4 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Europe - British Isles & Western

We traveled on the Crown Princess British Aisles Cruise mainly due to it's itinerary. It was our introduction to the British Aisles and my wife and I traveled with our next door neighbors. Let me preface this review in stating that we ... Read More
We traveled on the Crown Princess British Aisles Cruise mainly due to it's itinerary. It was our introduction to the British Aisles and my wife and I traveled with our next door neighbors. Let me preface this review in stating that we are Royal Caribbean regulars and are making most of our comparisons based on that. We arrived two days earlier at Heathrow and our United flight arrived 1/2 hour early around 9 pm, I was worried that our 'Shared Arrival Transfer London Airport to Hotel' booked via Trip-Advisor wouldn't be there but he was (they keep on-top of arrival info, so make sure your Flight info is updated before you fly). Even though it was a shared transport we were his only fare arriving at 9:30 pm and with little traffic at that time we checked in to the Park Plaza Victoria (which is a great hotel near Buckingham Palace) by 10:30pm. We planned to try to cram in as many highlights of London in one day as we could but realistically settled on doing the Tower of London at 9 am (it took 2-hours minimum), Westminster Abbey at noon and The Staterooms at Buckingham Palace. We purchased a Oyster card for Tube travel and began at 9 am opening at the Tower (by the time we were leaving lines to see the crown Jewels were over a hour wait so make a bee-line there first) make sure you purchase your tickets from: https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/#gs.zywwgy before you arrive otherwise the lines for tickets will take some time. Of the three we thought the Abbey was the highlight. We pre-purchased reserved seats (reserved for an extra 3-pounds each) for 10 am on National Express bus from Victoria Coach station (.6 minute walk from the Park Plaza Victoria) to Southampton Coach Station for $13.50 each one way. Note that as we were getting on our bus the Princess Bus Transportation was loading right next to us. When we arrived in Southampton at noon we immediately got a taxi to the cruise ship for 8 pounds. Embarkation using the Medallions was quick and we were on board by 1:30pm. This is a port intensive cruise with only two at sea days so we chose anytime dining because of the late sale-away times. We didn't want to be tied to a set dinner time. With the ship off a refresh dry dock in 2018 I was surprised by the state of disrepair we noticed around the ship. Vinyl applique sheets peeling off elevator surfaces, numerous dents on hallway walls, Tile baseboards held in place by caulk in numerous public bathrooms, two drawer fronts came off when opening in our stateroom. All small items but they all add up to create a sense that quality workmanship & maintenance are not a high priority Didn’t think much of the common areas in the ship, it had a closed in small feel with very few views of the ocean. The main Piazza area was only three stories high and had very little room to watch entertainment. Typical shops jewelry, watches, overpriced souvenirs, lacking any sundries shopping that you might have forgotten to pack. Photo services lacked any creativity, probably due to lack of any open spaces to take them. Entertainment was hit or miss, enjoyed the comedians, magician (card tricks), band that played every night, Thought the stage shows were lacking, they don’t come close to the quality found on Royal Caribbean ships, we watched for the first 10-15 minutes and gave up. Food in the main dining room was good nothing outstanding. Many of the meals were very small portioned, my cocoa pork loin while probably the best tasting dish on the cruise was five bite sized pieces. Shrimp cocktail has the smallest shrimp I’ve ever seen, formal night lobster tails were small and dry. Every night we’d get recommendations of 1-2 dishes to avoid from wait staff , that’s never happened before (clue get rid of dishes that don’t work). Wait staff for the most part were amazing in all venues. The Horizon Court buffet was also good, nothing outstanding, hard to find seats during breakfast especially on sea days. Over easy eggs on the egg station were either over hard or often cold, scrambled eggs had an odd taste leaving the only way to get a good egg dish was thru the omelet station. Free coffee only available in dining rooms were brewed weak. No free coffee or tea at the International Café (free coffee and always available on Royal Caribbean ships similar venues). International café had a great selection of salads snacks, pressed sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, cookies, deserts and a Gelato station charging 3-scoops for $3.50. Best Pizza I’ve had on a cruise, Salta Dog Grille, on Lido Deck poolside, burgers and dogs were good, offered signature Ernesto Burger for $5 or the Ernesto w/Beer for $8 (no brainer since a bottle of beer was $6.75). We booked the Princess transfer to Heathrow which was the lest expensive and most worry free way of departing. We disembarked at 9:15 am buss departed the port at 10:15 and arrived at Heathrow at 11:30am for a 3:30pm flight. Our travel companions had a 1:30pm flight and disembarked the ship at 6:15am. Overall my main reason for booking this cruise was for the ports. While I was hoping for more (we all do), what I received was a decent cruise on a aging ship. Princess needs to pull a page from Royal Caribbean’s playbook and treat every ship like it’s our best ship, staying on top of maintenance, providing the best in entertainment, amaze us with great food venues. If Royal had offered the same itinerary, I would have cruise with them hands down. Again I was hoping for more, I wanted to be wowed, I could have been a convert to Princess. Maybe all princess ships aren’t the same but I don’t want to waste another vacation hoping for more. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive ... Read More
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive review of our experience. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Both went smoothly. We purchased EZ Air, took a transfer from Heathrow to Southampton and were in our cabin by 11:30 am. However, unless you're at sea for a couple of days and you can rest up, I'd recommend staying overnight in London for a night or two; otherwise you miss the first day or so while catching up on sleep, because the sea/ocean air will make you relax anyway. Cabins: We upgraded this cruise and have stayed mostly in balcony and mini-suite cabins. They appear to be larger than other cruise line cabins. I agree with some comments they could do with a face lift, but beds are comfy and otherwise ok.If you are not used to Princess cabins, they have US outlets and it's a good idea to bring an outlet strip. Dining: My favorite place for breakfast is Horizon Court because of variety and quality. My husband likes Int'l Cafe because that's where they have the best coffee. Lunch is good in HC, too. Dinner we had in MDR. Agree, some of the choices are not the best - and too much beef, but we always found something on the menu we liked. I tried the Regional choices many days. Chocolate Journey desserts were yummy. Didn't try the specialty restaurants this time. Room service was good and quick, but menu needs an update. Activities & Entertainment: Kevin Tugwell was CD. He's ok, as are his staff, but the multiple (sometimes back-to-back) evening trivia and game shows became soooooo annoying and frustrating because that was often the only so-called entertainment that evening. The worst was when they attempted some amateur dramatics - we walked out. The cruise staff shouldn't be your entertainment in the Explorers Lounge. We did enjoy Voice of the Ocean/Karaoke - great talent on this cruise. Princess Orchestra is fantastic. Guest entertainers we liked were Michael Harrison (ventriloquist) - had the audience in stitches; George Casey and Ricky Jay (comedians); Jasson Allen (singer) and Johan Andersoon (singer). Ella also did a great job of Irish singing one evening in Princess Theater. Princess Singers and Dancers were ok. Liked the first two shows, had seen Encore before and walked out of Magic To Do - so boring. The local Folklore Dancers and Singers were mediocre - have seen and heard much better. XCite was a new band that boarded our ship and played most evenings in the Piazza - really enjoyed them. Because of cooler weather, didn't see any MUTS movies, nor were there any deck parties. Couple of piazza/balloon efforts. They had a few Zumba classes (free), but at odd times of the day. Service & Staff: We found the staff to be mostly friendly and helpful. They had a few issues with TVs on this cruise, partly because of the introduction of the Medallion. Both were competing for the internet, but they had an expert board the ship in Dublin and the issues seemed to improve after that. Medallion Class: This was new to the ship and there were a few hiccups, but generally it was quite well accepted. We've used it on other ships and it's fine when it's operating smoothly. Other Passengers: Typically, majority of passengers were from the US, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, and the UK/Ireland. We also had a tour of passengers from Mexico City. However, all communications are in English, so you really need to have someone fluent in English in your party; otherwise you'll miss a lot. Not sure how many people really read the daily Princess Patter, as the Captain got quite annoyed with the bad behavior of a few passengers. Ports & Tours: The selection of ports was great. At 2-3 ports, reps from the local Tourist Office were available in the Piazza to answer questions and provide maps/directions. I did a couple of self-directed tours on this trip. For example, in Cobh (pronounced Cove), I visited St. Colman's Cathedral. It was on a steep hill, but well worth the visit. Absolutely gorgeous and a couple of our passengers had written in the Visitors Book that they had emigrated to the US from Cobh over 60 years ago. In Liverpool, it was pouring down, but I dressed warmly and visited the two cathedrals there. While at the Catholic cathedral, I witnessed a christening. Most people had the sense to take the Hop On Hop Off buses, but I walked all the way. The Easy Loch Tour was a bit disappointing. It was a bus ride around the lakes and mountains. We did stop at Luss by Loch Lomond and saw a bride. In general, I think it's time to change up some of the tours offered and they are expensive, but guarantee you won't miss the ship - that is, unless you miss the deadline to get back to your bus. That happened on two of my tours. We had to leave without one couple and on the other one we waited longer than we should and the tour guide was really annoyed with them. More people are going for independent tours, but I noticed a lot of people were very late embarking the ship at Invergordon and they were on independent, not ship's tours. The Captain also made it clear in Edinburgh that we wouldn't wait for any late comers. Weather/What to Wear: Even for end of July/early August, the weather was a little cool. It was best to wear 3 layers - Tshirt, thin sweater or sweatshirt and a jacket - during the day. Evenings, they request passengers wear "smart casual" clothes and 2-3 evenings we had formal wear. Unfortunately, some people don't/won't understand the meaning of smart. We enjoyed this cruise overall, but maybe we have an advantage because we have sailed so many times with Princess, we know what to expect and how to get around any issues that arise. We did complete the survey after the end of the cruise and we know the corporate staff at Princess read Cruise Critics. I try to be honest, but fair. We've booked our next cruise on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Always wanted to do a British Isles cruise and the itinerary and dates worked well for us. We arrived one day early to Southampton and stayed at the Harbour Hotel and Spa--which I highly recommend. We did exploring around Southampton ... Read More
Always wanted to do a British Isles cruise and the itinerary and dates worked well for us. We arrived one day early to Southampton and stayed at the Harbour Hotel and Spa--which I highly recommend. We did exploring around Southampton which was fun--turns out Southampton is nicer and more up-to-date than what I had imagined! Embarkation went great--got right on and bought my coffee card. I do wish Princess would find an alternative to the current method of keeping track--key card/medallion. I preferred the physical punch card. Our stateroom was C743--great balcony, really enjoyed it. Anytime dining went well, did have to wait a few times but it really wasn't a very long wait. Did make us appreciate Traditional Dining a little more in that you seem to have the more experienced servers there. There were several times when the hostess from Anytime Dining would walk us to Boticelli Dining room and we got to experience the service there. Overall the service onboard was good. We enjoyed the ports and our excursions but were not at all happy with how pricey they were. Seems like Princess has started to increase their rates and are definitely playing the game that hotels and airlines are playing--increasing the prices as time goes on. Disembarkation went great. We would go to this area again on our own and would only do this cruise again once we've gotten many more cruises under our belt. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Went with Princess to Hawaii 5 years ago and have been on Celebrity and Holland and America. I actually win this cruise, so was looking forward to it as it was going to places I wouldn't have chosen if I was booking a cruise. ... Read More
Went with Princess to Hawaii 5 years ago and have been on Celebrity and Holland and America. I actually win this cruise, so was looking forward to it as it was going to places I wouldn't have chosen if I was booking a cruise. It got off to a bad start due to IT problems and then when we finally started to set sail circa 6 hours late the ship had to cock back up to deal with A medical emergency for a crew member. We arrived in Zeebrugge on the Sunday morning, a little later than expected, however passengers were not allowed to leave the ship due to immigration, all nationalities bar British and European had to present themselves on the ship with passports and eventually British and Europeans were allowed to leave and an hour or so later all other nationalities, this however, cut short everyone's time in port. Next onto Copenhagen, no immigration problems here and a great day was enjoyed until we got back on ship and an announcement was made that instead of leaving port at 3.00 a.m. To travel to Helsingborg in Sweden, the ship would be staying put as the seas would be too rough to tender in, so the contingency was to stay put in Copenhagen for a further day. Why didn't princess have contingency plans to dock further up the Swedish coast and bus guests into Helsingborg? Instead of which we never got to visit Sweden Whilst in Copenhagen, Norwegian immigration joined the ship and all nationalities bar, British and European had to attend for interview, so they would be allowed to enter Norway. Why did this happen? Who knows, I have never known anything like this on cruises befor Booked the Crown Grill at a cost of $58, well don't bother, bad form the start when we waited ten minutes just to get acknowledged at the entrance. Service very slow, and hour and a half before we got anywhere near a main course! When mains were served the wrong steaks were given to the wrong person and as mine didn't have the jus and I didn't want it, mine had to go back. New steak arrived and I could have soled my shoes with it. Never got asked if we wanted more wine. Complained to both the Matrie D and the Head waiter and all we got was thank you for your feedback and they still charged ue in full. Complete fiasco in the casino with a punter pushing and shoving everyone on the roulette out of the way to get her bets on. Croupier and table manager did and said nothing but I did. Ended up in handbags at dawn with the Casino Manager asking this lady to move to another table but she didn't and he did nothing more. I spoke with him the following day and expressed my dissatisfaction and told him the money obviously talks and she wasn't removed due to the amount she was putting in the tables. He told me that he had watched the CCTV and that he had looked for me to apologise and that she had been spoken to, but she should have been banned from the casino in my opinion Charged for drinks in our bill, when we had a drinks package, went to the front desk and the lad couldn't raise a smile, apologise or even speak with me, he just pressed a few buttons and printed off a new copy of our bill with it removed and when I told him that a smile wouldn't go a miss he sarcastically grinned at me Great staff in the smoking lounge in the casino (Luka) and both Sydney and Grace in the Crooners bar. Food not as good, with the steak on the staple menu in the dining room been replaced with a burger, for dinner in a restaurant setting? On another Celebrity cruise in a couple of weeks and looking forwar to it, as food and overall experience much better Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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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