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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
After spending a few pre-cruise days in Venice, we boarded the Island Princess, our first time with them so we were naturally wondering what we would find! The boarding was quite good, everything ran smoothly; the cabin was ready and ... Read More
After spending a few pre-cruise days in Venice, we boarded the Island Princess, our first time with them so we were naturally wondering what we would find! The boarding was quite good, everything ran smoothly; the cabin was ready and our luggage was placed inside shortly after. Cabin E710 is located at the back of the ship so it was quiet as there were not many passengers moving around in the corridors, but when the seas were rough there was a lot of movement and strong vibrations from both the propulsion and waves hitting the vessel. Room size was good, excellent balcony with an open view, very good storage and a small bathroom with a “very small shower” stall. The bathroom was the only drawback for this cabin, not at all suited for heavy set people; TV programming (movies, news, etc.) was first rate. We chose the “any time dining” option in the Bordeaux. To avoid delays or misunderstandings about table preferences we always reserved our table one day in advance but that didn’t always work out; so be prepared to assert yourself in order to sit where you want! The staff in general are super-duper; attentive, fast, cordial and very professional and there are so many that it is difficult to name one and not mention the others, so I will give the name of only one, that in a way, represents all of them. Gianni (Italy), the Food & Beverage Supervisor is a real professional, as well as being a very caring and honest person. But I can’t stop there without mentioning two fantastic Bordeaux waitresses; the first is Olena (Ukraine) she is one-of-a-kind, also the hostess at breakfast and lunch in the Provence; the second one is Lupita, a full-of-life Mexican who picks up the spirits of everyone. The food in the Bordeaux was excellent, with different offerings every night and many interesting choices. All dishes sampled were very tasteful - large portions, served good and hot. The specialty restaurant, Sabattini’s was also excellent, especially their steaks (!!!) as much as their pizza’s at lunch time when it becomes Alfredo’s pizza; as it’s complementary (don’t bother trying them at the Pool Pizza!) The other specialty restaurants (charges apply) are the Bayou and the Crab Shack; both menus are inclined towards the Cajun (New Orleans) food and were not of our liking. It seems that was the case for many others too, because we noted it was practically empty every night when we passed it on our way to dinner. The only time that we saw the place full was when they offered a complimentary ‘English Pub Menu’ lunch. It was really good, especially the fish and chips - so it’s not to be missed! However we were disappointed at not having other types of cuisine, such as a French Bistro or a Steakhouse. Another excellent place to have dinner is in the Horizon Buffet Restaurant (deck 14), the choices are tremendous, it’s up to you how much you eat (danger!) and the waiters are on the ready to serve you and bring you whatever you’d like to drink. Because many passengers are at the theater or in the other restaurants, the place is very tranquil at night, so you can sit where ever you wish. But another “danger” are all those pastries!!! Tremendous selection!! Lunch time there, could be easy, as long as you don’t go when tour buses are returning to the ship! Then it is, real chaos!! The other alternative for lunch is at the Provence (quite enjoyable) as much as their breakfast. Of course you have the Grill at the Pool (burgers, hotdogs. etc.), the Pizza counter, etc. Some of the conferences given such as, on WW2 naval battles were very interesting as were the three Culinary Classes given by Master Chef Alfredo Marzi!! The musical shows at the Theater were unimpressive; the bars we frequented were the Crooners (pianist/singer Oliver, great!) and the Wheelhouse were you were able to dance to live music, however many of the musicians were second rate with dubious vocal skills. The ship has a very good feature (as I believe all the Princess ships have), that is a pay Laundry room on each deck; the cost was $3 for washing and same for drying and if you didn’t need either you could use the steam iron for free. Sometimes boarding the tour busses was tranquil but more often than not it was quite upsetting and stressful. This happened mostly because many passengers were impolite and on many occasions quite rude, pushing their way to get first to the bus so they could get the seats they wanted (usually the front ones) and the same happened when leaving the bus. What was hard to believe was that most of these people were seniors who one would expect would be an example of civility and good manners; it is not the first time that happened to us and that’s why we have finally decided to do the tours on our own, to avoid extra stress. Unfortunately, what was, and will be, unavoidable are encounters with them at the Horizon Buffet. Hard to believe and harder to accept those daily occurrences at the Horizon Buffet! Fortunately, there are many other seniors that behave in a respectful, considerate, friendly and positive manner. It was quite shocking to see so many people in wheel chairs, walkers or canes! We’ve seen this on other cruises but never so many as on this one. And for that reason we got quite concerned when all of a sudden a larger and larger number of them were coughing and sneezing and looking under the weather; a few days later a Medical Alert was sent to each cabin advising on the steps to take to avoid its spread throughout the ship. They even offered Tamiflu injections! The Island Princess had been refurbished earlier in the year to mixed Cruise Critic reviews. But, from our point of view, the Exercise Room, though very well equipped is located inside without sea views, so it seems a crowded and unwelcoming place. The same goes for the Mini golf course, too enclosed and not designed for beginners. The library needs to be updated and is poorly located as many passengers walk through it as a link between forward and aft corridors. The other no-no was the $10 sale event! Wasn’t up to the standards that Princess wants to be or would like to be considered for. The overall experience with Island Princess was highly positive, thanks to the many excellent experiences we had that put aside the few negative ones. The restaurants are excellent, the food superb, very good maintenance of the ship, etc. and the BIG stars were their staff! We never ever, experienced so much attention and care, done always with an honest smile full of energy and good will. It is really a pity that it took us so long to discover Princess Cruise Lines!! But for certain, we will be back!! TOURS!!!! Here are the comments of the ones we’ve been on. 1st stop – Dubrovnik, Croatia – Tour taken: “Dubrovnik & Konavle Home Visit” Too long a ride (1+ Hr.) for a very unsavory tour with not much to see during the ride. Once there, we all got together on a big outdoor terrace where some grappa (hard stuff) was offered, some music played by a group of waiters and then off to a basement were long wooden tables were ready for us. In general the food was from good (prosciutto & cheeses) to very bad (pasta) and really bad (red wine); the same musicians were playing some music while eating. After that, back to the bus, another 1+ Hr ride and boarding the ship. Tour guide (a blond girl) was good but unapproachable. Wasn’t worth the price paid. 2nd stop – Salerno, Italy– Tour taken: “Sorrento on your own” 4Hrs 45’ Not having been there before, we chose Sorrento. Happy we did because it is a very enjoyable town with many outdoor cafes, restaurants, great shops, etc. It was a beautiful day so we had lunch on an outdoor patio facing the main Piazza (Square), food (pizza) was excellent and the wine divine!!! Restaurant’s name: Syrenuse Bar Ristorante in Via Sant’Antonino; food, wine, service and atmosphere were all excellent! Highly recommended! 3rd stop – Civitavecchia, Italy – No tours taken. This time we had the chance to know better the city that used to be a stopover before joining previous cruises, so we decided to go to shore on our own. Map in hand we started to walk around, discovering the place at our own pace. Surprisingly, we enjoyed it very much! 4th stop – Livorno, Italy – Tour taken: “Lucca” - 4 Hrs. We’ve never been into Lucca. Another great choice! Regardless there is no time for lunch at the end, being a sunny and warm day, we were able to sit in an outdoor café facing Saint Michele Square (bus drop-off/pick up point), where we enjoyed tremendously, a great Cappuccino and a fantastic ice cream cone. Needless to say, we are planning to go back and spend more relaxing time there. To make all this more perfect was the Tour guide, Isabella! Completely fluent in English, very knowledgeable who gave so many tips to all of us in case we would like to return! Isabella was the best Tour guide of all this cruise, no doubt about it. Do not miss Lucca!! And hope you meet her! 5th stop - Toulon, France – Tour taken: “Scenic drive to Bandol & Sanary-sur-mer 4.5 Hrs. After quite a very nice interior scenic drive we hit Bandol on the coast; sorry to say but it didn’t say much to us, so no comments. From there back along the coast, we reached Sanary-sur-mer around noon and are gladly able to tell you that it was a very nice town! Has all the attributes that so many of the Mediterranean fishing towns have. That is, all the flavours, sounds and smells of those places; we were lucky enough that we got there just when the fishing boats had arrived, so they were busy selling their catch of the day to the Sanary locals! We saw some people sitting around, eating freshly caught sea urchins the fishermen were selling – they eat them raw! There was an open market facing the esplanade selling a lot of food specialties, the harbor is beautiful with any type and size of boats; very nice restaurants and coffee shops with their patios open to the sea! Great town and great experience. Tour guide, double zero. 6th stop – Barcelona, Spain – No tour taken. Very well-known city for us, so we tried one thing that we hadn’t done before and that was the cable car (Telesferic) that goes from San Sebastian Tower (bus #64 in downtown takes you there- ticket $ 3 euros) all the way to Mount Montjuic; you will have the chance to take very good aerial pictures of Barcelona from up there. It is a bit pricy ($11 euros cash only, one way). Once on Mt. Montjuic, to get back to town you had to walk all the way down a very twisting and steep road till you reached a big avenue; doing this is not recommended, so we suggest the reverse trip, that is take a taxi from down town Barcelona, up to the entrance of the cable car at the top of Montjuic and once you arrive at the other end, you take bus #64 back to down town. Tired and hungry we got to the Ramblas, were we enjoyed a terrific, people-watching outdoor lunch!!! 7th stop – Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal – Tour taken: “Crater lakes, Sete cidades & wine tasting” 3Hrs 45’ Unfortunately, the weather didn’t help at all!! Cold, very windy and foggy! So there wasn’t much that we were able to see of the lakes, (formerly craters). The island’s vegetation was outstanding and we were sure that with the right weather would’ve been superb, as much as would’ve been the green and blue lakes. Fortunately, the tour ended on a very high note which was a wine tasting event twined with locally produced young cheese varieties and crackers. Really fantastic! But, the weather spoiled it! Otherwise this tour would’ve gotten really high marks! The tour guide was inconsequential. From there, we started our very, too long, crossing of the Atlantic (a general consensus). Anyway, we docked at Fort Lauderdale, very happy that we took this beautiful voyage with the fantastic Princess Cruise Line!!! See you soon!!!! Thank you so much for your patience! Have a great and happy trip!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
It was a shame what the corporate office did when they decided to add 200 more rooms on the ship. Apparently they didn't account for the 400 more passengers to eat in the main dining room. We had my time dining and most nights were ... Read More
It was a shame what the corporate office did when they decided to add 200 more rooms on the ship. Apparently they didn't account for the 400 more passengers to eat in the main dining room. We had my time dining and most nights were given beepers to wait for an available table. Never had that happen before. Thought I was waiting at Rec Lobster! On formal night they ran out of beepers and we were told to come back in 45 mins. When we came back after 45 mins we were then handed a beeper to wait some more! One night ordered prime rib medium rare. When it came the meat was beige. When the waiter asked me how was my dinner I told him it was too done. He said "you ordered it medium rare and it looks medium rare to me". I then replied "I guess I'll have to order my meat rare from now on". No sommeliers so waiter was responsible with getting people's wine and drinks. I think this added to delays as it took 2 hours to complete our meal. Buffet area was so-so. Boring selection for lunch. Gym was in a small, windowless unappealing room. Casino was so tiny and unattractive. No shopping on board to speak of. Being the cruise was in November you would think that they would have trinkets and souvenirs to pick up. Very little to do on the ship during sea days. Hot tubs did not gave bubbles. Just sitting in a tub of hot water. We got the upper respiratory sickness that had spread throughout the ship. Did not see any aggressive cleaning to try and curtail the spread. Came into our cabin one day after an excursion in port to find our wastebasket sitting on our bed with a damp towel in it under where our sprinkler was. The comforter and mattress were all wet. They just left it like that! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Although we'd previously visited some of these ports/countries in past independent travel, this was our first repositioning/ Transatlantc cruise. The refurbished rooms on the Island Princess were an improvement over what we remembered ... Read More
Although we'd previously visited some of these ports/countries in past independent travel, this was our first repositioning/ Transatlantc cruise. The refurbished rooms on the Island Princess were an improvement over what we remembered from our Panama Canal cruise on the same ship last year. The wall-mounted flat screen TV & slight improvements to the bathroom gave an updated look. Some changes to the ship weren't positive, such as the smaller fitness center & the elimination of both the Universe Lounge, and the bigger pastry counter usually found on Deck 6. We always enjoy the port lectures in the theater, but here, the gentleman who served as port lecturer had a more limited role. Being in port on many consecutive days, the majority of his lectures were just recorded & shown on stateroom TV. And because he disembarked in Barcelona, there was no lecture given at all for our last port, the Azores. At many of the ports, Princess charged a high fee to get into the town via shuttle or boat, such as $29.00 to get into Venice. Any available , cheaper options were neither explained by the port lecturer or described in the Patter. The one free shuttle bus that was offered, in Salerno, was little used because so many of the tours ran late. We really enjoyed our tour that day, visiting Mt. Vesuvius & Pompeii, but were dismayed by some of the inconsiderate passengers. At both locations, people did not rejoin the group at the appointed time. At Pompeii, someone disappeared so the rest of us were left mlliing around while the tour guide looked for the wayward person for over half an hour, with no communication to the rest of the group. For the premium cost of these excursions, it seems that the cruise should build in some compliance by the participants, or at least stress punctuality.The days at sea were enjoyable, although there was a lot of congestion related to the dining rooms. People lined up in the evening before the Bordeaux dining room even opened, but were still given beepers. And at 5:45, some of the "anytime" diners were taken up to the Provence dining room (fixed seating.) It seems this system needs serious revamping. Delays in dining made it difficult to get to the shows in many cases, too. On the positive side, the cruise director & staff seemed very hard-working and energetic . Many people depended on reading to get through the long days at sea, and the Library collection on Deck 8 really is in need of updating. Looking at the book titles was like a throwback to the 1990's. But all in all,we enjoyed the cruise and all of the ports. We were very lucky to have excellent weather, with daytime temperatures in the 60'S and 70's. In spite of this nice weather, many people were coughing and sneezing, and a letter on respiratory illness was issued to all by the Medical Center, which was a bit daunting. We did learn to look for the "non- coughing" area at events! For the most part, we had an enjoyable time and felt that the crew and staff were hard working and available to passeners.Disembarkation was handled smoothly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I have more than 30 cruises under our belt, however, we usually do not use one cruise line. We select our cruises based on itineraries. The selection of this cruise was based on the ports and because my sister and her ... Read More
My husband and I have more than 30 cruises under our belt, however, we usually do not use one cruise line. We select our cruises based on itineraries. The selection of this cruise was based on the ports and because my sister and her husband were traveling with us and they wanted a long cruise. This was our third transatlantic, the first two on Celebrity Cruises, but this one on the Island Princess was the best. Looking at some of the other reviews people seemed to be preoccupied with the look of the ship but to us the most important concern is service and WOW!...they delivered. The service was phenomenal, from the cabin stewards, to the service staff, to the bar staff, excursion staff, sales personnel at the shops and best of all the waiters, asst. waiters and supervisors. If we were going to complain about anything, it might be that they catered somewhat to ballroom dancers and forgot that others like to dance at what we like to call "a la natural", which means, what ever floats your boat. They had very good movies on sea days which we enjoyed. We enjoyed the shows and the singers, nevertheless, we would of wanted some more comedians. In conclusion, based on what we experience on this ship we have booked two more cruises on Princess. Another transatlantic on April 2016 and a South American on January 2017. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
We relied on the very good reviews of this ship when we booked our cruise late in 2014, and the resulting high rating of the ship , but unfortunately most of the reviews and the resulting rating predates renovations that were recently ... Read More
We relied on the very good reviews of this ship when we booked our cruise late in 2014, and the resulting high rating of the ship , but unfortunately most of the reviews and the resulting rating predates renovations that were recently completed in March 2015 after we booked. So be forewarned look at the recent reviews only and ignore the ship rating or you will be misled by them like we were. The renovations among other things added cabins and passengers, blocked off the back of the no promenade deck, eliminated lounges and common area seating, reduced the size of the fitness center, and eliminated any dining options in the piazza like on most Princess ships. As a result there is overcrowding everywhere on the ship. Almost everyone on our crossing got sick with a respiratory illness and while this happens on any ship from time to time the overcrowding makes maintaing good hygiene to prevent the spread of illness more difficult. Forget about anytime dining on this ship...the wait for a table is so long you will be much better off getting a seat in tradional dining. Even in traditional dining many of the meals arrived cool like they were prepared hours before. Even the fries in the grill were not fres or hot. . And if you like buffets while the buffet food was hot and generally good, getting a seat in the Horizon Court was always a challenge. And the buffet line was way too crowded with people running into you and coughing over your food except at dinner. We have cruised on Royal Carribean, Cunard, Holland America, Seven Seas, and this was without a do to the worst ship we ever experienced. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We set sail from Venice on 14th October. We were at the rear of the ship in cabin C716, I agree with other contributors about the vibration particularly at night, more of a nuisance when it occurred, especially at night. Our steward was ... Read More
We set sail from Venice on 14th October. We were at the rear of the ship in cabin C716, I agree with other contributors about the vibration particularly at night, more of a nuisance when it occurred, especially at night. Our steward was Benedict he was superb and anxious to please. The food was 1st Class, we dined in the evening in the Bordeaux room a choice of about 12 different courses all very nicely served by professional and courteous waiters. The breakfast was taken in the Horizon room, it was so busy at times that we struggled to get a table, but we eventually always did. The breakfast menu was super, fruit, cereals porridge, pancakes, all varieties of eggs, sausages, bacon with tomatoes mushrooms waffles and much more although we could have breakfast in the Bordeaux room with waiters services, but this finished at 9am a little too early for us. Lunch was also serves in the Horizon, similar arrangements to breakfast also with a fantastic choice, It was all to tempting for me and I regret to say that I am now at home on a strict diet. Most of the staff were extremely helpful although I felt that the customer service staff at reception could have given a little more eye contact and a smile or two. I did not use the Princess theatre for the evening shows, but I was told by others that they were very good although I have to say that I did not enthuse over the entertainment in most of the bar lounges, I have received more enjoyment in my local social club. However I must say that it was always a pleasure to use the "Crooners Bar" where we were entertained by the pianist and singer Danny Oliver, he was fantastic and very pleasing to the ear. Although it was against the ships to bring on board spirits and beer, it was permitted to bring on two bottles of wines at each port of call. All in all a great trip on a fine ship albeit a little dated. ps. If you are not good on your feet get a cabin(sorry stateroom) as near to amidships and the lift as is possible Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
My age 61, travelling with my 62 year old partner, my 90 year old Dad and my 33 year old son, who has learning difficulties. This was our 16th cruise, but first with Princess, so I was excited to experience a different cruise line, and was ... Read More
My age 61, travelling with my 62 year old partner, my 90 year old Dad and my 33 year old son, who has learning difficulties. This was our 16th cruise, but first with Princess, so I was excited to experience a different cruise line, and was not disappointed. The port itinerary was not new to us as we did the same route last year with NCL. Unfortunately October can be lovely and warm, or chilly and wet, as it was this year. We arrived in Venice planning to take the water taxi from the airport - just the best way to approach the city over the lagoon, especially at dusk, however it was raining hard so we took a large taxi from right outside arrivals which took us right to the ship for just 45 euros. After an easy embarkation, we went straight to our staterooms D303 and D305 on deck 9. These were right by the lifts. Up to deck 14 and we exited the lift right next to the entrance to the Horizon buffet where we took all of our meals. Perfect. We found our staterooms to be incredibly spacious and spotlessly clean. The shower was a little small but no problem really. Plentiful storage for our clothes, and very comfortable beds. We had good sized balconies with 2 fabric loungers and a little table. We always use buffet dining, and found the food in the Horizon buffet to be plentiful, hot and top quality. The plastic plates were always hot too, which is a rarity. Although Horizon was always busy (less so in the evenings) we had no problem finding a table, or asking the servers to find one for us. The service was excellent. As soon as we were seated we were offered fresh orange juice and coffee at breakfast, then wonderful lemonade and water at lunch and dinner, plus the usual alcoholic drinks if required. I liked the way all the staff on the ship used "My lady" instead of the usual "Madam". It was fun and quirky. I loved the older style of the ship, and didn`t find the staterooms dated at all. We particularly liked the decor of the Wheelhouse Bar with its leather chairs and sofas, and the fabulous atrium. Unfortunately it was too cold for me to use the outdoor pool, or even sit outside to watch the big screen, which was disappointing, and although the Lotus Pool was covered and warm, the loungers were always taken. We only went to one show in the Princess Theatre as it was necessary to be there 30 minutes before the start of the show to get a seat. Instead in the evenings we went to the trivia competitions, played Monopoly in the library, and ended the evening with Happy Hour in the Explorers Lounge (buy one get one for 1$) listening to great music from the group Cosmic or DJ Tintin. A couple of things were disappointing - we like to play roulette, but there was only one roulette table in the casino. My son loves karaoke, but we found the advertised "Karaoke" to be a singing competition, which rather defeats the idea of karaoke. Ports and excursions: Venice - half a day with just enough time to walk to Piazza Roma and take the vaporetto to St Marks Square, which was flooded because of the high sea level. Istanbul - we took a taxi to the Blue Mosque (free entry), then it`s an easy walk to Hagia Sofia, which is a museum and has an entrance fee. We also had a quick look around the Topkapi Palace buildings. One day I`ll go to the Sultan`s Hamam! Mykonos - tender to the old part of Mykonos Town. Fantastic gifts of all prices and quality, with great art. Piraeus - Hop on hop off bus to Athens, where we stopped for lunch, took a horse and trap ride around the base of the Parthenon for 30 euros, then back on the bus to complete the route and return to the ship. Naples - we did take the hop on hop off bus, but the Capodimonte museum we wanted to visit was closed on Wednesdays. As it was cold and wet we just returned to the ship. Ajaccio - Just a typical Med seaside town, nothing special. We did take the little tourist train which goes around the town. Toulon - Big problem here as the ship did not dock in Toulon, but in nearby La Freyne Sur Mer, then Princess charged 20$ each for the ferry back to Toulon! Very naughty. We walked into the town of La Freyne, about 30 min walk, which has a big marina, and a street market. Livorno - Hop on hop off bus which took us to the funicular up to the Monastery of Montenero. Apart from the view there was nothing to see. This bus also stops at the birthplace and museum of Modigliani, but this shuts at 12.30 so we missed it. Civitavecchia - Disembarkation, which was extremely well organised. I had booked train tickets to Rome, but we were faced with an arduous trek on the shuttle to the big car park. Then another bus to the station. Then 20 steps both down and up to go under the lines, no lift. This was a nightmare with 4 large suitcases, and 2 people with mobility problems. Taxis are not allowed up to the ship, but privately booked cars are. We really enjoyed our holiday, and will be looking at Princess first for any future cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
We originally booked one of the new stern cabins, but after reading some of the early reviews decided to move. We booked B615 on Baha deck and had no trouble with the engine vibration(s). Embarkation: went smoothly - until we received ... Read More
We originally booked one of the new stern cabins, but after reading some of the early reviews decided to move. We booked B615 on Baha deck and had no trouble with the engine vibration(s). Embarkation: went smoothly - until we received our luggage - it was soaking wet. It was raining that afternoon in Venice and luggage was left uncovered on the quayside ! To be fair Passenger Services provided free laundry service.but there were many people in the laundry rooms. Princess could have earnt a brownie point by contacting all passengers with the "dryout" offer. The extra cabins that have been installed seem to have put a strain on some of the public areas, such as long queues for the restrooms after dinner and at the finish of the performance in the Theatre. There was an excellent singer/pianist in Crooners, Daniel Oliver but again seats/tables were at a premium. Food quality in the Provence dining room was excellent,every night and the service superb. The Horizon Court buffet was plentiful but noticed that the seating along the sides started to be cordoned off around 3.30, to set tables for evening meals and the Crab Shack, which meant that if you returned from a shore trip around 4.00, again difficulty in finding a table. Was really looking forward to visiting Istanbul and booked an excursion with SPB Med, who we had used in the Baltic/ St Petersburg on a previous cruise and they were really good. Would recommend this company for Baltic and Med excursions. Also booked Rome in a Limo for an excursion from Livorno to Pisa and San Gimignano which was also good value - especially the lunch/wine tasting (14 wines !) but this was extra/ Also used RiL for transfer to Rome airport at 32 euros pp - much cheaper than the Princess service. Cabin steward was excellent and kept our cabin in tip top condition. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, but think that Princess have tried to cram too many people on board without extending public areas, also missed the International Cafe, which I thought I woulnt Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We joined the ship at Venice cruise terminal nice and early and had a very slick embarkation. Because we had a ‘guaranteed’ cabin our luggage took a while to find us so we had a relaxing lunch .having previously cruised with Emerald ... Read More
We joined the ship at Venice cruise terminal nice and early and had a very slick embarkation. Because we had a ‘guaranteed’ cabin our luggage took a while to find us so we had a relaxing lunch .having previously cruised with Emerald Princess we found the ship’s layout was unsettling. When they refurbished the ship they added more cabins at the rear of the ship this also meant the spa and the Horizon buffet were moved to the front which for regular cruisers was very disorienting. Our cabin was one of the new ones A721 right near the back the layout of the cabin was an improvement, gone was the stack of shelves in the corner with its bulky TV, there’s now a flat corner table hiding the mini-bar and the TV is a 19” flat screen wall mounted at the foot of the bed another noticeable point was the lighting they had at last fitted some decent bulbs. We did notice considerable vibration and noise when the captain ‘played’ with the engines Being frequent cruisers we didn’t notice the slightly used look of the ship. The entertainment team under Dan (an Eric Morecambe clone) from Blackpool with his team from Liverpool, NZealand, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Leeds were the best we’ve encountered, always friendly and willing to chat (unless busy). Dining we used anytime dining and even using the pager did not have to wait long, disappointing was the food as another reviewer said there were some weird concoctions. Whether it was the galley or the waiting staff but there seemed to be a lot of waiting for food and I’m sorry to say most of it was tepid or cold. On the nights we used the horizon buffet we found a good choice being a server it was hot even the plates. Also in the buffet the waiters were something else, at your elbow to take your orders for drinks (tea etc) and whisked dirty plates as soon as you finished. A nice touch was laying out the table with place mats and cutlery all ready to go. Even at the busiest times you could still find a seat (if you’re willing to share). Occasionally we used the grill above the pool when you fancied a thick hamburger or hotdog. That together with free ice cream and pizzas there was something for all. Entertainment was plentiful with the usual games during the day, with some very popular Trivia Quizzes (our favourite). In the evening there was a mix of music venues satisfying music lovers, some popular TV games –under a different names – which were hilarious. Finally there were some excellent shows in the Theatre, ranging from full musicals using top notch dancers and singers to top class comedians. We did not use the ship’s tours having been to the sights previously, we still went ashore and enjoyed the local towns and mingling with the locals. The disembarking went like silk. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to and no idea what to expect from Princess. Overall, we were impressed and will definitely cruise again. Majority of the passengers were Brits ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was our first cruise so had nothing to compare it to and no idea what to expect from Princess. Overall, we were impressed and will definitely cruise again. Majority of the passengers were Brits and Americans but also lots of Australians and Canadians. Most we spoke to seemed to think Princess were one of the better cruise companies. The food and service were excellent. Great buffet choice @ breakfast / lunch although it felt a bit like one of those all you can eat diners you get in Orlando. We had the Anytime Dining in the evening and the food was generally superb. We didn't feel the need to pay extra to visit the speciality restaurants. The one big disappointment was the entertainment. I was expecting much better but what we got was a bit like Butlins. We didn't bother with any of the Princess excursions as the prices were ludicrously expensive. With a little bit of research it was easy to DIY and a huge amount cheaper. Read Less
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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