This was my 10th cruise on Princess. We had a group of 11 seniors sailing. All of us arrived a day early in CPH and stayed at the Marriott which we had booked on Priceline for about $110/night w/o breakfast. Hotel is very nice and well located, but would rather have been in a less commercial area. The positive thing is that is a short walk from train station.
ARRIVAL- Flew into CPH and following direction obtained here on the board, took the train into the central station. People were very helpful making sure we got on the right train and off at the right stop. Walked to the hotel. Not a long walk, but pulling our bags over cobblestones was not fun!
EMMBARKATION- It was raining! Arrived about 12:45 pm and Princess had a covered walkway, but you still got really wet waiting for clearance at the security check point. This was too bad, since they had a huge room just sitting empty. Would have thought that they could have gotten us into the room and then ran us through security and on to check-in. Once in the building everything went smoothly. Got on the ship and headed up for lunch at the Horizon.
ROOM- We had an inside room and it was fine. They have reconfigured the rooms since the building of the Grand Princess and the new design is more efficient. Room steward was fine-- did his job, almost never saw him.
SHIP- It is BIG! Most of the ship is really nice, The International Cafe and Wheelhouse Bar are nice additions. The central area of the ship is a gathering place with food and entertainment. Very nice. Public rooms are all well done. Library could be open longer hours. Had arranged to use of the specialty restaurants for playing cards and that worked out well. The only problem we saw with the ship was since it was a sailing to a cold weather climate, not many people used the deck space, so the ship felt really crowded at times. Especially in the Horizon Buffet. Felt the Grand Princess was less crowded and more comfortable, but we were in the Med and there were a lot of people on deck.
FOOD- Was very good. Loved the new Cafe International and the addition of the fixed right side of the dinning room menu. They have placed many traditional dishes on the right side of the dinner menu and it never changes, so you can always find something to eat. Buffet was generally good. Pizza very good and Hot dogs and hamburgers were great. You will not want for food. Did not eat in any of the extra charge restaurants.
ENTERTAINMNT- Good to very good. Better than the Grand Princess. Singers and dancers were very good and headline acts good. They run a repeat of many shows so you have a second chance if you miss them the first night.
SERVICE- Best waiter I have ever had on any cruise. Purser's office improved over the Grand Princess. Generally a very good and friendly staff. Especially good in the Horizon.
NEGATIVES- Ship was a bit crowded at 100% occupancy. Photo people not up to standard. Once dinning room captain was just overwhelmed with his job. The fright job that they continue for getting off in St Petersburg is inexcusable. We just walked off. No problem.
HINTS- Book your tour in St Petersburg with Anastasia Travel Company. We had a great two day tour with 13 people with lunch one day for a little over $200 pp. Almost $200 pp less than the ship. We saw everything and they were very easy to work with. www.anastasiaworld.com Hotels in CPH are expensive, try Priceline. Don't try to eat breakfast in the Horizon on the days in Russia-- just too many people in too small a space. John Lawrence's DVD has a lot of great information on it, but he is very boring on his DVD, much better on the ship.