My husband and I just returned from a two week cruise on the Ocean Princess in the Eastern Mediterranean and we loved it. Having cruised on the largest of Princess ships in the past, I was excited to see the difference a small ship would make. We did not have to deal with crowds anywhere. Embarkation was a breeze as was debarkation - no waiting or lines anywhere. We were always able to find a poolside lounge chair, a seat at the cabaret lounge and a table at the buffet. The waiters at the buffet brought drinks to the table and seemed more attentive than those on other ships. I felt I knew the crew when we disembarked. I saw and spoke with the Captain almost everyday on his "walkabout" and his welcome parties were nice and intimate.
I had thought that being on a small ship would allow us to pull into ports where larger ships would have more difficulty. However, there were times when larger ships were docked at port and we had to anchor and tender in. I'm not really fond of tenders but there was no problem and the crew handled it well.
I was a little stunned when I discovered our 14-day cruise was actually two 7-day cruises. This was a little confusing in that we were never told by Princess or anyone and we never saw it advertised as two different cruises - one starting in Venice and ending in Athens and the other starting in Athens and ending in Rome/Civitavecchia. At the end of the first 7 days, we received our billing statement for payment along with instructions for obtaining a new cruise card, too. Neither of these created a problem - just seemed strange. We were asked if we'd like to keep the same table for dining and we did. However, the strangest part was that all the announcements, including the muster station practice, were made as if everyone had just embarked. We were invited to attend our second Captain's Welcome Party - so that was a good thing! However, four formal nights were a bit much!
All in all, it turned out to be a wonderful cruise and the ports were amazing!