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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Background information My husband and I are in our 80s, and I use a small mobility scooter to help me get around. This was his first cruise on Princess and 16th cruise on commercial cruise ships (he was in the Navy for 20 years so he ... Read More
Background information My husband and I are in our 80s, and I use a small mobility scooter to help me get around. This was his first cruise on Princess and 16th cruise on commercial cruise ships (he was in the Navy for 20 years so he has been on other cruises) and my third Princess cruise and my 29th cruise overall. I booked this cruise primarily to visit four ports that we had not been to before. Since there were nine ports in a row with no sea days, this was a very strenuous cruise Because we have both had melanomas, we do not visit the beaches. What we generally do in port is our hobby of cemetery documentation (taking photos of gravestones and adding them to a database). Embarkation - We drove down from Maryland to the Florida and stayed with our daughter in Miami before and after the cruise. Embarkation was very quick and we could get to our cabin right away. Our suitcases arrived before the drill (which was held in the dining room.) Ship: The ship was a lovely small ship. We did not miss the climbing wall/water slides or the International cafe or the large casino, or any of the extras that larger ships have and we also did not miss the crowds or waiting for the elevator. There was a lovely quiet library. The internet was quite good for a ship. The bow camera was excellent. The captain gave a briefing each noon and each night but his accent was such that Bob couldn't understand (or even hear) him at all. There were some minor deficiencies - the Princess Patter was not proofread well so it was not always accurate. In particular the first day, there was a list of formal nights, and they left one out. The thresholds, both inside the ship and to the deck were raised enough that it made a wheelchair or scooter ride over them uncomfortable. I would have liked to be able to go completely around the promenade deck, but it was only a short section on each side and much of it was blocked off when we were at a tender port. Neither of the ATMs worked. There is a laundry but it needs tokens and the token machine will take your money and not give you the tokens so you have to come down to the desk to get tokens. Activities: We did trivia and had a good time with that. It was nice that the people running the trivia were also performers at night. They do a scrumptious afternoon tea in the main dining room. New Years Day they had a big brunch buffet in the main dining room. I got to swim in the pool once before they drained it. They announced the draining in the Patter, but not that they had refilled it. The port lecturer was an old man with a heavy accent. He was not only hard to understand but he was confused - he mixed up the port excursions and had them at the wrong ports. We went to the first lecture and never went again. Service was very good everywhere. Our cabin steward did a good job and was able to find me a smaller pillow. The man in the internet cafe was very helpful. There were four tender ports and the personnel helping us were quite experienced and did a very good job. But no one ever offered to help me get my food in the Panorama Buffet. My husband had to help me get something to eat (I can't easily run the scooter and hold a plate) Dining: The Panorama buffet was too small for there to be a good selection of food. We ate there when we were in port, but if you lingered too long, the ice cream section was packed up and disappeared. Sometimes the labels on the food were wrong. My husband went up once at dinner and said the selections were lame, and there wasn't a lot at breakfast either. In the main dining room, we had a nice table at dinner but we were always the last to leave because the service was a bit slow. The food was good as a rule. There were some dishes that I actively disliked (the way Princess does Brunswick stew for instance). But there were some that I really liked - I had the Chicken and leek pot pie a la Curtis Stone twice. We had two huge lobster tails at the second formal night but the next night the lobster tails were tiny. Bob had what was called chilled pea soup, and it was not chilled, it was hot (which he preferred). The clear soups tended to be a bit too salty for me. The cream soups were served in a glass, but now they no longer give you straws to drink them with. The eggs at breakfast were variable - sometimes a poached egg would be almost hard boiled and sometimes they were almost not cooked. Port & shore excursions: I did not take any Princess excursions because they were either too strenuous or they were canceled (in St Barts) or they were full (Virgin Gorda) St Barts: We had been to St Barts before and rented a car, but the roads are so narrow and twisty that we had a hard time actually getting to the places we wanted to see. The excursions in St Barts were all cancelled because it was Christmas day. I thought (correctly) that I might have trouble getting a taxi. So I booked a taxi driver through the internet and we had a very nice tour for 150 euros. Antigua: We had been to Antigua twice and had done the usual tours, so we just went down to the dispatcher and asked to hire a cab for a couple of hours - this cost $200.00 Terre-de-Haut: This was tender port which we had not visited before. Terre de Haut is a very tiny island. It is less than two and a half square miles. It has most of the population of the archipelago, but this population is less than 2000 souls. We took the tender in and spent some time watching the activity here. The place is a magnet for French tourists who want to spend time at the beach. Martinique: None of the excursions would take my scooter, so I booked an excursion for the two of us through Expedia. Very expensive, but very satisfactory. Tobago: We went on a tour of the island booked through another Cruise Critics member. This was a six or seven tour of the island in a small bus, lunch and ice cream for $80 each. It was a nice tour and we got a lot of good information about the island and saw quite a few things, but I booked it without realizing how long it was - we really do not have the energy to do more than about a five hour tour. Bob was in the back of the bus and there were so many hairpin turns that he said he was about to get car sick. Barbados: We spent a week in Barbados in 1996 and also been there four times on a cruise ship. The one thing I really wanted to see there was St. Nicholas Abbey which we visited in 1996 but has been closed on subsequent visits. I wanted to go back there because they showed old home movies taken in the 1930s and I wanted to see them again. The film is listed by the Barbados Tourism Authority as one of the "Seven Wonders of Barbados". St. Nicholas Abbey is not a religious institution. It has always been a sugarcane plantation house. The great house, built in 1658, is one of just three Jacobean style mansions remaining in the Western Hemisphere. (The others are Bacon's Castle in Virginia and Drax Hall Great House in Barbados.) So I went out to the dispatcher and asked her if I could go there and to a church for $100. We got a taxi and not only saw St. Nicholas Abbey and went to St Philip-the-Less Church, but we also got to see the Morgan Mill and some chattel houses. Bequia: This was another new port for us. Bequia is the largest island of the Grenadines (part of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) at 7 square miles. Another tender port. After the first fiasco, I had stopped listing to the port talks. But I did go to the official Bequia website and I had seen the maps. So I knew that things were compact in Port Elizabeth and I just scootered down the main street to St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church where we got to listen to a man singing and look at the church and cemetery. Then we took the tender back to the ship. Dominica: We have been here twice before so all I had in mind to do was to visit the Catholic cemetery and take some photos. It was close enough to the ship that Bob could walk and I could go by scooter. Virgin Gorda: In 1997, we visited the Bath's in Virgin Gorda, and I would have liked to go again but even in 1997 I had trouble with the steps and could not do the Devil's Bay trail. I really would have liked to go back to the Baths and get some better photos. But since the excursion was full, that was not a possibility. So we took a tender in and got a taxi. The scooter had a problem yesterday and Bob wanted to get some stuff to fix it so we visited three hardware stores and a couple of cemeteries and had a nice morning for $70.00 Disembarkation: The information on disembarkation was a little misleading (the information given us said that it might take four hours. It took 10 minutes. Summary: A strenuous trip on a nice small ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this particular cruise because of the ports and because I chose to spend the holidays differently this year. That being said, I was looking forward to some good meals, relaxing in the spa and a beautifully decorated ship. What I ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise because of the ports and because I chose to spend the holidays differently this year. That being said, I was looking forward to some good meals, relaxing in the spa and a beautifully decorated ship. What I experienced was the total opposite. The decor looked like it was 30 plus years old, maybe even the original. The spa lacked any amenities (except a sauna) and the manager was unpleasant. I usually shower in the spa after my services and one day there wasn’t even hot water. No hair dryer, toiletries, etc. As a vegetarian, I struggled with all the dining options. I was hungry one night and tried to order a grilled cheese sandwich from room service and they had no idea what I was talking about! The veggie burger was the worst I’ve ever tried and there was never a veggie pasta option in the buffet. All sauces were pre made with meat/seafood. And no one was making any exceptions. I would rate the food overall a 4/10 stars. And I’m basing that on the few average meals I had. The ship is dated with obvious wear and tear. I didn’t feel like our cabin was my standard of clean and sanatized it myself upon arrival. The room also smelled terrible every night after turn down service—not sure why. Very disappointed with my first Princess experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We did not choose this cruise for ourselves. Our cruise-loving family chose it for us, then they cancelled at the last minute. We are so glad to have gone anyway! We were probably the youngest people on the boat who weren't there ... Read More
We did not choose this cruise for ourselves. Our cruise-loving family chose it for us, then they cancelled at the last minute. We are so glad to have gone anyway! We were probably the youngest people on the boat who weren't there with their parents or grandparents, and given that DH is a happy introvert, it was for the best. I was able to be my social butterfly self with all the other passengers and he was perfectly happy to sit off on his own. At the same time he got a chance to actually engage with our tablemates and other passengers in a meaningful way if he chose. LOVE this ship! We were on a port-intensive, 14-day Cruise through the Southern Caribbean. Four of our ports were accessed by tender, and one of them was just too choppy for me to head out on. My knee failed me on the third island, and the response was absolutely fantastic. I've never had to use ships medical before, but the team on our ship was attentive, and thorough. Thanks to the ease of navigating around the ship, and the next few ports, I was able to do everything I originally planned on doing while on crutches. It was amazing!!!! The entertainment staff on this ship does dual duty as both the Cruise Director's staff and the singers and dancers, and they are fun! They put on a good show and then turn around and do some mean trivia. If you're into all of the wild bells and whistles found on so many other ships, this one doesn't have them. They have uncrowded spaces, elevators without lines, lots and lots of lounge chairs on the deck, the love boat vibe, and plenty of down time to relax. There were two children on our cruise. They were sweet, and one was too young to notice that there was no entertainment for her. The other was well-entertained by his parents. We said it many times on our cruise, and we'll say it here too: We're deathly afraid we've spoiled ourselves for the future cruises because we really enjoyed the small ship so much. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
A couple of things to know about myself and spouse. We are very much Princess cruisers. We've enjoyed all the cruises we've taken. I'm not going to review the food, because to me, if I can eat what's served I'm ... Read More
A couple of things to know about myself and spouse. We are very much Princess cruisers. We've enjoyed all the cruises we've taken. I'm not going to review the food, because to me, if I can eat what's served I'm happy. I haven't experienced a cruise (this one included) where I pushed away the food I've ordered. We have also usually cruised the bigger ships, so I was worried about the small ship, but it turned out I had nothing to worry about! We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have also never been on a small ship. The small ship experience was terrific. No lines for embarkation. No lines in the buffet. There is also a great space at the back of the ship off the buffet where you could enjoy your selections from the buffet and look out the back of the ship on your surroundings. We got to see people we met on excursions around the ship more often. We do like to gamble while on cruises. One of the great benefits of this ship was that the casino was non smoking. One of the disadvantages was there were only 4 tables, one 3 card poker, 2 black jack tables (started with 3, but they changed one to a texas hold'em table where you play against the dealer). So it may be they don't have your game. Another disadvantage, again because of the size of the ship was the music in the casino bar could be a distraction at times. Bingo was also fun. However, because of the small crowd on this cruise the pots were smaller. Some people would find this as a benefit. There are no art actions on this ship. Some other differences between big ship and small ship. Sterling steakhouse (which we got to enjoy twice) and Sabitini's switch off. This made it a little difficult to get times for the steakhouse. On the smaller ship, there is no international café, there isn't the pizza restaurant, no gelato shop, there is no anytime dining. You only have the selection of early or late seating. This wasn't an issue for my spouse and I. But it may be an issue for other cruisers. In my opinion there weren't as many activities on the ship during port days, and even on sea days. There are the usual trivia times, and as I mentioned bingo [during sea days], a movie is shown daily in the cabaret lounge, and I noticed bean bag toss, there were also discussions on ports, and other items (I didn't attend those so I can't speak to that). So that may be a consideration. Speaking of stuff to do on the ship, the ship's library is fantastic! It's beautiful and there are many books in the library. If you have the chance go check it out. We didn't check out all the entertainment, but we did enjoy the production shows. Some of the entertainment didn't interest us. There was a magician, a couple of vocalists, a pianist, a violinist, a juggling and acrobatic troupe, and a comedian. Over all, I would gladly take this ship again. We enjoyed everything about this cruise! We would gladly do this trip again, and we would gladly sail this ship again. It was very relaxing! If you think you might enjoy a different experience, I encourage you to take this ship wherever it travels. Hope this was helpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We, recently, got home from the Dec 5th Transatlantic on the Pacific Princess. This itinerary started, for us, in Civitavecchia (Rome) and included the ports of Naples, Palermo, Gibraltar, Cadiz, and Santa Cruz De Tenerife before the ... Read More
We, recently, got home from the Dec 5th Transatlantic on the Pacific Princess. This itinerary started, for us, in Civitavecchia (Rome) and included the ports of Naples, Palermo, Gibraltar, Cadiz, and Santa Cruz De Tenerife before the crossing to Fort Lauderdale. We arrived in Rome the morning of Dec 2nd and had a wonderful three day stay at the Palazzo Naiadi near the Roma Termini. The complete staff at this hotel was very courteous and helpful during our stay. While in Rome we saw the Colosseum and the Vatican on Monday and Tuesday with a considerable amount of walking the entire time. We booked our transfers from the airport to Rome (VIP transfer) and Rome to port (Countryside Tour) with Rome Cabs. I would recommend them as your first choice as they were very, very, easy to work with. Our Driver, Rosselina, was our driver for both transfers. She was on time, very knowledgeable and was a great companion as well as driver. She showed us many sites on the way into Rome. On the way to the port the tour was to Lake Bracciano and the Bracciano Castle where we toured the castle and spent some time in the small town enjoying an espresso and had time to purchase some cheese, meats, and bread for the ship. After this stop we went to the small town of Ceri for a nice lunch in a local cafe. While eating, Rosselina arranged for us to purchase a bottle of local olive oil before the store closed and we were able to pay for it with our meal. During the rest of the drive, Rosselina shared much information on the area and the port. We arrived at the port in the early afternoon and were the only passengers boarding so the process was as easy as any we had experienced. We were on the ship and in our cabin within 15 minutes. Our luggage arrived soon after. We were in cabin 8069, an aft cabin just below the Panorama Buffet. We, rarely, had any excessive noise from the deck above. For the most part, we had a quiet cabin. The cabin was suitable in size and the bed was very comfortable. The bed was lower than we’re used to, and we could not fit our large hard side luggage under the bed as with previous cruises. Although we had issues with where to put our luggage, we had plenty of space to place our clothes and other items. For your reference, my suitcase is 12” thick. Our cabin steward, Ronaldo, was very busy with many cabins, at least 12, and he did his very best to take care of all the cabins. He was, also, very good at keeping our bucket filled with ice and the cabin in good order despite his hectic schedule. We did grow very fond of him during the cruise. Our experience in the dining room was very good. Our Maître d was Luigi Pascale who was very entertaining and managed the dining room with precision. Our head waiters were Vincenzo Del Santo and Joao Serra Da Costa Santos who took very good care of us. One of our table mates needed a special menu and Vincenzo was there every night to provide him with his special menu for the next evening meal. The menu was more than sufficient, and we had many choices every evening, although there was some repetition of menu items. Overall, the food was very good with only a couple things I would not have ordered again. The Panorama Buffet had good variety of choices for breakfast and lunch. The food was always fresh and there were ample places to sit. A few times we would be joined by random diners who were, for the most, very engaging and enjoyable. We very much appreciated eating in the outside deck area. The only downside is that when we brought our fresh coffee the service staff would tend to assume we didn’t need other things like juice and water. We, frequently, had to get those ourselves. We ate in the Sterling Steakhouse once and found the steaks were only average. This is subjective though as we can get excellent cuts of steak where we live, and our expectations are high when it comes to steak. That said, the services were fine in the restaurant. After a premium wine tasting I was offered attendance at a special “Super Tuscan” wine and food tasting lunch in Sabatini’s. This was put on by the chef Alessandro Carrer and presented by the maître d and head waiters. This was a 5-course tasting menu with wine pairing and was excellent. For me, this was one of the highlights of my cruise. The entertainment, especially the ship’s production staff, was outstanding. The band was very good and played a variety of music genres. The singers were very entertaining and, again, very diverse in what they presented. The six dancers were all top notch and talented. I would have to say they were the best of any ship we have sailed. In addition to their amazing performances, the dancers also worked at the deck activities and other venues such as dance instruction and trivia, to name a few. The other entertainers who were booked during the cruise were good as well. The bars on the ship were good but our favorite was the Casino Bar. This is where we, and some of our new friends, would meet for drinks before and after dinner and after some of the evening shows. The two main people here were David and Mickey, who took excellent care of us during the entire cruise and were always there for us. Their service was probably the best during the cruise. We looked forward to seeing them daily. Naples - We took a ship excursion NAP-310, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Cheese Tasting. The tour was 9 hours and well worth the time. The first stop was to a place that produces Limoncello where we were able to taste and/or purchase the product. After, we stopped at a farm that produces handmade cheeses and we were shown how different cheeses were made. We were then treated to the cheese and wine tasting room where we tasted their fresh cheese and local wine. We, also, spent a couple hours in Sorrento, where many people wandered and shopped. After, we drove to Pompeii for the remaining time and explored the ruins. This was the highlight as Pompeii was number one on my bucket list. Palermo - We took another ship excursion PMO-210, Capuchin Catacombs and Mysteries. This was wonderfully enlightening tour that gave some insight to modern mummification was administered. After we toured the catacombs, we were taken to the historically private Oratories of Santa Cita and San Domenico where we learned of those practices and saw the magnificent artworks in each oratory. Gibraltar - We left the ship and walked to the cable car which took us to the top. Our tickets allowed access to many attractions on the walk back down such as St Michael's Cave, the Siege Tunnels, and Moorish Castle to name a few. After our walk down we stopped at Grand Casemates Square for a late lunch at the Lord Nelson Pub where we enjoyed a couple Guinness beers and a lunch we could not finish. All very reasonably priced. Cadiz - We went on a private tour with fellow roll call members to Seville that was organized by a roll call member through Spain Day Tours. The main attraction was Alcazar of Seville which was, in my opinion, more enlightening than a previous tour to Alhambra in Granada a few years ago. Alcazar was also a setting for some of the filming of Game of Thrones. Fun to see that if you're a Game of Thrones fan. Santa Cruz de Tenerife - We walked to the main downtown area, shopped and returned to the ship. The Ship - The ship is well maintained although she is still showing her age to some degree. Captain Spinardi, and his crew were remarkable and the service was very top notch, for the most part. Many thanks to the crew, in particular our waiters, bartenders/bar servers for their most attentive service. That made the cruise very enjoyable. The entertainment staff was, also, second to none. The six main dancers were exceptional in their talent and visibility during the crossing. Our, primary, reason for this cruise was to test the ship to determine how we wanted to accomplish sailing around the world. The fastest would be on the Pacific Princess but there are other options within the Princess fleet but on different ships. What I found was that, while I loved the ship and crew, it may not be of sufficient size to keep us occupied and physically active enough for a 111 day world cruise. That said, we will probably circumnavigate in segments sailing on bigger Princess ships. It's nice to have those options with Princess because we, very much, love this brand. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We really enjoyed the Pacific Princess, it is definitely our favorite Princess ship. The ship size is perfect. It's small and intimate and there was never a wait for anything. Embarking was easy, disembarking was easy, tendering was ... Read More
We really enjoyed the Pacific Princess, it is definitely our favorite Princess ship. The ship size is perfect. It's small and intimate and there was never a wait for anything. Embarking was easy, disembarking was easy, tendering was easy. It never takes long to get anywhere. The ship has recently been refurbished and it feels new. Service onboard was fantastic, as well as the food. The only down side to a small ship is less onboard activities. However, that does not matter to us since we tend to choose port-intensive itineraries and spend all of our time on the ship just relaxing. For those not familiar with Princess, be aware that it is a slow and calm atmosphere. We were the youngest people on the ship at 32 and 45 years of age. We have no problem with this and made plenty of new friends with different generations. I almost did not want to write this review because I'd love to keep the ship all to myself and not let everyone else know what they're missing. We can't wait for our next Pacific Princess cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We just completed our third voyage on the Pacific Princess. Almost three months total sailing on this vessel. But this one was different, in that we booked our first full suite after over 600 days of sailing and had Club Class Dining. By ... Read More
We just completed our third voyage on the Pacific Princess. Almost three months total sailing on this vessel. But this one was different, in that we booked our first full suite after over 600 days of sailing and had Club Class Dining. By far our greatest cruise ever from a cabin and dining standpoint. Other aspects of the cruise were good to very good but the cabin and dining made this an excellent cruise experience overall. As before, we really liked the ship and the crew, from the Captain on down. The main dining room (MDR) folks are exceptional. The high point for us on our two previous cruises on the Pacific Princess is that the main dining room service and cuisine had restored our faith in the MDRs. However, this time the Club Class dining at dinner and lunch as well as the suite breakfasts every morning we received in the Sabatini's restaurant on deck 10, elevated this experience to an entirely new high for us. Between receiving this quality meal service and having an "Owners Suite" the voyage resembled a fantasy of high seas travel in the days of yore, which many can only dream of nowadays. Going up to the quiet Sabatini's restaurant in the morning and sitting at a table for two next to floor to ceiling windows providing a panoramic view of the sea was something we didn't expect. The cabin was much larger than I had imagined it would be as well as the huge balcony in the stern, which overlooked the ship's wake. Not only that, a portion of the balcony was on the port corner so one could see forward on the port side as well as everything off the stern on the starboard side. We had booked this cabin due to my wife's sister being with us on the first segment, we wanted her to have her own toilet. This is the only Princess ship which has a half bathroom as well as a full sized one in the suites; we discovered too, that very few other cruise line's ships offer this option. Pictures on the walls in the suite even had individual lighting over the frames. Room service personnel and our steward, Teddy, were the best we have had throughout our cruising days. We certainly appreciate the loyalty perk(s) for free internet and laundry. The internet speed for me is satisfactory and reliable and wife loves the care, reliability and quality of the laundry and cleaning service. The two main hot tubes on the pool deck were great and I used them a lot, sometimes twice a day. Due to our suite status the huge forward hot tub as well as the steam room and sauna in the Lotus Spa area were also available to us for no extra charge. The pool deck on this ship doesn't have chair hogs and I never ran into a time when there wasn't ample fresh towels awaiting at numerous locations. The vessel is very well maintained and the crew is constantly scraping, painting and keeping the ship in tip-top condition. Often I'm not certain what the pre and post cruise hotels cost as we like to use the cruise line transfers and hotel package(s) which are lumped together price wise. Normally I believe the entire package is reasonable----this time it was no different. Having cruise line folk meeting us has really come in handy in the past when things got confused the day before embarkation due lost airline luggage or other problems. Nothing more comforting than to have an agent at a strange airport with a sign and your name. The ship's library is the best and largest there is. Truly a library designed for exploration cruises. The buffet is very good, food wise, service wise and table wise. They even change things around in a portion of it late in the afternoon, making for a more formal section with table cloths, flowers and wine glasses. This buffet has ample seating which gets constrained only when inclement weather forces everybody off the outdoor seating areas, which has even a larger number of tables than inside. There has been some discussion over the quality of Princess Pizzas recently. Not true, on the Pacific Princess anyway. However, due to our suite status we didn't visit the buffet as much as usual this voyage. Cabin T.V.s work great and programming good. Certainly appreciate my favorite news channel MSNBC being available with a good signal all the time. I recall the days when we had no other choice for news but-----LOL. Sure did like the large flat screen TV in a cabinet in the main living room of the suite. No complaints over embarkations and disembarkations. All handled well and luggage arrived in the cabins timely. We took a lot of shore excursions this time. We had 16 ports to do that in. Typically we never go the independent route on shore excursions but use those provided by the cruise line. All were very good. The only exception was on the disembarkation excursion at Port Everglades where the weather was beautiful and warm. Our flight for Alaska didn't leave until 6:30 PM so once again we took an inland coastal waterway and city tour to kill time. Guide on the coach was real knowledgeable about the area but too poor a speaker, or the PA system was not good, for most of us to hear him. Folks were really complaining about this, which he acknowledged and would talk louder for about 30 seconds then go back to endless mumbling. Guide on the boat though, showing us the haunts of the rich and famous in the area, was really good. We certainly appreciate the loyalty perk(s) for free internet and laundry. The internet speed for me is satisfactory and reliable and wife loves the care, reliability and quality of the laundry and cleaning service. I do like the enrichment lecturers that Princess provides, like naturalists, biologists, area historians and geography experts. One of my favorite features of a cruise. On our last cruise though, L.A. to Sydney, in January, this aspect was bad, i.e. to Hawaii--none, after which I thought they would bring someone on board at Honolulu but didn't. However, at Pago Pago they did bring on two New Zealanders who were pretty good, too bad for us though, as this occurred two thirds of the way through that cruise. However, on this cruise they had two excellent lecturers. I really enjoyed their presentations. One was David Sisler who began after Rome and prior to that, from Venice to Rome, was a fellow who did mostly upcoming port history lecturers but unfortunately I can't remember his name, however he was good. Platinum & Elite Lounge----Princess has changed their format here from what they used to provide. Now they offer a selection of eight different alcohol drinks which they apparently came up with as substitutes for the more traditional drinks they used to offer for $5.00 per. They now charge $6.50 for these new concoctions. On our last cruise in January we gave them a chance. Went three times and tried three different drinks each, most of the time we didn't finish the drinks due to not liking them. Their hors d'oeuvre offerings were still pretty good but the only way we would want to take time to attend is by purchasing their old traditional drinks for the full price. I wanted to try this out again, this cruise, to see if there was any improvement, but from the looks of their menu selections I wasn't optimistic, to be fair though, due to the free canapes we received in the suite every evening before dinner, we simply didn't make it to the lounge. The gym is in an excellent location. I use it every sea day. I previously thought it was too small for the number of guests wanting to use it. But this time that wasn't the case, plenty of ellipticals and treadmills to go around. The gym doors open at 7:00 PM. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise just 2 weeks after returning from a land trip to France. We went online and instead of choosing a cruise for 2019, we chose this 29 Night Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Ft Lauderdale because our Princess agent ... Read More
We chose this cruise just 2 weeks after returning from a land trip to France. We went online and instead of choosing a cruise for 2019, we chose this 29 Night Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Ft Lauderdale because our Princess agent found us a great, super low one-way air fare to take us from Orlando nonstop to Frankfurt then nonstop to Venice with only a 3 hour layover. After being booked for one month, Princess offered us an upscale to a mini suite from a balcony on this sold-out cruise, and we accepted. Embarkation - We were the only ship for the cruise terminal, as November is low season in Venice. Very easy. Cabin- 8009 was just gorgeous. We used both US and European outlets as we brought our adapters, there are 4 outlets at the huge desk/dresser. The lamps each have USB ports at the bedside. We took an 18 foot regular extension cord and definitely used it as we settled in to 4 weeks at sea. Our cabin was the most spacious, and is comparable to HAL's Oosterdam signature suite we stayed in Nov 2016. The cabins had been totally refurbished in 2017 and looked like new to us. The room was at least 15 feet wide at the balcony, so we had lots of room and seating to invite other guests to visit with us after dinner etc. Dining was the greatest as far as food is concerned comparing it to the Veendam (which is 2nd place, and other yearly cruises since 2013 on HAL, Princess, and Scylla River cruises. Our 2 servers were excellent, and I enjoyed the 2 wine tastings that were offered by our waiters for afternoon diversion on sea days. The other cool thing, unknown if serendipitous or planning on their part, but we were assigned to a table of 8, and 3 of us women were raised in California, 3 of us were born within 12 months of each other, and our men were all within 10 years of each other. We got along great for 29 nights! Excursions - Our private train ticket plan from Civitavecchia to Rome was cancelled due to some problem, so our excursion lady suggested Orvieto as I didn't want to go on a long bus ride to Rome. Orvieto is a place NOT TO MISS! That tour was fantastic! We also bought wine and olive oil and its great too. The other wonderful excursion was to Seville and we were on our own there but it is an easy, beautiful city that has all the initial great cathedrals and palaces located within 0.25 mile and very near our departure point. On our own, as we met nice people at lunch, and at dinner, we did venture out and rented taxis (negotiated first and split the fare) in Naples, Catania, Athens, Santa Cruz de Tenerife instead of relying on Hop On/Hop Off bus lines. In ports of Athens and Naples, the Archaeological Museums tours were not offered as excursions by Princess and we thought these 2 were among the best in world (including the Louvre and British Museums). The taxi driver in Athens made a new negotiation when we arrived at the Athens Museum and proposed we keep him for other sites and he would drop us off at a wonderful open air restaurant in the Plaka, and we accepted. He waited from us the whole time - with driving about 30+ miles roundtrip in traffic - about 5 hours total (4 of us split the fare plus tips totally about 75 Euros per couple). Wonderful day in Athens! The taxi driver in Naples took us to the Via Duomo (avenue) and dropped us off at the Naples Cathedral/Basilica. It was breathtaking, and we decided to use our feet to take us the 3/4 mile to Archeological Museum (with all the riches and treasures from Herculeneum and Pompeii that was turned over to the Duke of Naples when found over 200 years ago). We then walked downhill on the Via Toledo from the museum, and its an easy walk to the ship but about an hour if you don't stop to shop and eat. I think the itinerary was great, especially for first time travelers, and we were 2nd time travelers except to 6 new ports. We stayed 3 nights in Venice before the cruise. Stayed at Allogia Barbaria which is only 200 feet from the vaporetto stop on the Alilaguna blue line from Marco Polo airport. Then when we left the B&B for the ship, we took the Alilaguna direct to the ship. We didn't have to go through the People Mover or Piazzale Roma, etc. It was easy as we didn't have to lug suitcases over bridges and lots of cobblestones, but was able to visit Venice easily us - an older couple. We want to go again to Venice, and stay a whole week before leaving. Venice in November is quiet. Never colder at night than 50 F. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because of the ports and the fact that it docked at the destination port for two days, allowing us to spend some time there prior to heading to the airport. We did go into Rome three days earlier than the cruise so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports and the fact that it docked at the destination port for two days, allowing us to spend some time there prior to heading to the airport. We did go into Rome three days earlier than the cruise so we could tour sites there. This particular ship was small, which allowed us to get to know others quite well that were on our same cruise. The Dining was experience was so good, because of the small size of the ship, but also because they paired us with two other couples at our table and they couldn't have picked more perfect combinations for us to dine with. The entertainment was top notch. The singers and dancers were well trained and practiced. The others that came in on certain ports to entertain us were well chosen. Comedian was great and the local talent orchestra and musicians were well done to give us a taste of the local entertainers. I would take this same cruise over and over again. The ports were amazing and the timing of at sea days with the excursion days was perfect. The bar staff took the time to get to know you, so they prepared the perfect drinks both alocoholic and non for you during the entire cruise. The cruise directors that did the trivia were fun and the late night music and piano bar were very enjoyable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Ports advertised. Dining staff was wonderful as was our cabin steward. Port excursion in Kotor, Montenegro was well below Princess standards. It was advertised as a dining experience with an experience chef in a private home. It was ... Read More
Ports advertised. Dining staff was wonderful as was our cabin steward. Port excursion in Kotor, Montenegro was well below Princess standards. It was advertised as a dining experience with an experience chef in a private home. It was supposed to be a three hour tour. The food was poor and was not a meal. The food was also not presented well and would be considered a snack at the very least. The tour lasted less than two hours as well. All of this for $99.00. The port in Ravenna, Italy was 30 minutes from the town of Ravenna and if you wanted to leave the ship there was a $26.00 fee for a bus to take you to Ravenna. It appeared to be a relevently new port and offered little to do. There was very little information regarding transportation options when you left the ship at ports if you were not on a ship excursion. The staff on the Pacific Princess was very friendly and accommodating on the cruise making the time on the boat enjoyable. Read Less
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