Last Updated on December 27, 2018 by Fiona Maclean
Royal Princess British Isles Cruise – A Total Experience.
Joining the Royal Princess cruise ship on the last few days of the twelve day British Isles cruise was my first experience of cruising. I had no idea what to expect but was thrilled to be given the chance to find out!
Apart from the sheer size of the ship (there are nineteen decks accommodating around 3,500 passengers) I was very impressed by the facilities on board the Royal Princess: there’s something for everyone whether you just want to relax and enjoy the experience or enter wholeheartedly into the activities available.
One of my personal highlights was the spa treatment, I do love to feel pampered. The Lotus Spa, situated on deck five, has an extensive list of treatments from haircuts, to pedicures/manicures and facials or massages. What better way to help you relax and unwind than a treatment from one of the many therapists on board. I chose the Elemis hot stone massage which left me relaxed and happy. The cost of any spa treatments is not included in the basic cruise price but it’s certainly worth the price for enhancing your total cruise experience. There are even sample treatments, included in the ship’s schedule, you could have a taster massage before deciding on a full treatment.
For the fitness enthusiast, there are pools on the upper decks, also a running/walking track with circuit training equipment stations and a fully fitted gym with cardio machines and weights. I am a member of a gym and have been disappointed in the past at the facilities offered at luxury hotels. This was a proper gym and I would definitely take my gym kit with me another time. There are various ball games available on Royal Princess at center court or the lawn court too.
Entertainment sessions run throughout the day around the Royal Princess, it’s easy to see what is scheduled by reading the Princess Patter, a newsletter left outside your cabin each day. We attended the “Encore” show in the Princess Theatre during our time on board, it was a well-staged show with popular songs from opera and musicals. On deck sixteen there is an outdoor cinema, movies under the stars, showing films throughout the day and into the evening. As the day draws to a close you can hear the sound of live music in the piazza and various bars. There is also a casino on deck five if you fancy a flutter and of course, a nightclub with a DJ.
There are various options for eating and drinking on board as you would expect. The cost of food in the main restaurants, such as Allegro, Symphony and the Horizon Court is included in the basic price and you can choose Anytime or Traditional dining. Anytime dining gives you the freedom to eat whenever you like between 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., with the Traditional dining option you dine at the same time (seated at the same table), at either 6:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. For those wanting to try something different, there are speciality restaurants; The Crown Grill and Sabatini’s where you can eat for a small supplement. During our stay on board the Royal Princess, we were lucky to be able to experience both Anytime dining and the speciality restaurants. I do like to eat well and the food throughout was excellent, it was perfectly cooked, beautifully presented and very tasty.
The International Café on Deck five is open 24/7 if you feel peckish at night. The main bars are again located on decks five to seven with the Atrium as the centre point. I particularly enjoyed Bellinis where I sampled the signature drink, it was delicious. Whilst the food and standard drinks, such as water tea or coffee are included in the cruise cost, any alcohol or speciality coffee (Latte, Expresso etc.) are charged for using your cruise card as payment. It is possible to buy a drinks package, per person, in advance if you don’t want to worry about incurring additional charges. The costs on board are in US dollars charged to your cabin and payable direct through your ship’s account.
As you’d expect from a premium holiday the ship has shops where you can buy essentials such as toiletries, as well as clothing, souvenirs and gifts. The duty-free shop opens when the ship is sailing in International waters. If you need to do some washing there is a laundromat, with washing and ironing equipment.
This is just a snapshot of what’s available on the ship as there is far too much to go into in detail. You could happily just stay on the ship and have a totally inclusive experience for the duration of the cruise. The other choice would be to sign up and pay for shore excursions in port, giving you the possibility to visit local attractions and experiences. For example, during the British Isles cruise when we were on board there were excursions to Edinburgh, Honfleur, the Normandy beaches and even further afield to Paris or Windsor Castle. It’s the ideal way to get a taste of different places.
I had never been on a cruise before and thoroughly enjoyed my time on board the Royal Princess; the staff were friendly and helpful, the accommodation was comfortable and spacious and the food was far better than I expected it would be. It was a memorable experience and it seems to me that cruising is an easy way to visit countries better accessed by sea, such as Alaska, New Zealand or the Caribbean islands. Finally, everything you could possibly need is available on board the ship giving you the opportunity to just relax and enjoy your holiday.
We were travelling as guests of Princess Cruises for the last few days of the twelve day British Isles cruise, from Edinburgh to Southampton via Le Havre.
Thinking of taking a British Isles Cruise? Why not pin this post for later
British Isles (with Dublin overnight)
August 17, 2018
Sailing roundtrip Southampton, ports of call are – Guernsey(St. Peter Port), Cork (Cobh), Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow (Greenock), Invergordon, Edinburgh and Le Havre (Paris/Normandy).
Prices from £1114 per person, (based on two guests sharing an inside stateroom)
British Isles (With Dublin overnight)
May 1, 2019
Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, ports of call are – Guernsey(St. Peter Port), Cork (Cobh), Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow (Greenock), Invergordon, Edinburgh and Le Havre (Paris/Normandy).
Prices from £1719 per person, with $100USD onboard credit, a bottle of red or white wine and a complimentary speciality meal per person (based on two guests sharing an inside stateroom) – offer valid until July 2, 2018.
For more information or to book a cruise visit www.princess.com, call 0344 338 8663 or contact your local travel agent.
All prices include accommodation, all main meals and onboard entertainment.