Crown Princess Sailing - October 5 through 12
This was our fourth cruise but first and last on Princess. I strongly believe each cruise is what you make of it and for the most part my husband and I had a great time. However, we will not consider sailing on Princess again.
Upon arriving at the port, we were shuttled into the terminal and waited for close to an hour for check in. We had all the paper work completed and the 2 min check in was more like 15 min due to a new computer software system and the struggles of the staff to click through all the new screens. Not a real big deal. Luckily our stateroom keys worked which was the exception not the rule. We proceeded to the stateroom and then the rest of the ship. The balcony room was nice - ample for two people with a fair amount of storage. The balcony was wonderful and we spent a good deal of time on it enjoying the cruise.
We had lunch at the Horizon Cafe. The dinner was in the Botticelli Dining Room. Food was OK - not great! Waiters were more interested in making sure we knew how important it was to rate them an Excellent each and every night.
Disembarking for Princess Cay was not great - it was more like herding cattle. If you are an elite passenger all members of the ship's staff made sure you were taken care of. One elite passenger was disheartened to see the "Green Card" passengers getting onto "their" tender...and made a very rude comment. Karma got them because their elite cards did not work when they tried to get off the ship. They ended up on the "green card" tender...
The second and third night meals were outstanding - we paid extra for the balcony dinner and dinner at Crown Grill. If all the food and service were like that, we would have been overjoyed. The only other highlight for food is the outstanding pizza made fresh from 11:00 AM on (plus it did not cost any extra). Ice cream, real coffee, and soda all cost extra...
Negative comments include rude "elite" passengers all over the ship asking for special services from the crew and receiving it. Per Passenger services - all passengers are treated equal...Too bad they are blind.
Food in the Horizon Court was the same every day for both breakfast and lunch (Nothing exciting). Dinner choices sounded fancy with fancy culinary terms but in the end were very plain. Waiters tried to sell the Princess Line Cookbook because they got points..... Again not the kind of atmosphere I was paying for. Again, the wait staff wanted us to know that if they did not get an excellent they would be called into the office and questioned and even demoted to a lower position.
Other positive highlights included the Lotus Spa - we enjoyed all our treatments and would go back to do that again.
Only other comment is that we were much more successful planning our own excursions. We did one Princess Sponsored excursion, which was the Marigot Shopping Express. It was a beautiful ride to the other side of the island but once there we were in a tourist trap without the "shops, boutiques, and cafes of this typical French-Caribbean town." Never saw them.... Spent time speaking to the tour desk to be told the only thing that was provided on that tour was transportation. No credit or refund.
Overall, we had a good time because the Caribbean is beautiful and we were able to entertain ourselves. Looking forward to other cruises but will look at different lines first.