Contributor Level: Cruise Director

Review by ArisStambolian

Terrible experience,

In response to review, CrusinTim says ...

My questions are if you had either anytime dining or assigned seating. With a request such as yours, did you confirm with the Maitre'd upon boarding to confirm your request? Did you advise Princess prior to the cruise of this special request?  When we sailed on the Caribbean Princess this past April, the dining room staff was MORE than accommodating at all meals to include our breakfast seatings where we requested to be seated at a table for two and they were more than happy to oblige.

Tags: Princess Cruises Europe - Northern Europe Caribbean Princess

8 Answers

Contributor Level: Third Mate

We had assigned table. The request was done during booking, followed request  by my travel agent as well as I met the head waiter upon boarding.

We did what had to be done on our part!!!!


Contributor Level: Captain

Thank you for posting your review. It is unfortunate that you had a negative experience. This is so different from any of our past experiences that I cannot even relate. I hope your future cruises work out better.


Contributor Level: Captain

 Thank you for your review. I am so sorry you had this happen. In my time cruising I have only had a problem with one Maitre d'/head waiter. I addressed my issue with the Hotel manager when the Maitre d' ignored me and lied to my wife. The issue was taken care of. Sounds like Princess failed you.

Contributor Level: Captain

Tracy Spider says: "Ridiculous. Went on this ship in June. Easy enough to arrange the same table every night on anytime dining and the ship was full. Perhaps attitude was an issue here?" 

I don't regard the O.P. post as "ridiculous" at all Tracy. Tracy gets:  "the same table every night on anytime dining and the ship was full."  Over the last 10 months we have been on two Princess cruises, both booked solid, on the Royal and the Coral. We go the "anytime dining" route as well. What Tracy experienced is very very far from what we experienced, in fact it was impossible for one to receive that sort of seating treatment on the Coral that he did, in summation, our experience was:  "There has been a distinct degradation in both service and meal quality on our last two Princess cruises, taken within the last year, particularly the last voyage on the Coral in January."  

It might have been slightly better if we went traditional seating, been there done that for years and dislike it for a variety of reasons, one of which is we hate being relegated to eating at either 5:30 PM or 7:45 PM., even if we secure a table for two. We usually try to get there by 6:30 using anytime dining. 

Wait times aren't a problem for us, rather, trying to eat dinner in the MDR on the Coral this time was the lack of service and poor quality meals. As a for instance, years ago there used to be a sommelier to take your wine order immediately after being seated, this practice gave way to no sommelier--instead head waiters were given extra training in wine selection, then that gave way to what you experience now on Princess, wine only if you are lucky enough to get someone's attention and if so, forget about ordering a bottle to be carried over for the following evening, they will lose it almost for certain in the maze. After being seated in the MDR, you sit there waiting and watching a harried flurry of activity by the understaffed help, forging a sad and losing battle trying to keep up. My gosh, dressing up in a tux on formal nights, which we love to do, and trying to dine in an atmosphere like that is an absolute joke.

Tracy says, "Perhaps attitude was an issue here?"  We have cruised on Princess since 1990 and over the next 2.5 months have two more Princess cruises booked for a total of over 7 weeks including a TA. I assure you, attitude is not a factor in my critical judgements here, as a Captain Circle Elite. 

Matter of fact, this post is about the Caribbean Princess, which we will be on in October, stay tuned.

Contributor Level: Admiral


I have been on only one cruise with Princess.  It went very well but embarkation was so long for us that I was never interested in re-booking.  It wasn't so much the long wait.  It was that they kept bringing others over from other lines to the head of our long line that bothered me.  I guess since this was our first cruise with them, others got preference.

My husband has special diet restrictions.  He calls the cruise line ahead of time for them to note it on our booking  On boarding, he goes as soon as possible to the MDR to confirm it with the staff.  If he can, he talks with the chef, also who prepares his meals. Many ship designate a chef to prepare the special diet meals.   Only once did he have a problem when we sat in a different section during lunch. He had to go up to the buffet and eat there instead.   We always do Flex Dining and 99% of the time even get the same table.

I don't blame you for being upset that your wife's needs were not met by Princess.  Did you consider dining in a speciality restaurant?  I hope that your next cruise goes smoother for your wife.


Contributor Level: Third Mate

Thank you, We hope so!


Contributor Level: Captain

So sorry you had such a bad experience.  It really seems that something could have been worked out to seat you at another location.  As I pack my bags for a princess cruise in 6 short days I hope for the best.  

Contributor Level: Captain

Fresh off of the Regal Princess, yesterday morning, after over three week on her. Good cruise. With regard to the MDR, I said this in my review: "The Coral experience was so bad we stayed away from the MDR on the Regal (by using specialty restaurants, the buffet and Alfredo's) until about a week into the cruise. Maybe because we expected the worst we were pleasantly surprised when we finally did go there. On the Coral the MDR was beset with a myriad of problems due to both understaffed kitchen and service personnel. Food quality was significantly better on the Regal and the waiter staff didn't appear to be so harried and disorganized."

However, with this post in mind, Quote, Tracy Spider:  "Ridiculous. Went on this ship in June. Easy enough to arrange the same table every night on anytime dining and the ship was full. Perhaps attitude was an issue here?" I looked into Spider's claim in depth. I determined that Spider must have made a mistake in posting and meant to say "traditional" not "anytime". As what he claims here is almost impossible to achieve under the best of circumstances in the MDR and the cruise line promises nothing of the sort.  


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