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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have been on more than 10 Princess cruises and this ship by far is the worst. Mini suite is so much smaller than on the older ships, had to move the table each time to be able to walk past the sofa. Balcony is so much smaller and not ... Read More
We have been on more than 10 Princess cruises and this ship by far is the worst. Mini suite is so much smaller than on the older ships, had to move the table each time to be able to walk past the sofa. Balcony is so much smaller and not enough storage cupboards. Bed was also not as comfortable. We had set dining and the choices and quality of food was not as previous, usually cold and slow service due to the amount of tables waiters had to serve. Best food by far was room service, it was hot and tasty, usual options were available. Marketplace was always busy and passenger hygiene severely lacking, food aimed at Asian market. My husband and I caught a terrible cough in fact I had to be admitted to hospital upon my return as it turned into a chest infection. Ship too big, too many people and lack of walkway space. Would definitely not go on this or any of the other new ships Princess are building. Smaller and older ships so much better, I just hope that our cruise in September, which is on the Sapphire Princess, which we have been on before and loved, will make up for this extremely disappointing cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first Princess cruise. We chose it because we are booked for the 2019 World Cruise on Sea Princess, and this was a kind of "dry run" -- if one can have a "dry" run at sea! We are pleased we did it, as we ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise. We chose it because we are booked for the 2019 World Cruise on Sea Princess, and this was a kind of "dry run" -- if one can have a "dry" run at sea! We are pleased we did it, as we learned a lot. We joined the Cruise Critic message board for this cruise, as well as the World one, and are so pleased that we did. At the meet and greet, it was great to fit faces to names, and have people to wave to in the corridors. We called ourselves the three C's -- Cool Christmas Cruisers -- and the three CCCs certainly fitted this ship -- though I am going to add more. It was Cool (the AC worked overtime, despite the cool weather), Clean (sparkling, in fact), and Colossal (it took us four and a half minutes to walk the corridor from our cabin the bow to the sternmost exit, which was the only way to the Allegro restaurant). It was also Confusing. By the 12th day people were still getting lost, myself being one of them. This can be blamed on a very poor interior design. The Piazza should be the heart of the ship, as the Atrium is on most ships we have sailed, but instead it is an impediment. It is also very noisy, as loud classes, such as Zumba, have to be held there, for lack of entertainment space. And the shops are not in an arcade, but scattered like an airport duty free area, making it very hard to walk through, when there is a crowd. I don't think they were doing much trade; I certainly didn't pause to browse. And then there is Culture -- lack of, that is. There is no card room, and the "library" is a set of shelves in the internet room. Bridge boards and bidding boxes were kept in the entertainment department, and put out in restaurants on sea days, for guests to use, unhosted. Games were played on the dinner tables, on top of the tablecloths. There was also a market held in a restaurant. I have strong reservations about this, which I have reported to the head Princess department in the US. Norovirus is the bane of cruise ships, and carrying publicly used material into the place where food is served is very risky indeed. There was little else of cultural interest. Two theatres, but no enrichment lectures. Each show is performed three times, two night sessions and the next in the middle of the day. I felt sorry for the entertainment department. It is a very hard ship for them. On the other hand, the internet is excellent, with an affable and helpful young man in charge of the internet cafe. Surprisingly, it was CHINESE! There must have been a big promotion in mainland China. If they were expecting a tropical cruise, they were disappointed. The Chinese from Australia and New Zealand were equally amazed, especially as everyone assumed they could not speak English, like their mainland counterparts. So that added to the fun. One night we shared a table with a lovely family. Their daughter, who lived in Melbourne, translated freely, but it was easy to "talk" as her mother had such an expressive face. I was informed that the ship was designed for the Chinese market, which explains a lot, including the interior design (very like a top Chinese restaurant in Beijing), and the double signage. The worst aspect was Cost. The cruise itself was a promotional bargain, but the accounts department is a disgrace. On disembarkation day everyone was talking about how they'd had to fix their accounts. One dear old lady with a cane said she had been charged $299 for a spa treatment! We drink only moderately -- and cut down even more when we found that two single Scotches (blend, not fancy) with water on the side cost $38. We only found this out when we checked our stateroom account, as this is the first ship we have ever experienced where there is no spirits menu, with prices, and where there is no chit presented to be signed in any of the bars. Chits are presented in the restaurants, but even though I added the price ($10 per glass on the menu) to the chit before signing, I was consistently charged $12. And, while it is cheaper to buy a bottle, to cover the next two or three dinners, the bottles seem to be very easily lost somewhere backstage. And now comes a strong warning. I used a debit card linked to my checking account, to avoid the surcharge that comes with using a credit card. The my horror, when I checked my bank account after getting home, I found that while the total on my shipboard account had been taken out on disembarkation day, throughout the cruise TEN other charges had been made, ranging from $8.62 to $130.47. None of them seemed to relate to the actual shipboard account -- the figures simply didn't match. All ten were "pending" so when I phoned my bank, I was able to freeze them. Then I phoned Princess, as the bank officer urged me to do, and was told that these were "holding" charges, and that I would be repaid after the next five working days. Well, I shall be watching my bank statements, meantime, and unfreeze the card if what I was told turns out to be true. But a checking account is an everyday one, with other charges coming in, which makes the reduced balance a problem. Worse still, if this happens during the long world cruise, this double billing is going to really snarl up the finances back home. It is a crazy policy, as it means that we will be doing as little shopping as possible, and definitely cutting down on drinks. Meantime, I will inquire further. If this double-billing does not happen with credit cards, then I will change from debit to credit, and swallow the extra cost. Unfortunately, as my husband says, it has soured our experience on Majestic Princess, and made us nervous about the next one. I am glad to have Cruise Critic to air our concerns, and strongly recommend their cruise roll calls, with their friendly and useful message boards. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this Princess ship for the itinerary in New Zealand and Australia. However, compared to other Princess cruises taken in Asia, South America, Europe, it was disappointing, perhaps due to the crowds (3,500 passengers). Embarkation ... Read More
We chose this Princess ship for the itinerary in New Zealand and Australia. However, compared to other Princess cruises taken in Asia, South America, Europe, it was disappointing, perhaps due to the crowds (3,500 passengers). Embarkation in Auckland and disembarkation in Sydney were fine; spacious mini-suite cabin, though the balcony here was small (Lido deck). We found the food on the whole to be very much the same each day, and unlike other Princess cruises, very little variety in seafood. The shows we saw were incredibly loud as if the audience was deaf and there were very few lectures compared to other cruises. The so called "library" laughable, as it comprised of an extremely small space with few books, and situated across from a very loud entertainment/bar area. Cabin service was excellent; shuttle service and excursions well organized. However, we will avoid this particular ship if considering a future Princess cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My husband and I picked this cruise for our honeymoon. We booked through vacation club Mariott as we are owners. This was our first cruise. The booking process went smoothly, however the online process was extremely confusing, even though ... Read More
My husband and I picked this cruise for our honeymoon. We booked through vacation club Mariott as we are owners. This was our first cruise. The booking process went smoothly, however the online process was extremely confusing, even though we are both tech savvy. The was much confusion on the passport situation as well. My husband’s passport met the criteria all the way up until the week before we were to leave. We were unable to complete anything online because it stated that his passport is expired, even though it didn’t expire until 5 months and 20 days after our return. Princess stated we needed passports good for 6 months after return. However when initially put through, this was fine. After hours of phone calls, we were finally given the ok, however when checking in, we had to got though the whole process all over again. In the mean time, they lost our room keys. After finally boarded, we were not told where to go. We were given a map and they sent us on our way. Mind you, this was our first cruise. We had no idea what to do or where to go. When we finally found our room, we were told we needed our safety talk in the casino area. Again, we had to wander around to find it. Here I thought we would be introduced to the boat, told how everything works, etc, but this was not the case. They showed us how to put a life jacket on and sent us away. We were so extremely disappointed with the start. Then we noticed our floor was leaking and required maintenance nearly everyday. Our bedroom was dingy, with dirty cloth headboards and a smell of mold. There was a glass left in the closet when we arrived in our room. There was also mold all along the tile in the bathroom. Next, the hot tubs NEVER worked. The saunas only worked if you requested the spa to turn it on. The food was good but only in the dining room. The food in the buffet was clearly cafeteria food, except cold. The best part of our cruise was sitting at the table with fellow cruisers. If it wasn’t for them, we would not know the ins and outs of cruising. Such as the coffee is free in the Buffett and dining room, but expect to pay over a dollar for a regular coffee anywhere else. It was absolutely ridiculous. The shows repeated every 3rd day and they were not entertaining at all. Lastly, we were told there would be two formal days. We had one; plus the dress code policy was not adhered to at all. Our stateroom steward, Emile was phenomenal however. He always came in and tidied up the room; he also always brought us ice which we requested on the first day. We did not book any excursions through princess and I am so glad we didn’t. They were way overpriced and extremely full. One last plus, was our captain. He was extremely entertaining with his talks and nautical trivia. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The outdated swirly carpet that I initially saw upon embarkation didn’t bother me. The chipped paint in the lift upon entering the first elevator didn’t bother me. In fact the pube that we found on the pillow upon entering our room ... Read More
The outdated swirly carpet that I initially saw upon embarkation didn’t bother me. The chipped paint in the lift upon entering the first elevator didn’t bother me. In fact the pube that we found on the pillow upon entering our room didn’t even bother me - we actually thought it was funny and affectionately name him ‘Pete The Pube.’ What did bother me though? The gut wrenching smell of mould and, even worse, sewerage, particularly on the lower floors of this ship! My friends were on Emerald deck and there were buckets along the corridor catching drips of who knows what leaking everywhere - it was gross and disgusting! Thankfully I was high up on Aloha deck. I’ve been on many cruises in my time and this ship was in the worst state I’ve ever seen... I only spent 4 nights on her, but I could not have stayed another night! 300 passengers embarked for the last 4 nights of a full New Zealand Cruise heading back to Sydney. We were excited and were ready to party... only to be told that the nightclub would be closed by 11pm and that was then end of our fun for the night - which is sub standard from the many cruises I’ve taken. There were constant leaks on the top decks as well, which were unsafe, you had to be really careful. I couldn’t believe that once I disembarked in Sydney this ship was on its way through the Pacific and on its way up to Hawaii... it really needs to go straight to a ship yard and taken to bits for parts! The crew tried their best, but they know they’re on a sinking ship...all I can say is BUYER BEWARE! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We are Platinum cruisers with Princess and this last cruise on Diamond has cured us---we will no longer book Princess. It was quite evident to us and to many others we talked to on this cruise that Princess has clearly downgraded their ... Read More
We are Platinum cruisers with Princess and this last cruise on Diamond has cured us---we will no longer book Princess. It was quite evident to us and to many others we talked to on this cruise that Princess has clearly downgraded their offering in pursuit of profit!! - Embarkation--Little or no attention to platinum/elite cruisers as all passengers in same mob scene dropping off luggage prior to check-in. -Check-in--Priority line yes but then in combined line to board ship which took over 30 minutes in non A/C terminal. Hot and humid!! Cabin was ready. - Lunch- another mob scene at Horizon Court - Food In General-degraded in both quantity and quality; portions much smaller, choices limited and not that good (e.g. one evening the chicken choice was a small thigh, that's right one small thigh;shrimp cocktail had 4 very, very small shrimp;burundi fish was all of 3 oz. and dry,..). The food was the worst in our 10+ cruises on Princess! -Specialty Restaurants-Not much better than general dining. Sterling is now housed as a temporary restaurant at rear of Horizon Court with zero ambiance; you are limited to one entree.and you pay extra for a second (if you want a small lobster tail with your steak another $10; Steaks were nothing special either..) Sabatini's was worse as the pastas had virtually no taste, calimare was brittle, and was obviously old and inedible, burrata was Ok but the sliced tomatoes were so thin you had difficulty picking them up with fork!, and service in both restaurants was slow and impersonal!!! - Internet-- a disaster--slow, unavailable, frequent disconnections to name just a few of the problems!! -Excursions-Substantial increase in prices for Princess excursions--independently booked tours almost half the price, many with lunch and much small groups on mini buses or sedans with longer tours.. Speaking to others, this assessment was the general consensus! -Itinerary- Original schedule was one of main reasons for choosing Princess but missed 2 ports out of 5 due to weather including Akaroa and Melbourne! Fiordland National Park was spectacular and probably the highlight! -Cabin- Mini suite on deck 9 mid aft was spacious, comfortable, with large balcony. Closet area a little cramped; tub/shower combo a little difficult to enter/exit given high sides especially with high seas!!; step up/down to enter bathroom a danger especially at night in the dark or with high seas; A/C difficult to regulate. Cabin steward did good job but rather impersonal. -Room service- Can't get eggs to order.. only egg mc muffin!! Hello McDonald's!! The 3 times we used this service it was on time but they no longer set it up with table cloth on your cocktail table or balcony!! They just drop off the tray and are gone! --Hobart- Getting off the ship for our tour was a disaster. We went down when scheduled but Fusion Bar was mobbed and no one was allowed in. The line to enter was 2-300 long and stayed that way for 10-15 minutes. The male staff member directing traffic was rude, curt, sassy and could care less for passengers!! There was ZERO priority given to elite/platinum cruisers or suite passengers!!! Once you were called to disembark it got worse in the hot terminal as you cued for immigration/border control. It took us 90 minutes to get off the ship!!!! -Dining Rooms- Vivaldi was by far the best venue including the Specialty Restaurants, Savoy and International primarily because of the wait staff. They were excellent especially Clara, Rommel and Joseph. The maitre'd always found a table for two for us. We used this restaurant 4-5 times for dinners. -Lobby Bar- Waiter was terrific (Luciano) and the area was attractive and great for people watching! -Disembarkation- Substantially better than embarkation. Smooth, timely, well organized and not disruptive. Now the worst of the worst: Met an elderly couple (both over 80, he with obvious mobility problems and both ELITE cruisers on Princess with well over 150 days cruising). They were supposed to disembark in Melbourne but when weather caused them to miss that port they were forced to get off in Sydney 2 days later. They needed to make alternate flight plans back to Christchurch and when they asked Princess personnel for assistance they were told NO since they had made independent air arrangements. When they attempted to talk to a supervisor , he blew them off!! When they called Princess Customer Support, they were put on hold for 30 minutes and then disconnected!! This for your most elite cruisers who showed you their loyalty and you Princess hid behind your policy of "you're on your own if you dare not make your air arrangements through us!!!" WOW Customer Focus at its best!!! Well, we won't be alone in abandoning Princess for more friendly seas as they will never return either!!! Sayanara Princess!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have sailed with Princess on 8 occasions which has included 1 previous trip on this ship so we knew what to expect about its age and condition. However in my opinion it is time to completely refurb or retire this ship as it is really ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess on 8 occasions which has included 1 previous trip on this ship so we knew what to expect about its age and condition. However in my opinion it is time to completely refurb or retire this ship as it is really getting too shabby and the constant sewage smell on the promenande deck makes it really unpleasant, The food quality is OK in the main dining rooms but appalling in the buffet - cold, drab and 'boring' food - no theme nights on our trip at all. Steak restaurant well worth the cover charge with great staff. At the main dining room our table for two request was met with a nightly 'eye roll' and grimace from the lady at the front desk - even when we made it clear we didnt mind waiting for a table it was the same response. If they dont want to accomodate this then they shouldnt offer it. The Happy Hour became a free for all with other guests carrying off baskets full of bottles and then drinking to oblivion on the promenade deck - who would have thought building beer bottle towers would have been a good idea on a moving ship ! Sun lounger hoggers abounded with no action taken and therefore it was difficult to get a good spot in the shade. Cabin was fine and as expected for an inside cabin and the cabin steward an absolute hero. There were some great passengers to chat with which always make for an enjoyable cruise but i'm not sure we will come back to Princess - giving Celebrity a go next time ! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first time cruise and were on board the Golden Princess from Auckland to Sydney via Bay of Islands. Cruising was never high on our agenda but as a 4 night experience and a bucket list tick off we gave it a go. See Ratings ... Read More
This was our first time cruise and were on board the Golden Princess from Auckland to Sydney via Bay of Islands. Cruising was never high on our agenda but as a 4 night experience and a bucket list tick off we gave it a go. See Ratings below. Cabin- perfectly adequate with balcony, Baja 436. Having never cruised before we thought it was good although a lot of regulars said the cabins were looking tired and the ship was due a refurbishment next year. Service in the cabins, making beds, cleaning etc was amazing. Dining- it was OK. Choice of buffet or service. We went buffet for breakfast and there was a good range of food. Evening, either 'roughing it' with buffet or service. Food was good and waiters in the service areas were excellent . Embarkation and disembarkation- for us was a breeze, well organised in Auckland and Sydney. Enrichment activities- have no idea what that was about? Entertainment- Can't really say much here as we only went to the cinema once and missed the stage shows as we were not conversant with checking out times and programs..... Family & children- Fitness and recreation- Onboard experience- not a lot going on outside during the day as the weather was just a bit on the chilly side, so very quiet. Also the covered Pool area was OK, most people reading or doing jigsaws. Could always grab a pizza, burger or hotdog if you got bored!!! At night, well the activity areas, ie drinking, just simply not for us. Don't get me wrong, we enjoy the drinking bit but when you have a permanent music assault on the ears it becomes unpleasurable. Albeit Jazz, Piano, an amateur band (good practice for them) and a few other players. Just nowhere to go to get a bit of peace and quiet, (if there was we never found it) library was OK. It obviously suits a lot of the travelers otherwise they wouldn't be saying they enjoyed it and going back, although a lot of them did say they were looking forward to disembarking after 34 days or so (for me, I would be suicidal). Nah, just not our cup of tea!!! Too homogenised for our taste. As an aside, it was interesting to hear folks talking about the amount of deaths and broken limbs suffered on these cruises, quite an eye opener!!! Public rooms- is that the conveniences or the main centre of the ship? If it is the main centre..... not a seat to be had, the regulars know the German protocols, throw a towel down to claim your space!! Service- just amazing. Cannot fault the effort put in by the ships crew and they all deserve medals for putting the effort in to keeping the passengers happy. Ten out of ten. Shore excursions- can't really comment. We disembarked for a few hours at the Bay of Islands and enjoyed it, well organised with the shuttle. Didn't do any of the organised trips. Value for money- at NZ$500 per night per cabin for four nights, I would say no, but for those that enjoy these cruises I leave it for them to make comments. Drinks prices could be addressed, duty free and still paying ott shore prices!!! Limited wine selection. But I guess these cruises are all about making money, just don't scratch your head for too long otherwise someone will find a way of making you pay. Had to do it as it was a bucket list tick the box thing to do but seriously it is not for us. I am sure the majority of cruisers will enjoy being molly cuddled and flunkied over, but what a blinkered outlook on life. Thank you Golden Princess for confirming our views on cruising. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
This was our 1st cruise as elite members , we were looking to be fed ,watered and entertained as well as our last 14 cruises, with just maybe a little more service or recognition .we are average working class people who enjoy cruising for ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise as elite members , we were looking to be fed ,watered and entertained as well as our last 14 cruises, with just maybe a little more service or recognition .we are average working class people who enjoy cruising for our hard earned money. We highly disappointed with the emerald princess We live in new zealand , chose this cruise to see the fiords and visit hobart . Not disappointed with aspects of this part of the cruise , but as to the ship itself ,not happy at all . The vibration thru some parts of the ship are very questionable & daunting . The elite status gave us a 1 time mini bar which we were informed pre - cruise we could change for 2 coffee cards . when tried to do on board , they told us could not be done , they have never heard of such nonsense. We did not use any other elite entitlements after that, due to any more disapointments. This is probably our last cruise with princess, have really enjoyed the last 15 years with them, but sadly it has ended in a negative. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise for the opportunity to see NZ and Australia. We did not think that that the ports of call were at all interesting. Fjordland National Park cruising was disappointing (after having seen fjords of Norway especially) ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the opportunity to see NZ and Australia. We did not think that that the ports of call were at all interesting. Fjordland National Park cruising was disappointing (after having seen fjords of Norway especially) I expected to see more beautiful countryside in New Zealand, but found that it was very bland. I guess that a person should tour through interior of NZ in order to experience the cultural side and the beauty. We will not travel back there to do so however. Ships excursions were costly and not as good as other places we have cruised to. We did think that The Emerald Staff did a good job in organizing the disembarking and re entry to ship from tours though. We ate in The Crown Grill once ...vegetables were not tasty, potatoe was dry, steak was decent, but not above average. The overall food temperature was "warmish" The service was a little slow. The experience at Crown Grill did not encourage us to try other specialty restaurants. We found that the food was much more tasty at The Buffet, even though it was crowded most times. We found that the local people of NZ and AUS were some of the most friendly arouind the world. But cruising NZ does not give a person a good view of the country. Our overall experience of this trip was below average. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Thankfully we only did a short 6 day crossing from Auckland to Brisbane which was the end of the world cruise. On a positive note the food was acceptable and the shows were of a good standard with a couple of good comediennes and the ... Read More
Thankfully we only did a short 6 day crossing from Auckland to Brisbane which was the end of the world cruise. On a positive note the food was acceptable and the shows were of a good standard with a couple of good comediennes and the one production show had good vocal and music but no sets and very poor costume selection ( what has happened to the big productions and lavish costumes?). The ship itself is very tired with a lot of the lounge seating in the crooners bar where the springs had gone in all the fitted lounge settees which mad for very uncomfortable cocktail times and the arms on the armchairs were worn and almost threadbare. The cocktails were very weak and almost seemed to be watered down even thought they were $13.95 each ,after a couple of nights we decided not to waste our money on sugar water! The waiting staff in the bars and restaurant were very efficient and friendly and made an effort to please the customers. Our cabin was very tired and not the cleanest with us finding old soaps still in the shower box from the previous passengers and dirty shower curtains and a rusty drain hole, tissues not replaced when empty and hand smudges on the prints on the walls and mirror. In the men's bathrooms there were also no tissues for blowing your nose and they all smelt badly of urine. If we had paid to have been on the world cruise we would have been very disappointed but being only a short cruise it wasn't worth making a fuss over . We are elite passengers but more and more are getting dissatisfied with what ships Princess send down for the Australian and NZ market. We are off next week to join the Golden Princess from San Fran to Auckland and hope that being an Americam based ship the standard will be better if not it may be our last Princess cruise and spend our money on HAL or Crystal. Read Less
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