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22 Southampton to Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

Overall a great cruise with nothing negative to comment on. Great itinerary, excellent ships staff, good food good entertainment, what more could one want. Sailing down the Solent in daylight was a great experience, a good selection of ... Read More
Overall a great cruise with nothing negative to comment on. Great itinerary, excellent ships staff, good food good entertainment, what more could one want. Sailing down the Solent in daylight was a great experience, a good selection of continental ports, the weather could have been better but did not impinge on our enjoyment.visiting the many classical sights through the Mediterranean including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the monastery at Montserrat in Spain, the walking tour of Rouen, Marseille, the ultimate tour of Rome including the Vatican, Collisseum, the Sistine Chapel, the buried city of Pompeii, Valletta in Malta, the Parthenon in Athens, the acropolis of Linda’s in Rhodes, and transiting the Suez Canal. A bit of a disappointment at Aqaba where due to flash flooding Petra was closed but relief that we were not there the previous day and caught in the chaos. Dubai as usual was an eye opener including visiting the Q.E. 2. First visit to India, Sri Lanka and repeat visit to Kuala Lumpur with final and reluctant disembarkation at Singapore. No issues with the food or service, theatre entertainment dropped off after Dubai and the greatest disappointment of losing our electric jug on the last day.Just hope it returns for our cruises next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Main reason was to go along the Suez Canal and then see Petra. We saw and liked the Suez, but Petra had to be cancelled due to the flood there the day before our arrival. Practically nearly all of the other ports we had visited ... Read More
Main reason was to go along the Suez Canal and then see Petra. We saw and liked the Suez, but Petra had to be cancelled due to the flood there the day before our arrival. Practically nearly all of the other ports we had visited before, and this ship and it's itinerary (apart from the Sea or Sun Princess World Cruise) go through the Suez and gave the chance of going to Petra. Had we seen advertised before we booked, various section itineraries of this cruise we would have just taken the Rome to Dubai section, and missed out the problem and cost of the Indian Visa's, plus the trouble the Sapphire Princess had with them when we were about to arrive at Cochin. Fortunately, we had ours on a thumb-drive and were able to have Sapphire Princess customer service reprint them. A lot of people had problems there. The Sapphire Princess also charged excessively for shuttle buses that were probably put on by the ports, for which Princess would probably pay only a pittance. The shows were sub-standard and a lot of passengers were complaining about them and walking out. There was little in the way of activities, and the Cruise Director staff were very loud, would shout or scream even though they were using a microphone. The Cruise Director Manager, Paul, would 'put down' his female staff and it was 'beneath' him to talk to passengers. On the whole, this is the WORST CRUISE we have ever taken with Princess, and it will take a lot of consideration before joining Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Had sailed on Sea princess before, a suitable size with just under 2000 passengers, but still plenty of room and easy access to all areas of the ship. Cabin was very suitable and convieniently situated, only a noise problem at night ... Read More
Had sailed on Sea princess before, a suitable size with just under 2000 passengers, but still plenty of room and easy access to all areas of the ship. Cabin was very suitable and convieniently situated, only a noise problem at night being over the Crooners Band, although it normally went off about 10.30 most nights. Dining generally satisfactory except there appear to be too many exotic items but this is covered later. Service very good. Entertainment generally very good, both in appeal and different types of activities. New places to see, mainly Iceland, Greenland and Eastern coast of Canada. Have seen West coast of USA and Canada by land in 2004, but not the East coast. Iceland and Greenland were very different to what we had seen before. Unfortunate that we could not get ashore at Easter Island but fully support the Captain's decision that it was too risky to attempt. Dining. How can you have roast Pork without crackling.?? See the chefs on Princess. I did have some in the Horizon bar on one occaision. A different supplier is required, as on the blurb, bottom right hand corner of the menu, the inference is that this is a Curtis Stone recipe. If I can find his Email address I will be sending him this message. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The repositioning cruise was chosen because it seemed to be well priced and was a nice way of returning to Australia. The ports were an annoying interlude between the sea days. No bridge Director on board yet lots of sea days. Sorry ... Read More
The repositioning cruise was chosen because it seemed to be well priced and was a nice way of returning to Australia. The ports were an annoying interlude between the sea days. No bridge Director on board yet lots of sea days. Sorry Princess now sailing on Cunard. On the previous leg the Cruise Director told the bridge Director they could take all the equipment if they wanted as they were not doing bridge anymore. Entertainment was poor. Even most of the comedians were rubbish. The dancers and singer were the same motley lot. Very little classical music or performances. Holland America have shown the way with BB Kings Blues Club and the Lincoln Centre strings. After a couple of weeks you notice the breakfast menu in the Dining Room and Buffet never changed. The food in the buffet was nearly all carbohydrates or over stewed vegetables. The salad selection never varied. Come on chefs you can do different things with the same ingredients. The Detox salesman gave a great lecture on the hidden dangers of carbohydrates. The chefs should go to the lectures. Many of the passengers are type 2 diabetics or on the cusp. But Princess turns out the very food that can kill them. It reduces their customer base? Even if they just get very sick they wont cruise any longer. The night club was a joke. 4 Frank Sinatra tunes in a row at midnight! There were no special effects. The DJ said she was only hired to play music. Couldn't operate the lights or smoke machine. W anted to shut down at midnight because there was a party in the crew bar. Endless Beatles and other 50-60 year old music. The clientele may be getting on in years but they do go out of a night. To top it off the arrogant Cruise Director kept poking fun at people who went to the night club. No wonder there few people there dancing. The Expert of ports was giving wrong information. X the unknown quantity and spirt the drip under pressure. He seemed more intent on frightening people onto the ships tours. He kept on about how the tribes were formed from ancient man rather than point out the things to see in each port. No shuttles in Dubai or Thailand. hence you were left at the mercy of taxi drivers who wanted exhorbitant Mafia like fares. Tenders ashore were a joke. From the time you queued to getting ashore took 2.5-3 hours. Lectures were given in a monotone and were merely like someone reading from a book. The history of WWII was covered in 5 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had a fabulous 30 day cruise from Southampton, England through the Suez Canal until we reached Singapore. Very interesting ports of call including Dubai, Aqaba (Jordan), Cochin (India), Phuket, not to mention Italy and Sicily. ... Read More
We had a fabulous 30 day cruise from Southampton, England through the Suez Canal until we reached Singapore. Very interesting ports of call including Dubai, Aqaba (Jordan), Cochin (India), Phuket, not to mention Italy and Sicily. Princess did a great job managing a very full ship of passengers. The food was very tasty at every venue, the service was great, and the lecturers on board were so interesting. I liked it so much that I want to book another cruise with Princess. My only issue was with fellow passengers. They would lie sweating in the sun by the pool and periodically jump into the pool to cool off, without even rinsing off their sweat in the shower attached to the pool .YUK! It got so I did not want to use the pool after the sweat hogs. Passengers should have to take a course on Cruise Etiquette 101. Other than that, an awesome cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Decided on doing this cruise as relations were making their way back to Australia after spending 3 weeks with us in Wales. This was our first time with Princess and will certainly cruise with them again . As I was travelling solo and ... Read More
Decided on doing this cruise as relations were making their way back to Australia after spending 3 weeks with us in Wales. This was our first time with Princess and will certainly cruise with them again . As I was travelling solo and had to pay the dreaded double cost I chose a inside cabin , this was mid ship on Baja deck B411 ,cabin very spacious,loved the open wardrobe space making the cabin seem larger without the wardrobe doors. Good cabin steward who kept everything clean and tidy,loved the new bed and pillows so comfy you did not want to get up. We had my time dining and after being on different tables for a few nights we found two excellent waiters whom we asked to stay with ,we were lucky that if we dined around 7:30 pm there was usually room at one of their tables , Prasad was from Goa and his assistant from Brazil ,we were made to feel special every night,nothing was to much trouble for them The theatre shows were hit and miss , enjoyed Paul Brown who performed two nights fabulous voice he had been the lead singer in The Lion King in London,David Copperfield also put on two good shows once in the Theatre and and another night in one of the lounges. Also went to a few shows in the lounges put on by the crew and were also very good .only problem was there was never enough room and lots had to stand throughout the show. One of the highlights of this cruise was the transit though the Suez Canal ,excellent commentary from the bridge by an Australian lady ,sorry can,t remember her name ,also enjoyed her talk in theatre on Petra ,I had been a few years ago on a land based holiday to Jordan so had already visited Petra so enjoyed going through it all again. My only regret on this cruise was not taking the plunge and going the full 48 nights to Australia! May be another time.loved the Emerald Princess Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Although we were on the 30 day portion of this cruise there were a number of disorganized or poorly administered issues that prevented this from being a home-run. Most notably among the administration issues was the India visa fiasco. We ... Read More
Although we were on the 30 day portion of this cruise there were a number of disorganized or poorly administered issues that prevented this from being a home-run. Most notably among the administration issues was the India visa fiasco. We booked months before we left home and were told we would not be able to board in Southhampton if we did not have all necessary travel documents including the India visa regardless of whether we wanted to disembark in India or not. For two US citizens the cost associated with obtaining the visa was more than $700; a ridiculous amount for a visit of less than 10 hours. However, when we arrived in Southhampton we discovered that there were many passengers who did not possess the necessary visa and they were permitted to board. We were then told they would be forced to leave the cruise in Dubai regardless of their original terminal port. This did not happen. They were permitted to remain on board and we were then told that Indian immigration were going to examine our documents and if we didn't have a visa we could apply for one on board at a much lower cost than what we paid; or, if we preferred we could remain on board and not purchase a visa. After already providing our documents at embarkation in Southhampton where we waited for about two hours to board (after an overnight trip from LAX) we were furious to have to stand in line AGAIN FOR OVER AN HOUR.The anger that this has caused absolutely colored my opinion of Princess, not to mention their decision to return to the filthy city of Cochin over and over again. To add insult to injury the Princess legal team had a letter presented to us while still on board basically throwing India under the bus and not taking any responsibility for this mess. We heard from many, many passengers that Princess stops in Cochin because it's the cheapest place to off load their garbage. I believe it! It looked like it was all strew over the streets and alleys of the city. Note to Princess; if you say that passengers will not be allowed to board without their documents stick to it. Allowing people to board just made the cruise line look like a bunch of liars and only interested in as much money they could get out of passengers if they even intended to force them off the ship in Dubai. Food, I don't consider huge amounts of food to equal good food and mostly the food on the buffet lines were marginal with the desserts rated as poor. Dry and tasteless. Best bets were the vegetables on the salad bar if we were a day or two away from the port we had just departed from. After a few days the fresh fruit and vegetable options were limited. Curtis Stone restaurant was wonderful as was the Grill. The Salty Dog not so much. There were so many add ons that we easily logged up a lot of on-board expenses even while attempting to be conservative. Our balcony room was quite comfortable and always nicely maintained. We had laundry taken care of with our status if we had wanted, but I was hearing so many stories of misplaced clothing we decided to do our own. Almost always a problem getting tokens for the machines. We had to go to the desk almost every single time we did laundry. We believed most of the staff was very polite and professional although we had one waiter in the Elite lounge that I would describe as a smart aleck and we avoided him if we believed we were in his section. The activity director was a twit that thought everything he and his side kick said was hilarious. It wasn't and included a lot of personal information he and the sidekick woman that had absolutely nothing to do with the cruise and just seemed like a platform for them to talk about themselves. BORING and silly. The one big show that we were supposed to be the first to see, Magic to Do was more Magic to Don't. We heard others referring to it as the third level of understudies who were performing. The shore excursions we purchased through Princess were low grade with too many people crammed into each group to again maximize profit. We took a tour of Petra by hiring our own guide prior to leaving home and not only was it cheaper, but we had the guide for the whole day and we were the only ones in his car. We got to the site quicker, before the bus crowds, and since we were with him all day we got his undivided attention. Finally, I don't know why we spent two days in Dubai, one of the most expensive and uninteresting cities I've ever been in. It would have been much more valuable to me as a passenger to have two days in Petra or even in Rome. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise for it's length (30 days) and ports of call. Princess does deliver on quality every time. It's not the most luxurious ship out there and the cuisine isn't outstanding but overall service is very good. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's length (30 days) and ports of call. Princess does deliver on quality every time. It's not the most luxurious ship out there and the cuisine isn't outstanding but overall service is very good. The cabins are roomy and the beds large and comfortable with quality bedding. Dining is good. Unfortunately for me, I had to say no to all desserts due to my lactose intolerance (all their desserts contain milk or cheese). Probably a good thing really - don't have to worry about gaining weight. The entertainment was not very good (but we don't cruise for entertainment). Ports of call were varied and we really enjoyed seeing Petra in Jordan. Took many princess offered tours and was disappointed with many of the tours due to the fact that tour guildes spoke such poor english we could hardly understand them! Their tours are also very expensive. I expected better from Princess. Our best excursions were private tours or on our own. Our cabin steward provided very good service as did all personnel throughout the ship. We enjoyed the pool areas as well. They have a "Sanctuary" area in the forward ship which cost extra to use. It had cushioned lounge chairs, snacks and stewards to wait on you. The entire 30 days I never once saw anyone use this area! What a waste. It should be free to all guests. If you sail on Princess you will encounter an older crowd especiallly on the longer cruises. I did think the shopping area had a lot of variety to offer. Also noticed that many of the female guests took advantage of the dancing lessons. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I have come to really like long cruises. With a one- or two-week cruise you're just getting to know the ship when it's over; with a 30-day cruise you have time to enjoy it more. For this cruise, when people asked, "Where did ... Read More
I have come to really like long cruises. With a one- or two-week cruise you're just getting to know the ship when it's over; with a 30-day cruise you have time to enjoy it more. For this cruise, when people asked, "Where did you go?" we said, "Everywhere!" Started in Southampton, made our way down the coast, through the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal, around the Middle East, around India and ended up in Singapore. We took a five-day shore excursion flying from Dubai to Delhi and visiting Agra, Jaipur and Delhi, then flying down to Cochin where we picked up the ship again. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise except for three things: 1. Whoever made up the Indian itinerary had no concept of traffic and geographic space in India. As a result we spend long hours on the bus with not enough time to really see the cities. 2. The ship was a little past its prime; the library was minuscule; some of the newer facilities found on other ships were not there. 3. The theater was way too small for 3000 passengers; several nights we just gave up because there were no seats available 20 minutes before show time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Good way to get home after touring in England, Good length of cruise. Really enjoyed the cruise in general, the only negative was the Indian visa requirement, don't know why Princes continue to include India, when it is such a ... Read More
Good way to get home after touring in England, Good length of cruise. Really enjoyed the cruise in general, the only negative was the Indian visa requirement, don't know why Princes continue to include India, when it is such a pain to acquire visa and it costs so much for a single day. On the up side: 1/ The inclusion of the Share Restaurant was a real bonus, initially thought the $39 a head charge was a bit high, but after visiting quite happy to go again, the food was superb, and service was excellent. 2/ The gym size was the best I've seen on Princess, never had a problem getting access to equipment. At first staff seemed new, but quickly got into the swing of it and made the trip a pleasure to self indulge in to many drinks and nibbles.Thankfully the gym work limited it to only 2 or 3 kg over when I got home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Great itinerary. Lovely ship. Good food. Enjoyed everything about it. We enjoyed the cruise, and the days just whizzed by. We were very sorry to get off the ship. The dining room was especially fun, and Peter our speedo wearing ... Read More
Great itinerary. Lovely ship. Good food. Enjoyed everything about it. We enjoyed the cruise, and the days just whizzed by. We were very sorry to get off the ship. The dining room was especially fun, and Peter our speedo wearing waiter from Hungary made the experience. Enjoyed the pools, the weather, and the trivia. Having a balcony was very nice, and we enjoyed sitting outside and having coffee in the morning. A late night drink was a wonderful way to cap off the evening. I think Princess has the best laid out rooms, with the big closet in a place away from the bed. Being on a long cruise is a special experience, and made the cruise more relaxed. We will definitely aim to go on longer cruises in the future. The only negative is SHARE - avoid it at all costs. It is expensive with bad service. Despite complaining the cruise line doesn't seem to compare. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
It would take us some hours to list all the issues (from a customer’s viewpoint) that need immediate addressing by Princess, as a result of our experiences during the 48 day Southampton to Sydney cruise on the Emerald Princess, but here ... Read More
It would take us some hours to list all the issues (from a customer’s viewpoint) that need immediate addressing by Princess, as a result of our experiences during the 48 day Southampton to Sydney cruise on the Emerald Princess, but here are just a few to start with, just off the top of our head: UPGRADING TO MINI SUITE: When we originally booked the cruise, we wanted a mini-suite but were told there were none available. While in UK, we were told by your Southampton office that mini-suite A329 on Dolphin deck was available and an approximate upgrade cost would be around AUD$2,500. We were told that we would have to contact Princess in Australia as that was where our booking was originally made. This was where we found out that if in UK or Europe, it was impossible to call Princess Australia as all calls were diverted by Princess to Southampton office. Not to be deterred, we then emailed Princess Australia who replied that the cost to upgrade to the mini suite would be AUD$11,640 When we told Princess what to do with their AUD$11,640 upgrade, they replied that they would do it for AUD$2,000 provided that we called them on a 13 number within 24 hours (Impossible from outside Australia and they knew we were then in UK). Well, by the time we did contact them (through the kind help of a Southampton offices staff member’s friend in Australia) Princess told us that we hadn’t replied within the 24 hours demanded by them and consequently the mini suite was no longer available to us. COST OF CRUISE DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU BUY IT ! As if this experience wasn’t bad enough, during the cruise a fellow passenger from UK asked how much the cruise had cost us. When we told them AUD$20,000 plus they gasped – they only had to pay the equivalent of AUD$16,000 for the same cruise. An American passenger present then advised us that they had paid a little over AUD$12,000 for the same cruise that we were all currently on There’s a lesson here, never buy a Princess cruise in Australia – much cheaper if you buy in UK or better still in USA ! ! ! INDIAN VISAS We were told by Princess prior to the cruise that we would be denied boarding if we had not obtained a visa for India, whether or not we planned to go ashore there. We had no intention of going ashore in India and would have been more pleased if the ship did not even call there. We then had to spend some AUD$400 to obtain the visas required by Princess but when we arrived in India, the hundreds of passengers that had not obtained their visa’s were told they didn’t need a visa if they stayed on board as we had planned to do. It turned out we were not the only passengers who had been forced by Princess to spend hundreds of dollars completely unnecessarily (and we spoke with several Americans who had been forced by Princess to similarly spend over a thousand dollars [AUD.] to get their Indian visa’s that they didn’t really need as they did not get off in India) To rub salt into the wound, all passengers were then hurriedly sent a letter from Princess’s lawyers trying to shift the blame to the Indian government (obviously to try to avoid the class action that we have been told has been started by passengers against Princess for damages and compensation caused by Princess) Not even so much as a word of apology to affected passengers from Princess for their incompetence ! LIBRARY: Shortly after embarkation we decide to visit the library on board. There was no library attendant and there were NO BOOKS other than a few in non-English languages (see pics) just bare empty bookshelves ! ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT: There seemed to be only a few decent shows put on by Princess and these were repeated over and over during the 48 day cruise. The other entertainment provided by Princess was of poor quality and obviously the cheapest they could get. Most of the remaining entertainment was provided (at no cost to Princess) by the passengers – e.g. Fashion Parades, Choir, Talent Time etc and even those were repeated over and over. Princess even spoiled the Talent Time show by apparently pre-selecting a semi-professional screamer (singer) as the winner when there were several other contestants with more talent in their little finger and who the consensus of passengers gauged to be much better than the person selected by Princess. FORMAL DRESS CODE: Your review of this ship is misleading stating “Most men wear suits, though a number wear black ties, while most women opt for cocktail dresses rather than all-out formal evening gowns.” There were around 8 Formal nights during our 48 day cruise and on each of these nights at least 95% of men wore Black Tie and the majority of ladies wore evening gowns. It was rare to see a man in a suit or a lady wearing other than at her glamorous best. Princess advertising blurb carries on about dress on Formal nights but we were amazed to witness a few improperly dressed male passengers (open-necked golf “T” shirt, no jacket) that were allowed entry to dinner at Crown Grill on a Formal night. When we questioned the Maître D, we were told “We cater for everyone - casual dress is OK”. What about the heavily tattooed male passenger wearing a blue singlet, shorts and scuffs who was allowed entrance to Horizon’s for dinner ? DINING ROOMS: After trying both dining rooms (we had anytime dining) we dined in the dining rooms only a couple of times after finding the food pretty ordinary and the service not much better. On one occasion, my wife sent her meal back 3 times and in the end, we walked out in disgust and went up to Horizons to eat. Other passengers at our table had similar experiences HORIZON COURT: We found the food here ranged from average to excellent and much better than the dining rooms. We found the staff both behind the counters and in the dining areas very good. As a result we ate here most of the time PRINCESS GRILL: We dined here on three occasions and found the food and the service excellent on each occasion. This restaurant was without peer in the dining stakes on board the Emerald ! ROOM SERVICE: Pathetic little menu - food served is terrible – examples - sandwiches made with dry, stale bread without butter, requested 3 minute boiled eggs and received cold, harder than concrete 30minute boiled eggs, etc etc all of which is obviously designed by Princess to save money by totally discouraging passengers from using room service PRINCESS EXCURSIONS: We were disappointed by the lack of knowledge or information / misinformation / (untruths) re ports and tours etc. by staff, especially tour desk and after our experiences during the Civitavecchia and Dubai excursions, we cancelled all 11 of our remaining prepaid excursions Rome excursion 3 October 2016 (winery) 3 ¼ hours in bus – told would be 1 ½ hours – no vineyards – taken to a shed with a few bottles of wine for sale – elderly passenger unconscious after falling backwards off a stool - bus would not start to return to ship – injured passenger not transferred to working bus for repatriation back to ship and forced to wait until bus repaired – tour was to have ua back on ship by 2pm – back at ship 5.45 pm Dubai excursion 17 October 2016 – Elderly passenger about to collapse on the street - no compassion or assistance offered by guide - fellow passenger ill trying to walk back to bus in unshaded blazing heat told by guide “Come on hurry up we must get back to bus” REFIGERATOR: We arrived no board to find a warm refrigerator in our cabin. Although a man came to “fix” it, he told us that it was the best he could do. It was not even cold enough to stop butter from melting, for the entire trip SMOKING ROOM: Its one thing to restrict smoking to one room but quite another to restrict it to a tiny dirty, non-ventilated room with not even enough chairs for passengers who do smoke to sit in there (see pic) ON BOARD CLASSES – EDUCATION: Apart from those talks simply seeking to sell something at grossly inflated prices (by Princess) e.g. Diamonds, artwork, massages etc there was simply nothing ! What about some classes in Photoshop, Chess, Bridge, basket weaving etc. like other cruises ? Again, apart from blatant advertising talks by Princess, most talks and discussion groups were contributed by passengers who advised us that Princess were too stingy to pay them even a small fee or even present them with a small gift or certificate for their trouble ! UNSOLICITED JUNK MAIL: Finding unsolicited junk mail in our cabin mailbox daily and in also daily bulletin was a big turn off as was being personally accosted in public areas by Princess girls trying to sell overpriced massages etc CABIN BOYS: We had a good one. However others were not so lucky e.g. comment one from cabin boy to another cabin boy overheard by passenger while placing room service tray out for collection “They must have been hungry – why can’t they eat with the rest of the passengers ?” STAFF GENERALLY: On a positive note there were some excellent, professional and caring staff on board who went “the extra mile” in Customer Services front desk, Drink waiters, in Horizons, our cabin boy, the bar boys on 16th floor smoking area (Southampton to Singapore) and Manager Michelangelo Dining Room to mention but a few. However, there was also a really ignorant, arrogant senior staff member who had a standard reply to anything one said to him. Obviously, this person never listened to comments/questions from passengers and would simply smile and reply “I’m so glad to hear you’re having a wonderful cruise on the beautiful Emerald Princess” I’m pretty sure if I said to him “The back of the ship has fallen off and there are 400 passengers swimming for their lives” I would get the same smile and the same reply ! THE CONSUMMATE HOST ? After our experiences during a 48 day cruise from Southampton to Sydney on board the Emerald Princess, we simply could not believe the sheer, bare-faced arrogance of Princess cruises claiming over and over to be “The consummate host”. This claim repeated over and over both orally and in writing by Princess during the cruise antagonized not only us but many other passengers as well. We doubt that any Princess staff even know the meaning of the word “CONSUMMATE”? (i.e. “showing a high degree of skill and flair; complete or perfect”) Despite being in business for many years, Princess are nowhere near “complete or perfect” as they so arrogantly claim. The naked and insatiable greed and grab for every possible dollar by Princess, coupled with their sheer arrogance, is really breathtaking! SUMMARY: We have been on many cruises over the years, mostly with Princess. The first time we sailed with Princess was from Sydney to Los Angeles in 2008 and that cruise was magical – when we arrived in LA 32 days later, none of the passengers including us wanted to disembark as we had all enjoyed it so much. It convinced us to cruise with Princess in future. After our experiences with the cruise from Southampton to Sydney, we would never sail with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I wanted to get from UK to Australia on an alternative to flying. This ships repositioning met the need and the dates suited. Ive had not sailed with Princess Line before so it was a new experience and also had not done longer than 14 ... Read More
I wanted to get from UK to Australia on an alternative to flying. This ships repositioning met the need and the dates suited. Ive had not sailed with Princess Line before so it was a new experience and also had not done longer than 14 days so was a bit nervous on its length before sailing. The ship was large by my past standards, 3000 passengers and fully booked so was operating to maximum capacity and it showed. Sometimes it was hard to get a seat anywhere and the staff struggled with the sheer numbers. Given full capacity they did a good job. Despite that the overall operation was satisfactory to good. The food was good and well presented and the menu constantly changing, however they killed a lot of food with lashings of salt, sometimes to the point of it being uneatable. They had extra things such as grapefruit but unless you knew to ask you missed out. There were quite a few items that were not displayed but available in the Horizon Buffet for those in the know. Don’t understand why they did that. Entertainment could only be described as average. There were no children on the first leg but 50% of the movies were kids movies. Not at all suitable to a group with an average age of 70. It did not get any better as the trip continued with movies being repeated sometimes up to 4-5 times. The live entertainment was also only average and when it was something that obviously was of interest to the majority, instead of putting it on in the large theatre that probably held 500 they would have it in the Explorers Lounge that could hold 200. As a result there was always a rush to get a seat and a lot of disappointed patrons. Overall the service on board was excellent and the staff always helpful and friendly except the reception area that probably let the team down somewhat. They appeared to be overwhelmed and not handling a full ship and some bad mess-ups (india) well at all to the point of being rude. India, well what can I say, did not even get off the ship, wanted to but the misinformation early in the booking phase had us without a visa and when we did realise it was necessary, it was too late to get one before we departed home. It was a total mess up with the company staff threatening some guests. It was a disgraceful effort mainly due to the Indian Government regulations but the handling of it by the Staff was very poorly done. Tendering at non docking ports was another shambles. Something that has been done many many times, they still try to off load guests sometimes one at a time and in some cases it took two hours to disembark. It was a real turn off for shore excursions to the point that I would check the docking requirements in future and it there are too many tender ports then I would give the cruise a miss. Bottom line, would I do it again, not for so long, the lack of change in some of the entertainment, tendering port limitations and the sheer length was disappointing. Two of the three legs of the trip would have been fine. As for Princess Lines, they were good would I use them again, yes but I would look for a ship that was in the 2000 passenger range as the sheer size and at full capacity for the whole voyage lowered the pleasure of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This cruise departed Southampton on my birthday, and arrived in Melbourne Australia on my wife's birthday. Good signs (or a good excuse!). The Emerald Princess layout was very familiar, having sailed on her sister ships. We had not ... Read More
This cruise departed Southampton on my birthday, and arrived in Melbourne Australia on my wife's birthday. Good signs (or a good excuse!). The Emerald Princess layout was very familiar, having sailed on her sister ships. We had not had a holiday for almost 3 years due to business commitments, so we were really looking forward to the long break, and many days at sea. The worst aspect of this cruise was was the handling of the Indian Visas. We did the right thing and arranged ours as requested. Apparently many did not. They should not have been permitted to board the ship. Another reviewer has covered the debacle very well. Entertainment was the worst we have experienced on any cruse line, ever. It got to the stage where we did not even bother to attend shows - and comments from most other passengers reinforced our decision. Food in the Horizon Court was above average, with a good variety and lots of choices. The layout of the servery areas needs a good revamp though - people shuffling in all directions. Dining Room food was average. Cost cutting is taking its toll. Presentation of main meals was not much better than a pub meal. Most staff were friendly and obliging. Mastery of English could be improved for a few, but they all tried to keep us happy. We had a Premium balcony cabin midship on Caribe deck. Very spacious, but you look down onto the balcony below, and the balcony above looks down on you (although sitting close to the stateroom avoids this). The Library is no longer staffed, so the borrowing of books is simply an honour system. We boarded the ship reasonably early, and by the time we got to the library, most of the shelves were empty, and all the Scrabble games were gone (and were never returned). The Port Expert gave talks prior to arrival at each destination, and these were informative and helpful. If he was to remove the word "actually" from his presentations, they would have been over in half the time :-) The visit to Petra was the destination highlight of this cruise. That's one more off the bucket list. The transit of the Suez Canal was also very interesting Despite some grievances overall an enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise due to the price, the duration and the departure date. Our cruise was for 30 days sailing from Southampton at the end of September, so we avoided some of the autumn at home in the UK. We considered the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise due to the price, the duration and the departure date. Our cruise was for 30 days sailing from Southampton at the end of September, so we avoided some of the autumn at home in the UK. We considered the longer cruise all the way to Australia but given that this was our first long cruise we decided that it was too long. Having sailed on the Emerald Princess before we were familiar with the ship and its layout. We chose a balcony cabin midships on Aloha deck. We had previously had a cabin on Riviera which suffers from the overhang above which restricts the sunshine so this time opted for a lower cabin and were more than satisfied. Embarkation was a fiasco. We arrived by coach and were sent to a holding area because of the existing long queues which stretched out of the terminal. As a result the staff were restricting additional people joining the queue and were having to manage the input of coach arrivals. Whilst the wait in the holding area was not too excessive it was the first time we had encountered this (usually the coaches disembark passengers in lane 1 of the terminal), and queried why. We were advised that the delays were as a result of the need for the embarkation staff to check that all boarding passengers were in possession of the necessary visas for the proposed ports. This reason was later confirmed once we had joined the queue and entered the terminal waiting to be processed. The wait inside the terminal was lengthy but organised, as each person was allocated a group on entry to the terminal, which was then called up for processing by the embarkation staff. During embarkation the staff did indeed check passports for visas, in particular for an Indian visa which cannot be obtained upon arrival. Once checked and verified as correct the remaining embarkation process went smoothly. Entertainment was average. Given the amount of days at sea and the limited number of ports that the ship was calling at then I guess it was to be expected that there would not be a huge turnover of acts, so many had repeat performances. The "headline" shows involving the crews resident singers and dancers were only average when compared to other cruises we have had. All in all the entertainment was a bit of a disappointment. Food was good, although not excellent. We have noticed some downgrading of the food served by Princess since our last cruise with them. Nothing wrong with the quality of the meals on offer, but the menus were not as extensive as previously experienced and the mor "exotic" dishes (lobster, filet mignon etc.) were not as frequent. The major complaint on the cruise, one which was expressed by many many of the other passengers related to the Indian visa. These visas were quite expensive but were a mandatory requirement regardless of whether you intended to disembark in India or not, and this was made clear in the terms & conditions when you signed in to the online cruise organiser. Given the checks made in Southampton mentioned earlier you could safely expect that everyone onboard was in possession of the visa, but this turned out not to be the case and whilst the precise number of passengers without a visa is currently unknown to me there were rumours that it was in the hundreds. The application process for the visa was tedious and coupled with the quite excessive cost I felt both aggrieved and angry to find out that some passengers had avoided this yet were permitted to stay onboard the ship. If this option had been made public at the outset then I am sure that many other passengers would have opted to go without a visa. As a result of Princess failing to apply the rules consistantly many passengers, myself included, felt we had been unfairly treated which in turn marred an otherwise good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail the Suez Canal. We boarded the Emerald Princess in Southampton and we had a smooth check in. We had our Indian Visas and so this did not hold us up at all. The ships crew were fantastic, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to sail the Suez Canal. We boarded the Emerald Princess in Southampton and we had a smooth check in. We had our Indian Visas and so this did not hold us up at all. The ships crew were fantastic, greeting us with a smile and hello wherever we were. We have sailed on this ship before so we knew our way around. After unpacking, lunch and the customary lifeboat drill we settled into shipboard mode. The food was good with the exception of the Pheasant which was a bit dry but on the whole meals in the dining room were very good. We opted for anytime dining and met some lovely people in the dining room. The staff were very obliging and could not help us enough. I do not normally eat desert and so when it was my turn I replied "Nothing Thanks" when all the other deserts arrived I was promptly given a plate with "Nothing Thanks" written in raspberry coulee and decorated with chocolate swirls. What a lovely gesture. The meals in the Horizon Court were varied with lots to choose from, and of course the grill and ice cream were a huge hit. We also dined twice in the Crown Grill.. what can I say "superb" would recommend to try at least once even if you do have to pay a cover charge. The entertainment was hit and miss on this cruise. We had comedians and must say Jo Little, Tom Briscoe and David Kidd were very entertaining and so was the band Liquid Blue. On the whole a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was the first half of the 2016 world cruise. The main problem was the entertainment staff. There was very little organised activities, and those that were were aimed at 6 year olds! These included a craft activity of making rubbings ... Read More
This was the first half of the 2016 world cruise. The main problem was the entertainment staff. There was very little organised activities, and those that were were aimed at 6 year olds! These included a craft activity of making rubbings of a dollar to remember you had been to the USA. Initially there were in excess of 50 plus wanting to do a craft activity, at the end of the leg there were three - the same activity was repeated every leg of the cruise. There was so little to do that hundreds wanted to join the beginners Bridge class, but obviously they could not take that number. Likewise line dancing and ballroom dancing classes. There was ONE film in the afternoon of the first leg - Crocodile Dundee, 30 Years old!!! In the evenings the Dance Troupe were not considered up to standard to do a public performance. In the theatre at night ships officers, entertainment staff, ON CALL medical staff were all taking seats while passengers stood.The publicised details of lecturers, etc, bore little resemblance to who turned up. The biggest disappointment was the failure to honour the time spent in the ports of call. Booked ships tours were given preference, resulting in one case with us only being allowed off for 2 hours. We queued for an hour at San Francisco to get off and then were told the mooring was insecure and we could not get off. A day of cruising through the New Zealand Sounds was completely missed out, and the other was done in the dark. We could list a problem at most of the supposed ports of call. At Port Canaveral we had to go through immigration off the ship, and then wait in a freezing cold room with nothing to drink or eat, for five plus hours. On complaining we were told it had taken over six hours on other occasions. Staff were repeatedly rude to passengers. However the Indian and Philippine staff were brilliant. We paid £14,000 for this cruise and have been promised £700 of a future cruise! DO NOT go on Cunard. We have, over the last fifteen years, been on most cruise lines - we have NEVER experienced anything like this before. Beware of financially supporting Maitre'd whose wife supposedly has cancer. You will find it is part of a scam with Carnival/Cunard/P&O staff. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Having cruised 34 times before Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, I can offer a perspective on how QE compares to other lines. Our embarkation at Southampton was smooth. No issues with luggage or transport to pier. The layout of the ship ... Read More
Having cruised 34 times before Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, I can offer a perspective on how QE compares to other lines. Our embarkation at Southampton was smooth. No issues with luggage or transport to pier. The layout of the ship is great. Seating in the dining room for the evening is by table assignment at an assigned time. Cunard requires a dark suit or tux for formal nights for the men or a sports jacket for the casual nights. As we had about 17 formal nights, this was far too many nights to dress up on vacation. Menu is lacking in the dining room. Each night the menu has four entrees to choose from and small in size with hardly any vegetables. For a 42 night cruise, the menu repeats itself and with only four items to select again, it didn't meet our expectations for white star service. QE had many activities going on everyday and their evening entertainment was superb. In fact, it was the best entertainment we have had in all our cruising. Our Cabin was adequate for a veranda stateroom, but our cabin steward was the worst we have ever had. For the first three days of our cruise our room was never ready until 1:30 pm and we would leave our stateroom in the morning at 830am. We have never experienced such poor service. We were told that the stewards have 18 rooms to clean every day seems like too many rooms. Our steward kept forgetting to change the used glasses in our room, providing fresh face cloths, laundry slips, no ice in the ice bucket. Charging $20 to our dining companions to unscrew a wine bottle that had been given to them. I understand previously ships charge for corkage fees, but really to unscrew the bottle...quite insane in today's environment. Also charging for bottled water is another grievance I have. If you don't buy the bottled water, then you have to drink desalinated water from the tap??? Is this any way to treat your passengers with white star service? This particular cruise catered to English guests...many of the guest lecturers were about events in England along with the entertainment. Shore excursions are rated like many other cruise lines, some are good and some are very bad. Disembarkation was great! Very smooth. Fitness and spa were adequate. Excessive costs for pedicure and manicures without the newest equipment? Had a treatment from the doctor on board and they charged me a gratuity fee?? Since when do you pay a doctor a gratuity fee...another way for Cunard to make more money off their passengers. We had the neurovirus on our ship. I believe Cunard could have avoided this issue if they instituted a better sanitation process with their oncoming guests at Cape Town. While traveling with Azamara when we board the ship the first 24 hours, they serve the guests in the buffet restaurant to avoid any virus issues and we never incurred a problem. Not sure we would travel on Cunard again given the disappointments that we incurred. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We booked this cruise not long after we came home from a Volendam cruise in Asia and were very happy to do so. We like Holland America Line as they attract an older group of passengers and generally very few children. The Rotterdam cruise ... Read More
We booked this cruise not long after we came home from a Volendam cruise in Asia and were very happy to do so. We like Holland America Line as they attract an older group of passengers and generally very few children. The Rotterdam cruise would get us (hopefully) to 4 stars (yeah, free laundry!) and we were looking forward to it. We booked with HAL direct (in Australia) and asked for a D category cabin and gave them some cabin numbers that we had picked from the deck plan, and they were quite quick in allocating us cabin 1851 on Dolphin Deck. We were very happy with that allocation. We liked the ports that we were going to see and we had quite a few tours arranged before we left Australia. We always check the Roll Calls on Cruise Critic and we had been in contact with quite a few other passengers who were going to be on our cruise. We arranged some tours ourselves and got other CCers to join us. This was no problem. Once posted, most tours were filled within days (sometimes within hours even). We also joined some of the other passengers tours. All tours turned out to be great. The only HAL tour we booked was a kayaking tour for my husband. He enjoyed it tremendously, but normally only joins CC tours due to price and also group size. Our largest private tour had 17 people in 1 group. What was also great, was that when we actually met the people we had been in contact with face to face, we found that we got on very very well. We went on many tours together and had many lunches together on sea days. Our group of about 15 people were in daily contact and it was absolutely lovely. We have not had this before on our other HAL cruises. Embarkation in Southampton was very slow due to not enough processing staff. But we took it in our stride. Disembarkation though was fine and well organised. We had anytime dining and we almost always were seated at a round table for 6 or 8. We met some wonderful people during these dining times. The food was quite good. I read somewhere that someone complained about calfs liver not being nice. Well that was my absolute favourite and brought back great memories of my youth. I would like to see more VEGETABLES on the plates, there is very little evidence of vegetables during dining times. I know you can ask for steamed vegies, but generally we forget to ask for them. The waiters were friendly and courteaous, but they always seemed in a rush. Has HAL minimised their wait staff? The Lido was excellent for breakfast and lunches, no complaints at all. The Lido staff was great, full of smiles and happy greetings. Drinks were happily brought to the tables, this was a nice change from previous cruises. Entertainment: Well what do I say. The ship's dancers were great, absolutely great. The singers were okay. BB King just marvellous. But the showroom entertainers that were flown in were certainly not first rate. The Dutch Opera family was way beyond its use by date except for the daughter. There were a few half decent comedians, but generally in 8 weeks the only thing I can really rave about was on one of the gala nights when BB King played in the showroom and lots of people danced. That was terrific and should be done more often. It was lovely to see all the men in tuxes and ladies in finery on the dance floor. The temperatures on the ship varied enormously. You could be in the library and be hot and at the other side of the ship (the Explorers Lounge) it would be freezing. The Crow's Nest was always cold. After a few weeks a horrible smell started to appear on deck 1 from cabin 1909 to the aft cabins. This was very noticeable at the aft elevators. It lasted for weeks and when we disembarked it was still not gone. Also the entrance to the Lido (mid ships) was often smelly. The Cruise Director Michael Langley was great. We played trivia with him and it was always a good laugh. He does need to get more up to date when in ports and tenders are being used. A few times he announced that the ship had been cleared and people could now get off the ship, when if fact most people had already left the ship and were on tours. We did not do shore excursion with HAL, we used Cruise Critic for that and organised our own private tours. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Setting off from Southampton on 5th Jan we were a bit apprehensive about being away for so long and lots of sea days....but now we are back all those worries were unnecessary and we really have had the trip of a lifetime. Every port of ... Read More
Setting off from Southampton on 5th Jan we were a bit apprehensive about being away for so long and lots of sea days....but now we are back all those worries were unnecessary and we really have had the trip of a lifetime. Every port of call was a new adventure. Some places are not tourist hot spots so we got to see the real countries not some made up place just for visitors to buy things. Magnificent islands, scenery, animals and local people. Some basic things such as simple coaches not "tourist coaches with A/C and reclining chairs" and local people who were proud to show you their country and all its fascinations, and not just where to shop and eat McDonalds! So, all of these unusual things made the whole experience far more interesting. ( if you want pampered tourist places stick to Europe or the Caribbean) The ship is quite small and wasn't full so there was plenty of space to sit, lots of sunbathing areas, in fact plenty of space everywhere on the ship. Kept immaculately clean by the wonderful crew who we cannot praise enough. It was easy to see why Fred Olsen has so many returners. On the whole the food was good, but obviously 77 days is difficult to vary the menu completely, however there was always something you fancied and the chefs and waiters were always happy to mix and match to our tastes, so we could have chips instead of mash or this veg instead of that, and as many desserts as we could eat! Drinks prices very fair and the bar staff got to know your preferences very quickly. Fellow passengers: mostly retired as you would expect but apart from a few who thought the world owed them a living everyone joined in and the atmosphere was always happy and friendly. Plenty of activities on sea days, most days we had to "toss a coin" to decide which to do and which to leave out. Excellent lectures and mostly great entertainment, there was something for everyone. Cabin was spacious with plenty of storage, which you need on a long journey. Would definately do the same trip again, it was that good! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We have cruised a lot and this one we cruised for 32 days from Southampton to Singapore, however it was broken down to three separate cruises from Southampton to Barcelona, Barcelona to Dubai and Dubai to Singapore We paid way in ... Read More
We have cruised a lot and this one we cruised for 32 days from Southampton to Singapore, however it was broken down to three separate cruises from Southampton to Barcelona, Barcelona to Dubai and Dubai to Singapore We paid way in advance and it turns out we paid way too much as the rates were slashed as the cruises got closer --we appealed for a better rate without success, you would think there would be some consideration for early bookings. Oh well Firstly, lets be fair, this is a very nice ship, lovely cabins, and very friendly staff The food was pretty good , without being spectacular Now for the downsides and there were quite a few Consecutive cruises were a major problem Because there were 3 cruises, the same shows and movies were repeated over and over again "Antman " the movie was shown about 6 times along with other choices like ' Cinderella ", " Breakfast at Tiffanys " and other old or D grade movies-- you would think a billion dollar company could arrange a few modern movies. The ship had a large outdoor movie screen under the stars but because the movie selection was so poor, no one bothered to go . They also played the same movies inside at the Palace theatre but you couldn't see them as there was something wrong with the projection or screen production as they all came out in black tones--Basically a waste of time We ( along with many others ) complained but you got a different response, depending on who you asked. Answers like " we are unable to do anything because its to do with the satellite " ?? or " its to do with the copyright laws " ? which was ridiculous as they were showing the same shows in your cabin TV -- but of course you had to pay for these. The gym had quite a number of machines and cycles that were marked " under repair " or temporarily out of order " but there was never any attempt to fix them and they stayed that way for the duration of the cruises.--No one capable in maintenance ? they said they hoped to get new ones next year ?? or they would get parts in Adelaide--unbelievable really The entertainment ( apart from a few exceptions ) was pretty average and of course they repeated quite a number of them each cruise-- the ice shows the exception as they were brilliant. The timing of dinner and shows were way out of whack and there was little chance of seeing the early show unless you were to eat at 5pm for dinner.( not open ) Most entertainment activities were very late To cover the the lack of activities, they had endless trivia ( again just repeated every cruise ) and even such wonderful activities such as " making greeting cards " or " napkin folding " !! Seriously ??-- I think even the cruise director flinched with embarrassment when he announced those were on the program. Any ship tours were outrageously expensive and the couple we went on in India were poor to say the least . Finally a noro virus broke out on the last 2 cruises, but you can't blame the cruise line for that and they made every attempt to get it right As I said the ship was beautiful , it was a pity the activity selection was so poor as the cruise could have been so much better we learnt a lesson -- never go Consecutive cruising -- just do one in its entirety Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Explorer of the Seas Review We went on the repositioning trip consisting of four cruises from Southampton to Fremantle. This was a 42 day cruise from October 2, 2015 to November 13, 2015. Explorer has a lot going for it. The ship ... Read More
Explorer of the Seas Review We went on the repositioning trip consisting of four cruises from Southampton to Fremantle. This was a 42 day cruise from October 2, 2015 to November 13, 2015. Explorer has a lot going for it. The ship looks great, the décor and finish is good quality. Our stateroom 2292, although at the lowest level, was of a good standard with ample room and the bed was good. The evening shows were a real highlight with class acts including the song and dance team, the Explorer Orchestra and various individual artists of a high quality. Two comedians early in the cruise were of poor quality. The food was of a high standard although the menus were repeated and the formal nights did not feature different menus. Another highlight was the ice show. Explorer has a large ice rink with about 700 seats to watch the show. There were several Olympic standard skaters and the show was outstanding. The Cruise Director, Graham Seymour, was absolutely brilliant. He added a level of humour and great organisation to all the events and programmes. The rest of his team were also exceptional. There were several areas where the ship could have performed better. Gastro: The outbreaks just got more and more serious until at a changeover port passengers were asked to leave so the whole ship could be fumigated. Unfortunately the staff did not police the use of the sanitation stations at the entries to the dining facilities so it was always going to be a problem. Also the staff should have taken over the dispensing of food as passengers handling the same serving spoons etc. allowed the transmission of bugs. Library: The ship was advertised as having a library. It was very limited to start with and within a few days there were almost no English novels to read. This was a great disappointment to those who did not bring books. Excursions: The excursions representatives were not to be believed when questioned on the details of proposed excursions. They were either poorly trained or disinterested. Card Room: This was combined with the library and was quite inadequate for a ship of this size. Those wanting to play card games had to use other areas which were not always suitable. Suez Canal: it was so disappointing that there was no prior briefing nor was there any commentary during the transit. This was supposed to be one of the highlights of the trip and the lack of information was very poor. Generally we had a good cruise. The age group was mainly in the sixties and seventies and the facilities were more designed for a younger age group. Examples were the flow rider and the rock climbing wall. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015

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