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6,534 Princess Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Reviews

Having an opportunity to experience the Atlantic and Caribbean islands during Christmas and New Year 2020 on a smaller cruise ship is why we choose the Pacific Princess. This allowed us to have 2 sea days to get acquainted with the ship ... Read More
Having an opportunity to experience the Atlantic and Caribbean islands during Christmas and New Year 2020 on a smaller cruise ship is why we choose the Pacific Princess. This allowed us to have 2 sea days to get acquainted with the ship and new friends while heading to St. John, USVI where we snorkeled in Trunk Bay. Our itinerary took us to the lovely islands of Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Antigua. The smaller ship allowed us to visit the small island of Mayreau, The Grenadines with its beautiful coconut palm lined beaches and lovely crystal clear waters. Our furthest island south was Tobago. Our final island paradise was Virgin Gorda, BVI with its dazzling views from Gorda Peak National Park of Eustatia, Prickly Pear, Necker Island and Mosquito Islands with their many turquoise waters and numerous beaches. The Pacific Princess entertainment was the best that we have ever experienced on our many cruises. Joe Thomas provided us with his stunning piano playing of memorable songs of the 50s, 60s and 70s. AJ Clarke is a composer, pianist, singer and entertainer. He featured very unique renditions of songs at random requested by the audience and self arrange the songs in one continuous song. Lowell Fox provided numerous lectures accompanied by old TV video clips of the era of early live comical television such as Sid Ceasar, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope and George Burns. If you are looking for a small and quality cruise ship with world class amenities I recommend booking a cruise in the Pacific Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Super High Pressure Selling from the Spa! Was dupped in an 'appointment' - was told it was a Consultation! I said I wanted to discuss it with my husband, and was given a time to come back the next day to let them know what I had ... Read More
Super High Pressure Selling from the Spa! Was dupped in an 'appointment' - was told it was a Consultation! I said I wanted to discuss it with my husband, and was given a time to come back the next day to let them know what I had decided. I got seasick the next day, called to cancel my 'consultation' and was told I was not allowed to cancel because it was an Appointment?!?; THEN Spa called me 30 minutes later to high pressure sell me an Acupuncture treatment! The lady Assured me it would fix my seasickness?!? I said no & person got upset with me. We had 10 treatments and they wanted more! We were also not given the 10/20/30% discount -if you purchase 1 treatment you get 10% off, 2 and you get 20% and 3 and you get 30% discount. Plus we purchased access to the Enclave (Thermal Spa) - but because the Enclave was too small for the size of the boat, and the fact that we did not want to have to deal with the high pressure selling, we never used this Enclave; I asked if we could receive a refund, but of course was told No. Also, High pressure selling in jewelry retail ship.... We go on a cruise to RELAX not be brow beat into buying product and treatments! Did NOT get go to Princess Cays - wind was too strong?! but was later told that too many folks / ships were scheduled on island at once, so our ship had to move on down the sea. That put us 3.5 days at sea before getting off boat to site see.... If we wanted a booze cruise we would have opted for a less expensive option. Fitness Center is way too small for the size of boat. We were grateful there was a Lap Path on the top deck. Highlights!!! The ship is clean and the decor is appealing. Food, Maitre'D, Servers in Sabatini's -outstanding! Food in - Crowne Grill was decent, a step above the buffet, not worth the upcharge. Good Spirits Bartender and Servers there (in particular William) were attentive and quick! Had access to concierge lounge & lady there was top notch (Magdelena C)! She saved our sanity due to her outstanding customer service! Club 6 for Suite guests was also a positive (for 2 hours a night hors d'oeuvres and discounted bar drinks were offered). Another highlight was Christmas Night - CREW MEMBERS provided entertainment after dinner in the atrium, and there are some really talented folks on the the boat: a couple of the singers did an outstanding job! American Idol caliber. There were some good dancers and musicians as well. And whoever put together the '12 Days of Christmas' entertainment did a great job!! (Hola) Positive was the ability to IM other members of our group using the Princess Medallion app; and using the cruise wristbands (like Disney's) was a plus. Hopefully they will refine the apps - right now there are FOUR different apps that have to be downloaded - Princess, you need to simplify it and have ONE app for your guests. Lastly positive was Kids Club. Our granddaughter seemed to enjoy her time there! Was nice to give her parents a bit of a break and some adult time. I would like to rate this a 1(terrible), Mainly because of the SPA Experience... Plus the fact we received NO Compensation for not getting to go to Princess Cays (which was one of the reasons we booked this trip); and if there really was an issue with the wind (let's say the cruiseline was being overtly cautious based on the recent collision of 2 ships and the wind incident) > it would have been an nice gesture from the cruiseline to have provided us SOMETHING....a free of charge specialty dinner one night for folks who had booked an excursion at Princess cays...a couple of free drinks... something! Even the crew was cranky by the time we stopped at the first port. I am bumping the rating up to a 2 (poor) though - because of the Concierge Lounge, Club 6, Good Spirits (and we had a nice room steward)...however we paid DEARLY for the Suite and if you pay those prices for a Suite, you Expect Suit Service - better service and amenities as part of the overall package and experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
So some authentication: we have gone on over 80 cruises and on several lines. Not only ONE line. We have a little experience. What a disappointment. The food was not good at all. We went to the dining room twice and vowed to not ... Read More
So some authentication: we have gone on over 80 cruises and on several lines. Not only ONE line. We have a little experience. What a disappointment. The food was not good at all. We went to the dining room twice and vowed to not return. The maître d' offered to bring additional entrees but we were on a schedule for the show and declined. The buffet was a bit better since they had more choices. Since I am fond of soup I chose to try it at most meals. Most were uneatable. They were bland, flavorless; even though the names were enticing. But even the buffet was unsavory. Breakfasts were good; lunch and dinner left much room for improvement. Surprisingly, the Crown Grill, a specialty restaurant was great. We enjoyed our dining experience. But I was not surprised. Was that an enticement for spending more on a cruise to have better meals? Food for thought. The shows were extraordinary! The production shows and the comedian were great. It was an extra special treat. The casino was extra 'tight'. We usually spend a lot of money and time in the ship's casino but not this one. Looking around we did not find one 'hand pay'. Also in looking there were not many winners. In fact, the casino was partially empty most of the time we participated. So overall I will spend more time thinking about cruising with Princess in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Wonderful holiday cruise on the Regal. The holiday cruise had two formal dining nights. My group enjoyed the food and the atmosphere on the ship. Just a touch about the average for service and care by the staff. The 7 day cruise to St ... Read More
Wonderful holiday cruise on the Regal. The holiday cruise had two formal dining nights. My group enjoyed the food and the atmosphere on the ship. Just a touch about the average for service and care by the staff. The 7 day cruise to St Thomas and St Martin was a good trip. The people of the ship were friendly and in the holiday mood. I know carnival is cheaper but I would say you will be happy to cruise on Princess Regal. The dining room, stateroom, and bar staff were all on top of their game. Ship: well built and design Cabin: clean and kept neat by staff Dining: the late dining choice worked out well Entertainment and Activities: the entertainment was on point and we enjoyed the diverse choices Service: everyone was friendly and professional Ports and Shore excursions: nice island and polite person We will be back again for more Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Did our homework and considered several options for a "skipping Christmas Cruise" Chose this ship because of the ports -- particularly St Thomas as it gave us time to go to St John and visit family as well as the convenience to ... Read More
Did our homework and considered several options for a "skipping Christmas Cruise" Chose this ship because of the ports -- particularly St Thomas as it gave us time to go to St John and visit family as well as the convenience to Ft Lauderdale. Beautiful ship and lots of bars and restaurants to choose from. Would recommend the mini-suite over the balcony room because larger room and bathroom but all the balconies (even this one) were the tiniest we have ever had. Too many days at sea because we could not get off in the Cays because of rough seas. Should have been reimbursed OR found another port later as we had a total of four days at seas. Food was OK, nothing great (stay away from fish entrees) but the Crown Dining Room was tops. Lots of entertainment to choose from -- a must-see was the piano player, Cesar. Service was just OK, not outstanding and stewards just did their job didn't go out of their way. BEWARE of the Platinum Studio -- VERY VERY overpriced. A waste of our time as we fell for the sitting but did not pay the price of the portraits. Go for the beverage package, but was disappointed in their standard wine choices (sub par). We did like the medallions to use for convenience for getting into the room and also charging around the ship Overall I am recommending this cruise as good (not VERY good) because there were more pros than cons. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our holiday cruise on the Regal Princess matches the reviews I read. It's a very pretty ship, super clean and well-maintained. The food is very good. The shows are really amazing, better than I thought they would be. The small cabins ... Read More
Our holiday cruise on the Regal Princess matches the reviews I read. It's a very pretty ship, super clean and well-maintained. The food is very good. The shows are really amazing, better than I thought they would be. The small cabins serve their purpose well enough. The attitude of the crew is pretty good, with a few odd or unpleasant incidences in our 7 night cruise. The daily activities, sports deck and other entertainment are really fun. The pool is a little too small. The atmosphere is not really boisterous or unruly, but it is still plenty active and fun until late at night. Perfect for a family with young children. I would highly recommend it, expect I didn't really like our ports. We were not allowed to get off at Princess Cays due to what they said were too high waves for the tender boats (although they did not to look too high to me). So that was really disappointing. St.Thomas and Sint Maarten are far more impoverished than I knew. The historic district in St. Thomas is really run down. There are WAY too many jewelry shops and other tourist establishments. Magen's Bay beach is gorgeous, but is a very expensive cab ride away if you have a large party as you pay about $16 per person round trip plus tips. Sint Maarten is similar, but Great Bay beach is dirty and overcrowded. Maybe we should have taken the Western Caribbean route... Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Great time with family. Better than staying at home. If you have special abilities members of your family this is the place to go (with the exception of Shore Excursions helpfulness). The ship is great and assessable. Staff is ... Read More
Great time with family. Better than staying at home. If you have special abilities members of your family this is the place to go (with the exception of Shore Excursions helpfulness). The ship is great and assessable. Staff is wonderful and willing to help when needed. Always felt very comfortable at letting them just go about their day without us having to worry about them. From the entertainment staff to the the room Stewart, to the staff cleaning all were helpful (except shore excursion). You will be very pleased with the experience onboard. The medallion was such a great asset. You were able to locate and not worry about your party. Thanks again for making this a memorable event. And yes, we did book another cruise. Our special needs group also booked a cruise and they are planning on going alone, and I am sure they will be very pleased with the trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I went and also two of our kids (11 and 16) we had so much fun, and really really got away from it all for a week. The food was off the hook good, and the entertainment was the best ever. CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN, if you (like me) ... Read More
My wife and I went and also two of our kids (11 and 16) we had so much fun, and really really got away from it all for a week. The food was off the hook good, and the entertainment was the best ever. CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN, if you (like me) suffer from clean OCD this ship is clean! Embarkation was fastest I've ever experienced, like 15 mins maybe. We did some of the sit down dining but a lot of the buffet, the variety was outstanding. They has newer movies on demand in the cabin which we didn't expect but really enjoyed. All the activities and shows were perfect, we played trivia, saw unbelievably good shows, singers, dancers, a rock concert and even a really good comedian. Always something to do for anyone. It was Christmas week while we were on-board, we had never sailed for the holidays, the ship was all decorated and holiday music was playing, even Santa was on-board, its was really nice! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my family's first cruise experience. My wife did the research and heard great reviews about the Princess Ships. We picked Regal to go to the virgin Islands for a 7 day Cruise. I can't say enough about how friendly and ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise experience. My wife did the research and heard great reviews about the Princess Ships. We picked Regal to go to the virgin Islands for a 7 day Cruise. I can't say enough about how friendly and helpful the staff were. They do absolutely anything they can to make sure you are taken care of. From the Gentleman who took care of our room to the wait staff I met every morning at International Cafe for coffee and Doughnuts. Plenty of food selections and plenty of options. Buffet was amazing. Dining rooms were very professional. If you want any type of food at just about any time you can get it. Loved the use of the medallion which worked perfectly. Also the App to communicate with other ship mates and track where your friends are is a must. Used it way more than I thought I would. The Spa and Enclave was amazing as well. A HUGE hot tub in the spa with a rain shower in the middle. 2 Steam rooms infused with aroma therapy. Showers that cool you off after. Great place to reset and relax. I can't say enough about how nice this cruise was. In the 7 days of this cruise I would say I was absolutely spoiled. No complaints. Great experience on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
we has a party of 8 . All family members and it was a cruise to remember. Staff was 5 star . Restaurants were AMAZING. the traditional dining was delicious and felt like we were fine dining everynight. The shows were broadway worthy and ... Read More
we has a party of 8 . All family members and it was a cruise to remember. Staff was 5 star . Restaurants were AMAZING. the traditional dining was delicious and felt like we were fine dining everynight. The shows were broadway worthy and the entertainment in the bars were unlike i have ever seen. Michelle Joly sounded like Adele she was truly amazing. Ocean Dreams was a band from Argentina that were Great. The drummer is so talented. Everything was decorated to the highest degree. We enjoyed this trip very much and i recommend the Regal ship to anyone that wants a high quality cruise with something to offer for everyone young and old. The fitness center was big and clean with treadmills always available and great classes to take. Our Cruise Director Dan Falconer was a delight. He should have his own late night talk show. He is so funny . The ship was spotless and the customer service was top notch. The employees go above and beyond and i applaud all the crew members for their hard work and dedication to making our experience unforgettable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were looking for a one week cruise over Christmas. This cruise was the correct time and we had cruised on Princess several times before. We flew to Fort Lauderdale the night before our departure and stayed at a hotel near the airport ... Read More
We were looking for a one week cruise over Christmas. This cruise was the correct time and we had cruised on Princess several times before. We flew to Fort Lauderdale the night before our departure and stayed at a hotel near the airport and cruise terminal. We also knew another couple that would be on this cruise so that was an added bonus. The hotel had a shuttle to the ship so it was an easy ride over about 11:30 am. We dropped our luggage and went through the boarding process. Princess has a medallion that you get ahead of the trip and it makes boarding very easy. We also downloaded the app that worked out better than I expected. It was very useful for communicating and locating shipmates while on board. We really enjoyed the ship being decorated for Christmas. There were a number of Christmas trees around the ship and a huge one in the center of the ship. I was a little concerned that we may have too many children on the ship but it wasn't a problem. We did the later dining so it was mostly an adult event. The food was good and the service was great. The Italian restaurant was very good and we were happy that we scheduled it. The production showed were very good and they have some very talented performers. The cruise was very enjoyable. We did miss going ashore at Princess Cay because the water was too rough. The ship was great with good service, good food and good entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because of the age of the ship, the ports of call and the length of the cruise. Also, because of the departure city of Fort Lauderdale. If you plan to stay overnight in a hotel would suggest you book one with free ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the age of the ship, the ports of call and the length of the cruise. Also, because of the departure city of Fort Lauderdale. If you plan to stay overnight in a hotel would suggest you book one with free shuttle service as fares can be high getting to & from the airport and the port. Being a first time cruiser I found the embarkation and disembarkation were quite easy. The Regal is a beautiful ship. The cabin was a good size for two and the partial obstructed balcony on Deck 8 was fine. The cabin was mid-aft and I would chose it again Any time dining was great, and was 2 decks down from the cabin. The free buffet was on Deck 16 and lots of choices. Lots of entertainment & activities for everyone. The service was great. The staff were helpful and courteous. Shore excursions were okay and good for us first timers. I would go again but different itinerary. It would be nice to have an online map of the ship to help with getting around. The Medallion Class is an excellent innovation. So easy to use as you don't need to carry cash. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because the ship was new and we never cruised on Princess. Here are the pros and cons. Balcony BC Cabin was new and very nice but did not have a sitting area and the shower was extremely small with curtain. The TV ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the ship was new and we never cruised on Princess. Here are the pros and cons. Balcony BC Cabin was new and very nice but did not have a sitting area and the shower was extremely small with curtain. The TV was not interactive ( I explain this somewhere in the review). Ships decoration was surprisingly designed the old style with lots of corners cut at the pool area and above areas to save money. Theatre shows were good. Comedian was funny. The magic comedy show was boring, I don't like to hurt anyones feelings but the truth. The music in the public areas like the Piazza was 1940-1960, before I was born. This cruise is for senior citizens, not younger people 60 and younger. The casino was half the size of most cruise ships and people were crammed in there tightly. The food, yikes, the buffet was good, no complaints. The main dining room food was terrible, like cafeteria or hospital food, very disappointed, we left twice and went to the buffet. Sabitinis their heavily promoted specialty Italian restaurant was terrible, again hospital food at best. The steak restaurant was good, no complaints. The public bathroom areas were not spacious and not well attended or clean (this was mentioned in other reviews and we confirm). This disco was not well lighted up and the DJ played terrible music. It did not attract for long the younger people on this Christmas cruise. Internet worked excellent, was superior to all my experiences on any other cruise line ship. The medallion application was excellent. The only thing I did not like about the high tech application is they place your name on the door. I like my privacy. The elevators were a challenge, I had to run many times to catch one. Overall, this cruise is for seniors. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I will start off saying that we are experienced cruisers that have sailed on most of the major cruise lines. We cruise mostly for exploring brand new ships, rather than the ports. This was a very enjoyable and relaxing Christmas cruise ... Read More
I will start off saying that we are experienced cruisers that have sailed on most of the major cruise lines. We cruise mostly for exploring brand new ships, rather than the ports. This was a very enjoyable and relaxing Christmas cruise with 2 teenage daughters. We had 2 interior cabins R220 and R221 which were the largest inside staterooms we ever had, but bathroom was on the tiny side with curtain in the shower. The ship interior decor is very classic and old style, but beautiful.They have two brand new, exclusively for this ship full productions, Rock Opera and 5-Skies, which to my taste were the best I have ever seen at sea. Crew and staff were very experienced and nice, not looking overworked. Enrico and Marvin at MDR were a great team. Dennis, our room attendant did fantastic job every day. Captain was nice, very interactive with passengers, seemed to love his job, very dedicated. Cruise director, comedian and musical entertainment also up to brand new ship standards. Not too great magicians couple. Alfredo’s is the best pizza at sea, and Lido’s Pastry Shop and MDR food selection and quality are hard to beat by any other vessel. There is lot of outdoor space, but at sea day late mornings finding a chair requires few loops around the top decks. The ship has four (!) outdoor pools in different “neighborhoods”. There is also plenty of hot tubs. Co-passengers in the majority above 50’s are nice and well behaved. I would recommend Sky Princess to all those seeking a traditional and relaxing cruise experience with very classic, old style decor, great entertainment, quality dining, friendly crew, and premium feel. If you are looking for more modern decor ship but similar overall quality, choose Celebrity Edge, if you are for even more classic experience, more up scaled services and touches, and don’t mind older crowd, than Nieuw Statendam is for you. For all these enjoying things like go-carts, surf/fly simulators, roller coasters at sea, laser tags, robotic bartenders, or brewery on board, look elsewhere, you would not find anything like that here. Sky Princess, and both highly recommended ships above, will suit cruisers like ourselves, seeking a relaxing vacation on board “no-rust” ship. Happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our 19th cruise. We sailed on The Regal Princess for the previous two cruises.We have sailed on all of the Celebrity ships plus two of the large RC ships. After a very positive experience on the two Regal Princess cruises, we ... Read More
This was our 19th cruise. We sailed on The Regal Princess for the previous two cruises.We have sailed on all of the Celebrity ships plus two of the large RC ships. After a very positive experience on the two Regal Princess cruises, we decided to sail on the new Sky Princess. It did not disappoint! Embarkation was a breeze with the medallions that we received prior to sailing. Our stateroom (M422) , a mini suite, was very roomy. The deluxe balcony was large.The decor in our cabin and throughout the ship is done in quiet subdued tones of taupe and sea blue. Elias, our cabin steward, was the best. He has a wonderful personality and a great attention to detail. We had “anytime dining”. We never experienced a wait. The service and the food in the dining room was perfect. There were over 5000 passengers on board including 700 children and service never missed a beat. The entertainment was good. The casino was very stingy, at least for me Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise as I had been on the Majestic Princess in March and was very excited for the Sky Princess to set sail. I was very impressed with the Majestic on our 11 days through New Zealand. This was my first Christmas cruise and ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I had been on the Majestic Princess in March and was very excited for the Sky Princess to set sail. I was very impressed with the Majestic on our 11 days through New Zealand. This was my first Christmas cruise and probably my last. For being a large ship I felt more crowded on this one than the Majestic. Definitely more families cruising for Christmas! Our stateroom was in the Caribe deck forward and the balcony definitely smaller than my last room on Majestic (midship) Here are some of the changes I noticed between ships. First they opened up the Take Five Jazz Lounge which used to be the Piano Bar. It now has an open feel and better flow, easier access to see the musicians which were great every night! They also added a Wake Pool at the rear of this ship which was an added bonus. They opened up the Princess Live! Theater so it opens into the hallway and isn't closed off making it much more inviting if you are walking by catching their activities. The entertainment was ok. Really liked the Princess singers and dancers, great talent and beautiful costuming though the volume was very loud throughout. The comedian AJ Jamal was a big hit and did two shows both were excellent. The magician husband and wife team were just ok. Regarding the restaurants and food....The dining room dinners were good, breakfast not so much, the bread was very hard and not very appealing. Reservations to get into any of the Specialty Restaurants needed to be done before you got on, or you were out of luck. We booked a reservation prior to getting on in the Crown Grill, always excellent and were shut out of La Mer as they were sold out. The Salty Dog hamburger grill didn't live up to its description and pictures. The pizza grill on Lido next to the bar was serviceable. Now my biggest disappointment had to be the World place Market Buffet and adjoining buffet. A new design should be done for this as it was literally like a maze, very congested, difficult to navigate and more difficult to find seating and find your seat if you got up again. The food quality wasn't as good as on Majestic in this area. Being a new ship and with the amount of under 18 year olds (600+) on this trip, hand sanitation should have been paramount before entering the buffet. On my cruise ship travels there have been mandatory hand washing and a crew member was there with a spray bottle sanitizing your hands after you washed them at the sink. Many people were getting sick with upper respiratory complaints during this trip. The Enclave retreat at the Lotus Spa was pretty crowded this trip. You need to book on line before you go to get the best deal. I tried the week of sailing and was shut out of the couples pricing. When we got on the ship we had to pay full price for use of the Enclave, I was very unhappy about that. The ship is beautiful, the staff was great for the most part. The tendering at ports was handled adequately. The new Medallion Class is easy to use, though a little creepy as you are being monitored your every move and I wonder who they are selling our data to? We did our own shore excursions and in the past I've done some through the ship, though they are pricey. I still love Princess but I would pass on a holiday cruise, definitely a one and done. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Boarding This was the fastest and smoothest we have ever boarded a ship. From exiting the cab to entering our room took about 30 minute’s total. It was flawless as was disembarkment. Bars/Entertainment We spent most of our time ... Read More
Boarding This was the fastest and smoothest we have ever boarded a ship. From exiting the cab to entering our room took about 30 minute’s total. It was flawless as was disembarkment. Bars/Entertainment We spent most of our time at the Explorers Lounge and had a great time with the bar staff. We also went to the Wheelhouse for trivia and a tribute to Billie Holiday which was fun. The Casino bar was friendly and down to business as they are way too busy to socialize. Overall the bar and wait staff was the best I’ve seen on 5 Princess cruises; they were more entertaining than the entertainment. As for the entertainment, each individual act/show/game was good or OK but the sequencing was terrible. Karaoke followed by DJ plays your favorite dance music draws a different crowd so everyone just left the bar after Karaoke. It was like scheduling Bingo after a Karaoke show, they didn’t but you get my point. Princess also needs to post large signs at the venue entrance for UNHOSTED Singles & Solo’s Get-Together or LGBTQ+ Get-Togethers events. These unhosted events were in the large Wheelhouse bar and other passengers coming in had no idea it was gay or singles night. The entertainment was nice but we had to jump from venue to venue to stay within a single type of entertainment. Casino I’ve never had so much fun losing money. The Dealers and Pit Bosses were great but the passengers on this cruise were there to have fun and we did. The passengers in the casino did not have that hard core Vegas style attitude towards gambling. The Dealers joked and laughed right along with us; it was great. Smoking Areas The Island Princess only has 3 smoking areas, an outside uncovered space on deck 15, Churchill’s lounge and a small section of the casino. Because of the limited areas on every cruise ship smokers get to know each other very well and form strong bonds/groups. With only 3 smoking areas this cruise was the best as around 10 of us became great friends. I logged my first formal complaint with Princess due to their complete and total lack of understanding smokers. On the formal night it was raining so the outside uncovered smoking area was unusable. They also closed the Casino to smoking that night leaving the small Churchill’s lounge as the only smoking area for the entire ship. The Captain or Casino Manager should be able to override the “rigid schedule” and make ad-hoc changes. If it’s raining don’t close the Casino smoking area; reschedule that for another night – make a managerial decision. The non-smokers just outside Churchill’s Lounge in Crooners were as upset as the smokers. Dining We had the privilege and pleasure to dine in the Sabatini's, Bayou Café, Bordeaux Dining Room, Ultimate Balcony Dining, Horizon Court, Slice Pizzeria and a lot of late night Room Service. The food was delicious everywhere. This was our 3rd time doing the $100 Ultimate Balcony Dining for 2 ($50 each) and it was phenomenal again. A five course meal with Champaign served on your private balcony makes for a beautiful and romantic night. The wait staff is superb and patiently waits in the hallway between courses. If you’re in love, this is the way to create a special moment; photography is included. Princess Theater We did not attend a single show in the theater and there is a good reason for that. We have no idea what each show is from the Patter. We looked in a couple of times and there was a guy talking and another time some people singing. I’m looking for the Broadway style production shows which I heard was on this voyage. Princess knows well in advance what show is being performed in the theater and should do a special Patter insert on the first day with show details and pictures. Ports/Excursions We took this cruise for the Panama Canal and it did not disappoint. Having a wraparound Starboard/Aft balcony (C731) only enhanced the experience. The canal is truly an engineering marvel and should be on everyone’s bucket list. We took various excursions at every port and they all met or exceeded expectations except for one. DO NOT TAKE the Limon, Costa Rica - Limon Waterfront & Backstreet Canals excursion. It was drizzling so they skipped circling an Island where Christopher Columbus anchored his ships in 1502 (big deal) and when straight for the canal. The boat idled for about a half mile down a canal lined with trash and slums, literally. We spent 2 ½ hours looking in the trees for birds, three-toed sloths and monkeys. We saw 1 of each and to kill time they turned the boat around so the people on the other side could see. I was ready to jump out and swim back to the ship. Going to a free public zoo at home would have been better. Princess e-mails out surveys that allow you to rate your excursions. Our ratings now show up when reviewing excursions. Ease take the surveys and rate your excursions – you could be saving someone a horrible experience like the Limon Waterfront & Backstreet Canals excursion. Overall While the entertainment could have been sequenced better, it was still good. A rainy formal night with only one small inside smoking area was terrible, it was only one night. One excursion of 5 was disgusting and the canal was beyond amazing. All of the negatives account for less than 1% of an awesome 10 day cruise. My husband and I cherish the positive and we don’t dwell on the negatives. We had a great stateroom & balcony, delicious food and a lot of fun especially in the Casino. But what made this particular cruise a perfect 10 for us was the Princess staff and our fellow shipmates we bonded with – thank you all. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We recently returned from a 10-day cruise to the Panama Canal on the Island Princess. There were several things that made this cruise special – a Birthday celebration, getting together with over 38 family members/friends, and just the ... Read More
We recently returned from a 10-day cruise to the Panama Canal on the Island Princess. There were several things that made this cruise special – a Birthday celebration, getting together with over 38 family members/friends, and just the opportunity to spend Christmas on the high seas. However, without the overall excellent service provided by the staff the trip wouldn’t have been as wonderful as it was. First off there are a few staff members that I’d like to highlight, starting with our booking agent Kim. She did an outstanding job coordinating all booking aspects of the trip especially since several members of the group booked through third-party agents posing the additional challenge of ensuring that those individuals were correctly assigned to our group. Then there was Diana from Group Events who worked with me in organizing the onboard Birthday party. She patiently addressed all my questions and ensured that every detail was accurately communicated to the Events team. Also, need to mentioned Jena – Customer Relations Manager and Carlie – Videographer who both did an awesome job in addressing all my questions/concerns once onboard resulting in a classy and smoothly run Birthday Bash. Overall, I have nothing but positive words for all staff members that we encountered. Pro: • Excellent customer service from Steward and Dining Staff • Internet service Cons: • Ship is small as compared to newer ships and linen, carpets and room furnishings are showing their age • Meal choices were very limited – appeared to serve the same items daily just in a slightly different form. Soups were often too salty, juices appeared watered down and there was a complete lack of variety as it pertained to Vegetarian or Vegan meals • Given this cruise offered several Caribbean & Inter/South American stops it would have been nice to have more meals that reflected the cultural delicacies of the region; and the few attempts at offering regional dishes left a lot to be desired. Would suggest getting a Regional Chef on staff or someone with this background to offer consultation. Overall, this cruise ship was chosen because of the itinerary and it delivered. Everyone in our group has a great time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After reading reviews for a few months ahead of our first cruise with Princess, I thought I would post about my personal experience. Island Princess, Christmas in the Panama Canal . A bucket list tick cruise for many. One of the ... Read More
After reading reviews for a few months ahead of our first cruise with Princess, I thought I would post about my personal experience. Island Princess, Christmas in the Panama Canal . A bucket list tick cruise for many. One of the smaller princess ships, built in 2003, remodelled in 2015. Boarding was flawless. We left our Fort Lauderdale hotel at 11am by cab. We were ordering coffee onboard in La Patisserie by 1130. The boarding time on our ticket was 1230. We were in the cabin by 12. The balcony cabin was fine. The water package was delivered and on the bed, the medallion WiFi was superb throughout the trip. Dining The food was generally good. We had set dining at 730pm, the earlier one being 515pm. Some tables for 2 were better than others. We were very lucky. And onto dining wear, subject of many posts. Smart casual. As long as your not in shorts or beach wear, you’ll get in. Jeans, polo shirts, trainers... even an outdoor puffer jacket and jeans were noted. Formal wear , well tuxedos and ball gowns were rare. Dark suits with or without tie, with or without jacket .... it’s not enforced from what we saw. It doesn’t really work when the minute you enter a bar before or after dinner, passengers are in shorts and t shirts. Surely only a matter of time before it’s dropped. For lunchtime , sea days they seem to do crab shack in Cafe Bayou and Alfredos Pizza in Sabatinis on deck 7. The Horizon Buffet is the standard cruise ship “ trough” throughout the day. By the pool, the Grill for hot dogs and burgers - the pizzeria and ice cream bar. The latter at times understaffed leading to waits. Ice cream free, malted milk shakes at a charge. In the evening , try Cafe Bayou and Sabatinis, both were excellent alternative dining . Service at Breakfast in the main dining room can be slow. The minute steak takes 15 minutes to come! Bars There are the pool bars, Crooners on deck 7 of the atrium, squashed in with a piano player, much more suited to a crows nest type venue but the ship doesn’t have one! Wheelhouse Bar is wooden panelled by the theatre - bands and background music. Venue for morning trivia. The bar only opens pre dinner till 12. The show lounge bar is Explorers deck 6. Home of Karaoke, Quizzes and Entertainment. They have “ Liars Club” , a game show that is actually Call My Bluff. There’s a quiz there - which seemed quite flat. ....... Entertainment and Sea Days Princess Theatre is home of the Production Shows. “ Do you Wanna Dance?” is old school cruise ship camp. The big production offering is called “The Secret Silk” , a complex Chinese/Japanese folk tale which is strangely studied with western music. The best show is “On the Bayou” which works really well. Finally, the “ Encore” show seems to include an added Soprano who adds to the cast. The production shows were supplemented by an amusing Christmas show, a singer song writer, an acrobatic violinist and American comedian. The Culinary Show is very entertaining. Then you get to tour the galley which ends of course in an area where there is a shopping sale, which you use to exit. They thought that tactic through ! On that note, Chad the onboard shopping concierge says “shopping is the number one thing to do on a cruise”. The discounted aftershave onboard was more expensive than Amazon or Home Bargains! The rum tasting turned into a mini stampede, one passenger accelerating towards the drinks tray at high speed in a scooter within the bounds of the shop. To be honest, if it’s overcast or choppy at sea, there isn’t a lot to do. Watch vegetable carving , egg carrying competitions or passengers throwing paper planes in the atrium ..... play Pictionary in the bar by yourself . Try the Sanctuary for a quiet chill on a comfy sun bed. Book early if you want shade. It’s $20 for a half day. No pool on Island Princess Sanctuary. You get the bed, waiter service and flavoured water. It did seem that a proportion of passengers booked - and paid for the Sanctuary but then didn’t use it , or just came for a few hours if they booked all day. The staff confirmed that to be the case. More money than sense ! Service was variable depending on staffing numbers. The onboard enrichment lecturer was a retired high school lecturer who threw together some power point presentations based on his research from Wikipedia. Accuracy was not always essential - certainly not on his maritime attempts. I have sailed on a lot of ships - big and small. Island Princess didn’t seem to be a great sea boat. A lot of movement in not a lot of swell. One passenger said she was cancelling her transatlantic on her on the basis of how she felt that sea day. On the plus side, the WiFi onboard is superb. Ports Was the Panama Canal worth it? Absolutely. We stayed on the ship to see the transit both ways. Annoying basic commentary on the morning transit from the Wikipedia led ex teacher at 7am. But really enjoyed it - but that’s what we went for , a bucket list tick. Limon - book the Sloths in advance if you want to go. It was fully booked and people were left frustrated. We went on the Princess tour. I think you could find a taxi to take you there and pay for a tour. It’s open 0800-1400 Tuesday - Sunday with tours on the hour. The sanctuary trip involved a canoe ride which was abandoned when we visited as the river was swollen. This was only after one failed attempt with the group ahead of us. I was amazed to see Princess put pensioners in a small canoe in the fast flowing river without life preservers and attempt to navigate against the stream in torrential rain! Insurance firms would be wincing. Take a light waterproof jacket if you are going to do it. The town itself has a nice vibe and seems safe. The crew were heading to MacDonalds! There are great local cafes not far from the port if you prefer a more local bite- plus a supermarket. The cafe opposite the park was superb and good value. Falmouth, Jamaica. If you aren't on a tour , the town is small , expect lots of people trying to sell you stuff. The bus round town is $20. You can walk were it goes easily for free. There isn’t much there. There is a port area with over priced shopping. Cartagena, a great place to wonder. We took the “ by yourself tour” which includes a 30 minute orientation walk. Then you have 90 minutes to explore yourself. Hundreds of street vendors, beautiful colours and architecture. The port actually has a mini zoo you can enjoy plus over priced gift shop. Grand Cayman - the ship tenders here. We did the land and sea tour, semi submersible, turtle sanctuary, Hell and a rum cake gift shop stop. The latter is what it is, the rest were great and a good way to pack things in as costs are high on Grand Cayman. Overall, yes we enjoyed our trip. A cruise is what you make it, the people you meet, the experiences you have. Thoughts For me, I thought Princess would be more professional , have more to fill sea-days. I’m not sure if their management or onboard entertainment director ever just sits and watch what their staff are told to do. Timings are rigid. People lining up to sing karaoke , the explorers lounge buzzing. The bar busy. But rather than let it roll, the kareoke stops with people left disappointed, the DJ started to change to the disco atmosphere and watched 75% of the passengers walk out. I’m sure the DJ could have waited 20 minutes. Onboard flexibility in creating atmosphere. Some of the game show contestants and karaoke singers have more personality and presence than members of the entertainment team hosting it. And given the sound and light equipment , they could make more of it. Put the song lyrics up for all the audience to see at karaoke aswell even. The same happens in the Wheelhouse Bar where an older crowd enjoy dancing. 45 minutes later... it’s over and another item starts, loosing the crowd. Events in bars for new cruisers - morning trivia in wheelhouse bar - where the bar isn’t open to even get a soft drink or coffee. Why ? It’s obvious surely. Opportunities for them to earn income and passengers to relax. Staffing in the wheelhouse at night goes from over staffed to being impossible to get served as they are trying to sort theatre orders ! Meaning that pre dinner drink is rushed. Unhosted events are often in bars - singles, LGBT...etc. If other passengers are there and there is no signed area or nibbles etc, I’m sure most folk would be nervous to go up to people and ask if they are travelling alone - or are they gay? I think the problem is that cruising has moved forward at such a pace - and carried passengers expectations with it. So the mid size ships like this at 16 years old struggle to deliver. Where she does deliver is fitting the old locks of the Panama Canal. However, if Princess stopped and looked at what they could do with this class of ship, it could be better with a few tweaks. Would I book Princess again ? Maybe...it would be destination dependent- not necessarily that I was bowled over. It’s a step above P&O, a step down from Cunard . We left the ship with great memories and enjoyed it. Experienced really good service and great food, visited fascinating destinations. I just think it could be so much better with a few obvious improvements that Princess management should be seeing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My husband and I have been talking about going to see the Panama Canal since our first cruise to Alaska in 2006. We have finally retired and decided on the Christmas Cruise to the Eastern Carribean and Panama Canal on Island Princess. ... Read More
My husband and I have been talking about going to see the Panama Canal since our first cruise to Alaska in 2006. We have finally retired and decided on the Christmas Cruise to the Eastern Carribean and Panama Canal on Island Princess. She is the sister ship of our Alaskan cruise ship Coral Princess so she was familiar in layout. We stayed in a local hotel the night before the cruise and decided to get to the Port early. We were in a group of about 25 people who showed up early and were given the number one to be called for embarkation. We were called about 11 am and went on board. Embarkation was smooth and effortless. We walked around and took pictures for a while and then went to lunch in the Horizon Court. We decided to check out our room and found our luggage already delivered. We had a balcony cabin and layout was good with plenty of storage and hangers. We had requested late seating (715p) in the Provence Traditional dining room but we were assigned a 715p seating in the Bordeaux Dining room which is used for Any Time Dining. This caused confusion as first we were told to get in line and wait to be seated but I questioned why we were given a seat and time assignment on our Cruise Card and still had to get in line. Hostess then told us to go right in to our table and to do this every night. It took several nights until the hostess and wait staff recognized us and did not ask where we were going! We enjoyed the dining very much, had great wait staff who remembered our choices in beverages and food came fairly quickly with only rarely a wait time. Entertainment was excellent, we went to the production shows, comedian, juggler, singers. Everything was very professionally done. All the cruise staff were polite, pleasant and helpful. We booked all our excursions through Princess. The one excursion in Panama was cancelled by the tour company and we were reimbursed by Princess. We did not schedule another excursion but decided to watch the departure through the Gatun locks. All our excursions were very informative and very organized and on time. We had excellent tour guides who answered all questions and brought us back to the ship on time. Would like to give a shout out to Fran in Limon, Jose C in Cartagena and Sonia in Grand Cayman who did excellent tours. We also scheduled airline flights through Princess EZair as this was recommended by travel agent as the best prices. We had problems with delays on American Airlines so would not use American again. Overall we were very pleased with our cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
December 20, 2019 1) Entry to ship using Medallion App was great. 2) At 3:30 PM, Muster Station was a disaster. No organization. I was asked to sit on the floor at 70 years old! No one knew where to go. No seating for older ... Read More
December 20, 2019 1) Entry to ship using Medallion App was great. 2) At 3:30 PM, Muster Station was a disaster. No organization. I was asked to sit on the floor at 70 years old! No one knew where to go. No seating for older people who could hardly stand or walk. Took too long to review from the time of arrival to the time of end. 3) At Palm Dining Room, we were charged for drinks but we have a premium drink package. They charged us for Perrier water we requested at our table. 4) At the Wine Bar, the drinks offered up to $12 were not listed. Only a few red wines listed at $11 and the rest were $ 13 or $16. Obviously, the wine list was not updated. In fact, we could not get any of the wines we requested because the wine bar did not have them for the entire trip! 5) As Platinum members, we never received the special menu for the captain’s circle appetizers. We found out about it at dinner the fourth night from the neighbor who was Platinum as well. He received the invitation, but we did not! December 21, 2019 – December 24, 2019 6) I had to wait 25 minutes to get any service, so I got up to get my own drink. 7) Every day from the 21st to the 24th during lunch, I could not get Ice for my ice tea in the Horizon Dining Room because I was told “There are too many people on the ship to keep the ice”. I asked why this waiter could not get some ice and he said to me “Welcome Aboard” . I reported him. I then had to walk outside to the bar to request ice for ice tea! Wow! In 6 other trips on Princess, I never had to get my own ice or tea! 8) My husband spoke to the Food and Beverage Assistant Director personally after Bingo was over on the 22nd of December about the problems to get Chianti or any other red wine of choice at any of the bars. He listened attentively, and was going to bring Chianti to all the bars we go to and he also wanted to send a bottle to our room. Later that day, we went to our room, and there was a GLASS of wine sitting on the table. No note, nothing. My husband called it in to the Assistant Director of Food and Beverage to find out what happened? After dinner, there was bottle in our room, no wine glasses, no opener! What’s up with that? Are we supposed to use our teeth to open the bottle, and drink out of the bottle? I have always felt that Princess is well above the other cruise lines in quality and service. But this proves me wrong! December 23, 2019 9) We ate in Palm Dining and my husband ordered the Stuffed Trout for dinner. When it arrived, it was a bright pink fish, not the taste of trout, but salmon. The day before he ordered sautéed vegetables, but they came Fried. So there is obviously a problem with the menu that is given in the dining room. My husband asked to speak to Peter, the manager in the dining room about the fish, and he argued with my husband, told him that this fish is a trout from the Pacific Ocean because he googled it and tried to show my husband in front of all the customers which was a definite confrontation and embarrassment to my husband. From that day forward, we never ate in the Palm Dining Room again. Customers should come first and should not be humiliated in front of other customers. 10) We did not know anything about the Wine Packages offered in the dining room. There is nothing offered on the website, and only the Wine Bar Attendant knew about it and told us about it. That is sad! We are big wine drinkers! I was disappointed. December 24th, 2019 11) We took a Princess Excursion to the beach in Antigua. We were herded like cattle on the dock without regard to the heat or sun. Then we boarded a van that took us to Mystic Beach which was a total disaster! People were falling into big holes in the water and could not get out. We helped many of the customers. The person who runs the bar was awful, mean, and plain nasty to the customers. We left on our own after 1 hour because we couldn’t stand it any longer. Princess needs to go on these tours prior to allowing the 3rd party vendors to make sure they are safe for the customers. As a result of this trip, we returned to the ship and cancelled all the other excursions we booked. From now on we will get off the ship and book from the outside. December 25th, 2019 (2nd Formal) 12) Crown Grill was amazing! Best food, best service! 13) The Photo Team is also amazing! We purchased the Photo Package, and I can tell you 100% that the team members are professional, they know how to take great photos, and JP from South Africa is the best one. Every photo he took was perfect! 14) We received an invitation for Sabitini Grill due to our Anniversary so we made reservations for the 28th of December. We appreciated the invitation. December 26th, 2019 15) We finally got a call from the manager of the Coral Dining Room who apologized for the incident with Peter over the trout, and told us to come to his dining room anytime. On the same day we went to dinner there, and said he would come over and check with us. He saw us, and never once came by. He was rude too! So we never went to that dining room either! 16) We reported many situations on a form and gave it to Customer Service Desk and requested answers to the comments. One concern was after looking at the history of charges on the Medallion App, we were billed for 3 drinks at the bar when only 2 were ordered. Naturally, we don’t pay for them, however, someone got a drink on our package. That was a concern to us. That is FRAUD! We waited 3 more days before Misa, from Customer Service called to let us know that we would not be charged for the extra drink. We already knew that. He never told us what happened with the extra bill and who did it? He just wanted to get the problem over without telling us what really happened. January 1, 2020 17) We received 2 plates of 8 chocolate covered strawberries in our room after dinner and we have no idea who sent them or for what? We could not eat that many! It was such a terrible waste of such a delicious item, but way too much! The communication needs to improve so that we know what is going on and there is no double orders. 18) Another issue was the Medallion app. In the Casino, the bar waiters told us we had to order from the app. The beverage manager told us if we order from the app, we get charged! Other bar waiters told us that you don’t get charged. No one really knows how to deal with the app. There were too many new employees under training on this cruise. We felt like we were Guinea Pigs on this cruise. 19) The quality of the food has really deteriorated. Princess always had fresh mashed potatoes. Now they are using Instant Mashed Potatoes, and it tastes like school lunch food! There is not enough variety of foods. For example, we don’t eat Pork and many nights only Pork was the main meat for many dishes. 20) We spent $5000.00 in the Casino. We received an offer but we cannot use it because both of us are teachers and work on a school schedule. This is the 2nd time we have been given an offer we cannot use. It is a sad situation. Why can’t the offer be used on a schedule for an upcoming cruise? We have just booked Alaska for June 6, 14 days. Why cant the casino put the offer on that cruise. The purpose is to spend more money and reward those that do spend. We are not getting the reward we deserve. In reviewing all of this, you can see how much we did not enjoy this trip. We work all year long and look forward to having a relaxing, trouble fee, and wonderful vacation which cost us over $6000.00 without Casino expenses. And to not have this wonderful, relaxing vacation at such a price makes us now think twice about moving away from Princess Cruises. We felt angry and disappointed the entire trip. We were not the only ones either! I don’t know if any other customers will send you a letter like this one, but I sure hope they do. You need to do something about this or you will lose your customers of years to other Cruise Lines. Now we are looking into Celebrity Cruise Lines for next year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because of the number of ports which were mostly impressive in the end. The embarkation process was quick and organized which was nice. The ship seemed older and offered less to do than we have been accustomed to in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the number of ports which were mostly impressive in the end. The embarkation process was quick and organized which was nice. The ship seemed older and offered less to do than we have been accustomed to in our other travels. The cabin was what it was - we don't book a trip for the cabin since we won't be in there much, but we did have a few issues with the cabin. The bathroom flooded out two days in a row which ruined some of our personal belongings. The hot water was down for three days non-consecutively - it would get lukewarm but never reach hot. Both of these issues were addressed and corrected after multiple efforts, but our personal belongings ruined were never addressed. The dining was overly slow - taking 20-60 minutes just to get us a table every single evening. We wasted so much time waiting for the dining room that we missed several shows that we originally intended to attend. We also had to listen to the head waiter in our section belittle and speak down to the assistant waiter which was sad. We ordered the drink package and every single soda we received was flat - we eventually asked for our money back on this. The buffet had minimal selections and the food offered was not all that good anyway. The cookies in the buffet were the best - if not for the cookies, I would have lost weight on this cruise which I would think is impossible. The salad bar offerings were tiny and downright pathetic. We had to get our own drinks in the buffet and when the staff cleared the tables, we would say thank you to them and they never once responded - it seemed like they hated their jobs and didn't want to be there. Entertainment was just okay - there were singers in the Voice of the Ocean that could sing better and were better entertainers than several of those in the cruise shows. The service was lackluster and there was not much holiday spirit on the boat at all - from decorations to attitudes. We worked with the customer service rep about some of the issues we had and she was outstanding - polite, professional, understanding - a real treat to deal with. We wished the rest of the staff would have taken some cues from her on how to interact with the guests and others. We booked a couples massage online before arriving. When we got to the spa on the day of our appointment, they had no record of our appointment claiming their system was down. We waited for 20-30 minutes and they scrambled to find two masseuses to administer the massages. We also put in writing and verbalized that we wanted upper body only massage for one of them and they didn't perform the massage as requested. Ports were great - beaches on Aruba and Barbados were amazing. Megan's Bay is always a nice stop! We are not sure we would cruise with Princess again as this was a real downer. If not for the great ports and amazing company I had with me, this was a bust. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
First things first. The crew and staff on this ship are exemplary. I cannot fault them on anything. Especially our cabin steward - Jerry. That man is a true and pure gem. However, I can't say the same for one young man part of ... Read More
First things first. The crew and staff on this ship are exemplary. I cannot fault them on anything. Especially our cabin steward - Jerry. That man is a true and pure gem. However, I can't say the same for one young man part of the guest services team - which I'll get to later. That boy needs to learn how to use a tissue and not the back of his hand. Now on to the meat of it. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. We didn't get our medallions ahead of time because we live in Canada and they only ship them to the US. But that wasn't a problem as we had downloaded the app and were "ship ready" before we got there. Although I was annoyed that we got our embarkation email stating we wouldn't be able to get on board until 2:30 pm. When I called to ask if we could be bumped up to the first embarkation group (because I had medicine I needed to take in a clean and sterile-ish environment) - I was told that the earliest anyone could get on board would be 12:30. We arrived for 12:00 to check in, which went very quickly to be fair, only to find out that embarkation had already started at 11:00! We could have been on board 90 minutes sooner which would have equated to being able to get to the Sanctuary to book seating much sooner and not have to get waitlisted. (Read more on the Sanctuary further down). OCEAN MEDALLION: About halfway through the cruise, my medallion wouldn't recognize me as I walked up to the cabin door and would only recognize my husband's medallion even when he was walking about 5 steps behind me. Even when I tapped my medallion on to the screen it would take a while before it would recognize me. I don't like the idea that the medallion is more of a tracker. It's not necessary for anyone to know where I am or where I've been. Why does my name and face need to be plastered on the screens that I've interacted with on board? Why does my name need to appear on my cabin door? I'm sure that violates about a dozen privacy laws - including GDPR. That should be something you should OPT-IN to not have to opt-out of!! I only knew I could opt-out of it when we spoke to some other passengers who shared our privacy concerns and they told us they went to the front desk and asked to have their name removed from their cabin door. Deplorable behaviour on the part of Princess. Don't even get me started on how crap the apps are! Constantly crashing, rarely working right. It even crashed my phone to the point where I couldn't use it and had to delete the app altogether! GUEST ARRIVAL EXPERIENCE: Of all the cruises we've done over the last few years, we've never had to wait more than a couple of hours for our luggage. This time, we didn't get our luggage until almost 7:00 pm and we boarded at lunchtime. Not great. Luggage collection at the terminal was not ideal. Princess should be paying the porters since I'm required by Princess to drop my luggage off at the curbside. That burden should not fall on me financially. Unacceptable. SHIP: I felt that I was deceived by Princess claiming to have fully refurbished this ship. It's blatantly obvious from the moment you step onboard, that has not happened at all. I only noticed one area that had clearly been refurbished (Sanctuary). The ship was obviously retrofitted to be turned into a Medallion Class ship - but if that's what you're claiming is a full refurb - then you need to re-evaluate how you market your ships. Like I said - I felt deceived since simply adding panels all around the ship and outside each cabin to accommodate a system (which let's face it - doesn't work well at all) doesn't constitute a full refurb. The ship is big enough but seriously lacking in activities that don't revolve around quizzes (which we love and attend at every single opportunity) or the like. This ship is very old. Retrofitting it to be a Medallion Class ship doesn't change anything other than adding more grief with a system that rarely worked on our 2 wk trip. They've sullied the ship even further by adding more casino gaming options on the Medallion Class app itself & adding gaming panels throughout the ship. The ship is in a state of disrepair as is evidenced throughout. Eg: the cabins have dated, old furnishings. The mattresses need to be overhauled (i.e. - thrown out and not simply renamed as "luxury soft"). You may be able to pull the wool over the average cruisers eyes (i.e. - octogenarians who don't know any better) - but those of us that are savvy cruisers see your scam coming a mile away. The Spa & dining rooms need massive updates. There are broken tiles all over the spa changing rooms & the dining areas look like they belong in a retirement home - especially the Palm Dining Room. It smells horrid & looks even worse. DINING: Princess is known for their food. Heck - they've been voted as 'Best Dining at Sea' for a number of years. What happened on this ship - I have no idea. This was not the Princess food we were used to. We used the Island Dining Room and found it to be dated decor. The dining room was very clean & the service was exceptional. Wait times were not too long - on average, about 10 min (at the time of evening we were going - between 7:00 - 8:00pm). It was nice to have the option of anytime dining and not be restricted by having to dine at a specific time. The food however was not up to par. Apart from a few meals over the 2 wks, most of the food was not of a good standard. Quality was fine but taste was not. Bland, boring or just not appetizing. We had to return food on several occasions. One evening we were sent to the Palm dining room for dinner and sent back ALL of the food. It tasted atrocious. We ended up eating in the buffet. In the buffet, the crew were always on hand, very polite and cleaned up tables regularly. They always asked if we wanted coffee/tea at breakfast or anything else during lunches. No issues with the crew at all. The ice machines were constantly broken. We had to traipse around the buffet area looking for an ice machine that worked - EVERY SINGLE TIME. Quality of the food was ok. There were some items/recipes that were quite nice, while others should not have been attempted. WAY too many desert options, and not nearly enough healthy options. Total lack of variety in fruit. They even ran out of watermelon about half way through the cruise. You're in the Caribbean - explain to me why the ships stores couldn't arrange for more varied fruit / veg options from the various ports we stopped at? Not nearly enough is done to usher people towards the hand-washing stations. We've cruised with other lines where they won't allow you to pass through to the buffet area if they haven't watched you wash your hands. Not Princess. The open deck food outlets were hit & miss. The ice cream bar needs work. You can't have soft serve ice cream ONLY and call it an ice cream bar. Every other cruise line we've been on has a large variety of free ice cream available in their buffet restaurants (RCCL, NCL, even the horrid ones like MSC and Costa have REAL ice cream available). One day - we went to the ice cream bar to get some ice cream and it was 10:59 am. The attendant wouldn't serve us because "the machines aren't ready yet because we only open at 11:00 am". Seriously? The machines weren't ready at 10:59 when you open at 11:00? The pizzeria though is exceptional. Delicious authentic pizza. One of the best pizza's I've had at sea and on land! BAR SERVICE: The only thing I'll say about the bar service we used was that one evening in Club Fusion (while waiting for a quiz to start), we ordered drinks from the app on our phone. I had a glass of wine (very nice) and my husband ordered Grolsch beer (something he'd been ordering the entire cruise). The waiter comes back & says "we don't have any here". So I told him very politely, to kindly go to whichever bar on board has that beer and get us one. He then changed his story to "we don't have any onboard at all". The exchange went something like this: Me: You have no Grolsch anywhere on board? W: No, I'm sorry. Me: Not one single bottle? W: No ma'am. Sorry. Sometimes this happens. Me: Yes I know. But with beers like Bud or Miller not Grolsch! W: Well, we had a batch and it went bad a few days ago. Husband: Wait - you've been serving me bad beer for days? I just had one yesterday! W: No sir. It's just this one batch. Us: What??? At that point we gave up & ordered a glass of wine. The bar staff at the Crooners Bar were fun and lively. Which is probably why it was always packed. That bar needs to be bigger to accommodate more people. It's probably the best bar on board in my opinion. That's where they should have put some of their so called refurbishment money. ENTERTAINMENT & ONBOARD ACTIVITIES DuVaul and his activity staff are EXCEPTIONAL. DuVaul's talents are wasted on this ship. He had us in stitches all the time! Hilarious antics. They need more game shows like the ones he hosts. He's intensely funny & has a great personality. We couldn't stop laughing. The activities staff work so hard to make everyone's stay pleasant & fun. There just aren't enough activities on board. That's NOT a slight against the CD & his staff, but against the company for not offering more physical activities on board. The Links (apparently a mini-golf course) is laughable. How do you get off calling that a golf course? That's a 10 x 10 space with some holes in it!! Movies under the stars should be renamed to "college football all day long". Pathetic. Production shows were lacking quality. We only went in to see one or two and decided better of it. Just not up to the par that we're used to with Princess. And how do you NOT have shuffleboard? That's the epitome of a cruise ship! Shuffleboard and cruising are synonymous! But I guess that's no surprise since they only have one fully outdoor deck (and I don't mean the higher pool / sports decks). That's where they SHOULD have spent their refurb money. Outdoor areas. Why would you put a smoking area out there on deck 7 forcing those of us who want to have a nice walk around the deck to have to inhale that garbage? It's 2020 - get with the program. Ban smoking across the fleet! PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS Don't even get me started on the destination presentations given by Mrs. May (can't remember her first name). They were a pathetically lame excuse for a port lecture. Total joke. She got most of the info wrong, was grossly unqualified for the job and immensely inaccurate most of the time regarding historical 'facts' about the ports and general port information. I kept wanting to scream out at her that she was wrong every time she opened her mouth! During her talks she kept constantly saying "I don't know what excursions they have for this port - I don't work for the excursions team". What in the actual what? You can liaise with them and with the port authorities and the port tourism offices to get a better understanding of how things change since the last time you were there. The amount of times she said things like "I don't know if this is still valid because I've not been to this port in over 2 years" was extraordinary. There wasn't a single thing she said on those port talks that I didn't already know from looking at the internet before we set sail. Unfortunately, Princess didn't do well on the itinerary when they were trying to figure out how to have a 2 week cruise over Christmas and New Year. They should have accounted for those ports that were visited on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Clearly the team that plans the itineraries didn't do their due diligence and research to find out what services and attractions would be open in those two ports that were affected by Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Unfortunately, we were unable to see anything of any value in those two ports - especially Barbados - since EVERYTHING was closed. They failed miserably on those two ports. Princess should look into extending stays in many of the ports. Antigua should have been longer. It's such a beautiful island and needs much more time to explore. Same for St. Kitts. Curacao was EXCELLENT because we had an actual FULL day / evening there. Arrived just before 08:00 am and didn't leave until 10:00 pm. That was perfect. ONBOARD SHOPPING BOUTIQUE Why would you not stock essentials in the boutiques? Things that are practical that people might either have forgotten, or damaged while on board? Practical things like belts, stockings, even lingerie! Those are the kinds of things that would make a difference in someone's vacation. Even things like evening shoes for both men and women. My husband ruined one of the heels on his shoes and had you offered dress shoes in your boutique, he would have bought a pair. As it turned out his sneakers were damaged about 1/3 of the way into the cruise and he ended up buying a pair of Sketchers that the boutique sold. THAT'S practical stuff. Not pointless $500 + outfits! We all look forward to the sales at the end of a cruise. It's a given that there's going to be mostly crap they're trying to offload, but you also get some really good deals on jewellery, watches, clothing, etc. Oh no - not Princess. Couldn't possibly. EVERY cruise line does this. They put out the more popular items (not just t-shirts) for sale and people snap them up! Learn from other lines Princess - learn! LOTUS SPA & SALON: My only comment here is regarding the actual physical spa itself. It needs refurbishment. Especially the changing rooms. We used them all the time and in the women's changing area, one of the two bathrooms was CONSTANTLY closed for repair. The toilet was leaking regularly and had to be serviced ALL the time. They spent how many millions supposedly refurbishing the ship (which we all know means nothing) but clearly didn't spend it in areas that matter. The tiles in the bathroom (inside the changing rooms) were all busted. I only used the Salon for one service (pedicure) and that was very nice. My technician was lovely, personable and knew exactly what she was doing - very high quality service on her part. CASINO: Oh wow. What a waste. Tightest slots at sea is what they SHOULD rename it to. We're not heavy gamblers but we always walk away with more than what we spend in casinos at sea. Not Princess. She just gobbles up your cash and doesn't give you any back. I've learned my lesson where Princess casinos are concerned. Never again. The amount of gambling terminals spread throughout the ship and their availability on the Medallion app is deplorable. That's just another way for Princess to get more money from people. They should be encouraging other activities - not just gambling. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a good cruise with some not so good mixed in. Basically the cruise was fine in the sense you're on a floating hotel visiting all these beautiful places for two weeks over Christmas and New Year without any stress or worries. ... Read More
This was a good cruise with some not so good mixed in. Basically the cruise was fine in the sense you're on a floating hotel visiting all these beautiful places for two weeks over Christmas and New Year without any stress or worries. A few items to note, the wait lines/times for dinner are just silly and UNACCEPTABLE. On average we waited 30 minutes each night with 4 dinners being over an hour and one night we waited over an hour and a half. How do you not have wait times figured out at this point on a 16 year old ship is beyond me? As you can imagine it was enough to make the overall cruise less pleasurable. The theatre got crowded really fast so if you weren't there at least 15 minutes prior to the show you weren't getting a seat. As you can imagine, if you're waiting in line to eat for 30-45 minutes nearly every night and then waiting a little longer to get food, the chances of you missing many of the shows is great which was the case with us. Service was very good most of the time with some inconsistencies. Things like wrong orders, not having wines (even though it was listed on the menu) and waiting too long for food to come (after already waiting too long in line just to get food). The piazza was always packed so trying to get a drink could be complicated at times. Overall the positives outweighed the negatives but if you're the kind of person/people that HATE waiting in line for dinner when you're on vacation, then I would encourage you to look elsewhere when choosing a cruise as it does get quite old every night. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We enjoy Princess Cruises, but this one was not the best. While the islands were nice, the weather good, and overall service adequate, there were some things that were disappointing. !) Food selection was a challenge since the menu did not ... Read More
We enjoy Princess Cruises, but this one was not the best. While the islands were nice, the weather good, and overall service adequate, there were some things that were disappointing. !) Food selection was a challenge since the menu did not describe what ingredients were associated with the culinary terms that, apparently, the ship's chef liked to use. So, every dinner required explanations from the wait staff. 2) There was a serious lack of communication and information regarding accessibility for mobility impaired passengers. We were NINE days into the cruise before information was published regarding accessibility to the ship's theater. It wasn't until the last port of call that information was broadly distributed regarding which location for disembarkation were accessible. And, the Excursion staff said there was no Handicap accommodation om Excursion transport at the various ports.We did have a great stateroom attendant and some folks at Guest Services were outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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