Ron n Jon,
Originally Posted by You
We had always considered the Grand Princess to be our most favoured ship of the fleet, having lost the Regal some time back. We have just returned from the Three Continents 20 day tour with the Grand Old Dame and we have to say she is showing her age in less than an elegant manner. With such neglect, we wonder if she is soon destined to follow the Regal.
During took my first cruise aboard MV Grand Princess
back in 1999, I was less than impressed. It seemed like very annoying deficiencies in her layout were everywhere, and her public spaces (including the atrium) had a claustrophobic feel that I never encountered on another vessel -- even aboard the much smaller MV Tahitian Princess
. This really surprised me, as MV Sun Princess
and her sisters on which I had cruised previously did not suffer from any of this. After two dozen cruises aboard a dozen different ships, she is the only ship to which I would prefer not to return. Indeed, while I continued to cruise with Princess, I steadfastly shunned all
of Princess's post-Panamax vessels because they seem to copy the defects that I found in MV Grand Princess
Originally Posted by You
The Princess arm of the Carnival Corp. can no longer apply their own business approach to what must be a dwindling market. According to senior service staff that we engaged in serious conversation, the Carnival bottom line concepts are now being applied to all subsidiaries. There has been a massive loss of Eastern European employees due to the weak American dollar vs the Euro. Carnival will not increase basic wages, which means less take home pay when converting to home currencies. The steadfast Philippine staffs that are replacing them are not faced with this dilemma but do have to deal with inflation. Moral is the looser in all this and it is showing up in every aspect of employee/customer relations as well as accommodation and upkeep.
Simply put, if "Princ'aval" continues to squeeze out every dollar in their nickel and dime approach to attract the "once in a lifetime" cruisers, they risk loosing those of us that see ourselves aboard their ships two, three or more times a year.
Princess "lost" me a long time ago. I was more than a little frustrated with the line's changes in policy ("Anytime Dining" in particular), the very noticeable adverse impact of the parent company's "Cost Reduction Programme," and the line's failure to enforce dress codes, and less than impressed with the decision to continue to build more ships that copied nearly all of the defects of MV Grand Princess
(yeah, it costs a lot money to have a new architect start from scratch...), so perhaps a change was due anyway. Nonetheless, the parent company's decision to merge operations with Carnival Corporation (they actually remain two distinct legal entities, one substantially American and the other British), which was having a series of major operational incidents symptomatic of inattention to safety, sanitation, and security and neglect of routine maintenance at the time, became the last straw. I decided to give Celebrity Cruises a try and found a line that was very similar to the Princess Cruises of the late 1990's that I liked.