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154 Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

This was our first Princess cruise, and we decided to book the Ruby Princess because it was a new ship, and the reviews were generally good. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale 2 days prior to sailing, and we stayed at the Holiday Inn. The hotel ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise, and we decided to book the Ruby Princess because it was a new ship, and the reviews were generally good. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale 2 days prior to sailing, and we stayed at the Holiday Inn. The hotel accommodations were average and overpriced,but Ok for a pre-cruise stay. The embarkation went pretty well. We took a chartered bus from the hotel, and we arrived at Port Everglades by 11:30 AM. We were herded into a huge room with a large number of people and not enough seating! After a 30-45 minute wait, everyone filed out of the room in groups and were then dispatched to registration stations. We were then allowed onto the ship and we were in our room by about 12;45 PM. We found our way to the buffet for lunch, and we got an unpleasant taste of what to expect during most of the trip-unbearable crowds and lines! It felt like we were standing in line forever before we got our lunch, and then it took quite a while to find a place to sit! My luggage arrived at the room within a few hours, but my wife's luggage did not arrive at all! By 5;00Pm, I complained to our cabin steward, and he went to look for the luggage. He could not find it, and he suggested that I go to the purser. The purser suggested I wait and return at 7 PM before anything could be done. Since dinner was at 6 PM, I returned at 5:40 PM and told the purser I wished to check the luggage room myself. The purser then pointed to a group of 8 suitcases sitting in the open and unprotected about 50 feet away. I checked the suitcases, and I found my wife's suitcase(WITHOUT A LUGGAGE TAG)!! The purser said the luggage would be delivered to our cabin, but I refused and dragged it to the cabin myself! The ship itself is absolutely gorgeous and generally spotless. The crew and staff were from many different nations, and most were hardworking, friendly, and courteous. I am sorry to say that the only rudeness we encountered came from crew and employees from the US. For us, there were just too many passengers on board. We constantly encountered lines, and we had difficulty finding chairs for lounging and tables at which to eat. Another complaint was the constant smell of tobacco. Even though smoking is forbidden in many areas, we constantly were irritated by the smell of tobacco in all parts of the ship, but mainly in the cabin hallways and on the decks. For us, the problem was intolerable! There were passengers of all ages, but mainly under 45. There were numerous teenagers and children on board, many of them out of control. Also, there was no shortage of constantly crying babies! The main dining rooms were quite uncomfortable with an extremely high noise level, a feeling of crowdedness, and perpetually crying children. The service was good, but the food was remarkably below average-extremely rich with little taste! After trying the main dining room for several nights, we finally gave up and started eating dinner at the buffet. The food at the buffet was much better-average to above average, and the noise level was tolerable. The breakfasts and the lunches at the buffet were fine. One thing that bothered me was to be charged for ice cream! Room service was pretty good, but not enough variety on the menu! We did not eat in the specialty restaurants. We stayed in what is described as a mini-suite( more expensive and slightly larger than a balcony stateroom)). The cabin was beautiful, comfortable, and spacious, but whoever designed the balcony must have been on drugs! Our balcony had no covering, and it was totally visible to numerous other balconies above and around us! So much for privacy! Also, we had no protection from the elements(sun, wind, rain) and no protection from the horrible tobacco smoke! There were smokers occupying the cabins above us and on both sides of us. I do not understand why there cannot be a group of cabins set aside for non-smokers! I should add that our cabin steward was great! He did his best to meet our needs, and he was always friendly and courteous! The entertainment was OK, but I do not understand why the music has to be so loud. The loudness of the sound around the pool, in the lounges, and in the Princess Theater is guaranteed to injure one's hearing apparatus! The Movie Under The Stars is a good concept, but its sound is also too loud. The sound was disturbing enough in the immediate area of the movie screen, but it could be heard in all outdoors areas of the ship, thus destroying the evening ambience. There is certainly not enough seating in the Princess Theater. People began arriving 45-60 minutes before the shows, and there were usually no seats available by 20-30 minutes before the shows were to begin. We finally gave up and stopped trying to attend the shows! I should also add that the cruise and entertainment director was too ever present, obtrusive, and a bit annoying. S he finally began getting on our nerves! The "street performers" in the Piazza were entertaining and enjoyable(although it was annoying that some of the acts lasted only 5 minutes!) The Ports of Call were less than desirable, and for us, not an attraction. Because of the crowds,waiting for the tenders became quite irritating! The disembarkation went fairly well, but we were forced off the ship by 8 AM. It seems we should have been given an extra hour at least to relax and enjoy breakfast! We booked a transfer to the airport through Princess. We stood in line for an hour waiting for a bus. After I originally booked the cruise, I had asked Princess representatives what time I should expect to be picked up by a bus. No one could(would) give me an answer. To be safe, I therefore booked a late flight, and we had to sit at the airport for quite awhile. For the reasons described above, we were generally disappointed on our first(and last) Princess cruise. In summary, our principal complaints were with luggage disposition, disappointing food, disappointing ports, too many people, long lines, too much tobacco exposure,crowded and noisy dining room, terrible stateroom balcony design,loudness of music and inability to attend shows because of not enough seats. The positives were as follows: beautiful ship,wonderful crew and staff, nice entertainment in the Piazza, and nice cabin(except for the balcony!) Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
I will start with the beauty of the ship. Let me remind you that beauty is only skin deep. I booked this cruise for my anniversary gift to my wife. I had arranged for roses and chocolate covered strawberries to be in the room at ... Read More
I will start with the beauty of the ship. Let me remind you that beauty is only skin deep. I booked this cruise for my anniversary gift to my wife. I had arranged for roses and chocolate covered strawberries to be in the room at embarkation. The roses were there but the strawberries were MIA. This takes the element of surprise out of it when you have to ask where they are. They were brought up all at one time!!! Two trays at once, they are not any good after put them in the ref. They next stop was the balcony of the mini-suite. Great balcony on the 9th floor (6' x 8')the 10th are bigger. The sea spray and salt build-up on the glass door and glass railings was NOT acceptable. We ask for these to be cleaned and maintained, this was not done. Our luggage finally got ther about 8 pm Do not stay this far back as the vibration on the PORT side is bad, I never found the machine on the nightstand for quarters but that was free. Now on to the rest. You must get off the pool deck at the Terrace pool at 7-ish they are afraid that the chairs will blow off with you sitting in them. The attendants on the pools were hard to find and you might go thirsty waiting. The chair HOGGING was horrible. I am an early riser and there would be towels on the loungers at 7 am. The very top deck (sky deck 18 mid ship)the chairs were never unstrapped this would have been much nicer for people who don't want all the traffic, one way up and one way down; not an option. The cruise director on TV is soooo annoying that you will turn her off too. The volume level on all speakers and movies is full blast. The BINGO games are too short for $20/per card (4 games). Bring your own dobbers. I did win $250 on Friday to offset the over-priced scuba trips I took. Finding a place to sit for any-time dining and buffets was difficult. The food was not up to my expectations. The Pepperoni pizza and the hot dogs and fries were the best FREE meal on the ship. The BEST dining for an upcharge was The Crown Grille($25/steak and $9 more get lobster). Spend the $34 for the full meal deal and eat the Brazilian Lobster tail, much better than Maine lobster for my count. The ports are OK. Jamaica do not get off unless you enjoy saying NO THANK YOU every 3 seconds. Grand Cayman, too many banks beautiful beaches. Cozumel, great eat the tortilla soup at the Fiesta Americana Dive Resort. Princess Cays, the island you want to be stranded on just make sure you have shoes. Some people think that glass and bare feet go together(not me) bottle caps are everywhere except the trashcan. The ship is very hard to navigate at mid-ship levels 5 & 6 to get through you must go up or down one floor to get around. If you like to know what is happening in the world while you are at sea, go to the computer bar and pay.75/minute. The only news you get is Nancy Grace and Octo-mom. the "patter" is going to make sure you know about the Sanctuary not any news; unlike Celebrity (my favorite) This was my first Princess cruise and probably my last. I will certainly remember my anniversary for sure. Before I go; be sure to allow 4-5 hrs to make a plane once you get to FLL from the terminal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
My husband and myself recently cruised with the emerald princess on march 30 /09. This was our 4th cruise but 1st with princess and were very excited. The ship was beautiful and we had a great cabin stewart but that was about it. The food ... Read More
My husband and myself recently cruised with the emerald princess on march 30 /09. This was our 4th cruise but 1st with princess and were very excited. The ship was beautiful and we had a great cabin stewart but that was about it. The food was terrible...way too much seafood. We lived on french fries for 10 days. Every night we went to the dining room and left and went to the buffet, which still was not great. The service in the dining room was not very good. Every night we left basically a whole plate of food and our waiters did not seem to care or offer us anything else. When we went on carnival, where food was not an issue our waiters would go above and beyond for us. We even paid to go the italian restaurant Sabitini's and still left disappointed. Again it was all seafood and we had told our waiter we did not like seafood and he said he would accommodate us but that never happened. In hindsight we should not even paid for the meal. Also there not much night life on board for people in their 30's. The whole point of this seemed to be involved in getting people to go the casino so they could spend money. The entertainment was not great and to keep repeating shows like they did was terrible. We paid alot of money for this cruise and expected better. Even our cabin did not meet our expectations! Those showers are the smallest I have ever been in. This we could even put up with but our bed was terrible. It was hard as a rock and the pillows were flat. We complained to our cabin stewart but he said there was nothing he could do. All week there felt like there was something in my back and sure enough we found 3 plastic cafeteria trays under the mattress!! I mean come on I did not pay for an upgrade to a balcony to sleep on hard trays. You guys really need to get your act together. I always recommend cruising to my friends and family after this experience I will be sticking with carnival Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
My husband and I booked a 13 night Alaskan Cruisetour a year before it sailed for our 25th anniversary.  The cruisetour started on May 24th with the tour first.  We splurged on a full suite (costing us $14,500.00 with air).  This ... Read More
My husband and I booked a 13 night Alaskan Cruisetour a year before it sailed for our 25th anniversary.  The cruisetour started on May 24th with the tour first.  We splurged on a full suite (costing us $14,500.00 with air).  This proved to be a huge MISTAKE.  We should have gone with Royal Carribbean for $3,000.00 less and more services.This is how our vacation went:We flew 10 1/2 hours from the east coast to Alaska (this was the best part of our trip since we flew first class).Upon our arrival for our 2 night stay in Fairbanks, Alaska (after a very confusing start at the airport as to where to leave our luggage and which tags to put on it) was very dissapointing.  We stayed in a Princess lodge that had no ammenities except a restaurant and a gift shop.  We went panning for gold which was fun and on a Riverboat which was very boring.  The excursion that we chose was to the North Pole, which we had to wait until the second day to take since it did not start until May 25th.  What a huge dissapointment that was.  It cost us $100.00 to go in a bus to a gift shop with a partially dressed Santa and then to a Chinese restaurant for dinner.  I could not believe that they actually charged $50.00 a person to go to a gift shop.  Our room was facing the parking lot, near an ice machine and the air conditioning barely worked (it was 78 degrees when we arrived and we did not bring summer clothes to Alaska).  Very dissapointing  room.  The food at the lodge was extremely expensive and not good at all.Next we went to Denali.  The train ride was awesome, but you can go on the train with ANY of the cruise lines.  We were right behind the train cars for Royal Carribbean.  We arrived in Denali to again get the room facing the street and this time near a door that kept opening and slamming shut as well as being near the room cleaning staff's station.  We were to get NO sleep here!  We went to a Denali Dinner show and paid $100.00 to eat the worse ribs I have ever had in my life.  The second day we went to Denali park which was the highlight of our vacation.  We left Denali on a 9 hour bus ride to Copper River on a dirt road.  What a waste of an entire day!We get in Copper River and again we get a room facing the parking lot, near the ice machine and near the stairs.  More than half of the excursions are not even available yet since the salmon are not running yet, so we do NOTHING.  Since there aren't even hot tubs or a pool to enjoy, we spent the day reading books inside since it was raining out.  They really need to have some ammenities.  It's not like you can hop in your car and go for a ride, you are totally dependent upon the busses.  The food was aweful and the service just as bad and very expensive again.  Finally, after 2 days of complete bordom and lack of sleep, we are going to the ship for pampering - so we thought!We get to the Diamond Princess after a very long day of traveling on a bus and then on a catamaran to Whittier.  We have booked a full suite and are very happy with it.  Unfortunately, we were very dissapointed to find out that we were lied to by customer service over the phone and told that we had a Concierge (which we have had on other ships as well as a butler on other ships when we book a suite) but now find out that we have no Concierge.  I want to clarify something:  the first day we get on the ship I go to customer service and wait in a very long line.  Finally I thought I hear someone say "next" but wasn't sure so I waited in line.  Apparently, the woman at the end of the counter did call me and yelled out "NEXT" very loudly this time.  I started to walk towards her and actually saw her roll her eyes at me.  I couldn't believe it!  This was day 1 of the rude staff on the Diamond Princess.  It only gets worse.  Not one crewmember, with the exception of our room steward, ever said Hello, smiled or moved out of your way when you were walking in a common area.  They would cut you off, walk right into you or actually step on you if you were in their way.  We were also told that we had priority seating in the specialty restaurants by customer service (when we booked the cruise); however, this again was untrue as we found out when we attempted to book the Sterling Steakhouse on the evening of our 25th anniversary.  After a lot of arguing, we did get a reservation  but were very unhappy that it had to go to that point.  Entertainment on this ship was all but non-existant.  They had the same 3 entertainers on all nights and the last night they played a movie in the theatre - no entertainment at all, unless of course you wanted to go to an art auction or learn square dancing.Basically, we booked a suite to get the extra "perks" that we usually get from other cruiselines; however, apparently Princess feels that unnecessary.  We paid a lot more money for our cruise than most of the other passengers and expected to get what we paid for.We were told that we had priorty disembarkement by customer service and in the Princess cruise book; however, upon disembarkement we realized that this again was a lie.  We were instructed to wait in a special area for suite members but we were the LAST people off of the ship.  We were staying in Vancouver on a post-cruise package but did not get to our hotel until after 12:00 when all of the tours had already left for the day, so we did not get to tour Vancouver as we planned.  The ship docked at 7:30 a.m. but we did not get off of the ship until 10:30 and waited an hour to get on a bus to be brought to our hotel, which was having rennovations made to the entrance that you had to walk around and through red tape - what a mess!When I got home I wrote a letter to Princess and the response I got was shocking.  Basically I was told how sorry they were that I did not enjoy my cruise, but they do not offer any extra services to persons staying in a suite and they hope we will sail with them again.  Why would I ever do that?  This was my first and LAST cruise with Princess.  They are very expensive and gave the WORSE customer service I have ever experienced on a ship.  Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
My wife and I had not sailed in 7 years, before that we sailed on Princess 4 times, Celebrity 3 times, and (ugh)Carnival once. Boy have things gone downhill starting with the menus. To be fair we don't eat seafood, but the other ... Read More
My wife and I had not sailed in 7 years, before that we sailed on Princess 4 times, Celebrity 3 times, and (ugh)Carnival once. Boy have things gone downhill starting with the menus. To be fair we don't eat seafood, but the other selections were embarrassing. Our whole table complained. Thank godness they offered an alternative menu in the dining room that included chicken breast (my wife had 9 nights) and a leather sirloin steak which I had 3 or 4 times. I asked for a strip steak one night and you'd have thought they had to call the main office in the U.S. to get it approved. Get this, one night on the "good" side of the menu two of the choices were turkey & dressing and meatloaf. Never have I seen such cheap menus. None of the soups were edible, we sent them back every time. Our service was good, but not excellent like years ago. Three of us at our table are butter eaters and had to wait every night for more butter. A few years ago once they learned you liked butter, they had it on the table for you when you arrived. It was an 11 day cruise and by the 4th day we were so sick of the buffet we started eating burgers for lunch and cold cereal for breakfast. Everything was bland. I want to point out that usually we are not complainers and loved most our cruises, but not this one. Our cabin was neat and clean, we had a ocean view. The steward was excellent. Entertainment on the ship was good and it wasn't hard to get a good seat. We had a 8:15 second seating so always made the late show. The best part of the cruise was meeting 6 great people that sat at our table. We even hung out together on the ship and on shore when we could. To sum up, we are done cruising. From now on it will be resorts or condos. It just isn't worth the hastle anymore. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
First, when you book a suite you expect something extra in terms of service...right? Not here. On past Princess cruises our steward acted as our "butler" in that everything could be done through him/her. On this cruise, he just ... Read More
First, when you book a suite you expect something extra in terms of service...right? Not here. On past Princess cruises our steward acted as our "butler" in that everything could be done through him/her. On this cruise, he just pointed us in the direction of room service or dining rooms. He was nothing more than a maid. Second, our room was not stocked as promised with beverages and when we asked about it we were told to call room service...no help at all. We never got what was supposed to be in our suite. Next, the DVD player in our room, which is supposed to be one of the "extras" did not work. When we called for service we were told "we are not sure what is wrong with it". We were dumbfounded...they did not even come to the room to check it out. The bathroom shower lining was worn away, the drain did not drain, and the rug was stained. But, MOST dissapointing was that the ship planned late night parties on the deck above us. Imagine trying to get a good night's sleep while 1,000 people are doing the "Macarana" above you until after midnight. Pincess has gone way downhill since our first trip with this line 7 years ago. Its time for us to find another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Pro's: Food generally very good, cabin clean and spacious, embarkation at ports, slow but effective room service, guest laundry available. Con's: Service!, service, service, felt claustrophobic compared to other ships, small ... Read More
Pro's: Food generally very good, cabin clean and spacious, embarkation at ports, slow but effective room service, guest laundry available. Con's: Service!, service, service, felt claustrophobic compared to other ships, small and poorly equipped fitness center, impossibly slow and overpriced internet, very badly designed buffet and limited seating, difficult to get room service on the phone, slow elevators I have sailed previously on Norwegian Dawn, Celebrity Mercury and Infinity, and Crystal Serenity. The Sapphire Princess is easily the least impressive of the ships. The dining rooms are small; there is no main dining room that is showy in any way. The dining rooms are pleasant enough, and the food they serve is for the most part, quite good, but they are not showrooms. The main atrium is also small and not at all spectacular. Unlike other ships, there is no pool in the spa, but there is an adults-only pool just outside of the spa. The boarding process was very smooth and easy. DINING Main dining rooms: Guests have four dining rooms to choose from and they all serve the same food. Each dining room has a signature dish that the other rooms don't have, but you have to know about those dishes to ask for them. No waiter ever offered those dishes. The service, without exception (even in Sabatini's) was poor to very poor. Our first night, we sat for 45 minutes before someone brought us bread. We weren't in a rush, and the cocktail order was taken very quickly, so we enjoyed our drinks while we waited for someone to notice us. Finally, the waiter took our order, apologized for the delay and things went more smoothly after that. The food was really good. I was surprised. After reading reviews, I expected food on the level of Norwegian, the truly worst cruise food I have ever had, but the food on Princess was great. Everything was tasty, well-prepared, served hot. We tried other dining rooms, and the story was always the same; good food, bad service. When I asked about coffee, the waiter told us we should buy a coffee card because the coffee they serve for free is from syrup and very bad. I ordered the free coffee and it was fine. Sabatini's: They boast 17 courses, but really what it is; they give you tastes of each appetizer, a salad and soup, which our waiter discouraged us from ordering. The food and service was on par with the main dining rooms, if not a little worse. I felt it was a total waste of money ($20 per person), as the experience and food in the main dining rooms was a little better. We were able to order lobster, which I hadn't seen on the main dining room menus, but it was not well cooked. Buffet: The average wait to get into the congested buffet areas (only two for 2700 people) was 10 minutes. Once inside, there were short lines at each area to get your food. If you forgot something and had to go back to the buffet, you had to wait in line again. There was never a free seat in the main seating area, but just outside the buffet main area in either direction was overflow seating and we could always find a seat out there. The buffet was good. There was a decent salad bar, loads of options at lunch and dinner that varied and never repeated. They were always good. The food was fresh, and delicious. The bread choices were not great, with crusty rolls for the most part. They had carved meats at most meals. The desserts were not great. Very simple, nothing special at all, but great cookies. They only ran out once during my cruise. Breakfast was also very good, with many varieties, but juice had to be ordered, same with water. Finding someone to get you the juice or water was impossible and many meals we went without. Other options: The pizza bar was excellent. Some of the best pizza I have ever eaten. There was a hot dog and hamburger grill that looked good, but the line of twenty to thirty people turned me off, so I never ate there. They also had a soft ice cream bar with free soft ice cream but milk shakes were $2.50. I tried the ice cream once and it was very good. There were no special events (at least by this, the fifth day). They also had high tea every day but I never tried it. Room service was slow and impossible to reach on the phone. Out of about 10 tries at different times on different days I managed to get someone on the phone twice. My pitcher of water came within 45 minutes. They offered fruit, with a request form, but our fruit wasn't delivered until we complained about it not being delivered. They said that, with four hundred fruit requests, it took time. CABINS We had a mini-suite with a nice sized balcony. Since we were in Alaska, the suite and balcony were essential. I spent many hours on the balcony, wrapped in a blanket, watching the huge and beautiful mountains slide by. It was blissful. The weather was very cold especially early in the morning. The sun was up by 4am so it was a bit confusing as to what time it was. There was only about 6 dark hours each night so the viewing was constant and spectacular. The bed was hard but comfortable, and there was a sofa bed that was nice to watch TV on. The bathroom had a nice tub and was bigger than the balcony cabins I've had in the past, but still a little cramped. There was a nice closet area with shelves for clothes. There were no drawers for clothing. The service in the cabins was pretty bad. We had requested extra pillows and a queen bed configuration. We had neither upon arrival. Our cabin steward promised it would be done, which it was about 10 minutes before we went to sleep that night. The egg crate topper for the bed was never delivered despite multiple requests. The cabin didn't smell like smoke, which was a worry I had. It smelled and looked very clean. Our room was made up daily except for one day, when the cabin steward told us he had the afternoon off and wouldn't be doing our room until evening. I thought that was a bit strange. He had also promised us ice and fresh water each day, but that never happened. All in all, the cabin steward's service was poor, verging on unacceptable. FITNESS AND SPA I didn't do any spa services, as they were extremely expensive. I did use the fitness center daily. I was very surprised at how bad the fitness area was. It was crowded and had only two kinds of aerobic machines: ellipticals without moving arms, and treadmills. There were no bicycles, no ellipticals with moving arms, etc. They had a decent array of weight lifting machines, and a second room for stretching and classes. There was NEVER anyone in the gym overseeing, refilling towels, and checking on guests. They ran out of towels every time I was there. There was a water fountain, but no cups. They did not offer headsets, but the treadmills and ellipticals did have nice TV screens. The view was also nice. When classes were in session, there was nowhere to stretch out. I was really surprised that the fitness center trainers were never there once. What do they get paid for? And when I would request more towels at the spa desk, they got snippy. For the record, I did manage to get a machine every time I went to the gym, even though some times were very busy. There was a pool and two Jacuzzi spas just outside the gym, but the jacuzzi's were packed every time I went to use them. PUBLIC AREAS Nice casino, shops seemed nice enough. Main atrium was small, bars were very spacious and well laid out. Extremely clean and well taken care of. The elevators were slow and seemed to be out of order a lot of the time. There was a laundry facilities that were cheap and easy to use. But they did require coins. The dollar changer was broken. ENTERTAINMENT Theatre was too small to accommodate all the guests but they ran the big shows three times over two nights to insure everyone could attend. The shows were well produced. The leading talent was decent, but the dancers were terrible, like bad community theatre. The tone of the shows was like other cruise ships, fast-paced, pop style reviews that were boring and in a way, depressing. These shows were par for the course on cruise ships, nothing special, with good stage bands, great lighting and costumes, and extremely boring content. They had bands and singers in the bars. Everyone was decent. OTHER Internet was overpriced and extremely slow, making the expensive per minute charges infuriating. PORTS Cruising to Alaska is all its supposed to be. It was 7 days of gorgeous views, crisp clean and cool air, fun ports. Each port had its own charm. Ketchikan was nice, full of shopping and beautiful scenery. Juneau and our trip to Mendenhall Glacier was great. We opted to take a bus out there for $7 per person, vs. the Cruise ship sponsored bus that was $39 per person. Our friends took a flight over the mountains. They paid $200 per person themselves vs. the Cruise sponsored flight that was $279. When you arrive in each port, there are many tour operators offering the same excursions as the cruise line at a slightly to greatly reduced price. The cruise through Tracy Arm was fantastic. Don't believe the reviews that say its boring. It was gorgeous, breathtaking and worth the whole cost of the cruise. But every day, all day was full of such beautiful scenery. If its mountains, water and fresh air your after, then cruise to Alaska. Skagway is cute, if a bit small. The train ride looked fun, but at $115 per person (cost to buy ticket at the RR station) seemed a bit high. CONCLUSION Great experience cruising to Alaska. Such a wonderful place to explore. If I went again, I'd probably choose Celebrity or Holland America. There was just too much hassle with the bad service and bad attitudes of the staff. The food was great, but the ship was crowded and claustrophobic. With all of the spectacular ships available, why travel on one as ordinary as the Sapphire Princess? Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Last year I took my first cruise with Royal Caribbean aboard the Freedom of the Seas. This ship was the biggest cruise ship at the time and perhaps it spoiled me! In general, I was disappointed with the overall attitude of staff and ... Read More
Last year I took my first cruise with Royal Caribbean aboard the Freedom of the Seas. This ship was the biggest cruise ship at the time and perhaps it spoiled me! In general, I was disappointed with the overall attitude of staff and crew, entertainment, dining in the main dining room at night and the confusing and confounded layout of the ship. The Staff: Were outwardly polite but still seemed to hate the passengers. They seemed to be gritting their teeth and doing their job. The only exception to this was our wonderful cabin stewart Raoul who was excellent! Many of the staff members were not knowledgeable on other parts of the ship or spoke other languages and couldn't understand the questions we asked. We wouldn't have cared so much but we asked questions and the staff send us out of our way several times. It was frustrating. I had trouble getting internet service after I bought Internet minutes. The head of the computer center was not helpful and refused to refund my minutes. OVERALL - THE STAFF AND CREW SEEMED UNENERGETIC, UNCARING AND FOCUSED ON THE BOTTOM LINE. THE FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER AND CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE OF WARMTH AND FRIENDLINESS WAS JUST NOT THERE. THEY HAD NO FUN OR ENTHUSIASM. They were going through the motions. The Entertainment: We enjoyed the outdoor theatre at the pool and saw a few movies out there. But, the shows in the Princess Theatre were not as good as on other ships. They had a hypnotist who was not that great, a singer/impersonator who impersonated older singers (Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Frank Sinatra, etc.), and a show called "The Piano Man." The shows were just very bland and geared toward older audiences. We did however, enjoy one of the comedians that came to one of the nightclubs. The Main Dining Room: We dined in the choral dining room and had 5:30 as our dinner time. We got there late the first night and they told us that if we weren't there within fifteen minutes of our scheduled time that our table would be given away. We found the dining room to be very stiff and regimented. Again, they cared about how they did things and you were supposed to follow their rules completely or forget it. So, the second night we got there at 5:25 and they told us we would have to wait because they weren't ready yet. They seated us at 5:40. We wouldn't have cared so much had they not been so strict with us about the dining time. Again, we felt disrespected and definitely NOT their top priority. We went to Sabatinni's one night as our upgrade restaurant. We got there at 6:00 pm which was our reservation time and they told us they weren't ready yet. We waited outside for about fifteen minutes. When they finally opened the door, a very rude woman and her two children from Russia jumped in front of everyone waiting in line and the hostess took them first to be seated. We were not happy. The food was good but the woman who served us was Russian and we couldn't understand her. Apparently, you order your main course and then you sample each and every one of the appetizers, soups, etc. They were good but the service was rushed and it was way too much food. The Confusing Layout of the Ship: The layout of the ship was absolutely ridiculous! I'm not sure if it was because of this that the ship felt so overcrowded ALL THE TIME but we never did get the layout of the ship correctly set in our minds, even after 9 days. You had to take an elevator to certain floors and then walk down a flight of stairs, or walk through several pool areas, the casino, etc. to get places. The bathrooms were always hard to find and nothing was convenient. I think the bottom line is that the Caribbean Princess just doesn't go out of their way to make the passengers feel welcome and important. They definitely do not have a service or customer-oriented attitude and the fun, exciting atmosphere of Royal Caribbean was just more my style. I think this cruise ship might have been better for older couples. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
First on in Ft. Lauderdale, nice ship. Left dock on our first week of a two week cruise to Eastern Caribbean. Only 45 minutes out of dock, ship LOST all power. No electricity, water, toilets, A/C, or food for 4 1/2 hours. Had to walk up 7 ... Read More
First on in Ft. Lauderdale, nice ship. Left dock on our first week of a two week cruise to Eastern Caribbean. Only 45 minutes out of dock, ship LOST all power. No electricity, water, toilets, A/C, or food for 4 1/2 hours. Had to walk up 7 flights of stairs to get back up on outside deck. Only drink available was liquor and bottled water ($2.50 a bottle water, don't drink liquor). About every 30 mins to hour, lights would come back on but soon to go back out. Every time they tried to turn generators back on. After everything came back on, we traveled on to St. Marteen, having to miss our 1st stop because of electrical problem. We were only compensated $300.00 per stateroom, that is $150.00 per person (booking per person was Quite more than that). We were given that on Carnival 2 years ago for the hurricane that made us miss Grand Cayman islands. That was mother nature, not mechanical. We decided to do a 2 week cruise, 1st week Eastern, the 2nd Western. The 1st week was at best ok. Entertainment was ok, but the same singers for every show was BORING. Singers were good but tooooo much of the same sound. The soul night show should have had some black performers doing this show, for as we know they really know how to put on a good show. Not saying the normal performers did a bad job, it would have been better with performers like Lionel Richie for example. All the shows were EXACTLY the same for the 2nd week to the western side of Caribbean. There was one show on a Friday night, a comedian and a juggler. That show was EXCELLENT!!! Wife got their names and plan to look up on YouTube later. As for kids, nothing for them except the pools and teen room. No slides rock climbing wall or power wave for knee boards. Movies under the stars, (yea right) left all the lights on around the pool and deck. So it was basically daylight not dark like in theaters. Dining room staff was good, but buffet staff was "ok" not excellent. It was like this ship was a training crew ship (heard one couple say that also). Had to constantly look for server to get drinks for braekfast, dinner. On deck during the day, cannot find a decent chair to lay out on, all chairs had towels on them and persons would hardly come back to the chairs. Finally just had to pull off towels to get a chair. No sign of stewarts doing their jobs watching times chairs had towels on them. Overall, this was a 2 week cruise, 1st week repeated to 2nd week. We will NOT take another cruise on Princess. Ship design was ok at bast. Seen better on older ships. This was our 5th cruise, 3 on different Carnival ships and this 2 week cruise on Princess.(really, this 2 week cruise was just 1 week Eastern, come back to Florida then go to 2nd week Western) VERY DISAPPOINTED!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
January 29, 2011 Western Caribbean cruise on the Crown Princess Background: This was our ninth cruise overall and the sixth in the past 20 months. The five previous recent cruises have been on Celebrity (3) and HAL (2). We are a ... Read More
January 29, 2011 Western Caribbean cruise on the Crown Princess Background: This was our ninth cruise overall and the sixth in the past 20 months. The five previous recent cruises have been on Celebrity (3) and HAL (2). We are a couple in our early 50's traveling with another couple of about the same age. I am a customer service manager by profession and therefore lapses in serving us (the customer) really annoy me. Conversely, I am as quick to praise excellent service. This review is in the form of a log, with a few random thoughts thrown in as I tried to keep it up during the cruise. If you just want the summary, scroll down to the end. Embarkation: We stayed the night before the cruise at the Homewood Suites in Dania beach. The room was very nice but breakfast a disappointment. Crowded and the hot food was cold. A quick cab ride brought us to the port about 10:20 AM. Luggage was immediately taken and we were whisked through security. It appears we were about the 45th or so to arrive who were not "Elite" as they sat us in rows. We were in boarding group one. Processing began at about 11:45 and within 5 minutes we were on board. Initial reactions to the Crown are that it is a beautiful ship. We are very impressed with the artwork and overall appearance of the ship. Our friends we were traveling with were in boarding group 2 but were on board within 5 minutes after we were. Upon boarding a string quintet was playing in the Piazza, we would see them many times throughout the cruise and always enjoyed their performance. After some cabin photos of our cabin A311, a balcony cabin on the Aloha deck (#12), we began to explore the ship. We had determined on cruise critic and it was confirmed in the welcome aboard Princess Patter that one of the dining rooms was open for an embarkation lunch. The Patter listed the times as 12:00 - 1:30 and we arrived at the DiVinci dining room about 1:00 PM. The person at the door tried to discourage us by saying that they had many back-to-back guests and they were reserving the DiVinci for those guests. After seeing our reluctance to retreat to the lido buffet, they welcomed us in. We are very glad we persisted as this was by far the best embarkation lunch we have enjoyed on any of our 9 cruises to date, and a promising start to this, our first Princess cruise. After lunch we wandered the ship some more and discovered the International Cafe. We also met our cabin steward and obtained a coffee card. The muster drill was the usual thing - Princess makes you bring your life jackets and only put them on at the end of the drill. After the muster our cruise critic group had arranged an informal sail away meet and greet and the aft bar. This was very well attended and this week the Crown was one of the earlier ships out of Port Everglades so we really enjoyed watching many other cruise ships follow in our wake. We were surprised that the beverage prices seemed as high as or higher than we have recently witnessed on Celebrity. We have fixed 6:00 PM seating and although had requested a table for 4 were seated at a table for 6. Our other dining companions are a very pleasant older couple. After the fabulous lunch perhaps our expectations were raised too high as dinner was not of the same caliber. I asked for an end cut of the Prime Rib and in 9 cruises this was the first time I have ever sent a dinner plate back to the galley as the meat was so tough to be inedible. Without my bringing it up, I heard the same comment from at least four others during the cruise (about this same Prime Rib, same dinner). It was quickly replaced with the Filet Medallions and they were adequate. The assistant waiter apparently has the job to up sell beverages and wine. There are no sommeliers in the dining room, a change from our experience on Celebrity and HAL. There is no dessert presentation (a tray with samples of each dessert) and we found that to be greatly missed. It's just not the same ordering off a menu and needing to ask "What is this exactly?" all the time. We found a great band in the Wheelhouse bar and were able to get in a dance. During our dance, however, someone cleared away my wife's special (alcoholic and expensive) coffee of the day and my Patter. We notified a waitress who replaced the coffee mixture (but the original came from the International cafe so it was not the same) and the Patter. We attended the welcome aboard show and found the 15 minutes of real entertainment in the 45 minutes show to be quite good. The other 30 minutes we could do without. What we did not know at the time is this was the only show where the Orchestra played live music which the singers and dancers performed to. The rest of the week the shows were essentially "Karaoke." After the show, we found our way up to the lido deck to check out the ten o'clock "Movie under the stars." The movie was not real good but the unique (to us) experience was fun. Popcorn, pizza, and ice cream were all nearby. The next morning we found out that the buffet had a seafood feast featuring rock crab claws, which had not been advertised. That would have been much better than the dinner we had! Sunday was a sea day. We began by getting good coffee at the international cafe (this will be a standard routine) as the standard coffee in the buffet or the dining rooms is as bad as you read on cruise critic. We then went to the buffet for breakfast. I ordered a ham omelet and it was okay. I also took some French toast, waffles, assorted fruit, and 2 slices of bacon. The French toast and waffles were mediocre, not warm, and rather hard. The fruit was good, and the bacon was extremely fatty. Next time we will try the dining room. After breakfast we headed to the adult pool by the spa. It was still early so no trouble getting loungers and we enjoyed the heated freshwater pool a great deal. One of the hot tubs was too hot, the other was nice. There were one or two other couples there with us early. Next we went for more good coffee, ran into our friends, and walked the promenade deck. We browsed through some of the shops and then retreated to our cabin to enjoy our verandah. Our cabin steward came to open our two bottles of wine and we enjoyed some wine on the balcony. At noon our cruise critic meet and greet was up in Skywalker's, not an easy place to find! About 50 of us finally did locate it though, and a good time was had by all. No officer or ship's representative attended. I found this bewildering as we had over 100 on our roll call list so expecting a 50% turnout, usually when 50 "Connected" people are meeting the ship's staff would want to welcome them. Today a "Pub lunch" was offered in the Wheelhouse bar. I went with my friend to enjoy adequate fish and chips. The ladies went to the international cafe for healthy salads, and brought them up to the Wheelhouse to sit with us. All four of us decided to go to that same pool. Now of course, no loungers were available. We noticed a couple packing up to leave and after asking they confirmed they were so we got two in the shade (I need shade). The ladies found two in the sun up on the sports deck so all were happy. Later in the afternoon we took advantage of the tea service in the DiVinci dining room. That had a live keyboard player who came over to our table and asked if we had any requests. This was a very impressive touch. Tonight is the first formal night. We attended our dinner and quite frankly have never been so disappointed in a meal on a cruise. As we entered the dining room we overheard someone saying there were Lobster claws on the buffet. I asked our waiter if we could possibly be brought some Lobster claws as none of the menu appetizers were appealing, and he said that was not possible, with a lame explanation that others could see and would ask for the same thing! Well - yeah - who wouldn't want them? I don't remember what our party ordered, but after leaving the 2 hour dinner all four of us agreed to go up to the Lido to see what was available on the buffet. Sure enough, the buffet did have Lobster claws, pre-cracked, with drawn butter available, and they were delicious. We sampled various other items from the buffet, and spoke with one of the buffet dining room managers who informed us that they would again feature Lobster claws on the second formal night. Lest I forget, for dessert in the dining room I ordered a "Make your own Sundae" and it was brought out to me wrong two times. I can understand one error, but two in a row? My customer service training is that if a customer gives you a chance to "Make an error right," triple check it before making the second delivery! Monday brought us to Grand Cayman. The four of us enjoyed a reasonably quick and good dining room breakfast and obtained tender tickets about 45 minutes after the all-clear. There was no wait and we were able to go directly to our tender. We took the public bus to Cemetery Beach and enjoyed the beach and snorkeling there. Took the bus back to Georgetown and after walking around a little and seeing Margaritaville, decided we had enough and headed back to the ship. We arrived back at the ship just in time to snag 4 shady loungers by the pool and MUTS. We got lunch from the buffet and the pool grille. I think the food at the pool grille is better as I ordered a hamburger cooked to order. We didn't really watch, but heard the soundtrack from Sherlock Holmes while we relaxed. We also enjoyed the pool and hot tub, not a bad way to spend an afternoon. After previewing the dining room menu, we all agreed to do the buffet. This allowed us to participate in some other activities including a DJ "Ballroom dance" session. We followed dancing by dinner at the buffet which was okay. After dinner we went to the Wheelhouse bar where we first took advantage of the after 8 PM "Power hours" for $2.99 drinks. The band is quite good and we were able to get in a few dances. This night there was late night (10:15 is late for us!) ballroom dancing to the orchestra. They are excellent and we stayed as long as we could. Our travel mates participated in the "Super deck party" held the same evening and had a very nice time. During the evening the CD announced that due to expected wind conditions our arrival at Roatan was being moved up to 8:30 AM, and departure would also be moved up. We hoped the 26 people signed up through CC would remember our contingency plans for a time change. Tuesday we woke early in order to be at the DiVinci when they opened at 7:30. This morning we had two wonderful, happy waiters (The "Double AA" team) who made breakfast a pleasure. During breakfast however the Captain came on and announced that after conferring with the local Pilot, a decision was made that docking in Roatan was too risky due to force 7 winds and we would bypass the port. The beautiful sunny skies teased us as we now proceeded at a snail's pace towards Wednesday's call in Cozumel. This was a great disappointment as Roatan was the primary port we wanted to visit on this cruise, having not been there before. We quickly finished our breakfast and taking all our gear with us went to the lido in search of shady chairs. None could be found that were not already "Reserved" in the shade. On a hunch, I checked the spa pool and found three loungers as yet unoccupied. I put down our gear and spoke with a friendly neighbor that I just needed to get things from my room and would be right back (We were back in 5 minutes). We enjoyed the pool during the morning and then a revised Patter schedule was published. The ladies went to a Zumba class while the men went to a movie in the theater. We enjoyed lunch in the DiVinci, met the ladies at the International cafe for coffee, and relaxed away the afternoon watching a second movie on this "Extra" sea day. A few notes at this point, not quite half-way through the cruise. The Crown is a beautiful ship, in some ways one of the nicest decorated we have sailed on. There are 14 passenger lifts. I am finding the lifts very annoying. Being on deck 12, we take the stairs to go to the Lido (deck 15) or Sun (deck 16). Going down to decks 5, 6, or 7, however, is 5 - 7 flights. It can take up to 5 minutes for a lift to show, as most often at least one lift from each bank of lifts is out of service. When you finally get one, they stop at every deck. We have been on ships with half to two-thirds the passenger count of the Crown that have 12 lifts. If we were unable to use the stairs at all (as some of the passengers are) then waiting for lifts would truly be a great inconvenience. Tuesday evening was dinner in the dining room and our waiter is starting to show some signs of personality. Dinner was okay but at least it moved along. We danced a few in the Wheelhouse and proceeded to the Princess theater for the show at 8:05. 25 minutes before show time and the only open seats were some folding chairs added to the ends of a few of the front rows. Once the lights went out the show was so compelling that I was falling asleep, despite the uncomfortable chair! Wednesday we again woke early as we arrived in Cozumel at 7:00 AM. Enjoyed breakfast in the dining room when they opened at 7:30 and went to Chankanaab Park. We enjoyed the beach and snorkeling at Chankanaab. Returned to the ship at about 12:30 for a quick shower, quick lunch from the buffet and pool grille, (buffet choices seemed very limited) and headed downtown for the afternoon. Back onboard about 3:45 and being quite exhausted from the day feel asleep in the coolness of the cabin. Awoke to find we had missed our dinner time! Our travel mates had the same affliction. About 6:50 we went to the DiVinci dining room and explained we had missed our dinner and they were kind enough to seat us. Kudos to the dining room manager as they did not need to allow us in. We learned that tonight was the "Chef's dinner" with a limited menu however there was also a secondary menu one could obtain. Dinner was okay, but again just adequate. We told our waiter we wanted to make the 8:30 comedy show in the Explorers lounge and he got us through dinner by 8:00. We headed straight to the Explorers to find it was standing room only with not a seat to be found. On this I have to give Princess an "F" for ship planning. The public rooms and theater are simply too small for the number of passengers on board. It is silly to need to arrive 45 minutes or longer before a show to get any kind of seat, when the show length is 40 minutes. This is not our idea of a relaxing cruise vacation. Thursday was a sea day headed towards Princess Cay. We slept in, wandered the ship in the late morning and ran into one of our traveling friends in Skywalkers, where we were drinking our International Cafe coffee before trying the "Princess links" mini-golf. The International cafe is one of the best things on the ship. Most of the staff there are very happy and always serve with a smile (there was one exception, a rude young woman who made it clear to everyone that this was her last week on the ship and she can't wait to get off). Vince is a showman at heart and likes to make the coffee a production; he is fun and always ready to please. The pastries at the cafe are also usually very good. After finishing our coffee we played mini-golf. The wind made it a challenge and often seemed to affect the play. However, this was something different and it was not crowded there on deck 19! Other than the cafe, we had skipped breakfast so we headed to the DiVinci for lunch. Seeing nothing that interesting on the menu two of us ordered the burger. The burgers are rather tasty however they contain a lot of salt. I asked if I could have one without added salt and the waiter explained they are partially prepared ahead of time so to custom make one would take more than 35 minutes. Salt it is. We were seated at a table for 8 and when the entrees were served found one of our table mates had a fried seafood combination of fish, scallops, and shrimp. We swear we didn't see that on the menu (it was there but called something completely different). The waiter was good enough to bring us one of those entrees to share. It was quite good and certainly better than the last few dinners! During our lunch, our traveling friends DW had an experience that regretfully seems to characterize the customer service (or lack of it) component of this cruise. She is an avid table tennis player, and the ship hosted a mixed pair's tournament. She was paired with an 84 year old gentleman who had been playing the game for 60 years. The young woman on the cruise director's staff began by stating "These are the rules" and when questioned as they were not the normal rules of the game, threw an attitude and said "This is my game and these are my rules and if you don't like it you can just leave." Anyway, they won their first match, lost their second, and were paired to play a final match with another couple. During the break the staffer went to the pool grille and brought back a chicken sandwich which she proceeded to eat in front of the playing passengers. We've certainly never experienced this before - cruise staff eating while they are supposed to be working? Apparently she really didn't want to be working as when our team was discussing with their next opponent how they would play she accused them of breaking her rules, told them they forfeited the game, and gave the medals to the other couple. Three repeated complaints and follow ups with the front desk brought three repeated promises that Sam, the CD, would contact them. They never heard from Sam. The staffer involved should be made to "Walk the plank." That afternoon, we watched a movie in the theater as no deck chairs were to be found anywhere. This is our ninth cruise and before this cruise we have never watched a movie on a ship; there is always so much to do! Princess does not enforce its unoccupied deck chair policy and people go to the deck at 6 AM, "Claim" deck chairs, and do not release them until late afternoon. This was the second formal night and our dining room servers are becoming more personable. Actually, the assistant waiter has been great all week. He is also the greeter at the DiVinci for breakfast and lunch and always has a good word to say and a warm smile. We remembered him especially at the end of the cruise; this is also his last week on board. The lobster tonight was okay, but drawn butter was served by the wait staff and no cups were made available. After dinner we enjoyed some dancing in the Explorers (dinner was faster tonight and we got there 50 minutes before the comedy show) and the ship's orchestra is very enjoyable. The comedian was okay. After the show, we went up to the buffet for lobster claws. The claws are some work as they were not completely split; however, they seem to taste better than the dining room lobster tails. Drawn butter was available in small cups in the buffet (so why not in the dining room?). Next we went to get changed and tried to watch MUTS as it was showing "Wall street" which we wanted to see. This was the late show and no one came around with blankets. We stayed about an hour but found that it was difficult to hear the dialog. We thought it was because we sat on the side but one of our traveling friends sat immediately in the center and had the same experience. It was quite windy and he conjectured that the wind was affecting the sound. In any case, we became chilled and called it a night. Friday is Princess Cay day! We met for breakfast at 9:00 as the ship was anchoring. We obtained our tender tickets at 9:40 and were on the island at 10:30. I thought it took a long time first to get on the tender and second the tender bopped around a while in the ocean waiting for a spot they could tie up. On Princess Cay we found another ship's employee who needs to walk the plank. There are several large signs "Welcome to Princess Cay." These are not copyrighted backdrops like they use on the ship for their formal portraits; this is a SIGN. A ship's photographer was anchored directly in front of this sign. He had no current passengers looking for him to take their photo. When asked to step aside so we could take a photo, he refused and said "Not while I am here." What is with these Princess employees? They are either really really good or really really bad. This is our ninth cruise but first "Private island" experience. We really enjoyed the Cay. I did a lot of snorkeling. No large fish but the area is shallow and there were hundreds of fish hidden among the rocks and coral. The lunch served on the island, even though the food came from the ship, seemed to be better than on the ship. Everything is very conveniently located and we wished it was a longer stop. Last tender was 3:00 so we arrived in a very long line to board a tender back to the ship at 2:00. 25 minutes later we were on a tender. Upon arrival on board, we went to the spa pool and used the hot tub. No chairs were available (no surprise there) but we didn't need chairs. The farewell dinner was the best dinner all week. Finally a good menu selection of both entrees and desserts. Plus, a baked Alaska parade. I like the way Princess did the baked Alaska. Our waiter cut it up right on our table and served a large section to anyone who wanted some. We all went to the Wheelhouse for music and dancing. The band took a one hour break which we used to pack up, and then met one last time back at the Wheelhouse. We were not sure we would see each other in the morning so we said our goodbyes. Saturday morning we went to the DiVinci at 6:30, enjoyed breakfast at a table for two, and said farewell to our assistant dinner waiter who was working his last meal on board. We gave him a special goodbye and headed back for the last time to our cabin. We got our entire luggage together and noted that disembarkation had just begun. We had walk-off, "Express 5" disembarkation and snagged an upward elevator as all the downward ones were filled. We were off the ship before 8:00 AM and through immigration by 8:45. Princess seems to have embarkation and disembarkation down pat; the only delay was that immigration had only two customs officers on duty. While we were in line two others arrived, and once they had 4 the lines moved well. There is much said on the cruise critic boards about smoking. We found as long as we avoided the casino it was not an issue. Someone within a few balconies of us would occasionally have a cigarette, but it was never so bad that it caused us to retreat to our cabin, and my DW if quite sensitive to smoke. We found the comfort of the bed to be mediocre at best, and we generally like a firm mattress. In summary, I would grade Princess as follows: Activity schedule - B-, (however, cannot participate in things when you can't get in the room.) Customer Service - F Enforcing policy (deck chairs) - F Entertainment; main theater - D Entertainment; other - B+ Food - D Princess Cay - A- Public rooms - F (too small for the number of passengers on board) Ship's dEcor and maintenance - A Stateroom - B (Would be an A but the bed is not very comfortable) Overall - D+ Would we sail with Princess again? Not likely. We much prefer the food and service on Celebrity and HAL. On both of these lines, we can arrive at a show 5 minutes before show time and have never had trouble finding a seat. The dining room service on both is two steps above our Princess experience. We have never faced offensive ship employees on those lines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Background InformationMy wife and I have cruised a total of three times. On our first cruise we sailed with Royal Caribbean out of Seattle, Washington, for a 7-day round trip to Alaska and Canada. On our second cruise we sailed with ... Read More
Background InformationMy wife and I have cruised a total of three times. On our first cruise we sailed with Royal Caribbean out of Seattle, Washington, for a 7-day round trip to Alaska and Canada. On our second cruise we sailed with Carnival out of Galveston, Texas, for a 7-day round trip to the Western Caribbean. Our third cruise was aboard the Golden Princess out of Los Angeles, California, for a 14-day round trip to Hawaii and Mexico. I am very observant and though some of my remarks may be viewed as nitpicking, I am merely stating what I observed.-------------------------Travel To Port of EmbarkationIt should be noted that there are two major ports; the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. Princess cruise ships sail out of the port of Los Angeles.-------------------------Hotel Info (if any)We are local southern California residents and therefore did not stay at any hotel.-------------------------StateroomOur stateroom was pleasantly cozy, and as we can sleep on relatively firm mattresses, we did not have a real problem. In fact, we enjoyed our little stateroom. If you really listened, you could hear a slight whirring noise (I suspect it was from the nearby elevators), but it did not affect us in any way. Don't forget to close the bathroom door on rough sea days, otherwise it will open and close (not close all the way) all night until you get out of your bed and secure it shut. We did hear a bit of creaking within the walls of the ship but it wasn't unexpected. After all it is a moving ship.-------------------------Ship InfoThe ship entered service in 2001 and was refurbished in early 2009. Overall, the boat did not appear old or run down, but this was clearly due in part to the continuous maintenance that occurred during our cruise.Exterior metal surfaces which had rust bleed through the existing white coating: During the first half of the cruise, there was a noticeable effort in which the crew repainted external metallic objects (posts, bases, rails, etc.) in which rust had bled through the white coating. Needless to say, there were areas that were not entirely ventilated in which you could smell the coating (oil-based paint) they used to cover the showing rust. You could also detect it if you were immediately downwind of the freshly painted surface. There were signs stating "Wet Paint" in most places and my wife and I were able to avoid these areas. A young couple which sat at our table during dinner was not so fortunate. The man had somehow contacted the white paint with his dress shirt, and the woman had paint on the sole of her shoe.Exterior metal surfaces which had severe rust develop on the surface: On the second and third sea days on the return leg, the mornings in the Calypso pool (indoor pool with overhead conservatory) were full of an amazingly deafening racket. I witnessed several people leave the area while I put my earplugs in an attempt to block out the loud hammering and scraping noise. I wandered to the area upstairs and in front of the pool area (miniature golf area) and witnessed a crew member removing rust from a wall in the miniature golf area which was shared with the enclosed pool room (the Calypso). I saw him do it with three tools; a tack hammer, a putty knife (not a hand scraper), and a metal bristle brush. That crew member worked for hours to remove the large patch of rust (he seemed to use the hammer more than the other tools) while the Calypso emptied out for the morning.Exterior wooden handrails and other wooden coverings: Many of the exterior wooden surfaces received a coat of varnish during the cruise. There were signs stating "Wet Varnish" in most places but my wife and I were unlucky enough to touch an unmarked wooden handrail that had relatively fresh varnish applied. It was a little sticky and hard to wash off our hands. This was not done on the port days when most of the passengers were off the ship. This was done during our sea days.Elevator maintenance: We very rarely used the elevator but did notice that during the last half of the cruise; at least one elevator was out of service in each of the forward and rear elevator banks, which each have four elevators (we did not notice this in the center bank, though it does have six elevators). On several occasions I witnessed the elevator doors propped open for maintenance but did not see anyone. It is possible that maintenance was occurring within the elevator shaft. This did create havoc during the evenings (not for us) as the areas in front of the elevators were very busy.Television channel changing issues: Several people we spoke with had trouble changing the channel (as we did). I noticed that that the elevated television supports were large and square-shaped, for older style televisions. Though the old televisions had been replaced with thin flat panel televisions, they were recessed so far back on the existing support tray that you had to hold your arm in the air to change the channel while lying in bed. This was a minor inconvenience but tested your endurance while you flipped through the twenty or so channels with your arm outstretched.Horizon Court buffet layout and design: The layout of the buffet made dinners in the buffet a traffic nightmare, though it would seem difficult to really remedy the situation.Young children overtaking the Calypso pool area and screaming as they played: Many of the young children were let loose in the indoor pool area, where they screamed at the top of their lungs for several hours on one of our sea days and filled the room with echoing noise. I did witness several people leave and complain about the noise on their way out. This is in part, the fault of the parents but also the fault of the crew for not enforcing any of their own rules regarding parent supervision in the pool area or disruptive behavior on the ship.-------------------------DiningThe food served on the entire cruise, was just short of disastrous. There were a few exceptions. Horizon Court buffet: We ate breakfast here nearly every day, and had cereal (which we both love) and various typical breakfast foods. It should be noted that the food in the buffet is just that, food from a buffet, usually not that tasty and usually not that hot. If you enjoy food as long as it fills your stomach, you won't have much of a problem eating the buffet food.Dining Room (Donatello): We ate lunch most often in the main dining room, and I'd say one of my favorite dishes on the entire cruise was the hamburger/cheeseburger in the main dining room served during lunch. It was ground beef and had pink in the middle at least two times, but they got immediately me another burger while I watched my wife eat.Dining Room (Donatello): We ate dinner here every night (except the first full cruising day when many people were sick). We had much higher expectations for the main dining room food, and most of the food sure fell short. All of the cuts of beef, of which I tried four tenderloin cuts, a rib eye cut, a New York cut, and a prime rib cut, were sad, sorry excuses for red meat. I would not classify these steaks as even being USDA Select, which is the lowest grade of USDA rated meat sold in retail. I spoke with several others who shared a similar opinion, though some disagreed with me. I do consider myself somewhat of a steak lover, and enjoy grilling my own steaks. I don't think any different cooking style or seasoning could save the lousy excuses for beef, which had a color reminiscent of beef that had been long frozen. Both times I had lamb, it was terribly dry. The sauce it was swimming in reared its face several other times during the cruise as well. Overall the appetizers were fair, the salads were tasty (I'm not a picky salad eater), the broth soups were too bland but the creamy ones were usually quite good and lava-like hot, nearly all of the entrees were awful, and the dessert was hit or miss, but usually a hit. The entree should be the highlight of a meal for me but I could have done without it on nearly every dining occasion. The fettuccine alfredo, which was available any night in the main dining room for dinner, was the highlight of the hot food every night. I ordered this as an appetizer nearly every night. It could be ordered with grilled chicken and in a Parmesan bowl if desired.Desserts: The International Cafe on deck 5 had great desserts. This was the place to go once you realized that the vanilla and chocolate ice creams served in the dining halls and ice cream bar tasted unlike the vanilla and chocolate flavors you had in the past.Pizza station: The pizza was actually quite tasty and I enjoyed this several times as a snack. My only gripe was that it was a little limp (the crust was very thin though) and after asking the server twice if he could cook a single slice a bit longer in the oven, he just smiled and put it on the plate. It was clear we had a language barrier.Drinks: Orange juice was usually watered down and came in the tiniest glass. If you wanted fresh squeezed juice, it was available for $2.95 a glass from deck 14 in the Calypso Pool area. Concentrated orange juice was available in the main dining rooms during breakfast (free) and lunch and dinner (some fee).Coffee served in the dining halls and buffet areas was usually very weak, and had a strange tinny (metallic) flavor. My wife and I enjoy our coffee and caved in to buy the coffee card. Otherwise, the prices for good coffee ranged between $1 and $3 dollars, depending on whether you wanted it plain black or fancy with chocolates, foams, and other fancy adders. You had to pay for the coffee card to get consistently good, strong coffee.Soda seemed a bit watery (though it was a freebie from a friend of ours so I can't complain, too much...). Soda was not free and could be purchased individually or with one of several drink packages. The cheapest package for endless soda was $4 a day, I believe.Lemonade: I asked for lemonade at every dining area throughout the ship, and could only ever get it in the Horizon Court buffet on the 14th deck. Every waiter I asked in the main dining rooms refused to get me lemonade, though in all honesty I don't blame them (it's at least eight decks up). For whatever reason, Princess does not supply lemonade throughout the ship. On the other two ships I cruised on, the lemonade was endless and available most places.There was a recurring trend throughout the ship.Bad OJ = free, good OJ = fee.Bad coffee = free, good coffee = fee.Bad steaks = free, good steaks = $25 fee per person in the Crown Grill (I did not personally confirm they are good in the Crown Grill but was told by everyone who tried the steak at the Crown Grill that it was better than the steaks served in the main dining room).The coffee and soda cards could not be prorated in price! This is what I was told by several people on the first few days. It is possible they were incorrect. I bought the coffee card on the second day and the price was definitely not prorated.-------------------------ActivitiesThe activities on the ship were similar to the other cruise lines we had cruised with in the past. The trivia was fun, as were the karaoke contests. We also enjoyed playing board games with new people and chatting away. On several occasions we looked for something to do (card or board games) since there weren't a lot of things to do between 9:00AM and 5:00PM. We did not partake in any of the Hawaiian activities, such as the ukulele lessons or the luau dancing. I did notice that on the Golden Princess, there were almost no activities on the port days, whereas on other cruise lines, there were a whole lot more. This didn't affect us a whole lot, since we disembarked at every port except for Mexico. The boat was required to stop at Mexico to comply with the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 (46 USC §289), which states that foreign flagged vessels may not transport passengers between ports in the United States, unless a $300 fee is paid for each passenger transported and landed.-------------------------Children's ClubsWe had no experience with these clubs.-------------------------ServiceStateroom service: This service was acceptable and the gentleman who was our steward was very talkative and very polite. We had our "Privacy Please" card in the slot most of the time and only required his services when we used up our towels. He also made a point of catching us while we scurried to make dinner on time to give me something or chit chat with me, which became an annoyance. He also insisted on tending to our room on the final day, even though we would return after breakfast and wait on the bed. Dining room service (Donatello's): The waiters who tended to us during lunch were fair and did a good job. The waiter who tended to us during dinner did a very good job and we were all friends by the end of the cruise (this is expected). -------------------------EntertainmentThe entertainment during the morning and afternoon was mostly adequate. We did throw in card and board games, and got the chance to meet some very nice cruising mates in the process.The entertainment during the evening was much better. The shows with the dancers were decent but were enjoyable. The karaoke contest was fun as well. We did not really visit the lounges with live music so can't really comment on that.We did not partake in any extra services onboard, such as the massages and spa treatments. -------------------------Port & Shore ExcursionsWe took the cruise knowing what the itinerary was, so we didn't complain when we arrived in Mexico like many other passengers.As it turns out, some of the shore excursions could be taken using public transportation (such as the Diamondhead Crater). The excursions by Princess were, however, hosted by professional and knowledgeable people who made a good effort.At our fourth port, in Maui, we tendered to and from the shore. Princess performs this process every two weeks though they had a terrible time getting the people on the ship due to the winds and moderate seas. Our tender boat (which was one of the rescue boats) sat in the water several hundred feet from the boat, while one of the other tender boats unloaded. Several people were queasy. Meanwhile, I was told that the line to return to the ship took an hour and a half, reminiscent of a line for an amusement park ride. This was something I expected Princess to be experienced with and provide a seamless experience. It did not go well.-------------------------DisembarkationThis went very smooth and felt like a process which a professional cruise line had a lot of experience.-------------------------SummaryWe felt like Princess was trying to nickel and dime us, and otherwise provide chintzy quantities and lackluster qualities wherever possible. The chocolate tasting consisted of a piece of chocolate about the size of a peanut. The coffee and alcohol tasting consisted of an amount that could fill a thimble. The free mixed alcoholic drinks (first and last formal nights, and possibly others), had almost no alcohol in them. The patter wasn't always clear on whether or not a special event was complimentary or not, such as the smoothie event whereby you were charged $3.50 to put your fruits into the blender.It is clear that the staff is required to ask if you want something from the bar at every chance they get, and some people we met were assaulted eight times in one sitting by crew asking if they wanted a drink from the bar during one of the special buffet events on deck 14.On both other cruises we were on, the ship provided seasick pills. They clearly did not want people vomiting all over and having a lousy vacation because they were sick the whole time. Princess refers you to the gift shop so that you may spend some of your money, which is not always open and I was therefore unable to buy aspirin during the wee hours for my sick wife. We will not sail on this ship nor would we recommend it to anyone. In fact, it is doubtful that we would ever sail on Princess again. We were told that other Princess ships provided better food by some more experience Princess cruisers.------------------------- Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
My girlfriend and I took the Sea Princess out of San Francisco (May 30) for a 10 day cruise to Alaska, and walked away pretty disappointed. We're both pretty new to cruising, was her first and my second, so I might just have ... Read More
My girlfriend and I took the Sea Princess out of San Francisco (May 30) for a 10 day cruise to Alaska, and walked away pretty disappointed. We're both pretty new to cruising, was her first and my second, so I might just have unrealistic expectations for cruising. 1) The Ship: The ship seemed to be pretty run down and out-dated. The stained carpets, rusty pipes, dirty windows, and broken furniture created a pretty dilapidated atmosphere. The layout was inconvenient at times, the pizzeria was situated directly between the main elevators and the casino, and so while you were trying to enjoy your meal, people were constantly walking through the restaurant. And for those partaking in libations in the "secluded" wheelhouse bar were terrorized by massive crowds leaving the princess theater. The every window that had a view outside was dirty, which I thought they'd be at least trying to keep clean seeing as Alaska was known for breathtaking views. 2) Service: I can't quite say the service was bad, every reasonable request was honored but with a smirk instead of a smile. The staff with the exception a select few seemed too busy to deal with customers. One little thing I was really looking forward to were the towel animals that were always in my room after dinner, some passengers had great stewards that did them, but the vast majority that I spoke with never got a single animal. I know this is trivial, but these little things really make a difference. 3) The Food: Hit or miss anywhere you go. The Buffet was defiantly the worst I've ever been to (and that includes on land also). Because of a norovirus outbreak (not really the cruise line's fault but still) they had employees scooping and serving, which really made the buffet seem crowded to the point of discomfort. And the food was just terrible, except for some eggs benedict that I happened to get straight from the kitchen. Me being a bacon fanatic was excited for the opportunity to stuff my face with all the bacon I could handle, but the bacon tasted artificial and just gross. The only thing truly edible was the prepackaged cereal during breakfast hours. The grill by the pool never had fresh food, but burgers that were reheated at your request, dogs that had been sitting on the rollers for hours, and french fries that they gave a dunk in oil after sitting under a heat lamp. The main dining room was much better than the buffet/grill; as a result it was filled during meal time with about a 15-30 min wait. The food there was very bland but the super salty sauce that covered every dish made up for it I guess. I never got a steak cooked to order, well done every time (I ordered medium-rare), even in the Sterling Steakhouse. Deserts were good though, probably because they were premade and precut. Another little thing, they never once had escargot on the menu, I guess it was on the "secret menu." 4) Cabin: It was small, just like every other cruise cabin in the world, but the beds were hard and lumpy even with a mattress topper. Running with the ships atmosphere it just felt used and abused. 5) Entertainment: This is where my biggest quarrels were. The ship had very few fun activitys, mostly dominated by port shopping lectures (big diamond commercials that make you feel like a broke peasant because you don't want to spend $10,000 in diamonds), corny cruise games (trivia and bingo mostly), and movies that are repeated all day long in you stateroom. We had late seating in the dining room, and they had the times set up for the evening shows so you would have to rush through dinner and skip desert just so you wouldn't miss the first 10 minutes of the show (if you were lucky enough to get a seat that late). If we could do the cruise over again, we would in a heartbeat. We had a AWESOME group at dinner time, the itinerary was spectacular (Glacier Bay is just life changing like a frozen Grand Canyon), the shows we did see were very good and entertaining, and reasonably priced goods/services. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
My husband and I love cruising. We had heard that Princess was better than Carnival. Absolutely not true in this instance. We are very disappointed with Princess. Terrible rude service. There was a noro virus outbreak on the cruise ... Read More
My husband and I love cruising. We had heard that Princess was better than Carnival. Absolutely not true in this instance. We are very disappointed with Princess. Terrible rude service. There was a noro virus outbreak on the cruise previous to ours. Our departure was delayed because of this. We had received a cabin update and we had the new room # which we put on our luggage tags. When we got to the terminal a Princess employee approached us and looked at my boarding pass. You don't board till 630pm. I explained the room change and that Princess had told us we embarked at 530pm. He said it doesn't show that here and you won't get on. I approached another employee and she checked her list and confirmed our boarding time. When we got our room keys I noticed immediately that the room # was different. We went to the pursors desk and I expressed my concern that our luggage would be sent to the wrong room. She said not to worry 120 rooms had been changed and all employees knew about the changes. We went to our room and the room steward immediately tried to start an argument with us. He told us there was supposed to be a single man in that room. We told him it had been changed and we were assigned that room. He kept arguing. finally my husband showed him our key and stated that it opened the door. He finally left. Our luggage never came. My husband said I wonder if they took it to the first room. They did. Some of it anyway. By the way this room was condemned. By now it is 2AM. My husband had to drag the luggage to the elevator to the next floor where our room was. I called the front desk to tell them what happened. They said they would send someone to help my husband with the rest of the luggage. They didn't. For the rest of the cruise they didn't know where we were until the bill came. It was our anniversary and friends paid to have our door decorated. We never got the decoration. Probably on the condemned room's door. The food in the buffet was truly terrible. The food in the dinning room was good. The deserts were great. Our waiter and assist waiter were great. They actually smiled.The maitre d was was rude. Our assigned dinning time was 6PM. The first night we arrived at 545pm. He very crossly told us he almost gave our table away as he had some any time diners that he could have given it to. We told him our dining time was 6pm. He said we would have to start getting there earlier. We didn't know this. How were we supposed to know. Service very slow in the dinning room for breakfast and lunch. If you had a morning shore excursion forget eating there. The shore excursion desk was very inefficient. Long lines our you stand in a group looking at a screen to see if the excursion you wanted was available. The entertainment was excellent as was the music in the various lounges. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We are loyal RCL crusiers, before this summer we have complete 7 cruise with RCL. In Europe and Carribean on various ships. Well it was time to try something new. Not really a good idea, you just compare what is in front of you to what ... Read More
We are loyal RCL crusiers, before this summer we have complete 7 cruise with RCL. In Europe and Carribean on various ships. Well it was time to try something new. Not really a good idea, you just compare what is in front of you to what you have had, really not fair to the ship. But it is also good to see what another cruise liner is offering. I would breakdown our cruise into three parts; ship, food&wine, activities/shore start with the good Food excellent, why lots of variety, always available, very good, bad, we had anytime dining which was more like line-up and wait. most nights it was an hour long wait to get seated, whether you had reservation or not...and the Matilde was very very rude. I complained multiple times to just be left standing even longer. If I want a buzzer ed and wait in line, I'd rather go to the cheese cake factory.. Wine, if you like American wine, sure lots of variety, no wine deals like on RCL, only on expensive wines they cant sell...did we drink lots of wine, yes was it good yes but hell to get! Ship, small, tight closterfobic, it felt crowded at the time, our room had double hanging bunks. we were only 2, why. i broke my shoulder, head on them daily, never again. room was also smaller than RCL.getting off the ship was a nightmare, it was the most poorly organized group ever...they just dont gett eh fact that we are on vacation and they should be taking care of us. We may try another Princess cruise, but the Star is not for us.... Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Many people take cruises for many different reasons. On this occasion we decided to take a cruise to celebrate my husbands 50th birthday. Because this gift was for such a special occasion we decided to really go all out and purchased the ... Read More
Many people take cruises for many different reasons. On this occasion we decided to take a cruise to celebrate my husbands 50th birthday. Because this gift was for such a special occasion we decided to really go all out and purchased the owners suite, cabin S709. We received a text, a phone call and an email the day before to inform us that the Golden Princess would be late arriving due to bad weather, so embarkation would be delayed until 2:00 p.m. This made little difference to us. We arrived about 2:15 p.m. and were able to board quickly. Our embarkation took about 30 minutes, until we were in our room. We were very happy with our suite and how it was appointed. It became a very comfortable home for two weeks. In fact we can say that about the ship as a vessel. The ship is beautifully decorated and flowed well. The last time we sailed with Princess we were very unhappy with the flow of the Caribbean Princess. It has too many cabins for the common/public areas not to be over filled. After we made final payment for our booking we went to our Cruise Personalizer on the Princess website we filled in our preferences. Shorty after we arrived to our cabin we saw it made no difference. We specifically filled in our mini bar requests, but had a standard set up. When we asked our cabin steward, Joseph about it, he told us that was filled by room service department. He wrote down our requests and arranged to have them swapped out for our requested items. This was only one time out of many that our cabin steward fixed a problem from another department, such as the time the laundry lost my bathing suit for a day and a half. Only one wet bathing suit on a Hawaiian cruise is not a comfortable position to be in. We also had an appointment discrepancy with the spa that we had pre reserved. They wanted to change our time and we were just not available at that time. We told them to cancel and perhaps we would reschedule, but then they found the time for us after all. Later that evening we went to dinner. No matter where we ate the food was only mediocre at best. There was the exception of the Chefs Table experience. That was a very memorable meal where everything was impeccable. But the real disappointment was the service we received in the Crown Grill. We hosted the dinner with two other couples we had befriended onboard. Water glasses were left empty at times. Cocktail glasses were not taken away when empty; napkins were not folded, servers reaching over while serving. Just not the level of basic service we are accustomed to while fine dining. Again the food was only okay. Certainly not equal to Capital Grill or Ruth Chris. The service in Sabatinis was very nice. The breakfast available to suite guests, very good as well. But the food at dinner was only okay. In fact there was small talk among the guests about the lobster risotto being terrible. I laughed when the subject came up openly during the Chefs table. I didnt start the conversation, but had the same discussion privately with my husband. The morning we arrived in Hilo, Hawaii, my husband was not feeling well. He went and saw the doctor. We had about a 40 minute wait while he saw other patients. When we did, we were very pleased with his care. He examined and treated my husband so he could enjoy the rest of his vacation. He did tell my husband not to go on our planned excursion. He stamped our tickets and we brought them to the shore excursion desk and received a refund. This was much appreciated. We were unimpressed with the entertainment on the ship. It wasnt that we didnt enjoy the production value or even the singing, but the dancing was terrible. The dancers were out of sync and running into each other. If the other aspects werent so good, it would have been comical. One the first day, we went to the gift shop to purchase cigarettes. We placed and paid for our order. On the last sea day, we were awoken by a phone call from the gift shop telling us that their inventory control system was all messed up and they could not fill our order for one of our brands. So my husband requested a refund for that product. We were told we had to come down to have the refund processed. So we interrupted our day to do so. On the last day of the cruise, we received our order for they product they did have in stock, but it was the wrong brand. I went down and requested to speak to the shop manager and was presented to the assistant shop manager. I politely asked her to explain the incompetence for a simple order. She was very kind, apologized and corrected my order. We were most annoyed that we were woken up on the final sea day. That was not necessary at all. When were realized we couldnt get our cigarettes from the gift shop we went to the Players Club Bar, where smoking is allowed, to enjoy a cocktail and cigarette and purchase some as well. This is where the most offensive thing that has ever happened to me by a crew member in all the cruises I have gone on. After he sold us the pack of cigarettes, he continued on about how he was very pleased that starting the next day, crew members were not longer allowed to smoke in their quarters. That his roommate smokes and it annoys him. He also told us only a moron would smoke and any idiot can read on the package that it kills. Look, I know many people have issues with smoking, but I do not expected to be lectured by the hired help while on holiday. This was a big bad note and one that we really never shook off. Perhaps because when we complained to a food and beverage supervisor about the incident, the same bartender was in the bar for the remainder of the cruise. We had expected after such an incident and complaint he would have been removed to another location. But I suppose it is okay with Princess to have their crew members insult their guests. In regards to disembarkation, we where not pleased again. On the final sea day we were giving our departure tags we were not given a preferred time. So we went to the pursers and inquired about it. We were told we didnt have a preferred time but a special place. When we arrived at this special place we were greatly disappointed to find a picked over tray of pastries and self serve coffee/tea. There were only napkins and cups and no one to bus the tables. The most amusing thing that happened was when they got on the microphone and asked people to bring sections of the paper back because they didnt have enough to go around. This is the first time I ever disembarked from a cruise without a full breakfast served to me. I could go on and on with little things that happened that were unpleasant, but I feel that I have explained enough to cruise on another cruise line. I have enjoyed much better experiences on other competing lines and will continue to cruise where I feel I am appreciated. 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Sail Date September 2011
My dream was shattered by bad weather, poor tour guide, lousy buffet food, and returning home to a shockingly huge data bill of $530.00 just because we didn't turn off our iPhone and it received data every day while we weren't ... Read More
My dream was shattered by bad weather, poor tour guide, lousy buffet food, and returning home to a shockingly huge data bill of $530.00 just because we didn't turn off our iPhone and it received data every day while we weren't even using it! When I think of Hawaii, I think of swimming & beaches. In the entire 14 days on ship & off, we never once put on a swimsuit. I know the cruise line can't control the weather but it was awful. The ship rocked & rolled so hard all the pools on board had to be drained as they were sloshing out! It was too cold to sit outside to watch movies on the big screen, even though the employees passed out wool blankets! The wind blew so strongly that we could not ever walk around the promenade deck! Walking in itself was difficult, especially down the long halls while the ship rocked, it would make you bounce off the walls. Due to the rough seas it took us an extra day and a half to reach Hawaii, therefore we had to skip the Big Island. Princess did refund our tour excursion money for that port, but I was greatly disappointed! We booked tour HNL-100 USS Arizona Memorial & City Drive in Honolulu through Princess. Our bus driver wasted time pulled over on the side of the road talking to us about what we were going to do which made us late arriving at Pearl Harbor. Not until we pulled into the parking lot did the driver tell us that there was a time stamped on our ticket and we had to be in the theater at that time or they lock the doors. He stated that he had a few that had a later time so he gave those to the slow walkers. We had about 15 minutes to find the theatre and use the toilet. The Ladies restroom had a long line so I decided I could wait until the film was over. Well, nobody explained beforehand that after the doors we entered were locked we had to exit side doors which led directly to boats that carried you across the harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial. Well by this time I was in dire need of a restroom and knew I couldn't make it there & back as there are no bathrooms out on the memorial. Sadly we missed the boat and tried to catch the next one, but again, no one explained that there are only seats for the current film goers so we were turned away. I cried because we waited our entire lives to see that memorial and had come thousands of miles and didn't get to see it. All because the bus driver messed around and got us there late! If it is your first time to visit the Hawaiian islands I would NOT recommend cruising there and back to California. Fly there and THEN cruise around the islands or take a plane or helicopter to visit each island. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
My husband is severely disabled and uses a mobility scooter to get around. I discussed this with the TA prior to making our booking to ensure that his scooter would get through the cabin door without the need for a disabled cabin. We were ... Read More
My husband is severely disabled and uses a mobility scooter to get around. I discussed this with the TA prior to making our booking to ensure that his scooter would get through the cabin door without the need for a disabled cabin. We were assured there would be plenty of room having provided them with the dimensions.This is the first time we have cruised on a large ship - normally cruise with approx 1800-2000 passengers, whereas, Crown Princess had 3159 passengers onboard for this cruise. On all previous cruises we have embarked at the Mayflower Terminal but this one embarked at a different terminal and we had a long wait with the car until we were called along to remove our luggage. Porters were available but I was asked to remove our luggage (being disabled didn't matter!) We struggled along to the terminal with our hand luggage and suit/dresses and waited again in a long queue to be checked in with passports/boarding passes etc before moving along to the security process. Once again we were met with long queue's but being disabled we were asked to move into a different queue. However, some other people followed us who were not disabled (clearly saying they are not prepared to wait in the other queue) and this was not properly marshalled. Upon placing our personal items on the conveyor belt I was asked to remove my shoes whilst my husband was asked to remove his coat. Security staff had no empathy with our circumstances and I became distressed from witnessing my husband's difficulties with their requests.At this point the passengers behind me were complaining about the process and queue's and we were rushed through uncourteously leaving me in tears in the terminal. I asked repeatedly to speak to a manager and several staff approached me but made excuses of time constraints/carrier's problem and said get onboard and have a drink!!! We eventually got onboard two and half hours later which is disgusting amount of time compared to our other cruise experiences. I immediately went to the reception to complain of our experience and it apeared to fall on deaf ears through a language barrier. We proceeded to our cabin only to find that the scooter had approximately quarter of inch gap either side and we struggled to get the scooter in/out on each occasion. We were on Lido deck with a balcony and the room didnot leave any space once the scooter was inside causing additional mobility problems for my husband throughout the duration. Although we have cruised before many times we have always been on English ships and with so many things to think about, we had overlooked the adaptor required to recharge the scooter, phones etc. I telephoned reception to ask where the socket points were situated and was told behind the bed!!! How on earth they expect a disabled passenger to pull out the bed to access an electrical point is beyond me but when a crew member came to assist us, he could not locate one other than the one by the dressing table, which we had been advised not to use as it would blow our equipment up. Seems to me like this ship is NOT wheelchair.scooter friendly both in terms of cabin access unless you request a disabled cabin or in the buffet area's as it becomes too crowded and crew members tell you to get up earlier!!! I do not appreciate being told what time to get up or eat on holiday and this experience was by no means relaxing. We purchased an adaptor from the shop onboard but they sold us the wrong one! Eventually, reception staff provided one but not before they got me to sign a receipt for 20$ incase I didn't return it. I removed the 15% gratuities from my bill early on, although you cannot remove them from the bar tabs but I tipped those that I felt deserved it. Food in the buffet (Horizon Court) and regular dining room was repetitive and I wasn't prepared to pay additional cover fees to dine elsewhere onboard. This was booked as a special Anniversary cruise to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary and we had inquired if we could renew our vows onboard - we were told that because it wasn't 7 days or more this was not possible, the captain would be too busy. However, I found out that there was going to be a wedding onboard and the captain would be doing the ceremony. Double standards in my opinion. Nothing against the bride and groom, but Princess cruises should explain properly to their customers to avoid disappointment. I can only presume there is more revenue in a wedding than renewal of vows? We didn't go ashore as we felt the experience wouldn't be a good one and disembarkation was as frustrating as getting onboard - never have I been so relieved to get home as we were from this holiday. Entertainment: Magician/comedian Philip Hitchcock - average, nothing to write home about Comedian - Mickey Zane - excellent performance(s) 2 different shows - good content. Summary I don't feel this was value for money and I don't think the level of customer service was that impressive considering it is an American ship. . Not surprising - we won't be cruising with them again.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Staterooms: 2/5 The staterooms are small like many other cruise ships. However, these are even smaller than the staterooms of some other cruise lines. In addition, the first room that I had on the Sea Princess, A527, was old and outdated. ... Read More
Staterooms: 2/5 The staterooms are small like many other cruise ships. However, these are even smaller than the staterooms of some other cruise lines. In addition, the first room that I had on the Sea Princess, A527, was old and outdated. The drawers were broken and did not slide out easily. The temperature settings for the water in the shower did not work well at all. Sometimes after leaving the shower on for a while, the water will get VERY hot, and even setting the water at the lowest temperature will not make any difference. As with any old ship (or building), the walls are very thin. You can hear people in the rooms around you coughing, and can hear conversations in the hallway very clearly. In the morning, expect to wake up to the sounds of housekeeping cleaning the rooms near you. In our room specifically, A527, there was a spot on the floor that would bend and pop in and out of place. It's as if it was a metal plate that had a bend in it. It couldn't be triggered by just walking around the room, but when the ship was in motion, it would have a loud "pop" when it would go out of place, and then another loud "pop" when it popped back into place. It would be as loud as someone banging on a door or a wall. If it were just the sound, it may not have been as bad, but when it did this, since the foot of the bed was near this spot, it would shake the bed too. During the first half of the cruise, it would only do this every few minutes or so when the ship was in motion, so it somewhat could be ignored (although it still led to nights without good sleep). However, near the end of the cruise, this area would pop in and out of place every few seconds, about 5 to 8 times a minute. This caused us not to get any sleep at all, and we finally got the front desk to switch us to another stateroom. Keep in mind that this cruise was completely sold out, so we were only able to switch to another stateroom because one cleared out after one of the passengers disembarked the ship early. The cruise staff said they would try to fix the issue, but being that this cannot be observed unless the ship were in motion, eventually the customer relations manager took charge and moved us into an upgraded oceanview room E338. This room seemed to not have the issues of the other room. The other room was an inside room, and this was our first time staying in an inside room whereas in other cruises we had always stayed in an oceanview room. However, normally the only difference between the 2 was that one can see the ocean. Still, after staying in the oceanview room during the last few days of our cruise, it is apparent that there are major differences: • Slightly larger stateroom, but still smaller than some of the staterooms of other cruise ships. • The deadbolt lock actually locks. • None of the cabinets are broken, so they all roll out smoothly. • The hinges of the bathroom door is more stiff. This prevents the door from swinging open and close while the ship is moving. This was an issue with the original room. Finally, the hallways and staterooms (actually, just about everywhere on the ship) smell bad on the Sea Princess. I know that many cruise ships have issues with people's flatulence or whatever, but this one is especially bad. It smells like urine/feces walking through many of the hallways, and that smell eventually gets into the staterooms as well. Entertainment: 2/5 The shows are all made for the senior crowd on the ship, which makes up over 95% of the passengers. Almost all the music is from the 1960's or older. This is fine, but at least have more variety that caters to people of other age groups as well. I would have appreciated music from the 80's at least. I'm in my 30s, so I'm not exactly a kid (relatively speaking), but entertainment options on other cruises that I've been on had much more variety than the ones on the Sea Princess. Aside from the shows, the rest of the onboard "entertainment" is pretty much a joke. Princess Cruises tries to turn almost anything into a way to sell things to the passengers, whether it be items from their boutique shops, seminars for their spa, fitness classes, teeth whitening, etc. Their "late night parties" are always empty since as mentioned earlier, almost all the senior passengers go to sleep as soon as the last show ends, and the few that remain aren't enough to get more people to stay. Food: 3.5/5 The food on the Sea Princess ranges from decent to good quality. The buffet food can be hit and miss, but the problem with the buffet food is that it's almost the same thing every day. While this is fine for a short cruise (< 5 days), this cruise was for 13 days. 13 days is a long time to see pretty much the same stuff every day. The breakfast looks almost identical each day. Lunch and dinner have almost the same items with very few changes. The restaurants, most of the time, have better food. There's a good variety every day, and the quality is good. One thing I noticed however, is that while many other cruise lines have top quality food on their formal nights, this doesn't seem to be the case with the food on this cruise. The formal night food was about the same as every other night. Service: 3/5 The service in all cruise ships is generally very good. The main server that we had at the restaurant was excellent. However, for the nights that they had the flexible dining times and we would get different servers, the service was just average for the most part. One annoying thing about the way Princess handles their buffet dining room was that they would always try to close off about half of their dining room, especially during breakfast and lunch. Even when it got busy, this would still be the case. This would lead to not enough tables for people to sit. I know that they don't want to have their staff run everywhere trying to clean up after people in the entire dining room, but there were many times when there simply were not enough tables available, and people would walk around for a long time looking for an available table. We even had our table taken over by another passenger once, even after we had just put our plates down on the table and had just left to grab a drink. Housekeeping for the most part kept things clean. Some things would be missed, especially on the days where our normal housekeeping person was ill and another person had to take over. Ports/Sailing: 1.5/5 For a 13 day cruise, we ended up having 7 days at sea and only 6 port days, when originally it was only supposed to be 5 days at sea. Overall, 3 of the 8 original ports were cancelled. Now, I do understand situations of weather preventing access to some ports. This was a cruise to New Zealand in October, so yes, there are some windy conditions. The first two sailing days were very rough with many people getting seasick. However, those are just the conditions of the sea, and that's not what I'm using when I give this rating. The first port delay was Tauranga. It was reported that there were windy conditions, and this prevented the ship from getting into the port. The ship had to wait and recheck every 4 to 7 hours. This of course took up the entire day, and the ship did not get there until night time. Still, Princess Cruises was intent on having this be one of the stops, and therefore, everything else became delayed a day. The problem is that this resulted in the cruise cancelling the last TWO ports in the Southern tip of New Zealand, and replacing them with a much less interesting port in the MIDDLE of New Zealand. One would think that they would just cancel one other port and continue traveling the original route. Therefore, this was no longer a cruise that went AROUND New Zealand. It would only be one that visited a few different ports in the North Island, and a couple less interesting ports in the South Island, and then go back through the middle. So schedules change. The part that is the most irritating about this was that Princess Cruises would use the weather as something that they could blame for everything, and that it was always for "the safety and security of our passengers". The exact wording used in the memo when they cancelled the last two ports read as the following: "The forecast weather for later in the cruise from Port Chalmers to Fiordland is expected to intensify around the south end of New Zealand. As the safety and security of our passengers and crew is our highest priority, and to avoid the worst of the weather, we have made the necessary decision to cancel our calls to Port Chalmers and Fiordland National Park." This satisfied many of the passengers on the ship, since after all, "There's nothing we can do about the weather." However, I did check the weather for those locations as the cruise continued. According to the weather forecast as those days approached, the actual weather was excellent, even better than the weather in the other ports. It seems Princess Cruises just used weather as an excuse to skip the Southern ports of New Zealand when they really needed to stop at Tauranga an extra day to resupply. It just feels like Princess Cruises is very dishonest in what they tell their passengers. Also, there were many delays getting people to shore at the ports. Some delays were due to weather, but even when weather was not an issue, the cruise ship would have issues with the tenders and even the required local shuttle buses, even after the cruise staff promises that "there will be no tenders and the buses will be a smooth operation". Well, tender tickets were still used for the buses, and there was always still a large delay regardless. Overall, Princess Cruises is very disorganized, and cannot handle any situation that changes their plans, including the disembarkation of the ship. Overall: 2/5 I guess we would fit in more with the rest of the crowd if we were retired and didn't mind spending so much time stuck on a ship. However, due to the quality of the staterooms and the loss of time at the actual ports in the schedule, I cannot recommend the Sea Princess. The overall feel is just that Princess Cruises just does things to get as much money from their passengers, and don't care to deliver as promised. When passengers pay so much to see certain locations listed in the agenda, at least make it look like you are really trying to get them there. Of the different cruises that I have taken, this one was the worst. I can't say that this was a good way to spend our honeymoon, and that I'm glad the cruise was not the only part (although a large part) to our honeymoon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Well-trained and consistently-trained staff. Unfailingly (apparently) happy in their work and with good people skills.  Good sense of humour (necessary to rebuff the complaints about the food). Relentless up selling of drink options. (I ... Read More
Well-trained and consistently-trained staff. Unfailingly (apparently) happy in their work and with good people skills.  Good sense of humour (necessary to rebuff the complaints about the food). Relentless up selling of drink options. (I don't WANT your "special" marguerita - I want an ordinary one!) Poor organisation in breakfast buffet, though with all waiting staff either assigned to drinks duty ("More coffee, sir" , every three minutes, even when cups still full) or to cleanup when the under-managers were on the prowl (three separate mornings when NOBODY came by our table to ask if I wanted juice or any other drink, I was reduced to pouring it for myself, which of course led to protests from the staff member who noticed!). Wouldn't it make more sense to have some staff assigned to each duty type at all times? Food in main dining room (8.15 sitting) bland and uninspiring. I was tempted to attend the culinary demonstration in order to find out how they managed to remove any flavour from what were (presumably) reasonable-quality ingredients. The highlight was the fried sushi rolls, which were inventive and imaginatively-presented. The lowlight was the food on the Italian night (for some reason scheduled on Halloween, some five days after we had left Italian waters), where great skill had been applied to the desiccation of both fish and meat main courses. The evening entertainment in the theatre varied from reasonable (Siobhan Phillips - beautiful and unusual voice), through adequate (Freddie Mercury tribute), to pathetic (the "other" David Copperfield). Some people seemed to enjpy Copperfield, to judge by the laughter (unless he had a backing tape set up), BUT I have to say to my US co-travellers that this was not "wacky British Humour" - he simply was not funny! The nightclub appeared to be patronised largely by off-duty members of the entertainments team, but was a lively place to relax with a post-prandial marguerita. Adagio was altogether more refined. We just didn't like the lack of atmosphere in wheelhouse, explorers, or crooners, but plenty of other people did. Daytime entertainment appeared to be focused on separating guests from their money (Casino, Art etc). Except, to be fair, the various musicians who played in the Piazza. Special mention should be made of the Atomic party band, who were able to turn their hands to many different styles, but were at their best when allowed to rock! Room was comfortable (inside, Riviera deck), very quiet and supplied with all necessities. I found it strange, though, that a US-dominated boat appeared to have no shoe-shine facilities, nor did our steward seem to understand what should be done to clean and shine a pair of brown leather shoes.  Only ended up taking one tour. The staff member assigning us to buses failed to notice the important words "guiados en Espanol" on our tickets, leaving the guide at Olympia to make some hurried phone calls to get us out of the English-language group from bus 11 and onto the Spanish group from bus 14. The other tour we booked was cancelled, so we instead did Ephesus on our own, as for most of the other ports. The guests were split 1500 US, 500 UK, 500 Aussie and 500 "other". Ages ranged from one year to about ninety, the median being around fifty. The US folk seemed to stick together, but the non-US mixed well (and I include the Latino Yanks in "non-US" here - it was the Anglo-Yanks who seemed to be the most stand-offish). The itinerary was great (Greek Isles, Venice to Rome), but I don't think we will be back on the Ruby in a hurry.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was a 2nd Wedding Anniversary cruise for me and my husband as well as a "family cruise" since we traveled with our parents and also a grandparent. We thought we prepared as well as possible with some perks thrown in too- 3 ... Read More
This was a 2nd Wedding Anniversary cruise for me and my husband as well as a "family cruise" since we traveled with our parents and also a grandparent. We thought we prepared as well as possible with some perks thrown in too- 3 connecting balcony cabins, a Champagne Balcony breakfast for all the first morning at sea, liquors of choice to be waiting for us in our rooms upon boarding and a specific request of bathrobes for all. What seemed simple to plan on our end ended up being a difficult task for the ship crew to provide. Our luggage arrived so late and the contents of one case had gotten wet, somehow. In order to receive our in-room liquor, we had to wait for a steward to deliver us a paper voucher and then call room service to request a 2nd person come retrieve the paper voucher and finally await a 3rd person to deliver to liquors verified by the said signed paper voucher. This would have been almost acceptable if the person delivering the paper voucher had been so kind as to knock on our door and let us know they'd dropped it into the plastic wall bin outside our door. We found this system to be a waste of paper and human time, not to mention frustrating for us all not to be able to enjoy cocktails at ease on our balconies. Trying to get connected to the front desk or room service was an ordeal. I spent most of our first night on the phones, trying to get vouchers delivered to verify Champagne Balcony Breakfast was really going to be delivered to our 3 cabins the first morning at sea. I was on the phone up until a bit after 2am when I finally gave up. About 5:30 am, I started trying again. Mind you, this was something I had called in the week before sailing to order and prepay for our family as a gift. When the breakfast came, only two rooms were delivered and our food got cold because we didn't want to be rude and eat in front of our 3rd cabin guests who were still waiting for their gift breakfast. How awkward and embarrassing our gift to our parents and grandmother turned into a fiasco. It was a delicious offering, nicely presented and decently priced but the execution was a letdown. My husband and I have only sailed on Holland America ships before so we didn't know what kind of dining to expect but it was such a disappointment that the dining alone has been enough to turn us off to Princess Cruises forever more. The lido dining choices were awful, simple foods like scrambled eggs and breakfast potatoes were cold where they should have been hot, cheese selections were slices of Swiss, Cheddar and Jack, pretty pedestrian stuff. Kudos to the teams working the Pizza, Hot Dog and Burger counters because we were hardly the only people on board eating most of our meals there in order to avoid the lido buffet. The dining rooms were little better as far as food quality and the service took so long at an average of 2.5 hrs per dinner that several times our family left before enjoying a dessert, coffee and nightcap drink. Our family of 6 tried each dining room and also the Sterling Steakhouse which surprisingly at less than half of tables full still had us waiting uncomfortably between courses and there again, we all left before dessert because we were all so tired and frustrated. What broke the camel's back for us though (besides ratty see through bathrobes that would cover anyone's backside) was when two of the ladies in our family went to the salon to have their hair shampooed & styled for Formal Night. My mother discovered during conversation the woman doing such a terrible job styling her hair was actually a tooth whitener! The charges were reversed for the stylings but our family portrait for Formal Night was spoiled by the lackluster hairdo's. Nothing beats your mother-in-law saying she didn't want to hurt your feelings by telling you how awful your hair looked. Thanks Princess Cruises.~ In leaving the ship and settling our account, Princess Cruises failed to apply my husband's Military discount and then said it was up to us to fix their error as they had closed all accounts and could not offer any further service. It should be no surprise none of our party of 6 cruise loving family who were on board last week will ever again choose a Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Let's start from the day we arrived. It to us 3 hours to check in, After the first hour the cruise line started blaming the coast guard for checking the ship because of the cross over from Europe to Florida. We were also told this ... Read More
Let's start from the day we arrived. It to us 3 hours to check in, After the first hour the cruise line started blaming the coast guard for checking the ship because of the cross over from Europe to Florida. We were also told this happens every year at cross over. If this was so,the cruise line should have had contingency plans for the guests. My next mishap, my bags didn't arrive in my room. After numerous visits to customer service I was told my bag was confiscated. My bag was in deed in the security office. I was told I had an iron in my bag, this was a lie and the security staff was extremely rude. I wanted them to open the bag and show me. After 1/2 hour of arguing with the security officer he finally said he would have my bag delivered to my room. He asked my to sign a release that I had a iron. I refused, he then crossed our the iron and I signed.(it was a principle thing. My bag finally arrived at 1030pm. Our room was never cold and warm most of the time. Again we made numerous request for service, on day 4 someone finally came to the room made a couple of adjustments and we were told that was the best it was going to get. We woke up in a sweat the next 2 nights. At times the room would get cool but never for prolonged periods of time. The customer service desk played lip service but never seemed concerned. We heard from others on on deck (11 Starboard) they were experiencing the same problems. The food was fair, I wasn't really wowed by the selections. The food on the Lido deck was boring. I really didn't like the way Princess herds you into the food area. It just seemed people kept bumping into each other. Debarking from the ship was always a hassle. Things just seemed unorganized the whole cruise. I was told Princess was a cut above. boy was I disappointed. This was my 5 th cruise 1st on Princess. Unless I got a 2 for 1 discount I will never sail Princess again. I could say more but I've rambled enough. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I were celebrating our 24th Anniversary on this cruise. We are seasoned cruisers, but this was our first experience on Princess Cruises. We chose this ship because of its itinerary. I should've done my homework before ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating our 24th Anniversary on this cruise. We are seasoned cruisers, but this was our first experience on Princess Cruises. We chose this ship because of its itinerary. I should've done my homework before we made the booking. Lesson learned. Embarkation: We stayed in ft lauderdale the night before so that we could get to the cruise port before the busses arrived. We were there by 10a only to stand in a long line for 4 hours. Ship came from Europe and had to be cleared by customs, immigration and the Coast Guard. Evidently it took longer than they thought. Passengers were getting upset, fainting and an announcement was finally made over the PA system after a disgruntled passenger spoke up. Once on board, we dropped our hand luggage in the cabin and proceeded to the horizon court for lunch. We were all famished! Good thing I always have snacks with me. In fact our suitcases were at our cabin before we made it there....that's how long it took to get on board. Cabin was adequate...did like the walk in type closet...bathroom was small, but doable. Being a seasoned cruiser you don't expect anything large. The first problem we encountered was that the air was not working and we had it cranked to the coldest setting. This was fixed the next day. 2nd and main problem that lasted throughout our entire week was that the toilets were not flushing or flushed 10-15 min later. We were told numerous excuses...main excuse that people were flushing things down the toilet other than human waste and toilet paper. There were toilets that overflowed into people's cabins...thank goodness that didn't happen to us. We did have a few close calls. Now after doing more research on cruise critics' site I so far have found 5 more instances of this same issue on this ship this year and....all the cabins are AFT! And it was on CNN on April 11th too. We were given $150 total credit while on board for our troubles. Little did I know this was a known issue that never really got fixed....just patched. So if you insist on sailing on this ship make sure you book a cabin in the front of the ship. Those people were in a different "flushing zone". On a more positive note...the service was very good...entertainment needed help though. Food was fine just long wait times in the horizon. The highlight was curaçao and Aruba....thoroughly enjoyed both islands. Will we ever sail on Princess again....simply NO. Worried about the condition of their ships and the fact that customer relations will not give any further monetary compensation as that is their policy. The whole toilet issue was extremely stressful and made for a not so nice memory of our anniversary cruise vacation. Like I told customer relations...every cruise ship can have an issue, but this plumbing issue dates as far back as April of this year. The ship needs to be taken out of commission and repaired once and for all!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My husband and I (42 and 43) only had done one cruise before and it was on the Disney FANTASY with our kids which was amazing. We decided to leave the kids this time and to do a relaxing upper class cruise. I quickly chose the royal ... Read More
My husband and I (42 and 43) only had done one cruise before and it was on the Disney FANTASY with our kids which was amazing. We decided to leave the kids this time and to do a relaxing upper class cruise. I quickly chose the royal princess carabean cruise (jan 18-26 2014) because of the new ship and Princess's reputation that i had heard. We realized upon our arrival at the port that we were not with the right crowd!!!! It was mostly a very elderly crowd ( average looked to be mid 70's!). We also could not beleive the poor quality and poor choce of food at the restaurants. Very typical low standard american food. We never found any decent pasta and the meat was just a disaster. The anytime dining was just awful and service unnacceptable. No one paid any attention to us and they had no clue about food allergies. I must saw that the buffet was pretty good except for the desserts. They looked amazing but tasted all the same without much savors. Sabatini was very diasapointing. We preffered the pizza restaurant which had the best waiters in the whole ship and their pizza was very tasty. Our room E618 with obtructed view ( very little obtruction) was really nice and so was our steward. The bed was very comfortable and we couldnt hear any noise. We found very bizarre that the big screen was not used more as it is on the disney cruise. People really liked looking at the movies on the deck. Why show music and nature images at most times. The bands were loud and not necessary. Princess people, go soo how disney does it! As for entertainement, its mostly bingo, line dancing and very tacky activities!!! Really? The big piazza is also very tecky with so much gold and is the place where elderly folks hangout. The coffeecard is a ggod cobcept and we enjoyed going to get our capuccinos daily. The adults pool area is very nice and hanged out there on the days at sea and at the end of the day at port. Very nice area and the pool/spas had more than enough space even with a full boat. No proble,s with elevators at all and used stairs often. The gym is the best, we went there every day and it has great equipment. Stmartin ans st thomas were great. We went to mullet beach and maegans bay by taxi. Very cheap ride with other tourist (8$ per person. No reason to book a tour) and extremelly nice beaches. Princess cays was nice and food good ( again disneys island is better but princess cays still good). Overall, never again on princess... Or at least for another 30 years... Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was our first Princess cruise. We have sailed Celebrity, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, NCL and Carnival so thought we'd try Princess for our first Alaska cruise. We read that they are great and do an excellent job of sailing ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise. We have sailed Celebrity, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, NCL and Carnival so thought we'd try Princess for our first Alaska cruise. We read that they are great and do an excellent job of sailing Alaska. I think they did an excellent job hiring the naturalist onboard speaker and did a great job of cursing through Glacier Bay and we loved Alaska but the feeling overall we got from them was that they do not value their customers. They have serious problems with room service, (three hours to get it one night and no coffee arrived with another order plus the breakfast selection is very limited if you want eggs) long lines at getting on and off the ship and a few miserable waiters in the dining rooms. The food quality was good for most of the week but I did have a few entrees and desserts towards the end of the cruise. The Horizon Food Court was awful in choice, quality of the food and long lines. The bread and pastry were the worse that I have ever had on a ship, which is probably a good thing for my waistline! All cruise lines make money by pushing sales of jewelry, spa treatments, the art, fancy bottles of water, etc., etc., but they have taken it to a new level with the paper that they put in your staterooms advertising the stuff. Hopefully they are recycling all of this wasted paper! Our balcony stateroom had the smallest shower that we have ever had! Awful! Could barely pick up soap when you dropped it and the water flooded the bathroom because of the flimsy shower curtain and not enough shelf space for our own soap and hair shampoos. Worse of all our bathroom smelled like dried urine and our nice room attendant made an attempt to clean it but the stench was there all week. We were wondering why they have so many issues that affect the good will of their customers. They have been doing business for a long time and have a loyal following but that fan club does not include us. There were many other noticeable differences in this ship compared to the others that we have sailed and we felt like we did not get our money's worth from this sailing. Of course most of the staff was wonderful and very hard working and made our cruise enjoyable when we weren't standing in long lines, smelling our nasty bathroom, etc. and thankfully Alaska was amazing so all was not lost. We will cruise with other lines from now on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This is my 3rd cruise to AK with Princess cruise, and I would say, I am disappointed. The quality of food went down dramatically. The Baked Alaska was bad, the granulated sugar was not blended with the meringue, it was gross. The executive ... Read More
This is my 3rd cruise to AK with Princess cruise, and I would say, I am disappointed. The quality of food went down dramatically. The Baked Alaska was bad, the granulated sugar was not blended with the meringue, it was gross. The executive chef didn't come out.. In the buffet, they served Indian food everyday. The International café has the same food everyday, no variety there! FOOD IS SO REPEATITIVE...!!! I even overheard a crew member say that he can't take the food anymore, he's just going to have canned food!!! Wish I had brought mine. On the plus side, I enjoyed the entertainment and shows. The crew was friendly! On the last day of my cruise, when I was about to vacate the room, I saw under the bed the drinks was placed there and white comforter. That's where they hide, I always wonder that it took so quick to clean our room. Wish I can upload the photo here. That was surprising. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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