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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My son chose this Cruise as he had sailed with NCL and Royal Carribean and had nothing but praise for those two companies and the brilliant time I was going to have. He chose it as it seemed comparable with those two companies on price ... Read More
My son chose this Cruise as he had sailed with NCL and Royal Carribean and had nothing but praise for those two companies and the brilliant time I was going to have. He chose it as it seemed comparable with those two companies on price and Marketing jargon but did not live up to the hype. The entertainment was more Butlins than West End, although the theatre was very good and the last show was ok but according to my son, with RC & NCL that happens every night. The food at best was adequate and did not live up to my expectation. In fact, the conversation around our table and talking to other guests was that the standards were not as good as similarly priced competitors. Even the waiting staff agreed that it was a common observation by guests, although according to my son, when you mention this to Princess Customer Services, they deny it all (rather unsurprisingly) My son worked as a chef in top establisments for many years and is quite capable of making the distinction. The crew were very good, the ship was lovely, the public places clean and nice to be in but the whole thing was a bit of a let down for us, as my son felt guilty at encouraging me to come along at a cost well in excess of £1000, a lot for me on my pension ! The cabin was nice enough and served its purpose. I will go Cruising again, but not on Princess, I will take my sons advise and go with NCL next time, suggest you do the same. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a Family cruise of a group of 25. This was a trip in Memory of our Aunt, Sister, Mother, and Grandmother who embarked on her own trip to Alaska years ago by Cruise. Of the 25 only 5 had ever cruised before. We had 4 various ages ... Read More
This was a Family cruise of a group of 25. This was a trip in Memory of our Aunt, Sister, Mother, and Grandmother who embarked on her own trip to Alaska years ago by Cruise. Of the 25 only 5 had ever cruised before. We had 4 various ages of minor children who participated in your children's activities and LOVED it! As adults we enjoyed shows, trivia games, bingo games, casino activity, fine dining, buffet, drinks, ice cream, pizza, fantastic Burger bars. I loved the dancing, comedy, art galleries, shoppingvwas amazing on board and not over priced for t-shirt soveignors, jewelry, BIG bear and Moose only $25. We celebrated 2 children's birthdays and your staff sang and made them feel very important with signs and balloons. The pools were really nice, 2 adult only pools were nice. We had many choices of bar atmospheres. Loved the piano bar, country music, and the dance club for 18 + made it fun for our under 21's to join us. Thank you for a wonderful trip ! Looking forward to cruising again with Princess. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Weather in Washington state has me wanting to go south every winter and this year was no different except my wife couldn't make the trip. This year my sister came along for her first cruise ever and I'm sure many more after the ... Read More
Weather in Washington state has me wanting to go south every winter and this year was no different except my wife couldn't make the trip. This year my sister came along for her first cruise ever and I'm sure many more after the trip we experienced. We flew into Ft Lauderdale and transferred to the ship about 11am and walked in, got checked in and walked aboard, it was that smooth. We took the self guided tour around and gave my sister the lay of the land. The Regal Princess is a beautiful and large ship but even for a first timer, my sister was able to navigate with very few issues. After the tour we had lunch in the Horizon court Buffet. Great layout to accommodate a large group and a variety of dishes to choose from much of which changed each day. The food itself was very good and hot dishes where hot and the cold dishes cold. Anyone who has cruised many times knows that isn't always the case. Service everywhere was outstanding. From the Horizon court to the servers out on deck to out amazing waiter and assistant in the Symphony dining room. We couldn't have asked for more polite and professional servers. We found Milan and Milos, our any time waiter and asst. on the first night and asked for their section each night when we came in. These two men made my sister feel so special from the attention, recommendations, running to gather out wine from vines and evert other small detail they attended to. They will be leaving Regal and going to the Island Princess so if you have the opportunity, ask for them. Our room was fine and pretty much just like all the others, small balcony. For the most part our room steward was fine but didn't see him much. He kept thing clean and beds made. We asked for thing and he got them. Laundry took a bit longer than we anticipated. The Cruise Director Dan is the BEST I have ever experienced. He does an amazing job of entertaining you and keeping you informed without coming across as selling anything but good times. We loved him. Princess Cays was another great day. The island is clean and well organized. Servers took care of your needs wherever you sat and the outdoor BBQ was nice. WE wondered outside the gates and did some shopping with locals and My sister found an Italian leather purse tucked away in the corner of this shop and got it for $20 a real deal. St Thomas is recovering and getting back to its old self but still has a way to go St Marteen has even further to go for recovery but they are working on it. So much damage it may take a couple years to fully recover. All in all it was an amazing vacation. My 17th with Princess and my sisters 1st and I'm sure its her first of many. Thanks so much to the Crew of the Regal princess, we will see you again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I’d never been on a cruise before. I chose Princess Cruises due to recommendations of friends and reading reviews. I wanted to visit Hokkaido as I’d previously visited other parts of Japan. Before the cruise I stayed in Yokohama for a ... Read More
I’d never been on a cruise before. I chose Princess Cruises due to recommendations of friends and reading reviews. I wanted to visit Hokkaido as I’d previously visited other parts of Japan. Before the cruise I stayed in Yokohama for a few days. I took the Airport Express Train to Yokohama and stayed in an hotel there and then took a cab to the Cruise Terminal. Embarkation went smoothly. When I walked through the partition I thought “its like the airport” but no, they have a lot more people processing passengers and I was soon at my cabin with my case waiting for me. The cabin was a lot better than I thought it would be. As a solo traveller my budget only allowed for an interior room. Later on, there was a safety muster and shortly afterwards we were on our way. I didn’t even know the boat was moving and the captain didn’t honk the horn. The only time I heard the horn was when we were in the fog along the western coast of Hokkaido. I had dinner in the International Dining Room most nights at the late sitting (7.45 pm) with a group of other solo travellers. The wait staff were excellent and would make a larger portion, add cream etc. and even bought one gentleman 2 mains. I also ate at the Horizon Court Buffet for lunch or if I was getting up early. Lovely selection of food and I enjoyed making my own sushi. Of course there is the pizza stand, grill, ice-cream counter if you are out and about and want a snack. I ordered breakfast the night before and had it each morning in my cabin. I called room service a couple of times for coffee. All brought in a timely manner. There was a jug in the room with green tea sachets. There is bottled water for purchase at US$2 plus gratuity .30c. Each night I went to the show in the theatre. They were great and on most occasions there were people standing in the aisles. They ask people not to save seats but they do, so go a bit early to avoid standing. I also went to a few lectures, learnt a bit of language and watched entertainers and dancing in the atrium which at times got a bit crowded. Ah… shopping. These days I get more joy putting something out than bringing something in so I only bought a lanyard for my Ship Card. For those who enjoy it there was plenty of shopping, lots of jewellery, artwork etc. and the merchandise on the tables changed regularly. The laundry was a bit poky and I accidentally knocked someone going in but it has the washers, dryers and ironing equipment. I used it only once. Cost about US$7.50 per load. On the final evening we were asked to put cases out around 9pm although some did it later and then out of the cabin by 8 am. I did a debark tour which met at about 8.15. I felt a bit rushed. I wandered around and had a look at some of the other cabin types and saw the oceanview obstructed let in quite a bit of light which I’ll be trying next time. I’m looking forward to my second Princess cruise in Nov/Dec on the Caribbean Princess and will stay in Miami the day the cruise finishes and fly home the next day so I’m not so rushed and repacking/changing some stuff at the airport. Excursions I took 3 Princess Excursions – Kushiro, Korsakov Russia and debark tour in Tokyo. Kushiro – was a bit disappointing as it was raining. When we went on the walk at the observatory about 2 km or so there and back, quite a few just headed straight for the coffee shop. Don’t blame them, the boardwalk was slippery with lots of fallen leaves and twigs, I had to watch where I was stepping. A shuttle bus was offered into Kushiro township for US$10 return. The boat sailed at 2pm so not much time to do something on your own. Korsakov, Russia – I enjoyed this tour. It made 6 stops. The second, bathroom break stop was at a sports centre where they were practising their ice hockey. Locals had a couple of tables of nice Russian souvenirs accepting US$ and JP Yen as well as roubles. With so many stops then you don’t get as much time as I would have liked at various stops. If you didn’t go on the Princess tour you would have needed a Visa. I found “going through customs” on the ship quite novel as well as the ride in the tandem boat. Tokyo Debark tour – This drove past various sights in Tokyo as well as a visit to the Meiji Shrine and Asakusa Temple and shopping area. It was absolutely packed with people being Japan school holidays but it’s a great place to visit but insufficient time to go up to the observation floor of a nearby building. Then we were dropped off at the airport like dozens of others so the lockers were all full and I had to pay for storage of my case for 3h until check-in opened. One small and one medium bag cost me about AUD$10. I then went to Narita township (1 train stop away) as I’d never been there. Otaru – I did my own thing. The map Princess gave me was just a mud map and needless to say I got lost on my way on foot to the station which was about 10 mins away (and the rest). A couple I’d asked assistance of actually drove me to the station which was nearly 10 mins in the car! From there I went to Sapporo for the day and came back to Otaru to visit the Canal area. Apparently in one of the tents on the wharf they had good maps. Hakodate – I did my own thing, assisted by 2 delightful Year 9 schoolgirls who as part of their school project had to assist visitors and practice their English. I have very limited Japanese so that was great. They took me to the PO, put me on a tram to the fortress and made sure I knew how to buy tickets etc. I spent an hour in the gift shop….a group tour would not let me do that! A shuttle bus took passengers into Hakodate for US$10 return. The ship didn’t sail until 11pm. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This being our first cruise we were not sure what to expect. The question remained up until we sailed, what would our experience be like and is cruising for us. I will answer this question at the end of the review. We sailed out of Ft. ... Read More
This being our first cruise we were not sure what to expect. The question remained up until we sailed, what would our experience be like and is cruising for us. I will answer this question at the end of the review. We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale arriving the day before. Transportation to the hotel was provided by the hotel. We had a great meal at a local seafood restaurant and transportation from the hotel to Port Everglades was seamless. Embarkation could have gone any smoother. From the time we arrived at Port Everglade until we walked onto the ship was 45 minutes. Princess has this process down pat. A note to the wise. Ensure you have everything you may initially need when you first board the ship (meds, sun screen, swimming suit, etc.) as it may be a couple of hours before your luggage is delivered to your stateroom. No big deal thought. This gives you time to grab something to eat and start exploring the ship. We entered the ship in the piazza. It was spectacular to say the least. Very clean and well put together. We made our way to the pool deck for a quick meal and to explore the amenities on that level. We were not let down. Several pools and places to sit. The giant screen TV is awesome. At 1:00 we were allowed to go to our stateroom. We had a balcony stateroom for this cruise on the Aloha Deck mid ship. It was very clean and tidy and offered all the space we needed for the cruise. Our cabin steward was the unsung hero of our cruise. He came in behind us virtually every time we left the room to tidy up. if we needed something it was there right away. Most of the time we had what we needed before we even asked. My wife and I considered upgrading to a mini suite for our next cruise but after thinking about it for no longer that we spent in the cabin we would not benefit from it. We were hardly in our room but I will say the balcony was great. A must have. The ship was very well maintained. We always sow several crew members cleaning and ensuring everything was presentable. The service on board is commendable. Even the high traffic areas such as the piazza and pool deck were always very clean. The staff could not have treated us any better. We saw four ports on this cruise. Princess Cays, Bahamas, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. We did on shore excursions at three of the ports. Chairlift/Bobsled/Duns River Falls in Jamaica, Swimming with dolphins and the sea turtle farm in Grand Cayman and zip lining in Cozumel. All three were a blast. I would suggest doing your research into the proximity of the excursion to the port. In Jamaica it was a 1.5 hour ride each way to our excursion in Ochoa Rios. that took up the entire day, This is not fault of Princess in my eyes but it did not leave time to take in more of the culture. More words to the wise. I would highly suggest booking all your on shore excursions through Princess just as we did. We were very well taken care of and not once did we feel unsafe at any point. If you think you can get off cheaper but booking with a local DO NOT be late for departure. The ship will leave you. If you book through Princess they will wait as we found out. Our group was late getting back from our excursion in Jamaica and the ship was there waiting. I can't say enough about the dining opportunities on the Regal. No matter what your taste is you will find it on board. Buffet, casual or formal all were great and the service spectacular. The only entertainment we took in was the tail end of the comedy show. Troy was so funny. Don't miss this show. There were a lot of other opportunities however we spent most of our time on the ship on the pool deck and exploring. The fitness center is well furnished and maintained. nothing like a view over the ocean while working out. Disembarkation is actually planned out very well but took a while. We had to vacate our room by 8:00 AM and it was not until 10:00 we were able to leave the ship and get our luggage. I understand the reasoning behind that though. As I mentioned earlier we were not sure what to expect or if we would even enjoy cruising. Those questions have been answered. This experience exceeded our expectations ten fold. The staff was great, food excellent, excursions a blast and time spent on board very relaxing. To us it beats flying to a resort and spending a week or more at one location. We saw four different countries and met a ton of wonderful people. We enjoyed this so much we have already booked our next cruise with Princess. BRAVO PRINCESS and thank you for such a memorable experience. See you next March. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
It was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it! The ship itself was magical, we especially loved the Atrium and the Open Deck Pool on Deck 14. The Service was amazing! Every member of the crew we interacted with felt like old ... Read More
It was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it! The ship itself was magical, we especially loved the Atrium and the Open Deck Pool on Deck 14. The Service was amazing! Every member of the crew we interacted with felt like old friends. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. The dining was lovely, the ambience created in each dining room and at the specialty restaurants was great. Some of the food wasn't as fresh as we would have liked, some pieces a little more fatty than we were used to, but other than that it was great. The entertainment was great. We watched Pianoman and I've got the Music, as well as the singer, Monique and the Comedian, I can't seem to track down his name anywhere but he was a 62 year old from canada, who has a chinese wife and he was amazing. We loved our shore excursions, especially our market visit and cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City! That was the perfect day! We took a bus into the city and then went on a peddy cab ride through smaller city streets, (this was amazing!) and then we met the chef at the market and she took us around buying ingredients. Then we got an hour to shop at this market as it has a wet market and a souvenir section. (we got lots of great souvenirs and tea sets and tshirts and bags, it was great). Then we met the chef back at the Rex hotel and learnt how to make Vietnamese Spring rolls, the sauce that goes with them and we learnt to make tomato roses. then we did a little sightseeing and headed back. What an amazing day! I know I have already raved about the crew but they were seriously amazing. I couldn't get my hands on enough of those cruise nomination cards on the last day and I miss several members of the crew now that we have left. The day we were at Koh Samui, we used tender boats to get to shore and on the way back, there was a huge line at the dock to get back onto the cruise. It was a hot day and we were all tired. There were a few hundred people all waiting for tender boats and the shelter was full so we were lining up outside the shelter in the heat but the Princess staff managed to even make that a much better experience than it was. They had crew members handing out cold towels and chilled water as well as umbrellas to shield the sun. They also loaded up two tender boats at a time, speeding up the process. I was so impressed by their efforts to make the situation that much more bearable. We loved playing Pyramid at the explorers lounge one night. loved it even more because we won a bottle of champagne! haha. We made some lovely friends, we saw new cities and had new experiences. We loved every minute and we cannot wait for our next cruise experience. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our first ever cruise and we decided to go on the Royal Princess for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive but we loved every minute of it! We started off by spending 4 nights in a nice apartment in ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we decided to go on the Royal Princess for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive but we loved every minute of it! We started off by spending 4 nights in a nice apartment in Holywood, Fort Lauderdale. This place itself was beautiful and ideal for travelling in between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. We did a few of the usual tourist things (Miami Heat, Miami Beach etc.) but most of all just enjoyed relaxing in the Holywood area. One recommendation for Fort Lauderdale if you are staying there pre or post cruise would be the Jungle Queen tour. On to the cruise itself. From the moment we stepped onto the ship we were looked after superbly. All of the staff on board were exceptional and no request was ever too much. Our Cabin was a deluxe balcony. Something we were worried about before coming was having a small cabin and we didn't need to be, There was more than enough room for our huge suitcases and for us to move around. With so much to do on the ship we both said for next time we would look at a smaller room. The design of the room was nice and modern and was well looked after by the stewards. For dining we did a mixture of the anytime dining (food was exceptional, something I know princess have been critised for before), alfredo's (superb pizza) and we tried the buffet one evening. The buffet itself for me was a little disappointing. Don't get me wrong when we went to the buffet at lunch on sea days was very good, lots of variety and surprisingly good quality for a buffet. Just on the evening we went the selection was poor and what we did have wasn't the best. That said we only tried it one night. There was a great mixture of entertainment throughout the cruise, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality and variety throughout the cruise. My personal highlights was the vocal impressionist Tyler Bryce and the Voice of the Ocean finale. I think they may have uncovered a future star with the winner. The on-board band and resident entertainer were also high quality. Also worth mentioned the princess live. Quite impressive to have a TV studio on-board and it was fun getting involved with this. I won't go over all of the ports as already rambled on but two to pick out. A highlight was an excursion in St Thomas where we did the Kayak, Hike & Snorkel adventure at Cas Cay. Would highly recommend the three hour trip, great variety and great guides. It was both fun and educational. On the negative side we went on an excursion in St Lucia that we would not recommend. It was a scenic drive to the sulphur pits, a working plantation and catamaran journey back with a brief stop for a swim. The catamaran element was fun but the rest was tediously boring despite the guides best efforts. The last thing that made our cruise great was the people. We made some good friends on board and was well looked after by the bar staff. In particular worth a shout out to the team at Bellini's (Nemo, Ariel and Val). Service was excellent and they themselves were like a comedy team. Had so much fun. Hope you found this useful. We were first time cruisers and are already looking at booking our next one! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first cruise, selected because we wanted to see Hawaii and Pearl Harbour. We had already been to LA and seen a bit but thought we could go to the Iowa and Queen Mary, which we did... Boarding was quite laborious and ... Read More
This was our first cruise, selected because we wanted to see Hawaii and Pearl Harbour. We had already been to LA and seen a bit but thought we could go to the Iowa and Queen Mary, which we did... Boarding was quite laborious and drawn out, but apparently the norm, and anyway I'd arranged for an expensive bottle of champagne to be delivered to our stateroom outside cabin...or so I thought? We accessed our cabin, which was nice enough and surprisingly spacious, but no sign of the champagne...and when we found the cabin steward, were advised that we should have a voucher (NO)...next visit to the main desk to be told we should have a voucher (NO)..it will be in your cabin...(NO)...after 3 days of being told this, we were informed that they had tried to deliver...Yes wrong cabin....eventually we got it, not the start we expected. The passenger list was aged, with the amount of motorised wheel chairs, buggies, and general support vehicle mind blowing, with ages of 80 upwards....the result of this was an endless stream of shufflers at almost every venue, and the inevitable queues that ensued. Except when it came to various functions on board, when the speed to be at the front of the queues was spectacular...anyway I digress...our luggage turned up long after we had set sail, after many requests, and the hanging space was fine when supplied with extra hangers.... The ship generally looked in good order, fairly clean and well appointed, but as we found out, did not have enough room in the various areas to accommodate the volume of people on board, with even the biggest area, the theatre having have two shows . This theme carried on in every area of the ship, even at the outside cinema, which insisted in showing a vast amount of Nfl American football games, fine for them but not for other passengers... We had anytime dining which worked well in the main, but we found that the dress code was not adhered too with shorts and tee shirts at the tables, even on formal nights, for which we had made an event...we got a glimpse of the captain who was mainly only available for elite passengers, the first class etc. The specialty dining, " extra cost " was generally good, apart from the Crown grill urgh...again with dress code issues, Sabatinis being the best overall. The other bugbear was the card procedures on pre paid "all inclusive ", which entailed handing over your card on every drinks request, even whilst eating a meal...the dress code here was very poor and some waiting staff as miserable as sin... The bars were hit and miss except one...Crooners...they were cheerful and prompt, keeping everyone entertained, but again not enough space, with one passenger deciding to sit in shorts and bare feet up on a chairs reading a book...quite revolting really. The food was generally good, but in the breakfast areas overcrowded with again more miserable staff with the minor exception, we were always polite but clearly not respected. Entertainment was hit and miss but too short, the manager was pleasant and whizzed around the too many small venues, we saw a couple of shows which were good but too short, and this was normal, activities are sparse.. Services are a little indifferent, with some good and others poor, with the main aspects driven by sales, sales, and more sales....no opportunity was missed in selling anything and everything to the point of annoyance. The ports and disembarking was chaotic, and manic, with one port served by lifeboats to the port, which was not pleasant, we had made external arrangements for Honolulu. The final disembarkation was the worst, and had many voices of dissent, which appeared to be normal for Princess cruises....we were happy to get back on shore, safe in the knowledge that this was our first and probably our last cruise..... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
This is the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and it was primarily as a result of recommendations by friends who have all been on various cruises with different providers. Typically we book our hotels and travel independently ... Read More
This is the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and it was primarily as a result of recommendations by friends who have all been on various cruises with different providers. Typically we book our hotels and travel independently choosing hotels and activities which allow us to relax and enjoy some quite quality time in pleasant surroundings with attentive and respectful service. We were admittedly late in booking our cruise with your company as being a little bewildered with the variety of options from different companies we took a long time choosing which unfortunately limited our options. Generally upon arrival things were handled well, check in was prompt and courteous and we found our way to our cabin which, whilst smaller than we are used to, was adequate and clean. At this point I have to commend the cabin steward who was both pleasant and diligent. However what became apparent during our stay was the inadequacy of the bed, the booking clearly stated a queen size bed and literature waxed lyrical about the quality. So you can imagine our dismay to find what we actually had was two beds pushed together. Whilst this might be acceptable if they had been sprung divan bases the beds comprised two metal framed singles with inner wire supports giving a hard and prominent ridge in the middle of the bed where the two metal frames joined. We were told that whilst this was unfortunate nothing could be done to rectify this situation and that we should take this up at the end of our trip with customer services. We enjoyed the setting off and the entertainment on deck as we sailed out of the Hamble. In the evening we went to dinner, having chosen the flexible dining option, and were shown to our table with minimal delay. Unfortunately this was one of the few times we had a smooth transition into the dining room. Generally the staffs were pleasant enough but we were constantly shuttled between deck 5 and 6 each evening which admittedly got a bit wearing and confusing and on more than one occasion we were treated to a rather surly greeting at the dining room entrance before being routed to the adjacent deck which quite clearly implied an “are you too stupid to know where to go” rhetoric. Generally the food in the dining room was of good quality but generally the food was only ever tepid. Only on two occasions could the food be said to be hot, once when I had a fish pie and once when my wife had Escargots. Both my wife and I had wine with our meals and on far too many occasions they kept consistently bringing the wrong Rose wine to the table despite my wife being very clear on the name of the wine she wanted. On one occasion they bought the incorrect wine only to replace it with another glass of the wrong wine. It is accepted that this happens occasionally, but the frequency of occurrence was too high to be acceptable particularly when once they know they have brought the incorrect wine they are then at a bit of a loss what to do about it as the system appears not to allow them to replace the drink as it flags on the system as a dubious purchase too soon after the previous one, thus making it uncomfortable for both the guest and the waiter. I personally have to say that I was not a fan of the bench style seats that most of the 2 person tables utilised against a divider. Certainly they are too low and seat you at a significantly detrimental position to the table for both dining and conversation with your partner. Unfortunately the limited options on tables for two with two chairs meant having to wait long times for their availability. We had considered sharing a larger table but had quickly noticed that guest on tables for more than 2 had to wait until that table had filled before anyone took their orders. Having witnessed one couple waiting 20+ minutes for their table to fill we put up with the bench seats, which incidentally are extremely uncomfortable in a suit. Within a few days of eating in the restaurant we noticed a distinct variability in how quickly, or not, we were attended to. It soon became apparent that, policy or not, the staff were trying to synchronise the rows of two people tables so as to aim to serve certain courses at the same time to all tables and ultimately aim to have the tables finish at about the same time. Not only did this result in some evenings feeling rushed and on others being ignored and hence lengthy meals, it also meant that dishes were coming from the kitchen and sitting waiting for others to come out in what seemed to be a deliberate delay aimed at this synchronisation. Additionally staffing levels in the restaurants seemed to vary quite significantly with some evenings seeming deserted compared to others with the predictable outcome of poorer service levels. On the last formal night my wife and I were seated in the foyer area (another story) and being both dressed smartly but casual decided to see if we could go straight to an early dinner (17:45) rather than get changed into something more formal. The girl at the door point blankly refused suggesting that we should eat at the buffet if we did not want to dress formally and that normal dinner is not accessible otherwise. Dinner is arguably part of the package and to not be able to access it anywhere other than the restaurant which required formal dress on three evenings is unacceptable. Surely it should be that the normal dinner is accessible to guest in a separate area if they do not wish to dress formally? We did get changed and went back down to dinner only to be seated next to two couples, the gentleman both being dressed in slacks and casual shirts one of which was a broad check. Obviously it was quite annoying that the concept of formal dress was being applied in a haphazard way penalising some and allowing others. Dinner on the last evening was nothing short of a fiasco, we were shown to our table which had not been cleared and re-laid. Then it was partly laid and the waiters disappeared. After about 5 minutes I got up and appropriated two water glasses from another table which caught the eye of a supervisor across the room, he came and poured some water. Eventually we got a menu and managed to order. Of note was that we then had to chase to get some rolls on the table and then chase further for some butter. Our ordering caused considerable consternation from a couple two tables down who had been waiting some 20 minutes to have someone give them a menu with the lady having to get up and complain to one of the supervisors before someone attended them. The couple to my right had to refuse water 5 times each time someone would bring them glasses only to take them away when they stated they didn’t require water. They were also told that there was no white wine left which sounded absolutely preposterous but then the couple on my left confided that they hadn’t been given the red wine they ordered despite being reassured it was the same one they had been drinking all fortnight which, this not only was insulting to the couple’s intelligence but also was dishonest. The couple two tables down had to complain further when another couple got their dinner before them despite arriving in the restaurant some 30 minute later. Needless to say despite the large variance in our arrivals all 6 tables were served deserts and coffees at about the same time. On our ship days we ate in the buffet a few times, generally this was a most unsatisfactory experience. At any one time over the lunch period there only ever seemed to be one buffet section from the four available that seemed to be open. Typically lunch meant wandering around until you found a table that was unoccupied, in itself no mean achievement. If you wanted to keep your table you then had to leave something at your table while you got your lunch. Unfortunately if it was something impersonal such as a tray or drink then that did not serve to prevent other people from occupying that table when you were gone. If you had anything bulky that prevented you carrying a tray, such as my wife’s bag or my camera, then you were so far from the active buffet station that you felt that one of you had to stay to look after your valuables while the other went and got their lunch. Then very often you had to walk the length of two buffet areas to join a queue for food which inevitably involved significant jostling and pushing as too many people vied for too little space. Popular items were almost impossible to get to as people competed for that option. Once you had your food, which often took a not inconsiderable amount of time, you then had to walk it back to your table and then your partner could get their food. Invariably by the time you got your food back to the table it was cold as it was only ever lukewarm at the start and you rarely got the opportunity to eat together. If you wanted more or a desert then often while you were eating the buffet station closed and a new one opened so you had to then hunt the current open station before you could eat something else. On one occasion the buffet station closed between my wife getting her food and my subsequent attempt. Quite clearly there was an inadequate amount of facilities for the amount of people resulting in something far from a relaxed or enjoyable dining experience. It was something more akin to how you imagine a cheap package holiday buffet to be but with less seating. Breakfast was a similarly disappointing experience. The quality of some of the cooked breakfast items was poor, in particular the sausages and bacon while other cooked breakfast staples such as mushrooms and fried tomatoes seemed non-existent. In general the breakfast seemed to have been conceived on an American concept of an English breakfast rather than a universal approach. In the mornings most stations appeared to be open but seating was virtually inaccessible. On one occasion we had to sit outside in the rain (fortunately partly undercover) as this was the only place available. Another morning we had to sit outside again, which initially was quite pleasant until the maintenance staff decided to replace and varnish stair and balcony rails in the seating area at around 9:30 - 10:00 am. On a few occasions we had to go and hunt cutlery, condiments collecting what was needed on an ad-hoc basis which as you can imagine was far from enjoyable and resulted in the food becoming cold. Generally the boat felt very crowded and noisy, below decks seating was at a premium and the first few days we were often jostled out of the way by people trying to get to seats being vacated by other guests. Ultimately we learned to be more assertive but that is hardly something you want when you are on holiday. One day we went for a coffee and stood waiting for a table only to be informed by one gentleman that he had been waiting for nearly 30 minutes and there was a couple in front of him. Needless to say we gave up on the idea of a coffee that day. Invariably if you wanted to sit in the foyer area around the piano or coffee bar then there was a wait followed by a burst of running to snag a seat. Things were no better in Crooners or the wine bar. Often the problem was people just using the seats to sit and read or just relax. They could not be blamed for this as there was nowhere else for them to go to do this but it did block access to these facilities. The situation was not helped by selling opportunities organised for “the few”. On an already crowded ship it is reprehensible to close the Explorers Bar for half the day at a time just to sell a few paintings to a handful of individuals. If it had been just the one day it would still have been inexcusable but multiple days is just beyond belief and totally detrimental to the well-being and comfort of the other cruise guest. The overcrowding made itself apparent on a number of evenings. On one in particular we could not get a seat in the Wheelhouse bar nor could we find a seat in the Explorers bar or adjacent lobby area, the Foyer area around the piano was full as was Crooners and the Wine bar. Most evenings meant getting an early meal and then finding a seat before the scheduled diners came out and filled the seats. Because of the lack of seats it made it very difficult to access much of the entertainment. Moving from one area to the other often meant not getting a seat in your target venue when you got there and then finding you had lost your original seat. We tried staying put in one area but there were significant 45 minute plus breaks between much of the entertainment and invariably meant you had to sit through something you were not interested in before something you had waited for came on. We are early fifties and found much of the entertainment on board inappropriate for our age group. Bingo, Sudoku, knitting and sexy legs competitions are not really things that appeal and quite frankly suggest a lack of imagination. The abundance of quizzes in the various bar areas was also of note and clearly suggests a “what can we do cheap and for minimal staff and resource input” approach to the entertainment schedule. One person a microphone and some poor quality slides are far from quality entertainment. In general the day activities had more in common with 1960’s Butlin’s than a luxury cruise experience. Some entertainment was aimed at relaxation, the pianist, a trio and the guitarist but for the most part with all the people jostling for seats and the constant noise of people milling around, talking and using the coffee bar etc. it was like trying to relax at London Victoria station. At no time during the cruise did we get a sense of peace and quiet unless we were in our room. Part way through the cruise we discovered the Sanctuary, then we discovered it was $40 to go in. Clearly Princess are aware of the lack of a relaxing atmosphere on ship as you have spotted an opportunity to cash in on the one option that exist to get some peace and relaxation. Overall much of the entertainment was good but where it mattered, mainly in the theatre and some of the key acts, it was poor. The Gala show was dire, I would like to say that was just my opinion but the resounding lack of applause confirmed otherwise. It was a lacklustre and discontinuous parade of poor quality cameos none of which was well received. In particular the magic was badly executed and lacked imagination with clumsy presentation leaving the audience in no doubt how it was done. The magician stands out for being particularly bad both in the gala show and his separate stage performances. Before his show in the Explorers bar he approached members of the audience about whether they would be willing to partake, in itself commendable, unfortunately when people declined he seem to take it as an affront and was quite rude to them so as to belittle them and infer it was their problem not his as he was superior anyway. I recall his words when someone declined along the lines of “if you had let me finish what I was saying” which is quite curt and easily construed as rude. Generally his act was poor dropping props and messing up tricks, most of which are available in any toy shop these days. The female comedienne was excessively coarse and I am far from being prudish, her act had the air of a working man’s club and at time bordered on inappropriate, mocking of people with physical and mental issues implied or otherwise is inexcusable and not humour. Crudeness is not necessary to make a good comedy act as the male comedian proved being both funny and entertaining without unnecessary toilet humour. Nearly all the entertainment in the Princess Theatre was mediocre and of only 30 minutes duration the longest show being the Gala show which lasted the billed 53 minutes which given the poor quality was one show that would have benefited from being shorter, 53 minutes shorter. The Princess Theatre gave the clearest indication of just how overcrowded the boat was for the provided facilities and entertainments as on more than one occasion we spoke to people who had been waiting >50minutes to guarantee a seat for 30 minute show. During the gala show there were people standing in the aisles and down the sides of the theatre which talking to other guests was repeated for the second show. Yet more guests we spoke to hadn’t seen either show as they were unable to access the theatre due to the lack of space. In addition the layout of the ship and the theatre meant that at the end of each show one half of the theatre streamed out through the Wheelhouse bar. This meant that if you had been lucky enough to snag a seat to enjoy some quieter time with one of the acts you were regularly interrupted by hundreds of people traipsing through the bar all in loud animated conversation. On a few evenings we tried to watch the films shown on the large screen. Once again this proved to be a less that satisfactory experience. The first night we managed to get two loungers and settled down to watch a film. Unfortunately we had to get straight back up again as the loungers are the same ones used by bathers during the day and are still wet. Now having wet clothes we managed to acquire some towels and spread them over the wet loungers. This helped but as we discovered on subsequent evenings it doesn’t take too long for the wet to penetrate up to 4 layers of towels. The routine soon became watch film, change clothes. On one evening we were not served, due to lack of staff available in the screen pool area, for around 3 hours. This also meant that during this time no tables were cleared and plates and old glasses were left on the small tables by the loungers. As like below decks, during the day somewhere to sit/lay was at a premium. We did note that towards the end of the cruise they announced that any unattended loungers would be cleared after 15 minutes not 30 minutes as previous so this clearly wasn’t just a perceived problem. Above decks, where you sat greatly influenced the level of service you obtained. It was not the fault of the staff but clearly they were overwhelmed by request before they even got to the higher decks or to the further extremes. Scheduling of above deck entertainment was poorly thought out with a band or discotheque playing in one area and a film in the other. The net result for many of the positions around the pools was that neither was clearly discernible and just resulted in an irritating cacophony of noise. We did notice that the above decks areas seem little utilised later in the evenings something that obviously pushed people downstairs into the overcrowded lounge areas. On a number of occasions staff cleaned the windows while guest were using the deck areas resulting not only in inconvenience but large wet areas that had to be negotiated and water trickling through the floor from higher sun decks. My wife and I took advantage of all the shore excursions which were of great variability in terms of quality and organisation. We were often surprised at the poor quality of some of the coaches often having dirty seats and curtains, chipped and cracked screens, non-working air conditioning and externally rusty with large holes and corrosion. Being told that the coach has a toilet but that we shouldn't use it as it doesn't really work that well is not really how we expected a tour to start. St Petersburg was most enjoyable with a competent and knowledgeable tour guide. At times it did feel like the tour had been padded to make it last longer as we visited some places twice, once for a look and photo opportunity and then again later in the day to visit a place of interest at the same location. Places visited appeared to be expecting us and we were efficiently and courteously processed in and out of the various buildings. This was in complete contrast to some of the other tours. In Denmark we were not expected at Kronborg and had to stand around like lost children while various discussions and arguments entailed about who would be responsible for us. In Sweden the guide was most condescending, talking to the guest like they were small children and then at lunch again they were not expecting us so we had to mill around in the street while they readied the tables. Eventually they let one of the ladies in so she could use the facilities before finally allowing us all in. Once we sat down we were presented with water that was a mix of sparkling and still as they tried to rapidly fill the jugs from both taps at the same time as they clearly were not ready to receive guest. In Tallinn the guided tour primarily comprised the guide walking us somewhere before inviting us to have a look around and then moving to the next spot. They did take us to the square for coffee and pastries and on arrival the guide extolled the beauty of the square particularly in the sunshine before cramming us all in the basement of an adjacent café where even the waiting staff were getting cross about the lack of space. Poland was the worst experience, the guide had very poor command of English and given a coach full of English speakers was a bad start. He then wore a loudspeaker on his chest which was useless as he proceeded to walk in front of us all broadcasting to any oncoming strangers but not to the group. The visit then moved on to Malbork Castle where the guide informed us we would have a new guide, this did result in a slightly uncharitable cheer from the coach. When we arrived at the castle our guide disappeared and returned with the new guide before regrettably informing us she only spoke Polish. We stopped for an agreeable lunch marred mainly by how tightly packed we were into the hall. Many people had to try and eat with one hand as it was nigh impossible to eat with two given the tightness with which we were seated. When it came to dining on the tours a feature that marred all dining (and some visits) was the bringing together of all tour groups at the same time in the same place. Whilst this is understandable from a catering and logistics point of view, when it comes to rest-room facilities it became a nightmare. On one occasion only having 3 unisex cubicles for around 300 people who have just been eating and drinking suggest a distinct lack of thought to the process. Given this was a feature rather than an exception using the toilet where possible became a fixation of most people on the tours thus detracting from the experience of the visited site. Post tours the return to the ship was often greeted by the inevitable queue to get back on board. In itself not unexpected but not helped by the often bored and discourteous manner of some staff in particular the security staff. In one instance my wife’s passage was blocked by an arm thrust in front of her by one of the security team without a word being spoken or even the benefit of eye contact. When she was finally allowed to proceed it was indicated by the am being removed, a grunt and a wave of the head. At no time did the member of staff acknowledge her, speak to her or even make eye contact. This was hardly the warmest or friendliest welcome back to the boat after a long hot day. Whilst it is appreciated that security is important and there is a need to scan items a part of that process, it was disconcerting to have to scrabble inside the scanner for items that were too light to push aside the screening mats. Often there were no trays to put smaller items in so this became a necessity on more than one occasion while the security team watched impassively. Overall the experience was not a good one. Generally we were left with the impression that the boat was overcrowded. Staff seemed to become less enthusiastic as the cruise wore on, perhaps due to more people than usual? Non restaurant dining was also marred by too many people and too few places to eat. Breakfast was a crowded affair with nowhere to sit and a jostle to get your food. Restaurant dining was spoiled by tepid food, poor seating and an endeavour to synchronise tables. Entertainment was inadequate in frequency and content and all venues overcrowded. The cruise often felt like a poorly run “Costa” package holiday geared primarily to maximise profit at the expense of the guest comfort and well-being. Living on the south coast we are aware of a growing trend to cater for pensioners and a decline in standards associated with that approach to a level perceived by the purveyor as “what they can get away with” as many pensioners have lower expectations of service and quality, this cruise certainly had many of those hallmarks. Given the costs of the total package, the content and quality of the cruise fell way below expectations and represented extremely poor value for money. The excursions were also for the most part of questionable value for money and sometimes felt like you were being taken for a ride figuratively as well as literally. We did take this up with Princess on our return and received a curt reply along the lines of "couldn't care less what you think". Given the package, with everything, cost was not inconsiderable it shows the level of disrespect Princess and Carnival have for their guest. Hope this helps others thinking of cruising for the first time, we certainly will not do it again. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Getting on the ship - We flew into Seattle early Saturday and took Princess shuttle to port. Shuttle was easy to find, lots of Princess employees to take bags and give directions. Waited about 1 hour at port before we were able to board, ... Read More
Getting on the ship - We flew into Seattle early Saturday and took Princess shuttle to port. Shuttle was easy to find, lots of Princess employees to take bags and give directions. Waited about 1 hour at port before we were able to board, so not too long. Ship Cabin - I was expecting a very small room but was happy as it was almost the size of hotel room (I had a balcony, maybe that helped.) There was enough storage to unpack everything. The shower was small but plenty big for one person to use. The bathroom was large enough for me to get ready in the bathroom while the wife showered and vice versa. Ship - The ship had a pool for families in back, 2 pools and 4 hot tubs for everyone's use mid-ship and (for a small fee) an adults only pool and hot tub up front. I had planned on using the hot tub, especially during the nights, but with children playing in the pool and tubs there wasn't a nice quiet time to use them other than before breakfast unless you paid for the adult only area. They had a bar and casino which we never used. Movies outside almost every night, recent releases like The Martian and Star Wars, so if you were willing to put up with the wind and cold it was good. Food - We mostly ate at the buffet due to our schedule. Large selection so you could always get something you wanted. Fruit was very good and fresh while the rest of the menu was ok, good but not great. We did pay extra, $29 each, to eat at the steakhouse for dinner, this was very good and well worth the extra as we had shipboard credits to use. Pizza was open for lunch until 9 or 10 at night and was good. They also had soft serve ice cream and a hamburger/hot dog grill but I didn't try those. I did pay for the all inclusive beverage package. On the days at sea it was good to have but for 4 of our 7 days we were in ports so it wound up being a loss of money for me as you need 6 or 7 drinks per day to break even. If I do this again I will stick to the soda package and pay for any alcohol I drink. Ship decks were plenty big so we could move side to side without being too crowded to view the glaciers or whales as we went back. Activities - Lots of entertainment, especially at night but being early we go to bed early and get up around 4 so I missed most of the music and bar scene. They did have a speaker give 4 sessions about the wildlife and native people of the area which was very informative and worth the hour per session. They had a photography class which was a refresher for me but could be useful depending on your knowledge of your camera. Staff - All the staff were great, courteous at all times despite my first time cruiser 'stupid' questions. The room was always kept clean and lots of staff at the buffet to take your dirty plates and get drinks for you. Excursions - We stopped at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria, pretty standard among all cruise it seems. At Juneau we took a helicopter to Mendenhall glacier and ran a dog sled. It was great and highly recommended with one caveat - $$$. At night we went whale watching and saw many whales in the inlet. Skagway was a railroad ride and visit to Liarsville. Salmon bake at Liarsville was a very good lunch with a little show and gold panning. Ketchikan was a wildlife viewing cruise, no bear sightings but eagles, deer and seals made it a good trip. Victoria was orca viewing in Juan de Fuca strait, couple of people thought it was rough but tour guides said we were lucky as it was calm. I guess if you aren't used to the water it could bother you. Summary - I enjoyed the ports and want to go to Denali sometime so I will probably cruise to Anchorage and visit these same ports to do that but I don't see myself cruising the caribbean or down to Mexico. Lots of people were in the bar watching tv or in the casino but I can do that at home so the non-port days weren't the best. I did have a good time and if I do cruise again it will be with Princess. As a first timer I don't have anything to compare to but everything was good and I would hate to switch to try to find something better and wind up being disappointed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This extended family of 8 cruise was my mother's wish to celebrate her 80th birthday. As first time cruisers, my husband and I were already wanting to do it again before we disembarked! We can't say enough about the ... Read More
This extended family of 8 cruise was my mother's wish to celebrate her 80th birthday. As first time cruisers, my husband and I were already wanting to do it again before we disembarked! We can't say enough about the Discovery/Animal Planet Whale Watching excursion with Gastineau Guiding. Amazing! The room steward, Edgar, was so pleasant and always around even though we are not high maintenance guests. The ship was clean and the crew polite. The dining menu was a little too fancy for our 10 year old. I would have rated this a 5 except for a couple things. There was one server in the Da Vinci Dining room that was trying to hurry us out. We had anytime dining and were not able to arrive until 9pm due to a unanticipated late 8:00 return from an excursion scheduled through Princess. We were also not pleased with the kids programming at Shock Waves. We registered my 10 year old upon booking. We received a schedule of events the 1st night. We signed her in 3 different times on different days for scheduled events. Upon signing her out, none of the 3 scheduled events actually occurred. The kids were just allowed "free play". We purchased a photo package on the ship that included a flash drive. Upon returning home, 6 of the 10 photo files were corrupted. BUT, we called Princess explained our situation, the photo department contacted us right away. We emailed them the required information and got a new flash drive in the mail 3 days later! Now that is customer service done right! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Embarkation at Seattle: Easy. Line always kept moving. Room was ready when we got there. Service: Exceptional. I’m not one who usually goes for being “pampered,” but I felt like a king (or a prince since this is Princess ... Read More
Embarkation at Seattle: Easy. Line always kept moving. Room was ready when we got there. Service: Exceptional. I’m not one who usually goes for being “pampered,” but I felt like a king (or a prince since this is Princess Cruises?). Our steward was helpful and always seemed to be around…but never hovered. Wait staff was amiable and professional. Top notch all around. Food: Ranged from average to excellent. Two great meals in the Crown Grill (loved the filet mignon!) and had good food in the MDR (hello salmon! And I’m still having dreams about you, Fettuccine Alfredo!). Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe was standard buffet food, pretty much what I expected (how ‘bout some berries in the morning, please?). And what’s with the nickel and dime charge for gelato at the International Cafe? It’s good, but not worth paying extra. We did Anytime Dining because we didn't want to stick to a rigid schedule. Well, we learned it really should be called "Anytime Dining but reservations highly encouraged!" So, we decided what time we wanted eat dinner in the morning and made a quick call to the Dine line for reservations. Facilities: Loved all the open areas, walking around the Promenade Deck, Skywalkers Lounge, Terrace pool area. The piazza is beautiful. Most of the time, the ship never felt crowded (and that’s good because I’m not a “crowds” person). Some issues finding seating in Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe at peak times (mainly from people taking up tables who weren't actually eating). Onboard Activities: Alaska is so port-intensive, we were sometimes too tired. But we did go to several performances (“Magic to Do” musical and 70’s music show) and liked them. Tried our hand at trivia…fun time. Attended the culinary demo and galley tour…fascinating. Watched the finale of “Voice of the Ocean”—some talented passengers on board! Ports: Juneau--ate at Tracy's King Crab Shack, did Harv & Marv's whale watching, and went to Mendenhall Glacier. Skagway--did Frontier Excursion's Yukon Discovery Tour. Glacier Bay scenic cruising--AMAZING! Ketchikan--Island Wings Misty Fjords flightseeing tour. Victoria BC--took the shuttle bus and walked around downtown. Found something to love in each of the ports! Disembarkation at Seattle: bit of zoo, but I guess that’s usual? We did Express Walk Off and would do it again. As first-time cruisers, we weren't sure what to expect. We loved it! Will definitely cruise again! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We really wanted to do the Alaska Inside Passage Cruise. We booked Princess as they seem to fit our needs the best. We booked a mini-suite, as we preferred a certain side. If you are considering an Alaska cruise, a balcony is a must, as ... Read More
We really wanted to do the Alaska Inside Passage Cruise. We booked Princess as they seem to fit our needs the best. We booked a mini-suite, as we preferred a certain side. If you are considering an Alaska cruise, a balcony is a must, as with the Alaska Cruise, you miss pool-lounging time around the pool, due to cold temperatures. We enjoyed whale-watching from our balcony. With the exception of the excellent food and service at Sabbattinis, we found the anytime dining a bit underwhelming. We often chose the buffet so we could pick and choose our needs. The buffet at breakfast was my favorite. In reading reviews leading up to our cruise, Princess shows were not highly regarded, however, we thought they were most excellent. They do a rendition of the Voice which was very fun. For the most part, staff was also a bit stuffy. Our steward was fine, but some diner staff and customer service staff missed the mark, as it appeared they would rather be doing something else. This included a little 'exchange' with a customer service deskperson about adding an addition water pkg to our room. When we requested to see a Supervisor because his unwillingness to offer a solution, he accused us of making him feel like a cockroach. All in all we really enjoyed the Cruise. The beauty of Alaska added to that. This was our first cruise and perhaps it's a lesson in expectations. We look forward to cruising again, perhaps on a warm weather cruise that offers more things to do on the ship. There were times at sea where I was a bit bored. I also wish the gym opened earlier - 7am is late for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my first experience on a cruise. Once on the ship I was amazed at how helpful and polite the entire staff was. Ivana and Lloyd were extremely courteous and attentive to our group. I wish I had got their lasts names to commend them ... Read More
This was my first experience on a cruise. Once on the ship I was amazed at how helpful and polite the entire staff was. Ivana and Lloyd were extremely courteous and attentive to our group. I wish I had got their lasts names to commend them personally. The entertainment from the violinist and company was amazing. I enjoyed hours of their music. The food in the Michael Angelo dining room was good. I was disappointed in the food on the buffet. The stops we made were well organized and we left each stop on time. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise and again the staff was fantastic at their jobs. Embarking and disembarking was very well organized and we made it to the airport with plenty of time. I would definitely recommend this cruise line to family and friends. I was expecting more shops, there were a handful and not much variety. The shows in the Princess theater could have been better. Weather was beautiful! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first cruise and we really, really enjoyed it. The Crown Princess is definitely showing some age, but they keep everything clean and tidy. Embarkation was smooth and we got there early enough to be near the front of the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we really, really enjoyed it. The Crown Princess is definitely showing some age, but they keep everything clean and tidy. Embarkation was smooth and we got there early enough to be near the front of the line, even though our cruise was almost 3 hours late to set sail due to over 500 late arrivals! It ended up being a gorgeous sail away, the sun was setting across Vancouver as we left the port, those pictures are some of my favorites. The food left something to be desired in my opinion, the buffet food was almost inedible, we tried it twice and just didn't bother to go again, it tasted like cheap cafeteria food that's been sitting under heat lamps for hours. We ended up paying to eat at the steakhouse and Italian restaurant more often because the food quality was FAR superior to the buffet and dining rooms. We splurged for the gourmet coffee stamp card, we used almost all the stamps and looked forward to a delicious, fancy hot coffee to enjoy on the deck everyday. We didn't catch any on board entertainment because the BEST show was happening outside!! The views were jaw-dropping and I just couldn't tear myself away to see a cheesy cruise ship show... Maybe next time i'll try one? Movies under the stars was just too cold to endure at night, even with the blankets and hot cocoa. The ports were fantastic, we were like kids on Christmas morning every time we got to a new port, we couldn't wait to explore. We did the train ride in Skagway (WOW!!) and Zip-lining in Ketchikan.. so fun! We also did the tram ride up the mountain in Juneau and did a little hike when we got to the top. We would 100% do this cruise again (and we plan on it!) Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was a 2nd cruise on the same line and a very similar itinerary (no stop in San Francisco this time) but on a different ship (Island P 4 years ago). Experience was very poor and one wonders if Princess's standards can drop so ... Read More
This was a 2nd cruise on the same line and a very similar itinerary (no stop in San Francisco this time) but on a different ship (Island P 4 years ago). Experience was very poor and one wonders if Princess's standards can drop so much in that time. Here is a highlight of the things that weren't good: Well over an hour to check in and get onboard (no waiting in between the two, just standing in line all the time). And this was at delayed boarding time. Much could be done to streamline the process, if Carnival Corp. so chose to. Overworked, tired staff who were marginally surly as a result (probably up all night getting the ship ready for U.S. clearance and inspection - the ship had spent the winter in South America and had just come up for the season) especially on the first night or two. Ship and staff should have had a day's break. Managers that did their best to avoid eye contact with you. Cruise Director hardly made any announcements until last full day - presence almost undetectable insufficient dining room staffing (only 1 out of 3 open for breakfast, lunch and tea that led to long queues and long wait for some, and somewhat inept service - such as getting your jams long long after pastries arrive, long waits for the featured breakfast item - over an hour for breakfast one day) traditional dining room staff barely had enough time in between seatings to set up so second sitting was always late Our reserved/guaranteed and assigned table for 2 became a table for 6. Fortunately the other people we were seated with were very nice and we chose to keep company with them for the next 3 evenings Entertainment was pretty lame. We had come off a 16-night voyage on a container ship a week earlier and no entertainment on the CMA CGM Libra was preferable to the pathetic offerings on the Star Princess No Captains Circle events for the lowly tiers (Gold and Rubys - did see a higher tier have an invitation) - and this despite the boarding day in-cabin Captain's Welcome Back card promise for an event later on in the cruise. Not even some recoqnition or an explanation that it was a short cruise. Very overcrowded fitness all morning. Maybe these short cruises aren't full of lard bottoms. No luggage offloading services unless you had bought a cruise line tour or transfer. Some plusses Canadian entry was very low key and absolutely no formal entry process except filling the customs form early on in the cruise. Cabin (C514) was very good - though small per Princess standards. Lots of wasted space. Probably the best balcony level as it offers the most space and some modicum of privacy from cabins above without sun blockage. Food was quite good, when the kitchen could keep up. BEST QUOTE Breakfast time in the dining room usually closed at 0930 on sea days but 0900 on the port day in Victoria. Some people came that day a little late at ~0907 and were turned away and directed to the Horizon Court. His comment: "I guess we'll have to head for the troughs" Very good value because we were using it for repositioning to get home. As far a cruise vacation goes, highly NOT recommended Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
After a disappointing start with a later embarkation due to extra sanitation onboard and all the negative reports through the media in regards to Norovirus, we ended up having a really good time on the Golden Princess. We have not cruised ... Read More
After a disappointing start with a later embarkation due to extra sanitation onboard and all the negative reports through the media in regards to Norovirus, we ended up having a really good time on the Golden Princess. We have not cruised before so have no idea how this ship compares to others. Service around the ship was consistently attentive other than the rude boffins in the internet lounge. Points to note: * Hats off the staff for the incredible job they do making getting on and off at ports so well organised. and Hats off for putting up with the constant stupid questions and whining from the small minded minority. * Unsure why we are chrged gratuity surcharge on purchases including drinks when ship runs in AUD. Surely we can choose if we wish to pay gratuities?? * Unimpressed with the shops onboard - but I wasnt there to buy things so it didnt bother me. * Room steward was attentive * I have no idea why so many people choose to eat in the buffet as the restaurants were easy to get into and far better service and food quality. We were impressed with the selections. * we were cruising to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary so we did find it hard to socialise on board as most patrons were a lot older. * we found the shows cheesy and aimed at older patrons. We were happy sitting in a bar listening to the houseband or joining in trivia etc * we enjoyed the art auctions and found them informative. All in all we would cruise again with Princess and recommend to others. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
4 day cruise to Albany and back was fantastic on the Sun Princess. Went with a group of about 90 for a family 50th. I spend 6 months of year flying around the world staying in hotels etc for business so see a lot of hospitality. This ... Read More
4 day cruise to Albany and back was fantastic on the Sun Princess. Went with a group of about 90 for a family 50th. I spend 6 months of year flying around the world staying in hotels etc for business so see a lot of hospitality. This was our first cruise and found it above average for staff friendliness, efficiency of embarkation and debarkation at Fremantle, and the quality of food / drinks and service. Plus a reasonable price. Balcony cabin was fine - maybe bathroom a bit small and low water pressure. Seated dining and buffet both had plenty of choices and quality of food good. Plenty of entertainment if you wanted it ( we only saw the comedian who was OK and didn't take any shore excursions) , otherwise a relaxing drink or two or three could be had at any of the numerous bars. Will definitely do another cruise. Although mid fifties this dispelled my notion that cruise are for old people ! Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Having read a couple of negative reviews I feel compelled to balance it, in favour or Princess who, in our opinion were impeccable. There is one recent review that frankly after reading the 6th sub heading I stopped, and it says to me ... Read More
Having read a couple of negative reviews I feel compelled to balance it, in favour or Princess who, in our opinion were impeccable. There is one recent review that frankly after reading the 6th sub heading I stopped, and it says to me nothing in this world would seem to please that person. For us - the service was second to none - the food was outstanding - the cabin was admittedly tiny, but then we expected that, and the sea wasn't 'knocking us from wall to wall' although it was unusually rough, but is that really Princess's fault!! The beds were incredibly comfy, and my pillow was perhaps the cosiest I have ever had in a 'hotel' style environment. Our only niggle is the 2 pools are too small for 3.5k guests, but then it is a boat!! Having said that we feared a mad scramble for sun beds, and there were enough to go around, and incredibly it wasn't crowded either. Theatre shows - amazing!! West end standard. Alcohol - a bit expensive, but we knew that, so were grateful we didn't over indulge. NEVER saw a drunken person once! We chose to eat 'anytime' dining, and apart from the first night which coincided as my 50th birthday too (where we ate in Coral), we ate in the Horizon buffet every night and we couldn't fault the choice, or quality of food. We didn't do the formal nights as frankly dressing up and trying to be something we're not wasn't our thing and some sites were to be best forgotten!! Guys from across the pond - a 'please' and 'thank you' in customer services goes a long way, and believe me, gets noticed when it's short coming!! I was astounded at the amount of times I heard a demand for food or drink with neither word at the beginning or end of the request. The waiters may be waiting, and most were from many different parts of the world, but they didn't need to constantly be made to feel servile. More so to witness hats being worn at dinner and many not making the least bit of effort to dress for dinner, even if it was just casual dress was disappointing to see. Princess actually ask that guests wear what they would do for a casual dinner - SO, a lot of you go to dinner in short shorts and scrappy T-Shirts do you??? So - in summary, where those choose to put down a company who I believe actually couldn't really have done much more than they did, perhaps if only the company could do a review about the customers, about trying their best to please people who in truth simply will moan at anything, then that would be a review worth reading!!! As they can't - I've done it for them. For the reasons above cruising isn't for us, based on being surrounded by people who want to eat and be lazy all day every day (the sites we witnessed proved that one!!). Perhaps there wasn't enough food guys! I am English - though you would have worked that out I'm sure. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
My first cruise, I didn't have much time to research before booking, but I was very happy with the Regal. It's a nice ship, big but did not feel too big to me. Many of the other in-depth reviews on here about the boat, it's ... Read More
My first cruise, I didn't have much time to research before booking, but I was very happy with the Regal. It's a nice ship, big but did not feel too big to me. Many of the other in-depth reviews on here about the boat, it's layout etc are pretty accurate and helped with knowing the boat before I got on board and also in knowing some of it's hidden features. Some point form notes on things: - Enclave spa - first spa experience for me - was nice, clean and overall pretty good. I really don't think the dry sauna was working - despite the staff saying it was, it was cooler sometimes than the main area. On another day the pool was a bit cool, but could have been from high use as it was busy. The value is ok at $149, but to me it felt more like $99 would have been fair. - Crown grill - AWESOME - make sure you go if you like steak and seafood. One tip - it's all you can eat, so if you want 2 lobster tails, order two :) The food is really good, I did not try a dining room out, the Horizon Buffet, Alfredo's and Crown were all I needed and I enjoyed them all. At the buffet, walk all around both areas, and the hallway in between where they hide cheeses, shrimp cocktails and more. I was in cabin A732 on the Aloha deck (12) - Deluxe Balcony (DD) really nice room, the bed was comfortable, and bathroom were fine. Some people have complained about the shower size. I'm not a small guy at all and I thought it was fine. One note I do have about being at the back or Aft of the boat is the vibrations from the props - they really do move things - like someone shaking your bed a bit. Not noise so much as the physical movement. It was more than I expected (first time cruiser) and for the first couple nights I did not sleep well. Then I picked up some Advil PM and started taking that each night which helped me sleep through the night. So if you are a light sleeper or are not used to vibrations I would get a room mid-ship for sure. The "ocean" motion of the boat did not bug me in this room, but we had light seas in my opinion, but I can defiantly see how being higher up in bad seas would get things moving :) On the plus side, I really like the location of the room in relation to the elevators and stairs, it was a quiet area of the boat and very few people walking by as it's the back of the boat :) The internet speed was pretty good (for sea based internet) as there is a wifi repeater right at the door in the hallway. The in-room TV was great with good on-demand movies, handy for those lazy mornings. My room steward John was awesome. Room was always in great shape and was friendly. I was on the boat during Spring Break so there were a lot of people and kids (busiest the boat had ever been from what I heard). so it was a different crowd I think than what would normally be on the boat. I'm 40, and it felt like the boat was really built to cater to the 60+ crowd - from the decor, names, features etc. So as a single solo cruiser I would like to try it again in a not so busy time, but I do wonder if the crowd might be a bit older than I'm looking for. Getting on and off the boat was fine. Getting off, from the time I stepped onto the gangway to the time I got in a taxi to go to FLL airport (take a cab, skip the overpriced shuttle bus princess offers) it was only $13 from the docks to the airport. Was about 30 minute and about 10-15 minutes to get to the airport. So don't worry about being off the boat too early. I got off at 8AM for a 11:20 flight and was there with way too much extra time :) Value was good, other than Princess charges 200% for singles which is too high IMO. 150% would be more fair. For a couple the value for what I paid would be really good. I would cruise Princess again for sure, and from my experience I will be cruising again in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our very first cruise, and we went as part of a family vacation with family members that are seasoned cruisers. We were quite impressed with the excellent service from all the hard working staff onboard. Embarkation went smoothly, ... Read More
This was our very first cruise, and we went as part of a family vacation with family members that are seasoned cruisers. We were quite impressed with the excellent service from all the hard working staff onboard. Embarkation went smoothly, and our cabin was ready shortly after we boarded. The ship is beautifully decorated, and we especially liked the grandeur of the piazza. We found the pools to be a tad small for the size of the ship though, especially the terrace pool. On embarkation day, we had lunch at Alfredo's. Excellent thin crust pizza, and you absolutely must try the veal agnolotti! Our group was signed up for traditional dining in Allegro. While the service was excellent, DH and I found the food to be underwhelming. Dishes came out quickly, but they were rather bland in terms of taste and appearance. Not to be mean, but it felt a bit like fancy retirement home food. The buffet at Horizon Court really exceeded our expectations though, so we ended up having the vast majority of our meals on the terrace. The selection was impressive, and the everything we had was fresh and flavourful. The pastry shop had a great selection of sugarless treats, and I liked that the portions were small, so you could sample a few different treats between a few people. We tried the afternoon tea in the Concerto dining room on our last sea day, and we really enjoyed the warm scones with cream and jam, various finger sandwiches and cakes, although the tea itself was kind of meh. We didn't really partake in any of the shows, casino, or onboard entertainment. It seemed geared towards an older crowd (for reference DH and I are in our early 30s) but Movies Under the Stars was a fun way to end the night, and there was a decent selection of movies and television shows on the tv in our cabin. Overall, we this first cruise was a very positive experience. Great itinerary, even though we missed out on Princess Cays because of the weather. Excellent service, mostly excellent food. Not sure if cruising is really for us. We prefer to travel for exploration and adventure, rather than leisure, and we like to experience a place in greater depth than a few hours in port allows for, but Princess Cruises did provide a wonderful first experience. Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Was pleasantly surprised that the complaints about the Emerald Princess were rectified for our stateroom D727 and throughout the ship. I did here people complaining about some of the most nitnoid items that I had to laugh. To the 19 ... Read More
Was pleasantly surprised that the complaints about the Emerald Princess were rectified for our stateroom D727 and throughout the ship. I did here people complaining about some of the most nitnoid items that I had to laugh. To the 19 year old chubby boy whose day was ruined because the plate in the Horizon Court buffet wasn't hot and to the 40 year old lady who pitched a fit in Cafe Caribe because the coffee was brewing and she "didn't think she should have to walk 15 feet to another station" - get over it. There are more of these types but I won't bore you with them here. And these are the people who will write Nast reviews here. Background - we travel solo extensively throughout Europe and the service on this cruise was equal or better than what we expect - so no complaints at all. 1) Karn, our steward, was very welcoming and efficient and kept the room in tip top shape. 2) all of our servers were very engaging and fun from risqué jokes to card tricks to remembers our names. 3) food was great, well presented, tasty and warm. 4) essentially while on the ship everything that was promised was delivered. Now - we are in a digital age and Princess has to catch up as their pre-cruise information sharing is horrendous. "Additional Charges Apply" is NOT an acceptable answer when I'm looking for the cost of a beer, the charge for the Crown Grill, or the charge for the thermal spa package. Knowing that prices can change is one thing but Princess should be able to come up with a price list on the website maybe 2 weeks before the cruise. Also when a booked customer sends an email requesting this information the at the minimum should get a response! Princess GREAT job on the cruise HORRIBLE job with getting information to this first time cruiser pre-cruise. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was out first cruise. We were a family of 4 with two balcony rooms side by side on the Aloha deck. This was great for us as we were just below the pool deck, teen club and Horizons food court. The cabins were in good condition and ... Read More
This was out first cruise. We were a family of 4 with two balcony rooms side by side on the Aloha deck. This was great for us as we were just below the pool deck, teen club and Horizons food court. The cabins were in good condition and we had an excellent cabin steward. We choose anytime dinning and had no problems getting seated. We would go early most nights but did go late a couple of times. Plan on spending at least 2-3 hours for dinner, service was a little slow. Sabitinis would be open for lunch some days serving pizza. I would recommend this. The shows that we went to were good. We went to 2 comedy shows and 2 shows featuring the ships performers. There was also a The Voice competition that was entertaining. There was things going on everyday on the boat, just pay attention to the planner they leave you everyday. We did get one moving in under the stars. During sea days we would spend it on the pool deck. I liked the splash deck at the front of the boat. Less people but a little more wind. The service at the pool / Lido deck is questionable. You would have to flag a waiter down to get something. I would just go up to the bar most times, much faster and the bartender also have better personalities. The children had a good time at the teen lounge. It was a great place for them to meet the other teens on the boat. We had a good time at the ports. We only did shore excursions in Limõn and Ocho Rios. In Limōn we did went to the canal and rain forest. Seen a bunch of wildlife. Great tour. Ocho Rios we did Mystic Mountain, the bobsled ride and Dunn River Falls. I think it would have been better if it wasn't so crowded. The Regal Princess was diverted to the island and was there the same day as us. In Aruba we went to Palm beach an relaxed. Took the city bus. In Columbia we got a taxi for the day. $100 for the day. The driver would get out and walk with us telling us about the city. Well worth it. He didn't speak good english, but the children speak Spanish and would translate for us. We just stayed on the boat in Panama. Going through the canal is a pretty cool deal. You receive a certificate for a partial Panama Canal transfer. Getting on and off the boat at all location was a breeze. Overall we had a great time. Not having been on another cruise we have nothing to compare it to, but can't complain. I would do another cruise on Princess. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This cruise was top notch. Beautiful ship, wonderful staff, and excellent guests. Everyone was so nice and accommodating. The food was wonderful and endless and the variety was great. The staff was phenomenal and so were the shows and ... Read More
This cruise was top notch. Beautiful ship, wonderful staff, and excellent guests. Everyone was so nice and accommodating. The food was wonderful and endless and the variety was great. The staff was phenomenal and so were the shows and entertainers. The entertainment on this ship was better than I ever expected - they were all perfect! And the balcony cabins were incredibly spacious. People made me nervous talking about cruise cabins but they were great! Also, the staff was actually really great at getting people to come and STAY at events which makes everything more fun! I was worried about cruising and went with my in-laws (who have all cruise multiple times before) and I can't wait to go back. I can't rave enough about the Regal Princess. What a perfect anniversary vacation. The ONE thing I will say was confusing was how some floors were not all the way through - if that makes sense. For instance, we had to go the the Allegro dining room on Deck 6 but you couldn't get to it strait from the elevator. You had to get off the elevator and walk down 1 flight of steps. Not a big deal, just confusing at first and that only happened with 2 decks I wanted to go on. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Cruise ship was in poor maintenance, toilets constantly backed up, rusty and dirty balcony. Blanket had brown stains on it, the television was placed such that the remote did not work properly, the buffet was lousy, particularly the ... Read More
Cruise ship was in poor maintenance, toilets constantly backed up, rusty and dirty balcony. Blanket had brown stains on it, the television was placed such that the remote did not work properly, the buffet was lousy, particularly the breakfast selection. Two of our three destinations were cancelled, one due to engine trouble with the ship. But by far, the worst aspect of the cruise, was the customer service. Easily the worst customer staff I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing. Constantly making promises that were never met, claiming supervisors/management would be in contact with us concerning our issues. None of these things ever happened. The only compensation given for all these issues was a paltry $50.00 credit, and a credit towards a future cruise booking, which we won't be using. Apparently their idea of compensation for such a poor experience is the customer giving them more money. Company and staff refused to take ownership of any of the problems, and the story was different depending on which person you spoke to. We will be booking all of our future cruises with a different cruise line. The only positive parts of the cruise were that embarkation and disembarkation from ports of call were very easy and went quickly. Read Less
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