One of Princess' largest ships, this 3,080-passenger vessel pioneered some of the line's most popular features, including an adults-only sun deck and a three-story central piazza that's great for people-watching.
This roomy vessel piles on the activities across a wide spectrum, from mahjong to football rallies and "Sound Of Music" sing-alongs. The "something for everyone" approach is especially successful for intergenerational groups and families, who can also take advantage of the terrific programming for kids. The real trick is navigating it all without getting overwhelmed. Use the free Princess@Sea app to build a customized itinerary on your smartphone -- and also to message members of your party if you need to rendezvous.
Some wizards of design and traffic flow created a labyrinth of small-ship-sized public rooms and outdoor areas, which break the crowds into intimate, uncramped spaces. Unfortunately, this genius wasn't applied to the mass-disembarkations, which disintegrate into grumpy milling and accidental line-jumping -- made worse by the occasional lack of staff onshore to direct passengers. On one sailing, a tour leader climbed off his bus and started helping people. "Someone has to do it, and the Princess employees aren't," he announced.
The service varied as widely as the programming. Sometimes it spiked up to extraordinary, like the captain weaving among icebergs as if the 113,561-ton, 19-deck ship were a speedboat and a housekeeper jogging ahead to open a door for a passenger carrying a full armload. Then it would bottom out: the clerk who couldn't name a pharmacy to refill prescriptions in the first port and a steward suggesting veal agnolotti three times to diners who protested they were vegetarian. But overall, Crown Princess really seems to be trying for -- and largely succeeding at -- a Marriott level of care and elegance.