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474 Princess Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Reviews

My wife and had the misfortune of booking a fourteen day cruise to the western Caribbean in Jan. 06 on the Sea Princess. I had read the Cruise Critic review on the Sea Princess that said the ship catered mostly to British clientele but I ... Read More
My wife and had the misfortune of booking a fourteen day cruise to the western Caribbean in Jan. 06 on the Sea Princess. I had read the Cruise Critic review on the Sea Princess that said the ship catered mostly to British clientele but I thought little of it since I like the British people and they are generally very polite and friendly. The Horizon Court Our first encounter with the British influence was the Horizon Court buffet as my wife and I are fairly active seniors and try to eat healthy. The breakfast buffet was an advertisement for Lipitor or Crestor etc. The meats and sausages of all colors and sizes were so rich in saturated fats that one's arteries clogged up just looking at them. So down with the buffet line for breakfast and lunch! That was not the last of the problems with the Horizon Court. When my wife and I would arrive there about 8:30 to 9:00 AM, after our attempt at at exercising (the gym doesn't open until 7:00 AM) more about the gym later. After a shower we proceeded to the Horizon Court to grab a bowl of cereal (the only food fit to eat for breakfast) the next challenge was to find a table to eat at. The Brit. had colonized all the tables and were working on their third cup of tea and socializing and my and I are looking desperately for a table to sit down to gobble down our cereal. Good Luck! The Brits. sipping their tea are not going to move until have to go to the bathroom but they leave one sweet old lady sitting there who tells you the table is not available and that her friends will soon be back with another cup of tea for her and they will be there for a while more. Off to the deck outside to eat our cereal rain or shine cold or windy because it that or eat standing up! When I stupidly mentioned to the head waiter that perhaps a little announcement or something reminding people that when they are finished breakfast and one cup of tea there are other people waiting for a table he told me the Brits are their primary customers and he would not do anything to ruin their vacation forget about our vacation. So if you like fat greasy sausages,ham and/or bacon and other foods we didn't recognize and you like eating standing up then I recommend the Horizon Court on the Sea Princess. The Gym The Gym on the Sea Princess is there to say they have a gym. It is not intended to be used by semi serious health conscience people. The main piece of equipment was a Nautilus circa 1950 so full of rust and corrosion that I was worried about cutting myself and requiring a tetanus shot. The life cycle bicycles were of the same vintage and sad also. When I mentioned this to the poor guy running the gym he agreed it was pretty sad. The vast majority of the passengers on this cruise didn't care if there was a gym as they were not going to use it anyway! The Room The worst part of the experience was our room Dolphin 316. If you have to take a cruise on the Sea Princess for whatever reason don't accept this room or any near it unless you are the type that does not plan to retire until after 1:30 to 3:30 every night while cruising. The room as measured is directly overhead of the Combo stage of the Wheelhouse bar on the deck below. The bar features small group entertainers usually two or three at most to a Combo. All the groups and there was a few used the bass enhancer to simulate "Large Combo" sounds. The speakers are attached to the ceiling onto the metal superstructure. Now everyone is aware that sound is conducted through various mediums and metal is an excellent conduction medium for the low frequency amplifier enhanced base notes! Well as we are early risers we are usually in bed after the first shows in order to be on our trips ashore the next day. Well the first night we came to the after the show in the Princess Theater. As we walked up to the room we heard loud music coming from somewhere. We then opened our door to our room and to our horror the walls were vibrating to the base notes. I ran to the pursers desk and said we can't sleep in that room and he politely pointed to nicely placed sign "there are no alternate rooms we are fully booked" Well that is when the battle began I asked for two weeks to have our room changed but it was always well we have to pick up more Brits in Barbados and what about the ones getting off? Well we will try sir but we can't promise anything right now. The battle went on for two weeks with our room never being changed. In summary after this experience with the Sea Princess we will not sail on the Princess Cruise Line again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
This was our family's first time on Princess. We've previously sailed on Carnival, Holland America and Celebrity. By far, Princess had the worst food, the worst entertainment and the worst on-board activities of any ship ... Read More
This was our family's first time on Princess. We've previously sailed on Carnival, Holland America and Celebrity. By far, Princess had the worst food, the worst entertainment and the worst on-board activities of any ship we've ever sailed on. The Sun Princess's set up with two smallish theatres instead of one large theatre makes it impossible to put on any of the "Broadway style" shows the other lines do. They repeated the same show over and over again so there was little variety. When they ran a movie in the theatre, the next day or the prior day they ran the same movie on TV. Their newsletter was consistently wrong (e.g. internet available on 3 floors - but in fact only on one). They failed to advise passengers that they were adding a third formal for Christmas so when the last formal night came, many people did not have enough clothes. Their food looked pretty but all tasted pretty much mediocre. (The pastry chef at Golden Corral makes better desserts.) After 11pm, unless you gambled, there was nothing to do on the ship - no late night shows or movies or anything. While their mediocre buffet is open all night (with the same food every night once dinner is over) on a 12 day cruise they only had one late night buffet and that was limited to desserts up on deck. They served almost every dessert with nuts with no regard for the large number of people who have nut allergies and with no warnings when nuts were included (Have you ever seen Baked Alaska using butter pecan and mint chip ice cream?) They played Christmas music incessantly - the same tape over and over again. Even the live piano player played the same routine every single night of the cruise. Days after Christmas, we still were treated to day and night Frosty the Snowman. The ports varied. St Thomas seems to be more run down every time we go and I find very little difference between prices there and what you can buy online at home. Their private island has significantly less options than other cruise lines offer. On previous cruises you could rent a jet ski or a sail boat or para sail. Other than a banana boat ride and some floats you were pretty much limited to tan or swim. The buffet on the Island was lousy - fly covered fruit and a choice of ribs, hamburgers or hot dogs and unlike other lines, they only kept the buffet open until 1:30. If you decided to eat late you got nothings Dominica was a great stop. A beautiful Island with lots to see. The same with Barbados but with a warning on this and other ports --- don't wait till you get on the ship to book shore excursions. A number of the popular ones were sold out before we boarded or shortly thereafter. In Barbados if you want to sail or snorkel with turtles and to see shipwrecks - don't worry though. Just be off the ship by 9:30 or so and go to the information desk in the port terminal. They will book you on lots of tours that leave around 10am. Isle Margarita - Venezuela was a waste of time. Not much to do other than go to a shopping mall and warning - you need to take a tour because the cruise terminal is 45 minutes from town. It seemed to most of us that Princess stopped here because the port fees were cheap. Curacao was nice although the cave tour we took was disappointing in that it is set into a cliff - not below ground - so it is hot and humid inside - not like other caves. On balance, the Islands were fine - a much better experience than the ship. Only thing we actually enjoyed were the art auctions. Princess runs them themselves and Jon - the auctioneer was very good and educational. Maybe it is the influence of Carnival (although I've had better experiences there) or just the physical limitations of this ship but on the basis of this experience I would not take another Princess Cruise. I'm going back to Celebrity - a far better experience for the same price. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
I want to start by saying that this review is for people who are very careful in choosing their cruises and value opinions of fellow travelers. It is not negative, as you might think at first. I tried objectively to point out things that ... Read More
I want to start by saying that this review is for people who are very careful in choosing their cruises and value opinions of fellow travelers. It is not negative, as you might think at first. I tried objectively to point out things that were different on this ship/cruise and things that we did not enjoy. If you cruise for itinerary or just cruise on every ship there is, you would not pay attention to reviews anyway. However, if all you can do is one cruise a year and you look forward all year to that cruise  you might find my points helpful. I will not go over obvious things like food on Princess is better then on Carnival, service on Princess is better then on NCL, or entertainment in general is more interesting and more varied here then on Holland America but much less so then on Carnival. My purpose is to describe our experience with Caribbean Princess and not to generalize about cruises or Princess Company. We just returned from our Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Caribbean Princess. This was our 12th cruise all together, and 2nd cruise on Princess. We have cruised on Sun Princess 3 years ago and were not impressed with service and amenities of this line. However, we decided to try this ship and this company again because we were told that this is a grand class ship and very different from anything else afloat. For the first time we took out kids and my parents along on the cruise. To begin with, we were not impressed with this ship and do not think that it has more class than any other ship. Moreover, we were overwhelmed by crowds, lines and just mass of people on this ship. We sailed with a full ship of 3200 people onboard. There were constant lines everywhere  you could not get a table, a lounge chair, a drink, a seat at the theater, a seat at the lounge, or simply get on or off the elevator. The ship was not designed to hold 3200 passengers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You could feel the lack of space everywhere. You had to come to the theater 40 minutes before the show just to have a sit. You had to have lunch at the buffet at odd hour in order not to stand in the line for 20 minutes. One day after standing in a buffet line for 15 minutes, I walked with a plate of food for another 15 minutes on deck 15 just trying to get a table, and after not finding one I just settled for a lounge chair that miraculously was available. Most annoying on this ship were hordes of people everywhere. You could not find a quite place. There were never chairs available at the game room, at the lounge, or at the club. Since I had to accommodate for my kids and my parents, I was running up and down the stairs all day long because I could not get on the elevator for the life of me. Now from the beginning: The embarkation area is not big enough to handle 3200 people out of the ship and 3200 people in the ship. It is a mess. We arrived at 11 am and people were still leaving the ship, the line to get onboard was about 1500 people. Doors opened at noon and after that the process went very smoothly. By 1 pm we were onboard. We dropped our bags and went exploring the ship. We were looking forward to seeing a big screen movie theater. It was impressive and kids liked it. The best about it was night time watching when pool is closed and you are just relaxing under a warm blanket. They have second run for most movies, however selection was very poor. They mostly had last year movies for kids  Finding Nemo, Shrek, Incredibles  and pretty old adult movies  Shall We Dance, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tina Turner in concert. So even thought it was a good idea, and we hoped to catch up on newer movies, we did not use it because selection was very limited. (To compare to Celebrity, they were playing all new releases in their theater last year). I have to say a few good words about the spa. They have great variety of treatments available and some of them are very reasonably priced. I took a tour of the spa, and would use it if I was on the ship without kids and parents. This trip I had no time for myself. I used the beauty salon and was impressed with Ken, who colored and styled my hair. Most of the people at the spa and salon are impressive. Overall, the ship is very tastefully decorated, very nice colors and scheme selection, and very relaxing environment. However, atrium is too small and not very impressive. (To compare to Carnival, there were no 11 story atrium on this ship. It is also not as wide and spacious as RCCL). Crooner's piano lounge is jammed in the corner with only a few tables and always full of people. Club Fusion is a great idea and a very useful space. The only one that seemed to have empty chairs at most times. Skywalker is the ship-top disco with a magnificent view and poor music selection (calypso, western, English bands). The Wheelhouse Bar has musical duet with less than average musical abilities. They also have quartet but we never seen or heard them on the ship. Explorers' Lounge is another nice place that is used as movie theater, comedy club, art auction center, and for all other purposes. It is also crowded most of the time. The environment had changed to the better since our last cruise on Princess. And service had improved. They were still forcing you to buy cola stickers, but only on the first day. You still got myriads of sale flyers in your mail slot, but we just learned to toss them without reading. You still got annoying announcements about art sales and such, but we learned to tune them out. The shops are small and not very broad selection, however they had very beautiful Italian made costume jewelry and some nice shawls and purses. I got snubbed by cosmetic sales girl for asking her about newer cosmetic line of Lancôme, otherwise it was ok. Our cabin was on Baja deck with covered balcony. Cabin (203 sq ft) was too small for 4 of us and balcony was small, the shower was laughable. Room attendant was good, service was good. I was surprised to see the balconies below us without cover and privacy. I knew that some were covered and some were not, but this was ridiculous. My husband and I enjoy private dinners late at night and sometimes get intimate on the balcony, but on this ship you felt exposed no matter on what deck you were. Food was an experience on this ship. Buffet featured long lines, crowded rooms, permanently occupied tables, and mostly cold food. Dining room had poor selection, food was tasteless, and there was nothing delicious, special or gourmet. We are used to soups, salads, and lots of vegetable dishes for our everyday meals, but also enjoy gastronomical adventures that are usually available on most ships. Here was an exception. Most of the nights, I had shrimp dishes because there was nothing else to choose from the menu. I had soup once, lobster bisque, and it was just so-so, the rest of the nights soups were uneatable. You had to go to the buffet to get a good salad, and also I had to find some food for kids (they do not eat cheeseburgers, pizzas, and hot dogs) and it was an ordeal. Few nights we went to the dining room to avoid crowds at the buffet and after not finding food that kids or parents can eat at the menu, had to return to the buffet at a later time. We solved food problem by ordering juices and fruits to the cabin each morning, and having salads for lunch, dinner was problematic most nights. One night they had Indian cuisine, another night Creole, next night Chinese/Japanese, next night Caribbean/Jamaican  needless to say we hoped for some nice Italian, French, or American dishes. We are not big meat eaters, so we did not go to Sterling Steakhouse. And I could not justify $120 for Italian meal on the ship at Sabatinis. Room service offered a selection of cold sandwiches and Caesar salad. I am used to ordering veggie tray with dips, cheese and pastry trays from room service to have with our wine on the balcony. On Princess you had to pay extra for these items. I also did not order in-cabin dinner service for $50 per person because of the lack of space in the cabin and no privacy on the balcony. Entertainment was a huge disappointment. The 750-seat Princess Theater is always crowded; you cannot reserve chairs there and have to be there at least 40 minutes before the show in order to get a sit. The so-called production shows were amateurish at best. I was ashamed to have my parents next to me on these shows after I raved about other shows on Carnival and Celebrity to them. There were in total 4 comedians, 2 English singers, magician, juggler, 2 production shows, and crew entertainment night. We walked out on most of them. After 12 cruises, this was the WORST entertainment ever !!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My school plays were more professional than that. They had no choreography, no great dancers, no special effects, very limited costumes and terrible decorations. I do not know if this is what they have on all Princesses sips now, but it was very different 3 years ago. We are used to one Broadway style show, one Las Vegas show and one music and dance show on the 7 night itinerary. Here they had 2 music and dance shows and both of them unprofessional and just a pretty lame affair. Because of the young kids, we could not go to the late night parties. So champagne waterfall at 11:30 pm was too late for us to attend. Midnight dance party at Skywalker was also out of reach. Tropical dance party was nothing special, just your typical island party music and dances. Huge Huge Huge disappointment with entertainment. Port stops were very nice; Princess Keys is a wonderful stop. They have provided everything on the beach including food and did not overlook any details. St. Thomas is beautiful as always. And St. Martin became one hot island since the last time we visited. Many great shops, beautiful beaches, French designer clothes, nice promenade. Overall, ship is too crowded; it cannot and should not accommodate more than 2500 people. It has no room and no facilities for 3200 people. Crew tried to do their best and they were able to achieve amazing results with little space that the ship has. They work twice as hard as on any other ship just trying to cover for the lack of space. The service was very good and everyone was very nice and helpful considering the limitations. My husband was very disappointed with the cruise and rated it below expectations. My kids liked child care onboard and enjoyed going there and watching movies on the big screen. My parents were disappointed with swarm of people, poor food selection and bad entertainment. I wouldve had a better time if we were cruising alone, my husband and I, without kids and parents. But since I had no great hopes to begin with, I think that it met my expectations except for entertainment, lack of space, and crowds of people. European Cruise Lines (4), Regency Cruises (1), Carnival (1), NCL (1), RCCL (1), Celebrity (2), and Princess (2). Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Many issues with the ship. I have been on many cruises chose the transfers with the company. If you are elderly, be prepared for a long registration. Bring water. Upon the arrival the line snaked outside the building. After being dumped by ... Read More
Many issues with the ship. I have been on many cruises chose the transfers with the company. If you are elderly, be prepared for a long registration. Bring water. Upon the arrival the line snaked outside the building. After being dumped by the bus driver I mean dumped in chaos. All I had to look forward to is a long line. They open at 1pm with 2000 people waiting. Leave it to your imagination.. It is a terminal too small to handle the crowds. Unlike Holland America its a mess. The ship is no doubt clean, great staterooms good layout but with 3200 people on it long lines, unable to find a lounge chair by pool, food service lines long unable to find a table. The island dining had issues. It was no problem if some people where absent, but a full dining room resulted in spotty service forgotten drink orders. The food was fair. In the Horizon dining room horrific. They need to stay away from serving Chinese food. Even though the kitchen staff and floor staff where trying their best 3200 people is a mammoth task. Ports of call really not worth noting individual tastes dictate. One to note Perfume Palace in St. Thomas best prices best advice I ever received. They introduced me to best skin care for me.. thankful for that. Skip your workouts 3200 on here always crowded small gym. The fitness instructor Ryan fantastic. Pool areas noisy kids seemed to be everywhere no peaceful areas. Nighttime shows great but again, try to find a seat. Promenade deck no deck lounge seats. To sum this all up, the company is owned by Carnival.. The ship is Carnivalized. Maximize space. I would recommend another cruise line. The ship is too big. The little things carrying your food tray to find a seat, always a crowd, food cold, eggs prepared for the masses, prison mess hall type food displays big vats of food..,overworked crew, congested noisy pool areas on sea days..It's simple -- the ship is too big compromising public areas to maximize people they carry. After being on 13 other cruises this one ranks at the bottom. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
We cruised in the middle of hurricane season and almost didn't get out of Fort Lauderdale. The boarding was fine for us but some people missed the ship because they called corporate and weren't told the ship was leaving early. ... Read More
We cruised in the middle of hurricane season and almost didn't get out of Fort Lauderdale. The boarding was fine for us but some people missed the ship because they called corporate and weren't told the ship was leaving early. We had a mini-suite and it appeared to be quite large. Ample closet and drawer space was available. The idea of the cabin didn't work because if you watched 1 tv the other was too close, one tv on a swivel would have worked as well. The main problem was the bed-it was rock hard and had a large ridge down the center. My husband likes to sleep near but it was impossible not to roll down. The ice bucket in the room was Motel 6 plastic as were the dishes in the buffet. The coffee cups were also plastic but they matched the terrible coffee. Never have we been on a cruise with so much plastic and cheap china in the dining room. The food was plentiful but not as many high end dishes ie. duck, seafood, or fish which was frozen old. At one dinner I and another woman both sent back the fish. We did not go to any advertised port instead going to San Juan at 5:00 after dark, St. Thomas, and Tortola. The ports were terrible and we felt corporate could have opted for more exciting ports. Since the original ports were shut due to hurricane and we didn't even land at Princess Cay. They should have said we are sorry about changes but have a drink on us. Instead the attitude was take it and be quiet. Most of the people on board had never been on a cruise so they didn't know the difference. Once on Holland America our breakfast was late and wrong and they called to apologize, and even gave us some truffles to say I'm sorry. Not on Princess for such a major deviation from what we were promised, they offered not even an apology. If you want a low end cruise opt for the Star Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
We took the 24 Apr 05 Western Caribbean tour. Lets start at the beginning. The Embarkation was great got to the port around 2:00pm and we were in the room by 2:30. Went to the Horizon cafe for lunch and the food was cold and not very good. ... Read More
We took the 24 Apr 05 Western Caribbean tour. Lets start at the beginning. The Embarkation was great got to the port around 2:00pm and we were in the room by 2:30. Went to the Horizon cafe for lunch and the food was cold and not very good. Dinner was ok the anytime dining we were given was good did not seem to get the personal service that you get with Traditional seating. The dinner menu did not excite me with a lot of super meals. The lobster was really good but that's it. We had the prime rib the last night and it was very tough. Lunch time the best thing was the Hamburgers by the pool they were great. I will give the food a 4 out of 10. Lets move on. We were in the the Hot tub by the main pool on the first night and they were full of people and they closed them at 12:00am. We did not like that they should have stayed open later. You are there to enjoy yourself not to have things close early. When we booked the cruise we were going to Ocho Rios but were changed to Montego Bay. Went to Ocho Rios on a bus which included a 2 hour bus ride got to Dunns Falls around 12:15 and we had only an hour to see it and we got 15 mins to shop and 1 hour to eat. On the way back the bus broke down and we were kept on the bus for 10 and half hours with no food, water, or rest rooms do to the road being flooded out on the way back to the boat. We got back to the boat around 1:30am and the only food they had waiting for us was the buffet which was old and cold. They did nothing else for the 200 of us that went through that ordeal. The Carnival ship in port with us left port 45mins before us and they went on to Grand Cayman. But our Capt. decided not to stop and continue on to Cozumel and only refund us the $12 port charge. Most of the boat was very unhappy with this. This was my first and last Princess cruise I have cruise with Carnival and will not go back and have sailed 4 times on royal Caribbean and I will never stray from them Again. My total rating for the Star was Poor. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
Just got back last night from our cruise, and wanted to write this while still very fresh in my mind. The ship was way TOO crowded, if you don't like crowds don't go on this boat. This boat was sold out, the purser desk let ... Read More
Just got back last night from our cruise, and wanted to write this while still very fresh in my mind. The ship was way TOO crowded, if you don't like crowds don't go on this boat. This boat was sold out, the purser desk let everyone know that. There weren't enough deck chairs and fights would start, you weren't suppose to save them but people would get up at 7 am and do so. Other people would come along and move their stuff. Then you have your people that had no where to sit and just wandered looking. If you had a balcony you were lucky especially if it faced the sun that day you could lay out on the hard floor there. Food---- if you like hospital food you will like the dinning rooms of this place. The food was poor and sometimes the service was rude. Anytime dinning is a joke..... show up early or be given a pager. The best food was at the Caribe buffet for dinner one night. The buffet area was always packed and you could never get a table for breakfast or lunch, we would bring it to our room many times. Tendering- Let's just say don't expect to spend a lot of time at the place you are going if you have to tender. The tendering wait was 1 hour in the theater, watching CNN with no sound, so by the time we got to The Princess Cays it was 11:15 and the last tender was going back at 3, short trip. Nice island, but again not enough chairs, some people had to go back to the boat to lay out, There were chairs there that day on the ship. Food at the Cays was good and the lines moved. Snorkeling was good there too, for just being off the beach. Rooms- Nice, clean, everyone raved about the attendants to the rooms. A bit small, but not complaining Embarkment- I have to say was smooth, easy and fast... Great job at that Disembarkment- be ready for disorganization. Unlike Royal Caribbean who puts the certain tag colors in different public areas to wait, Princess lets you wait anywhere, and guess where most people waited... Yep deck 5 by the gangplank. We were #2 called and that was 1 hour after starting disembarkment, with waiting in more lines after being called---many people had enough by then and started saying they would never cruise princess again. Teen center-- We brought 3- 17 year old girls with us. There were 300 teens on the ship, and 60 17 year olds. The teen center is from ages 13-17. They did have activities planned, but they were more geared to the younger age. Most 15-17 year old don't want to be hanging with middle schoolers either, and I understand that. They needed another place for the kids in high school. They weren't allowed to go to Skywalker's (the night club) so they all just roamed the ship, b/c they weren't allowed anywhere (ie. casino, movie (unless you had previous reservations) shows, they ended early for teenagers.) So teenagers roaming is not good. The ship captain had to wake the whole ship up at 3 a.m. b/c a teen was missing and had to make the announcement to make sure she hadn't fallen overboard. He said he was sorry the next day, but he had to do it. The older teens worked on the bartenders trying to get drinks, I don't think they got any, but you never know. Entertainment- The comedy acts were ok, but the problem was most played in the Explorers Lounge, which doesn't hold many people. they played 3 times on their night and each show (we sat for 2 of them) was packed staying room only. Not relaxing, why they didn't have it in the theater, I don't know. Some dance act played the first 3 nights, barely attended in the theater Casino- Was nice, pretty big. Lots of slots, but only 1 craps table. Needless to say even though it was big, it was crowded. Booze- put it in your luggage, they don't check. I even bought 2 bottles of rum in St. Thomas and they didn't have boxes for it, so they put it in a plastic bag, which went through security, but wasn't taken away from me. I had it in my room the rest of the trip. Most drinks are 4-5 dollars on the ship. WIne at dinner--- you could buy a bottle of wine and whatever you didn't drink you could have the next day. They tag it and find it the next time you want it which was nice. Ports- St. Thomas and St. Maarten were nice places. Time in both was to short but it was fun. I have cruised 3 other times before on Royal Caribbean, I had thought then that this wasn't the best, but after this trip I realize that RCCL has the system down and is very organized and nice and I doubt I would ever go on another Princess cruise again. (unless the price was super cheap). Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
I'm 25 years old and went on this cruise with my family on Sun Princess the Jan 8-18, 2005. The ship looks great still for being 10 years old. Food was not that good in the dining room. The buffet was pretty good. Most of the crew ... Read More
I'm 25 years old and went on this cruise with my family on Sun Princess the Jan 8-18, 2005. The ship looks great still for being 10 years old. Food was not that good in the dining room. The buffet was pretty good. Most of the crew were not too nice. The Anytime Dining was not good. The service was very bad. We had waiters refusing to let our steaks be well done, we had another waiter pressuring us to get alcoholic drinks after saying no twice then got a snotty remark back. The hot dog guy at the Terrace grill was very rude. The first day my sister asked if she could get Sauerkraut on her hot dog and he jumped at her and said in a mean sarcastic voice "yes miss!" Our ship did have people sick with the Norwalk Virus. The first day was fine, but the 2nd day of the cruise we could not serve ourselves at the buffet. We could not even touch the salt and pepper or the Sweet 'n Low for our ice teas. Later that day we got a letter in our room informing us that some passengers have the Norwalk virus and explained how to prevent it. The Captain also talked about it the next day. It was pretty bad on the ship. The crew was pissed off since they had to do everything for us. It was a big pain not being able to touch anything. Three days into the cruise the cabin across from us got the Norwalk and workers would come in everyday in special protection suits with masks and clean and spray the rooms down. They did that every day. Also, the entire ship was always being sprayed with some kind of spray. The cabin next to us also got the Norwalk virus and you could hear them flushing the toilet 50 times a day for at least 4 days. We had 4 cabins just in our area with Norwalk virus. The cabin that had it bad next to us was B224 and B207. In the buffet area, you had to wait a long time for a table until it was sanitized. There was not enough help since the crew had to get everything for us. Sometimes you would wait 4 minutes for an ice tea. They also shut down one side for the buffet since there was not much help. So you had longer lines. My sister heard that if someone vomited in a certain area, that they would quarantine the entire area and everyone inside. So if that happened around us, we would run out like hell. The cabin next to us was not able to go out at all since they had the virus. We saw a lot of doctors going into people rooms so when we saw that we would run away. Not too many people knew what was going on. Or the crew was trying to keep it a secret. A lot of crew members were very rude and treated us like all of us had the plague. I really did not care for this cruise. I did try to make the best of it. I've been on Princess 8 times now and now I don't know if I really want to sail on them anymore. Not because of the Norwalk, but because the service was terrible everywhere and just had a lot of rude workers. The two new girls up in the buffet area were the only nice ones and the dinning room service was so bad that I only went there three times. Something is wrong with Princess -- they are really starting to go down hill. I'm not hard to please but this service was pathetic. The pizza place was very good. And the service was better there than at the dining room so all of us went there 6 times. The pay steak house was pretty good. The charge is $15 per person. It's worth going to at least once. It use to be a lot better but it's still pretty good. The last day of the cruise, my sister asked one the of Purser desk workers if they knew how many people were affected. They did not know how many, but they did say that it was started by a group of passengers that had the Norwalk virus on another ship the week before they came on ours and lied about that they did not have any Norwalk problems before coming on the Sun Princess. So now I know that at least 89 passengers were sick. I felt so sorry for the people in the cabin next to us for all their bathroom problems. It was their first time on Princess and they get the Norwalk virus. We had high waves most of the trip. The waves were higher than the life boat deck. We had 13 to 14 foot waves on 4 days of the trip. We were flying at times. That was fun! I was in B216 way in the front so we really felt the ship moving. The ship is great. Nice and clean. You would not even know that it's old. The food needs major improvement and the service needs help. I can take bad food, but what ruined my cruise was the workers being very rude. Hopefully it was just this cruise. Maybe we had a lot of new workers and they were still learning. I have been on Princess 8 times and they always been great. The Sun Princess last year was awesome. I don't know how this ship can go from awesome to terrible within a year? I have been on Cruise West twice -- an all American crew so I can put up with bad service, but this was ridicules. Maybe this cruise everyone just woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Even when I was on the Statendam it was struck by a barge that put a big hole in the side of the ship and lost an engine that brought us in a day and half late, the service was still awesome. With all the bad things said, the good things was going to the nice beaches. If you go to Antigua, Deep Bay Beach is really nice. It's on a nice hotel and you have no beggars or people bugging you. The taxi was only $13 one way for all 4 of us. The town itself sucks, but the beaches are very nice. I'm very nervous to go back on Princess. I just like Princess because I get free Internet. I'm going to try Celebrity Cruise Lines to see how they are. I heard very good things about them. I'm 25 years old and I'm just afraid I may not fit in with Celebrity. But, I like Holland America. If you go on the Sun, hopefully they will improve by the time you go one them. I really can't tell you how it will be, but Princess use to be good. I still will go on Princess but will not spend much money to go on them. Don't be afraid of my review because it may be just my cruise. Make sure you read current reviews of the Sun before deciding to go on it. I don't want you to be afraid to go on the Sun. The Sun Princess is the perfect size and really is a cool ship. I just hope that it was my cruise that was bad. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I SAILED WITH PRINCESS AND THEY HAVE CONVINCED ME NOT TO DO IT AGAIN. I THOUGHT THAT MAYBE I HAD SAILED AT A BAD TIME THE FIRST TIME BUT MY COMPLAINTS THE SECOND TIME WERE THE SAME AS THE FIRST TIME. I SAILED ON ... Read More
THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I SAILED WITH PRINCESS AND THEY HAVE CONVINCED ME NOT TO DO IT AGAIN. I THOUGHT THAT MAYBE I HAD SAILED AT A BAD TIME THE FIRST TIME BUT MY COMPLAINTS THE SECOND TIME WERE THE SAME AS THE FIRST TIME. I SAILED ON THE GRAND TWO YEARS AGO AND HAD AWFUL EXPERIENCES WITH BOTH PRINCESS AND THE CREW. PRINCESS GAVE ME ALL SORTS OF DIFFICULTY TRYING TO RECEIVE A SHIP CREDIT THAT MY DAUGHTER HAD PURCHASED FOR US, luckily I HAD PRINCESS'S CONFIRMATION OF THE CREDIT AND THAT FORCED THEM TO HONOR IT. MY TRAVEL AGENT HAD PURCHASED A CERTIFICATE FOR A FRAMED PORTRAIT FOR US FROM PRINCESS WHICH WE NEVER RECEIVED AND THE TRAVEL AGENT HAS NOT RECEIVED A CREDIT YET. I AGREE THAT THE CARIBBEAN PRINCESS IS A BEAUTIFUL SHIP, I ALSO AGREE THAT IS BUILT WRONG IN THAT THE SHIP IS NOT VERY STABLE ESPECIALLY IN ROUGH SEAS. IT WAS MOANING AND BANGING THE LAST NITE FROM PRINCESS CAY TO FORT LAUDERDALE. PUBLIC RESTROOMS ARE FEW, FAR BETWEEN AND IT LOOKS LIKE THAY HIDE THEM. I BELIEVE THIS SHIP WAS BUILT AS A PROFIT CENTER FOR PRINCESS. FROM THE TIME WE WALKED FROM THE EMBARKATION DESK UNTIL WE LEFT THE SHIP THEY WANT TO SELL YOU SOMETHING. I COMPLAINED ON MY PREVIOUS VOYAGE ABOUT HAVING TO PURCHASE ICE CREAM AND WAS TOLD THAT "IT IS HAG AND DASS" - I EXPECT HAG AND DASS CONSIDERING WHAT I PAID FOR THE CRUISE. OUTSIDE OF THE ROOM attendants, THE CREW MEMBERS COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE PASSENGERS. I HAVE SEEN ELDERLY PEOPLE STRUGGLING TO CARRY THEIR FOOD IN THE BUFFET LINE AND THE CREW JUST WATCH. SOMEONE ASKED ABOUT COFFEE AND HE WAS TOLD "IT IS IN THE CORNER". CONVERSATIONS I HAD with OTHER PASSENGERS ALL HAD THE SAME COMMENTS. MANY PEOPLE WHO HAD SAILED PRINCESS MANY TIME SAID THAT THEY SAW A big difference IN THE QUALITY OF SERVICE, FOOD AND entertainment FROM THEIR PAST CRUISES. YOU DON'T CARRY 3000+ PEOPLE AND HAVE A THEATER THAT HOLDS 750 PEOPLE UNLESS YOU PLAN ON CUTTING DOWN ON PRODUCTION SHOWS AND SHOW THEM MORE OFTEN. THE BEST SHOW ON THE SHIP WAS BERT STRATTON AND THE BUT HIM IN A SMALL LOUNGE THAT HOLDS ABOUT 25 PEOPLE WITH A HUNDRED PEOPLE STANDING AROUND. WHY NOT BUT HIM IN THE ATRIUM? I COULD GO ON AND ON BUT I HAVE TO CALL CELEBRITY OR ROYAL CARIBBEAN FOR MY NEXT CRUISE Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
We have sailed on NCL, Carnival, Holland America and Royal Caribbean- some more than once. We had heard wonderful things about Princess and were so excited about this, our ninth cruise. The embarkation was amazing- disembarkation efficient ... Read More
We have sailed on NCL, Carnival, Holland America and Royal Caribbean- some more than once. We had heard wonderful things about Princess and were so excited about this, our ninth cruise. The embarkation was amazing- disembarkation efficient and well done. Unfortunately the experience in between........the cruise itself, was disappointing. My husband (45), myself( 42) and our two kids ages 13 and 18. all felt the food was lackluster. We often ended up eating at the grill although we usually don't eat burgers and pizza. With the exception of Denise and Gavin the cruise staff seemed burned out and contemptuous of the passengers (especially the teens). The "teens" program for ages 13-17 often did not offer the programs listed on the itinerary- so after a few attempts we quit trying (plus, what 17 year old wants to hang out with 13 year olds and vice-versa?). The entertainment was good. We especially enjoyed Bert Stratton- FIND HIM -YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!!!!!! My son who always enjoys playing BINGO with his Dad, far preferred the horse races. As far as excursions go, we tried the Bob Scooter in St. Thomas (pricey but fun) -- but buy an underwater camera in advance- an $8.00 camera costs you $20 once on the boat. We also enjoyed the comedians. We tried Sabatini's, same fare as the rest of the ship, just an additional $20.00 per head, and the attention of the wait staff you would ordinarily get if tips were not guaranteed. Speaking of tips -- please note that you will be charged the tip unless you specifically ask to have it removed. We chose to tip the people who took care of us best -- and gave them way more than they would have received through ship tips. A couple of words of warning: 1. Check your bill!!!!! we were charged for things we never ordered -- even when the signatures did not match, or when we were assured the erroneous charges would be removed. I am still in the process of trying to have them removed so keep all of your receipts. 2. The health club instructor who taught the Pilates class I took, has VERY little training (two weeks worth, and he could not list the name of the facility or method). As a certified Pilates instructor of over 6 years, I can tell you that not only is it not worth the additional charge, but some of his directions could leave you injured. We as a family, all agree that Royal Caribbean will be the line we return to. I really wanted to post a positive review of this ship and will tell you that we met three families who were satisfied with their experience. Sadly , I can sum up our experience by saying: "My family and I had a good vacation, in spite of Princess, not because of it." Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
This was our second cruise with Princess, the first one was on Golden Princess in 2002. We are comparing two fairly identical itineraries on 2 very similar ships (Star Princess is Golden Princess' sister ship). But the similarities ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Princess, the first one was on Golden Princess in 2002. We are comparing two fairly identical itineraries on 2 very similar ships (Star Princess is Golden Princess' sister ship). But the similarities stop here. While our first cruise in 2002 was nothing short of amazing, we rate Princess's last performance as pathetic, and as a result we will not travel with them again. THE FOOD -- Aside from Sabatini's Trattoria, food and food service were a huge disappointment. Horizon (the 24-hour buffet/bistro) disappointed BOTH in terms of quality and variety of the menu items and often served the same insipid food. Steaks at the steakhouse were just OK; service in the main dinning rooms was pathetic. Apparently, friendly professional service (and a smile!) were not included on this cruise. What happened since 2002 when the food served onboard Golden Princess was outstanding? EXCURSIONS DESK -- At the Excursions Desk, where one might expect to get information about our port-of-calls, staff were only interested in discussing Princess's own excursions. If you plan to go explore on your own, don't expect any help from these people. While we understand that these people are running a business and wish to sell as many excursions as they can, can't anyone help us with simple questions such as: "Where can we find a quiet beach?" There's all kinds of people on these ships, and they don't all want to go to the same beach. Funny how cruise lines try to cater to all, but expect all to get on the same bus. ENTERTAINMENT -- Not much to say except that here again, our 2002 cruise offered much better shows and performances. THE TORTOLA EXPERIENCE -- While in Tortola, we ventured out to the west end of the island where we found a beautiful and quiet beach called Smuggler's Cove. We were robbed within 30 minutes of our arrival. All of our money was gone, along with a brand new diving watch purchased in St. Thomas the previous day. After explaining our story to the police and the local tourism authority, to no effect, we got back on the ship and went to the "front desk" to explain our misfortune. There again, friendly, professional service was not included. We were obviously not expecting to get our money and watch back, but a little sympathy would have gone a long way. We were told what happens off the ship is not their business and they don't want to know about it. Ever heard of "we're very sorry this happened to you. We'll report the incident to the local authorities and let them know how we feel about it. And in the meantime, if there's anything we can do to help you your situation, please let us know." This cost nothing. Well, it cost Princess a couple of passengers who will not travel with them again. PUBLIC ROOMS AND STATEROOMS -- In general, public rooms on board Star Princess were impeccably clean. This ship is well look after, except for the hot tubs and two small pools which often seemed to be closed or out of order. Reminder to the Captain: when you have a sold out cruise with 2,600 passengers, make sure all pools are functional. On a happier note, our room attendant, who was very professional, attentive to details, and discreet, took great care of our cabin. OVERALL -- How a cruise line can go from offering a wonderful experience in 2002 to a lousy one in 2004 is hard to comprehend. We are thankful to our group leader, our travel agent, and our friends who offered their assistance, and with whom we will travel again soon... on a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
Quick Profile on My family. I am 31, My Wife is 39, We have 2 Hyperactive Children ages 3 & 6. I am a small business owner and my wife works w/ me. We are Upper middle Class on average. We are AVID Cruisers, we have ben on 7 Cruises in ... Read More
Quick Profile on My family. I am 31, My Wife is 39, We have 2 Hyperactive Children ages 3 & 6. I am a small business owner and my wife works w/ me. We are Upper middle Class on average. We are AVID Cruisers, we have ben on 7 Cruises in the last 2 years. We have sailed on Carnival's Conquest(2x), RCI's Voyager, Explorer, Navigator, and Grandeur. We have been on Norweigen as well. I am not going to Knock this boat however I am posting my feelings. Embarkation: We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day prior to sailing just in case. We stayed at the Laquinta Suites Airport. Fair to average. We had the hotel shuttle take us to the Port. I had My mom, wife and 2 kids w/ me on this trip. I have read how easy and quick the embarkation process was and it was NOT that way for us, we went from line to line to line the embarkation process was approx. 1 hr and we went to the ship around 2:00 to avoid the crowds!!! Yeah Right. Very unorganized!!! Ship: The ship is beautiful. I won't take that away from the Caribbean Princess! However, if you are expecting a large atrium, or huge glass elevators you are in for a surprise!!! This ship and probably the cruise line is, I feel, geared towards an older crowd. I just feel like it is a Diamond, where as, the other ships we have been on were not as ........... Fancy!!! I tend to enjoy the neons, and bright colors, and Fun, things to do onboard a ship!!! Hence Carnival and Royal Caribbean! A HUGE Problem on this ship is the elevator situation!!!! OMG!!! If you have a lack of patience don't even use the elevators!!!! Very Big Problem on this ship! Ship was very hard to navigate!!! Dining areas you get lost trying to find the Palms dining Room! The Kids Program was the highlight of the entire trip. They were very "hands on!" our kids loved it. Kudos on the Kids Club. Pro's on this ship: Kids Club, Food Selection (In my opinion, Princess spends more money on the food, ex. Lobster, Crab legs, Buffet in cafe Caribe! than on the boat.) I didn't say the food was excellent, I said that there was a large assortment available... But in Princess' defense I am from the South and I like seasonings on my food! W/ 3000+ people it is safer to nonseason than to overseason! Movies under the stars was Great!!!! We enjoyed it. Staterooms were a little larger than we were used to, and every room has it's own refrigerator! Con's on this ship: ELEVATORS!!!! Let me repeat this Elevators! Horrible, that is all I can say! The staff was NOT overly friendly like we were used to in the past. Numerous times we asked for things and they acted like they were "put out". Anytime seating, not great, Ship TV no selection, My kids and I watched the Flintstones meets the Jetsons and Top Cat, I'll bet 15x on this ship. Not a whole lot of television on this ship. Room service had small selection and took 1 hr for 3 ham and cheese sand. w/ 2 milks. If you have kids please keep in mind there is NO FREE JUICES or LEMONADE on this BOAT. All the Ice Cream you PAY for.... $1.50 for a scoop! Entertainment was geared towards a more older crowd so we stayed away, the theater was small. Dining was OK, very fancy but no taste!!!! Oh Well, I guess the summary is this: It was the least favorite cruise I have been on, and I really don't see us sailing on the Princess line anymore. I am young and like the activities on the other ships. I like the free punch , juices, and lemonade on the other ships. Entertainment was better on other ships, If you are teeter tottering either Princess lines or Royal Caribbean, Please you will enjoy Royal Caribbean much more... This is my opinion and opinions are like A*%holes, everyone has one!!!! Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
Star Princess October 31st - November 7th.  My partner, a friend and I were three of a group of 177 men sailing on the Star Princess which departed Fort Lauderdale October 31st, 2004 for the Caribbean. We arrived at the Port at ... Read More
Star Princess October 31st - November 7th.  My partner, a friend and I were three of a group of 177 men sailing on the Star Princess which departed Fort Lauderdale October 31st, 2004 for the Caribbean. We arrived at the Port at approximately 1 pm to board for our week long cruise. Despite the fact that next door in the convention center was the annual boat show, traffic was not too bad and Princess's porters quickly gathered our luggage from our car, we parked and entered the VERY long line for embarkation. Despite the length of the line this process went fairly quickly, after about an hour we were walking the gangplank to board. After checking out our cabin we decided to go to deck 14 where we had been told lunch was being served. Elevators were impossible to get so we walked up from deck 9 to 14 and proceeded back to the Horizon Cafe. What a disorganized mess this was. First off there were hundreds of people trying to get to the buffet. After waiting in line for what seemed forever we got to the buffet itself to find some of the most un-inviting food I have ever seen. To add to that, about a third of all the pans that were there were empty. I took a few small samples of things that looked slightly familiar, along with two rolls, I asked THREE employees for butter (It never did come) got some iceless ice tea from the drink station. Not only was there no ice but no glasses either, I had to use a coffee cup. At this point from all the confusion one of my friends got separated so my partner and I FINALLY found a seat and tried to eat. What we had taken was honestly some of the worst food I ever got from a buffet. I ate my two butterless rolls, drank the warm Ice Tea and left, more hungry than when I entered. We headed forward and I found the pizza station which had a very long line as well, I waited again, pleasant surprise, the pizza was some of the best I have ever had, I visited this station a lot throughout the cruise. Now able to make it to dinner and reunited with my friends we decided to explore the ship. Forget the elevators, most were out of service, I assume so luggage could be delivered to the rooms. We explored for awhile then headed back to our stateroom to find our luggage had been delivered, its now about 4 pm, so we unpacked. One thing I found real curious.....our room had a refrigerator but nothing in it, I assumed that it would be a mini bar, not. Funny, there is no where on the ship to get anything to put in it. I had filled out a form online where they asked what soda I liked, what water I liked, why bother? Fast forward to dinner.....We headed down to the Portofino dining room where our group of 177 was supposed to be all seated together...NOT....We were close, but scattered around the dining room sitting amongst people that were not part of our group. I ordered the Steak rare, it came well done. Still hungry from my earlier ordeal I ate it anyway. Being Halloween night the ship was alive with energy and people partying. The disco was pumping and a fun night was had by all. Funny thing though and this applied to the rest of the cruise, the only place one did not have to wait long for was bar service, they always had enough staff around to collect your money. End of the night was approaching fast, we decided to go to the Horizon 24 hour buffet for late night breakfast at 3 am.....Don't plan on this if you're hungry, they had no hot food at all, just some pastries, cheese and ICE for your ice tea, BUT now the ice tea tap dispensed water..... We retired for the night, ordering room service for the next morning as we did every morning. It always arrived on time, however rarely correct. One morning we got four containers full of butter but nothing to put it on, milk instead of crème for the coffee, two coffee cups instead of the three ordered, sometimes no sugar or equal. The food problem seemed to improve as the cruise progressed, perhaps I became more tolerant. My honest opinion is there are just too many people on board for the staff to handle efficiently. Also, I mentioned earlier the elevators. There are definitely not enough of them for the amount of people on board, there was always a fairly long wait except late at night. Tequila's Steakhouse......We did this upgrade restaurant one night, WOW fantastic food, great service. Our waiter Victor was courteous, professional, and knew their product. Highly recommended, ask for Victor. Internet access.....I was initially pleased to hear that they had wireless access onboard, this way I could do my work daily on my laptop and upload it to my server at home. Wrong again. My work uploads daily required about 45 minutes. They sell the wireless access for 35 cents a minute in 30 minute blocks of which I had purchased four. Unfortunately there is NO WAY to link these together, so after being connected 30 minutes it disconnected me. A very awkward interface to enter the 2nd 30 minute block, by the time I got this done too much time elapsed, my upload was trashed. I got in touch with the internet person and he just looked at me like I was an idiot, offered no work around and said it was out of his hands, he could do nothing. Corporate takes care of that.. My work around? I took my laptop off the ship to internet cafe's where they gladly let me plug in and do my uploads, all the time I needed and at a reasonable price. Our cabin D-208 was adequate and the attendant attentive. He saw to all our needs and requests and always smiled. No privacy at all on the balcony. I ended up mooning a few people up above us, un-intentionally. As I mentioned earlier I was in a group of 177 people, there were issues that were not handled properly by the ships staff, however since I am not one of the group leaders, I will refrain from further comment. There was a FOD party the first full day of the cruise, I don't think they quite expected the turnout they had of close to 300 people. They found more bar help real quickly to handle the thirsty cruisers. All in all, not impressed with Princess. I doubt very much if I will ever sail with them again. I have been on five previous cruises, all with Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
EMBARKATION: VERY efficient! We walked in (about 12:30) and were on the ship within 10 minutes. Our bags were delivered quickly and were at our room when we returned from lunch. DINING: We had the late seating in the traditional dining ... Read More
EMBARKATION: VERY efficient! We walked in (about 12:30) and were on the ship within 10 minutes. Our bags were delivered quickly and were at our room when we returned from lunch. DINING: We had the late seating in the traditional dining room. The service was good but I will choose early seating on my next cruise. We were eating until 10:00 every night and that was a little late for me. We also ate breakfast and lunch in the Palm dining room which was very nice with good food choices and quick service. The buffets were typical and always crowded so we rarely went there to eat. The grill had hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken and the pizza stand had the BEST pizza. A lot of good choices whether we were on the go or wanted a leisurely meal. CABIN: We were in a mini-suite on Dolphin and found it to be very comfortable. The balcony was nice even though it had no cover. We would have liked the mini-suite with the Caribe deck balcony which is half covered. Our cabin steward was very good after the first day when I talked to him about our cabin still not being cleaned at 2:30. From the second day forward, our cabin was cleaned when we returned from breakfast. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We did take excursions in St. Thomas and St. Maarten. We did not like St. Thomas and the excursion was not worth the money we paid for it but the St. Maarten excursion and the island were wonderful. ENTERTAINMENT: The comedians were great but the production shows were not good and we left 2 of them after about 15 minutes and then skipped the rest assuming they would be the same. The lounge entertainment was great and we especially enjoyed Burt in Crooner's Lounge. Don't miss the horse races....we had great fun there and the lounge was always full! We went to the Movies Under the Stars and loved the concept. It was very relaxing. The picture is great...even during the day! I went to the Spa for 2 treatments and it was the best! I would recommend this to everyone. The fitness equipment and classes were good also. I can't wait for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
Folks...avoid this ship. Veterans of over 15 cruises between us, my girlfriend and I were stunned and horrified at many of the conditions on-board. The Captain was forced to abort our trip to St. Thomas and St. Martian after two days for ... Read More
Folks...avoid this ship. Veterans of over 15 cruises between us, my girlfriend and I were stunned and horrified at many of the conditions on-board. The Captain was forced to abort our trip to St. Thomas and St. Martian after two days for sailing due to T.S. 11, which later turned to hurricane Frances. Why the cruise line opted to sail for 2 days right to the cusp of an already developed the storm is beyond my comprehension. Our turn towards Jamaica occurred 8 hours before we were to arrive in St. Thomas. This after the original itinerary had been changed in order to avoid Hurricane Ivan. It seemed the cruise line lacked the ability to plan on the fly and my impression is that every one of the over 3,000 passengers felt a great bit slighted by the efforts of Princess Cruises. A small gesture of ship-board credit would have gone a long way in this instance. We ultimately landed in Montigo Bay which at the time, due to Ivan had been reduced to little more than 4-5 overpriced jewelry stores. From there we headed to Nassau which was bustling due to the same day arrival of six other cruise ships. We were originally scheduled to visit 4 ports and the 2 extra days on the ship showed her flaws in a grand scale! Regarding the ship....there was no room in the common areas and corridors. Every inch of the ship seemed to be crammed with people during the days and early evenings. We opted to spend a great deal of time in our cabin to download. Pool areas were cramped, seating in the common areas was hard to come by and trying to find a table to eat at in the buffet room was a joke. In the main dining rooms, service was lack-luster, but there were a few individuals who genuinely acted like they wanted to be there. The Pursers Staff was as an insincere group as I have ever encountered and during my four visits to them, they showed little interest in helping the guests. All in all, the staff seemed overwhelmed and somewhat unfriendly. I felt like the could use a few more servers/waiters. There always seemed to be plates of half eaten food and cups everywhere. A half eaten hot dog remained 2 seats away from my deck chair for over 3 hours. Our cabin was nice and the bed was comfortable. I found it surprisingly quiet. The shower was ample and provided very nice pressure. The starboard side of the Emerald Deck (where my suite was located) smelled like a sewer and we couldn't get away from the constant cigarette smoke. There was a 20-25 minute wait to order cocktails in the shows, of which 2 of the 4 were canceled due to "Technical difficulties". The comedy was a bright spot - Sarge was worth seeing in the 3 different shows I saw. The other 2 comedians were forgettable. Movies-Under-The-Stars was fun, but they should to run more that 2 major features on the 7 night cruises. There was no midnight buffet which I thought was strange. The Captain's announcements were cold and harsh and rather set the tone for the entire crew. After 5 days of not being off the boat it seemed that there was not enough to do onboard. The shopping advisor incorrectly and irresponsibly advised passengers that true diamond values were available in Nassau. The prices there were also a joke as we found much better deals in Ft. Lauderdale. The DJ in the Skywalker Lounge was sub-par, and the club itself had no energy. The dancing/singing shows were about average. Embarking and debarking was a breeze but if Princess is offering you ship board credit, make sure to approach the Pursers early to verify. I inquired on the last evening and stood in line 30 minutes only to be told "the computers were down call 1-800-Princess". I knew of 4 people in my line that were inquiring on their ship board credit and a simple announcement that the computers were down would have prevented many people from wasting time in line. When I kindly mentioned that he could provide such courtesy to people in line, the Asst. Purser, looked at me like I was from Mars. We thought we were going to get a nice bargain with this ship, but it turned into much less than a totally enjoyable experience. I plan on writing the cruise line with a more scathing critique but doubt it will matter. It seemed like no one on the boat really cared to show the passengers a nice time. If this is the latest and greatest Princess has to offer, they need to seriously reconsider their effort and direction. It will be a long time before I consider this cruise line again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
Folks This is A big Beautiful ship. Embarkation Princess has down pat but as for updating you Princess waits till the last minute and when you call there customer service they don't know what's going on either. We were scheduled ... Read More
Folks This is A big Beautiful ship. Embarkation Princess has down pat but as for updating you Princess waits till the last minute and when you call there customer service they don't know what's going on either. We were scheduled for a Easter caribbean but our itinerary was changed due to Hurricane so we went to Cozumel, Jamaica and suppose to be Nassau but that changed due to the hurricane also. Well here we go. As for our Stewart he was GREAT no problems there at all. Our Cabin was Great, Clean a little small shower but I'm a small person so that didn't matter. As for the food The Breakfast is AWFUL. Taste like powered eggs sausage floating in grease Bacon, so hard you couldn't chew it. Lunch and dinner was OK and yes I said ok some food was really good and some bad and some had no taste at all. Also princess only has Tea, Coffee and water in the buffet to drink and as for the buffet that is a mess it's not laid out right people just going every which way and act like they were starving and this was there last meal. As for the entertainment it was pretty good. The shows were fair not like Carnival though. And then when the Hurricane closed the port we had 2 extra days at sea which gave us 4 days at sea because we didn't get to do Nassau. I don't blame the cruise line for this because of the weather but Princess was not prepared for this at all even though the cruise prior to this went through the same thing. There was nothing to do the extra 2 days but to go to the casino and then the food was a repeat of the prior week and to top it all off, part of the ship ran out of toilet paper, gladly we didn't but other people did. As I said earlier the ship is beautiful the crew is great but as for corporate princess, it is hard to get in touch with them. O Yes This was my Companions Birthday this was his birthday gift from me so I went to princess.com and requested things for his birthday balloons cake etc. and then I called customer service to make sure that this would happen for his birthday the customer service rep told me there would be balloons and banners in our cabin when we boarded and something special in the dinning room GUESS What? There was nothing at all. I have cruised 2 time prior with Carnival and had no problems and I know Carnival Owns Princess but Princess is not the cruise line Carnival is in my eyes. I just Got back from Princess on Monday and it's now Wed and I'm going to book Carnival cruise for March today, I will never cruise with Princess Again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
Background info...This was the first Princess cruise for my husband and I, our third cruise all together. We are both in our late 30's. We were on the cruise that sailed after Ivan, but before Jeanne. Embarkation: Took forever. They ... Read More
Background info...This was the first Princess cruise for my husband and I, our third cruise all together. We are both in our late 30's. We were on the cruise that sailed after Ivan, but before Jeanne. Embarkation: Took forever. They had to rearrange the line a bit because they had lined people up too close to the baggage loaders. That caused more people to be placed ahead of us. It was VERY hot. Once we got inside the terminal, it went relatively smoothly, though we tried VERY hard to make the desk clerk smile. The ship: Very nice. I liked the Movies Under the Stars (even though we'd already seen one of the two movies and weren't interested in the other) and could always find a deck chair. We spent a LOT of time on the ship due to the hurricanes, so we got to know it pretty well. Our stateroom: Loved it. This was our first balcony room (on the Dolphin deck) and we LOVED the spaciousness and the ability to spread out a bit. We spent more time in there than we thought...again due to the weather. Food: Let me tell you about our first experience with breakfast. We went to the Brasserie and grabbed some food from the buffet. My husband had a blueberry muffin. He cut into it and had some trouble...inside was a chicken wing! Nasty. We brought it to the attention of the wait staff, who then went and showed it to her supervisor. They took our cabin number but did nothing about it. That was probably the best food we had onboard all week! We did the personal choice dining and experienced not-so-friendly wait staff and awful food. Most times I had trouble finding something I could enjoy. They even put pineapple in the creme brulee...awful. Activities/Entertainment: We didn't do too much barhopping, but did spend a lot of time in the casino. We had some very friendly dealers and enjoyed our experience there (even though my husband lost a bunch of money...). The pool games were typical, the poolside band was adequate. Shows: Can't rate too many of them because we weren't able to see them! Whenever we attempted to go to a show, it was overcrowded and there was no place to sit. One time we got there early, only to find out that the show was cancelled due to technical difficulties. We did see Sarge and he was OK...not hilarious. Service: Not too thrilled with the service. Most people were very surly and downright rude. The only person we established a good rapport with was Geoff at the shore excursion desk. He gave us some good tips on diving at our new ports. Ports: We were HUGELY disappointed about the changes. This was our dive cruise and we only were able to dive once. We were supposed to go to Princess Cays, Ocho Rios, Cayman and Cozumel, but due to the hurricanes, our itinerary was changed...not once, not twice, but three times!!! I even called Princess the day we were set to sail and they said no changes had been made...even though Ivan was destroying Cayman! They changed our itinerary when we checked in, then twice more during sailing. This made for 4 VERY long days at sea with a lot of disgruntled people. We ended up in Montego Bay and Nassau. In Montego Bay, my husband and I went off on our own and found a rafting excursion (Princess had only 3 or 4 excursions available and they filled up quickly). In Nassau, we found a dive shop that took us out on a couple great dives. We also walked around the Atlantis a bit. All in all, we were VERY disappointed that Princess made no effort whatsoever to pacify very restless and grumpy passengers. We talked to several people who have sailed many more times than us who have never had a worse experience. The least they could've done is offer up free drinks or a complimentary bottle of champagne or something. The did allow free access on the internet so we could email folks at home to let them know we were OK. That was nice, but boy...any other gesture would've been hugely appreciated. As a result, we are very reluctant to sail Princess again. We are in the midst of planning our next cruise and will be going back to Royal Caribbean. While we understand that Princess cannot control the weather, they can certainly control the staff onboard and the food. Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
Embarkation with Princess is the best. Remember to go on the regular line, not the express (two people work the regular lines!). Getting off the boat is just as easy, and you can find the customs people will look the other way if you are ... Read More
Embarkation with Princess is the best. Remember to go on the regular line, not the express (two people work the regular lines!). Getting off the boat is just as easy, and you can find the customs people will look the other way if you are just a wee bit over on your purchases. The public rooms are basically a disaster, especially Club Fusion, which is a revamping of the Vista Lounges from the other ships. 25% more people and the same sized rooms (except the casino...venue producer that it is!) means trouble. We had to stand for a show in the Explorer's lounge, now the secondary showroom. Club Fusion is beset by HORRIBLE sight lines (they used over 2 dozen flat screen TVs to try and fix this...but why should you watch a TV when you want to see it!!!. They should reconfigure that first thing in dry dock...blow it up would be more like it! The cabin was wonderful save for the balcony where everyone else on your side could look (we were on the outermost balcony). Some Einsteins decided to feed seagulls in St Thomas with the expected disastrous results. Didn't do shore excursions, per se. Went golfing at Mahogany Run on an excursion. Other people play too slow. We could have saved $15, but no big deal. Dining has been completely destroyed by this Personal Choice Dining nonsense. It is terrible and leads to crowd control issues and complete corruption of the schedule. That is too bad. Used to be you could expect to dress up two nights and look good. The food was good, but NO AMERICAN NIGHT on July 4th and NO BAKED ALASKA on final formal night...what is with that??? And, they had Prime Rib two nights. What is with that???? Sabatini's was exceptional! The entertainment was mixed at best. Princess's brand of entertainment was disjointed and without themes. A rock revue with only half rock and roll songs? Singing Volare set in Mexico? Oh boy...you get the picture. The performers worked hard, but with very poor material. The 'brought in' entertainment was much better, with a comic (Sarge) who was extremely funny and able to bend and shape his set very nicely@! But with he corrupted schedule and such, we missed something every day. Princess Idol was not run in the same manner as previous, with only one staff member getting to choose finalists. As well, I had to go to Graham, the Cruise Director, to extend PI because it was starting during late dinner!!!!! Oh boy. My wife went to the spa and found it lovely. I didn't go. The purser's staff was incredibly rude, with one, Stefano, telling me, "It is unfortunate that you selected Traditional Late Dining". Another, Terry told me moving chairs for another overbooked show couldn't be done, so I waited for his superior to get it done. You must also check to see if they'll accept a check from your bank. Ask beforehand. This trip had ups and downs, mostly due to Personal Choice Dining and public space issues. If you want to be treated like you are on the Carnival Caribbean, by all means GO...but if you are looking for something more refined...find another ship, FAST! Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
This was my 25th cruise, 1st on this cruiseline. Here is a quick overview of my observations: Pros: 1. This is a beautiful ship and towers over all others at every port. 2. Our cabin steward was excellent, always watching out for us ... Read More
This was my 25th cruise, 1st on this cruiseline. Here is a quick overview of my observations: Pros: 1. This is a beautiful ship and towers over all others at every port. 2. Our cabin steward was excellent, always watching out for us especially when the pool towel supply ran low at the end of the cruise. 3. The spa was beautiful and my massage was excellent. 4. Embarkation, tendering and debarkation were the best ever. 5. Coin operated laundry facilities were excellent. Cons: 1. Bar service was the worst ever. Bartenders visited amongst themselves, restocked shelves, washed glasses or just about anything possible to avoid having to wait on customers. Bar waiters were impersonal and hard to find. Immediately, you get the feel that these people hate their jobs and would rather be anywhere but on this ship. Do not expect to be greeted or acknowledged by the waitstaff. Staff appears to be overworked, angry and stressed. (examples: when I asked for a glass of iced water in the casino bar, I was handed and glass with ice and told to go get the water pitcher on the bar and pour myself a glass....all the while the bartender is visiting with a bar waiter and joking amongst themselves; while watching the final edition of Princess Idol in Club Fusion, all of the bartender were in the back of the bar, cleaning and restocking, etc. and no one was available to take orders?) 2. Pool deck layout of lounge chairs. Six chairs are laid arm rest to armrest across the deck...with a single aisle for servers near the railing that overlooks the pool. The rows of chairs are positioned so close together that it is difficult at best to get to the sixth chair...and the wait staff doesn't even try to maneuver that area. Which means chairs number 4-6 don't get very good service - and the wait staff doesn't really care anyway. (Most cruise lines divide the chairs with a center aisle for waitstaff so they can accommodate all passengers and are at most 3 lounge chairs away from each guest) 3. Club Fusion - here the waitstaff has brought slow service to a whole new level. 3 Bartenders, 2 barwaiters and approximately 30 passengers and it takes 25 minutes for 2 drinks? Also, they begin closing down the bar at 12:30am while the DJ plays until 1am. So order before midnight if you want a drink during the last hour of music. 4. Personal choice dining: the wait staff and management are totally overwhelmed by this concept. Arriving at a time other than main or late seating times, totally screws up the wait staff. Every night we made reservations for dinner at whatever time they said they had availability and each night we still waited sometimes 30 minutes for a table. Several nights we waited 20 minutes at the table for water and menus. Twice the waiter took our orders and skipped one of our orders...we would chase him down and get his attention! 5. Pre-ordering champagne for a newly engaged couple...mistake there...they handed the couple the bill for the champagne, instead of the passenger that ordered the champagne. 6. Caribe Cafe Bar - closes at 10pm; however, because maintenance begins at 9pm and they hose down the entire area (Aft Deck 15-17) with a garden hose in the wind - most people run away to avoid the inevitable shower! 7. Movies Under the Stars: great concept if you could hear the dialogue. Either the sound guy's an idiot or the winds carry dialogue away - but all we heard clearly was background sounds. Oh yeah, and call early to reserve your seat - because it sells out quickly. 8. Late night dancing: if you intend on dancing after 11:30pm to something other than hip/hop, remix, or techno, pick another ship. 9. Maintenance: our balcony walls had lots of paint splatters on them. 10. Working ice dispensers in the Horizon and Caribe Cafes would be nice. The plastic bins with the spoon weren't very attractive. 11. Mattresses: $20 mattress on a $10 box springs 12. Dining room food: Both the Palm and Coral dining room food was mediocre. Certainly didn't meet my expectations. 13. Your "Coke" card won't work on Princess Cay. Very limited bar service too. Beware, drink service closes at 1:30 on Princess Cay, while the last tender runs at 3:00? 14. Horrible Caribbean one man band on Princess Cay. He sets up at the bar near the Volleyball Court, avoid this area! 15. Sewer Gas: This is a constant problem for this ship. From embarkation to debarkation the aroma is nauseating. Most notably during Movies Under the Stars, on pool deck and on balconies. GROSS! 16. The fitness center was state of the art, just not enough equipment for the number of passengers. Since the "Promenade" deck requires you use stairs to access a different deck if you want to walk or jog, most people move to the fitness center to use the treadmills. 17. No midnight buffets. 18. One deck party on Thursday night, which was at the Caribe Bar area deck 15. Too small to handle passengers. I will not travel this ship again. I am booked on the Grand in December and pray I have a better experience than this. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
This cruise turned out to be a huge disappointment. The weather was poor and that caused us itinerary problems, but Princess did a particularly poor job of adjusting. We were unable to land on Princess Cay due to weather. Rough seas) and ... Read More
This cruise turned out to be a huge disappointment. The weather was poor and that caused us itinerary problems, but Princess did a particularly poor job of adjusting. We were unable to land on Princess Cay due to weather. Rough seas) and consequently spent an extra day at sea. We were given a credit of $15.00 as compensation. Not nearly adequate in my estimation. After another day at sea, we arrived it Grand Cayman Island where we were forced to land at Spott's Bay on the "other" side of the island from Georgetown. The tour desk did not alert us to the fact that all tour companies move their entire operation to Spott's Bay and consequently we paid a $20.00 taxi fee to go to Georgetown and try to book a local tour to no avail. Our next stop, Costa Maya, turned sour as we were three hours late arriving due to "generator trouble" and then ended up having our tour to the ruins cut short. We had booked a tour to two ruin sites lasting 8 hours and ended up only going to one site. The net result was a five hour bus ride to spend an hour and a half at one ruin site. We were misinformed that the ship would delay departure from Costa Maya to accommodate those of us on the tour which would run as planned. Princess adjusted the cost by $30.00 ( Original cost=$109.00). Lastly, we got to Cozumel where we had booked a tour to ride an ATV, kayak, and snorkel. You guessed it, they bused us to the windward side of the island and all we did is go for a hot, long ATV ride and could not snorkel or kayak. Net result is I booked the cruise to take advantage of the great snorkeling in the Western Caribbean and never made it into the ocean. I know that Princess cannot control the weather and should err on the side of caution to insure safety, but they could have done a much better job of helping us to adjust. We also noticed a marked deterioration of service since we last cruised on Princess (April 2000)and presume that this is a result of Princess's tipping policy. Food was only average but entertainment was better that on the Dawn. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
This was my maiden voyage as well as the ship's. Unfortunately the ship sailed too soon. Many quirks needed to be worked out before sailing. We had a gorgeous stateroom with a balcony but no air-conditioning. We sailed on Saturday ... Read More
This was my maiden voyage as well as the ship's. Unfortunately the ship sailed too soon. Many quirks needed to be worked out before sailing. We had a gorgeous stateroom with a balcony but no air-conditioning. We sailed on Saturday and slept with the balcony door opened because it was the only way we could be comfortable. After constant conversations with purser staff a technician finally came to make a computer diagnostic. He found that the thermostat was not operating. Unfortunately this did not rectify the problem. On Tuesday Senior purser Graham sent me a 13" table fan to circulate the air for sleeping. By Wednesday a Junior purser, Pamela (Italy) made an appointment for us to meet with the Chief of Engineering Operations. She told us that the cabins were governed at 24 degrees Celsius, 75 degrees Fahrenheit. We asked for a cabin change but were told it was impossible. We resigned ourselves to make the best of it. Friday I encountered other passengers that had been having the same air conditioning problems. Their room was changed but this was not their first Princess cruise. I have heard other people talk about the food on Celebrity Cruises as being spectacular. This food was only OK. The buffet breakfasts were cold. Cold scrambled eggs, cold sausage, and cold hash browns were standard fare. I had also heard of "midnight buffets" with ice, vegetable, and butter sculptures. There were none on this cruise. Also, the food service at the Buffet was poor. On days when we were in port the buffet lines extended out the doors to the pool deck plus the flow of traffic from opposite directions made the opposing lines feel like the others were cutting in. We had chosen "personal choice" dining. Reservations were always closed at the two restaurants. Dinner menu's were forgettable. Thank God for the steak, we and our tablemates chose it four of the seven nights. The entertainment was "iffy". A show scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday in the theatre was cancelled for both evenings. The Tony Tillman Show was outstanding. Princess Idol was great fun. The passengers that participated in the final heat were a talented, entertaining group. Trevor, the winner of the competition truly deserved it.  Open-air viewing of movies was by reservation. The lounge entertainment was so-so and repetitive.  The worst part of the cruise for myself and my companions was the rudeness of several members of the purser staff. They actually moaned aloud when they saw us approaching the desk to complain about the air-conditioning situation. Fortunately for me the passengers were wonderful as well as certain staff members: Ernelito - Cabin Steward, Graham - Senior purser, Pamela - Junior purser, and Noel and Lester, Palm Dining Room Staff. Cruise again? YES!! Princess? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!     Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
I sent in all the information about registration and ordered shore excursions...too my surprise none of this went through and when we arrived found that the shore excursion was sold out..only reason we booked this cruise was this ... Read More
I sent in all the information about registration and ordered shore excursions...too my surprise none of this went through and when we arrived found that the shore excursion was sold out..only reason we booked this cruise was this particular shore trip...bummer to start out and it didn't get any better. This is our 23rd cruise, 2nd with Princess as we took the Panama Canal on the Sun Cruise and it was wonderful...the Grand, well she ain't so Grand. Showing age, entertainment is below B Movies...I don't think it's the dancers as it is the choice of music and routines...DUD...we didn't last longer than 4 minutes on any and most of the passengers agreed..it was pitiful..the comedian..well I did give him some jokes to use on his next cruise. Food was below Royal Caribbean and I rate Royal Caribbean below, NCL, Carnival, Celebrity, and Holland America about the same as the Old Primer Lines...good but cheap..charging for Ice cream...served cold and bread was like a brick. Don't get me wrong, we did enjoy the ship, and the ports were what we expected, in fact Costa Maya was a little bit more, great dock and shops... Overall I would have to say this is 23rd on our list and I really mean that Princess has gone the way of cheap....cruise director Tim, was about as useful as a good toilet brush...never saw him and when you did, he was not very personable...his Princess Patter left quite a bit to be explained...no movie schedule, no activities for singles (we are not single, but table mates were bored out of their gords) and last but not least...she did sail smooth and the weather was nice. I hope that Carnival straightens out this ship, the bigger Carnival ships are better built, food is better, service is great and the entertainment is top notch...I still think Holland America is tops, but Princess has to be on the bottom now, at least this ship. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it...we are 4-5 times a year cruisers and will not even look at Princess again ...in fact may never...too many good ships out there that provide a great time and food much better. The P's in South Georgia Sadie T and JP Read Less
Sail Date November 2003
Embarkation was very quick and efficient. The minute I boarded this ship I knew that I had made a huge mistake. Every time you enter the ship from outside or from an elevator, your nostrils are assaulted with the smell of stale and fresh ... Read More
Embarkation was very quick and efficient. The minute I boarded this ship I knew that I had made a huge mistake. Every time you enter the ship from outside or from an elevator, your nostrils are assaulted with the smell of stale and fresh smoke. It was nauseating. This ship had been lauded as a ship that was reminiscent of an earlier age of cruising when there was lots of brass and wood. Baloney! The wood looked like the cheap paneling you so often find in homes built in the 60's or 70's - no deep, rich mahogany here. And the overall impression of color was a Southwest theme with orange and turquoise - not my favorite combination. The only time our room looked good was at night after the sun went down and the lights were lowered for bedtime. Then the orange curtains created a sort of warm glow, but they certainly weren't what you wanted to see in the daylight. This is not an "old" ship by any means, but it has surely taken a beating. It looks old and tired and boring. I think my biggest disappointment was the dining rooms which had low ceilings - not the grand high ceilinged dining rooms with beautiful staircases to which I have become accustomed. The staterooms were ugly and tired and we had a lampshade on a lamp beside the bed that looked like someone had thrown up on it. I complained, but they never replaced it. There are many things on this ship that cost additional money which, in my humble opinion, should come with the cruise. My husband was charged almost $3.00 for an ice cream cone the first day onboard. Since I work with computers and am a web designer, I was particularly irked by one "scam" on this ship. There was a person onboard who offered computer classes for $25.00 a pop. Now, bear in mind that this ship has no internet cafe. There are three computers in the library, and a few more than that (but not many more) in the business center. But the "computer person" as purporting to teach software classes which, in my opinion, would have required "hands on" instruction. There is no way, I repeat NO WAY, that a person can learn how to use a software program by way of an hour lecture without hands on instruction, yet they were charging for this, and apparently they had quite a few takers. It was outrageous. There were many little annoyances that just add up over the course of a week - for instance, my husband attempted to buy a glass of wine at a bar and was told he would have to go to another bar because that bar didn't have wine. What is that about? I tried to make an appointment for a manicure and was met with less than enthusiastic response. They would get me in the following day. In the meantime I found my lost manicure items, and I called back and cancelled. At that point, I was offered an appointment on that day which is what I asked for in the beginning. Like I said, just one little annoyance after another. I think what really gets to me the most these days about cruising is the general lackadaisical attitude expressed by the ship's staff (not service staff like waiters and stewards - they still do a great job for the most part.) I'm talking about the people who deal with your little problems at the purser's desk and impertinent shopkeepers and salon staff and bored stupid casino dealers. I know any job can get boring, but the purpose of a cruise is to show people the most excellent service and good time possible. There is really too much competition in the cruise industry for the attitude that seems to prevail. I know everyone is always interested in the food. It was mediocre at best. I always look forward to vichyssoise on a cruise, but this cruise didn't serve it. My husband kept expecting escargot, but it never appeared. The stuffing served on Thanksgiving became a puzzle for diners to solve trying to figure out what was in it and why it had such a weird consistency. I was disappointed overall in the food. And the dining experience brings me to my next big beef (pardon the pun.) We were offered the option of Personal Choice dining which is supposed to mean that you can go to any open seating dining room till 10 p.m. and be seated and served. We chose Personal Choice dining as I hate adhering to a schedule while on a vacation. I have chosen this option on another cruise line, and I was very happy with the outcome. Well, we arrived at the dining room to be greeted by a stressed out maitre d'who handed us one of those black vibrator things that lights up. That would call us to dinner when they had a seat. I felt like I was at a very middle class restaurant at home. I HATE those things, and to be handed one on a cruise was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I finally ended up in a huge confrontation with the maitre d' after we and a couple of friends had to wait for an hour one evening to be seated. It was awful. Right after this awful experience, our little vibrator went off. I felt like I was at something just a cut above a fast food restaurant. Well, actually, we wouldn't have had to wait an hour at a fast food restaurant. They really need to figure this one out if they are going to offer a Personal Choice dining option because it is not working for them. We managed to get through it all and were looking forward to our last day - a nice relaxing day at sea. I had already planned to order room service and eat on our private balcony that day. Not to be. I know they have no control over the weather, but I have never experienced anything like what I experience onboard this ship, and I have been on 13 cruises and have been in rough weather. We went through some bad weather that created enormous swells. There were a lot of sick people on that last "relaxing" day at sea. One lady on our deck said that a piece of the paneling from the wall fell and almost hit her on the head. I was worried because it looked to me like the ship was not in good repair, and I didn't know what might happen. It's the first time I have actually felt very anxious on a ship. So, we arrived back at Ft. Lauderdale a bit worn and weary - not like it should be after a cruise. And, of course, they got us off there in short order. I have been on 13 cruises, and this was the first time I was kind of glad to see it end. Obviously, I would never set foot on this ship again, and I probably would not try Princess again after this experience. I spoke with a number of people onboard about these problems and the ship in general, and the responses were interesting. Those who were loyal to Princess didn't have problems (apparently they had never sailed on any other ships), and those who had sailed on other ships were disappointed. I think if this is your first cruise, you can probably go with the flow and be fine, but if you have any experience with the variety available to you in the cruising industry, you will not want to be on this tub. Read Less
Sail Date November 2003
We had never sailed with Princess Cruise Lines in the past, but thought we would try something new. So, we booked an October 2003 cruise to the Western Caribbean. When we arrived, the check in was a bit cluttered but quick as was the ... Read More
We had never sailed with Princess Cruise Lines in the past, but thought we would try something new. So, we booked an October 2003 cruise to the Western Caribbean. When we arrived, the check in was a bit cluttered but quick as was the boarding process. When we got aboard the ship, we were pleased as the appearance was clean and kept up nicely for the ship's age. The first person we met was our cabin steward that was absolutely wonderful. Next we made our way to the diner for lunch. Having previously cruised with Royal Caribbean, we were somewhat disappointed. The food was fair and the serving area was very congested. But that was not the case in the formal dining areas. We can say that the food at dinner time was much more appealing and the service good. Actually, the first night aboard, it took 30 minutes to get someone to approach our table. That made us leery of how the rest of the cruise was going to be. The entertainment throughout the cruise was very disappointing. They had a juggler and a comedian that basically performed at all the shows, all week long. And let me say, they were horrible. Absolutely horrible! But thank goodness they had a wonderful singer at the piano bar. We spent a lot of time with him in the evenings. Next, the shore excursions were also very disappointing. We actually booked an excursion beforehand with a private company out of Grand Cayman and we were blown away by their service. They were kind, entertaining, informative, and reasonably priced. But that was not the case with those offered aboard. On the island of Princess Cays, we booked a few of the water sports. The islanders were very rude and would not let us enjoy ourselves. When asked to speak to someone in charge, they told us to take our problems back to the ship. Having tendered from the ship to the island, that made us a bit angry. We actually cancelled our other water sports after the first because of the way we were treated. But the island and waters were beautiful otherwise. The other problem we had with the shore excursions was at Cozumel, Mexico. We booked a deep sea snorkeling trip that actually gave you two separate times to choose to book. We chose the later and were faced with a major problem. According to the ship, they decided to cancel our late booking and pile everyone on the earlier boat, but failed to tell about a dozen of us. We were obviously very upset. They claimed to have notified us, but we never received anything, via e-mail before the trip or by mail at our cabin. One last major problem we had was with the bar service. One of us on the trip ordered a mixed drink five times and each time came with crushed plastic in it. We asked for a bar manager and were told that no one was available because they were on break. This was a major health hazard. But this with many other things made for a very rotten vacation. If it were not for our room steward and dinner server from the second day on, we would have probably asked to deboard the ship on day two. When we went to the Purser's Desk with each problem, they would only hand us a card with the corporate address on it and instruct us to follow up with them when our cruise was complete. We contacted Princess Cruise Lines corporate office and only received a brief letter stating that they were sorry and hoped to see us again in the future. We were not very happy with that response. It almost seemed so generic that I would believe that it was something that, word for word, that they would send to everyone that had a complaint. Although there were some very memorable times and fun experiences, we will not ever cruise Princess again, but rather stick with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2002
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