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257 Princess Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Reviews

TITLE-CRUISE FROM HELL AIRFARE TO PORT - Leave Columbus, GA at 6:15am Sat. morning connecting flight to ATLANTA GA no problems except had 35 mins to get to our next gate all the way down the other side of airport. No problem 5 mins to ... Read More
TITLE-CRUISE FROM HELL AIRFARE TO PORT - Leave Columbus, GA at 6:15am Sat. morning connecting flight to ATLANTA GA no problems except had 35 mins to get to our next gate all the way down the other side of airport. No problem 5 mins to spare. I like to cut things close lol. Then get into Ft. Lauderdale airport around 10:00am. So see rep of PRINCESS and SHE SAID-We couldn't board the shuttle until 11:30am. Again no problem, I'm used to waiting but this is my in-laws first cruise and they didn't know what to expect. I might also say my Father-in-Law was Wheelchair assisted most of the trip. Then starting boarding like a bunch of cows on the other side of the airport and get to the Port and go in to fill out paper work and get on the ship-around 12:00am and go to the buffet line to eat very HUNGRY. SHIPS APPEARANCE - Not bad for a new ship compared to RCLS-EXPLORER about the same. FOOD-Let me first start out saying i didn't try the P.C. dining, wanted the Traditional. The Service was ok but the waitstaff seemed not to care about how was your food or if u had any problems. I believe this stems from the way they are tipped by the passengers ahead of time $10 a day per person, includes room steward. Princess falls on the ball on this one. buffet LINE-Ok as far as buffets go same old stuff-breakfast, and lunch items. They didn't have a omelette table where they cooked your omelette u had to let them know what type u wanted-Bad-also u had to get GRITS by ordering a SOUTHERN thing. lol. ENTERTAINMENT- Again Princess failed. The Dancers and Singers fair seen and heard better. The Comedians 3 of them fair-Carlos Rogers must see though. M.U.T.S - The best thing PRINCESS has going for them. Saw SHALL WE DANCE good chick flick. Saw movies in Princess Theatre not bad but i can see movies at home. Bingo, horse racing, marriage show all average don't waste money or time seeing. The C.D. James Lay was anti-abortion jokes and dry sense of humor. The cruise staff didn't go out of there way to make u have the time of your life. PORTS- PRINCESS CAYS,ST. THOMAS,ST. MARTIN- Private island of Princess is a nice place if u like beach activities and they did have some shops to shop but if u want to EAT-DO NOT- They Had hotdogs,hamburgers, and ribs all out under the cookers and around the food was about 100 thousand -FLYS-NOT GOOD. I'm surprised no one got SICK. The other 2 ports ok for shopping and excursions-did BELL DIVING in ST. THOMAS at Coral Reef Park must do FUN. DISEMBARKATION-This is where the trip turned to HELL. We had early departure tags so thought get off ship earlier then the rest-NOT.THEY called 4 color tags at the same time and the RUSH was on. Get to Baggage claim trying to find luggage with 200 other people is not my idea of vacation. Then get though immigration-smooth then the TICKETED Transfer BUS to the AIRPORT. 30-45 mins later finally get on bus and Princess personnel very disorganized. Tell bus driver have 10:30 flight home-10:00 now no problem. Get to Airport at 10:15am and missed flight #1, then reschedule #2 12:30 standby,missed,#3-2:30 got to ALT 4:20 and Waited until 9:50pm to leave for Columbus-PROBLEM-Princess and all ships same time in PORT and AIRPORT cant handle all those people. I will never booked a early flight out or just drive. Princess NEEDS to get there Act together after u get off ship because i felt they DIDN'T CARE-they got there money and your on your own. This is POOR service. I will NEVER SAIL WITH PRINCESS or any her other ships, give me my RCL any day. Princess can learn a thing or two about customer care and SATISFACTION. A word to the wise-DO NOT SAIL CARIBBEAN PRINCESS OR ANY PRINCESS SHIP. The President will hear about this and they need to take immediate action so this never happens again. So take care my C.C. friends and enjoy this long and boring REVIEW, Tks dennis merrill-Columbus GA. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
I must agree with simplyme. One of my sisters and I cruised on the Golden Princess last year and had a better experience. Two of my sisters and I went on the Caribbean Princess and were far from satisfied. To start with, the easiest ... Read More
I must agree with simplyme. One of my sisters and I cruised on the Golden Princess last year and had a better experience. Two of my sisters and I went on the Caribbean Princess and were far from satisfied. To start with, the easiest access to one of the adult only pools, the door by the spa, was locked for a day and a half, supposedly because it was "slamming and disturbing the spa patrons" while we went through some rough seas. When I complained to the pursers desk, they sided with the spa staff and did not make them open it. I work in the Safety and Security field and stated that this was a safety hazard, but they did nothing about it. The food was good, but the staff seemed more interested in talking to each other than clearing our plates or bringing the next course. We found dirty glasses left for 12 hours or more in many places on the deck. The morning after we received our luggage tags, which indicate when you will be able to disembark, I went to the pursers desk and told them I had an early flight and needed to leave the ship early. I was asked the time and said 9:20AM. I was told there's no way I would make that and I'd have to change my flight. I had submitted the information about my flight on line 2 weeks before leaving and was not informed there was a problem. I was told the ship doesn't clear customs until 8:45 and it takes at least another half hour to get off, so there was no way I could make it. As we were at Princess Cays and my cell phone had no signal, I attempted to go on line to make the change. After trying for 40 minutes, with the internet dragging (at $.35 a minute) and 2 crew members going in and out of the room working on another machine, my sister suggested we have breakfast and try later, when less people were on line. After breakfast I tried again. An hour later, with the same 2 crew members coming and going, they finally did something that made the connection better and the computers started to work correctly. All I could get was an 800 number to call to make the change. I called the pursers desk to have the charges for the internet removed, as they knew there was a problem and didn't tell anyone. I told the only helpful person I spoke to there, Brian, why I was on the computer in the first place and he checked my record. He told me the flight number I had been booked on and said the time stated "error"!! I told him no one notified me there was a problem and now I can't do anything about it. He placed the phone call for me, so I did not incur ship to shore charges, but forgot to remove the internet charge. When I got my bill the next morning and went down to the pursers desk, yet again, I was issued a credit for the $43.83, but was told it would take 2 to 3 weeks to show up on my credit card account. Funny the charges go through right away, but the credit takes weeks! And I had to pay a fee for changing my flight. The staff in general was not very helpful and I think it was deceptive not to inform anyone about the problem with the internet. They could have closed the room until the problem was repaired. The only person who seemed to care about our comfort and giving us any service was Gabor, our cabin steward, who did an excellent job and was the only person we gave a tip to, aside from that added to the bill, which we stopped after the 4th day. Also, the cabin was not as depicted on the web site. My sister was told when booking the cruise there were no upper berths, there would be a roll away type bed for the 3rd person. This was not the case. There were 2 upper berths and the cabin was much smaller than the floor plan shown. My 4 sisters and I will not cruise on Princess again, and our rather large extended family feels the same way. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
We have been on 13 cruises with Royal Caribbean and one with Princess Star. We rank Royal Caribbean NUMBER ONE all around. This was our first time on Princess Star and it will definitely be our last time we travel this cruise line. This ... Read More
We have been on 13 cruises with Royal Caribbean and one with Princess Star. We rank Royal Caribbean NUMBER ONE all around. This was our first time on Princess Star and it will definitely be our last time we travel this cruise line. This cruise line lacks attention to details (Not one employee greeted you by your name not even your last name with Royal Caribbean after day 2 everyone knows your name with out a doubt!). As most cruise lines do book large groups for all types of seminar and interests. On this cruise, there was a group of Christians -- before I go any further I think it is absolutely wonderful to show so much devotion and to be able to come together is remarkable. My disappointment is with Princess Star catered to this groups needs as they should but extremely neglected everyone elses needs. For Example: One of the most beautiful spots on board is the back of the ship, there is a wonderful pool well no-one had an opportunity to use it day or night it was closed off due to group meetings. Entertainment was planned around this groups likes and dislikes leaving the other passengers to do walk around and do nothing. Pool Side Music was Amazing Grace. I am not joking overly shocked, what ever happened to the music of the Caribbean, Jamaican - No it was Christian based music only we left the pool side immediately to go to sleep. Cabin: We stayed in a mini-suite with a balcony. Our cabin was clean, our cabin attendant was wonderful always smiling and made our stay wonderful. Our Balcony my goodness no privacy what a set-back we spent a great deal of money to have a balcony and not to be able to have any privacy was very disappointing. Also there were no plush robes or slippers to step into to relax on your balcony (Royal Caribbean provides this for you even if this is your first time cruising with them.) Food: Buffet - Was absolutely horrible I can cook better than what was served for breakfast and lunch there was limited variety. I do have to say the sushi was absolutely delicious! Burgers & Pizza way to go quick and easy. Sabatinis: Absolutely exquisite! Wonderful selection of wines, the food was cooked to perfection; the presentation was exceptionally tasteful, and everything was delicious. The staff was exceptionally attentive to every detail paying special attention to their customers. This was one of our greatest evenings on board which there were not very many. Main Dining we attended 2nd seating everything was wonderful the food was delicious however there was a lack in desserts everywhere. If you love desserts they were far and few to come by on this cruise. We have only traveled Royal Caribbean - there was no special evening where the chefs displayed their talent by creating sculptures made out of chocolate, butter, fruit, vegetables and breads. Entertainment/Shows: Was okay this is the same for each cruise line. However the Hypnotists & Comedian were wonderful. Wet T-Shirt Contest okay whoo-hoo party starting totally not what you think it was mens wet T-shirt contest only. Only 50 people showed up. Casino/Clubs/Bars: They were non-existent it was like living a nightmare there was no-one around, nothing to do. The cruise line even closed a few of the bars down there was no-one around. Sky Walker Lounge what a wonderful place to end the evening music, scenery, and nice dance floor. However, due to the Christian group on board, they held their prayer meeting right underneath this club. If the club was making to-much noise they were told to quite it down or shut down due to the group could not concentrate in their prayer. Pools: They pack you in like sardines good luck getting in and out if you dont end up with scratches or bruises on your legs by the end of the cruise you did not spend any time on the deck. Pool Side Music there was none - not sure why or what happened very unusual if you want to hear some music hopefully you brought CDs, MP3, or ipod! No pool games  horse races, No Pool Side dancing Mambo # 5, Macarana, Electric Side, nothing at all. However the last day at sea they had ice carving, big splash contest and thats it for the week. Tender: Thats a joke I have never seen anything like this in my life. You have to go down to the lounge and obtain tickets however you must all be present why so you can get the ticket and have a seat. They rather have everyone crammed into the lounge rather than get your ticket and wait to be called. Elevators: I have not mastered running up and down stairs -- the elevator takes 10-15 minutes before you can catch one that is not packed. Plan on walking I would never again waste my money on this cruise line it was not enjoyable at all. We arrived home yesterday and booked a cruise with Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas for late March can't wait to have fun. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
My wife and I just returned from a ten-day cruise of the Eastern Caribbean, which sailed on Friday, January 28, 2005. We have been on four previous cruises -- Holland America's Maasdam (twice) and Volendam, and Celebrity's ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a ten-day cruise of the Eastern Caribbean, which sailed on Friday, January 28, 2005. We have been on four previous cruises -- Holland America's Maasdam (twice) and Volendam, and Celebrity's Mercury. We have nothing but praise for our previous cruise experiences. Our cabin, an outside balcony, along with many other cabins on the ship, smelled of sewage. We were told that this problem periodically occurs on the ship for unknown reasons and that there is no solution. The port of Barbados was skipped due to a problem with the holding tanks. The service staff, with few exceptions, seemed indifferent. Service in the Lido was practically nonexistent. The food, while adequate, was not up to the standards of either Holland or Celebrity. There are not enough seats in show areas to accommodate the number of people on the ship. In order to get a seat for any of the shows we had to arrive 45-60 minutes early. We heard nothing but complaints from fellow passengers, something we have not experienced on previous cruises. We do not plan to sail on the Sun Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
My husband and I have just returned from an april 9, 2004 cruise on the Sun Princess. This was our 23 cruise--we take two a year (in the winter months). We were planning to be in Puerto Rico for the beginning of April but my husband ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from an april 9, 2004 cruise on the Sun Princess. This was our 23 cruise--we take two a year (in the winter months). We were planning to be in Puerto Rico for the beginning of April but my husband changed his mind and wanted to go on a cruise. This was fine with me--I love cruising. Because we booked so late (only three weeks before the cruise) we could not get the normal balcony stateroom that we are used to. We were only able to get a cabin with an obstructed view. On the day of embarkation I offered to pay extra for a balcony cabin if there was one available but because of it being Easter week and school vacation the ship was fully booked. Our cabin was worse than we could ever had imagined. Our room steward, Marlon, was wonderful --he was our saving grace. We looked out at the life boats--when they were lowered to tender people in to Princess Cay and St. Thomas the noise in our stateroom was horrendous--even scary. Also, our cabin was not sound proof from the corridors --we could hear the stewards and other passengers from 6:30 on in the morning. There were children everywhere--and it seemed that they were all running from cabin to cabin visiting one another. The staff at the purser's desk couldn't care less---it was like talking to a statute. We ate in the Marquis every night--our waiter Fernando was excellent--the food was good--but not up to RCI standards--we were on the Brilliance of the Seas in February--a truly beautiful ship. The deck space on the Sun was very good--they did not crowd deck chairs together---we mostly stayed on the ship when we got into port because we have seen these ports so many times. We enjoyed the warm weather and made the best of everything but would not go on the Princess again---too drab and it cannot compare to the newer ships. Too, bad the newer ships are not used for 10 night cruises--they seem to use the newer ones only for 7 night cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
The following review is an account of our cruise January 12, 2004 on the Coral Princess sailing from Ft. Lauderdale Florida for 10 days in and out of the Panama Canal. My wife and I are Platinum members of the Princess Cruises repeaters ... Read More
The following review is an account of our cruise January 12, 2004 on the Coral Princess sailing from Ft. Lauderdale Florida for 10 days in and out of the Panama Canal. My wife and I are Platinum members of the Princess Cruises repeaters program, as we have sailed on Princess seven times including this sailing. There were some good things and some bad things of which we shall attempt to point out and hopefully give you future cruisers something to think about, look forward to and avoid in your future travels. This was sailing number 33 for us. Embarkation Our trip started January 12, 2004. The embarkation process was very swift and pleasant. Our travel to the ship was by Cruise Connection Bus from Ft. Myers Fl. We boarded the bus at 8:00 am and arrived at Port Everglades at around 10:15. The building was not open for check in until about 11:00 am, so we waited outside in line for about an hour and a half. Once we got inside, it was very smooth. Lines moved fast and before you know it we were aboard. We were assigned cabin # A312 a verandah cabin located on Aloha deck. We had signed up for PERSONAL CHOICE dinning, as we had excellent experience on the Grand Princess, just a few months before. In fact this was the third sailing in which we taken PERSONAL CHOICE dinning. In reviewing the information in the cabin, we found a precautionary health advisory regarding Norwalk Virus. Our luggage came rather quickly and we were able to get unpacked and settled early in the day. So we then proceeded to the Horizon Room for lunch. The next thing on the agenda was the safety boat drill. We were assembled in one of the show rooms with life jacket in hand. The entire exercise took only a short time. Sail Away That evening we went to a bar before dinner to have a drink. As we entered the dinning room, we were greeted by on of the staff. We requested a table for two. We were seated in a most uncomfortable table that had another table for two only 6 inches between them. The people at that table were looking for privacy, as were we. But we found none that evening. We did find a most attractive ship, well appointed and very elegant. Day Two. Nassau The day started of good, We had breakfast in the Horizon Court. While waiting for the ship to be cleared, we did a little more exploring. We found ourselves in the forward enclosed pool area. A really beautiful space on the ship. I also noticed a bar selling $3.00 Bloody Mary drinks. After about 15 minutes a young waiter stopped and asked if we wanted a drink. I said yes, we would like two of the $3.00 Bloody Mary drinks. He then asked what kind of vodka we wanted in them. I assumed we had a choice so I said we would take Stoli or Absolute. After a 30 minute wait, he returned with the drinks and I signed the ticket without looking. While drinking the drinks I reviewed the ticket and noticed they wee much higher about $6.00 each. I then went over to the bar tender, ticket in hand and asked her to explain, as there was a misunderstanding. She did explain that when you order a "called liquor" in a drink, it is much higher. I explained what had happened and what I had ordered, and she advised to come to her in the future. That evening we went to the Bayou Restaurant, one of the select extra cost dinning rooms. The meal was OK, until the dessert came. The waiter brought my wife's dessert and told me it would be a minute before mine came out. After a 30-minute wait and after my wife had finished her dessert, and we did not see one waiter person, we left the restaurant, rather disappointed. We had paid $10.00 extra each for the dinner, plus $10.00 each for the day's tips. All in all, not a great experience. Day Three and Four at Sea. Days at sea were very pleasant, for the most part. We did experience two run ins with the Dinning Room Staff in our table selections for dinners. The second night a young fellow seated us next to the kitchen door, no doubt to retaliate for our complaining about the seating situation the night before. Again on one evening we went to the Martini Bar and requested two vodka martinis on the rocks made with absolute vodka. We got two gin martinis on the rocks made with bar gin, but charged extra for the called liquor. The second evening we went to the Explorers Lounge to watch passenger Jeopardy show. We again ordered two drinks and mine was ok, but my wife's drink was again not what she had ordered. At that point, we gave up. It did seem the problem was a staff of waiters that were inexperienced and had a problem with the English language. Day Five. Panama Canal What an experience, We would recommend to everyone who has not seen it to do so. Additionally, we took a tour to Panama City. It was without a doubt, one of the most informative tours we have taken. This did make the trip worthwhile. It is a true marvel. One that each person should experience. The people are very friendly and the guides are really caring and informative. Well worth the money. When we returned to our cabin, again there was a new warning about Norwalk Virus from the Ship's Doctor. Day Six, Limon Costa Rica We had booked an early morning tour through and around the city of Limon. We had an early breakfast in the Horizon Court and made our way to the mustering area for the tour. We boarded a large bus, which ended up only half full. Our guide was a local female, who was not fluent in English. The bus pulled out and truly there is not much to see in this port. We stopped along the roadside to look at bananas with plastic bags covering them. And to look for monkeys in the trees at another location along side the road. Then all HELL broke loose. My poor wife had contracted the Norwalk Virus and lost everything from breakfast and likely dinner from the night before. We received little aid from the tour guide, and had to pay for a cab to return to the ship. The ship did send an ambulance to meet us in route back to the ship. The medical staff was very accommodating and provided us with medication and a list of do's and don'ts regarding the virus. The rest of that day we spent in our room. Food and drink were not issues. Day Seven, at Sea. We spent day seven in our cabin and again, no interest in food. Surprisingly, we never heard from anyone in the Medical Office after our initial encounter. Day Eight, Grand Cayman We were again pretty much confined to our cabin. Our ship stopped in the harbor, but were called off. The Captain reported over the public address system, as the ship was sailing off, that the seas in the Harbor were too rough to unload passengers. I found that interesting, as at least one more ship was there that did not sail away. Others reported that there were three ships in the harbor. Day Nine, Cozumel Finally, we were able to eat again and did take a cab downtown to do some shopping and get some air. Cozumel is a neat island and one of the best for anyone on a Western Caribbean Cruise. That evening at dinner, we were fortunate enough to meet some really nice passengers from New Jersey. We did end up in the dining room and as luck would have it, we were seated at one of the 6-inch separated tables and they at the other. A most fortunate peace of luck for us. Day Ten, at Sea. We were instructed by the Medical Department not to eat in the Horizon Court on Lido Deck, as that environment is conducive to the Norwalk Virus. The ship had the wait staff getting the food for you. All you did was walk around carrying your tray. The first day out they had positioned a device at the entrance and stationed an employee there to instruct all who entered to wave there hand under this bowl and a spray of some type disinfectant would drop. This you were to rub your hands together, and it would eliminate the virus from you hands. It probably worked well, but it was a bit too late to help most passengers who contracted the virus. In any event, the last day on board was a most pleasant one for us, although we were both quite wore out from the previous several days and the virus. Day Eleven, Ft. Lauderdale Our arrival at Port Everglades was welcome; we had really had enough at that point. The debarkation was smooth as usual with Princess Cruises. We were off the ship by 9:30am. We waited for over an hour before the Bus came and loaded us for the return trip to Ft. Myers. We finally arrived home in the afternoon. Conclusion The illness was just one of the many things that we experienced on this trip. I failed to mention that we had taken a seven-day cruise on the Grand Princess in September of 2003. That trip was altered by an approaching Hurricane. We had purchased the trip to go Eastern Caribbean and at the last minute the itinerary was switched to Western. This cruise was sold with the first port being Cartagena Columbia and it was dropped because of a restaurant bombing. I had called the Captains Circle Club just after I found out Cartagena had been dropped and spoke with a young lady who advised me that if I had a problem I should write a letter to Customer Services. I called my travel agent and she suggested and provided a telephone number for me to call. I did call and spoke with a nice young man. I explained that we had suffered disappointment when the Grand had to be re routed to the western Caribbean and now this one was already changing a port. He was very asymptotic and told me that all he could do was get us a cabin change and that we should expect to see the change come across the internet in about 7 to 10 days. We told him that would really be nice as we really enjoyed Princess Cruises and it would relieve some of the disappointment. We did not get the change in cabins. We did however, decide that we were not going to let that ruin our trip. It seemed to us that everything that could go wrong went wrong. From the Bar service, to the alternate dinning experience, to the Personal Dinning aggravation, and then topped off by the Virus and missing three days of our vacation. When we arrived home, I wrote a letter to Princess Cruises Customer Services Department explaining our concerns. It took one month to get a reply, and the Customer Services Representative said in the letter that they regret to learn of our illness and that it was an unfortunate situation caused by a very common illness currently prevalent in many areas and beyond the control of Princess Cruises and while they sympathize with our unfortunate experience, they find no negligence on the part of Princess Cruises and cannot offer compensation. We were flabbergasted. We had NOT expressed a desire for any compensation, and rather we were upset and disappointed do to the dropping of Ports of Call. The fiasco in Personal Choose Dinning, the dessert situation in the Bayou alternative dinning room. The Bar Waiter Service that screwed up so many drinks and now the total lack of customer service when you have a problem or complaint. We also told him that we would likely not take Princess Cruises again, if a sincere apology were not forth coming. We also sent a letter to the CEO of Princess Cruises, to date, no apology has not come nor even an acknowledgement of receipt of our latest letter has surfaced. It has been almost 6 weeks. We can say that we enjoyed the first five cruises on Princess Cruises. And as long as things are good on board and you do not have a problem they do a very good job. But God forbid you have a complaint or problem, they will not deal with it. We are still waiting to hear from them. Likely, we will be a lot older and a lot grayer before we do. Also, They will be a lot older and grayer before we go on their lines again. It is a real shame that one or two representatives of an organization can totally turn a formerly great product into such a distasteful experience. We have very fond memories of our past accounts with Princess Cruises. It takes years to build a reputation and moments to destroy it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2004
Positives: The embarkation process was very smooth and quick. The Playa del Carmen excursion was wonderful! Great beach, great host! The food was excellent. The balcony is well worth the additional price. Watching the scenery go ... Read More
Positives: The embarkation process was very smooth and quick. The Playa del Carmen excursion was wonderful! Great beach, great host! The food was excellent. The balcony is well worth the additional price. Watching the scenery go by, the sunset, etc. We spent a great deal of time on our balcony. Negatives: Just about everything else. The airline travel was grossly inconvenient. I will never again allow the cruise line to book my travel, no matter where the cruise is in relation to my home gateway. We arrived at the shop completely exhausted from flying all night and sitting up in the middle of the night in the airport in Atlanta for a long lay-over. The stateroom was 40% smaller than Carnival, and much more expensive. Accommodations no where near comparable. We reserved late dining (through our travel agent) and were completely ignored. We ended up with the personal choice dining, which means basically you have no reservations anywhere, they seat you with whomever they choose, wait times are considerably longer, and you never spend enough time with any of the other guests to enjoy it. We much preferred to have the same dining companions every night - by the end of the cruise you are much more relaxed and enjoyable. We felt nickel-and-dimed to death. Ice cream is free on Carnival. Not on Princess. The list of differences in this area is very, very long. Every time we turned around Princess was trying to sell us something. The automatic billing of gratuities really rubbed us the wrong way. The intent of a gratuity is to reward service, and is subjective in that we reward better service more than lesser service. I know that more cruises are going this way, and I would just rather not go along with this policy. It defeats the purpose in my view. There was mold in the bathtub and on the balcony door. We reported it to the cabin steward, but it was never cleaned up. Speaking of the cabin steward, he was too invisible. We could never find him when we needed him. Not that we asked a lot of him, but when we did it was more than an hour before we could find him. We didn't travel with children, and there were fewer children than on Carnival to be sure. But they were poorly supervised (parenting issues, not really Princess' fault). Other passengers told us the child care provided was marginally better than no child care. It was only available while you were physically on board ship. There are not enough elevators on this ship to accommodate so many passengers! There were long lines at every elevator and children using them as entertainment (hitting buttons for all floors and then getting off) made things worse. Notice of an Embarkation gift sent by our travel agent arrived on the last night of the cruise - and then we were told we couldn't have the bottle of wine delivered to our stateroom, that we'd have to have it in the dining room. Just dumb luck that the notice arrived before dinner, or we'd never have gotten it at all. In terms of on-board shopping, the atmosphere was K-mart at best. Junk piled (dumped?) on tables in the aisles, making it difficult to pass. Everywhere, all the time. The announcements of sales piped into the stateroom were incessant. The merchandise in the shops was okay but nothing to write home about. A lot less variety than Carnival. During one of the evening shows, a passenger fell in the Vista lounge. The people who came to her aid were passengers; suddenly all cruise staff vanished, and never showed up to help. They were just GONE. The staff for the most part was competent, when we found people who spoke English. We had servers who didn't understand what chardonnay was. I would not say by any stretch of the imagination that any of the staff were friendly or particularly helpful. Very stand-offish. We heard the word NO a lot. A real not-my-job attitude, or perhaps this is my job and I will do not one iota more than required. Disembarkation was a disaster. We were herded into one of the lounges, then herded into lines that took hours to get through. All told it was a three hour wait to get off the darn boat! Princess is supposed to be a step above. Where we expected a classier experience, and not the party atmosphere of Carnival, it was instead snooty and a bore. Read Less
Sail Date July 2001
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