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3 Venice to Europe - All Princess Island Princess Cruise Reviews

This is a beautiful ship in excellent condition with outstanding cuisine and a very attentive staff & crew. I have sailed 2 previous times with Princess but this was my first time on an "older" Princess ship. Now I chuckle ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship in excellent condition with outstanding cuisine and a very attentive staff & crew. I have sailed 2 previous times with Princess but this was my first time on an "older" Princess ship. Now I chuckle writing that because the Island Princess just came out of an extensive dry dock and looks brand new! We originally booked a mini-suite and were offered an upsale 6 weeks prior to departure to a full suite. I cannot say enough how beautiful the Naples suite is (Baja Deck 745). Marble entry way, full size jacuzzi bathtub, separate shower, 2 sinks, private toilet area, separate living/bedroom area, extremely comfortable mattresses, more storage than needed & a double balcony. Again - the nicest stateroom we've ever had. We were the 4th sailing after the dry dock so we felt very fortunate to experience this stateroom in its prime condition. I'm posting the Princess Patters and Port Guides from our cruise under Princess Cruise Line forums - so be sure and check those out for all of the activities and itinerary information. There was always plenty to do but our favorite spot on the ship will always be the Sanctuary! SO quiet and relaxing. The dining was very good to excellent. Some dishes better than others but consistently very good. We loved the crusty rolls, softened butter, variety of menu choices & scrumptious desserts. The wine choices were good too. I am sad to say that our worst meal was in Sabitini's which we paid extra for. That was our first night and we never went back. Horizon's Buffet was okay. Not my favorite but sometimes it fit our time schedule for breakfast, lunch or a late night snack. Suites are offered an extended room service menu - the blueberry pancakes were the best. For some reason, our room service orders never, ever came as ordered. We always had to call back with something they forgot (bowl for the cereal we ordered for example). They really couldn't get it right. Embarkation and Disembarkation were painless. Princess has this down perfectly. The port lectures were outstanding. I can't say enough about how important it is to attend the lectures for a port intensive itinerary such as the Grand Mediterranean. Peter (the port expert) always offered great tips for getting on and off the ship. He even had office hours where you could ask him questions about your planned day. His knowledge cannot be emphasized enough! We loved all the ports (missed Istanbul due to rescuing the Syrian refugees). Our favorites were Santorini (substituted for Istanbul), Mykonos & Naples. It's amazing how much you can see in the 10 hours you have in port! We did a mixture of Princess shore excursions and those we booked privately. Both were great. The comedian, Al Katz, was the best we've experienced on any cruise. What a super funny guy that kept it clean for families! Other entertainment was very good. You won't go wrong booking the Island Princess! I can't say enough good things about our trip. Princess really knows how to offer a consistently wonderful cruise experience! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My wife and I joined two other couples for a 12 night grand tour Mediterranean cruise which embarked in Venice and finished in Barcelona. The ship underwent a two or three month re-fit which eliminated some lounge areas, down sized the ... Read More
My wife and I joined two other couples for a 12 night grand tour Mediterranean cruise which embarked in Venice and finished in Barcelona. The ship underwent a two or three month re-fit which eliminated some lounge areas, down sized the fitness center and moved it into the bilge and added a couple hundred cabins. I'm sort of a fitness nut so the losing the luxurious fitness center was a bummer, but I tried to keep an open mind. And we boarded the ship in Venice with high hopes. Sadly developments were to show the re-fit wasn't very well done and some of the staff were not sufficiently familiar with the Mediterranean ports, having spent the winter cruising the Panama Canal. The first night at sea introduced us to the re-fit issues. Most of the ships decks lost all electrical power. Lucky for us we were already in our cabin. There was an announcement to not use the elevators. Not sure what happened to those poor souls already in the elevators when they went black. The electrical problems resurfaced several other times during the voyage interfering with stage show being delayed or cancelled. The next morning I visited the dark little fitness center in the bowels of the ship only to find it closed due to flooding from plumbing issues. It would eventually re-open but I found it so dingy and depressing that I just worked out in my cabin the rest of the trip. I tried the promenade deck where I'd read passengers could do a mile walk around the ship. In fact there was a helpful sign telling us how many circuits was a mile. In fact I found the promenade deck blocked at the stern by new cabins. The sign hadn't been adjusted to reflect this new reality. I tried to find the indoor golf which was advertised. Nope. Closed. The first breakfast at sea one of our couples reported their toilet wasn't working and they weren't the only ones. We found several people with that problem, mostly in the new cabins. And for the rest of the voyage we had to rush through the passageways near the aft stairwell which smelled of sewage every day. Another problem with the new cabins in the stern was vibration from the engine. Some passengers couldn't get any sleep as a result and had to be moved. Speaking of the engine, after our Naples stop we were informed the engine was having problems causing us to be significantly late into port for the rest of our voyage. The resulting problems connecting with excursions caused us to have to rush some visits, miss some sites (Pisa for instance), and completely miss some excursions all together, (Toulon & Provence). On the whole the cabin stewards and waiters were very helpful, but the staff in charge of disembarkation were clearly not up to speed on the Mediterranean ports yet. The stop in Mykonos was our first clue. There was apparently a local requirement that our ship was limited to using local tenders instead of the ships tenders. There were only six local tenders. The ship staff collected the passengers for disembarkation and we waited for hours with no explanation. Eventually they explained the problem, but too late. At other ports where we could dock, the staff couldn't seem to get the gangway down and again passengers were languishing in long lines with no explanation of the delay. In Livorno (where we were an hour and a half late) our off ship excursion directed us to take the Princess shuttle to the bus park to meet. Yet our help desk staff swore up and down there was no such shuttle. Nope, wrong again. When we finally got off the ship there was the Princess shuttle to the bus park first in the line of buses. Some of these things Princess can hopefully fix and perhaps the staff will get more familiar with the Mediterranean ports. I hope so for those who've already booked a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This trip from Venice to Barcelona was a birthday gift for my daughter. I have been on many cruises with my husband but this was a girls only trip. I was hoping for an excellent experience for her as it was her first cruise. ... Read More
This trip from Venice to Barcelona was a birthday gift for my daughter. I have been on many cruises with my husband but this was a girls only trip. I was hoping for an excellent experience for her as it was her first cruise. Unfortunately the problems we encountered turned what should have been a totally relaxing, worry-free trip into a bit of a nightmare for the first half of the trip. As the ship had just come out of dry dock the brand new carpets in L715 reeked of formaldehyde and we had to leave our balcony doors wide open day & night so we could breathe. The TV was new and the remote didn't work. The steward told us there wasn't a replacement remote onboard so we had no TV until 3 days into the cruise when a new remote magically appeared in our room. The Gym wasn't open until a couple of days into the cruise as it wasn't completely restored from having been in dry dock I assumed. We chose "anytime dining". The food was good though there were not enough "tables for two" in the Bordeaux Dining Room. Whenever I asked for a table for two the Maitre d' would grimace & grudgingly give us a small table two inches away from another small table - so no privacy at all. Otherwise the service & food presentation was very good. The excursions we booked would have been perfect except for the really poor English of some of the guides. Our guides in Istanbul, Rome, and Toulon, France were almost impossible to decipher as their accent was so heavy. On most of the excursions the radio & ear phones cut out frequently or didn't work at all & once mine had to be replaced. The guides' knowledge of their area seemed to be very good when we could understand them. I think more attention has to be paid to the guides' pronunciation as well as their knowledge of the area. Read Less
Sail Date May 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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