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c-cruise

Just Back from 4/9/05 Diamond Princess

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I will start by saying that despite the problem with the ship being late we had a great cruise!

 

Woke up about 7:00am on 4/9, looked out my hotel window and noticed that the ship was not here. Called my TA around 8:00 and she got Princess on the phone and told us that the Diamond was not going to arrive until 1:30 due to operational problems and wouldn't be boarding until 6:00pm. We were able to get late checkout from our Hotel (San Pedro Sheraton) and they held our bags until we wanted to go to the ship later that afternoon.

 

Killed as much time as we could in San Pedro riding the street car back and forth and then took the hotel shuttle to the ship around 4:30. When we got there they had just recently started disembarking passengers and the scene was a bit crazy. We ran into one really rude Port of LA employee who only wanted to tell us where we couldn't go, not where we were supposed to go. Gave our luggage to the porter and finally figured out that we were supposed to go to the other terminal building where we sat with hundreds of other people for several hours.

 

My only real complaint was that there were not nearly enough announcements updating people on the situation or saying how the check-in and boarding process was going to happen. Nor were there nearly enough staff directing arriving passengers on where to go. I was only able to get information by wandering around and asking questions of Princess staff that I ran into. I was trying to find out if they were still going to have some sort of priority embarkation for platimum or suite passengers.

 

Finally after several hours they started making announcements about how the process was going to work. We were told that they were going to board those waiting in the main terminal building first since they had been waiting the longest. Shortly after they made an announcement for all elite and platinum members to go outside to board busses to take us to check-in. They drove us over to the second level of the main terminal building and we were able to go ahead of the masses of passengers waiting to check-in. Check-in went quickly and we then proceeded throught security and into the line to board the ship. We were in our room at a little after 7:30pm.

 

From here on out everything went smoothly. Had no problems with anytime dining or with getting a deck chair, seat at the shows, etc. The only issue we encountered was with wind on our balcony. We were upgraded to one of the forward facing suites and it was great right up until we turned north out of Cabo. For the last two days it was completely unusable. Woke up the last morning and all of our deck furniture was in a pile at the back end of the balcony up against the divider. The combination of the wind and our location on the ship made for a very rough ride the last day and a half.

 

The ports were ok, nothing spectacular. We arrived at all the ports on time and stayed for the full scheduled duration. Have done the Caribbean a dozen times and decided to do this cruise for the shorter flight and for something different. Definately worth the long flight from the west coast to go to the Caribbean instead in my opinion.

 

Had great weather the whole tip. No rain and wore shorts every day. Last day was a bit chilly, but still shorts weather. Disembarkation was a bit longer than I was used to in Ft. Lauderdale or even Seattle. Our color/number got called at 10:00 and we cleared the customs official at about 10:45. Got our bags and were in a cab at around 11:00. Glad we decided to fly out the next day and not try to catch the 11:30 flight we had originally thought about taking.

 

Ship is absolutely identical to the Sapphire. I have been on sister ships before and they usually have a little different color scheme or something, but these ships have identical interiors down to the paintings on the walls. Ok, maybe the paintings are different :)

 

No word on any sort of compensation for the delay from Princess. I wasn't expecting anything, but they could have at least offered us a free drink at diner or something.

 

Anyway, I have gone on long enough. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer them as best as I can.

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The last time we cruised out of San Pedro we ran into an officious woman employee (Port Of LA rather than Princess) who told me to take our drinks off a table in the waiting area (so she can use the table for her water) and wouldn't let my hubby take a photo of a group of people who were waiting near us -- he was trying to help them out and I can't see how it would hurt security.

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The summary that c-cruise gave was done well. :)

 

However, after the day is done, I am still not 100% happy with how Princess handled the situation. :( I was with a group of approximately 80 people that were on the 4/9/05 cruise. Some of us flew out on Friday (1 day early) to spend some time in LA before the cruise, while others flew in on Saturday. Friday night was great in LA.

 

Saturday morning, we were called by Princess stating that the ship would be a little late, arriving around 9:30am. This was great getting information, as we didn't need to rush to the port or check out of our hotel. We knew that would delay a couple hours, but not more than 3-4l. We tried to waste a few more hours in LA, but couldn't do much because of the timeline we were given of the 9:30 approximation.

 

We did not receive any good updates to our main "trip director" the rest of entire day. We saw the ship come into dock at 1:30pm, and then also starting figuring out our own estimates of when we would be able to board. However, then we were starting to receive INCORRECT information FROM Princess and the local authorities on when we could board. They were stating all people could start boarding around 5pm, and the ship would try to leave by 8pm. Based on this, we went to the port at 4:00pm, and found a mess. Even at 4:00pm, nobody had left the boat at that time, as we ended up running into the first people off the ship.

 

The main building was already full with 1000+ people (the ones from Saturday flights). We were sent to a secondary building, much like a warehouse for us to just sit in. Another 1000+ people!! We were given stale water, some chips and cookies, and the building was quite cold later in the evening (as we had no bags or clothes to change into as the porters had them). No information was being given to passengers, and I even asked approximately 10 Princess people what accurate times would be. I ended up asking the main guy in the building (at that time, unknown to me) and he said "...soon...". We then sat in that building for 3+ hours with the same "...soon..." answers being handed out.

 

Most of my party ended up boarding at 8:30pm. I didn't arrive into my stateroom until 8:45pm or so. Princess stopped giving food and drinks around 7:00 or 7:30, so we were left with nothing. Kids, elderly, etc were just left sitting with no good information or timeline.

 

TO THE PRINCESS COMPANY (if you read this) -- All people need is the honest truth. If you and your employees would have given honest timelines, we would be able to understand more. We know things happen with machines, we can't blame that on your company, however we can blame that you did not tell us accurate information, and you really did put a lot of unneeded stress and burden on many, many passengers. Our group alone spent well over $50,000 on one cruise with you, and the least you could have done is return the gratitude with accurate information. What is sad is that I know more about the 12 people involved in the bus/trolly accident at port, then I do why the ship was delayed for ~3000 passengers.

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We woke up early and ate some breakfast then suddenly the phone rang...was the princess rep for the hotel we were at. Said the ship was still at sea havin' some problems. He said to be downstairs by 2:30 as we were..and waited..and waited. Then we finally got on the bus to the port. THEN SET BACK, we were not allowed on the ship and thrown in to warehouse and sat there until we boarded around 9ish. Now, I was upset that there was nothing in the patter explaining what happened. But remember, the hold up was with immigration, not princess.

 

 

We only found one cruise critic member, Debbie and her daughter. Such down to earth people! We had an awesome time and I bought my art like I said. If any of you art people are out there, please say hello!

 

 

We will be taking a cruise in Oct, but on RCCL. Hope everyone had a blast as we did!

 

 

Jim and Traci

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Hi, we were on the diamond April 2-9 one of our engines went out and the stabilizer....so I know you all had to wait for us....the last day and night for us was not too much fun...a lot of sea sick people...they had to fix everything and inspect it before you all could get on....we had a great time on the Diamond we were inconvenienced just like You guys.....we got home really late....I am glad that you were able to continue on.....;)

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I too was on this cruise and agree with the above comments. Just

a little information would go a long way in relaxing the people. The

wife caught a cold sitting in the waiting room because of the

temperature there.

 

I found out about the delay by noticing that the bridge cam on their

web page was showing ocean instead of the St. Thomas bridge that

morning. I then called Princess and was informed that the ship would

dock a 1:30 and boarding would start between 5 and 6 PM Since we

only live 40 miles away, we left home at 3 PM arrived and parked by

4 PM ready to board at 5 (optimist). We boarded at 9PM.

 

We were located Aft - A 741 - and because of the late start, the

ship was moving out to make up time. It was more than a small vibration

in the cabin. It was a full out sine vibration test at about 18 Hertz

with 2 G peaks. ( I once tested Spacecraft for JPL/ NASA). After the

second day, the vibration environment improved markedly.

 

The only other "problem" was the lack of WIFI. I brought my laptop

because I could use it to send several pictures back home to

family to make them envious. It did not happen. The WIFI server was

not connected to the net most of the time. I could get lock with it

but it would not connect to the web. I asked about it and was told

that a problem had occurred and that the service was intermittent.

I got my money back because of the problem.

 

There was one other problem -- The Slots are so tight they squeak.

 

Vince

http://home.earthlink.net/~vincewirth

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I too was on this cruise and agree with the above comments. Just

a little information would go a long way in relaxing the people. The

wife caught a cold sitting in the waiting room because of the

temperature there.

 

I found out about the delay by noticing that the bridge cam on their

web page was showing ocean instead of the St. Thomas bridge that

morning. I then called Princess and was informed that the ship would

dock a 1:30 and boarding would start between 5 and 6 PM Since we

only live 40 miles away, we left home at 3 PM arrived and parked by

4 PM ready to board at 5 (optimist). We boarded at 9PM.

 

We were located Aft - A 741 - and because of the late start, the

ship was moving out to make up time. It was more than a small vibration

in the cabin. It was a full out sine vibration test at about 18 Hertz

with 2 G peaks. ( I once tested Spacecraft for JPL/ NASA). After the

second day, the vibration environment improved markedly.

 

The only other "problem" was the lack of WIFI. I brought my laptop

because I could use it to send several pictures back home to

family to make them envious. It did not happen. The WIFI server was

not connected to the net most of the time. I could get lock with it

but it would not connect to the web. I asked about it and was told

that a problem had occurred and that the service was intermittent.

I got my money back because of the problem.

 

There was one other problem -- The Slots are so tight they squeak.

 

Vince

http://home.earthlink.net/~vincewirth

 

I forgot about the vibration..geez, now we were in cabin c744 and man did that bed vibrate...

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