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113 Princess Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We did the Eastern med cruise September 2012, on the Crown Princess, one of the ports I wanted to visit was Rhodes, but because of operational problems we could not dock, so I saw the Eastern Med cruise again for 19th September that ... Read More
We did the Eastern med cruise September 2012, on the Crown Princess, one of the ports I wanted to visit was Rhodes, but because of operational problems we could not dock, so I saw the Eastern Med cruise again for 19th September that included Rhodes again And Crete that I also wanted to see, the night before we were due to dock we got a letter to day our excursion to a beach on Rhodes had been cancelled, I was a sleep in the cabin and by the time my husband brought the letter in to show me the shore excursion desk was closed, so no Rhodes again, this was not the ships fault but the third party excursion company's fault partly, I asked the person on the shore excursion desk was it because of lack of interest or the weather report, she so no the trip was full so I said could she let me know why and I was told no. The next evening the weather became a problem for the captain, so he announced that we would not leave Rhodes until the early hours of the morning. Our trip in Crete the next day was at 7.00am so my husband set the alarm for 5.30am, he went down to the desk and said will we be going to Crete and was told yes, Approximately 6.30 to 7.00am the Captain said we would not be going to Crete we would have an extra day at sea, we where not the only people saying we could of had at least 6 hours in Crete, so why did it take 2 days at sea to get to Naples ??? Was it because of the extra port charges in Rhodes that he could not then pay for Crete port charges. What has made this so dissapointing is the fact that due to a health problem, this was my last cruise and the 2 places I really wanted to see. So thank you Captain for the dissapointmemt !!! The cruise on the ship was very nice food service every where was very good. As for the entertainment what entertainment !! The best night was the crews show. Sorry Princess that was my final !!? Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We decided to do a cruise of the med for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and to be honest we were both not really looking forward to it as didn't know what to expect as used to relaxing on holiday and this was a port heavy cruise. We ... Read More
We decided to do a cruise of the med for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and to be honest we were both not really looking forward to it as didn't know what to expect as used to relaxing on holiday and this was a port heavy cruise. We stayed in Barcelona for 2 night before embarkation, with arranged taxi from the airport and the hotel and on disembarkation which was really efficient. The Hotel was upgraded as we wanted to be in the centre of Barcelona. On embarking we didn't get the wow factor we expected and the ships top deck looked tired and old. The outside cabin was on deck 5 and perfect as close to disembarking at ports, it met our needs, was clean and tidy and our steward was absolutely fantastic. We chose late traditional dinning which was something we were nervous about but it proved a great experience, a table of six with a couple and 2 female friends. Although a lot older than us we got on really well, they had lots of cruise experiences between them. The waiter was good and once I started to ask for recommendations my meals were really good, I made a few bad choices for steak. We ate in the buffet in the evening of formal nights as these were sea days which we wanted to relax and had really good food again. We had breakfast in our cabin most mornings as it was easier before trips and always arrived a minute before the time slot ordered. When used the pizza restaurant during one sea day which was a nice experience and it was empty at 12 midday, we liked the pizza on deck as well. The burgers on deck were not to our liking. Due to our dining time it was not easy to get to shows as they started at 10:15 to fit in with late dinning and we didn't always finish before then, if we wanted to go the show we told the waiter and he would make sure we were finished, but generally we didn't want to rush. We saw two different comedians and a magician all of which we enjoyed. I was expecting to see some shows but the one night we planned to go we couldn't get a seat. We did most of the quizzes which were mainly based around the discovery channel programs, but we enjoyed this and got to see similar faces each time. I also took part in the dance classes which were fun. We did the star gazing on top deck, but standing looking at the stars was not easy would have been better on sun loungers, also there was a lot of unnecessary information. There was less activities than expected but we put this down to the smaller size ship. The jewellery shop is a waste of space and the staff not pleasant, we had a gift we had to collect and we laughed at as when collect it was $200 off gold items. We were given champagne and chocolates as a present from my mother but these arrived as vouchers which we had to exchange, she was told they would be waiting in our cabin so not as special as she had expected. We planned trips at most ports with cruise excursions but planned to stay on board and relax when in Toulon and Kusadasi, where we felt we had the ship to ourselves. We booked trips as we thought this cruise would provide us with the opportunity to see a lot of places which we did and thoroughly enjoyed. The drinks were an issue as used to all inclusive holidays although had a soda package for myself, my husband didn't as due to heavy port stops wouldn't have been good value. We had cocktails which were good and made use of the happy hours. In summary we enjoyed our cruise but would have liked to have been with more people our own age 48 and 51 as most people were 70+ although young at heart. We came to like the ship due to its classic feel and size having gazed at others in port. Very efficient at ports and all staff were really friendly and helpful. Not decided on whether we would do another! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We sailed on the Emerald from Istanbul to Rome. This was our 2nd cruise having sailed on the Ocean Princess last year. First, embarking was a breeze. Took us about 30 minutes. We stayed in Istanbul a couple of days before getting on the ... Read More
We sailed on the Emerald from Istanbul to Rome. This was our 2nd cruise having sailed on the Ocean Princess last year. First, embarking was a breeze. Took us about 30 minutes. We stayed in Istanbul a couple of days before getting on the ship. If you have concerns about Istanbul, don't. What a beautiful city. We set sail at night. The ship is beautiful. Our room was a perfect size with nice closet space. We were on Caribe deck C515 with a very large balcony. 4 chairs and a table. Perfect. Dinner was the 2nd seating and Na was our server. She was brilliant and the food was consistently good. I only had one meal that was not great. They tend to cook beef longer so Americans beware on medium vs. medium rare. The nightlife was ok. The Skywalker Lounge was large but the DJ kept playing annoying pop music that was not appropriate to the age of the people that were in the room. He did not seem to care. The other venues were great. Don't miss the Fish and Chips lunch during the cruise. Best lunch on the ship!! Used the Sancuary and this is certainly worth the extra $$ when you are a day at sea. Very relaxing. Ports of call - Mykonos - wow - Malta (go to Mdina) - Sicily (go to Taromina) Naples (go to Capri) and finally Rome. We did some of the excursions but they were very long days. Next time, we may just do our own thing. Also - note that the internet connection was very poor and expensive. Unplug and unwind. You know you had a good cruise when you are already looking to book your next cruise. Enjoy the Emerald! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Embarkation was a bit fraught as the staff ignored any priority stickers and still sent you to the long line instead of the correct one. Ignored her and went to Priority everything went well. Nice room - poor steward She was almost ... Read More
Embarkation was a bit fraught as the staff ignored any priority stickers and still sent you to the long line instead of the correct one. Ignored her and went to Priority everything went well. Nice room - poor steward She was almost invisible and could not make a bed to save her life. She was great at pass the buck [- contact housekeeping - she would say for anything you asked. Not that this spoilt our cruise we just ignored the problems and sorted them ourselves We had a traditional late sitting table and a nice group of diners except on lady would ALWAYS come 10 minutes late which made getting to entertainments more difficult. The meet and greet was a hoot Not a great many of the promised roll call members turned up but those who did really enjoyed the visit of 15 of the top officers including Captain and first officer (with his little girl) and the CD. They stayed for about 1.25 hours and talked one to one with everyone there Such a friendly group. Thereafter during the cruise they would recognise us and use our names when greeting us. The first two weeks we had a pair of waiters who did not know their jobs and insisted on stretched across anyone who was actually eating to give something to the next person (what happened to silver service rules?) Nothing was said but the last week we had another pair who were marvellous and so helpful in every way the atmosphere of our meals changed immensely. The food was not the best we have had from Princess but still good. I was surprised and disappointed that there was no Greek night although it was a black sea and Greek islands cruise. The Chef advised when asked that their menus came from head office and they could not change them - strange I think considering the itineraries. I did request lamb shanks for a meal one night giving 48 hours notice - but they were not available. The entertainment was strangely timed and therefore mostly the late sitting diners could not partake in much except the late shows. Even the final Bingo was scheduled for 3/4 hour after the late dinner started No way could we take part. The dancing shows were good but the comedian was poor and the ventriloquist spoilt his show after a first good half then it went down hill as he got badly blue. The ports were very close of course being the Med and every day was a hectic tour with loads of walking and climbing steps but although exhausted we had a fantastic time. I had been honest and given in 2 bottles of Brandy for collection at the end of the cruise and it took me two hour to find these bottles which were not delivered in the normal way and I was waiting to finalise my packing., Eventually they were found IN THE LOST PROPERTY!! Disembarkation was easy no lines and our taxi was waiting for us on time Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We spent 28 nights on Emerald Princess August/Sept and had a fantastic trip as did many others we befriended on the cruise. The ship and crew were absolutely fantastic and most were happy to have a chat and some even gave us advice re how ... Read More
We spent 28 nights on Emerald Princess August/Sept and had a fantastic trip as did many others we befriended on the cruise. The ship and crew were absolutely fantastic and most were happy to have a chat and some even gave us advice re how to get around in ports we were doing on our own. The ship is lovely and we can't understand why it is being refurbished soon other than to modernize some areas. We found all areas clean and tidy at all times. We ate most of our meals in horizon court as we did not want to be spending a couple of hours in the dining room and prefer to have sun and fun. (We also get over listening to people bragging about how many cruises they have been on etc, etc you would think it is a competition). The food was tasty and the variety at every meal extensive. Others also expressed the same thing. I do not know what some people expect...we often ate at the back of the ship to enjoy the view. We never found any area crowded.the meals we had in the formal dining room were of a high standard and everyone was friendly and worked hard to please people around us. We and others noticed a minority of cruisers who just don't know how to enjoy themselves and pick everything . Honestly do they have a slave at home?, the way they act and complain you would think so. I heard one person whinge to others that their cabin steward did not put fresh ice in their fridge. Boohoo. All they had to do was make one call and it would have been delivered OR they could get some from an ice machine. We loved the international cafe and every dessert on the ship was the best and tastiest we have had. Before we left we thought we would avoid pastries/desserts etc so we would not put too much weight on and decided most cakes etc look good but taste the same....well we broke our rule as every mouthfull was devine and by the amount of people constantly lined up for the treats they obviously thought the same. The only thing I do slightly agree with is some of the evenings were light on entertainment however we were on 28 days..and to be honest with our extensive port tours etc were too tired to stay up late but I do understand some people go for the nightlife. Korey Simon was on the last week of our cruise and was brilliant. So much fun we did stay up late and regretted it the next day... lol. I also want to comment re the formal nights. There were 8 during our month on board and we only attended 3. Live and let live. Not everyone wants to get tizzed up and attend. Once again it seemed like a competition between the women as to how OTT they could be. Not everyone's scene. so if you want to get dressed up fine but don't be rude about those who don't want to. Everyone's holiday is exactly that, Their experience not yours. Congratulations to all at Princess and we would not hesitate to recommend people to cruise with you. We will be back. Every minute of every day is up to you to make the most of it. life is too short. We thought all the trivia sessions were fun with David from the cruise directors staff and Cassie etc Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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 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
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 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
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
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
We went on the Ruby Princess a few weeks ago, The ship has some good features which were different from other ships such as the Cinema under the stars. The entertainment was excellent with top quality shows and a brilliant entertainment ... Read More
We went on the Ruby Princess a few weeks ago, The ship has some good features which were different from other ships such as the Cinema under the stars. The entertainment was excellent with top quality shows and a brilliant entertainment director. The food on the other hand was not up to standard, we found poor choice and quality, and rarely found we had a hot meal. Variety was not order of the day and found only mashed potates was our only choice on most days which look very unappietizing. We also for that breakfast was tasteless, greasy and of poor quality with strange selections such as lasagne, yes lasagne, noodles and soup . the cruise was geared up to its american guests and took little heed to the fact that it also had guest from europe. The formal dining rooms were pleasant enough and service varied from dining room to dining room, but wine was expensive as was drinks of any kind. The itinerary was good however, although on the last day we were required to vacte our rooms by 8.00am and were transported to the airport being dropped off at 9.30am for a 3pm flight this was totally unacceptable and we felt that PrIncess Cruises had completely abandoned us with atotally unacceptable long wait in the airport. Would we reccommend the cruise to others, well possibly, but we would not return as passengers because there were too many issues which made us unhappy and feel that we were not valued enough . We have been on cruises before and have had better expirences both on board and at the airport. Princess clearly need to improve thier quality where food is concerned and when it comes to airport arrangements, a five hour wait for a flight is clearly not acceptable and makes you feel that they just dont care once you have done your time and spent your money. Dispite the poor food, we had a good time and enjoyed the entertainment so we would rate it as a mixed review and one where people may be happy to be fed in a way that food is not important to them, we fel that it is an important part of our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Despite being fully booked with 3000 passengers there was no time We ever felt crowded or had to wait an excessive time. The ship seems to have the right balance between space and passengers in the lounges and decks. The cruise was port ... Read More
Despite being fully booked with 3000 passengers there was no time We ever felt crowded or had to wait an excessive time. The ship seems to have the right balance between space and passengers in the lounges and decks. The cruise was port intensive ie 10 ports in tens days ( and the ship made them all ) with only one tender day at santorini. Independent touring in the ports was very easy and interesting with hop on hop off buses in several cities. If you do your homework touring in the Mediterrean can be significantly cheaper than using Ship tours.The ship was beautifully clean and the staff of course could not have been nicer and more accomodating. The main dining food was good but not exciting which was suprising as the buffet restaurant always had very interesting food Asian, Indian, Continental and British/American. The international cafe is a good place for coffe/cakes and good salads. However in common with many other cruise lines if you want to have top class food you may find yourself spending more money to eat in the Speciality restaurants . I do believe that cost cutting in the Carnival Fleet is having a detrimental effect on standards of food and entertainment. It may mean spending an extra $100 on top of your cruise price but it could be well worth it These cabins are more than adequate for port intensive cruising as you tend not to spend much time in them.Also as the ships now dock in commercial ports you willl often have a view of some container ships or warehouses. There is plenty of storage and hanging space . The cabin has american and european sockets ( look behind the bed ) Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Quite an eventful cruise! Missed Corfu - humanitarian grounds, late in at Koper - big storm and U turn back to Cadiz - medical emergency. Good points First class cabin steward. Good humored, effective and efficient. Quality food, ... Read More
Quite an eventful cruise! Missed Corfu - humanitarian grounds, late in at Koper - big storm and U turn back to Cadiz - medical emergency. Good points First class cabin steward. Good humored, effective and efficient. Quality food, particularly in formal dining room. Lobster twice, steaks perfect. Waiters and other staff in Michelangelo spot on in all respects. Lectures on jewellery given by Valeria informative and knowledgeable, with no hard sell. Venice fantastic: facilitated by Princess $15 water taxi from port to St Marks. Dubrovnik city walls a must see. You need Kuna. Movies under the stars with recent releases, popcorn, cookies and milk most entertaining. International cafe waiters and other staff excellent. Try the warm croissants! Coffee card good value. Roger Wright singer - excellent, particularly his second show. Violinist Lisa Rollin a well judged mix of music. Jeff Stevenson a traditional comic- hilarious from start to finish. His Explorers Lounge set was a gem and a lesson on how to work an audience. Nul points. Princess Production Company. Saw 3 shows that needed more technical rehearsal- Poor diction, singers couldn't always carry roles, awful tap dancing and those dreadful nylon? wigs!!!!!!! Clearly loads spent on lavish costumes so why the cheap wigs? Port talks. Mostly OK but some misinformation. "We'll be in Corfu on Saturday" ( He meant Sunday) but we didn't go there at all. "Euros all the way now" (Er... No! Dubrovnik you definitively need Kuna ) Venice got up at 5:30 as advised for Venice sail in but too late, probably too dark anyway. Missed Corfu but not allowed to be too disappointed as we saved some unfortunate refugees. After all we got a free drink at the bar ( not a premium drink) from Il Capitano for being so understanding. Koper - almost didn't make it but a successful "attempt" to dock . Bravo Capitano! Nice enough place but watch out for the lines to get back on ship. Port authorities security facilities totally inadequate when 2 ships in. Waited in line for over half an hour but apparently we got off lightly. Some people claimed over the hour:; they've got to go one better! Ship photography crew used to be time share sales people!!! A polite "no thank" you should be enough. All too often It wasn't! I will never, ever, ever, ever, buy anything from them. I have a sneaking suspicion that our long wait to get off at Cadiz was caused by these people blocking the gangway, plying their wares. To sum up. A few problems but on the whole an excellent trip with many positive experiences. Will sail with Princess again.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We booked this some time before our cruise with friends who often cruise with us. We are all Princess fans and have always enjoyed ourselves in the past. Good Points, Lovely new ship, great staff, food ok ( not as good as other cruises) ... Read More
We booked this some time before our cruise with friends who often cruise with us. We are all Princess fans and have always enjoyed ourselves in the past. Good Points, Lovely new ship, great staff, food ok ( not as good as other cruises) the patisserie is excellent, good choice in Horizon court but not always hot. Cabins: smaller than before and the balcony really is a joke in the past we have eaten breakfast there but it would be impossible now and we are not large people. Shower also seemed smaller in danger of knocking knees, head, etc. Dancing water waste of time I agree with all that's been said. Retreat pool too windy, no indoor pool or aft pool now. Dress code definitely not adhered to by many people making the dining experience lose its attractiveness. Atrium: Although spectacular to look at impracticable on wet days, very crowded and noisy.. Library: What library!. No promenade deck: really missed that. Shows: Although mostly good were only 35 mins, hardly worth the rush to get a seat. Agree lack of drink holders is silly how can you expect to sell drinks when you would have to hold for the entire show. Our friend had to use the medical facilites and was very impressed (well done to the staff). Final thoughts: Would probably cruise Princess again but not Royal or Regal as I understand she is the same design. .   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
OK, so we broke down 1/2 way thru the trip. I would still get back on and do it all over again! I feel I have been on enough cruises to give you a realistic view of this ship and what to expect. The ship, being brand new is everything and ... Read More
OK, so we broke down 1/2 way thru the trip. I would still get back on and do it all over again! I feel I have been on enough cruises to give you a realistic view of this ship and what to expect. The ship, being brand new is everything and more than you would expect. The Piazza is beautiful and SO much larger than all the rest of the ships. Entertainment in the Princess Theater was good, not great. Seemed like the singing and dancing got repeatative night after night only different songs and costumes. Magician was good as well. Our balcony room was wonderful, and it is NO big deal about the toliet paper roll as I have read on so many other reviews of this beauty. Just keep it on the bottom shelf if you can't figure it out. Wierd why they put it there, but oh well. I felt that the staff was friendly all the time and willing to speak with you. Our cabin man (Lloyd) was wonderful, friendly and if we needed anything he was right there to help us. The spa is like no other I have seen. It is beautiful and so nicely appointed. Cruise staff was great and the new Princess live was fun. "Dan" was SO great and funny and kept the crowd going. The band "Volume" rocked the ship outside, inside and in the Piazza. They were wonderful and worth going on the ship for. The thing about not having cross overs was annoying. The elevators and stairs at the elevators were the only way to go anywhere. Elevators were crowded but you're on vacation so you wait for the next one to come along. When you book your cabin keep that in mind. We were at ship front and no way to get out from there. Our friends were on the other side of ship and we had to walk some ways, go back up to get them then back down to elevators. You really get your exercise on this one.Ports we got to were wonderful. Tours great, but I would personally when I go back not do a tour on Mykonos. You can just walk and enjoy the island on your own. Food: Everything I had was very good, portioned well and when we asked for seconds on some things, never did we have a problem. The only thing was the choices were not as good as on previous ships. I sometimes went to the buffet at night to get a good choice of food, but prefer for dinner to be in dining room. NOW FOR THE BREAKDOWN; For those of you that don't know, the Royal broke down 1/2 way thru the cruise heading to Naples and they had to cancel the rest of the cruise. We had power and everything went beautifully but they had to get this beauty repaired so we had to leave the ship 4 days (and 4 stops) sooner than we should have. Princess handled the whole thing SO WELL, and you could hear it in the Captains voice how sorry he was this happened. Princess has compensated everyone 100% of their cruise price (less air of course) plus 25% credit on the next cruise!! I think they handled this over and above when it came to customer service. The poor staff was working so hard trying to get the 4000 passenger off the ship, new air reservations, some hotels til they could fly them out, etc. They were going crazy with the arrangements and then all the people that you will never make happy (which there was a lot of them). Kudos to Princess and a big "thank you" for this cruise couple. I encourage anyone who is thinking of cruising not to let this deter them. We had power with just 6 hours interruption, plenty of food and drink, etc. This was NOT the Carnival debacle. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We were on the Royal Princess September 15th for 12 days from Venice to Barcelona.We flew into Venice, arriving at 6:30 pm. Princess was there for our transfer from the airport with no problems at all.The embarkation was a breeze. We went ... Read More
We were on the Royal Princess September 15th for 12 days from Venice to Barcelona.We flew into Venice, arriving at 6:30 pm. Princess was there for our transfer from the airport with no problems at all.The embarkation was a breeze. We went to dinner and really felt happy to be aboard this lovely new ship. It was truly a beautiful, massive ship with such splendor. We have been aboard the other Princess ships which we enjoyed too, but this one really was so lovely. The expanded atrium, the new additions such as Alfredos, the Gelateria with crepes and waffles (yum), and the Horizon Cafe and new Pastry Cafe, All came a notch above others. The style and grandeur of the Royal made us feel like we were really somewhere special. We loved the usual Movies Under the Stars, the delicious international cuisine with Asian, Mexican, German, Italian, American, British, French and more. There are far more choices on this ship than we've seen before. We loved the entertainment, mostly the singers and dancers and also the shows in the Atrium. The casino was always abuzz and lots of fun machines to try as well as Black Jack sizzling tables. We visited the ports of Athens, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Istanbul, Mykonos and Naples. Our first port of Athens, unfortunately had strikers in the streets which caused our tour bus to detour en route to the Acropolis. Be sure to wear comfortable rubber soled shoes so as not to slip on the marble and stone ground in climbing. It surely was a sight to behold but very strenuous and exhausting for people who are not accustomed to physical activity. Kusadasi was a marvel with Ephesus as the star attraction. What a sight to behold! This Celsus Library is a must-see for first-timers. We returned after 17 years and still got a thrill. The Visit to "Mary's House," where Christians believed Mary spent her last days on earth, was a place for contemplation and reverence. The market for visitors, especially the Turkish carpet vendors, gave one so many ideas to redecorate with a beauty of one's own. Then on to Istanbul to visit the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofya and Basilica Cistern, all the main sights of this interesting city of 15 million. We also loved the actual cruising, relaxing out on our balcony with a glass of wine. Very beautiful and relaxing. The Royal's clubs and music venues were all alive with laughter and cruisers delighting in the evening's gay atmosphere. We arrived in Mykonos, tendered in with ease by the Royal's crew. What a beautiful island! The shops and the vistas are worth the visit. We didn't take time to eat, just for a drink of the famous ouzo at a local cafe overlooking the teal sea. Then it happened that the ship could not retrieve the anchor which weighs something near 30,000 tons. It took them about 5 hours to pull it up from the sea and set sail for Naples. Finally the ship set sail and all went well until the afternoon when the ship lost power. The captain kept us apprised every hour or so. It seemed that too much power was drawn from one area of use and it caused an outage. They had a backup generator so all was well within 5 hours time. The crew and the captain handled every detail with professionalism, especially the crisis points such as elevators and the kitchens. We didn't feel frightened but rather more curious about the situation. The excellent communication skills of the captain in total were astonishing. Services continued as well as they could with ease and smiles. After much deliberation, the Princess administrative network coupled with the maritime professionals decided to cut our cruise short by disembarking in Naples. Care coordinators were there every step of the way. Princess made sure everyone got to their final destinations safely. They made arrangements for some 3500 people to fly to their respective countries in a safe, timely manner. Unfortunately, many people had tours and longer stays in Barcelona post cruise where they needed to get to Barcelona to proceed onward. The problem for the others was that Barcelona had some 70,000 extra visitors from a pharmaceutical convention using the hotels whereby causing our people a loss of potential lodgings. Personally, we had been to Rome,Florence, Provence and Barcelona before, so we were not at odds about this matter. Many others didn't take their early disembarkation well. They flew in from places like Australia, NZ, China, Canada, South Africa, Russia, South America and more, and they wanted to visit these last 3 ports. Some people did pay their own way and others used the arrangements by the Princess. Many people disembarked on the Tuesday, depending on one's airflight situation. We spent Tuesday sightseeing all over Naples, since we took the Hop On Hop Off bus. The churches, museums and piazzas were all worth seeing. We went on the red and the green lines. The beach drive was more than we expected...just gorgeous! It was a beautifully sunny day, about 75 F. On Wed. we disembarked about noon time, and were almost hand-carried to hotel. Princess workers guaranteed our safety and comfort thankfully. We settled in and relaxed with a delicious dinner at the hotel. The next day we had a full breakfast (complimentary of the hotel) then took a shuttle to a stylish shopping center with cafes and restaurants as well as designer hot spot outlets. We spent the afternoon there and dined at a traditional Neopolitan restaurant. Then the shuttle bus returned us. When we returned to the hotel the care coordinators were still working on all the arrangements. No stone was left unturned by Princess and their workers. They arranged for buses to leave from our hotel in the middle of the night for Rome's airport. They accompanied us to Rome, which was a three hour drive from our hotel. When we arrived, they escorted us to our respective terminal check-in points while assisting with our bags. They made a crisis situation into a pleasant one. While at the airport, we had breakfast and visited the many shops for last minute buys. All in all the Princess Corporation handled this situation with professionalism and placing the cruiser's safety first. That was their priority. What surprised us most of all was the continuity of the care they provided us in this crisis. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My wife and I are experiences cruisers with thirteen ocean cruises and two river cruises in the past. We have sailed with RC, Celebrity, Norwegian, Carnival, and Princess previously. Our only previous experience with Princess was the ... Read More
My wife and I are experiences cruisers with thirteen ocean cruises and two river cruises in the past. We have sailed with RC, Celebrity, Norwegian, Carnival, and Princess previously. Our only previous experience with Princess was the Golden Princess in 2001 shortly after it entered service. We picked this cruise because of its wonderful itinery - Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Sea day, Instanbul, Mykanos, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadisi, Crete, Sea, Naples and finishing at Rome. We had a great overall cruise but were dsiappointed with the dining room and the buffets. In my opinion, the food quality has gone down considerably since our last Princess cruise in 2001 and is not as good as RC or Carnival. We had a table of eight in the Boticelli dining room and two couples did not go to the dining room at all because of the food the during last week of the cruise. We ate twice at the extra cost Crown Grill and it was excellent. Our cabin was on deck 11 aft. We like to go to the casino before dinner, but it is awkward from this location. You need to travel to mid ship before you go to deck 6 because if you take the aft elevator to 6 6 you can't get there because the kitchen blocks your access. After we are done at the casino we needed to go up to deck 7, head aft and then drop down to 6 for dining. The Golden Princess is the same as I recall. Shore excursions and departure day were very well organized. The quality of the excursions including the guides was very good. Overall, I would rate the service quality as average at best. We have had better service on other cruise lines.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We sailed on the Ruby Sept.18-Oct.5, 2013...Venice to Rome. We are experienced cruisers, having sailed on several cruise lines, to many ports of call but this was our first trip to Europe. The Ruby is a beautiful ship, well taken care of, ... Read More
We sailed on the Ruby Sept.18-Oct.5, 2013...Venice to Rome. We are experienced cruisers, having sailed on several cruise lines, to many ports of call but this was our first trip to Europe. The Ruby is a beautiful ship, well taken care of, with a terrific crew. All staff seemed genuinely happy in their jobs. We did not find the usual "upsell" push (for casino, coffee,soda cards etc) that we have experienced in the past...I actually had to search out the coffee card. This was a pleasant surprise and Princess seems to have listened to others who have complained in the past. The major design flaw with this series of ships is that sometimes "you just cant get there from here"! You may find yourselves riding elevators or climbing stair to get to another floor that actually goes through to the floor/area that you need to get to! Our balcony room was the usual size room and the usual tiny bathroom. However the space was adequate and with the balcony we never felt "closed in". Our room steward kept everything clean and tidy and seemed to anticipate things we didnt even know we needed yet! We used the ship laundry service 3 times and she had our laundry sent out and returned in less than 24 hours. Room service was polite and prompt. The entertainment was the usual at sea fare with comedians, singers, dancers etc with one of the highlights being the performance form the string section of the Venice Orchestra. Ports of call were what sold us on this cruise. VERY port intensive so be prepared. We took mostly organized Princess tours and a few beach days on our own in the Greek Islands. Pompei and the Amalfi coast were highlight. Our biggest disappointments were the shore excursion desk and the dining room food and service. The staff of the shore excursion desk either knew what they were doing or they didnt. Princess seriously needs to consider staffing the desk ONLY with staff that have travelled to the ports and experienced the tours they offer. I realize not all staff can go on all the tours but between the entire excursion staff there should be SOMEONE that can answer specific questions. I was constantly having to wait for a supervisor or waiting for a phone call back to get answers. Frustrating. This was the first time we have done anytime dining. We usually have second seating traditional dining. We found that the traditional dining just did not fit with the entertainment and the early morning shore excursions. The service at anytime dining is definately different. The waiters see so many different cruisers over 2 weeks,that they cant possibly give the personal attention given to those on traditional dining. We missed this aspect of the dining option. We always felt rushed so the next guest could be seated. The food overall was a disappointment. The Horizon Court is a zoo at all times and food quality was average. In the dining room, there is so much on the "always available" list that there is little left for the chef to come up with. Whenever there was a new item on the menu it was never what we expected when we ordered it. The repeat in the menu during the second week was "cheating" and not what one would expect from Princess. Princess is still our favourite cruise line and we will sail them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We were very excited about this cruise on a brand-new ship and that is maybe why we feel somehow disappointed by Princess. Not mentioning that the ship remained without propulsion during 30 minutes on sea due to some electric generator ... Read More
We were very excited about this cruise on a brand-new ship and that is maybe why we feel somehow disappointed by Princess. Not mentioning that the ship remained without propulsion during 30 minutes on sea due to some electric generator failure, we found Royal Princess under our expectations and below the high price paid: the air conditioning in the Allegro Dining restaurant malfunctioning, the TV system down most of the time, the Horizon Restaurant for lunch offering special dishes (like Chinese food or Japanese Sushi) very seldom and very unpredictably, not enough places where to drink something and watch the sea, almost no places at all where to lie on a chaise longue and have some quiet time for yourself, not even a deck with possibility to walk around in open air more than a few meters,unattractive items in the shopping area, and many more regrets.... The departures from the port of calls were almost permanently forced earlier than provided in all the documents at the moment of cruise booking, a thing that put pressure on those passengers who independently booked shore excursions. No reason was offered for this schedule violations. The captain's routine messages, usually about what is he going to do after leaving the ports of call were compulsory for everyone, broadcasted via the emergency announcement system, no matter of passengers' option: we were on vacation, but we felt like in the army, forced to listen to the commanding officer! As positive remarks I should mention the ship's design, the decoration quality, the inspired musical live shows that were accompanying our stays in the bars and lounges, the embarkation and disembarkation services that were well organized, the staff being courteous and hard-working.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Royal Princess was great for a new ship overall. While you can take apart the ship you go home with your overall experience, which for us was great. The trip was about the ports and not necessarily the ship. We had the best cabin on the ... Read More
Royal Princess was great for a new ship overall. While you can take apart the ship you go home with your overall experience, which for us was great. The trip was about the ports and not necessarily the ship. We had the best cabin on the ship. Best dollar for value, largest balcony on the seas, and a super layout that was premium for dollar spent. Having spent over a year in preparation for the cruise we were not disappointed or let down other than perhaps in the entertainment. We moved back to a larger ship in hopes of seeing some top entertainment and production shows. While the ship has the theater to delivery it failed with the line ups and productions. Pitiful costumes and 30 minutes shows that were really minimal teasers. One good show was the finale. Overall dining experiences were good, not great, unless you pay for the premium restaurants. Crown Grill was disappointment. Design was poor, matire D was very unsocial, and service poor, food no better than MDR. We were able to get into Chef's Lumiere dinner which was fantastic and worth every penny. Not able to get into the Wine dinner so cannot review. We had anytime dining and had better dinner in the There are many areas that are just wasted space, seldom used by anyone and Princess needs to take note and make some changes before the Regal comes out. Crooner's had a good piano player and service was good. Bellini's was empty 24-7 and Vines was dull, while service was OK. There is no separation from the large atrium and many surrounding venues suffer from this, Vines especially. The Wheelhouse needs more separation from Crown Grill. Music and noise bleed over into Crown Grill kill things in CG along with views into life boats. Some designer had their head in sand when the thought you would like to view the inner workings of lifeboats while eating dinner. They should draw the blinds over the windows or put in a picture to hide the views. Sabatini's was great and staff along with their supervisors are all on board to make your dinner enjoyable. Crown Grill was exactly opposite. Alfredo's Pizzeria was dead space and the Ocean Terrace was about the same. These areas need to be revamped. Gelato's was Ok and the Pastry Shop was a definite winner with their 24 hour menu. We did not utilize any Princess Tours so cannot comment on these. We had lined up our own and worked out just fine. Getting off using the Tender in Cannes was very slow. This was the first time the ship actually had to tender in and they must have been learning. We had to stop the ship shortly after leaving port as one of the tender boats had not been properly secured and they had to lower it and re secure. The Sanctuary was nice and when the ship moves to work out of Florida it's going to get some heavy use. Be prepared to get up early to secure a spot. If you don't like to be around deck hogs you will have too. The deck staff never will just pick up towels and free up chairs around the pool from the deck hogs which would go along way to make a general pool experience enjoyable. Instead as happens people go out and throw down towels and a book to block out their territory with only plans to stay on deck a couple hours. As a result it was difficult to find a chair anywhere around the pool. Bar service around the pool was also lacking, regardless of which deck or area except the Sanctuary. We did not use the SPA's so no comment, or the sports decks, facilities. The water and light show is a total joke and waste of investment. They need to rip this out pronto and put in another pool. Casino is large and not easy to get around with a maze layout. We did not find the machines to be rewarding, but they are there and during the enter 12 days quite busy. Crooner's lounge was the only venue where the piano entertainer actually worked to engage the audience and he did a great job. The positioning of the piano along the atrium hurts the venue and distracts from the experience. Had they moved the location to an end of the area opposite the bar, and or allowed for a circle around the piano for people to sit it would have been much better. He made it work best he could. The stateroom staff was great, and room service always on time. We had balcony breakfast and dinner and both were highlights of the trip. Staff was great and food plentiful, on time, and very enjoyable. Now, cabinn M107 is special. Only M108 compares. These two cabins are located at the front of the ship on Marina deck and are directly above the bridge. Because of this the decks extend out over the bridge wings and are extremely large. Yes, even while we were at sea we could go out as our doors were located on the side of the ship, and not forward. We have a large picture window facing forward which from our bed had great views. The deck was 40 feet wide and 8 feet deep across the front. The side over the wing went out 23 ft. There is enough room to host a part of 30 people if you wanted. They only give you small table, and two chairs with foot rests which is kind of crazy. For the balcony dinner and breakfast the room service staff brought a larger table and this was nice. We really enjoyed the location and never felt any motion during the cruise, never. I felt more motion in the restaurants from propeller motion than I ever did in the cabin. For you C-Pac users there is extra outlet under the bed but bring a 220 round plug to access it. The only 110 outlets in the bedroom area are behind the TV which is just left of the picture window. When you walk into the cabin the bathroom is on the left, and just past this it opens up to a sitting area with a Loveseat on left, and desk on the right. At TV is on the wall to the right of the sliding door to the deck. This area has a wall which separates it from the bedroom area. This is more like a suite than a mini suite, except there is only one sink, and the shower tub is a combo. I would not doubt this cabin gets a different category rating than it currently has as it is the best value for the money on the ship by far. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
The 10 black spots while cruising on the “magnificent Royal Princess”: 1. The TV system : a. Increases the expectations i. A superb Offer ii. A user friendly system b. But fails to deliver the basics i. Keeps ... Read More
The 10 black spots while cruising on the “magnificent Royal Princess”: 1. The TV system : a. Increases the expectations i. A superb Offer ii. A user friendly system b. But fails to deliver the basics i. Keeps rebooting ii. The image freezes iii. No maintenance available by night iv. Access to the cables are very tight • By disconnecting the Rj45 sometimes the reset worked 2. The phone is placed on the desk which is neither nice if you’re on the coach nor if you are in your bed : a. Either place another phone next to the bed b. Or have a long cord cable connected to the phone 3. Too few electrical outlets to charge the IPhone , IPad and all the appliances a new cruiser is carrying 4. The cloth hangers bump on the walls of the closet when there is bad sea : a. A simple strap of foam glued to the closet’s walls at hangers levels will solve this issue b. They always hit the same line 5. The cold tap water is warm : a. Even after a long waste of water b. The hot duct and the cold one are so close that they keep exchanging their warmth c. It makes the water undrinkable , while nothing says that we should not drink it d. I truly think that there will be a strong risk of “legionella” in your water system ( A safe water system is one that maintain water either hot or cold , warm water is a very dangerous state ) 6. There should be at least One complimentary bottle of water per stateroom every day : a. It costs nothing and would give a feeling of luxurious service b. It wouldn’t send the message that you are after “every penny” possible c. We have bought the bottle every day but watched many get back to the boat from shore with plenty of water…I am sure that they felt funny doing this! 7. The Internet , not only was not user friendly but extremely expensive : a. We have bought the 400 minutes pack b. But have let most of our package unused i. The internet assistance ( in the internet café ) was available only at some hours ii. We didn’t know how to login and no one could help until the day after iii. When there was a system failure the counter of login time kept counting which is quite annoying 8. The smoking areas are considered as “second class” zones : a. The Churchill lounge is definitely made for great weather day where less than 6 people could visit. As soon as the weather turns windy, the room is crowded and so full of smoke that it gets uncomfortable. i. If a couple is visiting this lounge, and one of them happens to be non-smoker, the visit is a good reason for a clash between them. ii. The computers there , are so slow to login that they are useless b. The deck Number 17 is almost closed after 8 pm : i. The chairs and deckchairs are removed and piled ii. There’s still a crew member for orders from the bars but when he goes himself after drinks, no one is there to take in charge c. The deck Number 7 : i. One of the most beautiful places on the ship is available for smokers who accept to remain next to doors where ashtrays are fixed to the walls ii. It could have been nice to maintain a tray of ashtrays to be carried to the deckchairs 9. The Medical center is very shy on informing us on the possible cost of a meeting with the physician : a. I have visited your center for an ear cleaning ( removing wax ) : i. I have been asked if I wanted to see a doctor ii. Why would I be there for? Is there another option? iii. I said I wanted my wax removed from my right ear iv. The day after I received an Invoice with 170 Euros of charge v. While, when cruising, you are informed 100 times in a week whenever you go to a restaurant that you’ll be charger 25 Euros per person if you go to the Sabatini or another select restaurant, in the medical center, No one says anything of what would happen if you meet the Doctor, until: “Surprise…. “ b. However, I must admit that I have been pleased by the organization of the facility 10. When you leave The boat on final day ( for us it was at Barcelona ) : a. It is either you hear the official messages or you’re lost b. No person from the crew could give a hint on which deck was the right to exit from : i. The first person asked said Deck 4, so we waited for the lifts ( heavy cues ) and went down to find out that there was nothing happening there ii. The second person asked while getting back to 5 said deck 5 iii. At last some other travelers got the right info and told us to go to deck 6 c. It could have been nice to let a board on the lift areas with some written info d. This is a black spot because you are carrying your own suit cases if you need to leave fast to an airport… Does this mean we did not enjoy our cruise? Not at all. The service was perfect most of the time and the ship is worth its name. However, as the Captain used to remind: “welcome back to the magnificent Royal Princess “and for her to be the “Magnificent” there should remain no little black spot on the sun tomorrow. Will we be back? For sure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
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