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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We really wanted to love Princess. They charge and position their experience on par with other premium cruise lines. Let's not forget that Princess is owned by Carnival. We scored the Royal Princess two stars as a premium cruise ... Read More
We really wanted to love Princess. They charge and position their experience on par with other premium cruise lines. Let's not forget that Princess is owned by Carnival. We scored the Royal Princess two stars as a premium cruise ship - if they were a mainline cruise ship we would have scored them with 3 stars. First, items we appreciated: the spa was a good value and was overall a great experience, the adult pool wasnt always warm on cold sea days however we appreciated the relaxing option away from kids. Items that disappointed: Food was much better on Celebrity cruises in the main dining rooms, buffet and the specialty restaurants. We had rubbery veal one night, over cooked fish another night and a veggie burger that was essentially a mash potato patty. There were no egg white breakfast options, no turkey sausage or turkey bacon. No omelette station. We only have desserts on vacation so for us desserts are a highly coveted thing: the ice creams were consistently of the cheap variety that melted quickly and chocolate cake wasn't always available even in the buffet. The Afternoon Tea was a joke - all the items were readily available in the buffet. The ratio of server to table was terrible. We sat starving (we had skipped lunch for Tea.. we waited forever for food to come by our table and after 10 minutes of disappointment we went to the buffet. In all fairness we tried specialty dining for 3 nights and one of them was exceptionally good at Sabatini's. One of the main dinning meals on lobster night was pretty good. The phone app with their ship map didn't work except on the last day of the cruise. The tendering process was messy and took three hours to get everyone off at Cabo San Lucas. They used the life safety boats to get us off the ship and they were really slow. Consequently, we ended up missing half of our excursion. When we were tendered back to the ship they used a third party service which was much faster. So missing our excursion was entirely avoidable if they had planned ahead for the third party tendering service. The only logical explanation was a cost savings by using their own life safety boats. Comparing Princess with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, we ranked Princess in last place for the overall culinary experience. Most days I like I was on a diet because menu options were generally unappealing. At the end of the day, we felt that being owned by Carnival was evident based on the many small details that when added up equalled a below average 7 day experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Royal Princess, Mexican Riviera, April 2019 My wife and I are both Elite with more than 280 days on Princess. However, up to this point, our cruises on Princess were all with the smaller to medium-sized ships. The Grand class ships ... Read More
Royal Princess, Mexican Riviera, April 2019 My wife and I are both Elite with more than 280 days on Princess. However, up to this point, our cruises on Princess were all with the smaller to medium-sized ships. The Grand class ships had prior been the largest in the fleet which we had sailed. This was our first cruise onboard Royal Princess and will likely be our last. We have not given up on Princess, but do not care for the larger ships (Royal, Regal, etc.). First of all, larger does not necessarily mean larger. We were very aware that the ship cut corners in order to fit in more cabins, more seats, more of everything. It gave the ship a very crowded feeling and made it difficult to get around the ship. The low point for us was our cabin. We paid extra to get a Deluxe Balcony, but there was nothing deluxe about it. Even being “Deluxe” it was the smallest balcony cabin we have ever had on any cruise line. The balcony itself was barely large enough for two chairs and a small table. And if a person wanted to get to the far chair, the other person had to get up and let them into the “aisle” to get there. Think of the seats in economy class on an airline and you will get the idea of the lack of space on the balcony. Also, the room design was such where the bathroom door swung out into the closet area, creating a bump zone. The bathroom was extremely small and the shower was one of the smallest we’ve ever seen. On the plus side, the production shows in the Princess Theater were first rate. Great singers, good dancers and very nice staging. The only negative was that the choreography was severely lacking. The dancers were good, but they simply were not given much in the way of choreography to work with. The Princess Theater itself had excellent sight lines with no pillars, yet the chairs did not have anywhere to put a drink, apparently another effort to cram as many seats as possible into the space. A strong caution to you if you are thinking of taking this ship, late dining will mean that you will miss out on many of the events and even the evening entertainment on the last evening (which was only one performance at 8:00). The Cruise Director (Matt O) was entertaining while hosting events, but sorely lacking when it comes to scheduling the events. There were several events in the evening that were simply off limits to late diners. The scheduling only allowed early diners to attend. And during the day, there was a general lack of active activities, such as sports. Two ping pong tables onboard, yet zero ping pong tournaments the entire week. Pickleball onboard, yet no tournaments, only “open play” on the calendar. Same for basketball. The closest they came to a sporting event was golf putting. The emphasis on events appeared to be where they could upsell you something (art auctions, wine testing, beauty seminars, etc.). Main dining was good, but not great. The signature Princess dishes (eggplant parmesan, goat cheese souffle, etc.) have either changed their recipes over the years or were overdone by the chef onboard. And a particular annoyance was the “add on” menu where you would have to pay $19-$29 if you wanted a good steak or lobster. We went to the buffet the three sea days for lunch. The first sea day it was outstanding with fresh sushi. The other two days, not as much. Even with all of the choices, I had difficulty finding something fresh and quality to eat. This cruise was trying out the new medallion technology. While it may be a plus for future cruises, it was a negative for this cruise, since it didn’t always work and we had to scan both the medallion and our card (so that they could test it) when getting on and off the ship. They said they will eventually go to just a medallion, although it’s not clear how the waiters will charge for drinks, etc., since they always wanted to see the card (not the medallion) to get the number. There is no number on the medallion. Also, you would think simple things like having your billing available online would be part of the new system, but it is not. The deck party on the pool deck was essentially a line dance party. We stayed, hoping to dance, but line dancing is not our thing. We thought maybe they would only be doing a couple of line dances, but gave up and left after 30 minutes of line dancing. Like many other activities on the ship, they seem to be geared toward what the Cruise Director enjoyed doing, rather than what the guests enjoyed doing. This was the first time that we left a deck party without dancing a single dance. Overall an average at best experience. We will continue to sail on Princess in the future, but not on Royal or Regal or other large ships. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean cover the large ship category much better than Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We lorikeet the Mexico 7 day cruise for the convenience and price. The weather is always perfect and this time the ocean was completely smooth for the entire trip. The ship is giant, the buffet is huge and the crew were all friendly. The ... Read More
We lorikeet the Mexico 7 day cruise for the convenience and price. The weather is always perfect and this time the ocean was completely smooth for the entire trip. The ship is giant, the buffet is huge and the crew were all friendly. The new medallion system was interesting but not fully implemented for our cruise. I hope that the new screens and WiFi will help eliminate the excessive paper usage on the ship. The spa was disappointing, it would be nice if you weren’t always pressured into buying expensive products. Also, there are only 3 small pools. One 3’ deep circular pool, a five foot deep rectangular pool just next to it and then another rectangular pool that was for adults only on the back of the ship. On one port day only the circular pool was open and it was extremely crowded. It would be nice if a ship this large had one more pool for everyone to enjoy. The kid center was brand new with all of the updated activities. Our son (8-12 group) said some of the staff were impatient but it wasn’t enough of an issue to deter him from going. Overall we had a great time and would definitely go on this itinerary and ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Some friends wanted to cruise and invited me along. I have been weary of cruising because I really like traveling to places and thoroughly immersing myself into the culture of the place I am visiting. I did ALOT of research on our ... Read More
Some friends wanted to cruise and invited me along. I have been weary of cruising because I really like traveling to places and thoroughly immersing myself into the culture of the place I am visiting. I did ALOT of research on our destinations prior to the cruise to hit a highlight in each port. I was able to figure out what places I would like to revisit - or not. The ship was beautiful and was very easy to navigate - after a day. The Cruise Director Matt O' and his staff: Sin, Dan, Andrew, Justenn, Phil, and Hunter were all great! Very personable, REAL people. No stuffiness there at all. The food was good. We spent more time enjoying the specialty restaurants and pop-ups. The dining room was good. Our waiter was a little stuffy at first and we weren't sure that he was our kind of person. But the last night, he pulled out the stops and showed all his personality. We did go a little wild and definitely caused a scene in the dining room. We figured this is probably why he was so stuffy the rest of the week - because he probably knew right off the bar that he had a rowdy group and he was trying to keep the decorum of the dining room intact. I did enjoy the variety of choices in the buffet the couple of times we ate there. Retreat pool was great. We didn't travel with kids, but it was fun to see the teenagers participating in different activites throughout the week. The only real problem that I encountered was one couple who insisted on keeping their scooters in the hallway. This made it extremely difficult to navigate the hallway with my own scooter. We spoke with the couple and that didn't work, so we contacted guest services. They immediately addressed it with the couple and the couple continued to leave their scooters in the hall. The ship staff continued to address the issue, and the scooters were eventually not in the hallway anymore. International Cafe was a great place to grab a quick bite. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was ... Read More
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was great. Service in the main dining room and the food seemed the usual Princes approach. There was concern expressed by someone that since the ship is heading to dry dock in Victoria that there would be less staff and poor food supply but that was certainly not the case. The staff told us that during the 3 weeks in dry dock, their jobs continue, as they must serve the 1000 construction workers who take up residence on the ship and work 24 hrs a day to complete the dry dock tasks. The only difference is that their days are shorter. On another note, Princess has made a decision to remove all the barrel chairs from the balcony and ocean view staterooms. I find this to be a ridiculaous move as do many others. I had disussed my concern with corporate relations and was told that if I ask for chai, I will get it. Many people on Cruise Critic had indicated that they had asked their stateroom steward and had been told that a chair was not available any longer. I did not ask the steward. I went to the Passenger Service desk soon after we boarded and asked for a chair. I happily got one within 1/2 hour of asking. I do have a bit of a caveat, though.This ship is heading to dry dock and maybe the few chairs that they may have available on board right now might disappear once in dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a fifteen day cruise. There were many days at sea.The ports in Hawaii are all beautiful. I did grow weary of the days at sea on the way over. We had a two bedroom suite, not as spacious as it has been on the other cruise lines. ... Read More
This was a fifteen day cruise. There were many days at sea.The ports in Hawaii are all beautiful. I did grow weary of the days at sea on the way over. We had a two bedroom suite, not as spacious as it has been on the other cruise lines. The ship itself is starting to show a little bit of age but is still in good condition. The theater was always crowded and if you arrived less than half an hour before the performance it was nearly impossible to get a seat. I believe this was true for both shows. For suite guests they have a new program, at least a new program to me, called Club Class. Part of the da Vinci dining room is set aside for suite guests, the service was very good some of the best I've ever had. The ports were all good and I even enjoyed Ensenada. I think that Princess is the only cruise line to offer selling form LA to Hawaii and back. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
After several couples mentioned how much they loved this cruise, we decided, along with 2 other couples, to take it and were absolutely delighted we did! It turned out to be above and beyond our expectations in every respect. Embarkation ... Read More
After several couples mentioned how much they loved this cruise, we decided, along with 2 other couples, to take it and were absolutely delighted we did! It turned out to be above and beyond our expectations in every respect. Embarkation was a breeze as was disembarkation. The service was extraordinary and the staff bent over backwards to accommodate your every need. Loved the ship, cabin, staff, food, activities, etc. So much to do on the days at sea that they flew by as we enjoyed participating in whatever we could manage to fit into our very busy schedule!! All the ports we visited were wonderful and we were most fortunate in having calm seas and beautiful weather throughout the trip. The entertainment was exceptional-especially the production shows along with all the other performers who took center stage as well as in the explorers lounge. Overall, just had a fantastic time and would definitely recommend it and most likely will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My cousin had said that they had good time on their last cruise . They came with us on this cruise . They also said that cruise was bad. Service was unfriendly . ship needs to be up dated . Carpets were worn out. My cousin room carpet ... Read More
My cousin had said that they had good time on their last cruise . They came with us on this cruise . They also said that cruise was bad. Service was unfriendly . ship needs to be up dated . Carpets were worn out. My cousin room carpet was wet due to leak in ceiling. There also was a leak in ceiling in Crown grill. Getting on and off the ship went well and fast. my cabin steward and two bartender( Crooners Bar) were the only two that made my trip so what happy. Your dining staff needs more customer service skills very unhappy with the way we were treated. There was only one show. Your staff was unfriendly until the last two day. Why you ask is because they wanted to get a tip. They tried to be your best friend on the last two days. All smiles and talk to you like you were their best friend. Very unhappy with the service. I paid a lot of money for this trip Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I did this cruise 2 years ago and had a great time. This time everything was changed. They said the ship was newly renovated but what they really did was add 100 staterooms. The result was less seating on the promenade deck inside. ... Read More
I did this cruise 2 years ago and had a great time. This time everything was changed. They said the ship was newly renovated but what they really did was add 100 staterooms. The result was less seating on the promenade deck inside. They also changed the menu which affected the dining rooms and the buffet. The quality took a dive with a less appealing menu and an addition of things like steak and or lobster or surf and turf added at the bottom at an additional charge. If lamb is not at the top of your hit parade, stay off this ship. The buffet had a good selection of fruits, melons and desserts but the entrees seemed to be left overs from the dining rooms. There where still additional dining opportunities at additional charge's but less because of less deck space to put them. I had the drink package ($1000 plus) but was still charged for the initial bottles of water that were in our stateroom when we boarded. It appeared there were less room stewards as well and if you were not out of your cabin during certain hours, you room was skipped until the next specified hours. I have sailed with Princess before and enjoyed it but was told , what we experienced was the new Princess way of doing things. I will not sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We have gone to Hawaii on Princess before and had a great experience. We wanted to go again and explore more. We had Princess arrange our flight and travel to the ship. This went very smoothly. We did wait at the airport for about 1 ... Read More
We have gone to Hawaii on Princess before and had a great experience. We wanted to go again and explore more. We had Princess arrange our flight and travel to the ship. This went very smoothly. We did wait at the airport for about 1 hour because our flight arrived at approximately 10:00 a.m and embarkation was not until 1:00 supposedly. When we arrived at the Embarkation facility, it was very well organized and the lines were kept short. Princess has really refined this procedure. We originally sailed on the Ruby shortly after it was built (2009) and it was shiny and new back then. Even though it has gone in for refurbishment recently it appears most of this has been technology based. The ship itself is showing its age. There is some wear and tear in places. (sun fading in the rooms, wear on the wood on the chairs in the common areas). Not enough to make us unhappy but if you are looking for a bright, new ship, this one is not for you. We were in Baha 748 which was a rear facing balcony. I can't recommend this room enough! The balcony was larger than the traditional balcony and we had wake views for our sailing. The bed was marvelous and the bedding was luxurious. My husband is generally picky about his mattress and he slept well the entire time with no aches or pains. Our room steward was fantastic! We tipped him daily and really developed a relationship with him and it showed in the care he kept in our room. We did not access a lot of the entertainment but did go to the Piazza everyday and interacted with the cruise director staff. Jerry was a new staff member and he was very engaging. We really enjoyed him. We chose the early dining option in the Botticelli dining room and the food was very good. Our wait staff were not really engaging which was disappointing especially as the next section over had a very good server who was super friendly and great with his guests. I think you have the luck of the draw on this one. Our shore excursions were all private ones except the Adventure to Hana which we booked through Princess due to time constraints. We did an small plane flight above Kauai and found it the most enjoyable excursion we took. I highly recommend it. The vendor was Wings over Kauai. I would love to take this cruise again and will continue to cruise with Princess. Read Less
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