We chose a fall cruise to celebrate my landmark birthday and to see the fall colors. We spent two nights in NYC (Columbus Day weekend) before getting on the ship. We were fine our first two ports, but then a Nor'Easter storm landed ... Read More
We chose a fall cruise to celebrate my landmark birthday and to see the fall colors. We spent two nights in NYC (Columbus Day weekend) before getting on the ship. We were fine our first two ports, but then a Nor'Easter storm landed us in Boston and lost us two ports by the time the weather cleared. You really did not want to leave the ship and explore as they kept changing the time we would depart. Bar Harbor and Saint John were casualties, and we were most disappointed to miss Acadia National Park. I understand it was for our safety and they did give us a little discount on a future cruise, but I had read on the boards they miss Bar Harbor about 50% of the time. Our tour company (not Princess) told us they canceled our tour long before Princess admitted we were not going there, our guide knew they had closed the port. The other ports were fine, really liked Newport Beach. Quebec City was lovely, very glad we added two days on after the cruise. Halifax was also nice, as was Charlottetown. Sydney was just okay.
The outer decks were cold and windy, I missed not being able to utilize the outside of the ship. I don't think I'd cruise this late in the year again. The colors were also muted this year and the further north we went the colder it got. This was the last sailing before they left Quebec and headed down toward the Florida/Caribbean runs.
We were on Deck 10 and it was fine, see cabin review. There is only one laundromat per floor, two washers and two dryers, and it was competitive! Would be nice to have more than that for all those cabins.
Food was okay, good not great. Some things were very well done, and some were just mass prepared and mundane. We found the martini bar where they knew how to mix a drink, and got our cocktails from them each evening (Crooners Bar).
We splurged on the Crown Grill one night. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!! It was one of our worst meals. They tried to sit us near the host stand/kitchen, and when we asked to be moved, the host muttered a comment which was very unprofessional. They messed up my husband's drink, and his meal as well. The waiter was very kind, but forgot the mint jelly for my lamb chops, I did not realize it until I saw someone else served and by then it was too late. We come from a town with great steakhouses and this was nowhere near the quality. My lamb chops were small, not a nice chop, and my husband's steak was tough and poor quality.
We chose a regular seating for our other meals, and the waiters grew to know us and it was a pleasure to dine each evening. We ate breakfast and lunch in the restaurants most of the time, not buffet lovers. There had been a norovirus on the cruise before us, so they were very careful with hygiene on this cruise, the first few days in you could not even salt your own food and they served you from the buffet.
The entertainment was mostly lame, one magician was wonderful, and one night we could not get in to see a different show (piano-comedy I think) because it was too full. They still offer Zumba, which was fun, I also used the fitness center one morning. I was given a $50 spa credit, so it made my service affordable. Otherwise the prices they charge are outrageous, $138 for a manicure/pedicure as an example.(Plus tip.)
We took one tour with Princess to see Peggy's Cove and the Titanic graves, and it was well done. The rest of the time we did our own thing, as we prefer to explore on our own.
This was a somewhat older crowd, we were amazed at the scooters parked under the stairs one night, but people were mostly friendly and we did see a few younger people and even a few children, but not the norm.
There was a bar at the top of the ship in the back, Skywalkers. They seemed to use this for Elite functions a few times, they also had a special line in the dining room for club class. We were asked to leave Skywalkers early one evening as they had to ready it for a function. The whole ship should be accessible for all. Met the captain, very nice and approachable, a few stiffs at the front desk but overall the staff goes out of their way and works very hard. Our steward was a doll, as were our dining waiters. Would I cruise Princess again? Possibly. We're taking our first Viking ocean cruise next year so it will be interesting to see the difference. Read Less