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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Choose this cruise as I wanted to to the British Isles specifically for Ireland and Scotland. First time on Princess cruised various lines prior, Norwegian RCI, celebrity, carnival. The ship is in good shape - enjoyed the various ... Read More
Choose this cruise as I wanted to to the British Isles specifically for Ireland and Scotland. First time on Princess cruised various lines prior, Norwegian RCI, celebrity, carnival. The ship is in good shape - enjoyed the various lounges around the ship. Main dinning room was average - the steak house was Good as you'd expect for an up charge restaurant. The buffet was above average in terms of selection and variety each day had theme. I was surprised that there was a large number of table staff in the buffet and that there was free beverage service - water, tea, coffee etc all brought to your table. Haven't experienced that on other lines. No line ups for omelettes they brought those to your table as well. Service was good all round the only item I noticed is that staff were selective as to whom they asked to use the hand sanitizer, I'd rather everyone be asked to do so in the buffet. The Ports were all good. we did the bus trip to Paris that was more than 5 hours on a bus for roughly 5 hours in Paris glad we did it but in hindsight would rather leave Paris to a longer land trip (pre / post) Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary. The ports were fantastic! We did not use any princess excursions. I found independent tour companies on line. I highly recommend Butler's in Ireland, Uniquely Scotland (ask for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary. The ports were fantastic! We did not use any princess excursions. I found independent tour companies on line. I highly recommend Butler's in Ireland, Uniquely Scotland (ask for Mark) and Spearhead tours at Le Havre (Florin is incredibly knowledgeable about D Day) . The time on the ship was disappointing. Crown Princess looked old and shabby. There was no drink served when we got on the ship. No towel animals on the bed at night. The activities on board were repetitive and not exciting. Even the entertainment was so-so. Nothing was terrible, but nothing stellar either. Food in the main dining room was hit or miss. Some meals were wonderful others not good at all. The buffet was awful. We worked hard to not eat there since it was so bad. We had one dinner at the Crown Grill which again was just OK. The one excellent thing on the ship was the staff. Our cabin steward Norman was awesome! Our waiter, JP, was excellent when we ate at our assigned time. The nights we had to go to anytime dining the staff was not great. It tended to be slow. In conclusion, our cruise was not bad. However I have been on better cruises on other lines. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our first time oversees and we wanted to visit Ireland, Scotland and France. We flew into Heathrow, Airport and after getting through customs we found the Princess cruise personnel. Then we took a princess connection (bus ride) ... Read More
This was our first time oversees and we wanted to visit Ireland, Scotland and France. We flew into Heathrow, Airport and after getting through customs we found the Princess cruise personnel. Then we took a princess connection (bus ride) to Southampton. From there we checked in and received our medallions. The Crown could use some refurnishing, however the ships crew was top notch. Especially in the main dining and night clubs. Food was good in the main dining always something different was added each night. The buffet was average (but always available). The princess excursions were really good especially the Cork Sea Safari at Cork, Ireland. We also enjoyed the carriage ride at Stark, Island. Our favorite castle was Glamis in Scotland. We also took the excursion to the Louvre Museum in France well worth it. The medallions worked great! There was four of us the youngest 19. We had a balcony room. We would definitely cruise again with Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I chose this cruise as I was travelling with 2 teenage kids and there seemed to be a lot for the family to enjoy together. Also, I am not a great fan of very hot weather, so the Med in August was out. This was a first cruise for us ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I was travelling with 2 teenage kids and there seemed to be a lot for the family to enjoy together. Also, I am not a great fan of very hot weather, so the Med in August was out. This was a first cruise for us all. I was interested to see the wide variety of people travelling from families with very young babies/children to the quite elderly. People who were working class to upper class from many different nationalities, so I could appreciate that there must be difficulties catering to every taste. On formal nights, dress ran from dinner jackets and full-length dresses to not bothered to dress up at all! I loved seeing the fjords; the highlight was Geirangerfjord. Stunning. What spoilt the cruise somewhat for me were the constant interventions to try and push you to spend more money. Would you like to attend the Art Auction, Wine Tasting, etc. Every time you left the boat, the crew would dress up in silly costumes and grab you as you disembarked to get your photo taken, which they would then try to sell you at $25 a pop. For one photo! Ditto on formal nights. As we were sailing away from Geirangerfjord, I was watching the beautiful scenery from the aft of the ship with a G&T in hand. Within the space of an hour, we were approached 4 times to be asked if we wanted to attend the Wine Tasting "for only $9.50" (but then they would try and sell you cases of the wine). Ditto with jewellery events, make-up events, etc. Sell, sell, sell constantly. It seemed like I could not find a quiet spot anywhere without getting pestered to pay for something extra. As a treat, I booked a couples massage for my husband and I (in itself expensive). At the end when we were delightfully woozy and relaxed, the therapists 'recommended' the products used which totalled more than $300!! Including a body brush for $45!!! (I paid £8 for mine). I asked where we could go to relax and 'come to' and have a drink of water and was told that it would cost an additional $40 to use the lounge!!! Outrageous! I have NEVER been for spa treatment without routinely being shown to a chill-out lounge area afterwards so that you can relax and slowly come to your senses and rehydrate. When you spend a LOT of money on an over-priced massage, you expect at least a sit-down and a glass of water to be thrown in. It has really made me think twice about doing another cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked this cruise to see the British Isles. I travelled with my parents (72 and 73 respectively). Have been to some of the cities before but wanted to see more of Scotland. Stayed at the Leonardo Tower Bridge Hotel (Princess hotel ... Read More
Booked this cruise to see the British Isles. I travelled with my parents (72 and 73 respectively). Have been to some of the cities before but wanted to see more of Scotland. Stayed at the Leonardo Tower Bridge Hotel (Princess hotel near the Tower of London) for 2 days prior to sailing. Great hotel with buffet breakfast included but on the outskirts of London. Took the hop on hop off bus which was great. Got to see everything without leaving the bus. Have been to London a few times before so the bus was perfect for us without having to do all the walking. After a three hour ride to Southampton, embarkation was very quick, easy and efficient, as was disembarkation. Got onboard around 2:30 and cabin was ready with luggage already there. Cabin was nice. Always clean and everything replenished. Cabin steward Marlon was very attentive to our needs. Bed was absolutely terrific. Best sleep I have had in years. Not much of a balcony person so I can't really comment on it but it was clean the few times I was on it. We had Anytime Dining and went to both dining rooms. We made a reservation each night to avoid the line-ups. The food was excellent with different selections each night. Portions just right. Never went away hungry. Also had one meal in the Crown Grill. Again, food was excellent. I highly recommend the lobster. Had breakfast in the Horizon Court every morning. There were times that we had trouble finding a table but that depended on what time you went to eat. Food was good. Mostly the same thing every morning but that didn't bother us. My only complainant would be that now and then it was a bit on the cool side. My parents had room service twice for breakfast and both times it showed up before they were expecting it. We went to all four shows in the Princess theater and they were fantastic. The house band played in the Piazza every night and they were great. Did not go to any of the singers in the lounges or the piano player in Crooners. A highland dance troupe played one night but I did not go. I heard they were excellent. Never went to any trivia, art auctions, talks or bingo. The service was good for the main part. Service in the dining room was excellent. Very attentive to your needs. Service in the Horizon Court was also good. We did all Princess shore excursions. Well worth the money. Had excellent tours with excellent tour guides and bus drivers. Saw everything we wanted to see and do. Little Chapel in Guernsey, two hours in the Blarney Woolen Mills stores (shopping heaven), Dublin, all Beatles things in Liverpool, the sad history in Belfast, Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow, Urquhart and Nessie in invergordon, Royal Mile and Princess Street in Edinburgh and Juno Beach in Normandy. The weather was fine for me (low 20's Celsius). The only day with rain was in Liverpool. The Crown is an older ship but still looked great. Overall, I had a great time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive ... Read More
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive review of our experience. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Both went smoothly. We purchased EZ Air, took a transfer from Heathrow to Southampton and were in our cabin by 11:30 am. However, unless you're at sea for a couple of days and you can rest up, I'd recommend staying overnight in London for a night or two; otherwise you miss the first day or so while catching up on sleep, because the sea/ocean air will make you relax anyway. Cabins: We upgraded this cruise and have stayed mostly in balcony and mini-suite cabins. They appear to be larger than other cruise line cabins. I agree with some comments they could do with a face lift, but beds are comfy and otherwise ok.If you are not used to Princess cabins, they have US outlets and it's a good idea to bring an outlet strip. Dining: My favorite place for breakfast is Horizon Court because of variety and quality. My husband likes Int'l Cafe because that's where they have the best coffee. Lunch is good in HC, too. Dinner we had in MDR. Agree, some of the choices are not the best - and too much beef, but we always found something on the menu we liked. I tried the Regional choices many days. Chocolate Journey desserts were yummy. Didn't try the specialty restaurants this time. Room service was good and quick, but menu needs an update. Activities & Entertainment: Kevin Tugwell was CD. He's ok, as are his staff, but the multiple (sometimes back-to-back) evening trivia and game shows became soooooo annoying and frustrating because that was often the only so-called entertainment that evening. The worst was when they attempted some amateur dramatics - we walked out. The cruise staff shouldn't be your entertainment in the Explorers Lounge. We did enjoy Voice of the Ocean/Karaoke - great talent on this cruise. Princess Orchestra is fantastic. Guest entertainers we liked were Michael Harrison (ventriloquist) - had the audience in stitches; George Casey and Ricky Jay (comedians); Jasson Allen (singer) and Johan Andersoon (singer). Ella also did a great job of Irish singing one evening in Princess Theater. Princess Singers and Dancers were ok. Liked the first two shows, had seen Encore before and walked out of Magic To Do - so boring. The local Folklore Dancers and Singers were mediocre - have seen and heard much better. XCite was a new band that boarded our ship and played most evenings in the Piazza - really enjoyed them. Because of cooler weather, didn't see any MUTS movies, nor were there any deck parties. Couple of piazza/balloon efforts. They had a few Zumba classes (free), but at odd times of the day. Service & Staff: We found the staff to be mostly friendly and helpful. They had a few issues with TVs on this cruise, partly because of the introduction of the Medallion. Both were competing for the internet, but they had an expert board the ship in Dublin and the issues seemed to improve after that. Medallion Class: This was new to the ship and there were a few hiccups, but generally it was quite well accepted. We've used it on other ships and it's fine when it's operating smoothly. Other Passengers: Typically, majority of passengers were from the US, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, and the UK/Ireland. We also had a tour of passengers from Mexico City. However, all communications are in English, so you really need to have someone fluent in English in your party; otherwise you'll miss a lot. Not sure how many people really read the daily Princess Patter, as the Captain got quite annoyed with the bad behavior of a few passengers. Ports & Tours: The selection of ports was great. At 2-3 ports, reps from the local Tourist Office were available in the Piazza to answer questions and provide maps/directions. I did a couple of self-directed tours on this trip. For example, in Cobh (pronounced Cove), I visited St. Colman's Cathedral. It was on a steep hill, but well worth the visit. Absolutely gorgeous and a couple of our passengers had written in the Visitors Book that they had emigrated to the US from Cobh over 60 years ago. In Liverpool, it was pouring down, but I dressed warmly and visited the two cathedrals there. While at the Catholic cathedral, I witnessed a christening. Most people had the sense to take the Hop On Hop Off buses, but I walked all the way. The Easy Loch Tour was a bit disappointing. It was a bus ride around the lakes and mountains. We did stop at Luss by Loch Lomond and saw a bride. In general, I think it's time to change up some of the tours offered and they are expensive, but guarantee you won't miss the ship - that is, unless you miss the deadline to get back to your bus. That happened on two of my tours. We had to leave without one couple and on the other one we waited longer than we should and the tour guide was really annoyed with them. More people are going for independent tours, but I noticed a lot of people were very late embarking the ship at Invergordon and they were on independent, not ship's tours. The Captain also made it clear in Edinburgh that we wouldn't wait for any late comers. Weather/What to Wear: Even for end of July/early August, the weather was a little cool. It was best to wear 3 layers - Tshirt, thin sweater or sweatshirt and a jacket - during the day. Evenings, they request passengers wear "smart casual" clothes and 2-3 evenings we had formal wear. Unfortunately, some people don't/won't understand the meaning of smart. We enjoyed this cruise overall, but maybe we have an advantage because we have sailed so many times with Princess, we know what to expect and how to get around any issues that arise. We did complete the survey after the end of the cruise and we know the corporate staff at Princess read Cruise Critics. I try to be honest, but fair. We've booked our next cruise on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My daughter and I cruised in late July 2019 on Crown Princess in the British Isles and had a wonderful time. We have never cruised with Princess, and we were a bit worried about what to expect after having read several negative reviews ... Read More
My daughter and I cruised in late July 2019 on Crown Princess in the British Isles and had a wonderful time. We have never cruised with Princess, and we were a bit worried about what to expect after having read several negative reviews about this ship. I am happy to say that we had a lovely experience! There were only a couple of negatives. First, when we arrived at the port in South Hampton, we had difficulty finding where we should drop our bags prior to checking in. Simple signage would have been very helpful. Food was good, but not excellent, but we don't expect 5 Star dining on a cruise. I feel like there was adequate variety in the main dining room, and we always found something on the menu to our liking. The excursions we booked through Princess were good, but some guides were better than others in offering information. In Liverpool, our guide was exceptional and made our Beatles excursion particularly enjoyable and informative. The ship was in excellent shape, contrary to what we read in reviews posted on Cruise Critic. I saw no evidence of worn carpeting, rust, or improperly working toilets. Our mini suite on the Dolphin Deck was spacious, had great storage, and above all clean! The only thing we found a little frustrating was a lack of outlets for our electronics and hair tools. The crew, especially our steward, Freddie, were helpful, eager to please, and always pleasant. If you are considering sailing on the Crown Princess, I think you will be pleased with this cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney ... Read More
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney MagicBand and has all of the same functions like opening your cabin door, registering your entrances/exits from the ship, charging expenses, etc.; it also includes operations like being able to order drinks and have them delivered to wherever you are onboard ship, tracking other people in your party onboard ship, playing various games, etc. We were told that eventually it will replace all paper on the ship including the daily Princess Patter newsletter, which lists all shipboard activities. All this sound may sound nice enough, but what we also discovered is that some of the personal information encoded into the medallion doesn't really stay personal; in fact, every waiter and even entertainer with whom we interacted had ready access to our names, cabin numbers, and even birth dates (which, incidentally, is all that's required to access your Medallion Internet account). What a surprise it was to have ship staff we did not even know call us by our names and then show us how our photos and other personal info showed up on their devices when we were within a certain distance of them. Don't know exactly how much information they have access to, but as one waiter put it, "We know everything about you!" Other than this issue of personal data exposure, the cruise went well although the food offerings and quality seemed to have diminished in quality—it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t up to what we had come to expect from prior Princess cruises. We were disappointed especially in the food court as it was so tiny for such a large ship! And on some mornings, it was so very crowded that getting to food was difficult and time-consuming---it really needs to be larger. Dinner offerings in the main restaurants were usually okay, though I can't say any were fantastic (though I did love that chocolate ice cream!); on the other hand, all the wait staff were always very competent, efficient, professional, and friendly and the kitchen really does take food allergies seriously: Thanks to all the wonderful kitchen and waitstaff! Entertainment was so-so: the duo in the Wheelhouse Bar (Jezzebel) were quite good though I'd suggest that broadening their dance music to include a few traditional types of ballroom dance might be beneficial to their audiences; e.g., a typical old-time waltz, a foxtrot or two, a rumba, cha cha, etc. The party band (The Drop), however... music was actually fine but their volume was painful, and we could never remain in their venues without ear pain so never did get to dance to them. As far as itinerary, there are quite a few ports included (and we could have used more at-sea days to relax!), but each port was of value. We tend to like to visit cities using the "on your own" option and we did this in Cork (Blarney), Dublin, Glasgow, Paris, and also London, sometimes using the cities' hop-on, hop-off bus system to visit museums and other sights. And in each city, I'd recommend the "Big Bus" hop-on, hop-off system over the other companies as Big Bus always seemed to have the most buses and the best schedules; routes were pretty much equivalent.. Prior to the cruise, we arrived in England a day early and stayed at the Heathrow Renaissance Hotel; after the cruise we remained in London another few days and stayed at The Windermere Hotel, near Victoria Station and not far from Buckingham Palace. Both of those places are highly recommended, although they are quite different in that the Renaissance is a huge chain hotel and the Windermere is very small boutique hotel, but both provided excellent service, very friendly and helpful staff, clean rooms, a safe environment, and good food. The Windermere's Pimlico Brasserie was excellent: the chef is a master at cooking dishes to perfection and then serving them in very attractive ways---he's as good at food presentation as preparation. Both were wonderful places to stay. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable and I would recommend it for its diversity of ports and what they all have to offer; I just have great reservations about how our personal information is being used. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Our family of three mostly enjoyed our British Isles cruise out of Southampton. We had cruised with Princess 5 years ago on a land/sea adventure to Alaska which was outstanding so we chose Princess again based mostly on this itinerary. ... Read More
Our family of three mostly enjoyed our British Isles cruise out of Southampton. We had cruised with Princess 5 years ago on a land/sea adventure to Alaska which was outstanding so we chose Princess again based mostly on this itinerary. We flew from the US to London 3 days early so we could get over our jet lag and see some of the sights of London prior to the cruise. Our balcony cabin was fine. Our steward made up the bunk for our 12-year-old daughter every evening which worked great for her. The beds were amazingly comfortable! We loved having a balcony to see the passing scenery and the ports. I can't imagine not having a balcony cabin for this itinerary as there is so much beautiful scenery throughout the cruise. Our cabin was maintained very well by our steward. The TV froze a few times but once we figured out that unplugging and plugging it back in resolved the issue, it was fine. We learned on our last cruise that scheduling our own excursions is much less expensive and a much better experience than purchasing excursions through Princess. I scheduled private or small group tours at every port and saved a fortune over what Princess charged. Most of the tour companies guarantee on-time return to the ship and we have never had any issues with timing. Two members of our extended family did purchase an excursion through Princess in Dublin to Powerscourt and said the entire experience paled in comparison to our private tours throughout the rest of the cruise. We thought the food on the cruise was good. We ate breakfast at the Horizon buffet every day and the taste, variety and quality were all very good. We ate most of our lunches off the ship as most days we were at port. For dinner we ate at Michelangelo and loved our table the first night so we continued to request the same table. Our servers, Pong and Sunshine, were outstanding and we enjoyed the more relaxed pace of the dining room after a full day of touring. We also enjoyed the gelato at the international café and coffee every morning at Coffee and Cones. We thought the entertainment was very poor. Our last cruise was on Holland America and we thought the entertainment on that cruise was extremely good. During this cruise we found it difficult to find something interesting to see or do most evenings. We did enjoy the karaoke and Voice of the Ocean competition but most of the other entertainment at the theater was not very enjoyable. We did seek out Jezebel which was an Irish duo and enjoyed their music. One great experience was the finals of Wimbledon being shown on the Movies under the Stars screen. The servers were passing out popcorn and it was a very lively crowd since we had just left Southampton/London 2 days before. Some of the other reviews mention the ship as showing its age but we didn't notice that. The common areas and our cabin all appeared to be in good condition. Our 12-year-old daughter attended the kids' club at the start of the cruise but once she made a group of friends, they tended to hang out by the pool or go eat together rather than go to the club. She did enjoy the kids club the times she attended and it appeared to be very well run. I see that some people are complaining about the tracking aspect of the medallions but it made it very easy to find our daughter on the ship and we were thankful for that ability. Embarkation and disembarkation were both fine. We chose to disembark on our own which comes with the bonus that we could keep our luggage in our room the last night. We scheduled our own transport to and from the ship which was half the cost of the Princess transfer. All in all we did enjoy the cruise but I'm not sure I would choose Princess again after an all-around better experience on Holland-America. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Always wanted to visit the Fjords and we were delighted with our cruise. The Skylift from Fjord to Sky at Loen was absolutely stunning! We were so lucky with the weather, sunshine and blue skies for the majority of the cruise. A ... Read More
Always wanted to visit the Fjords and we were delighted with our cruise. The Skylift from Fjord to Sky at Loen was absolutely stunning! We were so lucky with the weather, sunshine and blue skies for the majority of the cruise. A memorable afternoon was at Gerainger when we walked up at the side of the most amazing waterfall ever! We had to take the tender from the ship as we were anchored in the fjord. We found part of our excursion in Bergen rather boring. Initially we were taken by coach to the Funicular station and fortunately didn’t have to queue very long for the transport. As we climbed up Floen mountain we were met with thick cloud however, as we reached the top the clouds cleared and we were able to see fantastic views from up there. If we had been able to make our own way back to the ship from this point we would have enjoyed ourselves much more. There were mountain biking tracks and zip wires plus good walking options but unfortunately we had too return to the coach for a rather boring trip around an extremely busy city. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Ship: Crown Princess is showing its age but was well maintained. Laundry facilities are located on most floors but are heavily used. Must use tokens available in the laundry rooms but the machines were out of tokens quite often so I ... Read More
Ship: Crown Princess is showing its age but was well maintained. Laundry facilities are located on most floors but are heavily used. Must use tokens available in the laundry rooms but the machines were out of tokens quite often so I recommend you get tokens ahead of time. 3 dollars per wash or dry but some machines were broken. $1.50 for detergent and softener. Itinerary: London (Southhampton); Guernsey (St. Peter Port) ; Cork (Cobh); Dublin; Belfast ; Glaskow (Greenock); Orkney Islands (Kirkwall); Inverness (Invergordon); Edinburgh (South Queensferry); Paris/Normandy (La Havre). If you take ships tour to Normandy sit on left side of bus for best view. Be prepared for change as arrival and departure times will change and in some cases the ship will not enter the port if tides, currents, and winds do not allow. Stayed over two day in London and got last minute tickets to lion king play which was terrific. Visited British Museum which was free and saw Rosetta Stone and Cleopatra’s Sarcophagus. Currency: Five different currencies; British Pound, Guernsey Pound, Orkney Pound, Euro, North Ireland Pound which are not easily or interchangeable at all. Didn’t need a lot of local currency but it was convenient at times. Credit cards can be used everywhere but make sure you ask before you sit for a meal or drink because some don’t. Use cards that don’t have foreign transaction fee. When asked whether to charge in dollars or pounds choose dollars because the store will charge a transaction fee if you chose dollars. Test debit cards in U.S. to make sure they work and advise all credit card companies that you will be traveling to Europe. Food and Beverage: Plentiful but average. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages must be purchased unless you get beverage package. Own time seating allows you to show up at any time. Can request couples only table or may opt to join others at larger tables. Able to talk with others adjacent to you even if seated at couples table. Ship had special wine – Mondavi 3 75 milliliter bottle for $5 – enough for two glasses each. Can purchase soft drinks on shore and bring back to ship. Some even purchased wine and got it onboard. Excursions: Ships excursions are very expensive but you will get lunch and pre-paid admission to sites. Met with one couple who arranged private tours at all ports and used Trip Advisor to find others to join them. Price was $85 per person per day (8 people per van) – much cheaper than ship. Private tour guide followed them to Glasgow, Inverness, and Edinburgh. Could tailor excursions to specific sites they wanted to see. Start as early as you can on your own time tours to avoid queues and lines at sites. London Heathrow Airport: Convoluted terminals with long walkways. Will take 15-20 minutes to walk to or from gates plus customs and security checks. Use oyster card for subways and buses in London. Can purchase on line or in airport and get remaining balance reimbursed before you return. Port Information: Every port had information booth on shore or set up on ship. Sometimes the walk from the port to the train was 30 minutes. May have long wait for transportation from port if you wait on the ship for your number to be called for the shuttle to the shore, wait for the tender to be fully loaded before leaving, get on the bus and wait for it to be fully loaded, and then drive for 30 -45 minutes into the town. Hotel Information: London Heathrow Hilton Terminal 5 not close to terminal. An old but very nice hotel but no shops close if you need or want to purchase anything. Heathrow Hilton Express Terminal 2 was terrific and had only been open one week when we stayed there. Can push trolley from terminal 2 through car park into hotel without going outside or using shuttles. Free trolleys are everywhere for luggage. Miscellaneous: Many people on the ship boarded at one of three ports. That allowed them to stay longer in cities they were interested in and to seek cheaper airfares. Needed at least two days in Belfast and Edinburgh and less in other ports. Edinburgh and Glasgow are about 50 miles apart so you could arrange tours if you get on board the ship at other ports. Cobblestone streets are brutal to walk on. Take hair dryer that automatically adjusts to 110V or 220V current. Ship uses 110V outlets so you only need adapters on shore. Having two adapters is helpful if you are using the hair dryer and charging your phone at the same time. Don’t need a transformer if you have dual voltage hair dryer. Most late model cell phones can automatically adjust to 110v or 220V so you only need adapter. Global Entry approval greatly speeded passage through customs on return to U.S. Travel guides for Scotland and Ireland were helpful for general information but they are not written for cruises so have little to no port information. Layered clothing is essential. May be hot one minute, raining and cold the next. Water bottle large enough for ice was very helpful. Ice is difficult to find off the ship. To prevent noro virus outbreak, ship recommends you wash hands after meals. Hand sanitizer not effective against noro virus. Believe that is closing the barn door after the horse has left. We gathered our food with the tongs provided in the buffet and then went to the washroom to wash out hands before we sat to eat. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Been on over 25 cruises, various lines from Carnival in early days to crystal. Princess is not Crystal or Cunard of course. For a large ship, it was a good cruise. First the crew and service staff did their jobs well and were very friendly ... Read More
Been on over 25 cruises, various lines from Carnival in early days to crystal. Princess is not Crystal or Cunard of course. For a large ship, it was a good cruise. First the crew and service staff did their jobs well and were very friendly and organized and good at what they do. The food was excellent, including on the Lido deck. The ship was clean and well kept and had the feeling it was "new". At ports the ship was efficient at getting the passengers off and back on board. I have no complaints at all. If you tour in Edinburgh, remember that there is a long walk UPHILL to the top of the castle, and it is tiring. And a long walk back down. I have travled to over 125 nations in my business years and as a tourist as well. This included trips to Scotland, England, and Ireland. I did not find the cities on the cruise of great interest, but one did get a good feel of what Ireland was like and ENgland, and scotland. There is a reason that the british isles are characterized as a nation of pubs and shopkeepers, and it was ok and a good time could be had. I would recommend this cruise. For a summer cruise that took a risk of being in the north atlantic area, the seas were quiet and not much rolling of the ship at all. I didnot see any ill passengers at all, which i have seen in other oceans and cruises. This cruise is cold, wet, and windy. Recommend wool socks heavy, rain hat, and waterproof coat with hood. Layer up. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife, 10-year-old son and I chose this cruise because it gave us the opportunity to spend some time in London and then cruise into ports we had never been to before. We are a family of three from Saint Augustine, Fl. This was our 37th ... Read More
My wife, 10-year-old son and I chose this cruise because it gave us the opportunity to spend some time in London and then cruise into ports we had never been to before. We are a family of three from Saint Augustine, Fl. This was our 37th cruise and 8th cruise on Princess Cruises. We love all the main cruise lines and usually choose the deal and itinerary over the line. I do believe Princess has always been our favorite line and was solidified on this cruise. Southampton was pretty easy to sail out of. We took a train from Waterloo station to Southampton and then got a cab to the port. The total cost for that was under a hundred American dollars for the three of us. Once there we were on the ship within about 5 minutes. We had lunch at Alfredo's which is a wonderful and relaxing alternative to the Horizon Court and what we strongly believe to be the best pizza at sea. After lunch, we explored the ship, unpacked, did the muster drill, had a coupe drinks and went to dinner. We ate at the Steakhouse and sadly this was the worst meal of the cruise. My wife's NY strip was of poor quality and was flat out bad. My Ribeye was fine but there was nothing special about it. I should also mention that we have always felt like Princess offers the best dining room food but we have never had a dinner in the steakhouse that we we did not regret. RCI, NCL, HAL and even Carnival are all doing this much better in our opinion. On a positive note, that was the last time we were disappointed with diner. All meals were very good with excellent service. We were never rushed and we never waited either. All dinners were good and on the formal evening they bumped it up a couple of notches. They have cut back over the years as all lines have. For instance, where they used to offer a Filet Mignon as a meat option any night of the week, they now offer a hamburger. However, what they do, they do well. I had beef wellington, and beef tornadoes during the cruise and they were both cooked to a perfect medium rare. Salmon melted in my mouth and other seafood selections were good. Dinners were always served hot. We pretty much stayed away from the Horizon Court but it seemed pretty in line with any other buffet. We often grabbed a snack or sandwich at the International Café and it was fine and I guess what we expected. On the last evening we ate at Sabatini's, which unlike the steakhouse is worth every penny. I had the Veal chop, and my wife and son both ordered a steak and it was all quiet at the dinner table. It was a great way to end the cruise. Princess kept us busy on sea days with ping pong tournaments, free throw contests, scavenger hunts, and putting contests. We returned home with three Princess medals. There are no rock climbing walls or water slides but our ten-year-old son still had a blast. There were also plenty of variety shows that we all enjoyed. Aaron the cruise director and the entire team were talented and hilarious. They went out of their way to make our son feel special. If you guys are reading, Dave from Singapore sends his regards... The ship was scheduled to be back in Southampton at 7 am and our cards were scanned and we were looking for our car service before 7:05 am. We had a car service called Blackberry drive us back to Heathrow for 99 pounds. We hit no traffic and were at Heathrow in about and hour and fifteen minutes. Overall, this was a great cruise. It was very relaxing. Princess offers spectacular ships but with a more relaxed experience. We never felt crowded. After the chaos of flying over the Atlantic and experiencing the hustle and bustle of London, the Sapphire Princess was a much welcomed way to experience the remainder of a once in a lifetime vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked through Iglu cruises and it was a very good deal and a good price. We arrived in Southampton to find delays due to a fire alarm in the terminal and major road works. The ship sailed late. The boarding was a bit of a free for ... Read More
We booked through Iglu cruises and it was a very good deal and a good price. We arrived in Southampton to find delays due to a fire alarm in the terminal and major road works. The ship sailed late. The boarding was a bit of a free for all due to everyone arriving in the terminal at the same time, but we went through very quickly. Don't see the point of priority boarding as they took the same time. The ship looked clean and sparkly and the staff were friendly. We went straight to our cabin which was an obstructed view. This was the best view we've had on a cruise. The cabin was a good size with all the amenities you need, inc tea and coffee. We had no green tea but it was provided on request. We purchased a crate of water beforehand and this was a lot cheaper than buying it on the ship. The bathroom was perfect for us and the shower was excellent (height was great as i'm 6ft1in). The bed is soft and fluffy, the pillows are wonderful. The only this that i could see might annoy people is that there was only 2 electrical sockets and they are American so remember you converter's. This was fine for us. The only thing annoying was that the Films would lose signal on the TV and you would have to wait for it to reset. If you don't watch TV this is not a problem. The free for all was good in a morning and evening however it wasn't to our tastes on a evening.The Free for All scrum down also had sinks to wash your hands in before entering which was a excellent idea. The Anytime dining was rubbish as people are allowed to book tables so you always have to wait to be seated, (about 20 mins). Anytime means you go down anytime. Booking shouldn't be allowed. The food OK but not a massive selection in the Dining rooms. Veggie options were limited. We watch the movies under the stars, the art auction ( where we won a excellent prize) and a guest singer. Always got a seat and was always a good show. Downside is that its impossible to get a drink in the show hall so take one in with you. We had to miss Skagen because of the weather but we had an over night in Oslo. This cannot be helped and just the way with the Sea. Nobody's fault and we were kept informed. Got a bit choppy in the Batlic however it is the Sea and mother nature. The rubbish thing was that you had to pay for transfers into town at nearly every visit. Overall - the Staff were brilliant, the room was comfy and peaceful. The food was OK, The ship was clean with plenty of amenities and with things going on all the time. Bad things were the cost of the extras and the cost of the drinks was expensive (£6 a pint) you still get charged your tips (this can be removed on request) Transfert costs into town. Veggie option for meals was average.. We would defiantly go on there again at the right price. We really enjoyed our cruise and was a nice relaxing break. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first cruise and we picked both Princess and this particular itinerary having talked to friends who had years of cruising experience and also wanted to see places we had not been to before. We were keen to find a ship which ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we picked both Princess and this particular itinerary having talked to friends who had years of cruising experience and also wanted to see places we had not been to before. We were keen to find a ship which was neither full of kids or senior citizens and were not disappointed as there was a good spread of ages amongst the passengers. Although there were embarkation problems in Southampton which were not the fault of Princess Cruises (mainly severe road works on the route to the docks and a fire alarm going off in the terminal we were lucky to be one of the first to check in and found things well organised as it only took 15 minutes from parking the car to being in our cabin. We had booked a mini suite and were not disappointed. The cabin was extremely spacious with lots of storage and would suggest that four adults would be able to occupy the cabin without feeling too claustrophobic. The cabin was immaculately clean and we felt that all the fittings were more than acceptable. We note that some people have stated on here that the bathrooms are either poor or "tired" but we would say that whilst looking a bit dated the bathroom was certainly acceptable and again lots of well thought out storage. As for food whilst Horizon Court buffet shows less quality than a high star hotel in Europe there was plenty of choice both at breakfast and lunchtime. We had booked anytime dining and had no difficulty in getting a table for dinner in the three restaurants available to us. The food was generally well cooked and service was good rather than exceptional in the restaurants. The main gripe we had with the menus were that for us they seemed too geared to an American pallet and my wife especially struggled at times to find dishes she liked which limited her choice. With credit the Head Waiter on the first night arranged for smoked salmon to be available for her every evening if wanted. We did one night eat at Sabbatinis and whilst the food was excellent the service was very lacking as the waiters seemed keener to set tables than serve us! The entertainment in the evening was mixed. Some of it was less quality than we assumed it would be however we did enjoy various entertainment most evenings and the Entertainment Director was excellent. As for port visits we did our own thing which we are used to from having travelled round Europe many times. This tended to give us more time at the attractions we wanted to see than the organised tours and at a fraction of the price as the ship's tours were very expensive. To sum up the pros were both the cleanliness of the ship and general standard of service especially our cabin steward for whom nothing was too much trouble and always with a smile. Also considering the number of people on board generally the ship did not feel crowded and usually we found places to sit in the various lounges. The cons were the fact that there is a very heavy selling by Princess at every opportunity and you have to watch out your cruise account as gratuities are added to all drinks. Also we were surprised and felt it was poor of Princess to charge for shuttle buses from port to town when we heard from people that other cruise lines don't. Also to charge for a cocktail on sailway from southampton surprised us. To sum up if you haven't cruised before I would ignore the bad reviews on here but be aware that Princess whilst relaxing does have some warts that come with the fun. Also we have already booked our next Princess cruise but will be older and wiser when we go. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Attracted by the itinerary, we have chosen this cruise. Initially, we were unware that Liverpool was not there and replaced by 2 days at Dublin. It ended up this gave us a chance to visit the famous Cliff of Moher. We arrived London ... Read More
Attracted by the itinerary, we have chosen this cruise. Initially, we were unware that Liverpool was not there and replaced by 2 days at Dublin. It ended up this gave us a chance to visit the famous Cliff of Moher. We arrived London few days earlier to give us a chance to explore this famous city before jumping into our cruise ship. Embarkment was simple, easy and quick as we arrived the pier around 1pm. In the beginning, we were a bit concerned about some of the negative comments on Crown Princess but they were gone after on board. We don't see any major signs of rusting or worn out within the ship. Cabin was nice and clean as usual. Service was good especially in Michelangelo dining room. We met Marius, the Head Waiter, who always gave us warm welcome as well as Pong who served us dinner with professional standard. In view of the high food cost these days, we were satisfied with most of the food quality. We even have lobster tails one night. The Horizon buffet restaurant was another surprise to us as services were excellent as the waiter kept on asking us if we need drinks or refill and managed to clean up the table as fast as they can. We even have fresh oysters for at least 2 times (not even offered in the dining room). Negative points, they have. Soups were a bit salty (even though oldies might have poor taste buds - bad for health). Beef products were a bit tough not because of the wrong cooking skill but due to meat quality. We found better one last time at Ruby 6 months ago. Though bread and buns were good, the cake quality needed to be improved. Stateroom service was good. We have nice and clean toilet and comfortable bed to sleep all nights. Entertainment was a bit insufficient as they have too many comedian shows (maybe due to cost cutting). We didn't join their shore excursions (except for shuttle bus services from ports to city) as they were too expensive. We used outsiders that cost almost 40% cheaper. Princess has introduced the medallion device that helped a lot to open the door of our stateroom and shopping (for identification). Overall, it is a good value for money vacation. Princess is Princess and you can't compare the standard in the past to the present as the purchase value of $$ are no longer the same. Have purchased future cruise credit in the ship and will definitely looking for another amazing journey in the near future with Princess. The only really negative comment is that disembarkation was a bit messy. They should separate the line of passengers of port visit only from the passengers who have finished their cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I wanted to cruise the British Isles. We embarked in Le Havre which I did not feel was a comfortable port to embark or disembark. It is 3:30 hours from Paris. It is a long trek back and forth. I found that the staff on the Crown Princess ... Read More
I wanted to cruise the British Isles. We embarked in Le Havre which I did not feel was a comfortable port to embark or disembark. It is 3:30 hours from Paris. It is a long trek back and forth. I found that the staff on the Crown Princess was fantastic. The ship does not look like it has been refurbished. The entertainment is boring and geared to an older crowd. There is no sail off entertainment or parties. I found the that when I was on the ship I was simply bored. The food in the dining room was fantastic and the service was amazing. We had anytime dining through out the 12 days and we were always seated almost immediately when we arrived. The homemade ice creams for dessert were simply unforgettable. I was disappointed at the fact that there was only one side of the buffet set up for breakfast. I got tired of walking around with my food in my hands to find a table to sit I didn't understand why only one side if they have at least 3 that I could see. Our stateroom was dark. Very poor lighting but the beds were very comfortable and I was able to slee very well. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose the British Isles cruise through Princess due to the ports. It is a very port intensive cruise but you see a lot and each port has a lot to offer. Embarkation and disembarkation out of Southampton was so easy. We took a private ... Read More
We chose the British Isles cruise through Princess due to the ports. It is a very port intensive cruise but you see a lot and each port has a lot to offer. Embarkation and disembarkation out of Southampton was so easy. We took a private taxi to the Southampton for embarkation and drop off could not have been easier. For disembarkation, we used Princess to get us to the airport. Though we had to be up early, they got us to London Heathrow in an hour and a half. Activities and Cruise director staff was wonderful. We had two sea days and there was lots of activities to keep people busy or movies in the stateroom to watch. Food in the dining room left a lot to be desired but if you do go for breakfast get the french toast, super yummy. The buffet had lots of options and the food was pretty good in the buffet. We did some shore excursions through the cruise but the majority with third party companies. Overall, the cruise was very enjoyable. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise primarily to see Mid Night Sun. And we were not disappointed! We were above the Arctic Circle for 5, 24 hr Sun days/Nights! 3 days were cloudy, one day partially sunny and one day was clear blue skies. The midnight sun ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to see Mid Night Sun. And we were not disappointed! We were above the Arctic Circle for 5, 24 hr Sun days/Nights! 3 days were cloudy, one day partially sunny and one day was clear blue skies. The midnight sun on June 22 was very surreal and Princess had a midnight party on the top deck. All the other ports of call were very scenic. The Norwegian Fjords are awesome ! We really did not take any excursions from the ports as there was much to see right there ! At Geiranger and Lofotin Islands, we took some excursions offered by local bus tours but not any offered by Princess as they were too costly. The worst part of the cruise was lack of quality food options for vegetarians. There was only one choice for main dish every night and most of the time, it was not well prepared. Vegetarians can eat many Italian dishes ( cheese ravioli, pasta primavera, quiche and Indian dishes ). I do not understand why they add meat to salads and soups! I am glad at least the deserts have no meat! The Sanctuary was hardly used by people for whom it was intended. Make that space available to all. There were only 2 formal nights as against 3 advertised. There should have been enrichment lectures on Astrology (Midnight sun) and Geology as we were in the arctic circle , going thru the fjords and oil rigs in the North Sea. We enjoyed the cruise very much because of the choice of the poarts, fantastic scenery and Mid Night Sun! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I took my elderly mother on this cruise as she felt she didn’t want to fly-cruise any more. We had arranged assistance boarding at Southampton Mayflower Terminal. This worked brilliantly. Having bypassed the queues we were through ... Read More
I took my elderly mother on this cruise as she felt she didn’t want to fly-cruise any more. We had arranged assistance boarding at Southampton Mayflower Terminal. This worked brilliantly. Having bypassed the queues we were through security and on board within 15-20 minutes of being dropped off. We found our stateroom in very good order with a stocked minibar in line with Moms ‘Elite’ status. Our bags were delivered in a timely manner and once unpacked we explored our home for two weeks. The itinerary included a number of sea days which we found plenty of activities to fill our days. For a large ship with over 2500 guests there was never not a place to find some ‘space’. There was never a shortage of loungers on either decks outside or inside. We were assigned late dinner in the International Restaurant, the booking confirmation stated 7:15pm when in fact dinner was at 8:00pm, not an issue for us but was for our Canadian table mates. We took breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet restaurant mainly due to my Mom’s fussy taste. There was for the most part a good choice, some lunchtimes their meat that we had been served for dinner the previous evening would appear in the form of some kind of salad. Only on the last day of the trip did I find that I could actually order a portion of chips which would be cooked to order instead of me having to walk through the indoor pool area, around the outdoor pool to the burger bar to fetch these and then carry them back to the buffet! The service in the International Restaurant was impeccable, the menu choices were varied and they were always able to make changes to suit Moms palate! We went to the theatre most evenings, the Sapphire orchestra was superb, accompanying the varied visiting performances, all but one we really enjoyed (fiddle playing is not our thing) the cruise cast were particularly good, two male and two female lead vocalists lead very well. We didn’t attend the other evening entertainment part from the ‘Land of the midnight sun deck party’ which started about 11:15pm and lead to a countdown to midnight. This was very well attended and great fun. It was hard to believe that it was midnight with the sun still shining brightly in the sky. With regard to the ports and shore excursions, due to my moms not being able to walk too far we could only book two excursions. Stavanger was great, docked right in the port we were able to stroll around and see some of this pretty town. Flåm was was very pretty, we had booked the ‘Easy Flåm’ excursion which was fine for us. Gerainger was very pretty, we were able to go ashore by tender and explore under our own steam. Trondheim was great, our second excursion was on a 1950s tram which took us up into the suburbs in the hills, very pretty. We were met by a coach which took us to a ski jump arena where some young jumpers had been arranged to show their skills. Honningsvag again docked right in port was fine, the town was within easy walking distance. The Christmas shop was full of mass produced junk, we went further around the harbour and came across an outlet store which had a cafe and a bathroom, here I did find a beautiful hand painted Christmas ornament. Tromso we arrived on a Sunday, there was a shuttle bus into town at a cost of $20 but nothing in the town was open. The only visiting place that was in walking distance was a botanical garden but we were advised that it was very uneven under foot and it was raining, we stayed aboard. As we departed the captain advised that we had been assigned an inadequately qualified pilot which would result in us having to add four hours to our journey time and as a result a late arrival in the Lofoten Islands, departure was delayed accordingly. The issue here was that, 1 it was pouring with rain, 2, The tender was docking in the middle of nowhere, a four kilometres walk to the nearest town or a taxi ride. Our table mates went ashore and quickly messaged that Mom would really struggle. Our next stop was Alesund, having been tipped off by our table mates we booked a land train. This was great, an hour and a half for approx $20 each. Mom then returned to the ship and I was able to walk to a number of areas I had seen to take photos. Bergen was a bit of a mix up. We had no excursions booked. There was a ‘shuttle bus ‘ provided, this took us from the shop to the other side of the container port where we were docked. This meant we were a minimum of 1 km from the old port where another 4ships were docked. We had planned on going on the funicular railway which the tourist information said was within a few minutes walk of the main shopping street. This was far too far for us to walk. I had to sit mom on a park bench whilst I went to take photos. Having watched the ships lecture of the city I feel that we missed out on so much because of where the ship was docked (second occasion). Again the final sea day was great, a rest, no problem finding space to relax. On docking in Southampton we again had assistance for disembarkation, this was superb again this time at the Queen Elizabeth Terminal. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Overall this was a very nice cruise. Ship and cabin were lovely, dining room food and company were very good. We had weather and mechanical issues that caused several cancellations of tours. They were missed on our part, especially the ... Read More
Overall this was a very nice cruise. Ship and cabin were lovely, dining room food and company were very good. We had weather and mechanical issues that caused several cancellations of tours. They were missed on our part, especially the Lake District, but overall it didn't diminish our enjoyment of the trip too much. Weather was cool and mostly cloudy, but rain held off for the most part when we were out and about. The food court was, as expected, noisy, very crowded, with mediocre food. I never understand how people can sit in there all day. The pizza was pretty good, and the tacos, burgers, and hot dogs at Salty Dog Grill were very good. Ice cream is always a treat. We did anytime dining, with shared tables, and had a delightful dinner every night. Food was very good, company and service excellent. We also went to tea most days which was delightful. Entertainment was mediocre, and it seemed there were fewer big shows than we've had in the past. We were hoping for some big sporting events on the big screen outside (women's world cup and the Stanley Cup was on), but no dice. Couldn't find any films that interested us - some we watched on our TV, but nothing in the big venues. Ship configuration was a bit strange, had trouble on a couple of decks finding our way to certain venues - lots of dead ends. Shore excursions were all very good, at least those that didn't get cancelled. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Always wanted to go and see the Fjords and had heard lots of good things about Princess. Wasn’t looking for a party style cruise, more something quieter and relaxing as had lots planned for shore. I found it difficult to get information ... Read More
Always wanted to go and see the Fjords and had heard lots of good things about Princess. Wasn’t looking for a party style cruise, more something quieter and relaxing as had lots planned for shore. I found it difficult to get information on the ports of call so I hope someone else may find this useful FOOD The food in the main dining room was outstanding, great quality and fantastic selection, there really was something for everyone. Steak/ Lobster was additional surcharge of $19 each which I haven’t seen on any other cruise however it was worth the price. Buffet selection was well presented and fresh however not a massive selection of main dishes like P&O for example. No themed nights in the buffet as other cruises may have (eg Mexican night or local themed dishes). Alfredo’s pizzeria on deck 5 was lovely and was always able to get a table there. Not a huge selection of other restaurants even specialty ones- Italian or steakhouse were the only two on board. Very speedy embarkation and CPS in Southampton made this seamless CABIN We had balcony cabin C709 on the starboard side which had a huge balcony- much bigger than deck 11 or deck 8 and below (I believe). Was kept very clean and had a fridge and tea making facilities. American style plug point but took a power strip with me to make life a little easier. The hairdryer was better than the one I brought with me and there were plenty of clothes hangers and storage. TV selection was very good and our cabin steward was very helpful and friendly. Ports of call BERGEN Did the funicular tour and hike with Princess which was a great day out as the sun was shining and was very warm. It’s a beautiful town and well worth getting a little higher to see the views. Great fish market down by the port which is well worth having a look through although Norway in general is a little expensive. GEIRANGER We did the Eagle road tour and Mount Dalsnibba with Princess. The mountain was closed due to snow but our tour guide took us to the lake for a photo stop. Great tour and fantastic driving from the coach driver on the very bendy and high roads! Highlight of the trip on this unspoilt part of the world. Note- this is a Tender port although there was a moving gangway, this was being used by a bigger ship in on the same day as us. OLDEN Very small port so would recommend doing a trip or doing some research. We did Briksdalsbren glacier which was breathtaking. A beautiful walk up there and stunning views. Approx 45 min walk to the top although you can hire a troll car to take you some of the way as there are steps and the path is quite steep STAVANGER we did the pulpit Rock hike with Princess which was hard going but well worth it. Allow 2 hours of hiking up a steep path but you will be rewarded with incredible views. It was raining this day but certainly didn’t make it any less enjoyable. ENTERTAINMENT This is an area I would say Princess are lacking in. There wasn’t a large selection of things to do during the sea days and the weather isn’t like the Caribbean cruises where you can sunbathe during the day. Evening shows were not as good as some other companies although it was never difficult to find a seat in the theatre. The comedian Jeff was great although the magician production Amethyst was quite awful. There were a few enrichment lectures on which were ok although a lot of people walked out when this was ongoing. LOTUS SPA Staff were incredibly rude and would avoid this at all costs. I cancelled a massage which more than adequate notice and was lectured on the phone for several minutes Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
May 9 - Travel day. We flew Delta One overnight from Atlanta to Heathrow. We landed around 7 am and had the fast pass for immigration so we were out of immigration within 15 minutes. We took the Heathrow Express to Paddington (£25 for 2 ... Read More
May 9 - Travel day. We flew Delta One overnight from Atlanta to Heathrow. We landed around 7 am and had the fast pass for immigration so we were out of immigration within 15 minutes. We took the Heathrow Express to Paddington (£25 for 2 people since we arrived on a weekday and bought the tickets 90 days in advance), then a taxi (£8) to the Doubletree Hilton Hyde Park across from Kensington Palace. My sister arrived on Saturday morning so she only paid £11 for two people on the Heathrow Express 90 days in advance. The Doubletree Hilton Hyde Park hotel was located in a nice, walkable neighborhood with plenty of restaurants, groceries, and shopping nearby and easy access to the tube and most important to us, the hop on hop off bus picks up right outside the hotel. If we go back to London, I would definitely stay there again. May 10 - London - I was excited to see London and we met up with friends who had arrived earlier in the week and did the hop on hop off bus. We were told the total HOHO loop was 90 minutes but we were surprised at how slow traffic affected the tour and ended up not seeing as much as we planned. Have a plan for what to see in London but be ready to adjust on the fly if you are affected by weather, traffic, tube issues or protesters. May 11 - London - Day 2, we took an Uber from the hotel straight to the Tower of London around 9:30 am because the tube line near us was closed for the weekend due to maintenance and we had read to get there as early as possible. We took the Beefeater tour and it was entertaining and informative. We had lunch at the café at the Tower of London and it was delicious. The Tower of London was much more crowded when we left around 1 pm. We jumped on the hop on hop off at the Tower and once again had difficulty with traffic and seeing the sights. I wondered what the HOHO bus would be like in high season (summer). Less than 1/2 way thru the loop we were told we could not get any closer to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abby and surrounding sites because police had closed many streets due to protesters. We were disappointed but got as close as possible then walked the remainder of the way to Buckingham Palace. You could only see from the gate since you cannot tour until later in the summer. . If I go back to London, I will try the HOHO bus mid-week and see if that helps. It may be like any major city, crazy all the time. We got some decent pictures of Buckingham Palace but it started raining pretty hard so we grabbed a cab and headed to Kensington Palace which was unaffected by protesters. We toured Kensington Palace and walked around Kensington Gardens then joined our friends for dinner at the Goat pub at Kensington High Street. Food and drink were both great. May 12 - London to Southampton - Windsor Day Tours. We knew we had to get to Southampton from London and wanted to see the English countryside along the way and had read the great reviews for Windsor Day Tours. Jill was able to pick us up at our hotel in London because it was Sunday. Her tours can also originate from Heathrow. We had a photo stop at Eton College, then on to Windsor castle and the town of Windsor. Windsor Castle as wonderful; there was a slight wait for security. Buy your tickets in advance. We then had a lovely lunch at the White Lion in a tiny village called Wherwell. We saw thatched roof cottages and lovely scenery. After lunch we visited Winchester Cathedral and the town of Winchester where we grabbed our 2 bottles of carry on wine and then Jill took us on to the Room2 suites in Southampton. The cost of the tour was just a little more than the princess transfer but we wanted to see the English countryside and Windsor Castle and Jill worked with us to customize our tour. She was a great tour guide and very knowledgeable. We highly recommend Windsor Day Tours. Southampton - Room2 Suites is a new hotel that was clean, walking distance to Oxford Street restaurants and 3 minutes by car from Ocean Cruise terminal. We paid Uber £7 pounds instead of walking because we had 3 suitcases and the road across to the terminal was multi lane. May 13 – Crown Princess Embarkation - Our suggested arrival time was 1:30 for Dolphin Deck and as we weren’t sure of lines we arrived a few minutes after 1 pm. Very short wait for check in and we were in our cabin by 1:50. Our bags were already at our door – off to a great start. My sister was on Deck 10 and got her bags by 4 pm. Princess had very organized embarkation at that time of day. May 14 - Guernsey - Our plan for Guernsey was to take it easy and just wander around since we knew we had future days with all day plans. If you want to see things in Guernsey do your research and get a good map, Signage is available but not very intuitive. There is more than one museum and signage just pointed to museum without specifying. We arrived via tender around 9 am to find that most of the places to visit opened around 10 am, even the tourist center, (perhaps they open earlier In June and July later in the season?) but we could have left the ship later. We were worried about tender lines so we got up early. We wandered a bit then headed back early around 1 pm which worked in our favor. Tendering later in the afternoon was a nightmare with a 90 minute wait and was hampered by high winds. May 15 - Cork/Cobh – We had a great day with Craig @ Munster Bus Tours and we saw Cork, Kinsale & the Jameson Distillery. We had 6 people and were able to see so many things that we would never have seen on a big tour. Craig drove us around the city of Cork, we visited a local sweet shop/candy company where they were hand making candy, got great pictures at the beautiful St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral and then headed to Kinsale. Before we enjoyed a lovely lunch in coastal Kinsale, Craig took us to a small memorial garden honoring the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. The memorial garden was an unexpected, touching spot that we never would have seen on a large tour. Craig had secured a lunch reservation for us in Kinsale. After Kinsale we toured Charles Fort. Craig was engaging and entertaining and gave us great personal insight into the area. His pride in his home country was evident and the scenery was spectacular, exactly what we imagined Ireland to be. One note about the Jameson Distillery – it was an interesting tour but we thought we would see a working distillery and instead toured their old factory and did not actually see any actual whiskey production. We did enjoy the tasting! May 16 - Dublin – A free shuttle was provided into Dublin since we docked at a different place than originally planned – this created a bit of a headache for those just going into Dublin. My sister booked a private tour that left Dublin at 11 am and she needed to meet the tour in Dublin. She was waiting for the ticket for the Dublin shuttle at 9:30 am but it took forever and she finally arrived at the meeting spot in Dublin 15 minutes late so she lost her money on the excursion. If you plan a private tour in Dublin and have to get into Dublin, I would allow at least 2 hours to get off the ship and shuttle to your meeting place. Dublin patter is attached and explains Dublin shuttle and private arrangements. We didn’t properly read the description for the Princess excursion for Powerscourt Estate and didn’t realize it was just gardens only. I thought you toured the house as well, but the house was damaged by fire years ago and was only restored as a gift shop with a small room showing a film about the history of the estate. If gardens are your thing, this is a great place to visit. There was beautiful landscaping, acres of flowers, and a Japanese garden but I was a little disappointed. We were dropped off back in Dublin and wandered around Trinity College and had a lovely pub lunch. May 17 - Belfast – This day was at the top of my bucket list and it was a wonderful day. We booked a private Antrim Coast and Giants Causeway Tour with Alister at City and Causeway tours and it didn’t disappoint. The Torr road was a fun, curvy drive and the scenery was spectacular. Northern Ireland is such a lush, green beautiful place. As with all of our private tours, we were mostly able to beat the large coaches since we only had 6 people. Our goal for this trip was to go as far inland as we could with the time we had and concentrate less on the cities and that worked out well. The Giants Causeway was surreal but very crowded. We walked down to the causeway and had planned to take the shuttle back but they closed the shuttle service so that a VIP tour could use the shuttle. I felt sorry for the folks who had mobility issues and had to walk back up the hill, it was over a mile each way. We did not pay to go to the visitor’s center. Alister took 2 couples back to the ship and then drove us 1 ½ miles to TEC Belfast to see the Game of Thrones Tour Exhibition. This was an added bonus for us since we are GOT fans and it was fantastic. If you are a GOT fan and in Belfast this summer, it is worth the money. May 18 - Glasgow – This was our second bucket list day and it was remarkable. We booked a private tour with Tom at Photowalk Scotland. Although the day was cold and rainy we got to see some lovely places including Glencoe, Stalker Castle and Kilchurn Castle. We even stopped at a beautiful small church and got amazing picture of blue bonnets in full bloom. Tom gave us the flexibility to change our plans when the rain didn’t let up for a while and took us to the castles instead of another Glen. He also was kind enough to share some sunny day pics with us since it was so rainy. Despite the weather it was one of our favorite days of the trip. May 19 - Sea Day – After 9 full days of travel, a sea day was much needed so we took it easy and just relaxed. We don’t have a lot to review on the Crown Princess but will say that it is a lovely ship. This was our 4th cruise and all ships we have been on could be improved slightly but the Crown Princess was great for what we wanted, a nice way to see the British Isles. We did not see any shows or comedians but my sister took in a few and said they were fine. May 20 - Kirkwall - This was our 2nd Princess Tour - West Mainland Sightseeing and it was OK but it reminded us why we choose private tours. The tour guide was very nice but it was her first day on the job and she neglected to tell the bus driver to even slow down for the Standing Stones of Stenness. We just rode right past it with not photo stop. We were able to tour the Ring of Brodgar and see a bit of Kirkwall as we were whizzing by the sights. For us, Guernsey and Kirkwall were just bonus days so that was Ok. Private tours at Kirkwall were limited and booked up quickly. Plan far ahead if you want a private tour in Kirkwall. May 21 – Invergordon - We booked a private tour with Invergordon tours and saw Castle Leod, Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield, and Clava Cairns. The scenery was lovely. May 22 - Edinburgh - previous reviews had suggested the Princess Excursion “Edinburgh on your own” to maximize your time in the city since ship tours got tender priority. This was a great in theory but didn’t necessarily work for us. I think our Princess meeting time in the theatre was 8:15 am. Our plan was thwarted because we had to wait over 30 minutes in the Princess theatre for our total group to gather to go to the tender and then another 20 minutes on the bus in South Queensferry for four people who never showed up. The ship was in Edinburgh from 7 am to 7 pm but we didn’t get to the city until well after 10 am and got picked back up at 3:15 pm. Not nearly enough time to see such a great city. You could find your own transportation back you just needed to tell the driver. We walked straight to the Edinburgh Castle; we printed our tickets which we bought online from a kiosk. The lines were long. If you are going to the castle, buy your tickets in advance. Edinburgh was the best city we visited (compared to Dublin and London) and the only city we think we would revisit. Looking back at the patter for Edinburgh, you could get in line for a tender ticket in the Michelangelo dining room starting at 7 am. I would set an early alarm, take my chances on my own, grab the earliest tender ticket and take the X99 bus into town. It is a 45 minute ride from South Queensferry to Edinburgh. May 23 - Sea Day – we spent the day repacking. I did go to afternoon tea in the dining room which was just Ok and crowded. May 24 Le Havre - The ship docked in Le Havre on schedule and we easily got off the ship for our tour. We had 12 hours before we had to be back on the ship. We booked a private excursion with Overlord Tours to go to the D Day beaches. The cost was €980 for up to eight people. We had 6 and our group and the van was comfortable. Eight people in the van would have been tight. Our guide for the day was Thierry, we were very impressed with his passion and knowledge of the Allied landing on June 6, 1944. It was an hour and a half drive to Omaha Beach which went by quick due to Thierry’s narration. We toured the American cemetery, Omaha and Utah beaches, Pointe Du Hoc and stopped for a delicious lunch in Saint Mere Eglise where we saw the church where Paratrooper John Steele got caught on the steeple when he was trying to land in the town square to fight the Germans. Thierry was a great guide and we had no trouble understanding his English. May 25 Southampton to Heathrow – Princess Disembarkation was the easiest we ever experienced. We put our bags out the night before and found all three easily the next morning. We did leave fairly early so not sure if this was a factor. We chose private arrangements on the form and had passenger services change us to 6:55 am disembarkation for our 7:30 pickup. It was fast and efficient. We used Smiths for Airports for transfer for four back to Heathrow for £163 pounds. We were waiting on our driver by 7:05 am. Wait under the signs not on the sidewalk in the lanes. The driver must come in and confirm that you are there before bringing the car into the lanes to pick you up. We left at 7:45 am and arrived at Heathrow at 9:20 am for a 12:50 pm flight. Had business class for two of us. Checked in and through security in 20 minutes. Our fellow travelers had to wait in security for approximately an hour before clearing. The departure gate was cramped and hot but we timed it so we only had to wait for 15 minutes to board. At Heathrow you wait in the giant shopping area until your gate is called ~30 minutes before your flight. Crown Princess British Isles Notes: Crown Princess Mini Suite D618 – we had plenty of storage space and loved the extra room in the bathroom with the real tub and shower and the clothesline which we used a lot. We had planned to ask for hangers but found an adequate supply in the closet. We did take 4 pants hangers which was great when we had to hang dry our clothes. The balcony had two chairs with ottomans and a small table. We enjoyed the extra cabin space in the mini suite and the sofa; our friends often came to our room for a drink before dinner or to hang out in the evening. One note about cabin D618, we were startled early on the first tender day as the tender that lived just below our balcony was deployed and the gears were quite loud as it moved away from the ship and then was lowered down – it was fun to watch it deploy, you just need to know that if you are on Deck 9 in a mini suite, you may hear and see tender boats on tender days. PRIVATE VS SHIP TOURS – For the first time, we did a mix of private vs. ship tours and were very happy with the private tours. We are cautious travelers and only chose private tours with 5 star ratings and they all lived up to their reviews. When we had a private tour for a non-tender port, we just blended in with departing Princess tour groups, got off the ship and found our guides. We will definitely book private tours for future cruises. Private arrangements do require some extra time and planning for the tender ports. TENDERING - For tender ports, Guernsey, Kirkwall and Edinburgh allow extra time if you have private tours. There were tender delays even for the Princess tours due to high winds at Guernsey and Kirkwall. At one point during the Kirkwall day, waves were so rough that a crew member was hurt and tendering was suspended for an hour. There was a 90 minute wait to get a tender at Guernsey later in the day. LAUNDRY - Laundry was a crap shoot and as expected impossible on a sea day. If you are a super early riser or late nighter your chances are better. My sister started her laundry at 5 am and had company while she was there. Deck 9 had 2 working washers and only 1 dryer so we ended up hang drying a lot of clothes which was not a problem, it just takes extra time if you are out of clean clothes. We used the bathroom clothesline quite a bit. Deck 10 had 1 working washer and 2 working dryers. If you intend to do multiple loads buy your tokens early. You swiped your cruise card and it is $3 per wash and $3 per dry and $1.50 for detergent. I should have brought Woolite or similar as I did hand wash a bit but I managed with body wash and shampoo. I did bring tide pods and dryer sheets with me. Later in the trip, we checked and finally found an open dryer and ran our hang drying clothes down while it was free. BRITISH ISLE CLOTHING - With such long port days, I easily could have gotten away with only 1 or 2 pair of dress pants and rotated shirts. Since this was our 3rd cruise, we don’t always want a huge meal every night. We only ate randomly in the dining room and even then only 5 out of the 12 nights. We grabbed pizza, a hamburger/hotdog or ate at the buffet when we didn’t want to change for dinner after a really long tour day. Nice jeans or khakis and collared shirt or polo worked for most nights in the dining room for my husband. I should have brought more jeans/casual pants since we did have a few days of wearing jeans for 3rd or 4th time as I was trying to find an open washer/dryer in the very busy of laundry room. We only did one formal night and my husband did fine with a long sleeve collared shirt and khakis and I wore a blouse with black pants. We saw plenty of people who looked lovely in tuxedos and formal gowns but we were not wasting precious suitcase space on fancy clothes on our 16 day vacation. WEATHER – I believe Scotland is having the hottest summer on record for June but for May all previous advice was accurate, layers, layers, and more layers. We took a warm coat and a rain jacket and alternated them or wore both at the same time depending on wind and rain. We really only had one very rainy day although we expected more. Lots of partly sunny days. I was happy to have a scarf and hat most days. Long sleeve shirts were a good base layer and I wore a sweater 3 days. I expected the weather to be in the 50s and 60s but the wind made it feel much cooler. My sister bought a warm hat in Kinsale because it was colder than she expected. FOOD - we weren’t sure what to expect with Princess and British Isles food but we were happy overall. We cruise specifically by itinerary and find cruising to be the best solution for us budget wise with meals/hotel/transportation all rolled into one, especially in places where we would never drive. We had been warned to expect bland, simple food in Scotland and Ireland and were pleasantly surprised at the delicious food at every stop. We had all sorts of yummy comfort food including cottage pies, fish and chips and hearty soups with sandwiches. We did not have one bad meal in port. Crown Princess food was as expected, a few stand out dishes but mostly average. As mentioned before, we don’t cruise for the food or ship entertainment just for the travel and transportation. Formal nights were the day of Guernsey and the first sea day. We only did one formal night and my husband did fine with a long sleeve collared shirt and khakis and I wore a blouse with black pants. We saw plenty of people in tuxedos and formal gowns but we were not wasting precious suitcase space on fancy clothes. We had anytime dining and turned up between 6 pm and 7:15 pm for each night in the Dining Room – we only ate there 5 out of 12 nights and Formal nights were more crowded. If the wait was going to be more than a few minutes they gave you a pager so we grabbed a drink at the International Café while we waited. We had less wait when we went at 6:15 or 6:45 vs. 6:30. On our last dining room night the night before Le Havre, we were moved to one of the fixed dining rooms and had better service than in the Michelangelo Dining Room. TIPPING - We haven’t cruised in 5 years so this may now be the norm but Princess automatically adds 18% for alcohol. On past cruises with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean we were able to add tip and decide how much to charge. Princess also doesn’t give you a receipt, you just have to hope the bill is right and check your bill periodically. They do have a self-serve kiosk where you scan your cruise card and get a print out or use the Princess @ Sea app. PRINCESS @ Sea app: The app was good for checking your stateroom balance by day and the total spent. Each person sees what they spent and the cardholder on file sees all cardholders. The messenger part was somewhat disappointing since it didn’t notify you when you received a message which made it difficult to make arrangements if you were traveling with other people. You had to occasionally check to see if you had received a message. Hopefully this will change when the Ocean Medallion service is finally rolled out. There were Carnival employees on board working on the service but about all we saw was the TV system was updated some to support on demand programming. Not sure how ocean medallion rollout will change this. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the price and cabin. Having sailed with Princess before and in a rear-facing cabin which we loved. The only thing that was not as expected was the restaurant. We normally opt for Any Time dining and usually ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the price and cabin. Having sailed with Princess before and in a rear-facing cabin which we loved. The only thing that was not as expected was the restaurant. We normally opt for Any Time dining and usually eat late 8.30pm and have not had much trouble getting a table for two, but on this cruise, everybody seemed to want to eat at that time and tables for two. The system when this happens is that you are given a pager and they call you when a table becomes available. This worked very well as the bar is adjacent to the restaurant and was handy for pre-dinner drinks. I think the longest we had to wait was 15 minutes, no time at all. The shows were a bit low on the quality side and having cruised with Princess many times we have noticed that the resident dancers seem to be doing less and less. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose the British Isles! Great ports, short on time, but we did so much I don't know where they would have found more time. Overall experience was great. All of the ports were fun and had loads of things to do. Perhaps one ... Read More
We chose the British Isles! Great ports, short on time, but we did so much I don't know where they would have found more time. Overall experience was great. All of the ports were fun and had loads of things to do. Perhaps one change would be stay one day in Doublin and two days in Edinburgh! We chose outside tours and were thrilled with them. Saved a considerable amount of money on them, too. The tours are smaller, personalized and just more fun than those offered by Princess. We had big problems with the assistance at the Front Service Desk. A JOKE! Fortunately everything went pretty smoothly, but the one hiccup was a major deal. Unfortunately, the Service Desk agents gave a different answer for the same question. Even asking to speak with the manager didn't get much help. Promised to call back and never did. Unacceptable. Apparently getting off the ship for a few days is something no one has ever done before (hah)! Our friends got approval from Princess before making reservations. The Crown Princess did everything to make this a terrible expereince for them. On the departure date they were told to go to immigration at 6:40am. They did. They were sent to three different places and no one was there. Nice way to end the cruise. The dinners were fine. Quality a little less than it used to be. We had an outstanding waiter at dinner who made the entire trip worthwhile. Hermanie was excellent! We never saw the Captain (except at the Platinum and Above Cocktail Awards event). Saw very few of the 'suits' walking around. Usually they are a lot more present than that. The Crown Princess is getting worn. It needs updating. The public bathrooms were terrible, tile falling off the wall, etc. Carpeting in the buffet was worn out. It has always been such a beautiful ship it's a shame to see it in such a state of disrepair. But the beauty of the British Isles is worth the trip. Such a lovely area to enjoy. The peace, beauty and history are worth the trip. Read Less
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