Princess Cruises Reviews

Year Started: 1965
Ships in Fleet: 17


Summary: Princess is one of the most consistently excellent cruise lines in the upper mainstream to premium group. All the diversity of larger ships but personalized service.

Go

Princess Cruise Ships

61 Reviews

Regions:Canada, Caribbean, Europe

Good for: Families. Value for Money. Teens.

37 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, California Coastal, Panama Canal

Good for: Teens. First-time Cruisers. Families.

27 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Europe, South America

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

33 Reviews

Regions:Asia & Africa, Australia, Europe

Good for: Group. First-time Cruisers. Families.

39 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Asia & Africa, Australia

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Seniors.

15 Reviews

Regions:Canada, Caribbean, Europe

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Group.

62 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, California, Hawaii

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Group.

78 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, California, Hawaii, Mexico

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

23 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, California, Panama Canal

Good for: Seniors. Group. Singles.

12 Reviews

Regions:Asia & Africa, Australia, Europe

3 Reviews

Regions:Asia & Africa, Australia, Europe, Hawaii

1 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Europe, Transatlantic

Good for: Seniors. Overall Service. Group.

11 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Europe, Transatlantic

Good for: Overall Service. Teens. Children`s Programs.

35 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, California, Hawaii, Mexico

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

13 Reviews

Regions:Asia & Africa, Australia, Panama Canal

Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.

68 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, California, Hawaii, South America

Good for: Families. Overall Service. Teens.

32 Reviews

Regions:Asia & Africa, Australia, South Pacific, Tahiti

Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
4.16
from 550 reviews

Cuisine

Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms

Staterooms

Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities

Nightlife

Shore Tours

Itinerary

Alternative Dining

User Reviews

550 User Reviews of Princess Ships
Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: December 21, 2009

This is the 6th Princess cruise and 18th overall and I have to say the Grand Princess ain't so Grand.

The best part was the itinerary although I wish Princess would stop visiting St. Vincent on Sundays as there is not much to do there. Unfortunately the negatives outweighed the positives.

I could never get a hold of the Circle Club rep. The food was severely subpar. And this was not just in the quality, the preparation as well - and portions too and even in the Speciality Steakhouse we had to send meals back. The Cruise Staff was smug and not interested in the passenger experience and seemed far from geniune -they were all as phony as a three-dollar bill.

Service was close to non-existant. Often times staff had the attitude that amounted to "Mr/Ms Passenger, you are inconviencing me and the only reason that I will stoop so low as to assist you is that someone may be watching." It was like the vibe was I like it here just fine with the exception of having to serve you. Often times orders were mixed up and they blamed it

on staff being on their first cruise. Really, I don't care what number cruise this is for you - it's still my vacation and you should be trained so it doesn't show.

Placemats/napkins in the Lido were really worn. Public areas in the ship were tired looking, rather than fresh and inviting. They have made some substitutions (instead of halibut they now have tilapia).

Knowing that the main reason we chose this cruise was positive past experiences on the princess line and the great itinerary we were expecting a lot. The Grand Princess did not deliver, it was more like sailing on a toad with warts than a typical Princess vessel.

Expand Review
Read More
 
by Bob O.
Publication Date: December 20, 2009

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Bob O. Eastern Caribbean December 20, 2009

Avid cruisers with multiple cruiselines, and our third time with Princess, two on the Coral and our first on Ruby. We cruise to relax and so we did. Cabin steward, dining room staff right up there with the best. As a nmatter of fact our Head Waiter Thomas, Waiters Claudio and Bamba always went above and beyond to make our cruise that much more enjoyable. We've visited these particular port numerous times in the past and as i stated earlier we cruise to relax. Fourteenth Deck Balcony cabin (R747)as good as any, and real convenient to the aft deck pool and the Lido.

Read More
 
Ruby Princess
Publication Date: December 17, 2009

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Scott Bahamas December 17, 2009

This was my 1st cruise on Princess after 9 cruises on RCI and 1 on Carnival. This cruise was a 3-night Caribbean Sampler cruise on the Ruby Princess to the Princess Private Island in the Bahamas and back from Ft. Lauderdale. However, due to winds and choppy waters, our stop in Princess Cays was cancelled and we spent the cruise onboard.

Embarkation We flew into Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday and stayed overnight in a local hotel near Port Everglades. We caught the free shuttle to the Port about 11am and arrived at the pier about 11:20am. We checked in, had a short wait in the terminal and were onboard about 11:45am.

The Ship The Ruby Princess was launched by Princess in 2008, so we were on a ship less than 1 year old. The Ruby Princess is an absolutely beautiful ship. The best way to describe it is elegance. The tile work, the art work and the metal work all throughout the ship was spectacular! The public areas and lounges were spacious and nicely decorated. The lounges in particular had great chairs and couches,

very comfy. There are 3 main pools, 2 in the center of the ship on deck 15, and the adults’ only pool in the aft portion of deck 14. This ship has the large movie screen and the “Movies under the Stars” is not to be missed!

The Cabin We had a category BB balcony on deck 14, midship. A nice queen size bed and a huge closet in the room. The larger closet did take away from the living space and the bathroom. Just a toilet and standup shower. The balcony itself was nice and fit 2 chairs and a table very easily.

The Staff The staff was very courteous, although they didn’t seem to be inclined to enforce the rules like dress codes or keeping kids out of the adults’ only areas. The wait staff and room steward did good jobs and we were happy with the bartenders, lounge staff, shore excursion and pursers personnel.

Dining We enjoyed the food, the dining room food was good and plentiful, and we really enjoyed the Horizon Court buffet. The best food we found was the Crown Grill. The food and service in the Crown Grill was spectacular! Mere words cannot do the Crown Grill justice.

Entertainment The highlight of this cruise was the Cruise Director and her staff. We didn’t go to the production show, but the comedian and magician were great. The Movie under the Stars we really enjoyed, as they put nice red velvet coverings on the deck chairs, passed out free popcorn and cookies and milk. The cruise director staff put on some great activities, including trivia, funny games shows like the “Liars Club” and other great activities.

Disembarkation We decided to use the self-disembarkation for this cruise since we only had 1 piece of luggage for both of us. We had our last breakfast in the dining room and walked off the ship without any delays or problems.

Overall I would rate this cruise a 7.5 out of 10. We really enjoyed the ship and the entertainment, the food and staff was good. We are looking forward to taking a 7 night or longer cruise on Princess Cruises.

Expand Review
Read More
 
by Scott
Publication Date: December 17, 2009

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Scott Bahamas December 17, 2009

This was my 1st cruise on Princess after 9 cruises on RCI and 1 on Carnival. This cruise was a 3-night Caribbean Sampler cruise on the Ruby Princess to the Princess Private Island in the Bahamas and back from Ft. Lauderdale. However, due to winds and choppy waters, our stop in Princess Cays was cancelled and we spent the cruise onboard.

Embarkation We flew into Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday and stayed overnight in a local hotel near Port Everglades. We caught the free shuttle to the Port about 11am and arrived at the pier about 11:20am. We checked in, had a short wait in the terminal and were onboard about 11:45am.

The Ship The Ruby Princess was launched by Princess in 2008, so we were on a ship less than 1 year old. The Ruby Princess is an absolutely beautiful ship. The best way to describe it is elegance. The tile work, the art work and the metal work all throughout the ship was spectacular! The public areas and lounges were spacious and nicely decorated. The lounges in particular had great chairs and couches,

very comfy. There are 3 main pools, 2 in the center of the ship on deck 15, and the adults’ only pool in the aft portion of deck 14. This ship has the large movie screen and the “Movies under the Stars” is not to be missed!

The Cabin We had a category BB balcony on deck 14, midship. A nice queen size bed and a huge closet in the room. The larger closet did take away from the living space and the bathroom. Just a toilet and standup shower. The balcony itself was nice and fit 2 chairs and a table very easily.

The Staff The staff was very courteous, although they didn’t seem to be inclined to enforce the rules like dress codes or keeping kids out of the adults’ only areas. The wait staff and room steward did good jobs and we were happy with the bartenders, lounge staff, shore excursion and pursers personnel.

Dining We enjoyed the food, the dining room food was good and plentiful, and we really enjoyed the Horizon Court buffet. The best food we found was the Crown Grill. The food and service in the Crown Grill was spectacular! Mere words cannot do the Crown Grill justice.

Entertainment The highlight of this cruise was the Cruise Director and her staff. We didn’t go to the production show, but the comedian and magician were great. The Movie under the Stars we really enjoyed, as they put nice red velvet coverings on the deck chairs, passed out free popcorn and cookies and milk. The cruise director staff put on some great activities, including trivia, funny games shows like the “Liars Club” and other great activities.

Disembarkation We decided to use the self-disembarkation for this cruise since we only had 1 piece of luggage for both of us. We had our last breakfast in the dining room and walked off the ship without any delays or problems.

Overall I would rate this cruise a 7.5 out of 10. We really enjoyed the ship and the entertainment, the food and staff was good. We are looking forward to taking a 7 night or longer cruise on Princess Cruises.

Expand Review
Read More
 
by Onemantax
Publication Date: December 17, 2009

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Onemantax Bahamas December 17, 2009

This was a 3 day cruise from Thursday to Sunday from Port Everglades. Princess normally does not schedule sailings this short but we were told that the 3 day mini-voyage was in lieu of a planned wet-dock for the ship. This was the second of two consecutive 3 day cruises.

My wife and I were on our 10th Princess cruise and we were accompanied by a couple who was on their first Princess cruise. Embarkation was easy and we were on the ship by 11:45 a.m. We were able to go directly to our cabin as soon as we boarded.

The ship was supposed to have 1 day at sea and 1 day at Princess Cay. Due to windy conditions, the stop at Princess Cay was scratched and we enjoyed an extra day at sea. The captain announced at 8:00 a.m. throughout the ship that he had tried to find another port of call but Nassau, Freeport and Key West were full.

The ship was beautiful and in excellent condition. It was decorated for the holidays but in a very muted and

tasteful way. The focal point of the ship is the 3 deck atrium in the middle (decks 5,6 and 7) including 2 glass elevators. Many events including street performers took place here.

My wife and I were in an AB category mini-suite on the starboard side of the ship on deck 9. Our friends had a balcony cabin one flight up all the way in the front of the ship (this was not a problem according to them even though we hit some 6-8 foot seas). Our room had plenty of storage space for a 10 day cruise let alone a 3 day cruise. The bathroom was quite roomy and included a shower/tub. A little more storage space in the bathroom would have been nice as would a little more headroom in the shower (I am 6'1). Our room included 2 televisions, a 3 person sofa, a chair and a refrigerator. The balcony had 2 chairs, 2 reclining chairs (not loungers) and a small table. Our balcony was not covered at all. The mini-suite included a welcome aboard glass of champagne upon embarkation. Our cabin steward was excellent and Princess still leaves a chocolate on your pillow at night. Our friends who had the room with balcony had a bigger balcony that was partially covered and a shower only (no tub) with more headroom.

We had any time dining which was a first for my wife and me. We usually arrived at 5:45 for dinner (dining room opened at 5:30)and had no problem getting a table for four each meal. Despite having different servers each night, the service was excellent. The food was excellent but the choices more limited then I would have expected. The buffet was nice and we had lunch there each day. Be sure to check out the back buffet as they served themed lunch buffets on the days at sea. On our cruise, one lunch buffet was Mexican and one was German. The Mexican food was especially good. Many of the dishes at the back buffet were not on the 2 normal buffets. We did not try the specialty eateries (Italian and Chophouse). Our friends went to the Wheelhouse Bar one day for the British lunch. They both had fish and chips and enjoyed it. We did not order room service. As always, the pizza at the pizzeria was wonderful. At the pizzeria, they also had free soft serve ice cream. The International Café looked wonderful but we did not get a chance to stop by on such a short cruise. Our friend enjoyed the sandwiches and pastries from the International Café. They sold gelato for only $1.50 but never got around to getting any. Our entire party enjoyed the Vines Wine Bar where we had sushi and cheese and crackers before dinner one night. The food was free but you had to buy wine to get the free food. Wine flights were only offered after 6:00 p.m. Our friends bought the coffee card (two for one with a coupon from the Princess coupon book) but were unable to use up all of the punches on the card. They sold soda cards but we did not purchase any.

The entertainment was above average. The show "Once Upon a Dream" was incredible. DO NOT MISS IT. The comedian was good. We skipped the juggler/illusionist on the last night. The rock/pop band and the alleged dixieland band were poor. The two pianists on board were great. We enjoyed the champagne waterfall in the Piazza where they served free hors d’oeuvres including caviar and champagne by the glassful. We are not gamblers but we thought the casino was very large but too smoky.

The perfume shop on board was very large and had an excellent selection. If you spent over $150, you got an extra 10% off. One of our friends attended both art auctions and had a lot of fun sipping free champagne and learning about art. She even won a free painting io the raffle but had to spend $20 to ship it home.

The gym was roomy and well kept. Towels were plentiful and there were enough exercise machines for all. On the first day at sea, my wife and I purchased an all day pass for the Thermal suite for $15 each. We used it 3 times that day and enjoyed it thoroughly. The room can comfortably accommodate about 12-15 people at a time. Only once did we find the room too crowded to enjoy. We thought the staff should have checked up on this room more often as dirty towels piled up on occasion. My wife had a reflexology treatment for $119 plus tip and enjoyed it.

We chose walk off for disembarkation. We were group 7 and were off the ship by 7:45 a.m.. Since we did not stop at any ports, we did not have to go through customs. As usual, we thoroughly enjoyed this short cruise and would strongly consider another short Princess cruise if offered. Our friends also thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and gave it rave reviews. All of us wanted to stay on for the 10 day cruise that was about to start.

Expand Review
Read More
 
Panama Canal
Publication Date: November 20, 2009

In November 2009 we spent 10-days on the Island Princess cruising to the Panama Canal. We selected this trip primarily because it went into the Panama Canal. Some cruises just stop at Colon Panama since it costs big bucks for a cruise ship to pass thru the Panama Canal.

Birding Summary

We saw 109 bird species in 6 countries on the 10-day cruise: City Country # Birds Ft Lauderdale US 9 Oranjestad Aruba 23 Cartagena Columbia 19 Colon Panama 26 Puerto Limon Costa Rica 46 Ocho Rios Jamaica 32 Total 109

In Jamaica we were able to find a birding guide - Wendy Lee @ wendylee@cwjamaica.com 876-973-4305. Wendy runs the Seven Oaks Sanctuary for Wildlife in Runaway Bay, and is a volunteer Game Warden. She is a native of the islands, has a Master's Degree in Biology from the University of Florida. She is of English decent and really knows the birds, butterflies and flowers of the island.

Highlights

Finding a beach in Aruba near the ship with lots of Beach Glass.

Finding a Mask Boobie rookery on some small islands 3-hours west of Aruba.

Finding a store that sold Aguadiente (Fire Water) in Cartagena.

Seeing a flock of

Keel-billed Toucans and a Black-mandibled Toucan while approaching the Panama Canal. Seeing a pair of Crested Caracaras, a Yellow-headed Caracara, and a Fork-tailed Flycatcher while in the Panama Canal.

Hearing "Kiss-K-dee" everywhere in Port Limon Costa Rica and seeing 5 Kiskadee and Flycatcher species around town, finding a gorgeous Montezuma Oropendola in the suburbs, seeing a Violaceous Trogon and 3 Tanager species in the Rainforest, and getting a good enough photo to identify the Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer hummingbird.

Birding the Prospect Plantation near the Port in Ocho Rios Jamaica for 4 hours and seeing 16 endemic bird species, including the very long-tailed Red-billed Streamertail hummingbirds, Lizard-Cuckoo, Northern Potoo, Jamaican Woodpecker, Stripe-headed Tanagers and Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo.

Walking 4 to 6 miles a day on the Promenade Deck.

Relaxing on the heated stone beds of the private Spa.

Smoking on the Island Princess

Princess fails to protect non-smokers from the well-known negative health consequences of second-hand cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke.

Princess makes no effort to enforce the minimal rules they do have. If you point out a violation of the rules to the Pursers office, they will listen to you and do nothing.

There is so much Princess and other cruise lines could easily do to make things better - like have all smoking cabins on the Port side and all non-smoking cabins on the Starboard side; and restrict smoking in public rooms to enclosed designated areas. Celebrity and RCI have taken a step in the right direction by banning smoking in cabins and on balconies, but more is required!

Princess needs to join the rest of the civilized world and highly restrict smoking on ships so that non-smokers are not continually subjected to the stench and health impacts of second hand smoke, the potential of spending many hours/days in a life boat, or worse - cancer from second smoke or death by fire.

I personally favor an absolute ban of any type of smoking on cruise ships – with violators removed from the ship at the next Port (like they do for drug possession or use). My wife and I have decided to boycott Princess until they completely ban smoking on their cruise ships. The perks of being Platinum means nothing compared to the stench of cigarette smoke.

If I Could Do It Over I Would

Consider going on Celebrity since they don't allow smoking in the cabins or on the balconies. The buzz on Island Princess was that Celebrity had better food. Celebrity stops in Colon all day so you could arrange for a bird guide.

Cabin

We had a balcony cabin on the Port side of Deck 12 (A304). The room was pretty standard with lots of storage. The bed was very hard and by 2am your back would be hurting (we heard other passengers make the same comment).

We didn't use the balcony as much as on other cruises because of smokers in other cabins around and below us polluted the air to the point we couldn't stay out. Also, the people next to our cabin talked so loud you didn't want to be out when they were around – you could even hear them thru the walls.

Some of the cabin furnishings were in need of replacement; i.e., the bedspread had cigarette holes , the duvet was ripped in several areas, and the refrigerator didn't get things very cool.

The Port side balconies are best for birdwatching going from the Atlantic to Pacific thru the Panama Canal, but the best side for seeing the operation of the locks is on the Starboard side.

Food & Drinks

We had one Br, one Lu, and one Dn in the dinning room. Br was OK. The Lu and Dn Dinning Room choices were pretty mediocre, even by cruise standards. A restaurant would soon go out of business with these uninteresting menu selections and tasteless choices.

Public Areas

We avoided the public areas as much as possible because of the stench of cigarette and cigar smoke. Princess encourages people to smoke cigars at the Churchill Bar on Deck 7, but this contributes greatly to the overall stench of the public areas on Decks 5, 6 and 7. We never went in the Casino on Deck 6 because of the strong smell of smoke. The Wheelhouse Bar of Deck 6 Midship was large, comfortable and smoke free.

We enjoyed the private Spa (limited to 20 couples a day) with 4 hot stone beds, 3 steam rooms and 1 dry sauna on Deck 14 Aft. It's a great place to spend sea days and the afternoons of port days – especially since it is No-Smoking! The Rainforest showers are very large with lots of water (in case you don't like the small showers in the cabins). We thought it was well worth the $199!

We used the Sanctuary on the day we went thru the Panama Canal. It was probably not worth $70 per person, especially since someone was smoking a cigar on one of the balconies on Deck 12 Aft that wafted up to the Sanctuary. I did get some good pictures of the locks from the Sanctuary as we sailed back toward Colon (but you could get the same pictures from the basketball court on Deck 15).

They have removed the freestanding smoke stands from the Promenade Deck and from the elevator areas. This seemed to reduce the number of people smoking on the Promenade Deck, but sometimes people with cigars would congregate there anyhow, even though the Princess handbook in each cabin specifically requests that no cigars or pipes be smoked anywhere on the ship except the Churchill Bar. The handbook also says some areas are marked Non Smoking, but we never saw any signs.

Shore Excursions

We only took a ship's shore excursion in Cartagena Columbia because of safety concerns. It turns our there was nothing to be concerned about. The tour spent 45 minutes at an Emerald store (we didn't buy any). We should have gotten a taxi on our own at the Port to take us to the impressive Fort and Old Town.

At every port, it was possible to get tours at substantially reduced prices from the ship's Shore Excursions.

Happy Birding,

Carl & Wilma Ball

Expand Review
Read More
 
Australia
Publication Date: November 18, 2009

28 day cruise around Australia. It was a nursing home at sea. All old people. Very boring for young and middle age people. everything was for the older people. If you like to have fun and stay up late don't go because everything shuts down early. Very boring bands also.

Read More
 
Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: October 18, 2009

-Background- We're a couple aged 41 and 51, and this was our second cruise. We had cruised the Western Caribbean on the Carnival Valor in 2007 and had enjoyed it so much that we wanted to cruise again and try a different cruise line. We were looking for a beautiful and attractive ship from a premium cruise line offering flexible dining and affordable fares, so we chose the Emerald Princess.

-Embarkation- We liked Fort Lauderdale better than Miami. We found the airport very welcoming. We stayed overnight the day before our cruise and found the city very nice and pleasant. We got to the port around 12h30 noon. There was already a long line outside the terminal but it moved quickly and within a few minutes we stood in line in front of the check-in counters that were identified with the deck names. The check-in was a breeze and by 1 pm we were already on board the ship. Our lifeboat drill was held in Club Fusion around 4pm and took about 15 minutes.

-Cabin- We had a standard balcony cabin on deck 12 near the stern of the ship. The walk-in

closet was a nice feature. The tiny shower stall had a curtain and bars of soap and samplers of shampoo were provided instead of a dispenser mounted on the wall. We had requested an egg-crate mattress and found the bed and the pillows very comfortable. There was an individual air-conditioning system, a flat screen TV above the minibar, plus a small desk and a chair. We experienced some vibrations sometimes but it didn't bother us. Our cabin steward was very friendly and did a good job.

-Ship in general- She's a very beautiful and attractive ship. The public rooms are all tastefully decorated in subdued earth tone colors and the decor is similar throughout the ship. There's nothing gaudy here, all the spaces are luxurious, pleasant and inviting. The Italian-style Piazza is small but very nice. However, we found the decor in the Princess Theater rather plain. The indoor space is generous and we rarely felt it was crowded but sometimes we had to wait a while for the elevators. In comparison to our first cruise, we found that the ship was pitching and rolling a lot even though the sea was calm, making both of us feel seasick sometimes. The average age on board was 50-60, and really not many kids or teens.

-Dining- We had Anytime Dining and it worked just fine for us. We usually went for dinner to the Da Vinci dining room around 8 pm and requested a table for two. There was usually no wait at all and we always got a table for two without any problem. We were given a pager twice and our table got ready in less than 10 minutes. We found the dining room very nice, cozy and not noisy at all. The service was good and quick, and the food was very good. All in all, Anytime Dining is a well-run feature.

We had dinner one night at Sabatini's. It was really the best meal of our cruise. We got an impressive selection of cold appetizers, hot appetizers, soup and pastas, then the entrée, and it ended with the dessert. Everything was so good and we ate a lot. The $20 per person fee was really worth it!

The Horizon Court buffet was disappointing. The decor was nice and cozy but eating from plastic plates wasn't exactly what I had expected. We also found that the stations area was cramped and most of all we found that the buffet was poor. There wasn't a lot of choice, it was disorganized and not looking good, and there wasn't any mouth-watering cake or dessert of any kind. At breakfast, it was not possible to get an omelet cooked on the spot in front of you. It was totally not like what we had seen earlier on the Carnival Valor and certainly not suitable for a so-called premium cruise line. Having beverages delivered to the table was nice, though.

We liked very much the International Café, located just off the Piazza, where we could sit down and people-watch while sipping our cappuccino. There were a few tables and waiters came at the table to take the order. I bought a coffee card good for 15 specialized coffees for $24 (gratuities excluded). Plus there was a nice selection of croissants, pastries, danishes and sandwiches, most of them free of charge. We also liked Vines, also nearby the Piazza, where we had cheese and wine one night and sushi and wine one other night.

-Outdoor areas- We found that the outdoor space was generous and beautiful. The outdoor promenade on deck 7 was a nice place to stroll and relax. It went all around the ship and had many padded wooden chairs. The terrace on top of the bridge was a well-kept secret and you could access it through exit doors located at the end of the hallways on deck 15. We liked the two adult-only pools and hot tubs located at both ends of the ship. At the stern was the Terrace pool from where the decks rose in tiers. We liked the few outdoor tables on the Horizon terrace (overlooking the Terrace pool and the wake) for al fresco breakfasts and lunches. Better yet, the tables and the padded chairs by the two small fountains on the deck above (outside Sabatini's and Adagio). At the bow on deck 16, the Lotus Spa pool was very nice and had a few padded loungers. It was a little bit hidden and better accessible from the deck above via a flight of stairs. It was designated as a quiet area but unfortunately some people were ignoring those rules while we were there. Also, we found that the swim-against-the-current system was noisy when it was turned on and not very appropriate for that so-called quiet area. We liked The Sanctuary with its plush loungers where we spent an afternoon on a day at sea for $10 per person. However, we thought that there was not enough loungers in the sun (most of them were in the shade or partial shade) and that the noise coming from the nearby Lotus Spa pool could be annoying (we heard some people behind us complaining). During sea days the outdoor decks were crowded. Even the Lotus Spa pool and its two small hot tubs could be crowded sometimes. However, we really liked being able to take a hot tub at night under the stars. We didn't go to the Movies Under The Stars but it seemed pretty popular and fun with the loungers specially covered for the occasion.

-Bars and entertainment- We liked Crooners, the martini bar, for pre-dinner cocktails. Adagio was very nice but it seemed that nobody went there, so it lacked some ambiance. The Skywalkers nightclub was always busy late at night. We saw only one show in the Princess theater so that we cannot comment on that, but we liked the quartets that played regularly in the Piazza. Here's what we paid for some drinks (gratuities not included): can of Sprite $1.95, imported beer $5.75, martini $6.50, frozen margarita $6.75, glass of Rosé d'Anjou $6.75, glass of Pinot Grigio $7.75, glass of Pouilly Fumé $9. There was not many intrusive announcements. However, we found that they were trying too much to draw our attention to shopping with flyers and shopping speeches of all kinds. We even heard at many times crew members asking passengers "Did you go shopping today?". Has shopping become the main reason for cruising today?

-Ports of call- This will be brief because we didn't take any tour. In spite of cloudy skies, Princess Cays was nice and well-organized with lots of things plus a free buffet. In St-Martin, we took a cab to Marigot on the French side and had lunch on the terrace of a French bistro overlooking the marina. Before going back on board, we strolled a bit in Philipsburg. In St-Thomas, we took a cab to the beautiful Magen's Bay beach ($4 entrance fee), and after a while we came back to Charlotte Amalie to have lunch and to stroll a little bit. In Grand Turk, we stayed in the cruise facility which had a good sandy beach just a few feet from the pier.

-Debarkation- We paid $20 per person for the EZCheck service. With that service, we got our boarding passes and luggage tags the day before debarkation, allowing us to leave our luggage in the hallway the night before as usual and collect it at our destination only. No hassle with the luggage in the cruise terminal or at the airport and no need to check-in with the airline. Worth it! On the final morning, we were invited to meet at the Crown Grill between 7h30 and 9h00, we showed up around 8h30, waited there about 20 minutes and then we were escorted out the ship.

Thumbs up for... - the beauty of the ship - Anytime Dining - Sabatini's - International Café - Vines - adult-only pools and hot tubs open day and night - The Sanctuary - Movies Under The Stars - EZCheck

Thumbs down for... - Horizon Court - the swim-against-the-current lap pool located in the quiet area - the importance attached to shopping

Finally, was our cruise on Princess better than our cruise on Carnival? Is it fair to say that Princess is better than Carnival? The answer is probably no. Princess does a few things better, Carnival does some other things better, but all in all it is certainly similar.

Expand Review
Read More
 
Mexico
Publication Date: September 23, 2009

A little background, I'm in my mid 40s and DH is mid 50s. This was our 12th and 13th cruise, 7th and 8th on Princess. We have cruised RCL x2, Celebrity, HAL and NCL. We booked this as two separate cruises…a 3 day Coastal followed by the first 7 day Mexican Riviera of the season. We were lucky to snag the aft corner BB Caribe 753 for both cruises.

Embarkation: Nightmare! But nothing we can blame on Princess. Unfortunately the lady that committed suicide by jumping off the back of Sapphire was being searched for the morning of our embarkation so Princess Staff had stopped the line and prevented anyone from boarding. We stood in the Security line for about an hour without moving. Princess staff told passengers that the Coast Guard was doing a "Drill".

Once we got through Security, boarding was a breeze. We found our cabin pretty easily and instantly fell in love with its location and balcony.

Cabin: Wow - what can be said about those corner afts that hasn't already been said? We loved it! The view was incredible. We had a lot of sea days on this

10 day voyage and that balcony was perfect. The Cabin was laid out really well, tons of drawers and closet space. Suitcases fit under the bed no problem. The egg crate was already on the bed and robes were in the bathroom for us. Even the shower curtain didn't seem to hug the way it used to.

Ship: The Sapphire Princess is beautiful - absolutely beautiful and not showing any aging at all. We were on the Zuiderdam in May and she was a disgrace. Sapphire was truly spotless. She has so many great hidden areas for reading and relaxing and an abundance of pools. The first couple of days out the pools where far too warm. It felt like you were being dipped in soup. They cooled down a bit towards the end. I think they must have been heated for Alaska and just took time to adjust the temp.

Service: Another WOW - we've been on 5 cruise lines and about 11 different ships - Sapphire crew were the best - everyone that you ran into was friendly, happy and very helpful. Gerry our cabin steward was the best we've encountered on any ship. Bar Staff, waitstaff, officers, everyone was so nice. The staff in the Pacific Moon dining room were fantastic. I ordered a Cappuccino in Lobby Bar one morning and had a bit of a wait…just a couple of minutes, but I had three people apologize for the wait. Honestly, I can't say enough about the staff…..except… the pursers' desk…I'm not labeling them all as bad, but we certainly ran into our share. We had a problem with an internet credit that took 4 trips - over 4 days to the purser's desk to fix and you could tell she really didn't have a clue what she was talking about. The second instance was the billing on the ultimate balcony dinner. We did this with friends - in their cabin - and our cabin got charged for both couples. The men went down to fix it up and thought it had been done and sure enough on the final bill, it was still screwed up and charged to our cabin. The other couple just ended up giving us $100 cash as the Pursers desk was unable to fix it.

Dining: We had Anytime Dining and I think ate in the dining room 3 times. Had reservations each time and no wait. We did the pub lunch which was good, but doing it in one of the fancier dining rooms is a bit strange. The wheelhouse pub is a much better location. Couldn't believe when our drinks server at the pub lunch clearly remembered what we were drinking the night before - great memory - I barely remembered ;)

We had our anniversary dinner in Sabatini's - Fantastic! Alex our waiter was awesome as was the food except for the lobster which was overcooked - knew I should have had the Seabass. But the rest of the meal made up for it including the plethora of desserts he brought us.

Last formal night we dined with our friends in Sterlings. My Filet was very good but hubby's Rib eye had a lot of fat on it.

We also did the Ultimate Balcony Dinner which was superb. We did it for 4 on the other corner caribe balcony. 4 fit out there quite well. They brought a larger table. We had a Goat Cheese Salad, Crab Tart, then Steak/Lobster or both followed by dessert. They start you a cocktail of your choice then with dinner a ½ bottle of champagne per couple. I'd run down to a bar earlier and grabbed a bottle of red for dinner which they gladly served us. Service, food, ambience - all excellent. A photographer also comes up to take your pic and you get a free 8 x 10 per couple. We had about 4 shots to choose from. Cost was $100 per couple and well worth it in our opinion.

Horizon Court was actually pretty good. Anytime they had seafood on the buffet it was excellent especially the breaded shrimp.

Overall, I'd say the food everywhere was pretty impressive.

Entertainment: This part is going to be short, other than Steve Morris, we didn't see any. He was good though. We also attended some of the Karaoke (oh my ears are still ringing) and we won Passenger Feud.

The Ports: Well this was a 10 day cruise for us, with only LA, PV, Mazatlan and Cabo so a lot of sea days! Getting off the ship in LA as in "In Transit" passenger was very easy. We congregated in Club Fusion for about 20 minutes and where then led off. A short walk for someone to check your documents and you were back on board. We decided to leave the terminal and check out San Pedro…hmmm… don't bother. We were directed to "Ports of Call" there really wasn't anything there. We should have just stayed on board and enjoyed the solitude of the ship.

Puerto Vallarta - we just took the white shuttle buses into town $3 each. Easy and quick. We were dropped off outside Diamonds International..of course! We wandered around a bit. There were a couple of nice Silver and Leather shops that the ship recommended. We then went for a beer and walked around a bit more. We ended up taking a taxi back to Walmart to replenish water and pop. We also went to the mall next door to Walmart which was very nice and just walked back to the ship.

Mazatlan - we took a Ghetto Taxi (taxi driver's words not mine) down into the Golden Zone. Wow tons of construction going on and lots of stores added since the last time we were there. The cab driver asked if he could drop us off at Diamonds International as he gets $5 for doing so, we said sure and just walked straight through it. Taxi was $8 for the 4 of us. We walked around a bit, bought some silver jewelry and friends of ours bought some Pewter from a store we bought from 9 years ago - it was good to see they were still there. Went for a beer (starting to see a pattern?) walked around a bit more and then headed back to the ship. There are tons of stores in the port area to navigate through. Mazatlan runs a little shuttle in and out of the port area which is Mandatory and Complimentary. It's an industrial port area so they want you to be safe. Jewelry prices were pretty good in Mazatlan but watch your prices in the store sponsored silver store. They wanted about $160 for a bracelet that I found a few stores down for $72

Cabo - Cabo is a tender port. We got our tender tickets about 8:30 am and within about 5 minutes were being led to the Tenders. It was so hot in Cabo…it had actually been very hot and humid all cruise but Cabo seemed especially warm. We started walking around the Marina area and quickly ran into our friends who had done an earlier excursion… so even though it was only 9:30 am, we needed that beer to combat the heat ;) We shopped a little. Cabo prices were out of line compared to the other ports. Earrings that I had looked at in Mazatlan were starting price of $40 Cabo they were $70. I told him he was nuts and walked out the store. We ended up at Cabo Wabo for Margaritas a little later in the morning and wound our way back around the Marina back to the ship. We bought some Almond Tequila and some Pomegranate Tequila in Cabo and had no problem taking them back on the ship.

Disembarkation: A breeze! No announcements which is nice. You just head to your designated public lounge/dining room and disembark at your time. We were in the Platinum lounge and disembarked on time.

Highlights: Sea Days - we've never done a cruise with this many sea days before, we now know that we love them, so relaxing. We spent so much time on our balcony just watching the wake and the dolphins racing the ship. The Staff - can't say enough. We've never run into this much consistency of good service. The Ship - just beautiful and spotless The Food - shockingly good - especially the seafood on the buffet.

Expand Review
Read More
 
 
Repositioning Cruise
Publication Date: September 20, 2009

Once again there were problems with a Princess cruise.

Since cruising with another Princess cruise ship in June, I must report that I will not be cruising with this cruise line again.

Their ships are very well kept and clean,and the crew very good,but these problems persist (on this repositioning cruise):

Food - very average, and sometimes unacceptable. Their desserts are uninspiring and industrial The coffee is tasteless, even at their coffee house (not free) Poor entertainment, with no main theater shows at all No upper sheet on the beds Breakfast not available in the cabins (at least a full breakfast) Poor movies and bad TV programming The on-deck big screen movies are noisy and a nuisance There is a 15% hotel fee every day per person (meant to cover tips). But tips are asked for on every order as well!

All this I believe is due to cost cutting. The only result is that I will choose another cruise line next time.

Read More
Write a Review
Results 51 - 60 of 550 3456789