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186 Princess Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Having cruised twenty eight times we are season cruisers. Picked this trip for the sea days, and some nice weather. Ship in good condition, entertainment average, food ok, cabin steward as always very good, made use of the coffee ... Read More
Having cruised twenty eight times we are season cruisers. Picked this trip for the sea days, and some nice weather. Ship in good condition, entertainment average, food ok, cabin steward as always very good, made use of the coffee card and the $5 cocktails. Most staff very friendly, easy to obtain a sunbed. Very disappointed to hear lots of people on board without the appropriate visas. Having checked with Princess via telephone , and confirmed in cruise personaliser you must have a visa to visit India. We did as we were told and purchased two visas for £400, only to find out lots of people were let on at Southampton and Dubai without the appropriate visas. I checked with the Indian authorities onboard and they confirmed you needed a visa, so were these people onboard illegally? Will try and get a refund from Princess for a visa we did not need. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise after sailing on the Regal Princess and being wowed by her. The experience on the Royal was vastly different though. Don't get me wrong, the ship is stunningly beautiful and the staff all top notch, no ... Read More
We chose this cruise after sailing on the Regal Princess and being wowed by her. The experience on the Royal was vastly different though. Don't get me wrong, the ship is stunningly beautiful and the staff all top notch, no complaints at all here. However, what made the Transatlantic crossing so different was the lack of interesting daily activities for us. We have done at least 8 Transatlantic crossings prior to this one, so we can say we are not new to this these types of sailings. Each day we looked forward to culinary demonstrations but this was not to be. The very first day we promptly arrived to the scheduled demonstration which did not eventuate. There were a couple more demonstrations but unfortunately they were scheduled in the evenings when there was an abundance of so many activities and dinner to attend and quite frankly who wants to go to a cooking demonstration after you have eaten dinner? Why on earth were these not scheduled in the day? The only redemption was the scheduled cooking and galley tour held near the end of the cruise which was excellent. There was a daily talk held in the Theatre was it was not to our interests. We, and others we spoke to found the activities in afternoon dull and boring and most days we would go back to the cabin until the evening. We would have loved more afternoon matinees, game shows, The Voice game shows etc. This crossing the winds were quite strong which made it unpleasant to sit outside on most days. This ship does not have an indoor solarium pool for free and we were not able to sit around and enjoy on days such as these. I will not sail on her again for Transatlantic crossings. In my opinion, an indoor pool is definitely required for sailings of this type. Perhaps its fine for Caribbean sailings where the weather is warm but days when the weather is not so great, one really misses the indoor pool, even for just sitting to read and contemplate. The ship had come out of dry dock and I have heard of so many stories whereby one should not sail after dry docks. I have to admit, they are right. We had many problems with the televisions and telephones not working. I say this, as sometimes one does need the telephone to call in matters of emergencies. Princess however, did compensate us for these inconveniences and safety issues. What shone for us was the amount of entertainment and activities planned for the evening. It was abundant. There was an issue with the production show but in my opinion, this did not dampen the experience for me. The main theatre had seats removed from the sides which made it more accessible when entering and leaving the theatre. However, the show times for me were not to my liking and made it difficult to obtain seats unless you got there very early. We missed out on some of the early shows which was a little disappointing. But the cruise director was quick to note this and introduced a third nightly show which due to his credit, was a welcome reprieve. This eased the congestion in the theatre and we no longer had to rush through dinner as we attended the shows before dinner which we loved. Well done Ron, we really liked this touch! Alfredos was so good. In my opinion, this is one of the best features Princess have onboard. And its free. Please, please Princess keep it just as it is, because you have an absolute winner here. We enjoyed the food onboard in the main dining rooms. Apart from one lunch which was not enjoyable, the remainder of the dining experiences food-wise were good. If I have a gripe, it would have to be in the removal of the beef medallions from the daily diner menu and replacing it with a burger. REALLY?? What were Princess thinking? So wrong and we were so disappointed and annoyed as we loved having them on the daily menu. Please bring them back, a burger should be served poolside or at lunch time, not at night in the main dining room. We had anytime dining but found that unless you booked ahead of time, there would be wait times each evening of around 20 minutes. Demographically, Transatlantic cruises have an older crowd. I get that. But seriously, as someone has mentioned, even the Rolling Stones are in their seventies! We found the music around the ship too old for us. We longed for some more up to date artists and music. One night in the Piazza the band actually played music which was came close but unfortunately one needed to stay up late to hear it. Perhaps Princess could throw in one or two acts in the daytime to compensate. Don't get me wrong, the entertainment onboard was good and professional. I cannot say anything bad about the artists. Overall, I loved the Royal Princess but will be sailing on her on warmer climates and leave the Transatlantic crossings to ships with indoor solariums. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have sailed Princess four previous times and have been extremely pleased. This time, not so much. The Royal had just got out of dry dock prior to its Rome departure. It should have stayed there a while longer. It was not ready for a ... Read More
We have sailed Princess four previous times and have been extremely pleased. This time, not so much. The Royal had just got out of dry dock prior to its Rome departure. It should have stayed there a while longer. It was not ready for a cruise. There were workman all over the ship after the cruise started still trying to get it ready. Telephone did not work in my room, no television for first seven days, intercom did not work in our cabin and internet service was erratic at best. Our state room was indeed fine though and very comfortable. We had the all inclusive beverage package yet were charged for drinks on at least ten occassions. Had to check our statement then go to customer service to remove the charges. These may be minor problems but Princess did give us a $50 credit for the inconveniences. Food service is excellent on the ship and the Crown Grill is exceptional. There was limited entertainment on this cruise, mostly comedians and magicians, no stage productions. This was a big letdown. The guest enrichment lecturer was very good. Movies available were old, some were identical to those on a cruise in April 2015. The two excursions we took were very well done. All in all, this cruise was a disappointment. We are booked for another transatlantic next fall on the Regal but don't think we go on that one. One more thing, luggage retrieval on departure was a legitimate goat screw. Too many people were released before the bags were ready to pickup. The pushing and shoving was terrible. Shouldn't have released anyone until the bags were ready. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise due to the price, the duration and the departure date. Our cruise was for 30 days sailing from Southampton at the end of September, so we avoided some of the autumn at home in the UK. We considered the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise due to the price, the duration and the departure date. Our cruise was for 30 days sailing from Southampton at the end of September, so we avoided some of the autumn at home in the UK. We considered the longer cruise all the way to Australia but given that this was our first long cruise we decided that it was too long. Having sailed on the Emerald Princess before we were familiar with the ship and its layout. We chose a balcony cabin midships on Aloha deck. We had previously had a cabin on Riviera which suffers from the overhang above which restricts the sunshine so this time opted for a lower cabin and were more than satisfied. Embarkation was a fiasco. We arrived by coach and were sent to a holding area because of the existing long queues which stretched out of the terminal. As a result the staff were restricting additional people joining the queue and were having to manage the input of coach arrivals. Whilst the wait in the holding area was not too excessive it was the first time we had encountered this (usually the coaches disembark passengers in lane 1 of the terminal), and queried why. We were advised that the delays were as a result of the need for the embarkation staff to check that all boarding passengers were in possession of the necessary visas for the proposed ports. This reason was later confirmed once we had joined the queue and entered the terminal waiting to be processed. The wait inside the terminal was lengthy but organised, as each person was allocated a group on entry to the terminal, which was then called up for processing by the embarkation staff. During embarkation the staff did indeed check passports for visas, in particular for an Indian visa which cannot be obtained upon arrival. Once checked and verified as correct the remaining embarkation process went smoothly. Entertainment was average. Given the amount of days at sea and the limited number of ports that the ship was calling at then I guess it was to be expected that there would not be a huge turnover of acts, so many had repeat performances. The "headline" shows involving the crews resident singers and dancers were only average when compared to other cruises we have had. All in all the entertainment was a bit of a disappointment. Food was good, although not excellent. We have noticed some downgrading of the food served by Princess since our last cruise with them. Nothing wrong with the quality of the meals on offer, but the menus were not as extensive as previously experienced and the mor "exotic" dishes (lobster, filet mignon etc.) were not as frequent. The major complaint on the cruise, one which was expressed by many many of the other passengers related to the Indian visa. These visas were quite expensive but were a mandatory requirement regardless of whether you intended to disembark in India or not, and this was made clear in the terms & conditions when you signed in to the online cruise organiser. Given the checks made in Southampton mentioned earlier you could safely expect that everyone onboard was in possession of the visa, but this turned out not to be the case and whilst the precise number of passengers without a visa is currently unknown to me there were rumours that it was in the hundreds. The application process for the visa was tedious and coupled with the quite excessive cost I felt both aggrieved and angry to find out that some passengers had avoided this yet were permitted to stay onboard the ship. If this option had been made public at the outset then I am sure that many other passengers would have opted to go without a visa. As a result of Princess failing to apply the rules consistantly many passengers, myself included, felt we had been unfairly treated which in turn marred an otherwise good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Although we were on the 30 day portion of this cruise there were a number of disorganized or poorly administered issues that prevented this from being a home-run. Most notably among the administration issues was the India visa fiasco. We ... Read More
Although we were on the 30 day portion of this cruise there were a number of disorganized or poorly administered issues that prevented this from being a home-run. Most notably among the administration issues was the India visa fiasco. We booked months before we left home and were told we would not be able to board in Southhampton if we did not have all necessary travel documents including the India visa regardless of whether we wanted to disembark in India or not. For two US citizens the cost associated with obtaining the visa was more than $700; a ridiculous amount for a visit of less than 10 hours. However, when we arrived in Southhampton we discovered that there were many passengers who did not possess the necessary visa and they were permitted to board. We were then told they would be forced to leave the cruise in Dubai regardless of their original terminal port. This did not happen. They were permitted to remain on board and we were then told that Indian immigration were going to examine our documents and if we didn't have a visa we could apply for one on board at a much lower cost than what we paid; or, if we preferred we could remain on board and not purchase a visa. After already providing our documents at embarkation in Southhampton where we waited for about two hours to board (after an overnight trip from LAX) we were furious to have to stand in line AGAIN FOR OVER AN HOUR.The anger that this has caused absolutely colored my opinion of Princess, not to mention their decision to return to the filthy city of Cochin over and over again. To add insult to injury the Princess legal team had a letter presented to us while still on board basically throwing India under the bus and not taking any responsibility for this mess. We heard from many, many passengers that Princess stops in Cochin because it's the cheapest place to off load their garbage. I believe it! It looked like it was all strew over the streets and alleys of the city. Note to Princess; if you say that passengers will not be allowed to board without their documents stick to it. Allowing people to board just made the cruise line look like a bunch of liars and only interested in as much money they could get out of passengers if they even intended to force them off the ship in Dubai. Food, I don't consider huge amounts of food to equal good food and mostly the food on the buffet lines were marginal with the desserts rated as poor. Dry and tasteless. Best bets were the vegetables on the salad bar if we were a day or two away from the port we had just departed from. After a few days the fresh fruit and vegetable options were limited. Curtis Stone restaurant was wonderful as was the Grill. The Salty Dog not so much. There were so many add ons that we easily logged up a lot of on-board expenses even while attempting to be conservative. Our balcony room was quite comfortable and always nicely maintained. We had laundry taken care of with our status if we had wanted, but I was hearing so many stories of misplaced clothing we decided to do our own. Almost always a problem getting tokens for the machines. We had to go to the desk almost every single time we did laundry. We believed most of the staff was very polite and professional although we had one waiter in the Elite lounge that I would describe as a smart aleck and we avoided him if we believed we were in his section. The activity director was a twit that thought everything he and his side kick said was hilarious. It wasn't and included a lot of personal information he and the sidekick woman that had absolutely nothing to do with the cruise and just seemed like a platform for them to talk about themselves. BORING and silly. The one big show that we were supposed to be the first to see, Magic to Do was more Magic to Don't. We heard others referring to it as the third level of understudies who were performing. The shore excursions we purchased through Princess were low grade with too many people crammed into each group to again maximize profit. We took a tour of Petra by hiring our own guide prior to leaving home and not only was it cheaper, but we had the guide for the whole day and we were the only ones in his car. We got to the site quicker, before the bus crowds, and since we were with him all day we got his undivided attention. Finally, I don't know why we spent two days in Dubai, one of the most expensive and uninteresting cities I've ever been in. It would have been much more valuable to me as a passenger to have two days in Petra or even in Rome. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise for it's length (30 days) and ports of call. Princess does deliver on quality every time. It's not the most luxurious ship out there and the cuisine isn't outstanding but overall service is very good. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's length (30 days) and ports of call. Princess does deliver on quality every time. It's not the most luxurious ship out there and the cuisine isn't outstanding but overall service is very good. The cabins are roomy and the beds large and comfortable with quality bedding. Dining is good. Unfortunately for me, I had to say no to all desserts due to my lactose intolerance (all their desserts contain milk or cheese). Probably a good thing really - don't have to worry about gaining weight. The entertainment was not very good (but we don't cruise for entertainment). Ports of call were varied and we really enjoyed seeing Petra in Jordan. Took many princess offered tours and was disappointed with many of the tours due to the fact that tour guildes spoke such poor english we could hardly understand them! Their tours are also very expensive. I expected better from Princess. Our best excursions were private tours or on our own. Our cabin steward provided very good service as did all personnel throughout the ship. We enjoyed the pool areas as well. They have a "Sanctuary" area in the forward ship which cost extra to use. It had cushioned lounge chairs, snacks and stewards to wait on you. The entire 30 days I never once saw anyone use this area! What a waste. It should be free to all guests. If you sail on Princess you will encounter an older crowd especiallly on the longer cruises. I did think the shopping area had a lot of variety to offer. Also noticed that many of the female guests took advantage of the dancing lessons. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Crown Princess is a lovely ship. It’s well maintained and its crew was polite and helpful. We have sailed with Princess before but it is not our first choice. This trip did nothing to change that. We felt the Crown lacked the ... Read More
The Crown Princess is a lovely ship. It’s well maintained and its crew was polite and helpful. We have sailed with Princess before but it is not our first choice. This trip did nothing to change that. We felt the Crown lacked the vitality we have come to experience on Carnival. This is particularly true of Carnivals newer vessels (the Breeze and Magic). There simply is more to do on Carnival. Often many of the bar & entertainment venues on the Crown Princess would be closed entirely. The bar in the Skywalkers nightclub was closed both times I went there. I hesitate to criticize much about our cruise or Princess itself. It’s so much about personal tastes and Princess has a very loyal following. Who am I to say they are wrong! The only area I could criticize without reservation was the organization of the Horizon café. The food is served within a small buffet area with one entry and exit. All diners are forced into this small area even if they only want a salad or desert. The line does not proceed in an orderly manner as diners must backtrack several times. Did you forget your desert, well too bad, back in line. The entire process is too frustrating. The buffet selection itself was limited and not really up to the quality one would expect from Princess. Both Carnival and NCL have better casual meal offerings with more selection, better quality and more efficient access. Breakfasts in the main dining room were great. One morning they had a delicious English breakfast. Room service was prompt and accurate. The main dining room was adequate but not exceptional. Menu choices were limited and the preparation was inconsistent and sometimes really poor. I don’t expect gourmet, but the serving of cold overcooked salmon that I was served surprised even me. Overall, we had a lovely trip shared with good friends. Our cabin was clean & comfortable. I will travel with Princess again if the itinerary is of special interest but Princess it would not be our first choice Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was a relocation cruise and so there were quite a few 3,4,5, seadays. This was our 6 Princess cruise and by far the worst, the standards on the ship entertainment and food has dropped to a very poor level. My Wife and I purchases top ... Read More
This was a relocation cruise and so there were quite a few 3,4,5, seadays. This was our 6 Princess cruise and by far the worst, the standards on the ship entertainment and food has dropped to a very poor level. My Wife and I purchases top drinks package and at Singapore we were told that the 2 top wines we liked had run out and there was no more and they would not be getting more before Australia. I had to complain bitterly to passenger services and to the bars manager, and they eventually found some more in Fremantle. I was told buy one of the waiters that they had been told to send all of the top wines down to the dinning rooms as they could sell them by the bottle there not by the glass as in the bars. The food in general was very average so much so that we ate in the specialty dinning at a surcharge of 29 to 39 USD. Any way this will be our last Princess cruise will take our dollars and try elsewere next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Maybe it just wasn't fair... our last cruise- last year a 17 day TA from Fort Lauderdale to Venice was fantastic- wonderful service, from the ding room to lounges to the cabin. Our tours, except one, were more than perfect. On this ... Read More
Maybe it just wasn't fair... our last cruise- last year a 17 day TA from Fort Lauderdale to Venice was fantastic- wonderful service, from the ding room to lounges to the cabin. Our tours, except one, were more than perfect. On this ship the service was spotty- a fabulous server followed by someone who had no idea what he/she was doing. People sat in bars forever waiting for service while servers wandered around doing nothing. Some of the food was very good and some was awful. The desserts were wet goo. The pizzas were burnt, greasy cardboard. If the food wasn't right it didn't matter because by the time the waiter came around to make a change I was ready to move on- again a service issue. I know they are capable of cooking because I had a few amazing dishes on board, but the gambling was not limited to the casino. The cabin steward did an adequate job but did not change sheets when they got a mark on them or always set out clean glasses, etc. Annoying. Our favorite bar servers were Nenad from the Wheelhouse and Togu , who worked here and there. The Wheelhouse had the best servers (all were good and friendly) and the worst entertainment. Crooners had the worst servers, once I was waiting for someone from cruisecritic and waited 45 minutes without anyone coming near me. Then Togu walked into the bar (happy hour was starting in a few minutes) and he took care of me. I heard stories like this many times during the cruise. We did all Princess tours - happy with all except the guides from the Bergen and Boston tours. The Production shows in the Princess Theater were very good- Fiero was the best. (: Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Normally love TA as there is so much to do on the sea days. The ports were enjoyable which made up for lack of sea day activities. Still don't understand why Princess has given up on organized bridge or having a bridge teacher. ... Read More
Normally love TA as there is so much to do on the sea days. The ports were enjoyable which made up for lack of sea day activities. Still don't understand why Princess has given up on organized bridge or having a bridge teacher. Happily the ship is going in for dry dock in March as the rooms need updating as the cabinet drawers were constantly opening and closing when the seas weren't even that rough. Can't believe our ocean view cabin only had 1 large nightstand and we had to have the room done with twin set up as the double bed setup won't allow you to get out of the bed on both sides. The new mattresses were the highlight of the room. Our wait staff was great as usual but our room steward seemed overworked since he also had the deck 6 suites. The worst part was it took 4 days to get our laundry turned around which is one of the best parts of being elite but very disappointing on this ship and we've done TA at least 6 times and never encountered this problem before. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
At the outset I always want to describe myself as someone you will find in the gym, restaurants, bars or casino - not the shops or shows. I am a lawyer in my 60's that practices with a large firm in Los Angeles. Living in Los ... Read More
At the outset I always want to describe myself as someone you will find in the gym, restaurants, bars or casino - not the shops or shows. I am a lawyer in my 60's that practices with a large firm in Los Angeles. Living in Los Angeles I could not pass up a brief repositioning cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver. For very little I was able to book a standard cabin with a balcony - no stops -just two days at sea. This was my second Princess cruise - my first being a 14 day cruise on the Diamond Princess, which is based in Japan. The Island Princess is one of their older and smaller ships and really does not compare to the newer and larger Diamond Princess - which is really great, including its Japanese toilets (the Diamond Princess was built in Japan). In the past few years I have also taken cruises on Regent, Silversea and Crystal - which I may mention for comparison. 1. Getting on and off - very good. The staff was friendly and efficient in Los Angeles. In Vancouver there were quick and easy choices of getting off. I chose the 7:30am walk off and precisely at 7:30 I was on my way to the terminal - no muss nor fuss. 2. Food - the food on the Island Princess was very good, as was the food on the Diamond Princess. Frankly, for the money, it's a great deal and really not that much different than what you get on Regent or the other high end ship main dining rooms these days. The selections on the Island Princess main dining room menu were more limited than Regent, Crystal, Silversea or the Diamond Princess. The selections in the buffet are about the same - with pretty good coffee (the coffee on Regent was terrible). There are two speciality restaurants - which are priced at $29 per person (this must be a recent increase from the $25 per person which is mentioned in other recent reviews). I did not try them as their menus were not all that exciting - to me at least. The service in the main dining room was ok. The waiters seemed to wait for a whole bunch of dinners to be ready from multiple tables before getting them and staggering out with 10 covered dishes on the tray. The service in the buffet was very good - better than my last Regent cruise (Voyager - I have a separate review there) where there were not enough tables and servers to handle everyone promptly. Overall, Silversea (Spirit) had the best dining - but the Diamond Princess is a close second together with Crystal (Serenity). 3. Cabin - very comfortable bed and pillows - two uncomfortable chairs. As noted by others, the shower is small with an annoying shower curtain. The water pressure was good. I am 5',7" - 140 pounds - and just fit......... 4. Bars - good, with fast service. 5. The gym - not good. As noted by the professional Cruise Critic "critic", the gym was recently moved from a top deck with views to inside space on deck 6. I did not catch this and before the cruise (there are a number of You Tube videos showing a beautiful large gym with nearly 360 degree views) and was very disappointed to find a small claustrophobic gym that seemed like an afterthought. Moreover the equipment is old and the free weights seemed to be on the heavy side (no it was not because of my bar experience the night before). 6. The casino - a let down. Here again, on You Tube you will see a large casino with a fairly good sized craps table - not any more.....It appears the the remodel that pushed the gym to the 6th deck also took half of the casino. The craps table is gone and the tables that remain (blackjack and three card poker) are pushed up against a wall so that there is very little room to move around. There are a number of slot machines (although no where near what you see in the posted You Tube videos) which have a varied number of games, including a block of Quick Hit machines - which a lot of people like. The staff in the casino were friendly. 7. Other - the front desk was well staffed and organized - no lines. The same cannot be said for the Diamond Princess. The ship was clean - but the absolute cleanest and brightest (of all ships I have been on) was the Diamond Princess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was a repositioning cruises. This was the longest trip I had been on. I like a lot of fun activities. A lot of games. This trip everything was laid back. The entertainment was ok. We had anytime dining. Sometimes we couldn't get ... Read More
This was a repositioning cruises. This was the longest trip I had been on. I like a lot of fun activities. A lot of games. This trip everything was laid back. The entertainment was ok. We had anytime dining. Sometimes we couldn't get in until 7:30-8:00pm when most of the show were on. We had great service, cabin was clean. Staff was great. Our excursion were rushed. One port we when on excursion had to get back on boat when it was over no time to look at anything else. Aruba excursion off road 4 wheel was great.. The guides were great. Cartagena hop on hop off bus NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. Had to wait for 1;30 for next bus. Costa Rica great train ride with river cruise. Nicaragua didn't do an excursions. Cabo San Lucas toke a cruise and scenic ride thru town. Los Angeles Chinese Theatre and Olvera Street Farmer Market, didn't have a lot of time. Victoria, BC we when to Butchart Garden. Victoria is a beautiful place I would love to go back. This was not a trip for children. I think there may have been maybe 5 to 6 children on this cruises. When we got to LA half of the people on the boat disembark. and about that many came on for a 4 day trip and there were lots more children. It was like the cruise stopped in LA. We had the same shows, food we started all over again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
CRUISE This was a combination of three cruises back to back. We boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale, cruised through the Panama Canal and on the Los Angeles, Vancouver, and finally Whittier, Alaska. It wasn’t on my bucket list, but ... Read More
CRUISE This was a combination of three cruises back to back. We boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale, cruised through the Panama Canal and on the Los Angeles, Vancouver, and finally Whittier, Alaska. It wasn’t on my bucket list, but the Panama Canal transit was amazing and the highlight of this cruise. Although, I usually don’t buy the Reflections DVD, I did this time so I can relive the transit experience again and again. PRECRUISE We flew into Fort Lauderdale a day before our cruise. We rented a small car from Thrifty at the airport and returned it to their port location after dropping off our luggage at the pier the next day. Thrifty had a free shuttle to the ship and we hopped on after turning in our vehicle. The cost of the rental was probably not much more than several taxi fares and gave us so much flexibility. With three ships in port, hotel rooms were at a premium. We ended up staying at the Residence Inn in Dania Beach. It is close to the airport, but so quiet. Actual embarkation was quick. THE SHIP Please, please, please, everyone just quit saying that the Island Princess was ruined by adding all those cabins, etc. etc. The ship is beautiful. The atrium is amazing. It has a wide promenade deck with lots of chairs. I don’t feel the ship was crowded at all. There were so many quiet places to sit and relax. I missed Skywalker’s and the International Café, but the Island Princess never had these. And the staff! The hotel and restaurant staff were stellar. OUR CABIN We were in a balcony room on the forward Dolphin deck. I’ll just say it was ready for a rehab. Tired, tired, tired. DINING We always choose anytime dining. The Island Princess has lots of tables for two, so we rarely waited. There were lots of regional (Caribbean and Alaskan) items on the menus. We ate at Sabatini’s twice. The cover charge the first time was $25, the second was $29. We also discovered Alfredo’s pizza. It is not to be missed! We also purchased a wine package; we had to ask about it. ENTERTAINMENT Well the musicians were fantastic! My husband became a Phoenix Rising fan and I was a Josh Wheeler groupie. I particularly enjoyed pianist Christopher Contillo. The ship’s band was great; they are so talented. Even the Princess Pop Choir provided an outstanding performance. Everything else was …. Since when did happy hour become the entertainment? There were so many happy hours on this ship it is surprising there was any booze left to drink. POST CRUISE We purchased Princess transfers from Whittier to Anchorage. It took more than three hours to get to the Hospitality Center with unscheduled stops at the airport and Earthquake Park. After all that we had time for lunch and the trip to the airport and no sightseeing. WHY DOESN’T PRINCESS? While there are thousands of captive passengers waiting to leave the ship, why doesn’t Princess do a better job of servicing the public restrooms? Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Embarkation- Good because we arrived late 3:00 PM for a 4:00 PM departure. Found our room. Cabin. Roomy. closet great set apart from rest of room. Two drawers. Not adequate. Kept many of my things in suitcase under bed. Balcony ... Read More
Embarkation- Good because we arrived late 3:00 PM for a 4:00 PM departure. Found our room. Cabin. Roomy. closet great set apart from rest of room. Two drawers. Not adequate. Kept many of my things in suitcase under bed. Balcony adequate. Large flat TV great. Shower good. Ship. Beautiful. Clean. We had to ride elevators all the time. I hated the elevator ride that stopped on every floor. Back area of ship exposed to outdoors needs to be improved. Not enticing. Exercise room small. Spa just okay. we usually buy a pass,but no windows to relax and look at the sea. Poor design. Dining. OKay. Dining room not so appealing. Enjoyed Alfredos. Ate there for dinner 3 tim4 times. Food in dining room just okay. chocolate desserts good. Others okay Food in buffet good. At lunch stick to the gyro meat and roasted chickens. Big pots of simmering soups that look unappetizing. Breakfast ok. salads good. fruit not ripe. Ice cream tasted like it was from a mix. Good for me I love it. Coffee bar good. Food at the IC was good. Ice cream bar. not so good. Not real gelato. entertainment. Singers with light shows behind them Other entertainers just fair. Lots of people dancing in atrium. Not my cup of tea. This TA was crowded and full of over 70+. Comedians not funny. Movies in room and other venues were great. Service very good. Ports nice. Some rain but only three or four days out of 16. Seas were rocky but ship handled them beautifully. Did not use pool area. Library is a joke. Would I do a TA again with them. for the pizza and the movies only. Disembarkation easy since I got off early in Palma. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Cruise review Having read another review of the same cruise, it appears as though things didn't go quite as well with us. This is fourth Princess cruise, having previously cruised the Baltic, Eastern Mediterranean and Alaska. ... Read More
Cruise review Having read another review of the same cruise, it appears as though things didn't go quite as well with us. This is fourth Princess cruise, having previously cruised the Baltic, Eastern Mediterranean and Alaska. We made our own arrangements including taxi to the port arriving at the time required by Princess and found very long queues, things clearly were not going to plan. It was early afternoon and must have taken well over an hour to board. Our passports were taken from us without explanation, something which has not happened before, it was later explained on the ship as the departure was delayed by 75 mins because some passports had not been collected and the Singapore authorities would not let us leave until all the passports were collected. Many messages went out regarding the ships crew attempts to collect these documents, but they were only ever in English, I thought of the many people who did not understand English! This made a mockery of the sail a way party because the party was over and we were still very much tied up. Our first thoughts was that in many ways the ship looked tired, varnished handrails in need of treatment, rusty looking rails, our bathroom looked tired, our balcony doors continually gave us wind noise, look and feel the dining tables, the table cloths were hiding a lot of irregularities. Our toilet cistern failed many times and had to be reported each time we only ever had feedback once....not good enough! We asked for traditional dining late sitting for two. It was our 35th wedding anniversary Holiday and we like to eat alone, also I have an eating disorder which means I sometimes have to cough up my food, not very nice for me and certainly for those sitting on the same table. As usual we went for our first meal to find that we are put on a large table, when we questioned this, we felt as though we were naughty schoolchildren and put to one side. After a short time, we were granted our wish. Princess, if you cannot do what we ask, then tell us beforehand! I know you will hide behind the small writing on the web site, but the way we were treated was not good enough! I think I only saw the Captain once, briefly in the distance, I remember previous cruises having photographs with him! When we visited Horizon Court, we did have a lot of problems finding a table to eat and that's with many people out on deck in the covered areas also eating, so the ship did feel crowded at times. It was the same in other bars and public spaces. We also felt that there were less waiting staff than on previous cruises, sometimes we had to relent and go to the bar to order. And on one day where we had an early port arrival, tables in Horizon Court were not being cleared with some tables full of dirty crockery, crew were not present in anywhere sufficient numbers. The staff were excellent throughout, couldn't do enough for us. Internet speeds were surprisingly good compared with other cruises, I appreciate some will say it is very costly still, that may be so! We enjoyed the entertainment we saw, the Crimson Duo and the Sound were very good, the crew talent contest OK to watch and loved the violinists. What was a very positive and welcome change was that the ship in no way discriminated between the ship excursion passengers and the private excursion or DIY passengers at ports, leaving the ship at ports seems well organised and worked well with little or no delay whatever you were doing. Quality of all the food was excellent. We did no ship excursions at all, in fact the last one was back 8 years ago, we find them poor value for money, often too large a group and vehicle. For example at Nha Trang, we and by chance a ship excursion party went to an orphanage. We had a minibus and was able to get down the back lanes right up to the entrance, the coach of ships passengers had to be dropped maybe 300-400 metres away and had to walk along narrow lanes to the location. At Taiwan, we took the local train into Taipei city centre at a cost of about $1 each, took 45 mins, the ship organised a coach transfer for passengers to then do their own thing, cost $50 each and took an hour, dropping off away from the centre of the city. I found the port's were a good choice, shame the weather wasn't so good in Hong Kong, but we can't do much about that. Loved Taipei and Japan, so much to see, people so friendly, Vietnam was worth the visit and personally further down the order. We had visited Hong Kong before. To correct a previous reviewer, we stopped at Osaka on the Saturday not the Sunday, and not until 2pm, many people found that too late as some places of interest closed at 4.30pm. We did private excursions in the Vietnam ports, and did our own thing in Hong Kong, Taipei, and the two Japanese ports before Yokohama. Disembarkation got off to a slow start with some groups leaving the ship 40 mins late, but once it got going, it went well. Would suggest you pick an earlier time to leave than you need. There were long queues of traffic getting out of the port though. We arranged a 'Green Tomato' transfer to our hotel in Tokyo. Now I know I have been a little negative about the Diamond Princess, but over time, the ship 'grew' on us. The largest group of passengers seem to come from Australia, in fact I would thought Melbourne must have been deserted, they were such a friendly lot. Next came the Brits', followed by Americans and Asians. Thanks Princess for a great cruise, but there is work to be done to maintain your high standards. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was the second time I had sailed on the Golden Princess the first being a 31day cruise from LA to Rio. I joined the ship in Brisbane and the embarkation was easy. No shuttle buses to Fisherman's Island though. The ship has ... Read More
This was the second time I had sailed on the Golden Princess the first being a 31day cruise from LA to Rio. I joined the ship in Brisbane and the embarkation was easy. No shuttle buses to Fisherman's Island though. The ship has changed a little and the piazza was always crowded on this trip . The room steward was great and staff were friendly. The open robe in the cabin is good for drying clothes and Princess has laundromats on board which is a bonus. The gratuities were a topic of discussion with many passengers. They went up by AUD $30 if you did not prepay them? The onboard lecturer/ presenter was great. Interesting topics and also learnt from the Q&A he had at the end of each port lecture. The Saigon tour was excellent. I had visited Nga Trang before and the tour there this time was excellent and packed with information. The tour company in Vietnam provided excellent guides who were well versed in culture and spoke English well. The tour desk was always helpful and deadlines for cancellations didn't matter if they could resell your tickets. Anytime dining is a bonus as you get to meet different people each night. Zumba and line dancing on sea days was a great alternative to walking around the deck. The Princess Theatre was often a sell out for lectures and entertainment. Get there early for a seat. Disembarkation was easy and Princess had people writing down the address of your hotel in Chinese for the cab driver. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Just completed a South East Asia cruise on Golden Princess - not as good as SUN but better than Dawn - overall in reasonable condition - trying out Emerald and Coral next. Cabin needed some minor maintenance - entertainment just ... Read More
Just completed a South East Asia cruise on Golden Princess - not as good as SUN but better than Dawn - overall in reasonable condition - trying out Emerald and Coral next. Cabin needed some minor maintenance - entertainment just average - dining was satisfactory but meal variety seemed to be less - most annoying aspect was changeover of staff in Singapore who were going to cater for Asian passengers after Hong Kong - spoke limited English and looked lost - went to a bar once to get a lemonade (sprite) and staff didn't know where they were stored - had to tell him second draw below till. Normal amount of activities but sometimes conflicts in Patter. Could have hamdled processing of passengers back to ship in Bali much better - having people out in Sun for up to 1/2 hour is not acceptable. If Princess is going to advertise passengers to shop using passport book and get 4 stamps to enter a draw for $150 obc - and advertsie in Patter then conduct a draw -otherwise false advertising. Didn't feel shopping was value for money given it was in US dollars. Also some shops were under construction and didn't open for several days into cruise. Too many people attended first show - many people having to stand - had to arrive up to 1/2 hour early to get a seat - needs review so that late dinners go to first show and earlier diners go to second show - admin hard but something needs to be done if theatre can't be expanded Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our fourth transatlantic, our 20th cruise on the Princess Line and the third on the Island. During this 31 day repositioning we found the Island clean, though a little dated, with excellent always-with-a-smile service and the ... Read More
This was our fourth transatlantic, our 20th cruise on the Princess Line and the third on the Island. During this 31 day repositioning we found the Island clean, though a little dated, with excellent always-with-a-smile service and the food selection tasty and varied the entire time. The entertainment was over and above the usual cruise fare, even at times world class. We always get a mini-suite, this time choosing C204, an elongated mini-suite without a balcony. The cabin window was large enough to always give us an adequate view but, of course, nothing like a full sliding glass door. There were a few times that I did miss the balcony but the extra room made up for what was lost. I will say we would never book this type cabin on any Caribbean cruises as we are heavy balcony users in warmer weather. The cabin was quiet and just a few feet away from an outside door leading to the front of the ship. Only a couple times during rough weather did I find a rope across the door entrance that denied access. Believe me this front ship area afforded a spectacular view when entering Venice’s canal way. But it didn’t take us long to realize that this was not the same ship experience we had when taking the Island Princess through the Panama Canal, twice. This time we found crowded public spaces, overlapping events, that kept people waiting outside venues in large crowds if anything went long, and witnessed people in long lines trying to get into the anytime dining room. Fortunately, we opted this time for the traditional dining time slot, even though for some unknown reason every night, and I mean every night, our dinner took two hours, from beginning to end. When coming out of dining we would see long lines a floor down of people waiting to get into the anytime venue and talked to people over and over that were very unhappy about waiting, with a buzzer in hand, to be called for the anytime experience. What we did observe, now that the large Universal Lounge has been taken out, was staff that had to constantly juggle limited venue options. An example was a speaker, in the Explorer Lounge, giving an excellent talk on WWII that was barely audible because of the bingo players signing up outside, not a few feet away. The cruise line has not only taken away an extremely large public space but has added an additional 100 cabins to the Island that was never in the initial configuration. The fabulous former fitness center has been moved to a unappealing windowless lower level that I ended up not using because of the smallness and lack of ambience. The Princess Theater, I guess, because of all the additional passengers has had all the side aisles removed which meant the nightly climbing over people to get to your seat routine. We will definitely go on another Princess vacation as we have reached Elite status and having your laundry done is a perk not easily surrendered but we will watch carefully and never go on another ship that has been reconfigured to take away public spaces so that additional innumerable extra cabins could be added. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The Regal Princess is a beautiful ship; however, its design and amenities leave much to be desired. This was our 22nd cruise and it was just okay. First, the embarkation in NY was the worst we have ever experienced: poor signage, long ... Read More
The Regal Princess is a beautiful ship; however, its design and amenities leave much to be desired. This was our 22nd cruise and it was just okay. First, the embarkation in NY was the worst we have ever experienced: poor signage, long lines, staff providing wrong information (we waited in the wrong line for 42 mins), masses of people just huddled with staff yelling at customers to step aside and move against the wall- YELLING! The ship was ready much later than is customary so the crowds had swelled by the time boarding had commenced. Secondly, we were booked into an owner's suite (which we highly recommend as the balcony is HUGE). However, the cabin steward was almost non-existent. While he cleaned our room adequately, he never asked if we needed anything. As an elite members, other cruise lines offer many more amenities than Princess. All we got was access to a really tiny concierge lounge with little more than cheese, crackers, stale brownies, and soggy cookies- no free drinks like Celebrity or Royal. We did receive free laundry which is a good benefit. Our dining room staff was extremely professional, friendly, and knowledgable. The food, while presented nicely, is good but not great. The public bathrooms are small and very often overflowed on our cruise- kind of scary when you think about it. The spa is beautiful- one of the largest we have experienced. However, the spa locker rooms are about the worst we have experienced on land or sea- very tiny (10 people changing is a crowd)- limited lockers, including some on floor level. Apparently, people sticking their bums in the air to lock up their belongings is acceptable. For some reason, the spa and the exercise room are on opposite sides of the boat about ten floors apart. Summary: while I wouldn't forego a cruise on the Regal, I would definitely consider all other options beforehand. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The Food, Service and production shows were all excellent. All a lot of the production shows we had seen in the past. The itinerary was excellent which is why we went. We had never seen New Zealand or Australia before. We spent an ... Read More
The Food, Service and production shows were all excellent. All a lot of the production shows we had seen in the past. The itinerary was excellent which is why we went. We had never seen New Zealand or Australia before. We spent an additional two wonderful weeks in Australia, We have been to all the other ports before but explored each in a different way. The cruise director, Tim, never connected with us. He had mainly Australian Acts on for what was mainly a US Audience. Not only that there were several instances where the time from the princess patter was changed and we were not notified. My big beef is missing the park ranger speak. We did enjoy the movies and trivia contests. The lecturers on board were obviously not vetted by princess. The ship overall looked to be in very good condition as it was recently in dry dock. This was a re-positioning cruise as the ship was going to be based in Australia for the the spring and summer over there. Just hope they change Cruise Directors. Embarkation and Debarkation went very smoothly. We did not wait very long at either end. We followed Princess guide lines for phased boarding times which worked out well. In summary the cruise was enjoyable but could have been better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The plus side of the cruise was the itinerary, food, service and production shows. Although we have seen all production shows in the past. The entertainment in general was poor with the cruise director NOT connecting with the passengers. ... Read More
The plus side of the cruise was the itinerary, food, service and production shows. Although we have seen all production shows in the past. The entertainment in general was poor with the cruise director NOT connecting with the passengers. Some of the activities listed in the Princess Patter did not take place at the times specified. Supposedly they were announced over the PA but it was not heard or could understand by a lot of people. For mainly an American audience the acts brought on by the cruise director were mainly Australian. Not appreciated by many, even the Australians. The movie and trivia were good. Especially good was the cruise long trivia. The lecturers obviously not been vetted by Princess. Overall we had a good time since we made it a point to have one. But the cruise could have been better if the entertainment were better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We spent the night before the cruise at the Hampton Inn North Airport/Cruise port, which was very convenient. They kept our baggage the next morning while we went on a Segway Tour on the Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale. This was one of the ... Read More
We spent the night before the cruise at the Hampton Inn North Airport/Cruise port, which was very convenient. They kept our baggage the next morning while we went on a Segway Tour on the Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale. This was one of the highlights of our whole vacation! We had no idea that the beautiful Riverfront walk existed, and enjoyed two hours zipping along on our segways past lovely mansions and across the big bridge near the ships. We had time to kill because the Emerald was coming back from Europe to sail the Easter Caribbean, and there was to be a coast guard drill as well as other delays, preventing boarding until after 2pm. Some people had come early and sat waiting for several hours. Once onboard all of our luggage showed up very quickly, but we noticed that our balcony cabin air conditioning was barely working, if at all. We had repairmen come to our room each day for five days to try to bring the air conditioning back to life. We finally gave up. It worked a wee bit, but made showering and dressing a terribly hot mess. We were told that many cabins were complaining of the same issue, and that the ship was supposed to go into dry dock sometime to repair the air conditioning systems. This unfortunately did nothing to help us. I was also told by a crew member that it is best never to plan a Caribbean cruise on a ship just back from colder climes because air conditioning problems always arise. Remember that! Best to wait a few weeks for them to get the systems working again. No one needs them in Alaska or colder parts of Europe and problems aren't noticed. So the week was unfortunately quite uncomfortable in the cabin, even with drapes drawn all day. We couldn't sleep with the covers on. Dinner food in the main dining room was very good each night that we were there. The food there has actually IMPROVED since our last Princess cruise in 2011, and staff was very attentive. Excellent steaks last evening. Kudos to Princess there. We also found the buffet to be quite satisfactory as well, without too many lines and decent waiter service as well. Lunch was better than breakfast, however, and late afternoon snacks there were plentiful. Sabatinis left a lot to be desired with the lobster main course. The lobster was plain and had little taste, with no butter for dipping. We really did not enjoy Sabatinis this time, compared to our last two cruises on the Crown where the food was excellent. Thumbs down there. We had ultimate balcony dining one evening, which had the best lobster of the cruise by far--a very large tail with excellent flavor, along with a filet mignon. We had an extremely attentive waiter who kept peeking in our door, just to see where we were with each course so he could come in and pour more wine or whatever. He could not have been better, although we felt maybe a little too pampered if that is possible...we felt kind of strange having this sweet waiter waiting on only us that evening. Only thing that was bad was the champagne they gave us--horrid! The champagne was even better at the champagne waterfall. But that didn't spoil our dinner. The weather, however, was extremely hot and humid that night, and that took a little of the joy out of it for us. But we would definitely recommend the ultimate balcony dinner for those who are looking for something very pampering with superb lobster, when your weather is expected to be comfortable. They brought a table, linens, all the silverware, flowers, and took pictures, from which we could pick one free one. Plus a cocktail and four courses! We do not recommend the crab shack dinner that you have to make reservations for. The king crab was completely tasteless, as if it had been sitting in a warmer for hours. That was a big disappointment, as we love king crab. Not a hit with us at all. Others had been turned away because it was booked, but tables sat empty. One irritating issue that we had to deal with was an erroneous charge for a $50 wine tasting which we had canceled our reservation for the day before, and we even showed up at the room beforehand to reconfirm our cancellation. We were not there for it at all. It took from the beginning to the end of the cruise for that charge to be removed, with us checking on it each day, having being rudely dealt with by a woman at the purser's desk who said that the dining department had to remove it and she couldn't do anything about it. That is not taking ownership for an erroneous charge and should have been dealt with much faster, with a better, more appropriate response. Thumbs way down for that one. Even though it wasn't a huge amount of money, the way Princess treated us about it wasn't very nice. The ports were wonderful, as always. Went to Orient Beach on St. Martin (Club O, the best part of the beach!) for a wonderful beach day without having to deal with people hawking their wares because they are banned on that part of the beach. Club O is the naturist resort, clothing optional, and we love it. It is not like you imagine at all. Almost everyone is over 50, all shapes and sizes, and people aren't there to gawk and are very friendly. Plus the beach there is superb. No photography allowed there though! We went to Megans Bay at St. Thomas which was okay. Like Orient, we have been there before. Had some good Bushwackers from the bar--those are highly recommended on St. Thomas. But the water in the bay seems not as nice as it is at a beach that is more open. Megans seems more like a lake with mountains on each side. But makes for lovely pictures. Next time we will try Sapphire or Lindquist beaches. St. John's beaches are great, but the traveling to and from really chews up time, so we didn't do that this time. At Grand Turk our one and only Princess excursion (catamaran snorkeling) was cancelled, but we didn't find that out until we walked out to the meeting area in the cruise center. They hadn't notified us by phone or anything beforehand. It was too late to plan a different snorkling excursion at that point and that was kind of depressing. We ended up finding a cab to take us out to Bohio beach which turned out to be wonderful, and the driver gave us a tour of the nicer homes on Grand Turk and told us all about life there, which was above and beyond his fee--great guy. I even rode a horse on the beach, which was owned by a local boy there with his brother, trying to pick up some money for rides. The horse was a descendant of the Spanish horses that came there in the 1600's--very small but very tough little guy. Water at the beach was really nice that day, free from the seaweed that plagued the cruise port and made the water unswimmable. Seaweed is a problem at Grand Turk cruise port right now. My Spa message was very nice, but we were overcharged...was supposed to be charged the port rate that I reserved online, not the sea day rate. Had to argue about that and it kind of ruined the experience, but they did correct it the next evening. Spa showers were great--I used them a couple of times because it was so hot in our room, and the spa showers have a removable handset and can be set to all kinds of settings. I'd go after using the spa pool or the sauna and steam bath in the women's dressing/showing room. Those things are all free and everyone should make use of them. The pools on Princess ships are great--they are the main reason we go on Princess because they are numerous (4), fresh water, and 3 are adults only! If you have kids, this may not be a good fit for you. Our kids are grown and we love the adults only pools in both the spa area in front and the deep pool at the aft. We'd bring drinks from our room in plastic glasses to the pools. We also watched the Steelers game on the big screen on the deck, and one movie. We felt that Princess could have more and better entertainment, especially more comedians. The two that we saw only had one show each. The impressionist was very good, doing both talking and singing impressions that were funny and on target. He is a young guy who will be on America's Got Talent next season! The dancers were good and came out for the disco deck party which was a fun touch. So it was a mix of very good, okay, and a few things that kind of stunk, like the air conditioning. The worst thing was coming home and coming down with Norovirus the next day!!! AWFUL! It is a three day torment and caused us to rethink whether we ever want to cruise again. There were no special things done by the cruise line to prevent the virus, and our commode always stank and even leaked. This was the worst part of the cruise, unfortunately. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As background this was our 48th cruise, and we have previously sailed on all the major lines including Princess. I would consider us a little more critical of our cruise because we have had some wonderful experiences to compare to. ... Read More
As background this was our 48th cruise, and we have previously sailed on all the major lines including Princess. I would consider us a little more critical of our cruise because we have had some wonderful experiences to compare to. Overall if this was our first cruise ever I probably would have rated it much higher. We had just sailed on the Ruby Princess a week before the Crown, so I was interested to see how the sister ship would compare as it had been a number of years since we sailed with Princess. One observation was that the staff throughout the ship seemed to be friendlier and more helpful than on the Ruby. However, the hallways are very beat up with dents in the walls and generally very ugly decor. There was also an issue with a foul smell in our hallway (forward Starboard side on the Lido deck). By comparison, we were also forward on Lido deck on the Ruby Princess the week prior to this, and the hallways were far nicer and didn't have that smell. We were in a premium suite and had a dedicated line for check in, but for embarkation there was no priority given at all. I mention this because on Celebrity and NCL you have a separate waiting area with refreshments, and are given priority embarkation. Apart from priority embarkation there are other amenities listed on the Princess website for suite guests that did not materialize. One was an eye gel (I purposely left mine at home), as well as orchids - probably missed the most. These omissions weren't the end of the world, but it sets up an expectation for something that is not given. The food and service in the dining room was a slight disappointment over the Ruby, but overall acceptable. We had anytime dining and quickly learned there really is no such thing, at least not as we have experienced on Celebrity. If you don't make reservations you can expect to be forced to stand in a very long line waiting to be seated. If you make reservations you are given a choice of three times: 5:15, 5:30 and 7:30. Huh? That's not 'anytime' in my books. This was the first time we didn't have a butler with our suite, but we are low maintence guests. Even so our room steward did as little as possible. For example he didn't leave requests forms for the daily canapés which I'm assuming was so he wouldn't have to deliver them. One evening my husband returned to our cabin and was in disbelief at how the room had been turned down so went to Guest Services to complain. I didn't see it before it was corrected, but I can tell you my husband is not normally a complainer. We asked for wine glasses which he brought but never replaced. We found it easier to just get them ourselves from a bar. Other than our room steward we thought the Crown staff were generally helpful. One thing I had a problem with was their system for getting cash from your account in the casino using your room key. I would strongly advise using cash only because I downloaded $50 twice, but was charged three times. The one I know I didn't do was 5 minutes after the first one, because at the penny amounts I play there is no way I went through $50 in five minutes! The casino staff printed out the records (they know every machine you play and what you cashed out with) and according to them I did the second transfer 5 minutes later so there was no arguing. The annoying thing was I had cash in our safe but thought using the account would be easier. Never again! In summary I would consider sailing in a balcony cabin on the Crown, but would not pay for a suite. If we had not been in suites on other lines we may have thought the Cancun Suite was okay, but it pales in comparison and is not worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Overall the experience was very good. Clean ship, good service, plentiful and good food, on board activities adequate...........but 1. The day excursions were not up to my expectations. Weather may have played a part in this review. ... Read More
Overall the experience was very good. Clean ship, good service, plentiful and good food, on board activities adequate...........but 1. The day excursions were not up to my expectations. Weather may have played a part in this review. Maui snorkeling in the crater was a poor showing of coral and/or fish, as well as the snorkeling in Tahiti and Bora Bora. Where are the fish and where is the different types of coral. Nowhere near the reefs in Fiji or the Virgin Islands. A complete disappointment and a waste of money. 2. The East side and West side excursions of American Samoa showed that there is nothing to see from a tour from the cruise ship. Really, a cemetery, a golf course and a tsunami memorial location are the best they can do. Then on the other side to Two Dollar Beach, seven buses for a beach that maybe can hold 50 people. 3. Entertainment was a bit on the weak side. Had to draw from their own singers for a couple of headline shows and from their side shows for others. 4. Fitness room was mainly running machines. Not much for the upper body fitness. Steam room was working a little over half the time. 5. Main pools were empty or not in use for over a week on a four week cruise. 6. Morning choice of juice was orange and sometimes apple. All others on request and a wait. . 7. Not much time spent in port of calls. Off ship by 9 AM, back on by 4PM. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Review - Regal Princess 15 Day Trans-Atlantic, Copenhagen to New York Embarkation - Disembarkation - I have to say that boarding and leaving the ship was fast and efficient, qudoes to Princess. SHIP LAYOUT - I read many reviews ... Read More
Review - Regal Princess 15 Day Trans-Atlantic, Copenhagen to New York Embarkation - Disembarkation - I have to say that boarding and leaving the ship was fast and efficient, qudoes to Princess. SHIP LAYOUT - I read many reviews of the Regal before our departure, about the elevators, the Piazza, etc., and wondered "how bad can it be" well, in most cases the previous reviews were correct. The Piazza is very beautiful and elegant, giving the ship a large open area in the center. There are numerous restaurants and bars on each of the three levels, but we found them always crowded and seating very limited. The ship design allows for a large area on the upper decks for walking, relaxing and getting away from the crowds, but when the weather is cold and blustery, then everyone crams into the Piazza. The entertainment in the Piazza was always on the lowest level, and in order to make it be heard on all three levels the volume was turned up to make it a dull roar if you were seated down there. When the weather was cold, finding a quiet place to sit and read, anywhere on the ship other than your cabin was impossible. Bars - I'm not a big drinker, but do enjoy a happy hour in the evenings. Well, there is only one happy hour on the ship, at one bar, "Crooners" on deck six from 3:00 to 4:00. First of all, this was bit early for me, and second, it was the only bar to offer two drinks for the price of one plus one dollar. If you arrived at 3:15, you couldn't find a chair, and if you did, you could barely get a waiter or waitresses attention and the by the time you got your two drinks, happy hour was over. I was also disappointed that none of the bars had a decent ocean view. Window seats were always the first to be taken so you ended up sitting in the middle somewhere between the Piazza and the windows surrounded by people. We finally resorted to ordering our drinks and then carrying them done to our cabin. Due to the in-climate weather, we never did have a drink in their touted "Ocean View Bar", too damn cold. Library - I don't know why Princess even bothered with this, 50 square feet and 20 books doesn't make a library. Only a couple of chairs and the the two tables were always taken up by jigsaw puzzles. Casino - Didn't use this much, even though they didn't allow smoking here, it always had a lingering smell of cigarettes. Did play a slot machine for 20 minutes and watched $10 disappear. Elevators - This is the one issue that got the worst reviews, and now I agree. Eight elevators at mid-ships and they were always crammed with people. Not unusual to be standing at decks five, six or seven in the Piazza along with 10 or 12 other people waiting for an elevator. When one finally opened up it was like a cattle stampede, and frequently the elevator that arrived was already half full. No surprise that a head cold virus quickly infected many people on the ship including everyone at our dinner table. Not uncommon to be in an elevator with someone coughing or sneezing and barely covering their mouths. Because there were no stairs to higher decks at midship, then when you wanted to go from five, six or seven, to the Lido deck, that it would stop at every single floor going up, very frustrating. Dining Rooms - We opted for second seating and were assigned a table in the Allegro dining room. We asked for a table of eight and were surprised to be put in a small back room of the dining room where they had to put together four small tables along a wall with a bench seat. This meant that whoever decided to sit in the center had to slide down from either end. In order to serve the people seated on the bench seat, the waiters had to reach across the other guests to reach our plates. It was made a little better when the fourth couple didn't show up so we made it a table for six instead, but it was still awkward. The Allegro dining room could only be reached by the aft elevator or by the aft stairs, you couldn't walk to it directly from anywhere on the ship. This wasn't too bad for us because our cabin was aft-mid-ships, so we just took a short walk back to the aft elevator at dinner time. But if you wanted to go to the show after dinner, you had to go up a flight to deck seven to be able to walk forward to the showroom. Overall, the Allegro dining room seemed cramped and confined whereas the Concerto dining room, where you were served breakfast, was much more open and airy. Lido Buffet - The buffet is the largest I've ever seen on a cruise ship and offered two different areas, separated by a wall. The chairs in the area closest to the pool were higher with smaller tables, while the aft area had conventional chairs and tables. Food was also broken up in the two areas, offering different things in each. In order to see what was available required walking through a maze of counters in both areas. Again, if you hit the buffet at the wrong time, finding a vacant table was difficult, and many tables near the windows were taken by people that had finished eating and were now playing cards or reading, mostly due to a lack of tables and chairs on the other public decks. The first time my wife and I ate here for breakfast, we got separated and ending up walking around and around looking for each other with our hands full of plates of rapidly cooling food. In frustration I finally found a table and sat down, and watched for her to come around. We were both angry at each other and realized that it wasn't either person's fault. From that point on, we always found a table first and then took turns getting our food. Outside areas - Don't have much of a review here, most of the days at sea were cold and blustery and being outside was uncomfortable. We did have one day where we had some sun so we walked around most of the upper decks, 16, 17 and 18. There are a lot of lounge chairs in sheltered areas and around the central pool. There is a "Water fantasy" that is done each night, but the night we watched it it was blowing so hard the fountain was going sideways. There's also the large outdoor video screen that played something constantly, but we never sat down to watch. This ship is obviously designed for warm weather cruising. It was also a disappointment that the Promenade deck didn't go all the way around on the outside, and even to walk the deck out side had you dodging numerous pieces of equipment and life boats. The only other area to walk was a track on deck 18 where seven laps equalled one mile. FOOD - Well, this in many ways was a disappointment. Dinners - Of 13 dinners we ate in the Allegro dining room, 5 were considered exceptional, the rest were just ordinary. There were two lobster nights, two prime rib nights and one fillet night. These were the five dinners that I really enjoyed. The rest of the faire was a mixed bag of speciality dishes that didn't impress me. The chocolate desserts offered by the Chef Love, were very good however. Breakfasts - This is the joke of the cruise. I love Eggs Benedict, so the very first morning we ate in the Concerto dining room for breakfast and I was surprise to see that Eggs Benedict was not on the menu. I asked our waiter and he said it was available, so I ordered it. When he brought me my plate, there were two "things" on my plate that looked like an Egg McMuffin split in half. The Hollandaise sauce was a hard "crust" on the eggs and the eggs were literally hard boiled. That was it, no garnish, flowing Hollandaise, nothing. It took a whole glass of water to be able to get them down. My wife ordered an omelette, which only had three choices of ingredients, mushrooms, ham and cheese. She ordered a ham and cheese omelet and was delivered a small triangular mass, dry and again with no garnish on the plate. It looked like a life raft on a sea of white on the enormous dinner plate. We both laughed and ate our breakfast. That night, we mentioned this to our head waiter and he said that he would make it right. He went back to the kitchen and talked to the sous chef and was promised that tomorrows Egg Benedict would be much better. So the waiter gave me a slip of paper to hand to the maître d' when we went to the dining room that he was supposed to give to the chef. We did this and went to our table. I ordered the Eggs Benedict again, and 40 minutes later I saw the chef walk out with a tray held high with my breakfast on it. It was delivered to my table and when uncovered, what did I see, but a duplicate of the previous mornings breakfast. Laughing, I tried to explain that Hollandaise sauce should be a "sauce" and should be flowing over the eggs, not this hard crusty stuff, but it fell on deaf ears. I think they actually put the eggs with sauce on them under a broiler to turn the sauce into this hard crusty layer. I decided to go to the buffet the next morning and making my own, what I found was English muffins that had been sitting under a heat lamp until very dry, ham slices floating in hot water that had turned sort of a milky color and poached eggs that looked like they had been cooked hours before. The Hollandaise sauce was the consistency of mud and sort of glopped on to my eggs. This was the last time I had Eggs Benedict on this cruise. The buffet for breakfast was always a hit or miss proposition, if you hit it right, the food was fresh, but many times it had been sitting out for awhile. The "scrambled eggs" were terrible, made from dried eggs and were grainy in texture. They offered them plain or with cheese added, which didn't help. The made to order omelet was the only way to have eggs that were made with real eggs. However, they were always swamped and had to give you a number on a ticket that you gave your waiter once you sat down so that they could bring you your omelet. This seemed to keep the crowd down, but meant that you would eat most of your breakfast before your omelet arrived. I also like a half of grapefruit for breakfast, but couldn't ever find one in the buffet. I mentioned this to my wife and she said they must be available, since she saw on someone's table. Well I finally asked one of the cooks and he took me over to another area and reached down into a refrigerator and pulled one out for me. I had to do this every morning. Why they didn't have the half grapefruit's out and available to everyone was a mystery. I assume it was because they required more prep time so didn't want a lot of them going out. The other breakfast items, pancakes, french toast, pastries, were typical of any cruise ship faire and nothing special. Lunch - We rarely ate lunch on board on port days and never tried the dining room, only the buffet. Again, nothing exceptional to mention here. Other Dining Options - We did eat at the International Cafe in the Piazza several times for a late lunch and found the food to fresh, good and with a good selection. Servings were small, but there is no charge for this food, so you could try several things. However, if you wanted just an ordinary cup of coffee or tea, then this was extra charge. Only a glass of water was free. Gelato - The gelato bar, also in the Piazza was good, but was not free, and we found out that the price charged was for three scoops, which is way too much for most people. The Grill by the pool - Had lunch here once, typical burger and fries, nothing special. Pub Lunch - About four times, on sea days, the ship offered a "Pub Lunch" at the Crown Grill. We ate here twice for lunch and found the food very good. No additional charge for the Pub Lunch, except for the Guinness that I had with my food :-). Speciality Dining - We didn't try any of the special dining venues offered by the ship, they all seemed too expensive considering our experiences with other venues, didn't want to have to pay extra for possible mediocre food. STAFF Room Steward - Our room steward was always friendly and efficient, almost too efficient. We wanted to be conservation minded and told him to leave our damp towels from the morning hanging on the back of the door, but he never did, he always changed out all the towels several times a day if any of them looked used. The towels were always a little too stiff for our taste and had a slight bleach smell on first use. Waiters - Our dining room waiters were great and learned our particular dining choices very quickly, decaf coffee, fresh ground pepper, extra anchovies with the Caesar Salad, etc. Water glasses were quickly topped off at every meal. Other Staff - The ship staff is multinational, not all Philippine as with Holland America and other cruise lines, so when you were greeted, it was always in English, but with a varying accent. We found all the staff to be friendly and helpful. OVERALL - This ship is huge, it's beautiful and well decorated, but it holds a lot of passengers. This was our first TA and our first time on a large cruise ship. By the end of the cruise I was tired of the crowds and packed elevators and felt that a much smaller ship would have made the cruise much more enjoyable. We now know to keep our cruise ships we pick to the Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
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