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Old May 29th, 2008, 10:30 AM
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Default What brings you back to Princess?

Dear folks,
We've already booked a cruise on the Crown Princess for October, but since doing so I have read several negative reviews. Comments like 'don't be fooled, this is a Carnival ship'; complaints about the difficulty of getting a beverage; the size of the ship and towel animals all trouble me a bit.

It has been several years since we cruised. Our last was 11/2000 on Ocean Princess, we had a great time, but I don't remember towel animals. I hope some of the Platinum and Elite level cruisers can offer reassurance that we have chosen the right cruise!

Thanks for your help

Pat


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Old May 29th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Have no fear. We are platinum, have cruised on the Ocean Princess too. We always find the staff excellent. Have had the experience of one head waiter remembering us after not seeing him for five years. Even called us by name. Being compared to Carnival these days is not a bad thing. They have great food. We are sailing on the Crown in November. Hopefully will find our head waiter once again. Last we heard that is the ship he is now on. We were on the Emerald Princess - absolutely beautiful - and the Crown is the sistership.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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We're over in Great Britain, but even for us, Princess is always our first choice. They just seem to have everything right, even when compared to the likes of Cunard.
We've been on Sea Princess mainly, but also on Grand & Golden, and loved all of them.

We only had towel animals etc. on Golden, they were really clever. Katrina's favourite was the flower with a chocolate on each petal.

Yes you will see a difference since your last cruise, some for the worse, but overwhelming most for the better.

Have a fantastic time on board, you'll be back

Alan & Katrina
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Old May 29th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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I have been on 4 princess ships and never had towel animals.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 07:03 PM
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Princess for me, is great pasta and chocolate desserts :-) I also love the fact that their pools are NOT salt water, although now, Royal Caribbean is doing that with their new ships.

Another nice thing about Princess is they have the self service laundry rooms, now expecially when I want to pack a little less and going to Alaska, so thats heavier clothes and not a lot of shorts, but jeans, etc. Being able to do even one load of wash is a great help.

I don't recall ever having towel animals on Princess, but they do have great service, so I'm especially looking forward to cruising on Princess in Alaska this summer.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 10:45 PM
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We have sailed on more than twelve Princess cruises and have had towel animals on some and none on other cruises. I think it just depends on your cabin steward and is just luck of the draw. I do have to admit that they always bring a smile to my face and do add to the overall pleasant experience on our Princess cruises. My opinion after trying many other cruise lines is that you just can't go wrong with Princess.

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Old May 30th, 2008, 01:25 AM
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We are Platinum members and we have always enjoyed the service on all the Princess ships.
Sometimes we get towel animals but that depends on you steward.
You just can't go wrong with Princess.
55 days until we sail the Greek Isles, on the Emerald.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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i totally agree with the general opinion of this thread its the service and the atmosphere
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Old May 30th, 2008, 03:55 PM
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OK I'll bite what a "towel animals" when its at home



Barrie,
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Old May 30th, 2008, 06:47 PM
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Hi,

We have been on 13 Princess Cruises (also Platinum) and have never had a towel animal. Now we have a 3 year old, who will be taking her 4th cruise on Princess this fall. She might actually like to see towel animals.

We were on the Crown last November and found the food to be a notch above prior Princess experiences and have never found it to be bad.

Hope you enjoy it.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 08:22 PM
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Old May 31st, 2008, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron n Jon

Thanks..... we have had them in hotels in Cuba the Honeymoon ones were bordering on the pornographic and some quite funny but never had them on a Cruise.

Nice but not a deciding factor for rebooking

Barrie,
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Old May 31st, 2008, 11:41 PM
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Well, we've already booked the cruise and really don't intend to cancel or anything, but I always associate the towel animals with Carnival.
Our first cruise was with Carnival and we had a really good time, I learned that I really like cruising, but Carnival is not quite right for me. It's a little too colorful and rowdy; RCI is not quite right either. I really loved Celebrity, my husband found it just a teensy bit stuffy. Princess seemed just right ( like goldilocks).
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 04:16 PM
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I've only been on Royal Carribean and yes we had towel animals. Different one every night.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 11:15 PM
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Princess is Not Carnival CL (although of course that is the parent company now.)

Re the crown Princess, it is a beautiful ship. It is huge, but it is designed and laid out so that you never feel crowded. We had the best cabin steward we have ever had, including crystal.

A wonderful place to watch people before dinner and have a drink: the Crooners Lounge
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Old June 25th, 2008, 06:24 AM
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"towel animals all trouble me a bit" your kidding me right!! This is really what troubles you? Then your bloody mad.

Reason we sail with princess the ships seem more modern,it's geared more for adult entertainment then a family atmosphere. Not alot of teenies causing havoc.

And the ships have more pools,better choices of food,entertainment etc.
But now some of the RCL ships offer alot might just have to try that new ship
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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:16 PM
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We have cruised many many times on Princess and never had a towel animal or really care of we have one. We come back for the service, ports of call, the balconies, meeting wonderful people and the ease of traveling. We'll be on the Sapphire next May doing the Coastal Cruise. Then want to do a New England/ Canada trip.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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We have been on other lines but prefer Princess and will be sailing on the Emerald this fall. The ships are nice without being gaudy, we have found their service is top notch, employees friendly, nice entertainment, reasonable shore excursions and good food! We are just happy with the product.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:27 PM
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Sanibelgal,
I agree on all counts -- except maybe the food could be better. But I think that is pretty much true across the industry now. One way to save on rising fuel costs is to cut the quality of food.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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I'm encouraged by all the positive comments and now am curious as to what you have heard that was negative. Having worked onboard for 3 years, then returned as a passenger nearly 15 years later, I can tell you I was terribly disappointed in many aspects of the cruise, towel animals notwithstanding. Times have indeed changed, but I do not think it's a Carnival-related change.
First, the food and service were below par compared to other lines. A complete lack of interest by the maitre d' (and in my day this was absolutely not the case) until the last night when he practically oozed charm. Second, I completely disagree with the concept of having passengers subsidize the company's payroll with compulsory tips. Prior to the acquisition, Sitmar paid good wages to its Italian and Portuguese staff (the only 2 countries represented, besides US for most of the entertainment staff and UK for shops) AND they were tipped generously, not automatically. All lines appear to be doing this now, in an effort to draw more people and sail full. With fuel prices being what they are, I understand it, but I have to shake my head. This was not the original 'design' of the cruising experience, and we lost a LOT of repeat guests from the Captain's Circle (translated from Sitmar's Circolo del Comandante). Finally, where are the cruise staff? My job was to conduct activities and socialize; I never once saw anyone attempting to engage with passengers and I don't recall they were introduced at the opening night cocktail. Many of us continued to stay in touch with repeat and favorite passengers in between; we were highly visible.
On a positive note, the $20 cover for the Italian restaurant was well worth it; no surprise since the kitchen staffs don't suffer the same overhaul the front of house departments do. The waiter spent more time translating the menu for an apparently unsophisticated couple who had no idea what they were ordering, a gracious gesture that was indicative of the standard of service I remembered, and a reminder of the increasing numbers of new passengers joining the cruising world.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Lesley,
Times change and a three thousand passenger ship is surely a little more impersonal than a 900 passenger ship! As I've said before, the food has gone downhill in the last few years.

But on our 14 day cruise on the mega Crown Princess this last March, the cruise staff was introduced, friendly and accessible. The waiters were very good. And our room steward was the best we have ever had bar none (Crystal Harmony included)

I guess I'm neutral on the auto tipping. I have noticed no decline in service at all on either Princess or HAL. I still tip special people a bit extra.
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Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 12:51 PM
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I have 22 cruises with Princess and I can tell you that they are no better and certainly no worse than most mid-luxury lines. Tipping is a personal matter, I usually use the mandatory and give additional tips where warranted. My only disappointment on Princess is the lobster night. I usually have two on my plate but last week we were on the Dawn to Alaska and we only got one tail and two jumbo prawns. Oh well, Just ordered another plate. All cruise lines have their problems with the fuel costs and deal with it differently. I have found that the cruise staff is a direct reflection on the Capt. We have sailed on the same ship and found the employees completely different than the first time. We asked and were told that the capt. was the one that made the difference. Give all cruise lines a break, times are tough. Princess still have the best passenger loyalty rewards of any cruise line. Stay with princess, give then a chance to please you.

Steve (luvcruisn)
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 02:42 PM
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Steve,
Maybe it's just me, but I think the airlines and cruiselines are both making a mistake by curtailing the quality of services, including food, due to fuel costs. They would be ahead to just honestly face the problem and raise the ticket prices accordingly. The price of oil is not going to go down. Many factors are involved, but it is driven primarily by the ever increasing and apparently insatiable demand in China and India. Face it and deal with it -- and leave my lobster and prime rib alone! But as I say, maybe that's just me.
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Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
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Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
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Old July 4th, 2008, 02:18 AM
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We have sailed on Princess and we are Platinum. We love these ships, and the service and the crew.

The food was very good and the ships are very well cared for. We have met some very nice people on board from different parts of the world and they all felt, the ships and service was great.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 12:01 PM
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All true deepspace But have you not noticed a decline in food quality
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Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
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Old July 5th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: What brings you back to Princess?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hub
Re: What brings you back to Princess?
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Old July 14th, 2008, 06:30 PM
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We weren't happy with the food but it's a ship and that is good.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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Princess is the only line for us. We were on The caribbean princess in May and had a slight problem with our air conditioner. They were working on it for almost the entire 9 days and could not get it quite right. Believe me, it really was not that big of a deal. We would have liked it cooler but they were doing their best. Upon our return I wrote a nice letter to them, mentioning the air conditioner and a couple of other minor problems and they responded a week later. They apoligized and gave us a $950 discount for our next cruise as well as a $200 shipboard credit! Never expected that. Last year there was a problem with the ship & we were 8 hrs delayed gettin back to LA. We missed our flight and had to pay $1200 more to get back to Ct. They reimbursed us. Hence, we will stay with them. We also found the food to be very good and an excellent attentive staff. We don't care about the towel animals.
Marg
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Old July 15th, 2008, 01:36 PM
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excellent points. Thanks for your input.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hub
excellent points. Thanks for your input.
Hi Hub!

It's late and I'm a wee bit cross eyed. I do hope I'm not duplicating someone else here, but wanted to be sure you know about one of the best past passenger perks in cruising: FCCs.

FCCs (future cruise credits) are something I invest in EVERY cruise with Princess. If you enjoy your Princess cruise, make sure you each invest too. Here's why:

1. Put down $100 each toward a future cruise WHILE still on your Princess cruise. It becomes an FCC.

2. On the cruise booked with that FCC, you will get $50-150 on board credit per $100 FCC depending on length of cruise.

3. $100 FCC will act as the total deposit to hold any Princess cruise (very nice not to have to fork out a grand 2 years before sail away).

4. FCCs are good for 4 years -- no need to decide on a cruise when you deposit.

5. FCCs are completely refundable if you should decide not to sail again with Princess.

6. You needn't use both your and your SOs FCC on the same cruise -- yours can hold one cruise, your SOs can hold another. I haven't done this but know others who have.

In short, there is no way to lose buying FCCs every cruise. They are, arguably, the greatest loyalty perk on the water.

Cheers!
Tee
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