Well the decision to do a back to back on Princess wasn't easy as it was some 4 years since we had cruised with them. The itineraries swung the decision and what a great time we had. Not enough room here for all ports so I will list them: Cruise 1: Volos, Varna, Constansa, Odessa, Yalta, Istanbul, Venice Cruise 2: Koper, Split, Kotor, Corfu, Valleta, Messina, Sorrento, Ajaccio, Cannes [should have been Monte Carlo but high winds], Portofino, Civitavecchia.
The Ship A pleasure to be on a smaller ship after so many big ones! Easy to find your way around. The only things we missed [and not that much] were wrap around prom deck and a proper theatre. The ship is in good shape considering her age. We both loved the library - good choice of books and great paperback exchange. The Pacific lounge is a good area in the evening and we enjoyed doing the trivia. The Cabaret lounge is fine if you can get near the front [I am short]. Everywhere was kept clean and tidy.
The Crew What a friendly bunch including a singing captain! Fabio Amitrano sang at the cocktails and also one night up in the Pacific lounge with Rare Occasion. JJ possibly the best cruise director we have ever cruised with. He sings [well] and is not in any way over-powering. His deputies Kim and Shane also do a great job. In the main restaurant we had the same table and waiters for both cruises. Service was always with a smile - either down here or up in the buffet. Nothing was too much trouble. On one occasion while walking around a port we noticed several of the boys outside an internet cafe they hailed us over to wave to their wives [skype] and admire their children!!!
Cabin Enough space for everything we had brought with us. Yes we could hear the next door neighbours at times - door slammers on both sides for the second cruise!! Really annoying that. Kept clean and tidy by our excellent cabin steward. Loved the bars on the balcony - much nicer than the modern plexiglass stuff.
Front Desk Very helpful and attentive.
Excursions Didn't take any. We are independent minded and enjoy making our own way. However - I believe Princess [who are not alone here] are charging too much for these compared to trips taken in European resorts this year. We did use the transfer service at the end of the cruise and that was well organised and smooth.
Embarkation and disembarkation Excellent in both cases!! By 12.45 on 7th August our cabin was ready for us.
All in all a great cruise and wonderful memories!