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We chose this cruise for its itinerary and dates. We really enjoyed all of the ports and enjoyed a variety of activities/excursions which made for an enjoyable trip. Service was very good for our cabin and at the dining rooms. We went with our two teenage sons and while they did not partake of any of the teen activities, they enjoyed the trip and excursions. I will say that I expected more families on this trip given the time of year - it was definitely an older crown, on average, compared to our only other cruise, which was on Royal Caribbean. Our suite was nice, but if I were to book all over again, I would probably put our family in two deluxe balcony rooms and skip the suite. I'm not sure the perks were worth the extra cost and sharing a room. Highlights of our trip included kissing the Blarney Stone, bicycling around Guernsey, a very Beatles themed day in Liverpool, complete with meeting Pete Best on the cruise, seeing the Giants Causeway, touring Guinness, Inverary Castle, the beautiful city of Edinburgh, and visiting Omaha Beach and the American cemetery in Normandy. We spent a few days beforehand in London, which made this the perfect European vacation for us.

Great first trip to the British Isles

Royal Princess Cruise Review by voylesc

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and dates. We really enjoyed all of the ports and enjoyed a variety of activities/excursions which made for an enjoyable trip. Service was very good for our cabin and at the dining rooms. We went with our two teenage sons and while they did not partake of any of the teen activities, they enjoyed the trip and excursions. I will say that I expected more families on this trip given the time of year - it was definitely an older crown, on average, compared to our only other cruise, which was on Royal Caribbean. Our suite was nice, but if I were to book all over again, I would probably put our family in two deluxe balcony rooms and skip the suite. I'm not sure the perks were worth the extra cost and sharing a room. Highlights of our trip included kissing the Blarney Stone, bicycling around Guernsey, a very Beatles themed day in Liverpool, complete with meeting Pete Best on the cruise, seeing the Giants Causeway, touring Guinness, Inverary Castle, the beautiful city of Edinburgh, and visiting Omaha Beach and the American cemetery in Normandy. We spent a few days beforehand in London, which made this the perfect European vacation for us.
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Cabin Review

Premium Suite with Balcony
Cabin S5 D121
We put the four of us (parents and two teenage sons) in this room rather than selecting two rooms so we could take advantage of the suite perks. I'm not sure I would sacrifice our privacy for the perks. The layout of this room has a small sitting room with a fold out sofa and a very large bedroom. Our younger son slept on a rollaway bed in our room because that's where the extra space was. The two areas are separated by a doorway-sized space with a curtain. The balcony is only on the sitting room side. The bedroom faced the front of the ship and had a large sloping window. The balcony, while larger than the regular balconies in that it fit two lounge chairs sideways vs. two regular chairs, it was not super large. The bathroom is plenty large. There is a separate toilet room with sink connected by a lovable door with the shower room which has a sink with a large-is counter and a separate tub. Closets were plenty big and there were several drawers. We loved using the free laundry included with the sink, but found we did not use the extra food too much (canapés, fruit bowl, etc.) since we were always so full from our other meals. We also could not use the dedicated section of the Concerto dining room for suites since my parents were on the cruise and did not book a suite. In fact, we only used suite dining for two nights and two breakfasts. My biggest complaint is that we tried to go to the suite dining room with my parents, but without our children and were not allowed in since my parents did not have a suite (note: they might not have known if I hadn't asked if the six of us could dine there on a previous night). Priority disembarkation at the two tender ports was not needed as there wasn't any wait either time. It was nice to check-in in a special line.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Giant's Causeway
    We booked this excursion, Giants Causeway Tour from Belfast Port, through Viator. It was less expensive that the tour offered through Princess and you had enough time to cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (the Princess tour offered only a photo stop there). I believe it was operated by Odyssey Tours. Our guide was excellent. The Causeway was amazing to see and the tour guide was knowledgable about some of the history of Belfast. On the way back, we drove through some of the areas that are still gated and have high fences from recent history. The rope bridge was a fun excursion - we definitely got our 10,000+ steps that day!
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  • Cobh (Cork)
    We took an excursion called Best of Cork and Countryside. Although it did not promise we would have time to get through the line to kiss the Blarney Stone, we did have plenty of time and it was a highlight to see my 80-year old father and 17-year old son lay down to kiss the stone.
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  • Dublin
    We took a cab into Dublin and started with a tour of the Guinness Storehouse. It was fun and offered multiple tastings. We then visited St. Patrick's Cathedral and took a Hop-On Hop-Off bus around town. Dublin was fairly easy to do on our own and I don't think you need the hop-on-hop-off bus. The commentary was not super-interesting. We ate dinner at a pub before returning to the ship.
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  • Edinburgh (South Queensferry)
    Our group split in two for this port. One group went by cab to Edinburgh, starting at Edinburgh Castle and walked the Royal Mile as well as visited Princes Street and Rose Street. It was easy to do on our own. Next time, I'd book tickets for the Castle in advance as when we got there, the ticket office was closed du to high crowds and wouldn't open for another hour. We opted to skip it. The city was very walkable and had beautiful architecture. The other half of our group went golfing at St. Andrews. A 10:56 tee time was perfect. We got off the boat in the first tender to try to make a 7:54 train (the train station is a two minute walk away). Unfortunately, the group just missed the train, but was able to take the next train and then a bus to St. Andrews to make it just in time. They had enough time to buy a couple of souvenirs and head back on the bus and train in plenty of time to board the boat.
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  • Greenock (Glasgow)
    We booked an excursion through Princess that included Inverary Castle. The Castle was beautiful and the town of Inverary was quaint. We made a few photo stops on the way back, but the main attraction was the castle. I did see there were plenty of cabs available so we could have possibly did this on our own at lower cost.
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  • Invergordon (Inverness)
    We would do this differently if we were to do it over. The cruise wasn't anything special, a tour boat that only went about 20 minutes down the Loch, stopped at a castle (very neat) and then headed back. We couldn't even hear much of the history from inside the boat. I think we would have preferred to see Culloden Moor and Cawdor Castle. I did notice that there were several cab tours offered that seemed very reasonable, especially if you have more than two people in your party.
    View All 13,033 Invergordon (Inverness) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • D-Day Beaches
    We visited Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach, and Arromarches. There is a fairly long (2-2.5 hour) drive to get to the beaches, but our guide was very informative and the trip was well worth it. The French get the prize for best tour lunch - it was at a golf course clubhouse and included wine.
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  • Beatles Tour
    Our tour guide was very informative. We visited a Beatles sculpture near the port, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, the street with the Cavern Club, and the childhood homes of John and Paul, and ended with a visit to the Beatles Experience near the port. It was especially fun given that Pete Best spoke on the ship the night before and there was a Beatles cover band from Liverpool as the entertainment that night.
    View All 32 Beatles Tour Reviews
  • St. Peter Port (Guernsey)
    This was a very cute port town. It was a tender port and the return tender line took a long time (45 minutes or so), which was the only downside. We rented bicycles nearby and rode all over the island. If you do this, find a detailed map before you go. The only maps we found were not detailed enough and we got lost several times. Our Google Maps didn't work, so a map was very important!
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