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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
After finding out that my husband planned to be out of town for the Mother's Day Weekend, I decided on a whim to book the very reasonably priced 1 day Pacific Coastal cruise from Vancouver to Seattle on the Ruby Princess. It would be ... Read More
After finding out that my husband planned to be out of town for the Mother's Day Weekend, I decided on a whim to book the very reasonably priced 1 day Pacific Coastal cruise from Vancouver to Seattle on the Ruby Princess. It would be a business trip, I thought to myself, because booking a cabin as a single would get me double credit towards becoming Elite on Princess. What a great idea! Because I had never cruised out of Vancouver, into Seattle, or on a 1 day cruise, I didn't know what to expect and it actually did turn out to be quite a lot of work. So yes, a business trip.I was able to book Aeroplan points at a discount for a flight from Seattle back to Vancouver, so I wasn't out of pocket for the return trip. I was very fortunate that I had not 1, but 2 different friends offer to drive me to the cruise port at Canada Place. I would have been happy with being dropped off at the Canada Line Skytrain station, but my friend insisted on driving me directly to the port. What chaos in the surrounding area. 9000 passengers disembarking and 9000 more ( 3 ships in port that day) embarking, construction in the surrounding area, and many tourists in the area made for slow going. I eventually got to the place where passengers without checked bags could go down the stairway to enter the check in area, only to be stopped by a security guard who insisted that Princess would not allow passengers to enter the area until 1pm. That left those of us unfamiliar with the procedure to stand outside in the broiling sun, potentially for hours. After walking around for 20 minutes, I realized that if his directive were true, there would be hundreds of people standing around waiting to enter, and there weren't. I decided to follow the many passengers with baggage who were using a different entrance, down a ramp. Surprise, surprise. I walked right up to the security area and Princess check in, and was on board in 15 minutes. The Ruby Princess is very much like the Diamond Princess, which I have been on several times. After boarding, knowing that the cabins would not be available for 2 more hours, I went directly to the Lotus pool, and to the only shade on deck at the time. I saw people lining up in the hallways, waiting to be allowed to their cabins, but it seemed a bit of a waste of time. I spent some time catching up on emails etc., got a great burger from the Salty Dog grill on deck, and a Long Island Ice Tea from the Tradewinds bar to help use up some of my on board credit. I should mention that even on this 1 day cruise, I was able to get 50 USD shareholder credit, and 25 USD travel agent credit. I wanted to use some of the OBC to pay for a transfer to Seattle airport upon arrival, and asked the travel agency to contact Princess to find out it they were selling transfers on board. I was assured they were, but of course when I stopped by Customer Services, they told me no, no transfers, end of story. I worried the whole time about how I would get to the airport, how expensive a taxi would be etc. Fortunately, when I exited customs in Seattle, there was a booth selling transfers. Problem solved, but it would have been nice if Princess had provided that information. I headed to my cabin at 1 pm. I had booked an inside guarantee and was given an obstructed ocean view. It was a very nice, large cabin on Emerald Deck. I discovered I had been given a free drink coupon, so I decided to use it at sailaway. Next up was the muster drill. The time in the Patter said muster drill at 415. No, they called passengers to the drill at 345. At least it didn't last too long. I wanted to check in for my flight back from Seattle to Vancouver the next day, so I checked out the Internet centre. I was able to log in with no problem, using my free Platinum minutes. No cost to print the boarding card. Great, one less concern for the next day. I headed up on deck to the Tradewinds Bar to use my free drink coupon. Along with everyone else on the ship. The bars were packed. I waited a good half hour for my free drink, along with many other people. Anyway, the location at Canada Place is stunning, and the sailaway under the Lions Gate Bridge is spectacular. It was great to hear everyone cheer as the ship seemed to just make it under the bridge. The ship was sold out, and it showed at the fast food venues on deck and in the buffet. Patience was a virtue for sure, with no signage pointing out where to order and where to pick up food. Everyone was asking which line was for what, and where the start and end were. I can't say I really enjoyed any of the food I tried, other than the burger from Salty Dog grill and a piece of flourless chocolate cake from the buffet, which was to die for. I watched the comedian, Carlos ? in one of the lounges, and he was very funny, a real audience pleaser. I did a lot of walking on deck, admiring the stunning views and sunset. Back in the cabin, I enjoyed the wine I brought on board and watched some movies on the awesome widescreen tv. Great selection of on demand movies - I watched Crazy Rich Asians (again!) and First Man. At 1 am, unable to sleep, I headed down to Customer Services to get my refundable on board credit refunded. Under 25.00 is refundable in cash, so I thought I would beat the morning rush. I have never had on board credit before, this was a first for me. I used up the nonrefundable shareholder credit with 1 Long Island ice tea (11.80,) 1 nights gratuity (13.50) and mascara from the on board shop (25.00.) That left me with 24.70 refundable credit, which was refunded to me in cash. There was really no information given about disembarkation except a card in my stateroom telling me to wait until 955 to walk off. Knowing that I had a noon flight home, and American customs to clear, I obviously ignored that. An announcement was finally made in the morning announcing disembarkation, forward and midship. Except crew were telling everyone it was only forward. And in fact, it was forward and aft. No signage whatsoever, I'm sure every single passenger had to ask where to go to find the gangway. Anyway, I was able to pay for a transfer, as it turned out, after going through the very, very, very long customs line. I was on the bus and on my way to the airport in short order. The shuttle cost 29 USD, but I'm sure a taxi would have cost a lot more as it was a long drive. Unrelated to the cruise, on my flight home, on a small aircraft with very little personal space, the man sitting next to me seemed to feel he had paid for 2 seats, not just 1. His right knee and elbow spent the whole (20 minute) flight firmly in my space. Even a gentle hint that I was trying my best to give him room went unheeded. I would really prefer not to be cozied up to a stranger, but he couldn't have cared less. Would I do another 1 day cruise like this? I'm not sure. It really did seem like work, at least for someone travelling solo Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We love doing this cruise every year - we take the train up to Vancouver, the ship down to Seattle - it is an awesome little overnight trip. Since it is only 1 night we take an inside cabin, although 1 year we DID book the mini-suite. We ... Read More
We love doing this cruise every year - we take the train up to Vancouver, the ship down to Seattle - it is an awesome little overnight trip. Since it is only 1 night we take an inside cabin, although 1 year we DID book the mini-suite. We travel w/ 4 in the cabin for most cost effectiveness. It was a one night cruise so no big show - the lounges had nice shows - the service was great - the ship was great - the staff was great, as usual - there was a game show between staff & guests that we listened to, it was fun - there were no ports so no excursions. To be fair to the crew, they had NO CONTROL over customs. Customs, for whatever reason, decided to do a FULL customs check on EACH guest, so disembarkation was a nightmare. The staff COULD have allowed for guests w/ flights to catch to disembark first, but no such concession was made. Other than disembarkation, the entire cruise, the food, everything was wonderful. I LOVE the sorbet in the dining rooms and highly recommend everyone trying it... there are odd flavors sometimes, but still so very, very good - Well, that's about it... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Background Information Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with the 3n Coral Princess LA to Vancouver into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. Second time ... Read More
Background Information Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with the 3n Coral Princess LA to Vancouver into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. Second time sailing on Ruby (1st time was in 2014) - this is the first Princess ship that we've repeated. Travel to Embarkation Port After disembarking Coral Princess, we stayed two nights in Vancouver. Hotel Information In between our Coral and Ruby cruises, we stayed at the Sunset Inn & Suites in downtown Vancouver. We had a 6th floor king bedroom suite. The room was appointed with modern light wood flooring and hard furnishings. There were separate rooms for bedroom, living/dining, bath, and full kitchen, plus hall closet. Plenty of space. Bed was comfortable. Bedroom has a window A/C and two fans were provided. Continental breakfast is provided but due to limited space in the lobby you actually take it back to your room to eat. Hotel is located a couple blocks from Davie St in the West End area. For the hotel location & spaciousness of the suite, it was a tremendous value for the price. Embarkation Took a taxi over to Canada Place (cost $11). Arrived at port 10:30 am. Since we had priority embarkation privileges with Princess Platinum loyalty status, we ignored the check in begins at 1pm time. It was quite chaotic in the cruise terminal with 3 ships in port. We were thru security and checked in by 11:15 am. Elite/Platinum started boarding by 11:20am. Cabins were not promised available until 1pm - we went at 12:50 and the cabin was ready along with our luggage delivered. Muster drill was at 3:30pm (life jackets not required), and sailaway was at 4:45pm. Cabin We booked an inside sideways stateroom on Riviera deck. We were amazed at the amount of interior space we had. Lots of storage nooks & crannies plus a wall of closets and shelves. Center console area in the middle of the room. Nightstands on both sides of the bed. Spacious walking area around the bed and console. Princess Luxury Bed - got to enjoy this again. TV has the full Medallion setup with lots of free on demand movies. Dreaded shower curtain in the bathroom and a slightly bigger than a postage stamp sized shower. Ship Information This was our second time sailing Ruby. Changes since 2014: SHARE replaced Sabatini’s, Slice is new name with expanded options for Lido deck pizzeria, Salty Dog Grill is new name and expanded options for Lido deck grill, Salty Dog Gastropub occupies the corner section of the Wheelhouse Bar, Coffee & Cones is new name with expanded options for Lido deck ice cream, MedallionNet Internet. No BOGO happy hour. Activities You definitely want to be outside for sailaway from Vancouver- one of the most beautiful ports to sail out of going under the Lion’s Gate bridge. Elite/Platinum/Suite Cocktail hour - guacamole & chips were the featured hors d’oeuvres. Entertainment Saw comedian Carlos Oscar - past Princess entertainer of the year. We’d seen him before so we knew he was super funny. There was a performer in the Princess Theatre, but it wasn’t a full production show and we didn’t see her. Dining Lunch - Slice (pizza & caprese toast) plus seafood ceviche & chips and salsa from buffet Snacks - International Cafe Dinner/Dessert - Salty Dog Gastropub (Scott had the calamari frites, Ernesto burger, and the strawberries & cream dessert. I had the lobster mac & cheese, crab cake, and the bourbon chocolate pot de crème dessert). I had a second Princess coupon book from our Coral Princess cruise, so we got to use the buy 1 get 1 speciality dining on embarkation day offer. Cover charge is $12pp. Disembarkation We left the cabin about 7:30 (required to leave by 8) and went to the International Café for a lite bite. We were off the ship around 8:00 and thru customs by 8:30 - alas no Global Entry. We took a Lyft to our post-cruise hotel Hilton Seattle. Note: Ride sharing picks up/drops off way outside the port area for Pier 91. If you have a lot of luggage and/or it’s raining, you’d be better off taking a taxi. Service We had consistent service during the cruise - no major issues, no examples of above & beyond. Pretty much what I expect on a short cruise like this. Tips & Tricks - Unless you live on the coast, it doesn’t make sense to fly in just to do a one night cruise. But if you can combine it with some pre- or post-land vacation time, or with another cruise (being mindful of the PVCA act), then it’s a great way to get a quick cruise credit toward higher loyalty status. Final Thoughts This was our 19th cruise - 12th on Princess. Hello & goodbye - that’s what a one night cruise feels like! It was our second time on Ruby so it was a chance to check out what had changed since our 2014 cruise. The upgraded dining venues on the Lido deck offer some great new food options. We got to finally try the Salty Dog Gastropub which we enjoyed. Ruby has the Princess Luxury Bed so that was very nice. The inside sideway stateroom was rather spacious - for the right type of itinerary, we’d consider booking this type of cabin again. Hotel Information We did our post-cruise night at the Hilton Seattle in downtown. Hotel is undergoing guest room modernizations. Our king room had the new sepia/gray color palette and new furnishings. Clearly catering to the hipsters, there are no drawers to store any clothes, just the hanging closet. The nightstands are tables with one skinny pullout drawer. The bathroom has an annoying sliding door so that means less privacy and more light exposure to the bedroom. Lots of plugs & USB ports around the room. Mini fridge & coffeemaker but no microwave. Good bedding. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Very poor experience overall. Starting it all off my baggage "lost" (sitting behind front desk), first customer service agent told me to come back at 6pm and didn't even check, this was at 4pm and we boarded in the morning ... Read More
Very poor experience overall. Starting it all off my baggage "lost" (sitting behind front desk), first customer service agent told me to come back at 6pm and didn't even check, this was at 4pm and we boarded in the morning mind you. The rest of my cabin mates received their luggage between 11a-1pm, and we all placed them in the same a truck. Went back at 5pm, a new customer service agent was there and actually looked for my bag, she quickly found it sitting behind the front desk. Of course all my clothes and sunscreen were in it so I was unable to enjoy the best the day time activities like swimming with my group. Waited at the bar twice for a couple cans of coke for about 30 minutes each time to receive no service. On the third attempt, after about 15 minutes of waiting, we were able to purchase coke cans woohoo! We found a bloody finger print on the counter in our deluxe balcony suite bathroom, likely from a used feminine product or bloody nose from the last passenger, extremely disgusting.. During dinner I ordered a ribeye steak for dinner which cost $19 extra, cut into it and it was literally raw in the middle (asked for medium but will eat rare). Replacement steak came medium-well, shouldn't be that difficult to cook it medium. The icing on the cake was the 4- hours of standing in line to depart the ship because proper procedure wasn't followed and customs weren't cleared at the port it was supposed to be done at. I would not recommend this cruise line to anyone as I've never had a worse cruise experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise because I heard it had high ratings and was a short 3 day cruise. I really enjoyed everything and the fact that it had a structured schedule of entertainment and activities. We had a great experience at Lotus spa and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I heard it had high ratings and was a short 3 day cruise. I really enjoyed everything and the fact that it had a structured schedule of entertainment and activities. We had a great experience at Lotus spa and got a couple's massage and hair style.Every personnel was so kind, knowledgable and helped us in every way. We were very satisfied with them. I was really happy that there was 24 hour cafes and room service along with daily live music that one could dance to. All the entertainers were so talented, I was impressed! We had so much fun and danced, ate and drank a lot. We had a chance to relax while at sea. It was absolutely wonderful and my boyfriend proposed to me on the last night we were there. It was truly a special adventure as it was a special occasion and our first cruise together with the exceptional service of the Star Princess Cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Four of us women friends from across the map (Toronto, Florida, San Francisco, and Vancouver) chose this cruise as an opportunity to reunite, to hang out and chill, and it exceeded all of our expectations. Originally, we booked two balcony ... Read More
Four of us women friends from across the map (Toronto, Florida, San Francisco, and Vancouver) chose this cruise as an opportunity to reunite, to hang out and chill, and it exceeded all of our expectations. Originally, we booked two balcony rooms; but when PRINCESS offered us an opportunity to upgrade to a Full Suite at a discount, and we took advantage of the offer. It was completely worth it. We enjoyed welcome champagne, “high tea” one afternoon, and a gourmet breakfast one morning out on our balcony. We made use of the thermal suites in the spa. We enjoyed stellar breakfasts and dinner at Sabatini’s. We took in the comedians, a couple of shows, and then continued our celebration for a couple of additional nights in Vancouver where spring was in full bloom. The weather on the cruise was overcast, foggy, and chilly the whole time. One night, we went to sleep to the sound of the fog horn, but this did not detract from our enjoyment. I would book this cruise again — particularly for a reunion with family. Highly recommend! Thank you, PRINCESS!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Second time on Princess (first on Coral). Had done the same itinerary two years go on Island. Got upgraded to balcony on Caribe Deck. Location was good and had a covered balcony. However it was really too cold to spend anytime on it! ... Read More
Second time on Princess (first on Coral). Had done the same itinerary two years go on Island. Got upgraded to balcony on Caribe Deck. Location was good and had a covered balcony. However it was really too cold to spend anytime on it! Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly (I was in first group both times with carry on luggage). Ship has supposedly been recently updates..seemingly the public area carpets look fresh, ship has the new internet service. There was some exterior painting going on. The metal frame around my baloney door was corroded. Layout of the ship is better than Island, there is still a full Promenade loop on Deck 7 (although closed during rough seas). Small viewing decks at back of upper floors, below the Sanctuary. Library is limited..very sad compared to Holland America. Viewing areas are blocked by blue-tinted glass, very little is unobscured for photographers (a few corners on upper levels, and the back decks, plus Promenade. Blankets provided for outdoor movie viewing are thin flannel, useless in cold weather! Cabin was small, but had room to walk around bed. Bed was extremely soft and saggy, had a sore back after the cruise! Shower stall is cramped, shower head is fixed. Room has small refrigerator. Large flat screen TV. Wine glasses provided but no corkscrew. Standard toiletries are wall mounted shower/conditioner and shower gel, tube skin cream and soap bar. No fruit basket (steward said to request it through room service). Balcony had two chairs and two footrests. Dining in MDR fixed seating was good service. Food was average and somewhat boring. Prime Rib was good, as was beef and lamb chop in mixed grill at lunch. Corvina was fishy smelling. Good scooped ice cream in MDR (choice of two ice creams and one sorbet). Bread is good. Horizon Court food very mediocre with not much choice. Only one smoked fish (mackerel) was available at breakfast. Sushi was terrible! Beverage service is uneven..usually only offered to large parties, not to single diners. Pizza in Sabattinis at lunch is made to order, thin crust style and skimpy toppings. International Cafe food offerings were versions of what was up in Horizon Court. Nothing Special. Room service has limited offerings but was timely. Very little in the way of enrichment..are crafts enrichment? TV had good selection of movies and news channels. Service was overall good except in Horizon Court. I didn't use any ships excursions. I would chose Holland America over Princess for an Alaska Cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation- super easy out of San Pedro. Was in boarding group 9 and on the ship before 12:30. Ate in the main dining room-delicious! Kept my carry-on with me. Rooms were ready by 1:00. Stateroom L311- nice and clean. Furniture had a ... Read More
Embarkation- super easy out of San Pedro. Was in boarding group 9 and on the ship before 12:30. Ate in the main dining room-delicious! Kept my carry-on with me. Rooms were ready by 1:00. Stateroom L311- nice and clean. Furniture had a few scratches. No USB Ports. No barrel chair. Bed was heavenly. Balcony could use paint. Got Lotus Spa lotion every day. Had to remind steward for ice once. Buffet- nice selection. Mainly made salads for lunch. Coffee and Cones- pizza was good. Baristas seemed like making coffee was a bother. Salty Dog Grill- the Triple Smoke Burger is outstanding. Will cook burger to order. Fries were always fresh. Chef’s Table- WONDERFUL! International Cafe- great as always. Casino- too many of the same machines. Spa- wanted the thermal spa. Signed up and went the first night. Got lost. No one to help. Went back again at 9:10 (closes at 10). They were picking up water. Just relaxed at 9:40 and housekeeping came in. Got my money back and will never go back. Shops- wanted Matrishka Dolls. Asked if they would be available next day. They said yes. Went back next day and they were gone! Asked for them and they said no. On disembarkation they were in the window. Bummed. Disembarkation was easy but too soon! Took a Princess transfer to the airport. Had a bit of a wait so I checked bags and took Sky Train to Outlet Mall (2 stops). Customs was harried. Would have been a 5 except for spa experience and shops/dining options not keeping their hours. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We decided we needed a break and chose to go on a three-day cruise to simply relax. The price was quite reasonable and affordable for almost any budget. We chose the three-day cruise on the Coral Princess departing Los Angeles on Sunday ... Read More
We decided we needed a break and chose to go on a three-day cruise to simply relax. The price was quite reasonable and affordable for almost any budget. We chose the three-day cruise on the Coral Princess departing Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon and docking in Vancouver BC on Wednesday morning. Both ports provided incredibly easy arrival and departure options. The Coral Princess is one of the best ships in the Princess fleet. And it is now our favorite of all the ships we've sailed. It was comfortable, welcoming and warm. The wait and cabin staff were among the best we have ever encountered. The decor was rich and inviting. The Balcony Cabin on the Caribe was comfy. Those Princess beds are the best. You can just snuggle right in. We chose Anytime Dining in the Bordeaux where the menu selections were many. One of the best appetizers on the menu is any of the chilled soups. The Horizon Court food was always fresh with lots of choices. And finally the entertainment in the Princess Theater was high quality, with some of the best singers, dancers and musicians we've ever encountered on any cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Quick 3 day repositioning cruise heading north to Vancouver. Flight in to LAX was perfect since Princess has staff at the baggage pickup area. My flight came in at 9:20 am. Bought transfer to ship at baggage claim from Princess ... Read More
Quick 3 day repositioning cruise heading north to Vancouver. Flight in to LAX was perfect since Princess has staff at the baggage pickup area. My flight came in at 9:20 am. Bought transfer to ship at baggage claim from Princess personal and waited for bus. Our luggage stayed with staff and we were taken directly to ship. On the Coral Princess ship by 11:30 am. Luggage made it onto ship without any problem & was so nice not to deal with it on bus or pier. Beautiful day in LA. Blue sky and able to sit on padded lounge chairs by the indoor pool and watch the seals swimming near the ship. Nice lunch at Horizon buffet which is at the front of the ship. Went to one production show at the Princess Theater/ front of the ship. Enjoyed the special guest singers, Princess singers and band that preformed. Went to a comedy show at the back of the ship, really like that lounge and comedy was nice with little or no profanity. Relaxing Trip. Still like to watch the Yes, No game. Anytime dining was good. For Vancouver I was in walkoff group 2 taking own luggage off. Although we were slightly late to the dock/pier, I was walking off the ship by 7:45 am. Made prior reservation with Quick Shuttle and able to catch the 9 am bus to Seattle without any problem for my flight. This reposition sailing only offered transfers to Vancouver airport. I really liked the size of the Coral Princess and thought it was a pretty ship and like it, would sail on it again. Someone mentioned no seating by the Atrium on this ship, I didn’t really go there much. Didn’t notice any smoke smell from casino which was really nice. Loved that their was always lounge chairs available to use. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our fifth Princess cruise, and our second on the Ruby. EMBARKATION: We took the Princess transfer from LAX and arrived at the terminal around 11:30. We had about a 15 minute wait in line to check in. Since we were still Ruby ... Read More
This was our fifth Princess cruise, and our second on the Ruby. EMBARKATION: We took the Princess transfer from LAX and arrived at the terminal around 11:30. We had about a 15 minute wait in line to check in. Since we were still Ruby level for this cruise, we didn’t have priority boarding, but we only waited another 20 minutes before our boarding group was called. We ate lunch in the Da Vinci dining room, and our cabin was ready for us at 1:00 PM. Our luggage showed up a little later, not sure of the time since we were out exploring. CABIN: Baja Deck B521. This was our first time in an interior cabin. Good location, quiet. Clean, not spacious but enough room for the two of us. The bed was extremely comfortable—great upgrade from the old foam egg crate solution. The motion-detecting night light at the base of the desk was handy. Our steward Manuel kept everything clean and tidy. (A tip if you use the new TV: you have to watch the opening safety video all the way to the end before you are able to change the channel. If you stop in the middle of the video, when you turn on the TV again, the video will start from the beginning. This was a feature we hadn’t experienced on our last cruise.) SHIP: I saw somewhere that they added extra cabins when the Ruby was in dry dock—I don’t know if that’s accurate, but the ship certainly felt more crowded than when we sailed in Feb. 2018. The safety muster was more chaotic than in the past. There were lines for afternoon tea and for the pub lunch in the Crown Grill, but they weren’t too bad if you’re patient. The ship has been refurbished and we noticed certain things: new carpeting in the stateroom hallways is very nice, but we miss the old color scheme that signaled whether you were on the port or starboard side. The new beds are great—we slept quite soundly. The service desk was very helpful when we asked about a missing OBC. They contacted the home office and were able to resolve the mystery, and the credit appeared on our statement before we docked in Vancouver. DINING: We had the early seating for traditional dining in Botticelli, and I have to say I preferred when the seating started later, at 5:45. A 5:00 seating is too early. Dinner was excellent every night, and the food was well-prepared. Everything was fresh and the portions were right-sized. Our server, Arren, and his assistant, Francis, were helpful and attentive, and remembered our preferences each night. We ate breakfast and lunch in the dining room several days, and in the Caribe buffet on the others. I prefer the breakfast menu in the dining room but the service was inconsistent and slow at times (we missed the start of our CC M&M because breakfast ran long). The staff seemed overwhelmed by the crowd. We ate dinner only once in the Horizon and I was not impressed by the selection of food. We purchased the coffee package and had great service from the baristas at the International Court. We were put off by the new up-sell items on the dinner menu, offering “Crown Grill” steaks, etc. We miss having the afternoon happy hour/“Buy one, get one drink for $1” that used to accompany the trivia game in Explorers Lounge. That was always a great social activity and encouraged passengers to mingle and form teams. Apparently other passengers miss it too—the afternoon trivia games were not as well attended as in the past. ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoyed all of the evening shows. We had seen the comic Carlos Oscar on a previous cruise, and he was great as usual. He performed two nights. The musical guest Tricia Kelly is a talented vocalist and does wonderful impressions. The magician Julien Losa performed in Club Fusion and he was very funny. The updated “Colors of the World” benefited from its new staging and musical selections. The new production “Once upon a Dream” was fun and a bit campy. The Princess singers and dancers certainly work hard to entertain. There were some fun evening activities in the Piazza, and we especially enjoyed the “Dancing with the Staff” competition. The line dancing in Explorers Lounge was another fun activity and was well-attended. The cruise director’s staff did an admirable job getting passengers engaged, more so than on our past Princess cruises. DISEMBARKATION: We chose walk-off because we were staying in Vancouver for a few days. The disembarkation seemed rather chaotic but we were able to skirt around the crowds and exit the ship. Inside the terminal at Vancouver, there was a bit of a wait for customs. All in all, the Ruby looks great after her recent refurbishment, the staff was helpful and friendly, and this was a great cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Background Information Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with a one night cruise on Ruby Princess into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. First time ... Read More
Background Information Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with a one night cruise on Ruby Princess into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. First time sailing on Coral (2nd time in this ship class - sailed sister ship Island in 2006). Travel to Embarkation Port We flew into LAX one day early and took a Lyft down to Long Beach (cost $39). Hotel Information We decided to do our pre-cruise night onboard the former cruise ship Queen Mary in Long Beach. We arrived around 1pm, so our room was not ready. We had a very filling and excellent tasting lunch in the Promenade Café. We purchased the $25 all access pass (available to hotel, restaurant, or banquet guests). This got us all 3 guided tours - Glory Days, Haunted Encounters, and Steam & Steel. We enjoyed all the tours as well as on our own exploring the ship. We booked an inside king. The bed was comfortable. The size and storage options were sufficient for our one night stay. The biggest drawbacks were the lack of temperature controls and the exposure to exterior noise. The in room thermostat was not functional (and I had a friend stay here the prior weekend and I know it didn’t work for their room either) - you had to call the front desk and be told that the engineering dept would try to adjust for your room. We did that and it didn’t make that much of a difference. Because the walls are steel, you hear any people outside your room who are talking and for us there were loud groups of people having boisterous conversations and across the hallway parties late at night. We had to call the front desk to request that security come address the issue. Things finally quieted down around midnight. I always travel with earplugs so those would be a must for a stay here. The historical significance of the ship was worth the premium rate we paid - it was a unique way to enjoy a pre-cruise night. But my preference for modern convenience and comfort would lead me to choose elsewhere for my next cruise out of San Pedro/Long Beach. Embarkation Used Lyft to get to Port San Pedro. Cost about $14. Arrived at port shortly after 11am. With two Princess ships in port, Coral was docked at Pier 92. Since we had priority embarkation privileges with Princess Platinum loyalty status, we ignored the check in begins at 1:00pm time on the cruise paperwork. We were thru security & priority check-in and in the embarkation waiting area by 11:15 am. We didn’t even have to sit down as they started Platinum all groups boarding as soon as we walked in. Cabins were supposed to be immediately available. However our section on Caribe wasn’t quite finished so we headed down to the atrium to take care of a few embarkation errands (cruise card hole punched for our lanyards, submit future cruise deposit forms, etc). We returned just before noon and the cabin was ready. Our suitcases were delivered by 2 pm. Muster drill was at 3:30pm (life jackets not required), and sailaway was shortly after 4pm. Cabin We originally booked an obstructed view oceanview stateroom on Emerald deck but about three months prior to sailing we received an offer to upgrade to a premium view balcony stateroom on Caribe deck for $78. We were on the starboard side, which was good since the cruise was up the Pacific coastline. Flat screen TV on the wall now frees up easier access to the wall outlet in the minibar storage tower. Still the crappy hair dryer on the wall. Dreaded shower curtain in the bathroom and a postage stamp sized shower - I think the smallest size shower of any Princess ship I’ve been on. Otherwise, the typical setup for a balcony stateroom. This was our first cruise on a ship with the Princess Luxury Bed. It’s fantastic! Supportive yet cushy mattress. Poofy pillows. Top sheet plus a duvet. Ship Information It had been 13 years since we'd sailed on this mid-size class of ship. There is so much public space per passenger it seemed like the ship was hardly occupied. Medallion Net Internet - If you pre-pay it's $8.99pp/per day, otherwise it’s $9.99pp/per day. Platinum/Elite gets either unlimited access discount 1 device $22.49 voyage plan or 4 device $29.99 voyage plan (available only within first 24 hrs of the cruise) or 150 free minutes one device at a time. iMessage worked even when offline. We pre-paid for the soda package - $8.26pp/per day. Forgotten how huge the Wheelhouse Bar is on this class of ship. Coral is the only ship now to have the Universe Lounge. Best library of any Princess ship we’ve sailed. So weird to have International Café adjacent to the casino instead of in the piazza atrium. Horizon Court had been renovated with new flooring and more stations including the Amuleto Italian Café at the aft where all the desserts are featured. So it’s a smaller version of what you experience now on the Royal class ships. No BOGO happy hour. Activities Attended the nightly Elite/Platinum/Suite Cocktail hour. 1st night salsa & chips were the featured hors d’oeuvres. 2nd night beef steak tartare w/ Melba toast was the featured hors d’oeuvres. 3rd night smoked salmon was the featured hors d’oeuvres. Played morning & afternoon bingo on Day 2. Spent quality time in the Library - my happy place with the comfy leather chairs and a sea view. Spent a couple hours at the indoor Lotus pool area. Pool water was frigid but hot tubs were nice. Played afternoon bingo on Day 3. Watched the farewell balloon drop party. Entertainment Sailaway Party on Lido Deck with the party band Symphonee. Listened to the piano player David Moore in Crooners Bar a couple times. Saw the production show “Encore”. Not any plot - just a collection of songs about 1/3 of which were Italian/opera. The guest soprano Jennifer Fair was impressive. But I was kinda meh about the show. Went to the late night comedian Eric Lyden. He was funny but fairly edgy. Dining Day 1 Lunch - Main Dining Room (Scott and I had the same choices: avocado & bay shrimp appetizer, spinach & ricotta cheese ravioli entrée, and orange soufflé dessert) Dinner/Dessert - Bayou Café & Steakhouse (Scott had the crawfish bisque appetizer, gumbo, trinity smothered filet of beef entrée; I had the sausage grillades appetizer, jambalaya, red pepper broiled 8oz lobster tail entrée; we both had the milk chocolate peanut butter bar w/ honey roasted peanuts dessert which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Bayou Steakhouse). Because we received the Princess coupon book from our travel agent, we got to use the buy 1 get 1 speciality dining on embarkation day offer. Cover charge is $29pp. Day 1 Snacks - Pizza (calabrese) for sailaway. Day 2 Breakfast - Buffet (Chocolate Journeys featured pastry was Chocolate Strawberry Cheese Danish) Day 2 Lunch - Buffet (Oriental/sushi feature) Day 2 Dinner/Dessert - Sabatini’s (Scott had the lamb skewers antipasti, I had the burrata antipasti, we both had the escarole salad, Scott had the fettuccine with carbonara sauce, I had the roasted lamb tortelloni, we both had the chicken scaloppine for the second plate, Scott had the vanilla panna cotta, and I had the Rocher which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Sabatini’s). Dinner took about 2 hours. Day 3 Breakfast - Buffet plus pastries from International Cafe Day 3 Lunch - Alfredo’s Pizzeria at Sabatini’s (complementary; doesn’t offer the pastas that Alfredo’s does on the Royal Class ships but has more pizza offerings than what you can get on deck; Scott had the daily special beef & chili flakes, I had the Coral Princess) Day 3 Snacks - International cafe Day 3 Dinner/Dessert - Buffet (Indian Feature) Disembarkation We left the cabin about 7:00 (required to leave by 8:00) and went to the buffet for breakfast. We had walk off so we were off the ship at 8:00. We were through customs by 8:15. Vancouver does not have Uber/Lyft so we got a taxi to our hotel (cost $9). Service We had consistent service during the cruise - no major issues, no examples of above & beyond. Pretty much what I expect on a short cruise like this. Tips & Tricks - Alfredo’s pizzeria in Sabatini’s - Tiramisu martini is only available at the bar for Bayou Steakhouse - "By the Bayou" production show in Universe Lounge - unique to Coral but they didn’t offer this show on this 3 night cruise which was a bummer Final Thoughts This was our 18th cruise - 11th on Princess. Doesn’t have all the amenities and dining options that the bigger ships in the fleet have. But Coral has some unique features (2 deck Universe Lounge, Library with 8 leather club chairs & foot stools facing out to sea view, Bayou Steakhouse), and you often feel as though you have the ship to yourself with the high public space to passenger ratio. It’s a nice change of pace. We would be happy to sail on Coral again (and we’ve in fact booked another Pacific Coastal on her for May 2021). Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
As a travel advisor I wanted to experience life onboard a Princess Cruise. The embarkation and Disembarkation process was very efficient. There were many venues onboard with different nightly entertainment. The public areas never felt ... Read More
As a travel advisor I wanted to experience life onboard a Princess Cruise. The embarkation and Disembarkation process was very efficient. There were many venues onboard with different nightly entertainment. The public areas never felt crowded. The SPA experience was great and the thermal suite can be enjoyed daily at an extra cost. My cabin had a veranda, mid ship. My companion suffers from motion sickness but staying mid ship was very helpful and she did great onboard. I recommended to anyone looking to experience cruising for the first time. It is a great value for the money. The food in the main dining room is good. The menu changes every evening with a decent selection of choices. The food at the buffet as well as the coffee can be improve. The staff is very friendly. The pools were heated and there were 4 spas to relax and watch outdoor movies on the big screen. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to go to Canada and this seemed like a good approach. The ship was in good condition. Food was ok. Buffet is split into two adjacent sections and it was a challenge to find seating a couple of times. The setup for the Lotus ... Read More
We wanted to go to Canada and this seemed like a good approach. The ship was in good condition. Food was ok. Buffet is split into two adjacent sections and it was a challenge to find seating a couple of times. The setup for the Lotus pool was bizarre. You can see it from the hallway in Lotus Spa but the doors are kept locked. I wanted to use the hot tub beside the pool and I asked the hostess at the spa when it opens and she said that she did not know. There aren't any signs stating when the hottub opens and I ended up asking a ship officer and he said it should already be open, but it was not. It opened about 15 minutes later. To access the pool, go up a flight of stairs, walk across the deck, then go down a flight of stairs. Good exercise but convoluted. There were other times when we tried to go someplace and had to take an indirect route. This is common on almost every ship that I have been on but the Ruby Princess has more than it's share. The production shows were ok. I went to see a presentation on a new ship and it was a video followed by the Princess dancers, the Princess orchestra. I left at that point. We did the Panama Canal on the Island Princess around Christmas last year. We really enjoyed that cruise and did not want it to end. For our Ruby Princess, we were glad that it was over. Our experience was not bad, just meh. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I had been on two princess cruises in the past both excelent, so when i saw this repositioning cruise pop up with its final destination right in my home city I decided it was a must. The ship itself was beautiful, the restaurants and ... Read More
I had been on two princess cruises in the past both excelent, so when i saw this repositioning cruise pop up with its final destination right in my home city I decided it was a must. The ship itself was beautiful, the restaurants and service within those restaurants were wonderful, but the service at the bars and by the pools were pathetic. My bf purchased the alcohol package and i purchased the unalcoholic drink package, and trying to get drinks was like pulling teeth. you would order from a server after spending about 15 mins trying to wave one down and wait about 30mins before you got the drink or just left, even when you went to the bar you would wait 5-10mins, not because someone was infront of you but because the bartenders would first ignore you, then move in slow motion to make your drink. The activities on board were pretty pathetic aswell.. but this may be because the average age on the ship seemed to be in the 70s (we were not expecting this). There was knitting and painting and when there was volleyball planned the nets didn't even get set up because so few people showed up. The comedian AJ was great and was the highlight of our week. The other entertainment was good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We did the Coastal sailing from San Pedro to Vancouver. The ports we visited were San Diego, San Francisco (over night) and Seattle. We were fortunate to have sunny skies and calm seas for the entire cruise. Embarkation with our ... Read More
We did the Coastal sailing from San Pedro to Vancouver. The ports we visited were San Diego, San Francisco (over night) and Seattle. We were fortunate to have sunny skies and calm seas for the entire cruise. Embarkation with our medallions was very quick and efficient, check in took minutes. We got to the port around 10:30 and we were eating in Alfredo’s around 11:30. The ship itself is very nice. We ate in the dining room 3 evenings and once for breakfast. All meals we ate in the dining room were not good at all. On the last night I ordered the Pork Belly which was recommended by the Waiter and it was so tough and dry I couldn’t cut it with my knife. The dining room food in quality and taste has really gone downhill from when we sailed with Princess 1.5 years ago. We ate at both The Crown Grill and Sabatini’s. We both ordered the Rib Eye steak in the Crown Grill. The steak tasted very good but a rib eye shouldn’t be 1/4 inch thick. There is less choices for the vegetables to chose from as well. Sabatini’s my husband had the Veal Shank which he thoroughly enjoyed and I had the NY Strip Steak which was okay. We signed up for the WineMakers dinner which cost $40.00 each and was well worth the money. The food and wine pairing was absolutely amazing. Apparently it is only offered on the Royal and the Regal and maybe one other ship, so if you get a chance I highly recommend it. We also did the Royal Tea there was a charge of $10.00 for it. It was nice although we have had better on other cruise lines with no added charge. It was nice to do it but we wouldn’t need to do it again. There were a few entertainers on board that were very enjoyable. It was nice to enjoy a glass of wine at Vines and listen to some music. The wine prices were very expensive averaged 11-15 dollars for a glass. It was cheaper to buy drinks on land than on the ship. We brought wine onboard with us for dinner and are glad we did. One of the cheapest bottles of wine cost around $45.00 with gratuities. Our cabin was D509 which was a mid ship Deluxe balcony. The cabin was fine, we had a two seater couch and a desk with a chair. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was very small. I could only imagine if you have long legs that you would need to open the bathroom door if you were using the toilet. The balcony was very small, there is no way you would be able to have a balcony dinner on it! When we arrived we found the coffee table in the closet, the reason being if you brought it out it would be more of a pain to keep trying to get around it so in the closet it stayed. Our cruise director was Matt O and he was always around and about, very good. Every morning he did the Zumba class in the Atrium and him and all the guests were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Overal the cruise was good but the food In the dining room and Buffet were not up to par. Alfredo’s for pizza was good, you can add items to a pizza and make it your own. We found the service in any venue to be very good, everyone on board tries their hardest to make the guests happy. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to see the West Coast on a cruise, and we have sailed many times with Princess so decided to go with the Royal Princess. We have had 20 cruises sailing on Norwegian, Carnival, MSC, Celebrity, Holland and Princess. This was ... Read More
We wanted to see the West Coast on a cruise, and we have sailed many times with Princess so decided to go with the Royal Princess. We have had 20 cruises sailing on Norwegian, Carnival, MSC, Celebrity, Holland and Princess. This was our third time on the Royal Princess and we were disappointed in the quality and food choices in the dining room and the buffet. We only went to the dining room twice and found the food choices limiting and not up to the usual standards. They were offering a hamburger now instead of steak in the dining room. The buffet also lacked quality food. It seemed like they were serving up left over food and putting them into strange and unappealing dishes. The food did not look fresh. Also Princess is saying that using the hand sanitizers does not kill germs like washing with soap and water, and I agree, but the sinks they have before entering the buffet do not work well. There was often no soap and the water is not a strong flow. When you enter the buffet they had the hand sanitizers, but they were often empty. Therefore, many people not using either. There were good food options like the pay restaurants. We did eat at the Crown Grill and it was very good. We also liked Alfredos and the International Cafe. All excellent choices for food. All the staff, as usual, were excellent. The ports of our west coast cruise were excellent. The entertainment was very good on this cruise. The only problem, and that is a big one for us was the food. We have two more cruises booked: one with MSC and the other Holland America. We have had good experiences on both these cruise lines in the last few years. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We love the Royal Princess Cruise ship. We had sailed on it on a 21 day Mediterranean Cruise in 2016. Enjoy the layout of the ship, which includes the Princess Live. We were eager to try out the new Medallion Class and were were ... Read More
We love the Royal Princess Cruise ship. We had sailed on it on a 21 day Mediterranean Cruise in 2016. Enjoy the layout of the ship, which includes the Princess Live. We were eager to try out the new Medallion Class and were were celebrating our 35th. Wedding Anniversary. One of the reasons we chose this cruise is because it finished in Vancouver. We live in nearby Point Roberts , Washington State. We were Happy to celebrate our Anniversary in San Diego, California on Cinco De Mayo. Lots of celebrations going on in Old Town, San Diego. This was the first time that the Royal Princess has been on the West Coast! Matt O’Brien was our awesome cruise director. We selected an interior cabin this time. It was super cozy. Comfortable, and clean. We had plenty of room for our clothes. We preordered waters and beers for our room. Totally convenient! Love the new Medallion Class! Ease of embarking and disembarking! Fast! Great way to order drinks! Delivered directly to you. You use your Medallion for all purchases, everywhere on board. Including the laundry room, and the slot machines! Can’t say enough! It was awesome! Entertainment was good. The comedian, AJ Jamal, was a standout! He was the entertainment for two nights! He was awesome! The food was good. The pizza was available in two locations Alfredo’s Pizzeria , where they make individual pizzas to order. They also have other Italian food available. There is NO upcharge. The pizza is outstanding. Pizza can also be found up by the pool. You can get it by the slice. Delicious pizza! We went to the movies under the stars. Popcorn is available during the movies. Omelettes are made to order for breakfast at the buffet. Freshly sliced smoked salmon and bagels daily. Steak and all kinds of eggs, cereals, pastry. Something for everyone to eat at the breakfast buffet. There were two formal nights. The second formal night had mini lobster tails and risotto. I previously lived in Maine, so I am a tad picky with my lobster. This lobster tail was extremely tiny. We ate in the Steakhouse and it was delicious, as always. It never disappoints! My husband had the rib eye steak and I had the lamb chops. Cooked to perfection. Had salad. My husband had the baked potato with toppings and I had grilled fresh asparagus and the creamed spinach. Delicious. We also had dessert. There is a $29.00 upcharge each to eat at the Crowngrill Steakhouse. I highly recommend this for an extra special evening. Pub lunch! What can I say? We look forward to pub lunch on Princess Cruises. There is NO upcharge. Always a lineup! Usually held in the Wheelhouse Pub or the Crowngrill Steakhouse. They have fish and chips with mushy peas, steak and kidney pie, bangers and mash, English Plowman’s lunch. They also have British Beers available for purchase. It is just the right amount for lunch. We thoroughly enjoy the Pub Lunch! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
One more cruise to be Elite! I pick the cruise that matches the port closest to where I live and the itinerary. Seattle: The Hop on Hop off at Seattle was terrible. Many went to complain and received 50percent back. Do not ... Read More
One more cruise to be Elite! I pick the cruise that matches the port closest to where I live and the itinerary. Seattle: The Hop on Hop off at Seattle was terrible. Many went to complain and received 50percent back. Do not recommend. San Francisco: Right across street is Street Car stop (cable, trolley) that you can take to go to Fishermans Wharf etc, or to go to San Francisco Trolley tour. Also take it within two blocks of rental car companies. Also Hertz, Enterprise, etc will reimburse you cab fare from car rental. We rented car for the day to drive to Napa. Watch out for extra $14 toll fare added to rental. Hertz AAA Discount. Enterprise thru Costco. San Diego: walk or take bicycle taxi, or taxi down to Seaport Village. 10 of our group took the Seal tour. (Duck tour.) Or book Hop on Hop off either thru ship or independently. Embarkation: New Medallion Class ship. So no preference to preferred boarding. Disembarkation in Vancouver: We took taxis, big mistake. Some took train to airport, bigger mistake. Several cruses in one day. Long line for taxis, then they kept taking the handicapped first and our line did not move until we complained that they were not rotating us. In the future we would book Princess shuttle. We like the fact that the Royal Class ships have the fresh ground coffee not the syrup. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We enjoyed trying the larger Royal ship, which was beautiful, especially the large atrium, and the Medallion system made the experience better. One nice surprise was that the excellent speed of MedallionNet allowed us to watch the new ... Read More
We enjoyed trying the larger Royal ship, which was beautiful, especially the large atrium, and the Medallion system made the experience better. One nice surprise was that the excellent speed of MedallionNet allowed us to watch the new episode of Game of Thrones on a tablet. The only crowd problems were at the Princess Theater, where you had to arrive at least 1/2 hour before showtime to get a decent seat although it was easier for the later 10 p.m. shows, at elevators, and at the gangway to exit the ship when only one was being used. Speaking of shows, comedian AJ Jamal was absolutely hilarious at both shows during the week. Cruise Director Matt O was exceptionally entertaining and seemed to be everywhere; don't miss him when he is in charge of games in the Princess Live room. We thought the production show Colors of the World was just okay, but really enjoyed Encore. Our A-327 mini-suite was nice but the room attendant was just okay. Anytime dining at the Symphony Dining Room ranged from very good to average. Some favorite meals were beef medallions, pork,fried chicken, and the available everyday salmon. For the second Princess cruise in a row, the lobster tail during the second formal night was not that good. Breakfast here was not nearly as good as at the Horizon Court buffet, although sharing a table was a plus. One side of the huge buffet area always offered more dishes than the side more forward on the ship. Sabatinis had excellent service and food, definitely a cut above the MDR; we loved the artichoke souffle, pot roast pasta, lobster 3-way, veal shank, and tira misu. The Crown Grill was a disappointment, being adjacent to the busy and noisy Wheelhouse Bar. Although the service, lobster tail dinner, side dishes, and dessert were excellent, the rib eye steak was very thin and not particularly tasty. The International Cafe was excellent for coffees, desserts, and small plates. The casino allows smoking in one side section, resulting in the entire room and adjacent areas outside smelling. We would definitely like to sail on this larger class of ship again, will look for cruises with the Medallion system, and hope to experience Matt O' Brien again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We just got off the Island Princess sailing from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Service overall, with one exception (see below) was fabulous. We were on the Royal Princess in January and are booked for Australia in December with a Cruisetour. ... Read More
We just got off the Island Princess sailing from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Service overall, with one exception (see below) was fabulous. We were on the Royal Princess in January and are booked for Australia in December with a Cruisetour. If we had not booked Australia prior to this cruise, we would have definitely considered another cruise line. The Royal was such a completely different experience and this is not due to size. The Maitre d's in the dining room are only interested in catering to the Club Members and have no difficulty ignoring the remaining passengers. This was heard constantly throughout our cruise, on shore excursions, at the bars, in the Horizon Court.... Not nice at all!!!!! It was as if there were two classes of passengers. There was one occasion where the Maitre d' came over to the table beside ours and apologized for the place they were in as "their table" had been given away. It suddenly made us feel as if we were in a horrible place in the dining room. Coming to the dining room every night was not comfortable for many of us and this should not be the case. Of course, once we were seated, the wait staff was outstanding and all was forgotten. However, this happened, EVERY NIGHT to all of us. Service everywhere else was fabulous, from the Horizon Court to the Bars to Excusion Staff. We had a wonderful time. Bayou was great with a live jazz band playing during dinner. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We choose this ship because we love it’s sister ship, the Coral. This is NOT the same ship as the Coral. The huge two story Universal Lounge was removed, lots of cabins were added instead. The fitness room was moved from its larger upper ... Read More
We choose this ship because we love it’s sister ship, the Coral. This is NOT the same ship as the Coral. The huge two story Universal Lounge was removed, lots of cabins were added instead. The fitness room was moved from its larger upper deck view of the sea location to a smaller inside the ship lower down deck. It was a joke and people actually paid to use fitness studios in port to workout. The Piazza does not have a La Patisserie that serves coffees AND snacks, even though the large electronic kiosks at the elevators say this. The atrium is small and narrow. The bar at the casino has no snack area unlike the Coral. Less public spaces + more passengers = no empty chairs anywhere on the ship! This itinerary up the West Coast is very popular and that is why we booked it. But they did not have enough spaces for a decent Zumba Class (was taught in the Wheelhouse Lounge) or Dance Lessons, both of which HAD been taught in the Universal Lounge. Because there was only a few good public spaces at night (Theatre, Explorers, Wheelhouse), these areas were always very packed. The Captains Circle evening area is not private like it use to be. The Captains Party was not even held on a formal night. There were NO DAILY HIGH TEAS! The internet was down the last 24 hrs on the ship. These are all deal breakers for me. The bands this time for the most part were not that great. Drinks were too fruity/not good booze. The food was for the most part good although very salty which covers bad cooking. Curtis Stone had a few menu items added here and there but for the most part were missing daily like we are use to. Service in the dining rooms were extremely slow. Coffee tasted watered down and was undrinkable several days. The Pub Lunch food was sad and cold and small except for dessert. Specialty restaurants were good so we ate there 3 nights at $29pp. The buffet was good and seemed highly attended since the dining rooms were slow and empty. Photos were $25 each. There was not enough activities on board nor were there any guest educational speakers on the ports from what we could tell. Pastries were good. Servers and staff were extremely friendly. Cabin attendant very good. The captain and cruise staff very nice. If it were not for the amazing ports we visited, this cruise would have been a bust. We are almost the top tier of the Captains Circle (black card), but from what we can tell, the perks are not that great at this level, except for laundry service. So we may never cruise on Princess again if this ship is any indication of where Princess is going in the future with amenities and costs. That’s too bad. We have done over a dozen cruises with them in the last 10 years. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We have completed a Coastal California cruise previously and had such a nice time we wanted to take the cruise again. We loved the Island Princess. It is a smaller ship but great for those cruisers who like to meet people and enjoy a ... Read More
We have completed a Coastal California cruise previously and had such a nice time we wanted to take the cruise again. We loved the Island Princess. It is a smaller ship but great for those cruisers who like to meet people and enjoy a smaller ship experience. Lots of wood used which made it seem warm and inviting. Entertainment was really good with a standing ovation one night for one producation. There is a Sabatinis and Blue Bayou Cafe on board. We ate at Sabatinis and had a good meal and wonderful service. There were lots of activitities including Harmonica lessons and Quilling as well as bingo. The ports were one of the reasons we chose this cruise. With Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Astoria and the beautiful Victoria BC one can't help but have a great time on shore. I recommend Butschart Gardens in Victoria. Beautiful experience if you love gardens and Muir Woods / Saulsilito in San Francisco. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
It left from Vancouver, so that meant less flying to or from the ship as we live in British Columbai. The Emerald has just come out of a refit that took place in Victoria. There were new carpets in the cabins and in the public areas. ... Read More
It left from Vancouver, so that meant less flying to or from the ship as we live in British Columbai. The Emerald has just come out of a refit that took place in Victoria. There were new carpets in the cabins and in the public areas. The Fresh World Marketplace is a makeover of the Horizon Buffet. It is beautiful. The colours and the accents and the new furniture make the area a very comfortable place. The layout of the serving stations is much improved so that not everyone has to be in a long line to go past the food. If you want salad, you go to the salad area. If you want a sandwich, they are in a separate station. Planks and Steamers are new at the rear of the FWM in the evenings. It appears that you get a lot of food for the extra $12. Share is a dining experience. Six courses are artfully arranged on smaller plates and taste delicious. Magic To Do was presented twice. An incredible production show. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first cruise experience. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing. Embarkation and debarkation is close to where we live. Additionally, the timing coincided with spring break. It's a big ship and fun to find ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing. Embarkation and debarkation is close to where we live. Additionally, the timing coincided with spring break. It's a big ship and fun to find my way around. There is plenty to do at all hours. However, my stateroom was not ready at the designated time. One of the highlights for us was dining. From formal to casual dining, there were a lot of well prepared and delicious meals everywhere we chose. My preference was the buffet, because I got to meet people while sharing a table. Movies under the stars was fun as were the other activities. Funny thing, the comedians were fun to watch. Three movies playing at the same time, made it easy to watch what you wanted. The service was wonderful. I appreciate the crew's ability to maintain a professional demeanor while handling all situations. Read Less
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