January 29, 2006
This was my 7th Caribbean cruise and the 4th with Princess. I'm a Princess Captains Circle Member (for what ever good that is worth) and have been on all of the Star Princess Sister ships.
The only commitment I'll make about the cruise service and food is that it has deteriorated since being acquired by Carnival. Be for warned.
The big problem I had was being "UPGRADED". When we arrived at the embarkation building, we walked up to the Lido deck booth to check in because our booking confirmation was for cabin L222. We loved being on the Lido deck because the pools, Jacuzzis and Horizon Court (buffet) are on the same deck and a short walk from your cabin. The cabins are the highest up on the ship and the view is fantastic. Most Lido deck cabins have an overhead cover and are very private. Another real plus is not having to depend so much on those dreaded elevators.
My mistake was booking my cabin by using the 800 PRINCESS number. Of course you can book on-line but I'm not very comfortable with that, I can view on-line exactly what rooms are available and request the exact cabin I want while I'm on the phone with the Princess sales representative.
Needless to say I was very angry at being pushed out of my cabin for the reason I suspect is a power travel agency or a large group that wanted to stay around the same area and Princess accommodated them.
I went to the pursers desk and of course got nowhere with the counter person so I asked to speak with a supervisor. After a short wait an officer named Robyn came out (no doubt after reading my profile) and from this point on Princess Cruises lost a loyal customer. She kept repeating that this was an upgrade and I should be happy with the cabin I'm receiving (D118). I demanded the room in which we were confirmed (L222) and she flatly refused. She said the ship was completely full and I had no choice but to accept their "UPGRADE". Please Robyn, I'm not that stupid.
Yes D118 is a mini suite and you get a small tub instead of a shower and a nasty couch that you'll never sit in. D118 is 3 cabins from the bow of the ship and if I can sum up our experience of riding in this cabin the best word I can think of is ‚?oMOTION‚?Ě. Frankly these are cabins that nobody wants because when the ship is moving the balcony is useless. There is so much wind and buffeting from the slip stream coming of the front of this ship that you keep the door closed and just have to be content looking out the window. The Dolphin deck is the lowest balcony deck so everyone can look in (even the bridge) and there is no cover.
People, read the passage contract (terms and conditions) Princess has available on-line. I finally did and frankly you have no rights to a cabin number guarantee. I guess the only alternative is to book your cruise with a power travel agent so you'll have the opportunity to bump someone else from their cabin. DO NOT BOOK ON-LINE WITH PRINCESS.COM OR CALL 800 PRINCESS, You're nobody to Princess. Next time I'll go with RCCL until Carnival acquires them.