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437 Princess Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Firstly I can not complain about the staff on the Ship they all worked very hard, Allthough some staff did have difficulty in having 100% command of English. I am not a fan of American beers and was shocked at the absence of british beers, ... Read More
Firstly I can not complain about the staff on the Ship they all worked very hard, Allthough some staff did have difficulty in having 100% command of English. I am not a fan of American beers and was shocked at the absence of british beers, The vast majority of persons on the cruise were British . Secondly when ordering a drinck I had no idea of the actual cost as this was not displayed. Last year my wife and I went on a P&0 cruise and were basically spoilt by the entertainment and indeed the quality bar service. On the princess my wife and I could not find a sun bed as they were not enough to go round,Also the pools were full of children so I could not swim. The entertainment shows lasted 30 mins . Allthough I was very impressed with Comedian John Martin who was excellent. Afternoon tea was a disaster due to the staff not really knowing how to conduct this service. Sandwiches were mixed with scones and cakes put on the same plate. Before finishing the sandwiches. As I mentioned The vast majority of passengers were British and have different tastes to American services. I personally will always book with P&0 I do feel when it comes to customer service they are the best . I am a proffessional Tour guide and always put the guest first, Making sure that everyone is treated the same this was not the case on the Carribbean princess. Simon Entwistle top hat tours Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My wife and I (both over 70) where very pleasantly surprised at the size of the balcony cabin on C deck; being first timers we were a little apprehensive after reading various reports. We found the cabin to be well planned, with plenty of ... Read More
My wife and I (both over 70) where very pleasantly surprised at the size of the balcony cabin on C deck; being first timers we were a little apprehensive after reading various reports. We found the cabin to be well planned, with plenty of room to unpack completely, and an out of sight storage area for our suitcases. The balcony was private and a secluded with two chairs and a small table. Ideal for sitting a watching the sea and trying to read. The bathroom on the whole was fine, but as I am over 6 ft tall I found the shower to be a little cramped. It was easier to wet down then put on soap before washing off – I was unable to shower in my normal way of avoiding the water whole soaping etc. This small detail would be my only negative comment. Check in at Venice went like a dream – shore going excursions and re boarding all went smoothly, which really impressed me the way so many people where handled so smoothly. The food in the restaurants was very good, as was the overall service. Horizon restaurant for lunch after time ashore was ideal, with a large choice of food, which was constantly refreshed. I liked the idea of compulsory hand sanitizing on entry to the buffet area, and the plastic barriers to stop anyone handling the food except via tongs. All the staff members that we came in contact with where friendly and helpful, it was difficult at the end of the cruise to single out those for special mention. We loved the Crooners Bar – quiet, yet very good for people watching; plus the picture windows over the sea kept me interested. We enjoyed the shows in the theater, even those on the top deck brought back memories of yesteryear. We are both 'sold' on cruising in the future Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The Regal is a large Ship but does not feel crowded. The Service, Food and Shows performed by the Cruise Dancers and Singers were all exceptional. A Top tip is to get your own Visa for St Petersburg and stay the night in a Hotel as it ... Read More
The Regal is a large Ship but does not feel crowded. The Service, Food and Shows performed by the Cruise Dancers and Singers were all exceptional. A Top tip is to get your own Visa for St Petersburg and stay the night in a Hotel as it works out about the same as a Tour but you have the freedom of the City for 2 whole days. For those planning to download films prior to going an excellent service is the free movies. The one and only thing that lets this cruise down is a steady stream of sales pitches. I do appreciate that they are in it to make money and the staff pitching may get extra Commisions but if things were offered at a more reasonable rate without the push they may get more takers. That to one side this was our 10th Wedding Anniversary and I can only say that from Embarkation to flying home it was a breeze and that was down to outstanding staff throughout the Ship. A special mention has to go to the standard of food in every area o=f the Ship the Leadership in the kitchen must be immense. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Let me start with the good bits: Most of the waiting/serving staff were excellent, friendly and very efficient. The general layout of the ship and choice of bars and restaurants was also very good. Transfers to and from the ship were good ... Read More
Let me start with the good bits: Most of the waiting/serving staff were excellent, friendly and very efficient. The general layout of the ship and choice of bars and restaurants was also very good. Transfers to and from the ship were good as was the organisation of embarkation. No for the bad: The customer services desk staff were shocking!, rude, lacking in information and often contradicted each other in what information they did give. They all need a long course in CUSTOMER SERVICE! The ship unfortunately had a problem with what we believe was one of the engine shafts, I say we believe because we were given almost no information about this. The knock affects of this failure was we missed one stop totally and had two others stops that we only a couple of hours at. Obviously this was a great disappointment, especially as this was the section of the trip we were looking forward to the most as we hadn't visited these places before. Whilst we know that a breakdown can happen and that's not necessarily anyone's fault, the way it was handled was very poor indeed. We were told early one morning of the PA by the Captain that overnight this failure had happened and that the ship is now only running on one engine and slowly. He said he would keep everyone up to date and that this would not affect our trip.. Rubbish. As mentioned above it definitely did affect our trip. Oh and this was the first and last time we ever heard from the Captain. No real information was ever given about the problem only what impacts it was now clearly going to have on our trip. (Enough on that subject now). Having travelled with other cruise lines we found this one to charge a lot more for things like wifi and excursions. In fact it seemed to charge for everything and anything it could which we hadn't had on any of the other ships. The overall cost of the trip was ever increasing, which we found very annoying as generally cruising you know what you outlay is before you leave and that doesn't generally change?? Entertainment as a whole was lacking and not that great. Once again on others ships there has been a lot more going on and certainly of better quality. We were trapped inside the passport control at Venice before re-boarding the ship for an hour, the place was packed solid was soaking wet people as it was raining heavily outside. Once again no information was given as to why we were being held there and not allowed to board the ship! It turned out that the gangway had fallen into the sea! WHAT? How does that happen and thank goodness no one was on it at the time. Ok to sum up know as it could probably go on and on with bad points. We would strongly advise not to use this ship and Princess cruises. There are other much better cruise operators out there who provide a considerably better service and value for money Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I have been on many cruises with different cruiselines, but never on a princess cruise before. Because of many excellent reviews Princess was on my bucket list so I was more than happy to book this cruise. I booked a balcony and was ... Read More
I have been on many cruises with different cruiselines, but never on a princess cruise before. Because of many excellent reviews Princess was on my bucket list so I was more than happy to book this cruise. I booked a balcony and was upgraded to a minisuite, nice surprise. At Istanbul I had a transfer organized by Princess; worked perfect. We arrived at the ship something around 1 pm, dropped of the luggage and went to the check in. 5 minutes later I was onboard and on my way to my cabin. Within a few minutes my steward came, introduced himself and offered me a glass of sparkling wine. Now I was ready to "move in". The size of the minisuite was really nice, but there were some signs of wear. In the bathtub there were many chips and deep scratches, the sofabed was beat-up and it was impossible to push it together properly. At the steel-covering of the balcony there was rust...a lot of rust. Carpet needs some shampooing. Now I grabbed something to eat at the horizon buffet, and I was a little bit disappointed about the food quality and choice. But I thought the limited choice resulted in the fact it is embarcation day. Big fault. The fruit selection was more than poor. I like a nice selection of sliced fruit in the mornig. What we got were melons. Every single day melons. Except of 2 days; one time there were pineapples (which were more than fully mature, brown at the paring) , the other one papaya. Fruitsalat contains.... melons. Mostly JUST melons. Cutted into squares of 3 inches. This cruise was during the season you can get everything everywhere: strawberrys, peaches, apricots, berries, think of whatever you want. We´ve got nothing. There were some whole fruits at the buffet, but I don´t want to cut 2 pounds of fruit into slices to have some fresh fruitsalat with my yoghurt. Same for the lunch buffet. Salad buffet contains cabbage.... a lot of cabbages. Some mashy tomatoes, some cucumbers. No nice condiments. Same for dinner. Food looked like in a cheap canteen. Quality of meat was more than mediocre, pasta was overcooked and tasted boring. Cheese platter contains 2 kinds of sliced cheese, cheapest industrial cheese ever, cutted from squares into triangles.... every single day the same. Surprisingly, the quality at the main dining rooms was really really good. This discrepancy was hard to believe. Although I prefer a more casual dining at some days I decided to avoid the buffet whenever possible (took a look every day and refused to eat there). Pools were well maintained. Shows were disappointing; boring. At the end of the cruise there was the same entertainer at two consecutive days. So I had a lot of time reading. I missed some nice workshops during the days, something like crafts, scrapbooks or anything like that. Ports were nice as expected. (Mykonos, Malta, Messina, Naples). Disembarkation was perfect; choosed my timeslot, left the ship within minutes. I enjoyed my cruise, but I see a lot to improve comparing this cruise to my previous ones (RCL, NCL, MSC and HAL). Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. Great food, very pleasant and helpful staff. Usual mixture of ports with some more attractive than others. However the star find was Nessebar in Bulgaria. Yards from the tender there were loads of ... Read More
Thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. Great food, very pleasant and helpful staff. Usual mixture of ports with some more attractive than others. However the star find was Nessebar in Bulgaria. Yards from the tender there were loads of attractive shops and restaurants. This was one of the substitute ports as replacement for the Ukraine ports. All cruise lines should find an excuse to go there. The only reason I have not given the cruise 5 stars is the lack of enforcement of the dress code in the evenings. On the informal nights we had shorts, T shirts, jeans, leggings, flip flops and in fact some people turned up wearing what they had had on at the pool. On the formal nights guess what we still had T shirts, jeans, leggings etc On one formal night there was a reception for passengers who had cruised more than 5 times with Princess. Dress was quite a bit better but a minority turned up to meet the captain wearing shorts. They should never have been allowed to cross the door. Princess are enforcing no smoking and no alcohol rules so it is time they enforced the rules on attire which they list in the pre cruise information. At the door of restaurants and selected bars there should be signs saying what is not allowed and a security presence to turn people away. If passengers do not want to dress smartly they should go to the Horizon Court or stay at home Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such ... Read More
The service on there was really good nothing too much trouble but be careful with reception as some of them do not speak good English or understand. The best person to speak with is Bernard who comes from Canada. We have never had such friendly helpful staff. The food is always cold so do not except too much, the deserts in the Horizon is really good for choice and the staff up there are the best always asking if you would like coffee or tea , Water nothing was too much for them to do for you. The free ice cream on the Lido deck is free and really good. The biggest problem was the shaking of the cabin at the AFT deck lido deck 14 on island princess shaking these are new cabins even though they were clean and nobody could look down on you and were not noisy the shaking is like being on one of those fitness shaking machines all the time. The shows were very short and some of the acts were terrible. The Films on Deck at night were good with free popcorn and cookies. The Burger bar is very good very hot food and fresh. Room Service which is free try the steak sandwich in the afternoon what a treat. The cabin Staff were so good always cleaning and perfect. Always sun lounger’s room in the pool space for all as there are 2 main pools and a splash pool on top deck forward. Be careful with the photographs can be very persistent. One of the best things is Any dinning you can go for dinner between 5:30 and 10 o'clock and sit a a different table every night. When shopping on board we found that staff very unhelpful and always looking at their watches rather than helping you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I have travelled with Princess for 30 years often defending and promoting this company as times & cruise expectations have evolved & changed. I booked a 2 week cruise from Istanbul to Barcelona. I received 2 one week cruises ... Read More
I have travelled with Princess for 30 years often defending and promoting this company as times & cruise expectations have evolved & changed. I booked a 2 week cruise from Istanbul to Barcelona. I received 2 one week cruises with food, entertainment, in-room entertainment and public announcements duplicated from one week to the next. Different ports of call but the exact same onboard mediocracy. Oh, and noro-virus (the ship went to 'RED' status). The ship is in rough condition with mold and mildew growing around the whirlpools, elevators not functioning, decor pealing, burned out lights and an "EFFY Store." As an Elite passenger, we were greeted with an obviously dirty toilet with skid marks. As the sun entered the room, we could also see the antics of a previous passenger splattered on the artwork hanging on the wall. The table on the balcony did receive a cleaning 12 days into the cruise and the room was vacuumed once. We did of course receive our invitation on week one for the Captain's Party. No handshaking as the virus was throughout the ship. We also received a second invitation to a Captain's Party (same Captain's name on the invite) the following Thursday. However, we did not attend because the Captain disembarked for a 2 month vacation and a new Captain took the helm that very day. We are still curious why we received the second invite from a Captain and a system that must have known he was leaving. The system is broken. I felt we were simply a credit card number. Minimum effort by a system needing a radical examination & overhaul. I compliment the staff (not the head-office, not the accountants, not the system analysts & definitely not the senior management) in trying to provide a great cruise experience to each and every passenger but are handicapped by a dysfunctional, antiquated corporate culture. After 30 years, the question arises if I will travel on the Love Boat again (....by the way, the episodes were repeats & repeated too!)? Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I have sailed with princess since 1977 and I have sailed on Emerald Princess several times. My last trip was out of Athens on the 16th of May 2015 and from the embarkation it had lots of issues. On arrival at Athens Port no one to help ... Read More
I have sailed with princess since 1977 and I have sailed on Emerald Princess several times. My last trip was out of Athens on the 16th of May 2015 and from the embarkation it had lots of issues. On arrival at Athens Port no one to help with luggage. The staff were actually sitting on the Trolley's smoking great impression, did not rush to help at all. I was sent into a embark hall to wait with no one in the hall then moved into another embark hall. Being a Platinum member I did not even get welcome back, just can I have your cabin number and not even enjoy your cruise. What do they say first impressions really matter. My cabin was fine but my steward had absolutely no personality at all. He forgot to clean my stateroom twice, left all his cleaning products in my bathroom for a week and left rotten fruit in my cabin. No attention to detail at all. I had no complaints about the dining room my waiter and assistant waiter were superb and so was our Head Waiter. The food has certainly changed since the last time I was on board. The Crown Grill which I ate in twice was marvellous, but the experience at Sabatini 's Restaurant was less than memorable, if they are going to charge for an Italian Restaurant they need to have Italian Waiters. The entertainment was shocking and the stage shows were there four years ago If they flog that Love Boat Theme once more I would scream, this is 2015 not 1977 yes they are celebrating the 50 years but really when leaving a fabulous place like Istanbul at 10 pm in the evening don't play the Love Boat Theme, seriously. The Female Cruise Director was dreadful They really need to pay attention to their staff and the way they dress, some uniforms have been in since Princess started and you need to get rid of the white pursers uniform on woman it is not flattering. I recently went on a Costa Cruise and I have nothing but praise for how beautifully the staff were attired. The front Desk staff were rude, cold and unwelcoming The boutiques need a massive revamp they are still in the 1980's The rudest person on the ship was the guy in the Internet café you are honestly doing yourself no favours having him aboard. My biggest beef was the fact that I had prepaid my departure transfer and nd it took 11 goes to get it right. I have cruised with Princess for a long time, I still had a good time on board but to keep up with the newest ships in the market they need to change. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Ship ran like a military exercise and was very smooth. Lots of food and doing the Greek Islands there was a lot to do and see in terms of culture. Was my first cruise so everything was very new and exciting. Mostly old people on this line. ... Read More
Ship ran like a military exercise and was very smooth. Lots of food and doing the Greek Islands there was a lot to do and see in terms of culture. Was my first cruise so everything was very new and exciting. Mostly old people on this line. Fun meeting strangers for dinner. Could not imagine wanting to repeat the experience (cruising) as would be bored silly second time around. Have decided this is mostly for the unadventurous with little sense of imagination. Good value compared with cost of hotels and taxis. Anytime dining is best otherwise you are regimented to time . Only downside is that you are seated with strangers but that to me was a plus. Instant friends! Beware of the government sponsored carpet scam in Turkey. erdogon forces all ship tour groups to compulsory visit a carpet factory at every port. If you open your mouth and ask the price they squirrel you away to a private room and give you the hard sell. The average is about 1000 euros but on the streets the gypsies will sell you the Chinese imitation for 20. Internet costs a fortune but good excuse to give it up for a week. Drinking costs a lot too. Cabin TV was crap. Endless repeats of love boat. Shows were good. Enrichment was only lectures on acupuncture etc. pools were ok. Food was varied but bland and mostly tasteless catering for the demographic. Don't waste money hiring a suit. Everyone came in their old business's suit. Give the casino and art display a miss. Ditto the photography. (WAste of money). Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I seriously don't know where to start for this unbelievable cruise. This was our 25th (gulp) cruise and our 9th aboard Princess. And Emerald Princess did not disappoint! We began our venture in Barcelona, staying at the Princess ... Read More
I seriously don't know where to start for this unbelievable cruise. This was our 25th (gulp) cruise and our 9th aboard Princess. And Emerald Princess did not disappoint! We began our venture in Barcelona, staying at the Princess sponsored Hotel Gallery. Pick up and transfers from the airport were super easy. This boutique hotel had clean rooms, a great breakfast spread with fresh fruit and good coffee. The location was perfect for wandering in Barcelona in the Las Ramblas area. Again, hotel to ship transportation was super easy. Our ship beckoned post-Barcelona - huge and gleaming. Embarkation was easy breezy and our rooms were ready by noon - such a welcome treat. Our mini-suites had great space, ample storage and closets, and a small non-shaded balcony. Service went above and beyond on this cruise - some of the very best service we have ever ever had on a cruise ship. The MDR staff was friendly and efficient, the bar staff were pleasantly conversational, and the housekeeping staff were also terrific. Activities onboard ship were plentiful on sea days and every evening. There were multiple shows each night to suit any and all tastes. I will say that the production shows were a bit on the tired side but that's just me. We tried to make it to as many shows, games, and activities as possible. The Cruise Director and his staff were quite good - very friendly and very busy. We tried the spa a few times and found the service to be exceptional. I had a wonderful Thai Poultice Massage one day and a pedicure another day - both treatments were lovely and the staff was more than hospitable. I do feel that the availability of exercise classes is a bit weak - only one stretch class early morning, but that's the way of things. The ports on this itinerary are incomparable from Barcelona to Marseille, Florence, Rome, Montenegro, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, Kusadasi, and Istanbul. There was something in every port that appealed to us - especially the fresh fish for lunch each day. Food in the MDR, the Crown Grill, and the buffet were all quite respectable. I do not have one complaint regarding the food and beverages onboard Emerald Princess. Our disembarkation in Istanbul was super easy, we picked up a cab in no time at all and were to our post-cruise hotel within 10 minutes. Exhausted... and happy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We fancied a change from Celebrity Eclipse and booked a couple of weeks off in September, so had a window with 3 cruise options available. Basically - who would provide the best deal. Princess won! In a nutshell: Although smaller than ... Read More
We fancied a change from Celebrity Eclipse and booked a couple of weeks off in September, so had a window with 3 cruise options available. Basically - who would provide the best deal. Princess won! In a nutshell: Although smaller than Eclipse - 500+ more passengers. Public rooms and bars seemed dark and gloomy - though clean. Horizon food court a bit of a bun fight - nowhere near the selection and choice on the Eclipse Drinks cheaper - but drinks package more expensive!! All staff were polite and friendly - but not a lot of sincerity Entertainment poor, with the Cruise Director continually apologising for it saying he had no choice like in the 'old days' and had to make do with what he was sent! Production shows were OK, taped music backing and lots of enthusiasm, but 30 mins long and nothing else/support act. Not really a show!! Thankfully no Broadway/West End songs from the shows! Food was pretty good - almost on a par with Celebrity, couldn't justify the Speciality Dining options, which was good. Anytime Dining worked well, sometimes we'd share and sometimes took a pager - 20/30 mins wait while we had a drink. We liked the 'formal' afternoon tea - only did it a couple of times. Pizza bar was pretty good!! Cabins a bit smaller - but perfectly ok. Our Steward was great and totally unobtrusive. Adagio Bar was a hidden gem - we loved it for pre-dinner cocktails. Formal nights seemed far more 'informal'. Fewer people bothered to dress - which is OK, probably not such a thing with Princess. Fresh ice every day in our cabin - great to cool our GnTs - easily smuggled on from Morrisons in Gib!!! Getting off and on in ports was quick and easy. Photographers a bit over enthusiastic. International Cafe was great, get a coffee card for $35 which gives you 15x premium coffees and as much tea/filter coffee/hot chocs as you like. Food these was also good at any time of the day. No kettles in room so we used room service for early morning tea - a bit crap, but after day 3 we just went down to the IC and got good tea to take away - no problem, nice and hot and fresh! No interactive TV to view your bill etc. All sounds a bit negative but on the whole we enjoyed it!! Not in the same league as Celebrity but you get what you pay for. We paid not very much, for an inside cabin but I would have been annoyed if I'd paid an extra £800 per couple for a tiny balcony and got the same food and entertainment. Lots of people we spoke to were Princess Elite members who believed they were getting great value, free cleaning, a mini-bar and their own little queues for things - it was hard to tell them they were paying for it!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We used to travel down to Southampton from mid Suffolk in our car, staying overnight at a spa hotel, indulging in a first class dinner then going down to the dock by taxi and after the cruise returning to the hotel by taxi to pick up our ... Read More
We used to travel down to Southampton from mid Suffolk in our car, staying overnight at a spa hotel, indulging in a first class dinner then going down to the dock by taxi and after the cruise returning to the hotel by taxi to pick up our car. Having costed this out a couple of times, we decided this time that for marginally more money we could get a return taxi all the way down to the port without the hassle of driving. We got to the terminal at about 10.30 and took the lift up to the departure lounge. We later discovered that, as DW is mainly wheelchair bound we could have asked at the lower floor reception for help to push the chair aboard. We went to the check in area and all went smoothly as a priority check in. We then proceeded to a refreshment area to wait until called to pass through the security department. Upon boarding at about 11.30, proceeded down to our stateroom to find our baggage already there. Putting our valuables into the safe and dumping our hand baggage, we proceeded to the Da Vinci dinning room. At this point enroute to dine, staffs try to direct you to the buffet at horizon court, each to their own preference of course. Having had a light lunch, we then made tracks to find the Maitre d’ hotel to request a table for two for dinner. We are very sociable people but do like just being on our own at the dinning table. Well tables for two are as rare as hen’s teeth so we were most fortunate to be changed to one for fixed time dinning at 5.30 in the Da Vinci. I must mention here that we book with Princess over a year ahead so as to get a wheelchair accessible cabin (classified as HC ). Our cabin was C304. Next stop was down to the stateroom to unpack and read the what’s on program sheet, “The Patter”. At about 3.30 we went to our muster station for lifeboat drill at 4.00. this way we could use the lifts for the drill. We had already been to reception to register DW as needing carry down by crew should there be an emergency evacuation. One of our preferred entertainments in the evening is the Princess Theatre. Nowadays there are usually three shows each night at about 7.15pm, 8.45pm and 10pm. Our dinner time dictated that the 8.45 show was best for us. The age demographic on cruises out of Southampton seems such that there many more people in wheelchairs etc. than other cruisers using airports. I suppose over time those with infirmities will increase. Princess need to seriously look at accessible seating throughout the ship. Shipboard public spaces. International Café. On sea days this area was well overcrowded although extra tables and chairs were put out. The overcrowding was such that there was an overspill into the Vines bar, preventing anyone sitting down to enjoy a glass or two of wine. Vines should be relocated to somewhere quiet, say a corner of Crooners bar. Pool and sun deck. Here again the elderly age demographic of most of the passengers meant that these were not crowded and not overly used by the chair hoggers seen on most cruise ships, although some of the best positioned loungers were bagged early in the day without use most of the time by ignorant stupid people. Dining rooms. We only felt the need to dine in the Da Vinci. Ah. what an improvement Princess has made on the last few cruises we have been on. The food on our previous several cruises seemed to have slowly reduced in quality but this cruises food quality and presentation was a vast improvement Well done Princess, you must have listened to your passengers. Internet. “Oh dear” We being Platinum members each got 250min. free time. The connection speed seemed to be slower even than the old 56k dial up (for those who can remember that far back) such that to download emails took about 20min. “Oh dear” Now for our views on the evening shows in the Princess theatre. Day 1 Welcome aboard song and dance plus comedian Jeff Stevenson who was clean and excellent. Day 2 I got the Music. Very good. Day 3 Steve Larkins as Mercury Rising . Smut and innuendo just bad for us and several passengers walked out. Day 4 Chilli Gold. Very good singer. Day 5 Andrew Geater. An excellent singer. Day 6 Steve Larkins again. We gave it a miss and went elseware. Day 7 Production show Boogi Shoes. Excellent. Day 8 Vocalist Nic Page Falsetto on top of Baritone in the same song line. Not for us and some other passengers so we walked out and enjoyed a coffee on our balcony. Day 9 We were docked in Venice, it was festival time ashore and we were treated to a performance in the theatre by the Venetian Chamber Orchestra. Marvellous. Day 10 Nic Page again Oh dear. Day 11 Gary Thompson vocal impressions. Dirty school boy jokes not for us so waved him goodbye. Day 12 Blame it on the Boogi. Very good song and dance show. Day 13 Craig Owen violinist. Some good, some Irish fiddle jigs. Overall just about OK. Day 14 Gary Thompson again so again enjoyed coffee on our balcony Day 15 Berni Flint. A bit risqué at first but then excellent. Day 16 What a swell party Song and dance. Themed on the 1920s excellent Day 17 Berni flint again excellent. Staff we would like to mention Michels Head waiter for table 437 in the Da Vinci Marius waiter Dmytro junior waiter Dymi who ran the Vines bar Fabiola waitress in the international café Agnus the young lady who delivered our room service light breakfast each morning All the above were extra special Now comes one who could do better, sorry Pitsan our room steward, sometimes forgetful with face cloths and bath mats, most times several hours from us leaving the cabin to it being refreshed.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Breaking this into easily digestable sections: The ship: Regals obviously looks pleasing to the eye but don't let it fool you, despite the fancy new atrium and attractive fittings is a flawed ship (see scores for Royal). It has tried ... Read More
Breaking this into easily digestable sections: The ship: Regals obviously looks pleasing to the eye but don't let it fool you, despite the fancy new atrium and attractive fittings is a flawed ship (see scores for Royal). It has tried to improve on the design flaws of the Royal with minimal success. There are NO midship stair ways resulting in overburdened central lifts that (I'm not joking) can take anywhere from 7 minutes to arrive and will stop (guarenteed) at EVERY deck, as people call them then give up waiting. Because of their excess use, the lifts were even inoperarable at times! They are apparently suitable for 18, yes 18 persons! Not a chance, even with discomfort you could probably sqeeze in 12 and that's a push. It often gets so squashing in there it gets hot, and very hot very quickly which become increasingly infurtiating as you stop at every desk and no one gets in. More cabins added in increasing footflow and less accessways to compensate. Ridculous! I assure you after a few days this becomes very tedious! -----------3/10 Entertainment: I did not attend the main show but my family memebers told me it was actualy quite impressive, however in between the main show most nights it was a sub standard comedian or a person playing multiple insturments. Cheap low cost, low cost personnel entertainment. On most nights (even as earlier as 9pm) there is abolsutely NOTHING going on, it's almost hilarious. You have a singer in the atrium on the piano for maybe an hour or two, a movie at the movie under the starts and the show that's only an hour long, that's it, there is absolutely nothing going on which justified the low 'roaming population' after dinner service. I even remember hearing an old gentleman saying one night "Where the bleep is all the entertainment, there is no enterainment on this ship!" to my amused delight!! I was bored to tears on evenings and just sat at a bar sipping my drink. Atleast 80% of the time I went back to my cabin to read it was that comical. Earlier hours saw use of the bingo in Princess live which is very, very cheesy and caters to the 60+ age group which rules me out. I saw no one around my age group (20-30) and was socially isolated. If I wanted to go bingo I had to pay a heavy fee, the virtual rifle range was open for about one hour a day, 3 at the most. The sports deck didn't have enough balls and the putting green is something I could have contrcuted in a weeked in my garden. I actually walked around this ship thinking....oh dear, I'm a total utter moron for booking this $2,500 'holiday' The only thing that scores this a 2 is the movies they put on in princess theatre!-------- 2/10 Food - Horizon 'infestation' court. My god where to start. This is the most congested frustrating part of the ship, it's packed, people walk into wall, objects, people, stand idle in main entrace ways completely zoned out. You can potentially get stuck behind a slow walker for 5 minutes which is how long it can take to get to one end the the other. You will have people nudging you out the walk, reaching over you rudely, reserving tables, and my favourite, people handling food like bread rolls and fruit, not liking the consistency of it and putting it back! Yes they actually touched food and put it back for you to consume later without knowing, oh yummy! Bacteria sandwich anyone? It's no wonder on this floating virus I got ill, everywhere I go someone foul person sneezed on me, sneezed and touched the handrails, coughed on my face, blew their nose only to touch the salad forks and put it back for some other poor soul to touch. It's just abolsutely disgusting!!! The cakes are like instant packet cakes, they are 'display purproses only cakes' they look good and taste like pure death. I was actually unsure if I had sponge in my mouth or pieces of beach towel. The Horizon court offered school dinner style sloppy job sludge and the dishes even had spelling erros on their labels for god sake. Have you ever heard of 'Todd in the Hole'? Poor old Todd's Princess career didn't go to well ending up served in a steel over dish. On the good side the Crown Grill was half decent, the atrium cafe offered decent sandwhices (but seemed to consistently serve hamd and cheese ones without any ham and cheese in them) which they never recitfied....rocket science and that. 4/10 Kids clubs! PARENT BE WARNED!!! This is what killed the holiday, our youngest one (6) was not able to go into Princess Pelicans (the clubs for the yonugest age group) because they decided to shut it for all hours except 6 - 10pm on evenings, which means if your young one falls in this category YOU will be caring for them unless ship is in port. This is AGAINST the .pdf file uploaded on princess.com stating clearly the full morning, afternoon and evening opening times, not subject to closure. The head office agreed that it should be open (I complained onboard) and the boss of the kids club manager couldn't even use her pathetic non existent false powers to open the club despite telling me she agreed with me. My full complaint email to her was then INGORED and the sanctuary we paid for (for the whole cruise) largely went to waste as our 6 year old could not go in their, and they would not refund the money. The deputy cruise director called me to say he was quote "going to figure something out to make the cruise and enjoyable one" and " would touch base with me about this the next day" he didn't and had no intention of doing so. The club remained closed despite princess confirming they staffed the ship in the club to the max to cater for the summer holiday excess of kids. An absoluteyl vile and pathetic customer service ship for a miserable pathetic cruise line. Rest assured they WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY and you will have no idea if the clubs will be open or not for your child, if they aren't your 6 year old will be put in the 12 year old club and play games that aren't safe/suitable and activities that are beyond their own leaning abilities. In my opinion the club manager should have been fired, she ignored her boss, insulted the customers, suggested I LIED and was constantly rude everytime she walked by us for the rest of the cruise. But this line is too weak, too pathetic and too stupid to do anything about it. DO NOT GO ON HERE IF YOU HAVE KIDS! Go to florida as this cruise cost that much anyway. I beg you, go to Disney! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Our cruise experience was significantly affected by the loss of luggage for our adult daughter who was traveling with us. The ship itself was large but never felt like you had to walk miles to get anywhere. There were usually enough ... Read More
Our cruise experience was significantly affected by the loss of luggage for our adult daughter who was traveling with us. The ship itself was large but never felt like you had to walk miles to get anywhere. There were usually enough elevators to move passengers from floor to floor easily. The stabilizers on the ship had to be the best in the world because we NEVER felt the ship rock or move and were convinced that you could stay in a cabin anywhere on this ship and never experience motion sickness. The food in the Horizon Court was very good and there was almost never a wait to find a table. The staff were helpful and friendly. We could not eat in the dining room due to the lost luggage and lack of appropriate clothing. Similarly, we could not attend most of the evening activities. The man who did the port education presentations was a gem. He was informative and funny. The way he presented the lectures made you remember specific points that were helpful when you were in port and prevented several mistakes or chances to get lost. Laundry facilities for us saved the day. The laundry rooms are large with 4 full sized washers and 4 full sized dryers. There are 3 ironing boards and irons built in for your use. You do not need coins but rather use your room key card to swipe for tokens to do a wash or to dry your clothes. One wash or dry cycle each costs $2. The ship is pretty and comfortable; the locations of the bars and cafes is convenient and plentiful. The only real con was the reception staff who were rude and appeared annoyed if you had more than one simple question. They did not know their own policies and procedures and when one staff person explained the protocol to try to locate our missing luggage, another staff person would tell you another version of the protocol and insist that you must have heard wrong. Each day we had to repeat our problem over because they never seemed to be aware of the issue, let alone have any information for us, despite giving them our airline lost baggage reference number, copies of our passports and a signed statement (on their form) giving them authority to act on our behalf at each port. Much time was wasted each day trying to have the cruise ship staff and our airline communicate and we never did get the luggage until we got home. This ship seemed to have smaller shops and less clothing and the selection, shockingly, had way more very large and extra large sizes making it very difficult for my size 8 daughter to buy clothes. The girl in charge of the shop was very very helpful, sending a coworker to look for smaller sizes for her, letting us take 2 sizes of pants to try on in the cabin when we were not sure which would fit, and helping her find anything that might fit. Her advice was invaluable and her efforts were what ultimately saved this cruise for us. We would have bought more than the 2 shirts, one pair of pants, one 3 pack of underwear, and one zip hoodie if they would have had more smaller sizes. Overall, this was a nice ship with good staff with the exception of the reception desk crew who need to learn their own ship's protocols and have more customer service education. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
First the good news- the ship is elegantly appointed...badly designed in many ways (but you've read all of that in other reviews). It is as clean and well maintained as many operating rooms I've seen !. The staff is hard working ... Read More
First the good news- the ship is elegantly appointed...badly designed in many ways (but you've read all of that in other reviews). It is as clean and well maintained as many operating rooms I've seen !. The staff is hard working and well trained. Princess' embarkation and debarkation logistics are FABULOUS....well organized and uncomplicated for a huge ship. Port intensive with a fairly good selection for both newbies and seasoned travelers, Now the bad news: Be prepared to spend half again your ticket price on "options". You get nickled and dimed at every turn. Bar cocktails are in the $10 range...wine is overpriced. Princess' tours are outragiously priced and can be easily duplicated with hundreds of independent operators in every port. The web is great for finding them. Princess does it's best to discourage you from using anyone other than their "preferred" provider with fear instilled that you run the risk of missing the ship's departure if you don't use their tours. Baloney! These operators know that they are doing and charge a third to half of what Princess charges...smaller groups, nice vehicles. When considering a Med cruise, don't be scared off by higher prices from more upscale lines like Oceania...the price may seem higher, but the inclusions often make it less expensive overall. We take the hop-on, hop off bus in many ports and find them to be excellent values and fun experiences. One thing that has cost Princess my business is that they park the ship inconveniently (I'm not talking about Rome (Civetivechia) and Florence(Livorno) where everyone knows that transportation to the city is far and involved. I'm talking about Toulon...where the ship gets birthed 6 miles from Toulon and Princess charges $25 a person (no I am not kidding)to get you into town. We found the public water taxi 500 yards from the ship for 2 Euros a person...1/5 of what Princess charged. Princess did not mention that that service was an available option. Ditto in Ravenna...$16 a person to get you into town. Ditto in Mykonos...Princess' bus was $10 a person...literally a 25 yard walk from the gangway was the public water taxi for 2 Euros a person which took you to a much better location in town. Continuing in the "how much can we rip" department...they offer a private train into Rome from Civettichia for $100. Walk to the station(or cab it it you're lazy) and you'll find a train that takes exactly as long with similar equipment at multiple convenient schedule times for about 9 Euros. What really frosted my cookies was that when we complained, it was akin to talking to a chair. We were told that nobody aboard had the authority to waive any charges. They listened to our politely offer complaints and showed an extremely apparent disinterest. I'm talking about the front desk...even their Captain's Circle representative.We're not new at this....we've sailed dozens of times- 16 with Princess....the Elite pin should count for something other than just a referral to "Customer Relations" when we get home. Automatic tips are another RIP...seemingly they do not all go to the service personnel. You CAN and should request that they be removed (which Princess will do reluctanly) and tip as you see fit for explemplary service(cabin stewards,waiters, etc) which you will find and they will really appreciate it. There is not so much as a bottle of water at the gangways...even for purchase. The entertainment is trite and contrived. More pyrotechnics and loud recorded/lip synced music than talent. The ancilliary talent, comedians especially should seek other work.I must however mention a better choice of the Movies under the stars which offer a huge "jumbotron" screen on the pool deck with popcorn(free, can you believe it?) and even cookies and milk mid show. Food is elegantly presented in the dining rooms (the result of inexpensive labor) - but the quality just is not there.If you come from a town where they don't have a restaurant other than a diner...you might think it very good. If you are bigger city folks, you've had better. New cruisers love the entire ambiance of Princess...more seasoned passengers have noted declines. Princess USED to be a a fine quality line in the mid-price category. Since it's purchase by Carnival, we've noticed a subtle decline in everything but the "glitz" factor. While I respect that they are in business to make money, their fares warrant inclusion of certain mandatory services which have fallen precipitously. And...complaints and commentary from customers need to be addressed, with some authority, on board. Middle management on board needs the authority to offer adjustments to quell a legitimate complaint...not just saying...yes..."we hear that a lot" "I'll pass it along to our head office". Had I run my business that way, I would not have been able to comfortably retire and afford to travel. One last thought....Princess offers 2 formal nights on a 12 day cruise. Hey guys...get with the program. This is passe. With the costs and complications of larger luggage to accomodate formal wear when flying these days...who needs a formal night. On the two formal nights aboard, I roughly counted less than 10% of the men were wearing tuxedos, another 20% wearing suits, another 20% with jackets (no tie)...and the rest dressed casually like every other night. Laides can get away with a pair of nice black slacks and a blouse and not feel out of place. Then...there's always the buffet which will serve you in any attire on those nights. Of course, you have to deal with the cafeteria format and the college-dorm food. So we'll take a break from Princess for a while. I won't say forever....that is counterproductive. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We have cruised on the Princess ships several times and have always enjoyed the ships. The Regal was not designed well. It has no stairs in the middle and the ones on the end don't go all the way up or down. We would come to dead ends ... Read More
We have cruised on the Princess ships several times and have always enjoyed the ships. The Regal was not designed well. It has no stairs in the middle and the ones on the end don't go all the way up or down. We would come to dead ends often and found many others that did the same, With no stairs everyone had to take the elevators. That made them way over crowded. You would have to wait for a long time to go up or down one floor. Being in the middle of the ship we would have to walk to the front or back to use the stairs then walk back to the middle. Very poor planning. Also, the entertainment on the ship was not up to the same caliber that the other ships we have been on have been. The food in the dining rooms was just Okay. There was a very long wait between courses and the meal would last 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When you come off a busy day of sight seeing you just didn't want to set that long, so we used the Horizon court instead. The food there was good, but nothing to get excited about. The service we received from the crew was probably some of the best we have encountered since they changed the tipping system. Our room steward was very good. The ports the Regal stopped at could have been better. We only had the evening of the first night in Venice, then went on to Ravenna. This was on a Sunday so nothing was open in Ravenna. It would have been a lot nicer to stay in Venice for another day. The stop in Toulon was not even in Toulon, but a few miles away. The cost to go into Toulon was $25 each. We felt that was way to much to just walk around for a while. Very disappointed in this port. The embarkation was good, but a little slow. The disembarkation went very smoothly. Overall we did enjoy seeing the sites that we saw, but were a little disappointed in the ship.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
As a family we like to try new ships particularly large ships. We have sailed about 10 cruises in the last 8 years including large ships such as NCL Breakaway and Epic, Carnival Breeze, Celebrity Silhouette, Liberty of the Seas. We booked ... Read More
As a family we like to try new ships particularly large ships. We have sailed about 10 cruises in the last 8 years including large ships such as NCL Breakaway and Epic, Carnival Breeze, Celebrity Silhouette, Liberty of the Seas. We booked last minute and got a very good deal . I had sailed once before many years ago on Princess in the Caribbean and enjoyed it but on a much smaller ship. For us the destinations were not that important as we had visited all the locations before. It was the ship we wanted to experience and visually it is beautiful. We had two cabins one of which was a balcony for three and one an inside cabin for two. The inside cabin was very suitable for two while the balcony cabin was very tight for three. As we don't spend much time in the cabin that was not important to us. Bathroom was tight but acceptable.Air con was just about acceptable. We only could find one plug in the cabin so charging phones ipods etc was always a battle. Our cabin steward was excellent. I thought the overall layout of the ship was very poor and does not just work well. Toilets were very hard to find and not signposted and lifts were always busy. However for me the biggest disappointment was the centre atrium area that takes in decks 5, 6 and 7.This is the hub of the ship with numerous bars on the various floors. My biggest issue was that if music was played on deck 5 for example that you didn't like you could not avoid it on any of the other decks above. For example I don't particularly like classical music if performed by a small quartet of musicians. It feels too much like a hotel lobby piped music and this was regularly the entertainment that was supplied in this area. Later on a piano guy performs in Crooners but after one or two nights you were hoping someone else would take his place to give a different night but it never happens. They have a second piano guy in another pub area near the grill restaurant but he is a replicate of the first with the same boring melodies.Overall entertainment is very poor on this ship except for a few shows in the theatre that were actually quite good. I spoke to staff about this and they all said we generally have an older crowd in their 60s. While there were a lot of 60+ on board there were also a lot of people under 50 and 40 and younger. Anyway people in their 60s grew up with Elvis, Beatles and the Stones so I don't think this argument on music holds up. Also we are in the middle of the summer season with many teens kids etc on holidays. The entertainment programme should change to accommodate this. Food was good but not exceptional . I was not impressed by the look of the main dining area compared to every other ship I was on. No glamour at all.We booked any time dining but generally had to wait for 15 /30 minutes to get a table. If booking now I would book a fixed time dining and if that didn't work on a particular day all you need to do is join the any-time diners queue. The two paid restaurants were good and I thought the Italian was slightly better. Pool area was nice but they often used movies during the day to entertain you on the big screen. While this is okay late at night for the non drinkers I think it is inappropriate during the afternoon. They also showed some live concert movies including Pavarotti during a sea day. Needless to say that took the fun out of the area very quickly. However they also showed a few other livelier concerts but nothing beats live upbeat music on that pool area. While live music did happen a few times it might only last an hour before the next movie would be on.The front of the ship had a nice pool area for adults only if you wanted to get away from the movie. Casino was okay with one or two high rollers in operation. Churchills (smoking area) seemed to be full must days. Nightclub was empty most evenings. All staff were excellent but every cruise ship I was ever on appear to have good well trained staff. So overall we were not impressed with the Regal Princess. It was boring for people like us that like to have a bit of party time on a vacation. We were regularly wandering around looking for some fun but to no avail. On the other hand if you want to get off the ship early at every location and want to get to bed by 11 this is probably a good choice. I assure you wont be kept awake by any noise on board.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My husband and I took this cruise from Barecelona departing July 1st (Balcony - D440, which is mid-ship). We tacked on an extra 2 days in Barcelona and an extra day at the end in Venice. Traveled with another couple/close friends. This was ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise from Barecelona departing July 1st (Balcony - D440, which is mid-ship). We tacked on an extra 2 days in Barcelona and an extra day at the end in Venice. Traveled with another couple/close friends. This was our second Princess cruise (had done Alaska last Summer) and I have done 4 other cruises (Caribbean) on other cruise lines. Barcelona was fabulous. Had never been there before so we enjoyed exploring all of the areas. Ate at a great tapas restaurant one night (Ciudad Condal). Took a private tour of the Sagrada Familia (Viator - Skip the line Barcelona Sagrada Familia Tour, which was $54 pp and well worth it to get all of the information). Departure day - taxi strike, which as you can tell from some other reviews, was a big problem for many gtting to the ship. Luckily, we ended up having a private bus that took us from our hotel (Renaissance Barcelona - see my separate review on that fiasco on TripAdvisor) for quite a bit of money, but what are you going to do - drag large amouonts of luggage for miles?. Boarding the ship Vas very easy. Great departure port and very organized Princess boasrding if you had all of your paperwork and travel documents in order. We were on board by around 2 pm so plenty of time to explore. Husband bought a soda card (with taxes/service charge it was around $62 I think, but he drinks a ton of Diet Coke so work it). Our cabin was very nice layout and of course everything "new Only complaint - the balcony was tiny. Barely could get a chair out there and then not stretch your legs. Took the panel out between our cabin and our friends' next door, so that helped. Ship - I largely agree with others that the ship is very beautiful. However, there are major issues midship in terms of being able to get up/down the center of the ship. There are "stairs to nowhere" everywhere, and you have to do a lot of walking to front or back of ship to get between the middle levels. Very aggravating. No one seemed to have an answer why. Food - better than Princess Alaska last Summer, but still very "bland" and some weird recipes/tastes for some basic (American) dishes. Decent quality, but needs taste improvement. We did anytime dining and really did not have an issue except for one night in terms of having to wait for a table. We "caught" another couple who had just arrived being seated before us and my husband said something to the head waiter. To their credit, they really went out of the way to make up for that - gave us a bottle of wine another night, sent chocolate covered strawberries to our room one day, and called us to see if we wanted to "pick" a table to be seated at the rest of the cruise. Pools - there did not seem to be an issue getting chairs, as there is many times for Carribean cruises. Also, the adult only pool area is very nice. Fitness room/classes - Zumba maniac, so enjoyed having Zumba classes almost every day, and on "at seas" days, twice a day. Fitness room was much bigger and better equipped than we had on our Princess Alaska cruise. Not a spa person so did not try that. All in all, a great ship. The only negative - Hate being nickeled and dimed on some things. Specifically - having to pay for transporation to get from the ship into your port town. We paid thousands of dollars for this cruise that lists 9 ports they are taking you to - don't tell me you are only getting me offshore, and then I have to pay $10, 15, 20, 25 to actually get into town. Just obnoxious. As for entertainment - overall pretty terrible. Needs a lot of work. And I take offense at others who have done reviews and seem to think "older" people in their 50's (or older) don't need or want "good" or "fun" entertainment. Really? Not true. Toulon - as people have said - nothing there really. We did a Princess tour (Aix: The Heart of Prevence) where we had a very good tour guide, so enjoyed it. Florence and Rome - don't even think for one second that you will have time to really see these cities. We had been there before (2-3 times) so did not really mind that fact. We did "Florence & Time on your own" and "Rome on your own by private train" - both Princess tours. They were okay - but the general comment is do your homework and take private tours, not Princess tours, if at all possible - generally cheaper, and so much more flexible/better, Really did not like having to spend an hour and a half travel time each way to get to/from these cities, but that is the reality of it, especially in summer when these cities are packed, and it is HOT. And as someone else pointed out, there was a major train issue for the Rome trip that had us stuck in a train station for a long time. Naples/Pompeii - though Pompeii was amazing, and Sorrento was very quant. Our guide Georgio was great. (Took the Pompeii & Time on your own in Sorrento trip). Mykonos - to die for, in my book. Everything so impossibly white and blue. Did not do any tour - just took the transportation into/back from town. Very disappointing we were only docked from 7 am until 2 pm. Would have loved to have stayed later/longer. Want to go back and take a Greek Islands cruise or tour. Istanbul - very impressive. Way better than I expected. A very cosmopolitan city. Kusadasi/Ephesus - had a great tour guide from Ephesus Shuttle (rund by Curio Travel Turkey & Greece). Must do the Terrace houses if you go. Athens - very disappointing. If not for the Acropolis, not worth going there. Venice - spectacular city, but very difficult (and expensive) to get around. Stayed an extra night at Hotel del Opera - just great. We did the Allesandro tours (Rick Steves) of pub crawl and out of the way Venice. Booked a Viator skip to the front of the line tour for Doges & St. Marks and they cancelled on us just a few hours before!! By email no less!! Luckily, we were able to get tickets and get in on our own. Was pouring the morning we left, so an interesting water taxi ride to the Airport. Others have commented re: mobility issues - I agree. This is simply not a cruise or itinerary for anyone with any type of "mobility" issues. Other take away - don't do this in the summer - way to crowded and hot in these ports. Then again, not sure this ship does this itinerary any other time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Regal Princess Review – Barcelona to Venice - July 25th to August 6th The embarkation process was simple once we all got to the port (our taxi driver made us go in two trips). Our first stop was horizon court and horizon bistro. It took ... Read More
Regal Princess Review – Barcelona to Venice - July 25th to August 6th The embarkation process was simple once we all got to the port (our taxi driver made us go in two trips). Our first stop was horizon court and horizon bistro. It took me the better part of the trip to figure out that even though the horizon court and horizon bistro are connected they offer different foods and need to both be explored. This adds a bit of confusion to the dining process but helps spread people out so it feels less crowded. Even on mornings when the whole ship was leaving at the same time Horizon didn’t feel overwhelmed. After we had some lunch we made dinner reservations at Sabatinis and the Crown Grill for later in our trip. Both restaurants made fabulous meals. I liked having the music from the Wheelhouse bar playing while we had dinner at Crown Grill. We had an interior cabin which suited our needs perfectly. My kids had the bunk beds and I had the single twin. Thanks to other cruise critics members I took along two hanging shoe organizers. I hung the large one in the closet, which gave us a place for our shoes. The smaller one hung on the bathroom door. That let the three of us organize our bathroom stuff instead of cluttering up the three shelves or leaving things in the tiny shower. We had plenty of space to store our clothes and other items since we hung up as many of our clothes as possible. We stored our large suitcases under the beds so we kept as much floor space open as possible. The showers let you choose a temperature by number so once you figure out your number it is easy to get the temperature just right the next day, even if your kids disagree about the perfect temperature. The ledge in the shower is great for shaving but it does make it difficult to get the shower curtain to close and not hang out of the shower. Of course if the shower curtain is partially open or hanging out of the shower the floor gets very wet. That seemed to be a daily challenge for all three of us. The biggest bathroom challenge was flushing the toilet. I often had to push multiple times. By the end of the trip I was punching the button. The toilets in the public restrooms were much easier to flush. The public toilets can be difficult to find until you get use to the signs (which often made me think there was a handicap restroom only behind the door but in reality behind the door was a set of additional doors leading the regular and handicap restrooms). We enjoyed anytime dining in the Symphony dining room most nights. The food was generally quite good. We had one ho hum night but that was the exception. Breakfasts in horizon were very good. Horizon Bistro is more continental while Horizon Court includes omelets and waffles. Your drinks are brought to the table. We had a dining room breakfast the last day and it was also delicious. We also did room service breakfast a couple times, which was a relaxing way to start our at sea mornings. Our on ship lunches included Horizon, Tridents grill, and Prego pizza. They were all great choices. I like having salad with lunch but the salad bars are separated so it was difficult to find my toppings and put together a salad. We went to Alfredos for lunch one day. The veal ravioli was amazing. The kids enjoyed their pizza and calzone but my daughter ordered a plain cheese calzone because she wasn’t interested in the combinations they offered. We stopped at the International café for snacks a couple of times. The best treats were the virgin mixed drinks the kids and I got addicted to thanks to the unlimited drinks package (be sure to visit Rosalindo outside Princess Live). Others have mentioned the lack of stairs to all floors at midship was a mistake and I agree. I also disliked how the elevators were called. Pushing one up button doesn’t activate all the buttons for that elevator bank. That means people click the buttons for every elevator. They get on the first one that arrives but three more elevators are going to stop there after they are gone. After a few days people grow weary of stopping on floors where nobody is waiting so they start closing the elevators doors as soon as they open without waiting to see if somebody really was waiting. This could all be fixed if pushing one up button triggered them all and as soon as one elevator arrived all the buttons turned off. We went to all four production shows and I loved them all. The singers and dancers are very talented. The pyrotechnics were a surprise. Occasionally the lights from on stage shine into the eyes of the audience though. The sets and costumes were wonderful, especially the roller coaster. The comedian kept bragging about not having a routine but he could have used one. He had his funny moments but he had potential he didn’t explore. The illusionist/mentalist did a nice job with the mentalist show but his illusions were tired. The game shows and trivia hosted by the cruise director’s staff were a highlight of the entertainment. Simon, Tatum, Stephanie, and Armando were helpful as well as funny. The water light show was kinda neat but again the lights shine in your eyes and that can be bothersome. Luckily the light show is short so you can squeeze one in between other activities. We never really watched a movie under the stars, there was too much else to do. We did watch some of those movies in our room later though. This cruise itinerary was perfect for us. We spent three days in London, two in Paris, and one day in Barcelona before getting on the Regal. Our first stop was Toulon. There really wasn’t much to do so my parents stayed on board to rest up for the stops coming up. The kids and I rode the cable car up to a large cat zoo. We used Rome in Limo for our stops in Pisa/Florence, Rome, and Pompeii. After those three busy days in a row a sea day was the perfect respite. The kids and I got off in Mykonos and used a Princess tour to visit Delos. Delos was wonderful but I was displeased that the tour brought us straight back to the ship so I had to pay for a Princess transfer to get into town to visit Mykonos. We again had private tours for Istanbul, Ephesus, and Athens. Our last sea day was just before Venice, our last stop. I was glad we got to do a bit of exploring in Venice and return to the ship for dinner. We disembarked the next morning. It was a smooth process and quick, even though I didn’t want to leave. The people mover isn’t too far from the ship in Venice if you want to explore on your own, which is what we did. I don’t recommend this as a method to disembark if you have much luggage though. You can arrange for a taxi just outside the ship. That was how we got to our hotel and it worked out well. If you get private tours be sure to account for traffic and get back to the ship a bit early. We were always back early, which gave us time to clean up for dinner and avoided the stress of racing back to the ship. I never felt crowded while on board except when I was looking for a chair around the pool on the first sea day. I spent a good deal of time sitting on the chairs on the outside decks on deck seven. I got a bit of sun without the crowds. It was the perfect place to watch the ocean go by and read a bit. I even watched the lines being released once. The outrigger bar at the back of Horizon was also a nice place to sit and watch the ship leave port but it could get very windy. I highly recommend the Regal Princess as well as this Mediterranean route.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I will start with review of Regal, then the trip itself. This was our second cruise, last year we did Island Princess to Alaska. We have traveled to Europe, Israel and throughout the USA so we do have some experience traveling in general. ... Read More
I will start with review of Regal, then the trip itself. This was our second cruise, last year we did Island Princess to Alaska. We have traveled to Europe, Israel and throughout the USA so we do have some experience traveling in general. I loved the idea of waking up everyday in a new port and not having the hassle of packing up and continually moving. I also am not a foody, so I don't care about eating great dinners in foreign countries. Sampling lunches was good enough for me. Keep all this in mind as you decide if this is the trip for you. Comments on Regal. We were had midship balcony on 9th floor. Yes, the balconies are very narrow compared to Alaska cruise, but we didn't care. Loved the room. Plenty of storage in desk and closet, luggage fits under bed, great hairdryer that was tethered to desk,but lighting and mirror were great. We had plenty of outlets for charging. I thought bathroom was great for ship. Well designed and huge sink that you could use to wash out clothes if necessary. Each floor had laundry, but you really had to plan when to use them so I did a lot of handwash because it was so hot each day on our excursions. Agreed with others about stairs and elevators. At least they added the walking track, though you had to go 7 times around to =a mile. I didn't use the gym, it looked crowded at certain times, as expected. They offered Zumba 2x most days and I loved that. Terrific teachers. I loved the adults only Tranquility pool section and would have paid for Sanctuary, but not necessary. Sanctuary reservations filled up immediately, if you are interested in booking. I loved Horizon Court. So many choices and you could walk past the bakery and all the desserts if you really wanted to not be tempted. Plenty of healthy salads and fresh fruits. We thought a big improvement over Alaska ship. Just can't figure out why they don't offer food that represents where you are traveling to like Greek food when we were in Greece. Didn't think Sabatinos was anything special. I heard others loved the Crown grill. Foodys complained about the bland food in general. I thought it was fine. We did anytime dining which was fine. By the 3rd night, there were no crowds. I heard people say this was not the ship for teenagers ( no kidding). I also thought the nightly entertainment offerings were not interesting. Except for Beatles cover band, which was fun, the comedian, or whatever he was, was bland. But, we are early risers and were there for the ports, not the ship, so entertainment was low on our list, but even I would have liked better options. Cruise: July is VERY hot, be prepared,If you are not in good physical shape or are in any way mobility challenged, I would not recommend this trip for you. In all the ports, there are many stairs, uneven surfaces, physical challenges. I don’t know how anyone with a cane got around, let alone a walker. I called this trip Splash & Dash. You aren't going to do in depth touring. Rome and Florence are over an hour from the port and were the most disappointing to me since I had been there before and you just can't do them in a day. We arrived in Barcelona 2 days early, loved it. We stayed extra day in Venice, which I highly recommend. Lots of complaints about disembarkation, confusing for lots of people. We just paid thru Princess to have our luggage dropped off at our hotel while we were shuttled to St. Mark's Square. I was thrilled to see our luggage by 2pm as promised, but there were complaints from other travelers about getting to airport, etc. Also, you do not need Visa for Turkey if you are an American. Lots of misinformation and several people got them, but no one ever asked for them. We did not get them. My husband and I loved this trip as we got a chance to visit so many different countries that we may never get back to again. We booked Princess excursions for each port except Mykonos and Ephesus. In Mykonos we took Princess shuttle to town and walked around. Loved it , needed more time there. Ephesus we booked private excursion for 4. Excellent since it was so hot, it was nice to not be with a big crowd. I thought all the Princess Excursions were excellent. The guides were outstanding. I didn't mind being with 40 others and met some nice people. I might consider more private tours in the future only because they are often cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We just returned back from Europe after sailing a 7 night western Mediterranean cruise. This was only our 4th cruise so we can only compare the Regal against the Royal Caribbean Oasis/Liberty and Carnival Legend. A little about ourselves - ... Read More
We just returned back from Europe after sailing a 7 night western Mediterranean cruise. This was only our 4th cruise so we can only compare the Regal against the Royal Caribbean Oasis/Liberty and Carnival Legend. A little about ourselves - we are a couple in our mid 30's with a toddler. We enjoy new experiences and like to try different cruise lines. This was also the first time we cruised with Princess so we were not sure what to expect. The main reason we chose this cruise was the itinerary and the fact that the ship is brand new. The Good 1. Food was a lot better on Regal than any other previous ship we have been on. We enjoyed it a lot. 2. Liked how they did not nickel and dime us as much as they do on the other cruise lines. For example, bought a soda at dinner and since it was a fountain drink, they gave me free refills. The employees also go the extra mile in hopes of more gratuities like giving an extra plate of lobster. 3. Embarkation and Disembarking were super easy. We never had to wait long and even port tenders took only 5 minutes. 4. Our cruise had 3,000+ passengers but never felt crowded. This was my biggest complaint on Royal & Carnival. We never really had to wait for anything while on the ship. 5. Princess has a dedicated person onboard that provides information about each port. His lectures are also available on Video on Demand in your room. Good for people that want to save some money and do excursions by themselves. 6. Best Video on Demand system I have experienced on a cruise ship. Lots of movies. My son was thoroughly entertained but I had to watch Lego the Movie multiple times and sing "Everything is AWESOME". However, it was only good when it worked. 7. Elevators are much faster than other ships. 8. The ship is beautiful and the artwork/photography is much nicer than some other ships. Not so good 1. This is an age 50+ cruise with most activities and entertainment aimed towards them. 2. I would not recommend staying at the front of the ship as almost all food options are either in the aft or middle of ship. Needless to say we walked back and forth a lot. 3. Went to both specialty dining restaurants and they were both good but not spectacular 4. Did not like how the buffet was designed. Everything has it’s own section but since there are multiple stations of the same things, many times you had to pass the same food twice to find new food. 5. Shows were not very good at all. During the first show, they singled out all the 50+ years of marriage people and sang songs for them. 6. Spa was ok but did not like the heavy upsell of products. Instead of trying to sell you one bottle of lotion, they try to sell you a 2 month supply! Come on. I'm just there to relax. Also, my wife felt taken advantage of as she had a spa treatment on 2nd day of cruise for $199 for 75mins. On the 6th and 7th day of cruise, I had 60min treatment for $99. 7. My standard balcony cabins was smaller than the equivalent of other cruises. As a result, it did not have a sofa. 8. The biggest issue is the design of the flow of the ship. The passenger flow was just not smooth. For instance, our dining hall was on level 6 aft. However, you cannot reach it if you are on level 6 coming from the front. You have to go up to level 7 then go back down to level 6. 9. Video on Demand would always freak out at night. Never got an explanation but I believe it just could not handle too many people watching at the same time. This also meant that we could not watch regular tv either. At the end, my wife and I enjoyed the cruise very much. But being in our 30’s with a child, there are probably better options for us. We won't give up on Princess just yet but will have to try other cruise lines before returning. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Emerald Princess is a large ship (113,000 tons) carrying around 3,100 passengers but we all felt the waves cruising in and out of Southampton in May 2014. Having booked back to back cruises, we can report that it was not a "one ... Read More
Emerald Princess is a large ship (113,000 tons) carrying around 3,100 passengers but we all felt the waves cruising in and out of Southampton in May 2014. Having booked back to back cruises, we can report that it was not a "one off" either, so we were glad not to be on the car ferry to Bilbao this time. A delayed get away and rough seas meant we arrived 3 hours late in Barcelona because the Captain needed to reduce speed to lesson the rock and roll. At one stage the use of tenders at St Peter Port seemed in doubt but it all worked out fine and we were able to join the island’s Liberation Day celebrations on 9th May. THE SHIP We liked the atmosphere on the Emerald Princess but must admit that we prefer the Diamond Princess and the smaller Ocean Princess that we experienced last year. Layout is not as good as the smaller ships, like Sea Princess, as there is only one theatre area and the Explorer's Bar was too small to cope with secondary shows. The Fusion Bar at the stern seemed under used and we believe that it would also have been a better place for the rather intrusive art sales. With the theatre at the front of the ship and our preferred Botticelli dining room at the stern, we had plenty of exercise walking between these and other venues. In poor weather the open upper decks could not be used and lower decks became very crowded. DINING We opted for fixed dining at 8.15 pm because 6.15 is too early and anytime dining is a bit of a lottery in terms of dining companions. Most bars were over-crowded by the time we had finished eating and the late show did not start until 10.45, resulting in time to kill and late nights. FOOD AND DRINK Food quality was consistently good but wines are over priced. Food presentation standards were good but meals can be quite leisurely, especially at breakfast. Meals on the formal nights were particularly good. My wife and I enjoyed a meal in the Crab Shack one evening. There was a USD 20 each surcharge and the surroundings were nothing special but the crab was really tasty, albeit enough for four hungry people. The pub lunch in the Wheelhouse seemed popular but we did not try it as we prefer to find something lighter in the restaurant, on sea days, even if it takes a little longer. We only used the busy Horizon buffet a couple of times. The International Cafe is a great addition but is poorly located in the piazza area, where there was inadequate seating. We would have liked to use the facility on several occasions but found it impossible to find anywhere to sit. With so many Brits on board, afternoon tea proved to be very popular, especially on sea days. It should really be a leisurely experience but the waiters tended to rush in with little sandwiches, cakes and scones all at the same time with no real guidance from their managers. SERVICE AND STAFF Service was always friendly and efficient with many of the hard working staff from the Philippines. Staff managers were, however, universally miserable and inefficient. TOURS AND SHUTTLES We normally avoid the overpriced tours and prefer the DIY approach, having done some prior research on the Internet. We did, however, opt for the travel and On Your Own trips to Bordeaux and Florence, which were OK. Ships of this size often have to dock in container ports, which tend to be remote and unattractive. In Marseilles, Princess charged USD 16 for a short shuttle ride and left many passengers waiting for more than an hour in the rain. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment quality was variable, ranging from poor to very good. Princess show productions had been cut back to 35 minutes but were well produced. Kelvin Joy, the Cruise Director, is still telling the same old jokes from his days on Sea Princess. Activities on sea days were very limited and often poorly timed. The locations for many activities were around the pool areas, which became difficult during the bad weather we experienced. Lectures were very limited and the port lectures lacked practical information, being mainly slides of buildings etc. We enjoyed several Spanish lessons, with a charming Mexican Lass. Trivia quizzes seem ever popular, as was line dancing. The only sail away party, from Gibraltar, was fun but Princess had skimped on the flags and not provided any streamers. Even the drinks at the Captain's Circle lacked alcohol. SUMMARY Princess remains our favourite cruise line but we will try to avoid heading south from Southampton in future. With most of the passengers being Brits, it resembled P & O rather than our preferred mix of English speaking nationalities.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
After pouring through countless itineraries and ship comparisons, our extended family (8 members) decided to plan our summer trip onboard the brand new Regal Princess. Having sailed on Princess before, I knew they would be able to ... Read More
After pouring through countless itineraries and ship comparisons, our extended family (8 members) decided to plan our summer trip onboard the brand new Regal Princess. Having sailed on Princess before, I knew they would be able to accommodate our mix of first time cruisers and seasoned travelers. I also knew that being it was only the second sailing for this ship, there would be a few hiccups. Both of these aspects were correct. Overall, the ship is lovely. Classic Princess style. Spacious, airy and even at almost full capacity, never feeling crowded. There was always a deck chair available during the day (even at sea) and at night during the Movies under the Stars. The public spaces were decorated tastefully and also always offered plenty of seating. The staterooms were definitely photographed with a wide-angle lens on the website, but are still roomy enough for two adults to maneuver without tripping over each other. The stateroom balconies are a little more narrow however. Great for sitting upright or standing. The dining options were perfect for the length of our cruise. While we mostly ate in the Concerto dining room (anytime dining) we also tried Alfredo's as well as Sabatini's ($25 cover charge). All venues offered a nice range of dishes that accommodated our parties' various requirements (vegetarian, non-dairy, etc) and the food was good. The Horizon Court/Bistro (buffet) was pretty large and offered a lot of food, however we all found it to be typical of a cruise line buffet... food often warmed-over and heat-lamp dried out. This was also the one area that always seemed manic and ill-designed. You're bound to have someone step on you or push you out of the way for that shrimp cocktail. The service was good, but not great and this is where a new ship will always suffer. The right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing and it caused a few headaches. For instance, some of the dining room staff was not fully educated on the Ultimate drink package (which allows unlimited alcohol and drinks) and overpromised what was included and what wasn't... specialty coffee and gelato. We found out the hard way after being charged for both when we had purchased the package. Next, when we had booked our cruise, we received a special deal through Princess which included a complimentary bottle of wine, 8x10 photograph, complimentary shore excursion and a $200 per stateroom onboard credit. However, this was completely disorganized. There was never a voucher in our rooms or any notation describing how to receive the wine. After a few trips to the Guest Services desk, we learned the voucher for the photo was to be handed to our dining room server for the wine. Makes sense, right? The biggest problem came during our call to Dubrovnik. At the last minute the ship's time at port was moved back a few hours and due to cruise ship congestion (though we didn't see any other ships) we had to tender ashore. Because it was noon and everyone was out and about and eager to disembark, it literally took hours to get off of the ship. We had to use the ship's lifeboats as tenders which resulted in overcrowding and frustration for some of the passengers. However, as Dubrovnik is such a wonderful port, I'm sure most of the passengers saw it as a small price for admission. As these were not huge problems which certainly didn't damper the trip, I would recommend Princess and especially this ship. I'm sure in a few weeks once all of the kinks are worked out it will be an exceptional addition to the fleet. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
General insight I am late 30's, my spouse is mid 40's. This outing was to praise our 15 year celebration and it was our first time to Europe. The #1 recommendation I would provide for anybody on an outing like this is to do your ... Read More
General insight I am late 30's, my spouse is mid 40's. This outing was to praise our 15 year celebration and it was our first time to Europe. The #1 recommendation I would provide for anybody on an outing like this is to do your exploration and arrange a long ways ahead keeping in mind the end goal to make the most out of each day - one day in a major European city obliges much development arranging and a choice making about what is imperative to you to see. We felt like this was a stupendous approach to see Europe surprisingly and would propose it to anybody. It was positively an outing of a lifetime and empowered us to get the kind of a considerable measure of distinctive nations in one shot. We did private visits in every port except 1 and unquestionably feel this is the best approach to make the most out of your excursion. We had immaculate climate - it was high 70's with a slight breeze and not a cloud in sight consistently yet one. We felt so blessed to have this stunning climate in the first place of May (the excursion was May 2 - 18). Flights & precruise in Barcelona We flew Air France out of LAX through Paris to Barcelona and again by means of Paris back home from Venice. I had heard flying through Paris was a bad dream however that wasn't our experience - our flights advancing and going were on time and agreeable and the administration was remarkable and the nourishment was even great and all baggage made it securely - phew! We stayed 2 nights at the Le Meridien Barcelona precruise. It was a flawless area on Las Ramblas and exceptionally agreeable and we had marvelous administration. We had 2 full days in Barcelona and feel like we scarcely touched the most superficial layer. We could have effectively used a week there. Barcelona ended up being one of our most loved stops of the whole excursion. The principal day we took a 2 hours strolling voyage through the Gothic Quarter - this was a brilliant approach to begin our time in the city and we took in a great deal about the historical backdrop of old Barcelona. Completely delighted in this visit and it was extremely modest. After our strolling visit we went to the Picasso Museum, then Citadel Park, then meandered through the Gothic Quarter all alone and obviously halted for tapas and sangria in the later evening to show our feet an a bit of mercy. Later that night we went to see the enchantment wellsprings at Montjuic. This was, exceptionally extraordinary and an absolute necessity see in Barcelona in case you're there overnight! One of the highlights for us. Don't miss it! Day 2 in Barcelona was used in the Eixample District. We saw all the Gaudi sights. All were, exceptionally gathered so we simply took pictures to them from the road and didn't draw near up. We did go into Parc Guell which was well worth the trouble. Exceptionally interesting range with delightful city sees. Likewise an unquestionable requirement see! We had bought an one day pass for the HOHO transport however every time we attempted to get on it the hold up was 30 to 60 minutes so we generally wound up surrendering and strolling (we abhor lines!!). In the event that I were to go again I would likely simply skip out on the HOHO transport and walk all around or hail a taxicab on the off chance that I get excessively tired. I'm not certain in the event that we simply hit the HOHO transport on a terrible day (there were bunches of boats in port). Possibly its not generally like that. Before heading to the boat we went to take out some money at an ATM on the Ramblas. Our card was consumed up and we couldn't get it back. Thankfully we had an auxiliary ATM card. Verify you have a reinforcement plan for getting money! We sheets the boat at around 4 PM. Embarkation took around 10 minutes. We took a taxi from the inn and it was a snap. The boat - Ruby Princess Wow - what a magnificence! This was our 6the Princess journey and this boat was the most noteworthy as such. This voyage was so port serious that we felt we scarcely got to appreciate all the sublime luxuries installed. At the same time what we did use we couldn't have been more content with. The staff was perfect - the best administration we've ever had installed Princess (its constantly great yet this was silly). The matire d' inn, Generoso Mazzione, was a flat out diamond. He and his staff gave careful consideration to each point of interest and went by a long shot past any administration I would ever expect on a boat with 3,000 travelers. The nourishment was general the best sustenance we have ever had on a journey. After quite a while, for a long time, the sustenance was flawless. We had at whatever time eating and the head server, Godwin, had the same table for 2 held for us in the Da Vinci lounge area consistently paying little mind to what time we appeared. Our server, Grisana, turned into our companion. We were sufficiently blessed to appreciate the Chef's Table one night. It has been generally covered as of now so I won't be excess yet suffice it say it was one of the best suppers we have ever had (and we're significant foodies) and the VIP treatment that accompanies the experience is so over the top that we simply couldn't trust it. We will never, ever overlook that uncommon night! Positively a highlight of the outing. We didn't see as much stimulation as we ordinarily do since we were so depleted during the evening. We did figure out how to get each of the 3 Broadway style shows and they were all great - Once Upon a Dream was absolute extraordinary. So imaginative and special - the best show we've ever seen on a voyage deliver by a wide margin! Don't miss it! We had an overhang stateroom on the Baja deck. We initially had an inside lodge in light of the fact that we were supposing we'd scarcely associate with enough to appreciate an overhang so why pay for it? We reconsidered it a couple of months before the trek and I am so happy we did! Toward the end of every day we were so depleted and emptied we were so content to have a pleasant room and overhang to unwind in! Well worth the additional cash - particularly for a journey this long. One other paramount thing - Ultimate Balcony Dining. We did this the night in the wake of cruising far from Istanbul. Wow - what an experience! The greatest lobster tail we've ever had and the filet was incredible as well. Not one or the other of could complete our supper which just about never happens (we're enormous eaters!). I very propose this experience - genuinely exceptional inside and out. As it would turn out we had a mind blowing nightfall that night as well. The 2 servers even came in and sang "Glad Anniversarywith a cake and a light. They were so sweet! It was the ideal approach to end an amazing day and we would do it again in a moment. From that point we headed to Positano. Everything I can say is - WOW! You approach the town from above and the auto can just go to the highest point of town. From that point you can just stroll as you wind through the shops and exhibitions and head towards the ocean. There is a sure enchantment or persona to this place that it is tricky to portray - an unquestionably must see on the Amalfi Coast! We plan to retreat sometime and stay for a couple of days. In the wake of leaving Positano as we were slowing down the street Fabrizio stops and there's a man remaining out and about that hands him something. We are pondering what on the planet is going on. Fabrizio them hands the bundle to me and lets me know its a blessing. I open it and its a plate with a hand painted plan and lemons on it and it says "Amalfi Drive 2009" and has my name at the base. What an exceptional, keen touch. I will dependably treasure that plate and the memories of this extraordinary day. From that point Fabrizio took us to La Tagliata for Lunch. It sits high up in the mountain, ignoring Positano and the ocean. The moment we sat down (there were 6 in our gathering) - they began bringing sustenance and wine. We had NONE - yes NINE - antipasti, then 5 separate pastas and all the red or white wine we could drink. At that point they brought 7 sweets and shots of limoncello for all. This was presumably the second best feast we had on our trek (after the Chianti winery) and we were stunned when the bill came and it was just $25 every individual. At home a dinner like that would have been at any rate $50 every individual. This restaurant has stunning perspectives and the administration and mindfulness from the staff is first rate. What an unbelievable experience! Presently it was time to head to Pompeii. We can't say enough in regards to how inspired we were with Pompeii. We paid the extra expenses for an authorized aide (I exceptionally prescribe this!!). He was additionally named Fabrizio and he was a pleasure. We adapted so much and completely delighted in this look into first century Roman life. Pompeii is not to be missed. It was extraordinary going tin the evening in light of the fact that it wasn't jammed in any way. Our aide said the first a large portion of the day you can scarcely get around its so packed. When we returned to the auto Fabrizio #1 had a pizza holding up for us. He had heard us speaking prior about how we needed to make sure to attempt a pizza from Naples since that is the place it was developed. This was an alternate mindful, individual touch that truly awed us. I can't say enough in regards to Fabrizio and his kind attitude. He made a special effort to make our day unique and he succeeded. I would enlist him again without a second thought. Ocean day Kid we were prepared for this. The weariness was truly setting in. We had perused how tired you are on this outing however nothing could have set us up for this level of weariness. I rested in til 10 AM, my spouse dozed till 1 PM. I got a pedicure (which was so-along these lines, not about on a par with the spa pedis I get at home). We sat by the pool for several hours then slept. It was truly decent to restore and get up to speed no rest. We required it! Mykonos This port was a pleasant preoccupation - easy, shoreline y, simple. This was an awesome approach to investigate the island. We rode everywhere and completed the day at Stefanos Beach directly before where the boat was docked. An exquisite island and bunches of delightful shorelines. I exceedingly prescribe leasing a quad or moped so you can investigate all alone. We got lost several times which was a large portion of the fun. The island is little so its not difficult to discover your direction in the event that you get turned around. We felt totally protected on the quad. We leased 1 and rode on it together. Istanbul Since we were in Istanbul on a Monday we needed to take a boats visit on the off chance that we needed to see the Hagia Sofia. We reluctantly needed the "Best of Istanbul" visit and trusted generally advantageous. We were charmingly shocked. It was not awful whatsoever. Our aide was fabulous and we didn't feel like we were in a cows group like I had dreaded. I conversed with other individuals who took this same visit on an alternate transport and they said it was a completely bad dream. I surmise that end result is - when you take a boats visit in a city like this present its an unpredictable mess. A great deal relies on upon the aide and the timing of your arriving at specific locales. We delighted in our day all that much and were so glad to have the capacity to see the Hagia Sofia. I read some place else that somebody was extremely "disappointed" by it - I figure everybody is different......because it was the highlight of the day for us. The historical backdrop of that building is so amazing and to see the Muslim and Christian relics side by side is truly something. I would characterize this as an unquestionable requirement see. We likewise went by the Blue Mosque - wow - what a delightful and exceptional spot of love. We then headed to Topkapi Palace where we visited the castle, then had an extremely delectable lunch in a gorgeous restaurant disregarding the water, then visited the Harem. Don't miss the Harem! It is a captivating investigate the life of the sultans and their families. After the Harem we had about an hour in the Grand Bazaar. A truly fun experience - I felt an hour was bounty - its sort of the same 10 shops rehashed again and again. We were prepared to pursue an hour. We got somewhat lost and turned out the wrong passageway - the spot is immense! We had some transitory frenzy as it was getting closer to the time to get together with our gathering, yet we discovered our direction and got together with 2 minutes to extra. Near fiasco!! This was an extremely essential day - Istanbul is a captivating city and completely delightful! Simply strolling over to Topkapi Palace from the Hagia Sofia was flawless - excellent boutique inns, some recently revamped lofts -, extremely beguiling. We are so content we had the chance to visit such an extraordinary and captivating city. Ephesus Visit manages in Turkey are extremely reasonable so we chose to do a private visit here with simply the 2 of us. We utilized EKOL visits and had Ozgur as our aide. It was decent to have a private visit and Ozgur was an enjoyment and was exceptionally educated. We were shocked to find that Kusadasi is a totally delightful, current port. We had the capacity meander around there for several hours after out visit - we did some shopping and sat down for a brew at a waterside bistro. I very propose permitting time to use in Kusadasi itself. It is lovely and the individuals were inviting. Our visit took us to Mary's home, Ephesus and the Terrace Houses, and the tomb of St. John. Old Ephesus was so great and we felt the Terrace Houses are an unquestionable requirement see. They are even now uncovering there and you wouldn't accept how overall protected everything is! Ephesus generally was a standout amongst the most noteworthy locales from the entire outing. We are understudies of the Bible so it truly implied a great deal to us to see in individual a territory that is regularly said in the Bible. Regardless of the fact that you aren't a Bible understudy, I can't envision anybody not being inspired with this aged city. Having a private visit was the best approach - we landed at each site around 30 minutes in front of all the huge transports so the swarms weren't excessively terrible. It was incredible to get at our own pace since it was simply the 2 of us. The topography around there was wonderful - moving green slopes down to the ocean - it helped us a great deal to remember home (southern CA). Athens We imparted a visit to 8 different parts of our move call we utilized Paul, Paul was exceptionally decent and was educational. We were shocked at how grimy Athens is - there was a considerable measure of graffiti all over. This was one of minimum most loved urban areas. We went by the Acropolis and all its locales, then went to the National Archeological Museum. Thereafter we had a couple of hours to meander the Plaka and we utilized that time to eat there as well. After that we investigated the aged Roman & Greek agoras - both interesting and gorgeous and worth seeing! The National Archeological Museum was the highlight of the day for us. Exceptionally amazing gathering. We just had an hour there and wished we had longer to investigate the numerous fortunes. The shopping in the Plaka was so-so - heaps of garbage and we could have utilized less time there. We did have a brilliant lunch there at one of the tavernas. We sat outside and appreciated viewing all the hussle and bussle. It was a welcome break on the grounds that it was extremely hot that day! Ocean Day An alternate welcome split to apparatus up for our 3 day Venice party! What's more excellent climate to boot. We used the entire day on a parlor just outside the asylum - so quiet and calm! We snoozed on and off. An extraordinary, incredible day! Venice Cruising into Venice was very much a site to view. This was the main overcast day of our outing yet even that didn't hose the fervor of our sail-in. We stayed on or overhang - I heard it was extremely gathered on the upper decks. We were upbeat to be as an afterthought of the ship that cruised by St. Marks. What a paramount approach to see Venice surprisingly - from the water! They had the Andrea Bocelli music paying up on deck furthermore had it funneled in through the television so we had the capacity turn it on I the lodge and listen to it on deck. It was genuinely supernatural and satisfied the buildup! Our boat cruised in at 1 and we had a visit lined up at 2 PM alongside 6 other move call parts. We were gotten by a water taxi and had a 1 hour Grand Canal visit emulated by a 3 hour strolling visit. We utilized: www.vivatuscanytours.com Our aide, Sabine, was so enthusiastic about Venice! Our property visit began at St. Mark's Basilica. In the wake of going inside we then started a voyage through the out of the way regions .This was amazing! We saw where Venetians really live and adapted such a great amount about the historical backdrop of the city. We never would have discovered any of these spots all alone. It was a staggering prologue to the city. After the visit we all went our different ways. We shopped a bit then headed towards the boat. We got lost and it took a few hours to at last make it there. We were wiped out! The following morning was disembarkation day. We picked to land toward oneself and it was an outright breeze! We were among the leading the boat and an alternate part of our move call had orchestrated a private water taxi for 6 of us. The taxi dropped them off at their lodging with their gear then dropped us and our baggage off. We stayed at the Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo, simply a short distance from the St. Stae vaporetto stop. Cherished everything about it - including the area and cost! They invited us with open arms despite the fact that we landed at the lodging at 8:30 AM. They welcomed us in for breakfast. We had some espresso and got our orientation and took off for the Secret Itineraries visit at the Doge's Palace. We took as much time as required getting there since it wasn't until after 11. We took the lift to the highest point of the campanile at St. Mark's Square - extraordinary perspectives! It was early enough in the morning so there was not hold up to go up. Great timing! The Secret Itineraries visit was magnificent! I exceptionally propose it. The Doge's Palace itself is truly something as well. After our visit we meandered around there a bit. We could have invested additional time there however we were getting eager. Off we went to Cafe Florian for lunch and obviously champagne! Sitting there in St. Mark's Square with the music of the ensembles shipping champagne...wow! Dreams to work out as expected. It was stunning. We then headed to our inn where our sacks had as of now been conveyed in our room. We cooled it for the evening and ate at a bistro close to the Rialto Bridge. It was a critical dinner with incredible perspectives and fabulous people viewing! The accompanying day we went to the Accademia - exceptionally noteworthy! I had prereserved tickets with a particular door time. It turned out it wasn't required - there was no line. However you never know. Thereafter we had pizza and lager at the pizza put close by the Accademia span - YUM! We simply continued saying :" I can't accept we're truly here!" From there we visited Ca' Rezonnico - which we truly enjoyed.....we paid the extra expense for the sound visit which was well worth the trouble. For supper we went close to the St. Mark's square zone to a restaurant that Generoso had suggested to us - magnificent feast and a tremendous approach to end our outing! It was called Centrale Bar and Lounge. Cautioning - its not modest! Venice is such an otherworldly place - we had, exclusive standards and they were surpassed. It wound up being our most loved city by and large from the entire outing and we can hardly wait to backtrack. It is dissimilar to whatever other spot we've ever been, and I would envision, not at all like wherever on earth. What a flawless spot to end this get-away of a lifetime! The ports: Monaco We had a visit with Michele at: www.revelationtours.com We went to St. Paul de Vence, then drove through Nice on the best approach to Eze, then completed the day in Monte Carlo. We imparted the visit to 6 different parts of our move call. Both SP de Vence & Eze were unfathomable - two towns that time appears to have quite recently passed by. We altogether delighted in them both yet in the event that you can just see one I think I would pick Eze - simply marginally additionally enchanting and a bit less packed. In any case either one is phenomenal and we were so glad we got to invest time in each of them. Pleasant was simply OK - I'm happy we didn't invest whenever there. We live in Southern CA and it felt a considerable measure like home to us. We appreciated our time in Monte Carlo. We went inside the church building and strolled around the clubhouse range and after that through the recreation center close to the house of God which is simply gorgeous. Michele was marvelous - extremely adaptable with our calendar (we had some disarray with our ship's docking time) and he was likewise exceptionally enlightening - we took in a ton about the historical backdrop of the region, and so on. We truly appreciated having him as our aide. He additionally took us to a couple of post focuses with unimaginable perspectives where we got some of our best pictures of the entire outing. Of every last one of ports, Monaco was the one we were minimum amped up for before the excursion - however in the wake of going there we felt in an unexpected way. This was an, exceptionally important day and we totally adored the region and it is positively interesting inside and out. We'd go there again instant. Livorno We visited with Guido from: www.tuscanyinmypocket.com We can't say enough in regards to the day we had with Guido. I really got passionate saying farewell to him - that is the extent to which he touched our heart. He made this day extraordinary and critical all around. He was brought up in Florence and all over we went individuals we blaring and waving at him like he possessed the spot. He would pull us up to the entryway of each one noteworthy site - directly into the square in the midst of swarms of individuals - and get is into the locales with no line. We felt like Vips. It was insane. His insight into the area is just dumbfounding, and his enthusiasm for his home lives up to expectations in all that he says. We used the first 50% of the day in Florence. There's such a great amount to see there - we required 3 days! We did see the first David - an absolute necessity see as I would see it. Totally psyche blowing - the size, the subtle element. We will always remember it. We obviously went to the duomo and invested a little time in the zone around it. We additionally went to Santa Croce house of prayer and saw the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, and so forth. We cherished everything about Florence. An enormous city with a residential area feel. Without a doubt on our rundown of spots to come back to! After Florence we went to Chianti. Guido took us to a family claimed winery called Montagliari. We sat outside neglecting the vineyards and had the best feast of the whole outing at the winery. Caprese w/ natively constructed mozzarella and home-become tomatoes, custom made pasta with wild pig sauce, wads of spinach with gorgonzola sauce, and Italian crusty fruit-filled treat, all joined by a container of Chianti obviously! After lunch we visited the wine holes and the balsameria where they age the balsamic vinegar, then we completed with wine tasting in the tasting room. The winery and encompassing territory were unbelievably delightful - green and lavish all over you looked. The neighborliness at the winery was over the top - we had a feeling that we were at somebody's home. This day was one we will always remember. It was exceptional all around and meeting Guido was one of the highlights of the whole excursion. I can't say enough in regards to him and about this visit. Civitavecchia We utilized: www.limoinrome.com We went along with another person's visit from our move call. There were 8 of us. Our driver was simply OK. He was decent yet never let out the slightest peep after we got into the van as we were heading to Rome. I had an inclination that I didn't learn almost as much this day as we could have. He appeared to be more like a driver than an aide. He simply sort of dropped us off at destinations and we were forgotten to figure it all alone. We saw all the must-see locales: Circus Maximus, Palatine Hill, Colesseum, Pantheon Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Forum, and so forth. One spot we went that is not as common is the Basilica of Sao Paulo. This was presumably the most wonderful church we saw in Italy. Also on the grounds that its somewhat out of the way it wasn't packed. I exceedingly prescribe going to this congregation. It additionally has the remaining parts of Peter and the genuine chains that he wore when detained. Extremely great building. In the wake of dashing from site to site we got a brisk sandwich and afterward got together with our authorized history specialist at the Vatican for a 2 hour visit. I can't envision going by the Vatican without an aide. It is so huge and there's such a great amount to see and learn - we would have been lost without her. She was a dynamite aide and this was doubtlessly the highlight of the day. All that we saw at the Vatican Museums knocked our socks off yet the Sistine Chapel is in a class all its own. Don't miss this! Naples Our aide was Fabrizio Fiorinelli at: www.amalfi-drive.com This was a staggering day and a decent change in pace in the wake of running worn out throughout the day in Rome. Fabrizio was so expert and sweet and provided for us marvelous foundation on the range without talking excessively. We first went to Sorrento. Wow - what a spot! The appeal and the lemons all around - simply a truly extraordinary, exceptional little town. We went to the Limonoro Limoncello Factory for some tasting and obviously exited with 2 packs of buys. They are so neighborly in there and when I inquired as to whether I could take a picture of the fellow making the limoncello he welcomed me to come in and be in the picture with him, holding the flask just as I were making it. Simply a fun, cheerful spot! We had around 90 minutes to stroll around and investigate the alcoves and corners of this uncommon Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
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