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Ocean Princess Cruise Review by artnuvo: Iceland+ Cruise

Ocean Princess 5
Member Since 2008
20 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Iceland+ Cruise

Sail Date: June 2013
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
Embarkation: Dover

This cruise has been done once a year for the last 2 years on a former Renaissance Cruise Line ship. Ren went bankrupt and Princess bought 2 of thee ships, Celebrity/Oceania bought 2, among others. Almost all of the cruise locations are relatively unique and are not listed on this website.

We are an active senior couple, semi-retired, very low 70s --and the average age was in the 60s to low 70s, 1/3 brit, 1/3 americans, and the rest from all over the world. On avg, I would say this was a fairly a ctive group--much more active than the seniors we have encountered on HA. We tour independently, aoccasionaly take a smallgroup tour like OAT or slightly larger Smartours, and rarely cruise. We dont like to be herded and our idea of fun is not a ship with 2-5K poeople. I live in a large city and don't need to be on a ship that is like the city.

The ship is intimate with only 650 passengers; 1 dining room with 2 settings and/or the casual buffet for L/D. Given its 670 foot More length it is is easy to get around; 13 laps on the upper deck = 1 mile; sometimes easier simply to use the treadmills in the fitness room.

Cabin and dining room service was efficient, courteous , and excellent.

Our deck 3-lowest deck- midship cabin, a deck with only about 10 similiar cabins- was said to be obstructed view but the obstruction which we knew in advance was that we had a porthole instead of a window. The cabin with the equivalent of a K bed -2 comfortable twins placed together-was comfortable , quiet, and even on one rocky day quite calm. There was a decent sized closet and sufficient draws--we travel light with 2 carryons, 22x14x9- and a small backpack, and much nylon/polyester that is easily redone and packable, other than the sport coat and slacks and 2 dress shirts we needed for the 3 formal nights.

We had been told that the food on Princess had gone downhill but our experience was excellent-food was superior to the several Holland America cruises we had taken and the Celebrity Expedition Galapagos cruise.

There were 2 large shows every other evening,other single acts when the large shows were not given, and the entertainment was quite good-much better than HA and than had been anticipated. We had the benefit of 2 large companies as the shift changed in the middle of the cruise. In addition, there was an excellent magician. There were several lounges and the lunge entertainment, 2 different singers and a pian/guitar act were good but the musical fare could have been more balanced-mostly 50s-70s music, little in the way of jazz exce;pt when the quartet that backed the large musical companies were playing a few times in one of the lounges.

We took 2 cruise tours and 4 private tours. In general, the private tours were mcuh better than the ship tours as they were lengthier and covered more ground and were personalized-while max was 14, we wound up with either us two or one other couple compared to 50+ ship tours. The ship tours were overpriced considerably compared to the private tours that were available. We did a GrayLine Blue Lagoon tour which after the spa swim dropped us off in Reyjkavik for exploring whereas the cruise tour would have returned us to the ship according to #800 Princess reps. We also did a tour that included swimming at Lake Myavatn and a glacier, a cave hike, and a coastal 2 mile walk-during fairly torrential rain. We complained about a ship Vigur Island so-called nature walk which had an incompetent and inexperienced young guide and walked not more than a 1/2 mile instead of the 2 miles advertised-a fraction of the distance advertised, with little to see on the small island and most time spent hovering around the small snack bar which could not accompany the 2 ship tour groups. We were given a 20% rebate rather than a compete refund. A ship tour in the Faroe Islands off Denmark that was a 4 hour scenic drive was interesting but marred by the fact that we did not get to make the several photo stops advertised, spent too much time at a cafe, and when we inquired about walking back from the nearest stop to the cruise dock, were misinformed by the tour guide that it was too far-more than 4 miles when in fact it was less than 2 and easily done.

There was little during the several at sea days in the way of a substantive learning experience-other than two geology lectures, there was as galley tour, and a lecture on the history of tanzanite-just what you needed to learn about --an artificial non-valuable gem hawked in the ship store. But then, unfortunately this seems to be the typical fare of most cruises. Fortunately, the ship did not offer the typical art auction with fairly worthless and mass produced art.

Brief cruise lectures on the destinations were adequate if you had not done any independent research and did not push the tours.

I would have preferred open dining but that may not be possible on such a small ship. Our table of 6-as requested-consisted of very pleasant company. A couple we became friendly with was not so fortunate and had a loudmouth couple which forced them to eat at the buffet. I would have asked for a different table which, from the looks of things, could have been arranged.

Pros-food, ship size, destinations visited, and staff. Cons- overpriced and overhyped cruise tours, grossly overpriced internet--why dont ship lines get with it like most hotels??, and little in the way of substantive onboard lectures/learning experience. If you have teenagers, while there were a handful, there is little onboard that would interest them. This tour/ship was not for most kids because of that.

Would I do this cruise again-in a nanosecond given where we went, particularly the 4 different locations in Iceland. We had looked into self-driving the ring road around iceland, talked to people who had done that but it required 9-11 days of 150-200 mile driving with relatively few stopoffs because of the terrain. You spend more time in the the car than out.

Our itineray was as follows:

Day & Date



More Information

Mon 07/01/13

London (dover), England


View Details

Mon 07/01/13

London (dover), England





Depart 5:00pm

CHECK IN 1:00PM-4:00PM



Tue 07/02/13

At Sea

Wed 07/03/13

Shetland Islands (lerwick), Scotland

Arrive 7:00am Depart 5:00pm

Thu 07/04/13

Faroe Island(klaksvik),denmark

Arrive 8:00am Depart 5:00pm

Fri 07/05/13

At Sea

Sat 07/06/13

Akureyri, Iceland

Arrive 7:00am Depart 5:00pm

Sun 07/07/13

Isafjordur, Iceland

Arrive 7:00am Depart 6:00pm

Tender Required


Mon 07/08/13

Grundarfjordur, Iceland

Arrive 7:00am Depart 6:00pm

Tender Required


Tue 07/09/13

Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive 7:00am Depart 6:00pm

Wed 07/10/13

At Sea

Thu 07/11/13

At Sea

Fri 07/12/13

Skjolden/sognefjord, Norway

Arrive 7:00am Depart 6:00pm

Sat 07/13/13

Bergen, Norway

Arrive 7:00am Depart 5:00pm

Sun 07/14/13

At Sea

Mon 07/15/13

London (dover), England





Arrive 5:00am

Mon 07/15/13

London (dover), England Less

Published 08/03/13

0 Helpful Votes

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Cabin review: OC3015 Oceanview

we were in a midship cabin with a porthole that was comfortable, was said to be obstructed but the so-called obstruction was tghat we had a porthole rather than a window. There were obstructed cabins marred by the boats on deck 6.

Read All Oceanview (OC) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We had been in Bergent touring independently about 10 years ago-we liked the city and hiked the residential areas above the funiclular whichwere quite interesting. Also visited the Hanseatic Museum and the former stock exchange in the center which is now a series of restaurants but retains the excellent 1920 murals. The fish market was interesting with typically expensive scandanavian prices.

Read 280 Bergen Reviews

Blue Lagoon

see the review. we spent several hours in the city after our private Reyjkavik Excursions blue lagoon tour,which included admission and swimming at 30% less than the similiar ship tour and then spent a few hours waling the city center. There is about a 5 square block of shops and cafes. There is no need to take a ship city tour.Took a 8E taxi back to the cruise dock from the cultural center which had no offerings while we were there.

Member Since 2008
20 Forum Posts
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