My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to see Ireland and Scotland and felt this was a great way to see both. Left the USA a day early and spent the night in London. Picked up and taken to the port on Monday after visiting Stonehenge. Embarkation was simple although a bit disorganized. I had "priority boarding" but was told to wait only for my wife to speak to another representative and then allowed to board! The welcome aboard was friendly and nice. We were in a balcony cabin, C206. This cabin is in the forward section of the ship on the Caribe deck. Except for the last night (when some people boarded in France), it was quiet and serene. Our last night (their first night) had the noises of their arrival and some complaining by the passengers. I think the next door rooms were empty before their arrival (at least we never saw anyone or heard anything). Cabin was nice and the room steward was wonderful in keeping the room clean and fresh. Had a problem with the bathroom sink twice (the stopper wouldn't open) but was quickly fixed both times.
I'm always amazed at what some people observe. Yes, the ship is "older" and yeah, I saw a bit of rust here and there. That did not hinder my enjoyment of the cruise at all. Never smelled anything "bad" and didn't have any of the problems some other reviews reported. We found the crew to be efficient, friendly and welcoming. Almost everyone had a smile and if u asked a question, they were quick with an answer. I had no real contact with guest services, however, but with everyone we interacted with, we were treated with respect and friendliness.
Our trip was in May, so we observed very few children during the cruise. Since passengers were boarding and disembarking during the cruise, we did see a few children. It was too cold to do much swimming. My wife braved the swimming pool a few time. And while the weather was nice (only rained one day during the trip!), it was cool. Temps were about 45 degrees (7 degrees c) in the morning, warming to about 65 degrees (18 degrees c) during the day. We spent time in the Serenity (adult) section of the ship both sea days and had to bundle up (but the afternoon tea was wonderful!). We pretty much had the section to ourselves both times. I would guess the average age on this particular cruise was about 65-70.
Cabin had plenty of storage place for the two of us. We enjoyed the balcony since it did have a bit of shade in the "back" part of the balcony (which other levels don't seem to have). Cabin steward was excellent.
We did visit Stonehenge on our way to the port from London. Didn't get to spend much time in Southampton.
I'm glad we visited here! We walked around the city and enjoyed the Candie Gardens with some new friends from the ship. This is a tender port and the line waiting to get back onto the ship was long and a bit inconvenient, but the port was nice. Friendly people!
We used a Viator tour for this port "Cork Shore Excursion Including Kinsale and Blarney Castle." It was an "all day" tour and very enjoyable. While we didn't kiss the blarney stone, we did tour the gardens and surrounding area of the castle. Very enjoyable day!
We took the Princess provided bus to the city center and saw the book of Kells and visited the Temple Bar area. We saw the castle and did our shopping in Dublin. Nice city with friendly people.
We used an outside tour company that visited Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and Stirling Castle. This was the only rainy day we had on our cruise (rained most of the day) but had some time when it didn't rain and we enjoyed being outside.
Princess organized tour. Half day of the prehistoric sites. Guide spent too much time chatting with individuals and not allowing others to participate. Hard to follow what was going on many times. Glad we visited the port and saw the sites, but could have been better.
What's not to like? Took the Princess provided bus (yes, they charge for it) to the city center. Spent the day exploring the castle and the city. I wouldn't mind spending the night here, but alas, it was only the day. Plenty to see and do.