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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
ship needs revamp. dining ok if you like a curry or high fat foods.Entertainment .poor. The only good thing about this cruise were the bar and waiting staff and the ports of call . Only ate in main restaurant four times as was put off by ... Read More
ship needs revamp. dining ok if you like a curry or high fat foods.Entertainment .poor. The only good thing about this cruise were the bar and waiting staff and the ports of call . Only ate in main restaurant four times as was put off by the chicken drumsticks chips and gravy,hardly a la carte. Buffet curry eggs and onion rice for breakfast or full English dripping in fat. cruised many times before and have never had to leave a bad review .you need a new cruise director as his vision of good entertainment is perhaps suited for an old peoples home at best.Kids club was a joke and they wanted $25 to ice a cake where as on all other cruises this would have been free . We spent in total £9000.00 on this holiday for two adults and two children paid for a la carte got chicken drumsticks paid for our children to be entertained did not happen,paid for great entertainment was not entertained Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I have sailed on Princess twice, and I had a wonderful experience. My last Princess cruise was about 10 years ago. I have wanted to cruise again, but I have been waiting for my son to get a little older. Now that he is 7 years old, I felt ... Read More
I have sailed on Princess twice, and I had a wonderful experience. My last Princess cruise was about 10 years ago. I have wanted to cruise again, but I have been waiting for my son to get a little older. Now that he is 7 years old, I felt it was the right time to cruise. I only looked in to Princess because of my past experience. And honestly, I regret not looking into other cruise options. Last week we sailed to and from London and Oslo on a 7 day cruise. I really wish I could say that I had a great time, but it was a subpar experience. My two issues were food and the amount of time you actually spend in a town/city. The food was below average especially when you factor in the amount of money you are spending. Honestly, you are on the ship about 80% of the time. The food must be good whether it is a la cart dining or buffet. I remember when Princess offered twin lobsters during dinner at the international dining hall. Now they want you to pay extra for good food. In the past, the buffet had smoked salmon everyday for breakfast. On this cruise, they offered it on the last day. I feel like they offered at the end of our trip so we would only remember the last dish. Last, we ate a 3 course prefix meal at Sabatinis. You have to pay a premium to eat there, but the food was great. However, in the past Sabatinis offered an 11 course meal. The food offering is declining. In regard to my comment about the time spent in a town/city, well it only represents 5 hours per port. Most of the excursion start mid-morning, and you are back on the ship by 3pm. We have no time to explore, eat, or shop. In conclusion, if you are on the ship most of the time, the food better be amazing or you are really there for the entertainment like bingo, art auction, town lectures, etc which you can do at your local city. If you like to cruise, and don't care about food quality, go on Princess. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the ... Read More
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the passengers are crowded into a central area to watch their so called" best " entertainment! "Saphire Princess" is your kind of ship . We hoped for refinement , culture and excellence.. what we got was far far from what we hoped.. such a waste of money . Lack of Security presence in public areas was alarming , there was definitely some under age drinking going on and young children seemed to be everywhere on the ship!! Most ships have family zones but parents were doing as they please . We were late arriving at ports , so little time on shore , one port was missed altogether and Princess CHARGE FOR SHUTTLE SERVICE .. Never been charged with any other company.!! Appalling !! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted a holiday with the whole family to celebrate my wifes 61 birthday and my daughters 30 birthday looking forward to a fantastic 11 nights cruise. We were totally amazed to find that we were being charged gratuities up front ... Read More
We wanted a holiday with the whole family to celebrate my wifes 61 birthday and my daughters 30 birthday looking forward to a fantastic 11 nights cruise. We were totally amazed to find that we were being charged gratuities up front before we started our cruise at what only can be described as extortion even my 18 month old grandson was charged and the total bill between us was more than 1500 dollars in addition to this we were charged 18% gratuities on all drinks I did manage to get the upfront gratuities removed but the 18% on drinks have not been removed even after I requestid this before we disembarked the ship at the end of the cruise. The price of beer and wine was extortionate with a bottle of beer costing 7$ plus 18% gratuities and a medium glass of wine 10 -12$ plus gratuities We were forced to have 4 sea days due to weather after missing a port stop in Lanzarote we were not offered any compensation or reduction in barr expenses while on the extra see day. The food was OK but not great and we all found that food in the buffet was bland and the area felt like a cattle market. On a positive note the staff generally were great. Overall we fell as if we have been robed and it feels like every attempt was made to squeeze every last Dollar out of us even when it came to the options for paying in Dollar or Sterling we were not told the best currency to pay in and it felt as the cruise line were even trying to take advantage of the exchange rates. Our view is that these additional charges should have been advertised clearly and simply in the upfront price of the cruise, we feel we have been mis sold this holiday by the cruise line who seem not to have been totally honest about the hidden costs. In short if you are a teetotaler who likes bland food then you may find this OK but we will never book another holiday with Princes Cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I just took the 10 Days Regal Princess out of New York last November and had the best food service and selection so I gather a group of friends to do the 10 Days Euro Explorer cruise and what a disappointment! Everyday the breakfast ... Read More
I just took the 10 Days Regal Princess out of New York last November and had the best food service and selection so I gather a group of friends to do the 10 Days Euro Explorer cruise and what a disappointment! Everyday the breakfast buffet is exactly the same! Where is the smoke salmon? If is behind the station and you have to ask for it! Water down coffee and hard as a rock toast! Lunch buffet is no better unless you go down to the dinning room and catch hell from their waiter staff and yells at you when you do not sit at the right table. No flexibility when you want to eat before 8pm or else buffet is your option! The ship was supposed to be recently refurbished but the cabin still looked aged and only new TV and bed. But I must say the bed is really good and comfortable to sleep on! TV has very good movie selection but you can not check the ship's day program and only via your cellphone or mobile device... why not? Who is their IT Program Director that can't even come up with this basic function? The TV is HD but the in-house program that talked about the shore information recorded from the live sessions are not so you will see all the fizzy video the you can't even read the wording they are showing on shore info. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted to visit those ports that were listed on itinerary! We didn’t like the tendering to shore n back. The line was too long! Weather was not great, hot humid and the sea air smelled like fishy! Time to spend on shore was too ... Read More
We wanted to visit those ports that were listed on itinerary! We didn’t like the tendering to shore n back. The line was too long! Weather was not great, hot humid and the sea air smelled like fishy! Time to spend on shore was too short! Got sea sick from the cabin being the last end of ship! Horrible cabin room design for disabled wheelchair accessible shower! Shower did not drain n flooded the room for two nights till maintenance came to fix the drain! Patio door lock broken can’t close balcony floor full of paint dropping didn’t clean up! Room chair has a big hole, drawers can’t close refrigerator door pops open can’t close! Everything was old n not updated! Shower curtains smells! Very disappointed at ythe twin beds too short too small can’t sleep well! Very uncomfortable! Very bad cabin despite we booked very early never knew what room till last minute n can’t change the beds set up ! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This past January we went on an Asian Cruise with Princess Cruises. We were to board our cruise in Shanghai, reporting to board our cruise beginning at 12:00PM, Jan. 5fth. Then, the night before, I received an e-mail indicating the ship ... Read More
This past January we went on an Asian Cruise with Princess Cruises. We were to board our cruise in Shanghai, reporting to board our cruise beginning at 12:00PM, Jan. 5fth. Then, the night before, I received an e-mail indicating the ship was late arriving on port and we should report beginning at 4:00PM. As we arrived at the terminal, our taxi driver noted the main gate was closed and a worker was directing him to go on. We arrived at a building crowded with thousands of tourists. One clerk told us to go upstairs and wait for further boarding instructions. We went upstairs, sat along with other passengers waiting for further instructions, I glanced at a passenger sitting next to us and he had a boarding card and an ID card. I asked him where he got them and he directed me to an area on the first floor where people were being processed in a very disorganized way. I finally had documents to board the ship"THANKS TO INSTRUCTIONS FROM A FELLOW PASSENGER" and not one from the cruise company. Well, before we knew, it was 7:00PM and we knew nothing about when we would begin boarding. A poor lady, who had arrived at 12:00PM, per the original schedule, had not had a meal since her breakfast. Around 8:00PM, someone came to offer water. How sad to be mistreated this way. When we thought we had had the worst, we were finally told to proceed down a hallway that led to the outside parking lot? What? It is raining and we have to walk in the rain to the next building?. The rest of the ordeal on this cruise was not that better. The food at the dining room was simple and after few days eating the same stuff, we decided to skip meals. We signed up for two tours, one for Ho Chi Min City , Vietnam and Bang Kok, Thailand. The port in Vietnam is 2:00 hours away from the city and by the the time you get there, there is not much you can do, before the last bus goes back to the ship. During the two tours, the native tour guides spoke very poor English and we looked at each other wondering what is he saying?. On one tour we asked the tour guide if we were going to go to a place where we could buy souvenirs. Consistent with everything else, we stopped at a rest area with just food shops. My wife went everywhere looking for souvenirs and came back to the bus empty handed. To add insult to injury, we both got a cold from our fellow passengers, who were coughing and sneezing everywhere. When we went to the nurse's office to get some medications, a rude older woman at the desk, greeted us like dogs, " As we walked in, she just said SIT and wait, in a rude tone. Well, I am not dog and went to her and asked to get some over the counter cold medications. The one consolation during this horrific cruise was to know that many times before we had great experiences with other cruise companies. After we got home, we received an e-mail from Princess Cruises asking for feedback. Well, I had plenty to say about this poor experience and responded with a critical assessment of the company. Days went by and no response from the company. I then decided to call them. The response from their office in Santa Clarita was just as poor as the cruise service. " Sorry you had these problems, hope to see you again". Guess what, they will never see us again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I've cruised on Princess many times and saw a great offer for this cruise. I'm sorry I took it, this was the worst cruise I've taken. My cabin was not clean; there was rotting fruit in the refrigerator and toenail clippings ... Read More
I've cruised on Princess many times and saw a great offer for this cruise. I'm sorry I took it, this was the worst cruise I've taken. My cabin was not clean; there was rotting fruit in the refrigerator and toenail clippings on the floor of the balcony. There was hair all over the desk, and paperwork that appeared to be from the previous cruise. Additionally, the wall base was coming loose and created a tripping hazard right at the bathroom door. I brought these issues to the attention of my room steward, and they were addressed that evening. There was a water leak right outside my cabin door and it soaked everything put in the mail slot. It took 6 days and several calls to guest services to fully resolve the problem, even though every time I spoke to guest services, they said it was reported as fixed. On 3 occasions, I was in my cabin while they looked for the leak and attempted repairs. At no time was a message left in the cabin or on the phone indicating the problem that I reported had been fixed. And even though I asked that nothing be put in the mail slot, everything was. I was eventually told by an engineering supervisor that it would have to be repaired on a port day, after notification to all cabins affected. I came back to my cabin one port day to find the corridor a mess and a bunch of people working on the water line, but I never received notification that the work was going to occur. There seemed to be a gross lack of communication and a clear lack of follow up inspections by supervisory personnel. Princess eventually gave me $100 room credit, but I feel that it wasn't nearly enough for the trouble. Data services did not work in the cabin at all and were very slow, even in the internet cafe. All of the tours were rushed, with no real shopping time, and little time at any of the sites. At some locations stops were made that weren't on the posted itinerary, and weren't appropriate for cruisers. On 2 tours, were were outside during thunderstorms, but there was no protocol for protecting passengers during this situation - or the flooded road we drove on in one instance. Although all of the tours were 4+ hours, meals/snacks were not included, and no time allotted for eating. The only tour that included a meal was the disembarkation tour I took in Singapore, where they took us to a seafood restaurant - I happen to be allergic to shellfish, and was not aware that we would be eating in such a place until we were on the tour. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise to go to Southeast Asia and particularly the ports advertised. we found the cruise terribly disappointing. Princess misrepresented the times in ports. because of terrible tendering services the port times were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to go to Southeast Asia and particularly the ports advertised. we found the cruise terribly disappointing. Princess misrepresented the times in ports. because of terrible tendering services the port times were very short in ports where the vessel anchored out. The food service and entertainment were disappointing. The quality of the meat was poor, and the meat tough. good entertainment was nonexistent. the internet service was expensive and very slow. the chocolate was good. waiters should have had more training. never saw ships officers around ship. In Bali, one tender went aground, then 2 other tenders were sent to help. the ship should have compensated for this to allow passengers to extent the sailing time so passengers could have a reasonable time ashore. no they kept the sailing time as posted, but really didn't sail till hours later. being a naval architect, and having worked on designing cruise ships and their cruises, I found this cruise particularly disappointing Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are on Day 3 of our cruise on Sapphire Princess to Portugal and Europe Southern in October 2018. The company tag line is "Come back new". In our very short experience on board, that will not be the case. I feel we have to ... Read More
We are on Day 3 of our cruise on Sapphire Princess to Portugal and Europe Southern in October 2018. The company tag line is "Come back new". In our very short experience on board, that will not be the case. I feel we have to comment - because princess do not listen. As the carer for my disabled wife, we want a rest and minimal stress to relax and enjoy. The Sapphire Princess dies not deliver. Cabin - On arrival room had blocked toilet, too much furniture for wheelchair to access, broken toilet door, broken fridge and beds too high for easy wheelchar to bed transfer. Shower eventually did not work and only tepid water available. Excursions - None of the excursions (even on enquiry to customer services) were suitable for passengers in wheelchair. Where the cruise terminal was a number of kilometers to town, customer services could not guarantee transport (which you have to pay for) was suitable for wheelchairs! Disgraceful when you consider there were at least 50 people on board with wheel chairs/scooters. We have to walk and make our own excursion arrangements. Entertainment - The theatre had spaces for eight wheelchairs at the rear of the hall. During performances you had to curtail your evening meal and get there 60 minutes early to ensure you got one of the very few places where you could sit together. Wheelchairs were three deep and the carer could not sit beside the disabled person by the time the performance started. As well as being stressful, it was a fire and H&S risk as the wheelchairs, and other people standing in the walkways, blocked the rear exits from the theatre. Dining - Part of the enjoyment of a cruise is the luxury of good food prepared and served to you. Breakfast and lunch (lunch only on at sea days) were restricted to a restaurant at the lower rear of the ship. Since our cabin was at an upper level at bow, and due to configuration of deck plans, it took three elevator rides to get there. Not an easy journey, when you have no option but to use elevator, on a busy ship at peak times. Talk about stressful. We soon gave up on breakfast and lunch. Food has been very mixed. The alternative was to go to the cafeteria dining. This meant you had difficulty getting a table, had to collect food for both disabled person and carer - but they did not allow trays. This resulted in the carer having to make numerous trips to queue and get food, then drinks - if you found a suitable accessible table. This must also be a nightmare for parents with children who have similar issues. So much for being on holiday and having a stress free, relaxing vacation. Service has been reasonable - although they seem incapable of making any changes to alleviate things. In summary, accommodation below par; excursions below par; food service below par, ship configuration poor and entertainment not thought through. I cannot see us "Going back new" as a result of this experience. Very poor show Princess cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We always wanted to Cruise the Baltics and overall our trip and the port was very nice, but the moment we got back on boar we encounter an old ship very rudew crew and the service at the main restaurant was terrible we complain and they ... Read More
We always wanted to Cruise the Baltics and overall our trip and the port was very nice, but the moment we got back on boar we encounter an old ship very rudew crew and the service at the main restaurant was terrible we complain and they didnt do anithing to acomodate us un another table or try to make it right. Our cabin was always dirty the food options on the bufete was very limited. We bought the soft drink package for all of our family and every time we order a drink they ask us every time for all the cruise cards like if we were goin to steal their drinks. The mood of the crew around the ship were rude and unwilling to help. I like princess cruisess but they really neet to treat their passangers like they deserve it seems like their crew is the most important thing on board not their passangers I will never cruise with princess thats for sure Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I’ve been on 13 cruises in the past four years and I’m hooked. Enjoyed Emerald Princess at Christmas three years ago (although apart from Crab Shack and Chefs Table the food was pretty poor). I was too busy to write a review however ... Read More
I’ve been on 13 cruises in the past four years and I’m hooked. Enjoyed Emerald Princess at Christmas three years ago (although apart from Crab Shack and Chefs Table the food was pretty poor). I was too busy to write a review however and eventually forgot. So summer 18 I decided to give Sapphire Princess a try: Room Good - super bed, good TV and good movies/ programmes. Awful smell from shower/ loo Staff Truly excellent. But a seasoned couple with 40cruises under their belt told me that in the past few years Carnival (who own Princess) have made cabin staff go from making up ten rooms twice daily to eighteen rooms in the same time. The couple felt guilty and upset for the staff about this. I too, had wondered why the staff had had to work for longer and longer every day. Now I understand. Excursions These same old time passengers - and others - advised that I should use Cruise Excursions which operate in each port of call, rather than Carnival’s Princess. This is because the Carnival ship’s charges are extortionate in comparison to Cruise Excursions, so more and more passengers are arranging excursions with Cruise Excursions before they leave to go on these cruise.ps. Entertainment Excellent - very good - only 45 minutes per evening unfortunately which is too little. Fitness I was lazy on this cruise so don’t know. : ( Food I have never written a review before now, but the food and corporate greed are the reasons I am writing this one. The food was truly awful. It was cheap canteen standard and so many passengers muttered about it - but said they never wrote reviews - that I decided someone had to do it or the food would just get worse. I stuck with salads but sent two dinners back which I’ve never done. The PR manager handled it excellently however - and, to be fair, this aspect iof Carnivals service is very good. I met one passenger who had sued Carnival - he didn’t say why - but he won. An example of cost cutting verging on the dishonest was when I asked for fresh orange juice. Instead I was given the reconstituted stuff they use on board and charged $4. So I went to the bar where it was made and asked again for fresh juice. The waiter genuinely seemed to believe it was fresh but I had had a look. I saw that Carnival had put reconstituted juice in a jug marked fresh juice and then charged me for it.... Rather than cause a fuss I pai but my goodwill was running out. The next day I did get fresh juice from fresh oranges but this time the fee was $4. 95.... I again paid but it was the last straw. One reason was that these incidents reminded me of Easter 18 - I was on another Carnival ship - P n O Ventura. As a solo passenger I pay hundreds of pounds more for a room - up to double the cost. I got the usual two chocolates in my room that first night. The next night I got only one. The manager explained that since I was the only person in the room I would only get one chocolate... For some reason a few other solo passengers got two ... Is this discrimination I ask? Seriously when another solo passenger and I complained, he reinstated the two chocolate policy for the duration of the cruise but said he would reintroduce it when we left. That is plain mean. Enrichment This is just another means of selling. Summary : Corporate Penny Pinching This is a lovely ship and, to a man, the staff is superb. But it is being ruined by corporate greed. Everywhere standards are being driven down by skinflint penny pinching. Carnival I am not saying that your board made the above decisions personally. But your policy of ruthlessly driving down costs by every nickel and dime - while posting profits in the billions - is responsible for such practices. With service such as that above however, your gravy train may seriously derail. At Christmas 18 I am going to India with Voyages to Antiquity. I hear they are decent people. I am looking forward to it. Meanwhile I’ve still got the cruising bug but this time around I shall keep you posted and would appreciate others helping. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Our friends talked us into a trip to Asia, primarily based on the cost of the cruise. I have only been on one other cruise(Celebrity), my wife has been on six or seven. We traveled with friends that just recently discovered cruising and ... Read More
Our friends talked us into a trip to Asia, primarily based on the cost of the cruise. I have only been on one other cruise(Celebrity), my wife has been on six or seven. We traveled with friends that just recently discovered cruising and can't book enough trips! We booked mostly ship provided excursions since our friend is handicapped. We had a year to plan our trip, my only health concern was flying and the latest flu issues. We even took some medications for the long 22 1/2 hour flight to Singapore. I never considered being sick on the cruise!! Four days into the cruise, I had a sever sore throat, that took my voice away. Quickly, I thought it might be the flu, and took some "over the counter" medicine, and it knocked the fever out, but left me with a sever coughing and sinus problem. Spent two days in bed, missing an port excursion. The following day, our traveling friend's wife came down with the same problems. Then her husband, followed by my wife!! Our friend's wife, went to the ship's doctor, who quarantined her to her cabin for two days. I too, went to the ship's doctor, and was prescribed with some antibiotics. My comments about SO many people being sick with the same coughing and sinus problems were QUICKLY denied by the ship's doctor?? It was obvious when we were around other passengers, that there WAS A PROBLEM. The doctor's office was full of coughing passengers!! I became seriously concerned with health issues on this ship! Mainly in the food handling areas. Things like, food handlers, handling dishes without plastic protection on their hands. People eating foods inside the food selection area with their fingers. People entering the EXITs of the "food selection area"! People not washing their hands when entering the main entrance. Tables not being cleaned between users. The juice plastic glasses where NOTICIBLY "sticky", like they were not washed?? There was plenty of supervision throughout the dinning area, but just NOT doing their jobs!!! The cleanliness of the ship, glass doors, door handles, stair railings were slimy!! Then one day, a maintenance man had to open the ceiling just outside the ship's shop, to install a hose clamp. He took serious precautions, before entering the ceiling space, mask, rubber gloves, etc.. The air that was being forced out of the ceiling space smelt like a septic tank -- raw sewage!! This same smell was present around the ship in service areas.. I considered this ship A GERM FACTORY. Yes it was going in for an overhaul, but I think it should have never sailed on this trip!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We booked 11 months before travel and were really looking forward to this cruise, we have previously cruised with Thomson and P&O and were fully expecting the Princess service, entertainment, food and generally everything to be better ... Read More
We booked 11 months before travel and were really looking forward to this cruise, we have previously cruised with Thomson and P&O and were fully expecting the Princess service, entertainment, food and generally everything to be better than both of these companies. How wrong were we. Let's start with the good. The Sapphire Princess is clean, very clean. Our cabin steward Steve was lovely and looked after us. We visited some incredible destination that we will never forget. Now the bad. The Sapphire whilst clean is very tired, it needs a makeover, the furnishings and decor show signs of age and wear and tear, paint peeling, upholstery damaged and in need of deep cleaning, generally the ship is shabby. The service was terrible, on our first evening we had a hand in our face on arriving for dinner and were told to find somewhere else to eat! Not once in 15 nights were we seated as we arrived for dinner, we always hadn't to wait or try another restaurant. I could give many examples but smiles are seriously lacking. The only time we had a warm welcome was when we paid an extra $29 each (4of us) to eat at the Sterling Steakhouse. You shouldn't have to pay an extra £116 for a smile. The wine this was a complete farce, no wine was available for under $35 dollars a bottle, it was all out of stock, apparently Princess are changing their wine list in 2018 and had not had an stock for this cruise. Every evening we ordered to be told that what we had ordered was no longer available, it was a joke. All the drinks on board are ridiculously expensive. Plastic plates in the buffet restaurant, like a school dining canteen, and plastic coffee cups. When we asked why, we were told because it's close to the pool, however bottle of beer and wine glasses were used by the pool. Very odd. Menus in the restaurants were quite limited and actually repeated after just four nights on board. The entertainment also repeated, we saw the same comedian twice and the same theatre show twice (exactly the same) Our fabulous day in Singapore was supposed to be 7am till 5pm but we were not allowed off the ship till 11:30am (our allocated time) and needed to be back in board by 2:30pm when we asked if we could leave earlier we were treated as if we were a huge inconvenie, eventually they agreed to 9:30 giving us 5 hours in the city which turned into 4 after an hour at Singapore immigration waiting to get through. Ko Samui was missed off the itinerary completely because Princess have a disagreement with the Ko Samui authorities over tender boats so they stayed over night at the Bangkok port, an industrial port, which was noisy, ugly and is three hours away from Bangkok, princess organised a bus to take people who wanted to get off the ship to a local beach resort but they wanted to charge €16 per person for this service. I could go on but I think that's enough. In short, I will never again cruise with Princess, they have so far brushed off our comments and feedback. In all my life I've never written a review like this and I hope I never have to again, I hope Princess refurbish the Sapphire soon and train their staff to welcome their passengers and help them to have the vacation they deserve. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We were really looking forward to this cruise as it seemed to offer everything we wanted to see and experience in the Far East. How wrong we were! The embarkation, immigration and disembarkation used up so much time on many of the days ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise as it seemed to offer everything we wanted to see and experience in the Far East. How wrong we were! The embarkation, immigration and disembarkation used up so much time on many of the days ashore that we were unable to do much of what we had planned. Many of the ports were miles away from the main attractions, for example we docked at Laem Chabang which meant we had a four hour drive to get to Bangkok. This meant eight hours was spent on a coach. At Koh Samui, it was even worse as the ships tenders weren't used (which contradicted the presentation given by the excursions officer) and so we waited for three hours to get ashore. The queue was so bad to return to the ship that the 16:00 departure time was delayed by over two hours to ensure the massive queue (that extended the length of the pier at Nathon) could return. Queues for the restaurants and customer service was also a huge frustration and has resulted in our party of twenty three sending letters of complaint in an effort to seek compensation. Such a shame this effected so much of the amazing countries we had hoped to see more of during our two week cruise. The dining experience in the lounges is excellent and the breakfasts are great as it is always cooked to order. The level of service from the cabin steward and waiters is great, which was more than I could say about the officers who not as helpful and didn't appear to support their staff well enough when issues were raised. We din't take the opportunity to experience the on board activities, other than a photography lecture that was amazing and taught me many new skills to use in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
From the embarkation chaos in the Cruise Terminal to some of the poorly trained staff, this was the absolute worse Princess cruise I have ever experienced it 25 years. No designated queues for check in, such as for “Elite and Platinum ... Read More
From the embarkation chaos in the Cruise Terminal to some of the poorly trained staff, this was the absolute worse Princess cruise I have ever experienced it 25 years. No designated queues for check in, such as for “Elite and Platinum level” were displayed. Discussions with fellow Elite level cruisers support my negative experience with this sailing. In fact, Princess Cruises awarded every guess $100 on-board credit to try and appease the dissatisfied passengers after our disorganized, chaotic embarkation day. This ship should have been refitted after the Summer China cruise season, instead of waiting until next March, 2018,as it has become dated and detoriated. Some of my fellow passengers experienced food-poisoning like myself, in discussions during the final days of our cruise. My illness came from the Trident Grill when an inexperienced Chinese cook, grilled a cheese burger for me. Within 3 hours I was vomiting and experiencing diarrhea. After reporting this occurrence, I was isolated to my room until 24 hours after the diarrhea ceased. Difficulties understanding public address announcements were normal, as the young lady once told me jokingly, that she spoke “Chinglish”. Our table mates quit dining with us in the Dining Room, after their numerous, poorly cooked main courses were returned to the kitchen on the first 4 of 5 evenings. They were totally disgusted with the food and never returned to the Dining Room. The staff overall, tried their best and were to be commended for their attitudes, but Princess Cruises must revise their Dining programs, as well as other areas of the cruise experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have cruised with Princess many times before and are fully versed with what to expect and the service that Princess supply. Our problems started with embarkation. There was absolutely no organisation to this at all. Outside of the ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess many times before and are fully versed with what to expect and the service that Princess supply. Our problems started with embarkation. There was absolutely no organisation to this at all. Outside of the terminal there was virtually no one around to ask and more by luck we managed to find the right place to leave our luggage. Inside the terminal was much worse. As we are now elite on Princess we should have preferential boarding but the queues were huge and no one managing it we finished up in the wrong queue and the process took about 3 hours before we had our cruise card. Part way into the trip Princess did acknowledge that embarkation was a mess and credited everyone's on board account with $50. Usually on board a Princess ship there is quite a variety of entertainment available. However, every night the main theatre was the only event where there was a show. Club Fusion never hosted a live show throughout the cruise and this is usually busy every night. Sapphire Princess has been in the Chinese market for the past three years. Apparently the staff are only used to this and as a result the normal Princess service was missing. The only exception to this was our cabin steward who did his best to rectify the issues with our room. Sapphire Princess is looking very tired. Her dry dock refit can't come soon enough. In our cabin the shower waste didn't work properly, the first time it was used it flooded the rest of the bathroom fortunately it didn't go any further than that. Other issues we had included the air conditioning not cooling the room at all, rather important in the tropics! The refrigerator didn't really work either Before we left for our trip we had booked a number of shore excursions with Princess and finished up booking more on board. These were badly organised by the shore excursion staff as there was no direction and only by our own initiative did we manage to find the correct vehicle for the trip. All the actually trips were really good until we came to Thailand. The cruise had two days in Bangkok,on the second day we had booked a visit to the Tiger Zoo. This was truly horrendous. The conditions that the tigers are kept in are appalling. There are a number of areas where you can have your picture taken with one of the tigers. The cubs that are used are held within small cages that are around 3 feet cubed. To get them to sit on the tourists knees for the photo they are given milk. The rate at which the cubs drink this milk leads you to believe that they must must be really hungry. The fully grown tiger that is available for photos is extremely docile, too docile for a wild animal....... There were a number of really small tiger cubs, possibly only a few days old. These had all been separated from their mother and most were left on their own in a small pen. One of their advertising ploys is the sow feeding the tiger cub, sure enough this is where one of the cubs was with a sow who had piglets on her own. Only the cub was (presumably) asleep and wasn't moving. In the adjacent room was a tiger (possibly the cubs mother) and she had been given two piglets to feed. Only she didn't want them anywhere near her. Other parts of the park offered you the chance to feed tiger cubs that were again in cages about 3 foot cubed. These cubs also seemed to be starving. The rest of the adult tigers are kept in cages that have concrete floors and nothing to entertain their minds. Many were pacing up and down in repetitive fashion indicating behavioural problems. The zoo also had many other animals pigs, rabbits, goats, donkeys and many crocodiles. None of the conditions for these animals seemed any better. We did finish up watching part of the crocodile show and these consisted of two members of the zoo staff tormenting the crocodiles util they snapped. We didn't stay long in this show. The whole park broke our hearts. We raised our concerns with Princess as soon as we returned from this trip but didn't get any feeling of concern or desire to do anything. The excursion staff confirmed that Princess do check out tours before offering them. We are shocked that Princess, who visited this zoo before offering it, thought that it was acceptable. It is a classic example of animal cruelty and Princess are funding this through providing funds from tours. We were assured that we would be contacted before we disembarked regarding our concerns however a couple of days following disembarkation we have still not heard anything from Princess. We are shocked that this type of trip is condoned by Princess through their provision of it. Read Less
67 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We had looked forward to this trip with great anticipation and hoped that it would be an adventure filled with memorable events and cultural enrichment. Sadly, this Princess experience fell far short of our expectations. To put ... Read More
We had looked forward to this trip with great anticipation and hoped that it would be an adventure filled with memorable events and cultural enrichment. Sadly, this Princess experience fell far short of our expectations. To put these comments in context, you should know something about our background and prior travel experience. Since 2005 my wife and I have been blessed to have the ability to travel all over the world. We are not novice travelers having been on 20 ocean cruises, 5 river cruises, and 4 land tours as well as numerous independent trips. We have sailed on Princess Ships many times including the Ruby, Emerald, Grand, and now the Sapphire Princess. We have spent 141 nights aboard Princess ships and this was by far our most disappointing experience. We began to plan this trip in mid 2015. After a good deal of research we settled on what were described on the Princess web site as two cruises, back to back, in Southeast Asia. Together they began on January 23, 2016 and ended on February 24, 2016. I initially contacted Princess by phone to enquire about details and to explore reserving the booking. The 32 day sailing was offered and reserved as two cruises; one 15 day and one 17 day. On the first segment, we were given an assigned stateroom. On the second, we were given a guarantee in the same category. I was told that every effort would be made to avoid the inconvenience of having to switch rooms mid cruise and that the issue would be handled aboard the ship. When we embarked on January 23rd, we were surprised to learn that we were not on two back to back cruises, but actually four cruises. They were a four day, an eleven day, a seven day and a ten day all strung together like a patchwork made of different materials. We would return to Singapore every few days and take on a whole new group of passengers. The first segment was only four days long and basically operated as a party boat out of Singapore. The second segment of eleven days coincided with the celebration of Chinese New Year. It was very clear that every effort was being made to cater to the Asian, and particularly Chinese, clientele. I do not know the ship’s capacity or the maximum number of people allowed in a stateroom but the ship was terribly crowded. There was virtually no place to sit at the Horizon during breakfast and lunch. Unsupervised children were permitted to run about the ship. The elevators were overloaded with people aggressively pushing on and stretching the limits of safety. At one point a group of 10 or 12 made a noisy entrance into the Sanctuary pool area and simply jumped into the pool wearing their street clothes while others laughed and took pictures. There was no evidence of any security personnel anywhere. During the entire 32 days we spent on the ship, we never saw anyone test the temperature or water quality in the pool as we had seen on previous Princess cruises. The water in the pool was extremely warm and an oily slime was actually visible on the surface along with hair and other floating debris. At one point during this segment we received a “special invitation” to attend a Captain’s Circle cocktail party billed as an opportunity to meet the captain and other officers. We arrived at 7:10, five minutes before the party was scheduled to begin, to find more than 500 people waiting in line to gain entrance. Having all those elegantly dressed people on formal night stand in that line seemed pretty demeaning so we decided to leave and return a short time later. When we returned at 7:45, the “party” was over and the bar was closed. So much for that special invitation. At a “formal” night we sat next to a party of eight, all dressed in short sleeved casual clothes, speaking loudly including a passenger wearing a red tee shirt with food flying out of his mouth as he shouted to his friends across the table. This was disturbing and undercut everything a formal night is meant to be. Shortly before the end of the second segment, we were told that we would, in fact, have to change rooms and that no one aboard the ship had any decision-making authority with respect to room assignments. When we responded that the shore-based Princess staff had advised us to the contrary, the answer was “I don't know why 'they’ told you that.” In the end, the room assigned to us, located in the bow of the ship, was less desirable than where we started and we spent the better part of an evening and early morning packing up to accomplish the move. Similarly, the land based office assured us that the Super Bowl would be aired on all Princess ships, but when the big day came it was, “we don’t have that channel.” It’s the only Super Bowl I’ve ever missed. The Princess land and ship based staffs continually referred to each other as though they were part of a totally different company and suggested that the other was responsible for any problem or miscommunication. Failing that, they tried to place the blame at the feet of the travel agent who, in this case, did nothing but confirm a preexisting reservation and collect the money. They offered to arrange for me to call the travel agent from somewhere in the middle of the South China sea even though it was the middle of the night at the agent’s location and the agent had nothing to do with the issue. Dealing with the customer service department was a nightmare in itself. Virtually all of the representatives at the understaffed front desk spoke English as a second, or possibly a third language. Even the simplest request, such as having a light bulb replaced, had to be repeated several times and even then their level of understanding was questionable. When a request was made to speak to a supervisor, the agent would disappear behind a partition a few feet away and return several minutes later to explain that no supervisor was available and that one would call shortly. Needless to say, those calls never came - we had waited in our room for naught. The customer services director was a non entity. He was never available and he failed to return my call on three separate occasions. These overcrowded conditions, cultural differences, and rapid passenger turnover increased the probability of illness being spread throughout the ship. Despite meticulous hygiene and frequent careful hand washing, I fell victim to a bout of acute gastroenteritis resulting in severe diarrhea. The ship's doctor told me that I had contracted Norovirus and I was confined to my stateroom for two days missing shore excursions in Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City, two of the most important ports visited on this trip and, for good measure, I was presented a medical bill of $120.60. I recovered enough to be released from quarantine at 6:00am on February 14th, the day we will always remember as the Princess Singapore Valentine’s Day fiasco. This was the day that, for some yet unexplained reason, anyone who wanted to visit Singapore, another primary destination on this trip, had to be off the ship by 6:30 am and could not reboard until after 7:00 pm. Still being a bit shaky after two days of stateroom confinement, it was a very long, very hot, very uncomfortable day. It put a damper on our Valentine’s Day celebration to say the least. For this our only compensation was a $200 shipboard credit. While appreciated, it didn’t come close to being adequate in light of all the circumstances. As I mentioned at the start, one of our primary objectives in taking this trip was the opportunity for cultural enrichment that it presented. Princess “dropped the ball” completely in this area. The 32 days we spent aboard were almost totally devoid of any interesting or intellectually stimulating presentations. With the exception of Captain Ted McCourt, who was only given the time to make three presentations, the rest was mindless and unsatisfying. In our opinion, Princess is what it is. Possibly fine for lounging by the pool for seven days in the Caribbean, but not ready for prime time if one is seeking a higher level of sophistication, cultural enrichment, first class entertainment, or truly fine dining. When I started this review, It occurred to me that Princess should have an opportunity to respond before I posted it. I wrote a detailed letter, most of which is set out verbatim in this review, setting out our experiences on this cruise and sent it via certified mail marked confidential to the president of Princess Cruise Lines and asked that she respond. About three weeks later I received a telephone call from a low level bureaucrat in the Princess corporate office who wanted to know if there was anything else I wanted to say about my cruise experience. I asked if the letter reached the president's desk and if she had read it. He said he didn't know and it didn't matter because I would be dealing with him. He told me that he had read the letter and that no action would be taken by Princess Cruises. It was clear that there was no investigation into the issues that we brought to their attention and that no action was taken to correct what we perceived to be serious deficiencies. He said that Princess would not offer any compensation for this experience because we were simply "disappointed" in their procedures and that, if we took another Princess cruise, we might very well have the same experience again. A final low point in this entire experience was the way that the Princess front office responded to our concerns. Their representative was aloof, dismissive, unapologetic, and made it quite clear that he didn't care if we ever set foot on another Princess ship again...so much for "Come back new". Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We are on our honeymoon and have made a terrible mistake booking princess cruises to help us celebrate it. First impressions of our boat sapphire princess was that it is dated and in need of some serious work to bring it up to speed. ... Read More
We are on our honeymoon and have made a terrible mistake booking princess cruises to help us celebrate it. First impressions of our boat sapphire princess was that it is dated and in need of some serious work to bring it up to speed. With so many great cruising choices in this day and age this is enough a reason to avoid princess cruises. We have experienced dated venues in our previous travels that have offered an underlying culture or heart beat that is so infectious you see below the surface and relish in a beautiful experience. In fact, dated venues usually try harder to please, to make up for their initial shortcomings. We wish we could say this for princess cruises but unfortunately we can't. Orientation of the ships features, destinations, entertainment and activities which are poor has been terrible and when seeking advice from staff members we have received poor feedback that leaves you guessing what to do, or a facial expression and answer that is sure to make you feel stupid for asking, or an honest response of "I don't know" without any offering to find out. A smiling face is hard to find and most staff members walk past without making eye contact, saying hello or at least recognising your confused face and asking if they can be of assistance. On this princess cruise we have observed extremely poor examples of teamwork. In the Casino when a waiter or waitress is not present we have asked Team Members looking after gaming to please arrange a drink and have been told this is a job for the waitresses or waiters not us. When asking the unfriendly reception staff (where there is always a long wait) to book a specialty restaurant we have been told we can't do that go and speak to one of the restaurant staff. We are now only booking additional charge specialty restaurants for dining after trying out the international buffet for lunch. The buffet was extremely small and limited for choice and after trying the pre wrapped sandwiches which were stale we switched to pasta because it was the only food that looked remotely edible, however it was hard and quite cold from sitting there for sometime. Accepting that the food wasn't going to get any better we ate the pasta and both believe it was the cause of food poisoning that we are now battling couped up in our cabin. Making our illness worse is the lack of air conditioning in our cabin and the four English tv channels of news only. We have asked for our air conditioning to be fixed four times now and have only seen one person attend to it but it is still not fixed. We have given up trying. Before falling ill, we tried out the evening dining room for dinner where we pre booked a table for two long before boarding the cruise to enjoy romantic dinners together on our honeymoon. After two nights of being placed on large tables with other people we spoke up and were finally given the table for two we originally booked. Despite just another poor example of customer service, the food and service in the evening dining room was good. It's a shame that our food poisoning from the international buffet has also made us lose faith in this restaurant. The only satisfaction we will get out of our mistake booking with princess cruises is saving fellow travelers from making the same mistake. Steer clear of this company and book elsewhere. Our previous cruises with Celebrity and P&O were great and would be a good starting point for anyone looking to book a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
i was very disappointed in the sapphire i heard so many good things about this ship and was excited to get on and experience it for myself. but instead i was angry that i spent my hard eared money to sale with these guys.i was disappointed ... Read More
i was very disappointed in the sapphire i heard so many good things about this ship and was excited to get on and experience it for myself. but instead i was angry that i spent my hard eared money to sale with these guys.i was disappointed in the lack of entertainment they had. they were running out of alcohol in the bars they closed the bar on deck 14 around 8pm most nights and the last night it was 7pm so you had to go down stairs to get a drink and that's if they had the drink in stock which wasn't the case on many occasions so we went to deck 7 to get one. the food was not very good most of the time it was cold and the meat was still raw. the outside pool was closed by 8.30pm. the inside pool was like a sauna. they only catered for the age bracket 60+ .when we came into port at Brunei we were told if you don't pay to get into town with the ships bus you shouldn't get Brunei's taxi's as they are not safe so we had to stay in the local area in Brunei as there tours were sold out. we were very disappointed as there was only about 5 shops and most of them were food shops so it was back to the ship after a 30min walk in the heat . in the port of ho chi minh we only found out the night before that it would be a 2 hour trip to get to the city so we had to pay $99 pp to get the bus from the ship we were lucky this was not sold out other wise we would have missed out on this port. when we returned to our cabin one night we had a letter saying that we need to pay $300pp on our cruise cards to keep them active we did not use our credit card only cash and they didn't like this at all . when i went to the service desk i told them i will not pay $300 each their reply was oh you don't have to pay this. this was just the start of bad service from them . when we docked in Brunei the visa money didn't come of my account so i asked them why. their reply you don't need to pay for a visa in Brunei . well the next day i looked at the statement and the visa's had come off so back i go again just to be told oh yes you have to pay .i was looking forward to the ultimate deck party on the second last night but yet again disappointed it was zumba for an hour . i can clearly say i will never cruise with princess ever again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
During the above voyage there were a number of issues which not only upset us but make us unsure whether we would continue to book with Princess. 1. Frequent Guest Reception - In past this has been a cocktail reception attended by the ... Read More
During the above voyage there were a number of issues which not only upset us but make us unsure whether we would continue to book with Princess. 1. Frequent Guest Reception - In past this has been a cocktail reception attended by the Captain. This function always made us feel special, and was always well done. On the above cruise this was reduced to a half hour infomercial in the theater, followed up with a drink ticket. Do you really want to cheap out on your mainstream market target, returning guests, and make sure we won't return? 2. The "Unlimited Drink Special" - This was purely a scam, when the young lady sold us this package, it was simply unlimited drinks (at less than 10.00), I asked her what the catch was and she told us no catch. Almost as soon as we began to use this the rules came out, no room service, one drink at a time(We asked for an extra drink to take to our room, and were scolded in front of several other guests at the Mermaid bar, and told if we wanted a second drink we had to pay for it, the scolding was quite embarrassing) There were other conditions which should have been explained at the time of sale. The largest concern was that the fee was backdated to the first day of the cruise which seemed untoward, and profited only princess not us. 3. Many of the staff on our deck and room service staff had no knowledge of English whatever. 4. The furniture in our Mini Suite was tattered and shopworn, ( I have pictures). 5. Several people at various dining seating's commented on the general condition of the ship and lack of maintenance, I noticed lots of rust on the exterior. 6. Lack of response by Princess - We filled in the customer review survey right after the cruise, most of the comments were as per this text, we asked for a response from customer care (as per the survey) when we did not receive a reply we contacted our Princess Agent (who was no help at all) who advised that we had to write a separate letter and not rely on the customer service survey which we filled out. (Why have this?) 7. Entertainment - Purely stunk the joint out. Most of the shows were rehashes of earlier shows and the quality was not even close to former Princess standards. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I am an experienced cruiser. Princess Cruises has totally disappointed me in many areas. I would say that Princess has not taken the time to understand the demographics and do not do the right data mining to understand their clients. 1. ... Read More
I am an experienced cruiser. Princess Cruises has totally disappointed me in many areas. I would say that Princess has not taken the time to understand the demographics and do not do the right data mining to understand their clients. 1. Entertainment: I have never seen a cruise with such poor entertainment. The atrium had some instrumental group performing with low decibels that even senior guests fell asleep. No dancing on this cruise, except the disco/DJ. If you are a younger cruiser looking for some action, this cruise will be the biggest disappointment of your life. The entertainment team has no accommodations for younger travelers. 2. Food: Vegetarians, Jews or Muslims will have to carry their own food. Since you are traveling with a lot of Chinese passengers, 60 percent of the meat is pork. The food was awful. Nothing was exciting, except for the gala night menu. The staff is desensitized and customer complaints do not mean anything to them. 3. The cruise needs refurbishing. This boat is very old. I have never seen a boat with so many broken faucets and out of service signs. The air conditioning is hardly working. During port days, the heat increases so much that is unbearable. 4. Overall cleanliness: The boat is dirty. The medical center and my room had smelly sheets. I have never felt a cruise ship with so many smelling toilets and smell of urine. The swimming pool had an awful smell of human feces. 5. Lack of attention to detail: No coffee in the cabin, but they made sure I had green tea. I wonder if the can't look at their demographics to understand where their guests are coming from. 6. The ports of call are interesting places. You learn so much about the Southeast Asian countries and culture. 7. Zumba, Perhaps, is one of the best things that really happened in the cruise. 8. Art Auctions: I never buy art nor attend the actions but people were engaged.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
Dining: marginally adequate, asked waiter when we were going to have T-bone steak and he said I had to go to the speciality restaurant. I read where one could have NY strip on request on Cruisecritic but it was disallowed. Celebrity and ... Read More
Dining: marginally adequate, asked waiter when we were going to have T-bone steak and he said I had to go to the speciality restaurant. I read where one could have NY strip on request on Cruisecritic but it was disallowed. Celebrity and Carnival Spirit had NY strip on request. Sapphire food generally tasteless and mediocre. New York Strip served on last evening meal wasn't as good as I've had at chain restaurants. Other passengers made similar comments in conversations as lacking in quality and taste. Baked Alaska? Not creamy and as tasty as on other cruise lines, desserts in general tasteless and bland with the exception of the banana creame pie on last evening meal. Pizza not prepared to our taste, pizza bought at grocery stores and taken home for baking more suitable for consumption. Ate in International Dining Room on 2 Aug and fried fish not crisp, tarter sauce loose and runny. French fries hot and tasty. Cole slaw apparently very expensive based on the amount received with fried perch meal. I ate until I ran out of slaw and pushed the plate aside due to poor taste. There should be ample servings of each food ordered to last the entire meal and tartar sauce should have body, not too thick and not too loose. The fish should be cooked crisp but not dry and when served should be free of unnecessary grease. The Horizon Court Buffet would do well to post a lunch and dinner menu for guests to read prior to deciding where one wants to dine-perhaps that is the plan to keep guests guessing where the best meal might be served? Our cabin was adequate, had everything we possibly need or want including room service. Cabin Steward kept room clean but was somewhat difficult to reach to turn in a form that was assigned to another passenger/room but delivered by error to our room. Again on the route back to Vancouver the wrong folio with $500 deposited to our Excursion Account that sadly we had to turn in at the Passenger Assist Desk for appropriate disposition. Perhaps it wasn't the steward but someone from passenger services? Extremely difficult to find photos in the Photo Gallery, it would be beneficial if the photos had a number assigned to each photo or belonged to such-and-such room to make it easier for guests to find their pictures. I and another guest were commenting on the difficulty. Explorers Lounge 1030 on4 Aug-Morning Trivia-why does the MC (Mark) have to use the term "fart?" This in in front of all ages from small children to elderly and is inappropriate. Sure some children use the term, we hear it in movies but does that make it "cultured" or proper? Where is the Princess civility? This is our first and last trip with Princess, other cruise lines offer more for the dollar and we received far less than expected. If we wanted to enter the "Sanctuary" there was a fee of $60 per person? Other passengers were commenting on the additional cost of the cruise in certain areas and the poor quality of prepared food. Enter the Horizon late and the food in some hot pans were nearly empty and the food was dried. I have worked with several chefs and the food served late should be as fresh as it was when the serving line opened. Summarization: The crew was overall excellent and to a person were polite and considerate. They provided everything they could that the cruise line would allow. The ship contrary to what others have commented on was in good shape and crew worked diligently keeping it clean. However, Princess Cruise Line has cut corners to cut costs and in so doing have alienated many potential future customers. I would have to put Princess on a par with The smaller ships in the Carnival line. Even NCL is somewhat better than Princess. Princess attempts to pawn and foist eye of round off for filet migon and the astute traveler can quickly discern what is in their plate. However, one thing that Princess does well and that is the nearly grease-free french fries -every other food item looks better than they taste which is a waste of time when one either dresses up for one of the dining rooms or stands in line at the Horizon Court. Based on food repetition and use of leftovers, it would do Princess Lines well to eliminate the Chef and have the first and second cooks plan and supervise food preparation if they continue as they are-food prep is repetitious and rote, they don't need to pay a "chef," they'd save even more money by eliminating his job. The cooks know what they have to do-all season and beyond. I enjoy the food on most cruises but the food on Princess as they say in England, "took the biscuit." Princess has nearly convinced both the wife and I to not take another cruise but after talking to other passengers we'll try Holland America Lines someday but not in the near future, it's gonna be along time. I have sent part of this assessment to Princess Cruise Lines but don't know if they'll answer and I don't particularly care. Sent from my iPad   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Never Princess Again My husband and I have done over 25 cruises on Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, NCL and have never had a complaint on any of them. Our general attitude is that any day on the ship is better than a day at work. That is until ... Read More
Never Princess Again My husband and I have done over 25 cruises on Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity, NCL and have never had a complaint on any of them. Our general attitude is that any day on the ship is better than a day at work. That is until this weekend’s Princess Cruise. We selected the cruise first because travel from Phoenix to LA is much easier and second because of the stop in Santa Barbara. I was and always will be the organizer of the trips. I was traveling with my 80 year old mother. Two failed knee replacements, and a broken hip have left her mostly wheelchair bound, but with a very clear mind and a love of any type of travel. She recently married and her new husband (90 years old) who has owned a vineyard in Santa Yanez, so they along with my blind husband and I booked a handicap cabin and an inside across the hall. We arrived after the first initial rush to the ship and boarding was pleasant. Sadly that was the end of good service. The gentleman from the ship who was assigned to push the wheelchair for mother asked ME how to get to their rooms. He had no idea where the room was because as we discovered later he was a waiter. After settling into the room our cabin steward came and had a much rehearsed introduction and was not able to answer any of my simple questions about the cabin. In general he did ok, but I had to request to have the ice bucket filled and after the first day of having ice he removed the bucket and it was never seen again. The first day we simply sat on their balcony and had a very pleasant afternoon. I phoned and made reservations for dining. (They only allow you to make reservations for two days at a time. The second morning I waited on hold for 41 minutes to make the reservations for the next night). Every morning passengers all sit on hold waiting to make reservations. A very unfriendly policy. This was only the first of MANY, MANY situations where we could say it wasn’t a horrible situation, but I truly believe that they have found simple ways for you to just give up and play the wait game. Because of the slowness of our group we waited until 11:30 to disembark in Santa Barbara. We were still shuttled to a dining room where mother needed to walk up a step to be able to have a seat. There we waited over 45 minutes to get off. Why not run tenders from two locations for busy days? That’s what the other cruise lines do. From here the cruise went downhill. The waiters would NOT speak slowly or attempt to speak up for mother. The dining experience was so unfriendly that two of the four nights we left without ordering desert. It is very apparent that the tips automatic and no one cares about service. This was true from the room attendants, to the dining staff, to those around the pool. Every trip is what you make of it, we made the best of the weekend by spending most of the time on the balcony and avoiding the staff. At the end of the weekend we again experienced difficulties getting off the ship. When in the taxi heading to the airport I asked my husband if he was glad we did the trip and he replied that for the first time of all of our cruises and land vacations he wished he had just stayed home instead. Take my advice and consider carefully before booking.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
For once, embarkation was easy. We were on the ship in no time at all. This was perhaps the highlight of the voyage. I booked a cruise and I got a floating hospital. I went to a port lecture and all I heard in the theater were wet ... Read More
For once, embarkation was easy. We were on the ship in no time at all. This was perhaps the highlight of the voyage. I booked a cruise and I got a floating hospital. I went to a port lecture and all I heard in the theater were wet hacking coughs in surround sound. I couldn't take it anymore and I left after 20 minutes. I ventured back for a few shows, same ubiquitous sickness, and never stuck around longer than a few minutes because of it. The public areas were all the same way. People were vomiting in the dining areas. I thought, being on vacation, that my HazMat suit could stay at work. Silly me. We later discovered our cabin steward wasn't changing our towels, replacing our glasses, or anything else they were supposed to be doing. These unsanitary conditions led to half my family get sick. One of them even got reinfected thanks to our steward's giving the appearance of a clean cabin rather than cleaning the cabin. If this is a new practice of Princess, it's no wonder there were so many sick people onboard. 16 hours before we were due to disembark, our steward took it upon themself to rearrange our personal effects to begin the turnover process. New sheets and robes showed up in our stateroom as well. Because I'd already packed my robe, I wore one of Princess' the final night. I apologize to whoever got the room next because they're wearing the robe I wore. It wouldn't surprise me if we received items used by the prior occupants as well. Our room was only properly cleaned on one night, the final night of the cruise. I think our steward drowned it in bleach because the smell was so strong it was nauseating. We had an intruder in our stateroom. Another passenger was able to open our front door with their key card. We reported this to Passenger Services, who told us this was impossible. We wanted our locks changed. They told us nobody could possibly have broken in, so they would need to do an investigation first. Not only am I surrounded by sick people, but my stateroom isn't a safe location either. Next time we checked in, they were debating whether or not an investigation was necessary because it was impossible for anyone else to come into our stateroom. It took 16 hours for the locks to be changed. It took half a dozen additional requests for this to happen. Each time we were told it was impossible for anyone else to enter our stateroom. That's great, until you're looking at another person walking through your stateroom door. That was an entire day spent looking over our shoulders and running back to check our possessions because we did not know who else may have had unauthorized access to it. We had maintenance issues with our stateroom. Things like a strobing fluorescent light and a broken thermostat. On prior Princess cruises, our steward would either change out the bulb or send maintenance in. Our steward turned the light off to "fix" (i.e. hide) the problem. Each time we spoke to Passenger Services, we were told, "Yes, right away." Right away roughly translates to, "Sometime in the next 8 hours, maybe." The only way to get repairs done were to communicate with Passenger Services every 4 hours. Each time it was, "Yes, right away." Except not. Average response time was 12 hours. Generally, service was bad. We placed drink orders that never arrived. I splurged on the UKP only to find that bar staff didn't know what drink I was ordering, even when you're pointing to it on the bar menu. Mocktails were a crapshoot. You could order the same one at each bar on the ship and get an entirely different drink each time. FYI: They do not make the chocobanana with coconut milk as described on the menu, it's heavy cream. Had I not been watching the bartender make it, I would have been none the wiser. If you're lactose intolerant, this means the difference between enjoyable drink and pain. I would expect unsanitary conditions, break-ins, and apathetic staff when I book a cheap motel room. I did not pay cheap motel room prices and I expect better from Princess. I'll be spending my time and money elsewhere the next time I cruise. Read Less
Sapphire Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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