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11 Princess Caribbean Princess Europe - All Cruise Reviews

This was our second cruise with Princess and first time on Caribbean Princess, we were also going to try the all-inclusive drinks package. Although we have cruised the Mediterranean many times this trip included three new ports for us, ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Princess and first time on Caribbean Princess, we were also going to try the all-inclusive drinks package. Although we have cruised the Mediterranean many times this trip included three new ports for us, Livorno for Florence, Genoa and Marseille. This was July and we expected it to be hot, we were not disappointed. The trip was calm and smooth apart from one bumpy night. Dining We have opted for Anytime Dining which gives great flexibility, but it can get busy at peak times, the best strategy is to be prepared to share a table (requesting a table for two will probably result in being given a pager). We tended to eat in the Island Restaurant as this was closest to our pre-diner watering hole Vines. The Island Restaurant is very big, but the service is very good and the selection of dishes each evening is excellent (something for all tastes. The breakfast choices in the MDR were a bit limited and there were a lot of eggs. You could ask for anything and it would be provided, but you might have to wait, even for baked beans. The smoke salmon and cream cheese bagel is very good. Lunch in the MDR is also pleasant, and fairly quiet with a good set of menu choices (no trouble getting a table for two!). Other dining options that we tried were the Horizon Court is a useful alternative for breakfast and lunch (we did not try it for dinner). There is a very good selection of fruit, and you can eat at your own speed. It can become congested at peak times and on sea days. The Italian style restaurant Sabatini’s ($25 charge) is very good, they do have specials (and I wish they would publicise them) on the night we went we had Osobocco which I had always wanted to try and was delicious. Sabatini’s was very quiet, which was a shame. On sea days at lunch time Sabatini’s becomes Pizzeria Alfredo offering a limited selection of freshly baked pizzas, and they are very good. Two nights during the cruise the Café Caribe becomes the Crab Shack seafood restaurant ($20 charge). We have good appetites, but there was just too much food we could have shared one meal between the two of us. Great selection of shrimps, mussels, clams and lobster, we skipped the dessert. We also used the Trident Grill which is great for a quick burger or hotdog and fries. There is also Prego Pizza for a large slice of pizza, we thought that the quality of the pizza had improved, nice and thin and crispy. You can eat 7 x 24, we restrained ourselves.. Bars We had opted for the all-inclusive drinks package, at $50 per person per day it is not a cheap option, but worked well for us. It also includes speciality coffee, bottled water and 40% off bottles of wine in the restaurants. This was also the first time that we were not required to sign bills for drinks, this really speeded up service. We used many of the bars, starting around lunchtime in the lobby bar; this can get very busy on sea days, and could use more staff. The speciality coffee from the International Café is good, but again at peak times there will be a long line waiting to be served. The staff here do an amazing job of getting the orders out as fast as possible. In the afternoon we would use The Outrigger bar at the back of the ship. This is where the Cruise Critic Roll Call had our get together. Marvin does a great job, and when he gets to know you the drinks come very quickly. Being in the Platinum loyalty level meant that we could finish the afternoon in Skywalkers, with drinks and snacks. The view from up here is amazing. Our out and out favourite bar was Vines, Kelly and Jeramaine do a fantastic job, great level of service and always had time to talk. We were so regular here that two glasses of sparkling wine were already poured before we could get to a table! The selection of wines by the glass is very good, and you can try them all (well the ones under $10 that is). They also offer some very nice sushi and tapas. Those were our regular haunts, and we did occasionally try others. Cabin Our cabin was starboard forward on deck 11 (B243), it was a good size and we enjoyed having the balcony. The décor and fittings were in good shape. Between the bathroom and main room is a spacious hanging area that really works well. The beds are high enough to take some pretty big suitcases underneath. Our steward Dionisio looked after us well, and got us bath robes very quickly. This cabin was particularly quiet, nothing rattled, we could only just about hear the fog horn when that was used. Entertainment The theatre shows lacked appeal, and although we only went to one nobody was talking about them. I did go to a series of enrichment talks given by guest lecturer Greg Autrey, covering economics, modern entrepreneurs, the commercial space race and the history of the PC, these I thoroughly enjoyed. Entertainment was provided in the Piazza, this could get very loud, a short show by two quick change artists was very good. Photography As usual the ships photographers are always trying the snap you, I guess you just have to grin a bare it! We thought the quality of the pictures was not great and did not buy any. On the last morning there was a huge amount of unsold photos in the gallery, what a waste. Gym Yes, I did use this several times. The gym is well equipped and the spinning classes were popular. It’s bright and airy in there, but can get busy on sea days. There is only one rowing machine, they could use another. Ports of Call Barcelona As we have been here several times we took a trip to Sitges. This worked well, our guide was also happy to give us a walking tour and point out the places of interest. Great beach, nice relaxing place. Ajaccio The ship conveniently docks in the middle of the town. We did our own thing and caught the little train for a trip down the coast; at €10 we thought this was good value. Civitavecchia We didn’t take the long trip into Rome, and took the Lake Bracciano and Wine Tasting excursion. This was a bit disappointing, with barely 20 minutes at the lake. The wine tasting was very generous, but the two elements could have been better balanced. Livorno (Florence) This was a real highlight for us, and we knew that it would be a long day. We took the Florence, Statue of David and Uffizi Museum excursion. Our guide, Elaina, was a walking encyclopaedia; she knew exactly how to make this tour work, even pointing out the best view of the Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi. A visit to a leather factory was included on the return journey, but this seemed overpriced. Genoa We had not been here before and took an excursion to Rapallo, Santa Margherita and Portofino. The evening before we were advised the boat trip into Portofino was cancelled due to weather conditions. We still went to Rapallo and Santa Margherita and enjoyed the tours. Marseille Another port that we had never been to and we took the excursion to Aix-en-Provence and Lourmarin. Lourmarin is a pretty village full of craft shops and cafes, a bit touristy. Gibraltar We have been here many times, so just got off for some shopping and a bit of lunch. Anything Else? This was a particularly successful and enjoyable cruise, we met some wonderful people. There were around 500 children on the ship, they seemed to be really enjoying the various kids clubs and didn’t cause us any problems, and even their manners were impeccable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The first time we sailed with Princess was back in 2000. It was our first cruise and we were hooked. Although we have sailed on a number of lines in the meantime this was only the second time it has been with Princess. We were ... Read More
The first time we sailed with Princess was back in 2000. It was our first cruise and we were hooked. Although we have sailed on a number of lines in the meantime this was only the second time it has been with Princess. We were travelling with our 13 year old son who is autistic and also has a lactose intolerance. He cannot always cope with large crowds or noisy rooms so we booked a min-suite so he had a bit more space where he could chill if he needed it. We arrived at the port at about 11am and were on board by 11.30am. Special Assistance arranged for us to board early so our son would be more comfortable. Our room was not quite ready so we left our carry ons and went to explore the ship. We had read a few reviews that had said the ship was showing wear and tear. It was but not to the extend that it had any effect on our holiday. I think if I had not read the previous reviews I would not have spotted a lot of the wear. We had traditional dining at 6pm and our waiter and head waiter were wonderful. Hector was our Head Waiter and he came to see us every evening so my son could pick from the next night's menu so they could prepare his food without lactose. Joel, our waiter wS great with my son and soon made him feel comfortable in the dining room. I do not if they were told he is autistic but they certainly worked with him and really added to his enjoyment. They are both lovely, kind men. At the end of the cruise my son insisted on filling his own commendations cards to make sure he told those that needed to know how good they had been. The food in the MDR was great. There was only 1 night when it did not quite hit the spot and that was a prime rib that was not quite cooked right. Apart from that the food was excellent. We purchased a coffee card which turned out to be a good thing for us. My husband likes a capuccino and because we had the coffee card I could have tea or normal coffee free. I always found the staff there friendly. There was one Barister who could make some lovely patterns on the capuccino. The cakes and sandwiches from the International Cafe never failed to please. The Horizon Court always had a varied selection. We had breakfast there a few times and I would get an omelette made which was always good. They had English bacon and sausages as well as the American versions. My son loved the burgers and pizzas on the pool deck. Overall I could not fault the food. We did go to the theatre each evening. They had a few comedians who were quite good although I did feel a hit sorry for the third one as he ended up repeating jokes the other 2 had told. I think they had had to clean up their acts and I think this showed at times. The guests singers were great and Ben Mills was excellent. He was on X factor some years ago. We normally had dinner, went to the theatre and then our son would want to go for a swim. He cannot cope when the pool is busy but by about 8.30pm it was almost empty on the pool deck so we would go up then and let him swim. I have read a review today stating that the children were not supervised - well mine always was. One pool was closed at 5.30 to allow for the movies under the stars so he always went in the other pool. I know there were a lot of youngsters on board but we never saw any problems in or around the pool at that time of day and I would not have thought they would have heard anything from the movies under the stars bit. We usually got him out of the pool at about 9.30 and once he was changed we would head to the International Cafe for a hot chocolate and some chocolate chip cookies. My son loved this. We would then go back to the cabin and watch The Love Boat (he also loved that). The only issue we had on the whole cruise was with one of the art auctioneers. He was rude to some of the crew whilst conducting an auction which I thought was unprofessional and uncalled for. He had a comment over the microphone for all the audience to hear which I thought should have been said in private away from the audience. I left at that point and did not attend another auction. The Captain, Nick Nash, was informative and assuming. I am not sure what the thing about his Brietling Watch was but he did mention it a few times. It was also nice to see him and his officers throughout the ship and also nice that they took time to chat with passengers. We did not get off at a lot of the ports, our son does not cope well and we have been to a few previously. Disembarkation was handled really well. We were a little late getting off but it was easy to find our cases which were all together, luck or judgment I am not quite sure. All in all a really enjoyable 2 weeks. We were well looked after by all we came into contact with and I can honestly every member of ships staff (I do not include the art auctioneer in that) seemed to be more than happy to help and always made sure we had what we needed or asked for. We would not hesitate to book with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I have now cruised twice, once on Celebrity Eclipse and now on Caribbean Princess. Celebrity wins hands down the Caribbean Princess is a tired ship in need of refurbishment. Embarkation was speedy and efficient and we were happily ... Read More
I have now cruised twice, once on Celebrity Eclipse and now on Caribbean Princess. Celebrity wins hands down the Caribbean Princess is a tired ship in need of refurbishment. Embarkation was speedy and efficient and we were happily surprised with the spacious mini suite. Tea and Coffee making facilities in the stateroom would have made it better as would a selection of drinks in an empty fridge. Unfortunately the bathroom suffered from a stench of stale water solved only by closing the plug in the bath. At meal times we tried various outlets. The Horizon Court was a nightmare, always crowded and the food was set out poorly. A fellow passenger described the main dining room as more a "factory canteen" than fine dining and I tend to agree. Servings were small, for example one potato, a small chicken breast, a spoonful of vegetables and a lot of plate. The service was a joke, a glass of wine arrived with the starter and I ordered a second glass as the starter plates were being removed. The second glass of wine arrived with the dessert. For that reason we dined most of the time in the speciality restaurants, the Crown Grill and Sabatini's. Both service and food in each was superb, just such a pity that you have to pay extra to enjoy good food and service. It was invariably difficult to find seats in the social areas of the ship so to get a drink from the bar and sit down was only a realistic activity in the Casino! The costly Wi-Fi service rarely worked in the stateroom. As we were at the start of school holidays there were lots of children on board. Most left their manners at home, used a group culture to jump queues and obviously felt that the "No Jumping, No Diving" signs were a challenge to Jump and Dive. That they did and neither parents or crew did anything to stop it. Princess appear to think that they must have something organised every half hour and loud music blasting out at every opportunity. That made the Sanctuary a wonderful escape but again it's such a pity that you have to pay for the peace and quiet. On land, with one exception, we arranged private tours or used the Hop-On, Hop-Off buses which we consider were better value than the Princess offered excursions. At Gibraltar we did take the "Dolphin" excursion which was absolutely brilliant. Disembarkation merely reinforced the Butlins analogy, it was like a circus. The crew member responsible for calling out numbers for groups to disembark seemed constantly to be making 'phone calls. When we had gone 20 minutes beyond our allotted time I spoke to her and she assured me that she was not calling us because there was a large queue to disembark. We gave it another 10 minutes then broke ranks and guess what there was a queue of about 10 passengers! If you want a holiday camp at sea and are happy to share your cruise with generally ill mannered kids then Princess fits the bill. We'll be going Celebrity next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Outstanding service and value. We couldn't have asked for a better holiday. Both embark and disembarkment were painless experiences. This was our first cruise and the organisation at Southampton was impeccable. Arriving on the ... Read More
Outstanding service and value. We couldn't have asked for a better holiday. Both embark and disembarkment were painless experiences. This was our first cruise and the organisation at Southampton was impeccable. Arriving on the ship was a pleasure and the staff couldn't be an more helpful and attentive. The ship was clean and there were staff daily clearing glasses, rubbish etc; they worked extremely hard and were all dedicated. There was plenty of space and areas to go so that it wasn't too crowded. Movies under the stars is a lovely touch and enjoyed by all. There were countless activities from early in the morning to late in the evening if you wanted to participate in them. You were never bombarded or felt pressured to join in though. The service from ALL staff was outstanding, nothing was too much bother ever, and you must ignore people that just like to moan about them. In all honesty the excursions from the ship are quite expensive but the upside is if they are running late the ship will wait for them. We however sorted our own excursions and used a company called Can't be Missed Tours for our excursion around Rome. Our cabin was plenty big enough, clean and ok for the time we spent in it. I would say that there should be free still bottled water in each room though as you had to pay for this as did you have to pay for anything you used out of the fridge even if you had the unlimited alcohol package. The dining on this ship was faultless and the food was exquisite as was the service in any restaurant we went in. There was always a good choice of food and something for everyone. In all honesty I don't know how they did it. They were also always changing the stock and kept to timings etc for the milk etc. Overall the food, cleanliness, staff and accommodation were fantastic. This is the best way to holiday in our opinion. Princess cruises are a great and reliable company to travel with! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The ship is looking a little dated, compared to the Ruby we previously sailed with, but still an amazing 14 days on the Med. We had an inside cabin on Lido deck, which was a first for us, but it worked out well although I love a good book ... Read More
The ship is looking a little dated, compared to the Ruby we previously sailed with, but still an amazing 14 days on the Med. We had an inside cabin on Lido deck, which was a first for us, but it worked out well although I love a good book on the balcony. Food was ok in the main dining room, but with a child, we preferred to eat in the buffet areas. There were about 500 children on board due to English summer hols, so it was crammed in the pools, but we expected that. Biggest complaint was there were no staff keeping watch at the pools - as we have found on most cruises - so there was lots of kids jumping in, eating and drinking in the pool, and nothing was said. Also in evenings, crowds of teens spoiled movies under the stars by being noisy and just being typical teens. There wasn't a parent or staff member to have a quiet word and ask them to keep it down, or go to another part of the ship. These are minor gripes tho, we boarded in Southampton and were inside our cabin by midday. Amazing. Altogether, a great cruise and would be happy to sail Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My family and I just got home from the 7 day Norway cruise roundtrip from Southampton on the Caribbean Princess. We are a family of five with two teens and an eleven year-old from California. Overall we had a great time. This is our ... Read More
My family and I just got home from the 7 day Norway cruise roundtrip from Southampton on the Caribbean Princess. We are a family of five with two teens and an eleven year-old from California. Overall we had a great time. This is our second Princess cruise, the first was an Alaskan cruise three years ago. The last two summers we cruised on NCL (Hawaii and the Mediterranean). I noted a lot of key differences between Princess and NCL, for those who are curious, and will mention those as I go along. We flew from San Francisco direct to London Heathrow, arriving two days precruise so we could see London. I have to throw in kudos to United Airlines, who get so much slack in reviews it seems, because both of our flights with them were fabulous. No delays, easy self checkin at the airports, friendly staff, three course meals even in economy class, water offered continuously, and lots of free movies and TV shows to watch on personal TV's (on a B777-200 plane). In London we stayed at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square, which I chose not only to earn Marriott points and get free Wifi, but because of its great location (walkable to Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Oxford Circus, with a tube station closeby and even next to the American Embassy). On July 11th we took the Princess bus transfer to Southampton from Victoria Coach Station. The bus ride was over two hours long and being a Saturday there was lots of traffic. The driver did stop for a restroom/grab snacks break, which was much appreciated, seeing as we left London at 10:30am and didn't get onto the ship until four hours later - let's just say that hungry teens are cranky and needed snacks to tide them over. At the port we waited in the usual long line to checkin, and we were given a boarding group number and waited in the lounge area until our number was called. Then you went through security and onto the ship. It wasn't too long of a wait though. Once onboard (now almost 3pm) our cabins were ready. Our luggage arrived within an hour, which was nice (it had been loaded underneath the bus in London and sent straight through to our cabins). Now we planned on going to the buffet for a late lunch, but the muster drill was starting in like a half hour. I know on NCL we always had more time than that, and they also offered a later "makeup" drill option once we had sailed, which Princess doesn't do. So we hauled lunch-deprived hungry teens, dutifully carrying our lifejackets, to the muster drill and made it through that until dinnertime. I think my 15 year-old son ate like three hot dogs once we made it to the buffet. On Princess, the hot dogs, burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, fries, and pizza are all out on the pool deck, separate from the buffet. Also the ice cream is in a separate place by the pool. So we learned to grab a table (not easy to do for five people most days), then split up and the kids went to get their food by the pool and my husband saved the table while I scoped out the buffet. Princess as usual has great food, and for me everything was always served hot (I've read about cold buffet items, which I never had, but granted I don't eat everything in there). Loved the salad bar, carved meats, and roasted potatoes. The desserts are far better than on NCL. My kids would go down to the International Café twice a day to load up on chocolate chip cookies (which weren't always in the buffet) and amuse people in the elevators with their heaping cookie plates. I loved the oatmeal raisin cookies, which appeared sporadically, and so had them snag those for me whenever possible. Nothing like eating cookies on your balcony watching the sea. We had two balconies, which we had the steward connect so that we could walk between our cabins. Our cabins were on Aloha deck, midship to help with my seasick-prone family (everyone but me, haha), although we still felt plenty of movement. They all took their Bonine/less drowsy Dramamine pills faithfully every day at dinner, and had no problems (which we learned the hard way on previous cruises). Our cabins were right near the elevators and stairs, so easy to get around. We did have service elevators right outside the cabin I shared with my youngest, so it was noisy at times, but she sleeps through everything and I am up early anyway (especially with pretty much constant sunlight here, with the sun not setting until almost midnight and sunrise around 4am). I found the room plenty big enough for two people, with lots of storage and the bathroom was fine if you use it one at a time. The shower for me was fine, lots of water pressure and instant hot water. I actually liked the pump bottles of shampoo and shower gel, less bottles falling all over the shower and my razor propped up on them nicely. There were two USA power outlets by the desk, so I used my curling iron there and in between we plugged in our Iphone chargers. In the bathroom there is only a shaver plug, and the hair dryer is on the desk. We did have the power blow out on those desk plugs on the first day, knocking the TV out as well, but our steward (Luizito from the Phillipines, who was delightful and did an awesome job) had the electrician there within an hour to flip the breaker. Apparently that is a common occurance. My husband shared the other cabin with our two teens, and they actually debated over who got to sleep on the upper bunk bed. It came down from the ceiling above the twin bed next to the wall. It was left down all day long, which must have been easier for Luizito, but it wasn't a problem and my son loved to lounge up there during afternoon rest breaks. He kept the ladder at the end of the bunk, in the hallway, so that my husband below him could get in and out of his bed more easily. All of our beds were comfortable and had snuggly down comforters. Our balconies were plenty big enough, with two chairs and a small table on each. The TV ran movies each night, many of them new releases, so the kids were thrilled to stay up late and watch them in bed. We watched The Longest Ride and Avengers:Age of Ultron at Movies Under the Stars, which was chilly but fun. You get blankets, which you check out with your room card and return after the movie (maybe people were stealing them before) and they serve popcorn. It was surreal watching movies outside (although it wasn't dark of course) with the Norwegian fjords in the backdrop as we sailed past. Princess does offer child and teen programs, but my kids like to do their own thing and hang with us, which is a true gift. It makes it a true family vacation and I treasure it. My kids actually won Bingo (two of them two games in a row, what are the odds) so it was fun to watch them announce their names and "from California" to everyone (although since we wore shorts most of the time, even in snow on a Norway excursion, I think people had already guessed that). Speaking of excursions, I always book them through the cruiseline for ease and peace of mind of not missing the ship (which we have seen happen). In Stavanger, we rode on a scenic cruise from the ship along the Lysefjord out to Pulpit Rock and back. It was really fun, nice and cool on the top deck and cozy below on the way back if you were too cold. They stopped at a restaurant and we got to try Norwegian waffles (yummy) and have coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Back at the port we walked around and found some reasonably priced souvenirs and marveled at them having a Starbucks, Burger King, and 7-Eleven. In the next port (can't recall how to spell it, starts with S), we did a scenic bus ride up to the top of a snowy mountain and had waffles again (to the delight of my always hungry teens) at a ski resort. It was like driving up into a cloud. The kids of course played in the show (in shorts and sandals). Very cool. Norway is gorgeous, all green and lush and really another world of its own. Not many people live there, but they are friendly and welcoming to tourists. I will never forget sail away from Olden, where we watched on our balconies as the port workers blasted Rod Stewart's song "Sailaway" on a loudspeaker and waved goodbye to us, some waving Norwegian flags. In Bergen we did the historical thing, walking through the Hanseatic wharf area, old medieval meeting rooms, and the Viking area royal banquet hall (that is still used today). Great way for the kids to learn some history and about the region. Also we lucked out on the weather, which was clear and nice - apparently rare for Bergen which is like the rainiest town in Europe or something like that. All of our Princess excursions were easy (just meet in the ship theater and they escort you out to the busses) and had great tour guides. Was glad to be on a ship excursion because one did get back to the ship a half hour late. Overall Princess is a classy cruise line, with afternoon tea, British pub lunches, and classic dining room waitstaff. We ate in the MDR twice for dinner, but mostly the buffet/pool area grill pickup food was easiest for us. We always do breakfast in the buffet, where my son consistently emptied out their pancake tray, and Princess definitely outshines NCL in their breakfast offerings. I also like how the waiters bring drinks to you at your table (on NCL you have to get your own, after setting down your food unless you are an octopus). There is a Purell dispenser at the entry of all dining areas, which we always use because the last thing you want is to get sick on a cruise. The last night was my husband's birthday, so we had our free specialty restaurant dinner (at booking we got dinner for 2 per cabin - and they preassign you one of the two restaurants and a day and time - which I was easily able to call and switch to what we wanted, Sabatini's at 6pm). The original reservation assigned to us was at 8pm on a different day. If you have this free dinner on your booking, I would call and change it to what you want as soon as you board the ship (it's printed on a card in your cabin) because the reservations fill up fast for the rest of the cruise. We were sad when the cruise ended, but happy to spend one more night in London before flying home. My son wanted to see Waterloo Station (he's a Jason Bourne fan) so we opted to walk off the ship ourselves (if you do this Walkoff option, carrying your own luggage off the ship, you leave by 8am) and take a taxi to the Southampton train station to ride to Waterloo. Buying train tickets was easy (and two of my kids got the child price discount, up to age 15). It was fun to watch the trains whiz through the station, the engineers blowing their whistles loudly when time to board, and you must pay attention or you could miss your train. You have only a few minutes to board the train, put your luggage in the luggage bin (or smaller ones in the rack above the seats), and snag seats together. There is no assigned seating and it is a bit of a free for all. We managed to all sit in one car a few rows apart before the whistles blew and the train sped off for Waterloo. It was only an hour and twenty minute ride to London, with three short stops. And free Wifi, which delighted the kids who were phone deprived while onboard the ship and in rustic Norway ports. We did buy the ship's Wifi package and used it while in port to check emails, post pictures to Facebook and Instagram, etc. Always turn your data roaming off while at sea, or you will rack up international data roaming charges, and don't use your phone while at sea. It makes a big difference in your phone bill when you get home. I also put my Iphone's email settings on Fetch instead of Push, so it only searches for emails when I tell it to, vs. the usual constant feed of emails. Okay enough phone technical advice. So for our last night in London, we walked from Waterloo Station (taking the required Jason Bourne movie scene photos) to our second hotel, of course Marriott again so it was the London Marriott County Hall. You can't get any closer here to the London Eye - it was right outside our rooms' windows. Can't beat this hotel's location for this area (the South Bank). You walk out the door to the London Eye, across the Westminster Bridge over to Big Ben (you can even hear it chiming occasionally, very cool) and the Parliament buildings. It is a super crowded area, especially this being a Saturday, with thousands of tourists. It reminded me of Disneyland on a much smaller scale. There is an aquarium, a London Dungeon (haunted house), and a Shrek experience mixed in with the huge London Eye queue (line). We bought vouchers for Eye fast passes through the hotel concierge, and this cut down our wait time considerably. Well worth the extra cost. Within a half hour we were on the Eye (which is actually now the Coca-Cola London Eye, interestingly, and lit up in red at night appropriately) and soaring high above London. It rotates slowly and you hop on and off while it's still moving. There are about twenty people in each capsule, and you can walk around and take photos or sit on a bench in the center and just watch the view - albeit through the people standing by the windows). I recommend snagging a spot standing by the windows and don't move around or someone else will jump in. For said hungry teens, a late lunch at the McDonald's next door to our hotel was in order and we all loved a good American fast food break. The McDonald's here is packed, and you order upstairs and then try to find a table downstairs to eat. Our Visa credit cards (chip and sign) worked fine in the U.K. and in Norway, FYI. The hotel had a great steakhouse for dinner, and a good breakfast buffet in the morning; then it was off in a car (arranged by the concierge and charged to our room, at no extra cost) to Heathrow for the flight home. It takes about forty-five minutes to get to Heathrow from London. We had a fabulous time on this trip, and would recommend it to everyone, especially families like us. As Americans we were the minority on the ship (which was mostly British passengers, who were friendly and we love their proper English and cute phrases - my daughter now says "lift" for elevator and "brilliant" instead of cool). It was a great way to see Norway, the land of the "Frozen" movie (which we got to watch there on TV in our cabins), and also enjoy London, which is becoming quite the multi-national, slightly New York crazy, but ever so charming city. And Princess is still a wonderful cruise line, for those of us not too picky and just happy to be on vacation halfway across the world. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Arriving at the port was easy and boarding the ship. The cabins were ready by 12.30hrs and we were able to have a very nice lunch in one of the dining rooms. Entertainment for the first four sea days was not up to the usual standard, there ... Read More
Arriving at the port was easy and boarding the ship. The cabins were ready by 12.30hrs and we were able to have a very nice lunch in one of the dining rooms. Entertainment for the first four sea days was not up to the usual standard, there was no production show, but it did improve during the voyage. I think there may have been a problem overall with the entertainment staff, Trivia Questions were often repeated during the same day and until the end of the cruise much of the entertainment was lacklustre. Cory lead a Choir, which was fun to join and we sang songs from the Sound of Music at the end of the voyage. Food was good and the service excellent in the late sitting dining room. Hector the Mexican Head Waiter sang to us on a few nights and was great fun! Found the ship clean and tidy and the staff helpful. Enjoyed the ports and had a relaxing time. Something does need to be done about reservations of sun beds by the pool, by 8.00am they had all been taken but hours later no one had laid on them. This was very bad form as most of the passengers were British! We are experienced cruisers so arranged our own trips in the ports. Overall we had a great time and made some very nice new friends. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We had a great time. Staff were all very friendly and helpfull. Buffet was always very busy with regular queues at breakfast time. Main dining room - we had some excellent meals and good entertainment and songs from hector the head waiter. ... Read More
We had a great time. Staff were all very friendly and helpfull. Buffet was always very busy with regular queues at breakfast time. Main dining room - we had some excellent meals and good entertainment and songs from hector the head waiter. We had quite a few nights of slow service so missed the show. They seem to have no drinks waiters so if you are sat near a large table of big drinkers your meals take too long! The evening entertainment was a bit lacking and defiantly low budget, at least three karaoke nights, talent show, the voice, strictly come dancing etc. Even so we had a good cruise and would recommend princess. I just think some people have very high expectations on a cruise you can't expect six star service when you've only paid Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Boarding at Southampton was fine.I found the ship to be in good order and nicely furnished with a lovely atrium.Cabin was on deck 10,balcony.Very bad design of the balconies that you can look down onto others,no privacy.Cabin was rather ... Read More
Boarding at Southampton was fine.I found the ship to be in good order and nicely furnished with a lovely atrium.Cabin was on deck 10,balcony.Very bad design of the balconies that you can look down onto others,no privacy.Cabin was rather small but for a week it was ok.Not happy you had to pay for drinks out of the cabin fridge when i had the free drinks package.Why should it matter where i get my drink from ? bar or cabin should be free. If you are a smoker avoid this ship ! it ruined my cruise as the ship is big and having to trek to limited smoking areas onboard was a pain.Give me Fred Olsen anyday where i have total ease and comfort of never having to leave my cabin and can smoke on the balcony. All staff i met were very polite and friendly.Palm dining room was excellent,not much different to Cunards Queens Grill.Great food and attentive service. Big mistake choosing to see places up North ! rather boring and dull and terribly expensive. Annoyed we docked so far away from Copenhagen.I saw that the Silversea cruise ship had docked in the best spot right by everything.Shutttle buses are a rip off.Gone are the days when they were free.It ruined the cruise that we could not get off at Sweden due to rough seas.So a boring sea day with very little to do as entertainment was poor. Oslo was rather dull and never again will i visit such places.The sun and warmer climate makes for a more enjoyable time. Photographers onboard are in yer face !!!!! terrible nuisance.One deck had tons of photos on display and always a bottleneck trying to walk by in the evening. There must be an horrendous wastage of photos at the end of each cruise for non sale of photos.Waste of paper. It would be far better if they asked you if you want a photo taken.Those who say yes are more likely to buy than those who pose scowling.It would save on wastage. Sadly i witnessed a lot of anti social behaviour from some passengers.Sitting on the nice seats with their feet up on them with shoes on ! somebody else has to sit on them and maybe in fine clothes. One disabled woman in a wheelcahir was terriblt rude,flying at speed through the deck shouting " Get out of my way,if i hit you then it's your fault " I also encountered some teenage yobs using vile obscene language. Theatre shows are ok,i seen two production ones.Rather short and very American. Nice theatre and again a guy sat by me with both his feet up on the front stage. I could have had words with many but bit my tongue. International cafe serves nice cakes and snacks and lovely Coffee.Sadly very few seats around th cafe.I seen many tables occupied by people not drinking or eating,just story telling and they should be asked to move and free the tables for those who want to eat and drink. Same in the Horizon Court,always busy and people sat talking when not eating. Onboard shops very poor and expensive. Captains communications was more or less nil ! very bad that he hardly spoke to us about anything. Ship tipped badly one day and was quite scary.No announcements made and it lasted 30 mins. I would not be in a hurry to go on the ship again and certainly not to visit Scandinavia again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Embarkation was good but it went downhill from then.Ship is same as Ventura but service not on a par with P@O. Food was average but nothing special and entertainment apart from a tribute band was poor.We had a first stop in Belgium which ... Read More
Embarkation was good but it went downhill from then.Ship is same as Ventura but service not on a par with P@O. Food was average but nothing special and entertainment apart from a tribute band was poor.We had a first stop in Belgium which was good and weather was fine although they did charge for transfers but we used the tram and avoided this. Then it was Copenhagen we were docked 3 miles away and had to have the shuttle at a cost of USD 16 per person.We were here as we thought overnight but the ship left at 4 am and the shuttle service finished at 10pm the day before If you wanted to stay out you had to get a taxi back. P@O do charge for shuttles if you paid a cheaper price but we had paid full fare so were taken aback by this charge for a shuttle. The next stop was Sweden Helsingborg but due to high winds we did not stop but it did not look at all bad but hey ho I am not the one in charge.Then it was Oslo but it was raining so you needed a bit of on board entertainment and that was were it really fell down. Apart from a Beatles tribute band the entertainment was poor for the whole trip.No tea making in cabin. Strange layout of food Roast meat and no potatoes or chips unless you came out and crossed the passage way and went into the central area. That was always full and never a table free. Drinks very expensive.Smoking policy strange my husband uses an electronic cigarette and was not allowed to smoke it on deck but cigarette smokers were allowed to smoke inside in the casino and nightclub and a smoking bar. But not in Casino on a formal night but they were allowed on the second formal night totally bizarre We will stick to P@O who we love Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I have just returned from a 14 night trip with my partner and in-laws and the Caribbean princess did not disappoint! There was only 1 let down which was with the embarkation process which I believe was the fault of the Southampton port ... Read More
I have just returned from a 14 night trip with my partner and in-laws and the Caribbean princess did not disappoint! There was only 1 let down which was with the embarkation process which I believe was the fault of the Southampton port authorities. On arrival to our state room we were promptly greeted by Dennis our steward who greeted us by name and was most accommodating when we requested additional hangers etc., all through the cruise he was on hand to help with anything we needed, he is a great asset to Princess. The food on-board was as always of great quality and the selection was always vast. the only downside is the rigmorall of "hunt the table" at peak times in the buffet areas. There was plenty of entertainment on-board suitable for all interests, Matt O'Brien (AKA Matt 32 from England) was by far the hardest working member of the entertainments team, he was always on good form and hilarious. I took the all inclusive soda package which was a huge asset, as I don't really drink alcohol I was able to have unlimited Mock tails and hot chocolates etc. and at only $7 per day it really is worth it considering that each mock tail is $5 a time. 95% of staff were always friendly and helpful, the ship was in good order throughout although this time there did seem to be more issues with the toilets in public areas being out of order. The med cruise itinerary was perfect for us as it included many stops that we had not visited, I would however recommend you look into arranging your own shore tours as the Princess prices are really high and the tours seem to be highly subscribed. this particular cruise was mostly Brits in their 60's + however us only being in our early 30's was not a problem (you just have to be a little more patient when following them down corridors etc :)) Overall, I can 100% say that Princess Cruises are onto a winner with the formula they are following and long may it continue! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Caribbean Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.2

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