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Princess Cruises

Princess Cruise Reviews – Princess Cruise Ships

Princess Cruise Ships lines review
Princess Cruise Ships – Caribbean Princess sets sail on her maiden voyage from Ft. Lauderdale in 2004. Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

History

Los Angeles-based Princess Cruises has come a long way since the iconic “Love Boats” of 1970s television fame, maturing and stretching its wings far beyond what Captain Stubing could have ever imagined.

In fact, the Grand Princess of 1998 was the first cruise ship ever ordered that registered more than 100,000 gross tons, and today Princess is one of the largest operators of these post-Panamax ships, including the only line with such big ships sailing in Alaska. The brand also is one of the biggest tour operators on the Last Frontier, running its own hotels, riverside lodges, glass-domed private railcars, and a fleet of motorcoaches.

But while many things about Princess are very big, the line also operates a good number of ships—nearly half its fleet—that would be considered midsize and even a couple that by today’s standards are thought of as small, with only several hundred people aboard. What’s more, the line also was the first to make big ships more intimate and cozy with its philosophy of “Big Ship Choice, Small Ship Feel.”

Onboard the Princess Cruise Ships

Princess Cruise Ships
Onboard the Princess Cruise Ships. The Crown Grill steakhouse is a new – and welcome – addition to Grand Princess. Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises

Onboard, passengers will find a soothing and inviting mélange of influences, as Princess combines many different styles into a unique shipboard culture. Its California roots are evident in the line’s light and airy color schemes and interior décor. A British element permeates its officer corps, the result of a longtime association with P&O Cruises, the historic Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company founded in 1837. An Italian flair marks its dining experience due in part to an acquisition of Sitmar Cruises many years ago. Now part of Carnival Corporation, it is an internationally recognized brand name that does just about everything exceptionally well.

Princess Cruise Ships
Movies Under the Stars, or MUTS, was one of Princess Cruises’ most popular innovations. Photo © Aaron Saunders

Princess has long been an innovator when it comes to redefining the cruise experience. They were among the first lines to popularize private verandahs for everybody (in 1998 aboard the Grand Princess), and more recently, they have introduced “Movies Under the Stars” on big poolside LED screens (in 2004 aboard the Caribbean Princess) and adults-only sanctuaries two year later (in 2006 aboard the Crown Princess)—both features imitated and adopted by other lines. The ScholarShip@Sea program raised the bar for onboard enrichment with up to 40 classes on every sailing. Passengers can choose from a range of topics—everything from cooking to computers to cameras to ceramics.

Princess Cruises Itineraries

With a worldwide reach of itineraries, Princess has long specialized in exotic cruises to the far reaches of the globe, from India to the Amazon and virtually every destination in-between, with an occasional foray to the waters surrounding Antarctica. Altogether, Princess visits over 330 ports of call on more than 130 itineraries, so the possibilities are practically endless.

Princess Cruises have something for everyone, with a large fleet of magnificent Princess Cruise Ships spanning the globe and providing a thoroughly comprehensive premium shipboard experience that can be combined with a vast network of shore excursions and land vacations.

Princess Cruise Reviews princess royal cruise

These People Will Love Princess Cruises

  • Who wouldn’t? That’s the question. Princess Cruises provide vacations to suit every preference.
  • Kids and families: Organized activities and family fun are plentiful on the fully equipped Princess Cruise Ships.
  • Refined guests: Princess Cruises knows how to deliver the unobtrusive luxury, as well as the onboard enrichment activities, that contribute to a memorable cruise vacation.
  • Corporate meetings and affinity groups: The large and comfortable Princess Cruise Ships have meeting space and services to accommodate groups and meetings.

What’s Included On Princess Cruises

  • Tons of fun: Get fit in the health club or on the dance floor. Relax on your cabin’s balcony or next to the pool. Join an organized shipboard activity or spend a quiet afternoon in the library. It’s your choice.
  • Youth programs: The kids have their own age-appropriate and supervised activities that run from morning into the evening.
  • Good food and lots of it: The small, intimate specialty restaurants do carry a reasonable per-person charge, but that still leaves dozens of dining choices that are included.

Life Aboard Princess Cruises is comfortable, casual, occasionally elegant, frequently fun and thoroughly enjoyable.

Princess Cruises Destinations

  • Alaska
  • Asia
  • Australia & New Zealand
  • Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • Canada & New England
  • Caribbean
  • Europe
  • Hawaii & Tahiti
  • Mexican Riviera
  • Panama Canal
  • South America
  • Transatlantic
  • World Cruises

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Princess Cruises Reviews

To read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
Ship ReviewLive Voyage Report
Caribbean Princess Review
Coral Princess Review• Southbound Alaska - Whittier to Vancouver
Crown Princess Review
Dawn Princess Review
Diamond Princess Review
Emerald Princess Review
Golden Princess Review
Grand Princess Review
Island Princess Review
Majestic Princess
Ocean Princess Review
Pacific Princess Review
Regal Princess Review
Royal Princess Review
Ruby Princess Review
Sapphire Princess Review
Sea Princess Review
Star Princess Review• Alaska from San Francisco
• Alaska CruiseTour Anchorage – Vancouver
Sun Princess Review

Avid Cruiser Articles About Princess Cruises

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6 Comments

  • I took cruise back in August and my Booking #CD5CVM. Due to bad weather our Prepaid excursion was cancelled and we were told we will receive a refund check. The refund amount is close $300.
    My sail dates were Aug 24-31, 2019. I still have NOT received the check.
    I waited until October and I made my first call on Oct 6, 2019. All agents that I spoke to till date have given me different dates and different answers. They keep transferring me from department to department.
    Initially they told me your check was sent out on Sept 13, 2019 and so maybe wait for couple days and if you still don’t receive it, talk to Accounting department. When I called again to talk to Accounting department they said its something Customer service department needs to take care of. When I called again they said ‘we don’t have a full address for yo. We will go ahead and cancel the check that we sent earlier and re issue the check.’ I don’t understand why would they not verify the address before sending out the check.
    When I called again to get an update on the check they said they have to now wait to get the refund from the check that they had sent and only than they can reissue another check. This is sooooo ridiculous. I was not informed about this when I called earlier. I was told they are reissuing the check.
    I called last week to see if they reissued the check and they said no they are still waiting to receive the refund from the check they sent earlier.
    I called today and they said the check was reissued on OCT 16, 2019 and they gave me Bottomline’s phone number where I can track my check, a third party through which they sent out a check. Right after talking to these Morons I called Bottomline and they had no records of check that was sent out on Oct 16, 2019. So I call Princess cruises again to see whats really going on???
    The representative was not even ready to listen the whole story and just transferred me Revenue department. Revenue department transferred me to Reservations department. The representative than tells me the check was issued on OCT 9, 2019 so i told than why don’t Bottomline have any records of the check???? Representative tells me i am not sure about that! This is the answer I get. Later she tells me the Process was of reissuing the check was started on OCT 9, 2019. So i asked when are you going to mail out the check and she tells me she don’t have exact date for that.
    I demanded to talk to her Manager and she tells she has no way to contact a manager and she can transfer to the supervisor. I had already talk to a supervisor and they are of no help either.
    Princess cruises steal your money and have no intention of returning your money.
    They will RIP YOU OFF and give you run around. Once your done sailing, they don’t care. They got your money and that’s all they care about. The customer service SUCKS and the representative have no intention of helping you.
    BEWARE of this biggest STEALING COMPANY!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Horrible customer service. Princess lied to me twice about a charge onboard being removed and then I spent 6+ hours on the phone on hold trying to get someone at Princess to care. Nope.

    NEVER sailing Princess again and I recommend all avoid their absolutely fake and laughable ‘excellent” customer service.

    Liars and bullies. I’d refuse to pay, but they have my credit report held captive. Booooooo!

    Reply
    • Agreed. Just finished partial Panama Canal Transit out of Ft Lauderdale.(Dec 28-Jan 9) Lots of empty promises. Credit for future cruises by Hotel Director himself never showed up on future cruise booked onboard. Took $200 deposit but only credited $100. Lots of non-English speaking employees that do not know their own company policies. Bad training+non-English speaking staff=bad cruise experience.

      Reply
  • Never sailing Princess again. They owe me for an Alaskan Denali Land Tour I was refused entry on perhaps because I was elderly; perhaps because I was handicapped; perhaps because as a gay Caucasian I am married to my gay Asian husband. Communication after the cruise and after they collect their money non-existent. They don’t even have the courtesy to reply!

    Reply
  • WORST CRUISE LINE EVER.

    Worst vacation I have ever had- which is saying a lot considering my husband got COVID on our last vacation and we had to come home early. 4 of us (all adults) went on a cruise and collectively had over 12 cruises among us. This was the worst experience any of us have ever had on a cruise by a long shot. I do not recommend booking this cruise AT ALL. You will waste your money. Saturday: It was raining when we boarded on the first day. The moment we walked into our cabin (Saturday), we noticed water was leaking from the ceiling. We immediately reached out to our cabin attendant to notify him. They came in and basically just wiped everything up, but by that time, it had stopped raining outside so the leaking had stopped. So instead of looking for the issue, they just dried everything and hoped for the best. However, you can see from the photo attached that this is not the first time this has happened. Meaning they rented this room to us knowing it had a leak. Also, we left the port an hour and a half late due to engine trouble. Sunday: The next morning (Sunday), after it had been raining all night and into the morning, we woke up to water pouring into our room, raining on one of our friends’ head. My laptop had water all over it. We were using towels from the room to attempt to keep our stuff dry. Our clothes and shoes were wet by the time they got there. Water was pouring from the ceiling down the walls, inside the drawers, over electronics, and flooding into the carpet. We immediately notified an attendant. Then we went to guest services and tried to get our room changed. They told us there were no rooms available because the cabins were all fully booked, and they would repair the leak. Finally, after several hours, we were told that the leak was fixed, and they placed fans in our room to dry the floor. However, they removed them that night even though the floors were still wet. Monday: The next day (Monday) our cabin smelled retched from the wet carpet, and it was intolerable. It was so bad in the room that even the hallway outside of our room smelled like sewer water. From the way the ceiling looked, you can tell this is a repetitive issue, so one can assume the smell is mold/mildew coming from underneath the floor. I was 18 weeks pregnant on this cruise and did not feel comfortable staying in a room with mold. We were repetitively told there were no other rooms available for us and that they would put the fans back in our room. So, we went and tried to find chairs by the pool (impossible) and tried to enjoy our day. There was a note left for us in our room when we got back telling us they were giving us 50 dollars each for the trouble. (False, because only 2 out of 4 guests actually had this credit on their account). We could barely stand getting dressed in our room due to the foul smell. So, we went to guest services again and asked again for the fans to be placed back in the room as the floor was still wet. We couldn’t even walk around in the room without our shoes on. Later that afternoon, after going to guest services for the 3rd time, they said they were told that the room was dry. It most certainly wasn’t. We were also told again they didn’t have any more rooms. We told them 50 dollars is absolutely worthless when we collectively spent over 8k on this vacation. They said they would find us later and let us know what they came up with for a plan of action. When they found us (while we were eating supper) they again said they didn’t have any more rooms available and basically were going to do nothing. At this point, with my clothes and laptop soaked, our room smelling like a sewer, we told them to fly us home and reimburse us for our trip, or to find us somewhere else to stay. He told us again that he would find us later to see what they could do. They finally came back to us at 11:00 pm (nearly midnight) to tell us that a family didn’t show up for their cabin and had missed the ship so they said we could stay in their room (D518) for at least that night as they were unsure if this family was going to fly into the next port in Puerto Rico to join the cruise which was the next day. They had the entire day to make this decision and decided to come find us that late to let us know about this room. They allowed us to keep our stuff in the old smelly room for the night so we wouldn’t have to haul our luggage to another room (no offer from them to assist moving our stuff). It was after midnight, Tuesday morning, by the time we were actually able to get into this room and get ready for bed. (And if you’ve ever been pregnant, getting up early and going to bed late is not what you want.) We took this room even though it sleeps 3 people (2 beds) and we paid for a room that sleeps 4 people (3 beds). We were told to come back to guest services the next morning. Tuesday: We went back up to guest services the next morning and finally a manager met with us. This was the first time we actually felt heard and felt the concern of someone on this ship. They wanted to offer us 25% off of our next cruise OR 150 dollars of on-board credit. We told them no thank you on both. We have a guest who saved up for 3 years for this “vacation” and 150 dollars is nothing in comparison. Not when you have spent half of your vacation trying to get someone to take your concern seriously. Another vacation is an idiotic idea. At this point we have already decided to not sail with Princess ever again. Not because of the room, we understand things happen that are out of your control, but when it takes you THREE DAYS to finally take our concerns with any kind of seriousness, I question the integrity of your whole business. Also, I am a 3rd year *pregnant* medical student. I will not have any more breaks until I graduate since I am using my vacation time as a leave of absence to have my baby. The manager said, “even if I leave it open for a year?” Ummm, yes, we still don’t want it even if you leave it open for a year. We do not know if we have the time or bandwidth to take a cruise within the next year- especially with a newborn. Also, not everyone can afford a cruise every single year even if you do give them 25% off. What a joke! He told us he would have to call customer service to see what they could do and that they would find us later after we got back from our excursions on the island. He also told us that they had spoken to the family of the room we were staying in (D518), and that they would NOT be joining the cruise. So, we THOUGHT we were set. We would have to sleep 3 adults to one bed, but we would make do with what we had. However later that night we were informed that we would probably be having to change rooms the next day due to a family taking the room we were in. Even though we were told that morning that the family said they were not coming. So, who was taking this room? They said they had extra carpet and that we could stay in the room we were in (D518) one more night and that they would replace the carpet the next morning in our original room and we could move back. We agreed to this since there seemed to be no other way out. Wednesday: They found us Wednesday morning to let us know that the carpet was replaced and that they were giving us an extra room. Still unsure why they did this unless they thought that giving us 2 rooms for 2 nights would make everything okay again after ruining 3/4 of our vacation. So, we moved our stuff for a 3rd time back to our old room and to this new room that magically appeared somehow after they told us they didn’t have any rooms available because they were “fully booked.” The toilet in the new room messed up several times and we were unable to flush. Then the pure toilet seat fell off. Plus the bathtubs filled with water while you showered (in both rooms) so you were standing in ankle deep water by the end. Wednesday night we went to go to sleep and my mom was sleeping on the couch bed. She had no pillows. I ordered some on the app they are so proud of and no one ever brought any. So, my husband called to ask them to bring some pillows and no one ever came. We ended up using pillows from the other room they gave us that our friend was staying in since she had 4, thankfully. They never brought us any pillows. Thursday: The next morning (Thursday) we were approached by the cleaning staff who asked where the pillows were. We told them we needed them for our other room because no one would bring us any. They said that was fine but to bring them back to the other room on the last day. Which is unreal that we would even be asked to do that after they were the ones who wouldn’t bring us any in the first place. We were also informed on this day that we would not be stopping in the Dominican Republic due to “strong winds.” All the passengers on the ship agreed that this was a cover up for yet another of their mistakes. We were late leaving every port due to their engine being broken. We left an hour and a half late when we first left. Then everywhere after that we would leave an hour-hour and half late every time we stopped due to the engine trouble. I truly believe the reason they didn’t stop at the Dominican Republic was to keep us “on schedule” to get us back to port in time. Even though they told us on Saturday night that they would make up this time by us getting back to the home port later- which prompted us to change our flight back to a later time. All for nothing since we didn’t make our last stop and got home in plenty of time. Friday: Friday afternoon we had been on the ship for 48 hours at this point with not much to do since they didn’t offer many activities and what was offered was extremely boring or was a ploy to make you buy something. Some kind of “diamond show” or “massage taster” to make you spend more money. All the passengers were going stir crazy by this point. Finally that afternoon, after feeling the tension and aggravation of their passengers, they informed us they were giving us all a “non-refundable” 100 dollar credit to spend on board. Meaning, if you didn’t spend it then it wouldn’t be going back onto your account after so it would just be money lost. Not many shops on board in the first place and not many shops where $100 will get you very much. And they told us this at the latest possible moment since all their shops close at 11pm and you only had about 3 hours to shop and weave through 5,000 passengers trying to do the same. We talked to many, many passengers who all felt that this was a complete joke. As if 100 dollars to spend on their cruise ship is enough to make up for missing the one place we were all looking forward to. Saturday: They finally let the hostages off of the ship. I know I sound like we had a miserable time, but really, we didn’t. We laughed through all of it and enjoyed each other. I had a wonderful time because of who I was with. At a certain point when things start happening, what else can you do but laugh and shake your head? However, I believe we were treated very unfairly and I want to prevent others from spending money on a vacation, being promised one thing, and then going through what we all went through. Some other nuances that need to be addressed before anyone should EVER even consider going on one of their cruise ships: 1. Nothing to do on sea days. 2. Chairs would all be taken by 8:00 am so there was no where to lay out. And by “taken” I mean that they would have a towel laying in them- not physically taken by a human body. You may find one or two somewhere but usually in the extremely hot places with no shade or umbrella. Basically, if you didn’t want to sit in the scorching sun and sweat to death, you had to go sit inside somewhere. 3. Their “private island” was a complete joke and there was absolutely NOTHING to do. The whole thing is just one big way to make you rent more stuff from them. Plus, it wasn’t a normal port where you could just walk off- you had to take another boat over there. So only a couple of hundred people could get to the island at a time- which took FOREVER. Took forever getting over there AND took forever to get back to the ship at the end of the day. Spent most of the day waiting in line to get over there and then to get back. Should have skipped this one and went on to the next so we actually could have went to the Dominican Republic. 4. Entertainment was a snooze fest. Thankfully, I thought about grabbing Uno cards before I left and this kept us entertained. We saw so many families who were playing card and board games that they brought- and we saw this often. Says so much about how much entertainment was offered. 5. We got the premium drink package, but it was for the sodas and virgin drinks since none of us really drink any alcohol (once again, I am pregnant, so it was only for fruity drinks and sodas). But any time you asked for a soda, even in the dining room, it took anywhere from 15-30 minutes for them to actually bring you your drink. And if you ordered it on the app to have it delivered, you could forget it because many times they weren’t delivered at all even though it would say delivered on the app. This was unlike any cruise I had ever been on. Usually they give you a cup and you can find drink machines all over the ship to get a drink whenever you wanted. You had to ask every single time you wanted one. 6. I realize how petty this one is- but I’m pregnant and it was a big deal for a foodie who loves sweets! The Ice cream place closed at 9:00. I understand they need breaks and to rest. That is completely understandable. However, you could find alcohol on the ship almost everywhere you went and any time of the day. It just really sucked for the people who don’t drink and love all the deserts. There was no ice cream machine at the buffet or anything. Only one place that served it besides the dining room. 7. Speaking of the drinks, there was an extremely limited selection. Only small number of coke products- coke, diet coke, sprite, and ginger ale. That needs to be said up front when you pay for a package because not everyone drinks those particular sodas. My mom bought this package and ended up bringing Diet Dr. Peppers on board with her so she could actually enjoy a drink with her meals.

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