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underwhelmed by Princess (Emerald)

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23 minutes ago, Wishing on a star said:

Yes, Chefs do come and go...  take furlough...  change ships..... etc...  that is no big deal and no big secret.

Many of these staff members are openly introduced and mentioned in the Patters.

Let's make something out to be a falsehood or a negative, when it just isn't.

So you are saying the Chefs departure was announced in the Patter?   😳

 

When someone posts an opinion you don't agree with........

Why do you have to resort to name calling? To get your point across?

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36 minutes ago, Wishing on a star said:

 

Just off the Regal, with the new changes in menus, service, etc...  it was just awful...  

I was also off the Regal recently.

I thought it was excellent.

What was wrong with the food on the Regal?

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I think most would agree that Princess has declined in food. I have not seen the decline in service but food has definitely suffered. I don't think it makes a difference who the Chef is.

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I have been on Azamara and the food was very good, just a wee bit better than Celebrity & RCL.

It is just I like long cruises 2 weeks or so and the "small ship" boutique lines have a problem for me

the ships at 600 ft or so are not as interesting on sea days and the entertainment is very limited.

The smaller ships are also much bouncier in heavy seas, so I prefer a bigger ship that has quality food.

 

Again, this was the 1st time I ever wrote a letter of complaint in over 20 cruises. I'm not expecting over the top

Michelin guide cuisine, just well prepared and appetizing meals.

 

 

After reading the replies, including a fresh report from someone on the same Emerald Princess on the   Hawaiian itinerary I think my critique is legitimate and warranted. I'm sure Princess has some loyal cruisers who believe Princess can do no wrong, that's fine, but hardly objective.

 

I also mentioned many positives about the trip, so I'm not a hater just felt a company that takes my hard earned money to do a quality job of delivering their product.

 

Finally, I loved the Cigar lounge as a classy room to have a nice Cuban stogie, which Celebrity just doesn't offer but Cunard also offers on QM2, so again not a hater...

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Shouldn't the OPs complaint be addressed to Cruise Critic for (in his opinion) over rating the cruise line. I don't believe Princess ever promised a 4 star experience.

 

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18 minutes ago, MGAfhc said:

Shouldn't the OPs complaint be addressed to Cruise Critic for (in his opinion) over rating the cruise line. I don't believe Princess ever promised a 4 star experience.

 

It is difficult to know what Princess will deliver.  I say this, with all due respect, as a long term Elite cruiser.  A few years ago we stopped cruising Princess  because of so many cut-backs even though we were still cruising 70 to 100 days a year.  About 5 years ago we came back and tried the Ruby and were pleased with the product.  Since then we have cruised Princess at least once a year and often on longer itineraries with acceptable results and have another Trans Pacific cruise booked next year on the Emerald.  On our most recent Princess cruise (we were on the Grand in April, and the Regal in August and again in November) we noticed some degradation in food quality.  We will wait and see if this was an anomaly or another shift in quality (to the negative side) by Princess.  If so, we will likely stop cruising Princess.  Meanwhile, we just came off the MSC Divina (21 days in the Yacht Club) where we were blown away by the service and cuisine (only in the Yacht Club).  Since MSC will soon have 29 ships (including 4 targeted specifically to those who want a smaller ship luxury experience) perhaps we will book more MSC and much less or no Princess.  Our next booked  cruise is on Seabourn and we are taking a good look at both Viking and Oceania for the near future.  My point is that the cruise industry is always changing, there are several new players on the scene, and we frequent cruisers have lots of options from which to choose. 

 

Some cruise line executives make decisions based on their belief that some "loyal" cruisers will not care and new customers are unaware!  There is nothing we can do about such faulty decision making other then to book other lines.  There are always a few lines who are improving things as their competitors are cutting back and the trick is to find the cruise lines on the upswing.  At the moment it seems that MSC is working hard to attract the North American market and Viking is offering a great product (although it is pricey).   And those that take short 7 day cruises will soon have Virgin as an alternative.  

 

It is fine to post details and complaints here on CC, but unless you are willing to take your money elsewhere...all the whining in the world will not impact management decision making.

 

Hank

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On 12/27/2018 at 3:00 PM, suzyed said:

 

In order for DH to agree to a cruise, he wants me to get it to $100/pp/day.  However, I factor in OBC, free grats, and other perks to get it to the $100.  And I have gotten that on OV and Balcony cabins.  But it is getting harder and harder and I think he is going to have to give me a little more leeway on that price!  LOL!
I'm also a bargain shopper and I want the most bang for my buck!  And if it's something really special like our upcoming "In Search of the Northern Lights" sailing, I will splurge a bit since this is a bucket list item for me!

Our last 25 day sailing was on the Crown.  I would say there were maybe 3 delish meals in the MDR......the rest mediocre or awful!  Out wait staff tried to help by suggesting other options but by that time, I was essentially "over it".   Our meals in the specialties were very good but our friends (4 of them) did not enjoy the gastropub.  We thought it was ok.  The Crab Shack was one of the best meals we had onboard!

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23 hours ago, OCruisers said:

 

While Thrak may not have, we have cruised on other lines and still do.   Everyone needs to "sleep around" every once in a while to make sure there's not a cruise line/ship  you'd like better.

It's just Princess continues to be the  "all around" best fit for us .  :classic_cool:

 

Same here.  We are Diamond on RCI, Black on MSC (due to status match), Elite on Celebrity, I think Platinum on Carnival and have also sailed several times on Cunard and Nowegian.  While we still sail on other lines occasionally, we find that lately (the last 7-8 years) Princess is really the best fit for us both price wise and itinerary wise.  
So even though we have seen the quality of the food decline and we never thought the shows were all that great (at least not most of them), we still feel very comfortable on Princess and still enjoy the product for the pricepoint. 
We also very much enjoy the friendly service, the cruise staff, and the games.

Edited by suzyed

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14 hours ago, Doubt It said:

OP, thank you for your excellent review.  Also thanks to other posters who have reported on the decline of the food recently.

 

Princess food is getting a bad rap currently on the Holland America site under the thread Edge envy. 

 

 

I went to check out that Edge envy thread on HAL that you referenced. After reading through almost 5 pages, the "bad rap" was only from one poster who has posted on this site many times since her cruise and has also written a review. I don't doubt that she had a poor experience in regards to the food but I have also read some pretty good reviews recently as well.  

A few years ago we were on a cruise that I thought had the best food on any ship we had ever been on. As we were waiting to disembark in the Platinum lounge I found myself in conversation with a lady sitting next to me. She complained to me that she thought the food was terrible throughout the entire voyage and survived by only eating the Pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs on Lido. Everyone's mileage varies!

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On 12/26/2018 at 10:53 PM, cruisingourmet said:

 

 

PRINCESS IS A 3 STAR CRUISE LINE .....MAKE NO MISTAKE

 

 

Funny, I just gave it three stars on a review here for her sister, the Crown Princess.  My biggest issue was just that the ship felt so dated compared to the other cruise lines we've been on and the god awful cocktails.  The MDR for us was amazing, but that's in part because we were Club Class so we could take advantage of the nightly special prepared in the dining room by the manager.  Those were awesome.  Crown Grill was meh for us too.   

 

Best cocktails at sea right now is the World Class Bar on the Celebrity ships.  Best food at sea for us is Disney believe it or not, main dining room experiences are awesome and Remy on the Fantasy is sublime.  Best overall experience for us cruising has been Celebrity though Royal Caribbean is a lot of fun too.

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A matter of personal opinion and I'm fine with the food in the dining room.  I was on the Emerald for a month in March, and on the Royal for 2 weeks this Fall.  I sit at a large table, fixed dining and no one had any complaints about the food on either cruise.

 

Princess works for me, Celebrity doesn't, I cruise with Royal Caribbean if an itinerary matches what I want.  When people ask, I tell them do research, don't base it on what I like.  I won't sail Celebrity, but wouldn't tell someone not to try it.  I've sailed with 6 lines, some 30+ cruises, half Princess, suits me best.

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I wasn't a fan of my QM2 cruise.  Although the ship is incredibly beautiful, the food and experience didn't live up to my expectations.  The food on Azamara by far surpassed our expectations though.  It's subjective but we could clearly see that the extra thousands we paid went to the food and service. 

If you want exceptional food, you're not going to find it on Princess.  You might find a few dishes that are great, but on the whole, it's food for the masses.  It satisfies and fills the requirement and what you've paid is indicative of that.

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Just got off the Royal and can say it was easily the worst cruise we have had. I'll probably post my own review in another thread but I really didn't care for that ship at all and couldn't wait for the cruise to be over. It will be a long time before we even look at Princess again.

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On 12/27/2018 at 3:24 AM, MTJSR said:

 

I am on the Emerald right now. This is my 15th Princess cruise and the worst food I have ever had on a Princess cruise. Before all the "Food Defenders" chime in, the menus have changed and so far not one meal has met my simple standard of just having "taste".

 

I cannot believe ANYONE is excited or will lust for more of this very mediocre, completely forgettable, flavorless MDR food. The Horizon buffet is a freakin zoo! Never an empty table and the food is even less exciting. Seriously, the OP is right. Princess has attained a new low in food taste and quality. So disappointed!

We just got off the Island Princess and I kind of agree with this part. Although the food in the MDR was fine for us, we don't eat meat, it wasn't memorable at all. Except for the Creme Brulee. That was good. Seemed like pretty much the same food on the menu every day.

 

The buffet, although not bad, got really dull by the end of the cruise. Seemed like the same or similar stuff every day. Well, there was a German Food night once. Yuck. Who wants that kind of food while on a cruise in the Caribbean and Central America? 🙂

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On 12/26/2018 at 10:53 PM, cruisingourmet said:

Just got back from a 15 day Hawaii cruise out of Los Angeles and found it lacking in what a 4 Star

cruise line should be.

 

The ship itself is very disjointed with bad flow from bow to stern and many dead ends.

The daily activities are movies on the deck BIG WHOOP ! or activities where they want to sell jewelry.

Considering what a unique place Hawaii is they could have had many many lectures on

what to see and learn on this island state.

 

The food was HOSPITAL QUALITY bland and poorly prepared.

Having cruised over 20 times in last 6 years, I have had many experiences, I know food, as a writer

for a food magazine, and some of the culinary disasters were unforgivable. Below is Main Dining Room or Crown Grill

  • pineapple salsa was catsup, horseradish and a small chunk of pineapple
  • plain white rice as a side dish
  • Steak Tartare served cooked (that is a crime) Crown Grill
  • vegetables either served mushy or almost raw
  • a mashed potato ball that was dry and crusty inedible
  •  

This was the 1st time I ever wrote a letter to a ship's Exec Chef about the awful food in MDR (No Reply either)

Our Cabin creaked LOUDLY when ship was at sea constantly and  a letter to Hotel Director led to being shown adjacent

cabins that creaked too.

 

It seems that Princess is a shadow of the "Love Boat" which they re-run 24x7 and all the cost cutting and profit maximizing

have ruined a once nice cruise brand !

 

PRINCESS IS A 3 STAR CRUISE LINE .....MAKE NO MISTAKE

 

We don’t sail for lectures we sail because we Love sailing and sea days! 

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6 minutes ago, BuckGood said:

We don’t sail for lectures we sail because we Love sailing and sea days! 

Same here!  We also don't sail for the food!  
Love the ports and we enjoy the "Princess product".
 

Edited by suzyed

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Just now, suzyed said:

Same here!  We also don't sail for the food!  
Love the ports and the enjoy the "Princess product".
 

We just love the way princess ships are laid out, the Nucleus being the center where everything is! We just got off Ovation of the Seas last month in Sydney and although the stateroom was excellent and Jamie’s was awesome nothing else about the ship interested us, we did it for the itinerary!

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On 12/29/2018 at 7:20 AM, creativegenius said:

 

Funny, I just gave it three stars on a review here for her sister, the Crown Princess.  My biggest issue was just that the ship felt so dated compared to the other cruise lines we've been on and the god awful cocktails.  The MDR for us was amazing, but that's in part because we were Club Class so we could take advantage of the nightly special prepared in the dining room by the manager.  Those were awesome.  Crown Grill was meh for us too.   

 

Best cocktails at sea right now is the World Class Bar on the Celebrity ships.  Best food at sea for us is Disney believe it or not, main dining room experiences are awesome and Remy on the Fantasy is sublime.  Best overall experience for us cruising has been Celebrity though Royal Caribbean is a lot of fun too.

I'm glad to see someone else complain about the cocktails on Princess.  For me the problem is their mixers - especially the pina colada and the margarita mixes.  I found them so bad I stuck to gin & tonic.  Can they really be saving that much money by buying lower quality mixes?

Edited by mnocket

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6 minutes ago, mnocket said:

I'm glad to see someone else complain about the cocktails on Princess.  For me the problem is their mixers - especially the pina colada and the margarita mixes.  I found them so bad I stuck to gin & tonic.  Can they really be saving that much money by buying lower quality mixes?

They couldn't make them any sweeter if they tried. 😁

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3 minutes ago, floridalover5623 said:

They couldn't make them any sweeter if they tried. 😁

EXACTLY!  Plus I find the flavor off.

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I had no Idea that so many folks on here mostly Agree with me about the Food & Activities.

 

There are a very few Princess loyalists that have defended the food, but were you onboard recently?

 

I'm looking for a sea day Princess Patter so you can see how little there was to do onboard.

 

I will say the food NOT made in the Main Kitchen was quite good, the Pizza station & Hamburger stand on the Pool deck made tasty food. In other words, it need not be Gourmet to be delicious. Just good ingredients well prepared and THAT IS NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK OF ANY CRUISE SHIP !

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1 hour ago, mnocket said:

I'm glad to see someone else complain about the cocktails on Princess.  For me the problem is their mixers - especially the pina colada and the margarita mixes.  I found them so bad I stuck to gin & tonic.  Can they really be saving that much money by buying lower quality mixes?

Anything made with a mix on most any ship is not great.  On Celebrity they have this annoying habit of putting the rum on the very top of the mixed drinks like dacquiris and coladas.  It just sits there on top of the glass.  Never understood that.  But Crown Princess was just bad all around. 

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