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Review Crown Princess 12 Day British Isles – Dublin Overnight June 18-30

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Yes, on demand films and TV shows.  Regrettably, many TVs had problems and need to be rebooted several times a day.  Very annoying.

 

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My family was also on this trip and we had a great time! We had a balcony on the Aloha deck as well. One aspect we liked about the Medallion is that on certain decks we could use the interactive screen to see where our "shipmates" were on the boat. This was great for our son who was experiencing Independence for the first time, while mom and dad knew where he was. 

 

We did 2 ship tours, Titanic Belfast and Normandy. Both were well worth the cost and I would not hesitate to do them again. We did outside tours in most ports, WOW Scotland tours is awesome! If you can book them in Invergorden do it! In Edinburgh we found the distance from ship to city centre was too much and would have loved another day in that port, there just wasn't enough time to do much, especially if you went inside the castle!  

 

 

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On 7/5/2019 at 12:38 PM, barriedavis said:

I was on this cruise and have a couple of points to make in case they are useful to those taking this cruise in future.  Princess (I have 30 cruises with that line) are notorious for charging for shuttle buses and not letting on about local arrangements.  Once you learn how cheap things can be on local transport ashore, it's too late to cancel and get a refund on your shuttle tickets.  In some ports, the transport is provided free by local docks or tourism people and STILL charged by Princess.  On this cruise, the buses to the city centre were charged at between about $16 and $32 round trip for 2.  In Le Havre, it's about 3 miles at a joint cost of $30.  My wife and I got a taxi to town for $8 and back again for the same price.  Didn't even have to share.  In Belfast, we found the car rental company SIXT had an office a mile down the road from the berth, booked online and they sent a shuttle for us.  The car cost $32 for the day, the same price as the shuttle to town.  We drove 55 miles to Bushmills and then the Giants Causeway, driving back along the coast road which was wonderful.  For info, if you go under your own steam to the Causeway, they will try to charge you about 16 dollars to go down the road.  Do not pay.  It is a public footpath and FREE.  They say that if you take this option, car parking has to be paid but there is nowhere to pay and no one asking for money.  We just drove out.  In Dublin, the tram is cheap and about a 20 minute walk from the ship.  In Cork, the train to town picks up about 20 steps from the ship.  Greenock station is a 20 minute walk for the train to Glasgow.   In Invergordon, the village is delightful and, if you want Inverness, the 28 or 28X bus is easy.  At South Queensferry, there is a bus X99 from the tender dock to Edinburgh, plenty of service and very efficient.  In Guernsey, the white building opposite the tender station drop is the bus information point and has very helpful staff.  Buses are really easy and the German Occupation Museum is worth the $8 entry and the effort.  If you want to save a packet, follow the above.

In Dublin, were you allowed to get off the ship and walk to the tram?  How much was the tram?

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Dublin was an industrial port and no one was allowed to walk on the port.  The Patter said that those with prearranged tours could get a shuttle to the outside of the port but that this service had limited availability. You would need to ask at Passenger Services. 

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Usual nonsense from Princess.  The dock authorities do not allow passengers to walk in the port so provide a free shuttle to the dock gates.  From there, it's a 15 to 20 minute level walk to the Luas (tram) stop at "The Point".  Trams leave every 10 minutes or so and tickets can be obtained from the machine - credit cards accepted.  Depending how many zones you want to travel through, the fare is a few Euros - a ticket for a whole day of travel is only 10 Euro.  I presume the statement 'limited availability' referred to the fact that the bus only had so many seats  (about 50 - never fills up after about the first hour after docking).  The free shuttle had plenty of availability - in fact, they came looking for you.  Because of the need to turn the bus around safely, it is driven along the road leading to the tram stop and picked up people who were walking back before turning around and delivering to the ship.  If in doubt, there are very nice people come aboard and sit at a desk in the Atrium, Deck 5 and answer any questions you may have and give out maps.  So you can get all the info before getting off.

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Great review. My husband and I are looking at doing this cruise in 2020 (I am a planner...). The cost of excursions will obviously add up quickly. Are any of the ports walkable? Things to see without booking an expedition? (We don’t have any mobility issues to worry about) 

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4 hours ago, barriedavis said:

Usual nonsense from Princess.  The dock authorities do not allow passengers to walk in the port so provide a free shuttle to the dock gates.  From there, it's a 15 to 20 minute level walk to the Luas (tram) stop at "The Point".  Trams leave every 10 minutes or so and tickets can be obtained from the machine - credit cards accepted.  Depending how many zones you want to travel through, the fare is a few Euros - a ticket for a whole day of travel is only 10 Euro.  I presume the statement 'limited availability' referred to the fact that the bus only had so many seats  (about 50 - never fills up after about the first hour after docking).  The free shuttle had plenty of availability - in fact, they came looking for you.  Because of the need to turn the bus around safely, it is driven along the road leading to the tram stop and picked up people who were walking back before turning around and delivering to the ship.  If in doubt, there are very nice people come aboard and sit at a desk in the Atrium, Deck 5 and answer any questions you may have and give out maps.  So you can get all the info before getting off.

Thanks for this info.  We have a full day tour for day one but were going to stay on the ship for day two.  Now we think we will do this instead.

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8 hours ago, cebee123 said:

Great review. My husband and I are looking at doing this cruise in 2020 (I am a planner...). The cost of excursions will obviously add up quickly. Are any of the ports walkable? Things to see without booking an expedition? (We don’t have any mobility issues to worry about) 

Depends what you want to see.  Guernsey - docks right in town - shops are nice to nose around.  Cork - docks in Cobh - small town with some interesting buldings, usual churches.  Dublin/Belfast/Le Havre - not much to easily walk to.  Greenock (Glasgow) and South Queensferry (Edinburgh) - small local towns - the odd  museum.  Invergordon - little more than a village but the residents are very friendly and make an effort.  Otherwise, see my post above for local transport.

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I would definitely book something for Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, and Le Havre. Nothing to walk to in those ports. Edinburgh was a tender port and the little area by the tenders was just one gift shop and a few pubs. The others had nothing around the port area. 

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20 hours ago, cebee123 said:

Great review. My husband and I are looking at doing this cruise in 2020 (I am a planner...). The cost of excursions will obviously add up quickly. Are any of the ports walkable? Things to see without booking an expedition? (We don’t have any mobility issues to worry about) 

Shuttle buses into Dublin, Belfast and either local cruise bus or train from South Queensferry into Edinburgh opens up a lot of ideas of places to visit without the need to book expensive Princess or local company excursions.

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Thanks for all the experienced visitors information about the ports.  All cruise lines seem to recommend their own transportation.  They tend to make more money plus many of the passengers "need" the easy accessiblity of the cruise line provided shuttles, etc.  Nothing wrong with booking through the cruise line but it is nice to see the recommendations for private transports and costs.  Thanks.

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Great review, thanks to everyone who provided all the information!

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Great review.  Looks like at lot of other people going in August.  We leave August 17th on Crown Princess.

 

Very excited.  

 

Cheryl

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Just off the Sapphire Princess Fjord Cruise. The coffee was not drinkable and the Internet was a joke. DH figured out a solution to the coffee.......room service or International Cafe coffee. The internet was never Ok. I was told it was the metal walls so try the hallway. Princess has the poorest internet at sea. RCCL has vroom which is outstanding.  

Food is subjective but there was nothing served on the ship I care to have again.

i think these are Princess problems not Crown or Sapphire problems.

 

we are platinum so we remember the good old days on Princess.

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Thank you for the detailed review.  We are booked in September 2020 on Regal.  I appreciate the link for International Friends.  We will need to look at this either pre- or post-cruise.  We want to drive around Ireland before the cruise but can use this once we get to London.

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Thanks for sharing! We did the same itinerary on the Royal last summer and had a great time. I looked at a lot of options before we booked, and we definitely thought the Princess itineraries were outstanding.

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18 hours ago, Granny DI said:

Just off the Sapphire Princess Fjord Cruise. The coffee was not drinkable and the Internet was a joke. DH figured out a solution to the coffee.......room service or International Cafe coffee. The internet was never Ok. I was told it was the metal walls so try the hallway. Princess has the poorest internet at sea. RCCL has vroom which is outstanding.  

Food is subjective but there was nothing served on the ship I care to have again.

i think these are Princess problems not Crown or Sapphire problems.

 

we are platinum so we remember the good old days on Princess.

Sorry you were disappointed.  Also remember the good old days on Princess,  the coffee has always been the same until now on the new ships it is brewed coffee.  In the old days there was NO internet.  Did you eat at the specialty dining restaurants?  If you did and there is still "nothing on the ship I care to have again" then Wow it was bad.  For me if the MDR is not doing it, just go the specialties, the ones on Princess are reasonable.  Fares have stayed about the same adjusted for inflation so spending on the Specialties gets you the "good old days".  Except if I remember correctly the buffet was more limited and sometimes not even open.  The cabins were smaller on the older ships.  No International Cafe, fewer pools, bars, theaters, etc. even adjusting for passenger load.  Only traditional seating in the MDR with a line up to get in, dress code of casual, semi formal and formal.  Good and Bad changes happen.

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2 hours ago, happy cruzer said:

Sorry you were disappointed.  Also remember the good old days on Princess,  the coffee has always been the same until now on the new ships it is brewed coffee.  In the old days there was NO internet.  Did you eat at the specialty dining restaurants?  If you did and there is still "nothing on the ship I care to have again" then Wow it was bad.  For me if the MDR is not doing it, just go the specialties, the ones on Princess are reasonable.  Fares have stayed about the same adjusted for inflation so spending on the Specialties gets you the "good old days".  Except if I remember correctly the buffet was more limited and sometimes not even open.  The cabins were smaller on the older ships.  No International Cafe, fewer pools, bars, theaters, etc. even adjusting for passenger load.  Only traditional seating in the MDR with a line up to get in, dress code of casual, semi formal and formal.  Good and Bad changes happen.

This cruise was a gift to our daughter and family. So after paying for 7 people the specialty restaurants were not an option except for the one free night we received. The food was ok in Sabatini’s but not outstanding.

 

 We thought everything was just OK except for embarkation and debarkation which was Outstanding....best ever in 50+ cruises! 

 

We always book for the itinerary and this itinerary was outstanding as well. We have another cruise booked with Princess and I  looked for alternatives last night....but no other line has this particular itinerary. I think we will bring a French Press for the coffee if the Crown has tea kettles like the Sapphire. We will most certainly skip the MDR for the most part. Don’t know how we are going to handle the internet problem as we have to check in on our business from time to time. DH is hoping the Crown has upgraded internet by 2020. 

All the cruiselines serve inferior food as compared to 20 years ago. We miss the formal nights with the silly parades, prime rib, lobster, baked Alaska, cherries jubilee or bananas foster etc. We hate formal nights now because they aren’t special. It’s like putting on a gown and tux to eat at Cracker Barrel. Yes in the old days I wore gowns and DH wore his tux and we loved the very special formal nights.

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5 hours ago, Granny DI said:

This cruise was a gift to our daughter and family. So after paying for 7 people the specialty restaurants were not an option except for the one free night we received. The food was ok in Sabatini’s but not outstanding.

 

 We thought everything was just OK except for embarkation and debarkation which was Outstanding....best ever in 50+ cruises! 

 

We always book for the itinerary and this itinerary was outstanding as well. We have another cruise booked with Princess and I  looked for alternatives last night....but no other line has this particular itinerary. I think we will bring a French Press for the coffee if the Crown has tea kettles like the Sapphire. We will most certainly skip the MDR for the most part. Don’t know how we are going to handle the internet problem as we have to check in on our business from time to time. DH is hoping the Crown has upgraded internet by 2020. 

All the cruiselines serve inferior food as compared to 20 years ago. We miss the formal nights with the silly parades, prime rib, lobster, baked Alaska, cherries jubilee or bananas foster etc. We hate formal nights now because they aren’t special. It’s like putting on a gown and tux to eat at Cracker Barrel. Yes in the old days I wore gowns and DH wore his tux and we loved the very special formal nights.

But cruising was a lot more expensive 20yrs ago than these days if you take in the increase of cost of fuel and inflation. If the price is cheaper then something has to give you cannot expect the food available 20yrs ago at todays cheaper prices.

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On 7/2/2019 at 1:06 AM, vcgeno said:

 

I realized I had forgotten the links and when I went to put them in it said it was too late to edit.  Here it is:

 

https://www.internationalfriends.co.uk/pre-cruise-london.html?fbclid=IwAR2wofxDBPTOKzefNKmKLQyxyQ9_6gS-8LIb5xDSDXJKxQX4VFoCR_uXGQA

 

I have used International Friends post cruise from Dover and Southampton to my London hotel.    A great way to see other places in Britain after the ship and being dropped at my London hotel.

 

When I used them, we started off in a large Coach and after the last stop, those being dropped off at a London hotel were transfer to a small van.

 

A few questions about your pre cruise stay

- why did you pick that hotel

- was breakfast included with your hotel stay

- were you picked up and dropped off at your hotel for your 1 day city tour or did you have to make your own way to Victoria area

- did you get out at the different sights or stay on the coach and just drive by

- your transportation to Southampton was it in a small van or a big Coach

- did you  take transportation with tickets for Stonehenge

- what happen to the people that did take the Stonehedge tickets - they wait around and visit the gift shop

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On 7/2/2019 at 1:06 AM, vcgeno said:

 

I realized I had forgotten the links and when I went to put them in it said it was too late to edit.  Here it is:

 

https://www.internationalfriends.co.uk/pre-cruise-london.html?fbclid=IwAR2wofxDBPTOKzefNKmKLQyxyQ9_6gS-8LIb5xDSDXJKxQX4VFoCR_uXGQA

 

I have used International Friends post cruise from Dover and Southampton to my London hotel.    A great way to see other places in Britain after the ship and being dropped at my London hotel.

 

When I used them, we started off in a large Coach and after the last stop, those being dropped off at a London hotel were transfer to a small van.

 

A few questions about your pre cruise stay

- why did you pick that hotel

- was breakfast included with your hotel stay

- were you picked up and dropped off at your hotel for your 1 day city tour or did you have to make your own way to Victoria area

- did you get out at the different sights or stay on the coach and just drive by

- your transportation to Southampton was it in a small van or a big Coach

- did you  take transportation with tickets for Stonehenge

- what happen to the people that did take the Stonehedge tickets - they wait around and visit the gift shop

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2 hours ago, phabric said:

 

I have used International Friends post cruise from Dover and Southampton to my London hotel.    A great way to see other places in Britain after the ship and being dropped at my London hotel.

 

When I used them, we started off in a large Coach and after the last stop, those being dropped off at a London hotel were transfer to a small van.

 

A few questions about your pre cruise stay

- why did you pick that hotel

- was breakfast included with your hotel stay

- were you picked up and dropped off at your hotel for your 1 day city tour or did you have to make your own way to Victoria area

- did you get out at the different sights or stay on the coach and just drive by

- your transportation to Southampton was it in a small van or a big Coach

- did you  take transportation with tickets for Stonehenge

- what happen to the people that did take the Stonehedge tickets - they wait around and visit the gift shop

why did you pick that hotel

Because the base hotel was not well located and we liked the Kensigton Garden Location

Breakfast was included

 

were you picked up and dropped off at your hotel for your 1 day city tour or did you have to make your own way to Victoria 

 

No we took a cab to the bus station

 

did you get out at the different sights or stay on the coach and just drive by?

 

We got off to see the changing of the guard, the tower of London/crown jewels, the outside of Westminster Cathedral and a few other places.  We also went on a river cruise. 

 

 your transportation to Southampton was it in a small van or a big Coach

- did you  take transportation with tickets for Stonehenge

- what happen to the people that did take the Stonehenge tickets - they wait around and visit the gift shop

 

A van picked us up from our hotel and took us to a larger bus that had passengers from all 3 hotels that they use. We took that bus to Stonehenge on our way to Southampton.  We took the Stonehenge bus from the gift shop to Stonehenge and back.  We then made our way to the bus for the trip to Southampton.  

 

Hope this helps. 

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On 7/9/2019 at 10:05 PM, barriedavis said:

Yes, on demand films and TV shows.  Regrettably, many TVs had problems and need to be rebooted several times a day.  Very annoying.

 

We just got off the July 12-24 cruise and had the same issue in our mini-suite. We finally figured if we unplug the tv, count to 15 and then plugged it back in, the tv would reboot and work fine for about a day or 2 before it did it again. Very annoying, but at least we had a workaround without having to call someone. 

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