We are experienced cruisers with 16 total cruise, 4 Princess cruise experiences. We previously sailed on the Crown Princess in January 2010 and loved it so much we immediately booked another cruise on the Crown and two more Princess cruises. This Canada/New England cruise was somewhat a disappointment for the Crown had lost some of her unique charm we experienced on the January cruise (see my review on the previous cruise). I understand there had been numerous crew/staff changes during the past 9 months so that may account for some of the differences. Enough comparisons with past experiences and on to this cruise. Embarkation was definitely not up to Princess standards - inf fact it was the worst experience of our 16 cruises. I don't know if this was because it was in Quebec or because that port is not used very much (only during these few fall weeks). Once on board, things went much smoother.
We had a wonderful cabin steward who took very good care of us. The dining staff (we did anytime dining, usually in the Michelangelo Dining Room), did a good job. Some nights it was hectic when everyone showed up at the same time for dinner. We ate most meals in the dining room and avoided the mob at the Horizon Food Court, which was usually very crowded. The entertainment was not as good as expected. The wonderful Crown Princess orchestra played rarely outside of the theatrical productions. The few times they played it was mostly "Jazzio in the Adadgio" - jazz in one of the lounges. There was a lovely violin group that played in the Piazza. They were EXCELLENT. One of the lounge bands, Gypsy Moon (in the Wheelhouse Bar) was very good and was very willing to take requests. They played a wide range of music and were very user friendly.
The Canada/New England cruise is a lovely experience, even if you don't hit it in the peak of foliage season. The ports are very nice and a good sampling of New England. This was our third Canada/New England cruise and we enjoyed the ports and the New England experience just as much as the previous 2 times. We really loved our cabin location. We were a little skeptical about being on the Plaza deck and so low in the ship but it was great. It was very quiet and very near everything.