Posted July 6th, 2012, 01:27 PM
It is no longer listed in the amenities of suites which has recently been changed to include a free dinner at a speciality restaurant on the first night:
While I have cruised in suites previously, I have not recently. I did spend 3 weeks on the Sapphire recently (in a mini suite that cost me significantly more then I have paid in the past) and after the cruise, I realized that Princess is no longer the line for me. It is the gradual cuts over the years that made me realize that "Princess cruising" is not what it used to be. I have to say that we had excellent service in many areas on the ship. The wait staff was great, our room steward was great, etc... But it is the overall cuts (over the years) that no longer makes me feel the same way I used to about cruising. Some of them are small things and some are items that may not mean much to some, other things are things that I don't like (MUTS blaring during the day). I realize that all mid-line cruise lines are going through similar cuts and it is entirely possible I wouldn't be happy on those lines either so I had already decided to take a break from cruising and do land based trips. I may end up on a Princess ship in the future, if my mom wants to go one more time (cruising is something that I have done with my mom) but it wouldn't be my choice.
A few of the cuts that have annoyed me are dining room menu cuts (and lack of changing menus like other lines have), loss of lunch on port day cuts, the new very uncomfortable furniture on my balcony which made it very uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time when I had 4 glacier days with Princess recently, the lack of food in the buffet around 3:30 (it was extremely minimal - the buffet was closed and the area outside of the buffet that they built had very minimal food), the increased demands on the staff to do more and to be pushed to a point where service is lacking (not their fault), decrease space ratio on their newer ships, etc... My cruise on the Crown Princess was so crowded and there were so many lines that I have specifically avoided those ships the past few years.
I could go on. I am paying more for my cruises then I did before. I am getting less then what I used to get. It may not affect some, but it affects me.
I sold my Carnival stock when I returned from my cruise last month as I didn't see a need for it in the future as I don't expect to be using that perk in the future.
As far as the internet issue - Princess can pay more for better bandwidth (even with satellite) -they can do this. I am tired of people saying "it is slow because it is satellite". It is slow because they are choosing not to pay more for more internet bandwidth, though charging a high fee for their internet. Heck, in 2002 or so, Princess only charged .35/per minute for internet. Technology has gotten cheaper and Princess increases their rates.
I read recently that RCCL is greatly increasing their internet speed on one of their ships as a trial bases ( http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/news.cfm?ID=4885
Bash me if you choose. I used to be a huge supporter (maybe even a cheerleader) of Princess but over the last few years, I have definitely changed my thoughts. Cruising on Princess no longer has the magic it used to and it no longer is the value I once considered it to be. I no longer want to feel like I am being herded by cattle which is what my last few cruises made me feel like.