Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Geoffa30

Potential evidence Princess has made too many cutbacks?

Recommended Posts

On 6/10/2019 at 10:44 PM, geocruiser said:

It may be the same amount of dollars, but a dollar of yesterday is different in value than a dollar of  today because of the adjustment for inflation.  

Adjusted for inflation, $1.00 in 1977 is equal to $4.32 in 2019.

https://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=1&year=1977

 

Precisely my point, so the real costs is 1/4 of what it was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been 9 years since we last sailed on Princess, so I've been doing a lot of reading on what has changed. Our trip isn't until next month, so I can't yet make direct comparisons (e.g. on food quality or service levels). But from everything I've been reading I can see that it will be different than our last trips. Some things we previously enjoyed do appear to have gone away, or been negatively modified. And other things that I enjoyed before are still there for me to enjoy again. 

But I'm also seeing many other changes and additions that I am looking forward to, and that are enhancements compared to before. New programs or entertainment options, like all the Discovery at Sea stuff that didn't exist on our last cruise,

or the High Seas Heist, or the rebranded kid's club, or the Princess "app" functionality (e.g. accessing the Patters on our phones, or being able to message each other). Or new dining options and updated menus that (to me) look very appealing, like the Pub Lunch or Crab Shack, or Alfredo's Pizzeria, or Salty Dog Grill or Norman Love chocolates, or SHARE (which we won't get to try on our upcoming sailing, but I would love to try it on a future one). Or amenity enhancements such as the new beds that people seem to mostly praise (when before I always had to beg for an egg crate topper to make the bed bearable). 


Maybe for some people who cruise more often than we do those things have become stale, or are taken for granted as the "standard" when at one point they were improvements. Sure there have been cutbacks, and some of them are real bummers, but it hasn't been as one-sided as some people make it out to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, GUT2407 said:

Precisely my point, so the real costs is 1/4 of what it was.

In the meantime the hotel I normally stay at has gone up to about triple, maybe even quadruple, in the same period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We went on Royal last October.  We were not impressed.  They tried on the food but could not execute.  We know Viking Ocean is more but a night and day difference over Princess. 

 

The main cruise lines including Princess have done way too many cutbacks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, az2sea said:

One of the reasons we sailed with Princess over the last 25+ years has been the food.  The food was excellent, the menu had so many good choices it was hard to select which one to get.  Now we have a hard time selecting any from a much reduced menu, we skip the MDR many times now because there is just nothing that is appealing on the menu.  Princess has always had a section before the entrees of pastas to select from but no more.  I loved Princesses pastas, now there maybe one listed as an entree.  The fettuccine alfredo on the daily offering is not nearly as good as it use to be, and no parmesan basket (miss that).  Also, no escargot, just another item of many missing from current menus. We have also noticed how bland and tasteless the food has become and the quality is not nearly as good as in the past.

My point here is that we have noticed a change at Princess especially with the food.

We recently returned from a Norwegian Fjord cruise on the Sapphire.  We were joined by my sister and BIL who had flown in from Canada and were new to Princess.  We are Elite on Princess and have sailed many, many times with them.  We were quite shocked at the substandard food quality on this cruise and much reduced choice.  It also wasn't just a one off, it was everyday.  Our favourite place ended up being Alfredos.  In addition the drink prices for a glass of wine have become extortionate $11 plus 18% gratuity.  It doesn't even detail the drink 'measure' you are buying.  So sadly disappointed.  We have always loved Princess and we are similar to some of the other posters who prefer the Grand and Gem class style ships to the new Royal Class.  Sadly the future, for us as at least seems to be diminishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, livinforcruisin said:

We recently returned from a Norwegian Fjord cruise on the Sapphire.  We were joined by my sister and BIL who had flown in from Canada and were new to Princess.  We are Elite on Princess and have sailed many, many times with them.  We were quite shocked at the substandard food quality on this cruise and much reduced choice.  It also wasn't just a one off, it was everyday.  Our favourite place ended up being Alfredos.  In addition the drink prices for a glass of wine have become extortionate $11 plus 18% gratuity.  It doesn't even detail the drink 'measure' you are buying.  So sadly disappointed.  We have always loved Princess and we are similar to some of the other posters who prefer the Grand and Gem class style ships to the new Royal Class.  Sadly the future, for us as at least seems to be diminishing.

 

Oh dear. Our next cruise is on the Sapphire. We enjoyed our cruise on her last year. Hopefully we’ll enjoy this year’s. 

 

Drink prices are one of my main bugbears with Princess. I can go on P&O and Cunard and get a large G&T with Fevertree Tonic for about £8 or £9. On Princess,  by the time the gratuity is added, particularly now at the increased rate of 18%, it would probably cost almost double that. Wine is similarly extortionate as you say.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, livinforcruisin said:

We recently returned from a Norwegian Fjord cruise on the Sapphire.  We were joined by my sister and BIL who had flown in from Canada and were new to Princess.  We are Elite on Princess and have sailed many, many times with them.  We were quite shocked at the substandard food quality on this cruise and much reduced choice.  It also wasn't just a one off, it was everyday.  Our favourite place ended up being Alfredos.  In addition the drink prices for a glass of wine have become extortionate $11 plus 18% gratuity.  It doesn't even detail the drink 'measure' you are buying.  So sadly disappointed.  We have always loved Princess and we are similar to some of the other posters who prefer the Grand and Gem class style ships to the new Royal Class.  Sadly the future, for us as at least seems to be diminishing.

I have sailed the Sapphire quite a bit before she went to Asia and the food had been fine. I did Norway last summer and the food was mediocre at best. Service was outstanding but I agree about the food. On a positive note - Norway was amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Things have changed but life is about how you deal with the change.  Those moving on to see what else is offered are right and those who are making the best of the changes are right.

 

I needed to read something positive about cruising so I headed over to the CCL board which always has some excitement going on!  So now for something entirely different 🙂

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Coral said:

I have sailed the Sapphire quite a bit before she went to Asia and the food had been fine. I did Norway last summer and the food was mediocre at best. Service was outstanding but I agree about the food. On a positive note - Norway was amazing.

Absolutely, Norway is stunning at any time of the year.  Whilst we were very disappointed in the food quality and the exorbitant drink prices, the cruise remained magical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Geoffa30 said:

 

Oh dear. Our next cruise is on the Sapphire. We enjoyed our cruise on her last year. Hopefully we’ll enjoy this year’s. 

 

Drink prices are one of my main bugbears with Princess. I can go on P&O and Cunard and get a large G&T with Fevertree Tonic for about £8 or £9. On Princess,  by the time the gratuity is added, particularly now at the increased rate of 18%, it would probably cost almost double that. Wine is similarly extortionate as you say.

 

 

I'm sure you will enjoy the cruise.  The Sapphire is in good condition and as we all know, the quality of food can change from one cruise to the next and seems to be related to the head chefs etc.  It just seemed that the actual meat quality was very substandard as was the cooking, normally things were overdone.  We still love Princess but over the past few years have broadened our horizons to P&O and HAL.  Each has their own unique experience doesn't it.  We sail on our favourite ship the Emerald in September, so fingers crossed it is better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was on the Crown last summer for 3 weeks through the Mediterranean.  Was perfect.  We had no complaints at all. The food was excellent.  We were in club class, but only went to the MDR 2wice.  Not for any fault of their though.  The food was good in there, we just had such long days in ports, lots of walking, by the time dinner time came, we wanted lowkey and informal.  The Horizon Court was excellent. Our room was wonderful.  Being in the older class ship reminded how much I love them.  Especially the larger balcony.  I hated how small our balcony was on the Royal.  We have the Enchanted next summer but I think we secured one of the larger balconies this time. 

 

All in all though...We haven't noticed too many changes that sour us to Princess. Of course we miss the towel animals and such. But that's at the bottom on our list of wants and absent on our list of needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are Platinum but haven't been on Princess for about five years.  Since then we sailed with Celebrity where the food was just OK and on a christening voyage of one of HAL's new ships where the food was really bad (I was served raw creme brûlée), the service inattentive bordering on rude, and anytime dining chaos.

 

We've concluded that you can't pay mass market prices (often with perks) on large (and getting larger) ships and expect upscale food prepared in large quantities and have attentive service when servers have too many tables and time constraints.  We are trying Princess again in January with mass market prices and mass market expectations.  Their bottom line will always be the top priority for large corporations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My last Princess cruise was a 2015 to Hawaii on Grand Princess.  I'm Platinum with them, and went on about 10 cruises between 2005 and 2015.   The drop in quality over that time was stunning.  The last couple of cruises were pretty bad.  

 

The food quality has dropped insanely, compare the Sterling Steakhouse from the late 200x's to the current Crown Grill, what a downgrade.  The MDR food is a lot worse now too.  There are so many aggressive and pushy upsells it makes it hard to enjoy the cruise.  On my last cruise, I was asked multiple times every day for breakfast to buy a mimosa for $3.  I don't want to drink during breakfast at all.  And when I would say that they'd just say there's not much alcohol anyway so I should still buy one.  I could not walk through the photo gallery without being set on by aggressive pushes for their black and white portrait sessions.  It got so bad, I would finally extricate myself from one person to be set upon again 10 feet further down.  The ship designed so it's hard to get to the Vista lounge without walking through the photo gallery, so I had to go there multiple times a day.  If I wanted a portrait session, I'd do it at home where I can more easily get my hair done without paying lotus spa fees, have access to my full wardrobe, will not be on vacation mode, and pay half as much fo the shoot without the at sea premium.  I am there to be on a relaxing vacation, not subject to constant sales pitches.  Maybe they should just make the cruise tickets free and sell time-shares.

 

I'm on a break from cruising for a few more years since I have small kids now, but next time I go on a cruise, I want to find a slightly higher end line.  IMO, Princess is the new Carnival.

 

On top of the drop-off in service quality, the last few princess cruises, maybe I was unlucky, but the cruise staff has been especially bad.   Once it could be a bad cruise director, but it was pretty consistent 3 cruises in a row.  For example, trivia questions about cruise staff members who hadn't been on the ship for months.  First, why do I need to learn their personal life details to play trivia, and second their don't even update questions that are now meaningless.     One cruise 2 cruise staff spent every event complaining how much they hated their jobs and involving the guests in a countdown until their current run was finished.  We had a minigolf tournament where the cruise staff person showed up 20 minutes late, gave a keychain to each of us who were there and took off right way.  I'm not spending several hundred dollars a day to be there to get a $2 keychain, it's supposed to be for the fun of the activity.  

 

I did mention all this and so much more in the after-cruise surveys to princess, but I really doubt they care.

Edited by Delphi38

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2019 at 7:53 AM, steelers36 said:

 I know the scrambled eggs are not real made from fresh eggs, but

 

How do you "know" that the scrambled eggs are not made from real eggs?  Not doubting your word, just a question of curiosity.

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they are cracked from a shell or even shelled eggs in a bucket, they are cooking them in a way that makes them have the texture and taste of something else. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Delphi38 said:

My last Princess cruise was a 2015 to Hawaii on Grand Princess.  I'm Platinum with them, and went on about 10 cruises between 2005 and 2015.   The drop in quality over that time was stunning.  The last couple of cruises were pretty bad.  

 

 One cruise 2 cruise staff spent every event complaining how much they hated their jobs and involving the guests in a countdown until their current run was finished.  We had a mini-golf tournament where the cruise staff person showed up 20 minutes late, gave a keychain to each of us who were there and took off right way.

 

I did mention all this and so much more in the after-cruise surveys to princess, but I really doubt they care.

 

I am sorry that you've had bad experiences on Princess ships as they certainly don't match my experiences by a long shot.  That certainly doesn't minimize what you've experienced however. Were they all, or mostly all anyway, on the same 2 or 3 ships or were there a number of different ships?  I will say that your experience with the staff members complaining about there jobs certainly did show a severe lack of professionalism on their part and I'm glad that you apparently reported that on the after cruise surveys.  Hopefully, you spoke to someone on the ship during the cruise also as that has no place in crew-to-passenger conversations at any time.  Neither does the experience at the mini-golf tournament seem to indicate a professional attitude toward their job performance.  All in all, I'm sorry that you had the experiences you had in the past and hope that you'll possibly give Princess one more shot at regaining your trust.

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it gets to the point where I dont enjoy-it, I will take land vacations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pierlesscruisers said:

 

I am sorry that you've had bad experiences on Princess ships as they certainly don't match my experiences by a long shot.  That certainly doesn't minimize what you've experienced however. Were they all, or mostly all anyway, on the same 2 or 3 ships or were there a number of different ships?  I will say that your experience with the staff members complaining about there jobs certainly did show a severe lack of professionalism on their part and I'm glad that you apparently reported that on the after cruise surveys.  Hopefully, you spoke to someone on the ship during the cruise also as that has no place in crew-to-passenger conversations at any time.  Neither does the experience at the mini-golf tournament seem to indicate a professional attitude toward their job performance.  All in all, I'm sorry that you had the experiences you had in the past and hope that you'll possibly give Princess one more shot at regaining your trust.

 

Tom

 

The only only really bad ones were Grand Princess in 2015 and Royal Princess in 2014.  I was on Ruby Princess in 2013 and overall it was a great experience, but compared to previous years, the food was a lot worse, overall service quality also seemed worse like the staff had less time for the customers, etc.  All the cruises before that, I would rate from very good to excellent.  And to be fair to Grand Princess, my best cruising experience was aboard Grand around 2008 or 2009.

 

When I was on Grand in 2015, it was shortly before the dry-dock maintenance.  The ship was in horrible shape, there were leaks and musty smells everywhere.  They had those huge carpet drying fans running everywhere.  It seemed like they had a huge number of crew painting, doing minor repairs, etc.   I think that left them short-handed for passenger care which is one reason service suffered.   I would imagine having so many crew constantly pestering passengers for upsells also left them short handed for actual service.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Delphi38 said:

 

The only only really bad ones were Grand Princess in 2015 and Royal Princess in 2014.  I was on Ruby Princess in 2013 and overall it was a great experience, but compared to previous years, the food was a lot worse, overall service quality also seemed worse like the staff had less time for the customers, etc.  All the cruises before that, I would rate from very good to excellent.  And to be fair to Grand Princess, my best cruising experience was aboard Grand around 2008 or 2009.

 

When I was on Grand in 2015, it was shortly before the dry-dock maintenance.  The ship was in horrible shape, there were leaks and musty smells everywhere.  They had those huge carpet drying fans running everywhere.  It seemed like they had a huge number of crew painting, doing minor repairs, etc.   I think that left them short-handed for passenger care which is one reason service suffered.   I would imagine having so many crew constantly pestering passengers for upsells also left them short handed for actual service.  

 

Well, let's hope that those are all things in the past only and that from here on out you'll have only great experiences!! 🙂

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scrambled eggs are made from pasteurized eggs that come in a carton. Some folks have figured out a way to get scrambled eggs made fresh at the omelet station by asking for fried eggs then changing their minds after the cook has cracked the eggs in the pan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only been with princess since 2014 with 107 days and soon an extra 35 then another 106 next year. Nothing has changed to me except the fact that I'm used to getting the same menu and service each cruise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just sailed on Emerald Princess and while I can't fault the staff, the food at the World Fresh Marketplace was not a patch on other cruise lines buffet selections.  We have loved the buffet on Royal Caribbean, Cunard and Celebrity but really struggled to put together a nice meal at the World Fresh.  Sure there was lettuce leaves, sunflower seeds, chopped this and that but where were the delicious hot selections?  It was all bits and pieces, no delicious curries or asian dishes.  If you want a sandwich or salad (to make yourself) then great but it really put me off ever sailing Princess again.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Credit 00 said:

I have only been with princess since 2014 with 107 days and soon an extra 35 then another 106 next year. Nothing has changed to me except the fact that I'm used to getting the same menu and service each cruise. 

We also started cruising with Princess in 2014 and have 120 days with a 35 nighter coming up. We have noticed the changes, both in reduction of items on the MDR menus and, especially on our last cruise on Majestic, the poorer quality. Service has been as bit hit and miss in the MDRs over all the cruises we've done, sometimes brilliant, sometimes very lacklustre. One area Princess really shines though is in bar service. Most of our cabin stewards have been very good to excellent except, again, on Majestic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

We also started cruising with Princess in 2014 and have 120 days with a 35 nighter coming up. We have noticed the changes, both in reduction of items on the MDR menus and, especially on our last cruise on Majestic, the poorer quality. Service has been as bit hit and miss in the MDRs over all the cruises we've done, sometimes brilliant, sometimes very lacklustre. One area Princess really shines though is in bar service. Most of our cabin stewards have been very good to excellent except, again, on Majestic.

 

We also went on the Majestic, It's repositioning from Shanghai To Australia late last year.  At first the service was horrible though the crew got used to the western clients pretty quick. One of the crew members recognized us from the Emerald (LA to Santiago) from 2017 and said, "I'll look after you guys" and he really did. I asked him what the Majestic was like in China, He Basically said "They make twice the mess everywhere and don't spend a sent", a tad racist but he new what australia expected in terms of service. With that said the MDR was below average without doubt though the "Marketplace" AKA Horizon was exceptional. Being on the Sea Princess recently the MDR was great, Maybe it's a bit hit and miss. Is your 35 nighter 79 days away?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...