My sister and I chose this cruise because she is a Platinum Medallion member and has had many positive experiences on Princess cruises. As a relatively new cruiser, I was looking forward to celebrating my 70th birthday in Cherbourg, France. We shared an inside cabin on Caribe deck 10. Our cabin steward was very friendly and attentive. The My Way Dining experience was great, although the staff was obviously inundated with the number of passengers added in the last month before sailing. We heard the ship was at 75-80% capacity.
We dined early most nights. Late night dining had longer waits between courses.. Many others had signed on for this Transatlantic repositioning experience, which was a mind boggling $50 per night cost, with even greater balcony deals last minute for Elite members. We paid for 23 days of fun, with port visits in Portugal, Spain and France before the midway port in Southhampton, UK. Mandatory Covid tests before and during the cruise lulled us into a false sense of security. Despite vaccinations and 2 boosters, my sister and I started experiencing cold-like symptoms and stayed on the ship in Bilbaou, Spain. Because gossip on the ship hinted at an outbreak of Covid, we asked for a test and it was positive. From that point on, our fun ended. We were transferred to the quarantine deck (12)--balcony starboard where guest services were obviously told NOT to answer calls. Later that was confirmed by other quarantined passengers. My sister's profile disappeared from the Medallion service. Only I could order food delivered to our cabin. We wondered if Princess was trying to suppress Covid case numbers below the CDC threshold. Several other quarantined passengers experienced the same inexplicable removal of their names from notices or ordering capabilities.
We figured our mild Covid would be over in 5 days and we could enjoy at least some of the ports in Scotland and Ireland. WRONG! Two days before a planned docking in Southhampton, a letter informed me I was to disembark in Southhampton and would be unable to complete the second leg of our cruise. My sister received no letter. Princess transferred us (and about 150-200 others by the number of busses they filled during the disembarkation of quarantined passengers) to hotels in the UK. Bottom line, they are paying hotel costs for 5 days and we are on our own to make our way home after quarantine. Through the airlines, we discovered we can travel 10 days after testing positive. Many of our fellow passengers staying at a hotel near Heathrow airport had to rearrange their flights accordingly. It has been a mess. Reportedly, Princess will credit us with the per day cost starting on the date of positive Covid test. We are symptom free and grateful our Omicron experience was mild, but the ravages of our forced and unplanned exit from the ship will linger for a long time.