We just returned from the Grand Princess - Baltic cruise. We loved the ship and had a fabulous time. We previously were on the Dawn Princess - southern Caribbean - in 2002. On Dawn Princess, we loved our cabin steward. He always greeted us with a smile and knew when we were there or out. Whenever we left our cabin, the room was straightened up. It got to a point that I would not leave without putting most things away first. But we loved that "being taken care of" feeling.
On our recent cruise on the Grand, our cabin steward was good, but only straightened up our room in the morning and turned down the bed in the evening. We rarely saw him.
Do you think this is a new Princess policy or would you attribute the differences we noticed to the particular cabin stewards?
Also, I remember the shows on the Dawn being much better than what we had on the Grand. Loved everything about the Grand, except the entertainment. Seriously, one night the main show was someone doing yoyo tricks. There were a few good shows, but when we were on the Dawn, they were all pretty good. Anyone else notice a difference here?
p.s. These are written as comments or questions, not gripes. We had a great time and look forward to cruising Princess again. Just wondering about the differences.
Glad to hear you had a nice time on your Baltic cruise. We havent done that one yet.
We haven't noticed any major changes in service. We are a bit concerned about our upcoming cruise on the Caribbean P for Thanksgiving. This will be our 1st Princess cruise since they "open the flood-gates" for unlimited children. And since this is a holiday cruise, I am a little nervous about the # of kids that will be onboard. The reason why we have stuck with Princess for 17 years, is because they had a small max of kids onboard (i think is was 150 total under 18), unlike Carnival, NCL, RCL ect. We love kids and our son (7) comes with us all the time now (his 7th cruise started at age 3) but we prefer not to have 600 or 700 kids running about.
I notice little differences from cruise to cruise. Sometimes the luck of the draw doesn't work in your favor. We had an incredible steward on our first cruise who always took time to stop and chat with us, in addition to doing a bang-up job. On our second, the steward was very competent and did a great job, but we rarely saw him. We've cruised several more times since then on Princess, and have mostly had very good stewards. We've had only one who didn't seem to want to do much more than what was absolutely necessary.
I can only comment on our first Princess cruise this past May. Our room steward was exceptional. It seemed he knew what we needed before we asked. He took time to always talk to us and wish us a great day. We were very satisfied with his service and filled out a comment card praising him. We also thought that the entire crew on the Golden were friendly people. We have cruised on other lines where some of the crew were not as friendly. We felt that the entertainment could be better but did have a few good shows. As stated before I'm not griping either just commenting. The cruise was wonderful and looking forward to our April one on the Sun Princess.
When did they open the flood gates on children? I thought Princess had a set amount, based on what they could accomodate in their kids clubs. Where did you see this information about breaking from this or is it only for holiday cruises?
I have noticed changes over time especially since they incorporated the automatic tipping. It is true they make most of their money from tips and now, they know they automatically get it. Yes, it can be removed from being automatically added but they do not know if you choose that. I found the service on cruises was much more personal and attentive before this change. Don't get me wrong, the service is still good but not spectacular like it used to be.
I agree that the service has changed a bit. I use to remember the minute I left my room for breakfast, they knew, or were waiting, and by the time I came back 10 am or so, the room use to be all made up. In the last trip, it was unmade until late morning. I still enjoyed the trip and can't wait to go back. But felt service was still good but slower..
It is luck of the draw as to whether you get a cabin steward who sucks up to get good( as in EXTRA) tips( which is what I think they are doing when they are always around to " chat" ) . They see some of you coming.
I want my cabin clean, I do not want or need to " bond " with the staff.
We cruised on the Grand in 99, and on the Golden just this last April, service was excellant on both cruises.
As to Leslis post, I do in fact recall reading that the staff do in fact know if you have removed the automatic tipping. So don't count of being anoy.
I think that sometimes bad service is in the eye of the beholder.
I do not think we are talking about bad service on the Princess. Just that it is not what it used to be. The service is still a whole lot better than what we experienced on Carnival, but not as wonderful as it used to be. Yes, service is probably more important to some people than others, but for me, it is one of the joys of cruising.
Thanks for the info on the tipping, PG. I did not know they would know if you removed the automatic tipping. The service is not bad by any means just not as good as it used to be. I happen to be one of those people who likes to get to know my waiter and think it is neat when they can remember some of your preferences. I've been cruising since the early 80s and it just isn't like it used to be. I still love going though.
>Princess changed their limited children to unlimited children in time for spring break 2004. Other than holiday times, she said the change isn't very noticable.<
I can understand them allowing more on break and holiday sailings, however, I hope they have enough activities and space to keep them all occupied. That was an advantage of taking a Princess cruise with children was that they were occupied so the parents could enjoy themselves and not worry about where they were and what they were doing. If they overwhelm the kids club capacity, kids will be roaming the ships during break and holiday times. Kids will be kids but the previous arrangement resulted in both the kids and the parents having a good time. Bottom line is that the parents need to control their kids so that everyone has an enjoyable voyage.