Leaving from Southampton on July 8th, we specifically chose this cruise for its unique itinerary around the British Isles. We were not disappointed as we enjoyed every stop. The first eight days of the cruise were port-intensive with a stop daily before our first sea day. We thoroughly enjoyed the ship's excursions, opting to travel into the countryside rather than spending too much time in the port cities.
We had a great time and we do not regret for an instant selecting this cruise. However, we were disappointed with the Caribbean Princess.
First, the positives- the staff and crew were excellent. Service was outstanding whether it was the cabin steward, the waiters, cruise directors and excursion personnel. Everyone greeted us with a smile and we appreciated their extra efforts on our behalf. In terms of dining, the food, for the most part, was good. Not gourmet by any means but there were many options and generally, we were pleased. We ate in the Palm More
(traditional dining, late sitting)and enjoyed our nightly meals.
A big negative, however, was the lack of cleanliness on the ship. Our stateroom was worn and had seen better days. There was a rip in the wallboard and hair in the end table drawers. There was also a stain on the wall that was obviously the leftover spray of a soda can that had been popped open.
The public bathrooms were not clean. In the main dining room, my wife was disgusted by the women's restroom because a toilet seat was missing and there was paper and filth all over the floor. In addition, we have never been on a ship where hand sanitizers were not used after returning from a port visit or entering the dining room. The only exception was the Horizon buffet where you needed to use a hand sanitizer before entering the food area.
We also noted that this was the first ship we had sailed on that we never observed people cleaning the hallways, the hand railings or tidying up during the day.
Entertainment was lackluster. The shows were endurable because they were only 45 minutes in length. Activities on board were varied. Lots of emphasis on movies outside, inside and on your TV- the last thing I wanted to do on the cruise was watch movies!
All in all, we'll never forget our cruise because we so enjoyed the active itinerary. To sum it up, I heartily recommend the British Isles cruise but not the Caribbean Princess. Less
Caribbean Princess Cruises to the British Isles & Western Europe
We loved the trip through the Northern Ireland countryside and our visit to Giant's Causeway. This extraordinary natural phenomenon was breathtaking and unique in the world. We opted to walk back and forth from the visitor's center and truly enjoyed the narrated audio tour that complemented our visit.
We opted to take the Hop-On Hop-off bus around the city which provided an excellent overview. Many tourists took a tour of the Guinness and Jameson distilleries which did not interest us. Walking around the city was a treat and gave us the opportunity to eat at a pub and do some shopping. This was perhaps the least interesting port we visited.
Edinburgh was one of the highlights of the cruise. It's a beautiful city whose charm epitomizes Scottish urban life. It's so filled with history yet thoroughly modern. We took the Hop-on Hop-off bus around the city which offered an excellent overview of Edinburgh's highlights. A visit to Edinburgh Castle is a must. Be sure to buy your tickets online in advance or on the Hop-on Hop-off bus to avoid the lengthy lines at the main gate. This is a city I'd like to re-visit and spend more time.
Again we opted to go to the country rather than spend time in Liverpool. The trip to Wales and the small village of Langollen was so enjoyable. The subsequent stop in Chester, a Roman- settled typically English town was particularly memorable- we walked the wall and walked around the entire main area, soaking up the English atmosphere.
Lunch,which was included with this excursion, was a major disappointment. Rather than dining in a rustic English inn or pub, we ate in a windowless catering room at eh Crowne Plaza Hotel. We were served a Thanksgiving Meal replete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce- what a downer!