Single, aircraft mechanic with a major airline, love to travel. Just started cruises in 2015. Love being on the ocean and the shore excursions.
I wanted to get a way for a few days on a cruise ship and this time head south. I had been on the Inspiration before and love the ship and the crew. The staff on this ship is noticeably different, very up beat atmosphere all around. Good entertainment. Food isn't so great except for Guy's burger which is exceptional. Buffet is average. Didn't try the MDR's. I went cheap on this cruise and booked an inside cabin which worked fine for me. Did the ship tour on this cruise which I enjoyed. My favorite parts were the engine control room and the bridge. We met the captain who patiently took our questions and did a group photo with us. Great guy, I met him twice on the ship.
As far as recommending the cruise: remember it's just a quick get away cruise so don't expect the crowd you'd find on Princess or even Norwegian. People are generally younger and a LOT more casual.
The fellow cruise mates I met made the cruise the most enjoyable. Staff did a good job even though many of them seemed robotic and not as friendly as when I was on the Grand.
Room attendant Rose Ann was outstanding. I booked a mini-suite for this cruise and love it! Don't know if I'll do it again but if the price is right I certainly will consider it. Having a full sized bathtub was certainly nice.
Entertainment was good, food was okay, over all the cruise was just okay. The public venues being reduced was noticeable to me. The gym which I always use on cruises was horrible. Old equipment and very depressing interior. Hope Princess does something about that. Their older ship the Grand has a good gym with new equipment. Shouldn't a newer ship like the Island have newer equipment?
The boarding at LA was a pleasant surprise. I arrived at the parking lot at 1205pm and set foot on the ship at 1227pm. Disembarkation was okay getting off the ship. But Vancouver terminal is terrible. I hate that terminal, gets confusing and crowded. At two points the attendants in the terminal were pointing people in a totally wrong direction.
Shore excursions: Astoria was cancelled due to weather. We hit high winds which got the seas stirred up crazy! We had to go slower and as a result weren't going to make Astoria on time. Also I can't imagine going through the Columbia Bar in winds like we had. That would have been too risky. At one point according to the cruise review the winds got up to Force 10. I can believe it, we were getting slammed hard for over 48 hours by wind and waves.
But that doesn't have anything to do with my low review. The ship has been heavily modified to have more cabins and that has resulted in less public spaces. Also most of the staff seemed robotic and not so friendly even though they did their jobs well and the food was just okay. The main thing I'll remember from this cruise is all the great cruisers I interacted with. Lots of friendly Canadians! Hurray Canada!!!
Met so many wonderful people, both passengers and crew members. Embarkation and disembarktion were both speedy and efficient. Even the muster drill wasn't too bad.
Room attendant Ricardo is outstanding. Shows I enjoyed the most were "British Invasion" and the illusionist. The Crown Grill was outstanding. I agree with many others about Sabitini's, skip it. Service in both restaurants is outstanding but food in Sabitini's wasn't so good.
Spent a lot of time in Explorer's Lounge making friends with one of the bar maids there. (One reason out of many that this was the best cruise so far for me.) I had a wonderful week aboard and on shore excursions. I have nothing negative to say about this cruise.
I thought I had written a review already but the website asked for one when I logged in this time. I've only done five cruises so far and over all this was my favorite. The only negative was the long line for the dining room which I didn't feel like standing in. The buffet and Guy's Burger were just fine with me. Everything else was great. Outstanding crew, funny comedy shows, friendly fellow passengers, comfortable/relaxing room, and a fun shore excursion. This is the only cruise so far where I didn't meet a crew member with a sour attitude. I have to mention our cruise director, I think her name is Dee. She was a bundle of energy. I loved how she lead the Mardi Gras party dancing on the bar counter. I hope to do another winter get away on either the Inspiration or Imagination out of Long Beach next winter.
Doing this again as it seems it didn't post when I originally did it.
The only thing I didn't like about my cruise was the cabin. The bathroom was not fully ready when I arrived. Also the faucet didn't work properly and the counter top was worn and in need of replacement. The cabin attendant was a bit cold towards me and seemed like he didn't care for me being there. On one of the days I asked him for something and he said he'd get it but never did. Very bad vibe from him each day. Other than that I did enjoy this cruise and have a cruise booked on Grand Princess this March.
Doing this once again since my original doesn't seem to have posted.
My feeling on this ship are mixed. I loved the ship itself. She's a floating art exhibit with a multi-million dollar art collection. Everywhere inside the ship is stylish and I was constantly gawking at the different paintings. The staff was great. The negatives were bland food, small cabin and restroom, and the atmosphere created by the "mature" passengers. Hearing them complain about various things including younger people on board didn't set well with me. Good grief! They don't own the ship. I hope to try one of their bigger ships someday but because of the atmosphere I experienced on Amsterdam it won't be a priority.
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