cruiseangel

cruiseangel
Cruise Director

Joined: 06/22/2013
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cruiseangel's Past Cruises

Grand Princess

January 2017 - Grand Princess to Mexico

Not what I expected from Princess

It was just an ok cruise. Best thing was the itinerary. Though 4 ports in a row is exhausting when you do an excursion in each port, we loved 3 (four if you count the day we left) sea days in a row. Great chance to relax. Loved all ports except maybe not Manzanillo . That was a very unpleasant excursion and port in general. All other ports were great and excursions too. The Ship in dire need of some TLC. Very shabby in areas. Angry about enormous fee tacked on for Serenity area. $40 a day just to be in the adults only quiet area!! Never on any ship had there been a charge for that! Not stated on their website description of the ship either. Food was well prepared but not variety. By end of 10 days was tired of the same thing everyday. Buffet food was never hot enough. Cold waffles with cold syrup! Yuk! Many other foods as well were cold. Wonderful desserts on Lido, but not in dining room. Why was that? Coffee very good, which is rare for cruise ships, so that was a plus. Also a plus, ate more salads because had good dressings. First time I found French dressing on a ship. Loved that. First formal night, menu was terrible. We are use to extra good food on formal nights. Second formal was good. Lobster night and Beef Wellington. Not a Lobster person, but husband enjoyed it. I would of preferred a good steak or Filet Mignon as we were use to on other ships. In general, feel they went cheap on food with a lot of chicken dishes. No milk in little cartons for breakfast and milk in pitchers was not cold. Even had meatloaf featured on a formal night! Seriously, not impressed. All the staff was very attentive and on top of things. Loved our dining room waiters. Room steward too did a very good job. But their superiors, specially in the food areas, hawked and scowled over them to the point they appeared nervous and didn't take time to chit chat or have fun with the passengers which happens on Carnival and keeps a fun comfortable air to things. I know Princess wants to come off as a little classier than Carnival, but I felt sorry for the employees that always had a hard watchful eye on them. We were bugged to death in the buffet area with every staff member trying to get us drinks or grab our dishes almost before we were done with them because they needed to appear busy at every moment. Room was smaller than usual, but did the job and bed was amazing comfortable. We were sad that there were no towel animals. Weird that we had no stairs by the set of elevators by our room. That annoyed us, because we often prefer taking stairs. Seemed unsafe as well. Entertainment was so-so. Singers and dancers were good, but not that many shows by them. Magician was amazing. A few shows we had to miss because they only offered one show and it was right during our late dining time. That annoyed us too. Karaoke was only for one hour a night and not every night. That is not near long enough for those who like Karaoke. Most ships dedicate on lounge for that and it lasts a few hours. Other house bands and singers around the ship were good and did a nice variety of music. Loved they had a country western night, but again, lasted a little over an hour! Why so short? I will say that although Princess caters to an older crowd, I was happy to see they had a decent amount of activities to do during the sea days. Most fun to do or watch. Didn't fault them for lack of pool activities because the weather wasn't good enough for that most the time. It was an older ship so the atrium and theater didn't have that wow factor of the newer ships, but had several nice lounges and we loved the back 3 deck area of the ship, which we didn't know till about day 4, was an adult only area, so that was nice. Although didn't have the nice cushioned chairs Serenity would of had. Some cushioned chairs in that area, but it was were the smokers hung out and stu nk in there. And it was dark for reading. Speaking of dark..Library was dumb. On a main hallway near atrium, with 3 walls, so completely open to the noise of the hallway and very dark inside. Much too dark to read or play board games. Useless to be used as a library. Back to dining experience...the dining room during our late dining was almost empty, yet we were put back in a tight corner by a large noisy table of 12 or more people. Because that table was so demanding, our table sometimes got our food slow. Not blaming the waiters. They did amazing considering what pressure they were under. And our fondness for John and Ronald, the waiters, is why we didn't ask to be moved to a different area. But honestly, we shouldn't of been there to start with since most tables were unused. Plus engine vibration was terrible where we were sitting. I think in the middle of the room or front area, that would not of been as bad. Again, we could of asked to move, but liked our waiters and didn't want to hurt their feelings. This was our first time on Princess and we have done pretty much every cruiseline. We were so excited to try Princess. We had always heard it was a step above all the rest. So very disappointed with what we experienced. We are trying to keep in mind it is a very old ship and maybe their newer ships would be better. But honestly, the Serenity policy alone would probably keep us from booking another cruise with them. They really need to eliminate or greatly reduce that fee or they may find others like us will go to other cruise lines. We cruise every year at least once a year, and I was hoping to be a loyal customer. We may give them another try in the future on a newer ship, but as of right now, I don't see it. Sticking to Celebrity or Carnival from now on.

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Celebrity Summit

June 2013 - Celebrity Summit to Bermuda

First time on Celebrity

Some things on this cruise were very good, other things, not so much. The good things first. Food and service in main dining room was excellent. Our stateroom was one of the nicest we've ever had, and attendant did an excellent job keep it clean. Most the nightly entertainment was very good. Now the bad. First day embarking set a bad tone right off the bat. Staff were not friendly and the port was icky. It is an older ship in need of some TLC, lots of things in disrepair. Two of three shower heads in Therapy pool area did not work. Hot tubs were barely lukewarm. Someone must of got sick in Therapy pool on day 4 or 5, and it was never cleaned out. Most of ship seemed understaffed and most staff not very friendly. They seemed stressed and overworked. Because of that, Lido deck buffet was terrible. You had to wait for someone to dish up your food, cafeteria style, instead of getting your own. Stations so far apart, food got cold, before you could eat it. Portions way too much or way too little. You'd wait in long line for ice cream and they would give you a tiny bit. And most of the time the soft serve machine was out of order. And coffee urns were forever empty. Entertainment was great except for their "star Broadway performance". I was so excited before the cruise, thinking we would see a boardway "play". We got a has-been woman, singing all by herself with a piano. Not impressed! My biggest complaint was, I have a condition that I take acupuncture for. The first time I discovered how much it helps, was on a Carnival cruise. I was in such pain and thought I'd try it. It worked like a miracle. I found someone at home and continued it. I paid a huge amount of money on this cruise to get acupuncture and was no help at all. He did something stupid with suction cups and used very few needles. I should of demanded my money back, but didn't. I regret that. All in all, I do not think we will book on Celebrity line again.

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cruiseangel's Tips

Mazatlan, Mexico - Pleasantly surprised. We were told it was a cartel town. It is not. Maybe in the mountains, local said. But in town felt very safe and people are very friendly. Had a great excursion. Seen the town, then went to Stone Island. Little beach place with a grass porch and great food and drinks. Got to ride horses and could of used beach stuff if wanted like banana boat, kayaks, snorkeling or 4 wheelers. Lots of fun. Well worth the price. We had a personal guide just for us and he made sure everything was as perfect as possible. Great guy. They did say we paid for 4 people when we only had 2, so have to find out why that is from cruiseonly excursions. I talked to someone before we left home and she said on the phone it was fixed and only should of been one booking for 2 people . Not 4. So hopefully that can easily be fixed. I will be upset if they charged me for 4 people when we were only 2
Grand Princess Grand Princess - Pick a different ship! At least until this one gets a major remodel. If you do go on it, keep your expectations low. Not the standards you'd expect for Princess.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Loved it. Nice people , lots to see. We had a great excursion . Cultural one and seen much of the city and lunch in the mountains at a tequila factory. No complaints.
Manzanillo, Mexico - Did not like. Too industrial. Major port for shipping and they would like to make it into tourism, but they have a long way to go for that to work. Terrible excursion with long bus ride to Columa. Did see couple neat things there. Ruins and a volcano. Lunch was pretty good. Our tour guide was terrible. Annoying and inappropriate at times. We did leave a complaint with the ship, as I'm sure most our bus did, but didn't push for money back, but probably should of. It was pretty awful. Guards with the big machine guns and mean faces were uncomfortable on the docks. Hard to tell if they were friends or foe. No desire to return to that port again. Definitely controlled by the Cartel there. Should of stayed on the ship
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - Loved it. Love the area. Love our whale watching tour. Seen several whales as they jumped out of the water not far from us. Had a great lunch on the dock and did some shopping. Felt safe and people were friendly enough. Not as friendly as other ports, but ok. Water taxi people little pushy and annoying, but other than that it was good.
San Francisco, California - We went 3 days early to see the city and liked it a lot. Lots to see. City felt safe. Lots of great public transportation. We rented a car, but shouldn't of. Parking very expensive. At least $12 minimum. Other than that, loved it. Would love to go back someday.
Celebrity Summit Celebrity Summit - Forgot to mention in review, we thought the illusionist was rude and condescending. He was not nice to a middle age man he brought on stage and made comments about a group of middle age women being unattractive. We thought he was so talented, but did not enjoy his show because of his personality.

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received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess

received a helpful vote on their Grand Princess cruise review - Not what I expected from Princess