We took the 12 night British Isles trip in June. This is probably my eighth cruise and first on Princess. The good is that the ship was nice, the staff was hard working, the food was always decent to very good with a large and changing ... Read More
We took the 12 night British Isles trip in June. This is probably my eighth cruise and first on Princess. The good is that the ship was nice, the staff was hard working, the food was always decent to very good with a large and changing selection on the buffet. The pre-destination talks were informative and we caught a couple of art lectures that were very interesting.
That said, the activities and entertainment were all but non-existent. This was the British Isles so, no surprise, it was overcast or raining literally 100% of our trip. Because of the weather, the pools were permanently closed and the decks were windy and cold so, unlike other cruises, you couldn't just go sit by the pool. Seriously, there was almost nothing to do on the ship but eat and watch TV in our rooms which made for a boring vacation. Rarely did we see something we were interested in on the schedule (lots of sales pitches masquerading as entertainment). The three dancing/singing shows we saw were good but there were only three, hour long shows in twelve nights. My teens and I went to the Teen Club and the person running it made it clear they were there for baby sitting and there was zero actual activities for teens. It was the "Not Fun" Ship.
For example, we expected to see the White Cliffs of Dover on this trip since we were going by them anyway (like we saw the Ne Pali coast on our Hawaii cruise). But if we did sail by them, nobody told us and we never saw them. In fact, we sailed by interesting looking coastlines regularly but, unlike other cruises, we were never told what we were seeing and couldn't even find out if we wanted to as the Internet fees were astronomical and the ship board map on the TV in the rooms showing where the ship was at that time didn't work. This would have been so easy for Princess to do, cost them nothing extra, and would have been a big enhancement to this dull cruise.
Even the bars were not good as the terribly expensive drinks were incredibly weak. Want to know how to make a Princess Long Island Ice Tea? First, pack the glass to the brim full of ice, only fill each jigger of liquor three-quarters full, then fill it up with lemon juice and coke instead of just a splash. Princess, you charged me an premium high price of $10 for each drink plus a forced ~$2 tip so why not at least make them good?
Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the stop in "Paris" which we'd expected to be a trip highlight. The truth is that the port of Le Havre is at least 2.5 hours one way to anything in Paris you'd want to see (3 to Normandy Beach) so you're actually getting a full day on a bus with a couple of hours at a venue that would really deserve a full day. We'd planned on seeing the Lourve on our own but when we found out it was going to be over five hours on the bus, we went to the excursion desk to specifically book anything with less travel time as we especially didn't want to spend all day on a bus the day before we spent all day on a plane flying home. The woman at the Princess Excursion desk either purposefully misled us to sell the trip or was ignorant when she said the trip to Versailles was only 1.5 hours each way . As soon as we got on the bus, they said it was actually a 2.5 hour bus trip but then because of traffic and weather, ended up being a 4 hour bus trip there and a three hour bus trip back. We literally ran through Versailles in only 40 minutes before we had to be back on the bus. I called the excursion desk to speak to the manager and was never called back. My family of 4 paid almost $1100 for a little more than thirty minutes at the venue so it was the most expensive bus trip of my life and a terrible missed opportunity in our lifetimes.
Needless to say, I would not take this cruise again and will stay away from Princess altogether. Read Less