Dai does Princess part Two

Anything about Princess cruises

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daib GC
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Dai does Princess part Two

Post by daib GC » 30 May 2017, 15:40

Part Two
The entertainment on the ship was much like P&O, indeed at least 3 of the acts my wife had seen on P&O ships. There were things on during the day like quizzes, art auctions, bingo and some musical entertainment. One day a jazz band, a piano player and the string trio. There was a very good singer in Crooners, Red Bar Blue bar on Azura/Ventura. He was on most nights. So the mix was much as it is on P&O but perhaps not as much as you get on say Azura but more than Arcadia. The Art Auctions were a pain in the ****** taking over the whole of the central entertainment venue, the Explorers Lounge. This of course took away places to sit inside when the weather was poor.
The Captains welcome night was held in the atrium with the same problems as usual lack of seats they had the champagne fountain but not sure what happened to the stuff that was poured as it was still intact at the end. The champagne, well fizz came from the bar next door and was waylaid by people standing around and so never got to most of the people around the atrium we were on deck 7. Which brings me to the greedy old pair I spotted. They were sat next to us in crooners they did not buy a drink in half an hour. After about 20 minutes he got up and rushed to change seats to get one close to where the free booze would be coming from. As it started to appear he dashed up from his seat and got two glasses, which is OK. He then repeated this six times as more trays were brought out. All in about 10 minutes. Consequently those at our end of the lounge got none. His table was filled with glasses. What a total *****. The only consolation was that what they were serving was pretty foul. We were more than happy with our G&T’s.
Which brings me to my fellow cruisers, which were exactly the same as on P&O. The age range and the types of people. Most pleasant, some rude and some just plain ignorant. The lift problems were exactly the same.
Drinks, when we booked we had the drinks package which was worth a huge $1100 between the two of us. Not quite sure we would have drunk that much but it was not to be. I spotted a price drop, considerable, more than the price of the drinks package and so a quick phone call brought us a change in booking. It turned out to be a very wise move on our part. We had taken wine on with us, our 2 bottles and had the mini bar set up as we were Elite. We would normally have a drink before dinner as we were getting ready but with the timing of the elite lounge at 5 to 7 we tended not to do that and I would go up to the lounge at about 5. So we did not drink as much in the cabin. Of course the drinks in the lounge were cheap at less than $6 and strong so not many needed. We had the wine package at dinner so we did not need much more booze. As well as this the ship ran 3 happy hours in various bars. 3 till 4, 5 till 6 and 11 till 12. Which were all buy 1 get one for a dollar.
So in conclusion I would say for us the full booze package would have been a waste. Not needed at all. The best deal was the coffee card.
We now do very few trips but from what I have seen there is little difference between all the cruise lines as the coaches and guides are the same for all lines. Royal Caribbean, MSC, Princess, etc. The only difference is the price. We did use shuttle buses but were not happy to have to pay for them, free is far better. In the ports we were lucky with the weather and we just did our own thing, the odd beer and coffee.
Over the cruise we tried both the Crown Grill and Sabatini’s. Both venues very quiet. The grill was excellent if a little cold, Air Con working too well. The food was very good, Ribeye perfect. In Sabatini’s there were even less people. The starters were excellent. My wife had a chicken dish which was very good. Unfortunately my steak was not. It had been over cooked being beyond medium and I asked for medium rare. I managed about a half and mentioned it to the waiter. I did not want another one, which he was only too willing to get. Not only was it not cooked correctly it had little taste. Such a contrast to the grill.
We did not try the Salty Dog as most of the tables were high with stools round them not conducive to enjoy a meal.
We did have an excellent speaker onboard, that being Harry Redknapp. He was interviewed by the cruise director and was very entertaining and had a full house in the theatre. However he was the only speaker, which a number of people remarked upon, another reason for the lack of seats in the IC. I was going to say regarding the IC, the staff were excellent and very hard working. Most of the day they had little down time.
Overall we enjoyed the cruise and would certainly go back again on Princess, from Southampton. In many ways I feel it is like having another P&O ship to cruise on, which has some differences as Britannia is different to Adonia.


Gan Canny

Dai 8-) 8-) 8-)

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towny44
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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by towny44 » 30 May 2017, 16:02

Interesting review Dai, thinking back I remember that our views of P&O was how similar it was to Princess which was our favoured line at the time, even down to the aircon being set quite a bit lower on Princess.
If ever Coral or Island Princess come to the UK you should consider booking them, they are our favourite Princess ships, similar size to Arcadia but kitted out similar to the Grand class ships, I think you would enjoy them.
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Gill W
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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by Gill W » 30 May 2017, 16:06

Thanks for your report Dai. We've done nearly all our cruising on P&O but we are looking to give other lines a try. There's nothing you said that would frighten us about Princess, so they are still on the list
Gill

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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by Kenmo1 » 30 May 2017, 17:08

Thank you, Dai, for the very informative review. We have only cruised twice with Princess, once some years ago on Grand Princess and once a couple of years ago on Caribbean Princess. Although we enjoyed both cruises we still prefer P&O. However, our main memory from the Caribbean Princess was the massive bowls of cherries and strawberries which were always available up in the buffet - my husband still tells everybody about them. Did you see them in the buffet on Crown Princess? If they are still available, I think that would almost be enough to encourage my husband to return along with all the other excellent loyalty perks you get based on your P&O status.

Maureen.


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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by daib GC » 30 May 2017, 18:11

Kenmo1 wrote:
30 May 2017, 17:08
Thank you, Dai, for the very informative review. We have only cruised twice with Princess, once some years ago on Grand Princess and once a couple of years ago on Caribbean Princess. Although we enjoyed both cruises we still prefer P&O. However, our main memory from the Caribbean Princess was the massive bowls of cherries and strawberries which were always available up in the buffet - my husband still tells everybody about them. Did you see them in the buffet on Crown Princess? If they are still available, I think that would almost be enough to encourage my husband to return along with all the other excellent loyalty perks you get based on your P&O status.

Maureen.
Sorry only went up to the buffet for breakfast, which was very similar to P&O except for the American bacon but they also had British bacon as well.


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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by Quizzical Bob » 01 Jun 2017, 13:04

Thanks for your reports Dai. We have 'jumped ship' from P&O and after going through the Panama Canal last year on Island Princess have now booked two more cruises with them. We were transferred straight across on Elite level and the onboard benefits are much better. Your level doesn't get downgraded, there is complementary laundry, 250 minutes of internet time per person, a free minibar setup, canapés on formal nights, priority tendering plus the usual lounges and a complementary wine tasting lunch. We also had a loyalty lunch with the Captain as being in the top 40 most travelled passengers on board. We found the food in the MDR to be of a much higher standard that P%O with larger portions and better quality. Future Cruise Deposits bought onboard are valid for two years and refundable if not used. We went from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles and the mix was mainly American but there were quite a few English and Australian passengers too. Formal nights were fewer and although everybody was smart I felt overdressed in my DJ. I don't know if this was because of the itinerary. Tips and excursions are more expensive, especially since the collapse in the Pound. It would take a lot to tempt us back to P&O. I was speaking to a TA this week and she confirmed that the general impression was that their product had deteriorated over the past few years.

Whatever, we are now looking forward to Southampton to New York in September and Santiago to Buenos Aires next January. Let's hope they don't let us down.


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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by daib GC » 01 Jun 2017, 13:46

Quizzical Bob wrote:
01 Jun 2017, 13:04
Thanks for your reports Dai. We have 'jumped ship' from P&O and after going through the Panama Canal last year on Island Princess have now booked two more cruises with them. We were transferred straight across on Elite level and the onboard benefits are much better. Your level doesn't get downgraded, there is complementary laundry, 250 minutes of internet time per person, a free minibar setup, canapés on formal nights, priority tendering plus the usual lounges and a complementary wine tasting lunch. We also had a loyalty lunch with the Captain as being in the top 40 most travelled passengers on board. We found the food in the MDR to be of a much higher standard that P%O with larger portions and better quality. Future Cruise Deposits bought onboard are valid for two years and refundable if not used. We went from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles and the mix was mainly American but there were quite a few English and Australian passengers too. Formal nights were fewer and although everybody was smart I felt overdressed in my DJ. I don't know if this was because of the itinerary. Tips and excursions are more expensive, especially since the collapse in the Pound. It would take a lot to tempt us back to P&O. I was speaking to a TA this week and she confirmed that the general impression was that their product had deteriorated over the past few years.

Whatever, we are now looking forward to Southampton to New York in September and Santiago to Buenos Aires next January. Let's hope they don't let us down.
They have restricted the MTP to Princess cruises only so you would not get that again. We found the food to be much as we have on P&O except one meal which was very good. Found it very odd to only get a pie as a meal with no veg at all. There was certainly more meat although not all good. The braised steak, not sure what they called it was very dry and we were advised by our waitress that the New York Stirp should only be eaten rare or medium rare as it tended to go tough. But none of these things would put us off.


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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by Quizzical Bob » 01 Jun 2017, 14:58

daib GC wrote:
01 Jun 2017, 13:46
They have restricted the MTP to Princess cruises only so you would not get that again. We found the food to be much as we have on P&O except one meal which was very good. Found it very odd to only get a pie as a meal with no veg at all. There was certainly more meat although not all good. The braised steak, not sure what they called it was very dry and we were advised by our waitress that the New York Stirp should only be eaten rare or medium rare as it tended to go tough. But none of these things would put us off.
We are Baltic on P&O but that will downgrade to Caribbean before too long and we would still get a loyaty lunch instead of a "senior officer" loyalty lunch but we don't cuise for those. To be honest we found the last one that we had to be a lower standard than previous. The quality of food may be ship/chef related. We found the laundry to be the most useful perk.

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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by Happydays » 01 Jun 2017, 16:06

I'm glad you enjoyed your cruise Dai,I enjoyed reading your review.

After our experience when we got home we cancelled the Princess cruise we had booked for April. We're back with P&O and staying with them for the next five cruises we have booked!
We were "Elite" with Princess as well and all I can say is thank goodness as the queues for boarding etc would have been a nightmare.On the Princess cruise we were on the entertainment was below average. Perhaps the reason we didn't enjoy it was partly due to sailing from New York so obviously it was tailored more to the American audience as you'd expect. I didn't think the service or food was any better than P&O in some instances (IMO) the food was worse!! The excursions were more expensive and shorter in duration. I didn't dislike the cruise it was more of a big disappointment the first time I've been glad to be going home. The ship was lovely and we liked the "balloon drop" on one of the formal nights, but we don't book a cruise for that reason. It may be OK sailing from Southampton but I'm not willing to test that theory out for quite some time (if ever)

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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by barney » 01 Jun 2017, 17:01

Thanks Dai, it's always interesting to compare the slight differences between Lines.

My friend has done three cruises on RCI big ships but didn't enjoy his last one on Indie so has booked P&O Oceana for his next one. November to Canaries.
I've warned him to expect a quite different experience and go with an open mind.
Hopefully they will like it.

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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by allatc » 01 Jun 2017, 19:15

We have done as many cruises on Princess as we have on P&O. Interestingly our P&O "points" are taken into account on Princess but not vice versa.

Really we have found very little to choose between the two lines and would happily cruise with either given the right itinerary and price.

One advantage on Caribbean cruises sailing from Fort Lauderdale or Miami is the option to extend the holiday with a break in Florida at either either end of the cruise.

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Re: Dai does Princess part Two

Post by Happydays » 01 Jun 2017, 19:29

Perhaps we were just unfortunate but it has certainly put us off Princess. We had been on Princess before and thought we knew what to expect from them.

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