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39 Princess Pacific Princess Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

From the moment we arrived we were made to feel special. The embarkation process was simple and easy. Our room was ready as requested and our cabin steward was personable, attentive and learned our habits and likes. Our room was always ... Read More
From the moment we arrived we were made to feel special. The embarkation process was simple and easy. Our room was ready as requested and our cabin steward was personable, attentive and learned our habits and likes. Our room was always returned to impeccable. The MaîtreD, Alberto, was beyond amazing and welcoming to everyone in the dining room. He was attentive and ensured the dining staff was as well. He made us feel special. Jude, the Casino Bar bartender, was amazing. He looked at my card once, memorized my name, billing code and drink preference and remembered for the entire 12 days. He was amazing. The staff on board were so pleasant and kind and paid a lot of attention to the passengers. There was a significant contingency present at the disembarking wishing us well. I have cruised with a lot of lines but Princess is my first choice. I must return to enjoy it more but leave with great memories. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise as it was a small ship (660 passengers), was visiting places we wanted to see, and was when we were in Europe visiting other countries. Firstly our cabin was obviously designed for twin beds but the turned it into a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a small ship (660 passengers), was visiting places we wanted to see, and was when we were in Europe visiting other countries. Firstly our cabin was obviously designed for twin beds but the turned it into a double. What this meant was that when your pillow was in the wrong position it hit the light switch and turned all the cabin lights on. This happened several times over the 12 days. Also we were on the 4th floor above the gangway on the 3rd floor, every time we docked we were awoken by banging, crashing, and even one morning by an angle grinder as they prepared for disembarkation in port. One excursion we got absolutely soaked getting from the ship to the bus and had to sit for seven hours in wet squelchy clothes- not good. As it was a small ship you had only one choice of entertainment each night and it was hit and miss as to quality. The acoustics in the dining room were so noisy that my poor father, who wears hearing aids, couldn’t have them turned on so missed out on conversations in the end we had buffet dinners. Also when did you go to a fine dining restaurant and have Purcel squirted into your hands as you entered??? No free bottled water??? Even on the trains in Europe you get a free bottle of water, also free in every hotel - no Princess wanted USD $7 for a bottle of water !!! We have decided that as a family we are never going on a cruise again Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ports advertised. Dining staff was wonderful as was our cabin steward. Port excursion in Kotor, Montenegro was well below Princess standards. It was advertised as a dining experience with an experience chef in a private home. It was ... Read More
Ports advertised. Dining staff was wonderful as was our cabin steward. Port excursion in Kotor, Montenegro was well below Princess standards. It was advertised as a dining experience with an experience chef in a private home. It was supposed to be a three hour tour. The food was poor and was not a meal. The food was also not presented well and would be considered a snack at the very least. The tour lasted less than two hours as well. All of this for $99.00. The port in Ravenna, Italy was 30 minutes from the town of Ravenna and if you wanted to leave the ship there was a $26.00 fee for a bus to take you to Ravenna. It appeared to be a relevently new port and offered little to do. There was very little information regarding transportation options when you left the ship at ports if you were not on a ship excursion. The staff on the Pacific Princess was very friendly and accommodating on the cruise making the time on the boat enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We loved the smaller ship experience which only had 670 people on board. We made many friends because you see them often at dining areas, entertainment areas and on excursions. The staff is very attentive because there are less people ... Read More
We loved the smaller ship experience which only had 670 people on board. We made many friends because you see them often at dining areas, entertainment areas and on excursions. The staff is very attentive because there are less people to take care of. We sailed to Greece and Southern Italy and the ports were marvelous. We only took one cruise excursion because we find taking private tours with other people we meet on cruise critic is far less expensive and much more fun. If you only have two or three other couples on your excursion you don't waste as much time waiting for the excursion to start or waiting for people to reboard the bus after a scenic stop or restroom break. The ship is smaller and so it is able to get into smaller ports without the need for a tender. We had a cabin on floor 7 which meant we were only two floors from the main dining area and two floors from the buffet. We were able to avoid the elevators for almost all of the trip. Even the couple times we used them, they were never busy. The food was very good and the staff were excellent. We loved our balcony and used it every morning for breakfast and for a glass of wine before dinner. Here are the only issues I saw with the ship. There were a few areas on the ship that I smelled a sewer smell. I am quite picky and have a keen sense of smell so this probably will not bother some people. There were some issues with the public restrooms that my husband did not like. He stated they were sometimes not clean. The ship did not have as many activities for families but our cruise had very few children on it and catered to an older crowd. We actually liked this. The ship could not go to Sibenik becasue of the weather and this was a great disappointment to us. We would definately go on another cruise on the Pacific Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We just got back from a cruise round trip from Venice to Croatia and Greece on the Pacific Princess (Nov. 11 - 23). I liked the smaller size (we had done the Regal Princess before) - you get to know people better and you can access some ... Read More
We just got back from a cruise round trip from Venice to Croatia and Greece on the Pacific Princess (Nov. 11 - 23). I liked the smaller size (we had done the Regal Princess before) - you get to know people better and you can access some of the ports the larger ships can't. Plus we were never more than about 2 decks from anything we wanted to get to. There was rarely a wait for the elevators and the buffet wasn't packed the way I had experienced on the Regal Princess. The whole ship has a nice intimate feel. Because it was smaller, embarkation and disembarkation were painless. Shore excursions were well run. The staff was extremely hard working -- we had a great cabin steward and excellent waiters in the dining room. The only thing I really missed was the International Café - I had gotten hooked on their pastries and specialty tea drinks. As a matter of fact, I had bought a coffee card because I enjoyed the tea so much. Found out the Pacific Princess only had coffee drinks - bummer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We enjoyed the rear facing balcony cabin.The room Steward was good the waiters were excellent.T\Rebecca the assistant waiter form Serbia always kept my glass full and was very friendly. I tipped her extra over the auto tips.The food in ... Read More
We enjoyed the rear facing balcony cabin.The room Steward was good the waiters were excellent.T\Rebecca the assistant waiter form Serbia always kept my glass full and was very friendly. I tipped her extra over the auto tips.The food in the dining room was very good with the exception of the unpounded Veal Scallopini which we had to send back as it was so tough. Normally this is a good dish to order,.Also the rock fish was very mushy. I would avoid these two choices.The steaks were better than the last cruise, though my wife thought the Rib eye was a bit tough.The Pizza was terrible and tasted like cardboard. This seemds to have been the case for a while, so I would avoid it. Not sure why this would be. We found the buffet generally good, with the exception of the ice cream which obviously had melted and been refrozen. You can tell when ice cream is crunchy that this is the case.The usually had lemonaide, with the exception of one day when we were told the standard reply"There is none on the ship". Very disapointed in the lack of strawberries or other berries on the ship. This has been the case the past two cruises. Not sure if this is a new cut back but not happy about this. The filet Mignon in the Steak House was excellent as was the Onion Soup and the scallop appetizer. What wasn't good was the cold baked potato and the non creamed spinach. The waiters were agonizingly slow. After two hours we left, skipping desert. Only 5 tables filled that night. Hard to understand.Aslo tedious descriptions of the food which were boring and unnecessary. The entertainment was top notch. excellent Violinist , comedian ,ventriloquist and Princess dancers.easy to get a seat on this small ship. You could come at the last minute, unlike the mega ships where you have to get there a half hour before the show. Bingo only draws 25 people so I won three times and came away with $200.00. The normally silliness connected with Bingo seemed to be gone, although the numbers were called agonizingly slow. We booked allot of ships tours since we had alot of onboard credit.Most were good, except Rhodes where the guide really could understand no English. WE missed one port due to wind, always a disapointment but luckily it was not one of the ports we had most wanted to visit Lesbos, Greece. We docked in Venice when all you could see was fog. amazing job by the captain as Costa did not dock and their passengers were disembarked 150 miles away causing most to miss their flights( Many were in the Marriot Courtyard with us} Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The Pacific Princess is the smallest ship in the Princess fleet with only around 650 passengers. This was our first time to sail on a small ship and maybe our last. With a few notable exceptions, it seemed like we were sailing with a ... Read More
The Pacific Princess is the smallest ship in the Princess fleet with only around 650 passengers. This was our first time to sail on a small ship and maybe our last. With a few notable exceptions, it seemed like we were sailing with a second or third rate crew. Princess must have their first teamers on the larger ships and use their smallest ship as a training ground. Service, entertainment and the quality of food was nowhere close to what we experienced on the Regal Princess last year. The Spa Director Radu was plain rude and obnoxious and his staff mostly inexperienced. Service and food in the Main Dining Room were well below par. However, the food in the specialty restaurants and grill was above average and service there was great. Breakfast in Sabatini's each morning was especially rewarding. All of the waiters in the lounge areas were pleasant and tried to remember your name. Lindsay, the future sales consultant/Concierge was spectacular and helped us with our disembarkation plans. Also, our cabin steward did a great job. The entertainment was sparse and below par and very few passengers showed up. The best things about the trip were the large suite, the itinerary and no kids! Split, Santorini, Rhodes, Athens, Mykonos and especially Dubrovnik were all spectacular ports. Stopping in Lesvos was a major blunder because the seas were too rough to launch the tenders to shore. Also, Rijecka was a big waste of time. At least Princess had the good sense to stay in Santorini until 8 pm, which gave us plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful sunset from the cliffs of the caldera. Overall, it was an average cruise. I will stick to the midsize Princess ships from now on for better food, service and entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We like the "smaller" ships -- this one had about 600 or so passengers. We opted to upgrade to the "mini suite" and that was a good use of funds, although the ordinary balcony rooms also looked good. The mini suite gave ... Read More
We like the "smaller" ships -- this one had about 600 or so passengers. We opted to upgrade to the "mini suite" and that was a good use of funds, although the ordinary balcony rooms also looked good. The mini suite gave us plenty of room. The food was great and plentiful, of course. The excursions were all well-done. We were Venice to Croatia to Greece and back. We got in 5 days early to explore Venice. We actually could have used another day there -- so much to see and do. But besides that, some of our travelers had weather delays so they missed the embarkation and had to be flown to several cities before catching up with our ship, several days later. Note -- GO IN A DAY OR SO EARLY ON AN INTERNATIONAL CRUISE! Besides ensuring you won't miss the boat, you'll settle in from any jet lag! Venice was so easy to get around -- we took a Vaporetto from the airport and it was a short walk to our hotel. Then an easy boat ride to the Cruise area. Princess did not offer any excursion to Venice so if you want to see this great city, go early. We would definitely recommend this ship and this itinerary. Got to see 3 cities in Croatia, Athens, Rhodes, Santorini, and Mykanos in Greece, and Kotor in Montenegro. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise as the timing worked and we were keen to see Crotia. Hadn't sailed on Princess for a while so after a disappointing cruise with Celebrity we decided to travel with Princess and were not disappointed. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the timing worked and we were keen to see Crotia. Hadn't sailed on Princess for a while so after a disappointing cruise with Celebrity we decided to travel with Princess and were not disappointed. Embarkation/Disembarkation was flawless and so very quick. We flew into Venice and got the Princess transfer by coach straight to the ship. Some of those who were less mobile did find it a bit of a trek to the coach but if you found that a trek not sure this itinerary is for you. We found the food to be very good, always plenty of choice and I found it hard to make a selection as there were so many excellent food choices. Oscar the Maitre D' is THE BEST on the ocean, he accommodated our requirements and was a great host each evening. Ports - We did our own thing (walking around town) at Split, Siracusa, Kotor and Sibinek - all beautiful easy walking towns and a very short distance from where we docked. Villefranche was a tender ride in and easy to walk round but in October was quiet and not a huge amount to see or do, next time would venture into Nice/Monaco. In Naples we went on an excursion to Pompeii and in Livorno we went to Lucca - would highly recommend both. We loved this small but perfectly formed ship which as a big ship cruiser I was very nervous about but loved it! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I chose this 23 day cruise, Sept 25-Oct 18, 2017, from Dover to Venice (it was 2 cruises BTB that we booked as one cruise) as much for the ship as for the itinerary. I have cruised on most of the ships in the Princess fleet, this was my ... Read More
I chose this 23 day cruise, Sept 25-Oct 18, 2017, from Dover to Venice (it was 2 cruises BTB that we booked as one cruise) as much for the ship as for the itinerary. I have cruised on most of the ships in the Princess fleet, this was my 3rd time on this particular ship, and she is my #1 favorite. I love the small ship experience, as it is a much more intimate way to cruise than it is on the larger Princess ships. Making new cruise friends is so much easier, as is getting to know the crew. Because I had sailed on the Pacific Princess less than a year ago. I recognized some of the crew members, and they recognized me immediately as having been on her fairly recently. My cabin-mate had not cruised on small ship before and wasn't sure how she would like it, but by the end of our 23 days, she decided she loved it too. Getting around in the ship is a breeze ... one can walk from one end to the other in 2-3 minutes. Getting an elevator is generally quick, and they are often completely empty when the doors open. Disembarking in ports is generally quick, and tendering doesn't usually take long in either direction, Cabins have been recently updated and redecorated, with new headboards, sofas, drapes, mattresses and bed linens. While the closets are smaller, there is a decent amount of other storage, and the two of us had no difficulty having enough space for all of our belongings. All of our excursions were booked thru Princess, and we really enjoyed them. Other updating in public areas include new carpeting, new lounges on the pool deck, as well as seating groupings with chairs and sofas in the pool area. We ate all of our dinners in the dining room, and found our wait staff to be excellent. Menus were varied, lots of great desserts, and we never had a problem finding something we could enjoy. Breakfasts and lunches were in the buffet. On nice days we took advantage of the outdoor seating on the deck aft of the buffet. it's a very pleasant area with nice new tables and chairs. On sunny days, the buffet staff rolled out the awnings, which provided shade for much of the outdoor dining area. Although we didn't get involved in most of the daytime shipboard activity offerings, we did go to most of the shows. The Princess singers and dancers were wonderful, and they put on several exciting, high energy shows. Among them, Simon Breen (singer and dancer), and McKenzie (dancer) are both excellent, and were my favorites. We especially enjoyed Austin Ray, pianist/singer, who performed most evenings in the Casino Lounge, and was very entertaining. Stevie B (singer of Rock and Roll numbers) did several shows in the Cabaret Lounge and he was great every time. They also had a couple of very funny standup comics. The evening of the day we were in Venice overnight, the Venice Chamber Orchestra was brought onboard, and they were beyond excellent. I have cruised with Princess almost exclusively for the past 13 years (only one brief venture on another CCL line, and I couldn't wait to get back to Princess). Because I have cruised so much with Princess, I was invited to the MTP luncheon on the first leg, and it was an elegant experience. There was a Cocktail party scheduled for the MTPs on the 2nd leg that I was invited to, but it had to be cancelled at the last moment. In lieu of it, those who had been invited to it were sent champagne and delicious canapé's that afternoon, by the ship's Captain and the Captain's Circle host, a very nice gesture that was much appreciated. Each time I have been on this ship, I have always found the service to be uniformly excellent. The staff and crew of this ship seems to love being there and it shows in their attitudes and how hard they work to assure that the passengers are happy.. Would I cruise on this ship again .... without a doubt! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The ship was an excellent ship with excellent accommodations, elegant interiors. Our cabin was spacious with a large bathroom. The room and the king sized bed had top quality appointments and comforts. The food and drink were of ... Read More
The ship was an excellent ship with excellent accommodations, elegant interiors. Our cabin was spacious with a large bathroom. The room and the king sized bed had top quality appointments and comforts. The food and drink were of excellent quality and represented fresh local cuisine and regional wines. During our week the shore excursions were very well planned and the local and expert guides, including art historians, were well informed and provided informative and insightful background for our experiences. We spent a day in Venice before our embarkation and we used Venice Limousine Rent company in Venice for a transfer from our hotel downtown Venice to the cruise port and also this service was excellent and all went very smooth... nice and almost new vehicle Mercedes brand, very clean, driver with an excellent english and great courtesy, really appreciated. They arranged for us the boat from the hotel to the place where was waiting for us the driver Domnik He helped us with the luggage and he was extremely kind. Recommended to everyone Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
To visit Dubrovnic and Greek ports on a small ship. The Princess line was very liberal with their wine policies. They allowed you to bring a bottle of wine each to your cabin free and bottles to dinner for only a $15 charge. The waiters ... Read More
To visit Dubrovnic and Greek ports on a small ship. The Princess line was very liberal with their wine policies. They allowed you to bring a bottle of wine each to your cabin free and bottles to dinner for only a $15 charge. The waiters often did not charge you for this. The small ship experience was much better then the large ones as you got more personal service from waiters to cabin staff. The cruise in and out of Venice also made for an easy addition to the holiday. Hotels near the docks were very inexpensive and could be done by yourself to avoid the cruise line excessive charges. There is also a very cheap shuttle service from the airport that takes you right to the docks and back to the airport which is also far cheaper than that provided by Princess. Take any cruise on the Pacific Princess that they offer, you will not be sorry. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Originally,we wanted to see Istanbul, but the cruise lines pulled out.Ni matter--this was a beautiful cruise! We have been cruising on princess for 30 years. Princess substituted other stops for Istanbul.Debrovnik was amazing! In ... Read More
Originally,we wanted to see Istanbul, but the cruise lines pulled out.Ni matter--this was a beautiful cruise! We have been cruising on princess for 30 years. Princess substituted other stops for Istanbul.Debrovnik was amazing! In Venice,Princess had their own vaporetto to transport us to St.Mark's square. The Pacific Princess is the perfect ship! after cruising on all the big Princess ships,we found the 600 passenger Pacific Princess perfect--no long lines,great accommodations,food,entertainment,shore excursions. We have already booked another cruise on the Pacific Princess. If you have walking problems,this ship is for you! Princess has really improved the entertainment--spectacular shows almost nightly.The pool was smaller than normal, but the other facilities of the ship made up for it. Sammi,the Cruise Director,was at every show and always around to oversee activities. Our waiters were the best--they sang for birthdays,remembered that I drink decaf, and well deserved the extra money we tipped in the end. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The small ship Pacific Princess, which we have sailed before, on the Holy Land Cruise from Rome to Athens back in 2014. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, ships crew, and shore excursions we participated in. Our cabin was very nice and ... Read More
The small ship Pacific Princess, which we have sailed before, on the Holy Land Cruise from Rome to Athens back in 2014. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, ships crew, and shore excursions we participated in. Our cabin was very nice and meals in dinning room very good, as well. Also, with the accident on approach of Nice Harbour and we had to abbandon ship upon arrival back from our Shore excursion to Monte Carlo and Monaco we had to be off shop this afternoon around 4pm and we had accomodations at Raddisoon BLU in Nice and them by land to Barcelona the following morning. This logisitcs were handled bery well by Princess and there crew. We were very well compensated for this occurence. Princess Cruise Lines is the Cruise Line we prefer to travel for ease of booking and there many opportunities for booking sales and ease of booking shore excursions ahead of time and settling up at the end of the cruise. We'll continue to sail with Princess. In fact we plan our next cruise with Princess next July 24 out of South Hampton, England. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was a marvelous cruise that began in Venice and was to end in Barcelona. We had a gorgeous suite on deck 7 (an wonderful upgrade) -- it was very spacious and well appointed, with an incredible wrap-around balcony. Our steward, ... Read More
This was a marvelous cruise that began in Venice and was to end in Barcelona. We had a gorgeous suite on deck 7 (an wonderful upgrade) -- it was very spacious and well appointed, with an incredible wrap-around balcony. Our steward, Marius, was so accommodating and helpful that we wished we could have taken him home with us! The perks of being a suite passenger was wonderful and included things like laundry service, daily fresh fruit and appetizers, daily breakfast at the specialty restaurants. Our dining experiences were all excellent, especially the specialty restaurants. Our waiter was Joseph -- he is the one who made our experiences so special. The maitre'd and staff provided first class service. The entertainment was the best I've experienced on a ship -- with talent far above the usual cruises ship shows. Activities were plentiful -- I even went to a service club meeting while onboard. Most of the excursion experiences were also wonderful -- interesting and charming ports that were out of the ordinary. However, there were a few excursions that didn't quite live up to our expectations (having to wait a long time in the rain for the bus to transport us; a rude guide, and a cattle call lunch experience while on an excursion.). For the most part, the excursions were well worth it (especially the museums in Florence). I was very pleased with the transportation arrangements from the airport to the ship (provided by Princess). Embarking and disembarking procedures were handled well -- being on a smaller ship helped a lot! I am not a lover of cruises -- mostly because the ships are too large and I am not a fan of crowds. The smaller ship experience is more relaxed and the service level (at least on the Pacific Princess) was unparalleled. The decor on this ship was lovely, the Captain and crew were first class. Sadly, because of a sudden storm, our cruise ended in Nice 2 days early, There was some damage done to the ship and the cruise had to be terminated early. The Captain and crew of the Pacific Princess took such good care of us that what was an unfortunate accident did not turn out to be a disastrous ending to our cruise -- from hotels to transportation, everything was arranged for us. Beautiful hotels in both Nice and Barcelona. And most incredible of all was the credits we received for our slightly shortened trip -- credit for the current trip and credit towards a future Princess cruise (we've already booked out next trip -- as long as it's on the Pacific Princess, it's sure to be another outstanding experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my first cruise on a smaller ship. It was our 40th anniversary and we wanted to visit Venice and ports in the Adriatic Sea. The itinerary was excellent. The weather did not co-operate though. Our best investment was the $3 rain ... Read More
This was my first cruise on a smaller ship. It was our 40th anniversary and we wanted to visit Venice and ports in the Adriatic Sea. The itinerary was excellent. The weather did not co-operate though. Our best investment was the $3 rain ponchos that we bought as soon as the ship sailed. Kotor Montenegro was a lovely new port that we visited. We travelled up 29 switchbacks up and down the mountain to visit other places in Montenegro. Lovely scenery. However sailing out of Kotor we had a huge thunderstorm and a small tornado. That was interesting to watch. It didn't really affect our trip though. Then coming into Nice the weather kicked up a powerful wind and our ship hit the breakwater rocks and unfortunately suffered damage that could not be repaired. Our ship made it into the port however the water had to be turned off. We headed out on our excursion to Monaco and returned at 4:30 to find out that we had to pack our bags as the ship could not continue. Princess arranged for our hotel in Nice and we were bussed there. It was a 5 star hotel. The next morning we were organized into busses and driven to Barcelona and checked into another hotel. We spent 8 1/2 hours on the bus but it was a lovely day and the drive had spectacular scenery. Our bus had only 10 passengers so we were well spread out and comfortable. Our hotel in Barcelona was another 5 star hotel. The next morning we were taxied to the airport. The Princess staff went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. They took care of all the expenses other than our meals which we had to submit to head office for reimbursement. Two days after arriving home we received a 50% refund of our cruise and we are also receiving a credit towards another cruise to be booked by December 31, 2017. We have nothing but good things to say about the way they handled a difficult situation. Now for critique of the ship itself. Because of the size of the ship it is more intimate. It is also easier to get around. We were on the 7th deck. The 5th deck had the entertainment and dining room. The 9th deck had the buffet, pool and spa. So we took the stairs a lot. Two flights up or down was just the right amount of exercise. It also seemed to free up the elevators as you hardly had to wait for any if you took them. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Our room was adequate. It stated that we were getting a Queen bed but it looked more like a King. The closet had plenty of hangers and there were plenty of drawers as well. The dining experience was a little less than I expected. The menu wasn't that great some of the nights. We were so close to Italy that I thought we would have had more Italian dishes. Don't get me wrong. The food was good but there was no WOW factor. I am sure that the specialty restaurants had the WOW factor. We had the first seating that was at 5:30 pm. Interestingly enough there were several times on this itinerary that dining was open seating. If we got into port later and stayed later we had the open seating. The breakfast buffet seemed to have the same thing every day. There was a lot of variety though. I thought the Danish weren't as flakey as usual so I thought they might have been heat and serve. All in all though, this was a very good cruise. The smaller ship does not have the extravaganza shows, there is no International café but there is enough to do on the ship if you choose to and when you go to Europe there is so much to do on shore that many consider the ship as a floating B&B. I would recommend this ship to a couple. There isn't much on the ship for young people though. Although the ship is used for World Cruises I think I would go stir crazy if I had more than 1 sea day at a time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We've sailed on over 26 cruises with PRINCESS. This was our first on the small Pacific Princess. It was very easy to get around the ship and the entire staff was friendly & approachable; it's perfect for cruisers who like a ... Read More
We've sailed on over 26 cruises with PRINCESS. This was our first on the small Pacific Princess. It was very easy to get around the ship and the entire staff was friendly & approachable; it's perfect for cruisers who like a 'family' feel. We chose this cruise for the itinerary & used PRINCESS for all our shore excursions, which were excellent and reasonably priced. Our stateroom was a standard balcony. The bed was comfortable and there was enough storage space. The bathroom door was noisy, the shower stall needs replaced and the bathroom in general needs a scrub. The dinning staff and the food was excellent in the dinning room and the buffet. There was a 'glitch' on this particular cruise; but, PRINCESS took excellent care of us throughout the entire experience. Overall a great cruise. We've sailed many times on other cruise lines, but always come back to PRINCESS for the value. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My husband and I have never been disappointed in any of our sailings on the Pacific Princess. We have traveled for 32 days from Ft. Lauderdale to Sydney and never once felt cramped, bored, or invisible. There was always something to do ... Read More
My husband and I have never been disappointed in any of our sailings on the Pacific Princess. We have traveled for 32 days from Ft. Lauderdale to Sydney and never once felt cramped, bored, or invisible. There was always something to do and the food was wonderful and fresh. The Library is lovely and a nice place in which to relax. We attended a wedding of table partners that was beautifully appointed in the Library. We have also sailed in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, and other sailings over the years. This ship has a wonderful energetic friendly staff. Since it travels the world we always check to see if we can connect when we are ready for another excursion (no matter who owns it and realizing the staff and crew make a huge difference.) The Best memory (hard to choose from so many) was seeing my husband participate in the traditional ceremony for first time Equator Crossers. What a delightful, fun, mess. Other entertainment was on a small stage in a cabaret lounge setting and other venues. Each port had marvelous acts board for the evening. And, of coarse, the talented singers, dancers, comics, jugglers, bands, etc. who traveled with the ship entertained us at sea. (Good movies, too) The overall feeling was that of sailing on my own private yacht with friends. Hint: For any sailing, don't try to be the first on board. Relax, know when you MUST be on board, have a late`or a beer near by, and walk on board comfortably without spending your vacation in line. Don't be a "Hurry up and wait" person. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We have cruised frequently but this was the first time on a smaller ship. We were on the Pacific Princess and we loved it! The ship was intimate and luxurious in an understated way. We had cabin 327 (ocean view porthole) and we found our ... Read More
We have cruised frequently but this was the first time on a smaller ship. We were on the Pacific Princess and we loved it! The ship was intimate and luxurious in an understated way. We had cabin 327 (ocean view porthole) and we found our cabin very comfortable. We liked the ease with which you can move around a smaller ship and how uncrowded it felt. The only drawback was the lounge where the entertainment was held. It was hard to see because of the lack of slant. The best kept secret was the lovely lounge on the 10th floor forward. It had very few passengers in it and was a great place to meet friends and play games. We flew into Rome early and utilitized Romecabs (www.stefanorometours.com). They were great - they picked us up at the airport and delivered us to our hotel. The next day they drove the group of 5 of us to Tivoli for Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este. The fountains at the Villa d'Este are spectacular and well worth visiting. The following day, they picked us up and delivered us to the port. The drivers were all excellent, timely, and knowledgeable. I highly recommend the use of this company. They were also reasonably priced. Our first port was Sorrento. We independently took a ferry over to Capri which is a lovely island. We enjoyed taking a taxi to Anacapri and taking the gondola up to the top of the mountain for the view. After taking the ferry back, we enjoyed walking around Sorrento for a brief time and wished we had spent a little more time enjoying Sorrento. After 2 days at sea, our next port was Istanbul. I had made arrangements with Daily Istanbul Tours (www.dailyistanbultours.com) for a private tour for each day that we were there. On the first day, we visited the Hippodrome (too much detail from the guide - should have been 10 min at most, guide spent about 45 min), Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, had lunch at a great place, Underground Cistern, and Grand Bazaar. Our guide was very nice and very knowledgeable but not flexible and was on his own agenda. We would have liked to have spent more time at the Grand Bazaar. The next day we requested specifically to see the Dolmabahce Palace and it was worth every minute. This is the most spectacular palace we have visted ever (beats Versaille). It is absolutely amazing that this is not on every tour of Istanbul. We think it is because the Turkish government is embarrassed of it as the building of it bankrupted Turkey and created the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Anyway, the rooms are opulent, full of the original furniture and the Grand Ballroom literally took our breath away. They don't allow pictures and I tried to buy a picture in the gift shop but there was no representation of it worth buying. After the Palace, we did a tour of the Bosphorus (if you are doing the Black Sea, don't bother as you will see the exact same thing from the ship). We then went to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar. This is great. We wanted to go back to the Grand Bazaar but our guide drug his feet so we didn't get to go. Unless you want a lot of commentary, I would say go to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, & Topkapi on your own. They are all close together (easily walked). I think this place would be relatively easy to do independently as long as you are comfortable taking a cab. But don't miss that Dolmabahce Palace whatever you do.Our next port was Nessebar - very easily walked. Not much to do but a pleasant historical section, lots of shops, and lots of very attractive restaurants. Costanta, Romania was a complete waste - very broken country with infrastructure breakdown. The Peter and Paul Cathedral was beautiful. We elected to not take the ship excursion to Bucharest because of the long bus ride but we wished we had. Odessa was a lovely city - lots of greenery. We used Odessawalks@gmail.com for a guided tour and had a very pleasant, knowledgeable guide. We had an excellent lunch in a nice restaurant and we paid extra for a tour of the Opera House which was worth it. We used this same company for our guided tour in Yalta and had a great guide and a wonderful tour which included the Orthodox church, a view of the Swallow's Nest, tour of Vorontsov Palace, tour of Livadia, and an outside walk around the grounds of the Massandra Palace. Our guide was able to get us in and out of these places efficiently. Volos was wonderful for seeing the Meteora Monasteries - We used info@taxiinvolos.gr and they were great. The Meteora Monasteries are well worth seeing. We then ended our cruise in Athens. We had arranged for athenstourgreece.com to pick us up at the port, give us a tour of Athens, and drop us at the airport to catch our flight for Santorini. They were great and it all worked out well. We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in Santorini before flying home. I hope these links are helpful to you. A review like this would have saved me hours of time! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was our second Princess Cruise, the first being a Panama Canal cruise a few years ago. We chose this cruise primarily because we wanted to visit Istanbul and because we had enjoyed cruising with Princess previously. Here are some ... Read More
This was our second Princess Cruise, the first being a Panama Canal cruise a few years ago. We chose this cruise primarily because we wanted to visit Istanbul and because we had enjoyed cruising with Princess previously. Here are some comments about the specific things I rated: Embarkation: This was super-easy because we didn't get to Civitiveccia until after 4pm. There was nobody else at the terminal checking in, so it could not have been faster for us to get checked-in and on board. Note: Using public transportation from Rome to get to the port is easy and cheap. The train leaves every 30 minutes from Rome's Termini Station and takes just over 1 hour to get to the port. The fare is only 5 euros. Once you get off the train, there is a short walk of a few blocks to the port entrance and there you will find a free shuttle bus that will take you to the Princess terminal. Public Rooms This is a small ship with around 650 passengers. Even on sea days, the ship never seemed crowded. (The pool area was the most crowded area, particularly on sea days, but you could still always find a place to lay by the pool.) The lounges on Deck 5 were the best (wooden with comfortable cushions) and there were always plenty of them. There was also nice indoor seating in the Library, the Casino Bar and bar next to the dining room. We found the ship to have a classy dEcor (no "glitz" on the Pacific Princess!) and it was well-maintained. Although this may be an older ship, she did not show her age. Cabin: Our cabin was a mini-suite and we loved the size of both the room and the balcony. It was located on the port side which we found to be the best side for seeing the sights such as Gallipoli and the city of Istanbul. We especially enjoyed the very comfortable bed and the bathtub (which is found only in the suites and mini-suites). The mini-suite had a sitting area with a sofa (which converted into a bed for those traveling with 3 passengers in the room), two chairs, and a table. There was also a writing desk in the cabin, lots of drawer and closet space and a mini-fridge. Fitness and Recreation: I went to the gym on most days. There was a variety of workout machines stationery bikes, stairsteppers and treadmills which clearly were not new, but were in good working order. Each machine had an individual TV screen and you'll need to bring earphones to hear the programs. There were also some free weights and a separate area for classes. Dining: We ate all but one of our breakfasts in the Panorama Buffet. There was a large variety of food and I found the food in the buffet to be quite tasty. There was also a "cook-to-order" omelette station. It was never particularly crowded for breakfast in the Panorama Buffet and we were almost always able to find seating outdoors on the aft deck to enjoy our meal al fresco. The Pub Lunch on sea days was a favorite of ours (fish-and-chips, shepherd pie, etc.) This British fare was well prepared and quickly served in the Steakhouse. Other lunch choices were the buffet, grill, pizza station and dining room (on sea days). The pizzas were good; the food from the grill was great. The evening dining menus were not particularly memorable. I was able to find something different each evening for dinner, but none of the meals "wow'd" me. I found the food somewhat bland---even the Thai lemongrass soup (a dish which normally takes my head off) was not particularly spicy. Perhaps the food is aimed for the palate of older passengers. Entertainment: Because this is such a small ship, the Princess Dancers also worked during the day as assistant cruise directors running the various games and activities which were numerable, but not always well-attended. I found they performed exceptionally well in both jobs. The two vocalists, Rosemary and Joe, were excellent singers. There was a comic that we heard only on the "Welcome Aboard Night", a very good magician that even did an afternoon programs showing how he did a couple of his tricks and a talented vocalist named Christopher Riggins. In the evenings, we enjoyed Alan Shear at the piano. (The singing duo of Chico and Dawn was the only entertainment that we didn't particularly enjoy.) Service The service could not be better on the Pacific Princess. Everyone greeted us wherever we went and several of the staff recognized us after only a few days. The wait staff at the buffet kept your drinks filled and the tables cleared. I found the front desk staff to be knowledgeable and helpful. We were definitely spoiled by the attentive service on this ship. Shore Excursions We did only 3 Princess shore excursions and they were a day trip to Varna (from Nessabar); a tour of Constanta with the Zamfira Wedding Show and the tour of Sevastopol from Yalta. We chose the first two tours because my research did not come up with much to see and do in either Nessabar or Constanta. The tours of Varna and Constanta were OK; the Zamfira Wedding Show was a lot of fun. It was hard to skip Lavidia Palace in Yalta for Sevastopol, but I think we made the right decision. It was an interesting tour with a great lunch. The only problem with this tour is that they don't make a stop at any of the memorials/monuments commemorating "The Charge of the Light Brigade". There is only a quick drive-by with a chance to take a photo of the Valley of Death (if you are lucky, quick, and sitting on the correct side of the bus.) There is a new monument recently unveiled by Prince Michael of Kent which the bus drove by twice going to/from the submarine facility in Balaclava. Princess should include it as a quick stop on this tour along with a quick photo stop for the Valley of Death. One thing I noticed was Princess's failure to describe public transportation as an option in their port information. We took public transportation in Rome (to Civitiveccia); Sorrento (to Herculaneum and Pompeii); Istanbul (the tram is right outside the port area); and Athens (the Metro is about a 20-minute walk from the dock and we had no problem finding it.) The fares on the trains, Metro and trams are significantly cheaper than cabs and we had no problem using fare machines. We really enjoyed travelling like a local! Just be sure to validate your tickets before boarding any public transportation and watch your belongings carefully particularly in Athens. Debarkation Since we were staying for an extra day and night in Athens, we were able to be in one of the last groups to disembark. We had time for a leisurely breakfast after clearing our room at 8am. We went to the Cabaret Lounge to wait for our group debarkation at 9:30 am, but everything was running so smoothly that we didn't even have to wait a member of the cruise director's staff escorted us to the gangplank and we were on our way. I have never encountered such a smoothly-run debarkation. Non-EU passport holders are pre-cleared with Immigration before arrival, so we just collected our luggage and walked out of the cruise terminal in Piraeas on our way to the Metro to Athens. There was a Princess representative available in the cruise terminal to answer any final questions. (Note: One reason we stayed an extra day in Athens is that we were concerned that we could not make an 11:30 am flight, the latest available for our home destination. It would have absolutely been no problem since we did not have to deal with Greek immigration and customs. In fact, acquaintances of ours made a flight that left before 9am!)   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Pros,We loved the size of this boat, big enough to have a selection of everything on larger ships (entertainment, fitness etc.), great back deck, and much easier to move around ship and meet people.We loved the itinerary, Israel and Egypt ... Read More
Pros,We loved the size of this boat, big enough to have a selection of everything on larger ships (entertainment, fitness etc.), great back deck, and much easier to move around ship and meet people.We loved the itinerary, Israel and Egypt were the highlights, nice amount of relaxing sea days, food was good.Food and beverage and stateroom staff were very good. Security was good.Princess tries hard to please.Cons, - the boat is getting old and badly needs an update, particularly in staterooms where beds were very marginal, balcony door didn't work well etc..- the front desk and excursion desk staff were terrible (just wanted to get rid of you, no port knowledge) there was obviously a management problem in this area.- wifi outdated and slow and expensive (I get better wifi flying on airplanes in the US), this seems to be a problem throughout the industry.- we stopped in our first Israel port on the sabbath, everything closed, not good planning, plus it would have been better to stay in Ashdod for 2 days to let us access Tel Aviv, Haifa is not a great place to see. If you were not on a Princess tour the staff were not helpful at all.Conclusion,I would look for this ship size in a more updated ship, with modern electronics.Cruise lines need to cater a bit more to passengers getting off on their own in ports of call, better advice and maps, not just leave us to using Rick Steves (which is good but not always the best if you have only one day). Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Eastern Mediterranean Trip 2013 May 27 Trip Notes May 25 and 26 Flight (747) departed SeaTac on Saturday evening. British Airways crew were very professional and pleasant. We had a nice dinner and then reclined our seats into a really ... Read More
Eastern Mediterranean Trip 2013 May 27 Trip Notes May 25 and 26 Flight (747) departed SeaTac on Saturday evening. British Airways crew were very professional and pleasant. We had a nice dinner and then reclined our seats into a really great bed. I slept for six hours and awoke refreshed. After a light breakfast we deplaned in London. It took about 30 minutes to clear customs. We went to the taxi stand where we found a driver named Pete who was excited about driving us around London. We decided to do three things: (1) Visit King Henry VIII castle, (2) Have lunch at a Pub, and (3) Visit Windsor Palace. The weather was delightful -- 70 degrees and sunny. Five hours later we were back at the airport where we are waiting for our flight to Athens. May 27 Our flight to Athens departed on time at 9:30 PM. It was a three hour flight with a two hour time zone change. We landed in Athens at 3 AM Monday morning. Clearing customs was a breeze. Our three pieces of luggage were number 2, 3, and 4 coming onto the carousel. No waiting at all. We walked across the street, maybe 50 yards, and were at our hotel. We stayed at the Athens Airport Sofitel Hotel. It couldn't have been easier. We got up at 9:45 AM, showered, had room service breakfast, and met our driver at 11:00 AM. Our driver was Dionisis (Dennis) Kokkotos -- www.athenslimo.com. Dionisis was the perfect guide. He had a stretch Mercedes limo that fit the four of us just fine. He took us on a four hour tour of Athens. Athens is a large city with seven hills and five million residents. We started with the Acropolis where we spent 90 minutes viewing the remains of the Acropolis. After that we did a driving tour of Athens. We say the old Olympic Stadium, the palace, museums galore, and the changing of the guard. We stopped for gelato at his favorite bakery and then took a short drive to the cruise terminal. We arrived at the terminal at 3PM. All of the lines were gone so we waltzed right through and were on board in no time at all. The Pacific Princess is one of the smaller cruise ships in the Pacific fleet. It is about one-third the size of the other Princess ships we have been on. Our cabin is 7072. We are on the port side of the ship with a nice balcony. We had dinner at 6:00 PM as the ship cruised out of the Athen's harbor. May 28 Morning found us at anchor off the Greek island of Patmos. Patmos is about 13 square miles in size and hosts about 3,000 residents. The Greek Parliament declared Patmos a sacred island because of its connection with St. John and the Book of Revelation. In 1088 Abbot John Christodoulos of Bithynia founded a monastery. We took a boat from the ship to the city of Skala. We found a taxi stand at the end of the pier offering tours for 40 euros. (Note: if you want to save money, do this. Hire a cab to take you to the Cave. Then hire a cab to take you to the Monastery. Then hire a cab to take you back to this ship.. The total distance is only a few miles.) At the end of the pier we hired a taxi to take us to the Cave of the Apokalypsis and to the Monastery of St. John. The monastery is at the top of the hill with lots of steps. Its location helped it to fight off pirates. Then it was back to the ship for lunch and a leisurely afternoon. May 29 We awoke to 45 mph winds and seven foot swells. No big deal on a ship this large except that we could not get on the boats (tenders) to take us to shore. The Captain woke everybody up with an announcement that we would have to skip our visit to Santorini. About the Pacific Princess: Length 592 feet Gross tons 30,200 Passengers 670 Decks 10 stories The ship has one swimming pool, two hot tubs, one large buffet, and three restaurants. The ship also has a gym, spa/salon, running track, casino, library, shops, and espresso stands. The winds and waves calmed down by noon, but the weather was hazy all day. May 30 The Pacific Princess arrived at the dock in Kusadasi (coochadasee), Turkey promptly at 8:00 AM. Today there was no wind and the seas were calm. We walked off the dock through the strip mall of tourist shops and found our guide, Fulya Tamer, of Ekol Travel (www.ekoltravel.com). I was impressed by the cleanliness -- streets were clean and well maintained. Fulya was very personable and, equally important, very knowledgable. We had a ten person van for only the four of us. It was very nice. We started the tour with a 30 minute drive to the House of the Virgin Mary. This is a small house at the top of a hill in the Solmissos Mountains which, according to the guide books, is "widely recognized" as the place where Mary spent the last few years of her life. The house had two small rooms. Very plain and simple. Then we drove a short distance to Ephesus for an incredible experience. Ephesus was an Ancient Greek City and later the Eastern Capitol of the Roman Empire. Over 200,000 people lived there. Archeologists have been unearthing the ruins of Ephesus for the last 100 years. The ruins are magnificent. The the top of the hill is a small area of a couple of square blocks where the ruins start. I thought that was the extent of the ruins. Boy was I wrong. The ruins extended for another half mile down a wide marble walkway that at one time had shops on either side. We passed a Roman Bath, the Temple of Hadrian, a small colosseum, and more shops. At the end of the marble walkway was a two story library, the Library of Celsus, which had been one of the three largest libraries in the world. A short distance from the library was the large colosseum which could hold 25,0000 people. Elton John performed there a few years ago -- really. I found Ephesus to be absolutely breathtaking. And to think that parts of it were over two thousand years old. Truly amazing. From Ephesus we drove a few miles to the Basilica of St. John which was built by Justinian in the 6th Century AD. It was impressive but paled in comparison to Ephesus. Our guide took us to a quiet open air restaurant where we had a five course meal for lunch. All that food made us ready to shop, so we did. We visited a carpet showroom where we learned how to spin silk and saw carpets being hand made. The ten foot by twelve foot carpets can take four or five years to complete. We did not buy a carpet. We next visited a leather store where we were greeted by a fashion show. Jeff and I participated in the fashion show. The lovely models had to have us on the runway. But I don't know why. Connie and I did find leather coats that we absolutely had to have. So we bought them after some haggling over the price. I love to haggle All in all it was a great day. May 31 At sea all day. A very low keyed day with nothing on the agenda. We did a respectable job of consuming three meals with some visiting on the side. We are getting really excited about visiting Israel tomorrow. June 1 The Pacific Princess docked promptly at 6:30 AM in Haifa, Israel. The day was warm and a bit foggy. We got in line with our passport to clear Israeli customs. A half hour later we were on the dock to meet our tour guide. Haifa is an old port city dating to at least the first century, BC. It is located at the northwest end of Israel, due west of the Sea of Galilee. Our tour guide was Ehud Peretz from guidedtoursisrael.com. He was superb and we highly recommend him. Today is Saturday, the Sabbath. There was little traffic as we drove around. Ehud warned us that traffic would be much heavier on Sunday. We started our tour with a visit to the Baha'i Temple in Haifa. It extended halfway up a very large hill in Haifa and included many terraces, fountains, and gardens. Members of the faith tithe 19% each year! This temple is the world headquarters of the Bahais. We proceeded to Nazareth where we saw the Church of the Annunciation and the Church of St. Joseph. Both were beautiful examples of different architectural styles. I was surprised to find that there was a Church dedicated to St. Joseph -- he seems to be the forgotten person in the story of Jesus. Nazareth had two sections: Arab and Jewish. The Arab section was mostly one or two story buildings in the lower part of the valley. The Jewish section was apartments near the top of the hill. From there we went to the Church at the Mount of Beatitudes which is built on the spot where Jesus preached the sermon about the beatitudes. It is near the top of a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. I was quite surprised to learn that the Sea of Galilee is a fresh water lake that is a little smaller than Lake Washington. It lies in a valley below the Golan Heights made famous, or infamous, in the 1967 war. We visited the Church of St. Peter in Capharnaum located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. We dipped our hands into the water beside the Church as jet skis roared by. Quite a contrast! We ate lunch in a restaurant located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. After that we drove to the RiverJordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. We dipped our hands into the River while some people put on white baptismal smocks and submerged themselves in the river. The Sea of Galilee feeds the Jordan River which runs to the Dead Sea. We toured a kibbutzim that was established by Russian immigrants in 1912. I was surprised again to learn that the 70 or so kibbutzims in Israel are all self contained small villages that produce crops, plastics, electronics, furniture, and other products. We returned to the Pacific Princess worn out. The reader should note that I am more than a little skeptical about the historical accuracy of the things we saw. Our guide showed us the place where Jesus stepped ashore after walking on the waters of the Sea of Galilee. It reminded me of Mark Twain's statement that he has seen enough small pieces of wood from the "one true cross" in European churches to build many crosses. And that statement was made 150 years ago. June 2 The Pacific Princess was scheduled to dock at 7:00 AM exactly, which it did. We were in the first group to leave the ship to meet our driver at7:05 in the Port of Ashdod, Israel. Ashdod was settled by the Philistines in 1200 BC -- 3200 years ago! It is one of the three largest ports in Israel. Ashdod is located about 30 miles due West of Jerusalem. Today is Sunday which is the first day of the work week. The weekend in Israel is Friday and Saturday. Traffic was fairly light as we drove into Jerusalem. We visited most of the major attractions of Jerusalem. These included the Wailing Wall (Western Wall), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, David's Tower, the walled temple, and vistas that gave us a wonderful view of Mount Zion, the Mount of Olives, and the divided City of Jerusalem. Many of the Churches were controlled by three or more religions who had trouble agreeing on anything. For example, we saw a ladder that was leaning against a second story window. There was as ongoing thirty year argument over who was going to move the ladder. Jerusalem is a clean and modern city, until you come to the wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem. The wall is big, ugly, and surrounded by litter. Our guide took us to the entrance to Bethlehem which is controlled by the Palestinians. Our guide could not enter Bethlehem with us. He arranged for another guide to greet us and show us the Church of the Nativity (which is also controlled by three different religions). The Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest churches in the Holy Land. In the Church we saw the spot where Christ was born the place where He was placed in the manger. Maybe yes, maybe no. Who knows? I was disappointed to see that Bethlehem was a poor village in a poor country. The cleanliness of Bethlehem left much to be desired. We did find rush hour traffic as we returned to the ship. Tomorrow is Egypt. June 3 & 4 Alexandria, Egypt & Cairo, Egypt Our trip originally had Port Said, Egypt as a stop. But Princess Cruises was concerned about our safety in Port Said, so we bypassed the Port. Princess did not provide any information regarding their safety concerns. Instead of docking at Port Said on June 3 and then moving to Alexandria on June 4 we went directly to Alexandria. Because it was a longer journey, we docked at noon on June 3 in Alexandria instead of at 7:00 AM in Port Said. We have booked a two day overnight stay with Ramasside Private Tours so they met us in Alexandria when we arrived. Alexandria is named after Alexander the Great. At its peak Alexandria was the second most important city in the Roman Empire as a center of learning for its library and as a shipping hub. Today it is famous for its library -- the second largest in the world after the Library of Congress. Our tour guide was Karim Serry (Le_roi_karim@hotmail.com) from Ramses Tours (www.ramsestours.com). He was an incredible guide and we highly recommend him and Ramses Tours. Our van was a twelve person Hyundai van that was very comfortable for the four of us. We started with a tour of Alexandria. What follows is my attempt to be descriptive and nonjudgmental. The city was teeming with people, cars, and garbage. Our guide told us that it was common for people who lived in Alexandria (and Cairo) to throw any and all garbage into the street where it piled up. There were few working traffic lights. Most streets were very narrow and barely wide enough for two small cars to pass. Traffic in the city probably moved at an average of 3 mph or less. Cars, motorcycles, motorbikes, horse-drawn carts, and pedestrians all darted in and out trying to share the same space. I can not imagine living in such squalor and crowded streets. Most of the City had a run down look to it. Our first stop was at some catacombs that were discovered 108 years ago. We went down 100 steps to where the mummified bodies had been laid to rest. The entire structure had been carved out of bedrock. From the dead we went to the living. We visited the stunning new Library of Alexandria which was only a few years old. It has over eight million volumes. We we searched going in and going out to make sure we were not smuggling anything in or taking any books out. After the library we visited a huge mosque. We were welcome inside as long as we removed out shoes. Connie and Cindee had to use a separate entrance to gain admission. Around 3:30 PM we left Alexandria for a 130 mile trip to Cairo. We we on the major highway between these cities. At times is was two lanes in each direction and at times it was three lanes. Every so often there were major speed bumps that you had to crawl over. These speed bumps allowed pedestrians to dart across the road. It took us four long hours to make the trip to Giza and Cairo. We arrived at our hotel hot, tired, and hungry. We had a quick dinner and retired. Cairo June 5 When I looked out the window the next morning, I saw that we were across the street from the great pyramid and some smaller pyramids. What a treat! We had a quick breakfast and then headed on a 45 minute drive to see the step pyramids. We were the first ones in line and were able to view this site without any crowds. The step pyramids were in the desert. The ground was covered with very fine sand that got into everything. At every site we were bombarded by people hawking post cards, papyrus documents (that were fakes), camel rides, donkey rides, horse drawn carriage rides, guide books, bottled water, and trinkets. The vendors were very aggressive, but we were good at saying no. One of the schemes was to offer to take your group's picture with your own camera and then charge you for the picture. Another scheme was to invite you to take a picture of a man sitting on his camel and then charge you for it. A third scheme was to give you something, like a shirt, or postcards, or a necklace, as a "present" and then demand money for it. The vendors were only a very minor irritant. From the step pyramid we drove to the Nile where we had a 30 minute ride in a sailboat called a felluca. The Nile was about a half mile wide in Cairo. The ride was incredibly peaceful after the turmoil of the City. We left the Nile and fought the traffic battle again as we went to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. We spent most of our time in the King Tutankhamen exhibits. After the Museum we headed back to Giza to view the Great Pyramid of Cheops, the middle pyramids of Chephren, the little pyramid of Mykerinos plus the Sphinx. After the pyramids we grabbed a fast food Egyptian lunch and headed back to the van for a three hour trip back to the ship. I am so glad that I saw all of these sights in Egypt after having heard about them for my entire life. June 5 and 6 June 5 and 6 we were cruising from Cairo, Egypt to Sorrento, Italy. The distance was about 1,000 miles. We were out in the middle of the Mediterranean with only occasional passing ships to see. June 7 I got up at 5:00 AM to watch the ship approach Sorrento, Italy. We docked exactly at 6:00 AM. We left the ship at 7:45 to meet our driver at 8:00 AM. Our driver was JeanLuca Biancho (www.amalfidriverservice.com). He was superb. He was a smooth driver, had a nice Mercedes van, and spoke great English. We started with a short driving tour of Sorrento and then headed for the Amalfi Coast. The road along the coast was carved out of the cliffs 250 years ago when the Spanish controlled this part of Italy. The road twists and turns with a continuous incredible view of the coast line. Our first stop was Positano. We walked through the small town and out on the beach. When we looked up, we saw the town towering over us. Everything is carved out of the side of the hill. We went on to Amalfi for lunch. This town was carved out of the hill, too. This is definitely a high end resort area with ocean view rooms going for over $500.00 a night. We returned to Sorrento where we spent an hour or so sight seeing and then headed back to the ship. We really enjoyed the day. June 8 The ship docked at Civitavecchia (near Rome, Italy) before sunrise. The was lots of activity unloading everyone's luggage which had been collected from our rooms the night before. We bid a fond farewell to the Pacific Princess as we disembarked. Our driver was Antonio Cagnoli (www.transferitalyrome) (acagnoli95@gmail.com). He was good company as he whisked us to the Rome Airport. British Air had sent us a note to be sure to get to the airport really early because it wold be crowded. We did get there early. It was not crowded. And BA did not open their ticket counter until an hour after we arrived. The flight to London was delayed an hour but we still had plenty of time to make our connection to Seattle Matthew met us at the airport. A great trip.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The Princess Holy Land/Egypt Mediterranean cruise this year was exceptional in that we actually docked in Egypt (although in Alexandria instead of Port Said). Luckily we chose an off-ship tour or we would not have seen half the sights we ... Read More
The Princess Holy Land/Egypt Mediterranean cruise this year was exceptional in that we actually docked in Egypt (although in Alexandria instead of Port Said). Luckily we chose an off-ship tour or we would not have seen half the sights we did. The ship tours cut way back on their stops and did not offer an overnight. It was a little surreal watching the news from Cairo a couple weeks later though. When things calm down again, I highly recommend this cruise. Ephesus in Turkey and 2-days in Israel were great ports not to mention Sorrento Italy. Sadly, rough seas prevented tender service and scuttled our stop on Santorini. Patmos is nice, but doesn't deserve or need a full day (whereas the scheduled time in Santorini should be lengthened) This was our 7th trip on Princess cruises and it is so obvious that they are applying cost cutting measures. Service and food quality can be sorely lacking on what is classified as an upper scale cruise line. This was our third cruise in a year so for us the cutbacks have been very obvious. One of the most obvious is the lack of diversity in the dinner menu (along with the cutbacks in waitstaff.) For the most part, it seemed like the same menu we had on our Caribbean cruise in November on the Emerald. And why is it such a big deal to ask for a proper red wine glass at dinner??? One thing we missed on this small ship was the late night services such as the International Cafe and Coffee Bar. These all seemed to close quite early (11:00 pm). That said, Princess is still one of the better cruise lines. And, being Platinum does have a few advantages. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This was our first small ship after 4 cruises on ships at least twice its size. We were wary, particularly since we'd only done Anytime Dining previously and tended to like to keep to ourselves, but we shouldn't have worried. ... Read More
This was our first small ship after 4 cruises on ships at least twice its size. We were wary, particularly since we'd only done Anytime Dining previously and tended to like to keep to ourselves, but we shouldn't have worried. We loved it. We regularly participated in shore excursions with other passengers we'd corresponded with before the cruise and enjoyed making friends we might not have made on a larger ship. Unfortunately, the weather was not our friend. The cruise started in Venice and our first stop was in Korcula. Although the Princess tour we took was basically a good one, it was our first introduction to travel so late in the season in which a good portion of the shops and sights in each of the ports we visited were closed. From Korcula we went to Kotor, Montenegro, which was one of the ports larger ships are unable to visit. It was cold, foggy, and rainy but we had a fabulous 5 hour tour with Jovan Vukotic (spring08@t-com.me) who took us and another couple on a day trip, first above Kotor to an old native village, then to the old royal capital, and to the coastal town of Budva. By the time we returned to Kotor, it was pouring rain but we were still able to wander around on our own. In Corfu we spent 8 hours with a SpirosBus tour, and in Malta we participated in the surprise port of our trip (where we'd had no expectations but our experienced guide, Joan Sheridan (TouringMalta.com), brought the city and its history to life). The next day in Messina, we spent an enjoyable day with Tours by Mario, visiting the Godfather region and Taormina. This was our last day of semi-decent weather. As we headed up the west side of Italy, the sea became rough. On our last cruise in Asia we'd had gale force winds but on the much larger ship, we didn't feel much. On the Pacific Princess, a large number of passengers and crew ended up seasick but, fortunately, most of the really rough sea travel was confined to one night so we were successful in more or less sleeping it off. But the rough water meant the next 3 ports we were unable to visit as scheduled, and the captain had to substitute Naples for Sorrento, Villefranche for Nice, and Genoa for Portofino. We planned to roam on our own around Sorrento so did the same in Naples. Our tour in Nice (RivieraTogetherTours) picked us up in Villefranche instead, where we headed into Provence. We highly recommend visiting Tourrette Sur Loup and St Paul de Vence. (We'd visited Monte Carlo on a previous cruise and had no interest in returning.) From Genoa we participated in a Cinque Terre Tour (cinqueterretour.it) for which the small size of our group (6) made it easy to get around despite the rain and cold. The trip ended in Civitavecchia, and we participated in the Etruscan Mystery Tour thru Rome Cabs, traveling to Tarquinia and Tuscania, after which we were dropped at our hotel in Rome to get ready for our very early morning flight the next day. It was a wonderful ending to our trip. There is no ignoring that the ship is old (by ship standards) but that didn't bother us at all. The library is beautiful and comfortable and was probably the one room onboard that we frequented regularly. The ship's crew, many of whom were from eastern Europe, were friendly and provided great service. Because the ship is smaller than we had previously experienced, we found that the buffet was not as varied but the food was quite good. (And my husband says he doesn't care how good it is; we don't have to prepare it or clean it up, and it's always available.) The wait help in the main dining room was always helpful and provided efficient and friendly service. The food there was quite good, never leading us to feel that we needed to have dinner in a specialty restaurant or at the buffet. We spent a little bit of time in the casino (which is very small with limited numbers of video poker machines, my husband's game of choice, and no craps table) but since this cruise had only 2 days at sea, the size wasn't a detriment. There are only limited shops on board (better for my pocketbook vs the larger ships), and we didn't participate in any of the spa activities and only went to one show (at which the male vocalist was great). We did miss the Italian arias that had been played on a previous cruise as we sailed down the Grand Canal upon leaving Venice (one of the passengers indicated that there had been previous complaints, from shore, I guess, that the Princess embarkation down the Grand Canal was too noisy but we'd loved it on a previous Grand Princess cruise). And the rainy weather forced the cancellation of the "On Deck for the Cure" run that I've always participated in on Princess cruises (tho contributions were appreciated, anyway). Nevertheless, we hope to eventually repeat this cruise if it is offered on the Pacific Princess in the late spring or early fall so that we can make it to the ports we missed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Pacific Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Rates 4.0 4.0

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