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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Looked like a good itinerary. Some new destinations (e.g. Malaysia - not much to see and Ko Samui - arbitrarily cancelled and not replaced with a new port) and old favorites (e.g Bangkok Royal Palace - dangerously crowded and unpleasant ... Read More
Looked like a good itinerary. Some new destinations (e.g. Malaysia - not much to see and Ko Samui - arbitrarily cancelled and not replaced with a new port) and old favorites (e.g Bangkok Royal Palace - dangerously crowded and unpleasant excursions). Less than half of the ship excursions we took were really worthwhile. Some were very misrepresented and when I brought this to the Excursion Desk's attention I was informed that I should have read the fine print. Also, there were no Port Lectures or Enrichment Lectures of any sort. The Excursion Desk would not even help me with taxi information. There were multiple false safety alarms broadcast to the cabins, one at 5 AM. On the other hand, the food was good and the evening shows were excellent. I have used Princess before and have enjoyed their cruises but I would not recommend Princess for an enriching travel experience in Asia. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose it because a) the price was right, b) the itinerary fit what we hoped to see and our schedule, and c) it was regarded as 5.0 or above by VacationsToGo. We got our money's worth, but I found it to be more like a 4.5 experience. ... Read More
I chose it because a) the price was right, b) the itinerary fit what we hoped to see and our schedule, and c) it was regarded as 5.0 or above by VacationsToGo. We got our money's worth, but I found it to be more like a 4.5 experience. Buffet at the Horizon was a crowded serving area, no exciting food offerings, most seemed like "cafeteria food", and even though we were in Asia we had the same basic fruits everyday (only dragon fruit offered to acknowledge we were in Asia). The no-charge coffee was very weak everywhere. Dinner meals were OK, but nothing to get excited or rave about. On past cruises I always looked forward to dinners as something stimulating (Celebrity, Crystal, Holland America). Most dishes were served warm but not hot and servings on the small side. Wait staff was professional but under-manned (sometimes 25 min between courses, and waiting for dishes to be cleared). We didn't try any of the specialty restaurants because we didn't expect them to meet our expectations, given what we found in the rest of the ship. No destination speakers or events during our cruise. Day time activities had too much trivia quiz and bingo type activity, which were too often done in the atrium plaza which cluttered up one of the few indoor non-bar lounges. We usually retired to our room to watch movies we wouldn't otherwise watch. Evening shows were excellent, but in the back rows the sound was poor. (They often ran only 30 to 45 minutes then a little talk from the cruise director.) Cabins and beds and service was excellent, this met my idea of 5.0. Be aware, on many of these Asian ports that the major cities and sites can be a long commute from the port. So a cruise may not be the best way to see a lot of the countries. Sorry to seem so critical, but we have had much better food and activities on other cruises and that is what we were expecting. We had 14 nights Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary and this did not disappoint, although one stopover was cancelled for reasons most passengers did not believe. I was a little concerned as previous reviews warned of unsmiling / unfriendly crew ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary and this did not disappoint, although one stopover was cancelled for reasons most passengers did not believe. I was a little concerned as previous reviews warned of unsmiling / unfriendly crew members. This was true for the first four day segment of the cruise but a large passenger / crew change saw a noticeable change for the second 11 day segment. Perhaps some of the crew needed a rest. There were several aspects of this cruise that meet or exceeded our expectations, the first being the food which was of a consistently high standard. Another good point were the shows which were quite short but good. The one exception was an American magician / comedian who seemed unable to connect with a non American audience. The fitness and recreation centre was good and very popular as were the ships excursions. The adults only pool was very nice and we used this area often although we also watched movies on the outdoor screen near the main open pool. On the negative side was missing Ko Samui due to the port authorities wanting to use their tenders instead of the ships. Passengers were only given two days notice of this, although some additional excursions were offered in Leam Chabong (Bangkok). The reason given was that there would be delays using the port tenders but all passengers we spoke to thought it was more about profit, as the ship would have to pay to use the port tenders. The biggest problem my wife and I encountered on this cruise was the poor quality cruise cards. I went through 8 and my wife 3 during a 15 day cruise. The tipping point came when both cards failed at the same time leaving us unable to access our cabin following a swim. Apparently cruise cards and cameras / cellphones don't mix. We were not the only people to suffer from this problem which I have never encountered before. All in all a couple of negative aspects did not detract from an otherwise good cruise and we will cruise with Princess again if the itinerary meets our requirements. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Cruise was fine. Very busy getting off each day as it was only a 4 day cruise. I prefer more sea days to enjoy the ship. We like to book Cabins at the rear of the Ship and utilise the back bar and pool for our entertainment as we usually ... Read More
Cruise was fine. Very busy getting off each day as it was only a 4 day cruise. I prefer more sea days to enjoy the ship. We like to book Cabins at the rear of the Ship and utilise the back bar and pool for our entertainment as we usually travel as a group of up to 10. We love being there for sail aways and we usually meet a lot of nice people there too. The pool is sign posted as an adult only pool which we and others like, so the Staff should enforce it as such. Being only 4 days we couldn't take advantage of our Platinum Membership Benefits at all as we were too busy doing other things, but we will next time. We were chaperoning friends who were on their first Cruise. The beds on the Emerald and Sapphire Ships are absolutely beautiful. We love them. We'll be back again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Typical Princess cruise where we've become used to the routine. Go mainly for the shore excursions. Food is fair, cabin steward good. Enjoyed Vietnam and Cambodia best. Weather during north-east monsoon season was challenging! Enjoyed ... Read More
Typical Princess cruise where we've become used to the routine. Go mainly for the shore excursions. Food is fair, cabin steward good. Enjoyed Vietnam and Cambodia best. Weather during north-east monsoon season was challenging! Enjoyed the opportunity to join a drum circle where the end-of-cruise concert was a hIghlight. Found the promenade deck a little dangerous compared to previous cruises due to humidity causing slippery surfaces. Winds were extreme and spent one evening in bed due to severe weather. Continue to appreciate high-quality production performances especially final night dance concert. Also enjoyed the rare appearance of Dixie-land jazz in the Piazza. Don't like to dress like a penguin therefore object to being sidelined to Horizon buffet on Xmas Day. Do not appreciate the continual marketing of sales every time we receive a newsletter. Why go Princess? Well it has become easily manageable and relatively cost-effective considering we don't drink much alcohol nowadays so pay only for what we drink. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I am sorry to add salt to wound. The only food palatable was Alfredo pizza (no takeaway). My folks were more discerning. They asked for pizzas before they complete their first meal on board and I felt like that mouse from New York who ... Read More
I am sorry to add salt to wound. The only food palatable was Alfredo pizza (no takeaway). My folks were more discerning. They asked for pizzas before they complete their first meal on board and I felt like that mouse from New York who dragged a giant slice of pizza along the subway. There is one matter I need some confirmation from those who have sailed on Diamond Princess in 2016 and Sapphire Princess recently along the southeast asian route. I am not sure if i see it correctly. The dining menu every night on both ships looked identical. When the food was brought to the table, i thought I have seen some of them.........ahem. On board activities.....I attended and participated in some of the quizzes.....haven't I seen those questions last year??? Princess@Sea enabled me to message other passengers, check the day's programme and locations and keep abreast of the expenditure of my account and those under my name every night. I suggest they add a facility which allows passengers to call each other on board. There was a medical emergency requiring helicopter evacuation during my trip and the captain had to make a few announcements. I am not sure if the PA system is peculiar to Sapphire Princess or is it the same on other liners. If I turn down the volume of my tv with my remote control, I am also turning down the volume I hear from the PA system; hence out of the whole string of announcements, I caught three, Nonetheless I am glad the captain warned us ahead of time some possible outcomes, so we were taken aback but not too shell-shocked when we had to clear the deck at 3 o'clock in the morning On hindsight, we could have started a pajamas party at the muster station. The management did a good job of revising the on board programme immediately to pack more activities after they had decided to skip one of the ports. There were lots of tv programmes and movies to keep me entertained. Time was not our side when we anchored to wait for the helicopter the night before . That's a tremendous pity for those who have never visited Penang. I cannot rate the service standard on this ship. Some maintenance crew, attentive waiters and cabin attendants were cheerful and helpful but there are also those whom made me wish I had the power to deny them a share of my paid gratuity. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail from Singapore and I assumed Princess was a "good" cruise line, similar to Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian. I'll start with the good experiences - we loved our shore ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail from Singapore and I assumed Princess was a "good" cruise line, similar to Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian. I'll start with the good experiences - we loved our shore excursions and the shore excursion staff. The food was good and the pastry chef was extraordinary. I don't stay up late, so I can't comment on the entertainment, except to say none of it sounded interesting enough to make me want to stay up late! Where the ship did not meet my expectations - one day our room was not cleaned at all, even though we paged our steward to let him know we were leaving for several hours. Turns out, his pager didn't work (we tested it with him in the room). Seems like that would be something Princess would test regularly. We also could never get the room cool enough...it was probably 72 degrees when we wanted closer to 70. This was a balcony room. The bathroom smelled like mildew, and the toilet would not flush one day. Turns out, this was a problem with our section of the ship; we randomly met the people two doors down who had the same problem on the same day. Twice we complained to an employee and then a "supervisor" in the buffet area. Once when our cruise cards wouldn't work to charge a Diet Coke. We had already been to the service desk and had been assured our cards were working properly. The "supervisor" wouldn't get me a Diet Coke until I lost my temper, saying "If we gave free soda to everyone on board, it would cost a fortune." I wasn't asking for a free soda; I was willing to pay for it, if they could figure out why their system showed my card working at the front desk but not in the buffet. What is the cost of him getting me a soda and asking me to follow up a second time with the front desk? A quarter? A dollar? Why couldn't this "supervisor" see the need for customer service over profit? I should say that I'm a 54 year old woman who is in chemo, so I have no hair and I look pretty sick. Not that I'm trying to play the cancer card, but have a little compassion...I just wanted a soda!!! The second time, we had been turned away from a dining room on the SECOND formal night because we were wearing "sport dresses" instead of "fancy dresses." We went up to the buffet, but complained to a supervisor because all the tables were full and only 1/2 the dining room was open. To me, this calls for the supervisor to say something like, "I'm so sorry you're not enjoying your meal tonight. Let me see if I can help you find a table." Instead, he said, "You get a survey at the end of the cruise. Put your feedback there." I'm serious here. My friend explained that if there were so many people who didn't want a formal night (the buffet was packed), perhaps there should be either one dining room for casual cruisers or both sides of the buffet dining room open. Again, he said to put our feedback on the survey. This is simply not good customer service training. One couple we met (at the FIRST formal night) said they've been on 27 Princess cruises and this was by far the worst. We sat in one of the bars for 20 minutes before our order was taken, and waited another 20 after we finished our drinks before realizing no one was going to take our order for a second round. Isn't alcohol one of the biggest profit-makers on a ship? Wouldn't you think the wait staff would WANT to keep our glasses full? Plus, they're getting 15% tip added to each drink. I would hustle for that. More drinks = more gratuity for me. The theater was in terrible condition. Very overdue for a refurbishment, which I'm told is scheduled for March 2018. That means at least six more cruises will go out before the badly needed refurbishment. I could list all the "little things" that also showed us the staff on this ship is new and under-trained, but that's just nitpicking. It goes without saying that while we really enjoyed the ports and our excursions, I won't be sailing on Princess again. I cruised about three months ago on Norwegian and had such a lovely experience... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had pre-booked an excursion to visit Lok Kawi Wildlife park in Borneo as we wanted to see orangutans up close. The day before our visit the ship broke down mid-ocean from a mechanical problems involving the propulsion system causing us ... Read More
We had pre-booked an excursion to visit Lok Kawi Wildlife park in Borneo as we wanted to see orangutans up close. The day before our visit the ship broke down mid-ocean from a mechanical problems involving the propulsion system causing us to drift aimlessly for 7 hours before the repair was completed. In consequence we arrived late into port and we were informed half of the excursion had been cancelled leaving only a small amount of time that could be spent at the main attraction. Many passengers refused to go and were refunded the total cost. The Wildlife Park turned out to be no more than a private zoo. The majority of the animals were clearly kept in an extremely distressed state and in particular elephants were seen rolling from rear to front legs continuously A tiger was seen to be walking round and round in total frustration. Our visit lasted a mere 55 minutes during which time it was impossible to see all the animals and we left totally disillusioned with an extremely depressing visit. Complaints made on the ship resulted in firstly a 20% refund followed later by 35% of what was less than half the expected tour. The staff were disinterested in our complaints and instead referred us to UK Customer Relations. A written complaint was answered by a Ms Mills who clearly had all the facts wrong as she blamed the late arrival on weather conditions and not the ship breaking down. She refused to increase the refund and it was clear she had not read the original complaint. She stated we had enjoyed other excursions, which was wrong as nothing had been mentioned. The cruise itself was well below expectations with the quality and quantity of food being the major complaints. On 2 evenings we were left feeling unfulfilled and had to retreat to the self-service restaurant for more food. 3 evenings had belly pork on the menu, meat that we would not touch in a thousand years and on another lamb shank was so tough it was disgusting. A beef steak was like leather and so tough it could not be eaten. We walked out of 3 evening performances in the theatre.2 were the ship'sown production shows where singing and dancing was the worst we have ever seen. Having cruised over 30 times with other companies I cannot recommend Princess Cruises and will not re-book with them in future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We have cruised with Princess six times and with other lines, maybe 20 times. This trip was by far the least satisfactory. The ship was very tatty and worn. It broke down when a propulsion system failed. The announced 2hr. delay ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess six times and with other lines, maybe 20 times. This trip was by far the least satisfactory. The ship was very tatty and worn. It broke down when a propulsion system failed. The announced 2hr. delay expanded to over 6 hrs resulting in a curtailed on shore trip. An accident resulted in a helicopter extraction at 3 a.m. resulting in a missed port. The food was at best mediocre with some meals being served without vegetables, potatoes or rice. 'That's the way it comes' the waiter said. The best food on the ship was the Pizza & the chips (fries) made to order by the pool. The theatre entertainment was, for the most part abysmal. We have never before left a theatre partway though an act but we made for the exit together with about 20% of the audience on the 1st night. The shows put on by the 'house' singers were little better substituting volume for tone. The 'house' band was excellent as were 3 Asian singers and a trumpet player but having endured some of the other presentations we gave the shows a miss on several nights. The worst failure to offer a satisfactory service was the evening while docked in Singapore. A formal dining night was announced. Turning up at the dining rm. at the prescribed time we, together with some 30 others, were told that the whole rm. had been booked by new clients and we should go elsewhere! 'See the m/d. He may be able to fit you in.. . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We loved the itinerary and the tours were wonderful (except Malaysia but that was because the ship had a mechanical problem so we didn't get to Malaysia in time for any good tours). My cabin steward was excellent - the best ever - Robert ... Read More
We loved the itinerary and the tours were wonderful (except Malaysia but that was because the ship had a mechanical problem so we didn't get to Malaysia in time for any good tours). My cabin steward was excellent - the best ever - Robert on the 10th deck. Embarkation and disembarkation so very smooth. That was the pro's. Now for the con's - the ship is in dire need of restoration - our air conditioning didn't work well at all - we had it at the very coolest level and we still were too warm. The dining room staff in the Pacific Moon were for the most part not very good. It seemed that they were not happy with their jobs and it showed in their service. No one ever came and asked how we were doing during the meals like they used to. On this ship they acted like it didn't matter how they treated us because they were going to get the tips anyway. No real incentive to serve. The most disappointing thing was that only once did they have good dance music where there was a dance floor. There was a wonderful piano player and singer who played near the piazza most nights and we would have loved to dance to his music (the last night there was a group of us that did end up dancing in the aisle and really enjoyed it). He also did play one night at the Wheelhouse (where he should have been most of the time as for the one and only time the dance floor was filled with dancers). Also the other piano player played one night at the Wheelhouse and my husband and I were the only ones dancing because people had given up on finding a good dance place. On our other cruises the Wheelhouse was always the place to go for good dance music and it was always filled with people. That was my biggest disappointment as that is one of the things I always look forward to. Also disappointed that there were no Enrichment Lectures like they usually have. (Do not like all the shopping lectures). Also the accounting for our bills were terrible (I had gift vouchers and yet I was always charged for the item and then had to spend so much time in long lines to get it right - the long lines were because it was happening to everyone. Also when I got home I have a charge on my card for $600 more than what my bill was and now I have to call and try to get that straightened out. On the Pro side - the CS people were very sweet and understanding. The food was not as good as previous cruises. I heard that the ship has been chartered out to a Chinese company and if that is true then that would explain why it didn't measure up to all of our other Princess Cruises. In closing - even though there were many cons - the itinerary made it one of our most favorite cruises. We had never been to Asia and we loved it so we did come home delighted with our vacation. Read Less
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