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Old 01-13-2007, 12:03 PM
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Hi All,
I'm in the process of planning a 2-week vacation to Alaska and planning my first 1 week on either Sapphire or Diamond. After reading some excellent reviews, I'm also found a hand full of bad reviews regarding both ships. Horror stories from slow embarkation/disembarkation to virus, sickness, bad staffs to ship mechanical problems that affects the entire ship's schedule and the mood on the ship. Am I just overly concern about something that can be better explain due to bad luck or just poor cruise line service? Where's the truth?

Please advice.
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:04 PM
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Hi Techboy and welcome to cruise-chat;
since you have already read reviews I won't burden you with another, other than to say that I've cruised with Princess for years and never had anything other than wonderful experiences.
But to take your concerns point by point;
embarcation can always bog down: several large groups arrive at the same time: computer break-down: labor problems: but it USUALLY goes very smoothly. The most important thing for you to do is have all your paperwork in order; pre-register on-line if possible; don't try to be the first one on.
Disembarcation problems are usually caused by inadequate customs and immigration personnel, not the cruise lines.
Virus outbreaks always get big play in the media but they are actually very rare.
Staff problems do occur but they are certainly not the norm and they don't last long; word-of-mouth is strong and swift in the cruise community, to which this site testifies.
And while mechanical problems do happen, they too are rare.
Don't let the horror stories put you off; they are usually written by people who have decided ahead of time they are going to have a horrible trip and, well, you've heard the expression "self-fulfilling prophecy"?
I think the truth is that yes, bad experiences happen but they are rare and they are isolated.
You will love the Sapphire Princess (or Diamond Princess) and you will love Alaska!
Just be sure and tell them what you think of the new $50 per person cruise passenger tax.
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:20 PM
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I do value good reviews more over bad ones, and I agree with you, people with bad experience tend to blame everyone and anything around them even though it may be rare and pure bad luck.

Thanks for the reply and now I can sleep better.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:26 AM
PEB PEB is offline
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You will find good and bad reviews on every cruise ship sailing. I enjoy reading reviews and I always write reviews, however there is one big thing to consider when you read a review and that is that you do not know the people writing the review so how do you know if you would agree with them. You do not know their likes or dislikes so they may not be the same as yours. You do not know what they expect and you may have different expectations.

If you read enough reviews by one person you can get a feel for their likes and dislikes and if you would agree with them especially if you have been on the same cruise or the same ship.

As I said I read a lot of reviews and there are some I take into consideration more then others because I have read enough of their reviews and I have been on enough of the same ships as them so that I can compare them to what I like.

The best thing about a review to me is what may be available on a ship or cruise destination. When I go on a cruise I do not compare that cruise to any other cruise I have been on until I return home. I look for what I enjoy on any given cruise or ship and I do not focus on what I do not like or what someone else did not like. You can find something you like on every cruise so look for that and enjoy yourself. As far as staff goes there is good and bad staff on every cruise because there are a lot of employees on every ship. The majority do a great job and if you do have a problem with a staff memeber let their supervisor know and at the very least fill out the survey at the end of the cruise and voice your opinion.
 
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