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13 Princess Island Princess Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Very nice late season cruise in the Med. The ship was very nice and a good atmosphere on board. All the staff were excellent from the Cabin Steward and Waiters and the entertainment team all very friendly and pleasant. Both Embarkation ... Read More
Very nice late season cruise in the Med. The ship was very nice and a good atmosphere on board. All the staff were excellent from the Cabin Steward and Waiters and the entertainment team all very friendly and pleasant. Both Embarkation and Disembarkation were the best I have known, and very quick. We had a mini-suite which gives you a bit of extra space, but made little use of the balcony, because of the time of year. Only went to one of the speciality restaurants Sabatinis which was an extra $25 each which was good but preferred the main restaurant (Provence) for our Dinner. All the food in the Dining Room and the buffet meals in the Horizon were very good, again as good as I have known. Entertainment was also good although we only ever did manage to get to 2 shows plus an afternoon at the cinema, there was always so much going on including lots of quizzes which could be very funny especially the late evening ones. Istanbul was cancelled as a port of call a couple of days before we were due to visit because of their General Election and security risks, and substituted by Santorini. We had visited most of the ports on previous trips and mostly did our own thing. Did an excursion with Princess from Cannes to Nice, but it was poor value for money, the only other trip we did was independently from Naples a tour of the Amalfi Coast which was brilliant. This was only our 2nd cruise with Princess but overall this was about as good as it gets, would recommend them if you have not sailed with them. Can be a bit pricey on board for drinks for people from the UK because of the poor exchange rate against the dollar. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I am in my mid 70's and my husband is in his late 60's. We have both been to Europe several times, and I have been to all of these places except Corsica and Mykonos....and as it turned out, Santorini. We took an upsell for a ... Read More
I am in my mid 70's and my husband is in his late 60's. We have both been to Europe several times, and I have been to all of these places except Corsica and Mykonos....and as it turned out, Santorini. We took an upsell for a full suite which we thought was a good chance to try out a suite and as it was a special cruise we decided to go for it.. We were in L723...one of those feared aft suites that everyone has complained about....Anyway, Arrived and stayed in Rome for several days before the cruise...I was trying to force my husband into carry on but that didn't work so we each had a suitcase with us. We would be in Europe almost a month, and there was no way I wanted to lug luggage around trains, buses, ships, and planes...We started small but ended up large. Had to bring home all that wine...:) Anyway, originally we had planned on taking the train to the port but in the end, we decided it would be easier to let our hotel arrange a transfer which they did. Embarkation was fast and easy...filled out the health form that yes, we were still alive, kicking and we did not have Ebola to our knowledge...and we were on board. Took the elevator right up and opened the door. I was surprised. I have seen pictures and have been in other people suites but this was almost brand new...Large living space, comfortable couch. flat screened TV's...One in the bedroom and one across from the couch. Nice desk with our own stationary on it, a mini bar set up, and a brand new bathroom.....all marble...nice soaking tub + a great shower...(with a door) and expansive balcony...The balcony had one lounge, a table and 2 chairs. All were cast aluminium and very comfortable. Thick blue cushions...headed up to explore the ship...Those aft cabins are way to close to the spa..:) and had a bite to eat. Downsides....THAT GYM.....HORRID...old equipment and looked a a gym from the 50's. Please fix that Princess...My husband works out several times a week...He hated it...so did all of the entertainment and the crew who used it too... Me? I gave up on it after 5 minutes....The Patisserie? no, it is not....just call it a coffee bar and be done with it...other than that, the ship it great. I had no problem with anytime dining...but I have to say we tend to eat late....They had a pig one night that has the best chicharrones that we have ever had....The buffet was great...everytime we used it. Service was excellent...I don't demand much, we are pretty easy campers ..... just some ice and extra glasses...so it is not too hard. The room also had two closets which was nice...I would have one suggestion...Next time you redo a ship from the get go, please, [please put in a USB plug and some plus on each side of the bed.. MDR food was excellent as was Sabatini's...and Sabatini's breakfast is wonderful. A real perk as as is all of the staff in Sabatini's. The best part of the ship was one of the front desk people...names Maria Jesus from Peru...She literally saved our cruise...Without all of the gory details, we had an emergency at home. She made it her business to help us out in so many ways in order that we could continue our cruise. People like her are what makes a cruise memorable and what keeps us coming back again for another one. Shore excursions were mostly private tours, or DIY, but we did take a Princess tour in Corsica to the callanques. It was great. The tour guide was wonderful....There was one man who was having a bit of trouble breathing and became out of breath...Not Short of Breath...The guide immediately went to his aid and help him. There are a lot of steps in Corsica....I think that is the thing that I would warn people about the most.....Almost everyone on the boat was older, most overweight to some degree and seemed to have some kind of mobility problems. This is a difficult cruise for those people...No exercise to speak of and all of a sudden they have to walk a fair distance...it is difficult...We walked between 10-12 miles a day. Ports are usually far from towns and even if it right near the towns it involves walking...Please people...start an exercise program before you go on this cruise...No one wants you to have a MI on the ship or shore... I can't say much for the entertainment but what we saw was good. Outstanding was the music that was played coming into Venice. Whoever thought of that one deserves a raise..Disembarkation was way to easy....There was a ship's transfer to the Santa Lucia RR station which we also decided to take and we were happy with it...As the boat to take us to the station went around the corner, there was already someone in OUR cabin....What were they doing there? In our cabin....Oh well....spent a week in France and was in Paris when the bombings occurred. It was a tragic end to a wonderful vacation but in no way were we in any danger, and we hope to repeat the trip again very soon..Oh, and btw, there was little vibration except when we docked...One evening the seas were a bit rough and my husband said there was a bit then but it was great for us....I also have to say, what there was wouldn't have bothered us either. My husband favorite place on a boat is near or in the engine room...kinda weird? but his family were all shipbuilders and ship carpenters... Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were a group of eight cruise age people, meaning seniors, ranging from 72 to 75, one in wheelchair and one mobility challenged using a walker. The draw of this cruise was the itinerary, which turned out to be more challenging than ... Read More
We were a group of eight cruise age people, meaning seniors, ranging from 72 to 75, one in wheelchair and one mobility challenged using a walker. The draw of this cruise was the itinerary, which turned out to be more challenging than anticipated, and the Turkish ports of Istanbul and Kusadasi, as well as Naples, Italy. Starting with the negatives, it all started when we checked in and found that Princess had "upgraded" one of the reserved accessible cabins to a non-accessible mini-suite. The perks of a mini-suite would have been nice, but for a person in a wheelchair, a door and bathroom that are not accessible is not a viable option. Despite repeated claims from the onboard staff that "we must have authorized the change," (a false claim by the way), the problem was eventually fixed to the total satisfaction of the couple involved. As the contact for the couple, I have checked my emails and have received confirmation from my TA that there had been NO notification of the proposed "upgrade" and none had been authorized. For me, just another in a string of misinformation from Princess headquarters. Leading me to the second disappointment. Princess at the last minute cancelled the call on Istanbul, citing safety concerns. For months it had been known that the day of the call was to be an election day, and Princess headquarters had assured my TA that there were no plans to skip Istanbul. Then at the last minute it happened. Subsequent events required further itinerary changes, suggesting that Istanbul could have been switched to another day and not be cancelled. A clear case of convenience for Princess rather than consideration of the clients who might have booked this cruise specifically to visit Istanbul, as was the case for half of my party. (As a "substitute" Island Princess wasted a day sitting off Santorini!) On the positive side, Island Princess is a nice ship that was somewhat butchered to make it fit into Venice itineraries, then rules changed and it's back to Alaska. The promenade deck is severely truncated, the Vista lounge is gone, and the Fitness Center is more like a down scale gyn than a bright, airy, ocean view fitness center common on most Princess ships. Evidently, Princess is still having birthing pains with "Anytime" dining. Long frustrating lines at prime dining hours in the Anytime dining room while upstairs the Traditional dining room sat largely empty. After a couple of days, the lines disappeared, presumably frustration set in and the Horizon Court (buffet) got busy. Our party, with mobility problems, was eventually accommodated at a fixed table of proper size, but we had to maneuver the wheelchair up two steps to reach the table when several of same size were on the entry level. The Maitre'd in the Anytime room was not the most pleasant face on the ship. Our service team, Richelle and Sherwin, were outstanding however and mealtimes were a joy. Food was Princess standard, comparable to an upscale restaurant back home. La Patisserie is a joke,its' a bar not an alternate food establishment, so miss the International Cafe on Emerald and Ruby. Our group of eight had a range of cabins, from standard midship balconies, to a forward mini-suite to a new accessible balcony cabin in the newly refurbished area. All were more than adequate with excellent cabin service from all the Philippine stewards. The new accessible balcony cabin was especially nice, large, with totally accessible bathroom and a large balcony, with no complaints about noise or vibrations mentioned in some reviews of this area. We did not manage to partake of the entertainment or activities, due in part to the port intensity and some minor fatigue, but also in part to the scheduling of entertainment. At our age, shows starting at 10:30pm are just not on, and the earlier show conflicted with the only meal time we were able to arrange. Some Princess ships alter the show length and schedule three in an evening, much more accommodating. Not sure if there was a Cruise Director on board, certainly not one in evidence. Just a pet peeve, the Captain's announcement were virtually incomprehensible and curt. This review turned out to be more negative than intended, but as i wrote the negatives came flooding back and the positives seemed minor. Too bad, we had a good time but have had much better on other Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My age 61, travelling with my 62 year old partner, my 90 year old Dad and my 33 year old son, who has learning difficulties. This was our 16th cruise, but first with Princess, so I was excited to experience a different cruise line, and was ... Read More
My age 61, travelling with my 62 year old partner, my 90 year old Dad and my 33 year old son, who has learning difficulties. This was our 16th cruise, but first with Princess, so I was excited to experience a different cruise line, and was not disappointed. The port itinerary was not new to us as we did the same route last year with NCL. Unfortunately October can be lovely and warm, or chilly and wet, as it was this year. We arrived in Venice planning to take the water taxi from the airport - just the best way to approach the city over the lagoon, especially at dusk, however it was raining hard so we took a large taxi from right outside arrivals which took us right to the ship for just 45 euros. After an easy embarkation, we went straight to our staterooms D303 and D305 on deck 9. These were right by the lifts. Up to deck 14 and we exited the lift right next to the entrance to the Horizon buffet where we took all of our meals. Perfect. We found our staterooms to be incredibly spacious and spotlessly clean. The shower was a little small but no problem really. Plentiful storage for our clothes, and very comfortable beds. We had good sized balconies with 2 fabric loungers and a little table. We always use buffet dining, and found the food in the Horizon buffet to be plentiful, hot and top quality. The plastic plates were always hot too, which is a rarity. Although Horizon was always busy (less so in the evenings) we had no problem finding a table, or asking the servers to find one for us. The service was excellent. As soon as we were seated we were offered fresh orange juice and coffee at breakfast, then wonderful lemonade and water at lunch and dinner, plus the usual alcoholic drinks if required. I liked the way all the staff on the ship used "My lady" instead of the usual "Madam". It was fun and quirky. I loved the older style of the ship, and didn`t find the staterooms dated at all. We particularly liked the decor of the Wheelhouse Bar with its leather chairs and sofas, and the fabulous atrium. Unfortunately it was too cold for me to use the outdoor pool, or even sit outside to watch the big screen, which was disappointing, and although the Lotus Pool was covered and warm, the loungers were always taken. We only went to one show in the Princess Theatre as it was necessary to be there 30 minutes before the start of the show to get a seat. Instead in the evenings we went to the trivia competitions, played Monopoly in the library, and ended the evening with Happy Hour in the Explorers Lounge (buy one get one for 1$) listening to great music from the group Cosmic or DJ Tintin. A couple of things were disappointing - we like to play roulette, but there was only one roulette table in the casino. My son loves karaoke, but we found the advertised "Karaoke" to be a singing competition, which rather defeats the idea of karaoke. Ports and excursions: Venice - half a day with just enough time to walk to Piazza Roma and take the vaporetto to St Marks Square, which was flooded because of the high sea level. Istanbul - we took a taxi to the Blue Mosque (free entry), then it`s an easy walk to Hagia Sofia, which is a museum and has an entrance fee. We also had a quick look around the Topkapi Palace buildings. One day I`ll go to the Sultan`s Hamam! Mykonos - tender to the old part of Mykonos Town. Fantastic gifts of all prices and quality, with great art. Piraeus - Hop on hop off bus to Athens, where we stopped for lunch, took a horse and trap ride around the base of the Parthenon for 30 euros, then back on the bus to complete the route and return to the ship. Naples - we did take the hop on hop off bus, but the Capodimonte museum we wanted to visit was closed on Wednesdays. As it was cold and wet we just returned to the ship. Ajaccio - Just a typical Med seaside town, nothing special. We did take the little tourist train which goes around the town. Toulon - Big problem here as the ship did not dock in Toulon, but in nearby La Freyne Sur Mer, then Princess charged 20$ each for the ferry back to Toulon! Very naughty. We walked into the town of La Freyne, about 30 min walk, which has a big marina, and a street market. Livorno - Hop on hop off bus which took us to the funicular up to the Monastery of Montenero. Apart from the view there was nothing to see. This bus also stops at the birthplace and museum of Modigliani, but this shuts at 12.30 so we missed it. Civitavecchia - Disembarkation, which was extremely well organised. I had booked train tickets to Rome, but we were faced with an arduous trek on the shuttle to the big car park. Then another bus to the station. Then 20 steps both down and up to go under the lines, no lift. This was a nightmare with 4 large suitcases, and 2 people with mobility problems. Taxis are not allowed up to the ship, but privately booked cars are. We really enjoyed our holiday, and will be looking at Princess first for any future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We originally booked one of the new stern cabins, but after reading some of the early reviews decided to move. We booked B615 on Baha deck and had no trouble with the engine vibration(s). Embarkation: went smoothly - until we received ... Read More
We originally booked one of the new stern cabins, but after reading some of the early reviews decided to move. We booked B615 on Baha deck and had no trouble with the engine vibration(s). Embarkation: went smoothly - until we received our luggage - it was soaking wet. It was raining that afternoon in Venice and luggage was left uncovered on the quayside ! To be fair Passenger Services provided free laundry service.but there were many people in the laundry rooms. Princess could have earnt a brownie point by contacting all passengers with the "dryout" offer. The extra cabins that have been installed seem to have put a strain on some of the public areas, such as long queues for the restrooms after dinner and at the finish of the performance in the Theatre. There was an excellent singer/pianist in Crooners, Daniel Oliver but again seats/tables were at a premium. Food quality in the Provence dining room was excellent,every night and the service superb. The Horizon Court buffet was plentiful but noticed that the seating along the sides started to be cordoned off around 3.30, to set tables for evening meals and the Crab Shack, which meant that if you returned from a shore trip around 4.00, again difficulty in finding a table. Was really looking forward to visiting Istanbul and booked an excursion with SPB Med, who we had used in the Baltic/ St Petersburg on a previous cruise and they were really good. Would recommend this company for Baltic and Med excursions. Also booked Rome in a Limo for an excursion from Livorno to Pisa and San Gimignano which was also good value - especially the lunch/wine tasting (14 wines !) but this was extra/ Also used RiL for transfer to Rome airport at 32 euros pp - much cheaper than the Princess service. Cabin steward was excellent and kept our cabin in tip top condition. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, but think that Princess have tried to cram too many people on board without extending public areas, also missed the International Cafe, which I thought I woulnt Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to and no idea what to expect from Princess. Overall, we were impressed and will definitely cruise again. Majority of the passengers were Brits ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to and no idea what to expect from Princess. Overall, we were impressed and will definitely cruise again. Majority of the passengers were Brits and Americans but also lots of Australians and Canadians. Most we spoke to seemed to think Princess were one of the better cruise companies. The food and service were excellent. Great buffet choice @ breakfast / lunch although it felt a bit like one of those all you can eat diners you get in Orlando. We had the Anytime Dining in the evening and the food was generally superb. We didn't feel the need to pay extra to visit the speciality restaurants. The one big disappointment was the entertainment. I was expecting much better but what we got was a bit like Butlins. We didn't bother with any of the Princess excursions as the prices were ludicrously expensive. With a little bit of research it was easy to DIY and a huge amount cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Princess changed our port days and times, which in Istanbul, turkey on their highest holy day of the year. Naturally, this found business closed and limited available shore excursions. No explanations given to passengers on why this was ... Read More
Princess changed our port days and times, which in Istanbul, turkey on their highest holy day of the year. Naturally, this found business closed and limited available shore excursions. No explanations given to passengers on why this was done. We felt the shore excursion office was awful! Rude staff, misdirections given . In turkey on our shore excursion booked thru princess, I was one of several guest with mobility issues who were left behind on the pier! First time I have ever been discriminated for being handicapped! I told Olga (the assit manager over shore excursions) that I didn't travel half way around the world to be left on the pier. When booked we were to have dinner for two in a speciality resturant. No coupon waiting in our cabin. We went to customer service and Lawrence (assit manager) had no record of it. He made a copy of our booking that stated we were entitled to this. Several days later we received an invitation to eat there. Made our reservation . Got to the Itilian speciality place and we were told we only had been granted dinner for ONE! After showing our unhappiness, we were told we could BOTH eat there that night. This will be our last Princess cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We decided to do a cruise of the med for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and to be honest we were both not really looking forward to it as didn't know what to expect as used to relaxing on holiday and this was a port heavy cruise. We ... Read More
We decided to do a cruise of the med for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and to be honest we were both not really looking forward to it as didn't know what to expect as used to relaxing on holiday and this was a port heavy cruise. We stayed in Barcelona for 2 night before embarkation, with arranged taxi from the airport and the hotel and on disembarkation which was really efficient. The Hotel was upgraded as we wanted to be in the centre of Barcelona. On embarking we didn't get the wow factor we expected and the ships top deck looked tired and old. The outside cabin was on deck 5 and perfect as close to disembarking at ports, it met our needs, was clean and tidy and our steward was absolutely fantastic. We chose late traditional dinning which was something we were nervous about but it proved a great experience, a table of six with a couple and 2 female friends. Although a lot older than us we got on really well, they had lots of cruise experiences between them. The waiter was good and once I started to ask for recommendations my meals were really good, I made a few bad choices for steak. We ate in the buffet in the evening of formal nights as these were sea days which we wanted to relax and had really good food again. We had breakfast in our cabin most mornings as it was easier before trips and always arrived a minute before the time slot ordered. When used the pizza restaurant during one sea day which was a nice experience and it was empty at 12 midday, we liked the pizza on deck as well. The burgers on deck were not to our liking. Due to our dining time it was not easy to get to shows as they started at 10:15 to fit in with late dinning and we didn't always finish before then, if we wanted to go the show we told the waiter and he would make sure we were finished, but generally we didn't want to rush. We saw two different comedians and a magician all of which we enjoyed. I was expecting to see some shows but the one night we planned to go we couldn't get a seat. We did most of the quizzes which were mainly based around the discovery channel programs, but we enjoyed this and got to see similar faces each time. I also took part in the dance classes which were fun. We did the star gazing on top deck, but standing looking at the stars was not easy would have been better on sun loungers, also there was a lot of unnecessary information. There was less activities than expected but we put this down to the smaller size ship. The jewellery shop is a waste of space and the staff not pleasant, we had a gift we had to collect and we laughed at as when collect it was $200 off gold items. We were given champagne and chocolates as a present from my mother but these arrived as vouchers which we had to exchange, she was told they would be waiting in our cabin so not as special as she had expected. We planned trips at most ports with cruise excursions but planned to stay on board and relax when in Toulon and Kusadasi, where we felt we had the ship to ourselves. We booked trips as we thought this cruise would provide us with the opportunity to see a lot of places which we did and thoroughly enjoyed. The drinks were an issue as used to all inclusive holidays although had a soda package for myself, my husband didn't as due to heavy port stops wouldn't have been good value. We had cocktails which were good and made use of the happy hours. In summary we enjoyed our cruise but would have liked to have been with more people our own age 48 and 51 as most people were 70+ although young at heart. We came to like the ship due to its classic feel and size having gazed at others in port. Very efficient at ports and all staff were really friendly and helpful. Not decided on whether we would do another! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We originally looked at taking a bus tour through Europe, but if you only have a short time and want to see a lot of places, a port intensive cruise is the way to do it! Get waited on hand and foot, go to bed in the same room every night, ... Read More
We originally looked at taking a bus tour through Europe, but if you only have a short time and want to see a lot of places, a port intensive cruise is the way to do it! Get waited on hand and foot, go to bed in the same room every night, no packing and unpacking, and wake each morning with somewhere new to explore! It really was the best choice. We had two sea days, and we needed those to sleep in and recharge, ready for the next adventure. Embarkation was easy, we were told between 1pm and 5pm, turned up at 4pm and were on board with no delay. We had Anytime Dining which worked well. We noted some people had to wait for a table if they asked for a table for two, but we were happy to share and were usually seated straight away. The only time we had to wait was on a formal night, then we were given a buzzer and were called back after only about 15 minutes. Service in the Bordeaux dining room was good, with a nice menu choice each night. The food was generally quite good. We also ate in the Horizon Buffet a couple of times. They had a good choice and were open until midnight. You could have a full meal or just a salad, or just fruit, or a selection of cheese and crackers/bread or just go for the desserts, it was very easy. There was also no rush, you could stay there as long as you wanted. One day we met a nice couple at breakfast and were still there for lunch! For some reason they have the best cup of tea in there too, maybe the water was just the right temperature, I don't know exactly why, but it was good! I saw the Bayou show in the Princess Theatre, but that's the only show I saw in the evening. The other nights there were singers or a comedian or a musician, and none of them sounded very appealing. I may have been missing out on a really good show, but it was my first cruise and I was expecting more production shows like the Bayou one, not just a singer. That could be my error. We went ashore on all port days, and every time it was well organised with no delays. I hadn't been on a cruise before and was imagining 2000 people lined up for ages all wanting to get off the ship at the same time, but thankfully it wasn't like this at all! It was all quite quick and well organised to get off and then on again at the end of the tour. It was also lovely to be welcomed back on a hot sticky day with a glass of cold water and a cold wet cloth, a nice touch. Disembarkation - we had heavy bags and didn't relish the thought of getting them up and over the bridges in Venice, so paid the $44 fee for the Princess transfer. It was great for our bags - they showed up at our hotel later on, but not so great for us. We had to sit and wait quite a while before our water taxi took us, I'm not sure why but I think someone was late and we were waiting for them. Our transfer was to the train station, but we were dropped off on the other side of the canal and we had to walk and go over a couple of bridges to get to the station. It would have been quicker and easier for us to send us luggage that way and then go and take the $1.50 people mover. That's a minor complaint though. Ports - Barcelona - we had three days there before the cruise, and I would encourage people to take four or five days. It is a beautiful city and there is so much to see, three days wasn't enough for us. Book ahead for attractions if you can or take advantage of the Skip the Line QR code signs where they have them. We used the HOHO bus while we were there, and also took an organised bus tour up to Montserrat, which was lovely. Toulon - we took the Princess excursion to Saint Tropez. The bus trip wasn't bad but our guide was a bit annoying. We had the choice once we got there of going off on our own or sticking with the guide for a bit of a tour, and we decided to go off on our own. There was a market and lots of shops, and the shore to look at. There were also thousands of other tourists and it was stinking hot. It was nice to see and I'm glad we went, but that's one box ticked - I don't need to go there again. Livorno - we took the Princess excursion to Florence with time on your own. This excursion was excellent, even though our bus broke down and we had to wait half an hour for another one! Our guide was excellent and knew her stuff. She guided us around the main attractions and told us lots of interesting information about each place, and then we had time on our own and met up with her later on to go back to the bus. Civitavecchia - we booked a private tour here, from Drivers Guide Services. Claudio picked us up at the port at the appointed time and we were in Rome in one hour (not much traffic because August is apparently when they take holidays over there). He took us straight to the Colosseum so we were there before the crowds got too bad, and spent the rest of the day giving us a wonderful tour of the city and history lesson combined. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend tours from DGS. Naples - we had another Princess excursion here - the Ultimate Bay of Naples - Pompeii, Positano, Sorrento. Again we had a very nice guide and driver in a small bus - maximum 16 on this excursion. Our guide was very informative and we had some time on our own in Positano (beautiful!), then more time on our own in Sorrento before we met up to go to a hotel for a nice five course lunch (included in the tour), then on to Pompeii. I was thinking it would have been better to go to Pompeii first before it got too hot, but later heard from other cruisers that Pompeii was much, much busier first thing in the morning, so I'm glad our tour went this way around. Pompeii was amazing, and also amazingly hot! Very hot and humid, you must take a hat and water with you on this tour, and the hand fans that the souvenir shops sell everywhere help too. Mykonos - wow, so beautiful here! We docked and Princess had buses outside waiting to drop us closer to town. There were probably other ways of doing it, but it wasn't too expensive and it was easy. From there we just walked around on our own and found our way over to the windmills and had a look around the town. It wasn't a long stop here, so we didn't bother about trying to go and visit anywhere else, we just stayed in the town. Istanbul - we had a private tour booked here too - through Ephesus Shuttle. Our guide met us and was very good, very informative. No payment until the end of the tour, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. Unfortunately we were there on a Friday so missed out on the Blue Mosque, but there's still plenty of other things to see. The tour operators can change their itinerary a little for you too, if you wish to see something different. For instance we went to Topkapi Palace and wanted to include the Harem section, which they did for us at a small extra cost to cover the tickets. The Grand Bazaar wasn't anywhere near as busy as I expected, and things were quite expensive. I didn't buy very much there at all. Kusadasi - we had another private tour booked here, again through Ephesus Shuttle. Ephesus is amazing, well worth going, and the drive out there is lovely too. Include the Terrace Houses if you go. Turkey is beautiful. Our guide was very informative again, and very nice. After the tour we stopped in Kusadasi and did a little bit of souvenir shopping. Expect the hard sell though. Athens - we did the Princess excursion Acropolis and Time on your Own in the Plaka. Whatever you do, don't miss out on going to the Acropolis if you haven't been before. It is not at all like I expected, there is so much more to see than just some ruins! Our guide was lovely and once again, very informative. Climbing to the top wasn't too hard because there are several stops on the way up where the guide explains what you are seeing. Once you get to the top, the view is well worth it. Make sure your shoes have good grip, it is a bit slippery in some places. After we left there, we had a bit of a bus tour around Athens which I was not expecting. We went past a number of interesting sites and buildings, and had a short stop at the site of the first modern olympics so we could take photos. Then it was on to the Plaka. There we had a look around at the shops (lots of souvenir shops) and had some lunch at the restaurant recommended by the guide (Hermion/Epmeion). The restaurant was quite nice, but the food was pretty average. Venice - we had an extra day in Venice so didn't do any organised tours here, we did our own thing which worked out fine. Princess had a $29 return water transfer to St Mark's Square, but we just took the people mover for $1.50 and walked from there, discovering things as we went. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I have been on four cruises prior to this one (three with Royal Caribbean and one with Princess). We chose this cruise on the Island Princess for the itinerary (Barcelona, Toulon, Florence, Rome, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul, ... Read More
My wife and I have been on four cruises prior to this one (three with Royal Caribbean and one with Princess). We chose this cruise on the Island Princess for the itinerary (Barcelona, Toulon, Florence, Rome, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Athens, and Venice). We wanted to get a feel for various parts of southern Europe. I have traveled extensively through Europe but my wife had never been. So, we took big/long excursions in each port except for Mykonos. The excursions were great. Everything was scripted and timed. We did not wait in any lines and we really did not experience any traffic delays. (Some folks said that was because we were traveling in August and all of the 'working' locals in each city were on their August 'holiday'). Anyway, each of the excursions were very good, especially with the use of the radio receivers so that you are not required to be right next to the guide. Since we knew we were taking long excursions, and that we would be tired in the evenings, we really did not care about the amenities and shows on the ships - though everything seemed to be nice. The food was excellent and plentiful, so we were happy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I (both over 70) where very pleasantly surprised at the size of the balcony cabin on C deck; being first timers we were a little apprehensive after reading various reports. We found the cabin to be well planned, with plenty of ... Read More
My wife and I (both over 70) where very pleasantly surprised at the size of the balcony cabin on C deck; being first timers we were a little apprehensive after reading various reports. We found the cabin to be well planned, with plenty of room to unpack completely, and an out of sight storage area for our suitcases. The balcony was private and a secluded with two chairs and a small table. Ideal for sitting a watching the sea and trying to read. The bathroom on the whole was fine, but as I am over 6 ft tall I found the shower to be a little cramped. It was easier to wet down then put on soap before washing off – I was unable to shower in my normal way of avoiding the water whole soaping etc. This small detail would be my only negative comment. Check in at Venice went like a dream – shore going excursions and re boarding all went smoothly, which really impressed me the way so many people where handled so smoothly. The food in the restaurants was very good, as was the overall service. Horizon restaurant for lunch after time ashore was ideal, with a large choice of food, which was constantly refreshed. I liked the idea of compulsory hand sanitizing on entry to the buffet area, and the plastic barriers to stop anyone handling the food except via tongs. All the staff members that we came in contact with where friendly and helpful, it was difficult at the end of the cruise to single out those for special mention. We loved the Crooners Bar – quiet, yet very good for people watching; plus the picture windows over the sea kept me interested. We enjoyed the shows in the theater, even those on the top deck brought back memories of yesteryear. We are both 'sold' on cruising in the future Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Let me start with the good bits: Most of the waiting/serving staff were excellent, friendly and very efficient. The general layout of the ship and choice of bars and restaurants was also very good. Transfers to and from the ship were good ... Read More
Let me start with the good bits: Most of the waiting/serving staff were excellent, friendly and very efficient. The general layout of the ship and choice of bars and restaurants was also very good. Transfers to and from the ship were good as was the organisation of embarkation. No for the bad: The customer services desk staff were shocking!, rude, lacking in information and often contradicted each other in what information they did give. They all need a long course in CUSTOMER SERVICE! The ship unfortunately had a problem with what we believe was one of the engine shafts, I say we believe because we were given almost no information about this. The knock affects of this failure was we missed one stop totally and had two others stops that we only a couple of hours at. Obviously this was a great disappointment, especially as this was the section of the trip we were looking forward to the most as we hadn't visited these places before. Whilst we know that a breakdown can happen and that's not necessarily anyone's fault, the way it was handled was very poor indeed. We were told early one morning of the PA by the Captain that overnight this failure had happened and that the ship is now only running on one engine and slowly. He said he would keep everyone up to date and that this would not affect our trip.. Rubbish. As mentioned above it definitely did affect our trip. Oh and this was the first and last time we ever heard from the Captain. No real information was ever given about the problem only what impacts it was now clearly going to have on our trip. (Enough on that subject now). Having travelled with other cruise lines we found this one to charge a lot more for things like wifi and excursions. In fact it seemed to charge for everything and anything it could which we hadn't had on any of the other ships. The overall cost of the trip was ever increasing, which we found very annoying as generally cruising you know what you outlay is before you leave and that doesn't generally change?? Entertainment as a whole was lacking and not that great. Once again on others ships there has been a lot more going on and certainly of better quality. We were trapped inside the passport control at Venice before re-boarding the ship for an hour, the place was packed solid was soaking wet people as it was raining heavily outside. Once again no information was given as to why we were being held there and not allowed to board the ship! It turned out that the gangway had fallen into the sea! WHAT? How does that happen and thank goodness no one was on it at the time. Ok to sum up know as it could probably go on and on with bad points. We would strongly advise not to use this ship and Princess cruises. There are other much better cruise operators out there who provide a considerably better service and value for money Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such ... Read More
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such friendly helpful staff. The food is always cold so do not except too much, the deserts in the Horizon is really good for choice and the staff up there are the best always asking if you would like coffee or tea , Water nothing was too much for them to do for you. The free ice cream on the Lido deck is free and really good. The biggest problem was the shaking of the cabin at the AFT deck lido deck 14 on island princess shaking these are new cabins even though they were clean and nobody could look down on you and were not noisy the shaking is like being on one of those fitness shaking machines all the time. The shows were very short and some of the acts were terrible. The Films on Deck at night were good with free popcorn and cookies. The Burger bar is very good very hot food and fresh. Room Service which is free try the steak sandwich in the afternoon what a treat. The cabin Staff were so good always cleaning and perfect. Always sun lounger’s room in the pool space for all as there are 2 main pools and a splash pool on top deck forward. Be careful with the photographs can be very persistent. One of the best things is Any dinning you can go for dinner between 5:30 and 10 o'clock and sit a a different table every night. When shopping on board we found that staff very unhelpful and always looking at their watches rather than helping you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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