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598 Princess Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

Room on 16th floor front of ship balcony smelled like a locker room. Food quality was very poor. Carnival cruise line has way better food. Customer service is not honest with average age group traveling. They herd you in like cattle. Very ... Read More
Room on 16th floor front of ship balcony smelled like a locker room. Food quality was very poor. Carnival cruise line has way better food. Customer service is not honest with average age group traveling. They herd you in like cattle. Very disappointed on first cruise with Princess. Dancers were very very very good. Well done. Carlos Oscar comedian was very good. Just felt like there was lack of communication from staff. Like you are on your own. If you want to be on a cruise with the average age of 70 plus, than Princess is for you. Captain Tim was not honest about the rough seas. People were tortured because of rough seas. Took us around subtropical Storm Melissa. Not a great experience, but hey, they had to get the next cruise out Saturday afternoon. It’s all about making money. I get it. Not cool though taking passengers in a storm. Our steward that cleaned our room was very sweet young lady. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary. Secondarily, we had prior experience with the Princess brand and felt that we could expect a certain standard. In this aspect, we were thoroughly disappointed. Our embarkation was ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary. Secondarily, we had prior experience with the Princess brand and felt that we could expect a certain standard. In this aspect, we were thoroughly disappointed. Our embarkation was delayed half a day due to required extra sanitation because so many passengers on the prior cruise had suffered gastrointestinal illnesses. The Caribbean Princess was refurbished this year. Despite this, our stateroom had maintenance issues. The carpeting was stained. The wooden trim was broken and missing above the doorway. The TV worked only when it felt like it. The lighting above the desk and the only available electric outlets went on the fritz halfway into the cruise. The "Medallion" which is your room key and access to anything on board, failed FOUR times and needed replacing. The stop at Bar Harbor, Maine required use of tenders to transport passengers between the ship and the pier. Due to heavy swell and good-sized waves, there was a considerable delay of approximately two hours in getting passengers into tenders for the 20 minute trip to shore. However, for the passengers of Tender #19, it was a nightmarish crossing as the engine failed and the tender was rocked violently whilst taking on water from the chop. Several passengers were drenched. Buffet dining areas were understaffed and lacked adequate seating for passengers. The end result is that a passenger could go through the buffet line for food and then be entirely unable to find somewhere to sit and eat, resulting in a seven to ten minute search for a table. When a table was finally located, your food was stone cold. Adding insult to injury, it was virtually impossible to find a waiter willing to deliver beverages. In on disastrous incident, we got up from the table to hunt down a waiter and order a Coke, only to be delivered the wrong item some 20 minutes later. This level of apathy and disservice is a direct result of the Princess policy to automatically charge passengers $15.50 per person per day for tips. There is absolutely zero incentive for any employee to give anything other than mediocre service on this ship. Never again. We'll take our business elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have to agree with previous critic that the embarkation was a mess. It was 2 or more hours standing in line, hot sun, and there were many seniors there. No one was telling us what was going on. Announcements would have been reassuring . ... Read More
I have to agree with previous critic that the embarkation was a mess. It was 2 or more hours standing in line, hot sun, and there were many seniors there. No one was telling us what was going on. Announcements would have been reassuring . Getting off the ship was easy peasy. We were walk offs though. Food was good, but not awesome, the Beef Wellington was very nice and my table mates ate a lot of salmon. The lobster was a glorified shrimp . Desserts are great. Service was very nice. Room service was excellent. Toilets worked , hot water, etc The medallion thing was a little bit of a joke, but we moved on and off the ship quickly . One of our princess excursions did not fit he description that was advertised . So we had to use the public buses to go back into the Acadia National Park. The buses were great though, wish I had known about them instead of spending 100 or more dollars on one stop and a fisherman talk in a church ( he was great though) but I’d rather be seeking Thunder hole, Otter cliff, and Sandy beach, all of which we missed, we filled out a compliant and they refunded us 25 % Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Staff was the best of any cruise I have taken. They were very attentive and aimed to please. Shows were great and different every night. We had anytime dining and never had a problem, menus and quality of food was excellent. Shore ... Read More
Staff was the best of any cruise I have taken. They were very attentive and aimed to please. Shows were great and different every night. We had anytime dining and never had a problem, menus and quality of food was excellent. Shore excursions were handled very well.a little disappointed with St. John but that is not cruise line fault. This was the second time we sailed on Princess , some issues with ship on Alaska cruise but this one was great.. First time leaving from Brooklyn was very pleased with ease of getting to terminal, parking and leaving. Boarding and departing was fast and efficient. The ship was decorated nice and easy to navigate. I can say that I was pleased with every aspect . Some minor trouble with internet package . The medallion was convenient to use to access room. We definitely take a cruise on Princess cruise line again Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The option of embarking from New York is especially good for those of us in the northeast. We like Princess. There is a new feature called Medallion Class. Not all ships are equipped with it yet. This new system replaces the old credit ... Read More
The option of embarking from New York is especially good for those of us in the northeast. We like Princess. There is a new feature called Medallion Class. Not all ships are equipped with it yet. This new system replaces the old credit card room key. If you are already booked on a Medallion Class ship and fill out the necessary paperwork your medallion will be sent to your in advance and on embarkation day you don't even have to check in, just walk through. When you approach your room the door automatically unlocks and your picture appears on a screen outside your door. A medallion class cruise also has very strong and fast WIFI. Once you reach platinum status with Princess it is free. Our room was in the forward area on the Lido deck. That puts you a short walk from the Horizon Food Court. Plus there is always an available elevator to take you down to the theater and the main shopping and reception desks. The ship was sparkling clean and the crew friendly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First cruise on Princess although we've sailed on other lines.We chose this cruise for ports of call and that there was only one day at sea. This was a medallion class ship although our medallions never worked, and although promised, ... Read More
First cruise on Princess although we've sailed on other lines.We chose this cruise for ports of call and that there was only one day at sea. This was a medallion class ship although our medallions never worked, and although promised, were never replaced. Pros: Room was clean with good closet space. Room steward was great Project 5 band was awesome Ship was updated and o.k. Embarking and disembarking was pretty smooth except for the medallion issue. Cons: Shipboard entertainment and activities were boring and catered to the over 70 crowd. Food in Main dining was hit or miss, more misses. Service was slow. Staff not too friendly. Menu was not inspiring. Buffet was pretty good although as time went on, there were too many leftovers and stale desserts offered. Lack of information about norovirus spreading. We couldn't touch food utensils in the buffet and this slowed everything down. Interestingly the cleanliness in the buffet area lacked even though they were worried about spreading viruses. Time in ports of call was shorter than advertised. We got to Quebec City, late because of reduced speed for whales, however, that was known by staff so far in advance that it shouldn't have been a problem. Day at Sea lacked interesting activities. They were similar to port days. Movies were outdoors despite the weather and blankets and cushions only came out in the evenings, not during cold afternoon movies. Cruise line touted the bed comfort but they were not comfortable. Interior cabin door was so much smaller than the opening that all the hallway light flooded the room-TERRIBLY Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The itinerary was great. Food quality was not the same as it has been before when we sailed in 2016 with Caribbean Princess. - [ ] New York receiving people are not very helpful - [ ] Once onboard the Safety training had nothing to ... Read More
The itinerary was great. Food quality was not the same as it has been before when we sailed in 2016 with Caribbean Princess. - [ ] New York receiving people are not very helpful - [ ] Once onboard the Safety training had nothing to do with safety - [ ] Food was not up to past princess sailings - [ ] Sanitizing was way out of control. Sinks in fresh market slowed the process. - [ ] Wait staff not friendly nor very helpful. - [ ] Security staff are out right rude! - [ ] room steward was excellent - [ ] Medallion made it easy to enter cabins. - [ ] Medallion apps are somewhat confusing and I’m a tech guy. - [ ] Cabin was cold. - [ ] No posting of dinner menu, as I was rushed at dinner by the waiter this would have been helpful. - [ ] Medallion made embarkation easy. - [ ] Poor choices in dinner menu. - [ ] Sabatini was the best meal and service I had on board. - [ ] Quebec city representatives were very helpful. - [ ] Itinerary was very good. - [ ] Polite cabin stewards. - [ ] Port exits were good. - [ ] Excursions were good and timely. - [ ] Entertainment was good but not enough seating. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I wanted to do a different cruise this year so we decided on the New England to Quebec cruise. After looking at several cruise lines we choose Princess because of the itinerary and the reputation. We arrived 2 days early in ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to do a different cruise this year so we decided on the New England to Quebec cruise. After looking at several cruise lines we choose Princess because of the itinerary and the reputation. We arrived 2 days early in New York and stayed in Brooklyn not far from the cruise terminal which worked out great, as we could drop our bags in the morning and then take the NYC Ferry to NYC and back to the terminal. Embarkation was smooth and so easy with the Medallions. Our room was nice, the bathrooms are what you can expect on most ships. The bed was a bit short. Comfortable but short. Our steward was very nice and did a great job. He kept the room clean and always had ice in the fridge. Our only real room glitch was we ordered some items to be in the room on arrival to the room but they were not there. We ordered robes to be in the room and I ordered a Stanley Bear to be in the room. The robes did not show up till a full day or more later and I had to go get the Bear at the shop, which kinda killed the surprise. Oh well. We went to the Steakhouse on the first night and it was lovely. Wonderful food and attentive staff. We used the buffet for breakfast a few times, had the Ernesto Burger by the pool, went to anytime dining, went to tea in the dining room twice and had our daily coffee at the International Cafe. The buffet was your average buffet. The food was good and tasty, I would have liked to see more fruit, including bananas. Due to a gastro-intestinal issue on the previous cruise we could not handle the salt and pepper which made seasoning eggs and such a pain. We ended up buying salt/pepper shakers on an excursion as well as some hot sauce and took it to the buffet and morning dining room. The international cafe and the coffee card were perfect for us in the AM. and the egg muffin sandwich was great for early excursions or on debarkation. Loved the International Cafe. The Ernesto burger was very good indeed. Well worth the 15 minute wait. The anytime dining was good. The food was on par with other cruise lines I have been on. Service was a bit slow but not terribly so until the last 3 days and it seemed to get slower and slower. We did have a couple of mix ups at dinner. Like not having the curry sauce on a dish with curry sauce and not getting a appetizer portion of some pasta even though it was ordered. I eat too much on cruises so that last one is not a real issue. The desserts were great especially the chocolate items. I would have like to see more vegetables though. The itinerary was action packed. 9 stops in 10 days. All of them were excellent and offered something for every one. We planned our own excursions or simply walked around town. there was plenty of time a each to enjoy the port. I had a couple of disappointments with the overall experience which makes me think that maybe Princess is not for me. 1. On board activities often overlapped so I could not get to all the things I liked. for instance the photo classes and the go pro classes were at the same time or overlapped so i could not do both. I did as much of the trivia challenges as I could but many were so tight on the schedule I could not do them all. 2. I love the medallion. It made getting off and on the ship a breeze and getting into the state room easy. Paying for stuff was also easy. The Apps were not as flawless. there is a disconnect between the website the apps and the written items on the ship. Also the staff does not understand the app or what they can do so sometimes I ended up know more than the staff . I felt like a beta tester and that the apps were a little rushed to get out. Overall I really did enjoy the cruise and the ship. I just don't feel that Princess is the right line for me at this time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had been planning with some friends of doing a New England Fall colors tour for more than a year and selected this cruise due to (1) reasonable cost and (2) itinerary and (3) prior experience with Princess. We have always enjoyed ... Read More
We had been planning with some friends of doing a New England Fall colors tour for more than a year and selected this cruise due to (1) reasonable cost and (2) itinerary and (3) prior experience with Princess. We have always enjoyed Princess for it's service, dependable food, and moderate pricing. Some highlights of our cruise: A. We were a bit startled when we received an email about a day before boarding (NYC) informing us that we would be boarding late due to a virus outbreak on the previous cruise. This left us a bit apprehensive but it turned out well because very few people got sick on our week. One major reason for this was Princess went to extraordinary lengths making sure passengers didn't touch food in the buffet area and that we all washed and sanitized our hands before eating or socializing with other passengers (I've never washed my hands so much in my life!) All in all, the results were worth it though. B. Leaving from New York City harbor at sunset is a great experience! Went close to the Statue of Liberty and a great view of Manhattan sailing away. This was partly due to great weather on most of our trip (only the last several days in Canada were a bit rainy and cool). C. The itinerary was, for the most part, great - Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, St. John (NB) and Quebec City were spectacular. The only stop that didn't rock our boat, so to speak, was Sydney. While the tour of Alexander Graham Bell's museum was extremely interesting, we're not sure a full day stop in Sydney was warranted. All the other stops were very good - our favorites included Newport, Boston, Bay Harbor, Halifax, and Quebec City. Princess handled all of our shore excursions and did a good job. We always feel they tend to be a bit "pricey" on excursions (compared to doing them yourselves) but they handled everything well. The ship was in good shape and the crew handled it well - we have cruised on this "class" Princess before but this was the first one that had the higher capacity (about 3,000 passengers). It seemed a bit crowded at times (especially in the buffet and the Princess Theater) but overall they handled it well. On the entertainment, the production (or what we refer to as "Broadway") shows were outstanding (Princess keeps getting better on entertainment). The other shows (cabaret singer and a cello/vocal duo) were also very good and the magician they had on board was the best we've every seen. Surprisingly, for late September/early October, we didn't see as much "color" as we would have expected until we got to Quebec. There it was very good. Overall, though it was a great cruise which we would do again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Being a Travel Advisor, I wanted to experience the Medallion Concept. It was wonderful. So easy to get into your stateroom, by just walking up to it. Also great to keep in contact with family members. The wi-fi was wonderful. Better ... Read More
Being a Travel Advisor, I wanted to experience the Medallion Concept. It was wonderful. So easy to get into your stateroom, by just walking up to it. Also great to keep in contact with family members. The wi-fi was wonderful. Better than any cruise we have taken before I also had this cruise on my bucket list and it did not disappoint. My favoite ports were Boston,Charlotte Town, and Quebec. It is a must to get to the Princess Theater show room in advance or else you will not get a seat. The staff was very friendly and food choices were very good. In the buffet area, they have the greatest system for egg dishes. They give you a buzzer that signals when your eggs are ready to pick up. They were always hot and cooked to perfection. Great service with choices for my friend with a gluten free diet. There was an issue before our cruise that required special sanitation, so while onboard, we were not able to use the salt and pepper shakers on our own. The staff did it for us at the table. It was alittle annoying but kept us all well. All in all it was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. I had cruised on NCL Gem with the exact itinerary several years prior and wanted my daughter to experience it with us again. We wanted to try the Princess line, as we had experienced NCL, Celebrity, ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. I had cruised on NCL Gem with the exact itinerary several years prior and wanted my daughter to experience it with us again. We wanted to try the Princess line, as we had experienced NCL, Celebrity, Carnival and HAL. The pricing for a deluxe balcony and interior cabin were about what we had paid for a recent Celebrity cruise to Bermuda. Given the price and reputation of Princess, I had high expectations. Sadly, those expectations were dashed from start to finish. Embarkation was delayed two hours due to a coast guard inspection and compounded by the manner of trying to throttle the number of guests once the line got moving. The Ocean Medallion nonsense was maddening. Do yourself a favor and ignore the technology, print out your boarding pass. Wifi is blocked in the terminal so you cant bring up the pass on your phone when you arrive. One large piece of luggage never came to the cabin, we had to retrieve at front desk, one wheel was broken and the luggage tag was removed. The food in the main dining rooms was sub par. only two dining room meals the entire trip were up to snuff, both filet mignon based. several meals had inedible entrees (including two nights we ordered the curtis stone curated entrees). the lobster tail was more like an over sized shrimp dish, not an appropriate size for an entree. No dish was particularly warm either. Wait staff were generally good, but the hostess and seating manager were a bit snippy. The Crown Grill was quite good and well worth the $29 up charge. A good size Lobster tail was available as an add on to any steak for an extra $10. The afternoon tea and royal tea were worthwhile if you like that sort of thing. Room service was prompt. The entertainment was weak. The dancers were of average ability, which made the Born to Dance show tedious to watch. The Fiera show was better, with colorful sets and costumes, but the lead male singer was not strong. Two female and other male singers were talented. There was prerecorded music for the shows which was a letdown, the orchestra only played with the singer (an American Idol finalist, who had a Vegas lounge like act on two nights - one too many). The comedian was not very funny, he had a rambling, unfocused set I could have skipped. The main band played in the "piazza" which is the lobby, not in a club with a dance floor. The schedule had the same acts in the same locations every night. Most if not all of the bar areas are open to the walk path on each deck, with even the nightclub set up like a pass thru hallway, so I didn't feel like the entertainment venues were distinct or special. You feel as if you are just passing through, not like other lines that have multiple rooms and clubs with distinct spaces and functions (for example - NCL's BB King Blues Club). It was low energy entertainment environment every night, wrapping up around 11:30 every night (piano player at one bar played until a little later). The nightclub was empty every night. I'm no night owl, but it was too subdued at night across the ship to feel like you were on a fun vacation. Food and entertainment comprise a huge component of a cruise, so to be so bad in both regards was shocking at this price point. Other passengers we spoke with agreed with our assessment. The ship itself was tasteful and in good repair. The cabins were clean and as expected size wise. The mattress and pillows were a bit skimpy, those with bad backs beware! I took exception to the Ocean Medallion nonsense. Princess is pushing this technology that is unnecessary and makes things more complicated as it doesn't work most of the time. Your name is listed on an electronic screen outside your cabin (always visible) and the door automatically unlocks when you are nearby (several cabins away). This was a security concern for my daughter who was alone in a cabin. There are many new movies available for cabin viewing and the internet package is available for $149 for the entire cruise on the first day only (4 devices) and works as well as can be expected. A few glitches and slowdowns here and there, but worth it for my smartphone addicted family. The ports were interesting but two required tenders which were slow. We explored all the ports on our own as the tour offerings were not particularly compelling. Disembarkation was as expected with no problems encountered. I would not choose to cruise with Princess again. The value is not there compared to other cruise lines. Sadly, I think the Love Boat glory days are past for Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise to Canada and New England. Embarkation was an absolute shambles. Apparently because of a coast guard inspection but since the ship had freshly arrived from Europe this should have been envisaged. Ship itself ... Read More
This was our first cruise to Canada and New England. Embarkation was an absolute shambles. Apparently because of a coast guard inspection but since the ship had freshly arrived from Europe this should have been envisaged. Ship itself is in great condition and can not really be faulted. Entertainment was the poorest ive seen on my 8 princess cruises so far. Comedian was not funny and just repeatedly switched between english and spanish. Singer was lou gazarra who had a decent voice but was on on two nights (1 would have sufficed). Production shows first one had to be rescheduled and a later one also ran into technical difficulties causing a delay. The club was dead due to the demographic onboard this time of year. Food in the buffet was good in my opinion as was the main dining room although not blessed with a great choice in the dining room. Two ports had tenders which were incredibly slow probably again due to the elderly demographic. Ive seen others mention medallion class being below par. I am below 30 and technologically savvy so i found it a dream. Wifi was by miles the best at sea i have experienced. Obviously if you are not tech adept then you may struggle but i love the program Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The main reason our group chose this cruise was the itinerary. I had not taken Princess before and was surprised by the size of the ship. Way too big for my taste. We stayed in the front on the 12 th floor and it was a quiet floor ... Read More
The main reason our group chose this cruise was the itinerary. I had not taken Princess before and was surprised by the size of the ship. Way too big for my taste. We stayed in the front on the 12 th floor and it was a quiet floor with no pass through to anything else which was nice. The food was pretty good in the main dining room, otherwise mediocre. The staff did a good job of moving people out for excursions....it was a lot of people...3000! The first excursion we made arrangements for ourselves to do a tour in Newport. But the day we toured Bar Harbor there was a major mix up! Our excursion itinerary said we would stop several places for photos, we only stopped one place and when we questioned our guide, he said he could not do a thing....he had to stick to his schedule. We were so disappointed! Then when we got back into town we paid for the local bus to take us back to Thunder Hole to enjoy the Acadia National Park. We went to the excursion desk on ship to explain and were given a paper to fill out. The cruise line only gave us 20% money back. Poorly done. Also, when we arrived to board, we stood more than 2 hours, not moving....Terrible One party in our group got her suitcase late that day with duct tape and Saran Wrap around it! They offered to repair it. There is no night club and the entertainment was average. In the fitness room there is no water to re fill water bottles, only a fountain! One cannot get their water bottle under the low pouring water from the fountain! We did enjoy each port and the stops were beautiful to see. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our fifth cruise with this general itinerary, although the first time doing it on princess. Living two hours outside New York, we enjoy the ability to book at last minute without having to plan airfare. First time using the ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise with this general itinerary, although the first time doing it on princess. Living two hours outside New York, we enjoy the ability to book at last minute without having to plan airfare. First time using the Brooklyn cruise pier. Embarkation was a mess. They said it was because of a coast guard inspection but the result was compressing 3600 passengers into a three hour window. We have no particular complaints about the food. We had open seating and never experienced a delay getting seated as many have complained. We waited most nights until 7:30 when two dining rooms became available. We only used the buffet for snacks, but it appeared to be one of the best we have experienced. It was open continuously from 5 am to 11 pm. We used the sushi bar twice sharing the 20 dollar tower which was well worth it. And the international coffee bar was a delight for early coffee and an afternoon pick me up. We never used a specialty restaurant. Since we were in port 5 of 6 days, we ate our lobster, steamers and oysters in the various ports. Entertainment was enjoyable, not great. The production shows with the live orchestra were amazing. We had a Las Vegas guest singer two of the nights and a comic one of the nights. The lounge and dance entertainment were above average. The four piece dance band did a great job on 60’s night and could play every type of music. We didn’t experience any of the late night activity, hitting the stateroom after the 10 o’clock show most nights. The facilities were adequate for such a big ship. We were only shut out of the hot tubs once. The fitness room was very ordinary, but sparsely utilized on the four times I was up there. There were plenty of fun trivias, one in the morning and another in late afternoon for those so inclined. So with only one sea day, we kept very busy. Having taken excursions in all the ports on our prior cruises, we passed on the ship excursions. We took a long slow walk along the cliff walk in Newport on a gorgeous day, working our way back to the cruise pier after taking the bus to the end, about 3 miles. Then stopped at our favorite lobster and oyster house, Benjamin’s. We walked in both Boston and bar harbor prior to getting our daily fix of seafood. We took the city bus just outside the terminal for 25 dollars apiece on a 2 hour trip around St John and took a ferry over to Dartmouth to eat at a favorite spot for lunch in Halifax. Our inside stateroom was adequate for a one week port heavy cruise. It was aft which was an advantage for the fitness room and the dining venues. Only thing forward of note was the theatre. The lounges were mainly between aft and amidships. We walked off with our luggage without a problem. For anyone boarding a cruise in Brooklyn from Manhattan, we used the water taxi from Wall St pier 11 adjacent to south st seaport to the red hook stop on the South Brooklyn line. 2.75 one way. Then about 200 steps to the baggage pickup at the terminal. So the cruise gave us just what we wanted, a nice relaxing week away from home being pampered with very little annoyance. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise because of time of year and itinerary - the ship was beautiful and clean and service was good. Food was plentiful on the buffet with lots of choices but dining room food selection did not particularly appeal to us. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of time of year and itinerary - the ship was beautiful and clean and service was good. Food was plentiful on the buffet with lots of choices but dining room food selection did not particularly appeal to us. Beef was tough and lobster was the size of a extra large shrimp and tough, but service was good. Ports were nice but Saint John was not very interesting to us; it's an older city which has not done much to move forward or has much to offer in terms of interesting places. The ship docks right in town and its and easy to get off and on. Any of the other ports would have been good overnight stops. We tendered in to Bar Harbor and Rhode Island and it was busy but handled well because of the amount of folks going to town. The ship's personnel knows how to do this routine and going and returning to ship was easy. We were also met at the piers by crew members offering us drinks and cool towels which was very nice. Note: if you decide to take the old town trolley in Boston, I recommend purchasing the tickets through the ship and you will be met at the terminal by the trolley, OR purchase on line ahead of time. You will need to walk a few blocks from the terminal to find the ticket booth and the stop, but the line to purchase tickets was at least 45-60 minutes long (it was 88 degrees that day and no shade), then you needed to wait in another line for the trolley. Additionally, the tickets on line are cheaper by about $5 per person than in Boston and cheaper than through the ship. The ship prices for all hop on/off tours were $59.95 per person in Boston and Canada. In Canada, we purchased tickets once we got off the ship and since the line and ship work hand in hand, we paid in American dollars and the cost was charged to our rooms. Our biggest and serious complaint was regarding the entertainment on board. (It was so bad that it became a topic of conversation with the people we met on ship, so it wasn't only us). This was by far the worst cruise I've taken for activities. Shows were all musical, Broadway and opera influenced except for one night show of an American Idol finalist and comedian. If this was not your style, you would need to find something else to do, which was difficult.There were 2 nights that had technical difficulties and one event stopped the show, while the other continued. The "newly wed game" has always been popular on every cruise I have taken and is guaranteed for a laugh. This show was held in the smaller "live" theater where tapings occur; not enough room for the guests crowding in the hallway to get in. Again you needed to find other entertainment. The activities were geared to elementary school children - one "event" was dropping drink stirrers into thermos type bottles, another was stick "race" horses competing by a toss of a foam die. The movies on board were incredible for the age range of the guests - Men In Black, Rocketman and Aladdin! Princess surely knew the ages of the folks on board and this was unbelievable. Additionally, the pool side only had a live sail away show that lasted for perhaps 20 mins, then the top deck was quiet all week (there was a Cheryl Crow concert from 2004 and a few other old concerts). People on deck either slept or watch other people. When the movie, The Greatest Showman started, it played for at least 20 minutes with no sound, then the sound was so loud we got up and left. I have never been on board with a cruise director and cast so absent. Much of the interesting (to me) live music was during the time we were dressing for dinner or eating, so that we missed most of it. The worse part of the cruise for me was our cabin location. We were as far forward as possible and therefore needed to walk the length of the ship to go to the dinning/buffet rooms. This was my fault for not choosing a cabin when booking; I booked a guarentee room. I had a procedure on my knees the week before leaving (although I planned to have this done after the cruise) so the walking was difficult. Lesson learned and I will never let someone else pick my cabin for me in the future. Only mention this because if walking is a problem, make sure your cabin is convenient for you. There were many people on board with walkers, canes, wheelchairs and scooters and they were able to get around with little difficulty. This was an older crowd and people were friendly, quiet and mannerly. In this regard, the cruise was a pleasure. Very few kids (I only counted about a dozen from 3 infants up to 2 young teens). The ship is large but didn't feel crowded except for peak times for elevator usage. The buffet staff was good and able to keep up with the crowds and people tended to eat and leave. Boarding and Departure was delayed due to a Coast Guard Inspection and drill so we left New York more than an hour late. I felt that it condensed all the on board required activities (muster drill and orientation for the medallion at sea Princess uses. ) That was probably an additional hour required to handle these required activities. Other than the boring time on ship, the ports were nice and the ship was lovely. The activity level is surely a personal thing so not everyone would be bothered by our experience. Cabin was nice, linens very nice but we didn't like the bed (just a personal thing). Steward Fidel was very attentive and good. The colors were sedate but I found the room to be boring. Additionally, our tv broke 2 nights, the first time it was quickly fixed, but the last time was the final night. Since we needed the tv for light and clock (time change from Canada), we waited in our room 3 hours for the tech to come. Never did, so we spent our last night of the cruise in an interior room with no tv, not able to leave as you needed to be in the room for the tech to fix the tv. We weren't happy about that. And since we didn't pay for internet, our phones didn't work either. So, next morning our alarm went off an hour sooner than we wanted. We did however, get to see the ship dock as we were up and ready at 5 am! Thought there was plenty of space but one thing--ladies, the blow dryer was not particularly powerful and it was plugged in a drawer next to the desk. You could not remove it so the cord was always in my way as I am right handed and hold the dryer in my left hand. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just completing a 24 day cruise of New England and Canada on the Sapphire Princess and having had a 3 year break from Princess Cruises. Having completed over 41 cruises I have experienced a lot of great service and friendly staff to ... Read More
Just completing a 24 day cruise of New England and Canada on the Sapphire Princess and having had a 3 year break from Princess Cruises. Having completed over 41 cruises I have experienced a lot of great service and friendly staff to amazing places with P & O, Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, unfortunately this Princess ship has not given the quality of service I have enjoyed in the past. The food was well below the expected standard and not on par with my previous experience with Princess, in particular the standard was variable and the quality of beef (particularly steaks) was poor with menus which were too repetitive and limited. Getting served in Cafe Piazza is often slow and although bar service is fine the lack of bar menus mean you have to ask what is available. Cabin (L246) was okay but lamps were faulty (until they were changed) and the sink in the bathroom wouldn’t hold water for long, the shower flooded and leaked when used. Water temperature was poor and I am still undecided which way is hot and which was cold. The in cabin entertainment would have been good if the on demand service was reliable and didn’t keep stopping. The cabin was kept clean by the steward and she was helpful. I have been on this class of ship with others and the rear of deck 7 is A show lounge which takes pressure of the theatre when it is full but for some reason the Sapphire has Club Fusion which is not used as such. This meant the theatre was frequently full and there were totally insufficient wheelchair spaces. I was also concerned that people were allowed to stand at the back and down the side stairs while others sat on the stairs, I have concerns that the fire regulations in relation to maximum personnel allowed were not adhered to. Entertainment was good if limited in venues and some great acts to entertain you over a broad range. The ports were all good and though I didn’t participate in any trip I heard good comments about them. I am wheelchair bound and generally the ship was accessible with the exception of decks 15 and 16 and the pool and jacuzzi had a disabled hoist. My only criticism is the shuttle buses which never secured me during transit though this may be outside the company’s control. Th Sapphire Princess is in need of a refit and I believe this is happening sometime this year but that won’t address other shortcomings with her. Altogether a disappointing holiday which failed to meet previous standards and I have already got a cruise on Royal Princess booked for next year (Alaska with land addons so can’t cancel) but I suspect the issues are mainly ship specific, I don’t expect to return to Princess again after that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
With excitement we looked forward to this cruise. We would be sailing with Princess after 5 years because the itinerary was so special and it would coincide with my special birthday. Embarkation and disembarkation was brilliant, it was ... Read More
With excitement we looked forward to this cruise. We would be sailing with Princess after 5 years because the itinerary was so special and it would coincide with my special birthday. Embarkation and disembarkation was brilliant, it was quick and well organised just how I had remembered and valued Princess for unfortunately this is where my admiration began and ended. The cabin was small but serviceable, bathroom tiny and in need of major update especially the  shower. The shower only had a shower curtain that had seen better days. The balcony was nice with 2 chairs and small table but old and tired. The room was well maintained by our Stewart Heinrich Tajano. He was excellent, very friendly and nothing seems too much bother. The quality and choice of food on offer was such a disappointment since our last Princess cruise around 5 years ago. Not an inspiring menu and I have never seen so many meals left, returned or complained about as I have on the Sappire Princess . Food undercooked, over cooked, not sufficiently defrosted, tough steak, rubbery lobster food served cold, lack of or poor presentation of meals and I am still looking for the sticky toffee in the so called sticky toffee steamed pudding. Food for formal evenings should be special and not as one couple I overheard say 'I got all dressed up for the best meal on the menu being fish and chips'. To be honest I have seen better menu's and quality of food in my local cafe.  I decided to get a drinks package as always seems easier when cruising with other companies. We'll don't bother where princess is concerned, as I found out on this cruise.  Apparently you cannot have cans of coke or canned/bottled mixer drinks with the full drinks package, mixers and soft drinks have to come out of the pump otherwise you must purchase the mixer seperately. In addition, should a drink exceed the $12 drink limit for your package you must pay the total for you drink and not, as you can with Celebrity, only pay the difference, i.e. drink $14 package $12 you would be charged $2.  Of course don't forget the 18% bar gratuity that is then added to every drink. However it has been suggested that this gratuity can be removed.  The wine selection by the glass is poor and the cost of bottles of wine is quite expensive.  Anytime dining has 3 smaller sized restaurants and this is the option we had chosen, unfortunately for the first 7 days of the cruise it was a shambles. Waiting times anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes if a table for 2 wanted. It was not unusual to be asked to move to another dining room and then told no table. If you wanted to be certain of a table for 2 you needed to ring up every morning from 8am. In the end I had to ask staff were there no tables for sharing as we hadn't asked specifically for a table for 2.  I have never in all my time cruising ever been asked to move to other dining rooms but this seemed normal practice on this ship. The Horizon Court on deck 14 is a buffet service. The choice of food most times was boring and the food quality could have also improved, however, on the whole it was better than what was served in the dining room.  The layout of the food in the buffet was poor and for the size of the ship and amount of passengers was rather small.  The service regarding beverages was good and staff were always helpful.  I was not impressed with the plastic crockery and glasses that was used. I was quite shocked that it took at least 5 days for Princess to attempt to enforce handwashing with guests on entering food area, it was not unusual to see guests just walking in without either using the handwashing basins or the gel hand wash. On ship shopping had plenty of jewellery, watches and perfume, all expensive. I feel there needs to be a larger selection in the general shop with regards to chocolate crisps and books and I observed there seemed a constant push for guests to purchase  photos, spa treatments and Effy jewellery. Where entertainment was concerned the shows were well attended every evening but getting a seat was a problem. Entertainment is personal and what suits one person does not suit another, however, the pianist Art Iliardi needs to review his play list. Other entertainment around the ship was in my opinion mediocre. The last formal evening theatre show was excellent and other passengers reported that the theatre shows had been good. The activities around the ship on sea days were at best boring. The library hardly any books and those that were there were in other languages. The first 3 Canadian ports were excellent, beautiful scenary, quiet places with very friendly people who were so helpful. New York was not for me, again this is personal.  Immigration was extremely well organised in New York so we'll done Princess.  I found New York very noisy, dirty and not what I had envisaged. However the sail out at night was fabulous the Manhatten skyline and statue of liberty made it worth while.  Boston was an organisation shambles by Princess. We  expected to be off the ship by about 9.30 well you could forget that there were ques every where and 1 gangway for so many passengers. The hold up appeared to be the 1st gangway was very steep, more like a ski slope and the elderly and less abled persons were having problems leaving the ship. It took until 11.30 until another gangway was secured. After waiting for a length of time and not getting anywhere we decided to stay aboard. Newport was by tender a 30 minute transfer this was much better organised but due to the number on board did again take a good length of time but a lovely place. Rockland by tender was well executed however place is very quiet and everything can be seen in around 90 minutes. St John's a private tour with Go Fundy Tours was excellent and would recommend them. Lots to see here but you need to go out and about with transport to do the place justice. Halifax a private tour with 5 star taxi, excellent, we seem to go everywhere and Darrell our guide seemed to know everyone. Our transatlantic crossings both ways went very well, we were very lucky, no bad weather. Our captain was excellent making sure he avoided any problems from the numerous hurricanes. In summary:  all in all worst cruise I have ever had. Why do you cruise for the itinerary, the food and beverages. The itinerary was very enjoyable the sailing was lovely the food was uninspiring, uninteresting, poorly presented and cooked. I will not be travelling again with Princess. Princess seems to be cost cutting and this needs to stop, they are ruining their hard earned reputation. if this was a school report the comments would be, you are not applying your skill sufficiently, must do better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have always sailed RCI (Once) and Celebrity (Several times) but we found an itinerary that included sailing into New York and visiting several Canadian ports with Princess. Well what a disappointment! I certainly didn't expect ... Read More
We have always sailed RCI (Once) and Celebrity (Several times) but we found an itinerary that included sailing into New York and visiting several Canadian ports with Princess. Well what a disappointment! I certainly didn't expect plastic plates, bowls etc in the buffet area (Horizon Court) which my wife hated for the layout and the constant inability to get a table. We have never had this problem on other cruise lines. The choice of food was fine for the first few days but then became very monotonous. The ship is certainly not designed for disabled people although there were quite a lot on this cruise. The Theatre especially badly equipped with steep stairs leading to the Theatre and once inside steep steps down. Also you have to get there at least 45 minutes to get a seat. Some of the staff were friendly, others very surly and not customer focused at all. Suffice to say we won't be travelling with Princess or any other Carnival owned ship again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked this cruise for the itinerary and our Golden wedding anniversary . We have cruised for many years with different cruise lines, and cruised with Princess twice in the Caribbean these were fab with reasonable prices and good ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the itinerary and our Golden wedding anniversary . We have cruised for many years with different cruise lines, and cruised with Princess twice in the Caribbean these were fab with reasonable prices and good restaurant meals. But how different this cruise line has changed the food in the restaurant below average the Portions are smaller than all the cruises we have been on people we spoke to agreed. Some said why don’t you ask for 2 meals others do, why should l ask for 2 meal , the meal l get should be plentiful . Service in dining room most nights took 1.1/2 to 2 hrs We ate in the Horizon after that. Drinks prices were well over priced 90% of people drank water in restaurants . Food in Horizon And international cafe very good. The shows were all very good with a variety of different acts but getting a seat was difficult everynight ,if you weren’t in the theatre 45minutes before the start you struggled to get a seat. This shows how popular the shows were but a little thought could have eased this situation .The Club Fusion was most of the time 75% empty ( no reflection on the excellent group Xtasea who performed there) but the acts from previous nights in theatre could have performed a second time in there thus giving people a second chance to see them when they couldn’t get in theatre at either showing .This did happen once or twice in Explorers Lounge bit this was also like the Theatre you needed to get a seat by 6.30 to be able to get in for the evening.Exlorers was very popular due to gameshows al very enjoyable but why do it all in one lounge when another is sat empty most of the night Sapphire princess is same ship as P@O s Azura and Ventura and their Club Fusion equivellant is full everynight as well as Explorerers. This said we really enjoyed the cruise the staff were excellent ship lovely itinerary good but one last comment .WHAT HAS HAPPENED To THE SAILAWAY PARTIES ? Only cruise we have ever been on with no sailaway parties.and don’t blame the weather it was all good. Such a shame on a fantastic port like New York to sail out of one big disappointment . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have sailed with Princess several times, and this year tried a longer cruise (we normally do 14 nights). We haven't been on Sapphire before, but we knew we would love the whole experience since we had two fantastic cruises on both ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess several times, and this year tried a longer cruise (we normally do 14 nights). We haven't been on Sapphire before, but we knew we would love the whole experience since we had two fantastic cruises on both Emerald and Crown Princess. Embarkation was quick and easy as usual. We had a little wait at Southampton as we arrived at the port slightly too early. Security was a breeze. Once on board we went to the International Cafe for a snack and drink. We had already purchased the soft drinks package online which was a good choice for us - we certainly got our money's worth in mocktails throughout the cruise! Food on board was excellent, with some nice choices in the main restaurant each night. Our wait team were superb - by far the best we have had on any ship to date. We usually go for the first sitting dining as it allows more time for evening activities. We did occasionally mix things up and eat in Horizon court or at the steakhouse (the same as Crown Grill). Sabatini's was alright, though I do not really like seafood and this was very seafood heavy! Our cabin was a balcony on Baja deck, B337. Fine most of the time, but very creaky and noisy when the sea got a bit rough at times. All sorts of banging and creaking which often kept up awake. This was only for a few nights and as it is an older ship, not too surprising. On the whole, a very comfy room and a lovely bed! The TV screens have been updated since we last travelled, and the choices for films and TV channels has been massively improved. We watched a film most nights as there was so many to choose from. Entertainment was pretty good, though generally aimed more at the older market (we were certainly in the minority being non-retired!). After the first week or so it became a little repetitive and samey, with quizzes and trivia being the go-to entertainment most evenings. The acts on in the theatre were pretty good too, again aimed at the older folk with lots of singers, instrumentalists and "comedians" we didn't find funny...maybe because the jokes were talking about stuff way before our time. The celebrity guests on board were also from a different era - Valerie Singleton and Linda Grey. Our parents were happy though. The production shows were great - high energy and fun. The crew were excellent throughout the cruise especially the entertainment staff. Martin and Emma were especially good. Paul was a bit annoying after a while, a bit too Butlins-esque. The outside space was good on this ship, with plenty of seating both under cover and out on deck. We rarely struggled to find somewhere to relax, however the evening was a different story - the Explorers Lounge was always packed after 7pm and the nightclub was full during the day - we nicknamed it Skysnoozers seeing as this is all people seemed to use it for! Things we would improve if we could: make the library bigger - it was an odd little room which seemed to be an afterthought. Plenty of people spent their entire cruise with their head in a book, so it would have been a popular place! The drinks were expensive as usual, however the soft drinks package was perfect for us. Shore Excursions - we booked a few excursions through Princess and all were fantastic. Although they seem expensive, what you actually get is worth paying for. The guides were so knowledgeable and we really felt that we learnt a lot more than those who just went about their own thing. The America's Cup Sailing Experience was the best by far. Disembarkation was again very smooth and the timed system they used made it stress free. We have two more cruises booked with Princess and we can't wait for the next one! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Had been a bit concerned having read varied reviews about Sapphire but we had a fantastic cruise from start to finish! We were in Cabin D500... everything in good condition, far better tvs than on last cruise, very comfortable beds, ... Read More
Had been a bit concerned having read varied reviews about Sapphire but we had a fantastic cruise from start to finish! We were in Cabin D500... everything in good condition, far better tvs than on last cruise, very comfortable beds, great towels and bath robes, plenty of storage space, enormous settee! Light and airy... can't fault it.. PLUS beverage tray! Caught up on all the latest films! never watched films before but tv so good and we had a number of sea days.. big bonus. We were in Club Class dining... first class service in Sante Fe restaurant... lovely staff... extensive menu choice both at breakfast and dinner, huge variety of fish which I loved, all dishes well presented, generous in portion size and a treat to eat. All food was hot, plates hot... it was spot on! All areas of the ship were in good condition and pleasant to be in. Only other place we had any food.. International Cafe - had biscuits, cakes during our mahjong games on sea days! We didn't purchase any beverage packages.. crazy prices we felt, nor any bottles of wine... £40 for a bottle we'd get for £8 in a supermarket... way too high prices we felt again. 18% service charge on top.. a joke! We took off half the automatically added service charge and gave money to the people who we'd been in daily contact with over the 24 nights... feel the whole tipping system needs to be addressed. Ports of call were SUPERB every one! we had stonking sunshine and temps up to 80+ degrees EVERYWHERE we went! we were unbelievably lucky. Great variety.. large cities NY, Boston, wonderful little gems Rockland Maine, Charlottetown and wow! factor mega houses Newport Rhode Island, stunning St John's Newfoundland. First class itinerary from start to finish. Only negative comment.. organisation of passengers getting off en mass.. especially at the problem port of Boston... huge stampede... no organisation, no one in control... all looking 'the part' in their white dress and holding walkie talkies but no one did anything.. the potential for a very serious accident was very high - literally hundreds and hundreds of passengers charging for exit when deck level was changed.. huge pile ups on stairs, in corridors...it was scary.... and alarming. Same thing happened on a lesser scale when passengers in Elite lounge were told they could 'all go'.. mass charge, shoving and pushing... lost a lot of confidence in Princess if a serious incident arose. Got to say it was one of the best cruises ever! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I consider myself a seasoned traveler with 6 million air miles, hundreds of hotel says and 15 cruises on 5 cruise lines. I have never written a review before because things happen on any trip and you just have to deal with it. This year my ... Read More
I consider myself a seasoned traveler with 6 million air miles, hundreds of hotel says and 15 cruises on 5 cruise lines. I have never written a review before because things happen on any trip and you just have to deal with it. This year my wife and I celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary and our 70th birthdays. We were looking for something special - a trip that would provide us with a great memory of these events. A lot of choices- family, friends or something just for us. Another couple asked us to consider a Canadian-US cruise on the Caribbean Princess. I looked over the agenda and a few things caught my eye - an excursion on Prince Edwards Island with a known Canadian photographer and a stop in Boston. We had previously taken a photo trip to the Grand Canyon which was exceptional. Even though we had already taken a cruise that docked at 4 of the ports, the opportunity to have a limited group photo excursion with a known photographer coupled with a few spa treatments and a visit to Boston seemed like the experience we were looking for. The Booking On past cruises we have stayed in every accommodation from a Penthouse Suite to a porthole cabin. We contacted AmEx Travel who worked with Princess. We were advised Princess had a class of service called "Mini Suite" with suite benefits -smaller than a regular suite with all of the suite benefits (special dining, special seats at events, priority embark and debark, access to the exclusive lounge, etc.) When we attempted to book the Mini Suites were full so AmEx/Princess recommended that we book a full suite and wait for a Mini. We eventually booked the Mini, 2 spa treatments, and 4 excursions and the 10 day high speed internet. We preordered "Medallions" which are digital passkeys that identify and track your exact location on board the ship. The Preparation In order to prepare, we researched the photographer and contacted Princess regarding the excursion. We were advised to bring our camera equipment, including tripods, extra batteries, extra Sd cards, etc, along with adequate shoes for rough terrain. Three days before the cruise, we spent $500 on new camera equipment - light tripods, extra batteries, Sd cards, etc.). We also bought new hiking boots. In order to accommodate the camera equipment and airline luggage weight limits we had to remove a number of convenient items taken on past cruises. Arrival In spite of being provided a "special registration desk", unlike other cruise lines, Princess did not have any type of expedited security line so the concept of "priority boarding" was lost in the process. When we finally reached the priority registration desk we were given a new set of medallions and told the ones we had were unnecessary. At the registration desk I attempted to change the credit card on file but was advised that that would have to be done at Customer Relations. The CR computers were "occupied" with the passenger changeover but I was finally able to make that cc change two days later. The MiniSuite The Mini Suite (D414) is dated with the exception of two 42 inch TV's that dominate the small room. They actually touch each other - kind of like a sports bar. There is no chance to use them on separate channels because the sound overlaps. The Medallion Class ships have high speed access and boast about their live TV news and sports including CNN/Fox News/ESPN/ESPN2. On game day I found out that the Princess ESPN and ESPN2 was the Canadian/European version with no US college football. On live ESPN we could only watch womens international weightlifting and European soccer, a far cry from US Football.. While Princess boasts that its wi-fi can stream, it cannot stream to the TV's in the room, only to your computer or cell phone. Unless you want to spend your vacation watching the news which you are trying to get away from or you enjoy womens international weightlifting, the live TV has little merit. The rooms are dated. There is only one small electrical outlet in a mini-suite and it is impossible to use a multiple plug device because the light switch is part of the outlet and any oversize plug-in turns on the light. We were able to locate an open outlet behind the large TV's and with a little dexterity you can find an open plug. Otherwise, if you need more than 2 plug ins you are out of luck. Princess also represents that each room has a hair dryer - unfortunately they are wall mount - probably 15 years out of date with very low heat output. The "Club Class" Mini-suit is not really a suite for two passengers - it seems to be more for a three or four passengers accommodation-maybe a family with two kids who want no privacy. The furniture is old and sparse and the couch is a very uncomfortable sit. The TV's are imposing and awkward for the space. There is no divider between the sleeping area and the couch so using the TV's while your spouse is trying to rest does not work. The bathroom door opens into the closet so you have to speak out before you open the door lest you hit your partner in the back. Our stateroom attendant was excellent and kept the room very clean, but it still felt very dated, like an old hotel. The Wi-Fi The Caribbean Princess is equipped with a high capacity wi-fi system that should allow you to live stream content. To do so you have to download the app, connect to the ship internet and place your device on airplane mode and pay the $150 fee.. It seems simple but everyone in our party had issues for the first several days. There is a help station - unfortunately they advised that our problem involved Apple Messenger and told us to turn it off which resulted in a total absence of e-mails for 22-24 hours. We contacted Apple - reinstatement of Messenger on the Apple server normally takes a day after shutdown. Also, if you fail to immediately put you device on airplane mode when you reboard the ship, the phone can connect to the ships general network which results in a high cellular data bill. AT&T informed me of a $120 data overage a few hours after the ship left port. That mistake cost over $200 - a learning experience. High speed access was costly but if you figure it out you can stream to your cell phone. Watching a college football game on your I Phone doesn't compare to viewing it on one of the 42 inch TV's - which don't allow streaming. The many Disappointments Immediately after entering our Mini Suite, Narag Angelito Biloro, our Stateroom Steward appeared with ship information and our excursion tickets, etc., Narag turned out to be an exceptional asset during the cruise- we always felt good returning to our stateroom because it was well kept by him. He was a wealth of information. When I asked him about the Suite benefits and access to the Private Lounge - he informed us that the Mini-Suites do not have suite benefits but only Club benefits - contrary to what we had been told at the time of booking. He understood the confusion and got us in contact with the person to talk to. Several hours later with two attempted Princess calls to AmEx, Princess allowed us the access to the private lounge.(Which turned out to be nothing) We were specifically told that we were not allowed any other Suite benefits - only Club benefits which were a half bottle of wine, priority embark and debark, Club Class Dining and priority reservations at the specialty restaurants. Next I reviewed the excursion tickets. There was a letter included which stated that the photographic excursion "YYG260A Picture Perfect with Photographer Winston Maund has been cancelled due to operational reasons". I immediately called the front desk to better understand the situation. The front desk responded that the "operational issue" was an "overbooking" and that we had been cut from the excursion. That did not seem fair or reasonable - when we signed up for the excursion we were told we were the first two individuals to book. I went down to discuss the issue at the front desk. That took an hour. The front desk said they would check into it. On the next call I was told that there were "operational issues" that caused the cancellation of the trip and no one on the ship would be participating. I inquired about the date the operation decision was made and was told that the excursion was cancelled THE WEEK BEFORE we left for the cruise. On other cruise lines there have been changes or modification in excursions but we always received immediate notice of pre cruise changes by e-mail. When I inquired about why we were not notified the answer "It is easier for us to handle it on the ship". To me that was not customer focused - particularly considering the 12 pounds of camera equipment we carted to Canada. I asked again for clarification on the operations issue and was given no response. Princess offered to place us on another excursion at our cost. The day before we reached the port I went down to the excursion desk and was told that all excursions were closed. I was later told that Princess was trying to get together enough passengers from other cruise ships to overcome the " operational" issue. The final comment I received was the excursion was "new" and they were trying to work the kinks out. You think they would have worked the kinks out before taking our reservation and money. We also had a Boston excursion booked through Princess - in spite of the fact that there had been a major 10K scheduled in Boston for months, Princess notified us the day before the excursion the Boston itinerary would be substantially modified to include only an aircraft carrier visit because of the race so we cancelled and used an independent operator. Excursions With the exception of the LULU Lobster Boat ride in Bar Harbor, the remaining Princess excursions were unremarkable. The three independent excursions we booked were better and more informative than the Princess excursions, often at less cost. The Food As any cruiser knows, the food on cruise ships is always exceptional - except on Princess. Our group of 4 ate at both specialty restaurants - extremely disappointing experiences - one guest even sent his fish back as inedible. My specialty restaurant steak was perfectly cooked but was like chewing leather. We ate twice in the "Club Class Dining" (about the only benefit you get for paying hundreds more for a "Club Class" Mini-Suite) but the food in the Palm Dining Room was better. Treats like the Lobster Dinner were basically tasteless. Prime Rib night was also a disaster - my prime rib had more fat on it than meat. I would never have served that piece of meat to anyone. The veal marsala in the Palm was much better that the veal marsala in the specialty restaurant. I thought it might just be me- but there was uniform consensus within our group that the food was lower grade than on any other cruise. The steaks (both in the specialty restaurant and the Palm Dinning) were tough with a lot of waste. More like a cheap chain restaurant than a cruise delicacy. Room service breakfast was great. A very limited selection but the bacon, egg and cheese English muffin was fine. There were three things good about dining - Phillipo the Head Waiter, Rigoberto, the Waiter and their assistant waiter (unfortunately I misplaced his name). There were attentive and provided outstanding service- remembering preferences, supplying my spouse with gluten free bread, knowing the menu and making reasonable recommendations. The problem is that the food itself was just not that good. Everyone in our group agreed on one thing - don't waste your money on the specialty restaurants - they are not worth it. Since we pre-booked the specialty restaurants the "Club Class" priority seating benefit had no value The Private Suite Lounge There is no actual private lounge for suite guests, just a lounge that is closed to non-suite guests for two hours in the evening. Drinks are charged to you room and the appetizers are below average. Other cruise lines have a separate lounge for suite guests - after we got on the ship we were told that did not exist on the Caribbean Princess. The Spa In 49 years my wife has never turned down a spa treatment - and who would - they are rejuvenating and relaxing experiences. We prebooked 2 spa sessions for her. Although the spa treatment by Isabel was OK, the after spa upsell of products and additional services was obnoxious. In stead of returning refreshed, my wife retuned upset because Isabel just kept pressing her to buy products and add additional treatments. Upselling is a part of business but when a customer says they are not interested the conversation should end. My wife is no wall flower and it would take a lot of upsell to upset her. She attributed the incident to a language barrier but "not interested" should be understood in any language. Both women in our group cancelled their second spa treatment. I was so disturbed I contacted the spa and asked them to take off the $32.00 "Auto Gratuity" - they apologized and said that no gratuity would appear on the final statement. The morning of departure the gratuity was still on the bill and I was informed that I would have to go to the desk (where there was a 30 minute wait) to have it removed. By that time I was exhausted with Princess so we simply left. The workout area is well done with adequate equipment but use is limited to 8am-8pm. If you are an early riser that exercises before breakfast or plan to exercise at the end of the day - forget it. And the thought of exercising while watching sports is limited to ESPN Canada/Europe - back to womens international weigh lifting. The Shows and Entertainment The shows and entertainment were average to good for a cruise. The stage productions were OK but you need to get there at least 30 minutes early or you will be sitting in the front few rows. Although we were about 25 minutes early for the extravaganza that included 'pyrotechnics" we ended up in row one- if that happens leave! Although the cruise line alleges to have a keen focus on passenger safety- the smoke machine will overcome you in 20 minutes. The smoke is so bad that you can't see the show. When we left, our eyes burned from the substance that they use to create the smoke effect - it is almost like a fine mist/dust. We had to use eye drops when we got back to our cabin but it took two days before the eye irritation and redness dissipated. On the good side one male singer from Vegas, a piano player and the two comedians were exceptional. After being on larger ships the stage shows were average. Princess Medical/Response We have been on two cruises where there was an outbreak of flu or a norovirus. That happens when you put 3-6 thousand people in one place. In each case the Captain made an announcement about increased health risk and the need to take special precautions, advised the passengers that the crew would be taking additional actions to respond (wiping down common areas, etc.). Those cruise lines gave you a feeling that the cruise line cared. Half way thru our 10 day Princess cruise we noticed that the crew began taking precautions - wiping down the entire theater between performances, etc. I asked if there was a particular concern and was told that there was a "flu virus" affecting many passengers and the ship was on a "Phase 2" alert. (I have no idea if that information was accurate or if there is a Phase 2 alert). I was particularly concerned because at the end of the cruise we were going to visit elderly relatives and I did not want to carry a virus to them. The day before the cruise ended my wife became ill with what appeared to be a cold. I contacted the Princess sick bay and talked with the nurse. She said that there had been a number of sick passengers but she was more focused on telling me that my call would be considered an "emergency" and that there would be a $195 initial charge to see my wife plus any testing for "the virus" would be extra. She would not provide any additional information on my general health question (Is there a virus on the ship and if so what type?) without a visit to the infirmary and payment of the $195 emergency fee. The morning of departure I called again and received a reply call from the ship Doctor. I explained to him that we were going to visit elderly relatives and I inquired if we may have been exposed to a virus on the ship. He was vague and basically said that there are sick persons on every cruise. He refused to discuss particulars or provide any information but invited us to come down and pay the $195 emergency fee for a consult plus additional fees for a test to determine if my wife actually had a cold or a virus. The attitude was appalling. We departed the ship, believing that a land side American doctor might be a better choice. Within 18 hours of departure, one of the individuals in our 4 person group became violently ill and spent two days sick in a hotel in New York - the Doctors are in the process of diagnosing the virus.. Several years ago a family member was on a cruise and broke her foot on an excursion. The Cruise company was unbelievably helpful in providing medical assistance and accommodating her for the remainder of the trip. The standard of care was exceptional. The Princess response to my inquiry was startling, to say the least. I got the impression that Princess wanted to keep information regarding health concerns suppressed and that the medical center had not meet its financial goals on the cruise. Rather than simply giving me an answer (honest or not) the individuals were focused on getting the emergency fee and were not focused on responsible care of the passengers. Those that listened to the conversation were equally applaud. Disembarkation One of the Mini-Suite "Club" class benefits was "Priority Debark" which on every other cruise we have been on means priority getting off the ship early The night before we arrived at our final port we were provided with luggage tags that allowed us to depart 55 minutes after our traveling companions that had no "Priority Debark" status. I contacted the front desk and was advised that the "Priority" disembarkation for Club Class Mini-Suites consists of a preferred waiting area and was not related to the time for leaving the ship. After another trip to the front desk I was able to get the same disembarkation time as our non-priority friends. Summary The Caribbean Princess is an older ship and shows it. Every cruise line has a personality and it takes some time to get used to Princess if you have cruised on quality cruise lines. Princess did not meet any of our general expectations and failed miserably to respond to concerns that were raised. In our opinion, the added expenses of a "Club Class Mini-Suite" has little value - the priority boarding and disembarkation did not provide any real priority, and the "Club Class" dining was equivalent to any time dining on most cruise lines. With the exception of the Luu Lobster boat tour at Bar Harbor, the Princess excursions were unremarkable. The specialty restaurant food is not worth the additional price and some of the special night food (Lobster night - Prime Rib night) was genuinely disappointing. The lack of communication regarding cancelled excursions (both before and during the cruise) and the lack of communication regarding passenger health issues (or the conflicting individual reports from crew members on both subjects) does not give one a comfortable feeling. The Spa treatments are average but the upselling pressure when your trying to enjoy the cruise is not. The hours of the workout center are limited. The above not only reflects my feeling and the feeling of the four members of our group, but was reflected in several conversations with a number of passengers that have cruised on other cruise lines. I'm sure there are individuals who appreciate the Caribbean Princess personality, particularly those that have not cruised often, but in our case the Caribbean Princess failed miserably to meet expectations compared to other cruises. This was a very poor return on our expenditure (particularly the Club Class Mini Suite) and a complete failure for a celebration. If you want a quality experience, look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this particular Nova Scotia cruise because of the itinerary and a particular excursion with a well known photographer which was ultimately cancelled and we were not told until the last minute. So on my 70th birthday we did not ... Read More
We chose this particular Nova Scotia cruise because of the itinerary and a particular excursion with a well known photographer which was ultimately cancelled and we were not told until the last minute. So on my 70th birthday we did not have an excursion. The ship knew a week ahead. The Spa had a hard upset after a mediocre massage. Specialty dinning was a joke on my birthday, the food quality was poor. We have cruised many times on other lines and have never felt like this. Our supposed club level mini sweet was nothing special and we had to pled for access to the special lounge that was supposed to be part of the package at this level. The stateroom did not have enough outlets to plug in devices, the internet was intermittent and the ship was debuting a new medallion service that was troublesome. Overall this was a bust cruise and I would not recommend this ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First, we chose this cruise for its itinerary. We really liked the ports and were excited to board. We haven't been on Princess in quite some time but thought it worth a shot. I'll make the rest as short as possible: On ... Read More
First, we chose this cruise for its itinerary. We really liked the ports and were excited to board. We haven't been on Princess in quite some time but thought it worth a shot. I'll make the rest as short as possible: On board (deck) activities were often advertised but never took place. The buffet area is very small for the size of the ship usually resulting in no available seating. The buffet food was cold, stale, and tasteless. Nothing was prepared fresh you have to take what has been sitting out for hours. Food in the dining room suffered the same. We had overcooked boiled steaks, cold soups, onion soup with no onion! We even tried the Grill where the lamb and the steak had the same seasoning and was uneatable. We gave up and ate pizza and burgers at the outdoor venues. The service was mediocre with most not seeming to care about the deficiencies. The best service was provided by three bartenders and a couple of servers at the Mix Bar on deck 15. When leaving the ship for excursions, etc. there always seemed to be a great deal of confusion. (organized chaos) When returning there was no greeting just a crew member saying this way. Overall i have to say that for the money we received little value. We have a vacation tentatively booked with Princess for next summer but are now exploring other options. Also, there was an outbreak of norovirus on our cruise and the one following. If cruise lines think it's due to a lack of washing one's hands maybe they need to review the way food is prepared and put out on the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We sailed as a company group; which we do annually with Princess. Unfortunately, our mini-suite wreaked of cigarette smoke form the casino and cigar room for 7 of our 10 days aboard the ship. They had no empty cabins where we could be ... Read More
We sailed as a company group; which we do annually with Princess. Unfortunately, our mini-suite wreaked of cigarette smoke form the casino and cigar room for 7 of our 10 days aboard the ship. They had no empty cabins where we could be permanently moved so we had to endure the respiratory affects of the smoke each night. They were able to let us sleep for 2 nights in an inside cabin but were unable to move in as it was to be soon occupied. Our cabin steward was amazing and gracious. The ship was clean and the entertainment was good. We were on a Fall Color cruise from Quebec to New York and enjoyed ourselves while not in our room. We choose the 5:15 assigned seated dining. Our waiters were friendly and fun. WE have sailed many times with Princess and our problems were an exception to our normal experinces Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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