Ocean Princess Cruise Review by James Coulton: The good and not so good of Ocean Princess
Overall Member Rating
The good and not so good of Ocean Princess
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
This was our first experience of Princess Cruises, we were attracted by the itinerary and the opportunity of the " smaller ship" experience. There were pros and cons to both aspects but we certainly would not agree with the contention another contributor on this forum that the ship is broken down and should be scrapped.
Pluses: Absolute ease of embarkation and disembarkation; prompt transfers ashore by both tender and when alongside a dock; stateroom and balcony of acceptable size - well maintained by our steward who responded very promptly to our needs; knowledgeable help from the manager of the computer centre; friendly staff at the "front desk"; small but good boutiques.
Not so plus: the fare in the main dining room was of highly variable quality, maybe 2 nights out of 8 passed muster as being enjoyable; at least one bar-tender (pool bar) was clearly out of his depth and seemed to have little undestanding of what customer service and product knowledge meant; the More woman manning the future cruises desk was downright rude and condescending - after enduring her patronising manner we terminated the meeting (and I should say we were/are seriously in the market for another cruise within a year).
On other topics: For the first time ever in our cruising experience we encountered a charge to shuttle passengers from the dock - into Dublin, and from Rosyth to the nearby railway station. At US$8 per person each way we felt this was over the top. In the case of Rosyth we found local taxis were no more expensive and certainly quicker.
On one of our two sea days we were confined inside due to the weather - no fault of Princess of course. But we found it almost impossible to find a quiet spot where we could read a book or just catch the passing parade .... the Tahitian Lounge was given over to an excercise or aerobics class where the music and shouting was sold loud if could be heard two decks away; the commentary from a wine appreciation class in the main dining room was also being "broadcast" (very loudly) in an adjoining bar area.
When we did finally find a quiet spot we were told in no uncertain terms by one of ship's photographers that we had to move as he wanted to set up his equipment there for photo sessions which were due to start some three hours later! Are the public areas for the benefit of the paying passengers or the hired hands?
Overall we enjoyed the itinerary and the various ports of call. But other factors outlined are likely to turn us off Princess Cruises in the future. Less
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