Date of Trip: August 2011
My husband and I recently returned from a cruise of the British Isles on Princess Cruises. Our ship was the Crown Princess.
The ship: We have traveled on the Crown in the past but has been upgraded. Actually, it has been made larger. The ship on this cruise was really fully booked so it actually was a bit crowded.
We enjoyed the public rooms. The change from a major event in the theatre each night was changed to other venues with entertainers ranging from magicians to singers. Two lounges had regular musical entertainers who were quite good.
Meals were improved over trips taken earlier in our lives. Food in the dining room was very well-prepared. It is a wonder to us that they can put together so many meals so well! We also noted that the portions were not as big as on former trips, and that preparations were lighter. A vegetarian entree’ was offered at each meal, and some entree’s were designated as low-fat. This is a distinct improvement over the excessiveness in the past. If someone required more food however, it was readily available. We especially noticed improvement in the Horizon Court, Princess casual buffet. Food was fresher and very attractively displayed.
The dining room and specialty restaurants were notable for having too few wait staff. The wait staff did an amazing job but were clearly lacking in assistant waiters/busboys. Interestingly, there seemed to be an overabundance of same in the Horizon Court.
Staterooms were ample and comfortable, especially with the addition of a balcony!
We chose this for three main reasons. We had previously been to Ireland, but due to a late arrival, were not able to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College. We traveled in on a train rather than take the excursion offered since we had toured Dublin in the past. We were so pleased to see this amazingly illuminated book of Gospels.
Another reason for this trip was that the Edinburgh Military Tattoo was offered as an excursion. We have wanted to see and experience that for years! It was truly wonderful, and Princess arranged great seating for a large number of travelers. The finale was touching and brought a tear to the eye. I won’t be a spoiler though. I would just say that the cost was well worth it.
Finally we visited the Normandy Beaches and Military Cemetery. The difficulty of the American troops landing cannot be overemphasized. We were deeply touched by the experience of being there. We are grateful to those men and women, and all those who are currently serving our country.