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About nellydean

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  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/viking-sky-what-happened-storm-norway-emergency-evacuation-coast-a8837371.html This a report by Simon Calder, a very well respected British travel correspondent. I think questions need to be asked why the ship continued her journey, considering the forecast was so bad, and especially as I read elsewhere that another ship stayed in port.
  2. With looks like that, she doesn't need any publicity stunt. Think the video says more about the person who filmed this couple for 6 minutes
  3. Recently off the Royal and, although I wasn't expecting a full deck promenade, I can't see the point in having the bits they do have as we couldn't use them properly when we wanted to, which was mostly after dinner, when we like a stroll/sit down on the prom deck. The rattan chairs in one area were tied up every day at 5-5.30pm sharp, plus, there were horribly strong lights under the rails that made it impossible to sit there without them shining in your eyes, or, on the wooden chairs further up that were left out in the evenings. Not to mention it was open to the elements. The busiest it ever was was on embarkation and disembarkation days. I guess princess likes to encourage people to stay inside and spend more money
  4. Hi Tom, in answer to your question, which is a worthy one, yes and no. In the buffet, everyone was in a rush, both passengers and crew. As a passenger, it was such a port intensive itinerary, that your time to track senior staff down was very limited, and they were certainly not in view while we are up there. In addition, a complaint to the correct person would not necessarily have had the desired effect anyway, as the problems seemed systemic, unlike, in the dining room, where you could point out an under or overcooked piece of meat, in the buffet a lot was down to an apparent lack of hotplates or, at least, of them being switched on, so I can't see one complaint changing that. Maybe they relied on the heavy footfall to ensure food stayed warm, it just didn't. From the wait staff perspective, they went from breakfast to lunch to dinner almost without a break, so you can imagine the stress they were under. Like the dining room, the problem appeared related to the shortage of staff. On the Anytime Dining issues, we did address our concerns at the time, and were led to an empty table on the fourth occasion we were offered a pager, but the matter of tables for two being served as larger tables was just an annoying observation we made and put up with, but which we addressed in the post-cruise survey. We did not see the maitre d until the penultimate night, which was disappointing and, after that, we were in going home mode. The International Cafe food was fine, but the best by far of the catering venues was Alfredo's Pizzeria. The food, the staff, the service, was top notch, and what I remember ship's dining to be. Yes, it was poorly patronised, compared to other dining options, although I think some of this is down to Princess not advertising it enough as complimentary, but it still stood out as a beacon in the darkness of mediocrity! More staff generally equals better service, so that's something for Princess to consider. On the shuttle tickets issue we spoke to passenger services at the time, and were told to contact Princess when we got home, to try to get a refund. No amount of moaning at the entertainment would have had any impact whatsoever, as they schedule months beforehand so, again, we addressed that in the survey. We do feel the post cruise questionnaire is of value - so long as enough people fill it in - not for our benefit, obviously, but for the benefit of future cruisers. And, if enough people did that on a ship we'll be sailing on in future then we'll maybe have a better cruise. We are Platinum with Princess, and we have another two cruises booked, so it's not a question of finding another cruise line to try, although we have sailed with many others. There was just something not quite right about this particular ship. Maybe when she gets into US waters, she will resume higher standards. I hope so, for the guests' sake, the crew's sake and Princess's sake.
  5. Just off Royal Princess on a British Isles cruise, and I have to say the food was the worst in the buffet we have ever had on any cruise we've taken in the past 20 years, including several with Princess. Not only poor quality, but unimaginative and unappetising, often overcooked (especially the fish, which was probably a third the size it probably was when raw) and often only lukewarm, or even cold, including hot breakfast items, including eggs - yuk. Woe betide also if you were in the Horizon Bistro, as you could be in the middle of breakfast and they would shut off the place, meaning you had to traipse all the way up to the end of the adjoining Horizon Court. OK if you are fit and healthy but, for many elderly passengers, it was a slog, and often the items you wanted had gone and not replaced, so you ended up with yet another cold breakfast. The dining room (Symphony) food was better, but not the best, and service in both areas was patchy. In addition, the Anytime Dining didn't work out as well as in the past, most times we were given a pager (which has been fine on other cruises), even when there were plenty of tables available - far fewer wait staff seemed to be the problem. Also, tables for two were often seated in blocks and treated as tables for six or eight, meaning there was no individual service as in the past, you had to wait until everyone else had been served before you could even order a drink, or your meal. Not exactly what anytime dining is about - there were lots of grumblings and even angry words as we waited in line. Disembarkation at the ports was poorly organised and the shuttles expensive, and Princess misled us on one occasion by saying you had to get shuttle tickets onboard, as you couldn't once off the ship, which was totally untrue - you could pay on the bus. We ended up paying for two returns that we didn't need to use, as a tour we took dropped us back at the terminal. One elderly American guest was fuming that she and her husband were told they had to pay in euros, which caused some inconvenience for her, having to get dollars changed, and then she found out not only could she have paid on the bus, she could also have charged it to her room. Miscommunication seemed to be the order of the day. The evening entertainment was mediocre at best, the only thing that got people excited was a guest spot by the Backbeat Beatles, who packed out the theatre (people were literally standing and sitting in the aisles) and Atrium on their two performances. Yes, there were a lot of senior guests onboard, but even they can boogey with the rest of them if you provide the right music. Not every old codger likes piano and violin playing and string quartets. Princess really should bring in more outside bands, rather than rely on their in-house group every night. It got boring very quickly. NCL offer fabulous live shows in various venues throughout the ship every night, and the atmosphere is so much better because of it. This ship has been the subject of a reality TV show in the UK, it seemed to me that, once the cameras disappeared, they decided they didn't have to try as hard. Pity. Another American lady said they would have to try a lot harder once the ship relocates to the US next month but, ironically, most passengers on this cruise were American. On a positive note, the ship was in a lovely condition, the Atrium was beautiful, and the bed very comfortable. Not enough to ever make me want to sail on here again though, sadly.
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