1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Princess Cruises Cruise Reviews

109 Princess Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise, so it was all new to us. Having read previous reviews of this ship we did wonder if adverse comments were true. More of that later. We are an early 60s British couple recently retired, travelling with a ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so it was all new to us. Having read previous reviews of this ship we did wonder if adverse comments were true. More of that later. We are an early 60s British couple recently retired, travelling with a relative. The cruise was 16d/15n from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale via the Panama Canal, with stops in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Aruba. The ship was built in 2002 and refitted last year, with extra cabins added at the rear of Deck 7 Promenade. It is one of two built to Panamax size to suit the Canal, although larger ships can be taken when new locks and channels are commissioned later in 2016. Standard of fit out and furnishing was excellent, with much polished and varnished wood, chrome and marble. Maintenance continued throughout the voyage, and at each stop crew were on shore painting out rust and tug marks on the hull. Previous posters complained about the addition of cabins in the 2015 refit, cutting off the stern part of the Promenade Deck. This wasn't a problem for us when walking , as you could either turn around and walk a long U shape, or cross a landing to do full circuits. There were also comments about crowding in public areas, but we only found a problem in the breakfast buffet in Horizon Court at peak time. The answer was to order hot drinks, cereals and fruit from room service, then to have a cooked breakfast when the crowds had subsided. A daily news letter listed activities, talks and shows, with extra information sheets on destinations. There were also regular deliveries and reminders about "enrichment" (shopping) opportunities. It was irritating how Princess constantly tried to squeeze more money out of the passengers, through on-board shopping, wine tastings, photos and DVDs, the casino, and exorbitant behind the scenes tours at $150 each. Although we only saw a few shows they were varied and good quality. The food was varied and of good quality. Our dining option was the late sitting of fixed time, which gave time to relax and have a drink before dinner, especially after shore excursions. Although we three had asked to join a table of eight we were on our own for the first two nights. The Maitre D' then placed two other couples on the table with us after they changed their options. We like to think that he was proactive to ensure compatibility. The dress codes, including formal nights, were generally adhered to and enforced. Most passengers were American, with some Brits, Germans and Canadians, and generally older than us. Although there's a teenagers' area we only saw one young person and one toddler. Previous reviewers said that some staff were rude. Without exception, all staff were friendly, attentive and efficient. The only rude people we met were some passengers, who talked to staff as though they were inferior beings. Some vocabularies don't include "please" and "thank you". Doors to decks had stiff closers for obvious reasons, and when holding them open for passengers some didn't thank or even acknowledge me. It was irritating on shore excursions when passengers had loud conversations when guides were talking. A "sailaway" party was planned for departure, but was cancelled as we sailed away four hours late following a faulty software update on the ship's control systems. There were four sea days before the first stop at Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, which gave us time to familiarise ourselves with the ship and to get over jet lag. A shore trip took us to to a coffee plantation and Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Both were worth seeing. At the next stop in Puntarenas we visited a rain forest where a modified ski lift takes passengers above the canopy. Tours started late as another cruise ship was moored at the same pier, and space was limited for coaches to reverse to the ships. The walk around Panama was interesting, when we anchored off Fuerte Amadore and were tendered ashore. At Cartagena and Aruba we decided to do our own thing. The cruise dock at the former is in a commercial port, but there's a shopping centre a short walk along the dock. Check out the emeralds, and haggling can reduce the marked price. Aruba's pier is next to the city, and there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to visit. The short time in port meant that some trips would have been rushed. Due to a late return flight to the UK we booked a disembarkation tour at Fort Lauderdale, cruising the Intercoastal Waterway before transferring to Miami airport. The coach driver and guide were confused about where to drop passengers for Virgin Atlantic, and dropped us at the furthest point. We then had a long trek through the airport with our luggage. It is worth paying to use an airport lounge, with drinks and snacks, as the catering provision in the airport is awful. Our cabin was one of only 8 mini-suites on the ship, with the same area as balcony cabins. There was some shuddering when sailing into heavier seas, and there was noise when docking due to being directly above the bow thrusters. In their wisdom Princess have put all laundromats at the stern, so the round trip from a bow cabin like ours to wash or iron was 500 metres. Given the number of sea days we paid for the all inclusive drinks package, which was value for money. If you tot up specialist coffees, bottled water for the cabin and excursions, cocktails before dinner, glasses of wine with, and liqueurs after it is worth it. Don't order bottled water from room service as you still have to pay for it. My wife lost a crown during the trip and I asked the front desk if treatment could be arranged during one of the stops. They never got back to us. We will definitely cruise again, and probably with Princess around the UK or to the Baltic, so the ships will be different. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Greetings and welcome to my review of the Royal Princess. This was my 12th Cruise and my 5th cruise with Princess and my 1st cruise onboard the new larger class Princess Ship. Prior to this cruise I was always reading such negative reviews ... Read More
Greetings and welcome to my review of the Royal Princess. This was my 12th Cruise and my 5th cruise with Princess and my 1st cruise onboard the new larger class Princess Ship. Prior to this cruise I was always reading such negative reviews towards the balconies, and the lack of stairs midship. So i was quite nervous that I would be very disappointed once onboard the Royal. So lets get to it… Originally we booked a Mini-Suite because I prefer the larger bathroom shower/tub combo. About two months before the cruise we were offered an up-sell offer from Princess from a Mini-Suite to a Suite for $399/person. We pounced on the offer and luckily we got it. Our room was R603. The room was beautiful. The first thing I did was go to the balcony and see how narrow they are since all the reviews online talk about how small they are. Now considering I was in a suite, which was like having two balconies in one, I never thought they were too narrow thou. Now if you compare them to the mini-suites on the Ruby/Emerald/Grand class ships, then yes they are smaller because the balconies do not extend out further like those ships. But overall, my first thoughts were when I walked out on the balcony was..what are all those negative reviews for? It wasn’t that bad. So lets squash that complaint. Now I did tour a mini-suite on the Royal and I felt the mini-suites on the Ruby/Crown/Grand class ships were a tad better. I liked the bathroom but the main room seemed to lack some of the storage areas that I recall on the Ruby/Crown/Grand class ships. One of the perks Suite Owners have is your own Concierge Lounge which offered a variety of snacks and drinks you could pick up and take back to your room. You could also make reservations thru out the ship with the Concierge Lounge staff. She took care of all our dinner reservations and request all week. Suite owners also get to have dinner on embarkation evening at any of the speciality dinning venues. We choose the Crown Grill and was very nice and quiet since only Suite guest can dine that evening. Another perk was breakfast in Sabatini’s which we ate at a few times for breakfast. The list of perks goes on and on so if you do get a chance for an up-sell offer to a suite I would highly recommend jumping on the offer. Dining - we went with the anytime dinning and our 2nd night we dined in the Concerto Dining Room and that is where we got off to a bad start. Our service was slow and then the waiter goofed up on a few of our orders. So the 3rd night we decided to go to Symphony Dining Room and that is were we had excellent service from there on out. Our waiter Larry really made for some memorable dinning. The food I felt was very good as well thru out the cruise. I had no major complaints there. Even the buffet area which we dined in one evening was very good. So overall I was very satisfied with the food onboard the Royal Princess. Entertainment - We went to both the major production shows and we had a taste of two different performing crews. The 1st production show was that crews last performances for their contract and they really performed the show well. The new cast who performed on the 2nd production show felt new and nervous since it was their first time performing on the ship. So I am sure as they get more comfortable in performing that will improve. My recommendation would be to find the string quartet who plays sometimes in the Piazza or near the Crown Grill and sit back and relax listening to these very talented young ladies. If you enjoy classical music played on strings, then this is a must see venue. As for the other entertainment, I can’t comment on since I didn’t go to those. Overall Ship Layout - Yes especially on Day 1 those middle elevators are a nightmare as everyone is boarding the ship and using those. I did feel thou as the week went on I became used to the fact that the mid ship elevators are usually more crowded then the front/rear elevators and stairs. But was it a major nightmare that so many reviews say it is? NO. Just calm down people, your on a cruise and vacation so relax and enjoy yourself. If your familiar with the flow on the Grand/Ruby/Crown class ships then you’ll learn the layout of these ships very quickly as well. Favorite Area to relax - Outrigger Bar in the lounge seats. At the end of the day this was the area we always migrated to for a drink and socialize with friends while looking out at the ocean. Lotus Spa/The Enclave - We also purchased the Enclave package which is $175/person if purchase as a couple. You purchase this on embarkation day because they only sell 60 passes and you get access to a very nice relaxing area to wind down in. The large hot tub sure beats the over crowded hot tubs on the lido/sun decks. Plus you get steam rooms and many other features. St. Martin Tip - We booked a tour thru Bernard's Tours which I found on TripAdvisor and was very satisfied with our tour. Highly recommend them! Now to my complaints I didn’t like. I miss the wrap around promenade which you could walk around the ship. Very sad that Princess decided to get rid of this. I sure hope in future new builds that they bring this back. My 2nd complaint was the lack of bar service staff while laying out in the sun or just sitting outside relaxing. Almost all times we would have to go to the bar to get a drink instead of ordering it from a bar waiter walking around serving drinks. Which brings me to the subject that we learned thru staff that they were running the ship on a smaller staff then they should be. Now I don’t know if this is related to the fact that the Royal was scheduled for dry dock soon and many of the staff’s contracts may have expired, but overall I just felt that area of service was lacking onboard this ship. Overall I was very please with the cruise and I would give it a solid 4 stars out of 5. Now for a quick dis-embarkation tip - for $20 you can have Princess check you into your flight and print out your luggage tags and you place them outside your room the last evening of the cruise and you pick them up when you get back to your home airport. That means no hauling around your luggage in taxi’s or to the airport and just made coming home so much easier. Highly recommend taking advantage of that option. So if your soon to be cruising on the Royal Princess, don’t get all nervous from some of the negative reviews on here. Just go and relax and enjoy yourself. I sure did. =) Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Flew from Melbourne & stayed overnight at Hacienda Motel opposite the docks. Adds nearly $1,000 per couple to the over all holiday. Real pain for us Melbournians. Apart from that, Brisbane Portside Precinct is lovely and within ... Read More
Flew from Melbourne & stayed overnight at Hacienda Motel opposite the docks. Adds nearly $1,000 per couple to the over all holiday. Real pain for us Melbournians. Apart from that, Brisbane Portside Precinct is lovely and within walking distance of several motels, it was hot, we called a taxi -$8. No real problems boarding, except so many people arrive hours before time. Brisbane is quite organised, there is seating but thank goodness we walked down the precinct again and had a coffee and looked at the ship from the balcony viewing area, before checking in (Platinum). Not been on Sea Princess before, the upgrade/refit in Horizons is lovely, appears much lighter than on Dawn Princess. More room around the tea & coffee area and sweet & savoury snacks and treats behind glass, does seem somewhat cleaner in these times. Rooms - we had an inside as we booked late and took what was available, near the back but all good. We like fine dining, had problems in Rigolletos as we had booked for table for 2 and on table for 10, two men very unpleasant and argumentative. Tried to get smaller table, on 4th night we had a table to ourselves, 5th night arriving at 8.10 (7.45 was our booked time) the Maitre de (rudely) said we were "too early"! Really! I offered to look at the shops, he then said he had no room for us, try Traviata's - really! This was our 9th cruise so were quite taken aback by his attitude. Traviata's were also surprised but accommodated us with no problems. Note: A passenger told us there are only 4 tables for 2 in the Fine Dining Restaurants. I can't confirm this. Anyway, all good from there on, I even had a birthday cake one evening, very nice. The PNG Cruise itself - hot, humid, fun, very good company most people our own age, we are 72 + 76. Shows were good, islands were fun. Cultural Show at Alatau is a must and take a chance and ride a canoe, the people will look after you. Sure there's not a lot to see but we got off at every stop, swam in the beautiful pristine waters, took another chance and with the help of local finally got on a sailing boat to the little island only 5 mins away. $5 each. Locals are lovely, they do have markets but have little idea of pressuring you to buy. THINGS YOU MUST HAVE: Plenty of $5 notes, lollies for the children. Other items you could take are books, pencils, clothing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our 8th cruise, and our first on Princess. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, as well as a desire to try Princess out. Our previous 4 cruises have been on Celebrity. We're going back to Celebrty. We found the ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise, and our first on Princess. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, as well as a desire to try Princess out. Our previous 4 cruises have been on Celebrity. We're going back to Celebrty. We found the service to be subpar - mostly because the workers were stretched way too thin. We encountered several employees with really bad attitides in both the International cafe and the 7th floor martini bar - the bartender who gave us attitude when we ordered coffee - she curtly informed us that coffee is to be ordered in the 5th floor international cafe - even though she had a huge espresso machine behind the bar. I think the rude service was due to the employees just being tired, and stretched too thin. That is more the fault of management in my opinion. We got no beach towels with our balcony room, even though instructions on what to do with our beach towels was included in our daily program - a daily reminder of penny-pinching by Princess. Food at the Crown Grill was great. All other food venues (we tried them all) was mediorcre at best. Most things on the room setvice menu come at additional cost. If you want a pizza in your room from the pizza restaurant, the pizza is supposedly free, but they charge a $3 delivery fee (and no, you can't just pick it up yourself - not allowed). Pizza in the restaurant was quite good though, as was the service. Service in the wine bar Vines was great, even though the poor guy working there was running his fanny off most times. The "santuary" comes at a cost of $20 per half-day. It's an area that is just a cordoned off section of common area - more nickle and diming. We refused to pay for it. Food was the most mediorcre we've ever experienced on a cruise line - no doubt the result of a tight budget being placed on the chef. The layout of the ship is terrible - elevators that don't go to all floors, and elevator banks with no stairs nearby. I hope whoever designed this ship changed jobs. There was more rust than I've seen on any ship. And our cabin balcony B744 had lots of rust around the entire balcony - really ugly and clearly indicative of a penny-pinching company. Princess is owned now by Carnival corp - and it shows. This was the last cruise we'll take on any cruise line owned by Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As the title suggests, the cruise was pretty good overall, but not perfect by any means and not as good as it could have been with better management. This was our 6th cruise and having sailed with P & O and Celebrity, we had ... Read More
As the title suggests, the cruise was pretty good overall, but not perfect by any means and not as good as it could have been with better management. This was our 6th cruise and having sailed with P & O and Celebrity, we had obviously experienced both ends of the spectrum of quality, with P & O clearly the worst of the cruise lines on just about every front and Celebrity so far ahead a telescope would be required to see them. Before this cruise we tried to find out if we should have a drinks package, but despite a considerable effort, we could not find a definitive price list for on board drinks, so I wrote to both Princess and my own agent with a handful of questions. Oddly enough I received mixed replies and none of them accurate. For example, Princess sent me a list of prices which were so under priced as to suggest they were either from a different cruise line or decade and my agent categorically stated we would require a US electrical converter! So just to set the record straight let me list a few prices and facts here for anyone else trying to organise themselves before departure. A Crown lager is $7.95, cocktails start at around $10 and a half decent wine was $10 a glass. A bottle of red would set you back around $35, but remember all these prices are subject to a 15% gratuity. And talking of gratuity, Princess state that passengers will be automatically charged a per night gratuity of around $12 per person, unless they opt out, but in fact if you book in Australia for a cruise from Australia, they DONT charge gratuities at all and you need to make your own arrangements or opt IN to do it. There was a universal plug socket in the cabin (a mini suite of very generous proportions indeed} and the choice of in room movies was beyond impressive - we are talking dozens of them and several VERY new releases. The TV channels however were to put it mildly very poor. Having said that, we have found they usually are on Cruise ships. Now for some personal highs and the odd lows of the cruise. Embarkation at the Sydney International Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay has been improved over the past couple of years and is virtually seamless, swift and painless. We were given a boarding time and arrived about 30 minutes early. Our cases were dropped off before entering the terminal and we were on board in our cabin less than 30 minutes later and our bags were delivered soon after. Another high is the food, which in our opinion is better than Celebrity in as much as Celebrity seem to serve their food with an American twist, meaning everything is OVER sauced, over flavoured and very salty, whereas Princess 's food was delicate and subtle with LOTS of seafood across the 13 days. We chose anytime dining and had the choice of four silver service restaurants to eat at at any time in the evening we wished along with the trough - err sorry I mean the buffet upstairs, a grill with burgers and hot dogs and a pizza bar. ALL of these are included in the fare and require no surcharge. For breakfast and lunch the choice of dining venues was more limited but still more than ample with breakfast in the main Princess dining room offering table service and the trough - sorry again - the buffet offering self service and these being joined by the grill and pizza bar for lunch. The main dining room also offered a totally unnecessary but still pleasant afternoon tea as well. There are a large number of bars on the ship as you would expect, but this leads me to my first negative of the cruise. I am a rather large individual, standing over 6 foot and not exactly slim in stature, yet gaining the eye of the waiters in most bars was virtually impossible on most occasions, though I would stress there WERE the odd exceptions. I am not used to being invisible and can only surmise that the staff have somehow perfected the art of not seeing people waving frantically, with arms over their heads directly in front of them - having given up on waiting for the staff to come over of their own free will. Could only describe this aspect of the cruise as abysmal, made worse by the fact we had purchased a drinks package for over $700 and therefore it was the drinks we had already paid for they werent serving us!!! Having said that, Skywalkers Bar and the Churchill Bar were exceptions to this with excellent service and a delightful young girl called Ruri ran herself off her feet serving everyone in various bars at different times, while some of her colleagues chatted to their mates behind the bar!!!!! Other pluses included the on board musical group Evolution who were very VERY good and very , VERY approachable and pleasant, with a stunning repertoire of songs crossing all genres and datelines. The best on board entertainment ever! I wont dwell on the odd negatives, though a couple were pretty bad. One involved the staff tying up 3 out of 4 aft lifts for the benefit of around 200 passengers to the detriment of the remaining 2000, turning what was normally a good and reliable method of transport between decks into a completely useless system and forced many less mobile passengers to become prisoners of their cabin or to be exiled from their cabin if they were elsewhere when the exercise started. Another was the refusal of the International Dining room Maitre D to allow passengers to be seated as on 2 seater tables on the final morning - forcing them to sit on large tables with other passengers. This is fine for most, but not for all and the minority should have been accommodated. My final is about the disembarkation process which went horribly wrong for about an hour and a quarter through no fault of the shipping line or its staff, but which should have been handled better on board with a bit of intelligence by the officers. Basically the Immigration departments computers went on the blink and the disembarkation process all but stopped. NO announcements were made for the best part of 3/4 of an hour and when it was explained, there was no guide as to how likely it was to be fixed in the short term. As I said NOT the crews fault in ANY way that the problem occurred, BUT keeping the passengers informed as quickly as possible and keeping them, updated VERY regularly would have avoided stress for those with a timetable to keep to. Personally I would have given free internet wifi for all passengers during the delay. This would have allowed those WITH a time problem to deal with the problem using the internet on their phones and kept the other passengers occupied as they either read the news, played games or communicated with family and friends. Simple, but NOT offered. All we got was silence! Moving back to the more pleasant aspects of the trip, the tendering service from the Diamond Princess is brilliant. With 6 tender vessels operating, the longest we waited was 20 minutes to get a ride ashore. That is remarkable. The ships singers and dancers were very entertaining and the special effects, props and costumes were all excellent for all their shows. Having said that the theater didnt seem to be large enough for the number of passengers with all seats filled with 1/4 of an hour to go till the first show started. The second performance usually had a little more space. The shows were generally around 30 minutes long, which was about half the length of those on the other cruises we have done, but they were very fast paced and well choreographed. Personally, we didnt like ANY of the invited guest performers, but I guess that was just us. I havent mentioned the shops and wont, other than to say there were less shops, less variety and very little value in any of them, which surprised us a LOT. Cant really explain why they would be so much worse than on all our previous cruises, but there you go, Princess Cruises saved us a bit of money we WOULD have spent on board, so thanks! So in summing up, the ship is in great condition, rides the waves very well due to her size and offers plenty of variety for dining, drinking, entertainment and pretty much all the sorts of activities you would want on board. I would recommend it to anyone who doesnt mind large numbers of people around them and a fair number of kids. Again speaking personally, I would rate the Celebrity above the Diamond Princess but there again you pay for that difference - our Mini Suite was about $2200 each with a few on board credits included, where as our ordinary Balcony suite with Concierge class service was $2500 each, and that went to the much cheaper destination of the Pacific Islands and Fiji compared to New Zealand and at a lower season time of year. Diamond Princess is however miles ahead of P & O which has slumped from its once average to poor level of service, to its current dreadful state with ancient ships, and a policy of trying to suck money out of every passenger on ANY excuse once they get on board. We really enjoyed the cruise which seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. Met some nice people and would not rule out travelling with Princess in the future if Celebrity arent going where we want to go! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Papua New guinea is a must go destination for everyone no matter what age and background you are. Returning expatriates, returning ex-service personnel, children of those who once lived in PNG, inquisitive travelers etc. Our first time ... Read More
Papua New guinea is a must go destination for everyone no matter what age and background you are. Returning expatriates, returning ex-service personnel, children of those who once lived in PNG, inquisitive travelers etc. Our first time with Princess Cruises and they excelled in every area. In Alotau we did the Cultural Festival on board tour which was worthwhile. We noted that independent travelers still had to pay the same as passengers if they wanted entry. Good range of cultural dancers and the arts and crafts were very nice and affordable. We noted that the sellers were not used to haggling and when we were dropped off at the local market on the way back to the ship we could see why. All the produce in the markets was marked with a price and that was what was paid. There were other tours to suit other interests such as WWII or local village and cooking tour. Off to Kitava Island where we were greeted by three young ladies in traditional dress who we felt were only doing it because their mum had insisted. We saw her taking note of the numbers of passengers getting off the tenders so I'd say she billed the cruise line for the privilege as many of the other children had signs "K5 a snap" in front of themselves. The primary school children were there to greet us and put on small performances and were a delight. More carvings, shells, string bags (bilums) for sale. Lovely place for a swim and snorkel. Off to Rabaul where we took a full day tour with Kokopo Tours (wish I could insert their flyer here so others could benefit!) AU$150.00 each including water and lunch at the Gazel Peninsular Hotel. Saw everything there was to see, Yamamoto's bunker, Bita Paka War Cemetery, Kokopo War Museum and Cultural Center, Hot Springs, Volcano, WWII Zero crash site etc. The devastation of the last major eruption in 1994 is still very evident. Sea day before reaching Doini Island for more snorkeling, dance groups etc. More arts and crafts to buy. What a great little 'resort' island. Check out www.doiniisland.com and if you're cruising there pre-book snorkeling or trips to Samarai Island etc. Love to come back and chill!!!! 2 more sea days and back to Brisbane. On the way up to PNG and on other sea days we were entertained by very knowledgeable speakers who obviously loved their work. All in all a very pleasant visit to our next door neighbours. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This old lady holds up remarkably well...yes age is apparent but not really noticeable...a few stains here and there and rust is normal....food is best at the Crown Grill, Sabatini's is overly rich in butter and garlic...I find the ... Read More
This old lady holds up remarkably well...yes age is apparent but not really noticeable...a few stains here and there and rust is normal....food is best at the Crown Grill, Sabatini's is overly rich in butter and garlic...I find the MDR's noisy and the food soso...the Horizon Court is awful BUT great salad fixings that are very fresh for a perfect lunch...the ice tea can range from great to hints of chlorinated...yuck...coffee is decent However, the real magic was my full suite aft...quiet...roomy...with an incredible wrap around balcony...spent many hours dozing, reading, eating and gazing at the sea...the screw cavitation rumbled, the stern moved and the wake white noise all rocked me to sleep at night and my frequent naps...I found the rest of the ship crowded and noisy...the music mediocre, the entertainment corny...lots of selling of stuff...stores overpriced...excursions overpriced...spa massage average and overpriced with irritating sales job...there is a great hideaway, starboard deck 15, just outside with really comfortable chairs, shaded and not crowded...great for the kindle crowd...enjoyed the elite lounge canapés at 5:00 pm where I met new friends for the cruise with great drink specials...I rented convertible on Big Island through Hawaii Discount rentals...perfect choice for the day...also went with Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tours (significantly cheaper than Princess) for a bedazzling tour of Kauai ( best island for Helicopter tour)...a must do...shuttle to and back to pier with great staff...I enjoy sea days and there were plenty (9-10) as opposed to destinations...but Hawaii is magical except for Honolulu where I remained aboard...hot and humid except for the cooler less touristy Hilo...Lahaina, Maui is quaint mostly shops and beaches but a great cool park right by the tender pier...great for stretching out and watching the surf and water roll in....Ensenada is funky Mexico...crowded and poor...grab a cab (extremely cheap $2.00 per person) and go to downtown for beer, margaritas, guacamole and nachos with new found friends from the ship.... I must admit that my voyage would not have been lovely if I hadn't been a full suite aft (Dolphin deck vista largest and best value) morning breakfast delivered, In room dining from MDR menu, free laundry and dry cleaning, chocolate dipped strawberries every afternoon, private elite lounge for cocktails, quiet, roomy with an impeccable at your service stateroom steward...It felt like my own yacht many times...it is the only way to do it...re-booked the same suite for the Mexican Riviera next year...I will do Hawaii again Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such ... Read More
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such friendly helpful staff. The food is always cold so do not except too much, the deserts in the Horizon is really good for choice and the staff up there are the best always asking if you would like coffee or tea , Water nothing was too much for them to do for you. The free ice cream on the Lido deck is free and really good. The biggest problem was the shaking of the cabin at the AFT deck lido deck 14 on island princess shaking these are new cabins even though they were clean and nobody could look down on you and were not noisy the shaking is like being on one of those fitness shaking machines all the time. The shows were very short and some of the acts were terrible. The Films on Deck at night were good with free popcorn and cookies. The Burger bar is very good very hot food and fresh. Room Service which is free try the steak sandwich in the afternoon what a treat. The cabin Staff were so good always cleaning and perfect. Always sun lounger’s room in the pool space for all as there are 2 main pools and a splash pool on top deck forward. Be careful with the photographs can be very persistent. One of the best things is Any dinning you can go for dinner between 5:30 and 10 o'clock and sit a a different table every night. When shopping on board we found that staff very unhelpful and always looking at their watches rather than helping you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I have just returned from a 14 night trip with my partner and in-laws and the Caribbean princess did not disappoint! There was only 1 let down which was with the embarkation process which I believe was the fault of the Southampton port ... Read More
I have just returned from a 14 night trip with my partner and in-laws and the Caribbean princess did not disappoint! There was only 1 let down which was with the embarkation process which I believe was the fault of the Southampton port authorities. On arrival to our state room we were promptly greeted by Dennis our steward who greeted us by name and was most accommodating when we requested additional hangers etc., all through the cruise he was on hand to help with anything we needed, he is a great asset to Princess. The food on-board was as always of great quality and the selection was always vast. the only downside is the rigmorall of "hunt the table" at peak times in the buffet areas. There was plenty of entertainment on-board suitable for all interests, Matt O'Brien (AKA Matt 32 from England) was by far the hardest working member of the entertainments team, he was always on good form and hilarious. I took the all inclusive soda package which was a huge asset, as I don't really drink alcohol I was able to have unlimited Mock tails and hot chocolates etc. and at only $7 per day it really is worth it considering that each mock tail is $5 a time. 95% of staff were always friendly and helpful, the ship was in good order throughout although this time there did seem to be more issues with the toilets in public areas being out of order. The med cruise itinerary was perfect for us as it included many stops that we had not visited, I would however recommend you look into arranging your own shore tours as the Princess prices are really high and the tours seem to be highly subscribed. this particular cruise was mostly Brits in their 60's + however us only being in our early 30's was not a problem (you just have to be a little more patient when following them down corridors etc :)) Overall, I can 100% say that Princess Cruises are onto a winner with the formula they are following and long may it continue! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Overview: This was probably one of the best cruises I have ever taken in my life. The ship was elegant and beautiful, the staff was superb with excellent service. I had the most amazing table mates possible and was even a part of a ... Read More
Overview: This was probably one of the best cruises I have ever taken in my life. The ship was elegant and beautiful, the staff was superb with excellent service. I had the most amazing table mates possible and was even a part of a Cruise Critic member's (foolds) proposal to his girlfriend. I met lots of great friends on the ship and I am so lucky to have had this experience. Embarkation/Bon Voyage Program My grandfather joined me on the ship before it left port as part of the Bon Voyage Program. As soon as we arrived we were taken in and led to the priority check-in line and were taken to board the ship. The whole process was very smooth. He absolutely loved the ship and one of the bar servers, Nhorman, helped us get him and his wheelchair on to the ship. He was exceptionally nice and friendly to us and to my grandfather. Ship Overall the ship is pretty nice. There are a few design issues such as moving between dining rooms but overall it is nice. The public areas are well decorated and somewhat elegant. Overall the ship appears well maintained. I find some people have unreasonable expectations for ships (remember that they operate 24/7/365). I saw plenty of maintenance taking place and did not feel the ship to be in disrepair or dirty. Crew/Service I must say that the crew on the ship was very helpful and kind. Dining room service was decent but not outstanding. The bar people were nice and friendly. My cabin steward (it's steward, not stewart by the way) was great. I take a medication that I have to mix with water. I usually use a fork to mix it in a cup so the first night of the cruise I went to Horizon Court and picked up a fork and brought it back to the cabin. The next morning the steward took the fork, which I figured he would, so I went to and picked up another fork that night. Well the next morning the steward brought me a clean fork and extra glass and left them in my restroom for me to use with the medicine. I find this to be extraordinary service that he did this without me having to ask. I gave him the Consummate Host card. Ports/Shore Excursions I have been to Cozumel and it is more of the same it has always been. The only excursion I took was in Belize which I really loved. I took the open air trolley tour. I am kind of torn because I loved the tour and the people seemed nice but Belize is a horribly homophobic place so I do not plan to spend any money at all there in the future. Mahogany Bay at Roatan blew me away. Let me say this now: I heard an Princess Elite member telling people on the ship that they could NOT use the beach at Mahogany Bay because it is owned by Carnival. This is 100% FALSE. The beach is free for any cruise passenger that docks at that dock. If someone tells you any different they are simply misinformed. I spent the day at Mahogany Beach and it was simply amazing. The water was beautiful and so was the atmosphere. Entertainment The only show I really attended was the magician, Michael Barron, and he was excellent. This was probably the best magic show I have ever seen and was very entertaining. I did attend the Princess Pop Star competitions as a friend I met on the ship was competing and they were amazing. We (a group I met on the ship) also went to Skywalkers most nights and had a blast. LGBT Get Together There was a LGBT get together every day at 5:30 in one of the bars, usually Wheelhouse. I met a few other guys there and we all hung out together for portions of every evening. The only thing I would like to see them change is maybe have a crew member host it (there are plenty of gay guys in the crew) and have some way of marking where the event is within the bar such as a sign. Cabin I was in cabin A403, an interior cabin on deck 12. The cabin was small but comfortable with adequate storage and closet space. The bathroom was small (as all are) but it served it's purpose. The Elite bathroom amenities were nice. Captain's Circle Elite Benefits The Princess Captain's Circle is awesome. The benefits are outstanding. I received a free mini-bar, priority service at the pursers desk, 10% boutique discount, priority tender embarkation, 150 free internet minutes and much more. These were all awesome benefits. Bad Parts Avoid the shopping show on the second sea day. You will lose part of your life if you go. There was little to no actual port info given and the whole thing was a long, drawn-out sales pitch and the man (Vince) was repetitive and not very genuine. I would not lose sleep if they did away with his position. Disability Accommodations I have some medical problems including a damaged spine. I did not ask for or sign up for any disability accommodations but the facilities seemed ample and appropriate. I did use the elevators which were usually available but sometimes had a wait. There were quite a few mobility impaired people onboard who seemed to get around easily (as easily as possible). The tender ride in Belize and the trolley were a little uncomfortable and I had to take pain meds after returning to the ship but that was the only real annoyance. Solo Cruising I have taken many cruises but this was my first solo cruise. I was nervous at first but it worked out really well. I did not attend any of the SOLO cruiser meetings as they all interfered with the LGBT get together or other activities. Summary The cruise was amazing. I absolutely loved it and am looking forward to another. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This is a new ship so everywhere you went it was clean and new. The styling was pleasant. The buffet court is above average and the food quality is good. We tried two specialty restaurants and they were worth the money. The pizza place was ... Read More
This is a new ship so everywhere you went it was clean and new. The styling was pleasant. The buffet court is above average and the food quality is good. We tried two specialty restaurants and they were worth the money. The pizza place was average. The thin crust pizza up by the pool was decent, as was the burger bar. The ship lists and vibrates. I learned it had old fashioned stabilizing/power systems. I had sea legs for days afterwards and the room vibrated which made sleeping a little difficult. The ship's layout is frustrating. Some stairways dead end on you and it was tricky finding things. Sometimes you have to walk through the casino and go up or down and then you find your location. I was not impressed with the clunky layout at all. Service was average. Staff was mostly friendly but often indifferent. The restaurants were a disappointment. There are three, and you might get to one and it would be full and you'd be sent elsewhere. One night we waited 1.5 hours for our food (after getting appetizers), and we poured our own wine as the wait staff were juggling many tables. Dinners could take hours on end, and the food at the dining rooms was average in my opinion. They pour VERY weak drinks. Be warned. Your alcohol bill will be high if you are a drinker. The tender boat situation was also slow. Honestly, I've had better cruises. This ship is so-so.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our seventh cruise. We had previously been on several Carnival ships, a couple Royal Caribbean ships and one MSC ship. This was our first Princess ship and like the MSC ship, it was an RSVP Vacations charter. RSVP Vacations really ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise. We had previously been on several Carnival ships, a couple Royal Caribbean ships and one MSC ship. This was our first Princess ship and like the MSC ship, it was an RSVP Vacations charter. RSVP Vacations really do a spectacular job of entertaining their passengers and so it makes it a little difficult to sort out who gets accolades for the positive and blame for the negative but I do want to try and sort it out here. First of all, the positive: Last year was our first RSVP Vacations cruise and they had chartered an Italian line, MSC and that crew was a bit aloof, inattentive and unfriendly. The Regal Princess crew was just the opposite- they were warm, attentive and friendly and seemed to enjoy having us as passengers. They genuinely seemed to be having almost as much fun as we were. We appreciate that. I would give the crew a 10 out of 10. They were great. The ship was fairly new and beautiful as most of the ships we have been on. It was a bit smaller than some of the other ships Milton and I have sailed on. My preference is for larger ships- favorite being RC "Allure of the Seas." There is just more to do and see on those out at sea days on a larger cruise ship. With RSVP Vacations handling most of the entertainment on our cruise, things to do were certainly not a problem, but seeing a couple of the Regal Princess shows in their theater, I would put those on about the same level as Carnival or MSC- kind of a Las Vegas sort of vibe. Once we had gone on "Allure of the Seas" with their full production of "Chicago," their ice skating shows, their Cirque De Soleil type show, their promenade parade, rock climbing walls, etc, etc... it is hard to go back to just mediocre Vegas type review shows. There were a few negatives for me on Regal Princess. I thought they were a bit skimpy on the jetted pools. Out of the seven cruises we have been on, this ship had the least number of jetted pools and these were all very small. The cabins also left a bit to be desired. They were about the same size as MSC. I don't know the exact footage off hand but both RC and Carnival have two beds and a couch in their cabins. Their was no couch in the Regal Princess cabins. The balconies are very small in comparison as well. As a retired Registered Nurse that has taken microbiology, I am always aware of cleanliness on a cruise. Every cruise we have been on have been great in the public areas for the appearance of cleanliness but most get a fail when it comes to the buffet. Royal Caribbean probably did the best job of encouraging passengers to use hand sanitizer as the entered the buffet line. As you entered, a crew member would tactfully direct each passenger to the hand sanitizer. I think that is a good idea. Watching passengers enter the buffet line on the Regal Princess, I think only about one in ten passengers used the hand sanitizer. The other thing about the buffet cleanliness on Regal Princess was that it was not always clear to the passengers where the serving utensils should go after the passenger served themselves. On most of the other cruises we have been on, there are plates in front of each dish on which one can lay the serving utensil after use. On the Regal Princess, this was not always the case. People would be seen coughing or sneezing into their hands, serving themselves and contaminating the handles of the serving utensils and then, not having anywhere else to place the utensils, they would just lay them across the food. You get a few hundred people doing this and those buffet dishes become petri dishes for noro-virus and other contaminates. The dirtiest thing in restaurants are the menus because they are handled by everyone and rarely wiped down. The dirtiest thing in a cruise buffet line is the handles of the serving utensils. It grosses me out. I won't eat anything from a buffet line where the handle of a serving utensil has been in contact with the food. This was the first cruise we have been on that I have gotten sick. The night before I got sick, we had eaten in one of the dining rooms which should be relatively safe compared to the buffet lines. I ordered what they called a Caribbean Shrimp Cocktail. The shrimp itself seemed okay but the cocktail sauce seemed a little off to me. I also had a dish that was made of chicken breast with a thin slice of ham over it. The first bite was disgusting. I should have spit it out but I didn't. I swallowed it and thinking that it was just the ham that tasted so bad, I peeled the ham back and discarded it to the side of my plate but then foolishly ate the chicken. I am pretty sure there was something wrong with the ham and it had probably contaminated the chicken and I do believe that was very likely what made me sick. One other option, though was the made to order omelet I had the next morning. I love the idea of made to order omelet BUT it should be thoroughly cooked. Mine was cooked on the outside but the egg was runny on the inside. Regardless, whatever it was, it put me out of commission for most of one day. Thankfully, I just had one episode of vomiting and had some Ondansetron (Zofran), with me and took one of those and was feeling much better within about an hour. I was a little surprised at the dining room food on Princess. For some reason, I was thinking it might be a step up from Carnival or RC but definitely not!! Out of the seven cruises we have been on, Princess had the worst food. The only positive thing I can say about the food was that most of the cruises we have been on only serve hamburgers, hot dogs or pizza after 10pm. I don't know if it was due to RSVP Vacations or if it is just standard, but the Regal Princess had a full buffet every night! Milton, who has a cast iron stomach, was eating at the buffet every night as late as midnight and 1am. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My cruise experience aboard the Crown Princess was not relaxing at all and I am disappointed with Princess Cruises. I have been on many cruises and I have to say that this was the worst cruise I have ever taken. It has shaken my faith in ... Read More
My cruise experience aboard the Crown Princess was not relaxing at all and I am disappointed with Princess Cruises. I have been on many cruises and I have to say that this was the worst cruise I have ever taken. It has shaken my faith in Princess. It was not one thing thing that went wrong but many. First, our departure was delayed due to virus cleaning and we could not even board the ship until 6:30 p.m. The boarding process was disorganized and took aver an hour. The check in staff were not very friendly and we were told that our rooms were still not ready at the time of boarding. Once on board dinner was very rushed in the dining room due to the fact that the muster drill took place at 9:30 p.m. When we did go to our room after the drill we found trash on the floor and in the closet from the prior guest! There were also many stains on the carpet and the room did not look or feel very clean. We were very upset to find out that due to the delayed departure the show for the first night was canceled. I wish I could say that the cruise got better the next day but it did not. The ship seemed very crowded and there were lines everywhere. We waited over an hour to go to afternoon tea, thirty minutes for pizza on deck and we even had to wait at the Crown Grill with reservations for dinner. The host at the Crown Grill was very rude to me as well. We arrived at the Grill about three minutes before our reservation and were told we would have to come back in three minutes! The next day we had a problem with the toilet in our cabin. It was making a loud banging noise and would not flush at all. I called guest services to report the issue and have it fixed. I phoned guest services three different times in the next few hours and no one ever answered the phone! With no working toilet and no answer or help from guest service I walked to the desk to report the issue. After waiting in line for thirty minutes I was able to ask to get the toilet fixed. When we arrived back in the cabin after dinner the toilet was working again but there was dirty toilet water left on the bathroom floor! The crew on the Crown Princess don't seem to care about guest service at all and that is truly disappointing. The disembarkation process on this cruise was very, very slow. We waited in a long line to get off the ship and then in another long line in the terminal. The entire process took about two hours. This was yet another disappointing part of our Crown Princess cruise. I have loved cruising with Princess in the past but after this cruise I am not sure when I will cruise again with Princess. I did not feel as if I was a valued Princess guest on this cruise and that was the most disappointing part of my whole experience.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We actually flew in the previous night to Houston, late; all went very smoothly getting on the ship the next morning, light drizzle... Our cabin facilities were outstanding, and the surprise gift was there with beautiful tropical ... Read More
We actually flew in the previous night to Houston, late; all went very smoothly getting on the ship the next morning, light drizzle... Our cabin facilities were outstanding, and the surprise gift was there with beautiful tropical flowers from my husband with our surprise breakfast the next morning when we were underway with a full wait staff to our cabin on the balcony! Food delivered was fresh, hot, and delicious as well as the service! Throughout our voyage facilities on the ship were like no other we'd been on. Clean, respectful service, and once in a great while a waiter would ask us if we wanted a coctail on deck, but not pestered every 5 minutes!!! We are a gay couple of 12 years now, and felt respected, and no discrimination whatsoever, myself I am 56 now, and Rich is 57, and we love cruises, have never really had a bad experience, also there were a group of Bears aboard we befriended, and hung out with on occasion...; except.....When we were scheduled for Belize POC, we teathered for awhile; but the weather was to bad to stay, so we were redirected to Costa Mya(exuse spelling) but it was a nice little short 5 hr stop before we headed to Cozumel, with a day at sea, we still had a wonderful time in Costa Mya, rented a funky little car and drove all over the area, went swimming in a small village with the locals, and had some of the best grilled fish tacos I think I ever had! All other POC's were great, and ship's crew and captain took our safety first in concern about the weather. We would recomend Princess Cruises to everyone looking for an outstanding cruise experience. Our next cruise is coming up Dec 18th 2016 Carribean once again... Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Room a little cramped for 3 uncommitted people. Balcony railings and partitions were never wiped off, they were down right dirty. For a 4 day trip to the Bahamas, we had cold temperatures and rain for 3 1/2 days. The only sun was on the ... Read More
Room a little cramped for 3 uncommitted people. Balcony railings and partitions were never wiped off, they were down right dirty. For a 4 day trip to the Bahamas, we had cold temperatures and rain for 3 1/2 days. The only sun was on the ship at sea on the way back to port. I know it wasn't the ships "fault", but it was a lousy cruise. There was hardly any entertainment in regards to games, contests, and other deck parties. Again the Weathers fault. I got motion sickness on the way home. At this point, all I wanted to do was get home. Ship looked it's age, rust noticeable. Staff was fine. Room Steward, couldn't seem to keep inc in my room. Never responded to pages sent to her. She didn't deserve her tip. Food was good, not GREAT, but good. Best part of the cruise was the entertainment and joy the two bartenders (Christopher and Wilson) in Crooners bar gave us.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Our cruise out of Houston was delayed about 18 hours. Though they blamed the delay on traffic in the channel, then weather, the fact is that the ship was still being provisioned more than three hours after we were supposed to leave. Our ... Read More
Our cruise out of Houston was delayed about 18 hours. Though they blamed the delay on traffic in the channel, then weather, the fact is that the ship was still being provisioned more than three hours after we were supposed to leave. Our scheduled departure time of 4:00 would have been impossible considering that trucks were still lined up and being offloaded after 7:00. Add to this a pallet of champagne was dropped on the pier as well as one of tomatoes was tipped over, the level of incompetence at Houston was unmatched by any port we have sailed out of. Then there was the pallet of luggage that was dropped into the water. It was recovered, but the people affected weren't told what happened until their soaked bags were delivered to their door. Two people in our group were affected, so I saw very closely how this was handled. Once the proper supervisors were notified, they did take care of cleaning..oh and a bottle of wine for the inconvenience. After all of our delays, we finally left on Monday morning about 10:30. Our first stop in Honduras was cancelled, so Costa Maya in Mexico was added. The docking there was aborted because of the weather. Our next stop was in Belize. Somehow, even with our cancelled port the day before we were late. Most of the water based shore excursions were cancelled because of the weather, but that was to be expected. We were able to book a tour on the pier. Our final stop was in Cozumel. We arrived on time, but for some reason we were kept on board for about 45 minutes while another ship was docked. This resulted in the shore excursions being cut short. While we can't blame the weather issues on Princess or the port, the initial delay was not weather related. If you are scheduled to sail from Houston I urge you to look into changing your reservation. The Port of Houston does not seem to be ready for large passenger ships. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Having taken 8 previous cruises all on Royal Caribbean, the Golden Princess was a huge disappointment. Let's start with the Cabin, which was located on Deck 8 Forward. On our first day we had a stained comforter, moldy shower ... Read More
Having taken 8 previous cruises all on Royal Caribbean, the Golden Princess was a huge disappointment. Let's start with the Cabin, which was located on Deck 8 Forward. On our first day we had a stained comforter, moldy shower curtain, broken sink and broken toilet. The room itself was quite small, there was no love seat which even the smallest Royal Caribbean rooms have. There was a large storage area next to the bathroom, but lacked adequate shelving. Our room came with two extra beds, but unlike Royal Caribbean where they come out of the ceiling, on this ship they're attached to the side of the walls which makes the room even smaller and led to a few bumped heads going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Underneath the main bed were ladders which prevented us from storing our suit cases there. No towel animals, but you get two pieces of milk chocolate every night. Sleeping was somewhat difficult. While the room was very quiet, the AC wasn't very strong and the comforter quite warm. But after day 4, we lost AC due to the infamous mussel issue, which made sleep even more difficult. And no AC apparently means no TV either, as the equipment overheats. The TV, when it did work, showed many fairly new movies which was a nice surprise. I'm not sure if this was related to the AC issue, but water temperature was problematic as well, it was either Hot or Cold, always the opposite of what you wanted. Our first night we went to the main dining room, where it took over 2 hours to bring out two courses, since we had shows to see we skipped desert as well as the main dining room for the rest of the cruise until Lobster night. On our second time in the dining room, service was much quicker though the lobster was overcooked and the shrimp were very salty. Out of all the cruise buffets i've experienced, this one was simply the worst. It was small, lacked any variety and the food extremely bland. It consisted of mostly hot meats, white or farmed fish, rice, soup and salad. Finding anything enjoyable was a challenge. The other issue is they serve you drinks, which many times didn't even come till after we were done eating, unlike Royal Caribbean which has several options including juices available for self serve. They did attempt Sushi once, but was indelible. In other words, it was no Windjammer. Another thing missing compared to Royal Caribbean was the outdoor Mexican buffet, ice sculptures and fruit carvings. The Gym was nice, though mostly cardio equipment. There was also a sauna and steam room available at no extra cost. The Spa, i'd stay away from. It's 3X the cost, and half the quality as on land. And they spend the whole time trying to up sell you ad-ons and future appointments. I don't get toe nail polish often, so i'm not sure how long it should last, but the "14 day no chip nail polish" was destroyed after my beach excursion the following day. The ship also has something called movies under the stars, where they show movies on a giant screen outside on the pool deck, if you can get past the broken pixels. We were watching a movie one night, when it stopped half way through, and weren't able to get it fixed, a constant theme on this cruise. The on board production shows were quite good, but a level below Royal Caribbean. Many of the costumes look like they came off the shelf from a halloween store. For the most part the crew was friendly, but not as friendly as on the many Royal Caribbean ships i've been on. One thing I noticed was the onboard photographers weren't very aggressive, which can be a good thing. The broken AC also resulted in the ship racing to colder waters and miss a port. For this we were compensated $500. This is probably fair compensation, though I've spent more on this cruise then any cruise in the past due to their weak pours. They charge $7 per measured shot of Vodka, where as Royal Caribbean free pours. The other issue I had with bar service was if you order a Vodka Red Bull, they hand you a large glass with 1 ounce of vodka in it and a can of Redbull, they don't even pour it for you. For Disembarkation we were suppose to vacate our state rooms by 8am, but couldn't leave the ship till 2 hours later, though this was possibly due to customs. This led to many passengers being nervous they'd miss their flight. On royal I normally purchase a transfer to the airport online or onboard, but couldn't find any such option with Princess. We were luckily able to find a shared ride van at the port for $16 per person. The only saving grace was this was an Atlantis Charter, which brought on their own entertainment and hosted their own parties which made for an enjoyable experience. This won't be my last Atlantis Cruise, but will be my last Princess Cruise. And if Princess is suppose to be better then Carnival, then i'm afraid to even try them.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Usual Disclaimers: 8 Day Full Ship Charter on the Golden Princess, October 5-13, 2014. First time on Princess, 30 some cruises under my belt in total. Have sailed HAL, Carnival, Celebrity, Royal, NCL, Oceania and Azamara previously. Fave ... Read More
Usual Disclaimers: 8 Day Full Ship Charter on the Golden Princess, October 5-13, 2014. First time on Princess, 30 some cruises under my belt in total. Have sailed HAL, Carnival, Celebrity, Royal, NCL, Oceania and Azamara previously. Fave ship is Celebrity Silhouette. This isn't the standard review, as we've traveled the Mex Riv run 8 times before, so for us the trip was about being on the boat, not the ports. As such, no port reviews or excursion info from us. That said.... Let's start with the elephant in the room. The ship is tired. Beyond tired. Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia would feel right at home here, as during the entire cruise I felt like I was trapped in their home back in the mid-90's. The decor, appointments, etc just screams 1997. As others have noted the ship was scheduled for a dry dock and refreshening, and then Princess changed their plans. To those that booked upcoming cruises thinking they were going to get the benefit of that updating, well, you're not. For a ship that hit the water in 2001, it just looks like nothing has been done to it since then. Carpets are worn down, traffic stained and faded. It's not horrid, but you were constantly reminded that the vessel needed to be plussed up. Never an issue of cleanliness or such, just everything looked old. Now, with that out of the way: All in all I enjoyed the cruise. I know that West Coast USA gets crappy boats. (I'm looking at you Carnival Miracle and Norwegian Sun.) I know that the price was right. However, I'd be reluctant to pay normal Cruise pricing on Golden in other markets (Carib/Alaska/wherever), if newer ships were available. Truly the most confusing layout of any ship I've been on. Every passenger remarked on it. Total "Can't get there from here" syndrome. What do you mean that door is a dead end? Who builds a ship with steps UP into the main theater entrance? It's just so striking, given the very efficient layouts of cruise ships since Golden hit the water. Was it a problem? No, but it was just remarkable as to HOW MANY odd layout issues there are. Yes every "First Time" on a class of ship is confusing. I've never been this confused (and I'm only in my mid 40's) The staff were friendly, and Cruise Director's staff personnel were exactly as you would want them. No Complaints at all on the staff. Cabin steward was unobtrusive, and got the job done. No complaints at all. No towel animals or that kind of stuff (no idea if it's a Princess thing or not), but it was noted by it's absence. Not a deal breaker by any means, but when almost every other line does it..... you notice it when it's not there. Food: Buffet is small, and the layout failings have been beaten to death. Yes, it's old school, and could be a logistical cluster. Our sailing was 1900 out of 2600, of almost totally non-mobility impaired passengers, so we never ran into the congestion that I could easily see happening. I can imagine a regular cruise, with Princess normal demographics, being hell in the buffet. Again, just no excuse for that layout compared to other ships built at the same time. Buffet food was just ok. I know it's the buffet. But I really thought it would be better. On par with Royal at their nadir, and certainly below Celebrity. Not horrible mind you, we could always find things we liked. No problem with freshness or quantities. It was just there. Perhaps it's something with the presentation (the stark white trays that much of the food sits in; or perhaps the lighting), but no one ever left lunch excited about it. Main Dining Room: Food was good, ample selection, and wait staff (any time dining) were fine. No issues with timing, delays, quality, or anything. It was exactly as expected, which is a good thing. Some dishes were better than others, but that is more likely a matter of my personal taste, and not a reflection of the cuisine. I was surprised that on a cruise that had 3 sea days in the original itinerary, that there wasn't a full "brunch" scheduled in the MDR like on other lines. There were brunch "Items" on the lunch menu (e.g. Eggs Benedict) but not the typical Brunch spread that I've come to enjoy on other lines. Again, not a deal breaker, but noticeable by its absence. Specialty Restaurant: Crown Grill One specialty dinner in Crown Grill. We didn't do Sabatini's or the Crab Shack. Both partner and I ordered the filet, medium. Mine was fine, exactly as expected. Cooked on the outside, pink in the middle. Partner's was cooked on the outside, but was totally raw inside, and had enough blood on the plate to be totally off-putting. Waiter came over, noticed the problem immediately and promptly whisked it away to return a few minutes later with an apology and a NEW filet. New steak, Same problem. At this point partner was over the meal. It was obvious to us that one of the grills was too hot, thus cooking the outside of the steak too quickly, without cooking the inside appropriately. Waiter comped off one of the service charges before we could even say anything. No one else on our sailing that we spoke to had a similar problem, so must have been our unlucky night. Again, waiter took care of the problem so no harm no foul. Ship happens. :) Beverages: STRICT usage of measuring devices. No chance of anything other than a standard company pour. :( Drinks were a tad on the weak and/or small side, and pricing consistent with Cruise Ship prices. (That may or may not be relative to your home town pricing). FIRST TIME EVER SEEN ON A CRUIE SHIP: The additional gratuity line does NOT go to the individual server. It gets split by the entire waiter/bar/Beverage service crew. I was stunned. So much so that I cornered the F&B Director to confirm what I had heard. Lesson learned: If you're on GP, bring some cash if you routinely tip additional amounts to bar servers. Summarize: Staff was fine, Food in MDR was fine, buffet left a little to be desired, but was adequate. Ships amenities were fine, just the decor needs to be freshened up.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
The ship is showing its age, numerous issues presented themselves on this journey. From the air conditioning not working for two days, pieces of ceiling tile falling down during rough seas, The pool/tile areas could use a good resurfacing. ... Read More
The ship is showing its age, numerous issues presented themselves on this journey. From the air conditioning not working for two days, pieces of ceiling tile falling down during rough seas, The pool/tile areas could use a good resurfacing. The bar service fell short all the way around, the drinks were weak, poorly made and had little variety. Carnival's bar service was far superior. The dining/buffet options were a bit underwhelming. Overall for my first princess sailing I was very disappointed, I expected better Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My mom and I went on the 7 day cruise with 4 Ports (more later) We stayed in a hotel close by with transportation to the port which was very convenient. We had an amazing lobster dinner that night at the Ruskin Inn (highly recommend ... Read More
My mom and I went on the 7 day cruise with 4 Ports (more later) We stayed in a hotel close by with transportation to the port which was very convenient. We had an amazing lobster dinner that night at the Ruskin Inn (highly recommend great value). The next morning we had a nice leisurely light breakfast at our Hotel the Fairfield Inn who also provided transportation to the port (very organized) Once we arrived at the port we stood in line for about 20 minutes but it went rather quick. Our cabin was ready once we boarded so we were excited to check it out and put away our carryon's. We loved our cabin mainly because of the nice large balcony, aft location and walk in closet! (C752). Buffet was complete with a great selection so you had your choice of pretty much anything you wanted to eat. Very well organized and service was fantastic, as the wait staff anticipated all your possible needs. We enjoyed our assigned dining experience as we enjoyed visiting with a very nice family who ate with us. We also enjoyed getting to know our Maître d' and the staff and they even got to know our tastes offering some fabulous recommendations! I think my mom had a secret crush on him. We also loved the serenades during dinner from our consummate host Hector, truly loved our dining experiences every night food and entertainment was tops! Our first port was Princess Cays and we signed up for the tour of the Island and Colleen was a very informative, kind tour guide. We enjoyed many stops including a beautiful church on the beach in Eluethera. We fed the fish at the Ocean Hole at Rock Sound. Our final stop was for lunch on the beach and was good. My mom enjoyed dancing the Junkanoo with the locals right on the white sand beach and beautiful blue waters. It was an absolutely wonderful excursion and well worth the money. We lunched at Vines where they had some delicious sushi & tapas and wine tasting. The service here was a bit slow but we're on vacation so no worries! Enjoyed the entertainment on the ship too especially the Piazza flamenco Express!! We tried out the casino and had some fun but didn't have much luck winning any jackpots! We loved the Champagne waterfalls and all the festivities in the Piazza! We thoroughly enjoyed relaxing in the Sanctuary on at sea days. We didn't leave the ship at Ochos Rios but went on an amazing excursion at Grand Cayman Islands! Our guide Native Way Watersports (booked through cruise) was by far one of the top highlights of our trip. We went snorkeling, swam and held stingrays, shopping, lunch and even got our hair braided. Very well ran tour with a small group from our cruise. Highly recommend this tour guide. Really enjoyed formal nights on the cruise, great opportunity to get dressed up!! Princess does a great job of making it a very special evening with a 6 course lobster dinner and all the best entertainment! Our last port was Cozumel and we booked the VIP Dolphin Encounter at Chankanaab which was very exciting once we were in the water. There's a lot of waiting around with this tour (2 hours) We were in the water for about and hour and got to interact with the Dolphins which made all the waiting well worth it. It was truly a magical experience learning how to interact with the Dolphins!! My mom is not a swimmer and they made sure she felt comfortable and helped her with the push, boogie board, etc..(They said she was the oldest participant so far at 78, lol) We both loved it!! We had a great lunch after at the venue La Laguna and took a taxi back to port to board the ship. easy peasy! We also did a lot of shopping here, great bargains to be found I can't say enough about how much we enjoyed Princess, if you want to relax, enjoy new sites, great food and impeccable service Princess is for you! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This cruise experience was nothing short of amazing. After having read many of the reviews I was a bit concerned that the experience would be akin to our Carnival experience...something no one should ever have to live through. But, we were ... Read More
This cruise experience was nothing short of amazing. After having read many of the reviews I was a bit concerned that the experience would be akin to our Carnival experience...something no one should ever have to live through. But, we were pleasantly surprised. Our room was perfect, clean and comfortable, and our staff and crew members were kind, curious and always willing to assist. Dissimilar to some of the reviews I have read here, I never encountered any staff member gunning down the hallway with the intent to run over passengers. The only encounter I had with a hallway issue was a sweet, little old lady with her walker and oxygen tank. There was no way I could get around her, so I walked behind her until I could move past. We had a nice conversation about the cruise and the mileage that she got out of the tennis balls that were fitted to the bottom of her walker. She was a delight. The food was good in the main dining rooms and the buffets, but it was AMAZING in Sabatini's and Crown Grill, as well as room service. We ate at Sabatini's 5 of the 7 nights and every day for breakfast, one night at Crown and the other evening was room service. Hands down--awesome. The boat was well equipped and we loved it. With that...here are just some things that you should know when booking this cruise. 1. The gym hours are really limited: (07h00 to 22h00). Given the ports of call, the capacity of the gym, and a number of other scheduling factors, it is not as convenient as some people would like. Extended hours would be nice especially on days when the boat is at port. Furthermore, given the location of the gym, only a small number of treadmills (5) are available before 9h00. Power to all other treadmills is disconnected until 9h00. While it was comical to see other passengers get on the disabled machines, read the signs, remove the signs and then proceed to figure out why the unit was not turning on, it did create frustration. While it's understood there are cabins below the gym and the restriction is due to ensure quiet enjoyment hours for passengers on the deck below, this creates a further bottleneck in the availability of equipment. 20 minute restrictions on cardio equipment (while understood) further detriment the gym experience. If you are an avid gym goer, you may have to sacrifice some port time to get your workout in during off-peak times. That's what I had to do to ward off the harmful effects of martinis and pina coladas. 2. If you are adults, over the age of 18, and you wish to book time at The Sanctuary spa (for the week), try to be on the boat as soon as possible. This is a very popular destination and it fills up fast. They only allow so many reservations for the week, and then it is first come, first serve on a 1/2 day basis. We wanted to reserve chairs at The Sanctuary for the week, but by the time we got there (which was just after 12h00 on the first day) all of the week reservations were filled and we were number 16 on the waiting list. The crew member advised us that next time we should get there earlier and do not go to the stateroom first. Go right up to The Sanctuary, get your reservation then go settle in. 3. While menu items are subject to change, many of dining items in the main dining rooms as well as the specialty restaurants were centred around seafood and beef as a second choice. Sabatini's was mainly seafood, with one beef, chicken, and veal option. The food was AMAZING, but limited in scoop. The Crown was the same. It was mostly beef with one...perhaps two non-beef choices. The buffets always had a vast assortment for any taste buds. 4. Unless you are and avid pop drinker, do not buy the unlimited pop/souvenir cup that they offer you at the beginning of the cruise. Firstly you get another plastic cup that will take up space in your cupboards, and secondly, the cost is 4.50 a day. I don't drink pop, but I do like club soda. In hindsight I was better off with just paying by the class. The only two things I think that Princess could do to make the experience a bit better is to: 1) Reduce the number of formal nights. On a seven day cruise, one formal night is sufficient. For the vast number of people who do not partake in this evenings, all they do is serve to clog up the ship's main areas while over-dressed people, have their pictures taken on the main stairs--again blocking egress for other passengers. On the formal evenings it as near impossible to navigate the Piazza between crowds and closed areas for pictures. 2) Cut out the picture taking bits all together, or make it such that passengers are not bombarded with cameras and folks in get-ups every time they get on or off the ship. It's brings down the classiness of the experience. If folks want their pictures taken, sure thing, just have a place for that away from egress areas and out of the way of folks who want to get on and off the ship without having to wait for photo ops. While the Princess Paparazzi were all very respectful of our space, it's tiresome having to ward off cameras.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Let me begin by stating, my partner and I love to cruise and pick Princess exclusively. When we cruise, we are on vacation, period. We relax, go with the flow, and enjoy the time away from work. Short of death, nothing is going to ... Read More
Let me begin by stating, my partner and I love to cruise and pick Princess exclusively. When we cruise, we are on vacation, period. We relax, go with the flow, and enjoy the time away from work. Short of death, nothing is going to "ruin” our cruise. This is a term most CC readers hear used on ships throughout their cruises and my partner and I believe that is just people that are never happy. Embarkation: We booked a S4 Suite and check in was smooth as silk. We were told to proceed to the suite area and look for a uniformed representative to "whisk” us onboard as we have seen many times before. Unfortunately what we experienced was nothing more than a large room filled with a mass gaggle of Elites (E) and Preferred (P) passengers, and one haggard Princess employee who was valiantly trying to appease their demands. This made the embarkation process painful yet humorous due to the amount of Princess Elite and Preferred passengers all trying to be the first passengers to board the ship. Boarding was delayed due to clearance issues from the earlier 5 day cruise. Once the door was opened for boarding the Es and Ps went crazy. They swarmed the door but an older man with a New York accent took control and started the process of boarding, scolding them and demanding they listen to him and follow his directions. The Elites went crazy because "Blue Cards” (Princess first timers) were boarding ahead of them. It was quite entertaining. My partner and I just laughed and wondered when it would all end, after all, it is vacation, right? After 6 cruises with Princess, we wondered, would we ever act like that as Elite, doubtful. Once aboard, our vacation could begin. Suite and Concierge Lounge: S4 suite is arranged like the former PH suites on Grand Class ships, however, it is much smaller. The balcony is narrow and has only a two top table with forward facing chairs and two easy chairs; unfortunately there are no sun loungers in the S4 Suites on Royal. The marble bath is stunning. Glass shower stall with shower head and a hand held wand. A separate non-Jacuzzi bathtub and dual sinks. The bath is split into two rooms, with the commode and sink in one room and the shower, tub and sink in another room, quite convenient for a couple. The suite has a queen size bed with 2 nightstands, 2 place sofa, 2 leather chairs, a coffee table and a desk. Standard dry bar and 3 closets and underbed suitcase storage. Our cabin steward David, was by far the best steward we’ve ever experienced at sea. He is like a ninja steward. We would leave the cabin for 20 minutes and return to a refreshed cabin with new towels and a refreshed bed. The best part a suite on the Royal Princess is the private Concierge Lounge. This lounge became the great check-in equalizer. As stated in the brochure and on-line, it is only for full suite accommodations S2, S4 and S5 on Royal. Imaging the joy my partner and I felt as black card after black card tried the door for entry, only to have the light turn red. In fact, one Elite tried to piggy back in, but the Concierge scolded them. So sorry, your Elite status means nothing here, unless you have paid for a suite. The two Concierges are some of the finest staffers I’ve experienced on Princess and you can see they have been selected for their professionalism, dedication and discretion, well done Rosbert and Monika. While the lounge provides light snacks, all varieties of espresso based drinks with the coolest machine ever, juices, and a nice library, it is really a nice place to relax. Plus as suite guests you get a made to order breakfast at Sabatini’s. Food/Dining: We did anytime dining. As suite guests you get a free pass to either Sabatini’s or Crown Grill on the first night. We chose the Crown Grill and our traveling companions all enjoyed it. I would compare it to the Palm for food quality but the service was lacking as it is on every first night with Princess. We dined one other night at the Crown Grill and service was much better. The main dining room was ok when we ate there; our anytime dining waiter was so bad the first night we just laughed because we were on vacation. The second night, he greeted us with "oh, you came back” which made us burst out laughing. I let Monica, the Concierge, know and we were changed to a different waiter for all MDR dining after that. The highlight of the dining was "Lumiere” the $115 private Chef’s Table experience. This multi-course extravaganza starts in the kitchen and ends in the crystal curtained dining room. It was so intimate and delicious. I tried sweetbreads for the first time. I guess it was all the champagne that lowered my inhibitions. Breakfast itself was wonderful at Sabatini’s every day. A coffee, mimosa and made to order poached eggs. My partner and I looked at the buffet on day one and it is nicely organized but we never went, we don’t like the crowds who push and shove and act like it is a competition to get as much food as possible. I do like the fact that the plates are smaller on this updated buffet. Ship Likes: Overall Look/Design, Retreat Pool for Adults Only, Expanded Sanctuary, Expanded Piazza, Seafood Bar/Bellini Bar, Concierge Lounge. Ship Dislikes: Balcony Depth, Suite Size, No Sommelier for Wine (Budget Cuts), Less Expansive Wine List, Whiney Passengers. Overall Royal Princess is a lovely ship. There is a tradeoff for suite guests to consider. Give up the room/balcony size for the new Concierge Lounge (only Royal and the new Regal have one) or keep the bigger suite and balcony on Grand Class ships. Our next cruise is on Ruby and I may just do a Mini-Suite since there isn’t a lounge.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Royal Princess is an impressive ship! The Piazza is one of the most impressive spaces I've ever seen at sea. The designers made sure to make a statement with the focal point of the ship. The spa was located on the deck 5 which seemed ... Read More
Royal Princess is an impressive ship! The Piazza is one of the most impressive spaces I've ever seen at sea. The designers made sure to make a statement with the focal point of the ship. The spa was located on the deck 5 which seemed a little out of place. The Enclave had very nice features including two steam rooms of different temperatures, heated loungers, waterbeds, a dry sauna, and a theraputic pool. The Sea Walk was a unique experience and fun to walk through at different times to experience the effects. The elevators on the ship were a joke. For a ship this size, there should have been more. It was not uncommon to wait 5 minutes or more, especially at peak times like dinner or after shows. To add to the stress on the elevators, there is no central staircase (except for the 3 decks of the Piazza) so there was no other option, even if you were only going one floor. Another major disappointment was the size of the balcony. We were in a mini-suite, and the balcony was barely 4' deep at 36 square feet. While we knew the square footage going in, what highlited the size was the fact that they had two full size chair with footstools stored under them along with a round table. We tried to use the footstools with the chairs, and there was no physical way to use them without taking the table into the cabin. And to do that, the chairs would had to been facing the balcony next door, not facing outward to the sea. The theatre was beautiful and very well appointed. The shows were also very good. They only complaint here is that the ship has a virtual background, a huge video screen, behind the stage. They relied too heavily on the technoligy which distracted from the shows rather than enhancing them. My final criticism is about a very foul smell that was present on the basketball court frequently. We were with a large group that had events in that area, and the smell was overwhelming at times. It was either sewage that was not being properly vented or remnents of trash being incinerated. Either way, I hope they find the source and correct it. Though I focused on several bad experiences, overall we did love the ship and would cruise on Royal Princess again. Being a new ship, hopefully they will be able to address these issues quickly. The crew was amazing as we have found on all Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I just returned from a three- night Baja cruise on the Golden Princess. It was my first time back on Princess in many years and while the cruise was nice it was not great. Background There were six in our cruising group this time. We ... Read More
I just returned from a three- night Baja cruise on the Golden Princess. It was my first time back on Princess in many years and while the cruise was nice it was not great. Background There were six in our cruising group this time. We were all local so we drove to the port in San Pedro and parked our cars during the cruise ($12.00 a day). Embarkation We arrived at the terminal around 11:00 a.m., gave our bags to the porter and made our way inside. Check in was a breeze! No lines and friendly people all around the place to guide us each step of the way. After waiting a few minutes upstairs we made our way to the ship. The Ship The Golden Princess is a beautiful ship! She is on the older side but she is spacious, well taken care of and comfortable. We took a walk around and got to see our home for the next few days. We loved the pool areas; we really liked the terrace pool at the stern. There are bars and lounges all over the ship. Our favorite was the martini bar! The waiters are so much fun! The dinning rooms on the ship are comfortable as well. We loved that the international café was open 24/7! It was the perfect place to grab a quick bite any time of the day or night. The buffet by the pool was nice but the serving area was cramped and crowded. On a ship with so much space why cram so many guests in such a small confined space for the buffet? Our cabin, an outside obstructed view on the Emerald deck was fine except for the very hard mattress on the bed. Service On the Golden Princess service was hit and miss at best. While we loved the bar staff whom provided outstanding service I was not impressed with the dinning staff or our room steward. Service in anytime dinning room was slow and unimpressive. The same could be said for our dinner in the Crown Steakhouse. As for the room steward two of our requests did not get taken care of. After the first night on an uncomfortable mattress I asked for egg crate. We also requested a fruit basket for our room neither request was taken care of by the room steward. I inquired at the guest services desk about both and I was told that it would be taken care of. When we returned to our room that night we had an egg crate on the bed but still no fruit basket. For the most part the staff seemed to be just going through the motions. I am disappointed in Princess for the lackluster service. Disembarkation The last morning of the cruise we had a quick breakfast at the international café and we were off the ship by 10 a.m. The Golden Princess offered a nice quick getaway but the service on Princess did not impress.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
The impetus for this cruise was in part to celebrate my 50th birthday. Nothing like a 15 day cruise to help you forget how old one is getting. Although, considering the average age onboard was 71, according to our Cruise Director, most ... Read More
The impetus for this cruise was in part to celebrate my 50th birthday. Nothing like a 15 day cruise to help you forget how old one is getting. Although, considering the average age onboard was 71, according to our Cruise Director, most other passengers considered me to be just a baby. Prior to our departure, we stayed two days at the Double Tree San Pedro. We chose this property due to its close proximity to the Port of Los Angeles and the free shuttle service to the pier on the day of embarkation. The hotel was a rate of $160.00 per night and the hotel overall was a decent moderate property. Friendly staff and just one restaurant which I would say was mediocre at best. It was definitely location that mattered most in choice of this property. The hotel was definitely showings signs of age, but was by no means intolerable. Had one very strange customer service issue for which they called our room the night before checkout and had the audacity to ask if we could vacate the room before 900am or they would like us to move to another room that evening. I was completely outraged at such a request and I told them quite bluntly that I had no intent of vacating that room by 900am, nor were we going to move. After explaining my upset to the front desk the following morning, they took 50% percent off my room rate for the last night of the stay. It was most appreciated in terms of good will. Once arriving I must say I was completely surprised at the size of the Island Princess as I knew this ship had been built to Panamax size, I somehow thought the ship would have to be smaller in order to fit through the canal, but in fact, the ship was still quite large. Embarkation ran very smoothly and efficiently. We had a short wait of maybe 45 minutes after we checked in the waiting area, but we were onboard by 1230pm. Activities were your typical fair of bingos, game shows, trivia, pool games, and such. I most enjoyed the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire Game" where it was the men against the women. Had a really wonderful meet and mingle from our Cruise Critic role call. We had also organized a slot pull and cabin crawl which I thoroughly enjoyed. The entertainment overall was excellent, although their was certainly some entertainers I enjoyed more than others. Although, more unique to this 15 day sailing for me, was that often, the entertainers were brought onboard for a longer length of time and would perform twice with two different shows, but the same brand of entertainment. There were jugglers, pianists, trumpeters, vocalists, a mentalist, and a ventriloquist. The highlights were the mentalist, Brent Webb who in a word was simply amazing. He was extremely unique from any other entertainment I had ever seen on other cruises. You can find is site at http://www.brentwebb.net/. The other entertainer that I just loved was Michael Paul Ziegfeld. He was a comedian/ventriloquist and he was absolutely charming. I spoke with him after one of his shows and I had asked him, if he was related to Flo Ziegfeld, from the Ziegfeld Follies fame. Turned out that Flo Ziegfeld was in fact the father of his mother who had adopted him. You can find more information about him at http://michaelpaulziegfeld.com/. We had chosen anytime dining which for the most part worked out just fine. Although, you didn't need reservations, we found it to be quite helpful as your wait for a table was almost nothing as there was a significantly much shorter queue. The worst issue we ran into was the very first night of the cruise, we had met up with two other couples and showed up without reservations and needed a table for six. After waiting 45 minutes, and yes, I checked with the hostess more than once, upon the last time I checked with the hostess, she had given our table of six to another group. Well, I must say I was livid at that point and I can simply say that the Maitre' D stepped in and got us a table for six and very short order. We did eat at the Horizon Court (buffet restaurant) for all our breakfasts and lunches and quite a few dinners. I must say, for a cruise this long, one can tire over the 90-120 minute long dinners, at least we felt that way. We never really had too much difficulty finding a place to sit and everyone of our fellow passengers were very friendly. The ports we stopped at during the cruise were Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Puntarenas, Cost Rica; Fuerte Amador, Panama; Cartagena, Columbia; and Oranjestad, Aruba. Of course, the highlight of the trip was our 10 hour transit through the Panama Canal. Overall, we had quite nice weather considering how hot and humid Central America is. We certainly had all the humidity, but the temperatures were mild overall, so it was pretty bearable. One very nice Princess service was upon returning to the ship, they offered a cool damp wash cloth and cold water. Disembarkation went quite smoothly as well, probably waited a little longer than we should have before tag color was called, but once called, we were off the ship very quickly. This cruise ended in Port Everglades, which I just love as this port is extremely close to the airport. We obtained a porter who helped with us with our 4 pieces and got us a taxi once we were through customs. I have to say, getting a porter is well worth whatever you tip him/her. I usually tip $2.00 per bag, more generous than some I suppose, I really appreciate their assistance. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click