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24 Princess Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Reviews

We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos ... Read More
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos due to a storm. Food was average but nothing spectacular. Too many starchy foods. Not enough vegetables and fruits. Entertainment was just okay. Not enough planned activities accept pushing bingo games and paper airplane races. Don’t buy a drink package. If on Dolphin Deck, the tinder boats are under you and when they are launched at 6 am, you will be knocked out of bed by the noise. Gym was sub par. Two standard stationary bikes for the whole ship to use. The Sanctuary area is a joke. Don’t waste your money for $80 a day. The art auction staff must all be new as they didn’t have full knowledge on the artist they were selling. Overall staff were not as friendly as on other cruise lines we have travelled on. I honestly do not believe we will ever cruise with Princess in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were ... Read More
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were the size of baby shrimps. Although the MichelAngelo waiting staff was really courteous and helpful. Pedro the head waiter was good to find us nice and enjoyable people to sit with. Front desk service is useless they give you the run around! We were booked on a shore excursion on our day of disembarking but the bus couldn’t carry luggage. It would have been great to visit Mykonos but the rough sea prevent it us to port.... the captain decided for the safety of the passenger to continue our route. I’m glad that he made that call for our safety. Princess didn’t live up to their slogan.... Come Back New! I found that Princess cruise line has been going down in quality over the last 5 years. It not what it used to be. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Flew to Rome to board the ship.Booked an expensive junior suite and the experience was ruined by two anti social demons in the stateroom next door.Mother and daughter from New Zealand.On the 2nd day they were shouting and bawling and ... Read More
Flew to Rome to board the ship.Booked an expensive junior suite and the experience was ruined by two anti social demons in the stateroom next door.Mother and daughter from New Zealand.On the 2nd day they were shouting and bawling and swearing and using the F word.I spoke to the cabin steward who promised to get it stopped. It did not stop and they were on the balcony at 6am swearing and being a nuisance. I got customer services involved and i did everything correct to try and get this noise stopped.Customer Services failed to stop the noise and the cruise was ruined. If you are caught smoking you get fined and possibly asked the leave the ship so why allow guests to spoil a holiday with noise and not kick them off or move them ? A lot of obnoxious guests on this ship - foul language and mostly American females who were doing this. Food was hit and miss - some meals had to go back due to being badly cooked. Mykonos was not visited due to bad weather and another boring sea day to endure. I complained to Princess when i got home about the noise problem and they offered me zero compensation - nothing !!!! I had filmed the noise and had evidence so i said Ok lets go to court.They replied with still no offer of any compensation.Downright uncaring and i will NEVER book with them again. It was such a joke how they handled the noise problem on board.I heard the noisy neighbours slam the cabin door as they went out. About 20 mins later a knock at my cabin door - Filton a customer service guy. He said he had been listening to the cabin next door and wanted to assure me all is now quiet and no problem !! I said THATS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT IN !!!!! He said Ok he will find them and tell them to stop this noise.Waste of time as it never stopped. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because itinerary included Malta and a few ports we had not seen. Also we are Princess Platinum and that includes a few perks such as 250 minutes of internet time. We also liked the idea of a smaller ship with fewer ... Read More
We chose this cruise because itinerary included Malta and a few ports we had not seen. Also we are Princess Platinum and that includes a few perks such as 250 minutes of internet time. We also liked the idea of a smaller ship with fewer than 700 passengers. However, we were disappointed in the overall condition of the ship. Cabin was too small and worn out. It is not up to date by current standards. Bathroom was not adequate and even hair dryer was old, had only one speed. Water in shower ran hot and then cold without changing temperature. Ship should be taken out of service or completely overhauled. Ship only has fixed dining which is not a good option unless you are traveling with friends and or family. We would never take this ship again or advise anyone else to do so. Small is nice, but it's not everything. Entertainment was good considering size of ship, but there is no real theater, only a big lounge and it's difficult to see unless you're in the front row. Shore excursions are far too expensive. Arrange your own if possible. Also, Pacific Princess was in terrible location at Malta. Big ships were on correct side of port. We had to take a terrible ferry to get to Valletta side. In Monte Carlo we had to tender and other ships did not. They said it was because we couldn't dock there which is a lie because we docked there before on a big ship. Princess seems to always get worst location. I guess they don't want to pay for better spot. We would not have done this cruise if we had known what we know now. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I thought the boat was nice and the cruise destinations were good, however the staff and cruise line were very uninformative. There was a change to our first port of call and we were not told at all. Hence missed out on a tour for the ... Read More
I thought the boat was nice and the cruise destinations were good, however the staff and cruise line were very uninformative. There was a change to our first port of call and we were not told at all. Hence missed out on a tour for the Amalfi coast drive not booked through the ship. Customer service of staff was appalling and the staff did not make us feel like we were welcome. everything was such a struggle. it felt like the staff did not want to be there. Part of our cruise was overrun (i mean thousands of them all from the same tour company) by non-English speaking people that also made the disembarkation from tendering and exiting the cruise liner chaotic and frankly annoying. More communication and resources for non-English speaking passengers is necessary. Don’t bother pre purchasing any beer packages as you can’t get them at the bar (which would have been an obvious place to get them) no we had to order them from room service and have them delivered to our room.???? Who wants to drink in their room or have to go back to their room to get a drink when there is a facility to get drinks from a bar. I would not choose Princess again for our cruise. When we disembarked from our ship to collect our bags one of our bags was damaged (droped, dinted and wheels broken off). the staff at the dock were not very helpfull they filled out a report for the damaged bag and sent us on our way. No appology or concirn to temporarily fix the bag to enable it to make the trip home. No one even had any tape to wrap around it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary . My husband and I took our children, spouses and grandchildren (party of ten) on the 7 day cruise. My husband and I had gone on a previous cruise on another cruise line a few years ago and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary . My husband and I took our children, spouses and grandchildren (party of ten) on the 7 day cruise. My husband and I had gone on a previous cruise on another cruise line a few years ago and wanted to take our family to see some of these places. We booked 3 balcony rooms and 2 rooms across the hall. We were very disappointed in the cruise. The food was just o.k. - not as good as the food on other cruise lines that we have been on. There were no extras such as making animals out of towels, ice sculptures, waiters dancing like we have had on previous lines. We have always loved the waiters and cabin personnel on other cruises and hated to leave them. We met no one we felt that way about on this cruise. We found the crew members indifferent and not very friendly with the exception of the girls handing out plates & silverware in the buffet dining room. The cabins were very nice and the public areas. Most of the excursions were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife and I booked 10 days Med cruise from Rome to Barcelona starting April 28, 2018. Two years ago we did British Isles cruise on Caribbean Princess and were satisfied with food, staff, entertainment etc. But this time on Crown Princess ... Read More
My wife and I booked 10 days Med cruise from Rome to Barcelona starting April 28, 2018. Two years ago we did British Isles cruise on Caribbean Princess and were satisfied with food, staff, entertainment etc. But this time on Crown Princess things were not so good,though embarkation was fast and easy. I attached 2 tags to each suitcase to find out latter that one suitcase is not delivered to my cabin due to both missing tags. As soon as we had entered our cabin we discovered that cabin assigned for us by Princess, has in fact two additional bunk beds on the walls and as a result our double bed had restricted passageways on both sides. I immediately complained to customer service supervisor who has a smell of alcohol in his breath and he had assured in a rude manner that this is exactly what I booked, period. I also requested to be connected with Customer Relations but was told that ship doesn't have telephone connection with headquarters at the moment. Unfortunately I did not choose the cabin at the time of booking because Princess as a part of promotion package promised to upgrade the cabin location and had chosen cabin E516 for 4 persons (2 bunk beds) just above Crooner bar, so we can "enjoy" music till 11PM. Just to mention I had a major spinal cord surgery a year ago which made it difficult for me to go around 12" protruded Bunk bed. Whilst complaining about cabin, I found my luggage at the reception desk missing all two tags I attached to it?! The food and entertainment were below average. During mooring at Kotor Bay the ship was dragged by strong wind dangerously close to the shore and listed, hitting sea bottom. Local captain then helped to move ship away from shore and in Corfu divers checked the ship for possible problems. Fortunately we were able to make it to Barcelona. Waiting staff was mostly nice and helpful, cabin was cleaned regularly and on time. Front desk staff was helpful especially Odeth (Mexico) she tried to help us with our cabin problem but management apparently was not concerned at all. I did not take any shore excursions, I planned to take because Princess increased internet prices about 20 days before the cruise. It cost me much less for more to use local Salerno Ferris from Piazza Concordia to explore most of Amalfi Coast without problem. One with better mobility could even explore Sorrento as well. As to other ports of call we found another couple to share taxi rides/ personal excursions with us which was cost/time more effective. In terms of fitness the ship has very small area on upper level for running and walking, the other ships designed better, though one might walk at the Promenade area Deck 7. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I Chose this cruise for two reasons, I had always wanted to do a Trans Atlantic Crossing, and I wanted a smaller ship. All my previous cruises were on much larger ships. Plus i have had great experiences with Princess in the past. The ... Read More
I Chose this cruise for two reasons, I had always wanted to do a Trans Atlantic Crossing, and I wanted a smaller ship. All my previous cruises were on much larger ships. Plus i have had great experiences with Princess in the past. The staff was great. Although it is embarrassing that they have been briefed on who has ordered the drink plan, and they keep an eye on you. The ship is old, and it shows, but the staff makes up for it. Would NOT recommend this cruise for Transatlantic Crossing, due to its size, after two days and a cruise director who needs to retire, I needed a few more spaces to walk around in. You can NOT be anonymous on this ship. The rooms are basic, and clearly if you look at seams in bathroom, they keep applying quick filler for cracks, in my cabin it was chipping off and falling on floor- just was not quite sure what it was at the beginning. Staff was great. However Effie Manger very kurt and rude. Lost a big sale do to his attitude. On other ships Effie managers have been great. Don't expect a lot of whizz bang from this ship, or educational classes, as they advertise for other ships. If you are looking to just read, relax, and go across the Atlantic, this is the ship of for you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We have taken the Grand Med/Transatlantic crossing 4 times before and enjoyed it so much decided to try again on the Royal. The ship is too big and the public rooms, i.e. theater, lounges are too small to accommodate the number of ... Read More
We have taken the Grand Med/Transatlantic crossing 4 times before and enjoyed it so much decided to try again on the Royal. The ship is too big and the public rooms, i.e. theater, lounges are too small to accommodate the number of cruiser. It was almost impossible to see most of the after dinner shows, as it was standing room only. The ship needs to be refurbished. The older ships with Vista lounge, Explorers Lounge, Wheelhouse bar lounge, Club Fusion are so much better. Princess Live and Club 6 are an after thought... just to fill in the spaces. The atrium was OK for music, but disappointed in the only line dancing classes being at 1pm... just when we are having lunch --- so much better in the 9 - 10 am timing. Dining rooms were OK, but food was so repetitive it became boring. Horizon Court buffet much improved in its set up and food there was good. We will cruise again with Princess but definitely not on the Royal or Regal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I am an energetic solo world traveler who has cruised since 1980. I’ve cruised 44 times on Princess, of a total of 55 cruises. Princess has changed drastically since my first cruise with them in 1980, but they offer a large number of ... Read More
I am an energetic solo world traveler who has cruised since 1980. I’ve cruised 44 times on Princess, of a total of 55 cruises. Princess has changed drastically since my first cruise with them in 1980, but they offer a large number of ports for the money. The main reasons I cruise with Princess anymore are number and variety of ports and the actual ride on a ship. This cruise was a 25 night back-to-back combination of two cruises in the Mediterranean and Adriatic regions coupled with a westbound transatlantic crossing. I flew to Rome to embark the cruise, arriving a day early to enjoy a full-day private VIP tour of all the “must see” sights of Rome. It was worth every dollar, and gave me many unforgettable memories. The airport and cruise port for Rome, as well as Rome itself, are hours apart, so plan extra time and get there a day early to avoid stress and rushing. You might as well see this legendary part of the world properly if you are cruising from Rome. I stayed at Portrait Roma in Rome, a luxury boutique property of the family Ferragamo. Worth the cost, with flawless professional service, location, amenities, and a heavenly bed. I wish they had a cruise line! They could certainly teach Princess some valuable lessons in customer service and appreciation. My Italian travel agent had arranged for a private limo to take me from the hotel to the ship, and it was a smooth, professional journey. The cruise line offers bus transfers from Rome and the airport to the ship. The “Royal Princess” is a very large ship with the usual amenities on board. It is not a “glitz barge” like Carnival’s ships, nor a floating theme-park loaded with outdoor activities like RCI. The central atrium and piazza are very lovely and attractive. There are traditional dining rooms, small cafes, lots of bars, lounges, a large theater, a live TV studio, wedding chapel, boutiques, casino, open decks with pools and hot tubs, jogging track, fitness center, a very large spa, a large lido buffet restaurant, art gallery, passenger services center, a shop for gifts and flowers, specialty coffee, a delightful small international café for some of the best food on the ship, a medical center, small children’s play areas, a tiny library, photo gallery, and most anything else found on today’s large cruise ships. Most of the cabins have balconies, and there are no “ocean view with window” cabins on this ship. There is also no promenade deck, sorely missed by many. The ship is white, and used to look elegant until somebody at Princess added a jagged, weird blue paint job on the bow. It looks like a shark had bitten into the bow. Being fairly new still, the ship is holding up as well as can be expected with very heavy use, but some of the furniture looks very tired, as do the carpets, and there is a lot of dull brown color everywhere. Some of the décor is very dated. There are a few confusing regions of the ship as far as getting to the dining rooms. Ventilation was badly lacking on this long cruise – the corridors were always hot and stuffy and humid and sometimes smelled of stack exhaust and toilets. A strong tobacco odor from the smokers in the casino would filter throughout the ship at varying strengths, and the same from a cigar lounge room. Repeated pleas for years to Princess to put doors on the casino have fallen on deaf ears, obviously. Perhaps they are not aware of lung cancer from second-hand smoke. Most of the ship inside and out is nonsmoking, but the areas allowing smoking are polluting the rest of the ship. There are elevators, but they are far too small and few for the demand, and run very slowly. A central staircase was added last year, which helps with the foot traffic. Laundromats are available on most decks, a bit pricey but convenient – tokens are charged to the room account and for sale in the laundry rooms, along with laundry products. Bring your own dryer sheets and detergent and save money. I brought magnetic hooks and plastic hangers with me for quick-dry garments, and hung clothes in my cabin , thus saving money by avoiding dryer use. You can hang things on a tiny clothesline in the shower, but it is moldy. Walls are metal in cabins, and those magnetic hooks are terrific. They are allowed in checked baggage. Demand exceeded supply for the Laundromats most of the trip. Traffic flow was congested everywhere on my cruise – steward service carts blocked the narrow corridors most of the day and into the evening, and there were a lot of mobility-challenged guests using scooters, walkers, and wheel chairs. Ongoing maintenance was very evident throughout the cruise, with a lot of sanding and painting and fixing all over the ship. The fumes from the strong marine-grade paint sometimes made use of the balcony impossible, and clouds of sanded varnish also caused problems. A lot of soot came out of the stack and was blown around on the open decks. Activities on the cruise made me question what Princess considers an “activity”. The median age on this cruise was probably 70+, if not higher. Is a “Mr. Sexy Legs” contest appropriate or valued by this age group? Perhaps the very young cruise director and staff aren’t in tune with what mature adults enjoy doing. This sort of contest might be good on a party animal ship of Carnival, but hardly on the more sedate Princess line. Approximately 35% of the advertised “activities” each day in the “Princess Patter” bulletin involved “seminars”, sales and obvious infomercials for services and products for sale on the ship. I don’t consider these to be activities. Some activities, like making paper boats out of “scrap heaps” might entertain pre-teens at a day camp. There were various kinds of dance lessons, but the noise level of the constantly over-amplified music in the piazza drowned out the instructor and hurt everyone’s ears. Repeated requests by a lot of the guests to turn down the music all over the ship were ignored. It seemed impossible, unless paying for space in the adults-only Sanctuary, to find a quiet place on this noise-saturated ship. Even empty venues had music blasting, and that music sounded like it was selected by crazed teens. There were various get-togethers for special interest groups – I enjoyed one for “aviators”, as I’m a licensed pilot. Groups met for rosary, Bible study, bridge, board games, knitting. The fitness crowd enjoyed the fitness center, which was overcrowded most of the time and had some voyeuristic guys taking up space. Foodies were in heaven, despite the poor quality food, and they seemed to eat 24/7. Shoppers could shop, but the merchandise in the boutiques never seemed to change, with little variety, and some of the merchandise was very expensive. There was a handy tiny section of medical items and sundries everybody seems to forget when they leave home. “Junk food” was there, as well. Musical entertainment was heard throughout the ship night and day, but of amateur quality other than the fabulous Belarus classical female string quartet. Service on this cruise was of mixed quality. My stateroom steward was the best I’ve ever had in 55 cruises. Very courteous, professional, caring, good sense of humor, spoke very good English (he was from Serbia), and always very glad to be of service. He never forgot anything and the cabin looked perfect with his twice a day attention. My dining room waiter from Thailand was also very good – a quiet gentleman with a heavy accent, but very kind and caring with professional quality service from long experience. The staff in the clothing boutique and perfume shop were also wonderful, and were friends from prior cruises – very welcoming and fun to visit with. I speak enough Spanish to order food, and most of the staff at the delightful International Café were Spanish-speakers. We had a great time with them helping me learn more words, and they were happy to speak their native language. My food was definitely served by them with love! Another happy group were the room service stewards and stewardesses. They were always very polite and cheerful, even at dawn, and delivered what I asked for in an attractive way and right on time. Unfortunately, the guest services agents do not get good reviews when it came to service. They did not speak enough English to properly understand guests’ problems and resolve them. They had sad, rather frozen expressions as they struggled to understand English. They were great, however, with Spanish, French, Portuguese, and the Balkan and Asian languages – this made the non-English speaking guests very happy. Perhaps it was the lack of good communication which made many of these young people seem defensive and even somewhat hostile at times. Nothing really got resolved without days, if not weeks, of repeated interactions, talking to supervisors with their empty platitudes, and a great deal of frustration and wasted time on my part. The spa staff were also very unenthusiastic and robotic, except for one mature lady I’d met on another cruise, and who was as lovely and cheerful as I remembered from a prior cruise. I did not book any shore excursions through the cruise line and thus cannot comment on them. I heard complaints about bad guides, careless driving, and days far too long without food or comfort stops from some of the guests, however. I enjoyed all of the ports, with each having something unique and marvelous to enjoy. Some ports were repeats for me, which allowed a chance to see what I had missed the first time. If I had seen it all before, I stayed on the ship and enjoyed the sense of being on a private yacht. Great itinerary, but a lot of back to back port days and very few sea days until the much-anticipated transatlantic westbound crossing. I love ocean sailing and never have enough sea days. My :"deluxe balcony" cabin was adequate as far as space for one person. The balcony was a bit smaller than usual, but still had room for two chairs and a small table. Divider walls gave complete privacy, and there was a roof (the deck above) over the entire balcony, very welcome for shade and rain protection. The furniture had not been cleaned when I boarded, however, and was sticky with salt residue. The balcony door could barely open when I got to the cabin, and it took a week to get somebody to fix it. A pile of metal shavings and other debris remained outside the door the entire cruise. I had the two twin beds combined to make a king bed. Despite the advertising about some sleep doctor creating a fabulous sleep experience, the mattress was worn out, with hollows, and far too soft to offer adequate support. Two feather and two foam pillows were on the bed, but both were very tired and the feathers were noisy. The linens have improved since last year, but I saw holes, some darned and others not, and old stains on some of the bed linens. There is a nice duvet instead of a blanket, and a fabric runner at the end of the bed, and two small throw pillows against the sleeping pillows. These pillows were not very sanitary in my opinion, and I removed them. There is good storage space beneath the bed, but only if you have the right size suitcase – mine was far too big to slide under the bed, and I had to put my two huge cases in the closet space. There was a small love-seat size sleeper sofa in the cabin but it was greasy with body soil. The bottom cushions were so broken down that they hung over the edge of the seat, and when I tried to sit on the sofa, I slid off and fell to the floor. This piece of furniture looked like something a student would leave at the curb for the dumpster crews at the end of a college semester, and it was never properly repaired or replaced. Somebody stuffed mattress pad material under the cushions, but it did nothing for comfort or solidity or safety. Guest services seemed totally incapable of understanding why I was upset about paying for a deluxe cabin which included the use of a piece of furniture that was unsafe, dirty, and never fixed. Total waste of money on my part to have this piece of junk in the cabin. The furniture was OK – two small nightstands with two drawers each, adequate lighting, vanity/desk with a mirror, and a cabinet containing a useful small mini-fridge. Shelf space on top of the fridge cabinet. Large flat-screen TV opposite the bed, but very hard to see from elsewhere in the room. Tired, spotted, stained mixed-brown carpeting. Steward offered to shampoo it for me, but from past experience the carpet stays wet for a week and smells like wet dog, and caused an allergy reaction when I had it shampooed on another cruise, so I declined the extra cleaning. Not much color in the cabin, just neutral vanilla type colors with a lot of brown, and light colored furniture which looked like thrift shop items. Nail polish on desk, dents and chips in the wood, stains. The desk chair was plastic, and sticky to sit on. There were some modern-art pictures on the walls. Adequate open closet near the bathroom, shelf space taken by three life jackets. Plenty of good wood hangers, and the steward can get more hangers if you need them. There was a small shelved cabinet next to the closet, containing a safe, but very small shelves. There was one drawer in the fridge cabinet, above the fridge space, but it was taken up by a hair dryer, and also very warm from the heat venting from the fridge below. Room key card goes in a slot to activate the power for lights, TV, etc. The climate control system in the room worked well most of the time, except when it was very hot outside. It was hard to get really cold water in the sink, something to do with the water purification system being affected by the ocean water temperature, or so I was told. Bathroom was the small, typical plastic modular cube. Hand-held shower, fabric shower curtain with some mold at the bottom. Dispensers of shampoo/conditioner and shower gel in the shower. Typical (and for once well-behaved) vacuum toilet. Large square sink with good space around it and three small glass shelves above the sink area. Large mirror with good lighting. Fairly good ventilation in the bathroom. The shower handles were broken at embarkation, and remained so until the second to last day of the cruise. It took weeks to get a qualified plumber to fix them. The cabin was very quiet at night as far as sound coming through the walls, but the door let in corridor noise. Loud passengers returning in high spirits to their cabins late at night definitely woke me up a few times. Crew who were cheerful could be heard shouting to each other day and night, and the room service people were almost too cheerful, as you could hear them loudly greeting guests when they delivered orders to rooms early in the morning. “Good” noise, perhaps, but noise nevertheless. The balcony wall was all glass, with great views. Sheer curtains and drapes kept out the light when necessary. Unfortunately, upon entering the cabin, I noted the sheers curtains lacked hooks and were hanging off the track badly. I always wipe things down with sanitizer cleaning wipes when I cruise, and it was obvious that deep cleaning had not been done in the cabin for a long time – the wipes were brown with dirt and dust. I opted for traditional dining on this cruise, the earliest possible time, and with a table for one. I need this for medical reasons, and enjoyed having a quiet corner table next to a huge window. There is traditional dining, anytime dining, specialty dining, lido buffet dining, room service dining, café dining of various types, bars, snack bars, gelato and ice cream bars, a seafood café. Nobody goes hungry on this ship. You can get food literally 24/7. The café food was very good most of the time for deserts and salads and quiche and sandwiches. They did have some very odd puddings and squishy type deserts, however. I did not experiment with the other dining venues, other than getting some hot protein food from the lido buffet in the morning. Unfortunately, the hot items were usually cool or cold, stale, and dry. Fruit flies infested the trays of pastries. It was hard to find a decent small spoon for cereal or deserts anywhere on the ship without a dedicated search – the spoons were all huge tablespoons or serving spoons. Silverware was often sticky or worn down to the base metal. Plates were often wet. I had lunch from room service or the International Café, and ate breakfast and lunch in my cabin. The lido buffet area was very crowded and noisy. Food items were often either not labeled, or labeled improperly, with no nut warnings noted. The food in the Concerto dining room, where I had my seating, had a few decent appetizers and entrees, but the food was typical of a small-town diner or truck stop. Those who don’t like “exotic” or “fancy” cruise food were comforted by the likes of fried pork belly, spaghetti, fried chicken, ice cream and other home-cooking comfort-type foods. There were some extremely odd appetizers, soups, salads and entrees obviously crafted from leftovers. Lots of things with fruit and nuts. What meat I saw looked like burnt leather. The fish was undercooked and greasy. Items listed as “prawns” were instead small to medium regular shrimp. Everything from French toast to dinner items seemed to be soaked in grease. Pastries were reduced in size from last year, and dry and stale. The menu repeated about every 10 days in the dining room. I asked where the cooks were from, and was told India. Nothing wrong with that – and I love Indian food. However, Indian cooking technique doesn’t translate well with American or some international foods, and I remember having Greek spanikopita which were identical to Indian fried samosas. Everything was saturated with so much pepper and salt it burned my throat and tongue. Waiters offered even more pepper, and never remembered that I did not use it. Béarnaise sauce was served cold at one meal, and an unpleasant argumentative head waiter got right in my face and insisted it had to be cold “because of the butter”. I was forced to tell him to be quiet, go away and never talk to me again, which he ignored. This completely ruined several dinners. A chicken pot pie was served with the chicken half-raw and totally inedible, and there was no crust except on the top, which a waiter removed. What should have been a really good three-bean, cheese and polenta mini-casserole dish was ruined by partially cooked beans, which in turn partially ruined my GI tract for a day. I was made ill several times by the poor quality and bad preparation of the food. The lettuce on this trip was not edible, and covered with rust much of the time. Some of the soups were good, other than being full of too much seasoning. What was deemed almost sinful by many loyal Princess cruisers was the dreadfully prepared fettuccini Alfredo. The first time I had this “signature Princess dish”, the noodles were hard and there was no sauce. When the waiter brought the requested sauce, it was a small dish of lukewarm water with nonfat milk stirred in. A second dish was just as bad. The second time I ordered this dish the noodles were slightly softer, but only a teaspoon of sauce was beneath the noodles. It was the same watery, disgusting mess. The last time I tried the noodles, the sauce was a bit thicker, but had no flavor and I did not eat the item. Even the maitre’d was horrified. The deserts were the same every night – ice cream, cheese cake, a few bizarre combinations of fruit, nuts, and some unidentifiable things. The “Loveboat Dream” chocolate mousse desert mercifully remained delicious and unspoiled, thankfully. Some of the sugarless items were OK but tasted artificial. There were elaborate chocolate “creations” at times, but so full of nuts they were not edible by many guests. The same boring, tired old Baked Alaska parade took place with great noise and dreadful timing when guests were trying to get their meal finished and go to the shows. The baked Alaska itself was a melted, soggy mess. I’ve seen better food served at a day camp for kids or a charity soup kitchen. Food was rarely hot or cold when it should have been, and vegetables were served raw or barely cooked, no matter what they were. Mashed potatoes seemed made from a dry mix, and were the consistency of watery paste. Same dry, stale basket of rolls and bread sticks nightly. There was a food item from all the food groups available each night, with basics like salmon, chicken, baked potatoes for those who wished them. Food was just poorly prepared, bizarre, unimaginative cuisine night after night. There were vegetarian options, but some were extremely weird. The nightly pasta offerings were OK, but the same watery red sauce prevailed, and the pasta wasn’t always cooked long enough. One of my favorite pasta dishes was served missing the tiny bits of broccoli and kalamata olives and capers which added the right flavor. This puzzled the maitre’d when I showed him the menu listing the ingredients versus what appeared in my dish. I don’t know where they got the cooks for this trip, or who supervised the preparation and recipes, but it was a total disaster, and I lost five pounds in a month from lack of decent food. Passengers were seen shopping for nonperishable food at the shore-side markets and bringing big bags of food back with them. I ate all my emergency travel foods on this trip, like protein bars and crackers and cheese. There was pizza available on the ship, but it looked dried out and burned. A lot of attention seemed focused on giving Americans hamburgers and fries, as if that is all Americans eat. Wrong! I don’t cook at all, and when I cruise, I like to have food I don’t get at home, have others fix my meals, and serve me. I just wish the food had been decent for the long 25 day cruise. The food was often so bad it was a health hazard. The dining rooms were visually attractive, with many different table sizes. There was background music, but it was often too loud and made conversation difficult. Flowers were on each table. The table linens were nice but often had visible holes or darned tears in them. The silverware felt very sticky at times, and sometimes was so worn it was just gray base metal. On some nights, a special dish was prepared by the maitre’d, and often the overuse of garlic was nauseatingly obvious – the entire dining room was full of a very strong garlic odor which seemed to last forever. I would like to see a very early dining seating available at 5:00 PM, but the earliest was 5:30 PM. People lined up quite early to get into the dining room, and were greeted by a nice hostess at the door. Some nights the Purell machine worked, and others it did not – and it was not always used by the diners. Menus definitely need a fresh cover, as they were very soiled and tired. Entertainment on this cruise definitely offered something for everyone. There were movies on an enormous screen outdoors, but they were not always current or age-relevant. Cabin TV offered music, news, movies, recorded broadcasts of on-board lectures, port information, lectures, etc. Movies were offered in the two-level Princess theater. The usual cruise-type production shows seem not to have changed in several years. Seeing them once was more than enough, considering the average quality of the performers. There is far too much use of blinding spotlights aimed into the audience, strobe lighting, fake smoke, etc. and the lighting did not properly highlight the entertainers – sometimes they were in the dark. The sound level was at a dangerous high, totally unnecessary with the good acoustics in the theater. There were verbal altercations and some pushing and shoving because people reserved seats, stood blocking views for others, or there just weren’t enough seats. I saw very elderly people pushed out of the way, and somebody pushed me, just to get to seats, and old folks sitting on the floor or stairs. I’ve never been on such a loud, rude, noise-polluted ship in 37 years of cruising. Just because the passenger contingent was “senior” on this cruise does not mean everybody was deaf! I don’t care for comedians and magicians, and did not attend these performances. The featured vocalists were not that great, often singing off-key. The pianist who often played in the piazza was terrible – sounded like a child just playing with the piano keys, and no real melody. The computerized piano had a dreadful tinny, fake sound as well. There was a young man singing and playing a guitar around the ship, and his choice of music, plus his style, would have been better suited to some small-town roadhouse on a lonely Saturday night after he failed to qualify for some “new voice talent” show. The best group on the ship were the four lovely women from Belarus who played as a string quartet, offering both classical and popular music. They did very well in their own few performances in a proper venue, but sadly were disrespected enough by Princess to be located most of the time in a seating area of one of the big bar lounges. Between the noisy talkers at the bar and the open restaurant behind it, and the thick stream of people going from the theater and elsewhere in the ship close to where the quartet were sitting, the delicate sound of the string instruments was nearly impossible to hear. These women were true professionals, however, and played serenely on no matter what rude behavior was swirling around them. Whatever else went on late into the night in other forms of entertainment, I did not participate in it, preferring the quiet of my cabin and a good book. Live music was available in the piazza for those who enjoyed various types of dancing, and I would have enjoyed that if I had someone to dance with. Princess should consider having gentlemen hosts as other lines do so solo travelers wishing to dance aren’t stuck sitting alone on the sidelines. For those with the durability to party on into the wee hours, there was a DJ at the disco, and some nights the casino stayed open all night. I don’t know if the fashion show event qualifies as entertainment, but have repeated it here - the boutiques on the ship recruited passengers as models, and produced two very entertaining and fun fashion shows in the piazza, complete with a blue carpet runway and stage lighting. It was great fun as a participant, and the large passenger audience loved it. I do wish Princess had retained their famous “Pop Choir”, which used to be a beloved highlight of the transatlantic crossing. Two themed “festivals” took place on this long cruise – an Oktoberfest and a Venetian Carnival, with colorful decorations, food, dances. Depending on one’s personal idea of what constitutes entertainment, there was something going on nearly 24 hours a day, all listed in the daily “Princess Patter” bulletin. Disembarkation is one of the few strong points with Princess. It is organized by departure time after guests fill out a form indicating what they need. Bags are color-coded and departure times have matching colors. There are meeting places throughout the ship for guests to gather in a timely and comfortable manner while waiting for clearance to leave. Elite and Suite guests have their own private departure lounge. In all my cruising with Princess, departures have actually run ahead of scheduled times in the bulletin. Guests must vacate their cabins by 8 AM, and simply planning ahead for the departure morning avoids stress and gets the huge passenger crowd off the ship safely and in good time. Princess offers city tours, booked as a shore excursion, for those with late flights. and also has transfer service from the ship to various airports. On this cruise, however, my color group somehow was allowed off the ship before the matching baggage was delivered to the baggage shed, and there were three groups within the main color group. This produced absolute total chaos, with almost no room to walk between the piles of luggage once they were delivered. Unhelpful staff shouted at people to get back and wait for the bags, there were surly porters, and lots of very big passengers shoving and pushing smaller people like me in an effort to get their bags. I was repeatedly shoved, pushed, and stepped on (making me thankful to be wearing steel-toed heavy hiking boots). In conclusion, while I really enjoyed all the ports and the transatlantic crossing, the hot, dry, gorgeous Mediterranean sunshine and very calm seas, as well as being at sea (I’m a small-boat sailor), there were too many unfortunate and often preventable negatives which made this one of the most unpleasant Princess cruises I have ever taken. Sanitation and hygiene are critical. Safe, good food is critical. Respect for the guest and ability to communicate are critical. Proper cabin maintenance is critical, especially when that costly space is your home for 25 days and nights. In all these areas, there were a lot of deficiencies which lowered the quality of the cruise to a floating Motel 6. I wondered at times if I were on a Carnival cruise – was this ship perhaps a new Carnival ship called the “Carnival Princess”? The crew were robotic zombies at times, and could have cared less about the guests. There was little, if any, sense of authority when it came to unruly passenger situations being addressed, controlled and stopped. What good does the captain do if he is just a disembodied voice from the bridge now and again, and ignores complaints filtering to him from guest services about people being yelled at by crew, physically assaulted by fellow passengers, being sickened by lousy food, not getting badly needed repairs in cabins done. The captain needs to do more than just show up at cocktail parties and host champagne waterfalls. This once-loyal Princess cruiser will definitely be looking at other options with cruise lines who appreciate my business and treat me with respect, and who offer a clean, safe, well-maintained product for my hard-earned money. I urge all prospective Princess cruisers to read the reviews before wasting their money. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The quality of Princess cruises has gone downhill. Problems started when we were advised a week before embarkation that the captain had directed progressive check-in and passengers on our deck would have to wait about three hours ... Read More
The quality of Princess cruises has gone downhill. Problems started when we were advised a week before embarkation that the captain had directed progressive check-in and passengers on our deck would have to wait about three hours before we could check-in. Despite repeated unanswered e-mails to Customer Relations and unanswered messages left with our cruise coordinator we were unable to find out what facilities would be provided for the wait. It turned out to be an empty warehouse with hard plastic chairs. A second issue was the decline in formal dining. They have cut the staff to the point where service has suffered and seating was brusque and arbitrary. Food was mediocre at best, but luckily the buffet was excellent. The layout of the ship was convenient, but virtually every corner was bombarded with irritating background music. There were no quiet corners outside the stateroom. Excursions were terrible, usually little more than long, boring bus rides. Guides were mostly inarticulate and took off at a fast clip as soon as they got off the bus, leaving the groups strung out beyond earshot. I doubt that anyone from Princess has checked out the excursions first hand and there were no post-excursion critiques. Finally, when we first started cruises with Princess we would often see senior members of the crew walking through public areas talking to passengers. On the last two cruises we haven't seen them and it seems that the rest of the crew knows not to worry about supervision. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My husband and I chose this 14 day cruise to celebrate our up and coming 70th birthdays and to see more of the greek island we did not get to on our previous cruise in the Med. We are a young 69' couple who enjoyed previous cruise ... Read More
My husband and I chose this 14 day cruise to celebrate our up and coming 70th birthdays and to see more of the greek island we did not get to on our previous cruise in the Med. We are a young 69' couple who enjoyed previous cruise with Celebrity, and thought we should try a different cruise company. How stupid were we? very, very stupid. The ship was quite nice but very big, and by the time we boarded we still did not know if and what cabin we had. We booked a deluxe balcony and weeks before flying out from Australia we rang princess numerous times to find out what cabin we had and all they would say was " it was to be assigned " and only after boarding the ship and we went to guests relations were we told cabin and deck. This was the first of many complaints we have with princess. The food was the biggest let down and I can honestly say we did not have one hot dinner in the main dining room the whole cruise. The food they presented was done for a low budget and was both terrible and repetitious. The buffet food in Horizon was just dreadful, same every day and just warm. The pizza restaurant was good but only for one night. They even ran out of most of the popular wines and some cocktail mixes at the beginning of our second week, how on earth can this happen on such a big ship? and with a big company. And then there were the terrible shows some were ok but one was just cringe worthy. They had some wonderful singers and dancers in their own troup but did not uses them enough. On one night guests were walking out of the theater it was so bad. The overall Itinary was dissapointing going to the same ports, and Mykinos was the one that most guests were wanting to go too. So many people we heard say they will never cruise with Princess again, and we have the same view after this cruise. All I can say now is Princess lift your game, lift it high. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise mostly due to the shore stops. A few months after our deposit the stops changed due to unrest in Turkey. For some reason Princess booked Kotor stop 3 times! Even though I was dissapointed in the changes I went ahead ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly due to the shore stops. A few months after our deposit the stops changed due to unrest in Turkey. For some reason Princess booked Kotor stop 3 times! Even though I was dissapointed in the changes I went ahead and made final payment. How I regret this decision. I had no idea that this trip was really three 7 day cruises. Why does this matter? It means each 7 day cruise plan is repeated including entertainment, on board activities etc. it also meant that menus are repetitive - no pub fish and chips on at sea days because they only do this on10 day or more cruises. One of the biggest disappointments was that we were scheduled for 2 stops to Mykonos. Both stops were canceled due to windy conditions. We had scheduled shore excursions for Mykonos as this was a highlight of the trip. Kotor was ok for one visit - three was too many. Poor planning by Princess. Other lousy stops were Katakolon and Chios. Princess needs to choose more wisely. Food service was very disappointing. Where do I begin? Horizon court food is luke warm at best - maybe 1 out of 25 choices was hot! We complained numerous times to the floor supervisor and they said they measured the temperature on the warming tray and it was acceptable. Excuse me but I am not eating the warming tray - I am eating the food on top which is cold! I would strongly urge that the they have random checks by independent food service professionals. In addition most of the roasted meats were medium rare- this is unhealthy. We are on a meditteranean cruise but yet the so called chefs prepared Indian, Mexican, Mongolian dishes. What the heck? The few times that they had Italian, Greek and Meditteranean buffets they were prepared by Indian and Asian chefs that had no clue how to cook authentic food. The dining rooms attempt to serve food that is somewhat warm. The only consistent dish was the salmon. While the menu seemed to have interesting choices the execution was very sad. The choices on the pool deck - burgers and pizzas, bbq were gross. Alfredo's served hot fresh food - finally a restaurant to go to - however you cannot eat the same food every day. Sabatinis and Crown Grill were ok - not 5 star dining. The customer service personnel were very robotic. They always answered by saying "you signed the passenger contract" which seems to absolve them of any complaints. I found customer service reps to be very surly and basically mean. Do not get the Internet package - complete ripoff! We stayed in a mini-suite - was nice to have the room divider, bed was comfortable. Balcony is way to small. The twice daily service was acceptable - however sheets were only changed once during the 7 day cycle. This is not a 4 star service - you get daily sheet changes in Holiday Inn! We did enjoy visits to Athens, Santorini, Rhodes - we were glad to have booked shore excursions to Mt Etna and the winery on Mt Vesuvius. Don't waste your time in Tamorina - over priced. We will never go on a cruise again - while the convenience of having the same room to go home to is a great appeal - the negatives outweighed the positives. One last note - the cruise ship is a breeding ground for colds and flu. No matter how hard they try to sanitize you cannot prevent getting sick from people coughing and sneezing in the elevators, dining rooms and public spaces. Bring plenty of cold and flu medications - we ran out and sorely regretted this. You cannot rely on local pharmacies to give you the type of medications you can get in your own country. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
It was a nice ship and the rooms were kept clean but the food was not very good and the ship was geared towards older people. The only good meal we had was at the Crown Grill which we had to pay extra for. There was not much entertainment ... Read More
It was a nice ship and the rooms were kept clean but the food was not very good and the ship was geared towards older people. The only good meal we had was at the Crown Grill which we had to pay extra for. There was not much entertainment on the ship unless you wanted to pay $30 to play bingo, go to a knitting class or a seminar for your back! We picked it because of the great ports it was stopping at.The crew on board were not very friendly either for the most part. Most people we talked to onboard pretty much felt the same way as we did. I don't think I would recommend Princess to a friend unless they were maybe 80 years old and not looking for much entertainment. We did a 6 day land tour before getting on the ship through Princess and it was much better than the ship. I would probably do a land tour in the future instead of the ship portion. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We decided upon this cruise for the itinerary (Embarkation in Rome, then to Sicily, then various ports in Greece, disembarking in Athens), . Although not disappointed in our ports, we were extremely disappointed in the ship itself. The ... Read More
We decided upon this cruise for the itinerary (Embarkation in Rome, then to Sicily, then various ports in Greece, disembarking in Athens), . Although not disappointed in our ports, we were extremely disappointed in the ship itself. The food was really disappointing ... even in the specialty restaurant. The World Fresh Marketplace was a nightmare to maneuver, with little seating available. And, the food seemed anything but "fresh" most of the time. With 34 cruises under our belts, the food was most notably the worst of any previous cruise experience. Staff seemed not to be oblivious to our needs. Although we knew this ship was geared to the Asian market, we certainly didn't anticipate that the staff would seem to cater more to the Asian passengers than to American & European passenger, which we witnessed on more than one occasion. Disorganization, which can be somewhat expected in the inaugural season, was evident in all ship activities, especially shore excursions. All-in-all, the entire cruise experience was quite the disappointment. Certainly would return to the destinations ... but not on Princess. Ruby level past passenger here, and this most assuredly will be our last Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We did b2b Rome to Athens and Athens to Athens. Great time to travel and the weather was perfect. Embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship in no time. The ship itself is beautiful. Although there were crew varnishing parts of ... Read More
We did b2b Rome to Athens and Athens to Athens. Great time to travel and the weather was perfect. Embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship in no time. The ship itself is beautiful. Although there were crew varnishing parts of the deck??? The ship is only a month old but it is not unusual to have varnish fumes wafting in the breeze. Princess has moved pizza to deck 5. No more pizza by the pool. However you can get hamburgers, hotdogs or lobster??? on the pool deck. We boarded and went to the buffet. The food on the buffet was terrible, not buffet bad but really terrible. The noodles in the were overcooked and tasteless. The plates that went empty were not refilled. We met a couple that were told the water dispenser was broken maybe it would be fixed tomorrow. NO offer to get even tap water from the kitchen. Unfortunately this was their first princess cruise and will be their last. The staff was under trained. We met a couple who wanted to join us for the seafood fest. When we went to ask if there was room available they were told by a staff member that it was offered every night. I told her it was not. She checked and said it was tonight and one night next week. We were also told there was no lobster as this was 2 7 day cruises and lobster was only offered on the 14 day cruises. Wrong Again. The entertainment was not up to Princess (former) standards. The shows were just blah. The highlight was the string quartet in the Piazza. Fantastic. We check the patter and tried to make every show. Everyone must have agreed as the area was packed when they played. The only other exception was the show the last night of our cruise. Amazing voyage (I think) was a treat. Truly one of the best shows I have seen on a cruise ship. We chose anytime dining. Mistake?? Wow we have never waited more than 20 minutes for a table and several times we waited over 30 to 40 minutes. Wow and now they take reservations??? So while you are waiting the folk with reservations waltz in front of you.??? The dining room does hand out pagers so you can go have a drink or whatever while you wait. Twice the line was so long they ran out of pagers. Overall the dinners in the dining room were good. Our first breakfast was in the buffet. After spending several days in Rome the coffee on the ship was not good. I was offered and purchased a coffee card, and was then told the machine was broken. Really?? I have no idea what they substituted for scrambled eggs but they were just NASTY. Same scrambled eggs in the dining room. Get an omelet. Because the buffet was so bad we ate in the International Cafe most mornings. The coffee machine worked and the parfaits were great!! Next to the Cafe is Alfredo's where the pizza was relocated. The food there was excellent especially the eggplant but again the wait times were long, 30 to 40 minutes to get a pizza. Overall I was very disappointed in the service and buffet. I found myself telling other passengers this is NOT typical Princess. All of the first timers I talked to said it would be their LAST Princess cruise. Our room and cabin steward were fantastic. Room was spotless and tided every day. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Decided to to take the cruise to accompany my wife's sister for her 70 Bday. Shouldn't have. Have cruised on perhaps 7-8 different lines so I have some comparison. First the positives. The ship was clean and the staff worked hard ... Read More
Decided to to take the cruise to accompany my wife's sister for her 70 Bday. Shouldn't have. Have cruised on perhaps 7-8 different lines so I have some comparison. First the positives. The ship was clean and the staff worked hard to please. The stateroom well done. 1) The food was mediocre at best. One could tell that the beef, aside from the steak house, was not American. One of the wait staff told me to order my steak well done! Most items were precooked and over done. The selections were limited. They seemed to want everyone in the buffet area-the dining room was closed for lunch. Coffee was dreadful even the espresso and cappuccino which were extra. The wine list was basic- no vintages listed. 2) The ship: Too large, walking everywhere. No stairs. All elevators. NOISY. Everywhere music was blasting. It invaded the so-called quiet areas. The central atrium was all marble and glass-deafening at times. The music was on before 6 AM on deck. As large as it was there wasn't a quiet bar with music and dancing. The library was half as large as a 500 passenger ship. 3) Tours. Short bus rides into towns were $7-8. They really discouraged taxis or public transportation. A tour to Delos was $160 but we could have taken it by public transportation and admission for $36! This ship seemed geared to young, inexperienced people. The The passengers were anything but-perhaps average age 65+. Trying to nickle and dime seemed the norm. Save a little more and take a better cruise. In the long run you'll be happier. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our fourth cruise, all with Princess, and our second this year, booked fairly late with a decent deal for a balcony room, but what a disappointment! This review comes on the back of a fabulous trip on the Star Princess around South America ... Read More
Our fourth cruise, all with Princess, and our second this year, booked fairly late with a decent deal for a balcony room, but what a disappointment! This review comes on the back of a fabulous trip on the Star Princess around South America in March so there will be comparisons that perhaps aren't fair if Princess are choosing to phase out the pleasant experience we're used to. But it's my review so there. Firstly, the good parts: the itinerary, the ports and excursions, embarkation and disembarkation were all fabulous. Kotor and the trip to Delos during the Mykonos stop were especially wonderful. Ship decor and condition was very good too. But the bad parts far outweighed the good. To start with there's the ship design: Club 6 is a poor replacement for Skywalkers with no sea views and acting as a corridor part of the time when the theatre show kicks out. The SeaWalk looks interesting for five seconds until you spot its flaws: privacy and views are ruined; you can see straight into several decks of cabins whilst they get an obscured sky thanks to its position above them; if you want to stand on it at night and look down at the sea then you're out of luck because the lights reflect off the glass. The Crown Grill's specialty status seems to be devolving into just a pub restaurant; brighter, more open, barely disconnected from the Wheelhouse Bar. Ambience destroyed. And it's not the only place. We've loved sitting in Crooners at the top of the piazza in the early evening, maybe listening to the piano, relaxing with a Martini or two. Well, not on the Royal where the oversized piazza is constantly filled with a racket of whatever is going on below bellowing up and completely destroying the atmosphere. Pleasant walks around the promenade after dinner are a thing of the past now too because there isn't one. Drinks orders were being taken on tablets which slowed down the process ridiculously. Stewards scrolling through lists to find the drink rather than scribbling something down to get that across to the bar is a disconnecting experience, removing the personal touch and to some extent the responsibility as well. So, we didn't like the design but we could have accepted it as just one of those things because it's a different ship. What we couldn't accept was the level of service; when it wasn't downright rude (customer services desk assistant rolling her eyes at us when we tried to explain something she'd misunderstood) it was perfunctory at best. We experienced being ignored around the Retreat Pool by a steward more interested in gazing out to sea, and generally indifferent order-taking and supply throughout the week. The contrast between this trip and the Star Princess couldn't be more marked where our names, card numbers, and drink preferences were known by friendly, smiling, entertaining staff within a couple of days in March. The only staff members who stood out were those who were barely doing the job we had come to expect of them. There was no turn-down on our last night. A night-time experience to see the stars was wasted because of a problem on the bridge preventing them from turning off the lights for the 70+ of us gathered; you can't help problems like that occurring but you can communicate that to the staff trying to host the event rather than letting them phone back and forth a half-dozen times leaving a load of us standing around for 30 minutes. So, Europe: we'd like to do more of it, definitely, as it's not somewhere we've really travelled despite living so close. However, we won't be travelling on the Royal, Regal, or Majestic Princess because the layout doesn't suit us, and we've come away questioning our future loyalty to Princess if the state of the staff training for this cruise is anything to go by. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Desperately upset with Princess. Embarkation was flawless ... from there on it went down hill. At some point (probably during the frequent itinerary changes) my preferred cabin was changed without my knowledge. In the end I was ... Read More
Desperately upset with Princess. Embarkation was flawless ... from there on it went down hill. At some point (probably during the frequent itinerary changes) my preferred cabin was changed without my knowledge. In the end I was devastated to discover our stateroom had no balcony!? I would never book an interior cabin, I’d rather not go. I spoke to the desk clerk who informed me there had been no error made on their part. I showed him my paperwork as proof, but he couldn’t explain what had happened. He did his best to help and contacted Princess on my behalf. They in turn offered us, at extra cost, a balcony with partial view, on the understanding that should it be required later during the second week of sailing we would have to return to our original cabin. We decided to decline their offer. I spoke of my disappointment with several others and discovered this had happened to at least one other couple. Happily for them they noticed in time and phoned Princess up to change it. The interior cabin affected my health in ways I could never imagine. It seems waking in the dark day after day caused depression. I was so bad that at one point, after one tour I seriously considered not returning. I realised much later, this was due to the lack of natural light in the cabin. Having identified the problem, I then would spend an extra hour or so in bright sunlight on the top deck which lightened my mood and I became my old self again. Everything on board was expensive, much more than I had imagined. Excursions, WiFi, even a decent coffee was extra. There are no specialty restaurants worth booking with menus so poor they could be bettered in the other main restaurants. We did, however take advantage of a rather expensive special night in Sabatini. The food and wine was excellent and well worth the extra paid. Good points: Well, we experienced exceptional politeness from all members of staff ... except one lady on the enquiry desk who couldn’t bother herself. The entertainment, for the size of ship, was good; most notably was a Beatle tribute band. It wasn’t spoilt by ‘Paul McCartney’s inability to play because the others managed to carry him through. On those tours we did book, plus disembarking, were all well executed. Future passengers might like to take note: I like to book tours with the cruise company involved to ensure that, should any problems occur resulting in delays getting back to the ship, we can be assured the ship will not leave without us. But as I have just pointed out, all tours were expensive. We were obliged to go-it-alone for many of the stops. And it really was much more fun and perfectly safe. There were always places of note to visit on our own at every port. On one occasion we stepped into a church and were delighted with the music being played inside a beautifully decorated building. Notices in English and local languages were displayed wherever necessary. Food and drink was cheaper, offering local delicacies such as taramasalata which, to my knowledge, wasn’t offered on board. The title of this cruise is wrong. I mention the itinerary changes. The knee-jerk reaction of Princess was to change the itinerary so fast and frequently it became absurd. No Turkey. No Malta, only a double dose of Greece and Italy. It spoilt the experience. Will I book Princess again? Well, I think you know the answer. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Princess Cruises has built the most dysfunctional and perhaps the poorest-designed ship I have ever sailed on- a complete disappointment. I was lost the entire two weeks we cruised the Med. First of all, there is very limited outdoor ... Read More
Princess Cruises has built the most dysfunctional and perhaps the poorest-designed ship I have ever sailed on- a complete disappointment. I was lost the entire two weeks we cruised the Med. First of all, there is very limited outdoor space- and what space there is always had blaring music or movies 24/7. Most of the views from these decks also have glass partitions so there is no way to clearly see the shore or any vista. The best deck for sun, quiet space and views is the smokers' deck on 17- which, by the way, is located next to the children's play area. There's no circulation around the decks-- remember when ships had promenade decks?; a lack of stairways, or stairs that lead nowhere, and most importantly no center stairway. Most of my travel time was waiting for an elevator. The spa is on deck 5- tucked into the bowels of the ship, while the gym is on 17--- none of it makes sense. This ship feels like something built by a committee of men who've never cruised before. Adding to the design flaws was Princess' indifference to returning guests. I sailed with a Ruby member and there was no recognition- reception or otherwise- to acknowledge the line's loyal customers. Top that off with a surly hotel staff (my partner's key was de-magnetized 7 times) who wanted to lecture a guest before offering assistance, and you've really created "Faulty Towers" at sea. Our itin. was changed two weeks from the sailing date- no Turkish ports this year- but the replacements were mixed. Loved Kotur and was happy to return 2x, but the late addition of Messina, Sicily was a disaster: dirty, dangerous and nothing that compared to Greece or Montenegro. We arrived at 1 pm- just when Southern Italy takes a siesta- and had nothing to do until everything re-opened at 4 pm. We wandered the hard-scrabble streets of this port city scratching our heads and asking "why"? I guess we could have taken the $200 cab ride to Taurima. Whatever. I thought Princess was learning something in the refurb of Diamond, which was our best cruise ever for 10 days in Japan in 2014, but the Royal is a complete disaster and a menace to the reputation of the brand. Princess- I think I'm taking some time away from you in 2017. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This is a difficult email to write because I was greatly looking forward to my cruise on the RP. Without getting too in depth, I will list some of my greatest grievances in no particular order. -Terrible entertainment (not including the ... Read More
This is a difficult email to write because I was greatly looking forward to my cruise on the RP. Without getting too in depth, I will list some of my greatest grievances in no particular order. -Terrible entertainment (not including the Beatles Tribute Band) -Inconsistent poolside entertainment – Cirque du Soleil in the middle of the day on the -big screen does not scream out chill relaxing cruise vibe. -Total lack of enthusiasm on the part of the crew. -Super small pours for all drinks -Upsell, Upsell, Upsell – everywhere you turned the staff was hocking something that cost additional money. -Almost everything extra cost extra… from the steam/sauna, to the wine tasting, to the bus transport from the ship. This is NOT an all-inclusive experience. I could go on and on… that said, my disappointment was immeasurable and I would recommend that anyone going on a family vacation in Europe consider another line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first (and probably last) cruise. The ports were great, and the ship was beautiful, however the food was disappointing. We basically ate for fuel. It was hard to get a spot to soak up the sun on deck, and the pool area is ... Read More
This was our first (and probably last) cruise. The ports were great, and the ship was beautiful, however the food was disappointing. We basically ate for fuel. It was hard to get a spot to soak up the sun on deck, and the pool area is really crowded and loud. The part that really turned us off was being nickeled and dimed every time we turned around. We paid $375 for a couples massage which was marginal and then had to sit through a whole spiel where they try to sell $700 worth of lotions. The whole trip felt like one of those time share scams, only we paid a lot of money for the hassle. This was a waste of money a lot of very hard earned money. They asked prior to travel if we were celebrating anything and we let them know it was our 25th anniversary; we got a "happy birthday" sign on our cabin door. The cabin was comfortable, and the views were very nice. Getting on and off the ship was easy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
In general, from previous experience on the Grand Princess, we found the ship to be somewhat disappointing. The ports of call, however, were great, starting in Civitavecchia, and traveling to Florence, Cannes, Barcelona, Gibraltar, ... Read More
In general, from previous experience on the Grand Princess, we found the ship to be somewhat disappointing. The ports of call, however, were great, starting in Civitavecchia, and traveling to Florence, Cannes, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Vigo, Le Havre, and Southampton. The Princess-arranged pre-cruise extension in Rome at Hotel Cicerone was very nice. Clean hotel, clean rooms, helpful English-speaking staff, and centrally located to just about everything. They also have an in-room safe, for storing valuables. The breakfast buffet at the hotel was quite nice, but not fancy. Still, better than trying to find a restaurant for breakfast in Rome. Princess had local agents in the hotel daily to answer questions and help with transfers. They were also great for local information. Once onboard, we found the cabin to be clean and bright, although the bathroom had a slight odor that campers would be familiar with. It lasted a couple of days, then disappeared. We did note that the food quality and service has deteriorated, both in the buffet and in the Da Vinci and Michelangelo dining rooms. Our waiter in the Da Vinci dining room the first night repeatedly picked up the water pitcher with his thumb over the lip of the pitcher, submerged in the water. After that, we only ate in the Michelangelo. This is an unpleasant and unsanitary but not-uncommon staff training issue. After a few days, the food at both the dining rooms and buffet started to wear a little thin. Lobster night was very good, however, and breakfast is similar to eating at a US Denny's restaurant. In general, though, dinners are not up to "normal" restaurant quality, even with the linen tablecloths and napkins; except for the cheesecake, which was always good. If you don't live near the US coast, Red Lobster may be all that you can get in the way of seafood, like where we live. I would have taken any Red Lobster menu offering over the ship's fare, any night; just as a point of comparison. We also noticed that the food service staff were not as friendly as on previous cruises, although Harald from Austria and Fausto, the head waiter from Italy, were always friendly and courteous. I suppose it depends on the table at which you are seated, although we noticed the same lack of friendliness with some of those tending bar, including the gentleman from Grenada at the rear bar on Deck 14. Nice buffet salad bar, but no lettuce on occasion. Also no encouragement for diners to use the hand sanitizer dispensers, like on our last Grand Princess cruise, and the dispensers were occasionally empty. There were more passengers with respiratory troubles towards the end of the trip than I had seen before. This is also the first cruise where I picked up a cough and sinus infection, but fortunately on the last day. Watch out for the "tongs of doom" in the buffet. For people that are polite enough to cover their mouths at the buffet lines while coughing or sneezing, they still have to pick up the tongs afterwards, just before you do. I would recommend sanitizing your hands both before and after entering the buffet line. Still, there's not much you can do about folks who sneeze all over the bread and rolls without averting their head to the side. I saw that on occasion. As always, it can be difficult to find a table in the buffet area at breakfast. One of us would go scouting for a table while the others hit the buffet line. Sometimes we'd end up outside by the pool, because of insufficient seating. The buffet frequently ran out of cloth napkins, and resorted to providing smaller paper napkins. When that happened, you had to go digging through the silverware containers (along with everyone else) for cutlery. A few chairs in the Deck 14 buffet dining area had sections of upholstery missing, with foam rubber sticking out. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the ship was that all public area windows (except on Promenade Deck) were filthy the entire trip. They obviously hadn't been cleaned for several cruises. The Sky Lounge on Deck 17 was just as bad for daytime viewing because of the built-up muck. Ditto for Deck 14 dining areas. Very disappointing for those of us who like to watch the other ships sail by, or check out the ports at breakfast. I certainly hope the bridge windows were not in the same condition. Other than the windows, the ship was clean throughout. The Purser's desk ran out of Euros for exchange on the second day, and didn't get more for several days. I was able to exchange $200 into Euros, but had to take 5 Euro bills, since that's all they had left, prior to running out completely. The gift shop had 3 bottles of (not so effective) SPF 4 sunscreen upon disembarking Rome, and ran out the same day. They never restocked, but they did have very friendly staff. We heard several passengers comment that the entertainment quality was below that of prior cruises with Princess. We found the same to be true, but there were still a couple of good nights. Cruise director "Rusty" was great, especially his "port enhancement" lectures. He departed the ship in England for the Sea Princess. Purser and Tour Desk staff were friendly and helpful, but if you waited until boarding the ship to make shore excursion reservations, many were already sold out. Fortunately, we had booked our excursions online, prior to departure. It is nice that the Purser's office sends a summary of expenses to each stateroom on the final day. Shore excursions were generally fine, and the coaches were comfortable. I would recommend taking seriously the excursion descriptions. If it says there will be a lot of walking, there will be. Such an excursion may not be the wisest choice if you're escorting your visually-impaired 85 year old mother over the cobblestones of Florence. That particular situation cost us about an hour of tour time. The ship's onboard channels were frequently offline, for those that like to track the current position and sea conditions. Regular TV channels worked 24/7. Anyone who has been on the Grand Princess is aware of the elevator wait times. Sometimes you get fed up waiting, and would just like to take the stairs, but there are no stairs at the front of the ship that go from the dining rooms to upper decks. If you're on Deck 5, you have to walk up to Deck 7, and then walk the full length of the ship, to get stairs that will take you to the upper decks. A bit of a nuisance. If you like art auctions, Princess is known for them, but be prepared to hear an hour long lecture on how great the Picasso-like Nichita is. Every cruise, every time. I like art, and have purchased pieces onboard, but I wish they'd spend more time on other artists. Yes, Nichita is young, and yes, she has a unique style. Still, I suspect she has put out more work in her early years than Picasso put out in a lifetime. The art directors are always amazed at the second auction that no one has placed an "at your request" card on a Nichita piece, but they still manage a 30 minute follow-up lecture on her work. This cruise also had an oriental (Turkish) rug seminar and sale, which was very informative, and quite well done. We had family traveling with us that had been on several other Princess ships, and commented that this was the most disappointing cruise as far as the ship itself was concerned. The Grand Princess was certainly more disappointing than our last time onboard in 2006. Not awful, but disappointing, nonetheless. The ports of call still made the trip worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
My husband and I, along with 9 other people, sailed on the Emerald Princess on its maiden voyage from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Venice. We picked this cruise because we were very interested in cruising the Greek Isles and this itinerary ... Read More
My husband and I, along with 9 other people, sailed on the Emerald Princess on its maiden voyage from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Venice. We picked this cruise because we were very interested in cruising the Greek Isles and this itinerary offered absolutely the best itinerary we had seen. None of the people in our party chose to fly through the cruise line, as we all found that we could do much better on our own. Those who booked independently found that they saved about $500/person on the flights offered by the cruise line. We found the embarkation process extremely easy and were looking forward to an equally satisfying cruising experience. Our outside cabins were wonderful - fresh and new. By comparison to our many other cruises, they were spacious and amenity-filled, even the bathroom which seemed positively huge compared to most cruise lines. The closet had plenty of space for everything we had brought. Our cabin steward was fantastic and was always at our beck and call quickly and with a smile. After settling in, we made our way up top for the sail-away, which was nothing special - considering that this was the first voyage of the Emerald Princess. No free specialty cocktails, no free glasses of champagne. We were surprised, considering what we have been treated to on other sailings which were ordinary and not a major event, as this voyage was touted. We were not able to enjoy the beautiful sail away from the port, as we had reservations in the main dining room at the early seating and we anticipated a wonderful meal. Were we ever wrong!! This was just the first of many MAJOR disappointments in the cruise and I must say that I don't believe I was sailing on the same ship as the other reviewers. This was the most awful dining experience we have ever had on a cruise ship and it continued that way for 12 days straight. Food arrived cold, over or under-cooked, and one time as a blob of pasta, hard as a rock. There were major problems in the kitchen and these were never addressed. Our waiter and his assistant were highly embarrassed but there was nothing they could do. They couldn't get the food out quickly enough or hot enough and on more than one occasion, the Captain visited our table and all the other tables in our area to apologize for the problems and to see what the major complaint of the night was. We heard from many passengers that they experienced the same thing, night after night. The buffets didn't offer much better, as the food was uninspired on the entire ship. Those who did the dining at any time found the restaurants crowded and the food poorly prepared. The specialty restaurants were poorly rated by those in our party who went. To put it mildly, the food was absolutely HORRID, all the time. We loved every port we visited and had marvelous weather. We arranged our own private tours and these were exceptional in every way. Our private tours were cheaper than the ship's offerings and from talking to other passengers, we got a much better feel for all ports and were not subjected to large buses and herd mentality. I highly recommend private tours. The entertainment was OK but not phenomenal. The first night's comedian was abominable and not fit for children. We were worried that the other nights would only get worse. That was not the case. The big review nights (tributeto Motown and the Beatles night) were fabulous. A comedian brought onmid-cruise was hilariously funny and totally clean. A magician was right up there with the best of them. Of the 12 nights of entertainment, there were really good ones, 3 mediocre ones and 3 real snorers. All in all, the itinerary was outstanding, with amazingly beautiful and interesting ports of call. We toured Pompeii and climbed Vesuvius, two things not to miss. We had a fabulous tour of Santorini that left us breathless with the beauty of this tiny island. Ephesus was another highlight and boggled our minds beyond belief. We rented a car in Kotokolon and drove to the ancient site of the Olympics and those in our party who did not, missed a gorgeous place. Dubrovnik sparkled and was full of history both ancient and modern. I would repeat this itinerary in a heartbeat but NOT on board a Princess cruise. In summary, we will never sail Princess again because we found it to be disappointing in so many major ways. The ship was beautiful but the dining experience ruined it for all in our party. The service was good but not exemplary. The parade of Baked Alaska was a joke (fake cakes with electric candles – come on!!!) and the tower of champagne was another big bore. These two nights were so highly promoted that we couldn’t believe we had been so shortchanged. In addition, every time we turned around, they were charging for something. There was no free ice cream in the ice cream bar – how did that happen? The only time ice cream was free was from 3:00-4:00 PM and then you couldn’t get close to it to get any. Never was a free drink offered (except at the Captain’s Cocktail Party) and that was another joke. The internet didn’t work EVER and they finally gave up and refunded all the charges they had written to the passengers’ accounts the first 2 days. We ended up finding internet cafes at each port. Horrendous in every way to treat passengers like this – maiden voyage or not. Did I sail on a different ship? Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
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