Our trip began with five days in Paris at the Novetel Les Halles. Because we booked the hotel a little late we were not able to book the transfer from the hotel to Le Havre. Instead our transfer was from the Gare Montparnasse which necessitated quick Sunday morning taxi ride arranged by the hotel. A friendly Princess Representative quickly assisted with boarding the coach and we were on our way to Le Havre. Once in Le Havre luggage was gathered, cruise cards obtained, French Boarder Control navigated and we were boarding the Royal Princess in under 10 minutes.
When we travel we look forward to the unexpected experiences. Our goal is to be prepared but also ready to enjoy changes to plans. On another cruise, a strike in Le Havre necessitated a change in itinerary to Belgium which became one of the highlights of that trip. We were looking forward to Bergen, Belfast, and Newfoundland this cruise. Weather has a way of changing plans. In an effort to keep the passengers, crew, and ship safe Princess quickly put together alternative ports and excursions in Vigo, Spain and Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal. We must applaud them for their effort to keep us safe but also to offer us unexpected experiences. Not only did passengers receive a $200 onboard credit but also a very generous 20% future cruise credit for fare paid between South Hampton and New York due to the change in itinerary. What a great reason to book another cruise(s) with those ports.
The crew on the Royal Princess was top notch. Each crew member was friendly and helpful. The behavior of several passengers towards crew was cringe worthy. However, the Royal Princess crew handled the situations with grace and dignity.
Fixed dinning was our choice this time and each meal was enjoyed at a leisurely pace rather than the goal of many chain restaurants to reseat the table every 35 – 45 minutes. Our wait staff allowed us to enjoy each course before bringing the next. The food each breakfast and dinner was well prepared and delicious. The waiter and assistant anticipated our needs and worked hard to make every meal enjoyable. We mentioned that Indian food was a favorite and one evening we were surprised with an Indian feast prepared just for us!
The Stateroom Steward freshened our stateroom quickly during our breakfast. The bathroom was always cleaned with fresh linens twice a day. Each day she made the effort to greet us and ask whether we needed anything.
Vines became the favorite place to enjoy a glass of wine before and after dinner. The staff at Vines was outstanding. After our first visit at the beginning of the cruise we were greeted by name each time we visited. Due to the change in itinerary some of Vines patron’s favorite items became scarce. Rocky, the Vines Bartender, used his contacts at the other bars on board to find adequate supplies of customer favorites.
All too soon, the cruise came to an end. The UN General Assembly made the transfer to the Hilton Midtown a bit slower. The coach driver kept us entertained and informed about the sites along the way. The Hilton Midtown was in an excellent location. The Princess Representative worked hard to make sure that we were at the airport in adequate time despite the scarcity of taxis, heavy traffic, and closed streets.
We look forward to sailing with Princess Cruises again.
Good location at midship. Adequate storage. New beds arriving soon.
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