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Disappointed in Diamond Princess

Discussion in 'Princess Cruises' started by karenjoie, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. karenjoie

    karenjoie Guest

    We just returned from May 22 Alaskan cruise and could not believe the impersonal level of service. Two ports had to be cancelled due to ship damage in an accident prior week but this was not the source of our disappoinment. We suspect that the size of the ship just makes it too difficult to control quality and monitor staff.

    First, we arrived at the dock in pouring rain and were screened outside in a chaotic, disorganized process. We were all soaked as was our luggage at the point we were told that the departure would be delayed for hours and we were being bussed to a convention center.

    Our luggage was treated so roughly that a wooden hanger splintered in my husband's garment bag and an expensive bottle of wine that was packed in the center of my bag broke damaging many of my garments!

    Appointments that we made for personal choice dining and the spa were entered erroneously and much time was spent correcting the mistakes. The spa finally offered a 10% credit which was not applied at the time of service and I had to take more time to go back to the counter to correct the bill.

    Orders for drinks in the bars other than those that entailed the automatic tip were treated as a nuisance. If we asked for water or coffee, the order was ignored or practically dumped on the table when served. My husband ordered coffee once which arrived with too much sugar and cream already added so that the waiter did not have to bring condiments. Little did they know we would have been more than happy to tip!

    The final bill had errors and two credits were due us. The process was again time-consuming and inefficient and we were treated as it the burden was on us when the proof of double charges was right on the bill. And this was supposed to be a vacation!

    We did tip several dining room waiters and turned in positive comment cards for them and our room steward, rewarding good service where we found it. Overall, we felt as though we were tolerated and treated as if we were a number instead of a valued customer.
  2. CruiseAholic

    CruiseAholic Guest

    I am sorry that you feel that your cruise did not meet expectations, but..

    Princess operates large ships in an expert fashion, from looking at other boards, relating experiences during that cruise, I would imagine the level of service is because the staff were absolutely frazzled, with from what I have seen as to how passengers reacted.

    How can the rain be Princess' fault? Something happend and they had to arrange, at a very late time frame, something to do with passengers? How do you know that the luggage got wet under the control of Princess? (Unless you brought it to the pier yourself?)

    As for the bottle of wine, tough, you should know better than to try to pack something like that in a suitcase, was the 'potential' savings worth it?

    I have been on 60 cruises and have NEVER and I repeat NEVER coffee served to me wtih cream and sugar automatically in it.
  3. Cruise cutie

    Cruise cutie Guest

    I am so very sorry you did not have a stellar time..:(..sad to say that your vacation was not the best ever..we have had wonderful Princess service through the last 10 years..hopefully this kind iof experience is the minority and not a majority happening..but still hope that your next vacation makes up for their lacking!!..:daisy,..:)..Joanne
  4. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    :( :( :( So sorry to hear that Princess didn't live up to your expectations. I haven't sailed Princess out of Seattle so I don't know what is going on there! I sure do hear lots of complaints though so I believe they need to do some tweaking!! My embarkation experiences with Princess have always been excellent. I do believe that they could do better when you disembark though. We've had a couple of rough spots there.....mostly incompetent and rude shoreside staff!! It was one of the main reasons we started taking taxis to the airport after our cruise! Actually that shoreside staff did us a favour :grin!

    Sorry the bottle of wine broke and soaked your clothes. Not a nice sight to see when you open a suitcase. If I carry wine aboard I usually just put it in my carry on. Was the glass bottle broken or had the thing just "sprung a leak"? It does sound like the baggage was handled very roughly somewhere enroute if a wooden hangar in a bag was "splintered".

    As to rude and incompetent staff aboard....it shouldn't happen! I hope you let Princess know about it either through your comment cards or with a follow up letter. You deserved to be treated as a guest and had a right to expect that.

    I'm sailing on the Diamond next February and intend to keep watching and see what happens as this new ship "works out the kinks"! I sure hope I begin to see some happier reports soon.
  5. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    Im also sorry to hear about your bad experience. How disappointing for you! I've sailed Princess and always had great cruises (although my last Princess cruise was in 2002). Sure hope this isnt becoming the "norm" with this line.
  6. Snowblower

    Snowblower Guest

    I am sorry you had a bad time on this cruise. I sailed on this ship/cruise two weeks prior to you and didn't have any problems with the ship/staff like you. We had a wonderful time and would sail on this ship again. I do understand your problems when you arrived at the dock. Getting on the ship was as bad for us as you experienced. Unlike you, I blame the Port of Seattle and not Princess. This was our third time sailing out of Seattle. There are several new cruise ships going to Alaska from this city. Originally all ships sailed from the downtown terminal (Pier 66). Pier 66 is as simple as Los Angeles or Fort Lauderdale and was a wonderful easy place to get on a ship. This new terminal was built last winter because of all the additional ships heading to Alaska. The design/layout of this terminal was not well thought out. The drop off stinks (causes major traffic jams), the terminal is too small to house all the passengers and luggage at the same time (why your/our luggage got wet) and the circulation pattern to get into the building, get your cruise cards, go through the metal detectors and get on to the ship really stinks. We were running into other frustrated passengers at every turn. If not to compound matters, a large HAL ship was checking in passengers at the same time in the same building. I had to laugh as I witnessed several individuals trying to get on the wrong ship. Knowing how organized Princess is with everything they do I would imagine they will get these problems corrected soon. For those of you going on the Diamond this summer from this port just keep in mind this is a new ship, many new staff, new shore check-in staff and new terminal bound to have growing pains. Just remember that when you begin to get frustrated in the terminal over the delays of getting on the ship, think of the alternative, you could be home at work!!!!!

  7. sulbig

    sulbig Guest


    I was on the cruise right before yours. I agree with the lack of service you mentioned. Our Cabin Steward, and Dining Room Staff were WONDERFUL. However, I had bought the soda sticker, and felt that I was a burden to all of the Bar Staff whenever I asked for a soda. It's like I was bothering them. This even happened during times when they weren't busy doing anything but standing around!

    Unfortunately, this seems to be becoming the "norm" on board the Diamond Princess. It seems that the Diamond just has too many kinks in it right now. I would still recommend cruising with Princess...just not on the Diamond for now.

    As for the Seattle Terminal, the fact that they have 2 large cruise lines trying to load and unload passengers at the same time is crazy. As for the luggage, I checked mine in at the Seattle Airport with Princess, and by the time it got to my room, it had a wheel broken off. I tried getting it repaired yesterday and was told it couldn't be repaired. So, today I'll be faxing them a receipt for $240 for reimbursement.

    Post Edited (06-03-04 14:47)
  8. icantwait

    icantwait Guest

    After reading all of the comments, I thought it might help to have a reply from someone else who was on that same cruise!

    Let me first say that I will now change my username from "i can't wait" to "not again"!

    First, this was our 5th cruise and our first on Princess. We have been on NCL and Celebrity twice.

    I understand that the ship was damaged, but they told us to be back at the convention center at 4:00 to get on buses. We came back at 3:30 and for almost 3 hours there was not one word of communication on when we might start going to the ship. No water, 20 minute lines for the bathroom and no chairs....what a way to start a vacation!

    Second, the first communication to us about the change in travel plans indicated that we would only be in Skagway from 6:00am to 8:45 AM!!! Since we paid a premium to see ALASKA and not a an ocean cruise we were not to happy!

    Third, because of norovirus, I personnally saw them cleaning out two rooms within 5 doors of my room and someone throwing up in the buffet line. Of course, the waiter standing near the buffet line said that they "would have it cleaned and open in 10 minutes"...needless to say we didn't go back. With two children who touch everything in sight and then pick up their food with their hands, I never really had a RELAXING minute.

    The waiters were almost all rude.

    The room steward was excellent...in fact, I tipped extra.

    On NCL, you could reallocate your tips or change them. On Princess, there was no where on the statement (that by the way was delivered the morning of departure??????) to change/increase/decrease/reallocate your tips. The line for customer service was horrendous!

    The children's program "award winning" according to Princess's brochures was nothing more than someone staying in the room. Two instances to point out. The first was when I went in the room and the "counselor" yelled at the kids twice to not say anything because the group was in time out! The second is when my teen came to tell me that the counselor for my 5 year old had complained to her that my little girl wanted to pretend to be a horse. I thought the kids were supposed to be having fun??????

    Lastly, an INSIDE PASSAGE cruise (which we have been on before) is supposed to be among the islands of Alaska. The majority of our cruise was spent on the open Pacific Ocean....is this their regular route?
  9. Natalia

    Natalia Guest

    Wow.... interesting! Im honestly sorry that you had such an experience. I know it must be quite disappointing to spend that kind of money and not be pleased with your trip. Thanks for sharing your experience/opinions.
  10. coiran

    coiran Guest

    Sounds like the Diamond is having some real bad startup problems - The bad reviews I have read are not Princess style - why have I read good reviews from others on the same sailing??? I suggest all of you bad reviewers contact Princess directly and voice your dissatisfaction - NOW~!!!
  11. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    Wow! It definitely sounds like the exact opposite of our recent Coral Princess cruise. The only thing it had in common was a terrible salon experience (long story). For those of you that are new to Princess, be assured that this isn't the norm. Sounds to me like the Diamond is just experiencing a REALLY rough start-up.
  12. p.g.

    p.g. Guest

    Sounds like a bad cruise to me, and if they yelled at my kid I would file a complaint.I love Princess, but that sounded terrible, Seattle deosn' t sound like a good port to embark from either.

    The only thing in your post I would debate is how wise is it to pack wine in a suitcase. I have travelled alot, and that is something I would never do!!! The luggage handlers on a cruise have to load and unload thousands of pieces of luggage in just a few hours, they are not going to " gently place " your bag anywhere, they throw stuff around. Period;

    Y ou should have carried it on, Princess allows you to, so that was your choice to pack something "exspensive"!
  13. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    I wonder if it's the pier? I think there are two piers now. We sailed out of the Bell St. Pier in Seattle shortly after 9-11-2001 and it was a very easy process, both embarkation and debarkation. :? :?
  14. fusco9800

    fusco9800 Guest

    I too am sorry for those of you who had a bad cruise on the 5/22 sailing. We were on the 5/15 sailing and had a lot of grumpy passengers because our embarkation and debarkation delays. However, while sitting in Skywalkers for three hours waiting to disembark, we were feeling for you folks on the next cruise. (Our complaints were cut down to size). There were rumors that your cruise was to be cancelled and felt bad for all of those passengers who came a long way.

    I agree that the Seattle port situation is bad. We stood in line, outside, for three hours.
    That kind of setup is ridiculous for Seattle's rainy weather. On disembarkation, we could see that all the luggage was left outside the building for hours too.

    We did have great service from our cabin and wait staff, however, did hear a few horror stories from other passengers about their customer service experiences while onboard.

    I would cruise Princess again but this cruise did not instill any brand loyalty in me.

  15. Larry&Mari

    Larry&Mari Guest

    Have to disagree, Lady Jag. My wife, two sons and I were on the Coral in May cruising Alaska. I posted at that time, and still stand by my contention, that the service was far inferior to what we had experienced on our two other Princess cruises.

    Seems to me that there's a trend brewing ... and not a good one.

    My wife and I have decided to "jump ship" to Norwegian or Royal for the time being.

    Larry & Mari
  16. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    Larry - Sorry to hear of your bad experience. We were reluctant to cruise with Princess after a 3 yr. break from them (RCI is our fav), but we couldn't have been more pleased! I have never had a cabin steward take care of us the way this one did!!!! He was truly incredible. Our waiter & asst. waiter (traditional, fixed dining) were also the best we've ever had. The food was almost excellent in the dining room.

    I knew when we went that I'd really be watching and comparing Princess to RCI. There were a few bartenders that didn't like the Coke Cards, but we get that on every ship, with every cruise line. I really was shocked at the amazing service we received and we're pretty picky about good service, as my DH is in the industry.

    I sincerely hope the bad service isn't a trend. It's something we certainly didn't experience, thank God! :)
  17. Snowblower

    Snowblower Guest

    Lady jag,
    Yes, there are now two departure locations in Seattle. The one you identify as the "Bell Street" pier is what I call "Pier 66" in my previous post above. I agree with you the Bell Street location is good, this new one has its problems. Hopefully Princess can get their issues sorted out so it becomes a better experience for all in the future. I hope that people won't base their decision to not book the Diamond because of the problems associated with getting on/off the ship. I have sailed with Princess many times and would sail on this ship again once I hear they get these base problems sorted out.

  18. CruiseAholic

    CruiseAholic Guest

    From looking at other boards, the comments about the Diamond sailing are, IMHO, people trying to get something for nothing.

    As for 'not getting the itinerary' you want....read your cruise tickets, ALL cruise lines can do as they please, so be to ensure that you get want you want, with no alterations, rent your own vessel.

    Research is #2, you can re-allocate / take off the automatic charge and you would have know that if you had researched.

    #3, just go back to the 'other' lines that you feel are so superior, you won't be on my next Princess cruise and I won't hear your insessent babbling.
  19. CruiseAholic

    CruiseAholic Guest


    Question...how did you get your clothing home? that is IF the luggage is not repairable, it would assume that you couldn't get anything home in it? If indeed it is useable, don't see what a wheel means? Suitcase is still useable? Do you submit a bill to the dry cleaners when you wear a shirt and it gets dirty? Better go after the luggage manufacturer as they allowed the wheel to come off in the first place.
  20. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    Thanks, Snowblower. Is the new one North or South of the one we used? :? :? Is it still in the downtown area? :? :? Is it totally brand new or some renovated building? :? :? Thanks!

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