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392 Princess Southampton Cruise Reviews

We chose this particular cruise because the ports of call were places we wanted to both visit and also re-visit. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were on board before we knew it. We prefer to go to Alfredo's on embarkation day ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because the ports of call were places we wanted to both visit and also re-visit. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were on board before we knew it. We prefer to go to Alfredo's on embarkation day as the horizon court buffet is generally very crowded and its very relaxing to be served at Alfredo's. Their pizza is the best and we also enjoy their traditional sangria. Our cabin was a balcony cabin which what we usually book. I just feel the difference in price for the relatively new club level balcony cabins is worth it. We do anytime dining and can usually make a reservation for dinner in the morning and then not have to wait for a table for 2. I don't mind sharing a table but that generally takes a lot longer to complete the meal, at least in my experience, and if you want to go to a show it can be difficult to make it on time. Our bed was for the first time not real comfortable which was somewhat disappointing because this has never happened to us before and this was our 19th cruise with Princess and the 5th or 6th on the Royal. We enjoyed the 2 new production shows, the Secret Silk and Encore. The comedians were very funny and the bands were all very good. Several of the ports were a little disappointing this cruise but overall we enjoyed them. I felt that the service was excellent as it always has been in our previous cruises. Disembarkation went smoothly as well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and dates. We really enjoyed all of the ports and enjoyed a variety of activities/excursions which made for an enjoyable trip. Service was very good for our cabin and at the dining rooms. We went ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and dates. We really enjoyed all of the ports and enjoyed a variety of activities/excursions which made for an enjoyable trip. Service was very good for our cabin and at the dining rooms. We went with our two teenage sons and while they did not partake of any of the teen activities, they enjoyed the trip and excursions. I will say that I expected more families on this trip given the time of year - it was definitely an older crown, on average, compared to our only other cruise, which was on Royal Caribbean. Our suite was nice, but if I were to book all over again, I would probably put our family in two deluxe balcony rooms and skip the suite. I'm not sure the perks were worth the extra cost and sharing a room. Highlights of our trip included kissing the Blarney Stone, bicycling around Guernsey, a very Beatles themed day in Liverpool, complete with meeting Pete Best on the cruise, seeing the Giants Causeway, touring Guinness, Inverary Castle, the beautiful city of Edinburgh, and visiting Omaha Beach and the American cemetery in Normandy. We spent a few days beforehand in London, which made this the perfect European vacation for us. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
An absolutely wonderful cruise on the beautiful Sapphire Princess. The ship is in good shape after its recent dry dock. New beds are very comfortable. Food and service were great in both dining rooms and Horizon Court. Paul Burton was ... Read More
An absolutely wonderful cruise on the beautiful Sapphire Princess. The ship is in good shape after its recent dry dock. New beds are very comfortable. Food and service were great in both dining rooms and Horizon Court. Paul Burton was simply marvelous in Crooners. Shows in the main theatre were weak. Not up to current Princess standards. Jeff, our waiter in Sabatinis was one of the best waiters we have ever had on land or sea. This was the second time we have done this itinerary. The first time was out of Dover, which made it possible to have more time in Bergen. The longer run to Southampton cut the visit to Bergen by several hours. For those interested the most traveled were 3rd 552 days, 2nd 574 days and 1st 677 days. There were 187 Elite and 437 Platinum. There were hundreds of children onboard with it being the first week of British school vacation. I understand there were to be far more kids on the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Went on this cruise with two sets of friends. All of us had a wonderful time. Normally I do not write reviews but because of some of the others I wanted too. I think some people set their expectations so high that they get disappointed. ... Read More
Went on this cruise with two sets of friends. All of us had a wonderful time. Normally I do not write reviews but because of some of the others I wanted too. I think some people set their expectations so high that they get disappointed. We used Princess Air and flew in 3 days early to see London. They were waiting for us upon arrival and took us to our hotel, where a princess representative was there to greet us. She was there each day and was lan excellent source of information and was Like a personal concierge. The transfer to the ship was painless and so was embarcation. Our room and steward were great. Balcony could have been bigger, but our steward was able to open the corridor between our two friends balconies and ours, which made it feel bigger and gave us a place to socialize when in our rooms. The itinerary was very busy and I wish there would have been one more Sea day, towards the beginning of the cruise. We went five days with all day excursions before the first sea day and it was exhausting. We did excursions daily. I thought the food in the dining room, Alfredo’s, the International Cafe, burgers and Pizza were great. Wasn’t a big fan of the Buffett. Breakfast was good but lunch and dinner not so much. We didn’t do specialty dining but our friends did and said it was fabulous, (steak house). Service at the bars was fast and all of the bartenders were friendly. One in particular, Orville was incredible. The Casino staff was the most accommodating of any on any ship I have been on. Also the slots were loose. The captain was delightful and so informative, always providing details. Entertainment was also good. Enjoyed all the feature shows and the entertainment in the atrium. As a seasoned cruiser, I did my own thing and didn’t participate in a lot of cruise staff planned activities. Enjoyed many of the speakers that presented on the ports we were visiting. They obviously loved their heritage, were very knowledgeable and gave great pointers. We did half princess excursions and half private. They were all good, but private were a lot cheaper. We used a Princess transfer to get back to the airport after the cruise and it ran smoothly and in my opinion was a no brained when traveling. This trip was fantastic and exceeded all 6 of our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I had originally booked this cruise on the basis that England would have exited the world cup by the time the ship departed from Southampton so it was with some reluctance that I boarded the boat on the day of the quarter final with Sweden ... Read More
I had originally booked this cruise on the basis that England would have exited the world cup by the time the ship departed from Southampton so it was with some reluctance that I boarded the boat on the day of the quarter final with Sweden in the middle of the summer heatwave. The check-in was swift and efficient however we were the last people to board as we had been delayed on the M25 - the porters could have been a bit more helpful. The bags were quickly sent onboard - in fact they were there waiting for us when we got to our cabin. This was my first time cruise with Princess having travelled with Royal Caribbean, Disney and P&O previously and they compared favourably. I would say that the food is infinitely better and the entertainment comparable. However I would not bother with the supplementary restaurants - we tried Sabatini and I have to say that the food in the MDR was just as good if not better. This was a slightly older cruising crowd perhaps because the school holidays had not officially started. The crowd as a good mixture of Brits, Americans and Australians. To cater for the diverse audience, there were Twinnings English Breakfast teabags and an English and American style breakfast meaning proper bacon, sausages but also American style French toast (try it in the breakfast or lunch restaurant - James Beard's recipe). Children are well catered for with 2 separate clubs set up. My main gripes were the costs of the Princess excursions and the cost for the shuttle services - where possible just get an uber or taxi. However the ports were all excellent including the direct sailing into Stockholm city rather than the commuter town. We didn't bother with the train trip to Berlin as it is probably cheaper and quicker for us to fly from London. The Rostock and Warnemunde towns were delightful places to visit and we didn't even bother venturing out to Schwerin even though we had plenty of time. Top tip - head to the swimming pool at the front of the ship in the Sanctuary. Not many people know that it is there and for general public use unlike the Sanctuary itself (which incurs and additional surcharge). Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Everything run smoothly when we check in. Service customer desk was organized, very courteous and helpful. When we get aboard the ship we did not have a hard time looking for our stateroom. Once we get inside room it was neat and ... Read More
Everything run smoothly when we check in. Service customer desk was organized, very courteous and helpful. When we get aboard the ship we did not have a hard time looking for our stateroom. Once we get inside room it was neat and clean. The food was freshly prepared and have to wash hands and sanitize.The food attendants were so busy serving us. Entertainments are very enjoyable and interesting Once again our embarkation and disembarkation run smoothly in other words there’s no hazzle. Ok that day of our disembarkation we spend 1 day in the city. The ship also visited interesting port which is unforgettable experience for us. If we will go on cruising again I will choose the princess because of outstanding hospitality In formal dining the service was excellent especially the food taste good. When @ sea we go to fitness for work out and taking a one mile walk. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, cruise line and the specific ship. All delivered in a big way. A few comments, and then some things to know before heading into a British Isles cruise. - Cruise Staff: Lexi and her team ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, cruise line and the specific ship. All delivered in a big way. A few comments, and then some things to know before heading into a British Isles cruise. - Cruise Staff: Lexi and her team were fantastic. Princess has recently created the role of Entertainment Director to support the Cruise Director with more of the “back-office” tasks. This clearly provided Lexi and the team more time with the passengers. This was really noted and made a big difference for our family (Mom, Dad, 13 year old boy and 10 year old girl). - Itinerary Quality: What a great set of ports. I would not trade the overnight in Dublin. I’m sure Liverpool would have been great, but Dublin deserves 2 nights. We explored one day (Discovery Irish Farm Experience) and then experience museums/shopping the next. Dublin was a huge highlight of a great itinerary. - Royal: The Royal is a super ship design. Princess really got it right with this design. From the Piazza, to the Sactuary, or the really great fitness center... We love this ship and Princess has really maintained her in her first five years. A couple things to know before booking... - Leave from London/Southampton: We heard from severl of the 300 or so passengers that embarked in Le Harve/Paris that the experience was really rough through Paris - long drive, challenging airport, etc.). On the other hand the London experience was really smooth. Would highly recommend that approach... - Cabin Location: I would recommend a mid-level cabin - like 10 or 11. We were on 15 because we usually like being close to Lido on Caribbean cruises for a variety of reasons. For this type of cruise, that’s not as big of a deal. So with that in mind, I’d choose 10 or 11. - Anytime or Specialy Dining: If you are on the fence, choose anytime dining. As well, make your specialty restaurant reservations early. The variety is worth it... I hope this was helpful. We had a terrific trip, and look forward to cruising with Princess again soon. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This Royal Princess cruise was an delightful experience that I hope to repeat soon on another Princess ship (but with newer, softer beds). The embarkation and disembarkation were seamless! The ship's staff and officers created a ... Read More
This Royal Princess cruise was an delightful experience that I hope to repeat soon on another Princess ship (but with newer, softer beds). The embarkation and disembarkation were seamless! The ship's staff and officers created a welcoming and happy atmosphere, and the service everywhere was great. The dining options were many and varied, and the food was excellent. The stateroom and bathroom were perfect, with a convenient laundromat nearby. The entertainment options were varied and good, although busy days in port meant that I turned in by 10:00 pm each night and missed some late-night opportunities. Although I spent five pre-cruise days on my own in London, had I known passengers have the option to disembark early in order to visit a particular city post-cruise, I would have done so to spend time in Paris. Three cautions! First, although Princess shore excursions are good, research each port carefully for the type of sites you'll see, as well as access and transportation from/to the ship. (Consider other non-Princess excursions, in particular Viator and WOW tours...less bus time, less expensive, better quality.) Second, if you aren't willing to cheerfully put up with lots of buses and crowds at each port, avoid Summer cruises and travel in May or October! Third, be aware of what you spend on add-on services like (poor quality) Internet Service, Specialty Coffee Cards and Beverage Packages...choose wisely to suit your budget. Also, be aware that accompanying the excellent Spa Services are rather intrusive sales pitches to purchase expensive spa products. Altogether, I LOVED this Royal Princess cruise, and plan a Summer combined Norway-Baltics cruise for 2019 or 2020. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Suggested by our travel companions. Great Choice! The ship was only a few years old. Spotless! no scuffs or any damage anywhere. Pretty remarkable, when you consider how many people walk the halls and use the stairs, elevators ... Read More
Suggested by our travel companions. Great Choice! The ship was only a few years old. Spotless! no scuffs or any damage anywhere. Pretty remarkable, when you consider how many people walk the halls and use the stairs, elevators ect. Food was plentiful and of very nice quality. Entertainment was excellent and very tasteful. Onboard staff could not have been better. Embarkation and Disembarkation were both handled well. Disembarkation was a worry, taking into consideration how many people were on the ship. Princess had it totally dialed in, we were off without difficulty and no crowding. The on shore excursions we a great! value. We opted for the all inclusive drink package, a must if you want more than water or tea. Almost every afternoon the ship provide a trio of string musicians two violins and one Cello. This made for very classy moment every afternoon in the main lobby area. Will cruise with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had not sailed with Princess in a long time so we were return cruisers. We were impressed with the service- lots of little extras that really added up. I have severe food allergies so I was apprehensive about dining. The chefs on ... Read More
We had not sailed with Princess in a long time so we were return cruisers. We were impressed with the service- lots of little extras that really added up. I have severe food allergies so I was apprehensive about dining. The chefs on Princess Sapphire did an amazing job of accommodating my allergies. I had prefilled the form so they had a list of what I needed to avoid. The headwaiter introduced himself and brought me the menus for the following night so I could pre-order my meals. He assigned a sous chef to make them each evening to avoid any allergens. The pizza place was also able to make fresh pizza for me allergen free.- Awesome! We had a suite- an excellent choice as the balcony was perfect for the fjord cruising. The suite was well appointed with plenty of storage and was very comfortable. The fitness room was neat and had top of the line equipment. All of the equipment faced out over the front of the boat for an incredible view while working out. We enjoyed all of our land tours- I think a RIB boat adventure is a must in the fjords- it is an experience unlike any other. One note- if you are on this itinerary, souvenir shops are few and far between. If you want a souvenir, be sure to get it as soon as you see it. Cons: The coffee was really weak and the New Grounds coffee shop (extra charge) could not make coffee either. Suites need a keurig int he rooms. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
So sad to be back at work after an amazing vacation, so I'm reliving it here on this thread, with the excuse that others on upcoming cruises may benefit from recounting our experience For background, we're active 40-somethings ... Read More
So sad to be back at work after an amazing vacation, so I'm reliving it here on this thread, with the excuse that others on upcoming cruises may benefit from recounting our experience For background, we're active 40-somethings with no kids, and this was our 6th cruise. Overall, the bed was very comfortable, ship was clean and staff ever friendly (except the one gruff "casual" photographer who kept ordering people around), food delicious. We went to most of the shows (note we had to get our seats by 7:15 for the 8pm show!); the comedian and ventriloquist were good, and 50% of the ship's singers were good. We did laundry several times, and were pleased to never have to wait for a washer or dryer - that was a first! Here's what we did in each port: London: we arrived on Thursday morning so we'd have 2 full days to enjoy our favorite city and adjust to the time zone. Our American flight was on-time and smooth, and we enjoyed a 1-bedroom Airbnb flat right in the middle of Soho. We hit our favorite stores and restaurants, and saw both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! Southampton: we took the train from Waterloo to Southampton on Saturday morning, then a 5min taxi to the port from the station (train was 40 GBP each and taxi was about 10 GBP). Checkin began shortly after we arrived, and proceeded fairly quickly and smoothly. The dining rooms were closed "for a private event" so we were forced to eat lunch in the buffet. They were encouraging passengers to use the actual sinks to properly wash their hands, not the hand sanitizer dispensers. Sea day: the first day we were at sea, and we enjoyed exploring the ship and playing trivia Stavanger: we got off as soon as we docked and explored the adorable little old town (note it was hilly and cobbled). We found an ATM to get NOK for the next day's cash-only tour, then made our way to our 10am reservation with Rodne for the pulpit rock/fjord cruise. As the poster above said, the boat was docked at a different place than shown on the map, but it was obvious and easy to find. The ticket said to arrive 30min early, but the boat was almost full an hour before sailing time! People were kind of fighting over seats, but we stood and walked around the whole time taking pictures anyway. It was windy and overcast but we still enjoyed the pretty views. Skjolden: this port was so, so beautiful! We took a dozen pictures just walking into the tiny town from the ship. We had prebooked "Tour F" to the stave church and mountain views with Turid; her booth was easy to find but rather chaotic - people were just crowded all around the window, it seemed overwhelming with no apparent order. Even though Turid repeated "we only take cash" in every single email she sent to me before we left, there were still a bunch of people upset that she wouldn't take their credit cards on the day of the tour. Anyway, we finally got our ticket, got on the comfortable air-conditioned mini-bus, and had a lovely tour up to the Nordic ski center (which still had natural snow and Olympians training on it!), then to the Urnes stave church (which she timed perfectly between the large bus groups so we had it to ourselves). When we returned, the mini-bus dropped us back directly at the ship rather than in the town. Geiranger: sail in/out of this port was BREATHTAKING!! So many waterfalls and beautiful views around every corner. We probably took 50% of our photos this day. Tendering opened much earlier than stated in the Patter; once the ship docked, we waited near the tender ticket distribution point until the announcement about tickets, then got Group 1 and were off the ship in no time. We had prebooked a 3-hour Twizy e-car to drive up the mountain; it was a short walk from the tender port, they allowed us to check in more than an hour earlier than our reservation, and gave us a quick tutorial on the car. Then we squeezed ourselves into this tiny car and headed up the mountain! So many beautiful views everywhere, but you're not supposed to stop on the way up so you have enough charge to make it to the top. We took a bunch more pics at the top, then took our time driving back down so we could take all our pics. We actually had the car for closer to 4 hours, but they didn't say anything or charge us extra. After we returned the car, we walked up the side of the waterfall and enjoyed the sights and sounds of a waterfall that you can see from the top of the 5000 ft mountain all the way down to the fjord! The town also had a few lovely restaurants and some booths selling souvenirs, chocolate, etc. Trondheim: This was one of 2 rainy days, but luckily we didn't have much planned. We walked to the cathedral and fort but didn't care to pay the entry fees (the fort especially was expensive), but we did discover free wifi in the church's cafe, and a free armory/WW2 museum in the back corner of the fort. I looked at the Art Nouveau sites I had read about in advance of the trip, but nothing was particularly exciting (it's nothing like Helsinki or Prague). They had a very large market setup in the streets, so we enjoyed sampling cheeses and sausages, then made our way back to the ship. Sea day: Formal Night Honningsvag: seas were a bit rough in and out of the Cape, enough that we were amused watching the crowds 'flow' from one side to the other as they tried to walk down the halls of the rocking ship. It was so cold and windy - I don't know how hard the wind was gusting, but the poster above is accurate in saying it was blowing people over. It blew me off the steps at one point; my husband caught me just before I hit the rocks! We had prebooked a rental car, which was easy to find from the dock. We drove straight to the North Cape since it was relatively clear, got our picture and explored the visitor center, then drove around to a few of the other little villages on the island. Other than the visitor center, there was not much shopping or restaurants on the island. The landscape is bleak - no trees, lots of crumbling rocks everywhere - very unusual. We saw a lot of reindeer roaming the slopes. The ship had a 'midnight sun dance party' this night, but it was so cold and rainy we only stayed 10 minutes (certainly not until midnight). Tromso: A really beautiful day for a cable car ride! We took the $16pp shuttle to town, then walked over the long, steep bridge to the cable car. We waited in line 30-40min, but several buses arrived just after us and the line must've been at least an hour long behind us! The ride was short, and at the top there's a nice viewing platform but it was more enjoyable to stroll around the many paths on the mountain and get away from the crowds. Late that night, we went to the deck for our obligatory midnight sun photos. Too bad the ship staff didn't move the party to this beautiful clear night instead! Gravdal (Leknes): we messed up our rental car arrangements and did NOT get a car from Avis or Europcar (which delivered straight to the port), and instead had to pay for the $10pp shuttle into Gravdal to pick up our car from Sixt. We drove all the way to A, then took our time coming back, enjoying the beautiful little towns of Reine and Nusfjord (yes they charge a fee but it was only like 8 NOK; I think it was reasonable). NOTE: always check what time the last shuttle runs! The shuttle stopped running an hour before all-aboard, so we missed it, then discovered the taxi office was closed, and we were panicking trying to get back to the tender dock on time! Luckily we saw another Princess passenger grabbing the only taxi around, and we jumped on with them and made it just in time - I think we were on the next-to-last tender back. Way too close for comfort! Sea day: for some reason, this sea day seemed particularly boring. It seemed like there were restless crowds in all the public spaces and not much at all to do. Also, the dinner menu was very limited; fewer options were offered. Not sure what that was all about. Alesund: we had originally thought we'd hike in this port, but by now our legs were very tired and sore (we were averaging 5 miles/day of walking). It was a beautiful day, so we just walked around the harbor, and I enjoyed the Art Nouveau (much more to see than Trondheim, and the little Jugendstil museum was decent). I caught the public bus out to the Open Air Museum. It was so peaceful and lovely, like a forested park with old farm buildings here and there. Somewhere I had read there were viking exhibits here, but the only thing was a reconstructed viking ship. I followed the path with the sign reading "to the medieval museum" and checked that out too (included on the same ticket); it was interesting but not worth the walk if you're tired or limited. Bergen: the timing in this port (7am-2pm) was really unfortunate; we would've loved many more hours in this port, but the captain said even leaving at 2pm we had to travel at top speed to get back to London. By now we were 'over' taking rides to viewpoints, so we skipped the funicular. Even though it had been forecast to be another beautiful clear day, it was overcast and a little rainy, so I'm not sure how much visibility there was anyway. We took the mandatory silly bus ride (literally less than 3 minutes, it took longer to load and unload than the ride itself), then walked into town. It was nice to be there really early in the morning and see Bryggen without hordes of people! We got some cool photos of the old wooden buildings. We walked over to the fortress, but it wasn't very interesting, especially since the old Rosencrantz Tower was covered in scaffolding. Once the shops and market opened, we enjoyed shopping for our last few Norwegian souvenirs. The 3rd formal night was this night (I can't remember when the 2nd formal night was lol). Sea day: much needed downtime and packing time. Was not nearly as boring as the last sea day. London: we were so sad to leave the ship! We enjoyed one last elegant breakfast in the dining room, then had a very easy disembarkation, short taxi to the train station and back into London. This time our Airbnb was in Hampstead Heath, a more distant, leafy area of London we wanted to explore. Temps were in the 80s, which would feel cool to us EXCEPT we had no a/c, so sleeping at night on the hot 2nd floor was difficult. We enjoyed exploring the Heath (so many exquisitely happy pups!), and found all the air-conditioned shops and restaurants in the area We tubed down to Picadilly to get some last souvenirs, but the crowds were so overwhelming we quickly retreated. When it was time to head back home 2 days later, we taxi'd to Heathrow for our sad but smooth British Airways flight back. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Wonderful time! Traveling with my parents and DH and DS (age 10). Ports were spectacular and the wonderful weather we had didn’t hurt. There was plenty to do on the ship but we didn’t experience much because we were so tired from ... Read More
Wonderful time! Traveling with my parents and DH and DS (age 10). Ports were spectacular and the wonderful weather we had didn’t hurt. There was plenty to do on the ship but we didn’t experience much because we were so tired from touring the ports. The only time I found the ship crowded was during the sea days. We don’t gamble so I can’t speak to the casino. Food was really good. We only had 3 dinners in Anytime dining room. Alfredo’s was good and so was buffet. We did not experience long lines or long wait times. Booked all excursions through Princess and all were really good. A couple of small hiccups. Worst part of the cruise is the house band that plays every night in the Piazza. They are so, so terrible. I feel bad saying that because I can tell they are trying really hard but they are awful. Entertainment in the theater was excellent, classical musicians just wonderful and Princess Live was really fun. My son enjoyed the kids club-really great staff. Some grouchy, rude passengers who constantly complained was irritating too. Stay home next time or take some Prozac! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
In port ALL day (12+ hours) which is a definite plus. However I was stuck in an ADA room which made showers problematic. And the map did NOT identify it as such. Expansive attrium. Assigned to 6pm dining but there wasn't one. Got a ... Read More
In port ALL day (12+ hours) which is a definite plus. However I was stuck in an ADA room which made showers problematic. And the map did NOT identify it as such. Expansive attrium. Assigned to 6pm dining but there wasn't one. Got a letter day 1 as some were late to dinner and they wanted to warn us that our chair was in risk of being given to another passenger if we were 15 minutes late. So I showed up 15-20 minutes late (but we'll before 6pm) and always had my chair. There wasn't a 7:30 seating so it wasn't like I was preventing another from dining. Otherwise great trip / friendly staff / love internatiobal cafe / pizza restaurant on Plaza Deck British Isle focusing on Ireland, Scotland, Kirkwall Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Destination, price and timing all suited us. Never had we ever expected to travel to Europe but this trip all felt right. The destination was a bit of a dream, but now, it was such a good choice. The learning experience was excellent and ... Read More
Destination, price and timing all suited us. Never had we ever expected to travel to Europe but this trip all felt right. The destination was a bit of a dream, but now, it was such a good choice. The learning experience was excellent and seeing places that dated back so far - like the 4th and 12 centuries was beyond imagination. We had an amazing experience of fjords which are indescribable. The freshness of the air and the lack of pollution was the most difficult to imagine. In the streets of all the towns we visited, the waterways and general environment was a welcomed surprise. We also visited London and did the tourist sightseeing. A great experience and a lesson in history. Then after another long flight we spent time in one of our favourite cities - Singapore. Having visited many of the sights in Singapore over the past 9 years, we took the opportunity to relax and enjoy our hotel facilities. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We're regular cruisers who defer to RCI first but in recent years tried Princess Cruises mainly for the competitive pricing. That's why we chose this cruise. We've done the Norwegian Fjords before but wanted to go again, and ... Read More
We're regular cruisers who defer to RCI first but in recent years tried Princess Cruises mainly for the competitive pricing. That's why we chose this cruise. We've done the Norwegian Fjords before but wanted to go again, and the price for this was great. We have tried their mini suites and balconies previously. This time we just went for an inside cabin and although it's the cheapest it was fine. You don't go on holiday to spend it in your cabin, do you? Still, a porthole is useful to get a gauge on the weather. EMBARKATION: We sailed from Southampton and we were walking onto the ship within 15 minutes of leaving the dock. Perfect embarkation. Apparently there were 2800 passengers on board and 1500 of those were from the UK, as are we. The ship has had a recent refit and you could tell. The staff were always working in the background, unobtrusively picking up litter, clearing tables, keeping everything in good shape. CABIN: Compared to RCI inside staterooms, Princess are far better. I like the way the wardrobe area separates the bathroom from the bedroom and it gives it the illusion of space. William our stateroom attendant kept it clean and tidy and the mattress is one of their new ones which are absolutely fantastic to sleep in. DINING: We always used to go with traditional dining times on shared tables, but since a couple of bad experiences, we now opt for any time dining and prefer this. The food was always of an exceptionally high standard, always hot, well cooked and their creme brulee is just perfect. Doesn't matter which ship I'm on, they all do creme brulee and the Sapphire does them the way I like them. We never breakfast on a cruise because our waistlines expand enough, but during the day we would use the Horizon buffet or the International Cafe for lunch. Honestly, I can't think of anything bad to say. It was all lovely. ENTERTAINMENT: Regarding the entertainment, our cruise director was called Duke, and he is definitely one of the better ones. Great sense of humour, he got everybody involved and didn't mind getting involved himself. His team were the same. Sapphire Princess has one of the best entertainment programmes I've enjoyed. As I enjoy cruising precisely to take advantage of the entertainment programme, this praise isn't given freely. Their showtime singers are superb. One night they put on an opera style show and wow, they were breathtaking. So, so versatile, as well. They tackled all sorts of different musical genres throughout the week. The Atomic band were good as well but as the demographic of the ship was predominantly 60+ (I'm 55, hubby 53) and they were usually in the Fusion lounge, it was quite often empty. They were singing to an under capacity 'crowd'. I felt sorry for them, because they were really good! If you've been on RCI and seen Rock the Boat, they were quite similar to them. We were treated to two 'star' performers; Gareth Gates and Ted Robbins. I remember TR as Kate Robbins brother, and from Spitting Image. He was also on Phoenix Nights but I don't watch much TV now and if it wasn't for the fact that he told us about three or four times that he'd done it, I'd never have known. Yep, I was being sarcastic there! Sorry Ted, if you're reading this, but if you are, I'd suggest you don't mention PN as often because not everybody can relate, even people from the UK, as I am. Also, it seemed to me that some of the jokes were recycled, and first told by the now-dead comedians that were mentioned such as Bob Monkhouse and Ken Dodds. As a comedian he was okay. I laughed a couple of times We saw Gareth Gates around the ship a few times; it turned out his room was opposite ours. He's a very good looking guy, with a great voice. However ... and don't hate me ... his act felt stale to me. It was full of easy listening songs with no oomph. I'm pretty sure he asked us a couple of times if we were ready to party ... we'd say yes ... then he'd sing another slow song. It didn't keep the tempo up. I really wanted to love his act, but it just didn't get me roused. In between 'star acts' the Sapphire singers and dancers performed three shows. As mentioned above, they were superb. In our experience, the last night of a cruise always falls a bit flat. Not on the Sapphire. We were treated to Last night of the Proms in the Piazza and this was great. Later on in the theatre I was surprised it was 75% full because it's usually only about 50% full. I'm leaving the best act until last. They're a tribute band called Coyote and they were fantastic. They did an 80s Mixtape and their lead singer, a teeny, tiny woman wearing glitter and spandex had a huge stage presence. She got everybody involved and her voice was fab. Apparently it was their first ever Princess booking and I've just completed the Princess questionnaire suggesting that it shouldn't be their last! SERVICE: Nothing was too much trouble for anybody. William, our stateroom attendant was very courteous, as was everybody else. Gratuities were $27 per day I believe and we didn't alter it. I have no idea if it's an urban myth that the cruise companies don't pay their staff or they do, but it's minimum wage. Regardless, we can see their staff work hard and never mind paying for it. We don't, however, add more. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: We didn't have good weather. At all. Unfortunately this tends to colour your judgment. We visited Stavanger, Olden, Gerainger and Bergen. Norway is definitely a place to book excursions rather than winging it. We usually get the hop on hop off bus wherever we go but to be honest, we did that the last time we visited. And we had paid excursions. The only one we did this time was to see a glacier at Olden. Stavanger: Been there before. Also in the rain. It's a lovely little town, but it would've been nice to see it in sunshine. We sought out Starbucks for their free WiFi - as did everybody else - and spent about an hour getting caught up on stuff. Olden: Trip to the glacier cost $99 pp for a return coach ride lasting 45 minutes there and back. Okay, it was a glacier ... a huge chunk of ice held captive by two mountains. The air was pure, we were back to nature ... but the rain was so heavy it was horizontal, and we paid an additional £22 pp to get a ride 15 minutes from the glacier in a Troll car. Would I do it again or recommend it? Nah. Not really. My husband enjoyed it though, and he paid for it lol! Gerainger: Small town, not much to see. We walked through a camp site towards a waterfall. My husband climbed to the top. Someone told him there were 2000 steps. Needless to say I waited at the bottom. The waterfall was very pretty though. Bergen: I have no idea where we docked but it wasn't in the same place as we'd docked when we went on P&O's Britannia. Bergen has a lovely shopping centre and fish market that I recall from our previous visit. This time it docked at 7am, all aboard for 1.30pm. No time at all, and we were nowhere near the 'nice parts'. Waste of time, but we walked for 30 minutes and didn't get anywhere so we walked back to the ship. NEGATIVE STUFF: We're not big drinkers and their daily charge of $59.99 + 15% gratuity for their drinks package wouldn't be good value for us. We were, however, looking forward to their happy hours that they usually have but were told they don't do this now. That's such a shame. They did it in 2016 and 2017. To me it's cutting corners by stealth. Prior to sailing I read a few reviews and someone said that they were teetotal because they were charged $18 for two lagers. I don't know if they were speciality lagers but if you're okay drinking John Smiths that was about $5.75, same with Boddingtons. Cocktails were about $7-9 - all plus 15% gratuity automatically added to your bill. Not too bad. We pay about the same as that in pounds in Newcastle city centre. Minus the tip of course! Next is the cost of the wifi. It was 79 cents per minute. No wonder people hogged cafes when they went ashore. WOULD I GO TO THE FJORDS AGAIN? No, we're fjorded out now. It's a beautiful country and I would definitely recommend going but for us, it was more about the ship than the destinations. WOULD I USE SAPPHIRE PRINCESS AGAIN? Absolutely. There's just something about Sapphy that we love. Plus, we didn't know that they're connected with P&O so we got the Britannia cruise added to our Captain Circle membership and we've now moved into the Ruby level. WOULD I USE PRINCESS AGAIN? In a heartbeat. Okay, so they use wooden stirrers, plastic plates, plastic cups, and plastic 'glasses' in the buffet lounge but seriously I don't care about that. What I care about is the cleanliness, quality of the entertainment, and service. Probably in that order, too. You want china cups, real glasses, and spoons in the buffet lounge, go visit the dining room. (Yes, someone told me that she overheard someone ask for a china cup in Horizon!!) One more thing, we didn't do enrichment activities on this cruise but they seemed to be entertaining and I don't want to mark them down as 'terrible'. There isn't an option for 'not applicable'. This is the end of my epic, lengthy, review. I've tried to be impartial, but to be fair, there's not a lot I can pick fault with on this ship. If you read a bad review about the cruise I've just done, I honestly don't know what that reviewer would be looking for in a holiday. Sapphy ticked all our boxes. We could easily go 'up market' - and we all know who I'm talking about - but why would we when we're happy with these guys? Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
A1 cruise ship. Nothing to fault. Food, entertainment, staff of highest quality. Went way and beyond. Beautiful ship will be hard going back to others. The staff went way and beyond they were really attentive and helpful and lots of ... Read More
A1 cruise ship. Nothing to fault. Food, entertainment, staff of highest quality. Went way and beyond. Beautiful ship will be hard going back to others. The staff went way and beyond they were really attentive and helpful and lots of fun. Crew members interacted with guests on every level. ALL STAFF INCLUDING OFFICERS always acknowledged even when just passing through all areas. CAPTAIN was great fun when addressing announcements. Nothing boring about listening to him each day. PRINCESS is our favourite cruise line,always great times had by all. Staff on Royal were excellent in all departments, best crew we have ever experienced on any if our 20+ cruises. Looking forward to the Majestic next year as sister ship. Dining was superb although the menu was very repetitive could always find something to please the palate on the day. Too much chocolate for us something not so rich would have been nice. ALL sweets in the bakery and international cafe all has cream filling of some sort which was not to our liking but I am sure many passengers will need to buy larger clothes on returning home. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had a great cruise. The only bad thing was we missed a port due to winds and not one that you would expect to miss. Large ship with many passengers so tendering was a bit of a wait to get off. We came back early and heard it was ... Read More
We had a great cruise. The only bad thing was we missed a port due to winds and not one that you would expect to miss. Large ship with many passengers so tendering was a bit of a wait to get off. We came back early and heard it was a nightmare to get back on if you waited until the deadline. The buffet Omelet line needs to be organized better as people were trying to get food all around the order section and no one really knew where to stand to wait so there was always someone in the way. Lots to do on the ship but a lot of things took place at 9:15 and if you were a late diner you always missed this unfortunately. We enjoyed meeting new people and would even do this itinerary again. Liked being on the Lido deck even though it wasn't warm enough to use the pools sadly! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Chose this cruise as itinerary was very good. The food was excellent. We had a balcony cabin which was lovely and plenty of storage. Bed was very comfortable. Activities were very good with trivia quizzes games and shows every day. We did ... Read More
Chose this cruise as itinerary was very good. The food was excellent. We had a balcony cabin which was lovely and plenty of storage. Bed was very comfortable. Activities were very good with trivia quizzes games and shows every day. We did private tours from ship as their own tours were far too expensive. The fitness centre was very good. Tried a few classes which are an extra cost. $12 for spinning and Pilates, $20 for TRX. Wine was quite expensive at dining rooms typically about £30 for red. Champagne £40. Shows were entertaining and varied with comedians and dance shows. Everything was well organised and we couldn't believe how good things ran. Although we were young for this cruise the general age of cruiser was A lot older than we were so they were probably not doing the same activities as we were. The film's were very good and presentations of ports were informative along with newsletters every day posted to your cabin. The celebrities who gave talks and interviews were interesting too. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Sapphire princess is looking beautiful - not sure if it’s the recent refit but she looks brand new. One of the things I loved was that nearly every bar and lounge had views of the ocean. The staff were the friendliest I’ve ever ... Read More
Sapphire princess is looking beautiful - not sure if it’s the recent refit but she looks brand new. One of the things I loved was that nearly every bar and lounge had views of the ocean. The staff were the friendliest I’ve ever experienced. Food was so good in main dining room we didn’t eat in a specialty restaurant once which is a first for us. The shuttle buses were a let down. Firstly we had to pay for shuttles buses and we’ve never had to do that before. Secondly the organisation of them was awful - massive queues always. Just not enough busses laid on and only one person manually taking down names and cabin numbers and checking cruise cards meants delays of (in sone cases) an hour and 40 minutes. The cabin was spacious and light, powerful shower, plenty of storage, adequate balcony. Food in buffet was great and international cafe and pizza from Alfredo’s are tasty and included in the price of the cruise. The main theatre performers were pretty poor, but the guest entertainers and the entertainment in the lounges and bars was of a good standard. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We liked the variety of destinations on this cruise. St Petersburg was definitely the highlight with Tallin a close second. We were lucky to have glorious weather the whole time. The entertainment was excellent with a variety of ... Read More
We liked the variety of destinations on this cruise. St Petersburg was definitely the highlight with Tallin a close second. We were lucky to have glorious weather the whole time. The entertainment was excellent with a variety of different acts. The Russian folklore show on the overnight stay in st Petersburg was brilliant. A great singer Philip Browne gave a great show as did Greg Scott a violinist. Not too keen on the comedian. The ships dancers and singers gave great show. Duke the Cruise Director was a great guy and has lots of enthusiasm. He also tells great jokes. Loved his shoes!! There was a good range of shops on board. We chose tradiodining with friends we were travelling with and we had a great rapport with our waiters who looked after us very well. There were three formal nights when most people dressed up for the occasiona. The meals were beautifully cooked and presented. Would recommend this Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had been to St.Petersburg before, but this cruise covered 2 important dates, our 52nd Wedding Anniversary on the 4th June 2018 and my Birthday on the 11th June 2018. I usually tell people I am 96 years of age , but to be truthful I am ... Read More
We had been to St.Petersburg before, but this cruise covered 2 important dates, our 52nd Wedding Anniversary on the 4th June 2018 and my Birthday on the 11th June 2018. I usually tell people I am 96 years of age , but to be truthful I am not that old. Just bits of me feel that old. We had selected a Mini-Suite mid-ships, which was good, but not great, nothing can compare to a Cunard Suite! and we do like a butler suite, but Princess have stopped having any butlers, don't know why?. The TV's in the cabin had all been changed to large flat screens, we had 2 of them. The one nearest the windows had to be changed, it stopped working and its replacement wasn't prperly installed. Each TV has a modem and each deck on the ship has a server, for TV and presumably WIFI, which had an excellent reception. unfortunately the installers forgot to retune the TV's modems, so although it received TV programs, it wouldn't download on demand films. Also when they had removed the old TVs there must have been shelving. The screw holes for the shelving had just been left as holes, we managed to get them covered, they installed finger bandage stickers!, not push in plastic plugs. The food in the Freedom Dining room was quite good, but the price of their wine was far too high. For basic plonk wine, i.e. the cheapest was around $33-$38 a bottle, and a bottle of water in your cabin cost £3.95 for a 1 litre bottle, absolutely robbery!. But we struggled on, one day the Cruise Director interviewed Shirley Jone, star of Oklahoma and Carousel, after the interview we met up with her and my wife Dodie had a lovely cuddle, Dodie had danced in all these shows. Dodie mentioned to Duke, the Cruise Director that she had taught Tap Dancing on many Princess Ships, he said "would you like to teach on this ship" and of course Dodie said yes. She actually taught 2 classes which were well received, the second class had around 40+ passengers participating abd many have since sent Dodie very nice emails. We didn't use the cruise excursions, each time we stopped, apart from Russia, we hired a local taxi and did our own touring, we highly recommend this method. So we had 4 great events to remember the cruise, birthdays, anniversaries and 2x tap dancing, great can't wait for the next cruise. (September with P&O in a butler suite). Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We choose this cruise for the ports that were provided, and having sailed on Princess previously. The tour out of Invergordon was especially fun. The tour was with Invergordon Tours and our bus driver was Bob. He not only provided ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the ports that were provided, and having sailed on Princess previously. The tour out of Invergordon was especially fun. The tour was with Invergordon Tours and our bus driver was Bob. He not only provided us with local stories and songs, but answered any questions which we had. We had a small group of 8, many of us seniors. Another tour that we enjoyed was out of Greenock, and was Discover Scotland Tours. Going around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs we saw a lot of the Highland countryside. Although we were in a larger bus of 30, the trip was enjoyable. The ruins which we saw from the Kirkwall port were amazing. You were able to get close to ruins that were older than Stonehenge. Although the tour guide was mainly just a taxi driver, the short tour of the area was enlightening. Lastly, for the stop in Le Havre we took a taxi and went to Honfleur. Although it rained the whole time that we walked around the small town, the experience of being in such a wonderful picturesque town make the stop worth it. We enjoyed shopping, an old church, and seeing a few art galleries. We had lunch on almost every tour, eating local foods and beer when possible. We spent a lot of time on the roll call prior to the trip, organizing tours and what we wished to do. The time was well worth it, and the friends which we made on these small tours made the trip extra special. Future cruises are already being discussed. One disappointment was with the ship itself. The beds were not as comfortable, the service not as special, and the food not as memorable. Not sure if it is just this ship, or a change to cruises in general (either through Princess or all cruise lines). The changes experienced remind me of the changes we see today in flying vs. 30 years ago. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The production show "Encore" was excellent with a 99% of audience's approval with standing ovation (other than the one who were handicapped). The show "Beatles" was very good too. Royal Princess overall is ... Read More
The production show "Encore" was excellent with a 99% of audience's approval with standing ovation (other than the one who were handicapped). The show "Beatles" was very good too. Royal Princess overall is well kept. Decor is excellent too. Should have docked at LaHavie, France, overnight to allow us more time to explore Paris. Better yet, Princess Cruises can provide hotel rooms in Paris for a better rate if the ship docks overnight. . Princess cruises as a whole do not have clients from all age groups. 80% (I estimate) of us are from 50+ age group. Allure of the Seas of Royal Caribbean Cruises has all the amenities catered to all age groups.. The price of all Shore Excursion with Princess are not as competitive as the local ones. That is why more and more passengers are looking at websites which offer a better or similar excursions. We did enjoy London, Edinburgh and Paris. Overall, Princess Cruises still offer good entertainment, good value for the money and excellent service Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first Princess cruise, and it will not be my last. I liked the itinerary and decided to branch out and try a new cruise line. Certainly not disappointed.The cruise was fabulous, the staff and crew were great. The food was ... Read More
This was my first Princess cruise, and it will not be my last. I liked the itinerary and decided to branch out and try a new cruise line. Certainly not disappointed.The cruise was fabulous, the staff and crew were great. The food was delicious, better than some other cruise lines. Wheelchair embarkation and disembarkation was well organized and done with ease. The bar to be at is Piazza Bar, deck 5. A fast paced bar, but well run bar. Always friendly and eager to serve. The Dining staff were terrific. My cabin attendant was outstanding. There were many choices of entertainment, all great. The spectacular shows were spectacular. The only downside, the veranda cabin was the smallest I have ever had. But, dealable. I would certainly go on this ship again. The decor and cleanliness of the ship was superior. Loved the ease of traveling from Southampton, used the ship's transfers. They were well organized and on the look out for their clients throughout the airport. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We wanted to see these countries. We were celebrating our 35th Anniversary. We really enjoyed all aspects of this cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth. The cabin steward was great he always had our room clean and ready ... Read More
We wanted to see these countries. We were celebrating our 35th Anniversary. We really enjoyed all aspects of this cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth. The cabin steward was great he always had our room clean and ready for us at all times. The highlight of this cruise was getting James and Camille for our waiting team in the dining room. They were very pleasant and always treated us like they were happy to be there serving us . "Jame 007 & Camille" The Entertainment was top notch in the show room and all of the other areas . The piazza area was always a bustle with entertainment going on every night. The cruise director was always around and making it fun for all the guests. It was a cruise for older people. Sometimes they forget we are not the only people there. But all said we had ta great time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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