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Sail Date: January 2018
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It was the in-between that fell flat. This was mine and my husband's (no children with us) 7th Princess cruise, and our worst. It was a 5-day cruise on the Crown Princess to Grand Turk and ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It was the in-between that fell flat. This was mine and my husband's (no children with us) 7th Princess cruise, and our worst. It was a 5-day cruise on the Crown Princess to Grand Turk and Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. Very disappointing. On the first day we discovered our favorite pool on the back of the ship was closed and remained closed all week. The pool at the estuary was being re-tiled, so it was also closed all week. That left only two pools open for over 3000 guests. The ship is going in for refurbishing, and the entire crew seemed to have a don't care attitude. The food was horrible, and the service was worse. We saw our cabin attendant when we checked into our room and not again until we were departing the ship. The very last night I got a virus and was medically escorted from the ship at departure, so we weren't given the opportunity to print out our folio of expenses. I have called Princess twice this past week to have it emailed to me. I still don't have. The worst part was we were travelling with four other couples, three of which had never cruised Princess, and one couple who had never cruised at all. That couple said they were looking for the wow factor and was very disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We are long time Princess Cruisers. Wanted a nice get away and the price was very nice. The ship is scheduled for dry dock in March and could use some freshening up. Definitely needs new beds. Entertainment was good. Was hoping for a new ... Read More
We are long time Princess Cruisers. Wanted a nice get away and the price was very nice. The ship is scheduled for dry dock in March and could use some freshening up. Definitely needs new beds. Entertainment was good. Was hoping for a new Stephen Schwartz show, but some of the dancers had bee injured and they could not do the show with the remaining members. But the ones who were left were among the best we have ever seen on Princess. The show Encore was fantastic and the new deck party is a lot of fun. The islands we visited have made good progress recovering from Irma. But you can see that there was major damage. Enjoyed Antigua and we were the first Princess ship to can at St Maarten. The people in St Maarten were really glad to see us back. Just embraced the return of tourists. One of the reasons we picked this cruise was to see the Dominican Republic. This was a new port for us. The port, Amber Cove is very nice-- not much of beach, but nice pool and great hammocks. Our Tour of Porta Plata was the worst tour I have ever been on. Terrible itinerary and terrible guide. Was hoping to see some of the nice beaches, but really rode around and guide mumbled and we went to a really bad gift shop and he did not want to leave. Wanted his kick back. Just a terrible shore excursion. Some people had gotten nice independent taxi tours and others not so good. Just not a pleasant port and I felt that Princess did not do enough to make sure the tour was a good experience. Also, was very disappointed that they had changed the policy in the Crown Grill to have an extra charge for more than one entree. I hated it on Celebrity and was so sad to see it on Princess. Also, for scallop lovers the wonderful scallops are not longer there. The staff was very good and we really enjoyed the cruise, just hate to see Princess following RCCL's policy of piling on extra charges. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
The cruise's itinerary is interesting. However the ship itself is old and needs refurbishing. Reception desk - could be better. They weren't very helpful when a problem arose. Room - needed refurbishing badly. ... Read More
The cruise's itinerary is interesting. However the ship itself is old and needs refurbishing. Reception desk - could be better. They weren't very helpful when a problem arose. Room - needed refurbishing badly. Bathroom appliances are old and need a replacement. But cleaning service did their best to keep the cabin clean. They also worked very fast and immediately responded to every request. Port and shore excursions were very good, and local guides were exceptional. Dining - very good in the dining rooms and buffet, a lot of attention from the waiting staff. Embarkation - our luggage arrived after 7:00 PM. We realize that if was due to the issues in the port, but we traveled a long distance and we had no cloth to change to after taking a shower. Disembarkation on the other hand was very smooth and well organized. Entertainment - I will give a C+. Two of production shows were simply awful, mostly because of female singers. Music around the ship is not impressive at all. Same goes for the featured singers and comedian that performed in the theater (except for Teacake). One will wonder if any of the artists had any auditions before getting the job. On the other hand comedian that performed in the Explorer lounge was excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Having sailed with several other cruise lines, I have to say that the service we received from every single member of the Princess team was first class. Better than we have ever experienced from any other company. That said, there are a ... Read More
Having sailed with several other cruise lines, I have to say that the service we received from every single member of the Princess team was first class. Better than we have ever experienced from any other company. That said, there are a few areas where Princess really let themselves down on this trip. The Sapphire is due for a complete refurbishment in the next couple of months so it was no surprise that it is looking a little tired. However, I didn't like the fact that they started doing maintenance work during our trip. There were a couple of areas of the buffet restaurant roped off while something was being done to some large cabinets, right by the entrance. They also did some painting on the top deck without putting any 'wet paint' signs up. We found this out when my wife happened to get paint on a brand new top she was wearing. Although an attempt to dry clean (free of charge) was made, the top was ruined and came back in worse condition. Sanding and varnishing work was also being done on some hand rails around the swimming pool, with guests in very close proximity. Other things that were not so good - The Captain was almost anonymous. The only time we saw him was when he made a very brief welcome speech. He was not seen by any of our party walking the decks or otherwise socialising with the guests. The only time we heard from him was when he announced an itinerary change caused by bad weather. None of the bars stocked slim line tonic water and the Horizon buffet restaurant was perhaps the poorest of its type that I have experienced in a dozen cruises. Apart from Horizon (the buffet restaurant), the restaurant food was of a good standard with plenty of choice most nights. We did try both the speciality restaurants during the cruise, with very different results. Sabatinis was excellent throughout. Great service and fantastic food. The Steakhouse however turned out to be a curtained off section of the Horizon Buffet. The curtains did not stop other guests walking through throughout the meal. We even had one person walk through in their pyjamas! This totally destroyed any ambiance, it was difficult to relax and worst of all, of the six main courses our party had, we had to send two of them back. I would mention two members of the entertainment staff. Ted, the Cruise Director and Amy, the Assistant Cruise Director. Ted is a lovely guy and clearly very intelligent, however, he is in need of a new script. His repertoire when speaking on stage is very unimpressive. "Give me an oooh" and Give me an aaah" does not go down well with a mainly adult audience, a significant percentage of which do not have English as their first language. And as for his jokes - I have never witnessed so many tumbleweed moments. On the other hand, Amy Alderson was a pleasure to know. She made every effort to get to know our group and was absolutely charming. A credit to Princess, I am sure a promotion will not be too far away, she deserves it and I am willing to bet that she tells a better joke than Ted. There were two very talented violinists playing each evening in the atrium. We certainly enjoyed their music, but would it have hurt them to smile occasionally? All performances in the theatre were of a very high standard. The dance troupe were excellent and the visiting artists all very entertaining. Especially David Knight, the Hypnotist. Our stateroom with balcony was comfortable, although I am sure that the shower was shrinking throughout the trip. There was certainly less room in it at the end than there was at the beginning. Perhaps it was me getting bigger!! Adrian, our Stateroom attendant was excellent, very helpful, always smiling and always in the background if we needed him. I did like the idea of the ship holding onto our passports throughout the cruise. They looked after most of the immigration issues, which made getting on and off the boat at all the different locations much easier. However, the issue with Cambodia and visa requirements was very poorly communicated prior to the cruise. This resulted in us spending more on a visa than we needed to, because we had unnecessarily sorted it out before leaving the UK. We only went on one excursion organised by Princess and that was in Borneo, to the Mari Mari museum. Excellent and would recommend. All the other excursions were organised by the company we booked the cruise through. The gym was very busy most mornings, so you need to pick your timings. There was a lack of cycle machines compared to cross trainers, but all equipment was in good condition All in all, a terrific holiday in which the staff of Princess contributed significantly to our enjoyment, for which I thank them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told ... Read More
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told us that they sent Princess a list of our dietary requirements including the various foods items required. At our first dinner sitting there were no Vegan options on the menu and in speaking with the service staff we were informed that the only vegan protein they had available was Tofu. One of my biggest concerns in arranging the booking was that Vegan meals would be provided and there would be a variety of choice, I was extremely dismayed to find that there were no vegan options on any of the menus including the dining room. Further, the only protein source they had available on the ship was Tofu. It is my expectation that when I make a specific request for a Vegan Menu that this be provided. The Anytime Dining and the Buffet did not provide the ingredient list for their prepared items and there was no indication if the various dishes were Vegan or not. I would expect to have available meals that are prepared using organics, healthy oils, no refined sugars, etc. Vegan ingredients for the most part are easy to find and not expensive, alternative protein sources include Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Quinoa, Kale, Hemp Seed, and Chickpeas. As a result of the limited menu, I ended up with essentially the same meals each day, not what I was expecting. Why are there no Vegan dishes on the menu? Quinoa Salad, Chickpea salads, Kale Salads, Bean Salads, Lentil dishes, Chia Pudding, is often available in most restaurants as entrées, why would Princess not also have these available? Customer service by the staff on board the ship was exceptional, if Princess educated their chef and kitchen staff on how to prepare tofu entrées with flavor, quinoa salads, bean & lentil entrees they would open doors to customers that have special need diets as well as ones that choose to eat clean. Vegan entrees should be included on the menu. As well, this could enhance the wonderful vegetable & fruit salads in the buffet. I also would like to comment on the excessive number of sales pitches onboard the Princess, so many talks etc. were just there to sell a product and this was especially true of the fitness center. As an example one of the trainers presented on how to get flatter abs, with the comment that 50% is from Diet and Exercise and the other 50% from a detox product which they would be happy to have you purchase on a monthly subscription. They also stated that we all know about diet and exercise so he would not comment on this. I found this presentation particularly offensive as this information is just not true. There are absolutely no scientific studies that have shown a detox product to specifically result in a flatter abs. Flatter abs will come from diet and exercise alone and the assumption that everyone knows about diet and exercise is also wrong. I am very well educated in diet and fitness and yet know I still have much to learn and any information on this is always welcome. I also booked the Chileno Bay Sail and Snorkel in Cabo San Lucas and was under the impression that we would have 40 minutes of snorkeling time, at best only 15 minutes of snorkeling time was provided. The host were very good, but quite disappointing to have booked a snorkeling adventure and then only have such a limited time in the water. Much of the time was spent watching whales, which is fantastic, but this was a snorkeling excursion not a whale watching one. This was my first time on a cruise ship and I have to say I was quite disappointed with the level of food service provided. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our 2nd time sailing with Princess Cruises, and 2nd time on the Grand Princess. Overall this is our 10th cruise with many different lines. I have to say living right in the Bay Area is so convenient. We took a 20 minute drive to ... Read More
This was our 2nd time sailing with Princess Cruises, and 2nd time on the Grand Princess. Overall this is our 10th cruise with many different lines. I have to say living right in the Bay Area is so convenient. We took a 20 minute drive to the cruise terminal and from curbside to the ship took less than 10 minutes. It was absolutely fabulous. The terminal was very well maintained and the porters and staff on the ground were very helpful. It was the fastest check in/debarkation process from any other port I have been to. We stayed in a Mini Suite Cabin (D314) as we did so last time we were on the Grand. The Cabin was very nice, 2 tv's and a separate sitting area. We were welcomed by our very friendly Room Steward Dominador and made our way around the ship. You can definitely see some spots where the ship is showing its age however for a 20 year old ship, its in pretty damn good shape. Last time we took this cruise we were cut 2 days short and an overnight in SF. Due to technical difficulties on the last cruise before us which sent the ship into dry dock to get necessary repairs. Fortunately departed right on time, and also a different Captain. The sail away out of San Francisco is extraordinary it's unlike any other port. The Iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The really exhilarating part was there was 10 people on the bridge waving down at us as we passed under! It was great. Food options were great in the dinning room and buffet. We dined at the Crown Grill 4 times as well as the Sabatini's Italian Trattoria once. The Crown Grill is definitely the best restaurant on the ship, all though it does cost extra to dine there, it's definitely worth it. On the other hand, wouldn't recommend the Sabatini's. They completely changed the menu from the last time we were there and wasn't all impressed with their options... Wait staff and Matîre D's were very kind, especially a shoutout to Oana (Assistant Matîre D) and Aleksander (Head Waiter Crown Grill) They were simply amazing. Entertainment onboard was great, there was something for everyone. From outstanding piano players, magicians, vocal groups, and of course the ships dancers and singers. All the ports were great but wasn't so impressed with the stop in Manzanillo, more of an industrial port and was lacking stuff to do. Not to impressed. However the rest of the ports were great! Overall I would definitely recommend this ship especially if you are within the Bay Area or near to San Francisco. It is totally worth the money and even though the Grand is one of Princess's oldest ships it's still very well maintained. I will definitely be sailing on the Grand again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had a party of 20 on a New Years Cruise out of Los Angeles. The embarcation process was simple and efficient. Once we boarded the excitement set in. Then came dinner time and everything went down hill from then on. The food was cold ... Read More
We had a party of 20 on a New Years Cruise out of Los Angeles. The embarcation process was simple and efficient. Once we boarded the excitement set in. Then came dinner time and everything went down hill from then on. The food was cold and not well prepared. Not enough wait staff. Although, I had communicated I had a severe peanut allergy two months before sailing, it took them over an hour to even have the waiter get someone who would take my special order. The next day was no different. The food was simply horrible. Forget about ordering room service. I actually timed the hold time, and the least hold time was 35 minutes. The steak house was good and the service excellent. The Crab Shack was awful. The staff was not knowledgeable and frankly rude. There was no entertainment, but the same comic every night. I have sailed on many cruise lines and this one deserves an F in the main dining room and wait staff service. The front desk staff was beyond awesome. Pfofessional, courteous and knowledgeable. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
If you've never sailed during the holidays you are missing out. We choose this particular cruise aboard the Island Princess specifically for the dates that included Christmas and New Years. And the destination was a bonus as well. ... Read More
If you've never sailed during the holidays you are missing out. We choose this particular cruise aboard the Island Princess specifically for the dates that included Christmas and New Years. And the destination was a bonus as well. Having sailed with Princess twice before we knew a bit about how they operate but we were completely thrilled with this cruise. The Island Princess was beautiful, decorated for the Holidays and had just been refurbished a year or two before this sail date. Embarkation in Los Angeles was a breeze. The terminal is specifically dedicated to Princess Cruise Lines and it shows in the efficiency of how things are handled. We had a balcony cabin on deck 11 Baja deck and our cabin was clean and very comfortable. The beds are new and extremely comfortable. Our cabin steward was and friendly and very accommodating. When asked initially to have a clean wine glass every day it was always there. We always like traditional seating for dining and sat at a table with 3 other couples. Its a great way to meet people and always fun. Our dining staff went out of their way to assist us all with any requests and always anticipated any needs. The entertainment on board was exceptional and their stage productions were first class. The Princess Theater was beautiful and the seats were comfortable. That's a big deal, because we've been on other cruises where the seating was awful. The only criticism I have for that is that you had to get there early in order to get a seat. Princess tries hard to discourage seat savings, but it seems old habits die hard for some people. Lots of things to do during the day when at sea and their pools and seating around the pools is comfy and clean. The was always a deck hand available to take a drink order or assist in any way needed. One thing about the refurbishment that I didn't like was that the promenade deck is blocked off now and you can't walk completely around the deck. They added cabins or something and so in order to get a good walk in you have to cut through the ship to get to the other side of the boat. The ports were very nice and we went on excursions in each country using Princess tours. Buses where clean and in well working order. Plus, great air conditioning which is a necessity in the countries we visited. Now let's talk about the staff on board and their Leader Captain Michele Tuvo. He was absolutely fantastic and the involved Captain we had ever encountered on any of our cruises. He was out and about every day and interacted with everyone. His daily weather updates were informative and funny and each sign off was for him to say "never the less Bye, Bye! He was loved by all, staff and Cruise guests and towards the end of our 19 day cruise you could hear everyone saying to each other - never the less, Bye, Bye. And that's how I'll end this review - never the less Bye, Bye! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We booked this cruise last minute (almost), two days prior. Got a great rate through CruisesOnly.com. OMG, what a great time we had!!! The ship is BEAUTIFUL, the staff is great, and the food is amazing (be careful, you'll over do it like I ... Read More
We booked this cruise last minute (almost), two days prior. Got a great rate through CruisesOnly.com. OMG, what a great time we had!!! The ship is BEAUTIFUL, the staff is great, and the food is amazing (be careful, you'll over do it like I did and spend a night moaning in your cabin, missing all the fun activities and shows). My husband and I chose to renew our wedding vows on board. What a nice package they give you and the ceremony was performed by the personable Captain Nick Nash (thanks, Cpt, Nash!). Particularly noteworthy are Cruise Director "Matt O" (Matthew O'Brien) and Crooners Lounge star, Perry Grant. Both great fun personalities, high energy and talented. Matt is like a combination of "Where's Waldo," Austin Powers, and Pee Wee Herman! What a hoot! Perry is a multi-talented, comedic version of Liberace. However, about 7 days in, Matt was reportedly taken ill and "given the night off." But he never reappeared. We all hope he's alright now. If anyone knows what happened to him, we'd appreciate knowing. He is such a mensch (sweet dear guy). We had 6 people in our party (three staterooms). The cruise personnel at the main desk (Deck 5) were extremely helpful and accommodating. And also of note, a gentleman in charge of the Atlantis Submarine excursion on Barbados. Booking excursions on the RP ship, we could only book 4 of us on the 11:45 sub trip and one on the 12:45 sub trip, and one person could not get a spot at all. We asked on the dock, and at the very last moment, the Atlantis excursion manager tried and was able to finagle seats for all 6 of us on one trip, making us very happy! All in all, a beautiful, memorable vacation of a lifetime. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The itinerary fit our available time off, and coincided with our anniversary. I was very happy to discover the ship was coming out of service prior to our trip. The beds are all new and very very comfortable! It was hard to get my wife up ... Read More
The itinerary fit our available time off, and coincided with our anniversary. I was very happy to discover the ship was coming out of service prior to our trip. The beds are all new and very very comfortable! It was hard to get my wife up on day one. I can't say enough about the staff, they were great, the best thing about our trip. The ocean also co-operated and was relatively flat for the whole voyage. We selected 5:30 dining, but in hindsight, would have chosen any time dining as you get to meet more people. But it was nice to have the option. The ship was full-full, 2800+ guests counting the kids, and invariably someone is going to have a cold or flu, so take along some cold meds if your on a long trip. Yes, I'd go again and not change a thing, except participate more in the provided activities .. I relaxed to much! Read Less
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