5 nights on Enchanted Princess from and to Southampton May 2022.
This was our first real cruise since the pandemic started except our staycation last year. We booked this as a little extra cruise due to how cheap it was. It was 5 nights to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam and Guernsey, however we decided to stay on board this time, so this review is mainly about our stateroom, medallion app, covid testing and the ship.
Before we got to the Hilton Ageas bowl hotel the night before we had to take a medically observed LFT test requested by Princess up to 3 days before embarking if fully vaccinated and boosted. We used Prenetics which cost us £30 each and was done via zoom and was very easy to complete. You order and pay for the test then you book the date and time for your zoom call and then the person tells you what to do. After the 15 minutes you upload a picture of your test and within 3 hours you receive via email your fit to fly certificate. It really wasn’t an issue at all.
We arrived at the Hilton Ageas bowl hotel the night before and got upgraded to a deluxe balcony wheelchair accessible room which was ok, the accessibility was questionable due to the room being small and not being able to get up one side of the bed and the Wetroom as you can see in picture you cannot roll up to the sink to wash your hands as the toilet is in the way. It cost a lot but since the pandemic all hotel prices have really increased and this was the cheapest I could find. For one night it was comfortable enough
We arrived at the Mayflower terminal at our given time of 11am and it was extreme heavy rain. We had booked with CPS but their lanes were not in shelter and we need shelter to hoist out my electric wheelchair. We spoke to a CPS rep and they let us under the roof where drop off for taxi etc is and sent a CPS worker over to us which was very good of them. As usual they were quick and efficient, we have never needed to complain about CPS.
We went into the terminal and went to special assistance as currently even if you don’t need help but are disabled that’s where you check in as it’s closer to security, it was different but absolutely fine. I was asked to show our passports, proof of vaccines, proof of medically observed LFT and as we were going to Bruges if we had filled in their PLF which we had and held copies of. After that we were given our medallions and went on through to security. We arrived at 11am and was in our stateroom at 11:35am, very quick and smooth check in.
MEDALLION WARNING – the medallion uses RF and magnetic technology which can interfere with a pacemaker or ICD’s, so cannot be worn on a lanyard as has to be a certain distance away. I have a pacemaker so I wore mine on my right wrist (opposite to pacemaker)
We stayed in a standard wheelchair adapted stateroom B304, it was nice and clean and as the ship is new it was quite fresh. We did find with the newer ships the stateroom is smaller as is the Wetroom and the balcony is so narrow you cannot get out all the way which is a shame. I can transfer into a chair so my husband drove the wheelchair back into stateroom. It is big enough just but they really can’t make them any smaller which is probably why we still prefer the older ships as they are more spacious. My video will be uploaded onto YouTube for the stateroom if you wanted to look. Again the medallion unlocks the stateroom door but you have to open it yourself which is hard as they are heavy. A good design is the bedside lamps have a USB socket on the for phone charger but there are no sockets so if you have a Cpap or Bipap, Feeding pump etc you will need either a EU or USA extension cable running from dressing table. Also a kettle was provided as we asked but we were told they were limited and on first come basis, we are not sure if it’s just for the Enchanted Princess so if you don’t see a kettle ask asap.
On our embarkation day we had a couples massage at 5pm, the spa is excellent and totally wheelchair accessible. The staff are really accommodating and friendly and they don’t harass you into trying to buy extras although I did by a Hypervolt Go deep massager as it was wonderful and I checked on Amazon and they were the same price! So not a rip off which was a lovely surprise. After we had a shower and changed and went to see their show Rock Opera which we saw on Sky last year. It was good but we felt it was better on the Sky. The theatre is exactly the same as the Sky which you can see a video of on my YouTube channel.
The layout of the ship is exactly the same as Sky, Enchanted holds 3660 passengers and we had 2300 on board. The majority were British but there was also some from Australia, America and Canada which surprised us! Masks are not mandatory however you are asked to wear them and there are signs around the ship. We wore our military grade masks all the time as I’m immunosuppressed and if I’m honest not enough people were wearing masks I would say a maximum of 10% were. The lifts still had rules of maximum 6 people of 1 travel party and again masks were asked but most didn’t wear them so we waited for empty lifts as I have to be extra careful.
The pools were pretty cold and except from one day when we docked in Rotterdam where the weather was sunny 24c we didn’t use them and got into the hot tub instead.
Day 2 were were docked in Zeebrugge and we had planned to eat at the Crown Grill that evening but unfortunately my conditions were playing up so we pushed it over to the following night. We spent the morning and afternoon in the hot tub before staying in our stateroom as I was bed bound.
Day 3 we arrived in Rotterdam and luckily I felt a lot better, we originally were going to get off and explore but due to the previous night we decided to stay on ship and enjoy the weather in the main pool. We were using the medallion app all the time but it was slow, a bit glitchy but we got there in the end. When it’s working it’s great!
Day 3 evening we are in the Crown Grill, once again fabulous food and worth the extra $29 per person, we really would recommend this specialty restaurant!
Day 4 was a sea day so we were relying on WiFi, well that was a disappointment as it was quite slow, we managed to get emails and look on social media but couldn’t upload or stream anything, the weather was cooler but still sunny and we just looked around the ship and had a few drinks. We were disappointed with the shops they were very expensive and not a lot in stock I’ve never seen shops on cruises so quiet. That evening we were booked into the Bistro Sur La Mer and to be honest we were disappointed here and wouldn’t book again, the food wasn’t great and it’s all open with crowds of people walking past you and the noise and music from the piazza overbearing the French music playing. Certainly a design floor in our opinion.
Day 5 we arrived at Guernsey where we had the sun on our balcony all morning and shelter from the wind so we made the most of this and using the medallion app to order drinks and food.
Day 5 we decided to eat at GiGi pizza which is included in price and wow what great pizza they serve there, it was our first time to try this and we will certainly be using it again!
Day 6 we disembarked Enchanted with no issues as a walk off. We loved being back at sea but we have to admit on this cruise we really did notice all the little cut backs they have been doing over the years now. To start it was so small you didn’t notice but now on this cruise we felt Princess lost it’s wow factor. The menu for room service has shrunk a lot from before the pandemic, when your in the restaurants the staff used to place the napkin on your lap and push your chair in which has stopped, the elite perks have lessened and the vibe on the ship felt dull. We hope it was just this cruise as all the others have been great except as I’ve said about cut backs. Also the cocktails have been reduced and the shops were just awful never seen it so poor.
We also found from the 1st June they are changing their packages below is the picture and it’s increasing by £10 a day, the higher package doesn’t fit our needs but May others
In terms of accessibility the Enchanted Princess is the same as the Sky Princess the same concept if you need a hoist for the pool you arrange a guest services a day and time. The medallion app I personally feel makes it a lot easier to order things when your less able but only when it works and although it’s a new ship they haven’t made the lifts smaller which is a great help. We wouldn’t go out of our way to go back on Enchanted unless it was doing the itinerary we really wanted but that’s just a personal opinion. However we do feel Princess certainly on this cruise has lost it’s wow factor which is a shame. We are back on the Sky October 2022 to the canaries for 10 nights and on the Island October 2023 in search of the northern lights for 14 nights so we will see what they are like. We do hope it was just a one off. I hope this blog and pictures have been of help and please subscribe for new releases and head over to YouTube to see videos and subscribe there also so you never miss a new vlog. Until the next one, keep safe and enjoy your cruises!