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2,228 Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we thought it would be a value and we wanted to do a Western Caribbean cruise. Summary: Pros: Buffet was Above Average very good food selection Room square footage was good value compared to others ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought it would be a value and we wanted to do a Western Caribbean cruise. Summary: Pros: Buffet was Above Average very good food selection Room square footage was good value compared to others Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth Casino is sizeable and nice for a ship casino Self Serve Laundromats are very convenient for washing some clothes Cons: Restaurant food was very average (go on Celebrity Cruises if you want better food) This includes the specialty restaurants - very average Food selection was poor in main dining area (not good) Gym was small and unimpressive Main Theater was the smallest I've seen (even though this is a huge ship) and is generic **Entertainment was the WORST I've seen on a cruise before, hardly any big shows and not enough quality small shows to make up for it ***Don't go on this cruise if you are looking for good entertainment **Be aware there is flaw in the design of the ship. The stairway in the center of the ship does not go up past the 10th floor so if you are staying above that even if you need to go up 1 level you need to wait for an elevator. This mainly applies to mid-ship and I believe forward ship. This caused quite a ruckus after the mandatory drill when it took us 30 min to get back to our room due to poor crowd management and the elevator/stairs situation. Staff is not really that friendly some of them are a little cold. Service was better on every other ship I have been on. Room Service basically did not exist due to the fact that no one would answer the phone. My wife waited on line 30 minutes once and could not get through. The buffets close at 10pm and no snacks are available there...that is way too early in my opinion. Ports summary: Montego Bay Jamaica - 15-20 min cab ride to a safe beach. Everything far away here Grand Cayman - seems ok, once again beaches very far did not get to go due to fact ship was leaving too early Cozumel - 10 min cab to beach, beaches are rocky here sand is not fine, affordable resort areas with pool $3 per person Paradise Beach is recommended due to value and the pool is beautiful tile. The drink packages were $400 per person by the time they add 15% gratuity The photo packages were also more expensive than other ships I've been on Overall this is not a cruise I can Recommend. I believe the consumer can find greater value elsewhere (check out celebrity cruises. You will pay more up front but less on the back end if you get a good deal. They frequently include free drink packages and prepaid gratuities) The room will be more but the food and service will be steps above what you will get on Princess.) Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being ... Read More
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being Valentine's Day and everything (my 60th birthday on the 13th). We found our aft cabin, B256 cramped and noisy. Our steward was fine, he needed some time off. I love the food but my wife just gets by with it. Sometimes she liked it but she liked less of it than I do. We had one of the best excursions ever in Puerto Vallarta with Valarta Adventures through Princess. We got WAY more than we paid for with snorkeling, kayaking, a hike, a waterfall, a beach, a close whale encounter, great food, drinks, and entertainment. Highly recommended. The entertainment was OK. The first comedian was really funny and the "Magic To Do" production number tried very hard. The fitness equipment was good but the jogging track was the worst ever. The weather was great, though it seemed it would be too cool (the last day really was) and the experience on the whole was lovely. I prefer going to the Caribbean (and it is easier from here) but this was a nice time too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We wanted a cruise in February in the Caribbean and this one offered some ports that we hadn't been to before. We've done a lot of cruises on Princess and Celebrity. Princess does a lot of things really well. Here are some ... Read More
We wanted a cruise in February in the Caribbean and this one offered some ports that we hadn't been to before. We've done a lot of cruises on Princess and Celebrity. Princess does a lot of things really well. Here are some of the things that we really like about Princess: 1)The cabins are a good size and the design is very good with a lot of storage--we like the position of the closet and the shelving and the bathroom has a lot of space to store things. 2) The service was very good-no complaints at all but I do think the Celebrity crews that we've had are more enthusiastic and friendly and seem to be a happier group. 3) We did the Crown Grill, Crab Shack and the Chef's Table and had amazing food in all the those. Especially the Chef's Table. The dining room was hit and miss, some dinners were good but some just okay. We had anytime dining and made reservations so we were always able to eat when we wanted to. 4) We did several of the wine tastings in the Vines Bar and they were very fun and a good value for the money. 5) We felt the music onboard was geared to the age group onboard. Most of the music played by the house band Atomic was 50-60's as was the music at the pool. They were very enjoyable to listen and dance to. They also played quite a bit around the ship and in the evening there was always several choices of music to listen to in the different bars or venues. We don't usually go to the Production shows but we went the first night and like most of them the singers and dancers were not that good so we didn't go back. 6) The prices on Princess are more reasonable than on Celebrity. Glasses of wine were usually in the $7-8 range as compared to $10-13 on Celebrity. They also did BOGO for $1 twice a day. 7) They also do a nice happy hour for Platinum and Elite and Suites every evening with a discount on drinks and great appetizers. 8) A couple days there was sushi and boiled shrimp for lunch and the hamburgers and pizza and ice cream by the pool are great. 9) Disembarkation was a breeze! 10 minutes at the most from walking off to getting a taxi. 10) Love the EZ Check luggage service! 11) Having the Princess App and being able to check activities on your phone or iPad was nice. Now for some of the things that we thought they could improve on. 1) The food in the Horizon Court buffet. It's pretty much the same every day and it's not displayed so that it's inviting. Toast sits in a pan under a light so it was usually cold, fruit was old looking several times, a few sandwiches are pre-made and the salad bar was lacking. As compared to Celebrity's buffet, there is a sandwich making area where you can choose from several breads and rolls, meats, cheeses, tuna, chicken and egg salads and the staff will make a custom sandwich for you. They also have Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Indian every day as well as hot food section, carving section and several days they have specialty made Caesar Salads, fetticine, paella etc. So Princess could greatly improve their buffett. It's also pretty unorganized and a lot of repetition so there's a lot of wandering around trying to find what's available. Also on other lines there's more choice in beverages. Orange juice is the only choice for breakfast and water or ice tea for lunch. 2) The senior officers are not visible. We only saw the Captain at the Captain's Welcome aboard and the cruise director isn't around unless she's presenting the entertainment or doing the Wake Show. On Celebrity you see them around the ship all the time talking and joking with passengers and crew and they are involved in activities on the ship such as water volleyball and game shows. I think that's why the staff on Celebrity seem happier and having fun because the officers are more outgoing and friendly. 3) The balconies on the Royal are terrible!! 4) We thought the choice of Movies outside during the day and at night were poor. One day at the pool we had " Finding Dory" and there were maybe 10 kids on board. Interesting choice. But it was a great cruise and hated to see it end. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband and I just got off the royal princess for a 10 day carribean cruise. we enjoyed it very much, but were not terribly impressed by this new class of ships as we miss the promenade deck and cant understand the reasoning of the ... Read More
My husband and I just got off the royal princess for a 10 day carribean cruise. we enjoyed it very much, but were not terribly impressed by this new class of ships as we miss the promenade deck and cant understand the reasoning of the fountain instead of another pool, especially on a ship that spends much of it time in warm climates. Never the less we were on a cruise and the weather was good so how can I complain? we had a balcony room on the lido deck. the balcony although smaller than many of the princess ships we have been on was fine for the two of us. the location was quite and convenient to the pools and horizon court, but quite a haul from the dining rooms and theatres. we had no issues with the food. There are many options so I cant imagine you couldnt find something to eat if you were unhappy with something. we ate part of the time in the main dining room at a traditional seating, other times at alfredos or the horizon court. The Horizon bistro is just before the horizon court and tends to have lighter fare and is open only at breakfast and lunch, then the pastry shop (yummy cookies) and then the traditional horizon court. we were happy with most of the entertainment. loved the singers such as teacake and the flyboys, not so impressed by the production shows or the comedian, but again the options are many and you are bound to find something you like. I will be happy to use princess again but would prefer one of the older ships with the promenade deck and more pool options. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Love Princess! Rarely disappointed! Our room was terrific and ditto for Eddie our cabin steward. Loved the room location at mid-ship. Our wedding coordinator, Alex, from customer service was outstanding! Loved breakfast at Sabatini's. ... Read More
Love Princess! Rarely disappointed! Our room was terrific and ditto for Eddie our cabin steward. Loved the room location at mid-ship. Our wedding coordinator, Alex, from customer service was outstanding! Loved breakfast at Sabatini's. The buffet was a little sparse at times. The dining room menu has been reduced and the always available menu portion was lonely. Room service menu was outstanding....maybe better than the dining room. The service was faster, too! The casino seemed a little sparse with the slot machines. We spent some time there with so many sea days. The shopping was disappointing in quantity and selection. I did buy perfume and aftershave for my new husband! The weather was a little cooler and so we didn't use the balcony as much as I had hoped. We saw a couple of movies but it was chilly. Most days at movies under the stars but soft throws were provided for those who wanted to stay. The shows were enjoyable with a magician one night and the singers and dancers one night. Enjoyed shows in the Piazza frequently. The International Cafe was good and convenient. Played Bingo....and lost! It was fun with the Captain calling the numbers! The Captain was fun and always mingling with passengers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Our relatives chose this cruise and we tagged along. However, it was very convenient for us, living in the LA area, that it was a round trip to and from LA. Captain Michele Tuvo was an exceptional captain - he was friendly, funny, fun ... Read More
Our relatives chose this cruise and we tagged along. However, it was very convenient for us, living in the LA area, that it was a round trip to and from LA. Captain Michele Tuvo was an exceptional captain - he was friendly, funny, fun and everywhere. Very informative - kept us informed and up to date in a humorous, endearing way. Andrew Kadlec - the cruise director was outstanding. He was a great entertainer as well as a creative and innovative cruise director. We especially loved him on the Wake Show along with Duval, another entertaining young man. The food was as good as any food we've had on any ship (and we've done Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Holland America) if not better! Warning - the deserts on Princess may be hazardous to your health! The shows were great - aside from one magician that failed to wow us at all we were very favorably impressed by all shows. The singers and dancers on this cruise were phenomenal. Top notch entertainment. One note - the "Voice of the Ocean" show was hurried and overlooked some great contestants and skipped to one that was good but not necessarily the best. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We love choosing Princess and the Regal has raised the bar. Service was outstanding across the board - the quality of the food (in my opinion) has gotten better. I really enjoyed the Crab Shack specialty dining.The Food in the Horizon ... Read More
We love choosing Princess and the Regal has raised the bar. Service was outstanding across the board - the quality of the food (in my opinion) has gotten better. I really enjoyed the Crab Shack specialty dining.The Food in the Horizon Court (did not do dinner there) was much improved with many more selections offered - the over easy eggs were just perfect!! There are a few more bars that really thin out the crowd... you never have to wait for anything and you get the the chance to have conversations with the crew... they are proud of their ship and it shows... Very professional service and they have fun too!! Getting on and off the ship has tremendous improved - no more waiting in lines when arriving or leaving... Disembarkation was literally only 10 minutes from the time I left the dining room to when I was in a cab at 9:45am!!! we finished breakfast about 8:30 had waited in the dining room, but once called walked to claim the bags (no big pile of suitcases to sort through!!) and only waited for two other couples in customs... walked right out and walked up to a cabbie, loaded up and we we were out of the terminal Boarding was just as quick - we took a bus from the hotel last Sunday and got to the ship and boarded right away about 11:30am... I know I had my first beverage poolside before noon!!!!! My only complaint during the entire cruise was the high pressure sales at the spa... makes me want to skip going next trip... I had two massages and my wife has a facial and nails done...The staff just not take no for an answer... I don't mind them offering the product, but when i say I'm not interested, they should stop... that is what the bar staff does and it keeps everyone in a good mood!! The entertainment was top notch - we did not see any of the shows, but everyone rotated through the Piazza and did a very nice job!! Lastly the photo package ($99 on line pre boarding / $199 ship board) was lots of fun... I has 96 pictures taken of my wife and me over the week and you get them all - digital copies as well for that price) nice to get some professional quality of the two of us once in a while!! To sum it up, we had a fantastic time and I think this is one of the best vacation values you can get Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I have challenging food allergies and I cannot say enough about how much the crew helped me in all the dining areas to stay away from foods that are offensive. In the main dining room they made special gourmet versions of the meals with ... Read More
I have challenging food allergies and I cannot say enough about how much the crew helped me in all the dining areas to stay away from foods that are offensive. In the main dining room they made special gourmet versions of the meals with sauces that I could eat. They even made special deserts and even my own custom Birtday cake. I cannot tell you how amazing this made the dining experience and further enhanced my loyalty to Princess. Watching the Super Bowl on their huge screen surrounding the pool was also an amazing experience. I cannot say enough about how much we love the Regal. It is great fun watching movies and concerts up at the main pool. Entertainment has improved as they now have 2 bands that play in different venues on the ship. They play a great variety of music and We enjoyed dancing under the stars. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This cruise opportunity came along at the right time without much forethought and proves that long-time plans aren't always necessary for a great trip. We found it easy to become familiar with our way around the Ruby and felt at home ... Read More
This cruise opportunity came along at the right time without much forethought and proves that long-time plans aren't always necessary for a great trip. We found it easy to become familiar with our way around the Ruby and felt at home right away. Since we were turned off by the smoke in the casino, we learned to walk to the midship lifts on 12 when going to the dining room or Piazza. The bed was comfy and our cabin attendant took great care of us and our cabin. Room service was johnny on the spot with our morning coffee and tea to get our day started right. We enjoyed having a set dining time and found the meal selections were interesting and delectable. The entertainment in the Princess Theater and other venues was top-notch. The production numbers were entertaining and the comedian on-board kept us laughing long after his show. All in all, we'd sign up again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose the cruise because of the Mexican ports and first time there. Also hubbys first cruise. Boarding was seamless and we were on with 30 mins with bags at the door. Very efficient. Cabin steward was friendly and always a smile ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the Mexican ports and first time there. Also hubbys first cruise. Boarding was seamless and we were on with 30 mins with bags at the door. Very efficient. Cabin steward was friendly and always a smile when we saw him - he seemed to work mostly 18 hours a day. Some of the entertainment was good some not really. We didint like the Pool DJ slamming out rap music around lunch time - heloooo this is an older generation cruise - they dont know or like rap crap. The other so so band was Starwave - an young english band - whenever they played 70s the floor was packed then they changed to something slow and boring - floor empty. ..the singer was sweet . The best singer was a soloist Rebecca Jean from Australia - brilliant. Ok now food - yes these cruises are feeding frenzies for the outta towners. - didnt much like the lining up and confusion of which restaurant you could dine at certain times when we had Anytime Dining chosen. Maybe because the ship was packed. Overall the food was great though mass produced. The drinks could be expensive but depends how much one boozes. There was a constant sell sell so art was flogged at auctions. None of it that brilliant. The ports were great - we will def be flying back to Mexico for longer stays. pax were mostly over 60s a few families and couple around 30s. Mostly all kept to themselves only met folks when we dined but that was it. Would I go on another cruise ? hmmm maybe in 10 years on a ship with around 1500 pax. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My wife and I sailed aboard the Ruby Princess for the 7 night Mexican Riviera Cruise Departing February 3rd, 2017. We had sailed this itinerary before with DCL, but the stop at Mazatlan was new for us, since in 2011 cruise lines were ... Read More
My wife and I sailed aboard the Ruby Princess for the 7 night Mexican Riviera Cruise Departing February 3rd, 2017. We had sailed this itinerary before with DCL, but the stop at Mazatlan was new for us, since in 2011 cruise lines were cancelling that call due to security concerns. Our experience was really wonderful, and we had such a great time. The only problem was that when we came back into port, I really didn’t want to leave! Room: We had a mini-suite on the Dolphin deck. These mini-suites are terrific. There is a lot of space, and it feels both cozy and roomy to me at the same time! My favorite part was the area just inside of the balcony which had a large sleeper sofa (which we never pulled out), a little coffee table and a nice chair. There are two flat-screen TV’s in the room, one angling towards the bed and one angling towards the couch/chair, so you can easily sit here and relax. Since there is plenty of room for your stuff, you don’t have to clutter this area up. The bed was so comfortable. It was easily as good as my bed at home! There’s a large closet for hanging things, as well as a shelf for your clothes with mirrored doors. For 2 adults, there was more than enough space for everything including our suitcases. Bathroom was nice - small as you’d expect. The mini-suites actually have actual porcelain tubs and very nice showerheads. The counter is pretty narrow, but there’s a little shelf for your stuff. Being a cruise ship bathroom it is compact. If you want to spread out and relax while you do your “business" you might want to head to one of the public bathrooms! The decor was pleasant, though not super current. I was looking at my pictures from our 2001 cruise aboard the grand princess, and they certainly updated the rooms, however I think they used the same supplier for the built-in room furniture. the mini-suites feature larger balconies. They are functional but not really fancy with that utility rubberized flooring. The nice thing about the mini-suite balconies is the clear open view of the sky. The only downside is that everyone on the decks above can look right down into your balcony. The mini-suites are mainly on Dolphin (deck 9). Its one of the lower passenger decks, however that’s not really such a bad thing as you only go down 2 flights of stairs and you’ll be in Promenade with easy access to the Piazza. It is a bit of a climb up to 15 for Horizon Court and the pool, but honestly with all I ate and drank I was eager for the exercise. Remember there is no deck 13 so it goes 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 - 5 flights of stairs. There are elevators of course! The other thing I’ll mention is that the rooms are very insulated from noise next door - i couldn’t hear my neighbors at all. There was some hallway noise, but it wasn’t a problem. Tips: On tender port days, or on days that they could be testing the life-boats (or - in the hopefully rare scenario that they are using the lifeboats - it which case you’d have bigger things to worry about!) the machinery for the davits and winches for extending and lowering the boats sounds like its right beneath deck 9. So, when we arrived in Cabo, we heard this extremely loud “whirring” and were a little alarmed until we figured out what it was! I think the drains get slow from time to time with all the hair and junk. Don’t be shy - tell your stateroom attendant. On our cruise, a plumber actually came by one day to check it, and I said I was glad he did because it was slow, and in about 5 minutes it was clear as a bell. Food/Dining I have taken several galley tours, and I can see how challenging it is to provide elegantly prepared food for 3000 people. I think Princess does a great job. We ate in main dining 5 times on the cruise, then 2 nights in specialty restaurants: Share by Curtis Stone and the Crown Grill Steakhouse. Of course we also ate in other venues: Horizon Court, International Cafe, and Caribe Cafe. Main dining: I enjoyed the main dining food. Everything for the most part was really well presented. The taste ranged from really good to good enough. Personally I think they do a great job given the huge numbers of dinners they have to serve. The service was at times really good, and at times just ok. Its important to note that we chose “Anytime Dining,” which means you likely won’t have the same server more than once, and they are a little more rushed than if you choose a specific table and dinner time. We knew that going in. We like to eat by ourselves, and I think the tables for 2 are nice - You’ll likely be sat at one of those areas where there is a very long “bench,” and then tables for two spaced just wide enough for someone to slide in, then chairs on the other side. Its not as intimate as having your own table, but its really not any different from something you might find at a fancy restaurant where space is at a premium. Tips: On Ruby, you can “Anytime” dine at either Michaelangelo or DaVinci. The food is the same, and the decor is different, but not that much different. We varied - a few nights in one, and a couple in the other. One night, we had this Jamaican server in DaVinci that we really nice and attentive. If they are busy and you request a table for two, they might try to “Sell” you on eating with other people - its just an option if you want to eat right away. If you are willing to wait, then you can eat at a table for 2. Or, try the other dining room - they are right on top of each other, so you may just go upstairs or downstairs and find there is a table available right away. Share by Curtis Stone My wife an I agreed that this is the best meal we have had at sea (mind you we are not that experienced! This is just our 4th cruise). The emphasis here is totally on quality and not quantity! I would not expect to leave with the buttons on your shirt bursting! You select choices from about 6 different courses. Everything is fascinating combinations of flavors and textures. The presentation is elegant, but the restaurant is not at all stuffy and overly formal. The brand new decor is contemporary and home-like. Everything is fresh and hand made. Crown Grill My wife is not a steakhouse fan, but we decided to go here because we intentionally did not bring any formal wear, so we added a 2nd night of speciality dining. I thought it was excellent. Now, though the food is high quality, chances are you will leave with your belt and shirt fitting tighter - the portions are very large. The centerpiece, the steak was really excellent. I love that they are serving it with these different types of salt that you can add in the amounts you want. They had himilayan, black hawaiian and an herb salt. The other item I loved was their unique take on French Onion soup. Horizon Court I am a huge fan of buffets. I admit it. Its probably one of my favorite parts of cruising! Guilty as charged. The Horizon Court food is good - its high quality. At night, you’ll find some of the items also being served in Main Dining. Its also nicely presented. However, the selection is fairly limited as buffets go, and the space itself is pretty small and cramped at times with a fairly poor flow. Buffet design has changed over the last decade and Horizon Court doesn’t really incorporate any of those innovations. Still, its not bad! I just wish they had more salad offerings. Believe me - I still spent plenty of time at Horizon Court. The view is terrific. The service is good too - you can get your own drinks, or the servers will bring them as well. Tips: Caribe Cafe is basically just an extension of Horizon Court - I didn’t really see very much that they had out that was very different. So, if space is tight and Caribe is open, you can always eat there. When Caribe Cafe is closed, you can still use the seating area, at least from my observation. Don’t be afraid to use those seats. Trident Grill We got burgers at Trident Grill a couple times. They were very good, not too big and made right in front of you. They come with Fries. Neptune Pizza I got one slice of pizza there - my wife did not like it, but I did. Its more of an italian style pizza - not too much cheese, and a very nice crust. I liked it, and it too was made fresh. Bars: All the bars were fine. On the first day, we got several drinks at the Pool bars. International cafe We absolutely loved the international Cafe! I think this is a great addition to the ships. Its the one place that is open 24 hours a day, just in case you are hungry at 3am. The International Cafe serves freshly brewed coffee and espresso drinks, as well as drinks from the bar, and all day and night they have sandwiches and small plates of salads and desserts. Its the perfect afternoon sack (or post dinner, post bedtime, etc…). There is no charge for any of the delicious desserts or food items - they are served on small plates though, so if you want a lot you might just need to make a few trips to the counter. They appeared to be giving people what ever they wanted though (I’ll have a tuna sandwich, and a roast beef sandwich, and a tiramisu.”) The coffee at International Cafe is good, and is a step up from the Nescafe Alegria coffee served everywhere else (which honestly is not bad either!) They brew fresh drip coffee however at International Cafe. The prices are very fair - about what you’d expect to pay at your local starbucks - around 2.50 for a large coffee. We opted for the Princess Coffee Card. Its around $35 for 15 punches that can be used for any specialty beverage (cappuccino, latte, mocha, espresso,etc), then you gut unlimited drip coffees. I know we got our money’s worth with the card. They don’t seem to care if you get smalls or larges with the speciality beverages, so feel free to indulge. The espressos and cappucinos were very good. There’s a nice little seating area just off the Piazza, and its really a nice place to be, day or night. If you do grab one of the chairs first, there is a waitstaff that will come and take your order. Shops The shopping is decent on the Ruby Princess. The main gift shop has some nice items, and the prices really aren’t bad. They have some fun Princess logo items, duty free liquor, chocolates, and some clothes. The price of the clothes appears to be about the same as you’d find on land, minus the tax. There’s also a perfume shop. Being a dude, I don’t have much need for perfume and I haven’t worn cologne in a long time (maybe I should start?) But, its a pretty cool looking shop. We bought a sampler pack for our teenage daughter that was really a hit when we returned. In addition, there’s a watch store - they had some nice stuff, and a new “Effy” jewelry store. There’s also a women’s store with purses, sunglasses, etc. Shore excursions/ ports This was a Mexican Riviera cruise. We had done the same itinerary back in 2011 on the Disney Wonder, though that year the Mazatlan port call was cancelled amid fears of crime. The itinerary was: At sea, At sea, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and a short day at Cabo, followed by one more day at sea. If you live along the West Coast, or even in Las Vegas or Phoenix, this itinerary is just a no-brainer! Its almost as nice as the Caribbean (not quite, but not bad!) but with just a short flight and little or no time change, its so much easier to get to LA than Florida. Puerto Vallarta: We did the snorkeling trip to Marietas Islands. It was so much fun. The company was called “Vallarta Adventures,” and they were phenomenal. They were so hard working, friendly and seemed to want everyone to have a safe and great time. We were also very blessed to have apparently one of the best Humpback whale watching days ever. We saw a dozen or more breaches, some quite close. Mazatlan: We chose the Faro (Lighthouse) Hike excursion. Again, the tour guide was just great. He took us on a slow hike with plenty of stops up a large hill. Along the way, he stopped to talk about the local plants and animals (including a friendly local dog that joined our group). He was funny and knowledgeable. The view was amazing. Overall, it was a tremendous trip! Can’t wait for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have been with Princess for now 12 cruises, and in the past there were more activities that did not require money to have fun. The shows were cut down to 25 minutes, Anytime dining has screwed things up and cannot make some of the shows ... Read More
We have been with Princess for now 12 cruises, and in the past there were more activities that did not require money to have fun. The shows were cut down to 25 minutes, Anytime dining has screwed things up and cannot make some of the shows and the ChampagneFountain, is all about taking photo's. The Lotus Salon hustles people and hair care is expensive and since formal nights have changed into the Night of the Beverly Hillbillies, don't really enjoy formal night-all about the money, and not the event it was even 10 years ago. Also take an inventory of all your belongings, some of my hair clips could be found after the1st day, and searched forever, made a report to the Purser on the 3rd day and stated so in Princess questionnaire. Watch your valuables and know where everything is. Misplacing items can put a damper on your trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Aside for combining the cruise with a visit with my son's family in San Fran, Hawaii, like most people was on our bucket list. As well, my wife was turning 65 the next month...... Sailing right by ALCATRAZ and under the GOLDEN GATE ... Read More
Aside for combining the cruise with a visit with my son's family in San Fran, Hawaii, like most people was on our bucket list. As well, my wife was turning 65 the next month...... Sailing right by ALCATRAZ and under the GOLDEN GATE bridge was something to look forward to. Albeit windy and overcast it was enjoyable. The weather didn't really improve until we approached the islands. The ship was in good condition (1998 I believe) but it did show signs of aging. Service was friendly. The food and entertainment both diverse and enjoyable. The cabin (deck 4 for) was clean and comfortable. We had booked our excursions on line with known excursion companies. Very satisfied. The only excursion we booked with Princess was In Maui. Unfortunately that is the one where we were notified ONLY when we entered our cabin that it had been cancelled. All the islands were unique and pleasant. Of course a day is not enough but we got a good taste of each. O'ahu has the most for tourists but with it the traffic and people. Quiet and relaxation on the others. My only beef is with the CRUISE industry as a whole. My wife and I started cruising about 14 years ago and this was number 13. What is changing is what is taking place in most industries. The accounts are now in charge and are nickel and dimeing as well as starting to create different passenger classes on board (in the shared areas). (Akin to the old European immigration days). When we started we all had the same treatment and food etc. Blending. No bias. No one made to feel uncomfortable. Now. Specialty restaurants. Specialty shows. Pay $20 per half day on the Princess Sanctuary to enjoy a quiet and improve ambiance......... The booze is not cheap and the casino's don't pay out nearly as often as Vegas. I and other people I know that cruised enjoy someone making their vacation simple, relaxing and enjoyable. As much stress as possible removed. Now, the quality and quantity of food that was available to all has been reduced and only those paying a Premium can partake. As with certain areas of the ship. Well I'm not going to the back of the ship anytime soon. If the lines don't be careful they will lose clients. I pay for a certain category of cruise ship and I do not wish to be discriminated against. Please serve accordingly. I have sailed RC, Princess, Norwegian and Carnival and they are all heading that route. Get the accounts out. Bring in Marketing people again. Make us feel SPECIAL. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
It was a fantastic cruise to Hawaii. Had great weather and calm seas. Grand Princess had been in dry dock before our cruise. We had the new bedding and the ship looked like new. Enjoyed all the shows in the Princess Theater. Best ... Read More
It was a fantastic cruise to Hawaii. Had great weather and calm seas. Grand Princess had been in dry dock before our cruise. We had the new bedding and the ship looked like new. Enjoyed all the shows in the Princess Theater. Best entertainment ever! Aaron and his staff keep everyone entertained. Bought on a local Hula show in Honolulu. Rented a car in Maui and went to eat at Mama's Fish House. Did the boat to the Fern Grotto in Kauai. Volcano in Hilo. Hop on/Hop off Bus in Honolulu. Did the Steak House, Crab Shack and Sabatini's. They were all good. Recommend buying your Photo Package in advance to save money. We also bought the Coffee Card and Soda package. Spent the night at a Hilton close to Fisherman's Wharf. Enjoy seeing the sea lions and the view of Alcatraz. Had a Balcony cabin and enjoyed the balcony on the warm days and nights. trudallasite Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise because it began and ended in San Francisco, which is only about an hours drive from our home. It was our first long cruise, and Princess Cruises kept us informed on line through their website of all that we needed. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it began and ended in San Francisco, which is only about an hours drive from our home. It was our first long cruise, and Princess Cruises kept us informed on line through their website of all that we needed. We were informed in detail of our identification requirements, suggests on packing and made us fully aware of what to expect. It was more than we expected. Food was award winning, and the dining room service was an experience in itself.. Dining rooms, including the ever popular buffet, were orderly and well decorated.. Our Room steward was exceptional. He serviced every detail and always said Hello and Have a nice dinner, or breakfast. On one particular rocky evening, I heard him call out to me by name to hold the railing. Entertainment was varied and current. Lectures were informative. If there is a complaint it is that there weren't enough hours in the day to do all you would like to. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I had planned to park on site, but I figured out that Regal was leaving from Terminal 21 and guessed (correctly) that it would be returning to Terminal 2 so we went with Park ‘n Go and were very satisfied coming and going. Perhaps the ... Read More
I had planned to park on site, but I figured out that Regal was leaving from Terminal 21 and guessed (correctly) that it would be returning to Terminal 2 so we went with Park ‘n Go and were very satisfied coming and going. Perhaps the passengers who care about which terminal are a small minority, but I would have found it useful to get an email from Princess with this information. Thanks to the many Cruise Critic members who provided advice that led us to a successful parking choice. Embarkation involved about a 30 second wait (at 12:30!). Again, based on Cruise Critic advice, we immediately signed up for the ship tour and the Sanctuary. The former was a snap. The latter took a half hour, despite only three parties being ahead of us. Some process improvement is needed here. It’s the first (and hopefully last) time I’ve had to use a rain umbrella while on board a cruise ship. In the end, we had no trouble finding good lounge chairs, despite the ship being sold out, and cancelled the Sanctuary. Overall, I would rate the ship, the cabin and the crew attitude as very good to excellent and we were well pleased. The photo staff was great to work with. We particularly enjoyed the food at the Horizon Court and the International Café. The entertainment was not so much to our taste, so we mostly passed, but there was no shortage of opportunities to keep occupied. The ship’s trumpet player did a series of three bush survival lectures which my wife particularly enjoyed. At $150, the ship tour is no bargain, but we found it worthwhile. Ashore, we did the Martha Brae river raft in Jamaica and Xplor Adventure Park in Mexico, both of which are outstanding and highly recommended. The latter is quite expensive. Indeed, out of 5600 passengers and crew, only one passenger and two crew members elected the tour, beside my wife and me. It was worth every penny. Disembarkation was similar to embarkation, except there was no 30 second wait. We walked right off. How Princess accomplishes these miracles on a sold out ship, I cannot say. From reading other reviews, I’d say we had some unusual good luck. So, are we lining up our next cruise on Princess? Well, no. It all fell apart at dinnertime. First, there was the scheduling. The maître d’ was available on boarding, and we did talk to him, but after that none of the headwaiters or the Passenger Services staff would share any information on how to reach him. We figured out his phone extension, but there was no voicemail. In the end, we wrote him a letter, and he was gracious and helpful. He said he had been on board only three weeks, was not aware that it was so hard for people to contact him, and promised to sort it out going forward. That was only part of the MDR experience. The service was, shall we say, variable. But the principal shortcoming of the entire cruise was the dull, insipid food. It was not so much the preparation as the menus that failed. This was my ninth cruise and I had never before been bored by the dinner menus. I last cruised with RCCL and, with the possible exception of the entertainment, Princess was superior in all respects, save the dining room. They would do well to consider cutting back on the elaborate selection in the Horizon Court and shifting the savings to improving the dinner menus in the dining room. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was my second cruise with Princess and my first on Regal. I have cruised on the Royal (sister ship) before so I've only had experience with this class of ships on Princess. One of the main reasons I wanted to go on the Regal ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Princess and my first on Regal. I have cruised on the Royal (sister ship) before so I've only had experience with this class of ships on Princess. One of the main reasons I wanted to go on the Regal was the amazing experience I had at the Enclave. Wow, I cannot say enough good things about the Enclave Spa. It is a little pricey but my husband and I thought it reasonable. The room was a balcony on the Aloha (A117, forward and Starboard) deck. We were one of the first to Embark (I am only the Gold status so we didn't have extra boarding perks, etc) but embarkation was incredibly easy. We went to our room which was ready (it was small but clean), but since we had to wait for our luggage, we went to get something to eat. After that, we went to the Enclave to sign up (I had already done this before, and I knew husband would want to do it too). We got talked into signing up for the three spa treatments/30% off sales pitch. I had acupuncture, facial, and couples massage; he had acupuncture, couples massage, and something else (I can't remember). The treatments were great, but each time they do a sales pitch on more treatments (acupuncture) or products (expensive). We did end up buying an Elemis muscle rub and body wash, for about $100 which is probably a reasonable price on a cruise ship. The spa staff also knew us by name (LOL). The food was average, with the exception of Alfredo's pizzeria (included) and Crown Grill (an extra charge). The dinner dining room experience was often slow, with average food or occasionally, food that was not cooked to order and had to be sent back (this happened at least twice). Breakfast dining room was also very slow; would recommend buffet as the choices were better and there was a pretty good chance the food was hot. The "upsell" was EVERYWHERE. Photographers literally following us around the ship, trying to book a private setting. Dining room waiters trying to book us for a wine tasting. Spa as was mentioned. It got really old. We have already spent a lot of money to go on this cruise, and I feel like we are still being badgered for money. SERIOUSLY. This was probably the biggest negative to the cruise. We did the all inclusive drink package, as we like to have wine with meals and an after-dinner cordial or two, depending how late we were up. It was worth it to us. I also liked being able to grab a couple of bottled waters for the room and for excursions. It was also important for me to get sparkling water which often times I would get the large bottle and it would last me the day. Excursions--on Princess Cays, the snorkel gear and floats were cancelled when we arrived to the island, I guess for weather? It was a little windy but otherwise not inclement weather. It took us two days to get the refund for that, as the ship said we could not get a refund, but the rental shops would not release the items. I swear I felt like I was speaking a different language...how can we be charged for something we didn't even have the option to receive? It did eventually get fixed. At Montego Bay we opted for the jungle float. Totally enjoyed it, but it didn't feel long enough. We did snorkeling and stingrays at Grand Cayman; the stingray experience was really over-rated as there were no less than 5 other boats there on a small sandbar; the snorkeling was just so-so as the water was a bit choppy. In Cozumel we did the National Marine Park reef snorkel and Playa Mia beach visit afterwards. This snorkeling was ah-MAY-zing! Would do this trip again in a heartbeat. We did not do a lot of the night activities on board (sometimes because dinner took so long, and we did anytime dining); but it seemed there were always a lot of activities to do. The age of the passengers is a little on the older side (?50s-60s) compared to the Royal Caribbean trips I had taken, but we had no issues with that as we aren't late night partiers much any more either. Disembarkation was a breeze; we were one of the first to disembark as we had an early flight. No issues getting to or from the airport (except traffic going into port was heavy, so be sure to leave early). We uber'd to the ship and used Princess transfer back. All in all, I would definitely go on this ship again; we are tentatively booked for the Royal (sister ship) for an Eastern Caribbean tour in the fall again as I am just in love with the Enclave. We will likely be more prepared for the upsell and will be smarter in how to handle it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We received a good promotional price for the cruise about 6 months prior. To we took advantage of it since I wanted to go cruising on the biggest ship on the Princess Cruise line. Ship was ok and laid out well. Yet I still like the smaller ... Read More
We received a good promotional price for the cruise about 6 months prior. To we took advantage of it since I wanted to go cruising on the biggest ship on the Princess Cruise line. Ship was ok and laid out well. Yet I still like the smaller ships like the Emerald and the Caribbean Princess. The ship just seem so big especially when your used to being on smaller ships. Enjoyed a special wine tasting dinner at Sabitini's Restaurant which we met some new friends that where from our state. Many shore excursions available to go to and do but many days we just stayed and enjoyed the various activities on board. This ship is better accommodating with lounge chairs to sunbathe or watch the big movie screen on the 16th deck. Food was good and plentiful as either your choice of buffet or anytime dinning for dinner meal. Was a good cruise yet I liked the smaller ships better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We picked a cruise to Hawaii and it was the most disappointing cruise we have ever taken. Our cabin had a very loud banging noise under the floor of the cabin. It took 9 days to get moved to another cabin. We didn't get any sleep ... Read More
We picked a cruise to Hawaii and it was the most disappointing cruise we have ever taken. Our cabin had a very loud banging noise under the floor of the cabin. It took 9 days to get moved to another cabin. We didn't get any sleep for 2 nights and there were several cabins with the same issue. Food in dining room was very good but the Horizon buffet was poor. Cold eggs, bagels you could use as hockey pucks, cold toast, and French toast you needed a steak knife to cut. Very disappointed with this ship. The pool was empty until we arrived in Hilo and then it was filled. 5daysmlater when we could use it on a sea day, it was empty again. Went to the enclosed pool but really wanted to lay in the sun. We have sailed 8 times with Princess and have another one scheduled, but we will never go on the Star again. Crown Grill was excellent as usual. We were in a mini suite and the balcony needed maintenance work. We were on the Tegal in April, 2016 and going on the Royal next. Loved all the other cruises, but this one was not worth the money. Embarkation was excellent as well disembarking. Entertainment was just ok. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Having completed 7 & 10 day cruises, we opted for a 14 day experience. It was so fabulous. The itinerary was quite diverse - mostly chosen for my parter to dive in new destinations. The ship was a nice size, easy to navigate and well ... Read More
Having completed 7 & 10 day cruises, we opted for a 14 day experience. It was so fabulous. The itinerary was quite diverse - mostly chosen for my parter to dive in new destinations. The ship was a nice size, easy to navigate and well appointed. Dining was good every where - we like anytime dining and it seems the entire she did as well. Long lines with restaurant buzzers were very annoying - so we opted to make a reservation for the entire cruise. That was much smoother and felt more relaxed. The entertainment was ok, nothing spectacular. All staff were pleasant and no bad experiences with anyone. We were on board for the playoffs and game was shown in lounge, on deck and on TV in room - We bought 2 chairs in the sanctuary for the afternoon on a days at sea - loved that we had a private spot that was comfy and pampered. We looked forward to tea with scones every afternoon. Absolutely no complaints. Purchased the baggage service from the ship to the home airport. Perfect! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Yes, there were long queues at embarkation but it's a world wide issue as port authorities ignore the need to rethink the embarkation process/facilities. All cruise lines are limited by the design of the terminals. Port authorities ... Read More
Yes, there were long queues at embarkation but it's a world wide issue as port authorities ignore the need to rethink the embarkation process/facilities. All cruise lines are limited by the design of the terminals. Port authorities need to allow for multiple entry points to the ships instead of funnelling thousands of passengers into one entry point. Enough said. Once on board, the Princess crew were all over the place providing assistance to locate our cabins. Food was already being served and it never stopped for the eleven days we were on board. The decor on the Emerald Princess is tasteful and subdued with a mix of many shades of blues and browns but lacking a little pizzazz. Nonetheless all areas and venues are clean and comfortable. Our mini-suite (D526) was immaculately clean and our cabin steward couldn't have been more helpful and responsive to our requests. As cabins go our mini-suite was very spacious and comfortable. When selecting the cabin, we didn't realise the balcony was open/visible to the decks above but worse, there was no relief from the sun. We did change the pillows for smaller ones as the standard ones were so big and luxurious we were almost smothered as our heads descended into pillow overload. The air-con all over the ship was on the cold side for my liking so make sure you take some longer sleeved items and a cardi/jacket. Of course you can buy on board! We didn't bother with the specialty dining venues (at additional cost) as the food in the main dining rooms was perfectly fine. A few misses but in the main, the options were many and varied and well cooked and presented. Still amazed at the precision and quality considering the number of passengers. We chose "anytime dining" and shared tables at lunch and dinner and we met many delightful people, some of whom we will keep in touch with. Great staff in the dining rooms too. We are not fans of buffets but when in port, it's the main eating venue on board. Food was fine. A tip for coffee lovers... there is often a long queue to order lattes etc. in the International Cafe (deck 5) despite having to purchase them. Just sit down at a table and flag a waiter who will order for you and deliver it to your table (even if you want takeaway). There is a variety of entertainment from musical stage productions, to comedy, mood music, ballroom dance lessons, line dancing, Zumba, a full gym, in cabin TV/movies, a giant screen for movies under the stars, a kids club, games on deck, art auctions, shopping sales, spa services, competitions, giveaways and if that's not enough you can attend churches services too! Excursions are not always good value for money but if you do your own thing you really need to do a lot of research beforehand and be aware if you don't get back to the ship on time, it doesn't wait for you! Some South Pacific Islands are really beautiful like Isle of PInes (not visited this trip) and Champagne Bay but Noumea is very tired looking and the locals not particularly friendly. Port Vila is run down and dirty but the people are all very friendly and chatty. Of course there is no need to go ashore as the entertainment just keeps going on board. We met many people who have cruised on Princess ships many times and some debatable incentives are offered for loyalty. There are still other cruise lines I wouldn't mind trying but I have no hesitation in recommending the Emerald Princess and may well cruise on her again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We're just one day off the Ruby Princess after a wonderful seven day Mexican Riviera cruise. Everything was fantastic. The Ruby shined both inside and out. Carpets and upholstery in both public areas and staterooms looked fresh. ... Read More
We're just one day off the Ruby Princess after a wonderful seven day Mexican Riviera cruise. Everything was fantastic. The Ruby shined both inside and out. Carpets and upholstery in both public areas and staterooms looked fresh. The marble and tile floors gleamed. The staff were wonderful too. Everyone greeted us with a smile. Princess must be doing something right to create such a warm welcoming attitude among the crew. We opted for traditional dining at 5:30. We had a great table by a window that we shared with my brother and his wife who accompanied us on the cruise. Waiter Cesar and assistant Mario did everything they could to ensure we had a positive dining experience. My sister-in-law had some dietary restrictions. Cesar guided her through each day's menu to make sure she was able to enjoy each dinner. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. We didn't eat breakfast or lunch in the dining room this cruise, so I can't comment on those meals. We usually had a late breakfast in Horizon Court. The food was good and we always were able to find a table. The International Cafe was great for sandwiches or light snacks. The coffee bar was good too, but could get a little crowded at peak periods--especially in the morning. We did enjoy--really enjoy--two dinners in the Crown Grill--still our favorite "for fee" specialty dining on any cruise line we've ever sailed with. Filet mignon and lobster tails were cooked to perfection. Great service and a warm traditional ambiance added to our enjoyment. Crooners was our favorite bar--it usually has been--with great bartenders and wonderful servers who remembered our names and favorite drinks. We enjoy sitting in Crooners and listening to the music performed in the piazza down below. We opted for a bargain Lido deck balcony cabin on this cruise. We found it cozy--certainly enough room--and quiet. There was good storage available in both the closet area and the small, functional bathroom. Our room steward Jackie ensured that everything was ship-shape and spotless. The weather wasn't perfect every day on this cruise, but we had good weather for our stops in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. We chose not to get off in Cabo because a tender is required and we weren't there that long. It's nice to enjoy uncrowded pools and decks when most passengers are ashore. We did this cruise last year on the Crown Princess and enjoyed ourselves so much we booked again this year. The Ruby is a beautiful ship in fantastic condition. We look forward to our next Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We had successfully sailed with Princess three times before and when I found that Princess had a cruise from Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal around my preferred date, we booked it without really checking alternative cruise lines. ... Read More
We had successfully sailed with Princess three times before and when I found that Princess had a cruise from Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal around my preferred date, we booked it without really checking alternative cruise lines. Well the cruise was not a disaster by any means, it was at times a frustrating experience and no way near the quality experience we enjoyed on previous cruises with Princess. The irritation started with the embarkation experience when our small bus could not get near the unloading area and continued with the slow, long line to actually board the ship once we checked in at the port desk. The next frustration was the confusion and mob scene at the Bordeaux restaurant (anytime dining). After 3 nights, I finally asked dining staff to explain their procedures. There is a new club class that gets priority with its own line, and a line for passengers who have reserved and then a third line for walk-ins (us). We mostly chose to arrive about 7:40 pm after the 7:30 reservations were seated. Waits were never long, but the confusion was constant. There were always several empty tables which we assume were reserved for the non-existent club class passengers. I have a hearing problem and after sharing a table for 8 a couple of times, started asking for a table of 6, 4 or 2. Most nights that request seemed hard to accommodate as they were currently sitting tables for 8. Due to the addition of an extra 220 beds in a 2015 renovation with no additional public space, public spaces were often overcrowded, The large Princess Theater could not accommodate everyone in 2 shows, so most nights there were 3 shows with the popular 7:30 time being filled by 7:05. For some reason, the late show at 9:45 was not offered on a few occasions requiring us to miss the sunset at 5:45 or sit in the theater for 40 minutes before the 7:30 show. The additional cabins have resulted in the promenade deck being blocked off at the aft of the ship, making it necessary to cut through the ship (2 sets of heavy doors) to complete a lap. We feel that there was a morale problem on the Island Princess. While there were many exceptions, there was generally a lack of smiles from staff and little effort to go any extra distance. Deck staff in particular seemed to be worn down. This while there were daily walk abouts by supervisors in white coats and clipboards. Near the end of the voyage, we witnessed an agitated dining room manager chew out two staff for 20 minutes in the public dining room while other staff attempted to avert their eyes. We got really tired of all the onboard sales promotions and the so called "Enrichment Articles" on watches, diamonds, art, etc. The photographers were aggressive and one gentleman generally would not take my "no thank you" as a clue to move on. Of course he never recognized us as passengers who did not want to be photographed. On the morning we were in port at Cartagena, the buffet was really crowded. We were offered $2.00 bottled water twice and one aggressive sales pitch for a $25 champagne tasting, before we could find staff to bring juice and coffee. We did find the food to be good to excellent. The nightly entertainment was top notch. Our room steward was great - efficient and friendly. Our cabin was spacious and well laid out. (We were at the bow with no balcony so the balcony area added an extra sitting area within the cabin.) This cruise brought us up to platinum level in the Princess loyalty program but I doubt if we will take another Princess cruise after this disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Our goal was to take a Panama Canal full transit cruise for a birthday celebration and the timing and itinerary fit our needs. Due to the total distance traveled in just over 2-weeks time we had as many sea days as days in ports but it is ... Read More
Our goal was to take a Panama Canal full transit cruise for a birthday celebration and the timing and itinerary fit our needs. Due to the total distance traveled in just over 2-weeks time we had as many sea days as days in ports but it is something you know up-front and either like or not. The canal is a bucket list experience and took a full day but well worth the effort. The Central American ports are interesting but definitely 3rd world with some still using horse & wagon. We avoid the +40-person bus tours so opt for 4-6 person independent tours whenever possible. Our exception is at tender ports because of the challenge to get ashore so it is easier to take the ship's tour. Since we have been on several Princess cruises, the Island Princess felt like 1-step nicer than the other ships in the fleet. The buffet area and particularly the desert area is beautifully done ad there were many more "healthy" options to choose from for fruits and salads. There is a very nice Air-Conditioned enclosed Lotus Spa pool area with comfortable seating that is N/C and open to all which is better than other Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this itinerary because it left from Melbourne and we really wanted to see the sounds and explore more of New Zealand. I will start with the positives first, some of the staff were immensely helpful and friendly, embarkation and ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because it left from Melbourne and we really wanted to see the sounds and explore more of New Zealand. I will start with the positives first, some of the staff were immensely helpful and friendly, embarkation and disembarkation were half an hour each (which in my book is great!) we found our oceanview stateroom was big enough and loved the wardrobe, plenty of drawers and room for the cases under the bed. I loved the amount of pools on board and found the terrace on back of boat to be the warmest at 25'degrees and generally uninhabited as was the lovely alfresco area we ate most of our meals at which you can find at the back of the boat outside Horizon Court, say hello to Joe he is gorgeous. We both loved movies under the stars and appreciated the movies and Tv channels in the room. Neither of us care much for shows but we loved the piano entertainer AJ Clarke and the classical trio that played in the piazza. We enjoyed all ports except Akaroa due to gale force winds. Now for some negatives.....our room flooded as mentioned below, we didn't complain the first time as our cabin steward was very attentive and we dismissed it as an accident, the second time we went to guest services, whilst he organised a room for the night while they rectified the room, he seemed to be more concerned that this was the first time we had complained???then 4 days after the event he sent us canapés for our inconvenience. We both felt it could have been dealt with a little better. Besides the pizza and hamburgers ( which we thought were better than Royal Caribbean) we both thought the food in the dining room and buffet was a little limited. Our Wellington port tender, yes I said tender as Wellington is a working port we had to be shuttled to town by buses, this took roughly an hour and a half to get to town, I am glad we had not organised a private tour! The staff was the most disappointing thing, right from the start it didn't bode well, there was no greeting to the boat whatsoever, which we both found unusual and a lot of the staff in the cafe were rude and some of the bar staff were not necessarily rude but not exactly friendly. Whilst we had problems we still enjoyed our cruise and our experiences are based on comparison to cruising with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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