Enchanted Princess will be the new UK Homeport ship based in Southampton for the 2022 UK summer season and offers 13 new voyages ranging from four to 14 nights. So this is my first cruise. I am told that cruises are an incredibly luxurious and convenient way to travel but for us based in the UK, imagine this luxury without any flights required too.
One of the best-known names in the cruise world, Princess Cruises, has a fleet of 15 cruise ships, traveling to 330 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England and Antarctica. Joining the Princess fleet in November 2021, Enchanted Princess joined the other newer sister ship, Sky Princess, and two other Princess ships – Emerald Princess and Island Princess – to sail out of Southampton this year.
Why we chose Enchanted Princess
Enchanted Princess represents an evolution of the design platform consistent across her Royal-class sister ships, offering an elevation of style and elegance combined with great value for money. We love the new itineraries that include short cruises and longer voyages to the Canary Islands, Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Norway and Iceland. This makes life so easy and as these depart from Southampton as there are no additional flight costs.
We experienced a five-night cruise to Belgium, Channel Islands and the Netherlands with an all inclusive-fare, a balcony stateroom that includes a premium drinks package, unlimited MedallionNet Wi-Fi and crew appreciation.
The seven-night Comedy Stars themed roundtrip cruise to Scandinavia from Southampton is only £849pp with all-inclusive Princess Plus Fare.
- Date: June 24, 2022 – July 1, 2022
- Ship: Enchanted Princess
- Itinerary: Southampton (England), Kristiansand (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark), Skagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Southampton (England)
- Price: All-inclusive Princess Plus Fare £849pp for Balcony Cabin. All-inclusive Princess Plus Fare includes the line’s premium drinks package, unlimited MedallionNet Wi-Fi and crew appreciation.
Our Enchanted Princess Voyage
My first cruise. I heard so much about cruises and how you can experience so much in one trip. This 5 day experience started in Southampton and we sailed to Belgium, The Netherlands and Guernsey. Visiting three ports over five days gives a real taster for cruising especially if it is your first time like me.
The itinerary is packed with three exciting stop overs and the attention to detail means there is something for everyone to enjoy on and off the ship. Departing from Southampton in the afternoon, you’ll wake up in Belgium on day 1 where the first excursion starts at the port of Zeebrugge, you’ll get the day-time to take in the rich history and chocolate heaven city of Bruges. Next on day 3, we arrive in the Netherlands and get the whole day (till 10pm) to explore the exciting city of Rotterdam. On day 4 we enjoy a relaxing day at sea, giving you the chance to try out all the facilities on board. The last stop over is in St. Peter Port, Guernsey for a day on the picturesque island before returning back to Southampton in the morning.
We arrived by car, a relatively easy 2 hour drive from London to the cruise terminal in Southampton. As with all ships in the Princess fleet, it begins with the Medallion, the travel industry’s most advanced wearable device which is 10 pence-sized device that enables everything from expedited contactless boarding to locating friends and family anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced services such as having things delivered to you where ever you are on the ship. The MedallionClass app puts everything at your fingertips – On-demand services, ship navigation, interactive content, and more.
Entering the heart of the ship in the multi floor atrium is an overload of senses. Lights of golden hues from the European inspired piazza fills the room, two mirrored glass spiralling stairs reflect the glistening light display. Restaurants and bars circle the central space, which is always buzzing with life, as the live music plays lightly in the background. The size of the ship is remarkable with 19 floors to explore. The layout for facilities and dining options are smartly organised making for easy navigation of the ship.
Before I knew it, everyone gathered on the upper decks with a glass of something fizzy and it was time for sailaway. Sailaway is the official start to a cruise where lines are pulled in, the ship’s horn blasts and we begin the experience as Enchanted Princess effortlessly glides into The English Channel. This is a great ritual to be part of especially on my first cruise.
Our Mini Suite – Marina 228
We used our medallion to enter which is a super convenient way of being able to unlock our cabin from a range of 15ft. MedallionNet (one of the best Wi-Fis at sea) sets the industry standard for internet at sea with 5G speeds.
We were warmly greeted by champagne and canapes. The room’s interior uses sleek style and priorities comfort using a well-positioned layout, with two areas for space and privacy which can be open or closed by the blackout curtains, creating space for either privacy or a second bedroom if needed. The 323 sq ft room is fitted with two flat screen TVs – one for the bed and other other for the sofa (so no fighting over what to watch). The living area has a sofa bed, working desk, and coffee table which open out onto floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that takes you onto the balcony, a spacious private space with tables and chairs, an incredible spot to enjoy the fresh sea air and morning sunrise. The balcony opens up to nearby rooms if needed too.
Our bed was a very comfortable queen- size bed, dubbed a Princess Luxury Bed. Mattresses are exceptionally luxurious and only uses premium bedding including high-thread-count linens and duvets – no matter your cabin category. The bathroom is equipped with a low bathtub, toilet, sink and shower, along with big bottles of shampoo/conditioner, shower gel and lotion.
For something with a little more luxury, the Sky Suites offer inclusive amenities, a dedicated Suite Experience Manager, luxurious accommodation for up to five guests and the largest balcony at sea, spanning 1,000 sq ft and featuring 270-degree views.
Breakfast on our balcony – The Ultimate Breakfast Experience is a must try. The breakfast includes a half bottle of champagne as well as fruit, smoked salmon, pastries and a lot more all in the comfort of your stateroom. It costs just $45 for two which is again excellent value.
Things to do on board Enchanted Princess
As well as dining and entertainment, there are plenty of other things to do which I never knew could exist on a cruise ship. The key to discovering the ship is planning and making time to enjoy areas of the ship you haven’t been to before. Here are some of my highlights:
In addition to multiple hot tubs, Enchanted Princess boasts two deep-tank pools, adjacent to the top-deck bar. At the ship’s aft end, the infinity-style Wakeview pool and bar offer spectacular views of the horizon, while the adult-only Retreat Pool offers a quiet oasis.
The Lotus Spa
A favourite highlight on Enchanted Princess is the extraordinary Lotus Spa. Situated on deck 5, the calm and friendly reception of the spa invites you to enjoy the serene and beautiful space. The Lotus Spa and adjacent beauty salon provides an extensive list of treatments for you to indulge in.
I enjoyed the facial therapy treatment, called the Elemis Touch Facial, solely using the highly effective ELEMIS Touch for product application. Combining traditional and modern massage techniques, the expertly trained hands of therapists put me into a state of zen, massaging my face, neck and shoulders, and scalp. Therapists will make product recommendations to purchase, however if you’re not interested, politely let the team know before you start your treatment.
The Enclave, situated in the same area as the Lotus Spa is a haven for relaxation, available by purchase of a pass only that can be purchased for a single day or the length of the cruise. The Enclave features world class facilities and modern designs including a hammam, steam rooms, unique sensory showers, saunas and heated thermal loungers to enjoy the space even more.
Head to deck 18 to enjoy the adults-only Sanctuary, a lovely escape that offers shade, deeply cushioned lounge chairs, hot tubs and even an exclusive spa menu, not to mention the food menu for a quick bite. Being on the deck 18, you are spoilt by the uninterrupted panoramic view of the ship and ocean. I recommend to purchase half-day and full-day passes for the Sanctuary, great for those days at sea.
On deck 17 is homed to Enchanted Princess’ fitness centre, those looking to maintain their fitness regime can use the very well-equipped gym, with cardio machines like treadmills, ellipticals and bikes as well as a large array of free-weights and weights machines. In addition, there is a jogging track on deck 18 if you haven’t hit your 10,000 steps walking around Enchanted Princess.
A fun and unique feature on Enchanted Princess is the mini golf course located on the ships highest floor on deck 19. Walking up the stairs you are greeted by panoramic 360 degree view of the entire ship, a great place to practice your putting techniques while enjoying the top floor view.
The Princess Casino on Deck 6 has its own bar and a wide selection of games tables, card options and slot machines. Those who do not play can still enjoy and spectate the exciting atmosphere of winning big (or losing). Also there is a VIP gaming area with a bar and private gaming rooms.
Such an important part of a cruise experience, excursions need to really encapsulate the destination quickly especially on a 5 day sailing where time is of the essence. There are a wide variety of options and here are the ones we experienced.
Starting with the first excursion in Belgium, the ship docked in the port of Zeebrugge, and from there we were picked up directly from the port and taken to discover the sights and sweet delights of Bruges. The walking tour takes exploring the charming city to a new level with a professional tour guide on hand, answering any questions, with free time and flexibility to look around too. We had the chance to visit Choco Story, which is essentially a museum which shows the history of chocolate and how it was once made, combined with an interactive chocolate making workshop to show you the raw ingredients, process, and how Belgian chocolates are made today. The museum is a fascinating and a fun way of enjoying chocolate.
The second excursion takes place in the second largest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam. The port is centrally located to the city with incredible transport links to the city, only taking 20 minuets to walk to the city centre, other forms of transport includes the metro, and a fun river boat taxi. Whether you have a guided tour or free spirit to just explore Rotterdam is an easy to navigate.
Despite’s being one of the most modern and architecturally interesting city in Europe, the city has a rich history dating back to medieval times in the 13th century. We recommend exploring the impressive Market Hall, it is nicknamed “koopboog” (horseshoe) by locals, it is an architectural wonder, with an arched ceiling covering the vast food hall. There is also an all-day outdoor market every Tuesday and Saturday where you will find bargain prices for fresh products like cheese, fish, fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers. We bought 12 mangos for 4 euros!
The last excursion takes place in the British isle of Guernsey for breath-taking scenery and a peaceful, unspoiled ambience. The island is filled with castles and forts which dot the coastline. I recommend renting bicycles to see the island, riding along the coast along the views of the breath-taking blue waters of the English channels. Those looking to shop are in for a treat, as there is no VAT on the island and prices of luxury goods are often cheaper than the rest of the UK.
Dining aboard Enchanted Princess
With 25 Bars & Restaurants and the most al fresco dining options of any Princess ship, Enchanted Princess features Bistro Sur La Mer by Three Michelin Star Chef Emmanuel Renaut, Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria with its own pasta room, Crown Grill Steakhouse, a sushi bar and more.
We started our dining experience in the World Fresh Market, the ship’s buffet restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. We loved the build your own salad station, serving fresh Caesar salads, as well as a variety of grab and go options. There is a plethora of choices throughout the buffet, live cooking stations and an interesting array of Indian and Asian options available too like a proper masala chai and on one morning, a gorgeous chickpea curry. Sitting by the window is a must do to enjoy the ocean views. There is also an a la carte breakfast option which is included in one of the main dining rooms. Tucked by the pool and in front of the buffet sits The Salty Dog but be quick because it’s a popular spot for tacos and burgers.
Head to the International Café on the ground floor of the piazza which is open 24-hours. The International Café is the place for an ever-changing array of small bite meals, treats and gourmet beverages.
Enchanted Princess offers several restaurants that elevates the ships dining experience, the value for money is exceptional, mostly coming in at less than US$30 per person for a complete dining experience. The high quality dishes are comparable to any renowned restaurants we would see in London for a fraction of the price. Our favourite included:
The ship’s steakhouse on deck 7, Crown Grill is the must visit restaurant if you eat. High quality cuts of beef (even a beautifully made beef tartare above) and lamb are served with a great selection of side dishes. We were truly impressed by the selection of salts designed to enhance the flavour of your meat. I ordered the surf and turf to experience the best of both. Set in opulent, rich dark wood surroundings, the space offers a warm and elegant setting.
Sur La Mer
Sur La Mer is a French Bistro style with a menu curated by Michelin-starred chef Emmanuel Renaut. It is on Deck 7 overlooking the Piazza. The menu offers you to either choose from the dishes inspired by the land or sea or both. We ordered a rich and filling lobster bisque garnished with lobster and other shellfish.
Across the Princess fleet, more Executive Chefs come from Italy than from any other nation. At Sabatini’s, they share their most popular onboard menu items as well as favourite recipes remembered from their childhoods growing up in distinctive Italian regions like a classic Carbonara to limoncello infused desserts.
The Enchanted Princess Drinks Experience
Guests with the drink package get to enjoy up to a limit of 15 alcoholic drinks per day. There is an impressive selection of renowned and premium drinks brands available that is included within our package, from Patrón tequila, Absolut Elyx, Johnnie Walker and much more.
Our favourite was the Crooners Bar, a Princess staple, specialising in martinis. It’s a favourite of regular Princess cruisers, and the experienced bartenders know their drinks very well, showing off their mixologist skills. What impressed us most about this bar was their selection of cognacs, offering the rare and exclusive Louis XIII, priced at US$95 for 30ml which is incredible value. It’s a rare chance to try this premium liquid for a great price.
Crown Grill Bar
Perched by the entrance of the Crown Grill steakhouse, it is a haunt for guest looking for drinks before and after dinner, always buzzing with life the space offers plenty of seating areas in the Irving sofa chairs dotted all over. Fitted in the theme of the hay days of Sinatra, the menu resembles that of a vintage newspaper, fitting with the setting and theme we ordered a Manhattan made from bourbon, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, and Luxardo. The drink was made superbly with a slight bitterness with some herbal under tones from the bitters and vermouth.
Good Spirits® At Sea
This is the place where every drink tells a story about somewhere around the world. Based on Good Spirits, the US TV series that journeyed to far-away destinations in search of local ingredients for original cocktails, this is a fun place to explore new drinks which are mostly on the sweeter side. If you haven’t seen the show, you can watch the original series on your stateroom TV.
For something a little more old school, Take Five showcases vintage footage, iconic imagery and intimate conversations that transport you to the heart of the jazz era. You can enjoy nightly live jazz while sipping cocktail favourites from Master Mixologist Rob Floyd and specialty gin cocktails crafted exclusively for Take Five.
The two-level Princess Theatre hosts the ship’s big production numbers, The venue is an ultra modern theatre, so sit back and relax in the plush seats with unobstructed views. First debuted onboard Sky Princess to rave reviews, Enchanted Princess has an original production that showcases Rock Opera, featuring a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theatre. In addition, 5-SKIES, with its technologically enhanced production, is based around a virtual gaming world with spectacular digital effects and acrobatics, intricate sets and contemporary music for one of the most visually advanced shows ever.
The 2022 summer season line-up includes household names from across the world of TV, broadcast and literature. As part of Princess Cruises’ partnership with Discovery Channel, the speaker series on Enchanted Princess comprises of speakers including antiques specialist Charlie Ross, actor Cliff Parisi, broadcaster Jennie Bond, Loose Women’s Andrea McLean, actress Nina Wadia and more.
Also, West End singer Phillip Browne, who previously played Mufasa in The Lion King, will perform onboard the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess. Other guest entertainers include tribute band Just John & Paul, instrumentalist Sarah Carter, vocalist Shelly Ann Evins, comedian Josh Daniels and Tom Binns.
This area is an ever changing variety of live performances from the cruise’s entertainment team but also from everyone else too! The space is an intimate sitting area with an inviting stage where fun and interactive games are always on, such as the yes or no game – which is harder than you think. Other fun acts include karaoke night and stand up.
In a nutshell
As a first time cruiser, I am left with some incredible memories and I want to cruise again tomorrow. I can see the addiction to cruising as it is such an efficient, fun way to travel and discover new places. A theme that kept appearing was exceptional value for money (in speciality dining, drinks, a luxury breakfast and more) combined with luxury. Enchanted Princess delivers the ultimate in effortless, personalised cruising featuring the world-class dining and entertainment Princess is renowned for.
To discover more, call 0344 338 8663 or visit princess.com
All imagery courtesy of Princess Cruises.
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