Our British Isles Cruise was wonderful! The ship, the excursions and believe it or not the weather were all great!
The Pacific Princess is a wonderful small ship. I wanted a balcony, but had to go with a porthole. I didn't think I could enjoy being on the lowest deck with only a porthole, but the room was lovely. It was quiet with very little motion. The only bad side was that you could only use the Aft elevators and stairs, otherwise you were in the crew's quarters. I did accidentally visit the crew a few times before I got the floor plan straight!
The food was great. I only had a couple of items that were only good. We made friends with our table mates and many others on the ship since it was small.
Our main interest was to see the beautiful countryside and culture.
Jersey - great tour to Mont Orgueil Castle and Gorey. Our bus guide was great and our castle guide was amazing.The castle was great, a little scary on the stairs. I was worried about the steep walk but it wasn’t bad with a hiking stick. We enjoyed time on our own after the tour. Be careful if paying for something, you might get change in Jersey money. My husband enjoyed a Liberation beer at a local pub. One of my favorite days!
Portland - we went on a private tour with Daren Gapper @ Dorset Day Tours. He was great! The weather was a bit windy and wet in the beginning, but cleared. Check out Daren, you won't be disappointed.We covered so much territory Wonderful day!
Cornwall - Ship Excursion Land's End and Scenic Drive, I was a little disappointed in this excursion although our guide was full of information. I tried to find a private excursion but they were all very long and expensive.
Waterford - Ship excursion Rural Ireland and Jerpoint Abbey. Our guide was very knowledgeable and we enjoyed this excursion. I thought with it being short, we would have some time for exploring the town. I wasn't interested in the glass factory so really didn't enjoy wandering the town. I should have done more research before we left. Also, the shuttle to town was $20 round trip.
Waterford - Rural Ireland and Jerpoint Abbey: the abbey was very interesting with an excellent guide. The excursion was over at 12:30. You can’t walk to anything from the port but they had a shuttle for $10 one way. Unless you want to visit the Waterford Glass, there wasn’t very interesting shopping.
Llanfair. Holyhead, Wales - Ship excursion, Conwy Castle & Llanfair PG. We thoroughly enjoyed this excursion. The castle was interesting and the little town was colorful. We enjoyed some Welsh beer at the Blue Bell Pub.
Dublin - Dublin & Glendalough ship excursion. So many choices, but I really wanted to see the countryside. Our guide was very informative and the countryside was beautiful. We had a lovely lunch at Avoca and were able to shop for woolens, very expensive. I have to say I was a bit disappointed because there was not time allowed to see the lakes! Although it was a good tour, I wish I could have booked a private tour for Dublin.
Belfast - Giant's Causeway and Antrim Coast ship excursion. This was another favorite day. Our guide was full of history and a bit of blarney, making it a fun day. The countryside was gorgeous..
Portree (Isle of Skye) - Private excursion with GoSkye. Unfortunately, it was a bit foggy so the views weren't as great as they could have been. It was a good excursion, beautiful countryside, waterfalls, cliffs and heather, a distillery, and 3 rainbows!
Portree is a tender port. We found a bank at the top of the stairs from the tender that had an ATM with a great rate for changing dollars to pounds.
Orkney Islands - Private tour, Orkney Island Tour. Very nice even though the weather was cold, windy and wet! We saw lots of standing stones, Hairy cows, hairy pigs, Italian Chapel, Maeshowe, and more. We saw everything the ship tour did plus more and cheaper. The only change I would make other than the weather is the timing. We had purchased a tour to Maeshowe online ahead of time for 3 o'clock. We only had 15 minutes to spare getting back to the ship.
Edinburgh - private tour with Duncan McNab. Absolutely wonderful. Duncan broke his leg so we had a different guide. It turned out that she was an Outlander fan so she included a few tidbits from the show (A quick look at Lallybroch and McKensie castle). We saw castles, beautiful countryside, a distillery and much more.
Newcastle - Private tour to Hadrians Wall. Very interesting, but I would have preferred less wall and more local culture. We made 3 stops to see the wall. The first 2 were great, but by the 3rd, I was ready for something else.
The only complaint I would have for the ship, is too little shopping. It only has 2 shops which is fine, but the merchandise didn't reflect the ports. They had Caribbean t-shirts and Russian dolls, I don't understand the philosophy. The drawings for jewelry were always at 7:30 which was our dinner time and you had to be present to win. Also, if you play Mahjong, they have the tiles but be sure to take a current card. Otherwise, I loved it.