I just read a review from someone who sailed on this cruise who claimed Le Harve was experiencing a port strike and they missed going to Normandy because the ship didn't dock there. This is false. We certainly did dock in Le Harve and ... Read More
I just read a review from someone who sailed on this cruise who claimed Le Harve was experiencing a port strike and they missed going to Normandy because the ship didn't dock there. This is false. We certainly did dock in Le Harve and many, many of the guest on board went to Normandy. I spent a very lovely day with my friend, who traveled with me, in Honfleur. Others went into Paris, but we've were recently there and returning in the winter so it seemed not very logical travel 3 hours there, then 3 back to spend 3 hours in the city. We loved Honfleur and I would enjoy it again as well as Zeebruggee, a substitute for Amersterdam and, in my opinion, a wonderful substitute.
This was my 3rd Princess cruise and we upgraded to a mini-suite that included some amenities that were lovely, such as a Club Class dining room. I've been on many cruises and many cruise lines so when I say the food was outstanding in Club Class, I'm comparing it with Celebrity, RCL, Viking, etc. It was certainly 100% better than the food we had in the main dining room last year on Emerald Princess. The service in Club Class is very personalized and charming. I thought the money I spent on the upgrade was well worth it for the food choices alone. Food on the buffet, on the other hand, was pretty poor even though I only had lunch there once and usually just some steamed fish for breakfast with coffee. The coffee was particularly awful and after trying the scrambled to death eggs once, I never tried again. Fresh fruit was plentiful even though we had 8 straight sea days, but the choices, were hard pears, hard bananas, sour kiwis, and no fresh berries. We could get grapefruit served with coffee by room service in the morning, but couldn't get it on the breakfast buffet.
Our room D415 was spacious and comfortable even though my roomie was sea sick, along with many other people on the ship a number of days. Rough English Channel, Rough Atlantic. However, there was problem with something squeaking every time the ship rolled that kept us awake at night, and, even though someone from engineering came to see about it, it never was resolved. T.V. channels were mostly boring and useless, however, happy to see they didn't play endless loops of the Love Boat as they did on our last cruise.
There were a lot of participation activities for those of us who like to move, such a Zumba, but it was difficult with the ship pitching and rolling and I really wish they offered pilates as a free activity instead of something you have to pay for. The bar where Zumba was held as well as line and ballroom dancing was not big enough to accommodate everyone who wanted to participate. The Explorer's Lounge would have been a better choice, but that was usually filled with people participating in what seemed like a half a dozen trivia games each day. WHY? i realize that most of the people who cruise use the ship as the destination and just want to eat loads of bad food and then sit around and eat a drink, but I honestly don't know why there are so many trivia contests.
There was some very good entertainment from Nexus, a band with singer that had a wide a varied music catalog. Also a pianist that did some great funky soul music and a duo of young ladies on stringed instruments. The big theater shows were poor to awful and we couldn't sit though any of them. The highlight, however, was Chris Watkins, who played a crystal embellished electric violin like the devil went down to Georgia and presented it to him personally. He was great!
We had dinner at Sabitini's and enjoyed every mouthful, however, the desert was way too big even for my chocolate loving traveling companion. The pasta was fabulous and the herbed breadstick was totally indulgent on my part and I didn't feel bad about it for a second. It was so worth it. Our server was kind enough to share with the kitchen that I wanted the fresh fruit, but couldn't eat raspberries so they prepared a dish without them for me.
A big shout out to Mr. Silva Sousa at the customer service desk. When you go on vacation you never expect to receive a message from home that says urgent, call as soon as possible. My mother died suddenly when we were eight days out from our next port. It was shocking and extremely hard to deal with emotionally, not to mention the pure logistics of trying to arrange a funeral home. He was professional and kind and very, very helpful.
We enjoyed all the ports, but probably least liked Bermuda. Everything was so overpriced, and, although I realize they have to ship everything in, I still thought they overcharged for a lot of items.
Because the ship had some engine issues we were not able to go to some of the ports originally proposed such as Amsterdam and the Azores, so the long period at sea, especially with the rough seas, was hard for some, however, I enjoyed myself and although had a sad experience while on the ship, it wasn't the fault of Princess.
Looking forward to my next Princess adventure. Read Less