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4 Venice to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews

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
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 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
Sail Date September 2015
My wife and I (both over 70) where very pleasantly surprised at the size of the balcony cabin on C deck; being first timers we were a little apprehensive after reading various reports. We found the cabin to be well planned, with plenty of ... Read More
My wife and I (both over 70) where very pleasantly surprised at the size of the balcony cabin on C deck; being first timers we were a little apprehensive after reading various reports. We found the cabin to be well planned, with plenty of room to unpack completely, and an out of sight storage area for our suitcases. The balcony was private and a secluded with two chairs and a small table. Ideal for sitting a watching the sea and trying to read. The bathroom on the whole was fine, but as I am over 6 ft tall I found the shower to be a little cramped. It was easier to wet down then put on soap before washing off – I was unable to shower in my normal way of avoiding the water whole soaping etc. This small detail would be my only negative comment. Check in at Venice went like a dream – shore going excursions and re boarding all went smoothly, which really impressed me the way so many people where handled so smoothly. The food in the restaurants was very good, as was the overall service. Horizon restaurant for lunch after time ashore was ideal, with a large choice of food, which was constantly refreshed. I liked the idea of compulsory hand sanitizing on entry to the buffet area, and the plastic barriers to stop anyone handling the food except via tongs. All the staff members that we came in contact with where friendly and helpful, it was difficult at the end of the cruise to single out those for special mention. We loved the Crooners Bar – quiet, yet very good for people watching; plus the picture windows over the sea kept me interested. We enjoyed the shows in the theater, even those on the top deck brought back memories of yesteryear. We are both 'sold' on cruising in the future Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Island Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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