We choose Princess cruises as we had a previous cruise still in our minds, the Diamond Princes sailing out of Sydney heading to Perth April last year and everyone of our party had a great time, we have cruised fourteen times prior and on many different cruise lines, NCL, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Thomson, P&O, Celebrity and MSC although our very first cruise back in 2005, the Coral Princess Vancouver to Anchorage and probably the best cruise ever until this recent cruise and certainly the cruise that started our passion for cruises. We wanted to try different ships and cruise companies to compare.
We were looking for a seven day Mediterranean cruise and found the Royal Princess sailing Athens to Barcelona, not only were the destinations inviting but the ship just three years old and one of the largest in the fleet but still only 3,000 passengers.
As always the weather does have an impact however, the destinations were all sunshine and the ship was fabulous, food plenty in the Horizon buffet as expected and a great variation, quality second to none. We did not dine at any of the theme type restaurants as the main dining room 'Symphony' had good choices and great staff, why would we try elsewhere. We did anytime dining which allowed us to opt for early or late shows depending on the day we'd had, there were four in our party but six before end of the week.
Entertainment, from vocalists to illusionist on the big stage, the ships own on-board dancers and singers and not forgetting the everyday fabulous band The Sound, then pianist, classical and contemporary, quartet's and solo guitarist although not all my cup of tea but plenty of passengers disputing that with me, probably each to their own and overall a fantastic collection of musicians and performers.
Excursions, on this trip we had more than one tender, the little boat to get to shore as the port cannot berth a large ship, this adds to the experience. Most ports we did our own thing although on two occasions we booked the ships tours and both were well organised and enjoyable.
Recommendations, Princess well done, we will be back very soon.
Complaints, its difficult to complain after such a great cruise but if pushed I would say the staff around the pool area, especially mornings were not as attentive as other staff around the ship, often looking but not seeing you, on many occasions we had to chase down staff to get served.
Overall experience 9.5/10
Always clean, steward never really seen but always knew when we left and ensured cabin was ready for our return. Cabin was spacious, plenty of wardrobe space, bathroom as expected.