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Old May 4th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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Default The Once Grand Princess

We had always considered the Grand Princess to be our most favoured ship of the fleet, having lost the Regal some time back. We have just returned from the Three Continents 20 day tour with the Grand Old Dame and we have to say she is showing her age in less than an elegant manner. With such neglect, we wonder if she is soon destined to follow the Regal.

The Princess arm of the Carnival Corp. can no longer apply their own business approach to what must be a dwindling market. According to senior service staff that we engaged in serious conversation, the Carnival bottom line concepts are now being applied to all subsidiaries. There has been a massive loss of Eastern European employees due to the weak American dollar vs the Euro. Carnival will not increase basic wages, which means less take home pay when converting to home currencies. The steadfast Philippine staffs that are replacing them are not faced with this dilemma but do have to deal with inflation. Moral is the looser in all this and it is showing up in every aspect of employee/customer relations as well as accommodation and upkeep.

Simply put, if "Princ'aval" continues to squeeze out every dollar in their nickel and dime approach to attract the "once in a lifetime" cruisers, they risk loosing those of us that see ourselves aboard their ships two, three or more times a year.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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I was on this ship, her first year, and although we had a wonderful cruise, we never liked the layout of this ship or her sister the Golden, when we sailed her a few years later. While beautifully appointed, many thought this same way.

It's tough to get old, in human years she is still a kid, while in ship years, she is a grand dame....

I can only imagine how the economy has effected so many onboard, it's a shame to hear people are leaving due to it, but I hope things turn around soon

What ports did you visit?
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Old May 5th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip

What ports did you visit?
We sailed out of Fort Lauderdale for Dominica, Devils Island (although we could not tender due to rough seas) on to Fortaleza, Brazil, crossing the Southern Atlantic to Africa and Dakar Senegal, up the coast to Casablanca and on to Gibraltar, Cannes, Livorno and finally Rome. There were 11 days at sea so we had ample time to experience the noted decline of this vessel. I think the crowning insult to her had to be the new china introduced two days before disembarkation. The old familiar floral design china was replaced with a plain white cafeteria type, one step removed from Corell. We tried to obtain a piece of the old standby for posterity but were not able to. This change will take effect on all of Princess' vessels we understand.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 07:29 PM
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It does seem a shame when the last vestages of beautiful dining removed, I am sorry to hear that..

Your itinerary was spectacular, and nice to spend so many sea days on an old friend...
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Default Ron n Jon

I hope you enjoyed your itinerary despite your other displeasures.

This is disappointing news, as we are sailing on the Grand in February.

Unfortunately, the "bottom line" is the main concern of any large corporation. You know what always flows downhill.... which affects the employees, service, and costs passed on to the paying customer.

From what I've read about other lines, they are all following suit in one form or another with the "nickel and dime" approach to boost revenue.

I agree that this trend may reveal their loss of customers who cruise multiple times a year.

(A bit off-topic, but I think cruise lines should do more for repeat customers in the way of reduced cruise fares, rather than some of the perks they offer. For example, I would rather have an on-board credit that I could spend any way I wished on the ship, rather than have a credit toward internet access. I want to get away from phones & internet while I'm on vacation.)

Can you be more specific in other negatives you noticed with the ship?

I'm hoping you have a list of positives, too.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Ron n Jon

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelBugs
Can you be more specific in other negatives you noticed with the ship?
I'm hoping you have a list of positives, too.
While some of my comments might indicate that my posting should have been placed under Gripes, that was not the intent. There is a general malaise that is taking hold of the travel industry as a whole and the cruise industry specifically. Obviously costs and bottom line is the culprit. If staff is not rewarded proportionally to their efforts then why should they make any effort beyond what they considered their bottom line. With the loss of so many European staff, it becomes obvious that any discipline administered could only lead to more staff losses and therefore must be a last resort. The 'tipping' system has been self-defeating in an expectation without even standard service. And if $579 won't get new passengers aboard, then how about $499? Cut the difference by increasing workload, cuts in menu, cuts in portions, smaller glasses, cheaper dishes and even linen laundry.

Employee dissatisfaction is destroying the elegance of sea travel and a good example might be in being treated at the Pursers' desk in a manner befitting a night clerk in a fleabag hotel. We have never experienced such hostility from behind that desk before to our most rudimenty enquiries. When we encounter a public washroom so soiled that we felt that should we not report it, it will just remain that way. Are there no inspections? The request to have the cocktail lounge music lowered from a volume so high we could not hear one another speak was met by cruise director staff as not being their responsibility. We abandoned the lounge altogether.

I will be accused of being a snob in this but when the clientele representing the $499 price tag can no longer afford to come aboard, for they are the first to experience the hardships of a recession, who then will the cruise industry look to to fill their staterooms? The damage will have been done.

As to the latter point, and you may find this strange, we would consider this previous cruise one of our best. The ports of call in conjunction with a vibrantly social passenger list made for the best of times but good times of our own making. Many employees did their job successfully. Unlike the long lines at the Purser's desk on the final evening, presumably cancelling tips, we never have and will never do this but instead match almost this full amount again with our concept of gratuities to those who have most deserved it, fewer though they may have become.

OUR BOTTOM LINE: Pay the employees a decent wage so that their jobs are treasured and charge a fair and consistently representitive fare for the good services that such wages will produce.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:41 PM
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Old May 7th, 2008, 11:26 PM
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We're going on the Grand in October to the Mediterranean for our honeymoon. It's the first "real" cruise for both of us and we're really looking forward to it. However, this thread is making me a little worried. I hope it's as beautiful as we're hoping. Having never seen the ship before now, we may love it. We really have nothing to compare it to. So, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 01:35 PM
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Our first cruise was on the Sky Princess. We thought she was from heaven she was so beautiful. Princess thought otherwise and sold her immediately thereafter.

I hope you can appreciate that our critique was on a comparative bases, things that had changed since we were last aboard. "Now in our day..." may sums it up.

As you board her you will love her no less so than we did when we first sailed her. She's not what she once was but then who or what is. Enjoy your Grand Princess cruise and best wishes to you both
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Old May 9th, 2008, 02:25 AM
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I hope the cruise line will pay the staff and maintain there level of great service. My wife and I just love Princess Cruise Lines. Our first cruise was on the Regal, and she is gone now, but we had a great trip to Alaska.

The newest we have been on is the Emerald, and she is a mega ship, with a small ship flair. Prices are going up, but I hope the industry will do what ever it takes to keep customers coming back for more.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: The Once Grand Princess

Ron n Jon,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
We had always considered the Grand Princess to be our most favoured ship of the fleet, having lost the Regal some time back. We have just returned from the Three Continents 20 day tour with the Grand Old Dame and we have to say she is showing her age in less than an elegant manner. With such neglect, we wonder if she is soon destined to follow the Regal.
Hmmm....

During took my first cruise aboard MV Grand Princess back in 1999, I was less than impressed. It seemed like very annoying deficiencies in her layout were everywhere, and her public spaces (including the atrium) had a claustrophobic feel that I never encountered on another vessel -- even aboard the much smaller MV Tahitian Princess. This really surprised me, as MV Sun Princess and her sisters on which I had cruised previously did not suffer from any of this. After two dozen cruises aboard a dozen different ships, she is the only ship to which I would prefer not to return. Indeed, while I continued to cruise with Princess, I steadfastly shunned all of Princess's post-Panamax vessels because they seem to copy the defects that I found in MV Grand Princess!

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
The Princess arm of the Carnival Corp. can no longer apply their own business approach to what must be a dwindling market. According to senior service staff that we engaged in serious conversation, the Carnival bottom line concepts are now being applied to all subsidiaries. There has been a massive loss of Eastern European employees due to the weak American dollar vs the Euro. Carnival will not increase basic wages, which means less take home pay when converting to home currencies. The steadfast Philippine staffs that are replacing them are not faced with this dilemma but do have to deal with inflation. Moral is the looser in all this and it is showing up in every aspect of employee/customer relations as well as accommodation and upkeep.

Simply put, if "Princ'aval" continues to squeeze out every dollar in their nickel and dime approach to attract the "once in a lifetime" cruisers, they risk loosing those of us that see ourselves aboard their ships two, three or more times a year.
Princess "lost" me a long time ago. I was more than a little frustrated with the line's changes in policy ("Anytime Dining" in particular), the very noticeable adverse impact of the parent company's "Cost Reduction Programme," and the line's failure to enforce dress codes, and less than impressed with the decision to continue to build more ships that copied nearly all of the defects of MV Grand Princess (yeah, it costs a lot money to have a new architect start from scratch...), so perhaps a change was due anyway. Nonetheless, the parent company's decision to merge operations with Carnival Corporation (they actually remain two distinct legal entities, one substantially American and the other British), which was having a series of major operational incidents symptomatic of inattention to safety, sanitation, and security and neglect of routine maintenance at the time, became the last straw. I decided to give Celebrity Cruises a try and found a line that was very similar to the Princess Cruises of the late 1990's that I liked.

Norm.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 10:37 PM
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The Grand, Golden, Star, Diamond, and Sapphire are all similar in design and hold about 2600 passengers. The newer Princess ships - Emerald, Ruby, Caribbean, etc. have added an extra deck of cabins resulting in about 3100 people on ships that are otherwise the same design as the Grand class.

Therefore the Grand class ships will provide a beter experience that the more crowded newer Princess ships.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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To Norm (Rev22:11)

As you have indicated and as we loose these treasured amenities and customs aboard the Princess Line there are alternatives.

We tried Oceania for two cruise, one around the Horn and the second up the Amazon to Manaus both lengthy adventures. But again one must weigh the pros and cons in finding an alternative. Both Oceania's Insignia as well as the Regatta were wonderful smaller ships. Their sumptuous decor is as one can imagine sailing in the days of White Star, beautifully appointed and impeccably clean. We spent the most relaxing of times in their elegant traditional Victorian library.

Unfortunately, with this came such things as the total loss of formal nights, no set dinner seating and unacceptable bar service (another posting). One pays a premium price for Oceania, and their ships and itineraries warrant that, but the loss of the traditional social deportment is a disappointment. Again, a world of choices.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Default It's all about profit$$$

I started sailing Celebrity when they only had three ships, all under 50,000 GRT.
The service and food was superior and the soda's, specalty coffee's were inclusive.

Remember, these cruise lines are structored to cater to the masses.
The ships are larger and the perdium cost are consistant to the economic
markets.
Example: The cruise lines are setting PERDIUM around $140 per person based on double occupancy for European cruises for a inside cabin, the same ship will have set base perdium around $100 per person in the Caribbean.
The point being, Operational cost are secured through contracts with venders. All food/supplies involved in the operations are calculated and the labor cost is now secured with the implament of hotel charges on the ship board accounts.
Exception to the rule. Alaska. Being the season is between May through September, The cruise lines can extract a increased perdium. Reason. Alaska requires the Cruise companies permits for entry, they are limited.
It's the supply in demand.
I don't know if you remember, but a few years back, a class action suit was filed against A-CRUISE line for using the funds collected for PORT FEES and GOVERNMENT taxes. The Class action suit set new standards and changed rules and regulations on everything from Passenger contracts to Supplemental surcharges.
Fact, Check your passenger contract: You may find that your agreement includes where and how you can file a suit against a cruise line.
You will find that the Cruise line reserves the right to cancel your reservation if you make changes/corrections on your own name on a passenger boarding pass. They MAY charge at there discreation for a new booking at prevailing charges for a cabin.

I am sure that the new fuel surcharges also will allow for increased FOOD cost, Being they have been increased twice sence 2007 on most major cruise lines.
Point being a ship with 2,500 passengers paying $7 per day for 7-days equates to $122,500.00 dollars for fuel surcharges.
a 7-day cruise at 24 hours per day is 168 hours the motors are in operation.
168 hours devided into $122,500.00 = $1,371 per hour for fuel consumption.
Modern electronics on the ships monitor fuel consumption and identify range and speed usage per gallon.
I would imagine that the cruise lines will soon if not already use supplied power/water from the ports of call and tie the cost into the ports fees (possible Increase) and still keep the fuel surcharges at elevated rates.
This would allow the major Corporation to comply with the Government requirements for additional taxes and fees that are taxed to the consumer.

I am sure towels will soon be checked out/in at the pool and the cabins will have inventory control. They will just add the charges to your ship board credit if they are not accounted for.

If your a first time cruiser on Princess, I can get you a $25 per person discount on your FIRST PRINCESS CRUISE.
Just e-mail me your full legal name and e-mail address, I will complete the referral form online with Princess and they will send you a form online to complete to receive discount ID and Captains Circle number for you to use with any travel agent.
This process must be completed befor booking to obtain the discount, you must be my friend or a family member to qualify and over 18. Max is $50 per cabin.

Get started by e-mailing me at djraessner@hotmail.com

Thanks and good sailing
Danny Boy
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Old May 15th, 2008, 10:52 PM
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I cruised her in November of '04.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 09:51 AM
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I was on the Grand for the Transatlantic in April also. The ship was beautiful and the service excellent. I have sailed with Princess several times in the past and this was the best cruise for me yet.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweety51pie
I have sailed with Princess several times in the past and this was the best cruise for me yet.
The simplification of your statement clearly indicates that you did not deal with the Purser's desk in matter of currency, postage or information for all were none existent when needed and dealt with in total indifference.

Did you happen to attempt to contact "Advanced Cruise Sales"? If you were like so many others, the two or three day excursion to do so was met with rude and indifferent behaviour.

Did you enjoy the "Russian" evening in the dinning room? Even the Bolshevicks could have come up with something better that THAT.

Did you encounter the Maitre d' at any time during your cruise? Of course not, so few of us were able to deal with any dinning discrepancies.

Was the total lack of Internet service not part of your enjoyment? Did you not lose track of the world about you due to no television broadcast for days on end?

When watching a movie, did not the fact that the last fifteen minutes of which being totally deleted not upset you at all?

Are you sure you were on this ship?
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Old May 29th, 2008, 07:09 PM
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Ron n Jon,

Quote:
Originally Posted by you
To Norm (Rev22:11)

As you have indicated and as we loose these treasured amenities and customs aboard the Princess Line there are alternatives.

We tried Oceania for two cruise, one around the Horn and the second up the Amazon to Manaus both lengthy adventures. But again one must weigh the pros and cons in finding an alternative. Both Oceania's Insignia as well as the Regatta were wonderful smaller ships. Their sumptuous decor is as one can imagine sailing in the days of White Star, beautifully appointed and impeccably clean. We spent the most relaxing of times in their elegant traditional Victorian library.

Unfortunately, with this came such things as the total loss of formal nights, no set dinner seating and unacceptable bar service (another posting). One pays a premium price for Oceania, and their ships and itineraries warrant that, but the loss of the traditional social deportment is a disappointment. Again, a world of choices.
Yes, there are choices -- you have to shop around for a line that provides what you want.

If you enjoy the "formal" evenings, have you tried Celebrity Cruises? Celebrity still maintains the tradition of dressing up, with both "formal" and "informal" evenings. I have found Celebrity to be very close to what Princess was a decade ago.

Norm.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo59
The Grand, Golden, Star, Diamond, and Sapphire are all similar in design and hold about 2600 passengers. The newer Princess ships - Emerald, Ruby, Caribbean, etc. have added an extra deck of cabins resulting in about 3100 people on ships that are otherwise the same design as the Grand class.
The Caribbean Princess is not in the same class as Crown, Emerald and soon to be Ruby Princess.

Danny

Therefore the Grand class ships will provide a beter experience that the more crowded newer Princess ships.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 10:23 PM
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I have sailed the Grand Princess a couple of times and enjoyed both cruises very much. Admittedly, I have not sailed the Princess Grand in a few years so I can not offer any opinions on her present condition. I can only compare many Princess cruises to my last Celebrity experience and state categorically that the maintenance and reliability of Princess ships is for me far superior to what I encountered on Celebrity cruise ships. I am sure that all cruise ships have their shortcomings in one thing or another, but nothing could match my experience on the Celebrity Summit. After my cruise on Celebrity, I found out much to my surprise that the ship has an inherent design defect that causes the propulsion system to fail from time to time. This "problem" has resulted in many delays, missed ports and even cancelled cruises for tens of thousands of passengers over the years. With over half of what should have been a cruise of a lifetime to Alaska for us, skipped, because of this same propulsion problem that has also caused many problems on the Celebrity Infinity and Millennium ships, I now attach a lot of importance to the reliability and honesty of the cruise line that I select.

So for me, I am going to stick with a reliable and honest cruise line like Princess for all of my future cruises.

Debra
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Old May 30th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nurse Debra
I have sailed the Grand Princess a couple of times and enjoyed both cruises very much. Admittedly, I have not sailed the Princess Grand in a few years so I can not offer any opinions on her present condition. I can only compare many Princess cruises to my last Celebrity experience and state categorically that the maintenance and reliability of Princess ships is for me far superior to what I encountered on Celebrity cruise ships.
We too have experienced major ship design problems on other lines from propulsion failures and missed ports to the most obnoxious where the sceptic storage facility exhaust was adjacent to an internal air intake. We have also encountered things like ship personnel rifling our packed luggage in our own cabin to being advised of a passenger suicide. All conditions that have taken us back to Princess time and time again.

That said, there is a transition occurring in the cruise business where customary service and quality amenities are being forsaken and lost, this no less with Princess. We may agree that Princess is a better line, but not to the degree she was for I believe that her current business practices are being directed towards the lowest common demoninator.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Ron n Jon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron n Jon
Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelBugs
Can you be more specific in other negatives you noticed with the ship?
I'm hoping you have a list of positives, too.
While some of my comments might indicate that my posting should have been placed under Gripes, that was not the intent. There is a general malaise that is taking hold of the travel industry as a whole and the cruise industry specifically. Obviously costs and bottom line is the culprit. If staff is not rewarded proportionally to their efforts then why should they make any effort beyond what they considered their bottom line. With the loss of so many European staff, it becomes obvious that any discipline administered could only lead to more staff losses and therefore must be a last resort. The 'tipping' system has been self-defeating in an expectation without even standard service. And if $579 won't get new passengers aboard, then how about $499? Cut the difference by increasing workload, cuts in menu, cuts in portions, smaller glasses, cheaper dishes and even linen laundry.

Employee dissatisfaction is destroying the elegance of sea travel and a good example might be in being treated at the Pursers' desk in a manner befitting a night clerk in a fleabag hotel. We have never experienced such hostility from behind that desk before to our most rudimenty enquiries. When we encounter a public washroom so soiled that we felt that should we not report it, it will just remain that way. Are there no inspections? The request to have the cocktail lounge music lowered from a volume so high we could not hear one another speak was met by cruise director staff as not being their responsibility. We abandoned the lounge altogether.

I will be accused of being a snob in this but when the clientele representing the $499 price tag can no longer afford to come aboard, for they are the first to experience the hardships of a recession, who then will the cruise industry look to to fill their staterooms? The damage will have been done.

As to the latter point, and you may find this strange, we would consider this previous cruise one of our best. The ports of call in conjunction with a vibrantly social passenger list made for the best of times but good times of our own making. Many employees did their job successfully. Unlike the long lines at the Purser's desk on the final evening, presumably cancelling tips, we never have and will never do this but instead match almost this full amount again with our concept of gratuities to those who have most deserved it, fewer though they may have become.

OUR BOTTOM LINE: Pay the employees a decent wage so that their jobs are treasured and charge a fair and consistently representitive fare for the good services that such wages will produce.
I don't want to sound like a wise guy, but you did not answer TravelBugs question. "Can you be more specific in other negatives you noticed with the ship?
I'm hoping you have a list of positives, too." Please do not go on a rant like the the post I quoted. I have sailed Princess(3X), Costa & RCI(5X) and I find differences in the lines but all were great. It's too bad you don't like PC dining and prepaid tips but these are things many people like, myself included. So I again asks what is being neglected on the ship??
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Old May 31st, 2008, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: The Once Grand Princess

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron n Jon
We had always considered the Grand Princess to be our most favoured ship of the fleet, having lost the Regal some time back. We have just returned from the Three Continents 20 day tour with the Grand Old Dame and we have to say she is showing her age in less than an elegant manner. With such neglect, we wonder if she is soon destined to follow the Regal.

The Princess arm of the Carnival Corp. can no longer apply their own business approach to what must be a dwindling market. According to senior service staff that we engaged in serious conversation, the Carnival bottom line concepts are now being applied to all subsidiaries. There has been a massive loss of Eastern European employees due to the weak American dollar vs the Euro. Carnival will not increase basic wages, which means less take home pay when converting to home currencies. The steadfast Philippine staffs that are replacing them are not faced with this dilemma but do have to deal with inflation. Moral is the looser in all this and it is showing up in every aspect of employee/customer relations as well as accommodation and upkeep.

Simply put, if "Princ'aval" continues to squeeze out every dollar in their nickel and dime approach to attract the "once in a lifetime" cruisers, they risk loosing those of us that see ourselves aboard their ships two, three or more times a year.
I am not a Princess cheerleader by any means, but I think you are being a little hard on them and Carnival. Of course the bottom line is profit but we all know with the increase in fuel affecting everything we do today mcuh of what we used to take for granted no longer exists. I don't think it is just Princess, food, service, entertainment etc has slipped lately. Of course the weak dollar has a lot to do with it but what do you suggest? The cruise lines either have to downgrade their product or raise prices. If they raise prices too much many will not be able to cruise, the ships will not go out full or close to full and profit will be affected. Right now, it is a no win situation.

Reading some of your other comments, the one about the pursers desk, I have been on enough cruises to loose count and have yet to be impressed with the pursers desk on any of them. Some are worse than others.

I think the only other option for you would be to start considering cruising on the luxury liners as you are going to find most of the mass marketed lines more alike than different.

Nita
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Old May 31st, 2008, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Ron n Jon

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelBugs
Can you be more specific in other negatives you noticed with the ship?
I'm hoping you have a list of positives, too.
Some of our comments were address to [sweety51pie] above. We have sailed Princess from Sydney to Vancouver, from Beijing to Bangkok from Copenhagen to New York via Iceland and Greenland,we’ve sailed through the Baltics up to St. Petersburg, through the Panama Canal and all through the Caribbean many times. Princess is our line. That is our positive. But watching the decline in service is the reason we are posting. We have spoken to senior service staff who tell us they can't wait until they retire. They see what is happening and they are not happy about it either.

We place the blame on poor wages and income for the staff. An infamous line comes to mind from travels way back when people in the Soviet Union said "The government pretends to pay us and we pretend to work". We have no qualms about tipping, for we do so over and above what we feel should be called the mandatory daily service charges. As posters point out, with the ever increasing fuel costs and the corporate bottom line, something has to give. In this case it has been the cuts in service, food, amenities, all so that the general public may yet afford to board the fleet at these rock bottom prices. I think we all know what economy awaits us just around the corner. When we, who have know the wonderful service and delights of Princess decide that what they offer currently it is no longer what we want and the general public cannot or will not spend the current asking prices, who will sail with Princess then? We advocate raising prices to bring back the service we knew or, at least not allowing service to decline any farther. That can only happen if any additional revenue is directed to the staff and employees of the line who are the backbone of that business.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 11:39 AM
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I got it now, you are complaining about Princess in general and not specifically about the Grand Princess.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimt
I got it now, you are complaining about Princess in general and not specifically about the Grand Princess.
Although what must be happening throughout the Princess fleet does happen on the Grand, it is the ship that I refer to. When a waiter aboard the Grand tells me that I had better place my order for desert now with my meal or I wont be getting any, I think Grand. I know it's Princess and I know why he is doing that but it is aboard the Grand. When you find disposed of printed matter in your cabin from TWO cruise ago, and that happened on the Grand; when you walk into one of the public washrooms and the sight of it makes you almost physically sick, and that happened on the Grand; when they lie to you that you have no news television because you are out of range of the satellite and that happens on the Grand; when sheer volume of music turns you out of a bar to save your hearing and they tell you there is absolutely nothing that can be done, and that happed on the Grand then yes, I refer to it as being the Grand's problem though as we have discussed, it is Princess', and probably one shared with other lines these day.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Default Grand P not so grand?

Wow, I saw your post and checked it out as I really wanted to do the April T/A cruise that you did. I'm glad for you the cruise was good, even if the Grand is no longer so grand. Did you have rough seas besides the one tender port? Any problems with any of the ports, especially Brazil & the African ones?
I ended up doing the repositioning cruise on The NCL Dream from Valparaiso, Chile to Boston in April. We encountered some of the same problems as you did, even allowing for a lower expectation for NCL vs Princess. The ports and Panama Canal transit were very good as was the weather.
Just this week noticed a deal on the Grand Princess>London to 9 Norwegian ports and back to London on June 19. I was excited until I checked on the air & tranfers which were more than the cruise, which seems to be why the cruise was on sale. Now after reading your posts, I don't feel as bad about not going.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 06:59 PM
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Ron and Jon, we just had a wonderful cruise on the Crown Princess, but were somewhat put off by the Eastern Europeans s on the crew. They seemed sullen and somewhat rude at times by comparison to the wonderful Indonesian and Filipino crews of Holland America. you should give HAL a try.

It is true that there has been somewhat of a downturn in service, food quality etc. Fuel costs is the culprit. That and the value of the dollar. (IMHO).
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Old June 5th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: Grand P not so grand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by St Pete Cruiser
Did you have rough seas besides the one tender port? Any problems with any of the ports, especially Brazil & the African ones? ... Now after reading your posts, I don't feel as bad about not going.
Sorry we missed your questions until now. As we indicated the cruise itself i.e., ports of call and general social comaraderie was excellent. Fortalaza was an eye opener on the urban life of Brazil for we had only been exposed to the interior. Great port, great city and great people. Dakar, being a much smaller and economically deprived city was a bit of a shock for our first footsteps on the African continent. But like most ports a "has to be seen".

The voyage across to Africa was calm, contrary to some predictions we were given, and thankfully the days at sea were taken up with social activity for we had no way of knowing what was going on in the world.

After our critique, people who know us will have little problem understanding that we are booked on the Crown for the Orient, for to us its the ports of call that outweigh the conditions aboard the vessel. We just wish we could have had both. And thank you richstacy, we have sailed HA before and are looking at yet another.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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Our error, we are booked, not on the Crown but rather the Diamond out of Thailand next year. And it appears that we will be sharing her with jimt for that portion, Beijing to Alaska where we will disembark. With many days at sea, we hope to be able to meet aboard. We sailed the Diamond from Sydney to Vancouver and were most pleased with her and that voyage. Hope history repeats itself.
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