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underwhelmed by Princess (Emerald)

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On 12/26/2018 at 10:21 PM, Vic The Parrot said:

I like creaky cabins. Reminds me that I'm on a moving ship at sea. :classic_cool:

i agree, i enjoy the noises of a ship, including the anchor dropping.  One cruise our room was creaking and tossing in high seas we had ceiling tiles move 

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So,  can anybody tell me whether the ship is doing the change-over to the new menus/recipes/dining system.

If so,  that would explain a lot.

 

What was experienced in the past might be very different than current.

Which is what we had on our recent sailing on the REGAL.

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Wow!  This thread has me really concerned.  Usually when someone posts a negative review a flock of "loyalists" appear to counter the review.  In the case of food, you always get a chorus of "well food is subjective".  This is a rare case where most posts seem to support the OP's negative review. 

 

I've got a 28-day cruise on the Emerald booked for 2020.  This is only my 2nd Princess cruise.  My previous Princess cruise was a year ago on the Coral.  I found the food on the coral to be pretty much on a par with Celebrity with a few major disappointments.  If the food on the Emerald is equal to that we experienced on the Coral, We'll be OK.  However, from what I've read here I'm afraid I may be in for a disappointment.

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1 hour ago, mnocket said:

Wow!  This thread has me really concerned.  Usually when someone posts a negative review a flock of "loyalists" appear to counter the review.  In the case of food, you always get a chorus of "well food is subjective".  This is a rare case where most posts seem to support the OP's negative review. 

 

I've got a 28-day cruise on the Emerald booked for 2020.  This is only my 2nd Princess cruise.  My previous Princess cruise was a year ago on the Coral.  I found the food on the coral to be pretty much on a par with Celebrity with a few major disappointments.  If the food on the Emerald is equal to that we experienced on the Coral, We'll be OK.  However, from what I've read here I'm afraid I may be in for a disappointment.

 

Don't be concerned. mnocket.  The truth seems to change when it comes to the performance of the various dining venues on Princess.  As I stated in the above postings, I cruised on the Emerald Princess last April and enjoyed the meals that I had in the various venues.  By the time you cruise all the rooms will undergo multiple management changes in both the front of the house and the back of the house.  I agree that the recent reports are discouraging.  However, I am also confident that, as I say, the truth will change. 

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Again....  not to become redundant... But, the difference between the current experience on some ships, and the experience from April...  pre-changes...  Night and Day.

 

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Posted (edited)

I feel vindicated ! I thank all of you recent cruisers who were on the Emerald Princess in December 2018.

I was expecting an avalanche of Princess Pro posts claiming as a food writer I had unusually high expectations.

Like I stated I , was judging the food only on what I expect as reasonable for a cruise ship, not as Michelin star

dining. MANY fellow cruisers have backed my observations as being an honestly objective and I appreciate that.

 

I do hope Princess reads these forums and accepts this reasonable criticism as a wake up call and makes positive changes to their culinary program and staff.

When the sea days are long and activities few & far between, it makes the nightly MDR experience that much more important.

 

Would I cruise Princess again, possibly, if I read many postings suggesting that efforts were made to rectify the situation.

That said, there are so many lines & itineraries to choose from, it seems unlikely.

 

I'd really appreciate it if those that agreed with me by posting here and those who merely lurk, write to Princess at customerrelations@princesscruises.com and express your thoughts in a respectful manner.

They can't fix a problem if they are unaware of it & I find it surprising they don't know, especially since I wrote a letter while onboard to the Executive Chef John Convery.

 

Hopefully Princess will take it to heart and people will soon be posting glowing reviews of their MDR experiences, time will tell.

I want everyone to have a great cruise experience for their hard earned dollars !

 

Edited by cruisingourmet
edit

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21 minutes ago, Wishing on a star said:

Again....  not to become redundant... But, the difference between the current experience on some ships, and the experience from April...  pre-changes...  Night and Day.

 

Exactly my point. 

 

Since you referenced "from April." I assume you were addressing my previous comments.  My experience is that you can not rely on any report from any Princess ship that is more than a couple months old.  I'm sure there was a different Maitre d' on the ship, and I'm sure there was a different Executive Chef.  More than likely. there were different Sous Chefs and different headwaiters in every room.  Changes in those management and supervisory positions make the difference.  

 

It is entirely possible that the stars completely malaligned for the Emerald Princess, recently.  However, I find it difficult to believe that it is a permanent situation.  Current managers and supervisors will move on to other ships, companies or careers.  I am confident that the situation on the Emerald Princess will improve.

 

Also, if people with current bad experience report their disappointment to Princess, I believe that will also help expedite the improvement.

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Well I board the Emerald on February 2nd, so I hope for better times sooner rather than later.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cruisingourmet said:

 

I'd really appreciate it if those that agreed with me by posting here and those who merely lurk, write to Princess at customerrelations@princesscruises.com and express your thoughts in a respectful manner.

They can't fix a problem if they are unaware of it & I find it surprising they don't know, especially since I wrote a letter while onboard to the Executive Chef John Convery.

The sad thing is that I am sure they know. I have no doubt that their hands are tied with less quality ingredients and a lower budget than previously. I have no doubt these cuts have happened every year and the Executive Chef is trying to do the best with what he has. 

 

As long as they fill the ships, they (corporate) feel that they can get away with this.

Edited by Coral

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I can't wait to get back on Princess in Feb. after my last and only cruise on Norwegian.

Freestyle dining---still need a reservation if you want to eat in most restaurants. Many have a fee (twice that as Princess) and the buffet was worse then a high school cafeteria.

I agree that Princess has cut back, but i like the pizza, International cafe and Specialty restaurants.

 

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Yes, everyone here is right... 

And, Coral, I would agree.

 

There can always be several different smaller factors at play.

But, my biggest point is that, currently,  (and not everyone might be aware) Princess is implementing these new menus, recipes, food supplies, and overall system of dining and service.   This is not just a variable.  This is ongoing, from the top, fleet-wide.

 

This is what I experienced just recently on the REGAL,  (which had generally gotten better reviews for food and dining)

We had an excellent experience on our previous cruise before this one.

We are not new to Princess...  or wanting to bash Princess.

Just state the facts.

 

This is not just,  well, maybe some better staff in the kitchen....

These are real, and significant, changes  ( i.e. CUTBACKS) that are coming from the top, and going fleet wide.

Just like the new changes in wine and beer and drink menus, that are to be rolled out.

 

I think it is very important for Princess to hear this feedback.

I think it is very important for upcoming cruisers...  especially those, like us, with any expectations based on a positive previous experience, to hear this.

 

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39 minutes ago, Coral said:

As long as they fill the ships, they (corporate) feel that they can get away with this.

.

It's interesting that you mention this, and since the OP's original topic has been beaten to death, I am going to instigate a bit of thread drift.

 

It so happens that a friend of mine cruised on the Emerald Princess to Hawaii in December.  I'm not sure, but this may have been the the very cruise upon which the OP expressed his opinions.  According to him, the Emerald Princess sailed with less than full capacity--400 passengers less than full capacity.

 

He and I are of the opinion that the mass-market cruise lines are looking at a lot of over capacity in the near future.  All the new ships that are coming on-line are gigantos.  That is a lot of cabins that have to be filled.  Our, albeit, inexpert, opinion is that consumer confidence is not nearly as high as many politicians would like to believe.  We really believe that the cruise industry is going to have to work harder to attract customers.  That may mean lower passage fares, or, if it is important to keep fares where they are, then offer a better return on the investment.

 

Discuss.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, XBGuy said:

It so happens that a friend of mine cruised on the Emerald Princess to Hawaii in December.  I'm not sure, but this may have been the the very cruise upon which the OP expressed his opinions.  According to him, the Emerald Princess sailed with less than full capacity--400 passengers less than full capacity.

 

This could be true. The first of December and the first of January (after New Years) are some of the slowest months for travel overall and I would assume including cruising. I have sailed several times the first of December because it is cheap.

 

You could be right about having over capacity of cabins (especially in the Caribbean). I have been cruising for just over 20 years now (I feel old). My family has just gotten the cruise bug and they are all 10 years plus older than I am. They think it is the best kept secret ever. Additionally, my coworkers are now taking their 1st, 2nd and 3rd cruise and are acting like this is a new concept out there! So cruising is definitely spreading. I live in the Midwest - so it is not easy for us to jump on a ship. I find it fascinating that I am frustrated with mass cruise lines right now and everyone around me is cruising for the first time and loving every aspect, including food.

 

If they only knew what it used to be like!

Edited by Coral

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, XBGuy said:

.

It's interesting that you mention this, and since the OP's original topic has been beaten to death, I am going to instigate a bit of thread drift.

 

It so happens that a friend of mine cruised on the Emerald Princess to Hawaii in December.  I'm not sure, but this may have been the the very cruise upon which the OP expressed his opinions.  According to him, the Emerald Princess sailed with less than full capacity--400 passengers less than full capacity.

 

He and I are of the opinion that the mass-market cruise lines are looking at a lot of over capacity in the near future.  All the new ships that are coming on-line are gigantos.  That is a lot of cabins that have to be filled.  Our, albeit, inexpert, opinion is that consumer confidence is not nearly as high as many politicians would like to believe.  We really believe that the cruise industry is going to have to work harder to attract customers.  That may mean lower passage fares, or, if it is important to keep fares where they are, then offer a better return on the investment.

 

Discuss.

Keep in mind that the LA to Hawaii and SFO to Hawaii are not exactly cruises that appeal to a lot of folks.  15 days with 4 ports in Hawaii plus Ensenada (9-10 days at sea).  While I have taken it, it is kind of a unique taste compared to most Princess cruises.  Not surprised it is not full.  It is as much as a space filler in schedule because about the only alternative for Princess would be more Mexican cruises. The one I was on appeared to be filled mostly by west coast folks that liked to drive to the cruise port.  Some of which had taken the same cruise several times.

 

Would not use the Hawaii cruises as a measure of the health of the cruise industry.  Caribbean has been over capacity for years.  But not too many other choices for cruise lines to place their ships for the winter months.

Edited by RDC1

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A little more occupancy info for CCL held companies.  The winter tends to be softer as far as occupancy.  But number for 2018 stronger than 2017 even with more capacity.  Higher growth rate for CCL brands capacity takes place in 2020 - 2022 going to 7.5% a year compared to current rates of 4%.

 

Quarter ending Feb (basically the winter quarter with west coast mexican and Hawaii + Carribean focus)

2018    104.7%

2017    104.6%

 

Quarter ending  May 

2018  105.7

2017  104.1

 

Quarter ending Aug

2018 112.6

2017 111.3

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Wishing on a star said:

Yes, everyone here is right... 

And, Coral, I would agree.

 

There can always be several different smaller factors at play.

But, my biggest point is that, currently,  (and not everyone might be aware) Princess is implementing these new menus, recipes, food supplies, and overall system of dining and service.   This is not just a variable.  This is ongoing, from the top, fleet-wide.

 

This is what I experienced just recently on the REGAL,  (which had generally gotten better reviews for food and dining)

We had an excellent experience on our previous cruise before this one.

We are not new to Princess...  or wanting to bash Princess.

Just state the facts.

 

This is not just,  well, maybe some better staff in the kitchen....

These are real, and significant, changes  ( i.e. CUTBACKS) that are coming from the top, and going fleet wide.

Just like the new changes in wine and beer and drink menus, that are to be rolled out.

 

I think it is very important for Princess to hear this feedback.

I think it is very important for upcoming cruisers...  especially those, like us, with any expectations based on a positive previous experience, to hear this.

 

I have been cruising Princess for a long time now, and over 70 cruises and I would say that the last 10 cruises have seen a marked deterioration in food quality, menu choice and service.

The worst we had was Crown a couple of years ago, we will never sail on Crown again, even Pacific went downhill, the crew did the best they could with what they were sent but it was noticeably not as good as before.

However only 4 months ago we were on Regal and it was wonderful, so there seems to be the odd exception, I wish I knew how to forecast the great cruises ahead of time.

We are just about to go on Royal for 49 days, I so hope it will be OK, we don't have unrealistic expectations, and we didn't pay much for the cruise for various reasons but others will have paid at least double even for an inside or much much more for a balcony or suite and I hope they don't get to feel cheated by the accountants back in Santa Clarita buying the cheapest cuts.

I know I am a Carnival stockholder, quite a bit more than the nominal 100 shares, and I like the dividend but I need to feel it was honestly earned.with a value for money and good cruise experience for the passengers.

 

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6 hours ago, Griller said:

I have been cruising Princess for a long time now, and over 70 cruises and I would say that the last 10 cruises have seen a marked deterioration in food quality, menu choice and service.

The worst we had was Crown a couple of years ago, we will never sail on Crown again, even Pacific went downhill, the crew did the best they could with what they were sent but it was noticeably not as good as before.

However only 4 months ago we were on Regal and it was wonderful, so there seems to be the odd exception, I wish I knew how to forecast the great cruises ahead of time.

We are just about to go on Royal for 49 days, I so hope it will be OK, we don't have unrealistic expectations, and we didn't pay much for the cruise for various reasons but others will have paid at least double even for an inside or much much more for a balcony or suite and I hope they don't get to feel cheated by the accountants back in Santa Clarita buying the cheapest cuts.

I know I am a Carnival stockholder, quite a bit more than the nominal 100 shares, and I like the dividend but I need to feel it was honestly earned.with a value for money and good cruise experience for the passengers.

 

We noticed the same thing on the CB 2 months ago & though it was a fluke. There were lots of sandwiches at the buffet, hot dogs, chicken as a main course almost every meal & definitely a reduction in general quality of DR food to the point that we sent back our meals a few times for something else.....and that is a rare occurrence for us on Princess. 

Princess is our go to cruise line but if the general cutback continues in the future we'll definitely be looking harder at other cruise lines as well. 

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Posted (edited)

Four months ago on the Regal,  it was the older food, recipes, menus, service.

TOTAL changeover recently.

 

I have done another quick search, and am still not seeing whether the new menus, dining, service, change-over have been implemented on the Emerald.   (looks like it has been on the Ruby?)

 

Again,  this isn't just a variable, like a change in kitchen staff.

This is the major change in menus, recipes, food suppiers/quality, service, that is currently being rolled out by Princess.

 

If the Lobster on Seafood night is one small lobster tail over risotto, no crab legs in sight... and if the Beef Wellington is now a fake Beef "welling-type" then this is the new menu.   This is how one can tell.

 

 

 

Edited by Wishing on a star

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2 hours ago, Wishing on a star said:

Four months ago on the Regal,  it was the older food, recipes, menus, service.

TOTAL changeover recently.

 

I have done another quick search, and am still not seeing whether the new menus, dining, service, change-over have been implemented on the Emerald.   (looks like it has been on the Ruby?)

 

Again,  this isn't just a variable, like a change in kitchen staff.

This is the major change in menus, recipes, food suppiers/quality, service, that is currently being rolled out by Princess.

 

If the Lobster on Seafood night is one small lobster tail over risotto, no crab legs in sight... and if the Beef Wellington is now a fake Beef "welling-type" then this is the new menu.   This is how one can tell.

 

 

 

Yes, we had the new menus on the Ruby in mid-September 2018...we had that lobster over the green risotto.  On prior cruises, I never had a hard time finding something to eat that really appealed to me.   In fact, there were many times when I wanted two or three entrees because they all sounded good,  I did notice that this time on the Ruby, there was a night or two where I had a hard time finding something that appealed to me.  I would have defaulted to the fettuccine Alfredo but unfortunately these days, I need to limit my carbs.  

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Our head waiter also informed us that  passengers  were" taking advantage" in the dining room and they had had to implement new rules. He told us that he made someone very unhappy because they could only get 2 lobsters at dinner, and if they wanted more, it was always available at the Crown Grill.  All the cutbacks were a result of passengers taking advantage. He also explained how Princess cares so much about the environment and has all but eliminated straws.  Of course he made sure we knew it wasn't about the money. The entire cruise our catch phrases were, "Don't take advantage", and "It's not about the money."

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50 minutes ago, apeller said:

Our head waiter also informed us that  passengers  were" taking advantage" in the dining room and they had had to implement new rules. He told us that he made someone very unhappy because they could only get 2 lobsters at dinner, and if they wanted more, it was always available at the Crown Grill.  All the cutbacks were a result of passengers taking advantage. He also explained how Princess cares so much about the environment and has all but eliminated straws.  Of course he made sure we knew it wasn't about the money. The entire cruise our catch phrases were, "Don't take advantage", and "It's not about the money."

On 2 other threads this week on perk abuse leading to changes for the worse I commented  "we are our own worst enemies".  

I think that fits here too.  :classic_blink: I am sure there are many other comparisons.

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29 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

On 2 other threads this week on perk abuse leading to changes for the worse I commented  "we are our own worst enemies".  

I think that fits here too.  :classic_blink: I am sure there are many other comparisons.

 

I had an interesting experience on the Golden once near the Princess Pizzeria area after strolling by after dinner. A single man was sitting there devouring the pizza like it was his last meal followed by a, "Just shut up and keep them pizzas coming". Not really perk abuse but definitely staff abuse and I guess pizza abuse. I'm assuming he passed away as I didn't see him again for 25 days and no human would survive that amount of food in one sitting.

 

On every princess cruise I've been on since 2014 every waiter we've had has offered us extra mains and desserts, so we've been encouraged to abuse?

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6 hours ago, apeller said:

Our head waiter also informed us that  passengers  were" taking advantage" in the dining room and they had had to implement new rules. He told us that he made someone very unhappy because they could only get 2 lobsters at dinner, and if they wanted more, it was always available at the Crown Grill.  All the cutbacks were a result of passengers taking advantage. He also explained how Princess cares so much about the environment and has all but eliminated straws.  Of course he made sure we knew it wasn't about the money. The entire cruise our catch phrases were, "Don't take advantage", and "It's not about the money."

The only problem with getting a straw is that you have to remember asking for one each time you get a drink otherwise the waiter had to make a second trip for one. I'm sure the crew just loves this cutback. :classic_wink:

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8 hours ago, Credit 00 said:

 

I had an interesting experience on the Golden once near the Princess Pizzeria area after strolling by after dinner. A single man was sitting there devouring the pizza like it was his last meal followed by a, "Just shut up and keep them pizzas coming". Not really perk abuse but definitely staff abuse and I guess pizza abuse. I'm assuming he passed away as I didn't see him again for 25 days and no human would survive that amount of food in one sitting.

 

On every princess cruise I've been on since 2014 every waiter we've had has offered us extra mains and desserts, so we've been encouraged to abuse?

Wait until he finds Alfredo's on another ship! He'll be in heaven!

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, apeller said:

Our head waiter also informed us that  passengers  were" taking advantage" in the dining room and they had had to implement new rules. He told us that he made someone very unhappy because they could only get 2 lobsters at dinner, and if they wanted more, it was always available at the Crown Grill.  All the cutbacks were a result of passengers taking advantage. He also explained how Princess cares so much about the environment and has all but eliminated straws.  Of course he made sure we knew it wasn't about the money. The entire cruise our catch phrases were, "Don't take advantage", and "It's not about the money."

 

After paying over 8,000 for this cruise and eating barely 300 in true food value, obviously I find their argument laughable. Also the Captain gave a talk in the Princess Theater and when asked about garbage in the sea, he added that of the million tons of garbage on the shores around the world, the straw is the least concern.  

Edited by MTJSR

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