My hope in writing this is that it helps others trying to decide if this cruise would be for them, and or what to expect once onboard. I know the reviews helped us.
We are a middle class family who hold what I would say moderate to high standards. We are not snotty and keep our expectations within limits. But on the other hand expect what we pay for, so keep that in mind while reading our review.
We booked our cruise through our local travel agent with the motorcoach travel package added on. This would pick us up in Harrisburg,PA. and deliver us to the ship in New York. The cost round trip was $80.00 each, not bad considering what we would have paid in gas,tolls and parking. The bus is a charter bus carrying only people going on the same Princess cruise, the trip took alittle longer on the bus but was ok.
Once at the terminal our embarkment was effortless and where onboard within I'd say 30 min. Very easy.As for the ship, it is big and beautiful. All the public rooms are decorated with fine marble, fine wood, and wonderful artwork. All with deep, rich color schemes. The pools are nice in size with plenty of seating, although you'll find all the good seats constantly being saved by other passengers. The adult only pools, one in the very back of the ship( aft pool ) and the other in the front ( lotas pool ) are the best. Movies under the stars is different and a nice touch, the main Princess theater is nice but small, and can get crowded on popular show nights. The casino and all of the bars and lounges ( which there are alot of ) are all very nice. There are some dead-ends and odd ways of getting around on this ship, but nothing to worry about.
We had a mini-suite cabin on the 9th floor. The room was nice and clean with an average amount of room. The bathroom and closet area was worth any extra money spent on this cabin. Bathroom had plenty of room with a tub ( roomy for a cruise ship )and the closet was very big, with plenty of storage under the bed for bags.The balcony was not covered and people could if they wanted look down on you, but this did not bother me at all as I thought it would. Not a problem. A/C WORKED and so did our safe, but we heard numerous complaints from others of problems with these items.We did find the ship to be on the warm side, not hot but warm. The gym and spa where both great.
As for the dining, well this was a problem. First we had traditional seating confirmed, only to find out they put us anytime. We did get it straightened out but it took awhile. Then we tried eating at the buffet,no way... I mean the food was terrible. We tried eating there again later thinking we hit it at a bad time, BUT terrible again. So we stuck to eating in the dinning rooms which had very good and on occasion great meals. Only problem here was the menu was limited in selections. We also found ourselves eating lunch at the international cafe which had the same items everyday, but was very good.( GREAT DESSERTS HERE ) The burgers and pizza on the pool decks along with room service were all very good. HINT:breakfast room service is very limited, but if you write in items like eggs or bacon they will bring it.
The entertainment was average at best, they had plenty of activities during the day ( and I mean alot )but the nightly shows did not impress me. The service for the most part was very good if not great, always had someone asking if we needed anything. But there were occasions that we felt staff was rude. Overall we felt this was a great cruise. We had a very nice vacation and thats what matters, almost everything perfect. I will say we did not see the 5-star quality they promote, the RCL cruise we took had better food and on-par service for less money but.....I would recommend the Crown and this itinerary overall. Disembarkment took so time,but I think they all do. Bus trip home went smooth. I hope this helps some of you, happy cruising.