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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
ship needs revamp. dining ok if you like a curry or high fat foods.Entertainment .poor. The only good thing about this cruise were the bar and waiting staff and the ports of call . Only ate in main restaurant four times as was put off by ... Read More
ship needs revamp. dining ok if you like a curry or high fat foods.Entertainment .poor. The only good thing about this cruise were the bar and waiting staff and the ports of call . Only ate in main restaurant four times as was put off by the chicken drumsticks chips and gravy,hardly a la carte. Buffet curry eggs and onion rice for breakfast or full English dripping in fat. cruised many times before and have never had to leave a bad review .you need a new cruise director as his vision of good entertainment is perhaps suited for an old peoples home at best.Kids club was a joke and they wanted $25 to ice a cake where as on all other cruises this would have been free . We spent in total £9000.00 on this holiday for two adults and two children paid for a la carte got chicken drumsticks paid for our children to be entertained did not happen,paid for great entertainment was not entertained Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Sadly our reasoning for the choice of ship and cruise line was determined by the lack of available and desired cruise destination with our usual cruise provider, cunard. The following are the few good points : Embarkation and ... Read More
Sadly our reasoning for the choice of ship and cruise line was determined by the lack of available and desired cruise destination with our usual cruise provider, cunard. The following are the few good points : Embarkation and diaembarkation Balcony room steward Customer service desk Waiter service at dinner The following are the negative points : Wines, spirits and beers massively and for the quality of the wines in particular, overpriced. Service slow, and non existant if you were not lounging near the pool. Food quality at dinner, not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination, poorly plated and presented and regularly undercooked. Wine waiter knew nothing about the wines on offer and was only interested in constantly overfilling the glass to push sales. The entertainment was average at best,,, we only managed to access one show at the 10.15pm slot (we chose an 8.00pm dining time) as the theatre was full from earlier diners remaining seated along with there sleeping children, preventing any opportunity to gain a seat, i refuse to stand to watch any show for this reason. Overall a poor shipboard experience. NEVER to be repeated. Ruined the holiday Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After reading a negative review we felt we had to contradict everything from the so called worse cruise ever. The food in the restaurants and the horizon court was of the normal high standard. There were curries but what was left out was ... Read More
After reading a negative review we felt we had to contradict everything from the so called worse cruise ever. The food in the restaurants and the horizon court was of the normal high standard. There were curries but what was left out was that there were another 9 or 10 choices. The entertainment was of high quality apart from one comedian, the cruise director was always informative and it was not his fault if the comedian bombed, everyone else including the princess dancers and singers were excellent, the assistant cruise director also performed and it is no exaggeration to say that she should have a spot in the princess theatre. The rest of the crew and waiting staff along with the stewards all done an excellent job, so much so that two days after being back we as a family booked a cruise for 2020. T he itinerary was good and if you look at other cruise lines bare in mind that princess has won more awards, and for good reason, some people just have to try and moan about anything, so just be realistic and take all that with a pinch of salt. Also the embarkation and disembarkation was so so easy and so fast, we arrived at the mayflower terminal and was onboard in 10 minutes and was in our hotel in 15mins after leaving our cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked this cruise to see the British Isles. I travelled with my parents (72 and 73 respectively). Have been to some of the cities before but wanted to see more of Scotland. Stayed at the Leonardo Tower Bridge Hotel (Princess hotel ... Read More
Booked this cruise to see the British Isles. I travelled with my parents (72 and 73 respectively). Have been to some of the cities before but wanted to see more of Scotland. Stayed at the Leonardo Tower Bridge Hotel (Princess hotel near the Tower of London) for 2 days prior to sailing. Great hotel with buffet breakfast included but on the outskirts of London. Took the hop on hop off bus which was great. Got to see everything without leaving the bus. Have been to London a few times before so the bus was perfect for us without having to do all the walking. After a three hour ride to Southampton, embarkation was very quick, easy and efficient, as was disembarkation. Got onboard around 2:30 and cabin was ready with luggage already there. Cabin was nice. Always clean and everything replenished. Cabin steward Marlon was very attentive to our needs. Bed was absolutely terrific. Best sleep I have had in years. Not much of a balcony person so I can't really comment on it but it was clean the few times I was on it. We had Anytime Dining and went to both dining rooms. We made a reservation each night to avoid the line-ups. The food was excellent with different selections each night. Portions just right. Never went away hungry. Also had one meal in the Crown Grill. Again, food was excellent. I highly recommend the lobster. Had breakfast in the Horizon Court every morning. There were times that we had trouble finding a table but that depended on what time you went to eat. Food was good. Mostly the same thing every morning but that didn't bother us. My only complainant would be that now and then it was a bit on the cool side. My parents had room service twice for breakfast and both times it showed up before they were expecting it. We went to all four shows in the Princess theater and they were fantastic. The house band played in the Piazza every night and they were great. Did not go to any of the singers in the lounges or the piano player in Crooners. A highland dance troupe played one night but I did not go. I heard they were excellent. Never went to any trivia, art auctions, talks or bingo. The service was good for the main part. Service in the dining room was excellent. Very attentive to your needs. Service in the Horizon Court was also good. We did all Princess shore excursions. Well worth the money. Had excellent tours with excellent tour guides and bus drivers. Saw everything we wanted to see and do. Little Chapel in Guernsey, two hours in the Blarney Woolen Mills stores (shopping heaven), Dublin, all Beatles things in Liverpool, the sad history in Belfast, Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow, Urquhart and Nessie in invergordon, Royal Mile and Princess Street in Edinburgh and Juno Beach in Normandy. The weather was fine for me (low 20's Celsius). The only day with rain was in Liverpool. The Crown is an older ship but still looked great. Overall, I had a great time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive ... Read More
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive review of our experience. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Both went smoothly. We purchased EZ Air, took a transfer from Heathrow to Southampton and were in our cabin by 11:30 am. However, unless you're at sea for a couple of days and you can rest up, I'd recommend staying overnight in London for a night or two; otherwise you miss the first day or so while catching up on sleep, because the sea/ocean air will make you relax anyway. Cabins: We upgraded this cruise and have stayed mostly in balcony and mini-suite cabins. They appear to be larger than other cruise line cabins. I agree with some comments they could do with a face lift, but beds are comfy and otherwise ok.If you are not used to Princess cabins, they have US outlets and it's a good idea to bring an outlet strip. Dining: My favorite place for breakfast is Horizon Court because of variety and quality. My husband likes Int'l Cafe because that's where they have the best coffee. Lunch is good in HC, too. Dinner we had in MDR. Agree, some of the choices are not the best - and too much beef, but we always found something on the menu we liked. I tried the Regional choices many days. Chocolate Journey desserts were yummy. Didn't try the specialty restaurants this time. Room service was good and quick, but menu needs an update. Activities & Entertainment: Kevin Tugwell was CD. He's ok, as are his staff, but the multiple (sometimes back-to-back) evening trivia and game shows became soooooo annoying and frustrating because that was often the only so-called entertainment that evening. The worst was when they attempted some amateur dramatics - we walked out. The cruise staff shouldn't be your entertainment in the Explorers Lounge. We did enjoy Voice of the Ocean/Karaoke - great talent on this cruise. Princess Orchestra is fantastic. Guest entertainers we liked were Michael Harrison (ventriloquist) - had the audience in stitches; George Casey and Ricky Jay (comedians); Jasson Allen (singer) and Johan Andersoon (singer). Ella also did a great job of Irish singing one evening in Princess Theater. Princess Singers and Dancers were ok. Liked the first two shows, had seen Encore before and walked out of Magic To Do - so boring. The local Folklore Dancers and Singers were mediocre - have seen and heard much better. XCite was a new band that boarded our ship and played most evenings in the Piazza - really enjoyed them. Because of cooler weather, didn't see any MUTS movies, nor were there any deck parties. Couple of piazza/balloon efforts. They had a few Zumba classes (free), but at odd times of the day. Service & Staff: We found the staff to be mostly friendly and helpful. They had a few issues with TVs on this cruise, partly because of the introduction of the Medallion. Both were competing for the internet, but they had an expert board the ship in Dublin and the issues seemed to improve after that. Medallion Class: This was new to the ship and there were a few hiccups, but generally it was quite well accepted. We've used it on other ships and it's fine when it's operating smoothly. Other Passengers: Typically, majority of passengers were from the US, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, and the UK/Ireland. We also had a tour of passengers from Mexico City. However, all communications are in English, so you really need to have someone fluent in English in your party; otherwise you'll miss a lot. Not sure how many people really read the daily Princess Patter, as the Captain got quite annoyed with the bad behavior of a few passengers. Ports & Tours: The selection of ports was great. At 2-3 ports, reps from the local Tourist Office were available in the Piazza to answer questions and provide maps/directions. I did a couple of self-directed tours on this trip. For example, in Cobh (pronounced Cove), I visited St. Colman's Cathedral. It was on a steep hill, but well worth the visit. Absolutely gorgeous and a couple of our passengers had written in the Visitors Book that they had emigrated to the US from Cobh over 60 years ago. In Liverpool, it was pouring down, but I dressed warmly and visited the two cathedrals there. While at the Catholic cathedral, I witnessed a christening. Most people had the sense to take the Hop On Hop Off buses, but I walked all the way. The Easy Loch Tour was a bit disappointing. It was a bus ride around the lakes and mountains. We did stop at Luss by Loch Lomond and saw a bride. In general, I think it's time to change up some of the tours offered and they are expensive, but guarantee you won't miss the ship - that is, unless you miss the deadline to get back to your bus. That happened on two of my tours. We had to leave without one couple and on the other one we waited longer than we should and the tour guide was really annoyed with them. More people are going for independent tours, but I noticed a lot of people were very late embarking the ship at Invergordon and they were on independent, not ship's tours. The Captain also made it clear in Edinburgh that we wouldn't wait for any late comers. Weather/What to Wear: Even for end of July/early August, the weather was a little cool. It was best to wear 3 layers - Tshirt, thin sweater or sweatshirt and a jacket - during the day. Evenings, they request passengers wear "smart casual" clothes and 2-3 evenings we had formal wear. Unfortunately, some people don't/won't understand the meaning of smart. We enjoyed this cruise overall, but maybe we have an advantage because we have sailed so many times with Princess, we know what to expect and how to get around any issues that arise. We did complete the survey after the end of the cruise and we know the corporate staff at Princess read Cruise Critics. I try to be honest, but fair. We've booked our next cruise on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - visiting some Norwegian ports we've not been to before and a new country, Iceland, which I've always wanted to visit. We weren't disappointed - fabulous scenery, extremely lucky to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - visiting some Norwegian ports we've not been to before and a new country, Iceland, which I've always wanted to visit. We weren't disappointed - fabulous scenery, extremely lucky to get great weather, and really liked the Sapphire Princess - just the right size as it didn't feel too big or crowded even on sea days. And its had a bit of a refurb so felt a bit more modern and up to date. No complaints at all about food, service, the ship and entertainment was top notch, from the production shows to the guest entertainers. We did mostly our own pre-arranged tours or in some ports just got off the ship and walked around. Beautiful and dramatic scenery especially the fjords in Norway and the geothermal areas in Iceland. Either way we got a really good feel for the countries we visited. A great 2 weeks. Thanks Princess. Some tips for excursions if you are thinking of this itinerary: Bergen - we've been before so skipped the trip up the mountain and just walked around town. Visited the Ice Bar which was fun (and cold but you get parkas and gloves to wear). Flam: we booked the Flamsbana railway in advance online but if there is more than 1 ship in, most of the slots will be booked already by tours. Lovely views, sit on the right hand side of the train if you can. Gerainger - we walked up to the Fjord Centre along the waterfall, you can then follow the path further uphill to Flydalsjuvet for great views down the fjord. Alesund - nice walk around the town, and then follow the path to the park and steps up the hill for great views from Byrampen viewpoint. There are further trails around the hill. Akeyuri - we did a tour with FAB travel to Myvatn, Godafoss, and stop at Myvatn Nature Baths - great outdoor pool, smaller and better than the Blue Lagoon. Isafjordur - walk around the small town, not much there. Visited the Culture House and had a nice coffee and great cakes at one of the small bakeries. You'd be better booking a tour to see more of the Westfjords area. Grundafjordur - we booked a small group private tour with another group of passengers who we got in touch with via Cruisecritic forum. Booked with Wild Westfjords, tour of Snaefellsnes Peninsula, well worth it and bit cheaper than Princess. Reykjavik - we did a small group tour with Saga Travel, booked online in advance, for the Golden Circle. Great tour. Dropped off in Reykjavik after, had a walk round town then back to the ship, about 35 mins walk along the waterfront. There is a shuttle but charged 10 euros pp one way. The walk is easy and nice weather so we walked instead. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Just completed a 14 day cruise to Norway and Iceland. It was our best cruise yet, the stops were great, especially in Iceland. We met some great folks and as usual the staff were top quality. From the point we arrived in Southampton ... Read More
Just completed a 14 day cruise to Norway and Iceland. It was our best cruise yet, the stops were great, especially in Iceland. We met some great folks and as usual the staff were top quality. From the point we arrived in Southampton everything ran like clockwork, its so easy to embark. The food on board is excellent wherever you decide to eat. we mostly went to Horizon. The bars on board are great, we used Churchill's mostly, its like being in your local at home, it tends to be quieter than the other bars. We did our on exploring in all ports, this is made easy as all stops had a tourist centre, and with some planning beforehand. The Platter and the Destination Expert Videos are very helpful. If I have any disappointment, then it was the last 3 days at sea. It was good to relax, but another stop on way home would have broken up the time. Next years cruise booked on board, another good deal. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We had not been to any of these ports. It was a great cruise. Enjoyed all the ports. Had a great time, The Staff were great met lots of new friends overall a great cruise Only one negative it was summer time in Europe and it was warm ... Read More
We had not been to any of these ports. It was a great cruise. Enjoyed all the ports. Had a great time, The Staff were great met lots of new friends overall a great cruise Only one negative it was summer time in Europe and it was warm and lots of children . Paul; the cruise director was great. Entertainment was fantastic, Overall a very good cruise the ports were easy and we did most on our own with out a tour. We had not been to any of these ports. It was a great cruise. Enjoyed all the ports. Had a great time, The Staff were great met lots of new friends overall a great cruise Only one negative it was summer time in Europe and it was warm and lots of children . Paul; the cruise director was great. Entertainment was fantastic, Overall a very good cruise the ports were easy and we did most on our own with out a tour. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I am a Princess Platinum Member, I selected this cruise for the itinerary. This ship needs updating and maintenance throughout. She is old and tired and in definite need of refurbishment. The ship in general felt dirty and unkept. The ... Read More
I am a Princess Platinum Member, I selected this cruise for the itinerary. This ship needs updating and maintenance throughout. She is old and tired and in definite need of refurbishment. The ship in general felt dirty and unkept. The toilets were smelly even in our cabin. Honestly, have to say, Princess Cruise Line has deteriorated along with this ship. Crew appear tired and overworked. I suggest Princess pay crew more and give them more time off. Shorter contracts, better pay, more training. On this 12 day cruise I rarely seen the officers and the ones I crossed paths with could not say hello or nod. Very poor. Food quality was horrible. The Crown dining room was the only decent place to dine for a half way decent meal. It was only adequate and had always been outstanding. I didn't mind paying the extra charge. This was shocking to me as I always found food served on Princess ships excellent. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose cruise for ports of call. Cruise experience did not meet previous princess standards. The crown is dated and not well maintained. The hotel staff were not as informed as prior cruises. Meal quality definately has declined. Dining ... Read More
Chose cruise for ports of call. Cruise experience did not meet previous princess standards. The crown is dated and not well maintained. The hotel staff were not as informed as prior cruises. Meal quality definately has declined. Dining room service was rushed. Since carnival acquired princess the past two cruises have been less than satisfying. On board pricing has increased and quality has declined. Internet service poorly set up. New medallion concept confusing to staff. We were locked out of our cabin on one occasion. Can no longer recommend Princess as worth the money to cruise. I am just short of elite status but will no longer choose Princess as my go to cruise company. I feel quite conflicted over my review as Princess was an exceptional cruise line. It has changed quite dramatically. It feels like passengers are simply revenue makers. The personal touch of the past is missing. My next cruise will probably be with a high end line so I get what I paid. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney ... Read More
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney MagicBand and has all of the same functions like opening your cabin door, registering your entrances/exits from the ship, charging expenses, etc.; it also includes operations like being able to order drinks and have them delivered to wherever you are onboard ship, tracking other people in your party onboard ship, playing various games, etc. We were told that eventually it will replace all paper on the ship including the daily Princess Patter newsletter, which lists all shipboard activities. All this sound may sound nice enough, but what we also discovered is that some of the personal information encoded into the medallion doesn't really stay personal; in fact, every waiter and even entertainer with whom we interacted had ready access to our names, cabin numbers, and even birth dates (which, incidentally, is all that's required to access your Medallion Internet account). What a surprise it was to have ship staff we did not even know call us by our names and then show us how our photos and other personal info showed up on their devices when we were within a certain distance of them. Don't know exactly how much information they have access to, but as one waiter put it, "We know everything about you!" Other than this issue of personal data exposure, the cruise went well although the food offerings and quality seemed to have diminished in quality—it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t up to what we had come to expect from prior Princess cruises. We were disappointed especially in the food court as it was so tiny for such a large ship! And on some mornings, it was so very crowded that getting to food was difficult and time-consuming---it really needs to be larger. Dinner offerings in the main restaurants were usually okay, though I can't say any were fantastic (though I did love that chocolate ice cream!); on the other hand, all the wait staff were always very competent, efficient, professional, and friendly and the kitchen really does take food allergies seriously: Thanks to all the wonderful kitchen and waitstaff! Entertainment was so-so: the duo in the Wheelhouse Bar (Jezzebel) were quite good though I'd suggest that broadening their dance music to include a few traditional types of ballroom dance might be beneficial to their audiences; e.g., a typical old-time waltz, a foxtrot or two, a rumba, cha cha, etc. The party band (The Drop), however... music was actually fine but their volume was painful, and we could never remain in their venues without ear pain so never did get to dance to them. As far as itinerary, there are quite a few ports included (and we could have used more at-sea days to relax!), but each port was of value. We tend to like to visit cities using the "on your own" option and we did this in Cork (Blarney), Dublin, Glasgow, Paris, and also London, sometimes using the cities' hop-on, hop-off bus system to visit museums and other sights. And in each city, I'd recommend the "Big Bus" hop-on, hop-off system over the other companies as Big Bus always seemed to have the most buses and the best schedules; routes were pretty much equivalent.. Prior to the cruise, we arrived in England a day early and stayed at the Heathrow Renaissance Hotel; after the cruise we remained in London another few days and stayed at The Windermere Hotel, near Victoria Station and not far from Buckingham Palace. Both of those places are highly recommended, although they are quite different in that the Renaissance is a huge chain hotel and the Windermere is very small boutique hotel, but both provided excellent service, very friendly and helpful staff, clean rooms, a safe environment, and good food. The Windermere's Pimlico Brasserie was excellent: the chef is a master at cooking dishes to perfection and then serving them in very attractive ways---he's as good at food presentation as preparation. Both were wonderful places to stay. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable and I would recommend it for its diversity of ports and what they all have to offer; I just have great reservations about how our personal information is being used. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Our family of three mostly enjoyed our British Isles cruise out of Southampton. We had cruised with Princess 5 years ago on a land/sea adventure to Alaska which was outstanding so we chose Princess again based mostly on this itinerary. ... Read More
Our family of three mostly enjoyed our British Isles cruise out of Southampton. We had cruised with Princess 5 years ago on a land/sea adventure to Alaska which was outstanding so we chose Princess again based mostly on this itinerary. We flew from the US to London 3 days early so we could get over our jet lag and see some of the sights of London prior to the cruise. Our balcony cabin was fine. Our steward made up the bunk for our 12-year-old daughter every evening which worked great for her. The beds were amazingly comfortable! We loved having a balcony to see the passing scenery and the ports. I can't imagine not having a balcony cabin for this itinerary as there is so much beautiful scenery throughout the cruise. Our cabin was maintained very well by our steward. The TV froze a few times but once we figured out that unplugging and plugging it back in resolved the issue, it was fine. We learned on our last cruise that scheduling our own excursions is much less expensive and a much better experience than purchasing excursions through Princess. I scheduled private or small group tours at every port and saved a fortune over what Princess charged. Most of the tour companies guarantee on-time return to the ship and we have never had any issues with timing. Two members of our extended family did purchase an excursion through Princess in Dublin to Powerscourt and said the entire experience paled in comparison to our private tours throughout the rest of the cruise. We thought the food on the cruise was good. We ate breakfast at the Horizon buffet every day and the taste, variety and quality were all very good. We ate most of our lunches off the ship as most days we were at port. For dinner we ate at Michelangelo and loved our table the first night so we continued to request the same table. Our servers, Pong and Sunshine, were outstanding and we enjoyed the more relaxed pace of the dining room after a full day of touring. We also enjoyed the gelato at the international café and coffee every morning at Coffee and Cones. We thought the entertainment was very poor. Our last cruise was on Holland America and we thought the entertainment on that cruise was extremely good. During this cruise we found it difficult to find something interesting to see or do most evenings. We did enjoy the karaoke and Voice of the Ocean competition but most of the other entertainment at the theater was not very enjoyable. We did seek out Jezebel which was an Irish duo and enjoyed their music. One great experience was the finals of Wimbledon being shown on the Movies under the Stars screen. The servers were passing out popcorn and it was a very lively crowd since we had just left Southampton/London 2 days before. Some of the other reviews mention the ship as showing its age but we didn't notice that. The common areas and our cabin all appeared to be in good condition. Our 12-year-old daughter attended the kids' club at the start of the cruise but once she made a group of friends, they tended to hang out by the pool or go eat together rather than go to the club. She did enjoy the kids club the times she attended and it appeared to be very well run. I see that some people are complaining about the tracking aspect of the medallions but it made it very easy to find our daughter on the ship and we were thankful for that ability. Embarkation and disembarkation were both fine. We chose to disembark on our own which comes with the bonus that we could keep our luggage in our room the last night. We scheduled our own transport to and from the ship which was half the cost of the Princess transfer. All in all we did enjoy the cruise but I'm not sure I would choose Princess again after an all-around better experience on Holland-America. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was so much fun. 1) Definitely get off the ship at the ports. The princess excursions guarantee you won't miss the ship departure. 2) Pack for rain! 3) Eat breakfast in the restaurant at least once because the ... Read More
This cruise was so much fun. 1) Definitely get off the ship at the ports. The princess excursions guarantee you won't miss the ship departure. 2) Pack for rain! 3) Eat breakfast in the restaurant at least once because the fresh coffee, service and food were nice to enjoy at a relaxed pace! 4) Go to the special entertainment on port nights! They had Irish dancers and ballads when we were docked in Ireland and Scottish bagpipes when we were in Scotland. So much fun to have the local experience. 5) Kids club looked fun but our 12 year old hung out with us mostly. It was great to have family time at all the trivia games, movie nights and karaoke! 6) Get to know the service staff. They have interesting stories and once they know you better they really look out for you and make sure everything is great. 7) Don't hesitate to ask! Our luggage got rained on during a connecting flight and our cabin steward offered to have a few garments cleaned and pressed as they were ruined by the rain...at no charge! e loved every port and did the Princess planned excursions which were all great! We did one excursion on our own totally (hiked to the train station, bought tickets, navigated the city by ourselves) it was a great way to see the city so if you have good health and don't mind doing the homework to get tickets, maps and know what you want to see it is totally doable in all these english speaking countries (minus Paris, France of course!) We were travelling with mixed ages 12-84 years young and there was something for everyone! Crew was awesome! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My adult son and I sailed on the Crown mid-July 2019 around the British Isles. Overall, it was a very fun experience that we'd consider doing again, perhaps with the whole family next time. Neither of us had been to UK or Ireland ... Read More
My adult son and I sailed on the Crown mid-July 2019 around the British Isles. Overall, it was a very fun experience that we'd consider doing again, perhaps with the whole family next time. Neither of us had been to UK or Ireland before, and this cruise allowed for us to get a quick overview, giving us some ideas of what we might want to see in more depth later. We stayed in an inside cabin near the Terrace Pool (deck 14), so it was easy to get outside to look around and also up to the buffet to get breakfast or a snack. The room was small but very comfortable with plenty of storage for the two of us. It was also very quiet. We had some minor problems with the TV and the toilet that were quickly resolved. We ate dinner in the dining room most nights and enjoyed almost everything. There was usually a good variety on the menu. Service was always friendly and efficient. We ate in Anytime dining room and never had to wait for a table, though one night there would have been a 15 minute wait if we hadn't been willing to sit with others. We ate breakfast in the buffet. There was a wide variety of consistent breakfast options each day (eggs, breakfast meats, breads, pastries, cereals, yogurt, fruit). If you couldn't find something you like, you're too picky! They opened up a second serving area (Cafe Caribe) as well as the Horizon Court to accommodate the large crowds at breakfast. Remember, there's over 3000 passengers aboard, and most are going to be trying to eat breakfast in the buffet at the same time especially on a shore day. I saw several shows in the Princess Theatre. I felt that the entertainers were competent, but not really to my taste. I'm 60, but felt that the entertainment was geared to people in my parents' generation (maybe??). I went to a couple of the trivia nights, and they had some fun silliness. I occasionally poked my head into some of the lounges to hear performers, but found myself cringing because they were singing songs that didn't suit their voices or their musical style. I felt that Princess typically did a good job with disembarking/disembarking at the various ports. The longest wait was for a tender in Guernsey--about 10 minutes--which isn't bad at all. They also usually worked well with local transportation to help passengers get to the heart of what was available to see in each port. For instance, in both Cobh and South Queensferry, it was VERY easy to get to public transportation to get into Cork and Edinburgh. The one annoying exception was Dublin. Princess charged 20 euros for a 3-4 mile bus ride to downtown Dublin per day. That's the better part of $100 (2 days) for my son and I to travel less than 15 miles total--ridiculous! Because this needed to be a "budget" trip for us, we took the free port bus (passengers aren't allowed to walk around the ships because it's an active commercial port), which dropped us off nearly a mile and a half away from the nearest easy public transportation (Luas). I'm surprised that Princess (and the other cruise lines) hasn't worked out a better arrangement with shore transportation with those in Dublin. Maybe a shuttle to the Luas or have one of the HOHO bus companies actually come to the ship. (OK, rant finished!) Brief review of ports: Guernsey--beautiful! Wasn't expecting anything, but it was a great visit. Cobh/Cork--Very easy to take train into Cork, but then a bit of a walk from station into town. Beautiful blend of old and new. Quite a bustling downtown in Cork. Dublin--Guinness tour is over-rated and over-priced I think--very slick, but it feels like advertising and has more flash than substance. Little Museum of Dublin gave a GREAT overview to the city. Emigration Museum provided great context for why so many people are from Ireland. Belfast--Highly recommend HOHO. It gives an overview to the city itself with the second half giving an overview to the troubles. We enjoyed the Ulster Museum, which has a little bit of everything in it, and the botanic gardens, which are immediately outside the museum. Greenock--We ended up getting a slow start to the day so didn't want to chance taking the train into Glasgow and not getting back in time. Wish we'd been in port longer. Invergordon--This was the only port we pre-purchased an excursion because I could tell it would be hard to get to places without a knowledgeable guide. Tour was with Invergordon Tours, which I HIGHLY recommend. Small busses (about 14 people), great tour guide (Joan) who gave us a sense of what it might be to have lived in this area. Plus she has a great singing voice. It was a very enjoyable itinerary (Dunrobin Castle, Glenmorangie Distillery). Gavin, the company founder/owner, pays attention to details to make sure his guests (and you're treated like guests, not customers) have a good time and get a flavor of the highlands. Edinburgh--Wow! Beautiful gardens. I really enjoyed the National Museum of Scotland and the National Portrait Gallery. We didn't do the HOHO here, but i think I wish we had. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our family of four (kids ages 8 and 7) was as impressed with Princess as ever. This was our 7th cruise with the line. The ship was condition was excellent, given its age with new Medallion Class technology having debuted. Our favorite ... Read More
Our family of four (kids ages 8 and 7) was as impressed with Princess as ever. This was our 7th cruise with the line. The ship was condition was excellent, given its age with new Medallion Class technology having debuted. Our favorite features are the fast internet speed, your cabin door automatically unlocking when you approach and being able to order a drink without having to move from your seat. The food, service, embarkation, debarkation, tender operation and kids club were all superior. The one area that needs attention, in my opinion, is entertainment. We have been watching the same production shows for the last 4 years. We were also surprised to be asked for our passports after boarding. An explanation letter about Irish law would have been appropriate as this is not common practice on cruises we have been on. Though we cruise often on many cruise lines, Princess is our favorite. We were so impressed by the Crown that we put down a deposit on a future cruise before leaving the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Always wanted to visit the Fjords and we were delighted with our cruise. The Skylift from Fjord to Sky at Loen was absolutely stunning! We were so lucky with the weather, sunshine and blue skies for the majority of the cruise. A ... Read More
Always wanted to visit the Fjords and we were delighted with our cruise. The Skylift from Fjord to Sky at Loen was absolutely stunning! We were so lucky with the weather, sunshine and blue skies for the majority of the cruise. A memorable afternoon was at Gerainger when we walked up at the side of the most amazing waterfall ever! We had to take the tender from the ship as we were anchored in the fjord. We found part of our excursion in Bergen rather boring. Initially we were taken by coach to the Funicular station and fortunately didn’t have to queue very long for the transport. As we climbed up Floen mountain we were met with thick cloud however, as we reached the top the clouds cleared and we were able to see fantastic views from up there. If we had been able to make our own way back to the ship from this point we would have enjoyed ourselves much more. There were mountain biking tracks and zip wires plus good walking options but unfortunately we had too return to the coach for a rather boring trip around an extremely busy city. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue ... Read More
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue a I had was the length of stay in Bergen as it was really not enough time to see the city as there were many things to look and see in this wonderful city. The cruise itself was average as the boat did sort of showed it aged but Princess did a good job of renovating it. Dining was fine as the menu selection was close to the local food. The sea was not too rough as most of the time it was smooth sailing. The entertainment was fine but was not too exciting as I would have expected. The comedian Juggler I think was the best of all of the shows. We liked the music playing in the piazza as we sat with out latte and relax. The movies under the stars was good - except it was kindof chilly which is expected. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We are frequent cruisers & chose this cruise for the itinerary, which did not disappoint. We hired private tour guides in four ports and were glad we did: great tours , excellent values for group of six. Coordinated with some folks ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers & chose this cruise for the itinerary, which did not disappoint. We hired private tour guides in four ports and were glad we did: great tours , excellent values for group of six. Coordinated with some folks on cruise critic roll call boards. Although the ship has been refreshed, the entertainment was Not very good except for a duo in a lounge after dinner. Both the variety and the quality of the food Pales in comparison to Celebrity or Norwegian.. We booked only one Princess excursion but it was one we were anxious to do as Giverny is my happy place. Imagine our surprise when we only had 45 minutes at Giverny after a 90 bus ride. Other guests were irate too. We them spent two hours at an outdoor venue for a just OK lunch followed by two hours at Rouen. This was a ridiculous imbalance of time and should be changed. Do not plan to use the laundromat. We bought tokens but never found a time with machines available. Bring what you can wash in your sink. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Tracking passengers with a medallion, not cool at all. You have to have this device on you to get in your room, and do anything else on the ship. Including getting on and off in ports. I work for a company that makes these devices for ... Read More
Tracking passengers with a medallion, not cool at all. You have to have this device on you to get in your room, and do anything else on the ship. Including getting on and off in ports. I work for a company that makes these devices for Amazon I know exactly what they are for. The buffet lines were awkward. The cruise wasn't bad,we have been on many. There were just more things I didn't like than I liked with Princess. The crusie director was almost invisible. Other cruise lines we have been on, they (cruise directors) have been much more involved with guests. Food was good, and they had lots of vegan options for those who eat that way. Entertainment was so so, again we have seen better much on other lines. We met a lot of very nice people on the ship. Almost always fun to talk with and learn from their point of view. Itinerary was very good, It would be a great trip for anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I am writing this review related to my trip on the Crown Princess with Princess Cruises between July 1st-July 12th of 2019, which sailed from Southampton, England to the British Aisles. I went with my whole family and spent two weeks at ... Read More
I am writing this review related to my trip on the Crown Princess with Princess Cruises between July 1st-July 12th of 2019, which sailed from Southampton, England to the British Aisles. I went with my whole family and spent two weeks at sea. The experience was very mixed, including both good and bad aspects, and I would like to share some thoughts below for those who are considering this cruise: Great aspects: -The best part of the experience was visiting the countries. We visited London, Dublin, Cobh, Belfast, Kirkwall, Glasgow, Invergordon, Edinburgh, and Normandy. The countries are absolutely beautiful, with great historical sites to visit and amazing historical sites. Our favorite was driving to Mont St. Michel and visiting different castles. -The cruise staff for the most part is very nice. We were particularly impressed with the staff in the dining rooms and the Lido Deck (particularly Bernardo in the Botticelli dining room and Donacio in the Lido’s Deck). The staff at the Lotus Spa was also great, especially Neahm from Ireland. -The evening shows and the music overall in the ship was great. The Vivace String Duo – who play the violin every night – is beautiful. The DJ at the 18th floor nightclub was great as well. -The Crown Grill Steak House is wonderful. We had out last meal there. You have pay additionally to dine there, but it was well worth it. The Crab Shack was worth doing as well. -The beds in the cabins were comfortable. The bathrooms are tiny though. The cleaning service of the room was good as well. Bad aspects: -You are always running in this cruise. Many times you do not feel you are on vacation. Most of the best sites are far from the ports, requiring taking tenders and multiple buses to get to the best locations. Excursions can get very expensive as well. In some locations like Guernsey, the wait to deboard was very lengthy. The cruise was not very good about providing information in advance of how to best manage the available transportation options. There is a great deal of information that we had to find out on our own. -The Crown Princess is a very daunting ship. It is huge and had 4,000 people on board. It was very difficult to find most places in the ship. The elevators were also very slow. -The Tree House option for little kids was very deficient. I have a 6-year-old. They advertise this cruise as kids-friendly, but we did not find that to be the case. They have this fairly large playground for kids between the ages of 3 and 6, but you need to leave your child with the cruise care takers. The cruise care takers were very rigid and formed very quickly a negative opinion of our child. Every time we tried leaving him under their care, they were not very happy and indicated he was too hyperactive. We did not feel welcomed there. When we asked the cruise caretakers to let our child run and play more, they said that they prefer to have kids sit down and do arts and crafts. The sad part is that I wish they would have had an open playground that all kids could use under parental supervision, which was not the case. My child loves running and playing and he could not do this in the ship. This was very important since it was very cold outside for most of the cruise, which impeded my son from playing in the outdoors areas of the cruise or using the pool. -The food in the cruise was very average. Our favorite was the Lido’s Deck. We did not particularly like the food in our assigned dining room, the Botticelli. -The Laundromats were a disaster. The cruise advertises that it has laundromat services, but then there are washers and dryers in every floor that are broken. It is very complicated to find token machines as well. I had to dry my clothing three times in the same dryer. It is a clear strategy from Princess to encourage you to purchase their very expensive laundry services. -We have all spent the week after the cruise sick with a respiratory virus and fever. My husband became ill in the ship and the rest of us became ill towards the end of the cruise. Even though the cruise takes measures to avoid the spread of diseases, it is very easy to come back ill. Overall, we enjoyed our trip, but we want to make sure future travelers are aware of these negative aspects. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Ship: Crown Princess is showing its age but was well maintained. Laundry facilities are located on most floors but are heavily used. Must use tokens available in the laundry rooms but the machines were out of tokens quite often so I ... Read More
Ship: Crown Princess is showing its age but was well maintained. Laundry facilities are located on most floors but are heavily used. Must use tokens available in the laundry rooms but the machines were out of tokens quite often so I recommend you get tokens ahead of time. 3 dollars per wash or dry but some machines were broken. $1.50 for detergent and softener. Itinerary: London (Southhampton); Guernsey (St. Peter Port) ; Cork (Cobh); Dublin; Belfast ; Glaskow (Greenock); Orkney Islands (Kirkwall); Inverness (Invergordon); Edinburgh (South Queensferry); Paris/Normandy (La Havre). If you take ships tour to Normandy sit on left side of bus for best view. Be prepared for change as arrival and departure times will change and in some cases the ship will not enter the port if tides, currents, and winds do not allow. Stayed over two day in London and got last minute tickets to lion king play which was terrific. Visited British Museum which was free and saw Rosetta Stone and Cleopatra’s Sarcophagus. Currency: Five different currencies; British Pound, Guernsey Pound, Orkney Pound, Euro, North Ireland Pound which are not easily or interchangeable at all. Didn’t need a lot of local currency but it was convenient at times. Credit cards can be used everywhere but make sure you ask before you sit for a meal or drink because some don’t. Use cards that don’t have foreign transaction fee. When asked whether to charge in dollars or pounds choose dollars because the store will charge a transaction fee if you chose dollars. Test debit cards in U.S. to make sure they work and advise all credit card companies that you will be traveling to Europe. Food and Beverage: Plentiful but average. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages must be purchased unless you get beverage package. Own time seating allows you to show up at any time. Can request couples only table or may opt to join others at larger tables. Able to talk with others adjacent to you even if seated at couples table. Ship had special wine – Mondavi 3 75 milliliter bottle for $5 – enough for two glasses each. Can purchase soft drinks on shore and bring back to ship. Some even purchased wine and got it onboard. Excursions: Ships excursions are very expensive but you will get lunch and pre-paid admission to sites. Met with one couple who arranged private tours at all ports and used Trip Advisor to find others to join them. Price was $85 per person per day (8 people per van) – much cheaper than ship. Private tour guide followed them to Glasgow, Inverness, and Edinburgh. Could tailor excursions to specific sites they wanted to see. Start as early as you can on your own time tours to avoid queues and lines at sites. London Heathrow Airport: Convoluted terminals with long walkways. Will take 15-20 minutes to walk to or from gates plus customs and security checks. Use oyster card for subways and buses in London. Can purchase on line or in airport and get remaining balance reimbursed before you return. Port Information: Every port had information booth on shore or set up on ship. Sometimes the walk from the port to the train was 30 minutes. May have long wait for transportation from port if you wait on the ship for your number to be called for the shuttle to the shore, wait for the tender to be fully loaded before leaving, get on the bus and wait for it to be fully loaded, and then drive for 30 -45 minutes into the town. Hotel Information: London Heathrow Hilton Terminal 5 not close to terminal. An old but very nice hotel but no shops close if you need or want to purchase anything. Heathrow Hilton Express Terminal 2 was terrific and had only been open one week when we stayed there. Can push trolley from terminal 2 through car park into hotel without going outside or using shuttles. Free trolleys are everywhere for luggage. Miscellaneous: Many people on the ship boarded at one of three ports. That allowed them to stay longer in cities they were interested in and to seek cheaper airfares. Needed at least two days in Belfast and Edinburgh and less in other ports. Edinburgh and Glasgow are about 50 miles apart so you could arrange tours if you get on board the ship at other ports. Cobblestone streets are brutal to walk on. Take hair dryer that automatically adjusts to 110V or 220V current. Ship uses 110V outlets so you only need adapters on shore. Having two adapters is helpful if you are using the hair dryer and charging your phone at the same time. Don’t need a transformer if you have dual voltage hair dryer. Most late model cell phones can automatically adjust to 110v or 220V so you only need adapter. Global Entry approval greatly speeded passage through customs on return to U.S. Travel guides for Scotland and Ireland were helpful for general information but they are not written for cruises so have little to no port information. Layered clothing is essential. May be hot one minute, raining and cold the next. Water bottle large enough for ice was very helpful. Ice is difficult to find off the ship. To prevent noro virus outbreak, ship recommends you wash hands after meals. Hand sanitizer not effective against noro virus. Believe that is closing the barn door after the horse has left. We gathered our food with the tongs provided in the buffet and then went to the washroom to wash out hands before we sat to eat. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Been on over 25 cruises, various lines from Carnival in early days to crystal. Princess is not Crystal or Cunard of course. For a large ship, it was a good cruise. First the crew and service staff did their jobs well and were very friendly ... Read More
Been on over 25 cruises, various lines from Carnival in early days to crystal. Princess is not Crystal or Cunard of course. For a large ship, it was a good cruise. First the crew and service staff did their jobs well and were very friendly and organized and good at what they do. The food was excellent, including on the Lido deck. The ship was clean and well kept and had the feeling it was "new". At ports the ship was efficient at getting the passengers off and back on board. I have no complaints at all. If you tour in Edinburgh, remember that there is a long walk UPHILL to the top of the castle, and it is tiring. And a long walk back down. I have travled to over 125 nations in my business years and as a tourist as well. This included trips to Scotland, England, and Ireland. I did not find the cities on the cruise of great interest, but one did get a good feel of what Ireland was like and ENgland, and scotland. There is a reason that the british isles are characterized as a nation of pubs and shopkeepers, and it was ok and a good time could be had. I would recommend this cruise. For a summer cruise that took a risk of being in the north atlantic area, the seas were quiet and not much rolling of the ship at all. I didnot see any ill passengers at all, which i have seen in other oceans and cruises. This cruise is cold, wet, and windy. Recommend wool socks heavy, rain hat, and waterproof coat with hood. Layer up. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Always wanted to do a British Isles cruise and the itinerary and dates worked well for us. We arrived one day early to Southampton and stayed at the Harbour Hotel and Spa--which I highly recommend. We did exploring around Southampton ... Read More
Always wanted to do a British Isles cruise and the itinerary and dates worked well for us. We arrived one day early to Southampton and stayed at the Harbour Hotel and Spa--which I highly recommend. We did exploring around Southampton which was fun--turns out Southampton is nicer and more up-to-date than what I had imagined! Embarkation went great--got right on and bought my coffee card. I do wish Princess would find an alternative to the current method of keeping track--key card/medallion. I preferred the physical punch card. Our stateroom was C743--great balcony, really enjoyed it. Anytime dining went well, did have to wait a few times but it really wasn't a very long wait. Did make us appreciate Traditional Dining a little more in that you seem to have the more experienced servers there. There were several times when the hostess from Anytime Dining would walk us to Boticelli Dining room and we got to experience the service there. Overall the service onboard was good. We enjoyed the ports and our excursions but were not at all happy with how pricey they were. Seems like Princess has started to increase their rates and are definitely playing the game that hotels and airlines are playing--increasing the prices as time goes on. Disembarkation went great. We would go to this area again on our own and would only do this cruise again once we've gotten many more cruises under our belt. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I have been fortunate to travel to the UK on several occasions, visiting family, presenting at conferences and enjoying the theatre scene. So exploring London before heading to the cruise was not a high priority, although the Park Plaza ... Read More
I have been fortunate to travel to the UK on several occasions, visiting family, presenting at conferences and enjoying the theatre scene. So exploring London before heading to the cruise was not a high priority, although the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, where I stayed before and after the cruise, was well located to explore walking and public transport. Embarkation went smoothly and the cabin attendant was very welcoming. I had booked anytime dining and enjoyed the flexibility that enabled. It meant the opportunity to be seated with a range of people and share experiences on the journey. I had never been to Guernsey or Belfast or Orkney and I loved the discoveries in these destinations: the appealing Chapel in Guernsey, walking the walls in Derry, and the standing stones on Orkney. I also loved the chance to revisit Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow. I was travelling solo so I took advantage of the ship activity quizzes to introduce myself to people. I also very much enjoyed the pianist/singer in the Crooners. Loved his sense of humour and knowledge of the music he was playing. I also enjoyed the art mini-lecture and the art auctions and came away with two very attractive lithographs. I would certainly go cruising again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the ... Read More
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the passengers are crowded into a central area to watch their so called" best " entertainment! "Saphire Princess" is your kind of ship . We hoped for refinement , culture and excellence.. what we got was far far from what we hoped.. such a waste of money . Lack of Security presence in public areas was alarming , there was definitely some under age drinking going on and young children seemed to be everywhere on the ship!! Most ships have family zones but parents were doing as they please . We were late arriving at ports , so little time on shore , one port was missed altogether and Princess CHARGE FOR SHUTTLE SERVICE .. Never been charged with any other company.!! Appalling !! Read Less
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