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185 Princess Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Was really looking forward to being on the Majestic again. Absolutely thrilled and delighted that Princess offered us an upgrade from a balcony suite to a Mini-Suite for a minimal cost. Unfortunately some of the passengers ruined the ... Read More
Was really looking forward to being on the Majestic again. Absolutely thrilled and delighted that Princess offered us an upgrade from a balcony suite to a Mini-Suite for a minimal cost. Unfortunately some of the passengers ruined the experience with their ignorant behaviour - noisy, pushy and totally unaware of fellow passengers. We utilised Anytime dining and the experience varied from really good to disappointing. Our last dinner was dreadful - had to wait for an hour to receive the main course and the wine we ordered. The wait staff did not come near us when we finished the main course and as we had waited a ridiculous amount of time, gave up and left the dining room. I had made an enquiry at the front desk as to the latest we could disembark so I could inform my son who was picking us up. The answer was vague. Then we were not provided with the normal form to nominate a departure time. Lucky for us, it was a short cruise so we only had a small suitcase that I could manage myself getting off. The WiFi speed was the worst we have ever experienced on Princess. It would lose connection but still gobble up the Internet minutes unless I rebooted my iPad and then try to log off. I lost 60 minutes because of this. I keep my iPad up to date with the latest OS and have no issues at home. The stage show “Fantastic Journey” was one of the best we have seen and I would highly recommend it. Sadly the experience was spoiled by the hordes of ignorant passengers, constantly talking and letting their children run about. These passengers came late, crowded around the stairs. Hopefully this is only a blip as we are booked on five more Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After ten previous Princess cruises on several ships, I've about decided I need to take a break and try another line for a while. The allure of Princess has faded some, though it's hard to switch after becoming an ... Read More
After ten previous Princess cruises on several ships, I've about decided I need to take a break and try another line for a while. The allure of Princess has faded some, though it's hard to switch after becoming an "elite" customer. Food options are much reduced; menus are stale and repetitive; prices continue to escalate for "smaller" items; and the quality of the entertainment is not what it used to be. Embarkation in LA was horrific, with chaos abounding and no one seeming to know a thing. On the plus side, the crew continues to amaze me with their caring attitudes and how they go out of their way to make you feel welcome and important. Mattress and pillow quality are superb. Deck burger grill and International Cafe never cease to amaze and delight. The folks in their shops department went out of their way to help when my wife's wheelchair broke. A wheel snapped off and they fixed it overnight at no cost. Amazing service! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
DW and I choose this cruise due to no flying. LA round trip to Alaska. First kept getting delayed boarding notices. Was supposed to board around Noon but instead 6 PM. Then our traditional dining at Allegro which was booked and ... Read More
DW and I choose this cruise due to no flying. LA round trip to Alaska. First kept getting delayed boarding notices. Was supposed to board around Noon but instead 6 PM. Then our traditional dining at Allegro which was booked and confirmed 1 1/2 years go was changed to Anytime. Had to take vacation time to change it to a not as good substitute set seating dining at Symphony. The room steward was perfect, he met all our needs and went beyond the call of duty, gave him the highest rating on the post cruise eval. Entertainment was uneven. The main production numbers were cut short. We had done the Royal last year October and we saw more versions of the Princess singers and dancers. Some of the guest entertainers were very good and some not. Jennifer Singer was terrific. Was disappointed in the Princess whale excursion out of Ketchican, saw none. The Juneau Tour and Whale Watch was great, saw many whales, saw 3 spouting next to each other, several flippers hitting the water, several diving with tails in the air, and several jumping out of the water and making very large splashes. Food was good or just OK in main dining, worse with few exceptions at Horizon, very good at International Café, very good at Alfredo's, excellent at Sabatini's. Balcony cabin was smaller than older Princess ships. Matt O, cruise director, was all over the ship and terrific, made the otherwise too many sea days in a row do-able. An on that note, Victoria was skipped due to the last portion of the new extended dock not being finished due to that part lost a sea during a storm. Princess should have substituted another port, say Vancouver. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
A relocation cruise seeing new ports looked great.Hi trip was OK, but a lot of little issues stopped us from putting deposit on future cruise – It started at beginning – not given cabin number till couple days of sailing, then week ... Read More
A relocation cruise seeing new ports looked great.Hi trip was OK, but a lot of little issues stopped us from putting deposit on future cruise – It started at beginning – not given cabin number till couple days of sailing, then week later in Vancouver having to move a few cabins up the hall?Re cabin my wife and I hit head or shoulder on bed hanging on wall a few times. Accepted captain’s invite to cocktail party, asked a few passing waiters for a drink(would have been our first) none returned- a message of this was put in captain’s dropbox, we never got a reply, we didn’t bother going to the next FREE cocktail party.At Victoria port we were told about the beautiful gardens – hard to see when you arrive at 7pm. , for other ports the imfo sheet listed many sites, but most were outside the map supplied?We privately booked a -Hop on Hop off at Honolulu, found our way to town and collected tickets( where told because Princess didn’t get enough booking, Hop onHop off, wont invited to the port.)It’s the little thing you remember. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This ship is in terrible shape. Carpets are worn and faded, beside being dirty. The elevator doors are all scraped and peeling. Our cabin steward was less than honest. The food was average and the same as all Princess cruises. ... Read More
This ship is in terrible shape. Carpets are worn and faded, beside being dirty. The elevator doors are all scraped and peeling. Our cabin steward was less than honest. The food was average and the same as all Princess cruises. Nothing new. Cruise director staff was very inexperienced. Elevators were under constant repair. The entertainment was actually above average. Wait staff in the dining room were a joke. Assistant waiter did not know if a fish dish was baked or fried. Neither did the waiter. No consistency from day to day. There were ports I have not been to previously were on itinerary. I enjoy repositioning cruises thar take me home to Ft. Lauderdale.`Unfortunately on the second leg of cruise we missed a third of the ports due to weather. No contingency plan for missed ports. Had to stop in Madeira to drop off a patient. We should have stayed a day to make up for missing Portland or that Azores, but did not. Turning the last 8 days of cruise to "sea" days. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our trans Atlantic cruise was great when we visited our destinations but cold & rainy during the 5 days we crossed the Atlantic. This meant we were confined to the inside of the ship for the 5 day crossing. There were plenty of ... Read More
Our trans Atlantic cruise was great when we visited our destinations but cold & rainy during the 5 days we crossed the Atlantic. This meant we were confined to the inside of the ship for the 5 day crossing. There were plenty of diversions & activities inside the ship which made the crossing fun although it would have been nice to be able to use the pool & hot-tubs. The food was no better or worse than any of the other cruises we have taken on other cruise lines. The crew was exceptional including the captain who always kept us informed about our route and weather conditions. Our cruise was forced to take a more northern route across the Atlantic because of storms which severely lowered the speed of our internet service. We were dismayed that Princess allowed one passenger to bring their dog on the cruise. There was no indication that this was any type of service dog! I am a dog owner & would never consider taking our dog on a cruise. I wonder about the public health issues when a dog is brought into the dining rooms! Overall we had a good time but would think twice about ever taking another Trans Atlantic cruise, particularly one that takes a northern route like ours did. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Itinerary was awesome other then that, food was ok, shows were mediocre and staff were a little rude. Main dining waiter was rushed no interaction just took order, drop food and took off. Francesco head waiter was great. Always gave me ... Read More
Itinerary was awesome other then that, food was ok, shows were mediocre and staff were a little rude. Main dining waiter was rushed no interaction just took order, drop food and took off. Francesco head waiter was great. Always gave me menu for next night to make me comfortable with my food allergy. Room was clean, however, steward was not friendly. First thing out of his mouth was the hours he worked. No sure if he liked his job.. Received letter in cabin about respiratory illness on board. Was in cabin sick for 2 days, only left for steward to clean rooms. Captains messages at noontime you could hardly heard unless you opened the cabin door. Cruise staff did alittle too late Few times equipment for shows in theater didnt work. One major production show was cancelled after 15 minutes because of equipment failure. 3 computers went down. Not sure if I would cruise princess line again. We shall see. No pun intended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Second time on Princess (first on Coral). Had done the same itinerary two years go on Island. Got upgraded to balcony on Caribe Deck. Location was good and had a covered balcony. However it was really too cold to spend anytime on it! ... Read More
Second time on Princess (first on Coral). Had done the same itinerary two years go on Island. Got upgraded to balcony on Caribe Deck. Location was good and had a covered balcony. However it was really too cold to spend anytime on it! Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly (I was in first group both times with carry on luggage). Ship has supposedly been recently updates..seemingly the public area carpets look fresh, ship has the new internet service. There was some exterior painting going on. The metal frame around my baloney door was corroded. Layout of the ship is better than Island, there is still a full Promenade loop on Deck 7 (although closed during rough seas). Small viewing decks at back of upper floors, below the Sanctuary. Library is limited..very sad compared to Holland America. Viewing areas are blocked by blue-tinted glass, very little is unobscured for photographers (a few corners on upper levels, and the back decks, plus Promenade. Blankets provided for outdoor movie viewing are thin flannel, useless in cold weather! Cabin was small, but had room to walk around bed. Bed was extremely soft and saggy, had a sore back after the cruise! Shower stall is cramped, shower head is fixed. Room has small refrigerator. Large flat screen TV. Wine glasses provided but no corkscrew. Standard toiletries are wall mounted shower/conditioner and shower gel, tube skin cream and soap bar. No fruit basket (steward said to request it through room service). Balcony had two chairs and two footrests. Dining in MDR fixed seating was good service. Food was average and somewhat boring. Prime Rib was good, as was beef and lamb chop in mixed grill at lunch. Corvina was fishy smelling. Good scooped ice cream in MDR (choice of two ice creams and one sorbet). Bread is good. Horizon Court food very mediocre with not much choice. Only one smoked fish (mackerel) was available at breakfast. Sushi was terrible! Beverage service is uneven..usually only offered to large parties, not to single diners. Pizza in Sabattinis at lunch is made to order, thin crust style and skimpy toppings. International Cafe food offerings were versions of what was up in Horizon Court. Nothing Special. Room service has limited offerings but was timely. Very little in the way of enrichment..are crafts enrichment? TV had good selection of movies and news channels. Service was overall good except in Horizon Court. I didn't use any ships excursions. I would chose Holland America over Princess for an Alaska Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We wanted to go to Canada and this seemed like a good approach. The ship was in good condition. Food was ok. Buffet is split into two adjacent sections and it was a challenge to find seating a couple of times. The setup for the Lotus ... Read More
We wanted to go to Canada and this seemed like a good approach. The ship was in good condition. Food was ok. Buffet is split into two adjacent sections and it was a challenge to find seating a couple of times. The setup for the Lotus pool was bizarre. You can see it from the hallway in Lotus Spa but the doors are kept locked. I wanted to use the hot tub beside the pool and I asked the hostess at the spa when it opens and she said that she did not know. There aren't any signs stating when the hottub opens and I ended up asking a ship officer and he said it should already be open, but it was not. It opened about 15 minutes later. To access the pool, go up a flight of stairs, walk across the deck, then go down a flight of stairs. Good exercise but convoluted. There were other times when we tried to go someplace and had to take an indirect route. This is common on almost every ship that I have been on but the Ruby Princess has more than it's share. The production shows were ok. I went to see a presentation on a new ship and it was a video followed by the Princess dancers, the Princess orchestra. I left at that point. We did the Panama Canal on the Island Princess around Christmas last year. We really enjoyed that cruise and did not want it to end. For our Ruby Princess, we were glad that it was over. Our experience was not bad, just meh. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I had been on two princess cruises in the past both excelent, so when i saw this repositioning cruise pop up with its final destination right in my home city I decided it was a must. The ship itself was beautiful, the restaurants and ... Read More
I had been on two princess cruises in the past both excelent, so when i saw this repositioning cruise pop up with its final destination right in my home city I decided it was a must. The ship itself was beautiful, the restaurants and service within those restaurants were wonderful, but the service at the bars and by the pools were pathetic. My bf purchased the alcohol package and i purchased the unalcoholic drink package, and trying to get drinks was like pulling teeth. you would order from a server after spending about 15 mins trying to wave one down and wait about 30mins before you got the drink or just left, even when you went to the bar you would wait 5-10mins, not because someone was infront of you but because the bartenders would first ignore you, then move in slow motion to make your drink. The activities on board were pretty pathetic aswell.. but this may be because the average age on the ship seemed to be in the 70s (we were not expecting this). There was knitting and painting and when there was volleyball planned the nets didn't even get set up because so few people showed up. The comedian AJ was great and was the highlight of our week. The other entertainment was good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We did the Coastal sailing from San Pedro to Vancouver. The ports we visited were San Diego, San Francisco (over night) and Seattle. We were fortunate to have sunny skies and calm seas for the entire cruise. Embarkation with our ... Read More
We did the Coastal sailing from San Pedro to Vancouver. The ports we visited were San Diego, San Francisco (over night) and Seattle. We were fortunate to have sunny skies and calm seas for the entire cruise. Embarkation with our medallions was very quick and efficient, check in took minutes. We got to the port around 10:30 and we were eating in Alfredo’s around 11:30. The ship itself is very nice. We ate in the dining room 3 evenings and once for breakfast. All meals we ate in the dining room were not good at all. On the last night I ordered the Pork Belly which was recommended by the Waiter and it was so tough and dry I couldn’t cut it with my knife. The dining room food in quality and taste has really gone downhill from when we sailed with Princess 1.5 years ago. We ate at both The Crown Grill and Sabatini’s. We both ordered the Rib Eye steak in the Crown Grill. The steak tasted very good but a rib eye shouldn’t be 1/4 inch thick. There is less choices for the vegetables to chose from as well. Sabatini’s my husband had the Veal Shank which he thoroughly enjoyed and I had the NY Strip Steak which was okay. We signed up for the WineMakers dinner which cost $40.00 each and was well worth the money. The food and wine pairing was absolutely amazing. Apparently it is only offered on the Royal and the Regal and maybe one other ship, so if you get a chance I highly recommend it. We also did the Royal Tea there was a charge of $10.00 for it. It was nice although we have had better on other cruise lines with no added charge. It was nice to do it but we wouldn’t need to do it again. There were a few entertainers on board that were very enjoyable. It was nice to enjoy a glass of wine at Vines and listen to some music. The wine prices were very expensive averaged 11-15 dollars for a glass. It was cheaper to buy drinks on land than on the ship. We brought wine onboard with us for dinner and are glad we did. One of the cheapest bottles of wine cost around $45.00 with gratuities. Our cabin was D509 which was a mid ship Deluxe balcony. The cabin was fine, we had a two seater couch and a desk with a chair. The bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was very small. I could only imagine if you have long legs that you would need to open the bathroom door if you were using the toilet. The balcony was very small, there is no way you would be able to have a balcony dinner on it! When we arrived we found the coffee table in the closet, the reason being if you brought it out it would be more of a pain to keep trying to get around it so in the closet it stayed. Our cruise director was Matt O and he was always around and about, very good. Every morning he did the Zumba class in the Atrium and him and all the guests were thoroughly enjoying themselves. Overal the cruise was good but the food In the dining room and Buffet were not up to par. Alfredo’s for pizza was good, you can add items to a pizza and make it your own. We found the service in any venue to be very good, everyone on board tries their hardest to make the guests happy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
5th princess cruise and like many, probably our last. Pro: good enrichment, nice crew. Cons: Princess is showing its age - from all the old ploys (endless pictures, shopping galore,cheaper and cheaper food and toiletries, etc) to the ... Read More
5th princess cruise and like many, probably our last. Pro: good enrichment, nice crew. Cons: Princess is showing its age - from all the old ploys (endless pictures, shopping galore,cheaper and cheaper food and toiletries, etc) to the endless “clubs’. Ice cream, cokes, coffee, water, wine. There’s the absurd charge for internet (99% profit - costs the same for 300 folks as it does for 400). Food was the worst it’s ever been. Never sat at so many tables where folks simply took one bite and left. One lunch 5 / 8 left and we stayed only because I was starved. Bread was universally panned - pardon the pun. (So hard it actually hurt.) Irritating “specialty dining”. We ate once in Crown Grill - quite good but the $29.95 / person plus $10 “fee” plus 15% add on for wine made it our last. I never saw anyone in there the entire time. Many complaints over unhealthy practice of coughing folks ‘ nosecwipers, etc serving themselves. All those who could serve are too busy hawking binoculars, pictures, spa, videos, bingo, junk t-shirts, jewelry, etc. one lady said it was like a mid eastern bizarre. Organization problems as a well as lack of knowledge of ship. Lost count of the number of times we were sent in the wrong direction / floor. Entertainment was hit and miss - good individual, very poor group routines (all these comments are repeats of others by the way). The passport check was a disaster. Excursions were so-so. Hard to hear on 2 of the 3 we took. After paying thousands we are then asked to pay more for “good” coffee or food or ice cream. I will not offer my solution since obviously there is a core who lives all the silly games and clubs and tricks. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise combined a 15 day transatlantic with a 12 day around the British Isles cruise. We are not brand loyal cruisers (15 cruises on 5 lines) selecting the cruises by the itinerary. This particularly appealed to us because of stops ... Read More
This cruise combined a 15 day transatlantic with a 12 day around the British Isles cruise. We are not brand loyal cruisers (15 cruises on 5 lines) selecting the cruises by the itinerary. This particularly appealed to us because of stops in the Azores and Lisbon on the transatlantic while ticking off all our desires on the round the British Isles leg. It was our first time on Princess. The cruise met our expectations for the itinerary. We had beautiful weather almost everywhere at stops in the Azores, Portugal, Belgium, England, Ireland Scotland and Northern Ireland. We got to a lot of places that would have been difficult to get to any other way. With a great itinerary but a poor ship I gave this cruise an average score overall. I would tell others to try to find the itinerary on some other ship. Although there were some bright spots, the Crown Princess was a disappointment. First, the positive. • The main dining room food and service (late seating Botticelli) were mostly outstanding. • We had lower expectations for the cabin because we knew going in that the balcony cabins have no couch (and the easy chairs shown on the room diagrams had been removed) leaving you only the bed or desk chair to sit in. We were also prepared for the small bathroom though the shower was not quite as tiny as we expected. • The cabin service provided by our room attendant was excellent. • If you do book a balcony go for one on the Caribe deck which is larger and partially covered. • The room service was very good and most important very prompt. We used it for breakfast on many of the port days on this itinerary to get an early start. • The Magic production show was outstanding as were the comedians. • Getting on the ship in Fort Lauderdale was easy and our room was ready. This may be because we tend to arrive later in the boarding cycle to avoid the crowds. • The crew was delightful - friendly and efficient. Then, the bad. I don’t know if this ship was badly managed, badly designed or both. There are many examples. • Theater - The Crown has a theater that only covers 2 desks with something like 700 seats for 3200 passengers. Do the math, with a full ship half the passengers aren’t going to the show. We noticed that passengers went to get seats ½ hour or more, cutting short there dinners to get a seat. Once in the theater the sight lines were bad from the upper level. Irish dancers aren’t nearly as interesting when you can only see them from the waste up. Even daytime enrichment and port talks were full houses in the theater. We gave up trying to go to the theater on the transatlantic cruise. • Tendering – Tendering was a nightmare. We quickly learned you had to get off early or it might be hours to disembark the ship. In Guernsey we talked to people that waited more than two hours to get off the ship and ended up with no time to do anything. When it was time to return there was a massive line. We sat at a bar overlooking the line for an hour and when it got close to last call went down and still waited ½ hour. After that experience we got off early in the other tender ports. • Customs check in Portland - On the next to last stop on the transatlantic leg UK officials came aboard in Portland before anyone could disembark the ship. They assigned us times to come. This quickly fell apart. They had 4 agents to see 3200 passengers one or two at a time. Needless to say this took a long time. We had an 8:30 time and finally joined a line that went the length of the ship around 11. This may be due to the UK authorities but the ship needs to do the math and set expectations realistically. • Getting on the ship – I heard one passenger day that the people running the gangways must have worked previously at the DMV or post office. In many ports there were large lines to board the ship. This large ship never had more than two gangways and one was often closed even though the security stations were manned. • Disembarkation in Southampton – Like most cruises, the Crown assigned disembarkation times. We arrived at our disembarkation station in one of the restaurants 10 minutes early and were told our group had already gone. We went to get off and joined another line the length of the ship to disembark. We discovered no one was enforcing the disembarkation times. Fortunately it was fast once we were off the ship. • Laundry – For a ship doing long cruises there were only 2 washers and dryers on the floors that had them (some of which were broken for 27 days). There were large lines and crowds hanging out waiting on the machines. Unlike other cruise lines, Princess had no laundry specials during the 27 day cruise. • Captain’s party - Not enough waiters for the size of the crowd. People swarmed the one door that the waiters emerged from with trays of drinks – feeding frenzy! Although we couldn’t get a glass of champagne, they had plenty for Princess’s ridiculous champagne fountain where what I assume are high rollers get their picture taken pouring champagne into a glass tower that gets nowhere close to full. The officers made a brief appearance on a balcony where you could not see them. The farewell party was much the same. • Programming – The cruise director staff did not have any idea about how to spread out the crowd. The theater was packed along with the Explorers lounge where the main stage acts often did a second show. There was rarely anyone in the large Fusion venue or the bars at the aft of the ship up top. Better planning would have made better use of the larger Fusion venue. They seemed to be rolling out the same plan that they used on their Caribbean cruises with a younger crowd. After days of lines and crowds I heard passenger say ‘Now I know why they call it an ocean liner”. The management of the ship seemed to have a “maybe they won’t notice” attitude. Princess loyalists seemed to be conditioned to all this with comments like “everyone know you have to go to the theater a half hour early”. For me going on cruises is to relax and have things be easy. On the Crown I felt like we were treated like cattle and had to work around limitations and issues with the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this transatlantic for its course towards copenhagen. this was our tenth or so ta and our second princess cruise. we read the reviews and expected a "deluxe ship". we were driving from my home in palm beach ... Read More
We chose this transatlantic for its course towards copenhagen. this was our tenth or so ta and our second princess cruise. we read the reviews and expected a "deluxe ship". we were driving from my home in palm beach county to port evergladesin a one way rental car. about 18 hours before embarkation we were notffied by princess email that embarkation would be drastically delayed due to a noro virus infestation onboard the previous carribbean cruise. A cdc observed cleanup was required before we would board. the guests were told to not epoect to enter the registration lobby until 3pm or later. the departure was soft as boarding was delayed as also mandatory safety drill. we were inconvenineced as our rental car agency closed early on sundal and would not be offering a shuttle to the ship at 3pm! we had to accept waiting at the port to get into the lobby. many were more inconvenineced flying in overnight to arrive in the morning into fll. We arrived at the port to find that princess was allowing guests to come into the shed lobby and present their credentials. then we were to sit and wait for the notice to board. "hostesses" handed us numbers after registration which i noticed she favored some with low numbers and some with higher numbers. we got a 10 while other arriving after us got 3, 4 numbers which would be the order of entry onto the ship . one couple arriving 15 minutes after us sat next to us . They had an inside cabin on their first princess cruise and were given the early boarding number 3. i was annoyed as a returning cutomer to be given a 10! further i have a mobility problem and walk with a cane. at no time did princess or their agencies offer me any assistance with a wheelchair. I was aware that only those with motorized "amigos" got any assistance. we waited 90 minutes in the warm shed to be allowed to board. in over 25 cruises this was the second worse embarkation. (Our worse was we had been made to stand in the sun in Rio for 2 hours as our plane arrived too early for the cruise ine to board us.) Princess burst with repeated pride about ttheir new medallion system that served as key card for bills, opening our cabin, buying drinks etc. we had our pictures taken by the security person as we first entered the ship, hot and bothered after walking from the hot waiting shed. the cabins wer not ready yet for us so we went off looking for lunch while leaving our carryon luggage outside our cabin door. We explored the ship as this was only our second princess ship. we had spent 21 days on the royal princess. there were many similarities of the two ships although stated as "unlike'. the main thetre was forward and spanned twop decks with access directly to seats with no "bad" seats and no columns as in many such theatres. Dining had several options. we had chosen the "anytime" dining option which relegated us to the symphony" dining room for 5pm to 7:30pm dining as located slightly aft of the mid ship elevators, quite convenient . We could use the allegro dining on deck 6 after 7:30 pm . We never sought late dinng. concerto also on deck 6 was reserved for traditional dining all evening. we were sent there when diners did not take their tables by 6pm and as a result ate in all three dining rooms. Yes the menu was the same in all three but the service in the traditional dining rooms had more experieinced staff apprently. The ship had the capacity for over 3600 passengers but had only just over 3400 passengers. we found that we could usually find a private nook to read or have private time. we had no such space in our cabin so it was important to dfind a place to sit to read on a ta. the frist days we sat in the pool area in shade for happy quiet time. then the weather drove everyone indoors as we went through rain and a near hurricane winds. our last 10 days did not support outdoors time. movies under the stars were a bust. The staff provied blankets but umbrellas did not work to watch an overhead movie. Casual dining was available in many venues the largest was the horizon court which had several "bays" serving buffet style food on steam tables. We had our breakfast all days in the horizon court as it offered variety and we could eat leisurely in waves of interest to get up and find what we wanted we did not want a served breakfast with its limited menu and fixed servings. horizon court at lunch and dinner boasted of internaitonal cuisine with a heavy asian influence and weak european influence. the menus at the horizon court did not mirror fully the formal dining rooms. only in the horizon did we get lamb chops ( small cutlets) and seafood stews/soups. We were diappointed in the ships response to good friday. the chefs of the horizon court had had a gigantic fish and seafood day on maundy thursday and had few non meat options in the horizon court on good friday. the day had to be vegan for lack of chef efforts for fish on good friday, an internaitonal day. One of our favorite dining experieinces was the internaitonal cafe located on deck 5 down the hall from our symphony dinng room this 24/7 cafe also houses the coffee bar. nearby tables in the piazza made it possible to get a coffee and pastry and watch a game show, zumba class or dance class during the day . Or get a seafood pie and tea as light supper and listen to dance music and special events in the piazza. we found the food and apstries in the internaitonal cafe to be of greater quality and consistency than any other venue. the chefs were gracious and warmed our choices. the salads glistened as fresh greek, waldorf or shimp and lentil salads. the food was appetizing and served with cheerfulness. The coffee bar had a special pass for $31 plus gratuity ( $37) which gave unlimited regular and decaf coffee and 15 specialty coffees our choice for specialty drinks wre the specialty iced coffees and iced tea infusions. each of these were ususally $3-5 each. elite and higher princess medalion guests have a complimentary coffee pass so the lines do develope. We paid for access. We enjoyed the fresh large coffeee day and night and used our specials for leisurely stay in the piazza for shows. for us 15 specials over 15 days meant one a day.for many this was not possible as they insisted on night and day lates, cappuchinos and hot chocolates which were specials also. as i have developed lactose intolerancein the past year, i was steering clear from all miilk and cream on this cruise. imagine my dismay when i had reactions from the specialty respberry caramel iced coffee and the black forrest cherry i coffee freeze. The ignorant staff did not state on the menu that these special coffees were made with milk or cream!! No where was it stated that some specialty coffees and teas had milk. i limited myslef to teas with no milk then! The ship went through high seas of the near hurricane ( 5 meter waves) force 14. and had minimal .shift or list. only outdoor activities were curtailed .no shows were changed. the sea sickness bags appeared for about 5 days but really were unnecessary on this stable large ship. Our cabin was a category a balcony ( allegedly better than b,c,d,e,f,h,) . Not deluxe as it was small with only one desk chair and no place to sit together or share a meal except to sit on the bed to watch the tv. dekuxe cabins have a small sofa for seating. staff admitted they had removed a chair from the balcony cabins like ours as people fell over it as it crowded the cabin. description: small cabin with a refrigerator under the counter in the corner by the sliding glass door, desk-dressing table with desk chair. twin beds, one night talbe supporting the end of the desk the other between. Open closet with bar and hangers for about 20 garments and one tall drawer stack with a lockable safe. the small bath had sink with small shleves that dumped things on the floor, toilet and shower with curtain and slight lip to keepo water off the floor . "a" cabins are midship and low, best for transatlantic. most o deluxe balcony cabins were fore or aft not desireable for a ta if we got weather rocking. this was the smallest cabin we had experienced in 25 years. adequet but not luxury. the bathroom shampoo and bath scrub were in communal squirt bottles anchoredin the shower. the soap at the sink was replaced after a week of use by two people. towels were 2 per person and were thin and not luxury,they were less plush than the $3 towel at kohl's. only 2 bath towels was annoying. two lumpy pillows per bed was also alloted. beds were well used with troughs down the middle and gave uncomfortable sleep. The new trend to have a "duvet covered comforter as top sheep and comforter let us have a white sheeted bed as our style . not luxury. the steward did not provide a cover for the sheets for us to unpack our luggage as most "deluxe" cruises. no cover was in the room. The guest bath robes which ar reserved online before sailing were frayed and well used and were so small neither of the adults could use them as they did not span our backs or middles. We used these sad robes as a throw for warmth when the cabin got cold. we would never wear such a ragged thing to the pool! there was no blanket in the room the life preservers were in place on the shelf in the closet and no extra supplies of pillow or blankets. We use extension cords with surge protector in the two us 110 volt receptables on the desk top so we could charge our cell phones, lap top, cameras, etc. we did not use any high amp appliances. the hair drywer in the drawer is wired into the ship 220 volt system so is not moveable. This was the saddest cabin in comparison to hal, celbrity, msc and norwegian. Our cabin steward grace serviced the room twice a day. She was sometimes quite responsive to request such as please return our ice bucket and sometimes forgetful such as "wine glasses please". our room was kept fairly neat as we stow most everything except electronics. Dining: to review we went to the horizon court on deck 16 for breakfast and lunch. we dressed smart casual 12 nights and 3 nights formal to dine in the dining rooms on decks 5 and 6 .we did not pay extra for any of the specialty restaurants such as crown grill, crab shack( 3 nights this cruise), sabatini's or specialty meals. the dining room offered options for extra from the crown grill we did not pay $10-20 to have steaks and things from the other venues. We did not have pizza or ice cream due to my lactose adversion. we also opted out of the hamburger grill near t the poola s the weather was horrid out there and generally there was better food in the horizon court. I appreciated the following for breakfast in the horizon grill: smoked salmon, croissants, made to order, egg white omelets, fresh cut fruits( pineapple) , whole fruits( navel oragnes) grilled ham slices, sausage, crispy american bacon, and corned beff hash rarely were the pastries in the pastry shoppe attrative princess had no cinnamon buns/rolls or sticky buns. these are my culture essentials. Princess provided many cultures their favorites from miso soup , oatmeal, english bacon, etc. i did not try many unfamiliar things at breakfast choosing to drink coffee and orange juice with fmailiar foods. At lunch i enjoyed the great variety of national foods displayed in the four different serving buffets in the horizon court in additin to the pastry shoope bay in the horizon bistro. i do not eat jalapeno and chipotle peppers as i wheeze and get sick. i do not like spicey to the point of numbness. my favorite finds at lunch were many in the horizon court. some were not as hot as expected off a steam table but the ingredients were right. this venue excelled at seafood .i never chose a soup as most were with cream or ingredeints i do not like ( peas, cauliflower, beans) my favorites at the horizon court were: bouilabaise, cioppino, paella, mussels, grilled and fried shrimp, carved lamb, carved round of beef, spare ribs, beef schwarma, grilled lamb chops, grilled fish , carved brisket, carved, pork tenderloin, sauteed spinach, baked potato, singapore noodles, lo mein, hong kong noodles, fresh fruit, caesar salad, etc. our favorite deserts were pavlova and meringue in any form, lemon meringue pie, sweet fruit crumble with warm sauce, fresh strawberries. Service by staff in the horizon court was generally gracious . They cleaned up tables so the large horde of guests could find a table. since there were not so many views on a ta many guests accepted not having windows and the large number of guests got spaced out in the horizon dining rooms without pushing. staff brought drinks when rquested fewer guests requested sodas and beers at lunch than any ship i have been on. most wanted the complimentary ice tea and lemonade. Dinner in the dining rooms as an anytime guest worked well when we went before 6pm. we preferred a table for 2 , but occasionally accepted sharing to facilitate dining to get to a show. we ate in all three dining rooms over the 15 nights. the concerto dining room had some distinctive spaces andchina. the talbes were further apart for privacy while dining. This is a perk for those dining on a fixed schedule at 5:15 or 5:30 pm (or 7:30) . Our servers generally were well trained and efficient they worked with a rigid kitchen policy of no substitutions and no double orders( unlike other ships). to accomodate diners the waiters did swift ordering to get doubles of lobster tails or filets. Every night there were "princess favorties " which included shrimp cocktail, caesar salad, loaded potato cream soup, grilled salmon, roasted chicken and a hamburger. on other cruiselines that hamburger would be a ny strip steak! some evenings we stared at our menu gaping as nothing appeared special or worthiy of a "deluxe cruise". i do not get excited about meatloft, grilled chicken breast, macaroni and cheese,chicken and leek pot pie etc. the starters included usually three appetizers and two soups,( one cold one hot )and one salad. often we had the caesar salad and shrimp cocktail as the menu options were poor. The crab cakes on this ship were light on crab and full of bland filling . The crab cakes got labeled as new orleans and maryland and all tasted the same sorry filling. the entree choices were fairly predictable: one pasta, one vegan, one fish, one meat and one fowl. Occasionally seafood slipped in like luscious large sea scallops. one night was chose sadly the "tenderloin tip pot pie". This sad dish had little meat in with mostly mushrooms and gravy and tiny bits of meat. tenderloin i doubt the beef and guiness pie in the internaitonal cafe was far larger and more robustly full of meat and flavor. on forma nights there was apssing effort to serve a special entree such as beef wellington, lobster tail( single) or rock fish not one evening had crab legs/crab of any nature no filet mignon. tenderloin was sparingly sliced as entree. only with coaxing did the waiters bring s double slice of the beef wellington off the loaf made in the kitchen. . not a small complete wellington as deluxe rstaurants serve. rarely did we feel we were in a deluxe restaurant by the food . the service was far better than the food. often we skipped deserts as they boasted of "love's chocolate bombs and deserts. Overlaoded chocolate deserts. later in the cruise the choices for desert fell to two to three choices or ice cream . yes they had the cheese or fresh fruit option all ships offer. the best deserts were the souffles which were served about four times in fifteen nights. i wondered how many creme brulees and ice cream any one should eat? we did not. the lemon tart was delicious as also the petit fours and small pastries with various names over the 15 nights. larger deserts were overwhelming. We had efficient dinner service so we could attend most major shows after dinner. this was a difficult part of this ship. if the show proposed semed good seats were filling 45 minutes before showtime and there were not seats at 7:35 pm many nights. what a miserable situation. most of the evening entertainment funds were loaded on the showtimes and there was no viable options. so it was spend 40 minutes sitting waiting for showtime or skip it. we made the learned instinct to skip the comediaians and see the productions shows. we got to see all but one productin show. that night,dinner did not finish on time to get there by 7:30pm and it was filled. the production shows highlighted the dancers who were superb the singers were cruiseship quality a bit shrill and not always in tune. we recognized one of the productions from our princess cruise in september 2018. the instrumentalist were familiar as we had seen them on other cruiselines. both the around the world pianist born in turkey and the violinisht with the flashy wardropbe and special sequined shoes who loves to talk about his british mom. both are good professionals who have not changed their show in years. Most of the other entertainment were not worth finding. only the topaz instrumental group with a luscious blues singer filled our evening. they could morph to different styles and got the couples dancing . The various bar pianists, classic duo with their electronic backup and folksy singer with the guitar were not memorable or high quality. most bars would lay them off as people did not sit down and have a drink to hear them the entertainment was of low quality on a trans atlantic cruise where customers had no other options in port. Activities were quite limited for this ta as the weather outside took away much poolside and on the upper sports deacks. the "enrichment" speakers were not enrichment but well versed topics like the titanic and the origins of atlantis .really? i could do it with one hour pre on google. The library was a farce. Most of the books were discards from former passengers. Some were belonging to princess with their paper on front. but these were of stephen king and other well read variety no new fiction-non fiction. One princess grouping was eight copies for a book club onboard. we left our used books to add to the alleged 2000 books there. Not really. there are about 300 books some in foreign languages in the library and board games to borrow. there were jig saw puzzles on the main tables of the library fo rthose interested. On a table were games like suduko . But this was not a library for readers. The service of the staff reflected the casualness of the leadership. the captain proved a "chatty cathy" talking both in person and on the noon talk more than most wanted to hear. we never got a great weather forecast. After getting caught in rain the captain failed to nore we went out each day with rain gear and heavy clothing as he had not idea of the next days weather! Cruise crtic had a meet and greet on first day at sea april 15 with well over 100 present. Many officers showed up with the captain leading the charge and displacing the cruise director and hotel director from the welcome. the captain insulted the catholics aboard in his ad lib response to a catholic priest asking for opportunity to say catholic mass on easter. the captain said there was a interdenominaitonal service arranged already and that should satisfy the catholics. the cruise critic aduience disagreed. the message to this captain was he needed to listen. eventually the entertainment director found a room at 6:30am for the catholic mass . Later a 4:15 pm service was added for the overflow and those out on excursions in the morning. the crew got an easter mass from this volunteer priest and this was ovrflowing a large lounge the captain has much to learn about christian holy days. this ship provied three days of rooms and service to the jewish community on board for passover. This included a catered seder and shabat meals. since hal has daily catholic mass on all its cruises a strong message got delivered by this captain to the roman catholics onboard. go elsewhere. The cruise director was exceptional and high energy corey was seen from early morning to late night he led zumba classes and ball room dancing classes. he breezed into many activities and hosted the show time performances. most passengers felt his presence and felt he served them personally as he was seen everywhere. seeing him sweat it out leading a zumba clas gave the message he gives his all to princess as cruise director. As a tranatlantic our ports were few: ponta delgado, zeebruge, rotterdam , aarhusdenmark and copenhagen. the destination agent was poorly educated about the ports and gave misinformtaiton. repeatedly the staff stated ponta delgado was closed on easter sunday. wrong. this quiet azore community welcomed with shops open and churches open for visits. we walked in the mosty rainy day to see much on a walking tour of our own. We took princess shore excursions to use up our obc earned from several sources. the princess excursion to brussels from zeebruges ( $179.99) was our only possibility to getto brussels this cruise. no private or cc tours. the bus was about 40 and there were 3 princess buses going the venfor for princess misguided us at several levels. they led four buses to the same rest stop which was clsoed off to limited access for toilets, delaying the princess bus and a hal bus also going to brussels with the same company. They rerouted us through brussels to miss several sits including the royal palace as the rains came they dropped us off infront of the brussels cathedral but denied us opportunity to visi as we were "late". we then walked 20 minutes to a restaurant where a catered meal allegedly of felmist origin would be served. this restaurant served a catered meal that any kitchen in america would serve. chicken with white gravy as main course with croquts desrt chocolat pudding. th appetiser was the only european with a lettuce bedded slice of smoke salmon arriving under plastic wrap as prepared days in advance. Then we walked again for 15 minuted to the grand square and the "guide' dismissed for time on our own unless we wanted to follow him to another promised site, the small fountain on a corner of a building with the small boy pissing into the pool below. that was our brussels guided tour we had about 90 minutes on our won. we sought free wifi, shopped and tried to stay dry in the pouring rain. we did shop for belgian meringues and chocolates . all the guests on our bus returned before time and we drove back to the port. dismal tour, overpriced. the official tour guide had told off color and anti-semitic stories along the way on the bus. he used his use of german and english to make disparaging remarks . His last greeting to the english speaking group as we disembarked the bus was "have a good fart". The german word for journey is "fahrt" . He knew this was a foul, cruse way to greet us and hid behind his flemish identity. I reported more details to princess and they assured me they would contact the vendor. princess refunded 25& of my shore excursion fees. A limited apology. The shore excursion tin rotterdam we took to amsterdam. this included an hour boat cruise for just the 30 on our bus, about 1.5 hours in the van gogh museum and and about 2 hours on our oen in amsterdam from the flower market. we walked many miles to give the bus no problem navigating streets and traffic. It cost us time and energy in walking more than expected. we had a interesting day and we found lunch on our own rather than a tour company chosen meal. the price was $149.99 which seems steep but there wer not so many options. Arrhus was wonderful and not familiar to those on the princess staff. They stated it was closed on sunday not at all. the town provided a free continuous shuttle service to center city where volunteers greeted us with maps and homemade bread and butter. a band arrived later in the morning at the centr city wlrcome tents free wifi was available all over town. Volunteers in bright red vests were spotted trough out this city to help us get wher we wanted to go we walked miles to see this delightful city we did not see it all but would welcome a return. a girls band came and serenaded us our last hour in port. what a wonderful response from this second largest city in denmark. Our disembarkation was made diffciult by princess'es rush to get everone off the ship early and by 8:30am the information from the princess destination specialist was incorrect and we needed to change our diembarkation plans at last minute. We had to use a princess run shuttle to the airport at $39 per person including taking our luggage at midnight from the cabin and putting it out at the airport terminal the next morning. we had a flight at 1:40pm amd were not in a hurry and wanted to have a nice breakfast before bolting to the airport. the air lines would not let us check in for our flights until 2 hours before departure. that meant 11:45 . Princess insisted we should be on a 7:05 am shuttle to the city! i went and pushed hard to get an 8:35am shuttle. but there was no seating at the airport. we had our luggage piled up and no where to go. no check in until 11:40am. over 3 hours of wandering pushing a cart . if princess insits on us leaving so early they could put some chairs and tables in the luggage tent for their customers to sit out their wait for checkin. create "princess lounge" for their customrs in the airport. princess is payin to rent that space why not use it for their customers stranded at the airport waiting for their check in times! I did like that princess did pick up the luggage outside our cabin and deposited at the airport lugage tent 100 yards rom the terminal. There were complimentary carts ther to get the luggage out of the tent and across the street to the airport terminal Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Overall a good cruise. When I do it again it will end in Fort Lauderdale instead of starting there. The entertainment was fantastic. Food and service were excellent. Port selection was okay. The shore excursions were bad. We were rushed ... Read More
Overall a good cruise. When I do it again it will end in Fort Lauderdale instead of starting there. The entertainment was fantastic. Food and service were excellent. Port selection was okay. The shore excursions were bad. We were rushed through most excursions with no time to see or enjoy anything. You would stand outside of buildings that would have been fun to explore only to stand outside and get a few minutes of explanation of how great it was inside and how you really needed to come back and see it. And to top it off you would get back to the ship with 3-4 hours left before departure, plenty of time to have been able to enjoy time at the locations visited. For the price paid I expected a much better experience. The last problem was disembarking in Copenhagen. We were told there would be a 2 hour wait to get a bus to town, so we needed to pay 30 dollars apiece to take their bus. Well there was a line of cabs 3 blocks long to take you to town. After getting dropped off by the bus we were at a location with no taxis available. If you were Lucy enough to hail a cab you were told your hotel was to close to get a ride. Not to mention your hotel could be 2+ miles away all the time us older cruisers were pulling our many pieces of luggage over cobble stone streets. A nightmare only to be made worse by getting to the hotel and meeting people who took cabs directly to the hotel, had been there for hours and all for the same price of the bus. It seems as though Princess had to take their last chance to add an additional 30$ profit per passenger to their bottom line at the expense of their guests. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Very nice ports and food in main rests were very good. The ship is in very poor condition though and they are not doing anything to fix it up There was water leaking all over the ship and a very bad smell of mould. The food in the ... Read More
Very nice ports and food in main rests were very good. The ship is in very poor condition though and they are not doing anything to fix it up There was water leaking all over the ship and a very bad smell of mould. The food in the buffet was always the same and not very good. The ports were very nice and the crew is very good. The cruise director was one of the best we have had on a cruise. All his staff were very good and easy to talk to. They should try to have more to do though on sea days as it was quite boring though some people love sea days I do not. We really loved New Zealand and Tahiti and that made the long sea days worth the wait. We really love Princess cruises and was disappointed on the very poor condition of the Golden princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise for the specific period of time I had available and the port it departed from. It started off great. The embarkment went very smoothly. When I got to my cabin it was clean and ready for my husband and me. Our ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the specific period of time I had available and the port it departed from. It started off great. The embarkment went very smoothly. When I got to my cabin it was clean and ready for my husband and me. Our cabin porter, Tom, was wonderful. Any requests we had he took care of in a timely manner. There was plenty of closet space for clothes,shoes and so on. There also were lots of drawers and a very nice writing area. The bathroom was well designed with good lighting and shelves. However, there was no shampoo or conditioner,and a very small soap that was not replaced until it was a tiny blob. TheThe entertainment was the very best I have experienced! The productions were out of this world, as good as the Vegas shows I have seen. We did not go on any excurisons but there was plenty to do on the ship, or just relax as we did. The ship was very nice, but was hard to find a nice quiet place to read. My major complaint were the meals for dinner. I cook at home and I was looking forward to great food and good service. The dinners started with a menu the looked like it was printed on the cheapest paper available. Although they offered a meat, fish,vegertarian and so on, there was usually only one choice of each, and not necessarly what one might want or like. I really wish that they would teach the servers not to reach across someone to serve another seated guest. If a nice dinner and service is important to someone as it was to me I would not necessarly recommend this cruise to a friend. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Cost good for a repositioning cruise...Ship was generally good as it is quite new. BUT cabins are small as are the bathrooms and balconies. The pillows are awful felt like I was sleeping on a marshmallow and when I requested a better ... Read More
Cost good for a repositioning cruise...Ship was generally good as it is quite new. BUT cabins are small as are the bathrooms and balconies. The pillows are awful felt like I was sleeping on a marshmallow and when I requested a better pillow was given 2 pillows squashed into one pillow case. The mattress is ordinary. The ship's PIAZZA is ok at first.... BUT is very noisy and if you want to watch some thing you have to get there early in morning as the same people monopolise the seating 24/7. The same can be said of the Cabanas and seating around the pools. The ship is set up for the Chinese market with too many areas for gaming ie the 16th and 17th decks. There are not enough interesting activities such as Wine and other Alcohol courses or food demos and tasting times , or even interesting craft courses...there is too much emphasis on the Art shows and Bingo. The long days at sea need more activities. The LIBRARY was a disgrace it effectively did not have any books from day 1...it needs to be bigger and have staff looking after it. The so called SALES in the shops are ridiculous the same stuff, that is mostly junk is put out daily. There could be more interesting food stalls around the pools that could change regularly...the ice cream was the same flavour every day. The off shore tours were boring and not particularly well run. not really good value for money Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The main purpose of the trip was to visit Hong Kong as my wife had connections there when she was a child. We did not get off at any of the ports en route as we had visited all of them previously and we enjoy the ship on the quiet port ... Read More
The main purpose of the trip was to visit Hong Kong as my wife had connections there when she was a child. We did not get off at any of the ports en route as we had visited all of them previously and we enjoy the ship on the quiet port days. The following are my opinion of good and bad aspects. GOODx—- Sydney embarcation was fast and faultless The ship was in good order with paint being refreshed continually The cabin was clean and well kept by the steward, Joseph The evening entertainment was generally good. The cruise director and staff were also good. Best production show “Bravo” The waiters and bar staff were all fantastic being the best part of the voyage. The Filipino, Balinese and other Asian staff make the cruise with their friendliness and all round abilities. AVERAGEx—x The food in the MDR and Horizons was generally uninteresting, sometimes poorly cooked with root vegetables generally undercooked. BAD——x Our interior cabin was so narrow it was difficult to get in and out of bed. We had our double configuration altered to singles. About the first time in married lives we have done this. Princess cabins are the smallest we have ever been in but this was the narrowest! The officers are rarely seen. The new red loungers on deck 12 look nice. Toget two together, go to deck 12 early, spread out towels and leave a book or an old hat. Then go to breakfast for an hour or two. They are then “booked” for the day. Drinks are generally expensive and bar staff advise happy hour just a memory. The passengers were the oldest demographic ever encountered and general conversation was how many cruises done, to where and how good a price they had got. It would have been nice to have met young or even middle-aged people. The highest class is ELITE (synonym for snobbish) but the benefits are poor compared to Royal Caribbean. The disembarkation in Hong Kong was the worst ever encountered, even beating Honolulu. Off the ship was easy but the Terminal processing was awful with long queues. The final line to get a taxi took at least 90 minutes and the whole process 2and 1/4 hours. AVOID any cruise terminating in HK. Tender processes looked long and tedious. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The breadth of ports was very attractive, from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, the long way. It enabled visiting places that one might not see otherwise. Prices for cabins with an "obstructed view" were excellent & the view ... Read More
The breadth of ports was very attractive, from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, the long way. It enabled visiting places that one might not see otherwise. Prices for cabins with an "obstructed view" were excellent & the view was still quite good. Dining & entertainment were terrific! Condition of cabin was very fine. A couple of excursions were horrible and many very over-priced. Sailing around the tip of S. America was lovely and very interesting. The crew failed to assure that all passengers had valid travel documents. This resulted in our being kept in Montevideo for several extra hours & arriving in Buenos Aires about 9 hours late. That meant hundreds of people missed their flights home & we missed our flight to visit Iguazu Falls. Plus, hundreds had to sit in a non-air conditioned terminal while waiting many hours for the ship to arrive. Some Princess employees should be fired for that, or shot! Fitness Center was the best of any ship that we have been on. Princess over sold the excursion to the Christ The Redeemer Statue in Rio. Result was standing around for hours due to not enough vehicles for the number of passengers. Tour should have taken 90 to 100 minutes. It took over 4 1/2 hours. At a couple of ports, Princess only bought space for one tender boat at a time to dock. This resulted in the trip on the tender boats to take 50 to 60 minutes when it should have taken 15 to 20. The staff at the Excursion Desk were not empowered to satisfy the many, many dissatisfied customers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We choose this cruise is because we have never been to South America. We took an excursion in Puntaeranes, Costa Rica and could not find the bus that was supposed to take us to St. Jose. There were no guides at the terminal and we ... Read More
We choose this cruise is because we have never been to South America. We took an excursion in Puntaeranes, Costa Rica and could not find the bus that was supposed to take us to St. Jose. There were no guides at the terminal and we asked the bus drivers where our bus was and was directed to outside the gates of the terminal but the bus was actually the first bus in the terminal closes to the cruise ship gate. The food was very salty especially the soup which cannot be consumed. In the Royal Princess, there were 2 pots, one salted and the other not salted and we could blend both soups to make it not too salty. The food is also very salty, not like on other Princess ships. The menu was always the same especially at breakfast. The entertainment was excellent and we enjoyed the production shows. Service was sometimes lacking especially in the early mornings when half the staff was not on duty yet although the restaurant was open. The cabin was comfortable. I would avoid Star Princess in my future cruises. I will stick to Royal or Regal which are better managed although the Captain of Star Princess was very attentive and resolve problems on the spot. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The basics: Howdy. I went on the 30-day encompassing travel from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Travel was part of a family/family friends unit accompanying passengers in their 60s and 70s, one with mobility, non-wheelchair ... Read More
The basics: Howdy. I went on the 30-day encompassing travel from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Travel was part of a family/family friends unit accompanying passengers in their 60s and 70s, one with mobility, non-wheelchair considerations; we're mostly a group that wanted to see the sights and hopefully get an inkling of the life of the region with less emphasis on the bells and whistles of cruise life/services and holiday cruising. Some, but not extensive cruising experience prior to this one. All in all, I feel that our days were lucky and well spent with very comfortable service/passage, interesting ports, and fortunate weather with the caveat and advice that the experience is also more driven by your own efforts, energy, and embracing come what may of the cruise experience. Ship: Ship spaces are generally pleasant. The Star feels more of a modest environment: There are few-to-no grand visual statements and often swaths of low ceiling, unexciting carpet, and mild patterns; the best of what decor offers is more in some updated spaces that are intimate and comfortable (Wheelhouse Bar, and the fee-dining areas of Sabatini's and Crown Grill - perhaps my gravitation for polished wood and booths, here). Other areas feel a little more perfunctory and are deflated a little by what feels to be almost consistently cramped design: The flow and available space in the Horizon Court dining areas, for example, seem to subdivide yet compress traffic flow, and the Piazza/shopping area feels a tad compact and cold in comparison to other cruise experiences. There are also some awkward moments, such as locating the nearest bathroom of the Amalfi 6th-floor dining room one floor up, the random corridor/dead end in navigating from one side of the ship to the other, and what came to be called 'elevator roulette' in trying to figure out which door opened (sometimes behind you) - small details and decisions that don't necessarily make sense or feel accommodating to the passenger. Cabin: Cabin space continues the general idea of functionality without much flair - for three passengers, ours was an obstructed view starboard with two twin beds and two fold-down options. Sharing for three is possible, but dependent on traveling style. Storage includes a small safe (not for anything larger than small electronics - maybe one camera, a footprint not much larger than a paper sheet) and cabinet column next to an open closet (with plenty of hangers) and then a few open shelving corners, drawers, and a night table per twin bed. There was some fair space in the closet for standing luggage, but at the same time there was barely desk space for two and open floor was very limited - seating and rest were pretty much constrained to the beds which were happily comfortable. (Note that the upper berth has a light switch that is permanently lit in green.) Unfortunately we didn't check the lamps for USB ports; we relied on the two available room outlets to rotate between charging our gadgets. The bathroom is basic with a shower stall and again some limited open shelving and one outlet. TV and phone were without frills and fine - ultimately, our cabin only served for rest and recuperation as needed. Service: Professional service was the norm - overall, the impression was attentive and dedicated, particularly despite the extensive hours and scheduling being worked by some staff. The weaker points come from the instances of when service fell through, most prominently in information distribution and scheduling and handling of port day organization. Causes seemed variable - a lack of confidence in providing/committing advice, an outdated piece of information here and there - but it also felt almost structural - never had I been more aware of feeling like the staff somehow needed more resources and bodies to address the needs of the passenger audience. Nevertheless, those thoughts don't diminish that we had wonderful stewards and waiters during our month on board, with great conversation and care that made traditional dining always a highlight to wind down the day (many thanks to Julius and Fitri!). There are many teams hard at work on board - dining, bar, entertainment, photography, to name a few - and the sparks of friendliness helped to create a sense of consistent community on the ship, especially in the cheerful atmosphere set from LA to Santiago under the command of Captain Michele Tuvo (a definite highlight - passengers on the Sky Princess will be in good hands). Dining: Mostly traditional, no-fee for our experience; for the most part (along with our excellent service) we were pleased with the various menu ideas and items if equally occasionally disappointed in the execution. Appetizers - a wild mushroom tartlet, crab cake, for example - were probably the most satisfying, with dessert second. Cold soup options like one with crystallized ginger and a lychee-coconut drink and sorbets in honeydew and apple cider were among our favorite and most surprising discoveries over the whole course. On the other hand, savory soups were frequently salty, and over the course of two menu cycles it was possible to encounter variance in quality in any item (a disappointing, fibrous vegetable quiche to a fantastic slice; a supremely sweet mousse to one well balanced). For traveling along South America, fruit itself also seemed inconsistent, perhaps a necessity of cruising but still perplexing. Outside of dinner, the options were serviceable: Secondary notables included the reliable and satisfying Prego Pizzeria slice for lunch and the often overlooked afternoon tea on sea days (tea, scone with jam and cream, sandwiches, and desserts in a brief window). The Horizon buffet options were standard with a clear orientation towards quantity production - a good option for a do-it-yourself sandwich, but for most items often featured idea over execution with a few finds. Paired with tight spacing and inconvenient seating, it was less favored than a formal dining room or grab-and-go. Late-night grub is also limited to one option after 11 p.m., which ties a bit into the overall ship life... Entertainment, Programming, and Ship Life: Programming/ship life unfortunately was probably the flimsiest portion of our cruise experience, whether navigating past the cascade of jewelry and gallery events to queuing for limited seating in craft sessions to the early morning scheduling of enrichment lectures and so on. Personally, I was a little disappointed by how promotional activities wanted to be, with art lectures that tried to tie into the auctions, craft sessions with purchasable kits, and port lectures with excursion ops: these seemed less suggestive of personal enrichment and kept events from feeling as professional, educational, or enjoyable as they should have. Intentions, demographics, and target audience aside, many ship activities never seemed to really gel, dogged by a feeling that resources and space were never really meant to accommodate the audience that arrived. Easier options included Movies Under the Stars (which sometimes allotted three showings of the same film), but seating, preparation, and planning otherwise for events would have benefited with more attention - not placing an event at the same site as a sale or an auction, ensuring that passengers waiting for an event had an alternative to sitting on the floor, checking that equipment compatibility did not delay a start for twenty minutes - the cumulative details felt unrefined. Entertainment quality was also mixed - musical entertainment outside of evening shows held up well with performers providing enjoyable listening (what felt like nightly Tango music with the Bujacich Quintet was very in-theme and well appreciated) whereas mainstage acts could impress (magician Alex Ramon, guitarist Nestor Santurio) or less depending on the evening. One major miss for me was a silent run through Glacier Alley: whether simply unscheduled or maybe a technical malfunction, the Star Princess sailed through the area without announcement and a far cry from the Alaskan Glacier Bay experience on a different cruise line. Port/Itinerary/Excursions: The port schedule serves to balance out the unflattering as-you-go nature of sea days - the itinerary, particularly in the main leg of San Antonio/Santiago to Buenos Aires, is filled with singular experiences of landscape, wildlife, history, and culture, paced often with an alternation between port days and sea days to rest and prepare. The repositioning from Los Angeles to Santiago is deceptively slow, with two sets of three sea days back-to-back, but its ports of call can also provide for some expansive offerings to those traveling first-time like we were (San Martin was a spectacular surprise in providing terrain and wildlife we'd never seen before). As strong as the itinerary is (and our schedule also saw us as the only ship in most ports), a warning that doing research on the ports and vendors available can be well worth the time and money saved. Skip out of what might seem like a convenient bus-based city tour for taking the courtesy shuttle and/or walking the path directly (San Martin, Punta Arenas, and Montevideo come to mind) and also realize that comparable and reliable options do exist at sometimes less than half the price. Another major shortcoming is the management of tender and shuttle ticketing: we were ill-prepared for how poorly operations went for Lima shuttle tickets and not-insignificant wait times were involved for most tender operations without personal planning. (Aside from the iconic Captain Tuvo, nothing unified the ship more than the antipathy towards the WiFi and tender services.) Odds and ends: For repositioning to the first run of the season, the 30-day sailing does encompass the winter holidays and New Year's. Nods in the decor were trees, wreaths, and other decorations for the entirety in addition to some light scheduling of holiday events (card making, gingerbread houses, caroling, etc.) and a special dinner menu for each occasion. A piazza balloon drop celebrated the turn of the year - enough late-night fun for me! - but other cruisers might have preferred something that felt more extensive and encompassing. Young adults on this cruise should be prepared to find or prepare their own entertainment. The two portions of the cruise were markedly different in composition, so finding a similar cohort was even more challenging before the family groups and end-of-year cruisers arrived for Santiago to Buenos Aires. There are all-ages activities and enrichment opportunities, but nevertheless, targeted activities were scarce. Embarkation from Los Angeles went smoothly with friendly service. Disembarkation was more reflective of the organizational ambivalence that emerged through the course of the cruise with disembarking excursion passengers called very early in the morning to assemble before waiting further to disembark. Nonetheless, the excursion itself was a very smooth process (be warned - EZE was not). In any sort of going on and off the ship, those with mobility issues were often lost in the crowd. Conclusion: In hindsight, we all had a memorable experience with the essence of what we had hoped - new experiences, culture, land, and people with hopefully more revelation of how little we do know. In that regard, I'd like to say that it was excellent. Nonetheless, for the purposes of this review, I can't really say that we lay that claim to the Star Princess, however grateful we are for the excellent instances of service and the privilege for the convenience and comfort of the ship. Depending on what you're looking for, this could be a very good cruise - one where you form friendships and memories and travel affordably - but if it is, it will likely be because of your own efforts, investment, and objectives as opposed to the experience of the vessel. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
If you are desire a long rest, a Transatlantic Cruise is an ideal escape. This was our first, taken on the recommendation of friends. The staff, food and service were excellent. There was an interesting speaker each morning for one half ... Read More
If you are desire a long rest, a Transatlantic Cruise is an ideal escape. This was our first, taken on the recommendation of friends. The staff, food and service were excellent. There was an interesting speaker each morning for one half hour, no guest speakers for the remainder of the day. There should have been another speaker for an afternoon session, not just staff from the spa talking on various health and appearance issues. The scheduled times of the same activities remained the same each day, trivia is an example, limiting the opportunity to attend different venues. After the second day, I found the sea days and activities monotonous, and missed the variety of different ports of call. The port of Barcelona was excellent, and would have benefited from an overnight stay. The comics were most enjoyable, especially the multi-talented David Copperfield. We hope Princess brings him back often? This cruise was the first that I felt we missed some excellent entertainment that was scheduled at 9 pm, which conflicted with late traditional dining. Other cruises would have arranged for a second showing. We have cruised often, and will continue to do so, but will choose those offering the opportunity to explore new places. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We sailed with Princess eight times in the past but this was the worst. The biggest problem was Princess does not enforce hand sanitizing of passengers in areas serving food like the buffet. Passengers were grabbing food with their hands ... Read More
We sailed with Princess eight times in the past but this was the worst. The biggest problem was Princess does not enforce hand sanitizing of passengers in areas serving food like the buffet. Passengers were grabbing food with their hands as they tried to figure out how to work the tongs, needless to say many got sick on the cruise including me, my wife and the other couple we traveled with. One reason for picking this particular cruise was the ports. Genoa was cancelled weeks prior to the departure with the excuse "too much port traffic". It's hard to understand how they could not have known earlier. I suspect the real reason " Princess didn't sell enough Genoa excursions". Beyond this the 2nd port we wanted to visit, Toulon, was cancelled for weather although the weather didn't seem that bad. No compensation for missing either ports and that left us with 3 ports we had visited multiple times. Add in a non-existent captain (only seen for 10 minutes at the captains party and it was a 14 day cruise) and a cruise director that lacked ANY creativity and you have 10 very boring sea days. The best the cruise director could come up with was napkin folding, flying paper airplanes, egg drops and trivia, trivia, trivia. After so many cruises you would think she could come up with something more entertaining. We spoke to many passengers on-board and they all felt the same way and all couldn't wait to get off this ship. Nightly entertainment was routine as well, one comedian making fun that Americans didn't have free healthcare and side remarks about the president and a second comedian repeating word for word his routine we had heard on a prior Princess cruise. Singers were mediocre at best along with the production shows. Internet was fairly slow and we timed-out many times, this may be do to being in the middle of the Atlantic. The ship is definitely showing it's age and new carpet, furniture, etc would help. On the positive side the food was fairly good and we were happy to visit Sabatini's which had a more normal menu than we have found on other Princess ships. Service was good in all restaurants and relatively fast although we did have to wait for seating for dinner most times. Embarkation and luggage delivery was fast and easy, same goes for disembarkation. Our steward did a good job of daily cleaning of our stateroom. In summary we had another transatlantic on the Emerald booked for November 2019 and I just cancelled and asked for a refund. Spending thousands of dollars to go to ports you have visited many times while being bored on all sea days and night just didn't seem like the best way to spend our vacation dollars. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Reputation According to Cruise Critic this ship has issues and many reports from passengers are not positive at all. Our experience with Princess Cruises has always been positive so we went along with the booking we wanted. ... Read More
Reputation According to Cruise Critic this ship has issues and many reports from passengers are not positive at all. Our experience with Princess Cruises has always been positive so we went along with the booking we wanted. Electronic Bookings Great web site that is easy to navigate and where you can do all your bookings. A note about payment for excursions. You can book excursions well ahead of the cruise but payment must be made for the reservation to take place. There is no problem cancelling or changing the reservation until shortly before the cruise itself without incurring any cost. We used our on-board credit on our account in the payment section of the excursions. Evaluation After 16 cruises, 9 of which were on Princess ships we found our Crown Princess evaluation the lowest we have written. However, it is not all bad. Princess Cruises and Crown Princess had very good points on this trip. Our cruise was from Rome to Fort Lauderdale where the weather interfered with stops in the Mediterranean Sea. There is nothing one can do with bad weather. Ship management is another thing though. The positives were: • The Rome transfers from the airport to the hotel we had booked through Princess and the transfer from the hotel to the port at Civitavecchia to be excellent. It was well organized and we would certainly do that again on any future cruise. • Princess offered a choice of hotels in Rome. We selected the Savoy Hotel which turned out to be near perfect. It is centrally located near the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese. It is about 200 m from Via Veneto. The hotel is steeped in history and old fashioned charm and includes an excellent hot and cold breakfast. The reception and staff were accommodating. • The embarkation and disembarkation were both very well handled. Smooth operation with no wasted time other than Border Services of course. • Our cabin with a large balcony was excellent. Lots of storage space to the point where we had unused spaces. The new Princess beds are outstanding. And our room attendant Manuel Crisostos was friendly, acutely aware of our likes and dislikes and always at hand keeping our cabin impeccably clean. • We had a traditional dinner where we found the food excellent and the service by Srinath our waiter to be of the highest standards. • On many afternoons, formal tea was served in a dining room. It was traditional and very well done. Definitely civilized. • Overall, the ship’s staffs were all very friendly and courteous. • My spouse needed serious medical attention. Dr Kruger and her whole medical staff provided exceptional support. They were all very professional, showed empathy, and ensured that my spouse was comfortable and able to fly home on arrival in Fort Lauderdale. We could not have received better attention and treatment. To counter those positive points we found the following deplorable: • In our booking we had a choice of traditional dinner at 6 pm or 8 pm. We selected 6 pm and it was confirmed. Before the cruise we were twice advised that the dinner timings at been changed throughout the fleet to 5 pm and 7:15 pm. 5 o’clock being too early for us we elected to change to 7:15 pm. However, on embarkation we discovered that Crown Princess had ignored the company direction and had us at the 8 pm sitting. We gave it a try and found it much too late. That set a very negative tone for us. • The water system was problematic with air in the pipes, cabin hot water that came out brown and for two nights there was no water at all in the cabin from midnight to 5 am. Even if Princess the tap water is potable, I would wager the=at CDC would not agree when the water is brown with air mixed in the pipes. • On 13 November there was a sewer smell in the Atrium early in the morning. There were also similar sniffs of methane on occasion but that morning it was a significant venting issue inside the ship. • The food in the Horizon Court (Buffet) was generally lukewarm at best. The fried eggs in the morning were cold and meats as well. There was also a paucity of mixed salads at lunch time. Overall, the layout needs to be re-thought and the foods meet common heat standards. • The daytime entertainment lacked lectures on relatively serious subjects without having to seek the discovery channel on the cabin TV. Instead, there was bingo, bean bag tossing, games on trivia, and similar activities, or, commercial sales pitch of all sorts. The only lecturer dealt with his career in Hollywood… • On past cruises you could see performers in many locations on the ship but on Crown they used DVDs instead of musicians albeit the Atrium had entertainers but no seating space. • The smoking in the Casino that spread to the rest of the ship and the crew lounge venting on the promenade deck was offensive to us. We cancelled our reservations for a future cruise on Crown Princess and would look elsewhere in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
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