Lynn & Steve have recently returned from a 7 night cruise down to France and Spain, taking in Le Verdon, Bilbao and La Coruna with 3 days on board the Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess.
A few days before we left home, a day 2 test kit was ordered and using the test reference number, we completed our online (PLF) Passenger Locator Form.
A pre-embarkation COVID test was undertaken at the Mayflower terminal, 2 minutes’ drive from where we were joining the Sky Princess. The test centre was brilliant, friendly staff and extremely swift service, and we stayed in our car the whole time. Within half an hour we received the test results – in the
form of a text informing us we were both negative.
Having driven down to Southampton the car was booked in with CPS where you drive to the terminal, hand over your keys (with a few checks on your car) and walk the short distance (1 minute) to drop your bags off at the conveyor-belt. At this point an area was set aside for passengers awaiting their test result.
Once in the terminal, we queued for a few minutes for check in, they checked our passports, COVID pass and PLF, then we were issued with a Medallion. You are able to wear this around your neck or if you want to “bling” it up – you could buy a bracelet, necklace for it to go in. This would be used as our room key/proof of ID when getting on/off the ship and also to order drinks/shopping on the ship.
Because of COVID safety demonstrations aboard were done on the TV in our room and once completed, you visited the Muster station to check in, where they could see if you had watched the safety video.
This cruise would see us taking in 3 ports. At each of the ports, we got off and took the coach transfers to the towns we were visiting, but decided not to book any excursions. So, a walk around a small seaside village in France called Soulac-Sur-Mer, Bilbao, taking in the Guggenheim museum and surrounding areas and then La Coruna, where we were able to just walk around the port and the local shops.
Breakfasts consisted of a variety of foods, continental, full cooked breakfasts, porridge, granola, smoothies, cereals, pastries and much more.
During the week, we made use of many of the restaurants on board, including Estrella & Cielo two of the free main dining restaurants, Crown Grill and A five course trattoria menu at Sabattini’s – which were lovely. Sat and listened to the piano playing.
Pulled pork ciabattas by the pool from The Salty Dog and complimentary Ice Cream from Swirls. We tried many cocktails as these were part of the drinks package we had paid extra for.
We enjoyed using the Gym/fitness suite, taking part in quizzes, Zumba, line dancing, and joined in presentations made by the Fitness centre and the culinary department.
We had two “dress to impress” evenings where most people were dressed in their finery.
We watched films on the big screen on the Saturday afternoon whilst sunbathing on deck. By far one of the best parts of the cruise was the entertainment, we were wowed by Xcite the Band (all the way from Trinidad and Tobago). They had everyone up singing, dancing (with their masks on) as all of the venues, apart from restaurants were sip & re-cover.
The shows included, Singing, Dancing, a Ventriloquist and a Comedian – all were brilliant and from West end shows, or of a similar calibre.
Every evening, you would have an itinerary left on your bed informing you of the port we would be docking at the following morning and the entertainment that would be available if you were on board.
Sherwin, our steward kept our suite clean, making sure bins were emptied and tea and coffee replenished.
All in all a great experience.