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Disappointed in Diamond Princess

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

  1. Snowblower

    Snowblower Guest

    The new terminal is south of the Bell Street Pier (maybe 2 miles?). It is just west of the new football and baseball stadiums. I would consider it on the southern edge of the main downtown buildings. Unlike the Bell Street pier, there is nothing around this terminal to see (ie: Pikes Market Place). The terminal building is new but the dock has been used for commercial shipping for sometime. The one advantage is that is closer to the main airport and is easy to get to from the freeway. The one sad thing is when we traveled out of the Bell Street Pier we used to rent a car (Avis) for $30 and dump it at the downtown Avis about 2 blocks from the pier. Can't do that anymore, best deal I found is Gray Line of Seattle has a bus to the pier then back to the airport.

    Snowblower
     
  2. sulbig

    sulbig Guest

    CruiseAholic,

    I don't mean this to be rude in any way, so please don't let this thread degrade into insults like I've seen happen on other message boards. I don't want you to think that I'm doing any "insessent babbling".

    This suitcase is a 29 inch and VERY heavy. I'm about 5'2" and didn't plan on having to actually carry this thing around. I was able to still pack it and get my clothes home. I also had my disabled father with me who had to be pushed around in a wheel chair, so the number of hands I have are limited (plus he's 300+ pounds himself). On top of it all, the suitcase wasn't even mine. I borrowed it from a friend. So she shouldn't have to be stuck with a broken suitcase, just because Princess was too rough with it.

    As you have already seen on my other thread, Princess has accepted responsibility for it and is going to reimburse me for it. I do believe they did the right thing, and made things right.

    So thank you for being concerned enough about it to request the details without being judgemental.
     
  3. PeabodyNVL

    PeabodyNVL Guest

    Sulbig -

    If your friend recently bought the luggage, she may be able to return it to where she bought it and get it replaced.

    This happened to a friend of mine on our first cruise. Her luggage got ripped somewhere in transit. Almost a year later, she suddenly remembered and returned it to the store she bought it from and they gave her a replacement free of charge. It can't hurt to try.

    I agree about the luggage being useless if the wheels are broken. That is why I buy suitcases with wheels!
     
  4. sulbig

    sulbig Guest

    Pea,

    It was a hand-me-down from her mother. What was cool about it, is it had these neat little shelves that were built right into it. You could either collapse them and use it as a regular suitcase, or use these 3 shelves in a way that made it almost like a dresser when it was standing up. She really wanted to get it repaired, because it was REALLY useful. I loved it!!! Unfortunately, they couldn't find parts for it, and couldn't rig it either. So, I had to buy a new one. What's really bad is that you can't buy them with those shelves in it anymore. Talked to 2 luggage places, and both said they stopped making that style awhile back and can't get it anymore. One guy said he's got a lot of clients that loved that style and are upset that they can't get new ones. Oh well, she's satisfied (but not happy) with what I got her. Got her one the same size and just told her they don't make any like her old one anymore.
     
  5. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    Thanks for the info, Snowblower. :thumb Sounds like it's a lot more convenient as far as the airport goes. Thanks again. :thumb
     
  6. sarahUK

    sarahUK Guest

    cruiseaholic do you work for Princess? cos you seem to be very upset to the point of being rude when other people on this thread are saying they are disappointed with Princess. I have read several other sites where many other people are unhappy with Diamond Princess so its not just a few people that are unhappy.
    For newcomers to cruising such as myself its good to read true comments good as well as bad so I can get an overall picture. Why should they not be allowed to say what they think? You do.Why do you class these people as complaining moaners just because they have told their true feelings?
    So, if you experienced a really bad cruise would you keep quiet or would you tell everyone what a wonderfull cruise you had!!
     
  7. CruiseAholic

    CruiseAholic Guest

    No sarah, I do not work for Princess. I just do not like posts, where people feel that their opinion is the only opinion and that the cruise line should bow to them. The Diamond had trouble and that is that, they handled it best they could.

    Do you think you could have done better? How would you react with hundreds of passengers who didn't read their cruise contracts or do research and are yelling and screaming and being downright rude to the staff. The staff work hard enough as it is and they are human and can only take so much.
     
  8. rirri

    rirri Guest

    We took the May 8th cruise and were also disappointed with it. This was our fifth cruise, but the first one on Princess (the others were on NCL and RCCL) and the only one that wasn't excellent.

    Our embarkation was also far longer than on other cruises, but at least we had a nice sunny day.

    I like your use of the word "impersonal" as that summarizes our experience well. On other ships, the first day on board is full of "welcome aboard" greetings from every crew member we encounter. Not so on Diamond Princess.

    Dining service was not the five-star experience we've had on other ships. The food was good, but our waiters were merely adequate.

    We hated our Dolphin-deck balcony, which had no cover on it. Besides being exposed all eyeballs on the five decks above us, we had water from deck cleaning sprayed on us and paint dripped on us.

    There was no one on the pier to guide us to where to join our shore excursions until the last port.

    I tried to have our tips reduced because of the dining room service, but was not allowed to change the daily amount. All they would let me do was reduce the number of days for which I paid. This unfairly penalized our cabin attendant (who was good) for the poor performance of our dining room staff. The reduction I requested was not applied, however.

    We, too, had an extra charge on our room bill the final morning. It took 20 minutes for the purser's staff to go through all of the shop receipts for the day in question before agreeing to credit us. A computerized system would have helped with that.

    Disembarkation actually went rather smoothly, but only because we chose to carry our own luggage off the ship. We then had to wait an hour on the airport bus while other passengers waiting for their bags to come off the ship.

    Yes, I've sent these complaints and others to Princess, both in the comment card and in a six-page letter to their headquarters. I hope someone actually reads them and does something about the matters so others don't have a similar cruise experience.
     
  9. John in LV

    John in LV Guest

    Hi all – I’m new to this forum, and had not participated in any cruise forums before, but I just had to kick in my two cents worth here. I’m not the sort to complain (that’s my wife’s department), but our experiences aboard the Diamond Princess were so bad that I need to vent. So be forewarned, an extended rant awaits.

    DISCLAIMER: exact times of events are estimates, and obviously not all events are recorded; I’ve been trying to erase the whole mess from my memory.

    This was our fourth cruise, and our second with Princess. We had loved cruising in general and were especially enamoured with one of the Diamond’s sister ships – the Star Princess. We loved the ship and the less-formal dining options. The crew was just our style: informal and friendly. (We like good service, but don’t need or want to be overly fussed over – I can carry my own tray, thank you…yes, I’m enjoying my meal, stop interrupting our conversation to repeatedly ask). So, it was with lofty expectations that we prepared to conclude our very enjoyable stay in charming downtown Seattle.

    SATURDAY, MAY 22: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS!

    Noon: Cab down to the dock in a light rain (an ominous bit of foreshadowing, in retrospect), whereupon we are greeted with a major traffic jam and Princess personnel who snatch up our luggage and steer us aboard a bus – it seems there has been a “problem†and our ship’s departure will be delayed. The bus driver doesn’t know any details. We are taken back downtown to the old World’s Fair ground and herded into the pavilion where they processed our tickets and boarding groups. We’re group number 10. We learn that stormy seas had caused the Diamond Princess to collide with the dock at its last port (Victoria), and that the damage had caused it to show up about three hours late. Panic rippled through the pavilion: Was the ship still seaworthy? Was the cruise cancelled? Nobody knew. We were instructed to “explore downtown Seattle†and find something to eat (no food was provided by Princess), and to return for an announcement at 4pm. We do so.

    4pm: The announcement is…that they don’t know anything yet. Please stand by.

    5pm: Happy day! The word is spread that the cruise will not be cancelled. We will board the buses by group number.

    7pm: Group 10 finally gets to board buses. (We were lucky. Group 32 didn’t get aboard until midnight).

    7:30pm: We board. We are asked to smile and pose for our “Our Cruise Begins!†picture. We decline.

    10:00pm: the wife’s escalating concerns about our missing luggage are allayed when it finally shows up. But our joy is short-lived, they managed to break her brand-new digital camera, despite our having bundled it in sweaters. It still works, but its case is cracked and we have to use tape to hold the batteries in.

    We went to sleep, with mysteries abounding: why no food at the pavilion? Why didn’t they just herd us aboard the ship (sure, they weren’t ready for passengers, but ANYTHING was better than “the refugee campâ€Â)? Why did a cruise line with many decades of experience seem not to be prepared for a crisis along the lines of “THE BOAT IS LATE!â€Â? Oh well. Surely, tomorrow will be a better day.

    SUNDAY, MAY 23: MUTINY ON THE DIAMOND PRINCESS

    8:00am: A loud, howling wail rouses me from my slumber: a foghorn? No, it’s my wife. She has read the note in our mailbox that “regrets to inform us†that owing to the damage suffered during the “incident†at Victoria, our scheduled stops at Juneau and Victoria are cancelled. Also, our stay at Skagway will now be a tad short: we will arrive at 5:30 am and depart at 8:30 am. Only Ketchikan remains unaffected. “In recognition of our disappointmentâ€Â, we are offered $250 each of “shipboard creditâ€Â. We are not appeased.

    9am: Lifeboat drill. Not enough seats for everyone in our lounge, so us latecomers get to sit on the floor. Captain Nick Nash prattles on, unseen, about how to step off the sinking ship and use our life preservers, although he doesn’t bother to mention that we’d all freeze to death in the sub-Arctic waters anyway. Captain Nash is promptly dubbed “Crash Nash†by us floor-sitters. We, being fans of “The Simpsonsâ€Â, also find the moniker “Captain Nick†humorous for a variety of reasons. Anyway, we realize that it was almost certainly not the Captain himself who was at the controls when a gust of wind somehow managed to fling a 100,000 ton ship into the dock (pul-LEEZE!), but our ire now has a name, and it’s Cap’n Crash Nash.

    10am: Our first “activity†of the cruise: standing in a very long line at the main desk to complain (broken camera, scrapped itinerary, and lack of food, sufficient chairs, information etc., etc. back in the “refugee camp†in Seattle). No apologies from the crewmember, but a promise that “we will be contacted†(we eventually got a form letter). Our complaints about the itinerary were met with an offer to “disembarkâ€Â, which we declined, being as we were at sea at the time.

    11am: Brunch at the buffet, and off to find a cozy, scenic place to read while the world floats by. Instead, we find a gathering of angry passengers in one of the lounges. We join the gripe-fest and learn that we had slept through the most entertaining event of the entire cruise: apparently, at around midnight, word reached the bedraggled still-boarding masses about the “regrettable change in itineraryâ€Â. By all accounts, a near-riot ensued in the atrium. The rabble-rousers were urged into the casino so that “their concerns could be addressedâ€Â. Angry words, shouted obscenities, and some minor pushing and shoving were all exchanged. Eventually a spokesman from Princess emerged (he declined repeated requests to identify himself). Said spokesman said that “people who didn’t like it should get off his shipâ€Â. Said people would have to surrender their boarding passes and carry their own luggage. Would their money be refunded? Yes. Would their airfare be refunded? Maybe. Could they get any of this in writing? No.

    Despite these conditions, about 200 people left. Would we have left? I don’t know. Exhausted, dragging luggage, without a hotel room or flight arrangements, it would have been a tough call. But, if had known then what I know now, we would have left, refund or no.

    And again, Princess seemed unable to calm angry passengers – it’s hard for me to believe that thing could escalate to near-violence, but I got the same story from five or six others who were witnesses to the event. The whole mess was amazingly poorly handled.

    2pm: Started actually ENJOYING our cruise, as the sun came out and, surprisingly, it was actually warm enough to sunbathe on our balcony.

    4pm: Enjoyed the movie “Something’s Gotta Give†in the showroom.

    6pm: Good dinner at the Asian dining room, but comical service: the waiter apparently spoke English, but could not understand anything that either of us said, so he kept retrieving another waiter to get our orders.

    But overall, things are looking up. We might just enjoy ourselves yet!

    MONDAY, MAY 24: PLAGUE SHIP

    Sort of a blah day, not much to look at or do on what was to have been our day in Juneau. We generally enjoy days “at seaâ€Â, as we are forced to actually RELAX. But, two in a row gets a little slow, especially since the usual slate of on-deck dances, parties, music, and whatnot is absent owing to the rainy, cold Alaskan weather. We filled the time with reading and watching movies and the NBA playoffs, often while stair-stepping in their excellent gym.

    Dinner at the steakhouse was ordinary; not bad, just not very good. Overall, the food on the Diamond Princess was just average; not nearly as good we had found in run-of-the-mill cafés and coffee shops in Seattle. This was another puzzle of this voyage: Seattle is home to some of the best seafood and Pacific-Northwest produce on the planet, which we had thoroughly enjoyed during our stay there. The food on the ship was clearly inferior, despite the fact that Seattle was its homeport. Where did they find the mediocre food?

    Also, food service was astonishingly rude (by cruise ship standards, at least). Buffet attendants would avoid eye contact and not refill beverages unless you managed to flag one down. A low-light was in the main dining room, at breakfast – we were seated with two wonderful Australian couples, and one of the women told the waiter that her salmon seemed hard and still frozen and requested that it be taken away. The waiter protested that they “had 3000 passengers to feed and it was not possible to serve fresh salmonâ€Â. He persisted despite the entire table arguing with him that IT DIDN’T MATTER, JUST TAKE THE SALMON AWAY. We were all stunned at his apparent lack of training – you don’t argue with customers when they don’t like their food, you just apologize and quickly bring them something else! But the incident did have one upside: I was reassured that the crew’s apparent hostility was not due to our being Americans; the Australians assured us that they had been treated poorly as well.

    Another note in the ol’ mailbox finally gave us some actual information on the state of the ship: the damage from the dock-crash was largely in the form of a bent propeller. Nice to know that we were not sinking! Also, they noted that the previously revised itinerary had a little typo: we were leaving Skagway at 8:30 PM, not AM. So, we were getting a full day in Skagway after all. One of the recurring annoyances of this voyage is that ALL information of importance came 24 hours late, in our mailbox. P.A. announcements regarding bingo, napkin-folding, movie theatre presentations and such came promptly at 9am, noon, 3pm, and 6pm, but vital information was never shared in this manner. It would have been nice for the bridge to note sightings of pods of whales, seals, otter, or dolphins, but they never did. Nor did they ever keep us informed as to the damage of the ship, nor the frequent changes in itinerary. Nor did they make mention of the outbreak of highly infectious diseases.

    Boredom soon gave way to terror as we picked up a steady supply of not-so-subtle clues that all was not well on the waters: signs appearing on the rest rooms reminding us to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds. Suddenly all of the buffet stations were manned by glove-wearing crewmembers who would snarl at anyone who attempted to touch a utensil, and require each and every patron to sanitize their hands upon entry. Rumors ran rampant as to what highly infectious disease was aboard ship, and how many were infected. Since the crew wasn’t talking we tended to assume the worst. Finally, I got one of the buffet goons to spill the goods: there were confirmed cases of the Norwalk virus onboard. Yikes! Who? How many? Nobody knew. The smell of fear permeated the ship; we could only hope that it would not soon be replaced by the smell of vomit.


    TUESDAY, MAY 25: ESCAPE TO SKAGWAY

    Joyfully abandoned ship and spent a nice day in Skagway. Hiked a nice fjord-side trail, joined a ranger-led tour of the town, and jumped aboard our only surviving shore-excursion of the trip: the tour train inland. Terrific scenery and a good time had by all. The train’s narrator was horrendously inept, but she was so bad that it was actually entertaining in an unintentionally humorous sort of way, so it all worked out.

    A note in our mailbox made it official: an outbreak of the Norwalk virus was aboard. No details about who or how many.

    Ate in the Italian dining room (“Vivaldiâ€Â) and had a good meal and great service – Brian from South Africa and Katerina from Poland. Finding cheerful, friendly, gregarious service was such a novelty that we had all remaining dinners here and specifically requested Brian’s tables. We later learned that we could veto Princess’s automatic tipping system and tip in cash instead, which we did, funneling all tips to our cabin steward and these two. The rest of the crew was a sullen lot, most strongly resembling the old “Addam’s Family†butler “Lurchâ€Â, or maybe “The Soprano’s†A.J. (Tony’ son). Begrudging, listless, sulky compliance was the norm.

    Commandeered a prime view location in the top deck’s lounge to watch our departure from Skagway…and waited…and waited…eventually Cap’n Crash announced that they were having some sort of problem with their thrusters. We wound up leaving a couple of hours late. Thus, Skagway was the third consecutive port that the good ship Diamond Princess failed to depart on time.

    WEDNESDAY, MAY 26: TRACY ENDICOTT ARM, BUT ONLY TO THE ELBOW

    Up early to enjoy the surreal beauty of Tracy Endicott Arm (bad name; great fjord). Our good luck with the weather ran out; a cold drizzle dampened things on deck, but we weren’t about to miss out, donning rain-panchos and just about every stitch of clothing we had. The majesty of the place was marginalized a bit by the smarmy narration from the onboard naturalist (Mike something-or-the-other), but still unforgettable: waterfalls by the dozens, and a couple of seals entertained. Unfortunately, Cap’n Crash Nash was afraid to venture all the way to the glacier, explaining that there was too many ice-flows to risk it. Didn’t read about this in the brochure; apparently they hadn’t made the connection between ice-flows and their origin. Our theory: he was afraid to put another dent in the hull.

    Fled the treacherous ice around noon, which left a long rainy day without much to do. Attended a showing of “Welcome to Mooseportâ€Â, but about 30 seconds into the movie the screen went black and a horribly loud screeching was emitted from the speakers – I mean, everybody in the theater was holding their ears. Short pause, the movie continued, then the same thing happened. Longer pause, movie, no sound. Very long pause…we left. On our way out they announced that the movie was cancelled due to technical difficulties. If we had hung around, I might have suggested maybe playing a DIFFERENT movie (just a thought).

    Next came a small adventure in laundry. First problem: doing laundry required $7 in quarters and the change machine was out of order. No problem, I found the laundry room on the next deck down. It was out of quarters. Next deck: not working. Next deck: no quarters. Asked a bartender: it was a cashless ship; nobody carries change. Eventually wound up in the casino, and put a ten in one of the machines and cashed out: got tokens, not quarters. Waited in line at the casino cashier, argued that I needed change for the laundry room, finally got my quarters. Started laundry; watched TV in the cabin, then moved clothes to dryer, and noted a sign on the laundry-room door: LAUNDRY CLOSED FROM 9:30 PM TO 7:30 AM FOR CLEANING. Strange, but OK. I return at 9:30pm, only to find the door locked. I bang on the door; and an Asian crewmember’s face peeks out: “Closed†he says, pointing to the sign.
    “It takes you 10 hours to clean the room?â€Â
    “Yes.†Hmm.
    “But my laundry is in the dryerâ€Â.
    “Yes,†he agrees.
    “I will need to get my laundryâ€Â.
    “In the morning,†he says, pointing to the sign. Nuts to that, we’re in Ketchikan in the morning.
    “I want to get it tonightâ€Â, I say.
    “You can call the purser, they will send somebodyâ€Â. He closes and locks the door. Dumbfounded, I go back to my cabin, relate the strange experience to the wife, and call the purser with my story. They say: no problem, they’ll send somebody to unlock the door. Ooooh-kaayy; apparently this is all normal procedure. I go back to the laundry room and bang on the door. No answer. After about 10 minutes, a crewman shows up. I smile and say hi; he glares, says nothing, unlocks the door, and leaves. I am dumbfounded (again): he left the door unlocked. There is nobody in the laundry, the clothes are dry, passengers are once again free to launder their clothes at all hours of the night, and life is back to normal. Except that somewhere, faintly, I can hear the theme from “The Twilight Zoneâ€Â.

    THURSDAY, MAY 27, KETCHIKAN ‘CUZ WE CAN

    Up and at ‘em early as we only get a half-day in Ketchikan; the ship leaves at noon. Walked around the harbor/downtown area, went to the salmon hatchery and totem pole museum (both nice, although not worth a special trip), then down their hillside and riverside boardwalks, gawking at eagles and a picturesque slice of Alaska. Was utterly beguiled by Ketchikan, but they get a couple of hundred inches of rain a year, so we won’t be picking up and moving there.

    The Diamond Princess actually manages to leave port more or less on time. Better yet: good news in our mailbox: Victoria is back on our itinerary! The ship is making good enough speed for us to get there on time!

    We attend the Captain’s Party, mostly so we can see what the idiot has to say for himself. The wife makes me promise not to do or say anything of a vengeful or mischievous manner (she knows me: while she is prone to complain, I am prone to quietly bide my time until an opportunity for revenge presents itself). As we are introduced to the sniveling little snit, it is explained that due to concerns about spreading the disease, to captain will not be shaking our hands. This ruins my fun, as I had no intention of doing so anyway. The party is a bore, as it is mostly focused on selling us another Princess cruise (Hah!), and the captain, somewhat to our surprise, is able to walk without stumbling and speak coherently. Outside of some somewhat politically incorrect jokes about the Japanese dockyard that built the ship, he wasn’t amusingly inept or tongue-tied, just boring and long-winded. We grabbed our free cocktails and left.

    We actually spotted a few whales that evening, although you don’t get to see much more than a spout and a tail. I couldn't even really tell you what I saw: some were probably orcas, there was definitely a pod of dolphins, and another one was either a small grey whale or a pilot whale; hard to tell for sure. Still, it was sort of fun looking for them.

    FRIDAY, MAY 28: VICTORIA AND THE INVISIBLE STORM

    The weather turned bright and sunny and we passed much of the day on deck, aft, reading and munching in the sun. The absence of warm, sunny weather is a definite downside to cruises in such northern latitudes; lazily lounging on deck is definitely one of the underrated “activities†on a cruise.

    We read up on Victoria and look forward to our little excursion, only to hear Cap’n Crash mumble over the loudspeakers that “due to the risk presented by the high windsâ€Â, we would not be able to land in Victoria. Everyone is incredulous; WHAT wind? It’s a bright, balmy day; the winds are 15 knots, tops. The Holland America ship is already docked! As if sensing our ire, the Captain makes a follow-up announcement: the Holland America ship docked an hour earlier, “when the winds weren’t so gustyâ€Â. Oh, please. This is plainly an outright lie. There are only two plausible explanations: 1) the Captain has lost his nerve and/or mind, or 2) the local port authorities aren’t about to let “Cap’n Crash†have another go at docking. I’m guessing it was the latter, with plenty of pending legal action thrown in. What puzzles me is why they bothered to get us all excited by reinstating Victoria to the itinerary, only to dash our hopes a second time. I’m thinking that the Victoria port authorities simply turned them away.

    SATURDAY, MAY 29: THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

    Whereas our first passage of Puget Sound occurred in the dead or night, our second transpired before we awoke. Oh, well. Disembarkation went well. Usually disembarkation day is sort of sad, as the vacation is at an end and it’s a long day of waiting and luggage-lugging at ports and airports. It’s probably an indication of just how lousy our cruise was when we caught ourselves giddily joking with customs officials and our cabby. It was just nice to be back with friendly faces, and off the plague-ship.

    Southwest Airlines was prompt, friendly, and efficient as always, and we were home in short order.

    We vowed never to cruise again. In retrospect, that vow probably won’t hold up; we still would like to cruise the southern Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands someday. But, we are definitely changing our approach to vacations. Before, we had more or less intended to take a cruise each and every year until we had essentially seen the whole stinkin’ world or we passed on, whichever came first. Not now! We are not eager to put ourselves at the mercy of a crew like that of the Diamond Princess. If I get lousy service at a resort; I can leave. On a cruise ship, we’re stuck. What’s more: it could have been a lot worse: it could have rained the whole time, the flights could have been delayed, or we could have been among the poor souls that actually got the Norwalk virus. No, thanks!

    San Diego has some lovely beaches, a wonderful zoo, and is only a five-hour drive. We’ll wave to any cruise ships we see. We’ll be the ones with the big smiles.



    Post Edited (06-18-04 11:56)
     
  10. CaribbeanSun

    CaribbeanSun Guest

    I hate when Princess causes rain.

    There can't be a "norm" yet for the Diamond Princess since it hasn't been sailing that long. And in my opinion, anyone who sails on one of the first 3 or 4 sailings should expect things to be less than perfect. Same as in a hotel -- the first month is somewhat unorganized. This is to be expected. If you look at some of the other boards, there are people on the Diamond Princess now and they are having a great time and have no complaints.

    I have sailed 4 times the last 9 months on Princess and have had exceptional experience on all the cruises. I can't see bad food and bad service becoming a trend since I have not experienced it. I can understand a bad cruise but I would never catgorize the entire cruise line and say it is a trend based on the first month of a sailing of a new ship.
     
  11. Alley

    Alley Guest

    Amen about the rain!! It's Alaska for gods sake and yes it rains there even in the summer! The rain is what makes it so... green and beautiful there! People just crack me up when they blame Princess when it comes to bad weather? LOL!!

    Looking forward to sailing on the Diamond in October even after ALL the poor reviews!!

    Alley
     
  12. John in LV

    John in LV Guest

    I guess I miscommunicated about the rain; I certainly wasn't complaining about THAT. My point was meant to be that we were rather lucky with the weather. We've been to Alaska before; we know the deal: along the southern coasts of Alaska, it would not be unusual for it to rain all week! As it was, it hardly rained at all.

    Good point about it being unwise to board a new ship; I was mindful of this before selecting this cruise. But I thought that although this ship was new to Alaska, that it had been cruising elsewhere for a few months?

    Point conceded about other people having posted that they throughly enjoyed more recent cruises aboard the Diamond Princess. Maybe they've turned things around, although the our impression of the crew was that it was beyond all hope. However, while reading said posts I DO note a couple of cautionary continuing trends: 1) There is always "too much ice" to see the glacier at Tracy Arm, and 2) It's always "too windy" too dock at Victoria. This boat may simply be too big to navigate this itenerary.

    Anyway, just trying to help others avoid what we went through. There are plenty of boats to Alaska; why risk Cap'n Crash and the Diamond Princess?

    Thanks to all for the kind emails about my post!

    John
     
  13. gaschatt

    gaschatt Guest

    Most of the poor reviews were related to the two cruises around the dock incident in Victoria. Nash is no longer the Captain of the Diamond, he was a temporary replacement for the regular captain who was (and may still be) on vacation. I believe he was replaced after the 5/22 cruise, from what the rumor mill spouts there were a number of issues with his leadership.



    Post Edited (06-19-04 19:46)
     
  14. Princess Pat

    Princess Pat Guest

    Good discussion. Loved the "intense" review. Been through the "there's no ship" beginning routine a couple of times and don't get too excited anymore. $250 doesn't sound like a lot to me; they must have been having bargain sailings. In my experience Princess has been fair in their reimbursement and, like Cruiseaholic says, people gripe for more each time.

    I have some "good" Princess cruises (along the lines of any day away at the office) and some "really terrific" Princess cruises, so I still hold out hope that the next cruise is going to be "super." Overall, I too feel that the level of service from the crew is now lower.

    About packjng the wine, it was Cruiseaholic many, many moons ago who suggested packing whatever liquid consummable you're taking in double zip-lock bags. We have until now purchased our cabin liquor as a gift prior to the cruise, but that didn't arrive for several days this last time--so much for Bon Voyage.

    Thanks again, all, for the give-and-take.

    Pat
     
  15. gaa

    gaa Guest

    I just returned from a GREAT Princess cruise on the Caribbean Princess. I will post a separate thread, and a review. However, after reading here I wanted to give another perspective---we are still basking in the afterglow of a fantastic vacation. Of course, this is not to say the concerns of those who returned from the Diamond are invalid, based on their experiences. I only hope they will communicate again and again with Princess until they receive a satisfactory response, because I believe the people in charge are committed to a quality product. More in my review later.
     
  16. I have never sailed on Princess,but will probably try them at some point.

    Regardless of the situation, those in customer service should never be rude or shout at customers,. Cruise ship passengers should not be told to get off if they don't like it or any other communications that were rumoured to have occured. These individuals should not be employed by Princess , or any other cruise line.

    Princess Cruise Lines prices most of their itineraries like they are in a premium /Luxury cruise segment. Last time I checked they were not, and not likely to get there either at this rate.

    We have passengers posting here from 5/8- 5/15 and 5/22 sailings. If the first 3 or 4 cruises are to get the kinks out, maybe they should be discounted appropriately when new ships sail out. Complaints started prior to the accident.

    In 9/02 Hubby and I sailed 15 nights Transatlantic Crossing on the Carnival Legend. I know most Princess afficianados would turn their nose up at Carnival( owner of Princess) However, we were on the 3rd sailing of that Ship and it was it's first foray into Europe. Everything was perfect. The food quality, service, the entertainment.( Acts were brought on board in a few ports at the last minute to the delight of the passengers-Scottish Dancers etc.) Carnival went out of their way to ensure that it's newest ship sparkeled and shone in Europe. So new ships, new crew and new ports are NO EXCUSE for poor service and rude behavior.

    As for not being able to adjust tips for the poor behaviour. I would have removed the lot, and tipped only those that deserved it, and acted professionally. I am tired of the moaning and groaning regarding tips. If wait staff are rude and unresponsive and cannot perform their jobs - zilch. Now thankfully I have never had bad waitstaff so have never had to do this. But I would if necessary.

    In closing .We all work hard for our money and cruising is our addiction. Speak up when your experience is less than wonderful! I certainly do! If the cruiseline won't make it right or apologise then tell all your friends. Sometimes all I want is for them to admit they were wrong and say they are sorry. (So far HAL is the only one who has been able to sincerely convey that to me. Flowers and Champagne , VIP status on our next cruise is also nice, and costs them only a few dollars)
     
  17. CaribbeanSun

    CaribbeanSun Guest

    I just read that this past week's Diamond Princess made it to Sawyer Glacier and also to Victoria.

    Captain Nash is an experienced captain. I have sailed twice with him on Grand class ships. I would sail again with him in a heart beat.
     
  18. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    I just want to add one small note to MortgageChicks post....Carnival Cruise Lines does not own Princess. Princess is owned by Carnival Corporation a company that controls many cruise lines...Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, and Windstar Cruises. Each of these lines continues to maintain it's individuality.
     
  19. Hi Beryl,

    When i said Carnival owned Princess I did mean Carnival Corp,my point was their is a close affiliation and although independent, they have the knowhow available to them to avoid these problems(outside of the accident) in the early cruises.
     
  20. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    Hi MortgageChick, I know you know the difference...You have been around here for ages and are very well informed...my note was meant for the newbies who may not yet be as cruise savvy.
     

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