Very disappointing experience
Sail Date: July 01, 2009
Reviewed: 6 years ago
Traveled As: Couple
Room Type: Balcony
This was my fourth cruise in 9 years and my first on Princess. I previously cruised with Royal Caribbean. I was truly disappointed by this whole experience, beginning with the fact that I was put on a waiting list for dining and was assigned "anytime" dining, which I disliked immensely. This is a list of the issues that I and my boyfriend encountered on our trip:
1. The 4 cafes were always overcrowed and at times 3 of the 4 were closed at the same time leaving seating areas nearly impossible to find. Due to an injury that happened to me shortly before the trip I had to use a cane and had difficulty walking. When we did eventually find a table, I always had to "flag down" a wait staff to assist me with a beverage---not once was I ever approached automatically (unlike Royal Caribbean) in fact, on a number of occasions, I was completely ignored!
2. I know that saving of pool-side lounge chairs was prohibited, however, the deck attendants did nothing to stop this practice. Again, being incapaticated as I was, one day I saw a deck attendent carry 3 chairs from the level above the pool for one of the passengers who had requested them. When I approached him and said that it had already been FIVE days and I had never gotten a seat near the pool, that I was having difficulty walking (I visited the ship's doctor who was absolutely wonderful and prescribed pain medication for me) and would love if he could bring down a chair for me, his answer was this, "Sorry, you can find some empty chairs on the higher deck".
3. The Princess theater was extremely small for the number of passengers that were on board, again leading to "chair saving" and passengers dangerously sitting and standing on the steps. The entertainment was amateurish.
4. On an occasion where I was able to find seating in the pool area while my boyfriend went to the cafe to get lunch for me, I asked one of the wait staff if he could bring me a cup of tea. He said, "in a minute" and proceeded to the next table where he and a fellow Russian passenger had a lengthly conversation, until his supervisor came along and asked him to get back to work. I eventually got my cup of tea but felt like I wasn't worth his time or effort.
The one experience where I felt very special was the service I received from the stateroom attendant. She is to be commended for her outstanding customer service skills. Every night she had an ice pack ready for me to place on my injured knee. The cruise ship definitely need more employees like her.
The cruise ship and its ports were beautiful, however, customer service was truly lacking. I met and spoke with many other passengers who felt the same way and thought that Royal Caribbean truly catered to to total quality customer experience.
Pros: Ports were beautiful
Cons: just about everything