1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Princess Cruises Cruise Reviews

506 Princess First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

The ports of call on this cruise were great. Our experience on the ship was just ok. This was the first cruise for my husband and me, so perhaps our expectations were too high, but we both thought some things could have been so much ... Read More
The ports of call on this cruise were great. Our experience on the ship was just ok. This was the first cruise for my husband and me, so perhaps our expectations were too high, but we both thought some things could have been so much better. To begin with, whenever we passed a crew member on the ship, they completely ignored us, giving us not so much as a nod or greeting of any kind. Only the greeters at the buffet and our cabin steward were cheerful. The captain was not personable at all and bordered on rude. On the one formal evening where he was supposed to "meet and greet" the passengers, he hid near an elevator speaking only to his officers and studiously kept his back to all passengers. When one lady asked if she could have her picture taken with him, he rolled his eyes, stood there while his picture was taken, and then turned his back again to his guests. His welcome speech literally consisted of "Welcome to the Island Princess. I hope you have a nice voyage." and then he left the room. Needless to say, we did not feel very welcome. The Passenger Services desk was staffed only occasionally, and not at all when most passengers were on shore excursions, so if you had a question, you had to wait until it was open and then stand in a long line to get help. Sometimes you got a cheerful answer, sometimes not. We reported a problem of no hot water in our stateroom bathroom; they said it would be addressed, but it was not. Only once was I able to get a helpful answer from someone on the Shore Excursions desk (also only open a couple of hours a day, usually during dinnertime). We had booked a Princess excursion to Cinque Terre, but they cancelled it more than 24 hours in advance due to "high seas." The day it was supposed to take place dawned with calm waters, but the excursion remained cancelled. We tried to book a Princess excursion in Venice, but 5 out of about 8 were cancelled (including the one we wanted), so we went ashore on our own. (Most of our excursions were booked through another shore excursions company for the same tours at about half the price. They were very good, but required walking a little further to reach the van or bus.) The night before disembarkation, we had to have our luggage outside our door by 9pm. That early requirement made our last night on the ship very inconvenient, not having access to everything we would normally need for the night. A time requirement of 11pm or midnight would have been so much better and still given the staff an entire night to collect and sort luggage for our pickup at the port. We chose Anytime Dining. The food was reasonably good (although I would not recommend any of the beef dishes -- too tough), and often the food in the buffet was better, or at least as good as, the food in the dining room. The wait staff was excellent, meals were delivered correctly and hot, and only occasionally slow. We often were seated with other passengers and enjoyed talking with them over dinner. We would go on another cruise if it was the best way to get from port to port, as this cruise was. We would not, however, choose to cruise again if we just planned to stay on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We are frequent cruisers...usually on Princess but have also cruised with Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Windstar. We were apprehensive about this cruise due to some very negative reviews particularly regarding ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers...usually on Princess but have also cruised with Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Windstar. We were apprehensive about this cruise due to some very negative reviews particularly regarding the age of the ship. We chose it because Vancouver is our home port and it required no flying...Hawaii is also a favorite land stay destination for us. We got a VERY pleasant surprise as soon as we boarded the ship. She is in very good shape. All public area carpet has been replaced, windows were washed, tables and chairs clean and none broken, cabin spotless. There were a few areas around the ship that were leaking from the ceiling but engineering was on top of it all right away and buckets soon disappeared. Some public toilets didnt work for a few days but after educating the public about the type of toilet they were using and what NOT to do, all toilets were wroking fine. There was continual varnishing, paint touchups, window washing etc. going on all throughout the cruise. Can not say enough about the staff. Cabin steward went above and beyond her duties and no request was too small to fulfill. All service staff were friendly and we were greeted by everyone who passed us in the hallway. We were asked to purchase coffee and bar packages on the first and second day only...no one approached us after that. We have found that Princess has made great improvements in this area. The bar server in the bar we most frequented remembered our names and drinks daily. Dining room staff pleasant and efficient though our waitier had limited English making conversation and asking questions difficult. Service in buffet area plentiful, sometimes a bit gruff but they have been up since early in the morning and they work very long hours. Food in dining room became a bit repetative...only so many ways to cook pork and chicken. It was well presented and usually hot. No problen substituting items if you wanted. Buffet became very tiresome and we really only used it for the salad and fruit bar. Pizza...fair. Burgers and hotdogs...awesome. Ice cream really ice milk and we didnt enjoy it...except the real stuff which was served in the dining room only. Room serive prompt and correct. Would have like to have tried the added Crab Shack (for a fee) but it was always full. Entertainment was the best we have had on a cruise. 2 different shows everyday for 15 days. Only glitch was trying to get to the second show on time after dining late. Music, singers, comediens, dancers, crew show, passenger talent show...all great. LOTS of avtivities (some Hawaiin themed) to keep anyone busy as there were many sea days on this cruises. Had only 4 ports on this cruise of the Hawaiian Islands. All went smoothly, even the tender in Lahiana. Did not use Princess excursions...prices are just too expensive. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on the Lido deck and about as far forward as it could get. We would not do this again, particularly if there are lot of sea days. There is lots of movement when that far forward and extra noise from the bow as it sails though the large swells. It was of average size. Could always use a bigger shower. We used our balcony everyday and only sail in balcony cabins. We had a respiratory illness spread throughout the ship as well as a small outbreak of noro virus. Princess was on top of things medically and in stepping up cleaning proceedures. We were at sea 11 out of 15 days so it seemed inevitable that there would be some kind of illness set in. No complaints about how things were handled. Embarkation was awesome. 18 minutes from the time we were called to exit our holding area to the time we were on the street hailing a cab home. In summary, I just dont know why people have to find something to complain about. Its almost like we have to question whether or not we were on the same ship as some of the other reviewers. No sailing/ship is ever perfect. Princess is fairly priced and offers a great product for the price. There are more superior lines out there (some we have sailed on) but in our opinion, they are usually not worth the extra money. Happy sailing everyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to and no idea what to expect from Princess. Overall, we were impressed and will definitely cruise again. Majority of the passengers were Brits ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to and no idea what to expect from Princess. Overall, we were impressed and will definitely cruise again. Majority of the passengers were Brits and Americans but also lots of Australians and Canadians. Most we spoke to seemed to think Princess were one of the better cruise companies. The food and service were excellent. Great buffet choice @ breakfast / lunch although it felt a bit like one of those all you can eat diners you get in Orlando. We had the Anytime Dining in the evening and the food was generally superb. We didn't feel the need to pay extra to visit the speciality restaurants. The one big disappointment was the entertainment. I was expecting much better but what we got was a bit like Butlins. We didn't bother with any of the Princess excursions as the prices were ludicrously expensive. With a little bit of research it was easy to DIY and a huge amount cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Princess changed our port days and times, which in Istanbul, turkey on their highest holy day of the year. Naturally, this found business closed and limited available shore excursions. No explanations given to passengers on why this was ... Read More
Princess changed our port days and times, which in Istanbul, turkey on their highest holy day of the year. Naturally, this found business closed and limited available shore excursions. No explanations given to passengers on why this was done. We felt the shore excursion office was awful! Rude staff, misdirections given . In turkey on our shore excursion booked thru princess, I was one of several guest with mobility issues who were left behind on the pier! First time I have ever been discriminated for being handicapped! I told Olga (the assit manager over shore excursions) that I didn't travel half way around the world to be left on the pier. When booked we were to have dinner for two in a speciality resturant. No coupon waiting in our cabin. We went to customer service and Lawrence (assit manager) had no record of it. He made a copy of our booking that stated we were entitled to this. Several days later we received an invitation to eat there. Made our reservation . Got to the Itilian speciality place and we were told we only had been granted dinner for ONE! After showing our unhappiness, we were told we could BOTH eat there that night. This will be our last Princess cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise ever and we had expectations of a great time. We could not have been more disappointed and definitely will not cruise again on any cruise line after this experience. For a cruise that only had 2 ports in 12 ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever and we had expectations of a great time. We could not have been more disappointed and definitely will not cruise again on any cruise line after this experience. For a cruise that only had 2 ports in 12 days, the activities were uninteresting and repetitive. There is only so much towel folding one can take. We were also expecting a high standard of night time entertainment rather than RSL standard. Unfortunately whilst we enjoyed the basketball court (not much else of interest to do) it was out of action after 5pm as the Elite passengers would be having some sort of function in the room below. I thought we all paid the same money? It seemed the biggest form of entertainment that Princess was interested in giving its passengers was to spend money at their "sales" or to spend money at other forms of entertainment such as the Day Spa. The hot water in our shower was tepid from day 3 and the television worked only intermittently. The food was average. We went to one of the paid specialty restaurants and two of the courses were inedible. The "buffet" had a reasonable variety but was basically rehashing the same food each day and coming to the end of the cruise it was really awful. It seemed like everything left over was made into some sort of strange "dish" to get rid of it. Not to mention the fruit and vegetables were getting older by the day to the extent that limp and brown lettuce was being served up in the buffet. I eat mainly vegetarian food and there was a distinct lack of imaginative vegetarian dishes except for tired vegetables and fruit. I will say that the wait staff were mostly polite and friendly. We came on this cruise at the recommendation of a friend who also was on the cruise and who had been on Princess cruises before and had really enjoyed them, but commented this was the worst one she had been on. So disappointed and can only view this as a colossal waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was a much anticipated and planned for cruise with my daughters and there husbands. This was my 8th cruise on Princess, first trip to Alaska. I won't berate the ship or crew severely though will comment briefly later. My ... Read More
This was a much anticipated and planned for cruise with my daughters and there husbands. This was my 8th cruise on Princess, first trip to Alaska. I won't berate the ship or crew severely though will comment briefly later. My travel agent made some very good recommendations that turned out great for our trip. We flew into Anchorage AK the day before Embarkation. At his suggestion we choose to take the Alaska Railroad to Whittier. That was an incredible trip in itself. The train literally puts you out on the dock at the Ship. We were able to board and get to our cabins immediately. We had booked a premium balcony with an interior cabin directly across the hall. As the cruise does not leave until 8:00 PM I took the kids on a tour of the ship. We did a leisurely lunch and the only evening dining room dinner I enjoyed for the rest of the cruise. So now everyone are thinking Norovirus, Ohhhhh Nooooo! The first clue that should have warned me was at the Emergency Drill. We were in a packed lounge and there was so much coughing and sniffling going you could not avoid being contaminated. Sure enough the next day my cold/flu started and I spent the next 6 days confined to my cabin for 90% of this trip. No ships crew could have sprayed enough disinfectant around to account for all the sick people that got on that ship. Ok that being said what scenery I saw from my kids balcony was breathtaking. We actually had sun on the Hubbard glacier day. The rest of the trip was overcast but not rainy. My girls and Spouses had a blast. They did railroad excursion in Skagway, whale watching in Juneau and Salmon fishing in Ketchikan. To hear there stories every day was worth every minute. Now as for the ship: The Star Princess was pretty Typical with one pool area with a closed roof. Movies under the Stars was not well attended on the nights the Kids went, it was just too cold and damp. The crew were probably not the best I have had on other Princess ships, but I had only limited interaction due to my being sick the entire trip. That may be due to Alaska burn out on the crews part, their next destination was Hawaii, that should have cheered them up. This was the last Alaska cruise for the season. I truly think Princess has Alaska down cold. With the land excursions and comments I heard from passengers arriving on Princess train/bus transport there were only great comments all around. Food I did have was well prepared, I did venture out on Glacier Bay Day, the buffet put out on deck was very good, all the while many with colds still walking around, thanks to the kids for meals and assistance. I will stop bellyaching and let you know I did see and enjoyed enough even sick that I'll be on the second Coral Princess cruise itinerary to Alaska this coming May. I truly think you can't go wrong with Princess for an Alaska Vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I can't speak highly enough about Princess Cruises they went above and beyond and everything ran smoothly ,nothing was an issue and the staff were all polite and went out of their way ,especially room service and the seated dining in ... Read More
I can't speak highly enough about Princess Cruises they went above and beyond and everything ran smoothly ,nothing was an issue and the staff were all polite and went out of their way ,especially room service and the seated dining in the evening .Only thing i would have liked was a kettle in the room this isn't allowed for safety reasons.We had a top balcony room and it was perfectly situated,you couldnt hear anything at night when trying to sleep considering there were bars and shows going on ! The food was fantastic whether anytime dining or evening booked .5 star cuisine ! Loved the free tapas /sushi bar too. The ship itself was amazing and very relaxed no matter what part you were sitting in ,the classes were great we loved the zumba class and nutrition class.The huge screen by the pool was a bonus to watch a movie day or night .the day trips were brilliant although you have to see a lot in 6-8 hours so can be tiring for some.Transfers and day trips ran like clock work .I would highly recommend princess cruises ,I went with a friend but its a great way to reconnect with your loved ones also .lots of couples ,no stress ,a hotel floating with you to different countries amazzzzzing !!! So nice to wake up each morning in a different country and also nice to have days at sea to enjoy the spa.we had a seawed 2 hr wrap which was really nice .The interior of the ship is beautiful and there are several different bars/cafes etc ,the pools and jacuzzis were clean and not too busy either. Thank you Princess Cruises for a brilliant week :) Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first ever holiday on a cruise ship, we choose Princess because it had the timing and visits we wanted. We choose a balcony room and paid full fare. I will keep this simple: A Cruise to us is nice food and entertainment ... Read More
This was our first ever holiday on a cruise ship, we choose Princess because it had the timing and visits we wanted. We choose a balcony room and paid full fare. I will keep this simple: A Cruise to us is nice food and entertainment 1: We were refused entry to the intermediate restaurants on formal nights (2) even though we dressed in the best we brought with us (Black suit and tie required) So ended up in the Buffet which was inconsistent in quality. (One night they counted 5 cherries per plate no lie) 2. The "Love Boat" theme is way past old - continues screening on one channel of captain stubbing and crew was just lame. 3. The timing of activities on the boat overlapped so after watching one show going to another event meant late arrival no seats or show ending 4. The cost of the on board photos is extreme way beyond a reasonable cost 5. On departure we were left at Rome without water in the sun and a 4 hour wait because of offloading time allocation. Good or better: 1. Staff are excellent they work there "guts" out for a pittance and 9 months servitude on contract 2: The at cost restaurants ($25) are what we should have had all along in quality The ship looks a little tired We will not be spending our money on cruising again based on this experience 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
This was our first cruise and I have to say we are total converts. The ports on this cruise were all interesting and varied. The organisation from the cruise line to get the right passengers on the right excursions with the right guides ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I have to say we are total converts. The ports on this cruise were all interesting and varied. The organisation from the cruise line to get the right passengers on the right excursions with the right guides and done in such a light-hearted, non stressful way deserves recognition itself. The ship never felt cramped, the food was good and varied and the crew were unbelievably helpful and pleasant on each and every occasion that we needed them. How people can complain about the entertainment I have no idea, the "On The Bayou" show was as good as any West End musical that I have seen, yes they were only 30-40 minutes long but with bars on almost every deck and food available from dawn until midnight why tie people down to a theatre for longer than necessary? A wonderful, interesting and simply brilliant experience that I will be repeating asap. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My wife and I chose an Alaskan trip on Princess as our very first cruise ever and I and I just wanted to offer my "virgin" perspective on a few things: 1. We brought a plug multiplier that had USB outlets built in to keep our ... Read More
My wife and I chose an Alaskan trip on Princess as our very first cruise ever and I and I just wanted to offer my "virgin" perspective on a few things: 1. We brought a plug multiplier that had USB outlets built in to keep our cameras, tablets, and so forth charged up during our trip. Fantastic decision, even with the limited outlets in our stateroom, this simple item made charging our array of electronic components smooth and simple. 2. We found the food in the buffet and at the dining room very good overall in both quality and variety. The staff in these locations were very helpful and polite and we couldn't be happier with this aspect of the ship. 3. On the other hand, Princess touts their upscale restaurants as something special so we tried the Crown Grille. BIG mistake. My halibut was well overcooked, dry and tough. The only thing worse was my desert. I ordered a lemon tart type desert and after a long wait they brought me some kind of chocolate desert. Rather than wait even longer I tried the desert they brought, and to be honest this was no big deal since there are very few deserts I won't eat. However, the thing they brought me was even drier than the fish. One bite and I was done. I expressed my disappointment to the manager and he apologized. Nice of him to apologize but it really didn't mean much to me. 4. The excursions were fantastic, we can't say enough good about the various excursions we went on. The online excursion reservation system was easy to use however we found the on-board excursion staff to be pretty useless. When one of our excursions (a helicopter tour) was cancelled due to weather, I asked the excursion person manning the office in the ship what my other options were and her response was "many". She didn't offer any other advice or paperwork listing those options and seemed bothered that I was even there. Not much of a sales person, that's for sure. 5. We found the written materials that were delivered to our stateroom each morning to be very helpful as we looked forward to our activities each day. Oh well, just a few observations from a couple of newbies to cruising. While I mentioned some negatives we did enjoy the trip very much overall and are already looking at our next trip. Thanks, Jay Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My first vacation and first cruise. I was with a group who have been on several cruises. I was told before hand that there's a lot of food and entertainment. Everything but alcohol is included and food 24x7. They had 3 dining rooms ... Read More
My first vacation and first cruise. I was with a group who have been on several cruises. I was told before hand that there's a lot of food and entertainment. Everything but alcohol is included and food 24x7. They had 3 dining rooms you had to pay $25 a night. They had two dining rooms and a buffet that was free. All the restauraunts had the same menu so you didn't have variety. They also had hot dogs hamburgers and pizza. All the meals you didn't have to pay for was not very good. Each restaurant gave only 4 to 5 entrees. All food is closed doen by 11pm. They did not have room for people to eat inside buffet so people ate in the cold on deck. They always had one side closed for next meal. I went to get a soda the guy says you have to pay $7 per person per night which is almost $50 that means I would have to drink a lot of soda. I asked for cappaccino which I expected I would I would pay that. The card cost $30 for 15. I bought both because tap water did not sound appealing. The free coffee was aweful. My group kept telling me they have never on any cruise been nickeled and dimed for so much. As far as activities and entertainment they had only a hand full of shows. They showed movies outside on deck and reran them. They had a few trivia games. The had more demonstrations and seminars than anything else. Like how to get rid of cellulite..wrinkles..jewelary.. They really needed to have more entertainment. We were bored for several hours with nothing to do I bought cards to play with. The casino has two nights inly non smoking. It should be other way around. You had to walk through smoky casino to get to certain partd of the ship. Disembarkment very chaotic. I spent $67 on two 8x10 photos. After thinking about it I decided I really didn't need 2 of myself. I asked if I could get 5x7 they said it will cost you more. I adked for a refund it was against their policy. I went to customer desk the guy said I'll tell them to give you a refund they already had the pictures back. Against our policy again. The second to last night I lost my coffee card which had 10 more on it. I'm not sure if I didn't get it back after waiter took it to punch hole or I dropped it somewhere. In the mean time I had a car accident got hurt pretty badly. My insurance company said my car is totaled. At this point I knew I had to watch what I spent. I went to customer desk asked if I could get another card. Its against their policy. I would have to buy a new one. I told them theres two days left and I still had ten coffees left. Sorry you'll have to buy a new one. I explained my stuation that I didn't get my monies worth now I have to buy a new one. I asked if they could just give me 2 and cut my losses. Its against our policy. Then later that day my group leader said to pay the $12 for shuttle back to airport. Princess sent a letter to cabin saying I only had one day to reserve shuttle. I go up they take my card and see they charged me $24. I questioned this because all my emails say $12. I must have this confused with another shuttle. I asked them to cancel and a refund. Guess what they said, No refunds its our policy. The next morning I decided tovtry again. This person tells me they could only refund and cancel within 24 hours. I went balistic saying I did and was told I couldn't. The floors between 5 and 6 smelled like dumpster and at ine port I wike to exhaust fumes. I let someone know and I was told there's no smell. If I hadn't been pumped up by people who have gone on cruises and listened to people on the boat complain that it was the wirst cruise I probably wouldn't have been disappointed. I will nevet go on this cruise line again. Oh one last thing only one elevator out of 6 went up and down at a time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our very first cruise so we didn't know what to expect. I had read reviews saying the Sun Princess was looking a little old but we didn't notice any wear or antiquated furniture. In fact we couldn't believe how ... Read More
This was our very first cruise so we didn't know what to expect. I had read reviews saying the Sun Princess was looking a little old but we didn't notice any wear or antiquated furniture. In fact we couldn't believe how clean everything was. During the voyage the crew perform regular maintenance so we noticed fresh varnish being put on decking, windows being replaced etc, but these things didn't hamper the trip at all. We missed Noumea due to an industrial action happening there and instead were taken to lovely Lifou. Then, due to rough seas were unable to stop at Mystery Island but the Captain ordered us to full steam to get to Port Vila around 14 hours early and we spent the night docked at the wharf. Port Vila was an interesting bustling town. But be warned, you will be hassled by taxi drivers everywhere! Champagne Bay was absolutely stunning and we were lucky enough to get an early tender in when hardly anyone was a bout. We took a trip to the Blue Lagoon which was well worth the $10 return ride and the $7 entry. Luganville was a pleasant little township. We stumbled upon the Custom Village which was fun for an hour. I would recommend you organise a tour whilst in Luganville however as there isn't much to see on foot. Our Oceanview cabin was surprisingly well fitted out. We found we had enough room and plenty of storage in the way of drawers, shelves and wardrobe space. Food was fantastic with the best of it being served every night in the dining rooms. My only critique would be with the entertainment and the steakhouse. The entertainment was great but lacked variety on a 10 day cruise. We were seeing the same entertainers performing the same songs every day. A few more entertainers wouldn't go astray. We visited the steakhouse on the final night as it had been thrown in with our package. I wouldn't say it was anything oustanding. My steak was quite fatty and a little disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our first venture into a cruise holiday and we chose this particular route as it enabled us to sail from Southampton which meant we had the first three days at sea which was perfect to relax and settle into the holiday. Getting ... Read More
This was our first venture into a cruise holiday and we chose this particular route as it enabled us to sail from Southampton which meant we had the first three days at sea which was perfect to relax and settle into the holiday. Getting on board was very slickly handled with no queuing, clear instructions and very helpful crew. The bags are taken from your car as you pull up so no carrying of these either; we simply had our feet up in the 'stateroom' within 30 minutes of arriving - lovely. The cabin - sorry 'stateroom' - was very comofrtable, well equipped and with a neat ensuite shower room. We didn't go for a balcony but I can imagine that this would be a great feature if your budget runs to it. If you book a balcony, make sure you don't have an overhanging deck above that may take the sunshine. On board is a huge wealth of experiences to be enjoyed from several restaurants catering for every taste, many different bars with some great wines, cocktails and champagnes to spoil yourself on, a theatre with live entertainment every evening, 'movies under the stars' each night around one of the top deck pools, masses of kids entertainment, and so on.... The thing you notice above all else is that the crew, 'almost' without exception, are fantastic. They are very polite, very helpful, knowledgeable and nothing seems too much trouble - proper 5 star treatment. We had the mis-fortune to need to see the doctor whilst on board but again the service was very good and the medical centre is very well equipped - reassurring at least. But make sure you have travel insurance coz its not a cheap extra service. There are four swimming pools on different decks with the two centre ones being very much for families and children. The forward and aft pools were adults only and so this is where to head if you want a quieter expereince. TIPS FOR FIRST TIME CRUISERS WOULD BE: * You'll need an American power adapter for Princess ships but also take a European adapter is you want to use higher voltage appliances like hair straighteners, etc. * Remember to take a dinner suit/evening dress for the formal nights * If your budget is tight then you can book a cabin with an 'obstructed view' which is not a big problem and still enables a ocean outlook but much cheaper * You won't need a hair drier as one is provided * You won't need sun bed/beach towels as these are provided * If you want a sun bed on a day when the ship is at sea then get up early! Venture on deck after 9am and you've pretty much got no chance - they'll all be gone * Take you hand luggage in a wheeled suitcase as the bags are taken the night before you disembark and you'll have to carry the last items/clothes * You will automatically be charged a crew gretuity fee each day and, whilst boy they earn it, be aware you can opt out and pay this as and when you wish * Drinks range from around $4 to $10 on average (although naturally there are so expensive champagnes and wines if you wish) but this can soon mount up when on board for two weeks. So if you plan to have lots of alcaholic drinks then it may be worth considering the all inclusive deal - we did and didn't regret it - hic. They have wine deals too to choose from so will all depend on how much you will consume! Water, coffee, tea is available anyway all day. * If you really want to spoil yourself then book a place in "The Sanctuary" as soon as you can and experience luxury sun beds, pampered service and total peace and quiet whilst the ocean slips past in front of you - total bliss and at $20 p.p. per half day its not too expensive. * The organised tours where not something we wanted but if you do, then try to book early as they do get booked up. * If you simply want to wander around the port yourself then just get a shuttle bus for Marseille, Barcellona, Florence/Pisa and Rome (much too far to walk and only about $10p.p !!), just walk in when visiting Gibralter or Ajaccio (Corsica) Disembarkation was pretty smooth (although grabbing you bags was a little competitive) but you'll be off the ship within a few minutes of your allotted time. All impressive considering the 3500+ guests they have to deal with. We would throughly recommend a cruise holiday and, although this was our first trip and so we cannot directly compare to other cruiselines, Princess was absolutely excellent and more than fulfilled our expectations. From what we were told by other experienced guests and from what we saw, they seem to have struck a great balance between a family, relaxed atmosphere but with smart formal nights and child free areas to the ship. We're now going to book next years cruise - hope the above useful and do enjoy your trip too! :-) Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We originally looked at taking a bus tour through Europe, but if you only have a short time and want to see a lot of places, a port intensive cruise is the way to do it! Get waited on hand and foot, go to bed in the same room every night, ... Read More
We originally looked at taking a bus tour through Europe, but if you only have a short time and want to see a lot of places, a port intensive cruise is the way to do it! Get waited on hand and foot, go to bed in the same room every night, no packing and unpacking, and wake each morning with somewhere new to explore! It really was the best choice. We had two sea days, and we needed those to sleep in and recharge, ready for the next adventure. Embarkation was easy, we were told between 1pm and 5pm, turned up at 4pm and were on board with no delay. We had Anytime Dining which worked well. We noted some people had to wait for a table if they asked for a table for two, but we were happy to share and were usually seated straight away. The only time we had to wait was on a formal night, then we were given a buzzer and were called back after only about 15 minutes. Service in the Bordeaux dining room was good, with a nice menu choice each night. The food was generally quite good. We also ate in the Horizon Buffet a couple of times. They had a good choice and were open until midnight. You could have a full meal or just a salad, or just fruit, or a selection of cheese and crackers/bread or just go for the desserts, it was very easy. There was also no rush, you could stay there as long as you wanted. One day we met a nice couple at breakfast and were still there for lunch! For some reason they have the best cup of tea in there too, maybe the water was just the right temperature, I don't know exactly why, but it was good! I saw the Bayou show in the Princess Theatre, but that's the only show I saw in the evening. The other nights there were singers or a comedian or a musician, and none of them sounded very appealing. I may have been missing out on a really good show, but it was my first cruise and I was expecting more production shows like the Bayou one, not just a singer. That could be my error. We went ashore on all port days, and every time it was well organised with no delays. I hadn't been on a cruise before and was imagining 2000 people lined up for ages all wanting to get off the ship at the same time, but thankfully it wasn't like this at all! It was all quite quick and well organised to get off and then on again at the end of the tour. It was also lovely to be welcomed back on a hot sticky day with a glass of cold water and a cold wet cloth, a nice touch. Disembarkation - we had heavy bags and didn't relish the thought of getting them up and over the bridges in Venice, so paid the $44 fee for the Princess transfer. It was great for our bags - they showed up at our hotel later on, but not so great for us. We had to sit and wait quite a while before our water taxi took us, I'm not sure why but I think someone was late and we were waiting for them. Our transfer was to the train station, but we were dropped off on the other side of the canal and we had to walk and go over a couple of bridges to get to the station. It would have been quicker and easier for us to send us luggage that way and then go and take the $1.50 people mover. That's a minor complaint though. Ports - Barcelona - we had three days there before the cruise, and I would encourage people to take four or five days. It is a beautiful city and there is so much to see, three days wasn't enough for us. Book ahead for attractions if you can or take advantage of the Skip the Line QR code signs where they have them. We used the HOHO bus while we were there, and also took an organised bus tour up to Montserrat, which was lovely. Toulon - we took the Princess excursion to Saint Tropez. The bus trip wasn't bad but our guide was a bit annoying. We had the choice once we got there of going off on our own or sticking with the guide for a bit of a tour, and we decided to go off on our own. There was a market and lots of shops, and the shore to look at. There were also thousands of other tourists and it was stinking hot. It was nice to see and I'm glad we went, but that's one box ticked - I don't need to go there again. Livorno - we took the Princess excursion to Florence with time on your own. This excursion was excellent, even though our bus broke down and we had to wait half an hour for another one! Our guide was excellent and knew her stuff. She guided us around the main attractions and told us lots of interesting information about each place, and then we had time on our own and met up with her later on to go back to the bus. Civitavecchia - we booked a private tour here, from Drivers Guide Services. Claudio picked us up at the port at the appointed time and we were in Rome in one hour (not much traffic because August is apparently when they take holidays over there). He took us straight to the Colosseum so we were there before the crowds got too bad, and spent the rest of the day giving us a wonderful tour of the city and history lesson combined. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend tours from DGS. Naples - we had another Princess excursion here - the Ultimate Bay of Naples - Pompeii, Positano, Sorrento. Again we had a very nice guide and driver in a small bus - maximum 16 on this excursion. Our guide was very informative and we had some time on our own in Positano (beautiful!), then more time on our own in Sorrento before we met up to go to a hotel for a nice five course lunch (included in the tour), then on to Pompeii. I was thinking it would have been better to go to Pompeii first before it got too hot, but later heard from other cruisers that Pompeii was much, much busier first thing in the morning, so I'm glad our tour went this way around. Pompeii was amazing, and also amazingly hot! Very hot and humid, you must take a hat and water with you on this tour, and the hand fans that the souvenir shops sell everywhere help too. Mykonos - wow, so beautiful here! We docked and Princess had buses outside waiting to drop us closer to town. There were probably other ways of doing it, but it wasn't too expensive and it was easy. From there we just walked around on our own and found our way over to the windmills and had a look around the town. It wasn't a long stop here, so we didn't bother about trying to go and visit anywhere else, we just stayed in the town. Istanbul - we had a private tour booked here too - through Ephesus Shuttle. Our guide met us and was very good, very informative. No payment until the end of the tour, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. Unfortunately we were there on a Friday so missed out on the Blue Mosque, but there's still plenty of other things to see. The tour operators can change their itinerary a little for you too, if you wish to see something different. For instance we went to Topkapi Palace and wanted to include the Harem section, which they did for us at a small extra cost to cover the tickets. The Grand Bazaar wasn't anywhere near as busy as I expected, and things were quite expensive. I didn't buy very much there at all. Kusadasi - we had another private tour booked here, again through Ephesus Shuttle. Ephesus is amazing, well worth going, and the drive out there is lovely too. Include the Terrace Houses if you go. Turkey is beautiful. Our guide was very informative again, and very nice. After the tour we stopped in Kusadasi and did a little bit of souvenir shopping. Expect the hard sell though. Athens - we did the Princess excursion Acropolis and Time on your Own in the Plaka. Whatever you do, don't miss out on going to the Acropolis if you haven't been before. It is not at all like I expected, there is so much more to see than just some ruins! Our guide was lovely and once again, very informative. Climbing to the top wasn't too hard because there are several stops on the way up where the guide explains what you are seeing. Once you get to the top, the view is well worth it. Make sure your shoes have good grip, it is a bit slippery in some places. After we left there, we had a bit of a bus tour around Athens which I was not expecting. We went past a number of interesting sites and buildings, and had a short stop at the site of the first modern olympics so we could take photos. Then it was on to the Plaka. There we had a look around at the shops (lots of souvenir shops) and had some lunch at the restaurant recommended by the guide (Hermion/Epmeion). The restaurant was quite nice, but the food was pretty average. Venice - we had an extra day in Venice so didn't do any organised tours here, we did our own thing which worked out fine. Princess had a $29 return water transfer to St Mark's Square, but we just took the people mover for $1.50 and walked from there, discovering things as we went. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Overall we had a good experience. I suggest you read the fine print very carefully before arriving at the port. The fine print contains some things that are not allowed to be brought on board. Since we had arrived by plane and had no place ... Read More
Overall we had a good experience. I suggest you read the fine print very carefully before arriving at the port. The fine print contains some things that are not allowed to be brought on board. Since we had arrived by plane and had no place to put the items, we just lost them. This was very frustrating! They did not offer any options, they just took them. This is not the way we wanted to start our cruise. These are things that are allowed on planes. The staff was very helpful; although, less than 5% spoke clear English. It was difficult to place a request if it was anything other than the normal, like please bring me milk not coke. We had a balcony room. It was nice and what i would expect. The shows where nice. We enjoyed each one. The meals where also nice. We like the anytime dining better than the scheduled dining. The scheduled dining can interfere with your tours at the stops. One thing that i did not like it the Michelangelo and Da Vinci dining rooms are way to crowed. I am not normally bothered by such things, but I was getting very uncomfortable in this situation. I could not get between the tables they are so closely set. The food in each was very good, but we much prefer the more relaxed atmosphere in the Horizon dinning room. We are not of the uptight and proper city crowd. Another thing that is irritating is the constant sales pitch from the staff trying to sell you booze. You can not go on deck without at least 6 worker trying to sell you a drink package. This was our first cruise. A cruise to Alaska was lifetime dream. If we decide to take another cruise, i would consider Princess again. We are more about the destination than the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Staff was pitiful. Food not even average. Charge for everything. Could not escape rude Children because sanctuary was closed because no one wanted to pay $40 for a lounge chair for a half day. Entertainment was hokey. Our mini suite ... Read More
Staff was pitiful. Food not even average. Charge for everything. Could not escape rude Children because sanctuary was closed because no one wanted to pay $40 for a lounge chair for a half day. Entertainment was hokey. Our mini suite vibrated day and night. Millions of jewelry stores in ports. Excursions average. Generally nothing special. Probably could have done luxury cruise for same $$$. Very disappointing Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My first cruise with Coral Princess, indeed my first cruise ever! A sole traveller I read all the reviews of the Alaskan Cruise both ways and even up to Embarkation the Jury was still out! Embarkation, in view of the logistics, was ... Read More
My first cruise with Coral Princess, indeed my first cruise ever! A sole traveller I read all the reviews of the Alaskan Cruise both ways and even up to Embarkation the Jury was still out! Embarkation, in view of the logistics, was quite seamless, if not a little daunting for those first timers. There were long queues but they moved quickly and there were lots of helpers when you accidentally diverted into the wrong line! The cruise itinerary stated boarding at noon. I arrived at around 11.15 and it was starting to get busy. After Customs Control and security checks I found myself in a huge hall with all my would-be passengers awaiting the final stage of the boarding process. I estimate that I was in my cabin by 12.30. I only had one medium sized case (larger than airport carry on) and my first tip is, if you are able, keep your case with you then you don't have to wait for it to be delivered to the cabin (having said that I am not sure of wait times, but there were lots of cases!). So I found myself in my cabin and able to unpack and get sorted very quickly. Although not the largest cruise ship, again navigation quite daunting for the first-time passenger though on embarkation you did get a Map of the ship along with your Boarding Card - neverthess seven nights down and I still mistook my Port from my Starboard! Emergency procedures were carried out in an efficient and good-natured way with Muster Stations clearly marked. At 4.00 we sailed out of Vancouver and my adventure began. I chose Traditional Dining at Provence - 7.30 pm. I did initially ask for a table for 2 but when I first arrived was shown to a table for 8, within 5 mins I knew this was the right decision as I met 7 of the most delightful people all from different parts of USA and Canada who were very intrigued by my 'English' tales. All of the others on my table were experienced cruise vacationers so were able to give plenty of hints and tips. In fairness the quality of dining in the Provence ranged from medium to good but never excellent. I think my main gripe was the temperature of the meals which usually ranged from tepid to luke warm. Perhaps again this is down to the logistics of serving so many people. I never experienced a 'hot meal' however the waiters were very efficient and friendly. I thought the choice on the menu was good and some of the desserts were gorgeous. Elsewhere on the Ship I found the Horizon Court a bit too daunting and busy for the sole traveller, although there was lots of choice from breakfast to dinner. The position of the restuarant on the upper levels of the ship together with the Pizzeria and Grill, meant that on bad days you had to 'brave the elements' to get there. I did have breakfast on the penultimate morning in the Horizon Court with my new found friends and was amazed at the lovely views from that part of the deck which I would not have experienced if I had not tried the restaurant at least once. Burgers from The Grill were of good quality and pizzas good. My favourite place each morning was the International Cafe who served a 'mean' cafe latte with a selection of croissants and pastries. To me it was a nice quiet start to the day and the waiters were lovely. (They also did a limited selection of sandwiches for lunch but on busy days the choice would get depleted). I did not try any of the Specialist Evening Restaurants though I did have lunch in Sabatinis and enjoyed a lovely complimentary pizza. There were 'many' passengers on the ship, from all over the world, but once on board you never got the feeling of 'crowds'. There were children on board but in my opinion it was never noisy and I hardly noticed the many families. I enjoyed all the shopping areas, there were sales and discounted sessions in all shops and I thought the choices good for a cruise ship. I was a little mad at myself for being 'cagouled' into a photo package the first night on board and although it included a USB drive I thought it was expensive and with every photo you wanted adding (there were photographers snapping you at Embarkation and at ports) it was extra so it turned out not to be a package at all! Entertainment - there was something for everyone on board with 'order of the day' delivered to your cabin every morning. I admit to being 'worn out' each night but did attend one of the dancing shows which was excellent! If you had the energy you could certainly be entertained and well 'watered' for most of the night! From reviews I have read, there are mixed opinions on the Beverage Package and value for money. I did pre purchase this and for me it worked well as I enjoyed my speciality coffees, afternoon cocktails and evening wine, though in essence I have not yet had the opportunity to work out my drinks expenditure as opposed to the cost if the package. Excursions - at Ketchikan I chose The Rainforest Sanctuary - Juneau I chose Mendenhall Glacier and Gardens - Skagway I chose the White Pass round trip railway journey - these were all pre booked with Princess Cruises. I thoroughly enjoyed them all - no problems and no complaints. There were lots of excursions to choose from with various prices, all the passengers I spoke to had good experiences, perhaps I should have been a little more adventurous as there were many tales at dinner of whale watching and bear sightings! The two sailing days at Glacier Bay and College Fjord were marvellous although on our visit to Glacier Bay the on board Naturalist Mark described the weather as 'brutal' which in a way it was and maybe it was not weather for sunning on the balcony, but the scenery was beautiful. In contrast the next afternoon's cruising up College Fjord could only be described as awesome with sunshine and blue skies - scenery I shall never forget. Back to Mark, I enjoyed his commentary at tannoy points throughout the ship and also on Channel 41 of the ship's TV. Unfortunately most of the resident wildlife eluded us but there were sightings of a couple of Minky Whales and some Porpoises. As usual I 'blinked' and missed the moment! So, all in all, my first cruise was a fantastic life-changing experience. It has been said in some of the reviews that the ship's decor was a bit tired and ready for a refit - I thought the ship looked spick and span and every day you saw members of the crew painting and mending this and that! Sadly Disembarkation Day came all too soon. I had prebooked a private transfer to Anchorage from Whittier so I was a little concerned I could get a late 'slot' and miss the coach. I need not have worried, two days prior we were given an information sheet and were given the choice of disembarkation times (though this was not guaranteed). Again for me, the organisation was seamless, we were given coloured tickets and meeting areas and everything went to plan. My case remained with me throughout so I did not have to seek it out in the terminal area of Whittier, though there seemed to be no problems with the other passengers I saw. So thank you Coral Princess I hope one day to be back! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We did a land tour first and then a seven night cruise southwards of the Inside Passage on the Pacific Princess. This was our first cruise and we are now hooked. The land tour which was also organised by Princess was well planned, we had a ... Read More
We did a land tour first and then a seven night cruise southwards of the Inside Passage on the Pacific Princess. This was our first cruise and we are now hooked. The land tour which was also organised by Princess was well planned, we had a great Tour Director with us who was very knowledgable and helpful, and we felt we learned a great deal about life in Alaska. The boarding process at Anchorage was well organised and we enjoyed being on a smaller ship of 670 passengers and around 300 crew. Food was excellent, particularly the buffet, the staff were attentive and cheerful, entertainment and presentations were also great and there were also lots of viewing areas on the boat without feeling too crowded. Our inside cabin 8036 was also great, plenty of storage, quiet, comfy bed and pillows and a lovely cabin steward. Good value for money as we were only in it to sleep. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on Pacific Princess and would recommend to others. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
For our first-ever cruise we took the Ruby Princess to Alaska. The cruise went off without a hitch, embarking and disembarking went very smoothly. When we embarked I made the mistake of trying to walk everywhere myself (foot issues mean ... Read More
For our first-ever cruise we took the Ruby Princess to Alaska. The cruise went off without a hitch, embarking and disembarking went very smoothly. When we embarked I made the mistake of trying to walk everywhere myself (foot issues mean I should minimize my walking), from checking in at port to finding our family on the ship. I got exhausted pretty quickly. After that fiasco we went down to the Medical Office and rented a wheelchair for the duration of the trip. The medical staff were super helpful and it only took a few minutes to rent the wheelchair. The rest of the trip was very happy for me because I could rest in the wheelchair and save my feet for the excursions, and it was relatively easy to maneuver around the ship. The ship is very wheelchair friendly. I was also able to disembark on a Princess wheelchair, a Princess employee wheeled me all the way through customs/luggage to the shuttle stop, and that was very helpful. The ship was immaculate and tastefully decorated. We often got lost trying to get to one place or another; it would be helpful if there were more signage pointing out where you are vis a vis the public venues. Also helpful if hubby would remember he has a map of the ship in his pocket! The ship's crew were wonderful. We especially appreciated our steward, Teddy. He seemed to always be right outside our cabin door! One day when the toilet had problems we told Teddy as we left for breakfast and by the time we came back it was fixed! Couldn't believe it! Other requests were handled promptly and with a smile. Room always freshened while we were out yet we never ran into the cleaning people - they magically disappeared when you wanted to hang out in the room. I loved the shower, honestly the water pressure was better than the shower in my house! Our room was quiet, very little sound coming from hallway or other rooms. Every evening we dined in the Da Vinci dining room. Our waiters got to know us and were professional and friendly (sometimes a bit over the top on the jokes, but great overall), and helpful. We asked for a table near the windows for my mother-in-law's birthday dinner and we got that table for the rest of the cruise! We were very pleased. The food was very good in the Da Vinci. Plenty of variety from night to night, most offerings were delicious. If ever we received something we did not care for (seldom), the wait staff was right on top of ordering a replacement, which came very quickly. The creme brulee (my favorite dessert) was my downfall -- I had it three times and that weight is not going to come off anytime soon. We also ate in the wine bar and had the happy hour tapas/sushi, which was pretty good. Sandwiches, salads and desserts at the walk-up cafe on Deck 5 were also good. Food in the buffet on what I think was Deck 15 was so-so, but when you're in a hurry I guess that's the way to go. It was always crowded in the buffet rooms and difficult to find a table. While I did not utilize them, my in-laws used the exercise equipment and joined in a couple exercise classes and thought they were very good. On the "con" side, one thing that got really annoying was the constant upselling everywhere you went. NO I don't want to go to the wine tasting for x dollars. Stop interrupting our (otherwise lovely) dinner to ask us for the twelfth time. Nor do I want to buy a beverage package - $50 A DAY? Who drinks that much? Also really cheesy that Princess makes you pay for the bottled water in your room. These cruises are not cheap, I think Princess could spring for a couple bottles of no-name water. The only other negative -- I felt that ship entertainment choices were underwhelming (although since we don't dance we didn't check out the discos/dance floors at night so they could have been awesome for all I know). There was hardly anything that we were interested in. I'm sure younger couples would find sea days pretty dull. "Enrichment activities" were not great. A couple of the "expert" speakers giving lectures were beyond boring. (One guy, at the beginning of his lecture, showed 10 minutes' worth of slides from cruises he'd taken. This had nothing to do with the lecture topic. Slides did not identify what the pictures were -- random beach shot? some type of building? -- or where they were taken. It was like going to a friend's house and being forced to watch their vacation slide show without narration as to what you were seeing.) On the few times we ventured out to an activity like "crazy golf", the line you had to wait in to play the game was ridiculously long. And speaking of golf, the Princess Links, a nine-hole putting green, had a grand total of two golf clubs available. Our group of 9 went up there to check it out and couldn't believe that's all they had. On the plus side, we enjoyed the casino, where we spent a few hours on sea days (and won money on a penny slot, who knew). My brother and sister-in-law did enjoy the karaoke contests, they went down to see them every night. We listened to the all-passenger choir sing Sound of Music, that was cute. The only other group activity I truly enjoyed was the balloon drop/dance party to celebrate Princess' 50th anniversary. Even my 90-year-old mother-in-law joined in on singing/signing YMCA! All in all a great trip with our family, our first cruise and we are thinking of going again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Before I start it’s maybe good to know that this was my first cruise ever. So I don’t know if my expectations are maybe too high. For me I compare this 5* ship with an at least 4* hotel. I travelled together with my brother who was ... Read More
Before I start it’s maybe good to know that this was my first cruise ever. So I don’t know if my expectations are maybe too high. For me I compare this 5* ship with an at least 4* hotel. I travelled together with my brother who was cruising years ago with Costa. The embarkation was very smoothly. On-board they told us that the rooms were not ready yet, but if we wanted to lunch we may use the buffet restaurant. This, I found very kind of them. For me the interior of ship was good enough, although it certainly can use some refreshments. On the eye it was clean. I found the ship itself very stable and sailed very comfortable. I was very afraid to become sea sick (as I become already sick from a canal boat), but thankfully no sick at all. The tour which we made was very wonderful. We were blessed with very good weather. All ports were very nice. And at all ports there was good transportation options for to go to the main city (hop on/off bus, shuttle bus etc.). Everywhere we met very nice and interesting people. We only booked for St. Petersburg a 2 days excursion, what was very nice and good. As most of the excursions by Princess cruises are very expensive, I found the price of those two very reasonable. The service on board was very poor. Staff was not always well willing and the security staff was very unfriendly and even sometimes rude. Customer service is a laugh, they don’t solve any problems. When you lay on the sundeck it takes a while before a waiter is coming. Even sometimes (after waiting for over more than an hour) you go by yourself. Used glasses/plates etc. stay laying there. In the buffet restaurants it also take a while before somebody came for to pick up the orders for drinks and to take the plates from the table. The buffet restaurants on the ship looks indeed like a canteen (incl. plastic plates). The diversity of food was very simple, cheap and not prepared well. Although in the evening it was much better than in afternoon. Even the canteen at my work offered much better meals than on the Caribbean Princess (they also have to prepare meals for over more than 3000 people). For us the breakfast buffet was very disappointing. If you like sausages and eggs, you will be satisfied. Positive aspect to mention: they bake the bread daily fresh and the croissants are excellent! For us it was also frustrating that you always have to walk with your food, as there was most of the time no free seats in the horizon court, from one to the other buffet. This because the assortments on both buffets was not the same. We had traditional dinning (2nd seat), the food was not always prepared well and taste was very flat. We missed the love of the Cook (finesse in the dishes). All food on board was ok but certainly not excellent (and this we expect on a 5* ship) The only menu which was excellent, was the 50th anniversary menu. Entertainment on board was to us good enough (some performing’s are wonderful and some not), but this is very personal. Pools and Fitness area are very good and in good/clean conditions. The prices of the internet on board is way too high and should be even offered for free (as extra service on a 5* ship). We had the whole time the feeling that Princess more care about making as much as possible profit from the guest on board than about giving services. To find out if my expectations are indeed too high, my next trips will be 1x by a 4* ship and 1x again on a 5* ship. My next trip will be with my 2 teens daughters, so any suggestion are welcome. For me I will definitely not going anymore with Princess cruises as they don’t care about good quality and good services. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Outstanding service and value. We couldn't have asked for a better holiday. Both embark and disembarkment were painless experiences. This was our first cruise and the organisation at Southampton was impeccable. Arriving on the ... Read More
Outstanding service and value. We couldn't have asked for a better holiday. Both embark and disembarkment were painless experiences. This was our first cruise and the organisation at Southampton was impeccable. Arriving on the ship was a pleasure and the staff couldn't be an more helpful and attentive. The ship was clean and there were staff daily clearing glasses, rubbish etc; they worked extremely hard and were all dedicated. There was plenty of space and areas to go so that it wasn't too crowded. Movies under the stars is a lovely touch and enjoyed by all. There were countless activities from early in the morning to late in the evening if you wanted to participate in them. You were never bombarded or felt pressured to join in though. The service from ALL staff was outstanding, nothing was too much bother ever, and you must ignore people that just like to moan about them. In all honesty the excursions from the ship are quite expensive but the upside is if they are running late the ship will wait for them. We however sorted our own excursions and used a company called Can't be Missed Tours for our excursion around Rome. Our cabin was plenty big enough, clean and ok for the time we spent in it. I would say that there should be free still bottled water in each room though as you had to pay for this as did you have to pay for anything you used out of the fridge even if you had the unlimited alcohol package. The dining on this ship was faultless and the food was exquisite as was the service in any restaurant we went in. There was always a good choice of food and something for everyone. In all honesty I don't know how they did it. They were also always changing the stock and kept to timings etc for the milk etc. Overall the food, cleanliness, staff and accommodation were fantastic. This is the best way to holiday in our opinion. Princess cruises are a great and reliable company to travel with! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Our first ever cruise (probably not our last). This was an overall enjoyable cruise. We are a fully able English couple in our late 50s who, in the main, like to do our own thing. I'm not particularly social whereas my wife can ... Read More
Our first ever cruise (probably not our last). This was an overall enjoyable cruise. We are a fully able English couple in our late 50s who, in the main, like to do our own thing. I'm not particularly social whereas my wife can talk to anybody. First off tips for new cruisers: Princess uses American power so bring a US to UK adapter and UK extension lead which you can use for all your chargers. We had a mini suite with a fridge which already had some drinks in. You will be charged for these if you use them so, ask the steward to remove them and use the fridge for you own water supplies. Bring a couple of water bottles, when they are empty refill them with water, put in fridge and chill for use on excursions - repeat. Bring insulated beakers for taking coffee back to the rooms. Princess makes extensive use of credit card sized "Cruise Cards" which are used to "purchase" drinks, excursions etc. Bring a lanyard an ask the Passenger Services desk to punch a hole in the card, attach the lanyard, hang it around your neck and you'll never loose it. If you want to buy jewellery/cosmetics/art etc, I would recommend you wait until Gibraltar. There is a better range and its cheaper! We bought our cruise at the "Daily Mail" cruise show where we got $550 each for use onboard. At the end of the cruise we ended up only paying an extra $25! So going to a free show paid for our excursions, drinks, photos and gratuities!! We over packed (surprise, surprise). For myself- For the (3) formal evenings I only really needed one outfit. Most guys would wear a black suit, white shirt with bowtie. I had a dark blue suit, white shirt with normal tie which was acceptable. I bought an extra two shirts which weren't used. For the remaining smart/casual evenings I wore brown chinos and one of two polo shirts. Most guys wore short sleeved shirts. All the rest of time I used shorts and t-shirts. Cold UK clothing (jacket/jeans/jumper) were handy when the 'Movies Under the Stars' proved to be a bit nippy. Dining: We opted for the "Anytime Dining" option. We generally ate breakfasts from the "Cafe Caribe" buffet at about 7:30. The buffet was quiet at this time of the morning and we could always get a window seat or sit outside. Sometimes we had breakfast in our Mini-Suite (oh the decadence of it all). Lunches could prove very busy but, if you get your buffet from "Horizon Court" there was usually plenty of seating in "Cafe Caribe" We had dinner in either the "Island Dining Room" or from "Horizon Court". These did get very busy around 8pm. So we got into the routine of eating at around 5.30 to 6.30 then going to the show. There was always plenty of room at this time and it seemed to coincide with "happy hour" by a glass of wine and get another for $1. All the food we had was excellent. Entertainment etc: Keep an eye on the "Princess Patter" daily newsletter. We missed the first "Formal" night because we failed to spot the dress code notification. The shows in the "Princess Theatre" were a mixed bag. The "shows" were good, the singers were fairly good, speciality act "String Idols" good, comedians were very poor apart from "John Martin". I got a bit tired of the Art Auctions/Effy Jewellery sales which seemed to dominate proceedings. Crew: Unfailing polite and always there when you needed them. Only good things to say. Embarkation/Disembarkation: We used CPS to park our car - Brilliant, the holiday started as soon as we handed our keys over at Southampton and we didn't see our bags until we got on board. Getting on board is a breeze - almost a pleasure. Disembarkation was just as easy. We chose to carry our own bags off and our car was waiting for us just outside the CPS office. Our only real gripes was how crowded it seemed at times (especially around the pools with the lack of sun beds) and all the pesky kids. Unfortunately my wife works in school so we are stuck with school holidays. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Having nothing to compare the Caribbean Princess with and reading some of the reviews, I wondered what I had let myself in for. All I can say l was pleasantly surprised. Sure the Ships is looking a bit tired but she goes in for a refit ... Read More
Having nothing to compare the Caribbean Princess with and reading some of the reviews, I wondered what I had let myself in for. All I can say l was pleasantly surprised. Sure the Ships is looking a bit tired but she goes in for a refit next year. From the moment of embarkation (which was very quick and efficient) to the point of disembarkation (the only let down) we could find nothing to complain about. There were queues for the Anytime Dining, as we ate early I cannot state how long people waited, only to say we did not have to queue at 6pm. The food in all dining venues was good, the Crown Grill and Sabatini's being excellent and well worth the extra $25 per head. The entertainment was good, there were trivia challenges every evening and these were well supported, dancing, music, and shows. On sea days there was plenty to keep you entertained if you so wanted during the morning/afternoon. There was a problem with sunbeds, but l did see the deck attendants removing towels. The Captain was very informative and at times funny, especially the night we encountered strong winds. The only blot was disembarkation there were delays of up 30 mins and no reason given, subsequently we disembarked as the new passengers were embarking it was a bit chaotic in the terminal. That said we would definitely cruise on the Caribbean Princess again. 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
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click