Number of Cruises: 40
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Sea Princess
Sailing Date: October 28, 2006
Itinerary: Quebec - Florida
We made our own flight arrangements but utilized Princess pre-cruise and post-cruise, hotel bookings for 2 days prior to and after the cruise. In Quebec City we were booked into the Sherry Frontenac; our initial room was on the 3rd floor with the window view looking at a wall several feet from the window. We immediately contacted the Princess people who contacted the VP who made a room change for us to the 7th floor after advising that the room that we were originally assigned to was the level of room for which Princess had contracted. We have made many cruises with Princess and have found that they normally book at a very high acceptable level; possibly because of the reputation of the Sherry Frontenac associated with a high rate structure that they acquiesced to a lower level of room. In either case, we were changed to a room on the 7th floor; which while being acceptable, was far from being anything about a 3 star level.
Check in on board was exceptionally easy due to our Captain’s Circle Elite membership. We were booked on Aloha deck (11th) in cabin A521 with balcony; this was an exceptionally small cabin; in fact it was probably the smallest cabin we have encountered since our 1st cruise approximately 45 years ago!
Alternate Dining system in NOT THE SAME on all Princess Ships; we had booked 1st seating and had been advised that we could utilize the alternate dining as we saw fit; this was not the same as alternate dining on the Sapphire or as on Oceania cruises. The alternate dining all had the same menu except for the Steak House; when the steak in the main dining room is tough, why would one want to spend an additional $ 15.00 ea to eat in the Steak Room; it appeared to me due to the excessive attempts to sell the Steak House that this added expense has not been very successful as they appeared to be constant hawking for the Steak Room!
The service at dinner time in the main dining room was excellent; the main dinning room and the pizza room were the only locations on board ship where there was good food service. The buffets were lacking in space, seating, and service. There appeared to be no assistance for the handicapped to carry the trays to a table! Due to some virus problems on board all food service in the buffets were changed to the staff to be serving the food which included bread, coffee, etc. etc.; the coffee line as times was 8 to 10 people long; lines ran from right to left yet at the juice machines while the line ran to the left the juice glasses were 5 to 6 feet on the wrong size of the machine causing people to wait in line; then walk past the machines and come back to them…completely inefficient layout!
While the lines were long and people had to go back to the machines for a 2nd cup of coffee or tea as they was no personnel walking around offering 2nd cups of coffee except on very rare occasion.
This ship was recently purchased back from P & O; it appeared to me that the personnel came with the ship as the service was not the normal Princess service; the food menus were limited and the meat always appeared to be tough! Simply stated it appeared to be geared to the English who, by the way, were approximately 60% of the passengers and the majority of whom were not aware that the ship had been sold to Princess; many of them were complaining as they lost their privileges that they had on P & O.
The only thing that seemed to salvage this trip was the fact that we were Captain Circle Elite members which offered us free laundry, free dry cleaning, free internet, and fast embarkation and disembarkation. The itinerary was good although a couple of the initial stops in Newfoundland could be questioned.
This cruise was far below the normal standard of Princess and I surely would NOT recommend cruising on the Sea Princess.