July 2014 - Royal Princess to Europe - Northern Europe
This was a pleasant cruise to some destinations that I have always wanted to visit and St. Petersburg did not disappoint us! That was clearly the highlight of the cruise but we also thoroughly enjoyed Stockholm and Berlin and Copenhagen and Oslo, in that order. The disappointment with the cruise was the ship, the Royal Princess. The food was mediocre, at best. While the ship is almost brand new, the layout of the decks and dining rooms was poorly planned. Promenade deck is ruined by the placement of the lifeboats. There is no deck that you can walk around the entire ship without having to go inside to get around some obstructions. There are no stairs in the center of the ship so you have to wait for a crowded elevator to go up or down a couple flights or go to either end of the ship to get to the stairs. There are two dining rooms stuck midship so to get from one end of deck 5 or 6 you have to go up to 7 and then back down. Also, the crew were not a happy lot and it was clear that they were unhappy that the crew overall had been cut back by ten percent and they were working harder than they should have. Also, there were bugs on the outside decks that should have been cleaned up. We have cruised on Cunard and Celebrity and, unfortunately, the Royal Princess just does not measure up, especially to the Celebrity Silhouette which we think is the best large ship out there at this time.