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308 Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

The ship was excellent though too big. We had a balcony cabin on the 16th floor very good with unobstructed views. The staff couldn't be faulted.always smiling even though 50% of elderly passengers were rude and demanding without ... Read More
The ship was excellent though too big. We had a balcony cabin on the 16th floor very good with unobstructed views. The staff couldn't be faulted.always smiling even though 50% of elderly passengers were rude and demanding without manners.!!! The children on board were better behaved with better manners than some adults. Not enough seating in the indoor entertainment area's of the ship.(piazza and the theatre's) had to get to an area for the show you wanted to see at least 45mins early. No area around the ship for a good walk the promanade deck only went up each side of the ship and very narrow. The market dining area we felt left left a lot to be desired. most food cooked in oils or butter, no plain or steamed food, no sandwich making facilities. Even though there were several area's of choice the food daily was same, same. The resturaunts were fantastic especially the pizza and sympony dining.the hamburger bar on the deck was good too. Too many people just walking in the dining area's without washing there hands. worry about nova virus with poor hand hygiene.The excursions were fantastic and the tour guides very good value for money and saw a lot of the islands. The ships staff getting you on and of the ship did a fantastic job with the number of people most of them very pushy and rude to the staff and other passengers. We went on this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding had a fantastic day but because of limited entertainment seating indoors when the weather was too cold to sit on deck we spent most afternoons in our cabin watching the TV . could have done that at home.will go on another princess cruise but will go on a smaller ship. Getting on and off the ship was expidited with reasonable speed at the begining and end of the voyage. couldn't fault that. Overall feeling was that the ship catered for the Chinese and American market rather than the Australian. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have only done 2 Princess Cruises with the first being on the Star Princess in Alaska. We rated that cruise 9.5/10 where the Autumn Cruise in Japan is 7/10. Be aware...the autumn colors are not until the end of October so we only saw ... Read More
We have only done 2 Princess Cruises with the first being on the Star Princess in Alaska. We rated that cruise 9.5/10 where the Autumn Cruise in Japan is 7/10. Be aware...the autumn colors are not until the end of October so we only saw some glimpses ...Everyone told us "come back in 2 to 3 weeks! The cabin and our steward was really good. The entertainment was middle of the road and would not suit all people with juggling, opera, blues/soul. The is no choice with evening dining. You are allocated a restaurant and table for the whole trip...We prefer anytime dining. The ship was low on supplies and we ordered four different wines before getting one that was available. I have never before had a MaitreD who was derogatory and defensive but I did on this trip. The port stops are fine with plenty to explore on your own or with a tour. Our stop in Nagoya was a complete waste of a day because they processed us for immigration and it took over 2 hours in line then we ran out if time because the ship was leaving port at 3pm. The crew generally seemed a bit tired and the ship lacked the verve and energy of our Star Princess experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have never written a review before but here I go. I am a Platinum member working on getting to Elite. Normally I would have a 4 or 5 rating for Princess but this cruise I did have some disappointments. When I found this 10 day cruise I ... Read More
I have never written a review before but here I go. I am a Platinum member working on getting to Elite. Normally I would have a 4 or 5 rating for Princess but this cruise I did have some disappointments. When I found this 10 day cruise I was excited because it had 6 ports. 3 of which I have been to and 3 where new ports. We stayed at the Hilton Marina the night before and that was OK. It was a very dated hotel but the price was not bad. It was across from the port so that made getting to the port easy. We have been cruising with Princess for a while now and this is the second sailing on this ship we have done. The ship is very well laid out and our favorite out of the fleet. We where in E325 which is an obstructed ocean view stateroom. I will tell you that I would book in a heart beat this room again. There was a life boat at the window, however you could see straight out to the ocean. You would not be able to see below you but who looks down anyhow. Great room. It also is a great deck because We were able to run down 2 decks for dinning or 1 deck for the theater, It was easier than getting an elevator. This cruise was for relaxation only. We chose not to do any excursion on this trip. We stayed on the ship for Princess Cays, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. We have been to these ports many times. We rented lounges in the Sanctuary for the entire cruise and that is where we parked during the morning hours. In the afternoon, we went to the Skywalker lounge. The ship is very well maintained. You can tell they keep it painted and cleaned. When sitting beside other ships, Princess looked so much better. I did not see a lot of improvements made to the ship during the dry dock. We sailed on it the week before it went into dry dock so I do have pictures of it before renovations. My guess is that outside the new dinning venues and new bedding, and some carpet, the updates where in technology. Internet. Loyal passengers, Elite and Platinum really do not get the internet perk as before. Sure they will give you your minutes, but because they moved to Medallion Net, cruisers can purchase unlimited on the first day at a discounted rate. If you are Elite or Platinum you first have to waste the minutes allotted to you than you can purchase the package, but....You will pay the same price as a first time cruiser. They tried to say we where still getting the discount, but no we weren't, because if I had not had the minutes, I could have paid less per day for the package. We chose to just keep the minutes and use them sparingly. Any Platinum and Elite member on that cruise knows what I am talking about. Plus there was no log in and log out button, we actually had to go to a web browser and log in and than had to type signout.com to disconnect. If we did not do that, the minutes kept running and were wasted. Again, it was a poor set up for the loyal members, but Ruby and below didn't get that perk so they where able to purchase the internet unlimited for the whole cruise at 79 dollars. 2nd, the staff on the ship was not the same as typical princess cruise staff. We only had 3 staff that was friendly to us. Yitzak, buffett Steward, Christain and Kemberly in Island dinning room, thank you for serving us. Though this was not the friendliest crew, We will cruise again with princess because we have done many other cruises that have been perfect. The shows where good and the food was good as well. The flavors where not of my taste buds but that did not mean the food was not good. It just meant I like burgers and fries and not Caribbean taste. If I didn't like something, I would just go to buffet and get what i did like. Anyone that complains about the food should just stop to think was it cooked poorly or was it just you didn't like what was on the menu. Overall, I was here to rest and relax and that is what I did. I love Princess and I love this ship. Not everything in life is perfect but you make the best of it and you can still find relaxation. It was much better thank cheesy hotels and fast food!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was my husband's and I first cruise celebrating an anniversary. We live in LA and flew to Vancouver to take the cruise from there. We arrived to Vancouver two days before the cruise and had a great time exploring the city, we ... Read More
This was my husband's and I first cruise celebrating an anniversary. We live in LA and flew to Vancouver to take the cruise from there. We arrived to Vancouver two days before the cruise and had a great time exploring the city, we also had a trip to "Squamish" which I highly recommend. Day of the cruise we arrived at the port around 12:00pm, checking in was easy and smooth, we found out that we were upgraded from a balcony to a mini suite which was very nice. The suite itself was modern, furnishing was nice with plenty of storage space. Bathroom was a good size. We had reserved a specialty dinner in the crown grill for the first night, both food and service were great. I recommend getting the chef sampler for dessert, yumm :) The Buffet at the 15th floor was good for breakfast and we had breakfast there for 4 days. Tip (try to be there before 8:30am as it gets very crowded and you will not find seating). We also had traditional seating dinner at Michelangelo dining and Boccelli dining with positive experience with food and service. Everything was great and everybody was welcoming except when I called guest services to ask about a port to airport transfer, a lady with (Russian or eastern European accent) was very rude and was talking to me like I was 6 yrs old who cannot read. That totally ruined my day. I reported the incident, someone called me back to apologize, they said they will investigate, but I never knew the outcome. I tried the spa with a pedicure, I recommend reserving online at least 7 days before cruise date to get better prices. Spa employees were friendly and my pedicure was great. For entertainment, the comedian was really good and funny. I also recommend getting to the theater at least 15min before the show starts to find seating as it fills up quickly. There was also one of the cruise directors singing Adele songs, she was great. I wish there were more of that type of entertainment. As for the weather in October, it was a little cold for me, I was wearing a jacket all the time, and I was freezing trying to watch the sunset at the 17 deck, but other passengers seems to be fine with short sleeves:). Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The room we were “upgraded” to was above a bar and shook and rattled all night keeping us up. I am a light sleeper and when I booked the cruise I asked for a quiet room. My husband is a heavy sleeper and couldn’t sleep in this cabin. ... Read More
The room we were “upgraded” to was above a bar and shook and rattled all night keeping us up. I am a light sleeper and when I booked the cruise I asked for a quiet room. My husband is a heavy sleeper and couldn’t sleep in this cabin. So disappointed. The ports were excellent and it’s why we choose Canada and New England. The captain was unable to port in New Brunswick through no fault of his own. It was high winds. Food is not as great as it used to be. There are little choices and it seemed to be the same food in the anytime dining buffet every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The only change was the last day at sea where they had a better variety of food like strawberries, seafood, pies, chocolate, and sugar free desert options. I couldn’t even get a bottle of orange juice for my room as I am diabetic and need sugar in the middle of the night. I asked in the shop and they looked at me like I was crazy for wanting to buy a bottle of OJ. Staff were less friendly as well. Our steward in past cruises always went above an beyond with towel animals, etc but not this time. Barely got a smile. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The Canada/New England colors were breathtaking. This was perfect timing and we really loved the trees. The ship missed two ports due to weather and we were very disappointed, especially Bar Harbor. However, we were compensated with ... Read More
The Canada/New England colors were breathtaking. This was perfect timing and we really loved the trees. The ship missed two ports due to weather and we were very disappointed, especially Bar Harbor. However, we were compensated with $25...SERIOUSLY! The Quality of evening dining room food was poor. Three nights the meat was too tough to eat and no I don’t have dentures. Nightly entertainment was fair, but to get a seat you had to be in theater an hour in advance. This was a very crowded ship and difficult to walk anywhere. Most horrible bed ever slept on. Asked for egg crate and it was shorter than the mattress. I know Princess is upgrading beds, but these should be burned immediately. Their process for getting on and off the ship for excursions was extremely slow and there appeared to be a lack of organization many times. We will not go on the Royal again Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have been cruising for many years with this being our 14th cruise. All previous cruises were with Carnival. We heard so much about Princess being an upgrade from Carnival that we decided to try it. In comparison, the average age of ... Read More
We have been cruising for many years with this being our 14th cruise. All previous cruises were with Carnival. We heard so much about Princess being an upgrade from Carnival that we decided to try it. In comparison, the average age of the cruisers on the Princess trip was probably 65, so definitely not the same kind of fun as Carnival. The food on Carnival is much better, the balcony rooms on Carnival are bigger. The service and entertainment were better on Princess. The Mi Dushi excursion was not good. We had been on this excursion two other times and enjoyed it, however, on this trip, the staff didn't offer any assistance in getting in and out of the water, the ladder was hard to climb and the staff didn't help nor show the new snorkeler's any instructions. The worst part of the cruise was by far the death of a passenger, just two doors down from us. An announcement came on at around 4:30 a.m. (ship time) for security to report to lifeboat 2. The next morning an announcement was made that we would be delayed getting off in Aruba due to a serious incident. We later learned there was a death. We were very upset for the family of the victim and the lack of communication or compassion from the Captain on the death. I would have thought it would have been communicated, especially to those of us located so closely to the cabin in which it occurred. Since being home, we have learned it is a possible homicide and definitely feel we should have received some communication with the staff since we were located within 2 doors of the crime. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our 3rd Princess cruise, but after so/so service, lack of activities for anyone under the age of 50, and realizing it's not family friendly, we'll be looking into another line. Our room was nice, but the bed was hard ... Read More
This was our 3rd Princess cruise, but after so/so service, lack of activities for anyone under the age of 50, and realizing it's not family friendly, we'll be looking into another line. Our room was nice, but the bed was hard as a rock. I had bruises on both hips and slept terribly. Service in the DR was horrible. We ended up not eating there and instead went to the buffet. We had anytime dining and the only good service we had was when the early dining room was so empty they shuffled us up and down 2 floors to the regular dining room. We were hoping that between some of the activities and the MUTS there would be plenty to do, we were wrong. The comedian was ok, but the talk of PJ pants was a bit much after the first couple minutes. The ventriloquist was really a show tune singer of my grandparents time. If you didn't like the shows, you would have though the MUTS would be decent, but selections like Book Club and Mama Mia only appeal to a few guests. The ports were great, our room steward was amazing, and the buffet was excellent. But our last cruise was pre-kid, and we have a kid now, and 2 pools just isn't enough. The third aft pool was the smoking section, so we didn't even check it out. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
10 day Southern Caribbean. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, Ft. Lauderdale We’re 52 years old, married 22 years. For cuisine, I eat everything and my wife is a pescatarian ... Read More
10 day Southern Caribbean. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, Ft. Lauderdale We’re 52 years old, married 22 years. For cuisine, I eat everything and my wife is a pescatarian (vegetables and seafood). This is our 12th cruise overall and fourth on Princess. After our first three cruises (Caribbean, Sapphire and Island Princesses) we have not sailed this line in over 8 years. In those years we’ve sailed Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Holland America and NCL. After those ships and experiences, it honestly felt like a little bit of a throwback when we got onboard Crown Princess. We’ve gotten so used to the wide expanses and features of the more modern ships, the Crown feels more like an oversized yacht than cruise ship. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. As you read through this you might think some areas are negative, but you’re paying good money to go on your cruise so I like to give a true sense of what everything was like for us. Honestly it’s very VERY difficult to have a “bad cruise” because after all, you’re on a cruise ship being pampered day and night by the crew. The main difference between cruises is the level of service from the crew and the quality of the food as you compare ships. I’m arranging this review by topic such as Embarkation, Ship, Dining, Stops / Excursions instead of by day so you can read everything about a topic at once. EMBARKATION (And lack of Princess Communication) Embarkation was a bit of a cluster as the Crown had to go through a full annual Coast Guard inspection. Boarding was not scheduled to begin until 2 – 2:30pm instead of the normal 10:30 / 11am. Princess knew this days (maybe weeks) in advance of the ship arriving to Port Everglades. Problem was, Princess did a very poor job of notifying the passengers. Princess relied on travel agents to notify the passengers instead of direct email. Princess had our email addresses and had no problems offering us upsells and specials in the months leading up to the cruise. But no communication in the week leading up to the cruise about the inspection and late boarding. Fortunately, we heard about it here on CC so we were prepared and arrived later than normal. But most passengers did not get the word and when 2:00pm rolled around, it seemed like the entire ship was waiting in Terminal 4. Communication was poor in the Terminal as was crowd management. With plenty of time to prepare it seemed Princess did nothing out of the ordinary to handle that many people being in the Terminal at one time other than having water bottles and some snacks available. Once we got onboard everything was fine, but Princess did a less than stellar job managing the situation before arrival and in the Terminal. THE SHIP Boarding the ship, the first re-impression of Princess was the Crown felt dated. Tighter spaces, lower ceilings, lots of wood and older style decor and much more intimate than the more modern ships. The Atrium / Piazza is a rather intimate space compared to the mega atriums of other ships. The overall impression of the public spaces is dark and stuffy vs. light and airy. At first it was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe I was expecting more because the ship recently came out of a refurbishment and I thought more modern touches would be added. But as we sailed, I came to re-appreciate how the layout spreads people around the ship so other than the Muster Drill, we had no issues with large crowds clogging the walkways or public spaces. The public spaces are well spread out across multiple decks, fore, midship and aft. None of the spaces is a ‘showstopper / must congregate in this space’ so the crowds are spread out. The longer we sailed, the more we felt like we were cruising along with a few hundred of our best friends instead of the 3000+ passengers this ship can hold. After 10 days onboard, the Crown felt more like a mega-yacht than a cruise ship. I’ll add that I absolutely LOVE that Princess has embraced The Love Boat again. Yes the show was kitschy even when it was a new series, but it’s just so much fun. You can have photos made with yourself in the iconic Love Boat circle icon, the safety video features the original cast and you can even order “The Isaac” drink at the bar. The show put Princess Cruises on the map and it’s fun to see it so fully embraced again. CABIN: CLUB CLASS MINI SUITE. Our cabin was on Dolphin, Deck 9, D432. This particular cabin is very convenient to the mid-ship elevators and stairs, literally walking directly into the room from the stairs. Prior to boarding we were concerned the proximity to the elevators/stairs might be an issue with noise, but that never materialized. The cabin itself is a bit dated in its appearance, but as a mini-suite, Club Class, it’s perfectly functional. It has the mini-fridge and dual TVs so you could, in theory, watch two different programs. Being on the Dolphin deck our balcony was on the deck that sticks out the furthest on the ship, so we could look directly down into the water, rather than down into other balconies. That also means the balcony is fully exposed to everyone above you, but it wasn’t a problem during our cruise. One effect of the balconies being exposed is that they are full sun when the sun is on that side of the ship. There is no overhang. There was plenty of space in the closet for both of our clothes for a 10 day sail along with lots of shelving both in the closet area and the ‘living room’ area cabinets. We had no problems storing all our ‘stuff’ for the 10 days. There are two American style power outlets above the desk. They’re pretty close together so using a power tap for one of them will block the other. If you want to create additional power outlets, get a power strip that does not have a circuit breaker on it. The added space in the cabin is nice to allow for spreading out stuff or even just sitting to enjoy the 2nd TV in the ‘living room’ portion of the cabin. Could easily entertain a few friends in there. The shower has a step over tub so if you have any issues stepping up and over a tub lip, something to keep in mind when choosing cabins. My wife enjoyed the bed but I found it somewhat stiff. For me it feels like a classic futon and I woke up with my shoulders sore each morning. Room steward was Francisco and he was great. We hardly saw him but whenever we needed something, we’d just leave a note on the bed and he took care of it. Club Class got us a few perks like free wine in the room and a special dining area in the main dining room which turned out to be one of our favorite perks of the entire trip. More on that later in the Dining section. POOLS Crown Princess features 4 pools with two of them being adult only. In keeping with the same theme from earlier, these four pools really spread the crowds out so you could actually find a pool to enjoy. If you want something a bit louder and fun, choose the two middle pools featuring the Movies Under the Stars or the live entertainment. If you want something quieter, choose the Terrace Pool in the back or the Sanctuary Pool in the front. A couple of the pools go beyond 7 feet deep while most are in the 5-foot deep range. Contrary to what many people believe, the Sanctuary Pool up front is a public pool, open to any adult. You do NOT need to pay any sort of Spa or Sanctuary fee to use that pool. I met quite a few folks on board who were under the impression the Spa / Sanctuary Pool was reserved for spa guests only. The Terrace Pool aft is one of my favorite pools of any ship allowing you to enjoy the water while looking straight out the back of the ship. The Movies Under the Stars pool is the closest to the Horizon Court with a lot of outdoor dining seating. COCKTAILS & COFFEE Honestly the cocktails were one of the most disappointing things about the trip. I don’t recall them being so poor the first three times we sailed, but then we didn’t have any other cruise lines to compare Princess to at that time. The problems with the drinks were numerous. Some cocktails tasted watered down, like we were having a soft drink, not alcohol. Some cocktails didn’t taste correct. My litmus test is an Old Fashioned because it’s a classic and quite easy cocktail to make. Simply horrible on the Crown Princess, tasted like I was drinking rubbing alcohol. The server tried to tell me it was because I like my Old Fashioned with whiskey and they make theirs with Rye. I make them with both and they never taste like rubbing alcohol. The drinks that were decent, were served very inconsistently across the many bars. I started drinking both the Chairman of the Board and Washington’s Apple. Even in the same bar the drink would be good one time and off the second time. On ever other ship we’ve sailed over the past 5 years there’s at least one craft bar where the bartenders appear to be more highly trained than the rest of the bartenders on board and they make the drinks more slowly than the mass production of most bars. Those are the bars we tend to gravitate towards because while the drinks might cost $1 or $5 more than the other bars, the drinks are really really good and consistent. The World Class Bars on the Celebrity ships are hands down the best bars at sea. Crown Princess is really missing something like that. The Mix near the Movies Under the Stars pool was the most consistent bar I found. I would not recommend the Drink Package for anyone who really enjoys good cocktails because you probably won’t come close to using up your package unless you choose to drink a lot of beer instead. Don’t bother with “The Isaac,” poor drink. My wife’s favorite drink was “The Jamaican Stormy,” but we felt the one made on Mariner of the Seas was much better. For Coffee, Crown Princess still features that awful, and I do mean awful, coffee syrup in the Horizon Court buffet. That syrup never has, and never will be, coffee. The only thing you can do with it is make iced coffee. Fill one of the plastic cups with ice, add some creamer, some sugar if you’re inclined, then fill it up with that “coffee.” For real coffee you need to go to the International Café on Deck 5 or the Coffee and Cones on Deck 15. I much preferred the coffee and service at Coffee and Cones. The servers at the International Café always made me feel like I was bothering them by asking them to make me coffee. Up at Coffee and Cones it was always service with a smile and honestly they were making better cappuccinos and espressos than the crew at the International Café. Coffee and Cones is open at 6am so you can get a good cup of coffee before you walk into the Horizon Court for breakfast. DINING The food was quite good and the Crown showed us that Princess still has the most consistent Main Dining Room experience in terms of food quality and service. Disney is the only line we’ve sailed that has a better Main Dining Room experience. First let me say that if you plan to eat at the Horizon Court / Caribe Café buffet area, always get a seat in the Caribe Café area. Regardless of whether that section is open or not, just sit there. It’s much cooler because the Horizon Court has a large kitchen area in the center that ends up heating up that entire Horizon Court seating area, both sides. The Horizon Court / Caribe Café food selections are miniscule compared to just about any other cruise line we’ve sailed. The Caribe Café was basically wasted space because it just repeated what was in the Horizon Court (when it was open). I would have expected that section to have more global selections like Asian, Indian, maybe German, etc… But it was just more of the same. The selection was ok, uninspiring but probably enough choices for you to get something decent for breakfast / lunch / dinner. The breakfast omelets at the Horizon Court were weird. They had a spongy texture from whatever egg product they use. I ordered one and then never again. The salad bar for lunch was decent, that was usually my go-to for lunch so I could more enjoy my dinner. Overall the buffet was functional, we’ve found much more inspiring and better buffets on other cruise lines. We did have breakfast one time in the main dining room and it was quite good. I will say that the orange juice served in the main dining room was much better than the juice served in the buffet. One of the perks of having a Club Class cabin was a special dining section in the DaVinci Dining Room. Each evening there was one special not on the menu that was prepared by the manager in the dining room. Most evenings we walked into the dining room to the wonderful aroma of sautéed garlic. He made penne dishes, shrimp dishes, steak dishes and honestly the best veal chops I’ve ever had. On most cruise lines we’ve sailed of late, we’ve only had a few meals in the dining room because they’re usually not that great, pushing you into the specialty dining venues. On the Crown, we ate in the dining room 9 of the 10 evenings of the cruise and ordered the Manager’s special every evening. I would book a Club Class cabin again on a Princess ship just for this experience. The one night we ate outside the dining room we went to the Crown Grill. It was good, but not so spectacular that I felt like I got what I paid for in a premium meal. I went with the mussel pot, and while the mussels were quite good and the portion was huge, the broth was just ok. I would have expected much more garlic infusion in the broth, but it was almost like a pot roast broth with the mussels. My wife really enjoyed her shrimp dish. But because our Club Dining experience was so good, I wouldn’t bother with the Crown Grill on a future cruise. The Crown Grill featured a free British Pub lunch with fish and chips one day at sea and that was fun. The fish portions are small, but we ended up meeting two lovely couples at the shared table dining, with one of them being from England. So we can had a great time picking on the ‘fish sticks.’ I’d recommend that lunch as something different to do. On Deck 15, I only tried the fries at the Salty Dog Grill on Deck 15 and they were just ok. We had some slices of pizza at Slice and the flavors were not bad at all. The crust could have been cooked another minute, but overall, the sauce was pretty good and the flavor was good. The Stromboli was too dry and didn’t have a whole lot of flavor. People who compare the pizza in Slice to pizza on land are just nuts. Of course this pizza is not as good as NYC pizza or many other pizza joints on land, but it’s fresh pizza made right there in front of you. Enjoy it for what it is, free pizza at sea. The service in the Main Dining Room was among the best at sea. Since we had anytime dining we rotated among three different crews of servers and they were all outstanding. So incredibly friendly, so accommodating to any request. More than happy to turn entrees into appetizer portions so we could try two entrees without wasting half a portion. We didn’t eat at Sabatini’s because the menu was uninspiring for us and the Crab Shack concept didn’t appeal to us because it’s just in the buffet. If we’re going to pay extra for ‘specialty dining’ then we want to actually have an experience we can’t have any other way. Paying extra to sit in the same buffet just because you’re going to serve me crab is not a special experience. THE SANCTUARY My wife booked The Sanctuary for the entire week as we didn’t have a lot of excursions planned over the 10 days. I will say The Sanctuary has the most comfortable deck chairs I have experienced at sea. So comfy. Most of the area is covered by mesh sails so while it may not be 100% shade, the sun is knocked down significantly making the air temperatures very comfortable. There are two areas with complete shade in the very front under the steel structure and also under the radar tower depending which way the ship is facing. When the ship is moving it can be quite windy because you’re right at the front of the ship. But when the ship is in port, there’s usually still a nice breeze across the entire area making this space really comfortable even when the ship is docked. The staff here is extremely friendly and makes sure you have plenty of water. They also serve afternoon tea at 3 with all the trimmings, sandwiches, cakes and desserts. If you want to book The Sanctuary, proceed directly up to Deck 16 the moment you board the ship. Don’t go anywhere else, just go directly up there because the Sea Days fill up quickly. You can book ½ days, full individual days or the entire cruise. Sea days fill up first. My wife was probably the 20th person in line and was able to book two loungers for the entire cruise. At the time we sailed costs were $20 for ½ day, $40 for a full day, $30/day if you booked the entire cruise. These costs are per person / lounger. The only thing I question is placing the ‘quiet sanctuary’ directly below the ship’s horn. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We've been on 30 Princess cruises and this just wasn't up to our expectations. Terrible WiFi connections, NO butter on the dinner tables for the bread and we hadf to ask numerous times before they reluctantly delivered it and ... Read More
We've been on 30 Princess cruises and this just wasn't up to our expectations. Terrible WiFi connections, NO butter on the dinner tables for the bread and we hadf to ask numerous times before they reluctantly delivered it and then only gave a few. More than a few times someone at our table did not get their dinner and had to remind the waiter what they had ordered. We are really upset that our unused coffee cards paid for on other cruises will not be usable after next summer so we stand to loose hundreds if we don't travel before then. They should honor them because they promissed and we have already paid over $30 for each of them.Entertainment was so bad we didn't go to the theater after the second night. Cabin steward was excellent and getting on and off was seamless as usual. We'll still cruise Princess because of the perks we get but they need to listen to the complaints and fix some things. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Princess has it right on Embarkation and Disembarkation. Smooth process proved to be one of the best. The ship is older and void of all the exciting pastimes of newer ships but full of traditional pastimes for older passengers. Cabin ... Read More
Princess has it right on Embarkation and Disembarkation. Smooth process proved to be one of the best. The ship is older and void of all the exciting pastimes of newer ships but full of traditional pastimes for older passengers. Cabin service was so exceptional that any flaws in furnishings was not noticed. Wow service for sure there! Food was exceptional in all aspects..better than any other cruise line I have experienced. Dining service was exceptional as well. Entertainment left a little to be desired. Needed more productions, more seating and better entertainers...something more breathtaking like "arial" acts, and such. Found myself bored at certain times, but mainly because of the weather and lack of other exciting activities. Not just gambling. Service everywhere was exceptional and I loved the staff. Only a couple of issues there, not worth mentioning. The Islands were awesome, economical and interesting. Less expensive than Ensenada, Mexico (who had ridiculously high prices) and no bargaining. One fan for $7.....really!!!! Don't even get off at that port. The cruise was rough sailing but we never got sick so hats off to Prncess! We would recommend but would not go again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Short cruise on new Majestic princess food quality and variety not up to scratch with previous cruises entertainment not that great , too much around top deck always cancelled bad weather, cruise shortened due to bad weather no ... Read More
Short cruise on new Majestic princess food quality and variety not up to scratch with previous cruises entertainment not that great , too much around top deck always cancelled bad weather, cruise shortened due to bad weather no componsation overall worsecruise than RCL & celebrity crew and staff did a fantastic job,very freindley and helpfull menu in dining room very poor with little variety compared to other cruise shiops I was expecting alot from princess having paid more than i normally wood but was totally let down on price and quality spa services too expensive, temperature in the lotus enclave, sauna & spa complexess wher way to cold most people using those facillities also agreed largest entertainment thetre filled out too quickley because it was too small for major acts. lifts where always slow and hard to catch alwas jammed packed although Nice new ship had go d decor freindly staff needed more seats around entertainment areas Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Why we chose this Cruise: We selected this journey because we wanted to go through the Panama Canal during the winter time to avoid the cold weather. Our travel agent recommended the Island Princess to facilitate our vacation. The trip ... Read More
Why we chose this Cruise: We selected this journey because we wanted to go through the Panama Canal during the winter time to avoid the cold weather. Our travel agent recommended the Island Princess to facilitate our vacation. The trip started out terrific. The flight to Ft Lauderdale, the transportation from the airport to the Hilton, and transportation from Hilton to the ship for boarding was seamless and pleasing. We are Experienced Travelers: We consider ourselves experienced travelers, thus our review is based on our experiences we've had on other cruise lines as a comparison. Signs of Obsolescent: The Island Princess was built in 2003 and reportedly was refurbished in 2017. Its early December, 2018, and the Island Princess looks and acts very old and tired. Floors squeaked a lot, doors were difficult to open, and some of the furniture appeared to look like its ready for a second hand store or as if it just came from one. The last days of Holland-America's original Westerdam (a cruise we took many years ago) at least managed to have furnishings that was quite serviceable and not old or tired. Unfortunately, the Island Princess will continue to be used as a cruise ship until the public gets so tired of old at NEW Prices. Poor Management: The Island Princess appeared to have an occupancy rate of about 75%. How did we know that and if so, why did the Island Princess have so many vacancies? Security-wise, my wife and my name was posted at our cabin entry, as well as all the other passengers at their respective cabins. Determining the number of vacant units was easy. Count the units without a name on the door, then multiply the vacant units times 2. Data Mining: The Island Princess is a fertile ground for harvesting names of affluent passengers off each cabin entry, then research the names on the internet, then solicit the guests for the business or sell the data to other businesses looking for a quality database. For +- $6,000 per couple, which includes the basic food, boarding, and a database of 2,000 names would be a gold mine, business could be really lucretive. Over a 16 day period, that data could be harvested with at your leisure and without notice. Imagine what that database would be worth. Risky Stops: One excursion stop in Nicaragua, the ship had a sign in English on the side of the ship telling all boats to keep X amount of meters away from the ship. We nearly didn't get off the Island Princess for fear for our own safety concerns. We quizzed an officer, who stated that sign is put up at every stop. We asked other guest if they remembered seeing that sign during any stop and no one noticed any sign being posted. The way the officer answered our query left us feeling he was not being truthful. Excursions: We try, if possible, to book our own excursions as most lines tend to mark up the excursion costs to unreasonable levels and often take you to stops where the vendors pay the ship(s) a percentage of sales, or the ships own an interest in some of the shops. The only reason we would use a ship excursion is if the time to return to the ship is short or doesn't leave much wiggle if the excursion is running late. We carefully research the excursions and select ones that come highly recommended through several sources. Money, Money, Money: This Island Princess made us feel like we were in the tv series "Green Acres," where the guests were the Douglass' and the Island Princess was Mr. Haney. You could choose different dining options, such as flexible or traditional dining, anytime buffet dining or specialty dining. In the flexible (and the traditional) dining areas, you are handed a menu with a normal selection of food, along with a flyer with various cuts of fish, meat and poultry from 20.00 per selection. If my wife and I ate in the dining room 2 times a day for the 16 days and each selected the "better choice of food", we would have added another $1,200 to the costs of the cruise. Deceptive Pricing: We chose not to imbibe because the "added" food costs was deceiving as well as unreasonable. I get it the ship makes money selling alcohol and perhaps soft drinks, but also for food. The cost of soft drinks is so inexpensive that had they charged a more reasonable fee or didn't charge for soft drinks at all, the cost of their food costs would be considerably less as consumption would be less. Slow Food Service and constant up-sells: The meals in the dining room would also take forever to serve. During the dinner wait, we would be approached several times to purchase expensive alcohol or soft drinks. They weren't selling much of either at any of the tables we sat at. Most resented the constant up sell. They tried a few times using a gimmicky shot glass drink for $3.00 including the princess shot glass. We often asked for ice tea or hot tea and several refills which was included at no charge. Truth be known, if the Island princess priced all the up charges in their price to begin with, They would be grossly overpriced compared to the competition. The first Shore Excursion: The first stop was in Cartagena. We weren't scheduled to be in Cartagena very long and probably would have taken a shore excursion with Princess, except that none of the excursions interested us. Being from California, Humidity was not something we were used to and after two days of heat and humidity at sea, arranging transportation into town a back was looking much more appealing. Overpriced excursion transportation: The Island Princess had the answer - a hop on - hop off bus that costs only $45.00 per person. Outrageous! We walked not more that a block from the ship and found taxis that escorted 3 or 4 of the guests into town for a total of $20.00 for the ride to town. The cab ride back was even less. We spent 15.00 for cab rides for the both of us for the day. We were $75.00 to the good in Cartagena by walking a block and not letting the Island Princess extract anything from our wallet. In fairness, the cab drivers did try through language diversion, to extract more fees at the end of the ride but when the word policia was mentioned, the issue disappeared rather rapidly. We heard one "non Island Princess based" shore excursion arrived late and the Island princess left without the four passengers. Do your homework on the excursions to avoid that kind of a debacle. I've been in situations with other cruise ships, where the ship's planned shore excursion showed up late and the ship waited. One bright side in Cartagena: The best sight we enjoyed was the bird and animal attraction right on the port and the price was Free. They had a shop where you could buy soft drinks and other souvenirs, but not mandatory. We took extraordinary pictures of the exotic birds and animals. The relative short stop was just fine (do to our lack of handling hot humidity), although seeing the Fort more closely would have been nice. Overpriced Products: Now, back on the ship sailing toward the Panama Canal, we decide to explore the shops and specialty restaurants. The shops were selling mostly upper-end, over-priced junk. The jewelry being sold was some one-of-a-kind, never heard of type stone. Unless you have more money than God, wait til you get home and visit your trusted jeweler. That isit will save you considerable dough and guaranteed the quality will be superior. The trick to Specialty Dining: We checked out the specialty dining and was planning a nice anniversary dinner. We came across a phrase, “Requires Cover Charge (min $60.00 per couple)” We didn’t have a problem paying for a very nice dinner out but was highly offended with the ship’s usage of “Cover Charge.” If I wanted to have a financial migraine, we would have brought our financial planner along and try and watch where he was trying to stick us with nasty up charges and hidden fees. We were supposed to be on vacation relaxing, not waiting for the next pocket extraction, similar to a nasty tax audit. We chose not to participate in their food scamming extraction fees and use that money instead at restaurants with far superior reputations for food and service - and for a whole lot less. Most of those restaurants did not appear to be very crowded. Excursion Lectures: The Island Princess scores an A++ rating regarding the Island Princess' ship moderator / expert Bill Fall concerning his lectures on the rain forests, tradewinds, Panama Canal and its construction and the various geo-political issues of the various countries. He was genuine, knowledgeable and interesting to listen to during his shore excursion talks. Entertainment Talent: The talent employed by the Island Princess was a solid B+ to an A-. Nathan Foley, an Australian TV personality and musical performer sang many 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s songs. Nathan had his own TV show in Australia - just not well known in the US. Mike Wilson, a comedian did a decent performance. John Bressler, a pianist and singer played a marvelous piano with lots of fantastic tunes. Mark Preston, a singer and former member of the Letterman musical group, had the most powerful voice of all. The Princess Troupe that performed several musical acts was definitely exciting. All the talents were definitely fun and entertaining. Other musical Entertainment: The talent displayed in the four-story lobby was soothing - similar to musicians used in real fancy hotels or elite shopping centers. It didn’t move us much. In fact, the noise created added to the noise factor of the ship. There were few places to spend your time if you wanted quiet or privacy. Our cabin didn’t have comfortable seating to read and study; and laying down to read wasn’t great if you were reading anything more technical than a novel. Makeup of the guests on the Island Princess: The age of the average guest was around 75-80 years of age. I’m guessing about ½ of the guests were first time cruisers and the balance were exceptionally experienced. I don’t think there was more than 10-12 young kids on the ship. I noticed a few newly married couples but most were elder guests. Misc Activities: They had a beginner and an advanced class on cameras that lasted no more than an hour. Why the pre-made camera presentation was teaching people how to shoot pictures in manual mode was beyond me. The class included an overview of all functions. The class did more harm than good. Most of the guests didn’t use their cameras enough to know how to make all the proper settings on the fly in manual mode. You guessed it. The Island Princess was selling cameras also. Photos taken throughout the cruise were very pricey. Excursion through the Panama Canal and the port stop in Panama City: Going through the Panama Canal was fun, but then came the port stop in Panama City. We had to use tenders to explore Panama City. The way Princess handled this deserved an F+, and that’s being very generous. If we had made arrangements with a non Princess excursion company, we would have ran the risk of getting back late due to the hour lost clearly through their negligence. If we had made special arrangements to meet an outside shore excursion guide, we would not have been able to make the connection. Was this a punishment for not using their excursions? If you booked a shore excursion with the Island Princess, you got preferential treatment for the use of the tenders. If not, you had to wait to get a tender to go ashore. We waited an hour to get a tender. Kinda makes you wonder what would happen if you had to use the lifeboats to abandon ship, who would pilot the tenders. This was horrible and we’ve never had that problem with any other cruise line. Dealing with Greedy taxis: Once on shore, we were ambushed by tons of greedy taxi drivers trying to charge 3 to 5 times more for a ride than what was reasonable for the area. However, after saying no walking for a block or so, we did find a taxi ride that was significantly cheaper. We got to see the old town and the Bio-Musio. Traffic in and around Panama City was horrible, but we knew that before we arrived. Princess’ atrocious mishandling of the tenders made it worse. Comparing Princess to Norwegian: We considered Norwegian Cruise Lines to be safe transportation to get us from one port to another, with sleeping arrangements comparable to the Motel 6 of cruise lines, with safe food consumption comparable to MacDonalds of cruise lines. What we didn’t get from Norwegian Cruise Lines was the constant annoying up-sells for overpriced alcohol, food, soft drinks, merchandise, excursions, and transportation. We found Princess’ food quality was slightly better than Norwegian Cruise Lines and Princess’ prices seemed comparable and reasonable, at least on the surface, but with all the nickel and diming we had to endure from Princess, its difficult to recommend any Princess Cruises to our friends and relatives. When you add the up-sell and excursion costs to Princess’ initial cost, you will probably find Princess is far more pricey than some of the classier cruise lines available, such as Viking, Holland America, or Oceanic. In addition, weigh the food and services passed on due to the excessive expense, that are normally included with the classier cruise lines. Port Stop in Costa Rica: The stop allowed for a lot more time, so getting back to the Island Princess without worry of being left behind was not a problem. A number of us made prior arrangements with Odyssey Tours for the 10 in 1 Tour package. We spoke with other guests that took the ships excursion instead. Most of those guests were very disappointed and discovered their excursion didn’t come close to seeing the number of things our tour package did. In addition, their excursion was quite a bit more pricey. Port stop in Nicaragua: We selected the ship’s excursion for Nicaragua, which included a trip to Granada and the rain forest. This excursion was excellent. We are concerned because we were being watched so closely by the civilian police. It felt like they thought we were up to something. In reality, I was carrying a very expensive camera and I was a target for thieves. At one point a local was ordered to distance himself from me. The political unrest is something you need to review prior to taking a future excursion here. I think the stop in Nicaragua was questionable on Island Princess’ behalf. The guide was very knowledgeable and insightful. The bus said free Wifi. When we asked how we could connect to it, the guide’s answer was it was disabled. We strongly suspect Island Princess instructed the Tour company to disable it, so we would be forced to use the ship’s Wifi system when we returned. Most of us didn’t use the ship’s wifi as it was atrociously overpriced. Port stop in Cabo san Lucas: The Island hired one or two tenders from shore to transfer the guests to and from the ship to shore. In addition, it appeared the Island Princess also used 4 of its own tenders for transportation at well. We visited the city and our visit went without incident. The bonus was being able to take pictures of the Arch and the beaches from the ship, without having to hire a boat to take you to the landmarks. Disembarking: We had argument with Island Princess’ personnel about delivering the three alcohol bottles purchased at the various port stops. The Island Princess wanted us to carry the alcohol off the ship and then place the alcohol in our suitcases. We argued we were not going to unpack and repack our suitcases to secure our alcohol purchases. The Island Princess finally agreed to deliver our alcohol, allowing it to be safely packaged in our suitcase. Disembarking the ship was anything but seamless: We were told to leave our cabins by 8:00AM and wait in the Wheelhouse room until we were called for disembarking. After realizing that room was not big enough to hold all of us, they tried to get those of us that were leaving later to go to other parts of the ship. Oops! Leaving the Ship: After our number was called to leave the ship, the Customs process and the bus transportation to the airport was seamless without further incidence. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Let me start by saying that Princess was our favorite cruise line at one point. Our last Princess cruise before this one was in 2011. We loved Princess back then. We did a cruise in 2012 on the Freedom of the Seas (RCCL) and they became ... Read More
Let me start by saying that Princess was our favorite cruise line at one point. Our last Princess cruise before this one was in 2011. We loved Princess back then. We did a cruise in 2012 on the Freedom of the Seas (RCCL) and they became our favorite with Princess being a close 2nd. Recently we sailed Princess again on the Regal for 7 nights doing the Eastern Itinerary. Overall, we gave this cruise a 7 our of 10. The ship...beautiful and laid out just right. The food was outstanding and the service and crew were all probably the most pleasant we have ever encountered in ALL of our cruising. We had a great forward facing balcony...L101 and it was perfect. We were able to use it any time we wanted whether we were at sea or in port. Where this cruise lacked was the excursion offerings in the ports we visited and the onboard activities and shows. The comedian was probably the worst we have ever seen and the shows were so lack luster that we even left each one part way through. We NEVER do that. We like to have things to do during the days and evenings and the activities were really a joke. I will be doing a full review on the Princess board in the coming days. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because we were interested in the itinerary and we had had a great previous experience with Princess on the Ruby. Overall, this felt like a budget cruise. Some of the entertainment was not the quality we expected of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were interested in the itinerary and we had had a great previous experience with Princess on the Ruby. Overall, this felt like a budget cruise. Some of the entertainment was not the quality we expected of Princess, and the menu in the dining room was somewhat limited, and not the quality We expected. This ship is 20 years old, and it shows. The elevators were dicy and really slow, and pretty rough inside. The ship showed a lot of rust overall. We very much enjoyed the shore excursions, but the onboard experience was only average, and low average at that. The cabin was comfortable but worn. The plumbing fixtures didn't operate smoothly and appeared very old. The couch was worn and stained, and the furniture on our balcony was pretty used up. Based on this cruise, I would choose another cruise line for my next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We are a couple in our mid 50’s who choose this cruise as a Christmas present to ourselves. This was our 13th Princess cruise since 2008 and our 2nd time on the Royal Princess. I would rate this cruise experience a 3 to 3.5 out of 5. ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid 50’s who choose this cruise as a Christmas present to ourselves. This was our 13th Princess cruise since 2008 and our 2nd time on the Royal Princess. I would rate this cruise experience a 3 to 3.5 out of 5. THE GOOD: Embarkation and disembarkation were fast and efficient. Probably the best we have experienced on any cruise. We left our hotel around 11:30 and were on the ship about 15 minutes after our taxi dropped us off. Leaving the ship was even faster, I don’t think we ever stopped moving until we got into a taxi to go to the airport. If you can take advantage of EZcheck, it is well worth the money. Kudos to the port staff and Princess for making this process run smoothly. We took an upsell to a midship Penthouse Suite. It was our first time in a suite, but won’t be our last if the price is right. We received a large bowl of fruit, canapes, a minibar set up, champagne, a plate of chocolates on each formal night, a free Crown Grill dinner, breakfast daily in Sabatinis, and access to the Concierge Lounge. The only disappointment was the balcony which was long and narrow, but we were aware of this before the cruise so we weren’t surprised by it. We enjoyed all of the on demand movie and tv offerings and never had any issues with internet speed or accessibility. The Concierge Lounge right outside our cabin was very convenient for coffee and snacks and the concierge host was friendly. Service for the most part was excellent. Our room steward, Christian, was one of our best. He was very efficient and friendly without being intrusive. We really enjoyed our conversations with him and would love to see him on a future cruise. The service in the Horizon Court was good, servers immediately came to our table to offer drinks and see if we needed anything. Iryna, the hostess who seated us in the Concerto dining room Club Class area every night was sweet and friendly. It was a pleasure to see her every evening. We enjoyed the majority of our meals. Sea bass in the Crown Grill was excellent and breakfast in Sabatini’s was a real treat. I’ve read complaints about some of the changes in the main dining room menus but it really didn’t bother us too much. If we didn’t completely enjoy our meal in the dining room, we always found something we liked in the Horizon Court. And as always, the Lido deck pizza was great! Pool area was good and we spent the majority of our days there, especially the adult pool. We never had an issue finding sun loungers. THE NOT SO GOOD: Why is it that none of the cabin designers thought to put a small step or something in the showers to enable a woman to shave her legs?? Especially in the nice, large suite showers. You practically have to be a contortionist to accomplish the task. My husband loves to order a bucket of beer (5 for 4 deal) to drink some by the pool and then take the rest to our cabin. The first time he ordered it, he was told they stopped supplying buckets and was given 5 beers to hand carry. Fortunately we had a blue Princess bag with us. The next day he went to the same pool bar and asked for the 5 for 4 beer and was told he had to ask for the bucket deal. What?? You have to ask for the bucket that you will never receive to get the deal. It was ridiculous. Entertainment for the most part was unfortunately a miss for us. We had seen several of the stage shows previously and so didn’t attend them again. The Secret Silk was ok but the music was so loud we couldn’t understand much of the dialog and most of the lyrics sung by the female stars. The comedian made us chuckle a few times, but that was about it. We wish more movies were shown on MUTS (especially during the day). How hard is it to throw on a movie during a port day to entertain people who choose to stay on the ship? Instead they put on Cirque du Soleil which was incredibly boring. We did enjoy a few of the activities they had in the piazza, some of the performances were pretty unique. But, we felt like Princess Live was a big miss. The game shows used to be fun, but there seemed to be very little thought behind them. One of the cruise staff who hosted a game admitted that he’d just thrown it together that afternoon. It showed. Only one game was taped and shown on the cabin tv, and for the first time on one of our Princess cruises, they did not have the Marriage Match Game show. That at least is usually good for some genuine laughs. Although some people seemed to enjoy the sometimes over the top antics of the cruise directors staff, we really didn’t. At times it seemed to be more about indulging their need for attention than entertainment for the paying passengers. The last thing that we found rather bizarre was the behavior of our waitstaff in the Club Class section on the second to the last night of the cruise. I won’t give their names because I don’t want them to get it trouble because their service at the beginning of the week was ok. Between the two of them, they came to our table no less than 10 times to drone on and on about themselves and how they enjoyed serving us. We were barely able to enjoy our meal and carry on a conversation because they kept coming to our table and interrupting us to basically say the same things over and over. It was so blatant that they were trying to make sure we tipped them the following (last) night of the cruise; it was almost embarrassing and bordered on pathetic. They were trying to charm us but instead left us feeling very uncomfortable. This has never happened to us on previous cruises and left us feeling like maybe Princess needs to pay their employees more. We always give an extra tip to our waitstaff, and did this time too, but it really was strange behavior. So all in all, we had a nice time, but it was more from spending time with each other and relaxing in the warm weather than because of anything outstanding from the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Having sailed with many cruise lines, and about 6 with various Princess ships (which have all had terrible entertainment) We thought the Regal being a newer ship would have pulled out all the stops for the Christmas cruise to the ... Read More
Having sailed with many cruise lines, and about 6 with various Princess ships (which have all had terrible entertainment) We thought the Regal being a newer ship would have pulled out all the stops for the Christmas cruise to the Caribbean, but unfortunately not! The evening shows were so bad, the 'theatre' was not only half empty every night, but lots of people were walking out. The 'theatre' was more like a working mens club. No lovely backdrops or big stage/seats/curtains etc like they do on the RCCL, nowhere to put drinks, you have to hold them. It all looked so cheap. There was no poolside entertainment, the cruise director was a joke, nowhere to be seen throughout the whole cruise, whereas yet again, on the RCCL there are lots of competitions and games all day poolside and the cruise directors really get passengers to have a good time. This is sadly lacking on Princess cruises. The food in the Horizon buffet was excellent, far better than the restaurant which was very unusual, so we ate in there mostly. The staff were all lovely and very friendly. Drinks are good on the Princess, the cocktails are superior to most ships, but that is about all. There are normally a few bars on each end of the main poolside area, but the Regal has left them out, and now ordering drinks takes forever, by the time the waiter brings them, the beer is warm. The cabins are good and have lots of room, but the safe is right on top of the bathroom, so you have to squeeze past each other if one is using the other. Another bad design. All in all, a very average cruise, disappointing for Christmas, and first time cruisers we spoke to all said the same, so its not that we are just used to better. I think we are done with Princess now, and will go back to RCCL, for the shows and entertainment mostly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Second time out on the 15 day cruise to Hawaii....especially like the long days a sea and familiarity with the Islands too. The Pacific was a little less than generous with the amount of sunny days, but then again, it is January. The ship ... Read More
Second time out on the 15 day cruise to Hawaii....especially like the long days a sea and familiarity with the Islands too. The Pacific was a little less than generous with the amount of sunny days, but then again, it is January. The ship enjoyed a good bit of rocking and rolling but gradual for the most part. Stabilizers are king. Cruise wise everything was on time, on schedule, well described by the Captain daily. The Emerald Princess is looking and feeling a bit tired. The staterooms are in need of sprucing up. The TV's are +6 years old technology. The carpeting, curtains etc., though not horrid, are dated. The bed is heavenly. We found that the ship is due for dry dock shortly which would explain the rust spots on the balcony----highly unusual. Additionally the dining/hospitality crew seemed at odds with the menu....confused and unaware of the ingredients and prep for some of the most obvious entrees. And for us anytime diners (the greatest invention since John Paul Jones) the dining room was the full length of the ship from our state room.......6x/day got a little tedious. The waiters and Captains used to offer us their take on various menu items. Neither happened at all. For the most part, however, the food offerings were good, a little lacking in variety especially fish dishes, but served attractively and in a timely manner. The Crown Grill and Curtis Stone's SHARE remain the top of the line on the Princess line or any line for that matter. Well worth the few extra dollars. We seldom do ship tours, but on this outing we did want to see Waimea Canyon on Kauaii and took the tour. Glad we did. Top drawer hostess/driver. On the other hand we took a tour on Hawaii which indicated some sort of "foodie" slant at three fabulous houses in the Hilo area. The houses were fabulous, The food not foodie fare....far from it. Not a keeper and very expensive. The entertainment on the Emerald features Tiki Dave and his wife Leialoha, a husband and wife tag team, who perform songs of the islands (and others) and during the day they teach anyone who wants to learn how to play the uke and/or the hula. They also host a daily Hawaiian arts and crafts seminar with purchasable yarn, beadwork, lei material etc. t hat proved very popular. Other entertainers were typical cruise fare. Homogenized stage shows, good solo bar background performers, the occasional magician or comedian. One thing Princess has always been noted for is consistency. The Emerald on this cruise showed some signs of wear, tear and change needed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have never been to Hawaii and thought this would be a great 2 weeks away from New York in January. Even though the weather was great (perfect in Hawaii) we just wanted to get off the ship and eat some decent food. Starting with the ... Read More
We have never been to Hawaii and thought this would be a great 2 weeks away from New York in January. Even though the weather was great (perfect in Hawaii) we just wanted to get off the ship and eat some decent food. Starting with the cabin, the day we boarded and started putting clothes on shelves and moving clothes from one shelf location to another we noticed a lot of dust on our clothes. Closer inspection revealed that the shelves and flat surfaces were covered with dust. My wife and I had to clean all of them before unpacking. Next was the shower. I didn't notice the first night because I didn't use the shower until the second day. The soap shelf was caked with old soap residue that was brown. It was disgusting. I asked the room steward to come in and clean the shower. She blamed the previous crew ands isn't speak much after that. The bed clothes were never changed. On the first morning my wife accidentally spilled some cereal on the sheet near the pillow. The same spill mark was there the whole 15 days. I complained to the front desk and was assured someone would contact me but that never happened. When I went down a few days later I was told that they spoke to our cabin stewards supervisor. Deplorable. Next is the food. The buffet had an underwhelming selection of food and sometimes we just walked away and went to Giovanni's Pizza. The Pizza was always good, always fresh. The milk was luke warm most everyday and I had a suspicion that it was powdered milk. The orange juice seemed like it was from concentrate with lots of sugar. It was also usually just cool. We almost always had to ask for ice. The Botticelli dining room was mediocre at best and nothing stood out as exceptional. I ordered a strawberry sundae for desert and there were no strawberries. Just juice. We enjoyed the company at the table but always left feeling disappointed about our meal. One night we decided to try the Crown Grill. As far as steaks go it was ok. Not great. Another night we tried Share from Curtis Stone. It was the best food on the ship. The pizza came in second. On a couple of days we ordered room service hamburgers which were ok. Again, not great. Our days in port were fantastic and we did our own excursions. On board entertainment was not special. There were a few decent acts but overall nothing we wanted to sit through. The crew was friendly. We first sailed with Princess back in 2008 to Alaska on the Dawn Princess. That one set the standard for us and everything was great. The food, the cabin, the dining, it was all fantastic. So either Princess has lowered the standard and is maximizing profit by way of offering substandard food or there is a wide difference from ship to ship. And it wasn't just us. Lot's of people felt the same way. Our next cruise is on the maiden voyage of Sky Princess in October. We are having second thoughts but we would expect the new ship to start off with a good impression. We will see. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
heard and read good things about Princess and it went were I wanted to go, Hawaii. But compared to the cruise I went on with Carnival in 2013 Princess fell short in many areas. The food was Denny's class. Too many ship board pushy ... Read More
heard and read good things about Princess and it went were I wanted to go, Hawaii. But compared to the cruise I went on with Carnival in 2013 Princess fell short in many areas. The food was Denny's class. Too many ship board pushy sales people and events. Internet useless. many activities were over crowded or just plain full. Our excursion was far from what the description stated, many parts missing. I liked the open dining but the scheduled dining took over an hour for dinner to arrive. The specialty dining did not live up to what I experienced on Carnival and I would not spend the money on them in the future. The shore excursions were quite expensive. Theater events were good, enjoyed them. loved our cabin. One....mind you one of the crew staff was something we both looked forward to seeing her for morning coffee. Won't use Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The January 5th Southeast Asia Cruise from Shanghai to Singapore aboard the Sapphire Princess began with the worst boarding fiasco I have ever experienced, and I expect that holds true for most the other 2600+ arriving passengers as well ... Read More
The January 5th Southeast Asia Cruise from Shanghai to Singapore aboard the Sapphire Princess began with the worst boarding fiasco I have ever experienced, and I expect that holds true for most the other 2600+ arriving passengers as well as an untold number of those trying to disembark and catch a flight home. I started to get the impression that this was not going to be a ‘smooth’ embarkation while checking the whereabouts of the Sapphire Princess on the MarineTraffic.com website the morning of our scheduled boarding. Though it was originally due dockside by 7:00 AM, it was listed as ‘at sea’ with a speed of 3 knots. Around 10 AM I received an email from Princess advising of a ‘delayed’ boarding time by two and a half hours. Fortunately, I was able to extend our hotel checkout by two hours along with our scheduled private transfer to port. I consider ourselves lucky, as it was Saturday and the hotel was fully booked for the night. Right towards the end of our ‘extension’ I received an ‘update’ informing us that the boarding time had been ‘pushed back’ by another hour or two depending on cabin location. By that time our room keys did not work and it was too late to reschedule our re-scheduled transfer, so down to the lobby we went. As luck would have it, our driver was 15 minutes early. Weekend traffic was light and we arrived at the terminal at about 4 PM for wat was an original 2 PM boarding that was now pushed out to 5:30 PM. The Sapphire Princess was the only ship docked at the International Cruise Terminal, but our driver was directed to another terminal at the other end of this huge complex. Once inside, we found ourselves amidst hundreds of people waiting in row after row of ‘banquet’ chairs. As we were ‘Elite’ level passengers we were directed to a designated area near the other end of the terminal. Trouble was, there was no one overseeing this area, so there were very few chairs available. We stood. While standing we noticed what appeared to be an impromptu ‘check-in’ area near us consisting of a bunch of folding tables lined up near the escalators at our end of the terminal. They were staffed, but no one was being processed. We wait. As we chatted with fellow passengers, we found out that some had been in this otherwise closed terminal since early morning. Remember we are in China. Our phones don’t work. (who buys a sim-card expecting to be in the country for a day or so?). Google products (gMail, Google Search, youTube) as well as Facebook and Twitter are all banned and blocked in China. Unless you have made prior arrangements through a private VPN, land communication (especially if you have an Android phone) is limited. Your ‘Smart Phone’ is little more than a camera and a calculator. There were a couple of Princess staffers doing their best, wandering the crowd giving any update status they could, but by now there were well over a thousand passengers in queue and the bottom level of the terminal was overflowing. Somewhere around 6:30 or so, they began the ‘check-in’ processing. Mind you, we were merely processed, not boarded. A cruise card was issued, but we were instructed to return to the terminal floor and wait. When we tried to return to the area where we were previously, we quickly noticed there were no open chairs, so Cruise Card in hand we stood and chatted with others in a similar situation. While standing, an official looking gentleman approached us an said it would probably be awhile. It turns out he was one of the Chinese officials in charge of coordinating this chaos. We asked what the problem was, and he related that, though we would probably hear different from Princess, the delay was primarily due to passengers boarded on the arriving Sapphire Princess that did not meet the strict (and somewhat confusing) `144 hour’ Chinese Visa requirements and were not being allowed to disembark in Shanghai. OK, I must admit, we had some difficulty boarding our flight from LA to Shanghai at LAX, but the United Airlines Rep. called the Chinese embassy and made sure our documents and travel plans met the somewhat complicated Chinese criteria before issuing our boarding passes. I guess Princess missed that step. (As it turned out, dozens of passengers were unable to disembark in Shanghai and had to stay onboard for two more days, disembarking at our first port of call, Nagasaki, Japan.) Since the ship was full, I wonder where they slept… Somewhere around 8:00 PM we noticed some passengers being escorted through a door behind the ‘check-in’ area. Though no one had made any announcement, we grabbed our carry-ons and joined in because it looked like they might be headed towards the other terminal where the Sapphire Princess was docked. They were! It was a long trek in the rain to the other terminal, but we were a bit more agile than many and wound up being among the first handful of passengers through Chinese Customs. The queues at that time were minimal and we were on-board before 8:30 PM. Once on-board our first thought was a warm meal, but we were told by our Cabin Steward that there would be a required Muster at 9:00 PM. We wait… Even though we knew that there was no way the passengers would be boarded by then. As we stood on our balcony and watched as the boarding queue on the gangway grew ever longer. 9 PM came and went as the line continued to grow. When the ship was finally boarded, they called for us to report to our Muster Stations. After which, we went to the only venue available for a warm meal… The Horizon Court. As our Muster Station was the Princess Theater (Deck 7, Forward) and the Horizon Court is Deck 14, Aft. When we got there, we joined about 2,000+ other passengers (some of which hadn’t eaten a real meal all day). It was chaos! Lines four wide, out the doors, winding around and past the pool. Once you were able to get to something, there were no open tables or cutlery available to go elsewhere (room?) and find a spot to sit. Things could certainly have been worse. After all, we were inside and there were occasional trays of cookies, plain cheese sandwiches and the random boxes of potato chips, but it certainly was far from ideal or what one would expect from a world renowned international travel corporation and/or a ‘First World’ country trying to promote international tourism. I have waited until near the end of this cruise to submit this recap of an Epic Fail, hoping (expecting?) Princess to offer some sort of ‘compensation’ to offset or appease our ‘day of discomfort’, but none has been offered. I went to the Passenger Services desk to find out the status of the situation and was told ‘It has been reported to the Main Office and we are awaiting a response’. Well, I guess 12 days of no response is a response… Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Average experience. Big beautiful ship. Wish they would monitor the lounge chairs as many with belongings and no people for hours. The entertainment was not as good as we are used to on Princess. Check your accounts for accuracy and if ... Read More
Average experience. Big beautiful ship. Wish they would monitor the lounge chairs as many with belongings and no people for hours. The entertainment was not as good as we are used to on Princess. Check your accounts for accuracy and if staff says they will take care of a charge double check they did. Wish they had more variety in movies under the stars as they were repeated the second week. Horizon buffet felt more like a cafeteria and the food was below average and predictable. Tables hard to come by. The gym was just redone and is very impressive. We really missed the wrap around promenade deck. Lifeboats and equipment occupy the space instead. We will be giving Celebrity a try next as we don’t feel valued as a customer anymore. The ports of call were nice and we enjoyed them. Loved Alfredo’s. Wished they carried more variety at better price points in the shops. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Itinerary was great! food in mdr was average at best. any time dining was a big waste and princess needs to correct because the wait was always over anhour. sabatini's and bayou cafe were excellent. beware the crab shack was ... Read More
Itinerary was great! food in mdr was average at best. any time dining was a big waste and princess needs to correct because the wait was always over anhour. sabatini's and bayou cafe were excellent. beware the crab shack was only held one evening and we had already booked dining on balcony for two which was awesome and we recommend for any princess cruise! the entertainment consisted of comedians. there was only one production show and it was one song after another and no big deal. staff was excellent but the cruise director hid for most of the ten night cruise. the ports were really outstanding. did a tour with dora the explorer in cartagena, columbia, and would love to visit again. the rain forest in limon costa rica as also worth doing. stayed on the ship during the panama canal transit and enjoyed the whole day watching the ship go through the locks! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was not our first cruise with Princess, nor the first time we have sailed onboard the Ruby Princess, in fact, we are "Platinum" status with Princess. Yet it never seems to surprise us how different each ship (and sailing) ... Read More
This was not our first cruise with Princess, nor the first time we have sailed onboard the Ruby Princess, in fact, we are "Platinum" status with Princess. Yet it never seems to surprise us how different each ship (and sailing) is. Specifically, when it comes to service level, it's surprising to see how much of a variation there is between ships, to the point where there appears to be no real visible standard across the fleet. Airport->Ship Transfer (via Princess) - HORRIBLE experience, the staff were disorganized, rude and obnoxious. A bunch of busy body clipboard handling, gossipping grannies that clearly have nothing better to do with their time, nor care about the customer experience. Check-In & Embarkation - relatively smooth process with a friendly check-in agent. On-Board Promotions - Princess knows they have you captive, the onslaught of their propaganda to get you to buy something, pay for extras, pay for events, pay for excursions is truly annoying. We were frequently approached/disturbed while we were enjoying a quiet meal either in the main dining room or buffet dining area. Although our cabin steward was very friendly and helpful, the overall "feel" of the crew seemed to be one of being overworked, as it clearly appeared that the ship was understaffed. Frequently many of the public areas around the ship seemed poorly serviced, and/or maintained. Princess appears to have definitely cut back on many of it's "normal" standards that kept us coming back, either in and around the ship or it's now "mediocre" dietary selections, opting to force passengers to "paid" dining options. The cabin we were offered as a paid "upgrade "option, from a Premium balcony to a Junior suite, was welcome, although having given up the extra large balcony for a sitting area. With the poor weather, it was nice to have a sitting area, the only issue was the couch was a hide a bed, and in poor condition, be very worn and lumpy. Quite uncomfortable actually. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Outrageous wine prices $44-$60 a bottle profit is on thing but this is a corporate money grab shame on you Princess cruises. Beer one price $8.75 a stubby a glass of wine $11-$15 all other drinks $10.75-$15.75 per glass make sure you ... Read More
Outrageous wine prices $44-$60 a bottle profit is on thing but this is a corporate money grab shame on you Princess cruises. Beer one price $8.75 a stubby a glass of wine $11-$15 all other drinks $10.75-$15.75 per glass make sure you bring plenty of spending money. The meals are great and restaurant service is 5 star,if you are bringing children, single cone ice creams are $5 each, they were free on the Diamond Princess when last cruised. We will be looking for alternative options for our next cruise, do to the excessively drinks cost, these prices are out of control, unfortunately we missed two island stops and a straits cruise,due to bad weather, we are very disappointed, I think the itinerary is more suited for late March onwards do to monsoonal weather conditions, I would not recommend this trip for this time of the year to anyone. We had room service delivered to our cabin which was just perfect. If you enjoy a wine and you are thinking of travelling with Princess cruises, do yourself a favour, and bring your wine with you, and pay the $15 corkage fee, you won’t regret it. The tender service was fluid no real hold ups, the cruise tours are expensive, you usually can do a better deal at dock side. We renewed our vows whilst on board, you will need to pre book, it was an experience of a life time, the captain renewed our vows and signed the certificate, the library was turned into a chapel with all the trimmings, it was truly delightful, I f you want the extra photo package allow $399 extra, also the portraits 20x allow $2100 extra and if you want a truly very professional video allow an extra $1699 Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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