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Emerald Princess, Panama Canal

3

The cruise was a big bucket list must do, unfortunately it did not live up to expectations, for several reasons - for the first 2 days the dinning experience was shambolic at best! There was a wait of about an hour to get a table, sharing or individual it made no difference, this applied to all three main restaurants. the booking system on the new medallion app, seemed to make no difference and just made things worse, with everybody trying to book the same time to eat or no booking availability at popular times. The main reason for this seems to have been lack of staff, although there were long queues, half the tables in the restaurants were unused, due to lack off waiting staff. This also meant slow service with dinner lasting up to 2 hours!! The bars were nice and efficient, but let down by the Medallion ordering service, which kept failing to deliver orders, we gave up on this in the end, it was quicker and easier to just go to the bar and get it yourself! The ship was nice, the crew friendly and helpful and tried really hard. The entertainment was good, the theatre was always full. the port reviews were excellent especially the one on the Panama canal, the transit of which was clearly the highlight of the cruise.
The other main problem was the cancelled shore days, we lost the visit to Nicaragua, for political reasons two months before we sailed and all that was done was to add another sea day, very disappointing, why could they not have fixed an alternative or given us a second day in Costa Rica, there were enough sea days already. On a 15 night cruise, there was already 8 sea days, this was made worse by the second missed port, Cartagena, Columbia, due to bad weather - another sea day! We bought this cruise as a 15 day cruise with 6 ports - if it had been offered as a 15 day cruise with 4 ports, we would not have booked it - very disappointing!! We feel cheated, we did not get what we paid for.
We have not travelled with Princess before, so this may be the usual experience with Princess, I do not know what their standards are but I expect better than this. We have travelled with lots of different cruise lines and this is the only time I have felt the need to complain. Will we cruise with princess again, to see if we were just unlucky in our first experience of them, I doubt it.

Peter
Post Date: 16/02/2023
Score
Cruise Overall
3
Ship Overall
4
Dining
2
Service Onboard
2
Accommodation
3
Public Rooms
4
Boarding & Disembarking
3
Excursions
3
Value for Money
2
Review Images
Customer Reviews
LINDA wrote a review in Aug, 2021
We handed over the keys to our car right outside the terminal of the Regal Princes, so it was easy to get to the ship. Boarding was easy considering the Covid testing etc, but our luggage was right ou...
Peter wrote a review in Sep, 2021
Went on a 3 night Seacation 3rd to 6th September. Thought we'd give Princess a try after hearing many recommendations. Not sailed with them before but this was our 12th cruise. The Medallionclass app ...
Gary wrote a review in Sep, 2021
We had an excellent first time Princess cruise experience and would definitely cruise with Princess in the future. One particular thing stood out was the service and friendliness of the crew on board,...
Karen wrote a review in Sep, 2021
We cruised on a 4 night UK cruise from Southampton to Belfast. The Regal Princess is a beautiful ship, the medallion worked really well, we travelled with friends and it was really useful to be able...

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