Overall, my husband and I enjoyed the cruise. The staff were very friendly and helpful. There was plenty to do if you were not one to sit by the pool all day. Because of the size there were many opportunities to interact with the staff. This is one of only 2 Princess ships with a dance floor, so our biggest disappointment was that, considering the ages of most of the passengers there were not more who enjoyed ballroom dancing.
Most of the ship excursions were excellent. We did take 3 excursions arranged by people on the message board. The best of these was the one to the Aquila Game Reserve 2 hours from Cape Town. It was a small disappointment that Princess did not offer an excursion to one of the major game reserves which might have started in Cape Town and returned to meet the ship in Durban 3 or 4 days later.
The ship is in need of minor maintenance, but it has been sold and will be in dry-dock for major refurbishing by the new owners. It is sad to see her leave the Princess fleet. I have become one of the many passengers who would gladly sail on her again for another exciting itinerary like this.
I have to single out the Head Waiters, Wait Staff, and Chefs. Since I have some food issues they were very solicitous that I not order anything which could cause a problem. Every night they brought around the next evening's menu and checked on my choices, even going so far as to produce a special serving which did not contain my problem food.
We enjoyed the majority of the entertainment. The resident company were very accomplished, the "hop-on, hop-off" entertainers were very good, even though some were not to our tastes. We had a flight home about 5 hours after arrival at our last port. The Excursions desk at first book us on a direct transfer to the airport, but then decided that they could not guarantee we would arrive in time, given the number of passengers disembarking that day. They did allow us to carry our luggage and be among the first off the ship after it was cleared. There were lots of taxis available and our driver got us from the port to the Rome, Italy airport in plenty of time for our flight.
We had an upgrade from an ocean view cabin to a balcony, so I am not sure which category it was. It was on the 7th deck, port side, near the stern. We had no trouble with motion and did not spend a lot of time on the balcony. We did enjoy having it when we watched the arrival and departure processes. The room was adequate size for two adults. The closet was large enough to hold most of the clothes we brought for 10+ weeks. (We did laundry about every 10 days.)
We walked from the ship to the cable car ride. It was interesting seeing the houses perched on the sides of the mountain. We then walked to the other cable car and descended in a different direction to the Botanic Gardens. I apparently was not quite awake when we decided to take the 2nd cable car, as I hadn't thought through the fact that the Botanic Gardens were also perched on the side of the mountain. Since I have trouble negotiating steep paths, both up and down, I waited near the top while my husband explored the gardens. He enjoyed the various tropical flowers and plants. I normally enjoy walking tours, but usually they are on less steep ground.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Our niece lives in Lisbon, so we were able to spend the day with her. After listening to the port lecturer we were given the impression that the only transportation available was taxi or City bus. Our niece took us about 2 blocks to the subway station and bought us all day, all you could ride tickets for bus, tram, and subway, which we were happy to have when there was a demonstration at one of the main squares and the bus we were on was not allowed to continue to the port. The bus stopped at the subway station and we were back at the ship before the deadline. Several other passengers were stuck in the traffic jam and late returning, although they had called ahead and the Captain waited for them.