We booked our flight separately, flying Delta-KLM. Be sure to pay a little extra and get the Economy Plus; more leg room, more tilt, and two across. The food and refreshments were frequent and included. You get early boarding with the First Class.
We were met at the airport by a team of efficient Princess representatives, who directed us to where to take our luggage (free handy carts) and to our bus. We were whisked to the ship's terminal and noticed a long line of people waiting to get aboard. We were pleasantly surprised to find our wait was only about 15-20 minutes and we received a handy pocket map of the ship, our room card and pictures taken for i.d. Once aboard we made our way to our stateroom, with the help of conveniently placed personnel to aid us on our way.
It was disappointing to find our balcony stateroom very cramped. It wasn't as nice or roomy as on a smaller Princess Two people couldn't be about at the same time. One had to sit on the side of the bed with feet out of the way while the other maneuvered around the bed. Also don't drop the soap in the shower or you'll get a bump on your head.
There was no room for a foursome card game or pre-dinner refreshments. Our daughter and her husband had to knock on our cabin door and wait in the passageway. We couldn't all fit in the room together.
The first day or two it was bewildering trying to find our way around. The little pocket map really helped, and on each floor near the elevators you would find a plaque of the ship and the layout for the floor you were on.
The food was prepared for any variety of ethnic people, special diets, etc.
My complaint is that the vegetables were almost raw. I like al dente, but their cooked veggies were 1 degree from raw. The baked sweet potato slices were hard and undercooked. Since I like vegetables and heaped them on my plate, I must say there was quite a waste.
We were assigned a table at dinner, but ate there only 3 times due to the noise level. The workers stations are nearby and noisy, even though they tried to be quiet and the surrounding tables were quite noisy. Perhaps more insulation is required.'s
We dined in the Grill and Sabatini's which were well worth the cover charge, and also the anytime dining room and the buffet.
For a delightful treat, get a specialty coffee at the International Cafe and next to that is a delicious pastry, salad, quiche, and small sandwich counter to enjoy with your coffee. Nice place to meet a friend.The selection for the ports of call were excellent. Didn't enjoy Aarhus that much. St. Petersburg was the highlight but very, very crowded. The archipelagos on the way to Stockholm were beautiful...stay up to see the beauty of the area as you glide by; also the fjords in Norway. Warnemunde/Rostock, Germany was one of my favorites. Overall, the tours were well planned and educational. I had trouble understanding one or two guides.
We noticed in the Princess Theatre that the shows were shortened to about 30 min.
The crew singers, however, were excellent.
Some amenities were missing such as the towel figures in your stateroom. I suppose corners have to be cut somewhere, but it doesn't feel as special to not have the extra niceties to remember that you were special and being pampered.
We will not travel on such a large ship again as we felt we were lost in the shuffle of humanity. I didn't see or talk to the same people twice. I felt I was in a tenement building and the thought struck me, "what if there was a fire".On embarkation, it was very organized and easy to leave the ship. The buses were waiting and promptly took off for the airport making it easy for us. The hard part was when we were on our own.
Our tour guide was very hard to understand and I was not that impressed with what we had to see. Maybe we took the wrong tour.
Excellent, helpful guide named Ulf. Nice restaurant for lunch. Beautiful area and enjoyed every minute of it. Don't miss the historic church, St. Mary's, and the highlight was Schwerin Castle floating, it seemed on Lake Schwerin.
The Viking Museum was of great interest.
Don't miss the Rock Church. We were privileged to hear a concert pianist play, and the acoustics are amazing
We took the least walking tour. The bus ride took us to all the important places and it is a beautiful city.
I took a picture of our tour group's feet when they were wearing the booties. I told them to be sure and smile.
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