A nightmare at best
Coral Princess Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska
Sail Date: July 28, 2008
Cabin Type: Suite
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 8 years ago
Review SummaryI felt the overall condition of the Coral Princess was marginal for a cruise ship but perhaps acceptable for a cargo container vessel. The beds in our stateroom should have been replaced years ago. Between the lumps and low sections it was impossible to get a decent night's sleep. Finely I took the 4" mattress from the hide-a-bed and placed it on the floor, this solved some of the issues but should have been totally unnecessary, considering we paid $5,800 for a one weeks cruise. The deck chairs and rubber mat were covered with paint, obviously the painting crew haven't heard of using a drop cloth when using a tar bucked and broom to touch up the rust spots. Considering the fact 90%+ of the customers are from north America (U.S.A. & Canada), you would think the crew whould speak ENGLISH, some could manage a work or two, but for the most part we had to rely on hand signals or just take care of it ourselves. The food in the dinning rooms was one notch above marginal, which made it one notch above the waitpeople and staff. The food served at the buffet was about the same, but the waitpeople seemed to be "put out" buy having to pour coffee and juice, due in part because it interrupted their personal conversation with other crew members. I think it's wrong to add the gratuity for the cabin attendant to the bill, on a daily basis. This should be left up to the customer to determine the amount of the daily gratuity. Needless to say, it took the incentive out of the process and therefore the service was less than that experienced on other cruise lines. Speaking of gratuities, whenever a glass of wine was purchased, a gratuity was ALREADY included, but the bill had a predominate place for a second gratuity to be added. I find this practice to be very offensive - either allow the customer to made that decision or add the amount to the bill, as your currently doing, and eliminate the 'gratuity" line from the bill. There is much more, but I think you get the idea.
The person at cruiseonly, that booked our reservations, has no clue about customer service. Pam was very specific about all aspects of our reservation, but those specifics were lost in the translation. As an example, out return flight from Vancouver, Canada to Seattle, WA, a 40 minute flight, wasn't due to depart until 4 p.m., which was necessite a 9 hour wait from the time we could disembark the cruise ship. We ended up taking the bus from the pier to SEA-TAC, paying extra for this service due to the fact our confirmed and paid for airline tickets were non-refundable.
Three days before our scheduled departure, we received a telephone call from an employee of cruiseonly telling us we HAD to change our departure date to Saturday, leave from Seattle and return to Seattle, but we would be stopping in Victoria, B.C. and not be going all the way to Whittaker, Alaska. After several telephone calls, we finely found out this wasn't a mandatory change but an incentive due to the over booking of the Coral Princess for the 7/28/08 departure. This initial telephone call was very upsetting for a number of reasons, the most important of which was what were we suppose to do with our two dogs? The kennel that boards our animals was already booked, so we spent 2 hours on the phone attempting to secure accommodations for our dogs, with no luck. That's when we called cruiseonly back and it was determined this was a "special' offer, not a mandatory change. The emotional damage had already been done, the anticipated "fun" vacation was turning into the nightmare it was to become.
There is no way we would ever use cruiseonly or princess lines again. We'll rely on our travel agent to deal with this nonsense in the future.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Ports of Call
Pros: when it ended in Vancouver
Cons: Hard to say, between the poor condition of the vessel and the most of the crew