Royal Princess Cruise Review by MomofKipper1956
- Sail Date: September 2015
- Destination: Transatlantic
- Cabin Type: Balcony
We're Platinum with Princess. This is perhaps our 15th cruise? We've also sailed with other lines. Here's what we thought:
Plusses: We loved the ports. The ship's tours were excellent and especially well organized. We did a couple on our own. The trip to the Landing Beaches had to be changed because American Cemetary was closed. The tour operator and bus driver still drove to the sight to make sure--Princess refunded without our asking 1/2 back.
Horizon Court--Wow. Since we sailed Egypt/Israel cruise in 2010, they have upgraded the variety and distinction of the buffet dining. Horizon Court out-shone traditional dining food which was just OK. Nothing much that stood out. But we could always find something in HC.
Internet--Who knew? We got free minutes as Platinum and the upgrade to whole cruise was nominal and kept me sane, particular with Wifi calling. The person in charge, George, was first-rate. My expectations from past cruising were low re connectivity and load time. Maybe that's why they were so positiv but I was able to be connected the whole time. Made big difference.
Laundry on every floor. Makes the chore so much easier.
Fitness equipment--I decided to use the many days at sea as "The Biggest Loser" adventure for myself. The equipment was current and working (and the Fitness Center very well used!). I didn't take any of the classes, but they looked pretty good and well-attended.
Movies Under the Stars: I'm not much of a movie fan, but, once the weather warmed, really enjoyed being out there at 3pm for the latest. In general, the shows were pretty good.
Minuses: The entertainment. The first half of the cruise --with the exception of the Princess live band (female lead, awesome first guitar) was amateurish at best. It picked up with a comdian and violinist plus a vocalist 2nd half, but overall, entertainment was a big disappointment.
The "Destination Expert". Wow, was that an overstatement. She mispronounced the names of ports (Le Have Rah), had superficial level of insight to ports (she may has well been reading from a guide book. Actually that would have been way better). She was unavailable, and I found a little insulting to those of us who might find visits to churches to have meaning beyond t the art. (She declared she realized most passengers don't find much value in visiting churches). She had a bathroom break of 20 minutes during the 1 hour she was "available" for the Azores excursion questions. I can't believe Princess would hire her.
The ship's layout: That's been discussed mightily. Why they didn't put a center stairwell in was the discussion of many a dinner.
The crossing: We discovered that for us (and we are not in the majority here) the crossing time was time we probably would have traded for less time on the ship and more at home. But we made the most of it and are glad we tried it.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Le HavreEven thought the American Cemetary was closed the guide made this a first-rate experience.View All 319 Le Havre Cruise Port Reviews
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Gouda Walking TourGot us into Holland; great guide. Cheese tasting was fine (not a highlight). We also went on our own to Amsterdam. Armed with the Rick Steve's info and insights from friends, we took the train, visited the Rijksmuseum (just awesome) Red Light district, canals. Loved. Warning: train station tickets dispensaries wouldn't take US credit debit cards without pin numbers. We finally got our debit card to go through CHASE.View All 12 Gouda Walking Tour Reviews