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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
For perspective, we have cruised over 50 times starting in 1981 and are now in our mid 60’s. We are 4 star mariners with HAL and Elite with Princess. We have also cruised with celebrity, crystal, Oceania, Royal Caribbean and a bunch ... Read More
For perspective, we have cruised over 50 times starting in 1981 and are now in our mid 60’s. We are 4 star mariners with HAL and Elite with Princess. We have also cruised with celebrity, crystal, Oceania, Royal Caribbean and a bunch of lines that have been incorporated into other lines. The great and good. We were impressed with the consistency of the quality of the meals in MDR. We were on select dining rather than fixed. At 7:15 we did not have any wait for a table for 4. We sat in a number of different areas and the service, both wine and dinner were consistent. No wrong steps if I asked the server what was recommended that evening. Wine service showed great improvement since last year. Stewards were knowledgeable and able to recommend comparable and complimentary choices. Very good job. Lunch in Pinnacle Grill is well worth $10 pp. excellent service and selection. The Dive in burgers and fries always good as is the use of pagers. We appreciate that there is no self serve in the Lido - food consistent again - enjoyed creating fresh turkey sandwiches when the carvery had turkey. Freshly prepared eggs, omelets in morning, fresh pasta bar at lunch. We did nit visit for dinner. The entertainment was good, not fantastic but good enough to sit through. The singers didn’t seem to have synergy which affected the performance notwithstanding good voices. I guess they didn’t seem to be enjoying their jobs. The classical quartet at Lincoln centre was excellent. The piano dual were extremely popular as usual. B.B. kings was same as always. Worth a visit. Our cabin service was excellent - the hair dryer “died” on formal night of course and we had a replacement in under 10 minutes. Darn good when he was rushing to get his turn down service completed for early diners. The ship was in good shape with the promenade deck chairs seeming quite new. Everything seemed to be in very good repair. Not so great and good. Having sailed on holland just 12 months previous, the increase in prices for drinks, happy hours, wine packages, wine tastings, sip and savour were surprising, not that there were increases but how large the increases were. Normally, price increases kind of sneak up on you, these increases slapped you in the face. Very limited daily programs - many days at sea and we expected to have morning and afternoon guest lecturers. Basically there was just not enough enrichment offered. It was a problem because we had very poor weather and a nasty Pacific Ocean — so with no library, no morning movies, no matinees at a convenient time yo7 were either forced to stay in your cabin to watch tv. I looked forward to trivia at 1:30 - hadn’t played before so that says something. Minimal inventory in the shops and no fun sales. Duty free was anything but with the prices exceeding what we would pay in a government liquor store. We bought vodka at Walmart in Honolulu and had it checked until we got home. Servicein pinnacle grill for dinner was not up to standard. We were seated at a table just outside the galley door at the service station for a large area. The back of the banquet we were seated a5 held the water jugs for the area. The wine server gave us a bit of snark for firstly not ordering wine off the pinnacle list (we had wine package) and our friends asked to have their bottle brought from diningroom. It arrived but then the steward divided the more than half bottle into their two glasses. It was the lady’s wine. And that was the last we saw of him. We still enjoy the formal night aspect of cruising and we don’t expect everyone else will but I don’t understand why some guests make no effort what so ever. I have never seen such a motley group of travellers. I guess I don’t understand the issue of a gentleman wearing a pair of slacks and a shirt and a lady wearing a sundress or pants and a nice blouse. Something you might wear to a church wedding or special dinner out. Undershirt style t shirts , perhaps not. It’s a part of the tradition. Lastly, and in my opinion only, cruise lines in general need to reassess their policies on tendering. The mobility challenged create an unreasonable risk to themselves, the crew, and other passengers. Our tenders were full of wheelchairs and walkers presenting a hazard should we needed to evacuate the tender., the crew basically are lifting a lot of people on and off. It is not fair to them particularly if there is an accident. And one guest died after falling while trying to get onto a tender. The tender ports are well advertised and it should be acceptable that walkers/wheelchairs and those requiring the same be denied tender service. Everyone knows upfront and may gear 5heir cruises to itineraries with no tendering required. It is just plain scary. An average experience . Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
First time on Princess. This was our 7th cruise. Embarkation was good, very organized. As we board the ship we noticed the exterior shows age; rust. Our cabin was a mini suite we upgraded since the balcony room only comes with one ... Read More
First time on Princess. This was our 7th cruise. Embarkation was good, very organized. As we board the ship we noticed the exterior shows age; rust. Our cabin was a mini suite we upgraded since the balcony room only comes with one chair... so to have a sofa we had to upgrade, We noticed some smells in the corridor and in our room and advised the guest service, also our sink did not drain well. They took care of the sink and the odor went away as we sailed but we did notice on occasion an odor in some places as we walked through the ship. Maybe they need to change some pipes... Overall the ship shows some age, Our sofa had stains, wallpaper in corridors peeling from the edges, balcony showed rust on the edge. The ship needs some makeover. Overall the interior is well kept and pleasant. We did not find too many interesting lectures and the entertainment was poor (to our liking) 5 days at sea were long. Some of the music venues were good but the shows were dissappointing. You really have to purchase a coffee card as the coffee in the Horizon court is not very good. The international cafe is very nice and is open 24 hours. We like the Crooners'bar. Our waiters outstanding. Great team.We dined in the Amalfi dining room, the service was excellent One of us had dietary restriction they were very attentive.We found the food excellent.The staff made our cruise enjoyable and for us it was outstanding service something to say about Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise because we got a great deal from a travel agent and did not have to fly to the port in Vancouver BC. This was my first cruise on Princess. Although this cruise mostly met my expectations there were a ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we got a great deal from a travel agent and did not have to fly to the port in Vancouver BC. This was my first cruise on Princess. Although this cruise mostly met my expectations there were a couple of negatives that will probably keep me from sailing with Princess again. The biggest disappointment was the quality of the meals. We ate in the main dining room, Horizon Court buffet and the specialty Italian restaurant Sabatini's. Sabatini's was very good (comparable to a good Italian restaurant at home in Seattle). There were five courses and too much food which I felt bad wasting, but it was tasty and well presented. The food in the main dining room ranged from inedible to fairly good. Most entrees and appetizers were average. The presentation was pleasing, but the food was tasteless. Most of the meat which included chicken, beef,lamb and pork was a lower grade and tough and/or fatty. To be fair, my husband thought the fish was generally well prepared and appetizing.One night I ordered scallops which were inedible. I am not a particularly fussy eater, but i do enjoy flavorful, fresh food. I have cruised on 4 other cruise lines and this was definitely the worst food overall.Despite the food being average at best, this did not ruin my cruise. The crew on board were mostly friendly and generally competent. Attitude and customer service was adequate, not outstanding in my opinion. As an example, when I went to the customer service desk to ask about disembarkation in a tender port (Maui), the staff member started reading me a paragraph in the ship's newsletter that I had already received. He wasn't able to answer my specific question and did not offer to find the information for me. On the first day, our room steward complained that he may not get to our room until late because he had too much to do. He actually did a decent job and took care of our stateroom adequately and at a time that was convenient for us. We did have to ask him to remove empty water bottles and dirty dishes. Again, this did not ruin my cruise, but was notable compared to other cruises I have been on. On the positive side, I really liked the lay out of the ship.It never felt too crowded. I thought the decor and color scheme was pleasant. Some fabrics (e.g.couch in stateroom) need to be replaced but that is to be expected on an older ship. Our stateroom (mini- suite with balcony) was a good size with plenty of storage and space for our 15 day cruise. The bed was very comfortable. There were plenty of activities if one wanted to participate. The spa services I received (manicure and massage) were excellent. The entertainment was, in general, on par with other cruise lines but not exceptional. Some of the entertainment on other lines has been exceptional.Norwegian had Blue Man group, for example and the BB King lounge band on Holland America is excellent. Overall, this cruise met my expectations. I enjoyed myself and was able to relax on board and enjoy the port days (all activities on our own) but will probably choose another cruise line for future cruises. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Things were quite unorganized on this ship from Vancouver to Hawaii. THE GOOD: (1) The food was very good, and especially loved that they finally had a gluten-free station in the Windjammer; for those of you who have Celiac Disease, ... Read More
Things were quite unorganized on this ship from Vancouver to Hawaii. THE GOOD: (1) The food was very good, and especially loved that they finally had a gluten-free station in the Windjammer; for those of you who have Celiac Disease, this is a welcomed accommodation ~ Thank you so much for that! (2) The Service in the Dining Room and the Windjammer were top notch, as always! (3) Our cabin was cleaned thoroughly twice a day by our wonderful Room Attendant! (4) The OUTSIDE entertainment was very good: 2 great singers, 2 good comedians, and 1 very good ventriloquist. THE BAD: Everything else! (1) The Cruise Director (and his wife, the Assistant) were unlike many we've had on other cruises. On our seven previous cruises, we would often see our Cruise Director several times on the pool deck; my husband and I spend the majority of our daytime hours there and we never saw either John, nor Katrina, there. Basically saw them introduce the evening shows, and rarely anytime else. The one time we did see John and apprised him of a disembarking concern, he would not accept that there was an important lack of information (a photo ID must accompany you off the ship along with your Sea Pass Card and Tender Ticket) being included during the Tender Ticket announcements, as well as on that day's Daily Compass. When I told John this, he would not accept the fact that the Tender Ticket #4 announcement was the FIRST time it was mentioned that a photo ID was also needed. He kept telling me I was incorrect. I don't have a problem with people making mistakes; it happens. But I do take offense when people cannot accept that they have made a mistake. However, since ALL of the announcements from that moment on emphasized that everyone MUST have a photo ID, along with their Tender Ticket and Sea Pass Card, as well as non-tender days all MUST have a Photo ID along with their Sea Pass Card, I'm guessing that was his way of acknowledging their omission of the Photo ID information. A simple, "Oh wow, I'm sorry we failed to include that information and thank you for bring that to my attention" would have been the correct thing for him to do! (2) Early on Day 3 of an 11-Day Cruise, I asked the excursion desk about disembarking on the individual islands. I was told the exact opposite: was told we dock in Maui, tender in Hilo, dock in Kona, and tender in Kauai. I wrote it down so I would remember. The day before getting to Maui there was much confusion on the pool deck amongst the passengers: some said the info I had was correct and others had the opposite. Turns out I'd been given the wrong information. For one who books their own excursions, this was important information that was given incorrectly to many passengers. I was also told on Day 3 that neither the excursion rep I spoke with, nor the 2 other ones she was working with had ever been to Hawaii, therefore she was unable to answer any questions regarding the islands. Still, since they were booking excursions for some of the passengers, not knowing which island we dock at and which islands we tender to is ridiculous! (3) Speaking of excursions, if you don't book your excursions with RC, you are treated like 2nd class passengers. I take offense to this as I pay just as much to cruise as those booking RC excursions and ALL passengers who have early morning excursions should be given priority disembarking. The first day in Maui, we were given Tender Ticket #7 and waited over 2 hours to finally get off the ship - this is unacceptable! (4) The bartenders were hit or miss. Some were overly gracious, while others rarely smiled and acted like you were bothering them. Thank you to those bartenders who were cordial and fun to speak with! (5) Our previous cruises had midnight buffets, pool deck BBQ's and Ice Sculpting demonstrations. Personally, I've always thought the midnight buffets were unnecessary as many were too overstuffed to enjoy eating; but the beauty of the midnight buffets were wonderful. I still don't think they are necessary and not upset they don't have them anymore. However, we have had pool deck BBQ's on shorter cruises in the past, as well as Ice Sculpting. Except for a "Sexy Man Contest," a rather lame trivia contest, and a line dancing lesson, nothing else occurred on the pool deck during this 11-day cruise. (6) I mentioned the outside entertainment was very good; however, the Royal Caribbean "Singers and Dancers" on this cruise were the most untalented we've ever seen during any of our cruises. I've always given glowing reviews about the on-board entertainment in the past; I cannot do so after this cruise. I rarely give negative reviews. Our previous cruise to this one was awful ~ felt like we were on a Disney cruise with all the kids running around unsupervised; not to mention that entire "Dream Cruise" was geared more toward children's entertainment, rather than the adults on board. We decided to give RC another chance and, unfortunately, after this cruise we have decided to either fly to a destination vacation, or try some of the smaller cruise lines. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My wife and I did a similar cruise on the Zaandam from San Diego to Hawaii several years ago and wanted to try it from a different port, and to see what changes may have occurred to the ship and/or ports of call. The ship seems brighter ... Read More
My wife and I did a similar cruise on the Zaandam from San Diego to Hawaii several years ago and wanted to try it from a different port, and to see what changes may have occurred to the ship and/or ports of call. The ship seems brighter and refreshed, except for the TVs in the cabins which are from the 70s, or so they appear based on the very poor picture quality. Speaking of which I can't understand why we were void of major TV news channels on the last three days back to Seattle except for two ESPN stations, and the only TV weather updates were for South American countries through the BBC channel. HAL, it's 2017 and we have the technology so PLEASE USE IT!! Try for some better customer service here. Our primary negative perception about the cruise and the ship is about how cool/cold the ship's public areas were kept requiring us and many other passengers to habitually walk around wearing our coats, hoodies, etc. We would sit in, for example, to listen to Adagio only to have cold air conditioning blowing on our heads, as well as elsewhere about the ship. Uncalled for. The lack of a librarian/IT supervisor was another failure in customer service, and the staff at the front desk was no substitute, nor should they be. The excessive cost coupled with the poor quality of WiFi service is a slap in the face for any passengers trying to make use of that service and should be improved. One thing that seemed to have changed for the better was the overall quality of the entertainment throughout the cruise, at least in comparison to our last four cruises with HAL since 2014 on other ships. But the over amplification of the band and singers constantly corrupted what could have been a better musical experience and often took away from the quality of the singers voices who always seemed to be trying to be heard over the band; those gals and guys deserve better treatment and respect from any musical group that accompanies them. The cabin stewards were good, and the 5th floor dining staff excellent. The Lido's dining chairs need reupholstering, now. Almost every chair's cushioning has been flattened down to the frame. Our overall experience was such that, contrary to our usual practice, we didn't sign up on board for a specific future cruise; we did leave a future cruise deposit that will be good for the next several years on a cruise of our choosing. If there is one. Our next several cruises will be with Cunard and we'll just keep reading CC's blogs and look forward to hearing about improvements. I'm not going to say anything about the tours offered under the precept of, if you can't say anything nice...... But if HAL perceives all touring passengers to need a shopping stop, please do away with them on cultural tours and just organize plain old shopping tours for those who want to shop and visit markets, etc. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because we live in Vancouver and didn't have to fly anywhere, we also love the 5 sea days each way. Embarkation took a very long time - our luggage got to our room before we did. Disembaraktion was very easy. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live in Vancouver and didn't have to fly anywhere, we also love the 5 sea days each way. Embarkation took a very long time - our luggage got to our room before we did. Disembaraktion was very easy. I found the ship poorly laid out. It is a bunch of small, chopped up rooms with pillars every time you turn around. There are so many pillars in the Vista Lounge, that is makes about 25% of the seats unuseable. Our cabin - 1090 - was very noisy - clanking and clanging of, what we were told - were the pipes. The Paino Bar is such a small chopped up room, with lots of pillars, that extra chairs needed to be brought in almost every night. We did the anytime dining and getting a table was usually no problem. However, the menu selection was awful, vegetables were in short supply and meals took a REALLY long time - over 2 hours. The Pinnacle Grill was good, however, it would be nice if they would change up their dessert selections. Service was good at the front desk and picked up on the Lido Deck after complaints about dirty dishes being left on the tables for a long time. We have done this cruise previously and had a longer time (even overnight) in Honolulu - which is very nice. They could also cut out Victoria all together and change Hilo to a visit to Kona. I was not impressed with the entertainment - pretty ho hum. We did not travel with children - we didn't see many on the cruise - maybe 20. We would definitely take this cruise again because it is very easy for us, but I would be more selective about the ship - would not go on the Westerdam again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise due to the number of sea days as well as it left from Vancouver, BC. Having been on several other HAL cruises I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the food in the main dining room, didn't seem quite up to par ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the number of sea days as well as it left from Vancouver, BC. Having been on several other HAL cruises I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the food in the main dining room, didn't seem quite up to par and very long wait for meals. The wait staff seemed very busy and not as chatty as on previous cruises. We like to have a set dining time and absolutely loved meeting our dinner companions. Having dinner with them every night was the highlight of the cruise! Found the ship not laid out very well as others have mentioned with lots of pillars in the Vista Lounge that obstructed seeing the stage. Found the entertainment a bit lackluster but loved the "Marriage Game" and Sarah the cruise director. The captain kept us well informed and had a great sense of humor. The crew were very helpful and friendly. We were in cabin 4009 near the front of the ship. The cabin itself was very nice and the bed was super comfy. Seemed though being so far forward you noticed the rocking motion more. It was just above the Vista Lounge but was very quiet. Enjoyed the digital workshops with Georgia. Spent from 7:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. in Victoria, BC on the way back which seemed a long time in port with nothing much to do there. Would have been nice to have seen a bit more of the Gulf Islands. On another note, embarkation took a long time but disembarking was a breeze. Would like to see this ship after its upcoming refurbishment. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The service was pretty good but no one went above the basics. The food was definitely a disappointment! The menu sounded great but what we were served did not reflect what was written! That applied to the appetizers, meat (chicken was ... Read More
The service was pretty good but no one went above the basics. The food was definitely a disappointment! The menu sounded great but what we were served did not reflect what was written! That applied to the appetizers, meat (chicken was usually the best choice), veggies were mundane and the desserts were repetitive. I don't care for spicy or exotic tasting things but it all just tasted the same, boring. The Westerdam was just refurbished in 2014 but our veranda cabin certainly hadn't been touched and the wear was obvious in many locations. Even the linens had stain spots. The common areas were mostly okay though, We went to two stage shows, both of which were typical cruise ship music and dancing productions. The crew production was very interesting though. Lounge music was okay but usually too loud to converse, with the exception of the Adagio Duo who we enjoyed, Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Vancouver is easily accessible from our hometown of Kelowna, B.C. Better than having to travel to Ft. Lauderdale as we did for our last cruise. I found the cruise generally boring, however, my wife found it better than that. I guess I'm ... Read More
Vancouver is easily accessible from our hometown of Kelowna, B.C. Better than having to travel to Ft. Lauderdale as we did for our last cruise. I found the cruise generally boring, however, my wife found it better than that. I guess I'm not old enough yet (we're 68). We don't have a walker or a wheelchair and don't wobble when we walk. I'm not entertained by playing kids games like flying paper airplanes, bean bag toss, etc. Those game hosts are annoying. Unfortunately, I found very few interesting lectures to attend. I went to two on photography. In the one we (20 or so people) gathered on the Deck 7 promenade (partially blocking the path of walkers) then we went inside a lounge area for the remainder of the lecture. There was a dance class going on there and we could not hear our instructor speaking. Terrible planning there!!! I went to a presentation in the Princess Theatre. The sound kept quitting. Unprofessional. I had trouble finding a quiet place on the ship to read. I always carried ear plugs with me. The only place I that there was a hope of any quietness was in the StarGate??? Lounge. But then the trivia games would start. Or they'd kick you out if you didn't buy a drink. We heard entertainment in various venues. Some was better than others, but none of it was that great. We went to two performances in the Princess Theatre - "The British Invasion". That was okay, but second-rate singing. Then, we went to "Born to Dance". Broadway musical sining and dancing. I think some people liked it, but I'm not into singing and dancing (especially songs I don't even know). If I saw it on TV I would have changed the channel. In the Horizon Court, after being seated at a table for 10 in shared dining, once we waited for 1 hour and 35 minutes before the dinner was finally served. We were the third couple to leave before the desert menu even arrived. I love soup, but never had a tasty bowl of soup during the whole trip. And, in the Horizon Court, the soup was always just luke warm. Especially the breakfast in Horizon Court buffet, the eggs and pancakes were always STONE COLD but the time you get back to the table with them. The reserved dining was much hotter, but not as good of a selection. rincess Optional Tours are extremely overpriced so we didn't take any. We googled before we left (because Princess will never tell you) and found nice beaches, shopping and other things to do close to each port (and economical ways to access them). We enjoyed River Cruising in Europe and Asia with AMA Waterways, but this cruise was a long way from an experience like that. It will likely be a long time before we book another ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
I found the ship too small for the number of passengers (2700) that were on the cruise. It seemed you were always in a lineup and not everyone could get in the main theater as it was too small to accommodate everyone in two shows. I do ... Read More
I found the ship too small for the number of passengers (2700) that were on the cruise. It seemed you were always in a lineup and not everyone could get in the main theater as it was too small to accommodate everyone in two shows. I do have to say our cabin (balcony on Baja deck) although small was perfectly fine. Our cabin steward (Nameto) was great. The food in the buffet was adequate. We tried the dining room for breakfast a couple of times and did not like it as the service and food was poor. The food in the dining room for the evening meal was good although the portions were extremely small. Everyone at the table was ordering either two appetizers or two entrees. Our favorite spot was the international cafe where you could have a bite and listen to the music in the piazza. The entertainment was also pretty good. I would sail with Princess again (prefer Celebrity) but would avoid the Star princess. Read Less

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