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22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have traveled with Celebrity, Cunard, P & O and Princess and till now Princess was our clear favorite, but our experience over the past 3 weeks has left that favoritism in tatters! There were many negatives on this ship but I ... Read More
We have traveled with Celebrity, Cunard, P & O and Princess and till now Princess was our clear favorite, but our experience over the past 3 weeks has left that favoritism in tatters! There were many negatives on this ship but I will start with some positives. The staff were all very helpful, polite and generally good at their jobs. The ship itself was extraordinarily stable with almost NO rocking and rolling over the entire 22 days even though we traveled from Asia to Australia. Their system of taking the passports from the passengers to ease the immigration processing worked in most cases and the tendering service on the one occasion it was used was extremely smooth. Sadly, the negatives affected our cruise more than the positives, with one having a major effect on us throughout most of the trip. I will work through them in a logical order. Some are not fixable but it is probably best if you are aware of them rather than being surprised later. For this particular cruise the boarding in Shanghai was a nightmare. I am told that Princess were not responsible for the debacle in Shanghai and had indeed tried to be in control and failed. All I can suggest is that in future they avoid Shanghai altogether. It ensured most of the passengers boarded the ship in less than a positive frame of mind and could well have been part of the reason so many people were negative about the ship . For our part, the cruise was spoilt by our inability to have the balcony door open at night, but more of that shortly. On the first evening we went to dinner in the any time dining restaurant, Symphony, at 6.30 only to be handed a buzzer and told to go away and wait till it buzzed!! I assumed they had made an error as there were plenty of empty tables in the restaurant and told them I had any time dining, but they said they realised that and to take the buzzer and wait. 40 minutes later it went off and despite a preference for a table for two, we were forced to share a larger table of six if we didnt want a further delay! In all the cruises with all the different shipping lines we have sailed with that was the first time that had ever happened. Any time dining in the past referred to any time WE wanted to eat not any time the staff could fit us in! As a consequence to eating so late, I had severe indigestion that evening and in order to avoid that problem again we went to dinner at 5.45pm each night to ensure we got mostly the same table and didnt have to wait to be placed on a table. However it completely nullified the point of any time dining which is one of the main criteria we look for on a cruise. The other main essential for us is a cabin with a balcony so we can sleep with the door open at night. The reason we do this is because we enjoy fresh air and it usually avoids the problems associated with breathing recycled air conditioned air and the coughs and colds that often causes. On this cruise, despite paying so much extra for a balcony (and indeed a mini suite) we were unable to sleep with the balcony door open for all but the final few nights. The reason for that was a loud ''howling'' sound that erupted spasmodically from the wall next to the door when it was opened. Sometimes it was a high pitched whistle and other times it sounded like the night of the living dead! On the morning of the second day, we asked the cabin steward to listen to the sound and see if it could be fixed. He appeared horrified and baffled by the noise and told us he would get someone to look into it. Nothing happened so we assumed it was something structural which could not be fixed at sea and started sleeping with the door closed. Whilst it had an impact on the cruise from our point of view, we understand that sometimes there are events that are outside peoples control. However, on the 18th day an engineer came to the cabin to check our fridge and while he was there I asked if he knew what was causing the wailing sound when the door was opened. He listened to it and recorded it on his phone after tracing it to the panel of the bulkhead beside the door and told me to call reception and request a carpenter. I did this as he waited, but all that achieved was the cabin steward arrived asking if I had called for him. I explained I had asked the engineer about the noise we had told him about 2 weeks earlier and he called down to someone and spoke to them in a foreign language and left after telling me a carpenter was on his way. After a while we left the cabin as well. 8 hours later I called down to reception to ask if the carpenter had been as the noise was still there and they said he had been and not heard the noise when he opened the door and left! I had explained it wasnt constant but irregular and often. After dinner there was a message to call reception if the noise started - which it did almost immediately. They said the carpenter would be there, but it took about 2 hours for him to arrive! Around 10.15 that night the carpenter came. The noise was very much on and off and not as serious as before but he did at least hear it and started banging a hammer on a screw driver. A manager arrived part way through and then when the noise stopped they both left and the carpenter said he would check back in the morning to see if the noise was gone. In the morning we advised him it was substantially reduced but still there a little and he then filled several gaps with silicone and from then on it was perfect. However it was annoying to discover we had paid for a mini suite for the balcony and not been able to use it for all but the final 3 nights despite pointing out the problem on the first full day! We may as well have paid for an ocean view for all the good of it. THAT issue obviously had a major impact on our cruise and its enjoyment. But it was not the only one. On the Majestic there is no promenade deck as such. On EVERY cruise ship we have traveled on in the past we could walk around the entire deck with a nice view and fresh air as we go. This was not possible on the Majestic and I believe that is a major design flaw. We took a Princess shore tour in Singapore and have to say we were shocked by the poor condition of the coach we traveled in. It was quite old and the air con was VERY limited. Worse still when the engine idled it was impossible to hear the guide speaking and the smell of petrol became quite over powering at the back of the bus where we were seated.Having said that, we could see the other coaches were all quite new, so it is possible we were unlucky. However the tour ended at some markets in China Town. They were about the least inspiring markets I have ever seen and having driven past all the fabulous stores on Orchard Street, a stop THERE would have been far better than ending up in a smelly third rate market! Due to the passenger numbers on the ship, there is another problem - not enough places for passengers to sit and read quietly. Most of the common areas are so full, there isnt a seat to sit on at times and far too much noise when there is. The lounge in front of the Hollywood Club was either full up (which it was all day) or the odd person would come and play the musical instruments around the place (BADLY) to interrupt any attempts to have a quiet moment in the evening. I am sure that sounds picky, but a lot of passengers look for that little place to sit and have some peace on board. On Majestic it really doesnt exist. For Trivia, there were more people than seats which resulted in my missing out a few times and I assume others missing out when I didnt! The room just wasnt big enough for the passenger numbers. The little nook and cranny problem was exacerbated by some of the few areas available being closed off now and again so a British film crew could film a fake wedding or give a (fake) impression of quiet areas on board as they made their free advert for Princess which will be shown on English TV shortly.! Finally I should mention the entertainment, which was disappointing. In over 3 weeks there were only 3 major stage shows on board - UNHEARD of on any other cruise where they are usually every second or third night. Whilst the value of the other entertainers is very much subjective and affected by personal opinion, the stage shows by the singers and dancers are what most of the passengers look forward to and less than one a week is pathetic! As for the other entertainers, some were good and some were iffy at best. I wont criticise individuals because as I said it is all a matter of personal opinion but for me, I have certainly seen better on every other cruise in the past. These are not all the problems or all the things that adversely affected the cruise for us, but I am sure if these had not been applicable the rest of the problems with have dimmed into insignificance. We may reconsider, Princess in the future, but at this moment we are very disappointed with them. Read Less
Majestic Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.5
Family 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.1
Service 4.5 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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