If you want to see a broad insight of the Mediterranean countries and ports this is the cruise to do.
We found September ideal for the weather in all countries visited and great for site seeing both on foot and with tours arranged by Princess.
We have visited some of the Ports previously by land on other tours but this was the first time by sea which gave us a different perspective of the places we were again visiting . This mainly caused by the different entry to the town and very different views of the housing and the people living in them.
We like to set off on foot to see the places,especially those we were returning to, so often needed to travel on public transport to get to where we wished to wander. ( This also gave us new insights into the places.)We like the very old parts of the cities and the history of them. We find that by taking the time that we want rather than bing hearded by tour guides gives us the greater insight to the way of living there,both now and times gone by.
We found Barcelona ,the last port of our cruise,probably the most interesting of all places as by wandering under our own efforts we found an underground city that does not appear in any tourist information so was for from crowded as there were only 5 of us down there but thousands above us in the streets. A magic way to finish a wonderful cruise.
From the time we embarked we were greeted by our friendly cabin steward(in this case, a charming young lady), who showed us all the details of our cabin. We had been upgrading to a balcony suite.
Our first dinner was wonderful, we shared our table with 2 couples,one, Australian and the other, Russian born but now Australian citizens. We became friends right away and will keep in touch. The food was superb and the service throughout was faultless, from the drink steward to the waiter. once again a very lively young woman who knew exactly which dish to suggest. The next morning we went up to the top deck for breakfast. What a staggering choice of dishes.... fruit... cereal.... marvellous. Our first day ashore was very well organised. We didn't go on a tour, simply walked about absorbing the atmosphere of beautiful Oslo. So, every day was wonderful.... beautifulplaces to see, Berlin, reaching it by a special train..... Tannil, in Estonia, lovely old city.... Then our highlight 2 days in St Petersburg !, a well organised 2 day guided tour, we saw such magnificence in the palaces and the museums....... It was great coming back on the ship and comparing notes with our friends at the dining table. Then on to a show, always of a high standard. We cant falter Princess cruises and hope to cruise again with them in the near future.
We boarded the Regal Princess in Germany and enjoyed back to back cruises...the Baltic and then across the Atlantic to New York. The first section of the cruise...the Baltic states is very exhausting as every day is a new port. It is an interesting section of the cruise but there is no respite from
doing the tours. After leaving Ireland, we had several days at sea across the Atlantic which gave us time to recover and truly enjoy the ship. The last few days were busy visiting ports in Canada and finishing in New York. The ship is impressive, the food unbelievable and the staff both friendly and most cooperative. The shows were of a high standard but not as high a quality as we have found on Holland America.
The three real downsides to the cruise; firstly, NO central stair case which meant there was always a wait for the central lifts and the second, tours were two expensive for what was being offered. We have discovered that fellow passengers organised their own tours at substantial savings. The third downside was no true Promenade Deck to walk with some protection, only a sports deck on the top floor that was closed due to inclement weather.
Overall, the ship is very impressive and would use it again if the right cruise was on offer.