CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Princess Cruises Tahitian Princess by Bill & Barbara Hession South Pacific/Tahiti December 19, 2008

Beware of Princess Cruises. Once they get your money, you are on your own. They could care less whether you ever make the cruise ship.

We had booked a 28 day cruise on the Tahitian Princess departing from Papeete, Tahiti on Dec. 19, 2008 and arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on Jan. 14, 2009. Due to weather, our NW flight from Detroit to LA was delayed 2-1/2 hours and arrived after our connecting flight to Papeete had departed. We called Princess and they were absolutely no help. We were told that we were responsible for making our own arrangements to catch the ship.

We flew to Tahiti the next morning arriving 12-1/2 hours after the Tahitian Princess had sailed for Moorea and one-half hour before she departed for Bora Bora. There were no seats available on commercial flights to Bora Bora, which was the last port we could possibly catch the ship before it sailed for South America.

If we were on our own, we would have had to abandon our dream cruise and forfeit the $19,000+ we already had invested. Princess could have cared less as they already had our money and their Princess Gold Travel Insurance does not cover this as a trip cancellation.

Fortunately for us there were 11 other Princess clients (2.0% of the total 640 booked passengers) who also found themselves in the same predicament. We were able to join together and charter an Air Tahiti plane at $1,115 each to fly the 13 of us to Bora Bora in time to catch the ship.

When we returned home we filed a claim for our $2600 in hotel, meal and additional air travel expenses with Princess Gold Travel Insurance. We were only reimbursed $500 each per their trip delay policy, which merely represented a refund of our insurance premium.

We appealed to Alan Buckeley, CEO of Princess. In their response letters Princess basically claims no responsibility for anything, even though they made the transportation arrangements.

It is buyer beware when dealing with Princess Cruises. In all fairness, the cruise was excellent; it is Princess Air's travel arrangements that were the problem.

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