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Charles Kelber

Age: 76

Occupation:Judge

Number of Cruises: 20+

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Island Princess

Sailing Date: December 20th, 2004

Itinerary: Hawaii


It saddens me to have to say that I can no longer recommend the Princess Cruise line. Under the management of Carnival Corporation for the past few years service has degraded to the point that the cruise has become more trouble than its worth. You have to beg, bargain, or beseech for:
1) A table for two at a time more or less to your liking;
2) Robes;
3) Toiletries;
4) Extra Towels (rationed!)
5) Fruit bowl (which we never got);
6) Laundry bag;
7) etc.

Additionally, there were no seat covers in the restrooms; there was an irritant in the air that bothered many passengers bronchi-probably from the aerosol used on the stages to make the lighting more apparent; the on-board lecturers were unprepared or boring; and, finally, the food quality ranged downward from good (fowl) to inedible (fish, beef). The cruise director's idea of a high time was bingo. Passengers were allotted one (1) threadbare beach towel for use on deck. The beach towel was assigned to the cabin and passengers lugged it with them weree're they went till they found a likely spot.

The balconies on the cabins were miniscule, of limited use. Those on the upper three or four cabin decks were open to public view.

There were some good points: the entertainment was generally very good to exceptionally fine, with the exception of two comedians who had the mis-fortune to die (theatrically speaking) on stage. The ship is well-designed and pleasantly decorated. The cover-charge restaurant Sabbatini's is excellent. The same can not be said for the other cover charge restaurant, the Bayou, which, although it served excellent Oysters Bienville, also served inedible steaks!

Also, embarkation and debarkation were very well handled.

Too bad the good hardly outweighs the bad.

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