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Sail Date: August 2019
I wanted to visit Greenland and since the ship was going right out of NYC near where I live, I thought it was an easy choice. I'd gotten an upgrade from obstructed to unobstructed view but they'd forgotten to mention that it ... Read More
I wanted to visit Greenland and since the ship was going right out of NYC near where I live, I thought it was an easy choice. I'd gotten an upgrade from obstructed to unobstructed view but they'd forgotten to mention that it was right above the forward gangplank so whenever we got to a port, we were woken very early. :( The ship was well maintained and comfortable. However, I have a number of complaints. 1) The food was only okay (even the specialty restaurant we tried was okay) and I think Princess needs to work on making the food more flavorful and their steaks less tough. 2) The entertainment was good (the last show was excellent) but we had to get to the theater an HOUR plus before the show just to get any seats. It was standing room only for the productions shows and we didn't even see one because of the crowding. They really need to have other things going on during the shows so that more people would have something else to do. 3) The tender situation in Greenland was awful. The two GL ports with tenders had hours long lines to get in and out. We waited 2 hours to get off the ship and about an hour to get back on in one port. The other GL port, Nanortilik, was worse. If you go, get off as soon as the ship docks early in the morning. That being said, Greenland did not disappoint. I was sooooo glad I went. It was gorgeous and the people friendly. 4) Back to the ship. There were NO port talks at all so except for the printout for each port, there was no way to get information as to what to do there. This was completely unacceptable especially since GL had very little info online anyway. 5) And don't even get me started on the excursions. I waited for months for the GL excursions to come up so I could book them but much as I checked, they never appeared on the Princess website. So by the time I got to the ship, everything was booked and there were waiting lists. Since I'd gotten frustrated 5-6 months before the cruise, I did book a trip with Viator in Nuuk on my own and I'm very glad I did because I'd have been very frustrated otherwise. 6) They are starting a new thing with medallions. I really didn't like them and found them creepy (your face came up on the room screen before you got into the room and other places, too - the privacy issues were a problem for me). Also they didn't work if you were ordering drinks since the bar staff had to take down your name and room number anyway. The not complaints The embarkation and disembarkation were very easy. The ship was lovely. The ports were great. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Greenland has always been on my bucket list and when Princess announced they were doing a round-trip from New York with three port stops in Greenland, the price was a little high but I signed up immediately. We did get a substantial price ... Read More
Greenland has always been on my bucket list and when Princess announced they were doing a round-trip from New York with three port stops in Greenland, the price was a little high but I signed up immediately. We did get a substantial price drop, at the expense of my husbands AIB package. We have sailed the Caribbean Princess several times, she is and older ship and she tends to show her age, but Princess is attempting to update he with the implementation of Medallion class in May this year. We utilized Princess EZ-Air from FLL to LGA, never again! LGA is under major construction and our Princess Transfer from the airport to the port took close to 3 hours, one hour to get out of the airport alone. Once at the port Medallion made check in a breeze. We visited Halifax and Sidney before heading to Greenland to visit Nuuk, Qaqortog and Nanortalik, with a stop in St. Johns NF on the way back. Princess offered limited excursions for all the Greenland stops and we were very disappointed that there were no enrichment lectures in regards to the ports. There was one lecturer on board who talked about Hollywood, Disney and film. The demographics of this cruise were mostly seniors who are elite Princess cruisers who are very demanding (as said by several crew members), we are also elite members but much younger then the average on this ship. While we heard that the production shows were excellent, we did not see them as they began to line up 1 1/2 hours before each show and the theater was always full when we arrived at the 1 hour mark, we refuse to go any earlier as we find it absurd to go any earlier. We were able to catch the simulcast of guest entertainers in the lounge and did enjoy most of these shows. There was a lack of evening entertainment, no deck party, no theme parties, guess they figured that most guests were in bed after the show. Ports: Halifax - We did a private excursion "Halifax Titanic Historical Tours with Paul McNeil". We found this small group excursion through our CC roll call. Paul was so knowledgeable of the history of Halifax and proud of his city and this showed through his narration through the whole tour, he also had photo's and videos that were shown on a large display in the front of the van. We were able to hit all the highlights of the city well before all the tour buses returned from Peggy's Cove. We visited two of the Titanic cemeteries with a drive by the third which no longer allows visitors, Paul was very respectful while viewing the sites, insisting we not walk on the graves. We also visited the Memorial to the Halifax Explosion, where he explained several hidden facts throughout. We finished off the tour with a stop for a fabulous lunch in a small uncrowded fishing village which served the best fish & chips we have every had. Would definitely recommend this tour to anyone looking to get away from the crowds and tour buses. Sidney - we did a ship tour to the old Gaelic Village which we found very interesting. This is an interpretive village with several "players" who were in character for their era in time. We found it quite interesting the changes they went through over the years. After the tour returned we walked through town and enjoyed a local brew and some lobster poutine at a local pub. Greenland - Our ship stopped at three ports in Greenland, Nuuk, Qaqortog and Nanortalik all three were scheduled as tender ports, however at the last minute we were able to dock in Nuuk. Princess offered limited tours in all three ports and most were quite expensive for what they offered so we opted to walk all but Nanortalik on our own. My research showed that they all offered museums, churches and were quite walk-able on your own. In Nuuk we were off the ship early and able to get to the church, memorial and museum well before the tour buses from the ship dropped off. We enjoyed the beautiful city with it's quaint colorful houses. We walked the waterfront and climbed what appeared to be newly build stairs up the bluff. After we found a local brewery and enjoyed a local brew. Qaqortog was a tender port and did not offer much more than Nuuk, we visited the Museum which was much smaller than the one in Nuuk. Again we walked the town, enjoying the stone art carvings that were displayed throughout town, we visited the fish market and church before we went off the main road and found a path to the top of lookout that provided a great view of the ship in the bay, the town and a nearby lake. Our last stop was Nanortalik, this was also a tender port. We had an excursion so we were one of the first off, but we heard later that some without tours waited for almost 4 hours to tender off the ship. We booked our excursion through the ship as I could not find any private excursions, I felt the price was very over inflated when I booked it and still fell the same. We took a small boat (six people) to the glacier where we were able to walk on the rocks and had a shot of scotch over glacier ice. Our tour guide and boat driver were locals and provided us with a wealth of information about their small town of less than 1000 people. After our tour we walked through the small town and visited the museum before getting in line for the 2 1/2 hr wait to tender back to the ship. We felt that this small town was not prepared for the 3000+ people from our ship, although we were happy to donate to the church and school which seemed in need. St Johns, NF - Our last port, we booked a 2 hr harbor cruise with Iceberg Quest, while we did not see any icebergs or whales, we did see the lighthouses, caves and I spotted a puffin. We then leisurely walked through town, we stopped by St. John the Baptist Church, but it was Sunday and they were having services. We stopped by the YellowBelly Brewery and enjoyed a local brew before heading back to the ship. Upon our return to New York disembarkation was a breeze. We can now cross Greenland off our bucket list, but we consider it a one and done, we won't go back there is not much to see and do, excursions were few and over priced. We will however visit Halifax, Sidney and St. Johns as there is so much we did not get to see. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We received a Princess brochure which included Canadian Maritime Provinces and Greenland. It peaked our interest, particularly Greenland which is an unusual destination. We felt it would be an ideal place to visit before it shows up ... Read More
We received a Princess brochure which included Canadian Maritime Provinces and Greenland. It peaked our interest, particularly Greenland which is an unusual destination. We felt it would be an ideal place to visit before it shows up on more itineraries and gets overrun with "tourist" shops; jewelry stores and t shirt shops etc. The itinerary was 16 days, but only 6 ports, so a lot of sea days which are relaxing. We sailed on Caribbean Princess before and enjoyed the ship. Good weather and enjoyed the ports taking 2 Princess excursions in Canada (Halifax and Sydney). We opted for a Hop-on-off in St Johns which was excellent and inexpensive. Greenland tours were extremely expensive and limited so we decide to explore on our own and were pleased with that decision. Tendering at 2 Greenland ports was awful, taking over 2 hours or more. Princess did a dreadful job handling this and they have been to Greenland before so they should have planned better. Very interesting places and very glad we took the trip. Rustic. Almost like a glimpse into the past! Overall meals were very good but not great but we did opt for a few specialty restaurants and these were great. Princess buffet dining is OK for breakfast or lunch but not really as well organized as some other cruise lines. Entertainment was probably excellent however seating was far too limited because of the show times of 6:30 and 8:30pm wherein many people ate at 5pm and went to both shows. Really good music is lounges with something for everyone. Finally, this was a Medallion Class ship. Princess loves this concept but frankly it is much like the cruise card with more chances to buy drinks and gamble, and might be fun for kids. I didn't think much of it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We left from NYC my home port and it intrigued me to go on a cruise which did not require a plane flight. The ports were in Nova Scotia, Greenland and Newfoundland, a very unique and interesting itinerary. We boarded the ship in record ... Read More
We left from NYC my home port and it intrigued me to go on a cruise which did not require a plane flight. The ports were in Nova Scotia, Greenland and Newfoundland, a very unique and interesting itinerary. We boarded the ship in record time, although the cruise was fully booked, there were no lines and we were able to access our room before noon. Our luggage was not quite as lucky as us, it arrived sometime during the 8:30 show. The entertainment was spectacular! The production shows were technologically advanced adding to the artistic scenery and effects. The musical performers hit all notes and the dancers stretched their bodies beyond limits. The other nights guest performers singers, comedians and a ventriloquist were talented and exceptional. The only issue was there was not enough seating in the theater. We found that we needed to go an hour early to get good seats. Activities on board were eclectic and appealed to a wide number of tastes. The only thing missing was a destination lecturer which the cruise director tried to make up by interviewing the ship's pilot who was from Greenland. The cruise director managed to add several matinee performances and a concert which hadn't been performed before by the cast. He went above and beyond to make the activities enjoyed by all. We had a large balcony which permitted us to have lounge chairs, this was lovely. Additionally our bed, bedding and pillows were all very comfortable. There was plenty of storage space, the only thing missing was a nice sitting area. Our cabin steward couldn't be more efficient. The cabin was made spotless twice a day and soap, lotion and paper products replenished. The dining experience was less desirable than any other component of ship life. The dining room decor and furniture are old and tattered, as are the menu covers and even some of the linens. The service is very uneven, some servers are extremely efficient while others required reminders to serve pepper or refill water glasses. Most are unaware of menu item components so when questioned they needed to run to the kitchen to ask. Sometimes never to return with an answer. There is plenty of food but the quality is poor. Everything is doused in heavy sauces or gravies, quite possibly to cover up the poor quality of the fish. My husband was happy with the beef and lobster, requesting no sauces before the preparation. The one item which was wonderful at all times was the dinner rolls. Lunchtime, the buffet had nice salad fixings and a large variety of hot foods. The staff kept the serving areas and the seating areas exceptionally clean. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend that you try this ship and line, keeping in mind that minus the rich sauces some of the entrees could be prepared well. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This review is being written by a husband with a scooter-bound wife. We chose this cruise for the Greenland destination. In general, we enjoyed the cruise with only a few minor issues. Note to handicapped cruisers: If you or your ... Read More
This review is being written by a husband with a scooter-bound wife. We chose this cruise for the Greenland destination. In general, we enjoyed the cruise with only a few minor issues. Note to handicapped cruisers: If you or your travelling companion are mobility impaired, understand from the outset that there are many activities you may not be able to do (e.g.; get in and out of a tender to go ashore). If you use an electric scooter to get around, the ship's carpeting will consume your scooter's battery charge at a prodigious rate - you will need to carry your battery charger with you. You will also find many spots on the ship will be a tight fit. These issues are not unique to this cruise, or for that matter, Princess - handicapped cruisers will find them on any cruise from any line. A little forethought will minimize the inconveniences. Now on to the review proper: Embarkation: We used Princess-arranged transportation and flew in on the embarkation day. I recommend other cruisers do the same, as once you get on your flight, getting you to the ship is guaranteed by the cruise line. That said, delays with getting all the luggage screened delayed the ship departure for about 2 hours. Disembarkation: Our disembarkation flight was arranged by Princess. Our originally scheduled disembarkation time was unreasonably close to our flight departure time, so I had it moved up. Our luggage did not come off with our disembarkation, causing a minor panic. In the end, we got our luggage and made our flight; we would not have done so had we kept our original disembarkation time. The Ship: We have been on the Caribbean Princess before. The ship was in good condition, clean, and everything worked. While on the subject of the ship, I took the Ultimate Ship Tour that covers the working of the ship. This tour is not heavily promoted and you can only sign up for it while on board, but it is well worth it. The Cabin: We had Rivera (deck 14) 312 - an interior handicapped accessible cabin which we got as it was the last handicapped accessible cabin available for this cruise. While we would have preferred an obstructed view cabin lower down, this cabin was good. I have two comments on the cabin: 1) the bathroom door was close to the closet, which made for fancy scooter maneuvering for my wife to get in and out of the bathroom, and 2) you only get 2 electrical outlets in the cabin. Both of them were by the desk, which meant we had to get an extension cord to allow the scooter to stay by the bed while charging. Dining: In general, we ate at the buffet, avoiding the dining rooms and upcharge restaurants. We found the quality and variety of food to be good, but sometimes getting a table near an electrical outlet was a problem (see the Note to Handicapped Cruisers above). A minor gripe at the buffet was that the carving station was frequently unstaffed. We did have two "pub lunches" - we found the food at the pub lunches to be authentic and well prepared. Entertainment and Activities: The challenge for seeing production shows in the Princess Theater was getting into the theater in the first place. You had to be in your seat at least an hour before the performance start. To Princess's credit, they scheduled extra performances so eventually everyone could see the shows. The shows themselves were of high quality. Also good was the magician (Michael Barron), who also did a demonstration on how to perform some simple tricks. As is true of any cruise line, many of the onboard activities involved trying to sell you things. I have mentioned the Ultimate Ship Tour showing the working of the ship; do take it. In lighter entertainment, the cruise director lampooned the elevator situation with a game called "Elevator Roulette". Service: We put in an extra shout out for our cabin steward Dexter Dineros for service above and beyond the call of sanity. Other service folks were equally nice and helpful. Ports and Shore Excursions: Since my wife is scooter bound, we were limited to bus tours in Canadian ports (Halifax, Sidney, and St. John's). These tours were excellent. Greenland is very hilly and was largely inaccessible for scooter-bound people like my wife. She did get off the ship and onto the pier at Nuuk, but to go any further would have involved a long hill climb. The ports we visited in Greenland were small, and our cruise ship essentially doubled the ports' population for the day. As for the tours themselves: Nuuk: I took a walking tour that started in a Greenlander's house, we then went to the center of town where our tour guide gave us maps of the city and turned us loose. Qaqortoq: This was a tender port, so my wife stayed on the ship. I took a walking tour of the town, and this tour guide stayed with us the whole time. This tour was nice. Nanortalik: This was a tender port. Unfortunately, my wife and I had developed colds and so stayed on the ship. We heard from other cruisers that the local elementary school had sent its students to the landing to practice their English with the cruisers. Would we go on this cruise again? Yes Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I started this cruise with a princess transfer to the NY Hilton midtown. That was a very good choice as Laguardia is a mess and the weather delays rolled in after we were safely ensconced in the hotel. We were happy with ... Read More
My husband and I started this cruise with a princess transfer to the NY Hilton midtown. That was a very good choice as Laguardia is a mess and the weather delays rolled in after we were safely ensconced in the hotel. We were happy with our decision to come in a day early as the first port was Halifax. Embarkation was very quick with the medallion, lots of staff to help. We were also very pleased with our choice of a port balcony mini-suite. The balcony provided lots of natural light to the suite area with a couch and tv. The bed lives up to its comfy reputation. The extra space in the tub and shower area were also much appreciated on this 16 day cruise with a lot of sea days. The itinerary, Nova Scotia, Greenland, St. Johns NL was outstanding and we had smooth sailing even though the fog horns were often going, In St. John’s NL we were docked city side and it seems like the whole town showed up for our sail away with car horns honking and lots of folks waving as we sailed out and past the impressive fort at the mouth if the harbor. Unforgettable! In spite of all the good experience onboard, we have to say we are not fans of the Caribbean princess. She carries too many passengers compared to the public spaces. It was always crowded. If you wanted to go to a show you had to go 45 min ahead, we tried 30 min and no it was 45. And to those creepy people who save seats, shame on you and shame on princess for not supervising. There were never seats in any of the public areas. I think our fellow cruisers slept in some of them Anytime dining was frustrating, i labeled it no-time dining. We were shuffled from one dining room to another and always a wait. The wait staff seemed rushed. The buffet was also very crowded and mismanaged. No seating. On noodle day the line went out the buffet and into the pool area. It is a shame as the food was really good, with lots of choices. I think it was a bad decision to convert the back area of the buffet area to buy up restaurants.The Crown grill and Sabatinis were wonderful. We purchased internet, they had one poor tech support person and always a long line. It wasn’t seamless and the pricing wasn’t transparent. Granted I knew going in that there were few days where there would be no service. But it seems everyone needed help setting it up. The medallion also needs a little work. We got locked out of our room and no one could get in, they finally used a key Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We decided to take this cruise to visit Greenland which we have never visited previously. Embarkation went smoothly and we were whisked aboard Caribbean Princess quickly with their new Medallion Class. Greenland was an amazing place. ... Read More
We decided to take this cruise to visit Greenland which we have never visited previously. Embarkation went smoothly and we were whisked aboard Caribbean Princess quickly with their new Medallion Class. Greenland was an amazing place. Fortunately, we had sunny days with high temperatures in the low 50s. My wife and I enjoyed touring the three ports and cities where we stopped in Greenland. The people were friendly and always greeted us with large smiles. Caribbean Princess' staff went above and beyond in all areas of service which you would expect on a cruise. Our cabin was terrific and kept ship shape by our outstanding Cabin Stewart. Dining on the Caribbean Princess was outstanding. The food was high quality and delicious and varied during the cruise. Entertainment was terrific and ranged from production shows, comics, singers,and instrumentalists throughout the cruise. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to visit Greenland. My wife and I would definitely take this cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We were on the Star Princess for it maiden Alaska cruise in May of 2002. We thought it would be pretty cool to try it again to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We also had on our bucket list to visit all 50 states, Oregon & Washington, ... Read More
We were on the Star Princess for it maiden Alaska cruise in May of 2002. We thought it would be pretty cool to try it again to celebrate our 25th anniversary. We also had on our bucket list to visit all 50 states, Oregon & Washington, were the last two. So we explored the area for a week before the cruise. We got to the port & were on the ship in no time (we do have priority boarding as we had a full suite) but t looked like all the lines were running very smoothly. The rooms were not going to be done til around 1 so we went off to have lunch in the Horizon Buffet. The food was good & plentiful. We got to the room around 1:30 & met our steward, Joseph, who was very friendly & we found out also very efficient. He was the best. We did not have the best weather. It was chilly & cloudy most of the time. Our excursion in Ketichan was canceled due to wind & rain (Lighthouses/totems/wildlife via a boat). We did the whale watch in Juneau which turned out to be the best weather day & a great tour. We saw about 8 whales & followed a few for periods of time. In Skagway we did the White Pass Train & Klondike Highway (train before in 2002). It was again a good tour with a great guide on the train & the bus. We didn't book an excursion in Victoria due to the late arrival but we did get there 2 hrs early so we walked off but not much to see close to the port (souvenir shop). We did stay off to witness the sunset over the mountains (since we usually see it over the water since we live in Florida!) The production shows & comedian we saw we thoroughly enjoyed. We did not see the magician as not our thing. Listened to several of the bar entertainers as well. As part of our suite perks was breakfast in Sabitini's every morning which was great & we took advantage of. The service there was superior & food great. You could get just about anything you wanted! The whole crew there was fantastic. Loved talking to them every morning. The negatives are: Too much emphasis on selling things, not enough to do on the sea days...need some educational seminars or lectures about each port the day before (like they used to do), not so fancy with all the menu choices in the restaurants & some programing on the TV even if the music stations had some good music.....think in 7 days we heard 5 songs we knew. GET A SIRIUS SUBSCRIPTION (that is satellite so you can get it anywhere). The ship is showing its age but everything is kept sparkling clean. Most of the common areas have been upgraded as has the bedding. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
People spitting on floor whilst sitting in spa, people spitting on carpet in marketplace buffet, people blowing snot from nose and spitting in hand basin that you are expected to wash hands in prior to entering food court, Casino door ... Read More
People spitting on floor whilst sitting in spa, people spitting on carpet in marketplace buffet, people blowing snot from nose and spitting in hand basin that you are expected to wash hands in prior to entering food court, Casino door continually left open and smoke streaming out into main atrium, children allowed to run riot on dance floor after 10pm. Princess usually has dress standards for dining rooms. None applied on this cruise, you could wear singlet top basket ball shorts and slip on sandals, jeans T-shirt’s and you’d be allowed in. We ended up staying away from pool and spa as we couldn’t stomach the snorting and spitting, it made our stomach turn. We spent majority of time in our cabin watching movies. We ate in the dining rooms onboard 5 times and each time the food was luke warm/cold. The staff were doing the best they could with the circumstances they had to deal with. Marketplace Buffet had a huge variety of food choices but trying to get a seat after you had selected your food was a challenge. Some passengers refused to share tables and made it very had for the staff. The amount of food left on peoples plates was terrible to see. We were in cabin E416, our Steward Rommel was amazing, he actually made our cruise. Princess is very lucky to have him he went over and above in every aspect of looking after us. We had evening room service twice as we couldn't face the thought of the catastrophe that was the dining rooms. It was excellent, best meals on the ship. The coffee shop on level 5 was very good, the food was always hot and the staff were exceptional in their service and care. Come back new??? Not us we came back discussed, frustrated, angry, annoyed, disappointed, mortified and concerned, as we’d already booked and paid for cruise with Princess in December. Fingers crossed, with saying that we must say that in the many cruises we have done with Princess we have never had one complaint or issue, service standards have always been well beyond our expectations. . Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our 18th cruise, our 11th with Princess. We were very disappointed with the way Princess's service levels have fallen since our first trip with them in 2001. The crew were at best inattentive, and often just plain nasty. ... Read More
This was our 18th cruise, our 11th with Princess. We were very disappointed with the way Princess's service levels have fallen since our first trip with them in 2001. The crew were at best inattentive, and often just plain nasty. Our cabin had an inoperable balcony door, a broken safe, and what appeared to be semen stains on the sofa in our mini-suite when we got on board. During the week, several times we found dark black hairs in our sink and/or bathtub after the cabin was "cleaned" by our cabin steward, Rolando. My wife's hair is light blond, and mine is gray/white, so it sure wasn't ours! My wife has a severe seafood allergy, which we reported when we booked. When we got on board, we had a note to contact the Maitre-de to go over the allergy. We called, got no answer. In fact in the 8 days of our cruise, the only time we saw him was when he walked thru the dining room with his nose up in the air. We dealt with his assistant, for a few days, who then had HIS subordinate deal with us. This lack of continuity in dealing with what could be a life-threatening allergic reaction did nothing to instill confidence. My recommendation would be to definitely skip this cruise (Shangahi start/finish with 4 port stops in Japan). The Japanese port stops were great, but otherwise, this was a major and expensive disappointment. We intend not to sail with Princess again on ANY itinerary. There are too many better cruise lines out there. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Our balcony cabin with of a sofabed on deck 15 in a nice quiet location which we choose diliberatly had been given to someone else. We only found this out onboard and not at checkin. We were given a mini suite instead but sadly the ... Read More
Our balcony cabin with of a sofabed on deck 15 in a nice quiet location which we choose diliberatly had been given to someone else. We only found this out onboard and not at checkin. We were given a mini suite instead but sadly the location was so bad we spent most of our cruise sleep deprived from the noise the crew made dragging tables and chairs around from midnight till 1am and then again at 4am. Complaints fell on deaf ears. Cabin wasn't ready, shelves were dirty, floor dirty, not enough toiletries for 3 in a room. We had to find our own luggage as it went to the wrong cabin. Buffet food - mostly Chinese food & same nearly every evening. Main dining rooms was pretty poor quality food so we choses not to dine there. Speciality restaurant: Harmony (Chinese) was average and not worth the extra cost. La Mer main menu not great but we ate Chef Darren Maclean's own menu 2 nights running and this was the only decent food onboard. staff took our drinks away whilst we had a photo with chef after the nine course & wine paring evening. pool deck Free ice-cream worst I've ever had. Buffet area has Plastic plates & bowls which is terrible. Buffet staff could not manage and tables sat dirty unless you asked staff to clean them. Gym area is poor, stretching area always used for seminars, Kareoke mostly Chinese songs. Ports: Shimizu isn't a great port but credit to the people of this small town who went out of their way to be helpful. Also Kochi isn't worth stopping at. Osaka should be an overnight stop there is so much to do and no time to do it. Took 3 excursions with Princess, they were good but expensive, I do question the time wasted on lunch which is included in the full day excursions. The ship is CROWDED. Everyone I met on the ship said it was ridiculous how many people are squeezed into rooms onboard. 6+ in small balcony rooms. Staff told us 4000 Chinese passengers were onboard when it should have been 3000. Apparently the ship just added more beds to cabins, shocking, is that allowed?. This is a cruise for the China Chinese only, it does not work for anyone else. The cultural differences will defiantly impact on you. Spitting in the pool, spitting on plates in buffet, shouting, pushing in, children in the adults only area throughout the whole cruise. I met several Chinese passengers from Singapore and Hong Kong who felt very uncomfortable with the behaviour of the majority passengers. There were 2 good shows at the theatre and thats about it. The language issues made most entertainment difficult. This cruise felt budget, unsafe, lawless and to be honest insulting. Disembarkation was chaotic, no crew around to help, passengers missed flights as they were unable to get off the ship in time, we just made it to the airport for our flight but we had to make a lot of noise to get off. Shameful. This is not how you say goodbye to customers, get some training. I do NOT recommend this cruise to customers outside of China. This cruises is totally aimed at China Chinese only. This cruise was certainly no Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We joined the cruise at Shanghai after a week in China visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai .with Wendy Woo Tours who were excellent. Don't try to Facebook etc in China as its all blocked including Google although email works. ... Read More
We joined the cruise at Shanghai after a week in China visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai .with Wendy Woo Tours who were excellent. Don't try to Facebook etc in China as its all blocked including Google although email works. The processing getting onto the ship was quick and efficient and the ship is magnificent, now where it gets interesting. The cruise is labelled 'East meets West' for a reason and embarking from Shanghai should give you a clue. Maybe 80% of the people were Chinese and from what I've been informed 800 children . People from different shore have different standards - lets leave it there! Formal wear for evening meal at restaurants was a joke where the any standard was acceptable (why have formal wear then)with whatever they wanted (Shorts,t Shirts , flip flops) , Americans, Aussies and Brits made the effort to dress correctly although after seeing what the standard was many of us, including me, dressed down to meet the downward standard. I thought the food was of a high standard. I only went to the Buffet at Breakfast and it was always busy and tables were at a premium so my wife and I eat breakfast by the pool where there was loads of empty seating. Food is catered to both Chinese and western tastes. Entertainment had be be revised to meet both spectrum's and I think it was a success although everything being said had to be repeated in English and Cantonese. The shows were excellent and should be commended. There where plenty of sun beds to be had although they were far less walking waiters on the decks because again Chinese not being drinkers. The cruise trips were excellent where the Chinese and non Chinese had separate trips and the guides knew their stuff. Japan was less compressed than China and I personally enjoyed the experience. The weather was stiffing with high humidity and the sweat was pouring off you just walking around on shore trips. Take an umbrella to protect you from the sun and a face cloth to wipe the sweat off you. Once again the cruise industry are not catering for vegetarians (my wife being one) and they need to get on board with this requirement. Too many chats with the Head Waiter were had. The cabin we had was excellent but all cabins on every ship are about the same. All in all a good cruise but people must be aware that this cruise is catered towards the Chinese. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
First time on a ship this small. I quite liked the ability to walk anywhere on the ship within 1.5 minutes. However, the smaller scale does significantly limit the entertainment options. The stuff the do on board was bingo, knitting, ... Read More
First time on a ship this small. I quite liked the ability to walk anywhere on the ship within 1.5 minutes. However, the smaller scale does significantly limit the entertainment options. The stuff the do on board was bingo, knitting, wine tasting or soduko...; Evening entertainment had a mediocre skill level vs the bigger ships. There were no kid activities offered. The staff remember you and you quickly remember the other passengers. We had a club class mini suite, room 8035. It was quite spacious, and offered a queen bed and queen (I think) sofa bed. I wish there was an upper bunk... The deck was good size too, easily fitting a couple loungers or a table and a couple chairs twice... It was convenient only being 1 floor below the buffet and a few floors above the dining room, so we never used room service. I liked that they were willing to exchange our cc wine bottles for a few cans of Coke. Dining was fairly standard Princess food. A couple of the days the menus did not offer much to get excited about, but all other days did. For cc instead of getting in the normal queue, you move to the left, skirting by the bar outside the dining room, and then simply walk straight in the cc dining section, no waiting in line. Each night had 2 menu item not on the menu, one prepared table side and one from the chef. Kind of a nice touch. Wish they offered those awesome chocolate desserts more than a couple nights. Also wish they added cherries jubilee back on the menu. We did thoroughly enjoy the cold fruit soups and frequent souffles. We missed Wales on the itinerary due to weather, but I did not mind missing a port given how intense the daily porting schedule was. We did a full day excursion everywhere else other than in Edinburgh. We did the military tattoo in Edinburgh and wished they offered a tour connected to that excursion given the price was 5X the tattoo ticket value or more. Regarding the tattoo, it was pretty cool if you like bagpipes and drummers and there isn't a bad seat in the house.I think the seats near the front add value only to get you out in a timely fashion, when you are in the nose bleed section you have to wait for everyone in front of you to exit first which takes forever. Also be prepared for long line for the restrooms. The shopping on board sucked, nothing local to buy. In fact they had more Australia/New Zealand goods than anything. Most of our excursions consumed the entire time at port, so we had little time to shop for souvenirs, which made me wish for on board shopping (for the first time ever). The app was great and we liked being able to text each other for free, but wished the app notified you when you got a new message so you didn't have to check it all the time. We didn't need to pay for wifi given we were at or near land almost everyday, simply used the Verizon TravelPass. I plan to look for other small ships when planning port intensive cruises. They would not be good for many sea days unless you simply like to nap and are not taking kids like we tend to do. Overall, this was a great cruise, seeing many areas of the world not typically traveled. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose cruise for itinerary (Scotland stops and Military Tattoo). Ocean view room only option as booked late. Room OK but a bit dark. Had fantastic wait staff, very good entertainment, even if the soprano singer did not sing but ... Read More
Chose cruise for itinerary (Scotland stops and Military Tattoo). Ocean view room only option as booked late. Room OK but a bit dark. Had fantastic wait staff, very good entertainment, even if the soprano singer did not sing but screeched. Ship had good public spaces, lounges, library. Only took one excursion, the trip to Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. They were excellent in explaining how to get to venue and well marked how to return to the bus. Did not book other excursions because they would be force marches and my mother uses a walker. The two guest entertainers were very good, especially the singer Matt Cairns. Embarkation and Disembarkation as smooth as possible. The buffet dining selections were basically the same every day especially at breakfast. Was a good and bad thing. Have taken more than 10+ cruises and I would book again with Princess. Did not travel with children. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Pacific Princess is the smallest of the Princess fleet, with a capacity of only 670 passengers. When I booked, all the suites were sold out, so I booked a mini-suite, which was later upgraded to Club Class. Right after I paid the fare, we ... Read More
Pacific Princess is the smallest of the Princess fleet, with a capacity of only 670 passengers. When I booked, all the suites were sold out, so I booked a mini-suite, which was later upgraded to Club Class. Right after I paid the fare, we were upsold a forward suite (#7005, Marquesas Suite). I'm always aft, but I love those suite perks, so I jumped on it. This was the largest suite I've ever seen and had a bath and a half, with a wall of closet space, along with all the usual suite perks like that sumptuous Sabatini breakfast. Interestingly enough even though she is very tiny, Pacific Princess never felt crowded, but because she is so small, it was easier for my elderly mother to get around. The food and staff on this ship are amazing, and the maitre d' came by our table at every meal to make sure everything was going well. Chef Giuseppe was the brains behind the original Chefs Table Experience years ago, and we were thrilled to experience Chef's Table with him. This was a great cruise with a great itinerary that we would absolutely do again, no questions asked! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was one of the very first cruises my husband and I ever did. We had such great memories of it that we wanted to do it again. Unfortunately, now that we have over 15 cruises with various cruise lines under our belt, Princess has lost ... Read More
This was one of the very first cruises my husband and I ever did. We had such great memories of it that we wanted to do it again. Unfortunately, now that we have over 15 cruises with various cruise lines under our belt, Princess has lost some of her luster. This was a land-sea tour and the land part was great, although some of the Princess lodges along the way are in need of new mattresses and updating. The excursions were outstanding with the best being the jet-boating up Devil's Canyon to a Category 5 rapid out of Talkeetna at the McKinley Lodge. The cruise part of the tour was rather a let down. The ship was nice, the excursions continued to be good, but Princess left a lot to be desired. Making a buck every way possible has become more important than customer/passenger service. They nickel and dime you for all it's worth. Water in your stateroom and elsewhere is $2.00 a bottle. The only drinks provided with meals are water, tea, or coffee. You can not leave your stateroom without being accosted by a photographer trying to document... and sell back to you,,,your every move. There is a Princess Shopping Concierge who gives a daily lecture on what jewelry to buy in the next port and the daily Princess Paper contains a daily Shopping Spotlight Newsletter and map showing you the location of her highlighted stores. This is what Princess now does well- bringing in the money. The shows were mediocre. The food was mediocre- in all restaurants. They offer Anytime Dining when you can go to eat any time you desire- not just at the 2 traditional seatings. When signing up, it sounds as though you can eat at any restaurant, including the Traditional one. This is not true. You are limited to only two separate restaurants- the Bernini and the Donatello with the Donatello available only after 7:30. Can't even think of one memorable meal we ate! All and all- this was one of the worst cruises we'd been on. By time you were done with this cruise, it probably would have been cheaper going on an all-inclusive cruise. Very disappointed in Princess! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Princess Cruises is an American company and so I blame myself in part for not spotting the warning signs, even though I have visited the USA many times. Unlike the UK, where the price you see is the price you pay, every purchase made in ... Read More
Princess Cruises is an American company and so I blame myself in part for not spotting the warning signs, even though I have visited the USA many times. Unlike the UK, where the price you see is the price you pay, every purchase made in the USA will cost far more than its advertised price with all kinds of extras added - most significantly, tips. Which is why my extras bill following my 14-night cruise was approaching $2000, of which a significant proportion was "gratuities" On board the Sapphire Princess there are many examples of US influence, of which more later - but the first clue was when, as we stepped off the gangplank and entered the ship, we were approached by smiling Princess staff (as happens of other ships, of course) by the difference was that these staff were not there to guide us to our stateroom or even to point out the location of the lifts - that we had to sort out for ourselves. No, these staff were there to sell us extras - in this case drinks packages. By purchasing such a package we would be able to reduce the price of a bottle of wine to as "little" as $31 a bottle. And this selling of overpriced extras continued throughout the cruise. Of course, one can refuse them and that was the option I normally took. My partner also elected not to take any of the personal care extras such as the spa which, she assured me, was about three times UK prices (and doubtless would have required the payment of a gratuity). I have become used to the fact that drinks on ships are not cheap these days (when I started cruising they were UK prices or less) but the drinks prices on Princess were obscene. The glass of wine that would have cost Princess less than a dollar at wholesale duty-free prices was on offer to customers for $10 or more. And that's not all - every drink served attracted a non-optional "gratuity" of $14.50. So the bottle of beer that would have cost no more than $4 in a UK pub cost over $21 - of which probably $20 was clear profit to Princess. This rampant profiteering was actually counter-productive since those at my dinner table (and the other tables I could see) simply refrained from buying drinks and drank the free water supplied. Normally I would have at least one drink with dinner, as would have my companion. Had the drinks been half the price and the gratuity absent, Princess would still have made plenty of money on our dinner drinks; as it is they made next to nothing. The gratuity scam continued to the end of the voyage when a gratuity payment of $14.50 per person, per day, was added to my stateroom account. So that's over $400 just for tips - even though tips had already been added to many of the services. So I was paying tips on tips! So how was the cruise otherwise? Well, not bad - as it should have been for the money. My stateroom, with its balcony, was comfortable enough, although once again there were some issues related to the American ownership. I have never been on a cruise where the staterooms have sufficient electrical socket outlets and on a modern ship there is no reason why they should be supplied. After all, travellers will have such things as mobile 'phones, laptops, camcorders, curlers, hair-dryers and other things that need power. The Sapphire Princess provided 4 outlets and these were of US specifications, which had more disadvantages than that of simply being of the niggardly US voltage of 110V. US sockets are much smaller than UK sockets and thus, when an adaptor is used to convert the US outlet to the UK plug type, there is room for only one plug in each double US socket. So only two sockets can be used at any time. Of course, the obligatory bottle of mineral water was supplied at a high price ($2.36) should one not want to drink the warm tap-water. The on-board entertainment was good enough, although I have been on cruises where there is a greater variety. My major criticism of the entertainment was its timing. Passengers who had booked the second sitting for dinner, as had I, we simply unable to take advantage of many of the events as they started too early - 2030 or 2100 - when dinner rarely finished prior to 2200. I have never had this problem on other lines. But those intending to book with Princess would be well-advised to book an early dinner sitting. Of course, it would have been possible for us to have gone to the self-service restaurant - but when one has established a good relationship with one's fellow diners one wishes to maintain it. Overall the facilities were good and there were generally enough of them for all, although lounger-space around the pools was in short supply and some guests had taken to "reserving" a lounger with personal items - although this was supposedly forbidden. The "Movie under the stars" facility was impressive with its huge screen although it was a shame that nothing but the titles and ratings of the movies was given in the "Princess Patter" information sheets. So what is one to make of a movie entitled "Bohemian Rhapsody" if one has never seen its details anywhere. There was an in-cabin TV which gave some details of what was going on - but details of the movies were absent, although there was ample space to have shown such details in "Princess Patter" or on the TV. So would I cruise with Princess again? In a word, no, unless they do something about their prices. I can afford to pay them but I resent being ripped off - and, frankly, this is what Princess are doing. In conversation with our fellow travellers we found several who had been on multiple Princess cruises and were intending to pay a deposit for another one (on yes - the continuous on-board selling included forward bookings) but for me once was enough. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Sail from Southampton was to be our first. 14 day western Med cruise. We are family of four so we booked a vista e733 and my daughters in a ocean view e709 close by. I had read bits about being above club fusion, but the suite was great ... Read More
Sail from Southampton was to be our first. 14 day western Med cruise. We are family of four so we booked a vista e733 and my daughters in a ocean view e709 close by. I had read bits about being above club fusion, but the suite was great and very quiet. It is a bit tired but very clean and very good balcony with no issue with the beam. We are regular cruisers with Princess, but our last was with Celebrity which was so good that I worried we would not go back to Princess. However the crew on Sapphire were so very very good, food was excellent and we are foodies, so well done Sapphire. Entertainment was first class, great singers and guest performers, best ever had on any cruise. The Sapphire is a smaller than Royal class Princess ships, but is a lovely ship, bathrooms do need complete refurb. Otherwise a great cruise and renewed my prefence to Princess. Booked onto Enchanted next summer as a result of this positive experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose the 12-Night British Isles cruise for the itinerary. The itinerary was FANTASTIC. The ship and dining services - not so much. Can be an excellent cruise if your ship expectations aren't too high. We found the only way to ... Read More
We chose the 12-Night British Isles cruise for the itinerary. The itinerary was FANTASTIC. The ship and dining services - not so much. Can be an excellent cruise if your ship expectations aren't too high. We found the only way to get good dining was to visit the Specialty Dining Rooms, the International Cafe, the Salty Dog on the Pool deck or the Pizza service - and those were better than expected. The selections and quality of selections in the main dining rooms and Horizons Buffet were way below our our previous cruising experiences across any line. We read in advance that the ship was refurbished in April of 2018 - a year and a half ago. We thought the ship looked dated, the stateroom furniture worn and in need of replacement and in general the hallway walls, trim and carpet were tired-looking. Tendering for over 3,000 passengers in popular ports creates long waiting lines (over an hour each time), and when you add the time to tender you to and from shore, you've lost just about three hours of your in-port time. We see a definite decrease in value and general "cruise experience" of a Princess Cruise from our previous cruises with Princess and especially compared to comparable cruise lines in this price/star-rating range. In closing, the new Medallion-Class ships offer faster-than-expected Medallion-Net (on-board and internet networking services) and an electronic "Medallion" instead of a "key-Card." The Medallion experience in general and related apps can enhance a cruise experience for tech-savvy and even non-tech savvy guest by making crew recognition, stateroom access and room charging processes faster and easier than it ever was with cards. The two Princess excursions we took to the Royal Tattoo in Edinburgh Castle in Scotland and the Normandy Excursion in France (to Omaha and Gold beaches and the US cemetery) were very organized, informative and we thought well-worth the cost. We would definately do these again with Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We traveled on the Crown Princess British Aisles Cruise mainly due to it's itinerary. It was our introduction to the British Aisles and my wife and I traveled with our next door neighbors. Let me preface this review in stating that we ... Read More
We traveled on the Crown Princess British Aisles Cruise mainly due to it's itinerary. It was our introduction to the British Aisles and my wife and I traveled with our next door neighbors. Let me preface this review in stating that we are Royal Caribbean regulars and are making most of our comparisons based on that. We arrived two days earlier at Heathrow and our United flight arrived 1/2 hour early around 9 pm, I was worried that our 'Shared Arrival Transfer London Airport to Hotel' booked via Trip-Advisor wouldn't be there but he was (they keep on-top of arrival info, so make sure your Flight info is updated before you fly). Even though it was a shared transport we were his only fare arriving at 9:30 pm and with little traffic at that time we checked in to the Park Plaza Victoria (which is a great hotel near Buckingham Palace) by 10:30pm. We planned to try to cram in as many highlights of London in one day as we could but realistically settled on doing the Tower of London at 9 am (it took 2-hours minimum), Westminster Abbey at noon and The Staterooms at Buckingham Palace. We purchased a Oyster card for Tube travel and began at 9 am opening at the Tower (by the time we were leaving lines to see the crown Jewels were over a hour wait so make a bee-line there first) make sure you purchase your tickets from: https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/#gs.zywwgy before you arrive otherwise the lines for tickets will take some time. Of the three we thought the Abbey was the highlight. We pre-purchased reserved seats (reserved for an extra 3-pounds each) for 10 am on National Express bus from Victoria Coach station (.6 minute walk from the Park Plaza Victoria) to Southampton Coach Station for $13.50 each one way. Note that as we were getting on our bus the Princess Bus Transportation was loading right next to us. When we arrived in Southampton at noon we immediately got a taxi to the cruise ship for 8 pounds. Embarkation using the Medallions was quick and we were on board by 1:30pm. This is a port intensive cruise with only two at sea days so we chose anytime dining because of the late sale-away times. We didn't want to be tied to a set dinner time. With the ship off a refresh dry dock in 2018 I was surprised by the state of disrepair we noticed around the ship. Vinyl applique sheets peeling off elevator surfaces, numerous dents on hallway walls, Tile baseboards held in place by caulk in numerous public bathrooms, two drawer fronts came off when opening in our stateroom. All small items but they all add up to create a sense that quality workmanship & maintenance are not a high priority Didn’t think much of the common areas in the ship, it had a closed in small feel with very few views of the ocean. The main Piazza area was only three stories high and had very little room to watch entertainment. Typical shops jewelry, watches, overpriced souvenirs, lacking any sundries shopping that you might have forgotten to pack. Photo services lacked any creativity, probably due to lack of any open spaces to take them. Entertainment was hit or miss, enjoyed the comedians, magician (card tricks), band that played every night, Thought the stage shows were lacking, they don’t come close to the quality found on Royal Caribbean ships, we watched for the first 10-15 minutes and gave up. Food in the main dining room was good nothing outstanding. Many of the meals were very small portioned, my cocoa pork loin while probably the best tasting dish on the cruise was five bite sized pieces. Shrimp cocktail has the smallest shrimp I’ve ever seen, formal night lobster tails were small and dry. Every night we’d get recommendations of 1-2 dishes to avoid from wait staff , that’s never happened before (clue get rid of dishes that don’t work). Wait staff for the most part were amazing in all venues. The Horizon Court buffet was also good, nothing outstanding, hard to find seats during breakfast especially on sea days. Over easy eggs on the egg station were either over hard or often cold, scrambled eggs had an odd taste leaving the only way to get a good egg dish was thru the omelet station. Free coffee only available in dining rooms were brewed weak. No free coffee or tea at the International Café (free coffee and always available on Royal Caribbean ships similar venues). International café had a great selection of salads snacks, pressed sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, cookies, deserts and a Gelato station charging 3-scoops for $3.50. Best Pizza I’ve had on a cruise, Salta Dog Grille, on Lido Deck poolside, burgers and dogs were good, offered signature Ernesto Burger for $5 or the Ernesto w/Beer for $8 (no brainer since a bottle of beer was $6.75). We booked the Princess transfer to Heathrow which was the lest expensive and most worry free way of departing. We disembarked at 9:15 am buss departed the port at 10:15 and arrived at Heathrow at 11:30am for a 3:30pm flight. Our travel companions had a 1:30pm flight and disembarked the ship at 6:15am. Overall my main reason for booking this cruise was for the ports. While I was hoping for more (we all do), what I received was a decent cruise on a aging ship. Princess needs to pull a page from Royal Caribbean’s playbook and treat every ship like it’s our best ship, staying on top of maintenance, providing the best in entertainment, amaze us with great food venues. If Royal had offered the same itinerary, I would have cruise with them hands down. Again I was hoping for more, I wanted to be wowed, I could have been a convert to Princess. Maybe all princess ships aren’t the same but I don’t want to waste another vacation hoping for more. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
The British Isles itinerary looked appealing but did not live up to expectations. The ship was OK but the food was lacking in choices and most proteins were dry and tough. The water in the cabin was expensive and Princess has no ... Read More
The British Isles itinerary looked appealing but did not live up to expectations. The ship was OK but the food was lacking in choices and most proteins were dry and tough. The water in the cabin was expensive and Princess has no multi-bottle packages available. You're better off buying water at one of the ports. Everything was nickel-dimes to death and the tours were very expensive so we booked a couple from an outside source. The stops were uninteresting and unappealing. They had shuttle buses to the town centers but charged $16 each for the short trip. Also, the cabin had a queen bed but you could only get out from one side due to the large nightstand. The photos were $25 each which is another example of their gouging. The cruise was reasonably priced but, when you add all the excursions, it becomes bloated. All in all, this will probably be our second and last Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this itinerary primarily for the itinerary. We were in a mini-suite on the 9th deck - the Dolphin deck. This was a "Medallion" cruise which uses a small electronic device similar to a keyless car key for all ... Read More
We chose this itinerary primarily for the itinerary. We were in a mini-suite on the 9th deck - the Dolphin deck. This was a "Medallion" cruise which uses a small electronic device similar to a keyless car key for all transactions including opening the door of your cabin as you approach - nice if you're carrying something. Embarkation was a little tedious because our pre-ordered medallions did not arrive before we left and were not available to the second day of our cruise. Cabin was a little care-worn but not offensive - like staying in a Holiday Inn Express vs a 4 star hotel. The bed was comfortable enough although visible concavity on both sides reflective of prolonged use. Bath was adequate with motel level toiletries. Shower - tub combo was essentially a shower as the drain could not be closed - not an issue for us. Closet space was adequate. Electrical outlets were few in number reflecting the age of this ship. The trick is to use the outlets for one of the two TV's in this suite. Our cabin steward was superb in keeping our room clean. Any-time dining requires a strategy to keep from waiting - make a reservation if you want dining for two! On balance food in main dining was good - sometimes excellent but with some misses. No problem changing your order if you didn't care for the dish. Using the buffet particularly for breakfast also requires a strategy which a peak times makes finding a table problematic. Find your table first and then get your breakfast. The ports of call and the size of the ship places you either at anchorage or some distance from the named destination - not unusual for any large ship. In Guernsey, the water taxi on return to the ship required a 40 MINUTE wait - UNACCEPTABLE! In Dublin the dock was at an industrial area with no foot traffic allowed and no taxis available. The only option for getting to town was to use the ship shuttle at $16 a person additional unless you were on a ship-sponsored excursion. Based on our prior cruising experience, we did private hires and guides at most ports which were competitive with or even cheaper than ship excursions. We are not prone toward attending the ship-sponsored events including art auctions or clothing sales and the pressure to do so was minimal. Evening entertainment in theater required 30 minute prior arrival time to gain a seat for a 45 minute show so skipped a few but those attended were good. As far as food quality goes, breakfast buffet offered lots of choices including several healthy alternative including remarkably good fresh fruit. Lunch rarely taken onboard while in port. Dining room menu was varied with good options. Preparation and taste had wide variability but wait staff were happy to exchange the course if you desired. Wait staff mostly attentive but clearly rushed. Most all of the negatives were related to having to move 3000 people around efficiently and comfortably - successful some of the time but tedious at other times. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary. The ports were fantastic! We did not use any princess excursions. I found independent tour companies on line. I highly recommend Butler's in Ireland, Uniquely Scotland (ask for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary. The ports were fantastic! We did not use any princess excursions. I found independent tour companies on line. I highly recommend Butler's in Ireland, Uniquely Scotland (ask for Mark) and Spearhead tours at Le Havre (Florin is incredibly knowledgeable about D Day) . The time on the ship was disappointing. Crown Princess looked old and shabby. There was no drink served when we got on the ship. No towel animals on the bed at night. The activities on board were repetitive and not exciting. Even the entertainment was so-so. Nothing was terrible, but nothing stellar either. Food in the main dining room was hit or miss. Some meals were wonderful others not good at all. The buffet was awful. We worked hard to not eat there since it was so bad. We had one dinner at the Crown Grill which again was just OK. The one excellent thing on the ship was the staff. Our cabin steward Norman was awesome! Our waiter, JP, was excellent when we ate at our assigned time. The nights we had to go to anytime dining the staff was not great. It tended to be slow. In conclusion, our cruise was not bad. However I have been on better cruises on other lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first time oversees and we wanted to visit Ireland, Scotland and France. We flew into Heathrow, Airport and after getting through customs we found the Princess cruise personnel. Then we took a princess connection (bus ride) ... Read More
This was our first time oversees and we wanted to visit Ireland, Scotland and France. We flew into Heathrow, Airport and after getting through customs we found the Princess cruise personnel. Then we took a princess connection (bus ride) to Southampton. From there we checked in and received our medallions. The Crown could use some refurnishing, however the ships crew was top notch. Especially in the main dining and night clubs. Food was good in the main dining always something different was added each night. The buffet was average (but always available). The princess excursions were really good especially the Cork Sea Safari at Cork, Ireland. We also enjoyed the carriage ride at Stark, Island. Our favorite castle was Glamis in Scotland. We also took the excursion to the Louvre Museum in France well worth it. The medallions worked great! There was four of us the youngest 19. We had a balcony room. We would definitely cruise again with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our 11th cruise with Princess. This is our first negative review. Very disappointed in management's poor decision to cruise Alaska with this ship. First, the Royal did NOT go inside Vancouver island as advertised. ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise with Princess. This is our first negative review. Very disappointed in management's poor decision to cruise Alaska with this ship. First, the Royal did NOT go inside Vancouver island as advertised. Second, we were UNABLE to get into Juneau Aug 20 because the winds were beyond the "operational capabilities" of the Royal Princess. By the way, weather.com said the winds were about 13 knots. All other large ships sailing that day and that week got into Juneau with no problems. We missed a major brown bear excursion via sea plane ... this was the most recent of many cruises on a Princess ship and we're pretty upset they sent a ship to Alaska that was not able to navigate the waters with ease........and with safety. Earlier in the year, Southeast Alaska Pilots Association (SEAPA) was worried about the Royal's ability to maneuver in these waters.....and it was suggested to have tugs stationed to help the Royal due to her limitations. But apparently due to the expense of the tugs, the cruise line balked at the price of the service. Third, Royal's poor maneuvering capabilities (and planning) affected us in another way as well. Namely, just 3 days before departure Princess notified us that the Royal was going to depart one hour before the previously scheduled departure time ... due to tides. Really! I skippered a small boat for 8 years and I can tell you that any skipper can look up what the tides will be like months or even years in advance. This last minute change forced us to change our flight date by an entire day.......and we had to purchase last-minute accommodations in a very crowded and, therefore, expensive Vancouver hotel. What was Princess thinking sending this ship into Alaskan waterways. We have cruised many times on Princess and we would never have thought the company would have made such an error in planning. The Royal Princess is a beautiful vessel and we enjoyed the creature comforts, entertainment, and food. But, it is of overriding importance that the ship the cruise line chooses for a particular voyage is fit for the trip being offered. Read Less
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