First off, let me mention that this cruise was wholly chartered by Air Miles Canada and we didn’t pay a dime for it. On board were approximately 1000 collectors and their guests, as well as partner personnel and Air Miles employees who ... Read More
First off, let me mention that this cruise was wholly chartered by Air Miles Canada and we didn’t pay a dime for it. On board were approximately 1000 collectors and their guests, as well as partner personnel and Air Miles employees who had won the cruise. Needless to say, our experience was likely different as we did not have an international crowd, nor did we actually pay for the Crown Princess’ services in any way, shape or form.
- Food: We thought that the menu was diverse enough and well executed (they always got our cooks just right). They had theme nights going at the buffet, what with Italian, Mexican or “Oriental” food being served. The dining rooms followed those themes but often with a more refined twist. We honestly don’t understand why anyone would opt for the speciality restaurants, as steak, seafood and pasta was available on every dining room’s menu and in the buffet every single night. Contrary to what others have been posting, we never felt like butter in the dining room was being rationed in any way, there being three or four pats on the table even when we sat just by ourselves.
- Service/overall staff: While we felt like some of the crew really didn’t want to be there (some of them were at the end of their contract, which is understandable), we were overall very satisfied with the staff and the services received throughout our cruise, and even those that seemed less enthused were kind enough to offer a “good morning.” Bar staff was fantastic even at happy hour, and dirty plates were promptly removed from your table as soon as you were done, even at busier hours. There were rarely any glasses or plates lying around unattended; if so, it wasn’t for very long until a bus-boy scooped everything up and out of sight.
- Entertainment: Even on port days, there was always something to do on the ship. Air Miles and the cruise staff had prepared a boatload (no pun intended) of activities to keep us occupied and on our feet on sea days. The shows were all great, from the Broadway-style production “Encore,” to the hilarious stand-up comedian Phil Tag, all the way down to bar flair in the Piazza. Trivia was on every day, twice a day, and the questions were totally challenging; one YouTuber recently complained that the production was shoddy (awkwardly-made PowerPoints and paper answer sheets), but we didn’t feel like this affected our experience negatively in any way, shape, or form.
- Ship: While it didn’t negatively impact our cruise in any way, mainly because we’ve witnessed much, much worse in terms of travel arrangements, we felt like the Crown Princess was getting tired. There wasn’t much attention to detail going on aesthetically-speaking, in the sense that there were a lot of scratches, scuff marks and stained shower grout in the staterooms, and some water spots on the ceilings of some of the public areas. We felt like everything was pretty sound, but it lacked the shine and polish that a cruise line that markets itself as “premium” should be putting into its ship. Other than that, we loved the “Love Boat” feel that was going on in the decorations; that being said, we aren’t big fans of the modern aspect some cruise lines (ex. Celebrity) have been turning towards, and much prefer the more traditional feel.
- Room service: We honestly only used this once on our stay, and it was to order the pre-paid bottle of spirits that we had ordered. It took a good hour to get someone on the line, and then another 30 minutes before someone came by our room to drop the bottles off. I’m not sure why they just don’t deliver the bottles to your room prior to the cruise, like they do the water bottles.
- Prices: Almost 7$ USD for a bottle of Budweiser is just an absolute ripoff. The drinks packages are also very expensive, at almost 70$ USD a night, which means that you have to drink the equivalent of a 12-pack of ship-priced beer every night to make the whole thing worth it.
- Disembarkation: Not much to say on this other than, there’s absolutely nothing like the feeling or being herded off a ship like cattle once the cruise is over. While everything went smoothly, they could have made an effort to make you feel a little less like they wanted you gone so that they can get the next paying customers onboard.
- Cozumel: We didn’t do any excursions in Cozumel seeing as my wife is pregnant and we wanted to minimize the risk of zika, so we opted for a taxi to downtown to stock up on tequila and vanilla at Los Cinco Soles. The whole downtown strip is a huge garage sale, with shop employees just peddling out on the street and almost pushing you into their store. We weren’t turned off by the whole thing but we felt that it was pretty intense. Otherwise, 2$ beers aren’t anything to be sad about.
- Princess Cays: Such a beautiful, relaxing place. We loved it here; nothing else to add!
All in all, we loved our experience and look forward to sailing with Princess again. Read Less