This was the first 7 day cruise that myself, my husband and four other guests experienced and our expectations were set high on the notion of Princess Cruises being one of the Premiere cruise lines in the world and the fact that Princess Cruises promotes Courtesy, Respect , and Unfailing in Service Excellence. This was a birthday cruise celebration for my husband, sister and aunt; all who’s birthdays took place during the week of the cruise. So as you can imagine we all were truly excited to be celebrating this time in our life with Princess Cruises.
When making the reservation on the phone with Princess cruise agent, the Balcony suite was given to another family member instead of my husband and when he addressed this with the agent she told him that the change could be completed on board with no problem. Wrong ! We were giving a dining time without knowledge. Why ?
When we get on board the drama unfolds, we explain the cabin mix up to the Purser's and was given the run around and was told to come back later. Couple hours later we went back to the desk and was given a TEMPORARY CABIN KEY and was told to come back the next day for a permanent key. (CRAZY) The temporary key didn't work, so we go back to the Purser’s office. The next morning we go back once again to the Purser's desk to pick up the permanent keys only to find my name is then mispelled on the key . In order to get that changed they need to see my passport. So back up to the room to get the passport to get it changed.
The dining plan was set for 6:00 pm by the agent which was way to early and so we tried to get that changed to 8:00pm with the head chef or Matre D who told us the only thing available was the Anytime dining. They promoted it as being the best plan on board you can eat anywhere at anytime. But we later found out that dining plan has limitations… you cannot eat at the Palm Restaurant onboard the Caribbean Princess. Therefore making us feel like we missed out on everything Princess had to offer like we were short changed. How is that the best plan if you cannot eat at all of the restaurants?
Getting back to our room, we still had the wrong luggage. So I asked the cabin attendant could he take this luggage to the right room because we initially had the wrong room. He told me no he would not Just Disrespectful.
My sister and aunt get to their room and their view is obstructed and all they can see out the window is a boat that they paid an upgraded fee for. They go down to the Purser’s office only to be rudely told by the lady manager on board that there was nothing that could be done. No apology, no I am sorry for your inconvenience, let me check and see what can be done, let us move you to a different room, upgrade you, downgrade you, refund your upgrade , give you a ships credit for shopping, spa treatments, dinner, pictures .. NOTHING!!!!. They even asked to be upgraded to a balcony suite and was denied to even pay the difference. I was shocked and appalled that this being , so we thought, one of the best of the best in the industry and simple elementary managerial skills were not even exercised!. We were all so disgusted at this point that we all were ready to get off the ship and we hadn’t even left the port yet. So my husband I went back to the Purser’s office again to speak to the manager who still did not make it right. The only thing she told us was that she would call us in the morning when something came available in which she did not. We never heard from that manager again throughout the whole entire seven days. Failing in Service Excellence!
As far as, the birthdays go nothing extra special was done for the three guests in our party.
On the last day of the cruise, we went to pick up our luggage on the Port in San Juan and a box that my brother had packed was busted and broken into. Souvenirs from all of the 6 ports that we had just visited were broken and cracked. It took forever for the Princess port agents to resolve the matter. We are still waiting for compensation for sentimental souvenirs that were inscribed. It was so embarrassing to have to experience this in front of everyone as we were leaving the port.
Overall, my expectations and image of Princess Cruises has changed. I thought we would come on board and be treated like royalty, or at least like a Princess/Prince. I thought we had chosen the best cruise in the industry. For this to have been our first family cruise together it was a horror show! I felt like I was being punked! I felt disrespected, humiliated and taken advantage of. I thought we would have the time of our life and leave talking highly of Princess and not be able to wait until the next cruise on Princess. All we heard from other guests at the ports were how happy they were with Royal Caribbean and how they loved it and wouldn’t dare try another cruise line because they were so happy with their cruise. I wish I could say the same. On my Princess cruise,… Princess Cruise Lines failed in all aspects of Courtesy, Respect, Understanding, Service Excellence