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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Background information This was my 27th cruise - my second with Princess. It was my second Hawaiian cruise - the first one was on Pride of America. It was my first ever group cruise- there were over 30 of us booked by our travel agent. ... Read More
Background information This was my 27th cruise - my second with Princess. It was my second Hawaiian cruise - the first one was on Pride of America. It was my first ever group cruise- there were over 30 of us booked by our travel agent. This cruise was confusingly rescheduled as if the dates had been set without looking to see if the ship was available. This caused no end of problems with the roll calls and I think some people who originally wanted to go, could not get free to go on the earlier date. I use a mobility scooter because I can't walk far or stand for long. I had my 80th birthday on the cruise. Since my husband of 58 years refuses to fly or cruise anymore, I took a woman friend who was 10 years younger to help me. It was her first cruise. My scooter is quite light (for a scooter) and it is possible to gate check it at the door of the plane. But the last time I did that, the control arm was broken off on the way home. I was unwilling to do that going to the cruise because I did not want to be without the scooter for the cruise. I have a suitcase that I can pack the scooter in that would protect it from damage, so I investigated the Princess Luggage Valet. But they absolutely refused to ship anything other than clothing. So I sent the scooter UPS to the hotel in San Pedro a week in advance. And I also shipped a suitcase with the Princess Luggage Valet via FedEx The scooter arrived without any problem. I had a great deal of trouble finding out information from the Luggage Valet people and in fact was told several things that were completley wrong about when I would get the labels and what would happen on the way home. Travel to embarkation port We were able to get a non-stop flight on Southwest from BWI (Baltimore) to LAX. We flew out on Monday and Embarkation was Wednesday. Because the flight was early in the morning and we live about 2 hours from the airport, my friend (Polly) drove up the night before, and we stayed in the Country Inn & Suites. This hotel allowed us to park for free for the first week and there was also a nice free breakfast and a free shuttle to the airport. Hotel info When we landed at LAX, we took the Supershuttle to the Doubletree San Pedro. This is a very nice hotel with free wi-fi and a free shuttle to local areas and to the dock for embarkation. They said I could ship my scooter to them and they gave me information on a local harbor tour that I could take. I had a handicapped room. We were to meet some of the rest of the group there the following day. There are only three problems with the hotel - there is no way to walk to anything as it is in a vary isolated location - thus you have to use the shuttle. The restaurant is not open for lunch (they have only a vending machine called "Pete's Bodega") And they charge quite a lot more for breakfast than I think it is worth. It was quite hot when we were there (I was told 105 deg F) and the corridors were not A/C. Embarkation.I did not want to use a wheelchair at embarkation because then I would have no way to get around the ship afterward. So I rode the scooter and put all the carry-ons in the scooter bag which has four wheels. We took the free hotel shuttle to the dock - I just put my scooter in the back of the shuttle van. We gave our luggage (except the scooter bag) to the luggage guy at the curb. We went inside and got our cards, and went through security. I was patted down separately on the scooter. We went to another desk to have our photos taken, and then got on board. It was very smooth. The bag that I shipped by Princess Valet was outside the door of the room. The safety drill was quite long and a little disorganized. Ship information I was told that the ship was to go into drydock after our cruise. In fact I could see signs of wear on the ship - small stains on the carpet in our room, and there was some rust visible. But I often saw the ship crew polishing and scrubbing, and there were even crew members working on chipping paint outside our window on sea days. The elevators were large and fast. But there are only two elevators (in a large bank of aft elevators) that go down to the Amalfi dining room or up to the Skywalker lounge on deck 17. This means that people with mobility issues (scooters, wheelchairs, walkers etc) have a very difficult time finding an elevator with enough room to go all the way down to deck 6 aft. This is a serious problem because there were a lot of walkers, scooters and wheelchairs. We had to switch our fixed dining from Amalfi to Portafino because of this problem. There was no way to go all the way around the ship outside on the promenade deck as the stern was usually closed. if I wanted to see both sides, I had to go through the atrium. There was an automatic door on each side which was wonderful for those of us with mobility problems. The theater had steps to get to it on deck 6 so those of us with mobility problems had to use deck 7 - there was a back row for people with disabilities. The internet was the absolute worst I have ever had in all my previous 26 cruises. The people in the internet cafe (which was staffed) were quite knowledgeable and helpful. But even they could not get a connection when there was none. The Princess Patter was not delivered until after 9 each evening. The ship information (ship time, ship location) on the TV wasn't updated until the second day. The TV was terribly disorganized. The guide had things by category and not in order by channel. I decided to make my own list of the channels. On the next to last day of the cruise I discovered a slip of paper in front of the TV (above my head) which had the numerical list of channels. The bow camera was good and they kept it clean. There were a lot of decorative rough areas on the floor - little lips between the carpet and non-carpeted areas which would not be noticed by people that were walking. Deck 5 even had part of the deck which was done with artificial stone - very bumpy in a wheelchair or scooter Activities - I thought the Cruise Director was a bit of a fat head. He had a show each day (filmed the afternoon before) which was amusing, but I wasn't impressed with his attitude. There was progressive trivia which some of our friends participated in and they felt that cheating was allowed. I did a few of the trivias just for fun (I didn't turn in my paper to be checked). There were some sales of items from the shops, but most of the things that were being sold were things that I would not have wanted if they were free. I did buy some rum cake and it was very good. There was almost no celebration of Halloween The ship was not decorated for Halloween and in fact the Halloween festivities appeared to be an afterthought which was a disappointing contrast to last year's Carnival cruise Service Our cabin was generally kept clean. Trash was emptied and clean towels supplied as appropriate. But my friend looked in the duvet cover and found blood stains. There were chocolates, but no towel animals. I don't think our cabin steward had time to do them. The front desk people were unusually helpful. The computer room people were VERY good. My friend was happy with her spa experiences. I felt that the service in the dining room was quite slow. The waiter was cheerful and personable, but we often waited for our food and the head waiter would pitch in to move things along. We rarely got finished before 7:00 - two hours and 15 minutes after we started. This was probably at least partly because the early fixed dining was scheduled very close together in both dining rooms. Portafino was to start at 5:15 and in Amalfi at 5:30 and the kitchen just could not keep up. Dining - aside from one or two epic fails the food was really good - some of the best I've had on a cruise ship. The pizza was very good at lunch when we were in port, and I could get it by myself even on the scooter. At breakfast, although it was not on the menu, I could get cranberry juice without paying bar prices for it like I have to do on Carnival or RCCI. Most of the time, I ate in the Portafino restaurant for breakfast and (when at sea) for lunch. The buffet was difficult for me although someone always helped me. I could not easily see the labels (because they were well above my head) and it was even hard to see the food. I couldn't easily see over all the options available. Even if I could have reached it I could not carry a plate and run the scooter without possibly running into people. Sometimes the menu description did not exactly match the food (raspberry brulee which was chocolate cake with a raspberry on top) but usually the food that I got was tasty even when it wasn't exactly what I expected. The Epic Fails were Brunswick stew, which was a kind of succotash soup with what was supposed to be a corn muffin which was soggily in the soup. I love actual Brunswick stew - this wasn't Brunswick stew. The other was Ranchos Hueveras - what I got was two sunnyside up eggs on a tortilla with a side of beans. I loved the ones I got on Carnival last year. I did not appreciate Princesses version. Entertainment and Enrichment- I did not go to any of the shows but my friend did and she really enjoyed them. She did say it was sometimes difficult to get a seat. I did go to one of the Naturalists talks, and one of the Port talks, and I also listened to them later on the TV. Both the Naturalist and the Port talk guy (Tiki Dave) were very good Port & shore excursions - I booked several excursion with Expedia and not through the ship Hilo - In Hilo, our Princess excursion was a progressive brunch of Hawaiian food. We visited three private homes in the course of this tour. It was an excellent tour. Honolulu The only Expedia excursion that we did for which I can give an excellent review is Alii Sacred Falls Helicopter Tour. And even that there was some confusion about the time. Right after I booked the tour I got a call from the helicopter people saying that the times that were booked were not correct. The highlight of the tour was to be the 1,000-foot (300-m) cascade of Sacred Falls, but the whole tour was much more than that - the description of the tour was not on the Expedia site when I made the reservation and I didn't even get a photo of the falls. I told the helicopter people that I would be bringing a scooter. They were OK with it. We went down and exited the terminal a little before 10 and the van to pick us up came at 10:30. The driver was very nice and just picked up my little scooter and put it on the bus. After the safety briefing, they put Polly in the front next to the pilot - she was the smallest one of us and had the best view. I was in the middle of the back. We put all our stuff in a locker - we couldn't even take water. I put the telephoto lens on the camera. I was able to get some reasonable photos shooting in between Polly and the pilot. Even one lighthouse. And we went around the island and came back over Pearl Harbor so Polly got to see the Arizona from the air. I booked the Sail and Snorkel Adventure. I have nothing good to say about this excursion. We came back to the room from the Alii Sacred Falls Helicopter Tour and I happened to look at my phone and see I had a text message. It said that catamaran had an engine problem and was not going to be going. (This was after we a bathing suit on). There is absolutely no excuse for them to leave the notification that the excursion was not going to be happening until so late that no alternate arrangements could be made. Especially since we had three tours booked with you for the 31st. Expedia Dinner Cruise. We took a taxi to the boat. The driver said it was $7.60 and I gave him $10 because he was nice. There was dancing before we got on (hula type dancing by professional dancers). We were in room C/D which was not air conditioned. The menu was in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. They gave us each a free Mai Tai. We had a nice soft roll (all the Princess rolls are hard rolls), but the rest of the food was mediocre at best. I had expected Hawaiian luau type food. But we just got some salads, a piece of white fish, a piece of chicken and a slice of roast beef. And a brownie and some cake type things as desserts. A decent Old Country Buffet would be ashamed to serve such a selection. There was a singer/ukulele player who was terrible. Too loud and he sang off key. My back started to hurt. They had people get up an learn a hula in grass skirts, and then there was a regular show with two dancers and canned music. The show was good. I decided I would use the rest room and there was a "handicapped" rest room on deck two - I got the elevator down. But the door was extremely heavy and I could not hold it open and get in with the scooter. Someone had to help me with it. And someone had to help me get out too, or I would be there still. The cab back to the ship was under $5.00 until we stopped and then it jumped to $10. So that's what I gave him Kauai At this port it was raining and there were flash flood warnings. Polly's snorkeling tour was canceled as was my afternoon helicopter tour was canceled Maui - this was a tender port, which was unsatisfactory because on my previous cruise we did not have to tender in Maui. Polly had a very nice snorkeling trip through Princess. I wanted to take my scooter on shore but I did not think I could book an Expedia tour and get ashore with the scooter in time. So I booked a Princess walking tour which the information said I could do on the scooter. It was a very informative tour and I learned a lot about the local culture. Disembarkation: We were told to have our bags out by 10 pm the night before and Polly put my small bag out before dinner and I hadn't finished packing it yet. One of the ship officers came and got my bag that was going by FedEx through Princess Luggage Valet. After he took it, something happened to the label on this bag, and it took ten days for it to get to me instead of less than a week that it should have taken but it did arrive eventually. We had breakfast and were ready to get off by 8:30 for a time of 8:45 - they were ahead of schedule, so we were off and approaching the terminal when the fire alarm in the terminal went off. we were shunted outside where we stood or sat and waited - the immigration folks were out there too and they inspected our passports while we waited. After we got back into the terminal there was a long trek for us scooter, cane, wheelchair people to get to an elevator to get down to get our luggage. There was no customs inspection. We boarded the bus to LAX and when we got there, I repacked my bag with the stuff I hadn't been able to put in it, and put the scooter into its bag and checked them both and got our boarding passes. We were two hours early. Summary This was a very enjoyable cruise with a lovely group of people. The food was good. The deficiencies (slow service, horrible internet, inadequate docking) did not prevent me from enjoying myself. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We had been on the Golden twice before and liked the ship.We chose this Cruise so that I could recuperate from a serious illness and to spend time with some old friends.We did both and really enjoyed it. A few little problems but a quiet ... Read More
We had been on the Golden twice before and liked the ship.We chose this Cruise so that I could recuperate from a serious illness and to spend time with some old friends.We did both and really enjoyed it. A few little problems but a quiet word to whoever was in charge and they were almost instantly put right. I have found this is the way to approach the staff, it almost always is successful. The weather was "hopeless" but it didn't rain inside the ship so we could still do what we wanted. We only went ashore once, due to problems with my handicap, it was Yorkey's Knob where we had planned to catch the shuttle to Cairns. Due to the road accident and the road being closed we went into the Yacht club for a coffee and sat on the deck and happily "watched the world go by". I think the right "attitude" really helps in similar situations. As far as Entertainment goes, I found the lady who did the "talks" quite boring, she knew her facts but needs to work on her production, it wasn't interesting enough to keep me sitting through to the end. The "Little" singer and comedienne was excelllent , we had seen her on a previous cruise and made sure we were in early enough to get a seat. One little "whinge", re handicapped people going to a show. Something really needs to be done re who takes the seats for the handicapped. Most nights I saw a lot of non handicapped in the seats which are marked at the back of the theatre, leaving really handicapped nowhere to sit. It is supervised by one or more staff members on other cruise lines and I think should be on Princess. Also sitting on the steps is not only a safety hazard but also causes problems for anyone who needs to leave during the performance. Read Less
PrincessCruises3, Social Team, Princess Cruises has responded
Hi pomaussie, we're happy to hear you enjoyed your Golden voyage. Thanks for sharing your concerns regarding handicapped seating, we will definitely pass along your comments to our team. We'd love to welcome you aboard again for another relaxing trip!
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The itinerary, date and number of pools and hot tubs were why we chose this ship and trip. Cabin 703 Aloha deck was carefully chosen for it's closeness to public toilets, buffet and the Terrace pool and sitting areas away from the main ... Read More
The itinerary, date and number of pools and hot tubs were why we chose this ship and trip. Cabin 703 Aloha deck was carefully chosen for it's closeness to public toilets, buffet and the Terrace pool and sitting areas away from the main action of the ship. We were also looking forward to the pizza and burger bars on deck open long hours. Well the embarkation was horrid. Lots of grumpy irritable workers. Health cards handed out but nothing to write with. Had to share a pen with 8 kind people but ask the workers for help and they were dismissive. Everyone seemed grumpy especially the photographers so we just walked around them. It was great how we were allowed to go straight to our room and meet our lovely thoughtful steward Dennis. Our air conditioning was warm and the fridge broken but Dennis brought us a big bucket of ice every day and that was terrific. We were able to leave the door open for the first two nights but then the warm weather had me glad I had brought my own small electric fan put over the ice so we could sleep at night. Our bags arrived very quickly and that was great. Tons of storage space and a lovely walk in wardrobe but the usual very small bathroom with no air vent to stop the bathroom fogging up. The bed and pillows were much too soft and although the doona was lovely it was too hot to use on a Queensland tour. So first day on a cruise everyone was lining up at the Front Service Desk. Mostly elderly and people on sticks and in wheelchairs. the front desk had very few staff and the four that were there were incredibly irritable, dismissive, unhelpful and sometimes downright rude. They stayed that way for most of the trip. the queues were long and slow. Very annoying and exhausting standing around. sort like waiting for the tenders up to 2 hours wait. Tired legs and frustrated loosing so much holiday time waiting around. The shore excursion people in comparison were lovely. Shame their trips were so expensive and awful. Mainly we just got driven around. I can highly recommend you ring taxis after deciding where you want to go and arrange your own adventures. Will never do shore excursions again in Australia from a cruise. Now food. I like my food plain and the amount of different sauces put on the food in the buffet is ridiculous. It's like they drown it in spices and sauces so you can't taste the actually item much. The food pretty much stays the same. sometimes there was something lovely but mostly same old same. However the Char Grill was spectacular. The service brilliant, the surroundings wonderful, the menu interesting and you get the food exactly how you ask for it. The prices are much cheaper than for the same on shore. Simply delicious. The main dining rooms included were very nice but hard to get in to for early dining as with so many fun activities from 7 on, most people wanted to finish dinner before 7. Entertainment. Jo Little and the ships dancers and singers were terrific but the seats in the Princess theatre were antique and soooo uncomfortable... and the theatre is too small for the number on board so unless you were there a minimum half hour early you would miss out on a seat. The outdoor movies, popcorn, ice cream, lounges all wonderful and you can lie in a hottub and watch as well. Felt decadent. All the hot tubs and many pools were fantastic though very cold after day 3. The first two days the pools were almost hot and wonderful but cold after that. The trivia's were mostly fun as were the games in the Explorers Theatres. Laughed lots. Piazza music lovely but stupidly the Service Desk is right opposite so it was very hard to make yourself heard and for service desk people to be heard. Maybe that's why they were always so irritable and nasty. The wait to get that service was sooooo long they should put chairs in line. Probably the most annoying things were slow lifts meaning long waits and not being allowed to plan your day 24 hours ahead as you had to wait for the Princess Patter with the next day's activities until 10 p.m ish. When you ask to pick one up at Service Desk the answer is no, wait your turn like everyone else. No where else are they kept on the ship which is ridiculous if you leave yours in the room or lose it. such nonsense. Never had that on a cruise before. If they worry about the cost of printing then just print off on normal paper instead of glossy pricey paper. Overall not a bad trip thanks to some fun activities and the wonderful restaurants ( not the buffet except for their great desserts.) o and fabulous outdoor seating unlike Celebrity Solstice where people had to almost fight to get a seat in the fresh air to eat. Read Less
PrincessCruises3, Social Team, Princess Cruises has responded
Hi dvora5, thank you for your feedback regarding your recent Golden Princess voyage. Our team strives to provide impeccable service to each and every guest, and we are sorry that you did not receive this on your recent vacation. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you aboard again!
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Our dream of going to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. We were so disappointed with the company Princess. It was our 5 th croissière and the second with Princess. To start our bed was like a plywood board! Hard and not ... Read More
Our dream of going to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. We were so disappointed with the company Princess. It was our 5 th croissière and the second with Princess. To start our bed was like a plywood board! Hard and not comfortable. Even after notifying the customer service, the housekeeper has put extra covers ... And nothing more! Bad has my back all the holidays! (I've never had a problem before with my back and since I came back it all came back normal!) Secondly the buffet on the 14 floors, they could not find a place to sit, lots of older people with canes and walkers on our boat and they went around the two rooms without finding a place and finally margin in their room or coffee in the 5th and sometimes I found a place in the bar to eat a donut and a coffee. If I ended up finding a place I would fill so much couple as I am 42 years old and not give my place to an elderly person with difficulty in moving it. It's a lot of trouble because in town if a pregnant woman or an elderly person needs to sit it will give me pleasure to give her my place, this is part of my values. I find it awful to experience this. My trip costing me over $ 9000 can. And I think we should be forgetting to fight to find a place to eat is ridiculous! Or even lunch in his cabin! The dining rooms are open from 7 am to 9 am with services. They are ridiculous to put a alarm to be able to have a lunch on the boat. Following my complaint they did absolutely nothing! But they are not bother to take the total on our credit card. So disappointed with this trip ... thanks to Princess! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose Princess for our group because I knew they had great choices for a cruise to Alaska. We were a group of 14 total, all senior citizens with several having some problems getting around without help. I will start by saying the ... Read More
I chose Princess for our group because I knew they had great choices for a cruise to Alaska. We were a group of 14 total, all senior citizens with several having some problems getting around without help. I will start by saying the crew was more than accommodating, they were there to help you "even if they just thought you may need a hand". No one was wheel chair bound but they did use them to go on and off ship when visiting ports. It was never a problem. Food...Oh my gosh!! Used room service every morning for coffee and juice. The first two mornings out, our coffee was not as hot as we are used to but it was taken care of when I asked for hotter coffee and got it from then on. We ate at Horizon Court often, had the best onion rings, clam chowder, bratwurst, fries and potato wedges at the other walk up eateries. Late night visits to the ice cream shop was a must before bed. Our group of 14 had a table ready each evening in Michelangelo, never waited a minute, and we were treated like royalty. I only had one issue with prime rib being a bit on the tuff side but all other dishes were out of this world. I tried to have one menu item every night that was new to me and was never let down in taste or quality of food. Our room E414 was "obstructed view" price but it was not obstructed in any way, William was our steward and every time we left the room, he would slip in to tidy up, fresh towels and garbage emptied. Wish I could have taken him home with me! The beds were awesome. The whole ship was sparkling clean, impressed by so many crew members keeping it that way. Loved the hot tubs and the big cozy bathrobes. Loved being able to vote on "The Voice" as well. The train ride up the White Pass/Yukon had some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. It was enjoyed by our whole group and a highlight of the trip. We could do as much as we wanted every day but for me just being lazy and enjoying the scenery was almost enough. Loved meeting people from all over the world. The Casino was fun even tho I did not hit any big jackpots. I actually left them more than I care to think about but that was my own fault! All in all, we could not have imagined this cruise to be any better and I look forward to another cruise at some point. Think we will stick with Princess as they are A#1! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first cruise on a smaller ship and our first to this region. Embarkation was easy and fast, probably because we boarded later due to the long drive from London. Our inside cabin was spacious and had a lot of closet and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on a smaller ship and our first to this region. Embarkation was easy and fast, probably because we boarded later due to the long drive from London. Our inside cabin was spacious and had a lot of closet and shelf space, more than other ships. We were midship and it was easy to get around, even for my handicapped husband. Dining was delicious and our servers were polite and charming. Entertainment was varied and pleasing. Without a big theatre with a stage, the performers were up close and personal. They were all friendly and happy to interact with the audience. Because of my husband's disability, we were offered special treatment; stickers for tours were delivered to our room saving him a walk to the lounge and he was given front seats on the busses. We loved the small ship experience. No lines for elevators, shows or purchases. The bathroom shower was bigger than most with lots of storage in the bathroom. The only thing I missed were onboard activities like book club, fashion show and pop choir. We usually toured in the morning and napped until dinner, although the large, lovely library was a favorite place to relax and read, especially on rainy days. We would definitely go on this ship again, perhaps to anther location. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We picked this cruise because we we invited to cruise with friends that surprised us with them renewing their vows. The Captain did the service and the staff made the day so very special for our friends.It was very special to be there with ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we we invited to cruise with friends that surprised us with them renewing their vows. The Captain did the service and the staff made the day so very special for our friends.It was very special to be there with them to see them do it again after 30 years. I was their bridesmaid 30 years ago and was so happy to be there again this time and be part of it. All staff concerned were very professional and made the trip just so special. The fine dinning waiters from table 10 were absolutely spot on with their service and deserve a Huge 10 out of 10. Thank you guys for making out trip memorable. All in all considering this was our 1st cruise we would give the whole experience a huge thumbs up. Thanks again for helping me with my dissabilities. I was very impressed with the hygiene practiced by the staff and the lovely personalities of all of the staff. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
The Cooler weather and the ports of the British isles and Copenhagen were the primary reason for booking this cruise. Also, booking had to be on a ship with an available handicap accessible room. I did complain to Princess about the ... Read More
The Cooler weather and the ports of the British isles and Copenhagen were the primary reason for booking this cruise. Also, booking had to be on a ship with an available handicap accessible room. I did complain to Princess about the width of their utility carts being a problem for someone with a scooter, however. The linen carts don't present a problem, But those utility carts are wider and unless parked perfectly, impossible to pass if you need a mobility aid as I do. Even though weather prevented our arrival in two ports, the ships staff did their best to entertain us. And the last minute addition of Manhattan, was a real plus. I was disappointed with the lecture series on true crimes. I thought the presenter was bumbling, and lacked a professional presentation style. Meals were fine. Service was always excellent. I found the ship too large, though, and I really missed easy access to the promenade deck. The lack of portholes and doors to the outside promenade deck made the ship feel claustrophobic. Walking on Deck 16 wasn't an adequate substitute...so far from the water and glassed in. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what you'd ... Read More
The scenery was lovely, the excursions were great. We didn't know what to expect so in the end we had a good time because we were with family. Highly unique cruise experience in terms of destination. Ship was fine and had what you'd expect. Service and food left a little something to be desired. It wasn't the most luxurious of boats but we didn't mind. The room was nice and we had fun with our group. HOWEVER, the crowd is what really brought the experience downhill. There were many elderly folks aboard - I don't know if it was the destination, the time of year, or prince point - we couldn't quite tell - and both my husband and I got very sick because of this crowd who were coughing and hacking all over the ship. It was quite ironic considering how much Princess must have spent on hand sanitizing machines. (That said, they clearly neglected to sanitize door handles, coffee machines, elevator buttons and chair handles.) Secondly, Princess are obsessed with branding themselves and working to suck every hard-earned dollar out of you that they possibly can. It was **heavily** saturated with gift shops at every stop. This is expected on a cruise but got old very quick. You had to walk a considerable distance (or take a physically active excursion) to avoid this. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
After my husband had a major heart attack, we decided once he was well enough to start on his bucket list. His big item was a cruise to Alaska. We wanted to go for more than 7 days and looked at Princess because they were significantly ... Read More
After my husband had a major heart attack, we decided once he was well enough to start on his bucket list. His big item was a cruise to Alaska. We wanted to go for more than 7 days and looked at Princess because they were significantly less expensive than some competitors. Bad decision! I guess you get what you pay for! We booked our excursions through Princess and included a night before and after the cruise dates in their affiliated hotels (International Mark Hopkins and the Westin).We flew into San Francisco and the Princess representative had our name wrong looking for us in baggage claim. That was not a big deal but it went down hill from there! We had filled out all the handicapped accessibility paperwork and Princess Cruises KNEW we were coming with medical supplies such as insulin, insulin pump supplies, CPAP machine and such. We had two suitcases each plus our medical supplies and hubby's walker. The Princess rep said "Is all THIS your's?".......YES! They knew we would not fit in a Toyota Prius so tried to find a minivan or SUV taxi to take us to our hotel. It took about 45 minutes after baggage claim to finally get a taxi to take us to the hotel. Get to the hotel and read the instructions another time to make sure we followed them for the morning pick up of our bags. The following morning, no porter came to the room during the time the instructions said to have the bags ready. I headed downstairs to the lobby to find a Princess representative. They had one and she was not the most friendly person and curtly told me that "There are only 4 of you and the porter will be up later to get the bags." Once the porter did come, we went to the lobby and stood around waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Eventually, the tour bus came to take us to the pier. Just as we are boarding the bus, the Princess rep tells the group that we will need our documents out and will go through a TSA type screening to get onboard the ship. Well.....had we known that ahead of time, I would not have packed the items of medical equipment that could not be xrayed in our baggage! I had to search through our bags to find it because I had take it out of our carry on luggage thinking we were done with TSA screenings until we were flying home after the cruise was over. Once at the pier, you were on your own and basically went through the embarkation and clearing process like cattle in the stockade! Finally got onboard and thought okay......from here it should be better! NOPE........first thing was a muster drill. Princess had their crew block the elevators so you could not use them in the muster drill to get to your muster location. OK, I understand you would not normally want to use an elevator in an emergency, BUT..........just exactly HOW is a handicapped person supposed to get down four (4) decks if they are wheelchair bound? We could make it with hubby's cane but there were passengers in wheelchairs, on oxygen, on electric scooters that could not have done it! After the mandatory muster was done, the crew members that blocked the elevators were gone and it was a free for all in trying to get an elevator to take you back UP the four decks. Those same passengers in wheelchairs, scooters and on oxygen were not afforded priority to the elevators. I guess in a real emergency, they would have drowned! Stateroom was cold. Thermostat put out cold air no matter what setting you put it on. The floor from the bathroom towards the bed was often wet so the seal between these two rooms is not sufficient to keep shower water from running to the carpeted bedroom. Dining......We had signed up for anytime dining. Any time you went to get to the buffet dining area, you had to travel through an exposed area and wet decks to get to the dining hall. There, it was so cold, most passengers kept their coats and scarves on or shivered through their meal. The food was mediocre at best in the buffet. Several times, the buffet was closed down to only one side so you had long lines to get to the food. The food in the Michelangelo Restaurant was good. We had reservations for one other night a specialty dining and it was good but even though the restaurant was empty, the staff would not seat us until exactly at the hour of our reservations. We hate to be late and had arrived about 30 minutes ahead of time. I could understand it if it was a busy night and they were already full but the place was virtually empty of passengers! Excursions.....The disembarkation in Juneau was a nightmare! Passengers with handicaps had to travel down a gangway that was at a much too steep angle! The Security personnel walked backwards in front of the passenger's walker or wheelchair to keep it from falling or going down the gangway and toppling the passenger on their faces but it was entirely too steep and dangerous! Once on the pier, their was no instruction on how to meet up with your excursion transport. This may not be the fault of the cruise line but they have the power to tell the port authority or town council that they need to provide better service to the many passengers the cruise line brings to their town. There was very limited covered area for being out of the bad weather....again, the town council could be made aware and fix this if the cruise line wished to be proactive. Skagway was a much smoother disembarkation and experience. The experience going through Glacier Bay was nice and the scenery shots were fabulous! The stop in Ketchikan was short but pleasant for our excursions.....HOWEVER, those same handicapped passengers were left to hike about a mile from the lumberjack show to the pier in a very short time to be back in time to get on the transport to the ship. Not easy for someone who is handicapped. We had misheard our meeting time for our bus to return from our excursion in Victoria, British Columbia. It was our fault and we accept full responsibility for it. As soon as we discovered we had been left behind, we contacted the appropriate personnel and got a taxi to get us back to the ship. We had been told that the booking through Princess for excursions meant you would not be left behind. We were told we would not make it back in time and the captain would sail promptly on time. The taxi driver did his level best and wove in and out of traffic trying to get us back to the ship as fast as possible. We were being constantly called by the ship and asked how far out are you? How in the **ll would we know!? We did not live in Victoria, British Columbia! They were more concerned that we had our American passports than the fact we were doing everything possible to get back as quickly as possible. Yes, it was our fault that this situation existed, but we were told we would be about 5-7 minutes late getting back to the ship. It's a mighty big ocean out there and you cannot tell me the captain could not make up 5-7 minutes! Pilots do it all the time! I even pleaded that they tell the captain that my husband was an insulin dependent diabetic and open heart surgery recovery patient and our insulin was in our stateroom! He continued to say he was sailing promptly on time! I did have a little insulin with me but this callus and cold attitude was absolutely insane! We were not asking for 20-30 minutes......just 5-7 minutes! Will we cruise again.......probably not. Would we recommend Princess Cruiseline.......ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!! Read Less
PrincessCruises3, Social Team, Princess Cruises has responded
Hi Kodosmom, we apologize for your disappointing experience onboard Grand Princess. Our team strives to provide impeccable service to each and every guest, and we are sorry that you did not receive this on your recent vacation. We hope you’ll connect with our team at 1-800-Princess to further discuss your concerns.
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