We've been loyal Celebrity cruises for several years now but were very excited about our cruise from Tahiti in May. Although the islands were even more beautiful than we expected we were very disappointed with Princess and the service in general.
The first disappointment was that no one was at the ship to greet us or the other arriving passengers, after passing through the metal detector we were left to find our own way to our cabin. This set the theme for the entire cruise. My husband's luggage was lost, and while we understand that sometimes these things happens, the staff's "not our problem" attitude was difficult to swallow.
All of the little details that made our Celebrity cruises so lovely were absent - you don't realize how important they are until you miss them! Plastic dishes at the buffet, and poorly laid out food. Plastic surgical gloves on the serving staff, invisible entertainment staff, etc etc.
Here's something which is funny in the aftermath - I had an ear infection (all that snorkling!) and decided I better see the doctor. When I arrived the medical center was already filling up and the nurse? receptionist? asked each arrival in a loud voice "why are you here today?" and repeated the sometimes whispered response in an even louder voice "diarreah? There is a $60 consulation fee please have a seat!" It was pretty embarrrassing! The cheery doctor who saw me spent about 5 minutes asking me how my cruise was and telling me that when he and the officers read the comment cards at the end of the trip, they were shocked to see that people "listed pages and pages of minutia about their lamb chops being too cold and never said how much they all enjoyed the cruise". I listened in disbelief. Here's a clue Princess, PEOPLE CARE ABOUT THE DETAILS AND THEY ARE PAYING A LOT OF MONEY FOR THEM!!!
I can't say enough about the islands and the itinerary, what a beautiful part of the world, just not on a Princess ship.
I have thought about Tahiti several times on a few cruise lines. I keep hearing horror stories about the crew and staff. As for Princess, I think they bought that ship from REN and I hear it has a poor layout.