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10 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
8 Helpful Votes
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
16 Helpful Votes
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
8 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
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 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have sailed on the Royal and loved it. We knew Majestic was different as designed for a Chinese market but did not expect how little was avaliable. The Piasa has 3 bars,most closed at 2200. There is no Wheelhouse bar. No casino bar. No ... Read More
We have sailed on the Royal and loved it. We knew Majestic was different as designed for a Chinese market but did not expect how little was avaliable. The Piasa has 3 bars,most closed at 2200. There is no Wheelhouse bar. No casino bar. No Vista Lounge bar. Crooners is a converted high rollers bar which is a thoroughfare from the theatre and had a high screen running through the middle which stopped people seeing the piano. No dance floor. 3 pool bars. Trivia was in Princess live for the first week then moved to Vista. Table service was very slow as crew had to get drinks from the Crown Grill bar. Bingo was an after thought and the first games were a disaster. 1 production show per week. No Night Club. The only dance floor was the Piasa. International cafe is great for a snack and Vines for a drink. The paid French restaurant was a thoroughfare so people walked through as you dined. There was a band who were fantastic who played in various venues including the pool. Varied artists playing piano, singing and violins. Princess staples. Nightlife was centred in the converted Crooners with the fabulous Tonya on piano until 12pm then DJ Chris. Dancing on carpet was a pain. On average the bar closed around 1am. Sanctuary has also been removed and is a public area but get there early as seats are taken early. For those of you who smoke the choice was an uncovered area on 17 which for most of the time was either to hot or a wind tunnel. The other on 7 was semi protected but no chairs. The deck chairs wooden tables were the only seating. Chairs were brought in a week into the cruise. They also opened another area on 17 with tables and chairs plus ashtrays. If you cruise with Princess you are used to multable areas to gather, drink and dance. Majestic has removed most of these. 22 days became very long. If you only want to sit, read this ship is for you. If like me you like to dance this ships not for you. We did have fun and met some amazing people and as bars and entertainment was limited we made our own fun. There is one redeeming feature of Majestic and that was the crew. As the realisation of the many missing Princess staples became apparent and many passengers became disheartened the crew made all attempts to raise the spirit of the ship. We named the ship the Majestic guinea pig as management juggled areas, venues limited as they were and entertainment to try to offer a come back new experience. The load was mainly Australian and as such we like to party. This is not a party ship. Again I cannot fault the crew. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Princess accommodates people in wheelchairs with good cabins and bathrooms but that is about as far as it goes. this is by far the most disappointing cruise that I have been on with tight corridors blocked with tables and trolleys, ... Read More
Princess accommodates people in wheelchairs with good cabins and bathrooms but that is about as far as it goes. this is by far the most disappointing cruise that I have been on with tight corridors blocked with tables and trolleys, lifts not working, no shore tours offered for people in wheelchairs. For example I was unable to call a lift as the garbage bins are put directly under the lift call buttons so I either kick the bin out of the way to press the button or waited for someone else to do it for me. I mentioned my issue to a senior maintenance officer who assured me that he would pass on my issue. But each time the bins were moved away from the lifts the cleaners would put them back. As the corridors were continually blocked with housekeep trolley there was only 1 bank of lifts I could get to. For the whole cruise one of these 4 lifts was out of service and on one occasion all the lifts were out of order for an hour stranding me. There is only one accessible public toilet with an automatic door on level 17. all the rest have extremely heavy manual doors I had no chance of opening them myself and needed someone to do it for me. The vista lounge is so packed with large chairs that I had extreme difficulty moving around the room to find a place to park my chair to see a show. There are only 4 accessible seats in the theatre and unless you get there an hour before the show you have no chance of getting somewhere to watch a show. Generally the food quality and variety was poor to very poor. 80% of the menu was seafood based and as I really don't eat a lot of seafood the choices where limited. Each night there was one red meat dish on the fine dining menu and even though the description and title of the dish was different what was delivered was meat cooked the same way. My waiter was unable to provide any further information about the menu than what was written on the menu. They also refused any additions or substitutions like adding more gravy or sauce. Each night we had a bread roll for each person dining and always one butter less than the number of bread rolls. After asking 3 nights in a row for more butter you would think that the waiter would get the message and have more butters on the table I think it was night 18 or 19 when we had enough butter. Pre dinner drinks often arrived with our main meal or desert. There was one night where our fellow passengers when round with pepper mill (as our waiter continually did not offer the pepper mill) and the waiter reprimanded the fellow passenger for doing his job that he had neglected. The embarkation process in Shanghai was a nightmare taking more than 3.5 hours in the extreme heat. people throwing up due to heat stroke, VERY long snaking queues and people absolutely everywhere blocking paths and corridors. There is no one deck on Majestic princess that you can walk around on the entire ship. There is no walking track on this ship. the only place you can look out the front of the ship is the Hollywood pool room through glass which is not very good if it is dark outside as all you get is internal reflections. The "runway of flares" everyone saw on the TV news was not visible from the ship. Princess could not assist with any on shore activities for people in wheelchairs or mobility issues. There big offering in ports where the ship dock a considerable way from any "town" and they offered a coach "shuttle" into "town" for $20. not accessible to me. When asking staff for information on a port they were unable to assist or at best contradict each other. I got better information once I left the ship. I would seriously think about travelling on princess again after this experience. My wife is an Elite captain circle member and she is of the same mind. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Have cruised with Princess many times and always had a great time. This new ship was built for the Chinese market at it shows. Poorly staffed, beds too hard, boarding process in Shanghai was abysmal. It did improve as the cruise ... Read More
Have cruised with Princess many times and always had a great time. This new ship was built for the Chinese market at it shows. Poorly staffed, beds too hard, boarding process in Shanghai was abysmal. It did improve as the cruise progressed, but was a really bad start. I would not take Children on a Princess Cruise, average age of passengers is in their 80's. Way too many zimmer frames and wheel chairs and heart attacks and diversions for medical evacuations. That said, the cabin was good, although the mattress was way too hard and was not up to the standard of the promoted Princess Luxury mattress. Dining was fine food was wonderful, not enough staff in the first couple of days. Entertainment was average with only 3 production shows for the entire 22 days. Would I cruise again, yes, with Princess - not sure. They will need to reduce the number of old people first. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I have been cruising for more than twenty years with nine cruise lines. I'm at Elite level in Princess Captain's Circle. After some years away from Princess we joined four friends to board in Shanghai for a return cruise to ... Read More
I have been cruising for more than twenty years with nine cruise lines. I'm at Elite level in Princess Captain's Circle. After some years away from Princess we joined four friends to board in Shanghai for a return cruise to Australia, celebrating two birthdays and an anniversary. I understand some adverse weather conditions led to the ship's late docking in Shanghai, which caused a queue to shuffle for two hours in the heat, though under cover. On board we found a well-appointed mini suite, the best yet found on Princess. We had a large bathroom with big square, modern basin, ideal for washing small things and a full-sized bath. The walk-in wardrobe was spacious and for the first time ever, had enough coat hangers. Extra space in the stateroom gave it a large feel, though it had the tiniest balcony I've ever seen on a ship. There was just room to sit on a chair without having knees against the glass surround. The ship is badly designed in several areas. Inside is almost completely enclosed with only occasional small windows to the sea view. The largest view to the sea is from the watch concession and that's to the starboard side only.There is no observation/panorama lounge fore or aft and the ship's wake can only be seen from an exposed, small Wake View Bar on deck 16. Our eastern itinerary prohibited enjoyable sail-aways there due to the heat and wind. It is also noisy due to the large number of passengers. We passed on pre-dinner drinks in the confines of dim inside bars. Our early arrival to a flare-decorated Sydney harbour could only be watched from private side balconies simultaneous with the ship's TV webcam, a shame. Do not go to La Mer restaurant, for which there is a cover charge. It's badly sited inside the central atrium with no buffer against constant loud live music from below. A celebration dinner there was ruined by the noise. Food was not special and it was inconvenient for us to ask for the regular wine list instead of the offered French list. Harmony Asian was terrific - twice - and Crown Grill, also twice, was the same. Both have cover charges and are good value. Our Allegra wait staff was good, though wine was a problem and our traditional dining room began to run short on day 11 of the 22-day cruise. White wine was down to a choice of three at day 16. The ship, despite its size and featured dining, has no sommelier - astounding. Menus are basic and only one of four formal nights featured special dishes. Food is only of average quality and frequently cool. Limited lounge areas were permanently occupied by the usual sunlounge-hugger style passengers and were in short supply due to the crowds. Be ready to queue, queue and queue. This is a big, basic ship. There is no décor to speak of and it feels rather like a floating barn. No more big-ship cruising for me. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have been on 13 cruises and spent 147 days at sea, we are Platinum members with Princess, this review is from our perspective and is based on our experiences on previous cruises we have done and the video and written marketing ... Read More
We have been on 13 cruises and spent 147 days at sea, we are Platinum members with Princess, this review is from our perspective and is based on our experiences on previous cruises we have done and the video and written marketing expectations created by Princess. Embarkation was a disaster with people queued for 2.5 to 5 hours in the heat with one person being taken away by ambulance, I accept Princess can't control Chinese Immigration but they can control the comfort of their guests whilst waiting in the queue, there was 2 air-conditioned terminals in use, the first one was used to drop off your bags, you were then ushered outside into the heat to queue for 1.5 to 3 hours to get to the next terminal, they could have seated us in the first one and shuttled us over when space was available, reading other reviews about the Majestic from Shanghai it seems they encounter this issue often and have failed to resolve it. The ship itself was impressive to start but as the cruise went on you encountered the flaws, the Hollywood area was our favourite area, we found most of the bars to be too small only seating round 20 people and very hard to get a seat most of the cruise, The Theatre and Princess live rooms were cramped with tight seats and nowhere to put your drink, overall it did not live up to their marketing videos. FOOD Included restaurants: Very disappointing, at best I would say equal to a cheap RSL club meal and not as good as that at times, an example of one night Filet Mignon was on the menu, my wife ordered it and what came out was 4 tough rump cubes on a skewer, when we said that was wrong and repeated her order we were told, yes that's our version, when I said everywhere in the world it is a piece of eye filet steak wrapped in bacon, we were told he would let the chefs know what we said, the standard of food only increased in the last 2 days of the 22 day cruise, when we left Brisbane where a group of travel agents and I think some company executives boarded, that night in the dining room we had rack of lamb cooked to perfection and an amazing chocolate dome desert, the next day in the upstairs buffet, the spread of food was the best we had seen all cruise, to the point even the chefs were coming out with their phones and taking pictures of what they had put out on offer, I can only assume the travel agents were scheduled to have lunch there. The Pizzeria Italian place had basic pizza and 2 pasta dishes that remained the same for the whole 22 day cruise and were quite bland in flavour, certainly nothing rememberable, the Lobster and Dim Dum bar that was supposed to be an included eatery (according to their web site), turned out to be a free burger bar (with bad burgers) and lobster that you had to pay $24 to $29 for and not a Dim Sum to be seen, The Stir Fry place had 3 items on it per day, 2 of these never change the whole cruise, we eat there twice and found we had to put chilli on to get some flavour into the dishes. The Chefs table: The Majestic videos create a great expectation and as soon as we got onboard we rang and got put on a list and despite several calls had to wait 10 days to be told that we were going to receive an invite to the chefs table at a cost of $125 each, instead of the usual Hors D'Oeuvres & Champagne followed by a 7+ course degustation with different wines matching each course, we received 3 Hors D'Oeuvres with Champagne served in the Galley whilst standing at a trestle table, then taken to a very impressive table within the dining room, to be given what was essentially a 3 course meal with a sorbet between entrée and main with one white wine, one red wine and a desert wine, which made it the most expensive and least impressive chefs table out of the 9 we have done. Speciality dining restaurants: After the overall experience at the other eateries we decided to give the Crown Grill ago, again very disappointing and not worth the $35 each cover charge, the Filet Mignon was at least eye fillet but still no bacon wrapped around it, no sauces (eg pepper, mushroom etc) available just a gravy, limited vegetables and when I asked for carrots and beans/peas I was told they did not have any but could go down to the other restaurant to get them but it would take a very long time, in other words my meal would be cold or finished by the time he got back, after that meal we decided not to waste any more money on the speciality restaurants, we asked other passengers if they tried the French or Chinese ones and got mixed responses but neither of these were busy and the French one is in a bad position open to the Piazza which had bands playing so you had to raise you voice to hear each other during dinner. ENTERTAINMENT Again very disappointing, only 3 production shows for the whole 22 days, other cruises had 2 to 3 per week, the first one was excellent and set a standard that was never meet again, the second was like a free RSL Tuesday night show and only went for 2 thirds of the time, the third was a bit better, let’s say a Friday night RSL free show. The other guest entertainers were of a free RSL mid week level and the piano player in Crooners bar was given the nick name by a few passengers of "the Screecher" which speaks for itself and the guitar soloist had to have the "echo" of the vocal microphone turned up to cover the quality of his voice (the same way they do it at karaoke) except for the band "The Drop" which we felt were very good, the entertainment was a low standard. There is no night club and the bands play in the Piazza area, so it’s like dancing in a Westfield mall, later the DJ plays in Crooners bar which was the VIP casino when it was based in Asia, so it has a low ceiling, partitions blocking the view, no real dance floor and bad acoustics, the DJ was told on many occasions to turn the volume down by his superiors. CABIN We had an inside cabin and thought it was the best cabin of that type we have ever had, the beds were awesome and we always had a good night’s sleep (the pillows were soft which my wife loved but I was not so keen on), there was a large screen TV with movies on demand, which was great for a long cruise, everything was clean and kept that way by our cabin steward, when we arrived 2 draws had their runners broken but they fixed it within a couple of hours when we reported it. SHORE EXCURSIONS We only did 2 of these the first was in Busan where the guide took us a different route which turned out to be harder for the older people and some could not make it all the way to the Temple, on the way back I left the group and followed the original route which was more scenic and would have been less strenuous for the group as the steps were in small groups and low level, when we were asked which way we wanted to go there were only 2 responses, 1 for each way so the guide made the decision. The second tour was in Nha Trang, the guide could hardly speak English (not like the ship told us) and spoke at such a low level that if you were not in the front 2 rows (as the majority of us were) you could not here or understand anything, at each stop we were told "the attraction is up there be back in 20mins etc" and left to do our own self guided tour, at one stop he lost 6 people due to bad instructions and we had to wait for 30 mins while he went off to find them. In Hong Kong and Singapore we did our own thing and got the Hop on Hop off Bus and had a much better experience. SUMMARY We went on board with high expectations created by the Princess marketing and were very disappointed with what we received, we had intentions of purchasing a future cruise deposit for a 31 day Mediterranean cruise next year on the Emerald Princess but after what we experienced on this cruise we did not get one and if this is an example of the new offering from Princess, we are unsure if we will sail with them again, surely on their newest and biggest ship which has been sailing for over 12 months they should have had time to get it right. Nice ship designed for the Asian market but I don’t think it will suit the Western market without some major adjustments to the bar and entertainment areas as well as a major improvement to the food and quality of entertainment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this ship as it was new, but after cruising on the Royal Princess 2 years ago, which is a beautiful ship, plenty of atmosphere, great menu, happy hour I felt these things were missing on this ship. I hope it adjusts for the Aussie ... Read More
I chose this ship as it was new, but after cruising on the Royal Princess 2 years ago, which is a beautiful ship, plenty of atmosphere, great menu, happy hour I felt these things were missing on this ship. I hope it adjusts for the Aussie market. It would be great to have a ship this size based in Australia.Also there is no walking track, the Royal Princess has an excellent walking and running track. The Majestic Princess could improve the atmosphere on the ship, more activities like shows in the attrium to make more lively. Improve the menu and stock up better with Aussie wines. Also the cost of bottled water seems to have doubled. Hopefully the reviews for this ship will improve and I will enjoy another cruise from Australia in the near future. The ship is so big that it is very smooth on the ocean, hardly know where sailing. The Vista lounge was always hard to find a seat as to many bulky seats that take up extra room. The Crooners bar could do with the glass panels removed as its used as a piano bar and it would be great to see the talented singer/pianist. The show dancers only put on a show in the theatre 3 times in 3 weeks., it would have been nice if they had a few more shows. The show band were excellent and seem to perform every day. The dining room staff were always friendly but the menu wasn't as good as other Princess ships. A lot of bottles of wine ran out half way through the cruise as well. The shore excursions were good, and no problem with the tender for 1 port. As for the embarkation in Shanghai, it would have to improve as left a lot of people to fend for themselves with heavy suitcase in the heat of the day for hours, not a pleasant experience before a cruise. Our cabin was good as we had a mini suite, so very comfortable and our cabin stewart was very good and friendly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We were very excited to be sailing on Majestic Princess to Australia and after veiwing videos sent to us by Princess on what we could expect, we had high expectations. What a let down. Embarkation was a nightmare, just over 2 hours of ... Read More
We were very excited to be sailing on Majestic Princess to Australia and after veiwing videos sent to us by Princess on what we could expect, we had high expectations. What a let down. Embarkation was a nightmare, just over 2 hours of standing in the heat before we boarded. We were lucky, others told us it took 4-5 hours, they did nothing to assist the elderly or people with walkers. One passenger collapsed and was taken away by ambulance! The ship itself is beautiful, but even though it has many bars, most of them only seat about 20 people, and some of these seats were taken by people reading books or knitting. There is no nightclub, so most of the dancing is done in the Atrium with limited floor space. The food was very average, we did anytime dining, so ate in the restaurant most days. The food often didn't match the description, one night I ordered Fillet Mignon and got beef kebabs! I did query this with the waiter and was assured it was Fillet Mignon. It seemed no effort was being put into our meals until we reached Brisbane where some Travel agents got on and then suddenly we had the best meal of the entire cruise. I don't think this was a coincidence and most people felt the same. The Market place was very confusing and the food very repetitive, until again after Brisbane, they had an amazing spread of food. The great production shows we were promised consisted of 1 brilliant show and 2 average shows for the whole 3 week cruise. The rest of the entertainment was mostly B grade, again it felt like this was a relocation cruise, so little effort was put in to give us great entertainment. We ate at the Bar and Grill, which was and extra charge, and was very dissappointed. We asked for a pepper sauce or mushroom sauce to go with our steaks and was told there wasn't any, just a very watery jus. There was a selection of sides to choose from, but the waiter said he would bring us all of them. He didn't bring the jacket potatoes and when we asked for them, we got 3 for a table of 4. The Hollywood inside pool area was lovely and we spent most of our time there. The cabin was nice and the beds very comfy. We spoke to many people on the cruise, a lot of them had sailed with Princess before, and they all said how dissappointed they were and it was the worst Princess cruise they had done. Again it felt like little effort was put in because we were relocating, but we won't be sailing with Princess again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Where do I start Firstly the embarkment in Shanghai was terrible. Waiting for up to 3-4 hours This Cruise was for the older clientele Average age was around the 75 plus It was like being in a nursing home. Lots of mobility ... Read More
Where do I start Firstly the embarkment in Shanghai was terrible. Waiting for up to 3-4 hours This Cruise was for the older clientele Average age was around the 75 plus It was like being in a nursing home. Lots of mobility scooters, walking frames, wheelchairs. Most of the time you could never get a lift So the easy option was to walk the stairs. Being on the 15 deck. It was hard to work up all the stairs as hubby had recently had a knee replacement. Deck 15 Oh boy how if Id have known I would never have booked this deck Staff moving furniture at midnight for an hour or so Then again at 5am. After 3 days we complained It did eas off a little but not completely. So no sleep in for us Food Was not the best it seemed what was in the restaurants on an evening got recycled In the food buffet the following day It was some time like eating a pub lunch in the buffet The symphony restaurant was great apart from one of the waiters dropping lemon butter down my formal gown Hence I never made a fuss about this. Entertainment What can I say You had to get to the shows 1hour early to get a seat With many still saving seats Even though they were told not to save. Some of the shows were pretty average. Deck 16 Movie under the stars Hardly anyone went to the 10pm movie. So why show the same one twice in one evening. Same trivia on the big screen was the same over and over. Elton John tribute was on 3 time So princess get your act together otherwise you will lose a lot of your up and coming cruisers Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
SHIP: We chose this cruise as we had not visited any of the destinations previously, save for Brisbane where we remained on board. The ship is indeed a large vessel, but that's the way its going these days. The crew had been used ... Read More
SHIP: We chose this cruise as we had not visited any of the destinations previously, save for Brisbane where we remained on board. The ship is indeed a large vessel, but that's the way its going these days. The crew had been used to servicing Asian customers who generally have a different cultural expectation to that of westerners. There were approximately 2700 Aussies on board with the next group being Americans numbering only approximately 90. I think the crew did a magnificent job accommodating and adapting to the expectations of the Aussie passengers, although it did take a few days. There were many complainers on board that we noticed, but hey as other reviewers of other vessels say, look for the positives and not the negatives. CABIN: We booked M130 a deluxe balcony cabin. This was well appointed, tho a little smaller than the equivalent on Pacific Pearl. Standard features, Large comfy bed and couch with a smallish balcony containing two chairs and a small table. Our cabin Steward was attentive and friendly and provided for all our requests. DINING: We chose anytime dining and the "World Fresh Marketplace" provided a wide and varied choice for all meals. A favorite being the bakery which had a large selection of cakes and sweets to follow your meals with. The other dining choices including Crown Grill and Harmony Chinese were of a great standard and ample food was served at our 2 sittings for each of these. We did not try LaMer simply because we are not fond of French cuisine. The other eateries including Alfredo's Pizzeria and the Burger Bar and International cafe were also of a high standard serving a variety of choices. ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES: We found the entertainment on-board to be of a high standard. The shows in the main theatre were great. We did not like the american entertainer (pianist) in the crooners bar as she did not know the words to songs she was playing, and repeated the same performance for all 22 nights we were aboard. Also if we wanted karaoke we would have gone else where. Using passengers to supplement her inabilities did not go down well with not only us but others we were sitting near. One of the older american passengers ,named Francine, she used managed to racially slur the whole Asian population and this was inappropriate. Hopefully she will not be aboard any future cruises we undertake. Overall, however, the entertainment standard was high and varied enough to provide a choice every night for the whole 22 night cruise. SERVICE: The crew were impeccable in their willingness to be best with their service. Particularly we would like to mention Nenad in the International Cafe and Sascha in the gift shop. These two gentlemen went out of there way to accommodate requests and help us with purchases on board. All of the crew and hotel staff were friendly and courteous when we needed assistance. A big thanks to the medical staff on board who assisted us with an injury we sustained on the tender transfer into NhaTrang. PORTS & EXCURSIONS: This trip we only took Princess Shore Excursions and we found these to be interesting and informative. Only one tender transfer was required at NhaTrang and although it was hot and humid we managed this without major hiccup. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, and yes we were aware of issues at boarding in Shanghai, however this is something the Chinese authorities need to address and Princess need to keep abreast of. We heard many passengers complaining about things that to us seemed insignificant, so again I say look for the positives people not the negatives. If that's what you set out to do you are bound to have a crap holiday. We on the other hand enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and would sail again on this class of vessel if the itinerary appealed to us. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The ports were beautiful, the ship not so. Not enough entertainment or bars. Seats in theather so tiny and cramp in . the tenders we were packed in like sardines. The embarking in Shanghai took 4 hours where Royal Caribbean is done in 30 ... Read More
The ports were beautiful, the ship not so. Not enough entertainment or bars. Seats in theather so tiny and cramp in . the tenders we were packed in like sardines. The embarking in Shanghai took 4 hours where Royal Caribbean is done in 30 minutes. People were fainting and the bus from one terminal to the other in Shanghai had luggage in the isle of bus and we had to unload ourselves . I will never cruise with Princess again. Nice ship but nothin to do onboard. No entertain for the younger group. The lounges and seats in Main Theather are so tiny and no where to place your drink. If some one in the middle needs to get out every one has to get out to let one person out. The tenders we were packed in like sardines. The beverage package is over priced for a 15 drink limit and kept being charge for drinks I never had. Always keep checking your account.Never again will I cruise with Princess. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was the floating Nursing Home! Unless you are a Senior Citizen don`t go on this ship. We are not exactly young ( 55) however the average age of passengers must have been 75 plus.Entertainment was poor although it probably suited the ... Read More
This was the floating Nursing Home! Unless you are a Senior Citizen don`t go on this ship. We are not exactly young ( 55) however the average age of passengers must have been 75 plus.Entertainment was poor although it probably suited the older passengers. Food was very average with same choices in the buffet every day - very little change to the menu. Bar / waiting staff and stateroom attendants were fantastic which was a positive! The theatres weren`t big enough to accommodate the number of people wanting to watch the shows with many having to stand. The ports of call were good. The embarkation process in Shanghai was the worst we have experienced with lack of communication from Princess and terminal staff as to why passengers were waiting out in the searing heat for over 3 hours. Disembarkation in Sydney was the best - lots of ground staff who were friendly and willing to assist Read Less
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