My husband and I just had the pleasure of sailing on Hebridean Princess on a back to back cruise through Argyll, Bute, and Kintyre. We were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary and the two cruises together totaled ten nights onboard. Before we sailed on Hebridean Princess, my husband and I enjoyed two cruises with SeaDream Yacht Club. We like small vessels and Hebridean Princess certainly qualifies, as no more than 50 guests sail at a time.
From the moment we were piped onboard to the moment we disembarked and got into an Edinburgh bound taxi arranged by the purser on the Princess, we felt wonderfully taken care of. Many luxury cruise lines promise all inclusiveness. Hebridean Princess actually delivers. It is literally possible to board this ship and not pay one more dime after you've paid the fare. We never even had to hand over a credit card! All excursions are included, right down to the entrance fees and stops at coffee shops. On turnaround day, Hebridean Princess booked and paid for a cab for me, my husband, and another lady doing a back to back cruise and sent us to a museum. They also paid for lunch. Wi-Fi is free.
We were booked in Loch Torridon, one of the cheapest cabins because it has no windows or portholes. Nevertheless, the cabin was very comfortable and fairly spacious, with an excellent king sized bed, plenty of storage, and a tiny but very comfortable shower with plenty of hot water.
The staff is superb, attentive and professional without being too formal. The captain and his staff were very accessible and friendly. Though weather made it impossible for us to disembark one day, the staff found activities to keep us busy to include a bridge tour, engine room tour, and whisky tasting. On the last night of each cruise, we were invited to see the galley as well. We felt very fortunate to be onboard for ten nights.
Hebridean Princess seems to cater most to elderly Britons. On our first cruise, we were the youngest and only Americans onboard. However, we met some truly fascinating people. Most everyone was active physically and mentally and delightful to talk to. While alcoholic beverages are included in the fare, I never felt like it was pushed on me. Many people were happy to drink coffee or tea and save the cocktails for after the sun went down.
Hebridean Princess lacks a spa, pool, hot tub, and casino. Most people seem to get their entertainment watching the spectacular scenery (spectacular even in mid to late November) and talking to each other. This is definitely not a party cruise, but an elegant experience in which passengers can truly just relax and enjoy being pampered. I would definitely sail on the Hebridean Princess again, even in November!