First and Last Time on Princess Line
Our first cruise experience was a disappointment. The Star Princess folks spent more time nickle-and-diming their guests than attending to their needs. The buffet, available throughout the day, was mediocre, the anytime "elegant" dining served up tiny portions. The Princess website identified great hamburger, pizza and ice cream shops, they turned out to be outside counters and not indoor locations. Traveling in Alaska is not the ideal time to stand at an outdoor counter waiting for a hamburger, that when provided, is already cold. The entertainment was not first-rate, it was ok if you had never seen a Broadway show or other more professional entertainment. Other than the Steward for our deck section, the staff was, at best, indifferent to the guests. During the upper deck mid ship departure celebration from Vancouver, with large crowds participating, I tripped over a lounge chair that was sitting in the middle of a crowd of celebrants (should have been secured before the celebration began). Bruised and bleeding, I went back to our stateroom where our Steward provided plastic bags containing ice to help with the wound. We went to the Medical Center and found it closed with a sign clearly stating that they would only deal with "medical emergencies" after hours. Not sure what to do, I called the Service Desk, explained that I was injured and asked for some direction as to what to do, the young lady at the Service Desk said that the Medical Center would reopen on Sunday at noon. She did not inquire as to the nature of my injury nor offer any other assistance. This was, for the most part, the type of "customer service" provided to guests throughout the cruise. Once on land at the Danali Resort and in the Westmark in Fairbanks, we had an opportunity to speak with other travelers who were on our cruise, they too felt that the Star Princess could have done a better job. Those who had taken other cruises said that we should not judge all cruises by the Star Princess experience. If you are thinking about a cruise, avoid the Princess and parent line Holland America.
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Stay away from Princess and/or their parent line Holland America, the "Walmart"' of cruise lines.