First time i sailed with Princess...everything was great, the food, the ambiance, the service and the cabins were top class. The ports of call and the itinerary was impressive and we enjoyed the cruise. What spoiled the entire experience was the level of GREED exhibited by this cruise line. It left a bad taste and spoiled the entire vacation. Examples....we were expected to pay 11.50 per day per person..as gratuity for waiters, cabin attendants, cooks, etc.
Fine...no problem with that. However, when you ordered a cocktail at the bar, you were charged along with a 15% GRATUITY thrown in....AND THERE IS A column on the charge slip for gratuity...most people dont look at the bill..they automatically add a GRATUITY and end up paying 30-40% gratuity. The ship had a Doctor of Accupuncture...made an appointment and paid 150 dollars for a one hour session,
when the charge slip came, in addition to the 150 dollar charge, there was a column for GRATUITY....in a polite way, the accupuncuturist hinted that GRATUITY was expected....SINCE WHEN DO DOCTORS CHARGE GRATUITY????? A dermatologist on board wanted 2000 dollars for a non invasive face lift...WERE WE EXPECTED TO PAY 300 DOLLARS IN GRATUITIES to this doctor?
Finally, since they had my credit card on file, i got an unexplained charge of 118 dollars...no receipt, no explanation...i intend to contest this...but after being put on hold for 30 minutes on their 800 line, i finally gave up...will take it up with Visa.......Majority of the wait staff and cleaners and cooks on Princess are foreigners, they are paid a flat rate of 1000-1500 dollars per month...what this cruise company tries to do is have the passengers pay these wages by charging exhorbitant GRATUITIES....sorry Princess...WONT BE SAILING WITH YOU AGAIN.