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Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: October 2013
The muster drill was a preview of coming attractions. Not a single other couple under 50... and that's being generous. We met 2 other couples our age (around 30) and saw a handful of others. The onboard entertainment catered to the ... Read More
The muster drill was a preview of coming attractions. Not a single other couple under 50... and that's being generous. We met 2 other couples our age (around 30) and saw a handful of others. The onboard entertainment catered to the target demographic (majong, knitting, etc). After the stage shows, the director was literally begging people to go up to the night club. We went once and saw 5 people in there. I really brushed up on my ping pong. The worst part were the days at sea. 10 or so of them. The weather was not great, and I think we only had 1 day of sun on the way back. Then, when you actually get to the islands, you're arriving at around 8 and have to be back on by 4 usually. Hardly any time for anything. Even on Kauai, which is dinky, you have time to go one way or the other, snorkel or hang out at a beach for a couple hours, then head back. Customer service was also horrible. The wait staff and room service were great, but the pursers were awful. We brought on 2 bottles of port wine because the agreement stated 1 750ml bottle per passenger of wine. They confiscated it and told us it's because it's fortified. They then went on to say that they've had this problem or misunderstanding before and that it's a "gray area" in the policy. Why as the customer am I being penalized for a gray area in your corporate policy? After going to the purser 3 separate days and speaking to manager upon manager, they offered a credit which did not cover the cost of the 2 bottles but I still don't see why that was such a battle. If you want to cruise the islands, fly and cruise from there. Don't waste all your time out in the middle of the Pacific. I'll not be cruising Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
What a relaxing vacation on the Star Princess!We started in Rio and ended in Ft Lauderdale, for a whirl wind of a cruise. The food was very good, more so in the specialty restaurants, but the buffet wasnt that bad either. We met a great ... Read More
What a relaxing vacation on the Star Princess!We started in Rio and ended in Ft Lauderdale, for a whirl wind of a cruise. The food was very good, more so in the specialty restaurants, but the buffet wasnt that bad either. We met a great couple traveling on their 3rd cruise with Princess and it was such a delight going to the theatre with them to see the productions shows and guest entertainers. One entertainer- Nicole Cardona- sticks out especially! Such a voice and stage presence. Her show was so entertaing and sooo much fun! Ive never seen a woman sing Michael Jackson before and she does it! My husband was brought up on stage and danced with her during a Latin song. It really made his night!The staff on the ship was very friendly and was always happy to help when we needed anything. All in all, a great vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
We arrived in FLL airport on November 14th at 1130AM, and were at the port by 12PM. Easy and smooth embarkation. We were given orange "number 1" cards and grabbed a seat near the entryway to paradise (in reality, an oversized ... Read More
We arrived in FLL airport on November 14th at 1130AM, and were at the port by 12PM. Easy and smooth embarkation. We were given orange "number 1" cards and grabbed a seat near the entryway to paradise (in reality, an oversized cubicle wall that would give Dilbert heart failure, which separated us from the convention style desks marked with deck designations). After a 40 minute wait, our "number 1" cards were called and we cavorted through the cubicle. After a quick processing and interrogation by Helga the Terrible (check in)we were in our cabin by 1 PM. In all seriousness, the embarkation staff were wonderful. We called the dine line immediately at 1 PM to get a spot at the Holy Grail of all princess cruises, the Chef's Table. A nice fellow named Icky (yes, that was the name he gave me) took our information and lack of allergy needs, and told us we would hear from his office about whether we would be attending the event. I felt like we were aspiring Hollywood actors, and Icky the agent had just told us "Don't call us, we'll call you." Since I had called by 1 PM, I thought we had the part. That'll teach me to be so smug, but later on that one. Oh yes, I also had Icky book us at the Crown Grill and Sabatini's, per the advice of my well travelled CC peers. Apparently, those shows were hard up for even bad actors, as we got in at both without issue. Armed with special knowledge from the CC boards, my DW and I marched to the Pursurs desk to ask which dining room was open for lunch. We were told that they were all closed. Hand to the side of my face, I confided in the Princess Rep that we had special knowledge that one DR was indeed open, all she had to do was tell us which one, and we wouldn't let the secret out. She again said none were open. Fine then. I collected myself and decided to investigate this one on my own, DW shaking her head sadly behind me. The first DR we came upon was the DaVinci, and low and behold, staff was in there and pax were seated at tables! I marched in triumpant and asked to be seated. "Sorry sir, we are closed," was the reply. How could this be, my inside info was wrong! "Sir, we closed at 2:30, it is now 2:45." Yes, I was so secure in my knowledge that I forgot to think "lunch" had an expiration time. I guess that's when "dinner" starts. Oh well, off to the buffet and a shrimp fest that would make Red Lobster blush. The next heavy lifting activity was the Muster Drill. I was confident in the knowledge that I could handle a life jacket, and quite certain the proper direction to abandon ship was down, so I wanted to skip this one. I had read on CC that the crew hadn't gotten the card scanning thing down at the muster stations, so I could get away with it. My DW, however, pointed out that the Muster flyer said this was REQUIRED BY LAW, so my logic was a bit flawed. Of course, I took a stand on this one, as all husbands must......You know what, they DO scan cards now. I realized this as we entered our muster stations during the drill. Did you know that a human female can speak the words "I told you so" with just a glance? Sailaway was breathtaking. We found the CC secret spot above the bridge. Just as we arrived at the first door from the Lido deck to this spot, DW said "I don't think we are meant to go through here." I confidently opened it and looked down a short, dismal hallway to another nondescript door. She KNEW we shouldn't go through that one. I did anyway and we were there! Best view on all sides, high above the ship, spectacular. And for the first time on this cruise, I was actually right! I tried to bask even slightly in my glory, because it might be my only chance. We passed the Allure of the Seas on the way out, and that ship is huge. I managed to get some great camera shots of the Allure, setting sun, and planes taking off from FLL above. Ah, the sights and sounds of sailaway, and the anticipation of a great week at sea. I won't forget it, at least not until we take our next cruise. Dinner that evening was to be our first taste of specialty dining, the Crown Grill. We had reservations at 6 PM and arrived 10 minutes early, so we opened the front door and walked right in. Ooops. The place looked deserted, with maybe one chef in the back and no one at the podium up front. That prompted me to keep walking in further. I realized after a bit that I was now alone, as DW had stayed cautiously by the front door, perhaps sensing impending danger or outright doom. From out of the elegant, dimly lit atmosphere, or shadows, came a huge fellow with a Russian accent, who told me they were closed, sir. As a brave American who weathered the might of the cold war, I naturally retreated, gathered my DW, and waited outside. Fashionably early at the Crown Grill is not a good thing, tovarish. When we entered properly after 6, our maitre d', whose name escapes me but whose size never will, cheerfully showed us to our table. He didn't look as imposing when armed with a smile, better lighting and the fact that they were now actually open. Our server was a dynamo named Nestor. He exuded friendliness and let us know right away we could have whatever dining experience we wished, whether slow and savory or fast, like "Speedy Gonzalez". This caused me to picture Nestor as a rodent in white peasant garb and a big sombrero for the rest of the night. He probably still wonders why I had to suppress a giggle every time he walked by. Other than the long ears and whiskers, he was a truly fine server. We ordered cobinations of different appetizers and entres, and he never said no. We even ordered six extra lobster tails (which I guessed would get us a Speedy kick right out the door) and he said "right away." Nestor was top notch, as was the food at the Crown. I had the scallops and foe gras appetizer (that's leeeever, i theeenk), and loved it. DW had the filet, and it was cooked to perfection. The lobster tails were incredible...we cut them with a fork! Dessert had to be sent to the room for later. After dinner, we explored the ship a bit. I confirmed that the Ruby is exactly like the Crown (we sailed the Crown last November), with some minor exceptions, such as the location of the excursions desk. I then decided that it was my time to start divesting the Ruby of its money by way of the casino. Since I am an expert blackjack player, this was to be an easy process. Unfortunately, someone before me had taught the Ruby's dealers how to play, and play well. So well that I was not going to be anything but broke if I kept this up. Exit stage left. We played cards with my in-laws later that evening, and I watched the lights of passing ships out on the balcony. A very peaceful end to the first day onboard. Yes, I said peaceful and in-laws in the same paragraph, we actually do get along very well. Day two was a stop at Princess Cays. We planned to tender over later, let the crwods beat us, in effect. I ventured out at 8 AM for my daily walk. Since I had lost a bit of weight (truth be told, the Michelin Man had nothing on me until recently, when I could finally be considered in the "normal" body mass range), I was determined to complete my very own "cruise marathon", or 26.2 miles of walking during the cruise. I had heard on CC that the Promenade deck of the Ruby was a 1/3 mile walk on level ground, so three laps were a mile. This was almost true. I noticed that tape had been placed on the outer edge of the deck, marking every 10 meters. As I walked along, I looked down carefully at the markings to figure out the length of a lap. Suddenly, my foot, followed by my body, bumped into a set of steps which had no business being on a flat deck. Apparently, the forward section of the Promenade deck is actually the Emerald deck, separated by about 20 steps up, then down. My marathon would now be a mara and stair climber thon. The deck ended up being 610 meters, slightly more than 1/3 mile, for those of you who could use this info. I thought I might be the only person up this early. However, about a dozen people had joined me on my walk. It was interesting. I speed walked, which meant I passed other walkers. Some folks ran, which meant they passed me. Other runners and walkers were going the other way. Even worse, the deck became a one lane road at the stern. The whole scene resembled a demented Autobahn full of drunk or Sunday drivers in the wrong lanes. "Excuse me" turned to "on your right" and quickly became "ouch!" Note to self: get up earlier tomorrow. By the time I returned to the room, DW was ready to eat, and didn't even comment on the musty smell accompanying her to breakfast. We tried the Horizon Court buffet, and it was a winner. We ate breakfast there every day. An omelette station was hidden next to the scrambled eggs, and the sky was the limit. They even offered Egg Beaters. I'd like to think the veggie/egg beaters omelette balanced the bacon very well, but I could be kidding myself. The tender to Princess Cays was a breeze. We sat in the Michaelangelo dining room for about 5 minutes, then off we went. Princess Cays (PC, for short, although some of the bathing suits I saw were anything but PC) was fantastic. Nice sandy beaches, but the water was surprisingly cold for the tropics. The cookout was delicious. Plenty to choose from, even for dieters like me. I had a salad and grilled chicken, and it was delicious. Very fresh fruit was served near the picnic area. After a quick tender back to the Ruby, we ate dinner at the DaVinci DR. We had assigned dining at 5:30 PM, which was a newer concept. I had read complaints on CC about anytime diners being put out by this, since DaVinci was previously anytime only. I can understand this. When we walked in, we were asked if we had a table and were shown in right away. Others waited in line outside, as they had anytime dining. I can see why this would ruin the anytime experience, and I would not opt for anytime until they fix this. We met out servers, Lorentz and Suppon. Both were fabulous, and catered to anything we asked. Iceberg lettuce wedge as a salad? No problem. Balsamic dressing? Sure. More than one appetizer? Absolutely. Can you make my food spicy? Huh? What? But you are from the U.S.! We aren't used to that one. They passed the baton to Filipe, our head waiter. Within a few minutes, he had the chefs dice up some jalapeno peppers, which I sprinkled on my food. Tasty, but not hot enough. Felipe promised to call in the troops and be ready for me the next night with the big guns, the Indian and Thai chefs. I'm not so sure I like this. Day three began earlier, at 6:45 AM. As I tried to go out the doors to the Promenade, I noticed they were taped off. They apparently clean the decks until 7. Great. I could just see myself slipping on a wet deck and becoming either a railing ornament or a fishing lure. No need to worry though, they dry the decks too. The walk was easier today, since I had beaten the walker's rush hour. The winds at the bow were brutal. I felt like the guy sitting in an easy chair in front of the stereo in that older commercial, with everything blowing off of me as I walked forward. After I turned the corner at the bow, the tail wind doubled my speed and practically threw me down the steps. Exercise, meet the X games. Since today was a sea day, it would be total relaxation. DW spent a good portion of the day laying out at the pool, while I was layed out flat by the dealers in the casino. At 2 PM, we went up the Skywalkers for our CC role call "meet and greet" event. We were a bit nervous, since I had only "met" any of these people on the CC bulletin boards, and I really hadn't posted much to our role call. Everyone on there semmed to have cruised together before or been friends since birth, as inside jokes or perhaps cult codes were often passed back and forth on the roll call. Not to worry, they were just really nice people who had a lot more cruise experience than we did. Conversation flowed and I understood it all, including the jokes. Not one cup of kool aid was passed either. Just as the atmosphere started to get festive, the wedding party shows up. Ummmmm, we do intend to renew ours vows eventually, but no one told us to dress up and we just can't afford to rent these people! But they wouldn't leave. Apparently, Princess had double booked the room, and the wedding party had security with them, so they won. We were sent off before anyone could even schedule another room or suggest another day to meet. Great people on our roll call, luckily none of them named Jones. Just before dinner, we received notice that, to the great regret of Princess, the roles of leading man and lady would be given to ten other passengers. We missed the Chef's Table for tomorrow night. No white coats, free books, free flowing wine, stellar food, or behind the scenes looks at the kitchen. We tried to beg our way in with the maitre d', Generoso who despite his name, could not be generous. He did try, and even went to our table personally to apologize. Fine, I will exact payment in the form of spicy food. Formal night dinner started with a visit from our head waiter. Felipe was grinning ear to ear, mumbling something about Thai spice powder. I was presented with a shrimp dish in a tomato based sauce, with lots of suspicious looking little seeds. Felipe couldn't tell me what it was, just that it was HOT. It was indeed delicious, but still not spicy enough. Wednesday began bright and early, after the cleaning crews quit for the day. It was amazing to walk the decks and watch as we approached the island of St. Martin, entered the harbor and docked. Thw whole docking process on such a huge ship amazes me, as I grew up around smaller boats. Same concept, just on a massive scale. St. Martin is a split island. We had docked on the Dutch side. I understand the French side is rich in culture, french cooking and fine architecture. It was also a $38 cab ride, so we stuck with the Dutch side. Lots of nice shops, a McDonald's (so there is grest food on the Dutch side too!), and an adorable little town hall. We passed a bar called the "Blue B*tch" (add an "i" for the *). It made for a good picture, but I wasn't going in there. The casino on the island had relatives dealing on the Ruby, so they knew me. Bad idea there. Dinner that night was a shrimp and scallop concoction that was spicy, just not quite there yet. Felipe left unhappy, but determined. I mentioned habanero or ghost peppers, but they had none on board and had no pepper dealers in the islands. The fine cast of the Chef's Table walked right by us, white coats on display, on their way to the kitchen and culinary nirvanna. May your Dramamine patches fall off in rough seas, grrrrrrrr. Thursday was St. Thomas, where my in-law's family jeweler was to meet us at the dock and drive us to his shop and then to lunch. Now, if you are wondering why my in-laws have a jeweler, I'm right there with you. This did not bode well for me. The island is great for shopping, with two cruise docks about five miles apart, both full of every shop you can imagine. DW did well. The blackjack dealers on the ship were kinder to me than this island was. I did get some spicy Chinese food out of the deal, though. Friday brought a new island, Grand Turk. We debarked (pulled the skin off of a tree?) quickly, since we had a snorkelling excursion planned. Reef and Ray, oh my. It sounded fabulous. At the reef, I had to be the first off the boat. That was when I felt the current pulling at me. DW joined me and we both swam around, marvelling at the sea life on the reef. Then I met the reef up close and personal. I felt my flipper hit something, then turned around and was up to my neck in coral. My left forearm and right leg were on fire. I managed to warn DW in time and extricate myself, but the damage was done. My arm was red and swollen, with little bumps on it like I was in a cold climate. I thought, "this is pretty cool" and kept swimming around. Apparently, the strong current had tossed me into a higher reef that was just at the water's surface. When we were called back to the boat, the current slammed DW into the ladder as well. I was sitting on the boat bench a bit later, when another passenger said, "hey, your leg is bleeding!" I looked down and my leg was bloody from the calf down due to two cuts from the coral. Cool again. Good thing there weren't any sharks in the area. Well, the crew had me fill out a thorough incident report, and seemed really worried. I suppose other might try to take advantage of such a situation, but accidents happen. The "ray" stop consisted of one sting ray held by the crew and shown to passengers. I think they took it there by leash in its own tank. One of them slipped up and called it Fido. The trip could have been better without that nasty current, but c'est la vie. I wouldn't take this excursion again, but would instead follow the advice of other CC members and book ahead via the web. After the bloody snorkel and ray, Grand Turk got better. The dock there is obviously brand new, as are the shops. Ron Jons Surf Shop is there, so T shirts had to be purchased. I had to get a shirt from Margaritaville as well, since it was this very song that got me tossed out of the Princess Pop Stars competition. Yes, I found my lost shaker of salt. Since we had a reservation at the Crown tomorrow, tonight was Felipe's last shot at me. He did well, as his last dish had me sweating just enough to declare it spicy to my tastes. Not the hottest I've ever eaten, but don't tell him that! Felipe was by far the crew member who went out of his way for us (well, me) most. He took me on as a personal challenge, and succeeded in his mission with what he had on hand. Bravo Felipe! Saturday was a sea day, which gave me one final shot at redemption in the casino. While DW fried her body at the pool, this lilly white boy sat in the casino for a few hours, bound and determined to go broke or at least take back what I had given them for 6 days. After a hard (and fun) fight, I managed to end up slightly ahead for the cruise, which is a win for me. After a nice tip to the dealer, I walked out with a big smile, never to return (for this cruise). Dinner that night was at the Crown, where Speedy worked his magic yet again. Great food at the Crown. Service at the DR's is top notch, and they go the extra mile for you, but the best food and food quality is at the Crown, hands down. It helps to be served by a fast mouse, too. Sunday came too quickly. The first thing I noticed was an attitude change in the crew. These nice, wonderful friendly people were getting moody. It must have been that time of the....week? My guess is that turnaround day is so hectic that it brings out the worst in people, and they don't have to see me tomorrow, so why bother so much? Understandable, logical, but fun to observe. Debarkation was hectic for us, as the purser's desk made a bit of an error. This can easily happen, but it sure seemed like they wanted us to miss our flight and stay with them. I'd be fine with that, but my relatives only offered to babysit for ONE week. They sent us to the wrong room to debark, so we ended up leaving the ship an hour later. We did make our flight, so they failed in their attempt to keep us. However, it was frustrating. All in all, this was a dream vacation for us. Princess was the right choice and did a fine job, with just a few understandable exceptions. Did any of the issues really matter in the big picture? Not at all. Can Princess make up for it by sending a chef, some wine, a couple of white coats and a cookbook to our house right away? Yes. So, if Princess thinks I will ever cruise with them again, they would be correct. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The Bad : Ship shakes under sail and unbelievably worse in port, especially annoying when you are dining. Common areas good condition but we had hit and miss cabins this fall and winter, some ok and some awful condition. Ship staff said ... Read More
The Bad : Ship shakes under sail and unbelievably worse in port, especially annoying when you are dining. Common areas good condition but we had hit and miss cabins this fall and winter, some ok and some awful condition. Ship staff said they can’t update the rooms without a dry dock and the company keeps putting that off. Personally had and witnessed some negative interactions with the Guest Services Staff. As typical of the brand no built in activies for active adults and children. Just off a Christmas cruise on another ship of the brand, many families cruising and the young people were bored out of their minds. Royal Caribbean, Carnival or Norwegian would have been a better choice for a family vacation. The Good: The company has invested in Internet upgrades for this ship. Room and Dining staff generally excellent as is usual throughout the brand. Food quality and selection was on par with the brand and far superior to Royal Caribbean. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was my first cruise with Princess and as a result of my experience, it will definitely be my last. Prior to booking, I had this impression that Princess was an elite cruising brand. I expected more of them than I would a Carnival, ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Princess and as a result of my experience, it will definitely be my last. Prior to booking, I had this impression that Princess was an elite cruising brand. I expected more of them than I would a Carnival, Norwegian or Royal Caribbean cruise line. I could not have been more wrong. Let's start with the PROS since its a short list. PROS: Embarkation - Princess is very organized. I was on the ship in less than 20 minutes from my arrival to the pier. I have NEVER gotten on a ship that fast before. There was no haggling to buy onboard packages and no pressure to take pictures. It was the most quickest, easiest embarkation I have ever experienced. Shore Excursions - I really liked that while the Excursions desk was not always manned that they had iPads at the desk so I could book excursions during their non-operating hours. I struggled whether to add this to the CONS list really, because the Excursions desk was closed before and during our sail away period, but I do like that I had this as an option. I like to book my excursions as soon as I get on the ship. I later learned I could have booked them in my room via the TV. Entertainment - I really enjoyed some of the musical talent on this ship. I learned of some new artistic gems like George Thursting that I now follow through social media. Love them. Folks, that's where my PROS list ends. Let's dive into everything that made this cruise horrible and left me vowing to NEVER cruise with Princess again. CONS: Bed Bug (in Room B249) - I usually don't sleep much, if at all, the night before a cruise, because I am busy packing and getting my house (and life) prepared for my extensive departure, so I usually make up for that sleep the first night on the ship. This cruise was no exception. I grabbed a bite to eat and booked my excursions once I got on board and I headed straight to my room to snooze. After we set sailed, I got up to grab something out of my bag and when I returned to the bed I noticed what looked like a bed bug crawling over the duvet cover. I screamed! I ran outside where the cabin steward was. He came in looking embarrassed, but not surprised, and scooped the bug into a glass jar. I was mortified. All I could think was how grateful I was that I had not unpacked yet. I did NOT want to take any of these critters home with me. I hear bed bugs are horrible to get rid of. I went straight to the reception desk to report it. Its the first night, so there's a long line. I patiently wait. When I get to the line, the service desk rep (Ignacio and Aracelli) said there was not much they could do besides send someone to investigate and clean the room since the ship was sold out. They did not offer me some place to sit or rest at during this 2-hour investigation. They did not offer me a complimentary beverage or meal. They did not apologize for the inconvenience. They did nothing, but "investigate." I stood on the side of the reception desk for 2 hours exhausted. I finally got back in line to see if there was an update, since NO ONE spoke to me during those 2 hours and only after I got back in line did someone call to check on the "investigation" and that's when I was told they were done and they did not find anything else (meaning another bug). For all I know, the investigation could have been completed an hour earlier. I return to my room alone. Visibly shaken, they did not offer to escort me to my room to reassure me and show me their findings. No one was there when I arrived. It was hours later when the cabin steward supervisor and my cabin steward returned to tell me the supervisor found nothing. I asked if I would be able to get checked by medical - something the front desk rep said I would be able to get as a courtesy to check for bed bug bites - and the supervisor told me NO. He said the ship doctor is not like a doctor on land, they're expensive, so I would have to pay for this myself. Um... OK! I was done after this. Done. He treated me like I was an inconvenience. Very hostile. I never unpacked my bag. I kept it closed the entire cruise and I checked my room for bed bugs each and every day. I tried not to let this ruin my trip cuz then I would definitely be on the losing end. I tried to make the best of it. Ship - Its old. Real old. Very dated. There's rust, mildew and mold everywhere. While I stood in line at the guest desk, I noticed there were multiple leaks from the ceiling. Also, the layout makes no sense. They give each deck a name. For example: Deck # 11 is named Baja and Deck # 15 is named Lido. Instead of referring to the deck number, you had to learn the deck names, because that is how they were referenced. It was so cooky. Then there were only so many elevator banks. I believe there were three or four for the entire ship and one or two of those only went to a few floors. There were no machines for people to add money to their room card/key. Everything went through the very incompetent guest desk. And they had to escalate everything. No one at the desk could make a decision at their level. No one was empowered to just do common sense things for guests. While I waited for my bed bug investigation, I heard a man with Platinum Level Status get upset over his beverage package and how someone screwed it up. I stood there thinking: If this guy is a loyal Princess cruiser and they treat him like that, how should I expect them to treat me? Not good, folks. Not good. Dining - I actually like the seating in the buffet dining areas. I liked that there were pub seating that looked directly out the window, so if you're a party of one you're only taking one seat and not an entire table. That's where my likes end. The food options were very limited and buffet small. It was about one-third of the size of the buffet area on the average Norwegian ship. Horrible! I made due, but I was just shocked. In Conclusion: The pros definitely did not outweigh the cons. I cannot justify the cost of the average Princess cruise for me to try the brand again. Outside of wanting to experience the Princess brand, I really chose this sailing because it was going to the ABC islands and it was full of smart at sea days. Heed my warnings. If nothing else, stay away from this ship unless you've cruised it before and know what to expect. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told ... Read More
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told us that they sent Princess a list of our dietary requirements including the various foods items required. At our first dinner sitting there were no Vegan options on the menu and in speaking with the service staff we were informed that the only vegan protein they had available was Tofu. One of my biggest concerns in arranging the booking was that Vegan meals would be provided and there would be a variety of choice, I was extremely dismayed to find that there were no vegan options on any of the menus including the dining room. Further, the only protein source they had available on the ship was Tofu. It is my expectation that when I make a specific request for a Vegan Menu that this be provided. The Anytime Dining and the Buffet did not provide the ingredient list for their prepared items and there was no indication if the various dishes were Vegan or not. I would expect to have available meals that are prepared using organics, healthy oils, no refined sugars, etc. Vegan ingredients for the most part are easy to find and not expensive, alternative protein sources include Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Quinoa, Kale, Hemp Seed, and Chickpeas. As a result of the limited menu, I ended up with essentially the same meals each day, not what I was expecting. Why are there no Vegan dishes on the menu? Quinoa Salad, Chickpea salads, Kale Salads, Bean Salads, Lentil dishes, Chia Pudding, is often available in most restaurants as entrées, why would Princess not also have these available? Customer service by the staff on board the ship was exceptional, if Princess educated their chef and kitchen staff on how to prepare tofu entrées with flavor, quinoa salads, bean & lentil entrees they would open doors to customers that have special need diets as well as ones that choose to eat clean. Vegan entrees should be included on the menu. As well, this could enhance the wonderful vegetable & fruit salads in the buffet. I also would like to comment on the excessive number of sales pitches onboard the Princess, so many talks etc. were just there to sell a product and this was especially true of the fitness center. As an example one of the trainers presented on how to get flatter abs, with the comment that 50% is from Diet and Exercise and the other 50% from a detox product which they would be happy to have you purchase on a monthly subscription. They also stated that we all know about diet and exercise so he would not comment on this. I found this presentation particularly offensive as this information is just not true. There are absolutely no scientific studies that have shown a detox product to specifically result in a flatter abs. Flatter abs will come from diet and exercise alone and the assumption that everyone knows about diet and exercise is also wrong. I am very well educated in diet and fitness and yet know I still have much to learn and any information on this is always welcome. I also booked the Chileno Bay Sail and Snorkel in Cabo San Lucas and was under the impression that we would have 40 minutes of snorkeling time, at best only 15 minutes of snorkeling time was provided. The host were very good, but quite disappointing to have booked a snorkeling adventure and then only have such a limited time in the water. Much of the time was spent watching whales, which is fantastic, but this was a snorkeling excursion not a whale watching one. This was my first time on a cruise ship and I have to say I was quite disappointed with the level of food service provided. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My experience with princess was one of the worst travel experiences i have ever had. It was my first experience with princess, and i will never patronize them again, and i will vociferously encourage others to avoid princess at all ... Read More
My experience with princess was one of the worst travel experiences i have ever had. It was my first experience with princess, and i will never patronize them again, and i will vociferously encourage others to avoid princess at all costs. I will be publishing this report to every relevant travel portal. Starting with the Ports visited: The ports were not bad choices, however port days were far too short except for curação. there wasn't enough time in each port to have a chance to walk around and have a chance to get to know the place. Excursions offered by princess were extremely limited and obscenely overpriced. i did not purchase any of princess' excursions. Trinidad was a hazard. i attempted to walk out into trinidad, as i had done with every other port, just to spend some time getting to know a little of the place. shortly into my walk i was stopped by a secret service police officer, who showed me her badge, and begged me to please turn around and go back to the ship and not continue walking, as i was walking into a death trap. i learned that a day or two prior to our arrival in trinidad, someone had been shot to death in the street of the city proper - near the port where we docked. Essentially, by running on only one engine and stopping in a port that was already known to be highly dangerous, princess was putting everyone at extreme risk. no warnings were announced at any time regarding these conditions in trinidad. It rained at every port, yet princess refused to provide umbrellas. The ship: We were running on only one engine for the entire journey. this caused the ship to suffer imbalance in the water. This fact was not shared with passengers. this was a fact that should have been shared with passengers as it is a hazard to run the ship on only one engine. princess is legally required to run ships and any equipment under the most stringent requirements of safety. running a 14 day journey on only one engine in international waters was extreme negligence on the part of the princess cruise company. We experienced extreme turbulence on the ship throughout journey, to the point that a man was thrown down and hit his head against a wall because of the rocking of the boat. Crew moved him into a seated position, which i understand was just an effort to try to help, but i have always been taught that in an emergency situation, never ever move an injured person before emts arrive to assess the injuries and proceed to treat the person. he had to be airlifted out by helicopter because of the injury. I am a pretty surefooted person and have very good balance as i am a dancer, and i was thrown so violently by the turbulence that i often tripped. In one such situation, i hit a banister hard enough with my hip to bruise it. Regarding running on one engine, if that one engine had failed, we would have been stranded at sea for an unspecified period of time before being located and towed to the nearest landing port. in addition to that unacceptable risk, with no engine power, the ballast pumps would have stopped working, and without that constant balancing of weight, the ship would list to one side, eventually capsizing. The staff: I experienced rudeness and disrespect most of the time. the front desk staff (except for a very few individuals), was an abomination to the phrase "customer service". my concerns and requests were consistently ignored, dismissed, or flat out refused. I commented to one front desk agent during a phone call that i had had enough of the attitude, and her response was that she wasn't "going to take attitude from me either". incredible. I was charged for things that i had never requested and never approved. I disputed these charges on disembarkation day. I was threatened with having security called on me. I was aghast. I have disputed the charges on my credit card. I could not believe how horribly i was treated. I even spoke with the agent, (named robyn), with whom i had had the original conversation about the charges. She threw me under the bus. She kept repeating that i "had signed it". She insisted that i said things that i did not say. She insisted that i knew things that i did not know. I could not believe that i was being treated with such reckless cruelty and disregard. I wrote at least 4 letters to the general hotel services manager during the voyage. no compensation was offered. no reply was made to me. i informed the general hotel services manager that i would be writing a full report, and that it was the responsibility of princess' staff to convince me not to. no action was taken. The food: Princess has the worst food i have ever had on any cruise line. holland is far better, ncl is far better, celebrity embarrasses princess by comparison. princess' food is absolutely piss poor in every sense. i heard this from many many many guests. Every papaya i asked for was rock hard. raspberries were never available. strawberries were clearly frozen and defrosted before being served - hence most of the time, they were inedible. I had to fight every time i asked for blueberries. cateloupe, honeydew, and watermelon were all consistently rotted/past ripeness, mushy, inedible. The "variety" of dishes offered was pathetically limited. again, ncl, celebrity, and holland all embarass princess on food quality and variety. Most food was obviously frozen and defrosted. all of the seafood was frozen and defrosted before serving, which made it all rubbery, dry, cardboardy, and flavourless. the selection was ridiculously inadequate. in a phrase, the food was absurdly bad. At sabatini's i had to send two dishes back because they were flavourless and insanely oversalted. I could teach the chef how to cook, and i am self-taught. most of the food on the ship was insanely oversalted, or insanely too sweet. I cook better when i am sick enough to be bedridden. Popcorn was not available except at only one hour during the day, and not accessible at any other time, no matter how many requests i made. The soft ice cream was grainy, watery, in a word, disgustingly poor in quality. the only flavours offered were vanilla and chocolate in soft ice cream. no frozen yoghurt was available. for an additional fee, there was hard ice cream available in vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. ridiculous. unacceptable. Drinks were inconsistent all over the ship. General: On embarkation day, the steward for my section barged into my room without knocking. i spent the day on lines 30 - 60 minutes waiting on each line, correcting screw-ups of the crew. Cabin: My bathroom was not working on embarkation day, and i was forced to walk out and use ship public bathrooms. my steward, after having barged into my room without knocking, offered only excuses about how he could not get my bathroom fixed because he was not the plumber. Cabin furnishings were outdated and dingy. I had been sent a message from princess before sailing, stating that i had been upgraded to a better cabin. I can't imagine what the worse cabin looked like. In my "new" cabin, the carpet was worn & stained. It was obviously very old. considering claims that the ship had been refurbished recently, it is obvious that absolutely nothing had been done with the cabin i occupied. The bathroom was filthy & had hair in it from the previous occupant. The balcony & deck furniture were filthy. There were stains on the bedside tables. There were pieces of small trash on the floor. the carpet did not appear to have been vacuumed. The shower had cracks & rust. my bed at home is way more comfortable than the bed in the princess cabin. Any time that i opened the balcony door, a panel in the ceiling howled. It was impossible to enjoy having fresh air in the room. I had to request extra blankets & the ones provided looked like they had been taken from a homeless shelter. One of the blankets had a hole in it. My bathroom did not work for a second time during the cruise. During the cruise the one single insufficient outlet in my cabin stopped working, which meant that i could not charge devices upon which i am dependent to run my life. i had to make numerous phone calls to the front desk to get this addressed. two (2) days after my phone calls to the front desk, i heard someone banging on my cabin door in the middle of day, claiming to be maintenance, and enquiring about my non-working outlet. Two days????!!!!!?? two days???!!!!!?? I told the maintenance person that i could not have him enter the cabin at that time, i needed privacy. i left my cabin shortly after that, and the steward for my section removed the privacy tag that i had placed into my door lock, and entered my room against my express wishes for privacy. things were removed from my cabin that i needed, and other things in my cabin were re-arranged against my wishes. i reported this to the general hotel services manager. No compensation was offered. Internet Access: It was obsecenely overpriced - - morally reprehensible pricing for an essential basic need for everyone. everyone must have regular simple easy internet now no matter where one may be. it is that simple. the price gauging for this is as morally reprehensible as price gauging for water and food. The internet barely worked. when it did, it would take copious amounts of time to get anything done, thereby eating up precious obscenely price-gauged minutes. Internet access is a basic need for everyone now, as are water and food, and should be available at no added cost for the entire ship. period. Entertainment/Gym/Fitness: There were not enough zumba classes. There should have been 2 (two) zumba classes per day (morning and afternoon/evening) - on every day - sea and port. There should have been more classes offered every day - not with extra charges - they should have been included. The gym should have been bigger. Club fusion was freezing cold all of the time. It was impossible to be there without wearing a coat. I wrote to the the cruise director, requesting more zumba classes. he disregarded my request about classes and did so in a quite indifferent unfriendly manner. One of the people who hosted karaoke was snotty and sarcastic with me. I don't remember his name. He hosted the voice as well. The karaoke library of music was extremely limited. None of the songs i looked for were in the library. It is one of the worst collections i have ever seen. The karaoke library had zero tina turner songs (and only one obscure ike and tina track, so what), it had no eurythmics, no pat benetar. The gym should have been bigger. Norwegian's, holland's, and celebrity's gym and spa areas are all much larger and put princess' dingy broken down jacked up "gym" and "spa" to shame. Because there were not enough classes, i needed the area where the mirrors were located to do my own series every day. but there were constant scheduling problems for me to do that, because that space was occupied throughout the day by princess' staff hosting money-bilking snake-oil-selling seminars. staff could have arranged to utilize other space for these "seminars" rather than constantly monopolizing space needed by those of us who really needed that space to maintain our fitness regimens. Spa: There were only 5 stone thermal beds for all of the guests who had spa access. i often could not get a bed, or had to wait for one. the spa, locker area, and salon were dingy and outdated. The aromatherapy steam room could only hold one person comfortably. Two people in that room would mean one would have to sit on the lap of the other. The sauna constantly stank of rotten eggs. I was in the sauna every day. It stank of rotten eggs every day. it was disgusting, but because i really needed the heat, i had to tolerate it by putting a towel over my mouth and having to breathe through the towel. the other steam/spa rooms were old, dingy, outdated, unappealing, and basically useless. The locker area was old, dingy, depressing. Folded towels on the shelves were frequently wet - - not fully dry. the spa robes were old, threadbare, and dingy. I was appalled at just how old, dingy, depressing, and totally unappealing or comfortable the entire spa was. Norwegian's, holland's, and celebrity's spas put princess to shame. It is embarrassing how gross princess' spa is. This is what princess calls a multi-million dollar refurbishment ?????!! Photographers: I tried to take some nice photos on nyeve, but the photographer could not have been less interested in helping me to get a good shot - - that i would actually be willing to buy. I did not buy any photos because they all sucked because the photographer did not care at all to help me get good shots, even though i asked and tried to get a few interesting looks. The photographer just rushed me to pose in the same stupid way that everyone poses. He would not help me to take photos that were uniquely expressing me, and would have been worth my money to buy. if princess wants to sell photos, photographers need to actually care about what people want, and take time to take photos that are genuinely desired. Casino: Scratch off games were entitled to a second chance via raffle on the ship. I bought several scratch off games, but the first time i bought them, the cashier did not bother to tell me that they had a second chance if i did not win anything in the scratch-off. i threw away tickets that i could have entered in the raffle. The second time i bought scratch off games, the cashier told me about the raffle. i returned to the first cashier to call him out on not telling me that i had a second chance to win something with non-paying scratch-offs, and he just gave me some dumb indifferent look. He did not care at all. i lost a second chance at the raffle for those scratch-offs because of his total indifference and lack of attention to customer care. I cannot believe that the majority of your employees on the ship are just like this. it is truly unfathomable. If that cashier had been in my shoes, he would have been extremely disappointed and upset. "Art" Gallery: "fine arts" ???? it was all trash. not a shred of "art" to be found. Medical: As with the internet, medical care is price-gauged, and minimal in scope. morally reprehensible. Disembarkation Day: As i stated above, i was charged for things that i had never requested and never approved. I was on the phone fighting about it starting at 5:30 am on disembarkation day. the ship was so extremely turbulent with only one engine, that i did not sleep at all during the previous night. I had to go down to the front desk to dispute these charges on disembarkation day. I was threatened with having security called on me. I was aghast. I had to make dispute and fraud reporting phone calls throughout the day to my credit card and other financial institutions. As i stated above, i even spoke with the agent, (named robyn), with whom i had had the original conversation about the charges. She threw me under the bus. She kept repeating that i "had signed it". She insisted that i said things that i did not say. She insisted that i knew things that i did not know. Even during my dispute with them over the charges, robyn took the things i was saying during that conversation and twisted them on me as i was speaking. my statements were completely disregarded. I could not believe that it was happening. Customs: There was a very long line to wait to pass through customs. Negative surprises: Everything from day 1 until walking off of the ship was a negative surprise. This is my report on princess' failure to deliver value for the fortune of money they charged me, on every level. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because we took a 5 star cruise on Princess two years ago. This cruise was especially important, because destinations Bonaire & Curacao are where we spent our honeymoon diving, 20 years ago. NEGATIVES: A ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we took a 5 star cruise on Princess two years ago. This cruise was especially important, because destinations Bonaire & Curacao are where we spent our honeymoon diving, 20 years ago. NEGATIVES: A cruise ship is a floating hotel. This review is one star, because the mattresses on this ship are SHOT. We paid $3,200 for a suite. Look at the images of our bed, and you will agree that this 'hotel' deserves this one star rating. Regardless how 4-5 star other features on the ship are, if you are sleeping in a 'boat-shaped' bed, tossing and turning all night, back aching, knees aching, it is a ONE STAR experience! The ship is to go in dry dock in March, and all mattresses are set to be changed. That just made us angry! BEWARE, if you have booked Crown Princess between now & March, you will be sleeping on shot mattresses. The ONLY thing Princess can do, to satisfy us at this point, is to give us an anniversary RE-DO, because we deserve it! AGE DISCRIMINATION: My husband & I are avid divers. We booked Princess dive shore excursions on this trip to 'recreate' our 3 week honeymoon in Bonaire & Curacao. We carried 70 pounds of dive gear on this trip, everything we needed except for weights & tanks, for four planned dives, two in Aruba, and two in Bonaire. Princess description of the Bonaire dives stated age 15-70. My husband is a very fit 64 year old Orthopedic surgeon. 36 hours prior to our planned dives in Bonaire, we found a letter on our door stating that Mike's dive had been cancelled because "as stated on our paperwork, 60 is the cutoff age." SO not only was our dive cancelled, they blamed US! Throughout the trip, I checked on Princess' description of the Bonaire Certified Dive Excursion, and it STILL read 15-70! Princess stated that the dive partner's insurance is the reason our dives cancelled. We dive all over the world. I do not believe this is true. Never have I ever seen on any dive liability form, an age limit. Divers fill out a detailed medical questionnaire. That, and fitness to handle your heavy gear are used to determine whether you are fit to dive. Princess has partnered with an excursion that practices gross age discrimination in Bonaire. SIXTY is especially crazy! Really? I would suggest that Princess find a different excursion partner in Bonaire, and I would also suggest that an additional criteria for certified divers, is that they submit proof of DAN insurance, a divers insurance that any avid diver carries. We pre-paid beverages. There is a 15 drink limit, which was not disclosed, but we never came close to that anyway!! In our case, we would have been better off just paying our bar tab. Once we figured out that we would need about 7 drinks a day to break even, we realized that in our case, this was not a good deal! SALES hits: The first two hours on the ship, I believe SEVEN Princess employees hit us up for a wine tasting. Once or twice was fine, but this was highly annoying. I was ready to put a sicker on my forehead that stated "I am not interested in your wine tasting"! Overall, we felt bombarded by staff hitting us up for sales features. INTERNET GRIND: We purchased 100 minutes (110) for $69. The band width is WAY too narrow to accommodate the number of passengers using the internet. The only reason I accessed the internet was to check on my elderly father every couple of days. I needed the entire 110 minutes to accomplish that. The minutes begin when you "connect" but you are NOT connected at that time! It grinds, and grinds, and grinds. It took me 15-20 minutes to access FB and check on my dad, and send him a little note that we were safe, each time I did so. POSITIVES: The Ship: Aside from the mattresses, we were very pleased with this ship & its amenities. I would be rating this a 4 star. 'MUTS' (Movies Under The Stars) is fantastic! One night mid-ship, they had a fabulous 70's style disco night and incorporated Love Boat theme. SUPER FUN! The bar areas are great, we especially frequented the aft bar and greatly enjoyed it! The gym is incredible, with a large selection of equipment, and all cardio-type machines are high and up front, providing majestic views of the sea. The ship has enough pool/bar areas that we never felt crowded. STAFF was just wonderful. From the front desk, to the excursion crew, to bar tenders, wait staff, our main dining staff. Just incredible. 5 Star all the way. Our cabin attendant was SUPERB. Her name is Maria, and we wanted to bring her home! She did her best to resolve the mattress issue, but the images below are AFTER her efforts! NOT Maria's fault. Aruba Certified Diving Excursion was AMAZING. We weren't taken to the beautiful, fragile reefs, and we did not expect to be. Having observed the lack of buoyancy control by many of the other ship divers, I understand fully why! BUT, they took us to two shipwrecks and both were VERY interesting and teeming with life. We actually saw THE biggest Green Moray we have ever seen on the second dive. It was at least 8' long, and just behind it's head top to bottom was two FEET thick! We also saw an octopus on that dive, a rarity in the daytime. I plan to review the operator separately from this. Big KUDO's! Once our dive trip in Bonaire was canceled, we did not book another excursion through the ship. We easily hailed a cab and took the scenic route past the salt flats & flamingos to Jibe City, a world famous windsurfing destination. We sat with our feet in the water drinking a beer, and had a fabulous time. All 3 ports were nice. Bonaire had the best shopping for gifts, really classy, not so much typical "souvenir" items. Port vendors in Aruba & Curacao will warn you that you won't find much in Bonaire. DON'T believe them! Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I have sailed many many times on Princess and would recommend them HIGHLY ...until now! WOW! I will say, the ship is brand new, in great shape and my bed was upgraded from the usual hard mattress-- but that is where the nice comments end. ... Read More
I have sailed many many times on Princess and would recommend them HIGHLY ...until now! WOW! I will say, the ship is brand new, in great shape and my bed was upgraded from the usual hard mattress-- but that is where the nice comments end. The ship layout, staff and attitude is catering ONLY to an Asian guest-- and I am not even sure they were thrilled. Good for you if you are Asian and choose this ship, but if not, prepare to be underwhelmed if you loved Princess cruising. You would think that with a new ship they would have their A team as the staff -- um, NO...everyone from the Cruise staff to the room stewards were less than enthusiastic and made no effort to make you feel like a welcomed guest. The bars and restaurants all close early and the usually wonderful bar staff is no where to be found in common areas. My love of that staff ( and the tips to prove it) are usually a HUGE part of my bill, NOT the case this time. If you could find someone, again, there was little interest in service. If you like the cheesy, but fun Skywalkers lounge -- well, you will instead be treated to a DJ under lots of light in the VERY chlorinated smelly indoor pool area - such a lousy replacement. There is lots of space used for private Kareoke rooms, that cost $12 extra per hour /per person and were not used at all on this cruise. They do offer you one free drink, which is nice a useless if you have the drink package. It also had no staff around ( because of the lack of guests I am sure) so it was hard to even find out those details. The food was another MAJOR let down on this trip. We host dinners in the Crown Grill and it was horrible. Normally the steaks, presentation and service are beyond worth the extra money - um, NOT THIS TIME. It was laughable how bad it all was and so embarrassing for those of us who raved about it to first time cruisers. again -- I used to love this and now, just still so frustrated by the lack of effort by anyone on this ship. I also had a dinner at the new Harmony / Cantonese restaurant and that couldn't have been more bland and again -- so not worth the extra money. the food at the cafes were okay, but took a lot longer than usual and again -- the staff just seemed ho hum. The meals in the dining rooms were also -just okay, not really worth getting dressed for if you were expecting nice people or service. If you like to exercise, the gym is nice, but if you want to walk, good luck, there is not a level where you can walk around the ship. it is all reconfigured and the "walking path" is about 25 feet long....so you can get lots of laps in if you are super lazy. We had several first time cruisers with us and it just wasn't a great experience. As I said before, I always looked forward to my Princess Cruises, but I will be looking at other lines. Which is sad. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise for the ports. We have two young children. A 14 night cruise we only went to a show two nights. All other shows geared to the over 50's. All shore tours geared to the over 50's. The cruise director Stuart ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. We have two young children. A 14 night cruise we only went to a show two nights. All other shows geared to the over 50's. All shore tours geared to the over 50's. The cruise director Stuart is about that age and clearly he chooses the entertainment. Breakfast in restaurant finished too early (9am) so we never went. Lunch buffet was generally the same every day and not appetising. Lunch for me was pizza or burgers. Restaurant ok (Santa Fe) and had no trouble getting a table for 2. Food nothing to rave about. Coke was always flat and drink service slow. Don't understand why females can wear shorts but males have to wear long pants. Also not impressed that a whole table of under 16 can come in and sit down without adult supervision. Drinks package (non alcoholic) good value as includes milkshakes, mocktails and hot chocolate. Air conditioning in room even after being fixed still hasn't cold enough. Lamp in room broken. Enjoyed Hong kong and Japan. Hong kong tour went 1.5 hours over time and we had to change our Osaka one as when we booked online it said 2.5 hours in duration but on board it turned out to be 8.5 hours. They need to fix their shore tour paperwork. Destination expert whilst a good idea is hard to access. Person in front can be there for 30 mins. A question cap would be good considering he is only open 2 hours a day. Can't take dessert from dining room back to your room. Have done this on other cruise liners with no issues. Boys did not enjoy kids club and I was not that impressed with the staff. This was our 2nd Princess Cruise. We will probably stick to Carnival. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This will be our ONLY cruise on Princess. We had high hopes as my brother in law likes Princess and recommended it. We however hated it and here's why: Food - The meat and seafood was grossly overcooked. We sent stuff back, we ... Read More
This will be our ONLY cruise on Princess. We had high hopes as my brother in law likes Princess and recommended it. We however hated it and here's why: Food - The meat and seafood was grossly overcooked. We sent stuff back, we ordered it "Medium Rare" - it sill came out slammed. The sides were disappointing as well. For the most part everything friend came out soggy. The buffet was horrible, food way soggy and overcooked. Beds - The Grand Princess beds were replaced just a few weeks before our voyage. We found the beds lacking in support and too soft and uneven. My back hurt for most of the cruise as a result. Crowds - The ship was like an Ant hill. Other cruise lines we've been on pack far fewer people onto a ship the size of the Grand Princess. There were lines and crowds everywhere. We've never had to wait in line for an hour for anytime dining before. We took to calling in at exactly 8AM to make reservations. So that pretty much killed doing anything else around that time. We found it very stressful. Embarkation - I've never seen a crowd that big in a terminal. We showed up a tad early for our appointed check in time but still had to queue up for almost 2 hours before we could board. There was also a 30 minute line to check in suitcases. Never seen a mess like that before. Rust Bucket - while the interior of the ship was worn but in pretty good cosmetic shape the exterior was horribly rusty. Systems such as the Vacuum toilets also broke down repeatedly. Cabin - We booked a mini-suite. It was the size of a regular veranda cabin on some of the other lines we were on. The storage was ample and there was a nice sofa seating area, but calling it a mini-suite was quite an exaggeration. Fitness - the Gym equipment was insufficient for the crowd on board and there was often a long wait for treadmills and ellipticals. The classes were too crowded and unpleasant. The public rooms were inadequate for the crowd. There's only one real theater on the Grand Princess, but the staff had it offline for "rehearsals" and shuffled off the popular enrichment activities to venues way too small for the audience. The only bright spots on the cruise were the Hula and Ukulele instructors and the Naturalist and Forensic Lecturers. They made the cruise for us, otherwise we'd have disembarked at the first port and flown home. I must point out that the staff was uniformly courteous and friendly even when they were not empowered to fix anything. Out cabin attendant was fantastic. All in all, we had a great time, because we didn't let the problems with the cruise get to us, but we'll never cruise on Princess or any Carnival property again. We'll stick with Celebrity and Oceania. Possibly trying some of the other higher end cruise lines. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was a bucket list trip around South America. Boarding was total disorganized and took over 4 1/2 hours. No one in the terminal had any answers as to why the delays. The ship is old and outdated. stains in carpeting, ratty mats and ... Read More
This was a bucket list trip around South America. Boarding was total disorganized and took over 4 1/2 hours. No one in the terminal had any answers as to why the delays. The ship is old and outdated. stains in carpeting, ratty mats and flooring in the gym, no nets on basketball courts, broken machines in the casino. When I spoke to a supervisor about the condition of the ship I was told" Sir, you have to understand that the ship will be going into dry dock so we're not bothering now with those things." Could not believe a crew member would say that to a recently boarded passenger. Got sick first night. Went to medical center second day but could not be seen then due to emergency. went next day and received a bill for $600. Due to critically ill patient we had to turn around and as a result of the delays we missed two of 5 ports- Montevideo and Falkland Islands. Cabin next door to us flooded and at 5:30 AM we had to move ourselves into another cabin. No help from crew as they were "busy" cleaning up. Two small fires during cruise- one in engine room and one in incinerator room. Food was very mediocre in buffet and dining room. The food in Sabatini's was very good. So many problems that the line finally offered passengers a credit on the cruise and on a future cruise. That was well received but as for this cruise, we spent 11 of 14 days at sea on a somewhat run down ship. Very disappointing and a waste of a lot of money. Front desk staff were great as was Cruise Director, trying to be helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Very disappointing experience with princess. Service was all about selling services a d products - not about the passenger's experience. Everything was an additional fee including water and non alcoholic drinks in the specialty ... Read More
Very disappointing experience with princess. Service was all about selling services a d products - not about the passenger's experience. Everything was an additional fee including water and non alcoholic drinks in the specialty restaurants. Although this cruise took us through some of the most amazing natural wonders on earth - e.g. Amalia glacier, Cape Horn, there was no naturalist on board or any enrichment lectures/presentations on South America. We often arrived at the sites when it was barely light and left before full daylight so limited viewing time. I have no idea why the arrival time could not have been arranged for full daylight. Food was uneven in all venues including the specialty restaurants. Not worth the $25 per head charge. Fitness center is not adequate to accommodate 2,600 passengers. Often lines for treadmill in AM. Only 12 treadmills and 6 elipticals. Internet service was poor. The log off instructions would often cause my ipad to hang for 5 to 10 minutes for which I was charged. When I complaine, the ship refunded half my "idle time" minutes. Several of the ports of call were wonderful but we booked our own excursions for most. The one ship excursion we booked through princess was quite good. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Was looking forward to this cruise, all the aft rooms had soot all over the balconies. Food was not good in the dining room we only ate there 3 to 4 times. Had turkey one night is was tough white meat, corn bread was bad also. They put a ... Read More
Was looking forward to this cruise, all the aft rooms had soot all over the balconies. Food was not good in the dining room we only ate there 3 to 4 times. Had turkey one night is was tough white meat, corn bread was bad also. They put a slice of sweet potato on the my plate. Desert was almost the same every night. Food was good in the Crown grill but there was a charge for that $50 a couple. Bathrooms were so small toilet paper you had to twist your body up to reach it. Had to ask for soap to wash your hands. The whole ship was boring mostly a geriatric cruise ship. Laser light show wasn't working at all. TV was constantly not working. Shows limited to 30 min. only. Princess theater has no tables in it to hold drinks or even cup holders built into chairs. Coming from Deck 12 you take the elevator to Decl 7 then walk down the hall a ways to center of the ship then take another elevator to deck 5 were the dining rooms are. Not enough people working on the ship and for sure they do not smile much at all. Would not use this cruise lines again. Ship had a lot of hipe but thats it. Just not an upbeat experience. Seems most of there passengers play scrabble and play cards thats it. Even at times the music is boring. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2013
We sailed from Fremantle on 3rd Sept, after her re-fit , in a suite. We could not open the balcony door as it was so stiff, had to call for assistance. The balcony was " grubby " floor matting paint splattered and marked ( needed ... Read More
We sailed from Fremantle on 3rd Sept, after her re-fit , in a suite. We could not open the balcony door as it was so stiff, had to call for assistance. The balcony was " grubby " floor matting paint splattered and marked ( needed replacing )walls dirty and exposed pipes lagged with cloth ? rust in evidence - think the " re-fit " had missed this one. The so called " Speciality Restaurant " ( the only one )was merely a screened off area of the cafeteria, allowing anyone to walk through, our food had to be sent back as it was lukewarm - for this, one paid $20 per person extra plus another $10 if you wanted crayfish. The Horizon Court buffet was canteen style with plastic plates, plastic cups and wooden stirring sticks. The pool area is dominated by the large cinema screen blaring away all day - if you want a quiet relax you can go to " The Sanctuary " area and pool - at an extra cost of $30 per person per day and the " pool " is a small paddling pool with about 6 inches of water ! The so called " Vista Lounge " is not actually a " lounge " it's a theatre. We agree with "QueenK2's" regarding the shows and the Duo singer was deaf - not possible to have a quiet conversation and drink in the bar. The Terrace Grill ( sounds good ? )served Mrs Mac's pies The pre dinner dance floor on deck 7 was not used as there was no piano or music. There is more , but that's enough, times have changed, sorry Princess but value for what we paid - no. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We are elite cruisers with Princess (have sailed on many ships) and booked two 7 day Alaska cruises from July 3 - July 17, 2019 on the Island Princess. This ship is sadly lacking in public amenities and the cabin was so small you ... Read More
We are elite cruisers with Princess (have sailed on many ships) and booked two 7 day Alaska cruises from July 3 - July 17, 2019 on the Island Princess. This ship is sadly lacking in public amenities and the cabin was so small you couldn't escape to it either. There is no International Cafe, which on other Princess ships serves a menu of very fresh food for 24 hours a day. After 11 pm the only snack available is from Room Service with a limited menu of food which you have to eat in bed as the stateroom has no chairs to relax in. There is no Skywalkers Lounge for a panoramic view of the scenery. There is no Vista Lounge as Princess took lovely lounge space and converted it to revenue producing cabins. There is no Adagio Lounge for relaxing. All that is left is the Wheelhouse and Explorers which are just bars meant to sell liquor and are not convivial day venues. The atrium has no appeal since it is constantly noisy with martini shaking and various music programs and no International Cafe to give you a nice cup of tea and a sandwich. The fitness room and gym are stuck inside with no windows to enjoy the view. The fitness room is so small you cannot stretch because of the number of people on the floor. Stretch classes have been cut from 30 minutes to 20 minutes and 10 minutes of that is taking foot impressions to sell orthotics. You cannot walk all the way around the Promenade Deck as it is always blocked off. There is no jogging track. There is extremely limited deck space since the Horizon Court is at the bow of the ship and most ships have it aft with nice outside tables to enjoy the view out the rear of the ship. There is no aft pool which also affords a view on most ships. The Sanctuary is aft instead of amidship which cuts off the last opportunity to access the rear of the ship. We felt like prisoners on this ship, Stuck in limited public lounges with the Alaskan views only slightly visible through exceedingly dirty windows in the Horizon Court, the dining rooms and whatever few public areas remain. A fleet wide Princess problem is the lack of fresh food on their ships. Frozen fish is unacceptable on an expensive holiday with easy access to port reprovisioning. The only saving graces on this cruise were the entertainment and the staff. The entertainers were very good and on the second cruise we had 3 excellent production shows. The staff (other than Customer Service) were excellent. They are the biggest strength of Princess. Although we often cruise 2 or 3 times a year we are not in a hurry to book another cruise with Princess and will probably give Celebrity or RCCL another try. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The Ruby Princess has 4 dance areas, three are wooden floors and we thought we could find some decent music somewhere to dance to, but we were wrong. The food was good, but there were too many games(like Carnival) in the dance venues, ... Read More
The Ruby Princess has 4 dance areas, three are wooden floors and we thought we could find some decent music somewhere to dance to, but we were wrong. The food was good, but there were too many games(like Carnival) in the dance venues, so the floors were taken up with dumb stuff. We will definitely not do this cruise again. Embarkation in San Pedro was smooth, disembarkation was exceptionally smooth. Service was good, ship was beautiful. If you don’t dance and only want to eat good food, wander around and drink in the bars and not get too far from the west coast, you might like this cruise. I haven’t been on a 7 day cruise for a while(usually do over 20 day cruises), but my friends only wanted a short cruise. One couldn’t be gone longer and it was another’s first cruise. Maybe dumb games are played on all short cruises, but they were loud and everywhere! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Terrible slow service in the restaurant and a bad waiter. We had a pre-paid reservation for the same restaurant for another night but canceled due to our bad experience. Princess also needs to make sure that the beautiful pictures on the ... Read More
Terrible slow service in the restaurant and a bad waiter. We had a pre-paid reservation for the same restaurant for another night but canceled due to our bad experience. Princess also needs to make sure that the beautiful pictures on the boat that shows the pictures of the food dishes should match what Is served to you. It is almost like night and day difference (have some look at the picture on display of the short ribs pasta dish and then go order it in the restaurant). You will be shocked. Also, our bathroom in our suite was dirty as there was mold on the shower grout walls. The shower curtain was stained yellow across the bottom. Also, the fitness center was truly the most disappointing fitness center I have ever seen on any cruise ship that we have been on. Stuck in a room with no windows and just staring at walls is unreal. How could you ever enjoy working out? Many comments from passengers on board said they would not work out because of the fitness center location. We have been on many cruises and will most likely not go on Princess again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
When you read everything about the tours it is not accurate. They say no steps, but they do not tell you that it is uneven ground and steep inclines. All the pools were 5 feet or more. So you could not walk in water or exercise. ... Read More
When you read everything about the tours it is not accurate. They say no steps, but they do not tell you that it is uneven ground and steep inclines. All the pools were 5 feet or more. So you could not walk in water or exercise. Pool chairs were reserved with no one using them for hours And to charge for the one pool. Come on The guest service desk was very unfriendly and was not there to help and we had to go back many times to get things correct, The internet was fault advertising in the price. The staff did not explain the charges until you got the bill and saw the price was doubled. We were told we needed to have our bags outside our door by 11 pm on the last day and they came around at 10. Communications with passengers was very poor. We will not use Princess again because of this cruise Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose a new ship having recently been on the tired Grand, loved the itinerary, found things lacking such as: No promenade deck! Well can go up and down part of deck 7, have to squeeze in past tenders, sweat as go past hot air vents then ... Read More
Chose a new ship having recently been on the tired Grand, loved the itinerary, found things lacking such as: No promenade deck! Well can go up and down part of deck 7, have to squeeze in past tenders, sweat as go past hot air vents then turn back and repeat as can't do circuit Space in theatre appalling, only went to 3 things as had to queue for an hour to get in ALSO mother disabled and viewing in disabled seating area in theatre was atrocious only top 1/4 visible if not in front row! No alternative entertainment being offered simultaneously in Vista to reduce demand in theatre 3,500 pax 900 ? Seats two shows the math does not work. Lack of bars/ drink service Lack of swimming pools Cabin ( standard balcony) very cramped , no second chair or table ( brochure picture clearly shows both) balcony very small Food tepid in self serve Why is towel booth required on deck 16 lido, when there are towel stands surely it would be more use as beverage station........ Lack of cold/hot beverage points in accessible areas, i.e. Prior to handwash... Ridiculous hand wash station prior to Horizon Court Excursions very expensive/ poor value for money, tour guides on the whole difficult to understand Piazza area superb but WHY the vast area devoted to photos surely these could be displayed on smart TV in cabins, this area would be much better as a social area Entertainment was lack-lustre, day time activities on Sea days minimal and/or un hosted, NO SAILAWAY / cocktail of the day or events like BBQ held on lido deck in evenings, theme nights / pool parties or local entertainments/food experiences Shops on board too high end!!!! Where were the rummage sales? We all want souvenirs and or grandchildren presents Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my 12th cruise, but first with Princess. I love cruising and have enjoyed all my previous vacations with other companies. We cruised for our anniversary, and brought along our 3 year old son. I wanted to enjoy our vacation, so I ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise, but first with Princess. I love cruising and have enjoyed all my previous vacations with other companies. We cruised for our anniversary, and brought along our 3 year old son. I wanted to enjoy our vacation, so I tried repeatedly to overlook the negative details, but they were too many to overlook. We tried to bring issues to the attention of the staff, but our complaints were ignored and we were repeatedly lied to and patronized. Princess recently paid a big fine for fraudulent record keeping in blatantly ignoring regulations. I think the company has lost money, and it shows in their nickel-and-dime and corner-cutting which is especially obvious on an older ship like this one. Since the list of Pros is shorter, I will start there: Pros: -Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. SF has a wonderful and speedy port and the experience was the best of all the ports Ive been to (New Orleans, Miami, Galveston, etc) -The waitstaff were almost all delightful with only a few crabby exceptions. -Movies Under the Stars was a fun addition to the ship playing movies such as "Princess Bride" and Emma Watson "Beauty & The Beast" with many new family movies. -The recently updated Kids Club (Discovery) was inviting and fun. Although they frequently watched movies, I can't complain because our 3-yo son loved it and begged not to leave. -The band on board XtaSea was brilliant. They could hit the high notes in the Bee Gees and low notes in Louie Armstrong doing justice to each song they played. They were versatile and played current music (Blurred Lines, Bruno Mars, etc) as well as oldies. There wasn't a decade of music they left unsung and all of it was great. Being that they are originally from the Caribbean, their Regge versions were perfect. -Sabatini's Italian restaurant was our best meal on the ship. We were told they completely re-did the menu about two weeks ago. The pasta is house-made and it shows. Everything we were served was phenomenal and authentic. Our only complaint was that we were so full we couldn't finish dessert.... but we found a way. If Sabatini's were on land, I would go there frequently for dinner. If any of the rest of the ship's restaurants were on land, they would likely go out of business. Cons: -The ship cut corners everywhere imaginable. If you plan to cruise with Princess, be sure to bring your own toilet paper and Kleenex. The paper products provided are the quality that you would find in a gas station bathroom. The towels are old and rough with stains and holes. The paper towels in public areas are the brown ones that lack absorbency. -The hot water system is antiquated, so taking a shower is a series of scalding and freezing. I would have complained, but other passengers said the whole ship was like this, and I noticed it even when washing my hands in the sinks: too hot, too cold, too hot. -Everything is broken, and no staff is interested in fixing it. The women's sauna and steam room were out of order 8/10 days we sailed. At least one pool was closed at all times, and on several sea days, all but one or two hot tubs were closed for repair. Restrooms around the ship were closed for repairs for days at a time. The women's restroom near the kids club was closed for our entire sailing. Many of the restaurants/bars were out of key ingredients for things they offered for the entire sailing. The countertop in several of the bathrooms was cracked and had been poorly glued back together. The ship was constantly being painted the whole cruise, and that combined with the smell of smoke pouring out of the casino were at times nauseating. The smokers lounge is located directly outside the theater and it's doors don't seal, so the smell wafts into the theater and surrounding areas. I joked with other passengers that I avoided the 6th deck entirely due to the smoke smell and they agreed, if you don't smoke, even the smoke-free day in the casino is unbearable. -Three times (in 10 days) our room was affected by 'Essential Maintenance.' One of these times involved a 3 hour interruption in the water supply. They left a few bottles of water in the room for this water interruption which I appreciated. Of course, murphy's law, my son had to poop during the water outage, so I used the bottle of water to flush the toilet and wash his hands. When the water outage was over, I was asked to pay for the water we used. Even though we had the unlimited drink package, we were told that this water was not included. After much complaining, I got them to remove this charge, but I was shocked that we were even asked to pay. It felt like the constant nickel and diming. -The tea library "Leaves" had a hot water station that did not ever contain hot water for our entire sailing. There were also no cups, and all the drawers of various loose teas looked like they hadn't been refilled in a year. We asked staff about them and were either told that the stations would be filled in the morning, or were told that it was out of order. There were no signs, and we found it this way day and night. -Our balcony door leaked each time it rained, soaking the carpet and anything we had stored near the balcony. Despite repeated complaints, this was never fixed or addressed. -The partition between our balcony and our neighbors, broke on the second day of sailing. Despite reporting, it took two days for anyone to address the issue and the partition would BANG rhythmically in the wind, all day and all night. Finally, they came by with wooden door stops and wedged the partition into place. When the wedges came out and we asked for a more permanent fix, they came by with more wedges. All of this wouldn't have been so bad, but we were repeatedly told someone would fix it "right away" and it took days. Each time we asked they would apologize, claim someone would come right up, then never show. -Everyone on the ship is a gimmick to get you to buy something or spend more money. I went to a free "Stretch and Release" at the gym. Turns out this is not really a class at all, it is an infomercial for Good Feet shoe inserts. After a few minutes of stretching, the high pressure sale tactics start. "Normally these are $300... today only $200" The man teaching the class is the head of the gym, with his photo on the wall as you enter. He said "I don't work for princess, I am a paying guest just like you, so selling these is my livelihood" When I declined the purchase, he got angry. Why had I volunteered for the demonstration if I was not interested in buying. Finally, I said "I am sorry, $200 is a bit out of my price range for insoles" and he said "If you are on a cruise, you can afford it- I can't believe I let you volunteer, I always get a sale out of a volunteer, so I have wasted a sale." -Speaking of the gym, it is smaller than any other ship I have been on, so it was always crowded and dirty. They only had one bottle of wipes for the machines, and it was not attached, so it roamed and was hard to find. There isn't a running track on this ship, though they pretend the 7th deck has one, it is just a shared walkway. 3 times is a mile, but you must go up and down stairs and around banisters. It isn't a complete circle. There were only two classes offered: yoga at 7:30am and PDX-type, both were $12/session. They also had personal training for astronomical fees. Outside the gym, in the atrium area there is a free zumba class daily, but I did not attend so I can't say if they were also selling something. -The food was inconsistent. They use real parmesan cheese, but fake olive oil. The staff will swear up and down that the imitation crab is real, even when the giant spiraled chucks with the dyed red edge are obvious. The pizza place was OK, but the pizza's were soggy in the middle and undercooked. We started ordering them well-done, which helped, but we were sometimes told they were too busy to cook them well-done. The creme brûlée came out with a soft and mushy top. Most seafood dishes were overcooked and therefore chewy, I also suspect that much of the seafood had been frozen. The hollandaise sauce on the eggs Benedict came out as a 'crust' I assume perhaps it sat under a warmer too long? I have never seen browned hollandaise sauce. The gazpacho and Ceaser salad were consistently fantastic, and they also did a good job on any kind of stewed dish or anything served cold. In other words, things that are good even if they sit were good. Dessert was mostly good too, but it is difficult to mess up chocolate and sugar. -Specialty Dining: After having the terrible frozen crab legs in the dining room, we decided to skip the Crab Feast. The Crown Grill Steak restaurant was OK. My son got a pork chop which might have been the best thing on the menu. It was explained to me that there isn't any fire on the ship, all the cooking is electric (for obvious safety reasons) but steak and BBQ aren't good without fire, so it seems silly to offer something that you know won't be good. (BBQ at the trident grill tasted like it was boiled and then smeared with BBQ sauce) -This ship offered limited entertainment or activities. I think perhaps it is geared towards retirement age folks, and maybe they enjoy spending money all day? I don't know but 80% of the 'activities' offered in the Princess Patter were sales of some sort. Jewelry, clothing, art, shoe insoles, excursions, acupuncture, spa materials, etc. Even at dinner, they were pressuring us to attend the wine tastings for $25. -While in port, we had a security officer tell us it would be "5 more min" to board while the moved the walkways for the change in tide. He said this repeatedly for 45 minutes. The women behind me in line had a walker, but was stuck in line with us and no where to sit down. We had a hungry child and the line stretched so long, the prospect of fighting backwards in the line to get out got worse and worse. When we finally boarded the ship almost 90 minutes later, I went to the desk to suggest they consider an announcement when the walkways needed to be moved. They can't help nature, but it is a predictable event. I explained that if we had been told "45-90 min" instead of "5 min" we would have left and had lunch elsewhere instead of returning to the boat. The guy at the desk was patronizing and basically told me it wasn't their problem. The lady with the walker, thanked me for trying to complain, but clearly they have no intention of being honest or transparent. -When I finally got in touch with the manager of customer service, he pretended to be apologetic, he pretended he wanted to make it up to us, and offered my son a chance to meet the captain. We were so grateful and excited. He told me the time, and I read it back to him. On the day we were supposed to meet the captain, the manager lied and said that we had gotten the time wrong and that he had repeatedly called our room. We were in our room at the time he said he called, which made him back track. Perhaps he called the wrong number, or didn't let it ring enough times... perhaps his accent caused us to get the time wrong. I reminded him that I had read the time back to him, so his accent didn't matter, and he didn't have a response. He just stared at me and said he was sorry. All of the ports were amazing. The train is Skagway is worth the price. Watch the Discovery Channel documentary on it (on youtube). I would happily go back to Alaska, and all of the ports. I will just never sail Princess again. While in Juneau, we ate at "Salt" and had the best Salmon of our lives and best local beer from Arkose Brewing Company and even the ling cod was flavorful (not something I would normally say about whitefish). They have a fermented chili aioli that was so good I could have drank it, and they were generous with the truffle oil. In Ketchikan we really enjoyed eating at the "Cape Fox Lodge" and they offer a $3 tram ride down the mountain. For the experienced hiker, I recommend the Rainbird Trail. You need shoes with good grip, and preferably waterproof, but the views are breathtaking and worth it. No need for a guide, the trail is easy to follow, but strenuous at times. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Over all unhappy with friendlyness of Princess staff. They were not at all eager to serve us, we had to ask every day for simple things like coffee, table settings etc. They would walk by us without even a simple smile. Our room was a ... Read More
Over all unhappy with friendlyness of Princess staff. They were not at all eager to serve us, we had to ask every day for simple things like coffee, table settings etc. They would walk by us without even a simple smile. Our room was a balcony room with an obscured view. We were never notified of this and there was again no support or help offered to us. None of the staff seemed to want to serve or help us. We would order a drink only after chasing down a waiter or going up to the bar ourselves. In the buffet area, we were always looking for someone to serve us coffee, get us table settings etc. We have sailed with Princess many times and always bragged about your ships, however there was a very apparant lack of service and friendliness of you staff. We were disappointed from the first day with our room and nothing changed during the entire week we were onboard. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
** OVERALL RATING (FAIR) – two stars based on a 5 star rating. We would not take a cruise on this ship again. There are too many other choices, and better to spend a little extra for a quality ship and quality experience. ** ... Read More
** OVERALL RATING (FAIR) – two stars based on a 5 star rating. We would not take a cruise on this ship again. There are too many other choices, and better to spend a little extra for a quality ship and quality experience. ** EMBARKATION (FAIR) - The check in and boarding went smoothly, with prompt delivery of our bags. However, we planned to immediately disembark to join friends ashore for lunch, scheduled for months, but unable to do so. We were never informed of this until having boarded the ship! ** MINI SUITE (FAIR TO GOOD) - The mini suite was reasonably sized, however was dusty upon arrival to the cabin. My wife cleaned the tables! The bathtub area had black mold in the tiles behind the piping. The very strong chemicals used on the sheets and bath towels caused significant irritation to the skin, resulting in hives, a first on many cruise lines. This required a visit to the Medical Centre for obtain hydrocortisone cream, and a special visit by the housekeeper to provide non-chemically treated sheets and towels. The Doctor explained that other passengers were having the same issue. The cruise had decided to chemically over treat the sheets and towels in reaction to the illnesses suffered onboard by previous passengers! *** SUITE ATTENDANT (GOOD) - The suite attendants were attentive and responsive to our requests. ** SHIP LAYOUT & MAINTENANCE (FAIR) - Compared to many of our other sailings, the ship is old and tired, showing significant wear and usage. The layout, especially having to walk level 7 to access both sides of level 6 is crazy. The token machine for the laundry on level 9 required tokens was broken on both sides on both the port and starboard side, so we had to go to level 8 to get tokens. The lifts, when they were operating, were very slow to arrive, and to open and close; and the buzzer for lifts operated independently on many floors! *** SERVICE: (GOOD) –The service levels were mixed. The maître de, is highly regarded by staff, and our attendants in the Canaletto restaurant (Lambert and Charon) and Sabatini were excellent. However, the attitudes of personnel around the ship varied from very poor to very good, perhaps due to the heavy working hours (16 hours days with 3-hour breaks, and rare disembarkation in ports!, difficult to imagine with 9 month contracts). * ENTERTAINMENT (POOR) - The entertainment, when compared to other cruise lines, was seriously lacking, with some nights entirely absent anything worthwhile considering, and the ‘productions’ very amateurish, disappointing, with a short 45 minutes showing. The highlight of the entertainment for us was the Starwave band (Very Good). * FOOD (POOR TO FAIR) – The restaurant food was served warm, rarely hot, lacking taste, quality, and variety. The highlight of food quality and service was ‘Sabatini’. The steak house was poor, where the rib eye was tough. Coffee was tasteless and never hot (be sure to bring your own). Fortunately, we had our own instant coffee, and we would get the hot water from the outside outrigger bar. We enjoyed the experience of the crab shack, serving Alaskan crab, however since the crab had been frozen, it was flaky, and lacking in taste. ** OUTSIDE POOL DECKS (FAIR) – The location of the pools, and the deck chairs, is difficult to understand, since they are impractical. As an example, the many deck chairs on the outside decks. Absent any cover from the sun, were all unoccupied, resulting in passenger heavily congregating around the many small pool areas. We chose to pay the extra money for the Sanctuary, ($40pp per day or $20pp half day), an adult only area, located at the front on the 16th floor, We generally arrived around 1pm, However, one day, we ordered food from the menu for delivery, but after one hour, it had not yet arrived, so we cancelled the order. The location is private, quiet and comfortable. ** SHOPPING ONBOARD (FAIR) - The shopping is below average, with mid to low-end items offered for sale, and no high quality items. The pricing after discounts was no better than sales days in our location. The liquor is never sold for cabin use, only the last night of the cruise!!). ** INTERNET (FAIR) - We signed up for 600 minutes of Internet. A large portion minutes of usage was devoted to trying to login to sites, and to the very slow Internet connection responsiveness. Then, the connection with the satellite was lost so the Internet was unavailable. When contacting the purser office for n update, there was no apology, only that they were aware of it and were working on the problem! *** PORTS OF CALL (GOOD) – This rating is generous since the tender in Bali was poorly managed with insufficient tender boats causing significant delays in 90F+ temperatures. We are classified as “Independents” since we choose to be free to do our own thing. This is very much discouraged by Princess Cruise lines, who went so far as to warn against “hijackings” and published “lack of taxis in ports” which was simply untrue. GRATUITIES - We prefer to hand cash gratuities directly to those who contributed to our voyage, and we tip well. We completed the form to remove the daily hotel gratuities charged to our account, but is took several days and a follow up request the Reception Supervisor the make this happen. We visited the Reception desk to request proposed tips to staff (provided by other cruise lines), but there was none. When enquiring how the daily charge of $13.95 is distributed among staff, they were unable to respond. Be aware that any form of room service has a 15% automatic gratuity, which is NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED under room service menu. Since we ordered many wines and waters for the room, we were surprised that gratuity was added. Upon enquiring with Peter in room service, he informed us that this was covered in the contact signed upon boarding! Upon discussing with the Purser office, we were informed that this was assumed covered in the Cabin booklet, although not specifically mentioned. Once again, we had no problem with gratuities, but we prefer to give them ourselves, or at least to not have hidden gratuities. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected ... Read More
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected better. I occupied a mini suite B201 and my mother & Friend balcony cabin B315 Overall cabin size good, although I missed the balcony in the minim suite and would opt for less floor space and a balcony on a future cruise. The advertised big picture window was equivellant to just a standard window on other cruise lines. I pre booked two cases of water to be in the cabin. Took three days and lots of phone calls to get them. Not acceptable. Finally after several phone calls it was delivered with my first of several apology letters. The Good The cruise staff (Miranda) and the house band Xtasea were excellent. Entertainment overall very good, although the "New Show" being debuted wasn't great. Fitness staff excellent. The Bad & Ugly On embarkation a strong smell of sewage in the atrium area especially deck 6 and 7. Public restrooms not working in these areas THE ENTIRE CRUISE. Public restrooms in other areas never fully functional. Two of three stalls locked for maintenance. Hand sinks in public restrooms not working (Including the one near the buffet) a public health concern. Refrigeration not working (using time instead of temperature because cold plates were not functional on the buffet lines). Some bars had only warm bottled water (Because as the bartender explained the refrigerators were not cooling.) A/C's in some areas not working No Pool for several days No jacuzzi's for several days. Buckets collecting water leaks in hallways entire cruise. 12:30am water pipe broke with a flood of water coming down in the hallway outside my mothers room. Followed by a shop vac which woke up several cabins.(Yes I have pictures). Bartenders very slow, especially at one particular pool bar, which led to everyone going to a different bar making life difficult for the good staff, who were now working twice as hard. Inconsistent stocking of bars. Ship was just not ready to sail. Got into Cozumel area at 5:30am according to my cell phone and observations. Captain sailed back out to sea then made an announcement that due to the engine problems and slow speed we had not yet arrived (We are not all gullible, honesty is always the best policy). Continued to sail around in circles for an entire day and missed a port day. Missed Roatan due to engine issues Cozumel a day late (Not the reason for anyone to choose this itinerary) Missed Costa Maya (Due to weather?) Big Movie screen not working until the last day Not enough deck chairs. Balcony Cabin only had one chair on balcony for several days. Food poor compared to Celebrity. Ordered Rare steak on the last day. waiter gave me a very well done steak and laughed saying here is your rare steak. Would you like to wait for me to change it! Although paying double for a single fare only received half the OBC compared to other cabins! Given a 50% discount on My Cabin expense only for a future cruise. Since I cannot see may mother choosing to sail princess again (This was a gift to her) the discount on her cabin is useless. The potential for this ship is endless. The public areas really are lovely. The running of operations sub standard and antiquated. Anytime dining a joke. Never possible to make reservations and waiting in line was a given. I have sailed another line with engine issues. We were given notice before embarkation, a credit for the missed port, and kept accurately informed throughout the process. Issues happen and unavoidable, how they are handled is the Key to success. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
Our family was on the April 5, 2014 California Coastal cruise with the norovirus outbreak that made national news. We occupied three mini suites aboard the Crown Princess. One of us contracted norovirus. The previous cruise also had a ... Read More
Our family was on the April 5, 2014 California Coastal cruise with the norovirus outbreak that made national news. We occupied three mini suites aboard the Crown Princess. One of us contracted norovirus. The previous cruise also had a norovirus outbreak and embarkation was delayed several hours to sanitize the ship so there was a long line and no lunch. Once the cruise began, the staff seemed slow to respond to the new norovirus outbreak. It wasn't until nearly half way through the cruise before handrails and elevator buttons were being regularly cleaned. Infected passengers were confined to their cabins with their non-infected cabin-mates. Normal cabin-cleaning service stopped, and a slower less-reliable sanitizing teams came. Fresh linens and towels became scarce, beds were unmade, room service slow and inaccurate, plumbing clogged, and it took many calls and trips to the front desk to get the simplest tasks done. For those uninfected, the food was bland and flavorless. Not necessarily low quality, although certainly not high quality, but reminiscent of tasteless hospital food. Several steps below Las Vegas buffet food. There were no salt and pepper on the table because of norovirus outbreak. I bought my own seasoning in San Francisco and brought it to the dining room. In the main dining room or buffet, the hot entrees were cold. Amazingly, frozen desserts were served cold. The itinerary had two sea days in a one week cruise. There should have been port stops in Catalina and/or Monterey, especially considering the banal activities and bad food. Our dinner server worked extremely hard and efficiently. She had only one helper and she was obviously overworked. Through no fault of hers, we didn't have enough time to look at our menus and felt rushed by the frantic atmosphere. Dinner was not a relaxing experience. I've been on many cruises, and have never had this issue. In most of the dining rooms and especially the buffet, beverage service was slow or never came. My water glass was empty more often than partially full. During some meals we had no beverages. I have been on about ten cruises from the low end to Oceania, including a Princess cruise in the past. I thought Princess was a decent cruise line before this cruise. Even the few Carnival cruises I've taken were better. I realize that because of the norovirus outbreak, it is unfair to judge Princess by this cruise. That said, when faced with challenges, does an organization rise to the occasion or flounder? Taking everything into account, this cruise was unbelievably bad. It really had a low-budget / bargain feel and I'll not travel with Princess again. Read Less
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