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Jimbo59

Princess is Not What it Was in the Past

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I think the value in cruising is still excellent for us. I’m fine with most of the dining room food, actually it’s the slow service I have more issues with. With the exception of one cruise, all of our cruises the past five years have been on Royal class. These ships have good options for dinner beyond the dining room, the wonderful dinner buffet, Alfredo’s and the two specialty dining venues.

 

In some ways I prefer the dinner buffet, making my own salad the way I like it, seeing the foods before selecting, pastas often made fresh in front of you, being able to try small amounts of things, etc. service in Horizon Court very good, tables readily available and you can dine whenever it makes sense for you with no waiting or fear of missing a show due to slow service.

 

I found your comments interesting...was smiling when I read. We are now in the habit of walking through the buffet before going to the MDR for dinner. Usually many of the options offered on the menu are there and we can see what the food looks like. It actually works well as we are less apt to order food items we’ll regret.

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I know its a business and I know they have to stay competitive but.......I would rather pay more and have the some of the things back that have been cut over the years.

 

 

 

And you have that option. It’s called specialty dining

 

 

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Thank you for your reply, I was a little hesitant to send it as I didn't want others to feel that I was slamming cruising:). I think for me when I started to first look into cruising I got the brochures, read reviews, watched You-Tube videos you name it and started to form and idea or image about what cruising was going to be like. Now granted I'm not naive enough to think it would be just like the promotion videos but it should have some resemblance;). That's why after going on Princess we tried NCL to see if that was very different. Now after going on NCL, I prefer Princess. I think going forward I will think of the ships as more of a floating hotel for a port intensive itinerary. Like when we went to Alaska on Princess it made the most sense to cruise there instead of a land tour and I would do it that way again. We just got back from Bermuda with NCL and loved the port. We were thinking we might just fly there the next time (2hr flight for $350rt) and stay at a resort there. We would spend almost the same amount of money and have double the time there. There may be more vacation value for me that way. I think if I got a better vibe from the ship or the staff I would have put more value on that aspect of it, but like I said what it was really like and what they promote it as are two different things for me. The pool would be one example. Yes, I thought it would be crowded but not to the point that you couldn't even use it or the area around it and find a place to sit. It was a zoo. A few of the other venues were the same. It's nice that the ships have all these fun things but if you can't enjoy them or use them what good are they.

 

 

 

Clearly you have not priced Bermuda hotels. If Bermuda is your destination there is not a cheaper way to go than a cruise no matter the flavor of the line

 

 

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I am trying to figure out what constitutes" slow service" at dinner in the MDR.

 

Dinner service at any good restaurant serving a first course, entrée, dessert, and coffee or an after dinner drink normally would consume about one and one-half hours -- give or take 15 minutes.

 

Our experience with over 50 Princess cruises appears to hold to that timing. We normally sit down at a table for 2 at 7:30 pm and leave the table at about 9 pm.

 

Should you require faster service, a word to the wait staff should be sufficient. If the service takes longer than that a word to the supervisor or head waiter covering the area in the dinning room is warranted.

 

P&J

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Not a fair comparison because you forgot to add that Viking INCLUDES a shore excursion in EVERY port ($125.00 ish) and Gratuity and soda and alcohol and fewer passengers with higher ratios of crew to passenger. When I used Viking air they picked us at the airport and returned us to the airport no charge. If Value is added into the mix the disparity in price shrinks quite a bit.

I didn't FORGET it. I simply know nothing about Viking, because I could never afford cruising with them, judging by their prices. Our entire family can go on 3-4 cruises with Princess or RCI instead of one cruise with Viking.

We do beach excursions by taking a taxi and it doesn't cost us $125. Taxi from FLL to the port is about $20, so it doesn't break a bank either.

I can't drink, and DH enjoys a couple of beers or mixed drinks during the cruise - so, we don't need or pay for an all inclusive alcohol package.

We've always been happy with the speed and quality of the service provided - no complaints whatsoever. Food on Princess has been great. RCI's food was good several years ago - we'll try it out next year again.

 

So, why would I pay 3-4x the Princess/RCI cruise just to have something I am already happy about or have enough of or won't use at all?

Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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I didn't FORGET it. I simply know nothing about Viking, because I could never afford cruising with them, judging by their prices. Our entire family can go on 3-4 cruises with Princess or RCI instead of one cruise with Viking.

We do beach excursions by taking a taxi and it doesn't cost us $125. Taxi from FLL to the port is about $20, so it doesn't break a bank either.

I can't drink, and DH enjoys a couple of beers or mixed drinks during the cruise - so, we don't need or pay for an all inclusive alcohol package.

We've always been happy with the speed and quality of the service provided - no complaints whatsoever. Food on Princess has been great. RCI's food was good several years ago - we'll try it out next year again.

 

So, why would I pay 3-4x the Princess/RCI cruise just to have something I am already happy about or have enough of or won't use at all?

Some people drive a Hyundai some a Lexus that's why, quality. We each do what we feel is a good fit for ourselves. You have no reference point as to the differences until you experience them. Most people would prefer to fly in business or first class but some people can't or won't pay for it but we all acknowledge the experience is better in business or first class.

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Clearly you have not priced Bermuda hotels. If Bermuda is your destination there is not a cheaper way to go than a cruise no matter the flavor of the line

 

 

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I actually looked at a few and priced them. Even the higher end resorts like the Reef or Fairmont are about $500-$600 a night. A flight to Bermuda rt from NY about $330-$350. If I spent 5 days there in a resort (5x $600 =$3,000) + air fare ($700) + say $1,000 for spending money and cabs. It would be pretty close to what it was for a balcony + spa passes on NCL.When we cruised there we only spent 2 1/2 days there.

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Everything changes including you and me. Unfortunately I am 10 years older and 15 pounds heavier than 10 years ago but during that period I have cruised

about 30 times. The longest was the 49 day maiden voyage of the Majestic from Rome to Shanghai last summer. I never go on a cruise that is less than 14 days and apparently I am easy to please. On CC I have read critiques based on a spot on the carpet or scratches on the wall. Now I would notice and complain if there was no air conditioning or the toilet was overflowing but fortunately this hasn’t happened to me yet. I usually travel in a balcony cabin solo and thus pay double. This seems unfair but most seem to do it....150% would be ok but double seems a bit much. The problem with Princess as I see it is they have not yet determined to which market they want to appeal.....it is impossible to keep young and old, rich and poor happy with everything all of the time. A brief example is the

***** which was marketed to the Carnival Corp which chose Princess to “roll out” the unneeded and untested and now as nearly as I can tell downplayed Medallion in order to give everyone “a personal experience”. Did anyone check if the customers wanted or needed the Disney concept? There are plenty of other threads discussing this; I am merely using it as a major example of a change for the worst. It (if it worked) was going to all the Carnival owned lines. The one thing that experiments like this will insure is major price increases in the future. As others have said no one is coerced to sail Princess.

If you don’t like it for some reason find something you do like. For my part I will continue with Princess having tried four other lines....I also will stay with them if they have appealing itineraries. Mike

 

 

 

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I am trying to figure out what constitutes" slow service" at dinner in the MDR.

 

Dinner service at any good restaurant serving a first course, entrée, dessert, and coffee or an after dinner drink normally would consume about one and one-half hours -- give or take 15 minutes.

 

Our experience with over 50 Princess cruises appears to hold to that timing. We normally sit down at a table for 2 at 7:30 pm and leave the table at about 9 pm.

 

Should you require faster service, a word to the wait staff should be sufficient. If the service takes longer than that a word to the supervisor or head waiter covering the area in the dinning room is warranted.

 

P&J

As an example, we chose traditional dining on a cruise, with a table for 2. We don't overeat at home and chose to skip some of the many courses offered each night. Also, we wanted to shorten the dinner to about 1 hour to be able to get seats at the very popular shows. Unfortunately, for most of the cruise the wait staff brought our food out at the same time they brought the food for the larger tables, meaning that we still often had to wait while others, not at our table, consumed courses we had opted to skip. Bringing all the food for each course at a time for the whole section was certainly an "efficient" operation for the busy waiters, but led to slow service for us. Perhaps this is a cost of increasing the number of tables per waiter/assistant pair.

 

We lived, and often hit the buffet for dessert rather than wait in the MDR, but the experience FOR US was irritating we switched to Anytime dining for the 2nd leg of our B2B cruise.

 

That's an example of slow service.

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Everything changes including you and me. Unfortunately I am 10 years older and 15 pounds heavier than 10 years ago but during that period I have cruised

about 30 times. The longest was the 49 day maiden voyage of the Majestic from Rome to Shanghai last summer. I never go on a cruise that is less than 14 days and apparently I am easy to please. On CC I have read critiques based on a spot on the carpet or scratches on the wall. Now I would notice and complain if there was no air conditioning or the toilet was overflowing but fortunately this hasn’t happened to me yet. I usually travel in a balcony cabin solo and thus pay double. This seems unfair but most seem to do it....150% would be ok but double seems a bit much. The problem with Princess as I see it is they have not yet determined to which market they want to appeal.....it is impossible to keep young and old, rich and poor happy with everything all of the time. A brief example is the

***** which was marketed to the Carnival Corp which chose Princess to “roll out” the unneeded and untested and now as nearly as I can tell downplayed Medallion in order to give everyone “a personal experience”. Did anyone check if the customers wanted or needed the Disney concept? There are plenty of other threads discussing this; I am merely using it as a major example of a change for the worst. It (if it worked) was going to all the Carnival owned lines. The one thing that experiments like this will insure is major price increases in the future. As others have said no one is coerced to sail Princess.

If you don’t like it for some reason find something you do like. For my part I will continue with Princess having tried four other lines....I also will stay with them if they have appealing itineraries. Mike

 

 

 

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I think Princess has decided to appeal to all ages. To me they have decided to be the multi-generational family cruise line with something for grandparents, parents, and children. They also appeal to travelers with their exotic itineraries and vacationers with warm weather cruises. May not be perfect for one group but works for the masses :).

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Some people drive a Hyundai some a Lexus that's why, quality.

no, it's because some people can afford a Hyundai, and some can afford a Lexus.

 

I can afford a Kia, so that's what I drive. I can afford RCI and Princess, so that's what I sail. Instead of foregoing cruising for 2-4 years to save up for one Viking cruise, we'll cruise every year (once or twice depending on what's offered) and thoroughly enjoy it. We are very happy with what we get on RCI/Princess, so why would I dump then in favor of a much more expensive and way less affordable cruise line? Just to get some more perceived luxury, but a lot less often?

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IMHO Viking Ocean Cruise ships has not been around long enough to talk about in a comparison, to long time Ocean cruise lines, like CCL,RCI,NCL,etc...

 

 

 

.... was/am a Viking River cruiser and when they introduced the Ocean ships...you can imagine the promos that were thrown at us..just like with Azamara..lots of promos for those of us who travel with the "parent" companies

 

 

We often get the same Viking Ocean brochures Bi-monthly and have really tried to find an itinerary of interest, but no success.. so few options, so few ships...so few sailings

 

Also no casino on Viking Ocean????....might as well be on a River cruise.......lots more options.

Edited by land lover

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Some people drive a Hyundai some a Lexus that's why, quality. We each do what we feel is a good fit for ourselves.

 

I would go with the second part of your statement. Some people choose a Lexus and some people choose a Hyundai, we each do what we feel is a good fit for ourselves.

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I was at on 8 person table with very slow service. I spoke to the waiter and then the head waiter and the next night we had an extra waiter and our very own dedicated waiter. This was for anytime dining but we all happened to enjoy each other’s company and they identified it as first seating. Anything over twenty minutes between courses for a total time of with finished plates untouched or removed for us constituted slow. No one more than 5 minutes arriving after others at our table. All the tables around us who arrived after us were empty by the time main course dishes removed. But the moral of the story is a few words to the head waiter resolved the problem immediately. Mike

 

 

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I would go with the second part of your statement. Some people choose a Lexus and some people choose a Hyundai, we each do what we feel is a good fit for ourselves.

 

 

 

I could afford a Lexus but in fact drive a Hyundai since everything I need is within a mile radius and I drive about 1,500miles a year. When I leave the city I do so by plane. As a famous home town figure, Warren Buffett’s license plates say, “THRIFTY”. Mike

 

 

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I was at on 8 person table with very slow service. I spoke to the waiter and then the head waiter and the next night we had an extra waiter and our very own dedicated waiter. This was for anytime dining but we all happened to enjoy each other’s company and they identified it as first seating. Anything over twenty minutes between courses for a total time of with finished plates untouched or removed for us constituted slow. No one more than 5 minutes arriving after others at our table. All the tables around us who arrived after us were empty by the time main course dishes removed. But the moral of the story is a few words to the head waiter resolved the problem immediately. Mike

 

 

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The waiters usually get the message when we leave the table early & make it a point to ask for any section other than the slow one the next night.

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no, it's because some people can afford a Hyundai, and some can afford a Lexus.

 

I can afford a Kia, so that's what I drive. I can afford RCI and Princess, so that's what I sail. Instead of foregoing cruising for 2-4 years to save up for one Viking cruise, we'll cruise every year (once or twice depending on what's offered) and thoroughly enjoy it. We are very happy with what we get on RCI/Princess, so why would I dump then in favor of a much more expensive and way less affordable cruise line? Just to get some more perceived luxury, but a lot less often?

 

Once again, a good example of why each person/couple/group sails on the cruise line(s) they do, because of different tastes. And also, once again, a good example of why nobody has to justify to anyone else why they like one (or more) cruise line(s)!

 

Different strokes for different folks. Heck, if everybody liked the same lines, those lines would be so expensive that hardly anybody could afford them and all the rest would go out of business because nobody sailed them. Then Cruisecritic.com would collapse and what would all of us have to read and write on?????????

 

Tom

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As an example, we chose traditional dining on a cruise, with a table for 2. We don't overeat at home and chose to skip some of the many courses offered each night. Also, we wanted to shorten the dinner to about 1 hour to be able to get seats at the very popular shows. Unfortunately, for most of the cruise the wait staff brought our food out at the same time they brought the food for the larger tables, meaning that we still often had to wait while others, not at our table, consumed courses we had opted to skip. Bringing all the food for each course at a time for the whole section was certainly an "efficient" operation for the busy waiters, but led to slow service for us. Perhaps this is a cost of increasing the number of tables per waiter/assistant pair.

 

We lived, and often hit the buffet for dessert rather than wait in the MDR, but the experience FOR US was irritating we switched to Anytime dining for the 2nd leg of our B2B cruise.

That's an example of slow service.

 

If you want faster service tell them. We have in the past, like you we do not eat all the courses when we have a table for 2. We order first course, usually some light like a salad, then tell the waiter and head waiter to bring our main and first course as the same time. We usually skip dessert, just coffee. They will do what you want if you make it clear.

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Unfortunately, for most of the cruise the wait staff brought our food out at the same time they brought the food for the larger tables, meaning that we still often had to wait while others, not at our table, consumed courses we had opted to skip.

 

We have found that if we ask the waitstaff to bring the next course when we are ready for it, they will do so without waiting for people at other tables to be ready.

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We have found that if we ask the waitstaff to bring the next course when we are ready for it, they will do so without waiting for people at other tables to be ready.

If you don't say a word they tend to group all tables together for convenience of serving which means a table for 2 only goes as fast as a large table in his group.

 

Most times tables for 8 & 10 take much longer to eat because of all the chatter going on during dinner.

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first world problems.

 

Truly!

 

We are very grateful for every cruise we’ve taken - all on Princess. It suits us.

 

My first Princess cruise was 1986, and yes, things have changed. But the joy I feel when I embark is still there. I know how lucky I am to be there.

 

My DH and I love spending time together, so we have a great time at sea or in port. We always try to focus on the positive, and the now, not the past.

 

I wish all of you a wonderful next cruise, on whatever line and to whatever destination you choose.

 

Lyssa

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T

My DH and I love spending time together, so we have a great time at sea or in port. We always try to focus on the positive, and the now, not the past.

I wish all of you a wonderful next cruise, on whatever line and to whatever destination you choose.

 

Lyssa

 

We also enjoy spending time together and with past cruise friends.

So agree to focus on the positives now! (y)

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As an example, we chose traditional dining on a cruise, with a table for 2. We don't overeat at home and chose to skip some of the many courses offered each night. Also, we wanted to shorten the dinner to about 1 hour to be able to get seats at the very popular shows. Unfortunately, for most of the cruise the wait staff brought our food out at the same time they brought the food for the larger tables, meaning that we still often had to wait while others, not at our table, consumed courses we had opted to skip. Bringing all the food for each course at a time for the whole section was certainly an "efficient" operation for the busy waiters, but led to slow service for us. Perhaps this is a cost of increasing the number of tables per waiter/assistant pair.

 

We lived, and often hit the buffet for dessert rather than wait in the MDR, but the experience FOR US was irritating we switched to Anytime dining for the 2nd leg of our B2B cruise.

 

That's an example of slow service.

 

We do early traditional dining. We always go to the early show. That means that we have to finish dinner in 1 hours time. We have pretty much always made that timing, without fail on Princess. We did over 50 days on Princess this last year and will be doing the same next year. We have found service and timing to be pretty consistent.

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Truly!

 

 

 

We are very grateful for every cruise we’ve taken - all on Princess. It suits us.

 

 

 

My first Princess cruise was 1986, and yes, things have changed. But the joy I feel when I embark is still there. I know how lucky I am to be there.

 

 

 

My DH and I love spending time together, so we have a great time at sea or in port. We always try to focus on the positive, and the now, not the past.

 

 

 

I wish all of you a wonderful next cruise, on whatever line and to whatever destination you choose.

 

 

 

Lyssa

 

 

 

A lovely post and this pretty much sums it up for us too, although we have cruised a few other lines here and there (and the CC boards for those lines have those lamenting about the good old days too, lol). We feel so blessed to be taking cruises!

 

 

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