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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2008, 11:57 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1
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Letter to Princess...
I recently completed a disappointing cruise on the Carrib Princess out of NY June 22 – July 1st 2008,
having booked 2 staterooms.

In all fairness to YOU, folks on board, who have cruised with you several times, some over 20, have stated
“ NOT to compare this cruise with the Princess Line”. Most where ‘excellent’ but this was the WORST, as we found out. Yet, on the other hand, an experienced cruiser on RCCL stated that once you’ve gone RCCL, nothing else compares. I can only use my own experiences as comparison, RCCL( 5 ) Carnival(1) and Norwegian( 2 ), and this was the worst. Relatives who have booked Princess on the West Coast had an ‘excellent’ time. It truly may have just been this cruise-on this ship-at this time. Although I did hear about the cancelling of St Maartin on an upcoming cruise on this same ship due to the tech concerns.

I had booked this cruise as soon as I knew when my daughter was to return as a Combat Vet from IRAQ.
SSgt Kimberly .

I had booked 2 staterooms and booked several tours as well to fill out our trip.

We where sadly disappointed that many Tours where cancelled at every port due to Ship coming in late and leaving early. ( Bermuda was 1330 till 1730. Seemed to be ˝ the speed going in as opposed to returning to NYC) Engine failure, Generator failure, ( reason for Air Conditioning Brown-Outs? ) POOR water drainage in showers, ( When I used the palm of my hand as a plunger, some swamp like scum came up. If my wife saw that, we would have needed another room) and other tech failures made travel less than desirable. Other factors where heavy traffic due to a road closure, ( San Juan) which had been going on for some time, and as a Tour provider, you should have known about this. By simply REFUNDING was not satisfactory. If I wanted a refund, at each and every port, I would have stayed home, in my own pool and gotten the relaxation we all needed from my daughter’s combat deployment. In short, all we did was have a change of location and a lot of extra stress. That, plus minu$ a few grand.

Additionally, service, in most cases was just not there. There where a few bright spots such as Mirko in the Palm Dining Room, his asst Kasmier, our room attendant, Sara, and a simple Bus Boy named Sim, who ALWAYS had a smile. Other than that I had to get my own coffee, & juice, often cleaned off a table near the window. When asking about some milk at lunch was told to go pour some from the picture by the coffee stand. You get that, I WAS TOLD TO GO GET MYSELF. A bit unbelievable that there was only Ice Tea available during meals/lunch as a soft beverage. I couldn’t believe that my son was ignored trying get a soda till I myself went up to a bar and sat there, tapping his card showing the Coke sticker, while other customers where serviced who ordered drinks, and of course the bar was tipped, while a soda card got slow service, if any at all. When I asked the Bar Tender why my son was ignored, the answer was they didn’t see him. He’s 6’2” and blonde… At Lunch the same thing, sodas came slow, while ‘drinks’ came quickly.



Activities where acceptable, even enjoyable and at times entertaining. I suggestion you make Bingo Cards more available to those at the pool rather than having them go to a different floor/location. Pro-Active service. Photography was above norm, in some cases, excellent. Ice Cream was Okay, but free all day long on RCCL. Drinks seemed a bit ‘weak’ at pool side compared to Dinner. Theater entertainment was great, but lack of seating space made us get there an hour early to get good seats together.

On our first day out, we had a great dinner service by Mirko. I called that evening upon returning to my room to resv one of his tables at 1930 rest of the cruise. The woman even asked if I had a table in mind, which I had, #133. The next night, when we went down, I was told we had to sit elsewhere as Mirko’s section was booked with some large parties. No big deal, I can understand, once. The following evening the same thing. Thus followed many a conversation with ‘Elkie’ Customer Service Rep. Red Haired woman from Australia. Seemed to understand all of the Challenges that I faced. I even explained to her that in PROVIDING customer service, one should be Pro-Active and not just sit back and ‘wait’. After which I did notice a change in the Cafes. But too little, too late, damage done.

The SPA was often flooded due to water from a poor designed pool just outside their doors. Shipped swayed a bit more than I recall on other cruises. Perhaps due to the unbalance of a disfuctioning engine and prop.
Mens’ Steam Room had about as much steam as a tea kettle, when working at all. Wife and daughter purchased a package to use the private facilities, yet anyone and everyone walked in without being challenged.
Wife had entered a drawing for some ‘free’ Spa service, we got a call and she went down to find out, it was free, only if she purchased 2 other services. I know we where in Int’l Waters, but in almost every state in the US, Free is FREE. No Purchase necessary laws exist.

Pool Staff made little security efforts when whirlpools, which didn’t whirl, where full of kids. Even when notified of such. Teens at the ‘Adult’ Pool also seemed of little concern, except to the ‘older’ crowd. Isn’t it the seniors who make up most of the repeat cruise income???

These are, for the most part, and by them selves, little things like drops of water. A nuisance, but water, when in force and numbers, can wear down a rock.

Being that we really didn’t have much of an excellent/relaxing vacation, and if possible, we/4 are not ‘invited’ back on board to re-experience what Princess Excellence is or suppose-to-be, I don’t foresee any of my family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, internet blog, or anybody else we may hear talking about a cruise, ever stepping back on board one of your ‘excellent’ Princess vessels.

'they' finally offered 125 for 2 of us off next cruise... Princess PLEASE HOLD YOUR BREATH
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2008, 11:57 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1
Default
Letter to Princess...
I recently completed a disappointing cruise on the Carrib Princess out of NY June 22 – July 1st 2008,
having booked 2 staterooms.

In all fairness to YOU, folks on board, who have cruised with you several times, some over 20, have stated
“ NOT to compare this cruise with the Princess Line”. Most where ‘excellent’ but this was the WORST, as we found out. Yet, on the other hand, an experienced cruiser on RCCL stated that once you’ve gone RCCL, nothing else compares. I can only use my own experiences as comparison, RCCL( 5 ) Carnival(1) and Norwegian( 2 ), and this was the worst. Relatives who have booked Princess on the West Coast had an ‘excellent’ time. It truly may have just been this cruise-on this ship-at this time. Although I did hear about the cancelling of St Maartin on an upcoming cruise on this same ship due to the tech concerns.

I had booked this cruise as soon as I knew when my daughter was to return as a Combat Vet from IRAQ.
SSgt Kimberly <last name deleted for privacy concerns>.

I had booked 2 staterooms and booked several tours as well to fill out our trip.

We where sadly disappointed that many Tours where cancelled at every port due to Ship coming in late and leaving early. ( Bermuda was 1330 till 1730. Seemed to be ˝ the speed going in as opposed to returning to NYC) Engine failure, Generator failure, ( reason for Air Conditioning Brown-Outs? ) POOR water drainage in showers, ( When I used the palm of my hand as a plunger, some swamp like scum came up. If my wife saw that, we would have needed another room) and other tech failures made travel less than desirable. Other factors where heavy traffic due to a road closure, ( San Juan) which had been going on for some time, and as a Tour provider, you should have known about this. By simply REFUNDING was not satisfactory. If I wanted a refund, at each and every port, I would have stayed home, in my own pool and gotten the relaxation we all needed from my daughter’s combat deployment. In short, all we did was have a change of location and a lot of extra stress. That, plus minu$ a few grand.

Additionally, service, in most cases was just not there. There where a few bright spots such as Mirko in the Palm Dining Room, his asst Kasmier, our room attendant, Sara, and a simple Bus Boy named Sim, who ALWAYS had a smile. Other than that I had to get my own coffee, & juice, often cleaned off a table near the window. When asking about some milk at lunch was told to go pour some from the picture by the coffee stand. You get that, I WAS TOLD TO GO GET MYSELF. A bit unbelievable that there was only Ice Tea available during meals/lunch as a soft beverage. I couldn’t believe that my son was ignored trying get a soda till I myself went up to a bar and sat there, tapping his card showing the Coke sticker, while other customers where serviced who ordered drinks, and of course the bar was tipped, while a soda card got slow service, if any at all. When I asked the Bar Tender why my son was ignored, the answer was they didn’t see him. He’s 6’2” and blonde… At Lunch the same thing, sodas came slow, while ‘drinks’ came quickly.



Activities where acceptable, even enjoyable and at times entertaining. I suggestion you make Bingo Cards more available to those at the pool rather than having them go to a different floor/location. Pro-Active service. Photography was above norm, in some cases, excellent. Ice Cream was Okay, but free all day long on RCCL. Drinks seemed a bit ‘weak’ at pool side compared to Dinner. Theater entertainment was great, but lack of seating space made us get there an hour early to get good seats together.

On our first day out, we had a great dinner service by Mirko. I called that evening upon returning to my room to resv one of his tables at 1930 rest of the cruise. The woman even asked if I had a table in mind, which I had, #133. The next night, when we went down, I was told we had to sit elsewhere as Mirko’s section was booked with some large parties. No big deal, I can understand, once. The following evening the same thing. Thus followed many a conversation with ‘Elkie’ Customer Service Rep. Red Haired woman from Australia. Seemed to understand all of the Challenges that I faced. I even explained to her that in PROVIDING customer service, one should be Pro-Active and not just sit back and ‘wait’. After which I did notice a change in the Cafes. But too little, too late, damage done.

The SPA was often flooded due to water from a poor designed pool just outside their doors. Shipped swayed a bit more than I recall on other cruises. Perhaps due to the unbalance of a disfuctioning engine and prop.
Mens’ Steam Room had about as much steam as a tea kettle, when working at all. Wife and daughter purchased a package to use the private facilities, yet anyone and everyone walked in without being challenged.
Wife had entered a drawing for some ‘free’ Spa service, we got a call and she went down to find out, it was free, only if she purchased 2 other services. I know we where in Int’l Waters, but in almost every state in the US, Free is FREE. No Purchase necessary laws exist.

Pool Staff made little security efforts when whirlpools, which didn’t whirl, where full of kids. Even when notified of such. Teens at the ‘Adult’ Pool also seemed of little concern, except to the ‘older’ crowd. Isn’t it the seniors who make up most of the repeat cruise income???

These are, for the most part, and by them selves, little things like drops of water. A nuisance, but water, when in force and numbers, can wear down a rock.

Being that we really didn’t have much of an excellent/relaxing vacation, and if possible, we/4 are not ‘invited’ back on board to re-experience what Princess Excellence is or suppose-to-be, I don’t foresee any of my family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, internet blog, or anybody else we may hear talking about a cruise, ever stepping back on board one of your ‘excellent’ Princess vessels.

'they' finally offered 125 for 2 of us off next cruise... Princess PLEASE HOLD YOUR BREATH
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2008, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,878
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Hi bobkamo and welcome to Cruise Chat.

First, I'd like to say thank you to your daughter for her service in Iraq. I'm glad she made it home safely.

I'm sorry that you were so disappointed in your cruise, but I can't help but think that being with your daughter for a week was a better experience than any shortcomings on Princess' part could ruin. I'm sure having her there with you put a lot of things in perspective. I'm grateful for you and your family that you were able to celebrate your daughter's safe homecoming. That was the most important thing.

Sandy
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2008, 04:16 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Posts: 911
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Hi Bobkamo! please thank your daughter for her service in Iraq. Our new son-in-law was just deployed to Iraq last week for 14 months and I can only imagine your joy in planning that cruise.

I am sure you felt better after writing that letter to Princess, but I wouldn't expect anything from the tone of it. If in another letter you indicated all of the disappointments but in a tone that you would like to give them a chance again, you might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Although I enjoy Carnival better, our experience on Carib Princess was very good. Give another letter a try....your daughter deserves it!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2008, 10:55 PM
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I was on the Crown Princess this year. The over all service was okay but not great. I will not cruise with Princess cruise lines again. I tried them, did not like them. I guess its a personal choice but I am going to stick with RCCL & Celebrity
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2008, 08:15 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,601
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Hi Bobkamo, welcome to Cruise-Chat. I am so very glad to hear your daughter was able to return from Iraq unharmed. I'm sure that make the cruise as well as the excursions a remarkable experience. Thank your daughter for us!
I sure hope yu didn't let these few minor problems ruin your cruise. Did you speak to anyone at the purser's desk? If so, and they did nothing to rectify your problems, then I would agree and shame on them. If not, how could you expect them to fix your problems?

I am so happy your daughter was with y'all on this cruise, because family is the most important thing we hage! Sorry that your experience was so incredibly bad. We have cruised with Princess 7 times and have never had any trouble like you did.

I hope to see you back on our board, in much better circumstances. Best wishes, and once again, welcome aboard.
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cape Coral, Fl.
Posts: 1,319
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From the sound of your experiences it appears that some of the problems led you to look for other things to complain about. It's true that they do have problems from time to time but if every cruise was as bad as you let on I doubt if they'd be in business that long.
It's to bad that you let it disrupt your whole vacation although switching to RCCL might not solve all the problems as they have their share also from what I've been reading.
Good luck.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2008, 10:52 AM
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Location: New Hampshire
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Most of my experience is with Carnival and only once did I have multiple trouble with plumbing or the facilities. Each time we brought it to the attention of the people in charge and things were corrected or attempted to be corrected. The steam room never worked well but they did keep trying. I think your trip was the exception, try again and allow the cruise line to make it up to you.
 
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