Great cruise but it is a tiring one. Many of the tours include walking up stairs and hills and cobblestone streets. All of the tours we took were from the ship and were all worth the money charged. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and most had lived in the area they talked about for decades if not there whole lives. Their pride and passion for their homes was evident.
5 out of 5
Had heard grumblings on a forum but our experience couldn't be better, Came earlier than our allotted time due to checkout time on our hotel and were welcomed immediately on to the ship and our room was already available!
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
We ate dinner in the MDR and breakfasts in the buffet. Most food was very good. I did not have a meal that I did not like and the desserts were divine. Steak in the MDR was not the same as steak in the Crown Dining room but I did not expect it to be.
3 out of 5
We were on a very tour intensive cruise of the British Isles so there wasn't a lot of spare time or energy for other activities. I have had better entertainment and much better lecture series/port introductions on other cruises for the ones I did attend.
3 out of 5
Entertainment was ok for the ones I attended but not spectacular and not as good as some other cruises I have been on but I didn't see all the offerings. There was a technical glitch that stopped one show long enough that I left.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Totally exceptional. Again I had heard grumblings about waiting for tables on a forum but we experienced none of that. We made reservations even though we had anytime dining so that we could be placed a certain table with specific waiters, but were immediately welcomed into the dining room with no waiting.
4 out of 5
I noticed less stringent "wash your hands" before entering eating facilities than on other recent cruises and I did catch an awful cold. In fairness, I could have picked it up on the flight over to England before ever getting on the ship. It was . however, the first time I have ever been sick on a cruise.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
I liked the configuration of the room. The closet was out of the way of the entrance. The new luxury beds were fantastic. They were comfortable for me even though they have a soft envelope feel to them. I usually fare better with my bad back on a rock hard bed so this was a pleasant surprise for me.
One grumble I heard was about the coffee in the buffet and this one I agree with. If one is a coffee lover at all, I heartily recommend the coffee card at the International Cafe. The hot chocolate is superb there as well. Pre-ordering water was also a major time and money saver for us as well.
Did the excursion to Blarney Castle. Tour was shortened due to tender problem the previous day. It was definitely too short of a tour. Could not even try to "kiss the stone" in the time allotted. The grounds are lovely as well and did not have enough time to fully explore.
I had been to Dublin before so chose the Walking tour and pub crawl. I was surprised to find that this was one of my favorite days. It was fun to mix with other like minded passengers and to hear all about the pub crawling days of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde and the like.
We went to Giant's Causeway tour. This was a tough decision as I also wanted to learn more about the history of Belfast. We lucked out as the tour guide shortened the Causeway stop a bit to add on a great tour around Belfast with a great commentary about the troubles. Loved visiting the Falls Road murals.
Went to Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar with ship's tour. I love ancient history so was enthralled. Land is a bit bleak and there was the usual strong cold wind to endure, but an otherwise another great day.
Took the ship's tour to Edinburgh Castle. It was amazing but the size of the crowds was off putting and there wasn't enough time to really have the free time to explore the Royal Mile on your own either.
Another favourite tour from the ship. I was thankful that Princess had this tour to Juno Beach for their Canadian passengers. I could have spent much longer in the museum but the tour gave us enough time to get the feel of what happened here. Great lunch provided at a local village restaurant. Moving tour of the beach itself and the Canadian Cemetery.
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