We stayed a few days in Venice prior to this cruise and I 'm very glad that we did as the city was lovely and we would not have had enough time to fully appreciate it if we had boarded on the day prior to departure. Embarkation was smooth although some passengers were provided water taxi vouchers to St. Marks square, we did not receive them and therefore had to pay full price for our transfers. Thankfully this was not a big deal.
I have to say that the Crown is gorgeous. We especially liked the Piazza area and Vines was a regular stop for us in the evening. The staff was always pleasant and Victoria at the pursers desk was exceptionally helpful with a wheelchair issue concerning a disabled traveler in our group.
The food however, was off and the breakfast menu was frustratingly difficult and repetitive for those who are on a low carb diet. They didn't even have whole grain bread for toast - only cracked wheat. They also had issues with beef and fish on the trip; the fish was always too fishy and the one night I ordered a fillet it looked more like a hockey puck than prime grade. I do give them points for creativity though, there were some dishes that were very original and quite good.
And finally, decent nightlife choices. The Crown was never lacking in things to do in the evening and even though this ship has a huge amount of passengers, it rarely felt congested or crowded.
I went to the Spa twice and the facial and massage I had were wonderful, but the product sales were high pressure which is irritating. They tried to sell me a body brush for $45 and I already have one which I only paid about $5 for.
The gym was great - never a problem getting on the equipment.