We've been back a few weeks now so I finally had to sit and right this review. I had read others prior to this cruise so I hope mine can help as well.
We flew in and stayed overnight in London before the cruise. From Heathrow we arranged for a car to a down town hotel through British Airport Transfers. I would holy recommend. They were waiting for us, a nice clean car and friendly driver. Four of us with luggage was 66 pounds. Not too bad. To get to the ship he next day we used Blackberry Cars. They we ok. It takes about 2 hrs from London to Southampton.
Boarding was was a breeze. Probably the quickest we've gotten on a ship and we've done numerous. We were able to get to our cabin right away and take care of a few things.
Service on on this ship was outstanding. Everyone we dealt with were friendly, helpful and pleasant. Something new to us on Princess is you no longer have to sign for drinks. Makes service faster as bartenders/waiters don't have to wIt for signatures and I don't end up with a bunch of needless paper.
We we did the anytime dining and always had great service and food. They did seem to repeat some items on the menu but the food was good. There were 4 of us and never had an issue getting seated. Without reservations you may share a table with other people but we didn't mind it on occasions. If we made reservations in the morning then it was just us.
Left ft some tips in he excursion area which I hope helps others looking for inns to do in port.
On on our departure we booked with LondonXAirport from the ride back to the airport. Again much cheaper than the Princess shuttle. Four of us with luggage was 97 pounds.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
They had a ventriloquist Kieran Powell who was great. He's only 20! He will bring audience members into the show. He did 2 shows, both different. Also comedian/singer Jo Little was good.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Hit he martini bar/crooners. The bartenders Rego and Jalena are great and a show in themselves.
3 out of 5
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
We got a mini suite. It was nice but you could see the wear and tear. The tiles on our bathroom floor kept coming loose but the worst issue we had was with the toilet. It would either not flush and on one occasion almost overflowed. We reported it a couple times and they would come and fix it but it continued to happened. It wasn't only us either. Friends we were traveling with had it happen to them and they were on a different floor than us.
Be prepared for the weather. We watched the temps for a few weeks before leaving but we hit a bad stretch of weather. Some days it didn't get out of the 50s even though the week before it was the upper 60s. It rained in many ports. Make sure you have a rain jacket or an umbrella, just in case.
I had to see the Blarney castle so I booked a trip through eCoach. Many reviews people complain about the long lines and crowds at the castle however this group takes you to the castle first. We had a mini album line to get to the top of the castle. By time we were leaving the lines were crazy. We got to go to Kinsale, a quaint little town and a few other stops. This tour was a 1/3 of the cost he Princess charges for the same thing. I highly recommend this tour and company.
Dublin was nice but like many large cities. If you do the Guieness tour it's really a self tour with a lot of videos. It's 7 floors of info. Not from from there is the Brazen Head Pub. The oldest in Ireland from 1189. Friendly staff, good beer and food looked good.
We did a bike trip with Belfast City Bikes. It was a small group and we got to see so much more that you do on a regular tour. It's a very flat area so the right was easy. We went in town, residential neighborhoods and parks. If your a little adventurous I would recommend. Princess also runs a shuttle so when we finished the bike ride we hung out and caught the shuttle back.
We did a hop on hop off tour. You can get the train into Glasgow very easy. We waited until about 930 to go so it was off hours for he train. Round trip tickets for two were 13 pounds. The train takes you to the Central Station which is 2 blocks from Buchanan street. This is the main area closed to vehicle traffic and all pedestrian. Shops, pubs and cafes.
Did a walking tour through Princess. It was pretty good. Went through Edinburgh Castle and a walk of the royal mile. Some on the streets but our guide took us off he beaten path as well. Only disappointed was no time for shopping and I'm not a big shopper. There was a person running a private shuttle but we didn't have the information wi us to get it back to the ship.
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