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Old November 4th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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Angry island princess ten day panama canal= awful

just returned from our first and last princess cruise. we chose PCL because we liked the length of cruise, what a mistake. did not make two of designated stops one due to weather; I get that other stop not made was colon supposed political rally, but had 2 days at sea on way back and feel they should have put in at least one alternative stop. food was medicore, continually got different answers to same question at desk. disembarking was a disisater, one of us was in wheelchair, the wait was absurd, there were many people waiting in wheelchair area and they would come one at a time with chair and then a long wait until next. clearing customs with wheelchair was a joke, waited and waited for what they said would be someone coming out of office to assist, NOT, then there was no one to push wheelchair, I had both our bags and paperwork to handle so I was not able to do so. Hot on the ship in many venues, could not get into shows even showing up almost an hour before show time due to people saving numbers of seats, even though they were announced not to do so, Princess personnel simply ignored the whole thing. I am demanding some cash refund from Princess , please no credit for another princess cruise , because it will not happen in my lifetime!!!!!! signed, disappointed
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Old November 4th, 2012, 03:12 PM
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Sorry to hear that it wasn't the cruise that you paid for. The cruise contract that you accepted states "That cruise line can change/cancel ports without notice ." Ports are mainly cancelled for the safety of the passengers. One cruise we where delayed arrival in a port because of a political rally being held near the port. They can't just go to/replace with another port. There might not be room at the pier on the day they want.
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Old November 4th, 2012, 04:34 PM
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I've sailed on Princess many many times and have never encountered problems like this. We've also had alot of clients doing that same ship and itinerary without problems. They do say the Island Princess is not quite up to the standards of Princess' newer ships, but overall they've reported it to be very nice.

Sorry to hear you encountered some problems, but one cruise on one ship is usually not indicative of other ships or the cruise line as a whole. We've been on one ship three times and each of those provided us an entirely different experience - things change, especially the crew, which can have an impact on the overall experience.

But as was stated, the cruise line has the right to change/cancel ports based on the most current and ever-changing circumstances. They'll never put their ships, crew, or passengers in harm's way.

As for saving seats, I agree this is a problem, but for the most part, this is a problem on every ship on every cruise line. Some just deal with it better than others.

But the cruise line will not refund you any money. The only refund you should have gotten was an onboard credit in the amount of the port fees for those ports missed. They may offer a future cruise credit or onboard credit for another cruise, but they will not refund any cash, so you will be disappointed in their response.

But the good thing about cruising is that there is something out there for everyone, so perhaps another cruise line will better serve your needs. And that the fun part, finding a cruise that's best for you.

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Old November 4th, 2012, 05:33 PM
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Since the very first Grand Class Princess ship came out their showroom theaters are the worst design of the major cruise lines.

They have always struggled with the layout and size, and guest are often left disappointed and not able to get in. Often we've found people even sitting on stairways just to see a show.

They did try and mitigate this by moviing some shows that they are able to their Explorer's Lounges, on various nights to repeat them, and allow more people to see them.

However, even on their newer ships they've done nothing about the lousy design.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 10:02 AM
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We've been on the Island a number of times and never found any of the problems you describe. We're also leaving shortly for another Island Princess cruise next week & made notes of all the problems you've outlined.

It does sound like your missing the ports gave you a sour opinion of the whole trip. As far as getting to the show lounge 1 hour before and not able to get a seat? This sounds a little far fetched to say the least or perhaps you couldn't get certain seats like center stage in the middle of the lounge? I often get there early myself and there always have been seats 1 hour before. IF you show up 10 minutes before show time then it's understandable.
Like I said, we'll see how it goes and I'll be sure to report back with our opinions in mid Dec.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 10:14 AM
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I have to agree, they deck layouts of the "Grand" class have a lot to be desired, not sure what they were thinking of. So sorry to hear about your Princess cruise, my last one in Alaska was fantastic, had no complaints. Although, there is not much you can do about bad weather, hopefully you next cruise will be a different story...
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Old November 5th, 2012, 10:36 AM
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A little investigation and you would have found that Princess is the least wheelchair friendly cruise line. They do not allow wheelchairs to tender at tender ports and in lieu of being first in lines wheelchairs are actually last (including debark). I suspect you were used to something else and then were surprised that Princess did it differently.

BTW--I'm not saying Princess is wrong in their wheelchair priorities, in fact truthfully they are following long standing sailing traditions, not the political correctness more common on most other cruise lines. In the event of a disaster wheelchairs would block passageways and escape routes for other passengers trying to escape thus possibly increasing casualties by a large number.

Princess is also the only cruise line to honestly tell you at muster drills what to do if the ship is sinking very quickly.

I think they just have a more honest and realistic approach.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 01:38 AM
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Sorry you had a bad cruise - that's all I can say. It can happen to anyone at any time.

So often it is just a collection of little things, not a single event, but when you add them up it just doesn't work out.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 02:11 PM
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I, too, am sorry you didn't enjoy your cruise.
The Island Princess is our favorite Princess ship, as we enjoy the intimacy of the smaller size, rather than the Grand Class Ships. I use a scooter or wheelchair and I never had a problem finding a place to park for a show..........given, we plan for a 45 minute ahead arrival. The wheelchair seating is in the last row, so it is harder to see, but it is also easier to get out after the show.
Our first Princess cruise was disappointing when we compared it to our very first cruise, on another line, we had been on. We went back to Princess for the itineraries, and while not super cruisers, we have been on twelve Princess cruises and enjoyed them all............even the first one with the sticky Horizon Court floor! That ship was leaving, and has left, the Princess fleet. Personally, I don't think that the Princess theaters are any worse than any of the other cruise lines we have been on, at least for handicapped cruisers.
May your next cruise be the cruise of your dreams!
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:01 PM
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In all of our cruises I can say I've only had 1 "bad" cruise and that was on the Sapphire Princess in 2005. My experience wasn't as challenging as blueboys but it was enough that I will not sail Princess again. Sorry you had a rough time. Cruises are supposed to be fun memory making experiences. Hopefully your next cruise will be much better.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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Sorry you had a bad cruise..Sometimes at the beginning, one thing will sour you,and things build off that..I also think the Grand Class theaters are the worst at sea.

Now, that you realize you will not be getting any type of compensation, don't let it get you down further. Did you book dirwctly with the cruise line or a travle agent? Just curious.

I hope your next cruise, will be your best one.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 07:48 PM
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Default Give Celebrity a Try!!!!

Well, at least you got a cruise! I was to leave 11/8 on the Crown Princess
from Venice for the Greek Isles. I flew from San Diego to JFK (landed in
a driving blizzard on the night of 11/7). A foot of snow on the ground.
I hadn't seen snow in 26 years.

Flight from JFK to Venice was cancelled. The airline couldn't offer another flight for 3 days (no guarantees).

Since my cabinmate is 93.5 yrs old...I could not put her through that wait!
We slept on the floor at JFK (no transportation co. would come into JFK
to transport us to a hotel because it was "too dangerous". Thousands of
people were angry and invading other passengers' personal space. Everyone
was hungry and irritable. Nothing for sale in the international terminal that
resembled "food". (aren't New Yorkers gourmets???)

The next morning we returned to San Diego. Dejected. We missed the entire cruise..All the ports. That was to be my 47th cruise. Nothing like this
has ever happened to me before. But, I see it can.

Our luggage went on to Venice whenever a flight left JFK.....we had a bottle
of wine in our suitcase. My husband said he had a picture of "some gondola
driver drinking our wine...partying and wearing our brand new evening gowns!. Ha!! The luggage showed up fine over a week later (wine and
all).

The next morning I asked my friend if she wanted to go to Mexico. She said
when? I said tomorrow. So we booked a 7 day Mexico cruise on Holland
America and left the next day!

Travel requires a lot of emotional energy. But when it works..it's really
worth it! Book your next cruise on Celebrity (my favorite)!

Sincerely,
SusieStone
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Old November 21st, 2012, 08:10 PM
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We are taking the Island Princess to the Panama Canal on their Christmas Cruise. Having cruised on Princes twice before ..one a 17 day cruise from Venice, I have not had any problems. I prefer a smaller ship than a big ship with 4,000 people on board. The Princess food has always been good on my cruises as have the crews. Sorry you had a bad cruise, but that can happen to anyone. If they skip a port for safety reasons it is ok by us as we love the days at sea the best.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueboys View Post
just returned from our first and last princess cruise. we chose PCL because we liked the length of cruise, what a mistake. did not make two of designated stops one due to weather; I get that other stop not made was colon supposed political rally, but had 2 days at sea on way back and feel they should have put in at least one alternative stop. food was medicore, continually got different answers to same question at desk. disembarking was a disisater, one of us was in wheelchair, the wait was absurd, there were many people waiting in wheelchair area and they would come one at a time with chair and then a long wait until next. clearing customs with wheelchair was a joke, waited and waited for what they said would be someone coming out of office to assist, NOT, then there was no one to push wheelchair, I had both our bags and paperwork to handle so I was not able to do so. Hot on the ship in many venues, could not get into shows even showing up almost an hour before show time due to people saving numbers of seats, even though they were announced not to do so, Princess personnel simply ignored the whole thing. I am demanding some cash refund from Princess , please no credit for another princess cruise , because it will not happen in my lifetime!!!!!! signed, disappointed
Just having returned from 28 days on the Island I have a little different perspective of the ship.
  • The food was consistent with any other Princess ship. Yes there were some dishes that could have been better but in general almost every meal we had was done very well, including both the dining room & Horizon.
  • People in wheelchairs were accommodated even boarding the tenders. Of course there may have been some delays with the speediness that a person in a wheelchair would have liked but they did their best to transport all pax as fast as possible considering the rough boarding at some ports.
  • You say the ship was HOT?? That's weird because only 1 evening was the DR on the hot side. Almost all the bars, lounges & showroom were freezing most nights. We got blankets from MUTS to keep warm in the Universe lounge because it was always so cold. People were wearing their coats to keep warm. Strange.
  • Seats in the show rooms? Only on 2 evenings did the Princess theater get filled to capacity and then even if you showed up 10 minutes before show time seats were still available and very few people were saving more than 1 seat for their spouse. Even the cruise director was going down the isle one evening asking if the vacant seats were being held for a spouse. No one as far as I could see held more than 1 additional seat.
  • Yes the Universe lounge did fill up to capacity so people had to get there 20 minutes prior but that's to be expected in a small lounge.
  • Pool hogs did not exist on the Island like other Princess ships- you could arrive at any pool even at 2 PM on a sea day and always fine a seat somewhere close by.
  • Disembarkation in Fl was a little slow but that was due to limited customs personnel and had nothing to do with Princess.
I doubt you'll get much satisfaction in terms of a cash refund so you really should try a more upscale cruise line like Cunard or Seaborne.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Hmmmm, first and only post was a complaint? I have never been on the Island Princess but have not had any complaints with Princess myself.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 03:19 PM
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Susie,

Did you think landing in Venice on the day of the cruise was a good idea?
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Old March 17th, 2013, 10:40 PM
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Sorry for your views on the Island. We have sailed her three times and have always found her to our liking. Its a matter of what you preceive as a good embarkation/debarkation, food (very subjective), etc. How many times have you change airline carriers just because of a bad experience. We are scheduled on three PCL cruises this year and I doubt that everything will go perfect. This will not stop us from booking for next year.

Hope you find a cruise line that fits you perfectly.

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Old March 18th, 2013, 10:26 AM
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I wish the Island would discontinue doing the Panama canal trips for a while so I could sail it in the Caribbean again and it would mean I didn't have to fly to the ship. The smaller ship is much nicer than the Emerald, Crown or Ruby in many ways with all almost all the same amenities without as many people.
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Old June 24th, 2013, 09:26 PM
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We did the Island Princess Panama Canal Cruise over Christmas and loved it. Food was great ..never a problem getting seats for the shows. All the personel were great and love Princess Cruise Lines. Booked on Princess in July for 14 day Alaska Cruise and looking forward to another great Cruise. Princess has great entertainment, great food and the best crew of any Line we have been on.
Sorry you trip was bad but think maybe part of the problem was you. Just relax and enjoy your trip. Cruise Lines have the right to skip ports if need be and sounds like there were good reasons on your cruise.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 12:19 AM
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A cruise is what you make it. They can be fun and relaxing or miserable. its mostly up to you. None of what you have told us is unusual. They cannot just pull into another port. It doesn't work that way. I'm not sure you would have been happy with much of anything after missing the first port. Sounds like it was downhill from there.
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Old June 25th, 2013, 02:31 AM
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This was just a one-time post from someone who only wanted to join just so they could complain. Personally, I would pay it absolutely no attention to it whatsoever.

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Old June 27th, 2013, 02:23 AM
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Ok sorry I was not going to get into this but reading these posts are making me mad!!!
No 1. I do sympathize with you if you have to use a wheelchair, scooter, walker or other device to help you get around. However. i have paid for my cruise also and to have to listen to you complain about everything and everyone and to treat the staff abysmaly as some of you do is reprehensible! Please. Chill out. The world does not owe you a living. Treat people asvyou wish to be treated and you may gain some respect. This does notapply to all "disabled"people. Only the ones thatvchoose to bring it to everyones attention
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Old June 28th, 2013, 06:58 PM
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We have sailed Princess 21 times and yes, problems arise from time to time but we have never had cruise we did not enjoy. We are sorry you did not enjoy your trip. Some years ago we sailed on the old Celebrity Zenith. It was a cruise from hell. We swore we would never sail Celebrity again. We have since sailed 3 times on this line with outstanding results. Give Princess another try. It is an excellent cruise line. As for the theater problem, we recently sailed Caribbean Princess and were surprised at the amount of seat saving. We have spoken to Princess but in all honesty they really do not care. It is a problem we will live with I guess.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 11:23 PM
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Like you we too have sailed with island princes..twice...what a cruise ...if I were to rate it from 1 to 10 it would be a 11..food very very good. service the best. sorry to hear that the ship missed some ports because of weather. I believe the cruise line had you in their best interest. if things went bad in port because of bad weather...I believe you would be more upset than you were. And as far as I Know princess has no control over the whether. My wife and myself have a saying we always say to people......whether you think you will have a good time on a ship or whether you think you won't have a good time on a ship.........you are right.

Jim and Glenna
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Old July 11th, 2013, 05:44 PM
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We did the Panama Canal on HAL Zudierdam a few years back in January 2010. GUESS WHAT-the ship was hot in a lot of areas-maybe it had something to do with being so close to the EQUATOR? Did that occur to you?

I hate to say it but I think 90% of your problem was the fact that your friend is disabled and that made it harder for you. I can understand it must be stressful so I suggest that you try and take trips when you have more family to help you. One person trying to care for a disabled perosn IS a nightmare. Been there done that.

Princess is not the only line that does not do disembarkation well. Carnival, Celebrity, and RCI are no better. NCL and HAL both have policies where you stay in your stateroom until your color/number luggage tag is called-MUCH better. I am sure your friend being disabled made it much worse but it is never easy to disembark on most lines. It also sounds as if there were more than usual amount of PAX needing wheelchairs. Most ships have an alotted amount of wheelchairs and more are needed onosme crusies I am sure that it boggs the process down.

Now you are right about the grand class ships having too small a show lounge-it only seats 500 people-2 shows a night that is a 1000 of 3000 PAX can see the shows. That was a bad design on Princess's part. From what I read of your post that is the only legit gripe you presented.
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