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318 Princess Southampton Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary to the Baltics and because Crown Princess was our first cruise ship just after her Launch in 2006. We sailed in Jan 2007. Sadly the Crown has slipped badly. The ship is in desperate need ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary to the Baltics and because Crown Princess was our first cruise ship just after her Launch in 2006. We sailed in Jan 2007. Sadly the Crown has slipped badly. The ship is in desperate need of a major refit and has seemingly hardly been touched since we set sail on her, and what few things have been changed are for the worse. For example our favourite bar - The Wheelhouse Bar has been partly transformed into a so called English Gastro Pub and it is a shambles. They have effectively destroyed the Wheelhouse bar in a quest for more money. The Theatre, Explorers, Club Fusion are all desperately in need of a major makeover. We ate in Bottocelli Dining Room on Fixed dining. Here food was good and well presented, hot and tasty, although service was at times slow owing to an apparent lack of staff with different second waiters being deployed to our table on a regular basis. The Horizon Buffet is to put it mildly a shambles. Cold plastic plates often issued out and at both breakfast and lunch food was often tepid. Even on sea days some server outlets were not open putting pressure on other server points. Entertainment was distinctly average. Only one guest speaker - James Cosmo of Games of Thrones Fame, a comedian, magician, female comedienne - Joe Little who sometimes struggled to keep her audience, a Superb Freddie Mercury Tribute from Steve Larkin, a female singer - Leanne Mitchell - first winner of The Voice and the Theatre Company singers and Dancers who were very good, however remember this was dispersed over 14 days. Other than quizzes it was more or less up to passengers to entertain crew with Karaoke. Bar prices were very high and then to add insult to injury a 15% surcharge was automatically added to all bar purchases. A disgrace. We purchased 2 photographs and were astonished to be charged $50 for 2 medium sixed portraits. We only did one ship tour - 2 days in St Petersburg. The tour was excellent but heavy going with lots of Churches, Museums, Palaces visited. On more than one occasion the port adviser gave out misleading and in fact incorrect information, presumably to get more people on ships tours. This was Gdynia for Gdansk. She stated that their were few taxis, no shuttle bus and no hop on hop off bus and also intimated that Gdynia was a boring town with little to recommend, We exited the port on foot to be met by a barrage of taxi drivers, Hop on bus Ticket Sellers and a Shuttle Bus service to town. We decided to walk into town which we accomplished in 30 minutes to be met by a delightfully pretty promenade with old ship including a Navy Destroyer, Spanish Type Galleon as well as other pleasure boats, a parade of Souvenir shops, a delightful beach, Big Wheel, an Aquarium as well as bars, cafeterias, restaurants and a host of shops. To sum up - a good cruise and a good ship that needs a lot of TLC and money to bring it back to her best - seats are in many areas dirty and worn. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise for its itenerary, which was perfect for us. We spent three days in London before embarking at Southampton; London was wonderful, and the food was excellent wherever we went. We used Smith's for Airports to travel ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itenerary, which was perfect for us. We spent three days in London before embarking at Southampton; London was wonderful, and the food was excellent wherever we went. We used Smith's for Airports to travel from London to Southampton, and it was the best choice we could have made. Embarkation was easy, since we were in a mini-suite. For others, the lines were very long. Our cabin was very nice; we have sailed on Princess before and knew what to expect. However, there was a gooey smudge on the inside of our sliders when we embarked; it was never cleaned during our 14-day cruise. Food: main dining room was quite good, the horizon court buffet was awful, the Crab Shack (extra) was delicious, and Sabatini's (extra) was also delicious. We never tried the steak restaurant, and it looked empty most every night. Coffee: dreadful at the buffet, good (decaf) in the main dining room. If you want good coffee, get the coffee card and buy a decent cup. Pizza was just so-so. Activities were ok; nothing special. The entertainment was good, but the theater is too small; many nights we could not even get in. We took Hop-Off, Hop-On buses whenever we could; in most cases, you could just line up outside and charge it to your cruise card. Of course, in St. Petersburg, you MUST be on a cruise excursion (or other pre-booked excursion) to get off the ship and through customs. You cannot just go ashore alone without a visa, which you must have booked separately and well in advance. One huge complaint: before going to Gdansk, Poland, at the pre-event presentation, we were told that ground transportation was NOT good. It was 2 miles to the train station, and we were led to believe we would have to walk there to get a train or cabs, as Loie (the woman speaking) said cabs were very scarce at the port. So, many of us ran to book excursions through Princess, thinking we would not be able to get to Gdansk any other way. Well, lo and behold, there was a FREE SHUTTLE from the ship to the trains. Plus, there were many cabs available. Many of us were rankled; we were sold a bill of goods so that Princess could book excursions. I have to sadly agree with many others that Princess has really lowered its standards and value. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This is our 3rd cruise with princess and was not up to the standard we are used to, ship is very tired looking and tatty in places. Our adapted Cabin had quite a few niggles with it, patio door windows were absolutely filthy, the chest of ... Read More
This is our 3rd cruise with princess and was not up to the standard we are used to, ship is very tired looking and tatty in places. Our adapted Cabin had quite a few niggles with it, patio door windows were absolutely filthy, the chest of draws had all odd knobs as handles and some draws were almost impossible to open, the balcony was covered in paint splashes and the blue plastic floor was sticking up in places. The Staff were extremely friendly and helpfull, plenty of room to move around all areas with my electric scooter, but had to be carefull with the lift doors as they shut very quickly catching many passengers out. The Entertainment was hit and miss some very good others below average. Hozion court buffet was the biggest let down the food was not paticulaly hot and by the time you had chosen all and return to the tables is warm maybe Luke warm at best.Desserts were the same most days occasionally a fruit crumble appeared but that ran out quite quickly and was replaced by bread pudding every time. Room service was fairly good when they managed to get the order right. Ports of call were very efficient but the chose of accessible travel options offered on the advertised princess excursions were very very poor. However princess cruises managed to meet our needs with alternative vehicles . Crown princess is in need of a upgrade refit . We have booked another cruise on the Sapphire Princess as we enjoy the freedom the ships give to the disabled,fingers crossed it is in better condition. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Was in London for another event so decided to take this short cruise. Started out badly - delayed departure - 10.30 pm from Southampton. When arrived even later than promised in Zeebruge, we had to line up for 2 hours for customs & ... Read More
Was in London for another event so decided to take this short cruise. Started out badly - delayed departure - 10.30 pm from Southampton. When arrived even later than promised in Zeebruge, we had to line up for 2 hours for customs & immigration. At 3.45pm exiting now too late for Bruges. Helsingborg cancelled due to "high seas" and bad for tender. Then had to line up for one hour for Norway - in meantime Captain was waxing poetic about the great views as we sailed out of Copenhagen - which we could not enjoy since we were all lined up !! Captain was advertised as being Welsh by Princess - he likely thought he was Dylan Thomas - but to me was more like Richard Burton the morning after. A total disaster from start to finish. A long way to travel to be treated like Princess does not care. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Cruise on Crown Princess 27th May, 2017 to 3rd June, 2017 We have sailed with Princess some years ago and decided to give them another go. We arrived at Southampton terminal around 1130am and because we were Elite we were checked in ... Read More
Cruise on Crown Princess 27th May, 2017 to 3rd June, 2017 We have sailed with Princess some years ago and decided to give them another go. We arrived at Southampton terminal around 1130am and because we were Elite we were checked in straight away. We were then shown to a separate area and tea coffee and nibbles were offered. We then boarded around 12 noon and our staterooms were already, we went up to the Horizon Court for lunch and when we returned our luggage was already by our stateroom door. The itinerary was Southampton, Zeebrugge, Copenhagen, Helsingborg, Oslo, Southampton. Total distance sailed of 1815 nautical miles. We did not manage to get into Helsingborg due to very high winds. Due to IT problems we could not sail at 4pm but managed to get everything sorted by 1030pm only to sail from Southampton and then return for a medical emergency. We made it to Zeebrugge very late the following day. The good points of this cruise were the crew, they were all very professional and they could not do enough for you. Our cabin steward Klaydon was excellent and kept our cabin up to the standard we had enjoyed on other cruises. The condition of the ship, in our opinion was good, we did not see, like others have said, frayed carpets or stained chairs. There seems to be a lot of new carpets in stairwells and corridors. Our stateroom, we were told by our Seward, was due to be refurbished on the next batch, others had already been done. For a ship 11 years old we felt that it was in very good condition. The production shows we enjoyed, the only one we were disappointed in was the new show Magic To Do, which we thought went on a bit and got rather boring towards the end. Children’s facilities were very good and kept them entertained on sea days and at other times, considering there was about 600 children on board they were mostly very well behaved. Sabatini’s was excellent, food was hot, for the first time this cruise, and the wait staff were very efficient and could not do enough for you, well worth the extra 29 dollars per head. Crown Grill was a different matter, the food was good, but the waiter we had needed more training, and customer service, he managed to get our order wrong and could not even get the wine right. He took forever to serve us and in the end we left before desert as we had been in there more 2 and a half hours. My main adverse comments must be about the food, in all venues, apart from Sabatini’s. Food was never hot and served either warm or sometimes cold, even after asking for it to hot. I do realise that they have to serve a lot of people but something should be done to serve food at a correct temperature. The Horizon Buffet was very basic, and on sea days, when all passengers were on board, they only had either one side open or closed the Cafe Caribe, this meant long queues to get food and long walks to take it to your tables, something management should look at. At no point during the cruise was the dining room open for lunch, a great mistake. We felt that Princess had cut too many corners, especially the food budget, who ever thought that at the Captains Gala Dinner, that a Beef Burger would be on the menu!! Drinks were a little pricey and when you added the 15% gratuity were a lot dearer than other lines. Crooners bar was our bar of choice and the staff, Grace and Stanley, certainly know their jobs and were excellent bar staff. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, but feel that Princess need to up their game regards food and the temperature of the food. Would we sail again on Crown Princess, the answers to this is Yes we would, but would like to see standards improved somewhat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was an itinerary that was on my bucket list. Very port intensive. We felt France (LeHarvre) was a waist of time for this trip - it was a holiday and everything was closed. As far as the ship was concerned, things were clean, the ... Read More
This was an itinerary that was on my bucket list. Very port intensive. We felt France (LeHarvre) was a waist of time for this trip - it was a holiday and everything was closed. As far as the ship was concerned, things were clean, the beds were nice. The entertainment was "so-so" and the food was not what we had expected from previous Princes cruises. In fact we felt that what was provided was not as high a standard as before. We felt that every time we turned around we were being charged. Even after buying a beverage pass for the cruise, we were told, "Oh that isn't included." I asked for hot chocolate at 11 a.m. and was told it was too late. The photo people seemed to be in your face at every turn and then the prices they wanted were pathetic. The assigned dining was not pleasant. Hardly anyone smiled or seemed happy. In fact, the "anytime dining" room was more agreeable and pleasant to dine in. We loved seeing the different countries and on this trip the weather was very nice - cool but nice. This was our fifth cruise with Princess but after this one we are considering trying another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Our 5th ocean cruise, a great itinerary, Southampton, Guernsey (we chose Sark), Cork/Cobh, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Orkney Islands, Invergordon/Inverness, Edinburgh, La Harve, Southampton. Enjoyed all stops and the tours we took. We do ... Read More
Our 5th ocean cruise, a great itinerary, Southampton, Guernsey (we chose Sark), Cork/Cobh, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Orkney Islands, Invergordon/Inverness, Edinburgh, La Harve, Southampton. Enjoyed all stops and the tours we took. We do try to avoid these cruise tours, they are very expensive. In the larger cities Hop on Hop Off are fine. The smaller ports have limited local tours and often are priced the same as the cruise line (in Sark, hire a bike on your own). The major issues was missing the Ring of Brodgar which was on one of our tours. Apparently there was a “misunderstanding” between the tour company and the shore excursion office. We received a third of the cost of the tour back. Considering at least three groups that took the tour did so because of this one site and even was one of the deciding factors for the cruise not exactly great compensation, we are lodging a complaint. We met another couple that had problems with another tour, that was changed three times. A bit of work needed here. The ship was pretty average with fair to good food. It appears the menu is fixed and decided by head office as are most details. Perhaps the company could empower on board management to make decisions on board. Entertainment was not to our taste made me think of British Holiday Camps of the 60’s. Not helped much by lounge music almost everywhere. The folk music shows of Ireland and Scotland were good but perhaps a bit more of the cultural would be in order. Generally on board costs were high and you could not get a complementary soft drink even in the dining room. Some hints and thoughts: 1. Kudos to the Inverclyde Tourist Group (ITC) a voluntary group that offers tours from Greenock. No you don’t have to go to Glasgow. These local tours are great and done by seniors who love their place. They ask for a donation to pay for the buses, the discrete donation box is in the Greenock Terminal. Sadly we didn’t see many people putting money in it. 2. Also the IT person “George” on board he had the patience of Job and am sure he is not paid enough. The internet was expensive and a bit confusing. 3. Remember prices and services on board are very expensive … buy local! In summary great itinerary fair cruise ship. This was confirmed by a couple who had been on almost every Princess ship and they felt this one was not as good as the others. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Overall, the cruise was fine. First, the ports were places I always wanted to go and see. The weather for the most part was pretty good and the cities which we visited were extremely clean and the people were incredibly kind and ... Read More
Overall, the cruise was fine. First, the ports were places I always wanted to go and see. The weather for the most part was pretty good and the cities which we visited were extremely clean and the people were incredibly kind and welcoming. One thing I would say is you can do every one of the British Isles ports ON YOUR OWN. Princess will not tell you much, if anything if you are not buying one of their excursions. Every port has public transportation, train, bus, shuttle that is either free or extremely inexpensive. I would have like if Princess would tell you these things so you can have a plan ahead of time. Also, we encountered 2 local bank holidays at 2 separate ports. EVERYTHING was closed these days and Princess did not tell us anything. Rather disappointing. The ship was nice, but not the razzle dazzle of the Emerald or some other brands. The staff were good, but not the nicestw e have seen. The refurbishment of the World Fresh MArket was really really nice. The layout was good, the food was really good, and the service was excellent. The Salty Dog was a really nice change and the food was great. So was Slice, the pizza joint. The Princess singers and dancers were average, but the local shows they brought in from Ireland were excellent. Our cabin, R-324, was perhaps the worst we have ever had in 7 cruises. There were bunk bed that hung on the wall which took up so much space. Fine if we had kids, or a 3rd/4th int he room. But we didn't and all the fold out beds did was give us an opportunity to bang our heads several times a day. Why would you give us this room when there are only 2 adults? Ridiculous. Not a lot to do on board. There were the gratuitious art auctions and the other meetings, but really kind of boring. We spent a lot of time in the cabin reading. But I will say, it was extremely relaxing! Embarkation was the best ever in Southampton. Literally arrived and were on the ship within 3-4 minutes. AMAZING! And disembarkation was even better!!! Off the ship in less than 1 minute! Never before have I seen such great on/off organization. Well done Princess!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We liked the itinerary. We knew it was early in the season and would be chilly but that worked out ok, our oceanview cabin was small but adequate. Biggest issue was the uneven water flow of the shower, it went from ice cold to scalding. ... Read More
We liked the itinerary. We knew it was early in the season and would be chilly but that worked out ok, our oceanview cabin was small but adequate. Biggest issue was the uneven water flow of the shower, it went from ice cold to scalding. We took very quick showers. The internet was just horrible. I know we are on vacation but most of us can't disconnect for two weeks and need to keep in touch, it was awful, worse than most. Royal has implemented the high speed internet and charges a flat daily rate. They got it right and since princess is upgrading their technology, to ignore internet speed is a mistake. The shows were top shelf, the on board activities were so so. Great staff but selection of choices or activities could be vastly improved. The food was typical, not better or worse than other ships. We did go to the steakhouse and it was just ok. The service on the lido deck was by far the best we have ever experienced. In the dining room it was as expected. Overall, this trip was about the excursions. I would not go out of my way to sail Princess again however, We would would not hesitate to book them if it worked out with our schedule. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband and I chose this particular British Isles itinerary on the Caribbean Princess because the dates matched up with our plans for 2-weeks of independent European land travel prior to the cruise on May 13, 2017. We were anxious to ... Read More
My husband and I chose this particular British Isles itinerary on the Caribbean Princess because the dates matched up with our plans for 2-weeks of independent European land travel prior to the cruise on May 13, 2017. We were anxious to see the recent changes that Princess had been touting after the ship's recent shipyard refurbishment earlier in the year. We loved the comfortable new bed and luxurious linens but many of the items in our Penthouse Suite were broken or inoperable when we arrived; the DVD player did not work and had to be replaced, the TV in the suite bedroom was not operating but was later repaired by an electrician, the shower door nearly fell off the first morning due to a broken hinge but was subsequently repaired by the crew. Interestingly the artwork in the cabin had been updated from the previous elegant gold-framed lithographs to cheap-looking, frameless canvas pictures whose colors did nothing to enhance the look of the room; it would have been nicer to have had fewer pictures and more bare walls. The highlight of the cruise was the outstanding entertainment provided by the Caribbean Princess singers and dancers. . .they were terrific and provided the best entertainment that we've seen on Princess ships in more than 15-years! While the entertainment was great, the itinerary was good, but the food was unfortunately just average/below average overall in every venue on the ship (and we're not picky eaters). This was our 77th cruise, we had a wonderful time, enjoyed the port calls, and will cruise again but not likely on this particular ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We selected this cruise because of the ports of call. We do not stay with one cruise line, but rather choose our cruises based on ports of call. The ship is older, but all of the public areas have been renovated. There are new mattresses ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the ports of call. We do not stay with one cruise line, but rather choose our cruises based on ports of call. The ship is older, but all of the public areas have been renovated. There are new mattresses and pillows. However the rest of the cabin(we were inside) looked worn. We have traveled on Celebrity, Holland America, and RCL> The crew worked very hard and most times were pleasant. However, I don't think they hire enough people to service 3200. Oftentimes the public restrooms were not clean. The waitstaff in the sitdown dining area had too many tables,to cover. Therefore you do not get the dining experience appropriate for that venue.The food choices and preparation were only average. Many people we talked to were disappointed in the food That being said, there were positives: embarkation/ disembarkation was very well organized and went smoothly. There was a variety of choices of things to do during the evening The pool area and outdoor theater was well serviced.. Keep in mind that this was a cool weather cruise, so few people were in those areas. I would cruise on this ship again if it was going to interesting ports of call. If you are a person who enjoys lots of sea days, this may not be your ship. We book all our shore excursions with private companies. They almost half the price of Princess.I highly recommend Paddywagon Tours n Irelandand WOW Scotland tours for Scotland. Both very professional! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Poor food quality throughout the ship, the worst we have had on any other cruise. The buffet has very few healthy food options and the coffee was terrible. Disembarkation through tenders slow and poorly organized. Most of the ... Read More
Poor food quality throughout the ship, the worst we have had on any other cruise. The buffet has very few healthy food options and the coffee was terrible. Disembarkation through tenders slow and poorly organized. Most of the emphasis by Princess on this cruise was to try to sell additional services or upgrades rather than provide quality for what was already purchased. Service was generally good although one of the security personnel was somewhat rude. We had very good service in our dining area despite the mediocre food. This was one of the bright spots on the ship. Enjoyed all the ports on the itinerary. We arranged all of our tours privately so am not able to comment on tours through Princess. We missed a stop in Cork due to rough seas. The entertainment was overall very good. The internet service was awful. The service is slow and ridiculously overpriced. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Crown Princess - 13 May 2017 My wife and I have completed 25 previous voyages with Princess and six with P&O. Princess is one of our favourite cruise lines and their ability to cater for my wife’s gluten free diet has always ... Read More
Crown Princess - 13 May 2017 My wife and I have completed 25 previous voyages with Princess and six with P&O. Princess is one of our favourite cruise lines and their ability to cater for my wife’s gluten free diet has always been an important factor. We have also sailed with Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Azamara Club Cruises and Regent Seven Seas. We are not keen on the largest ships, so we have also patronised Azamara and Regent. We booked this ‘no-fly’ cruise as a late deal, because we had not been to Corsica for many years and had never visited Genoa. We also hoped that the weather in the Mediterranean would be better than in the UK. Loyalty benefits on Princess are more attractive than on P&O. Although these benefits do influence our choice of cruise line, the price, itinerary and the type of ship are equally important. The published itinerary for this voyage from Southampton included Barcelona; Ajaccio (Corsica); Civitavecchia; Livorno; Genoa; Marseille, Gibraltar; with six days at sea. We drove to Southampton and having delivered our bags to the porters outside the Ocean Terminal, we left our car in a pre-booked space in the nearby “Triangle” car park. Preferred check-in for the cruise was fast and efficient and having located our cabin, we discovered that it was ready. Our bags arrived within the hour. Our cabin – E216 The cabin was as expected – fairly compact but with a one comfortable chair, a refrigerator, a safe and sufficient drawers, shelves and hanging space for our clothes. The accommodation was perfectly adequate for a two-week cruise and the view over a lifeboat was only partially obstructed. Everything was spotlessly clean and our beds were comfortable, although the shower room was very small. Princess did not offer the usual bowl of fresh fruit – but that did not bother us, because fruit was always available in the Horizon Restaurant. Service from our steward, Ariel was first class. This cabin was more basic than cabins on some of the other Princess ships – and very different from the luxurious suites on Regent Seven Seas. However, we hadn’t paid Regent prices, so we got what we paid for. As Elite members of the Princess Captain’s Circle, we qualified for unlimited free laundry, plus an allowance of free Internet. The Wi-Fi service in our cabin was fine, even though the satellite Internet connection was fairly slow. As a gesture to British passengers (who were in the majority), TV channels included Sky News (in preference to CNN), Sky Sports News, several entertainment channels from the BBC and ITV, various European sports channels, and the customary BBC World and CNBC. Daytime activities The cruise staff organised a range of activities on sea days. Examples included trivia contests, dance classes, Zumba, carpet bowls, hoopla, name that tune and other game shows, bingo, arts and craft classes – and the “Princess Passengers’ Pop Choir (which performed towards the end of the cruise). On one morning, the cruise director conducted an interview with a guest celebrity, Harry Redknap, the football manager. My wife enjoyed the free Zumba classes and she used equipment in the fitness centre virtually every day. However, she was disappointed that she was not allowed to use the spinning bikes without attending or paying for a class. Other classes, including Pilates, were also chargeable. Humberto Neto, the Port Lecturer, delivered presentations for the various ports. Although his presentations included details of the ship’s organised shore excursions, he also offered useful guidance for passengers who preferred to explore independently. Entertainment There were various events in Club Fusion, Explorers Lounge, Wheelhouse Bar and the Piazza. A pianist, Ziggy abused the piano in the Piazza and reminded me of the famous Morecambe & Wise sketch with Andre Previn (when Eric Morecambe played the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order). The Prima string quartet also performed classical music in the Piazza. The “Movies under the Stars” big screen showed a selection of movies and live sports events throughout the day and into the evening. Love or hate it? I didn’t enjoy the constant noise in the pool area, but I was not prepared to pay $40 per day for peace and quiet in “the Sanctuary”. Most shows in the Princess Theatre started at 8 pm (which clashed with our preferred dinner time), followed by a repeat performance at 10 pm – which was rather late, after a tiring day ashore. I wish Princess would revert to occasional pre-dinner shows at around 6:30 pm. The first production show, “Magic to Do” was written specially for Princess Cruises by Stephen Schwartz, the composer of “Wicked”. It included a guest magician and was one of the best production shows we have ever seen on a cruise ship. The choreography and special effects were outstanding and the show was certainly on a par with the excellent Cirque de Soleil performances that Regent used to offer. Sadly, most of the other production shows were rather ordinary. There were also various guest performers. Tony Lewis (a Robbie Williams tribute act) was not to my taste, probably because I am not a fan of Robbie Williams. I didn’t attend Comedy Showtime “Laughs from London” by Jeff Stevenson although my wife said he was good. Impressionist Darren Altman (from Britain’s Got Talent) performed at 8 pm and should have returned at 10 pm. However, I understand passengers were unimpressed, so his second show was cancelled. Restaurants, etc The International Café in the Piazza was available 24/7 for teas, coffees pastries, toasted sandwiches and other snacks. The café is an attractive venue, although service tended to be slow at busy times. Desserts usually included several gluten free options. The Pizzeria and ice cream bars were situated close to the pool. Gluten free pizzas were always available to order. The Trident Grill served burgers and similar fare. We preferred to eat our breakfasts and lunches in the Horizon Court Buffet Restaurant. Many of the menus were geared to British tastes and we were impressed by the quality and range of options. Breakfast choices always included English smoked back bacon, as well as crispy bacon. English sausages, black pudding and grilled kidneys featured from time to time. Healthy options were always available. The extensive lunchtime display was much better than on P&O ships and my wife was impressed by the range of gluten free dessert options, which included mousses, filled meringues and gluten free pastries. Ordinary coffee and tea were always available from drinks stations in the Horizon Court. Various types of Twining’s teabags were available (in addition to the usual Lipton’s yellow label brand) teabags. The chilled lemonade was lovely. Cappuccino and similar espresso based coffees were chargeable options and passengers could purchase a coffee card costing $31 plus 15% service for fifteen specialty coffees. We prefer waiter service in the evening so for dinner, we patronised the Da Vinci Restaurant. We felt that standards had deteriorated since our previous Princess cruises. Some of our meals were first class. Others were disappointing. The cruise line used to source top quality beef from the USA. This time, some of the beef was very “chewy” and on one evening, none of the passengers on our table finished their strip steaks. Choices on the “always available” section of the menu have dwindled and beef fillet medallions have been displaced by burgers. Cheeseboards used to include four different cheeses, rotated daily. This time, the choice had dwindled to the same two cheeses every evening, Brie and Gouda. My wife must pre-order gluten free meals the previous evening. That is when the problems started, because many desserts on the standard menus are pastry based. Attractive gluten free alternatives were always on display in the buffet restaurant and should also have been available in the MDR. According to our head waiter, the diet chef could not prepare modified desserts or offer alternatives in the MDR. He offered to serve the chef’s special surprise dessert. I hope he was joking, because the special surprise was a bowl of jelly – or tapioca pudding as an alternative! The constant disappointments and aggravation were spoiling our cruise and we began to dread the repeated arguments with our head waiter. Consequently, my wife submitted a written complaint to the Food and Beverage Director, which had the desired effect. The chef started to offer a full range of gluten free alternatives, including delicious soufflés. The maître d’hôtel also presented us with a delicious gluten free cake, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We did not use room service or any of the ship’s specialty restaurants. Ports of Call Barcelona - we had explored Barcelona on many previous occasions so this time, we used the metro and the FGC suburban train to visit the Monastery of Pedralbes, a delightful church, monastery and museum on the outskirts of the City. Highly recommended, as an alternative to the better known tourist attractions. During our return to the City, we visited El Corte Ingles, to purchase quality wines and liquor, to take back to the UK. Recommendations: Prior to the ship’s arrival in Barcelona, Princess encouraged passengers to purchase shuttle bus tickets costing $10. There is no need to use the ship’s service, because the port operates a shuttle bus, which runs frequently to the Columbus Monument, and costs 4€ for the round trip. Barcelona has an excellent integrated transport system (but beware of pickpockets). A one way ticket by metro, bus, funicular or train within zone one, costs 2.15€, but does not permit changes between different modes of transport. Consequently, a T10 multi-journey card costing 9.95€ is a useful alternative for passengers travelling together, who can share one ticket for 10 trips within zone one. Each trip, not exceeding 75 minutes, permits changes between different modes of transport. Ajaccio - We usually arrange independent excursions. Public transport in and around Ajaccio was limited and car rental for one afternoon would have been prohibitively expensive. Consequently, we booked a ship’s tour to the Prunelli Gorges, followed by a visit to a honey farm. This was an enjoyable excursion, through spectacular scenery. Civitavecchia - Having visited Rome on many previous occasions, we booked a rental car to travel to Lake Bracciano. We visited the castle and the three villages around the lake. The total cost of our full day tour by car was a fraction of the ship’s half day bus tour to Bracciano. Comments. You can travel into Rome very cheaply by train. To do so, you must use the free shuttle bus to the port gates, followed by a public bus to the railway station. We also noticed many vendors at the shuttle bus terminal, selling day tours to Rome for less than 30€. Livorno - Comments. Passengers are not allowed to walk within the port area so unless you purchase a ship’s excursion or use a taxi, you must purchase tickets for the shuttle bus, which costs 5€ for a day pass – or 12€ for a return ticket to the railway station. Having visited Pisa and Florence previously, we travelled by train to the medieval walled city of Lucca. There are plenty of interesting museums etc. Lucca is worth a visit and I also recommend a walk around the walls. There are two trains per hour from Livorno to Lucca, via Pisa. Genoa - The ship’s visit to Genoa was cancelled for “operational reasons” (which were never explained). Consequently, Crown Princess anchored off Santa Margherita. We were very disappointed, because Genoa was one of the reasons we had booked this cruise. Having visited Santa Margherita on three previous occasions, we decided to stay aboard the ship. We were glad we had not purchased tickets for the official walking tour of Genoa, organised by the City Tourist Information Office. Marseille - Recommendation: Princess charged $14 for their shuttle bus to the Old Harbour. However, the port also operated a free shuttle bus, which terminated near to the Cathedral – an easy fifteen minute walk to the Old Harbour. The free bus was crowded and some passengers had to stand. It was not as frequent as the ship’s shuttle bus, so for this port, passengers might prefer to pay. We travelled into Marseille on the free shuttle bus and purchased tickets for the passenger ferry from the Old Harbour to the island fortress of Château d'If. The Château is a former prison which featured in Alexander Dumas’ book, the Count of Monte Cristo. The location was also the backdrop for the film, the Man in the Iron Mask. Well worth a visit. Gibraltar - As far as we were concerned, this was a shopping destination. We walked to the Main Street to compare prices, but returned to the duty free shop at the cruise terminal. Prices in the port’s duty free shop were much lower than in the Main Street or aboard the ship. Overview This voyage was very different from any of our previous Princess cruises. The ship sailed from Southampton so not surprisingly, most of the 3,000+ passengers were British, with a sprinkling of Australians and a few other nationalities. The cruise lacked the usual international flavour, because many activities were aimed at the British market. With so many Brits aboard, most passengers observed the dress code on the three formal nights. The Captain, the cruise director, some of his staff, and most of the entertainers were British. So in many respects, this voyage resembled a P&O cruise. On-board sales generate a significant proportion of the company’s profits and we experienced “hard sell” tactics. Prices were geared to American, not British, expectations and many items were more expensive than on P&O. Very few bottles of wine cost less than $29. One pint of draught Heineken beer cost $7.25 (or $8.25 for two pints, during happy hour) and all drinks attracted an additional 15% service charge. We were deluged with invitations to “champagne art auctions”, offers of reduced price spa treatments, promotions from the EFFY jewellery shop and repeated “half price sales” from the boutiques. All of the ship’s excursions were over-priced (although that criticism applies to most cruise lines). The ship’s photographers were a menace, when they obstructed the gangways at every port and tried to take passengers’ photographs. Port shuttle buses were a rip-off and we were not impressed by some of the sales tactics. None of this came as a surprise. We got what we paid for and enjoyed many aspects of the cruise. The only real problem was caused by chef’s reluctance to cater adequately for passengers who must adhere to a gluten free diet. Princess Cruises in Southampton have not yet acknowledged my wife’s letter of complaint, which says little for their concept of customer care. However, we know from past experience that Princess can do better. So would we book again with Princess? The answer is a definite maybe, although I am not sure we would choose another cruise from Southampton. However, Princess offer some attractive long haul itineraries, so the destination and itineraries will be deciding factors. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We booked this through Virgin holidays as we had to use a credit note. As it wasn't a Virgin cruise they went interested in helping. We contacted Princess cruises to explain that it was our Anniversary and the wife had special dietary ... Read More
We booked this through Virgin holidays as we had to use a credit note. As it wasn't a Virgin cruise they went interested in helping. We contacted Princess cruises to explain that it was our Anniversary and the wife had special dietary needs as she doesn't eat meat fish nuts or eggs, we were assured this would be dealt with. The shop was late docking in Southampton due to adverse weather conditions on its previous sailing, I totally except this but the Port of Southampton is a poor design for traffic when the ship is late. Perhaps they should have a park and ride system and bus people to the dock. We eventually boarded and yes it's a large ship holding 3000+ passengers. Our cabin was on the plaza deck room 206 with window view. Room was clean but small not suitable if you don't like small spaces. Our cabin boy Ronald was very nice friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Oh I forgot to mention when queuing at customer service to check in and collect your cabin key look for the person who has the form where you can sign to say you don't want to pay the daily gratuities. I personally will tip individuals who deserve it, it wouldn't surprise me that Princess cruises use the gratuities to boost the wages of the staff as many are not that we'll paid for the hours and work they do. On to the dining and first night we went to the Michalangelo dining room, imagine our dissapointment to find the staff including the head waiter were unaware of my wife's dietary needs. It took a lot of persuading to get my wife's meal requirements. It seems that the cruise company would rather treat everyone the same and not as individuals. The communication is distinctly lacking from this company, we had anytime dining and reception didn't explain that we could use other restaurants namely the horizon buffet restaurant on deck 15 we found this out from another guest. There are plenty of sunbeds although they are positioned rather close. There's plenty of entertainment although I was disappointed to find smoking was allowed in the casino. Princess cruises go above and beyond in trying to get as much money from you. The trips were far too expensive as was the photo packages. The ports we visited were really good although if you didn't book one of their trips you had to find out things like the courtesy buses etc yourself or from fellow guests who had been there before. It would take a lot to persuade us to travel again with Princess cruises Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Still a Princess fan at heart and there was much to enjoy on this cruise but with certain notable exceptions ,I feel that the overall experience was not quite as good as in the past. The good International cafe was our favoured venue ... Read More
Still a Princess fan at heart and there was much to enjoy on this cruise but with certain notable exceptions ,I feel that the overall experience was not quite as good as in the past. The good International cafe was our favoured venue for breakfast, The team that work this venue were simply outstanding in every respect and made the experience something to look forward to. Even at busy times they remained efficient, effective and helpful. We've never had a bad cabin steward and yet again we were not disappointed' Free shuttles at Le Verdon (into Soulac Sur Mer) and Bilbao were most welcome. Phillip Browne on the final night was very entertaining. Magic To Do was a welcome change from the usual production company show. Port adviser a great source of information for the independent traveller. Food at Lunch and Dinner varied from the good to excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation flawless. Slipping First morning Bing Bong Calls on the PA in the cabin at 6.10am, 6.30am and 6.45am well timed to wake me up three times!!! Photographers at the end of the gangway a menace. Price of Ship's Tours excessive. Tables for two with one 'chair' a sofa not very comfortable. Wine tasting pretentious twaddle. Wines cheap and in some cases nasty. Ridiculously overpriced. $45 for a Chilean Shiraz I'd bought the previous week in Sainsbury's for less than $10 was the 'best wine'. Climate change denial concerning. Upsell even when eating Dinner. Waiters appeared less organised and more rushed than usual. Enrichment minimal. Too long a wait, at peak times, to get back on the ship after a port of call. Would I go again? Maybe given the right itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our first experience of Princess cruise ships and therefore the comments should be viewed in conjunction with those more familiar with the line. Boarding was ok but could have been handled a bit better. The staff in the terminal ... Read More
This was our first experience of Princess cruise ships and therefore the comments should be viewed in conjunction with those more familiar with the line. Boarding was ok but could have been handled a bit better. The staff in the terminal were friendly but seemed a little unsure when it came to dealing with Southampton boarding specifics and loading took longer than we were used to. There was little help from staff as we entered the ship as to where we should go to find our cabin but they seemed friendly enough. Once we located our cabin our cases had already arrived – even if they had been left in a way that completely blocked entry to the cabin. The cabin itself was adequate if a little smaller than we had been used to on Cunard ships. Again the bathroom was functional but the decoration and facilities tired. Our first stop was Guernsey. This stop required passengers being tendered to the Island. The process took hours and certainly was a distraction to the day. In fairness there were a lot of passengers to get onto the small lifeboats being used by the ship. We were lucky and only had to wait for about an hour and a half but those sitting next to us who had tickets with numbers over 500 above our number must have wondered if they were going to get off the ship before nightfall. Returning to the ship was slightly better as we seem to have used some larger ferries based on the island. Dinner on our first night was ok but certainly not up to the standard we come to expect on Cunard ships. On the second evening we asked for a table for 2. Non were available in our dining room and we were then taken to another dining room where we we had a table for 2. I was extremely surprised that at the end of our meal having asked for an espresso coffee this was an extra charge. At the beginning of the cruise we had opted for free dining but unfortunately we never managed to get a table for two which we preferred as I have very poor hearing. The options were either to share, which we did on occasions, or move to the fixed table dining room which was ok except it required quite a complex walk and also the staff managed to lose our bottle of wine twice. In fairness they did provide complementary glasses but nevertheless the organisation seemed very poor. Unlike our last, and previous, cruises with Cunard, just about everything not directly associated with food in the dining rooms was an extra charge. I have already mentioned the espresso at dinner but also ice creams were extra as was the use of the laundry or service to rooms. On one occasion I managed to get a bed on what was called the sanctuary only to find that I was going to be charged $20 for the privilege. Having spoken with a number of passengers who have travelled with Princess boats in the past the general consensus of opinion seemed to be that Crown Princess fell well short of expectations for most. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Cabin ok disabled cabin was supposed to be a upgrade but ended up with no bath but very large room. Cabin service steward great, Ship ok but not as modern as royal princess. Food ok some good nights and some average food was often cold. ... Read More
Cabin ok disabled cabin was supposed to be a upgrade but ended up with no bath but very large room. Cabin service steward great, Ship ok but not as modern as royal princess. Food ok some good nights and some average food was often cold. But I seemed to have chosen a good choice and enjoyed my meals on the whole. The food in the horizon café was hot and a good choice but didn't like the melamine plates etc and was a bit chaotic, the Botecceli resteraunt was better especially the afternoon tea. Generally enjoyed the cruise, staff were helpful shows were ok but the Robbie Williams tribute was very good. Would we cruise again with Princess yes defo but would go on the newer ships. The Royal princess had better TVs for viewing films you could start the film whenever, and not being over interested in the shows or gambling this was a brill thing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this particular cruise for the ports of call, which were mostly enjoyable. Although the ship itself is very clean, and the staff is fabulous, I'd say the ship is "tired". The common areas have been refurbished, ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for the ports of call, which were mostly enjoyable. Although the ship itself is very clean, and the staff is fabulous, I'd say the ship is "tired". The common areas have been refurbished, but the staterooms should be updated. Our stateroom and bathroom were very clean, but it's obviously been much-used. The onboard stateroom TV programming was very limited, and the TV reception was poor (TVs should be replaced). Wifi was awful -- we could never access from our stateroom, but rather had to be very near or directly under a hot spot for connectivity. Food overall was mediocre, and specialty restaurants were underwhelming. Majority of passengers were very senior, and cheesy entertainment was likely geared toward that demographic. But if you like vacationing with 3,000 of your closest friends, this is probably just what you're looking for. For me, I'll look elsewhere in the future... Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The itinerary was the primary reason this cruise was chosen, but I expected Princess to provide a solid on-board experience. Unfortunately, too many problems that should have been very preventable will lead us to choose elsewhere in the ... Read More
The itinerary was the primary reason this cruise was chosen, but I expected Princess to provide a solid on-board experience. Unfortunately, too many problems that should have been very preventable will lead us to choose elsewhere in the future. I never expect cruise food to be great, but many choices were surprisingly poor, with buffet very limited and mostly low quality. And while our room steward was very nice and competent, the attitude of the crew elsewhere was surprisingly indifferent and often dismissive of very polite inquiries and requests. Our cabin choice did not disappoint, but add on multiple significant misses in other areas, often involving getting on and off the ship at ports makes it easy to choose elsewhere for future cruises. Disembarking and embarking for ports: From discussions with other passengers, evidently the captain was new to berthing at Kirkwall, and he aborted the port completely after trying, saying it was too windy. The captain also stated that tugs that could have assisted were not in port that morning. Given that other reviewers state that this port has been missed often by Princess, it is inexcusable that they do not reserve tugs in advance as a general practice to ensure berthing success. Greatly disappointed that Kirkwall was missed as this distinguishes this cruise itinerary from some others. The process to move passengers off at each port was clumsy, poorly organized, and often significantly late, which caused many problems. Disgruntled passengers who asked questions (for really legitimate reasons, such as why are we still being kept on board 40 minutes after the stated time in Invergordon) were typically ignored or treated indifferently. Passengers can understand that not everything is going to go smoothly, but when there are repeated problems there should be some sympathy or clear explanation from the crew about it all, and an attempt to address the issues. This indifferent attitude by the crew in general was way too common and speaks to either lack of experience, poor training or ship culture and lack of clear management expectations. Tendering process (two ports) was slow as well, with only a minimal number of the available vessels being used, often leading to lengthy waits, with Guernsey being the worst. An hour and half long process to return to the ship on an already short day in port is unacceptable. Ports: The port itinerary for this cruise is fabulous. Our excursions were arranged privately, save one in Dublin. The Princess tour was fine, although about twice the price of similar private tours. Fortunately there are many wonderful private tours in all of the ports. Dining: Buffet-Compared to a recent Celebrity cruise the food was quite sub par, although with effort you can find some things to your liking. Mostly repeats every day, with entree selections varying some. We chatted with multiple couples who are major Princess cruisers and usually happy with their food who stated that they found this ship's food quality to be way below average. MDR- Mostly mediocre food, some awful, some fine, you just needed to try a lot to find what you liked. We had anytime dining and tried various times. If you wanted a two person table, and did not arrive very early, you were given a buzzer and told to wait, usually about 15 minutes or more. While we didn't mind that so much, the attitude of the MDR staff was really poor. We were most shocked at how the wait staff was in most cases so inattentive and perfunctory in their jobs. MDR wait staff quality is invariably a very strong point on our past cruises, and we always enjoy interacting with the waiters and have always had excellent experiences on all past cruises, but this time it was very different. The first night set the tone, our appetizers (spring rolls) were brought but they were terrible, cold, and inedible. One bite each and we set them aside. No waiter contact for about 10-12 minutes even though he was standing at the station much of the time. He finally came and swept them away without a word. Not everything is going to be tasty, but usually cruise waiters want you to be happy and will ask if they can bring something else, or at least ask. Very surprised at this, and it continued from most of the wait staff the entire cruise. We also noted that anytime diners were treated as a group in a given area; if four 2-person tables were seated nearby, even at somewhat different start times, they were all adjusted to similar course delivery times. So there would be a big wait if the couple next to you decided to have soup, salad, and appetizer courses and we just wanted soup-our entree would be held up for a long time until the other table was ready for theirs. No big deal, but it got tedious night after night. It was clear that the ship had more 2-person table requests than they could handle, so many of these table were situated in areas not suitable, some with no lighting, or too close to traffic etc. Specialty Restaurants: Crown Grill, one night. It was tasty, but service was just ok. Other spots: The Pizza place was decent, and often was the savior when the buffet choices were poor. I had similar hopes for the Hamburger place but no luck. I'm always happy with burgers of all quality, from fast food to Kobe beef, but the burgers from this venue were inedible. I don't know what kind of beef they source, or what they do to it, but I could not eat more than two bites. I had several others mention to me the same thing, several also noting that they are way under cooked for ground beef as well. We did not avail ourselves of Steamers or Planks. Initial Embarkation: We booked air and transfers through Princess, decent prices, but poor scheduling on their part. They got us on board so late that we were forced to race to our room and throw down our carry on luggage and hurry to muster, which was taking place a half hour earlier than the schedule we were handed as we walked on board. Would have appreciated a little more cushion in the Princess scheduling. End of Cruise Disembarkation: We had a post cruise London package. This went very, very well, with minimal hassle. Superior disembarkation process to all past cruises we have taken. In addition, the Grosvenor House hotel through Princess was exceptional and highly recommended. Entertainment and activities: Very limited experience here, but this was not a strong point of this ship to say the least. Fitness center was fine, though. I also thought the presentations about the ports were well done, detailed, and helpful. Ship: Most areas were clean, and well repaired. Lots of crew working to keep things nice and shiny. No complaints. Cabin: C752, aft balcony. Just as hoped, this was a great cabin. It should be noted that there is a bit of shuddering vibration when underway, but that did not bother us much. Big balcony, covered. Bed was excellent. Bathroom small, but fine. Only thing I can think of as an issue was the fan, which is not adequate to keep the steam from the shower vented. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I will begin by saying that my husband and I have cruised enough to understand that not everyone's experience will resemble ours and that expectations have a lot to do with the overall satisfaction of the experience. We value the ... Read More
I will begin by saying that my husband and I have cruised enough to understand that not everyone's experience will resemble ours and that expectations have a lot to do with the overall satisfaction of the experience. We value the itinerary, the aesthetic of the ship, the quality of the food, the comfort of our cabin and above all, service. We do not expect to have a 5* gourmet experience when dining with 2,000+ passengers. We do expect staff members to be fully trained, professional and enthusiastic about performing their jobs. We also recognize that things will go wrong and we might have to adjust to conditions. We chose the Caribbean Princess and this cruise line for the itinerary and did indeed enjoy the ports of call as expected, although we would have preferred having an overnight stay in Dublin since our time there was far too short to even hit the highlights of the city. The reason for my average rating has to do with the ship itself and the quality of service provided by staff. From Guest Relations to the dining room, most employees were less than enthused about doing their jobs well and seemed to be going through the motions most of the time. Most of our complaints sound too petty to actually say out loud, but when we string them together it adds up to disappointment in this cruise line; starting with our dining experience. We chose anytime dining with the intention of sitting at a table for 2 at whatever time we decided to dine. When we arrived to the dining room each night, we requested a table for 2, and each night the Restaurant Manager asked the same question - would you like to share? The answer was always the same, (no thank you) but he kept asking the question each night. He actually looked visibly annoyed that we did not want to share a table and handed us a pager most nights with no comment as to how long we might be waiting. When we were seated, it was always at a table that seemed out of place in the room. The one we were seated at most frequently was in the middle of a traffic path (waiter station on one side and pathway to the door on the other) making the experience unappetizing. Many of the tables for 2 had no overhead light and no table light, which made it difficult to read the menu. Not to mention that it was not the least ambient. We finally complained and the next night we dined, we were seated at a table for two, about 4 inches from a table where another couple was seated. In my book, that is a table for 4. The food in the dining room was fine, but it did not always come out as ordered. Eggs were well done instead of over medium, meat overcooked, entire plate of food cold on more than one occasion, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why it takes an act of Congress to get a second glass of ice tea before I'd finished my meal. We finally gave up and booked a night in the barbecue restaurant for an up-charge of $12 per person. The night we were visited there the restaurant was almost empty and we had a nice, quiet table against the window all to ourselves. Unfortunately, the food was almost inedible. The pulled pork tasted watery and the side dishes might as well have been served off the buffet. In fact, I am not sure they were not since the restaurant seems to have been carved out of the original buffet space and still serves as extra seating during breakfast and lunch service. We did have one very enjoyable dining experience at the Crowne Grille on my birthday. We paid an up-charge of about $35 which was worth it just to dine in a quiet, pleasant atmosphere where we never felt rushed, ignored or displaced by the staff. The wait staff here were very attentive and offered menu suggestions including a surf and turf option that we appreciated. The lobster we ordered and all the side dishes were delicious, but both of our steaks were tough. However, the flavor was good and the temperature was as we requested which gets high marks from me. I would not hesitate to recommend this option to others. We ate at the buffet a few times (salad bar and cheese station were my favorites) and we had pizza by the pool more than once. Sad commentary when one of the best things we ate on this ship was a slice of pizza. There were other restaurant options that we did not try, but again, we were not there for a "foodie" experience, we simply wanted good food served in a nice environment by an attentive staff. Our interactions with Guest Services left us baffled as to the qualifications of some staff members. There were several unpleasant encounters, but the one that left us walking away scratching our heads was when we were required to present our passports for early disembarkation in France .We received a message to present our passports between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. before the 10th of May. Unfortunately, the two days presented to us were port days and we had early excursions booked each day. When my husband attempted to resolve the issue, he was told that we must abide by the 8 to 5 requirement. The desk clerk fully expected us to forego our excursion in order to appear at the appointed time with our passports in hand. Don't hold your breath sister! Bottom line, my husband finally spoke to a person with some common sense and was allowed to present the passports at 7 a.m. Simple fix to a problem that should have been a non-issue to begin with. That sort of sums up how we felt about most of our interactions with crew members - issues that could have been avoided by using a little common sense. This ship sailed to some amazing ports of call and we will forever remember our time exploring the natural beauty and history of the British Isles. The ship that brought us there was unfortunately just convenient transportation and easily forgotten. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband and I took this cruise to celebrate his 40th birthday. May parents who are about to turn 60 joined us to celebrate their own birthday milestones. We were the youngest 4 people on the ship. Average age was 75+ and the ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise to celebrate his 40th birthday. May parents who are about to turn 60 joined us to celebrate their own birthday milestones. We were the youngest 4 people on the ship. Average age was 75+ and the activities reflected that. Daily bible study, knitting circle, mahjong and bridge were really the only entertainment. Cultural presentations were scheduled for before dinner when we were out at port so we missed all the highland dancers as well as other musicians, dancers etc. The food was quite poor in comparison to other cruises we've taken with Princess. Undercooked meat (very dangerous), tasteless food, lack of variety, cold food on the buffet...just sad. On the bright side, it's the first cruise I've taken where I lost weight! Service was ho-hum. Overall, the staff seemed really unhappy, like they didn't want to be there. We didn't encounter any overtly rude staff, but none were particularly happy. I left regretting the money I spend on tips. Cabin was fine, ship was fine too. We'd sailed on Golden Princess before and Caribbean Princess was exactly the same, save a few changes to decor and carpets. Ports were good, we chose this cruise for the itinerary. Sad that we missed Kirkwall. This itinerary is significantly more costly than other British itineraries because it includes Kirkwall but we got $16 back when they failed to make port. What a joke. My husband and I had another trip with Princess booked for February 2018 and have since cancelled it to go with a different company. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I selected the Caribbean Princess because of the itinerary. Because I am a solo cruiser, I chose an inside cabin. On both of my Princess cruises, I selected to have the beds separated, which gives me much more floor space. On both ... Read More
I selected the Caribbean Princess because of the itinerary. Because I am a solo cruiser, I chose an inside cabin. On both of my Princess cruises, I selected to have the beds separated, which gives me much more floor space. On both trips, the rooms were set up as the queen bed. The stewards tried to talk me into leaving it as it was but accepted my decision and by the time the lifejacket drill was completed, the beds were separated. The food was acceptable in the buffet, if not a little repetitive. I liked that they had a new salad bar. The dining room food was interesting, but good. Some folks at the table chose the waldorf salad and just stared at it when it was served. A tiny spoonful of salad and a green mound to the side. It was the Chilton cheese, but it also was a conversation piece. We were usually too exhausted to go to the entertainment after being on a tour all day. The musical review was pretty good, but I heard comments that most of the shows weren't that great. Because the weather was a little cool, no one was on the decks. Everyone was inside which caused crowding. Not the ships fault, just the locale of the cruise. MIssed one of the ports because of wind, but that gave us an extra sea day which was wonderful. 9 ports in 13 days was exhausting. The cruise was fun and I am glad I went. My room was ok, so no complaints. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We sail on Princess almost every year, and this cruise was slightly disappointing. The itinerary is what we went for, and we only missed one port, Orkney, but that happens. What almost never happens is mediocre food, and this was the ... Read More
We sail on Princess almost every year, and this cruise was slightly disappointing. The itinerary is what we went for, and we only missed one port, Orkney, but that happens. What almost never happens is mediocre food, and this was the big disappointment. We rarely go to the buffet, usually only for early breakfast. And this was a typical buffet. What was a major disappointment was the dining room menus. Cost cutting is the first thought you'd have. No lamb chops, rarely a decent steak. One evening the Dinner Captain was at our table of 4, and all of us sent back medium rare steaks 3 times for them not to be gray inside. He apologized over and over. What I have learned is to special order everything. Salad dressing on the side, no broiled tomatoes etc. That way you don't get premade plates. Sabatini's is so changed, no veal chop, no tablecloth! If this is fine dining I don't know what to compare it to. it was so loud, the waiter (16 years with Princess) was embarrassed. Also, the "new" restaurants are basically buffets you pay $12 for. We took a look and left, back to the dining room. They really need to rethink this. Hearing people talk, we made the right move. We had purchased the the Gold wine package, 10 wines over $45 for $275, a good deal, the wine list was well done. So it seems they paid attention to us, we requested the Riedel glasses each night and got them. It makes a difference. Now let's get to the "all new bedding". Not ours. My husband's side was a crater he fell into. We asked the steward for help, and he tried. First they brought boards for under the mattress, when that didn't work they put the board under the mattress pad! Really didn't work. They advertise all new beds, not in our room. Finally day 4 a new mattress arrives. One day we came back aboard on deck 4, there were PALLETS of new mattresses stacked. Hmmm The entertainment was the poorest ever. I don't know who they think their market is, but on average everyone was our age, 60ish, and it was just plain tacky. Except for the last night which was outstanding. Felt bad for the talented cast that they had to perform the crap they were given. Embarkation was easy as was disembark, Princess transfers are the best. We didn't do any Princess excursions, as they are a rip off. We had a great balcony room, and steward. Our friends room adjoined ours. Too bad it was too cold to enjoy the balcony. No ones fault. All in all we had a good time. Princess is worth the money. But if you're looking for better food, and interesting itinerary...try Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
As indicated in the title, we really enjoyed the British Isles itinerary. The excursions were very well-planned, entertaining, and informative and the weather was better than expected. Our balcony cabin (C259), however, was cramped and ... Read More
As indicated in the title, we really enjoyed the British Isles itinerary. The excursions were very well-planned, entertaining, and informative and the weather was better than expected. Our balcony cabin (C259), however, was cramped and the decor was outdated. Considering that it was an "upgrade" I was expecting it to at least be as comfortable as balcony cabins we've had on Celebrity and Norwegian ships. It was not. There was little room to move. I had to train myself to not lean forward when getting out of bed lest I bump my head on the wall. Only one of us at a time could pass by the foot of the bed to go from one side of the cabin to the other. This is an older ship and showed it with rust spots on the balcony rail and worn upholstery. Requests from the first hour of boarding for an upgrade to a mini-suite were ignored. Never got a response. The food offerings were mediocre. This is especially true for vegetarians such as ourselves, One or two options, repeated several times. I had become accustomed to rather elaborate and well-done entertainment offerings on previous cruises. By comparison, the shows on this ship were pretty minimal. The staff was excellent. Always going out of their way to do what needed to be done. All in all, the trip was very worthwhile because of the itinerary but the ship is not one I would take again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I chose this cruise for the same reason I always do, the itinerary. I thought the timing was really good too since I knew the ship was just coming out of dry dock in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, turned out they weren't there to do ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the same reason I always do, the itinerary. I thought the timing was really good too since I knew the ship was just coming out of dry dock in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, turned out they weren't there to do repairs from what I saw, and the ship really needed some TLC. I took my mother and my 4 yr old daughter. My little princess was really happy with the Kids Program, and so was I. She was one of about 5-10 kids on the ship, huge difference from being 1 of 3000 on the last cruise with Disney. The food was good, not great, but the service was really good throughout the ship and the crew was very friendly. The internet was the biggest rip-off I've ever seen while traveling. The speed was beyond slow, you pay for the service and use up all your minutes waiting for web pages to open and close. The entertainment was okay, but nothing special, and I suppose most everything being geared for the older folks would be appropriate for this particular cruise. Princess has a problem to fix with their dining though. The Anytime Dining works for food, but doesn't work at all for entertainment since everyone wants to see the first seating of the show. Good luck finding a seat unless you show up 45min early, or wait for the second show. That's why there were 1st and 2nd seating for dining and shows when I worked on these ship ages ago. I understood why the Captain never docked in Kirkwall due to wind, but I still wasn't happy since it's the fault of Princess Cruises, and I suppose the Port Authority as well, for not being prepared for these situations. All you needed was an available tug, hello? So, we didn't get to see that place, really glad I hadn't blown a bunch of $ in advance like I did for other ports. The other problem that is entirely Princess Cruises fault, is the disaster that was Edinburgh. Either fix this or don't stop here at all. We waited over 1.5 hours to get on a tender ashore, then discovered once we arrived on the dock that there are no shuttle buses, no cabs, and huge lines to get on either. What made it even worse, was the man operating the shuttle buses walking up and down the line telling everyone the people on the other side of the street waiting for the cabs are idiots and they'll never make it back to the ship, which included us. I went back across the street and asked someone who appeared to work/live in the area how far the train station was, and she said 20min walk, so we made the trek, finally made it into the city around noon, but had to catch the last train back at 3:40 (unless you live there and are a commuter). Got to spend a whopping 3 hours tops in the city, almost not worth the aggravation. Need to fix this port of call, make it a longer stop, or don't stop here at all. Big shout out to the Kids Program, you were all very nice and my daughter wanted to come there constantly. Our Cabin Steward was awesome, and they were all really friendly every time I walked by with a big smile and a hello. Photo Dept/Mgr was great, Food Waiters were great, just keep it up with the crew because it makes up for some of the other things that were lacking. Great Itinerary aside from missing a port and having one that was a disaster. John Age 49 Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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