My elderly mother and I chose this cruise for the interesting south east Asia itinerary, and the chance to get on the newest and largest ship in the Princess fleet. It was so disappointing. We've cruised a lot, including several trips ... Read More
My elderly mother and I chose this cruise for the interesting south east Asia itinerary, and the chance to get on the newest and largest ship in the Princess fleet. It was so disappointing. We've cruised a lot, including several trips with Princess, but this experience REALLY put us off booking with them again.
Embarkation in Shanghai was appalling. I know Princess tried to blame the Chinese, but the company should surely have realised that getting over 3600 passengers through immigration would require them to take additional action. As it was, we were left queuing for nearly 3 hours, treated like cattle, without a Princess representative in sight.
The cabin (D145) was supposedly premium deluxe (D4), but apart from having a really good sized balcony - which we mostly couldn't use because of inclement weather and standing water - there was nothing special about the room.
Dining was very average. We mostly used the buffet, and sometimes found it difficult to get a seat, and get drink service. We went to the Concerto restaurant on 3 occasions, but found the food to be substandard, and the service slow and ordinary.
The shore excursions were - as usual - expensive, but the main problem was how fake and inauthentic they were. For example, in Nha Trang there were over 22 coachloads of passengers trying to look at a 'typical' local house, which was clearly not lived in. We also went to see locals working in the rice paddy fields, but it was really 4 very fed up people clambering down from their veranda to hoe their overgrown front garden. Then other people turned up with 'disabled' people to beg for money.
On the ship, there weren't enough service staff to provide a reasonable standard of service in the restaurants. The coffee shop saw arguments and even physical altercations as hundreds of people tried to get service from just two coffee machines. There were only free coffees and teas in the dining area. The posh shops were a waste of space, and the women working in the perfume shop were so rude and superscilious I only went once.
There were not enough seats for those wanting to participate in the Trivia quizzes, and only 3 good shows in the theatre.
I could go on, but I'm conscious how whingey and whiney this sounds. It was just so different from our usual experiences on Princess.
The ship holds too many passengers to be looked after properly or appropriately. Read Less