We chose this cruise for the fall colors and primarily to see Quebec City and Boston for the first time. All of the ports of call were great. We took cruise ship tours in all but Syndey (which is too small to justify a tour) and Halifax. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the fall colors and primarily to see Quebec City and Boston for the first time. All of the ports of call were great. We took cruise ship tours in all but Syndey (which is too small to justify a tour) and Halifax.
Embarkation was delayed about four hours due to deep cleaning from novovirus scare. They did a great job with that, though, and had us on the ship two hours before promised. None of our group of six got sick with gastrointestinal flu-like symptoms, so we are very happy about that.
We had the best stateroom attendant we ever have had! All the staff we encountered were very hard working, eager to please and pleasant, particularly in Crooners, Vines, and the bar across from the World Marketplace 24 hour food kiosk! High kudos for all!
We had a balcony stateroom. This is the most cramped we have ever been in any balcony stateroom on a ship! The shower is so tiny that the shower curtain sticks to your backside if you turn around. Bed, small desk with a chair and a too-much-space-taking closet. Get rid of the huge closet and at least add a second chair to eat or drink!! I sat/lay on my side of the bed for 90 percent of the time we were in the room. If my hubby and I tried to move about we had to constantly dance around each other. I felt claustrophobic.
We used to cruise all the time, but we have opted for land tours for the last seven years, so it was quite the disappointment to discover how drastically it has changed, I am assuming industry-wide. I am on vacation, so I love to wake slowly and have breakfast and coffee in my room. The menu has dwindled to continental breakfast only with one little (but tasty) egg mcmuffin, basically.
Speaking of room service, they rarely answer the phone. I was on hold one time for 55 minutes. I was told they were very busy. But I also was put on hold at 9:30 pm and after midnight, so....... No. They just don't answer much of the time. When they do, the service was prompt. Big deal for me on sea days as I tend to feel urpy and something to eat helps me get up and about.
Can't use the Medallion to order room service much of the time because it, too, would go on the blink. It "crashed" constantly. Good idea, though. Need to work out the kinks. Also need to streamline the service. I had FOUR APPS downloaded by the time was on the ship! I was glad to delete them all afterwards. It IS nice though to enter your room without grabbing for your key. And when it DOES work, it's pretty cool how people call out your name as you walk around the ship.
The televisions didn't work at all a few days, most notably for a full day at sea!! No movies, not TV, no music -- nothing!!!!
The food in the main dining room was hit-and-miss. Certainly NOTHING like it used to be! The upcharge section irks me to no end. The menu was so lackluster that we only ate there three out of ten evenings. Others in our group only went twice. The salads are sad little things. What we did enjoy was seasoned well, though.
So we did what I think Princess is trying to make you do, that is pay the added fees for the better food venues -- Sabatini's, Royal Crown and Steamers. They were all great. How the main dining room USED TO BE WITHOUT THE ADDED FEE!!!
The brochure seems to suggest the ship has four restaurants -- Salty Dog, Pizzeria, Planks and Steamers -- that is very misleading. Steamers and Plank operate as a restaurant only during the evenings. During the day they are just additional space for the buffet -- which was awful, by the way, IF YOU COULD FIND A SEAT!! We did the buffet only once. Salty Dog and the pizza place are kiosks by the pool with very little seating and it is outdoors, so on this freezing cold cruise it was not usable unless you had your coat and scarf on.
The average age of this cruise was 75, I would estimate. I'm no spring chicken myself at 53, but it was pretty boring, even my parents agreed, and they are in their late 70's. The music venues aimed at their audience, understandably, but it was SO FRUSTRATING for us, especially when the lead singer from Project 7 can sing as well as Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross!!
The gym was open 8 am to 8 pm. NOT ACCEPTABLE!! And it was way too small. Felt like a petrie dish of germs. THERE IS NO JOGGING TRACK! It has been disrupted by the for-a-fee Sanctuary (25 dollars a day I think) that was too cold to even operate on this cruise.
The worst part, though, is when my dad went to voice his concerns to the front desk and they absolutely did not seem to care in the least, indeed they were defensive and rather rude. When my dad asked if he was even going to make a note of it to pass along, he just said, "We are doing the best we can." At LEAST PRETEND to care!! Before this, when my father was asking about the mini-suite layout on a sister ship, the Star, he was given the run-around. "You need to go to future cruises." "No you need to go to guest services." He never was provided the info, but I was able to google it in less than five minutes. Geez!
I don't think I will ever do a Princess cruise again. The bang for your buck is awful. The most expensive trip we have EVER taken, and that includes two 12-day Europe cruises WITH AIRFARE! This cruise was considerably MORE MONEY!! I will look into the more expensive cruise lines now. they always seemed to fussy to me before, but with all the nickel and diming going on, upcharge here, upcharge there, maybe it's not such a disparity. And maybe at least I can get some room service, a TV that actually works, and guest relations staff who know how to pretend to give a ****. Read Less