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2,109 Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this seven day Eastern Caribbean cruise because we liked the itinerary, the length of the criuise and we liked the Love Boat reputation lending itself to romance. We stayed the night before the cruise at the Hilton Marina which ... Read More
We chose this seven day Eastern Caribbean cruise because we liked the itinerary, the length of the criuise and we liked the Love Boat reputation lending itself to romance. We stayed the night before the cruise at the Hilton Marina which worked out well for us. We purchased the all inclusive beverage package which included beer, wine, liquor, specialty coffee and bottled water. For us it was a good value since one drink price averaged about $9. We visited Amber Cove in the DR for a few hours which was an adequate amount of time to check out the shops, visit the Sky View bar with it's beautiful view and the swim up bar. Drinks were an additional cost but fairly reasonable. Beer and wine selection was limited though. During port at St. Thomas we did a St. John scenic cruise, Ecohike & beach through Princess. We were glad we did it but wouldn't do it again. During port at St. Martin we took a taxi for $7 to the French side and were able to check out Marigot which had high end shopping. We met a nice sales associate in an Oakley store who was kind enough to tell us the cost of a pair of glasses in US dollars without us needing to ask and another associate in a different boutique who seemed irritated when we asked the cost of a scarf. We had lunch at a quaint corner side walk cafe which we really enjoyed. It was run by one lady artist who invited us to come in for some water. She said "people attract people" so please come in and have some water. She wouldn't charge us. The food was simple but very good. However, the plumbing was lacking and I was was greatfull that I had some wet naps in my purse. Our last sea day we had dinner in the Crown room and we both agreed it was worth the up charge. Service and food were very good in the MDR but were excellent at the Crown room. Also, Alfredos had awesome pizza and salads and did not cost extra. Sushi at the Ocean view terrace was very good also, if you really like sushi, for a minimal up charge. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have been on several Canal Cruises around the holidays before and once we had sailed on the Coral Princes which been beautifully and traditionally decorated for the Christmas Season, lots of Red and Green. Have made a couple of others ... Read More
We have been on several Canal Cruises around the holidays before and once we had sailed on the Coral Princes which been beautifully and traditionally decorated for the Christmas Season, lots of Red and Green. Have made a couple of others in more recent years only to be disappointed either no decorations or more modern decorations in Silver and Gold that just looked more like a department store. The Coral was simply a beautiful site that we enjoyed totally. The food in the dining room was simply beyond Good more on the Terrific scale. The beef was beyond anything I have had in recent years anywhere. Prime Rib prepared to perfection and tender beyond belief. A night or two later we had Roast Beef which was also prepared exactly to the Med. Rare request we had made and the meat was so tender I didn't need my knife, I cut it with my fork. I don't ever recall Roast Beef being that tender. A couple nights later we had Chateaubriand which I can only say was even better than the other two servings of Beef. Each night the food was really wonderful to our taste. The staff that represented the Princess Cruise Line was friendly and responded very quickly to any request. This includes the staff on the Lido Deck as we entered there were hostess greeting us who always carried a big smile and offered kind words. The Dining Room Staff were also most friendly offering their recommendations each evening as we arrived for dinner. They immediately set about their task of providing our request from the menu. Couldn't have been more attentive. My only complaint about the Dining Menu was the Parmesan cheese basket has been discontinued for the Fettuccine Alfredo. That has long been one of our favorites. Even though, we managed to eat the Alfredo Appetizer 9 out of 10 nights, but would have been better with the Baskets. The Room Stewardess we had was one of the hardest working we have ever had on any cruise line and I think there was only one occasion when we attempted to enter our room and she hadn't completed all her work and moved on and that was our fault for returning to collect a forgotten item. The entertainment was all very good and we enjoyed it greatly. As for the ports and excursions. We've been to most ports in the Caribbean several times and taken excursions in most of them so that is of little concern to us. We enjoy the cruising aspect and meeting and talking with new Friends. Mealtimes are great times to meet new folks and exchange ideas.... Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We selected this Diamond Princess cruise based on our satisfaction with a Coral Princess Panama Canal trip in March 2017; the dates- it had to be over Christmas so we could "run away" from the hassle at home;, and it took us to ... Read More
We selected this Diamond Princess cruise based on our satisfaction with a Coral Princess Panama Canal trip in March 2017; the dates- it had to be over Christmas so we could "run away" from the hassle at home;, and it took us to 2 countries where we had not been before- Cambodia and Vietnam. This choice also turned out to be good because we have a niece in Singapore to visit, and our Cathay flight from SFO allowed us to stop off in Hong Kong for a few days. The ship was up to date, clean and beautifully decorated for the Holidays. We had "anytime dining" and opted to share a table for all our dinners. We met some nice people. Those who signed up for assigned dining were disappointed because some of the people at their tables wouldn't show up and they were left sometimes alone. The food was very good and service was fine, but not hurried. Dinner generally took close to 2 hours. We didn't attend all the shows, but the ones by the Princess singers and dancers were pretty complex and awesome for a cruise ship. We don't partake of much of the other entertainment but noted there were lots of things going on. For each port, we had booked Princess cruises, not feeling ambitious enough to go out on our own. In Vietnam (Nha Trang & Ho Chi Minh City) and Cambodia we booked excursions that took us to see how people lived in those countries, including visiting markets, schools, homes and temples. In Laem Chabang (Bankok), we went to the Nong Nuch Gardens which were beautiful and unusual. In Koh Samui, we went to Thai Cooking and the beach which we also enjoyed. In Kota Kinabalu, we went to the Zoological Gardens and the Sabah Cultural Center however there was too much to cover in the time allotted. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and efficient. However the line was very long for the taxis on disembarkation. Also Princess told us we need Passport size photographs for the Vietnam and Cambodian visas. These weren't needed, and basically all involved for those visa's was money charged to your account- $31 and $40. While I wouldn't choose this cruise again, not because it wasn't enjoyable, but because we have other places to go. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Our first time cruising during Holidays! This is THE WAY TO GO for us from now on! Piazza was beautifully decorated - Violinists, jazz groups, entertained and delighted everyone. Thank goodness still doing the Champagne Waterfall. ... Read More
Our first time cruising during Holidays! This is THE WAY TO GO for us from now on! Piazza was beautifully decorated - Violinists, jazz groups, entertained and delighted everyone. Thank goodness still doing the Champagne Waterfall. Although, never saw Captain at any of the invited events and that is a real First! I'm wondering if he was ill or just not that congenial. Anytime Dining was an uneven experience - but after several evenings some Crew clued us into the over 90 minute dinner time (20 minutes to first course - up to 40-45 min main course).... Anytime dining is great for the passengers but plays havoc with the kitchen to cook and serve timely.) Also, we did not get seated at larger tables as requested on a few occasions but realized its mostly families seated together because of all the Holidays. Love Anytime and will continue to do it....we were lucky to be seated at many tables of Brits, Canadians, etc. I called them 'The Allies Table'..... it was so much fun and met several will see again. Was disappointed in quality and preparation of several dinners in the Island dining room. Used to be so delicious but I can see where they are attempting to redesign the ingredients and prep of many dishes to achieve a faster, less expensive plate - Anytime dining may be causing them to cook too early and sit in oven too short/long. Hope Princess gets this sorted out.... lots of grumbling at the table about some beloved national dishes (tough Duck L'Orange, oddly flavored Baked Alaska). Have already made deposit for the 2017 Christmas Cruise to Hawaii - See you there! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The only bad part of the cruise is the embarkation and disembarkation. The ramp getting on and off the ship in Long Beach, California seems like its a mile long. However, at the port of call it was only 5 or 10 feet. I could write a ... Read More
The only bad part of the cruise is the embarkation and disembarkation. The ramp getting on and off the ship in Long Beach, California seems like its a mile long. However, at the port of call it was only 5 or 10 feet. I could write a book on how great this cruise was but, it was such that we have already scheduled our next cruise for April 12, 2017. For those who haven't yet taken a cruise here the deal, If your a drinker as I am buy the unlimited drink deal. The ship is keep clean and in good repair on every Princess cruise that I've been on I've seen crew members maintaining the ship. The cabin cleaned and made up as if by magic. we see his cart in the passage way so he must clean it while we are out because its always clean when we come back. The Dining is far better than most 5 star restaurants that we have been too. The food is exquisite and the service is perfect. There is always something going on I personally like the wine tasting. Now as to the Ports and Shore excursions if it's some where you have never been I recommend taking the Shore excursions but, I also recommend you book them through the ship. That way you are sure to get what you paid for and they will get you back to the ship on time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Background Information This trip was one of those last-minute things, booking our cruise on November 1 for the December 18 sailing. Big props for our Princess agent who we have worked with for three of our five Princess/Cunard cruises. ... Read More
Background Information This trip was one of those last-minute things, booking our cruise on November 1 for the December 18 sailing. Big props for our Princess agent who we have worked with for three of our five Princess/Cunard cruises. Travel to Port of Embarkation Our sailing was on Sunday, December 18, our original plan was to depart BWI to FLL on Saturday morning on Southwest, but a snow/ice storm was forecast for Saturday so we moved our departure from BWI to Friday night, now giving us a full day in the Ft. Lauderdale area. As it turned out weather was a major issue for travel throughout the country, we learned that many flights were cancelled, delayed and a few diverted, including the 30 plus passengers from Canada missing the sailing and were flown to meet the ship in Nassau. I still don’t understand why people fly to the embarkation port the day of the sailing instead the day before. We stayed at the Renaissance Cruise Port, just across the street from Pier 2 which is the prime docking space for Princess Cruises. Princess also uses other Piers in the back end of the port when sister ships are docked. Our boarding time was 12:30 and we walked from the Renaissance to the pier which was a 5 – 10-minute walk, no taxi, no shuttle. Embarkation: Now Platinum, we were able to enjoy the Priority Line for Check In, huge difference. We breezed in 5 – 10 minutes. Much of these Princess Pier employees are retirees and all in great spirits, easy to work with and very patient. Once on board we were met by several Regal staff and directed us to our cabin quickly which was ready and our bags were waiting for us. The big problem on embarkation is the back up on the elevators. Not sure what the solution is but you have 3500 boarding the ship trying to get to their cabin and take a tour at the same time gets to be cumbersome. Stateroom Ship Info The Regal Princess was put in service in 2014 and the newest ship in the fleet, decorated for the holidays and it was beautiful. There are some weird things how the ship is designed. In the front of the ship stair case, you can walk up to the 7th deck but it seems to have a dead end, if you are dining in the Allegro Dining room, in the aft on the Deck 6, you can’t reach there by walking through the deck. It seems you need to make a “connection” to get there. Deck 17 Sun Deck Retreat, is in the front of Mid ship. Limited to adults only it is a great way to escape the loud music, loud big screen Dining Options: We opted for the anytime sitting, this way we are not on a set time or table, and can meet and talk with a variety of different people from different locations. We dined in either Symphony Dining Room (Deck 5) or Concerto Dining Room (Deck 6) The menus are the same in the three dining rooms. They did have issues with long lines at both dining rooms. You can make a reservation for these “anytime” dining rooms, but they only accept 30% of the occupancy. Best time to go is before 6:00, like an early bird thing, or after 7:30, these times are a lot less crazy in fact sometimes not even a line. Breakfast and lunch was served in the Concerto and that dining room was available on Embarkation day as well. Allegro Dining Room (Deck 6): Allegro is typically the ship's only option for traditional set dining at dinner. We had breakfast there on Disembarkation day but not the other meals. More civilized then the Buffet on that last morning. International Cafe (Deck 5): Free and a quick option. Salads, sandwiches, very nice deserts and cookies displayed on the counter. Small offerings available, and they did not change the choices often, we noticed they changed it just twice for the whole cruise then serving the same available on the first day. Special coffees, lattes, available for a fee. Alfredo's Pizzeria (Deck 6): Found this late in our cruise, wish we tried this earlier. Great authentic, thin crust Neapolitan pizzas. Not a place to just grab a slice, but the pizzas are made from scratch individual pizzas, there are seven different pizzas listed on the menu as well as offers two types of antipasto, minestrone soup, and several other main dishes. There is no charge. Crown Grill (Deck 7); $25 per person There are few restaurants you can dine with a cover charge. We had dinner at the Crown Grill. Great choices of beef and seafood entrees, side dishes were served “family style” ike Ruth’s Chris’ or Mortons. Try the Bone in Rib eye, the steak was amazing, quite possibly one of the top 10 steaks I have ever has. Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro (Deck 16): We are not big fans of the buffets because it is always nuts, but we did eat there three times. We had breakfast twice because we had early excursion meeting times and the dining rooms were not open yet, and we happened to walk through and it was seafood day. (Bonus). The bistro is very ice, has less of a selection, but still many to choose from. This was quieter then the Court. The Court has the same choices but many more options. The Horizon Court and Bistro was clean and the staff was great and quick. But the buffet is always nuts and people wandering around, sometimes rudeness and elbows get in the way. Swirls Ice Cream Bar (Deck 16): What is wrong with a cone or cup of vanilla or chocolate soft serve ice cream with choices of different toppings. Nice treat Prego Pizzeria (Deck 16): The pizza on Deck 16 was just ok. Surprised that it was not consistent as it was on the Emerald or Caribbean Princess. This was just mediocre, but convenient. Trident Grill (Deck 16): Burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, grilled chicken and French fries. Quick, tasty, but they precook the burgers and then put them on the grill to heat them. You did not have an option to ask for the burger to be rare or medium rare, they all were medium or beyond. Activities: We played bingo twice, mainly for the end of cruise jackpot. But was quite boring. And we visited the Casino a few times. The casino has several table games, Black Jack (6 decks!), 3 Card Poker, roulette, and craps. They had two or three sea days that was no-smoking in the casino I really do wish they make this all the time. I know people still smoke on board, although less and less, but wish it was not inside. Pretty annoying. Service on board was great throughout the ship. Did not have a bad issue or situation. Entertainment: At the start of the cruise we were very disappointed with the entertainment. The house dancers and singers were great and the band on stage and throughout the ship amazing. The did have an 18 piece orchestra in the Piazza one night and it was a great show. The “Guest” singers were not very good, in fact consistently inconsistent. We thought of skipping the last shows toward the end of the cruise but did see “Bravo” which saved the week. There was a comedian, I cannot recall his name. He was ok on the first night but was told not very good on the second show. The Cruise Director was ok. We really did not see much of her or the staff. She emceed the shows but she was not very exciting. Not a dig on her but it seems the Cruise Directors have become more and more of social traffic cops pointing people where to go. Port & Shore Excursions Nassau- Five ships in port makes it very crowded, We did not book any excursion so we just walked through the port area, visited the straw market. St. Thomas- Four ships in port, but that did not seem too crowded. Took up the tram above the port and then took a boat to St. John to snorkel at Trunk Bay. Antigua- Four ships in port including a ship from Germany. We took a boat to snorkel and went though a huge rain storm with big winds and 20 feet swells. Made it more exciting. Dominica- One ship in port. Our excursion was a full day going up in the mountains of the rain forest. Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool and Champagne reef. Great day. Grenada- Two ships in town The different German ship was in port with us. Snorkeled in two locations. When you go to two locations the time in the water is very limited. . Aruba- Five ships in port. More snorkeling. Aruba was beautiful but with the all the made the three different locations were very crowded and very rushed. Negatives, if any. Princess, owned by Carnival, tries to suck every penny out of you. Drink cards, wine packages, soft drink plans, coffee and even Gelato packages. Constant hard sell of EFFY, Jewelry, Spa treatments, Art Auction etc. We did try to do a couple of treatments at the Spa but i cancelled them when the prices were much higher then expected and their constant hard sell of their product has become annoying. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Been on many cruises this was our 1st Christmas and new year which I must say the crew were 1st class making both a special time (ordered wine for Christmas dinner they lost order... then fo new year 5$ increase on each bottle of wine ) ... Read More
Been on many cruises this was our 1st Christmas and new year which I must say the crew were 1st class making both a special time (ordered wine for Christmas dinner they lost order... then fo new year 5$ increase on each bottle of wine ) not good .. food on board was usual princess quality very good .. staff as per princess were courteous and mostly always cheerful?..... but entertainment was rubbish worst cruise entertainment ever been on .. cruise director and his side kick were brilliant .. others were scuffle look as if they had just fell out of bed .. The shops were well below average some shelves in dutyfree actually empty bought some perfume had to take back "stale" ?old stock the other shops had old stock (was on this ship in may and they were far better. Passengers mostly Australian and were 60%proberly adhered to formal wear others thought shorts and trainers were acceptable and were not approached by crew re entering dining rooms . I have never seen this before . I do know that "casual wear "is more acceptable in Australia and the states but if the liner requests formal wear surely they should try to contain this in the appropriate areas .. so unfortunately princess as as my choice of being my favourite cruise not so We did 4 excursions although very expensive did enjoy.. If you wanted to spend money on eggy jewellery or art canvases this was the cruise for u as both were pushed down our throats several times a day . Nevertheless we had a great Christmas and new year this we thank princess for. Another niggle we flew from U.K. And booked this in U.K.and found local Australians payed a lot less for same cabin as ours Come on princess get this sorted Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We had not been on a Princess cruise in three years due to work demands. We planned this cruise far in advance in honor of our 40th anniversary. The improvements were evident in every aspect of the cruise. Food: (We are vegetarians who ... Read More
We had not been on a Princess cruise in three years due to work demands. We planned this cruise far in advance in honor of our 40th anniversary. The improvements were evident in every aspect of the cruise. Food: (We are vegetarians who eat fish). Outstanding. Service was impecable. Our waitress Laura in Capri was so good we ate dinner ever night at 5:00PM in order to have her. In fact without exception, the first four people in line when the doors opened were people who wanted one of her tables. Miguel her assitant was equally outstanding. The food was the best we have had in 30+ cruises. The food at Horizon was equally excellent. Salads were fresh every day and the food was tasty. The traffic flow has been tweaked in Horizon so the flow is much improved. We were always asked if we needed something or a refill of coffee etc. Cabin: We were in D623. The cabin is a bit tired looking. There were a few tears in the sofa but overall it was very good. The steward, Ian, did an excellent job. My only minor complaint would be the bath towels were not very soft. Ship: Despite the ship's age, it is very well maintained. The only minor improvements that would make a HUGE difference is to replace the cushions by the pool and in the Piazza which are worn out. I found sitting in the Piazza rather uncomfortable. These are easy fixes. Fitness: There is plenty of equipment. Some of the Precors are a bit worn and should be replaced but everything functioned correctly. Entertainment: Excellent mix of shows, comedy and magic acts. Very balanced with something for everyone. Captain: The Captain was amazing. He is out and about a couple of times a day. The staff reflects his upbeat can-do attitude. One evening we watched a movie in the rain. He was making his rounds and spent 10 minutes talking to the staff. He is a Rock Star. This is Princess at its best. Having sailed on luxury ships, this experience was on par if not better. We were blown away. Jan Swarz is clearly working some magic. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise because the ship was travelling to Hawaii but we also had the opportunity of spending Christmas and New Year's Eve at sea! Plus we had arranged to renew our vows for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and our 2 adult ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the ship was travelling to Hawaii but we also had the opportunity of spending Christmas and New Year's Eve at sea! Plus we had arranged to renew our vows for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and our 2 adult children joined us. From the time we arrived at the Los Angeles port the whole process and experience was AMAZING! We decided within the first couple of hours from just exploring the ship that we did not want to get off. There was just so much on offer and the staff were incredibly welcoming. Everything just ran so smoothly. The highlights were definitely being remarried by the Captain himself (absolutely can see why the rest of the crew are so wonderful with him as their leader) and in my 21 year old daughter's words "BEST NEW YEAR'S EVER". Our cabins were fantastic - balcony on 12th deck only one flight from the pool deck - Mermaid's Cove. The bar staff remembered the regulars by name - very impressive. We visited just about every restaurant, including the specialty ones, and the choices were incredible. Totally recommend the beverage package as it included everything including coffee - best part about the International Cafe was the Iced Americano - I was in heaven! We would thoroughly recommend Princess cruises to everyone (and having been on some of the competitors Princess wins hands down in our eyes). Just want to finish by saying thank you thank you thank you our trip of a lifetime was made so special by your wonderful ship and crew. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The ship was outdated, small, and smelled like mildew in several locations (most notably the elevators towards ship's aft and the hallways. The crew, while helpful, was not anywhere near as energetic and engaging as they have been on ... Read More
The ship was outdated, small, and smelled like mildew in several locations (most notably the elevators towards ship's aft and the hallways. The crew, while helpful, was not anywhere near as energetic and engaging as they have been on other cruise lines. The excursions were some of our favorite of all time and that photographers were sent along on the bigger excursions was appreciated. The majority of onboard activities were drawing and sales pitches with not much to choose from in the way of actual activities. We even traveled over Christmas and New Years and the celebration was underwhelming. The dining experience was as expected; however, they had just transitioned to a new pastry chef and the desserts were lack-luster. That said, the chef who prepares the beef entres nailed it every time. The spa staff obviously lacked training. On multiple occasions we were told prices and services that didn't agree with one another. While the spa manager fixed the major screw up of one of her staff members once I told her the issue, the staff continued to be uninformed to the prices and services of the spa. Such that we cancelled the remaining appointments due to the "complications" and excuses we encountered every time we went in there. Avoid the spa it wasn't worth the hassle. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I had previously traveled Sea Princess and we had an enjoyable time. However, we had a number of issues with this cruise that we didn't feel were adequately dealt with. Family Friendly - The biggest issue was the lack of family ... Read More
I had previously traveled Sea Princess and we had an enjoyable time. However, we had a number of issues with this cruise that we didn't feel were adequately dealt with. Family Friendly - The biggest issue was the lack of family friendly activities, entertainment and the poor experience with the Kids Club staff. We were advised on the first night, that due to a high number of children on board, there may not always be availability on the kids club. We had to book in advance a number of times. On many occasions, the kids club were not available at all as they had scheduled alternate activities (where parents would need to attend as they were unsupervised). When we did have our children in kids club, we were paged repeatedly for minor things so we had to come collect our children. We weren't able to fully enjoy the other activities as a result. This wouldn't have been so bad if there were family friendly areas or entertainment for our children. They rarely had any children programming on television, and no other place to take them where they'd have fun. The swimming pool was quite dangerous due to the rockiness of the boat and children were generally unwelcome in the calmer pool. Activities & Entertainment - Activities on board ranged from good to pretty ordinary, the shows were pretty good (the singers and dancers were lovely and we really loved the Mentalist). However many of the "enrichment" activities involved spending more money and there was a lot of push to get you to gamble (eg play bingo, go to the casino). I remember some dancing activities the last time I sailed with Sea Princess which seemed to be lacking this cruise. The Zumba teacher was AWFUL (no sense of rhythm at all, songs were bad) and very rude, she yelled at another staff member during the first session over the sound of the music. She also yelled at a child in front of everyone during Trivia because he said an answer out loud. Food - Food was mostly good especially in the Horizon court & traditional dining areas. However, the chips (french fries) were generally over cooked and bland and the coffee left a lot to be desired (and this was the specialty coffee we paid extra for). The drinks were okay, but pricey, and they didn't make a very nice vodka lime and soda. Service - service was generally good however on the deck 5 atrium, there was a bar that was always very very slow to serve. I would often stand for quite a while, while others who arrived after me were served before me - making me feel like I wasn't there at all. When I finally got served, coffees and drinks took 10 mins to make. Facilities - the gym was a little small - it would have been nice if they had some fitness classes on throughout the day. The pool was fine, but as mentioned, it wasn't that safe for children. Occasionally it appeared something was dripping from the roof on the lower levels of the ship, I think this ship needs an upgrade and some maintenance done. Ports - we travelled to Papua New Guinea which wasn't on the list above - some of the locations were really average. Most of the stops didn't have any shore excursions. At one particular stop, the locals were very unfriendly, and the area seemed generally unsafe. Doini Island was lovely however, and Rabaul was fascinating. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Just off the Ruby Princess and the 22 December -> 30 December cruise. We traveled as a couple, and would rate this cruise as our most enjoyable - Princess exceeded our expectations on a 100% full ship. The normal Princess demographic ... Read More
Just off the Ruby Princess and the 22 December -> 30 December cruise. We traveled as a couple, and would rate this cruise as our most enjoyable - Princess exceeded our expectations on a 100% full ship. The normal Princess demographic was skewed due to the voyage being a Christmas Cruise - many families traveling. Never felt crowded during the voyage. Ship is in overall good-to-excellent condition. Cleanliness in each locale. Embarkation: Prior cruise had a norovirus outbreak, so the ship went into a thorough cleansing between cruises. This delayed boarding by 2.5 hours ... kudos to Princess for the over communication and for the staggering of boarding times. From arrival at port to setting foot on ship was 20 mins. Cabin: see cabin comments -- only minor complaint, is wifi signal in D412 is weak. Dining: Used the new concept "Club Class Dining" -- the area set aside is the starboard (left) side of the DaVinci Dining Room. Hostess met, head waiter created daily specialities on portable work station, and 2-3 teams of waiters were dedicated to the Club Class experience. So enjoyable was the experience, we took all our dinners in the dining room. Poolside grill, ice cream and pizza were great. Wish they also had a veggie tray for a healthier option ... but into the Horizon and create your own. Bars: We participated in the AIBP (all inclusive beverage package) and it worked for us, we used the worksheet found on the Princess Board to determine efficacy of use. We also carried on bottles of our preferred Chardonnay and paid corkage (glad we did as the choice was limited). Vines, Crooners, Explorer lounge and pool bars were visited and staffed adequately. About 90% of the serving team was highly motivated, a few were just unhappy. Pools: When ship is 100% full the pools will be too ... If you are adults - go forward to the deck 15 pool adjacent to the SANCTUARY ... it is an adult only pool with about 12 loungers about it and a tiered sitting area ... right above is the sundeck (deck 16) which was always wide open. Downside - no drink service at this pool, so bring yours with you. Entertainment: Princess Theater: Shows were good and every seat in house taken for the two shows we attended. Piazza: Los Brilliantes were wonderful they played every Mexican ballad and love song the audience could throw at them and every performance had people at all three levels of the Piazza enjoying their music and the dance floor full Crooners: Alex Howland was the pianist/vocalist -- he was entertaining and we regularly attended his evenings. MUTS: Good selection of current films and then some sports events during the day. Christmas onboard: The ship is well decorated, and you feel in the festive spirit. Crew hosted Christmas Caroling was a delight. Spa: Used the services twice (massage) and concluded that the service was not worth the expense and will forego next time. The pseudo-medical evaluation to upsell product and services was especially troublesome. Ports: Cabo San Lucas --- arrival is timed for mid-day - all are tendered into shore. The marina area is a short walk away from the port, or an inexpensive cab ride. Cabs in Cabo are predominately white-vans. If desired to see those areas outside of Cabo San Lucas proper, recommend a ship-shore excursion as the possibility of arriving back at port on time from Todos Santos or San Jose del Cabo is real. Fair warning: Embarkation is done by ticket ... so if you want to go ashore in an expeditious manner, either do an excursion (they bump the general queue or get to the staging area early - according to the crew member handing out tickets, the wait could be multiple hours. Mazatlan --- arrival is early morning. Once exited the port building, mini-cabs (open air golf-cart like VWs) are waiting -- these are the Mazatlan cabs. In the past we have hired a driver for the day for US$40. This time we visited Stone Island on our own. Exit the port building to the street - turn left - walk to the end - see sign saying "Embarcadero Playa Sur" and cross street walk down dirt road to yellow building buy ticket 30 pesos (this is the water taxi ticket building). Take water taxi to Stone Island ... keep ticket safe (you need it to return). Go ashore walk straight ahead down a path and you drop on the beach - 22km of sand. Safe swimming ... many eating establishments along the beach. We ate at Leyts a good distance down the beach -- two main plates, drinks etc, was less than $30. A great way to chill at the beach (and if you have kids, let them safely run). Puerto Vallarta -- arrival is early morning. Cruise terminal is in between the Hotel Zone and the Marina District ... White cabs inside the port enclave are more expensive than the yellow cabs outside the enclave. In every instance negotiate price to destination prior to getting inside. Cost to the Melacon (beach front walking street) is about $10. We did this, lunched on the second-deck of Oceana Pub Restaurant with a view of the ocean and walking street. Manzanillo -- arrival is early morning. Port is an industrial port. Worth being awake when arriving as fisherman were observed throwing their nets and hauling in their catch as the Ruby slid into port. Took a shore excursion(see below). Prior we exited port and walked about the the shore line and visited some of the stores nearby. The city proper is a good distance away. Cabs are avail outside the port and willing to be hired for the day to take you for a drive about or to a pristine beach. Shore Excursions: Only one - Manzanillo 280A - Beach Resort - the shore excursion took you to the Tresero Hotel about a 30 min ride from port - not a particularly scenic ride. Upon arrival, hotel handed you a towel and bottle of water and cut you loose. Sadly the hotel facilities were at greater than 100% occupancy and there was no way they could accommodate the influx from Princess. Tresero is a 3-star (at best) facility. The beach is adequate, with plenty of space to throw down a towel. Upon return to ship, a complaint to Excursion Staff resulted in 100% refund. Sea Days --- lazy days ... why we cruise. Disembarkation: Was 20 mins from exiting the ship, collecting our luggage, processing customs/immigration and getting a cab. Room vacating at 0830 and then waiting to 1030 to disembark was a bit of a inconvenience, but understandable. Grab breakfast early! Princess exceeded our expectations and we will be sailing with Princess again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My wife's 60th BD loomed large in our planning and we always wanted to go to the Panama Canal so this was a great way to combine the two. On top of that, she was and still is a New Year's Baby so just any old First Night party ... Read More
My wife's 60th BD loomed large in our planning and we always wanted to go to the Panama Canal so this was a great way to combine the two. On top of that, she was and still is a New Year's Baby so just any old First Night party would not do. The Coral Princess met and exceeded our expectations at nearly every point along the way. Embarkation at Port Everglades was smooth and 99% hassle-free. Our EZ Air flight early on embarkation day eliminated any angst over possibly being late due to bad weather. Our first two sea days were a great break from the post-Christmas frenzy. Bloody Mary's were a bit on the spicy side but we managed. Second one was much better. (TIP #1: I left a nice tip for the bartender on the first drink, about 25%, so on second drink I did not leave one. However, in my final bill, they graciously added a tip for me which I had so obviously overlooked. In the future, always leave at least a small tip on your $10 cocktail so you don't get dinged later.). Food was on par with most cruises we've been on. We had flexible dining so we could go when we wanted, but only ate in the dining room about half the time. Other nights were spent at the buffet where the food was just as good as the main dining room, and better in some ways because there was more to choose from. First port of call was Aruba. It was New Year's eve so our stay was less than 6 hours. Although it turned out to be our only rain day, we had a great time because we opted for the Atlantis Submarine excursion which took us down to 140 ft. Got pretty wet walking back to the ship, but it was well worth it. Felt sorry for people who had never seen Aruba before, but we had a great time. New Year's Eve on board was lots of fun. Party hats, noise makers and libations kept the party going. My wife and I joined the party crowd packed into the Atrium and did our best funky chicken till well after the midnight balloon drop. No one noticed my dismal shuffling, because most people noticed my wife's flashing 60th BD tiara which got her the attention she richly deserved. New Year's day was stop #2 in Cartegena. Took the walk through the old city. Bought coffee in the Juan Valdez Cafe (TIP#2. Nobody spoke english in the cafe and they don’t take USD, but a MasterCard and my elementary spanish saved the day. If you no habla espanol, go with someone who does or you will get frustrated.) It was really hot so we wormed our way into a small bar down a narrow alley by the Cathedral and drank cheap beer till we went back to the ship. Princess celebrated my wife's birthday by giving us a complimentary dinner for our party of four in one of the specialty restaurants. The next table was full of friendly Quebecois who even sang Happy Birthday to my wife in French. January 2 was the big day going through the Canal. By 5:30 a.m. I was on deck with a pot of coffee front and center on deck 15. The entire transit was truly wonderful but was marred by chair hogs who insisted on trying to save a dozen spots for people who wanted to sleep in. At one point, the worst of the lot even put one of those little flimsy plastic deck tables on TOP of his chaise lounge pulled right up to the tall glass railing blocking everyone else’s view. Harsh words were exchanged when someone bumped his chair almost causing him to fall, which we were all secretly hoping for anyway. (TIP #3 - Get a spot early by the railing, toss away your sense of personal space and be polite. 99% of everyone else there is too.). After the transit we signed up for a tour of the old and new canals and even got to see the Coral Princess going back through the old canal on her way to dock in Colon. That was a bonus. Our tour included a drive through the old former Canal Zone in the suburbs of Colon. We got back to the port of Colon just as the Coral Princess was docking and left us with an hour or so to kill. There’s not much to do in at the Port area of Colon. A few shops and a restaurant but my favorite spot was the Super 99 market where you could buy reasonably priced snacks and booze. Again, no one speaks english but the touristas and they don’t take USD. Be polite, smile, use your best grade school spanish and pay by credit card and you’ll be fine.. The next stop was Limon Costa Rich and the Eco Adventure Ziplining tour in the Veragua Rainforest. Like everything else the Ticos do, this was a top notch tour. Completely safe, Great company. Upon returning to the port of Limon, we went outside of the terminal area to one of the many coffee shops where for $5 USD you could get all the wifi and coffee you wanted all day. Best deal of the trip. The next day was a much needed sea day where we finally went to the BOGO free drink happy hour in the Wheelhouse bar. (TIP #4. The second drink is not really “free”.) You have to get a second drink of the same type you buy and when you get the bill, they add a $2 “service fee”, Still, it’s cheaper than paying full price for the second drink. Last port was Ocho Rios Jamaica where we signed up for the river tubing adventure. The trip was very fun but we were only on the river for a bit less than an hour. Short, but the guides were good and did a good job of keeping everyone together. They were pretty aggressive asking for tips so just be sure to have a pocket full of dollars to give a little to each of them. We then spent a couple hours at a beach where we were treated to a good variety of munchies (jerk chicken, fried breads, plantains) and strong rum punch. Bob Marley music was ubiquitous even though there are many other fine Jamaican musicians like his son Ziggy and Third World, but you will only hear Bob Marley. Interestingly enough, not one statue or picture was anywhere to be seen of Usain Bolt. Really? The most famous living Jamaican and he was nowhere to be seen. I at least expected a cardboard cutout of him hawking some brand of rum. Our last day of the cruise was greeted by the news of the mass shooting at the FLL airport. The cruise staff didn’t have any more news than we did about changes in arrangements. Although we signed up for the EZ Check baggage program, we had to pick up our bags in the cruise terminal and Princess promptly refunded the money for the baggage handling. The airport was crowded, but in the end, we arrived back home only 2 hours later than planned. Considering what that airport went through, we counted ourselves lucky. Bottom line: Great cruise and great excursions with only a few minor bumps along the way, Keep your sense of adventure intact and you will have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The cruise was chosen by my partner, so I had little say in the destination or cruise line. We sailed on the Regal Princess...an impressive, huge ship with many amenities and MANY people. This is NOT the ship to cruise if you are looking ... Read More
The cruise was chosen by my partner, so I had little say in the destination or cruise line. We sailed on the Regal Princess...an impressive, huge ship with many amenities and MANY people. This is NOT the ship to cruise if you are looking for small and intimate. Embarkation was NUTS - so many people and HUGE lineups. Argh!!! It was well organized, but holy cow...cattle herding people! We had 5 ports and participated in a number of shore excursions (mostly booked privately - less expensive than the ones on the ship). Our ports were St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. We did SCUBA at three of the islands, golf at St. Kitts and a general tour in St. Maarten. The excursions were fairly short, and we mainly stayed on the ship. We found the layout of the ship to be logical - well planned. We weren't impressed with the cleanliness of the carpets though - for such a new ship. The staff work hard, though, to maintain all the brass and shiny surfaces. The cabin steward was amazing - very thorough and hospitable. He knew our names within hours, and worked hard to make sure the cabin was tended while we were out. We found the ship to be quite crowded for the deck chairs, especially on the "at sea" days. There isn't enough space for all the people on the ship. Our dining option was for the "anytime dining", so we mostly ate in the buffet, which was varied and plentiful. The food was good quality, but a bit bland overall, even the foods intended to be spicy. On the one night when we ate in a dining room, we were impressed with the food and service. There were many activities on the ship, with various club meetings and interactive lessons. We were pretty busy for the whole cruise. The internet is EXPENSIVE and slow, and we were not impressed with the inability to save any of our trip itinerary from the cruise - you can't use the ship's interactive site as a log of your journey :( We were LEAST impressed with the DJ for the ship. He was TERRIBLE! We nicknamed him "DJ Sucks-a-lot". He had a knack of clearing the dance floor and playing horrible music, for any decade chosen. He was resistant to requests and had quite the attitude. Argh. With only one club on the ship, that blew our evenings. We had a great time on New Year's Eve, but if you have latex allergies, be aware that the balloons used on board are latex based. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise because we were together with friends. Tip...if you drink alcohol, specialty coffees, bottled water, soft drinks, etc, get the drink cards. You will save money overall. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Love cruising on the Princess Cruise lines. Regal Princess was just as beautiful as the Royal Princess. Great Service and entertainment. The shore excursions I went on was an experience of a life time. Giuseppe, you have the best crew ever ... Read More
Love cruising on the Princess Cruise lines. Regal Princess was just as beautiful as the Royal Princess. Great Service and entertainment. The shore excursions I went on was an experience of a life time. Giuseppe, you have the best crew ever on board with you. Food was exceptionally good. I miss being home and can not wait for the next adventure on board the Princess line. I have recommended you to all my friends and family. For some reason the only thing bad if you want to call it bad was I wish the rooms could be a little bit larger as far as a balcony goes. Other than that we had a great time and I am looking forward to many more cruises on board the Princess Cruise Lines. Thank Giuseppe for coming out and greet the people on board your vessel. I was great meeting and chatting with you. Ciao Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Both Embarkation and Disembarkation were quick and painless. Ship was beautiful, atrium was fantastic. Very scenic for photographs. 10/10 Speaking of photographs, the unlimited photo package $199 is the way to go, what a steal. ... Read More
Both Embarkation and Disembarkation were quick and painless. Ship was beautiful, atrium was fantastic. Very scenic for photographs. 10/10 Speaking of photographs, the unlimited photo package $199 is the way to go, what a steal. 10/10 Cabin was more than adequate, with excellent house-keeping service. Had a Balcony room, because it's the only way to go. Pay the extra, if it's something you only do every few years, totally worthwhile. But it was a little small, but not small enough to opt out, in my opinion. 8/10 We had fixed dining at 5:30. We had a party of 6, including 16 year old and 12 year old. The waiters took care of them, beyond our expectations. Garlic alergy, Sodium issue, and two picky kids...they were all taken great care of every single night. My kids loved the dining room. the waiters really tried to bond with us. Great people. It was much appreciated. Menu could use a couple more pasta choices, but otherwise a perfect. Clark and Pharodorn did a great job, thank you so much 15/10. Menu 9/10. The Horizon Court Buffets were well stocked and had great variety for lunch, every day. Too many choices to name, but the Tacos, Fajitas, and Gyros were always good. 10/10 The Horizon Court for Breakfast was fantastic too. I'm a bacon and eggs person, so it suited me perfectly. Tons of breakfast food, endless fruit and pastry. Lots of great looking things that I didn't try. 10/10 Trident Grill and Pizza Counter, perfect. 10/10 Room service was quick, but weak selection overall on the fill out card. only used it twice, due to being a bacon and egg person, and the menu being really limited. 5/10 Entertainment was awesome. Everything that we attended was outstanding. Singers (Whitney Houston tribute) 12/10, Singers/Dancers 9/10, Comedian 9/10, Magic Act 12/10. Even the kids loved each show. Movies under the stars had a great selection. I am a football fan, so i was pleased to see the NFL Playoffs on the big screen. 12/10 Casino was friendly staff, poker table was fun. Poker was every night at 9:00pm. It was a $1/$2 Texas Holdem Table, cash game, NOT tournament. Average starting was about $100 per player. It would have been nice to have one or two tournaments over 10 days. 10/10 Service was exceptional throughout the ship. Pool bar service, at the bar between pizza counter and Trident Grill was unimpressive, and seemed quite smug, on many occasions 2/10. However, their neighboring bar where they hold the cups and bottles juggling show, was amazing. Seek this show out, it is on sea days, it is so much fun, we saw it twice. THOSE bartenders are amazing every single day. Keep up the good work. 10/10 Ports were great for us: Princess Cays is a great extension of the Royal's food, drink and service. St. Thomas, took a cheap taxi to Megan's Bay, then downtown, bought jewelry, our favorite island hands down. Dominica went for island tour by taxi, then went on Princess Whale Watching Tour. Saw many 6 whales and like 50 dolphins. Best tour I have been on ever. Even though we knew there was a possibility of no whales, we went anyway, only $80 per. Glad we did. Wife's dream came true. Grenada, Grand Anse was fantastic, really nice well kept beach. Take the taxi, a lot of nice buildings to see on the drive. Bonaire, went to Eden Beach by private taxi, snorkeling was perfect, better than any other port. Eden beach had reasonable lawn chairs and bar. great little stop. Curacao, our first time there, pleasantly surprised, beautiful buildings, but the aquarium was the best. No flash or flair, just sea animals, at a super reasonable cost, especially for a family of 4. Dolphins, Sharks, Sea Turtles, Stingrays. Great Fun. Every tour, except whale watching was done by taxi on each island, for half to 2/3 of the ship's fee. 10/10 Again, we traveled with 12 year old girl, and 16 year old boy, and they were busy enough with all of the above options, that they did not even need the Funzone once. But that being said, on our last cruise a few years back, they used it every evening and seas day and loved it. Can't wait for my next Princess Cruise to the Caribbean...!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This cruise was fantastic ... the crew were awesome... the food was great ... the entertainment team were funny and enjoyable. The staff were friendly and always helpful and happy. Our Cabin was an inside cabin but we only slept in ... Read More
This cruise was fantastic ... the crew were awesome... the food was great ... the entertainment team were funny and enjoyable. The staff were friendly and always helpful and happy. Our Cabin was an inside cabin but we only slept in there so that didn't matter. Cabin staff were brilliant - cabin was always clean ... staff checked the cabins and did mini cleans ( bins etc) at least 3 times a day. Lots of free giveaways on this ship ... free wine ... free scotch ... lots of prizes..... very generous. You didn't fell ripped off or that everything was monitored for cost effectiveness, Lots to see and do on the ship ... were didn't get to see all the places or get to do all the activities. Captain was great, he knew his ship and his crew and was out and about seeing what was happening on his ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My wife has always wanted to go to Hawaii, especially to see the Arizona Memorial and to walk on the decks of the USS Missouri. The tours were were great and if you are in to history these are a must see. The highlight of our trip was the ... Read More
My wife has always wanted to go to Hawaii, especially to see the Arizona Memorial and to walk on the decks of the USS Missouri. The tours were were great and if you are in to history these are a must see. The highlight of our trip was the Island of Kauai and Smith's Tropical Gardens.This 30 acre paradise is a feast for the senses. There are themed island lagoons, lush tropical gardens, recreated Polynesian villages and more. We found our ship board crew always friendly and helpful, our cabin always clean, neat and well stocked. The diner wait staff were fantastic, they always remembered your names and likes and had everything waiting for you. When we brought down our large bottle of 50th anniversary Champagne to our table the staff brought out the correct glass ware so that we could share the Champagne with our table mates. All in all it was an almost great cruise.When we were in Kauai at the gardens there was an anniversary & wedding celebration for newly weds and anniversary couples, after the ceremony special certificates were issued to us. The certificates were printed and supplied by the ships special services department, this department failed miserably in that they put the wrong date on the certificates and when we got back on the ship they tried to correct the problem, only they made it noticeably worse. Needlessly to say, my wife and I were very upset because they were signed at the garden by the owner and could not be redone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I chose this cruise because of the itinery and the number of days at sea. I was celebrating a partial retirement and just wanted an extended time to relax. I had concerns about the age of the ship, this being my 23rd cruise and it has been ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinery and the number of days at sea. I was celebrating a partial retirement and just wanted an extended time to relax. I had concerns about the age of the ship, this being my 23rd cruise and it has been at least 5 years which I had been on a ship older than 3 years. The reviews were mild and seemed to cpomplain about overcrowding on sea days. To my surprise the the ship although fully booked never seemed crowde4d at all. I could get a lounge chair at any time by the pool deck. Occasionally a show or bar got crowded but over all it made this ship seem very adequate. Be prepared the ship was largely people 60 and up with few children, but I believe that was the result of it being a 15 day cruise starting after the holidays were over. For me going on my first cruise in 20 years without my children this turned into a big plus. Entertainment could have been better, but the stops and of course the Canal were all fun. Dining room food was good and Sabatini's was the best it had been in years. The BAyou cafe and Crab Shack were passable and I was disappointed in the Chef's Table for which the food was very good, but the creativity I am used to was lacking. The absolute hilight of the ship was the service. From top to bottom the crew was friendly, attentive and eager to please. This made this trip a delight. Although showing signs of age this Princess can still deliver. ENjoy Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was a bucket list trip around South America. Boarding was total disorganized and took over 4 1/2 hours. No one in the terminal had any answers as to why the delays. The ship is old and outdated. stains in carpeting, ratty mats and ... Read More
This was a bucket list trip around South America. Boarding was total disorganized and took over 4 1/2 hours. No one in the terminal had any answers as to why the delays. The ship is old and outdated. stains in carpeting, ratty mats and flooring in the gym, no nets on basketball courts, broken machines in the casino. When I spoke to a supervisor about the condition of the ship I was told" Sir, you have to understand that the ship will be going into dry dock so we're not bothering now with those things." Could not believe a crew member would say that to a recently boarded passenger. Got sick first night. Went to medical center second day but could not be seen then due to emergency. went next day and received a bill for $600. Due to critically ill patient we had to turn around and as a result of the delays we missed two of 5 ports- Montevideo and Falkland Islands. Cabin next door to us flooded and at 5:30 AM we had to move ourselves into another cabin. No help from crew as they were "busy" cleaning up. Two small fires during cruise- one in engine room and one in incinerator room. Food was very mediocre in buffet and dining room. The food in Sabatini's was very good. So many problems that the line finally offered passengers a credit on the cruise and on a future cruise. That was well received but as for this cruise, we spent 11 of 14 days at sea on a somewhat run down ship. Very disappointing and a waste of a lot of money. Front desk staff were great as was Cruise Director, trying to be helpful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
As part of my wife’s and my 50th wedding anniversary celebration, we planned a “bucket list” cruise around South America. We planned and reserved the trip in September 2015, while aboard an Alaskan cruise on the Pacific Princess. We ... Read More
As part of my wife’s and my 50th wedding anniversary celebration, we planned a “bucket list” cruise around South America. We planned and reserved the trip in September 2015, while aboard an Alaskan cruise on the Pacific Princess. We sailed on a 14-day cruise on the Crown Princess leaving out of Rio de Janeiro on 04 January 2017, ending up in Valparaiso / Santiago, Chile. The first half of our cruise was like the “cruise from hell”! The second half turned out very nice. Some of the problems we encountered were particular to us, while some affected everyone on the cruise. Some were not the fault of Princess, while some I totally attribute to Princess. Some were due to weather and some due to an unexpected medical emergency. However, others were due to what I consider poor maintenance on the Crown Princess; some due to poor attitude of some, but not all of, the Princess staff; and some due to what I consider poor planning and execution by Princess Management. Problems started before we boarded the ship. The Embarkation process in Rio was a disaster. It was not a process at all, but rather total chaos! There was no organization and the subcontractor hired by Princess to manage the embarkation was untrained, unknowledgeable on what was going on or supposed to be going on, and totally rude to some passengers, notably handicapped ones. There was a very noticeable total lack of Princess staff present until very late in the boarding experience. Once a Princess staff member did come out and try to make announcements, they were audible only in about the northern 1/3 of the building. There were far too few chairs for the number of folks there (about 1/3 had to stand the entire time) and the air-conditioning was woefully inadequate. There was no water or cold drinks available except for purchase from one vendor which had a 30-minute line to check out. Priority boarding was non-existent. Platinum, Elite and Suite passengers were given “boarding numbers” just like everyone else, (seemingly at random) based upon when they arrived. Everyone should have boarded by 5 PM and sailed at 6 PM. We, along with two other couples traveling with us arrived at 1:30 PM. We finally boarded around 5:45 PM and our traveling companions did not get aboard until around 7:15 PM, and they were by no means the last to board. We sailed about 3 hours late, missing our scheduled dinner assignment and unable to see Rio de Janeiro’s harbor sights in daylight. It was the worst embarkation, by far, we have experienced in some 16 cruises in numerous North American and European ports, and with six different cruise lines. A couple next to us in the Rio embarkation warehouse said it was the worst embarkation they had experienced in 35 years of cruising! During our first day at sea, an announcement was made asking for any blood donors with AB+ or O- blood and a donor card to please report for the ship’s medical center since a passenger had a medical emergency and was in need of a transfusion. He was stabilized, but needed to be transported to a hospital onshore for further treatment. The ship diverted course and sailed back to the Brazilian mainland and the patient was transferred to a smaller vessel near shore and thence to a hospital. Unfortunately we learned the next morning he had undergone an emergency procedure there, but had not survived. This necessary diversion caused us to be another 8-10 hours late. After another day of cruising we had entered the Rio de la Plata river / estuary between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where we dropped anchor! The Captain explained that 24-36 hours of very strong Northwest winds had caused an unusually low tide in the estuary and there was insufficient draft for us to proceed to Buenos Aires. We stayed at anchor for maybe 6-10 hours while the winds abated and the tides returned sufficient water for the required draft of the Crown Princess. The next morning we were docked at Buenos Aires, albeit a full day late. We awoke to find that out of some 8 or so planned shore excursions in Buenos Aires, the one we had signed up for was the only excursion cancelled. The reason given was equipment or technical issues. The same exact tours, but with German and Spanish speaking guides, proceeded as planned. It was too late to schedule another tour. We and one of the other couples traveling with us took a taxi into the Plaza de Mayo. From there we walked 2 blocks and took a “Hop-On-Hop-Off” bus tour of Buenos Aires. After several hours on the bus, and consulting the guide, we got off the bus and walked 3 blocks to the Recoleta Cemetery to see Evita’s grave. This had been one of the major stops on the Princess shore excursion that was cancelled. While walking the three blocks through a very nice park, we were “scammed” and I had my pocket picked and lost my new iPhone! Someone threw some foul-smelling stuff on all our backs and while we were distracted, thinking a flock of birds had pooped on us, their accomplice, seeming to help point out the stuff on our backs, picked my pocket. Apparently it is a favorite ploy of gangs in the city. The guide in Recoleta saw our soiled pants and shirts and said “Oh, you have been scammed”. He said we were not the first that day. When I reported it to two nearby policemen, they simply said that’s the way the gangs operate. Guest Services said when we reported it back aboard ship that we were not the only Crown Princess passengers to fall for the same scam that day. We told the staff member working there that future passengers should be warned about this scam. Indeed, the excursion speaker did then warn of exactly this type of scam before we arrived in Santiago. We went to our stateroom, took off our clothes, showered and left quickly for our scheduled early dinner seating. We planned to wash our soiled clothes the next morning in the self-laundry on our deck. The next morning we “learned” that because we are a day late, we had lost our docking spot in Montevideo and thus would not dock there during the day but only a short time in the evening to take on supplies and food. All shore excursions in Montevideo are thus cancelled. We are also told that we “must take on fuel” and because we have lost our docking slot in Montevideo, we again sat at anchor for 6-8 hours in the Rio de la Plata while a small tanker and pump barge tied up alongside and loaded bunker fuel. Also when we awoke that morning we found some of the carpet in our stateroom wet. We learned that the toilet in the adjacent stateroom had overflowed and somehow seeped through the bulkhead and into our stateroom. We also found that all the laundries were closed for “water rationing”? We complained to the head steward who was on the hall overseeing carpet clean-up, asking when the laundries would be open because we had the fouled clothes for our Buenos Aires scam. He offered to take our clothes and have them cleaned complementary with the crew’s laundry. We thanked him and then went to eat breakfast. We had to stay out of our cabin most of the day while the carpets were vacuumed, shampooed, and dried (or at least partially dried). We had a very noisy blower in the room for two days. It seems strange to me that a ship capable of extended cruising and making trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific crossings of 7-10 straight days at sea should have to refuel only 4 days after leaving the beginning of the cruise in Rio de Janeiro! I am guessing that since this ship for the remainder of the season cruises alternatively between Buenos Aires and Valparaiso that they have attractive bunker fuel contracts in both areas. However, with only one stop per season in Rio, I suspect that Princess had to purchase fuel at a more expensive “spot market price”, and thus Princess management chose to sail from Rio with only partially full bunker tanks. Then after unexpected weather and unforeseen medical situations, we must sit anchored in the muddy Rio de la Plata and refuel for 6-8 hours. In retrospect I think this may also be the reason for the “water rationing” since I doubt if that the reverse osmosis water-makers could properly handle the very muddy water being taken in from the Plata while we sat at anchor. I had noticed water from our tap the night before being somewhat cloudy or brown! We finally docked at Montevideo just at dusk and passengers are allowed ashore for about 3 hours and told to “enjoy the nearby shops, bars, and restaurants” since no tours weree offered. My wife and I disembarked and got just to the end of the pier before a major thunderstorm unleashed torrential rains. We quickly re-boarded, being some of the lucky ones to get only slightly wet instead of thoroughly drenched. People who did stay ashore later complained that all the shops and many restaurants and bars were shuttered for the night (or the rain?). We just got to “set foot” in Montevideo and Uruguay, and had no excursions or tours! The next morning we were informed that we would totally bypass the Falkland Islands in order to get back on schedule for the remainder of the cruise. All shore excursions in the Falklands, including the one we had booked to go and see the penguins, were of course cancelled. Seeing the penguins had been one of the anticipated highlights of our cruise! We went to the Shore Excursion Desk to see if there were any options to change, or add, excursions in Ushuaia to see penguins there. We were told they were all already full with “very long waiting lists”! People were really getting upset by now. After waiting in line for quite a while at the Shore Excursion Desk, two men cut in from the side and went directly up to the desk. Several people behind us yelled at them to “wait their turn and get in line like everyone else!” When we then approached the staff member (we were next in line before the men attempted to cut), my wife told the staff member working there that in addition to helping with shore excursions, he should also help maintain order and ensure that folks kept in line and did not cut. He, almost indigently, told her that he had been there several days and nobody had ever cut before! He also said that we should not anticipate on getting on any excursions to see penguins as they were all much too full. As new Captain’s Circle Platinum members, my wife and I were disappointed in the lack of attention that was paid to the “claimed Platinum Benefits”. First there was absolutely no priority or preferred boarding in Rio for us as Platinum members. There was a “Happy Hour” for Platinum, Elite and Suite passengers held in the Skywalker’s Lounge every night. We received no notice of this initially. We only learned about it after 3-4 days at sea from a fellow Platinum passenger. My wife called the Guest Services desk and inquired about these functions and about an invitation. She was told we should have received an invitation in our stateroom (which we didn’t). My wife requested one and was told it would be sent to our room shortly. Late the next day after still not receiving one, I finally went to the Guest Services desk and asked for one. After a lengthy “verification” that we were indeed Platinum, I was given a copy. We did utilize the special disembarkation lounge for Platinum, Elite and Suite guests in the Explorer’s Lounge and that was nice. There were also a number of smaller instances which all pointed to the age of the Crown Princess and what I consider poor condition and maintenance. There were numerous plumbing problems. In addition to the overflowing toilet next door, our toilet overflowed once but thankfully was contained on the tile bathroom floor. Over the remainder of the cruise, we heard of several other “overflowing toilet issues”. The tub in our mini-suite was VERY slow draining for the entire voyage. Initially there was no Wi-Fi service in our stateroom. I called and complained and was told that the “router would be tweaked and it should be better”. It was never consistently available. Occasionally I could get a weak Wi-Fi signal in one or two spots in our stateroom, but if my phone or iPad shifted more than a few inches, I lost the signal. I resolved myself to going to the ship’s common areas to text, and send and receive email. One day we were both in our stateroom, my wife in the bathroom and I on the couch reading. There was a loud thump or bang. I thought my wife had fallen and she thought I had fallen. Instead a large fabric-coated wooden panel had fallen off the wall beside the bed between us and bounced over the lamp and onto the floor. It probably weighed 20 pounds. I informed our steward and it was promptly reattached. I know we experienced some rough seas both in the Atlantic as we approached Cape Horn and also in the Pacific as we came out of the Strait of Magellan and the ship rolled and pitched. However, all the attached wooden furniture (desk, cabinets, etc.,) in our stateroom (D515) creaked and popped so loudly that on several nights my wife could only get to sleep after putting in earplugs and taking some melatonin. As a football fan I was also disappointed in the choices of Princess as to how games were presented on television. We watched all the pre-game hype and interviews for the NCAA championship game on our stateroom TV. Just as the game was about to begin, however, the screen went blank and then a message was displayed that “this presentation is blacked out on this station”! The first weekend of the NFL playoffs, games were shown on the large poolside screen and on the TV’s in Gatsby’s Casino, but not in the staterooms. The next weekend of the NFL Division Playoffs the same arrangement was initially started. There was so much interest in the Dallas – Green Bay game that Gatsby’s was standing room only. The Blackjack Dealers could not even get chairs around their tables and no one came to the tables to play in spite of the dealers trying to set up. Finally the head man or Pit Boss came out and told the dealers to just give up and wait until after the game. At the end of the Dallas – Green Bay game, they made an announcement that the next game between the Steelers and the Patriots would instead be shown on the stateroom TV’s! I’m not sure of Princess’s arrangements with satellite television but when the business in the casino suffered, they certainly found a way quickly to broadcast the games in the staterooms! Why didn’t they do it earlier for the NFL and for the NCAA game? Although there was clearly a bad attitude among some of the Crown Princess staff, especially the staff manning the Shore Excursion and Guest Services desks and some of the shops, not all were of this same attitude. Our stateroom steward was very attentive and efficient and very promptly attended to every issue raised with him. The Botticelli formal dining room wait staff and the staff at Vines Wine Bar deserve special praise. They were excellent. We were also somewhat disappointed in the overall quality of the entertainment. The specialty venue musicians were all very good and the comedian in the Explorer’s Lounge was very good. The Princess Production crews (singers and dancers) were very talented, but the production shows themselves seemed “dated” and unimaginative. Nathan Foley, whom we had seen win Princess’ Entertainer of the Year on the Caribbean Princess last year, was great as usual. The audience response to all shows, however, even including Foley’s, seemed to lack the enthusiasm we have experienced on other recent cruises. The food in the main dining rooms (Botticelli and da Vinci) where we ate and the Horizon Court buffet were adequate. The food in the International Café, which we frequented for lunch, was very good. Our two meals in Crown Grill and Sabatini’s specialty restaurants were probably the best dining experiences and meals we have had on any cruise. The second half of the cruise was much better; making all ports and having no shore excursions cancelled. Cruising around Cape Horn and the glaciers around Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan were spectacular. Ushuaia was beautiful and fun to visit. Our Wildlife Watching excursion there was excellent. Punta Arenas was interesting also. Disembarkation went very smoothly in Valparaiso. One last personal problem did arise related to disembarkation, however. We had dutifully placed all our large bags outside our stateroom the night before so that they could be transported to a lower deck for offloading into the passenger terminal. We kept only our small carry-on bags and one set of clothes to wear ashore and on the full-day tour of Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, and a wine tasting and lunch en route to our hotel in Santiago. I had saved the hiking pants that had been taken and cleaned by the chief steward for us after they were severely soiled in our earlier scamming incident. I had checked that all of the odorous substance had come out of the trouser legs and that they had not been stained. Much to my chagrin, however, I discovered as I put on the trousers that last morning, that in the washing, drying or ironing that the entire zipper pull was missing! Luckily I had also left out a pullover golf shirt with an extra-long shirttail that I could constantly pull down to cover my open zipper! I did fill out a Damage Report at the Guest Services desk, but it was still an uncomfortable, embarrassing day until I could get to the hotel in Santiago and get another pair of pants from my suitcase! I have yet to hear from Princess or receive any reimbursement for the ruined pants. I know this was not the experience or quality cruise that I, nor other passengers, nor Princess was expecting. Obviously Princess realized this since they offered each passenger ½ of that they had paid for the cruise in a “Future Cruise Credit” and another ½ of that they had paid for the cruise as a credit in their “Onboard Spending Account”. I am grateful for that, but still do not think that this particular cruise and ship was anywhere near the quality on prior Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I would rate the cruise as average when compared to other cruise lines we have been on. When comparing with other cruises It is probably easier to identifying the negatives rather than the positives. Embarkation and debarkation was ... Read More
I would rate the cruise as average when compared to other cruise lines we have been on. When comparing with other cruises It is probably easier to identifying the negatives rather than the positives. Embarkation and debarkation was handled quite efficiently and no complaints here. The itinerary was quite good however the ports used were generally commercial ports or tendering was required. Docking at commercial ports meant that the cities visited were 1hr or 2 hrs from the port.. When tendering ashore was involved there were lengthy delays in the process of getting a tender ticket and waiting in a restaurant/lounge area of the ship for your group number to be called. I understand that on occasions, the ship because of its size, can only anchor offshore in some ports of call. Dining was good and the service exceptional. Wine and beer prices were quite reasonable. Buffet was good but please get rid of the plastic tea/coffee cups and plates. Entertainment was generally average however the venue had reasonable crowds each night we attended. Activities were almost the same every day/night and we would class them as average. The ports of call generally were interesting.The only shore excursions we undertook were booked offshore prior to the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This will be our ONLY cruise on Princess. We had high hopes as my brother in law likes Princess and recommended it. We however hated it and here's why: Food - The meat and seafood was grossly overcooked. We sent stuff back, we ... Read More
This will be our ONLY cruise on Princess. We had high hopes as my brother in law likes Princess and recommended it. We however hated it and here's why: Food - The meat and seafood was grossly overcooked. We sent stuff back, we ordered it "Medium Rare" - it sill came out slammed. The sides were disappointing as well. For the most part everything friend came out soggy. The buffet was horrible, food way soggy and overcooked. Beds - The Grand Princess beds were replaced just a few weeks before our voyage. We found the beds lacking in support and too soft and uneven. My back hurt for most of the cruise as a result. Crowds - The ship was like an Ant hill. Other cruise lines we've been on pack far fewer people onto a ship the size of the Grand Princess. There were lines and crowds everywhere. We've never had to wait in line for an hour for anytime dining before. We took to calling in at exactly 8AM to make reservations. So that pretty much killed doing anything else around that time. We found it very stressful. Embarkation - I've never seen a crowd that big in a terminal. We showed up a tad early for our appointed check in time but still had to queue up for almost 2 hours before we could board. There was also a 30 minute line to check in suitcases. Never seen a mess like that before. Rust Bucket - while the interior of the ship was worn but in pretty good cosmetic shape the exterior was horribly rusty. Systems such as the Vacuum toilets also broke down repeatedly. Cabin - We booked a mini-suite. It was the size of a regular veranda cabin on some of the other lines we were on. The storage was ample and there was a nice sofa seating area, but calling it a mini-suite was quite an exaggeration. Fitness - the Gym equipment was insufficient for the crowd on board and there was often a long wait for treadmills and ellipticals. The classes were too crowded and unpleasant. The public rooms were inadequate for the crowd. There's only one real theater on the Grand Princess, but the staff had it offline for "rehearsals" and shuffled off the popular enrichment activities to venues way too small for the audience. The only bright spots on the cruise were the Hula and Ukulele instructors and the Naturalist and Forensic Lecturers. They made the cruise for us, otherwise we'd have disembarked at the first port and flown home. I must point out that the staff was uniformly courteous and friendly even when they were not empowered to fix anything. Out cabin attendant was fantastic. All in all, we had a great time, because we didn't let the problems with the cruise get to us, but we'll never cruise on Princess or any Carnival property again. We'll stick with Celebrity and Oceania. Possibly trying some of the other higher end cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Smooth boarding no hassles quick easy. The ship is fantastic easy to find your way around. Beautiful decor comfortable chairs in bars and international cafe. Plenty of sun loungers and chairs to sit on up on deck. We had an inside ... Read More
Smooth boarding no hassles quick easy. The ship is fantastic easy to find your way around. Beautiful decor comfortable chairs in bars and international cafe. Plenty of sun loungers and chairs to sit on up on deck. We had an inside cabin which was very spacious for our needs. Didn't feel cramped at all. Bathroom a bit small but adequate. The food in the dining room was very good a good selection to choose from. Horizon court was okay if lacking variety. Only downside was not enough seating. Same for international cafe fantastic food but not enough chairs and tables. The shows at night were good. Found that they had too many trivia games. The cruise director seemed only interested in the younger crowd not to the more mature ones. Can't fault the service is faultless. As soon as something happens they get it sorted straight away. The ports we visited were great and the tours well organised. I would travel with princess again have booked another two cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Great ship. Fantastic food, the buffet was different every day, which was a nice change. Food in restaurant was first class. We got room service a few days for breakfast. It was delivered promptly & was basic but adequate if you want a ... Read More
Great ship. Fantastic food, the buffet was different every day, which was a nice change. Food in restaurant was first class. We got room service a few days for breakfast. It was delivered promptly & was basic but adequate if you want a light breakfast. There are lots of areas to go dancing, &'he music was great, except for the recorded ballroom music....it was boring & sounded like the music that you would learn dancing with. The entertainment was awesome on the nights we went. Lots of stuff to do on board if you wanted to. Even though the ship was full, it didn't feel overcrowded, we always found a seat. No towel animals or carvings anywhere Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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