Mid-August 2012 tour of the British Isles: Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by steveku2

Caribbean Princess 5
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Mid-August 2012 tour of the British Isles

Sail Date: August 2012
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
Embarkation: Southampton
Our objective was to tour Great Britain for our 20th anniversary, but how to do it? By bus? With a tour group? How about a cruise, stopping at various cities and taking our hotel - the cruise ship - with us? We had never sailed on Princess, but they were the only ones offering a British Isles cruise. Go for it!

On a scale of 1 to 10, I give Caribbean Princess 9.6. For the first time we discovered laundromats - one on each deck. We did laundry twice. Very important since we were spending five days in London after the cruise. Also important: in spite of shaky weather and lots of tenders, Captain West did not miss any ports. Too often Captains blithely sail right past ports because the water is "a bit too choppy" and they fear for the passengers' safety in transferring from the ship to the tender. The night before we sailed for Belfast we encountered extraordinarily high winds and Captain West rightly stayed in port. We didn't leave for Belfast until early the next More morning, and we got there late, but in time to tender off the ship and visit the city.

The Cruise Director and his staff were another plus. Generally Cruise Directors are the "star of the show" and staff members dutifully carry out their responsibilities. On the Princess, everyone got into the act. It was fun going to the games and activities just to see them in action.

Food on the Caribbean Princess was my only issue on the cruise. The 'burgers, bratwurst, and pizza by the pool were outstanding. And the few meals I had in the dining room were very good. However, too many night there was nothing on the menu that appealed to my wife or me. In their effort to be sophisticated, cutting edge, what have you, the kitchen staff turned me off. I suggest Princess turn the food creativity down a notch. As for breakfast, the kitchen never got it right. Eggs were too hard or too runny. French Toast was hard as a rock. In both the dining room and the Horizon Court buffet, breakfast was nothing to write home about, to say the least. As for the Horizon Court, the layout is a disaster. There's simply not enough room to look over the selections.

If others are looking for a way to tour the British Isles, Princess' cruise is a good way to go. One word, however: due to the excellent railroad system, most cities, e.g., Glasgow, Edinburgh, are accessible by rail. It's far less money than the cruise line's excursions, and you'll probably have more time to spend in the city and see much more. Check it out. Less

Published 09/01/12
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: BA Balcony

Biggest closet we've ever had on a cruise ship. In fact, there was plenty of room for all our stff. Missed the little couch that we get in Royal Caribbean's cabins.

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Port and Shore Excursions

City Tour

Toured Belfast City Hall. Yes, it's beautiful, but so are lots of city halls and state capitols in America. You are better off getting yourself into Belfast (plenty of options) and touring it yourself.

Didn't really see very much, although the tour was well done. Again, find a way in and tour it yourself.
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We took the train into Edinburgh, along with a British couple we met on the ship. This is a great city, not to be missed.

There's not really much to do in Holyhead. We took a train to Conwy, a wonderful Welsh town.

Southampton is simply the embarkation port. Nice town, but we really didn't spend any time there. It's two hours from Heathrow Airport and Princess did a real good job shuttling us in. It is not a free service, however.

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