My wife and I traveled with a group of 12 Oct 20 - Oct 27 Crown Princess reposition cruise Brooklyn to SanJuan PR. We are cruiseaholics, numerous lines,1 to 3 cruise per year. Started cruising 1984 been at it ever since. Age 50's, our group diverse, friends and their adult kids, past cruisers and newbies. This was our third Princess cruise, sailed last year NY to NY on Crown 9 day. Sailed Coral Princess to Panama canal previously.
EMBARKATION: Was absolute breeze, plenty of stations open, Brooklyn far surpasses Manhattan in that regard.
Since ship was reposition somewhat different itinerary, St.Thomas, Antigua, and St.Kitts. In St. Thomas we docked at pier opposite Havensite Mall side that we are used to. They have built up that area now somewhat with stores and taxis are available readily. Really no impact for going into town ( $4 per person cab ) or to Megans Bay or wherever. Only tram to Paradise Point which is within walking distance of Havensite is a cab ride from Crown Bay Pier.
Antigua was nice, we elected to shop until you drop. Some travel mates did kayak trip and loved it.
St.Kitts, first time there for us and we liked it alot. Took the island train tour through cane fields etc and it was great! Upper and lower decks. upper open to air ( almost everyone took that ) lower enclosed and air conditioned. Seat for each person in each area so you can change between upper and lower as you want, Train rocks a lot but still fun ride. Clean rest room in each car, decent enough seats, complimentary refreshments served. Even choir group comes by each car and sings. ( I asked the witch Doctor ou e ah ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang, boy had not heard that one in years :) Pier area new, people very nice, told they are trying hard to become more of a destination for cruise lines. Best deals to be had were there.
CABIN: Had same cat last year. Very nice size wise, bed couch good sized balcony. Balcony does jut out so all overlook it. Cabin steward very good no complaints at all.
NOTE: Friends in group had aft suite A750 with a huge balcony. We had 12 people on it for sail away and easily could have had another 12 comfortably.
DINING: We prefer Traditional second seating. We found food and service to be excellent. Food is always a personal taste but Princess always has a few items like beef tornadoes ( excellent ) available every night if nothing on menu strikes your taste buds. We asked for a cheese platter at start of meal for the table and our request was handled without problem. Although Princess has followed most lines in eliminating bar waiter and wine steward service did not suffer as bad as it sometimes does. The assistant waiter handled all orders promptly and table service was more than adequate despite his extra duties. I still believe traditional dining offers far superior service since you come to know your wait staff and they you.
Many varied items available during day from hamburgers to pizza ( which is very good, this from NY pizza lover ) to buffet items. Burgers and pizza served at stations by pool area. Ice cream located next to Pizza but whereas pizza is no charge item, ice is not.
Coffee - Yuk like most all lines. Knowing this I bought coffee card $27 which allows for unlimited brewed coffee at Piazza coffee bar and 15 ( I think ) specialty coffees ( not alcohol coffees ) like espresso, capuccino, and latte's. They punch your card when you get those, they do not for regular brewed coffee. They have to go cups too. For anyone that likes real coffee definitely way to go. Also can order specialty coffees at dinner table with card which will again be stamped.
STAFF: All staff were friendly, helpful, and a pleasure to deal with. Staff make a cruise more than any other factor in my opinion. No complaints, even Purser staff were a pleasure.
ODDS & ENDS: Casino was operated smoke free one night after 6 pm. I am a smoker, had no problem with that just didn't go that evening. Show lounges smoke free as is dining room of course something I have no problem with. However some lines are obviously experimenting with going more and more smoke free. I have no problem as long as a smoker has some alternative. It is up to the lines to decide if in their interest to continue down that path. I will not sail any line that goes too far and over limits my ability to smoke but that is fine too. There product and my choice which is a okay. Far better than localities making laws as they have in my state. I don't mind when I company makes a business decision versus lawmakers legislating behavior. Okay that was my editorial comment.
Easy, too easy, to get money in casino via cruise right in machine or ATM at entrance. You can literally just push some button on slot machine and have amounts transferred via your cruise card right to the machine. This cruise casino was extremely good to me. Hit $1200 on $5 machine right away followed by another $500 after they paid me on same machine. Decided to be good for a change and brought most of that home for once. NOTE $1200 and up issued W2G unlike the good old days gambling at sea. Other than my hits didn't see or hear of any really decent action on slots. Wife lost probably what I won but hey that's HER money :)
Cigs and booze cannot be purchased in stores for use during cruise, Something that always ticks me off. Delivered last night of cruise. You can buy via room service booze packages in example 3.75 liter bottle of JB scotch with 2 cans of club soda something like $22 and deliverable in your cabin for drinking during cruise. You can not substitute say Dewars for JB though, JB or leave it. You can buy 3.75 liter of say JW Black for $22 no mixers for your room. Cigs can be purchased by the pack at bars for $4 a pack.
Entertainment featured many comedians and was good for most part. We never went to main show lounge but routinely went to 7 pm pre dinner show in smaller show lounge next to photo gallery area and convenient to our dining room.
Bingo, we no longer participate in, over priced compared to days gone by. Photo's we never buy any more, again over priced in our humble opinion.
We had a great cruise and Crown Princess and Princess in general so far has been one of the best lines overall for us recently.
Electronic cruise ticket was no problem.
Disembarkation went smoothly. They do ask you go to your disembark lounge or area and you almost really have to since they don't announce colors everywhere. They use staff in your area to advise you that time for you to go. We went to breakfast open seating in dining room for disembark morning and it was good, fast, and friendly service. Far better than buffet area which was crazy crowded!
We purchased cruise bus to airport ticket while onboard via excursion desk for $15 per person. Plenty of taxis were also available at port.
Finally, sadly there was a death from what we heard was a heart attack. One of our group had spent day at beach previously and conversed with one of the gentlemens group during the day. It was reported that he was in his 50's and again one of our party witnessed his attack near the casino entrance. We heard the Code Bravo called to respond medical staff. I was told that the response was quick and cpr rendered but that it was of no consequence unfortunately. I mention it only because I have noted a couple of references about it on a board here and there.
I left a lot out but after years of written reviews and so many reviews being available now a days I try to keep it basic. This will be offered in a couple locations. If there are any specific questions that I might be able to answer please email at email@example.com In the subject area be sure to write CROWN REVIEW so I don't dump it as spam mail in error.
So as overall our Crown Princess Cruise was excellent.
George in NY