Crown Princess 26th September 2013
First let me put our cards on the table , this was very much a tester cruise to see if it was worth the extra money to travel on a larger ship.
Embarkation ....... 11.30am hand keys over to parking attendant .
1.30 step on board ship , I could have flown to Majorca from Bournemouth in the same time, and had a nice little jaunt around the med.
Cabin A433 was excellent , our first balcony cabin well worth paying for , the décor of the rest of the vessel could best be summed up as American Gothic meets tarts boudoir. Taste is a very personal thing ,suffice to say that those of you with a minimalist aesthetic might want to stay home.
Now comes the tricky bit , what happens when three thousand people get up a little later the next day and stroll down to breakfast at 9 am to be confronted by queues up the stairs. Not a lot is the answer , 40 minutes wait ,followed by the maître'd telling us to get up earlier.
The ports of call on this cruise were hardly the biggest draw , Rotterdam , and Guernsey . Tours to Amsterdam were $99 to $ 400 dollars each. We caught the train and spent 57 euros return for the two of us.
Guernsey was a tender port which took one hour ten minutes from joining the queue in the piazza to setting foot on land. It was forty minutes on the return .
The captains formal night was a pleasant enough evening , although I was shocked by the menu . The main chefs suggestion turned out to be pork chop, it was very nice but where was the beef , lobster etc ?
Having said that the standard of the food was good across the venues where it was available.
The shows yet again reflect the change in taste over the years. The magician and comedian who did the first two nights would have been far better suited to a smaller venue than the main theatre. The proper show when it did materialise on formal night , was 35 minutes long , very showy ,very short.
To sum up I would say that this vessel would suit large family groups who want to holiday together , but do very different things. You will need to be very British and very stoic as queueing is the name of the game .
It reminds me very much of the satellite TV debate , just because you have two hundred channels it doesn't mean any more than three are worth watching . It's the same with these massive ships , must you have mini golf , and half a dozen pools ? Or would you rather get in and out of port pronto and meet some interesting people your liable to see again. Your choice