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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
First let me say we are elite on Princess and love the cruise line. We only wanted to be gone around a week and have an easy flight from New York and so we chose this cruise. Our two days in London were fabulous ( I wish we had more time) ... Read More
First let me say we are elite on Princess and love the cruise line. We only wanted to be gone around a week and have an easy flight from New York and so we chose this cruise. Our two days in London were fabulous ( I wish we had more time) we took the Princess package with their reliable pick-up at the airport and a very nice clean modern business hotel The Pullman St. Pancreas with a fabulous breakfast included and a very helpful staff. It was only 7 minutes on the underground to Piccadilly and we raced around to the British Museum, The National Gallery and my favorite the National Portrait Gallery. We also saw Jersey Boys for the third time and I thought it was wonderful, the cast terrific, and almost as good as Broadway. Our drive to the pier was a little hairy as the driver was weaving in and out of traffic and had to stop for breakfast as he felt dizzy. Once at South Hampton, everything went well. There were enormous lines but it helped to be elite and since we made our Spa reservations online and had no intention of killing ourselves to get the Sanctuary ( as we would in the Caribbean) we were relaxed. We took a mid-ship mini-suite and it was fine. We had a very nice steward ( we always tip $20 before the cruise).Our first problem was at dinner. We always reserve the early traditional sitting. In the old days you would go down to the dinning room and see your table and if you didn't like it you would talk to the head waiter and he would change it. No more, now your table number is on your cruise card. Our table was so dark and noisy that we were very disappointed. No change available. We left and marched over to the Crown Grill. George was wonderful and showed us to a window table. The food and staff were great and we ate there the next three nights. The fourth night we ate at Sabatini's. Hey, I know there's a cover charge, but it was worth it. Then we got smart. We went to anytime dining EARLY. We got a table by the window and found out it's number. The next two mornings we called at 8:00AM and requested that table. It was wonderful. We had the best waiter and a great time. The ship is still lovely, the shows pretty good, the casino empty ( slots were very tight). We were disappointed in most of the ports. Bergen was terrific but the ship was only there until 1:30. Don't take the tour to the old house Museum outside town. It is boring with nothing much to see. For Bergen, you really can just go on your own and walk around and see the fish market and interesting shops. The Stave Church port was a disappointment too. The Boat ride up the Lysejford was pretty and you get some good photos and you stop for waffles with homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream. The walking tour with Kari in Alesund was a nice day. I think if you have been to New Zeeland, Chile, and Alaska the fjords are small. But they are serene and peaceful. We loved playing trivia on the ship. I have never seen such a turn-out in 17 Princess cruises. It was a lot of fun and very competitive. The Cruise Director Billy London was never seen except on TV and he wouldn't let his asst. get a word in. Later we had the asst. Ryan for Trivia and he was hilarious. All in all, every cruise is great. We'll be on the Ocean Princess in February and I can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
This was definitely a cruise I should have used cruise critic. I always do, except here. Never again. We booked Normandy, Loch Ness, Jameson brewery & tour of coastal Belfast. All were an A+. I recommend each one. We took the hop on, ... Read More
This was definitely a cruise I should have used cruise critic. I always do, except here. Never again. We booked Normandy, Loch Ness, Jameson brewery & tour of coastal Belfast. All were an A+. I recommend each one. We took the hop on, hop off buses in the rest of the cities. ...ripped off. ..at least a 1/3 more in cost. When I got back and complained, she said she checked and they weren't that much off. I was there...I think she forgot. Get tickets in the city. Ruby Princess gave us erroneous information on shuttles. We paid about $130 for bus into Edinburgh...shuttles were about3.5 lbs. Yes, we were ripped off. Then in Glasgow they told us they had shuttles..au contra ire. We hoofed it to the train station and went into Glasgow. My husband thinks Glasgow was the best; I think Edinburgh..where we did hop on, hop off. I recommend anytime seating. We really enjoyed that and ended up sitting at the same table most of the nights. Some dressed in suits at formal night and pretty casual on the rest. Invergordon was such a neat place. Oh, plan on getting off at ports and taking your iPad or connection as the wiFi is horrid. We signed up, and canceled as it took me 14 minutes to connect (I was paying time) and then I still couldn't get thru. They shouldn't even offer it, it is so bad. I was really surprised; however, I just took our iPad and you can always see where the free wiFi is because of the crowds...no problem. Weather was not bad..overcast but it only rained twice..5 min. in Normandy/Arromanches) and about 15 on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. The blonde on the tour desk is great. She works hard to get you what you want..other not so hot. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2005
Booking: Used an excellent agent who knows their stuff about cruise lines. As this was the first official cruise after the ship's re-naming, I telephoned Princess to check whether the power points in the staterooms were US or UK as ... Read More
Booking: Used an excellent agent who knows their stuff about cruise lines. As this was the first official cruise after the ship's re-naming, I telephoned Princess to check whether the power points in the staterooms were US or UK as it had previously sailed as the Adonia under P&O. I was told US but in fact there are both US and UK power points. Embarkation: We actually boarded at Southampton but not listed on pull down-options! Was cruising with my mother who has elite membership status so our queue was short, but ordinary queue looked very long. Hoildayed with my family wife and 3 children 14, 13 and 3. Staterooms: We had inside cabins on Deck 11 Aloha. Rooms were smallish but well planned good closet and drawer space. Bathroom small but adequate. Dining:The food was excellent. We dined at la Traviata restaurant at night, waiter was very good and quality of food excellent. Mainly used Horizon Court at breakfast and lunch and food was also very good, plenty of variety, sometimes difficult to find seating at busy times. Older children also used outside deck buffet which wasnt great and Cafe Corniche which is pizzas and pasta which was very good. Entertainment: Mixed. Princess theatre is a bit small for the number of passengers on board if the ship is full (and it was!) all seats bar singles were taken a good 10 minutes before start of most shows. Movies Under The Stars was on during the day but you needed to wear headsets to listen and were quite old films. Picture resolution even in bright sunlight was excellent though. More up to date movies were shown at night but not many watched as we were cruising the Atlantic, it wasnt really warm enough despite blankets being provided! Will be better in the Med and Caribbean,Im sure. Service: Most staff were very helpful and friendly and made an effort to be nice to the children. Disembarkation: Chaotic. There were 3 ships disembarking that morning and the port officials went to the wrong berth hence delaying things considerably. Way too many people hanging around near the exits. Kid's club: As the ship was being converted from Adonia which was child-free,the kid's club was pictured as an artist's impression in the brochure and was shown as very spacious with lots of large toys, slides etc. However, the room actually used was TINY with poor facilities and the staff weren't great. My daughter hated it and refused to go and she is used to going to nursery. This was my first cruise with Princess though Ive been on 20+ cruises in all and I was very impressed, overall. My one gripe would be that given that from May to September it sails from Southampton and our cruise there were 1800 British passengers and 140 US passengers many things were still geared to US tastes, which is a little puzzling. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We took the 12 night British Isles trip in June. This is probably my eighth cruise and first on Princess. The good is that the ship was nice, the staff was hard working, the food was always decent to very good with a large and changing ... Read More
We took the 12 night British Isles trip in June. This is probably my eighth cruise and first on Princess. The good is that the ship was nice, the staff was hard working, the food was always decent to very good with a large and changing selection on the buffet. The pre-destination talks were informative and we caught a couple of art lectures that were very interesting. That said, the activities and entertainment were all but non-existent. This was the British Isles so, no surprise, it was overcast or raining literally 100% of our trip. Because of the weather, the pools were permanently closed and the decks were windy and cold so, unlike other cruises, you couldn't just go sit by the pool. Seriously, there was almost nothing to do on the ship but eat and watch TV in our rooms which made for a boring vacation. Rarely did we see something we were interested in on the schedule (lots of sales pitches masquerading as entertainment). The three dancing/singing shows we saw were good but there were only three, hour long shows in twelve nights. My teens and I went to the Teen Club and the person running it made it clear they were there for baby sitting and there was zero actual activities for teens. It was the "Not Fun" Ship. For example, we expected to see the White Cliffs of Dover on this trip since we were going by them anyway (like we saw the Ne Pali coast on our Hawaii cruise). But if we did sail by them, nobody told us and we never saw them. In fact, we sailed by interesting looking coastlines regularly but, unlike other cruises, we were never told what we were seeing and couldn't even find out if we wanted to as the Internet fees were astronomical and the ship board map on the TV in the rooms showing where the ship was at that time didn't work. This would have been so easy for Princess to do, cost them nothing extra, and would have been a big enhancement to this dull cruise. Even the bars were not good as the terribly expensive drinks were incredibly weak. Want to know how to make a Princess Long Island Ice Tea? First, pack the glass to the brim full of ice, only fill each jigger of liquor three-quarters full, then fill it up with lemon juice and coke instead of just a splash. Princess, you charged me an premium high price of $10 for each drink plus a forced ~$2 tip so why not at least make them good? Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the stop in "Paris" which we'd expected to be a trip highlight. The truth is that the port of Le Havre is at least 2.5 hours one way to anything in Paris you'd want to see (3 to Normandy Beach) so you're actually getting a full day on a bus with a couple of hours at a venue that would really deserve a full day. We'd planned on seeing the Lourve on our own but when we found out it was going to be over five hours on the bus, we went to the excursion desk to specifically book anything with less travel time as we especially didn't want to spend all day on a bus the day before we spent all day on a plane flying home. The woman at the Princess Excursion desk either purposefully misled us to sell the trip or was ignorant when she said the trip to Versailles was only 1.5 hours each way . As soon as we got on the bus, they said it was actually a 2.5 hour bus trip but then because of traffic and weather, ended up being a 4 hour bus trip there and a three hour bus trip back. We literally ran through Versailles in only 40 minutes before we had to be back on the bus. I called the excursion desk to speak to the manager and was never called back. My family of 4 paid almost $1100 for a little more than thirty minutes at the venue so it was the most expensive bus trip of my life and a terrible missed opportunity in our lifetimes. Needless to say, I would not take this cruise again and will stay away from Princess altogether. Read Less
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