When I sailed Pacific Princess last summer some oof the crew had been with Princess before the Sitmar aquisition. They told me the following, very interesting story.
Sitmar was put up for sale because it was unionized and the pay scale was killing the line. Princess is not unionized. At the time of sale, the Sitmar officers tried to kill the deal by making passengers' cruise experience as uncomfortable as possible. They were not happy with the thought of becoming non unionized. I was on Sky Princess that summer and must say, they succeeded. It was the unhappiest crew I've ever sailed with. The British girls who were on the ship were covered with black and blue marks from being pinched, a very nasty Italian male habit which my daughter tells me no longer exists. Food was awful and was received ice cold. I never saw a smile from a cabin steward, bar waiter or dining room waiter. Restaurant owners in Alaska were ecstatic because when Sky Princess was in their town passengers poured off the ship to eat. One day we were on an elevator when it stopped. A lady in a walker approached the elevator. Just before she stepped in, one of the three former Sitmar officers in the elevator closed the door in her face. Then all three of them started to laugh. It chilled my blood. I posted this on the old AOL boards long before cruisemates existed. One of the board monitors told me that on the same ship the same year just before a Panama Canal cruise, the engineering officers leaving the ship had engineered a list in the ship that was unfixable until the ship was dry docked. The departing deck officers had stolen every copy of the Panama Canal charts. The captain was forced to go to a Holland America ship nearby to obtain copies of it. I stayed away from Princess for 12 years as a result of this cruise, formerly and again one of my favorite cruiseline. The Princess employee figured it took about 5 years for Princess to recover from the purchase of Sitmar. I never had a chance to sail it and in retrospect am glad I never did.