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1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
7 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I have sailed on Princess twice, and I had a wonderful experience. My last Princess cruise was about 10 years ago. I have wanted to cruise again, but I have been waiting for my son to get a little older. Now that he is 7 years old, I felt ... Read More
I have sailed on Princess twice, and I had a wonderful experience. My last Princess cruise was about 10 years ago. I have wanted to cruise again, but I have been waiting for my son to get a little older. Now that he is 7 years old, I felt it was the right time to cruise. I only looked in to Princess because of my past experience. And honestly, I regret not looking into other cruise options. Last week we sailed to and from London and Oslo on a 7 day cruise. I really wish I could say that I had a great time, but it was a subpar experience. My two issues were food and the amount of time you actually spend in a town/city. The food was below average especially when you factor in the amount of money you are spending. Honestly, you are on the ship about 80% of the time. The food must be good whether it is a la cart dining or buffet. I remember when Princess offered twin lobsters during dinner at the international dining hall. Now they want you to pay extra for good food. In the past, the buffet had smoked salmon everyday for breakfast. On this cruise, they offered it on the last day. I feel like they offered at the end of our trip so we would only remember the last dish. Last, we ate a 3 course prefix meal at Sabatinis. You have to pay a premium to eat there, but the food was great. However, in the past Sabatinis offered an 11 course meal. The food offering is declining. In regard to my comment about the time spent in a town/city, well it only represents 5 hours per port. Most of the excursion start mid-morning, and you are back on the ship by 3pm. We have no time to explore, eat, or shop. In conclusion, if you are on the ship most of the time, the food better be amazing or you are really there for the entertainment like bingo, art auction, town lectures, etc which you can do at your local city. If you like to cruise, and don't care about food quality, go on Princess. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Whilst the embarkation and dis embarkation went very smoothly and the cabin and the ship itself was of a good standard we were left feeling disappointed at quality of the food on offer and the additional charge if you wanted a steak rather ... Read More
Whilst the embarkation and dis embarkation went very smoothly and the cabin and the ship itself was of a good standard we were left feeling disappointed at quality of the food on offer and the additional charge if you wanted a steak rather than what was offered on the menu. The price of beverages was a rip off, $6.75 for a can of Guinness probably with their buying power they get it for less than 50c a can. The entertainment was average at best, did not attend any half way through the cruise. The crew are excellent and friendly as they are on all cruise ships. First time with Princess and the last as well. Overall the potential was there to have a really excellent cruise but let down by the companies goal of adding more profits, not arriving in Skagen and 2 hours late arriving in Copenhagen just took the shine right off. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I saved up to take my retired parents on their first cruise. The itinerary was good, the stateroom was beautiful and spacious but the dining was slow, on average it took 2 1/2 hours to serve a soup or salad, salmon or meat and veg ... Read More
I saved up to take my retired parents on their first cruise. The itinerary was good, the stateroom was beautiful and spacious but the dining was slow, on average it took 2 1/2 hours to serve a soup or salad, salmon or meat and veg and a cold pudding. We chose anytime dining which seemed to make the service slower. We tried going early /half time /later and always had to wait a long time for a table so we missed a lot of the entertainment too. The food was edible, like a bar meal or canteen catering but it wasn't delicious. However, the food on the last night was delicious and much different to the other nights which saddened me. The service overall was hit and miss. I would say that the staff were all overstretched. The guy cleaning the cabins had 19 to take care of and easily worked a 12 hour shift, there were hardly any waiters in the dining room which contributed to slow service - about 8 waiters per restaurant, the entertainment who were excellent, also had a triple shift - singing for over 3 hours throughout the night, which is a lot for a band. The ports and shore excursions were enjoyable. We visited Bruge, Copenhagen and Oslo. We couldn't dock at Skagen due to high winds. We had a lovely holiday but it certainly didn't have the cruise wow factor we expected for that price point. I feel quite cheated and I don't feel my parents got the real cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife, 10-year-old son and I chose this cruise because it gave us the opportunity to spend some time in London and then cruise into ports we had never been to before. We are a family of three from Saint Augustine, Fl. This was our 37th ... Read More
My wife, 10-year-old son and I chose this cruise because it gave us the opportunity to spend some time in London and then cruise into ports we had never been to before. We are a family of three from Saint Augustine, Fl. This was our 37th cruise and 8th cruise on Princess Cruises. We love all the main cruise lines and usually choose the deal and itinerary over the line. I do believe Princess has always been our favorite line and was solidified on this cruise. Southampton was pretty easy to sail out of. We took a train from Waterloo station to Southampton and then got a cab to the port. The total cost for that was under a hundred American dollars for the three of us. Once there we were on the ship within about 5 minutes. We had lunch at Alfredo's which is a wonderful and relaxing alternative to the Horizon Court and what we strongly believe to be the best pizza at sea. After lunch, we explored the ship, unpacked, did the muster drill, had a coupe drinks and went to dinner. We ate at the Steakhouse and sadly this was the worst meal of the cruise. My wife's NY strip was of poor quality and was flat out bad. My Ribeye was fine but there was nothing special about it. I should also mention that we have always felt like Princess offers the best dining room food but we have never had a dinner in the steakhouse that we we did not regret. RCI, NCL, HAL and even Carnival are all doing this much better in our opinion. On a positive note, that was the last time we were disappointed with diner. All meals were very good with excellent service. We were never rushed and we never waited either. All dinners were good and on the formal evening they bumped it up a couple of notches. They have cut back over the years as all lines have. For instance, where they used to offer a Filet Mignon as a meat option any night of the week, they now offer a hamburger. However, what they do, they do well. I had beef wellington, and beef tornadoes during the cruise and they were both cooked to a perfect medium rare. Salmon melted in my mouth and other seafood selections were good. Dinners were always served hot. We pretty much stayed away from the Horizon Court but it seemed pretty in line with any other buffet. We often grabbed a snack or sandwich at the International Café and it was fine and I guess what we expected. On the last evening we ate at Sabatini's, which unlike the steakhouse is worth every penny. I had the Veal chop, and my wife and son both ordered a steak and it was all quiet at the dinner table. It was a great way to end the cruise. Princess kept us busy on sea days with ping pong tournaments, free throw contests, scavenger hunts, and putting contests. We returned home with three Princess medals. There are no rock climbing walls or water slides but our ten-year-old son still had a blast. There were also plenty of variety shows that we all enjoyed. Aaron the cruise director and the entire team were talented and hilarious. They went out of their way to make our son feel special. If you guys are reading, Dave from Singapore sends his regards... The ship was scheduled to be back in Southampton at 7 am and our cards were scanned and we were looking for our car service before 7:05 am. We had a car service called Blackberry drive us back to Heathrow for 99 pounds. We hit no traffic and were at Heathrow in about and hour and fifteen minutes. Overall, this was a great cruise. It was very relaxing. Princess offers spectacular ships but with a more relaxed experience. We never felt crowded. After the chaos of flying over the Atlantic and experiencing the hustle and bustle of London, the Sapphire Princess was a much welcomed way to experience the remainder of a once in a lifetime vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked through Iglu cruises and it was a very good deal and a good price. We arrived in Southampton to find delays due to a fire alarm in the terminal and major road works. The ship sailed late. The boarding was a bit of a free for ... Read More
We booked through Iglu cruises and it was a very good deal and a good price. We arrived in Southampton to find delays due to a fire alarm in the terminal and major road works. The ship sailed late. The boarding was a bit of a free for all due to everyone arriving in the terminal at the same time, but we went through very quickly. Don't see the point of priority boarding as they took the same time. The ship looked clean and sparkly and the staff were friendly. We went straight to our cabin which was an obstructed view. This was the best view we've had on a cruise. The cabin was a good size with all the amenities you need, inc tea and coffee. We had no green tea but it was provided on request. We purchased a crate of water beforehand and this was a lot cheaper than buying it on the ship. The bathroom was perfect for us and the shower was excellent (height was great as i'm 6ft1in). The bed is soft and fluffy, the pillows are wonderful. The only this that i could see might annoy people is that there was only 2 electrical sockets and they are American so remember you converter's. This was fine for us. The only thing annoying was that the Films would lose signal on the TV and you would have to wait for it to reset. If you don't watch TV this is not a problem. The free for all was good in a morning and evening however it wasn't to our tastes on a evening.The Free for All scrum down also had sinks to wash your hands in before entering which was a excellent idea. The Anytime dining was rubbish as people are allowed to book tables so you always have to wait to be seated, (about 20 mins). Anytime means you go down anytime. Booking shouldn't be allowed. The food OK but not a massive selection in the Dining rooms. Veggie options were limited. We watch the movies under the stars, the art auction ( where we won a excellent prize) and a guest singer. Always got a seat and was always a good show. Downside is that its impossible to get a drink in the show hall so take one in with you. We had to miss Skagen because of the weather but we had an over night in Oslo. This cannot be helped and just the way with the Sea. Nobody's fault and we were kept informed. Got a bit choppy in the Batlic however it is the Sea and mother nature. The rubbish thing was that you had to pay for transfers into town at nearly every visit. Overall - the Staff were brilliant, the room was comfy and peaceful. The food was OK, The ship was clean with plenty of amenities and with things going on all the time. Bad things were the cost of the extras and the cost of the drinks was expensive (£6 a pint) you still get charged your tips (this can be removed on request) Transfert costs into town. Veggie option for meals was average.. We would defiantly go on there again at the right price. We really enjoyed our cruise and was a nice relaxing break. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first cruise and we picked both Princess and this particular itinerary having talked to friends who had years of cruising experience and also wanted to see places we had not been to before. We were keen to find a ship which ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we picked both Princess and this particular itinerary having talked to friends who had years of cruising experience and also wanted to see places we had not been to before. We were keen to find a ship which was neither full of kids or senior citizens and were not disappointed as there was a good spread of ages amongst the passengers. Although there were embarkation problems in Southampton which were not the fault of Princess Cruises (mainly severe road works on the route to the docks and a fire alarm going off in the terminal we were lucky to be one of the first to check in and found things well organised as it only took 15 minutes from parking the car to being in our cabin. We had booked a mini suite and were not disappointed. The cabin was extremely spacious with lots of storage and would suggest that four adults would be able to occupy the cabin without feeling too claustrophobic. The cabin was immaculately clean and we felt that all the fittings were more than acceptable. We note that some people have stated on here that the bathrooms are either poor or "tired" but we would say that whilst looking a bit dated the bathroom was certainly acceptable and again lots of well thought out storage. As for food whilst Horizon Court buffet shows less quality than a high star hotel in Europe there was plenty of choice both at breakfast and lunchtime. We had booked anytime dining and had no difficulty in getting a table for dinner in the three restaurants available to us. The food was generally well cooked and service was good rather than exceptional in the restaurants. The main gripe we had with the menus were that for us they seemed too geared to an American pallet and my wife especially struggled at times to find dishes she liked which limited her choice. With credit the Head Waiter on the first night arranged for smoked salmon to be available for her every evening if wanted. We did one night eat at Sabbatinis and whilst the food was excellent the service was very lacking as the waiters seemed keener to set tables than serve us! The entertainment in the evening was mixed. Some of it was less quality than we assumed it would be however we did enjoy various entertainment most evenings and the Entertainment Director was excellent. As for port visits we did our own thing which we are used to from having travelled round Europe many times. This tended to give us more time at the attractions we wanted to see than the organised tours and at a fraction of the price as the ship's tours were very expensive. To sum up the pros were both the cleanliness of the ship and general standard of service especially our cabin steward for whom nothing was too much trouble and always with a smile. Also considering the number of people on board generally the ship did not feel crowded and usually we found places to sit in the various lounges. The cons were the fact that there is a very heavy selling by Princess at every opportunity and you have to watch out your cruise account as gratuities are added to all drinks. Also we were surprised and felt it was poor of Princess to charge for shuttle buses from port to town when we heard from people that other cruise lines don't. Also to charge for a cocktail on sailway from southampton surprised us. To sum up if you haven't cruised before I would ignore the bad reviews on here but be aware that Princess whilst relaxing does have some warts that come with the fun. Also we have already booked our next Princess cruise but will be older and wiser when we go. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Got a good deal on Black Friday for this 7-day trip to Scandinavia and it didn't disappoint in terms of value. What did disappoint is that the main motorway into Southampton was shut on a weekend when 5 ships were departing. Given the ... Read More
Got a good deal on Black Friday for this 7-day trip to Scandinavia and it didn't disappoint in terms of value. What did disappoint is that the main motorway into Southampton was shut on a weekend when 5 ships were departing. Given the importance of the port to the city, this should be coordinated better, but is probably down to the government-run Highways Authority rather than anyone in the city itself. It took us 4 hrs to travel the 90 miles from Warwick to the terminal, when it should have taken 2 and the ship left 1.5 hrs late. At least lots of others were in the same situation. Having honeymooned on Sapphire 5 years ago we worried it might not be the same this time, but if anything the state of the ship was better - the refurb has been done subtly and cleverly, keeping this ship competitive despite its age. New carpets on corridors, flat screens and excellent on-demand TV made the cabins great but the pool area seemed to have been recently re-tiled too, and all the public areas seemed in tip-top condition. One thing they could change is to switch to digital photo galleries rather than sticking with the old print displays. One of the things we like most about Sapphire is the four (anytime) dining rooms with different themes - they just make it seem like you're in a different restaurant each night even though the menu is the same in all of them. Food was of a good standard, particularly the basket of bread that Princess gives you to start with. Service was OK if a little rushed. We feel that our preference for anytime dining leads to rushing waiters, rather than the attentive ones you get when you do fixed dining who know they are likely to get a tip at the end of the cruise (not just on Princess). That's just a choice I suppose. Service elsewhere was as good as I'd expect from Princess. Ports were good, but disappointed to miss Skagen because of the weather, having had to make 2 attempts to dock in Copenhagen the day before. Safety first I guess, and our insurance will compensate us a little for that. I feel for the traders in the town who will miss a lot of income that day. The only negative on the cruise really was the ridiculous number of announcements, each of which was repeated. Why do cruise lines have to wake you up with an announcement at 7am when the ship docks? If you've booked an excursion you will have set your alarm to get up in time. If you want a lie-in, tough luck. On the day the ship missed Skagen, we were due to dock at 10 am, but when the decision was taken to miss it, an announcement was made at 7am, waking us all up when we weren't even expecting to arrive for another 3 hours - stupid. How would knowing about it 3 hours beforehand have improved our day? Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this itinerary because of its itinerary. Had never cruised around the British Isles even though I had cruised about 30-40 times before world-wide. This is my first cruise with Princess. Front Desk experience was worst ever, with ... Read More
I chose this itinerary because of its itinerary. Had never cruised around the British Isles even though I had cruised about 30-40 times before world-wide. This is my first cruise with Princess. Front Desk experience was worst ever, with staff giving incorrect answers (rather than saying that they don't know). Embarkation/Disembarkation was VERY SLOW, possibly because they were trying to use a new system. Cabin needs complete overhaul (I do understand that a major renovation is scheduled at the end of this season). Air Conditioning duct sent out black particles on our bed (and we could have breathed in some of those while we were sleeping). After many calls, someone finally came and put in a temporary make-shift filter. The cooling "thermostat" failed one night, and the cabin was freezingly cold with strong COLD air blowing out right above our bed. Calls to Passenger Services that night did not help. No one came (even though we were told that someone would come and take a look). It took 2 more calls in the morning for someone to finally come. Dining and Casino staff were great though. Excursions were very expensive/over-priced (a similar local tour would likely cost half or less) and yet most of them were quite disappointing. e.g. One full-day excursion departed an hour late (because of the disembarkation long line), and returned 15 minutes early. As a result, of the 2 major visit/stops, one 2-hour stop became a basically 40-minute photo stop (barely time to go into the castle ground, took a few garden photos and left). Then, with a long 2-hour lunch, the afternoon stop (with free time, shopping, promised/stated) was completely cancelled...not even a photo stop. We went barely into that town, and immediately turned around and came back to the ship. Everyone complained, and we received a 40% refund (but the whole day, and probably my only chance of visiting those cities/castle totally wasted.). Another excursion used a fairly old bus. Not only that there was no air conditioning, but also no air circulations...for 2-3 hours. It was a hot day and a FULL bus too. Again, I believe everyone complained and we got a 20% refund (but the condition was so bad that I hope no one got sick afterwards). If you like comedians, then the entertainment was good (good guest performers), but that seemed to be the main thing this cruise offered. No magic show, no acrobatics, no jugglers, and horrible singers. I ranked Entertainment worse than all my previous cruise experiences (even though I do enjoy comedians....but not almost EVERY NIGHT!). The 2 violinists on board were great though, but they performed at times when I was either on a full-day excursion or busy eating dinner. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
When on our previous 24 cruises with other cruise lines, we often saw Princess ships in port. We always admired the look of these and since they attract quite a high "official" rating, we decided that one day we would sail ... Read More
When on our previous 24 cruises with other cruise lines, we often saw Princess ships in port. We always admired the look of these and since they attract quite a high "official" rating, we decided that one day we would sail Princess. We live in the UK so when the Round Great Britain programme featured the Crown Princess, we booked with excited anticipation. Oh dear....we were so let down and felt so disappointed with the reality, so here goes: The personal highlights of cruising for me are exceptionally good food and very good theatre entertainment evenings. This cruise let us down badly as the food in MDR I would rate from fair to very poor and the Buffet only fair in terms of quality. The entertainment arrangements were crazy as most evenings there would be one comedian or one singer, on stage twice in the main theatre whllst the singers/dancers team were featured for only one performance in a relatively small lounge which was full, so that guests were blocking the passage-way outside of the lounge trying to watch the performance. The quality of the "shows" was, overall, mediocre, with people seen to be walking out on the act on several occasions. The ports of call were fine, but we were surprised to have to pay unreasonably high costs for shuttle bus transfers into town on occasions. Drinks were more expensive than I have seen anywhere and when served were never accompanied with a receipt, so I had no idea how expensive until I called up an account statement later. I never bought a drink after that. The Spa costs were prohibitive, so we didn't use this facility. On the positive side, the room steward was exceptionally good, as was our waiter in the MDR. In fact, all staff were pleasant, cheerful and hard working. In fact, I feel that these people "save the day" for Princess and I hope that they are suitably rewarded for doing so. On the subject of crew, i only saw one middle ranking ships officer (who had dropped into the buffet for a snack) anywhere until dis-embarcation, when some appeared to organise the process. The ship's condition was very good and very clean and our stateroom was immaculate. Would we travel again with Princess.....NO Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Attracted by the itinerary, we have chosen this cruise. Initially, we were unware that Liverpool was not there and replaced by 2 days at Dublin. It ended up this gave us a chance to visit the famous Cliff of Moher. We arrived London ... Read More
Attracted by the itinerary, we have chosen this cruise. Initially, we were unware that Liverpool was not there and replaced by 2 days at Dublin. It ended up this gave us a chance to visit the famous Cliff of Moher. We arrived London few days earlier to give us a chance to explore this famous city before jumping into our cruise ship. Embarkment was simple, easy and quick as we arrived the pier around 1pm. In the beginning, we were a bit concerned about some of the negative comments on Crown Princess but they were gone after on board. We don't see any major signs of rusting or worn out within the ship. Cabin was nice and clean as usual. Service was good especially in Michelangelo dining room. We met Marius, the Head Waiter, who always gave us warm welcome as well as Pong who served us dinner with professional standard. In view of the high food cost these days, we were satisfied with most of the food quality. We even have lobster tails one night. The Horizon buffet restaurant was another surprise to us as services were excellent as the waiter kept on asking us if we need drinks or refill and managed to clean up the table as fast as they can. We even have fresh oysters for at least 2 times (not even offered in the dining room). Negative points, they have. Soups were a bit salty (even though oldies might have poor taste buds - bad for health). Beef products were a bit tough not because of the wrong cooking skill but due to meat quality. We found better one last time at Ruby 6 months ago. Though bread and buns were good, the cake quality needed to be improved. Stateroom service was good. We have nice and clean toilet and comfortable bed to sleep all nights. Entertainment was a bit insufficient as they have too many comedian shows (maybe due to cost cutting). We didn't join their shore excursions (except for shuttle bus services from ports to city) as they were too expensive. We used outsiders that cost almost 40% cheaper. Princess has introduced the medallion device that helped a lot to open the door of our stateroom and shopping (for identification). Overall, it is a good value for money vacation. Princess is Princess and you can't compare the standard in the past to the present as the purchase value of $$ are no longer the same. Have purchased future cruise credit in the ship and will definitely looking for another amazing journey in the near future with Princess. The only really negative comment is that disembarkation was a bit messy. They should separate the line of passengers of port visit only from the passengers who have finished their cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I wanted to cruise the British Isles. We embarked in Le Havre which I did not feel was a comfortable port to embark or disembark. It is 3:30 hours from Paris. It is a long trek back and forth. I found that the staff on the Crown Princess ... Read More
I wanted to cruise the British Isles. We embarked in Le Havre which I did not feel was a comfortable port to embark or disembark. It is 3:30 hours from Paris. It is a long trek back and forth. I found that the staff on the Crown Princess was fantastic. The ship does not look like it has been refurbished. The entertainment is boring and geared to an older crowd. There is no sail off entertainment or parties. I found the that when I was on the ship I was simply bored. The food in the dining room was fantastic and the service was amazing. We had anytime dining through out the 12 days and we were always seated almost immediately when we arrived. The homemade ice creams for dessert were simply unforgettable. I was disappointed at the fact that there was only one side of the buffet set up for breakfast. I got tired of walking around with my food in my hands to find a table to sit I didn't understand why only one side if they have at least 3 that I could see. Our stateroom was dark. Very poor lighting but the beds were very comfortable and I was able to slee very well. Read Less
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