Sea Princess Reviews

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13 User Reviews of Sea Princess Cruise Ship

Australia
Publication Date: October 20, 2012

The ship had been revamped and so was very clean and presentable. Be prepared for a lot of oldies, we are in our 60's, but the ship and the food and entertainment were very good, could not fault service or the staff. Book your own tours if possible and do lots of research before going for each port, the shuttles will take you into town most stops in not direct from ship and then the information centres give you great help. We only had a few places we had not been to before but still you manage to fill the day and explore more things. Would not do this again but will sail with Princess again.

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Sea Princess
Publication Date: November 15, 2010

Official Barbados Tourist link; http://www.visitbarbados.org

Our 5th cruise is now completed (November 15 - 29, 2010) We completed all our packing, clothes, monies, electronic gadgets including sanity ready to see family in Barbados and then get on the wonderful 14 day cruise of the Islands around Barbados (Grand Caribbean Adventurer Round-trip Barbados). We live in Victoria , Vancouver Island , Canada so ahead of us were two main flights, Victoria to Toronto than Toronto to Barbados but we would have 10 days in Barbados to relax before boarding the Sea Princess.

We overnighted at the Airport Hotel in Toronto at Terminal 3. Beware of Airlines these days who change aircraft on you. Air Canada changed their aircraft from Boeing 763 / 767 to an Airbus 321 / 319.

We had booked Executive Class and were looking forward to those new 'Stretch and Lie Down seats. Well at least we still had more leg and seat pitch room plus were able to relax in the lounges. In all our years visiting family in Barbados I had not seen any of the Islands around Barbados

.

The cruise itself...(14 days) Left on a Monday, November 15, 2010

Bridgetown, Barbados with days being, Grenada, At Sea, Bonaire- Aruba , Curacao- Antilles, At Sea, Grand Turk- Caicos Islands (became an extra Sea Day) , At Sea, Tortola- B.v.i., St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad , Barbados. Arrived back on November 29, 2010

I did a couple of things prior to the trip. Bought Trip and Medical Insurance, ordered Rum and Coke and Ginger for the cabin, new summer clothes bought, as I discovered I had no short sleeves shirts and found four pairs of pants bought last year hidden away. My Bajan wife was right, you need more clothes in the tropics and wear shorts. In our case we travelled with an extra suitcase which came in handy for all the gifts we bought on the islands for grandchildren and dirty clothes. For dirty clothes we had a plastic bag that compresses air.

As we were walk-on passengers not Air/Cruise then we were driven to the terminal where you can get a porter to take your bags to the ship ($1 each bag minimal) as you have to walk through the actual terminal which is full of great shops, phones. A person is at a table to ensure you sign the health form questions, then checks your name off a list. In our case we confused them as the list was really only Air/Cruise passengers so I just said look we do have our tickets, where do we board.

You have to walk outside the terminal , across a road and into the shed near the ship. The shed is where most of the Brits on the Air/Cruise arrive by bus around mid afternoon, in our case we came about 2pm and were able to miss all the hordes arriving by bus that day. As we walked in the shed from the ship side then we had to navigate the ropes to control the mob, just us two to see about 15 check-in folks wondering who we were. In two minute we were checked in , CC verified, and then stopped by the photographer as were his first ones.

On to the ship, sea card into security unit and SMILE. Nobody takes you to your cabin but they do ask what deck and point to elevator. We were on Aloha (deck 10) A327 Balcony which at first we found small because we had been on Golden Princess a few years back which is a newer ship. Not to worry , once we had our bags and unpacked, lots of room for two adults and the balcony does help for privacy and quiet.

The service by our room steward was great in he respected our times in the room and we told him when we would be out, it also helps to place the card that says clean or leave us alone please in the lock. One day our toilet overflowed by not stopping when filling during the ships emergency practice day and our steward responded to my cry for help as he was out in the hall, five minutes later our safe would not open as I had accidentally pressed a reset button. The Pursers Office sent some one up to reset the combination. course leading zeros are not recommended. A few days later our shower control knob parts flew off onto the shower floor. I had a small set of tools and fixed it then called our steward to let him know.

The ship is about 2,200 passengers of which we had 1,915 Brits on board, 25 USA , 26 Canadians and a mix of others which means when the sun is out then you better get a lounge chair early as all the Brits will be SUNNING themselves.

Our table mates were great as we had a table of 10, all with different accents including us and our servers were great but over worked as they had three other tables of 4-6 each plus they get your wine and rum for you. We closed the room most nights as we were on 2nd seating and because of that missed some of the shows. The main theatre is not that large and only one aisle is in the middle which makes moving through the seats ugly at times so you normally have to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to a show, not my style. Shows were not bad but I found the bar and movie better , the shows tend to repeat including the daily events each day.

It is a nice ship and had been adjusted for British tastes in food, beer but the only Caribbean food offered was Jamaican Jerk Chicken, they could offer more variety of Island food but I understand majority of food, is out of the states and shipped frozen. The food was good and meals were hot. Wine testing event was not expensive ($15) for five samples and a free glass. We had an extra sea day when we could not dock at Grand Turks due to waves and wind and as this is a port intensive cruise , my thought would be to introduce a 4th sea day in the last five days.

All the Islands offer different variety and experiences but when it comes to shopping it is better to space your purchases out per Island otherwise you might have bought everything in the first few days.

The ship offers specials on the first sea day and Internet specials as in coupons of xn free minutes are offered the first day and then some others. The only add-on expense is when they charge you $4 for an admin fee to setup your Internet. The speed can be very slow , stick to emails or use Internet cafés on Islands , most Islands will not give you free access unless you buy something.

St Lucia was one of our best islands including its rum and tour. The ships excursions were fine as we normally take 1/2 day type ones and take other days to tour by walking around the dock area ourselves. St Maarten is wild when six cruise ships are in, like 20,000 folks.

What seems to be new is that every island wants to see your sea card for security and you must have your passport on your person, no exception. Some of the docks are large to walk to the ship, so ensure you are on board before the appointed time. If it rains on the way back the crew offer towels and coffee on the dock, nice gesture.

The only thing that bothered me was when having lunch or an afternoon snack at the buffet as most times a section was closed off to allow setup for supper . The food and choices were fine and they do come to your table offering drinks , coffee , tea .

Most of the crew do go out of their way to help you and it is a nice ship. The cruise itself is busy but that is me as I like to have some do nothing days We had a wonderful time and will do it again.

Cheers /Rob

My Blog: http://robbarcruise.blogspot.com

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: November 1, 2008

My husband and I, together with our two sons and their wives, were on this cruise to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary.

We found the crew very good, as well as our accommodations and catering arrangements.

Our main bone of contention was the 15% surcharge on all drinks, which we found bordering on immoral.

We felt that the stopover in Venezuela was probably to take on board cheap fuel, as few of the passengers and staff went ashore.

I have sent an email to the company on my return from this cruise, but have not been honoured with a reply!

I would certainly not travel with the Princess Line again.

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Western Europe
Publication Date: May 20, 2008

This is one of Princess' older ships and it is tired. It needs an overhaul and updating.

The crew was excellent and tried to do the right things, but some of the crew members do not understand English.

There also seems to be a little discontent among the crew and many were unhappy and were planning to leave Princess as their duties have increased with the economic changes in the cruise industry.

Overall this is a good ship and the cruise was OK, but nothing fabulous.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: March 10, 2007

Princess ships still offer excellent service across the world and are our preferred cruise company as UK customers. However, there is one part of the experience that rates as our worst travelling in 35 years. The airline used between the UK and Barbados has to give the worst flight experience possible. Ineptitude on the ground - with resulting serious delays, and cramped uncomfortable seats once you get on board. Princess and the airline seem unable to coordinate between them or take responsibility, each suggesting talk to the other. Between 8 and 12 hours of misery in both directions.

Flights for other destinations with Princess have been wonderfull. Last years flights to and from Barbados were rubbish and this years even worse beyond our worst expectations.

Be warned. We are now going to use another cruise line to the Caribbean as Princess have no interest in our comments. It takes 2 or 3 days to recover at the beginning of the cruise and the same dreading the journey home at the other end. Long haul is daunting enough - but enough is enough.

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Transatlantic Crossing
Publication Date: September 2, 2006

We did a reposition cruise from Southampton to Quebec via Bergen, Shetland Islands, Faeroe Islands, 3 Iceland stops, Greenland, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia - 16 days aboard ship. We enjoyed all the stops, choosing to do all our sightseeing on our own rather than booking shore excursions. The ship provided reasonable information about each port which made this a reasonable option. However, the passengers who we talked to about the shore excursions reported mostly favorable experiences. The primary complaint being the usual one - inconsiderate fellow passengers who delayed returning at appointed times.

Overall, we thought this was a good cruise experience. The appearance of the ship and its layout were attractive and convenient. The entertainment in the non-theater lounges was good. The trivia games (which we do not enjoy) were well attended.

We were very impressed with the main dining room that had assigned dinner time and tables. The food was tasty and attractively served, and there were several enticing possibilities for each course every evening. The always available shrimp cocktail, steak and potato would satisfy the simple appetite, while the more exotic fare would be good for others. Vegetarian selections were not interesting

most nights, however - not even the curries. Deserts were excellent, including the sugar free (read no sugar added, as there often was fruit in these offerings). We did not try the any time dining room.

The 24 hour buffet was adequate, had some good points, but some real draw backs. The good point was that the food was mostly pretty good, with good selections at all times. The real draw back was how cramped the space was, which made for much confusion at prime meal times. It was difficult to get drinks as the set up of cups, tumblers, and coffee and tea was illogical. Often it was nearly impossible to find seats at breakfast and lunch.

The biggest draw back at the buffet, in our view, was the eggs. Whereas they had a sign warning of the dangers of eating partially cooked eggs, the trays of scrambled eggs were usually runny, no fully cooked fried eggs were offered except as a special order, and hard boiled eggs were not offered. When I did ask for a hard boiled egg, it was soft boiled. There was a cook who would prepare eggs and omelets to order. However, each of the men who were assigned this task were masters of avoiding eye contact, turning their backs to passengers even when not required, and generally prolonging the time to get eggs unreasonably. On one occasion when I was the only person in line, I waited nearly 10 minutes for the buy to even take my order while he stood cooking more sunny side up eggs to add to those already in wait for non-existent diners! Our complaint about this was noted by the restaurant captain, but there was no improvement in the service on this score.

The difficulty in finding seats at the buffet could be because of the very limited availability of the main dining room for lunch or breakfast. Whereas at dinner there are two times of about 2 hours each, breakfast and lunch were limited to early times, and then only 1 and ½ hours total each. The impression is they do not really want you in the main dining room for these meals.

Our cabin was adequate, service there mostly adequate. No more and no less than expected.

Since we left from Southampton, many of the passengers were European, mostly British, although many were French, the destination being influential, I suppose. This presented opportunities to meet people from various places, which is always fun.

On the other hand, Europeans seem to be much more likely to smoke than Americans, and this was a definite draw back on the cruise. Although the theater lounges were completely non-smoking, the other lounges were not, with the primary dance spot, the Wheelhouse Bar, giving the smoking section the center of the room, with the non-smokers stuck around the perimeter. This resulted in non-smokers having a hazy view of the dance floor at best, and a relatively smoky dance venue. The other dance spot was not really a lounge, but part of the open atrium, where a duo performed each night, and dancing was made available by closing off a doorway to make a sort of dance floor in the hallway. Smoking was allowed here as well, but at least the open atrium allowed it to float up and away.

There was no real opportunity for pre-dinner dancing, as the bands in all venues stopped a while before dinner. After dinner, the Wheelhouse had good dancing, in the smoke, but the atrium venue was set up for a trivia quiz from 10 to 11, then a break for the duo, who ran the quiz, then, finally, less smoky dancing was available. At least the duo were very good and responsive to the room.

Karaoke was available many nights, but the equipment was difficult for the crew to operate. They were not always able to turn off the vocals, and the poor amateurs were set to competing with a professional on the sound track. They ran a contest to select 6 people to compete in a final the last night of the cruise. As it turned out, the competition was not limited to amateurs, one contestant stating her occupation as professional singer. This seemed out of place. All was not lost, however, as she lost to an amateur who indicated only a second attempt at singing! Still, it does seem like karaoke should be limited to amateurs. Also, several of the passengers really liked singing, but on preliminary competition nights were limited to one song even if there were no other passengers who wanted to sing. The impression was that the crew did not really like this and wanted to limit the activities. The assistant cruise director even made rude remarks to one gentleman about his desire to have more karaoke.

The captain of the ship was really terrific. He gave lots of information about our itinerary, the weather, our progress, what to expect during inclement weather, etc. His comments were clear and accurate, and kept us at ease even during a bumpy stretch when we neared a tropical storm.

All in all, we liked this ship and would cruise on it again. However, I would not expect it to be a perfect experience, and I would seek out more dance friendly cruises, such as those offered by Holland America.

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Western Europe
Publication Date: July 15, 2006

I am a 24yo cruise enthusiast who has been on 14 cruises on many different cruise lines. During college, I studied the cruise industry. My professional career has thus far focused around visitor centers and hotels as well as various forms of the hospitality industry. If you have any questions or comments about this review, feel free to email me at seth.widdowson@gmail.com One word of warning – even with wonderful modern technology I am still a poor speller and my grammar goes along with that – so best of luck to you reading this review!

Details about this cruise:

This was a seven-night Northern European Capitals cruise aboard Princess Cruises', Sea Princess. It left round trip from Southampton cruising to Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Helsingborg, Sweden. The port days and time at sea were a perfect mix, just enough relaxation time and just enough port time. We booked two Cat BBs located on Aloha deck, staterooms 625 and 627. These were not spacious staterooms but they were comfortable and worked very well for us. We had our wonderful stateroom steward Dante. He opened the partition between the two balconies, a great feature that gave

our rooms the feel of a two-room suite. If you can afford two balcony cabins and are traveling with family or friends, this would be a great option. I did not like the chairs on the balcony, they were very flimsy, and you cannot put your feet up. My sister and I ended up swiping some chairs from near Sundaes, the ice cream parlor. The new chairs worked a lot better and Dante even removed our old chairs for us without saying a word. Overall, they were very functional cabins.

Three great things about the cruise:

1. The ports = By far on the best itineraries we have been on. With this cruise being just one week long and full of major European cities, Copenhagen and Oslo were the best. Amsterdam and Oslo's approaches and departures are not to be missed, truly 110% the value of booking a balcony cabin. I would rebook this cruise just to go back to the ports. With so many great cities, one cannot see every thing they want to see in just one visit.

2. MUTS or Movies Under The Stars = Why was this not thought of before now and why is it not on every cruise ship by now? To me MUTS is far better than a rock-climbing wall! After a long day of traveling, the last thing one wants to do is to go sit in a hot show lounge and watch the same old boring Broadway reruns. MUTS gets you out side, relaxing, with great fresh popcorn, and great movies. The perfect end to the perfect day!

3.Personal Choice Dining = This was only our second cruise with this type of feature. Oceania had their version and we really liked the flexibility of it, so we decided to try it out on Princess. We did not try the Sterling Steak House but we did love Café Corniche. The pizza was not as great as it was on the Ocean Princess in 2000. I became very frustrated during the cruise because we could never get the same table twice in the main dining room. It was not until the last day of the cruise when I was packing the cruise docs that I saw that we could have "reserved" a table of our choice every evening. When we cruise on Princess again, Personal Choice will be my choice.

Three areas for improvement for Princess:

1. Service = What a disappointment! I do not know what has happened to the Princess that I knew when we last cruised with them back in 2001, but this was not the same product. Do not get me wrong, I do not have overly high expectations. I just know what is right and what is wrong, when it comes to customer service. You do not role your eyes at a guest when they ask for a water refill. The attendant that patrols the lido refilling drinks should not avoid making eye contact with everyone. I watched one woman follow the attendant around for five minutes before the attendant acknowledged her. We had waiters in the main dining room that refused to converse with us, and attendants in Corniche that said, "Oh, all right," when we asked for Cokes with our pizza! As you can tell, the list goes on. No doubt, you get the point that the service aboard the Sea Princess needs drastic improvement.

2. Food = I cannot quite put my finger on it but there is something seriously lacking with the food quality. Dishes that are known Princess traditions were poorly presented and very bland. For example, the crab quiche was very mealy and had large chunks of processed imitation crabmeat sticking out of it. The lido buffet was just not up to the normal cruise standards, bland food, no refills and poor drink selection. If you wanted cereal, there were no milk cartons. Just milk boxes, similar to juice cartons that you have to puncture and then squeeze the milk out though the straw, very awkward and annoying. These are just observations not complaints.

3. Disembarkation for Ports of Call = This is truly an odd observation. It centers around Princess' handling of an issue, that had they handled differently, would have not turned in to a crisis. We arrived at Amsterdam at 2:30pm. This is only 30 minutes late but passengers had begun gathering in the stairways and atrium at 1:45 and some of the shore excursions were due to gather at 1:45 and leave at 2. At 2:45, the announcement was made that we were cleared and could proceed ashore. Therefore, we - and the entire ship, went to the gangway - yes one gangway. Thus, chaos ensued. Here was Princess' chance to make things right. Unfortunately, they did not choose that option. Instead of explaining to passengers why there was only one gangway being used, and that they were going to let the paying customers of the shore excursions go of first, Princess chose to remain silent. Over thirty minutes goes by and not one non-shore excursions passenger has gone off the ship, we're now to 3:15pm. So, we gave up and headed back to our stateroom. We had purchased hop-on hop-off canal boat tour on our own and had purchased the twilight canal cruise with wine and cheese tasting through Princess.

So at 3:45 we headed back towards the gangway. There was still a very long line but at lest the non-shore excursion passengers were being allowed ashore. We winded our way though the hallways and stairways finally reached the atrium and the gangway. As we swiped our card, a representative from the shore excursions department was shouting at every one the excuse for all the delay. Apparently, there was only one gangway and only one immigration inspector that had to stamp our passports. We were off the ship as of 4:15. With the lack of time, the oppressive heat in Amsterdam, and weary souls we decided to do one loop around the city on our canal buss tickets and then head back to the ship.

I want to make a note, that it was not the incident or late disembarkation that peeved me. What did concern me, was lack of integrity on Princess behalf, regarding how they handled the situation. Upon further investigation with other passengers and crew, we learned this was a regular occurrence when the ship visited Amsterdam. Yes, passport control only allowing one gangway is what held up disembarkation but Princess knew this was going to happen and they did nothing about it. Simply notifying the passengers that this might happen or setting up a disembarkation system similar to tender-disembarkation would have made all the difference.

I will also note that the shore excursions staff did redeem them selves later in Copenhagen. We had initially booked the cruise for a family of four and had all our shore excursions confirmed for a family of four. As life often does, it threw me a curve ball and I canceled my shore excursions when I though I was not going on the cruise. Later on circumstances changed and I was able to go on the cruise. Yet, the one shore excursion that I wanted to go on was closed for booking. I went and spoke with the shore excursions staff about getting to go on that shore excursion and the incident in Amsterdam. AJ, one of the shore excursions team members was very understanding and reconfirmed my faith in Princess. He got me into the tour with the rest of my family and apologized for the lack of integrity in Amsterdam. Thank you AJ!

Final Thoughts:

We are always optimistic travelers and bumps in the road are just part of the journey. For example, our flight from Gatwick to Newark took 12 hours as apposed to the normal 8. Once we got into Newark, our flight to Greensboro was canceled. Therefore, we rented a car, spent a night at a hotel, and drove back to NC the next day. Just another day on vacation!

This was a great cruise and I would recommend it to just about anyone. If you accept the fact that life is not perfect and look for the good things in life, then you are guaranteed to have a great vacation.

Thank you for reading this review. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me as seth.widdowson@gmail.com

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: December 3, 2005
My husband and I have just returned from a Southern Caribbean cruise and albeit that I now have the flu (probably because it has gone from 94 degrees F to -4 degrees!!)it was the BEST cruise I have taken!! We have sailed on Cunard, NCL and Carnival before and this was way above all of them.  The ship it's self is immaculate, the cabins on the small side but very well appointed and the cabin stewards keep them spotless at all times - we seemed to bring most of the sand in the caribbean back with us but there was never a trace left!! The food is out of this world - I dread to think how much weight I have put on.  We chose the formal dining in The Traviata and our assigned waiter was the most couteous, knowledgeable guy you could ever wish to meet.  I am a very fussy eater and he always knew what I should choose.  From day one he knew what bread we liked, what we drank, etc etc oh and by the way girls he was goregeous looking too!!! With regards service in the bars etc this was exceptional and again the most courteous I have ever experienced - they really do make you feel that you are the most important and special person in the world. The only very slight negatives are that the "production" shows are in my personal opinion poor.  The singers couldn't hold a tune in a bucket and even resorted to miming on one occasion, but hey there is so much more to do like the movies under the stars which was excellent and showed fairly recent films.  The casino is very small and has limited choice of slots etc but on most days appeared to be fairly loose (very rare on a ship!)so I saved a few dollars. In summary I loved this cruise and would only sail with Princess again, I wouldn't even bother looking at any other brochures BUT best of all I have the best tan imaginable. 10 out of 10.
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Eastern Canada
Publication Date: October 14, 2005
My wife and I embarked in New York on the 10 day New England/Canada cruise. This was our 5th cruise on Princess and our 15th overall. We are in our 50's and well travelled. As usual for Princess, embarkation was efficient and fast. We were in our cabin by 12:30PM. Comments on the ports: Boston, Newport, and Bar Harbor were excellent. Most readers will be familiar with these areas and I will not comment further. A purchased tour is probably a necessity to fully enjoy the stop at Bar  Harbor. Saint John, NB gets my award for the friendliest port ever visited. I was very impressed by the welcome and it made up for the attractions being somewhat limited. It's worth a stop. Halifax, NS was modestly enjoyable. The drive to Peggy's Cove (on a tour) is worthwile for the great scenery and the quaintness of the village. Sydney, NS and Corner Brook, Newfoundland are a complete waste of time. Virtually nothing worthwhile in Corner Brook except a picturesque cruise into port (minus the paper mill)  and a few good walking trails. Saguenay River cruising was outstanding. Great views of numerous Beluga whales accompanied by a very good lecturer. Wonderful scenery made this day special. Quebec City-the best was last! Old town Quebec is beautiful, clean, and filled with high quality shops and restaurants. We would return for a future visit. Other positive comments: --Our room steward was outstanding (couldn't get him in the suitcase!). --Wheelhouse Lounge servers were very friendly and went to an effort to remember our names and what we drinked. --The ship's crew was almost always very cordial and friendly. --The individual lounge acts were very good and featured comedy, illusions, juggling and music. --Food in dining room was good, but not great. Don't expect gourmet dining. The food is nearly as good as it can be while feeding 2000 passengers. --Food in Sterling Steak House (see below) was outstanding, the best on the ship and as good a steak as we've had anywhere. --Disembarkation was efficient and fast-after the purser corrected my departure time to the proper group. The negatives: --"Anytime Dining" is anything but. Could never, and I do mean never, get a table for two. Anytime between 6:30 and 8:00, there was a wait for any seating. One night, the wait was 1 hour and 45 minutes! As a result, we only bothered with dinner in the dining room twice. This was very disappointing and unlike what we have experienced on other ships. Totally unacceptable. --The Horizon Court food (buffet) ranged from good to poor depending on the night. Breakfasts were consistently boring. Don't look for an omelet or crepe line, or made to order anything. --On this ship, the specialty steak house is half of the Horizon Court buffet. Same bright lighting and annoying music. The night we were there, a really annoyng beeping from a warning signal in something continued throughout the meal. My wife filed a written complaint (the only one mentioned in 10 days) and never received a reply. No waiving of the cover charge, bottle of wine, or anything else was offered for the inconvenience. --Tours are generally over priced (like all cruise lines). You can do better on your own with some advance work. --Do not take the Princess transfer to the airport in Quebec. The taxi was $27 plus tip and was much faster and user-freindly. In summary, this cruise was a "mixed bag" and probably our last for a long while. Total cost for a cabin with balcony, including airfare and all expenses, was $750 per day. At this price level, there are other, more deluxe options in travel, in our opinion.
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Transatlantic Crossing
Publication Date: September 10, 2005
I sailed B2B (back-to-back) on the Sea Princess and this review covers the second cruise sailing from Southampton to New York, via Cobh, Dublin, Thorshaven, Reykjavik, Qaqortoq, and St. Johns, Newfoundland.  I  covered the ship on the 1st review, the 2nd cruise food, service, everything was fine, I didn’t see any change, seemed consistent.  Doing a B2B was a breeze, Princess gave me a letter explaining everything, my new cruise card for the next cruise, I went to the entry area to validate it and I was good to go.   The ports this cruise were the draw for me as I always wanted to see Iceland and Greenland, and we lucked out with the weather for Greenland.  Iceland was rainy but we managed to see everything. Greenland turned out to be a perfect sunny day, luck was with us.  Cobh is the port for Cork and many did take the Blarney Castle tour.  I was glad I made the choice not to after I saw the picture of my table mate kissing the stone, upside down as they hold you!  There was a band playing in the park right near the pier in Cobh, a German band playing Irish folk tunes, Glenn Miller hits and show tunes.  The day was gorgeous and it was nice sitting out listening to music.  I also hiked up to the cathedral at the top of the hill.  I enjoyed being in Cobh and not touring. In Dublin, I went ashore with two ladies from my table and did the hop on/hop off bus all around Dublin, shopped on Grafton street, stopped for snack, walked over to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and just had a great day as the weather was wonderful!  I enjoy cities and find the hop on/hop off bus/trolley type touring works best.  I did do a tour in Thorshaven (Faroe Islands).  It was an enjoyable ride through the countryside, no trees, to Kvivik, a small village with Viking history and primarily a fishing village.  There were all these little buildings, looked like garages but they had slits for the wind to blow through, boat storage.  Many of the houses had steel roofs but a lot were still using sod for insulation.  We stopped at a church that was all pine inside, wood is at a premium and pine is less expensive than other woods.  When we drove up, the guide used a key that was hanging on a hook by the door.  He sang a verse of a hymn for us so we could hear how the native language would sound.  Very interesting tour.  Iceland probably had the worst weather of my cruise but we definitely made the best of it!  Tours in Iceland are very expensive and do not include everything.  If you swim in the lagoon, you don’t get the falls and geyser.  If you go to the geyser and falls ($150.) you don’t get the Blue Lagoon.  Seven of us were in touch on the boards before the cruise and agreed to rent a van.  Gene volunteered to make the arrangements.  In spite of the fact we had to tender in Iceland (not usually the case), it worked out very well.   Side note, to fill half a tank, $ 78.00 US and we complain about prices! We went to Blue Lagoon, first in line, opens at 10:00 a.m.  We stayed in the lagoon almost an hour, and it was mobbed when we left, very crowded as buses had arrived.  I think it was either 22.00 or 25.00,  well worth it, I would do it again in a heart beat, so fun.  I’ve read reviews where they say it is a major tourist trap but I didn’t care!  Soaking in hot water, blue color you can’t describe, absolutely the best!  There are pots of goop along the sides that we were scrubbing ourselves with, what a hoot! Dragging ourselves away from the lagoon, we were off in search of the Golden Circle, falls and the geyser!  It was foggy at times, raining but we did good, saw it all.  When we started out, I was worried about the fog and visibility but it cleared and was just overcast with rain.  We saw the falls and the geyser, well worth the visit.   The terrain when we were first driving was very volcanic and looked like we were on another planet, moon or something, as we got closer to the falls, there were farms, animals, fields so it wasn’t all volcanic rock.   Because we wanted to do the lagoon, falls and geyser, we did not see much of Reykjavik other than driving through on our way to tour. We cruised Prince Christian Sund and it was wonderful, I stayed outside for almost the whole time, close to 5 hrs., spectacular.  I’ve been to Alaska but I really enjoyed the sheer ruggedness!.  There was an ice pilot to assist passage and naturalist onboard to explain things as we went, 60 miles long.  Hard to explain or describe but I was so glad the weather cooperated and we were able to cruise the Sund.  The next day we were at Qagortoq and that was nice.  No organized tours but interesting to walk around the town and try to visualize what an isolated life it must be in the winter.   There was a tourist office that opened for us and there were items for sale.   They were doing a booming business. St. John’s, Newfoundland was our last stop before New York.  I did a tour, a coastal hike and that it was!  They bus you up to signal hill (think Marconi and the wireless) and walk you back to the ship.  Now they tell you it’s a downhill walk, not quite true!  It was wonderful but I wonder how many sign up  finding it a little too strenuous!  It wasn’t a mile downhill, more like 2.5, up and down, along a cliff hanging on to a chain, not for the faint of heart either.  I’d do it again in a minute!  St. John’s is great, worth a little more time.   A weather front was moving in so our stay in St. John’s was cut short. This was a great crossing, I really enjoyed it.  I’ve looked at this itinerary for years and finally did it.  I’ve done 2 transatlantic, England to Miami and Miami to England, with all the sea days.   I like this one because it had ports and sea days, 6 ports, 6 sea days and cruising Prince Christian Sund, perfect!
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