When booking a suite, one expects a bit of first class treatment. Princess makes a lot of promises, but the delivery of services is less than expected. You have to ask for all the little extras on Princess, NCL justs delivers them all.
First of all, the Crown Princess is beautiful as was the suite. Unfortunately, this ship is very unstable and tends to pitch and roll with even the smallest waves. Of all my cruises, this ship was the worst. If you tend toward motion sickness, please avoid this ship. The staffing seemed very light. Many of the restaurants were very short handed. I agree with many of the other reviewers: the staff is very stuffy and walk around like zombies half the time. Many seemed like they would rather be anywhere else but working on a cruise ship. I hate to profile but much of the staff is from Eastern Europe and quite unfriendly.
Pool areas are extremely crowded during days at sea. Unlike on cruise lines, Princess crew does not go around and keep things in order. The decks are a mess of wet towels, garbage and deck chairs. Again, it seems like the ship is short staffed.
The Crown Grill steak house ($25 up charge) is nice but the meat is tough and chewy. Deserts are pretty, yet bland. My biggest criticism is how bland the food is throughout the ship. It looks nice, but has no flavor. except for the French Onion soup which was incredible.
The Italian restaurant, Sabatini's, does not fare much better. ($20 up charge).Bland and very slow service. The maitre de (Pedro) is downright rude and treats the staff - and guests - poorly until the last day of the cruise when then the "rate our service" cards are displayed on the podium.
Let's take a look at the suite amenities and what was delivered.
-Luxury mattresses [very comfortable]
-Fluffy duvets in place of blankets [ more flat than fluffy]
-Luggage protector on bed at embarkation [every cabin gets it]
-Luxury bathrobes [very stiff, needs fabric softener badly]
-Luxury towels [they look nice but very rough]
-Pillow menu [requested pillows never appeared]
-Massage shower heads [broken]
-Luxury bathroom amenities (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, bath gel, plus new lip balm, gel eye mask, bath salts and loofah mitts) ["luxury"? not really]
-Facial mist (choice of scents) [zilch]
-Complimentary slippers [very small]
-Fresh flower arrangement [ very nice and looked great the entire trip]
-Complimentary mini-bar - one-time set up [nice!]
-Combined DVD/CD Players [ broken]
-DVD Library [no one seemed to know about this amenity]
-Complimentary Princess tote bag [very cheap]
-Umbrella for use during the cruise [zilch]
-Expedited embarkation process [nice to walk past 800 people standing in the other line]
-Preferred Anytime DiningSM reservations [yes, you can make a reservation, but NO the table is never available and wait time can be up to an hour]
-Personal shore excursion reservations [zilch]
-Complimentary laundry and dry cleaning service
-Complimentary shoe polishing service [zilch]
-Welcome glass of champagne at embarkation [zilch]
-Extended room service menu (extended breakfast, lunch, dinner offering) [no one on the ship knew anything about an extended menu for suites]
-In-suite afternoon tea service [never happened]
-Passenger's choice of deluxe canap?s, delivered daily [delivered once]
-Complimentary internet access in onboard Internet Cafes [we got free wireless]
-Private portrait sitting [do not confuse this with receiving a free photo]
-Complimentary use of the thermal suite in the Lotus Spa [zilch]