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78 Princess Southampton Cruise Reviews

I strongly agree with all the points that a previous contributor-'cherub flashpoint', has already noted; impolite security staff who have no ability to smile, waiting staff that hound you constantly for drinks( God help you if ... Read More
I strongly agree with all the points that a previous contributor-'cherub flashpoint', has already noted; impolite security staff who have no ability to smile, waiting staff that hound you constantly for drinks( God help you if you try to get your own tea/coffee-cups are snatched from your hands and you are told off!!!) or taking plates away from you. Started to fold a blanket after 'movies under the stars' to help the deck attendant- once again snatched from me -' I do that!!!' The tender to Corsica was a joke!!- a raffle ticket system turned into a free for all with the winners being who could get their mobility scooter to block the most passengers.The tour guide on the coach to Rome admitted she couldn't speak English very well- useful as a 'chocolate teapot' We have written a strong complaint letter to the company - no response as yet- I will never travel with them again!!! Luckily this was not our first cruise otherwise it would be our last. It will be Royal Caribbean in the future- they were friendly,fantastic variety of food, great entertainment and overall great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Emerald Princess, 2nd July 2016, Northern Europe. This was our 3rd cruise having been twice with P&O on Aurora in 2014 and Britannia in 2015. We won’t be using Princess again and I would like to share our experiences. I am sure ... Read More
Emerald Princess, 2nd July 2016, Northern Europe. This was our 3rd cruise having been twice with P&O on Aurora in 2014 and Britannia in 2015. We won’t be using Princess again and I would like to share our experiences. I am sure plenty of people had an enjoyable week and I am pleased for you if you did. I found many things to be totally not up to standard and as such my review will not be positive. I’ll break it down into categories: Embarkation: Very, very smooth. Yes, it is a bit odd to have numbered cards as you wait in line, but it is a system that appears to work. Good for the suite and elite passengers to get to queue jump...I find that to be absurd and a little demeaning, but it is what it is. Those extra 5 minutes must be worth the pushing in, eh? Cabin. We had an outside cabin with a fully restricted view. This did not bother us as we rarely used the cabin other than for sleeping and changing. You could see the sea or the quayside to see if we were docked, etc, so no problem and a fair bit of cash saved for spending elsewhere; cash you’ll need, by the way, the ship is very expensive. The shower is small, as per expectations, but the shampoos and soaps are a bit cheap to say the least. The bed, as reported elsewhere, was magnificent. Food. Dire. We are generally quite easy to please and my wife is a vegetarian, but not a fussy one, if you know what I mean. But the non-meat options are so poor, she barely had what you could describe as a full plate for most of the cruise. She had to ‘piece together’ suitable meals and all had to be fish with no special vegetarian meal on offer. The buffet is way too small and there are nowhere near enough seats in the Horizon restaurants with breakfast being particularly shambolic. We shared tables, often, which is fine, but it is not a good set up at all. The buffet food was a bit strange, we felt, and the concept of vegetables is misunderstood. If there is a carvery, for example, have carrots, peas and green beans instead of just one with several potato variations. Strange. We only went to the anytime dining restaurants on one occasion and had that been a paying restaurant (well, I suppose we did pay up front...) I would have challenged a number of items on the bill, not least the ‘gourmet burger’, which was poor. We sat down and were asked if we wanted sparkling or still water. I asked for sparkling and so had to pay, though I didn’t know this at the time and no-one said anything...the sharing table guests got still water...free. This sort of mealy mouthed money grabbing leaves its mark and I hope they are pleased with themselves for it. Ports of call: Really, just really? In a nutshell: Bruges. It is not Bruges, it is Zeebrugge, a soulless container port. Bruges is miles away and Princess made it very clear in their port description that taxis from the port exit were ‘not plentiful’. Plus, as Zeebrugge is a container port, you cannot just walk off the ship and make your way to the exit. You could, of course, buy their trip into town for an amazing, amazing, amazing price of $179...each. This is laugh out loud ridiculous. Money grabbing, did I mention that? We stayed aboard, fed up, not knowing how to get to Bruges. Many people went to Blankenberge for about €10, I think, but the itinerary said it was Bruges...no, it was a container port and the sales pitch for a Princess partial excursion monopoly. Copenhagen: Fine. Helsingborg: Nope. Too windy for tenders, so we carried on towards Oslo at walking pace. Safety first, we have no problem with that, of course not. We also got $18 each refunded for the missed port as a port tax rebate. That bought a single drink! Lol. Oslo: Fine, but it left at 15.30 hours...we had missed the previous port, so why not extend this one? Oh yeah, it would probably have cost Princess more, of course. So, 4 ports...well, we got 2 and a container port. Useless. Entertainment: We only checked out the theatre on the last night and saw the very talented Neil Lockwood, very good he was too. We generally avoid cruise entertainment as it is not really our thing, but he was excellent. The theatre is large. Staff: In general they were a delight. However, the more ‘elevated’ staff were not, particularly the Cruise Director, who I found to be generally awful. I’m sorry to be specific, but I was unsure what he brought to the show other than his starring in his own intergalactic movie attitude. Tune in to Channel 29 in your cabin and you can watch him and his sidekick embarrass themselves each morning. We watched it as it was so bad, you just had to. Self-indulgent and childish, it was at best patronising, at worst a pair of adults behaving like gushy school children. Truly dreadful and I’d be all over this if I was running the ship. Haha, that’s likely! Do you really need to have his young woman sidekick being quizzed about not having a boyfriend? That is plain creepy. Am I interested in how the Cruise Director ‘keeps an eye’ on his favourite football team? No mate, I am not. The worst bit about them is how they are totally on-message with the Princess trademark upselling. When asked about the best restaurants aboard, the woman started to pretend to be thinking before coming up with 3 choices...all of which ‘she loves’. Which 3 do you reckon, then? Correct, the extra charge ones! Do me a favour the pair of you...One assumes she doesn’t join the fist fights in the overcrowded buffet then or, indeed, is not a vegetarian or a lover of fresh vegetables. Ridiculous and just out of touch with many passengers. I know some people will like the skittish banter but it is just endless and vacuous, it really is a tired formula. Holiday camp?...maybe. On the extra sea day because of the Helsingborg issues, they came up with a great idea for entertainment...making paper planes...I kid you not. The front desk staff were surly and unhelpful. Sorry, but that is how we found them. I loved the separate velvet rope section for elite and suite passengers...again, really? Do they actually push in like this anyway? Shopping: Awful. Expensive and lacking in choice. My wife bought a bag which was reasonably priced once they had applied the advertised 30% discount to bring it back to the price on the mainland, groan. We found another bag for my daughter back home, but we noticed it appeared to be damaged as we took it to the till. They whisked it away without any offer to knock a bit off. I raised this with the Retail Manager who brushed it all off a little too easily; fact is, I think, the same bag will be back on the shelf on the next cruise or back to the retail outlet village it came from. Buyer beware, that’s all I’m saying. The fragrances are more expensive than on the mainland and everything, everywhere is in dollars, by the way. It is an American ship, so fair enough. But it does slightly affect the cruise experience for Brits sailing from, erm, Britain. Go figure. The art auction: This needs its own section because it was so totally dreadful. Our ‘invite’ was received and the idea of free bubbly definitely got my wife’s interest. Sure, you can choose not to go, but it was a sea day and we were intrigued as to what this auction would be like. I have asked Princess directly to talk to me about our experience at the auction because what I saw does not sit well and I wish to establish what was going on. It was pressure and squeeze and foam and blather, laughable from start to finish except for the bit when bidding started after the auctioneer had taken an age to butter up the increasingly bored audience before she started her comedic selling patois as well as the hyper speed auctioneering spiel. Honestly, we were giggling like kids...perhaps good enough for Channel 29. The art work itself was a mix of horrendous garish coloured works together with stuff you can see in any school art department, no better. Just our two cents! Bars: Wow, expensive. They whack on a service charge on every drink, so we felt miffed about being asked for an additional $12.95 per day, per person for gratuities. We removed these and tipped our room steward ourselves, a lovely guy called Michael. Just increase the price of the cruise by $100 and do away with this contentious gratuity issue, it really does nobody any favours at all. There is a happy hour (2nd drink for $1) in the Skywalkers ‘nightclub’, which is worth taking advantage of if you are late up each night, as we were, though you’ll need to be able to withstand the same standard playlist of music each night...the opening hours of the bars is a little skitty and seem subject to alteration without notice. Generally, they are fine, it is the prices that are not, they are way out of order. Disembarkation: As easy as getting on, absolutely first class. I guess the suite and elite people get carried off on thrones...who knows! The only gripe is that they want everyone out of their room by 08.00. which leads to everyone piling for food in the already inadequate Horizon area...well, not everyone but a lot of people. Given that fellow cruisers love to place bags on chairs designed for actual humans, an act of selfishness that too many cruisers seem to enjoy (not all, but too many), you will find it hard to get a seat. Very hard. The weather was mainly superb and we had plenty of laughs. But it was not great, not by a long way. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had never been to the Channel Isle and thought this was an ideal way of combining seeing Guernsey, enjoying a short cruise and trying out a new ship and cruise line. What an mistake. The passengers were so many that we unable to find ... Read More
We had never been to the Channel Isle and thought this was an ideal way of combining seeing Guernsey, enjoying a short cruise and trying out a new ship and cruise line. What an mistake. The passengers were so many that we unable to find anywhere to sit, bars didn't cater for non drinkers if they required a coffee when we were able to find seating. Queuing for up to 25 minutes in the Horizon buffet at breakfast when they closed a servery 1 hour and 10 minutes prior to lunch. By the time we found somewhere to sit to eat, the food was cold. Eating and drinking from plastic crockery. Waiting up to 45 minutes for a seat in anytime dining for an evening meal. The international cafe where coffee was served must have only seated approximately 60 -70 people if that. There were several hen parties on board and people walking round the ship with bottle of beer and glasses of wine, making it look like Blackpool at sea. The cabin, although small had no natural light as there was a tender straight outside the window, an 'obstructive view' - be careful and check your cabin before making the booking. Was comfortable with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. The steward didn't clear away anything that had been left in the room, like dirty plates or used glasses. The first night entertainment the with the ships singers and dancers was excellent, after that the entertainment went down hill. There were many first time cruisers on board and I don't think the ship has done itself any favours, as there was so many like us would never book with princess again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Review and comments - Voyage / Dest: 1524 / 15 Days Europe - Trans-Atlantic Embarkation: September 6, 2015 / London (Southampton) Disembarkation: September 21, 2015 / Fort Lauderdale on the Royal Princess Cruise Ship We took this ship ... Read More
Review and comments - Voyage / Dest: 1524 / 15 Days Europe - Trans-Atlantic Embarkation: September 6, 2015 / London (Southampton) Disembarkation: September 21, 2015 / Fort Lauderdale on the Royal Princess Cruise Ship We took this ship and date for the itinerary and to enjoy the comforts of a newer ship. However we were so disappointed that we will not ever take another Princess cruise, in fact we have one booked for February 2016 on the Regal that we will cancel. So here is our review: The Royal Princess is the most poorly designed ship that we have ever sailed on! With no mid ship staircase, movement around the ship is very difficult since the elevators are in constant use with the only staircases at the aft and forward areas of the ship making it very difficult to get around the ship in peak times. The theatre is so tightly designed that on the side seating areas there is only one entrance to the seats with no far end exits. Also at both side back ends of the theatre there is so little slope that you cannot see the stage! The Horizon Bistro/Court was the worst laid out for getting all your food before it got stale and cold! Getting toast was nowhere near the eggs and for lunch you can’t get a warm sandwich. But worst of all is that they require all passengers to wash their hands in a small area just before entering. The floor there was always wet and the sink is not kept clean so I don’t know how effective it is since they said the hand sanitizer does not work to control norwalk virus. Princess boosted an even larger and expanded atrium – really we found it no larger than any other ships and a lot of the entertainment that happened there would have been better appreciated in the theatre since there were limited places to sit in the atrium area. The ship overall is boring with not enough activities. Service was very poor and we found out that a lot of the ship’s crew were getting off along the way or in Fort Lauderdale. The entertainment for the most part was terrible! Some of the singers singing out of tune and the sound system were very poor. The guest speakers should retire and Princess should get a new generation of speakers. The Princess Port Speaker should get the Queen’s wave good-bye. Shore excursions were expensive and poor. Even the transfers to the towns from the ship were expensive where as you could get a taxi for a fraction of the price. We had a deluxe balcony and it was the smallest balcony cabin that we have ever had. However they boost – “deluxe amenities you'd expect from a first class hotel” - really?!. There is not sufficient storage space and we had to keep most of our clothes in our suitcases under the bed. The sitting area is so small that you can’t sit at the desk and have someone sit on the sofa. Speaking of the sofa it was the smallest one that I have ever had and barely seats 2 people. You can’t even use the TV remote while seating on the sofa so you are forced to watch TV on the bed. Speaking of which with such a new ship the mattress needs replacement. Getting to the balcony – I don’t know how they call this a deluxe larger balcony! It was soooo small. Now the food – overall boring, unimaginative and tasteless. They need to get a Chef who is more concerned about taste/quality than quantity and getting food out. For the most part they had the same deserts everyday at all locations – really. We ate everyday at the 5.30 pm traditional dining in the Concerto Dining Room. In our section they did mix traditional dining with anytime dining and this delayed our waiters service and attention. It resulted in our meals getting to us cold and stringing out our dining to over 1.5 hours every night. I could go on but I get the picture. Try another cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
cabin staff was great! The departments on this ship do not work for Princes but rather their Department manager. Front desk blames Shore Excursion, shore excursion blames medical and medical blames security and the circle continues. You ... Read More
cabin staff was great! The departments on this ship do not work for Princes but rather their Department manager. Front desk blames Shore Excursion, shore excursion blames medical and medical blames security and the circle continues. You will wait in one long line just to find out they can not help you or you need to see a different department. No one in the administration of this ship works to make the customer happy just their on boss. The ship is nice, the ports were great but prepare for aggravation once you are back on the ship. My wife was unable to see Paris because of the inept staff which had to clear her for a shore excursion no prior information on how to clear for the Noro Virus which ran rapid on this ship was given. Once all of the excursion had left for Paris the Medical staff cleared her but no way to get to Paris. My two children and I were told if we stayed onboard with Mom we would not get a refund only my wife. No information was given about her not being able to go ashore or the need to get a check out to clear her until we had our tickets in hand and going through the boat security at the port. Security placed us and over 60 other aside in 2 location with security around us and security stated we needed to talk to medical the medical person on site stated we needed to talk to Shore Excursion and shore excursion was to busy to talk to customers to state that medical can clear them but rather held us off to the side. My 10 year old daughter was now crying and my older daughter was shaking because of the security treating like criminals and they thought Mom was being taken away and then they said we had to go and leave her because we would not get our $600 excursion fee back if we did not go NOW. Mom was left and the Children were CRYING. This is just 1 issue. this was our 8th cruise but 1st on Princess. Princess is in the bottom of the barrel. Choose NCL or Royal if possible. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Having cruised previously with princess in the Caribbean, I was sadly disappointed on this trip. It appears they have huge problems with the dine anytime system. If you wish to eat at 5.30pm it will be fine,anytime after 7pm there is ... Read More
Having cruised previously with princess in the Caribbean, I was sadly disappointed on this trip. It appears they have huge problems with the dine anytime system. If you wish to eat at 5.30pm it will be fine,anytime after 7pm there is usually an hour wait standing in a queue,sometimes even longer. On the second day of our cruise, it was my friends birthday,at 9pm with still a long queue we paid 50dollars extra in the grill dining room to ensure we had a meal. People were very angry at the queuing,one person requested to speak with the captain. To be fair to Daniele the maître 'd',who rang me early the next day after lodging a complaint,he allowed us to change to the set time dining in another restaurant. His explanation that the British liked to eat late,did not wash,before he explained that head office were aware of the problem. It is very unfair on the hardworking staff,to be receiving the flak ,instead of those sat in their ivory towers. I found the drinks on board very expensive especially after adding gratuities on every drink,and the policy of allowing guests to take one bottle of wine on board scheming,when they know they have a captive audience. Princess cruises are trying to take their customers for every penny once they are on board. From the excursions to other customer based services. Because we were on the 2nd meal sitting,it was difficult to get a seat in the theatre,often left standing to watch a show. When at sea the sun beds were reserved from 7am,often with no one using them until after lunch. I understand a lot of people have mobility problems,but the exceptional numbers of people with scooters ,wheelchairs etc.was quite unbelievable. Some did not seem to have a problem rushing into dinner quite ably when that time arrived after mowing down a few passengers in the rush! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Don't quite know where to start - the queing, cold food, no seats in bars after dinner, so many small things resulting in a disappointing cruise. Breakfast was a nightmare having to queue to get into Horizon. Other mornings I was ... Read More
Don't quite know where to start - the queing, cold food, no seats in bars after dinner, so many small things resulting in a disappointing cruise. Breakfast was a nightmare having to queue to get into Horizon. Other mornings I was actually in Caribe and had to ask to get out as the gate had been locked. our cabin was shabby to say the least with mismatching unpressed, fading duvet covers and on one occasion our twin beds were made up with duvet covers as bottom sheets leaving about a foot of mattress uncovered - I found this quite unbelievable certainly not what I expected and totally unacceptable. When we asked our cabin steward to change these she did so explaining to us that there was a shortage of bedding for beds made up in single configuration - that was certainly a first! Trying to grab a sun lounger was impossible unless you were out before 8 am. The beds were so close together you had to crawl up from the bottom as there was no space between - most undignified! We were 4 females travelling together and had our request to be on a table for 8 or 10 confirmed, however we were put on a table for 4 and I spent my holiday looking at a wall at dinner each night. We did ask to be moved but were told there was nothing available. These are just a few of the many complaints we had certainly not what I expected. I had been looking for something on a par with P&O but nothing could have been further from the reality. This was my first Princess cruise and whilst I 'never say never' I can't see me taking another - we can be much better served on other lines. This cruise was just a huge letdown an experience not to be repeated. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We seem to have been on a different cruise to the previous reviewers.................. Pros: the crew, the cleanliness of the ship, our cabin steward and the staff in the International cafe. Cons: Our basic concerns were with the menus ... Read More
We seem to have been on a different cruise to the previous reviewers.................. Pros: the crew, the cleanliness of the ship, our cabin steward and the staff in the International cafe. Cons: Our basic concerns were with the menus and the quality of food being served. We are Elite members and have been sailing with Princess for quite some years and we were very disappointed with the range and quality of food in the Horizon and the very slow service in the main restaurants. We complained about the amount of beef dishes that were on the menu daily - firstly to the Head Chef of the Horizon Court who seems not to have the words "can do" in his vocabulary but blamed his superiors We then wrote a written complaint to the hotel manager and it took him a few days to respond - it may be just coincidence before the Captains Club formal event and his answer was ut us "Carnival's fault". The gym was so disappointed - most of the equipment, in particular the bikes and the cross trainers - needed major work and calibration mainly due to the fact that they are not designed for obese people who tend come and watch movies in the gym for some reason. The coffee on the ship was absolutely lousy and we a premium coffee card - even the staff agreed with us about the standard of the coffee. We took an excursion in Madeira and for four hours we were subjected one couple whose baby was crying continuously. When it rained the Lido Deck was like a skating rink because the drains could not cope with the rain water and some people on the deck were worried their cabins would get flooded every time it rained. The lounges were always full of people and were during the day with flip-flops and booze . We will never travel again on the "Grand class ships" as we have had the worst travel experiences on those ships . We are also Elite members on other cruise lines and will be more inclined to book with them in future ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I have cruised few times with RCL and Celebrity and this is first time in Princess. do not understand why so many good comments on this ship ? no way they said they prefer Princess than Celebrity, are they getting pay to write their ... Read More
I have cruised few times with RCL and Celebrity and this is first time in Princess. do not understand why so many good comments on this ship ? no way they said they prefer Princess than Celebrity, are they getting pay to write their comments ? this is not the real Princess I would have expected. stateroom is OK, however, we cannot find any smiles from the crews as much as we see from RCL and Celebrity. are they all being under paid ? the layout design of the Sabatini breakfast area in the top floor is so small when compare with other 2 cruise lines and how can all fry eggs are pre made and not make to order. how can toast are pre made too, they are all cold and hard ! fruit selections are the same through out the 14 days !! plain hot water is yellowish with coffee taste in all water station and I complained to them and no one can fix this problem !!!! what a joke !! hall way design in this ship is real bad, specially in the Sun deck, how can people always bump into each other going in and out of the stateroom floor and the sun deck !! the main dining room in 4th floor is so small that I still prefer the two story dinning room from RCL and Celebrity. the only one good thing I like in this ship is the international café which offer fresh made salad daily. I will only give a ONE star to this Emerald !!!! really disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My wife and I booked the Baltic cruise in order to travel with a family member who we promised to go with a few years ago. We expected the worst and were not disappointed. There were a few thousand geriatric travelers, mostly from Britain ... Read More
My wife and I booked the Baltic cruise in order to travel with a family member who we promised to go with a few years ago. We expected the worst and were not disappointed. There were a few thousand geriatric travelers, mostly from Britain and America, which made it something akin to a floating nursing home. It was hard for me to believe that these people were my peers, people that were young during the rebellious 1960's. The furnishings of the ship were extremely tacky, the staff overly pleasant and uncomfortably obsequious (they probably detest the passengers who have nothing better to do with their money). The passengers seemed mostly the type that live in the suburbs or in gated communities, bourgeois that is. In Saint Petersburg, the few thousand tourists from the ship were herded like cattle into waiting buses, which took us to the signifcant palaces, churches and museums where we were led like sheep bumper to bumper with other tourists. As if I went to St. Pete to see a Titian or a Rembrandt or an amber room or some of the other extravagances that my peasant family had to suffer for. We were informed in detail about the Czars and Czarinas and shown the opulent palaces and expected to stare at appropriately dumbstruck at their beauty. The last 100 years of Soviet history was remarkably absent from the narratives. It was all Catherine this and Peter that, Nicholas this and Elizabeth that, to the point of asking for mercy. We went on a number of tours and on each one we spent our time with other tourists in palaces, churches and museums (as if they alone were the essential fabric of the country). The only somewhat non-painful days (no, they too were painful) we really had were the ones where we walked about cities pretty much at random and did not go on tours, but rather used public transportation. But still, we had to return to the prison of the ship in a few hours time in order to not be left behind. The towns of Gdansk and Tallinn, specifically have been restored beautifully, but it is tourists that you will be spending your time with there. In fact, all the tours had something of a Disneyland (where I've never been) quality about them (fake that is). The food was adequate and plentiful, although I wouldn't think that a reason to travel, especially since the chef made no attempt to provide the national dishes of the cities we visited. Really, I can't figure out why anybody would waste their money on a cruise or on the frivolous tours that accompany them. It was all so boring, inauthentic and aseptic. But that is probably why people do choose to cruise and tour. They want a sanitized edition and history of the countries they visit. They have no desire to walk the streets or mingle with the actual people of these "foreign" places. These people travel to see tourists. So all in all, the trip was miserable. It even ended miserably when you are treated like a suspect at the airports, all due to the foreign policies of America and the western European countries. I should mention that we did not go to a single lecture or show, rather spent our time in our tiny cabin reading. I am not condemning people that cruise, it simply isn't our thing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was my first cruise with this line and it will be my last. Firstly they dropped the price by £300 approximately three weeks after I had paid in full. Nothing was offered to soften the blow. Moral learned don't book more than 90 ... Read More
This was my first cruise with this line and it will be my last. Firstly they dropped the price by £300 approximately three weeks after I had paid in full. Nothing was offered to soften the blow. Moral learned don't book more than 90 days in advance and then any price adjustment will be passed on. Ballroom dancing, consisted of a non promoted session in the small ballroom, without a host. Just a long playing CD. This session was in the late afternoon. There were three or four very basic ballroom lessons on some mornings. Ladies this ship does not have Dance Hosts. The Balcony Suite was much smaller than those on the Queen Victoria as was the ballroom and the food, dress code and comfort were not in the same league. My next one will be back with Cunard who can teach this outfit how to treat passengers. The ship was overcrowded and queuing was the order of the day; for meals, theatre, seats in any of the bars and for services. This ship has too many passenger for comfort by about 200 staterooms. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
They should rename this cruise line Pauper instead of Princess. This was my 6th cruise but my first on Princess and what a disappointment it was. Thankfully the itinerary (British Isles) was fantastic and so all was not lost and we still ... Read More
They should rename this cruise line Pauper instead of Princess. This was my 6th cruise but my first on Princess and what a disappointment it was. Thankfully the itinerary (British Isles) was fantastic and so all was not lost and we still enjoyed our vacation. But the Princess Ruby? Not so much.... The first morning we were locked out of our room for almost an hour due to a dead battery in the electronic door. Thankfully we didn’t have an excursion scheduled or we would have missed it. Day 3 the hard-wired hair dryer caught on fire in my hand!!! Not only did it catch on fire but it would not shut off. I tried several times putting it in the off position but it continued to turn itself back on and spit flames through the air vents. Since the desk area was full of papers and a throw pillow I couldn't set it down and so I continued to hold it while trying to shut it off. Since it was hard-wired there was no way to unplug it and the reset button didn’t work for me either. Thankfully my husband (who is a retired 30 year veteran Fire Dept Captain) hadn’t gotten into the shower yet (a wet body couldn’t have helped me) and he was finally able to push in the reset button hard enough to shut it off. I shutter to think what would have happened if I had panicked or hadn’t had my husband there to help me. It took my heart a good hour to come back to it’s normal rhythm after the cabin steward, his supervisor and finally the electrician removed the faulty thing. Another hour lost but compared with what could have happened that is minor. I was hoping that we would receive some sort of thank you from upper management: a bottle of Champagne, a fruit basket or even a note would have be nice but we got nothing. Nothing but a rather embarrassed “I’m sorry” (and a regular plug in hair dryer to use for the duration of the cruise) from the cabin staff. Day 5 or 6 the TV remote stopped working and although we let our steward know in the morning before we left for the day, we had to remind him again that evening and he finally replaced the battery. Day 8 or so 2 lights in our cabin burned out. They replaced them both the next day. It was “smooth sailing” for the remaining few days as far as our cabin was concerned. But sadly I must add 2 additional things to the above list. The food in general was disappointing and there was no lobster night...WTH? There is always a lobster night and we look forward to it - but apparently not on the Princess Ruby. So much for being treated like royalty! Last but not least the WiFi connection sucked! Apparently Princess is trying to save money and changed carriers/bandwidth about 2 months ago (according to Princess staff). We spent about $80 (half of which was refunded to us) since it required so much time for every download we couldn’t accomplish anything. In this day and age there is simply no reason for this - except for them trying to save an almighty buck which I think will cost them in the long run! I’m surprised that Princess has fallen into such a sorry state although considering the problems that Carnival Inc. has been experiencing the last few years I guess I should be thankful that we didn’t get stranded somewhere! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We went on the North Cape & Summer Solstice cruise in June. We were very disappointed with Princess, we have been with Royal Caribbean and P&O previously and these were much better. Good Points: Mini suite was roomy with a good ... Read More
We went on the North Cape & Summer Solstice cruise in June. We were very disappointed with Princess, we have been with Royal Caribbean and P&O previously and these were much better. Good Points: Mini suite was roomy with a good balcony. Staff were very friendly. Nightclub, lovely staff and good music. (Loved Jackie and Mahesh - they were the best). Bad Points: Food was awful in the self service restaurant, plastic plates, mugs and glasses were not very nice to use. The best food was from the Pizzeria. We gave up with breakfast and had room service at least you got a proper glass for the juice and china cups and saucers. Botticelli dining was not great. We had some very small meals of bad quality. Cheap toiletries in the cabin. Entertainment was awful. Mercury rising (a Freddie Mercury tribute) was in very poor taste and having it on twice was bad. The only decent entertainment in the theatre was The Macdonald Bros who again were on twice. Thank goodness the nightclub was good. They take far too many photos, the majority you would never buy. What a waste of all that paper!!! The TV was not good. On other ships they have on demand TV so you can choose films and programmes. On this ship I watched 5 films partly, some I did not even know the name of it. They had a booklet with channels but they did not coincide with the TV and I ended up watching half of the film and then having to watch the beginning, it was useless. Ashore. Bergen, Stavanger and Tromso were great, needed more time in Tromso 7am -1pm is no good. Nothing opens until 10 and Polaria and the Polar Museum were great. Trondheim would be good but it was raining. Geiranger was a beautiful place, walking to the Fjord centre was lovely. Going on this cruise has put us off cruising forever, the days at sea were awful luckily Norway is such a lovely place getting off the ship was the best!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
1. It took almost 3 hours to check in. The queue was mainly outside and we had to stand through the whole process. We went at the exact allocated time e mailed to us which said was to prevent all of this. Given the there were so many older ... Read More
1. It took almost 3 hours to check in. The queue was mainly outside and we had to stand through the whole process. We went at the exact allocated time e mailed to us which said was to prevent all of this. Given the there were so many older people and people with disabilities, the priority boarding seemed busier than the regular boarding. 2. Our toilet blocked x 3. Each time the ship rocked, the toilet water emptied into the shower room. My friend was unaware of this on the first occasion and thought I had left the shower room soaking. She showered, not realising she was wading through toilet water /urine. She was very distressed by this. 3. The ship was late to leave Southampton. We arrived in Barcelona very late. We had booked a half-day tour and planned to spend a half -day going around on our own. We only had time for the tour and nothing else. The ship got in at 12 noon but we did not get off until 2 pm. The tour was rushed and we had no free time. This was the first organised tour I had ever been on. I felt like a herded sheep. It was certainly not worth the money as was so rushed and all we saw of Barcelona. 4. There were queues throughout the cruise. We had to queue for so many things and hours were wasted in queues. It seemed like organised chaos. 5. The first time we went for breakfast, it took 40 minutes from getting to the buffet area to actually being able to sit down and eat. They regularly closed parts of the buffet area, making it a challenge to find a seat. We often had to queue for food, for drinks, to find a seat and then to wait for the table to be cleared. There was not enough staff for the first part of the cruise. I think additional staff may have come on at Barcelona. 6. Every single day, our toilet stopped flushing for a period of time. 7. I was not aware smoking had been banned from balconies until after the cruise was booked and paid for. There were only 2 places outside where you could smoke. As the journey was rough a lot of the time, Deck 7 (one smoking area) was closed. Deck 16 was not sheltered and very busy. This left 2 inside smoking areas, a part of the casino (open most days) and the cigar lounge. It was packed full with not enough seats and as a result was far to smoky. I do not like smoking indoors but felt I had to on occasion. My clothes and hair etc ended up stinking. 8. The menu of the TV in the cabin was blocked so could not be altered. It was fixed so that when there was writing on the screen, it could not be read. 9. Many things were over priced. This includes drinks, tours, bottled water etc. 10. Wifi was exceptionally expensive. I do not think there is a need for such expense when it is so cheap to provide, even onboard a ship. 11. The entertainment was abysmal. It reminded me of Butlins in the 1970’s. We tried various shows but did not manage to sit through a full one. It was dated and aimed at the 75+-age range. It was also mainly poor quality. I have seen much better at street fairs, karaoke and on a ferry. What was on the main stage is usually something you would see in a little bar or something. 12. The activities were again aimed at much older age group. Most of the talks were about physical ailments such as back pain and arthritis. They had a veterans group and a knitters and natters for example. We were left so, so bored. Something I have never experienced on a cruise. There is usually too much to choose from. 13. The company must have known prior to the cruise what the age group was and should have made this more public. There was no list or notification of who or what the “entertainment” was before we set of. This would have given a clear indication of the age range the cruise was aimed at. We would not have gone on this one if we had known this. Wartime songs, song sheets, sing a long, Bernie Flint! To name a few. 14. They ran out of milk at one point. How could this be for such a basic thing? 15. English breakfast tea was only available sometimes. They continually ran out and it was a challenge to try to find some or to wait for a long time before staff found some. 16. I got very sick after eating at the crab shack one night. I do not know for sure what the cause was however. 17. Marseille port was a shambles. Nowhere did they tell us we had to wait in yet another queue to buy a ticket for the shuttle bus. We waited for about half an hour in the queue for the bus, only to be told when we got to the front that we had to have a ticket before hand. We then had to wait in another queue for a ticket before getting back in a queue for the bus again. It took over an hour overall. There was only one person selling the tickets, who was also giving port information. This is just appalling for a ship for over 3000 people. 18. The shuttle for Marseille was overpriced. There was apparently a local bus for only $2. I heard some had complained about the over charging of $8 each way (which we paid). Some said they got a refund. We did not. 19. If the ship docks far beyond the town / port, surely shuttles should be inclusive and not an additional charge, nor even more queues. Extortion! 20. We paid for a tour a whole day tour in Florence. It was way too busy. In fact of the 3 tours, we had to walk at a snails pace. There were at least 30+ tours going to the same spots at the same time. We were crowded and again herded like sheep. We only lasted about 15 minutes before asking to leave and meet up with them later to get back to the ship. Despite having paid for this, we could not bare it any longer and went off and did our own thing. 21. In Corsica, we were deafened by the microphone / speaker system on the tour bus not working. Each time it was switched on, it screeched. This did not deter them from continually trying to put it on. They did this to the point where I practically begged them to switch it off and I then had a headache. The tour guide then spoke without this, so could not be heard. Surely this should have been sorted/ in place before the tour took place. 22. Yes there was nightclub but it was usually empty with no atmosphere at all. I know the cruise company cannot force people to go but again, if we had known the cruise was aimed at a much older age group, we would not have gone on it. 23. The DJ in the nightclub had very little of the music we requested and she tended to play the same tracks every night we were there. This got monotonous. In the age of the Internet, surely the majority of music can be accessed. If they had been in my local club, they would not have lasted more than a week. 24. We were offered water and coffee on our first night in the dining room. We accepted without realising it had to be paid for. We did not know we had to specifically ask for un- bottled water and regular coffee for it to be included. 25. The drinks packages were excessive, over priced and inflexible. For alcohol, it was $49 per day but you had to buy for the whole 14 days, even for the days when you were off the boat. I don’t know many people who would drink that amount daily for 14 days! 26. We got charged room service for asking for a shower cap! 27. The photographers were very poor. I have never seen such horrible photos; even of people we met who were very good looking. They even managed to make babies look bad. 28. Other issues we had although I cannot blame Princess for but added to this being the worst holiday / experience of our lives included: a) Fellow guests wanting to debate Independence with us at every meal time, to the point we stopped going for dinner. Some being positively rude about it and making nasty comments. b) The weather and resulting rough seas, making my friend very sick and preventing access to the pools and decks for long periods, sometimes whole days. 29. Some of the movies were fantastic however the TV availability was very poor and so repetitive. Given this became our main source of entertainment; we ended up watching things more than once, just to pass the time. 30. The waste of paper. There was too much mail sent to our cabin every day and much of it repetitive and of no use. It would have been better to include port transport information for example, in the daily guide. This could have made getting off and on the ship smoother and faster. 31. Maintenance being done whilst we were on the ship, for example painting on the balcony and working on the toilets/ water systems. Surely this should be done when the boat it is not in use. This happened one day after another, so became inconvenient. 32. Due to the ongoing issue with the toilets, they were regularly worked on later in the evening, as were other problems, involving workmen being outside the cabin and making such a noise to prevent us from sleeping. 33. Lack of communication. For example, I rang to advise our toilet had stopped working one evening at 9.30 pm. I was advised someone would be there to fix it soon. As I had not heard anything by 11.40 pm and was keen to get to bed, I rang again. I was advised the whole area had been broken and they were working on this. I said I was keen to get to bed and asked for an estimated time of them coming to our cabin, only to be advised they did not need access as were working on it from outside. Surely they could have called me to inform me of this to save me waiting up for over 2 hours. 34. Given all our poor experiences with getting off the ship. We opted for the last disembarkation. We were due to get in to Southampton about 7 am. We decided to book to get off at 10.30 am. The plan was for us to stay as late as possible in the cabin, have breakfast then head off. It was not until after we did this were we told we had to be out the cabin by 8 am! This meant carrying all our stuff around for at least 2 ½ hours. To top this, we were then advised the breakfast area closed at 9 am! This is just ridiculous. I am well aware there is a turnover time but surely they could clean the rooms of the people who get off early first and continue to service them as more people get off. This outraged me. There was no leeway at all. To make it worse, they decided to close part of the buffet area at this time also. It was pandemonium up there, people with bags and cases, trying to get breakfast in limited areas, trying to find a clean table, seats etc. It was like a zoo!. The boat was also late at getting in, so made our wait even longer. We got a note in the evening to say this did not effect our time to get off then later at night, another note to say this was delayed. A fitting end to a disastrous holiday. 35. My sister was on time to pick us up but took about 40 minutes to get through the traffic jam at the port, caused by the next groups of people getting on as we were getting off. Again, more organised chaos. It is not like this is new to the company. Surely they could organise this better. I know it can be. I have cruised before and had such a contrasting experience. The last one was perfect in comparison with no issues what so ever. 36. I wrote a complaint about some of the above issues on Day 7 of the cruise. We were asked to meet with the Customer Services manager On Day 11 or 12. She asked what could make the remainder of the cruise better, my friend asked for a helicopter off the ship! We were offered a meal in one of the paying restaurants. I felt insulted by this. Between us, we spent over £5,000 for this trip. The cost of a balcony cabin, the cost to get to Southampton, the new clothes for the formal nights (of which we went to 1 due to the debating going on), my considerable onboard spend of over $1500, what was spent at the ports etc. It was for my friend’s 50th Birthday. It is advertised as a 5 star experience, a once in a life time experience. I certainly hope never to “experience” this again. We spent all of this and were offered a $20 meal to compensate! Unbelievable. I had said in the meeting that I had offered my friend an all expenses paid cruise in the Caribbean or somewhere, to prove to her it was not always like this but she declined. To add insult to injury, we got a letter after this, acknowledging the complaint and stating “we look forward to welcoming you back on to the Emerald Princess in the very near future” It made me doubt anything I had written or said in the meeting had been listened to at all. A standard response letter perhaps? Having been on cruises before and absolutely loved the experience, I persuaded my friend to come with me on this one. It was meant to be holiday of a lifetime for her. She made all sorts of negative references about her ideas of cruising. I dispelled all of this with facts about how enjoyable my previous experiences had been. She decided to come and saved hard for this “experience of a lifetime” It was just awful! I spent much of my time apologising to her, as I felt very responsible for having persuaded her. All she thought negative about cruising was experienced within the first couple of days. If we were not so close and having been on holiday several times together in the past, this could have ruined our friendship. I could go on but I think the above is more than enough to explain why it was so bad.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We arrived in Heathrow on departure day, and the trouble started when my bags did not arrive ( my wife's did). The airtravel was arranged by Princess and I paid for full travel Insurance. The local airline reps took my itinerary ... Read More
We arrived in Heathrow on departure day, and the trouble started when my bags did not arrive ( my wife's did). The airtravel was arranged by Princess and I paid for full travel Insurance. The local airline reps took my itinerary and other Information, but said it would be the ships responsibility to get them to the ship if they ever arrived. The pursers staff Claimed it was all up to US AIR to get me the bags. No one Could tell me what my insurance covered or offered me a way to Get some clean clothes. At the ship we were given the bad news that we would be Stuck in port for several days. At least I got my bags the Second night. I was worried they might get sent to Le Have Or Vigo which were two of the three stops we missed. This was my fourth transatlantic, and my third cruise on the Crown. Every trip the food and entertainment gets worse. The best food was at The grills on the pool level, pizza, dogs, burgers, etc. The buffet was terrible. Sit down lunch was better. The Pub only opened for lunch once in 14 days, and the line was Enormous. The Caribe food court behind the Horizon Court only opened for early breakfast. Why? It usually serves varied ethnic specials.Also the pools were almost always empty. As Platinum members we could use the daily VIP cocktail hour, but it was not In Skywalker's as usual, but the less attractive Club Fusion. We only went twice, poor atmosphere. My main complaint is that the Captain slow steamed right past the Azores, another port we missed. He did 14 to 16 knots all the way from Lisbon to to to Bermuda. Had he done the usual 20 to 21 knots we would have had plenty of time to stop at the Azores. Princess saved fuel and we missed the port we most wanted to visit. Yes we got a credit for a future cruise, but a cash refund would have given us more options since we already have a few booked cruises.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We have just returned from a western med cruise June 12 to 29th on the Crown Princess. 1, check at the mayflower terminal was abysmal we had preferred checking and arrived at the time stipulated on boarding ticket there was two huge lines ... Read More
We have just returned from a western med cruise June 12 to 29th on the Crown Princess. 1, check at the mayflower terminal was abysmal we had preferred checking and arrived at the time stipulated on boarding ticket there was two huge lines of people waiting and the people with mobilty problems were also trying to negotiate the double lines as well. 2,Entertainment was well below the standard that Princess cruises in the past have provided for passengers enjoyment. 3,Brand loyalty we went to the Captains Circle none event ???,arrived at 17-30 as requested to find place full and not a great deal of organisation,I will not bore you with details but at 17-55 asked to collect your drinks if you had got one and leave as we have to prepare for next group! 25 mins, was a waste of mine and the crews time a bigger venue perhaps and not been made to feel as though Princess were doing you a favour by inviting you. 4,Water leaks in some of the cabins (staterooms) appears to have been a problem and in various parts of the ship in some areas towels were on floor by cabin doors is not a good sign and outside the Wheelhouse bar a smell was noticable, I have asked friends of mine who were on the previous cruise to the Canaries if they had the same problems they said yes,and also agreed on the entertainment. 5,A lot of the passengers were of the opinion that Princess had used a lot of the more experienced crew on the launch of the Royal Princess, this cruise was not what we expected perhaps it is time to try other options. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
we have done cruising three times in the past, but never tried princess, so we though it was a good idea to try the preview cruise of royal princess. what a waste of money...positives:this is a very new ship and we loved it. very spacious, ... Read More
we have done cruising three times in the past, but never tried princess, so we though it was a good idea to try the preview cruise of royal princess. what a waste of money...positives:this is a very new ship and we loved it. very spacious, rooms are of good size, big flat screen TV with lots of movies and many more.. overall i am impressed with the ship.. food was really good.negatives:check in was a mess.. had to wait for more than 3 hours to board the ship. we reserved a double room balcony and when arrived, it was two single beds... check-in in desk has no records of us and asked us to re register inside ship reception, despite us holding e-ticked issued by princess... knowledge of staff members seems very poor and often i knew more than them... they are need professional training and a good English class...on top of this we were double charged and we asked reception to remove it, which they did. customer services is VERY VERY poor... i received better service in budget airline than this...we were thinking about booking our next 14 night cruise with princess before, but after this experience, we are glad we did the mini cruise as now we know we need to star away from this trash...i would not even put my dog with this company again... clearly they are in the wrong business... Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
First I will start with the embarking which took 2 hours and 45 minutes from the time we arrived till when we were in our room. We settled in and notice the scratches on the wall, the thread bare rug and furniture, tile in bathroom needing ... Read More
First I will start with the embarking which took 2 hours and 45 minutes from the time we arrived till when we were in our room. We settled in and notice the scratches on the wall, the thread bare rug and furniture, tile in bathroom needing grout and over all needing a refreshing. Make sure you ask for foam egg mattress cover as the beds are very hard. Our record show we are to have robes and they were not there and took a day to arrive. We are not elite and that is the secret. Food was okay but nothing I would be rushing back for. Internet service was the worst ever. Spent 200 dollars and probably was on for all of 10 minutes. The signal would drop all the time. One day we were tendered and had to returned but so was 3000 other people. The lines were long and waited 45 minutes in the hot sun. They favored there Princess tours and will not let people with there own tours off till the Princess people were off first. Took passports when we got on and never were return till we disembarked in Le Harve France. I see no reason for this and was never told why? It is all about money for princess as my husband bought some alcohol for disembarking and I asked if we could have the plastic sleave to help with padding was told that was another 1.50 dollar. Hope your luck was better than ours. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
British Isles cruise on Caribbean Princess will be our last Princess Cruise! From the start in Southhampton, London there were only problems...the embarkation was a 2 hour nightmare with "cattle-call" lines and a staff that were ... Read More
British Isles cruise on Caribbean Princess will be our last Princess Cruise! From the start in Southhampton, London there were only problems...the embarkation was a 2 hour nightmare with "cattle-call" lines and a staff that were not efficient at all. Usually cruise lines want to get you right on the ship, not Princess. I can comment openly that my family will never sail on another Princess cruise. The announcements as to why we were not leaving port to start our cruise were few and far between, and altogether lies. The captain would never say what the reason was, why we were still in port the day after boarding the ship. Finally...a bilge pump problem was reported...only after our friends in London emailed us with news that our ship made the London news that we were still in port with mechanical problems. Unbelievable. I won't give a view of all the ports, just an overview of the Princess "experience" on this particular ship. After leaving the port we were told that we would be skipping over Liverpool to get to some other ports for making up time for being stuck in port. Well...unacceptable is all i can say about that, being that Liverpool was one of the major ports that the majority of passengers wanted to see. The captain said for missing this port there would be compensation of a $75.00 credit for this, and that itself is insulting ...being that if you are missing a major port of call for ship errors, compensation should have been much more monetarily. Also, Edinburgh was missed due to not being able to tender in the rough seas. There ended up being 4 at sea days instead of 2 as scheduled. The main problem with this ship was that during these "non-scheduled" at sea days, there were no additional activities added to the revised schedule and there were hardly any activities on the ship to choose from. the main item provided was watching movies. No additional classes or lectures, no additional trivia sessions or exercise classes, and certainly no one present at the closed bars on board. Seriously people, if you have additional days at sea, you really need some activities to help those who want to do something other than sit in a movie theater. i believe i saw bingo offered twice during the twelve day cruise. Another problem was the entertainment--which i use that word "entertainment" lightly...providing a juggler on board for 5 consecutive nights in the atrium doing three shows a night for fifteen minutes each is not something people enjoy. The shows with the singers and dancers on the ship were very good, but a thirty minute show is a bit short, and instead of offering three shows a night, maybe two shows a night and a little bit longer show would be more entertaining. The entertainment on the ship at night was really lacking and of poor quality at that. When we were in the theater for our thirty minute show, there were no waiters taking drink orders like on other cruises. It was like they wanted to get us in and out quickly, and didn't offer drinks. The bars were empty a lot of the time too, with bar staff being scarce. Usually cruises want the passengers to buy drinks as that is how they make their money. Not so on this particular cruise. The casino was closed most of the cruise, if it was open it was only for a few hours at a time with not much reasoning behind it. during the twelve day cruise there was one poker and one slot tournament. For the salon/spa on the ship i did experience a great massage, but someone else in our group had a terrible experience. The costs were very highly priced (if you didn't catch a special on board) in the spa, and appointments were hard to get if you did not book prior to the cruise. I did get a manicure, and the salon (where the nails and hair procedures are going on) was a mess and really very dirty. The one problem, that not many people mentioned in reviews, about this ship in my view and others i spoke to was it felt like this ship was an older ship/cut in half/with an atrium stuck in the middle and put back together again. You could not walk from one end of the ship to the other without having to go up/down stairs. The elevators did not even go to all the floors. Depending on which elevators you got onto, depended on which floors the elevators serviced. The three dining rooms, all on different floors were confusing and hard to reach depending where on the ship you started from. Also, the cleanliness of the ship on the whole was just very bad. Our cabin was clean, unlike some other reviews that i read, but the windows throughout the ship were hard to see out of due to the filth. Our cabin did not even have a couch in it, usually there is a bed, desk, couch, table, and so on. This ship did not have half that in the room. I guess we were lucky and had a bed! I will say on a positive note that the crew on this ship were all very friendly. The crew work so hard and they all were very nice to us. The food on board was another story. Horrible sums up the food that was prepared on our cruise. On the last night our waiter tried to sell us cookbooks from the chef, and i really wanted to offer to buy someone else's cookbook to give TO the chef! One of the specialty restaurants on the ship--Sabatini's was really not edible. Our group asked for ketchup for the food, we thought the chef would have a clue...didn't help. The one saving grace on our trip was the Crown Grill restaurant which was the steak/seafood one. This was good food and really worth the extra cost. We visited this one three times during our cruise. Overall i believe that Princess has just cut costs too much with entertainment, activities, food, and all over honesty with the passengers. We had one good experience with Princess going to Alaska two years ago, but this trip was our last on Princess. We have cruised over 16 times and will never book again with this line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
This was my first cruise, and I was very disappointed with my "cruise experience". Friends and family had reported magnificent experiences on other cruises that just didn't seem to be the case for this cruise. I spent a ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and I was very disappointed with my "cruise experience". Friends and family had reported magnificent experiences on other cruises that just didn't seem to be the case for this cruise. I spent a good deal of time talking to other people on the cruise to see if this experience was "typical". Without exception, the experienced "cruisers" on this journey stated that this was the worst cruise that they had ever been on. Those with "Princess" experience said that the quality of the Princess cruises has decreased dramatically and that this would be their last Princess cruise. Problems with the cruise were evident from Day 1. Embarkation from Southampton was a two hour circus, with long lines, poorly communicated instructions and inattentive staff. We were scheduled to leave Southampton at 5:00 PM on June 7, but were detained in port for some sort of "technical problem" which was never defined. Announcements were made every few hours that the "issue" was taking longer than expected, he would update us later (which he never did) and that our safety was his primary concern. He never mentioned a bilge pump problem or that the ship had failed an inspection a day earlier. As a result of their poor maintenance, we left port exactly one day late, resulting in our being a day late for our first three ports - Guernsey, Cobh and Dublin, and missing our fourth stop in Liverpool. We also missed our scheduled stop at Edinburgh due to rough seas. Instead of finding another port or reaching Paris a day early for additional sightseeing, we meandered our way to Paris, taking two days to reach Le Havre. Humm, reduced fuel costs and keep the casino and shops open for additional revenue opportunities. Way to go Princess! What a wonderfully innovative way to take care of your passengers. The internet was completely inadequate and very very slow. The Library was not well staffed, which was inexcusable considering we were stuck at sea for all of that extra time at sea. On a cruise advertised to include nine port stops and two days at sea, we ended up with three days at sea and one day trapped in the ship at Southampton. For this, we received a totally inadequate compensation of $75. Some of the tours that we took were poorly planned and we spent too much time at minor attractions like the Falkirk Wheel, and very little time at major sites like Stirling Castle. Our bus for Stirling Castle parked at the bottom of a very steep hill and we were forced to walk up to the castle, depriving us of valuable time. Those guests who were not in good physical shape could not make the walk in the time allotted and missed seeing Stirling Castle. Our guide said that the road was closed, even though there were busses at the entrance to the Castle and buses were transversing the road while we were walking down. If it was a matter of timing, the tour should have been arranged to arrive at Stirling Castle when the busses could make the steep assent. The service in the dining rooms was often very slow and the Horizon Court was usually packed since the weather was not suitable for outside dining. If one elected to "sleep in" the only place to have breakfast was the Horizon Court since none of the three dining rooms was open for breakfast after 9:00 AM. The food was very average, some of the "entertainment" was appalling, with the singers being off key in many songs. The food was "cafeteria quality" with almost none of the fabulous food that is normally associated with cruise ships. We had bought the "Coke" drink package with "all you can drink" fountain Cokes. These beverages were almost undrinkable, despite repeated complaints to the staff. Basically, they could care less. I wrote an e-mail message to Coke because of the poor representation of their product. All in all, a very poor experience! I would not recommend Princess Cruises to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
You can read all the negative comments that other cruisers have written about our June, 2012 cruise to Britain and Western Europe. No one is exaggerating in their displeasure for what we endured. I just want to add a few more comments ... Read More
You can read all the negative comments that other cruisers have written about our June, 2012 cruise to Britain and Western Europe. No one is exaggerating in their displeasure for what we endured. I just want to add a few more comments about the lack of customer service. We encountered so many minor examples of non-service, but there were two biggies. One night we went to the dining room for dinner, and my 20 year old niece found the table cloth folded under instead of hanging down from the table top. When she pulled it out, a large area was covered with bright red bloody hand prints. The Princess staff wanted to tuck it back under and cover the table cloth with more napkins. We insisted on a new table cloth. Another example was on the fourth sea day, I decided I wanted a hamburger for lunch. I went to the outdoor grill and waited in line to get my hamburger. The gentleman in front of me wanted a hamburger. Princess had a nice system with the lettuce, tomato, and onion already stacked. The Princess server opened a bun, added the lettuce stack and then put the hamburger patty on top. The patty flipped off and landed half on the man's plate and half on the counter. The server immediately moved the hamburger patty to one side and fixed the man another burger. Then I asked for a hamburger. The server got my bun, my lettuce stack, and then proceeded to place the aforementioned patty on my bun. I am terrible at speaking up for myself, but I did ask him why the patty was not good enough for the previous gentleman but was good enough for me. He and the man in charge of grilling just looked at me like I was an obnoxious pushy passenger. I did fill out a comment card twice during the cruise about negative customer service. Both times the cruise ship manager called me and left a message on our stateroom phone. My niece pointed out that he always called me back while we were on day long excursions. I also filled out the cruise evaluation that I received via email after my return home. I did request that a Princess representative call me. The form specifically asked for a telephone number where I could be reached during the work day. They never tried to call. A week later I received an email from Princess saying that my concerns had been delivered to the appropriate departments. If I wanted to talk to them, I would have to call them. One thing that other cruisers have not mentioned is that when we were told that we could not tender into Edinburgh, the ship did receive new passengers from Edinburgh. My sister was so upset at the announcement that we would not make this port that she went and walked the deck to blow off some steam. She watched a tender come to the Carribean Princess and saw people transfer from the tender to the Princess pulling huge pieces of luggage. We don't understand why they could come to the ship, but we couldn't make the reverse trip. We were very disappointed with Princess when we cruised them last summer. We only booked this cruise because they had the itinerary that we wanted. As another reviewer stated, we couldn't wait to get off the ship this year. We will not be cruising with Princess ever again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My husband and I went on the British Isles Cruise with the Caribbean Princess on June 7 for 12 days. This was the worst trip we have ever experienced and at a huge cost to us! I have been on many other cruises but this was our first time ... Read More
My husband and I went on the British Isles Cruise with the Caribbean Princess on June 7 for 12 days. This was the worst trip we have ever experienced and at a huge cost to us! I have been on many other cruises but this was our first time with Princess Cruises and will be our LAST! This trip started out bad as soon as we embarked. The process of going onto the ship took forever and very disorganized. As soon as we finally went on the ship we were told by the Captain that there was "technical difficulties" with the ship . We were supposed to have departed that night but only left the dock the following day at around dinner time. This meant we had to cancel Liverpool! We were so furious and needed more explanation on this and went to customer service on the ship to ask why Liverpool and not one of the other ports like Guernsey which was not popular. The explanation was that there was a surprise visit from the Coast Guard and the ship failed the inspection. Seriously, because of the incompetence of the ship we had to pay for it by losing Liverpool??? Oh but wait we were compensated $75.00/person credit on board. Wow, such a nice gesture especially when this trip will cost us close to $6,000.00. Our visit to Edinburgh was also cancelled due to weather which is understandable so we had a day at sea instead. When we heard about this cancellation we thought as a good gesture by Princess we would be able to go to Edinburgh the next day or maybe another port since the next day was scheduled as a day at sea as well. What do you think they said? Of course not, do you really think really the ship would be so thoughtful! Do you really think Princess would cough up some money to reschedule and dock at a port? Nah, instead, we were again at sea and as compensation they extended the Casino hours! Yahoo, more money the ship can make and save! When we went to Customer Service and had ask why they couldn't dock all the answer was " I don't know, it is was up to the Captain". So we really did not get any good explanation!This ship had the worst customer service, they were not sympathetic or simply did not care! The only positive point I have about this ship are the waiters, cooks in the buffet restaurants and the room attendant. They were very helpful and hard working.Furthermore, the food was not great in the dining area, the entertainment was boring and the disembarkation took a long time and very disorganized. Overall the experience was disappointing which has now brought us to the conclusion that all our trips going forward will be Land Tours! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We booked a 3 night mini cruise, to celebrate a special birthday. 2 sisters ,one of whom is disabled and uses a mobility scooter, and myself.We had been looking forward to our cruise for some time. Embarkation was exceptional, never ... Read More
We booked a 3 night mini cruise, to celebrate a special birthday. 2 sisters ,one of whom is disabled and uses a mobility scooter, and myself.We had been looking forward to our cruise for some time. Embarkation was exceptional, never boarded so fast, cabin was lovely, we had been up-graded, so a wonderful start. Our cabin steward was lovely, very helpful. Things went down hill fast after this really. food was good in the buffet, but as a vegetarian i struggled in the main restaurant and ended up eating the same thing on 3 nights! We decided against a buffet breakfast and went to one of the main restaurants, with waiter service, or not?. we waited for over 20 mins for our order to be taken, 30 mins for our coffee, our (cold) food eventually arrived, after 50 mins, we complained, and ate in the buffet after. we were unable to dock at St Peters Port, i understand this is a common enough problem, but it seems that other cruise lines , dock else where? we had a sea day instead, with lots on offer, such as bingo, not to our taste.Such a shame on a 3 day trip. We checked our on ship accounts on the last day, my disabled sisters was wrong, we went to the customer service desk, and were told this would be put right, we checked again after our meal, it was still wrong, we returned to the desk ! this happened 4 times, and we also qued in the morning before leaving. It would appear that Princess ask most passengers to take off there own luggage, i had never come across this before, and the results were mayhem, we were unable to get in the lifts, and did not have the option of using the stairs with a disabled scooter. Luggage was strewn over the entire ship, everyone was grumpy, great end to a crap holiday, but worse was to happen. On attempting to leave the ship, chaos reigned, we qued, for ages, then at the exit we were stopped as my sisters account had been flagged, we felt like criminals, i have never been so embarrassed in my entire life, we were dragged to one side while a phone call was made, and we were then allowed to leave! Shambles! I have complained to Princess, i have been told 'they hope to learn from the errors made' Why has it taken me so long to write this? my sister has only just had the money taken, replaced in her account. I have crusied many times before and never had such an awful experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Oh my! Our first experience of Princess line and definitely our last. I am well aware that there will be a flood of responses opposing my views but I wonder how many of those who thought it anything above average have ever been on a good ... Read More
Oh my! Our first experience of Princess line and definitely our last. I am well aware that there will be a flood of responses opposing my views but I wonder how many of those who thought it anything above average have ever been on a good cruise line. The ship - too big and far too impersonal. The public area staff - disinterested bordering on surly. With the exception of the cabin steward who was excellent, the rest should seek alternative employment as they are clearly unmotivated and lacking in leadership. That is of course unless they were one of the plethora of photographers who shoved a lens into your face at every opportunity, (commission based I wonder?). The food, whilst plentiful, was woeful in quality across the board. When I cruise i expect the food to be a highlight not a constant disappointment. The premium restaurants, for which we paid extra twice, were just as bad. The chef came out to apologise after my wife complained about her starter of lukewarm disintegrating mussels to explain that every food item on the ship was frozen and defrosted using a "chamber" system. He was clearly embarrassed but they still took our $25 per person cover charge. The charming elderly couple at the next table were upset a being presented with frozen solid "twice baked souffle". To quote the lady clearly shocked and disappointed, " I thought this was supposed to be special." I could go on about the food but trust me - it was rubbish. When getting on and off in port not once did anybody say "enjoy your day" or "welcome back" just a disinterested security guard scanning our ship cards without so much as a good afternoon. The list of minor faults is long and whilst they seem minor in isolation they add up to a picture of a cruise ship if not line, in a poor state. Never, ever again - we're sticking to quality lines like Azamara, where at least they make you feel like they care. As for ports not listed on this site, Brest was shut! Currently building a tram system so the whole centre was literally a huge building site. Guernsey was ok but 4 hours was more than enough. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Prior experience have been Rome to Venice, Alaska, and the Baltic on Silver Sea. My favorite. Barcelona to Rome on Crystal,Very nice. Carribean on Big Red Boat (Disney), actually very nice but a little crowed. Agean on Siver Cloud crusies, ... Read More
Prior experience have been Rome to Venice, Alaska, and the Baltic on Silver Sea. My favorite. Barcelona to Rome on Crystal,Very nice. Carribean on Big Red Boat (Disney), actually very nice but a little crowed. Agean on Siver Cloud crusies, unique and wonderful. My wife decided that she could not come, so things had changed at the last minute. 1st day, all of my excursions were cancelled, Nobody knew by whom. 2.5 hours in line to see what could be done. Nice lady at tour desk (Erica from Chile) helped and got me rescheduled, but had to speak to the senior purser before. Have spent a total of 4.0 hours in the tour line. Inadequate staff, inadequate space. Minibar request was also lost. Instructions say "select as many as you wish" Now they want to charge me, for what I previously selected, but was not delivered. Food is mediocre at best, nickle and dime charges are ridiculous. Have complementary canapes for my suite, order requested. What arrived had no resemblance to my order. Same for Fruit basket, although it has yet to be delivered. Laundry has been lost. All of this in the first two days. A 2/10 is being generous. With the exception of only 2 people, my steward, and the lady on the tour desk, the crew does not seem to care. And blame everything on company policy. At the theater tonight, tried to save a seats for friends. Told that it was company policy that seats could not be saved. Looked all over, no mention of this on any literature, or posted anywhere. This is my worst cruise experience ever!! I can't think of any circumstance that will get me back on this cruise line ever again. Will finish with the remainder of the cruise when it is completed Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
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