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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2005, 02:35 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2
Default
Just got back from my very FIRST cruise aboard the
GOLDEN Princess that sailed out of San Juan to
New York City, originally scheduled May 1-8.

Being this is my first cruise with Princess (I am
a devoted RCCL member with 5 cruises under my
belt), I would have rated Princess very high on overall
satisfaction....

...that is, until the tackiness the cruise line showed
towards its travelers this past weekend.

On Saturday evening the Golden Princess got caught
in a rather nasty storm while heading up the Atlantic
seaboard towards New York City.

The Captain made a very brave decision not to push ahead
ahead any further. He slowed the ship and announced that
the NYC arrival would be delayed by one day.

I have to applaud the Captain's decision. He took into
consideration the safety of the travelers over meeting any
scheduling deadlines. After all, the Golden Princess was
due to leave NYC on its scheduled arrival day for a
Transcontinental sailing out towards the Mediterannian.

There is a huge nasty side-effect that comes with a decision
like this to delay arrival. We experienced those side-effects
first-hand and were sort of put off with the manner in which
Princess tried to make additional monies over distressed
passengers who were GREATLY inconvenienced by the added
day of travel.

Imagine all the people on board who had plane tickets back
home out of NYC area airports. Imagine the people who had
limousine or family rides lined up. Imagine the people that had
to be back at work on Monday and were losing a day's pay for
not being back on time.

I have never seen a ship full of discouraged passengers who
were full of panic over how they were going to get home.

The only help that we saw Princess provide these people
inconvenienced by THEIR decision was that they made a
phone available at the Purser's desk that you had to wait
on a line that was ALWAYS a two-three hours wait to use at
any given point of the day.

Princess also offered to help reschedule airline itineraries
for those who booked airfare through Princess but claimed
they could help no-one that scheduled a flight on their own.

This is where it gets real tacky....

There are phones avalailable in every room aboard the ship.
Princess should have provided ONE free phone call out of
room for any passenger that was put out by the rescheduling
decision. Instead, they made oodles of money from passengers
who called from their rooms rather than wait on a 3-hour line
for a free phone call. The call from a room? A standard $4.95
per minute with NO discount offered.

Furthermore, Princess had the audacity to charge everyone
an extra $10 on their bill for gratuity on a day that ultimately
inconvenienced a huge portion of people who were traveling
that week.

Before anyone slams me for making complaints about all
these extra charges, let me make something clear....

I realize that the Captain made a decision that I agreed with
all in the name of providing passengers with the utmost safety.

However....

There are people who were greatly inconvenienced and lost a
lot of money because of that decision. People missed flights.
People had Broadway show tickets and sightseeing plans
that were abruptly cancelled. People missed work and probably
lost pay.

Why does Princess feel they have to further profit off of these
people? Couldn't they offer a free phone call from the room or
perhaps at the very least, a reduced rate? Did Princess really
feel it necessary to tack on an extra $10 gratuity for a day that
wasn't scheduled? I am all for taking care of the staff through
tips, but I am certain the staff can understand this sort of
inconvenience affects EVERYONE.

And couldn't Princess have gone the extra mile to help those
that did not book their airfare through the parent company?

I'm really saddened how a wonderful cruise that was so much
better than any RCCL cruise I have ever been on had gone
suddenly sour because Princess wanted to scrape a couple
extra dollars from inconvenienced travelers.

And you know what? Before you flame me for making these
points, I'd like to hear the opinions of those that were on the
same cruise we were on. I'd like to hear their stories and how
they feel about the manner in which Princess handled some of
these extra charges.

Thanks!
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2005, 03:43 PM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default
It is sad how they can't see the forest for the trees. CELEBRITY is a line I will never want to sail on again, as THEY lost one suitcase. My new tux, 2 suits, dress shoes and ties. Not a very pleasnat cruise. But I made do. And they promise weekly to check into the matter, and call me back. I still call them weekly, letting them know what cruise line I sail on NOW!

David Landry
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2005, 04:36 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 645
Default
njronbo - sorry to hear that your cruise was soured due to the delay & poor treatment.
I hear you & probably would be upset too.
In reading some postings of delays I thought often they did allow pax to call from their cabins?? Wonder why this did not occur.
In defense of the tipping charges however, the crew is providing the same level of service, correct?? Why should they not be compensated?
The crew is also on board & experiencing the same rough seas you are while maintaining their work load.
Just my opinion........
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2005, 06:36 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Valley Center, CA 92082
Posts: 2,362
Default
I totally agree with you. It amazes me that cruise lines think nothing of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising to develop new customers, when all they have to do is step up to the plate when something like this occurs. The positive word of mouth, had they done so, would be substantially more powerful than an investment in future advertising.

Don't ever feel bad about expressing your opinion. I really enjoy people that are not afraid to make a stand.

I hope your next cruise is a better one.

Tom
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2005, 06:38 PM
TexasGal's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 41
Default
Hi there! I totally agree with you! I would've thought that Princess would provide for the people that THEY put out! I know if I were a passenger, i'd get my lawyers on this fast and sue them for the money that they charged me that last day, and the money for the plane ticket. I bet they will get a lot of notices like that in the mail soon! But i'm glad you had an enjoyable cruise before all this nasty stuff happened!
~~Keri~~
1st cruise-Golden Princess-June 1, 2005-Western European Capitals
Quote:
Originally posted by NJRonbo:
Just got back from my very FIRST cruise aboard the
GOLDEN Princess that sailed out of San Juan to
New York City, originally scheduled May 1-8.

Being this is my first cruise with Princess (I am
a devoted RCCL member with 5 cruises under my
belt), I would have rated Princess very high on overall
satisfaction....

...that is, until the tackiness the cruise line showed
towards its travelers this past weekend.

On Saturday evening the Golden Princess got caught
in a rather nasty storm while heading up the Atlantic
seaboard towards New York City.

The Captain made a very brave decision not to push ahead
ahead any further. He slowed the ship and announced that
the NYC arrival would be delayed by one day.

I have to applaud the Captain's decision. He took into
consideration the safety of the travelers over meeting any
scheduling deadlines. After all, the Golden Princess was
due to leave NYC on its scheduled arrival day for a
Transcontinental sailing out towards the Mediterannian.

There is a huge nasty side-effect that comes with a decision
like this to delay arrival. We experienced those side-effects
first-hand and were sort of put off with the manner in which
Princess tried to make additional monies over distressed
passengers who were GREATLY inconvenienced by the added
day of travel.

Imagine all the people on board who had plane tickets back
home out of NYC area airports. Imagine the people who had
limousine or family rides lined up. Imagine the people that had
to be back at work on Monday and were losing a day's pay for
not being back on time.

I have never seen a ship full of discouraged passengers who
were full of panic over how they were going to get home.

The only help that we saw Princess provide these people
inconvenienced by THEIR decision was that they made a
phone available at the Purser's desk that you had to wait
on a line that was ALWAYS a two-three hours wait to use at
any given point of the day.

Princess also offered to help reschedule airline itineraries
for those who booked airfare through Princess but claimed
they could help no-one that scheduled a flight on their own.

This is where it gets real tacky....

There are phones avalailable in every room aboard the ship.
Princess should have provided ONE free phone call out of
room for any passenger that was put out by the rescheduling
decision. Instead, they made oodles of money from passengers
who called from their rooms rather than wait on a 3-hour line
for a free phone call. The call from a room? A standard $4.95
per minute with NO discount offered.

Furthermore, Princess had the audacity to charge everyone
an extra $10 on their bill for gratuity on a day that ultimately
inconvenienced a huge portion of people who were traveling
that week.

Before anyone slams me for making complaints about all
these extra charges, let me make something clear....

I realize that the Captain made a decision that I agreed with
all in the name of providing passengers with the utmost safety.

However....

There are people who were greatly inconvenienced and lost a
lot of money because of that decision. People missed flights.
People had Broadway show tickets and sightseeing plans
that were abruptly cancelled. People missed work and probably
lost pay.

Why does Princess feel they have to further profit off of these
people? Couldn't they offer a free phone call from the room or
perhaps at the very least, a reduced rate? Did Princess really
feel it necessary to tack on an extra $10 gratuity for a day that
wasn't scheduled? I am all for taking care of the staff through
tips, but I am certain the staff can understand this sort of
inconvenience affects EVERYONE.

And couldn't Princess have gone the extra mile to help those
that did not book their airfare through the parent company?

I'm really saddened how a wonderful cruise that was so much
better than any RCCL cruise I have ever been on had gone
suddenly sour because Princess wanted to scrape a couple
extra dollars from inconvenienced travelers.

And you know what? Before you flame me for making these
points, I'd like to hear the opinions of those that were on the
same cruise we were on. I'd like to hear their stories and how
they feel about the manner in which Princess handled some of
these extra charges.

Thanks!
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2005, 07:53 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Plymouth Twp.,MI
Posts: 116
Default
My wife and I are devoted Princess cruisers having reached platinum status. We have been very pleased with them. I am saddened to hear of this and will, however keep it under advisement when we book our next cruise.

It is an unfortunate thing that as the travel business begins to grow again and there are so many mergers of the major lines I feel that this type of situation will be seen more often.
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2005, 05:39 AM
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default
TexasGal
Forget about lawyers and suing. Cruise lines are foreign based, so you must go to the country they are based in to sue them. And you sign a waiver when you board, so you can't sue them. Bad business, but that's cruising!

David Landry
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2005, 07:49 AM
PEB PEB is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 220
Default
I agree Princess could have handled the phone call situation much better and that it sure did mess with plans of passengers that they may have had once the ship was suppose to dock. They also should have helped with as many air travel plans as possible.

I do not think the way Princess handled it is just a Princess problem though. Recently when RCCL had the Grandeur of the Seas punch a hole in her side they also had many complaints about what was done for the passengers. Some people were satisfied some were not.

You hear of these stories from delayed cruises on all lines and IMHO all the cruise lines need to take a look at their policy for taking care of the passengers with delay problems. They also need to better inform the ships staff of what to do when such problems do come up.

These problems are infrequent but do come up on occasion and you do have a right to feel things were not handled properly. I would make sure you write the cruise line and let them know of your opinion and what steps you believe they should have taken. Perhaps it may not help but then again it may help someone else in the future.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-11-2005, 12:33 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: cape coral fl usa
Posts: 505
Default
I think it would be a good idea for all of the lines to take some customer service courses. The bottom line is that there are so many people cruising now that all the ships are full or almost full everytime they go out.That doesn't leave much incentive for them to improve though does it?I still believe Celebrity is overall best for cust. service.We have watched all the lines purchased by Carnival go down one by one, thier servcie falls very quickly. JMHO.
Tom
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 06-22-2005, 10:39 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 12
Default
I wonder if their computer automatically charges gratuity every day and they didnt think about it? Anyway, I think that the hardworking crew should get their money, but given the inconvenience if Princess really wanted to maintain loyalty they could have done 2 things:

1. Allowed one free call (they can cap minutes if they need to) from each cabin to arrange travel plan changes.
2. They should have offered to pick up the tab on the gratuities for that day.

At any rate, if you go to the pursers office, you can adjust your gratuity bill, those are (sorta) optional. But then folks making your cruise special go without, so that's sad.

They can't control the weather, but knowing this will happen from time to time, they should budget in being able to do these types of things for people. Consider it advertising, word of mouth may be more important than they realize, especially in North America.
 
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Tags
carnival, cruises, peb, pick, princess, tacky

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