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94 Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

We love the Golden Princess and have sailed on her five times but sadly on our lastest cruise we were a little disappointed. We had nine days without TV, internet and communication due to a fire. We were left frightened and staff panicked ... Read More
We love the Golden Princess and have sailed on her five times but sadly on our lastest cruise we were a little disappointed. We had nine days without TV, internet and communication due to a fire. We were left frightened and staff panicked and several did not go to their designated muster station even after several calls to do so from the Captain. We were in a balcony cabin and the smell was coming into the cabin so we opened the balcony door for air, but the smell was coming into our cabin. We were told to stay in our cabin, but some people were told to wear something warm, take your medication with you and prepare to evacuate, so we were told different things. Our wonderful cabin steward Kurt told us to stay calm and he would keep us informed. After what seemed like several hours the Captain informed us the heavy thick black smoke was under control (fire was not mentioned, but we know there was fire). We were all offered a complementary glass of wine with dinner the next night (we dont drink) and later offered $150 on board credit for no tv and internet for nearly the whole cruise. There were many leakes around the ship. There was a toilet flooding on Horizon level. The ship needs a good spruse up and the cabins are in need of some spring cleaning as they are not cleaned properly for new arrivals. We found a used toothbrush in a draw from previous occuapants and blood on a bed cushion. We went Club Class as this was the only available at time of booking and found the staff we absolutely fantastic and they made our vacation bearable. We were so looking forward to this cruise but were sadly let down. We hope they can repair the ship and fix all the problems as we would still love to sail on her in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Where do I begin, off the ship was awesome, but coming back on was a huge let down. Bars were way understaffed and I fell bad for those who paid for drink packages. I would have to wait about 20 mins just to get a coke. When you would sit ... Read More
Where do I begin, off the ship was awesome, but coming back on was a huge let down. Bars were way understaffed and I fell bad for those who paid for drink packages. I would have to wait about 20 mins just to get a coke. When you would sit down to dine the wait for a drink would be worse, almost finished when the drink would arrive. Cabin looked old and outdated. The view was great though. Dining- Be prepared to pay extra for dining if you want a good meal. The specialty restaurants were great. Regular dining had no flavor but service was good. Buffets were the same all the time, they just changed the sauce that it was prepared with (LOL0 Hope you like pork! Entertainment- Shows were ok, have seen better on other cruise lines. Magician was horrible my son could do better than him. Comedy was great first nite, his second was basically a repeat of his first (Which was made to sound like it was going to be a special treat). Trying to get a drink was a joke because not enough staff. Crew shows were ok, they did their best. It might sound like all I can do is complain but this cruise ship was such a let down, every-time you got around the other guest after 2 days all you would hear is complaining of how horrible the service was, I am sure I am not the only one giving this cruise a bad review. I work hard for my money and expect great service when we go on vacation. Chose another cruise line and have a great time. If you do chose this line be prepared to spend extra for great food and bring your own alcohol !!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Worst cruise my husband and I ever took. FACT: 1) Spent more time at sea than the itinerary stated. 2) Took over 3 hours to get into our room due to the key card and room door being inoperable. 3) The room was really small, ... Read More
Worst cruise my husband and I ever took. FACT: 1) Spent more time at sea than the itinerary stated. 2) Took over 3 hours to get into our room due to the key card and room door being inoperable. 3) The room was really small, not what was shown in the picture on the website and set up with two twin beds instead of a queen. 3a) The bathroom was small. I’m 5’7 and 185. As I stood in the shower, one arm touched a wall and the other arm touched the shower curtain. 4) The food was horrible. Some items were under cooked, while others were over cooked, very little options on a day to day basis and not pleasing to taste. 5) Trouble with the cruise ship. We happened to be on the side where the repairs were done. 6) Closed laundromat. 7) The majority of the staff was rude and unpleasant. 8) The boat had a urine smell in the pipes that wafted into the air. 9) No diverse onboard activities. 10) Rude to handicapped cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We choice this cruise because we want to see the glacier in Tracy bay, we didn't get into see the glaciers due to flowing ice in the arm area. Do NOT book spa services ahead of cruise you can get better deals on the ship (they provide ... Read More
We choice this cruise because we want to see the glacier in Tracy bay, we didn't get into see the glaciers due to flowing ice in the arm area. Do NOT book spa services ahead of cruise you can get better deals on the ship (they provide discounts) that they don't provide on the internet. SAD. Do NOT book a meal at the Crown Grill the food was disappointing and you can't send it back without them charging you an additional $29 for each meal. Our river rafting was a JOKE we got stuck on several rocks due to very little water in the river they should have cancelled the excursion and gave us a refund but no. They also cancelled the White Train excursion but it was cancelled too, due to a rockslide that damaged part of the train track which we understand, but we had to scramble to find another excursion the night before. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Food was horrible! Staff was not happy or friendly. Atmosphere was very ugly. No one I spoke to on the cruise was having a good time. Daily entertainment was very limited! Kids program was not fun for my 12 year old who is almost 13. ... Read More
Food was horrible! Staff was not happy or friendly. Atmosphere was very ugly. No one I spoke to on the cruise was having a good time. Daily entertainment was very limited! Kids program was not fun for my 12 year old who is almost 13. Everything was geared toward little kids in his group so he never went to class because they didn’t make it fun and made my preteen feel like a little kid. He wanted to hang out in the 13+ but they would not let him even though he is 13 next month. It was at least 30 min to get seated for dinner and food took forever. When the food came it was old and gross. Selection was not great either. The buffet had old food And again not a big selection. Overall this is the worst cruise I have ever been on and will not be back in Princess! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first cruise with Princess and as a result of my experience, it will definitely be my last. Prior to booking, I had this impression that Princess was an elite cruising brand. I expected more of them than I would a Carnival, ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Princess and as a result of my experience, it will definitely be my last. Prior to booking, I had this impression that Princess was an elite cruising brand. I expected more of them than I would a Carnival, Norwegian or Royal Caribbean cruise line. I could not have been more wrong. Let's start with the PROS since its a short list. PROS: Embarkation - Princess is very organized. I was on the ship in less than 20 minutes from my arrival to the pier. I have NEVER gotten on a ship that fast before. There was no haggling to buy onboard packages and no pressure to take pictures. It was the most quickest, easiest embarkation I have ever experienced. Shore Excursions - I really liked that while the Excursions desk was not always manned that they had iPads at the desk so I could book excursions during their non-operating hours. I struggled whether to add this to the CONS list really, because the Excursions desk was closed before and during our sail away period, but I do like that I had this as an option. I like to book my excursions as soon as I get on the ship. I later learned I could have booked them in my room via the TV. Entertainment - I really enjoyed some of the musical talent on this ship. I learned of some new artistic gems like George Thursting that I now follow through social media. Love them. Folks, that's where my PROS list ends. Let's dive into everything that made this cruise horrible and left me vowing to NEVER cruise with Princess again. CONS: Bed Bug (in Room B249) - I usually don't sleep much, if at all, the night before a cruise, because I am busy packing and getting my house (and life) prepared for my extensive departure, so I usually make up for that sleep the first night on the ship. This cruise was no exception. I grabbed a bite to eat and booked my excursions once I got on board and I headed straight to my room to snooze. After we set sailed, I got up to grab something out of my bag and when I returned to the bed I noticed what looked like a bed bug crawling over the duvet cover. I screamed! I ran outside where the cabin steward was. He came in looking embarrassed, but not surprised, and scooped the bug into a glass jar. I was mortified. All I could think was how grateful I was that I had not unpacked yet. I did NOT want to take any of these critters home with me. I hear bed bugs are horrible to get rid of. I went straight to the reception desk to report it. Its the first night, so there's a long line. I patiently wait. When I get to the line, the service desk rep (Ignacio and Aracelli) said there was not much they could do besides send someone to investigate and clean the room since the ship was sold out. They did not offer me some place to sit or rest at during this 2-hour investigation. They did not offer me a complimentary beverage or meal. They did not apologize for the inconvenience. They did nothing, but "investigate." I stood on the side of the reception desk for 2 hours exhausted. I finally got back in line to see if there was an update, since NO ONE spoke to me during those 2 hours and only after I got back in line did someone call to check on the "investigation" and that's when I was told they were done and they did not find anything else (meaning another bug). For all I know, the investigation could have been completed an hour earlier. I return to my room alone. Visibly shaken, they did not offer to escort me to my room to reassure me and show me their findings. No one was there when I arrived. It was hours later when the cabin steward supervisor and my cabin steward returned to tell me the supervisor found nothing. I asked if I would be able to get checked by medical - something the front desk rep said I would be able to get as a courtesy to check for bed bug bites - and the supervisor told me NO. He said the ship doctor is not like a doctor on land, they're expensive, so I would have to pay for this myself. Um... OK! I was done after this. Done. He treated me like I was an inconvenience. Very hostile. I never unpacked my bag. I kept it closed the entire cruise and I checked my room for bed bugs each and every day. I tried not to let this ruin my trip cuz then I would definitely be on the losing end. I tried to make the best of it. Ship - Its old. Real old. Very dated. There's rust, mildew and mold everywhere. While I stood in line at the guest desk, I noticed there were multiple leaks from the ceiling. Also, the layout makes no sense. They give each deck a name. For example: Deck # 11 is named Baja and Deck # 15 is named Lido. Instead of referring to the deck number, you had to learn the deck names, because that is how they were referenced. It was so cooky. Then there were only so many elevator banks. I believe there were three or four for the entire ship and one or two of those only went to a few floors. There were no machines for people to add money to their room card/key. Everything went through the very incompetent guest desk. And they had to escalate everything. No one at the desk could make a decision at their level. No one was empowered to just do common sense things for guests. While I waited for my bed bug investigation, I heard a man with Platinum Level Status get upset over his beverage package and how someone screwed it up. I stood there thinking: If this guy is a loyal Princess cruiser and they treat him like that, how should I expect them to treat me? Not good, folks. Not good. Dining - I actually like the seating in the buffet dining areas. I liked that there were pub seating that looked directly out the window, so if you're a party of one you're only taking one seat and not an entire table. That's where my likes end. The food options were very limited and buffet small. It was about one-third of the size of the buffet area on the average Norwegian ship. Horrible! I made due, but I was just shocked. In Conclusion: The pros definitely did not outweigh the cons. I cannot justify the cost of the average Princess cruise for me to try the brand again. Outside of wanting to experience the Princess brand, I really chose this sailing because it was going to the ABC islands and it was full of smart at sea days. Heed my warnings. If nothing else, stay away from this ship unless you've cruised it before and know what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
To see if Princess could make amends for problem laden Hawaiian cruise and restore faith in Princess. This was their chance, did they succeed, not only did they fail to resurrect their product in our eyes they reinforced our decision never ... Read More
To see if Princess could make amends for problem laden Hawaiian cruise and restore faith in Princess. This was their chance, did they succeed, not only did they fail to resurrect their product in our eyes they reinforced our decision never ever again. 1) Get on board just before 5.00 pm and hear announcement “Muster drill will commence at 5.30 pm” we immediately go to a bar and ask for two drinks, waiter says “Yes Sir”. Waiter go to sort out drinks his Manager says No. Waiter informs us, we ask to speak to manager, manager reluctantly appears and we question his decision, he says can’t serve whilst Muster drill has commenced. Announcement says “ Muster drill will commence in ten minutes “ We ask manager to reconsider, No. Not a good start to the Cruise. Picking up sunbed towels from the clean/new towel bin found several with large brown stains on them so threw them into the used bin, staff came to watch and as I found more stained towels and showed them one of them gave a classic Gallic shrug. Towels went in the bin. Sadly we found cabin towels also stained prior to our using them. In the cafe clients were filling their personal water bottles from the water machines and they were coming into contact with the taps, staff nearby said nothing and did nothing to stop it. I surely do not need to point out the ramifications of this to cruisers. Anytime Dining. Now I understand the word anytime to be just that, NOT princess, apparently anytime means anytime after 7.30 pm or if the maitre’d likes you. If you challenge the maitre’d he is quite happy to have a very public disagreement with you. Disembarking. Now does this have to be a problem? The ship docks early in the morning, your flight arranged by Princess is at 7.00 pm. You are requested to be at your disembarkation point for 10.0 am . At 10.15 am you are placed on coaches for a 75 minute ride to Rome airport and dumped to fend for yourself until your flight at 7.00 pm. All the better cruise lines leave you on board and allow you to use cafes/ sun beds etc until nearer your flight time. Princess comments are “you could have gone on an excursion or you could pay a fee and stroll around Rome for the day” . Anything but stay on board, we feel Princess attitude is we have had your money, either spend more or get lost. Their final comment is we do take great note of customer feedback, well take note never again. I have not listed all complaints. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
From embarcation in Shanghai, where no one from princess could be found. You had to shove and push your way for over 500 metres inside terminal. People in wheelchairs pushing there luggage through the terminal with not even 1 staff member ... Read More
From embarcation in Shanghai, where no one from princess could be found. You had to shove and push your way for over 500 metres inside terminal. People in wheelchairs pushing there luggage through the terminal with not even 1 staff member from princess to even tell you you where in the right terminal! No queues, just passengers pushing and shoving. The captain blamed the late arrival of the ship. The real reason, princess crew to lazy to help, and couldn’t be bothered to send anybody to take luggage on outside of terminal , staff to help people to properly que up, or just to direct people to right terminal! Most passengers only found the right terminal because they went to terminal 1 where another ship was embracing passengers. I have to tell you that the 3 terminals are probably 1 kilometre apart!. We took 3 1/2 hours to board, others took up to 5 hours to board. This ship was a nightmare. Don’t be fooled. This ship has no public space to the amount of people she carries. Everywhere you go there are no seats to sit. On sea days you que for everything, from a cup of coffee, which takes more than 1/2 an hour, then you can’t find a seat to sit down..The grand class ship has double the public space than this ship. The food suffers the same problem, they can’t handle cooking for over 5000 thousand every meal. The food in the main dinning rooms and the buffet is very poor quality. Ships have gotten bigger, prices have come down, something has to give? If you cruised 15 years ago, and compare with what you get now. It’s like night to day! The service is exactly the same. How do they find staff for all these ships there building each year. Most of the staff don’t speak English which is a bit of a problem when most of your customers only speak English. The ques at the customers service desk for the first 5 days had to be seen to be believed. They weren’t there to say how good a job they were doing! My balcony door was broken and couldn’t get it to open. It took 3days and several phone calls to staff who barely spoke English, for them to come to fix the door. After reading the reviews on cruise critic about this ship, princess should be ashamed to have this ship in there fleet. To anyone who think this was a good ship,you need to wake up, don’t listen to there crap about how good they are, which they drum into you from the moment you walk on. This cruise is a nightmare! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Our cruise was February 18 to 25th 2018. Route was the Eastern Caribbean (Princess Cay, St. Thomas, St. Maarten) Our first impression was that the crew and customer service people were not very helpful. I feel that the tip system is ... Read More
Our cruise was February 18 to 25th 2018. Route was the Eastern Caribbean (Princess Cay, St. Thomas, St. Maarten) Our first impression was that the crew and customer service people were not very helpful. I feel that the tip system is unfair to the passengers and the attendants. Tips are automatically charged to the passenger’s credit card at the end of the cruise. This tells me everyone in a certain work group is given the same tip regardless of the level of service provided. We went to the Customer Service desk and removed the automatic tips so we could tip individually. We generally encountered too many people competing for too few resources; No chance of getting a deck chair unless you are willing to get out there at 6 am. Can’t believe that there’s not more “incidents” over this. Can’t anyone come up with a system that boosts customer satisfaction? Evening entertainment was way too short (30 – 45 minutes). Show quality was pretty sub-par. Too few seats in the theater. Better get there 40 minutes before the show if you want to get a seat. Anytime Dining option is a real joke. You don’t get anytime, you get a choice of the few limited times that they have in the dining rooms. Folks with dietary restrictions are out of luck. When you enter your restrictions in the “Cruise Personalizer” they don’t get communicated to the waiter. We even spent time with the maître d explaining the situation and he assured us they will get it right. Never happened. In general, the food was nothing to write home about. We had a balcony cabin on the Baja deck. The sea conditions for the first few nights were rough and windy but no hurricane. We had a lot of on and off banging of pipes or ductwork in the ceiling of our room and hallway. Neighboring cabins also complained of this. Bottom line, we didn’t get much sleep the first three nights. Doesn’t do much for my attitude on vacation. When we complained to the customer service desk we got a snotty answer that all ships make noise in rough weather. When I told this person I was going to put this in my review, she all of a sudden tried to be more attentive and that’s when I told her to see my review! The drain stopper in our sink was stuck shut. Had to wedge something in there to hold it up. Finally fixed after three days. If you are an exceptional dancer and like Latin and Ballroom, this is the cruise for you. The main gathering every night was in the Piazza area where couples danced to a very good band. Veterans, don’t forget to apply for the veteran’s credit when booking the cruise. Nobody tells you about this. Enjoy your cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Fitted our timeline. This cruise line is so tight. The food is terrible. The ship needs to be scuttled. The entertainment was extremely amateurish. The cruise director is the worst try hard we have ever encountered he should be fired. But ... Read More
Fitted our timeline. This cruise line is so tight. The food is terrible. The ship needs to be scuttled. The entertainment was extremely amateurish. The cruise director is the worst try hard we have ever encountered he should be fired. But the worst thing about this cruise is the food, it is disgusting. The tequila hacienda, tiles shopping tour is a con, you are taken to 3 stores so the tour people can earn some extra funds,joyously waste 1.5 hours and then are rushed at the tequila tour. The tour group appear to own the tequila place as well. This whole tour is a waist of money, do something else. The wind up at the end was all angled for a big tip as they are so poor. DO NOT DO THIS TOUR. Overall this cruise is the worst we have done, poor timing for ports, Cabo should be the longest but it was the shortest. I read lots of reviews and no feel some people who write great reviews must have been on a different ship.Never choose princess they are the worst and tightest cruise line ever. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
It was a gift. Although it was a gift, the person who paid for it realizes that he did not get good value for his $$ that he gave to us. We found the service staff to be unfriendly- Could use some training in customer service. We ... Read More
It was a gift. Although it was a gift, the person who paid for it realizes that he did not get good value for his $$ that he gave to us. We found the service staff to be unfriendly- Could use some training in customer service. We went on a shore excursion and when we discovered it was unsatisfactory (nothing like the published info on the Princess website); It was not worth any where near what we paid for it, When we mentioned the negative experience to the shore excursions desk on the ship, we were told in no uncertain terms that "there are no Guarantees in life and to basically tell someone who cares". So I would be very careful when reading what is published on the Princess website regarding their shore excursions. The food was barely etable. Selection and quality of the food did not have the same standard as other Cruise lines that I have been on many times. Would not recomend Princess and feel that our $$ were wasted. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told ... Read More
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told us that they sent Princess a list of our dietary requirements including the various foods items required. At our first dinner sitting there were no Vegan options on the menu and in speaking with the service staff we were informed that the only vegan protein they had available was Tofu. One of my biggest concerns in arranging the booking was that Vegan meals would be provided and there would be a variety of choice, I was extremely dismayed to find that there were no vegan options on any of the menus including the dining room. Further, the only protein source they had available on the ship was Tofu. It is my expectation that when I make a specific request for a Vegan Menu that this be provided. The Anytime Dining and the Buffet did not provide the ingredient list for their prepared items and there was no indication if the various dishes were Vegan or not. I would expect to have available meals that are prepared using organics, healthy oils, no refined sugars, etc. Vegan ingredients for the most part are easy to find and not expensive, alternative protein sources include Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Quinoa, Kale, Hemp Seed, and Chickpeas. As a result of the limited menu, I ended up with essentially the same meals each day, not what I was expecting. Why are there no Vegan dishes on the menu? Quinoa Salad, Chickpea salads, Kale Salads, Bean Salads, Lentil dishes, Chia Pudding, is often available in most restaurants as entrées, why would Princess not also have these available? Customer service by the staff on board the ship was exceptional, if Princess educated their chef and kitchen staff on how to prepare tofu entrées with flavor, quinoa salads, bean & lentil entrees they would open doors to customers that have special need diets as well as ones that choose to eat clean. Vegan entrees should be included on the menu. As well, this could enhance the wonderful vegetable & fruit salads in the buffet. I also would like to comment on the excessive number of sales pitches onboard the Princess, so many talks etc. were just there to sell a product and this was especially true of the fitness center. As an example one of the trainers presented on how to get flatter abs, with the comment that 50% is from Diet and Exercise and the other 50% from a detox product which they would be happy to have you purchase on a monthly subscription. They also stated that we all know about diet and exercise so he would not comment on this. I found this presentation particularly offensive as this information is just not true. There are absolutely no scientific studies that have shown a detox product to specifically result in a flatter abs. Flatter abs will come from diet and exercise alone and the assumption that everyone knows about diet and exercise is also wrong. I am very well educated in diet and fitness and yet know I still have much to learn and any information on this is always welcome. I also booked the Chileno Bay Sail and Snorkel in Cabo San Lucas and was under the impression that we would have 40 minutes of snorkeling time, at best only 15 minutes of snorkeling time was provided. The host were very good, but quite disappointing to have booked a snorkeling adventure and then only have such a limited time in the water. Much of the time was spent watching whales, which is fantastic, but this was a snorkeling excursion not a whale watching one. This was my first time on a cruise ship and I have to say I was quite disappointed with the level of food service provided. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Sea Princess New Zealand Cruise 4-18 Jan 2018 CABIN A620 Norovirus Sea Princess motto should be changed from "Come back new" to "Come back poor and barely alive". Having had twelve cruises with several cruise ... Read More
Sea Princess New Zealand Cruise 4-18 Jan 2018 CABIN A620 Norovirus Sea Princess motto should be changed from "Come back new" to "Come back poor and barely alive". Having had twelve cruises with several cruise lines we are fairly aware of what to expect when cruising. We saw news headlines stating that the Sea Princess had had approximately 200 passengers ill with the norovirus but measures were being undertaken to disinfect/sanitise the ship while returning to Brisbane and while in port prior to departure for the cruise we were booked on. Considering how infectious and dangerous this virus is my wife and I boarded the ship with some confidence that the crew had undertaken a rigorous cleaning of the ship. We also disinfected our cabin with Glenn 20 as an added precaution. All went well until late on day four when I came down with the Norvovirus. Obviously somebody had not been as rigorous as they should have been when cleaning the ship. During the next four days I was very ill, visiting ships doctor on several occasions, had two cannula's inserted for various reasons, high temperature and anti vomiting medication. All of these visits amounted to over $1000 in medical fees and included a $3.88 charge for an adult nappy when I asked for one to protect the new mattress that Princess were boasting about and had just installed as part of the recent refit the ship had undergone. Part of the treatment for norovirus is isolation of the passengers, but during the entire time I had the virus my wife still shared toiled facilities, shower and hand basin, but.. she was still allowed to roam the ship, go ashore, eat in all restaurants attend the theatre etc. This to me indicated how little the ships senior officers understood the word "isolation" and the contempt they showed to fellow passengers on the ship, some of whom were recovering from chemotherapy, aged and young children. You would think after only a week or so since the first outbreak they would have made wiser decisions. While I could go on about the lack of concern from senior staff who were quick to ignore the illness we had it on good authority that I was not the only case, but when staff were questioned their silence said it all. Once partly recovered with three ports remaining I was well enough to make the following observations on this cruise. a. If you are coming for romantic dinners in the more upper class restaurants ie. Traviata, Rigoletto forget it. Tables for two are practically non existent, and your choice is "Shared dining" or "shared dining". Initially shared dining was satisfactory but as the cruise progressed table numbers went from 6 to 12. Very hard to eat when the person next to you has their elbow in your soup. Food very average b. If you needed Senior staff (if there were any) were very scarce. I also noted while you are not spending money on excursions you receive notes asking why not but if you are on your death bed with an illness no one comes near, not even a note to ask if you are feeling better. As all novovirus have to be reported ignorance is not an excuse. c. Starboard side of ship deck 7 near where smokers hang out, be prepared for foulest sewer smell you can get. Some nights this stench actually made it up to deck 11 and we had to close our door. d. Food served at salmonella bar, oops! Horizon Court Buffet very average except for vegetable soup, which was served under several different names throughout the cruise. We also noted cold meats, cheeses and salads were placed in serving areas at least one to two hours before service began (good luck eating that). e. New mattresses, while comfortable, were hot to sleep on. Luckily we had a balcony so opening the door, when the sewer stench was blowing the other way, solved this problem. Those passengers with inside cabins that we talked to were not so lucky complaining about hot mattresses. Pillows smelt of sweat on a few occasions and on two days the sheets had some not pretty stains on them. f. Shows on the Sea Princess that I was able to watch were very disappointing except for one. I think there were no shows for the first two nights because cast were rehearsing, surely this should have been done before the cruise started. Last night no show so if my maths are right that is 22% of nights no shows. Theatre very small so unless you arrived 45 minutes before start of show no seats were available. You could go view show on a large screen but this just gave the crew more opportunity to load you up with very expensive drinks. All in all this is one cruise line that cares little for its paying passengers and is very much overpriced for what you get. The services, food, entertainment are average at best and the ship, while it looks good on the surface is showing its age, rust is not removed it is painted over unlike other cruise ships we have been on where great care to ongoing maintenance is taken. My closing comment is if you choose to cruise with Princess don't say you were not warned. This cruise nearly put us of cruising for life. We will be sailing with more reputable lines that we are familiar with in the future. Recommend this line if you need to lose weight, I lost over 3 kilos when I had the virus. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
If you love standing in line, getting bumped into, eating terrible food, sleeping in uncomfortable quarters, being overcharged for things, receiving a hard sell on things you don't want or need, and/or receiving terrible customer ... Read More
If you love standing in line, getting bumped into, eating terrible food, sleeping in uncomfortable quarters, being overcharged for things, receiving a hard sell on things you don't want or need, and/or receiving terrible customer service, then Princess Cruises might be for you. If you don't love these things, save your money. I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that we spent more of our vacation standing in line than we did having fun. Embarkation, safety training, food lines, lines for activities, lines for elevators, customs, disembarkation...so much standing and doing nothing. I had heard such good things about the food that I could not have been more disappointed. It is cheap, mass-produced and watered-down. Like the kind of food you would expect in a cafeteria or a nursing home. Nothing had flavor. Nothing seemed to have the right texture. I was also super disappointed with the spa services. I've had a $200 massage on land before. It was nice, I'd do it again if I had the money to spend. The one one the ship was nothing like what you'd get for the same price in a nice spa. No music, no aromatherapy, no pampering. You fill out a form, they take you to a cold room that reeks of diesel, coat you in oil for 75 minutes, give you the hard sell on products and then send you on your way. My husband and I waited a long time to be able to take this trip, just the two of us. We're so sorry that this is how we spent our special time together. All we wanted was a nice relaxing weekend away, but what we received was nothing like what we imagined. This will be out last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Trip taken mainly to relax and do the canal transit. Ship came out of dry dock a day late and was not finished. There were A LOT of contractors still working on board throughout the cruise. Ship was not ready to go, staff was understaffed ... Read More
Trip taken mainly to relax and do the canal transit. Ship came out of dry dock a day late and was not finished. There were A LOT of contractors still working on board throughout the cruise. Ship was not ready to go, staff was understaffed and too many in training. Having said that, the crew did their best with what they had. Dinner staff was run off their feet and lines for anytime usually ran over an hour to seat. Once inside there were a lot of tables not in use ...probably due to the shortage of staff either on the floor or in the kitchen. Changes to the Horizon while nice to see, presented poor walking traffic for exiting and getting water. Changes have been made in the cafeteria regarding getting juice and other items relying on service staff that were mainly non existent both for breakfast and lunch. This is strike 2 for Princess and never again for the "Island". Princess should be looking to reimburse a lot more to compensate for the terrible experience .. especially for those first time cruising ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because we took a 5 star cruise on Princess two years ago. This cruise was especially important, because destinations Bonaire & Curacao are where we spent our honeymoon diving, 20 years ago. NEGATIVES: A ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we took a 5 star cruise on Princess two years ago. This cruise was especially important, because destinations Bonaire & Curacao are where we spent our honeymoon diving, 20 years ago. NEGATIVES: A cruise ship is a floating hotel. This review is one star, because the mattresses on this ship are SHOT. We paid $3,200 for a suite. Look at the images of our bed, and you will agree that this 'hotel' deserves this one star rating. Regardless how 4-5 star other features on the ship are, if you are sleeping in a 'boat-shaped' bed, tossing and turning all night, back aching, knees aching, it is a ONE STAR experience! The ship is to go in dry dock in March, and all mattresses are set to be changed. That just made us angry! BEWARE, if you have booked Crown Princess between now & March, you will be sleeping on shot mattresses. The ONLY thing Princess can do, to satisfy us at this point, is to give us an anniversary RE-DO, because we deserve it! AGE DISCRIMINATION: My husband & I are avid divers. We booked Princess dive shore excursions on this trip to 'recreate' our 3 week honeymoon in Bonaire & Curacao. We carried 70 pounds of dive gear on this trip, everything we needed except for weights & tanks, for four planned dives, two in Aruba, and two in Bonaire. Princess description of the Bonaire dives stated age 15-70. My husband is a very fit 64 year old Orthopedic surgeon. 36 hours prior to our planned dives in Bonaire, we found a letter on our door stating that Mike's dive had been cancelled because "as stated on our paperwork, 60 is the cutoff age." SO not only was our dive cancelled, they blamed US! Throughout the trip, I checked on Princess' description of the Bonaire Certified Dive Excursion, and it STILL read 15-70! Princess stated that the dive partner's insurance is the reason our dives cancelled. We dive all over the world. I do not believe this is true. Never have I ever seen on any dive liability form, an age limit. Divers fill out a detailed medical questionnaire. That, and fitness to handle your heavy gear are used to determine whether you are fit to dive. Princess has partnered with an excursion that practices gross age discrimination in Bonaire. SIXTY is especially crazy! Really? I would suggest that Princess find a different excursion partner in Bonaire, and I would also suggest that an additional criteria for certified divers, is that they submit proof of DAN insurance, a divers insurance that any avid diver carries. We pre-paid beverages. There is a 15 drink limit, which was not disclosed, but we never came close to that anyway!! In our case, we would have been better off just paying our bar tab. Once we figured out that we would need about 7 drinks a day to break even, we realized that in our case, this was not a good deal! SALES hits: The first two hours on the ship, I believe SEVEN Princess employees hit us up for a wine tasting. Once or twice was fine, but this was highly annoying. I was ready to put a sicker on my forehead that stated "I am not interested in your wine tasting"! Overall, we felt bombarded by staff hitting us up for sales features. INTERNET GRIND: We purchased 100 minutes (110) for $69. The band width is WAY too narrow to accommodate the number of passengers using the internet. The only reason I accessed the internet was to check on my elderly father every couple of days. I needed the entire 110 minutes to accomplish that. The minutes begin when you "connect" but you are NOT connected at that time! It grinds, and grinds, and grinds. It took me 15-20 minutes to access FB and check on my dad, and send him a little note that we were safe, each time I did so. POSITIVES: The Ship: Aside from the mattresses, we were very pleased with this ship & its amenities. I would be rating this a 4 star. 'MUTS' (Movies Under The Stars) is fantastic! One night mid-ship, they had a fabulous 70's style disco night and incorporated Love Boat theme. SUPER FUN! The bar areas are great, we especially frequented the aft bar and greatly enjoyed it! The gym is incredible, with a large selection of equipment, and all cardio-type machines are high and up front, providing majestic views of the sea. The ship has enough pool/bar areas that we never felt crowded. STAFF was just wonderful. From the front desk, to the excursion crew, to bar tenders, wait staff, our main dining staff. Just incredible. 5 Star all the way. Our cabin attendant was SUPERB. Her name is Maria, and we wanted to bring her home! She did her best to resolve the mattress issue, but the images below are AFTER her efforts! NOT Maria's fault. Aruba Certified Diving Excursion was AMAZING. We weren't taken to the beautiful, fragile reefs, and we did not expect to be. Having observed the lack of buoyancy control by many of the other ship divers, I understand fully why! BUT, they took us to two shipwrecks and both were VERY interesting and teeming with life. We actually saw THE biggest Green Moray we have ever seen on the second dive. It was at least 8' long, and just behind it's head top to bottom was two FEET thick! We also saw an octopus on that dive, a rarity in the daytime. I plan to review the operator separately from this. Big KUDO's! Once our dive trip in Bonaire was canceled, we did not book another excursion through the ship. We easily hailed a cab and took the scenic route past the salt flats & flamingos to Jibe City, a world famous windsurfing destination. We sat with our feet in the water drinking a beer, and had a fabulous time. All 3 ports were nice. Bonaire had the best shopping for gifts, really classy, not so much typical "souvenir" items. Port vendors in Aruba & Curacao will warn you that you won't find much in Bonaire. DON'T believe them! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Bathroom Shower did not drain Shower leaked – had to put towels on floor daily to catch water from running on floor Only one AC wall plus marked for “shaver only” Wall plug would not accept standard American plug of my water ... Read More
Bathroom Shower did not drain Shower leaked – had to put towels on floor daily to catch water from running on floor Only one AC wall plus marked for “shaver only” Wall plug would not accept standard American plug of my water pic. We requested extension cord and were told we had to “pre-order” one. We had to brush our teeth in the wet bar sink Dead flower for four days in bathroom Balcony If this ship was refurbished in 2015 why was there: Rust and paint peeling on balcony ceiling (see picture) Sea gull deposits on furniture (see picture) Asked cabin steward to notify cabin next door balcony light had been left on for five days – no action taken. Concerts On Movies Under The Stars – False Advertising “Located on the ship's top deck, Princess makes this experience even more special with personal touches including comfortable chaise lounges, complimentary popcorn, warm cookies & milk and cozy blankets in the evening.” Sam Smith Concert I was so looking forward to this concert as I am a big fan of Sam Smith. Arrived at 5:00pm – asked for a blanket. I was told they would be passed out at 5:30pm. No blankets passed out (had to use beach towels) - no popcorn, warm cookies & milk Sound was not turned on until 15 minutes after concert started. Distractions During Concert Three staff members behind us putting away dirty beach towels talking, singing and dancing during concert Staff pushing squeaky cart around pool area during concert Staff pushing squeaky cart setting up lounge cushions during concert Kids jumping on benches and screaming Piazza Once you have sandwich, salad, etc., in hand where do you sit? Tables were taken over by passengers who were playing card games, dominos, etc. Walking around trying to find a table was ridiculous. Passengers should not be allowed to sit for hours on end when tables are scarce especially during the lunch hour. Celebrations A disappointment finding our balloons on the floor of our cabin after one day. We were told they had to be removed for safety reasons. While travelling other cruise lines our balloons were left out the duration of the trip. Anniversary poster on our cabin door was generic. My husband added our names to it for a personal touch. A letter was written to their Post Cruise Customer Relations on November 20, 2017 outlining in detail our true disappontment. I have never had the courtesy of a reply to my letter. Never will I cruise on Princess. We are not new to cruising as having cruised on Carnival, Cunard and Holland America. It is heartbreaking to have spent over $5,000 for one of the worst cruises we have ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have been traveling since 1995 by Princess cruise line only except one time in 2001 we took a celebrity cruise . We hated celebrity cruise experience that year so we only use Princess for over 16 cruises now. We chose this cruise ... Read More
We have been traveling since 1995 by Princess cruise line only except one time in 2001 we took a celebrity cruise . We hated celebrity cruise experience that year so we only use Princess for over 16 cruises now. We chose this cruise because of the ports visited . The embarkation process was the best this time . As soon as we got into our Balcony cabin on 14th floor, we wanted to get out because we noticed stains in the toilet and some leak between the tiles in the bathroom floor from the grout. We told the steward at once . Next morning we both had severe back pain-being 75 & 79 year old- because of sagging bed. We told that to our steward too. We used to get very efficient hardworking steward except in the celebrity cruise(who was not even changing sheet everyday), but this time we were not lucky in Princess in this matter too. Of course ships started getting bigger and getting more passengers -good for bottom line- but service had become less . Last two cruises in Ruby Princess and in Royal princess we were spoiled by their friendliness , and service with smile . As we expected after seeing the conditions , there was "norvo virus " infection in this cruise. First time after taking so many memorable cruises we were counting the days to get out of this ship. Usually we used to feel sad towards the end of cruise. There was not enough help in the Horizon buffet once the self service was discontinued due to Infectious diarrhea-which was a good attempt to control the spread of infection. We always love "Princess cruises" until this time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Our dream of going to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. We were so disappointed with the company Princess. It was our 5 th croissière and the second with Princess. To start our bed was like a plywood board! Hard and not ... Read More
Our dream of going to Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. We were so disappointed with the company Princess. It was our 5 th croissière and the second with Princess. To start our bed was like a plywood board! Hard and not comfortable. Even after notifying the customer service, the housekeeper has put extra covers ... And nothing more! Bad has my back all the holidays! (I've never had a problem before with my back and since I came back it all came back normal!) Secondly the buffet on the 14 floors, they could not find a place to sit, lots of older people with canes and walkers on our boat and they went around the two rooms without finding a place and finally margin in their room or coffee in the 5th and sometimes I found a place in the bar to eat a donut and a coffee. If I ended up finding a place I would fill so much couple as I am 42 years old and not give my place to an elderly person with difficulty in moving it. It's a lot of trouble because in town if a pregnant woman or an elderly person needs to sit it will give me pleasure to give her my place, this is part of my values. I find it awful to experience this. My trip costing me over $ 9000 can. And I think we should be forgetting to fight to find a place to eat is ridiculous! Or even lunch in his cabin! The dining rooms are open from 7 am to 9 am with services. They are ridiculous to put a alarm to be able to have a lunch on the boat. Following my complaint they did absolutely nothing! But they are not bother to take the total on our credit card. So disappointed with this trip ... thanks to Princess! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose cruise after a health scare. Wecare in our eighties, Elite loyalty, outside cabin P205. Opened the door, bed against wall one side, other bedside cabinet against bed. Only way we could get out of the bed was to climb over one ... Read More
Chose cruise after a health scare. Wecare in our eighties, Elite loyalty, outside cabin P205. Opened the door, bed against wall one side, other bedside cabinet against bed. Only way we could get out of the bed was to climb over one another. Reception didn't care, Captain Circle took notes!! Complaint to head office was to no avail. Terribly disappointed in lack of customer relations , they told my agent i would have seen the configuration on their website, RUBBISH!!! Generic photos of cabin layout. Definitely would have requested a change of cabin had we sighted the configuration of P205. Surely Princess, knowing our ages, would have had more compassion with our plight? It wasnt a last minute booking, but had ben booked six months in advance. Customer loyalty program obviously is not important when cabins are allocated, neither is age taken into consideration when booking for your holiday with Princess Entertainment was good, dining in main restaurant was very good, excellent service. Bars were good, , generally the ship looked a bit tired, needed brighter embellishments. Activities were good, but relevant to youngsters a lot of the time, bingo was very popular. Destination talks were not always accurate, having been there several times, info was a bit out dated. Not incited to go back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is the 1st negative review I have ever written, after ~14 cruises (1st time on Princess celebrating our 15 yr wedding anniv.). This is the 1st time we were treated dishonestly & the room was represented so unethically. We paid ... Read More
This is the 1st negative review I have ever written, after ~14 cruises (1st time on Princess celebrating our 15 yr wedding anniv.). This is the 1st time we were treated dishonestly & the room was represented so unethically. We paid Princess Cruises $4,482.99 for a "Guarantee Unobstructed Oceanview" room, exact title of the purchase. Our room was obstructed by columns, railing, & a full walkway in front of it (photographed). An other cruises that meant a window with the ocean in front of it. On Princess, people constantly walked in front of our window & tried looking in! So we had to keep the curtain closed at all times making this an interior room! Upon seeing our room was not what we paid for, nor represented, we asked very nicely to Princess to exchange our room for either an interior room & refund part of our money (because we were essentially in an inner room anyway) or we would gladly pay extra for a balcony... THE ROOM WE PAID FOR WAS NOT THE ROOM WE WERE STAYING IN! Princess Cruises responded they had no other rooms & would not refund anything yet did not give us a reason why. When I said, 'You're forcing me to write my 1st bad review ever.' They didn't seem to think it would make a difference. After trying to ask Princess to remedy this, we find out at dinner that night the people at our table PAID $3600 per couple for BALCONY rooms PLUS our room was extremely outdated with old brown carpet, plastic counter-tops, & 70s style cracked blue tiles. EMBARKATION - The ports were great, but this was the most disorganized ship we've ever been on! They KNOW how many people they are going to need to disembark, yet do not provide enough transports where every stop required passengers to wait 1-2 hours for either the boat transfers or the cruise ship bus. We were left to wait in the rain or burning sun for between 1 to 2 hours at nearly every port! When there was a tender they made us wait for up to 2 hours before finally getting a tender boat. **AGAIN, THEY KNOW HOW MANY PASSENGERS THEY NEED TO DISEMBARK BUT CHOOSE TO STEAL 1 - 2 HOURS FROM OUR PORT VISIT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO HIRE ENOUGH BOATS and/or BUSES. The FOOD- I am the least picky person, but it was hard to find something I truly enjoyed eating. I said nothing, because the staff seemed like they were trying, but we only remembered one enjoyable meal. ON BOARD ACTIVITIES - roughly 80% of the "activities" on the ship were not actually activities, but sales presentations trying to get you to spend more. All the other cruises we've been on the activities were fun or at least engaging; on Caribbean Princess we left as soon as we politely could. The CLEANING STAFF - the gentleman who cleaned our room was wonderful. He seemed to always be working & looked exhausted, but was always cheerful & greeted us with a friendly smile. THE PORTS (LOVED the cities and their citizens) SOUTHAMPTON -We did an independent tour (not through the cruise) with GoldenTours Private Viewing of Stonehenge. AMAZING! It was breathtaking to be in the center of those 5,000-year-old monoliths, the tour guide was funny, informative, and organized. To stand next to the huge stones was awe-inspiring. GUERNSEY - Such a friendly and informative guide. She loves living in Guernsey and was a wealth of knowledge. The people were so kind there. Even as we waiting for nearly 2 hours for the Princess Cruise's tenders to slowly take us back the Guernsey travel board brought out water and sun block lotion to us. St. Peter Port was beautiful. CORK/COBH - FANTASTIC!!! Blarney Castle TOUR with eCoach Bus Tours from Cork/Cobh, FANTASTIC!! **** Not only did this independent tour get us there BEFORE the Princess tour buses allowing us to go up the Blarney Castle and kiss the Stone in about 15 minutes, it was a THIRD of the cost of the excursion from Princess. However, Princess kept us on the boat for an extra 40 min. so the driver had to wait for us. We still made it to the Blarney Castle before most other groups so were not only able to get up the castle fast, it gave us enough time to explore the vast storybook style gardens, eat lunch, and see the beautiful castle estate on the grounds. DUBLIN - The Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off bus allows you to ride around enjoying the city highlights with guide descriptions and then you can get off to see the Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse, etc. Another bus will pick you up when you're done. LIVERPOOL to WALES - It was nice, although a very long ride to Conwy Castle. The sweet guide tried her best, but she had such a monotone delivery it was hard to stay awake. We didn't realize it would be such a long, long drive but it wasca nice to see the countryside and the Moors. We returned so late that we didn’t have any time left to see Liverpool. BELFAST - The Giant's Causeway was a good experience and impressive, but not as impressive as the photos on-line. The Odyssey Coach Tours Shore Excursion: Giants Causeway Tour from Belfast Port was so rushed we only had about 10 - 15 minutes and had to run to get back in time. The buses took so long we beat the bus ride both down and back up the hill. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge - Odyssey Coach Tours Shore Excursion: Giants Causeway It is an amazing natural phenomenon that has made an incredible series of structures. CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE - Beautiful landscapes and huge cliffs. It's a nice long walk with picturesque views, but you need time to get there and return. They have a limited amount of tickets so buy ahead. Independent Cruise Excursion Tour from Belfast Port. Our guide did not bother reserving tickets for us to go across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the operators told everyone that EACH TOUR GUIDE GROUP KNOWS IF THEY DO NOT RESERVE TICKETS THEN THERE WILL BE NONE AVAILABLE. By a miracle we still found tickets. There was not a single ticket left and lots of people were yelling they were so disappointed. The tour guide co. which did not reserve our tickets was “ODYSSEY COACH TOURS SHORE EXCURSION: Giants Causeway Tour from Belfast Port.” We walked down anyway hoping for a miracle and a kind man standing off to the side said he was not going to use his tickets because he's been over the bridge a hundred times and gave us his tickets! Otherwise we would not have experienced it nor went over to the island. It was a great walk and beautiful view. Thank you kind stranger. GLASGOW – is a lovely and artistic city. It was very hard to get to but once we were there we did the Hop-on Hop-off and were able to tour this delightful city. Glasgow also had great shopping and more Ferrari’s than I’ve seen in a single day. The ship drops you off over 1-1/2 from Glasgow and you have to find a train station to take a 45 min ride into the city. The Scottish people on the train were very upset that Princess Cruises did not call ahead for the big train. Since they did not over half the people had to stand for nearly an hour with their purchases. The city itself was beautiful. INVERGORDON - Excellent Tour, well-organized, and with plenty of time to see Loch Ness, the castle, and explore Invergordon. Plus it was a about 30% of the cost from the cruise ship. We kept beating the ship's bus to each location so we entered with no wait and looked for the Nessie. Very informative and great guide who wore traditional Scottish kilt and was very friendly. EDINBURGH - Hop On Hop Off bus tour & tickets to ‘Skip the line’ to Edinburgh castle. Again, the bus tour guide is so informative and buying the Skip the Line tickets on Viator are well worth it if you'd like to get in without a long wait. The lines are massive if you don't have the Skip the line ticket. The castle is quite impressive as it sits upon the lava rock. Side note: The cruise ship will have you wait between 1-2 hours for a tender HOWEVER, they don't check the ticket number they give you. So we had number 1170, but could have gone with the 1st boat transfer since they don't check. Otherwise, you'll be sitting like we stupidly did waiting for our group # to be called to disembark. LE HAVRE - We took the bus in to the city and enjoyed Le Havre. (Le Havre is not close to anything and we were tired of the long rides. Every tour through the ship was a 2 - 3 hour bus ride each way.) It is a nice city with very friendly people. We enjoyed shopping, their Cathedrals, art, and museum. We've now been to 41 countries & 14 cruises (1st time on Princess). This is the FIRST time a cruise ship company (PRINCESS CRUISES) treated so dishonestly & the Cabin was represented so unethically. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Princess Cruises has entered the race to the bottom with so many changes, to what once was the popular "Love Boat" experience. The focus during the entire cruise was to generate onboard revenue with additional charges and ... Read More
Princess Cruises has entered the race to the bottom with so many changes, to what once was the popular "Love Boat" experience. The focus during the entire cruise was to generate onboard revenue with additional charges and fees. No longer is everyting included with the cruise. There are 4 alternate restaruants with very high additional fees charged ($29.00) per person. The food quality is inferior due to low quality provisions, inproper preparation and lack of training of kitchen staff. Princess should consider changing the name of buffet dining to Golden Corral at Sea, however Golden Corral has wider selection. Alternate dining restaurants were substandard and improper preparating of foods, all foods overcooked. The kitchen cannot make a good soup and does not know the meaning of bisque or chowder. What a truely disappointing experience with Princess. As a Platinum member with Princess, I will not sail with them again. Princess has transferred the labor costs entirely to the guest with the automatic gratuties added to every shipboard account. Staff onboard was great but they can only do with what the company provides, which is poor provisions and inferior training. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Having cruised Princess nine times in the past we though we knew what to expect from the grand daddy of west coast cruising. Needless to say everything was extremely disappointing. The cabins despite the refurbishment in 2016 tired, with ... Read More
Having cruised Princess nine times in the past we though we knew what to expect from the grand daddy of west coast cruising. Needless to say everything was extremely disappointing. The cabins despite the refurbishment in 2016 tired, with mismatched knobs and soiled bed skirts. Dinning options were as old and tired as the ship. the ray of sunshine I can acknowledge is the embarkation process which was fast, efficient and cheerful. Enrichment activities...great if you love art auctions to the exclusion of all else, but the second day the constant hocking of up sells became tired and old. Entertainment show are some the same shows Princess has been producing for the past 7-8 years. Fitness--the gym was to hot to exercise in. Generally the entire ship was stuffy and hot. We had the temperature in our room set as low as possible and still need to open the balcony door to cool the room off every time we entered. Services was reluctant, but most disappointing was the activities staff. There were no activities other than trivia.the cruise director was impersonal and not nearly as friendly or involved as other Princess CDs we have had in other recent Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We are an experienced middle-age couple who have traveled the world, and written lots of good and some bad reviews. So here is our review of our Princess Cruise from Vancouver to Alaska. I pre-purchased several items to surprise my wife ... Read More
We are an experienced middle-age couple who have traveled the world, and written lots of good and some bad reviews. So here is our review of our Princess Cruise from Vancouver to Alaska. I pre-purchased several items to surprise my wife on her birthday. Bad idea. None were delivered and in our room when we arrived as promised. It was a game of hide and seek. 1. The flowers were not there – we had to get our steward call and to get them to deliver them. 2. The little “teddy bear” – we had to go find the liquor boutique in order to pick it up. 3. The photo package – we had to find this place too to get our boarding photos. 4. The Courvoisier Brandy was not there either – we had to ask the steward, who simply said call room service. He would not call them for us, and we had to go and pick it up. 5. As many have said before the service on this ship was lousy. 6. The internet would not work – we had to go find the internet booth to get it to work and link it to our prepaid account. Back in the room it still wouldn’t work unless you stood by the door. No kidding just like one review said which I had read. We wanted to buy 10 small bottles of water for the cruise. The steward said he could get them but they would cost $23. So we got them because if you want drinking water in your room, it’s the only way, even though you have a free beverage package! My wife and I brought 1 bottle of wine each (one each is allowed) in 2 of our bags. Yet after arriving in our room and running all over the place for the above stuff, my feet killing me for over 4 hours, we received a phone call to come down to the 4th floor Medical Center (where? – we were on the 9th) to open our luggage so they could verify the wine. Wow, really? Why not bring them up and open them in our room? Seriously, I got a little upset at that point because they had scanned them and knew it was wine. Well this wasn’t the end. We went to the “passenger services” to complain. The Asian woman hardly spoke English. We want to know if there was a priest aboard for Mass. She had no clue what a priest was or what was Mass. O well, finally we were told by an English speaking gentleman who checked and said he didn’t think so. Then I complained about the service. No answer. And if you decide to call the passenger services, don’t expect them to pick-up the call, they don’t have enough staff, so your call just rings and rings. Not the end. Next morning I checked my Princess account. Strange, they had charged me for my excursions without crediting my payments – you know the ones I prepaid for back home. They said they would check into it. Then had charged by credit card $241 without my okay (it’s in your contract) just in case you buy something. Nice huh? I complained a second and a third time. No help. I visited passenger services and twice gave them my receipts from their own website. Interestingly, they keep your cruise and land portions separate instead of in one account. Oh, and the Spa did call me to verify our appointment. So we took a visit to the 15th floor, only one elevator goes there and it’s in the back of the ship. My feet were killing me, so I asked if they had any appointments, they said none for the entire trip. I used their restroom and looked around, none of the treatment rooms were being used. Ah, short of staff maybe? No places around the ship for quick messages for your feet or back either. And by the way, my body had bruises all over from the spa message. Don't go you'll regret it. Now additionally, the elevators were very slow. Many times we waited and waited to get one. Every time we took the elevator, which was each time we left our room, we waited and waited, many times using the stairs. Many older people were frustrated. One important positive was our room – a mini-suite, well worth the price. Another problem was not hearing announcement in your room or in the elevator. Well you might hear them on the TV, that if your listening to TV and to their channel as well. Interestingly, the Star Princess is a nice ship, not outdated at all. Our first stop was Ketchikan. Thanks to the Captain we parked at berth 4 (all berths were empty), which was about ½ mile from the town. So us older people with bad legs gave a him a shout-out from our hearts because it was also raining. He was not Captain Nemo, and we never saw him. So we walked and walked and had more fun in the rain while 4 other ships docked closer, including the Island Princess which took berth 1. Now there’s a Captain! Now I estimate about 80% of the people going on an Alaska Cruise (Land) tour are over 60. Still its amazing Princess doesn’t understand this or their special needs – our legs are not the same as when we were young and we hate standing around because our legs and feet hurt. Well things went well from there, until back at the ship the toilet stopped working on our starboard floor in the evening. Nice, real nice. Overall, I also have to say the cruise somewhat disappointing – Glacier Bay was an interesting experience but we saw no calving (falling off of icebergs) because we were about ½ hour late in getting upstairs (no announcement). Nor did we see any whales jumping on our excursion in Juneau, only a couple of little tails, and we never got close to any whale. Nice but not super. Still, the excursions were fun and we took lots of good pictures on the trip (we have a selfie – a necessity). An important thank you to Natasha and Joel in the Crown Grill, they helped make the cruise dinners terrific. Our thanks to them. Then of course there was the rolling of the ship back and forth as we went from Glacier Bay to Anchorage (Whittier). I found it okay, but my wife took those pills. Now our trip was a cruisetour. A little about the lodges. First the McKinley Lodge. It had terrible service. They put us into a lodge far away from the main lodge. My wife and have a leg problems, but they wouldn’t change us, no available rooms they said. They said they would notify the next two lodges and advise them, but the other lodges did the same thing yet they changed our room when we complained. Now at McKinley, they have shuttles come twenty minutes but when it’s raining you don’t want to stand outside and get wet. And were no benches at the stops either. Princess doesn’t care about little details. Furthermore, all tours and questions are answered ONLY at the reservations desk. Their people must do everything. So there is a line even for simply questions like where are the toilets. One more thing about McKinley, we ate the 20xxx restaurant. The waitress there took our order and returned 40 minutes later saying she was sorry it was taking so long but they had a large group that needed attention. That’s like saying, we were less important than others. Bad bad service. And that sums up Princess Cruise lines. They don’t care about their most important product – that’s YOU! They need some training that the guest is always right and the answer is always yes! The Denali Lodge was much better. Lots of people at that lodge, but they seemed to handle things quite well. That is except the Expresso Bar in the morning. That line was long even just for coffee, because they haven’t learned how to organize the process: People pick out their food and drinks and then move to the cashier, simply right? Their cashiers helped in filling the orders. It was confusing and slow for everyone because they had one line to order and another to pay. Who wants to stand in line twice. The Fairbanks Lodge was as nice looking like the others, but I had to threaten them in order to get them to change our room. One last important point about excursions. We had two airplane excursions canceled due to weather, yet Princess refused to put through a these credits totaling over $1800 on our charge card, even though their representatives issued to us cancellations approved by their vendors. When we returned home, it was necessary for us to contact our credit card company to have these charges removed. Evidently, Princess takes several weeks to refund their own vendor cancellations necessitating you to pay the credit card for services not performed. Aggravating, you bet, they took our money quick enough. So my advice is to think ten times (not just twice) about going on the Star Princess, or any ship named Princess. By the way we paid for a mini-suite. Nice room, but horrible staff. In the hospitality industry service matters. It’s the only thing that matters - service, service, service. Oh by the way, the gentleman who wrote in his review on their internet service working ONLY by the door of your room was right! So forget about sitting in that nice chair or so-so sofa or at your desk in your mini-suite and going on the internet. This horrible company needs to employ a major vendor to help overhaul their entire model and educate their staff about service. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This is a cruise review i thought we would never have to write-- we had a really, really disappointing cruise. Embarkation seemed to go smoothly enough but then one of the keys wasn't even processed appropriately at check in so ... Read More
This is a cruise review i thought we would never have to write-- we had a really, really disappointing cruise. Embarkation seemed to go smoothly enough but then one of the keys wasn't even processed appropriately at check in so while it let us into the room it would not work to pay for anything onboard that you could swipe. The time we waited in line at passenger services we were told we would have to come back later as they could not rekey it at that time. We just worked around and used one card to pay for everything along the way as a result. Our cabin was ok and our cabin steward was friendly. But this cruise was clearly not well-organized as we were missing important information such as the voucher that went with our pre-paid specialty restaurant meal resulting in a service charge after going to the restaurant that took two trips to passenger services to have taken off the account again, because i'd already prepaid it. We never received towel animals or other fun surprises in our cabin. Our bathroom was sporadically replenished with lotion and such. There was no information about the vow renewal i had prepurchased in the cabin so that was another wait in the line at passengers services that first day. When i arrived at the desk the attendant said "so you're celebrating anniversary? What do you want? Cake? Balloons?" the door wasn't decorated like so many others as we wandered the hall that day and there was no information in the room- it was as if they didn't notice i had prepaid hundreds of dollars for the vow renewal and lugged our wedding clothes half way around the world. But a manager tasha was summoned and sat down with me and said she had been planning to contact us that afternoon... So we sat and worked out details for the next day. The next day they called to confirm our vow renewal at noon. Then, 5.5 short hours later, we had spent the afternoon getting showered, dressed, and made up for the ceremony. then, just 30 minutes before, my husband got a call and we were told to come to the atrium immediately. A medical emergency required an evacuation of another passenger and our ceremony had to be cancelled. So there we were, hours before the time we were set to dine at, dressed in formal wedding wear, and with no place to go. As medical professionals, we understand the importance of the crew being available to assist with this so that didn't upset us but what i didn't understand was why she took the liberty of cancelling the photographer, the flowers, the chocolate and the champagne, seemingly token gifts, that were to accompany the ceremony. Why not do something special for us in lieu of the ceremony that night and ask us to reschedule? We were all dressed up and had nothing to do. We had spent hours preparing for the ceremony and then just stood there, bewildered, wondering what to do for the evening. What if i had spent the afternoon at the spa paying for an updo and makeup? What if it had been my actual wedding- is that how they handle the wedding ceremonies people plan? What if we had guests attending? Would somebody else have stepped in for the captain? It just left us feeling weird and with a lot of questions. We were very disappointed- never received a note or any other token of apology for the cancellation from the crew during our cruise- so we cancelled and did not reschedule the ceremony and were refunded the amount (on paper) some days later. We still have not received this refund on our credit card nearly 3 weeks after the cruise has disembarked however. Needless to say after an embarrassing dinner at the specialty restaurant- the food was terrible and the service was appalling- food delivered to the wrong tables, no refills, and to top it off, the specialty restaurant is actually just a part of the horizon buffet. I'm not kidding- they set up a screen and throw up a few tablecloths and call it a steakhouse. Awful. I ordered carpaccio and was essentially served very brown thick roast beef slices. The smores dessert was inedible. We saw waiters yelling at patrons in the dining room multiple times telling them to wait to order more juice or to request additional items such as jams or cream with their meals. Everything took a really long time because people were generally seated in large groups so a waiter would come through and take an order for juice, then go get juice, then hand out juice. Then that waiter would take an order for coffee and tea. Then he would go get coffee and tea. Then he would serve coffee and tea. Then they would offer the pastries. Then they would take the menu orders. It just took forever. There were barely any tables for 2 in the dining room, and even when there were available tables we were strongly encouraged, or required on some days, to eat with a group of 8-10 people for breakfast and lunch which we have never had to do on a cruise. Even when there were empty tables. We assumed they must have issues with staffing and an inability to inadequately staff the dining room for meals. We generally love quiet mornings in the dining room and if i'm sitting with coffee and cream i'm happy to wait for meals, though that's never been an issue on a cruise before. We began to resent the dining room, the apparent lack of service training and possibly the short staffing and we would just go to the buffet regularly for our dining needs. Most of the food was awful on the cruise. We loved pizza on our first princess cruise- this time the pizza was not good. It used to be available on deck all afternoon and evening and you could see what it looked like and choose a variety of slices. But now you either pay $3/pie from room service or wait til the restaurant is open for a few hours in the evening and choose blindly an entire personal pizza in 1 flavor off the menu. The antipasto was weird- like little deli cheeses and flavorless vegetables and a very funny tasting thing they called tiramisu that is most definitely not tiramisu on the menu at the pizza place are bad too- which is weird because one time they had an italian buffet on the horizon court and served real buffalo mozzarella and italian looking cold cuts. Someone in the kitchen knows what antipasto should look like-- i'm just not sure why that doesn't translate across restaurants. We thought some of the pastas and lunch were good and enjoyed the lamb chops one night, barramundi and shrimp were ok one night, and the steaks at the steakhouse tasted alright. But i would never pay $25-30 pp for the steakhouse because the steaks were not that good. One of our ports was cancelled (natural disaster, not the ships fault) resulting in an extra sea day. The library was amply stocked and we were able to leave some of the books we brought onboard there as well-- that was helpful. We spent more time in the library on this cruise checking out books to read than ever before-- because there was not much else in the way of entertainment. The ships performers were so bad that we didn't stay for an entire performance the first night. We did enjoy the piano player and the violin player on more than one occasion but they often played in the crowded atrium so it was difficult to find a seat and enjoy them- even as large as the atrium is. We often enjoyed them for short intervals. We were grateful to have nice weather most days and be able to sit out on deck reading. We ended up only using the ship for assistance at one port and the shuttle to brisbane was efficient and affordable at about $30/pp round trip to downtown area. We spent the day eating and shopping there and then took the shuttle back to the ship. We found the ships planned excursions to be quite a bit more costly and with larger groups than doing similar excursions on our own. Overall i was mostly disappointed with service on the ship. For the first time ever, we were not able to do anytime dining by ourselves and i thought well, it's ok, we'll find a waiter we love who will get to know us and our dining style the way the waitress on our first princess cruise did (even though that had anytime dining nearly a decade ago and we were just placed in her area repeatedly for most of 10 nights). But unfortunately our assistant waiter frequently changed (again, is this mostly a training ship? Or just severely understaffed?) and our waiter never really got to know our likes and dislikes. From the way our vow renewal was an afterthought, to the way we were treated at passenger services during the times we approached with repeated concerns, i was just embarrassed for princess. For the first time ever we ended the cruise with a negative folio amount- they owe us money. Money that was immediately charged to my credit card months ago by princess when i purchased things like the vow renewal but which cannot be refunded for weeks apparently. Since returning home nearly 3 weeks ago i filled out a survey sent by the cruise a day later and nobody from the ship has reached out to me to apologize. Then a week later i contacted them online, requesting the refund to my credit card. Nobody from the ship has reached out and the credit card still has not been refunded. Now i'm going to just submit this review to cruise critic because i feel like i might still get my refund, since the ship account did clearly show a negative balance, but i feel like the company didn't care. I had been looking forward to this cruise and my vow renewal for years- i booked this years ago and we flew from the us to sydney to have this life event, and share it with what we thought was an amazing cruise line whose service would make us feel special and that for $3500 this cruise and vow renewal would be magical. It wasn't and i'm still disappointed and will not be likely to sail with princess again. But day after day i'm still email bombarded with their special deals to cruise again-- how can a company be so clueless? Spend some energy and goodwill reviewing surveys and fixing the problems from our last cruise instead of email bombarding us to give up money for another one. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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