Service makes a difference

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Bridge construction materials behind a Pacific Princess life-preserver in Edinburgh, Scotland.

This is a side-step from blogs about our spring 2016 road trip to comment on the Pacific Princess. I want you to know no one paid for this rave review.  [I’m not virtuous; nobody offered.]

Do you remember the TV series The Love Boat?  Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess was the Love Boat.  Some say that TV series created the modern cruise industry. The boat, however, was sold several times and broken up in 2013.  Today’s ship carries on the name — and the program on stateroom TVs.

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Lounge

How one travels is a matter of personal preference.  I envy young people spending months on the road, taking advantage of “couch surfing” and other methods to keep their expenses at a minimum.  But at our age, we like comfort.

How one cruises is also a matter of personal preference.  Some lines are less expensive. Others are more luxurious.  Some ships are hugel they carry over five thousand passengers; others are small.

Elevators

Elevators

We tend to choose a cruise on the basis of itinerary rather than the ship.

Nonetheless, we both agree the Pacific Princess is now our favorite ship.

At 30,277 tons, it is a relatively small ship.  [Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is 226,963 tons.]  It offers fewer dining and entertainment choices than some larger ships.  But it is easier to walk to those choices (or to the exercise room). Also, you are more likely to get to know crew and other passengers on a small ship.

Stairwell

Stairwell

I call the current decor “Twentieth Century gentlemen’s club.”  You might prefer something more modern.  We liked the reserved elegance of the Princess but have liked others too.

Where is this rave review you ask?  The service and food on the Pacific Princess were the best we have ever had.  That is what made it our favorite.

Library

Library

They anticipated our needs before we could ask.  Our cabin attendant Robert kept the place spotless and did more.  Alie un-tucks the bedding over her arthritic toes at night.  She did so the first night, and thereafter without being asked Robert folded the bedding rather than tucking it in.

In a lounge, a waiter observed Alie had trouble holding a glass and produced an extra-long straw so she could drink more easily.

Stateroom

Stateroom

Gomer, our dinner waiter, was the most efficient we ever had.  It seemed we had barely ordered and our appetizers were served.  They were quickly followed by soup and salad when ordered. Those dishes had hardly been removed and the main course arrived.

No one rushed us, we relaxed and took our time, and we never sat around wondering where the food was as is common on many ships.

Bar

Bar

It is hard to prepare fine food for hundreds of people at a time.  The food on the Pacific Princess was good, often excellent, and hot dishes arrived hot.  The plates were heated.  Alie says it is the first time she ever finished pasta in any restaurant when the last bite was still warm.

Norman Love is a world-renowned chocolatier based in Fort Myers, Florida.  Princess sends their staff to Love for training.  The Pacific Princess has many very good desserts.  The featured Norman Love desserts were out-of-this-world good.  Alie is famous among our friends and family for her desserts.  But even she could not figure how some of the Norman Love desserts were prepared.  It was indeed the “Love Boat.”

I suppose our preferences say something about us; what do you like?

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About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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13 Responses to Service makes a difference

  1. JohnRH says:

    Less than 5,479 passengers I presume. Looks enticing.

    Like

    • ralietravels says:

      The maximum is 670. In addition to the passengers, we got to know many of the crew and several times had a late snack with some of the musicians. After a around the world cruise starting in January, it goes into drydock.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pit says:

    Your remarks about the service at the dinner table reminds me of a pet peeve of mine in all but a very few American restaurants, even the upscale ones: I always feel like I’m in a fast food joint, because you have not even finished your appetizer but are in the middle of it still when the main course arrives. Sense of timing the courses is a totally unknown there. I agree that you should not be left with finished plates (too long), but I also resent the attitude of some wait staff to whisk the empty plate away the very moment you put down your silverware and while you might still be chewing. And I really don’t mind – or rather want it that way – to have a short time between the courses. Like you say: I want to be relaxed at the dinner table, not rushed, and I don’t want to fall aslepp betwenn the courses either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      I agree. We have been fortuate to cruise on many lines. As they shift to “any time dining” I have found it to be “any time waiting” and the meal itself takes forever to be served. Our waiter Gomer somehow managed to hit the happy medium. It might have just been him, but I also found the service wonderful in the casual buffet.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dee Gilbert says:

    Very elegant. I’ve only cruised with Holland America. I like that their ships are mid-size ones. We enjoyed interacting with the staff, especially at sit down dinners. They’re very attentive and friendly.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Service makes a difference — RalieTravels | gramirezblog

  5. Marjorie Ewell says:

    Ray, you make this sound so inviting. I want to go right out and order tickets! Alas, Charlie gets seasick and would refuse to go.
    What port do they leave from?

    Like

    • ralietravels says:

      Alie is so susceptible to motion sickness, she once became nauseous in a swivel-chair. But for some reason, cruise ships have not been a major problem. The Pacific Princess is in the Mediterranean now but will have a Christmas cruise out of Fort Lauderdale [Miami?] December 20 before leaving for a around the world trip in January.

      Like

  6. A rave review! I’ll keep Princess in mind… 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      To be fair, I think it was largely due to it being a small ship with a great hotel director — since that is the person responsible for the “hotel” crew. Alie has an operation coming up with a long recovery, but if she is able, we would like to catch one more sailing before the ship takes off around the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. N N says:

    Awesome article and pictures!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  8. Norman Love, Fort Myers, Yes! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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