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

5 Princess Spain Cruise Reviews

The food and entertainment were excellent. The shows (including (Gareth Gates) were west end standards and the ships band were the best. A good choice of food was always available as was the ice cream, unlike P & O! We've been ... Read More
The food and entertainment were excellent. The shows (including (Gareth Gates) were west end standards and the ships band were the best. A good choice of food was always available as was the ice cream, unlike P & O! We've been on most of the cruise lines before, including a previous Princess, but this has to be one of the best ships. The cabin steward, bar staff, restaurant staff, were so polite and obliging. The ship itself, although built in 2004, had obviously had a recent update. The bed in our cabin was king size and very comfortable. The only negative thing I could find was the choice of beers! All lager types apart from Bass (brewed in USA!!!) and the tasteless John Smiths and Boddingtons. Here's where P & O score points as they have a good choice of British Beers. Princess, take note!!! Definitely go with Princess again though. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We last sailed on Emerald in January, in the Caribbean. This time - seven nights out of Southampton to the north-west tip of Spain. The ship holds well over three thousand people and, as far as we could gather (Princess are cagy here) was ... Read More
We last sailed on Emerald in January, in the Caribbean. This time - seven nights out of Southampton to the north-west tip of Spain. The ship holds well over three thousand people and, as far as we could gather (Princess are cagy here) was fairly full. But it absorbs passengers like a sponge and you do not realise the numbers- apart from lifeboat drill. Main lounges could do with more lighting and less badgering from bar staff always eager to make another sale, but entertainments are good and varied and the production shows in the main theatre well worth another visit even if you have seen them on previous cruises. Service - excellent. Nothing too much from the friendly staff. We drove to Southampton and parked our car with (prebooked) CPS, very smooth. Boarding over three thousand people in three hours did cause queues, but once in your cabin you relax. We had a compact balcony cabin on Baja deck with an excellent steward. Meals: most people breakfast in the buffer restaurant but it can be a scrum with tables full so on most mornings we went to a 'downstairs' restaurant with waiter service. Lunch - no idea, we deliberately missed it to leave room for afternoon tea. Dinners had plenty of choice but do remember they're cooking for thousands of people. IF you're still hungry at a time the ice cream place and pizza bar and hamburger stall are closed, the café on deck 5 is open 24 hours (but it charges for coffee. Boo hoo.) Casino, art auctions, spa treatments - we spend our money on more cruises instead. Ports. Corunna, means Santiago de Compostella, one of the mediaeval big three pilgrimage sites. The devout still walk the month long route over the mountains from France. T here's no way my titanium knee would withstand that. Instead, Princess bussed us there in three-quarters of an houjr in a Mercedes coach. (The other two sites are the Vatican in Rome and the Holy Land) Bilbao = museum of contemporary arts. Once over the shock of finding there are virtually no paintings, the exhibits overwhelm. My knee loved all the titanium wall panels. Bordaeux - actually a container port at the tip of the left hand side of the estuary, two hours by bus from the city which the energetic mayor has had turned into something really spectacular. We were there for three days on a river cruise a month earlier, so this time we stayed on the ship. Guernsey, we tendered ashore to find it was liberation day (from Germany in 1945.) The island is very much sit down, switch off, and enjoy. We toured a well worth visiting manor house. Disembarkation - organised and smooth. Wait for your 'colour' to be called, a few minutes more, short walk to the car park, and away. Fort Lauderdale please please try to copy. Overall, this cruise struck us as a good one for people who have never cruised before. Not too long if they do find they don't like cruising, plenty to interest for those who do, a nice ship with excellent staff in a warm friendly informal atmosphere, and if you live in the UK - no airports. . Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I have just returned today from the Princess Emerald Iberia cruise. There where over 500 young people on board due to the English half term in schools. However, Princess had them well occupied, we hardly saw any children most of them went ... Read More
I have just returned today from the Princess Emerald Iberia cruise. There where over 500 young people on board due to the English half term in schools. However, Princess had them well occupied, we hardly saw any children most of them went to all the kids activites. The ones we did see seemed to be occupied with laptops and ipads enough said. We found the food to be of the usual high standard which Princess pride themselves on. We attended the Grill which I have to say was excellent, our waiter explained the protocol, which allows you to have every pudding on the menu (excellent), the lobster was wonderful, as was the steak. Even with the amount of people on board we always managed to obtain a seat in the buffet, and ate with the open dining option which enabled us to mix with lots of different people every night. I found the entertainment slightly frustrating, as I wanted to attend the ballrom dancing but there were other acts on which clashed. Interestingly they held the ballrom dancing in the Explorers lounge which was far to small. P&O have listened to their customers and provided ballroom dancing every evening on some of their ships. Come on Princess, it's a great way to keep fit and its not just older people who want to do ballroom dancing the two sessions that were provided where very busy, no crammed to the gunnels. You need a larger dance floor Princess come on....P&O have the edge here. Our room was spotless, as usual all the staff worked very hard there is no hiding place for the cabin crew, so well done to all the stewards. The dining staff or waiters were excellent, however, on our last day the waiters took so long we had to leave our pudding because we wanted to see the show which started at 8.30pm. Interestingly we where in the resturant for 6.15pm. I did hear other people complaining that they had no coffee, or had to leave to see a show, hence no pudding. Our waiters were all generally very good apart from the last night. Would we go with Princess again 'yes' we have been on four other cruises over a period of ten years and all have been excellent. You can see where savings are being made tho, on small things, for example I had to ask for a shower cap, and there was no complimentary hair products. Also you used to have the chocolate midnight buffet...no more, sad really. I had to explain this to several new cruisers who thought it sounded great... I wish I could roll the clock back ten years because new cruisers would be amazed at what we older cruisers where once used to   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We and our travel companions have now completed our seventh cruise, so probably in the eyes of many, we are mere novices. However, to begin, the destinations were not our favorite, but hey, we just wanted a cheeky seven day cruise that was ... Read More
We and our travel companions have now completed our seventh cruise, so probably in the eyes of many, we are mere novices. However, to begin, the destinations were not our favorite, but hey, we just wanted a cheeky seven day cruise that was a sailaway. The Ship: hugely understaffed, we had any-time dining, which proved to be no-time dining, turn up, given a bleep, told 30 minutes, go back after 45 minutes, told at least another 30+ minutes. Gave up and went to 'Cattle Club Dining' (Horizon Court). Not a good start..... We prefer to enjoy breakfast in one of the main restaurants, where one can enjoy a more sedate and serene dining experience, upon arrival at said restaurant, queues snaking up the stairs. Hey Ho, back to 'Cattle Club Dining' (Horizon Court). Not a good start..... It was obvious to most people that a further restaurant should have been opened, as the one that was open was clearly unable to cope with demand, hence peoples opinion that the ship was understaffed. Entertainment: Y'all ready for a 'Country Hoe Down', not our cup of tea..... Plenty of bingo, scrabble, piano playing, oh, the Freddie Mercury tribute, Steve Larkin, was superb, and the highlight of our cruise. Spa: Had a lovely 'Couples massage', absolutely divine, seriously. However, totally ruined by the 'hard sell' at the end, where immense pressure is applied while you're still all floppy and in a massage stupor, 'Right, we'll book you in for two more sessions and sell you all these products for hundreds of dollars, whilst we've got you in the massage stupor'. Not the way to do it, Guys. Having just paid $310 dollars, I would have preferred a slighty better conclusion to the experience. We bolted out of there like greyhounds, commando crawling past the front desk, in case we got spotted by the sales people....... No smoking policy: Why would we ever pay the extra cost for a balcony, when you can no longer smoke on it? Anti smoking whingers win again..... Cabins: Excellent. Food Quality: 7/10 in the 'free' dining, SUPERB in the Crown grill!! Ports: La coruna, Shut, ok if you like churches........ Bilbao: Couldn't be arsed to get off the ship, after being dissapointed by La Coruna..... Le Verdun: Free shuttle bus into Soulac Su Mer, lovely, quiet little village, really nice people, loved it. People paid mega cahunas to go to Bordeaux, 80 odd km's away, and it rained.... Guernsey Now, don't get me wrong, we don't consider ourselves experienced cruisers yet, not by any means, but we've been to the Caribbean twice, been with Princess to the Caribbean, been with P & O, NCL, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, if you want to know how to do entertainment, Ncl's EPIC, is the master....we know everyone has an opinion on what makes their cruise a great cruise, this just wasn't ours.........XX Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was our 7th Princess cruise but our first since 2009 and sad to say we did notice that standards had slipped in a number of areas. Mainly little things like they no longer produce the daily newspapers for US, Canadian and UK ... Read More
This was our 7th Princess cruise but our first since 2009 and sad to say we did notice that standards had slipped in a number of areas. Mainly little things like they no longer produce the daily newspapers for US, Canadian and UK passengers, a box of tissues in your cabin is no longer standard, but available if you ask, the sun decks were not cleaned to previous high standards and used crockery etc. was not cleared away as rapidly, and, unlike other US lines sailing from the UK, they don’t provide tea or coffee making facilities in your cabin. But by far the biggest disappointment was in the standard of the food, we always found that dining on Princess was exciting with each course savoured, this was no longer the case and the quality of some of the cuts of meat was well below our previous experience. Probably the biggest deterioration was in the breakfasts, we found a lot of the food items in the buffet were at best only lukewarm, whilst in the MDR we experienced very slow service. I highlighted some of these issues during the cruise and to be fair passenger services did take them seriously and we ended up with 3 boxes of tissues! But more importantly the buffet breakfasts did get much hotter. Overall the cruise was still very enjoyable, especially since we were with our 2 sons and their families, and we did get some very good service from most of the bar waiters and those in the MDR. Was it good value, well yes but only because we got 2 price drops honoured by Princess which resulted in the overall cost reducing by 40% from the original booking fee. Whilst Princess continue to give price drops they will likely remain competitive, but their launch prices in the UK are much higher than RCCL/Celebrity or now, on this year’s launch, even their partner company P&O, and as we need to book early to secure an accessible cabin then they would need to be providing a must have itinerary for us to give them our future business. Entertainment. This was typical cruise ship fare with production shows and guest artists in the theatre, but unlike P&O there were no guest artists in the other venues only the ships staff musicians, DJ music or the entertainment staff organising trivia type shows or the Princess Pop Star passenger talent contests. There were however some guest acts performing in the Piazza as well as a couple of pseudo shows from the ships singers and dancers. But Princess do try to pack more features into their Piazza area, as a result it can get very crowded at some times and finding a seat is well-nigh impossible. The lack of guest artists in the other lounges was probably fortunate for us since we found that both the lounges had poorer viewing access of the stage areas than their P&O equivalents, but for canned music this is not a problem. We also found that Explorers lounge had worse access for wheelchairs than P&O’s Tamarind or Malabar equivalents, and as a result we did not use this lounge. There were a fair mix of musicians on board including a string duo, a couple of pianists, a C&W duo, a guitarist and a party band, generally sufficient to find some bar with your type of entertainment. Ports of call. All the Ports of call were our first visits, at none of which did we take any ship’s excursions, mainly because Princess did not offer any accessible tours at all on this cruise, but they did provide free accessible shuttles where needed. La Coruna – The ship berths close enough to the town centre so that a shuttle bus is not needed. It is quite a large town on a peninsular, similar to Cadiz but much bigger and more modern, with a promenade, the Paseo Maritima, following the coast line and providing a reasonably level walk whereas the town centre is quite hilly in places. We did not venture as far as the Tower of Hercules but wandered around the old town and then into the town hall square which has sidewalk cafes all around it. We enjoyed a tapas lunch and then a short stroll back to the ship. Bilbao – The berth is at Getxo which is about 3 miles from Bilbao centre and requires a shuttle transfer of 20-30 mins, provided free by Princess. Unfortunately there was only one accessible bus and it did not run to the provided timetable, as a result we just missed it and decided to let the rest of our party use the normal bus and we went back on board, so I have no real information on Bilbao, other than the family enjoyed it and said it was very pleasant. Le Verdon (for Bordeaux) – The berth is a 3 hr. drive away from Bordeaux and Princess only provide shore excursion tours to Bordeaux or the vinery’s, but they do provide a free shuttle to Soulac sur Mer, however the shore excursion team and even the Captain go out of their way to disparage Soulac, and one of the team even told me that it had little to offer and any beach Soulac had was quite poor and too far away for an easy walk, all of which is quite wrong. The town is only about 20 mins away and although fairly modern is quite a charming little seaside resort. The main shopping street is about a quarter to half mile long leading from the main square where the shuttle drops you right to the sea front which has a magnificent beach and a pleasant promenade. It obviously began as a tourist resort back at the start of the last century and has one or two interesting old hotel buildings on the sea front, and quite a large old market building along the main street with the usual shops selling all sorts of interesting food produce. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. St Peter Port, Guernsey – This is a tender port and since I was informed that my wife would need to be able to take a few steps in and out of the ships tender and that there were also steps from the dock in the town we decided to stay on board. So we were rather disappointed to find that Princess were also using a larger shore based tender and we saw at least one wheelchair and passenger carried on board this vessel, but by this time the rest of our family had already gone ashore. Conclusions. We had a very enjoyable cruise and cruising still provides a high quality holiday at a reasonable price, but for those of us who have been cruising over the last 10 – 20 yrs. the cutbacks in quality of food and standards of service are quite noticeable. Comparing Princess with other lines we sail, we think they are now very similar to P&O, but have fallen behind Celebrity’s standards, and are probably closer to RCI and CCL itself. This is perhaps not surprising as both Princess and P&O are part of Carnival, but this now leaves Carnival without a main stream high end offering since HAL is a much smaller operation.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click