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Sail Date: January 2015
For a "cruise to nowhere" it was OK. We wanted to get away and the price was right ($99 plus port fees/taxes). Not a lot of time to see much entertainment, but we did see one of the new ones with special effects - excellent (and ... Read More
For a "cruise to nowhere" it was OK. We wanted to get away and the price was right ($99 plus port fees/taxes). Not a lot of time to see much entertainment, but we did see one of the new ones with special effects - excellent (and of course I can't remember the name). The singers and dancers were very good. The buffet was as usual - hot food barely warm, but it was good. We tried traditional dining for the first time (thought we couldn't make too bad of a mistake for 3 days). Our table was perfect. A 2 top next to another 2 top and no one else was nearby (table 72). The only bad thing was we had the late seating and we are not night people. Unfortunately, our steward was one of the few who only did the bare minimum. Found some trash left by the previous occupants, no ice in the fridge (a bucket of cold water, so I know he didn't check it). No sodas/water in the fridge (no problem, cuz we don't use them, but still they are supposed to be there). No hand lotion until the last day (with an apology). The Kleenex box was empty. Oh well, it saved me leaving an extra tip. We had A343. Neglected to check the deck ABOVE us. There was a large service area directly above our cabin. There were loud bangs all day and into the night until about 11 PM. Doors slamming, heavy items being moved. Would not get this cabin again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
THANK YOU, PRINCESS CRUISES!!! What an amazing job of putting together a cruise to honor veterans .My husband and I flew in the day before the cruise and stayed at the Airport Doubletree by Hilton hotel at Houston Hobby. They have a free ... Read More
THANK YOU, PRINCESS CRUISES!!! What an amazing job of putting together a cruise to honor veterans .My husband and I flew in the day before the cruise and stayed at the Airport Doubletree by Hilton hotel at Houston Hobby. They have a free shuttle to and from the airport so we were able to go back to the baggage claim area the day of the cruise to meet our Princess transfer bus. This worked very well. Embarkation at the new Houston port went as well as it could with so many more Premier and Elite passengers than those who were not. The terminal is beautiful and well equipped. The downside is that it is a very long taxi ride from the airports (Houston Hobby is the closest) so we recommend doing a Princess transfer to and from the ship. Once onboard, the staff of the Caribbean was awesome with their welcomes. Our stateroom was ready just after noon and we were greeted by our Steward, David, who welcomed us by name. Nice touch! Since this was not a normal cruise to multiple ports, and was really to allow veterans a chance to meet one another and share "war stories", we spent the week attending the excellent seminars. Food in both the Horizon Court buffet and the Palm Dining Room was excellent with a great variety of foods each day. Service was excellent! Nightly entertainment was excellent as well! We could not imagine a better experience for this cause. Special thanks go to Alan Buckelew (sp?) who is the CEO of Princess and was on the ship all week. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We took a quick 3 day cruise to Ensenada on the Golden Princess right before Thanksgiving 2013. Motel Night Before Cruise: We stayed at the Rodeway Inn in Harbor City, CA. Small motel, good prices, clean rooms with refrigerator and ... Read More
We took a quick 3 day cruise to Ensenada on the Golden Princess right before Thanksgiving 2013. Motel Night Before Cruise: We stayed at the Rodeway Inn in Harbor City, CA. Small motel, good prices, clean rooms with refrigerator and microwave. Cons - Located on a busy street and lots of traffic noise. Embarkation: Drove and parked at the Port of Los Angeles. Plenty of parking spaces for $12 per day. We got there about 10:30 and parked near the gate to walk across to the terminal. Walked right into terminal for check-in. Waited in the waiting area until boarding time. We were group #2 and the line moved quickly. Cabin: This was our first time in an interior cabin - A716. It had enough space for 2 people and a large closet. I tried to plug in my CPAP and discovered the electrical outlet was the round type (non US). I didn't bring an extension cord to plug into the US outlets across the cabin. On other Princess ships I didn't have this problem. Bed and pillows were comfortable. Shower had the soap and shampoo dispensers. Light filtered through the gaps in the cabin door. We had to push/pull the door shut to ensure that it locked properly. Dining: We had ANYTIME dining and waited 40 minutes for the first night. DH decided to make reservations for the other nights to avoid the long wait. No problems getting a table for breakfast in the dining room. We were one of the first into Crown Grill for the "PUB" lunch on sea day. Fish and Chips were moist and tender. $5 for a glass of STOUT. DH went up to the Horizon Court afterwards to get more fish. Excursion: Took the slightly overpriced winery tour ($45 pp). First winery, L.A. Cetto, had better tasting wines than the second winery we visited. L.A. Cetto offered 1 champagne, 2 whites, and 3 red wines for tasting. The second winery offered bread, cheese, and pizza along with the 3 different wines for tasting. The tour guide was very informative and funny on our bus ride to the wineries. The bus let people off in downtown Ensenada then proceeded back to the ship. Tour was 9:30-1:30. Disembarkation: We were "Walkoff Group 8" and scheduled to leave the ship at 8:00 am. Disembarkation was fast and they were calling our group to leave by 7:45 am. Getting off the ship was fast. Going through Customs and Immigration took longer. Tip: Have your documents ready for Custom and Immigration!!!!!!!!! I clipped everything together with the passport opened to my picture. We were out of the parking lot by 8:30 am and on the road to Northern California. This was a good cruise. I will bring an electrical adapter and extension cord with me on my next cruise in January. You never know when you will need it! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
I have been in 15 cruises on various cruise lines and have always found Princess to be a favorite because of the good food, service and general atmosphere. Embarkation: Fast and Easy. Almost too quick. Felt rushed from security to ... Read More
I have been in 15 cruises on various cruise lines and have always found Princess to be a favorite because of the good food, service and general atmosphere. Embarkation: Fast and Easy. Almost too quick. Felt rushed from security to boarding in less than 15 minutes. First time I didn’t even have to show credit card. They used the one from online registration. Muster Drill: Long, thorough, and efficient. Probably more so than usual probably because the Coast Guard was on board watching everything since this was the first U.S. cruise. Cabin: We had a balcony. Both the cabin and balcony seemed small. Storage was adequate. Nice sized shower with body lotion and shampoo provided. TP dispenser inconveniently located, low and almost behind you under the sink. Flat screen TV seemed to large for the space and was annoying to operate. More like a computer moving from tab to tab. Poor channel selection and horrible reception. As a new ship the cabins also have the energy saving feature that requires a card in a slot near the door to turn on the electricity. Any card will work, even a business card. Two outlets are available near the desk and one in the bathroom. Our cabin was above a lounge and the music kept us awake the first night. Food: Excellent, as expected on Princess. Loved the onion soup and the alfredo as appetizers. Lobster and prawns were terrific as were the short ribs. Prime rib was good but too large of a portion. Horizon Court has incredible variety but the carved beef was tough. Pizza was OK. The soft ice cream in Swirls was excellent. Breakfast was OK but do try the raisin bread when they come around with various pastries. It was wonderful Service: Good, but robotic. Didn’t get the personal feel I normally find on a cruise. “Hello, Good morning, thank you, have a good day”. It also seemed as if the servers in the dining room had too mant tables and could have used additional help. Entertainment: Loud, too loud. Theater was gorgeous with great sight lines. Even sitting in the back row you felt close to the stage. Stage shows were typical cruise shows. This ship also has a TV studio called Princess Live. Seemed like a non needed space waster to me. It was great having Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing) on board for the inaugural. The ships horn even plays the first two lines of the Love Boat theme song. Overall ship: Beautiful, but hard to navigate. My wife and I often thought “you can’t get there from here” . Best bet is to travel the ship on the lido deck or deck 7. I really miss wrap around promenade decks to walk or relax on. Seems as if most ships today do away with these in order to maximize revenue generating space. There is some outdoor promenade on the aft of deck 7, but too many people use that space to smoke. The pool deck is nice and feels larger and more open than some ships. The dancing fountain is a nice idea as is Movies Under The Stars on an incredible screen. On one night they ran the World Series. The Sea Walk that they make a big deal about is really no big deal.The fitness gym was well equipped and the adult Serenity area of the ship was incredible, but somewhat pricey. Disembarkation: Simple and easy. If you have arranged for transfer to the airport from Princess, the process is simple and efficient. Final thoughts: I love the overall product Princess offers, but would probably not choose this ship. The Crown Princess is a better option for me. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
My best friend and I took this short cruise to see if she would able to handle it without getting seasick. She did! It was great. We had an awesome time. The crew aboard the Golden Princess was very attentive. This was my 3rd cruise -her ... Read More
My best friend and I took this short cruise to see if she would able to handle it without getting seasick. She did! It was great. We had an awesome time. The crew aboard the Golden Princess was very attentive. This was my 3rd cruise -her 1st. She will however be spoiled - we were able to grab a mini-suite for the price of a balacony room. Princess was running a special- we will receive full credit of the room cost for a furture cruise next year. We also purchased the FCC while on board which will also give us an additional ship board credit to use. Score!! The food was delish, and the service was excellent. We choose early traditional seating. We had a table of 8 and the other couples were great company. We saw the stage shows and they were great as well. We went to see one of the comedians , and apparently he was frustrated during his show because something wasnt working correctly. He walked off the stage in the middle of the act - not saying anything - at 1st everyone thought it was part of the act. Then he didnt come back. what a JERK, I hope he doesnt get paid for such bad showmanship. We were met upon arrival with a glass of champain in our room, our TA had sent chocolate covered strawberries. -what a way to start. Our room was always made up - our streward were great. I call them Nijas- they must jump in the minute we leave - because even coming back quickly I swear the room was completed. LOL No complaints here- had a great trip PS- There was always maintance going on as well, beautifully kept up ship. Inez Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Let’s begin by clarifying the part I in my title: This 3 Day West Coast Getaway was the first in a series of 3 back to back to back cruises which my friend and I took. The price was outstanding, practically free and impossible to pass ... Read More
Let’s begin by clarifying the part I in my title: This 3 Day West Coast Getaway was the first in a series of 3 back to back to back cruises which my friend and I took. The price was outstanding, practically free and impossible to pass up. Embarkation: I would like to say that embarkation was quick and easy as it usually is, however this time it was not. The Star Princess and Golden Princess were both in port at the same time and a combination of not enough customs officials as well as newbies in training delayed the process of clearing passengers off the ship in a timely manner. None the less we were able to board and headed straight for our cabin. Cabin: We were in a forward Aloha Deck balcony stateroom. In the past we were hesitant to book a forward cabin, however the ship never exceeded 11 knots and the sailing was smooth like glass. Our room steward, Romeo was excellent. He always responded to our needs and kept the stateroom spotless. Dining: We had fixed seating as always (I can wait on line and make reservations for dinner at home; I don’t need to be saddled with that chore while on vacation). We had a private table for just the two of us and it was in the perfect spot in the Canaletto Dining Room. Roland our waiter and Laura the junior waiter were outstanding. On our first evening at dinner we were greeted with welcoming smiles and they kept our dinner courses moving along at a comfortable pace for my friend and me. This being our 14th Princess cruise it was fun to be remembered by wait staff that we had on previous sailings, who also wanted to attend to our needs. The food was outstanding and as soon as we saw that John Convery was the executive chef we were even more excited as in our opinion he is the best there is at sea. The dining room staff who attended to our needs were made aware that we were staying onboard for multiple sailings and we were able to keep our same table. The process was seamless. Entertainment: Our comment here would be, the bands heard playing in the Wheelhouse Bar and the Explorers Lounge were weak at best and did not entice us to stop and listen and did not seem up to the Princess standard. Having said that, the comedians, Alfred and Seymour, were dynamite and very lively. A word of warning don’t arrive late or try to leave early as they will definitely have their way with you in good fun of course. The only production show we went to was the British Invasion and boy were we sorry. To title it "The British Invasion” without actually researching the bands that were part of The British Invasion seems a bit silly and disappointing. Disembarkation: For my friend and me, it was seamless due to the fact that we were Passengers In Transit for back to back sailings. The ship was cleared of disembarking passengers very quickly as the Golden Princess was the only passenger ship in port with multiple customs officers to process. We were off the ship and back on the ship within 15 minutes. It was great. Overall Opinion of the Cruise and Condition of the Ship: The staff and food were above average in all areas. Welcoming, friendly and requests were always met with grace and consideration. However, as I stood in line or waited for my friend I often noticed ceiling panels loose, carpet pulling away on side carpeted baseboards, paint that needed refreshing in the Piazza area and stains in the Photo area where there is always a lot of foot traffic. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and will travel on Princess again, as Princess Cruises is our home away from home. Golden Princess however, is showing signs of needing renovation. Can someone say "Dry Dock” Please?   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2013
This was my forth cruise with Princess, the first on this particular ship. We sailed from Southampton which is usually a joy but on this occasion it was a nightmare , Ocean Terminal and three hours to get on the ship, all those green and ... Read More
This was my forth cruise with Princess, the first on this particular ship. We sailed from Southampton which is usually a joy but on this occasion it was a nightmare , Ocean Terminal and three hours to get on the ship, all those green and red colour coded cards, there must be a better way. Once on board at least the state rooms were ready, but the buffet at the Horizon restaurant was not up to the usual standard and we were a little disappointed, not the best start. Our stateroom (B249) was lovely as usual, spacious despite being the cheapest grade, with fridge, hair dryer, twin beds ( friends sharing), lots of hanging space and a very nice shower room, room safe, TV with a lot of choice and all the latest movies free ( unlike P&O). Always kept clean and well stocked by the steward , fresh fruit free but pay for drinking water ( I bring my own). Room service free, breakfast in bed available ( didn't have). The ship is I think quite old but clean and with a style that will be familiar to anyone who has been on The Grand Princess or the Caribbean Princess. On this cruise they were having problems with the public toilets , they smelt odd at first and then packed up altogether, not a disaster as the Stateroom facilities were fine, may have been inconvenient for older or disabled cruisers. The food was not as rich in variety as on other cruise ships we have travelled on, although still well prepared and presented we found there was less choice and slightly less quality, this may be Princesses new standard or peculiar to this ship, we can't know. I do know that as a person who does not ( medically CAN NOT) drink alcohol I was given a vodka based cocktail having ordered a non alcoholic one which made very unwell for 24 hours ( not good). However the service in the restaurant was excellent, making us feel like valued customers, a treat for us. Unfortunately we found the Spa ludicrously overpriced and the spa staff very pushy and felt we were being pressured into booking treatments we didn't want, we didn't buy any even though we usually do. The shore excursions were also totally over priced but fortunately we just got off the ship and made our own way. Rotterdam was a particular gem, a free tour bus takes you from the dock into the shopping area, with an informative guide giving interesting information along the route, it also brings you back and all free. They do not tell you about this on the ship. At Guernsey we simply tendered off (a minor miracle in September, when it is usually too rough) and had a nice few hours shopping ( even on a Sunday some shops are open, particularly good deals on duty free perfume, watches and jewellery), so our two ports were very enjoyable without the extortionate excursions. We enjoyed immensely the musical show in the Princess theatre, with an around the world theme, westend quality, superb. A band played for ballroom dancing, a comedian who was funny (not blue) went down well, and movies under the stars with popcorn, milk and biscuits, as many cosy blankets as you needed was a treat. Disembarkation was well handled and everyone waited in comfort, unlike recent experience with P&O. We enjoyed our cruise but felt perhaps a little of the shine has gone, replaced by a hard edged materialism, the sell sell sell mentality is unwelcome, bring back the relaxed service where the customer feels special not like a consumer. I will be cruising again with Princess but will be careful to watch them mix my cocktails and I shall gird myself ready for the on slaughter of hard sell. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
I have just returned from a two night break to expereince the new cruise liner, that the Duchess of Kent will be opening. The videos of the cruise look amazing but actually when you finally do embark after the chaos queing its ... Read More
I have just returned from a two night break to expereince the new cruise liner, that the Duchess of Kent will be opening. The videos of the cruise look amazing but actually when you finally do embark after the chaos queing its disappointing!! It doesn't have the wow factor at all. The promenade isn't what i thought, a few shops here and there.  If you have children under 3yrs they can not use the pool even if wearing swimmers. No facilities for them to play, although as ship didn't have many children we were allowed to as a one off. There is kids clubs for 3yrs and older which do have some great games etc. The children are not supposed to sleep in the bunks if younger than 10yrs, even though they new the ages of my children when we booked. Balcony rooms are a lot smaller than other ships. Some good parts, movies under the stars, with popcorn!! The Horizon buffet area was set out well, food was very nice. The spa looked great but we didn't use as very expensive! Watch your bill!! Paid before we left, charges of $11.50pp every day added on as gratitutes even though when you buy a drink 15% is added on. You can get this taken off, but i feel it should be explained before you embark. Summary, wouldn't waste my money again!! If you are 60yrs and over, very rich then this cruise is for you!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
We booked this 2 nighter as we had never sailed from Southampton and only ever done Caribbean Fly Cruises in December/January/February. The journey to Southampton was a good one and parking was relatively simple but we had asked for a ... Read More
We booked this 2 nighter as we had never sailed from Southampton and only ever done Caribbean Fly Cruises in December/January/February. The journey to Southampton was a good one and parking was relatively simple but we had asked for a disabled space (due to doors having to be opened really wide to enable my husband to get out of the car) but this was totally ignored and we had to park where the able bodied had parked. Not too much of a problem as we did arrive early and it was not too far to walk to the terminal building. Check in was fairly slow but this was to be expected as there would be 3600 people waiting to get on. We were on board by 12.45pm (we got there are 12pm) and went directly to our cabin which was very easy to find. On first impressions it looked good but fairly small considering it was a balcony cabin, we have had far bigger inside cabins on other ships. Everything was pristine and looked good. We did not encounter any problems with anything in the room everything worked as it should have done but the loo took a long time to flush, you had to press the button 3 or 4 times but not a major issue.We took the time to look around the ship before our luggage arrived in the room and were impressed with the majority of the areas around the ship. The sanctuary is absolutely beautiful but very pricey. To use the sauna and steam room it is $49 dollars but we were told it was for the length of the cruise - 2 days, way too expensive.Beer prices are very expensive $6 for a 440ml can of Boddingtons, $5.50 for a spirit and $1.95 for a mixer plus 15% gratuity on every drink. I personally object to the $11.50pppn gratuity charge added to your onboard account for tipping. Our stateroom steward was really nice and attentive so I would rather have given him the money personally and it not go into a pot and shared out. If Princess paid the staff a reasonable rate they would not have to rely on tips. You pay enough money for your cruise without being penalised by extra charges. The 15% gratuity on drinks is charged whether you have a waiter bring it or you fetch it yourself!!! We loved the ship but would not go with Princess on principle - its P&O all the way for us as you know what you are paying and its in sterling. Also when Princess take your credit card details at the start of your cruise, when it is converted to sterling from dollars you are ripped off again - P&O charge in £s the whole time so you know exactly what you are paying. When we booked this cruise we were told there was one formal night and one smart casual. When we got on board we received the Princess Patter in our room and it said both nights were smart casual. As we had taken formal dress we thought we would have stood out like a sore thumb so we checked with the Atrium staff and they said that the Captain was going to announce at Muster which night would be the formal one. At Muster no mention of the formal night so we asked an Officer and were told - We do not have formal nights on a 2 night cruise! We checked again with the Atrium and they said the same. The next night we received our Princess Patter and guess what, the dress for that evening was Formal???? If the Atrium and Officers can't get it right, I now know why on Princess Cruises people do not dress to impress!!On the evening before disembarkation (the formal night) we rang the Atrium and asked about putting suitcases out at night as on previous cruises this has been the norm. We were told they need to be out by 9 pm! Great, you are still having your meal and you need to run back upstairs and get changed out of your formal gear to put it in your suitcase and then go back in your scruffs to finish your meal - I don't think so. We knew this could not be right so we asked our Cabin Steward and he said put it out when you are ready, be it 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock whatever it will get taken downstairs. Now you know why I would rather have given the tipping money to the Cabin Steward, he knew more about procedure than the more highly paid staff and Officers!All in all I can only say the ship is beautiful but the way it is being run will not encourage me to go back on a Princess Cruise again. I have had one truly awful experience on Princess in 2005 and a good one in 2011 but this has just confirmed that I will be reverting back to P&O again and I will not deviate again.Sorry about the length of this review but I thought I would say it is as I see it!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
This was the ship’s first ‘shake-down’ cruise with passengers and we accepted that not everything would be functioning – the maiden voyage was still a week away, and there was still a huge amount of general organisation and staff ... Read More
This was the ship’s first ‘shake-down’ cruise with passengers and we accepted that not everything would be functioning – the maiden voyage was still a week away, and there was still a huge amount of general organisation and staff training to do – but all the staff proved to be really friendly and helpful and the level of service was good.Our initial impression as we drove onto the dock was that the ship looked more RCCL than Princess. Gone was the vertical stern structure that you find on the Ruby and Emerald ships, together with the cantilevered bridge supported by the angled struts; but the Princess stack profile was still there as was the blue glass.Once on board it was clear that the general internal layout seems much the same as the older ships – a good point if you like it, not so good if you don’t - and you would have thought they would have overcome the problem of the rear dining room that cannot be accessed without changing levels. But the larger size has meant a much grander central atrium with more bars, shops and eateries, with the new Alfredo Pizzeria and a seafood bar that you pay for – though I am sure sushi used to be free at Vines. Potentially this space should be buzzing when the ship is full of passengers - but we were only 50%. They tried out the champagne waterfall and that went well with good views all round.The theatre at the front looks to be smaller than usual, but is apparently the biggest in the fleet, and a real plus is that it’s column free. However access to the end of the rows, for those of us who like to leave early sometimes, is not so easy now. The new separate television studio is a great idea and will work well for demonstrations and talks. The public circulation spaces on the stateroom floors seem low (a short person could touch the ceiling easily), and the stairs feel tight (with very high handrails), as do the lifts. The library is small as is the Internet Café - we assume they expect everyone to have their own laptops/tablets. The carpets in the lift lobbies reminded us of Cunard but the traditional Princess idea of having different coloured carpet in the port and starboard corridors has gone – a pity.Overall the décor is very ‘brown', lots of dark 'wood' panelling - and where it is not dark it's a beige colour. It felt old fashioned. The deck space is generous and the water feature between the two main pools looks good. The walkway with a glazed floor overhanging the sea is fine, but it's a gimmick, and it means that the stateroom balconies below it are completely open to public view. Using the front of the ship at high level to be a pay-for sun deck is a good idea we thought, and moving the spa to a lower deck is even better.On the food front there are three main dining rooms, the Symphony, Concerto and Allegro (accessed by stair and lift only). Any time dining is our preference and the food and service was fine, and the wine seemed reasonably priced. The rooms are still too low in our view and the décor was again uninspiring. There are no new specialty restaurants, Sabatinis looks the same as usual, and is now lower down in the ship, but the Crown Grill is now more open to the Wheelhouse bar, prices are a reasonable 20 and 25 dollars. There are also a ‘variety of other specialty 'offers', held in part of the upstairs buffet in the evening,at a 20 dollar premium. Upstairs the buffet is split into two, the Horizon Bistro - more geared for salads and sandwiches, and the Horizon Court, where there are more hot choices and Chinese, Italian counters etc – the food range was not well sign posted and you have to look hard to find what you want. We thought the Bistro had much the best feel with its bright off-white tables and chairs – we also liked the new higher ‘bar style’ seating.Our standard balcony cabin seemed small. The entry door was very narrow as was the entry corridor. There was no sofa but the bed was large and comfortable. We looked in a couple of rooms with single beds and they looked very crowded. The bathroom is not generous - a well-designed integral basin and worktop is spoiled by no provision for a soap dish, and whoever designed the toilet paper dispenser behind, and under, the unit, should be shot. There are no UK spec plug outlets in the room - but maybe the ship won't sail out of Southampton again, but there is a good sized flat screen television – unfortunately with an unbelievably clunky operating system - or perhaps it had not been sorted out yet. The balcony was also very narrow. You felt that the cabin had been seriously cost engineered and the junior suites that used to have the more generous balconies at low level are now the same as all the other cabins.Overall we were under-whelmed, we had looked at the promotional videos again at home the night before and were expecting something more radical, it’s just more of the same and, in one to two instances, less of it. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
We have just returned from the first Preview sailing on the Royal Princess. Considering the ship was only about 50% full the check-in and boarding seemed rather chaotic. We went straight to our Deluxe balcony cabin and first impressions ... Read More
We have just returned from the first Preview sailing on the Royal Princess. Considering the ship was only about 50% full the check-in and boarding seemed rather chaotic. We went straight to our Deluxe balcony cabin and first impressions were not that great. The decor was dull and beige and rather old-fashioned, I expected something much nicer. We have sailed on several Princess ships and the cabin looked pretty similar to the older ships. However the minute balcony was a bit of a shock and we struggled to turn the metal and plastic chairs to face the sea, really they only fitted on the balcony when facing each other. We were on deck 15 and the overhang above us was awful and would block any sun. The bathroom only had a shower and an awfully positioned toilet roll holder which meant we just used the spare roll which we popped on the counter by the sink. We were shocked by the complete disorganisation of events onboard. Some information stated that there were two smart casual nights whilst other things said a smart casual and a Formal night. The evening entertainments were altered, we turned up at one venue and asked what was on and no-one had any idea as the time and event and been changed.The Princess Live was horrible, very dark and dingy with incredibly uncomfortable seats. It also does not seat that many people and the view was not good. It seemed a shame to lose a bar with a stage to a venue that you can’t relax in for an evening.The theatre looked smaller to me than the one on the Grand. However I think it has far more seats as the rows are much closer together. The waiters were struggling to take orders and give out drinks to anyone who wasn’t sat at the end of a row and once you had your drink there was nowhere to put it as the side tables have gone. Beware if sitting further back near the end of the row as the high hand-rails will seriously block your view of the stage. The seats themselves were comfortable but taller passengers may find the lack of legroom an issue.The Atrium was a lovely space, light and airy with the tempting cafe full of delicious pastry treats to hand. However the entertainment seemed a bit hit and miss, one minute we were listening to a classical quartet and the next I had a strapping Russian gymnast stripping off his shirt 6 inches from my seat! I thought it was quite entertaining but many of the older passengers did not look amused as it didn’t really fit in with the calm, dignified surroundings. The Vista lounge was a lovely venue with plenty of seating and areas suitable for larger groups to sit together.The main dining rooms also looked very traditional; there was nothing to show that you were on an all new ship. However the staff were good and I felt the service was much better than I had received when using Anytime Dining on Princess before. The food was all delicious but only one small potato with a main course?We used the buffet for breakfast and lunch. I felt that the breakfast selection was rather poor. The layout was a bit difficult but I couldn’t find a waffle station or an egg station which I expected. I don’t know if they were there and I missed them or if they just weren’t available.At lunch there was a larger selection but there seemed to be a huge emphasis on Asian cuisine and on the second day I actually struggled to find anything I wanted. This wasn’t helped by the fact that all of the signs are above the warmers and at only 5ft tall I struggled to read them, it would be impossibility for children or anyone in a wheelchair. The salad selection was very poor and none of the dressings even had labels. The desserts were through in the Bistro area which also had a good selection of sandwiches. I could imagine this will be difficult when the ship is full and people are having to walk around a lot to find what they want. There were so many staff that they were falling over themselves to help (I think they were bored!). However even if you asked for lemonade or water it seemed to take an age for them to get it, I would far rather just help myself. I liked the decor of the Bistro better as it was light and bright but it was also very cold so we stayed on the buffet tables. I noticed that the tables were all in sixes and eights which will make it hard to find a table when the ship is full and people spread out. I did notice a lot more tables for two in the main dining rooms which I thought was a good idea as many people don’t want to share.The pool areas looked lovely although I don’t think I like the cabanas, especially if people shut the curtains as it will ruin the beautiful vista of the pool from the other chairs. The Skywalk was OK but only fun once, I wouldn't want a cabin underneath as there is no privacy. We didn’t get to see the fountain show as it was shown on the formal night and it was so cold that my formal dress was not conducive to standing on the top deck.Overall I thought that the Royal Princess was a nice cruise ship but it wasn’t as special as I had hope. We had already booked another cruise on the ship for next year but I am seriously considering cancelling it. The Deluxe Balcony cabin felt small and the balcony was tiny and I am not happy to spend two weeks in that sort of accommodation. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
I felt that after reading the reviews given so far it didn't paint a proper image of the Royal Princess for future cruisers, so I will give an accurate overview from an experienced cruiser who normally travels with Princess, Royal ... Read More
I felt that after reading the reviews given so far it didn't paint a proper image of the Royal Princess for future cruisers, so I will give an accurate overview from an experienced cruiser who normally travels with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Overview:-Stunning ship from outside and interior. The atrium must be the the most impressive centre point of any ship I have seen and princess have done well to make it a destination of its own full of bars, restaurants and eateries, all of which are beautifully designed. The entire ship was sparkling (as it should being a few days old )Embarkation:-As quick an easy as any other cruise line. With a grand entrance to the piazza. Public Rooms:-Princess have done a great job with integrating bars and restaurants to compliment each other. E.g. Wheelhouse and crown grill. Sabatines and vines. The show lounges look great and I have to agree with other reviewers that the main theatre looked pretty small but I loved having the vista lounge back instead of club fusion which featured on other recent ships. Princess live is interesting but I didn't really attend anything in this area so hard to give a review on, I must say I liked the explorers lounge and feel I will miss having this area to the ship. Club 6, the new lounge/late night entertainment venue is stunning. Well designed and a great idea to bring it closer to the atrium area. I do feel that it was a miss not to have an dedicated observation lounge which I think princess passengers would have enjoyed being of the older clientele . The shops look very similar to other princess ships, just more spread out and the casino looked as to be expected. Bars:-So many bars to choose from you will not be disappointed. Crooners looks great but very similar to how it is on other ships. Other bars include Bellini's, wheelhouse, vines, lobby bar and sea view bar. Have to say I was a little disappointed in the sea view bar. I think they could have made more of this in terms of using it as a mini indoor observation lounge, but still a great idea. Restaurants:- again, very similar to other ships in terms of main dinning rooms but these have been enhanced and are truly stunning with spacious seating and more tables for 2 than ever before. Sabatinies has been expanded and located to near the piazza. Looked fab. As does Crown Grill. Both of these restaurants have a reasonable fee of $20-25. Alfredo's the new pizzeria is great. Amazing food , atmosphere, menu and its fee free. The sushi bar in the main atrium looks beautiful and food delicious but never got a chance to try. Main difference on this ship is the horizon court/bistro. This area has been majorly expanded and Princess have taken this to another level dividing it into a bistro for a quick bite, and court for a substantial buffet meal including indian, Mexican, Chinese and others. They have also incorporated the crab shack and fondu in this area-for a small fee. Top deck:-Fantastic top deck with the largest pools I have seen at sea. Movies under the stars has been expanded and the screen is double the size. I feel princess could make more of this at night by putting a few movies on instead of one or two. The adults only area is wonderful, especially the sanctuary and pool area. Stunning and the best in the industry! Cabins:- We had a standard balcony cabin on caribe deck. Very comfortable cabin but I was slightly disappointed with the shower curtain coming back. Think the way other cruise lines have gone with the glass door is the way to go. TV is great as is the new entertainment system "movies on demand" Crew:-Excellent and friendly crew who seem to be getting to ropes with the new ship. Give the staff a few weeks to settle in and this will be up to scratch. Overall, great 2 day cruise. We have booked in September which we are very excited aboutAnd feel the little niggles will have been sorted out by the. The ship as I have previously stated is wonderful, a huge improvement to other princess ships with the azing piazza, expanded pool deck and fabulous dinning options. Royal Princess is now a real contender in its industry. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this ... Read More
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this Cruise with loads on videos and emails. To be honest, we were very excited at the thought of going to this trip.   Embarkation was fine. As a Platinum guest we had priority. We were lucky enough to be amongst the first new guests on board. The looked great. Although the length of the ship does not seem any longer than other ships we have been on, Crown Princess, Sea Princess, Ruby Princess it is a lot taller. Everything smelt brand new. The Atrium is a marvel. top points to Princess for the new design. The layout of this was somewhat different from the norm, which was a pleasant surprise.   Upon embarking, as one does, we headed straight up to the Horizon Court. The Horizon Court was very light and airy with the décor being very pleasant. Instead of the usual buffet lines, the design is totally different with long self service counters with a variety of different foods. Unfortunately, a lot of the food was repeated and what appeared to be a great choice turned out not to be. The hot food was not hot. The food was very bland with many passengers making derogatory comments. The service was good.   After lunch we headed to our Cabin. The cabin was very nice. Similar in size to what one would expect. We had a balcony cabin made up with a queen bed. A nice touch was the wall mounted wide screen TV with a great selection of films and TV box sets on demand at no extra cost. The cabin steward was great., Our room was clean and tidy at all times. The guy was polite and unobtrusive. Room service was good and on time.   Princess then, in my opinion really messed up. The first night was billed as a Formal night. The customary champagne waterfall was scheduled. We arrived as billed. No fuss was made of the new ship and the captain said nothing. Only a few drinks were handed around and I didn't see any canapés. A huge opportunity to welcome everyone aboard and to make everyone feel special was missed.   We opted, with our friends for anytime dining. In the afternoon we had phoned and made a reservation. No complaints surrounding this process. The food however was unimaginative, was cold and bland. Very disappointing.   After Dinner, having explored the ship we headed for the Show. The Princess Theatre on this ship has been designed differently than the other ships. Whilst the seats are more comfortable they no longer have trays to put your drinks. Only two narrow walkways now existing from the top to the bottom. The scenery and lighting was excellent as was the sound. The Princess Dancers were fantastic although the show itself was not to my taste.   In my opinion, the real let down of this trip was the Cruise Director and his staff. We have been unfortunate enough to have had the same Cruise Director, Ron Goodman on a previous trip. The guy was never around the ship and I don't think we saw his staff more than once. The guy is totally false.   We were due to visit Guernsey, but due to poor weather we could not dock. Princess had a captive audience. Hundreds of people were milling around the central atrium most sitting bored. The ship hurriedly produced a new Princess Patter but it was clear that the Ship not only had no B plan, but didn't have a C, D or E Plan. A friend of mine approach Goodman and said to the effect, hey, do something, you have a captive audience, this is a new ship, people are bored all he said was, 'thanks for your comments' and walked off. This guy and his team are doing Princess no favours.   All in all, having taken a number of cruises before, our party of 8 all felt let down by this whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
This is without a doubt a lovely ship and my review like others will detail some aspects that need improving. It is a subjective thing to write a review such as this but im a firm believer that reviews like this can make other peoples ... Read More
This is without a doubt a lovely ship and my review like others will detail some aspects that need improving. It is a subjective thing to write a review such as this but im a firm believer that reviews like this can make other peoples vacations better for the future. Bare in mind this was a 2 night trip. The Positives. Shows were fantastic and generally all the areas of the ship worked very well. Loved the big bed in the Stateroom along with the massive TV. Food was excellent at all times. Nice selection of films in the stateroom. Loved the idea of a full TV film studio, that’s an excellent choice. Negatives. I do wonder who buys the WiFi package on these ships for some $70 !! Shower in room 530 packed up one evening at peak time, this might just be a glitch. The main Theatre has no room to place a drink. Mid Ship stair well, there is none, you get a lift or nothing. Stairs only front and back. No colour coded carpets on Port / Starboard. Serving staff don’t always understand English. They got it wrong a few times. I asked for Porridge and no one knew what I was on about. No BINGO, oh come on, all ships have something like Bingo to entertain. Missing a trick here guys. No Party feel to this launch week event, where was the Party feel, there was nothing. No Souvenir too, it’s a special week, would you not expect a small gift? Staff in Restraints can be variable, we were a bit rushed the second night and there was not really a choice to come back to same serving staff the next night. We had to book over the phone. Last night no Party feel, they closed the Casino at 12 !! as we had entered UK waters. Could we not have just stayed back a bit, it was the last night? We went to Guernsey and back but could not get off, this was outside the control of the crew and ship of course but could we not at least have seen Guernsey from a point at sea, we saw nothing, we could have been anywhere. The Buffet has no real flow, you go to get some fruit and then wonder where you might get a bowl from. Staff take plates and bits away from you before your really finished. Oh and can we just apply our own tips to staff. This works better on other companies like Thomson's as those guys really work for their tips. All in all this was a good trip and we would go on the ship again. It does need to have a better feel though, it just felt a bit stilted. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
We are back from the 14th-16th June 2night cruise. A lot of what we experienced and our thoughts about the Royal Princess are echoed in previous reviews so rather than just repeat what has already been said we will try and highlight other ... Read More
We are back from the 14th-16th June 2night cruise. A lot of what we experienced and our thoughts about the Royal Princess are echoed in previous reviews so rather than just repeat what has already been said we will try and highlight other areas . We have done a number of short cruises so knew that we wouldn't get to see or experience everything however for us we saw this as an opportunity to experience 2 days of what we thought would princess showcasing a new an innovative ship as well as a first time experience with Princess Cruises. We normally sail with P&O, NCL or RCI. With all the hype surrounding the ship we were looking forward to 2 exciting days however we were somewhat disappointed, not just the ship but the whole experience.To start, there Is no doubt that the ship is amazing from the outside, and in our opinion in places stunning inside, however we found some areas were very dark, dark wood, decor etc uninspiring. For us overall and first impressions of the ship was that it did not have that initial WOW factor. Embarkation was the longest wait, slowest queues and generally the most chaotic experience and to top it all we were checked in by a very dis-interested check in person. From other reviews it seems like delays and waits were a common issue. Not sure why as we have travelled out of Ocean terminal several times and have never had any problems. Keeping in mind that both 2 night cruises did not have full compliment of passengers, so not sure how they would have coped if it was full. The welcome onto the ship was poor, at the end of the walkway two members of staff directing passengers either left or right depending on room numbers. Once onto the ship passengers were by passed the Atrium and ushered directly to the elevator lobby mid ship. A big disappointment,the first sight of the Atrium is the initial Inside Wow factor for us, and the hub of the ship, and where were all the various staff welcoming you on board, representing the restaurants taking bookings, spa raffle, etc etc.?On a positive note cabins were ready on embarkation. We booked a Deluxe Balcony which is the category we normally travel on P&O and so thought we knew what we would be getting, size wise. However we were very shocked, the cabin, balcony and bathroom all very very small and felt cramped. We have no idea how more than 2 people would manage in here, but yes there was a sofa bed, and when set up would mean there would be no way to get to the balcony or move around maybe a problem if you travel with young children and want to end the evening sitting on the balcony whilst they are asleep. Storage space was also very limited. The balcony was just a ledge with two narrow chairs, and one very small table size of a footstool. Interestingly the room directory mentions ultimate balcony dining experience, but we have no idea how this could be achieved in such a small space. We did sleep well the bed was very comfortable, pillows large and squishy, air con worked very well, the TV and ship info did not, no kettle allowed in room so reliant on room service for beverages.. This room felt smaller than the standard cabin on other cruise lines, and we are still wondering what bit was the deluxe, no extras, not even bath robes, in our opinion this grade of cabin is not worth the money. We used horizons restaurant for lunch, good food, lots of choice, friendly staff, nice light airy decor in the bistro, gloomy dark wood in the other section. Nice outside seating/dining area to back of ship. The main Pool deck area was pleasant enough, there is a good selection of sunbeds, rattan furniture and comfy chairs however, although there seemed a lot of seating i think this area might become challenged on hot sunny sea days when the ship is full and there are lots of people wanting to sunbath. This area also has the movie screen which had amazing picture quality even in bright sunshine as well as great sound quality. We did notice that you cannot walk a full circuit of the ship without changing levels up and down steps which was a shame and whilst walking the various top deck levels it just felt like there was a lot of empty space, maybe on the longer cruises this is filled with sun beds? What was missing for me was the aft pool, this is an area on other ships I just love. The aft area of the Royal was kind of empty, nondescript really. From the main pool are moving forward is the very nice Adults only area, pool, cabana's, comfy sun beds and standard sun beds. Relaxing music playing etc. Further forward the Sanctuary, a really gorgeous pay to use area however would be well worth it even if only once. We had seen this online and had planned to spend a day here however only to find out it was not available until the main cruise starting on 16th - very disappointing.We were excited about the sail away however this turned out to be nothing special at all. The cruise director was on the pool deck, a few people got up to dance and a DJ played music. As we sailed away the ships horn played the love boat theme and that was it really. I think Princess could have made more of an effort. The sea walk did have the wow factor, well the first and second time we walked across after that it was just the sea walk. What seemed to amaze most passengers was the fact that the balcony cabins below could be seen easily, just something to think about if planning to book one. Service across the ship was excellent to poor, excellent being in the Crown Grill, good in Horizons and poor from our room attendant who was most of the time invisible. Generally most staff were friendly and said hello or had a chat. We did notice that we did not see one senior officer around the ship. The public address system did not work in our room nor on the outside decks so when the Captain announced we could not tender in Guernsey I had to open the cabin door slightly so we could hear what was being said, and then at 12.30 we heard nothing as we were by the pool, we never did see or hear from the Captain again.MUT's yes we like this idea however it was a little disorganised. The first night the sun beds had the MUT's comfy cushions, pop corn was bought around and blankets available. The second night, no comfy cushions and when we asked where they were the attendant said, good point, it's accommodation who do that but they haven't. No offer of let me find out for you. This was a featured event, so why wasn't it organised, someone should have ensured everything was in place. Water Fountains- advertised in Patter as a feature, the first night they came on at 10.05pm and lasted no more than maybe 5 mins. Nice touch, good to see etc. the second night they were due to come on at 9.45pm. More people than at the first night gathered, they came on again for a few mins. People started to leave the area and then suddenly they came on again longer this time and even more impressive, they ended and again more people left, suddenly they were back on again. So again the question is if is was a new feature why wasn't more made of it? The weather and sea conditions overnight and the next day were mix, at times there was a fair swell and although the ship seemed to handle it well we did notice it rolled quite a bit, will be interesting to see how she handles in very rough weather. Our cabin was at the back so we did experience that wiggle as well as some thuds as if the back of the ship was being dropped in the water, could have been the wind hitting the side of the ship hard to tell, all in all though it was a smooth and very quite ship.Day time Pool deck movies - now I know it's going to be very hard to show a film that will please 100% of passengers but please Les Miserables on a Saturday afternoon, nothing wrong with the film itself but a little hard going when you are trying to relax by the pool. We just thought it a strange choice, but like I said hard to please everyone.As we couldn't tender in Guernsey there was no sail away, now even so surely the CD and entertainments team could have done something on the pool deck, but no the last day for the 2 night cruisers just came and went. I had read online before we sailed that the outside fountains area will be a stage where the entertainments team will dance etc, maybe they could have showcased an extract of that.Overall it was nice to get away for a couple of days, and yes overall we did enjoy the cruise, we got some rest and relaxation as well as saw the parts of the ship we wanted to however it did feel a bit like you were left to just get on with it. Yes this was a preview cruise No it wasn't highly discounted infant we paid the same for this cruse as a four night on a speciality cruise on P&O in April. When we booked we knew possibly we were paying over the odds however is was a great opportunity to see a brand new ship and spend a couple of what we thought would be exciting days in board. However Princess did not deliver. If this was a shakedown cruise then they should have advertised it that way and reflected that in the price. I can't say I would not book with princess again however it would not be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several ... Read More
I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several basic issues on the ship and with Princess that cannot simply be passed off as "teething problems" Embarkation Parking at the docks was straightforward, so in awe of the wonderful first sight of the Royal Princess we I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several basic issues on the ship and with Princess that cannot simply be passed off as "teething problems" Embarkation Parking at the docks was straightforward, so in awe of the wonderful first sight of the Royal Princess we entered the Ocean Terminal - to be greeted with queues spiraling both the downstairs and upstairs check in areas. We were given by 2 ladies a green card with a letter on it and advised to grab a seat because it would be at least an hour, "due to the ship not releasing the passes until 11" whatever that meant. Anyway, an hour and 20 minutes later we were called forward to check in, which, along with the security checks were thankfully swift, so within a couple of hours from arriving we were climbing the gang plank. A month ago we boarded the Disney dream by being asked our name and walking alone through the atrium to the applause of the officers and staff, and a warm greeting over the tannoy. Princess chose the alternative greeting. Shove us along the promenade deck, in through a side door, and steered into a packed elevator area along with equally lost passengers and the occasional staff member who didnt have a clue. The biggest Atrium at sea, and we are ushered to the corridors. Big big opportunity lost Princess. We could have said WOW when when came aboard. Instead our reaction was "what the....." Cabin We were in Deck 9 Dolphin 709, a standard balcony room. This is the first big issue I have with the Royal. The room was minute, and this coming from someone who usually prefers inside cabins. The beds were stupidly short. Im 6ft 3" and my legs went well over the end of the bed, not to mention the narrowness, which bing a big bloke was very much an issue. It was rock hard as well. I thanked my foresight in only booking the 2 nighter. Much more in this bed would have crippled me. As we discovered that night, the walls were paper thin. We could hear clearly normal conversations next door, and was treated to Skyfall at 1.00am that morning. Again something I had never experienced before. The bathroom was adequate and cupboard space quite good, so no real issue there. The TV function was poor. The GPS location map didn't work, nor was there any Account access to see what you had spent - standard for every previous cruise I had been on. The Ship Much has been written about the new royal Princess, but I must say, it failed to impress this reviewer. Don’t get me wrong. I love cruise ships. I love the aura, the atmosphere, the grand atrium, the show bars and the quiet piano lounges. The Royal however just didn't offer anything additional that impressed. I'd seen it all before, and though I would no doubt enjoy a trip on her, I view other ships in a better light, with better layout, better organisation, better food and a bigger WOW factor to be seen on Cunard, Independence of the Seas, even the Sapphire Princess. I just didn't take to her. The crew Poorly trained. Over enthusiastic when you wanted to be left alone. Not interested when a bit of assistance would have been appreciated.. My biggest gripe is reserved for the Cruise Director, Ron Goodman, however. I likened him to Hughie Green - oozing insincerity from every pore. Too slick. Too smug. To pleased with himself to be opening his eyes and looking at the obvious issues the ship has. The shows were good - loved the big production number with the lighting in the main theatre, and the ABBA tribute band were better than most act I have seen on a ship. The bar staff tried hard to please, with the best service witnessed in the Wheelhouse bar. The worst at the Seaview Bar. Inept. The bars around the Atrium closed at 11 on the last night, yet the waiter seemed happy to serve their mates but refuse others sat nearby. I expect that behaviour in a dodgy local pub, and not the supposed pride of the Princess fleet. The Restaurants Horizon Court. The first breakfast was horrible. Nothing tasted right or nice. The worst Corned Beef hash I have ever had, and that’s saying something. The bacon was inedible. Eggs were sloppy. Very very poor fayre. The meals in the main dining room were an improvement. Nice Beef Wellington and nice steak on 2nd night, but I wasnt a fan of the decor or layout, however. The waiters were good - fair play to them, they tried and tried to give us what we wanted. Cant ask for any more from them. Overall we paid £300+ each for a 2 day trip which to be blunt was simply not worth it. We willingly paid over the odds expecting to be given a memorable introduction to a wonderful new ship. The entire setup seemed to be with the objective of fleecing you - getting every available buck out of you, but with none of the class or charm offered by Cunard or Celebrity. We were given sub standard fayre, and we left with a firm conviction that we would in future stick with the names we usually stick with.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
First, we arrived in Houston, on Jan 12th, and looked and looked for Princess people. We finally found the table with 2 people hidden under the escalators. On the table, were many paddles that had PRINCESS printed on them. But, no ... Read More
First, we arrived in Houston, on Jan 12th, and looked and looked for Princess people. We finally found the table with 2 people hidden under the escalators. On the table, were many paddles that had PRINCESS printed on them. But, no people to hold the paddles up and direct pasengers. We checked in and were assigned bus #5. We were told, would be an hour to 2 hours. Then, we had to take our luggage to the bus an hour later. Normally Princess takes the luggage at the carrasel, and we don't see it until it arrives in the room. We arrived in Galveston about 2:10 and I told my husband, something is wrong, there is not a Princess ship docked. When we got off the bus, and rounded up our luggage, we were told, there is a delay, and could be a few hours. Now, I am still wondering where the Crown Princess is. We headed down the dock to a restaurant, and about 3:30pm, here comes the Crown Princess. By 4:30, all or most of the passengers booked on the Jan 12th cruise aboard the Crown are in the terminal and those not in terminal are driving around waiting for a parking lot to open. No open spots as the cars still parked belong to passengers still on the Crown. This terminal in Galveston was not meant to hold 3,000 passengers. There were maybe seats for 1200 people. Leaving about 1800 people with no place to sit. About 4pm, Princess announced, Sorry, we are bringing in more chairs, water and sandwichs. None of the above promised items appeared. Most of us are sprawled out on the floor, and wondering, are we ever gonna get aboard. Elite were boarded first, 8:15pm, and the last were welcomed aboard by 10:15pm. First drill held at 10:50pm and the Crown set sail at midnight. When we were boarding, the photo guys from the Crown were stopping everyone, and wanting to take "Welcome aboard pictures" and this was slowing the boarding process down as some were to kind to say "you got to be kidding". I cannot say what we said, would be kicked out I think. Princess will argue, they have no control over an act of god. And I agree 100% with that. But, fog is common in Galveston, and they should have had a plan in place just in case this above scenerio happen. Many folks never made the fire drill as they were tired, and because the drill was going to happen, they could not get any thing to eat at the buffet. First time cruisers, and there were many, stated, "First cruise, and last cruise." Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We sailed on a seven day Western Caribbean Cruise which immediately followed the "cruise to no where." As such, the Crown Princess just completed its 48 hour sanitation and cleaning. Embarkation - We arrived the night before ... Read More
We sailed on a seven day Western Caribbean Cruise which immediately followed the "cruise to no where." As such, the Crown Princess just completed its 48 hour sanitation and cleaning. Embarkation - We arrived the night before the cruise and stayed at the Embassy Suites near Port Everglades. Ended up with free transportation from the hotel to the Port, arriving at the Terminal at approximately 1:00 p.m. Hotel has a great location, only needs a near by Starbucks to better! Room was clean and ready. However, price was a little on the high side. Although we were forewarned via a phone call from Princess that we would need to report to the convention center, when we arrived at the Terminal it was operating as normal. So, no convention center waiting for us! Being Platinum members we made use of the Preferred Member entrance and were through the embarkation process and on board within fifteen minutes. Stateroom - We were in a category AA mini-suite and found it to be clean and ready for occupancy. It provided plenty of storage space with a large bathroom and tub. The balcony was appointed with a table, two chairs and two footrests, which were very nice additions. Our cabin attendant was exceptional in looking after us, bringing us champagne and our pre-purchased excursion tickets within an hour. Throughout the cruise he was attentive without being obtrusive and very pleasant to converse with, constantly asking if we needing anything to make our vacation more enjoyable. (Considering what the crew went through the weeks before with the Noro virus, he exceeded our expectations in every way) Food - We ate all but one of our dinners in the Main Dining Room, having selected traditional late dinner. The other dinner was at Sabatini's. The food in the Main Dining Room was very good with no real complaints. The only bump in the road was the first night dinner service. Service was slow and they seemed to be short staffed for the first hour of service. However, to be fair, when we arrived at 8:15 for dinner several tables from the earlier dinner service were full and still eating. This created a snow ball effect into the late dinner service. Waiter and assistant were very attentive, personable and tried their best to make us comfortable. The International Cafe was highly enjoyable for those quick lunches and mid-day snacks. (Loved the fresh chocolate chip cookies and wife loved the Gelato!) This was the first time we tried Sabatini's since it switched to a la carte ordering. While the food was very good we missed the non stop parade of food that epitomized Sabatini's and made it different from the other dining options on board. Excursions - First stop was Grand Cayman's - a simple day at the beach with a Tiki Bar! When we first arrived the beach had quite a few beach goers. However, within 45 minutes the place became mostly deserted. So, private beach party! Next stop was Roatan. We did the Eco-Hike Tour and Pirates Bay with "Big Mike." After eating for a few days it felt great to be outside and exercising. The hike was moderately difficult but certainly doable provided that you are in reasonable shape. Belize equalled the Lamanai Ruins Tour. Long day as it took approximately one hour to arrive at the location where we were to pick up the boats for the trip to the ruins, then another hour or so by boat to arrive at the ruins. However, the trip was worth the commute! The ruins were highly enjoyable and stunning. The view at the top of the Main Temple was spectacular! The final stop was in Cozumel Mexico. Here we went to the X-Caret Eco Park. Options for everybody abounded! Was there in time to see the release of turtles back into the wild. Simply a relaxing and enjoyable way to end our excursions and turn to sail back home. Disembarkation - There was a slight delay in disembarkation. We were suppose to be off the ship at 9:30 but didn't disembark to after 10:30. However, we were lucky enough to find a seat in the lounge. All in all the cruise was very relaxing and enjoyable. There were, of course, some issues and difficulties. However, I believe that a vacation is what you make of it and what you put into it. Given the fact that the crew had two weeks of Noro outbreaks before our cruise, they were all pleasant, attentive and tried their best to make things enjoyable for the passengers. Unfortunately, I cannot say that all the passengers were as accompadating! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
We have always enjoyed cruising with Princess and this last little mini-cruise really topped the list. We decided that to get even closer to reaching the Elite level, we would take this cruise. We booked 2 insides and we were very luckily ... Read More
We have always enjoyed cruising with Princess and this last little mini-cruise really topped the list. We decided that to get even closer to reaching the Elite level, we would take this cruise. We booked 2 insides and we were very luckily upgraded to Caribe 752, an aft penthouse category. We were astonished at the size of the suite of course but to be able to stand on the balcony and to see the Seattle skyline was amazing On the balcony, we had a teak circular table, 4 chairs, and 2 teak loungers, each with its own red plaid blanket. The huge bathroom was in 2 sections, connected by a teak lined door. The single sink had ample space around it, the toiletries were prettily displayed in a metal container, and the upgraded towels were hung on gold-trimmed racks. The other section of the bathroom had the clear glass shower stall (good size) and the jacuzzi tub,again with a container of bath salts nearby, plus 4 plush extra large bath towels. Beautiful marble walls and floor. The makeup area was indeed spacious, lots of mirrors, hairdryer attached nearby. The number of pull out drawers in this area is greatly appreciated, especially for a longer cruise. The queen size (king size?) bed was truly comfortable, topped with 6 pillows. In a suite you can ask for and exchange pillows (ie feather, etc.) Lots of lighting options throughout the suite. From the bed you can look out the balcony windows. There are 2 balcony doors, one in the bedroom section and one in the sitting area. The 2 areas are separated by a curtain. The sitting area comprises of a chair and a sofa, both comfy, and an oval glass topped coffee table. When we entered the suite, we saw the beautiful flower arrangement (roses, tiger lilies, greenery) on one of the side tables by the couch. There is also another smaller flower display in the bathroom. (orchids) The walls are tastefully decorated with pictures; the entire suite is very peaceful feeling. The suite also has a wet bar and a mini-bar set. The mini-fridge located under the flat screen TV/DVD also has additional drinks such as Perrier water, soft drinks and beer. The second TV is located in the bedroom section. Ample closet space is provided with 2 rows of closet rods, wooden hangers, and shelves. As in all cabins, there is a safe. Embarkation Process: we departed Vancouver using a bus service that took us to Pier 91, Seattle. We arrived at the Terminal before 11:30 and by 12:30, we were in our cabin/suite. So we were pleased with the Seattle embarkation system. Lunch: International Restaurant is open on embarkation day so we partook of the excellent services of our waiter, Fernando and his assistant. Broiled salmon was one of the choices and it was excellent. Dinner: Santa Fe Restaurant, table 352: good service. We found the area a bit noisy (we had a table by the window) Prime rib was tasty as was the shrimp cocktail. Evening performances: We were fortunate to hear the Korean Drum Band, a group of young ladies who entertained us well with their talented drumming. This was followed by the Princess dancers and singers who performed "Piano Man"--excellent costuming, good singing, and as usual, fabulous dance steps! Fellow Passengers: for this one night cruise, filled with mainly Canadians, we saw all age groups, from children to seniors into their eighties. Noise level, overall: the atmosphere was very positive throughout the areas of the ship that we visited. We did not get a chance to visit the pool areas. Overall look of the Ship: I personally could not find fault with any area of the ship. The flooring was clean, tidy, polished; the staircase areas were well maintained. The public washroom were all clean and well kept up. I did not see any areas needing painting, carpets in distress, etc. Of course, I was only on this ship for one night. I was very impressed with the layout of the present Sapphire. I like the new change of having the International Cafe and Vines, but it is unfortunate they are reducing the size of the Internet Cafe (it will lose the windows it presently has) and the Writing Room area, which is perfect for sitting and reading. Disembarkation in Vancouver: we were lucky to be in the Platinum Waiting area (Wheelhouse Bar) and we managed to be off the ship by 9:15. We could have arranged for an earlier time but chose not to. The only glitch in the system is not with Princess or its procedures, but with the Canada Customs (lack of staff) to process over 2700 passengers in a timely manner. Summary: The Sapphire is a gorgeous ship. We experienced wonderful staff, very friendly and helpful. The staff in the Boutiques were all wonderful too. We have a number of cruises under our belt (not all Princess) and we walked away with a very positive feeling about this one day cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
sailed from Southampton to Guernsey and Laharve France. Cost was £948 for Three days. This was our first and and did not know really what to expect apart from high standards of service and exquisite cuisine as we had been told by other ... Read More
sailed from Southampton to Guernsey and Laharve France. Cost was £948 for Three days. This was our first and and did not know really what to expect apart from high standards of service and exquisite cuisine as we had been told by other cruisers. Well what a shock we had instore! Very disappointed in the cruise as a whole! very little entertainment provided throughout the day, We were very bored especially when we could not get off the ship to go to Guernsey due to bad weather! I feel the activities team should have been more pro-active and provided some entertaiment knowing this.The Entertainment that was already scheduled was for the older generations and we are not gamblers! Therefore there was nothing for us to do but watch TV!!!!!Very poor indeed!!! Could not book into any restaurants as serial cruises had already booked all the places months in advance!!! Food in buffet was bog standard with very cheap cuts of meat and lacking in vegetables, all meals were just warm or cold!and not enough seats for everyone, we had to sit on deck near the pool to eat!!!!!!! Room was nice though, lovely and clean with fresh towels Twice daily! Beds were hard though and gave me terrible backache and the pillows stank of stale sweaty heads!!!! I used a bath towel rolled up for a pillow. Drinks on board were very expensive and gratuity of 15% is added onto every receipt!!! along with $22 per person per day gratuity!!!! This is disgusting!!! I AM A NURSE MANAGER AND NO ONE TIPS ME FOR MY service!!!!! Our first and last cruise I might add!!! never again OUr Bill was $400 for 2.5 days we boarded on Saturday at 3pm and was kicked out of our room at 8am on Tuesday we only spent $15 dollars in a shop!! the rest was about $200+ Gratuities and the cost of alcholic beverages for Two people!!!!! We were not even spoken to on departure after being robbed for Three days!!!!! they could have at least acknowledged us, they were too busy welcoming the next bunch of unsuspecting victims!!!!!!! If Ihis is cruising you can stick it!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
After 4 Princess Cruises out of Australia thought I better see how the Aussie ships rate and sitting here writing this review I feel a little underwhelmed by the experience. What I liked - 1/ Vista Lounge was the best I have ... Read More
After 4 Princess Cruises out of Australia thought I better see how the Aussie ships rate and sitting here writing this review I feel a little underwhelmed by the experience. What I liked - 1/ Vista Lounge was the best I have seen on any ship. 2/ The production show was 8 out of 10 and I really enjoyed and the entertainers seemed to enjoy themselves as well. 3/ As a regular Bingo player I was please to see the higher bingo prizes and the numbers being called at a faster pace. On the US ships you could have a bathroom break in between each number. What I didn't like - Where do I start. 1/ Boarding. I know we joined at the end of a longer cruise but the service in Brisbane was terrible. After experiencing the 5 star service in Beijing in May this was a huge let down. 2/ Although confirmed for early dining and having linked with another couple we were placed on late dining and not linked. Thankfully the Maitre D' sorted this out for us. 3/ We were booked for a interior double and were placed in a triple. Now very comfortable at all. 4/ We were given Blue cards on boarding and it took until after 8pm before we received out correct cards and were assured we then had internet minutes assigned. No internet minutes were assigned and it was just to much effort to get fixed. 5/ Prices on the ship are well above what you find on the US ships. The Ultimate Drink Card on the Diamond Princess in May was US$7 per day and on the Sun Princess was A$11 per day. On the Diamond we purchased a photo book with US$15 postage to Australia, on the Sun it was A$25 for the same postage. Everything was more expensive and given the current exchange rate it make it even worse. I won't start about the shop prices but it seems Princess want to rip off Australians! 6/ Dirty Ship. It may have just been the age of the ship or that Princess don't want to pay Australian Ports to do any servicing but again compared to the US ships this ship seemed dirty and poorly maintained. Overall the ship is an aging design and Princess have sent it along with its Sister ships to the bottom of the world in the hope that these backward Australians won't know any better. They had better smarten up as the world is getting smaller and with other ships coming to Australia over the next 12 months many cruisers are going to forget loyalties and switch ships. Maybe Princess can sell the Sun to P&O Australia where they will still be considered "äs new" and look after their loyal Australian customers before they find out how much they are being ripped off. Unless there are some really good deals I will not be on these ships again and will pay the airfares to join a newer, cleaner, cheaper ship overseas. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Before I give the review, we are very much Go with the Flow cruisers. There is always something that's going to happen that may upset you, but you are on a cruise ship to have fun! We booked a five day Princess cruise for various ... Read More
Before I give the review, we are very much Go with the Flow cruisers. There is always something that's going to happen that may upset you, but you are on a cruise ship to have fun! We booked a five day Princess cruise for various reasons. One, we had sailed on the Ruby early last year and enjoyed that very much. The Crown is a sister ship. Two, we were taking my 19 year old daughter and her friend and I was worried that maybe seven days was too long(wrong!. Plus the ports were Grand Turks and Princess Cays and I knew they'd be very safe at those places. Lastly the price I got from Princess was so cheap it was hard to turn down. Add that to the fact we live in Florida and therefore transportation costs were minimal. If I had to pay $700 for a flight then I'd think twice about a five day trip. We left home at 7am, and despite the sound of two snoring girls in the back seat the drive was uneventful. We could see the rain following us down the coast, and we were very happy to arrive about 11.30am, drop off the luggage and park the car while still being dry. Embarkation was painless - usually routine - fill out forms saying you're not dying of some disease, go through security, no wait to get sail cards and then on the ship (after the first obligatory picture stop). A nice host actually took us to our indoor cabins on the Baja deck. The Princess indoor cabins are great, with loads of storage space and a "private" area to get dressed in. The room was spotless and the room steward Jason very nice and did a wonderful job. And god bless the steward who took care of the girls room which, whenever I peeked in, looked like a hurricane zone. We went up to the Horizon Court and had lunch which was very good. By then it was starting to rain. We headed back to the cabin and our luggage was there. Unpacked and then we went on the scavenger hunt that had been given everyone when boarding. It basically makes you explore the ship while getting your card stamped at various shops and restaurants onboard. Great idea in my opinion, and was fun for the girls to do. Did the muster drill, having to take the lifejackets which we did not do last two cruises. I didn't mind as I like taking pictures of all with the jackets on! The off to the sail away party which was help in Club Fusion due to the rain. I thought it was fun and DW and I danced for a few minutes to the great Caribbean band. They gave out prizes for the scavenger hunt (as always we won nothing) and about 6pm we headed back to the cabin to get dressed for dinner. We had anytime dining which worked out fine. Longest wait was maybe ten minutes and some nights walked right in. Best time to go seemed to be about 8pm. We enjoyed the food every night and the wait staff was very good. We had planned to go to Sabatini's as we had done, and enjoyed, on the Ruby but just never made it. The wine prices were inexpensive and very reasonable, starting at $22 and plenty of selections in the $20's. We did the wine tasting for $9 on day two and had loads of fun. Breakfast was good. Since we eat eggs etc almost every day at home, during the cruise we take advantage of the smoked fish, cheese, cold cuts, and fruit. My only tip here is, to avoid crowds, go all the way to the back and use the last food station and sit outside on the Horizon area if its nice weather which we did every day. Had the pub lunch twice at the Wheelhouse bar which was fantastic (sea days only). Formal night was day two and was great. I dusted off the tux which I had debated taking and was glad I did. The girls all did the champagne waterfall and I have to say Princess was very generous with the bubbly that night. The Captain mingled a lot and talked to us both here and then again at the Captains Circle party. He's a very nice bloke. Then had formal pictures taken which turned out very well. Bought two at $25 each but they were well worth it. Didn't go to a single show, as we usually had a nice afternoon nap about 5pm, and by the time we had finished dinner at 9.30 we just wanted a nightcap. We did see the comedian at Explorers and if you want to go get there AT LEAST 20 minutes early to get a seat. So we went to most of the bars on the ship after dinner to have a drink or two. We even ventured one night up to Skywalkers where the girls went every night, but was way to young a crowd for us. Plenty for 19 years olds to do - they hit Skywalkers most nights, did the Movie under the Stars, had room service multiple times a day, and joined us every night for dinner. First port was Grand Turks where we docked. It's actually a very nice area with a pool and beach and deck chairs and shops. The girls took off for Margaretville and we went to Jacks Shack which is about 200 yards down the beach. It's really a shack, but Jack and his wife and daughter could not have been nicer, and we sampled many bottles of the local brew plus had jerked chicken there. The weather was just wonderful. Second port was Princess Cays. Again weather was spectacular and tendering easy and quick. Went about 10am and no lines. We though we'd just stay long enough to make sure the girls we OK, but in the end spent all day there as the band was great, the buckets of beer ice cold, and a wonderful view of blue water and the ship in the background. BBQ was much better this time around than the Ruby trip. If you want total privacy turn left when you get off and walk all the way to the last bar. All the girls had massages in the spa, and while in my view extortionally expensive, they loved it so what the heck. Gave me time to sit outside at the Neptune bar and listen to the band. If I had one entertainment complaint, it's the piped music on the Lido deck when the band is not playing. People are drinking and trying to party and they are playing Ava Maria!! Fine for the Sanctuary and Horizon area, but at the pool area?? Of course the five days flew by, and it had to end. Disembarking was a little wild and delayed, as a ship had broken down at terminal 2, so the Crown had to dock elsewhere. Loads of people trying to back to get their cars or catch flight and only two small shuttle buses were running. However it was a great time, and Princess staff and crew were exceptional. I'd be glad to answer any questions - jrbeccles@yahoo.com Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
We flew from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA took "Already There Town Car" to the pier. I would highly recommend Already There Town car for transportation. We took an early flight and arrived at the pier at 9:15am, had to wait ... Read More
We flew from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA took "Already There Town Car" to the pier. I would highly recommend Already There Town car for transportation. We took an early flight and arrived at the pier at 9:15am, had to wait until 10:30am to go inside the port. The ships pier (91) is too far from Downtown Seattle to walk as the pier is not near anything. There is not an embarkation lounge or place for Suite, Elite, Platinum to wait prior to boarding. Once inside everyone checking us in was friendly and it went fast. Met another CC'er standing in line with us. Had a Baja deck (B247) starboard forward balcony. We could see the space needle and downtown Seattle from our balcony. This is a nice room and good location, found shower to have enough room. Wish they had another "nice" chair in the room though. Requested a mattress topper and it was on the bed when we arrived. Had smokers on both sides of us, this was very disappointing as we hardly used our balcony. Our floor did not smell of smoke, but after about 4pm the smell of smoke filled the ship and could really smell it when going up & down the stairs. They really need to move the Sports Bar lounge on all ships as you smell smoke and of smoke just walking by going to the theatre. At the "Muster Drill" they now have scanners and they scan your card to keep track of you, to know if you were missing in case of an emergency. Room numbers are no longer on room cards (key). We heard the buffet was packed so we went to International Cafe for lunch and it was great, music was playing in the atrium, so it was a very relaxing way to start our cruise and no was there. We ate pizza (of course), good as always and later, DH had a hamburger and ice cream cone for desert (no charge). We walked around the ship and took photos. Skywalkers was a surprise and really neat, especially the walk to get there. Ate dinner in Crown Grill and they even ordered in ""and a "Love Boat Dream" desert from the dining room for me. Crown Grill is always good and a very nice ambiance and service. The pools were packed with people. I got a pedicure and it was very good. The ship was nice, we liked the layout, never found mini-golf. The Golden does not have a complete Lotus Spa, they are lacking the heated loungers. The saunas and steam room are outside forward of the Lotus pool, gender specific. Found lots of surprises on the decks where you could go lounge or hot tubs that are tucked away. Good weather when embarked, heavy misting rain upon disembarkation. 7am breakfast buffet line was long we knew we could not get through by 8am (time they want you off the ship), stopped by International Cafe and they have fresh donuts! Disembarkation had to wait in a long line and left the ship at 8am, however moved very quickly. We rented a car and drove back to Portland. It was nice being able to keep your luggage with you as you boarded and disembarked. We hope to be able to do another one-day cruise next year as it was so relaxing for a one day get away. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2010
Booked the 1 day Pacific Coastal Cruise for my friend and I mid April. We are both first time cruisers. Embarkation - NIGHTMARE, gangway problems at the port caused major backup. 3 ships were embarking at one time (Coral, Sapphire and a ... Read More
Booked the 1 day Pacific Coastal Cruise for my friend and I mid April. We are both first time cruisers. Embarkation - NIGHTMARE, gangway problems at the port caused major backup. 3 ships were embarking at one time (Coral, Sapphire and a Holland American ship) We got at the port at 1:50 and didn't get on the ship until 4:10. Ship - The Sapphire Princess is in very good shape. Very clean and huge. We were in awe exploring her. Sometimes we just felt we were not on a ship but a nice hotel. Very smooth ride, no vibration felt at all. Cabin - We were in cabin B520, deck 11 Baja. It took us by surprise of how small the cabin was but it suited us fine for the night. It was smack in the middle of the ship so our view from the balcony was amazing. The twin beds were small but actually quite comfortable. Food - I was a bit worried about this part due to some of the reviews I read but I'm happy to announce that the food was very very good and plentiful. We had dinner in the Pacific Moon dining room which we really enjoyed. Our server was very accommodating and very nice. Horizon court was also great and the food was also quite good. But one dish made me shake my head; frog legs? Really? Entertainment - we saw the comedy show and the Piano Man. We enjoyed them both. Disembarkation - easy as pie. No wait at all. We were off the ship in less than 10 minutes. Overall - Loved the Sapphire Princess and had an awesome time and can't wait to go back!!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
We took this cruise to upgrade our Captain's Circle status, having sailed Princess on Sapphire (twice) and Caribbean. Embarkation was ok with some lines. We booked an interior and got free upgrade to a balcony stateroom, so thanks ... Read More
We took this cruise to upgrade our Captain's Circle status, having sailed Princess on Sapphire (twice) and Caribbean. Embarkation was ok with some lines. We booked an interior and got free upgrade to a balcony stateroom, so thanks Princess! We were on one night cruises before and after, so bought transfers from Seattle Pier to Vancouver Pier, and again. Unfortunately, transfers were disorganized and didn't provide great service (driver forgot his passport and we had to double back, not much help with bags at the port, little information from shore personnel). We were pleased with the ship itself, which has been upgraded with the newer Princess features and was in good shape. Food, service, shows were as per usual on Princess. They have added free lemonade, which is nice but only available on decks (not in dining room) and must be ordered; it is not set out. Overall we were satisfied with the cruise. Read Less
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