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ethelmaepotter

First timer says "Tell me everything!"

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Hoping to cruise in summer/fall 2017. Have gotten kind answers from some in replies to their posts. I'd like to throw it wide open, and as the title says, please tell me everything about the Hebridean Princess experience. Doing this for me will be a once-in-a-lifetime, and then back to more mundane travel. Some specific questions include:

Are there any shore excursions that are particularly physically taxing? I'm a cancer survivor, left with neuropathy in hands and feet, so I might not do well with very rough terrain.

How dressy or elegant does one need to be for dinner?

How rough are the waters at different times in the year?

Is it worth it to scrimp and save a bit more for a balcony?

On the other end of the spectrum, how would it be in a windowless cabin?

As you can tell, I'm excited and just want to learn whatever you can share.

Thanks!

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I'm happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability. Here goes...

 

Are there any shore excursions that are particularly physically taxing? I'm a cancer survivor, left with neuropathy in hands and feet, so I might not do well with very rough terrain.

 

It depends on the itinerary. Some of the cruises are designed for people who want to be physical. However, I would say that for the most part, the excursions are not that taxing. Most of the ones I have been on involved gentle walks or riding a bus. On our first cruise, there were two people in their 90s who did fine, although one of them was surprisingly spry for her age.

 

You will have to get on and off a tender, though the crew is really great at taking care of people. Sometimes, you will have a choice of excursions, too. For instance, the last cruise we did was whisky themed, but not everyone cared much about whisky. So those who preferred another activity might tour a house while the rest of us went to a distillery.

 

If you choose an itinerary with Sanda Island on it, be advised that that excursion does involve a bit of walking on rough terrain. However, it's a really neat place to see!

 

Princess doesn't have an elevator and there are "lips" in the doorway that you have to remember to step over. But again, this is a ship that caters to older people.

 

How dressy or elegant does one need to be for dinner?

 

Most cruises have two gala nights that are black tie. My husband is an Army veteran so he wore his dress blues (and was a huge hit). I wore a cocktail dress. The other nights are more elegant casual. Jacket and tie for the men and a more casual dress or nice slacks for the ladies.

 

How rough are the waters at different times in the year?

 

Generally, Hebridean Princess stays in the lochs, so the water doesn't get very rough at all. At night, they stay anchored, which is really good for those who get seasick (me). If you choose an itinerary further north, you may experience rougher waters. I talked to one lady who did a trip around the northern part of Scotland and did get very sick once. But the cruises I've been on have not been like that at all.

 

Is it worth it to scrimp and save a bit more for a balcony?

 

My husband and I have only been in the lowest category cabins which have been perfectly fine for us (except for the very steep stairs going up and down). We don't spend a lot of time in the room anyway. If you want a quiet spot of your own, maybe it's worth saving for a balcony. On the other hand, I have found plenty of quiet, private spots that are technically public. I think the balcony rooms are just plain nicer and offer a more convenient location-- ie; no steep steps to get to and from your room.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, how would it be in a windowless cabin?

 

The windowless rooms are very comfortable in my opinion. At night, they are perfectly dark, though you will hear and feel the ship's engine. We weren't really bothered by it and were able to sleep fine. Your mileage may vary.

 

As you can tell, I'm excited and just want to learn whatever you can share.

Thanks!

 

You may find that once you do the Hebridean Princess, it'll be hard to go back to more mundane travel! I was just on in March and am already shopping for another cruise!

Edited by knotheadusc

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