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Princess Sun Princess ReviewEastern CaribbeanB. Calhoun

Age: 53

Occupation:Group Administrator

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Sun Princess

Sailing Date: February 25th, 2006

Itinerary: NOT FOUND

Princess Cruises
Sun Princess Cruise Review
Eastern Caribbean

B. Calhoun

There were several issues my husband and I encountered, as well as the rest of our traveling party, on our recent cruise.

The first problem arose when we had to wait over 2 hours for a flight from the U.K. to bring several passengers that had already been delayed for 24 hours. Then we were blocked in at the port by another ship behind us. They were waiting on passengers also, and therefore we were unable to leave due to that as well. This was not acceptable. Then we were told we had some mechanical failure with the thrusters and/or propulsion and we would be late in order to get those problems fixed. Those problems were never fixed. When I addressed these problems with Princess, they pretty much said that was just part of the "cruising experience". They also lied about the fact that there was any kind of mechanical problems,therefore they could blame all our delays on weather, etc. There were barges pushing the ship against the ports everywhere we went because they weren’t fixed. That is lack of proper maintenance. We missed our first port of call, St. Vincent, supposedly because of those “problems”. Nothing was done about this except an apology by the Captain. That just meant ANOTHER day at sea without stopping.

The ship is listed as having a capacity of 1950 passengers. The captain announced that we had 2040 onboard for this cruise. For my part, that’s way over the capacity and it was very evident. We were unable to even see the entertainment in the Princess theatre due to the overcrowding. There was standing room only for all the major shows there. We were given some lame excuse that we could have gone at a different time which was also not true. The shows were booked everytime we tried, again, for overbooking. When you have straight days at sea and you can’t even get into see the entertainment, that leaves precious little to do, unless you gamble, which we don’t. We didn’t lay out in the sun or swim, either because it was too cold. We booked this cruise on this particular cruise line to see the ports of call. Not to stay on the ship for days at a time without leaving.

The last port we were to stop for was Princess Cays. The staff on the ship told us what a paradise it was and how we would just love it. Within an hour of getting there, the Captain came over the intercom again and told us the seas were too rough and we wouldn’t be able to go to the island. Once again, we received a nice little apology from the Captain. I think after a huge amount of passengers complained, the Activities Director decided to offer some semblance of compensation by announcing the ship was going to give us all free rum punch for 1 hour and free ice cream for 1 hour. Well, if you don’t drink and you are diabetic as one in our party was, that’s pretty useless. Plus, where they were giving out the free drinks looked like they were handing out free $1,000 bills! There was no way to get close to the one bar where they were doing that if you had wanted to partake. It was a mad frenzy. So, with that, we had yet ANOTHER day at sea. We only had 4 ports of call out of an 11 day cruise! I didn’t spend thousands of dollars to sit on a ship for 7 days and miss out on everything I paid for.

Also, the Horizon Grill needs some serious attention regarding the “flow” of the serving lines. That was total pandemonium. There is no reason for a large buffet area to be so chaotic. No one goes in the same direction and it makes for a jumbled mess in the serving lines. Also, there were 5 tables being reserved during peak dining times one morning for the bridge club to play cards! Passengers were standing around with plates of food, trying to find a place to sit and couldn’t because they had been given permission to play cards in the Horizon Court!

It is my understanding from talking with travel agents and other cruise passengers that we should be offered some type of compensation. Princess offered us a credit of $100 on a future cruise as long as we book it by April of 2007. They offer that online with any cruise you can book! That was a slap in the face. That's not any kind of compensation. We have no desire to do that again. One experience like that was enough for all of us and I told them that when I wrote to them. We have sailed the Caribbean with Carnival three times in the past, in February, without encountering any of these types of issues. We were very excited to get to sail with Princess, but were sorely disappointed at the final outcome of the cruise. That would be our last cruise if Princess was the only one we had to pick from.

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