Baltics August 2008: Crown Princess Cruise Review by HKUPCH
Overall Member Rating
Baltics August 2008
Destination: Baltic Sea
Arrived in Copenhagen in the morning, used the train to the main railway station (easy 15 minute trip for 30 DKK, every few minutes a train) and took a taxi to the pier from there for 130 DKK. Put our luggage in the lockers at the train station for 40 DKK in between to walk around in the city for some time. Afterwards we found out that there probably is another good way if you like to go to the ship on your own: Take the Metro from the airport (only one line, every 5 minutes or so) and go to Kongens Nytorv station, change to bus 26 and you will get easy for just 30 DKK very close to the ship.
Went to Embarkation around 13:30 and it took us just minutes to get on to the ship and in our cabin. Best embarkation process we ever had !
Our cabin C226 on Caribe deck was very nice, big half covered balcony, enough space for everything, even though we thought More they could have some more drawers and spaces for our clothes, but finally everything fit quite well. Our cabin steward Carlos did a great job, we rarely took notice of him but everything was perfectly handled by him.
We liked the food on the Crown Princess in general, and if you know how picky we are that means a lot :-) The only exception I want to mention is our evening at the Crown Grill. We had our wedding anniversary and wanted to have a special dinner that evening. What a bad idea to choose the Crown Grill for that. The waiters where far worse than in the Da Vinci and Michelangelo dining rooms, where we had most other nights our Anytime dinners. For example they delivered our steaks and then we had to wait more than 5 minutes for the sides we had ordered, so the steaks where half cold by then. And the food quality was below average at best, we did not like any of the food we got there. In the standard dinners we always had some nice things at least, not so in Crown Grill. Go and waste your money somewhere else, but not there.
Buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner where sometimes very nice sometimes average, but always there were some nice things to be found. Pizza and burgers where quite good, same for the soft serve ice cream. And before I forget: the ice cream in the international cafe (USD 1.50 for 3 scoops) probably was the WORST I ever had in my life. What a junk. But other people seemed to like it, no idea why.
We did not go to many of the shows, but I think what we saw looked not very good. The TROIKA russian folklore was boring, the other dance shows nothing we liked. The magician was quite good, even though not half as good as the one we saw on board the Norwegian Jewel (Shawn Farquhar, if you ever get a chance, visit his show!!) The small entertainment in the Piazza sometimes was quite nice, the bands we saw, especially Amante, were horribly bad. MUTS is probably nicer when you have warmer weather, but it was quite nice anyhow, just a bit cold.
For the ports we did most on our own, only in St.Petersburg we had booked with Alla Tours. The tour was informative, but we were not happy with our guide Elena. She gave lots of information and provided a quick path through all the sites, but for us she made the impression that she doesn't like her job at all. No smile, no joke, no nice stories, just facts&figures the whole two days. And what Alla really should change if she wants to keep her customers happy is saving 5 Dollars for a cheap lunch. Hey, do you go to St.Petersburg to get carried to a cheap GREEK restaurant for lunch ? What a crazy idea.... If customers would need to pay 10 USD more to get an authentic russian lunch I am sure they would be happy to do so. And what also makes the whole thing a bit worse than it has to be is the choice of places for shopping. Why don't they go to a place where you could at least shop for SOME other things than the usual matrushkas and vodka ? Why does the shop has to be a mile away from the next "normal" shops ? We did not like that... Don´t get it wrong, the tour in total was OK and well worth the money, but there are always things to be improved.
Disembarkation again was very easy, we left the cabin at 08:00, went for breakfast, met as ordered in the Club Fusion at 09:00 and left the ship 5 minutes later, walked to the train station and took the next train towards CPH airport.
In total that was an extremely nice trip with very many positive and a few negative aspects. The Crown Princess so far was the best ship we had, a little better than Norwegian Jewel, far better than Carnival Miracle. The AIDA ships we had (Arosa Blu and AidaCara) are difficult to compare as they have some advantages for german speaking customers but are in the same league as the Norwegian Jewel for us. Less