Just returned from 10 days, the "abbreviated" trip with Princess Cay and Isla Margarita removed.
There was a real boondoggle in Curacao: we arrived late (mid-day), time in port was short, and disembarking was very slow. Passenger tempers were flaring, but it apparently could not have been helped, given all the factors.
Whatever the reason (new engine, old engine, "operational reasons"), we traveled slower than normal, and this combined with friendly seas and cooperative weather, made the sailing very smooth.
The ship was very clean, tho no new finishes (furniture,carpet, drapes, spreads, etc) were noted in the cabins or public areas.
There were decorating for Christmas the day we left, so it should be lovely.
Our cabin steward was exceptional, and the food service staff (we chose Anytime Dining) were knowledgable and professional.
Our family group of 6 had a wonderful time, no complaints except the weak coffee (very typical at sea, all lines), but there were indeesd the usual few on board who complaind bitterly about everything. That's human nature, some folks are just not happy with anything. We'll see if any of them show up here.
Have a wonderful time.
IMHO, Celebrity is tops. You will notice subtle revenue generating differences for example an ice cream stop (read vendor) by the pool selling Ice Cream, rather than readily available for free, as on Celebrity.
Charge for drinks at the Captain's party, rather than free.
Public area Artworks are not quite so impressive on Princess ships
Food is good and all freshly prepared on Princess, but Celebrity has all those marvelous breads...
Cabins on Princess are the smallest of all the 'big" lines.
You wll find the service quite good, and seemingly sincere. They levy a $10 day charge to be distributed to staff, this may be why it is consistanly good.
There are positives and negatives to all the lines. Don't be concerned, and relax and enjoy. You won't be disapointed, and it's fun to see how different lines do things.
No such thing as a bad time on a cruise!
Do NOT miss the food demonstration and the galley tour. It is like nothing you have ever seen (I won't give it away, just go!). Excellent (but pricy) computer classes, if you are interested.
Did not go to either the general or the Captain Club party this trip, but several years back on the Sun Princess (now moved to P&O) it was $ 1 for either a whiskey sour or a glass of champagn at the captain's reception. That "nickle and dime" attitude offended us, so we stopped going to them on Princess.
That was directly after 9/11, perhaps it was a short term revenue generating attempt that they have now stopped.
Plus, I suppose your 10 cruises gets you to a status where many of these charges to the general public are waived.
My first and last with Princess. I am sorry I will stick with Celebrity and RCCL. The service was good and that is all. The smell of raw sewage still exsist on this ship. I called down to aske what the horrible smell was, they told me they would send someone to check, and no one ever came. Food was ok, nothing to write home about. They nickle and dime you for everything. I never saw the captain, I don't know about anyone else. On a scale of 1-10 I would give this particular ship a 3 star. Others may be better. There is a lot of elderly people but they were nice.
Cruisers beware Princess has cancelled two ports of call from their 10 day southern Caribbean cruise Isla Margarits and Princess Cays with out compensation to passengers or adding other ports of call this is at least the second 10 days southern cruise this has happened
Stella ,they do not charge for drinks at the Captain party, and it has nothing to do with how many cruiss you have been on. I personally had two free drinks , and we have only been on Princess twice. . both times within the last 5 years.
It does seem that the Dawn is having more then its fair share of complaints, I wonder what is going on.
We have enjoyed our two Princess cruises, they were on the Golden and the Grand , and they do sound much better then what I have heard about the Dawn.,
BTW as for cabin size the older RCCL ships had tiny cabins. I think it when comparing line to line, one should consider the differences between ships of the same line.
Mailbox, sorry you had a bad experience, but I hardly think one cruise makes you an expert on Princess. Yes apparently the Dawn is having trouble, but Princess has many other ships that get great review consistantly.
Your last post is a bit cavemanish, was there nothing good about your cruise?
i am booked on the dec 30th dawn and have also spoken to a number of people who just came off and felt the ship and princess has really gone down hill since carnival bought them. also other princess ships that i have been on in last year and a half havent been same standards. if this cruise wasnt so cheap, and convenient to where i live, i would have never gone on princess again.
Strange on other boards there are no complaints about the resent Dawn sailings except the port and slowness issues which are related....no problems with food, service or other ship related issues..GO HAVE FUN....
Don' t let one persons bad experience ruin the trip for you....
Will we ever know th real reason for th cancelled port?? I doubt it..Princess Cays is a story of its own.
I had a fine experience and a fine trip. Just because I think that Princess doesn't do a very good job and that Celebrity is a much better product, doesn't make me wrong or right. Is this board about the truth the way the people comming off the ships see it or shall we brush the truth aside, and blind side the people ready to book or board the ship.
just to add a few comments, i have spoken to about 25 people that were on recent dawn princess cruises in last month or so, and one of the things that really has upset them, is they feel princess wasnt upfront about ship problems with engines , etc, before hand and just used the explanation operational issues. the problem that bothers me and others, is that many people are savvy cruisers and could see through that once on the ship,with regard to the way the ship performs so forth, in addition princess should have at least advised agents and therefore passengers of these issues with the engine and the likely possibilities of port cancellations. modifications, much earlier than the last week or two of their cruise dates, , since this problem has been ongoing since at least oct, and princess knew of continuing potential problems. also, these passengers stated that the service , food , entertainment has drastically dropped from their previous cruises, so there are other issues with quality lately on this particualr ship and maybe others in their fleet in the recnt past.
We are sailing on the Grand Princess in a few months. Being first time Princess cruisers, I am getting concerned by all that I am hearing. We are trying Princess for a more relaxed cruise. We don't do Captain's parties, or bar hop. We like to spend out days at sea at poolside with a frozen drink in hand, listening to some wonderful cruise muisic. We our on the Carib deck BA balcony so I am not too concerned with room size. Our only problem with Carnival was feeling very crowded in public areas. Anyone notice problems with crowds on the Grand?
Hi...just returned from Caribbean Princess...6 cruises with Princess and 3 with Celebrity.
Princess made the Grand bigger by adding a deck...3,100 PAX...making seating in the Princess Theatre impossible...Dec. 11th. cruise...almost a fist fight over seating...no joke....even with other venues...also filled to overflowing...terrible planning, unless they figured most people would be on deck seeing the outdoor movies.
The outside cabins on Plaza deck could not occomodate the bed being made into a queen without one side being up against the wall...you would have to crawl over your partner. They had to separate the bed into twins...so much for the love boat!
We loved Princess...but are slowly turning to Celebrity...especially after a great cruise in Sept. on Zenith.
Princess...wake-up...larger boats...more PAX...less seating, less cabin...eventually...less cruisers.
Seriously, we have done the Grand and the Golden and enjoyed them both, Nanni, don't worry youwill have a great cruise. I do think those cruising on the Dawn should perhaps have a few queries about the ship.
nanni, i have been on the grand several times, no problem, she isnt like the dawn with those issues. you will have a great time, grand is rt size and has plenty od space and things to do , so dont worry.
I was on that 10 day cruise on Dawn which ended on Dec. 3. I am a many times cruiser and I agree that there were some problems on the Dawn. However as to cancellations of ports, my travel agent informed me of this several weeks before sailing and of the $200 shipboard credit for each of us. Maybe, those who didn't get advised properly did not have a travel agent or at least a good one!. Dawn was late leaving Ft. Lauderdale and also seemed to have trouble arriving at the other ports on time. The Captain was the unfriendliest one I have ever met. No personality at all. At the first of the week, the staff (with the exception of our excellent steward) couldn't seem to get along with each other! I sort of thought they might be in training or were being punished by serving on the Dawn. But, with the exception of that one very rough day when the stabilizers weren't working at all, everything settled down and I actually had a very good time. As I have cruised 20+ times, on Princess as well as other lines, I wasn't disappointed because there have been some differences on all of them. If it had been my first cruise ever, I might have been disappointed, but then again, maybe not, because as first timers one hardly knows what to expect. On a scale of 1 - 10, this was probably a 4 or 5, but again the weather was wonderful, the food okay, and as I had been to those ports before, I enjoyed the days at sea.