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849 Princess Repositioning Cruise Reviews

POOrest embarkation, disemabarkation, less then top performers, uncaring serveers in most cases, room sucked good sq ft but poorly layed out and lighted all lights in room come on to dress...stupid. poor water press couldnt fix, ac didnt ... Read More
POOrest embarkation, disemabarkation, less then top performers, uncaring serveers in most cases, room sucked good sq ft but poorly layed out and lighted all lights in room come on to dress...stupid. poor water press couldnt fix, ac didnt get cold until it was very cold outside temp. false design of usable steps in brochres, ship showed excessive wear for age....special deals poorly timed, never even had a cake for wifes 75th. unkmowledgable staff in buffets, on and off ship.....poor stablizers or ship too massive to control... many people running around sick my wife got the flu food was repeatative after 5 days nothing exciting, no drinks at international cafe great soups sweets, but no tea, water or coffee had to purchase. get more knowledgeable people on docks use color code only and no breaking ranks have places to wwait seats to sit on have several large signs with color code up. Have more announcements of which color is up, less confussion. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We choose our cruises using a combination of itinerary, overall cost, anticipated weather, on board credits and other perks offered. This transatlantic crossing offered some mild weather (a relief from our cold winter) by starting in Fort ... Read More
We choose our cruises using a combination of itinerary, overall cost, anticipated weather, on board credits and other perks offered. This transatlantic crossing offered some mild weather (a relief from our cold winter) by starting in Fort Lauderdale. With a couple extra pre-cruise days we were provided with a "defrost" cycle before commencing the cruise. We stayed at the economical Clarion Hotel pre-cruise which satisfied out needs. It was clean, in a safe neighborhood, close to shopping, restaurants and within walking distance to the beach. The only disadvantage to this hotel is that there is no pedestrian crosswalk nearby. The Clarion is approximately 3 miles from Port Everglades; but utilizing public transportation (bus system) we spent a grand total of $8 for both of us for transport from the airport to the hotel and further transport to the cruise port on day of embarkation. We travel with only carry-on luggage, so this would not be an option for those of you who take your entire wardrobe with you. Embarkation went smoothly. We were unpacked within 15 minutes of arriving at our stateroom (another benefit of packing light) and enjoying lunch at the Horizon Court thereafter. Princess continues to excel in menu choices and presentation in both the Horizon Court and specialty restaurants with impeccable service. The first few sea days were mild in temperature and we were able to use our deluxe rear facing balcony M725. This was a Princess upgrade from L119 which we had previously reserved. While the balcony is much larger than the standard balcony, we question whether it merits being an "upgrade." While not terrible, as others have mentioned with this rear facing balcony, there is a minimal amount of soot evident from the stacks. It is, evidently, an ongoing problem which Princess does not acknowledge. They don't come out and say that there is a possibility of soot (depending on the winds) but for the first time we noticed a dark colored (dark brown) indoor/outdoor vinyl backed throw rug at the balcony door which intimates to us that they are trying to catch the soot before tracking on to the stateroom carpet. We suspect that the small amount of occasional soot is not a health hazard, and we did not specifically request to be moved; but we would most likely not accept such an "upgrade" again. This was our second cruise on the Regal Princess. There are signs of impending refurbishment. The ship would remain in dry dock, post cruise, for installation of another much needed staircase. In our opinion the seating in Princess Live Theater on both the Regal and the Royal needs to be replaced. Princess Live theater seating has not held up well and is not very comfortable. Other that that, the ship, overall, maintains great appearance after its three years in-service and we would not hesitate to sail her, again. We had seen the productions shows Fiera, Bravo, etc. multiple times on both the Regal and the Royal. While the production shows are excellent, we were disappointed that there were not new shows on board. We love the theater entertainment and all entertainers brought on board (pianist, violinist, magician, and the cultural performance from the Netherlands) were very good. The ventriloquist was mediocre and not very original. We will say that we could also survive, quite nicely, without the screeching opera singer who was brought on board for the Bravo production show. Bravo was, otherwise, an outstanding production. We would also very much appreciate it if the lighting and sound crew could avoid shining annoying lights directly into the eyes of the audience. All of the excursions we took were Princess excursions which we found to be very enjoyable. PONTA DELGADA - We opted for the Princess Off the Beaten Track 4X4 Adventure which took us out of port to Sete Cidades (Twin lakes green and blue lagoons), a crater rim and peninsula drive along roads not otherwise passable by tour bus and return to the port for some free time. PARIS ON YOUR OWN - We pre-planned our metro option for seeing the major attractions in Paris "on our own" in 4 hours. We purchased a carnet 10 ticket “stack” of metro tickets for 14.50€ available for purchase near turnstiles in Metro stations – which was exactly the right number of tickets for two persons allowing us to see Hotel de Ville, Seine River, Notre Dame, Saint Sulpice Cathedral, Les Invalides, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, and Jardins de Tuileries. Obviously, there were no inside visits and this itinerary provided photo opportunities only...but the advantage was that one wasn't trying to take pictures from a tour bus, which from our perspective was a plus. To follow the metro itinerary you will also need a STREET MAP of Paris depicting where the metro stations are located: 1. From Cours la Reine to Notre Dame, get on M1 at either Champs-Elysses-Clemenceau OR Place de la Concorde. Get off at Hotel de Ville station and walk across bridge to Notre Dame Cathedral. 2. After Notre Dame, walk back away from the Notre Dame a short distance to get on M4 line at Saint- Michel-Notre-Dame toward Odeon and Saint-Sulpice. 3. Get off M4 at Saint-Sulpice 4. After Saint-Sulpice, walk to M10 line at Sevres-Babylone Station. Get on M10 at Sevres-Babylone Station toward Duroc Station 5. Change to M13 line at Duroc Station toward Saint-Francois-Xavier station 6. Get off at Saint-Francois-Xavier station and walk north on Boulevard des Invalides to Les Invalides (Military Museum and Napoleon’s Tomb) 7. Walk from Les Invalides to Eiffel Tower 8. Leave Eiffel Tower via Quai Branly to the Bir Hakeim M6 station on Boulevard de Grenelle. The station is just south of Quai Branly (away from the River Seine) 9. Get on M6 at Bir Hakeim station and get off at Charles de Gaulle Etoile for Arc de Triumphe. 10. Get on M1 at Charles de Gaulle and get off M1 at Champs-Elysses-Clemenceau to return on foot to Cours la Reine. Alternatively, get off M1 at Tuileries to view the gardens next to the Louvre and return on foot to Cours la Reine. BRUSSELS OLD TOWN AND GRAND PLACE - Again, a Princess excursion. Enjoyed seeing the Atomium, lace, chocolate, tapestries, etc. for which Belgium is known. A nice lunch was included...but, personally, we would prefer to "grab a bite" during our "free time" rather than lose an hour and a half with a "sit down" lunch. ROTTERDAM - Princess excursion to Keukenhof Tulip Festival which was essentially transportation "to" and "from" with 3 hours free time in the gardens. The flowers (tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, flowering shrubs e.g. azalea, etc.) were all beautiful and would not hesitate to go, again. HAMBURG - Princess offered no excursions for this disembarkation port other than for those seeking transport to the airport. We opted for some post cruise days, so we took the cruise port shuttle to S-Bahn Veddel where we ventured on to Central Station (Hamburg Hauptbahnhof) and then walked to our hotel. Most of our time in Hamburg was spent at Miniatur Wunderland, St. Michael's Church, Planten un Blomen and general sightseeing. AMSTERDAM - Post Cruise Days - We opted to take the train from Hamburg to Amsterdam as we didn't want to miss either Amsterdam or the Tulip Festival on this journey. Visited many of the tourist attractions in Amsterdam (Royal Palace, Anne Frank Haus, etc.) followed by a day at Kasteel de Haar in Utrecht. The Castle in the most luxurious Castle with moats, drawbridges, etc. in all of the Netherlands. Highly recommend a visit. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My husband chose this cruise though we had never cruised with Princess before, due to the itinerary. We had lived in Florida until two years ago so we had no need to explore Fort Lauderdale. Getting onboard was long and tiring even though ... Read More
My husband chose this cruise though we had never cruised with Princess before, due to the itinerary. We had lived in Florida until two years ago so we had no need to explore Fort Lauderdale. Getting onboard was long and tiring even though we supposedly had priority embark and debark. Getting off in Hamburg was the same with a 90 minute wait for a taxi - horrible standing out in the cold. I don't know how the elderly, handicap people survived this. We had a Club Class Mini-Suite and I would highly recommend it. There is much more room in these cabins than a regular mini-suite cabin. Plus you get a half bottle of red and a half bottle of white wine at embarkation. The Club Class dining is the best. You can walk right in and never have to wait a minute. You get a table for two if that is what you want. It was never crowded. Also you get the upgraded bed which I found very comfortable (I have a Tempur-Pedic at home and have never found a bed on a ship that suited me before.) Supposedly, you get evening canapés if you ask for them but on other ships I have had this automatically and never though to ask for them on Princess. We had a balcony dinner one evening and we both absolutely loved it. The wait staff was with us for 2.5 hours and it was truly luxurious - well, worth the $100 charge. We are not shoppers so having only a few shops was not a problem for us. The entertainment did not interest us so we did not go to any. We did enjoy the movie under the stars twice though it was very, very cold out there at night. We took one Princess tour in the Azores and were disappointed. Too crowded when we stopped to view the lakes. My husband did a private tour with seven other people to the Normandy Beaches and enjoyed that. I did not want a two hour bus ride to get there so i stayed onboard. We did a private tour with ToursByLocals to Ghent and loved that. Our tour guide was exceptional and very well informed. We avoided the crowds of Bruges where most people went at that stop. We had planned to go to Amsterdam with a Princess tour. I had requested a front row seat on the bus (due to motion sickness) but got no response to my request until AFTER the tour had departed so I paid for the tour but did not get to go. Very disappointed. My husband went and said he was glad I had stayed behind - it was horrible. Well, it was Easter weekend and so very crowded. He was unable to find any place for lunch. It was cold and raining plus they had to wait 90 minutes for the bus to pick them up at the end of the tour. We had another private tour by ToursByLocals in Hamburg which we enjoyed as well. Even though we're glad we took this transatlantic cruise, we will never go on such a large ship again. It is just too difficult getting that many people on and off the ship. Our steward, Felix, was wonderful and attentive. All the employees were very nice on this ship and seemed to enjoy their work. The pianist at Crooners should be replaced though. He could play the piano well but his singing and jokes were terrible. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We got a Incredible last minute fare and booked the cruise even though we had just been on another one in Asia and had not planned to do another one so soon. Inside cabin very different with bed right next to hallway door which created a ... Read More
We got a Incredible last minute fare and booked the cruise even though we had just been on another one in Asia and had not planned to do another one so soon. Inside cabin very different with bed right next to hallway door which created a few uncomfortable moments when other passengers were coming down the hallway. The shower was a little longer with a ledge at the back which allowed you to deposit personal items. This was a welcome change from the cramped showers we have experienced on other ships. We found the food a little more bland this time even though of good quality and the choice more limited. We do miss the Promenade Deck on these new ships and hate to have to face the elements and the strong winds encountered on the top deck where a short walking pasth has been installed. Service was in general excellent as usual and several shows were very good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My spouse and I had never done a Transatlantic cruise together and it was on our bucket list. We flew into Miami a day early and decided to take Uber to Ft Lauderdale. Best decision ever - it took the Uber driver 3 minutes to pick us up ... Read More
My spouse and I had never done a Transatlantic cruise together and it was on our bucket list. We flew into Miami a day early and decided to take Uber to Ft Lauderdale. Best decision ever - it took the Uber driver 3 minutes to pick us up from the time we called, the cost would have been $45 but we decided to take a larger car due to the luggage - it ended up costing $90. Not a bad deal and I think that our 2 suitcases and our carry on would have actually fit into the smaller car, but hubby wanted to be safe! We stayed at the Embassy Suite Hotel and it was a good choice (we are Hilton Honors Members). Met another couple from our Cruise Critic Board for dinner and had a wonderful time - we got along so well that we ended up having dinner every night with them while on the cruise. The hotel was packed, this port is a very busy port and there were 6 ships in port. In the morning - although we usually head for the port around 11 we heard from our new friends (who went early) that there were about 1600 passengers trying to check in. We decided to hang out at the hotel until 12:30 and again called Uber ($21) for pick up - 5 minutes later we were on our way. We were on the ship within 10 minutes. We always check out our cabin first, drop our bags off and have lunch in the main dining room - this time we were a little late and the dining room was already closed so we headed to Alfredo's. We loved the Pizza and now Alfredo's also offers salads and lasagna - extra points for the nice addition. I also signed up for the Hydro Pool - a nice addition which we have not had on any of our other Princess ships - although when cruising on Holland America or Celebrity the Hydro pools have a huge window in the front of the ship. The Hydro Pool was very dark with no windows, it was just ok in my opinion. This was our first cruise as Elite passengers and we had a mini bar set up in our cabin - it came in handy when I got the flu on this cruise. The fridge was filled with soda's and other drinks, so that I could stay hydrated while stuck in my cabin. I got sick on the 3rd day of the cruise - I must have picked up the flu on the flight from LA to Miami. Nothing I could do about it - I confined myself to the cabin while hubby brought me breakfast and dinner in bed every morning and night, I slept for 3 days. We had cabin E109, which had a large balcony and a small couch in the very front of the ship. I would recommend this cabin if you are not prone to sea sickness. Loved the extra space, and I was able to get a little bit of fresh air while staying in the cabin. The TV on this ship is great as well - it's on Demand and had lots of just released movies, which is great when confined in bed! We always take Anytime Dining and ate in the Main Dining room most nights. Had a nice meal at Crown Grill for Hubby's birthday with our new friends. I am vegetarian and there is not much on the menu for me, but if you tell them ahead of time, the staff prepares a vegetarian dinner (probably not worth the cost but hubby loved it and it was his birthday). The desserts are awesome. Hubby also dined at Sabatini's with our new friends while I stayed in our cabin and he said he loved it. The rest of the time we ate in the dining room and usually had Juan as our server and even though it was anytime dining he remembered what we liked. This trip I did not participate in any Entertainment or Activities so can't recommend any of it, just did not feel like it and wanted to rest up for the ports. I had 6 sea days to get well. Service as always was great - our cabin steward Chris was great and kept our cabin nice and clean - even changed my sheets several times during the time I was sick. We loved the bartenders at Crooners - Jovi and Bo - unfortunately even though I had the alcohol package included in the cost of the cruise I did not enjoy much alcohol so on this cruise if we would have paid for the package it would have been a waste of money. We did manage to have 1 or 2 drinks with our new friends before dinner each night. Hubby as always enjoyed a bottle of wine in the dining room. The cost is 40% off any bottle of wine under $100 (with the drink package) and one bottle usually lasts him 2 nights. The Regal is a beautiful ship but in my opinion is much to big - I prefer the smaller ships. Not sure if this opinion is due to the fact that I was sick or is my actual opinion. Might have to do a Redo cruise on this ship to determine my true feelings. We had 5 ports on this cruise - it was a cold cruise but we enjoyed each of the ports. This time we took Princess tours, which worked out great for us. They might cost a little more but at least we did not have to worry about missing the ship! First port was Azores (Portugal). Took a walking tour around the island - it's a beautiful port and next time (remember doing a redo) we will explore on our own. Hoenfleur (France) Gorgeous town and enjoyed the tour very much. Brugge (Belgium) Loved this tour - the town is beautiful and the canal cruise was awesome. I was really feeling better so stopped to have a Belgium Waffle with Ice Cream and Whipped cream (yum) and bought lots of Belgium chocolate. Rotterdam (Holland) We really loved this tour - went to Keukenhof Tulip Festival and we got so lucky - the flowers were in full bloom. (they usually only bloom for 5 days) It's about an hour drive to the gardens and you get about 3 hours to walk around and enjoy the flowers and pavillions. Highly recommend this tour. Last port Hamburg (Germany) Our flight was booked for 2:10 PM so we had time to take a 2 hour tour with Princess prior to being dropped off at the airport. Wish we would have had more time to spend in this beautiful city. Took a few pictures and got to the airport at around noon. Check out was easy - left our suitcases in the hall way the night before - went to our meeting room for the Hamburg tour and walked thru customs, found our bus and went on our tour. Would I do this cruise again? Possibly, but next time would do it in the fall when the weather is a little bit warmer. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We picked this cruise due to it's low price and Germany destination. The Captain went out of his way to provide great service. The complementary Champagne and end of cruise parties had plenty of waiters and drinks, something not ... Read More
We picked this cruise due to it's low price and Germany destination. The Captain went out of his way to provide great service. The complementary Champagne and end of cruise parties had plenty of waiters and drinks, something not always found on Princess ships. The food was exceptional though I wish Princess would reduce the amount of salt in food, especially their soups. Our waiters Archie, Samual, and Sergy provided great service and recommendations. MaitreD Evan always got us a superb table. Room steward Denmark was the best we have had on five Princess cruises. The weather for crossing the Atlantic and North Sea was calm. My wife who is prone to sea sickness made it across without any medication. The Princess shore excursions tend to be expensive and do not meet expectations of what should be seen. Our $199 per person Normandy Beaches tour spent 3 hours 40 minutes at a small museum, having lunch and shopping for post cards and souvenirs. We were allowed 10 minutes at Omaha beach! Probably better to explore on your own or plan an extended stay after you reach your destination. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise over the other transatlantics because of the ship. We sailed on the Regal once before and felt it would be the a great ship to spend the sea days on. The price for the journey was an excellent value and the ports of ... Read More
We chose this cruise over the other transatlantics because of the ship. We sailed on the Regal once before and felt it would be the a great ship to spend the sea days on. The price for the journey was an excellent value and the ports of call were worth visiting. Although the amount of time in the ports was way to short to get the full experience, it was a great way to decide if we would visit any of the areas for a longer land vacation. Dining was above average in all venues. The pastry bar in the Horizon court buffet area had some great tasting deserts. The parade of cakes was something look at as well as taste. I was worried that 7 straight days at sea would be too long and become boring but was I ever wrong. It was great! I really enjoyed the sea days. The shows and activities were good but I really enjoyed the relaxing days with my wife. We met some great people and had good conversations with them. I would take this cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
First off as disclaimers: This was a last minute long weekend and was very cheap. We both realised that not everything would be up and running and that TAs would be on board. We have done nearly 30 cruises in last 9 years so not ... Read More
First off as disclaimers: This was a last minute long weekend and was very cheap. We both realised that not everything would be up and running and that TAs would be on board. We have done nearly 30 cruises in last 9 years so not newbies. First time with Princess though. Positives: Ship nice externally. Internal décor not to my taste but ok. Staff were very nice and friendly but as first cruise and maiden season usually best staff are put on new ships in our experience so expected good service. Kotor was lovely to return to. That's it unfortunately! Now the moans Food totally tasteless in main dining room and buffet. Soundproofing worst by far we have ever experienced on ship Ship brand new but no USP. Pointless seawalk which is done once by everyone once and forgotten. Cabins right under it anyway so everyone can see into your room! Cinema at sea not used enough. Smoking area right under cabins. They did move us eventually though. If had no alternative on busy cruise then we would be very angry. Really bad design. Also smoking allowed in parts of casino which made it no go area for us. This is 2017. We shouldn't still be pandering to smokers anti social behaviour. Extra charges on bill on more than one occasion which had to be argued to get removed. First time with princess and probably last unfortunately as the staff were nice but product not up to standard. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My wife and I are in our mid to late forties, live in Los Angeles, and basically love to cruise. The ocean, the ports, the fun..we love it all! This was the first time we've set sail from our hometown, and for us this was an ... Read More
My wife and I are in our mid to late forties, live in Los Angeles, and basically love to cruise. The ocean, the ports, the fun..we love it all! This was the first time we've set sail from our hometown, and for us this was an incredibly convenient way to get away and experience all these fun ports in Mexico to which we'd never been. We took a shore excursion in almost every port (whale watching, kayaking, snorkeling and zip lining), with each one lasting about half a day, which also gave us time to walk around and explore each port ourselves. We felt the cruise provided a great opportunity for both adventure and sightseeing, and we had a blast. The ship itself is a bit of a mixed bag. Seen from afar, anchored in Cabo or docked in Los Angeles, the white hull, blue glass, and curves of the smokestack looked stunning. The inside central atrium, called The Piazza, has an impressive three story design with swooping staircases, and though not as large as the pictures seemed to indicate, it was a totally fun place to hang out. There was always something going on there, whether it was a band playing or some audience participation event in the afternoon or a party at night. We really enjoyed the captain's cocktail party with the champagne glass waterfall, and the final farewell balloon drop, both longtime and much loved Princess events. The other public venues radiating outward from the piazza were well appointed and nice, from the semi Egyptian theme of the Explorer's lounge, which was a fun place to watch a singer or musician while having a drink, to the larger Vista lounge, where all sorts of things happened, like trivia, game shows, etc. The cruise director, Andrew Kadillac, and his staff were wonderful, and had so many fun activities happening on sea days in particular that for the first time in all of our cruises we really had to keep track of our schedule so as not to miss anything. The captain, Michele Tuvo, was phenomenal, an engaging and lively and warm man who really seemed to enjoy interaction with the passengers. We've never had that on a cruise before.The entertainment in the main Princess Theatre was great, in particular the production shows, with fantastic singers and dancers. The movies under the stars, on a huge outdoor screen by the pool, are also a fun feature. They even pass out blankets! The two lecturers, however, a husband and wife team who talked about the history of Mexico, whales, and all the ports, weren't compelling at all. We've seen far, far better on other cruise lines. We had a pretty big issue with the design of the upper outdoor decks of the ship. We are not sunbathers, but love to find some shady, quiet outdoor places to enjoy the sea going by and read a good book. Sadly, they were almost impossible to find on the Star Princess. The covered pool is just too noisy, as is the main pool area, and almost all the rest of the upper decks feature vast bland open spaces crammed full of uncomfortable chaise lounges. There's not a single shade structure or umbrella to be found. We wound up paying either $40 for a full day, or $20 for a half day to use a covered area call The Sanctuary near the bow of the ship, with lots of shade and nicer chaises, and very attentive attendants. It's luxurious, but we didn't like having to pay for the only place with shade on the upper decks. The decks featuring passenger cabins felt old and dated. The endless hallway leading to our cabin was completely undecorated and felt like a service corridor in an old hotel. Our balcony cabin was on the Caribe deck, with a large balcony that we enjoyed. Our steward did an incredible job, keeping it clean and fresh almost invisibly. The cabin itself was small and nothing special, and felt more spartan than any we've had before. Not a huge deal, but the tv was quite small and the space a little claustrophobic, even for a cruise ship. We also had unpleasant toilet plumbing issues that you really never want to experience, especially while on vacation. These happened twice, but to the ship's credit they were dealt with quickly. The dining was problematic. Both specialty restaurants, The Crown Grill, a steakhouse, and the Italian Sabatini's were delicious and had great service. We did enjoy the Horizon Court buffet. There was usually a wide and varied selection of well prepared and above average food for each meal. I really liked the different style pancakes every morning, and the different gourmet sandwiches I could find at lunch every day. Our biggest problem was dinner in the main dining room. We didn't enjoy it at all. Service for the early seating was so slow that we were not able to attend the early production show that started two hours after we sat down each day. My wife and I are not foodies and always on cruises keep our expectations realistic, but these meals varied from ok to quite subpar, with the best parts usually being the appetizers and dessert. We try to eat healthy and often eat fish, but it was so poorly prepared that neither my wife nor I could eat it. As a result, we wound up eating every night in the buffet. That part was a shame because we usually love the "pomp and circumstance" of sharing a meal with our fellow passengers in the dining room. Overall, we still had fun and enjoyed the trip. I think we'd be open to cruising again on Princess, but I think we'd want to experience a newer ship than the Star Princess. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Round Australia itinerary was a perfect close to our touring of the more visited areas on land. We often do private tours, but the ships tours were very good, but a bit more expensive which is typical of cruise ship tours. Some port ... Read More
Round Australia itinerary was a perfect close to our touring of the more visited areas on land. We often do private tours, but the ships tours were very good, but a bit more expensive which is typical of cruise ship tours. Some port visits were quite short so the ships excursions were much more relaxing. Our cabin was C633. We had wanted a balcony but there were none available. We enjoyed this cabin as it was quite roomy. All cabins on board have large flat screen TVs which is amazing. The TV choices are amazing. From live TV to very recent movie choices on demand. The best we have seen on a ship. The Pop Choir was a terrific experience particularly for us as we have never sung in a choir ever! Good fun. I was a little disappointed in the food generally but there were many choices. Room service was very efficient and the staff delivering were friendly and happy. Although we were cruising in Australia, we tipped $2 each time that Room Service delivered and they were very appreciative. I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Myself and two friends (also newbies) just finished a four day re-positioning cruise Melbourne to Auckland. EMBARKATION Embarkation went very smoothly and we were on board pretty quickly. The only issue we had was one Princess ... Read More
Myself and two friends (also newbies) just finished a four day re-positioning cruise Melbourne to Auckland. EMBARKATION Embarkation went very smoothly and we were on board pretty quickly. The only issue we had was one Princess Cruises staff member saw our blue cards (newbies) and told us to take a seat and wait to board. He failed to see we were staying in a suite and were entitled to priority boarding. However, we asked the lady sitting next to us if she had priority boarding and she said no, so we promptly got up and when through immigration and were on-board in no time. ACCOMMODATION: Stayed in Grenada suite on Sun Deck 15 S707 twin beds and fold-away couch. The suite was beautiful - with a lot of the finishes in elegant wood grain throughout and marble floors and counters in the bathroom. The beds were brand new but my two friends like soft beds and found them to be a little bit too hard, so they asked for a mattress topper to be put on and they found the beds super comfortable after that. I slept on the fold-away bed and I was sooooo comfortable. I prefer a firm mattress so this suited me well. It was probably the most comfortable fold-away bed I have ever slept on. The suite had everything we needed and it was nice to have space to move around. Our sailing experienced very bad weather throughout the entire journey so were virtually unable to use the balcony at all, which was disappointing as the balcony is a good size and it would have doubled our 'living' space. THE WEATHER I wanted to include comments about the weather and the effect it had on our overall cruise experience. The ship had to take a wide diversion from the planned route to avoid the worst of the storm (hence our very late arrival into Auckland) but even with that diversion we still experienced 5 metre swells and 130km/hour winds. The ship handled the high seas well given the severe conditions. Princess Cruises can't control the weather and I have to say, all of the crew were amazing and worked hard to ensure we still had a great experience. Many of them were suffering with sea sickness along with the passengers. The difference was they still had to work, and in spite of their own discomfort, they really pushed through to provide a high level of care, attention and service throughout the cruise. The high winds blowing right onto our side of the ship had a really bad effect on the balcony doors as the wind howled day and night and there was no way to dull the sound of it until evening when the curtains were drawn which helped just a little bit. As soon as the wind direction changed, the howling wind sounds dissipated quickly. The location of our suite on (aft on deck 15) also meant that the lurching and extreme bumping was more pronounced than if we had been on a lower deck. One of my friends felt quite under the weather for about 36 hours but gradually recovered. I'm one of those fortunate people who doesn't experience sea sickness so that was probably a good thing. When venturing down to lower levels where most of the activities were happening the movement of the ship was much less noticeable and being closer to water level, it was quite amazing to see how big the swells were and just how well the Golden Princess handled the rough weather....incredible! ENTERTAINMENT There was a vast array of entertainment available onboard and we were never bored even though we couldn't do any of the outside activities due to the extremely bad weather. SERVICE The service from all levels of staff was excellent throughout the ship. Smiling, friendly and helpful. Their ability to manage and anticipate the expectations of their guests is pretty awesome. One can have the best of accommodations, best of foods, best of entertainment, but if the staff aren't amazing, then it doesn't matter how great the rest of it is. People are the key, and it is evident Princess Cruises understand that and also ensure that their staff have ongoing training so they can deliver their best. Our room steward Jalena and her assistant Windy were just lovely people and really looked after us supremely. It is the little things that count isn't it? For example, I like to have the mattress slightly raised up under my head and so I had put small cushions under the mattress. The next evening when I returned to the suite to go to bed, I found that they had put the small cushions back under the mattress for me, how cool is that? In particular, we found the staff at Sabatini's (specialty restaurant) to be pretty amazing. Led by Kim, with his team - Marko, Bobby, Pravin and others, sorry I couldn't remember all of your names guys! They all worked hard to make a visit to their restaurant a special and memorable event - their quick wit and unobtrusive service was great! We dined there on our first night on-board, and as we were suite guests, we were able to have a very special breakfast there each morning. I had read in other reviews that this was a favourite perk of suite guests and now I understand why. Actually it would be fair to say that the most enjoyable mealtimes for us were the breakfasts at Sabatinis as the guys were just so friendly and funny whilst remaining professional at all times - not an easy thing to balance in the service industry:) FOOD I had heard that the food was really great on Princess Cruise ships and that's exactly what we found on the Golden Princess. Freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries, sauces cooked from 'scratch'. That is what you expect to experience in a restaurant right? But when you think about the sheer volume of food required for 2,600 people for just one meal in multiple venues on-board the ship, then extrapolate that into three meals a day; the fact that they can still do it all from 'scratch' is pretty amazing. The temptation would be (I'm sure) to use pre-prepared sauces, par-baked breads etc when catering to those numbers but it's clear that Princess doesn't approach their food from a 'catering' stance, but rather from a 'restaurant' stance and that's what makes the difference. I have read other comments here on this forum that the quality of food has dropped, but IMHO it's still pretty good! We dined in both specialty restaurants - Sabatinis and Crown Grill. Simply beautiful food presented well and full of complex flavours. Very tender meats, full flavoured sauces - yum! There were comments around the table at the Crown Grill that it was the best steak they had ever eaten. DEBARKATION This was a disappointment. Primarily because there were only around 274 people getting off the ship in Auckland and 274 getting on - it was a shambles. I shudder to think what it would have been like if all 2600 passengers were getting off the ship. We were informed that we would be debarking at 6.30pm. We eventually got off the ship at about 7.20pm, once outside the arrival terminal, we boarded the princess transfer coach to go to the airport. However, because of the messy debarkation, two of the booked passengers for the transfer were missing. We had to wait another 30 minutes before they finally showed up. Not their fault, but very frustrating anyway. WOULD I CRUISE AGAIN? Absolutely. I probably won't do a trans-tasman cruise again though, it's a bit of a gamble - that stretch of water is notorious; it can be calm as glass or stormy and wild and you never know what you're going to get. WOULD I CHOOSE PRINCESS CRUISES AGAIN? In a heartbeat. In fact, I've already booked a cruise with a friend for January 2018 on Golden Princess, in a suite again - I'm spoilt now, can't even imagine cruising any other way. And.....I've also purchased a $100 future cruise deposit for a Princess cruise in 2019 with an aunty (just waiting for itineraries to come out for 2019) And.....my two friends I cruised with this time, are up for another cruise with me in 2020. As you may have guessed, I'm a planner:) Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Somehow I have managed to delete my very long review twice so I'll just make is a short as possible. Herded like cattle at embarkation. No bath towels for two days because they could not discharge gray water. So my arrival was a ... Read More
Somehow I have managed to delete my very long review twice so I'll just make is a short as possible. Herded like cattle at embarkation. No bath towels for two days because they could not discharge gray water. So my arrival was a surprise to them. Could not enjoy the expensive aft balcony as it smelled like rotting food garbage the whole 19 days. Could not enjoy the aft view because it would heat up the room and the thermostat was a dummy as it controlled nothing. I made a video of a white face cloth turning brown as I ran the water from the sink onto it. Do not waste your money on a coffee card. Just because they have a great machine and people that hold the title of baristas does not mean they can make a coffee worth drinking. I never thought I would dream of even getting a McDonnald's cup of coffee. There was not a brewed cup on this ship and the true burn is we were sailing Brazil! And don't even waste your time with the old guy. You could tell they never pressed the grounds and you never heard them having to knock them out. 19 days and the same gelato flavors every day. The only variety was in what order would they place them in the display and which ones would be too soft to be good. The food was boring and pretty much flavorless but the excitement was to try and find which food was at the correct temp. or had not set out too long. The off temp thing happened in the MDR also. We had a contest with other passengers to see who would be the first to find a piece of crab in the crab cakes. No one won. Not even fake crab was to be found. They served me rare PORK! Yes, seared on the edges and looked almost like tuna. Last time I would put my health in their hands. The headliners were the same that I have seen before, the same act, the same songs, the same jokes, and I have only been on Princess four times in the last 2 1/2 years. Booked shore excursions on their computer. Public restrooms were few on this ship and always seem to have at least one out of order. There was alway a problem either with the water not working or out of soap. In general, they were not maintained properly and did not seem to be a priority and they certainly should be to keep the ship healthy. Why was it that the guests were expected to make way for the crew in the halls, the public areas and especially the stairways? Don't they have their own stairs? Very few happy people on this ship which influenced the passenger's attitudes. Or it was predetermined as I overheard at check in that the ship was full of old people that feel entitled. My next three sailings I have booked this year are not with Princess because I am entitled. Entitled to what I paid for and the standards set by other Princess ships and others in the cruise industry. Front desk personnel were nice and helpful. There was no way to get in touch with them other than standing in line as they had their phone number disconnected all 19 days. Actually, the phone worked for room service, the stateroom attendant, and medical emergency only. The steak house was completely forgettable, nothing special but the price. The security department was wonderful, friendly, smiling all the while doing their diligent duties. Julio Delgado the Port Lecturer, was wonderful and very informative. The Cruise Director David Garcia was the best I've ever encountered, hands down. He is articulate, intelligent, entertaining without impersonating a high school cheerleader. Nano Prado the piano player and entertainer extraordinaire was truly captivation to all as he sang in Italian, Spanish, and English all the songs one would expect to hear at a piano bar. Mariano Bujacich Tango was mesmerizing. They needed more seating as people wanted to stay and listen to them until they were finished, not a stroll around and listen. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I GOT SICK ON THE SECOND DAY OF THIS CRUISE! And I'm still sick! Thank God we took a 2 day private tour of Iguazu Falls before getting on...or it would have been a bad time overall.. The second night onboard, after leaving the ... Read More
I GOT SICK ON THE SECOND DAY OF THIS CRUISE! And I'm still sick! Thank God we took a 2 day private tour of Iguazu Falls before getting on...or it would have been a bad time overall.. The second night onboard, after leaving the Crown Grill, we went to the Magic Show..I saw clouds of smoke come down from the top center of the theatre.. I started coughing w/ a tickle in my throat for the next month..others around me coughed too..The constant coughing had me in the Drs office..dx ..''Acute bronchitis"..;( Our room duvet on Caribe was dingy, the carpet worn, a white circle outside the door..chemical or someone had been sick..I'm not sure.. I had to either dine at a separate table in the D.R.after that to avoid coughing on people, and avoid going to the theatre..greatly diminishing any enjoyment onboard.. The constant coughing led to having to run to the washroom..most had no hot water.. I missed 2 private tours to Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf and a dance show..my husband dined alone some nights...he ended up getting sick at the end of the cruise. I'm seriously considering dropping Princess in favor of Celebrity..and weve got 3 months logged w/ Princess altogether.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Enjoy quiet days at sea and the cruise visited some Caribbean island new to us. Itinerary up the Brazilian coast was interesting and included many days at sea. Good fellow passengers being a healthy mix - lots of British, Australians ... Read More
Enjoy quiet days at sea and the cruise visited some Caribbean island new to us. Itinerary up the Brazilian coast was interesting and included many days at sea. Good fellow passengers being a healthy mix - lots of British, Australians and Canadians. The crew were, as always it seems, excellent, cheerful, friendly and always willing to help. Entertainment was quite good overall. The destinations speaker was excellent, humorous and informative. There was no other speaker/s which left a gap. Our cabin near the center of the ship had a marked vibration on some days and sometimes even in port! On the negative side, (1) the ship is tired as noted by several other passengers - the cabin was tired, etc. (2) Appears they were running inventory down - example: poor wine selection resulted in complaints we were told so no wine package - go figure, poor selection so higher prices!! (3) Prices - seems everything is now more expensive - example $13:50 per day gratuities - heard several passengers say they had decided to decline the charge - sad for the staff. (4) the main theater is too small - to get a seat for early show required arriving half an hour early - recommend three (shorter) shows each evening - one before dinner for the late sitting? Princess standards seem to be slipping and meanwhile onboard prices are up and sales activity sometimes seems to take priority. This may have improved the CCL share price and profitability but not the enjoyment of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We were going to Patagonia, but we decided Uruguay would work better. Embarkation was problematic. We were robbed in security in Buenos Aires. Why have security cameras if the face is unclear? We got to see the film of the guy stealing ... Read More
We were going to Patagonia, but we decided Uruguay would work better. Embarkation was problematic. We were robbed in security in Buenos Aires. Why have security cameras if the face is unclear? We got to see the film of the guy stealing our stuff. Why didn't all of our stuff come through the conveyor belt? The cabin was comfortable; the service and amenities were good; the food was lovely, and the ports were interesting. Onboard expenses such as tips, $27/day, were high. The Crown Princess was looking a little tired. LIghts were out in the atrium, and several things didn't work or were well worn. We enjoyed our excursions, which were conducted by enthusiastic and knowledgeable people. The port lectures were terrific, but there were no educational lectures, which we've on all of our longer cruises. There were many jewelry and art sales and other opportunities to spend money. How about bringing back those lectures? The opening show, Magic, was very good -- a pleasant departure from the usual loud 1950s-60s production shows. Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was a zoo. We nearly missed our plane. All considered, sure we'd go again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We have been on this ship several times in the last couple years. The ship is ok-not our favorite. Had some great crew members take care of this time on the ship. The crew in Crooner's Bar was awesome(especially Vish). Carmine in ... Read More
We have been on this ship several times in the last couple years. The ship is ok-not our favorite. Had some great crew members take care of this time on the ship. The crew in Crooner's Bar was awesome(especially Vish). Carmine in Vines was awesome as well. We only did one tour with the ship. Most of the time we like to explore ports on our own. The entertainment was good --some just ok but some was really good. We picked this cruise due to the itinerary. We had wonderful 2 days in Rio--what an amazing area. We had 4 new ports in the Caribbean that were fun. Would have preferred to skip Salvador--way too many people stealing. Though we did have a nice meal in a little café as we walked through town. Loved that part way thru cruise Static Band came on board---we had seen them last year on this same ship--love the music they play. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This is a cruise to connect with the dawn princess coming from sydney on the 9/02/17 .embarkation was no problem because there were only 430 new passengers in auckland . We had a shore tour before we got on the ship . It was a bus trip to ... Read More
This is a cruise to connect with the dawn princess coming from sydney on the 9/02/17 .embarkation was no problem because there were only 430 new passengers in auckland . We had a shore tour before we got on the ship . It was a bus trip to davenport with a ferry trip back to the ship on your own ,all in all a very good tour . This was our first cruise with golden princess to test the ship for the future . We just had 11 fantastic days on the dawn princess !! we had fixed dining ,and staff working in the dining room were excellent ,but the meals were not the same standard as on the dawn . Horizon court was fine . The general layout of the ship not very passenger friendly on a short cruise.. 90 % of staff very friendly 10% did not want to be there . disembarkation was a shambels . When things went well they told you so every opportunity , when things did not go to plan they did not tell you untill after the event . We had people passing out in congested hallways leading to the meeting areas. As we got to the luggage pick up area one small peace of luggage was missing , having booked seats on the airport shuttle we had to go and catch that bus . On the bus we talked to several people that had luggage missing ,all the same color and number tag. i contacted princess the next day ,they knew nothing about it . Left all the information required to contact me as soon as they had news of what happened . At this stage 48 hours no news . Overall not a nice experience !! Will we Sail on Golden again "Not likely Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our first cruise and we thought a short cruise would give us an idea if we liked cruising. We loved it! The Sea Princess was an elegant ship that had plenty of bars and public areas. The decor is a little dated but still ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we thought a short cruise would give us an idea if we liked cruising. We loved it! The Sea Princess was an elegant ship that had plenty of bars and public areas. The decor is a little dated but still elegant. The dining was fantastic in the Rigoletto Dining Room and we loved going to High Tea (it was included in the fare). The Horizon Court Buffet was good and there was also a pizza restaurant and pool side buffet included. The pool area was great and there was a large adults only Sanctuary but that was closed on our sailing. The entertainment was great. Live music was fantastic and the karaoke in the Sports Bar was fun. We paid to do wine tasting and it was worth the money. We liked the fact you could use the sauna, steam room and spa in the Day Spa for free. A lot of things were included in our fare and that was really surprising. We had a lovely time. We loved the friendly staff. I'd love to go on a Princess Cruise again, however I would book an Ocean View. We had an obstructed view room and it was tiny. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We explored the California one week before departure. We choice this itinerary because we wanted to go to Chili and prefer a ship more fun compare a fly The embarkation was very long No smoothly and disorganization was terrible ... Read More
We explored the California one week before departure. We choice this itinerary because we wanted to go to Chili and prefer a ship more fun compare a fly The embarkation was very long No smoothly and disorganization was terrible It was 5th Cruise with Princess, We liked our cabin, dock Riviera Crown Princess and all sister Ship We like aft cabin because we found a bar and the small pool . We are outside easily and fast. The place is tranquil not heavy and we prefer that . Dining and services were very very good Entertainment and activities 6/10 Ports were no good , exception Manzanillo Mexico and Puntarenas Costa Rica We did not use the excursion because no interesting for us We did not travel with children but with couple friends This cruise was no appropriate for the children We will go again with Princess Cruise, we have one reservation next February for 6 days in Caribbean Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
If you like cozy and getting to know your fellow passengers and crew as well as visiting ports off the usual grid, then this ship is for you. Cabins are slightly larger too with lots of storage and closet space. Even the bath had plenty ... Read More
If you like cozy and getting to know your fellow passengers and crew as well as visiting ports off the usual grid, then this ship is for you. Cabins are slightly larger too with lots of storage and closet space. Even the bath had plenty of room, though I personally would prefer a walk-in shower over the tub. Everything you need is within easy access...bars, dining, entertainment. The only negative is the lack of on demand movies on the TV....oh well. We chose this cruise because it was on the Pacific Princess and it was the latest crossing of the season for Princess. That turned out to be a bit of an issue with weather threatening as we left Gibraltar. But the Captain kept us fully informed, even changing ports so we had a smoother ride across. Very good decision on his part. It was all good as his weather forecasting was right on. We felt well prepared with the Captain's information and he inspired great confidence in us all. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
What a wonderful cruise with an attentive, personable crew that made our transatlantic cruise one of our best (of many). The main dining room food was well prepared, served at the correct temperature in almost all cases, well presented and ... Read More
What a wonderful cruise with an attentive, personable crew that made our transatlantic cruise one of our best (of many). The main dining room food was well prepared, served at the correct temperature in almost all cases, well presented and most important, tasty and well served. Our cabin (mini suite) was the nicest one we have had with over 40 cruises to our credit. Our Captain steered us away from oncoming winter Atlantic storms and introduced us to Madeira with a unplanned substitute stop that calls for a return visit. Entertainment was consistently good with the ship's singers and dancers excellent as they adapted to their small lounge stage. The only issue was the small casino with too few slot machines ( ie only 2 quarter machines). We would definitely sail with this ship again given the right itinerary. With the schedule bedding upgrades mid 2017 this ship will be even more of a treat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We always cruise the first week in December for our Anniversary. We decided to sail on this cruise as we have never sailed the Mexican Riviera, The Service was excellent and the Food on board ship was Great. The shore excursion that ... Read More
We always cruise the first week in December for our Anniversary. We decided to sail on this cruise as we have never sailed the Mexican Riviera, The Service was excellent and the Food on board ship was Great. The shore excursion that we selected was Horse Back Riding on the Beach in Cabos San Lucas. It was an incredible experience and the people that ran this excursion were excellent. It was a great experience and well worth the money. The Employees at the excursion made all riders feel comfortable and welcome. They took extremely good care of us and enforced all safety regulations. It was awesome. Embarkation and disembarkation was a dream, The transfers crew from LAX were amazing! They knew exactly who we were without us saying our names. They were fabulous!! We have been on many cruises and have used transfers, but have never been greeted like this, We will definitely take this cruise again and recommend it to family and friends! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship ... Read More
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship were outstanding, the ship provided us with a number of sports, such as table tennis(ping pong), basketball, soccer, cricket, paddle tennis, mini golf a jogging track and a well equipped high-tech gym. Every night, when the room steward refreshed our room he left us with delicious chocolates and the next day's edition of the Princess Patter( the newsletter with showed all the activities happening in the next day). One very important thing I would recommend you to purchase, especially if you are travelling with kids, is to buy the soda and drink package. And also purchase once you get on the ship, not before, because the price onboard is cheaper than purchasing it from the website. With 60 Australian dollars we could get all the drinks we wanted for free. And one thing that you should know is that Princess is not very strict with the package. For example, I could but a drink and then give the card to my sister and she could get a drink for herself. Our interior cabin was very nice. The service on the ship was amazing. The dining was also great. The pizza in this ship was amazing. For breakfast there was a huge variety of food, from pancakes, to waffles, to omelettes, to hash browns, to scrambled eggs, to croissants, to yoghurt, to chocolate croissants, to fruit etc. The dinner was amazing too, and the dessert was absolutely wonderful. The cruise was actually very great for children too, the kids clubs were awesome, and the youth counsellors very very friendly. The service on this ship was also very great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Our service was excellent. The food was very good. This was our first cruise. The Jazz band was very good as well as the other musical performers. We really did not participate in all the other activities available. We didn't go ... Read More
Our service was excellent. The food was very good. This was our first cruise. The Jazz band was very good as well as the other musical performers. We really did not participate in all the other activities available. We didn't go on any port excursions because we have already gone to Santa Barbara and we had no interest in going to Encinadas. If we were to go on another cruise , I guess my only anxiety would be to go on an excursion and then come back too late and miss our ship. We went on a tour vacation once to Irland and we decided that the daily regimine was not quite our cup of tea. We are more accustomed to flying to destinations and renting a car to sight see or go on road trips. But the experience of being out as sea is quite humbling. We may go again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We flew to San Francisco 2 days early to explore the city. We enjoyed riding on the hop on, hop off bus. We went around the city. The weather was a little bit cold but manageable. I chose this cruise because I would like to experience all ... Read More
We flew to San Francisco 2 days early to explore the city. We enjoyed riding on the hop on, hop off bus. We went around the city. The weather was a little bit cold but manageable. I chose this cruise because I would like to experience all the itineraries of Princess cruise. I had been cruising with princess all the time because I always come home with good experiences. I never cruise with any cruise lines. Our cabin is C523 and I loved sitting in the balcony. The size was just enough to move around and that's all we need. Our cabin steward is Renato and he did a fantastic job. Our room is always clean and every time we meet him he always ask if we need something else. There are so many varieties of places to eat and the crews are all great. Our dining room is DaVinci and our waiter Jeffrey Manantan and his assistant, I Ketut Purnawan are so nice and very good and did a great job. In spite of their busyness they still put time to entertain us by doing some tricks and good jokes. They always wait for us. On our second night they already know what are our favourites. Michael their head waiter is also wonderful. On our second day he knew us right a way and knows where we want to seat. Fatima Santos, who served us with drinks is very accommodating and always got her smile. Another lady I want to mention is April Mercado, anywhere we see her she always smile. Overall everyone did a great job. They are too many to mention. Enterainment is first class especially the "Born to Dance". There are shows that we even repeat to watch. Activities are great. There are quite a few of them where my husband and I join in like; line dancing, ballroom dancing, horse racing, airplane throwing, human slot machine, etc. Services are great. Ports and excursions are awesome. Cant't ask for more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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