45 Princess Crown Princess Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

The mini suite was not as large as we thought from the pictures. We did have a lot of storage space. Our room attendent was wonderful! We brought our sleep machines and an extension cord to use since only 1 outlet by the desk. I asked ... Read More
The mini suite was not as large as we thought from the pictures. We did have a lot of storage space. Our room attendent was wonderful! We brought our sleep machines and an extension cord to use since only 1 outlet by the desk. I asked for assistance to get on the ship and off, which they did but I thought assistance as I needed on the ship. We did not rent a scoter and next time will before we get on the ship. Another issue was the time waiting for the elevators especially with special needs and filled up quickly. The food was good and plently of choices. My husband did get ill on the ship and we had to deal with that for 3 days. Many insurance companies will not cover medical while at sea, but we had purchased travel insurance with medical. If you have walking issues, the port from the ship to the downtown area can be far and hard to deal with at times. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I'm confined to a wheelchair since age 12. I can use my arms in my manual chair. I've been on other ships, but the crown princess was not friendly. The people were all nice and the food was great. But could i get in any adult ... Read More
I'm confined to a wheelchair since age 12. I can use my arms in my manual chair. I've been on other ships, but the crown princess was not friendly. The people were all nice and the food was great. But could i get in any adult areas.. Like the pool or sancuary, no. Had to sit in back of last row of seats at theater (only 4 on each side allowed) and no getting in front of ship - steps again. On the celebrity solstice i played basketball and golf with my husband, but not on princess- steps! All the humps and heavy awkward doors to everywhere wete impossible to go anywhere myself. Hope those in chairs get this information, because princess did not volunteer to tell us till aft e we paid $5000 to get on that ship! After expressing my concerns, their response was.... " oh sorry". Please spread the word to those like me. Thanks! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We stayed in an accessible balcony cabin, and we very surprised and pleased by the spacious, comfortable, and fully accessible accommodations - nicer than many very good hotels. Cruising is very relaxing and stress-free; the ship was ... Read More
We stayed in an accessible balcony cabin, and we very surprised and pleased by the spacious, comfortable, and fully accessible accommodations - nicer than many very good hotels. Cruising is very relaxing and stress-free; the ship was beautiful, and had good food and many wonderful amenities. That said, we had a few access issues. (1) When initially boarding the ship, the last section of ramp onto the ship was very steep and scary, and their were no ship staff to help. (At all other times, there were several staff.) (2) As recommended in a disabled cruising website, we asked our steward for an extension cord for my husband's power wheelchair and CPAP machine, since the electrical outlets are on the far side of the room. The steward was surprised and not prepared; he said if he couldn't find one he would bring us his own! (He did bring one.) (Note: When we asked about using a power strip, the steward said we weren't supposed to, but no one would stop us if we did.) (3) Despite providing all the information online months ahead of time, and then having to provide it again when we boarded the ship, there was no life-equipped bus waiting for my husband's shore excursion; the tour operator had to call and get another bus. For shore excursions, my husband went to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, and in Skagway we took the train to the summit; he enjoyed both tours. One complaint: the cigarette smoke from the casino floods out to the shore excursion and customer service desks, where passengers are standing around, often for some time. This is noxious and disgusting, and Princess should either keep the doors closed, filter the air better, or relocate the casino. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My husband is severely disabled and uses a mobility scooter to get around. I discussed this with the TA prior to making our booking to ensure that his scooter would get through the cabin door without the need for a disabled cabin. We were ... Read More
My husband is severely disabled and uses a mobility scooter to get around. I discussed this with the TA prior to making our booking to ensure that his scooter would get through the cabin door without the need for a disabled cabin. We were assured there would be plenty of room having provided them with the dimensions.This is the first time we have cruised on a large ship - normally cruise with approx 1800-2000 passengers, whereas, Crown Princess had 3159 passengers onboard for this cruise. On all previous cruises we have embarked at the Mayflower Terminal but this one embarked at a different terminal and we had a long wait with the car until we were called along to remove our luggage. Porters were available but I was asked to remove our luggage (being disabled didn't matter!) We struggled along to the terminal with our hand luggage and suit/dresses and waited again in a long queue to be checked in with passports/boarding passes etc before moving along to the security process. Once again we were met with long queue's but being disabled we were asked to move into a different queue. However, some other people followed us who were not disabled (clearly saying they are not prepared to wait in the other queue) and this was not properly marshalled. Upon placing our personal items on the conveyor belt I was asked to remove my shoes whilst my husband was asked to remove his coat. Security staff had no empathy with our circumstances and I became distressed from witnessing my husband's difficulties with their requests.At this point the passengers behind me were complaining about the process and queue's and we were rushed through uncourteously leaving me in tears in the terminal. I asked repeatedly to speak to a manager and several staff approached me but made excuses of time constraints/carrier's problem and said get onboard and have a drink!!! We eventually got onboard two and half hours later which is disgusting amount of time compared to our other cruise experiences. I immediately went to the reception to complain of our experience and it apeared to fall on deaf ears through a language barrier. We proceeded to our cabin only to find that the scooter had approximately quarter of inch gap either side and we struggled to get the scooter in/out on each occasion. We were on Lido deck with a balcony and the room didnot leave any space once the scooter was inside causing additional mobility problems for my husband throughout the duration. Although we have cruised before many times we have always been on English ships and with so many things to think about, we had overlooked the adaptor required to recharge the scooter, phones etc. I telephoned reception to ask where the socket points were situated and was told behind the bed!!! How on earth they expect a disabled passenger to pull out the bed to access an electrical point is beyond me but when a crew member came to assist us, he could not locate one other than the one by the dressing table, which we had been advised not to use as it would blow our equipment up. Seems to me like this ship is NOT wheelchair.scooter friendly both in terms of cabin access unless you request a disabled cabin or in the buffet area's as it becomes too crowded and crew members tell you to get up earlier!!! I do not appreciate being told what time to get up or eat on holiday and this experience was by no means relaxing. We purchased an adaptor from the shop onboard but they sold us the wrong one! Eventually, reception staff provided one but not before they got me to sign a receipt for 20$ incase I didn't return it. I removed the 15% gratuities from my bill early on, although you cannot remove them from the bar tabs but I tipped those that I felt deserved it. Food in the buffet (Horizon Court) and regular dining room was repetitive and I wasn't prepared to pay additional cover fees to dine elsewhere onboard. This was booked as a special Anniversary cruise to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary and we had inquired if we could renew our vows onboard - we were told that because it wasn't 7 days or more this was not possible, the captain would be too busy. However, I found out that there was going to be a wedding onboard and the captain would be doing the ceremony. Double standards in my opinion. Nothing against the bride and groom, but Princess cruises should explain properly to their customers to avoid disappointment. I can only presume there is more revenue in a wedding than renewal of vows? We didn't go ashore as we felt the experience wouldn't be a good one and disembarkation was as frustrating as getting onboard - never have I been so relieved to get home as we were from this holiday. Entertainment: Magician/comedian Philip Hitchcock - average, nothing to write home about Comedian - Mickey Zane - excellent performance(s) 2 different shows - good content. Summary I don't feel this was value for money and I don't think the level of customer service was that impressive considering it is an American ship. . Not surprising - we won't be cruising with them again.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
cabin was immaculate and steward ronaldo was most attentive. it was a little on the small side, but the balcony was quite large. we did have a desk with drawers and a chair plus another chair and 2 nite tables with drawers. if there was ... Read More
cabin was immaculate and steward ronaldo was most attentive. it was a little on the small side, but the balcony was quite large. we did have a desk with drawers and a chair plus another chair and 2 nite tables with drawers. if there was anything to complain about it was that there were not enough electric outlets. there was only a double on the desk and if you were tall enough, you could squeeze in behind the tv i had the forethought to request in advance a gluten free diet. princess sent me an acknowledgement card which i gave to my waiter. he presented it to a headwaiter who became my personal menu coordinator. i was then able to have my meals specially cooked to be gluten free. i was even advised which dishes could be made at the buffets. every evening, i was shown the next day's menus and pre ordered. all the foods were delicious even ones not made special. i personally found all the staff to be most helpful and friendly. in the buffet, if i was carrying 2 plates, a server helped me carry them and found a table for me. my disabled friend had a server gather her food. however, my disabled friend was disenchanted when her suitcase came up broken. a wheel had come off and the purser's office was not very nice about it. they refused to pay for it and couldn't fix it. they tried giving her an old replacement that was in worse shape than the damaged one. otherwise she was treated with exemplary care, from the maitre d' who provided us with an easily accessible table, to the steward who took her scooter every nite to charge and returned it in the morning promptly at the scheduled time.she had wheelchair service on and off the ship. my friends and i had a wonderful trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We sailed on the Crown Princess out of Galveston on January 5. My DH dropped everyone off at the terminal with our luggage and walked the block to BOI valet parking http://www.boivalet.com/index.html ($65). This is a big dark warehouse ... Read More
We sailed on the Crown Princess out of Galveston on January 5. My DH dropped everyone off at the terminal with our luggage and walked the block to BOI valet parking http://www.boivalet.com/index.html ($65). This is a big dark warehouse where they take your keys and give you a ticket off a roll. We were a little concerned, but it turned out to be a blessing. We will definitely use them again. You call them when you get through customs and they have your car ready when you get there. My DH was back with the car while others were still waiting on a shuttle. We were on board and in our room quicker than we thought. We had accessible cabin B304. The room is huge. There was plenty of room for my Travelscoot. I could ride directly out of the room to the elevators. I never had to worry about the cleaning carts. Chai was our amazing room steward who met our every need. He was always there when I came back alone to open the door and make sure I got in ok. I never once had to ask for help. One nice thing is that you can sleep on either side of the bed because there is plenty of room on each side of the bed for scooter or wheelchair. The room has lots of storage, one straight back chair, and one other chair. The bathroom was fantastic. There were plenty of grab bars. There were two shelves above on the left of the sink and plenty of space on each side of the sink. Do to the fact that you can get a wheelchair right up to the sink there is no storage underneath. The grab bars for the commode are on the right. The shower had a pull down seat and hand held shower. It drained well. We never had water outside the shower even when it got a little rough. The water at the sink had very little pressure, but it was adequate. It was mentioned in another blog about no Kleenex in the bathroom. We had Kleenex in a box on one of the handrails. I use a C-Pap and couldn't find a plug. Chai came in and told me that he would bring an extension cord. The only plug is a two socket plug on the desk across the room from the beds. Fortunately, I had a surge protector that I could use to plug the extension cord and charge our other devices at the same time. I recommend this because it has a plug on the side for the extension cord http://tinyurl.com/bhb4x7y . The extension cord had a big plug. The cord was not too thick which made it easy to roll over it. The inside handle on the balcony door also operates the part that makes a ramp to get out on the balcony. The door doesn't close unless that is down. We had to call Chai to show us how to close the door. We didn't know that lowering the handle while the door was open would lower the part so the door would close. We dined in the De Vinci dining room. Down the elevators and through the casino and we were there. The service was excellent thanks to Nickolay and Carlos. There are no steps in this dining room, and my Travelscoot could be parked nearby. Everything we ordered was delicious. They do not serve lunch in the dining room when in port. I was a little concerned about getting around in the Horizon Court with the Travelscoot. It was not a problem. Someone met me and took me around and fixed my plate. It was really nice that my DH and I could sit down at the same time. We had room service for a breakfast and a lunch. They were there quickly and plenty of hot coffee. The Moroccan Crock Pot is really good. The highlight of our trip was the Chef's Table. We had been to the Chef's Table on the Sapphire Princess (the menu was the same), and were thrilled to be chosen this time. The Maitre d'Hotel Giorgio Pisano and Chef Giuseppe Gennaro made the evening a pure delight. Seeing the galley while they are actually serving dinner is an eye opening experience, and we were in awe after learning what these two men do. It's thanks to these two men that every time you eat something on the ship the service and food is outstanding. The dinner takes three hours. There are twelve at the table, and on a seven day cruise there is only one Chef's Table. You call the dining room as soon as you get on the ship to get on the list. We are hoping we get to do the Chef's Table on our next cruise. I had a lot of concerns about this trip, because my mobility has gotten so much worse. There was nothing for me to worry about from beginning to end. I never once had to ask for help. The staff anticipated my every need or a passenger was there to open doors for me. Even in a crowded gift shop the young man came to me, and took my purchases and card so I didn't have to get in the crowd around the register. We were supposed to dock in Galveston at 5:00 am, but the port was closed due to fog. We had to be out of our rooms at 8 and our departure time was 9:15. While enjoying our last breakfast in the De Vinci we were told it would be a longer delay. Our waitress said in the four years she had been on the Crown this was the first time the delay had been this long. We went to the Wheelhouse to wait, and found a place to sit with a little table where we could play forty two. The ship could not get in to Galveston until 3pm. I must say Princess went above and beyond in making the wait pleasant. They brought in coffee, water, tea, and games. At noon the Horizon Court and Trident Grill were opened for lunch. They opened up the teen and children's centers. The restrooms were kept spotless in spite of the high volume of traffic in and out. We were off the ship and in our car by 5:30. There were lots of people due to depart after us. Those who had booked their flights through Princess had buses waiting for them to take them to hotels for the night, and flights had been arranged for the next day. We felt sorry for all those waiting all day to get on the ship. We are both looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Here's my long trip report on this past 2012 New Year's 7 day cruise we spent aboard the Crown to the Western Caribbean and our pre-cruise in Galveston...hope you enjoy....we did! Our group...2 sets of Greats and the Grands, ... Read More
Here's my long trip report on this past 2012 New Year's 7 day cruise we spent aboard the Crown to the Western Caribbean and our pre-cruise in Galveston...hope you enjoy....we did! Our group...2 sets of Greats and the Grands, Bruce/Jana and son H, plus are kids MP/Traci and grandson Morgan...everyone ages 7 to 85. Day 1 Galveston 27th I am so impressed with Southwest....great people, very caring with disabled pre-board, we had 5 wheelchairs at the airport, comfy seats and great legroom. We'll be using them again in the near future. Susan from Lady Bird limos was waiting for us in the luggage area....we all piled into the van with 10 bodies and 17 suitcases and started our 45 min drive to Galveston. The Hilton is just off the main drag, Hwy 45, into town and right on the sea wall. The rooms are handy, clean and beautiful...staff wonderful, love our bellman Chris. Beautiful views of the angriest ocean I have ever seen...and stormy weather. The Hilton has a lovely pool with swim up bar...which was heated to 90...so swimmable even with 40 degree temps in Galveston. The rooms are handy, clean and beautiful...staff wonderful, loved our bellman Chris. The only negative is the air bed we requested, because of only having double beds....too small for us...it didn't go well that the bed had a leak...oh well. It was a great idea to set up the rental cars through Enterprise....with Galveston stormy and raining...they picked us up at the hotel and got us set up with a van and sedan in no time. We headed out to dinner to a cute local restaurant called Shrimp and Stuff for fried fish, shrimp and oysters...Yum. Very funky, but my half shrimp/half oyster Po'boy and cup of gumbo hit the spot. Everyone was warm, full and happy....counter service with pagers for when your food is ready. They have a cozy, homey feel, perfect on a rainy night. Day 2 Galveston 28th Everyone was up bright and early for breakfast at Waffle House....Mom's find....for of course, waffles. But they seem to have another specialty...hash browns...Smothered (sauteed onions), Covered (melted cheese), Chunked (cubes of smoked ham), Diced (diced tomatoes, Peppered (jalapenos), Capped (grilled button mushrooms), Topped (with Bert's chili) and Country (country gravy) What fun! Our plan for the day was the Johnson Space center, a 30 min drive north....what a great idea. We are all fans of museums and science centers and this is a winner. First thing we jumped on the red tram tour, which includes the astronaut training center and an overview of the buildings and facilities...but the highlight had to be Rocket Park. They have a real Saturn V rocket with capsule inside to walk around and see the magnificent size and how the different stages fit together. NASA lost funding before the rocket could be used. We were lucky enough to catch a docent at the end of his tour and hear part of the details. If you go make sure to find the docent speaking about the rocket...our decent worked at NASA in 1967 as a trajectory engineer. FYI: The tram trip takes 60 to 90 mins, and is completely handicapped friendly with a lift on the tram. We grabbed a bite and then ran over to see the moon rocks on display in the museum....they have the Apollo 17 capsule on display, several flight suits, ejector seats and of course the famous moon rocks. One is available to be touched, one of only 8 in the world available to be touched by the public. Did you know temper foam was developed to be used in the original seats to protect astronauts from the G-force. Morgan loved the Angry birds interactive kids area...we made opening day, so the news crews were there filming. They also have a great gift shop...H couldn't resist getting dad his coffee mug...too cute..."It's not rocket science, oh wait, it is!" We headed back to Galveston for a quick stop at the strand, a beautiful historic area and the well known soda fountain at La King's. Everyone tried a different Shake.... pineapple, butterscotch, chocolate, and strawberry, plus my root beer float...classics and a full double....yum! 6.25 each. Bruce said they were just like back in high school. Don't miss the 100+ long candy counter...Willy Wonka watch out...they even had a substantial sugar free section....plus a wall of salt water taffy. Back to turn in the cars at Enterprise. We walked next door from the Hilton to Landry's for a dinner of seafood...Traci, mom and I shared a platter of oysters Rockefeller and on the half shell, plus some Shrimp Etouffee. The boys had fish and chips and bowls of chowder...all good, all around. Day 3 Galveston/Boarding Crown 29th Everyone had a chance to sleep in this am....our shuttle to the pier was scheduled for 11:30 from the Hilton. The Grands had an early breakfast and the rest of us wondered over to IHOP around 9:30 for pancakes...H found the most amazing Carmel Hot Chocolate...huge, but super sweet. Great waitress and manager who went out of their way in service. Our shuttle was really late....so we didn't get started until 12:30. The terminal was packed, but we found 4 staff with wheelchairs ready to help and off we went....except for the nasty man at the door who wouldn't let minor children and spouses go in the priority door with their families....and was rude to boot.....he almost put his hands on me to block my way....just a bit power crazy huh? This was a very poor reflection on the Galveston terminal authority. The Princess Cruises' motto is 'Escape completely' and I think we did that and much more. Aboard the Crown Princess On first impression, the ship was huge as well as gorgeous. We discovered that the Crown Princess was large enough to carry over 3,000 people, 3,080 to be exact. What features did the cruise ship have you ask? Well, a casino, three duty-free shops, an entire smorgasbord of dining, a wine bar, four lounge bars, a luxurious spa, fitness centre, mini-golf, three pools, two hot tubs, poolside bars, two specialty restaurants, and a coffee cafe-the list goes on, but I can definitely say that being surrounded by all that for a week was absolute heaven. The Piazza The crowning glory is the Piazza, an open-air plaza with the elevator going three floors up. The floors were gorgeous white marble with Romanesque columns flanking the main area. They held jazz performances, comedy acts and piano concerts here throughout the day and there was something about its architecture that was reminiscent of Venice. The International Cafe had tables in the Piazza and you could sit and enjoy enormous portions of three different types of gelato, cold salads and sandwiches, specialty coffees and desserts while listening to some amazing piano music. One of the big up-grades to the Princess fleet is the addition of watching movies on deck poolside, 'Movies Under the Stars' is basically the biggest projector screen you've ever seen in front of literally hundreds of deck loungers, blankets and don't forget the free cookies and milk or popcorn. Our cabin was a real surprise...this is our first handicapped cabin D308; with Bruce's knees the shower, with grab bar is perfect for him...a straight walk in. The ship is looking new...and our room reflects it....H has a new looking sleeper sofa, double TVs, a huge wall of closets, and a comfy queen size bed with down comforter. Our cabin Stewart, Apol, is a darling...and our room is spotless. We got our laundry and pressing ready for tomorrow 9am...I'll report back later on that. The ship is packed and you feel it.....when we tried to make our dinner reservations for 10 we were told there was nothing except 8:30pm...not good with the Grands. Luckily, we ran into our old friend Emil...our head waiter in the Michelangelo dining room and it all worked out....table for 10....5:30pm. The Michelangelo is a cozy, comfortable dining room....our waiters Theerapong and Tharatrip at table 229 had a full station to deal with but our food came out hot and delicious. Most everyone started out with shrimp cocktail, but Traci and I went with the Snapper Mojito....beautiful, but needed the missing jalapeno to make it snap. Everyone stayed with the gorgeous prime rib...perfectly med rare, except H and I, we had the tender tri tip...very nice.....plus a vanilla creme brulee with lemon madelines to finish. Day 4 At Sea 30th Here we are out in the middle of the Gulf....rolling seas and overcast with a windy chill....where is our sunshine? Breakfast in bed was a treat...we are trying to slow down and relax and not race out to every event. Vladimir, our cabin waiter is a dream...trying to find us everything we requested...he even offered to go to the buffet and find the papaya I had requested. I joined MP and Traci in the Horizon for coffee while they had a late breakfast...the Crown has doubled the size of the Horizon's seating....much needed this week...but the lines were ridiculous for the buffet. Hand sanitizers are everywhere, which we appreciate. Service in the Horizon was very attentive with at least 3 staff coming over to get our drink orders. I just don't like the crush of the crowds. ***I later found the Cafe Caribe area in the far rear of the Horizon....bright, spacious, quiet with its own buffet....Perfection. After breakfast, we tried our hand at morning trivia in Club Fusion...15 out of 20....Boo! Mom wanted to hear the shopping lecture....so I went with her to the Princess Theatre...packed? We left after an hour when we found it would go on for another hour??? Two hours on Diamonds International.....Really? Back to the cabin to find MP/T/M for pub lunch in the Wheelhouse Bar....yummy fish and chips with mushy peas, bangers and mash, and the Ploughman's lunch....all washed down with a nice Bass Ale.....crazy busy at 11:50 and the line was twice as long when we left. Service was excellent, but you eat at the tiny little bar tables...with five for lunch it was tight....grab a seat at the bar if you can next time. We all explored or napped for the afternoon....I keep reminding myself this is a vacation, not a trip. Caught up on reading. Everyone had promised to meet at afternoon Trivia for the "Brain Buster"...Ooooh! Bingo had been in the same room so it was way too crowded and we finally found a table. We do trivia because it is fun and silly and .....we want to win. Unfortunately, the German Formula 1 driver threw us for a loop and we should have stuck with our first choices...which were all right...13 out of 20....who knew it was Indonesia instead of Iceland with the most volcanoes? After the trivia game we shot up to the Skywalker lounge for the Plat/Elite cocktail party...tonight's specials...the El Mejor...a margarita made with OJ instead of lime juice...love it....and a platter of guacamole and chips, with some cheese and olives. The drink special was $5. Down the elevator back to 7 for a wonderful dinner at the Crown Grill...little did we know...WOW! The Dining room is beautiful, intimate with an open kitchen...so you can watch your steak sizzle. Be ready for a 2-3 hour dinner...perfectly presented and served by our waiter, Tony. You have your choice of huge steaks, chops, rack of lamb and lobster (4 med to a plate), plus family portions of fries, scalloped potatoes, creamed spinach, creamed corn, asparagus, sauteed mushrooms....all classic steakhouse favorites. We started off with lamb Carpaccio, scallops with smoked bacon and truffle mashed potatoes...go for the delicious Carpaccio...others had lobster cakes with black prawns...H had both. Next course....Black and Blue Onion soup...a twist on the classic with blue cheese topping the crouton....I have to do this at home. On to the main...22 oz porterhouse, rib eye, filet....some chose the sea bass with huge prawns, which looked wonderful....but I can never pass up a rack of lamb...full rack cut into double chops....perfection....amazing! All done to perfection...way way way too much for any mortal.... But that didn't stop us giving dessert a test drive. Dessert...berry apple cobbler....lemon meringue tart....and of course the Fudge Chocolate obsession...all cooked to order. Where's the wheel barrel...take me home. Day 5 At Sea. Happy New Year 31st What a relaxing day....we slept in and had the treat of breakfast in bed again...love Vladimir, our room waiter. We met Mom, MP, H and Joyce for morning trivia...too bad.... losers again at 14 out of 20...drat that "Band of Gorillas" and "Waterloo" from Abba. Up to the pool after dragging Bruce from the Internet cafe....last day of the year for stocks! MP found a table by the pizza parlor....Princess has the best thin crust pizza. beware the slices are huge, at least 2 slices in one. The pizza men are always cheery. They have shrunk the pool area to add to the Horizon dining and the Movies under the Stars.....very crowded and a number of complaints were going around the pool and elevators. The ship is full to capacity and it shows. I got our small change from the front desk...always remember to get this on sea days....port days are always a zoo. The desk also has a pocket-size Patter....ask for it. Love the Piazza....the new Vines has free sushi and Tapas with a beverage purchase.. Need to try. The International Cafe has a nice selection of sandwiches, quiche, interesting salads and of course, pastries. And don't forget Gelato...3 scoops for $1. The bar and coffee lounge is right next door and servers are there to get beverages and help with platters. The piano/musical entertainment is steps away with plenty of comfy chairs and tables. Overall a great area. We are off to the Grapevines wine tasting at 3pm....$10 pp. This is their biggest tasting...a full dining room, and Jan, our sommelier was wonderful and informative. A pleasant afternoon. Dinner is always amazing and Emil is spoiling us with fresh cheese and fruit platters before dinner every night with our wine. Day 6 Roatan January 1st Happy New Year! Today we have plans with Victor Bodden's tours for an Island tour of Roatan. We exited the ship...please be aware: the walk from the ship to the terminal is fairly long and slightly uphill. It looks to be recently constructed....by Carnival. You exit and walk down to the taxi stand where for $2 pp they will take you the mile over the hill to meet the independent tours. Victor is waiting for us and we are handed over to our guide, Leonora and our driver, Rupert and their huge tour bus. We chose Victor Bodden's Best of Roatan Tour and decided to pay the extra $5 per person to have our own guided tour...well worth it. Our guide was in the assigned meeting place and quickly got us on our way. What lovely people....they couldn't be more helpful. We head north on the island to the East side view point...and shopping. Morgan buys a huge seashell for $20 and I find 2 cute Guatemalan bags $10, a wooden salt bowl $5, and cute coconut shell starfish earrings....plus 2 seashell trumpets. Another shopping stop...small oil painting of colorful parrots $20, bags of fresh Honduran coffee beans....which smelled marvelous. Then off to the butterfly farm...$10 pp entrance to see tons of huge butterflies, wild Capuchin Monkeys, jaguar and wild cats.....right in the cage with them. The monkeys loved my dad and wanted to lick his face? Salt lick? Back down the road....to the West end...very pretty...the water is crystal clear and warm. We stopped for a lunch at Half Moon Bay...tasty but expensive....I tried couch..not for me, but the fried shrimp were great....$140 for lunch for the 5 of us. Right on the ocean...it couldn't be a better spot to have a few cold ones. I wished we had brought our snorkel gear...this is the perfect spot for a dip. Next stop....West Bay....the most gorgeous beach on the island...unfortunately; it is jammed packed with people...not our style. Bruce and I have a chat with a real estate broker...crazy prices...I think Roatan has been discovered? Back to the ship... another beautiful day in a beautiful place. If you need help, they do have one wheelchair at Mahogany Bay terminal... Bruce decides the Rose Bowl is more important than dinner, so we leave him to Stanford and go off to our regular table 229 for another wonderful dinner. Belize Day 7 2nd Today we are off to cave tube with Charlie's cave tubing.... We decide to get up and out to breakfast at 8am, the ship docked at 7am...the Crown is anchored off shore as are the other 3 ships and we are tendered in by high speed tender, approx 15 mins. Sunny skies and turquoise seas. We exited terminal tour and the boys in the superman shirts were waiting for us just outside the door....off with Alf and his assistant in a comfy air-conditioned van for the hour ride to the cave site. Belize is a poor country and it is evident all around....tip well and often. The last ten mins of the ride is on a rough dirt road....but the site area is well maintained, clean and well organized. There are large clean restrooms, changing rooms and several restaurants on site. Be prepared with water shoes...the 20 min hike to over uneven terrain and on loose rocks...you carry your own tube and wear a life-vest and headlamp. We had to cross a knee deep river three times...nothing major and the water was perfect. Our biggest mistake was leaving so late...they wanted us off the ship as soon as possible....and we didn't listen...the river was filled with bus loads of tourist and we missed hiking 30 mins up the river to go through additional caves...drat? The river was "refreshing" but I though very comfortable...pleasant in fact. Our tubes were hooked together in line and off we went into the caves for about a 2 mile long ride with headlamps on....very cool. There is a small waterfall in the middle of the cave...and bats. After we exited the caves, we cruised comfortably down the river another couple of miles through lush tropical jungle....the original lazy river. You end where you began and hike a short way back to the central area. We changed and sat down in one of the small restaurants for a little lunch, which way included with our tour...BBQ chicken and beans and rice, and a Belizean beer....Yum. I found time to purchase a Wist shell necklace and bracelet and a stone carving with a sea turtle and Mayan gods. Alf gets us back in the van to head back for the long ride to Belize City....with a short stop at Travellers rum factory....for a tasting. $1 US for 3 tastes of your choice...I go for the cashew wine...nasty...the coconut rum...delicious...and the 5 yr old "5 Barrel" rum....double yum! So I invested in a bottle of the coconut rum for $10 and the 5 Barrel for $15. Highly recommended....this is a must do with Charlie's! Off to the terminal.....but before we enter the door...there is a very nice bamboo drum man...who could resist...not me? One bamboo drum...$10. We passed quickly through security and on to the tender for a quick 15 ride back to the ship by 4pm. We have dinner at 5:30, so just time for a quick shower and change for dinner...plus a bottle of Schramsberg while we sail away....beautiful sunset. Dinner was a dream...venison and quail terrain, gnocchi with sauce Provenal and cocoa crusted pork tenderloin....plus our friend, Emil, was preparing bananas flambe. Pure Evil. Day 8 Cozumel 3rd What a perfect day....sea, sun and snorkeling. Cozumel We had a 9am start time for our glass bottom boat/snorkeling tour with Chi Chi Charters....great great and great. After the long, and I mean long walk from the ship to the terminal and then again through the shopping gauntlet...crazy long. Be aware that there are some peddle bikes (good tip only) for the first half but nothing through the shopping area?? Not ideal for the disabled. Taxis were available...$8 for a sedan and $16 for a 10 person van..Down to Carleta Marina to catch our boat. Amanda met us for final payment and handed us over to Angel and Al, our captain and snorkel guide. We cruised 30 mins in crystal clear turquoise seas to Columbia reef, our first stop. Gear on and jump in. Clear down to the 50 foot bottom...huge schools of colorful fish....which we swam through the beautiful yellow and black stripped Trigger fish and grey groupers.... Barracuda, couch shells, moray eel, stingray, flounder, starfish, and more....I could do this for days...it was like swimming in a huge aquarium. Off to Palancar, Chankanaab Reef and El Ceilo (which means heaven and it is)... No more than knee deep turquoise water and white silky sand....it is truly heaven. This is where Al lays out a table full of snacks...homemade salsas, guac and chips, and fresh fruit while we lazy in the water drinking Coronitas and sodas.....love that! Thanks ChiChi for a wonderful day! Back to the ship by 2pm for a shower....the off to Trivia and a wonderful dinner of escargot, Wellington, and chocolate souffle. Tonight Morgan sleeps over.... and wants breakfast in bed....Hey, Vladimir! FYI: Be aware that the old marina is a natural harbor and there are no piers or landings so the steps down to the boat are at best cuts into the rocks...very steep and uneven. We were able to get Bruce, Kenny, Dad and Joyce down with the help of all of us and the two hands....this was everyone's favorite tour. The new marina is opening soon, but no official date? PS...I love Cozumel...south side hotel area near the national park. Day 9 At Sea January 4th Sleeping in...breakfast in bed.....Trivia, pizza and another wine tasting. This one was $25 pp and started with Vieux Clicquot, so I can't resist? Lovely canapes and Jan is a fantastic sommelier. Plus, plenty of packing up to turn in suitcases after dinner. Tonight another wonderful dinner topped off by Baked Alaska and the parade of waiters. Day 10 Galveston 5th Disembarking was delayed, so we were late by an hour....but it was smooth enough. The terminal is very small and our driver was waiting across the street at Starbucks for us. One quick call and he was at the curb. Thanks Lady Bird Limo...I would trust them in Houston/Galveston again. Rainy and cold...about 49...we headed up the freeway to Houston for a short tour. Past Radiant Stadium and Rice University....too much rain, so off to lunch. Warm gumbo and crawfish bisque.... Pappadeaux's Seafood Kitchen. What a great choice...comfortable, warm, friendly service, delicious food, yummy coffee and the manager bought us dessert since it was our first time. Who could ask for more? Our driver dropped us at Hobby right on time. I am so impressed with Southwest....friendly, helpful, fun. A little overweight, but we were able to adjust quickly and our skycap was so patient. Off we went in 5 wheelchairs and 5 extras...through security...always fun? Happy to be going home......   Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This was the "Cruise from Hell". My husband and one of our traveling companions were infected with the Norovirus on the ship. They sent medicine which they charges us for! The newspaper article I read said that the rooms were ... Read More
This was the "Cruise from Hell". My husband and one of our traveling companions were infected with the Norovirus on the ship. They sent medicine which they charges us for! The newspaper article I read said that the rooms were disinfected 3 times a day. NOT TRUE. Our room was "passed through" one time only. We heard many different stories about prior infected guests on many other Crown Princess Cruises. Most of the guests are elderly people and cannot handle the stress from sicknesses. We were given many different stories on what was really going on on board this cruise. No one was honest with us. We were also evacuated from our room because Life Flight had to remove a guest and were treated horribly. We were shuffled all over the ship. Told to go to the Princess Theater. We couldn't get in there because they were shootinga commercial. One gentleman was removed from his room while doing a breathing treatment and was left in the hall outside of the Princess Theater and was in need of medical help. Upon disembakation we were literally dumped in the terminal by the staff. We are both handicapped and were left in the galveston terminal by ourselves to retrieve our own luggage and get to a bus. Once we were off the ship no one cared. We have thoroughly enjoyed sailing with Princess in the past, but will have to seriously reconcider future cruises. We will NOT, however, EVER cruise on the Crown Princees again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Hey everyone! First and foremost, we had a great time on the cruise! We left out of Port Everglades, FL, went to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. The weather was perfect, seas calm, until we got to ... Read More
Hey everyone! First and foremost, we had a great time on the cruise! We left out of Port Everglades, FL, went to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. The weather was perfect, seas calm, until we got to Cozumel, it drizzled in the morning, but the sun came out later in the day and the seas were a little choppy, but nothing unbearable. The entire crew was very accommodating and friendly! Kudos to Allen in the DaVinci Dining Room, everyone at the excursions desk, Amanda, the Captains Circle Hostess, our Cabin Steward, ALL the bar staff, especially the guys on the ramps, helping you get on and off the ship and tenders(amazing!), and the Hostess at the DaVinci Dining Room(sorry I can't remember her name, she is from Mexico, though.) I have a few favorite ports: Tortola, Antigua and now Roatan! The Island isn't as commercialized as Grand Cayman, The Bahamas or St. Thomas, which is what I love! I have a scooter to get around, due to a broken knee, and there are some doors you can't get out onto the decks, due to the scooter being low to the ground, but there are designated doors that open automatically. If you have a walker, scooter, wheelchair, electric chair, etc. You definitely need a handicap cabin, the doors to the regular cabins won't work. C312 is right next door to the laundromat, which wasn't a problem at all. Only thing, when the carts are in the hallway, it can be a challenge to get around them, but the cabin stewards are always happy to move them out of the way when needed. Prior to booking a cruise with a disability or handicap, please make sure you check if they use tenders or docks when in Port. If they use tenders, per Se, in Roatan, they use their own tenders, so they let me take my scooter on the tender both ways. In Belize, they outsource tenders, so they didn't let me go on the tenders with my scooter, so make sure you double check before booking, just in case. And first thing on the ship, go straight to the excursions desk to see which tours would suit you best. We had to cancel the tour in Belize, because. there was nothing in the "easy" section to choose, and in Cozumel, we changed to a different tour, so we weren't able to see any of the ruins. If you get the DVDs at the end of the cruise, all the tours are included, so you don't miss anything. I have sailed 5 time prior, and 3 times on Princess...A couple things I noticed on this cruise: We chose Anytime Dining; the waiters didn't dance around like they usually do on other ships, usually one night out of the week. (I would not recommend Anytime dinning if you are younger than 40 years old, we are 33 and each night, we were sat with a big table of older people that like to one-up each other on how many grandchildren they have and how many cruises they have been on and train trips around the world-not that there is nothing wrong with any of that, we were just there to have a good time, not hear about their lives.) One night we were sat with a couple, the wife ordered EVERYTHING on the menu 3 times and we missed the last show in the Princess Theater because of her. If you can Choose a dining time, I highly recommend it, but if you don't mind taking hours to eat dinner and listening to people, Anytime Dining is for you. There were no carved ice sculptures; and NO midnight Buffet, although the buffets were open until midnight. This was the first cruise I have been on that that had happened...they did have a beautiful Champagne Waterfall in the Piazza on Formal Nights, maybe that replaced ice sculptures?! And no towel animals, like on Carnival-which was fine- a lot of people would expect it if they haven't cruise Princess! I do think Princess should include hard liquor, beer, wine, etc in a drink plan that people could purchase, instead of paying for each drink....it would be nice. I know Celebrity has several of those plans to choose from. You can purchase 2 soft drink plans, I think they started at $49/pp/wk-includes coffee, hot chocolate, soda, juice, milkshakes, etc, which is extra. I think when you book the cruise, it would be a nice option to add onto your cruise, so as soon as you board you don't get bombarded with people trying to sell you drink plans. The food was great, plenty of options for everyone, you can even ask for the children's menu if you don't see anything on the regular menu/vegetarian menu to your liking, which is nice, there is also the Buffets/Pizza/Ice cream/Burger Bars as back up. My Brother said the Seafood at dinner was amazing...so if you eat seafood, go for it! The Ice cream is so good and get the Dream Boat for Dessert! You will not be disappointed! The dining rooms are loud, so once everyone starts leaving it quiets down some. The entertainment was fantastic. We haven't been on a Princess Cruise in years, so we didn't see all the shows/acts/etc...everything was great! Lisa Ball was our Cruise Director, and she does her job well. She seems to be all over the place at the right times, if not herself, her Deputy Cruise Director, Stu and her Assistant Cruise Directors. We had fun on the tours, but please keep in mind, there were no "Handicap Accessible" transportation via the excursions, so if you can walk steps to get in and out of the vans/buses, the tours are for you, if not, I would make other arrangements. Grand Cayman-the sidewalks are not scooter/wheelchair friendly, just be careful. The tour bus was a mini-bus, not a motor coach, but had A/C! Roatan- TONS of walking(really long walk) from the ship through the port shops to the buses, and even if you want to go to the beach, so if would be great if you had a scooter, if you are older and can't walk long distances or if you are going on tours, you can take the scooter to the bus and the security guards will watch the scooter while you are on the tour, and will be there when you get back. The tour buses are little mini buses, not motor coaches, so it's a tight squeeze. They have A/C! Belize- As I said earlier, you can't bring scooters on the tenders, and the boat ride is about 25 min to Belize from the ship, there are stores right at the doc and a Fat Tuesday's right there, so if you can walk into the boat and walk a little, you can do what we did, took the tenders, went into the shops, bought souvenirs/beer, waited on line to go back on the tenders. We can say that we went to Belize. My brother walked outside the gates and said Belize City right there is scummy, within 5 steps he was offered a massage, tour, drugs, taxi, etc, so he turned around and came back. From what I understand anything outside of the City is beautiful, but we couldn't do a tour, so I can't say for sure. The ride is nice to and from, though! Cozumel- Great Tour-the tour guide had beer/soda/water waiting for us on board, then we went Tequila Tasting, then to a show, the show was a little hot and dark, so we kinda took a nap, because. of all the beer and tequila, but it was a fun tour! I was able to take my scooter and they put it in the compartments under the coach bus. And plenty of A/C to go around for all! Port Everglades- we had to fly in the night before and Stayed at Sleep Inn in Dania Beach-I've stayed here prior, and love the location bec. there's a Walgreen's in the parking lot and across the street-a Strip Mall with Publix Supermarket, a Chinese, Mexican and Italian Restaurants as well as a dollar store. There is free transportation to and from the Airport and Cruise-port, but we had to take a taxi bec. of the scooter, it was just easier. If you scooter comes apart like the GoGo I'm sure you can get on their free vans, but it's just a hassle sometimes. I did have to go to the infirmary because I had bronchitis the entire cruise, and the staff were great! If you are traveling with illnesses, make sure you fill out the paperwork on Princess.com and have your doctor fax it to Princess, bec. it helps the doctors a lot when have to go visit them. There are tons of pools on the ship, the Adults only pool is in the back of the ship, but there are steps to get down to it, there is a bar too, so it's nice not to have kids running around like maniacs, like at all the other pools. The shops are basic, clothes, trinkets, souvenirs, Duty Free, etc. Wait until the last few days of the cruise, things go on clearance, and will be cheaper to purchase at that time, they do have jewelry, purses, ties for $10/ea during that time. I bought two bangle bracelets at a nice discount! The Casino is a good size, and on certain nights they have no smoking, which is really nice for those of us that don't smoke. There are also designated areas on the ship for smoking....they even have "how to play" Activities throughout the cruise, for those of us that have no clue how to play games! It's a Cash Casino. The Photo Gallery- Photo's are $19.99/each and there are tons of opportunities to take portraits all over the ship. If you don't want to shell out $20/picture, just take your own, and kindly decline on photo's. They do have photo packages available for a reduced rate. I purchased the DVD Package, includes 2 DVDs from the events and each port/excursions and another DVD with still photo's that you can print/upload/set screen savers etc.-$39.99, so DO NOT purchase the stock photo's on board if you are getting these DVDs, you will save a boat load of money. There are tons of activities every day on ship for everyone....just make sure you make it out of dinner on time, or you will miss some of the late shows, like the one we missed. Don't miss the Shows in the Princess Theater--they were fantastic! The Comedian, Hypnotist, Pianist and Magician were great as was the International Crew Show! You will laugh! There are also little things going on in the Piazza throughout the day, like Hula Hoopist- Ashley Winn, don't miss her! And some of the dancers/singers perform throughout the cruise there, as well as the Choir, on the last day, performs, which is interesting. There is Bingo, Dancing Lessons, Art Workshops, exercise classes, trivia, etc. all day, as well. I didn't have anything done in the Spa/Salon, but the staff is friendly and the facilities look nice and clean. On the last two days they have specials, so be on the look out for those packages in the Princess Patter. We went to the first Art Auction, I wasn't impressed. The Guys running it only catered to the people that were actually going to shell out money for art, which irked us, because, I am an artist, and I would of bid on some things, but their attitudes turned me off. Princess has their own auction company, so it was a little different than on Carnival or our previous Princess Cruises...BUT there was free cheap champagne. There are nice decks that you can just sit and look out, that are nice and quiet. The TVs have The Wake Show with Lisa Ball & Stu, to tell you the goings on the next day/that day, and there are shopping channels, excursion channels, Movie Channels, Ship View Channel, Ship Stats Channel, which has the clock, so if you sleep with that on, you will catch a clock. We had to change time zones in every port, so It's a GREAT Idea to get a wake up call, because. the phone's clock that you can't see, automatically change, which is helpful. OR BRING YOUR OWN ALARM CLOCK! There isn't one in the cabins. The Wake Show explains Disembarkation, so you should be all set, and pay attention to your Princess Patters/mail at the door/on the beds/desks/etc....valuable information! I hope my review helps you understand the ship/cruise a little bit more than, coming from a 33 year old Single Female that has a scooter, other than the average person. (I know it was long, but I had to share!) If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me: iaminadaze@yahoo.com Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This was our 7th cruise and the 5th on Princess. We booked this cruise because I love Aruba, but we could only be gone 7 days and didn't want the cost of flying to San Juan. This particular itinerary was just perfect for a ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise and the 5th on Princess. We booked this cruise because I love Aruba, but we could only be gone 7 days and didn't want the cost of flying to San Juan. This particular itinerary was just perfect for a vacation that included a lot of rest, which is what we were looking for. It only had 3 ports and that is including Princess Cays. We only had to get up early on two days. The one day was for Aruba because we had an early excursion and the day of disembarking. The time for the port of Curacao was late so we were able to sleep in that day also. The ship was really rocking, but instead of getting seasick, I found it perfect for sleeping. We had an inside cabin and the dark room and the rocking made us sleep wonderfully. The service this cruise was the best we've ever had. We've sometimes noticed that when you don't order drinks, waiters have a way of ignoring you. This was not true on this cruise. I bought the enhanced soda card and found the shakes and mock-tails delicious. We played a lot of bingo and loved the comedians. We did not see a production show this time, but instead found our evenings either at MUTS or in the hot tub relaxing. Princess has the best pools and hot tubs. Pools are fresh water and most pools have a 7' end as well as a shallow end. This is the first time we've seen lines for the anytime dining, but the lines moved quickly. Food was good, but we've noticed they no longer offer a few of the more exotic foods like in the past. Disembarking was simple and quick. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
My Mom and I got took the 1/7 Crown Princess sailing to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. We had a great experience, we are past Princess cruisers and were very pleased with this cruise. Mom has some health problems, so we spent ... Read More
My Mom and I got took the 1/7 Crown Princess sailing to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. We had a great experience, we are past Princess cruisers and were very pleased with this cruise. Mom has some health problems, so we spent the week enjoying the ship and didn't really "do" the ports. So I'm going to focus on the ship, the service, and the food. Embarkation and Sail-away: My Mom and I are usually early arrivers to avoid the long lines, but not this time. There was alot of traffic heading into Port Everglades @ 1:30pm, but once out of the cab we had no issues quickly leaving our bags with a porter and getting into the building to check-in. We got a wheelchair right at the door and were whisked up to the check-in desks. The line was really short, both for us with the wheelchair and for everyone else. From the time we left our bags with the porter and got through check-in, we were on the ship within 15 minutes. Excellent embarkation, Princess really made it quick and easy. Very organized. We made our way to our stateroom, C504, left out things and then headed up to Horizon Court for a bite to eat. Then back to our stateroom to pickup our life jackets and make our way to Muster Station D (this was to make sure my Mom was able to get a seat). As it turned out there were tons of seats, and the muster drill was a breeze. We were one of 7 ships in port that day, so we waited our turn before getting out just ahead of the Oasis. Beautiful sail-away weather. The Ship: In one word, BEAUTIFUL. This was our first time on the Crown, but she's really beautiful. The layout was very similar to the Caribbean Princess we sailed on last time, so the layout was very familiar and we found it easy to navigate. Everything was clean and well-maintained. The Service: Fantastic. We had an amazing room steward, she was always there if we needed anything. A few of the days my Mom wasn't up for leaving the room and spent time on our balcony, but she came by to see if there was anything we needed and would ask later on how my Mom was doing which was SO nice and considerate. We did anytime dining, so our waiters changed every night, but the service was always great. We tried both Da Vinci and Michealangelo dining rooms. We did find that 6:30-7pm was a very popular time to eat. But the Maitre D was really good about opening new tables up, or sending some of us up to Da Vinci (which generally was open only after the first traditional Early Seating was over) so that we didn't have to wait more then a minute or two at most. Bar service was great. And Anna in the Horizon Court helped my Mom with her plate at the buffet a few times. Then went with my Mom to the table to make sure she had everything she needed, helpful and sweet. Reading some of the past reviews I was a little curious what our experience would be, but we found everyone incredibly helpful and got excellent service no matter where we were. The Food: Excellent, just as we have always had on Princess. As I mentioned, we choose Anytime Dining and we were always happy with the quality of food. We ate in the dining every night but one and enjoyed everything. The menus were well thought out, and the quality of food was great. No complaints. I also ate in the Caribe Cafe one night. Food was good, hot, and fresh. Drink service was really good, my glass never went empty. I also would recommend the Pub lunches in the Wheelhouse Bar. They run this every sea day, and I went both times. Fish and Chips was good. Service was fast and I enjoyed the break from the buffet. Disembarkation: As in the past with Princess, we felt this was handled really well. They now offer a baggage check service that will send your bags all the way to your home airport (course there are rules on airline, flight, etc). It was $20/pp and I initially thought it was too much and didn't see the point. But in retrospect we'll be taking advantage of it next time because I forgot just how crazy FLL can be on the days when many ships are in port. So this is an excellent offering, for sure one we'll be using in the future. My Mom disembarked by wheelchair, so we met in Crooner's Bar at 8:15 and waited for our color to be called. Claiming our luggage was easy, customs was super fast (the wheelchair did save us some line waiting here), and we were on a bus heading to FLL within 15 mins. We had purchased our transfers from Princess ahead of time, so this made things smoother than waiting for a private shuttle or waiting in the taxi line. All things considered, this was a great cruise. I had the chance to attend the format CC meetup during the first sea day and was pleased to see quite a few officers came and met with us. The hotel general mgr, the Maitre D, Lisa (cruise director) and the Captain himself (Nick Nash) came up. The Captain was incredibly personable and funny. My only wish was that I'd been able to take the Ultimate Ships Tour. Sadly it proved very popular and people were chosen by lottery to take the tour. Oh well, next time I guess :) Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
CROWN PRINCESS Southern Caribbean Cruise Nov. 12-19, 2011 By Mary & Vincent Finelli When Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz "There's no place like home," most people agreed. This was our sixteenth cruise on ... Read More
CROWN PRINCESS Southern Caribbean Cruise Nov. 12-19, 2011 By Mary & Vincent Finelli When Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz "There's no place like home," most people agreed. This was our sixteenth cruise on Princess ships and our second on the Crown, thus we became Elite members of the Captain's Circle and we were happy to find many of our old acquaintances aboard. We received a special "welcome aboard" by Captain Andrew Proctor, Hotel General Manager Martin Ford, Maitre D' Hotel Francesco Ciorfito and Cruise Director Ron Goodman, who, together with other officers and crew, have been phenomenal hosts. They create a home at sea atmosphere, that immensely pleases the passengers, especially the repeaters. We were greeted with an enormous bouquet of flowers from Martin which made our stateroom fragrant for the entire cruise (carnations, roses, lilies, snap dragons and baby's breath). Francesco reserved us a beautiful table near the window and made sure that we had VIP treatment throughout the cruise. We also had a personal note from Capt. Andy hoping to meet us in La Piazza on Port Mornings! How nice it is to be remembered and welcomed aboard in such a personal way. What a great start to our South Caribbean Cruise. EMBARKATION For us "frequent floaters" it is easy to board in Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, since we live 20 miles up the road (I-95). A thirty minute ride from home and we were at Pier 2 to drop off the baggage and proceed to check in. As elite members we also have priority embarkation, so we were escorted directly on board after picking up our boarding passes. In only 15 minutes we were in our stateroom, Riviera (Deck 14) #301. SHIP The condition of the ship is excellent. Built in Fincantieri Shipyards, Montefalcone, Italy in 2006 (Hull #6100). Her Deck plan is exactly like her sister ships - the Ruby and the Emerald. The Crown Princess is 951 ft. long, 118 ft. beam and has a gross tonnage of 112,894. She has an international crew of 1,200 and a passenger capacity of 3,150 and this cruise she sailed full. Her top cruising speed is 22.5 knots. In Nov. 2010 we published at this web site our first review of the Crown with a deck by deck description which we will not repeat here; suffice it to say that this is a beautiful ship splendid with fine artwork, marble and brass. The many venues on board provide passengers with music, fun, entertainment and privacy. Select your own preference and create an individualized cruise to remember. This ship has a well kept dEcor and an ambience of pleasant gentility. For example try the 3:30pm "Formal Tea" held each afternoon in the Da Vinci Dining Room (Deck 6 midship) --- with white gloved service, every lady feels like a queen. The general atmosphere recaptures the vintage cruises of bygone times, with the advantages of modern vessels. In other words the best of both worlds. CABIN Stateroom #301, on Riviera Deck 14, is wheelchair accessible. When entering on the left is the large bathroom with a 4ft.x4ft. shower with folding seat. There is a single sink with two shelves and complimentary shampoos, soaps and lotions. Next, flanking the bed, a queen size with puff and very soft pillows, there are two low bureaus: each with a shelf and four large drawers. A fixed reading lamp is too far away to turn off from the bed. Ryan, our cabin steward, put two pillows in one pillow case to fashion a firm one. When entering on the right is an alcove with a floor length mirror, large enough to park Mary's wheelchair. Then, there is a triple armoire: one section has shelves and a personal safe; the double section has adjustable dowels for hanging clothes. Next, there are a TV, a Bar set up and a refrigerator (complimentary mini bar set up for elite members). There is a long desk with a lighted mirror and a chair. There are also a small circular glass top table and an upholstered barrel chair. The walls are beige, so is the furniture which is trimmed with maple wood. The carpet is blue with a white diamond pattern. Blue drapes cover the wall and a glass sliding door which opens to a spacious balcony, where there are a small table, two chairs and one chaise lounge which Ryan added for Vincent. Ryan did several changes which made our cabin very comfortable (a riser for the commode, a mattress pad, etc.). FOOD & SERVICE Service on board is excellent in the proper but friendly English fashion. The food venues reflect the elegance of Maitre D' Hotel Francesco Ciorfito. The dining rooms are the Michelangelo, the Botticelli and the Da Vinci, decorated in simple wood paneled walls and golden sconces; the ceilings are dotted with tiny twinkling lights that give a starlight quality to the rooms. Our table for two was in the Michelangelo dining room, near the entrance and by window. We enjoyed watching the sea during dinner. Our Waiter Arturo Estrada (Mexico) was quick and polite. His assistant Nemanja Filipovic (Serbia) was clever and interesting. Head Waiter Dante Grecu (Romania) made the rounds efficiently. But, it was Asst. Maitre D' Antonio Mana (Portugal) who greeted us every night by name, making us feel at home. Food on board starts with the Welcome Aboard Buffet, Deck 15, the Horizon Court. There are many offerings of cheese, fruit, salad bars, seafood salads, pastas and soups. The carving station featured a turkey and all the trimmings --- excellent. Breads on board are terrific, hot and crusty. On Deck 15 is the Trident Grill (Don't miss the pork and veal bratwurst! The Pizzeria and the soft serve ice cream Bar are also located here (open 11am to 11pm). Each morning we had breakfast in our cabin promptly at 7:00am. Hot delicious coffee from Ethiopia, hot chocolate, sweet rolls, croissants, Danish pastry with apricot and orange marmalade, English muffins with Canadian ham and eggs, fresh grapefruit and juices. For lunch we either went up to the Trident Grill or down to the Da Vinci Dining Room which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The noon menus featured fried calamari, hot sandwiches, wings and ribs or even elegant dishes like osso buco. The dinner menus have an abundance of items both healthy and gourmet. Executive Chef Giuseppe De Gennaro sent us a truly excellent wild mushroom risotto --- delicious. One night Mary had pheasant --- a reminder of her youth in New England. Vincent recommends the Frito Misto (Fisherman's platter). Salads are great, but the desserts blew us away --- all the ice creams (pistacchio, nocciola and others taste like Italian gelato, no artificial coloring or flavoring --- superb) and sorbets are made on board (the grapefruit sorbet was perfect). It was a revolution on the palate. Needless to say for us the food rates four stars. We also enjoyed dinner at Sabatini's, the upscale restaurant ($20). It has a new menu --- gone are the table side antipasti, now there are eight or so appetizers to select from, including a "deconstructed" vitello tonnato! We had a wonderful dinner with lobster and veal chop as entrees. Service on board is tip top and a credit to Princess. ENTERTAINMENT Cruise Director Ron Goodman is very personable and friendly with the passengers. La Piazza has live music afternoons and evenings (pianists, a wonderful flautist and a string quartet). On formal night Maitre D' Francesco created a magnificent blue Champagne Waterfall in honor of Captain Andy. The champagne flowed freely and a grand time was had by all. Each morning Cruise Director Ron did a program called "The Wake Show" on Channel 21 during which he gave the highlights of the day, interesting quips and hints on how to enjoy the day. The shows presented at "Movies Under The Stars" and in the Princess Theatre were exceptional, such as the following: "The King's Speech," "Source Code," "Captain America," etc. They also showed concerts by Bon Jovi and "Beyonce, Live from Wembley" and "The Killers at Royal Albert Hall." There is so much available that all ages should be entertained --- from ping pong to dance classes to port tours. Just read the Princess Patter so you won't miss anything. There are several Bars and Clubs. Try the Adagio up on Deck 15 with an elegant setting and piano music, or there is the Skywalker Nightclub on Deck 18. "It's the closest thing to heaven," as Deborah Kerr says in "A love Affair to Remember" on the Romance Channel 25, or chat with Ron Goodman, he likes to mingle with the cruisers. PORTS OF CALL This cruise did 4,450.24 statute miles, which is quite a distance for a seven day cruise, so that except for the three days in port we traveled at top speed almost every night. Needless to say Captain Proctor had the pedal to the metal a good deal of the time. Day 1 Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA Depart 4:26pm Day 2 Princess Cays Arrive 8:30am Depart 3:58pm Day 3 At sea Day 4 Willemstad, Curacao Arrive 12:00 noon Depart 10:10pm Day 5 Oranjestad, Aruba Arrive 7:30am Depart 5:20pm Day 6 At sea Day 7 Port Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA Arrive 6:00am DEBARKATION This was a breeze. At 8:00 a.m. we met Luigi (Sabatini's Maitre D') in the Crooners Bar Deck 7 midship, where wheelchair assistance was provided. Luigi was very capable and had the wheelchairs and passengers moving right long. In only 15 minutes we were off, had collected our baggage and were through customs check. Thanks Luigi, well done. CONCLUSION This was a great cruise, even better than the one we had last year on this ship. We really appreciated the elite member benefits, which include complimentary laundry and professional cleaning services, shoe polishing, complimentary mini bar set up, 10% boutique discount, complimentary wine tasting event and more, in addition to the benefits which we enjoyed as platinum members, such as free internet time and Princess Platinum Vacation Protection Upgrade. It really pays to be "Frequent Floaters." While on board, we purchased two more future cruises yet to be determined, so we'll be cruising on Princess as soon we decide the itinerary. For now we look forward to a cruise on Celebrity Eclipse, Dec. 10th. Happy Cruising and best wishes for the coming holidays. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We are a married couple in our 30's and we took my parents along for the ride! My Dad is partially sighted and Mum has mobility problems so I did have concerns about how they would get on being on such a large ship!!! I ... Read More
We are a married couple in our 30's and we took my parents along for the ride! My Dad is partially sighted and Mum has mobility problems so I did have concerns about how they would get on being on such a large ship!!! I needn't have worried- they loved it We arrived at Southampton and was car to ship in half an around hour that's with walking slowly to allow for my Mum. Having been on this ship before it certainly made a difference having a different crowd onboard - there was such a good atmosphere. The only thing in my opinion that let it down was the entertainment, the guest acts were of a poor standard compared to other cruise lines and they repeated all the acts a lot. The food in MDR was very good as was the speciality restaurant. The buffet I felt had limited choice compared to other cruise lines and getting a seat could sometime be a problem but if you're happy to share you get chatting to people and pick up great cruise ideas for future holidays- nothing better than first hand reviews! The service everywhere was of a very high standard and I can't praise our MDR waiters Ricardo an Alan enough! The itinerary was great the scenic cruising amazing! We did ship excursions every day and they were all very good and some of the best excursions I have ever done. We had a balcony cabin which I feel is a must on this cruise and loved sitting out on the light evenings with a glass of wine (it was light up till around midnight!) Stavanger- we did a cruise up the Lysefjord which had stunning scenery and the boat virtually went underneath a waterfall...got a bit wet! I was concerned as the open viewing area was upstairs; however there were side areas on the lower deck to allow for anyone with mobility problems to see the view also. You also have a stop for coffee and waffles. The town had a lovely feel to it and I felt I would have been happy to just wander around and soak up the atmosphere. Olden- probably my favourite port on this cruise but maybe due the excursion we did. We did the hike of the Briksdal Glacier and it was stunning....a word I'm using a lot!!! We booked my parents on a scenic drive of the Nordfjord which they liked but I wish we had taken them with us as there were electric buggies taking people up to the top so they could have managed the last 10 min walk to see the glacier and driven right past the waterfall. They do offer fishing trips here there are also lots of public walkways' so if I go back to this port will opt for doing our own thing rather than an excursion. Hellesylyt/Geiranger - My parents did the Mt Dalsnibba, Stryn lake and Buldrefossen waterfall excursion and this was the highlight of their trip, they loved it! It is a long day but well worth it by all accounts. We however did Kayaking which is a great experience although you didn't see anything different as you kayak up and down the area where your cruise ship sails!!! Bergen- this was probably my least favourite port but only because the others were just so amazing. We did Mt Floein Funicular and city drive. This is probably the only excursion I wouldn't recommend although the views from the top are good; think I may just have gotten a bit spoilt by then from all the astounding scenery and trips throughout this wonderful cruise. The ship areas are all spotlessly clean and the atrium with free pastries makes a good place to sit and chill on returning back on board. The spa is good although no sea views from the Persian garden area which I personally like to have. As always I took my gym stuff and didn't go!!!!..... but I didn't feel bad as we did so much walking throughout this cruise. We were very lucky with the weather and had sunshine throughout, Oldens first nice day since 12th May! We all had a lovely time and definitely got the holiday blues on our return to reality and work etc!! A cruise I cannot recommend highly enough!!! I will definitely cruise this area again and can't wait to book up although will probably go for Celebrity next time, having said that I'm sure we will cruise with Princess again also. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I feel obligated to let you all know my experience on the Crown Princess the week of Feb 12, 2011. As a travel agent, I escorted a small group of eight cabins with people of various ages, cruising experiences, and disabilities. I am ... Read More
I feel obligated to let you all know my experience on the Crown Princess the week of Feb 12, 2011. As a travel agent, I escorted a small group of eight cabins with people of various ages, cruising experiences, and disabilities. I am very disappointed with the experience we had on the Crown Princess. I read many reviews prior to our cruise. I was hoping all along that our experience would be different. It was not. This was very disappointing. I have never wrote a review before and I am a new member. I feel very obligated to tell our experience with this ship and cruise line. I will divide the review by sections. Dining - We chose Anytime Dining. I was advised that we could make reservations for the week for my group only to find out that you can only make reservations one day at a time the day before and because of the size of my group I was given either very early or after 7:00 PM reservations not the 6:30 PM my group wanted. This was very frustrating. There did seem to be a line if you just arrived and requested a table. The food selections were limited. The menu that they had available everyday included fillet medallions which were very low end. Normally we look forward to dinner. There was only a few nights (mainly formal nights) that dinner was worth looking forward to. The lobster was very good. The pork tenderloin was awful. Desserts were just ok. The service in the dining room was hit and miss. The first couple of nights we had terrible service. The wait staff did not understand English very well. They seemed preoccupied with what was going on around the dining room and did not seem to focus on the guests at their table. When we did find a waiter and asst. waiter that we liked, we requested them the remaining nights. This is not how it should be. Everyone should experience good service in the dining room. I don't expect 5 star at budget prices however I expect good service. It was very confusing to figure out who was suppose to take your drink orders etc. because other wait staff would show up at your table other than the traditional waiter and asst. waiter. It would take so long to get drinks refilled that you would end up asking two different people for a drink refill just to hope that one would respond to your request. We enjoyed the Pub Lunch on sea days, it was very good. We also visited the Crown Grill. The food was very good. My fillet was excellent as was the other steak and lobster meals that my party ordered. The main complaint we had about the Crown Grill was it took 3 hours. We did not plan on spending that much time but it seemed that we had to wait 20 minutes for our coffee/tea and then we waited a long time for our check to come at the end of dinner. It was not very crowded that night either so we don't understand what the hold up was. They do tell you in the beginning that everything is freshly prepared so we were patient waiting for appetizers however, there was too much time wasted between the other courses. International Cafe was very nice. I wish they had complimentary beverages available there but the food is very good. The cookies are great and the pastries/donuts/etc. in the AM are very good also. Breakfast buffet was very limited and we found the eggs to be cold. Overall the buffet seemed limited even for lunch. The tables were preset with silverware. Drink service at the tables was okay. There were a few times we had to hunt staff down to clean off table or to retrieve drink orders. We visited the buffet for dinner one night only to find a very long line, only one section open and it was single file. There were no stations. There were pre made salads, the selection was awful, and people were complaining like crazy about the single file line. If you wanted seconds, forget it you had to stand in line another half hour. There really was nothing you would want seconds of. We opted for a late night pizza snack because we left the buffet hungry. I thought the pizza was good, I would have to say better than the other cruise lines we have experienced. Room Stewards - None of my group had any complaints about the room stewards. Most did their job. Nothing outstanding. No towel figures which the children and my first time cruisers would probably have enjoyed. Gratuities - The automatic gratuities are a problem. There is no incentive for good service. We opted to have our gratuities removed so we could reward personally for good service which was few and far between in the dining room. Disappointingly, we eventually found out that even though you personally hand an envelope of money to these people they must turn that in to be put in a pool and divided among everyone. Again, there is NO incentive for good service. The staff that perform poorly get the same amount that the outstanding staff receive. Casino - There were no $5 blackjack tables. This was very disappointing. I asked why and was told that passengers do not want them. I don't believe this. I think that they should have a few available. By the way, it is possible to get $200 from the slot machines without paying a fee. I read a previous post regarding this and I think some people thought you were getting $200 just free period. Free means no 3% surcharge or transaction fee that you would normally pay with ATM or using your card at one of the gaming tables. Shows - The comedians were good and the hypnotist was entertaining. The other shows were not impressive. Wheelchair request - One of my guests requested a wheelchair two days in advance to use in Cozumel. The request was lost by passenger services and the wheelchair was never delivered. I had a meeting with the Maitre D and the Manager of Passenger Services for 45 minutes regarding all of the disappointments we experienced on this sailing. I told them I am embarrassed to have invited my guests on the Princess Crown and I feel I need to apologize to my guests. I should not have to do this. Princess was always rated close to Royal Caribbean in my opinion. Not anymore. I will be personally be sailing Royal Caribbean and will strongly hesitate to recommend Princess to my customers. I hope that my recommendations and complaints were heard at my meeting. That is all I can do. I also thought it was important to write this review. It is harder writing a review than I thought. I hope it is helpful to you all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Embarkation was a breeze, considering we had a 90 year old in a wheelchair...we were whisked right in and were in our rooms within 15 minutes...We had a gentleman help get my dad onto the ship, then a ship attendant took over and brought ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze, considering we had a 90 year old in a wheelchair...we were whisked right in and were in our rooms within 15 minutes...We had a gentleman help get my dad onto the ship, then a ship attendant took over and brought us up to our rooms...they were great!!! the scooter I rented on line was waiting in our room, so that was a plus also. This was our second time on the Crown Princess. I loved it the first time when it was just my wife and me, but this time it seemed that there were not enough public area restrooms...seems you had to search for them when you wereby the pools...and for a man on a scooter, it became a hassle, but otherwise, the ship was great.... The dining staff was the best ever, along with our room attendant, Marie, who went above and beyond also. The food in the dining room was good, most of the time. Once in a while it was great, but not a four star restaurant...the Buffett food has dropped a bit in quality and choices...We were on a Royal Carib cruise this summer and the buffett blew away the food on the Crown Princess...The food on all the cruises has suffered a bit, except maybe for Celebrity. But believe me, we did not starve and many nights walked out of the dining room full. Debarkation was also a breeze, just as embarkation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
On the January 2-9, 2010 cruise, we had a wonderful time despite some inclement weather. It was very relaxing and we had some fun adventures as well. Our family consists of DH, DS - 19, DS - 13 (autistic) and myself. We reserved 2 cabins: ... Read More
On the January 2-9, 2010 cruise, we had a wonderful time despite some inclement weather. It was very relaxing and we had some fun adventures as well. Our family consists of DH, DS - 19, DS - 13 (autistic) and myself. We reserved 2 cabins: one inside and one minisuite. It was our autistic son's choice to do a cruise vacation this year instead of Disney World. We ate most anytime meals in the DaVinci Dining room because the Horizon Court was a little too chaotic and crowded for our younger son. For a couple of morning breakfasts, I ordered our tea, juice and fruit from room service and I went up very early to the HC and brought back some waffles and bagels for us. Normally, at home, we limit soda to one per day for our younger son. However, for this trip we purchased the ultimate soda card for him and he definitely enjoyed his soda, mocktails and many milkshakes during the week. We ate at the Crown Grill twice that week, really enjoying the food and experience. Service was wonderful throughout the cruise. Our cabin steward, Grenny, sometimes needed to come in while we were in the cabin only because we spent most of our time relaxing there. Hotel: We Pricelined two rooms at the Hyatt Place hotel which was full that night. It wasn't ready when we first arrived, but the very busy desk person took our number and promised to call when they were ready, which she did at about 2:30 pm. We ate lunch at a local strip mall sports bar, the Grumpy Gator - not great food, but we were so hungry that we ate it all anyway. After checking in, we took our rental car and drove around, getting a feel of Ft. Lauderdale, which we had never been to before. We did a little shopping for last minute items (sunscreen, bubble bath, etc.) Since it was New Year's Day, some of the restaurants we thought we'd eat dinner at were closed. So we ate some excellent Five Guys burgers and fries at the nearby strip mall. We were kind of excited about the cruise in the morning and had a little trouble settling down for the night. Our biggest surprise was the fire alarm that woke us up at 4 am! Along with the other hotel guests, we exited the hotel while waiting for the fire trucks. Luckily, there was no fire, just someone who smoked in the hotel room. We couldn't get back to sleep, so we decided to drive over to the beach and watch the sunrise. Imagine our luck that we also saw the Crown Princess coming into port! Embarkation: We took the hotel shuttle to the ship and arrived at Port Everglades around 11:30am. We were in group 5 and were on the ship and in our cabins by 12:15pm. Very uncomplicated! We wanted to eat in the dining room rather than the Horizon Court and it took a little while to find a crew member who would tell us were to go, as they were directing everyone to the Horizon Court. Once we found the DaVinci Dining Room, we were treated to a wonderful lunch at a table that was next to a window overlooking Ft. Lauderdale. Preparing for the cruise, I was concerned about how the muster would be for my son. He doesn't do well in crowds or loud noises. I didn't need to worry so much - it was a smooth operation with designated muster stations where we could stake out a less crowded spot since we went down just a few minutes early. Another worry was how to handle the possibility of balloons ruining our cruise since our son is very phobic about them. For this, fellow CC members advice has been very valuable. On the Crown, balloons are put outside cabins for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. Also, there is a balloon drop on the second formal night, which starts being filled in the afternoon. We double-checked this information with the Purser's desk when we stopped by the first day to get room cards for the second rooms. The only balloons that caught us off-guard were those used in the pool games on the first sea day (relay teams blew up balloons and then sat on them to make them pop) and some decorative balloons were in one of the boutiques on a sale day. Teen Club: We registered my autistic son for the teen Remix club the first afternoon. We were able to talk with the staff and orient my son that afternoon, but the club activities started too late that night for us, since we had been up since the fire alarm event at 4 am. My son spent some time playing PS2 games and playing Rockband with some of the other teens. We nervous-Nelly parents were given a pager so we could be notified if he/they needed anything from us. Day at Sea: We're from Wisconsin, so we and a few other fans braved a chilly, windy afternoon to root for the Packers which was showing on the MUTS. First formal night - great food, it was fun to see so many people dressed up. My favorite part was that my family was all dressed up with a wonderful photo to prove it. Grand Cayman: The ship ended up at a port that was about 3 miles from Georgetown. There were plenty of taxis at $5pp to whisk us into town. Our taxi driver showed us how the island is getting rebuilt since Hurricane Ivan as we drove by new construction next to piles of rubble. The water was choppy and murky, so many of the water-based excursions were cancelled. My DS 13 and I ended up finding free Internet at a Subway and shopping. My DH and older son shopped, ate and had a couple of drinks at a local restaurant. On the whole, we found GC pretty expensive. Roatan: When we docked in Roatan, it was pouring rain but by the time we finished breakfast and left the ship, it had stopped raining. We had a private car and driver through Victor Bodden tours. Our driver, Frankie, was very knowledgeable and personable. In my email to Victor Bodden, I mentioned that one son was autistic. Frankie shared with us that one of his sisters was disabled as well. He was especially kind to our son, who had some anxiety issues during the drive around the island. We planned to visit Victor Bodden's zipline and the monkey exhibits. We met Victor, himself. He was wonderful when it became apparent that I couldn't join my son on the zipline and he paired my son up with his son who was just a little older than my son. Just as they completed the first zip, the heavens opened up and it started to pour! My son didn't want to continue ziplining and Victor's son helped him back to the beginning. My husband and older son played a little with the monkeys and then we were back on the tour of Roatan. We ate lunch at Bernie's Creole Cuisine - it was wonderful! At the highest point in Roatan, we stopped for pictures and met a couple of brothers selling trinkets who were my younger son's age. My son now is hoping to be pen pals with them. Cozumel: It was the first warm, sunny day of our trip. Older son and DH rented a beat-up VW and tooled around the island. They really liked the "other side," where there were some quiet, beautiful beaches. Younger son and I rented a brand new subcompact car and went our own way. We found free Internet at a McDonald's, returned to the ship for lunch and then went in search for the Mayan ruin on the island. When we did find it, it was pretty underwhelming - not much more than a pile of rocks in a pyramidish shape. Then we looked for a place for my son to zipline, since it was such a beautiful day. We ended up at Flying High, which wasn't too far from the port. It was twice as much money as the one in Roatan and it was much more out in the open. My son had an anxiety attack when he was climbing the first tower. The guides were quite patient with him, but ultimately he decided that he didn't want to do it after all. Sea Day: second formal night. We dressed up, but didn't have any pictures taken this time. After dinner, DH and I went to the casino because it was a non-smoking night. It had been a long time since I'd been to a casino and I was surprised at all the poker-related tables. Princess Cays: Another beautiful day. An old ankle injury was flaring up for me, so I stayed on the ship while DH took our sons ashore. DH and younger son rented a water bike and had some fun on it. They were back by lunchtime on the ship. Ship activities: I learned how to play bingo by participating in a couple of the bingo tournaments. Our main activities were reading and relaxing, so we didn't see any of the shows or entertainers. I did go to the cooking demonstration and galley tour which was interesting and fun. DH and I did the Maitre'd's wine tasting which was nice, even if some of the explanations ran so long that folks at our table were unsure which wine they were supposed to be tasting. Spa: One night, I treated myself to a massage and facial. It was heavenly! The only downside (and it was expected) was all the up-selling for products and services from the Lotus Spa. Food: We really enjoyed most meals and the only entrEe we had that we would not recommend was the filet medallions that were offered every dinner in the dining room. They were like chewing rubber. DS 13 really liked the fettuccine alfredo and ate is almost every dinner (except at the Crown Grill where they made him a special shrimp appetizer.) the pizza was fantastic and it was pretty quick to get 4 slices and bring them back to our room - generally faster than the room service. I really liked the sushi from Vines. We also treated ourselves to some pastries or gelato from the International Cafe on most afternoons (we were too full from lunch usually to eat the dining room desserts. The last night, we ate at the Crown Grill, watched Star Trek on MUTS and then frantically packed our bags for the EZ check. I did lay out clothes for all of us to wear in the morning and made everyone put Friday's dirty clothes into the checked bags. The next morning, I realized that the jeans I set out for me were not mine and were way too small for me. No pants for me! I can't believe I'm telling you this, but I ended up spending the day at the airport in my jammies! Thank goodness, I didn't pack my nightgown for the trip. So, the moral of the story is to check the sizes of clothes that will be the only ones to wear the next day when you can't get to your bags!! Despite that, the EZ check worked out pretty well as all our bags made it to Milwaukee with us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We needed a quick break and the prices on this cruise were excellent. I had polio as a child and now have difficulty walking due to post-polio problems. We reserved cabin C312 and inside accessible cabin. Since cruise ships are large I ... Read More
We needed a quick break and the prices on this cruise were excellent. I had polio as a child and now have difficulty walking due to post-polio problems. We reserved cabin C312 and inside accessible cabin. Since cruise ships are large I travel with my scooter, a travelscoot. This scooter is very small, weighing only 35 pounds but also very strong, capable of handling ramps easily and has long lasting batteries. We chose to drive to Ft. Lauderdale, about a 12 hour drive from our home in NC. This was almost all interstate driving and we avoided the hassle of air travel. We stayed in Ft. Pierce Fl. for one night on the way to the ship and drove straight home after the cruise. We would consider driving again if we had a cruise from Florida. I wish Princess cruised out of Charleston, SC or Norfolk, Va. Embarkation was easy although we were at pier 21 and parked at the mid-port garage. Princess had lots of shuttles to take us back there after the cruise since we came back into pier 2. The check-in personnel were quick but not overly efficient. Our lady could not figure out how to swipe our card and called another woman for help. Later in the cruise we had to go to the purser's desk to see why our card was declined. It wasn't declined, it was never swiped. The ship is lovely with lots of muted colors and small private area. Everything seemed in good repair EXCEPT the elevators. We never went to a bank of elevators where one was not out of service. As a scooter user I would prefer if elevator use was done at night. The service personnel, both waiters and steward were warm, welcoming and efficient. We chose anytime dining and never waited for a table. We shared tables and also ate by ourselves. We usually ate about 6 PM. We had dinner at both Sabatini's and the Crown Grill. Both were outstanding. We also enjoyed our meals in the dining room although food is very subjective. We especially enjoyed the goat cheese souffle and key lime pie. We were disappointed there were so few dessert souffles this cruise. We found the entertainment to be satisfactory with the best show being that of the hypnotist who was quite entertaining. We had already seen both productions shows on previous cruises and did not repeat them this year. We liked the different acts in the piazza especially the doo-wop group Spank. They were excellent. We played trivia each day and had great fun and lots of laughs. Debarkation was excellent. It was the easiest we have ever done. I did not go to the handicapped area but just drove my scooter off when our color/number was called. As we are platinum we used this lounge and it was quite easy. Thankfully there was no bumping or crowding. The shuttle to the mid-port parking was easy and we were on our way by 9 AM. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
We were worried that Hurricane Ida would ruin our cruise but it didn't. We had received word that our itinerary would be changed which worked out well! Boarding was easy although we arrived right after 10:30 AM and could not board ... Read More
We were worried that Hurricane Ida would ruin our cruise but it didn't. We had received word that our itinerary would be changed which worked out well! Boarding was easy although we arrived right after 10:30 AM and could not board until 12 PM. It was a very pleasant surprise to find our room was ready! We were in a mini-suite on the Dolphin Deck - Cabin 332 which was a nice location. Our room steward, Edwin, was great throughout the whole cruise!! Our cabin was very nice but the bathroom was very small compared to other ships I have been on. There was adequate storage space in the cabin for clothes but the layout with the closet and shelves by the bathroom door was tight- and you had to close the bathroom door to get by. Other than that, our only complaint was no clock in the room. I realize you are not supposed to be on a schedule on a cruise but a clock is a necessity!! The food was good - not outstanding but certainly good. My last cruise was the Celebrity Solstice and it's tough to beat that which was outstanding in every way so I guess I am prejudice! Previous also was the Norwegian Gem whose food was not as good with the exception of the specialty restaurants which were better. The breakfast buffet wasn't as good as other cruises- pancakes were not at all good and waffles were always cold - only flat squares of hash browns which had little taste. We ate at the Crown Grill to celebrate our 35th anniversary. We actually didn't find the food any better than the main dining room (I had lobster tails and my husband had filet Mignon). The sides they served were nothing special. The one thing that does stand out above other cruise ships is the pizza!!! Another problem we noted was the lack of servers at night in the clubs and their poor knowledge of the drink menu. There was one server in Club Fusion during a show with one bartender so you couldn't even go pick up your own drinks. By the pool, the server brought 3 wrong drinks to our party of six. It really depended where you were and at what time. Princess Cays was very nice and we enjoyed our time there. We rented a clam shell which I would highly recommend. we did not use the floats or aqua chair as the water was too cold to stay long in. Our favorite was Grand Cayman where we booked a ship excursion for the dolphins/sting rays. It was wonderful!! However, the picture pick up took so long that we were only left with an hour to shop in town before we had to catch our tender. I could have spent a few more hours there. It was my favorite port. In Roatan, it rained but we did walk around the few shops there. We were docked but then to ship had to move and we waited in the pouring rain for a long time for our tender as it had to wait for a new ship to dock to get around it. Cozumel was nice. Our semisub tour was canceled and we took a private island tour which was okay. We stopped for a drink at a place along the coast but it was dirty and we chose to wait. We had a wonderful lunch in town at Margaritaville which was a highlight of the trip- lots of fun and good food. My friend and I had a spa treatment for Ladies Night Out which was very nice. Princess is very organized with their excursions. We would not hesitate to book Princess again as overall it was very nice! The ship was immaculate and all the staff was very nice! Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
We sailed Crown Princess out of Fr. Lauderdale November 7-14, taking my older (80+) in-laws along, for their first cruise (my wife and I have previously cruised 5 and 4 times, respectively), and found that Princess took wonderful care of ... Read More
We sailed Crown Princess out of Fr. Lauderdale November 7-14, taking my older (80+) in-laws along, for their first cruise (my wife and I have previously cruised 5 and 4 times, respectively), and found that Princess took wonderful care of them. My mother-in-law uses a wheelchair, except for shorter walks, transferring to and from the dinner table, etc., and my father-in-law is gluten intollerant, both of which presented challenges. Princess staff accomodated us very well, in each instance. A wheelchair accessible balcony room was made available to my mother-in-law, and this proved very spacious, and the bathroom set-up was ideal for her needs, including a spacious shower without a rim, and plenty of room to accomodate her chair, as well as a movable ramp for their balcony. Staff were always accomodative to her needs. My only concern was a little confusion as to just who would transport her in the event of an emergency, to her muster station (my wife an I were aft, the in-laws were forward, as far as cabin placement, due to their late decision to join us). We were to ld to contact the steward or the purser, and the steward seemed a little confused about that. Dining accomodation was excellent. Because my father-in-law is restricted on foods, and very hard of hearing, we requested the same table for just the four of us (he would have had difficulty with conversations with a larger number of people), with the same placement, at the same time, for all seven nights. The maitre' de was very obliging, on the first night, and arranged the same table near a window for the duration, with the same waiters (so we wouldn't have to explain his status each night). Both our waiter (Ferdinand) and his assistant (Nemesio) were wonderful and accomodative, once they learned of his status. Beginning the second night, they brought him gluten-free bread each meal, and each night, either the head waiter or Ferdinand would bring him the next night's menu, so he could decide ahead of time what he would like, and they would arrange gluten-free preparation or suggest an alternative, if this was not possible. Be forewarned: to bring this about, we had notified the line well in advance of his restrictions, both on the web site and by faxing a letter, as the web site requests, to the appropriate personnel at Princess. Both my in-laws raved about the food, as well as the service we received. My wife and I found it very good, as well. With the stringent economy, I've noticed minor cut-backs, like 4 courses instead of 5, lately, and lobster accompanied by prawns (to reduce extra helpings, I assume), but still feel that with the service and cuisine, that is a small sacrifice to make. To be honest, when I read reviews where people complain about the quality of food, whether in the main dining rooms (i've not used the specialty dining rooms.), the breakfast or lunch service, or the buffet, and note by the date and ship that we were on the same cruise, I often wonder whether or not they were in a bizzaro dimension (to use a Superman analogy). For what we paid, we were easily satisfied, overall, with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
I am overcome by jet-lag, and am drinking a pina colada made with blackstrap rum, but I shall do my best to convey how fabulous our trip on the Crown Princess truly was. An idea, first, of our group. My sister (who is an experienced ... Read More
I am overcome by jet-lag, and am drinking a pina colada made with blackstrap rum, but I shall do my best to convey how fabulous our trip on the Crown Princess truly was. An idea, first, of our group. My sister (who is an experienced cruiser, and who had handled much of the arranging of this huge undertaking) and her friend from work, my aunt and uncle (in their late 60's or so, and who are quite experienced cruisers though this was their first time on Princess), my brother and sister-in-law (with their two sons ages 3 1/2 and 5, none of whom had ever cruised before), my mom and step-dad (who had never cruised before), and my boyfriend and I (who were also cruise noobs). Also, please note that I tend to be a raging misanthrope, and the idea of being trapped at sea with 3200 other people was striking a touch of terror into my blackened little heart. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale on March 1st, most of us, and since it was rather late at night, went directly (via complimentary shuttle) to the Hyatt Place North. This completely non-smoking property had incredibly comfortable beds, huge TVs, free wi-fi, and a lovely free breakfast in the morning. They also had a complimentary shuttle to Port Everglades, and got the 10 of us there in plenty of time to meet up with the last two of our party before embarkation. Once meeting up and giving our bags over to the porters, we hopped into the line. We joined the line at 12:01pm and were in our rooms by 12:30, even allowing for time to have our embarkation photo taken. It would have been even faster if there hadn't been quite such a large group of us (and Mom in a wheelchair for this bit due to a serious car accident a little over a year ago). Quite organized and quick embarkation, from what we could tell. We were all up on Baja deck with balcony rooms. Three of them were next to each-other, and they all opened up the partitions to have one giant balcony. The rooms had plenty of space, loads of storage, and the balconies were completely covered, which meant we didn't have to worry about any detritus falling from party-goers on upper decks. Some people complain about the showers being too small, but despite neither my BF nor I being skinny midgets, we had absolutely zero problems with either the size of the shower or being attacked by the shower curtain (even when showering with the bathroom door open). Half of us had the wonderful Rosa (from Mexico) as our Cabin Stewardess, and the other half had Edmundo (from the Philippines) as their Cabin Steward. I think we were all equally happy. Edmundo got the room with the little ones, and made them various towel animals during the cruise, including a monkey hanging from on of the hangers that had clips! Rosa was fabulous for us, and made sure that we wanted for nothing. We even left love notes with Post-Its on the mirror for her, and she responded in kind. She and Edmundo were always smiling and laughing, despite the incredibly long hours they work (on the last night, Rosa told us that she was done working at 10pm and back on at 5am the next morning!). We (my BF and I) found a certificate from my sister for a Balcony Champagne Breakfast waiting for us in our mailbox when we arrived to the room, which was an awesome surprise. We went in, oohed and aahed, did a little nesting, and then went down to the Piazza to get our Coffee Card, Soda Sticker, and a couple of raffle tickets. We then went up to Lotus Spa to take the tour of the spa and fitness center, and then it was back to the room to get a little snack from room service (so quick, even on Embarkation Day!) before Muster Drill (ours was in Princess Theater). Zipped through through that, and then headed to the aft open decks for sailaway. It's amazing to see how many residents of that area come out of their homes or on to their balconies to see us off. Some even had signs and banners up, and all were waving away like mad. Met a couple of people from here on deck as well, and then met up with most of the family in the Horizon Court for a nibble at the seafood buffet. When we got back to our cabin, our luggage had arrived and been brought in, so a bit more nesting was done. Because there were so many of us, with different ages, experiences, and goals for the vacation, we were able to experience a whole lot of different things. The only time we all sat down together for dinner was one night in the Crown Grill, and let me tell you, it was TOTALLY worth every single cent you pay ($25pp). They were accommodating with the young boys, bringing spaghetti for them (and bringing it early in the meal so that they wouldn't get totally bored) instead of making them choose something off of the rather adult normal menu. The service was impeccable, the food was astonishingly good, and the desserts...well, I'll just tell you that you should get the dessert sampler AND the three berry cobbler. You really don't want to miss a thing. (And if anyone can find a way to get me one of those adorable little crocks that the sampler size of Chocolate Obsession comes in, I'd be eternally grateful. I was quite restrained in not just sticking it in my purse.) My boyfriend and I were mostly nonplussed at our few Dining Room meals, as the service wasn't quite as nice as we would have liked (nor as nice as we saw other people getting). One evening, the hostess practically pelted our napkins into our laps. Guess she was having a bad day. Still, we liked the option of Anytime Dining, and none of the others had any complaints that we heard. Room service was always prompt and happy to fulfill any special requests we had. The buffets were great as well. I didn't find them to be chaotic, as some people here have said, and the food was really well done. The specialty nights in Cafe Caribe were great, especially the Bavarian Feast. We even tried something (by mistake, no less) that turned out to be a food revelation, and so I will tell you all: if you see the chocolate ginger cake being offered, TRY IT!!! International Cafe has friendly service, delicious coffee, and freshly-made donuts in the morning that are to die for. I was able to speak briefly with the Executive Sous Chef on board, and he had a lot of interesting things to say. He's been cruising for 14 years (8 with NCL, and now 6 with Princess), and he says that he actually likes Princess better. They give him the money he needs to get goof food, and when I asked him about the cutbacks and "Carnivalization" of the cuisine on Princess, he says, "Absolutely not. In fact, rather than cutting back, they're spending MORE." So there you have it, from a man who ought to know. Ultimate Balcony Dining: My BF and I did both the dinner and the breakfast. I'll start with dinner ($100/couple). If you hate being waited on hand and foot, if you hate LOADS of delicious food, if you hate incredibly competent service, free photos, and a gorgeous table set-up complete with flower arrangement and lantern for ambiance (since they don't do candles on the ship)...if you hate all of these things, DO NOT do Ultimate Balcony Dinner. Seriously. You'll be so mad when they show up right on scheduled time with cocktails and canapes. You'll be livid when you see how gorgeous your balcony looks, and when the photographer shows up to capture you in such a lovely setting. You will absolutely FROTH at the level of excellence in service, and the stunning taste of the food will make you so angry that you'll want to either fling it overboard or rub it in your hair. Especially the dessert (quinelles of mousseline, which are to die for). If you weren't rabid enough, wait until they bring cookies and maybe even fresh fruit for you to have with your champagne! We *did* have other things we wanted to do that evening, but after *three hours* of being pampered, we had to call in Fat. There was so much food that we even wound up bringing some of the fruit and most of the cookies down to the rest of the gang, who were out on their balcony playing cards. Breakfast is a bit more reserved. Your order is taken 24 hours in advance, the same with dinner. If there's anything on the set menu that doesn't agree with you (quiche lorraine, not so much for us), just mention it and they'll ask you how you'd like to substitute. They show up right on time with your breakfast, pastries, fruits, coffee, juice, and champagne, and then leave you to your own devices. Much less in-your-face than the dinner, but definitely appropriate. I couldn't handle that kind of service when I was barely awake. Sea Days: Lazy and wonderful. There were so many things to do, and yet we never felt like we absolutely had to do any of it. Pub Lunches in the Wheelhouse were delicious. The Mr. Sexy Legs contest by the pool was completely ridiculous and hilarious. We all found ways to enjoy ourselves. My uncle, who's been a professional musician for decades, brought his flute along, and got to sit in with the band in the Wheelhouse, and they liked him so much they invited him back for a second set! Princess Pop Star: A lovely experience. I qualified on the night of the first heat, and so many people came up to me during the cruise to wish me luck that really, I felt like I had already won (even though I didn't take first prize). They treated us like stars on the final night, keeping us in a VIP area, doing post-song interviews on the camera for all to see, and feeding us champagne. I definitely recommend it to anyone but the snotty. The snotty need not apply. It's too much fun for those who can't have a good time. Chef's Table: We were lucky enough to have Alfredo Marzi, Corporate Executive Chef for the whole cruise line, on board with us to conduct our Chef's Table. Apparently, he's only on the ship once a year, so it was a really nice thing for us. The food was exquisite, the wine was amazing, and again, the service was extraordinary. Once again, totally worth the extra money paid ($75/pp). They don't advertise this much on the ship, so I advise you to call and try to get on the list as soon as you board. The ship: She is gorgeous, and the crew keeps her absolutely spotless at all times. We didn't find the layout too awful challenging, even with my mother using two canes, as the elevators were never that long in coming and all seemed to be in working order. The recent drydock got her new carpets and tiles, as well, so everything was gleaming. We didn't attend the shows, so I can't speak to those. The Thermal Suite is really nice, but only buy the week-long pass if you're going to use it more than once! My brother used the fitness center every morning, and thought it was awesome. The Sanctuary was very peaceful, but also really deserted on the day my BF and I were there. Don't know about any of the other days. All in all, it was a wonderful experience for all of us. We got to see dolphins and flying fish as we were getting close to Grand Turk, and we spent a LOT of time on our balcony just marveling at the gorgeous views. I never ever felt too crowded, and felt more relaxed after being "trapped with 3200 people" than I usually do after spending time at home with minimal company. The Princess Pelicans program was great for the two young ones, and the people working there were very vigilant over their charges. We LOVE the Crown, both the experienced cruisers in our group and the cruising novices like myself. My boyfriend and I are already looking at what our next voyage will be! 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Sail Date February 2009
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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