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605 Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

Upon are arrival at the L A airport we found a well marked small podium with a Well mannered attractive young lady waiting to help us ,she helped get are luggage loaded on the bus informed us are luggage would be taken directly to are ... Read More
Upon are arrival at the L A airport we found a well marked small podium with a Well mannered attractive young lady waiting to help us ,she helped get are luggage loaded on the bus informed us are luggage would be taken directly to are state room,wished us a great vacation and we were off for the Ruby Princess.When we arrived at the Ruby Princess mooring dock ,We were directed to the correct line to get are ship card passes, all in all it was a smooth and speedy process.Are inside State room Seemed to us to have more room then others we have had . The way the room was layed out was unique to us as it had a curtain at the end of the bed which gave you the impression of two rooms. This Princess cruise afforded my wife and I a wonderful opportunity to visit five of the beautiful Hawaiian islands. We enjoyed the multiple days at sea due to the fantastic crew from the dealers in the casino to the waiters in the dining rooms. One day an island was almost enough, thanks to are excursions through the cruise line .Which made for fantastic use of our time on each island . We came home with a great group of photos and new friends. The Whale watching on maui was phenomenal along with turtles on black sand beaches and water falls on different islands. I would recommend this cruise for any one who loves to be pampered with fantastic gourmet meals from lobster to rack of lamb it was all well prepared ,the dinners were gourmet meals all prepared with taste and presentation by a phenomenal Chef, served by well mannered very attentive waiters and a great maître d'. We found the shows entertaining with great magicians and comedians very professional entertainers .The educational programs we attended were very informative well timed and planned from beginning to learn Spanish to how to use your GoPro camera. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was the official 50th anniversary cruise for Princess. They called it a throw-back but I didn't anything like what cruising was even 30 years ago. I was a little disappointed but still had a great time and was glad I had booked ... Read More
This was the official 50th anniversary cruise for Princess. They called it a throw-back but I didn't anything like what cruising was even 30 years ago. I was a little disappointed but still had a great time and was glad I had booked this cruise. I love the Pacific Princess. It had some short-comings such as poor sight lines in the show lounge during shows and not all the activities (no MUTS) the larger ships have but I didn't miss those. The ship is very easy to get around. There was never a long wait for an elevator. There is no anytime dining on the ship unless you want to eat in the buffet or whichever specialty restaurant is open that day (Sabatini's one day and the Steakhouse another day). We ate in the steakhouse one night and the food was excellent. Our steaks were so tender and delicious as was everything else they served. In the main dining room we had 1st sitting and the service we had was very good. However, the food was not up to the standard I expected for a small ship. We used the buffet mostly on port days for lunch. There was a wonderful lunch in the main dining room for cruise critic members. A special cake was served and a special pasta that was delicious. Entertainment was very good. We had entertainers of the year on board such as Miguel Washington, Josh Willingham and a few others. The cast of the Love Boat was on board--Gavin McLeod, Lauren Tewes, Jill Whelan, Fred Grandy, Ted Lange, and Bernie Kopell and we got to meet them. Jack Jones was on board and he sang the Love Boat theme song that he did for the tv show. There were some fairly new movies shown on board such as Mr. Holmes, The Martian and a couple of others. The singers and dancers were one of the best teams we have seen in a while. They really seemed to enjoy doing the shows and meeting with the passengers. It was so easy getting on and off the ship because of its size. Embarkation went quickly and disembarkation was only a few minutes late because of computer problems with immigration/customs. But it didn't take long to find our luggage and get to our transportation. In tender ports we were supposed to get tickets but by the time we went ashore we were taken straight to a tender and had no wait. I didn't take this cruise for the ports although Puerto Vallarta and Loreta were very beautiful. Mazatlan and La Paz were okay but I could have done without Manzanillo and Cabo San Lucas. There was a free shuttle that took passengers into La Paz and we had to use a shuttle in Mazatlan from the ship to the terminal building. We took a taxi to the market in Mazatlan for $6.00 each way. Puerto Vallarta had a mall and Walmart right across the street from the pier and a small market. There were no shore excursions from the ship that appealed to us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As the title suggests, the cruise was pretty good overall, but not perfect by any means and not as good as it could have been with better management. This was our 6th cruise and having sailed with P & O and Celebrity, we had ... Read More
As the title suggests, the cruise was pretty good overall, but not perfect by any means and not as good as it could have been with better management. This was our 6th cruise and having sailed with P & O and Celebrity, we had obviously experienced both ends of the spectrum of quality, with P & O clearly the worst of the cruise lines on just about every front and Celebrity so far ahead a telescope would be required to see them. Before this cruise we tried to find out if we should have a drinks package, but despite a considerable effort, we could not find a definitive price list for on board drinks, so I wrote to both Princess and my own agent with a handful of questions. Oddly enough I received mixed replies and none of them accurate. For example, Princess sent me a list of prices which were so under priced as to suggest they were either from a different cruise line or decade and my agent categorically stated we would require a US electrical converter! So just to set the record straight let me list a few prices and facts here for anyone else trying to organise themselves before departure. A Crown lager is $7.95, cocktails start at around $10 and a half decent wine was $10 a glass. A bottle of red would set you back around $35, but remember all these prices are subject to a 15% gratuity. And talking of gratuity, Princess state that passengers will be automatically charged a per night gratuity of around $12 per person, unless they opt out, but in fact if you book in Australia for a cruise from Australia, they DONT charge gratuities at all and you need to make your own arrangements or opt IN to do it. There was a universal plug socket in the cabin (a mini suite of very generous proportions indeed} and the choice of in room movies was beyond impressive - we are talking dozens of them and several VERY new releases. The TV channels however were to put it mildly very poor. Having said that, we have found they usually are on Cruise ships. Now for some personal highs and the odd lows of the cruise. Embarkation at the Sydney International Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay has been improved over the past couple of years and is virtually seamless, swift and painless. We were given a boarding time and arrived about 30 minutes early. Our cases were dropped off before entering the terminal and we were on board in our cabin less than 30 minutes later and our bags were delivered soon after. Another high is the food, which in our opinion is better than Celebrity in as much as Celebrity seem to serve their food with an American twist, meaning everything is OVER sauced, over flavoured and very salty, whereas Princess 's food was delicate and subtle with LOTS of seafood across the 13 days. We chose anytime dining and had the choice of four silver service restaurants to eat at at any time in the evening we wished along with the trough - err sorry I mean the buffet upstairs, a grill with burgers and hot dogs and a pizza bar. ALL of these are included in the fare and require no surcharge. For breakfast and lunch the choice of dining venues was more limited but still more than ample with breakfast in the main Princess dining room offering table service and the trough - sorry again - the buffet offering self service and these being joined by the grill and pizza bar for lunch. The main dining room also offered a totally unnecessary but still pleasant afternoon tea as well. There are a large number of bars on the ship as you would expect, but this leads me to my first negative of the cruise. I am a rather large individual, standing over 6 foot and not exactly slim in stature, yet gaining the eye of the waiters in most bars was virtually impossible on most occasions, though I would stress there WERE the odd exceptions. I am not used to being invisible and can only surmise that the staff have somehow perfected the art of not seeing people waving frantically, with arms over their heads directly in front of them - having given up on waiting for the staff to come over of their own free will. Could only describe this aspect of the cruise as abysmal, made worse by the fact we had purchased a drinks package for over $700 and therefore it was the drinks we had already paid for they werent serving us!!! Having said that, Skywalkers Bar and the Churchill Bar were exceptions to this with excellent service and a delightful young girl called Ruri ran herself off her feet serving everyone in various bars at different times, while some of her colleagues chatted to their mates behind the bar!!!!! Other pluses included the on board musical group Evolution who were very VERY good and very , VERY approachable and pleasant, with a stunning repertoire of songs crossing all genres and datelines. The best on board entertainment ever! I wont dwell on the odd negatives, though a couple were pretty bad. One involved the staff tying up 3 out of 4 aft lifts for the benefit of around 200 passengers to the detriment of the remaining 2000, turning what was normally a good and reliable method of transport between decks into a completely useless system and forced many less mobile passengers to become prisoners of their cabin or to be exiled from their cabin if they were elsewhere when the exercise started. Another was the refusal of the International Dining room Maitre D to allow passengers to be seated as on 2 seater tables on the final morning - forcing them to sit on large tables with other passengers. This is fine for most, but not for all and the minority should have been accommodated. My final is about the disembarkation process which went horribly wrong for about an hour and a quarter through no fault of the shipping line or its staff, but which should have been handled better on board with a bit of intelligence by the officers. Basically the Immigration departments computers went on the blink and the disembarkation process all but stopped. NO announcements were made for the best part of 3/4 of an hour and when it was explained, there was no guide as to how likely it was to be fixed in the short term. As I said NOT the crews fault in ANY way that the problem occurred, BUT keeping the passengers informed as quickly as possible and keeping them, updated VERY regularly would have avoided stress for those with a timetable to keep to. Personally I would have given free internet wifi for all passengers during the delay. This would have allowed those WITH a time problem to deal with the problem using the internet on their phones and kept the other passengers occupied as they either read the news, played games or communicated with family and friends. Simple, but NOT offered. All we got was silence! Moving back to the more pleasant aspects of the trip, the tendering service from the Diamond Princess is brilliant. With 6 tender vessels operating, the longest we waited was 20 minutes to get a ride ashore. That is remarkable. The ships singers and dancers were very entertaining and the special effects, props and costumes were all excellent for all their shows. Having said that the theater didnt seem to be large enough for the number of passengers with all seats filled with 1/4 of an hour to go till the first show started. The second performance usually had a little more space. The shows were generally around 30 minutes long, which was about half the length of those on the other cruises we have done, but they were very fast paced and well choreographed. Personally, we didnt like ANY of the invited guest performers, but I guess that was just us. I havent mentioned the shops and wont, other than to say there were less shops, less variety and very little value in any of them, which surprised us a LOT. Cant really explain why they would be so much worse than on all our previous cruises, but there you go, Princess Cruises saved us a bit of money we WOULD have spent on board, so thanks! So in summing up, the ship is in great condition, rides the waves very well due to her size and offers plenty of variety for dining, drinking, entertainment and pretty much all the sorts of activities you would want on board. I would recommend it to anyone who doesnt mind large numbers of people around them and a fair number of kids. Again speaking personally, I would rate the Celebrity above the Diamond Princess but there again you pay for that difference - our Mini Suite was about $2200 each with a few on board credits included, where as our ordinary Balcony suite with Concierge class service was $2500 each, and that went to the much cheaper destination of the Pacific Islands and Fiji compared to New Zealand and at a lower season time of year. Diamond Princess is however miles ahead of P & O which has slumped from its once average to poor level of service, to its current dreadful state with ancient ships, and a policy of trying to suck money out of every passenger on ANY excuse once they get on board. We really enjoyed the cruise which seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. Met some nice people and would not rule out travelling with Princess in the future if Celebrity arent going where we want to go! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our 8th cruise, 3rd on Princess. We flew to LA the day before the cruise and stayed in at Wingate hotel near LAX. From reading recommendations on this website, we chose Karmel Shuttle to/from the port and were very pleased with ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise, 3rd on Princess. We flew to LA the day before the cruise and stayed in at Wingate hotel near LAX. From reading recommendations on this website, we chose Karmel Shuttle to/from the port and were very pleased with their service. Embarkation went smoothly, the usual waits at various stages. Once onboard we were told the cabins weren't all ready but we were invited to leave our carryons in our cabins then go to lunch. We had cabin B223, Baja Deck balcony. We were pleased with the condition and ongoing servicing from our cabin steward. We had early fixed seating dinner and were surprised to learn we were in the Da Vinci dining room which is listed as Anytime Dining. It was Anytime, but only after 7:15pm. Our waiter had an assistant-in-training which caused some minor issues but improved as the week went on. We thought the dinners were almost all excellent quality. One thing we'd enjoyed on previous Princess cruises was the English Pub lunch in the Wheelhouse bar on some days. This time it was offered but in the Crown Grill. Now the Wheelhouse is the venue for Happy Hour 3-4pm buy one drink get one for $1 and the Salty Dog Gastropub, an extra cost evening event. A note about Happy Hour, it is very popular, get there before 3pm if you want a chair/table. We only did one shore excursion, Las Caletas at Puerto Vallarta. It was a fun day with excellent lunch buffet and attentive bar service. Several beach type activities are free. Massages are offered at the hilltop spa for an extra cost. One drawback is everything except the buffet area and beach are uphill, possibly a problem for anyone with limited mobility. We attended most of the onboard shows. Our favorite was a comedian who performed two nights. The production musicals were also good. The live music in various venues was mostly good, sometimes a bit too loud for us in the smaller bar settings. Disembarkation was one of the smoothest we've ever had. Our color/number was called at the time specified and within minutes we were off the ship, through customs and immigration, and out to our waiting shuttle. We felt this cruise was a good value and had an enjoyable time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I like to try to take a cruise before the holidays in December. It's nice to get away from the cold and just relax. It's generally very easy to accomplish this with a Caribbean cruise. We prefer the itinerary of the ... Read More
My wife and I like to try to take a cruise before the holidays in December. It's nice to get away from the cold and just relax. It's generally very easy to accomplish this with a Caribbean cruise. We prefer the itinerary of the 10 day eastern Caribbean cruise over the 7 day if we can get away from work a few extra days. We really enjoy the islands this cruise goes to. This was our 15th Cruise with Princess and we've seen quite a number of changes over the years, some we have liked and some, not so much. We chose a balcony cabin over a mini suite preferring to spend the extra money on good wine and nice excursions. Our cabin was fine, certainly not lavish but livable. But like we tell ourselves we don't spend a lot of time in the cabin. We were a bit disappointed with the size of the balcony. They are smaller than on the Emerald and Ruby but I do realize that Princess chose this to be able to make more balcony cabins available on the Royal and Regal ships. Embarkation went very smoothly and quickly I'm pleased to report. I really do enjoy and appreciate the expedited boarding process given to platinum and elite members. We embarked between 11am and noon and to our surprise our cabin was ready. After dropping off our carry on bags we headed to the spa so my wife could sign up for the enclave. It's a bit pricey but she really enjoys using it. That's another reason not to upgrade to a mini suite. From here we proceeded to Alfredo's for lunch. We use to go to the horizon court buffet for lunch but that generally gets rather hectic during embarkation. Alfredo's pizzeria is so much nicer we feel. They make a really nice red sangria which goes very well with our pizza. There's no surcharge at Alfredo's which is really great. The piazza is large and very comfortable. There's a lot going on all around it on the 3 levels it occupies. They have various musical groups and performers throughout the cruise. There's even several different novelty acts for some comic relief. We generally choose any time dining and prefer to avoid the speciality dining options. If you like a good steak you can usually get it in the dining room. We did use to go to their Italian restaurant, "Sabatini's" but a few years ago they changed its format. We heard that many people dining there didn't like it because it was not like an Italian restaurant back home. I thought they were trying give us a dining experience like you were in Italy. I really wish Princess would change Sabatini's back to that. We did find some changes in the menu options in the regular dining rooms. Their menu always offered on one side popular items you can order every night. The other side changed nightly depending on the daily theme. I found the change kind of nice. There were more types of Caribbean cuisine each night which I enjoyed. I've always been very pleased with the food in the dining room and this cruise was no exception. We usually go to the buffet for breakfast. It's always busy but the variety is huge. If your in a hurry I like the international cafe on deck 5 of the piazza. We also enjoy vines, their wine bar. We went to several of their Stamtisch tasting events. I prefer these to the more traditional wine tastings offered usually in a dining room. To me the Stamtisch events are more intimate. The entertainment on this cruise was quite good. From the production shows to the comedians and special music performers I very much enjoyed the entertainment on this cruise. We chose excursions that either took us to beaches by boat or across the land, or were nice tours by boat of the island. Some beaches were nicer than others but overall they were all very relaxing which to us was just what the Dr. ordered. All good things must come to an end and all too soon so did this cruise. Nobody looks forward to packing up to go home or the hectic pace of disembarkation. For once it actually went pretty smoothly for us. As Lisa our cruise director put it the whole process was easy pezy. Overall this cruise was very relaxing and we had a great time. The biggest problem was once we got back home there was no one to make us a nice omelet in the morning. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We were on the Royal exactly 1 year ago and gave it 5 Stars. Everything Princess does was done right. This time, not so much. Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone's new menu leaves a lot to be desired. It may have unique flavours, but they ... Read More
We were on the Royal exactly 1 year ago and gave it 5 Stars. Everything Princess does was done right. This time, not so much. Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone's new menu leaves a lot to be desired. It may have unique flavours, but they did not sound complimentary enough to even venture a taste. No more plain salmon or chicken breast as a needed nightly alternative. No more wine steward, so our wait staff was not as attentive as in the past. Entertainment was fine, good comedians and magician; standard Production Shows. Elton John tribute was a bore...Beatlemaniacs were better in the Piazza than on stage. Trivia is plentiful with the same faces every time. Unique TV Studio, Princess Live serves as an intimate venue for specialty games and events later shown on in room TVs. Had a "Deluxe Balcony," 3 feet longer than regular allowing for sofa bed rather than chair in sitting area, but we did not get the midship location we had hoped for...the seas were so calm it really didn't matter...next time we will choose room and not do guarantee. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
will do this itinerary until they stop offering it. love it. sea days, relaxation, pastry chefs just over the top, xlnt, plentiful. delicious. world class. thats just the pastries. beynd words, day after day. the bedding and pillows ... Read More
will do this itinerary until they stop offering it. love it. sea days, relaxation, pastry chefs just over the top, xlnt, plentiful. delicious. world class. thats just the pastries. beynd words, day after day. the bedding and pillows have improved over last few trips. way more comfortable. the pillows are substantial and feel like down feathers, firm. not spongy non entitites like you get a comfort inn. like used to be. internet still silly slow. but with the satellite oh well. does no good to complain. toilets still intermittently stopping. i was told they were designed to do that---occasionally stop. really. so not beyond princess staff to insult its passengers' intelligence. generally staff is nice. the pervading complaint ringing throughout the trip is dining for 2. all the small tables for 2 are several, but all placed within 18 inches of each other in a row, lining a wall with a long bench seat. impossible to have a romantic dinner or say anything intimate, as all the other diners on both sides are listening in and occasionally talk to you. As if it was configured so you can make new friends. Well, if you want an intimate romantic dinner with your wife or lover, look elsewhere, the dining for 2 in the restaurants DOES NOT EXIST. REALLY too bad, as I so enjoy a nice quiet dinner. But cannot have any privacy with others sitting right on top of you. and then god help you if the adjoining passengers are already drunk. this tained the trip, as each night we debated what to do. we usually went to the buffet. that is much better and nicer lighting too boot. I suggest princess place a small fabric partition or divider between the table and place them flush. more room to enter and exit the wall seat and way more privacy. really---they need to do something about this situation. or eliminate romance from the restauarent vocabulary. we were also late embarking. fed us the excuse that immigration froms from the previous cruise were omitted. and then made hundreds of us sit on the floor, like syrian refugees, waiting to board. can we have the dignity of chair to sit on if you are keeping us an extra 3 hours? all of us seemed ready to do whatever needed to get on board, including eating our young. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We've sailed on the Princess Cruise Line five times before, but not since 2012. We remembered our experiences as very positive, but this cruise fell just a little short. Embarkation: organized and efficient, they make everyone ... Read More
We've sailed on the Princess Cruise Line five times before, but not since 2012. We remembered our experiences as very positive, but this cruise fell just a little short. Embarkation: organized and efficient, they make everyone wait until all the cabins are ready and then they will let passengers board according to their Princess Past Passenger status, which is fair and a great perk for those that have sailed previously with Princess. Itinerary: we enjoyed having 3 days at sea, then 4 days of ports, and then 2 days back at sea. There were plenty of activities on the docket for each of the sea days; unfortunately, the weather wasn't the most ideal to take advantage for the Movies Under the Stars. Service: good overall, but there were a few times where we were left waiting and disappointed. This happened on our first 2 nights of Anytime Dining, where the wait staff didn't measure up in speed, efficiency or friendliness. Fortunately on our 3rd night, we found a competent and friendly waiter and assistant waiter, and from that point on we always asked to be seated in their section. Dietary Restrictions: my wife was Gluten-free, and the main dining room tried their best to accommodate her needs. Our head waiter, Luis, was always there to help out and would bring out the menu for the next evening for my wife to pre-order. For the buffet and other eating areas she had to ask specifically about gluten-free options, which were limited but we were not surprised. All in all she was able to find things to eat and while things could have been better, we appreciated that Princess did try to accommodate her needs. Food: this is where Princess fell short versus what we remembered about our previous cruises. First off, the cold soups at dinner were far and away superb. The salads were generally good, the other appetizers hit or miss. But that is fine -- one of the reasons why we cruise is to try out different kinds of food. The meat entrees were usually cooked how we wanted them, and the main dishes were usually pretty good. However, Princess really disappointed us when it came to breakfast. We dined in both the buffet and the main dining room. What we found was a lack of variety and a lack of food quality. By our 3rd morning, we were already bored of what was offered. The breakfast lacked imagination and was just bland and mediocre. Which is a shame, since we like to start out our days with a nice breakfast, but on this cruise when we woke up, it was a feeling of "Eh, time for breakfast..." We just grew tired of the greasy bacon and sausage, boxed cereals and runny scrambled eggs. What strikes us as odd was that they have a waffle maker, but they don't have any waffles for breakfast...instead, they only make them during the 'Afternoon Snack' time from 3:30pm - 5:30pm. Breakfast is a big part of our day, but Princess just didn't measure up in this area. Entertainment: generally pretty good, they had enough variety to keep us interested in checking it out. The headlining singers were both very well received and the production shows were also pretty well done. Other tips: - each passenger is allowed to bring one 750ml bottle of wine, so take advantage of this - when you first meet your room steward, ask for bathrobes and for wine glasses - great seating and food options at the International Cafe -- do buy a Coffee Card for around $33, which gives you 15 punches for their speciality coffees and drinks. Plus don't forget you get unlimited regular coffee and tea with your card. - if you have Anytime Dining, the first evening will be crowded and a little chaotic. On subsequent nights, the craziness will die down, but if you are able to figure out what time you want to have dinner, make a reservation that evening as early as 8am. - they will post the dinner menu during the day so you can determine if you'd like to try the alternative restaurants instead - we didn't try this tip, but one lady who has something like 600 sailing days with Princess told us that if there is anything that you want off the menu, then talk to the head waiter the night before and put in a special order. - bring little magnetic beg clips, they work for most areas of your room and you can clip your room key, Princess patter schedule, etc. - the shower offers a pump dispenser of shower gel and a shampoo/conditioner combo. This didn't work so well for my wife because she likes to have separate shampoo and conditioner. So bring your own conditioner, or steal some from the pump dispenser at the outdoor showers near the sauna - sauna and steam room! be sure to go to the right one, as there are separate rooms for men and women - gym opens up at 6am every morning, and that's where you'll find the weight scale to weigh yourself before and after your cruise! Also, every morning at 7am there is a complimentary stretch class. - Beware of the stairs that go to nowhere! At midship, the steps end at Deck 6...try to go up any further, and you'll run into a set of closed doors for employees only. - take a walk around the outdoor promenade deck, 3 laps equals a mile (or so I remember) - Finally, enjoy your cruise! You are on vacation, so don't let other people's idiosyncrasies bother or annoy you, just relax and do what you want to do! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Sun Princess has unfortunately seen better days. The ship is definitely showing many sign of age. Good points :- Wonderful, happy crew who were always friendly & accomodating ( special love to Jasmine in the Wheelhouse bar from ... Read More
Sun Princess has unfortunately seen better days. The ship is definitely showing many sign of age. Good points :- Wonderful, happy crew who were always friendly & accomodating ( special love to Jasmine in the Wheelhouse bar from " free wi-fi " boom,boom,boom! Great entertainment - professional & so enjoyable that many nights we couldn't make dinner in the restaurant as we had to run between two shows so ate in the Horizon food court. Mark ( cruise director) is a very professional yet still friendly person who always welcomes you as a friend. Bad points :- Cabins are small & cramped, the balconies are tiny. The bathroom is so small that it's hard to close the door when sat on the loo !! ( Have no idea how all these abnormally obese people who are always on board cruises cope in such a small space - hard pushed to get more than 2 of them in one of he lifts !!! ) LACK OF CONTROL FROM PARENTS &/ CREW in pool area. It quite clearly states on signs " No jumping or diving" but the whole pool is taken over by them doing just that - to the detrimate of adults being able to enjoy a leisurely dip& swim.It is so bad that even sitting at tables by the pool bar can result in being drenched. Totally unacceptable.The deck attendants should be enforcing the ships rules & ensuring that the parents take responsibility for their children's behaviour. Also the top pool clearly states " adults only " so why is that one also filled with kids ! In addition to have kids & teenagers running around corridors, having fun in the lifts, sitting on & taking up all space on public area stairs whilst being hyperactive & loud up to midnight HAS to be addressed by the ships staff if the parents have no interest in the comfort of their fellow passengers. Passengers have been taken off at the next port for unsociable behaviour, so the parents of these unruly, disruptive offspring should be warned with the same scenario if they don't take responsibility for them. Also, when movies under the stars is playing - the pool should be netted off -as the noise from the kids in the pool makes it impossible to enjoy the movie. Last time we were on the Sun Princess this did happen & we were able to enjoy many star filled nights watching movies by the pool without screaming,yelling & the fear of getting drenched from undisciplined,far past bed time brats!! - The main restaurant is very slow in service - one of the reasons we had to start eating in the Horizon if we wanted to watch a couple of shows within the short time span. Also the quality & choice of food is not what it used to be - we noticed this on both the Sea Princess & Sun Princess recently -yet on the Regal Princess last year, around the Mediterranean, it was spectacular. Do hope that we in Australia aren't being given poorer quality. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Getting the negative out of the way first - the (Anytime) dining experience on the Royal Princess was very average. The food was almost never hot, and we felt the waiters were very rushed all the time. They seemed to lack a little ... Read More
Getting the negative out of the way first - the (Anytime) dining experience on the Royal Princess was very average. The food was almost never hot, and we felt the waiters were very rushed all the time. They seemed to lack a little charisma, or were too busy to take much time over anything. A more serious problem perhaps, is the design of the dining rooms. While we often choose a table for two, we quite like to chat with people at neighbouring tables, but the swoopy, curvy layout of the new ship's dining rooms made this tricky. Also, some tables were right next to the (drafty) entrance to the restaurant, making you feel like you were eating in a corridor. For the first time, we decided to go to the Horizon Court (smash-and-grab, as we call it) for an evening meal on the last night of our cruise, and the food was hotter and better than the dining rooms. Last year, on the Sapphire Princess, we found the restaurants had a much better atmosphere. The entertainment program, however, was much better. Maybe a result of a predominantly American clientele (livelier?), but in the Piazza there was always music or dancing or something going on whenever we walked past, day or night. 'Enrichment activities' is still a Princess weakness, with very few demonstrations or lectures to attend. There was a good mix of age groups - perhaps because it was over Christmas. And despite 3500+ people on board, we never had a problem finding a lounger somewhere on deck, although the more secluded parts of the ship are not necessarily the best. The adults only area at the back of the ship is a smoking area, and perhaps due to the lack of kids, encourages some to think that F-ing and Jeffing at the top of your voice is OK. It's not. Another really major design fault that Princess needs to think about before building another ship is the adults-only area The Retreat. This was by far the windiest area on deck which, with five flags up above, flapping their hearts out, made The Retreat as loud as the Lido deck with it's live bands, DJs and Movies on the big screen. We retreated to the busy Lido instead for a rest. The Horizon Court dining area on the Lido deck is very good, if a little confusing in layout at first. We've heard complaints about the size of the balcony cabins, but we didn't find it a problem at all. The balcony itself only has enough room for two chairs and a table, but what more do you need really? Our cabin steward was very efficient and kept the place tidy and clean. The movies on demand on our TV made up for a lack of decent films on the Movies Under The Stars (2 days worth of NFL games anyone?) We booked this particular cruise partly based on seeing what a nearly-new ship would be like, but whilst the Royal Princess has some nice new touches like the seawalk and the improved Horizon court, there's nothing revolutionary, and the style is in keeping with Princess's usual. Sabatini's Italian restaurant was just about worth the 25 dollar cover charge, as much for the waiters with some character as the better food. Alfredo's Pizzeria was also very good, and cost nothing extra. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I went on a 7 night cruise to Cozueml, Roatan and Belize aboard the Caribbean Princess. This is our 5th cruise together and 1st with princess. The ship is the perfect size for us and the decks were easy to navigate. Its an old ... Read More
My wife and I went on a 7 night cruise to Cozueml, Roatan and Belize aboard the Caribbean Princess. This is our 5th cruise together and 1st with princess. The ship is the perfect size for us and the decks were easy to navigate. Its an old ship, 12 years now and needs an update. This review is based on the overall experience. CABIN: We had a balcony on deck 10 forward. The room was modern, spacious, comfortable and had lots of storage space and a comfortable bed. Our cabin steward, Lector, was great, he was always available and always working tirelessly. No towel animals for adults on Princess though, which is something we usually enjoy on other lines. Nightly chocolate with turndown service instead, and the chocolates everywhere on this ship were delicious. DINING: We had breakfast and lunch everyday in the buffet, there was always a good selection of items including vegetarian options daily, but I would say the layout of the buffet is very condensed in one small section which means there might be a line to enter. They should space things out a little more, open both star and port sides to each other and make it one large area with stations. The food was excellent everyday, and always hot. We did do breakfast in the MDR once, but it was slow and the options were rather limited, so we preferred the buffet. We had late dining, which on this ship is not a good idea unless you want to go to bed afterwards. The timing of the entertainment options at night happens seems to be geared to those who had early dining. That plus the fact that our waiter in the MDR was a little rude made us switch to anytime dining, which was the best thing we did because we had a completely different experience. Service was prompt, and we never missed a show except for the first two nights. We always had a table ready even without reservations. The menu was a little underwhelming on some days, I was expecting a little more from princess, but on other days it was phenomenal. The formal night dinner was by far the best. Any dessert that has the chocolate journeys logo is a must, they are absolutely delicious. For snacks we had burgers, pizza and hot dogs which were all good poolside. ENTERTAINMENT: As above, the timing of the entertainment activities needs to be tweaked, because by 10pm there becomes little to do or see. We watched all their productions, the best one was "Bravo!" which is produced by a Disney producer. This is a must see. The other 2 shows were ok. The live orchestra makes everything enjoyabe anyway. We had two comedians on this sailing. The first one was Steve Moris was ok. He talks a lot though and was not really funny. His jokes were geared to an older generation. The other guy was hilarious, although I cant remember his name. Comedy was clean which is exceptionally hard these days, but he did an amazing job. Our cruise director was boring. However, his deputy Theo was awesome. We pretty much did all dance lessons he gave, and every event he hosted. He should've been the director. One of the best things they did on this ship was that they introduced an all inclusive photo package that includes all your pictures for $99. On every cruise we buy one or two as our ship souvenir, but this was an unbeatable deal. The only downside though is that the photographers on non-formal days only had 1 location and repeated the same white backdrop, which was annoying. Still with 2 formal nights, 3 ports, and multiple sea days we had almost a hundred photos. I would buy this package on every cruise if offered. PUBLIC ROOMS The ship has 4 pools and they probably the biggest pools we've seen on ships. They were perfect for actual swimming. We spent most of our time in the Sanctuary adult only pool. We did the free morning stretch class and the abs classes in the gym every day. This was a great way to start the day. The gym is a little small for this size ship however, and they do not have a private studio for classes. Also they need more cleaning supplies. PORTS & EXCURSIONS Cozumel - Went to Chankanaab. Had lots of fun snorkeling, and exploring the grounds. Roatan - Went to West Bay beach. snorkeling here was phenomenal. Belize - Cave tubing and Altun Ha. Must do cave tubing if in belize, it was a totally different expereince. SERVICE: All staff members were happy and fun to interact with. VALUE: We had an unbeatable price for this cruise. DISEMBARK We were delayed 5 hours into houston because of wind. The ship handled it well and they showed an additional movie in the theater. Disembarkation was fast otherwise. We used Uber from and to the port/airport. It's the cheapest and most reliable. VERDICT This was a fun cruise, although I was expecting a little more from Princess. The ship definitely is due for an upgrade. Still, we had a great time and we indeed did come back new. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My wife and I had a fantastic time on the Regal, sailing 1/3/16 - 1/10/16 Since everyone already knows the obvious pros and cons of the ship, I'll just stick to particulars. Parked off-site for less than $42.00 for the entire ... Read More
My wife and I had a fantastic time on the Regal, sailing 1/3/16 - 1/10/16 Since everyone already knows the obvious pros and cons of the ship, I'll just stick to particulars. Parked off-site for less than $42.00 for the entire week. Free shuttle was quick and easy. Driver took a short-cut which took us right to the front of the long line waiting to enter Port Everglades. (airportparkinginc.com located at the Embassy Suites) Embarkation: We arrived around 12:30, short line at security, had to show my 2 bottles of wine to the "wine table". Check-in lines were about 6 deep each. It looked like we might have to wait a while, but the line to our left was moving 3xs faster than the others, so we moved over and were on-board within minutes, after avoiding the embarkation photo-op. Alfredo's was the perfect place to have an embarkation lunch. The pizza was fantastic, and the veal ravioli in cream sauce, is my new crack. Creamy, cheesy, so good, it's bad for you. We were given a nice window seat. My only wish would have been that the waitress picked-up on the fact that we'd need extra plates when I told her that were were sharing everything. It was turn-around day, and she was on auto-pilot. No biggie. Cabin: C539, balcony. The flowers I pre-ordered were already in place, a nice surprise for my wife. Worth every scent, (pun intended) A perfect way to start the cruise, and the flowers lasted for almost the entire week. A coupon for our bottled water package was also in the room, but the coupon for our coffee card was not. Called guest services, and before you knew it, we had our card. We also called room service about our water and they said to just leave the coupon on the phone when we leave the room. When we came back, the water was already in the mini-fridge, chilling. Perfect. We noticed that our safe was stuck open, with the lock engaged. Our steward, Joseph, made a call and it was quickly fixed. (dead battery) We slipped Joseph a few sheckles and asked him for some wine glasses, a top-sheet, (duvets are too hot for us in the Caribbean), and he took care of things right away. Rooms and public areas were always clean. Kudos to the housekeeping staff. Towels: To be blunt, rough, motel grade. That's motel, NOT hotel. You can do better, Princess. Fruit bowl: Never refilled, but no shortage of fruit to be found elsewhere, so we filled the bowl ourselves. No biggie. Nothing was going to ruin our vacation. Tote bag: Only one left in the room on the first night. At first I was a tad miffed, and then I thought, "what was I gonna schlep anyway!?" Again, nothing was going to ruin our vacation, not even a $1.00 bag. Sail-away was pleasant. The Regal was 2nd to leave out of 8 ships in port that day. We avoided the big party on 16 and enjoyed ourselves on our balcony. Later we hung-out on the Horizon Terrace, which soon became our favorite place to eat our meals, or hang-out. Service was hit-or-miss depending on the time of day. Horizon Court: Entering from the aft helps to avoid the crowd. Omelet station was quick. I ate bagels with cream cheese and lox for 7 days straight, which is something I look forward to. The weakest link was the bagel, typical grocery store fodder. Not nearly as good as all of the other baked goods on board. American Bacon was the other big looser, mostly limp and fatty, rarely crispy. Plenty of other breakfast meats to choose from, all good. My wife enjoyed English Bacon. A nice cheese selection can be found during all 3 daily meals. All of the various stations were fully manned and everyone was attentive and helpful. I'm tempted to get one of those lemonade dispensers for my home. Main Dining Room: Anytime dining was good overall. We offered to share the first night, thinking that we'd have to wait for a table for two. We ended up waiting alone at a table set for 6 for quite a while before we finally gave up. Sharing on subsequent nights went much better. We met some wonderful people. We never ordered any of the Curtis Stone dishes. Ultimate Balcony Dinner: Called room service about booking the UBD for the 1st formal night, so we could avoid dressing up. Unfortunately the person on the other end didn't know when that would be and by the time they called me back, that night was fully booked. We opted to enjoy our UBD for the 2nd formal night, Friday. When booking, room service sends someone to your room to show you the menu and arrange any special requests. I requested a Caesar Salad instead of what was offered, and was told, "no problem". Twin lobster tales for my wife, and a filet for me. The appetizer was crab in puff pastry, yummy. The lobsters were delicious. Sadly, the filet was dry. The Caesar salad I ordered was initially a no-show, but one appeared in mere minutes, once they realized the mistake. Bravo to my waiter, Ariel and his assistant. The table was set beautifully, and the flower arrangement was really lovely. A photographer showed up and took 3 quick pics which were available the next day. The chocolate desserts were top-notch, as was the service. The next morning you simply call room service to pick-up the table. Everyone should do this at least once. Well worth the $100 Entertainment: We didn't see any of the production shows, but I ended up participating in the finals of Voice of the Ocean. Having the chance to rehearse and perform with the 7 piece band was worth the cost of the cruise, all by itself. Great musicians, and staff. Nice spread of fruit and champagne for us backstage. The Polonia String Quartet played in the piazza daily. They sound great anf are well-trained, but I found the costumes to be cheesy. The other bands on-board were all good. It seems that you can't go a single day without hearing somebody play, "What a Wonderful World". I swear I heard it 4 times in one day, all from different performers. On Board Shopping: Liquor and cigarette prices were not good, even worse for Canadians due to the exchange rate. Found a nice 50th anniversary tee shirt for less than $15.00. Shop staff looked bored and uninterested, especially in the high-end jewelry boutique. Casino: Well staffed at all times International Cafe: Attentive, quick staff. Buy a coffee card! Gelato: Only tried it once. Mint Chip was not good. The mint tasted overly artificial and they used tons of small, sharp, hard chocolate chips. The only gelato that I've ever had to chew. Interactive TV: Had fun watching old Love Boat re-runs. It only took me 30 seconds to find an episode featuring Charo. My wife and I giggled at many of the now unknown and forgotten faces of the lesser co-stars. Sadly, the TV was missing the channel that would show the ship's current position. Several co-passengers mentioned missing this as well. Some staff insisted it was there, others knew it was missing. I would have also liked to have been able to see my on-board account balance on the TV, but that wasn't available either. I felt bad wasting paper when checking my balance at one of the terminals near guest services. Fellow Passengers: A nice mix of folks from all over, with more families than usual, and even a few infants. In our room on embarkation day, there was a pamphlet for parents reminding them that they are responsible for their children at ALL times, and that a missing child report is taken seriously and comes with certain consequences. It was well worded, and it seemed to work. I didn't see or hear any kiddies running down the hall or lighting up every button on the elevators. One woman wore a Trump t-shirt into the casino, I bit my tongue. Hard. Overall, we had great service, and the ship was very clean. We purchased 2 future cruise credits and currently looking to book a 10 day sailing next, but we can't decide if we want to do the Panama Canal or a 10 day Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We have cruised a wide variety of itineraries and a diverse range of cruise lines. This cruise was very enjoyable. It had many highlights and a few disappointments. Embarkation and debarkation were as close to perfect as possible. Very ... Read More
We have cruised a wide variety of itineraries and a diverse range of cruise lines. This cruise was very enjoyable. It had many highlights and a few disappointments. Embarkation and debarkation were as close to perfect as possible. Very organized and well staffed. Accessing services on the ship was also excellent. Entertainment was, well, very entertaining. A standout show was Magic to Do, a Stephen Schwartz production. The singers and dancers were typical cruise ship performers, clearly very hardworking. Several really funny comedians and singers performed. Our oceanview stateroom was adequately sized, well maintained by our cabin steward, and generally comfortable. The shower was about one foot too narrow, but this was a cruise ship. We rarely saw our cabin steward, but maybe that is the way it should be. The itinerary was fine for first time Mexican Riviera cruisers. Loreto was a particularly charming port. The ship's excursion in Puerto Vallarta wasn't much more than a series of stops at the tour guide's friends shops, but he was very funny and knowledgable, and the tour was inexpensive so that was okay. Tendering was very organized. The MDR menus and food were fine. My wife is a vegetarian and I shared this with our waiter, Warren on day 1. Within five minutes, the Head Waiter Erno was at our table and throughout the cruise he checked in with my wife each day to make sure that the menu was to her liking. On several days, he had a special dish prepared to meet her needs. He was very attentive and concerned about her having an enjoyable meal. It was my wife's birthday during the cruise and a special dessert was prepared for her and was accompanied by several wait staff singing "Happy Birthday" to her. One disappointment was the variety of food on the buffet. At best, it was uninspired, at worst, it was repetitive and not very appetizing looking. The buffet areas were too small and did not have a good traffic flow considering the number of passengers on the cruise. We found that we were eating breakfast at the International Cafe, a very nice venue and lunch at the pizza bar or grill on most days. This was below our expectations based on our long history of cruising. The special coffees at the International Cafe were very good. This is an observation which frankly did not make or break this cruise experience, but I did notice that the officers on the ship were not very friendly. They would not greet guests, although they did respond to a friendly hello from passengers. In this competitive cruise climate, this might be unacceptable to many cruisers. Overall, my wife and I enjoyed this cruise, met many wonderful fellow passengers, and saw some new places that we enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We've sailed the Ruby several times before and glowingly. This trip which features 4 days at sea from LA to Hilo, then Honolulu, Kauaii, and Maui on successive days and then 4 days back to Ensenada and a final sail up to San Pedro, ... Read More
We've sailed the Ruby several times before and glowingly. This trip which features 4 days at sea from LA to Hilo, then Honolulu, Kauaii, and Maui on successive days and then 4 days back to Ensenada and a final sail up to San Pedro, Port of LA. If you enjoy the solitude and lack of regimen then this is for you. Hawaii as a port of call is top drawer with very much somehthing for everyone----and unlike the Caribbean ports.......an unmatched beauty with a omnipresent feel good vibe. Oh- And Volcanoes too. The Ruby joined the fleet 7-8 years ago and is looking a little long in the tooth....but clearly Princess/Carnival is aware. New beds went in recently, and they are terrific. Whether ship is rockin' and rollin' (2-3 days of the journey) or on ice like seas (1-2 days) the bed is a comfortable key to the stateroom For those with a balcony, there's no better sleeping potion than opening the balcony doors to a starry night and letting the crashing wave send you into a polynesian sleep. The stateroom steward was top drawer. Made a speical towel puppet of two swans for our anniversary. Seldom seen, never heard, he was super. The FOOD on the RUBY is decidedly the best we have had on a princess vessel in 10 years. The menus have changed to a wider variety and the preparations, notably FISH and PASTA are up a gigantic notch. The fettucine alfredo on all Princess menus is among the very best in the seven seas. Our waiter and busman combo which took us a couple nights to find, were spot on. They knew our likes and dislikes. Went out of their way to get us samples and/or mini portions so we could try a multiple of offerings........in general a really delightful dining experience. Ditto breakfast in the Da Vinci and lunch therer as well...... We only visited the buffet at the Horizon court up top. IT's pretty much the same buffet as other Princess vessels and food of all kinds for all tastes. We prefer the dining room ANY TIME dining. A couple of things come to mind in need of fixing........the carpets are looking a tad tired and worn both in common rooms and in the state room; the casino (our judgment is the Princess slots are the tightest on the 7 seas) slots are old and considerably behind the new contemporary (gaming style) sots. It's a busy part of the ship on a long cruise such as ours especially on a chilly or bumpy day. Deserves some upgrading. All the various activities from bingo to the diamond vision movies and video concerts out on the deck, from the ball room dancing, and hawaiian band in the atrium were entertaining. we didn't have an opportunity to see the individual featured performers as our dining time conflicted with their shows.----nothing ventured, we've seen most before. A group of children from HILO came on board from a dance studio there and performed a 4 5 minute tribute to Hawaii, the hula, the nuances of the Hawaiian dance. An exceptional show. Engineering wise Captain Cook took us out of San Pedro deftly and was underway when a passenger took ill and the ship had to return to meet the coast guard off of Catalina Island at night and off load the ill individual. The Captain assured us it would not affect the journey that lay before us........and it didn't. He was back in the shipping lanes an hour later and making up time. Ports of call: what more can you ask than the volcanos of the Big ISland, the charm, history and market place of Honolulu; the colorful traditions of Kauaii and the jaw dropping beauty of Maui. We even had a school of whales that winter in Mauii harbor entertain us with breathtaking leaps and belly flops. WE seldom take the ship's tours on the ports of calls as large groups in big buses are a turn off for us.... preferring smaller local tour operators that can change itineraries depending upon interests and or food requests or even personal hobbies.....and find more out of the way spots. During this cruise we enjoyed small tour groups in both Hilo and Honolulu. They are easily found, and many endorsed on Trip Advisor. Both were terrific. More costly than the ship tours in most cases....but terrific. Ensenada is a big city on the coast of Mexco. It is similar to all port towns (Nogales/Puerto Vallarta/Acupulco etc) A major change from HAWAII. If you're interested in medicines, alocohol there's copious liquor stores and pharmacies. The little children around the wharf have little tiny bead work and will hound you until you leave for the port and the safety of the ship. A day in Ensenada is a day in touristy Mexico. Ditton 20 minutes. Ruby Princess remains one of our favorites of the fleet. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Regal Princess Holiday Cruise: Random notes on Food, Dining, Excursions, and more 12/18/2016 to 1/8/2017 We were celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary on this cruise and traveling with another couple. Prior to getting on this ship ... Read More
Regal Princess Holiday Cruise: Random notes on Food, Dining, Excursions, and more 12/18/2016 to 1/8/2017 We were celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary on this cruise and traveling with another couple. Prior to getting on this ship we visited Key West for 5 days, and after the cruise we visited Palm Beach, and Fort Myers for another 5 nights. Embarkation was quick and easy, and disembarkation was also a breeze, we were off the ship and at the car rental agency (at the port) in 30 minutes, making this the fastest disembarkation we ever experienced! That was a pleasant surprise Food and Dining We had assigned seating for the 5:30 slot initially, although we had to wait until the second night to get our table for 4. We got a great water side table in the 6th floor Concerto dining room, but the nice things ended there. Our waitress was terrible, not so much in her personality but in her complete inability to be flexible and get us through our meals in less than 2 hours. We intentionally ordered few courses; usually a salad or appetizer and main course. Occasionally we had dessert, and an extra appetizer but regardless of how much or how little we ordered, the food came on a rigid schedule and we only got served as quickly as the slowest table in her group of tables she served. She seemed to favor the groups that spoke her native language, she lingered a lot around them. We spent way too much time waiting for our courses, and even when we asked her to get us out by 7, she said this was not possible! I had never experienced this kind of response on Princess. We were all very unhappy with this service. The food was not good, it never came as requested (white meat,no sauce, and so on) and in general was old,soggy, poorly plated, and just all around unappealing. We talked to the head waiter but he was of no help whatsoever. The only thing we got consistently was the extra veggies we ordered to come nightly. After countless misses and much aggravation, we left the MDR and began eating In the Buffet where at least we had control of what we did and did not want. The Horizon Court buffet was quite good, in the end we were all happy with that choice. Although I asked to meet the Maitre d, he was invisible throughout the meals and we only met him at the most traveled cocktail party. Cruise Director Staff, Players, Venues, and Games The cruise director was never available and she was not very friendly at all, her staff was nice, some of them were not so nice such as a nasty girl (major chip on her shoulders) who was the worst; mean, harsh, nothing kind nor gracious about her and nobody liked her at all. On the other hand, Natalie was a doll and we all enjoyed playing with her. Alex was fantastic, from Serbia, he was a kind and fun kid who tried hard to communicate well and I caught him many times self correcting himself which made me thrilled as a former ESL teacher because he was a dream student. After 21 days we all noticed a marked improvement in his language and speech. Alex enjoyed telling jokes and in doing so he created a unique presence (brand) which was so funny and playful. I caught a lot of people whooping it up and laughing a lot with him, that in itself was hilarious making the total experience so much better. Alex always had his questions projected onto screens which was another great strategy and very helpful to all. Finally, he was flexible and willing to repeat questions creating an overall sense of kindness and fun. I am a huge fan of this lovely gentleman, I expect he will go far with Princess. We enjoyed the club 6 venue much better than Princess live, and only used the Vista lounge occasionally, which was also better than P. live. At least they had adopted using clipboards in P Live which gave us something to write on. Nonetheless it is an unfriendly venue, cold and dark, uncomfortable seats and not very inviting for group games. We stopped going to the night games for this reason. I missed the nightly music quizzes, as well as the interesting Discovery trivia which we had enjoyed last year on a Royal Transatlantic. The evening Trivia games were also mis represented in the patter, we would expect a general knowledge and then find that it was really an entertainment trivia. Not a biggie to me, this really bothered some of the players. This cruise was probably the worst organized I've been on with regard to games and such, there seemed to be a communication problem and more than once we were left waiting for somebody to show up and run a trivia game advertised in the patter. I had never seen this before. The players were fairly well behaved, there were no arguments and no cheating that I saw although the staff warned us to not use google for answers. This cracks me up, who googles for answers? I imagine people who feel they need to use google, or whatever tactic to find answers, are probably not smart enough to actually use it effectively. We had so many clips, flashlights, and caribeners that I was giving them away to anybody who needed them! Medical Center: Medical Services and Pharmacy I got a bad flu which plagued me throughout much of the cruise, turning into a bad cold that hung on and on. I used the Medical center several times during the cruise, and was grateful that I had insurance as the bill was in excess of $2000, for services and meds. The staff at the center were efficient and mostly gentle, I spent hours in a room getting IV meds, and oxygen, and Doctor Jen was kind and effective and I greatly appreciated her care. She also treated my husband Ken who did not ever get the flu but did get a bad cold. I was put on quarantine for a few days which restricted me to my room, although Ken was not restricted since he did not have the flu. They gave me a special menu that I could order from but I was so ill I barely ate anyway. They asked that he not bring me food from the buffet, or the IC, although he was free to eat anywhere he wanted. While I did not enjoy being sick, this would by my favorite way to experience illness in that there was plenty of options available for me to eat and drink, and the interactive TV system offered many movies, apps, and TV shows to view including those being made live on the ship. One interesting thing I noted in the Medical Center was that there was an option to buy over the counter medical items separate from seeing the doctor. These items included sea sickness meds, Tylenol, skin creams, and more items that you would find in a pharmacy. In the past these items were available in one of the onboard stores, but on the Regal they are only available in the medical center. These items were very expensive considering they were all generic. I learned long ago that it is best to bring the basics with you on a cruise, especially if you are susceptible to certain problems. Cruise Director Staff, Players, Venues, and Games The Commodore Giuseppe Romano was a delightful man, very accessible and always walking through the ship.  I had the pleasure of meeting his wife during one of the Captain's Circle parties, we were sitting up front with the most traveled couple (friends from a prior cruise) and they introduced us to her.  The cruise director Kelly Rose was never available and she was not very friendly at all, some of her staff were nice, while some of them were not so nice such as a nasty girl named Yris (with a major chip on her shoulders) who was the worst; mean, harsh, nothing kind nor gracious about her and nobody liked her at all.  On the other hand, Natalie was a doll and we all enjoyed playing with her.  Alex was fantastic, from Serbia, he was a kind and fun kid who tried hard to communicate well and I caught him many times self correcting himself which made me thrilled as a former ESL teacher because he was a dream student.  After 21 days we all noticed a marked improvement in his language and speech.  Alex enjoyed telling jokes and in doing so he created a unique presence (brand) which was so funny and playful.  I caught a lot of people whooping it up and laughing a lot with him, that in itself was hilarious making the total experience so much better.  Alex always had his questions projected onto screens which was another great strategy and very helpful to all.  Finally, he was flexible and willing to repeat questions creating an overall sense of kindness and fun.  I am a huge fan of this lovely gentleman, I expect he will go far with Princess. We enjoyed the club 6 venue much better than Princess live, and only used the Vista lounge occasionally, which was also better than P. live.  At least they had adopted using clipboards in P Live which gave us something to write on.  Nonetheless it is an unfriendly venue, cold and dark, uncomfortable seats and not very inviting for group games.  We stopped going to the night games for this reason.  I missed the nightly music quizzes, as well as the interesting Discovery trivia which we had enjoyed last year on a Royal Transatlantic. The evening Trivia games were also mis represented in the patter, we would expect a general knowledge and then find that it was really an entertainment trivia.  Not a biggie to me, this really bothered some of the players.  This cruise was probably the worst organized I've been on with regard to games and such, there seemed to be a communication problem and more than once we were left waiting for somebody to show up and run a trivia game advertised in the patter.  I had never seen this before.  The players were fairly well behaved, there were no arguments and no cheating that I saw although the staff warned us to not use google for answers.  This cracks me up, who googles for answers?  I imagine people who feel they need to use google, or whatever tactic to find answers, are probably not smart enough to actually use it effectively.   We had so many clips, flashlights, and caribeners that I was giving them away to anybody who needed them! We had an 11 year old join our trivia team, his name was Noah.  Noah was one hell of a great kid, we all adored him very much, not only did he contribute to our team, he was always prompt and cheerful.  We met his mother and father, and we all saw where Noah got his charm and smarts Kids and families There were a lot of families with kids on the first leg of the cruise, the 11 days that covered Christmas and Chanukah. These kids and families were quite well behaved, aside from the normal running through the halls I saw no problems at all. On Christmas Day they had a multitude of activities for kids (and adults like me) such as decorating cookies, making and coloring some cool velvet cards, and of course Santa was there giving away lovely toys. I was very impressed and really enjoyed watching the adorable kids all dressed in their finest clothes, run around filled with excitement. There was Christmas Caroling, or rather singing as I was told Christmas Carols are more religious while singing songs about Frosty the Snowman is not. Either way, it was delightful to watch. The second leg of the cruise, covering New Years, had a lot less kids and more teens and young adults. It was also a problem free experience although there were quite a few parents who were upset to discover their 14-20 year olds drinking on some of the boozy beach excursions. I have no judgement here, my parents would not have minded if I drank a little as long as they kept me on their radar. If you are traveling with your kids and don't want them to be drinking, it's best to pick and choose your excursions carefully. There was no special security for kids (as there had been in the past) so don't assume the kids will be ok unsupervised while on the ship. I have witnessed some pretty wild behavior as kids will be kids and there is probably a lot of experimenting going on. I'm just saying, keep connected to your kids. We met a lovely young couple from NYC whom we all took to immediately, they were a delight to play trivia games with. On the last night of the first cruise, he sang in the Voice competition and after he finished his song, he proposed to her and she said yes! That was awesome to see, a treat reminding me that indeed we were on the Love Boat. Christmas Day and Chanukah on the Regal Princess The ship was all decked out for the holidays and it looked lovely.  Christmas/Chanukah day was lovely on the ship, everybody decked out in their fanciest holiday clothing and lots of Santa's helpers everywhere.  Many folks were celebrating Chanukah, although most of the bustling activities in the Piazza were Christmas themed.  Even I had to make a few cookies, decorated with yummy gooey frosting and lots of sprinkles, a calorie bomb that was just what my inner child needed!  They had several activity stations set up in the Piazza including the cookie decorating, and card making/coloring which was very cool, even I enjoyed coloring the black velvet holiday cards. Christmas day just zipped by.  I was very impressed and really enjoyed watching the adorable kids all dressed in their finest clothes, run around filled with excitement.  There was Christmas Caroling, or rather singing as I was told Christmas Carols are more religious while singing songs about Frosty the Snowman is not.  Either way, it was delightful to watch there was Christmas singing all day long, beautiful children filled with good cheer and happy faces, and of course Santa was giving out gifts to all the kids, not a bad one in the whole bunch! Happy times were everywhere except in the dining room.  I was hoping that there would be a special brunch, which did not happen.  I've experienced these brunches on the small ships and miss them. Ports and excursions The ports were all beach/water related as one would expect to find on a Caribbean Island cruise. They were also filled with so much shopping in the same old boring stores (Diamonds International, Del Sol, EFFY, and so on) with very little variety. If you like shopping in DI in every port, there is certainly an opportunity to collect a plethora of free charms, and more every where you go. Beyond that, there are few unique places and even the craft markets are filled with junk made in China. I'd skip those places and focus on what you want to do on each island. There is a lot of history on these islands and many are quite old, being established as slave ports and heavily involved in slave trading. Some of the islands are quite beautiful and mountainous with lush rainforests and waterfalls everywhere. Some of the islands (like Grand Turk) are flat with and/or without sandy beaches. Do your research here so you know where you want to go and what suits you. The more you know about each of these islands, the easier it is to determine whether to take local taxis or shuttles, or pay for ship tours. Frankly, I think the ship tours are way to expensive, and they do not necessarily insure quality control. I would be very comfortable using taxis from the port or better, using those recommended vendors you find on sites like Cruise Critic and Tripadvisor. Good private guides know how to avoid the chaotic ship tours and the traffic and overload of people they bring. If you know what you want to do and where you want to go, it is easy to find transportation once off the ship. Always shoot to be back at the port at least an hour before the all aboard designated times and you should be fine. At the end of this review I will include some of my experiences in the ports that I did not miss due to illness. Public and Private rooms Although the Regal is currently the newest ship in the Princess fleet, it seemed very "tired" to me. The furniture is out of date and well worn, and the carpets are in bad shape everywhere. I found the bed to be very uncomfortable, and when I asked for an eggcrate or extra pillow tops I was told there were no extras the ship. There did not seem to be a way to make the bed more comfortable, at least our room steward had nothing to offer. The pillows were very hard, I asked several times for softer down pillows and was told they were soft down pillows. Interestingly, our room steward was able to finally find a softer pillow for me a few days before the end of the cruise. We had been very generous with him throughout the cruise and I can't figure out what the magic words were, but it took me 19 days to get that soft pillow! I had a tough time sleeping with a constant headache every night. It was probably in part due to my flu/cold, but our friends also experienced this lack of comfortable pillows and beds, as well as a headache. Cleanliness I experienced some curious cleaning practices on this ship, while I was quarantined (2 days) they would not vacuum my room. I had spilled a drink, and some non-dairy cream powder, and asked for it to be cleaned and my room steward sent in a "specialist" who came in with a spray bottle and hand swept it up. This cleaning "specialist" did not clean my room at all except for the specific issue I had asked for and I noted that in general things were only attended to if I asked for them. Anyway some of the powder creamer caked onto the carpet and I waited until I was taken off quarantine to ask again about vacuuming. I had to ask for sheet changing to get it done more often than whatever schedule they used. I was super fastidious in light of the flu and cold which I could not seem to shake, and started doing my own cleaning using anti-bacterial wipes on the door knobs, telephone, tv remote, light switches, countertops, and more in an effort to promote wellness. I had never taken to this practice in the past although I know lots of people do, and from now on I'll be doing just that. It's not fun missing ports on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We flew from Maine to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at the Rodeway Inn. Hotel was decent enough but probably will stay at a newer place next time. This was our first Princess cruise and we loved it - a 10 day ... Read More
We flew from Maine to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at the Rodeway Inn. Hotel was decent enough but probably will stay at a newer place next time. This was our first Princess cruise and we loved it - a 10 day cruise is perfect. There is something about those 3 extra days that make it great. I don't know what it is but we enjoyed that a lot. The balcony cabin was a bit smaller than the one on Celebrity but it was perfectly laid out and we were well taken care of. Princess was great with the embarkation and disembarkation - they have it down to a system that works. We didn't make our last port of call - Princess Cay due to extremely strong winds and the Captain definitely make a good call on that. It was SO windy most of the day on our last day on the ship but the ship was surprisingly steady - thank goodness. No issues at all. The food is always a bit of an issue - BUT - we are plain eaters and don't care about the fancier foods. That is our issue - not the cruise lines. No complaints - there was a lot to choose from and it was all prepared just right. Hot when it should be and cold when it should be. Waitstaff were great. Shore excursion on Bonaire was too expensive for what we got - snorkeling adventure. Shore excursion on Grenada was interesting - the bus driver was a speed demon but very knowledgeable about the island. Some of the vehicles these guys use should have been retired a long time ago but I get it. They work so they use them. We loved our first cruise on Princess. I hope we'll go again - we are both in our early 60's and we figured that the average age of the people onboard was about our age. Perfect for us - but not so great if the younger people were looking for a younger crowd to hang out with. The entertainment was good - we loved the movies under the stars...and the casino was busy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first ever cruise. We normally do all inclusive resorts, but we normally travel just after Christmas which has become more and more expensive to the point that it wasn't much more to take a cruise so we thought we would ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We normally do all inclusive resorts, but we normally travel just after Christmas which has become more and more expensive to the point that it wasn't much more to take a cruise so we thought we would try it. We are a middle-aged couple, It was my 45th birthday during this cruise and my husband also turned 56 the first day of the cruise. Princess decorated our door for us for free. We flew from Toronto via Air Canada Rouge, the flight was fine, nothing special though. Our flight was delayed due to an unruly passenger needing to be deplaned by air mashalls so not a great start. Arrived at FLL - easy to deplane and pick up luggage. We stayed at Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Lauderdale 17th Street for 2 days before the cruise, we had included our transfers from hotel and to cruise port at time of booking. We like this hotel, it is expensive, and the rooms are all 2 room suites, but older. There is a full breakfast buffet every morning, takes a while to get a seat if you are not there right at the start. Every evening there is a free cocktail hour, mixed drinks are not strong, wine and beer is your best bet. Nice pool and hot tub, central location close to Publix, wine and liquor stores, shopping areas and restaurants, you can catch the sunshine trolley out in front and go to the beach or mall. We cruised on Royal Princess, loved that theme song horn. I enjoyed the MDR, especially miss that fettuccine in a baked Parmesan bowl! We did not do a-la-cartes. We did the buffet for breakfasts which was fine. We did find the service lacking in the bars though. You could sit for almost an hour without being served, perhaps this had something to do with the fact that it was a New Year's cruise? We find the Pressecco Bar to be our best bet. We did find that the clientele was mostly older, and there were not a lot of activities to do - obviously this ship has no water slides or things of that nature so definitely not suited to those with children as I think they would be bored silly. We are beach people, so did mostly beach excursions, we found them to be much as expected. This was our first introduction to port shopping, I had no idea what that was a thing until this cruise LOL Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My wife and I booked this trip for her birthday. Shortly after we booked it the real bad reviews came out and we almost cancelled the trip. Glad we did not. The ship is beautiful and the crew is very good. Oh yeah you will run into one ... Read More
My wife and I booked this trip for her birthday. Shortly after we booked it the real bad reviews came out and we almost cancelled the trip. Glad we did not. The ship is beautiful and the crew is very good. Oh yeah you will run into one that may be having a bad day but really they do a great job to make you feel like your on vacation. Got on board very easy and room was ready early. Spent the afternoon exploring the ship. We sail on Ruby so this was very familiar. While sitting by the pool a crew member told us about the maitre d' wine tasting, he said it was a one time opportunity to experience some very expensive wines. We booked it and here is some advice. At $25.00 each its a waste of money. They try but each speaker is very hard to understand as english is not their first language. The wine samples were small, take my advice - skip this one and go to Vines and if your lucky Cherry will be there. She is hands down the best crew member on board! Had interior room and was fine. A/C was jusssstttt good enough. Could have been colder. Shower water was great and room steward was very good. Food - now here is the issue. Buffet was never good, breakfast, lunch or dinner. It was cafeteria grade at best and a lot of it was cold and poorly prepared. The main dining room was slow and just ok. We like to eat well on a cruise ship and maybe if you went to a pay dinner you might find it but we choose not to pay extra. Pizza was as always very good. MUTS was good - however people reserved chairs for that and the pools with a towel and book. The crew should monitor this and it's a problem on all ships (Just me Venting). So all in all the ship and crew are very good, the people in charge of the food are really letting down the ship and the crew. Both deserve better from the kitchen. You must go to Vines and enjoy wine and tapas. International Cafe is ok for a light snack. Bar service overall was good. When the bar is slammed just go to the next bar for quick service. All the bars on board are good. Getting on and off the ship was as good or better than any ship we sailed before. I would recommend this ship to anyone, however there is not a lot for the younger sailors on board to do. Entertainment was not that great. Cruise Director was never around, but thinks he's a TV star as he and his girl are on TV every morning trying to sell you something. Some advice for him would be get better acts booked and get out with the people. One guitar act was so bad about 3/4 of the people left after 2 songs. Not many classes or seminars either on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We sailed on the Emerald Princess from Port Everglades to Grand Caymen and Ochos Rios Jamaica.WE arrived at the Port about 10am they told us to line up to wait there were benches .They were not to clear and it wasn't marked at all ... Read More
We sailed on the Emerald Princess from Port Everglades to Grand Caymen and Ochos Rios Jamaica.WE arrived at the Port about 10am they told us to line up to wait there were benches .They were not to clear and it wasn't marked at all where to go if you needed wheelchair assistance.Then we were told i needed to wait in the front on a bench for the handicapped .They told my wife to stay where she was then when i got to the bench i was told i was #2 and they told me my wife should be here with me so i texted her to meet me.Then they came by to have us fill out a health questionnaire and then we waited about 12 o'clock George came with the wheelchair wheeled us right in he handled everything giving us our boarding passes and wheeling us to the waiting area for handicapped we then were wheeled right on to he ship bypassing the picture taking .They brought me right to our cabin where my scooter was all ready there.We were on thee ship by 12:15.We met are cabin steward Felix he apologize for the cabin not being totally ready we understood and had no problem with that. We called room service to take our mini bar out and bring us two coffee cards we then proceed to the international cafe and had lunch there. The worst part of the trip was the muster drill for us .They did a excellent job of getting us to our muster station using the elevator for my scooter. They were very coordinated .The problem occured after the muster drill .They opened up the elevators right away not giving wheel chairs or scooters time o ge on and back to there cabin. We waited a hour for a elevator and it wasn't just us it was all of us in wheelchairs and scooters. That was the worst part of the cruise.That night we ate at the Crown grill it was empty food was great .This is the only night of the cruise the crown wasn't sold out. I highly recommend doing this the first night of your cruise . Highlights of our cruise . The superbowl it was great to watch it with friends and fans in club fusion.Ultimate balcony dinner was awesome ill right more in cabin review. Salty dog pub was well worth the $19.00 pp and was interesting food the bourbon dessert has 2 ounces of jack daniels in it and the jack was not cooked off it was a excellent dessert. Overall we had a great cruise the food was great the crew were very friendly and always smiling.There were no a/c or water problems as some have stated in earlier reviews.Disembark they were again un organized for wheelchairs.room service was great ordered pizza a couple of times and a burger. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Here my wife and I were in Singapore at the Marina Bay Cruise Center ready to embark on Sapphire Princess. The date was 7/2/2016 We are not brand new to cruising having cruised with Star Cruises (Virgo and Libra) around Asia on a number of ... Read More
Here my wife and I were in Singapore at the Marina Bay Cruise Center ready to embark on Sapphire Princess. The date was 7/2/2016 We are not brand new to cruising having cruised with Star Cruises (Virgo and Libra) around Asia on a number of occasions and Royal Caribbean (RC) (Explorer of the Seas) from Fremantle to Sydney via the South Island of New Zealand. We obviously still have a lot to learn. This was to be our first cruise with the Princess Group and we were keen to enter the debate as to whether RC or Princess was best. The Marina Bay Cruise Center was a real eye opener. It is by far the best cruise passenger terminal we have encountered thus far and is up there with many of the airport terminals we have been through over the years. And, talk about efficient – embarkation was an easy clockwork type experience where one element flowed almost seamlessly into the next. Before you knew it, we were on board in your very own state room. One of the first things we had learnt when we started cruising was that you get out of cruising as much as you put in. It’s what you make of it. On this trip we quickly learnt just what a difference a cabin steward makes. We have had good stewards in the past and one great steward who sticks in our mind. Unfortunately, this time we found one who was memorable for all the wrong reasons. The other thing we experienced is that both mega ships charge extras for bottled water, gratuities, internet etc. whereas Star did not. Interestingly enough, cruise ships promote themselves as floating hotels. Many hotels now make internet and bottled water complementary. Shore excursions are also overpriced and you can book similar tours for considerably less however on cruise you are a captive audience and if a problem is encountered with a tour, presumably the ship will wait if you are on an excursion organised by the ship. RC were definitely more prepared to recognise people with walking/climbing difficulties and offered (without any prompting) the use of lifts in coming and going on excursions and front row seating on buses. Princess only offered lift and front seats on one occasion each. For the first time in ages, my belief that Asian waters were pretty calm was disproved as in leaving Singapore the weather was stormy and the sea churned. Our prior experience in crossing the Southern Ocean, Bass Straight and the Tasman Sea came in very handy. The previous occasion I had encountered bad weather at sea was some 35 years ago when a typhoon chased us in from Macau to Hong Kong. Prior to that it was in a landing Barge where the gate kept dropping and I was one of the lucky ones up in the blunt bow winching it back ups as each big wave dislodged it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Just returned on thurs feb 25.. stayed at HAMPTON INN PORT N.. take note there are 2 hamptn inns in the port area..ours had pink lawn flamingos ontop, 2301 sw 12th .they upgraded us again for HHonors.. please see trip advisor for ... Read More
Just returned on thurs feb 25.. stayed at HAMPTON INN PORT N.. take note there are 2 hamptn inns in the port area..ours had pink lawn flamingos ontop, 2301 sw 12th .they upgraded us again for HHonors.. please see trip advisor for positive reviews. Upon arrival (via shuttle from hotel), note, this is a big port we dropped some folks at pier 22 then headed to#2..a 10 min drive. LONG LINES..mis information ie checking bags Again.. (were here in july 15) seems a issue w the port not necessarily the cruise lines.. We bought our 2 bottles of wine registered them, all good. Onto the ship! 1st impression, not pushy w selling things like liquor packages & specialty dining, you go to the venues or call from cabin..while exploring, take the massage teaser its free & a good way to get into vacay mode. We made our sabatinis & steakhouse reservation, which we could have skipped easily, but of the 2, steakhouse better overall. truly the food in Bordeaux ( main) anytime was best we've had; Celibrity came closest. Even the sugar free desserts were good! Grabbed a quick bite at horizon ct buffet , good not a big variety , but remember this is not a huge ship all things r on a smaller scale, including CASINO which was less crowded after 10:30 pm , also dont expect free drinks from pitbosses on this line, even highrollers complained.. On our cruise , ship went to sleep 11:30 ish ( given time of yr & lack of nightclub) this sailing average age 60's & up , a few families, but mostly well traveled well educated. we met some lovely people, dont b afraid to strike up conversation w table nxt to you ! Seems formal nights have scaled back too, no more mother of bride / sweet 16 gowns, a nice cocktail dress or flowy pantsuit ..men leave the tux out. CABIN on ahloha 12.. we were under buffet but only heard a little chair scraping ..mostly lunch so sleep was fine. Shower IS laughable, prefer sliding partition (some other lines) to cold curtain sticking to u. Closet space very good. Balconly was nice for viewing canal transit up CLOSE!, but plenty of spots for photos w/o added expense. SMOKERS... since ur balconies r off limits theres Churchills , but it gets very hot & even smokers couldnt take it..poor ventilation ugh! Also, deck 14 forward (look for silver boxes on walls) , back L corner of casino, but not everynite..& deck 7 aft..which was dopey since this is also promenade deck for joggers.. The potty odor is still very noticeable especially near atrium everyone commented on it, perhaps some airwick stuck aroud.. but it was not good. Also, this was post drydock and heard of a few more burst pipes on D deck. Met some independent contractors replacing copper pipes but that wasnt there area.. If ur plannning to use the Sanctuary, go up in the morning & check.. probably wont b full in advance ..that way u dont wind up stuck w bad weather.(refund if pouring) .ours was fantastic 90 & sunny. did the full day $60 pp for canal day was great! Summer mths maybe crowded though . BOGO Wheelhouse bar, 2x's 3 & 9pm by one drink /beer incl, get one for $1.. comedian & ventriloquist best of the lot. Husband & I split coffee card , worth it.. Excursions. .we hopped a bus to 7 mi beach grand cayman 7$ ea way Cartagena bus tour old city w 2 hrs free time. $39 pp..the hawkers really detract from this lovely walled city, just say " Gracias pero no" & they'll move on. Costa rica..5 1/2 hr rainforest ..saw toucans, leaf cutter ants, 1 sloth. The 350 steps r 125 ea way Ochos rio..walked to margaritaville (wound up at nxt bar better drinks) nice little beach.. We all sprayed repellent and I never even heard the buzz of mosquitoes during entire trip but this was the dry season. All in all good trip ;pretty ship, interesting ports , great dining staff (hi leah..table 30-35) & best of all we got away from the bitter winter! Oh..if u made ur own flights, u can sign up for your luggage to be taken to & checked in at airpt...info in ur cabin mailbox towards end of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We (4) just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise with port destinations of Cozumel and Costa Maya Mexico, leaving from Port Everglades Ft Lauderdale Florida. Embarkation- was a nightmare. The line was unbelievably long, ... Read More
We (4) just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise with port destinations of Cozumel and Costa Maya Mexico, leaving from Port Everglades Ft Lauderdale Florida. Embarkation- was a nightmare. The line was unbelievably long, never ever seen a line like this. My husband and I are platinum members which entitles you to priority boarding. We could not find a Princesses representative until after waiting over an hour. Then there was only one checking for over 3,000 passengers which is absolutely ridiculous and unexcusable! Due to the disorganization, wew were ~ 1 hour delayed in leaving. Emerald princess - well maintained, clean, large over 3,000 passengers. Dining- Horizon Court Buffet - we had breakfast each morning as well as a few light lunches. The food was very good as was the service, keeping in mind this is a buffet and not av5 star restaurant. The head waiters rounded frequently inquiring with passengers about The food and service, and wanting to make sure everything was excellent, which was a nice change. There is a entrance and exit for the buffet. The entrance has an antiseptic gel machine as well as someone to hand you a plate and utensils....always friendly and smiling. The need to add an antiseptic gel machine to the exit area also for those passengers that can't read, as many were oblivious to signs. Both Asif and Ronnie were exceptional, friendly, personable, funny and professional at the same time. Main Diining Room - we had traditional late dining in the main dining room. We requested a large table (8-10) as we love to meet new people and have gun laughs together. We were shocked when taken to a table for the 4 of us. We explained to the head waiter that we had requested a large table and was basically told there was nothing he could do. He had us moved to a table for 10 with 6 empty chairs and told they would try find some others to join us. We were not happy, why request something in advance only to have it ignored??? The food choices were great as was the food though we were shocked that lobster was never a menu item. When asked why, was told because it was a short cruise and only one formal night......wow....that's a first and an indication of how the Princess quality is slacking. The waiter and assistant waiter were very good and friendly. Pizza - we had pizza for lunch one day which is freshly made and excellent. There's a reason why Princess is known as the best cruise line for pizza.- Ice Cream - the soft serve ice cream was excellent as usual. Cruise Director - our cruise director was Neil from Australia. He was very boring and lacked the outgoing personality you expect as a cruise director. Cruise directors really can set he mood for cruising. He is the worst we've ever had on any cruise line. Needs to retire. Entertainment - the shows were very good, musical magician who was AWESOME, 2 comedians both great especially the last one which we saw on a previous cruise. The games put on by the cruise staff were fun and entertaining. Cabins - we has an inside cabin on the Aloha deck (A724) aft which is great and close to the Horizon court and club fusion. The beds were comfortable, we heard the mattresses were recently replaced. The A/C was cold. The room steward was good but not exceptional and never seemed to go over and beyond. He never once called us by name which was a first. Disembarkation- was very disorganized. One staff member told us to go downstairs as our number was called. When we went down stairs we were told to wait in a dining room. My husband spoke to another staff member who said we are to disembark upstairs! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The Crown Princess is the largest ship we'd sailed on, and this was apparent from the get-go, as embarkation was a well-organized but lengthy process: 90 minutes from terminal to boat. In the past, we've sailed onto cruise ships. ... Read More
The Crown Princess is the largest ship we'd sailed on, and this was apparent from the get-go, as embarkation was a well-organized but lengthy process: 90 minutes from terminal to boat. In the past, we've sailed onto cruise ships. Not so the Crown Princess. In boarding group 2, we waited as multiple levels of preferred and elite loyalty club passengers made their way onto the ship, followed by group 1. At first glance, the interior of the ship was large and confusing, which made the crew members stationed throughout the entry ways an even more welcome sight, as they directed us to elevators. We dropped our luggage in our stateroom and made our way to a long line for lunch at the buffet. This dining facility is the smallest and least well-laid-out of the ships we've sailed, and we made use of it as seldom as possible. The food was middling good. The dining room offerings were uniformly better at breakfast and lunch. We've never eaten a dinner in a buffet, and probably never will. So we lunched, then went to our cabin to unpack, and began checking out the sundecks. Our cabin was on deck 10, directly below the 16th deck spa and fitness center, and we used the stairs as frequently as possible. It wasn't long before we gathered in the Princess Theater for the muster drill, led by the cruise director, Dan Falconer. This was a fairly painless process. Live music was available throughout the days and evenings in various locations on board, which we appreciated. The music was very good. The DJ occasionally blasted tunes too loudly on the sundecks, but it was never long before the Castaway band took the stage. And we enjoyed the mariachis and the showband jazz ensemble in the Piazza. The ship has multiple venues for music and entertainment and we were able to visit all at least once. Each had ample comfortable seating, waitstaff, and excellent music. As predicted, the ride was a bit bouncy that first evening, and I wore my Seabands to dinner. There was a first night show in the theater, and it was reminiscent of shows on other cruise lines and ships. Missing from the week's lineup: late night comedy shows. Comedy was included in the Tyler Bryce and Steve Moris presentations, and both were fine. The vocalist Alison Ward gave a fine show, but I can always do without the denigrating remarks about other artists. I think we can all agree that some young pop stars' antics are regrettable, but we don't need to hear about them from the performer on stage. The final night's Magic To Do show was the closest we came to musical theater excellence during the week. We opted for anytime dining, and soon learned that the smart money calls for reservations beginning at 8 a.m. for that evening's table. We had a mix of table-for-two and shared dining. Without exception, we met delightful folks at our tables and enjoyed conversation. Ditto for lunch and breakfast. There were few children on this sailing and they were a pleasant sight: little girls in pretty dresses for dinner, families enjoying vacation, adorable babies. Formal nights were especially nice, as Princess passengers on the whole dress for the occasion. It's off-putting to see people in tank tops, sandals, and ballcaps anywhere near a dining facility, let along dinner on a cruise ship. On the whole, there were fewer passengers toting buckets of cheap beer and more displays of decorum. Smokers were relegated to a few corners of the boat. Which brings us to the calorie un-do portion of the ship: the fitness center. Spacious, well-equipped and oh-so-busy the first morning of the cruise. But pleasant, as always. Plenty of nice passengers everywhere we went. Another aspect of the ship I want to mention is the public area restrooms: nicely decorated, spotlessly clean, and small vases of fresh carnations at each sink. The first-run movies under the stars is a great amenity, but showtimes conflicted with either dinner or musical entertainment, and we never made it to a screening. The viewing areas were well organized, and crew brought blankets and popcorn to moviegoers at night. The first formal night included a captain's champagne reception, and waiters circulated in the Piazza offering glasses of sparkling wine in old-style glasses (not flutes) which was a nice touch. Speaking of the Piazza, the International Cafe was an excellent bonus. Sandwiches, salads and desserts all available for the asking, with seating nearby and nearly always, a musical offering. The second formal night featured lobster tails at dinner and they were of very good quality. Another venue we missed out on was Vines, where you could enjoy a glass of vino and freshly made sushi. The promenade deck was well-used and had cushioned deck chairs. The bow had decks that were often accessible to passengers. An aft adults-only deck and pool provided a pleasant area to lounge, easy access to food and drink, and whale sightings. The bridge officers would announce wildlife sightings on our days at sea. The art gallery and the paintings on stairway landings were varied and of high quality. And no, we don't do the art auctions. Happy hour at the Wheelhouse Bar was well-attended and staffed by friendly crew and live music. Princess regulars are hip to the happy hour and were a jolly bunch. On this voyage, we met passengers who'd been on 15 or more Princess cruises. Nearly everyone we spoke with had traveled a long way to reach Los Angeles by air: from Vancouver, Calgary, Washington, the Midwest, Utah and Colorado. We snorkeled in each of the three ports we visited: Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan (easier said than done) and Cabo San Lucas. We also enjoyed touring the zocalo, cathedral, and mercado in Mazatlan, and purchased some lovely Oaxacan embroidered blusas, gazed longingly at the fresh fish for sale, and soaked in a little local color at a fabulous art atelier. A really nice touch on return to the ship was cool washcloths and cups of water. The last day of the cruise was as good as the first, full of tasty meals, entertainment, good weather on the sundecks, and a little more space in the fitness center. Debarkation was a breeze, as we were in the "walkoff 1" group and at our car by 8:15 a.m. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We fly to Singapore for this cruise and spent 5 days there before cruising. Singapore is beautiful city-state and I lived its modernity, people and culture. I would like to live there someday, once I win the lotto as its very expensive. ... Read More
We fly to Singapore for this cruise and spent 5 days there before cruising. Singapore is beautiful city-state and I lived its modernity, people and culture. I would like to live there someday, once I win the lotto as its very expensive. The cruise itself was all that I have become used to from Princess. It was our 6th Princess cruise so we are now platinum and the perks include 25o mins. free internet and expedited embarkation and disembarkation. Leaving was so easy. We were sent to the Wheelhouse bar and waited with few people and once we got off our bags were visible to us as we descended the escalator so it was nearly perfect. Our embarkation was also very smooth. No hassles like on NCL Getaway where they took snacks that were not in a sealed bag but instead were in a zip lock bag. Food: This seems to be the most subjective area of a cruise to rate but for us it was just fine. My wife requested Indian food and they exceeded our expectations by providing a well prepared and varied menu every night. It was very well done. I was fine with my menu selections, no problems. There was less variety in the Horizon for lunch compared to the Oasis which is the last ship we were on but all in all it was fine. We chose not to use any speciality restaurants. Been there, done that before. Entertainment: I would give then a B+ overall. Their own performing group was quite good and the speciality acts were also very good. Public rooms: All very neat and tidy. The ship is well maintained. Surprisingly on sea days the conservatory or covered pool was not at all crowded. We enjoyed this as we had no difficulties getting chairs. Our cabin was kept spotless and the balcony was much bigger than what we had on newer mega ships like the Getaway and the Oasis. We first took this ship in 2005 for an Alaskan cruise when she was fairly new and marveled at her size. Now compared to the mega ships we have been on she is mid size. However the service level we have come to expect from Princess was evident during this cruise. They bend over backwards to meets your needs and the ports were amazing. We had stops in Cambodia, Brunei, and two each in Thailand and Vietnam all of which were very interesting, especially saigon so it was quite enriching in this regard. All in all Princess performed very well, just as we have come to expect from them. We were very pleased. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
After reading reviews, we were nervous, but there was no need. We had a great experience with no major issues. I'm always amazed that 2 different families can experience exactly the same thing and come away with polar opposite ... Read More
After reading reviews, we were nervous, but there was no need. We had a great experience with no major issues. I'm always amazed that 2 different families can experience exactly the same thing and come away with polar opposite opinions--expectations and perspective are powerful. Our expectations were lower--based on some previous reviews. Our perspective comes from our previous cruises--most recently on 4 different Celebrity Cruises--the larger ships. Our perspective also is based on the price we paid for our Balcony. Total cost for 2 people including all fees and taxes - $1600 U.S - no on board credit (+ gratuities). We definitely received good value for $$ spent. My perspective would be much different if we had paid much more. There really isn't anything to complain about, but here is my attempt to help you manage your expectations. Embarkation and Debarkation were perfect. CABINS: All rooms are ready as soon as the first person boards. Our luggage also came immediately. Our room with balcony was just fine. Refurbished? Not sure what was done - carpet, draperies and bedding perhaps. Beds were quite comfy. Of course the bathrooms are small, but if you've been on other ships, this bathroom will seem smaller than ever. No wine glasses, corkscrews or bottle openers provided. You must call room service each time you need a bottle opened or to get a wine glass (this is not a speedy process, and the first evening, wine glasses were not available). It would be so much nicer if the cabin steward could provide this service, but next time, we would just bring our own corkscrew. Once again, this isn't really a big deal, but our expectations based on previous cruises was that all these things were provided. Bathrobes also need to be requested, so request yours as soon as you see your cabin steward so you have something to put on when room service brings your morning coffee the first day! Our balcony on the 15th floor had a roof, but others below us did not, and we could look down into their balconies--beware!! Other reviews mentioned trouble with the AC and water temperatures. We had no problem with either of these. Their printed info in the room states that the cold water comes out of the tap at 90 degrees F. This is true--you cannot have a cold shower. There is always a cold pitcher of water provided in your fridge if you need a cold drink. FYI, no mini bar in fridge. No electrical plugs near bed. A little frustrating if you like to use your phone as your clock, and it needs to be charged. We used our phone during the day because Princess has a wireless network onboard that allows you to message other passengers, look at daily schedules, check your account, etc, so our phone needed to be charged at night. Glad I brought my own hair blow dryer. Bring your own hair conditioner if your hair depends on it. The product provided is an 'all-in-one' shampoo/conditioner. Balcony at the rear of the ship really does vibrate. Didn't bother us much--just beware. FOOD/DINING: we did anytime dining and were quite pleased--no reservations needed as stated in their printed materials. We were mostly happy with the food--no major complaints. The buffet was definitely our biggest disappointment. We used the buffet for breakfast and lunch. Just be prepared knowing that it is small and lacks variety and has very little fresh fruit--pineapple, melon, grapes and whole kiwi--I do believe I overdosed on the kiwi. Cut them in half with a knife and scoop each section out with a spoon--delish! We were comparing this buffet to previous cruises, and it just didn't come close to those comparisons. Ice Cream and Pizza available at the pool was perfect. There is also a pretty good grill near the pools with burgers/sausages and french fries--ice cold buns though. The pools were very warm--the last day the pool was actually too warm! I estimated that it must have been at least 95 degrees--seriously--felt like a very warm bath. I think they do have some trouble with water temps in general. You could actually feel the heat coming up from the toilets in the ladies' washroom near the pools. The public bathrooms could use a little more attention from time to time. Pool towels were often unavailable during the day. They suggest that you take your towels back to your room each day and they will be refreshed by the room steward--this is not always convenient. ENTERTAINMENT. Better than expected for sure. It's funny, because I just read a review to say that the "Magic Show" was incredible. However, in our opinion, it was a huge disappointment. The illusionist was involved on 2 evenings, and he really wasn't that good. It's just a good example of perspective and how opinions differ. There is no pushy sales people--no pushy photographers, etc. We found three happy hours so we were happy, happy, happy about that. We don't think the drink packages are worth the price, and obviously that depends on how much you would like to drink. We are happy with the free water, free iced tea and free lemonade--although you had to ask for the lemonade. We only saw iced tea at the beverage stations to serve yourself. All in all, we got good value for our $$. If we had paid more, we would have been a little disappointed in this ship. We would definitely consider booking again with Princess but would stick with the bigger newer ships depending on price. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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