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815 Princess Los Angeles Cruise Reviews

This was our fifteenth cruise (my husband and myself) . We cruise with Royal Caribbean or Princess. We just wanted to go back to the Mexican Riviera as we haven't been in over twenty years. We also wanted to see the Royal Princess and ... Read More
This was our fifteenth cruise (my husband and myself) . We cruise with Royal Caribbean or Princess. We just wanted to go back to the Mexican Riviera as we haven't been in over twenty years. We also wanted to see the Royal Princess and experience a medallion cruise. It was also a birthday celebration for me even though my actual birthday was the day of disembarkation. We live 90 miles outside of Los Angeles so we just drove to the port, parked the car, and hopped on the ship. Embarkation was easy as we have come to expect with Princess. We got on the ship a little after 1pm as we realize now that the staterooms are usually ready after this hour. We can go directly there. On this cruise we noticed that we could go to the buffet or the dining room when we boarded instead of everyone being crammed into the buffet. I think there were a couple of other eating venues open as well. We always book the balcony rooms completely aft as we enjoy watching the ship's wake. We dropped off our backpack and went to the buffet for a bite to eat then toured the ship. In about an hour or luggage was already at our room so we unpacked and our cruise officially began. We don't do the dining rooms anymore, neither do we do formal nights anymore. We just like to grab a snack during the day and eat in the buffet in the evening. There's nothing wrong with the diving rooms or the formal nights, we've just been there, done that and prefer to remain casual. We like to play the casino but we found this one to be oddly shaped. Also, IMO they need to get more machines like land casinos and ditch some of the ones hardly anyone was playing like the old style quarter machines. Anyway, like I said that's just my opinion. Overall the Royal Princess is a nice ship with one of the prettiest atriums I've seen. The crew was excellent (kind of reminded me of the old days of cruising). The one negative I will mention is the buffet food. This is the first cruise since the buffet was offered on cruise ships that we were truly disappointed in the food selection. Also, our food was never hot, just barely warm. We decided to eat sandwiches from the shop next to the coffee shop or grab a burger and fries at the grill. We have A Princess cruise scheduled for next year, so we will continue to cruise with them. I would also like to add that we've never seen a more congenial group of passengers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We took this cruise as a winter getaway, and it served its purpose. positives: - we feel there's been an improvement in the quality of the entertainment, both in small venues and in the Princess Theatre (compared to previous ... Read More
We took this cruise as a winter getaway, and it served its purpose. positives: - we feel there's been an improvement in the quality of the entertainment, both in small venues and in the Princess Theatre (compared to previous Princess cruises) -we appreciated the full service sit-down pizzeria on board (no charge) -International cafe is a great place for a light meal or dessert -embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze not-so-positive: -it is hard to find a quiet spot on the ship outside of your cabin - even retreat pool area has noise filtering from other areas -food in main dining room is ok, but not exceptional -- appetizers were more inventive than mains -need to arrive at Princess Theatre at least 1/2 hour before showtime to get a seat negative: -we found the medallion app not user-friendly, complicated to access the internet app, and chat function not useful, as there is no notification that message has been sent Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I enjoyed this cruise. No pressure to purchase extras, but it had a lot to offer if interested. Great staff and although a fairly large ship it never felt overwhelming or in-personable. The Crown Grill was fantastic. The main ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed this cruise. No pressure to purchase extras, but it had a lot to offer if interested. Great staff and although a fairly large ship it never felt overwhelming or in-personable. The Crown Grill was fantastic. The main dinning room was nice but the food was mediocre. However the bars, particularly Vines Wine Bar were fantastic. Very good entertainment, including movies under the stars which was a unique and fun experience. Loved the specialty coffee shop and choices. Gelato bar was pleasant surprise. Because of rough seas that day, we were unable to go ashore at Cabo San Lucas, but the ships staff mad up for it a lot with extra events and other fun things to do on board that day. Mazatlan was another pleasant surprise as I've always heard it wasn't a "safe" port, but we found it very nice and enjoyed a day at the beach at one of it's hotels. Of course Puerto Vallarta is always a great place to visit. All in all, a very nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We go to The Big Island twice a year and stay on the Kona side. This year we decided to cruise to the Islands rather than fly. It took getting used to not having any internet while we were at sea but we got used to relaxing, learning ... Read More
We go to The Big Island twice a year and stay on the Kona side. This year we decided to cruise to the Islands rather than fly. It took getting used to not having any internet while we were at sea but we got used to relaxing, learning about art, learning about the islands from presentations from a naturalist, laughing with comedian Steve Caouette and meeting new people. Our first stop in Hilo. we enjoyed the Land of Fire and Ice excursion but made the mistake of eating at a food truck during our break for a quick lunch. My husband got horrible food poisoning that reared it's ugly head that evening. Our room steward told me to report it to the medical staff immediately so they could help him. BIG MISTAKE!! The put my husband in quarantine in our room! So we were unable to make our pre-paid planned excursion to Pearl Harbor & Mighty Mo and the following day's excursion on Maui. If I had just packed Imodium, we could have treated his food poisoning on our own and not involved the ship's medical staff!! We are new to cruising so we didn't know the complications of notifying the medical staff of such a treatable illness. LESSON LEARNED. At least Princess refunded our cost of excursions and paid for a lovely dinner at The Crown Grille for my husband and I for our inconveniences. We still enjoyed this cruise immensely. We would much rather stop on the Kona side of the Big Island but liked all of the other stops and felt the amount of time spent at each island was a good amount of time. I think we will try booking our own day trips rather than use Princess's excursions now that we know there are options. Princess handles the embarkation and disembarkation very organized and it works very well as long as the passengers pay attention to the directions given. Our room steward left a print out with instructions of how to proceed on the the day of disembarkation that made it all so easy. We were amazed there were still people who didn't know what to do! There were luggage porters available when we got our luggage making it easier to get our luggage to our car in the terminal. Everyone on board the Princess Cruises from the first person at our embarkation to the activities director, to our room steward to the person at disembarkation were friendly and so very helpful. It was a very cheery atmosphere. We couldn't help but have a great time! We are learning the tips about how to enjoy our cruises. This was our second cruise with Princess and just heard about CruiseCritic. Everything else on the cruise was great. We met some lovely people. We really enjoyed leaving out of Los Angeles since we live in Long Beach, CA. We will definitely cruise with Princess to the Hawaiian Islands and also hope to try a cruise to the Panama Canal! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The Star Princess is showing the age that she has. Overall, she is still in good shape. But the Crew! They are what made the trip. The Asst. Cruise Directors Molly, Dan, Roxy, and Oz were the best. Always with a smile and a funny quip to ... Read More
The Star Princess is showing the age that she has. Overall, she is still in good shape. But the Crew! They are what made the trip. The Asst. Cruise Directors Molly, Dan, Roxy, and Oz were the best. Always with a smile and a funny quip to start your day or night off. Funny, Funny games always. Our two servers, Benny and Mario, were always there to help us get whatever we wanted and when we wanted it. Great with the suggestions when we were not sure of the food that we wanted to try. In the photo gallery, the trio of Marita, Illia and Patrick were very understanding of what we wanted in our pictures. The light was always right and the poses prefect. We had a Renewal of Vows for our 25th and the pictures were wonderful. The Officer Andrew that organized our Renewal of Vows was great. He looked after everything that we needed and could not apologized to us enough times. It wasn't even his fault. The Captain did not speak loud enough for my wife to hear and could not repeat after him as requested. As such, it ruined the video of our R of V. He made sure that we received everything that we were supposed to and even threw in some extras as for a sorry. The last one would be Milos, out Crown Grill waiter. He made the already great meal at the Crown Grill better. Milos was smart, witty and always taking care of us. My wife wanted to adopt him. It was a great, great trip and we could have not asked for a better trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
i hadn't been to Mexico in many years, so I wanted to check it out. Princess offered me a comp, so why not. Cabo was great but the shore excursion to the "resort" ended up being on a very crowded public beach with dirty ... Read More
i hadn't been to Mexico in many years, so I wanted to check it out. Princess offered me a comp, so why not. Cabo was great but the shore excursion to the "resort" ended up being on a very crowded public beach with dirty couches and no lounge chairs for us. the beach is typical now - the drop in the sand to get into the water was just as bad as many Caribbean beaches these days. I found Mazatlan to be dumpy. The last time I was in Puerto Vallarta there were only three or four hotels. what a change. we went to the Hyatt away from the masses and the resort was great. my room steward was great and I showed him my appreciation. Being on Keto, I ate in the buffet almost all of the time. Many choices, good food but they should open for dinner at 5 pm instead of 5:30, no biggie. The casino comped me at the Crown Grill - food and service was great - left a pretty big tip - maitre d' even asked me if I was sure if i wanted to leave that much - well, turns out he ended up sending in a charge to my room for the meal even though I handed him the casino invite. After a visit to guest services and being questioned, they reversed the charge. a high point was that i lost my watch at the pool - someone actually turned it into lost and found and I got it back. service overall was good but they have the same problem with the slow bartenders at the bars so i just waited til i got to the casino to drink. casino was filthy and it seemed as though it was never cleaned during the week. machines pretty much sucked but i did manage to get a jackpot which covered most of my losses. embarkation and debarkation went very smoothly. the new medallion is not all that it is supposed to be - at least not yet - many of us were charged for items we didnt buy - if you walk by a bar or a store, for some reason, a charge seemed to appear. Also, I do not like my name posted outside my cabin. it was nice, though, to be able to walk up to your room and your door unlocks. also, they advertise heavily how you can use your medallion anywhere on the ship to place an order. I tried four different times and different locations and each time I was told that I was not in an area serviced by the medallion. the internet was just as shoddy as on other ships. it worked probably half of the time. sanctuary pool area is the only way to go if you dont want to be around kids. they did have the most amount of hot tubs that i've ever seen on a ship - at least 10. plenty of chairs to sit anywhere - unlike MSC Meraviglia and Seaside - we could never find a chair. The showroom does not have enough seats for a cruise of over 3500 ppl. I could not get a seat at any of the shows. Ppl put their bags on the seats next to them to take up seats. something needs to be done about that. i wrote that in my review with princess. let me know if you have any questions. if you don't know, san pedro (pier in LA) is in a pretty lousey area so be aware. that's about it mj in ny Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is a wonderful ship, large but I never felt crowded. The staff is exemplary, Princess should be proud of the staff on this ship. The entertainment, in particular the musicial groups were superb. The level of talent, far exceeded my ... Read More
This is a wonderful ship, large but I never felt crowded. The staff is exemplary, Princess should be proud of the staff on this ship. The entertainment, in particular the musicial groups were superb. The level of talent, far exceeded my expectations (you must listen to the Extravaganza Duo, to violinists that play amazing harmonies).The food, for the most part was very good. Their pizza restaurant was unexpectedly great (pizza oven cooked on stone the Italian way). The common areas of the ship are all very nice, in particular the piazza at the center of the ship. This ship does not have a promenade deck that completely encircles the ship, you need to go to the top deck to a walk/run track to do that, but it does have a partial outdoor space off deck 7 midship and near the back of the ship that are hardly ever used, and is a excellent area to use if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the swimming areas on the sun deck. Lounges ar provided. Beware the weather in November can be difficult (Puerto V. 92 F with 88 percent humidity made it feel like 100+, Cabo was fine) On this ship you waited for tenders in the public areas as groups were called, much better than everyone stuffed into one of the restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Princess Medallion is a work in progress. Its good but not yet great. I recommend it. Just be patient as it is so new. Princess needs to get more ambiance in their bars. No music for the most part. Be careful on deck as its slippery and ... Read More
Princess Medallion is a work in progress. Its good but not yet great. I recommend it. Just be patient as it is so new. Princess needs to get more ambiance in their bars. No music for the most part. Be careful on deck as its slippery and don't ask me how I know. Entertainment is good but there's not a lot of it. Dining is the best in the regular cruise line segment. Bar service is hard to attain and sometimes you have to fight to get the attention of the crew. We don't recommend this line for children or party goers. There wasn't a lot of onboard activities that fit our age group (Late 30's to early 40's). Embarkation was a snap due to the medallion. You have to learn a few tricks to figure out food options and what you wish to eat on any given day. They need to work on publishing this data for easier access. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
How did we chose this cruise? Mostly timing and price. It was a better value for the dollar than others we had found. And a big perk was there were hardly any kids on the ship because the cruise was during Normal school season. I ... Read More
How did we chose this cruise? Mostly timing and price. It was a better value for the dollar than others we had found. And a big perk was there were hardly any kids on the ship because the cruise was during Normal school season. I would definitely cruise again during Halloween. There were so many great costumes on the ship by both crew and guests. The ship itself is recently refurbished and lovely. Our cabin was nice. There were three of us sharing the Mini Suite, and we never felt over crowded. Dining on the ship was excellent. I enjoyed the quality and selection of the food. Our service was also very nice. We had good servers every evening even though we had a different server every evening with Any Time Dining. Anytime Dining worked out quite well also. I was concerned about it, but we never had an issue getting a table to share or to ourselves. Here's my downside to this cruise: Please know that princess does not stand behind the shore excursions they sell. So buyer beware. We had a miserable experience on our Puerto Vallarta shore excursion and Princess left it up to their third party shore excursion company to decide if we got our money back. That’s not right. Their third party vendor decided we would only receive a 20% refund. We have been on many many shore excursions. They aren’t all amazing. But this was the first time that the 3 of us all were truly miserable, for different reasons, and all decided to ditch the tour and took a cab back to the ship at our own expense. It makes me leary is shore excursions in the future. I purchased the excursion directly from Princess, and I believe that Princess needs to back what it sells. The reason the tour was so bad is because the Tour Guide did not stick to the description of the tour. Instead of showing us Puerto Vallarta as the City Highlights tour was described and sold to us, he instead showed us just two things from the day's planned events and then took us to his friend's silver shop, his friend's leather shop, to his friend's iguana way the heck away from the city for a photo op, and then to his friend's restaurant for a non-included lunch. It was just not enjoyable. It was all about the Tour Director getting kick backs from his friends. Embarkation with the new Medallion class is quite simple. Disembarkation was even simpler. In fact, the easiest disembarkation we have ever experienced. Customs was a snap as was boarding the Princess bus to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Six seniors (age 68-71) who have cruised together since 2013 wanted a cruise that involved driving or short air flight thus choosing the 7 day west coast on Princess. The 4 from Arizona drove over from Phoenix, overnight in San ... Read More
Six seniors (age 68-71) who have cruised together since 2013 wanted a cruise that involved driving or short air flight thus choosing the 7 day west coast on Princess. The 4 from Arizona drove over from Phoenix, overnight in San Bernardino; 90 minutes drive to the dock next morning. One way, one day Hertz dropping in nearby Hertz office in San Pedro. The Washington cruisers flew down the night before, stayed near LAX at an Embassy Suites. Embarking: we arrived about 10am, waited to enter the ship once our group number was called. Onboard about 11am; went directly to the Concerto dining room—not the Horizon buffet – a nice option on Princess, had a good lunch at our table for 6. After lunch we had cabin access—we were all on deck 12; deluxe balcony for our room. Dining: Had the 5pm traditional seating in the Concerto dining room. Out of the 7 days ate there only twice. Food quality and selection were usually good; no real complaint. Dined once in a specialty restaurant to celebrate the wife’s birthday; The Crown Grille. Though the room was not enclosed we had a great table for the six; service, food quality ambience were all great. Horizon Buffet on Deck 16 – normally ate breakfast and lunch here. Found the quality and selection to be better than the MDR. Tables normally were available, stewards kept the tables cleaned off and practically badgered you with offers of drink refills—very good service here. Nice feature on this cruise: the Horizon opened at 5am partially and fully at 6am; great for early risers like us. Show times were normally at 8pm and 10pm so a 5pm schedule for dinner worked very well to attend the evening show at 8pm. The Evening Shows: we like to catch the 1st show, in this case at 8pm. However, most everyone else did as well. If you did not have your seats by 7:30 you were in trouble. A good seat involved 7 to 715pm arrival in the theatre. A real downside on this ship – way too few seats for the 3700 passengers. I understand seating was no problem at 10pm. Seats were narrow, not very comfortable and the full room got warm. In 7 nights we had the same comic twice, the same impressionist twice and 3 production shows. I would have preferred more variety. The shows were decent. PASSENGERS: Mostly seniors, very few children/minors. Probably the oldest crowd we have ever sailed with – was told they utilized the LA Port because it did not involve an air flight to come and go and this age group was common on these sailings. The passenger make up did aggravate another strong downside to this sailing -- THE ELEVATORS ! There were 3 banks of elevators but they seemed smaller than usual elevators. If the ship was empty they worked well, during sea days and busy times the waits were too long. I admire seniors who travel; cruising is a great option for people who have medical limitations and move slowly – I understand I now am part of that group at my age, but getting on and off elevators is not a quick process. Internet and the Infamous Medallion Program – As usual the internet pricing was outrageous so we did not participate. I did attempt to print an airline boarding pass 1 day prior to disembarking and found I was expected to buy 1 day’s worth of internet (19.99) to do this. No provision to use internet to check in and print a boarding pass. Customer service said they could not help me. This is something that a person should be able to do without paying $19.99. The Medallion Program – as a pacemaker person I noted the medallion is not recommended for me so I used a regular card which worked well. In our group there seemed to be problems with the Medallion program working as advertised at least on this cruise—there appear to be some bugs that need working out. I’m sure they will eventually force this on us as an “improvement” and make this our only option – I see it coming. So my experience is not favorable. The itinerary - Good itinerary – got on Saturday, sea day Sunday (good for the 1st full day) then SFO, Monterey (tender), sea day, then San Diego, then Ensenada and finally off Saturday in LA. Late departures from SFO and San Diego caused some alteration in the evening dining – so we had 2 nights of open seating to go with those late departures. Excursions: Took only 1 ship excursion in Ensenada – was okay – once was enough in Ensenada – would not go ashore next time. Did our own tour in Monterey, renting an Enterprise 6 passenger Dodge Van to tool around this beautiful area and splitting of the cost made this convenient, enjoyable and reasonable, plus it enabled us to lunch at one of our Monterey favorites; Rosines. Casino: On deck 6 – busy place, wife hit a number of decent slot jackpots on this cruise making it our best casino win story of all our cruises. Disembarkation: We were scheduled to dock at 615 on Saturday, which we did. With our flight back to Phoenix at 1110 at LAX we chose the walk off option; were to meet in the dining room at 7:20. We arrived at 655 am to find we were cleared and headed for the gangway. Walked about a mile to reach immigration/customs, very quick and outside by 705am. Took a dedicated Super Shuttle for 4 to LAX (took about 20 minutes) for $54. Arrived early there so a great getting off experience this cruise. Summary: Great time with our good friends (again). 4 out of 5 overall on the ship. Was clean, kept up, ran on time in and out of ports. Good dining selection and variety, good service but this elevator issue and inadequate seating in the theatre were very annoying and took the edge off a great experience. We continue to rate Princess, Celebrity and Royal as our favorites and consider those three when we cruise – this experience reaffirmed our commitment to Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
All 6 of us are experienced cruisers and picked this one for the newer ship and close to home itinerary as 4 hail from the Phoenix area and 2 from the Pacific NW. Embarkation went smoothly and disembarkation may have been one of the ... Read More
All 6 of us are experienced cruisers and picked this one for the newer ship and close to home itinerary as 4 hail from the Phoenix area and 2 from the Pacific NW. Embarkation went smoothly and disembarkation may have been one of the smoothest ever. We chose to have our inaugural lunch in the dining room that was open and food, company and the atmosphere were lovely. Cabins were ready as we finished lunch. Public bathrooms are very tight on space. Quiet places to read require a bit of searching. Overall, I thought the food was done quite well. Booked traditional dining but two late port nights were open seating, one was a specialty restaurant and we had one or two dinners in the buffet. The main dining room offered various meals of very good shrimp, scallops, veal, lobster and beef wellington which we enjoyed. Sides and desserts were appropriate and tasty. We participated in the pub lunch and thought their fish and chips very good. Hitting Alfredo's for a pizza lunch one day was also a nice venue and tasty food with yummy tiramisu for dessert. On the last day, my husband and I had hamburgers/hot dogs and fries by the pool and the fries were even hot! Our special dinner at the Crown Grill was excellent. Steaks and sides were done as ordered and delicious with very timely service. Breakfast at the buffet had lots of choices. Nobody has a side of smoked salmon as good as Princess. Eggs Benedict came from the omelette station and are brought to your table. Pastries on Princess as usual are excellent. There were no children in our group but I thought it was cute that they had a kids section on the buffet. Coffee/juice servers were very prompt in refilling your cup and clearing tables. The only missed note in my book was toast that is prepped ahead of time under lights--mine tasted more like hardtack! We participated in several trivia sessions. Thought "Goldilocks" questions were not too easy, not too hard but just right. Staff did a good job. Having questions projected on screens is very helpful in avoiding language barrier problems. Evening entertainment was very good--production shows were some of the best I have seen but you had to arrive very early, seats were already limited a half hour before the early show. I am sure the 10:00 show is too late for an older crowd. I went to the Chef's presentation which was cute and funny. Seats in the theater are tight and rows very close to each other. Two shows by the comedian--A J Jamal--had everyone laughing. Mostly minor issues we experienced were outweighed by the good and we would definitely sail Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Got our Medallion at Embarkation Port of Los Angeles. I had already submitted my information online so it only took about 5 minutes and we were onboard. Becareful with the Medallion. Do not hang it behind your cabin door as it will unlock ... Read More
Got our Medallion at Embarkation Port of Los Angeles. I had already submitted my information online so it only took about 5 minutes and we were onboard. Becareful with the Medallion. Do not hang it behind your cabin door as it will unlock it. We were on Deck 10 with a balcony way in the front Port side and it was good. I usually try for Midship. The dining areas were in the back of the ship. The food was just OK, including the lobster tail. Staff in the dining, guest service and stateroom were excellent. The ship interior and exterior were nice. Guest entertainers were great but production shows were just ok. Disembarking went smooth and ahead of schedule by 15 minutes. We only did a HOP ON- OFF bus in San Diego which was nice. Monterey was beautiful! Ensenada looks so much nicer than the last time we were there a decade ago. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We wanted a short relaxing get away that was round trip from a west coast city. We were r/t Los Angeles. The ports were places we had visited many times before so we did not do tours and got off when we wanted to or just stayed on board. ... Read More
We wanted a short relaxing get away that was round trip from a west coast city. We were r/t Los Angeles. The ports were places we had visited many times before so we did not do tours and got off when we wanted to or just stayed on board. We had done the Ruby in the British Isles and it was a nightmare. Too many things to mention here but my review echoed many others for that cruise. I was reluctant to go again on a Princess but I am glad we did! MUCH better experience! We had the free beverage package which I found didn’t not add to the he basic fare and we really enjoyed that. The wheelhouse bar (Rosalee, Raffy,Dennis, etc) was the best and we basically closed it nightly. The clientele is much older and the ship was full of wheelchairs, walkers, and canes but this ship managed them much better so we were not put off by that. The food is not great, the entertainment not so great, the games were rather silly but we did what we wanted and it worked for us. We normally go Disney, Cunard, Holland America and I like them a great deal more but for a short, inexpensive break, the Royal was just fine! If they were to offer the beverage package again, I would grab it in a second!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
On our 9th cruise with Princess, we were very happy with our Panama Canal transit. While the cruise does take several days to get to the canal and stops in some very questionable ports along the way, it all ends up being worth it as the ... Read More
On our 9th cruise with Princess, we were very happy with our Panama Canal transit. While the cruise does take several days to get to the canal and stops in some very questionable ports along the way, it all ends up being worth it as the transit is a "bucket List" experience. The Coral Princess is an older ship, but the size is good for this crowd - older retirees with plenty of time on their hands. We never felt cramped or crowded except for the transit day when everyone wanted to have spot on the top decks on the front of the ship. The service on this ship is excellent both in the cabins and in the public spaces. Servers were always prompt and courteous. The venues were of sufficient size so we did not have to arrive and hour early to get a seat. The food was above average in quality and presented very well. Some nights in the MDR were long, but that was usually because our table mates ordered multiple appetizers and they were served one at a time (multiple main courses were served at the same time). The highlight of the ship was the entertainment. We were most pleased with Ryan Ahern (pianist), Mark Eddie (musician and comedian), and comedian Keith Bender. The other featured entertainers were also well above average. The biggest let sown were the Princess singers and dancers. They only performed 3 times, but none was great. The theater house band was la great 7 piece group that could and did play each night with a different performance. In summary, we were completely satisfied with the cruise as it met our expectations at a reasonable price. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I had no issues with the staff, food, or anything of that nature. The ship does feel a little thinner than most ships since it is designed to go through the old Panama locks; this shows up in the forward dining area and the central ... Read More
I had no issues with the staff, food, or anything of that nature. The ship does feel a little thinner than most ships since it is designed to go through the old Panama locks; this shows up in the forward dining area and the central atrium. The problem I have is with the internal chair layout and the public chairs. I like sitting and watching the sea and the design of the layout is just poor for that. There are some places but they are limited. Chairs layout is more toward facing the front or back of the ship or toward the center. In addition, the chairs were not really that comfortable the stuffing and upholstery was just not that plush or comfortable. For bar entertainment, there were three solo or duets of live music, and then the ship band which had more limited bar usage, they were good but would shift around often. Also because of the layout of the central area while there are a couple of bars here only one can be used for music at a time with the smaller space. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just off the Royal this morning. There was 7 in our group, including my wife and son, in laws and sister in law and her husband. Overall enjoyed the ship and the cruise. The food was better than expected, the ship is in lovely ... Read More
Just off the Royal this morning. There was 7 in our group, including my wife and son, in laws and sister in law and her husband. Overall enjoyed the ship and the cruise. The food was better than expected, the ship is in lovely condition. The cruise director, Matt O is very funny and has more energy than the Energizer Bunny. We were in a mini-suite (B337) midship. The cabin was nice for three people. Our son slept on the bunk bed that came down from the ceiling. We really enjoyed the bedding. Two large screen tv’s on the wall. Lots of free movies to chose from. The bathroom was nice enough. We would prefer a nice shower over a shower/tub combo, but it was fine. Lots of storage space. Our cabin attendant was simply adequate. He came in the first day and told us three things he couldn’t do, before we opened our mouth. We picked the cabin because it has the bunk bed in the ceiling. Our 14 year old is 6’0 and the couch was just too small. He was not happy that we asked for the bunk bed but he made it up. We asked for three towels in the bathroom as there was three of us and he told us we were lucky to have 2 towels as the machine was down. While I’m sure this was true, all he had to say was that he would get the third towel in asap. We asked that he replenish the ice bucket in the morning and at night and we failed to do that most of the time. None of these issues is major, but we have never encountered this type of average service from a cabin attendant in over 25 cruises. Usually we are making sure to tip extra to our cabin attendant who took such good care of us, but this time there was simply no “above and beyond” type of service. We had lovely service in the Allegro dining room every night. Civil and Ariel were great waiters. The food in the main dining room was better than past cruises on Princess. The food in the Horizon Court buffet was also good. The design of the Horizon court is awful. They have “alleys” that are perpendicular to the seating areas. The ship was full and there was narrow walk ways and congestion, partly caused by the fact that there is no front/back of the lines. We had breakfast in the dining room a couple of times just to avoid the buffet. The pizza and burgers were also delicious by the pool. Loved the pool area. Lots of loungers, the Movies Under the Stars was great, and the waiter service at the bar and all areas of the ship was excellent. We worked out in the fitness center twice over the 5 days and the gym is a little tight but the equipment was in good shape. Our son played hoops on the basketball court and loved that there was a competitive game with adults. We did the virtual clay pigeon shooting one afternoon that was also fun. The casino was nice (other than overwhelming cigarette smell). I do love the new ships that ban smoking in the casino. The casino dealers were nice and friendly. The coffee shop on level 5 was fantastic. They have fabulous espresso, great sandwiches and desserts. We enjoyed the jazz septuplets in the Wheelhouse Bar and the piano players throughout the cruise. They had mariachi music throughout the week and while it was great it got a little old as it felt that we heard it in the piazza every day for three days straight. The regular band played by the pool and in the piazza and had a great guitar player and lead singer. There was a good selection of shops on board that my wife and son loved and good advantage of! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My cousin and I wanted a cruise that we could drive to and just spend a lot of time enjoying the cruise itself. One port that we didn't care about was perfect! Unfortunately, this ship has the Medallion system, technology to use ... Read More
My cousin and I wanted a cruise that we could drive to and just spend a lot of time enjoying the cruise itself. One port that we didn't care about was perfect! Unfortunately, this ship has the Medallion system, technology to use instead of talking to real live people. It was very frustrating, very slow, and very inefficient. We don't like keeping our cell phones with us, but if you wanted to use the Medallion system, then you needed your phone with you at all times. The only good thing about the medallion was that when you were within 15 feet of your cabin, the cabin would unlock for you when you had your medallion with you. Leaving the ship, as well as returning to the ship, was easy. You just scan the medallion. We tried to use the medallion system with our phones,but it would just turn off, or go very slow. I preferred the daily paper over caring around my phone. We tried to also order drinks using the system, and it wouldn't work. Finally just walked up to the bar and ordered. We heard others complaining that when they did order their drink, it would never arrive with the GPS system supposedly able to find them with the Medallion. If you didn't want to wear the Medallion on a lanyard around your neck, Princess sold (Surprise! Surprise! ) a wrist band for $12 or a chain necklace for $54. If you already wear a watch, then you would need to put the wrist band on the other wrist. Too much. As a vegan, the main meals were disappointing. No protein offered, and the worst veggie burgers there are. They also allow smoking in half of the casino. But, you could smell it throughout the casino. Plus, if you wanted a machine that was in the smoking area, but not in the non-smoking area, too bad. The entertainment was great! Wonderful music and musicians. The assistant cruise director, Matt O', was great! He kept us smiling. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I choose this cruise because finally a newer larger ship was being moved to the West Coast (LA) Our friends and family that were traveling with us including my husband and I had never been on one of the larger ships. Also it was 10 days ... Read More
I choose this cruise because finally a newer larger ship was being moved to the West Coast (LA) Our friends and family that were traveling with us including my husband and I had never been on one of the larger ships. Also it was 10 days and went to a new port Loreto and the Sea of Cortez. It was a great itinerary and a beautiful ship. Only problem was they moved our room without any notification to us or to our TA. Down four floors and from Port to Starboard. See my comments below. We loved the entertainment, best I've seen on a Princess ship, good guest entertainers as well. The Royal Princess is really special and I highly recommend it if you have not experienced this class of ship. There were 11 of us and the dining room was able to accommodate us all at one table. Usually the tables are for 10 max. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Leaving for port on a Sunday made traffic light, until the port. With the Royal Princess there too, the loop was very congested. Once at terminal everything was smooth and we just went through and boarded quickly. Luggage arrived in about ... Read More
Leaving for port on a Sunday made traffic light, until the port. With the Royal Princess there too, the loop was very congested. Once at terminal everything was smooth and we just went through and boarded quickly. Luggage arrived in about one hour. The Coral is in good shape and the carpets everywhere must have been replaced in the January rehab. We like the 715 pm dining, the 5pm, is way too early. The food was pretty good, and served at a good temperature. On formal night there is petite filet mignonette and shrimp, no rock lobster. The petite is well, petite. It was very tender, and I really don’t need the biggest cut. One thing they can’t get right is rice, almost like instant rice. Several people at our table did have dirty cups with lipstick, it can happen, so best to always check your cup. The desserts are good and the Chocolate Journeys are very good. But I do like butter pecan, always got it on the Golden Princess in April. Now I asked for it, Oh we only have what is on the dessert menu. Alfredos Pizza for lunch is very good, I tried the Lido pizza and it too was good, the crust is crunchy and not soggy at all. Now, for the biggest gripe, no toothpicks or mints anymore. I asked the dining room head waiter why, Oh, the little toothpicks could blow into the ocean. Give me a break, Princess takes people on cruises burning diesel fuel and worries about toothpicks in an ocean full of driftwood. Get one of the self dispensers please. Maybe convert to solar and dock at night and run during the day, Sure? Ou room steward could not figure it out. My wife sleeps in and gets up late, so she always tells them, use do room in evening after we go to dinner. Never had any problems with this. I always take do not disturb sign out before leaving. Come back at 10pm one night, room not done. He said in morning, You left sign in. Two night later we come back, same thing, but my wife saw we had no sign out. Same answer next day, and my wife said don’t report it, don’t want him fired or what. They that night we are on balcony at 6pm he comes in and asks to do room. Our table mates had same thing happen at 710pm for them. I guess they quit early now. We like to go to the casino, the video poker paid off pretty good, didn’t make money but did not loose a lot. Some people hate the “pressure” to buy things, did not bother us. Where else can you get a free happy hour but at EFFY. And my wife won three of the raffles, she also won in April too. We did buy a two pieces at the auction, they were a good price. Only got a 6 pack case of Hennessy Pure White, they don’t sell in the states and it is a good buy. Took the Antigua on you own excursion, nice old town. Saturday there was very busy, lots of Scouts there both boys and girls from Guatemala City and lost just like us. Did not eat there but had a good chocolate dipped cone. But I heard the restaurants there are good. Coming back is a 1 1/2 hour trip, hit a huge rain deluge with lightning hitting nearby. The road in one section was about a foot deep and running like a river over the bridge like a waterfall. Made it back to a sunny port. The entertainment was good, although they only had 2 production shows. The shows they did have had good piano, comedians, and singers, were good. At least we liked them. The Medallion wifi seems to be quicker than on the Golden in April. And the free minutes are a good perk when you get them. Wrote most of this review on the cruise, may have missed something I will think about later. All in all a good cruise. Getting off in LA was fast and easy. Since it was during rush hour, the cheapest way home was the Princess shuttle to LAX, go downstairs and get the Van Nuys Flyaway. Home in 3 hours after leaving ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Good: Alfredo's Pizzeria - best food on the ship (and complimentary!) Afternoon Tea - we went every day and it was always the highlight. Loved watching the NFL games on the big screen. Exceptional steward/stateroom ... Read More
The Good: Alfredo's Pizzeria - best food on the ship (and complimentary!) Afternoon Tea - we went every day and it was always the highlight. Loved watching the NFL games on the big screen. Exceptional steward/stateroom service (shoutout to Rashid!) Crew was friendly and attentive, particularly in food service. The Medallions are pretty slick. Good variety of entertainment. Not too many kids. Roundtrip from of San Pedro (convenient to where we live; no airplanes required). The Less-Good: Coffee tasted like dirty water. Other than the aforementioned, food was generally mediocre. Stateroom carpet and upholstery are in desperate need of updating and the shower curtain was pretty gross. The Library has no comfortable seating, no view and practically no books! There is very little room for weight lifting in the Fitness Center and it was always crowded. Promenade Deck does not go all the way around - you can't promenade on the Promenade! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship and class of service is what I expected from Princess. The ship was nice, staff was great and the entertainment was fun. This was a 5 day cruise with one 24 hour stop that is a bit different than any other cruises I have been ... Read More
The ship and class of service is what I expected from Princess. The ship was nice, staff was great and the entertainment was fun. This was a 5 day cruise with one 24 hour stop that is a bit different than any other cruises I have been on. There is plenty to do, the "Princess Patter" was packed with activities throughout the day. Dining room and Horizon Court food was good, plenty of variety. The variety of public spaces, music and bars was good. The Disco was not in a great place and the only place that was too crowded, tiny dance floor and slow bar service, I think that needs to be looked at. The "Medallion" class, use of the medallion for your cabin and purchases is innovative but is sort of creepy as they know where you are, all the time ... weird ... Princess is my favorite line and I will return. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Panama Canal always piqued our interest. My husband and I were definitely in need of a vacation and were on the Princess website one day. This cruise 'jumped out' at us and so we booked it that day, without much thought. We had ... Read More
Panama Canal always piqued our interest. My husband and I were definitely in need of a vacation and were on the Princess website one day. This cruise 'jumped out' at us and so we booked it that day, without much thought. We had planned to go alone as we were trying to catch up on celebrating our 25th anniversary from last year [we had to cancel our vacation in 2018 because we live in Leilani Estates where the lava erupted in May]. We flew the night before disembarkation from Hawaii Island to board the ship. Airport transfer from LAX was a little glitchy as the Princess folks did not put us on the airport transfer check-list for some reason after we checked in with them, so we had a bit of a wait. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. They are definitely very well-organized on handling these two events. We did not spend any time in our departure city, really had no desire to explore LA. We had cruised to Alaska with Princess in 2017 on the Coral Princess so we were familiar with the ship layout already as the Island Princess is basically the same ship. The cabin was small, but cozy and very neat and tidy. We knew what to expect so no surprises here. We utilized Anytime dining so that we were not locked in to any sort of schedule every day. We ate most of our meals in the Horizon Court, due to the availability of choices to eat different foods each day. Breakfast, however, felt very monotonous as it was the same offerings every single day. We had a few meals in the Bordeaux dining room, all of which were great dining experiences. We took advantage of both specialty dining restaurants [The Bayou Steakhouse and Sabatini's] and neither one disappointed. We took advantage of the variety shows most every night. Some were better than others, but all were entertaining in their own way. The production show on the final evening was amazing. The game shows held in the Explorer's Lounge were definitely entertaining. We spent a lot of time on the Lido deck at the pool. Some of the movies they played were too loud and hard to comprehend because they sounded distorted. There was one day when the speakers malfunctioned and it was static as loud as you could imagine that literally cleared out the pool area. It was painful to your ears even if you put your hands over your ears. I'm not sure how long it took them to correct it, but we left after 5-10 minutes. The Voice of the Ocean talent was really lacking and the karaoke was pretty bad. The service staff on the ship were amazing. Our room steward was so very attentive and the bar / wait staff are extremely good at what they do and were all very friendly. We visited 5 ports while on this cruise and went on 4 excursions. We were unable to port at one of the tender stops due to inclement weather, but did not have any excursions booked anyhow. The Copalita Archaeological excursion in Huatulco, Mexico was very interesting and the grounds were well-kept and very beautiful. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. We visited the animal rescue 'sloth sanctuary' while in Puntarenas, Costa Rica and this was amazing. They are doing good work here. While in Panama we went on an excursion to the new locks, which was interesting as well. The time spent was a little short, but our guide was very knowledgeable and the bus ride to and from was interesting and filled with facts. The wait to get back onto the tender at this port was RIDICULOUS. We literally stood in line for well over an hour in the blistering heat. It was not pleasant. Transiting the Canal was AMAZING! To watch the process is enlightening and to think about the work that went in to making that possible is incredible. While in Cartagena, Colombia, our last port stop, we chose to simply do the 'Hop on, Hop off' bus tour of the city. We chose to get off at the Walled City and do the walking / audio tour. The street vendors were absolutely relentless. They made it very difficult to actually enjoy the tour. They were literally in your face the entire time trying to get you to buy whatever it is they were selling. I would not recommend this tour to anyone. The website does provide a warning about this excursion city / port, but the warning needs to be a little stronger. The only other true disappointment was that this ship evidently was experiencing some sort of sewage venting issue as there were certain areas of the ship that literally smelled of raw sewage every time you passed those areas. It was not pleasant. If given the chance I would most definitely make the Panama Canal Transit a future cruise on my list! I would choose different port of call, so that I could see more areas, but it was definitely an incredible experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have sailed with Princess many, many times and am at the highest level on loyalty classification. I have been spoiled by my last sailings on the Royal and Regal for my last three times. We chose the Panama Canal transit since we ... Read More
I have sailed with Princess many, many times and am at the highest level on loyalty classification. I have been spoiled by my last sailings on the Royal and Regal for my last three times. We chose the Panama Canal transit since we haven't done that recently and was going to stop in ports that we have been before. I knew that the Island Princess is much smaller that Royal or Regal, but was looking forward anyway to a smaller ship experience. First disappointment - at dinner on the first night I showed my coffee card which I had from my last cruise in 2018. The jr waiter said they didn't accept them anymore. What? I thought maybe she misunderstood. Until the next day when I went down to the La Patissere and the waiter there explained that these cards were discontinued in August of this year. I spoke to numerous people on board and friends at home who knew nothing about this issue. You would think this would be communicated via email to people with high loyalty status. Of course they were pushing a beverage package that contained coffee, soda, beer with a significant fee per day. No - not interested. Second disappointment - the air conditioning on this ship needs to be re-evaluated. The dining room was FREEZING. You had to bring a jacket or a sweater (who packs a sweater on a Panama Canal transit). The Explorer Lounge was FREEZING. Our cabin was a little warm - spoke to our Room Steward who said it was fixed - but it wasn't. As long as the ship was moving it was bearable. Once the ship docked - it was extremely warm. Don't know why they include duvets in the cabin - never used it and folded it down every night. Third disappointment - The casino was HOT - I mean extremely HOT - the only comfortable areas were by the doors or the walkway. The casino had an odd configuration - which makes me think that it was modified in some way - whoever planned that - didn't take into consideration the AC vents. At night, it was unbearable. I once brought a fan which I had picked up at a Mexican port so that I could use it at the casino. Fourth disappointment - We were told that the seas were rough due to a tropical storm in the Pacific. We had an stop in Nicaragua - which was cancelled due to the swells. The next port was Punarenos, Costa Rica. We arrived at the Wheelhouse Bar at 9:15 for our excursion. When we got there I heard a man complaining that he's been waiting 2 hours for his excursion. No - not Princess, I thought. While we waiting 1 1/2 hours for our excursion, one accouncement was made explaining problems with the tenders due to the high swells. If this was the case - why have people assembly in a public space - when they could relax - have leisurely breakfast in the Horizon Court or even relax in your cabin - instead of having everyone amass in the Wheelhouse. After our excursion we were dropped at a location for the tender - the line was huge! Again no one communicating to us what the issue was. It was very hot and humid and I felt badly for the elderly who were waiting on line. At the end of the line when you were getting on the tenders - they offered you cold water and a cold face cloth. This should have been passed out to everyone on the line who I heard waiting up to 2 hours for a tender. Fifth disappointment - While the cruise director was always visible, pleasant and seemed to be involved in everything - I think she might have been overextended. On the Royal and Regal - we saw the Cruise Director on the Wake show and maybe on other time during the day. She was on at the end of the shows explaining what was going on the ship that night. She also was the host of whatever was going on in the Explorers Lounge after the show. She was always late. Not a big deal since you're on vacation, but after I noticed this - we realized she was always late for any activity. On sea days this became an issue if you planned on another activity after the one she was hosting. Again - she was very pleasant, but definitely over-extended. Also we missed the International Cafe on this ship and hope that during the next retrofit - they make this an item to consider. Now the good points - the food was exceptional - both in the dining rooms, the Bayou Cafe and of course Sabatinis. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because I was helping my parents with their travels. Both are mobility challenged and I go along to assist them. A small, but great ship and the remodel was amazing. I'd like to see some highlighted maps ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was helping my parents with their travels. Both are mobility challenged and I go along to assist them. A small, but great ship and the remodel was amazing. I'd like to see some highlighted maps that show how to get to the stern of the ship (Deck 8) and perhaps how to get out on the bow. (Deck 10 I believe, but I was not able to get there during the trip as it's closed during at sea days due to wind. I did purchase the internet package, spending about $150 for this benefit. I understand that it is slower than most internet we are used to these days, so I was expecting and not disappointed by the slowness of the connection, however this one cut out for minutes to hours at a time. Even later at night when you would expect fewer people to be using it, it was consistently down. I feel pretty taken with respect to the cost vs the perceived value of this package. I did partake of the unlimited soda package, and it was nice to be able to order it at will. The unfortunate thing is that I was not told that it was just for fountain drinks and there were several areas, including the fountain that was used for the dining room that lacked carbonation. Mostly flat soda was not a pleasant experience. When I mentioned this to our waiters on several occasions, I was advised that the equipment was functioning fine. I took in several of the shows and really enjoyed them. The sound system was great and the performances were awesome! The food was exquisite! A variety of food in the dining rooms was very good. The buffet was good as well, but while there was a lot of different foods provided, they did tend to be the same different foods after a while. The people were amazing. I submitted requests for several to be recognized at the end of the voyage and I really was pleased at all the happy faces and the people seemed to care if we were having a good time! The only port we missed was Nicaragua and I'd've liked to have seen that one, but weather will be weather. The people that Princess works with in the ports are excellent. Every excursion was entertaining, informative and fun. A lot of high end shopping available and most of the shops were great. Every time I when into Effy and came back out again, I felt like I had to shower. It was like going to a used car lot with a very pushy, forceful salesperson. They were nice about it, but sooo very pushy. It was a very well laid out ship and easy to get around in with my mom's wheelchair and my dad's walker. There was one door, leading into the Horizon Cafe that we had to open both doors in order to go into, but there was always someone, either a crew member or fellow cruiser who would assist. I like having a promenade deck that goes all the way around the ship, and this one doesn't have that, but you can easily simply turn around at the end or go through the interior of the ship to the other side to keep walking in the same direction. There were not a lot of single people that I observed on this ship, which I've come to expect. The fitness room was nice, cool and well stocked with machines. Over all it was an enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Picked this cruise because I wanted to transit the Panama Canal to celebrate my 70th birthday. Everything was just perfect with one glaring exception. I booked one of the 6 Owner's Suites which are all located at the very stern of ... Read More
Picked this cruise because I wanted to transit the Panama Canal to celebrate my 70th birthday. Everything was just perfect with one glaring exception. I booked one of the 6 Owner's Suites which are all located at the very stern of the boat. I purchased Princess' Premium Unlimited Internet Package for an additional $199. The signal strength in our cabin at the stern of the boat was so poor as to be nonexistent. If I took my Ipad to a public area a midship on the boat the internet worked OK (not particularly high speed). If I tried to log on in my cabin either I got no connection or if it connected the signal would be dropped after a few minutes. If you need to stay in touch with the outside world DO NOT book a suite at the rear of the Pacific Princess. Food was better than I expected, especially in the specialty restaurants ($29 P/P upcharge). The public rooms are quite nice and remind you of the luxury liners of the past. The staff on board were all very friendly and knowledgeable. They really strive to make you feel special and they go the "extra mile" to make sure you are enjoying your experience. The boat is quite small (650 passengers) so you get to know almost everyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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