My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to see Ireland and Scotland and felt this was a great way to see both. Left the USA a day early and spent the night in London. Picked up and taken to the port on Monday after visiting Stonehenge. Embarkation was simple although a bit disorganized. I had "priority boarding" but was told to wait only for my wife to speak to another representative and then allowed to board! The welcome aboard was friendly and nice. We were in a balcony cabin, C206. This cabin is in the forward section of the ship on the Caribe deck. Except for the last night (when some people boarded in France), it was quiet and serene. Our last night (their first night) had the noises of their arrival and some complaining by the passengers. I think the next door rooms were empty before their arrival (at least we never saw anyone or heard anything). Cabin was nice and the room steward was wonderful in keeping the room clean and fresh. Had a problem with the bathroom sink twice (the stopper wouldn't open) but was quickly fixed both times.
I'm always amazed at what some people observe. Yes, the ship is "older" and yeah, I saw a bit of rust here and there. That did not hinder my enjoyment of the cruise at all. Never smelled anything "bad" and didn't have any of the problems some other reviews reported. We found the crew to be efficient, friendly and welcoming. Almost everyone had a smile and if u asked a question, they were quick with an answer. I had no real contact with guest services, however, but with everyone we interacted with, we were treated with respect and friendliness.
Our trip was in May, so we observed very few children during the cruise. Since passengers were boarding and disembarking during the cruise, we did see a few children. It was too cold to do much swimming. My wife braved the swimming pool a few time. And while the weather was nice (only rained one day during the trip!), it was cool. Temps were about 45 degrees (7 degrees c) in the morning, warming to about 65 degrees (18 degrees c) during the day. We spent time in the Serenity (adult) section of the ship both sea days and had to bundle up (but the afternoon tea was wonderful!). We pretty much had the section to ourselves both times. I would guess the average age on this particular cruise was about 65-70.
We had the late dining and sat with 6 other people (that Princess grouped with us). We looked forward to the meals and to our new found friends each night. Food was plentiful and if we wanted more/less of something, they would provide it. Other than the first night, service was outstanding. First night there was some confusion with the early seating getting out late, but even then, it wasn't bad. Service was a bit slow that first night, but every other night was fine. When we wanted to leave earlier to attend a show, we simply informed our waiter and he accommodated our request. The quality of the food is "not bad." While I guess it's normal to complain about the food, I think it was good, but not really worth complaining about. Service and food in the buffet area was also decent. Service was good for us during breakfast and when we chose to eat lunch there. We had no problems with getting a drink within moments of sitting down. Staff was usually quick to clean the tables when someone left to provide for additional seating. I wasn't always pleased with the selection of food at lunch, but I could always find something I liked to eat. Breakfast was easier to choose selections and delicious. Pizza was good, I think among the best on the ocean. Hamburgers were fine and enjoyed by me (along with french fries, of course!).
Each port was unique and enjoyed. We had three ship excursions. Orkney Islands, Edinburgh and Le Harve. We visited the town of Honfleur, France for our excursion in Le Harve. That trip was wonderful! We went by bus to the center of town in Edinburgh and in Orkney, we took the tour to see the prehistoric sites. At the other ports, we used other tour companies and had no problems with any of them (some were better than others, however). Only in Guernsey did we just "do our own thing" when we arrived.
Well, overall this was a wonderful trip. Princess helped make it that way. We enjoyed our meals and had nothing but good service and friendliness each day. When it came time to disembark, that was also smooth. We took a bus (Princess provided) to Victoria Coach Station in London. Other than waiting around while on the bus, that trip was good also. And of course, Princess provided does not mean "free." We worked out that detail when we booked the cruise. And while not everything was "perfect," it was a nice vacation. This was our second Princess cruise. Our first was aboard the Caribbean Princess and it wasn't as nice as this ship was (although they are sister ships). Bottom line: I paid a deposit for the next cruise so I know we'll return. I wouldn't mind a return to the Crown Princess, but I would like to check-out other ships in the Princess fleet.
Cabin had plenty of storage place for the two of us. We enjoyed the balcony since it did have a bit of shade in the "back" part of the balcony (which other levels don't seem to have). Cabin steward was excellent.
We did visit Stonehenge on our way to the port from London. Didn't get to spend much time in Southampton.
I'm glad we visited here! We walked around the city and enjoyed the Candie Gardens with some new friends from the ship. This is a tender port and the line waiting to get back onto the ship was long and a bit inconvenient, but the port was nice. Friendly people!
We used a Viator tour for this port "Cork Shore Excursion Including Kinsale and Blarney Castle." It was an "all day" tour and very enjoyable. While we didn't kiss the blarney stone, we did tour the gardens and surrounding area of the castle. Very enjoyable day!
We took the Princess provided bus to the city center and saw the book of Kells and visited the Temple Bar area. We saw the castle and did our shopping in Dublin. Nice city with friendly people.
I'm so glad we visited here! Beautiful countryside and the Giant's Causeway is well worth the time to visit. We did drive around Belfast and saw the many signs. Very educational and very sobering. Very enjoyable day...one of the best on this cruise!View All 94 Giant's Causeway Reviews
We used an outside tour company that visited Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and Stirling Castle. This was the only rainy day we had on our cruise (rained most of the day) but had some time when it didn't rain and we enjoyed being outside.
Princess organized tour. Half day of the prehistoric sites. Guide spent too much time chatting with individuals and not allowing others to participate. Hard to follow what was going on many times. Glad we visited the port and saw the sites, but could have been better.
Wonderful day! Full day tour of the Highlands. Saw a few places where "Outlander" was filmed. If I had to repeat a tour from this cruise, this would be the one I'd pick. Wonderful day with beautiful weather. Highly recommended.View All 69 Highland Day Tour Reviews
What's not to like? Took the Princess provided bus (yes, they charge for it) to the city center. Spent the day exploring the castle and the city. I wouldn't mind spending the night here, but alas, it was only the day. Plenty to see and do.
Not much to see in LeHavre, so we saw Honfleur and glad we chose this trip. Beautiful place with a nice guide. Enjoyed the tour and the time spent there. If not going to Paris or Normandy, this is the tour to take!View All 53 Honfleur Reviews