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

408 Princess Southampton Cruise Reviews

5th May 2018, our first view of Sapphire Princess was from the end of Hythe Pier and she looked terrific. After dropping off my car at the terminal, it was the fastest check-in and boarding that we encountered. No, we weren't late ... Read More
5th May 2018, our first view of Sapphire Princess was from the end of Hythe Pier and she looked terrific. After dropping off my car at the terminal, it was the fastest check-in and boarding that we encountered. No, we weren't late nor were we early - It was just quiet. Everything went so smoothly and so quickly and this time we tried a mini-suite which was big but a bit disappointing for the centre console which once held two televisions was really no more than wasted space and an obstruction. As for the bathroom well the bath was off-putting for neither of us like climbing in and out of a bath like an orangutan for a shower, our joints won't cope! I wish Princess would drop the 'Love Boat' themed TV intro and safety video which should be taken seriously and not against a dated musical background performed by aged has-been singers. We left Southampton quietly and after unpacking met the waiting staff in the Piazza, most of whom joined the ship in Singapore following her refit and being their first time in Europe were a bit shy of us Brits, they soon settled down when they realised that we're tame! Now for dinner! There are four restaurants off the piazza, two on Deck 5 and two on Deck 6, all four were approximately the same size and differently themed yet the menus are the same and service was exemplary. Theatre entertainment is always variable from the dire to the excellent. Jim Stevenson, comedian is an excellent ice-breaker on the first night and even better on a final night. Princess Singers and Dancers excel themselves on their performance nights but their shows appear to reduce in size and time each year. Breakfast is standard self-service in the Horizon and even though Sapphire Princess carries slightly less than her Crown and Emerald sisters, she is better laid out with no hint of overcrowding particularly in the Piazza and the Horizon Court. Now for the cruise, you all know how wonderful your room steward is and you all want to adopt him and take him home! So I'll gloss past that one. First Port of Call was Guernsey and we anchored and got off - Wow!! Excuse my enthusiasm but I usually see St Peter Port harbour in rough seas as the captain plans a diversion to the next port. So we were in Guernsey and it was Sunday and not being directly part of the UK (Guernsey has its own laws) the shops were closed!!! Just like the old days here, but the cafe's did a roaring trade out of us basking in the sun. La Verdon was meant to be the second port but due to a French dockworkers strike we went to La Rochelle and a day there is far better than looking at container cranes in a strike-bound port - it was 8th May and a national holiday in France so some shops and all cafes were open and what a lovely place to visit, it is definitely a 'Must Return To' place. Bilbao was our third port and the weather changed, for it was warmer in East Anglia than in Bilbao! We headed for the Guggenheim Museum and all I can say is that it has the 'Marmite effect' and I hate Marmite! The rest of Bilbao was interesting. La Coruna was our final port and we found a cafe (as we usually do) and then a spice shop where my wife bought bags of spices for home cooking - I think we have to do this cruise again even if it is just for bulk spice shopping in La Coruna! A final special word goes to Captain Paulo Rivera for it was his first time with Sapphire Princess in UK waters, he had to cope with the ship being audited continually by Maritime and Coastguard Agency assessors and Lloyd's Registry auditors for the ship to get its UK Passenger Certificate and he had to handle an emergency helicopter evacuation of a seriously injured passenger south of Plymouth. Well Done Captain. I returned to Sapphire Princess in October for another 7 day cruise but more about that in my next review. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Choose the cruise for the itinerary . We wanted an itinerary that was different to the mass market and felt that northern Spain and France delivered. Bordeaux sadly cancelled due to a strike. La Rachelle the new destination did not ... Read More
Choose the cruise for the itinerary . We wanted an itinerary that was different to the mass market and felt that northern Spain and France delivered. Bordeaux sadly cancelled due to a strike. La Rachelle the new destination did not disappoint fabulous. A shuttle bus dropped the passengers right into the heart of the city. Bilbao again fab we toured the football stadium a great way of finding out the history of the people of this amazing vibrant city. In La Coruna we hired a car and visited the near by coast and national park area stunning scenery. The ship is in very good condition and extremely clean. The first evening in the savoy was a disappointment. I ordered the prime rib steak given that I am a good cook and eat out at great restaurants I have never eaten such a bland tasteless beef in all my life. We have worked hard and a lot of hours to save for the cruise and would expect basic cooking to produce good results. The second night over done basic chicken. Third night gave up went to the horizon had an amazing tasty meal great best curry ever. There after dined every night at the horizon court. Slight criticism no fruit juice after breakfast there is lemonade but you have to ask for it. The theatre shows where a disappointment short and disjointed no set story. All other entertainment venues where fabulous. The cruise directer Paul so funny along with the Australian and all of the entertainment team. Endless activities on board. An ill passenger on board was evacuated from the ship the incident was handled very well. The captain is a very caring friendly man and I hope that the passenger involved is hopefully recovering . I will recommend the Sapphire it has something for every one formal or non formal. Embarkation and disembarkation was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The check in went smoothly and we were onboard having lunch in the International Dining Room by 1pm. It was a bit tricky to find and you can’t walk thru, you have to go up, along, then down. We had originally booked an inside cabin ... Read More
The check in went smoothly and we were onboard having lunch in the International Dining Room by 1pm. It was a bit tricky to find and you can’t walk thru, you have to go up, along, then down. We had originally booked an inside cabin but Princess offered us an outside for an extra £50 each which we accepted. The cabin was on deck 5 and had a lovely big picture window, a huge TV with lots of choice, live TV (mostly news), on demand TV series and up to date movies. This was great for us although there were a few issues towards the end of the cruise with the on-demand channels. Our cabin was beside the Art Gallery and was handy for Alfredo’s and the International Café. A couple of times we had a sandwich & salad as we walked back to our cabin. The beds onboard were all new and they were so comfy. There was lots of storage space with plenty drawers. The ship itself had just come back from a refurb in Singapore and you could see where carpets had been replaced as they had the pilling that comes with new carpets. The ship was just the right size for us and there were no problems with the lifts. There were a few nationalities onboard mainly British, American, Canadian and Australians. We were on Anytime Dining which meant we had a choice of 4 restaurant and mostly had a table for 2. On the 1st formal night however we were on a table of 8. We arrived at 7.45pm and had to leave at 9.45pm without having our pudding as we had to get to the show for 10pm. That was the only night the service was slow. I found the temperature onboard to be too warm, particularly the dining areas. I spoke to Guest Services who told me they set the temperature depending on the demographic onboard. Anyway, the buffet was uncomfortable and felt clammy so I didn’t go back. The food was very good although we noticed that the Always on the Menu items which used to include chicken, salmon and steak – the steak has now been replaced by a burger. Also the lobster served was only 3 small pieces of tail and not the full lobster as previous. The Sterling Steakhouse was average in both quality & service and not worth the $29 per person additional charge. There was no ambiance as it was just a part of the buffet sectioned off and the tablecloths were greyish blue colour which didn’t go with the cream furnishings. What’s wrong with a crisp white tablecloth? Every evening between 5 – 7pm there was an Exclusive Elite Lounge located in the Skywalkers Deck 18 Aft for drink specials and complimentary pre-dinner hors de ’oeuvres. That’s the first time I was even aware of such an event – still never made it though. Sapphire Princess had a special Princess@ Sea app which you could access with your phone (at no cost) and you could view your account, see the events and even message others in your party. We had 150 free internet credit each (I used all of mine and my husband used none of his). You could also obtain a print out of your account at a special unit adjacent to Guest Services which was handy. The cost of the drinks was astronomical. We came back from ashore and were having a burger and ordered 2 beers. You don’t get a receipt but when I checked afterwards they were $18.40. A bottle of wine with dinner was $34 but with 15% tax added came to nearer $39. Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of drinking being done. We were lucky as we had a mini bar set up plus $425 onboard credit to get thru. But just for info – they were scanning your bags onshore at Bilbao and La Coruna and not on the ship so I dare say you could have brought a bottle or two aboard then. We pre-purchased twelve 500ml bottles of water for £5.18 but there were 4 bottles of water in the mini bar. The ship’s singers, dancers and musicians were of a high standard and the shows excellent. Gareth Gates did 2 performances which were packed out. Our first call was Guernsey which was a tender port. There was a queue of about 12 people at half 9 for the local bus which takes you round the island for £1. Later on, the queue was about 50 deep so you wouldn’t have seen much with all those people on the bus. We walked to Candie Gardens and spent an hour or so there then strolled back via the harbour. The weather was just right. We had a day at sea then went to La Rochelle instead of Le Verdon, due to a French strike, which was better for us. There was a complimentary shuttle and we strolled around for a couple of hours. Next it was Bilbao, again there was a complimentary shuttle bus as the port was about 25 mins away. We walked the Old Town, the Guggenheim and was disappointed that the Scottie dog which is usually covered with flowers was scaffolded up getting replanted. Seemingly this happens in May and October. In La Coruna we walked just outside the port area and hailed a taxi to the train station, about 5 Euro. We bought 2 single tickets to Santiago de Compostela for 12.20 Euros. We were impressed with the modern trains. Very clean and your coach and seat number are on your ticket. After exiting the train stn at Santiago de Compostela we crossed a couple of roads then walked uphill for about 15 mins to the Cathedral. We got there about 11.25am and all the pews were full however on walking to the front I managed to get a seat. The Mass started at 12 noon and lasted about 50 mins. It was very moving. We went down into the crypt and saw St James casket and also went up behind the alter. The walk was easier on the way back as it was all downhill. A great day. We had another sea day which was across the Bay of Biscay and luckily the weather was kind and although it was a wee bit lumpy I never felt seasick. We attended the Grapevine Wine Tasting (complimentary) but was disappointed as you only got a mouthful in each glass – wouldn’t bother the next time. Disembarkation was a breeze and we were on the road by 8.35am getting home for 1pm. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Always wanted to cross the Atlantic, and very happy we did. Many complained that Princess failed them when they dropped a couple of ports and substituted a couple of others, but we didn't mind - it's all about the ship for us ... Read More
Always wanted to cross the Atlantic, and very happy we did. Many complained that Princess failed them when they dropped a couple of ports and substituted a couple of others, but we didn't mind - it's all about the ship for us and CB was looking sharp coming out of her major dry dock. We sailed her only a year ago, so the changes were obvious for us. Most Notable: Horizon Court is no more. Replaced by "Market Fresh" (or was that "Fresh Market"). What we liked: No more "point and wait" sweet and sandwich area, it's all grab and go now, so much more efficient. The hot food was little changed. The room itself looks far more elegant and tidy, I really liked it. Some have complained that tables are spaced out a bit costing some capacity. Princess seems to have dealt with this by keeping both sides open for seating whether or not food is actually available or not, we never struggled to find a seat, even with our many sea days. The burger bar is slightly updated with a few menu changes including the addition of surprisingly good chicken tacos. Some more variety. Likewise, the pizza bar has a slightly increased menu including new "California Toasts". Again, a few changes to liven things up. We didn't eat at the new barbecue place "Planks" which operates nightly in one of the former cafe Caribe locations (the other being "Steamers"). Both of which we intended to try, but simply ran out of time. The big highlight of our trip was our first experience with Club Class which really impressed us on a nightly basis. This ended up being a very small space within the Coral dining room. Not in any way blocked off (so we didn't feel weird) the approximately 18 tables in Club class had a dedicated staff of 10 plus a dedicated head waiter. Food was the same as all other dining rooms with one additional entree every evening, often prepared by the headwaiter. Service was great, the main advantage however was rarely having to worry about a seat, we only once had to wait and even then less than 5 minutes. We enjoyed the experience but are unlikely to pay the large premium for Club on future cruises. Caribbean herself was in good shape, we loved her last year and the updates improved an already good thing. There was literally nothing I could complain about with the ship itself. Embarcation in Southampton was far and a way our worst ever experience there. Boarding was chaos mainly due to the fact that this sailing included more than 1200 Elite passengers most of whom were convinced they should be boarding FIRST. Staff did a very poor job controlling the crowd, disappointing. Predictably the problems recurred in Ft Lauderdale when all 1200 Elites wanted to depart concurrently. We spent much time in the sanctuary and throughly loved the service there and the few other guests who showed up daily, first in the quite chilly days in Europe and later the very warm South Florida approach. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our first time with Princess. We loved how on embarking, you were not forced to eat in the buffet. Past cruises have guided all guests to this area. So, that was a good start. Because most of the activities were scattered in ... Read More
This was our first time with Princess. We loved how on embarking, you were not forced to eat in the buffet. Past cruises have guided all guests to this area. So, that was a good start. Because most of the activities were scattered in other areas of the ship, the atrium was a relaxing place to sit and listen to the music, while enjoying a tea or coffee. Didn't like having to pay for a pot of tea though! On other ships, tea and coffee were free, but, it was worth it to have the tea made properly, in a pot. Loved the afternoon tea served in the dining room, at no extra charge. It was also nice to be able to sit and have a sandwich and a pastry in the atrium area. Less temptation than going to the buffet! Cabin could do with a bit of TLC. Cracked tiles in the bathroom. Activities got a bit repetitive and shows were not as good to other cruise ships we have been on. Shore excursions were a little rushed. Could have done with more time in the towns. However, the staff were the friendliest staff we have ever experienced on a cruise ship, and every one of them spoke almost perfect English. Disembarking was also very well organized. I am assuming that, because this was a transatlantic cruise, and longer than some cruises, was the reason that there were not too many children on board. We found that most of the passengers were our age or older, and the activities were geared to our demographic. It may have been our first time with Princess, but it won't be our last. I would recommend them to friends and family without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my 2nd Transaltlantic with Princess and my 6th overall with them. We really enjoyed ourselves. Check in was easy and although I am Platinium, I was not given priority boarding until I showed my number to a Rep. and she then let us ... Read More
This was my 2nd Transaltlantic with Princess and my 6th overall with them. We really enjoyed ourselves. Check in was easy and although I am Platinium, I was not given priority boarding until I showed my number to a Rep. and she then let us aboard, not a biggy, but for sure can set a tone. Our inside cabin on Riviera Deck was fine, every thing we really needed, It was our first inside for such a long cruise, but it really was fine, never had an issue with space and our Cabin steward was fantastic !, we really didn't need any thing special, but he was always around and ever so friendly. Always room by the pools, the only thing I did notice, was the pool hogs at the adult pool every morning by 8;00. I would pass that way to get to the gym in the mornings. There was always ample room by all pools, not sure why they needed to( reserve )these seats so early. Gary, our Cruise Director, was Fabulous !. Never a dull moment when he was around. We enjoyed all the activities he hosted. The other cruise staff was good, but he for sure outshined them all. Thank you , Gary. You made our cruise. As for food, I understand everyone has an opinion, For us, while we may not have found every nights menu right for us, we still very much enjoyed all our meals. The specialty Pizza lunches at Sabatine's, were great, we did lunch there 3 times and every Pizza was excellent. If we didn't like the main dinning rooms menu, we went to Food market or even had Tacos by the pool. Not every thing was perfect, but there was plenty to pick from. I enjoy a cup of coffee every morning and usually a tea in the afternoon. The international Cafe is great for that. I did find though, that it was rather hard to get a servers attention, so always had to order at counter, and forget the Bartender serving you. All in all a wonderful cruise, the small things were just that,small, you really had to time your laundry just right, as there are only 2 washers and dryers per floor, and for a 15 day trip , a very busy place.. We have 2 more Princess cruises booked . Princess meets all our needs and we always have a great time !. Hope this helps any one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I just read a review from someone who sailed on this cruise who claimed Le Harve was experiencing a port strike and they missed going to Normandy because the ship didn't dock there. This is false. We certainly did dock in Le Harve and ... Read More
I just read a review from someone who sailed on this cruise who claimed Le Harve was experiencing a port strike and they missed going to Normandy because the ship didn't dock there. This is false. We certainly did dock in Le Harve and many, many of the guest on board went to Normandy. I spent a very lovely day with my friend, who traveled with me, in Honfleur. Others went into Paris, but we've were recently there and returning in the winter so it seemed not very logical travel 3 hours there, then 3 back to spend 3 hours in the city. We loved Honfleur and I would enjoy it again as well as Zeebruggee, a substitute for Amersterdam and, in my opinion, a wonderful substitute. This was my 3rd Princess cruise and we upgraded to a mini-suite that included some amenities that were lovely, such as a Club Class dining room. I've been on many cruises and many cruise lines so when I say the food was outstanding in Club Class, I'm comparing it with Celebrity, RCL, Viking, etc. It was certainly 100% better than the food we had in the main dining room last year on Emerald Princess. The service in Club Class is very personalized and charming. I thought the money I spent on the upgrade was well worth it for the food choices alone. Food on the buffet, on the other hand, was pretty poor even though I only had lunch there once and usually just some steamed fish for breakfast with coffee. The coffee was particularly awful and after trying the scrambled to death eggs once, I never tried again. Fresh fruit was plentiful even though we had 8 straight sea days, but the choices, were hard pears, hard bananas, sour kiwis, and no fresh berries. We could get grapefruit served with coffee by room service in the morning, but couldn't get it on the breakfast buffet. Our room D415 was spacious and comfortable even though my roomie was sea sick, along with many other people on the ship a number of days. Rough English Channel, Rough Atlantic. However, there was problem with something squeaking every time the ship rolled that kept us awake at night, and, even though someone from engineering came to see about it, it never was resolved. T.V. channels were mostly boring and useless, however, happy to see they didn't play endless loops of the Love Boat as they did on our last cruise. There were a lot of participation activities for those of us who like to move, such a Zumba, but it was difficult with the ship pitching and rolling and I really wish they offered pilates as a free activity instead of something you have to pay for. The bar where Zumba was held as well as line and ballroom dancing was not big enough to accommodate everyone who wanted to participate. The Explorer's Lounge would have been a better choice, but that was usually filled with people participating in what seemed like a half a dozen trivia games each day. WHY? i realize that most of the people who cruise use the ship as the destination and just want to eat loads of bad food and then sit around and eat a drink, but I honestly don't know why there are so many trivia contests. There was some very good entertainment from Nexus, a band with singer that had a wide a varied music catalog. Also a pianist that did some great funky soul music and a duo of young ladies on stringed instruments. The big theater shows were poor to awful and we couldn't sit though any of them. The highlight, however, was Chris Watkins, who played a crystal embellished electric violin like the devil went down to Georgia and presented it to him personally. He was great! We had dinner at Sabitini's and enjoyed every mouthful, however, the desert was way too big even for my chocolate loving traveling companion. The pasta was fabulous and the herbed breadstick was totally indulgent on my part and I didn't feel bad about it for a second. It was so worth it. Our server was kind enough to share with the kitchen that I wanted the fresh fruit, but couldn't eat raspberries so they prepared a dish without them for me. A big shout out to Mr. Silva Sousa at the customer service desk. When you go on vacation you never expect to receive a message from home that says urgent, call as soon as possible. My mother died suddenly when we were eight days out from our next port. It was shocking and extremely hard to deal with emotionally, not to mention the pure logistics of trying to arrange a funeral home. He was professional and kind and very, very helpful. We enjoyed all the ports, but probably least liked Bermuda. Everything was so overpriced, and, although I realize they have to ship everything in, I still thought they overcharged for a lot of items. Because the ship had some engine issues we were not able to go to some of the ports originally proposed such as Amsterdam and the Azores, so the long period at sea, especially with the rough seas, was hard for some, however, I enjoyed myself and although had a sad experience while on the ship, it wasn't the fault of Princess. Looking forward to my next Princess adventure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary but then it was changed to eliminate 3 ports we had wanted to visit. We considered cancelling but decided against it and am glad we did. We really enjoyed the weather as it was very warm every day. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary but then it was changed to eliminate 3 ports we had wanted to visit. We considered cancelling but decided against it and am glad we did. We really enjoyed the weather as it was very warm every day. We were given an upgrade to a balcony and it was nice but needs to be refreshed. The bed was very comfortable but the rug had stains. The crew were very friendly and attentive whether we were in the buffet or the dining room. Our room steward was also excellent. We found the food to be somewhat repetitive but could always find something to satisfy our appetites. The ports were Brugge, Belgium, Le Havre, France, Lisbon Portugal and West End, Bermuda. We enjoyed every one as we had not been to any of them before. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and without any problems. I would do this itinerary again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose this cruise because of the sea days. Ports of Le Havre, Bruge, and Lisbon were very interesting with perfect sunny weather. Did not take any of the overpriced Princess shore excursions. Caribbean Princess is beginning to show its ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the sea days. Ports of Le Havre, Bruge, and Lisbon were very interesting with perfect sunny weather. Did not take any of the overpriced Princess shore excursions. Caribbean Princess is beginning to show its age, but is still a nice ship. Dining room service at dinner was very good, but open-seating breakfasts and lunch had only so-so service. Fish dishes were very good, but I can't say the same for beef entrees. Not as many on-board things to do with the Princess Patter showing many revenue-producing events. "Bravo", one of the main dance shows, was great, and the other 2 dance shows very good. The sound in the Princess Theater was far to loud and tinny sounding. No problems with embarkation and disembarking. Recommend using a taxi to FLL instead of Princess transfer: $14 and change to get to the airport. Uber is available and cheaper, but due to popularity not available in a timely way. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, however I was led to believe that Princess was a notch higher than Celebrity so my expectations took this into consideration. This was not the case, this Princess cruise did not come close to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, however I was led to believe that Princess was a notch higher than Celebrity so my expectations took this into consideration. This was not the case, this Princess cruise did not come close to my experience on Celebrity. The ship is older and it shows in the set-up of the ship and the condition of the cabins. Our's wasn't particularly clean (bathroom smelled, dirty carpet). The cruise was taking us in colder climates and a lot of the amenities of the ship could not be taken advantage of due to the cold (pool, exterior movie screen, outside decks). I don't know why Princess would have chose this ship for a cruise in this location,. it would be much more suited for the Caribbean, as its name indicates. The food was good in general and I appreciated that they had choices on the menu from the area that we were visiting. I also appreciated the "anytime" diner option which allows you to arrive at anytime and dine with whomever you want to. Waiting times were very reasonable. Staff were in general very pleasant. I found that the cruise lacked ambiance during the sailing periods. There would be music here and there, but it was often very subdued music and there weren't several options at the same time. The nightly shows were good. One thing that I did not appreciate is that I had ordered roses for my wife's birthday by way of my account for the cruise and they were never delivered. I was not charged for them, but if I ordered them it was because I wanted them delivered. The order was there in the days before the date that they were to be delivered, and dissapeared after the date had gone by. This is unexcusable!! I would certainly think twice before taking another Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise for the variety of ports covered. We enjoy port intensive cruises. Embarkation was pretty smooth. They kind of put you in a holding pattern after check in. I've never experienced this before but it was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the variety of ports covered. We enjoy port intensive cruises. Embarkation was pretty smooth. They kind of put you in a holding pattern after check in. I've never experienced this before but it was fine-about a 20 minute wait. The main reason for the average rating? The room. Stained carpet. Stains on walls and doors, door jams. Peeling wallpaper. Black around the shower grout. Annoying squeaky bathroom door. Was a real letdown to see the room. Also, I've never had such thin walls before. I could hear my neighbors at times, even if they were just speaking with average volume. Daytime entertainment was just not enough IMHO. Food was mediocre, except for the desserts, in MDR. Crown Grill was excellent. Now for the pluses. Entertainment was some of the best we've encountered in 10 cruises. We saw an Irish comedian( twice), a British comedian-singer, Celtic dancers, and the Princess "Piano Man" show. Unfortunately you needed to get there 45 minutes early to get to the 8:15 show or there were no seats. Princess did have a 10 pm show too but, really, who wants to stay up when you have an 8am shore excursion in the morning? Service in the buffet was excellent, probably the best I've ever had in a buffet. There was no wait for drinks. All the staff were friendly. I couldn't even single one out. We missed the first port ( Guernsey) due to weather. We had an overnight in Dublin. I enjoyed this but you really need an overnight in Edinburgh too. We missed LeHavre due to a dock workers strike. Many people were upset about this but I felt it was out of Princess control. The nice thing was they took us to out missed port of Guernsey that day. In conclusion, I might try Princess again but only on a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We were on the Crown 7 years ago and I thought it was beautiful then, and I still do. Of course it is older and will get cosmetic refurbishment in March 2018, but the crew takes good care of the ship and the staff is very friendly and ... Read More
We were on the Crown 7 years ago and I thought it was beautiful then, and I still do. Of course it is older and will get cosmetic refurbishment in March 2018, but the crew takes good care of the ship and the staff is very friendly and caring. The food in the dining rooms and Horizon Court is quite consistently good. We couldn't tender in to the Shetland Islands due to weather, but took excursions in all the ports in beautiful Iceland and really saw and learned a lot. It was overcast or cloudy until Reykavik. That night on deck 16 at the back of the ship we saw the Aurora Borealis! The officer made an announcement of might be possible and they turned down the lights for us. I felt the captain always put the comfort and safety of his passengers and staff first and we trusted his judgment. The Atlantic crossing (4 sea days with only a little sun) was overcast and foggy but not rough. It rained in St. John's , Newfoundland but was sunny in Halifax. The weather was nice when we got to NYC. Several people on the ship got respiratory illnesses--colds, coughs--so take hand washing seriously, cover your cough-- and get cruise insurance. If you get sick, go to the ship doc and pay upfront but get prescriptions to get better fast, then submit the bill to your health insurance and cruise insurance. There were mostly older guests on this trip since school had started. We enjoyed the entertainment, excursions, food, staff and each other! The atmosphere on the ship was positive and pleasant. I would go on the Crown again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Actually, there we several reasons for choosing this trip. Yes, because we live in the land of heat & humidity one reason was to get to cooler weather. And what cooler than Iceland! The itinerary looked interesting. A touch of ... Read More
Actually, there we several reasons for choosing this trip. Yes, because we live in the land of heat & humidity one reason was to get to cooler weather. And what cooler than Iceland! The itinerary looked interesting. A touch of Scotland, three places in Iceland, two places in Canada ending in NYC. Flight to England good. We liked that all was taken care if from flight, transfer to ship and embarkation were all taken care of by Princess and everything ran smoothly. Same for disembarkation. First time for us to take Princess EZ Air. Good price on flight! We like Princess and have been on several ships. Here is the lowdown. Cabin inside, forward. No problems Dining-good choices Entertainment-ok. We like NCL better Service-excellent throughout Ports-disappointed not able to get into Shetland Islands (third time for some) but all ports good Excursions-Princess all booked. Had to get on own, did through Viator and wonderful CC members Overall - Great Cruise and Wonderful new friends Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I chose this cruise because it was supposed to go to Lerwick in the Shetlands. The weather wasn't very cooperative but that isn't the ships fault. The ship had a few problems and it needed work. The furnishings were worn and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was supposed to go to Lerwick in the Shetlands. The weather wasn't very cooperative but that isn't the ships fault. The ship had a few problems and it needed work. The furnishings were worn and needed updating. The elevators were always under repair. Despite this the Crown is one of my favorite ships. It's easy to get around and she sails well even when it's rough seas. The ship really needs to go into dry dock. The production shows were enjoyable. I just felt they had the sound turned too high and sometimes the music seemed to drown out the singers. Our cabin was in a great location on Dolphin deck halfway between the forward and mid ship elevators. We had to get maintenance in to unplug the tub drain. The sofa was worn and looked like it needed cleaning. There was never enough seating in the piazza and International Cafe areas. With bad weather for most of the cruise you couldn't go outside by the pool. They also need to update the television in the cabins. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The Crown Princess is an older ship but well kept. I was traveling alone and had an interior room. I really liked the room layout and design. No bigger or smaller than other ships I've been on, just very well organized flow. My cabin ... Read More
The Crown Princess is an older ship but well kept. I was traveling alone and had an interior room. I really liked the room layout and design. No bigger or smaller than other ships I've been on, just very well organized flow. My cabin steward and dining room servers were wonderful, They always asked if there were any special requests and went out of their way to accommodate them. Food in main dining room was above average, but only average in Horizons. The shore excursions were only so-so, nothing special at all. I didn't go to any shows or activities but everyone at my dining table spoke highly of them and kept encouraging me to attend. Boarding in Southampton was a breeze. I was in my cabin, unpacked within 40 minutes of arriving at the dock! The fastest and easiest time ever for me. Disembarkation in New York took longer than usual and the transfer back to LaGuardia was horrible. We circled the airport (by bus mind you!) at least twice. My biggest disappointments were weather related and nothing within the control of the captain or cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose the transatlantic cruise that included Iceland because we wanted to take a transatlantic cruise that didn't have just straight sea days but included some stops. After reading some discouraging reviews, I would like to say we ... Read More
We chose the transatlantic cruise that included Iceland because we wanted to take a transatlantic cruise that didn't have just straight sea days but included some stops. After reading some discouraging reviews, I would like to say we found the ship to be fun, clean, and still up-to-date. The ship does have a very few dents and dings, but certainly nothing you would notice unless you were looking hard for something which I was after reading the reviews. I didn't see worn carpet or stains or other unsightly things. I would say the food was fine--it wasn't extraordinary, but there was certainly plenty of it. The cookies and breads are outstanding. I did talk to the buffet manager about why we needed a boar's head on the buffet two nights in a row. That kind of ruined my dinner. He said it was European custom and we would get more westernized as we moved toward Canada. I felt like the dining room food was a tad better than the buffet. I want to make clear that both sides of the Horizon Court and Caribe Café were open for both breakfast and lunch. The buffet does seem a bit small for the amount of people and the layout seems confusing, but, like I said, no one went away hungry. During dinner only one side was open because people were in the dining room. The Trident Grill moved inside due to weather for most of the cruise and was very busy. There were lines for that. Through no fault of Princess, we didn't get much use of the outside decks due to fog and wind. Only two or three days were sunny. Captain Stenzel was a delight. He had a commentary every day at noon. It was very interesting. He also did a question and answer one afternoon. There were many activities during the sea days--lectures, crafts, games, bingo(way too expensive--$15 for one card), art auctions, demonstrations, the usual. The music (orchestra) and entertainment were wonderful. The comedian thought he was a little too funny and wanted constant approval as did the cruise director, Paul. The entertainment was varied with several different entertainers on board for a good variety. The theater is very small for a ship with 3500 people on it. The service was super although we didn't see our steward very often. But the room was well taken care of. Servers were quick with the drinks and clean up. But that being said, many times we shared tables because seating was limited depending on whether or not you wanted to share. We like sharing and talking to people, so that was ok with us. I think some people wanted the table to themselves no matter if it was two people at a table for 6 or 8. I do wish Princess had made us aware of the Northern Lights the night they were able to be seen. I had asked them each of two nights previously. The desk said predictions weren't good for us to see them. Then, lo and behold, the third night someone made the announcement at 10:30 p.m. that we could see the lights. Well, most people were in their cabins and were unaware that they had been visible since 9:00 p.m. That was disappointing. I'm not sure why Princess couldn't have notified all of us by an announcement. The shore excursion desk was very helpful. I had booked our excursions pre cruise, but I had some questions on a couple of days. On a couple of the tours, we gathered in the theater. A guide led us down two flights of stairs and maybe 1/4 mile to buses. I kept up, but the guide from the excursion desk moved very quickly and many people got left behind because of the stairs and distance. Eventually they caught up, but I'm thinking there's got to be a better way to get people to the buses. Southampton--There's a mall very close to the port. There's a medieval wall just next to it for a sort of strange juxtaposition to all the modern buildings. Premier Inn West Quay ws affordable and right by the mall. Five minutes to the port. Lerwick--Unfortunately, the sea didn't cooperate so we missed this port. There were some passengers on board who had tried it before on a cruise and had missed it then too. So I wouldn't count on Lerwick as something you will definitely get to see. Akureyri--We walked around town. It 's a lovely small town that's easily walkable. Post cards and stamps--over $10. Tasty places for lunch. Restaurants had menus posted outside. Isafjordjur--This is a tender port. Again, we walked around. Very picturesque town. The town is close to 1/2 mile I think from the port. There is a grocery store and a liquor store both within a ten minute walk from port. The information center is nice and is a free Wi-Fi spot. Where the tender dropped us was largely industrial, so you need to walk into the actual town. The port talk said city buses would be available, but I didn't see any. Reykyavik--If you can only do one tour in Iceland, save it for this stop. We did the 8 hour tour and were very happy with it. A delicious salmon lunch was included. Of course, lots of people going the same place on other buses, so be prepared for that. $2 to go to the bathroom at Gulfoss Falls. St. John's Newfoundland--Taxis were available at the port. Ship docks literally right in town, but streets are uphill except for the first street. To me, there wasn't a lot to see in town. Halifax--I've been here three times. I love Halifax. This time we saw the Titanic cemetery. It was a very interesting tour. The port is very walkable with lots of shops and restaurants and a very large waterfront. Peggy's Cove is so colorful and beautiful, but you won't get pictures of the lighthouse without people in them. New York City-- Disembarkation was a bit confusing from the time of booking. It said Manhattan or Brooklyn. Then itinerary finally said Manhattan so that's what people had prepared for and were expecting. There was still confusion the day before we disembarked with no word from the captain or Princess information. We ended up in Brooklyn Disembarkation was slow, but not too bad. We were 30 minutes later than our scheduled time. We left ship at 8:30 a.m. in Brooklyn and there were plenty of taxis and for hire cars. That part ran very smoothly. There was a man with the taxis and cars making sure how much we would be charged. Prices were almost identical for both means of transportation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We completed our 25th Princess cruise on this trip and are still loyal to Princess. Actually, we did three back to back cruises with this trip being the third. Yes, agree that the ship needs some updating, the beds replaced, linens ... Read More
We completed our 25th Princess cruise on this trip and are still loyal to Princess. Actually, we did three back to back cruises with this trip being the third. Yes, agree that the ship needs some updating, the beds replaced, linens updated, and some of the furniture around the ship. We understand the ship is going in for a number of these updates in a few months. The service on the ship throughout our five plus weeks was consistently good from the cabin steward to staff in al the dining areas. Not sure why a previous review noted an unfriendly staff because we were always greeted with a smile. The food in the buffet was standard fare, a nice mixture of choices every day. The dinning room staff attentive and not one time did we receive a cold meal. Sometimes it's what you order that makes an unhappy meal and not the food itself. As with any dining experience. We dined in both specialty restaurants, both were excellent and a good value. We ate in the Salty Dog twice, both times enjoyed a great burger. Unfortunately I did catch the bug that was going around towards the end of the cruise. It wasn't the fault of Princess as they were taking every measure. It's other guest who mingle around others when they should stay away, coughing and sneezing thus spreading the bug. We had a great experience and enjoyed Iceland and the Northern Lights. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We took this cruise because of the itinerary. We were very interested in seeing more of Iceland. The 3 stops were great! The Arctic Fox Center was a nice surprise. Beautiful scenery along the way. Another reason we chose this cruise ... Read More
We took this cruise because of the itinerary. We were very interested in seeing more of Iceland. The 3 stops were great! The Arctic Fox Center was a nice surprise. Beautiful scenery along the way. Another reason we chose this cruise was for the Shetland Islands visit. We had never been to the Shetland Islands. Alas, we still have not been to the Shetlands. Rough seas prevented us from being “tendered” in to port. Next Time. We met a lot of really nice folks – many Brits, Australians and Canadians. We were surprised how many of them were President Trump supporters and all expressed deep concern for the number of refugees and immigrants their home countries have accepted. That was an eye-opener for me. We started this adventure in Southampton, UK. Nice town, but a little raggedy. The public monuments and ruins were poorly marked and generally un-kempt. We stayed at a fun hotel called CARGO. Other than the 31 steps UP to our room, it was wonderful. Really nice folks! It was too cold to use the pools or hot tubs (for me), however a few brave souls were out in a hot tub most every day. A few folks even stayed on deck for the Movie under the stars. BBrrrrrr. Now about the lovely Crown Princess -- ANYTIME DINING - The wait staff seemed to either be stretched too thin or not very interested in good service. Dinner often stretched past 2 hour. We often waited 25+ minutes for meals to be delivered. Who was too busy? Kitchen or waiter?? I'm not sure, but it made the dinners long. Yes, we had nice company at the dinner table, but, invariably someone would be begin to wonder ' where was the waiter'? HORIZON Court - The staff was often stretched thin and didn’t seem to “see” you when you needed some assistance or water or coffee. Twice my husband got the WRONG omelet, and the staff seemed unconcerned. My husband fixed the problem himself. The constantly changing “SIDE OPEN” was a bit frustrating and the search for a table to join was constant. The variety and presentation of the food was very nice, although RAMEN every day was a bit much. INTERNATIONAL CAFÉ - WOW ! such a popular place. It was packed with people all the time and it was very hard to find a place to sit. It was also the place people came to read, play cards, be entertained and sleep. That made it tough to get a chair! In addition, the wait staff was stretched thin, consequently one had to stand in line to get self- service which clogged up the area even more. STATEROOM – The furniture was a bit beat up and the bed was awful save the pad used on top the old hard mattresses. In addition, the bed linen looks like it was ready for re-cycling. My duvet cover had a hole in it the first day! The Steward (EDSAL) was excellent, but the towels and linen seemed a bit tired. The TV was blurry – a lot! The remote worked off and on but quit completely the last 2 days of the cruise. Nothing to brag about her, except the great Steward! BAR SERVICE -- We really enjoyed the 3-4 pm Happy Hour, However, why is it only in one bar? Why not at least one bar on each deck? It was dreadfully crowded and some folks waited 30 – 40 minutes to get a drink. MARIA, who worked the 3-4 pm Happy Hour in the Wheel House bar was wonderful. She is an asset to the crew. ENTERTAINMENT -- PAUL, the Cruise Director, was the best person I have seen in this role! The best!! He was funny, sharp, witty, pleasant - just wonderful. The speaker on Dreams was very monotone and put me to sleep (forgive the pun). The destination speaker was also very monotone and lacked much experience or enthusiasm. While many of the musical ensembles were good – they were often very loud – so loud, you could not speak to a companion. Even the “canned music” was not in the background, rather in the LOUD ground. I loved the ADIAGO Bar for the peacefulness of the place. A place for Grown-ups! The Comedian Juggler, David Edible, was hilarious! So creative and a master at building rapport with the audience. GREAT shows – I saw both! Problems 1. NEWS on the TV -- We missed FOX NEWS. The remaining stations, Sky and BBC were OK, but focused more on Singapore, Mumbai, and South Africa. It was frustrating to not be able to see what was happening with the Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The addition of the Weather Channel was a nice relief from the news blackout, however it disappeared as fast as it had appeared. (our Stateroom TV was very poor as well; the picture fuzzy & the remote control working intermittently) 2. Sick passengers. There was so much coughing going on one could not escape it! People were sneezing and coughing on elevator buttons, armchairs and the bars. People coughing that much, should have stayed away from public spaces. COMMENDATIONS MARIA (Wheel House Bar) is bright, kind, courteous and very patient. She has amazing recall of her guests and was always a pleasant person to run into! She is the epitome of the great service we have come to expect from Princess. PAUL – Cruise Director - Paul is the consummate Cruise Director - friendly, approachable, witty, and effervescent and always everywhere! He must have a secret passage to get from point A to point B. Amazing guy! EDSAL (our stateroom steward) always made us feel like his only responsibility. He made us welcome and worked overtime to fix issues he could address for us! Never aloof or condescending, he is affable, efficient, and conscientious in his duties! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My husband's heritage is Scottish so this itinerary appealed to us. It is a bit port intensive so it is easy to get tired as some of the days could be quite long & many of the tours involved a lot of walking. But the ports were ... Read More
My husband's heritage is Scottish so this itinerary appealed to us. It is a bit port intensive so it is easy to get tired as some of the days could be quite long & many of the tours involved a lot of walking. But the ports were great, we had terrific tours (for the most part), & the scenery was beautiful. We learned a lot & met some terrific people. There were some downsides. The staff was not as friendly as we have come to expect from Princess, unfortunately. We found the Salty Dog to be incredibly slow when it came to service. The Crown Grill was exceptional, both as to service & the quality of the food. We loved Vines & the quality of the wines as well as the service of Laurentiis & Viviane. And our favorite waiters, zIvan & Svetlana in Island dining room were amazing & treated us as though we were guests in their home. We loved our stateroom & our stateroom steward Jose. The bed was amazingly comfortable. We found the maitre d in Island dining room to be rude, overbearing, & condescending & generally unwilling to work with us when it came to seating. Overall, the cruise itinerary exceeded our expectations & I would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My husband and I really enjoyed our 12 night cruise of the British Isles. The staff on the ship were great and service at the dining rooms was impecable. I was surprised to see sinks outside the buffet for washing hands instead of Purell ... Read More
My husband and I really enjoyed our 12 night cruise of the British Isles. The staff on the ship were great and service at the dining rooms was impecable. I was surprised to see sinks outside the buffet for washing hands instead of Purell stands but evidentally cruisers requested sinks. There WERE Purell stands at the dining rooms (not buffet that I saw). On that note, I didn't see many people using the sinks to wash their hands. On a former cruise and different ship line, a staff member stood at the entrance to the buffet and hand squirted Purell on everyone's hands before entering the dining areas. I thought this was a great idea. Some people must have gotten sick on the cruise because in LHR and again in Detroit we were asked if we sailed on Princess and whether we had been quarantined. In Detroit CDC met us and took our temperatures and asked if we wanted medical care. I simply had a cold. I'm not blaming Princess at all. I am very disappointed in cruisers who don't think enough of others to sanitize their hands before touching serving implements. How unthoughtful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
CROWN PRINCESS 26TH SEPTEMBER TO 2ND OCTOBER 2017 OBSERVATIONS State Room There were no instructions as to what channels were on the TV. Eventually after asking a crew member I was told channel 22 would give you the menu. It would ... Read More
CROWN PRINCESS 26TH SEPTEMBER TO 2ND OCTOBER 2017 OBSERVATIONS State Room There were no instructions as to what channels were on the TV. Eventually after asking a crew member I was told channel 22 would give you the menu. It would have been helpful if this had been on a card by the TV with a list of regular channel numbers. When announcements are made the sound is muted on the TV but to hear it you have to open the cabin door. Eventually on the last day I found that if you had the Bridge Web Cam on, the announcement could be heard from the TV. A simple guide to the TV would be helpful. Da Vinci Dining Room The service, staff and cuisine were excellent and as good and even better as anywhere I have dined. Botticelli Dining Room The service at breakfast was disappointing; there was no milk or butter on the tables. This is understandable as it needs to be as fresh as possible. However on being seated it should be put on the table strait away. On ordering breakfast grills some items requested were not on the plate. There seems to be a problem on plates coming from the kitchen eight at a time. The waiters have to look at each individual plate and check with the order to see which one to take to the table. Why are the plate covers not marked with a small sticker to assist them? The waiters are doing a good job and are very polite and apologetic but there seems to be a lack of a laid down procedure in delivering the food. The most annoying problem that seems to happen in dining rooms everywhere is clearing away dirty plates once you have finished your breakfast grill. Try eating your toast from the small plate with the bigger plate in the way. Is it not possible to have a person just allocated to going round removing these plates? This is common practice in the Horizon Court self service. Having breakfast here is not relaxing. Horizon Court There does not seem to be enough tables for two persons, you get two people on a four table and they spread out, you even get one selfish person taking up a larger table. What I found was that we find a table and sit down, then my wife goes and gets what she wants and I go when she sits down. This results in us not eating the same course together. Is there no way to mark the table once you have found one with a reserved numbered notice, then you can chose your meal and eat it together. The staff are excellent and get you drinks and clear the tables quickly. The food is not laid out logically and you have to look around for it. One example was the Mexican Night where it was spread out in different areas. Another is the vegetables do not follow the roasts and you have to back track against the flow of other diners. I understand why you use plastic plates for safety reasons because food is taken to the pool area but hot food goes cold on cold plates. Has no one invented a plastic plate the keeps food warm? Disembarkation Times On receiving the form we decided on our time to depart based on the time to vacate the room and assumptions on breakfast opening time and a possible wait for a table. It was not until we received our confirmation of time that we saw that breakfast was available earlier and that Club Class passengers were using another restaurant. This resulted in us taking breakfast early and having a two hour wait to get off the ship. If this information was available when we had to make the choice we would have left earlier. Being told we would be docking at a different Dock was not a problem. What was the problem was my car was with a parking agency and there was no mention that car parking people would be informed. I asked at customer services to be told all would be ok. I suggested that this should be included on the sheet in future especially for first time cruisers. The lady said she would pass it on to her supervisor, I bet it was not, is there any way you can confirm it was please? Summary As this was my first time on a cruise, I did not find it stress free at certain times. My wife has been before but said it did not seem as good this time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Itinerary was very good, could do without the 1st port of call. Plenty of dining and food choices, Food in the main dining rooms could use some improvement. Entertainment better then I expected, evening shows on multiply nights were ... Read More
Itinerary was very good, could do without the 1st port of call. Plenty of dining and food choices, Food in the main dining rooms could use some improvement. Entertainment better then I expected, evening shows on multiply nights were standing room only. Sabitini's Italian Restaurant gets high marks. Overall service very good, staff very friendly. Elevators can be slow at times, we found ourselves going up to go down or down to go up. No long lines at the front desk, but not the case in the excursion dept, ( limited hours ) Plenty of storage and closet space with over-sized balcony. Largest ship we have ever sailed, will most likely prefer a bit small in the future. Embarkation and disembarkation very smooth ( cruise was sold out ) Spoke with many employed with Princess, they all came across as extremely happy with the company. Could not see themselves working for another cruise line. As a recruiter this got my attention. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Always wanted to see the Military Tattoo.This cruise gave me that opportunity along with seeing Paris. Booked directly thru our Princess agent and she came thru with many updates and on board credits. Had a little problem with ... Read More
Always wanted to see the Military Tattoo.This cruise gave me that opportunity along with seeing Paris. Booked directly thru our Princess agent and she came thru with many updates and on board credits. Had a little problem with embarkation(our fault we forgot and packed our passports) other then that it was smooth. We always book an interior cabin for almost all of our time is spent on excursions or in the clubs or shows. The ports of call and tours that we booked were all above expectation with the Tattoo being the highlight. We also booked anytime dining for we like to meet new friends each meal. Service was always efficient and friendly. Our cabin steward always greeted us with our names and a big smile.He also went above and beyond on a few of our request. Disembarkation went very smooth,we had an early afternoon flight so we were in the first group off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise for the port stops, it was just the two of us. We initially planned to take a trip to Ireland but while researching our trip I happened across this cruise and we decided to book this instead. I did a ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise for the port stops, it was just the two of us. We initially planned to take a trip to Ireland but while researching our trip I happened across this cruise and we decided to book this instead. I did a lot of research and saw some bad reviews with regard to the state of the ship. I was happily surprised to see that it had gone in for renovation and was equally happy with what we saw once we boarded the ship. The accommodations were pretty great. We flew into Heathrow and took the National Express bus to Southampton. That was pretty easy process. We purchased our tickets on line and printed them before flying to London. The bus terminal is a short walk from the terminal, all indoors and connected to Terminal 3/2. The ride was fine and tickets inexpensive. If you choose this open I advise you to arrive a day early just to have a buffer because stuff happens. We didn't have any issues everything was on time but we did encounter people who did not have a buffer and suffered the consequences. Once we arrived to Southampton bus terminal we simply took a taxi to our hotel, Holiday Inn Southampton. The taxi stand is on the front of the building, we had to wait a few minutes but it was fine... The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of the ship terminal, if you don't pack too heavy you can walk to the ship terminal, we did. However if you don't want to walk, taxi's are available. The hotel was clean, typical small European room but fine. The hotel employees were great in directing us to surrounding attractions and places to eat. The Quay across the street offered nice restaurants and shopping for any forgotten items. Also really nice English pubs within walking distance of the hotel. Embarkation was extremely smooth. We've cruised before on other carriers and this was by far the smoothest and quickest process. Our room was nice, clean, really good service and friendly staff. The food on board is just OK, none of it was really above average and definitely needs work, across the board. The crew members we had contact with were a pretty fabulous group of people, nice, considerate. I have to say, the average age of the passengers on this cruise is probably 65 so be sure to pack a lot of patience if you take this cruise. We found ourselves frustrated with the behavior of some of the elderly patrons on this cruise. I won't say any more just remember its a vacation and don't let external situations ruin it for you..... Like I said the itinerary is what drew us to this cruise and that was pretty great. We were fortunate in that we made all our scheduled stops and the weather was pretty great. It only rained on two days and there were people on the ship that actually used the outdoor pool and hot tub because it was warm/hot enough. Read the daily Princess Patter because they provide a lot of good information. We didn't take any of the cruise excursions. There are some very reliable tour companies that cater to cruisers and are half the price of the very same cruise excursion. Paddy Wagon, Wild Rover, Wow Scotland and Viator to name a couple. All were very easy to book, very professional, very easy to cancel if you get tired and really just want a day of rest. Just be sure to look at the cancelation policy. Be aware that a lot of these tours require long bus rides and loading the bus with a lot of people trying to get seats up front is challenging. If you want a front seat and the tour offers you to pay a bit more for the seat then pay it... it will be worth the costs. What drew us to the cruise were to numerous stops, getting to visit so many places was pretty great but it can also be exhausting for some people. Take that into consideration when planning your excursions. A lot of them require a lot of walking so pack comfortable shoes. St Peters Port- short shop w/ tender so we didn't plan to do very much there only toured the fort. This stop debarkation is via tender, little boats, slow process so plan to get up early if you want to see St. Peter's Port. Cork(Cohn) - booked a tour with Paddy Wagon, great experience with this company, our ship arrived late but they were there waiting. I have to say loading the bus was a mob like experience with some people thinking there wouldn't be enough seats or buses or whatever... believe me they are prepared, just relax and have a great time. After our tour we had time to hit a few pubs there in Cork and meet some really nice people. Dublin- amazing stop, overnight, loved it, we stayed about Dublin on the first day seeing the Jamison Distillery, Guinness Storehouse and used Hop on Hop off the get around as much as possible, we booked these experiences through Viator. That evening we booked a pub crawl, be careful with this booking. We arrived to an extremely crowded pub, too crowded to enjoy so be did our own pub crawl using the names of the pubs they were visiting and has a much better experience. The next day we booked a tour through Viator and had another great day. We took a taxi to the meeting place, a hotel in Dublin, that was very easy the taxi driver even stopped at an ATM for us, I have to say the people in Ireland are fabulous. Belfast- Booked through Viator again, all of these were bookings through viator were extremely reliable, never once did we think we'd miss the ship, and if we did most guaranteed they get us to the next port stop. We didn't really get to explore Belfast at all, we went to Giants Causeway and that was pretty great. Glasgow- Amazing, we didn't book anything for this day just exploded Glasgow on foot. So this was a day of rest for us but still very nice. We walked a short distance (signs point the way) to the train station, purchased a ticket and went to Glasgow. There are stairs along the walk. Invergordon- Wow Scotland, exceptional experience with them. The buses pick you up right outside the port. The tour guide and bus driver were great. Loved our day. Edinburgh- Tender debarking... We booked Hop on Hop Off through Viator, took the train from the port into Edinburgh, very easy, great day, great weather, great food, great pubs (royal mile)...amazing day Le Havre / Normandy- This is where my husband said, "I'm tired, I'm not getting up at 6 and I'm not riding 2 hrs on a bus...blah, blah, blah. This is the only stop where we booked a cruise excursion and this is the only stop where we lost money and were not refunded. I tried to cancel so ensure you know how far in advance to do that. There were a lot of people in line trying to do exactly what i was doing so please don't overbook. We booked Mont St. Michel which I really wanted to see, I learned that the next time I'll need a touring buddy. We only attend one show on the cruise ship, it was nice but crowded and most things. We didn't attend any of the formal nights. The night club is really nice but very busy because as I said earlier cruiser were mostly elderly. So I hope this helps someone. One last thing, as I said we were blessed with really great weather with only a couple days of rain and cold. I was pretty amazed that there were people that did not pack like there were going to Ireland and Scotland. The weather is so unpredictable so please pack accordingly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Firstly, this is lengthy, but I have tried to break it up and hope you get a good overview of the cruise from it. My wife and I are in our early 50’s and although this was only our second Princess cruise it was the 12th overall. We ... Read More
Firstly, this is lengthy, but I have tried to break it up and hope you get a good overview of the cruise from it. My wife and I are in our early 50’s and although this was only our second Princess cruise it was the 12th overall. We enjoy the outdoors so this 14 night North Cape and Norwegian Fjords looked a good choice. We originally booked an MB class mini suite but got a free upgrade during one of the sales to the new M1 Club class with the main benefits advertised as priority boarding/disembarking and a section of the Da Vinci restaurant on deck 6 reserved only for Club class dining. We flew down to Southampton the day before and stayed in the Holiday Inn next to the cruise terminals. Good choice for a 1 night pre cruise stay if you can book in advance and get a good rate but the place needs some T.L.C. for the fixtures in the rooms. Decent buffet breakfast but not a huge choice. Had some sunny weather in Southampton so did some walking about having never been there before. We then met up with other cruise critic passengers for a nice meal at the Red Lion Inn, apparently England’s second oldest pub, with huge portions at a good price. A great way to start the cruise by meeting fellow passengers! On the morning of the cruise we booked a taxi to the QE2 terminal and within 20 minutes were onboard. We explored the ship and thought it was overall in good condition. The hull of the ship around the water line needs some work which I take it will be done next year at the refit. Our room was also in good condition with a small amount of mould around the tiles in the bathroom but nothing to worry about. Everything worked during the 2 weeks and the cabin was clean. Our Meet and Greet the next day, sea day, had over 100 attending from our roll call and we were lucky to have Captain Stenzel and several of his senior officers attend and introduce themselves before doing a Q&A session. The Captain was the best we have experienced with regular updates on weather, ship position, timing and a nautical story thrown in for good measure! We found all crew we came in to contact with to be polite and helpful and it seemed to be a well run ship. The Entertainment onboard was of a higher standard than most we have been on. The ships singers/dancers did two great shows in "Magic to do" and " Encore". The headliner acts brought onboard were enjoyable. The stand out for us onboard was the club class dining experience. There was always plenty of tables for 2 and 4 with a decent amount of space between them. The head waiter Stefan from Romania and our waitress Laura from Columbia could not do enough for us and on many occasions there were more crew than passengers. Each evening Stefan would prepare one of the main courses at a table in the middle of the dining room. In general we found the food good to excellent but it was the personal attention to detail with the time to talk that made this a bit special. We ate in Sabatini’s and whilst it was good it wasn’t any better than the main dining room. The place was near empty both times we went and I think they need to rethink the menu. There is also a real problem with the ship vibrating in this area and you glass of wine/water is constantly shaking as are you! The Crown grill was of a better standard than the main dining room with excellent steaks and was reasonably full the second time we went. However I “personally” think that Chops Grill on the R.C.I. ships has a better menu! We had 9 ports of call and 4 sea days spread out due to the distances involved with 3 of the ports being above the Arctic circle. We were extremely lucky with the weather as only Tromso was a washout. In Honningsvag, the most northerly place on the European mainland, we had expected to be in about 4 layers of clothing but instead many were in t shirts and shorts. We usually like to do private excursions but that proved difficult in Norway to find so, like many, we booked several expensive excursions with Princess. Stavanger- We did the strenuous hike up to Pulpit rock with Princess as the logistics of trying to do it on our own was proving too tight on time with buses and ferries required. The weather was good and the views terrific. We had about 20 min before we had to set off back down as the time allocated was approx. 4 hours. Worth doing once but it is hard going, steep and busy. Flaam- We did the railway and 6-8km hike again with Princess. Not as impressed with the scenery from the train as I thought I would be but again worth doing. The Hike was enjoyable with plenty of photo/rest stops and we got to see some of the best scenery up close. There were 2 stations to stop at on the way down so some opted for the shorter walk and the rest walked on for an extra couple of km before catching the train back to Flaam. Geiranger/Hellesylt- Again took a Princess tour for the full day that took us to several scenic locations in the area and ended with a hike up to the Birksdal glacier. Got a bit wet but enjoyed the trip. The ship tendered passengers ashore at the first stop and then moved in the afternoon to the second stop to tender those who had taken a princess tour back onboard. If you wanted maximum time ashore your choices were limited outside of Princess. Trondheim- Warm and dry day so walked into town for a short while then {eventually} found the Lidestien trail. This is basically a coastal path which starts about a mile from the ship and winds around the top edges of the town through some nice scenery. There was a great coffee shop on the trail with the best carrot cake ever! Recommend the trail and the coffee shop highly to get away from the crowds and do something different. Honningsvag- Booked with a local company, as did many others, for a coach trip to the North Cape and visitor centre. Spend a pleasant few hours viewing stunning clifftop scenery. Visited the Ice bar in the small town later and had a walk around in the unexpectedly warm sunshine! Tromso- Thankfully hadn’t booked anything here. Was a very wet Sunday with most things closed. We used the wet weather gear and took the ship transfer into town and walked over the impressive bridge to the Arctic Cathedral. Walked to the cable car but the girl at the desk was honest enough to say it was a waste of time as the cloud cover was never going to get above the mountain so the visibility would have been zero. Saw some of the scenic parts of the town before calling it a day. Lofoten Islands- One of the guys on our c.c. roll call organised a private tour for us and we got to see the best of the islands over 6 hours in dry and sunny weather. Again, fantastic scenery. Aalesund- Did the Princess tour to climb “Sugar lump” mountain for about 4 hours. Amazing views from the top and enjoyed the walk along with an entire local Primary school who climbed to the top to have their first day of school picture taken by drone! Explored town afterwards and well worth a visit. Bergen-The final stop and again a Princess tour for the first few hours, going up early on the funicular to the mountain and getting great views. A couple of hours hiking in the hills around followed before descending to the old part of town to explore before returning to the ship. A restful day at sea and easy disembarkation ended a really great experience and cruise. I doubt many could have complaints regarding this cruise as we left on time, got in to every port, had better than expected weather and no holiday spoilers we were aware of. There were fewer than usual kids onboard probably due to the locations being visited but those that we encountered were well behaved and polite. We will have no hesitation booking with Princess again Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click