Our experience with Princess Cruises was very disappointing. The Baltic cruise was modified to exclude Russia, which was OK. Then it was effectively cancelled and replaced with a repositioning back to England. The distances between ports, and the low value of the stops, made it seem likely that the choice of ports was to make up for an inability to refuel in Russia. The slower a boat sails, the lower the fuel consumption per mile. I figured the ship saved about 90% of the fuel consumption by changing the route and ports, some of which were only 50 miles apart. The normal one sea day from Belgium to England was increased to two days, apparently to save fuel. We tried to cancel the Baltic portion for 13 days without success, until Princess cancelled both the Trans-Atlantic and the former Baltic. We had no choice except to book a Princess cruise one week later, also going to England. We planned to get off a day earlier in Cherbourg France. Unfortunately, Princess would not approve the early departure until the day before landing in Cherbourg. We were unable to make reservations because of the second problem, the Internet didn’t work. It was free, but useless. Therefore, we could not send progress emails.
While our August Princess trip was great, the food and service on this 15-day voyage was poor. The food was low quality and only occasional beef, heavy on low-cost fillers, included little changes from day-to-day. Things that are more costly, like smoked salmon, were hidden away and available for breakfast only if asked for in one of the food lines. Other than our Cabin Steward, much of the Service was poor. Getting a drink in the Buffet was difficult. About six months ago, I read an article stating the probability of Princess going Bankrupt within two years was about 50%. My impression of the recent experience with Princess is that they, CCL or Carnival Cruise Lines, are cutting costs drastically to avoid Bankruptcy. Very disappointing, except we arrived in Europe comfortably without jetlag.