Not happy with Princess cruises

Aug 31st, 2008, 09:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2
Not happy with Princess cruises

Avoid the Princess line.

Sailed the Golden Princess (7/26/08 to 8/2/08)- Alaska Inside passage out of Seattle.

We did not get to the glacier of the inside passage even though it was a clear day. This was sole reason why I booked this cruise. At least 2 other ships that week reached the glaciers. I wrote to the customer relations dept in Santa Clarita, CA - in review of their responses, I'd say the customer comes last.

(I understand the Capt has a history, if true he should have not been assigned to Alaska).

We also had issues with the staff - for example, my daughter was charged for services she did not ask for in the Salon. It was taken care, but only of persistence by us- the crew nor the Pursur's desk was helpful. Overall the staff did not give 100%. The cabins were smaller then other ships I have been on.

The only plus was weather and the food - but not a reason to choose Princess. I have heard better comments from friends on other cruise ships.

So far Princess has done nothing to entice my wife & I to ever take a Princess cruise again. We spent close to $10K (also brought our kids) - you'd think they'd want us to return, but guess not.
sethm is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 12:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,194
To each his own - we sailed Princess one way Whittier-Vancouver in June with no significant complaints.

However, on our cruise our glacier trip was cut a little short because a passenger had the nerve to have a serious medical emergency requiring medical evacuation involving ship, tender, Coast Guard - a complicated maneuver.

Should I have complained to Princess about this as well? Perhaps sailing on a line concerned with the health and safety of passengers is unimportant to you.
gail is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 02:49 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,477
Somehow I think Princess will survive.
jacketwatch is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 68
We have sailed on Princess two times & can not say a bad thing about it. Two different ships & two different places in the world but with two great Capts. that took the ships passengers well being as their 1st priority. I'm sorry you had a bad cruise. You heard the Capt. has a history, don't we all. One should not start or continue rumors if one does not have facts to back them up. I heard rumors about..... & did you hear the one about that other guy.
RONREYN2008 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 04:36 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,040
Sorry you didn't enjoy your cruise. I'm taking my tenth Princess cruise in December and have nothing but good things to say about the line.

If you check their website, they show the square footage of cabins in each category. Probably good for future cruisers to check that before they book.

Suggesting the captain has a 'history' is a pretty vague excuse; surely they had a better reason for not reaching the glacier on the particular day you it was scheduled.

I have to say that I've read elsewhere that Princess does not have the best customer service when it comes to responding to travelers' complaints.

I've never, ever, had a problem with the staff and never felt they did not give 100% excellent service. FWIW, the salon is outsourced to another company and they are not Princess employees. Salon employees can be rather pushy in selling products and services - I wouldn't argue with that.
swaymock is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 603
"at least two other ships that week reached the glacier" - well perhaps the weather and currents were better on the days they tried to get there. Your cruise contract clearly states that the itinerary can be changed at any time with no compensation. There are many reasons why a ship doesn't get into a certain port (or in this case a glacier) and you as a passenger just have to grin and bear it.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
"Overall the staff did not give 100%."

I wonder how one determines if the crew gives 100%, 99%, 95%... Can somebody explain?

We had 2 very rough days, so in the buffet they'd take the plate out of my hands and carry it to a table. I never asked for it! I found it a little over the board Should I say the crew gave 105%?
FainaAgain is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2008, 08:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
We are also very satisfied passengers with Princess. It is sad indeed that you spent that much money only to be disappointed, but our experiences on our most recent cruises to Alaska and through the Panama Canal with Princess couldn't have been more different than yours!

We've not sailed on the Golden Princess (we don't like the very large ships) so I can't speak for cabin size, staff, etc., but our cabin on the two above cruises was actually larger than most and the crew couldn't have treated us better.
Giovanna is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
Isn't it all a bit subjective? Some of the respondents seem to be indignant that their favorite line would be criticized. Cruise collectors seem to be more tolerant of the cruise lines than those with less experience. Nothing is perfect. I've been on a few cruises, and none have been perfect and none have been a disaster. I've had fun on all. Expectations from cruise lines re: customer service should not be too high. I've had some nice surprises, but on the other hand, they do try to maximize their profits (Wow).
Aristotle is offline  
Sep 4th, 2008, 05:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,477
I disagee with the above. If you want to see indignation go to the threads begun by this poster inre to this isuue on cruise critic. Personally the replies here show disagreement respectfully and reflect what others have experienced on Princess. I've had complaints about some aspects of cruises I've taken with Princess but overall we have been pleased. I think the OP is off the mark with his comments and unrealistic with his expectations. JM2C.
jacketwatch is offline  
Sep 6th, 2008, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739
I have been on a few Princess ships and have had mixed service. With that said, I am still booked on a future crusie on their ships.

They overcharged me one time on the "soft drinks stickers". I complained at the Purser and they produced the bill that I signed, which showed two instead of one. My fault for not looking at the bill.
But then, they have charged me incorrectly for my sparkling water at dinner as well. They charged me for the small bottles and I had the large bottles. Mistakes happen.

They have also lost my wife's luggage in Alaska on our way home (between the port and the airport) and I must admit the customer service at the 1-800 head office is not helpful at all. They were clueless and did not care to listen to what my complaint was. She kept telling me that I have to wait a couple weeks before I can make a claim. I kept telling her that I am not making a claim. I just want to know how I can get my luggae back. In the end, I did manage to get a direct phone number to their Alaska office (the agent?)

I called Alaska and had a wonderful experience. The girl who answered the phone (an accounting employee picking up the phone while the receptionist is on a break) took the matters into her own hands, got in touch with a supervsior of some sort at the airport, called me back, asked more question about the missing luggage (description) since she did not have my missing luggage report in front of her. She called back again the next day, ask for the content of the luggage as they found two pieces of luggage that fits the description with no tags on them. I gave her the content, she called back again, found my wife's luggage and will ship it by FedEx to my office. What more can you ask for?

Missing a stop? That's par for the course. It happens for a number of reasons. I have been on two Western Caribbean cruises and have not yet been able to set foot on the Grand Cayman. Both times, the sea was rough and they did't want to tender. Both time (2 different crusie lines), they refunded port charges and gave me on board credit for compensation. I am heading out thta way again in late November this year. Maybe third time lucky?

$10,000 spent? Not even a drop in the bucket. 3000 passengers paying an average of $150+ per day for the cruise, not counting beverages, shore excursions, spa and other things that they charge you for, each ship will gross about $1,000,000 in revenue each week. With 20 shps and 52 weeks a year, that's in the billions.

If you are a repeat customer (15 or more cruises with them), usually booked in a suite, well, maybe they will care a bit more. (just maybe)

I have had mixed services from Carnival, NCL, HAL and others as well. That's the nature of the beast when it comes to service. No one is ever perfect.

When I spent my hard earned dollars on a holilday, I want to relax and not get upset or stressed. I have enough of that at home and at work.

Concentrate on the positive, over look the negative, lower your expectation, you will have a much better time and becoems a much happier person. Don't let the little blemish ruin your holidays!
Eschew is offline  
Sep 6th, 2008, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 96

You had two lucky escapes there not setting foot on Grand Cayman, you never missed much.

We sail on Golden Princess to Hawaii in Jan 09 and really looking forward to it.

Just remember your worst day on a cruise is always better than your best day at work!
mickrory is offline  
Sep 6th, 2008, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739

I have always wanted to say I have been to Hell and back and I have not been able to do that without setting foot on Grand Cayman. I don't think I am interested in going to the other Hell just yet. Yeah, I know, it's a tourst trap.

Have you been to Vulcan? I haven't been to Mars but I have been to Vulcan. Live long and prosper!

We are booked on the Ruby Princess for a Nov 09 trip and maybe, just maybe, we can set foot on Grand Cayman.

I have often heard and said that the a bad day on the golf course is still better than the a good day in the office. I think I like yours better but is probably more expensive to do.

Happy Holidays!
Eschew is offline  
Sep 18th, 2008, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8
Hi eschew

when or what time of year was you first two attempts at Grand Cayman we go in Jan. and you have me worried??

Himself8 is offline  
Sep 18th, 2008, 11:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 674
I have reread your post. We should avoid the whole Princess line because you are mad that they didn't risk your welfare by not going into one port. It is CLEARLY stated on all cruise material that shore stops can be cancelled at ny point.

Cabins were big enough I thought. I have only been on Princess(3x) Carnival( 2x) . We get a balcony for the extra space.

10,000. isn't two bad, we paid more then that 2 years ago for us and our children.

You daughter signed the chit in the salon, did she check it, or , since I guess you paid did she not pay attention. It is much easier to deny a charge that has not already been signed for..

Staff are excellant .

You liked the food, so thats a positive right?

PS on a clear sunny day glaciers can be more, not less dangerous, they are prone to calving in the heat. Duh.
bozama is offline  
Sep 19th, 2008, 04:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,965

The golf courses in my neighborhood cost more for a round than a day on a cruise. The drinks aren't cheaper at the club either.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Sep 19th, 2008, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
I have cruised to Alaska 6 times and not all trips have resulted in visiting the glaciers as scheduled. One cruise was so awful that EVERY excursion I booked was cancelled due to nasty rains we had every day of the cruise. I did not hold RCI responsible for the weather or my disappointment but I did wait 8 years before heading back to Alaska and subsequent cruises have been very good.

It is certainly not specific to Princess that a cruise does not operate exactly as planned. Weather is a huge issue in Alaska and the waters especially near the big glaciers difficult to navigate. I applaud them for putting safety first and am quite certain they would have if it was possible to visit the glacier as scheduled SAFELY. The last thing any cruise line wants is unhappy passengers.

Perhaps next time the OP will have a better experience.

kfusto is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2008, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 184
The person who wrote the original post expressed an OPINION. Is there a reason why we can't do that on this forum? It appears the writer was very upset, but I certainly wouldn't let it deter me from taking a Princess cruise, nor would I be influenced by those who then gave accolades to the line. On a public forum, everyone has their opinions, valid or not. But, I believe he had a right to express his opinion (even if I didn't agree) without being jumped on, by the usual. I don't have to mention names, because I am sure they will be pouncing on me shortly.

lindam is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2008, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
I've just scanned this thread and I can't find a single post where the OP was "jumped on." It seems to me the subsequent posters were simply expressing their opinions and trying to explain some reasons why the disgruntled OP wasn't able to see the glacier, and explain their takes on the other complaints about the cruise.

Apparently the last poster sees them in a different light and that's fine, but why jump to the conclusion that he/she will now be attacked?
Giovanna is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2008, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,739

Sorry for the late reply as I was away.

First attempt to land at Gramd Cayman was Jan 2001, the year that the superbowl was at Tampa. Get on the Carnival Senation the weekend after the football game. Water was choppy and they did not want to tender ashore. We can see the island, the ship stayed for about an hour and that was it. We received refund for port fee plus extra on board credit. Ship arrived at next destination earlier and stayed longer.

Second attemp was early Feb 2003. Same old same old. I can't feel it on board but the wave was too high for tenders. Missed Grand Cayman again. Maybe third time the charm? BTW, I posted the worng date. It's Nov 08 on the Ruby. Hope the hurricane season is done by then.

bdjtbenson, you may have a point that golf is more expensive than cruise. Please make sure no one tells my wife or I will be playing a whole lot less golf.

I can only afford to play at local semi private or public courses. Almsot always under $100 a round. Most expensive was in Japan and Hawaii. Cheapest was over $350 for a round. Ouch.

Yes, drinks are definitely more expensive at most golf courses comapre to the ships. My last cruise with Princess (Jan 2008), Latte is $2 and San Pellegrino is $2.50. Beer is less than $5. Drinkable wine at $25 a bottle. Much cheaper than local restaurants and golf courses.

Either way, a bad day at a cruise or golf course is still better than a good day at the office.

Eschew is offline  
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