Cruise Ship: Crown Princess
Cruise Destination: Southern Caribbean
Cruise Dates: November 18, 2006
Guest Contributor: Heidi
Having always cruised on Carnival (5x) and Royal Caribbean (2x), we were looking forward to sailing on the brand new ship, Crown Princess. The ship itself was beautiful. After trying to get acclimated the first day, I found the 19 decks to be way too big.
Our room steward, Samuel, was great. Each time he saw us, he called us by name. When I requested an extra towel, he was there in a flash. We reserved a balcony cabin. The room was nice but much smaller than Carnival. My son's bunk bed was on top of our king-size bed, making it slightly uncomfortable with the bed right over your head and the ladder causing a safety hazard blocking the narrow walkway to the door and bathroom. There were three dining rooms, two for "anytime dining" and one with designated dining times. Now that my son is 15, we felt we would much rather eat later and have the flexibility to choose what time to eat.
The dining room staff were not attentive. I felt we were treated like cattle, as one group left a table, another group was shown in. The wait staff were like machines; taking orders, delivering the food and cleaning the table. There was no warmth or friendliness as in past cruises where we had a designated table/waiter each night. The advantage of forming a relationship with the waiter/asst. waiter each night made for pleasant dining. We also were very dissatisfied with the menu selections. Being a chicken lover, there were very few chicken dishes. There was not much variety. Presentation of food was nice but the quality was terrible.
The Horizons Café was the breakfast buffet. That wait staff were even worse. On past cruises, the waiters would walk around in the morning serving coffee and juice at the tables. Here on the Crown Princess, you not only had to fight for a table with your hands full, but you had to serve yourself coffee and juice. At one point I told a waiter that the ice machine was empty and he told me to walk around the corner to the other buffet for ice. No one on this ship attempted to go above and beyond for customer satisfaction.
After four days of aggravation and disappointment, I went to the Pursers Desk to vent. A Jr. Purser listened to my frustration and admitted she had several of the same complaints. She told me she would document our conversation and have the Manager of Passenger Services, Quinton, contact me. It was quite obvious that not even the Manager of Passenger Services gave a care about my concerns.
There are so many other good ships out there who strive for customer satisfaction. I would recommend that you pass on Princess Cruise line. Also, stick with the smaller ships for personalized good service.