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Tanny D wrote a review Jan 2023
3 contributions2 helpful votes

I struggled whether or not to post this, but our family was so affected by this incident that I figured I should give everyone a heads up!

So here is what happened on our Christmas Cruise aboard the Princess Regal (Departed Dec 18, 2022 from Ft. Lauderale). I am still so outraged at how this was handled by Princess Cruises, and want to make sure no one else winds up in this situation. I know, I know, call it a first world problem - bigger issues plague the world, but this really affected my family so deeply I wanted to share and make sure people are aware so that it doesn’t happen to them.
We received a call in our stateroom from one of the Princess Entertainment people that our son Justin had won a prize and should be at the Piazza at 7pm for the END OF CRUISE drawing. He was so excited, as were we. We assumed it would be something small, at t-shirt, hat, small amount of money, but of course, hearing that the grand prize was $5000 we had some fun thinking about it. We had no idea that this was a paid entry to win. We just thought it was just our son’s lucky day.

In the moments leading up to the drawing, our son spoke nonstop about the possibilities. We cautioned him it may not be the grand prize but he should be happy to win anything. It’s like buying a lottery ticket and hoping for the top prize but knowing it may not happen. Still, we all enjoyed speaking about what he would do with the money and had a great time imagining the possibilities.

We arrived at the Piazza early because our son was so excited and wanted to be up there on time. He had never won a big prize before so he was incredibly nervous. Then the awarding of prizes began. First a few $25 prices were given out and his name was not announced. Then it progressed to $50 prizes and again his name was not announced. This went on from $100-$250 and still, there was no announcement of our son’s name. I want you to imagine the growing excitement in our minds – now double it! Can you imagine the thrill we all started to feel as the prize drawing grew and grew? He was practically jumping out of his seat and we were all smiles. Then it was announced that the grand prize was ready to be awarded. Could it be true that our son just won $5000? Justin could hardly contain his excitement and I thought he was going to pass out.

The announcer brought out a HUGE specialty check just for this occasion and before he made the announcement, we could all see, as could other passengers, that the name on the check read “Justin Davidson“. I almost screamed - I looked at my son, and said “oh my God JUSTIN, you won!“ He practically flew out of his seat! After the presenter spent time delaying so he could draw out the excitement, He spoke into the microphone and announced the winner…… hand…..he called out another person’s name, not our son, even though his name was clearly printed on the check. The person called was not even there. What was going on? Our hearts dropped to the floor. We were specifically asked to be there for this, and his name was written on the check but another name was announced. And then, just as quickly as it started, it was over.

The presenter, who was the one who made the call to us, dashed away as fast as he could. I went over to the remaining group of presenters and employees and spoke to a woman, whom I later discovered was the casino manager. I asked her what the heck was going on. I told her that my son’s name was on the check and that we were called because he had won a prize and yet he was given absolutely nothing other than disappointment. First, she acted as if she did not know what was going on. Then she told me unsympathetically that she was sorry but there was a mistake. I pointed out his name was on the check and she feigned surprise. We were all sitting there heartbroken. I was almost in tears and my son was completely dazed and hurt. My husband was incredibly angry, as were we all. When I pushed further to find out how that was even possible, she told me to go ask the presenter why he had made a mistake and gestured that I should to go speak with him. I later found out she knew all along what had happened.

The problem was that our son was actually not eligible because he had initially signed up for the drawing but when he realized it cost money, he had the charges reversed and pulled out. We suddenly understood why he was not eligible to win the prize. We did not realize when we were called that the drawing was based on the monetary entry, but I do want TO BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THIS: This complaint is NOT about the eligibility. We understand that people make mistakes and that Justin was not eligible. It is NOT about Justin not winning. What this complaint is about was the MANNER in which Princess Cruises dealt with this on Christmas day, to make it one of the most miserable experiences we have had on a cruise to date. I cannot convey to you how the treatment and response by Princess had affected our family for several days after the cruise was over, ruined the rest of our Christmas, and disappointed an entire family.

After getting no satisfaction from speaking with the casino manager, we went directly to Guest Services to file an official complaint. The officer taking the complaint was very nice and contacted the person quote “in charge”. The person who showed up was none other than the very same casino manager, the one who tried to throw the entertainment person under the bus. I knew this would not be a good start, and of course she came to explain WHY Justin did not win. Despite me explaining that it was not the issue. Once again, the issue was why he was not told and why he was allowed to show up and no one took him aside to let him know beforehand. Still, she continued to explain that it was electronically done and that “it wasn’t her fault”. Again, she said she was sorry and that was all she could do and that she didn’t have the power to do anything else. We escalated to the next level.

After sitting for several minutes, she returned along with the Brand and Marketing Manager. He explained why Justin didn’t win, which AGAIN, was not the issue; however, we told him that we accept there was a human error and people make mistakes. I don’t know if the casino manager explained our position correctly because his answers to our questions only made the whole situation even more suspicious. He claimed that the winner was chosen 72 hours earlier and electronically. This makes absolutely no sense to us because Justin was called about an hour before the event took place. Additionally, HIS NAME WAS ON THE CHECK. If this had been done 72 hours before then why did all this happen? If we had NEVER received that call, we would have never known and it would not have affected our Christmas so negatively. The bigger point was it did happen and it did hurt my family on Christmas day. Additionally, the casino manager said she verified the winner. I understand that, and I understand that Justin wasn’t the winner, but when asked when she verified the information, she said it was during the time the check was being awarded. Again, this makes no sense. Why would you verify the winner during the awarding of the prize instead of before? Clearly nothing on the backend was handled correctly and the only people who seem to have suffered from this is my family. Again, I tried to explain this and what we got was a nonchalant, “I can give you $100 credit on your account.”. And then, he said, “I can take care of your reservations at dinner” which was completely inappropriate since dinner was in the general dining room and free! Clearly there had not been a lot of “talk” about what had happened. And when we explained that did absolutely did nothing to help us, he quickly added “would you like something from the gift shop?”
Are you kidding me? We have a family sitting there after being treated like an afterthought, mother crying, father angry and son heart broken, and that’s the answer?
Remember, this check was shown to a deck load of people who also saw that the check written to another person than who was announced. Do you not think other passengers may find this somewhat questionable?
My husband sent a message later through the ships chat to Mr. Hudson, the Brand and Marketing Manager to thank him for his time, but to let him know that we would have to escalate this matter. He received no reply, which I also find offensive.
I do want to highlight that up until that very moment, we were having the time of our lives! It was a wonderful cruise and it was the first time our family had cruised with Princess. We were looking for a cruise line that we could travel with repeatedly. We enjoyed the relaxation by the pools, the wonderful food, the fantastic cabin stewards, sitting and lounging in the entertainment areas listening to live music, and the peace of our cabin. It was not rowdy or loud, the destinations were fantastic. It made the last evening all the more painful for us.
This where we find ourselves right now. Heartbroken at our emotional Christmas rollercoaster being dismissed as if our feelings were not important.


#princesscruises #princesscruiselines #princesscruiseship
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Sail Date: December 2022
Cabin Type: Inside
Type of Trip: Family (older kids)
Destination: Caribbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Regal Princess

143 reviews
 All photos (3,690)3,690
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Traveller (780)
Common Areas (2,062)
Dining and Bars (969)
Itineraries for this ship


Passengers: 3,560   |   Crew: 1,346
Passengers to crew: 2.64:1
Passengers to space: 39.95:1
Launched: 2014   


  • Deck 4
  • Deck 5
  • Deck 6
  • Deck 7
  • Deck 8
  • Deck 9
Additional decks
Deck 4 layout


Cabin size: 222 - 233 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 26
Accessible rooms: 22
Maximum passengers: 4
Number of cabins: 1088
Traveller rating
  • 75
  • 28
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John Sarazin wrote a review Mar 2023
Ottawa, Canada4 contributions1 helpful vote
Pleasure cruising on yet another one of Princess Cruises Flagship vessels. With ports of call of Princess Cays, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Known for their culinary prowess they did not disappoint. YUM!!!!!! This time actually crossed paths with the Emerald Princess another Ship I had the good fortune of being on board previously for a Western Caribbean itinerary (circa 2010’s). Highly recommend!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
Linda N wrote a review Mar 2023
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Our whole week on Regal Princess was awesome. The staff extremely helpful and polite. Only reason for a 4 star rating is one of our bags is missing, and we had to leave without it. That was bad enough. when they find it, we have to drive back to the port to pick it up! Not very nice. You lost it, bring it to my door at this point. Certainly put a damper on our wonderful week. Very surprised at the way this was handled.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
Sandra C wrote a review Feb 2023
4 contributions1 helpful vote
I would like to give a shout out to a few of the staff on the Regal Princess. Nilo, our room steward. I miss you already. Thanks for the clean room and room service each morning. Enrique, our waiter from the Concerto dining room. We looked forward to seeing you each night and making our dinners fun and memorable. You were our favorite! #1 Thank you Avelino, thank you for all the drinks. Arturo, Concerto restaurant manager, thanks for always going above to accommodate our gluten-free family members. You made our dinners so welcoming. Dragon, Crown Grill waiter, exceptional service and great food. You made our anniversary special.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
Stephen G wrote a review Feb 2023
Davenport, Iowa167 contributions100 helpful votes
Nice ship, staff was great but not enough servers anywhere. Food was never hot, usually luke warm or cold (especially in the buffet). The island, Princess Cay, was 2nd or 3rd rate. But the REAL PROBLEM was the app for your phone. First you HAD to do everything through the App - NOT the computer. The App was NOT user friendly. There was no central list of what you needed to do and when. DON'T PURCHASE A CRUISE UNTIL THEY FIX THE APP. While on board the App quit working or did not work correctly much of the time. The line at the service desk for help was long. The medallion was not as handy as a card (couldn't use it as a credit card) and really needs to be improved.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
qwerty103 wrote a review Jan 2023
Sarasota, Florida352 contributions117 helpful votes
Worst cruise food ever. The buffet was OK but seafood in the restaurants was tough, dry and old. Prime rib was inedible. They served a pizza thin slice of beef that was mostly fat and grissle. I ended up tossing it out. Even the lobster was dry and old. They need to stop buying their food in the Dollar Store. Entertainment was typical cruiseship lowbrow nonsense.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.