March 2015 - 20 Night Caribbean Explorer (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Royal Princess
We were terribly disappointed with our Princess cruise. We were delayed boarding because of unavoidable circumstances on the previous cruise. Thousands of people were herded into a large warehouse and had to wait to get clearance to board. That was just the start of things. Our first port was Princess Cay. Beautiful island but we waited in the sun for 1/2 hr for a tender to get back to the ship.
The waitstaff were terrible snobs. We went to breakfast in the morning and my husband asked for ketchup. The waiter brought him a bowl of ketchup. When we were done eating, of course there was a lot of ketchup left in the bowl and the waiter said to my husband "do you want me to save it for you for the next day?". On formal night we went to our dining room and we're told there was no room and we were asked "did you make reservations". We had anytime dining and didn't know we could make reservations. They told us we could for formal night. We never heard that or seen it written anywhere. (Communication???) They finally took us up to a different dining room and tried to seat us in a work station surrounded by winebuckets, water pitchers and waiters. My husband and brother in law told them no and to find us somewhere else. People at other tables commented to us that they wouldn't have sat there either. They finally sat us at a nice table and the waitstaff were really rude when we only ordered water to drink. We had our meal and when it came time for dessert they were serving a special dessert for Princess's 50th anniversary. Three of us ordered the special dessert and my brother in law ordered cheesecake. The waiter look at him, rolled his eyes and looked away like he was upset he didn't order the special. We couldn't believe it. He brought the desserts but gave the cheesecake to the wrong person. After the waiter left my husband and brother in law switched their desserts to what they ordered and when the waiter saw that, he thought they had traded. After that experience we never went back to our dining room again. We went to the buffet for every meal and thoroughly enjoyed the waitstaff there. It seems like every meal we had someone coming to our table trying to sell something. Wine tasting, Irish coffee etc.
We feel communication was very lacking on this cruise. We went on a shore excursion on St.Thomas and left the ship by the forward exit. When we came back we walked to the forward entrance and were told we couldn't use that entrance but had to go back out and come back in using the midship entrance. They could have told us that before we walked to that entrance.
After several excursions we needed to get more money out of the ATM. They had two on board and neither one worked.
We thought this was all inclusive except for alcoholic drinks. No, we had to pay for soda. The only thing free was coffee, tea, water or lemonade.
Our cabin steward was very very nice and helpful. If we needed anything we just had to ask.