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Disappointed in Denver

Age: 45

Occupation:IT professional

Number of Cruises: 18

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Grand Princess

Sailing Date: 2009-12-21

Itinerary: Caribbean

This is my 6th Princess cruise and what a dissapointment this one was - especially over the holidays. Have noticed a lot of cutbacks - everything from the quality of linens (looked very tattered and stained), to the lack of cruise brouchures for future cruise plans, the poor quality of the meat and replacement of decent fish to lesser quality (hailbut in the past versus tilapia). The evening entertainment often degenerated to Wii bowling and other video games in the lounges. Many of the waiters had problems understanding English or their accents were so thick you couldn't understand them. The perfume boutique clerks were ultra-snotty as was the internet manager.

The good part was the itinerary - even though we had bad weather starting out the trip itself went to some of the prime spots in the Caribbean.

In a nutshell - substandard. We went to the steakhouse and 2 out of 3 meals were sent back; upon return one of them was still lacking in quality - the lamb chops were so gamey I couldn't eat them. Not a great deal when you are paying $20 per person for a "superior" dining experience.

The dining room entrees at times looked like they were children's portions; one meal was about a cup of white rice and 6 small shrimp, with no vegetables. One night my duck was so tough I started humming the song "Rubber Ducky" - I've never had to use a steak knife (unsuccessfully I may add) on poultry. They also could never seem to get the beef right - it was either tough, flavorless, prepared wrong or all the above. Serious cutbacks in the amount of vegetables, generally only 4 stalks of asparagus, 5 baby carrots, 3 small pieces of brocolli - you get the idea.

Also, no bagels were available during breakfast and there was not any regular sandwich bread to make yourself a sandwich over lunch. Cutbacks were evident (too numerous to mention). They always seemed to be out of green tea....

However the wine selection was decent and reasonable; perhaps they did this so you wouldn't be sober enough to spot the cuisine deficiencies...not a bad strategy but it wasn't working on me.

Good not great - much smaller than the Island princess. Clean, great cabin steward. But small things were noticable - again the towels looked ratty and stained. Our sink faucet came apart at one point.

Average to poor. Not enough going on in the evening. Cruise staff was not vested in making passengers feel valued, very much into their own stage presence. If you wanted to do Karaoke you basically had to sing up for the Pop Star competition to even sing (and I am not all that interested in competing - I do enough competitve stuff at work) as they only had 3 sessions of Karaoke on a 14 day cruise - one at 7:00 pm, right during the major dinner hour. Which brings up another point - Karaoke and PopStar was always filled up so you think they's be flexible and add more sessions - nope.

Being a person who has cruised the Caribbean a lot I tend to be very picky about tours. The catamaran sail to Bequia out of St. Vincent should not be missed even though it's expensive - especially on a Sunday as there isn't much to do in St.Vincent then. The jeep 4 x 4 in Trinidad was good but a little overpriced for what you got - they didn't allow enough time for anything at the beach.

My advice - if you know what you want to do and it doesn't fit any tour, do your own thing. It's cheaper and less restrictive time-wise.

Off the ship - with the exception of downtown Barbados, which was dirty and crowded was great. Went to my some of my favorite spots and found some new gems.

The staff seemed to want to make the passengers have a good experience but seemed perplexed or not enabled to do so. However, there were some staff members that just had a "this is the last place I want to be, and you, Ms/Mr Passenger are inconviencing me" notably in the perfume boutique, the steakhouse, the internet cafe and occasionally at the tour desk - like when I asked a tour staff member what the weather was going to be like in St Kitts he replied "it can only get better than this" very sarcastically as it had rained torrents that day. I don't need that kind of answer, I need the forecast you smarta$$.

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