From start to finish disorganization around travel arrangements is normal.
Princess's inability to arrange airline assignments continues. Evidently
they just don't care about things such as spouses sitting together on
lengthy flights despite the arrangements being booked 3-5 months ahead and
paid for in advance.
Embarkation continues to be a major challenge. As an example, in 30 deg
plus, high humidity weather, platinum and elite passengers are forced to
wait hours while staff fruitlessly search for boarding cards and other
assorted documentation on the Buenos Aires dock. Disembarkation is another
nightmare albeit a 'gong show' in trying to get passengers to the airport.
When queried, on board staff say it's all to do with being in a South
American port and decry any control over the situation, yet other cruise
lines out of Buenos Aires seem to handle the situation very well.
We found out while we were on the ship that the previous cruise had severe
problems with novo virus. Despite our best efforts to protect ourselves we
and numerous experienced cruisers contracted the dreaded virus. The virus
weakened many people's resistance so that when they recovered, they fairly
quickly contracted a severe cold/flu that was running rampant throughout the
boat. The flu spared no one, entertainers and staff alike.
The boat doesn't appear to be properly cleaned. Other passengers complained
of boarding the boat and finding dirty sheets on their bed. Certainly we saw
that as we were disembarking, despite the tremendous amount of illness that
had been on the boat, no methods were being employed differently to ensure
it was clean enough for passengers arriving that very afternoon for the next
Passengers sign a document prior to boarding that they have not been ill for
two days. Yet we met people from the UK who boarded the boat while they were
sick and had been so for 2 weeks. There is no effort made to ensure that
people boarding the boat are healthy which just exacerbates the problems
that this boat was having. One would expect extra efforts which were non
The smoking arrangements on this ship are obviously not well thought
through. For example, in all the areas where there is dancing, the smoking
area is right beside it even though there is lots of room to move smoking
well away from the dance floor. The ventilation arrangements appear sporadic
in these smoking areas as well. This is evidently a corporate policy.
We were astonished to find that even though the ship was embarking from
Buenos Aires all food was sourced from LA. Argentina is famous for the world's best organic beef, pork and lamb and yet we had no chance of enjoying it.
There was no effort at all for the menus to reflect the local cuisine. For
example, there was no Argentinian wines on board. This is evidently a
The staff on board overall are extremely helpful, friendly and service
oriented. It seems in these situations their hands are tied by corporate
policies. These policies must be reflecting a continuing shrinking of
resources and penny-pinching attitude from head office.
This experience has certainly soured us at looking at any other Princess
offerings. The preventable problems of this cruise were a source of major
disappointment. Antarctica was a fantastic experience.