28 New York (Brooklyn, Red Hook) to Canada & New England Princess Royal Princess Cruise Reviews

Well today we returned from the cruise. First I'd like to say it's been the worst cruise I've been on. It wasn't a disaster, but a lot went wrong. Boarding the ship was a bit of a disappointment, seemed to take a lot ... Read More
Well today we returned from the cruise. First I'd like to say it's been the worst cruise I've been on. It wasn't a disaster, but a lot went wrong. Boarding the ship was a bit of a disappointment, seemed to take a lot longer than normal. Was waiting for bags a lot longer than previous trips. The ship was very disappointing. It's too large and takes too long to get from one end to the other. It's a poor design we were in A303 and had our dinning room in Allegra on the 6th floor up the other end of the ship and we either had to walk the whole length in the corridor past trolleys on the 12th and then get the lift down to the 6th or go through the Horizon Court/Bistro on the 16th and then go down. It took me almost 3 days before I could get someone to get me a drinks card and then was charged for 7 days. I decided to go somewhere quiet and watch a video on my laptop and went on the 16th while others watched a movie, couldn't get a drink up there and was told to go to the international cafe to get a drink. No drinks cards from there and the only drinks I could get were tea and coffee that I had to pay for. Mind you I could get free in my cabin or up in the Horizon Court/Bistro. I wanted to leave my room so my wife could rest in peace and I could go somewhere and not bother her or anyone else. A box for my wife's charger for her scooter was taken from our room. Guessing it was thrown out. Also noticed things left around the room were often moved. I can understand if you leave something on your bed or in the way of something, but on bedside table or bench I don't think it should be touched. I and others felt that some of the staff weren't up to the standard of previous cruises. Nothing against Ukrainians, but there seemed to be a lot more staff from the Ukraine and Serbia and they didn't seem friendly or happy doing the job. It was like they didn't want to be there. You want to feel happy and welcomed, but very few times that happened. There seemed to be very few natural English speaking staff. I understand that people of all nationalities work on the cruise ships, but felt having a few more locals on a cruise would certainly help. They have added more places to eat such as the International Cafe and Gelato Bar, but feel it's wrong to charge for these things when you can get them free on the 16th floor such as Gelato/Ice Cream...etc No deck to walk around the outside of the ship. No access to the top of the front of the ship to enjoy the view ahead. Laundry was up the other end of the ship and now use tokens which is more expensive than previous cruises. With a larger ship they should have a laundry at either end. Larger ship, but still have the same number of lifts. A pain when boarding and departing taking over 20 mins to get a lift. Many lazy able people refusing to use stairs and try and jump the queue when people with walkers, scooters, wheelchairs ..etc are needing a lift more than them. Went to dining rooms for breakfast and having to wait several minutes and then be told we will take you now... then walk past many empty tables. We figure there must be a lack of staff either in the kitchen or serving. The service was poor, waiting close to 30 mins for a cup of tea for example. Had breakfast in the Horizon Court one day and got all cooked warm food only to find it was cold and not that nice. No theme nights. Saw very few activities around the ship. Didn't like the public toilet facilities as much as other ships. Basin is very shallow and soap was difficult to get out. As far as the destinations went, they were nice, but nothing great. We have another cruise in a week and hope that it will be a lot better or else it might be our last Princess Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Just got home from the 7 day New England-Canada cruise on the Royal Princess. I'd like to save you about 5 or 6 headaches. First: Shuttle Bus to the Cruise Terminal. We took the shuttle Bus arranged and prepaid to Princess. - WRONG! ... Read More
Just got home from the 7 day New England-Canada cruise on the Royal Princess. I'd like to save you about 5 or 6 headaches. First: Shuttle Bus to the Cruise Terminal. We took the shuttle Bus arranged and prepaid to Princess. - WRONG! - Our flight arrived at 6:00AM the Shuttle arrived at 11:00AM. A taxi is about $50 and cabs will carry 4 and luggage. They have Livery Car Service in New York. That’s a licensed limo or a "Black Cab" (Like a Chrysler 300). You can make arrangements in advance on line. Cost is a little more, but it is a private reserved car. You can also reserve and pre-pay with the Blue Super Shuttle. $125 for 10 in a van or about $20 each with 5 in a minivan. That’s round trip, and you can prepay online. (look for a discount coupon) It’s only 20 miles, but takes well over an hour. There are other shuttles that run more often from JFK and cost as low as $13 per person. For safety’s sake, don’t get in anything unless it is a REAL taxi or you have made prepaid arrangements. The pre-boarding was just unbelieveable! Traffic into the terminal goes at a snail’s pace. Add to that about another 3 hours to get aboard. Add it all up, -- 5hours waiting for the bus, 1 ½ ride to Brooklyn, 3 hours processing. This is a beautiful ship, but the design flaws are glaring. First, The Elevators. Really poorly designed and not programmed. You stand in the lobby and push the 'up' button. there are 4 or six elevators in three locations and they are going everywhere except sideways. They pass your floor, and when they do stop there are 16 people on it. The average age on our cruise was about 82 and the average weight was about 195. First day we had muster drill. Everybody meets on muster deck 5. EVERYBODY. So all 3,500 people and half the crew are going to muster deck 5. They are all coming from the upper decks, their staterooms, because that’s where your life jackets are. After the lifeboat drill, everyone, EVERYONE, all 3,500 are going back up to the cabin to put your life jacket away. Remember ALL the cabins are on the upper decks. After you stow your jacket, it's back down to dining rooms. All the dining rooms are on deck 5&6. Everyone, EVERYONE all 3,500 people are going back down to the dining rooms, on deck 5&6. (Unless you skip the dining room and go to the Buffet) And the elevators have a mind of their own. My suggestion? For Princess: For just the first day? Assign one crew member to each elevator with a key. Operate the elevator manually. Start on deck 5 and load up. Go all the way to 16, then go down floor by floor and drop people off at each floor down to deck 9. Then go express back to deck 5 and pick up people from the muster drill. and do it again, and again. Later duplicate the process, except assign elevators to pick up people on the upper floors and then go express to 5&6. Next, hire an engineer to reprogram the elevators so they are synchronized. The Allegro dining room, (traditional dining) is almost impossible to find. It's on deck 6 at the very rear of the ship. To get there you walk aft on deck 7 and then go down the stairs. (Down the stairs) We like the traditional dining. You get to meet other passengers. Unfortunately the food was just average and uninspiring. The service was poor also. We left a comment card, and a cash envelope for the waiter from the next station, because our waiter was so busy trying to be funny and charming with other tables. (all 6 nights) We brought wine for dinner and our waiter decided to serve it with dessert. (Mummm, Cabernet and Merlot with dessert) We ordered coffee after dinner; I got a cup and saucer, but no coffee. Every cruise we have been on, I remember some outstanding meal in the dining room. Nothing this time from the dining room... all mediocre. The quality reminded me of "Hometown Buffet" However the gelatto (Extra cost) and the pizza at Alfredo's were very, very good. Alfredo's Pizza. Sit down table service, no extra charge. Classic New York style, very thin crispy crust, very light tomato sauce. Baked in a very, very hot oven on stone. Terrific. Comes with an antipasto and desert. And no charge. The Horizon Buffet and Horizon Court are very good, not much variety from day to day. A little confusing layout, but plenty of tables and chairs. I recommend you walk thru the buffet and court to see what is offered. In one area they would have meat. Beef, Chicken, carved Ham, baked fish. But if you wanted vegetables or rice or potatoes to go with your meal, they are over in a different area. I can see desserts and salads being separated, but beef and potatoes? We took an inside cabin because it was about $300 cheaper and the weather in New England and Canada are not too good to use the balcony. The room was about a foot and a half wider on either side of the bed. The bathroom was a little bigger than that on the airplane, (with a shower) and I’ve seen bigger bathrooms in RV’s. Good points? The Piazza. A three deck large open atrium. Something was always going on in the atrium. Music, dancing, zumba, a magician, a juggler. Surrounding the Piazza are bars, coffee shop, Alfredos pizza, gift shops, and the photo gallery, Getting off the ship was a lot smoother., Luggage outside at night. We even put our hand carry outside. We kept with us in the little blue shopping bag they gave us, our sleeping gear dirty laundry and toiletries. You get out of the room at 8:00am, go up to Horizon for breakfast, and hang out there. Later you meet by luggage tag colors in the dining room, then off the ship. Down in the Terminal UNION stevedores who make $50-$75 an hour straight time will schlep your luggage to your return bus and then they expect you to tip them a few dollars a bag. Getting back to the airport wasn’t as difficult as arriving… but not by much. It was cold and raining and that just added to the experience. Princess sends you a comment survey when you get home. They want you to give them all 5 star ratings. I know someone from customer service reads “Cruise Critic” We tend to be a little more frank and honest here.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We sailed in a Deluxe Balcony Cabin, two of us (myself and wife, age 37 and 36). Overall, I would give the cruise 4 of 5 stars, there were a couple of issues that stood out as negatives, but taken in total it was an excellent cruise. The ... Read More
We sailed in a Deluxe Balcony Cabin, two of us (myself and wife, age 37 and 36). Overall, I would give the cruise 4 of 5 stars, there were a couple of issues that stood out as negatives, but taken in total it was an excellent cruise. The ship is absolutely magnificent, it is obviously new as everything sparkles and is in excellent condition. The public spaces are well appointed and very well-lit, in fact, improvements in lighting, including more LED lights made all of the spaces feel more open and clean. Despite the large number of passengers the ship can carry and a sold-out cruise, we never struggled to find a seat in an entertainment venue, bar or the Horizon Court. The ship is large, so a certain amount of walking was required, but I did not notice it to be significantly different than previous Princess Cruises on other ships. The highlight of the physical ship features was certainly the Horizon Court! The new open layout and wide spaces between the serving lines made for much less crowding and prevented much of the aggressive behavior that I have seen from fellow passengers in the past. The new Princess Live television studio seems like a novel concept, but I generally found that it didn't add much utility to my experience. The lack of center stair case is a bit misleading, there are central stairs between decks 5 and 7, but no higher. I think it was occasionally inconvenient and it would be better to have it, but it wasn't a deal breaker or maker for me. Across the board, the food was outstanding! There is always room for interpretation and stylistic preferences, but execution was spot on. We had traditional second seating in the Allegro Dining Room and had a fantastic experience. The first night, our service team seemed a little disheveled and thus the service was a little slow, but they started clicking the second night and I give them very high marks across the board. We also ate in Sabatini's and Alfredo's for sit-down service. Alfredo's food is excellent and I enjoyed it both times we ate there. Sabatini's was, as always, a treat and the service was fantastic. The buffet is not usually my favorite meal, but I found that the options in the Horizon Court were very diverse and well-delivered. The new wine list is stream-lined, but the offerings we explored were a good value and all excellent bottles. I think drinks were reasonably priced and mixed strong enough to feel like I was getting good value. The bar staff was friendly and efficient, but I felt that the ship, in general, and bars in particular, were understaffed, which led to some delays in service. Our room was a fairly standard balcony cabin, can't say that I noticed an appreciable difference between it and a standard balcony room. The new flat screen TV certainly allowed a much larger screen with little impact on space, but I don't cruise to watch TV. All the features worked and climate control was sufficient, if not a touch slow to respond to desired changes. Shower water pressure was a little weak and temperature control was not as easy or precise as it should be. The only major negative of the cruise was the towels in the room. They were far from upgraded towels, in fact, they were some of the worst I have seen on a ship or hotel in a very long time. They were stiff, thread-bare and we even had one with a stain on it. This was far from what we have come to expect from Princess. Our steward was efficient and the perfect ghost, we rarely saw him, but his work was obvious. The room was kept spotlessly clean and the twice daily service was always delivered while we were out and about. I also noticed that generally the carts spent less time in the passageway than on previous cruises. I think that port visits are very subjective, but the mix of Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, St. John and Halifax provided wide variety of small town, nature, history and urban environments. We were blessed with mild weather and seas which made for a very enjoyable weather cruise. Overall, a great cruise on a fantastic new ship. The two big negatives: poor quality towels and a general sense of under-manning in key service areas, were noticeable, but weren't enough to ruin an otherwise great trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Royal Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.2

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