I'll start by saying that we are a family of 4 adults who only chose Princess based on the ports of call in the Mediterranean. It was chosen for Santorini and Naples, in August where other lines did one but not the other. We have cruised before, one of which was a similar Mediterranean cruise but different ports.
I'll start with the positives. The food and bar staff are exceptional, their willingness to serve and make sure you want for nothing cannot be matched. Similarly, pool staff, room stewards and entertainment crew, all were fun and friendly and give the impression they at least like their jobs. The food is as good as you can expect when prepared for such huge volumes, variety is fresh and varied. The 3 "speciality" restaurants are good for an extra fee it's worth doing at least one.
What they don't tell you: this cruise is predominantly over 50's. The activities are therefore geared to that demographic, which of course is fine, but could be clearer when brochures get done up. The pool is deathly silent and reminiscent of a scene from Cocoon. Can't comment t on kids clubs or a riviries but middle pools are basically kids everywhere. Lifts are slow, cause it takes people ages to get in and out, and I found the "elite" passengers almost snobbish.
Gratuity as is expected on most cruise is set but no one can explain how it's divided and to who? I have no issues tipping, as long as it's going to the right people. I'm suspect staff get any of it, best switch it off and tip your favourites at end of cruise. Don't forget laundry and back of house peeps though.
Apparently high winds prevented us, for safety reasons stopping at Santorini. This is a port that requires tender ( small boat) transfer. They replaced it with Corfu. To say we were dissappointed would be an understatement; But, safety is important and although Corfu was horrendous we made the best of a bad situation. ( don't do hop on hop off there everything you can see is walking distance from port) upon return to the ship we find out 2 other cruise ships made it in to port with no problems. ( Please explain)
Front desk staff are just outright rude. They don't care if you lose something, report something broken or heaven forbid need an explanation of excessive pre authorisation holds on your credit card. You see as is expected they want to keep your account in credit, however, even if you settle your bill half way through, they retain the holds. Essentially double billing, they don't cancel holds till you get off, and can't really explain why they do this.
Lastly it's basically a 21 day cruise broken up into 3 X 7 day cruise, should also be on brochures. So at Athens, Barcelona and Rome people get on and off. While your card and room stay the same they do treat it as a new cruise or end of cruise.
Again, this is my experience for a family of 4, who have cruised before and had similar expectations. Do research to make sure this is for you.
Great except front desk staff
Boarded in Athens. Ugly city, great food though, people are amazing
Lovely little port, well worth the walk into town. No need to pay excursion. Great food. Even swim opposite boat
Can't explain. Great tour, great spot.View All 13 Blue Grotto Reviews
A day at Isola Bella. Great food on the beach, great driver.
Great shopping city. Dissappointed with food?
Easy cable car up, 3 hour walk down a bite to eat. No need to book your.
Beautiful clean city. Caught the little train up to Notre Dame then back down. Had amazing seafood, bought soap. No need for expensive tours
Jumped on a train then bus to Portofino. Lovely.
If you have time, and are confident on public transport you can do both Florence & Pisa for €25. No taxis. Use shuttle from port to city.( Return €5) Blue Line bus to central station (€3.20) Then train to Florence ( Firenze) (€14) on your way back you can jump off at Pisa and then get get back on to finish at Livorno. Blue Line back to shuttle. Be sure to get all return tickets.
Got off cruise here, spending 4 days.