Didn't enjoy this one as much as last year due to all the problems.
We had to wait to get on, but not as long as some people we were talking to who had to wait 3 hours or more sat on their coach at Southampton before being allowed to board.
Once we were called to board there was problems with the cruise card machines which was slowing things up this was the same problem getting back off again at Southampton.
Yes there was a problem with the Virus which the Captain only started to make announcements about after a couple of days into the cruise.
People we were talking to said that 400 went down with it on the previous cruise and some were saying that the Virus had been on the ship since January. I think the numbers going down with it on this cruise may have got to half the ship.
We have people we know that are recently back from a Fred Olsen cruise where the virus was on board and the cruise was cut short by 2 days because it was so bad. It is not just Princess that have had this virus.
Because of the virus this caused the Horizon not be self service and in fact food was served to you which slowed things down and had a knock on effect on the other dining rooms as we noticed waiting staff being pulled into the Horizon from the other rooms to help with the serving.
The sea wasn't as kind to us this year particularly when we were supposed to go to Naples and couldn't go in leaving us to sail to Corsica. What a night it was when we left Corsica the sea was rather rough that night and we were glad we had come down a few decks this year and more into the middle. We were on Lido Deck last year and 3 cabins back from the bridge.
I heard a lot of people complaining and trying to compare with other cruise lines and it did make me think why they had come on this cruise if these other lines were so much better and I am not talking about the virus or the problem with the machines here. I am talking about the food and the entertainment etc here.
I think you have to take in what prices you are paying and the type of cruise you are wishing to take.
On the other side I have heard that the food wasn't as good or plentiful on other lines and other lines you may have to be dressed up more.
I personally am content with the food, If I had to criticise then there were occasions where it could of been hotter at times. Dressing up I think they have got it about right but some passengers decided to come into the dining rooms on smart casual nights in Jeans and were let in. Whilst it wouldn't normally bother me I thought this strange that having made some rules that Princess didn't apply them. I saw one boy come in a football strip including shorts and was let in.
Overall we enjoyed our cruise despite the problems, albeit not as much as last year and we are on the Grand in September and hope that all the probems will have been sorted out by then.
It was nice meeting up with the few Cruise Critic members that showed and I wish everybody well what ever cruising and ships you sail on.
Barcelona a fair distance from port to town so unless you are fit and not bothered about maximising your time there then use the shuttle bus. Hop on hop off good if you just want to ride round and receive a commentary on headphones supplied but if you are using this to visit various attractions don't set your target of what you want to visit too high as you might be disappointed as you can be either on the bus a long time or waiting to get a seat back on the bus a long time particularly round popular sites.
Cannes, easy enough to get round. The little train is an experience with all the traffic and same as the hop on off buses you can get a commentary on headphones. If you don't want to use this then town if you berth in Port is just a short walk away.
Plenty of eating places and shopping if that rocks your boat.
Nice harbour full of boats the far end of the road under resurfacing.
Cable car to the top will cover the Apes and some very good views from there you can visit ST Michael's Caves which even hosts concerts.
If you want the shops you see in Britain then this is your place wouldn't really say it was cheaper for clothes and electrical items but for Booze and Cigs it was evident that it was.
We bought voucher/tickets off the coach operator for the Vatican Museums in order to see the Sistine Chapel. These tickets were 36 Euros each and was supposed to give us a line jumping timed entrance and Audio Guide. Well what an experience this was the only thing I can say is it kept us out of the rain.
We arrived into Rome by 9.30 but was told to meet the lady off the bus at 10.30 she took us across the courtyard to the ticket office where we exchanged our vouchers for a sticker then had to wait till 11.00 for a little lady to raise a flag that you could hardly see and take by now a big crowd of us round the outside walls passing the ordinary lines which took us 20 mins to join another line to come n at another door whilst I do accept that we were in a shorter line we were still in one when we were told that by buying these tickets we would jump this.
When we did get in the door the little lady was mobbed by the crowd to get the tickets to actually get in the museum with very little help after that from her. We eventually got in after having to ask somebody else how you get in and should have had an audio guide but there was too big a crowd round the desk and you had to surrender some photo ID to get one.
We didn't take the guide as we couldn't get near the desk and time was really knocking on now considering we had got into Rome at 9.30.
It was absolutely packed in like sardines and it ended up not being an enjoyable experience at all. Whether it would have been different if it hadn't been raining and we could have got in when we first arrived I don't know or is it a case it is always like this?