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312 Princess Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We sailed on the Sky from 11/10/19 - 11/17/19. The ship is beautiful and huge. Cabin: Our mini-suite was roomy (for a cruise cabin). There were several outlets (both US and Europe) so we didn't need our extension cord with extra ... Read More
We sailed on the Sky from 11/10/19 - 11/17/19. The ship is beautiful and huge. Cabin: Our mini-suite was roomy (for a cruise cabin). There were several outlets (both US and Europe) so we didn't need our extension cord with extra outlets. There are also USB outlets in the lamps.The issue that we had with the cabin (E202) was that we could hear music. We were not sure if it was from the theater, piazza, or somewhere else. Food: There is a large choice of restaurants (several for an extra cost). We did not care for the buffet food at all, but we were glad to see that they had 3 sinks at each entrance to the buffet and that staff was enforcing that passengers washed their hands before entering the buffet.Not one case of norovirus reported on our cruise. The food in the MDR was good but not great. I would have expected great like our other Princess cruises. The really bad part was the speed of service. Every dinner in the MDR was over 2 hours because the wait for food and drinks was extremely long. I am not certain what the issue was. The servers were extremely nice though. The Crown Grill was superb! We could not have been happier with our meals. Food and service were excellent. And believe it or not, took less time than in the MDR. Like on all Princess ships, we loved the International Cafe where we could get light snacks and specialty coffees. The pizza and appetizers at Alfredo's were very good, but again the service was slow. Spa: The services and the personnel at the spa were great. Again, noise was the issue. During my massage and during my wife's facial, we could hear music. I never experienced this on any other ship, let alone Princess.This may be because the spa was on deck 5 when I remember always seeing it on the higher decks. Shore Excursions: There were a huge amount of shore excursions. The ones that we booked were good. Entertainment: Take 5 lounge is great. Very relaxing place to sit and have a drink and have some conversation. The main shows were somewhat underwhelming. The escape room which we were looking forward to was not open yet. All in all, it was an OK cruise but not great. I would almost say that it was a great Carnival cruise at Princess prices. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We sailed on the third cruise of Sky Princess, 7 days in the Med. This was our 19th Princess Cruise so we do have a basis of comparison. I echo the sentiment of a previous reviewer about the inadequate elevators. The forward bank of ... Read More
We sailed on the third cruise of Sky Princess, 7 days in the Med. This was our 19th Princess Cruise so we do have a basis of comparison. I echo the sentiment of a previous reviewer about the inadequate elevators. The forward bank of elevators, outside of the Princess Theater, had only three of the four elevators in operation for the entire cruise. This is one of the busiest locations on the ship. The operating elevators through out the ship were extremely slow. Or was it too few elevators for the number of passengers? The earlier reviewer didn't mention the Nora virus. The second cruise was plagued by the Nora virus, passengers and crew members. Between the second cruise and third cruise boarding there was additional sanitation of the ship, which delayed boarding, room availability and embarkation. During our cruise the Captain reported several times a day about the enhanced sanitation required. Between 9 - 14 passengers "reported" being ill during our 7 day cruise. As a result, enhanced sanitary procedures took place everywhere. This was most notable at the buffet where everything was served. Passengers were not allowed to touch serving utensils, dishes, glasses, etc. This was an additional burden on the crew as well as passengers. This was our first experience with the "Medallion" and it worked most of the time. Several crew members complained about them. There was a learning curve to their usage. Food was very good and there were a number of new, for fee, dining locations. Sabatini's menu had changed, no steak and several other item changes.. Ship shops were definitely up scaled, more expensive and we had just been on the Sapphire Princess the week prior. We watched rehearsal for a new "production" show but the Sky Princess offered only one "production" show for the trip...Rock Opera. The show received a standing ovation but others complained later about how loud it was. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I were on the 28-day Grand Mediterranean Adventure on the Sky Princess, the fourth in the line of Royal-Class Princess Ships. The cruise was early of the inaugural season, and it wasn’t without some bumps, but overall, we ... Read More
My husband and I were on the 28-day Grand Mediterranean Adventure on the Sky Princess, the fourth in the line of Royal-Class Princess Ships. The cruise was early of the inaugural season, and it wasn’t without some bumps, but overall, we believe the Sky Princess is a good ship that offers something for everyone. Overview: The Sky Princess is an exquisite addition to the Princess Cruise Line’s Royal-Class ships. Returning guests will find many well-loved familiar features, such as the multi-story Piazza Atrium, International Café, the Vines Wine Bar and an expanded Princess Live. There is also a new gathering spot, Take Five, a large jazz club that offers a terrific location for those seeking a cocktail and some quiet jazz music. It’s worth noting that this was a somewhat controversial move; Take Five supplanted Crooner’s and the Wheelhouse. Perhaps in response to the outcry from passengers, the Enchanted Princess, the next in the Royal Class line, will offer both Crooner’s and Take Five, according to the cruise line’s website. The ship also features an all-new Phantom Bridge escape room, although it was not ready when we boarded. We heard it would open during December 2019. Service: We were told on several occasions that the staff for this inaugural cruise was “hand selected.” If that’s the case, they selected well. Throughout the ship, service was, as far as we are concerned, five-star. Yes, guests will be asked to wait for a table during peak times for Anytime Dining, but that’s to be expected. We found the table service in the Main Dining Room and the Specialty Restaurants to be outstanding. Captain and Cruise Director: Captain Laakkonen was among the best we’ve experienced on the Princess Line. His noon briefings from the bridge were always entertaining, and we were impressed with the number of appearances he made throughout the day, including a Cruise Director Q&A that was informative, entertaining and humorous. Our Cruise Director, Alex Yepremian was also among the best we’ve experienced on Princess. He was thoroughly involved in guest activities and maintained an upbeat presence 24/7. We’ve never seen a Cruise Director who was so visible, and guests seemed to love it. Cabins: We love the new softer, and more spa-like, look of the cabins. In addition to the traditional plugs, the lamps feature USB plugs for charging computers and smart devices. Our balcony felt slightly larger, but we can’t fact check that. We did enjoy our time on the balcony, which featured two lounge-like chairs that recline as well as a small dining table. Unfortunately, the extra interior chair and table has been removed from the cabin, leaving only one desk chair. At times when we ordered room service, we moved the balcony chair into the cabin. It is also possible to request a larger “dining” table for a meal, but it made for crowded service. Bathroom: We were happy with the bathroom. The shower, while small, was serviceable. We were particularly impressed by the water pressure, which was outstanding. Others have noted the odd placement of the toilet roll under the vanity, but that area offers additional storage if you prepare for it. We brought a tray that we bought at Target (Dimensions - 13.78 L x 10.24 W x 2.4 D) that quite coincidently fit perfectly under the vanity. I stored my make-up there and moved it to the desk/vanity area when applying make-up. Gym: The gym on this ship is enormous, with something for everyone. We were particularly pleased that, while crowded, we never had to wait for a treadmill. On the other hand, we were extremely disappointed that the treadmills, while brand new, did not offer any fan feature whatsoever. This, combined with the stale air frequently found in a crowded gym, made for an uncomfortable experience. Otherwise, the gym was five-star. Dining: We really enjoyed the menus in the Main Dining Room. Because we were onboard for 28 days, there were several “repeat” menus, but there was enough variety that we were typically quite happy with our options. Buffet: The buffet is enormous and well stocked with a variety of International foods. We don’t tend to eat at the buffet, but on the occasions that we did, it seemed that there was something for everyone, although clean and available tables could be hard to come by. Speciality Restaurants: Bistro del Mar: Bistro del Mar was a major disappointment for us. As background, we had not heard great things about the specialty dining restaurant, but we like to try things for ourselves. The escargot fried balls appetizer was greasy and almost inedible (and we love escargot). My husband’s duck was serviceable, although he admitted that he makes better duck at home. I ordered the fish and chips, which presented more as fish sticks just a bit larger than French fries. Overall, a big disappointment. But the most disturbing aspect of Bistro del Mar is its placement. It’s an on the Promenade Deck 7 overlooking the Plazza. There are no doors or any form of soundproofing to separate activities occurring in the Plazza. That would be fine if the Plazza were featuring a string quartet (as it often does), but on the night we dined, they were hosting some sort of disco trivia night. To add insult to injury, in addition to ambient sound, they actually broadcast the disco trivia festivities into the speakers in the restaurant. We left before dessert in frustration. Sabatini’s: In the past, Sabatini’s has been more of a “chef’s table” experience, where most courses are preselected for you and you have a choice among a few items. The new menu offers more choice, but we found it slightly less satisfying. The fondue was actually more of an overly rich soup, although the pasta dishes were (as always) absolutely delicious. The main dishes were quite good, but, overall, we prefer the “old” Sabatini’s. Ocean Terrace: We loved the sushi bar, which features something for everyone (even those who don't like sushi.) Prices were outstanding there and they offer nice appetizers with purchase of a drink. The Ocean Medallion Experience: This is where Princess will (eventually) shine. They are currently treading a thin line because a portion of their guests are older and would prefer to leave their smart phones (if they have them) at home. We, however, loved it, and look forward to the day when it adds more functionality, including daily menus, a full listing of program activities, etc. Currently, our favorite Medallion features include the “find a shipmate” feature that allows you to locate friends on board, as well as the feature that allows your Medallion to open your door upon arrival. We found the feature that allows you to order a drink delivered to your table to be overly difficult to use. We did figure it out, but it was glitchy during our voyage, and often didn’t register the orders. In the end, we mostly opted to stand in line at places like the International Café, although it’s easy to see that this feature will be terrific once it gets worked out. Shops: It appears is much more space devoted to shopping, a trend we’re seeing more often on cruise ships. We don’t shop in the stores – they tend to be overpriced and we’d rather spend our money ashore – but it did seem that folks were enjoying the shopping experience. Library: The ship no longer offers a library, much to the disappointment of many guests. There was, however, a “mobile library” that featured a range of new best sellers. Guests found this difficult, because the mobile library was available only during brief times. Cruisers on the Sky (or other future Royal ships) would be well advised to bring their own books, or download them to their smart devices. Production Shows: Seeing a production show requires advance preparation (the Princess Theater does not offer adequate seating), so guests must try to get to their seats at least 30 minutes in advance. We’d heard great things about a new show called “Five Skys,” so we arrived at the theater an hour prior to showtime and were among the last to get a seat. We were blown away by the costumes, dance, singing and staging. The storyline for “Five Skies” is odd at best. It’s built around a gamer (yes a gamer) who is trying to reach all the “fifth sky.” I’m not sure why Princess thinks there will be gamers in the audience, since they make up a small and very specific portion of the population. Coincidentally, my husband is a serious gamer (he loves international travel because he can collect unique Pokémon characters), but even he found the premise for the show ridiculous. Storyline aside, though, it was thoroughly entertaining. Medical: Unfortunately for me, I had an opportunity to experience the Medical Services on board the ship. I had contracted an acute upper respiratory infection that required treatment. I found the medical professionals on board the Sky to be top notch. They triage guests efficiently, and treat all with respect. Because I had a fever, I was put into isolation until my fever was normal for 24 hours. It took 48 hours, during which time I discovered that those in isolation can order room service off the Main Dining Room menu, which is a nice touch for those who want it. Lotus Spa: Shortly after being released from medical isolation, I decided to treat myself to a hair styling in the Lotus Spa. While the wash and blow dry was fine, I must say the tactic of “hair shaming” – pointing out dryness, lack of body, etc. – in an attempt to upsell to a conditioning treatment to be tasteless. I’d have had no issue with an offer to add a conditioning treatment, but my stylist talked throughout my blow dry session about the quality of my hair. It was extremely unpleasant and I made a note not to return. Enclave: The Enclave is a favorite spot for us during sea days. It’s pricy, but if you have sufficient on-board credit (as we did by combining a $1,000 OBC Landmark Sale with $300 in Future Cruise Deposit dollars and a $250 Shareholder OBC), it is, in our opinion, a terrific expenditure of dollars. It should be noted that the Enclave is a very different product to the Thermal Spa on pre-Royal class ships. The Thermal Spa is nice, but does not in any way compare to the luxurious offering of the Enclave, which includes 12 hot loungers, steam showers, three spas and a large hydro pool. In the past, we were told passes were limited to 40, but we’re not sure that they were as limited during our voyage. It was, at times, quite crowded, with people having to wait a bit to get a hot lounger, which is “home base” during a visit to the Enclave. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a seven day mediterranean cruise I took with my two sisters. We chose this ship because we were limited to this specific week and there weren't that many choices for a seven day cruise in November, plus we were excited to be ... Read More
This was a seven day mediterranean cruise I took with my two sisters. We chose this ship because we were limited to this specific week and there weren't that many choices for a seven day cruise in November, plus we were excited to be on a new ship, the Sky Princess had just launched a few weeks prior. Overall, we had a great time, the ship was new and clean, staff were helpful, excursions were fun and mostly the food was very good. I've been on Celebrity, HAL, NCL mainstream lines as well as Crystal. I was looking forward to the Princess brand, having heard good things and thought it would be on par with Celebrity and HAL. I was somewhat disappointed and would probably choose the other two over Princess in the future unless the itinerary was what I really wanted. I'm not saying that Princess was bad, just a little below what I expected. For a brand new ship I was expecting some wow or surprises, but everything just was average and the same. This was a medallion cruise and that was the major innovation encountered. Not sure if it added that much to our trip other than not having to scramble for a card when needed. But it did help when ordering, as we had the drink package the bartenders did not have to verify anything and the ordering on your cell phone was pretty cool when I tried it, it worked for drinks but food was slow and came cold. Also, there are some privacy issues with medallion such as your default photo comes up as you pass the interactive screens throughout the ship as well as the full names of all the individuals in your cabin are listed on the screen outside your door. Other things I was underwhelmed with were the shower curtain still being used on a brand new ship, the specialty seafood restaurant we tried was no better than the main dining room, there were few occasions of rude staff both to me and observed to other guests, and I found the other guests in general to be more pushy and rude than comparable lines - not everyone of course- but more than there should be. Some issues may have been due to noro being on this cruise when we boarded and despite the crew's best efforts it was never fully eradicated causing so much extra work for a new ships crew (those touch screens throughout the ship may not be the best to avoid noro). Embarkation was delayed several hours. Our cabin steward was great and always cheerful, but it was obvious the poor guy was exhausted, as were much of the staff. So maybe these combined issues contributed to some of the issues we observed. We ate most meals in the main dining room and Alfredos, these were mostly very good. We tried the buffet once, but there were long lines due to the noro and the fellow passengers were pushy and rude. As noted the specialty restaurant was fine, but not special. We only went to one show with the singers and dancers, it was quite good. We didn't do any trivia or similar activities. As a port intensive cruise, we were not on the ship during the day much, but the one sea day was fun to spend on the outside loungers of which there were many to spare. The Princess excursions we took were either good or very good. I wished there were more enrichment activities, I didn't see any on the dailies (only port talks which were at inopportune times). Overall a good time, maybe my expectations were a little high. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship is new. We got a Norovirus alert the day before we got on. Yes hard to believe a new ship with Norovirus. The crew was diligent and worked hard so that by the time we completed the 14 day cruise everything was back to normal. ... Read More
The ship is new. We got a Norovirus alert the day before we got on. Yes hard to believe a new ship with Norovirus. The crew was diligent and worked hard so that by the time we completed the 14 day cruise everything was back to normal. Nonetheless it still prevented us from doing the galley tour as part of the Chef's Table. The staterooms are nicely appointed but with light colored carpet in the hallways the carpet is already starting to show stains. More importantly the elevators are in a word "screwed-up". They seem to trying different "solutions" for the elevators but for some reason the "solution" is evading them. Doesn't seem like rocket science. The staff is sketchy. Our steward Leonardo was excellent. The service staff in the common areas and dining rooms however lack experience and often are not attentive- it was hard to get a drink. Likewise the food is uninspired. Lastly, this is a new Medallion Class ship. What a pain. The process to get online requires tech expertise most cruisers lack. Likewise the app interface is not intuitive and awkward to navigate. Moreover the app promises access that it fails to deliver eg. the ability to order a drink online! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Worst cruise we have ever been on. We are platinum Princess guests and most likely will not use them ever again. We were excited to be on a brand new ship but what a dissapppointment. The ship was dirty and not well maintained. We ... Read More
Worst cruise we have ever been on. We are platinum Princess guests and most likely will not use them ever again. We were excited to be on a brand new ship but what a dissapppointment. The ship was dirty and not well maintained. We sailed on the 2nd week of its inauguration. 2 elevators were down the entire 2 weeks we sailed. Staff was not trained and didn't know answers to basic questions. Floor in the buffet area was constantly dirty. Norovirus outbreak because people were grabbing items from the buffet without using utensils or washing their hands. Captain grossly under reported the number of people sick. Dining room had slow service and mediocre food. Buffet was severely limited because of the virus outbreak and food there was unimaginative and not tasty. The only time you got drinks served in a timely manner was when management was present. The capper to it all was the day I used a public restroom on deck 5. There was a stall with a large amount of human feces in the stall and paper towels all over the floor. Looks like it hadn't been cleaned in weeks. It was very hard for me to believe this is a new ship. Looks like some kind of refurbed older ship that had not been maintained. The carpet in the hallways was vacuumed maybe once a week. When my husband got sick with norvirus we called 911 as instructed and they did not know what we were talking about. Said someone would call us back but they never did. Other people we spoke to that got sick got a billl for $90 for calling on the phone - "consultation" we had a Carnival ship experience at Princess prices. NEVER AGAIN!!! Too many flaws to overlook Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on the Inaugural cruise of the Regal and we assumed that this inaugural cruise would be equally well done. WRONG! During the Regal inaugural cruise every Princess Entertainer of the Year was on board. The music and performances ... Read More
We were on the Inaugural cruise of the Regal and we assumed that this inaugural cruise would be equally well done. WRONG! During the Regal inaugural cruise every Princess Entertainer of the Year was on board. The music and performances were beyond wonderful. However, on the Sky there was no special effort to bring on board the best of the best. Sometimes it was impossible to find music anywhere. The entertainment was not as good as it usually is...second tier entertainers...there were two bands on board..they were okay but not the level we usually find on Princess. This was our 23rd Princess cruise. There was only one production show....no Crooners Bar, no Wheelhouse Bar (the only place to dance was the Piazza, which has a tile floor)...poor service in the buffet... the crew was friendly but did not seem to know what was expected of them..dirty tables and long waits for coffee at the buffet. At the International Cafe the usual wait for a cappuccino was 15 minutes. The elevators did not work properly and one was broken for an entire week. The signal lights for the elevators did not work properly, either. The chef repeated the first week’s menu for the second week! Should I send him a cookbook? We canceled our Caribbean cruise on the Sky and switched to the Regal! We feel as if we spent a lot of money for an experience that did not materialize. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We are mid-cruise on this near brand-new ship. I hope someone from Princess is reading this. This is the Sky Princess' second sailing, I believe. In many ways it is brilliant, and, in others, it is hugely frustrating and a let ... Read More
We are mid-cruise on this near brand-new ship. I hope someone from Princess is reading this. This is the Sky Princess' second sailing, I believe. In many ways it is brilliant, and, in others, it is hugely frustrating and a let down. Let's start with the positives. The staff are brilliant without exception. The state rooms are calming and elegantly decorated in contemporary style. The public areas spacious, comfortable and beautifully designed. The entertainment in the theatre the best we have ever experienced on any cruise anywhere. So what's the problem? Largely three fold. Firstly, the lifts are awful. Everyone is moaning about them. Permanent, interminable waiting time whenever you try and call one. Simply put there are not enough lifts to cope with the passenger load. Especially with one out of service from embarkation. Second, the service in the restaurants is very, very slow. Unacceptably slow. We kind of understood this in a speciality restaurant on night 1, but in the main restaurant?? Unusual. Finally, a linked point, service is generally a bit slow, even in moments when it doesn't seem that busy. It is hard to understand why. On a final note, the medallion system, which whilst superb in many ways, is not flawless. I can see some cruise passengers feeling more at home with standard key cards. One of the downsides is you don't see what you've been billed (ie at the bar) until you've checked it on the app. Not for everyone, I think. Overall - has great potential, and would be 5* for us if these issues highlighted above were eradicated. One has to hope that these are the teething problems, of a new crew, on a brand new ship. Our sense is they are. Time will tell. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Embarkation: Easy, quick, no hassles. Luggage delivery was another story. I was upgraded at the last minute as the ship wasn't full and my luggage got lost. It took 3 phone calls for someone to finally respond to the situation. ... Read More
Embarkation: Easy, quick, no hassles. Luggage delivery was another story. I was upgraded at the last minute as the ship wasn't full and my luggage got lost. It took 3 phone calls for someone to finally respond to the situation. My luggage showed up at my cabin about 7 hours after we boarded. Drinks Package: I ordered a drink package as I'm a big coffee drinker. My tumbler from the package never arrived. It took 2 days and being sent literally all over the ship to get the stupid cup. Various crew members didn't have any idea how to resolve my problem, including front desk staff and just kept sending me to other staff members who didn't know and didn't care at all. Food: Just okay? Our dining reservations were wrong - they changed suddenly and it took almost 2 hours to fix on upon arrival. Got stuck waiting behind two very loud and entitled men who yelled at dining staff because they wanted a chef's table and the slots were full. Wouldn't take no for answer, escalated with threats and raised voices. Dining staff didn't seem to know how to handle the situation and it made the 12 people behind these two loudmouths wait for hours instead of dealing with them firmly. The buffet food started out okay but got progressively poorer as the week went on due to norovirus being on the ship. Few selections by the end and often cold. More formal dining options were generally kind of bland. Everything was way under seasoned. Dining Staff: Our seated meal staff did a great job. The buffet staff were operating at stall speed. The average wait for a drink was 10 minutes, if you could flag someone down in the first place. Dirty dishes sat uncleared. Lots of buffet staffers standing about waiting for instructions. There seemed to be something wrong with how it was being managed because the buffet staff often seemed confused about what they were supposed to be doing. Coffee Bar: Good service, good coffee. Snacks were pretty good, small portions. Gelato Bar: Overpriced, mostly ice. Bland. Don't bother. Alfredo's Pizza: Very good, better meals there than some of the buffet offerings. Entertainment: Cruise director and staff were lovely-- friendly and excellent at handling pax who had too much to drink and would heckle and get rude with them. Kristoff from South Africa is savage, loved him. Rock Opera was just okay. I wanted the Jim Henson Puppet Show to be good but it was just wasn't. It was kind of boring and the writing was poor. They were debuting it and I don't think it ran again next week, so I'm not sure if it's being reworked or shelved or what. It was staged in the Take Five lounge, which was the wrong venue for it. Day time rehearsals for the puppet show closed off parts of the ship for most of the week, which annoyed a lot of cruises. Spa: Took my mother for a spa service. My mother had a good experience with her facial. I got a pedicure. The staffer assigned to me was nearly 15 minutes late to the appointment, who knows why as she wasn't helping anyone before me. She was rude and shamed me repeatedly for the shape of one of my toes (I was professional dancer in another life and two of my toes aren't straight on because of repeated stress fractures). Tried to upsell me into $150 of spa products I repeatedly declined. Each time I declined, she only got more aggressive and rude and asked me why I was wasting her time if I wasn't going to buy anything. I should have demanded the manager but left almost in tears. I will never, ever visit another Princess Spa again. Adults Only Area: Most Princess ships have a pool area that's meant to keep children out which is often great when you are on a cruise with a lot of screaming kids at the pool. These new ships have ditched this for a private area of the ship that is an additional $40 a day. What does $40 get you? Nothing, from what I can tell? Just some lounge chairs, no pool, no spa. We took a tour just to see what it was like and it was absolutely empty. A total money grab. Ports: Most were great. Poorly organized re-entry from Florence that left 200+ pax standing in the pouring rain for an hour, while cruise staff let 2 people on at a time. Angry pax shouting at cruise staff while be forced to stand in a downpour. Security people couldn't figure out what to do and instead just got defensive and rude. Inside, long line at the front desk of soaking wet pax met with blank stares and indifference about what was going on outside. One woman from the front desk just shrugged and said: well, that's not my issue. The rudest front desk staff I've yet encountered on a cruise. Norovirus: Extremely lax standards for handwashing and public area cleanliness. Norovirus hit the ship it's second week into service, which is pretty embarrassing and not a good reflection on the crew. We found out later that the Captain had misled passengers about the number of cases that were actually on the ship vs. the number of cases he claimed (it was a much lower number). Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our friends had invited us to join them on the Inaugural cruise of the Sky Princess for two weeks from Athens to Rome. Although we had cruised the Mediterranean several times in the past, and although we were veteran Platinum Princess ... Read More
Our friends had invited us to join them on the Inaugural cruise of the Sky Princess for two weeks from Athens to Rome. Although we had cruised the Mediterranean several times in the past, and although we were veteran Platinum Princess cruisers, this seemed to offer an interesting itinerary and the excitement of being on the maiden voyage of a brand new ship. While we expected there to be some last minute adjustments necessitated by these circumstances, we thought that this would be compensated for by extras added in celebration. Disappointingly, there were no extras, only deletions. These two weeks were actually two one-week cruises back-to-back, with different itineraries. Our major disappointment was in the caliber of entertainment offered. The first week featured a couple of outstanding comedians, one of whom was a clever ventriloquist as well, but this type of entertainment belonged in a lounge, not in a large theater. There were a couple of good singers, but once again, not suited to a large stage, especially with a lack of backup singers and dancers. Finally, on the last night of the first week (when many of the one-week cruisers were concerned about packing for the debarkation the following morning), the ship presented the premier of its Rock Opera, an over-amplified set of singers who sounded like they were screaming at the top of their lungs. Some of these singers appeared for us the following week in smaller productions and we were pleased to hear that they actually had pleasant voices when the sound engineers allowed them to project in a more natural way. Although the singers in Rock Opera strutted about the stage, there was still a minimal amount of dancing, if any. Rock Opera was repeated during the second week, but we naturally declined to be subjected once again to the screaming. The only other production during the second week was the premier of a Jim Henson Muppet review, very cleverly directed by John Tartaglia (original star of Avenue Q on Broadway), who apparently trained the regular crew entertainers to be puppeteers. They did an outstanding job. My only complaint was that since this was performed in a small lounge we had to get there one hour early to obtain seats. The second week also featured a comedian who was better suited to entertaining elementary school students with his mock improvisations. When we complained to the cruise director about the scarcity of large scale shows, he effectively blamed us, saying that we should know that inaugural cruises will be scaled down. One outstanding bit of entertainment was the dance band, who performed every night in the Atrium. It featured two talented female singers. Princess boasted about this being a Medallion Class ship, with many features available to us wearing the medallions around our necks or on our wrists. It was fun to approach our cabin doors and have them automatically greet us and unlock. We were also able to locate friends and family aboard the ship. But the medallions used four different apps that we downloaded to our cell phones. They were overlapping and perplexing and often unresponsive.. We had anytime dining, which generally worked well for us, since we arrived early. There were two entrances to the dining room with apparent lack of communication between the hostesses. For example, people who arrived at the starboard side entrance were sometimes told that, since there were no seats, they should scurry over to the port side to look for seats. The food quality was pretty good, and our servers were very pleasant, but it was all very slow. it seemed that the kitchen must have been poorly organized. The large buffet on Lido deck was also poorly organized. Seating seemed to be adequate, since friendly cruisers tend to share tables. It was difficult to find things with meaningless signs over different areas, which seemed to serve the same things, except for just a few items. Where was the yogurt and fresh bread at breakfast? Where were the salads at lunch? Lunch, in particular, offered the same boring choices each day Princess should learn from the parent company Carnival, on how to create an appetizing buffet selection. Furthermore, the sanitation at the buffet was very poor. Although there were washing stations at the entrance, they were off to the side and no one was there to remind passengers to wash. At first there were no sanitizing dispensers, either. So it was not surprising that the Norovirus appeared after several days. At that point the crew had to dispense food at the buffet, but they had problems adjusting to this. As for the rest of the ship, the balcony cabin was adequate, although the toilet paper dispensers in the bathrooms were placed in such a way that it was almost impossible to tear off more than one sheet at a time. While we had a large closet there was very little shelf or drawer space. The beds were very comfortable, though. As promised, there were many hot tubs outside, but it seemed that one-third of them were non-functional, perhaps part of the glitches on a new ship. In summation, we will probably return to Princess in the future, especially with their innovative itineraries, but NOT ON AN INAUGURAL CRUISE!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I’ll admit, this was my first cruise so maybe I don’t have anything to compare it to but I came away from this cruise totally thrilled. Sure there were hiccups, it was the inaugural cruise, but the very good far outweighed the bad. ... Read More
I’ll admit, this was my first cruise so maybe I don’t have anything to compare it to but I came away from this cruise totally thrilled. Sure there were hiccups, it was the inaugural cruise, but the very good far outweighed the bad. The Sky Princess is gorgeous, especially the piazza. Our cabin with balcony was more spacious than I expected with tons of storage facilities. Our steward was awesome and made me laugh the way he set out my pajamas each night. Thanks Ivan. I have never had service this amazing before. The food was fantastic. The bars, especially Vines, was also fantastic. I loved their wine flight. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. I had done my homework and was “ocean ready”. I had no problems with the medallion and I liked the bookmarking feature for daily events. I barely looked at the Patter. Entertainment was fantastic, especially the Rock Opera show on our last evening. The costumes and music were broadway quality. We did one ship’s shore excursion to Amalfi and while crazy expensive, it was very well done. I have motion issues and was concerned about that, but I almost forgot I was at sea, I felt very little motion at all. Smooth sailing. I was very sad to leave this lovely ship. I’d go back in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We boarded the inaugural cruise at Athens (Piraeus). The bag drop and check In was a tented affair on the dock car park. The overall process was quite informal, and not quite the song and dance that we assumed would accompany such a ... Read More
We boarded the inaugural cruise at Athens (Piraeus). The bag drop and check In was a tented affair on the dock car park. The overall process was quite informal, and not quite the song and dance that we assumed would accompany such a memorable occasion. We were asked to leave our bags at the entrance to the tent, but oddly no receipts were issued. We were welcomed by a member of staff whom guided us to one of the make-shift desks where we handed over our passports and were issued with our ‘Medallion’ ID lanyards. These were the new facility on these ‘Medallion’ Class ships where you are identified and have proximity detectors all around the ship so that staff can identify you and charge everything to your account. You need to have the App, which seemed to have quite a few teething problems throughout our trip – more on that later. Boarding was also very uneventful, and we literally strolled onboard and were left to our own devices. No champagne or cocktail welcome, nothing at all, (not even a hello from senior crew), quite an anti-climax to be honest. We had an aft balcony room on Riviera deck (14), 107 which was quite a walk towards the back of the ship. As there were 4 of us (2 adults and 2 kids), we opted for a twin with sofa bed and drop down bunk. Overall, the room was understandably brand new with no apparent wear or tear, and had quite a nice ambience. Maybe not as big as we had expected, (around 197sq ft), but more than adequate. We had a fridge, direct dial phone, in room TV, small desk and chair, hairdryer, shower, bathroom – with good size sink, drying line, bedside desks, safe, limited drawers, but good sized open wardrobe. The ‘medallion’ opened your door as you approached and welcomed you by name on the small screen outside of your door. For those whom might like to travel incognito, there doesn’t appear to be an option to avoid your room occupant details being displayed on the door panel for all to see, along with your tier status. One of our new bags was also damaged by the porters, which oddly they asked to take away for repair. We got it back 2 days later with a very poor ‘fix’, customer services said that this was ‘standard’, which meant the case would have to be discarded at home. Facility wise, the ship was well equipped. There we a number of small to medium pools on deck 16, with plenty of hot tubs spread around this and deck 17. Loungers were plentiful and we didn’t have any issue at an stage in getting one. Towels and waiting staff were all around, along with a complimentary hot dog/burger bar & pizza bar around the pool. There was also an ice cream and popcorn concession called ‘Swirl’, but for the entire duration of the trip there was no one cream available. This was a common theme of this maiden voyage. There was also a well equipped gym with numerous class options. The equipment was high end and plentiful. Towels and water fountains were available. Restaurant options follow the usual Princess formula, with a few inclusive options, and others at a supplement. After some uninspiring reports from fellow guests whom used the premium restaurants, we were advised to avoid them until they got their act together- with poor/lengthy service being the main complaint. We dined in the ‘Soleil’ restaurant most nights as part of our Anytime dining option. The food itself was of a good standard, but the biggest problem for most of the trip was the wait for tables and time for food. It was clear from day 1 that staff were finding their feet, but as a few guests commented, we could understand if the kitchen had teething issues, but service is something that should be taken as read on a Princess cruise. To be fair, they did acknowledge the issues by offering all restaurant guests a free drink at their next sitting as an apology, but unfortunately it didn’t really improve for the whole trip. The Anytime Breakfast buffet on deck 16 was the biggest disappointment for us. In our view, the food quality and options were poor. We regularly attended empty dishes waiting for staff to refill, or a 20 minute wait for an omelette. Staff seemed to be on auto pilot, regularly walking by dirty dishes on tables, even when people were looking for places to sit. The general impression was that many had been given a ‘task’, be it getting drinks, which they followed to the letter. No deviation or common sense that a client doesn’t know what your task is, so when they ask for cutlery or a napkin, they don’t expect to be told ‘ask one of my colleagues’. They had a few pieces of high-tech equipment in the shape of touch screen automated coffee and drinks dispensers – sadly though, they were constantly out of service, some for the whole cruise. Their standard response was for us to walk about 150ft to the serving station further up.. Entertainment wise, we can say that it got better as the cruise went on. Inaugural nerves clearly affected some of the first performances, but the orchestra were excellent and the Saturday night ‘Rock Opera’ show was as good as any we have ever seen. There was also a number of bars and cafes throughout the ship, which again were terribly slow. So for those whom buy the premium coffee packages, expect a lengthy wait unless you are an early bird. The coffee itself was actually quite nice, but having one member of staff serving a line of 12 people is ridiculous. Similarly, the only ice cream concession on the ship proved to be nice but oddly unattractive. The actual cost of $1 per scoop was reasonable, but most people we met felt ‘nickle and dimed’ by the silly marketing display. As an unknown quantity for this new ship, the intention of ‘first scoop free’ was logical and appealing. However, when the server literally served a 5c sized ‘taster’ in a full sized bowl, most folk looked bemused. Almost universally, the comment ‘where is my free scoop’ was met with the reply, ‘that’s all we give’. Really??! Most just walked away, rather than pay the otherwise reasonable price. A definite own goal, especially when clients had no access to the defective outlet on deck 16. Shopping on board was definitely high end. The quality and selection was good, especially in the watch and jewellery shops, where we listed over some wonderful pieces. Oddly, there was very little by way of provision for kids/teen/youth clientele, missing a trick in the process. We promised to kit out our teen onboard, but there was very little other than a small adult t-shirt available. Alcohol and perfumery was competitive, although the art auctions seemed excessive – but everyone to their own. The Lotus Spa was well appointed, and one of the few parts of the ship which seemed to have adequate staff. However, as an example, $269 excluding the 20% service for a 55 minute massage was even more expensive than that which we paid in the 6 star Burj Al Arab in Dubai, so we passed. To be fair, they did do a discounted day at sea, which was around half the cost. The Movies under the stars on deck 16 was a highlight for us. Being able to see a blockbuster movie on a bus sized screen behind the funnels, whilst sitting munching popcorn on a lounger by the pool was a fab way to spend the night. As for the shore excursions, rather than listing them all here, I have reviewed them separately to ensure this review is not excessively long. Conclusion The ship itself was fine, having everything new was a novelty and appealing. Facility wise, yes, there could be more ‘fun’ items like slides or kid friendly outdoor items, but as the majority of cruisers on Princess are of an older age, it’s understandable as to why they opted for the facilities given. The kids club was clean and well provisioned, think Play stations and Xbox with some creative options, but our two wouldn’t use them as they’d prefer to be out in the sun/pool. Overall I’m not sure we would do an ‘inaugural’ cruise again, as there was far too many teething issues on this ship, none of which seemed of concern to Princess. I appreciate that admitting things weren’t exactly going to plan may be embarrassing to them, but some form of gesture or acknowledgement of the deficiencies would have been a welcome and appropriate touch. Leaving 3 hours late due to defective engines, fire alarms sounding erroneously, catering equipment being defective for the entire trip and consistently poor service throughout would seem a good reason to review that policy. Would we use Princess again, at the moment we haven’t decided. Whilst we have kids, our next trip is probably going to be on one of Royal Caribbeans’ established mega ships. That way we can keep them entertained and we can have a good variety of options for us. Tips Balcony rooms easily accommodate 2 adults and 2 kids. We did view a mini suite, but it’s almost identical, so save your money. Definitely get a drinks package for the kids if you have them, as it will work out cheaper for your cruise. The adult alcoholic option is only really of value if you drink more than 3 alcoholic drinks a day. If you aren’t happy with your service onboard but have a number of individuals whom you’d prefer to reward on your own, don’t think twice about requesting a reduction in the standard gratuity costs. It’s one of the few options you have to record and express your disappointment, but without depriving those whom you felt served you well. Even if it’s a 50% reduction, you can make your point and give the rest in cash to your room attendant or server. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First of all like to say the cruise living is fantastic and as usual was very well looked after by wonderful staff. Cons- Beautiful new ship with plenty of room to wonder around without feeling crowded. Alway found seat in Buffet area ... Read More
First of all like to say the cruise living is fantastic and as usual was very well looked after by wonderful staff. Cons- Beautiful new ship with plenty of room to wonder around without feeling crowded. Alway found seat in Buffet area with new layout, plenty of couples seat and tables for larger groups. Food in fine dining restaurants was always good although usually lukewarm Entertainment was probably best I have experienced on princess cruises. Cruise Director was always upbeat and keep everyone well informed with upcoming events. Pro's - Seem very Low key for Inaugural cruise and would have expected a bit more fanfare with such a event- Lifts were the worst i have experienced although I manly walked the stairs. The worst complaint for me was the lux attitude to washing hands in dining areas with wash basins on side, most people avoided washing hands which I think will course problem in the future. Wine prices in fine dining was way over the top-14/15 $us for a glass with a very small serve. Overall enjoyed cruise and ports and will continue to support Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Let's start with the great.... the entertainment was off the charts, much superior to any other cruise we have taken, all STELLAR! Embarkation and debarkation were organized and a breeze. The food and service was best in the ... Read More
Let's start with the great.... the entertainment was off the charts, much superior to any other cruise we have taken, all STELLAR! Embarkation and debarkation were organized and a breeze. The food and service was best in the specialty restaurant Sabatinnis. If you love Italian food, don't miss it. There were plenty of choices in the Speciality restaurants and although we did not try them all, we heard from other guests that they were all excellent. Elevators did not accommodate the massive numbers of guest and wait time was long. Be careful with shore excursions which are not created equal. Also, when you pick an excursion that includes your meal, you give up your ability to pick a great restaurant and are forced to a prix fix that was menza mens. That should not happen when you have one day in Italy.... a slice of chicken breast would not have been my pick. All in all, it was probably the best week of my life, perfect weather and magnificent Ports helped.The most difficult part was leaving. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We just came off the Sky Princess Inaugural Cruise from Athens to Barcelona (October 20th to the 27th). We then spent two days in Barcelona. This was our second Princess cruise, the first being the Crown Princess in 2007. We have also ... Read More
We just came off the Sky Princess Inaugural Cruise from Athens to Barcelona (October 20th to the 27th). We then spent two days in Barcelona. This was our second Princess cruise, the first being the Crown Princess in 2007. We have also done 3 Carnival (with the children) an RCL to Alaska and Celebrity Reflection about four years ago. Princess is our favorite cruise line. We have already booked a transatlantic on the Crown Princess in two years. The Sky Princess is immense, everything seems to be “super-sized” inside it. There are so many bars and places to eat you cannot try them all. What stuck us the most was how friendly and happy the staff was. The Ship decorations are wonderful, but not over the top glitzy. We had a cabin on the Sun deck. It is the standard Princess Balcony. Serviceable, not a huge amount of space, but how much time do you actually spend in the cabin anyway. Our Cabin Steward, Franco, was good. He always had a smile and a hello for us, even if he was the way down the hallway. If we asked for something (like a couple of extra towels), it was taken care of immediately and we did not have to ask again. Even though our Cabin was on the same deck as the Retreat Pool, we never had a chance to check it out, other than walking through it. Not enough Sea Days, I guess. We had anytime dining and the most we had to wait was about 5 minutes on maybe two nights. Overall the food was good and better. There were some outstanding things, some average, but generally good. The Beef Wellington was terrific. A few of the main courses for a couple of nights were a bit over cooked and dry on occasion. It is hard to cook for 4,000 people. We ate at the Crown Grill one night and it was fantastic! Our server, Ygenvey, was tremendous, he really made the experience wonderful. The dishes were excellent. We really enjoyed the dinner. The World Fresh Market Place (Buffet) was your typical Buffet. Some of the stuff was good, some not. A large selection, but not everything changed every day, so there were a large number of repeats. I thought the scrambled eggs they had for Breakfast were terrible. They were mealy and tasteless; however the made-to-order Omelets were good. Lunch for us was a combination of the Buffet or the Salty Dog Grill and the Slice Pizzeria. Both were acceptable. One day we ate lunch at Alfredo’s Pizzeria on Deck 7. The service there was a bit slow, but the pizza and the Calzone made up for it. The International Café was always busy and had some terrific little bites and desserts. My Wife had a Coffee Package and was there at least twice a day! Our favorite place, however, was Take 5, the Jazz Club on Deck 6. The music was nice, but the real draw were the three bartenders, Emil, Raisa and Wynn. We went there every night after Dinner and if we went to the Show. They became like old friends. We had a wonderful time sitting at the bar talking, drinking and listening to the music (although the musicians talked a little too much). The Princess Shops were a little disappointing, I thought, compared to what I remember from past cruises. The Sky Princess is a Medallion Cruise. The Medallions worked well. As you approach your cabin door, it recognizes you and unlocks the door. Otherwise it works like the old cards. You give it to the server, and they scan it when you order a drink or purchase something. We did not try ordering drinks with it at our seat, as everyone was so anxious to get your drink order. Manny, on the pool deck was terrific. He remembered our names, knew what we wanted to drink right away and was so friendly and attentive. It was nice when we were at Take 5, we never had to show the Medallion. The ship reads it and the staff can see you are there and make the necessary purchases for you. They have also integrated the on-board pictures to the Medallion and have done away with the printed proofs. Now you go to a terminal scan your Medallion and it pulls up all the pictures they have taken of you. Of course, it does not always read the Medallion when the pictures are taken, so a staff member must show you all the “unaffiliated” pictures to tie them into your Medallion. Not a real issue. A couple of nits to pick, one more annoying than the other. The more annoying one first. It is hard to find the rest room in certain locations. There is of course a sign on the wall, but no door is indicated. Just a plan paneled door. You must know to open that one to find a little alcove with the men’s and women’s rooms inside. It could have more clear signage. The other one is that the ship was so new it did not have everything loaded. I forgot my cuff links for the formal night. In the past, I rented them. This time they had not loaded the formal wear items for rent yet. The second formal night, we say they had everything for rent, but by then I had solved the problem by buying some cuff links in Corfu made of olive wood. The absolute best element, however, is when the ship is leaving port and blows the ships horn, it is then followed by the horn playing a riff from the Love Boat Theme. Terrific Idea! Each time it sounded there were cheers and applause on the deck. To sum up, it was a terrific amazing week and the ship is the main reason why. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
In our experience cruises are good, better, or the best. This cruise was on the lower end of good. The itinerary was great, but some of the staff seemed to be going through the motions at the end of a long Mediterranean season. We ... Read More
In our experience cruises are good, better, or the best. This cruise was on the lower end of good. The itinerary was great, but some of the staff seemed to be going through the motions at the end of a long Mediterranean season. We missed the smiles and sparkle we saw from the crew of the Pacific Princess, which we were on less than a week before this cruise began. Examples include: • the coffee guy in the International café who clearly did not want not be there and grunted at you when you ordered coffee, • the barman in the Explorer’s bar who gave us an environment lecture when we simply ask for a straw to stir our drinks and he complained that we should get glasses for the mini bar in our cabin from our cabin steward rather than him, • the deck attendants, one of whom was leaning on a squeegee broom having a chat near a big pool of water on the deck and then moving off without making any effort to remove the water, and • the breakfast dining room greeter who stood at the front of the line instead of at the end to tell people where the two only versus shared table queues should be, which resulted in confused guests. Individually these are all minor concerns, but collectively it has an impact on your impression of the crew. Most of the above issues were addressed a few days into the cruise and the overall service was better in the second half of the cruise. Nonetheless, first impressions count. An additional note on the environment and straws issue. Nearly every day of the cruise we get printed Effy, Spa and Art Auction notices, most of which go straight in the bin. If Princess cut back on these notices they could afford to provide a few paper straws without destroying the environment. The cruise did not start well when we discovered that more than 15 of the wines on the wine list in the main dining room were not available. Initially we were told that the wine was not on board, but had not been found or input to the ship’s inventory system. It took two more days before they admitted that the wine had never been loaded on board. Note to Princess, missed shipments happen, just tell us what happened, do not make things up that you have to later retract. The food in the main dining room was average. The beef dishes were good but anything else was lacklustre. Nearly all the meals were tepid rather than being hot. On several occasions our table (which consisted for 4 couples of different nationalities) had to send dishes back. One notable example was lobster night. To begin with most of the lobsters delivered were only the size of a large shrimp meaning additional lobsters had to be ordered and the green coloured risotto it came with was simply not edible. Room service was another issue, our record for waiting on the phone was 45 minutes over three calls until we gave up. I say three calls because after getting a’ we will be with you shortly message ad infinitum’ we would then get a ’please ring back later’ message and then the phone would go dead meaning we had to remake the call. I also do not understand why Princess used the Piazza rather than the Princess Theatre for folkloric events. These shows were always well attended but only about 20 per cent of the audience could get a seat, a further 20 per cent could get an unobstructed standing view and the remaining 60 per cent had to put up with obstructed or no view at all. The end result was arguments between guests re obstruction of views, thoroughfare access, and seat stealing. All this with no evidence that any of the staff were interested in policing the area while everyone was jostling for positions. Enough of the negatives, the above faults aside we still had a good time and some members of the crew did put in a great effort. We really enjoyed the wine blending experience we had in Vines. This was new Princess experience for us and the concept is very good. The Vines manger, James, was an excellent host and the table size of 8 made the experience an intimate one. Our cabin steward Frank was also outstanding. He met all our requests with a friendly smile and kept our cabin in great condition. We had a mini suite and, although it is showing its age a little bit it was still to the standard we expected. The gym and other common facilities of the ship were kept in a very clean and tidy condition. There was an outbreak of Noro virus on the ship and I have to say the ship handled the containment and ultimate defeat of the virus in a very proactive way. The Captain gave us daily reports on what was happening and the staff put in a monumental effort to clean and sanitise the ship both inside and out. The entertainment was ranged from good to excellent. The stage show, ‘Magic to Do’ was excellent and the comedian Steve Bruner put on a great show. The resident band, Topaz was also great. They played a variety of music styles and the music and vocal standard of the group was exceptional. The cruise director staff were always enthusiastic and energetic. Alex and Amy were particularly good. The outstanding part of the cruise was the itinerary. We hit nearly all the good spots in the Mediterranean and did a mix of private and ship tours. We had the best experiences doing private tours of Valetta (Malta), the Amalfi Coast (from Naples), Tuscany (from Livorno), and a foodie walking tour in Palermo (Sicily). Ships tours of the Parthenon, Santorini and Olympia were very good. The poorest experience we had was a ship tour from Rome billed as being an Olive tasting experience. This involved a long drive through the countryside, the guide telling us about an amazing set of engraved tombs dating back centuries that were in a town we drove past. We arrived at a farm with one olive tree for a very mediocre lunch that featured one dish with non-descript olive oil. We had expected to taste different olives at the very least. In summary a good, but not great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary. Putting sea days in the middle of port days allows for time to recharge after doing tours. We left out of Barcelona without touring the city, which worked out to be best as there were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary. Putting sea days in the middle of port days allows for time to recharge after doing tours. We left out of Barcelona without touring the city, which worked out to be best as there were riots in the area that have hopefully been resolved. Embarking at Barcelona was a breeze. No line ups at 12:00 and we were on board in less than 30 minutes. Room was ready, which was an extra treat The Emerald may be an older ship, but that is its charm. The ship flows very well. It doesn't seem crowded. The clubs are large so no fighting for seats. The standard balcony cabin on the Emerald isn't as spacious as the newer ships, but still adequate and the balcony itself was roomy. The bed was very comfortable. The restaurants are varied. We have always been satisfied with dining in the main dining room when possible, and it was up to Princess high standard for good food with reasonable portions. The buffet had enough variety to keep our plates overflowing. Room service (we get breakfast in the cabin on shore excursion days) was always prompt and accurate. I should note that I have a food allergy, and the dining room maitre D made sure I reviewed the menus the day before so they could prepare my food. Very much appreciate this extra effort. The entertainment was great. The 3 production shows were very well done. Their new Magic / production show was particularly great. Went to the theatre each night and was never disappointed. The cruise was meant for relaxing rather than partying, so expect a laid back atmosphere where you can do as little or as much as you want. No service concerns. Whatever we needed we received. Ports: Toulon:Scenic Drive, Sanary-sur-Mer & Bandol Two laid back towns with many boats in the harbour and surrounded by small cafes Livorno: Livorno on Foot and by Boat This was a surprise. We toured the city by boat. It is like being in Venice with all the canals weaving through the city. Boat tour was relaxing and walking tour was good with a wine stop. Valetta: Grand Master's Palace, St. John's Cathedral & Mdina Malta is a beautiful place. Was humbled thing of St Peter and St Luke being in this place. Much history displayed in a short time. Kotor Kotor, St. Tryphon Cathedral, Njegusi & Cetinje After leaving the port and driving through 25 switchbacks (the driver did a great job and very safe) we went out to the country and had a nice lunch with beverages like honey wine(recommended) Tour ended in Kotor and the old city behind the walls. Very nice. Corfu Achilleion Palace, St. Spyridon Church & Corfu Town The palace is very nice, especially the grounds. Enjoyed the local drink (quamquat) and dropped us off in town. Very similar to Malta. Palermo Easy Palermo Orientation & Monreale Glad we were in a bus. Italian driver (not the bus driver) are very aggressive so do not drive here. You have been warned. Monreale had the best church of the trip with it's frescos and gold. The steps up are very shallow so do not be intimidated. You can take a cab up for 2 euros shared. Naples: Memories of Naples & Pompeii When they rated this stenuous, they weren't kidding.We are not old, (mid 50's) but were beat at the end. Would have done this as 2 separate tours in the future. Walking tour of Naples including the aqueducts below the city (facinating) and a pizza lunch in a nice cafe. Off to Pompeii Pompeii is like no where else in the world. Definitely a must do tour. The remains give you a snapshot of history of that time. Be aware that mobility issues are real here, as you are walking on boulders, not cobblestones. Lots of up and down and elevation changes. Rome Debark Tour - Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Disembarking tours are the way to go. Get off the ship, get your bags, load them under the bus and go. No worries, no hassles. Vatican tour was great. Very special place that you just never have the time to fully appreciate. There is so much to see. I must do an individual tour in the future, as there is so much to see. Dropped up off at the train station near our private hotel. Definitely a cruise we would do again. Very relaxing and Princess treated us great. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Great destinations - Rome, Athens, Valletta, Kotor, Corfu, Corsia, Naples, Palermo, Santorini, Barcelona, Katalolon, Dubrovnik, Sete and Nimes. This cruise had it pro's and cons. Very nice ship with excellent dining rooms. Theres a ... Read More
Great destinations - Rome, Athens, Valletta, Kotor, Corfu, Corsia, Naples, Palermo, Santorini, Barcelona, Katalolon, Dubrovnik, Sete and Nimes. This cruise had it pro's and cons. Very nice ship with excellent dining rooms. Theres a full walk around deck (deck 7) and sports facilities on deck 19. The Casino is well laid out, even though we don't use it and the Princess Theatre is a large and impressive venue for major performances. The Piazza was smaller than I expected, but served its purpose well. There's also a nice range of additional restaurants including the Crown Grill and Share. The shops and boutiques are what we'd expect on such a ship. Not much for them - except some expensive watches and sports cameras. Perhaps these Princess could add items and apparel more for men. The buffet style dining on LIDO deck was disappointing with poor quality food. I've been on three previous Princess cruises and the buffet on LIDO was very impressive. Not on this cruise. Allowing passengers to handle ladles and food one after another is also unhygienic and an invitation for a gastro outbreak - which is exactly what happened. We avoided the buffet dining after a forgettable experience on our first day. I'm thankful I and my wife had the good sense to abandon the meal and discretely dispose of the first bites. As it would turn out, the ship copped a wave of severe stomach virus (gastro) affecting and quarantining over a hundred passengers and some crew. We were lucky, avoiding the indignity, discomfort and agony of those affected passengers confined to their rooms - even on port days. An incident where the ship travelling at speed though the straits of Messina suddenly changed course, listing at 6% starboard, causing me to lose my footing towards an open balcony door on Riviera deck 14. I could no longer see the sky and with only the ocean looming towards me and being unable to stabilise my balance, this incident was extremely distressing. For a moment I thought it was all over. There was substantial damage to the food buffet areas as trays, plates, tables and chairs went flying. Pools were emptied and it was a very serious incident. A request for details of the incident was never provided by passenger services, who to our dismay denied the incident even happened. Food and crew in our dining room were amazing - 10/10 ! A wide variety of courses - something different every day in Club Class. High fives to MaitreD's Nazram and Daniel, to Cinta, our welcoming lady, our super fantastic waiters Mark, Ryan, Jelenna, Siti, Miriam, Dieri and Yongli. You made our dining an enjoyable experience and we can't thank you enough for your fine service. Entertainment: Again, pro's and cons. There were almost zero attraction shows in the Princess Theatre. Why, I don't know but no explanation was given. Very poor effort Princess ! However, amazing violinists "The Lado Duo", comic Richie Minervini and Hypnotist David Knight are superb! Look them up. "The Lado Duo" deserved their own showcase in the Princess Theatre - an opportunity lost by the entertainment director. Also, bing a mostly baby-boomer cruise, having main shows at 10.15pm is too late. Have one show at 9.30pm and the Princess Theatre will be full house every night. Malta was impressive and an unexpected surprise and our highlight. Italy stunning as were Greek destinations Athens, Plaka and Santorini. The Acropolis was busy and despite the crowds, easy to navigate. Take care on a wet day so you don't slip on the marble. Naples on the Italian mainland and Palermo in Sicily offer a journey you must experience to appreciate. You'll either love them or not but try to take in the tortured history of these places. If you can't see it in the buildings and streets, you'll see it on the faces of locals. Both these locations are close enough to the port to walk. Corsica, Corfu Montenegro and Dubrovnik offered amazing views, food, walks and historic sites. Barcelona didn't excite me as I thought it would - but it was Sunday. That said it was worth the stop over to visit the Sagrada Família church. This has to be seen to be believed. The fresh food/produce of the Port market in Corsica, just 50 metres from the ship is sensational! It's only open in the morning so go early and have breakfast. I'm of Italian background and honestly, the pizza I had here is the BEST I've tasted. Sooooooo fresh! Southern France reminded me of Tuscany and Northern Italy. The ancient Romans had much to do in France and oddly we saw more Roman influence than French, especially in buildings and wineries (mostly originating from Italian vines and owners). The Arena, located in Nimes, is a smaller cousin of Rome's 'Colosseum', again built by the Romans. Perfectly preserved and adjacent to the Roman temple, one would be excused for thinking they were in Italy. Just a heads up for diners who love seafood - some of the seafood on some islands are imported from Spain, such as muscles. Ask the restaurant if their seafood is local or imported or a mixture of both. Preservatives can set off allergic reactions, as so happened to my wife. Back on the ship, the so-so attitude of some crew at the front desk (passenger service desk) left much to be desired. Again, not all the crew but some seemed 'disinterested', kind of like the passengers were 'bothering them'. I've never experienced this on our previous Princes and MSC cruises and granted some passengers can be difficult but we are very respectful and didn't expect poor service from the desk. Our Stateroom was exceptional, on the Riviera deck and kept immaculate by Robelito, our stateroom steward. Embark/Disembark was flawless and smooth as was getting on/off during port days. Princess are very good in these areas. Internet is pricey but we had excellent coverage. The gym is very good as is the Lotus Spa, pools and general amenities. The medical staff are fantastic, helping my wife through 2 emergencies, one severe swelling due to an allergic reaction to a dinner on shore and another to help with a minor chest infection - thanks medics! One thing of importance - this 22 day cruise was two eleven day cruises back to back and Princess could have made a better effort to provide more variety like in room movies/TV shows and most certainly improve acts in the main Princess Theatre. If Princess want to join 2 cruises then please freshen up in-room entertainment at the start of the second leg. All up though, this cruise had its highlights and its horrors. We've done 5 cruises, the first 4 on Princess and one with MSC. Would I recommend Princess? Yes, of course but seriously, they need to move quickly on the issues I raised to keep their reputation intact. We'll be booking 3 new cruises over the next 18 months and if this is the new norm at Princess, then we'll be looking at another liner. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose Princess mainly because of the itinerary offered in the dates we preferred. I have cruised the Mediterranean before, but Princess offered some new ports I had, yet, visited. This trip was special, as it was eleven nights with my ... Read More
I chose Princess mainly because of the itinerary offered in the dates we preferred. I have cruised the Mediterranean before, but Princess offered some new ports I had, yet, visited. This trip was special, as it was eleven nights with my two grown daughters, neither who had ever visited any of the countries included. It was wonderful- great service,, attentive staff, and excellent excursions offered. We visited seven ports and took advantage of an excursion at each stop we made. We also enjoyed the dining and service provided ar each meal. The menu was good and varied. One daughter is a pescatarian, and she was a bit concerned about what the offerings might be, but she thoroughly enjoyed the choices provided and there was never an issue. Because there were three of us, we had a mini suite. I think I would upgrade to a full suite if I were to book again, just to give us that much more space. Though we managed just fine, accommodations were a bit tight. All in all , a most pleasant experience, and I would consider Orincess again if I were thinking of another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Emerald was a good ship and had a great selection of ports. However, the food quality seemed to be off on this ship compared with the rest of the fleet. If you are looking for good food, this is not the ship for you! The general staff ... Read More
The Emerald was a good ship and had a great selection of ports. However, the food quality seemed to be off on this ship compared with the rest of the fleet. If you are looking for good food, this is not the ship for you! The general staff were very good with the exception of the front desk personnel. If you have an issue, be prepared if you speak English they may not understand you. For the price of the cruise, the trip was great. There were plenty of chairs available on the deck for sun lounging. Entertainment was good and had a nice verity of shows. The Gastropub was excellent, don't waste your money on Share by Chris Stone, selection not very good. As a premium class guest with Princess, embarkation and disembarkation was great with little or no time spent on the process. Some of the ports (Malta) the ship could have spent more time at rather than the Greek ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is the first trip on my bucket list. All of my excursions were fantastic with the exception of Adajjacio (Corsica). Nothing was open, and had not been open for awhile. The staff on board is so friendly and helpful. If you are ... Read More
This is the first trip on my bucket list. All of my excursions were fantastic with the exception of Adajjacio (Corsica). Nothing was open, and had not been open for awhile. The staff on board is so friendly and helpful. If you are single, beware there was no single activities scheduled the second 11 days of the trip (after many passengers left and new ones came on board). The first 11 days, there was not a singles activity until day 4 or 5 and only after a passenger wrote a long letter requesting one. I asked if there would be any singles activities so that I could meet people. The buffet was luke warm at best. Food that should have been hot was cold or luke warm with the exception of soup or hot cereals. Dining room food was also not very hot when it should have been. Good variety of food. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was technically a 22 day cruise, but we only did the 11 day portion of Barcelona to Rome. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary plus the price and the perks were good. There were 7 of us and overall, it was a great ... Read More
This was technically a 22 day cruise, but we only did the 11 day portion of Barcelona to Rome. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary plus the price and the perks were good. There were 7 of us and overall, it was a great experience. The staff was excellent and the passengers were very friendly. We all made new friends. It is a beautiful ship. The piazza midship is stunning. We all agreed the cabins could do with a freshening up in decor; it was a little bit dated. However, the rooms were spotless. The mini-suites are large and roomy with a full size bathroom and lots of storage. My parents and sister had electrical and plumbing problems with their room, but Dennis, their steward, handled the situations promptly and efficiently. The food experience onboard got mixed reviews amongst our group. My parents and sister did not enjoy their main dining dinner experience the first night onboard and never went back. The group went to Steamers one night and those that had the mussels enjoyed the experience, but those that had the fried platter were disappointed. We all enjoyed: Share, Crown Grill, World Market Buffet, The Salty Dog Grill on the lido deck, Slices, The International Cafe, Room Service & Coffees and Cones. We only saw a couple of the shows in the Princess Theatre and they were fun. Karaoke in Club Fusion was good. The Maitre D wine tasting experience was excellent as was the Love Boat disco party. Embarkation was poorly done, but disembarkation was a breeze. For our group, the shore excursions booked through the cruise ship were the biggest disappointment, specifically those that took ship tours to Marseilles, Florence and Capri. It's a lot of money to put out and not have a wonderful time. All in all it was a great time and we would definitely consider another Princess cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose a Princess cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We have cruised with Princess before and we were happy with our experience and that is why we chose Princess for this memorable occasion. Food and dining service ... Read More
We chose a Princess cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We have cruised with Princess before and we were happy with our experience and that is why we chose Princess for this memorable occasion. Food and dining service were excellent and despite the number of guests on board, the Emerald Princess never seemed overcrowded due to its size and layout. Both the quality and variety of food on the ship were very good. We were pleased with our stateroom and the cabin service was excellent. We enjoyed the views from our balcony. We took advantage of our Cruise Personalizer to book on shore excursions for most of the ports and found the descriptions and information of each accurate. Getting off the ship for excursions was very well organized considering the number of people and we would recommend the Princess excursions. In a couple of ports we explored the area on our own without any problems. We would recommend Princess cruises and look forward to cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a truly delightful experience aboard the Emerald Princess. We highly recommend going on a cruise with Princess Crusies, and we would also highly recommend spending a little more money for a balcony room. I had been on a cruise ... Read More
We had a truly delightful experience aboard the Emerald Princess. We highly recommend going on a cruise with Princess Crusies, and we would also highly recommend spending a little more money for a balcony room. I had been on a cruise years before, so my expectations were fairly open. We stayed in a balcony room and absolutley enjoyed the time spent coming into port and leaving port and viewing these moments from our balcony. The food experience we had was top notch, and I loved the flexibilty Princess provided us. Also our stateroom and the service provided was excelent. Great job Princess! There's no comparison regarding going on a cruise to see places verses driving or flying in to the various destinations and having to find lodging and going to expensive restaurants. The cruiseline provided everything and more. It's so worth having the convenience of having everything that you need on the ship and not having to pack up and move at every destination. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We always wanted to cruise the Med so this was our retirement treat. Prior to the cruise we had a great CC rollcall and so we met the night before sailing and forged some good friendships for on board. Embarkation at Barcelona was a ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise the Med so this was our retirement treat. Prior to the cruise we had a great CC rollcall and so we met the night before sailing and forged some good friendships for on board. Embarkation at Barcelona was a breeze. Our room was ready even though it was early. Ate lunch at the dining room - very relaxed start to our cruise. The crew were all amazing - room steward , bar staff and deck attendants. Our cabin was comfortable and clean - great position on Aliso Deck in an inside cabin. Highly recommended. The shows and entertainment were very good - though a couple of nights there was not a lot on. The meals in dining room (we had anytime dining) were always good and we never had to wait for a table- we ate around 6:15. We had two water shuttle stops and they were handled very well and we were off quickly. We took no tours with the ship- we preorganised local operators and shared tours on our roll call. There is nothing we would change about our trip - thanks Emerald Princess for a dream holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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