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4 San Francisco to Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

The total cruise was very good, up to the expectation for Regent. Having spent over 400 nights on various of their ships, this did not alter my high expectations and observations. We had some bad luck with the weather, Hurricane edge ... Read More
The total cruise was very good, up to the expectation for Regent. Having spent over 400 nights on various of their ships, this did not alter my high expectations and observations. We had some bad luck with the weather, Hurricane edge off of Mexico-some deep holes in the water to go through- but the ships and crew seemed to handle it well-the guests were very quiet!. Jamie and Dana Logan were the cruise directors and keep things humming. Though we had to skip Cabo because of the swells, the rest of the trip was as promised and up to the Regent standards. The Destinations group reacted to challenges quickly and were very helpful in each of the ports. The routine of exchanging reservation slips for tour groups went well in almost all of the instances. This was my first time on Navigator, and at first was disapointed in the scaled down version from Marsiner and Explorer. Seemed that Main Street was Main Alley, but in retrospect, the compact style layout workes well, it was a surprise that all of the main public lounges are in the aft of the ship. No public areas in the forward portion so you could only see where you have been. The spa occupies these prime forward locations-maybe should be placed elsewhere and open to an observation lounge as on the their shops. The debarcation in Montreal was very efficient. All were off the ship by 9:30, which was a blessing. Would I go on on Navigator again??--Yes, I have booked an African leg in 2016 Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Over all, Horrible crew, Very poor service, at times confrontational. Smell of sewage overwhelming in both of the rooms we booked. Ship in poor condition overall. RC should have never let passengers on board. Expect a 2 star experience at ... Read More
Over all, Horrible crew, Very poor service, at times confrontational. Smell of sewage overwhelming in both of the rooms we booked. Ship in poor condition overall. RC should have never let passengers on board. Expect a 2 star experience at best. Will never sail with RC again! Read on for the details. This was a repositioning trip where the ship went to dry dock for refurbishing. embarkation process was fine. The first negative experience was when we got to our rooms. The smell of raw sewage from the bathroom was overwhelming. and there was some damage to the decor. Good sized room though. Our next bad experience was our first night for the early seating dinner. We booked our cruise on-line and requested a private table for our family of five which included two small children. We were seated at a large table with two other couples. I asked for the table we reserved, but was harshly told this is all they had and to check back the next day to make arrangements. Went back the next day and spoke with the daytime attendee at host stand to get the table we pre-reserved for our family. He rudely told us he could not help us and I must speak with the restaurant manager, but he would be unavailable until dinner service. When we arrived that evening they kept me and my children waiting for several minutes while they walked the dining room asking people to move. I saw how unprofessional it all was and just wanted to eat and get out at that point and asked to be seated at our original table. They insisted on keeping up the ridiculous effort of asking people to move. I had to tell the hosts several times that our original table would be fine just to get some food for our kids. Needless to say we spent the rest of the dinners at a shared table. Never got what we reserved, and no crew member seemed to care at all. The food on board was marginal to say the best. poor quality of the ingredients and poor preparation. I swear one nights soup choice was rotten. Did have a good server assistant, server was ok, Head waiter was horrible, unhelpful and rude. Found myself eating salad and pizza for the majority of the trip, not fantastic, but I knew what I was in for. One of the worst experiences was when I witnessed an older lady (70's) order a mint julip next to me at the Schooner Bar. She told the bartender that her drink was terrible. He began to yell at her and belittle her saying he did not make that drink and she should apologize to him for blaming him for a sub-par drink. The lady was in tears and actually apologized to him. I guess they fixed her drink, she took it and left as did we. UNBELIEVABLE! I wrote to Royal Caribbean to tell of these and other negative experiences we had. I got a pretty insincere sounding apology letter was expecting more of a reaction to how bad our crew was and the poor conditions of the ship. I guess the poor service of Royal Caribbean flows from the top down. Needless to say I will Never sail with RC again. I hope this review makes one think twice about booking with them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Princess made several mistakes on this sailing:  st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; ... Read More
Princess made several mistakes on this sailing:  st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Oversold the ship Poor planning by the cruise line/ship staff throughout the cruise Worst service received on a cruise This cruise was added to the end of a vacation on the west coast.  I have sailed Princess many times and found this trip at times mediocre and overall a disappointment.  The cruise was oversold, although, I asked several times for the passenger count, I never received an answer.  Simply navigating through the hallways and public areas was most difficult.  The wait time for meals, regardless of venue, was excessive.  Disembarkation was fascinating as we sailed from an old terminal in San Francisco, however, we were not provided any instructions throughout the queue up to the check in point.  Although I had asked for the Platinum check in line, I never received an answer until having waited through the general line I could SEE THE PLATINUM/ELITE CHECK IN WITH ITS SHORT LINE.  I boarded the ship and headed to my cabin, which had not been made up yet.  No problem, as I just dumped by bag and headed for the open deck.  Sailing out of the bay area, where I used to live and MISS EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE, was even to an old jaded cruiser, simply wonderful.  The excitement of sailing below the Golden Gate was nearly spiritual.  Of course Alcatraz was less than one mile off our starboard side.  Many events did not execute on time for this itinerary, including the opening of the dining rooms.  Princess is always a little late opening its traditional dining room, but the wait was more than 20 minutes the first night.  One the second night I simply showed up 20 minutes after the room opened to avoid another long stand (high heels!).  The food was adequate and I did not get sick sums up the dining room experience. On the second cruise day, I waited in line for the dining room lunch about 30 minutes.  Without notice a 'manager' who failed to identify himself made an announcement to follow him.  He quickly mounted the staircase and we followed.  Many passengers simply could not keep up with his fast pace.  We arrived at the other dining room where we waited to be seated, again no announcement or explanation.  One passenger confronted the 'manage' and demanded he explain what he was doing with us.  Although her approach was less than pleasant, the 'manager' responded with an "you people"-like response that failed to explain the situation.  My only question which I kept to myself was, "would we be fed, or should we go to the oh so icky buffet?"  We were seated in a somewhat reasonable time and still no explanation for the mad dash from one restaurant to another.  I assume the first restaurant could not accommodate us.  A simple explanation would have gone a long way with the passenger. As a frequent sailing passenger I have observed when a cruise ship transitions from one itinerary to another, there can be small glitches in the staff due to changes they are making, e.g., different port days, arrival/departure times, off/on boarding of passengers.  I have always been, as well as most passengers, understanding of these small road bumps.  However, on this cruise I noticed most of the passenger facing crew members had long faces.  This caused me to wonder if they were accommodating more than the usual changes on our itinerary. All events at all venues were packed to the proverbial gills.  Although I tend to arrive early, I found the events to not be enjoyable as we were so packed in.  A rather large man, who seemed to be hosting a group of passengers, was standing too close to my seat in Vines.  I politely asked if he would mind stepping away two feet.  He kind of got upset, but could not really argue the point.  He repositioned himself to another side of the table in Vines.  After all, I had just purchased a bottle of Opus, don't I deserve the same service and enjoyment of the venue?  Sadly, I regretted asking him to move, as now I could clearly hear him boasting to the sheep, err, I mean 'his passengers' about everything he had done and was 'going to do for them'.  I requested my bottle be sent to the dining room for second seating.  He did not distract from the cruise, as there is one know it all on every vacation! Of course Princess clogged the hallways with its obligatory "sales" of boutique items, including the silver/gold by the inch and loose stones.  Has anyone ever priced the cost of metal by the inch versus the same on land?  It is cheaper back home... I had a list of items to include on my passenger comment card, but never received one! Disembarkation was the next day and the most unorganized I have participated in.  Everyone queued up in the halls AND IN THE PUBLIC areas 1.5 hours before the expected departure.  No announcements were made to clear the halls or where to go or other instructions.  Passengers were getting ugly and started shoving.  Where were the crew or the security staff? I requested a partial refund on this cruise, but Princess has failed to respond to me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
BACKGROUND/GENERAL INFO: My partner and I are owners of a home based travel agency that specializes in Cruises. I have been in the travel industry for 20 years. This was our 2nd annual group cruise with Princess from San Francisco to ... Read More
BACKGROUND/GENERAL INFO: My partner and I are owners of a home based travel agency that specializes in Cruises. I have been in the travel industry for 20 years. This was our 2nd annual group cruise with Princess from San Francisco to Vancouver BC, with 72 friends/guests in attendance. INCOMING TRAVEL AND HOTEL INFO: Since I live in San Francisco and most of my group are from the Bay Area there wasn't a need for a hotel. EMBARKATION: This was the easiest embarkation I have ever experienced at Pier 35. Usually one can expect long lines and a lot of confusion. I arrived with little traffic at 230pm, gave my bags to the porter, within 15 minutes I was on the ship. Word to the wise, fill out your cruise personalizer online (or have your travel agent do it for you) with your immigration information; it saves time when checking in. SHIP INFO: The Sun Princess was my second time on Princess, the first being on the Coral Princess. Even though the Coral Princess is newer than the Sun Princess, I preferred the Sun Princess more. It seemed to have brighter colors in the dEcor and more natural light, especially in the Atrium. Also, the Sun Princess was not showing her age (built in 93) she has been kept up very nicely. CABINS: My Cabin was on Aloha #702, a balcony cabin. The room seemed just a bit larger than other balconies I have been on; the dEcor was nice but simple, included a small fridge for drinks, a desk and chair and a small table which came in handy for the room service trays. The bathroom was stocked with shampoos, soaps and lotions. The shower stall was at an angle vs right angle and seemed to allow more room to move around. The shower head was a plus; great water pressure plus was able to control the temperature. My room attendant Geordie was great!! Give that man a raise. PUBLIC ROOMS: The Horizon Court served a nice buffet; there was enough room to navigate without walking into someone. My only complaint is there weren't enough tables to seat everyone when it became busy. Our dinner was in the Marquis dining room, a good sized area, again seemed to give enough room, never felt crowded. I did go to the Wheelhouse bar one evening, a nice relaxing area with dark wood paneling, old nautical pictures, leather couches, and lots of seating for an intimate gathering or large groups and had a dance floor and room for a live band. The disco was nice with two entrances and a large bar. Not enough seating however. DINING AND FOOD: The food served in the Horizon court was consistently hot and tasted good. I really liked the omelet bar and the fact that the omelets and fried eggs were cooked on a grill vs. a skillet; had that diner quality to it. I did use room service several times, the cheese burgers were always hot and juicy and the fries were always fresh. I had lunch one time in the dining room, my fried chicken was surprisingly tasty and served hot. Our waiter, Jorge from Mexico City was the best! Since we were a group, most of us chose Personal Choice dining because we liked the idea of eating when we wanted however, about two weeks before our sailing 16 of us decided to have dinner together. I decided to have two tables of 8 reserved at 730pm in the Marquis Dining room which is used for Personal Choice. I like the idea of traditional dining but the times 530pm and 830pm are either too early or too late for me. Once onboard, we were told that no table reservation could be held for 730pm and had to move it to 8pm. At 755pm, our group of 16 showed up at the Marquis, there was a long line of about 50 people waiting to get in. These were folks with dinner table reservations. There was a sign for folks without reservations and no one was waiting. In fact, we noticed that when someone did walk up they were seated immediately meanwhile we continued to wait. When we made it to the front of the line, the assistant maitre d' said he did not now where he was going to seat us because our two reserved tables already had someone sitting at them. He asked us if we wouldn't mind separating from the other group of 8 and eating in the upstairs dining room used for traditional seating; we didn't mind doing this and left the restaurant. It was now 830pm, the other dining room was just letting their guests inside, we were told to wait to see if a table was available. I assumed it was which is why we were asked to move. While we waited, our other table of 8 appeared; it seemed that the Marquis didn't have room for them either. We were seated at two tables of 8. Our waiters were as cold as the food they served. My prime rib and potatoes were very cold. I would have to say this was the worst meal I have had on a cruise. The next day we spoke with the Maitre'd about our previous nights experience; he listened patiently and assigned us two tables of 8 in the Marquis dining room. Our servers name was Meow from Thailand. She was quick, thorough, able to handle changes quite well and even brought us a tray of cookies after dinner which we appreciated. The food was also hot and tasty. The bread was the best bread I have ever had on a cruise before. I think we had problems the first night out for several reasons; one, the Sun Princess was built pre-Personal Choice unlike the newer Princess ships that have several dining rooms for traditional and PC. Second, according to the maitre 'd the dining rooms were empty from 530pm until 730pm the first night out it seemed that most folks decided to show up at 8pm. This sounded like a valid reason to me, however why weren't the folks without reservations made to wait instead of those of us with table reservations? I would suggest Personal choice for groups of 2, 4 or 6 persons but anything larger than that I would recommend the early or late seating. ENTERTAINMENT: I did not make it to any shows. FITNESS and ACTIVITIES: Never made it to the Gym, I did go for a walk around deck a few times. The pools and Jacuzzis were heated and used often throughout the cruise. FAMILY: One member of my group brought her two children with her. They seemed to really enjoy the kids area and activities. I think all mass market cruise lines do a good job with the Kids Activities. SHORE EXCURSIONS: I never book a shore excursion through the cruise line because they are too expensive and I enjoy exploring on my own. I did set up a walking tour in Victoria through an internet site for 24 of my guests, they seemed to enjoy it a lot. If you are ever in Victoria and want a walking city tour or a tour of the Empress hotel, it's easy to do so. Our guide treated our group so well! After the walking tour we had drinks at the Bengal Bar located in the Empress hotel; it's a nice big room with comfortable couches and an old world feeling. After drinks we had afternoon tea at the Empress. This was my second tea, the first was at Butchart gardens. The tea, finger sandwiches, scones, cream and cakes were delicious. The strawberries and cream were ripe and tasty and their blend of tea made this coffee drinker want a second cup. The only thing I would suggest is to offer Lemon Curd with the scones but we were told the chef does not do this. After the tea, we treated ourselves to a horse and carriage ride back to the ship. DISEMBARKATION: This was a bit confusing but worked out. We had scheduled a flight for 140pm but I had an appointment in Vancouver at 930am. I was given a brown colored bag tag based on my flight departure time. I went to the pursers desk to ask for an earlier tag since I had an appointment. I was told this could not be done because departure times were assigned based on flight times. For those of us that did not have flight/bus/trains to catch we were moved to a later disembarkation. This hardly seemed fair but I decided to not make an issue of it. The morning of disembarkation, the ship was cleared at 730am and an announcement was made at 8am for those of us without luggage to leave if we wanted. Why the pursers desk didn't tell me this is beyond me. Would have saved a bit of grief and potential drama. VALUE FOR PRICE: The reason why this cruise was so successful for us is because of the price, the length and the fact that we departed from San Francisco. You couldn't stay in a hotel and have dinner and entertainment for the price of the cruise. SUMMARY: I think Princess is a good cruise line, but I feel that it is too difficult to have the "Princess" experience on a 2 or 3 night repositioning cruise, but for the most part they do a good job. A special mention for assistant purser Davide (pronounced Dahviday) who helped me with a last minute location change for an informal get together I had set up for my group. I'm looking forward to my next Princess cruise and the majority of my group commented that they would return too and are looking forward to our 3rd annual cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2004

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