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341 Princess Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Reviews

Just a quickie for British cruisers joining the ship this summer. They don't have any Marmite on board, so bring your own to avoid disappointment. It has been available on my three previous cruises aboard, but I got caught out ... Read More
Just a quickie for British cruisers joining the ship this summer. They don't have any Marmite on board, so bring your own to avoid disappointment. It has been available on my three previous cruises aboard, but I got caught out this time! Did a note to the F&B Director about it, but was ignored. There is also a lack of strawberries aboard, so puck some up at a port if you enjoy them.! Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Alfredo's restaurant. They freshly bake your pizza to order. The staff and service there are excellent. A three course lunch or dinner there is a pleasure, even if like us, you don't normally do pizza. And ther is no surcharge for eating there, unlike the other speciality restaurants. We found that eating on deck at the stern of the ship was preferable to the canteen in hot weather. Well serviced by the waiting staff and a quiet and spacious environment. Missed by most cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first Mediterranean cruise. I've sailed with Celebrity 1x and Princess 3x in the Caribbean. We opted to go with Princess even though we saw mediocre reviews for this ship, Royal Princess. The itinerary and dates worked ... Read More
This was our first Mediterranean cruise. I've sailed with Celebrity 1x and Princess 3x in the Caribbean. We opted to go with Princess even though we saw mediocre reviews for this ship, Royal Princess. The itinerary and dates worked well for us, so we thought, let's give it a try. We used a car service to get from Rome to the ship, which wasn't cheap, but started the trip off stress-free and in comfort. The boarding process was a snap! We packed lightly and each of the three of us had one piece which we carried on, so when we got to our room, we had everything there and were able to immediately unpack and move into our cabin. Highly recommend doing this-there is a laundry room on the ship and since we were touring Italy and Switzerland for another week post-cruise, traveling light is the way to go. The stateroom, a deluxe balcony E412 was sold as obstructed view, but there was no obstruction whatsoever. This room is right at mid-ship, and there are angled balconies where are slightly larger. There are at least 10 cabins mid ship on the Emerald deck that have zero obstruction. So glad we saved several hundred and booked this one. I've been in mini suites before and the smaller room was a bit tight for 3 of us, but honestly, it was fine for the amount of time we actually spent in there! My only criticism is that if you have a cabin for 3, they should provide 3 deck chairs for sitting on balcony. Two of us opted to do the all inclusive drink package after a visit to the bar and a look at drink prices. Even though there was only one day at sea, the package was a bargain. It includes premium coffees (capuccino, latte, etc) at the INternational Cafe, which we visited every morning and far preferred to the buffet breakfast. The Cafe had baked goods, yogurt and we prefer a continental breakfast and GOOD coffee (the in-room coffee service was horrible), and this was included in the all-inclusive bev package. A few cocktails or beers in the afternoon, and then wine at dinner, and a nice cofffee with dessert, and we already drank more than the cost of the card. If you enjoy your drinks on vacation, I recommend springing for it. It also removes the anxiety of the final day "bill" being astronomical. Now the bad stuff- as written about before- the elevator situation and the mediocre food. We have never had food this sub-par on a Princess cruise. We were hoping the other reviews we had read were just from picky people. We are not major foodies, but we do enjoy good, well-prepared food. We did not get that in any of the dining rooms. We probably should have paid the up charge and dined at one of the higher-rated restaurant, but we didn't. We tried both dining rooms that were open to us (Anytime dining) and results were the same at both. The food tasted like mass-prepared cafeteria quality food, with fancy names and presentations. There were two meals out of 7 that I would rate a 3 (out of 5). Everything else was a 2. The prime rib was good on the first night, but it was downhill. On the evening they served lobster (only on the menu once) it was served with giant prawn. The lobster tail was good, but the prawn was like mush. All three of us had intestinal issues within 24 hours of getting on the ship and varying degrees of stomach upset/indigestion. So disappointed by the food. As to the elevators, the wait for elevators and the inability to take stairs all the way up (wouldn't have minded walking) is a real issue on this ship. Princess has acknowledged this and will be renovating the ship and we were told by a crew member that after Jan. 1, 2017 it should be better. The ports of call- Naples, Crete, Kusadasi, Mykonos and Rhodes as a substitute for Istanbul (due to political unrest and recent airport bomb) were all great! We loved Rhodes and Mykonos. We only did two organized tours, both NOT through Princess (saving us hundreds of dollars). We did a Viator 8 hour Amalfi Coast and Pompeii tour; and a tour of Ephesus and the Virgin Mary house in Turkey (organized by a fellow cruise-goer we met on Cruise Critic). On Mykonos we rented ATVs to drive around the island and go to "Paradise Beach" (highly recommended). In Rhodes we hired a local taxi driver (fixed rates) to take us to a beach. He brought us there and returned at the appointed time to bring us back to town- you pay at the end, so they are guaranteed to return to get you! The warmth and friendliness of the Greeks is outstanding and the shopping and food prices are phenomenal. As to the pool deck, it was never too crowded for us to find lounge chairs. It was a windy cruise, so the forward "adult pool" area was often just too windy to enjoy, so we stayed at the all ages pool most days. Service was good at the pool deck, lots of waiters wandering through the crowd willing to serve you a cold beer or refreshing drink. We went to two shows- a Beatles tribute show (meh) and a "The Voice" style competition (someone we met on ship was in the finals). We went to Club 6 several nights for music and dancing and met lots of friendly people. But the DJ plays the same songs over and over, so that could use some shaking up! The cruise was a great mix of ages, lots of Brits and Aussies who were quite friendly to meet and chat up. In summary, we had a very enjoyable trip, despite the disappointing food. Many of the crew on the ship were wonderful and friendly and we enjoyed meeting and chatting with them- from Philippines ,Macedonia, Ukraine, Peru, etc. I hope Princess can do some work on improving the food service on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Great big clean ship.Food was amazing and staff were great.We had a balcony room on deck 10 and had no problems with the size of the balcony as many have stated in other reviews.The elevators were only a problem when boarding and leaving ... Read More
Great big clean ship.Food was amazing and staff were great.We had a balcony room on deck 10 and had no problems with the size of the balcony as many have stated in other reviews.The elevators were only a problem when boarding and leaving the ship but not as bad as many others have said,maybe chill and take a breath and remember we are on holidays so don't stress.Shows were OK and get there a bit early and you will get a seat.Movies under the stars were lots of fun and sitting by the pool with a wine and watching Phil Collins (Genisus)was great on a beautiful sunny warm day.We did not pay extra for a cabana nor did we pay extra for the sanctuary,not sure if it's a good idea as did not see many people in there but on a sea day maybe it's busy not sure.The retreat pool was the best place to read and have a swim and a cheeky cocktail so make sure you spend some time there as its a lot quieter than the main pool.Formal nights were lots of fun and we had 4 of them in our 14night cruise so bring a nice suit ,or dress and have some drinks in the piazza before heading to the dining room for dinner.Sometimes on formal nights you will be given a buzzer but never took long before you were sitting down with a big juicy steak topped with lobster.A quick note to let you no is the crab shack is not fresh crab like some of you are used to(maybe being Australian as I am)we eat lots of blue swimmer crab nice and cold but this crab was frozen then thawed and then steamed so was like the legs of the crab resembled a rubber belt so was not very impressed for the 60 dollars we paid,but when I gave some feedback to princess they refunded our 60 dollars back to our ship account so no complaints there.If you are reading this like I have read all the reviews before I went on this ship most of all the negative things people are saying can be quite petty so don't stress about food balconies in rooms and the elevators just relax as I did and have the best time of your life,I am sure you all will have a beautiful time,I would go back to this ship in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was my third time on the Royal Princess. Actually, the first time I thought the ship was too large but after being on it twp more times I felt much more comfortable and met so many staff members. I have been on more than 60 cruises ... Read More
This was my third time on the Royal Princess. Actually, the first time I thought the ship was too large but after being on it twp more times I felt much more comfortable and met so many staff members. I have been on more than 60 cruises mostly Princess and I am leaving for Malaysia on Christmas day on the beautiful Japanese Diamond Princess. Our itinerary was changed because of the coup in Istanbul and Kotor was delightful, people were great as was the food and shopping was great. I bought 2 carpets in a small boutique. The smaller shops were a treat and bargains galore. The other ports were good and I have been to them many times. I have 2 more cruises booked on Princess next year and will continue with their great experience in cruising. I am a solo cruiser and Princess is a good fit for me. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Chose this cruise as part of our European holiday just myself and my husband. Whilst the ship is beautiful in decor and very bling it was extremely disappointing. The entertainment was boring and terrible and the food was just as ... Read More
Chose this cruise as part of our European holiday just myself and my husband. Whilst the ship is beautiful in decor and very bling it was extremely disappointing. The entertainment was boring and terrible and the food was just as bad. I have cruised on Royal Carribean cruises and are of no comparison. I thought I would try a different cruise liner and unfortunately made a huge mistake. I was convinced and sold by the look of the ship on the website. Lifts were always overcrowded and took forever. I didn't have one decent meal everything tasted bland and awful. The only good food was in the Italian speciality restaurant but you had to pay extra! The staff were always in your face trying to sell you something... It was too much. Balconies very small and seemed like you always had to pay for something. I will stick to RC liner as they lead the way .... I could not fault RC and will stick to them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This cruise, aboard Royal Princess, is certainly one that the cruise line can boast: a ship beautifully appointed and maintained; a staff worthy of recognition; fascinating ports and professionally escorted excursions! With 23 cruises ... Read More
This cruise, aboard Royal Princess, is certainly one that the cruise line can boast: a ship beautifully appointed and maintained; a staff worthy of recognition; fascinating ports and professionally escorted excursions! With 23 cruises under our belt, this was our second Princess. We sailed previously with 20 RCCL and one Celebrity. Without exception, this may have been our best cruise ever. From the start, about a year earlier, we booked directly with Princess on their website. Despite needing to fly to Rome a day before departure, in order to tour Rome on our own, air reservations were completed online through EZAir without a hitch. Periodic payments were a breeze to complete throughout the ensuing months. Documentation suggesting embarkation arrival times proved most beneficial, as we only waited in line about five minutes before heading directly to our cabin. Luggage arrived within the hour. Dining was fairly standard--nothing to “rave” about--but tasty selections and attentive service--both in the buffet and main dining room. We dined one night at Crown Grill, which was excellent! We couldn’t have asked for a better meal. We didn’t take advantage of any of the theatre entertainment, simply because we were generally too tired due to the excursions at each port. We did, however, find relaxing enjoyment several evenings in the piazza. The piazza was also a great place for meeting and socializing with strangers. The ports and excursions were the best! We booked through Princess for walking tours in Florence, Pisa, Monte Carlo, Aix en Provence, and Valencia. (We strolled through Gibraltar on our own, since we are returning there in October 2016.) Without any doubt, these guides were second-to-none considering their knowledge of the sites and their abilities to manage groups of people. The ports and locales were historically fascinating, and we cannot say that any of the excursions wasn’t worth the price! Disembarkation was smooth, to say the least. We had the impression that Princess disembarks smaller groups than we’ve experienced in the past. This allowed for quick and easy access off the ship and through custom/immigration. If there is anything negative to state, it would entail the ship's design. A lack of mid-ship staircases between all decks makes for occasional crowding at the elevators. As Diamond Plus members with RCCL, it is difficult giving up the benefits of such, sailing on another line. However, this cruise was so rewarding and so worth the price that we took advantage of onboard booking and scheduled two future cruises with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
4th cruise with Princess. We have had good experiences in the past with Princess, but this one had a problem with the food quality. Essentially in the Horizon Court the food was often cold, over cooked and lacking in presentation. The ... Read More
4th cruise with Princess. We have had good experiences in the past with Princess, but this one had a problem with the food quality. Essentially in the Horizon Court the food was often cold, over cooked and lacking in presentation. The meat often made me want to be sick as it looked so unappetising. Sabatinis restaurant provides a very pleasant environment, but the food was essentially salt with some meat thrown in. The mini suite was excellent though with 2 TVs, plenty of room and a bathtub. everyhing worked. This ship has one of the most stupid design flaws I have ever witnessed. There are stairs only at the aft and forward areas. The mid ship is served only by elevators. You can imagine the long waits. Even if you want to go up or down one or two floors, you must take the elevator. I understand they realise this was a mistake as the hidden away emergency stairs will be converted to pax stairs during the dry docking in September. However, the stupidity also lies in the call butons for the 6 elevators in mid ship. Four are connected to one button and the other two have seperate buttons. This mans that people often press all 3 buttons, get on the first elevator to arrive and then two more elevators will still stop on that floor even though nobody is there. I lost count of the number of times I was in an elevator that stopped at virtually every floor letting the invisible man/woman in!! Princess, fix this now!! THe Princess entertainment was pretty average too. The acts from outside though were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Great cruise for me, my husband, his sister, and my aunt. Cabin--Stateroom was very nice, with a a great bed and several dual US/European outlets. We booked R525, 529, and 533 so we could connect balconies. Worked great...narrow, ... Read More
Great cruise for me, my husband, his sister, and my aunt. Cabin--Stateroom was very nice, with a a great bed and several dual US/European outlets. We booked R525, 529, and 533 so we could connect balconies. Worked great...narrow, though. Ship--some feel the lack of center stairs is an issue, but waits for the elevator were not long, other than after muster. Beautiful ship. Each deck has a laundromat, handy and reasonable. Dining--chose 6:00 seating. Still had time even after a long excursion, and table was always ready. Had breakfast and lunch in Horizon Court. Anyone who complains about food is ridiculously picky. The quality and variety were unbelievable. Entertainment--port talks were a little lacking, but we loved the game shows in Princess Live! Service--perfect Excursions--Two cautions. If there is traffic on amalfi coast, you will have virtually no time in Pompeii. Second, Blue Mosque with time on your own worked poorly for us because the drop off pickup spot is in a crazily confusing neighborhood. Ended up having a costly taxi trip to port because we could not find the spot. Can't wait for our next Princess cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Captain Rick was excellent. We got news of trouble in Istanbul but he monitored it and determined cruisers would be safe. Glad I got to see the Hagia Sophia. And again strong winds so we missed Valletta. But Ercolano in Naples (second time ... Read More
Captain Rick was excellent. We got news of trouble in Istanbul but he monitored it and determined cruisers would be safe. Glad I got to see the Hagia Sophia. And again strong winds so we missed Valletta. But Ercolano in Naples (second time in Naples) was worth it. Big ship but could always find uncrowded areas. Not long waits for anytime dining. (But why do they always ask if you want to share a table?) Cruise was port intensive-only two sea days. Enjoyed Naples (twice), Santorini, Mykonos(twice) Palermo, Kusadashi (twice), Athens, Crete, and Istanbul. Visited the Sanctuary--worth the fee for a half day. Service staff was great. Enjoyed the comedy ventriloquist and the British singers--Beatlemaniacs and WestEnd men. We took Swell bottles and purchased water sent to our cabin before cruise. Way to save since we took walking tours and ports were hot. Princess Tour to volcano in Santorini was great. Remember to bring an old bathing suit if you want to swim in the springs. Mama Joy, our guide, was knowledgable. Both embarkation and disembarking were smooth Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Wonderful, although port intensive cruise. Ship was beautiful, clean and service was amazing. There is plenty of things to do, and lots of ship to explore, but it was also easy to find a couple of favorite places. The ship is large ... Read More
Wonderful, although port intensive cruise. Ship was beautiful, clean and service was amazing. There is plenty of things to do, and lots of ship to explore, but it was also easy to find a couple of favorite places. The ship is large enough where you can avoid crowds most of the time, or find them when you like that experience. Food in dining rooms was good, not a buffet person, but I did find the buffet selections confusing and not always grouped into similar cuisine. The steakhouse and Italian restaurants were delicious, although I have to say Greek and Turkish cuisine in port was so amazing. Did a few excursions, was traveling solo, but found another solo traveler which made the excursions and ports much more fun. Tour guides were great, and found the excursions to be priced reasonably for what they included. This itinerary had 7 ports in 7 days with 1 sea day. A great way to see things in the Mediterranean, but exhausting when trying to fit in ship's amenities....although all together had a magical time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this 14 day cruise as a combination of early in the summer so not too hot, the Mediterranean because it is relatively calm, the ports of call (Naples, Istanbul, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Mykonos, Athens, Santorini, Crete, etc.), and ... Read More
We chose this 14 day cruise as a combination of early in the summer so not too hot, the Mediterranean because it is relatively calm, the ports of call (Naples, Istanbul, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Mykonos, Athens, Santorini, Crete, etc.), and because of recommendations of friends that love Princess Cruises. We were very pleased with the ship, the crew and the overall experience. We had a cabin / double bed with a small couch and spent many evenings on the balcony watching the sunset. We ate both in the Horizon Court and in the formal, open-seating dining. I felt there was always a variety of excellent dishes and a changing menu. The different music in the Piazza and gatherings were well done, but sometimes crowded. We used Princess for the transfers from the airport to the ship and back and it was well organized and worth it. We did a lot of excursions using the Princess (Pompeii, Ephesus, Crete, Athens), arranged our own in Istanbul, and did our own walking tours of Naples, Kusadasi, Mykonos, and Palermo). I thought the Princess' ones were fine. Our tour of the Acropolis/Parthenon was very early in the morning so we missed the crowds and it was cool. Santorini was my favorite Island; I found the views at the volcanic caldera to be especially breathtaking. The highest recommendation for Princess cruises and the Royal Princess is "Would you do it all again?" and I can write Yes, we are! We will be doing the 28 day Royal Princess tour of the Eastern Mediterranean in 2017! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first (and probably last) cruise. The ports were great, and the ship was beautiful, however the food was disappointing. We basically ate for fuel. It was hard to get a spot to soak up the sun on deck, and the pool area is ... Read More
This was our first (and probably last) cruise. The ports were great, and the ship was beautiful, however the food was disappointing. We basically ate for fuel. It was hard to get a spot to soak up the sun on deck, and the pool area is really crowded and loud. The part that really turned us off was being nickeled and dimed every time we turned around. We paid $375 for a couples massage which was marginal and then had to sit through a whole spiel where they try to sell $700 worth of lotions. The whole trip felt like one of those time share scams, only we paid a lot of money for the hassle. This was a waste of money a lot of very hard earned money. They asked prior to travel if we were celebrating anything and we let them know it was our 25th anniversary; we got a "happy birthday" sign on our cabin door. The cabin was comfortable, and the views were very nice. Getting on and off the ship was easy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Selected ship because we wanted to begin in Rome allowing us a few days in Rome prior to embarkation. Use Princess Air (Delta) and had no issues. Tickets assigned in enough time to get comfort seats. No issues. Embarkation and ... Read More
Selected ship because we wanted to begin in Rome allowing us a few days in Rome prior to embarkation. Use Princess Air (Delta) and had no issues. Tickets assigned in enough time to get comfort seats. No issues. Embarkation and Disembarkation were very fast and smooth. They had a young Italian tenor singing in the Atrium prior to departure...beautiful way to start a cruise. Ship is large but did not feel the crowds except for elevators. New ship and decor was simple and elequent. Cabin (C-532)/Balcony was nice but a little small but as with any European cruise don't spend much time in cabin because your up and out on excursions. Food, service and entertainment above average. We bought our excursions (princess) in advance. I thought the excursions were excellent. All our excursions had transmitters so you could hear and enjoy the many sites we visited. This was our first European cruise. The only thing different we would have done is booked at least two (14 day)or three (21 day) legs. Most passengers did at least two legs/14 days. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We couldn't have been happier. Literally every aspect of the cruise went better then expected. Even before the cruise started we were stranded in a rainy Rome with no available taxis to get us to our meeting hotel for the bus to the ... Read More
We couldn't have been happier. Literally every aspect of the cruise went better then expected. Even before the cruise started we were stranded in a rainy Rome with no available taxis to get us to our meeting hotel for the bus to the ship. After 40 minutes of the hotel trying to get us a taxi to no avail I placed a call to the Princess transport service. 5 minutes later a van was there to get us to the bus on time and at no charge. Every point after that until our exiting ship in Barcelona was amazing. Every Princess staff member always had a smile and their attitude was like they couldn't do enough to take care of you. Never once heard I don't know or I cant help you with that. If they weren't responsible for the task or didn't know the answer they made sure they got you someone that got it done or answered the question. All the shore excursions and their support staff was also amazing. they were all helpful, professional, knew their history subjects and really made the excursions very enjoyable. We took 8 princess arranged excursions and all were first rate. We had 3 cruises with other lines before our cruise with Princess in Alaska and since then we have this is our 3rd Princess but it wont be our last. We already booked an 11 day Scandinavia and Russia for May 2107. We are confident Princess will deliver the same amazing first rate service we have come to expect. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Took the Eastern Med cruise. Had a great time with many ports of call. Each port provided transportation to where ever you wanted to visit. Our choice were antiquities and we visited many museums and ancient temples. Turkey's and ... Read More
Took the Eastern Med cruise. Had a great time with many ports of call. Each port provided transportation to where ever you wanted to visit. Our choice were antiquities and we visited many museums and ancient temples. Turkey's and Greece's Island were just great and the view from the mountains in Santorin were breathtaking. We did travel in Istanbul and the travel guide provide historical details for all the stops. We were a disturbed at the problems with the politics and would probably not travel there after the latest news reports. The ship was well manned and the help was very friendly with entertainment every night at sea. They have movie under the stars which enjoyed although a bit brisk at night so you will need a sweater and they provide blankets. The restaurant Santorin on board the ship had the best Italian dinner of the cruise. The Cruise line goes out of their way to make your trip comfortable and the food is well prepared in the cafeteria. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our fourth transatlantic, our 20th cruise on the Princess Line and the third on the Island. During this 31 day repositioning we found the Island clean, though a little dated, with excellent always-with-a-smile service and the ... Read More
This was our fourth transatlantic, our 20th cruise on the Princess Line and the third on the Island. During this 31 day repositioning we found the Island clean, though a little dated, with excellent always-with-a-smile service and the food selection tasty and varied the entire time. The entertainment was over and above the usual cruise fare, even at times world class. We always get a mini-suite, this time choosing C204, an elongated mini-suite without a balcony. The cabin window was large enough to always give us an adequate view but, of course, nothing like a full sliding glass door. There were a few times that I did miss the balcony but the extra room made up for what was lost. I will say we would never book this type cabin on any Caribbean cruises as we are heavy balcony users in warmer weather. The cabin was quiet and just a few feet away from an outside door leading to the front of the ship. Only a couple times during rough weather did I find a rope across the door entrance that denied access. Believe me this front ship area afforded a spectacular view when entering Venice’s canal way. But it didn’t take us long to realize that this was not the same ship experience we had when taking the Island Princess through the Panama Canal, twice. This time we found crowded public spaces, overlapping events, that kept people waiting outside venues in large crowds if anything went long, and witnessed people in long lines trying to get into the anytime dining room. Fortunately, we opted this time for the traditional dining time slot, even though for some unknown reason every night, and I mean every night, our dinner took two hours, from beginning to end. When coming out of dining we would see long lines a floor down of people waiting to get into the anytime venue and talked to people over and over that were very unhappy about waiting, with a buzzer in hand, to be called for the anytime experience. What we did observe, now that the large Universal Lounge has been taken out, was staff that had to constantly juggle limited venue options. An example was a speaker, in the Explorer Lounge, giving an excellent talk on WWII that was barely audible because of the bingo players signing up outside, not a few feet away. The cruise line has not only taken away an extremely large public space but has added an additional 100 cabins to the Island that was never in the initial configuration. The fabulous former fitness center has been moved to a unappealing windowless lower level that I ended up not using because of the smallness and lack of ambience. The Princess Theater, I guess, because of all the additional passengers has had all the side aisles removed which meant the nightly climbing over people to get to your seat routine. We will definitely go on another Princess vacation as we have reached Elite status and having your laundry done is a perk not easily surrendered but we will watch carefully and never go on another ship that has been reconfigured to take away public spaces so that additional innumerable extra cabins could be added. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were a group of eight cruise age people, meaning seniors, ranging from 72 to 75, one in wheelchair and one mobility challenged using a walker. The draw of this cruise was the itinerary, which turned out to be more challenging than ... Read More
We were a group of eight cruise age people, meaning seniors, ranging from 72 to 75, one in wheelchair and one mobility challenged using a walker. The draw of this cruise was the itinerary, which turned out to be more challenging than anticipated, and the Turkish ports of Istanbul and Kusadasi, as well as Naples, Italy. Starting with the negatives, it all started when we checked in and found that Princess had "upgraded" one of the reserved accessible cabins to a non-accessible mini-suite. The perks of a mini-suite would have been nice, but for a person in a wheelchair, a door and bathroom that are not accessible is not a viable option. Despite repeated claims from the onboard staff that "we must have authorized the change," (a false claim by the way), the problem was eventually fixed to the total satisfaction of the couple involved. As the contact for the couple, I have checked my emails and have received confirmation from my TA that there had been NO notification of the proposed "upgrade" and none had been authorized. For me, just another in a string of misinformation from Princess headquarters. Leading me to the second disappointment. Princess at the last minute cancelled the call on Istanbul, citing safety concerns. For months it had been known that the day of the call was to be an election day, and Princess headquarters had assured my TA that there were no plans to skip Istanbul. Then at the last minute it happened. Subsequent events required further itinerary changes, suggesting that Istanbul could have been switched to another day and not be cancelled. A clear case of convenience for Princess rather than consideration of the clients who might have booked this cruise specifically to visit Istanbul, as was the case for half of my party. (As a "substitute" Island Princess wasted a day sitting off Santorini!) On the positive side, Island Princess is a nice ship that was somewhat butchered to make it fit into Venice itineraries, then rules changed and it's back to Alaska. The promenade deck is severely truncated, the Vista lounge is gone, and the Fitness Center is more like a down scale gyn than a bright, airy, ocean view fitness center common on most Princess ships. Evidently, Princess is still having birthing pains with "Anytime" dining. Long frustrating lines at prime dining hours in the Anytime dining room while upstairs the Traditional dining room sat largely empty. After a couple of days, the lines disappeared, presumably frustration set in and the Horizon Court (buffet) got busy. Our party, with mobility problems, was eventually accommodated at a fixed table of proper size, but we had to maneuver the wheelchair up two steps to reach the table when several of same size were on the entry level. The Maitre'd in the Anytime room was not the most pleasant face on the ship. Our service team, Richelle and Sherwin, were outstanding however and mealtimes were a joy. Food was Princess standard, comparable to an upscale restaurant back home. La Patisserie is a joke,its' a bar not an alternate food establishment, so miss the International Cafe on Emerald and Ruby. Our group of eight had a range of cabins, from standard midship balconies, to a forward mini-suite to a new accessible balcony cabin in the newly refurbished area. All were more than adequate with excellent cabin service from all the Philippine stewards. The new accessible balcony cabin was especially nice, large, with totally accessible bathroom and a large balcony, with no complaints about noise or vibrations mentioned in some reviews of this area. We did not manage to partake of the entertainment or activities, due in part to the port intensity and some minor fatigue, but also in part to the scheduling of entertainment. At our age, shows starting at 10:30pm are just not on, and the earlier show conflicted with the only meal time we were able to arrange. Some Princess ships alter the show length and schedule three in an evening, much more accommodating. Not sure if there was a Cruise Director on board, certainly not one in evidence. Just a pet peeve, the Captain's announcement were virtually incomprehensible and curt. This review turned out to be more negative than intended, but as i wrote the negatives came flooding back and the positives seemed minor. Too bad, we had a good time but have had much better on other Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Very nice late season cruise in the Med. The ship was very nice and a good atmosphere on board. All the staff were excellent from the Cabin Steward and Waiters and the entertainment team all very friendly and pleasant. Both Embarkation ... Read More
Very nice late season cruise in the Med. The ship was very nice and a good atmosphere on board. All the staff were excellent from the Cabin Steward and Waiters and the entertainment team all very friendly and pleasant. Both Embarkation and Disembarkation were the best I have known, and very quick. We had a mini-suite which gives you a bit of extra space, but made little use of the balcony, because of the time of year. Only went to one of the speciality restaurants Sabatinis which was an extra $25 each which was good but preferred the main restaurant (Provence) for our Dinner. All the food in the Dining Room and the buffet meals in the Horizon were very good, again as good as I have known. Entertainment was also good although we only ever did manage to get to 2 shows plus an afternoon at the cinema, there was always so much going on including lots of quizzes which could be very funny especially the late evening ones. Istanbul was cancelled as a port of call a couple of days before we were due to visit because of their General Election and security risks, and substituted by Santorini. We had visited most of the ports on previous trips and mostly did our own thing. Did an excursion with Princess from Cannes to Nice, but it was poor value for money, the only other trip we did was independently from Naples a tour of the Amalfi Coast which was brilliant. This was only our 2nd cruise with Princess but overall this was about as good as it gets, would recommend them if you have not sailed with them. Can be a bit pricey on board for drinks for people from the UK because of the poor exchange rate against the dollar. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I am in my mid 70's and my husband is in his late 60's. We have both been to Europe several times, and I have been to all of these places except Corsica and Mykonos....and as it turned out, Santorini. We took an upsell for a ... Read More
I am in my mid 70's and my husband is in his late 60's. We have both been to Europe several times, and I have been to all of these places except Corsica and Mykonos....and as it turned out, Santorini. We took an upsell for a full suite which we thought was a good chance to try out a suite and as it was a special cruise we decided to go for it.. We were in L723...one of those feared aft suites that everyone has complained about....Anyway, Arrived and stayed in Rome for several days before the cruise...I was trying to force my husband into carry on but that didn't work so we each had a suitcase with us. We would be in Europe almost a month, and there was no way I wanted to lug luggage around trains, buses, ships, and planes...We started small but ended up large. Had to bring home all that wine...:) Anyway, originally we had planned on taking the train to the port but in the end, we decided it would be easier to let our hotel arrange a transfer which they did. Embarkation was fast and easy...filled out the health form that yes, we were still alive, kicking and we did not have Ebola to our knowledge...and we were on board. Took the elevator right up and opened the door. I was surprised. I have seen pictures and have been in other people suites but this was almost brand new...Large living space, comfortable couch. flat screened TV's...One in the bedroom and one across from the couch. Nice desk with our own stationary on it, a mini bar set up, and a brand new bathroom.....all marble...nice soaking tub + a great shower...(with a door) and expansive balcony...The balcony had one lounge, a table and 2 chairs. All were cast aluminium and very comfortable. Thick blue cushions...headed up to explore the ship...Those aft cabins are way to close to the spa..:) and had a bite to eat. Downsides....THAT GYM.....HORRID...old equipment and looked a a gym from the 50's. Please fix that Princess...My husband works out several times a week...He hated it...so did all of the entertainment and the crew who used it too... Me? I gave up on it after 5 minutes....The Patisserie? no, it is not....just call it a coffee bar and be done with it...other than that, the ship it great. I had no problem with anytime dining...but I have to say we tend to eat late....They had a pig one night that has the best chicharrones that we have ever had....The buffet was great...everytime we used it. Service was excellent...I don't demand much, we are pretty easy campers ..... just some ice and extra glasses...so it is not too hard. The room also had two closets which was nice...I would have one suggestion...Next time you redo a ship from the get go, please, [please put in a USB plug and some plus on each side of the bed.. MDR food was excellent as was Sabatini's...and Sabatini's breakfast is wonderful. A real perk as as is all of the staff in Sabatini's. The best part of the ship was one of the front desk people...names Maria Jesus from Peru...She literally saved our cruise...Without all of the gory details, we had an emergency at home. She made it her business to help us out in so many ways in order that we could continue our cruise. People like her are what makes a cruise memorable and what keeps us coming back again for another one. Shore excursions were mostly private tours, or DIY, but we did take a Princess tour in Corsica to the callanques. It was great. The tour guide was wonderful....There was one man who was having a bit of trouble breathing and became out of breath...Not Short of Breath...The guide immediately went to his aid and help him. There are a lot of steps in Corsica....I think that is the thing that I would warn people about the most.....Almost everyone on the boat was older, most overweight to some degree and seemed to have some kind of mobility problems. This is a difficult cruise for those people...No exercise to speak of and all of a sudden they have to walk a fair distance...it is difficult...We walked between 10-12 miles a day. Ports are usually far from towns and even if it right near the towns it involves walking...Please people...start an exercise program before you go on this cruise...No one wants you to have a MI on the ship or shore... I can't say much for the entertainment but what we saw was good. Outstanding was the music that was played coming into Venice. Whoever thought of that one deserves a raise..Disembarkation was way to easy....There was a ship's transfer to the Santa Lucia RR station which we also decided to take and we were happy with it...As the boat to take us to the station went around the corner, there was already someone in OUR cabin....What were they doing there? In our cabin....Oh well....spent a week in France and was in Paris when the bombings occurred. It was a tragic end to a wonderful vacation but in no way were we in any danger, and we hope to repeat the trip again very soon..Oh, and btw, there was little vibration except when we docked...One evening the seas were a bit rough and my husband said there was a bit then but it was great for us....I also have to say, what there was wouldn't have bothered us either. My husband favorite place on a boat is near or in the engine room...kinda weird? but his family were all shipbuilders and ship carpenters... Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our 23rd cruise with Princess. Embarkation was in Rome for a 7 day Med. cruise followed by a fourteen day transatlantic(our first) leaving from Barcelona. We were concerned after reading reviews which were not too positive. We ... Read More
This was our 23rd cruise with Princess. Embarkation was in Rome for a 7 day Med. cruise followed by a fourteen day transatlantic(our first) leaving from Barcelona. We were concerned after reading reviews which were not too positive. We should have known better, everything was just fine and lots of things were great. 1800 passengers on this voyage had six or more cruises with Princess. Do the nay sayers figure all these people have nothing better to do with their money? Sure the ship is eight years old and is decorated in the standard Princess style but little or no signs of aging or neglect and certainly nothing worth putting pen to paper about. No surprises in our cabin and our steward was extremely professional. He addressed all his passengers by their name every time they met from day two forward. We always do late seating in MDR. We like the routine, especially on port days. Our serving team was nothing short of outstanding. Sometimes the food was slow coming out but they told us why and kept us informed through the whole process. Food quality was great, in part because our servers always steered us towards the best choices on the menu and away from those that weren't quite up to expectations (a plus for fixed dining). If we weren't enjoying something our servers knew it and got us to try something else and if we loved it a second was always available. Yes the shrimp are small, so what. is it really worth complaining about? Palermo,Salerno,Livorno,Genoa,Barcelona,Valencia,Malaga,Seville,Lisbon and Madeira were our stops before hitting Florida. All ports were great but you have to do your homework for excursions. Many ports were great to just get off the ship and walk, several others had shuttle buses into town. Street cafes everywhere and language was never a problem. Entertainment is always a wild card on these cruises. This cruise was no exception. It was ok but just ok. Cruise Director and his staff did a good job despite being peppered with complaints about shows being too early or too late which he handled very well. Captain was amazing. He was evident throughout the cruise and was very approachable. He did a one on one with the cruise director in front of a packed theatre followed by a Q and A from the crowd. First time we have ever seen this and it was great. Embarkation and disembarkation could not have been more smooth.(they have this one nailed on every cruise) We had a great time on this cruise and the seven day transatlantic just flew by. Weather was amazing, calm, warm, a little rain, but hey, this is the mid Atlantic in October. People have to lighten up. This is mass market cruising, it is not five star dining, nor is it Broadway quality entertainment, but we feel they're doing a great job for the price. Can't wait to get on the Star Princess in March. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We traveled as a group of 8 to celebrate two milestone bdays of our parnets. What a terrible experience all around -- i'll go piece by piece but i would not recommend this trip to my worst enemy. Food -- absolute joke. Horizons ... Read More
We traveled as a group of 8 to celebrate two milestone bdays of our parnets. What a terrible experience all around -- i'll go piece by piece but i would not recommend this trip to my worst enemy. Food -- absolute joke. Horizons court makes ponderosa look like a 5-star restaurants the food is tasteless and the ingredients are cheap. Soups are poured from heated plastic bags which look like they were rejected by costco. Their 'famous pizza' reminds me of a middle school cafeteria. The main ding rooms served terrible food with terrible ingredients. Princess cuts corners at every turn. The food simply inedible. Menus include a shrimp cocktail which took the word to shrimp to heart --- as in so tiny it required a magnifying glass. Fettucini alfredo --- kroger pasta with melted velveeta cheese - was a recommended dish. Beef is exclusively grade d and clearly princess has the same supplier as taco bell. What is truly said is we ate at both sabatinis and crowne grill -- the 'paid restaurants' and they were actually very good --- so clearly they know how to make good food -- and are just sticking it to passsengers at every other meal. The grill was heating frozen burgers and hot dogs. Gross. Service - unattentive, uncaring. Forget going the extra mile, these guys won't even go an extra step. Asking 'passenger services' to book a dinner reservation for us as we were going to be on an excursion the whole day was met with a --- please call this number and if they're not picking up thats not my problem. When they ran out of something at a restaurant, it was tough luck we've run out. Just a whatever experience. Entertainment -- i went in with low expectations and with the exception of one piano bar -- entertainment was lackluster. Decor - this ship looks like it hasn't been updated since the 1980s -- and even then it looks like they hired the worlds worst decorator. Cheesy does not begin to describe this --- just a horrible environment. Value --- the ship shold be called nickel and dime --- what a joke -- i mena just charge more for the cruise --- you sit down for your first meal or first show and its a sell sell sell -- buy this drink special, this coffee special. The art on board is true wal mart art -- and they are taking unreputed prints and tricking unknowing passengers into buying true garbage work. I honestly think this should be regulated --- as someone who invests in art -- i was appaled that these selling practices are legal or are endorsed by princess. Pictures -- total joke and pushy pushy pushy. When you got off a port in italy they had staff dressed up in aprons, with fake mustaches, holding empty boxes of pizza --- ahh im not that sensitive nor am i italian --- but that is incredibly racist/offensive no? Will never take a princess cruise again and will make it a personal mission to make sure everyone i know avoids this terrible company and experience. Learn from my mistakes and vacation elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have sailed on the Emerald Princess several times. So this review will not give you ship details per say. The Emerald Princess is a neat, tidy ship with good venues, satisfactory food and happy staff and service personnel. What I would ... Read More
We have sailed on the Emerald Princess several times. So this review will not give you ship details per say. The Emerald Princess is a neat, tidy ship with good venues, satisfactory food and happy staff and service personnel. What I would like to address is more the cruise itinerary itself. After several Caribbean, Mexico, and Panama cruises I can tell you that this one is definitely more 'work' if you will. There is only one scheduled sea day so not a lot of leisure time if you are out enjoying the ports each day. We arrived in Rome with a day and a half to enjoy the city before taking the ship's transfer from a near by hotel. We stayed just west of the Piazza del Popolo at 21 Hotel. It was a modern hotel near the Metro station with several good restaurants near by. Attentive, English speaking staff and breakfast was included. Rome was fabulous. On our one full day we took the Metro from our neighborhood to the Colosseum and explored that part of the city. We slowly ambled from there past the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo de'Fiori up to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain (which is under construction) and back to our hotel. Great day and we definitely earned our pasta that night. The next day we had to be at the transfer point at noon. It was an easy cab ride that took us past the Vatican where we could see the long lines that made us grateful we didn't try and get in the day before. The ride from the transfer point to the ship took about an hour and a half. Embarkation was well timed by Princess. Half of the passengers were already on board as we came in on the second week of a two week cruise. Being Captain's Circle members, we were invited to a free appetizer get together each night in Club Fusion. The servers there always greeted us by name when we arrived. We arrived in Palermo on a Sunday which meant several things were closed. After a day in the big city the day before, we decided to go to the beach. Mondello beach was a short bus ride away and an easy walk from the port to the bus station. However, the bus was packed with other beach goers and the bus stopped every two blocks. When we arrived, we purchased a day pass for two chairs and an umbrella in a private beach club. The public beach was much further down the way and I read that there were hawkers selling all kinds of things that we didn't want to be bothered with. So it was worth $20 Euros for us. Check out Mondellomare.it website for information. We did find out that if you go across the street from the beach, there are several take away restaurants and the beer is much cheaper! After the bus experience we decided to take a cab back to the ship which was much nicer and our driver spoke English well enough to give us some local color. The main street from the port into town wasn't very attractive, but there was a good restaurant for gelato and espresso and a few stores with olive oil gift packages. This was one of the few ports on the cruise that you could walk off the boat and be in the city. The next day was Salerno. Princess had to shuttle people from the boat through the industrial port and into town on buses. You cannot just walk off the boat. We decided to take a cruise of the Amalfi by boat with Blu Mediteraneo from the marina where the Princess shuttle drops us off. Check out http://blumediterraneosas.com for more information or check them out on Trip Advisor. This was the highlight of our trip! If you can see the Amalfi Coast by water- absolutely do it! No curving roads with irate Italian drivers this way. You get to swim in the Mediterranean, cruise by Sophia Loren's home while sipping prosecco and visit the picturesque towns of Amalfi and Positano. Not to be missed! The next day was a much anticipated day of rest at sea. After Rome, Palermo and the Amalfi Coast, we enjoyed sleeping in and a day of sun on deck. For Florence/Pisa, we took the cruise ship's transportation excursion that was 'self guided'. We did have a group guide who talked as we drove first to Pisa (30 minutes) and then on to Florence (hour and a half). Were were in Pisa for an hour which gave us enough time to take pictures of each other pushing the tower back upright, buy a few souvenirs and have a morning cappuccino. Be sure to Bing/Google how to order Italian coffee before you go. The woman next to me ordered a 'latte' and was confused when she only got a glass of steamed milk! The ride to Florence was beautiful with fields of sunflowers (past their prime but still picturesque) and Tuscan villages tucked in the hillsides. Florence was incredible. The Duomo is truly a work of art and not to be missed. There is also a Perfumery that has been in business since 1612 that was incredible. It's a bit of a walk to get to, but there are stores and history galore on the way. While Florence was a bit of a schlep to get to (hour and a half from port), it was well worth the visit. And we napped on the bus ride back to Livorno. Again, this port is in a industrial area and you can't just get off the ship and walk. In Genoa, we walked from the ship to the Genoa Principle train station a few blocks away and purchased train tickets to Vernazza for about $7 Euros each. The train ride took about an hour and a half with lots of stops. But once we got to Vernazza we were in the heart of the Cinque Terre with postcard perfect vistas of cliff side houses, restaurants and old ruins of long ago fortresses. It's a short walk to the port where we grabbed a water taxi to Monterosso after exploring the small town. In Monterosso we had a fabulous lunch of fresh mussels, lemon marinated local sardines and incredibly cold local white wine. The restaurant Pae Veciu was new and the owners and staff were very friendly. After exploring Monterosso, we took the train back to Genoa and the ship. In Toulon, we took the ship's excursion to San Tropez. Our guide on the bus gave us lots of information on the region as we drove the hour and a half to San Tropez. There wasn't much of a highway, so it was a lot of stopping and starting in small resort villages along the way. The town of San Tropez is quaint which seems juxtaposed to the huge yachts in the harbor. Our guide said that morage is $1000 Euros a day. After a quick walk around, we took a cab over to the famed beach at San Tropez. Nice beach but pricey for the small amount of time we had. We did enjoy a nice bottle of Rose from Provance from our rented beach seats and umbrella. Barcelona was probably our favorite of the big cities we visited. We disembarked easily and caught a cab to our hotel the Hotel Jazz which is at the top of Las Ramblas. They were nice enough to accept our luggage while we explored the city. Be sure to see the Market on Las Ramblas! There are food stalls and jamon vendors everywhere! But unfortunately you cannot bring jamon or cheese back to the US. Enjoy it in Barcelona as much as you can. Highlights in Barcelona were the Sagrada Familia, lots of tapas restaurants and definitely the market on Las Ramblas. This trip really gave us a chance to see several Italian, French and Spanish cities at one time. It was not the relaxing, sit-back-and-have-a-cocktail trip other destination offer. It was a trip filled with history, beauty and adventure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Cabin: Our steward had 19 cabins in his responsibility, by himself without any assistant, so the cleanliness of our cabin (R725 – Deck 14) was pretty much elementary. The toilet disinfection was completely doubtful and toiletries ... Read More
Cabin: Our steward had 19 cabins in his responsibility, by himself without any assistant, so the cleanliness of our cabin (R725 – Deck 14) was pretty much elementary. The toilet disinfection was completely doubtful and toiletries items did not exist at all. Twice that the cabin key didn’t work, we locked out and we’re waiting a qualified person, who simply told us that the lock deregulated. It is worth mentioning that while we’ve been waiting, other passengers who were passing by, kept smiling saying “you are not the only one…” A morning that the safe didn’t open, we called the reception desk (06:55 am) and the girl in service, told us that a qualified person will come “right away”. After waiting 20-25 minutes, we called back (07:20 am) and they said again “right away”. About 10 minutes later a qualified person came and began to knock the door of the safe (hello, is anybody in?) but nobody answered! He said us that neither anybody from the reception desk, told him that the safe didn’t open, nor he thought to bring a key just to open it. So he left, came back with a key, open the safe, find out low batteries and left again to bring new ones. When at last we could go out, it was almost 08:00 am, so we hardly catch the next train to Florence, instead of the 1st, lucky not book a specific excursion with Princess. Excursions: There were 2 shuttle overpriced services from ship berth either to Livorno / Piazza Grande (5 Euros/ pp round trip), or to Livorno train station (12 Euros/ pp round trip), operated from Princess Cruises and “ALOSCHI BROS Tour Operators” jointly, contrary to what stated on the Princess newspaper (Wed. 9 & Mon. 14 September 2015). This demonstrated with the stateroom charge that Princess company did and also with a Princess sign / tag on the tour guides shirt. Very good, helpful and polite service (bald with vision glasses gentleman) on behalf of “ALOSCHI BROS Tour Operators”, at Livorno 9/9/2015. Bad service on behalf of “ALOSCHI BROS Tour Operators”, at Livorno 9/14/2015 (impolite, insolent and arrogant 2 young girls). About 25 minutes delay (08:40 am, instead of written 08:15 am), in order to “fish” passengers / customers and not lose tickets for the last 4-5 empty bus seats, as a result not catch the 09:10 am train. Entertainment: Sparing, poorly, recurrent, with lack of imagination shows (dignified presence and decent efforts from Princess singers and dancers). Especially comic and mentalist were absolutely a big joke. Food: Poor quality with lack of aftertaste and with disrespect to passengers, limited quantity. Cheeses, sausages and generally the food breakfast was served again for lunch “in a different way”, after it had cut in pieces. In Da Vinci restaurant was served “spaghetti alle vongole” without any vongole, or spaghetti with uncooked, unfired heavy fresh cream. Also the girl in the entrance, was trying somehow to “avoid” us, because seems such a difficult asking a table for two. -They tried to recharge gratuities, although we had already prepaid them to the agent -Generally very helpful and kind but “unhappy”, saturnine, glum staff in all ship jobs. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
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