Back from a Vacation of a life Time and wanted to share a few words about our glorious vacation on Princess Cruise Lines.
This was our lst Trip with Princess and we Loved it.
14th Floor is the BEST location - you can pop up the stairs to the Pool Deck and the Buffet.
Ship was Very NICE - Clean
Staff were overly friendly. They couldn't be more helpful.
Food was delicious. Only comments are that the coffee was not always HOT up at the Breakfast Buffet (??) not sure why. But the coffee was delicious in the Main Restaurant.
Main Seating - 6 PM - Table 54 - Ronaldo Telpo and Teofilito were AWESOME. They learned your personal "favorites" and always kept things going smooth at our table.
Princess Theater - the Musical Production Numbers were GREAT. Suggest you get to the theater EARLY so you get a seat. We arrived right about 8 PM as the early show was letting out and never had a problem getting a seat but those that arrived at 8:10 PM weren't always so lucky. (Shows - 7, 8, 10 PM)
Pools were spotless but unfortunately our weather wasn't HOT during our trip (hottest day on the Cruise Platter Paper states the warmest temp was 64 degrees - not really swimming weather.
St. Peter Port - Guernsey - TENDER PORT. Was a bit of a snag getting on/off the Ship. Princess did not have sufficient shuttle service and we had to wait over an HOUR to get back onboard. BUT the island itself is quite nice. On the day we were there they were having a TASTE of Guernsey Food festival. Lots of nice tables set up with cheese, crackers, cakes, and drinks. Plus local vendors. Nice souvenirs. Easy to walk around Guernsey or take the local bus to tour around town.
Cobh Ireland - We booked an excursion with ECoach - FANTASTIC. Picked us right up at the PORT and took us to Blarney Castle, The Woolen Mills, Cork City and Kinsale. If you stop in Kinsale - be sure to check out Mother Hubbard's - an adorable cafe - great tea and scone Delicious!!. Blarney Castle - warning - lots of narrow openings and stone steps....but a great view from the top - and of course the chance to KISS the Stone. We had a great Day - magnificent views and Ecoach gave wonderful Live Commentary.
Dublin Ireland - We missed the Excursion talk but apparently there was a PRINCESS SHUTTLE Service. But when I got out on the dock all the buses were gone and the TAXI's were booked for the day. So we walked to the TRAIN(more like a shuttle up the Main Street) it was about 15-20 Minute Walk but not bad to walk (weather permitting). We asked the Police directing traffic and he gave great direction. Was able to purchase a ticket at the station and went up to the City of Dublin. Had pre-purchased DUBLIN HOHO Bus tickets and had a fun day in DUBLIN CITY. Be sure to stop at Guinness for your FREE PINT (with Ticket purchase), Trinity College, Statue of Molly Malone, Book of Kelis, Temple Bar Area, Dublin Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Liverpool - You can walk right off the ship and be at all the Local Attractions. We pre-purchased tickets for the BEATLES STORY. Don't miss the FAB 4 RIDE (at the 2nd location). At the port you can stop in the Titantic Memorial, The Merseyside Maritime Museum and if you plan to go to the CAVERN PUB (where the BEATLES were discovered) it is about 5-6 blocks from where the ship docks - but easy to walk to. We also got tickets for the HOHO bus - the deal of the day was $5 for each Princess Cruise passengers - just show you ID to get the rate. We loved this port because you didn't have to get any additional transportation - just walk off the ship and you are there. PS: FREE WIFI in the Coffee shop on site. They even provided FREE use of their computers.
Belfast, Ireland - Belfast provided FREE (yes FREE) Shuttles from the ship to the City. We prebooked the HOHO BUS tix and had GREAT LIVE commentary. Heard about the Legend of Finn MaCool, stopped at Victoria Square Mall, the Belfast Castle. Had the best Coffee and Scone at the Belfast Coffee Company. FREE WIFI THERE....stop in - you won't be disappointed.
Glasgow Scotland - This was another walk off and you are there ports. Well that is if you plan to stay local in Invercycle. We booked one of the FREE (yes, FREE) tours from the Invercycle Tourist Group - you can look them up on line - they offer three (3) different tours that you can pre book. They only ask for a donation to help cover the GAS. Our tour didn't begin till 11:45 AM so we opted to just walk around and ended up a few blocks away at the TRAIN station. I know a number of other cruise passengers hopped on the Train to Glasgow with no problem. There is also a MALL right there for shopping.
Inverness Scotland - We had prebooked a Tour with other Cruise Critic passengers with BRUCE of Ocean Links - he was WONDERFUL!!!! The Bus was waiting at the port and we spent the day touring around. We got to look for the Loch Ness Monster (no luck when we were there) but we sure had fun looking at the NESSIE souvenirs, etc. We did stop at Dunrobin Castle - don't miss the Falconry Show at the castle (included with your admission to the Castle). They Birds were amazing.... Especially loved seeing the Mermaid at the end of the trip. Bruce was terrific with his live commentary. I would highly recommend Bruce of Ocean Links if you are headed to Scotland.
Edinburgh Scotland - OMG - this was a Surprise to us...for many reasons. We had NO real plans for This port because again it was another Tender Port. But this time around we knew to show up in the Dining room lst to get our tender tickets and it seemed to be a lot more organized for going ashore then it was at St. Peter's Port. We got off the Tender and headed toward the TRAIN. AGain we missed the excursion talk and didn't realize allllll the steps to get up to the train platform. OMG - I believe there were 140 steps - yes, 140 steps to climb to get to the top - it was a bit of an effort but I am happy to say that my husband and I both did it - slow but sure. and then had to walk the trail to actually get to the TRAIN STATION. I am not sure who put this path way in...but it does get you where you need to go. I understand that other cruise passengers took a cab to the station or right into the CITY. But again ignorance is bliss. Had we known how tough it was - we may not have tried it. And now that we did - I would do it again...So don't be afraid of taking the train. Just take your time. Going up the steps is a lot worse than going down. OK so we took the train from Dalmeny Station to Edinburgh - the train itself was FAST and we purchased our tix on the train - and the clerk was very helpful with giving us directions to for which stations to get off on, etc. When we got off the TRAIN - we were amazed at the Architecture of Edinburgh - BEAUTIFUL - castles and arch ways and statues everywhere you looked. We purchased the HOHO BUS tickets right there at Edinburgh and went completely around the first time to get an idea of where we wanted to get off the bus. Don't miss Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile (little shops along the way), Palace of the Holyrod Castle. This was a wonderful day in Scotland.
LeHavre - We chose to go to Paris....we booked the TRANSPORTATION thru Princess Cruise Lines. On Your Own Paris Excursion. There was talks of taking the train, hiring a TAXI, etc. but the day we were there was actually D-day and there was a lot of activities going on in Normandy so we didn't want to take any chances of having a problem getting to Paris. We booked the transportation thru Princess and it was the right thing to do. We got off EARLY in the day. We had a good Tour guide - FRENCH Lady who explained points of Interest as we went along our road to Paris (approximately 2 hours - but it wasn't a BAD ride) We made one stop 1/2 way for bathrooms and food - decent place CARREFOUR. then when we got closer to Paris the Guide handed out maps and took her time to stop with each of us to ask what our plans were for our day in Paris. She told us the best way to accomplish our WISH LIST. And told us the BUS route to take to get around in Paris. We were in AWE of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc DeTRiumphe, Champs Elysees, the Louvre and of course Notre Dame Cathedral. Yes, it would have been nice to have had MORE time in Paris but I have no regrets for taking the bus and investing the travel time. Paris is a MUST SEE. Our bus got back about 6:30 PM and it was a day well spent.
Upon arrival we booked SMITHS Transportation (Robbie O'Brien) - to transport us from Heathrow to Southampton. We requested a stop and go at Stonehenge - Just so we could snap pictures of the STONES....it was amazing
We arrived at the ship by 2 PM and got right on board. Our room was ready and we took the time to freshen up and get ready for dinner. Got our bearings around the ship.
Departure we hired British Transfers to take us from the ship to our hotel in London - Base 2 Stay, Kensington - a great location if you plan to tour around in LONDON. We were 2 blocks from EARLS Court TUBE station - bought a daily pass to use to get up to the Trafalgar Square area.
Booked a Rock and Roll Music Tour with Chicago MIKE - GREAT FUN if you are into the music of the BEATLES, Rolling Stones, KINKS, Pink Floyd. Perfect if you want to get that ABBEY ROAD snap shot...
Prepurchased the HOHO Original London Tour Bus. Great way to see all the highlights of London. London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben (free River Cruise with purchase), Chinatown, London Eye, Hyde Park. We were exhausted after a full day of touring around but enjoyed seeing all the Highlights of London.
Booked British Transfers to get from BASE 2 Stay Hotel to the Airport
Arrived home Safe and Sound with GREAT Memories from our 1st (but not last) Princess Cruise.