The Crap Princess

I’m currently sailing from Brisbane to New Zealand onboard the Sea Princess, by Princess Cruises. To say the cruise is a disappointment is definitely an understatement. Here is the email I just sent to customerrelations@princesscruises.com


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

I am currently sailing on the Sea Princess in cabin R339, on the way to New Zealand. Originally I had organised to disembark in Wellington on day 8, but after 3 days I’ve decided to disembark in Auckland instead. I need to end this torment.
 
Here are my thoughts, suggestions, and feedback:

TOILETS

In my three days on this ship, my toilet has stopped working three times and needed repairs by maintenance. But to offset that, another cabin’s toilet ran into my cabin and soaked the carpet on the first night. At least someone’s toilet is running!
 
To be fair, the carpet was vacuumed and dried reasonably quickly, but I did have to sleep with a noisy air blower… and this time it wasn’t my husband.
 
My skin has been crawling ever since I was told the water was from a burst toilet water pipe.

DRINK PACKAGES

Why advertise drink packages by the day, if you can’t purchase them by the day? Because I was originally disembarking on the 8th day, I asked to purchase a drinks package for 8 days. The response to this request? No Sir, you have to pay for the whole cruise (14 days).
 
I was tempted, if only to drink myself into oblivion.

POWER SUPPLY

The single power point in the cabin is either poorly designed, or has been damaged. As a result, it has been recessed into the wall and not all plugs will fit.
 
Poor facilities? On the Sea Princess? Shocking! (See what I did there?)

INTERNET

The internet Wi-Fi does not reach  my cabin. I have to find a public area of the ship to use the internet. The internet customer service guy, Zoran, was incredibly nice and helpful, explaining everything very clearly… unfortunately, there was nothing he could do.
 
On the plus side, the lack of internet allowed me to stockpile my complaints and create one long email, rather than fire off multiple angry short bursts

CABIN SATISFACTION

I knew what I was getting myself in for. I realise that when you travel alone and disembark early, you still have to pay for the entire length of the cruise as well as a cabin for two people, but is this cabin supposed to fit two people?
 
I knew I was essentially paying over $4000 for just a few days in an inside cabin, but the issues with the cabin have been a deal breaker and brand destroyer.
 
The pictures on the website looked so promising: queen size bed with two bedside tables, power points that aren’t recessed. This cabin can barely squeeze in one bedside table. The bed keeps slipping and separating into two single beds. The cabin is small, dated, and reeks of rotting wet carpet. I just pray the water leaking in from the other cabin is clean toilet water, as maintenance claim.
 
And before you correct my choice of word, ‘cabin’ instead of ‘stateroom’, bear in mind there is nothing stately about this room.

PRE-PAID PURCHASES – COFFEE CARD

I purchased a coffee card before I’d even boarded, and found a voucher in my cabin upon embarkation. After a few phone calls, I discovered I had to take the voucher to a café on level 5 to receive the actual card.
 
Why not leave the card in the cabin, instead of some voucher that needs to be redeemed? Isn’t the point of pre-purchasing things to make things easier for the customer?
 
One lady explained to me that not all customers are honest, and some try to claim that cards aren’t delivered. So why not put the coffees onto our onboard account? Instead of presenting a card, we could just present our cruise card.

PRE-PAID PURCHASES – INTERNET

I am a pretty savvy internet person, but I could not work out how to apply the pre-paid voucher on the internet screen to get the 680 minutes I had pre-purchased. The reason for this? It wasn’t a voucher I found in my cabin, just acknowledgement that I had bought 680 minutes.
 
Apparently I needed to click ‘BUY’ next to the 600 minutes option. There is no way  it would have occurred to me to click BUY, for fear it would charge my onboard account twice. Nor was that explained anywhere on the ‘voucher’.
 
Again, why not put the minutes onto our onboard account? Or supply an actual voucher number that can be entered into the appropriate ‘voucher’ field which you have on your internet page? I even had to go to the internet café to redeem the extra forty minutes which came with my package.
 
Pre-purchasing is a waste of time, and in fact causes more frustration than it relieves.

EARLY DISEMBARKATION

So it became quite clear I wasn’t going to enjoy my time on the Sea Princess. I tried to arrange disembarkation in Auckland, but met a brick wall by the name of Ferdinand.
 
Ferdinand did not want to listen to my complaints. He kept talking over the top of me. He was patronising, and belittled my issues. He was of the opinion I only had difficulty with the internet, and that was why I wanted to leave. He cemented the decision in my mind to disembark on the fourth day.
 
Nobody has reached out to me. Nobody has acknowledged my concerns. The staff at the Passenger Service desk just keep telling me that the right person isn’t on duty at the moment. And you call yourselves a ‘Consummate Host’.

BLOG ARTICLE

This letter of complaint is also going to be openly published on my blog, where I hope both my readers will see it. Yes, both of them! The title of the article? ‘The Crap Princess’.
 
I have been on a lot of cruises, and this is seriously my worst experience yet. Actually this cruise, my first with Princess, is the only bad experience I’ve ever had cruising. I (and hopefully both my readers) will never cruise with Princess Cruises again.