down in robe. Communication poor. Example: It took me several attempts to get our disembark paperwork; I asked in person and called multiple times, and had to walk down in my PJs after 9PM the night before disembark. Problems with “Movies Under The Stars” screen; the top part had a black line across screen, affecting viewing. About 1/2 of the Guest Services Reps were snooty. Shore excursion Rep was to get back to us on two ?s and never did and trip sold out. Device to print your bill often broken (line too long to get from front desk); I suggested they put a note on machine, and they refused! (lot of passengers upset they can’t print and wasted time trying to figure out). Early in the a.m. one day, we were awoken by lots of noise outside cabin, and a Plummer had opened the plumbing closet by our door, and when I went out in hall in my PJs to ask what is wrong now, he just said “normal maintenance”; ridiculous to do this when people are sleeping. While food in dining room good, the buffet was no better than a low level cafeteria, and mostly same food each day, often cold and they ran out of food and didn’t replace. I had to ask staff there, and also in Int’l Cafe and bar to wipe up dirty tables. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
First off if you are handicapped this ship is impossible to get down the corridors with a scooter or wheelchair once the housekeeping puts their carts out in morning which lasts all day .My wife needs a scooter to get around which we had ... Read More
First off if you are handicapped this ship is impossible to get down the corridors with a scooter or wheelchair once the housekeeping puts their carts out in morning which lasts all day .My wife needs a scooter to get around which we had to leave by the elevators until late at night after housekeeping was done ,which meant she had to walk from elevator area to room . I have never been on a ship with no couch in the cabin (12 SHIPS) which also made it difficult for my wife .Must get a mini suite ,I had a balcony .Ship was clean except their were stains on floor and chairs on the balcony also out there the fire sprinklers were so rusty on my balcony and my adjacent ones ,I hope they functional. Food dinner menu was limited .and unless you are Andrew Zimmerman you might enjoy the choices offered .Breakfast in dining room or buffet not impressive. Buffet was limited also with the 2 end hot tables ,one having same thing every lunch and diner ,the other end was what I call off the wall food .Entertainment first 2 nights same entertainer who was horrible , one of the others I walked out on ,some were ok but were repeated (15 day cruise ).Ship on certain decks is weird cannot get across directly .Tours of the cities were not all that informative and made stops at one or two shops as part of tour that your could purchase things and not go out on your own .My waiter Rexy and his assistant were probably the highlight of my cruise ,they sang and told jokes every night .I have taken 12 previous cruises (RC ,Celebrity & Carnival ) ,this was my my most costly and unfortunately my worst .Never Princess again. . Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went on this Cruise because it was the itinerary we wanted for the Panama canal but we will never go on carnival again! We will be sticking to Royal Caribbean. The shore excursions were great but pretty much anything having to do ... Read More
We went on this Cruise because it was the itinerary we wanted for the Panama canal but we will never go on carnival again! We will be sticking to Royal Caribbean. The shore excursions were great but pretty much anything having to do with onboard sucked! The shows were so loud I couldn't stay for any of them, the food was not good, I ordered breakfast to my room every morning with extra cereal so I could eat that for different meals throughout the day, I alternated between that and two different sandwiches from the sandwich shop on the two-week Cruise, when room service brought breakfast the milk & juice were in glasses that almost every day were not covered!! The ship was dirty!! They didn't have people wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when you went in to the dining rooms or the buffet,3 of the 4 people in my group ended the cruise being sick. I ended up Leaving the cruise with bronchitis and bed bugs!! I wish I could send them my Terminix bill!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The 4 and 5 star reviews about this ship must have come from crew, family members or first-time cruisers. If you've ever cruised on other ships, you recognize them as lacking accuracy. We had the unfortunate experience of choosing ... Read More
The 4 and 5 star reviews about this ship must have come from crew, family members or first-time cruisers. If you've ever cruised on other ships, you recognize them as lacking accuracy. We had the unfortunate experience of choosing the Joy to finish our back-to-back cruise and travel through the Panama Canal back to California. Boarding was a nightmare with long lines. While standing in line 4 hours to board, we observed numerous people coughing and obviously sick. I pointed this out to the person checking us in when we got to the front of the line, but was told they had paid for the trip and nothing could be done about it. GOUGING: From the moment you begin boarding, you are hit with gouging. WINE: For instance, we had purchased wine on our previous trip, and it was confiscated as we got on board -- no taking 1 bottle per passenger onto the Joy unless you pay a $15 per bottle fee. We recommend that passengers do bring their own wine, however, because it is cheaper in the long run to buy a good bottle and pay the $15 per bottle rather than pay the over-blown cost for the Joy's wine. Seriously, the Joy sells its least expensive wine at over $30 per bottle and it tastes like they bought it for $2 a bottle. CABIN: Standard cabin with verandah, super hard bed and pillows, raggedy worn-out sheets, in room water cost $5 per bottle, sodas $3, etc. CASINO: An entire deck. The Casino has a $2 minimum bet on slots, so if you invest $5 you will get two button pushes and the ship will keep $1 unless you decide to keep losing. POOLS: There is one very crowded, cold and dirty, small outside deck pool (maybe 18'x20') for over 3000 guests. There's also a small children's pool on deck. No heated or inside pool. TRACK: They block the jogging/walking track with deck chairs so you have to pick your way through the crowds of people to even walk. In the event of an emergency, you better hope you're not on a deck, because you can't even walk around. SLIDES: The 2 pool slides are free but have long lines so count on waiting up to an hour. RACE TRACK: The race track is $15 p.p. for about 1 minute of driving around a track. SHOWS: Tiny venue (about half the size of other cruise ship show venues) and prior reservations are required. When we inquired we were told that they were all booked prior to boarding, so we didn't get to experience any entertainment during the 16 day voyage. There are no entertainers like bands in bars or comedians where you can just walk in and enjoy the show. You must make a reservation or be put on a standby list, and then stand in another long line for more than an hour. GAME ROOM: Huge game room for kids, but it was so expensive it was always empty. They had an "Escape Room Game" which we signed up for since we own a real escape room business. They told us at the end that it wasn't really an escape room. In their exact words, it was meant to educate passengers with different kinds of jewels so that when passengers went to the jewelry stores onboard that they would know the difference in gems. In other words -- it was just another sales pitch!!! FOOD: The food on this ship couldn't get cheaper or worse if they tried. We have cruised for over 20 years and frequently travel on world and grand voyages, and this was the first time we had ever seen bologna served on a buffet -- not ham, not other lunch meat for sandwiches -- bologna. The buffet dishes were filthy, and I returned and complained about dirty glasses and cups on a daily basis -- the ship employees shrugged off the complaints. The food at the buffet was bland and lacked variety -- same food every day. The dinner menu was always the same, bland and tasteless. The meat was poor quality and the fish was unrecognizable. When I complained, they suggested I go to the pay restaurants and buy my food if I wanted good taste and quality. I really didn't care to invest more money on food that I presumed was going to be just as low quality. Instead, we just waited until shore visits and ate our main meals ashore in restaurants. I now believe the food is intentionally prepared subpar so passengers will be forced to spend money in the exorbitantly priced restaurants. LACK OF NAVIGATONAL SKILLS: This part was actually scary. All the port times were skewed and shortened, because the ship did not leave dock for 5-6 hours as scheduled, then we missed our first port because they said there was now a storm coming into the port. Then after making our way through the Panama Canal, the captain said we had to sit in the harbor for another 5 hours because "high tide" made the ship too high in the water, and we couldn't pass under the bridge until low tide. Now, you'd think an experienced captain would have known about the tides, but as I said, the ship's failure to keep a regular schedule resulted in all the shore times being cut by several hours. I believe it was to keep passengers on board to spend money rather than letting them off to spend money on shore. I became very leery that we were unsafe on this ship -- and I was right -- but it came in the form of illness. SANITATION: This ship is filthy. In addition to filthy dishes, we never saw anyone cleaning this ship, wiping down rails, etc. The elevators were packed with people and many were coughing and sick. As a result, hundreds of people contracted the Norovirus and other illnesses, and the CDC came on board about a week into the voyage and forced them to begin cleaning and using more sanitary practices, but it was too late. Like hundreds of other passengers, we also contracted Norovirus. My travelling companion became so ill he had to be in the ship's infirmary on oxygen and antibiotics. When we reached San Pedro/Long Beach to disembark, numerous passengers had to be taken off in ambulances. If you find this review hard to believe, look it up on the internet -- an article was written about the Norovirus outbreak. We got off the ship Sunday before Thanksgiving and could not have Thanksgiving with our family, because we were both too sick!! This is the first cruise we've ever been on that was nothing more than a filthy, filthy MONEY GRAB. Norwegian is not among the lower priced cruise lines. However, it deserves to be placed among the lower rated cruise lines and nothing about the experience deserves a 4 or 5 star rating. From an experienced "cruiser", if I could rate the Norwegian Joy less than 1 star -- I would. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
we chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the various "perks" Well, regarding the free perks: Go for the free liquor package or the Specialty dining package and you could find yourself with a 5 to $600 service charge ... Read More
we chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the various "perks" Well, regarding the free perks: Go for the free liquor package or the Specialty dining package and you could find yourself with a 5 to $600 service charge added to your checkout bill If you want to take advantage of the "Free shore excursions" you might find that you have to add in a few hundred $$ as the tours typically cost more that the allowance. For those of you readers who don't know what happened with this trip, here goes. After about 6 days on the ship several people came down with Norovirus. The illness spread rapidly and many passengers and crew became ill to various degrees.We were told to remain in our cabin. We were forced to miss out on our last 3 excursions. In addition, We missed out on our last Specialty restaurant dinner in the steakhouse. We were told that a nurse would come to our stateroom to evaluate our situation. She never showed up after we made 3 additional requests. We were told that the medical staff was totally overwhelmed. We were VERY disappointed with the disembarkation process. Yes, we escorted off of the ship quickly, but then we were herded like cattle onto lines that took over 2 1/2 hours to clear. There was NO PLACE to sit and NO RESTROOM facilities . There were people onboard with explosive diarrhea. It was very unpleasant. In addition, due to all of the shoe excursions that were cancelled, It was difficult to get to the airport for our return home. I asked the customer relations department at NCL for some form of "compensation" for a future trip and they said NO. Therefore it will be a long time till I consider NCL for another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Wanted to see the Panama Canal. We stood in line for three hours when we should have been in the concierge area with no waiting ..we paid extra for that! Three tropical depressions, water spouts very close to our ship, missed and changed ... Read More
Wanted to see the Panama Canal. We stood in line for three hours when we should have been in the concierge area with no waiting ..we paid extra for that! Three tropical depressions, water spouts very close to our ship, missed and changed stops right before we cruised and during the cruise, Stops are very short, excurtions are questionably unsafe in Central America. Noro -virus over 400 sick....very little info to passengers. Elegance for upgrade passengers was removed. Right down to salt and pepper packets. Last five days deteriorated to steerage. I wrote three complaint letters and was refused any refund. I think if I paid for Concierge Level and got Steerage treatment...there should be a refund to the lower level costs this was our second NCL cruise...the first we accidentally booked during Spring Break. Constant drunken kids, public fornication, sofas from the cabins were actually thrown from balconies. Same fancy rooms! The Joy was built for the Chinese and it was a huge fail...the boat was redesigned and is still a huge miss. The Guest Relations Department sees nothing wrong with these issues mentioned. We have taken 15+ cruises...never again on NCL. Finally....over 4 hours to get off the boat in LA. No water...no bathroom...and 400 people with diarrhea. Not even a seat for the sick. The ambulance was call for two passengers during our escape! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The price for the cruise was great and always wanted to go though the Panama Canal. The room was nice size and the aesthetics of the ship were great. The dinning rooms looked nice and the main theater was nice and beyond my ... Read More
The price for the cruise was great and always wanted to go though the Panama Canal. The room was nice size and the aesthetics of the ship were great. The dinning rooms looked nice and the main theater was nice and beyond my expectations. The issue is the basic design of the boat. The central bank of elevators were always packed and had to wait a really long time to use. The issue is the second bank of elevators were in the back of the ship not used often because of location, so the drawing board design was wrong from the start. The other design issue was the main buffet dinning area did not have enough seating. We heard the ship was not full, yet we often circled for a 10 to 15 minutes looking for a place to sit. That problem was compounded when the buffet food was not hot to begin with. Speaking of the food, there was plenty of room for improvement. The salad bar was a joke. Of the 10 items I might put on my salad it contained one..... Lettuce. And the dressing was very watery. Most of the "hot" dishes were not. Generally the proteins were dry and only fair taste. I don't eat hot dogs but I had plenty on this trip because of the poor options. We took a Celebrity trip last summer and the food was GREAT. They need to do something about checking into and out of the ship at the end of the trip. Getting off at the port of call worked well and was well thought out. However over 2 hours to check into the ship and over 3 hours to get off the ship was a nightmare. I must commend the staff on switching to serializing mode when the ship had a flu outbreak. they seemed to stop the spread of illness and we heard only 200 people got sick. The issue became the staff wasn't available to take orders and serve meals so dinner took 2 hours. Would I take another Norwegian cruise... Nope Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Friends were going on this cruise and I wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was a three week cruise and we were looking forward to a memorable trip with friends. The Cabin was nice except for the bed. The Platform bed was very poor. You ... Read More
Friends were going on this cruise and I wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was a three week cruise and we were looking forward to a memorable trip with friends. The Cabin was nice except for the bed. The Platform bed was very poor. You could feel the woven platform when you laid on the mattress. The steward had to install a bed board and mattress topper before the mattress was tolerable, not great but acceptable. The balcony and full size shower were fine. The food ran from A+ to atrocious. This varied from day to day and meal to meal. It made no sense. Perfect example was the omelet station at breakfast. They cooked the omelet in oil, not butter. No milk in the eggs to create a fluffy texture. The veggies were not cooked. They were just laid onto the eggs when the eggs were done. POOR! At the Asian soup station for lunch they stopped using the traditional rice noodles and started using wheat noodles. Completely different taste and not Asian. The last week of the cruise the ramekin of cottage cheese at breakfast shrank in size each day. Bananas were almost never on the breakfast buffet. I have never seen this before on any cruise. I had to special request to get a banana. The entertainment in general was good although some of the performers should have chosen another career. One comedian was so bad that his half hour performance did not get a laugh from the entire theater. One female singer was off key for the entire performance. Who reviews these entertainers before hiring them? Disembarkation was bad, to say the least. I have a mobility problem and was denied to get into a disability short line to go through customs. We had booked the entire cruise and flights through NCL. We docked in NYC and found that our departure flight had been booked through LaGuardia. LaGuardia has been under construction for a couple of years and is a MESS. NCL neglected it's duty by booking flights out of that airport. They could have booked us out of Newark or Kennedy which do not have construction problems like LaGuardia. Over all the bad out weighed the good on NCL. We will never travel on NCL ever again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge ... Read More
From transfer: the transfer bus is not ready, guests have to wait 4 hours at LAX. Embarkation: staff make sure my credit card is right, then we double check the Help Desk on ship, at the end of CRuise (21 days), they mixed up my charge account. Mini Suite Room Design and Cleaning: we paid pricey for this MA class room 9 months before cruising, the design of room layout is not easy to move around and storage space is not enough. The shelf was broken and missing, the staff said, they can NOT repair it. entertainment: every show we went, we watched a lot guests left in the middle of program. most of the E-staff talk English in all kind of strange accent. food and restaurants: food is terrible in quality for freshness and the ways of prepared. The India Chief Chef maybe cook the way we are not used to it. Future Cruise: Again, bad English and worse Debarkation: at the Manhattan Term. all guests have to stand in line outside for 2 hours to get off the ship, this break the record not only for NCL, but for all the Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a 21 day cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, that was very disappointing. We have cruised a number of other lines before, this was our first on Norwegian. We were excited to go thru the Panama Canal, and the stops were all good, what ... Read More
This was a 21 day cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, that was very disappointing. We have cruised a number of other lines before, this was our first on Norwegian. We were excited to go thru the Panama Canal, and the stops were all good, what we expected. Careful with the excursions they provide, a number of them are just shopping stops, that you pay good money for. Our problems were mostly with the food on the ship, there was one restaurant that was good, that was at an additional fee, Cagney's Steakhouse. we ate at all the others as well. Even for the additional fees, they were not good. The buffet, was no better than an high school cafeteria's food, and the main dining rooms, not only was the food bad, but the service was even worse. To make it even worse, they did not care. One breakfast in the main dining room it took over 1 hour to get a basket of croissants, everyone else got there food but me, we asked three times, and no one even cared. Finally, just left. Balcony room on Deck 12 - was small but adequate, and room steward was good and very nice. Entertainment was good we saw Jersey Boys, Six, and a number of entertainers, All we good. If you are a smoker, you will be relegated to a small section in the Aft of the ship, not a lot of room for all the smokers, and if it rains you are in the rain. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Never ever been treated like second class citizen since I have been cruising for over 27 years with this pathetic company. It does not matter what happens on this ship as nobody cares and nobody listens. The noise, food, officers were ... Read More
Never ever been treated like second class citizen since I have been cruising for over 27 years with this pathetic company. It does not matter what happens on this ship as nobody cares and nobody listens. The noise, food, officers were pathetic and overall I wish people would avoid this company like the plague. An officer actually snatched a spoon out of my hand and I wish I would have handled my reaction differently. Had it been the other way around, I would have been kicked off the ship at next port. There is no customer service at sea nor stateside. All was offered was 10% for future cruise and when I told RCCL I was not happy after everything that went "south" they offered an additional $100.00 room credit. Don't hurt yourself. I declined again and have decided I will no longer cruise with this poor excuse of a company. How these people sleep at night is beyond me. I have told multiple people to just stay away and that is exactly what I'm doing. Loyalty means nothing. I would also advise try hiring people where English is required for an intelligent conversation. Breakfast was horrendous and always cold. Dining was nothing exciting and hope your not in a hurry because they aren't either. Entertainment borders on pathetic and people nobody ever knew existed. The days of real entertainment are long gone. Guest relations is non-existent and officers are always unavailable because they are in meetings. Pathetic. The overall service onboard was average at best but NEVER AGAIN as I AM DONE. The only positive and I mean only 1 was the Canal itself. No excursions were take because of no interest. The ship is a rust bucket and needs refurbishing for about a year. I've had a better room at Motel 6. From start to finish there is nothing nice to say, PERIOD. I'll make this clear one last time, NEVER EVER again will I cruise with this pathetic organization. Case closed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The food on this cruise the coral princess was the worst we ever had on a cruise .food was overcooked and at times criminated.the variety was awful in fact terrible. breakfast was minimal and lacked fresh fruit,we were told fresh fruit was ... Read More
The food on this cruise the coral princess was the worst we ever had on a cruise .food was overcooked and at times criminated.the variety was awful in fact terrible. breakfast was minimal and lacked fresh fruit,we were told fresh fruit was only for decrative purposes on cakes. The lunch time food was mushy and you didn't know what you where eating. The evening was the same. The ship itself was old and needs refurbishment ,some of the public toilets on the ship smelled badly. The lifts were quite dirty. The shore excursions were the places that you wouldn't what to visit. The staff aboard the ship were very good and helpful but they couldn't do a lot about the food. The embarkation was fast because we took our own baggage.we would not go on a princess cruise again and would definitely not recommend it to anybody. We are extremely disappointed Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My now 90 year old mother and I took this same ship to the Panamal Canal in 2012 and we were now celebrating her 90th birthday and looking forward to the renovations that were made in 2017 to the ship. Imagine our surprise when we find ... Read More
My now 90 year old mother and I took this same ship to the Panamal Canal in 2012 and we were now celebrating her 90th birthday and looking forward to the renovations that were made in 2017 to the ship. Imagine our surprise when we find that our balcony grade room was now 1/3 smaller and the shower so small that I could not even turn around without bumping my head (I'm almost 6 feet tall but no giant and my wife could not even shave her legs in the shower because there was no room. Also, the casino was cut in half and I was specifically told by the casino manager that Carnival had done this to create space for more rooms. So our comfort is sacrificed so Carnival/Princess can make a buck. Typical corporate mentality. Forget about quality just mo money mo money mo money!! Our room had no air conditioning for one night until I threatened to sue everybody and then it miraculously came back on. The food was mediocre at best. The shows were average (when you could get in since the cattle call of over 75+ seniors got to each show about 45 minutes before to take all the seats). I guess when there is nothing else to do you have no choice. The Huatulco shore excursion was a total joke. The guide spoke no English, was 45 minutes late and showed us the fronts of 4 hotels saying that these were the cultural highlights of the City! If I have to hear about one more bs EFFY jewelry promotion I am going to throw up. What a ripoff! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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