Dell5

Dell5
Third Mate

Joined: 05/22/2014
2
Cruises
2
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3
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Dell5's Past Cruises

Star Princess

April 2016 - Star Princess to Coastal - West Coast

It's the excursions and embarkation

We boarded Star Princess in Vancouver. Unlike most cruises going to the US, a US immigration would already process passports right in Canada Place pier before passengers can board a ship heading to the US. Princess didn't have that. When we got into our first stop, LA, the ship, with 2,700 passengers lined up to have our documents processed by US immigration. Princess blamed the US immigration for the line up, which many people did not believe. Most of us are from Canada and familiar with the procedures when boarding vessels or planes heading to the US. Even the American guests were not able to leave the ship because they couldn't jump the thousands ahead of them who were already lined up as early at 7 AM, ( the time we were directed to disembark)

 

The LA excursions were cut short and the excursion companies blamed Princess for the late disembarkation of the passengers.

 

Santa Barbara excursion to the old catholic mission filled with history never occurred. It was a mere quick drive and that was it. The Montecito excursion to view Hollywood celebrities homes were also a quick drive on the road where tourists saw nothing except tall fences and large trees. These are sights common in many countries  and the Santa Barbara excursion offered nothing. It's best just to walk along the coast lines and discover the area near the pier on your own...

Anything else -entertainment, food, the ship and amenities are good.

 

There were some people we encountered who pushed and  cut in line. Some were quite rude and just didn't have social skills but that's not the fault of the cruise line. 

 

The staff in Princess have their name tags and represent their countries. Some people find this offensive.

 

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Zaandam

July 2014 - Zaandam to Alaska - Inside Passage

Disappointed

We went on this cruise along with some friends. First encounter we had, the muster drill yelled many times, like we were in the military. He was such a show off, scaring some children on the deck.

 

The public toilets were a mess, mostly clogged and toilet papers littered the ladies washrooms.

 

The heritage food (Indonesian and Filipino dishes) were nothing compared to the real things. Like those chefs did not make it real Indonesian and real Filipinos, meeting only the palate half-way to their countries. Think of this: the world is no longer ignorant about authentic oriental food. It's all over. Even fast foods can produce good stuff. Now, in Zaandam, it was short of anything but, just calling it some names. 

 

The tour director was alright with her entertainment announcements. She was not the type you find anywhere in the ship.

 

The shore excursion male and female team were there only to get bookings and stand by the hauling buses carrying signs. They opened the Shore Excursion late and they don't answer their phones.

 

The Lido, during the unattended days had some children sneeze and still hold the serving spoons. There were people who would stand next to the coffee makers holding a conversation as though no one else behind them waited to get coffee. 

 

In comparison, Royal Caribbean:  this ship is huge but there's enough space for everyone and the entertainments were just great; the activities were just exciting; food, great with lots of different selections and several restaurants; embarkation and disembarkation, a breeze.

 

No go back to Zaandam. The toilet we had was old, with tiles on the bath tub chipping away. The service crew could hardly manage. Their tired faces make me feel bad asking them to do this or do that. The gratuity a day for this ship was about $12. They said, those will go to the people "behind the scene". The office people said those crew members hardly ever get paid well so the passengers had to chip in.. Apparently, the money we pay will still have to go to the share holders. 

 

The worst: 

The shore excursion staff

The muster drill man ( yeller or "yodele-ler")

The lack of overseeing the unattended buffet trays at the Terrace and the Lido

While we were still at our stateroom during final disembarkation, the crew began washing our balcony already

There was disorganized crowded line up, no defined line to follow during disembarkation.

Cruise staff looked stressed and worried.

The cruise director you couldn't find when you're in a bind,except when she appears on stage, seemed to be her best time. 

The noisy Lido from the basketball court noise happening just above the Lido, occurring all day long, no matter what tie of the day it seems.  You can eat you lunch or snack and get the vibrations from upstairs.

 

The best about the ship:

 

The servers at the dining, both the Indonesians and Filipino crew and did their best to please almost anyone.

The cabin clean up, both patient and over worked men.

The office staff who took the blame intended for the shore excursion staff

The photography people

The buffet table servers and cleaners who smiled all the time and tirelessly served the guests

 

 

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Dell5's Tips

Star Princess Star Princess - Recommended ? Yes. Just be careful in choosing your excursions and be prepared to get into long lines.
Zaandam Zaandam - Go to the Lido for breakfast. Be early. Use the hand wash stations before you use the serving spoons of the trays. Go for omelettes Give a tip to a server to bring your food in your table; Go to the Rotterdam for forma dining;

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received a helpful vote on their Star Princess cruise review - It's the excursions and embarkation

shared a quick tip for Star Princess"Recommended ? Yes. Just be careful in choosing your excursions and be prepared to get into long lines. "

reviewed their Coastal - West Coast cruise on Star Princess and gave it 3 stars!

added Apr 19, 2016 cruise on Star Princess to their profile.

received a helpful vote on their Zaandam cruise review - Disappointed

received a helpful vote on their Zaandam cruise review - Disappointed

reviewed their Alaska - Inside Passage cruise on Zaandam and gave it 2 stars!

shared a quick tip for Zaandam"Go to the Lido for breakfast. Be early. Use the hand wash stations before you use the serving spoons of the trays. Go for omelettes Give a tip to a server to bring your food in your table; Go to the Rotterdam for forma dining; "

added Jul 4, 2014 cruise on Zaandam to their profile.