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A nice ship but........
Publication Date: April 18, 2016

I just returned from a 15-day Hawaii cruise on Ruby Princess and I am disappointed in what I see going on with Princess. I have cruised with Princess six times over the past 16 years and I have noticed a decline in everything on Princess. On this cruise, the shows in the main showroom were not of the quality of the past. The main production show didn't have the usual awe and pop and the specialty entertainment was sub par at best.

This cruise didn't have the usual quality Vegas style magic act, and the two comedians were just mediocre and boring. One singer that impersonated Nat King Cole was great and the other singer was just ok. It seems that Princess is also attempting to save money on the entertainment. The showroom seats 800 and the first show always filled up fast. You needed to get to the first show at least 45 minutes early to have any chance of a good seat. With two shows most nights and 3100 passengers, only half the people had a chance to see the show. Princess is now attempting to squeeze every

penny from its passengers.

The adult sanctuary now charges to use its services. In the past, it was free unless you wanted to rent a cabana. Princess has seriously increased their price for shore excursions and I believe it is to offset the free room credits they now give. As an example, on our previous Hawaii cruise, the cost of a shore excursion to Pearl Harbor was $89 per person. The same excursion now is $129 per person and all but $22 of that cost is for the round trip bus ride. The $22 was the veteran discount cost for each person to see the Missouri battleship which offers a free shuttle from the Arizona memorial. The Arizona memorial and all of its various museums are free. To get there, the cost to take a city bus one way is $2.00 and $1.00 for seniors and takes about 1/2 and hr. The cost to take a taxi (regardless of the number of people) was $39 one way.

On this cruise, we decided to do this excursion ourselves and the total cost round trip including transportation for five people was $127. The same excursion through Princess would have been $635 for five people and not veteran discount available. The specialty restaurants are great, but have increased their surcharge by $5 to $25 per person.

The alcohol drinks have increased to an average of about $9.50(they were about $6.50) and I noticed that very few people were drinking the beverages. Princess has priced themselves out of the alcohol market and either don't know it or don't care. Coffee is free in the buffet and restaurants however, the 24hr international cafe' sadly charged for a basic cup of coffee.

The anytime dinning was a joke to get reservations. Each morning when I attempted to make reservations, I was told that only 5:30 and 7:45 were available, but they would accommodate walk-ins. If you walked into the restaurants without a reservation, you had a wait of 10 minutes to almost 1 hour. One restaurant only accepted walk-ins from 5:30 until 6pm, then closed its doors to walk-ins until 7:30 pm. The staff in the dinning rooms were hurried and were assigned too many tables to handle. In the past, one team of waiters were assigned one or two tables and the service was quick. Now, the service was slow. The time it took from the moment the waiter took our order until the entree' arrived averaged one hour and 15 minutes each night and this is unacceptable. I noticed several people would get up and leave because the service was slow. It appears Princess is cutting costs in the wrong area.

In the buffet, waiters now serve you beverages that passengers can easily get themselves. One can see where the much needed help in the restaurants has been needlessly diverted. In the new specialty restaurant called Share, the cover charge was a whopping $39 per person. The food was great however, you were limited to selecting only one entree" and the portions were small.

On a few nights, the Cafe' Caribe buffet was converted to a seafood restaurant called the Crab Shack and the food was great. The $20 per person cover charge was worth the all you can eat king crab. I noticed this ship no longer has the midnight bistro and found this very disappointing as it was a great place to go for a late night bite to eat.

The ship now has a free ice cream machine however, if you wanted the same ice cream mixed with milk in the form of a shake, they charged you $1.50.....more money squeezing. On to the gym to work off all those calories, but wait. This ship charges an insane $60 or so to take an aerobics class. What next? Will they charge a fee to use the workout equipment?

We went ashore in Hilo and wanted to use the free shuttle to go to town. We were told that tickets were no longer being given out. This is very poor planning on the part of Princess with a ship this size. Princess does not prepare towel animals in your stateroom and this takes from the cruise experience that other cruise lines offer. I asked my room steward if they could prepare towel animals each night and was given a "yes". I never got one towel animal. Overall, the waits were longer, the quality of food was not as good as in the past and the assorted extra charges were more and higher cost. I don't think I will be traveling with Princess any longer.

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Poor Customer Service for Problems
Publication Date: April 11, 2016

Prospective customers of Holland America Line should be forewarned that simply because you have paid for the transfer service which is advertised by HAL that takes customers and their bags to/from airports and to/from cruise ships, that they cannot be relied up to provide the services as represented. In my situation, I paid for this service on their ship Zaandam between Buenos Aires on 2/22/16 and Valparaiso, Chile on 3/6/16. Notwithstanding full notice to HAL of my air flight arrangements (and the flight being on schedule), no representative met us at the Buenos Aires airport, and we were left to fend for ourselves to get to the cruise ship with our luggage.

At the conclusion of the trip, I discovered that my suitcase, which had been entrusted to HAL as they had directed, was not delivered to the ship terminal in Valparaiso, so I had to return home without knowing what had happened to it. This negligence by HAL was compounded by an absolute lack of responsiveness to my numerous requests for assistance. I finally received my suitcase on 3/31/16%u201425 days after I left Chile. I then discovered that numerous items had been

stolen from my suitcase, and HAL has not been responsive to reimbursing me for this theft, acknowledging some of my inquiries, or even apologizing for their negligence.
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Norwegian Escape - My experience could have been better!
Publication Date: April 7, 2016

My family and friends were excited to board the cruise ship. However, things would change for us during the safety drill portion of the cruise. To start, one of the representatives who was designated to show our section the rules of safety, was very rude. We happen to be sitting in the wrong spot as she would scan our card and what she said to us was quite offensive. We stated that we didn't know where to go and she said, as we got up to move to the right area "have some respect". Now both my friend and I promptly informed her that what she had implied was offensive, unnecessary and unprofessional. As we were able to stand in the back of the casino the daughter of my friend who has had some leg issues, was directed by her mom to sit down on the floor and that's when the same crew member approached us again, this time she was told "do not converse with my daughter". From that point forward this crew member and one of her peers began to obviously try to intimidate us by a mean

steer down as they talked about us amongst each other, while hundreds of people were waiting to here from the Captain for our next orders.

Now I could go on, as my husband and I would speak to different crew members and they would not part their lips to speak back. It had gotten to the point as our seven day cruise got underway, that we thought it was because we are African Americans and there were not many of us on this particular cruise. Even when venturing off the ship at port, St. Thomas Island the people in the local stores were also not very friendly.

I'll close for now, but I will say this, we have taken many cruises, one of which was the Royal Caribbean and if I had to compare the service with a smile, friendliness, courtesy etc. I would not recommend Norwegian Escape at all. Very let down after spending pretty good money on and for this cruise experience.

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