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Leo McAdams

Age: 27

Occupation:Graphic Artist

Number of Cruises: 7

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Emerald Princess

Sailing Date: 2010-01-24

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

This was our honeymoon cruise and we were very VERY excited to go. But from the moment we arrived to our cabin and they called us by the wrong name...we knew it was going to be a mess. We can't blame the cruise for bad weather...or what they called bad weather and that they couldn't stop at the first location...but we can't help and feel jipped on what should have been a great day at Princess Cays. Since we didn't want to learn napkin folding or play bingo, we went to our cabin to sleep. Which is most of what we did on our Emerald Princess cruise. None of the excursions made us say "YEAH! Let's do that!." And if we did decide to go on an excursion...we'd find the office that booked them closed.. later to find out that what we wanted to do was on the "SOLD OUT" list...along with 12 other excursions. I don't recall having this problem on Royal Caribbean when i booked swimming with dolphins, feeding the stingrays or zip-linning the jungles in Jamaica. Emerald Princess seemed to have booked 90% old people...maybe it was the time of year they cruise...or they all jumped on the good deal in late January...but we were so disappointed to go to the pool deck at 10:30pm for a "party" and find 1,000 elderly people doing the macarena. The people we dealt with when we booked the cruise were so nice and excited about it being our honeymoon...they made a special note in our account and said that they do "special things" for honeymooners and special events. I guess we missed the "special things"...we didn't get a balloon, not a 'congratulations' card, not a song during dinner...others did, but not us. We really had our hopes set too high when we booked it. The ship itself is really really nice, very clean and new...but all the parts that make a cruise great weren't there. Grand Turk was a waste of a stop...its not a real island, at least not the part they dropped us off at. It was a set of shopping stores and a man-made beach, Margaritaville restaurant, Ron Jon surf shop...really not what you would think as of an exotic caribbean island. I've been on 6 previous cruises...so I haven't lost the excitement about cruising and don't want to keep complaining...but i was really disappointed. They didn't even make towel animals! C'mon...EVERYONE makes it fun and does towel animals. The food was ok, just ok. We tried to dine at Sabatini's...hoping we could come home and tell the family how amazing this restaurant was inside the ship...because we heard great things even if we did have to pay $20 extra each...but we never had the chance. We found out too late that you have to make reservations and 9:30pm was a little too late for dinner on the last night there. Due to overcrowding on the Lido deck for the lunch buffet, occasionally we had to sit with other guests to share a table...which wasn't a problem for us, and were surprised to learn that we were no the only ones with complaints... almost everyone else had the same exact complaints. We heard more than once, "this is my last Princess cruise." Which is really sad, because i was 9 years old when I went on my first cruise.. the Crown Princess...and i remember it as the BEST time of my life. Movies Unders the Stars gets some credit though, it is a great idea, and it was very nice that they would occasionally bring snacks to us on the chairs. We never caught a full movie but enjoyed the time out there, even if the same movies were played over and over and OVER again. Compared to the Royal Caribbean Cruise we did 2 years ago, the Emerald Princess casino was small and uneventful, though it was wonderful that they did have smoke-free nights. There were no ice-sculpture displays or events that displayed the chef's artistic talents with food, no midnight chocolate buffets... really...no fun. The photographers claimed a "no sitting fee" but for $25 PER PICTURE...one can't ignore that maybe, just maybe an imaginary 'sitting fee' was included in the hefty price of $25 for an 8X10. My new wife and I mostly enjoyed each other's company, playing basketball on the 15th floor at 1am and miniature golf...it was nice that that was available at all times of the day. The man who maintained our room wasn't very friendly, didn't know our names, never said more than a 'hello', and worst of all (besides not making towel animals).. we made ONLY ONE friendly request on the first day.. we told him very lightheartedly that we LOOOOVE those little chocolates they leave on the pillow every night..and wanted lots of them. Nope, we never got more than 2. I drank a Sprite in the room the very first day there and he never replaced it. Our last night on the Royal Caribbean Cruise...after having almost a drawerful of chocolates that built up from the days prior...our stateroom guy left us a full bag. There's no comparison. And I think I know why there was no interaction with us, no 'going the extra mile'...it's because they took $10.50 per person per day to divide amongst everyone on the ship...so our room attendant didn't have to do anything special, not even listen to our requests...he's getting paid either way. Overall, maybe to be bored and sleep all day in our stateroom was what I personally needed, especially after being so overwhelmed with wedding stuff months prior...but I can't see that being the case for everyone. It would take a miracle for me to ever book a Princess cruise again. Now have to find a way to make it up to my new wife, who had a less fabulous time than I did.

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