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64 Princess Shanghai Cruise Reviews

This is currently, the newest ship Princess sails - big however does not mean better. Poor food that was at best warm, inattentive staff, boring activities and No Promenade Deck! Walking around a deck on board a cruise ship is one ... Read More
This is currently, the newest ship Princess sails - big however does not mean better. Poor food that was at best warm, inattentive staff, boring activities and No Promenade Deck! Walking around a deck on board a cruise ship is one activity liked by many cruisers but not on this boat - there is nowhere to walk. We booked on this itinerary because friends asked us to go, they unfortunately had to pull out at last minute so we decided to go rather than loose cost of fare. With so many sea days and very few activities other than Bingo, Knitting, cards or just sitting around, we were counting down the days to get off. The ship outlay just doesn't flow well and deck 16 continually has water puddles making it dangerous for guests to navigate this deck to the Market Place. The Market place - though large in size, the food selections were awful, not nearly as nice as the food on the Sapphire or Emerald Princess. It was hard to get a coffee or juice - too many people - not enough staff. Had dinner at the Crown Grill one night and had planned to eat there on the four formal nights - after first experience - did not eat there again. Took ages to get served and then they rushed course after course in a hurry to get you out! Check in in Shanghai was a joke and getting off in Ports like Singapore or Vietnam meant you only ended up with a half day at most. The big shows were great and we enjoyed them very much, the other entertainers were fine as well. This boat seems geared for the Asian Market so it will be interesting to see what other Australians feel about it as it is here for an East Coast/New Zealand season. The Port lectures were so boring that we ended up just watching the bits we wanted on TV - this guy didn't have much information on the ports and his favourite saying was that he couldn't find any information on...... - wasn't it his job to find it out? We were so disappointed in this cruise that we have cancelled our Princess cruise for next year. I think, if you have a lot of sea days (13 out of 20 for this itinerary) then look for a boat that offers more on board activities. The activities on this boat are geared for the 70-90 age group. Have travelled on the Sapphire and Emerald Princess boats and enjoyed both of these cruises. The only good thing was that no tipping was applied to our room accounts however the alcohol and drinks were expensive on board. We were not big drinkers, did not gamble ahd only purchased 1 ship shore excursion and even with our $1250 free credit still had a shipboard account of over $900. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise solely to see what the Majestic Princess, was like. The itinerary did not have much bearing on our choice as we have been on many similar, over recent years. Follows are some of our observations and experience. ... Read More
We chose this cruise solely to see what the Majestic Princess, was like. The itinerary did not have much bearing on our choice as we have been on many similar, over recent years. Follows are some of our observations and experience. Design: Majestic Princess is the 3rd of the new Royal Class ships that have been launched over the past five years. Despite what some may say, the Majestic was built by Fincantieri in Italy, yes to partly service a new China/Taiwan market but also spending 6 months in the South Pacific/Australia/NZ. Apart from the bilingual signage(like Diamond), maybe a small number of dedicated karaoke rooms, a few mahjong tables(actually a card table with drink holders in each corner)in the Hollywood Pool Club/ Conservatory, noting both karaoke and mahjong have been offered on most, if not all, Princess cruises we have travelled on in the past, there is very little to justify comments that it was “designed and built” for the Chinese market. The ship has a genuine International feel about it, not, as some say, designed for the Chinese market, implying a significant bias in design. It could be at home with a multitude of cultures, without imposing one over any other. Layout on World Fresh Marketplace Bistro/Buffet D16 Lido is poorly designed/planned and confusing to most. More on that later. The Vista “Gaming” lounge does not have the same flexibly/functionality in design/usage as in other ships for similar area. It doesn't have a bar, nor overhead monitors for relaying exercise/dance lessons. Apart from Bingo/Trivia/Zumba and Tai Chi, most activities are now staged in the Piazza. There were 4 table tennis enclosures on the starboard side of D17, which had been covered with shade cloth which, I image, was to reduce the effect of prevailing wind and turbulence caused by a moving ship on an open deck. The area was only to be used on the first few days for daily table tennis comp, which was moved indoors to the Hollywood conservatory where 2 tables were set up either side of the pool bar, which would resolve the wind problem, leaving the outdoor tables with little or no use. The lack of a proper Promenade Deck was a common complaint. Sitting on deck chairs under cover, exposed to the sea or walking around a deck on a cruise ship is one of those traditional activities most cruisers enjoy. You could partially walk around D7, squeezing past survival crafts or on D17 but not a complete circuit as some outdoor areas were assigned to smokers on D17 and on D7. There was no pool at the rear of the ship like on the Regal (sister ship) but in its place, according to the on the floor plan Deck 17 aft, immediately above the Wake View Bar, was shown as “outdoor exercise circuit/area” but surprise, was a large sundeck and undercover seating that had been assigned to smokers giving then a them a grand view aft. Didn’t get to use gym this cruise but it appeared to have a good range and plenty of equipment and not to be busy (maybe because of the passenger demographic) There were only two positives, the first and most beneficial was the new complementary, adults-only Hollywood Pool Club/Conservatory at the front of the ship on deck 17. It appeared to be a popular and relaxing venue, with a good indoor pool, adequate lounges and cabanas, plus some general areas for playing cards or just lounging around. It was like a “sanctuary” area but free of charge for all passengers. It was also open at night, for a late night swim or an uncrowded area to congregate, away from the noise of the Piazza. The second new feature that was very popular, was the laser shooting range, on the sport deck. On days when it was available, you had to book in the morning, as the time (late afternoon) and numbers were limited. This activity was popular with both men and women, testing their skills on a realistic (laser)shooting system. You could shoot simulations of tin cans, balloons, clay targets, to bird, deer and charging boars, giving a brief respite from the boring alternative activities on board. Accommodation: Cabin design/décor showed slight improvements whilst maintaining continuity in the Princess décor/style. Bedding was ok with multiple pillows but the pillows were far too soft (no support) resulting in sore neck. 2 pillows was an option, if you could contort them into a more supportive position. Entertainment: Only 3 evening and one afternoon (yes) production show on a 23 day cruise. Production shows may have displayed higher technical support but cast members were only average. We only saw one new production show, which we hadn’t already seen, so we tended to avoid the theatre, too help maintain our good health, on the cruise. In addition to production shows, single entertainers prevailed, most seen before, some we avoided but the violinist Katei and singer NZ Chris Powley NZ singer were consistently good again(after seeing many times before). There was the “Voice of The Ocean” concert, with performances by fellow passengers and an “International Crew Show”. Both shows were well received and probably would out rating some of the paid performers. The new 900 seat Princess Theatre for 3500 passengers was ridiculous. The theatre cannot accommodate the demand by passengers to attend. You either got there 30 - 45 mins prior to show if you wanted a reasonable seat or just to get in but they did provide a video link to Princess Live and Vista lounge venues, for what that was worth, for those who couldn't get a seat in the venue. Activities: With so many sea days and too few activities that you could actively participate in, other than Bingo, Trivia, Knitting, cards or just sitting around watching a handful passengers on the dance floor in the Piazza, there was very little else to do. The activities on this boat were geared toward the 70-90 age group. We were so bored, albeit saved by a reasonable selection of in cabin movies, like many others, were longing for the cruise to end. Internet Café/Library on D7: IT support staff on duty were very to helpful but someone forgot to update the floor plan to include the Internet Café on D5 in a converted Karaoke Room. I stumbled across by chance. Cabin Wifi reception was not great but much better in the Internet Café room on D5 where there were 8 workstation Desktop PCs plus one printer. One table and lounge, if you had your own laptop. Not well known as most of the time, the room was empty. The Library was a joke, with very limited shelving space and devoid of any books, for most of the cruise. Dining: Layout on World Fresh Marketplace Bistro/Buffet D16 Lido poorly planned and confusing. There was a “Bistro” serving area and “Bakery” then the Buffet, with two separate serving lines, with an interconnecting area between both, for standard self serve options but all serving areas had to be serviced by staff through one central staff entry/exit section, dividing the Bistro/Bakery and the Buffet areas. Staff would have to compete with patrons in negotiating the movement of some food items as well as used tableware. At times trolleys blocked or reduced through access in a common walkway to either area to access/ connect to a centralized internal galley operations area. Then there was the food, which to some, with simple tastes was ok, but not to others, serving up the same range of dishes every night, maybe with the odd variation. Some likened the quality of food as to what you’d find at mediocre club or shopping mall food hall at home. The menu items and quality (both traditional dining/buffet) were nothing like what we have experienced on previous Princess Cruises, where you generally had what was on offer, in the dining room plus a varied range of standard meats/ vegetables, pasta etc available in the buffet, along with an occasional themed night, German, Indian etc, with dishes to match. This was a common gripe, usually by seasoned Princess cruisers, whilst some did say it was ok, but recognized “they had very simple tastes”. We met a elderly, down to earth couple, who sat down with us, with a couple of slices of fresh crusty bread and butter (plus water), as that was all that appealed to them from what was on offer……….I could sympathise, as sometimes, my evening meal was a combination of fruit and a few scopes of ice-cream which was available from the dessert bar in the Bakery. There were some positives. Alfredo’s Pizzeria, did a roaring trade, maybe due to the poor offerings in the buffet or dining venues. It was also nice to see ice-cream back in the buffet, as it was dropped, on past cruises, in recent years. In addition, the Majestic did have new coffee ground brewing machines in the bistro, so at least, the coffee was more palatable than on previous cruises, not great but an improvement, but someone needs to taste and adjust the hot chocolate option, as it was terrible. Another source of concern was the unhygienic practice of some passengers who were admitted to the Market Place without washing their hands at the new hand washing stations. The vast majority of passengers did so but many were not stopped or requested by staff stationed to do so at the entrance, walking straight through, unchallenged. Dining service varied on this ship. In Traditional Dining rooms, you could not fault the service compared to World Fresh Marketplace Bistro/Buffet where wait staff/deck attendants appeared to be very indifferent to patrons, sometimes aimlessly wandering around, paying little attention to patrons, clearing or cleaning vacant tables. Requesting drinks was hit or miss, some would attend but disappear to return much later or to the wrong table. This indifference to service could also be seen in supervisory staff, who in general, paid little attention to patrons and issues (uncleared tables) and tended to chat amongst themselves without performing any real supervisory role. But in making such a generalisations, there were a few exceptions, where the individual staff members, did provide service in the Buffet/Bistro but again they were the exceptions, notably Andrea and Mario, both from Peru, plus Acacia from Brazil-Waiter-Pool Side always had a happy and welcoming greeting to all patrons and stood out against all others in their attitude and service, not only to us, but appeared to do so for all patrons they served. Service on our table in the Concerto Traditional dining room was exemplary with Nathanael(waiter from South Africa) and Ronald (Senior Waiter from the Philippines) displaying a positive attitude and fine service, not only to us, but to all patrons they served. Note: We did not use any of the specialty restaurants(so we won’t comment), as we had already paid for all inclusive meals in you fare. Maybe the general reduction in food standards might be intentional to encourage patronage of such venues. Embarkation and disembarkation: For us, it was extremely quick although some say it was a lengthy process. …..but I know embarkation did not go as advised. We were all told there was to be progressive embarkation, based on deck, at designated times and priority for some within those times. We were to board at 6pm. We were aimlessly killing time in the afternoon, planning to arrive at 5pm (1 hour before scheduled progressive check in time), so we thought we might wait at the terminal. On arrival at 3.30pm, large numbers were already waiting but as we had priority boarding, we were waved straight through, quickly through Princess check-in, then immigration, no problem. Question: What happened to progressive check-in. Did the majority ignore and turned up before 1pm, then the masses were partially cleared, and by the time we arrived, progressive check-in was scrapped ??? Overall: Come back new! I don’t think so, more like bored, dissatisfied and not very happy. If this is the new standard and direction of Princess Cruises is charting ……..I think there might be more than a few, abandoning this ship and cruise line, unless there is a change back to established standards of service and design. The decline in service and amenity standards is also reflected in the parent company’s stock performance over the last couple of years…..ie down the drain. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I thought the destinations were interesting and had enjoyed previous princess cruises. This ship was not as pleasant. Bed was too narrow, pillows dreadful & music deafeningly loud. Comedians crude and rude. Not many shows mainly ... Read More
I thought the destinations were interesting and had enjoyed previous princess cruises. This ship was not as pleasant. Bed was too narrow, pillows dreadful & music deafeningly loud. Comedians crude and rude. Not many shows mainly single entertainers catering to one nationality not everyone. Excellent violinist Katei and singer Chris Powey were the standouts. Entertainment in theatre generally poor Evening trivia fun. Trivia in general pretty good. Library was devoid of books some people took out 8 not one at a time, others struggled to find one. Food was sometimes cold on delivery in dining room. Layout on Lido was confusing. Staff generally helpful and pleasant but under pressure from full ship 3500 persons Music around the ship was deafening especially drums. Hard to have a conversation at times. Plenty of dancing at others. Improved cafe service in that food is no longer extra charge and a good selections available. Good in that there was in general plenty of seating. Great area on deck 17 for relaxing tho not big enough so be quick! Great gym, plenty of good equipment. Good massages in spa, watch out for added gratuity even if you didn’t agree to it. Added charges and instant credit card charges plus extra tax on the use of ship card every purchase. Felt as if herded into an environment where folk were pressured to buy and a forced gaiety required. I’ve cruised many times this was the least enjoyed one. The shore excursion for Crazy Rich Asian fans was disappointing One other excursion was cancelled due to lack of numbers. Health was a priority but people not always careful, bad chesty coughs prevalent, some unwell guests thro that. I would not choose this ship to cruise on if I could avoid it. Chosen because it was new and offered destinations of interest. Renee@NZ Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We embarked on this cruise in Shanghai, and the embarkation was a fiasco (even with priority boarding) but the Chinese authorities do seen to be able to make every simple process more complicated ( we had the same when entering the country ... Read More
We embarked on this cruise in Shanghai, and the embarkation was a fiasco (even with priority boarding) but the Chinese authorities do seen to be able to make every simple process more complicated ( we had the same when entering the country via the airport) Now to the ship and cruise, firstly these mega liners from the princess fleet are very ugly, no classic lines to them just like a floating tenement block from the 1960''s, only not grey concrete in colour., they are well appointed inside and we have no issue in this respect. The ship is big and this means a hike ( and a packed lunch) every time you wish to visit a new venue, not a problem for us but people with mobility problems should be aware of this, also with this amount of passengers expect crowded venues, we did not see any shows due to a lack of seating in the theater, and us not being prepared to stand in queue for an hour before each performance. Food was acceptable, but nowhere near as good as two or three years ago, seems as though you have to pay extra for what was the norm then. We hate the way they try to up-sell. The cruise its self was as we expected, no trouble with the destinations (there could have been more) but on the whole OK. In general we left felling a bit disenfranchised with Princess this time, and this is after a long time cruising with them, it is sorry to say making us now look to other cruise lines for the experience that we now find lacking with princess Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we hadn't been to Vietnam before. We did one paid excursion to Saigon which took 90 minutes from the port an expensive trip but there was no other option. We found the drinks expensive at around $9.00 a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we hadn't been to Vietnam before. We did one paid excursion to Saigon which took 90 minutes from the port an expensive trip but there was no other option. We found the drinks expensive at around $9.00 a stubbie and $14.00 for a wine even having a few drinks a day came out at about $500 extra for the cruise.Princess has a strict one bottle of wine per person rule so no beer or spirits for the boys for 20 days .The ship itself is new but troublesome to get around ,the layout was confusing with lots of dead ends. The lifts were incapable of transferring the huge number of older passengers. Meals were average with the occasional nice surprise ...Embarkation in Shanghai was a joke 3 hour wait in very hot conditions.Entertainment from the passengers and crew were of a higher standard than some of the acts...I think we followed on with some of the Asian influence whilst relocating to Australia. Disembarkation near Brisbane's Sewerage outlet is not a good look for the cruise line or The State Government of Queensland. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise exploring Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu and Shanghai. The embarkation and disembarkation were a credit to Princess Cruise as was the organization for each excursion. We enjoyed the variety of ports, the food in the main dining room was good, but the food in the Lido on deck 16 was average. It was only ever lukewarm and very repetitive. The entertainment in the theatre left a lot to be desired and the continuous days at sea were long. Other cruises have run workshops, seminars and information sessions, which were replayed on the tv in your room for you to watch if the coincided with other things. Unless you were into dancing, bingo or casino there was very little to do. The crew were fantastic and it is the first cruise we have done where all the crew appeared to be genuinely happy and getting on with each other. These negatives only relate to a small part of the cruise and I would not hesitate to do another Princess Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Excellent value for money visiting places we always wanted to see.The entertainment was on the average very good, 3 spectacular productions, the comedians were also above average. The dining experience was outstanding, the quality and ... Read More
Excellent value for money visiting places we always wanted to see.The entertainment was on the average very good, 3 spectacular productions, the comedians were also above average. The dining experience was outstanding, the quality and food presentation was as if in a fine dining restaurant. There was a guest speaker, a Dr Michelle May from the United States who was exceptional and we would have very much appreciated more allocated time for her lectures. The onboard activities, golf, putting carpet bowls, dance classes etc were very well organised and attended. The crew in all departments were very good with some exceptional, our dining room waiters in the Symphony restaurant made dining there an absolute pleasure, As with all cruises there are a few downsides, more control is needed when it comes to showtime, notices on the closed doors when rehearsals are in progress state that doors will open 30 minutes before the show begins, but are opened an hour or so before resulting in no seating being available if you arrive on time. Another source of concern was the unhygienic practice of some passengers who were admitted to the Market Place without washing their hands. We are Princess fans and have booked a future cruise as it we always come home refreshed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and newness of the ship, we were a little concerned because of some of the feedback we had read was not all complimentary, however this Cruise surpassed our expectations in every way . ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and newness of the ship, we were a little concerned because of some of the feedback we had read was not all complimentary, however this Cruise surpassed our expectations in every way . Before the cruise We stayed a Radisson Blu new world which had a great central location near the people's square metro station, we got a 3 day pass which took us all around shanghai. The hotel had a shuttle to the cruise terminal Embarkation took about 1hr 40 minutes but we were seated inside and provided with refreshments Movies under the stars was a bonus and all staff we dealt with on the majestic princess were friendly welcoming and attentive We found anytime dining suited our needs best, never having to wait to long to be seated , we could choose to dine as a couple our share with others There was plenty of deck space and always loungers available and we could get away from the big screen noise if we wanted to . The entertainment was good and there was always plenty of seats at the second show Princess organised our entry visa for Vietnam which made things simpler In na trang we made our own arrangements with Jeep it Up , ex Vietnam jeeps driven around the sites of Na Trang which we thoroughly enjoyed. In Singapore and Busan we used the local metro which was easy and cheap In Saigon we did the princess excersion to Cu Chi tunnels it was very interesting and the 3 hour bus ride each way was on good sealed roads and took us through the chaotic Saigon traffic This was our first cruise with Princess and we would definitely sail with them again Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted to have a holiday and I feel that my best holidays are at sea. We had never been to Shanghai before or Vietnam. The rest of the ports we had been to either by ship or plane before so we just relaxed. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to have a holiday and I feel that my best holidays are at sea. We had never been to Shanghai before or Vietnam. The rest of the ports we had been to either by ship or plane before so we just relaxed. The Majestic Princess lived up to my expectations. It certainly is big. The seating areas around the interior of the ship were excellent and comfortable. The cabin was excellent and the service by our cabin steward was first class. The dining room seating was excellent and the food was first class. I cannot remember not liking any dish. The entertainment as far as shows were concerned was fabulous. The comedy was so so and most activities I did not participate in. I was there to relax. The cabins are so quiet and peaceful and you can double lock the rooms for that afternoon nap or just sit on your balcony and watch the world go by. As I said we had been to many ports before but when we decided to go on a tour we went with the Princess shore tours. I know they are little expensive but I still think they are the best on offer and guarantee that the ship will be there if you get back late. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just completed Shanghai to Brisbane - 20 nights and still sick. My numerous attempts to speak to management re lack of enforced handwashing/cleaning of handrails etc, fell on deaf ears, Every night in the theatre, numerous people ... Read More
Just completed Shanghai to Brisbane - 20 nights and still sick. My numerous attempts to speak to management re lack of enforced handwashing/cleaning of handrails etc, fell on deaf ears, Every night in the theatre, numerous people could be heard coughing/sneezing right across the whole audience. Passengers who have previously cruised on Majestic, told us that this is normal - good business for the medical centre - upper respiratory infections/runny noses, Spoke to a passenger who said her husband had been confined to their cabin with confirmed Influenza A. Also a number of cases of diarrhoea and vomiting. Just very poor infection control for a ship of this quality and size. Will definitely think twice before we rebook princess. We have never experienced this much sickness on a cruise before - and we are very regular cruisers on princess, royal caribean. celebrity etc, Every time we booked a Princess excusion, we were short by at least 1/2 to 1 hour. And the numerous excuses for the reasons why, were an absolute insult to your intelligence i.e. too much traffic on the harbour when they had taken down sufficient tender boats for 3500 passengers. Very glad we were not on the previous cruise after reading previous reviews, but there continued to be numerous black hairs right through the whole cabin/bathroom /balcony repetedly, For the price we paid for this cruise, I did expect much better. On the positive side, the food was good, TV in room was excellent and the hollywood club was great too. Some ot the staff were sensational and made the greatest effort to be personable and lots of fun i.e. trivia and ukelele lessons. Just such a pity that basic cleaning/maintenence was not carried out apprpriately. And a 900 seat theatre for 3500 passengers is rediculous - had to get there 30 - 45 mins prior to show if you wanted a seat. Have 3 more cruiises booked over the next 2 years and none of them are Princess!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Primarily I chose this cruise because it was a way of returning to Australia after holidaying in the UK. However it was a wonderful experience. We visited ports of great interest and met many lovely people. We enjoyed all of the on board ... Read More
Primarily I chose this cruise because it was a way of returning to Australia after holidaying in the UK. However it was a wonderful experience. We visited ports of great interest and met many lovely people. We enjoyed all of the on board activities and felt that for 23 days we were living a life of luxury - which we were! The ship was comfortable and large. The only thing I missed was a dedicated promenade deck. Usually Deck 7 but on this ship it wasn't possible to do a full uninterrupted circuit of the ship. The entertainment was great, the day time activities covered lots of areas althoughI would have liked more enrichment lectures, or lectures on special subjects and special interest groups. The cruise staff were involved in so many activities and impressed us with their friendliness and patience. This was my third Princess cruise and I wont hesitate to book with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
People spitting on floor whilst sitting in spa, people spitting on carpet in marketplace buffet, people blowing snot from nose and spitting in hand basin that you are expected to wash hands in prior to entering food court, Casino door ... Read More
People spitting on floor whilst sitting in spa, people spitting on carpet in marketplace buffet, people blowing snot from nose and spitting in hand basin that you are expected to wash hands in prior to entering food court, Casino door continually left open and smoke streaming out into main atrium, children allowed to run riot on dance floor after 10pm. Princess usually has dress standards for dining rooms. None applied on this cruise, you could wear singlet top basket ball shorts and slip on sandals, jeans T-shirt’s and you’d be allowed in. We ended up staying away from pool and spa as we couldn’t stomach the snorting and spitting, it made our stomach turn. We spent majority of time in our cabin watching movies. We ate in the dining rooms onboard 5 times and each time the food was luke warm/cold. The staff were doing the best they could with the circumstances they had to deal with. Marketplace Buffet had a huge variety of food choices but trying to get a seat after you had selected your food was a challenge. Some passengers refused to share tables and made it very had for the staff. The amount of food left on peoples plates was terrible to see. We were in cabin E416, our Steward Rommel was amazing, he actually made our cruise. Princess is very lucky to have him he went over and above in every aspect of looking after us. We had evening room service twice as we couldn't face the thought of the catastrophe that was the dining rooms. It was excellent, best meals on the ship. The coffee shop on level 5 was very good, the food was always hot and the staff were exceptional in their service and care. Come back new??? Not us we came back discussed, frustrated, angry, annoyed, disappointed, mortified and concerned, as we’d already booked and paid for cruise with Princess in December. Fingers crossed, with saying that we must say that in the many cruises we have done with Princess we have never had one complaint or issue, service standards have always been well beyond our expectations. . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 18th cruise, our 11th with Princess. We were very disappointed with the way Princess's service levels have fallen since our first trip with them in 2001. The crew were at best inattentive, and often just plain nasty. ... Read More
This was our 18th cruise, our 11th with Princess. We were very disappointed with the way Princess's service levels have fallen since our first trip with them in 2001. The crew were at best inattentive, and often just plain nasty. Our cabin had an inoperable balcony door, a broken safe, and what appeared to be semen stains on the sofa in our mini-suite when we got on board. During the week, several times we found dark black hairs in our sink and/or bathtub after the cabin was "cleaned" by our cabin steward, Rolando. My wife's hair is light blond, and mine is gray/white, so it sure wasn't ours! My wife has a severe seafood allergy, which we reported when we booked. When we got on board, we had a note to contact the Maitre-de to go over the allergy. We called, got no answer. In fact in the 8 days of our cruise, the only time we saw him was when he walked thru the dining room with his nose up in the air. We dealt with his assistant, for a few days, who then had HIS subordinate deal with us. This lack of continuity in dealing with what could be a life-threatening allergic reaction did nothing to instill confidence. My recommendation would be to definitely skip this cruise (Shangahi start/finish with 4 port stops in Japan). The Japanese port stops were great, but otherwise, this was a major and expensive disappointment. We intend not to sail with Princess again on ANY itinerary. There are too many better cruise lines out there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our balcony cabin with of a sofabed on deck 15 in a nice quiet location which we choose diliberatly had been given to someone else. We only found this out onboard and not at checkin. We were given a mini suite instead but sadly the ... Read More
Our balcony cabin with of a sofabed on deck 15 in a nice quiet location which we choose diliberatly had been given to someone else. We only found this out onboard and not at checkin. We were given a mini suite instead but sadly the location was so bad we spent most of our cruise sleep deprived from the noise the crew made dragging tables and chairs around from midnight till 1am and then again at 4am. Complaints fell on deaf ears. Cabin wasn't ready, shelves were dirty, floor dirty, not enough toiletries for 3 in a room. We had to find our own luggage as it went to the wrong cabin. Buffet food - mostly Chinese food & same nearly every evening. Main dining rooms was pretty poor quality food so we choses not to dine there. Speciality restaurant: Harmony (Chinese) was average and not worth the extra cost. La Mer main menu not great but we ate Chef Darren Maclean's own menu 2 nights running and this was the only decent food onboard. staff took our drinks away whilst we had a photo with chef after the nine course & wine paring evening. pool deck Free ice-cream worst I've ever had. Buffet area has Plastic plates & bowls which is terrible. Buffet staff could not manage and tables sat dirty unless you asked staff to clean them. Gym area is poor, stretching area always used for seminars, Kareoke mostly Chinese songs. Ports: Shimizu isn't a great port but credit to the people of this small town who went out of their way to be helpful. Also Kochi isn't worth stopping at. Osaka should be an overnight stop there is so much to do and no time to do it. Took 3 excursions with Princess, they were good but expensive, I do question the time wasted on lunch which is included in the full day excursions. The ship is CROWDED. Everyone I met on the ship said it was ridiculous how many people are squeezed into rooms onboard. 6+ in small balcony rooms. Staff told us 4000 Chinese passengers were onboard when it should have been 3000. Apparently the ship just added more beds to cabins, shocking, is that allowed?. This is a cruise for the China Chinese only, it does not work for anyone else. The cultural differences will defiantly impact on you. Spitting in the pool, spitting on plates in buffet, shouting, pushing in, children in the adults only area throughout the whole cruise. I met several Chinese passengers from Singapore and Hong Kong who felt very uncomfortable with the behaviour of the majority passengers. There were 2 good shows at the theatre and thats about it. The language issues made most entertainment difficult. This cruise felt budget, unsafe, lawless and to be honest insulting. Disembarkation was chaotic, no crew around to help, passengers missed flights as they were unable to get off the ship in time, we just made it to the airport for our flight but we had to make a lot of noise to get off. Shameful. This is not how you say goodbye to customers, get some training. I do NOT recommend this cruise to customers outside of China. This cruises is totally aimed at China Chinese only. This cruise was certainly no Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We joined the cruise at Shanghai after a week in China visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai .with Wendy Woo Tours who were excellent. Don't try to Facebook etc in China as its all blocked including Google although email works. ... Read More
We joined the cruise at Shanghai after a week in China visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai .with Wendy Woo Tours who were excellent. Don't try to Facebook etc in China as its all blocked including Google although email works. The processing getting onto the ship was quick and efficient and the ship is magnificent, now where it gets interesting. The cruise is labelled 'East meets West' for a reason and embarking from Shanghai should give you a clue. Maybe 80% of the people were Chinese and from what I've been informed 800 children . People from different shore have different standards - lets leave it there! Formal wear for evening meal at restaurants was a joke where the any standard was acceptable (why have formal wear then)with whatever they wanted (Shorts,t Shirts , flip flops) , Americans, Aussies and Brits made the effort to dress correctly although after seeing what the standard was many of us, including me, dressed down to meet the downward standard. I thought the food was of a high standard. I only went to the Buffet at Breakfast and it was always busy and tables were at a premium so my wife and I eat breakfast by the pool where there was loads of empty seating. Food is catered to both Chinese and western tastes. Entertainment had be be revised to meet both spectrum's and I think it was a success although everything being said had to be repeated in English and Cantonese. The shows were excellent and should be commended. There where plenty of sun beds to be had although they were far less walking waiters on the decks because again Chinese not being drinkers. The cruise trips were excellent where the Chinese and non Chinese had separate trips and the guides knew their stuff. Japan was less compressed than China and I personally enjoyed the experience. The weather was stiffing with high humidity and the sweat was pouring off you just walking around on shore trips. Take an umbrella to protect you from the sun and a face cloth to wipe the sweat off you. Once again the cruise industry are not catering for vegetarians (my wife being one) and they need to get on board with this requirement. Too many chats with the Head Waiter were had. The cabin we had was excellent but all cabins on every ship are about the same. All in all a good cruise but people must be aware that this cruise is catered towards the Chinese. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This past January we went on an Asian Cruise with Princess Cruises. We were to board our cruise in Shanghai, reporting to board our cruise beginning at 12:00PM, Jan. 5fth. Then, the night before, I received an e-mail indicating the ship ... Read More
This past January we went on an Asian Cruise with Princess Cruises. We were to board our cruise in Shanghai, reporting to board our cruise beginning at 12:00PM, Jan. 5fth. Then, the night before, I received an e-mail indicating the ship was late arriving on port and we should report beginning at 4:00PM. As we arrived at the terminal, our taxi driver noted the main gate was closed and a worker was directing him to go on. We arrived at a building crowded with thousands of tourists. One clerk told us to go upstairs and wait for further boarding instructions. We went upstairs, sat along with other passengers waiting for further instructions, I glanced at a passenger sitting next to us and he had a boarding card and an ID card. I asked him where he got them and he directed me to an area on the first floor where people were being processed in a very disorganized way. I finally had documents to board the ship"THANKS TO INSTRUCTIONS FROM A FELLOW PASSENGER" and not one from the cruise company. Well, before we knew, it was 7:00PM and we knew nothing about when we would begin boarding. A poor lady, who had arrived at 12:00PM, per the original schedule, had not had a meal since her breakfast. Around 8:00PM, someone came to offer water. How sad to be mistreated this way. When we thought we had had the worst, we were finally told to proceed down a hallway that led to the outside parking lot? What? It is raining and we have to walk in the rain to the next building?. The rest of the ordeal on this cruise was not that better. The food at the dining room was simple and after few days eating the same stuff, we decided to skip meals. We signed up for two tours, one for Ho Chi Min City , Vietnam and Bang Kok, Thailand. The port in Vietnam is 2:00 hours away from the city and by the the time you get there, there is not much you can do, before the last bus goes back to the ship. During the two tours, the native tour guides spoke very poor English and we looked at each other wondering what is he saying?. On one tour we asked the tour guide if we were going to go to a place where we could buy souvenirs. Consistent with everything else, we stopped at a rest area with just food shops. My wife went everywhere looking for souvenirs and came back to the bus empty handed. To add insult to injury, we both got a cold from our fellow passengers, who were coughing and sneezing everywhere. When we went to the nurse's office to get some medications, a rude older woman at the desk, greeted us like dogs, " As we walked in, she just said SIT and wait, in a rude tone. Well, I am not dog and went to her and asked to get some over the counter cold medications. The one consolation during this horrific cruise was to know that many times before we had great experiences with other cruise companies. After we got home, we received an e-mail from Princess Cruises asking for feedback. Well, I had plenty to say about this poor experience and responded with a critical assessment of the company. Days went by and no response from the company. I then decided to call them. The response from their office in Santa Clarita was just as poor as the cruise service. " Sorry you had these problems, hope to see you again". Guess what, they will never see us again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Original ship boarding time was 2pm. Princess sent out notice of 3hr delay because of Chinese Fingerprinting of passengers. Sent out 2nd delay for 2hr because of Fog & late arrival. We arrived at terminal at 5pm to find about 2500 ... Read More
Original ship boarding time was 2pm. Princess sent out notice of 3hr delay because of Chinese Fingerprinting of passengers. Sent out 2nd delay for 2hr because of Fog & late arrival. We arrived at terminal at 5pm to find about 2500 people stuffed into terminal waiting. They finally started boarding the "Elites" around 7pm, and we started about 8pm.. Had to trek thru rain to Chinese Immigration building, spend 30min there the another trek in the rain to the dock, 300 yard down the dock to the gangway, board the ship in the rain and then trek another 100 yards to have our pix taken in the rain. Got to stateroom at 9pm. Thank God for their pizza on deck 14. Our Mini-suite & Room Steward "Frenchie" were the best part of the trip. Specialty Dining and Regular dining rooms were very good but the buffett was the worst we've ever seen on many cruises. Having been on the Royal and the Regal we were spoiled but the Sapphire buffet was mostly out of No. 10 cans. Terrible baked goods, main dishes low quality, but the salads were good. Seating very crowded, especially when one side was closed off. Took only 3 of ship excursions. Hong Kong was excellent, Ko Samui OK (skip monkey harvesting---a joke); Phu My interesting and good. Used private driver in Thailand, still a 2hr drive each way to Bangkok from dock. Singapore made the whole trip worthwhile. Too bad the trip was started off on a very bad vibe. Embarkation could have been handled much better. Even the wheelchair people had to wait while they boarded the "Elites". Not very good PR. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The January 5th Southeast Asia Cruise from Shanghai to Singapore aboard the Sapphire Princess began with the worst boarding fiasco I have ever experienced, and I expect that holds true for most the other 2600+ arriving passengers as well ... Read More
The January 5th Southeast Asia Cruise from Shanghai to Singapore aboard the Sapphire Princess began with the worst boarding fiasco I have ever experienced, and I expect that holds true for most the other 2600+ arriving passengers as well as an untold number of those trying to disembark and catch a flight home. I started to get the impression that this was not going to be a ‘smooth’ embarkation while checking the whereabouts of the Sapphire Princess on the MarineTraffic.com website the morning of our scheduled boarding. Though it was originally due dockside by 7:00 AM, it was listed as ‘at sea’ with a speed of 3 knots. Around 10 AM I received an email from Princess advising of a ‘delayed’ boarding time by two and a half hours. Fortunately, I was able to extend our hotel checkout by two hours along with our scheduled private transfer to port. I consider ourselves lucky, as it was Saturday and the hotel was fully booked for the night. Right towards the end of our ‘extension’ I received an ‘update’ informing us that the boarding time had been ‘pushed back’ by another hour or two depending on cabin location. By that time our room keys did not work and it was too late to reschedule our re-scheduled transfer, so down to the lobby we went. As luck would have it, our driver was 15 minutes early. Weekend traffic was light and we arrived at the terminal at about 4 PM for wat was an original 2 PM boarding that was now pushed out to 5:30 PM. The Sapphire Princess was the only ship docked at the International Cruise Terminal, but our driver was directed to another terminal at the other end of this huge complex. Once inside, we found ourselves amidst hundreds of people waiting in row after row of ‘banquet’ chairs. As we were ‘Elite’ level passengers we were directed to a designated area near the other end of the terminal. Trouble was, there was no one overseeing this area, so there were very few chairs available. We stood. While standing we noticed what appeared to be an impromptu ‘check-in’ area near us consisting of a bunch of folding tables lined up near the escalators at our end of the terminal. They were staffed, but no one was being processed. We wait. As we chatted with fellow passengers, we found out that some had been in this otherwise closed terminal since early morning. Remember we are in China. Our phones don’t work. (who buys a sim-card expecting to be in the country for a day or so?). Google products (gMail, Google Search, youTube) as well as Facebook and Twitter are all banned and blocked in China. Unless you have made prior arrangements through a private VPN, land communication (especially if you have an Android phone) is limited. Your ‘Smart Phone’ is little more than a camera and a calculator. There were a couple of Princess staffers doing their best, wandering the crowd giving any update status they could, but by now there were well over a thousand passengers in queue and the bottom level of the terminal was overflowing. Somewhere around 6:30 or so, they began the ‘check-in’ processing. Mind you, we were merely processed, not boarded. A cruise card was issued, but we were instructed to return to the terminal floor and wait. When we tried to return to the area where we were previously, we quickly noticed there were no open chairs, so Cruise Card in hand we stood and chatted with others in a similar situation. While standing, an official looking gentleman approached us an said it would probably be awhile. It turns out he was one of the Chinese officials in charge of coordinating this chaos. We asked what the problem was, and he related that, though we would probably hear different from Princess, the delay was primarily due to passengers boarded on the arriving Sapphire Princess that did not meet the strict (and somewhat confusing) `144 hour’ Chinese Visa requirements and were not being allowed to disembark in Shanghai. OK, I must admit, we had some difficulty boarding our flight from LA to Shanghai at LAX, but the United Airlines Rep. called the Chinese embassy and made sure our documents and travel plans met the somewhat complicated Chinese criteria before issuing our boarding passes. I guess Princess missed that step. (As it turned out, dozens of passengers were unable to disembark in Shanghai and had to stay onboard for two more days, disembarking at our first port of call, Nagasaki, Japan.) Since the ship was full, I wonder where they slept… Somewhere around 8:00 PM we noticed some passengers being escorted through a door behind the ‘check-in’ area. Though no one had made any announcement, we grabbed our carry-ons and joined in because it looked like they might be headed towards the other terminal where the Sapphire Princess was docked. They were! It was a long trek in the rain to the other terminal, but we were a bit more agile than many and wound up being among the first handful of passengers through Chinese Customs. The queues at that time were minimal and we were on-board before 8:30 PM. Once on-board our first thought was a warm meal, but we were told by our Cabin Steward that there would be a required Muster at 9:00 PM. We wait… Even though we knew that there was no way the passengers would be boarded by then. As we stood on our balcony and watched as the boarding queue on the gangway grew ever longer. 9 PM came and went as the line continued to grow. When the ship was finally boarded, they called for us to report to our Muster Stations. After which, we went to the only venue available for a warm meal… The Horizon Court. As our Muster Station was the Princess Theater (Deck 7, Forward) and the Horizon Court is Deck 14, Aft. When we got there, we joined about 2,000+ other passengers (some of which hadn’t eaten a real meal all day). It was chaos! Lines four wide, out the doors, winding around and past the pool. Once you were able to get to something, there were no open tables or cutlery available to go elsewhere (room?) and find a spot to sit. Things could certainly have been worse. After all, we were inside and there were occasional trays of cookies, plain cheese sandwiches and the random boxes of potato chips, but it certainly was far from ideal or what one would expect from a world renowned international travel corporation and/or a ‘First World’ country trying to promote international tourism. I have waited until near the end of this cruise to submit this recap of an Epic Fail, hoping (expecting?) Princess to offer some sort of ‘compensation’ to offset or appease our ‘day of discomfort’, but none has been offered. I went to the Passenger Services desk to find out the status of the situation and was told ‘It has been reported to the Main Office and we are awaiting a response’. Well, I guess 12 days of no response is a response… Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We picked the cruise (Far East Explorer) as something of an afterthought... We are very frequent cruisers but hadn’t been to the Far East previously and therefore took the opportunity. The itinerary was the attraction, Shanghai, ... Read More
We picked the cruise (Far East Explorer) as something of an afterthought... We are very frequent cruisers but hadn’t been to the Far East previously and therefore took the opportunity. The itinerary was the attraction, Shanghai, Nagasaki, Busan, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Min City, Bangkok, Koh Samui, then Singapore... It was a fabulous itinerary. We hadn’t sailed with Princess before but had been told it was comparable with Celebrity and therefore set our expectations about the ship on our past Celebrity experiences. that proved to be unfulfilled. The cabin (an interior on deck 11) was excellent. We almost always have a balcony but we were very happy with our cabin. It was much more spacious than we expected, and worked perfectly, the cabin steward was superb. Food which is so important on cruises was extremely underwhelming. It was far far behind Celebrity and out review grading in based largely on that shortcoming. We really didn’t care for the breakfast buffet at all, and the dining room options at breakfast didn’t inspire us either. Finding an unoccupied table at breakfast in the buffet was also quite a challenge. The buffet was divided into two pretty much identical section but with only a fraction of the selection options we’d had on say Celebrity, Cunard or Norwegian. Lunch in the buffet wasn’t much different although occasionally there was a pleasant surprise. I suspect the food had been prepared for a different guest mix than was on our cruise. We found it extremely odd that poppadoms and Indian breads were invariably available but there were few (if any) Indian dishes to go with them. There just wasn’t the space available in the buffet to provide the sort of buffet choice we have experienced on dozens of other ships. Evening menu I found OK. We had anything dining (which we liked) and could use any one of 3 restaurants (all served an identical menu). Over and above the someone dull ‘always available items’ the menu offered 6 choices daily, two vegetarian, two apparently local to where we were, one fish, and one meat... I was OK as I usually picked on of the interesting and spicy local dishes, my wife was far less satisfied, and often said there was nothing she particularly fancied on the menu... The food was usually pretty good (steak we had one night was awful) but in our cruising we have been used to reading menu where deciding which of several dishes to select was the challenge rather than, do I want any of these dishes... Entertainment across the ship was pretty good. The theatre shows were watchable, and when a new cast boarded for our last few days had a marked improvement. The speciality acts were the usual cruise fare, OK to pass on an hour or so. Daytime activities, trivia etc was fine, much as could be expected.. The music on the ship was really good. a band of young people (The Drop) we excellent as was a young piano singer. A classical duo were very good too. The ship itself. It seemed really dark to us, for a few days we thought some of it need a lick of white paint to brighten the place up, that said we eventually got use to the experience of often feeling you were in an old haunted mansion... There was plenty of social space, and we usually had no difficulty in finding seating wherever we wanted to be, including on the deck. We liked the deck set up and thought the decent sized pool was a bonus particularly as it was too deep for people to stand and clutter the water whilst enjoying cocktails (as you see on many newer ships). I haven’t mentioned the bar, on this trip we took the soda package (dry January) it worked just fine and made a pleasant change to our usual full drinks package. The ports of call were the definite highlights of the trip. We got off to an awful start in Shanghai where everything was severely delayed, we were told it was weather related but it seemed perfectly obvious that the delay related more to the current dispute between the USA & China in terms of trade.... After an almost 10hr delay (where bottled water and potato chips became the food for day 1 of the cruise) all was plain sailing.. We were rather surprised guests weren’t compensated with onboard credit to reflect the totally lost first day of the cruise as by the time boarding was achieved it was too late to get to the restaurant for most guests. Nagasaki was great, interesting, thought-provoking and emotional, Busan was a hive of interesting activity, Hong Kong we had a decent length stop but probably needed at least another 48hrs, Ho Chi Min City was probably our favourite port of call, we took the ship’s excursion to the city and again would have liked longer, we took a ship’s tour to Bangkok and maxed out our few hours there too, on Koh Samui we rented a car and toured the whole island, and we had a great short stay in Singapore... The ship organised numerous tours for every port of call, we thought the trips we took were well organised and fairly priced. Would we tour the area again, absolutely we would; will we sail Princess again, the answer is yes as we already have a reservation made with them not least because they offer some of the most interesting moderately priced itineraries... All in all a very enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Left Heathrow on 4/1 on my least favourite airline - British Airways, flight was uncomfortable and food was mediocre, as British Airways always is. Shanghai - An airport and a cruise terminal to be avoided. Endless form filling, endless ... Read More
Left Heathrow on 4/1 on my least favourite airline - British Airways, flight was uncomfortable and food was mediocre, as British Airways always is. Shanghai - An airport and a cruise terminal to be avoided. Endless form filling, endless fingerprint scans, endless photos, endless baggage scans. Then we were told that the ship will be late docking due to poor weather visibility. Thankfully Princess arranged several coaches for a tour of Shanghai including a lunch and visits, we were shattered and just couldn't muster any enthusiasm and losing the will to live! Eventually got to the Cruise Terminal and more fingerprint scans, more photos and more baggage scans, then a long route march to the ship, and so to bed! Nagasaki - A very interesting city that we visited on a Princess tour and a city I would like to revisit. Busan - A city I could take or leave, the tour of Boxcheon Tombs and their associated museum started off interesting then it was like doing a degree course in an hour or so, an hour in a department store was underwhelming. Hong Kong - Pity the ship's Port Lecturer kept harping on about Kowloon, Kowloon and Kowloon and ignoring the existence of Hong Kong Island, thankfully we have friends and family there so we did our own thing on the Island including riding on the famous Hong Kong Trams. Ho Chi Minh City - Stayed on board and I can describe Phu My as one of the least interesting Container Ports in the World! Bangkok - Been there before, so we stayed on board and Laem Chebang is one of the more interesting Container Ports in the World with plenty of activity! Ko Samui - Very Interesting but the road journeys reminded my wife of her early days in the Philippines. Two Buddhas and a coconut-picking monkey later, we headed back to the ship and then to Singapore where we spent a week with family there. Singapore - Been there 12 times in 20 years and can't keep up with the changes, but we love the place! Now for the Ship - This was our third cruise on Sapphire Princess since May 2018, so we're used to the ship. Here are the significant differences between an Asian cruise and a Southampton-based cruise. Food - extremely salty and played havoc with my blood/sugar levels, being Type 2 diabetic, I chose to eat less and not eat every night in the main dining rooms, I quite like Asian cuisine but after a week my stomach was yelling for something less salty and much more substantial, Alfredo's Pizzeria came to the rescue! Entertainment - Other than the Princess Singers and Dancers productions, the guest entertainers varied from the dire to the downright awful, had they performed on a Southampton-based cruise, they would risk playing to either an empty Princess Theatre, or facing an audience reminiscent of one at the bad old days of the Glasgow Empire whose stony silence saw off an act in minutes! Piazza Entertainment - Great watching Princess Singers and Dancers rehearsing on a port day and having a chat with them afterwards and great seeing their polished performance, but some of the Cruise Directors staff must've forgotten that they were on a cruise ship and thought they were working at Butlins, especially with games designed for children to be played by adults. Overall Summary - Good in parts, but give me a Southampton-based cruise at any time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. To be upfront we are usually Celebrity cruisers, but decided to try Princess. Embarkation in Shanghai was a pure day, and evening, from hell. This was not the fault of Princess, but the Chinese ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. To be upfront we are usually Celebrity cruisers, but decided to try Princess. Embarkation in Shanghai was a pure day, and evening, from hell. This was not the fault of Princess, but the Chinese Port Authority who randomly closed the port to the inbound ship and refused to provide customs and immigration facilities. Princess sent emails, updating the times to come to the pier, but things quickly spiraled out of control. We did not board the ship until 9pm. Princess supplied snacks while we were all kept in a very hot and uncomfortable waiting area dockside, but there was no communications from any Princess reps to keep us updated. Easily the worst cruise experience ever . We found, overall, the ship to be OK, but nothing special. Our premium balcony cabin was small compared to Celebrity, and the bath/shower was a joke. I will give top marks to the bed : very comfy. The food overall, was very poor. In the buffet, it was the same things, over and over and over, with almost no variation over the two weeks. They had the worst bacon I have ever had, completely dried out ham, many breads were stale and the cantalope was, and continued to be unripe.One night I was surprised to see, and obtain, what looked like a large and delectable slab of prime rib. I took it to the table and asked the staff for a steak knife to deal with this 1 inch thick cut of meat. The answer : no, you cannot have one, we do not have any { this despite the fact that Sterling Steakhouse was only 30 ft. away - more on Sterling later ). I struggled to cut the meat with the butter knife supplied, and eventually gave up. That whole slab became waste. The one bite I did manage I spit out because all I could taste was hot mustard : apparently the whole prime rib had been rubbed with hot mustard - WHY ? Who would do that to such a beautiful cut of meat ? The buffet food service area was small, chaotic, and extremely hot due to the very low ceilings. I held out hope until the end, hoping they would do a special Grand Buffet on the final night of the cruise a La Celebrity. NOPE. More like a boarding house weekly review. We ate twice at Sabatinis. Service was good, the meal - mediocre. We then tried Sterling Steak House. What a JOKE ! This extra cost venue is simply a portion of the Horizon Buffet curtained off and presented as fine extra cost dining. No wonder it was empty most nights. SHAME on you Princess. The staff were mostly excellent. The ports and excursions were good - although the excursions were overpriced and of low value like most cruise lines. I had ordered the Premium Beverage Package only to discover onboard that there was a daily 15 alcoholic drink limit, and yes the bar staff knew exactly how many you had had to date each day : Big Brother was surely watching. Leaving the ship was efficient in Singapore. For the small size of the cabin and the torture of the bath and especially the shower,, the drinks limitation ( although I never used 15 on any day, I find that monitoring offensive ) but mostly for the extremely poor food, I am sure this will be my first and last Princess cruise. If their fees were half of Celebrity I could understand, but they are not, so value for money is not good. It was interesting to sail on a ship where the majjority of the guest were not American but Aussies. Very different dynamic K Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We just got home from our cruise. We really enjoyed this cruise, particularly because of the itinerary and people we met. The entertainment was sub par...first time ever on a Princess ship. They had a guy making balloon sculptures one ... Read More
We just got home from our cruise. We really enjoyed this cruise, particularly because of the itinerary and people we met. The entertainment was sub par...first time ever on a Princess ship. They had a guy making balloon sculptures one evening in the theater...very disappointing. Also the music offered in the lounges was limited. Few opportunities to dance. However, the food was good and we liked our room...can’t have everything. The staff in the dining room was very good. We felt recognized and well taken care of. They also did a good job with gluten free toast...no small task. On this trip Princess even did a good job with the excursions. They seemed reasonable for what we got., The biggest weakness was entertainment. They could have improved the onboard experience by offering their enrichment lectures in the afternoon instead of at 9:00 a.m. when most people want breakfast. The activities director could use a lesson from some of their other ships. Other than crew games and top deck games there were few options for afternoon activity on sea days. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The Sapphire Princess met most of the needs of those that were on the cruse. Staff tried to help with any problems addressed. They were friendly, courteous, and pleasant to deal with from the room service, customer service, and Horizon ... Read More
The Sapphire Princess met most of the needs of those that were on the cruse. Staff tried to help with any problems addressed. They were friendly, courteous, and pleasant to deal with from the room service, customer service, and Horizon kitchen staff. They kept the ship clean and tried to make sure no one got sick on board. The food became routine after a few days, but you did have some choices on what to eat. Fresh fruit could have been better and a wider choice. Since we made several stops at other counties, it would have be nice to have some of the fruits from those countries. The entertainment and activities were limited on board. Having someone making animals from balloons were more in line for a children cruse than an adult cruse. They did have some current movies to watch, which helped to pass the time. They had trouble with embarkation due to the ship not being allowed to dock on time. The embarkation was delayed several times. People weren't allowed to start loading until after 7 PM. Some people had to wait at the dock for hours with little support for food or drinks. However, everyone that flew in on the morning of embarkation was given a tour of Shanghai with lunch prior to going to the dock, which was appreciated. Disembarkation went smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We had friends going on this cruise and joined them. We are getting more and more disappointed in the nickel-and-diming done by Princess. Everything seems to cost more every time we cruise. They have taken away "Happy hour". ... Read More
We had friends going on this cruise and joined them. We are getting more and more disappointed in the nickel-and-diming done by Princess. Everything seems to cost more every time we cruise. They have taken away "Happy hour". The Elite Lounge used to have $5 for any drink, now its over $6 for crappy syrupy drinks. No more coffee cards, so they don't roll over - use them or lose them. If you have more than one entree at specialty dining, more money!!! Entertainment was poor, badly spaced and repetitive. The Cruise Director was quite inefficient. However, her staff were fabulous. We only did one Princess Shore excursion, to a luau. This was a large event with other companies participating. Princess had the worst tables with bad visibility. International Cafe was good with excellent service as was the Crooners Bar. However the bar in the Universe Lounge did not have a good bartender, more often than not the drinks tasted like they had no alcohol in them. I think it is time to look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We did a few cruises, and loved the last one on the Diamond Princess from Sydney to Singapore, it was civilised, well organised, with amazing entertainment and great service, several different outdoor areas to relaxed and unwind but also ... Read More
We did a few cruises, and loved the last one on the Diamond Princess from Sydney to Singapore, it was civilised, well organised, with amazing entertainment and great service, several different outdoor areas to relaxed and unwind but also several areas to appreciate music and entertainers in the evening and to dance if we wanted. None of this was the case on the Majestic Princess ! I don't know if it is still in the teething process, but nothing was clear, the plan of the ship doesn't make sense (one big outdoor area with two small pools, 6 small spa pools (one not working as a spa) for 3000 passengers !! One undercover indoor pool area with strong chlorine smell, which was supposed to be a fun hollywood disco at night, but which was empty after 5.00 pm. No deck in the front of the ship. No real promenade deck (just tow decks on level 7 on both side of the Atrium with 10 chairs). And only one dancing area in the very public and opened atrium. A big shopping area (which was described as the biggest department store at sea !!) with 3 shops (one jewellery and leather, one perfume and one very sad clothes shop with a poor range of polo shirts for men and stretch cotton dresses for women) ! A casino (which again was supposed to be one of the biggest at sea) which was cut in one third to create an extra bar (the Crooners). The nightmare started at boarding in Shanghai : 4.5 hours standing in a queue for boarding, part of it in full sun, no seats, no water, no explanation of what was going on !!! We had a mini suite, which although slightly smaller then the Diamond, are a good size. But it was smelly and not clean (clamps of hair on the balcony, blood stains on the curtains..) We understood later that the ship was delayed on her arrival to Shanghai, and that is where most of these problems were coming from, however no one was there to explain and apologise ! After initial disappointment, we decided to make the best out of it, and remain positive. However disorganisation kept on bothering us : The second night we had to wait over half an hour for a table in the Concerto restaurant (and we were anytime dining), and again 3 days later. Most of the nights half of the wine were not available from the wine list (the waiters were very apologetic and had an exhaustive hand written list of the wine which were no more available (our main waiter told us that it would get better after Brisbane which was 2 days before our arrival. And worse of all, you had to queue for almost everything (a free seat around the pool, a free seat on the decks bellow, a free seat in the atrium cafe, a drink at most of the bars, a waiter to pass by...) The service was mostly pleasant, but they certainly did lack numbers. We understood that this ship was created to cater for the Asian market, and we knew it when we booked. We liked the idea of the Karaoke rooms (which were cancelled when we arrived) we like the idea of the juice bar and the dim sim and dumpling bars (which were cancelled). I have the feeling that the marketing team got overwhelmed by the change in the client target (more than 80 % of the clientele was from Australia, New Zealand or North America !) and tried to patch where and however they could. If you add to this that the entertainment was poor : Same three groups over and over from one side of the boat to the other. One really good show in 22 days. And the same entertainer for the whole trip in most of the bar. Day entertainment was equally poor if you compare it to the entertainment onboard the Diamond Princess (and for a ship of this size). And the fontain water show (which was advertised as the main attraction) is a totally non event (and according to me a total lost of space on the main outdoor deck, and could have been an extra pool) There is no doubt that this vessel is meant to be a money maker (we payed $499 to access the only quiet spa area-advertised as the tranquility heaven of the ship). we didn't have the wine we wanted on the wine list, but were offered repeatedly to join the paying wine tasting to try the wine from the menu, to purchase digestifs alcohols with matching glasses... !!! And a lot of fuss and advertising about deals in the shops (a big piece of the daily entertainment program), at the spa... In conclusion, we made the best out of these holidays, but wouldn't know whom recommend it to, as it doesn't seam to be clear on the clientele target : If you like quietness and luxe, you will find it noisy (constant loud music in the outdoor public areas, and no where to escape) If you like loud music fun and dance, there is no dance floors, no disco, and no fun dance entertainment. If you like outdoor water and pool be ready to share it with a lot of other people. But we did meet a few nice people and friends, and were reassured by the kindness of most of the staff people, which is actually the main positive of this trip ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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