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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the rates, itinerary and because it left from and returned to Seattle. I was told by friends that the food was mediocre so we were prepared. We weren’t surprised, the food was mediocre. However, the crew ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the rates, itinerary and because it left from and returned to Seattle. I was told by friends that the food was mediocre so we were prepared. We weren’t surprised, the food was mediocre. However, the crew was very friendly and accommodating. The ship was clean and inviting. The best parts were the ports, Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria. We saw salmon jumping and seals eating them in Ketchikan. We also ate at Alaska Fish House, very good! In Juneau we ate King Crab at Tracy’s King Crab Shack and used Alaska Tales for seeing Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching...highly recommend! In Skagway we ate at Skagway Brewery and had a Princess excursion to see White Pass Summit and it was breathtaking. We didn’t see much of Victoria because dock time was between 7pm and midnight. Tracy Arm Fjord was amazing! The ship turned 360 for a while so everyone could see all of the gorgeous scenery. It was a highlight of the cruise. Overall, we had a fabulous time. Prior to the cruise start we stayed at Silver Cloud Inn on Lake Union in Seattle. A great location with free shuttle service to Pike Place Market. We took a walk around part of the lake to look at the iconic Seattle houseboats before embarking. I highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We have always gone Cruising to warm water but so many people said how great the Alaska Cruise is. Why? We couldn't walk the deck while out to sea or use the balcony. It's too cold. They didn't serve any local ... Read More
We have always gone Cruising to warm water but so many people said how great the Alaska Cruise is. Why? We couldn't walk the deck while out to sea or use the balcony. It's too cold. They didn't serve any local Alaskan dishes onboard. Only Alaskan inspired European dishes that were more European than Alaskan. (even the baked Alaska) We couldn't afford the excursions that cost $$$$ hundreds of dollars more per person than on warm water destinations. There are only two kinds of shops in the towns, jewelry shops and souvenir shops with the same stuff. Didn't get to see any glaciers or wildlife other than salmon in the river at Ketchican. It just was not a value to me. I would rather sit on a warm beach and snorkel in warm water for the money. The only highlight was some of the entertainment. See you on the warm beaches from now on, I learned my lesson. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
A cruise to Alaska was my dream trip! Even though the cruise ship was not over the top and you can tell it has some wear and tear, the destination was SPECTACULAR! DINING -- Roger Mora in anytime dining is the BEST waiter ever! You ... Read More
A cruise to Alaska was my dream trip! Even though the cruise ship was not over the top and you can tell it has some wear and tear, the destination was SPECTACULAR! DINING -- Roger Mora in anytime dining is the BEST waiter ever! You can take 2 bottles of wine per person and some water on board -- do it! It will save you lots of $$$$! Just uncork the wine before you go to dinner and you won't have to pay the corkage fee. :) The martini bar staff are hysterical! SHOPPING -- Don't get roped into the jewelry sales, these "used care salesman" are too much! Save your money! Make sure you load the app right away. There are specials that you can use the first day that no one tells you about, but they are on the app. Go to the shopping meeting in the theater to get special coupons and city maps. Don't forget to take your coupons with you to town! ONBOARD APP/INTERNET -- You can also use it to text each other on the ship for free. This was very helpful in keeping track of our group. The internet package is expensive and not really worth it. Unless you are a social media hound, don't bother paying the extra. I was so buy having fun, I didn't really use it. Plus, you can only use it on the ship. When you are in town, it doesn't work. I could have bought a roaming plan from AT&T for $80 less. ENTERTAINMENT -- Make sure you go see the comedians and shows, we were not disappointed! a nice surprise was the Escape Room -- it was a lot of fun -- even solving it with strangers! Be sure to watch the Wake Show - it has important info! PICTURES -- The easy disembark ramp usually has the picture opportunity, go early for the formal night (the photographers take breaks right at the busy time), do lots of poses and have fun! We took stick on mustaches for our formal night and that was the best one of them all! Beware of the picture package prices -- they are EXPENSIVE! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this itinerary primarily for the itinerary. We were in a mini-suite on the 9th deck - the Dolphin deck. This was a "Medallion" cruise which uses a small electronic device similar to a keyless car key for all ... Read More
We chose this itinerary primarily for the itinerary. We were in a mini-suite on the 9th deck - the Dolphin deck. This was a "Medallion" cruise which uses a small electronic device similar to a keyless car key for all transactions including opening the door of your cabin as you approach - nice if you're carrying something. Embarkation was a little tedious because our pre-ordered medallions did not arrive before we left and were not available to the second day of our cruise. Cabin was a little care-worn but not offensive - like staying in a Holiday Inn Express vs a 4 star hotel. The bed was comfortable enough although visible concavity on both sides reflective of prolonged use. Bath was adequate with motel level toiletries. Shower - tub combo was essentially a shower as the drain could not be closed - not an issue for us. Closet space was adequate. Electrical outlets were few in number reflecting the age of this ship. The trick is to use the outlets for one of the two TV's in this suite. Our cabin steward was superb in keeping our room clean. Any-time dining requires a strategy to keep from waiting - make a reservation if you want dining for two! On balance food in main dining was good - sometimes excellent but with some misses. No problem changing your order if you didn't care for the dish. Using the buffet particularly for breakfast also requires a strategy which a peak times makes finding a table problematic. Find your table first and then get your breakfast. The ports of call and the size of the ship places you either at anchorage or some distance from the named destination - not unusual for any large ship. In Guernsey, the water taxi on return to the ship required a 40 MINUTE wait - UNACCEPTABLE! In Dublin the dock was at an industrial area with no foot traffic allowed and no taxis available. The only option for getting to town was to use the ship shuttle at $16 a person additional unless you were on a ship-sponsored excursion. Based on our prior cruising experience, we did private hires and guides at most ports which were competitive with or even cheaper than ship excursions. We are not prone toward attending the ship-sponsored events including art auctions or clothing sales and the pressure to do so was minimal. Evening entertainment in theater required 30 minute prior arrival time to gain a seat for a 45 minute show so skipped a few but those attended were good. As far as food quality goes, breakfast buffet offered lots of choices including several healthy alternative including remarkably good fresh fruit. Lunch rarely taken onboard while in port. Dining room menu was varied with good options. Preparation and taste had wide variability but wait staff were happy to exchange the course if you desired. Wait staff mostly attentive but clearly rushed. Most all of the negatives were related to having to move 3000 people around efficiently and comfortably - successful some of the time but tedious at other times. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The ship itself is beautiful and full service. The staff were almost all very friendly and helpful. The food is mediocre at best. Breakfast buffet is like a "cattle call" with a game of "musical chairs". The ... Read More
The ship itself is beautiful and full service. The staff were almost all very friendly and helpful. The food is mediocre at best. Breakfast buffet is like a "cattle call" with a game of "musical chairs". The other breakfast options are the restaurants that close at 9 am. Aren't we on vacation so that we can wake up and get ready for the day at our own pace? Be prepared to get bombarded with marketing schemes and every possible effort to extract every penny that you might have left, from WAY over-priced and under-poured alcoholic beverages to very expensive and spotty internet and sales pitches at every turn. I got a massage in the spa. It was expensive but great (one at the same quality is half the price at home). Then at the end, while all relaxed...the sales pitch!!! "Buy this bath spa product for only $63..." You just ruined my massage! Did you know that the vast majority of shops at the ports are actually OWNED by the cruise lines? I didn't either. Try to shop local. There is on-board entertainment that was fun. Our cruise director and his staff were amazing. The Medallion program is great in concept. Just needs some fine-tuning. After you've spent all the money upfront for your cruise, be prepared to hold onto your wallet. They are going to do everything they can to exact every last penny from it once you arrive. Of course, the scenery and ports of call were amazing. The excursions were worth doing (but you could book many of them independently or, in some cases, on shore when you arrive for a lot less money). A cabin with a balcony is almost a "must have" for an Alaskan cruise. On most cruises it may not be as important. But on an Alaska cruise, you'll likely miss some amazing scenery from a view-point and setting that is worth the extra costs. Also, I HIGHLY recommend that you include the "Concierge Package". It more than pays for itself in a lot less hassle with luggage, transports, embarkation, etc. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Princess cruises was chosen because of the reviews and it's reputation for doing Alaska the best. I had researched it in , 2015, 2017, 2018 & booked in 2018 to cruise Aug 2019. It was a 30th Anniversary Celebration!!! I ... Read More
Princess cruises was chosen because of the reviews and it's reputation for doing Alaska the best. I had researched it in , 2015, 2017, 2018 & booked in 2018 to cruise Aug 2019. It was a 30th Anniversary Celebration!!! I don't jump into anything & I do my research. I spoke to many people that did the same cruise with glowing reviews. Our friend is a travel agent and we joined a group of 10 that was already planning to go Aug 2019. We told our other friends and added 16 of us to the count. It was everyone's dream vacation. Good friends, a beautiful venue, a cruise & land travel to lodges had the perfect recipe to fulfill the dream. Everyone in our party were adults. Embarkation was busy at the luggage drop off with little direction and no signs with directions. Once the luggage was dropped off & you found your way to the line to proceed through the convention center it was smooth sailing! We did not pre-register for the medallion so we had to go through the line to get our medals. It was quick and easy. When you have your embarkation photo taken remember the time of embarkation & get the name of the photographer in case you need to find your photo. Mine was printed but when I went to purchase it the next night it was gone and never found. We searched the computers with a team member but it was not located. That was the only photo that looked great! The cruise was the 1st 7 days. The ship was large with the "city center" of everything located on Levels 5,6,7.The buffet dining was on Deck 16 by the pools, and outdoor movies under the stars deck. The lounges and entertainment theater were on the front & rear of the ship. The spa was in a good location as traffic from the elevators let out near it. The elevators were in 3 areas of the ship(front, middle, rear). Maximum capacity was 10-18 depending on the elevator but they were snug with 10 people in them, so I could not imagine getting 18 people in an elevator. They were crowded when shows were starting or ending, other than that they were easy to maneuver. The mini-suite cabin was a great size with a queen bed that was comfortable and warm. There were storage drawers, a couch, 2 tvs, a balcony with 2 chairs, foot stools, & a table. The restroom is snug but fine. The shower has dispensers for shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. There is a blow dryer in the drawer in the living area.The body wash was scented and fine to use. The shampoo was fine for a man, but I needed my product or my hair just wasn't cooperative. The balcony room was also an adequate size if savings are needed. I would not want an inside room as the views are a MUST in Alaska and having a balcony is terrific. We had a set dining schedule of 5 pm. Our group of 16 were spread out over 3 tables and were next to each other. The original 10 were at a table near us also. We were able to visit each table and catch up on the days events.The food was good but not great. There was a variety of choices each night from a meat, chicken, fish, pasta, or for a fee you could add a specialty item like filet mignon. The desserts were good & a nice ending to the meal,with about 5 choices each night. There were other dining options at the buffet, or Alfredos, The International Cafe. There were 2 specialty dining restaurants for an up-charge, but we did not do that. One night there was a Seafood Buffet for an additional fee, also, I did not do that, but others in our group enjoyed it very much. We really liked the location of Gideon's Bar and the excellent bartenders & servers.The seating by the window were cozy.. There was a large bar height table that sat 8-10 people so gathering together was easy. Many of the activities and entertainment overlapped so sometimes it was difficult to get from one venue to the next without being late. Once the show started it was difficult to find seats in the dark. It would have been nice to have ushers to help seat guests.There were a lot of "present to win" drawings that could monopolize your time. It was about the sales of jewelry, art, and other products in the shops. The service was good. Sometimes it was difficult to understand the accents but by the 3rd day it was better. The servers knew our preferences by the 2nd-3rd day. They were very nice. We were scheduled to go to 3 ports: Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. The seas were rough in the open waters and we experienced nausea despite the natural ear patch & Sea bands, and Bonine. Ketchikan was a busy port with lots of charm and shopping. Salmon was plentiful in the water streams. We missed the 2nd port which was Juneau because of wind and seas which became another sea day. Later we learned from other passengers on other ships that they were able to dock in Juneau without issues. That left us wondering why our ship could not dock. The reason was the larger the ship the more difficult it is to navigate in less than ideal conditions.An online site had other reasons that we did not like reading. Skagway was the 3rd port on the itinerary that we visited. It was quiet and quaint. Brewery visits are the big hype everywhere and Skagway filled the needs for those that went there. There was another night of rough seas with expectations of 12-14 ft seas expected overnight. The crew prepared the ship with what I was told are baffles/stabilizers and they did a good job easing the excess motion. We took Bonine just in case, & wore Sea Bands on our wrists for prevention of motion sickness. We were able to sleep through the night without sickness. There were so many excursions to choose from that it was overwhelming. We scheduled 1 to 2 at each port so we could walk the towns and see what they had to offer. Ketchikan was the busiest and largest shopping area but that port has the less time to shop everything. -Would I go again? When I was on the cruise ship we had decided it was so beautiful that we would like bring our 2 adult children to Alaska to enjoy it's wonderous beauty. Now,after the land experience, that is to be determined. We had the bad experience of rough seas, & the disappointment of missing Juneau and the excursions there. The scenery was beautiful in the Glaciers with wildlife and ice floating in the water. -The Princess Lodges need updating/modernization, as they are a lot dated. -Kenai Lodge itself was quaint. The restaurant was great with a very creative menu. The food was very tasty, and not one person in our group of 12 had a bad meal. Then the land portion was a bad experience at Kenai Lodge because of heavy smoke & embers from the wild fires that were about 10 miles away, & flooding of the river that closed it. All outdoor excursions were cancelled. We were handed 3M N95 Repirator masks to wear to protect our lungs and airways from the smoke. We wore the masks but within 2-4 days about 6 people in our group had to see a PA for sinus infections from the smoke & needed antibiotics. Then a few others returned home to see a Dr that diagnosed sinus infection and gave antibiotics. Another in our group was given antibiotics for sinus, and 3 days later when they returned home they had the flu that they are certain they contracted from the person before them that had been diagnosed with the flu! We were not told about the fire conditions at the lodge when we disembarked the cruise ship to board the bus.We felt they should have notified us and given us the option to go to a different lodge and not exposed us to the hazardous conditions. -When we were in Denali, Princess finally moved the guests from Kenai to the Denali Lodge because of the fires & the smoke causing health issues. I also had to reschedule my return flight home moving it up 1 day to get home for hurricane Dorian, as the airports were scheduled to shut down on Sunday when my flight was scheduled to arrive in FL. One of us is a 1st Responder & once a state of emergency is declared all vacations are cancelled and all personnel must return to duty at a specified day and time. We were working with EZ Air to get the flights rescheduled. That was more difficult then it should have been as it took me several phone calls between Princess EZ Air & the airlines. It was about 3 hours of phone time (and vacation time)to get it accomplished. -There were too many unplanned(bad) events that occurred during this trip. It felt like National Lampoons Family Vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was an adult only trip with me and my boyfriend We’ve always traveled on mega ships with kids and we wanted to try this ship out but knew that this was not something for the kids as they’re used to mega RCCL ships with lost of ... Read More
This was an adult only trip with me and my boyfriend We’ve always traveled on mega ships with kids and we wanted to try this ship out but knew that this was not something for the kids as they’re used to mega RCCL ships with lost of entertainment. The embarkation was super fast and smooth, our room was even ready when coming onboard! (That’s a nice surprise becaus RCCL makes you wait for the room for hours!) The ship has been refurbished and it’s shows in several places, but a lot of the lounges and walkways were dated. We had a balcony room. The rooms are nice but also a little dated. Mattresses/ pillows/comforters are super comfy, we slept like babies all week! The medallion makes it easy to enter rooms and worked great for us using it at bars where their tablets sensed us approaching and our names and pictures would pop up in their screen without us even having to scan the medallion for payment. Buffet was a disappointment. It looked like a good size buffet but there were not many choices, mostly side dishes and items for salads. Desserts were also disappointing. I have to say that RCCL truly our does it self in this department comparing to other cruise lines. I was hoping for some different, ethnic foods to try at the buffet but there was nothing. One night Indian style okra was served with rice, it’s was ok. The next day the left overs were served again. There was just nothing good at any day that we went. The good part is the way they run the buffet, there’s always one side open and you can walk in for water, tea and food if you’re hungry. There’s never a down time when the buffet is closed due to turnover from i.e. lunch to dinner, as we’ve experienced on other cruises. There are also many different options, Steamers had free lunch which alternates Raman noodle bar and Mongolian buffet (stir fry). There also a pizza place on deck 15 and Salty Dog where they serve burgers and hot dogs. The traditional dining was just OK. The wait staff is friendly and nice, but again, nothing as professional and efficient as other cruise lines. Waiters were not very personable and we never even knew their names. Entertainment on the ship was ok. I wish that there were more adult comedy shows as the cruise caters more to adults. We stopped at Grand Cayman where we did a stingray excursion that we booked with a third party because the cruise excursion was sold out and we were put on a wait list. I actually liked the third party one better because it was early in the morning before all the crowds arrive at the stingray spot and we also only made one more stop to snorkel, so we were done early. We ate at a local restaurant and went Bach to the ship. Next was Roatan where we rented a car and drove to west bay beach. Well, what a horrible experience that was. The beach was overfilled with tourist from ships and those staying at the resorts. People were literally rubbing shoulders in the water and the ocean was all murky from the sunscreen. Vendors harassing everywhere, if not to buy something then for a massage. We paid $20/pp to get into Paradise Beach resort and we’re told the price included a beach chair and umbrella. When we walked out on the beach, there were no chair or umbrellas available. The attendant offered to bring out two chairs and squeeze them in between the already packed tiny square of beach that belonged to the resort but said that they didn’t have the “free” umbrellas and we’d have to pay for one. So we already had spent $40 and now they wanted more. After saying there for 20 minutes, looking for a spot and arguing about the umbrella, we decided to just leave. We went back to the gate where we were charged the entrance fee and asked if they’d give us our money back since they didn’t have beach chairs or umbrellas. Nope. They refused. Didn’t even want to look at us. We got in our rental and drive off to find a free, remote beach where there aren’t 1000’s of people and we found just that! The locals weren’t cooperating in giving us directions to a less busy beach, they all get a kick back for the people they bring to the busy resorts, so we looked it up on the map and drive off and buy was it worth it. The west bay beach was truly horrific. Beautiful place but so over crowded. Next port was Belize, we didn’t do any excursions but wanted to walk around and take a picture at the Belize sign. Well, we could barely make it out of the port. The vendors formed a wall that we had to walk through, asking us to buy, take an excursion, braid our hair etc. small kids were also asking for $5. It was horrible. We ran over to the sign where we were asked for money and then ran right back to the port where they could get in. Next was Cozumel. We had planned on renting a car like we always do when we’re there but after getting really sick from the Mongolian buffet at the ship, we had no energy so we walked around the port, stopped at Fat Tuesday and went back to ship. Back to Fort Lauderdale next morning with a easy stress free disembarkation unlike other ships. Those are the worst days because I always feel like everyone’s rushing, they want you out of the room etc. We didn’t feel like that at all - and somehow they still manage to have rooms ready for people embarking way before other cruise lines do. Rooms have to be vacated by 8.30. Other things; the ship shakes and vibrates a lot! When sitting at the buffet, our glasses litter lot were sliding on the table from the vibration and it was maki g me sick to my stomach and hard to eat. The waitress told us that it’s something on that particular side of the boat, that it shakes so much. This ship is comparable with RCCL Enchantment of the Seas; it’s not that big, doesn’t have that many shops and the “happening place” is the piazza. Coffee on the ship is undrinkable. I don’t have coffee for almost a week. We bought coffee by the ice cream bar and it was a little better than the buffet. They do have good movies On Demand that you can watch in your cabin for free. Would I bring my kids on this ship? No. There’s not much to do, no zip lines, no flo riders, they wouldn’t like the buffet, not many pools like they’re used to, movie theater or ice skating, but that’s only because they’ve seen the best and we’ve been on more family friendly cruises. This definitely caters to an older clientele. The ship has lots of lounges and bars, I think 11 of them! People sit and play cards, games etc. Would I go again? Maybe another adult cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue ... Read More
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue a I had was the length of stay in Bergen as it was really not enough time to see the city as there were many things to look and see in this wonderful city. The cruise itself was average as the boat did sort of showed it aged but Princess did a good job of renovating it. Dining was fine as the menu selection was close to the local food. The sea was not too rough as most of the time it was smooth sailing. The entertainment was fine but was not too exciting as I would have expected. The comedian Juggler I think was the best of all of the shows. We liked the music playing in the piazza as we sat with out latte and relax. The movies under the stars was good - except it was kindof chilly which is expected. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted to see the beauty of Alaska on a quiet princess ship like always. No longer. Over 4000 people now on these big ships but the same amount of pool and deck space. Couldn't see the glacier or fjord with all the people. No ... Read More
We wanted to see the beauty of Alaska on a quiet princess ship like always. No longer. Over 4000 people now on these big ships but the same amount of pool and deck space. Couldn't see the glacier or fjord with all the people. No space at the rail.. Dining? Also down hill. Specialty dining room terrible for the price (steak House). The Italian was better. Not a single quiet area in the ship. Every area playing music. Couldn't read a book anywhere. Was told almost 800 children when they used to limit. We have cruised dozens of times on princess and carnival and I can say the lines between the two used to be significant. Now they are both almost the same. I think we need to try celebrity or Holland now... One more thing. Every contest or event they held in the atrium. Used to be quiet music or quartet.. Now it's games and yelling and boom boom boom music. I'm sad to see this in princess... Maybe their smaller ships still Cater to the quieter crowd but they lost their direction on this. And by the way we were on the twin of this ship the majestic in March for two weeks and same thoughts. Bigger is NOT better for anyone but princess and their bottom line. They can make a ton more on the bigger ships. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
First time on Princess. It was ok but less than we expected. They do an ok job and the food was almost ok. Not sure if this was unique to our cruise or if this is the norm for Princess. Service however, was excellent and made the ... Read More
First time on Princess. It was ok but less than we expected. They do an ok job and the food was almost ok. Not sure if this was unique to our cruise or if this is the norm for Princess. Service however, was excellent and made the trip nice. Our main dinning wait staff was the best we have every had. Gee and King should be commended. Made it to the Sawyer glacier in Tracy Fjord. That was the highlight of the trip for sure. We are told getting that far is rare. What a beautiful sight it was. Purchasing ship photos was like shopping in a store run by teenagers waiting to get off work. They were lost and over their heads trying to answers questions they clearly hadn’t expected. We think that Princess was testing a new procedure. . . It didn’t work. We will return to Holland Amercia for our next cruise. I guess there is a cruise line for everyone and this one wasn’t our favorite. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had cruised with Princess before and enjoyed our previous cruises very much. Both cruises were on newer ships within the last two years. This was our 25th cruise so we are not new to cruising. We booked this cruise primarily for ... Read More
We had cruised with Princess before and enjoyed our previous cruises very much. Both cruises were on newer ships within the last two years. This was our 25th cruise so we are not new to cruising. We booked this cruise primarily for the interesting itinerary. Upon reviewing the ship before booking we observed it to be an older ship. We then researched to see when it was last refurbished. It had been refurbished within the year. Upon embarking ship we could see it was showing its age. It looked to be an older ship in need of being fully refurbished. Our cabin's carpet was dirty and looked shabby. The cabin very much showed its age. The food was average but did not compare to the food on the Royal and Regal Princess. The service was good with the exception of the Shore Excursion Desk. Some of the Excursions were way overpriced. ie: The Edinburgh on Your Own - charged $69.95 per person for a short ride to the center of Edinburgh. The South Queensferry Bus Service to Edinburgh on the other hand only charged 9 Pounds Roundtrip per person for the exact same service. What we paid for was not an excursion but a Shuttle bus ride to Edinburgh. This was published in the Princess Patter the night before - too late to cancel as Princess has a 48-hour cancellation policy. When this was brought to the attention of the Shore Excursion Desk they dismissed it that a lecture also gave the same information. Poor customer service. We will book future cruises on Princess but only on newer ships as the experience on older ships is less than desirable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Tracking passengers with a medallion, not cool at all. You have to have this device on you to get in your room, and do anything else on the ship. Including getting on and off in ports. I work for a company that makes these devices for ... Read More
Tracking passengers with a medallion, not cool at all. You have to have this device on you to get in your room, and do anything else on the ship. Including getting on and off in ports. I work for a company that makes these devices for Amazon I know exactly what they are for. The buffet lines were awkward. The cruise wasn't bad,we have been on many. There were just more things I didn't like than I liked with Princess. The crusie director was almost invisible. Other cruise lines we have been on, they (cruise directors) have been much more involved with guests. Food was good, and they had lots of vegan options for those who eat that way. Entertainment was so so, again we have seen better much on other lines. We met a lot of very nice people on the ship. Almost always fun to talk with and learn from their point of view. Itinerary was very good, It would be a great trip for anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose the Caribbean Princess based on recommendations from some friend who are big time cruisers. This was our first cruise so we really had no idea what to expect. We set off for a two week East/West Caribbean cruise to celebrate our ... Read More
We choose the Caribbean Princess based on recommendations from some friend who are big time cruisers. This was our first cruise so we really had no idea what to expect. We set off for a two week East/West Caribbean cruise to celebrate our 40th Anniversary. Here are a few things that we'd like to share. The good- The Caribbean is absolutly beautiful! The ship was beautiful and dang big. Takes days to see it all! We had smooth sailing even in somewhat rough seas. You're going to be around people from all over the world and our country, we really enjoyed this! The food was much, much better than we expected in every restaurant! The wait staff was exceptional! The nightly entertainment was much better than expected. There was always something going on. No matter what age, you'll find something fun to do! Loved the workout room, the sauna and steam rooms. There is a adult only "sanctuary" area for some quite pool/sun time. The high energy band "Static" was incredible! Most all entertainment was really good! The bad- We received $600 in onboard spending money. They took back $420 in mandatory tips for the hotel staff. Essentially, you're paying their wages for Princess Lines We had really good service and really lousy service. Regardless you're going to pay an additional 18% mandatory tip on all purchases regardless of service. We didn't like this. Spa prices are way over priced, especially the facials. The rooms are really small, showers are even smaller! Off shore excursions are over priced. Do your research and you'll find better for less. Our excursion to Xcaret was time limited and missed the best shows The ugly- If you do a facial, a massage or acupuncture be prepared for the sales pitch to buy the over priced products. Getting through to the front desk on the phone will drive you nuts. You're going to be nickel and dimed to death. We have traveled the world, I traveled for a living for 30+ years. This was big event for us, so we did it all. We had the balcony room, did the spa, acupuncture, facial, ate at a nice restaurant a couple of times. Drank some good wine and a lot of margarita's. After two weeks onboard, we had a great time but to be honest when I got the final bill, I just don't think the value was there. Paid a premium for above average vacation. Will make some changes and do more research for the next cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Choose this due to low price. Had problems with a flight booked through princess cancelling and not being rebooked. This resulted in us having to pay a second time for air fare to and from ship with absolutely ZERO help from princess. ... Read More
Choose this due to low price. Had problems with a flight booked through princess cancelling and not being rebooked. This resulted in us having to pay a second time for air fare to and from ship with absolutely ZERO help from princess. I'm sure we can kiss that money good bye. Cabin was a nice size. Good sized shower and a good view. Our cabin steward was great. Very helpful. We lived Funch. He is a piano player and singer. The show's were good too. Tours/excursions could have gone smoother. Food and service in the dining rooms was great. The buffet was below average. Our specialty dining wasn't worth the extra money we spent for it. Pushy sales people everywhere. A lot of misinformation at the booking of the cruise. Next time, I will not book directly with cruise line or use a travel agent that I can't meet with face to face. Having a direct number for someone that could have helped with flight issues could have changed this whole review Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Never having sailed on Princess our good friends suggested that we join them on the Royal for a 7 day sail to the Mexican Riviera departing April 27, 2019. They entrusted us to do the booking and manage excursions and upgraded dining. We ... Read More
Never having sailed on Princess our good friends suggested that we join them on the Royal for a 7 day sail to the Mexican Riviera departing April 27, 2019. They entrusted us to do the booking and manage excursions and upgraded dining. We proceeded with 2 deluxe balcony staterooms side by side so we could hang out on the balconies together when we wished. We prepaid our gratuities and our excursions and began our count down (about 80 days from finalizing our purchases). With just 4 weeks until blast off Princess called and offered us an upgrade for about $350 for my wife and I and $350 for our friends. (we did not use any TA's so we dealt directly with Princess) Big mistake on my part as I assumed that all the extra amenities hyped up on the Princess website for mini-suite cabins would apply to us. I called our friends and read them all the extra goodies and they wanted to upgrade as did we. Not being a TA and not originally looking to book a mini suite, I had no idea that princess had 2 types of mini-suites. The "CLUB" mini suites had all the goodies, whereas our extra $350 boiled down to an extra TV and more bathroom space. This way we could watch 2 tv's at once, one for each eye. lol Once onboard we went to the suite concierge, Francisco Galvan and to my embarrassment discovered the phone scam upgrade. Did the Princess rep tell me about the difference in the club mini and a regular mini? HELL NO! If she did we never would have upgraded and encouraged our friends to upgrade. Ok I know that not using an agent was dumb on my part, however for Princess to upgrade us over the phone without a proper description of the upgrade is on them. Funny thing is that once we left the concierge a mysterious posting was made on our private Princess dossier that we were briefed by the Princess sales department on the benefits of a mini suite. This of course was totally bogus as the concierge knew that we were going to take our problem either to the Hotel Manager or the Guest Relations Manager. Someone made this entry in an attempt to cover their rear end. I would swear under oath that they never advised us of the difference in a club or a mini suite. Why would anyone upgrade for just an extra tv and and about 10 more square feet? They wouldn't of course. Not me at least. Ok, enough of this and thanks for allowing me to vent. During the cruise I did get a private meeting with the guest relations manager, Luca Cozzolino to discuss this issue. Mr. Cozzolino handled the situation professionally and to my satisfaction and that of my wife and friends. As they said once in a great movie "What we have here is a failure to communicate". Our impressions regarding the Royal Princess cuisine was somewhat a mixed bag. The dishes in the main dining room were quite average at best with the amazing exception of the lobster served on the second formal night. We all thought it was the very best we ever enjoyed on a cruise. Sailing in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez , we all had hoped that the shrimp cocktails would feature the famous jumbo delicacies. Nope! We all had a great laugh when the waiter delivered us 4 tiny shrimp that measured under 2 inches. This pennywise and pound foolish chef selection was made by a bean counter that has no idea of how to make a customer feel he picked the right cruise line. Same can be said about the grade of ice cream on the dessert menu. Based on an old fashioned taste test the Royal buys bargain ice milk in lieu of premium grades. Great way to top off a mediocre dinner is with a scoop or two of drug store ice cream. The service that we had in the main dining room was absolutely spectacular. From the busboy to the maitre'd all worked their tails off to please us and several nearby tables. You can tolerate food that's mediocre if your servers are bending over backwards to please you. These folks and your cabin attendant can make or break a cruise vacation. Princess seems to have this part of cruising down to a science. Room service food was pretty sad although we didn't use it much. The much hyped "BEST PIZZA AT SEA" failed to mention the they only make 3 pizzas a day available for room service. The $3 charge is no big deal but we had been craving a Hawaiian pizza only to find out that only cheese, pepperoni and margarita was available. We went with pepperoni and couldn't finish a slice. Again things were hit and miss. The difference between the Celebrity buffets and those aboard Princess are night and day. Almost impossible feeding 3000 to 4000 people with exciting fresh food and snacks on the Royal, Our Solstice Alaskan cruise recently amplified the many awards Celebrity has garnered for dining. Of course people have various types of palettes and tastes so if you read 100 reviews about dining on Princess versus others, you will get a wide range of ratings. Our final night aboard the Royal was a highlight with dinner in the Crown Room. Wonderful window table for 4 with great food. My buddy and I tackled 22 ounce porterhouse steaks with huge baked potatoes. I am not sure how but I actually lost 2 pounds on this cruise. Maybe they did me a big favor by serving crummy ice cream? Find the gelato station because it's great. The minor $1.50 per scoop up-charge is well worth it. One final note is that the elevator waits on the Royal can be very frustrating. Try and prepare yourself by bringing an extra bag of patience aboard. Also try and relax when you wait to embark. So many folks get all worked up into a lather waiting for their call to board. The ground personnel do a great job of getting thousands off and thousands on. Some poor souls had the all night duty of hauling 13,000 suitcases down to the warehouse to be ready by 7am. These cats are exhausted and after a short break start bringing onboard another 13,000 bags. Some people can be grotesque when awaiting to board the ship. Most passengers are asked to come at assigned times varying from Noon to 2:30 It appeared to us that the majority are ready to storm the gang planks at 10 am. Crazy! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Summary: This was the first cruise on a Royal-class ship for my wife and myself. It was our 9th Princess cruise overall and a bit of a disappointment following the spectacular Panama Canal cruse we had on the Coral Princess last ... Read More
Summary: This was the first cruise on a Royal-class ship for my wife and myself. It was our 9th Princess cruise overall and a bit of a disappointment following the spectacular Panama Canal cruse we had on the Coral Princess last November. Positives: For the most part, service from the crew was excellent. Waiters in the dining room, restaurants and bars/lounges were very pleasant and attentive. Robert and Franco at Sabatini's were outstanding. Attendants at the Buffet could not do enough to assist. Our cabin steward, Donna, was excellent. Kory Minor, the piano player and entertainer at Crooner's, was tremendous. We had one run-in with a chauvinistic cook at the Trident Grill who was insulting to my wife. I reported this to the Front Desk, but heard nothing in reply. Otherwise, the crew was outstanding. The Ultimate Balcony Dinner is an incredible experience. This was the second time we have done it and it will now be a staple of our Princess cruises. We did it on Monday night while we were anchored off Cabo. Not sure how well this would work if the ship were underway, might be too windy. (Our first Balcony Dinner was done the night we were anchored in the Panama Canal last November.) Our waiters were attentive and timely without being intrusive. The food was all excellent (menu attached). The setting is so romantic! By all means, try this activity. It is easily worth the $100 price. We also loved the Super Tuscon Lunch at Sabatini's. Multiple courses all served with wonderful (and high-end) Italian Super Tuscon wines (menu attached) Our Mini-suite was smaller than mini-suites on other Princess ships, but that did not bother us at all. The new design is better than the old one, with the removal of the large desk and TV counter between the bed and sitting areas. Negatives: Although advertised as a “non-smoking” environment, there are many locations on the ship where the smell of smoke was irritating at best and unbearable at worst. Biggest problem area was the Casino on Deck Six, with its open ceiling to the shops on Deck Seven. Clothing and other items in the shops reeked of smoke. Also, poorly designed ventilation in the Allegro Dining Room on Deck six Aft drew in smoke from an outside smoking area. By the end of the seven night cruise, my wife's eyes were bloodshot and her throat sore and raspy. Due to this condition, we canceled a reservation to sail the Royal Princess to Alaska later this year and re-booked to the Golden Princess in 2020. The passenger population would overwhelm ship's resources on occasions. For example, the ship has 12 main passenger elevators, the same number as on much smaller ships. In comparison, the much smaller Coral Princess (2,000 passengers vs. 3,500-plus on the Royal) has the same 12 main elevators. This led to congestion and excessive waits during peak periods, such as show times and start of dinner hours. Also, crowds would build up outside of venues before the start of activities since there was insufficient room to handle the volume of people. Ocean Medallion has tremendous potential to be a great tool for future passengers. The functions which currently work are wonderful. But they do not work often enough. OceanCompass repeatedly crashed while trying to find my wife. I found it very frustrating to be wasting my precious vacation time attempting to debug this system. It could not even correctly locate me at times! OceanNow had limited menus. And it surprised me by charging for cocktails even though we had full beverage packages (Sip & Sail). I brought this to the attention of the Front Desk and they said I would find it in my Cruise Passage contract that drinks ordered through OceanNow would be charged. That is not acceptable. This system reminded me (a retired IT manager) of systems rushed into production before they were ready or properly tested in order to meet a management-directed schedule deadline. System quality should be the only criteria for determining system implementation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We just got off the Island Princess sailing from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Service overall, with one exception (see below) was fabulous. We were on the Royal Princess in January and are booked for Australia in December with a Cruisetour. ... Read More
We just got off the Island Princess sailing from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Service overall, with one exception (see below) was fabulous. We were on the Royal Princess in January and are booked for Australia in December with a Cruisetour. If we had not booked Australia prior to this cruise, we would have definitely considered another cruise line. The Royal was such a completely different experience and this is not due to size. The Maitre d's in the dining room are only interested in catering to the Club Members and have no difficulty ignoring the remaining passengers. This was heard constantly throughout our cruise, on shore excursions, at the bars, in the Horizon Court.... Not nice at all!!!!! It was as if there were two classes of passengers. There was one occasion where the Maitre d' came over to the table beside ours and apologized for the place they were in as "their table" had been given away. It suddenly made us feel as if we were in a horrible place in the dining room. Coming to the dining room every night was not comfortable for many of us and this should not be the case. Of course, once we were seated, the wait staff was outstanding and all was forgotten. However, this happened, EVERY NIGHT to all of us. Service everywhere else was fabulous, from the Horizon Court to the Bars to Excusion Staff. We had a wonderful time. Bayou was great with a live jazz band playing during dinner. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We are from the Bay Area and booked a 6 am fight out of San Jose to LAX. We were up at 330 am so we were tired and excited. We got an uber to a breakfast place near the airport called Bread and Butter. It was really good and very ... Read More
We are from the Bay Area and booked a 6 am fight out of San Jose to LAX. We were up at 330 am so we were tired and excited. We got an uber to a breakfast place near the airport called Bread and Butter. It was really good and very inexpensive. We took an uber around 11 am to the pier from the restaurant. It was so surreal to see the enormous Royal, which would be home for the next 7 days. Since our daughter was celebrating her Sweet 16 birthday we decided to book a suite a 102.. and make it a surprise on what room we booked. When we dropped off our bags we we ushered into a medallion line. i kept asking if this was line for suites everyone told me yes. We and everyone else were given number 5. We were checked in and asked the lady about suites and she had no idea so she called her supervisor and asked if there was a special area or a person to walk guest on. The supervisor said, " Because you're medallion pre checked you just sit with everyone else. No special area or walk on host." OK/// Even Carnival has an area for suites but we were tired and glad to find a chair to rest. The kind lady next to me overheard that we were in a suite and told me to go up to the lady calling out numbers. We did. she apologized and said to go right on. The ship was beautiful and so impressive. Our cabin on Aloha deck A102, was also amazing. A really gorgeous bathroom with a deep soaking tub and separate shower. We met briefly with our steward, Edsell. We were so hungry and tried to find the dining room for lunch, that was open but no one seemed to direct us right. We stumbled onto Alfredo's and what a delicious place this was. We had the vegetarian pizza and Hawaiian pizza. we also tried the tiramisu for dessert and it was clearly the best dessert we had. all week. We went to the room and unpacked and rested. After mustered we made reservations at the crown grill for dinner. It was complimentary with suite privileges. I had the prawn appetizer and filet mignon with baked potato. My husband had the same and my daughter had the steak tartare and lamb. She loved it. Not sure if I would eat raw beef. We were full for dessert. The wait staff was excellent. Our room steward tried his best but when we asked him to exchange the mini bottles for all sky vodka, instead of the various other liquors. he told us to call room service, which I did. Room service directed to tell our room steward for this request.. Finally we had a room service drop off our pre purchased liquor bottle and we told him and he took care of it. We also asked our steward if we could have menus to order dinner since we wanted to just relax in our cabin. He again told us to call room service. My husband just went down to the restaurant and took pictures and we did receive it. Room service was fantastic. Always early and a white table clothe was et out. We did the ultimate balcony dinner and it was amazing. I recommend this highly. We had so much food and it was fresh. The lobster was way better then what is offered in the regular MDR. The nice thing about it was my daughter was able to order food from the regular menu and eat with us. We tried to see if she could get our UBD menu but they can not separate so it would have been another 100 dollars for an additional one person. My daughter and husband did the scuba diving tour in Cabo. It was so cold and the visibility was not good but that is Mother nature. In Mazatlan we went to the beach in the golden zone. We did jet skis.. The rental is 60 dollars for half an hour. My husband and daughter did fresh oysters from a beach lady. She had a table and just through oysters out on a table and shucked them..They were very fresh and no-one got sick. In Puerto Vallarta we did the Eco tour which was amazing. We stopped in a tiny village called san jose and ate fresh tortillas. Then to the jungle to go on a hike. We also ate homemade tortilla with beans and guacamole from a traditional farm. Delicious and I could have ate a dozen.. Our tour guide discussed the birds and plant life in this region... Very interesting. We ended on a beach ( non swimmable) for a bbq lunch. Really enjoyed this and the people were nice and friendly. Just make sure to have hiking boots and bug spray. We used Sabatini' for breakfast which was amazing. Our highlight was the Pub lunch on our last day. The food was ok, Club class had amazing pastas. It did take awhile to get served. We bought the thermal pass Enclave but were so disappointed that we got a refund. It was so crowded it was hard to find a space to sit. The Spa had foam in it , which I know want harm you but it is not pleasant to bath in.. People were not pre-showering which grossed me out. And a lady had a band aid on her foot. We were refunded, but were pushed to use our money instead on a massage or other service. We said no and then she said the salt rub needed to be returned or she would need to charge me for that. Thankfully we did not open them and gave it back. Only one refund was done, so a trip to guest services to rectify. I did not like also, there was no sea view just a dark tomb with people walking back and forth.. It was not for us. Holland America has the best thermal suites in my opinion. We had a great time and I love cruising but we prefer small ships. Please ask any questions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I wanted a "special" trip for our 50th anniversary. We have been cruising for 40 years now and enjoy the experience. We elected to go to Hawaii and wanted a round trip cruise. That fact limited us to only two ... Read More
My wife and I wanted a "special" trip for our 50th anniversary. We have been cruising for 40 years now and enjoy the experience. We elected to go to Hawaii and wanted a round trip cruise. That fact limited us to only two cruise lines Princess and Carnival. The wife said to look at the trip as a celebration not a vacation. We thought since both lines belonged to the Carnival corporation the Princess cruise would be a little more upscale. We chose a Club Class Mini-Suite and air transportation arranged by Princess. The Club Class upgrade included Priority Boarding, I expected the same benefits as Carnival's Faster-2-Fun boarding. Not so, just a different check-in desk. No priority room preparation, no quick luggage delivery, no priority on excursions, and no speedier disembarkation. I'm sure Princess has a target cliental. If that is the case, my wife and I do not fit the criteria. As I said we were celebrating 50th years of marriage and are not all that young. However, we are young at heart, able to walk, like to smile, and do not believe the way to elevate your social stature is to belittle the ship's staff. We found a majority of the passengers were not smiling, used a cane or walker, were rude, and ready to complain about any topic. There were some great things on the ship in spite of the depressing overall attitude of many passengers. The Club Class dining venue was a shining star of service and attitude. Our cabin steward was excellent and kept the cabin in pristine order at all times. Maybe our expectations were just set too high. We expected to "Come Back New". We came back looking for a "Fun Ship". Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My hubby & I take Princess Cruises every time we cruise. We go in early Spring every year. I have 7 under my belt now & my hubby has 9. We stayed in Fort Lauderdale over night and were on the Regal Princess Ship by 11:15am on ... Read More
My hubby & I take Princess Cruises every time we cruise. We go in early Spring every year. I have 7 under my belt now & my hubby has 9. We stayed in Fort Lauderdale over night and were on the Regal Princess Ship by 11:15am on Sunday! That was terrific, we had lunch on the pool deck and went to the cabin at 1pm. Embarkation was smooth sailing, the sail way party was fun and the day was perfect! The 1st port of Call was Princess Cays (the cruise lines private island) we have been to Princess Cays 6 times before, so we just stayed on the ship and had a relaxing spa day. The next day was a Sea Day-we relaxed again w/a few activities on board. Regal Princess is a great ship, but it is not full of water slides or rock walls or diving shows, so some may find the ship a bit boring. We find it just right--for families and w/teens the activity level can be lack luster. That being said many parents just let their kids roam around the ship, ages 11-16 total disgrace. Princess has movies under the stars on the pool deck, in the evenings they show more adult themed movies. One night we went to the movies under the stars (the movie was great by the way!) the teen boys yelled and hooted and disturbed everyone all thru the movies. Several guest went and told them to chill out and keep the screaming down. Well that did nothing, it made it worse. Many fellow passengers (myself included) wondered where in the world the parents are? So you don't parent on vacation? Seems strange to me, and your kids are now everyone else's problem. It was ridiculous! The last night of the cruise one the teen boys came up to me and said do you like my shirt? He had written curse words all over it--and proceeded to yell profanities at myself and other passengers. Again, where are the parents of these kids?? Princess did nothing to stop these kids, I informed them several times as did other passengers. It seems that when you go on vacation these lazy parents just don't care--Princess and fellow guests have to deal with these unruly brats! The cruise itself was terrific, the productions shows are top-notch and the Beatlemaniacs are the best-they are real show stoppers, and totally fun!! The cabin was small, but adequate for just the 2 of us. Again this is not a mega ship--it is not a RC super ship, Regal Princess had 3560 passengers this cruise and that was enough, especially w/unsupervised teenagers running around all day & night. This cruise was a 2 week combo, but we only did the 1st week (last year we did the 2nd part of this cruise) Were told that only 291 guests stayed on for the 2nd week of the cruise, w/others getting on as we got off. St. Thomas had lovely weather, we went to Megans Bay. It was overcrowded w/6 ships in port that day. I can see if only 2-3 ships in port, Megans Bay would have been great. We shopped & had lunch near the cruise port. Both were excellent! St. Maarten we did the Sky Explorer at the Rainforest Adventure & Rockland Estate. It was gorgeous, you took a Sky lift up the side of St. Maarten (this is not for the faint of heart) and could see the entire island! Beautiful! Well worth the price. After 2.5 hours at the Estate we went to the beach and board walk. Had the best burger on the board walk. St. Maarten has the best beach (in my opinion) only 2 ships at port that day, so the beach was not crowded, and the view was awesome! 2 Relaxing Sea days on the way back to Fort Lauderdale (well other the being on the look out for parentless teenage boys) All & all a great cruise, just wondering if we will continue w/the Princess Line? It maybe time to move to Celebrity Cruise Lines. That makes me sad, as I have spent thousands of dollars w/Princess, but I do not go in for terrible teenagers who parents don't care about them & want them to be everyone else's problem! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 ... Read More
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 other cruises on various cruise line ships. The musicians were good but there weren't any magic shows or acrobatics on this cruise. The back of the boat view was taken over by the Lotus Spa area that you had to pay extra to be in. The fitness center was in a lower deck with no windows. The shower stalls were so small you couldn't bend over in them. Our waiter was the best thing on the ship. He was friendly and brought out the food fast. Most of the tours were good, but one of the tours on Grand Cayman had so many waiting to touch the Stingray that we only got to touch it once for the hour we were waiting in the water. We liked the chocolates left on the pillow each night. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose the cruise as part of our 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Princess staff graciously met us at LAX and settled us in a taxi for the ride to Long Beach for a pre-cruise overnight in the Long Beach Hyatt. Good comfortable ... Read More
Chose the cruise as part of our 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Princess staff graciously met us at LAX and settled us in a taxi for the ride to Long Beach for a pre-cruise overnight in the Long Beach Hyatt. Good comfortable accommodations, helpful staff and located convenient to walking around a harbor and downtown. Transport to San Pedro port and Princess embarkation were excellent. We had sailed the Ruby previously and were looking forward to repeating a pleasant voyage. The cabin was completely ready when we arrived brightened with new carpeting.Lacking was the Lotus Spa hair conditioner previously provided as part of the amenities for Elite Level passengers. Other Elite passengers noticed the absence, as they too didn't bring their own; an example of Princess trying to save a nickel. The only other cabin problem was the lack of hot water for showers on the last 3 days of the cruise, including debarkation morning. Calls to customer service resulted in only temporary fixes.On the positive side a broken spring on the room safe door hinge was fixed withing hours after reporting it. Were this our first Princess cruise, it likely would be our last because of irregular (one time wretched) food quality, apparent under staffing in dining rooms, and too many staff who don't acknowledge or initiate customer greetings. In anytime dining many dinners were well prepared, if overly salty. Probably the most wretched dinner I have had was a veal dish that had 2 slabs of meat with the consistency of a roofing shingle. In the same meal the dessert was a samosa consisting of tropical fruit and macadamia nuts accompanied by a mint dip. The samosa was like a greasy empanada, and the mint tasteless. The number of serving staff was deficient. Too many meals that started between 6:00-6:30 ended up taking 2+ hours, ruining evening entertainment plans. Lido deck server seemed smile less and conveyed a demeanor that suggested they would rather be elsewhere. Elsewhere, staff met the standards of our prior Princess experiences. Bar servers, especially in the Skywalkers Platinum/Elite lounge were among the best we have experiences. Passenger Services staff were thorough and followed-up on issues. On this category of ship you aren't going to find water slides and climbing walls. But, there are on-board activities to suite most interests. Why Princess continues the pretense of a dress code for dinner is beyond me. A man dressed in cargo shorts was seated in the Michelangelo dining room on a casual dress evening. I doubt that they meet the dress code for "smart casual." .And finding one's way around can be a challenge. Ship maps in public areas contradict each other, even other maps only a few feet away. Example, locations of laundromats. The entertainment was among the best that we have enjoyed on Princess with new stage shows presented by very talented singers, dancers, musical ensemble. In lounges, however, too many events ran over scheduled stopping time, thereby delaying the next program. We especially enjoyed the Walker Black Duo. We were less enthusiastic about Mary Simon, guitarist, who shared too much personal angst in her own compositions. We left midway in a second session. The party band Main Offenders seemed to mistake loudness for talent, perhaps to cover their singer's limitations. We enjoyed all of the comics, and the vocalist Teacake. Providing a delightful Pacific island musical ambiance were Tiki Dave & Leialoha. I was less impressed by naturalist Mark Harris, whose presentations lacked thoughtful development around their topic.Typically there were 3 sub-topics under a main topic. But, nothing tied them together to walk away with feeling, "Gee, I really learned something." We enjoyed all the ports. A helicopter ride on Kauai with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters was a highlight. I flew with them on the Big Island in 2005. They still set the standard of excellence for helicopter excursions. It was my wife's first; she didn't want it to end. Whale watching at Maui was disappointing. The company seems to have had a fixed area to cover. All that we can say is that we saw the backs of a coupe of whales. Later in the day a companion on a snorkel excursion reported that they saw quite a bit of whale activity at the other end of the bay. On the Big Island, the excursion to the lava fields was interesting, as we got a good impression of how the island was formed. Disappointing on the Honolulu harbor excursion was food quality. Vegetables seemed under cooked, and perhaps contributed to stomach distress felt later that night. Also excursion meeting arrangements were poorly handled in Terminal 11. Our group assembled on time, but were delayed 25 minutes in being shuttled to the excursion boat.It was difficult for several people with mobility disabilities, as there were no seats. A security supervisor chewed out one of his staff who offered "his" chair to a man much in need. We stayed on the ship in Ensenada. Since we have lived and traveled extensively in Mexico, a packing day was in order. After 4 sea days over to Hawaii and 5 sea days back, and several books read, we were ready to return home with good memories and several noted above that shouldn't have occurred on Princess and hopefully will not repeat. Debarkation through port facilities was smooth and well managed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We booked a mini suite on this beautiful ship. The room was very nice, roomy, clean, a full bathroom with bath and shower. We were impressed. What was less impressive was that there were 3 bottles of water in the room, too 500ml and 1 of ... Read More
We booked a mini suite on this beautiful ship. The room was very nice, roomy, clean, a full bathroom with bath and shower. We were impressed. What was less impressive was that there were 3 bottles of water in the room, too 500ml and 1 of 1.5 ltrs. The caveat was you HAD TO PAY FOR THEM!, the small ones were $2.50 and the large one 3.98 + 18% tax, ridiculous for the amount we paid for the mini suite. Now as far as food is concerned no complaints as long as we wanted to eat in the buffet, the main dining room had a dress code, I mean w're on vacation and a dress code was not what I expected, dress pants and a dress shirt in the Caribbeans, ridiculous. the was te food is outrageous, people take more than they can eat and it's all thrown in the garbage, as one of the waiters commented this is just one ship, there hundreds doing te same thing. Our room stewart Nicola was wonderful he took great care of us and our room was always spotless. To get back to rules they have a drink package, it's $60.00 per day per person plus taxes 18%, but if your wife or partner does not drink it does not work it's 2 or nothing. I was really disapointed with the overall mission of Princess make as much money as you can. The shows were very nice and we enjoyed them. I will never cruise with Princess again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Our first impression was that the ship is old and in need of some refurbishment. Our room was dirty when we arrived. If the room was not ready for us then they shouldn't have let us board early. Food was average at best, Steak only ... Read More
Our first impression was that the ship is old and in need of some refurbishment. Our room was dirty when we arrived. If the room was not ready for us then they shouldn't have let us board early. Food was average at best, Steak only offered twice during our 7 day cruise. Specialty menu's were offered every night in Any time dining but had to pay extra 19 dollars. We ordered late night traditional dining but was put on standby for that, and had to anytime dining instead. We like having the same dining mates and waiter every night but that was not to be. We were #5 on the waiting list for traditional dining and never got lower than that. Deserts were good. Caesar salad was bland so WE opted out for garden salad instead but had to ask for it since it it was not on menu. Coffee was good. We stuck with drinks-of-the-day since they were cheaper $8.95 than regular drinks but hardly any alcohol in them, didn't even get a buzz! We heard they are taking ship out of service for 30 days to refurbish it. Wait staff friendly but overheard pool bar staff not very friendly. We noticed a lot of families with kids, found out it was school winter vacation in Ohio and mid-west. Lots of kids in hot-tub and pools. Signs saying no jumping or diving into pool were not observed. and were also throwing balls and cups of water at everybody, No supervision at the pools. Surprised they didn't go on Carnival instead. Beer bottle glasses were allowed to be in pool area, a definite no-no. Told staff and they didn't care. They were doing repairs outside our cabin some morings waking us up early, banging and sanding, Not cool. They did have designated smoking areas but walkers had to share deck 7 with smokers, Cough, cough! Would not book Princess again unless it was a new ship. I like Celebrity and Royal Caribbean much better. 'Entertainment was by the Princess dancers and did 3 different shows but quality was way below other cruise lines, Comedian was very funny and Symphonee black band was excellent, played around ship. Rear pool was very wind and in the shade most of the time because of skywalk night club blocked the sun. Heard there wasa Sanctuary pool that was free to use but had to pay extra for chairs, we never went, has a small golf putting surface all the was up on top. This cruise just did not impress me. Stops were ok Princess Cays (private island) own by Princess was just ok. Gave us a BBQ, Hot dogs (bad) Burgers (worse) and ribs (ok). Did some snorkling , saw maybe 5 fish. Disappointing. Oh well, there's alway next year ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the experience and just the need to see some warm weather. This ship was fresh out of dry dock, which was used as an excuse for everything that was WRONG with the ship. Usually when something is in for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the experience and just the need to see some warm weather. This ship was fresh out of dry dock, which was used as an excuse for everything that was WRONG with the ship. Usually when something is in for refresh, repair, or general maintenance, it should come out fully functional and complete. Not so with this ship. Several cabins didn’t even have hot water for most of the cruise. There were issues just about every where on the ship. From bathroom plumbing, lights flickering, ceiling tiles sagging, and much more. Was it a total mess? Not really. The ship overall was pretty decent, but it really should have been so much more. Food - generally, the food was average. It is surprising they don’t have more Mexican food on a Mexican cruise. Easiest way to get people in the mood of where they are going is through their stomach. Service varied depending on whether or not a supervisor was nearby. Amazing service usually meant there was at least one supervisor within eyeshot. There were times we would watch the waiter ask people all around us if they needed anything and skip us. And the reaction I’d get when I ordered just a soda was one of annoyance. Movie under the stars - This iMax movie experience is actually pretty nice. A throw back to the drive in theatre. One complaint I tend to have about entertainment on most cruises is they tend to be very short. Went to a trivia show and it lasted about 25 minutes. Music acts would go for 30-45 minutes and then quit. And why do DJ’s play the same 5 songs throughout a cruise? Really can only listen to the Cupid Shuffle so many times before you get really tired of it. Read Less
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