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Princess has become a 2nd rate cruise line!

Sue K

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Here is a suggestion for Sue K. If you are so dissatisfied with your cruise experience and you believe that you need to inform other potential and previous Princess cruisers then the correct way to do that would be to write an OBJECTIVE and CONSTRUCTIVE review on one or many of the various cruise review sites (cruisecritics.com, cruisereviews.com etc.). The manner in which you expressed your dissatisfaction on this thread is why you received such strong rebuffs. I would love to see a well-written review of your experience without the emotional envelope.

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I think it is safe to say that there has been a general "decline" in the cruising experience aboard the mass market lines (Carnival, Celebrity, NCL, Princess, RCCL) over the past 20 years. We have sailed on them all, and our 12th aboard Princess is coming up in October.


In order to be competitive, the mass lines have had to take cost out, and they do that in a couple of ways, with the most noticeable being in the food area. The service, however, should not suffer. While we do believe the quality of the food has declined over the years, we believe the service is as good as ever. We have had cabin stewards and assistant waiters remember us from prior cruises--that's always a nice touch.


Some say that the automatic tipping results in a reduction in service. We have not noticed that among all of the cabin stewards we have had--they all have been excellent. We have noticed that service has changed since we prefer personal choice dining. You do not have the same wait staff throughout the cruise and they therefore do not get to know and anticipate your desires.


All of the above being said, our first cruise was in the early '80s, Caribbean, older ship, inside cabin, $1,500 per person. Our cruise in October, Caribbean, newer ship, mini-suite, $1,000 per person. (And that $1,500 is in 1980's dollars!)


All in all, we are very pleased. If we want gourmet food and 5 star service, we expect to pay for it. For the prices charged by Princess, we believe we receive fair value.

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Iam a travel agent and if I warned my clients about taking a Princess cruise I think they would be just looking for anything to say " Hey ya know you were right"


He put doubt in those peoples mind before they even stepped foot on that ship. So those issues that would normally for us who know what a great cruise line Princess is we would all take it in stride and chalk it up to not everything is perfect in life and we all are humans, but for them it was "Princess is a second class ship" For a travel agent to degrade a cruiseline is very unprofessional. I may love Princess myself and is my cruiseline of preference, but I am not going to degrade the other lines and make someone feel like their cruise is going to be inferior if they would chose another line or lesser line. :(

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What is it about the traditional USA passenger that they only want to do the mundane cruises and not venture to other parts of the world


For one thing, most Americans get only 1 or 2 weeks of vacation a year unlike Europeans who get 4-6 weeks. If you figure in travel time, you can basically wipe out a day of your week long vacation just to get there.


Also, there are many places that Europeans can visit that aren't nearly as far to travel to. How many different countries are within a 3 or 4 hour plane ride? Then there is the price of airfare. Unless you live in a major US city, airfare to Europe or Africa or the Mediterranean can cost as much or more than the price of a Caribbean cruise.

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I'm going on my very first Princess Cruise-The Dawn-In October. I've been on four Holland America, one Celebrity and a few others that were old tubs but enjoyable. I am going to enjoy the cruise and the ship immensely and will come back with nothing but positive things to say about it because I am easily satisfied and amused. Mounds of ice cream with sparklers in them never got me off anyway.

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First off I would like to state that we ARE booked on the Golden for the British Isles for next summer, we booked after getting off the Regal. We enjoyed our cruise enough to not give up on Princess. However we DID inform the head waiter the first night that I needed a diabetic diet AND faxed a doctors letter to Princess per their request prior to the cruise. I would also like to add that our room attendant WAS wonderful about asking the first day if I needed anything special for my insulin needs.

Princess had assured me on the phone prior to the cruise that there would be sugar-free desserts available at all times in the dining room and buffet yet there where NONE in the buffet at lunch time the first 3 days.

As far as the Pillows and robes I went beyond the Cruise Personalizer, I also faxed the request in as instructed to by customer services to assure that they were there upon arrival.




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I'm sorry I didn't respond earlier to you Nymue. I had something I thought rather humorous given your sig line. It was a latin expression that when translated, meant, "If you can read this you've spent too much time in school." Then I would have told you that information entered on the personalizer and even faxed to Santa Clarita might not necessarily make it to all levels of the crew.


Now I'm just mad at you for bashing me. I'm leaving for my cruise tomorrow and I'm in tears at the treatment I've received simply because I decided to play golf today rather than hang out on Cruise Critic. I'm so sorry that my decision to enjoy life means that I have to suffer such attacks.


I'll await your apology. Maybe you'll be able to put me in better spirits before we leave. If not, I'll just have to sob myself to sleep, and hope the new day brings renewed spirits.

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Well Rob, I do how they have a Brush up your Latin workshop on your Cruise for you, my Sig line "Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure." Translates to ' I can't hear you. I have a banana in my ear.'

If what you say is true, than that indeed is sad and in itself is a problem Princess should be looking at.

Then I would have told you that information entered on the personalizer and even faxed to Santa Clarita might not necessarily make it to all levels of the crew.



I do thank you for your wonderful help, have a delightful cruise and may everyone be as kind to you as you have been to strangers you meet.



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However, the Purser's desk was awful and the people there who were supposed to be problem solvers knew almost nothing. They were simply untrained to do their jobs, they often didn't know the company's policies on basic things and Princess' computers make too many mistakes. We too had issues with incorrect charges and had to wait on line for a long time, more than four times on our cruise, to correct problems. The purser's were really just untrained personnel who's job function it seemed, was to get you away from the desk as quickly as possible by telling you anything that came to mind at the moment. We saw this happen to many people, which is why the lines were always so long - people were coming back to fix things that were supposed to have been handled already but weren't. This shouldn't happen no matter what price catagory the cruiseline is.



We made same experiences with staff from pursers desk on most of our cruises (we are elite). The staff was not prepared to handle questions or deal with problems.

If you ask for the time, where the dining room is, buy stamps or change money, they are very friendly. But if you have serious problems or an unususal issue you are often treated like an idot, get different information from different persons. They only want to get rid of you!

On one cruise (DAWN) the woman who was on duty at the pursers desk was the first day on board of a Princess ship and she was appointed to be at the front desk.


I can understand that SueK was frustated, when having to deal with the pursers staff.


We also experienced the "standard" letters from the customers service, when telling them your problems. If you have a very serious complain they offer you 100-150 $ obc for your next cruise and are not really interested in solving your (our in reality their) problems. And you have to contact them many, many times before you get an 'non-standard'-answer.


We only booked one flight with Princess and were disappointed. We went from Miami to San Juan. They gave us one of the last flights, we arrived on the boat when it was dark and after dinner (it was at the time when they had only traditional and we had late one). The flight back also was a disaster. We learned our lessons and did it never again.



Another thing is, that if you post something negative about Princess on this board, a lot of people will mob you. So many people do not have the heart to do it. But when you do it, it will help others to solve problems or letting them know in advance about the 'bad' things and they can be prepared.

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I think some of the most difficult personnel to get along with on all cruise lines have worked at the purser's desk. No difference at all at least between Princess and Celebrity.


When I approach the counter to conduct business, I always have a huge smile on my face. They do not know if I am being nice or might be a rabid dog ready to bite. I do not let emotion take over a conversation, and remain civil and to the point. I will not back down until I fully understand any disagreement. Almost always, things turn out resolved.


I think the cruise lines in general should expose their office staff to some public relations training.

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I have to say that my experience with the purser's desk staff has been quite the opposite. We had a potentially very serious problem on our last cruise. We had lost or misplaced our passports. I went to the desk, spoke with an officer, explained what had happened and what we had already done, and he took it from there.


He called from the ship to the pre-cruise hotel from the ship (no charge) to see if the passports had been left there, and sent up a security detail to do a thorough cabin search. Eventually they were found, and yes, it was my fault. Everyone bent over backwards to help solve the problem and when it turned out to be a stupid mistake, were very understanding.


I thought they were very professional throughout. Aaah, they were probably welcoming the break from dealing with complaints about internet charges and spa treatments that failed to relax.

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