Occupation:Manager Bruster's Ice Cream
Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Sun Princess
Sailing Date: January, 2003
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
My husband, Greg and I love Princess and have not even considered another line until now. Every cruise has been great, little things that went wrong, ie, requesting pillows and it taking 2 days. Nothing really to spoil our trip. I have read other reviews about the ships we have been on and really wondered, "Where was I?"
We find the food excellent, plenty of choices, served hot, no complaints. This one we had the Norwalk scare and really noticed it upon entering the Horizon Court for breakfast one morning. This was our 3rd or 4th day out and like every other meal at the buffet we started to walk in and noticed a ball type contraption on a stand with a sign telling us it was sanitizer and how to use it. We did and started to pick up our tray, the silver ware was handed to us. That was strange. The couple behind us chose not to use the sanitizer and were told that they would not be allowed to eat unless they did.
Another change was all the food was put on your plate instead of you using the tongs, etc. to pick up your food. There was no salt or pepper shakers on the table and when you asked for salt or pepper it was brought to you in single throw away packets. Everyone was now wearing gloves. We have also noticed a change with Princess since they were taken over. It use to be that there was a beverage cart that would go around the room re-filling your drinks. Not so anymore. You have to go back to the buffet, going the wrong way, for a re-fill.
Of course we all wish our rooms were bigger. Greg and I have been ok with our rooms on all our trips. Our first cruise we had a ocean view. Will never do that again. It is worth the money for a balcony and really makes the trip much more enjoyable. There is nothing like having coffee, fruit and juice on your balcony, still in your pj's, and at night, your the only people in the world. We loved having our wake up call being room service with hot coffee, etc.
The only complaint we have was with two of the shore excursions. We had done the "swim with the string-rays" in Grand Caymans and couldn't wait to do it again in Barbados. Do not do the Barbados one. If you have done Grand Caymans, out on a sand bar, hundreds of sting rays, well if you've done that one there is no other to compare it to. The one at Barbados was a netted enclosure, maybe 25 stingrays, the people in charge would not give you bait until you had your picture made. It was awful. Then afterwards they held you at their camp until everyone was given the sales pitch to purchase the picture.
The other excursion that was a complete failure was at St. Vincent. If you have the chance to go there, don't pass it up. It is a beautiful island, black sand beaches, lovely, un-spoiled, wonderful. But don't take the Best of Barbados. We were to go up into the mountains for a swim in a water fall, that part was great. The van dropped us off and was to return 45 minutes later to take us to lunch. The driver was over 2 hours late picking us up. He fell asleep somewhere. Well it went downhill from there. You know we had to make up the time somewhere down the line and we did. We were suppose to have 45 minutes snorkeling along a beautiful coral reef watching the abundant sea life. What we ended up with was about 12 - 15 minutes on a beach that you couldn't even stand up. The waves were so big, and there was not much sea life or any other kind. We were sooo late returning to the ship, they had pulled the gang-plank and even the x-ray equipment. I have written Princess and as of today, I have not heard anything from them. The second time I sent my letter, two weeks ago, I sent it certified, return receipt. I have booked another cruise on Princess, the Coral Princess for the Panama Canal in January and will submit a review then. Hopefully Princess will respond before then. If not I will be looking for a new cruise line.