54 Princess Star Princess Repositioning Cruise Reviews

For context, I usually cruise Disney so I can’t help but make it my point of reference. I took my 10YO son on a 3 day cruise from Vancouver to LA. Our main objective of the trip was to spend time together, enjoy the food and enjoy ... Read More
For context, I usually cruise Disney so I can’t help but make it my point of reference. I took my 10YO son on a 3 day cruise from Vancouver to LA. Our main objective of the trip was to spend time together, enjoy the food and enjoy being at sea. I splurged on a club class mini suite. I. Not sure the ‘club class’ was worth the extra $$, but we loved the mini suite. So much space for just the two of us - very luxurious. We especially loved the robes and the extra large balcony. The ship is looking (and smelling) a little dated. It was nice to have a shower/tub combo but the tile was looking super old. Also, there were odd smells noticed in our room. The hall and especially up on the sports deck. I am mixed on the food. I was not impressed with the buffet but had great meals at Portofinos dining room. The wait staff were exceptional. I was impressed with the pools! Lots of options for kids and adults. And super fun to have the big screen showing movies out by the pool. I was told the ship was full and yet it never seemed that busy. The buffet was occasionally lined up. Overall, great cruise. Service was up to par with Disney, restaurant food was excellent and our room very comfy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Let's start with the condition of the vessel. It needs some major repairs to it's plumbing systems as we had personal loss of our toilet multiple times this cruise and saw many leaking ceilings and buckets throughout the ship. ... Read More
Let's start with the condition of the vessel. It needs some major repairs to it's plumbing systems as we had personal loss of our toilet multiple times this cruise and saw many leaking ceilings and buckets throughout the ship. Heard stories of cabins flooded and carpet replaced, our friends were relocated along with their neighbors due to repairs to their cabins. However I cannot find fault with the crew of this vessel. Captain Tuvo has a very happy crew, we heard crew people tell of how nice it is to work on board the Star and it showed right to the customers as well. Dinner in Sabatini's was fantastic for both service and food. Anytime dining was great, never having any issues getting a table when we wanted. We tried to get Edwardo and Paul each night as they were so good with service and timing of our meals. The barrel chair was in our caribe cabin and we were thrilled to see it. Air conditioning did not work on our warmest day in San Francisco when jellyfish clogged the cooling system we heard, but in our cabin is was fine. Overall the ship does need some care and we heard it will be dry docked in April to upgrade to medallion. Not sure we would sail her again only due to ship condition but not the crew.....they were a joy. Also enjoyed the smoking lounge Shooters for a cigar and whiskey. I also thought the pools were heated somewhat.....on one day the rear pool was too warm for my taste. Oh yea....this cruise also was to pick their entertainer of the year 2019 so they had four on board to do shows and we voted. The singer Phillip Brown won and he was great. Also even with it's plumbing issues I have to say the public restrooms were some of the cleanest and well cared for we have experienced at sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall a nice experience. Great cabin, balcony was well used and steward was perfect. Food was not up to other Princess ships I've been on but service was wonderful. I should clarify, Horizon Court Buffet at times reminded me of ... Read More
Overall a nice experience. Great cabin, balcony was well used and steward was perfect. Food was not up to other Princess ships I've been on but service was wonderful. I should clarify, Horizon Court Buffet at times reminded me of college dorm fare. Shows were very good. The most annoying thing was the constant announcements of sales. Yes, they have to make a profit but sometimes it's the little things that make a customer feel special. It was exciting to receive a packet in the post with documents, luggage tags and great expectations of an upcoming adventure. Now you have to print yourself documents etc etc. Nice touch at the end of the cruise was the airlines luggage program. Bags whisked away not to be touched again until you land at your home airport. Note the Star is getting a bit long in the tooth. Showing some age, it gets hard to maintain a ship after 15 years of service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because I heard it had high ratings and was a short 3 day cruise. I really enjoyed everything and the fact that it had a structured schedule of entertainment and activities. We had a great experience at Lotus spa and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I heard it had high ratings and was a short 3 day cruise. I really enjoyed everything and the fact that it had a structured schedule of entertainment and activities. We had a great experience at Lotus spa and got a couple's massage and hair style.Every personnel was so kind, knowledgable and helped us in every way. We were very satisfied with them. I was really happy that there was 24 hour cafes and room service along with daily live music that one could dance to. All the entertainers were so talented, I was impressed! We had so much fun and danced, ate and drank a lot. We had a chance to relax while at sea. It was absolutely wonderful and my boyfriend proposed to me on the last night we were there. It was truly a special adventure as it was a special occasion and our first cruise together with the exceptional service of the Star Princess Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Four of us women friends from across the map (Toronto, Florida, San Francisco, and Vancouver) chose this cruise as an opportunity to reunite, to hang out and chill, and it exceeded all of our expectations. Originally, we booked two balcony ... Read More
Four of us women friends from across the map (Toronto, Florida, San Francisco, and Vancouver) chose this cruise as an opportunity to reunite, to hang out and chill, and it exceeded all of our expectations. Originally, we booked two balcony rooms; but when PRINCESS offered us an opportunity to upgrade to a Full Suite at a discount, and we took advantage of the offer. It was completely worth it. We enjoyed welcome champagne, “high tea” one afternoon, and a gourmet breakfast one morning out on our balcony. We made use of the thermal suites in the spa. We enjoyed stellar breakfasts and dinner at Sabatini’s. We took in the comedians, a couple of shows, and then continued our celebration for a couple of additional nights in Vancouver where spring was in full bloom. The weather on the cruise was overcast, foggy, and chilly the whole time. One night, we went to sleep to the sound of the fog horn, but this did not detract from our enjoyment. I would book this cruise again — particularly for a reunion with family. Highly recommend! Thank you, PRINCESS!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Our friends asked us to join them with other family members. The food was excellent and the cruise staff very friendly and accommodating. The Captain (Tubo) was all over the ship, greeting guests on a daily basis. The entertainment was ... Read More
Our friends asked us to join them with other family members. The food was excellent and the cruise staff very friendly and accommodating. The Captain (Tubo) was all over the ship, greeting guests on a daily basis. The entertainment was wonderful. Only draw back the theater, unfortunately, was not large enough to accommodate all the guests. The tours, both ship sponsored or private arrangements, were wonderful. All in all, Princess Cruise Lines did a great job, including embarkation and disembarkation at both ports. I can't say enough about the dining room staff and food taste and presentation. It was all good! The outdoor Pizza Venue, Ice Cream Corner and Hamburgers and Hot Dogs were also very good and well prepared. The Pools and Jacuzzi were also well maintained and the Bars were always within site and the staff always friendly and available. The Tender Service was well organized as was. Disembarkation at the (6) Ports we arrived at. That's about it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports and was not disappointed as we got to go to all the ports listed on this itinerary. We had good weather going round Cape Horn. We were lucky to have Captain Michelle Tuvo who has a great sense of humor ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports and was not disappointed as we got to go to all the ports listed on this itinerary. We had good weather going round Cape Horn. We were lucky to have Captain Michelle Tuvo who has a great sense of humor and very visable around the ship as well as very informative taking us on this cruise. We saw penguins, sea lions,sea turtles, dolphins etc. Cabin was nice and spacious with a new TV as well as the new beds. Our cabins steward was good always friendly and checked if we needed anything. We opted for anytime dinning which was good. Breakfast in the dnning room was a hit and miss. Some days it seemed like the waiters just couldn't cope even though the restaurant was not full. Food was good but the deserts in the Horizon Buffet standard has dropped. The entertainment was fair nothing oustanding. Expected more Latin American entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We choose this cruise is because we have never been to South America. We took an excursion in Puntaeranes, Costa Rica and could not find the bus that was supposed to take us to St. Jose. There were no guides at the terminal and we ... Read More
We choose this cruise is because we have never been to South America. We took an excursion in Puntaeranes, Costa Rica and could not find the bus that was supposed to take us to St. Jose. There were no guides at the terminal and we asked the bus drivers where our bus was and was directed to outside the gates of the terminal but the bus was actually the first bus in the terminal closes to the cruise ship gate. The food was very salty especially the soup which cannot be consumed. In the Royal Princess, there were 2 pots, one salted and the other not salted and we could blend both soups to make it not too salty. The food is also very salty, not like on other Princess ships. The menu was always the same especially at breakfast. The entertainment was excellent and we enjoyed the production shows. Service was sometimes lacking especially in the early mornings when half the staff was not on duty yet although the restaurant was open. The cabin was comfortable. I would avoid Star Princess in my future cruises. I will stick to Royal or Regal which are better managed although the Captain of Star Princess was very attentive and resolve problems on the spot. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The basics: Howdy. I went on the 30-day encompassing travel from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Travel was part of a family/family friends unit accompanying passengers in their 60s and 70s, one with mobility, non-wheelchair ... Read More
The basics: Howdy. I went on the 30-day encompassing travel from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Travel was part of a family/family friends unit accompanying passengers in their 60s and 70s, one with mobility, non-wheelchair considerations; we're mostly a group that wanted to see the sights and hopefully get an inkling of the life of the region with less emphasis on the bells and whistles of cruise life/services and holiday cruising. Some, but not extensive cruising experience prior to this one. All in all, I feel that our days were lucky and well spent with very comfortable service/passage, interesting ports, and fortunate weather with the caveat and advice that the experience is also more driven by your own efforts, energy, and embracing come what may of the cruise experience. Ship: Ship spaces are generally pleasant. The Star feels more of a modest environment: There are few-to-no grand visual statements and often swaths of low ceiling, unexciting carpet, and mild patterns; the best of what decor offers is more in some updated spaces that are intimate and comfortable (Wheelhouse Bar, and the fee-dining areas of Sabatini's and Crown Grill - perhaps my gravitation for polished wood and booths, here). Other areas feel a little more perfunctory and are deflated a little by what feels to be almost consistently cramped design: The flow and available space in the Horizon Court dining areas, for example, seem to subdivide yet compress traffic flow, and the Piazza/shopping area feels a tad compact and cold in comparison to other cruise experiences. There are also some awkward moments, such as locating the nearest bathroom of the Amalfi 6th-floor dining room one floor up, the random corridor/dead end in navigating from one side of the ship to the other, and what came to be called 'elevator roulette' in trying to figure out which door opened (sometimes behind you) - small details and decisions that don't necessarily make sense or feel accommodating to the passenger. Cabin: Cabin space continues the general idea of functionality without much flair - for three passengers, ours was an obstructed view starboard with two twin beds and two fold-down options. Sharing for three is possible, but dependent on traveling style. Storage includes a small safe (not for anything larger than small electronics - maybe one camera, a footprint not much larger than a paper sheet) and cabinet column next to an open closet (with plenty of hangers) and then a few open shelving corners, drawers, and a night table per twin bed. There was some fair space in the closet for standing luggage, but at the same time there was barely desk space for two and open floor was very limited - seating and rest were pretty much constrained to the beds which were happily comfortable. (Note that the upper berth has a light switch that is permanently lit in green.) Unfortunately we didn't check the lamps for USB ports; we relied on the two available room outlets to rotate between charging our gadgets. The bathroom is basic with a shower stall and again some limited open shelving and one outlet. TV and phone were without frills and fine - ultimately, our cabin only served for rest and recuperation as needed. Service: Professional service was the norm - overall, the impression was attentive and dedicated, particularly despite the extensive hours and scheduling being worked by some staff. The weaker points come from the instances of when service fell through, most prominently in information distribution and scheduling and handling of port day organization. Causes seemed variable - a lack of confidence in providing/committing advice, an outdated piece of information here and there - but it also felt almost structural - never had I been more aware of feeling like the staff somehow needed more resources and bodies to address the needs of the passenger audience. Nevertheless, those thoughts don't diminish that we had wonderful stewards and waiters during our month on board, with great conversation and care that made traditional dining always a highlight to wind down the day (many thanks to Julius and Fitri!). There are many teams hard at work on board - dining, bar, entertainment, photography, to name a few - and the sparks of friendliness helped to create a sense of consistent community on the ship, especially in the cheerful atmosphere set from LA to Santiago under the command of Captain Michele Tuvo (a definite highlight - passengers on the Sky Princess will be in good hands). Dining: Mostly traditional, no-fee for our experience; for the most part (along with our excellent service) we were pleased with the various menu ideas and items if equally occasionally disappointed in the execution. Appetizers - a wild mushroom tartlet, crab cake, for example - were probably the most satisfying, with dessert second. Cold soup options like one with crystallized ginger and a lychee-coconut drink and sorbets in honeydew and apple cider were among our favorite and most surprising discoveries over the whole course. On the other hand, savory soups were frequently salty, and over the course of two menu cycles it was possible to encounter variance in quality in any item (a disappointing, fibrous vegetable quiche to a fantastic slice; a supremely sweet mousse to one well balanced). For traveling along South America, fruit itself also seemed inconsistent, perhaps a necessity of cruising but still perplexing. Outside of dinner, the options were serviceable: Secondary notables included the reliable and satisfying Prego Pizzeria slice for lunch and the often overlooked afternoon tea on sea days (tea, scone with jam and cream, sandwiches, and desserts in a brief window). The Horizon buffet options were standard with a clear orientation towards quantity production - a good option for a do-it-yourself sandwich, but for most items often featured idea over execution with a few finds. Paired with tight spacing and inconvenient seating, it was less favored than a formal dining room or grab-and-go. Late-night grub is also limited to one option after 11 p.m., which ties a bit into the overall ship life... Entertainment, Programming, and Ship Life: Programming/ship life unfortunately was probably the flimsiest portion of our cruise experience, whether navigating past the cascade of jewelry and gallery events to queuing for limited seating in craft sessions to the early morning scheduling of enrichment lectures and so on. Personally, I was a little disappointed by how promotional activities wanted to be, with art lectures that tried to tie into the auctions, craft sessions with purchasable kits, and port lectures with excursion ops: these seemed less suggestive of personal enrichment and kept events from feeling as professional, educational, or enjoyable as they should have. Intentions, demographics, and target audience aside, many ship activities never seemed to really gel, dogged by a feeling that resources and space were never really meant to accommodate the audience that arrived. Easier options included Movies Under the Stars (which sometimes allotted three showings of the same film), but seating, preparation, and planning otherwise for events would have benefited with more attention - not placing an event at the same site as a sale or an auction, ensuring that passengers waiting for an event had an alternative to sitting on the floor, checking that equipment compatibility did not delay a start for twenty minutes - the cumulative details felt unrefined. Entertainment quality was also mixed - musical entertainment outside of evening shows held up well with performers providing enjoyable listening (what felt like nightly Tango music with the Bujacich Quintet was very in-theme and well appreciated) whereas mainstage acts could impress (magician Alex Ramon, guitarist Nestor Santurio) or less depending on the evening. One major miss for me was a silent run through Glacier Alley: whether simply unscheduled or maybe a technical malfunction, the Star Princess sailed through the area without announcement and a far cry from the Alaskan Glacier Bay experience on a different cruise line. Port/Itinerary/Excursions: The port schedule serves to balance out the unflattering as-you-go nature of sea days - the itinerary, particularly in the main leg of San Antonio/Santiago to Buenos Aires, is filled with singular experiences of landscape, wildlife, history, and culture, paced often with an alternation between port days and sea days to rest and prepare. The repositioning from Los Angeles to Santiago is deceptively slow, with two sets of three sea days back-to-back, but its ports of call can also provide for some expansive offerings to those traveling first-time like we were (San Martin was a spectacular surprise in providing terrain and wildlife we'd never seen before). As strong as the itinerary is (and our schedule also saw us as the only ship in most ports), a warning that doing research on the ports and vendors available can be well worth the time and money saved. Skip out of what might seem like a convenient bus-based city tour for taking the courtesy shuttle and/or walking the path directly (San Martin, Punta Arenas, and Montevideo come to mind) and also realize that comparable and reliable options do exist at sometimes less than half the price. Another major shortcoming is the management of tender and shuttle ticketing: we were ill-prepared for how poorly operations went for Lima shuttle tickets and not-insignificant wait times were involved for most tender operations without personal planning. (Aside from the iconic Captain Tuvo, nothing unified the ship more than the antipathy towards the WiFi and tender services.) Odds and ends: For repositioning to the first run of the season, the 30-day sailing does encompass the winter holidays and New Year's. Nods in the decor were trees, wreaths, and other decorations for the entirety in addition to some light scheduling of holiday events (card making, gingerbread houses, caroling, etc.) and a special dinner menu for each occasion. A piazza balloon drop celebrated the turn of the year - enough late-night fun for me! - but other cruisers might have preferred something that felt more extensive and encompassing. Young adults on this cruise should be prepared to find or prepare their own entertainment. The two portions of the cruise were markedly different in composition, so finding a similar cohort was even more challenging before the family groups and end-of-year cruisers arrived for Santiago to Buenos Aires. There are all-ages activities and enrichment opportunities, but nevertheless, targeted activities were scarce. Embarkation from Los Angeles went smoothly with friendly service. Disembarkation was more reflective of the organizational ambivalence that emerged through the course of the cruise with disembarking excursion passengers called very early in the morning to assemble before waiting further to disembark. Nonetheless, the excursion itself was a very smooth process (be warned - EZE was not). In any sort of going on and off the ship, those with mobility issues were often lost in the crowd. Conclusion: In hindsight, we all had a memorable experience with the essence of what we had hoped - new experiences, culture, land, and people with hopefully more revelation of how little we do know. In that regard, I'd like to say that it was excellent. Nonetheless, for the purposes of this review, I can't really say that we lay that claim to the Star Princess, however grateful we are for the excellent instances of service and the privilege for the convenience and comfort of the ship. Depending on what you're looking for, this could be a very good cruise - one where you form friendships and memories and travel affordably - but if it is, it will likely be because of your own efforts, investment, and objectives as opposed to the experience of the vessel. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Great price and great itinerary. First time in south America and enjoyed the heck out of it. we enjoyed this trip and met a lot of friendly people. Embarkation process went smoothly even though our bus from the airport was late arriving to ... Read More
Great price and great itinerary. First time in south America and enjoyed the heck out of it. we enjoyed this trip and met a lot of friendly people. Embarkation process went smoothly even though our bus from the airport was late arriving to the port. Disembarkation also went smoothly. Our waiters (Renato and Nikki) at Portofino Dining Room are very professional and the Head waiter Sebastian was superb. These people took care of us for 30 days. Our cabin was always very clean. Our steward (Michael) always go out of his way to make sure our cabin was cleaned and sanitized. All ports were exciting even though lots of guest were scared to go out to one specific port because of the letter sent to all guests by the ship. My wife and I are planning to take another 30 day cruise this coming April 2019. Have a happy New Year to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked air fare and transfers with Princess to simplify our process. The embarkation in LA process was good up until boarding the ship. It took 2.5 hours to board. Standing on cement for my wife was difficult as she had hip surgery ... Read More
We booked air fare and transfers with Princess to simplify our process. The embarkation in LA process was good up until boarding the ship. It took 2.5 hours to board. Standing on cement for my wife was difficult as she had hip surgery 10 months ago. I would have liked some hydration stands especially if the weather got warmer. The disembarkation from ship to airport was great. However, the airport in Buenos Aires was painful 3.5 hours of lineups, suitcase drop-off, security, immigration, and boarding. The ship was clean and had lots of sanitizing stations. As seniors ,we chose the early seating as it fit our schedule better and we like sit down meals. It also enabled us to catch the early perfrmances in the Princess Theater. Our normal routine was to have breakfast in the Horizon Court (buffet), then go to the International Cafe for soup, salad, and/or sandwhich for lunch. We did try the speciality reastaurant, the Crown Grill. For activities we played duplicate bridge, played trivia, and enjoyed the Spa We did Princess and private tours at the Ports. CABO SAN LUCA - MEXICO Our Princess tour Salsa and Salsa got canceled. We took the tender to the port and caught the elevator up to the 2nd floor and enjoyed a couple of beers from the Wizzle Restaurant. This got us away from the street hustle and noise. PUNTA ARENAS - COSTA RICA We booked a private tour through Alvaro of Odyssey Tours. It was called 10 in 1 adventures. It was very good. Two of our favorites were watching the guides feed chicken to the crocodiles and watching the sunset at the top of a restaurant sipping an Imperial beer (local Costa Rican beer) CALLAO – PERU (LIMA) Lima is supposed to be a gastronomic delight with two of the top 10 restaurants in the world. We bought 3 pairs of alpaca socks (best socks for those that have cold feet) This is a two day stopover. We took a Princess excursion one day to the President’s square and the Indian Market. There are 11 million people that live in Metro – Lima It was nice to get out of the bus considering it was bumper to bumper traffic (30 minutes at each stop). We canceled our private tour because we were worried about our safety. We were told that taxis have no regulations so the drivers may not be taxi drivers. SAN MARTIN – PERU (PARACAS) We booked a private tour through Rocio of Bahia Tours. We were picked up at the Port of San Martin by a taxi. The driver took us to the boat center. We then boarded a slipper (an open passenger speed boat) and began by going to see the Candelabra – a huge figure in the sand. Next we continued to Ballestas Islas (Peru’s answer to the Galapagos). The colonies of birds, such as, Humboldt penguins, comorrants, terns and the sea lions were phenomenal. When we got back to shore the same taxi driver had our English speaking guide who took us on a tour of Paracas National Park. Part of which is going through a desert which doesn’t get any rain. Then we did a pisco tasting. COQUIMBO – CHILE (La Serena) We took a private tour through Mayorista tours. The Pisco in Vicuna – Cabel distillery (was great) . We stopped for 15 minutes at the La Serena market and stopped for 15 minutes at the Lighthouse monument SAN ANTONIO - CHILE We booked the City Drive tour through Princess. As the Chilean kids were on summer vacation we were in an area of their vacation homes and we were also on the Poet’s Route. We saw the second largest swimming pool in the world PUERTO MONTT – CHILE We booked a private tour through Puerto Montt excursions via Denis Putrov. His email is www.puertomontt-excursiones.com/en Some of the highlights were travelling alongside Lake Llanquihue, seeing the Osorno volcano, enjoying the beauty of Esmerelda Lake (Chile’s Lake Louise), enjoying some Chilean sweets in Cassis restaurant in Puerto Varas, and visting the Angelmo fish market. It was a great private tour. AMALIA GLACIER, We were fortunate enough to see it as most days it is fogged in PUNTARENAS – CHILE We arrived on Christmas Day and walked up to the main square as we had canceled our Princess excursion to Magdelena Island. (Falkland Islands is a better place to see penguins) We did stop in a souvenir shop. Chilean Peso is the best money, although USD are nice, USHUAIA – ARGENTINA Here we realized how close we were to Antarctica. We took the $10 USD double decker bus ride. It lasts 1 hour and the first one leaves at 1:15 PM. We enjoyed it. CAPE HORN Another treat as we did not have rough seas as we rounded into the Atlantic Ocean. The desolate island with no trees and cool temperatures (even in summer" time") STANLEY – FALKLAND ISLANDS We got lucky. We connected with the game warden or caretaker of Volunteer Point Sanctuary. Derek Pettersson knew the shortcuts so we got to the site first so we were able to walk among the penguins without stressing them too much. The sanctuary had King, Gentoo, and Magellan penguins His tour included a lunch. His email is drp@horizon.co.fk . The roads are only for “4 x 4 ing”. Your body will be bounced around. PUERTO MADRYN-ARGENTINA We walked the streets along the beachfront. First we walked 4 blocks to the turismo information where they said the best thing to do is to go 17 km down the road. Then, we went to the adjacent 2 story mall and walked 3 blocks west to the town square. We stopped in at a supermarket on the way MONTEVIDEO- URUGUAY We went on the Princess city tour knowing that the city streets would be empty on Jan 1. Our tour guide said some of the inhabitants partied until 7 am. Don’t know about currency although we did use USD to get a fridge magnet. We drove by their 80000 people soccer stadium BUENOS AIRES -ARGENTINA If you have extra days before boarding in Buenos Aires, we enjoyed the Princess excursion City Drive (saw Eva Peron’s Mausoleum) and Tango Show at La Ventana and a Princes excursion to Tigre Delta. The Opera House is supposed to phenomenal. As soccer season had not started a Boca Junior or River Platte game would be fun The traffic around the terminal is slow because a freeway is being constructed. Also when you get to the terminal you will be shuttled to the ship. Many guests stayed longer by going to the Sofitel Hotel. Argentina Peso is the best currency in Argentina, Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
It quickly became evident that our most recent cruise experience was going to be less than stellar. From empty serving pans and poor service at the buffet when we boarded, to the poor quality of food that we received at their pricey ... Read More
It quickly became evident that our most recent cruise experience was going to be less than stellar. From empty serving pans and poor service at the buffet when we boarded, to the poor quality of food that we received at their pricey specialty restaurant...one thing gradually led to another, to exemplify just how far the cruising industry has degraded over the years. Apparently, the cruise industry is much more interested in seeing how many people they can stuff aboard a single ship, than concerning themselves with customer satisfaction. We loved most of the ports that we visited, and most of the tours that we took. It's a shame that the tour descriptions opted to overlook aspects of tours that would prove daunting to handicapped passengers, and omit the fact that another area of one of their tours will simply not be available to passengers, even after they've paid for the tour. The dining room food quality was disappointing, at best. Ship stabilizers were over-reactive, and often tossed the ship harshly from side to side. Crewmembers admitted that this is not the smoothest ship they've ever been on. On the day of disembarkation, you have to be out of your stateroom by 8:00 am. Guys, make sure you use the restroom before leaving your stateroom, because after you leave your stateroom, and go to the buffet, you'll discover that EVERY men's toilet facility in EVERY public men's room on the ship has been locked, with a sign that reads, "UNDER MAINTENANCE". How interesting that EVERY men's room toilet broke all at once. Or, could it be that the cleaning staff has decided to clean them early (as they will need to turn the ship around in a few hours) and couldn't care less if you've gotta "go" or not? No Board of Health to report them to, I guess. Most of the cruise lines appear to be affiliated with one another these days, so I don't know if one line is any better than any other. Just don't set your sights very high, and you shouldn't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just returned today from a four day Vancouver to LA, so my thoughts are all very fresh here. We are "Platinum" members with Princess and wanted to take a quick get away cruise from Vancouver to LA, and I cannot stress how ... Read More
Just returned today from a four day Vancouver to LA, so my thoughts are all very fresh here. We are "Platinum" members with Princess and wanted to take a quick get away cruise from Vancouver to LA, and I cannot stress how poorly run this ship truly is.. From Stem to Stern this ship stinks and I mean literally. The sewage system had numerous failures, as I witnessed several toilets either overflowed or backed up throughout the ship on the voyage. My first complaint was with the head waiter (Marcos in the Portofino Dining Room), as I have never been charged a "corkage" fee for the one bottle of wine that you are allowed to bring onboard, but on this occasion I was told that it is "policy". Funny, because I brought on 15 bottles of wine for my 28 day Tahiti Cruise and only paid corkage on 13 of them; the rest, they were more than happy to open without question, but the manner in which he handled the situation made me feel less than warm and fuzzy about being an upstanding Princess Patron...If this encounter didn't make matters worse, the meal in the Portofino wasn't very good that night period, so I proceeded to eat my next two dinners in the Capri Dining Room, but to be honest those meals were hit and miss just like the first. The Crown Grill, which is normally a fantastic meal experience was unbelievably bad, as the Rib Eye steak was so tough you could barely cut it. The server Steven was very nice and apologetic, but what could he do? I should have returned the steak immediately, but I've never cooked a steak that tough in my house and I guess I was just too surprised that they would serve it. Also, the food in general was just plain mediocre and very inconsistent. Generally the food on Princess in the Horizon Court is very, very good, but again not on this ship. If this had been my first cruise I probably would not sail with Princess again, but I know first hand how this is not the norm for any Princess ship. Very astonishing considering this ship was in Dry Dock just last December. The only saving grace was the balcony cabin, which was indeed very nice and comfortable, and the music on board was very good, otherwise it was a complete bust......Never again on the STAR.... Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Back from our third cruise on the Star Princess April 2018. It was a wonderful trip; special thanks to the Princess Upgrade Fairy and the unforgettable Captain Tuvo! We had been on the Star a year ago and noticed a vast improvement. On ... Read More
Back from our third cruise on the Star Princess April 2018. It was a wonderful trip; special thanks to the Princess Upgrade Fairy and the unforgettable Captain Tuvo! We had been on the Star a year ago and noticed a vast improvement. On this voyage, the Star Princess focused on accommodating the comfort and convenience of the passengers foremost! An incredible difference in the menu(s). Kudos to the Head Food & Beverage Officer and Chef(s). We’ve always had Traditional Dinning however on this trip, we had Anytime Dinning. It worked out well without lineups and we were pleased with the service and the food options (the “regular” Princess menu was back). Appreciated the united teamwork as staff, regardless of status i.e. maitre’D, bar and wait staff work together to provide efficient service. However, we found ourselves often eating in the Horizon Court with its vast array of international dishes. We could fill our plates with salads/vegetables/fruits along with smaller portions of meat dishes. The service upstairs was just as efficient as the MDR, and also offered a relaxing time to chat with the servers. Another bonus we found, was that we were never rushing to get ready for a set dinning time. The following are some of the improvements noted: Ship overall seemed in great shape. No foul smells! -Dinning Room: Improved selection on menu and efficient service -Horizon Court: array of international offerings and a constant variety of fresh fruits daily. Enjoyed the Ramen nights. -Hand washing stations in Horizon Court. -Staterooms: clean and bright, lots of storage room. Great new beds and bedding, shower was a little tight. Well taken care of by our efficient, personable steward Geraldo Sanchez. -Princess singers and dancers: amazing! 4 shows plus on a 10 day cruise. Sometimes we’ve only seen 4 shows over a 30+day cruise. Outstanding: -Always appreciate the complementary 250 internet minutes -New large screen TVs -Princess Singers&Dancers: Motor City Review & Born to Dance excellent -Chris Funk “The Wonderist” amazing!!! -Horizon Court: Amount of fresh fruits/vegetables/salads and the International cuisine -Captain Tuvo: most popular, visible and entertaining captain who provides his passengers with a positive unforgettable experience. His “It’s nice to be important; but it’s more important to be nice,” reflects his attitude towards passengers and crew, and is played forward by all! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary. Unfortunately the captain canceled Oregon port due to weather and said they would sail straight to Nanaimo from San Francisco. The service on this ship was really lacking, compared with previous ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary. Unfortunately the captain canceled Oregon port due to weather and said they would sail straight to Nanaimo from San Francisco. The service on this ship was really lacking, compared with previous cruises we have been on. The staff do not seem to be happy or enjoy what they are doing, with the exception of a few. Light fixtures in hallway dripping water, so we had to step over a soaked/stinky carpet outside our door. We mentioned to our steward & showed him, he just said he knew & had made someone aware but no one comes to fix it. It left us wondering if that's what we can quiet visible see, then what can't we see. Lost luggage that we had to find ourselves. Pre-paid room order had to be called for 4 times over 3 hours before it arrived. Sewer smell came & went for the 3 days we were onboard, we disembarked at San Fransciso on the 3rd of 7 nights! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose the cruise due to end port Vancouver so we could see friends & because stopped in SF so we could see our kids. We took my mom. She has a walker & needed wheelchair help-which took a very long time to get onboard. I do realize ... Read More
Chose the cruise due to end port Vancouver so we could see friends & because stopped in SF so we could see our kids. We took my mom. She has a walker & needed wheelchair help-which took a very long time to get onboard. I do realize there were quite a few waiting-just seems like they could do something to speed it up. The main issue was her cabin was E316---she could not get her walker in the room as slightly beyond the door the hallway was narrower than the door way so no way anyone with a walker or of any size could get thru that. No where did I see this room limitation noted. It should have a big note so people know not to book it if they have a walker. There seemed to be a lack of caring in some of the staff. Had to become insistent to get them to look for my lost bag after it was delivered in SF. They just wanted me to wait till they got around to it, but I needed some clothes. One night of rough seas we got back to our cabin about 11pm , shortly after that we start hearing a scraping & banging sound. It was so loud we could not sleep, my husband called down about 1am they said not much they could do . Around 2am no sleep(I was sick due to rough seas) my husband got dressed and went to pursers desk. He had to become very insistent to get them to check out the issue. 2 officers came to our room E219 and listened for awhile, then the noise happened again. The one officer said he thinks it was a gate that wasn't latched properly. They fixed it in a few minutes , we got a little sleep until it started around 6am, then again 8:30am. Had to call multiple times to get if resolved for the rest of the cruise. Some of the staff went above and beyond but some of them just didn't seem to care. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I went on this cruise with my Mom. All of the ports were places we had never visited. The weather was good in Santa Barbara, awful (torrential rain) in San Francisco, could not get into port in Astoria (too rough), cold in Nanaimo (this ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my Mom. All of the ports were places we had never visited. The weather was good in Santa Barbara, awful (torrential rain) in San Francisco, could not get into port in Astoria (too rough), cold in Nanaimo (this cruise needs to dock in Victoria instead, nothing to do in Nanaimo) and then rainy when we disembarked in Vancouver. Even with the poor weather it was a nice getaway! We booked online for a tour of Alcatraz (much cheaper than a Princess excursion) and were not disappointed. A very interesting place to see and learn about. We had anytime dining and only went to the dining room twice for dinner. The Horizon buffet was good and it suited our needs much better. I went to the gym four times and was very happy it was well equipped. The only thing I would say is that if you are tall, the ceiling above the ellipticals and treadmills is very low! It also gets very hot on the cardio machines, not enough ventilation &/or fans. A negative was all the 'selling/marketing' being done on board. I didn't think this ship had as many things to do 'at sea' as Royal Caribbean. The entertainment was good, Steve Caouette (comedian) was excellent. Fernando (cruise director) was okay, I have been on ships with better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Princess is our go-to cruise line. It is so true that there is a cruise line for everyone. We have found through experience with other cruise lines that Princess suits us perfectly. We fit with the just retired or almost retired age group ... Read More
Princess is our go-to cruise line. It is so true that there is a cruise line for everyone. We have found through experience with other cruise lines that Princess suits us perfectly. We fit with the just retired or almost retired age group and meet some really lovely people whenever we cruise with Princess. We LOVE the entertainment on board. The cruise staff work so hard to put on fun game shows and the main stage entertainment, the shows and the comedians are all very high calibre. Princess ships are laid out in a traditional way and the decor is always very tasteful and European inspired.The food is always fresh and this time we tried Sabatini's which was a lovely treat. We're in love with the International Cafe on Princess as, being from British heritage, we like our cup of tea and a piece of something delicious at teatime. We often go there at lunchtime for a bowl of soup and a panini as a change from the buffet. It is worth staying with a cruise line to build up your loyalty. We are now Platinum on Princess and the free Internet usage we now have is worth a great deal to us, as is priority embarkation. In terms of this cruise in particular, we really enjoyed our excursion to the Danish village of Solvang near Santa Barbara. The sun was shining there (overcast in Santa Barbara) so we sat in the sun and had the best Danish pastries we've ever tasted. It is a very quaint town to wander round and there is much baking, cheese and wine sampling to be had. The waters were very rough between San Francisco and Nanaimo but the captain kept us back from the worst of the storm as best he could. As a result we missed Astoria which was sad but unpreventable. The most surprising destination on this cruise was Nanaimo. We are from Victoria so we nearly didn't' get off the boat but I'm so glad we did. The town had organized shuttle buses in a circular route round the old town for us with 5 hop on hop off stops, with lovely, friendly volunteers to help us on the buses and at booths. We had a wonderful time exploring the little shops of old town in a way we've not taken the time to do before. It is such a shame that Nanaimo will only be welcoming 3 cruise ships into port in 2018 because they deserve a lot more. The waterfront walkway is lovely and the view from the ship when she sails in is beautiful. We have booked another cruise on Princess in January and we are counting down the weeks! Thank you Princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
If you love standing in line, getting bumped into, eating terrible food, sleeping in uncomfortable quarters, being overcharged for things, receiving a hard sell on things you don't want or need, and/or receiving terrible customer ... Read More
If you love standing in line, getting bumped into, eating terrible food, sleeping in uncomfortable quarters, being overcharged for things, receiving a hard sell on things you don't want or need, and/or receiving terrible customer service, then Princess Cruises might be for you. If you don't love these things, save your money. I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that we spent more of our vacation standing in line than we did having fun. Embarkation, safety training, food lines, lines for activities, lines for elevators, customs, disembarkation...so much standing and doing nothing. I had heard such good things about the food that I could not have been more disappointed. It is cheap, mass-produced and watered-down. Like the kind of food you would expect in a cafeteria or a nursing home. Nothing had flavor. Nothing seemed to have the right texture. I was also super disappointed with the spa services. I've had a $200 massage on land before. It was nice, I'd do it again if I had the money to spend. The one one the ship was nothing like what you'd get for the same price in a nice spa. No music, no aromatherapy, no pampering. You fill out a form, they take you to a cold room that reeks of diesel, coat you in oil for 75 minutes, give you the hard sell on products and then send you on your way. My husband and I waited a long time to be able to take this trip, just the two of us. We're so sorry that this is how we spent our special time together. All we wanted was a nice relaxing weekend away, but what we received was nothing like what we imagined. This will be out last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Wow. I am surprised to see that some reviewers did not like this short cruise. Clearly it is short, three nights onboard, so things do seem to go by quickly, but we liked it. We used this cruise to get closer to home after visiting ... Read More
Wow. I am surprised to see that some reviewers did not like this short cruise. Clearly it is short, three nights onboard, so things do seem to go by quickly, but we liked it. We used this cruise to get closer to home after visiting family in Seattle. As you may know, a pesky 19th century law requires a non-US flagged ship that is not on a round trip, to originate or end in a foreign port, no US port to a different US port trips allowed. So we took a train to Vancouver, stayed one night and then boarded the ship. The first cruise we took that was not majority US citizens. In fact many guests were Chinese Canadian. Like taking a cruise in the Orient without having to travel so far! Great. Irregardless, the menu in the dining room was typical Princess fare, very good but US-continental. The buffet did offer Asian menu choices, so guess were a lot of guests ate their meals. That might account for the complaints about lines for dining. We went Club Class this time and found the main dining room experience excellent. In Club Class you can always get a private table without delay if you like. On a longer trip I might slip over to the main dining room for some table sharing which we often find fun. The showroom entertainment was a bit low key. The dance and singing troop did a few short numbers both in the showroom and the Piazza. The two bands in the lounges were great so we spent the nights dancing to the music. All staff were very friendly and helpful. As December can be, for the first two days and nights it was cloudy and cold with some rain. That limited the outdoor activities but it was an interesting experience to be out on deck around midnight with a cold rain and wind blowing with darkness all around. Fun for a few minutes then back inside which was no different then any other cruise. That made us appreciate our sailors guarding the North Atlantic in the winter. Overall, lots of fun. We may do the LA to Vancouver cruise this spring. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I went on this 3 day coastal cruise from Vancouver to LA. Check in was fast but after that it went down hill fast. We waited 2 hours before being allowed to board ship. Good thing I bought my own water because there was no drinks or snack ... Read More
I went on this 3 day coastal cruise from Vancouver to LA. Check in was fast but after that it went down hill fast. We waited 2 hours before being allowed to board ship. Good thing I bought my own water because there was no drinks or snack avialable. Then when we wanted to get on, we were delayed by photographer taking pictures. It was freezing that day and they held up the line to get on again , taking your picture outside. Why didn't the picture get taken inside when we first checked in. When we finally entered the ship, there was no welcome to Princess greeting or drink or anybody. You just kinda stumbled in and if you had not cruised before, you would have no idea where to go. Since I have cruised before I knew to go up to buffet for lunch. The buffet selection is the smallest of any cruise line I have been on. Food was OK at best. Very small selections. There is no ethnic selections. It was also freezing. It was like eating outside. When we mentioned this to the waiter, he said that the doors are opened , that's why it's so cold. I thought that's the worse excuse of not turning on the heat I ever heard. And the doors were definitely closed. After that i wanted to use the spa and work out. That was not functioning till later, I was told. I went in evening and all the steam rooms and heated beds were not warmed up, the facets in the steam rooms were not working and never worked during the whole 3 day cruise. The exercise room was not opened till the afternoon of the second day. There was a lot of new staff and they were not trained yet. We had an inside cabin and it was super small. They changed the bedding after dry dock and we had really warm duvets. But I think that's the only thing they fixed. The fridge was broken, never got cold. Even after mentioning it to room steward and desk, nothing was done. The room stewards would walk right by you without a good morning. We never got any animal towels like we do on other cruises. The room cleaning was fine. We ate in dining room every night. The first night, I had a seafood dish with clams and mussels. The shells were broken and I bit into a shell. I was so lucky that I didn't break my filling. I mentioned it to the wait staff and the head waiter came by and seemed unconcerned. He goes do you need medical attention? I said first of all, u don't put broken shells on a plate, because they will cut your mouth and also if they did not open , you couldn't tell, which could make you sick. He just told me cause they stir them around in a pot the shells break. That's how it is. The food in general was OK. Some of the soups were super salty. The prime rib was very good, but my girlfriends piece was tough. The fish is not that fresh, so I would avoid. The desserts were not that good. The ice cream tasted like mass produced. The waitress informed us it was made from a powder mix and it tasted like it. I tried the rhubarb ice cream and is was bright pink and did not resembled anything rhubarb. The ship is very old looking and the elevators do not work. I was stuck in and elevator with another couple. The doors would not open and none of the buttons would work. We used the phone and the person on other end said he would be there in a few minutes. After 10 mins nothing was happening. I tried to scream through the crack of door and we tried to call again on the phone and no answer this time. The other guy in elevator somehow got the door opened and there was no one on the other side. The door closed right away and I informed the desk what happened. The next day I was in a different elevator and it just started in go down and didn't stop at any floors. All the lights on the panel went out and couldn't be lit up after trying to push buttons on every floor. It went down 4 floors and stopped. I just jumped out and walked up the stairs. Another scary experience, that the front desk didn't seem concerned about. There was an event for EFFY jewellery and they offered free rum cocktails. At the end of the presentation they told us they were ran out of the drinks. And to come back to the later presentation. I thought "ARE YOU KIDDING ME". It's a ship, you do not run out of drinks. We informed the desk again and they did nothing. Not even a offer of a free drink in the lounge. I was so mad after a trying 2 days. Service is so bad on this ship, if stuff goes wrong, nobody cares. I asked for a water at the coffee bar and , he goes no you gotta go to the bar. I said you don't have water here? He goes Yes. THEN WHy CAN'T I GET WATER HERE. The night show in the main theatre were so bad. Every night there was a different one man comedian which lasted about 25 mins. No singing or dancing productions. I attended a orgami class and I was late cause I couldn't find the room. She put me down cause I was late and rushed through the remainder of class. The poor guy that was sitting with me was totally lost but she never came by to help him. The toilets were out of order all the time in the public spaces. I never saw people cleaning the public areas like on other ships. The only positive things were: 1. the pizza is delicious 2. movie under the stars is good 3. the dance class was the best, a very good teacher 4. the lobby looked beautiful decorated for Christmas I don't think, I will ever take Princess again. Just too many negative things. Holland American and Celebrity does not have these issues. If there is anything that goes wrong they will fix it. On Princess they just don't care. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was a short cruise with no ports. We chose this cruise because we needed a vacation from our vacations. We just wanted to relax and not have to do a lot of planning or running from place to place. The cruise was fine and we did ... Read More
This was a short cruise with no ports. We chose this cruise because we needed a vacation from our vacations. We just wanted to relax and not have to do a lot of planning or running from place to place. The cruise was fine and we did get to relax a bit. Although, the seas were quite rough which made sleeping difficult. Nothing was horrible but nothing was great either. Our steward was efficient but not spectacular or super personable. Same thing can be said of our Dining Room server. She was efficient, but not at all engaging or personable. She was not unfriendly but she wasn't particularly friendly either. The food was OK, the entertainment was OK. Again not horrible but not great either. We were directed to one line for embarkation, but our keys were on the other side of the check in area. We should have been directed there. We were in line for about 1/2 an hour but were allowed to board as soon as we finished check-in. Also, we were allowed to go straight to our room and drop off luggage. It was a little after 1:00 pm. We were a few hours late arriving into Vancouver (10:30 am vs 7:30 am). Most of the ship was assigned to walk off with their luggage, we were told to be out of our staterooms by 8:00 am, with an estimated time for walk off group of 1:05 pm. That is not cool and we were not happy about having to sit in a lounge for 5 hours waiting to disembark. Thankfully our Steward allowed us to stay in our cabin until 10:00 and we were able to disembark earlier than 1:00 pm. I am not sure exactly what time but we were in a cab by 11:45. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We took this 3 day cruise from our home port to relax and take advantage of a great price. The Star was going into dry dock after our cruise but there no real signs of any work being done ahead of time. Our cabin was a Club Class ... Read More
We took this 3 day cruise from our home port to relax and take advantage of a great price. The Star was going into dry dock after our cruise but there no real signs of any work being done ahead of time. Our cabin was a Club Class Mini Suite--very nice and a great location. The Club Class dining was wonderful with a special entree and Cesar Salad made on site each night. One night had an additional offering of Surf and Turf--one of the best filet mignon steaks I have ever had on a ship in any dining room. We were acknowledged each night and the staff was outstanding. We would definitely book Club Class again unless we are traveling with friends who did not do so...we would want to dine with them. There were two very good comedy acts but the dancers did not get to do the main show as the seas were rough and it would have been too dangerous. The ship accomodated this by adding shows and moving the venues around. There were no pool activities as it was very cool outside, but plenty of games in the showrooms and bars. It was on par with other short repositioning cruises that we have been on. There were no ports or shore excursions. Cabin and dining service was exceptional. We were handed a card on the Elite laundry service to allow 72 hours for return of clothing--so that would mean we would have to stay on the ship after debarkation to get clothing if we handed it to him as we got on the ship! While we had nothing to launder, it was amusing. We lost some speed due to the high seas and arrived about 3 hours late in Vancouver. This caused debarkation to be chaos! There was not enough information given to First Timers and they were wandering around. We were put in the second to the last group to leave despite being Elite and Club Class and were told that our status did not pertain to this "short cruise" because it arrived late. Those who received some info were told to be out of their cabins by 8am even though no one was coming on board and we weren't docking until 10am. Nearly everyone was put on "walk off" status with all of their luggage so the aisles and public areas were jammed. The Staff finally gave up on making announcements and just started letting people off as fast as they could. Overall, the cruise was great and we would do it again. Short cruises make for a great little trip at a great price! We know that this was not the normal debarkation process as it is usually very organized. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise as an impulse due to the fare. Our original plan combined it with very decent airfare back to Los Angeles. The destination was not important, though I'm sure if Vancouver had a bad rep we would have thought twice. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an impulse due to the fare. Our original plan combined it with very decent airfare back to Los Angeles. The destination was not important, though I'm sure if Vancouver had a bad rep we would have thought twice. Based on sound reasoning from the input of many, many people this cruise was to reposition the ship for drydock and extensive refurbishment. So I won't go into the condition of the ship, except to establish that Princess deserves a good reputation based on the condition of a ship that they were sending to drydock. It was not embarrassing or dangerous. I spotted a little corrosion during the 5 minutes I took to look at the hardware on the balcony. Embarkation reminded me of one of my frequent thoughts about so-called luxury, so-called "mastige" consumer products. If they don't escort you from your private car right to your cabin, then it's not luxury. If they herd you into serpentine queues and the only relief is if you get a higher status of serpentine queue, you aren't being treated as "elite". During the first sea day of two, our progress up the coast was slowed by heavy seas. At the beginning of the second sea day, we had a note in our inbox telling us that air travel arrangements scheduled for before certain times would most likely be missed. Hours later, they made up some of the time and announced a different threshold for missed flights. This was a little stressful. Disembarkation was the craziest I've seen or heard of. Passengers were standing in the hallways and stairways with their luggage a full hour before scheduled disembarkation. On the other hand, the flyer from the ship published that everyone was walking off their own luggage and groups would be called from the various lounges that passengers would wait in. Otherwise, we had a great time, the food was terrific and we enjoyed the spa services we partook of. We did not attend Movies Under The Stars or anything in the Princess theatre or entertainment lounges. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We traveled on Star Princess from Vancouver to San Francisco in October 2017. It was our first time on Princess, and I doubt we will cruise with them again. This is mass-market cruising, and although they have a few high points, for the ... Read More
We traveled on Star Princess from Vancouver to San Francisco in October 2017. It was our first time on Princess, and I doubt we will cruise with them again. This is mass-market cruising, and although they have a few high points, for the most part the experience is middle-of-the-road. Pros - Our cabin was compact as expected, but well laid out, with a large amount of storage space and plenty of closet room and hangers. Steward service was excellent, and the bed was very comfortable. No complaints here. Ship decor and ambiance. Public spaces were nicely laid out and decorated tastefully. Cruise director and staff. Very professional and personable. Events were handled nicely and entertainingly. Entertainment. This is Princess' strongest suit, and justifiably so. Production shows were well done, with very talented singers and dancers, good sound and lighting. Other onboard entertainers were uniformly good, with most being excellent. About as good as you could want. Cons. With some exceptions (dining staff and state room attendant), we found service to be perfunctory and impersonal. Bar waiters were scarce, inattentive, and impersonal, and front desk staff were no better. On one occasion when I asked for some clarification on an information memo that was unclearly written (and, as it turned out, dead wrong), the man at the front desk, WITHOUT SAYING A WORD, just picked up a copy of the same memo and pointed to it. No explanation, no attempt to help me. A few other times, I had questions or minor issues, staff members were unhelpful and seemed clueless, and not once, when I had any kind of problem, did we hear, "I'm sorry", except from the afore-mentioned dining staff. Food was, for the most part, reasonably good, not great. Servings are modest, so several courses is the way to go. In the main dining room, it was generally pretty well prepared and presented, but there were a couple of significant misses. For example, one night a friend and I both ordered the appetizer of chicken, mushroom, and sweetbreads with cream sauce in pastry. Although he had several pieces of sweetbreads in his, mine had none...just chicken and mushrooms. Another evening, several of us at the table ordered NY steaks, requesting a range of temperatures from rare to medium well. They were only about 1/2 inch thick, and every one was inedibly tough. Why they were allowed to leave the kitchen, I don't understand. This was on the last night when they are trying to leave a good final impression. Although the wait staff was concerned and solicitous, you would have thought there might have been a visit from the maitre d', but no. The primary buffet venue, the Horizon Court, showed pretty good variety, but mediocre execution. Some of the items were pretty much slapped together, and many of the hot dishes were not actually hot. Scrambled eggs, for instance were almost stone cold on a couple of occasions. The biggest disappointment were the pastries. All looked great, but were for the most part, different colored variations on the same cake, and the sweet rolls were almost always fairly tasteless and dry. There were a few standouts, but overall, they were pretty bland. Other food venues were OK, but just, with the exception of the premium restaurants, the Crown Grill steakhouse and Sabbatini's Italian. We ate at each once ($29 pp supplement). Both were outstanding, with service and food top-notch. One other thing I must mention. Any organization can shine when things are going well. It's how they handle crises that separate the wheat from the chaff. For some (unexplained) reason, on this cruise, there was an apparently unexpected US customs clearance procedure that had to be undertaken in the port of Seattle, whereby all passengers had to leave the ship, go through passport control, and wait for the entire ship to be cleared before any of them could get back on the ship. The problem was that some passengers who had shore excursions needed to get off and processed early in order to make their trips. Instead of grouping these people first, getting them processed and on their way, the staff decided to group them, but then mix them in with all the other 2000 or so passengers. Thus, most trips left late, and many had to be shortened or parts curtailed due to the late departure. During the entire process, the cruise staff seemed clueless as to what was going on and how to improve the process. As a side note from the trip we were on...How do you sell 51 shore excursion tickets for a tour that is limited to 50, then, after getting permission from the venue to bring 51 people, discover that you only have 49 tickets to the venue in hand? One passenger had to volunteer to purchase two extra tickets on the vague promise that Princess would reimburse him. All in all, Princess does mass-market, large ship cruises reasonably well. The entertainment is good. Everything else is mediocre. Service is there, but not really on point. Food is OK. If you want a deal, you can find one, and you'll get what you pay for, but just. And you will be upsold and marketed to at every turn, so be prepared. Other lines are just as good, if not better. I would go on RCL or Celebrity before I returned to Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Star Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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