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33 Princess Pacific Princess Family Cruise Reviews

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
With the help of a travel agent we discovered the Princess British isles cruise for Sept,2019 on the Pacific Princess. The 650 guest ship was perfect. Big enough to offer great resources, small enough to be easily accessible. We ... Read More
With the help of a travel agent we discovered the Princess British isles cruise for Sept,2019 on the Pacific Princess. The 650 guest ship was perfect. Big enough to offer great resources, small enough to be easily accessible. We were fortunate to have terrific weather and smooth seas even over the Orkneys atop Scotland Princess gave a reasonable a la Carte rate, even tho there were continual extra costs. Many such as over priced tours, drinks on board and internet to name three were avoidable. The staff were terrific exhibiting a sincere and customer focused attitude. The entertainment was way above what we expected from other reviews. We ( and other reviewers ) can often be critical, so this is a true compliment. Irish and scotch shows were great. Nick Page of London’s Le Mis fame was an incredible final show. The ship band and dancers were also terrific as was the comedian, magician and other solo artists. We had 13 stops in 15 days all of which were negotiated by a safety conscious crew. One downside was occasional inconvenient access to city centers for those not on a Princess tours especially Edinburg. However there were easily accessible local tours, hop on off busses,(Dublin) local trains (Holyhead) and interesting walks (Edinburg) among others. We took three Princess tours to Lands end in Cornwall, to the standing stones in the Orkney’s and the bus thru London which were well guided tho overpriced. Food was plentiful, well prepared and efficiently and sweetly served in the buffet and regular dining room. We tried one dinner in one of the two special cover charged Dining rooms which while ok was not worth the extra cost. The exercise room was comparable to a Planet fitness gym. We avoided the costly spa and other similar services My T-Mobile phone gave me free and good internet access near and ashore vs the costly Princess plans. We ignored the small casino, and jewelry store as did most it seemed. we travelled with our adult son and spouse which was fun. A sept cruise avoided lots of annoying kids! In summary it was a terrific first cruise, great itinerary, super staff and smartly negotiated by us to be reasonably priced. The great weather made it a total success We chose a lower level cabin which was comfortable, nicely furnished and very stable. I’d do that again vs the overpriced higher levels. We used it largely to sleep in the very comfortable bed and consume some liquors purchased in cities. We purchased our own air travel at a discount and avoided the over priced Princess pre tour hotels. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
We just completed our third voyage on the Pacific Princess. Almost three months total sailing on this vessel. But this one was different, in that we booked our first full suite after over 600 days of sailing and had Club Class Dining. By ... Read More
We just completed our third voyage on the Pacific Princess. Almost three months total sailing on this vessel. But this one was different, in that we booked our first full suite after over 600 days of sailing and had Club Class Dining. By far our greatest cruise ever from a cabin and dining standpoint. Other aspects of the cruise were good to very good but the cabin and dining made this an excellent cruise experience overall. As before, we really liked the ship and the crew, from the Captain on down. The main dining room (MDR) folks are exceptional. The high point for us on our two previous cruises on the Pacific Princess is that the main dining room service and cuisine had restored our faith in the MDRs. However, this time the Club Class dining at dinner and lunch as well as the suite breakfasts every morning we received in the Sabatini's restaurant on deck 10, elevated this experience to an entirely new high for us. Between receiving this quality meal service and having an "Owners Suite" the voyage resembled a fantasy of high seas travel in the days of yore, which many can only dream of nowadays. Going up to the quiet Sabatini's restaurant in the morning and sitting at a table for two next to floor to ceiling windows providing a panoramic view of the sea was something we didn't expect. The cabin was much larger than I had imagined it would be as well as the huge balcony in the stern, which overlooked the ship's wake. Not only that, a portion of the balcony was on the port corner so one could see forward on the port side as well as everything off the stern on the starboard side. We had booked this cabin due to my wife's sister being with us on the first segment, we wanted her to have her own toilet. This is the only Princess ship which has a half bathroom as well as a full sized one in the suites; we discovered too, that very few other cruise line's ships offer this option. Pictures on the walls in the suite even had individual lighting over the frames. Room service personnel and our steward, Teddy, were the best we have had throughout our cruising days. We certainly appreciate the loyalty perk(s) for free internet and laundry. The internet speed for me is satisfactory and reliable and wife loves the care, reliability and quality of the laundry and cleaning service. The two main hot tubes on the pool deck were great and I used them a lot, sometimes twice a day. Due to our suite status the huge forward hot tub as well as the steam room and sauna in the Lotus Spa area were also available to us for no extra charge. The pool deck on this ship doesn't have chair hogs and I never ran into a time when there wasn't ample fresh towels awaiting at numerous locations. The vessel is very well maintained and the crew is constantly scraping, painting and keeping the ship in tip-top condition. Often I'm not certain what the pre and post cruise hotels cost as we like to use the cruise line transfers and hotel package(s) which are lumped together price wise. Normally I believe the entire package is reasonable----this time it was no different. Having cruise line folk meeting us has really come in handy in the past when things got confused the day before embarkation due lost airline luggage or other problems. Nothing more comforting than to have an agent at a strange airport with a sign and your name. The ship's library is the best and largest there is. Truly a library designed for exploration cruises. The buffet is very good, food wise, service wise and table wise. They even change things around in a portion of it late in the afternoon, making for a more formal section with table cloths, flowers and wine glasses. This buffet has ample seating which gets constrained only when inclement weather forces everybody off the outdoor seating areas, which has even a larger number of tables than inside. There has been some discussion over the quality of Princess Pizzas recently. Not true, on the Pacific Princess anyway. However, due to our suite status we didn't visit the buffet as much as usual this voyage. Cabin T.V.s work great and programming good. Certainly appreciate my favorite news channel MSNBC being available with a good signal all the time. I recall the days when we had no other choice for news but-----LOL. Sure did like the large flat screen TV in a cabinet in the main living room of the suite. No complaints over embarkations and disembarkations. All handled well and luggage arrived in the cabins timely. We took a lot of shore excursions this time. We had 16 ports to do that in. Typically we never go the independent route on shore excursions but use those provided by the cruise line. All were very good. The only exception was on the disembarkation excursion at Port Everglades where the weather was beautiful and warm. Our flight for Alaska didn't leave until 6:30 PM so once again we took an inland coastal waterway and city tour to kill time. Guide on the coach was real knowledgeable about the area but too poor a speaker, or the PA system was not good, for most of us to hear him. Folks were really complaining about this, which he acknowledged and would talk louder for about 30 seconds then go back to endless mumbling. Guide on the boat though, showing us the haunts of the rich and famous in the area, was really good. We certainly appreciate the loyalty perk(s) for free internet and laundry. The internet speed for me is satisfactory and reliable and wife loves the care, reliability and quality of the laundry and cleaning service. I do like the enrichment lecturers that Princess provides, like naturalists, biologists, area historians and geography experts. One of my favorite features of a cruise. On our last cruise though, L.A. to Sydney, in January, this aspect was bad, i.e. to Hawaii--none, after which I thought they would bring someone on board at Honolulu but didn't. However, at Pago Pago they did bring on two New Zealanders who were pretty good, too bad for us though, as this occurred two thirds of the way through that cruise. However, on this cruise they had two excellent lecturers. I really enjoyed their presentations. One was David Sisler who began after Rome and prior to that, from Venice to Rome, was a fellow who did mostly upcoming port history lecturers but unfortunately I can't remember his name, however he was good. Platinum & Elite Lounge----Princess has changed their format here from what they used to provide. Now they offer a selection of eight different alcohol drinks which they apparently came up with as substitutes for the more traditional drinks they used to offer for $5.00 per. They now charge $6.50 for these new concoctions. On our last cruise in January we gave them a chance. Went three times and tried three different drinks each, most of the time we didn't finish the drinks due to not liking them. Their hors d'oeuvre offerings were still pretty good but the only way we would want to take time to attend is by purchasing their old traditional drinks for the full price. I wanted to try this out again, this cruise, to see if there was any improvement, but from the looks of their menu selections I wasn't optimistic, to be fair though, due to the free canapes we received in the suite every evening before dinner, we simply didn't make it to the lounge. The gym is in an excellent location. I use it every sea day. I previously thought it was too small for the number of guests wanting to use it. But this time that wasn't the case, plenty of ellipticals and treadmills to go around. The gym doors open at 7:00 PM. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The ship is the smallest and oldest in the Princess fleet. After many cruises this one was somewhat disappointing. The main issue was the dining. The food and service was sub-par and not up to the standards of most other cruises we have ... Read More
The ship is the smallest and oldest in the Princess fleet. After many cruises this one was somewhat disappointing. The main issue was the dining. The food and service was sub-par and not up to the standards of most other cruises we have been on. The cabin was what I expected and did have a lot of storage. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom was especially challenging to use with water leaking out every time we used the shower. We were especially disappointed that we entirely skipped one port due to weather. No substitution just a port missed. We had an unlimited drink special and were made to feel like criminals every time we asked for a drink. I think a sticker or special cup or something would be better than the stewards having to take your card to go check every time you want a drink would be much better. I specifically will not chose a trip with this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had a group of 9 people on this cruise. One of our party picked the cruise because of the date and itinerary. The cruise greatly exceeded my expectations. Pacific Princess is the smallest ship in the Princess fleet. The cruise ... Read More
We had a group of 9 people on this cruise. One of our party picked the cruise because of the date and itinerary. The cruise greatly exceeded my expectations. Pacific Princess is the smallest ship in the Princess fleet. The cruise reminded me of why I cruise. The ship is beautifully appointed and has nearly all of the amenities of the larger ships. It does not have the international cafe, but we did not miss it. Everywhere you went, there was adequate seating for the shows, at the buffet, in the restaurant, in the casino, the bars, by the pool, etc. For those who love the promenade deck around this ship with deck chars, this is the ship for you. Embarkation was a snap. We had priority boarding, but you didn't need it. Easy to get on. There just weren't a lot of people. Service was outstanding. If you went somewhere a couple of times, the staff remembered what you drank, whether you took cream in your coffee, etc. Every staff person I encountered was pleasant. Service in the restaurants was fast and efficient. The dining experience was also top notch. The food was better than I have experienced on the most recent two Princess cruises I took on the Regal and the Royal. I think a lot of this was because it was a smaller ship. We had three in our party who are gluten free. Their food was exactly what they wanted, every time. Even the buffet food was better than it has been on recent Princess cruises. We had dinner in the Grill one night. Again, the service and food were top notch. We got value for our $29 cover charge. The cabins were better appointed and larger than on the larger ships. We upgraded ours to a mini suite and it was the largest mini suite I have seen. Others had obstructed ocean views and interior cabins. Everyone's cabin was large and extremely nice. We all commented on how terrific the beds were. Cabin steward service was exemplary. The ship had fewer activities than on the larger ships, but there were enough, and the staff presented the shows and the games very well. The entertainment was very good. The highlight of the cruise was the Tattoo in Edinburgh. The ship docked quite a way from Edinburgh, but closer than a Holland America ship because Pacific Princess is smaller and could get into a port. We had two days in Edinburgh and took a taxi into the the city (there was also a train and bus) one day and a taxi to St. Andrews the second day. We attended the Tattoo through a Princess excursion and Princess did a great job in getting us there and back. The Tattoo was certainly something to see. We did another ship's tour in Wales, and it was also top notch. We booked an independent walking tour of Dublin, and did Jersey on our own. A word of caution, avoid Jersey pounds. One of our party used an ATM in Jersey and received Jersey pounds instead of Brutish pounds. He had a very hard time finding anyone to take them or even change them outside of Jersey. All in all, I will look for future sailings on the Pacific Princess. I think this is what the cruising experience is meant to be. I wish Princess had more ships like the Pacific Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Two main reasons were only flying one way (transatlantic crossing to Dover) and Norway. Embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale was the fastest of any cruise (only ship in port). This was the first small ship we have sailed on and completely ... Read More
Two main reasons were only flying one way (transatlantic crossing to Dover) and Norway. Embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale was the fastest of any cruise (only ship in port). This was the first small ship we have sailed on and completely different from large ships. You get to know most passengers and crew on a long cruise. Besides the production shows, the entertainment is scarce. The stateroom was a little small but not tiny. A nice feature was a small love seat by the balcony door. The closet was small. The bar staff and dining servers were outstanding. Shore excursions were similar to all ships and over-priced. We booked two excursions on line from local providers. Same or better than the ships excursions for about half price. Hop on/ Hop off buses in most ports were a good value. The only real negative, no fault of the ship, was the rough seas. The North Atlantic was not kind and I think a large ship would have been better. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Dining food and service superb All dining staff was great but special thanks to the head waiter Antonio Banza with the kindness and, professionalism Rafaele from the customer service did his best to resolve a mistake and our damage ... Read More
Dining food and service superb All dining staff was great but special thanks to the head waiter Antonio Banza with the kindness and, professionalism Rafaele from the customer service did his best to resolve a mistake and our damage luggage maintained us calm and explained all the process The entertainment team was effortless Special Chris ( violinist ) Olsein ( saxophone ) The team from arts and craft The chef did a great job Matea from Montenegro was amazing with sympathy and professionalism We had a bad weather almost all the time The captain did the best to accommodate the situation that was out of his control He explained what he is doing all the time I think was thoughtful I understand now some technicals features and options that I never thought about it One negative point is related with the decor maintenance of the ship Be old doesn’t mean be outdated Some chairs on the Pacific Lounge and Casino bar had a bad smell Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My Mom booked it for our birthdays. Here is what you should know about this ship and her crew: everything is clean all the time. Dining was super fantastic, delicious. My husband took the tour of the galleys and he SAW how they do it! ... Read More
My Mom booked it for our birthdays. Here is what you should know about this ship and her crew: everything is clean all the time. Dining was super fantastic, delicious. My husband took the tour of the galleys and he SAW how they do it! There is a fabulous library on board augmented by Andrew the assistant cruise director. He comes up with more fun stuff to do than even I could! The bars are all well-staffed with knowledgeable people who know their own drink menus so well they can offer suggestions at any moment. If you are in doubt about a great libation, visit Mary Jane at the poolside bar or head to the Club Bar or Casino Bar. There are two additional Lounges as well that accompany the entertainment venues just for convenience. There is no such thing as being bored or involuntarily idle on the Pacific Princess. I did not take advantage of the shore excursions, nor did I choose to excercise as much as I should have which I am sure is why I was not able to give excellent ratings in these categories. You should also know I did the cruise two times in a row. Our first Captain, Captain Slight, steered us away from a potentially very hazardous wind storm that came through some mountain passes. He advised us to declutter our cabins and secure breakables and spillables. The ‘worst’ of it passed in the wee hours and we all seem to have slept through it! Our next Captain saw us through the first hurricane of the season which passed far to the northwest of our course. The officers are clearly well trained and knowledgeable. Passenger safety and service are the number one concerns of every member of the crew on board this ship. The passenger crew ratio is about 2:1, and every crew member has YOU in mind every moment he or she is on duty. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This cruise unfortunately was a big mistake for me. I wanted to take a 13 year old grandson on a cruise of the British Isles and the dates of this cruise as well as the fact that it was only eight days was great. However, I did not ... Read More
This cruise unfortunately was a big mistake for me. I wanted to take a 13 year old grandson on a cruise of the British Isles and the dates of this cruise as well as the fact that it was only eight days was great. However, I did not realize in advance that for a teenager it is all about the ship and its activities for teens rather than the itinerary. Further, the highlight was going to be Londonderry as my grandson's family name stems from there. I NEVER EVER imagined that the ship could not dock there. I know that cruise tickets always have that disclaimer. However, adults can handle it much better than teens. To further his dissappointment the excursion that we took in Edinburgh was a total disaster and consequently he did not really see that city either On the other side, my husband and I have cruised extensively and the ship and service are much more important to us than the ports ( we are in our seventies) For us the ship was perfect. I have never had such a smooth embarkation nor have I ever enjoyed the entertainment so much. ( Because there is no theater per se there were no poor imitations of Broadway). Rather there was a great review of Burt Bacharach songs and some good karaoke and a fantastic Beatles sing a long Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We wanted to see Iceland and take my son's family away for a special birthday celebration. We had two grandkids 9 and 11. It would be their first trip to Europe and London seemed to be a great place to start. The Grosvenor House ... Read More
We wanted to see Iceland and take my son's family away for a special birthday celebration. We had two grandkids 9 and 11. It would be their first trip to Europe and London seemed to be a great place to start. The Grosvenor House through Princess was a good choice. Even though it was pricey, it had a great location and the staff was very accommodating. I did change rooms three times in order to get one larger than a closet ( they were very nice). Transfers through Princess were not great. My son came in three days early and was picked up in a timely manner but our ride was 45 minutes late. We sat exhausted after an all night flight waiting. Not a good start. The bus to the ship crawled to Dover taking over two hours for the last six miles. The Pacific Princess is a sweet little ship. We were on the Ocean Princess a few years ago in Tahiti and loved it. The Pacific Princess buffet was stretched to the limit in the cold weather as no one wanted to eat outside and there just aren't enough seats inside. The ship just came out of dry dock. All soft materials, carpet, drapes, upholstery and beds and bedding were spanking new. But woodwork and chipped sinks were not replaced. We have been on Oceania and Regent and were very familiar with the ship. It is very easy to get around, no waits at the elevator, people very friendly as you saw them constantly. The dancers double as social staff. ( The dancing and singing shows were terrific) The entertainment by and large was much better than expected. The club class means you eat in a roped off area with grey table cloths instead of white. You can walk right in when there is long line but the food isn't any better. We were in a club class mini suite. It is a very centrally located, comfortably large room with a bathtub. The TV is tiny and the ship does not have the on demand movies available on the Regal or Royal. The internet is god awful. Princess should be ashamed. We got better service on a whale watching boat in the middle of nowhere. The two ports in Scotland turned out to be pretty good. We always take Princess excursions so we don't have to worry about being left behind. Loved the Shetland ponies and Loved the Castle with the Falconry display in Scrabster. What a fabulous show. The Iceland ports were all the same. Vast vistas, lonely farms, a wildest that made me sad. Boiling pools. We did see lots of puffins on our first stop but no whales. Norway is beautiful especially Bergen. You shouldn't take a tour in Bergen, just walk into town ( ten minutes) and visit the shops and fish market. Lots of fun. I was worried that the kids wouldn't have enough to do on such a small ship but it was fine between bingo ( a fortune) and the kids club and ping pong and the excursions. It was not my favorite trip. The water was unusually calm but the best part was I won the slot tournament and got a spot in the big tournament on the Regal in October. We are going! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The smallness of the Pacific Princess makes for an intimate sailing experience. This was our 2nd sailing on her and was 36 days, in 2-18 day segments. Superb service and excellent food, especially the soups. This is a Dining Room ship, the ... Read More
The smallness of the Pacific Princess makes for an intimate sailing experience. This was our 2nd sailing on her and was 36 days, in 2-18 day segments. Superb service and excellent food, especially the soups. This is a Dining Room ship, the buffet being less busy than on other Princess ships we've been on. Only one main dining room. On a personal in missed not getting my peanut-butter cookies with a cappuccino at 3:30 - in the bar on deck 5. They were only in the buffet. Itinerary was amazing and no doubt was the most beautiful of sny cruise we've ever been on. Like all Scandinavian countries, prices are quite high do shopping might need to be curtailed a bit. We had been to the "bottom of the world - Ushuaia, 3 times prior and wanted to go to the "top of the world" this time. It was excellent, if cold, even in summer. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We really enjoyed the itinerary; especially with the overnight in Venice to start the trip. We really enjoyed our ports of call: Koper, Slovenia, Kotor, Montenegro, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Corfu and Rhodes, Greece, Naples and Sicily, Italy. A ... Read More
We really enjoyed the itinerary; especially with the overnight in Venice to start the trip. We really enjoyed our ports of call: Koper, Slovenia, Kotor, Montenegro, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Corfu and Rhodes, Greece, Naples and Sicily, Italy. A highlight of our trip was the Corfu walking food tour (3+ hours, 64 euro each...https://corfuwalkingtours.com/product/corfu-walking-food-tours/) as our guide provided a historical narrative to the highlights of town and the best of the island's Greek food. We were a group of 7 and it ended up being more cost effective for us to go through Princess for a private van and driver for the Naples port. We were happy with our decision as we were able to dictate our day as we chose instead of being on a coach with 40 other people. Embarkation and disembarkation were really smooth processes. With the Pacific being Princess's smallest ship, we expected there to be fewer things to do which ended up being the case but we did not care as we had so many port days on this trip. The staff were spot on, like always, and out of the other Princess ships I'd been on (Coral and Emerald), the Pacific had the best food quality and variety. Entertainment exceeded our expectations. The dance/production team were pretty spot on and we really enjoyed a guest musician, Phillip Browne, from the UK. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The cabin was totally outdated. There needs to be better accommodations when you have a third person in the room. Paying $2900. and sleeping on a generic pullout is unacceptable. There was not enough onboard activities. Two ports were ... Read More
The cabin was totally outdated. There needs to be better accommodations when you have a third person in the room. Paying $2900. and sleeping on a generic pullout is unacceptable. There was not enough onboard activities. Two ports were cancelled due to weather (understandable), but there was really nothing added for entertainment. Only seen the cruise director a handful of times. Even though it was fall, the pool should be open and the Hot tubs should be useable. The water in the hot tubs was luke warm at best.I, as well as several other guests, asked for the temp. to be turned up but nothing was ever done. The staff at the excursion center was not friendly. I cancelled over $1500. worth of excursions because of their attitude. I spent over a $1000. at the Spa, on services and products. They would not give me a break on price, even with the coupon that was offered because the treatments were not booked all at once.Not taking into consideration that I pre-booked the first one before boarding.The massage therapist was not very skilled. Food was a huge disappointment. Ending up getting late seating for diner because of my late booking. I requested a table for three and was given one for six. Had to dine with three obnoxious women. I only went to about half of the meals.They were drunk and argued most of the time.Love Princess, just not this one.Destinations were great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We wanted to see the Panama Canal but had to work around the school calendar. Our choices for a full transit voyage were the Island Princess (15 nights) or the Pacific Princess (17 nights). We had been on the Pacific Princess before and ... Read More
We wanted to see the Panama Canal but had to work around the school calendar. Our choices for a full transit voyage were the Island Princess (15 nights) or the Pacific Princess (17 nights). We had been on the Pacific Princess before and liked the intimate (680 passengers) atmosphere so chose it over transiting the Canal aboard a Panamax ship like the Island Princess. We sacrificed larger ship amenities, but Cruise Director Sammy and her staff made an effort to bring holiday cheer to all. Lots of holiday decorations, a very competitive gingerbread house contest (we now know we have to bring ornaments from home to decorate the house!), a visit from Santa (who came by tender without reindeers), Christmas/New Year's Eve shows and parties, a craft session where we made posters for the Panama Canal transit (ship photographers disembarked to take photos of passengers holding signs greeting the people on shore), etc. Bill Fall offered lectures on the Panama Canal and the ports we visited. He was also available for informal question sessions nearly every day, and of course, pointed out salient things while we transited the Canal. He was approachable and knowledgeable, an asset to our trip. Pacific Princess does not have a dedicated kid's club, but when there are 20+ children on a voyage, the card room becomes the kid's club. Emily and Carole were hired to entertain kids of all ages (3-17) and did a fantastic job engaging all of them. They arranged for Mr. Fall and the Earth Science lecturer to give talks to the kids about the Canal and science topics. Because two of the captain's daughters were in the club, the kids got a special tour of the bridge. My seven year old daughter thoroughly enjoyed the time she spent at the kid's club. Pacific Princess is not new, but our cabin steward Romano kept our room immaculate. He was also friendly and my daughter convinced him to give her extra chocolates from the turn down service each evening. Waiter Martin (who we met in our earlier Pacific Princess voyage), Assistant Waiter Wanyan, and Head Waiter Nelson could not have been better. Food was very good (perhaps not a foodie paradise but I did not have to cook for 17 nights!) at the Main Dining Room and all our requests for substitutions (of side dishes) were accommodated. During the New Year's Eve dinner (hats, tiaras, noise makers), Nelson made sure everyone was happy, in a festive mood. For lunch we went to the Buffet Restaurant. Pizza (cheese, pepperoni and interesting daily specials) was always available (11am-11pm) and tasty. There were daily themed specials. We particularly enjoyed the Italian trattoria and Philippino lunch specials. For breakfast we had room service. Although the menu is limited to continental breakfast options, we asked for additional items (other fruits, a bagel with cream cheese, bacon) and always got them. On disembarkation day we went to the Main Dining Room and enjoyed the french toast (one of our friends recommended it). Specialty coffees were available at the 5th and 9th decks' bars. With a coffee card one can also get specialty teas, which I did every night. Gilbert, Sylvan and Ferlyn made excellent lattes. We missed a lot of ship activities because we spent a lot of time in the salt water pool, although it got very choppy once we reached the Caribbean Sea. I also got a pass ($119 for the 17-night itinerary) to the Lotus Spa that allowed me to go to the thalasso therapy pool, located on the bow (9th deck above the bridge). Spending time in that pool or the lounge chairs looking at the sea was very relaxing. Fruits and fruit-infused water were available, in addition to waiter service. We joined a group of fantastic Cruise Critic folks on a private tour, took another private tour by ourselves, and took two ship tours. The ship tours were very expensive, but my daughter wanted to swim with dolphins in Cabo (if you're on a cruise ship, the Dolphin Center won't let you make a booking and because we only spent 5 hours in Cabo, a walk-in visit might have not worked) so we booked this through the ship. There was a positive side on taking a couple of the ship's tours: we met fellow passengers whose company we enjoyed the rest of the itinerary. We joined a large table of new friends for the New Year's Eve dinner and had a great time. And now the Panama Canal transit: Passengers cannot access the bow of the ship on deck 4 because it's an open working part of the ship. So passengers had to observe the transit from deck 11. There are blue glass panels on that deck. They had not been cleaned and were salt encustred so taking photos through the glass was not a good idea. I got a couple of good shots of the gates by standing on a lounge chair on deck 11 so my camera was over the blue glass panels. Many passengers stood on the sides of deck 10 (running track) to get a clear view but this was from the sides and not the front of the ship. We then went to deck 5 starboard. The photographers were taking photos on that side of the ship -- our cabin was on the port side. By standing on the open but sheltered deck 5 area, we were protected from the sun (very hot, humid) and could observe how the ship went up as water entered the Miraflores locks. At first, we were facing the lock wall, but as the ship rose, we were above ground. Thus, taking a small ship to transit the Canal was a good idea: by standing at a low deck, we experienced what people who are in a much smaller vessel see when they are in the locks. For the Gatun locks later in the day, I stood on the pool steps at the Lotus Spa on deck 9. Full view over the blue glass panels. No standing on tables or lounge chairs. Getting the Lotus Spa pass was a great idea. Some practical advice: We took Prime Shuttle ($17 per person) from LAX to the San Pedro pier, and a taxi from the pier to FFL ($14 plus tip). Because we arrived at 2pm, most of the passengers were already on board and our embarkation was very quick. Disembarkation was also quick. We took a horseback ridding tour with Rancho Notorious in Aruba -- the cacti and other desert vegetation made us feel as if we were in the Wild West. Very entertaining. The photo CD at the Cabo Dolphin Center costs $139 (gulp!), and this is on top of the much higher cruise ship entrance fee. In sum, there were pluses and minuses as in any trip, but overall our experience aboard the Pacific Princess was excellent. Wonderful crew and fellow passengers made it a festive way to spend Christmas and New Year's! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We took this trip over Christmas and New Year's from San Pedro, CA to Ft. Laud, FLa. It was great! We had two cabins, 7050 and 7053 - fantastically placed, interior, midship cabins. The ship is the smallest we have sailed so far, but ... Read More
We took this trip over Christmas and New Year's from San Pedro, CA to Ft. Laud, FLa. It was great! We had two cabins, 7050 and 7053 - fantastically placed, interior, midship cabins. The ship is the smallest we have sailed so far, but we loved it. It was nice to be close to everything, never a line for food, photos, etc. Great, personalized service. My only improvement would be more sanitizer stations. I never understand ships that don't have sanitizer at every elevator. Traveling with a hubby, grandma and 3 kids made me super vigilant about not wanting anyone sick. Embarkation and debarkation was a piece of cake - so fast and no lines like the larger ships. The gym is great. I thought it would be super tiny bc of the ship size, but it was really nice with plenty of equipment. Definitely would do this trip, on this ship again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I am a first time cruiser so the thought of flying half way around the world to get on a ship for 17 days did NOT interest me at all but as this was to be a family reunion for my husbands family I nervously went along. Wow ....that was ... Read More
I am a first time cruiser so the thought of flying half way around the world to get on a ship for 17 days did NOT interest me at all but as this was to be a family reunion for my husbands family I nervously went along. Wow ....that was my best decision ever. From the moment we boarded until we disembarked we had the most enjoyable time. As a family group of 15 in total we could catch up but then disappear and do our own thing. The cabin ( cabin 6027 with a verandah , mid ship forward) was marvellous , a tad squishy but we had 4 suitcases and a carry on ...all eventually fitted nicely under our bed. Themis our cabin steward was a legend keeping us in clean towels often as we are constant gym and jogging people. The gym was adequate for our needs , clean and tidy. The spa was expensive by any comparison but the salon side for hair and nails was great. The food couldn't be faulted and we visited the 2 signature restaurants twice each and for the extra US $25 pp it was great value. Daniel and the boys, anoop, Lawrence , Henry and others are brilliant and made our meals and trip in general so memorable. We loved this ship because of its size with only approx 670 passengers.... A few kids but they weren't too bad and I believe most were officers kids that were on the trip to spend Xmas with dad and 3 from our group. We did do a tour in Mexico and one at our disembarkation port of Fort Lauderdale....both ok but we walked in Columbia and Aruba as we would rather do our own thing. Crew are good to ask about ports as well. Good to note is that if you need to fly out later at night from either Miami or Fort Lauderdale the ship offers trips for the morning that will drop you at the air port ...your luggage stays on your bus and is cared for by the driver while you are sight seeing. Miami airport also has a hotel that supplies day rooms so you can have either the full day or a half day for about $125us to rest and freshen up ...with asking travel agent or looking into your self. We enjoyed this cruise so much we are booking other for the same time in 2017 this time either around Australia or to NZ. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We live near Seattle WA so most cruise options are to Alaska and we're not interested in going back there (went twice, both times it rained almost every day even in "best weather" August!, and my husband isn't big on ... Read More
We live near Seattle WA so most cruise options are to Alaska and we're not interested in going back there (went twice, both times it rained almost every day even in "best weather" August!, and my husband isn't big on scenery or wildlife). We chose this cruise, departing from Los Angeles, because it went to warm ports, which we prefer, because it was a longer trip (14 days), and also because it was Princess' 50th Anniversary Cruise - recreating Princess Patricia's first cruise to the Mexican Riviera. It went to some of the same ports as that original itinerary, but included different ones as well. For us it was exciting because except for Cabo San Lucas all the ports were new to us: Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Loreto, and La Paz. We did a tour with tablemates at Puerto Vallarta - out into the countryside where the 'real' people lived - but mostly just got off the ship and wandered around, sightseeing and shopping. Exciting to see the different cities, and I loved La Paz; it was a charming little town, with college-girl 'ambassadresses' who told me a little about their country. We really hit it off with the other three couples at our dinner table, were all very compatible and had similar interests. We thought the dinner service was a bit lacking - it appeared that there was only one table steward instead of always two on other cruises; so there were gaps between courses, and water glasses stood empty where normally they'd have been immediately refilled when still a third full. Only thing we could figure was that they'd sailed with less than the normal crew complement. Other than that, everything was excellent, as usual on our Princess trips; it's our favorite line, and we really like the small-ship experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The boarding process was 2.5 hours in a old run down fruit and veg warehouse. No ventilation, no water , no organization. I have heard every possible excuse ect. I have been told princess has been in the cruise business for 50 years. Well, ... Read More
The boarding process was 2.5 hours in a old run down fruit and veg warehouse. No ventilation, no water , no organization. I have heard every possible excuse ect. I have been told princess has been in the cruise business for 50 years. Well, you fooled me, it looked like your first go at this. Elderly passengers in distress no help to be seen. On with the cruise. Our cabin steward did a great job. The anytime dining was poor at best. Always trying to sell me booze. How about some service? There was a tall gentleman from South Africa. Any time he was working things were seamless and perfect. His fellow contemporaries stood in the center of the dinning room and watched. He was busing tables, serving, checking in the kitchen, out on the deck checking on guests out there. He made the cruise for me. The ports were great. Time to see and do things. Regretted going back on board for bad service. At the end of the cruise i filled out the detailed survey. Its 6 weeks later and no reply. I think its indicative of a poor cruise line to attract me to go then ignore problems. My wife and i loved cruising. We will just spend our money elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Pacific Princess was amazing. Clean, friendly ship with very, very good food. We took a "mini suite" because it was us and 2 kids - the bathroom was spacious by cruise standards and the shower pressure amazing! We enjoyed the ... Read More
Pacific Princess was amazing. Clean, friendly ship with very, very good food. We took a "mini suite" because it was us and 2 kids - the bathroom was spacious by cruise standards and the shower pressure amazing! We enjoyed the informational lectures, the excursions were well run and organized (if you can, do the Menhenhall Glacier helicopter tour and dog sledding one, you won't be disappointed!!). From embarkation to disembarkation, we had a great experience. We got on ship and were greeted by our very courteous and friendly room steward, who brought us champagne and kept our ice refilled nightly. Couple of points - Sabatini's (specialty restaurant) was good but not great, however the Crown Grill (steakhouse) was amazing, some of the best steak I ever had. Loved the pizza ovens by day and waffle station in the morning. Food was plentiful and excellent, best on any ship I have ever had. The port excursions were wonderful. Children's clubs were good. One thing to keep in mind -the ship has a self service laundromat! Had I known that, I would have packed less. Despite it being August, take a down jacket and even a lap blanket if you want to enjoy the balcony. All in all, an amazing vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We are a family of 5 with a 21,19 & 18 year old. We flew into fairbanks alaska and did several days in Denali before heading to Whitter where we cruised the inside passage for 7 days and flew home from Vancouver. For starters I ... Read More
We are a family of 5 with a 21,19 & 18 year old. We flew into fairbanks alaska and did several days in Denali before heading to Whitter where we cruised the inside passage for 7 days and flew home from Vancouver. For starters I wasn't going to do the land portion because of cost and time. But I am SO glad we did. Denali National Park was one of our favorite parts. The number of Animals we say was amazing. The cruise was good, but we are NOT cruise people, this is probably the only cruise I would consider going on and it really gave you a great view of this portion of Alaska and I liked that most of it was planned for me. So for me the easiest way to write this is by going chronologically. Fairbanks, is an ok city - we did the riverboat float trip which we all found very interesting and loved the scenery and the little village we got to visit. Princess Denali Lodge - we went white water rafting, where we paddled. It was GREAT!!! one of our best adventures on the trip. We then took the shorter bus ride into Denali Natural History Tour into national park, it was OK. Not much wild life to see, from all the reviews I read the Tundra bus ride is better, but we did not have the extra time for it. thank goodness on the way out we saw 2 moose, which is all my son wanted to see. Princess Mt. Mckinley Lodge - beautiful weather and we were one of the few blessed with clear sky and a spectacular view of the mountain. The restaurant at this hotel was good. From here we took the Talkeetna River Float Trip, I would of liked something a bit more adventurous but it was a beautiful relaxing ride. The walk through town was nice too. go and see the mayor (a cat) and visit the ranger station. We were on the Pacific Princess (the old love boat) and it is a bit smaller others, which is why I picked it. Though the staff tried to organize events many of the passengers did not participate so not much was going on, my kids were fairly bored on the boat. Maybe I should of gone with the bigger boat so there were more activities. They enjoyed the stops and the scenery and some of the evening shows were good but beside that there really wasn't anything to do when we were at sea all day. Also the food was ok, nothing special. The steak restaurant was great. While on board the ship we saw some beautiful glaciers, sunsets and mountains. We saw from the boat eagles, sea lions, otter, orca, dolphins, humpback whales, bears. One night we were surrounded by so many whales the sky was full of water from their blow holes. My big kids were jumping up and down at the sight. Glacier National Park was great, saw the ice calving and even had an eagle fly above us. We all thought this was fantastic. And if you are paying attention you can watch the rangers board and disembark the boat which they do while the ship is moving, crazy! Skagway, we did rock climbing which is way harder then I thought and not for folks who are not athletic and adventurous. We all loved this, but not much scenery to be seen here you are in the woods. We also did mushers camp, which my kids loved seeing all the puppies and getting a "sled" ride. Also on the way down the mountain they stopped so you can enjoy the scenery and there is a stream near by that we saw the salmon running in. We went into town and did a tour of the red onion, which we all enjoyed. A very old town and cool to walk around Juneau, we did a mendenhall glacier hike then off to whale watching. The glacier and the hike through the forest was beautiful. And the whale watching did not disappoint. We saw several whales that kept showing off for us and we all loved this. When returning to the harbor there was feeding eagles that we got to watch fish. I also left my pocketbook on the boat and the boat crew called the cruise ship to find me and return it. Juneau was a nice town to walk through, a lot of shops to see. Ketchikan, we went bear watching and again this did not disappoint. We saw a bear and an eagle catching salmon. If you have an opportunity to be there during the salmon run, try it was so amazing to see all the rivers full of them. All and all the best trip we have every taken as a family. I would highly recommend it. But if I enjoyed researching and organizing a trip by myself or were to go again, I would go to denali national park for a few days and hike more then go to whitter and do day cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our first experience on a Princess Cruise and our 7th cruise overall. My wife Sheryl and I (married 45 years this November) did our first cruise some 40 years ago on a Royal Caribbean Cruise line. Way back then they had travel ... Read More
This was our first experience on a Princess Cruise and our 7th cruise overall. My wife Sheryl and I (married 45 years this November) did our first cruise some 40 years ago on a Royal Caribbean Cruise line. Way back then they had travel agents and ours told us that starting our first cruise on Royal, especially for 14 days would spoil us and we would be hard pressed to find a better cruise line in the future? I always remembered that statement and it held true for 40 years! We have cruised to Mexico several times, Alaska, Caribbean again and our most spectacular cruise was in the Mediterranean to Israel,Egypt, Turkey and the Greek Isles before they closed all cruises to Israel and Egypt some 25 years ago. Consequently all other cruise lines paled in comparison to Royal, despite fabulous destinations, until we sailed on the Pacific Princess from Tahiti to Hawaii. All cruise lines have good service ( we have tried five different lines) and most have good food. Certainly those ships that carried many more passengers could offer better entertainment value? Perhaps our only average experience on Princess, as this is a small ship some 562 feet and carried only a bit more than 600 passengers. The entertainment was average at best and the stage was small,so bigger groups could not perform anyhow? This was also our first time selecting a room with a Balcony, all other previous cruises were inside cabins! Our room was excellent, we really did enjoy the Balcony and we were located only two rooms from the Stearn of the ship. I selected this location for a better ride, given we were going to spend 5 days out to sea traveling between Tahiti and Hawaii and yes we did run into rough weather while out to sea. While in our cabin we comfortable despite 12 foot seas and 35 to 40 knot winds! Our cabin service, dining service and all bar activities were exceptional, which you come to expect on a cruise line. This was certainly top of the line and we built a fantastic relationship with our head waiter and with the dining area group supervisor Falvio from Romania. We enjoyed fine wine and Flavio was a connoisseur of wine and assisted us in many great choices as we chose the gold wine plan for 12 nights which entitled us to a choice of any wine up $48 for only $28. If we chose a wine priced a little higher we paid only the difference. Our food choices were as outstanding as you could expect,all the luxury meats, fabulous appetizers and deserts to compliment the meal. I especially enjoyed the soups, most of them some form of puree or creamed. I was told long ago when dining out, if the place serves good soups it must be above average in most other food items! Sit down dining, we chose late seating(8pm) was extraordinary every evening, with a wide variety of choices and five standard items always available such as Filet Mignon, Smoked Salmon, a great pasta dish and a chicken dish. All of the Beef items offered were prepared perfectly,medium rare for me! The Prime Rib, Filet Mignon and New York steaks were tender and tasty! All of the fish dishes served were also nicely cooked and most included a delicious sauce. The pastas were all outstanding as well. The appetizers were excellent as were the deserts, and choices many! You could always order several and I liked the fact they served small portion sizes, to avoid waste which I despise, as you could always ask for more, if still hungry? I had a mobility problem (torn knee ligament) which I had surgery on after the cruise and it was great news to be on a smaller ship so I did not have to walk far to reach anywhere on the boat. Also you were fighting a big crowd at anytime, even disembarking a port. Both sit down breakfast and lunch contained a form of elegance and each was open seating, which we enjoyed as opposed to assigned seating for dinner. Both the breakfast buffet and lunch buffet contained a level of quality seldom experienced in buffets unless it was a top of the line Las Vegas buffet! The choices daily were constantly changing,although the most popular items were repeated often. Our favorite is Lox and Bagel for breakfast and Eggs Benedict, while a good omelet is always appreciated. We enjoyed these and many other exotic dishes. Since we enjoyed the dining experience so much,,we never did try the buffet for dinner. The ship also provided home made Pizza from 10am to 10pm and in the pool area you get Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, fries and chips and dips. In the morning the Pizza parlor doubled as an omelet bar! Visiting the Islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea were an experience we will not forget, such incredible beauty. Papeete is nothing more than an over priced shopping center and the Island has few tourist sites worth visiting? All in all it was a fabulous vacation on a very special ship! Thanks to all for the opportunity to realize! Our next cruise will definitely be either Princess or Royal! Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Black Sea cruise, Aug 2013. Husband, wife and 8 yr old child. We have cruised MANY times on a larger ship but this was the first smaller one. Let me start by saying that it is still big and rides great. Service was excellent and food was ... Read More
Black Sea cruise, Aug 2013. Husband, wife and 8 yr old child. We have cruised MANY times on a larger ship but this was the first smaller one. Let me start by saying that it is still big and rides great. Service was excellent and food was too. The staff seems to know you quickly and you will see some of the same passengers often. Returning to the ship we were always greeted with cool water and cool cloths to ease your day. The staff truly did look after each passenger. Now for the one problem - our suite was at the stern of the ship and just under the Lido deck, where meals are served. EACH morning the staff would bang around and since we are not early risers, wake us up. After one morning of ENOUGH, I spoke rudely to the lead person and it got much better. IT WAS A GREAT CABIN, large, 1 1/2 bath, large deck, great view, with this one problem. Of course, if you rise early - it is irrelevant. We did enjoy and will sail with Princess again. Jer and Family in Texas. DO NOT TAKE THE DANUBUE RIVER CRUISE, DIRTY, MUDDY, RIVER, WITH LITTLE TO SEE FOR THE LONG TRIP. Take Toilet Paper-EVERY WHERE you travel since many places don't have anything, also take hand cleaning stuff and WATER! :) Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
Pacific Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Rates 4.0 4.0

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