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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2004, 02:38 PM
Michael A. Botey
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Default Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

PRINCESS LINES
‘Dawn Princess’
Cruise: October 14, 2004 to October 24, 2004.
Booking ID: DXCTGN Category: BC Stateroom: B629
Purpose of Letter: Commentary

Positive Inputs:

1. Good food. The menu was very diversified with good portions.
2. Embarkation was quick with very minimal wait.
3. The stateroom steward (Norman) was great. He made us feel at home.
4. The lady (Cynthia) that worked in the Illuminations(Crystals & Lladros) shop was extremely helpful and very nice. She deserves a pat in the back for her desire to serve the passengers.


Negative Inputs:

1. It took 5.5 hours to get our luggage to our stateroom.
2. The Vista Lounge had a foul odor upon entering. Later found out that a toilet had overflowed prior to the start of the cruise causing the problem. Nothing was done to correct the problem during the voyage.
3. Most of the on-board personnel were not friendly. It appeared that they were looking forward to the end of the trip.
4. During the voyage we discovered the reason for the cancellation of two of the ports- of-call. The ship lost an engine prior to the start of the cruise, thereby causing the ship to travel slower. In order to complete the voyage they decided to cancel two stops and stay less time in each of the four ports-of-call. Originally, they stated that the reason for cancellation was due to “operational reasons.” W learned that the ship is going to dry dock after this voyage.
5. The stateroom was very small. It only had one chair. This made it very difficult for two people.
6. The ship had too many people (2000) on board. This caused problems when trying to attend the daily shows. We were turned back at least twice due to the overcrowding. We solved this problem by going to the show 45 minutes early. There were quite a few complaints on this problem by the passengers.
7. The shops on board had the items overpriced with minimal merchandise.
8. Although they continually stated that we would start to disembark by 08:30 AM, they did not start till 09:30 AM. We were being picked up at the ship's dock. Our son had to wait till 11:00 AM to pick us up at the docking area.

CONCLUSION:

We have decided not to ever book a cruise on the Princess Line. The condition of the ship and the service generally provided by the staff, did not warrant the costs expended for this cruise. We travel on a cruise once a year.

Michael & Nancy Lee Bottey
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Sorry you had such a bad experience. I sailed on the Dawn in November 2003 and am going again in December 2004. I'm not sure when you booked, but when I planned my trip in June for December, it was already common knowledge that the Dawn was limping around without an engine and the drydock had already been scheduled. Now there is a rumor afoot that the engine requires a breaking in period and must travel slowly during this period. We are cruising after the drydock and in fact our cruise has been cut by two ports (Princess Cay - hurricane damage, and Isla Margarita - no hurricane damage there so the only reasonable answer is that the ship is traveling slowly) and our time in port has been cut as well. They gave us $150 per person onboard credit.

Sounds like a lot of things didn't suit you. Yes, the cabins are small and there is typically only one desk chair unless you have a minisuite. I'm aware of that already. I'm surprised they indicated you could disembark at 8:30. That time often varies depending on customs clearance, but I don't believe I've ever been off a ship before 9:15 at the earliest. It's too bad the ship was so crowded. I don't enjoy crowds or waiting in line to get into shows either. I'm not surprised that the merchandise was overpriced in the shops. That's been my experience on every cruise I've been on.

Did you get an onboard credit because of the missed ports? Was this your first Princess cruise? What other lines have you cruised?
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2004, 05:50 PM
LAUDER DALE
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

My wife and I were also aboard the Dawn Princess 10/14 ten day cruise to the Southern Caribbean and couldn't agree with your assessment more except for the food which while good was not up to the standards of our previous five cruises with Princess. A number of food items available on other Princess ships, some of our favorites, made no appearance on the Dawn menus or buffets. We had already seen almost all the major entertainment offerings before on other Princess ships and due to the number of repeated performances there were no more offering on this ten day cruise than on the normal 7 day cruises. The Cruise Director was not ready for prime time and should be assigned to a ferry boat somewhere in a remote area. We had endured him earlier as an assistant cruise director on another Princess Ship. Overall, with some notable exceptions, the crew was not as attentive to passengers as we had experienced in the past. I sensed a great deal of inexperience on the part of the service staff. As Platinum members we had complimentary use of the internet but with seven PC's available and two thousand passengers I will let you guess how often we were able to use this benefit. I hope this experience on the Dawn was unique to that ship and not representative of a diminishing quality of service on all Princess ships. I have been wondering if this decline in service may be attributed to Princess being taken over by Carnival Cruise Line ownership. One thing certain we will not be booking another cruise on the Dawn Princess although based on much better times on other Princess ships we will not give up on Princess, yet .. In any event this was the first time my wife and I were happy to see the end of a cruise. As loyal Princess cruisers we were more than a little disappointed. Thanks for reinforcing our assessment.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Let me see if I get this straight....

**** 1. It took 5.5 hours to get our luggage to our stateroom.

hmm...there is a full ship of passengers loading, I've had it later than that (Celebrity), but of course, I would have imagined that they would have noted that it was you and should have gotten it to you sooner.

**** 2. The Vista Lounge had a foul odor upon entering. Later found out that a toilet had overflowed prior to the start of the cruise causing the problem. Nothing was done to correct the problem during the voyage.

You mean to tell me that no cleaning was done during the week?

**** 3. Most of the on-board personnel were not friendly. It appeared that they were looking forward to the end of the trip.

Personnel respond many times to how they are treated and with the attitudes I've seen on the boards this fall, blaming the cruise line and staff for ports being missed (due to hurricanes) I'm sure they are frazzeled and would have been pleased to have had a ship of passengers who didn't treat them like servants.

**** 4. During the voyage we discovered the reason for the cancellation of two of the ports- of-call. The ship lost an engine prior to the start of the cruise, thereby causing the ship to travel slower. In order to complete the voyage they decided to cancel two stops and stay less time in each of the four ports-of-call. Originally, they stated that the reason for cancellation was due to “operational reasons.” W learned that the ship is going to dry dock after this voyage.

RESEARCH....RESEARCH....RESEARCH...RESEARCH...This has been commonly known.

**** 5. The stateroom was very small. It only had one chair. This made it very difficult for two people.

RESEARCH....RESEARCH....RESEARCH...RESEARCH - the size of the cabins is published and common knowledge, one should never go by pictures in brochures for size.

**** 6. The ship had too many people (2000) on board. This caused problems when trying to attend the daily shows. We were turned back at least twice due to the overcrowding. We solved this problem by going to the show 45 minutes early. There were quite a few complaints on this problem by the passengers.

RESEARCH....RESEARCH....RESEARCH...RESEARCH - so you think that Princess shouldn't have tried to sell as many cabins as the ship would hold? the ships max capacity is known too!

**** 7. The shops on board had the items overpriced with minimal merchandise.

So, don't buy it...

**** 8. Although they continually stated that we would start to disembark by 08:30 AM, they did not start till 09:30 AM. We were being picked up at the ship's dock. Our son had to wait till 11:00 AM to pick us up at the docking area.

CUSTOMS...

Never to book another Princess cruise again, condition of the ship?

Excuse me...I was on the Dawn in July, it was in fine shape.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2004, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Interesting...just read on another board a post by someone who is currently on the Dawn and is commenting what a great time they having and what great condition the ship is in.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2004, 07:36 PM
Michael A. Botey
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Default Re: Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Your continous assestment on "Research" makes it sound that everything is totally explained prior to the cruise. Were you on this cruise? Do you support a foul odor on one of the entertainment lounges? Are you employed by this cruise line?

I would certainly would be happy to discuss with you the difficulties on this cruise if your answer to the question is that you were also on the cruise.

Simply, it is my perogative not to partake in the future with a company that does not provide full service to its customers. It is also your perogative to accept whatever they offer to you both in research and service.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2004, 08:08 PM
Michael A. Botey
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Default Re: Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

It is also interesting that you say that someone on the ship presently has commented what a great cruise. We were told by some of the crew on the ship (our steward and the young lady that worked in Illuminations that the ship was going to drydock after October 24.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old October 30th, 2004, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Michael, everything I referred in 'RESEARCH' is absolutely true.

Room size, size of ship etc is all able to be obtained by research, passengers shouldn't try to blame the cruise line for their lack of initiative on finding out exactly what they are getting themselves into. But then again, they wouldn't be able to get something out of the cruise line, like most of the passengers this fall have been trying to do.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old October 30th, 2004, 07:31 AM
LAUDER DALE
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Given a choice between someone who has done his research and someone who has been there I'll take the latter every time. As a passenger on the same cruise I can attest that his evaluation of the experience was on the mark and in fact was not as critical as it could have been. For one thing the foul odor in the Vista Lounge was never corrected for the whole voyage yet they used this facility not only for shows and bingo but as a muster station, the site of the Captain Circle parties, as well as the debarking lounge for Platinum and Elite member passengers. I was interested to learn what he had been told was the problem as there was no upfront explanation given to passengers and some were reluctant to attend events in this venue because of potential health concerns. I assumed it was a bad case of mold. I have enjoyed every Princess cruise I have taken in the past and will take another but this one has to be seen as a glaring exception and no amount of research will change that. . Sometimes even the best players with the highest batting averages strike out. Despite your insinuation I noted nothing in his critique and comments that implied he was trying to extort the cruise line out of any benefits. He simply stated he would not be looking at Princess for another cruise vacation and if this had been my first experience with Princess I believe I would have felt the same way. I would hope this message board would be open to criticisms as well as praise without recriminations. .
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old October 30th, 2004, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

The research was aimed at the comments about the room size, etc. As for 'having been there', I've sailed on Princess 30+ times, I've been there.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old October 30th, 2004, 12:38 PM
Michael A. Botey
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Default Re: Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

This is the final message for me on this topic: I do not want any benefits from this cruise line. Even if they were offered, I would reject any compensation. As far as I am concerned, this cruise line does not exist. There are too many other cruise lines that are concerned about their customers. Finally, I would have to say the extortion of money lies with the cruise line as apposed to the customer. They charge a significant amount and provide in-excusable service.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old October 30th, 2004, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Well, as mentioned above the Dawn Princess IS still at sea, docked in St. Thomas as we speak http://www.princess.com/bridgecams/ and the drydock is scheduled for November as it has been for some time.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old November 1st, 2004, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

We were on the Dawn for the trans Panama Canal crossing (15 days) just before the Oct. 4th cruise. You apparently boarded the ship the day we disembarked. There was a 'strange' odor at the entrance to the Vista Lounge the whole time we were on the ship. I won't say it was 'foul' - just strange and the further you went into the lounge the less you could smell it. We also were aware there was an engine problem, we also missed ports and spent less time in the ports we did make, but since we are more fans of cruising than being in port - that was okay with us. However, I think the cabin and wait staff were as warm and friendly and helpful as all other Princess cruises I have been on. I think the Cruise Director and his Staff (all of them) left a lot to be desired. They were very 'cocky' and seemed more interested in enjoying themselves than in inter-acting with the passengers. They seemed quite insincere in their dealings with the passengers. The entertainment was really bad - have seen so much better on other cruises. The food in the dining room was good (not great), the buffet was average (after all it's a buffet) - but the Sterling Steak House was excellent. It just doesn't seem right to have to pay more to get better food, but that seems to be the wave of the future - the specialty restaurants. Overall due mainly to the entertainment, it was not the best Princess cruise I have ever been on - but it certainly would not stop me from going on Princess again. However, if this trend towards the drop in quality for food and entertainment continues, I will certainly be looking for other cruise lines.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old November 1st, 2004, 12:06 PM
Stella
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

When exactly is the drydock scheduled, and how does one get this info?
We leave on the Dawn Nov 22, for 10 days; certainly hope the head gets cleaned by then
Curising is not for everybody, as the original poster proves
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old November 1st, 2004, 01:50 PM
cruiseryyc
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

CruiseAholic - agree with everything you said. Cabin size, number of passengers, etc. all can easily be found out prior booking a cruise. Foul order is another matter, however I would have just avoided going to that lounge which wouldn't be a hardship for me as I don't do the shows. Unfriendly cruise staff, I pay no attention to the cruise staff so don't if they're friendly or not. I was on the Dawn's inaugural cruise and will be on her again in May 2005 and I look forward to doing some comparisons.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old November 1st, 2004, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

cruiseryyc - I was on the Dawn (been on her 5 or so times) in July and absolutely loved her. Am scheduled for her again on May 23, 2005.

As far as cruise staff, on any ship/line, most are fairly into themselves and only doing what they have to do. Amazes me when they complain about how hard they work, not sure what they're doing, must be real tough to have to do 3 hours work a week!
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old November 2nd, 2004, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

I believe the Dawn's drydock starts 11/3/04 - tomorrow. You might try looking at the Dawn bridgecam on the www.princess.com site to follow it's progress.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old November 4th, 2004, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Stella don't you mean Nov 23, that is the day the ship sails, I too am on this cruise. I also got a 300 on board credit plus an additon credit for the cruise ports we are not stopping at which was a tota of $332.00
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old November 4th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

She is in dry dock right now as we speak.


http://www.cruise-addicts.com/camstation/cam10.php
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old November 6th, 2004, 06:36 PM
Stella
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Right you are, Stanley, both on the departure date, and the drydock..
Got our tix yesterday.
Interesting, I emailed my TA after I read about the drydock here, she called Princess, and they told her it had been in DD in Septmeber!
This must be time #2.
So, all should be well when we sail, we got the credits too, but I do like Isla margarita, sorry we are not stopping there this time.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old November 6th, 2004, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

Princess' customer service is notoriously clueless. The Dawn was certainly not in drydock at any time this year. I can't believe the misinformation given out by the Princess phone reps.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old November 8th, 2004, 03:36 PM
kk
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Default Re: Dawn Princess Cruise Commentary

This is pretty ridiculously inaccurate as far as events stated above.

I have beenon the day for 30 dyas out of 45 and the things stated above were just not true.

No toilet overflowed int he Vista Lounge. THere was a water leak in a pipe that had stagnant water in it in July. It spilled over into the wood and started the smell.

The dry dock did not start until 11/3. THis was known to all since June or July.

The engine did not just break. It broke before the AK season and the ports were cancelled in August. What exactly whould have been done? Princess did more than they needed to by giving $200 OBC/ person.

Delays in getting off the ship are not due to Princess... they are due to the US Government. Believe when I say it is much easy for Princess to have people off early than it is to have to wait.

FOr me, I found the crew onboard to be exceptional. THe food was average, but so are all the other mass cruise lines.

I have posted a full review on cruise critic if you want to hear another side to this story.

Kevin
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