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forgetfulnancy

Is the Princess fleet getting a little...dated?

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The Royal Princess entered the fleet in 2013. The Regal Princess entered the fleet in 2014. The Majestic Princess entered the fleet in 2017. The Sky Princess will enter the fleet in 2019.

 

We have sailed the Royal Class ships regularly and are looking forward to the new Sky Princess. We do find the older Princess ships dated, looking tired and staid.....:)

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It's not just the shower curtain, it's the tiny shower cubicle, and the annoying shelving where small items can easily fall off. Celebrity has a narrow cupboard with shelves, plus some drawers. Everything is at hand but much more secure if the ship is rolling a bit.

 

I'm not fussed about having a sofa but the chair in the Princess cabin always gets in the way.

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We have sailed the Royal Class ships regularly and are looking forward to the new Sky Princess. We do find the older Princess ships dated, looking tired and staid.....:)

I'm with you on those older ships.

They all have to many problems with AC & food prep that they just can't seem to correct.

This has been going on for years now.

 

Bring on the new ones a quickly as possible.

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We will do Princess next BECAUSE it is different than the other mass market lines. Dining rooms are one story and more intimate. Love the multiple fresh water pools on the "older" ships. More areas that resemble traditional cruising vs. a resort or amusement park. Lots of areas to avoid children and noisy activities - yet Princess provides the MUTS and childrens club so multigenerational cruising can please families.

 

 

Also Princess often has better itineraries. But we do enjoy each line and set our expectations accordingly.

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We will do Princess next BECAUSE it is different than the other mass market lines. Dining rooms are one story and more intimate. Love the multiple fresh water pools on the "older" ships. More areas that resemble traditional cruising vs. a resort or amusement park. Lots of areas to avoid children and noisy activities - yet Princess provides the MUTS and childrens club so multigenerational cruising can please families.

 

 

Also Princess often has better itineraries. But we do enjoy each line and set our expectations accordingly.

Sort of like eating dinner in my grandmothers basement when I was a kid. :D

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I too feel the ships are getting a little dated. I appreciate the traditional cruise experience vs the amusement park, but feel the condition of the ships are deteriorating. We sailed Ruby in 2009 shortly after it was launched. The experience was magical. We just sailed Ruby to Alaska and have to say that the ship is tired. The staterooms were dirty, carpet was worn, and they smelled of mildew. Other parts of the ship had a constant septic system odor. Dining room offerings were excellent but the buffets were lackluster. Only half the hot tubs were open at any one time. Overall decor of the ship has changed little since our first sailing. My mother remarked about the overuse of browns and beiges. Finally the activities onboard lacked creativity. Too much trivia. Simplistic contents like a ring toss toss were the best that the activities team could come up with. The Captain's Circle cocktail party offered free drinks but the alcohol was poured sparingly. The advertised orchestra was made up of 4 musicians and an iPad. There were no wind players. That's a combo not a big band. Again very disappointing. Production shows were awkward and appeared to performers were lip syncing. Our expectations were not met on this cruise, but fortunately the landscapes of Alaska made up for the declining service and quality of cruise experience. We considered booking another cruise onboard but opted to forgo and explore a different cruise line. We have been loyal customers up to this point.

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We were on the Caribbean Princess in April....it was the best cruise we've had in years from the standpoint of service and food quality. Those things don't really depend on age of the ship.

Back in 2016 we were disappointed with CB, because it was definitely showing its age, was a lot dingier and had lots of spots (literally) all over the place. The food at the buffet was nowhere near Regal/Royal Princess level. There was no free on demand movies and cartoons which are a must for our 7 yo.

The only saving grace was the ABC island itinerary.

Regal and Royal Princess is a lot better.

But our next cruise is going to be on the Allure, BECAUSE there is nothing to do on a Princess ship with a kiddo, if your kid doesn't go to kid's club. Nothing.

You get great food and free on demand movies on Regal/Royal princess, but the trade off is boredom. We aren't yet in the elderly demographic and want to do some activities such as a water park, ice skating, zip lining and rock climbing with the kid while we still can physically. Our friends who are our age with the kids slightly older than ours absolutely love Princess (but only Regal and Royal) and will never sail another line again (so they said), but even they agreed that RCCL offers better entertainment and activities for families with kids or younger active people.

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There's nothing wrong with "amusement park" ships, IMO...but they are not for me. I am glad they exist, so that other cruise lines can focus on a different type of customer, which would be me.

 

Sadly, although we are "this close" to being Elite status on Princess, I think we're done. So many of the above posts mirror my opinion. How long can the beige and pink decor be considered tasteful and current? But of course, that is not my major complaint.

 

I absolutely despise the "Piazza Concept." In their new ships, they took away cabin space (but not cabins) to make room for this disaster. Sounds good on paper, but doesn't work in real life. Too much noise and cacophony bleeding over from one deck to the next. And though I have not experienced the Regal or Royal's "disco in the piazza," I can only imagine how much I would hate it.

 

On our recent cruise to Norway, we had iffy weather on our sea days. Okay...rainy weather. You couldn't go outside. We could find NO quiet public areas anywhere. Every single lounge had trivia, bingo, dance lessons, etcetera. It is too much. And though I appreciate their attempt to make the sea days exciting, everyone needs a break once in awhile. We could not find a place outside of our cabin that wasn't overtaken with noise.

 

Celebrity does a much better job at providing a calming cruise experience. They have lounges where you can have a conversation, over a drink or a coffee.

 

In short, I feel like Princess is grabbing at straws and making compromises on progress in order to keep their clientele. It IS possible to be more current AND keep their customer base happy. They are just not good at it.

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Different things for every cruiser, I love the piazza area on Princess ships. Sure they use it for some things but it isn't 24/7 and on my 30 day Emerald cruise, many times it was quiet. When it wasn't, I could always find an area that wasn't in use. I've never found it difficult to find a quiet spot on any of my cruises.

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I do not mind being on a ship with 3560 passengers.

 

What I mind is the limited number of ports that can handle that size ship.

 

What I also mind is the overcrowded ports that not only have my Princess ship that day, but up to 12 other ships, most of which also have a high number of passengers.

 

I miss the great Princess itineraries of the past that could go to such ports as Manaus or spend 10 days just within French Polynesia islands.

 

There are lots of ships out there that do the smaller ports that are not accessible to the mega ship monstrosities. They just cost a lot more. I guess that I will have to start spending more money on cruises or go back to land trips. Option 2 sounds like a better idea to me anyway. On our recent Princess cruise, I went through the 2018 -2019 cruise brochures and could not find any cruise that looked even remotely interesting. Just the same few cruises repeated over and over again.

 

I will add that the OP says that they have been totally loyal to Princess until their last cruise. Why would anyone be loyal to any cruise line. They do not care at all about you.

 

DON

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As above, we are each different. The piazza area is one of my favorite parts of Princess ships...at least those that we've been on. I do wish that it had more seating, preferably away from the "stage" area. Yes, there are times that I don't like what is happening there or find it too noisy...so I go elsewhere.

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I The advertised orchestra was made up of 4 musicians and an iPad. There were no wind players. That's a combo not a big band.

 

We just got off the Ruby Princess. The Princess 'orchestra'/band had 7 or 8 members.

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I’ve been a Princess cruiser for decades. I loved Princess. It was my favorite. In the last couple years I realized it was getting old. I was starting to think cruising wasn’t for me anymore. I’ve been on several other cruise lines and always came back to Princess. Last year I caved in and went on an NCL cruise with friends. BTW, my friends are all people who used to be Princess cruisers who I met on different cruises over the years. Now, they love NCL. I went with an open mind, but didn’t expect much. I loved it. I am looking forward to cruising again. I have 3 future cruises booked: two on NCL and 1 on Princess. I have to say I loved my NCL cruise in spite of the theme park attractions. I didn’t even notice them. The shows were great. I saw Rock of Ages and it was great. I never even waste my time on Princess shows. The food options were really fun. I loved the specialty choices and you get them with your amenities package. To the OP point. My next three cruises are on new ships. The Regal with Princess. I don’t love mega ships, but the older ships on Princess do need attention. I will never sail on the Grand again. I had a mini and the furniture had stained and ripped upholstery. The door handle to the balcony was broken. The cabinet door to the fridge was hanging by one hinge. Bathroom floor tiles were loose and stuck to the bottom of my feet. I could go on about dripping water and moldy smell. I will stick with newer ships from now on with Princess. They really do need to work on upkeep. To be fair, I haven’t been on an older NCL ship, so I can’t make comparisons. I do think Princess could perk things up a bit. I think Princess has become more like HAL now that there under the same umbrella. It doesn’t have the freshness it once had. There’s nothing wrong with HAL. I’ve enjoyed my cruises with them. I just liked Princess better. Princess doesn’t stand out anymore. I will still cruise with them, but it won’t always be my first choice.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Everyone who agreed that some ships need a facelift, do you ever submit the post-cruise feedback? I make sure to (I hate to be the nagging cruiser) but I feel like since Princess still sells out sailings they might not feel the urgency to address these concerns so long as their bookings aren't affected. I wish the cruise industry executives were more involved in social media. Not quite sure if the post-cruise surveys sit right next to the trash bin ;)

Edited by forgetfulnancy

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Being Elite on Princess means I have been on them a few more times than other lines but beside the last 2 ships (Royal and Regal) all the rest of the ships do need some TLC and a more modern look like Celebrity have been doing to its fleet.

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We haven’t sailed on Princess for several years. We just finished paying for a September cruise on the Grand out of SFO. We have never sailed from home so we thought heading north into Canada would be a lovely, easy, much needed Fall get away before a big trip later this year.

 

We don’t like larger ships. We just don’t. Been there, done that, never again. 2,600 pax is actually pushing past where we like to be, but previous experiences with Princess were just fine, actually good. So now I am worried after reading through this thread. These comments sure make the Grand and other ships sound like worn out dirty ships that will leave a really bad taste.

I guess we will find out if this will turn into a ‘one and done’, but I sincerely hope not.

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We are elite on Princess and Celebrity, 3 star on HAl, have cruised Cunard recently and NCL...In terms of new ships, we have cruised on 4 of the new Celebrity ships and the new Royal Princess... while new and glitz looking, I felt some was missing from these ships... my favorite ships on Princess recently was the Ruby of the newer ones... and I keep going back to Grand... something very comfortable about that ship... even thought it only goes out of San Francisco... have done about 6 cruises in past 10 years on it... booked for 2 more in 2019 and 2020. San Francisco is my home port, so make it easy. But we did a TA on the Royal form Barcelona a year ago, it was okay... still prefer the Ruby... did a TA on it when it was new. Service on the Grand is very good. Sp I am very satisfied with Princess and the older ships.

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Posted (edited)
I agree starting with the Grand. (1998)!! :rolleyes:

 

I am not for the Carnival atmosphere either. Don't need all the rides etc.

However newer ships are a must. Tired of plumbing and HVAC issues.

 

Agreed!!! You would think with LA having the supply they have, and getting the Royal, they would send one to SF.

We're on the Emerald in November...it should be a nice change:cool:

 

***Love the crew on the Grand*** Just give them a newer ship***

Edited by timetobook

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I think Princess is fine but I hope their new ships have some color to them. The older ones are sure beige

 

 

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I'd like to call Princess "traditional" rather than "dated". I like a ship to feel like a ship...not a mall or amusement park. If Princess stayed basically the same, I'd be happy. Updating the stateroom colors as well as more tech friendly (charging stations) would be nice. Adding healthy options at the buffet and dining room is also good. The new World Fresh Marketplace is awful and needs to have a second look.

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Everyone who agreed that some ships need a facelift, do you ever submit the post-cruise feedback? I make sure to (I hate to be the nagging cruiser) but I feel like since Princess still sells out sailings they might not feel the urgency to address these concerns so long as their bookings aren't affected. I wish the cruise industry executives were more involved in social media. Not quite sure if the post-cruise surveys sit right next to the trash bin ;)

They're to busy thinking up new ways to cut back on the existing features so they can charge more money for the same thing or introduce new dining venue's so they can charge additional.

I've pretty much given up on filling out the surveys since in all the years of filling them out have never seen one thing good come out of it.

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I'd like to call Princess "traditional" rather than "dated".

 

Lol.....that's like saying HAL's passengers are getting hipper.....well maybe more hip replacements.......:cool:

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I've pretty much given up on filling out the surveys since in all the years of filling them out have never seen one thing good come out of it.

 

There is a dilbert cartoon where the employee suggestion box is located directly over the shreader.

I think the surveys are pretty much the same thing.

 

Over the years, several people working on board have told me that getting mentioned by name (in a positive) way is

beneficial to them. So, I do try and do that...

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Posted (edited)
They're to busy thinking up new ways to cut back on the existing features so they can charge more money for the same thing or introduce new dining venue's so they can charge additional.

I've pretty much given up on filling out the surveys since in all the years of filling them out have never seen one thing good come out of it.

 

Spot on! I appreciate the option of specialty dining but do we really need any more food on board? As far as surveys, I remember we sailed with a grand-kid who was allergic to the ham used in the ham&cheese croissants at the Int. Cafe. The chef said they were pre-made early in the morning so there was nothing that can be done. We filled out the Hotel Manager's feedback cards nightly asking if they would just make 2 or 3 croissants with just cheese. Never happened and we gave up midway through sailing.

Edited by forgetfulnancy

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There is a dilbert cartoon where the employee suggestion box is located directly over the shreader.

I think the surveys are pretty much the same thing.

 

Over the years, several people working on board have told me that getting mentioned by name (in a positive) way is

beneficial to them. So, I do try and do that...

We were contacted once about a review on a security item we noted, so they do get read.

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My friend who worked as a theatre tech on a cruise ship told me about the benefits he got from positive guest comments--in one case he got a $100 bonus (and I actually saw the check stub for that one), another time he and a friend were comped eating in the specialty restaurant. So they aren't necessarily little things. A server told me that he can get anything from an extra hour off on a port day to a promotion, and that the ratings for the entire "team" determine who gets the best shifts on the next cruise. I didn't realize they had "shifts," I thought they all worked their hearts out all the time! But obviously they consider some assignments to be better than others.

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Posted (edited)
My friend who worked as a theatre tech on a cruise ship told me about the benefits he got from positive guest comments--in one case he got a $100 bonus (and I actually saw the check stub for that one)' date=' another time he and a friend were comped eating in the specialty restaurant. So they aren't necessarily little things. A server told me that he can get anything from an extra hour off on a port day to a promotion, and that the ratings for the entire "team" determine who gets the best shifts on the next cruise. I didn't realize they had "shifts," I thought they all worked their hearts out all the time! But obviously they consider some assignments to be better than others.[/quote']

 

The first time I cruised and saw that my waiters who served dinner were up working at the buffets during sunrise made me feel really bad. Ever since noticing that I made sure to tip them and any other staff extra. That was my "little bit extra" tipping wake up call :o

Edited by forgetfulnancy

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I too feel the ships are getting a little dated. I appreciate the traditional cruise experience vs the amusement park, but feel the condition of the ships are deteriorating. We sailed Ruby in 2009 shortly after it was launched. The experience was magical. We just sailed Ruby to Alaska and have to say that the ship is tired. The staterooms were dirty, carpet was worn, and they smelled of mildew. Other parts of the ship had a constant septic system odor. Dining room offerings were excellent but the buffets were lackluster. Only half the hot tubs were open at any one time. Overall decor of the ship has changed little since our first sailing. My mother remarked about the overuse of browns and beiges.

 

I'm aligned with you on this ... I don't want Princess to become RC or Carnival, but I do find myself wishing for a more modern decor. As you state, too many browns and beige ...also tones of honey oak, teals, basically the decor of the 1990s. We are back to Princess again later this week after 2 HAL cruises (and the last of which we really found the meals to be not as enjoyable as in the past, hopefully just an anomaly as we aren't that picky!). As I was looking at photos and getting geared up for the experience, this decor issue came to mind yet again. We are in a mini suite, paying a premium and I know that the SpringHill suites we are staying at pre-cruise looks more current ... ah well, the ocean will still be beautiful decor!

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We were contacted once about a review on a security item we noted, so they do get read.

The comment cards on the ship are taken seriously, it the surveys they email after you cruise that are worthless.

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Spot on! I appreciate the option of specialty dining but do we really need any more food on board? As far as surveys, I remember we sailed with a grand-kid who was allergic to the ham used in the ham&cheese croissants at the Int. Cafe. The chef said they were pre-made early in the morning so there was nothing that can be done. We filled out the Hotel Manager's feedback cards nightly asking if they would just make 2 or 3 croissants with just cheese. Never happened and we gave up midway through sailing.

 

I suspect that if you had spoken to the Maitre d' that he could have arranged it.

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Guest connordixon
I suspect that if you had spoken to the Maitre d' that he could have arranged it.

 

If the feedback cards are truly read wouldn't the hotel manager have passed it onto the appropriate person in charge? I remember those hotel manager cards requesting stateroom declaration as well to follow up.

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I suspect that if you had spoken to the Maitre d' that he could have arranged it.

 

 

Well I will try your suggestion next month as I would prefer just the cheese too ;).

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I suspect that if you had spoken to the Maitre d' that he could have arranged it.

 

 

 

I don’t believe the International Cafe has a Maitre ‘d.

 

 

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Personally, I am just fine with the Princess ship's décor. Pastels and light woods are way preferable to over-the-top gaudy and glitzy. If one is observant, one would notice that in addition to periodic dry docks, the crews of Princess ships are constantly cleaning and performing maintenance chores both while at dock in ports, and as we sail along. I certainly don't feel the ships are neglected.

I'm one of the fortunate ones who has cruised with Princess enough to receive the perks of the Elite level, which I appreciate very much, but I would choose to continue to cruise with Princess, even without those perks, because I like the sort of experience that Princess already provides. Cruising on gigantic gaudy ships with their own theme-park-like atmosphere is definitely not my style of travel.

I wish people would quit trying to goad Princess into changing and becoming more like other cruise lines any more than it already has. Choose to cruise Princess because you are happy with the way they are, rather than trying to push them to become like the other guys, or maybe you should just choose to cruise with those other guys.

 

JMHO

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Personally, I am just fine with the Princess ship's décor. Pastels and light woods are way preferable to over-the-top gaudy and glitzy. If one is observant, one would notice that in addition to periodic dry docks, the crews of Princess ships are constantly cleaning and performing maintenance chores both while at dock in ports, and as we sail along. I certainly don't feel the ships are neglected.

I'm one of the fortunate ones who has cruised with Princess enough to receive the perks of the Elite level, which I appreciate very much, but I would choose to continue to cruise with Princess, even without those perks, because I like the sort of experience that Princess already provides. Cruising on gigantic gaudy ships with their own theme-park-like atmosphere is definitely not my style of travel.

I wish people would quit trying to goad Princess into changing and becoming more like other cruise lines any more than it already has. Choose to cruise Princess because you are happy with the way they are, rather than trying to push them to become like the other guys, or maybe you should just choose to cruise with those other guys.

 

JMHO

 

Couldn't have said it better :D

 

We want to feel like we are on ship and like the nautical themes princess has on it's older fleet.

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I don’t believe the International Cafe has a Maitre ‘d.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

There is only one Maitre'd per ship.

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Spot on! I appreciate the option of specialty dining but do we really need any more food on board? As far as surveys, I remember we sailed with a grand-kid who was allergic to the ham used in the ham&cheese croissants at the Int. Cafe. The chef said they were pre-made early in the morning so there was nothing that can be done. We filled out the Hotel Manager's feedback cards nightly asking if they would just make 2 or 3 croissants with just cheese. Never happened and we gave up midway through sailing.

you could go to the buffet and just make yourselves a croissant with cheese.

My kid loved the croissants with plain butter at the buffet. Takes 5 seconds to make - you split one with a knife and put butter inside. 1 more second to put a slice of cheese in.

 

I love my croissants with cream cheese and smoked salmon, but it wouldn't occur to me to go fill out a card at the IC for THEM to make me one or two the next morning. I went to the buffet and made some myself.

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There is only one Maitre'd per ship.

I've always considered him being in charge of all the dining options on his ship having the head waiters report directly to him.

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My message to the OP is that you should stick with RCI, Carnival or NCL! Not all cruise lines want to have water slides, go karts, climbing walls, etc. In fact, a large majority of cruise ships and lines do not ever put that stuff on their vessels and generally have no interest. Even the newest Princess ships (Royal Class) do not have things like Flow Riders. In fact, if Princess were to start putting that kind of stuff on their vessels they would likely drive many of their fans to other lines.

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)
you could go to the buffet and just make yourselves a croissant with cheese.

My kid loved the croissants with plain butter at the buffet. Takes 5 seconds to make - you split one with a knife and put butter inside. 1 more second to put a slice of cheese in.

 

I love my croissants with cream cheese and smoked salmon, but it wouldn't occur to me to go fill out a card at the IC for THEM to make me one or two the next morning. I went to the buffet and made some myself.

 

The International Cafe panini presses these ham&cheese croissants, which makes them Ham&cheese croissants. It wouldn't be a grilled cheese if you put a slice of american between two slices of bread straight from the bag. We only saw croissants at breakfast and cheese plates during lunch and dinner. Buffet closes at night, IC is open 24 hours. But really it wasn't a big deal the child was fine with eating everything else that he could get his hands on. Didn't want them bad enough to save croissants from breakfast and bring it to the IC for the hot press at night. We figured the cards may benefit other cruisers as well if management decided it would be a good idea to offer that option (similar allergies, religious preference, or lacto-ovo vegetarians). I brought up the experience because we were discussing if feedback makes it way through all the bureaucracy.

Edited by forgetfulnancy

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