9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Embarkation at Seattle: Easy. Line always kept moving. Room was ready when we got there. Service: Exceptional. I’m not one who usually goes for being “pampered,” but I felt like a king (or a prince since this is Princess ... Read More
Embarkation at Seattle: Easy. Line always kept moving. Room was ready when we got there. Service: Exceptional. I’m not one who usually goes for being “pampered,” but I felt like a king (or a prince since this is Princess Cruises?). Our steward was helpful and always seemed to be around…but never hovered. Wait staff was amiable and professional. Top notch all around. Food: Ranged from average to excellent. Two great meals in the Crown Grill (loved the filet mignon!) and had good food in the MDR (hello salmon! And I’m still having dreams about you, Fettuccine Alfredo!). Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe was standard buffet food, pretty much what I expected (how ‘bout some berries in the morning, please?). And what’s with the nickel and dime charge for gelato at the International Cafe? It’s good, but not worth paying extra. We did Anytime Dining because we didn't want to stick to a rigid schedule. Well, we learned it really should be called "Anytime Dining but reservations highly encouraged!" So, we decided what time we wanted eat dinner in the morning and made a quick call to the Dine line for reservations. Facilities: Loved all the open areas, walking around the Promenade Deck, Skywalkers Lounge, Terrace pool area. The piazza is beautiful. Most of the time, the ship never felt crowded (and that’s good because I’m not a “crowds” person). Some issues finding seating in Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe at peak times (mainly from people taking up tables who weren't actually eating). Onboard Activities: Alaska is so port-intensive, we were sometimes too tired. But we did go to several performances (“Magic to Do” musical and 70’s music show) and liked them. Tried our hand at trivia…fun time. Attended the culinary demo and galley tour…fascinating. Watched the finale of “Voice of the Ocean”—some talented passengers on board! Ports: Juneau--ate at Tracy's King Crab Shack, did Harv & Marv's whale watching, and went to Mendenhall Glacier. Skagway--did Frontier Excursion's Yukon Discovery Tour. Glacier Bay scenic cruising--AMAZING! Ketchikan--Island Wings Misty Fjords flightseeing tour. Victoria BC--took the shuttle bus and walked around downtown. Found something to love in each of the ports! Disembarkation at Seattle: bit of zoo, but I guess that’s usual? We did Express Walk Off and would do it again. As first-time cruisers, we weren't sure what to expect. We loved it! Will definitely cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
We had a inside cabin in the Emerald deck. Room was very clean and well kept during our entire cruise. Rodney did a wonderful job. By the way, this was our first cruise. We did not know what to expect, but our vacation planner helped ... Read More
We had a inside cabin in the Emerald deck. Room was very clean and well kept during our entire cruise. Rodney did a wonderful job. By the way, this was our first cruise. We did not know what to expect, but our vacation planner helped us with every aspect of our planning. She was a great help. White the exception of one waitress in Sabatini's, the wait staff everywhere on the ship was superb. If you dined in the evening Micheal Angelo's was the place to dine. They have a different kitchen than the other two restaurants and the same food is cooked much better. We found that out the first night of our cruise. Every dinner cooked just right and the staff was wonderful. The excursions were well worth the cost. We did the Alpine Zipline and Mendenhall glacier. It was one price for both. The Vines wine bar staff was terrific and wine selection was well priced. The drink package is well worth the extra cost if you are a wine drinker as we are. Lotus spa has many services at reasonable cost. It took us less than 20 minutes from getting out of our van at the port to our room on the ship. They have this procedure down to a science. Everyone was very helpful. Disembarkation went the same. From the time we walked off the ship until we got into the cab was less then 15 minutes. Glacier Bay by itself was worth the whole trip. What a place to see. Awsome experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
Wow! As first time cruisers we did not know if we would enjoy cruising (we love the freedom to roam), but wanted to see Alaska by ship. I must say this was one of the few vacations where the experience exceeded our expectations. ... Read More
Wow! As first time cruisers we did not know if we would enjoy cruising (we love the freedom to roam), but wanted to see Alaska by ship. I must say this was one of the few vacations where the experience exceeded our expectations. Alaska is breathtakingly beautiful and the ports fun & interesting. Everything about our cruise was fantastic. We got a mini-suite with a balcony because we knew the scenery would be gorgeous and it did not disappoint. We were lucky too - the weather was awesome our week - we loved spending time on our balcony. We were on the Dolphin deck - D223 - our stateroom was spacious with a huge closet and plenty of storage - lots of room to stretch out with a long sofa and chair in the living area. Our bed was very comfortable, slept like babies. Our room steward, Ador, could read our minds! He anticipated our needs and was so polite and kept our room spotless; we tipped him generously. The food was outstanding, with the exception of Sabbatini's (it was just ok). My husband and I felt like we were on a date every night - going out to fancy restaurants and then onto shows. The comedian, Carlos Oscar, was by far the best, but we enjoyed everything. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. For $20 per person, we let Princess handle our luggage - we didn't see it again from outside our cabin until we arrived in Knoxville. That made traveling so easy. I highly recommend this cruise! We can't wait to do another one now. One tip: if you buy a drink package, we noticed the wait staff was a little slow to bring drinks, but if you just tip $1 or $2, they will give you great service. Read Less
Sail Date: May 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: April 2015
My family really enjoy this trip form the very beginning. I'd love to thanks every one who met us in Airport and transported to the Hotel and then to the Ship- it was welcome, pleasant, well organised and easy ( my granddaughter 2.5 ... Read More
My family really enjoy this trip form the very beginning. I'd love to thanks every one who met us in Airport and transported to the Hotel and then to the Ship- it was welcome, pleasant, well organised and easy ( my granddaughter 2.5 years old travel with us ). Balcony Cabin with Spectacular view , excellent service our Stuart, Magnificent Food, Incredible Entertainments , selection of any possible activities for any age groups- we never get enough and never get bored - it was Seven Heaven ! All Princes Crew hard working Team made this trip for us unbelievable!!! Thanks for your Royal Service - We feel like Crown Princesses!!! We definitely looking forward yo plan ours next trip . Podlegaev Family, Vancouver . All the best !!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our first cruise ever, and we were generally pleased with it. We knew several other couples who had done the Princess cruise to Alaska, and none had complaints, so we never even considered another cruise line. Our total vacation ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever, and we were generally pleased with it. We knew several other couples who had done the Princess cruise to Alaska, and none had complaints, so we never even considered another cruise line. Our total vacation was 3 days in Vancouver before the cruise, 7 days on the ship, 5 days of Princess cruisetour on land, and then 3 days, mostly in Seward. The 3 days in Vancouver before embarkation was just about the right amount of time. We stayed at the Landis, a suite hotel, and there are many small restaurants within walking distance. We rented bikes to go around Stanley Park,and also went to the Aquarium, the Capilano suspension bridge and the Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden. We went to Vancouver Island and Butchart Gardens on a previous trip, so skipped it this time. Cruise embarkation was as slow as other reviewers have reported, but we finally made it on. The weather was warm and sunny as we sailed from Vancouver, and after exploring the ship a little, we settled on our balcony with the wine we had brought on board and watched the city slip away. Our cabin was spic and span and, although small, there is adequate storage space for everything. Our steward came in at least twice a day to clean and replace any used towels. We were very satisfied with the food in general. We ate almost all breakfasts and lunches in the Horizon Court (buffet). On the first at-sea morning, we tried the Da Vinci dining room to order breakfast off the menu. That was a mistake, as the service was extremely slow, and the food was no better than in the Horizon Court. There is a large selection of food at all meals in the HC. The only problem is it can be difficult to find an open table, as people tend to sit at the window tables for a long time to just enjoy the passing scenery, but staff are helpful in getting you a table. We ate most dinners in the Michelangelo dining room, as we wanted any-time dining. The food was generally very good there, although sauces tend to be heavily salted. The service is slow there, and it was usually 9-9:30 by the time we were done, so not being night people, we did not go to any evening entertainment, except once for the 50's and 60's music night. We did not purchase any beverage cards as we are not soda drinkers and I couldn't see spending an additional $49/day for alcoholic beverages, so we just ordered them a la carte, and remained well below the $49/day . As first-time cruisers, we found the Princess Patter daily newsletter very helpful in notifying us of the day's events, port info, etc. The weather in Alaska in August was not as rainy as I had feared, but at sea it was quite cold, as were some of the days during the land portion (the second half of August is already Fall season in Alaska). Going out on the outside decks meant dressing in warm jacket, hat and gloves most of the time, but in the ports it was warmer. Many days were cloudy with occasional drizzle, but there were periods of sun, especially in Skagway, where it was warm and delightful. We did shore excursions at every port. In Ketchikan we did a Misty Fjords float plane sight seeing flight; well worth it; in Juneau the rain forest garden, Mendenhall glacier, Mt. Roberts Tram-- warm and sunny at the top so we hiked around a bit. We saw bald eagles, Dall sheep and a marmot. We had booked the Yukon train from Skagway, which it turned out was a bus ride up, and then train back (the train actually is slower than the bus, so you wouldn't want to take it both ways anyway). It was very scenic but Caribou Crossing (not to be confused with the nearby town of Carcross) is a tourist trap and the barbecue lunch there is mediocre, although it was fun to see the sled dogs. Glacier bay and College Fjord were stunning, for the last 2 at-sea days. On one of the at-sea days we attended a presentation by Libby Riddles, the first woman to win the Iditarod race. Her story was fascinating. We also attended a naturalist presentation, which was informative, but not as riveting. After disembarkation in Whittier we got right on the train up to Denali. We were lucky to get views of Mt. McKinley from the train as we approached--everyone tells you that only 30% of visitors get to see it as it's usually in clouds. The room in the Denali Princess lodge was a let down after our nice cabin on the Crown--dark and musty smelling but at least the window opened to air it out. We went to the Music of Denali dinner theater which is a very silly retelling of the first climbers to summit the mountain. Food is served family-style at long tables, and is plentiful and adequate. It did seem ironic, however, after all of the sanitary precautions on the ship buffet (hand sanitizer at entrances, staff wiping up spills quickly, clearing dishes quickly, etc.), that you would have perfect strangers serving themselves seconds onto their used plates as was done at the dinner theater-- always a no-no at buffets. We did the park bus shuttle tour into Denali the next day, instead of the included Natural History tour and got a refund from Princess for it. We took the shuttle all the way to the Eielson visitor center, which is farther than either the Tundra tour or NH tours go. We were very lucky that the mountain was "out" again that day and got some great pictures of the sun glowing on its white peaks. We were also lucky in seeing lots of wildlife--about a dozen grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep. The next day we took the bus down to the McKinley Princess lodge, which was, surprisingly, a 3 hour trip. No more views of the mountain, though, as it was foggy and drizzly. That afternoon we did the Byers Lake nature walk and the weather cleared up a bit. I was surprised that we didn't encounter any mosquitoes, since I'd heard they are really bad in Alaska--maybe too cold already? The following day in Talkeetna we did the Mahay jet boat adventure which was a blast as you go through rapids before the turn around point. Saw a black bear and more bald eagles. Back to Anchorage the next day; Captain Cook hotel was very nice--meals a bit pricey but there are also many restaurants within walking distance. After our cruisetour ended we rented a car and drove down to Seward on the Kenai peninsula to extend our Alaska vacation a few more days. We took the Kenai Fjords Tours National Park boat tour-- it was fantastic, in part due to great weather, and the park is gorgeous. We saw glaciers and lots of wildlife-- whales, sea otters, sea lions, seals, puffins, cormorants and more. In Seward we also hiked to Exit Glacier--an easy hike, and did the Ididaride sled dog ride. On the way back to Anchorage we stopped in at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage. We did the behind-the-scenes tour which was well worth the money as we got to go in the pens of the more docile animals. The weather our last 3 days in Alaska was mild and sunny (upper 60's), so a great ending to our trip. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This was our first 'proper' cruise, having only ever been on a much smaller ship on the Red Sea. We were not disappointed. The Crown Princess was massive and it took a while to get our bearings and find our way round. CABIN: ... Read More
This was our first 'proper' cruise, having only ever been on a much smaller ship on the Red Sea. We were not disappointed. The Crown Princess was massive and it took a while to get our bearings and find our way round. CABIN: Our inside cabin was small but perfectly adequate with lots of storage/hanging rails and it was kept immaculate by the room steward and the bed was turned down each night with chocolates on the pillow. Each cabin was equipped with a safe, TV, fridge and hairdryer. FOOD: There was so much choice. Dinner was easy as we had opted for the second sitting at 8.15 in the Bottecelli restaurant each night. This was waiter/ess service and we always had the same table and waiter & waitress who were totally professional and a credit to the company. Nothing was too much trouble for them. You could have 3, 4 or even 5 courses if you wanted from the menu which changed daily (there were some regular items on the menu every day). The food was delicious and we could not fault it at all. You could have dinner in the self service restaurants if you wanted or pay extra to eat in 2 speciality restaurants onboard although we didn't see the point in paying extra so didn't try them. Breakfast & Lunch could be taken in the restaurant or in the 2 self service restaurants and there was always plenty of choice, in fact it was always difficult to decide what to have. Burgers, Hot Dogs & Pizza were also available 24/7. Did I mention the Patisserie where you could indulge in the fancy cakes & pastries and have a coffee or hot chocolate (this was the only place where you had to pay for hot drinks). We did hear complaints about the food but we found nothing to complain about at all and I'm a 'fussy eater' ! ENTERTAINMENT: There was so much to do. A newsletter (Princess Patter) was delivered each night to the cabin and contained all the activities for the following day. If you didn't want to sunbathe, swim or read, there was an open air cinema (latest releases), Mini golf, A gym that would put many onshore to shame, Theatre, Casino, Library, and Spa. There always seemed to be some form of entertainment taking place, whether it was a piano player, band, singers or comedian. Then there was the regular quizzes or lectures in the theatre. There was no time to be bored. EXCURSIONS: I cannot comment on the organised excursions as we made our own arrangements whenever we docked but the ship provided plenty of information about the places to visit etc (delivered to the cabins). The company were very good at providing all sorts of information to its passengers throughout the cruise including reminders to put clocks back or forward. DISEMBARKATION: This was very well organised, after all you cannot have 3000 odd people trying to get off the ship at the same time. The waiting areas were supplied with tea & coffee facilities and it was a very smooth operation from our point of view. GENERAL: We did hear complaints, one man complained that he was being treated like cattle but all we were doing was waiting for the dining room to be ready for us to eat (the first sitting hadn't quite finished) and there were moans about the lifts not responding straight away so having to wait. But this was down to the volume of people trying to move around the ship. Some people will moan about anything. We didn't have any complaints at all - oh just one - my pillow was too soft !!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
The first thing to point out to anyone reading this is that this was our first cruise together so we do not have the advantage of some reviewers of being able to compare and contrast this cruise against other ships and or operators. ... Read More
The first thing to point out to anyone reading this is that this was our first cruise together so we do not have the advantage of some reviewers of being able to compare and contrast this cruise against other ships and or operators. However, from talking to other cruisers on our ship we tended to find that experience does not always bring happiness, and this seems to be reflected in some of the reviews I have read. We were repeatedly afflicted (particularly at the dinner table) with a certain species of cruiser who I would call the 'cruise moaner'. They have been on 10/20/30 cruises and nothing is as good on this ship as it is on P&O/Royal Carribean/Cunard etc etc. So if they are so experienced why have they chosen such a 'substandard' ship/line, and how did we end up sitting opposite them? OK I've got that off my chest, now for our impressions of this cruise. Some have criticised the time it took to embark. What they failed to point out was that this was due to HM Customs deciding to carry out a full ship inspection before anyone was allowed on board. Others have said it but it bears repeating - the staff were excellent. Nothing was too much trouble. Efficient friendly service - plates cleared away as soon as knife and fork put down, cabin towels changed twice a day, public areas always clean and tidy. Almost without exception we received a 'good morning' and 'how are you' from every crew member we met, even the technicians and backroom staff. I would contrast this against the often rude and surly attitude of some of our fellow passengers (almost all of whom were British). I did not experience any of the issues with the fabric of the ship or the food described by another reviewer. The ship was very clean and well maintained. Even the carpets in the lift were being replaced while we were cruising and they didn’t seem particularly worn. The sheets and towels were always pristine and crisp. I can see that for some passengers with limited mobility waiting for a lift would be a problem. At peak periods such as meal times and when going onshore there were waits although we didn’t see many signs of broken lifts and those that were seemed to be quickly fixed. The food was of an excellent standard and well presented. We tended to eat in either Da Vinci or Michelangelo dining rooms and never had to queue for more than 5 minutes. Of course if like a lot of passengers you were desperate to eat between 5.30 and 6pm you could expect to wait longer, but by 8pm it had calmed down and made for a more relaxed dining environment. Yes the service was a bit slow at times, but so what, half the fun was in meeting and talking with new people, and there were 3 shows a night so I don’t get the reviewer who talked about leaving the table early to catch the show (unless of course you wanted to be in bed with a mug of cocoa by 10 o’clock). We only used room service once. The choice seemed a bit limited and the hot water for the tea wasn’t hot enough. Always worked better to scoot along to the International Café and get a take out in the morning (free with the good value coffee card). Some of the entertainment was a bit underwhelming particularly the stage shows by the Princes Cruise Dancers. I don’t doubt the hard work and dedication but it was all a bit ‘passe’. There were some excellent game shows and Lisa and her team were tireless in injecting some fun into the evening routine. Some of the acts were better when they did a set in the smaller venues and Roger Wright was a particular hit although his show was sometimes quite difficult to get in to such was its popularity. I would agree with others that the shore excursions were expensive. We only went on two - to the Lipeca Stud Farm in Slovenia and to Seville. The first one was interesting and the tour guide on the coach was really informative about the area. As well as the farm there was a short stop on the way back to a medieval church with amazing wall paintings depicting the ‘dance of death’. We chose this tour because it wasn’t easy to do it yourself and we are unlikely to go back there, but at approximately £80 each it wasn’t cheap. Seville just involved a coach trip and then we went our own way. As Seville is a 90 minute drive from the port of Cadiz it would be difficult to get there under your own steam. We did Venice on our own and spent 1 Euro each on the monorail from the cruise port walking the rest of the way to St Marks Square before buying a ‘go anywhere’ Vaporetto ticket which we used to ride round the lagoon and went to Murano Island (where glassware is produced). Of course having saved money getting around my wife made up for it in the handbag shop the mask shop and the glass shop! One little moan which others have mentioned is the sometimes irritating attempt to sell things such as special coffees spa treatments and photos (especially photos taken with over enthusiastic members of the crew dressed in embarrassingly bad ‘local’ costume) as you disembark the ship. The photos are worst because short of pushing them in the dock, it is hard to get past them without being grabbed and pushed in front of a camera. On the plus side, when we chose to buy something, a watch, it was good value and we have since seen the same model locally for more than twice the price. In the general scheme of things these are minor irritations. You don’t have to buy anything (even the photos). We loved our cruise, we loved the places we got to visit, and we enjoyed the company of some interesting people. The ship and its crew were fantastic and we had a really relaxing time. It was an eventful trip we took a detour to help Syrian refugees and missed Corfu as a result (their need was greater than ours), we went to Cadiz twice the second time to drop off a sick passenger, and we watched as a very drunk passenger tried to throw himself into the dock at Gibralter and was rugby tackled by members of the crew. We will definitely cruise again and would recommend this ship, this itinerary, and this cruise line to others.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
This was my very first time on a cruise and I booked the Western Med knowing something about the countries but my main aim was to see if I liked the idea of cruising. I did, loved it but this was my first and now acts as a benchmark for ... Read More
This was my very first time on a cruise and I booked the Western Med knowing something about the countries but my main aim was to see if I liked the idea of cruising. I did, loved it but this was my first and now acts as a benchmark for what I look for in the future. First of all the very positives. Princess Cruises for me are first class for cleanliness, food, staff attitude entertainment, drinks and for the whole experience. Yes they are trying to empty your wallet with sales etc but that is up to you. I took advantage of the jewellery and duty frees, but my partner helped me to keep within my limits ...ha ha.. There was plenty to do if you wished, plenty of relaxing if you didn t.I loved that, I like dressing up and "going out" it was the perfect holiday. Formal night, ... I think its really the men who have issues here with the Tuxedo etc, but hey they looked great!! and if you don t want then there were plenty who did n t bother. It seemed to confine itself to the restaurants,shows and bars and the Atrium ( a fab area for people watching and decent coffee).There were many who were just dressed "smartly" and went to the buffett . So I needn t of stressed over that. The ports of call ..well... I was a bit disappointed there, but its where I chose to go. Its a big ship so it has to go where it can. Barcelona, ... nice enough city, Monaco, did n t fancy the choppy sea on a lifeboat in the rain...Livorno. ok ...Civviatchio or Rome, Florence... and Naples ..Yuk!! If I hadn t of been to Italy these ports would of put me off going.. However, there are opportunities to go on tours, which we did a couple of times. Loved Corsica and Gibralter. But like I said it was the cruising experience that was paramount for me this time. Its great stopping at all these different places, just will be more choosy over my stops next time. Now the downside. I wanted to go from Southampton so I could be there without flying and not have to weigh in my suitcases. Although some people moaned at the queues.. Get a life, !!! It were n't that bad,there were a lot of people to embark onto the ship. I shall probably be shouted down for my next winge...but ... some times I felt I was in a care home. For some reason there were more people in wheelchairs, with walking sticks and zimmer frames, that people that were able to get about on their own two legs. Why this was I can only put down to the fact there seemed to be super disabled facilities onboard and it was going from Southampton.Their needs are not mine, and more than me and my partner remarked on this. Just leave it that their holiday has different requirements to mine and I did get a bit fed up of being pushed aside by the big wheeled chairs, being squashed in lifts, tripped up by walking sticks and walking snail pace everywhere and having to give way to some people who just expected it. Although it did n t really bother me that much, not having a window in our stateroom left us sometimes wondering what time of day it was. Also, it could of been an escape from the wheelchairs and zimmers, or just a place to chill if we had of had a balcony. But again, this was my first time. The final consideration for next time is the Bay of Biscay. The journey back was horrible, and it was almost 3 days of rocking and rolling and feeling queazy. So there you have it.. Next time I know what to look for, and yes I will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
On our sailing there was about a 9 hour delay due to fog (not Princess's fault - the US Coast Guard would not allow the ship into port, a problem they stated they had never experienced before), then a long line at the port with 3,000 ... Read More
On our sailing there was about a 9 hour delay due to fog (not Princess's fault - the US Coast Guard would not allow the ship into port, a problem they stated they had never experienced before), then a long line at the port with 3,000 tired and grumpy fellow passengers. We didn't know we could have checked in when we dropped off our bags earlier in the day and skipped that whole line altogether, but the crew were so overwhelmed with the massive delay that they probably just overlooked it. No big deal - we'll know next time. We were allowed priority boarding once we got to the front of that gawdawful line because we booked a suite (St. Kitts - alllllll the way aft & overlooking the wake). Yes, the suite is expensive, but I promise the perks are worth the extra cost. Once we were aboard, there were no further problems. My expectations were exceeded at every turn and by every crew member with whom we had contact. Our room steward was an absolute delight, as were the dining staff, bartenders, dealers and other crew in the various venues where we spent time. The ship was beautiful, the suite spacious (including a jacuzzi tub!) and the food was delicious. The head waiter even brought me the next evening's menu every night so the chefs could prepare whatever I wanted gluten free, per my dietary restrictions. Our disembarkation was smooth too. We chose express carry-off, so we retained our luggage and carried it out ourselves. We walked out of the suite at 7:08 am, walked down to our lounge area and had time for 1 cup of coffee before they called us to the gangway. I already had the customs form filled out and we breezed through customs, waited 5 minutes for the parking lot shuttle and were loaded in my car pulling out of the parking lot by 7:45. Can't ask for smoother than that! We enjoyed ourselves so much that even my husband, who has never been interested in travel or doing much more than anchoring the sofa, had a great time and even put down a deposit for an Alaska sailing in summer 2014. He's even talking about taking other cruises after that. I have to thank Princess for giving my husband the travel bug. We're looking forward to sailing again & again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
We got into Venice on August 26 at 10:30 am after an overnight flight from Canada. We took the bus to Piazzale Roma and then easily found Hotel Antiche Figure, where we spent two nights before boarding the ship. We used the vaporetto, ... Read More
We got into Venice on August 26 at 10:30 am after an overnight flight from Canada. We took the bus to Piazzale Roma and then easily found Hotel Antiche Figure, where we spent two nights before boarding the ship. We used the vaporetto, venice's public transit system extensively to tour the city, plus got lost many times on the streets. On the day of embarkation, we took the people mover to the port where we were met my a Princess shuttle which took us to the ship. This was a port intensive itinerary so we were off the ship for most of the day on most of the port days. We had 8:15 dining, which I don't think I would do again as by the time we were finished eating we were ready for bed!! We did have excellent service in the dining room though and it was great having the same waiters every night. We did join our friends for dinner at the Crown Grill one night and it was the best meal on the ship - worth the cover charge in our opinion. We had pizza from deck 15 one day and excellent hamburgers from the Trident Grill another day. We met our new cruise critic friends in the International Cafe many times, either to review the day's activities or get ready to share a private excursion. I recommend buying a coffee card as we didn't like the coffee in the dining rooms, so would bring coffee with us from the International Cafe. We spent enough time in the casino to lose our $20, had a martini at Crooners Bar, enjoyed the latin music in Explorers lounge, participated in a couple of zumba classes in Club Fusion (on sea days), watched a movie under the stars (not very good sound) and enjoyed the evening entertainment in the Piazza many times.We went to an art auction preview to enjoy the free wine, put a deposit on a future cruise to get the onboard credit but never made it to the theatre for any of the evening shows. There never seemed to be any chairs available at the pool, but we aren't big pool loungers anyway. I had bought an internet package prior to leaving home and believe that gave me the best deal. I would compose my emails and then sign onto the internet to send them. For our 12 day cruise 120 minutes was more than sufficient. there isn't a way to save this review so I'll come in another time to complete the port reviews. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
This was our first cruise and apparently we had jumped in head first according to the many other passengers we spoke to on the cruise who had all completed a number of cruises prior to this one. After reading much online about cruising in ... Read More
This was our first cruise and apparently we had jumped in head first according to the many other passengers we spoke to on the cruise who had all completed a number of cruises prior to this one. After reading much online about cruising in general and specific reviews of the Crown we still were apprehensive about whether we had chosen wisely for our first taste of cruising. My husband and I have quite differing interests and tastes so we did not know which of us, if either, would really get the most out of this experience but it turned out that we found enough aspects to keep us both happy. We opted for a more port intensive intinerary as that was our main reason for choosing a cruise holiday and as much as we generally found things to occupy our time on the sea days we found that 4 days at sea was more than enough for us. CABIN:We were both impressed with our balcony cabin from the start. Yes the bathroom is tiny as I have read numerous complaints about, but hey, it's a ship! The small space was so well designed that we were always very happy with it anyway. The large wardrobe area was fabulous and we never had any issues with where to store anything. Our steward 'Mar' was wonderful and always did a fabulous job of keeping our room beautiful without ever intruding on our privacy. Mar even took my shoe to be mended when I had problems. Nothing was too much trouble for him. Also we slept so well on the incredibly comfortable bed that we would love to have taken it home with us! The ship as a whole is very impressive, it really is beautiful. After reading some reviews about the ship looking tired I was surprised to find nothing at all in that area that disappointed us. DINING: We chose to have room service breakfast every morning which was simple but adequate for us even though it proved pretty much impossible to ever get hot water for our tea.Eventually we realised it was better to just walk downstairs to the cafe and get boiling water in a take out cup. The menu is extremely basic and limited but that was enough. We tried the buffet one morning but did not enjoy the 'Battle' to find food and decided to stick to having it in our room. Lunches we generally enjoyed from the International cafe as we really liked the simple soups and sandwiches on offer there as well as the best quiche I have ever had. We tried some of the little cakes and pastries and enjoyed a few of the yummy cookies each day. Dinner was enjoyed in the main dining rooms each night except for one when we were too tired after a long day onshore. THe service was generally without fault and the food superb. I loved that the servings were usually small enough that I could try something from each course and still be able to fit into my clothes at the end of the cruise. I found the variety of the nightly menus to be exceptional too and could not fault our enjoyable nightly dining experiences.We met so many interesting people at dinner each night by opting to share a table rather than request a table for two as I would usually prefer on a holiday. ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoyed a couple of the comedians on board and tried the stage shows but really found them a little too outdated for our tastes. We LOVED Michael Minor , the comedian/ventrilloquist/singer - he was simply the highlight of the entertainment for our entire trip. There really was not as much to keep us entertained as we had expected so we were very glad we had our comfortable balcony stateroom to relax and enjoy the television if we felt like it. SHORE TOURS: We did all ships tours, except for Mykonos where we wandered in the rain on our own, as this was our first cruise and we were worried about running late back to the ship so this seemed the safest way to go. These were generally pretty good although some had guides that left a little to be desired.One thing that tended to irritate us like crazy was the ships photographers trying to take our photos every time we stepped on and off the ship - it was like trying to avoid the annoying vendors in Egypt. We have a camera, Thank you!! We had a blast learning to do the Merengue one sea day but that was the only time any ball room dancing lessons were offered over the entire cruise. That really disappointed us as it was one thing we had both been looking forward too. The seminars on offer were interesting until the 'hard sell' began and I always had to quietly sneak out at that stage. Overall this was the most amazing experience and we really did relax as well as enjoying the sights. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
OK, so I'm back. Day 3 and I still feel like I'm on the ship. (Will this feeling ever go away?) Back to the reality of daily life. First let me say the service was fantastic. The crew/staff really go all out to make sure that ... Read More
OK, so I'm back. Day 3 and I still feel like I'm on the ship. (Will this feeling ever go away?) Back to the reality of daily life. First let me say the service was fantastic. The crew/staff really go all out to make sure that your experience goes smoothly. The shows: I was expecting sort of a H.S. type "Glee" thing, I was shocked- BROADWAY AT SEA. I made a mental note of names because I expect some time in the future to see a few of these performers make it to dry land and really make it BIG. TALENT like you wouldn't believe! OK, now onto food. I ate my weight in smoked salmon. My next life I am coming back as a bear. Fabulous. All in all, food was alright, not all of it to die for, but if you found a favourite like I did you make a meal of it. Bars/Drinks: Explorers- ran across some surly staff there- guess it's because when I realized I was paying gratuties EVERYDAY my BIG tipping slowed down ALOT. Crooners- lovely. Old charm. Felt like I was in a 40's movie with my martini listening to the piano player. Wheelhouse- very dark, not as nice as Crooners. Gatsby's the casino- no time spent there I could never get a shot at the machine that pushed coins off. One lady seemed to live at that machine! Speakeasy- the smoking room. Wow, I met some really great people in that area. Down to earth, fun, and willing to chat when I came in to sit down for a smoke. Now I have some cons to this trip. I went with 'mother' while I love mom to death I was dissapointed when I read in the Patter there was a singles and solos meeting and when I got to where it was (15 minutes late) I didn't see anything that let me know I was in the right spot and the ukranian guy I asked didn't seem to know anything. (much less english!) I was expecting someone from the ship to be there and see people wearing name tags to let me know who's who. I would've liked to have found someone who was in the same position as I was that I could've hung out with and done some excursions-like zip lines, dolphin swimming-My 75 yr. old mother couldn't do any of those things! I did enjoy the iguana farm in Roatan. I also loved seeing Tulum in Cozumel. And here is my biggest beef with Princess- Mom took a fall at 4:30 am the 3rd day out. She tripped over that little ledge to get in the bathroom- Please Princess, put SOMETHING on that ledge to let the old folks remember to step up!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Every Year we have traveled to All inclusives throughout The Caribbean, and Mexico, so we thought we would take the plunge into the Cruising world for a change. Friends of our have recently returned from the Crown Princess and raved about ... Read More
Every Year we have traveled to All inclusives throughout The Caribbean, and Mexico, so we thought we would take the plunge into the Cruising world for a change. Friends of our have recently returned from the Crown Princess and raved about their experience so we decided to give it a try. The Ship itself was very nice and very large. I really thought we would feel trapped on a ship, but never felt that way at all. Our room was a little scary at first, we were not used to the condensed room-styles that cruise ships offer, but once we unpacked all of our luggage, it seemed that there was room for everything. We were absolutely amazed by the cabin stewards, they seemed to magically appear when we left the room and when we returned the cabin was spotless. We were so used to having hotel maids banging at our doors, or having to chase after them in regular hotels, so this was a very unexpected and welcome surprise. The food was actually very good. We ate all over the ship and experienced every type of food and service that the ship had to offer. Our favorite was the Steak house and Sabatinis. We enjoyed the buffet on the days that we wanted to just relax and just dress casually. We were a little alarmed by the cover charges, but quickly learned that they were well worth the extra expenditure. We quickly found that the major difference in land based all inclusives and the Cruise ship experience was definitely the entertainment. Most All inclusives provide very lack luster, low budget entertainment. We found the entertainment to be fantastic the majority of the time. We were not too fond of the Singing and dancing revues so we opted out of those. There were a pair of comedians~Alfred and Seymour who we really enjoyed. The highlight for us was the Hypnotist Fernandez. We watched the first show, loved it and returned for the later show. My husband volunteered and was hypnotized. I honestly laughed until I cried. It was brilliant. We really enjoyed the ports of call, it was really nice to be as busy or as relaxed as we felt in each destination. We love to snorkel and dive and found plenty of great areas to do this. Our favorite spots were Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We have our own gear, so we just arranged our dives locally. There was one ship tour we were interested in, but it was sold out and extremely expensive so we were not really disappointed that we missed it. All in all we really loved our first Cruise and will probably become more avid cruisers in the future. We did feel that we needed a holiday after the holiday as we were so active throughout the cruise. Next time we will book a few days after the cruise to wind down. Bravo Princess~Fantastic crew, Fantastic experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
After sailing the Crown for our anniversary last year, I chose the Crown again for our second cruise with a similar itinerary (Western Caribbean) as it had changed somewhat and we had only visited two of the four ports the first time ... Read More
After sailing the Crown for our anniversary last year, I chose the Crown again for our second cruise with a similar itinerary (Western Caribbean) as it had changed somewhat and we had only visited two of the four ports the first time around. Due to work schedules, we flew from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale the morning of embarkation. It was a non-stop flight and we utilized the Princess transfer. We were very fortunate in the timing of our flight and were able to board the transfer coach within 15 minutes of claiming our checked luggage. Due to the Grand and Crown both sailing that day, our Princess transfer was for both ships and the process was very smooth with visiting two different piers at Port Everglades. We arrived at our pier at approximately 12:45 and were able to proceed directly to an agent to check in and obtain our cruise cards. We only had a wait of 5-10 minutes to get onboard (due to all of the Bon Voyage photos being taken). We were able to proceed directly to our stateroom to deliver our carry on bags. The stateroom was clean and ready for us and our steward arrived within minutes of us and introduced himself. At that first meeting, he asked my husband about our preferences for the room (i.e., ice daily, extra pillows, etc.). He was very personable and was always available for anything we might want. We chose Anytime Dining as it worked well for us the first sailing. I called ahead and made reservations for the first evening in the MDR. We were willing to share a table and were able to get a seating at exactly the time we requested. This ended up being the only meal we ate in the MDR as we chose the casual atmosphere of the buffet most evenings. Our meal in the MDR was very good and it was nice to meet fellow passengers. The buffet food was average buffet food and we felt the choices were not as plentiful as they were last year. We made reservations for the Crown Grill for the last night aboard and it was magnificent! Well worth every penny!!! As far as activities on board (when not visiting a port), we mainly relaxed on our balcony, the decks for sunbathing and attempted MUTS (Movies Under The Stars). Unfortunately, we had rain several evenings and the movie options on the clear nights weren't movies we would care to watch. (Yes, we were VERY lazy on this trip!) We elected to utilize the EZ check program again and found it to be worth the $20/person fee instead of lugging those checked bags along with us on disembarkation day. Because we bought very few souvenirs this year, customs was a breeze and the Princess transfer back to the airport was very smooth. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
I have read the many negative reviews given by other Cruisers and I just have to say that like in life itself, cruising is what you make of it and I choose to be happy! This was my first cruise, my Hubby's second and I was not sure ... Read More
I have read the many negative reviews given by other Cruisers and I just have to say that like in life itself, cruising is what you make of it and I choose to be happy! This was my first cruise, my Hubby's second and I was not sure what to expect. I have to say that everything on board was just about perfect. From a quick boarding and delivery of our luggage to our state room to the excellent drinks we received on deck and in Crooner's Lounge. Disembarking was quick and painless also! We enjoyed Princess Cays and saw no flies as mentioned in other reviews. We went out of the gated area and shopped with the locals and found much better prices than in the Princess Cays compound. Lunch there was very good and enjoyed just hanging out in our clam shell and sipping on cold drinks. Days at sea were very enjoyable and relaxing for us. All areas of the ship were clean and in good working order. Monday night the sea was a bit rough, but that of course is beyond anyone's control. The next morning Captain Nash advised that he had slowed the ship down during the night to avoid much of the rocking of the ship. We always felt safe with Captain Nash at the helm. We enjoyed Curacao and took a taxi out to Mambo Beach and relaxed there for most of the day. We ask our cabbie where to eat and he gave us very good advise to try one of the restaurants at the The Waterfort Terrace and I think we ate at the Perla del Mar-where my husband had his best meal of the trip! Very good Peruvian Cerviche and entrees were both excellent. Curacao is beautiful at night, but get your shopping done early as the shops close at 6:00. We enjoyed Aruba and did the Antilles snorkel trip. Very nice! We ate at The Queen's Bar and Restaurant-and while the food was excellent the prices were a bit steep-lunch cost $100.00! Ah- but we shan't complain as we have had the experience! We ate at the Horizons Buffet several times and the food was always good and we had plenty of variety. Loved the day at lunch when the fare was Sushi! Quite a treat. The burgers and fries at the Trident Grill were very good as well as the Pizza-one night we just got pizza and ate in our room! I would suggest the Coke package as if you purchase sodas separately it could get a bit pricey. Drinks on board are very good but they are also a bit expensive. I enjoyed many different Martini's at Crooner's Bar and enjoyed very much getting to know the bartenders there-John and Jenny and one of the waiters John. Always greeted everyone with a smile and called them by their names. Very enjoyable! We did eat at the Crown Grill and the food and the service were both very good. It was my birthday and they brought out a cake that I couldn't eat after the delicious meal so the server wrapped it up in a tin foil "Gucci" purse! I ate it the next day and it was delicious also. We really just hung out on the upper deck and watched movies on the large screen and enjoyed just relaxing. We could always find a deck chair no matter what time of day or which deck we visited. I did hear a bit of complaining aboard about various and sundry things, but I will just attribute that to the fact that most of the passengers were elderly and perhaps were just used to complaining. I, however was happy to be on board and couldn't really find anything to complain about. We met a 93 year old gentleman in the elevator on the last day and he summed it up well "I'm just happy to be hear and be alive". Words to live by perhaps. Happy Sailing! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
Crown Princess Norwegian Interlude 28th July to 4th August 2011 This is was our first cruise as we usually travel independently, therefore our first cruise review. The opinions expressed are ours (feel free to express your own) any ... Read More
Crown Princess Norwegian Interlude 28th July to 4th August 2011 This is was our first cruise as we usually travel independently, therefore our first cruise review. The opinions expressed are ours (feel free to express your own) any facts or events mentioned are true we have photographs to support. Lastly we are Brits so other travelers may misinterpret some words ie Thongs in Australia are shoes, but in the UK are underwear. We drove down to Southampton and stayed in a Holiday Inn with parking included the first night so didn't use any transfer services. On waking in the morning we opened our curtains to see our home for the next seven nights. The crown Princess had docked overnight and towered over the waterfront what a sight. We booked a local taxi to the terminal through the hotel cost £5.50. We arrived at the terminal at 1145 our bags were taken, documentation completed, photographs taken and in our suite by 1225. Superb Service, I wish airports were so organized. The cabin, sorry suite, was an inside one on Calibre deck. We found the room to be spotless with plenty of storage space and well equipped. Our steward Christopher was superb always smiling and always ready to help if needed. The whole ship was fantastic, clean and well looked after by the staff most of whom had a smile on their faces and always said hello. As we was 'Anytime Dinning' we had the choice of restaurants and used all three, The Michelangelo, The Da Vinci and The Horizon Court, but preferred the Michelangelo only because the Matre De was more welcoming. We found the food to be good, the menu's well balanced and the waiting staff to be very good or good. The International Cafe was superb but as the ship was full the staff struggled with the demand but were always smiling. My wife loved the cakes and salads. The Trident Grill & Pizzeria provided excellent snacks during the day. We didn't eat at Sabatini's which had a $20 cover charge but did eat at The Crown Grill $25 cover charge, here I had the best steak I've had in a long time, The server Ilyan ( Bulgarian ) explained every cut of meat offered advice and was simply superb. There was never a night when we didn't have to queue for dinner even though we arrived at different times. We tried to book but were told as we wanted a table for two we couldn't. We found out later that you could, perhaps the colour of our cruise card made a difference. We always, when asked agreed to sit with others but on our first night were seated on a table for six with four guests from Belgium only one of whom spoke English the rest only Flemish which they spoke between themselves, which made it uncomfortable for us. After reading about the Chefs table on cruise critic we applied for and managed to get two places cost $75 each. The format has been mentioned previously so I won't go into detail. However we encountered a problem with the serving of the wine, which we complained about. This resulted in a meeting with the food and drinks manager. We explained that we did not want a refund as the food was superb but informed him of our experience so it wouldn't happen again. Further details will be supplied if you contact me directly. At the end of the evening we received a cookery book signed by the chef, a menu and photographs. The ladies received a rose. There was a big push on sales of Wine, Wine Tastings, and the first couple of days Ultimate Drink Packages and Coffee Cards, reminded me of the old time share touts. During the cruise there were two formal nights. Prior to the first another passenger mentioned that he'd forgotten his jacket so would have to eat in the Horizon Court. He needn't have bothered as we noticed people entering the dining room with shirt sleeves, open collars and NO Jackets in one case a man was wearing walking boots. I'm not a great believer in formal nights but if you're going to have them, stick to the rules. The standard got worse on normal nights with Jumpers, Tee Shirts and Jeans being common. We actually followed a couple out of the dining room one night, he was wearing a suit & tie but had white training shoes on she wore a dress with shoes that flashed led lights as she walked. Made us and others smile. We also noticed cans of beer be brought into the dining room which when empty were crumpled and left on the table. The entertainment was as we expected. The shows good and well attended, the comedian (worked with Benny Hill) not so good but passable after a few drinks. The resident group Indigo was good as were the pianist and string group. There was a BMX trick cyclist who had great skill but always seemed to be performing the same tricks in the plaza. Took a tour of the Gym and The Lotus Spa both well equipped BUT every staff member we met was selling and selling hard even the Gym Guys who did a great presentation but during the last five minutes were selling detox diets and personnel assessments, which my own gym do for free. As this was UK school holiday season we expected to see kids, which we did, most of who were well behaved. As expected a number of passengers were physically disabled and were using walking frames, sticks, crutches, wheel chairs and mobility scooters. We encountered passengers from all nations including the UK, USA, France, Belgium, Spain, Japan and China. The Chinese passengers were the most entertaining as they were in groups of no less than six, always talking loudly and always smiling. We have travelled in China and understand some of their ways, but being in a full lift and having seven more Chinese people get in does make you despair. I was a bit disappointed to see adults sat in the hot tubs with drinks in bottles, cans and glasses. Also kids in water wings in the tubs. The pools were always packed with both adults and children with inflatable toys. The ports of call were Bergen, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Olden, and Stavanger. Bergen. Having been to Bergen before I knew what to expect but didn't expect to be docked in the Industrial dockyard and having to queue for 1 hour and 10 mins to get off the ship and board the courtesy coach to the centre. The last time I arrived we stepped off the boat into the town. However I've got to admit that the Crown Princess is a lot bigger than the ferry I last used. Hellesylt Schedule showed docking between 0800 - 1000, we had decided prior to arriving here that we wouldn't disembark. However it was only on arrival that we were informed that only passengers on a prepaid excursion could disembark. Geiranger This was a tender port. Disembarkation was a dream the tenders well organized and we had a great day walking around the area. Olden We had booked an excursion hiking to the Brenndalsbreen and Brisdalbreen Glaciers cost $258 prior to the cruise. Once again the organization of disembarkation was superb. We were split into two groups, each group to a coach and each coach having a local guide and driver. We arrived at the start of the first hike through some very scenic countryside. The guide explained that it was a hard climb to begin with but leveled off later on. We soon noticed that only one guide was leading the two groups, as the other guide had left with the coach and the guide was leading from the front. Okay we had been warned that the hike was strenuous so no problem there but after 40mins hard walking we realized that we were towards the rear of the group and with others were losing the trail. We never made it to the Glacier but encountered others who had and followed then down to the coach. 16 other people were in the same position as us. We boarded the coaches and were taken for a great lunch near to the start of the second hike. This proved a lot easier than the first and well sign posted. Stavanger The last stop in Norway, easy disembarkation onto the quayside. A very easy town to navigate and plenty of shopping including street markets. Disembarkation Southampton Opted for late disembarkation was allocated Gold 5 at 0930 which was perfect. Only problem encountered was the number of bags on the floor in the Horizon Court during Breakfast. When called we were off the ship, collected bags and in the taxi in 15mins Superb. In Conclusion The Crown Princess is a very, very, large ship and when full becomes crowded. The Infrastructure is superb as too are the staff, with some very few exceptions. We met some really nice fellow passengers but we also met some who had a severe lack of manners, usually the older ones. Entertainment was better than expected. We didn't like the big push on sales which left us feeling as targets not guests. The food was very good and in some cases superb. If you disagree try cooking for 3,200 people. We did enjoy the cruise but may try the Grand next time, due to there being more public area. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2011
Ok, so I have nothing to compare the cruise that I went on because it was my first cruise but my boyfriend has been on several and he agreed with everything that I have written.Embarkment and Disembarkment- Quick, easy and organized! We ... Read More
Ok, so I have nothing to compare the cruise that I went on because it was my first cruise but my boyfriend has been on several and he agreed with everything that I have written.Embarkment and Disembarkment- Quick, easy and organized! We got to the boat from the airport in about 15 minutes. From there, we were on the boat in a half out after that. All in all it was about 45minutes from the airport to our room.The ship was neat, clean and staff was very friendly. Our statesmen was very friendly and was there for us when we needed him. The room was always clean and neat.The food was excellent. We mainly ate at the buffet as we always had something to do. If you go hungry on this ship, it is only your fault. The food is plentiful and always had a variety of food to eat. Loved it. We ate at the Crown Grill one night and I had the best lobster, steak I have ever had. Delicious and would highly recommend it.The excursions at Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Roatan were awesome!! The weather had a lot to do with that.I would TOTALLY recommend this cruise to anyone. There were always things to do and if you wanted to relax you could do that too. The people on board were friendly, helpful and were always there to accommodate anything you needed or wanted.The only negative point I would say is that I would have like to have won more in the casinos! LOL!! :)I'd give this cruise an A+++++ and will be booking again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2011
I would like to say that my girlfriend and I were first-time cruisers on this cruise and we had high expectations of fun and relaxation, and very little knowledge of the whole idea of cruising and ports and excursions, etc. First and ... Read More
I would like to say that my girlfriend and I were first-time cruisers on this cruise and we had high expectations of fun and relaxation, and very little knowledge of the whole idea of cruising and ports and excursions, etc. First and foremost we were NOT disappointed. The Crown Princess was a beautiful ship. Our interior room was about what we expected, not huge but cozy enough. We wanted to save money for food, drinks and shopping so we decided to just get the interior room. Our room steward, Richard, was top notch. My girl and I joked he was like John Tuturro's butler character in Mr. Deeds! We would be gone for minutes and he was in and out of the room. Bed made, dry bathroom towels folded, pool towels hung up, papers organized and mini fridge restocked. This guy even set my book and reading glasses carefully next to the bed and put our shoes in order. Incredible! He was the only ship employee we tipped and we did give him a very large one. I was told before cruising the stewards are really the only ones you should tip without offending anyone. We enjoyed the aft pool as our room was only a quick walk away. It was usually quieter than the other pools. Every pool has a full bar by it and friendly waiters come around asking if you would like any 'yummy-yummy' drinks. The food at the buffets is as good if not better than most 'ruby tuesday' or 'applebys' dinners. Breakfast is fairly typical with eggs, cereal and breads but the assortment of fresh fruit was outstanding. Also each morning was a different smoked fish, salmon, tuna, whitefish, all very delicious. The Crown Grill was the highlight. We are both 'meat and potatoes' people so this was our big evening out. We each picked out our steak from the cart the waiter brought out for us and added loaded baked potatoes. I also added lobster tail, to my surprise I was brought 5, yes 5!, tails! WOW! We could not finish dessert so our waiter had it brought back to our room so we could eat it later. This meal was one of the best culinary experiences I have ever had, the food, atmosphere, the waiter, all of it together. Just to include some info for new cruisers that we learned about once we got on board. Coke, soft drinks, whatever, you must pay for, Alcohol you must pay for. Dinner in the dining rooms is free unless you get alcohol or wine. The buffets are the same way. The pizza, ice cream, hot dogs hamburgers are all free. You can check your ship account balance at the front desk in the piazza level. Hopefully this will help others. I will say we booked our next cruise, only our second, for next year while still on board and just had it billed to our onboard account. If that is not a glowing recommendation I don't know what is. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Embarkation - Arriving at the port there was not much of a line walking to the check-in area. We were aboard the ship within a half an hour. Getting up to the room was a breeze. Our cabin was no issue to me. People complain too much ... Read More
Embarkation - Arriving at the port there was not much of a line walking to the check-in area. We were aboard the ship within a half an hour. Getting up to the room was a breeze. Our cabin was no issue to me. People complain too much about the size of the room and the bath, GET OVER IT. I was surprised that our balcony was twice as big because of the room configuration below. Food - We had traditional dining which is at a set time of 6pm or 8:15pm at the same table with the same people. The people were nice. The food was either dried out/tough, overcooked, smaller portion then expected while others were bigger. I did like some of the food. Next time we plan to choose anytime dining. The entertainment that I went to was good to ok. I went to a magic show and a comedy show that were good. We went to movies under the stars but I didn't like the movie so we left. The select a port pull down doesn't have Princess Cays(Eleuthera),Bahamas. The view when we arrived amazing. When we got ashore, the cruise line was serving food at the pavilions. The island was very beautiful. We stayed on the island longer than the others. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Made it out of JFK smoothly, despite NY's snow. Princess transfers at airport were fast and easy, and embarkation was just about effortless. We stopped by the cabin to drop off hand luggage, then had lunch at the Lido level ... Read More
Made it out of JFK smoothly, despite NY's snow. Princess transfers at airport were fast and easy, and embarkation was just about effortless. We stopped by the cabin to drop off hand luggage, then had lunch at the Lido level buffet that first day, one of the few times we ate there. Luggage arrived in afternoon and meanwhile we explored the ship. As an ice-breaker, the crew had handed out cards for a raffle to be held at sailaway. To enter, you needed to visit and get check-offs from different venues on board. It seemed like a good way to familiarize passengers with the ship. Ship seemed very large at first, but eventually became almost homey as we figured out the layout. The public venues were mainly on levels 5 through 7 and above level 15. Our cabin was on level 5 (Plaza) aft which was very convenient, and we were never disturbed by noise from either the theater (on 6 and 7) or any of the music in the public or gathering areas on 5, 6, and 7. (On the other hand, we were at the very front of the ship and did at times hear what sounded like navigational noises from ship machinery, but not enough to make me regret the cabin choice.) Cabin had twin beds with a table between, a desk/dressing table area, and then a separate closet area by the bathroom. The cabin -- and the ship in general -- seemed faultlessly clean. Our porter serviced our room at least twice a day, and gave us fresh towels every day (or maybe even more often), even though we didn't ask for them. In the public areas, the moment one put down a dirty plate or finished a drink, the table was cleared. Passing through the Plaza late one night, we saw that some cushion covers had been removed for cleaning, and there were frequently people vacuuming the carpeted areas. Bathrooms through the ship seemed spotless. We mainly breakfasted and often lunched at the International Cafe at the Plaza level, just down the hall from our room. Breakfast generally consisted of croissants, muffins, pastries, muesli, or an egg/cheese/ham breakfast sandwich. Starting at lunchtime, there was quiche there each day, as well as vegetable and other salads, shrimp, and basic sandwiches, as well as really delicious ice cream/gelato and fresh-baked cookies. Food there was free except for the ice cream, for which there was a nominal charge. We picked anytime dining, and ate most of our dinners in one of the main sit-down dining rooms. Dining room food was very good, and it was often hard to decide what to get. The dining room staff was very accommodating and friendly. Everyone seemed intent on pleasing. One night we ate at the Crown Grill, which had a $25 up charge. I enjoyed the food and atmosphere there a lot, but we ate there only for variety rather than because of any lack in the other food operations. Occasionally, we had pizza or ice cream from the pool side area on 15. Never made it to the burger grill on that same level. A nice afternoon tea was served every day, though we only went once. One of the highlights of our cruise was participation in the Chef's Table dinner, which we had read about here. We called to put in our names for that as soon as we boarded, and two mornings later found a letter under our door inviting us to meet with the Maitre D' to discuss our interest in participating. That meeting essentially addressed whether we had any food allergies that would affect the menu. A day later, we were thrilled to learn that we were invited to the Chef's Table, which turned out to be an 11 course extravaganza, starting with a galley tour, champagne and appetizers in the kitchen, and a multi-course meal at an extravagantly appointed table. The meal featured a beef carpaccio napolean, lobster risotto, a three-meat course featuring beef, pork and veal flamed at table-side, a pallette clearing bloody-mary sorbet, and then a really delicious stilton mousse with port wine reduction, followed by cointreau mousse on a blown sugar plate with three dimensional cookie adornment -- as well as a plate of handmade chocolates that was decorated with a gorgeous blown sugar dolphin. The women at the table received roses and a copy of the Princess cookbook too. We started with white wine (wasn't paying attention to what), then red, then homemade limoncello, and finally a sweet dessert white. Every penny of the $75/person up charge was worth it. We only hit four of our five port destinations, missing Princess Cay because the waters were too choppy for tender on January 6 when we were due to stop there. Because that wasn't a port that I had been intent on visiting, I didn't miss the stop, and enjoyed the extra sea day instead. We did stop at Dominica, Barbados, Antigua, and St. Thomas, and I enjoyed them all. Rain forest aerial tram on Dominica was enjoyable, but not remotely worth the $99 excursion cost. The rain forest may be home to 170 types of birds, but I don't think we saw more than 5 birds total, if that. Driving on Dominica roads is almost a thrill-seeking activity itself. Hairpin turns, steep drop offs and few guard rails. On Barbados, the Taste of Barbados and Scenic Drive was also fine, but not worth its $79 price-tag. Didn't see that many of the picturesque sites, and lunch at the Sunbury Plantation was tasty but not luxurious. There was a fair amount of waiting around -- including when the bus broke down afterwards and a replacement had to be sent. On Antigua, we did the Antiguan Island Highlights tour ($59) but probably should have done the Nelson's Dockyard and Shirley Heights tour ($49) instead. The difference was that the former also had a stop at a site to watch a not-particularly-gripping multi-media presentation about the island's history. The tour of Nelson's Dockyard -- given by a Park Service docent, not by the excursion company -- was disappointingly short and general. One of the highlights of the museum there is that it has Admiral Horatio Nelson's own telescope as well as wood from the HMS Victory. In response to a direct question, the guide said that she didn't think the telescope was at the museum -- wrong. The Views of St. Thomas excursion ($39) was the most cost-effective of our excursions, even though our particular guide told us very little, explaining that he was a last minute sub for the regular guide who had to babysit that morning. But the sights were lovely, and we enjoyed the ride up the gondola to Paradise Point with its vantage over the city and port. The tour also stopped at the Botanical Gardens. The driver offered to drop us off downtown by the shopping area, and we took him up on that invitation. If you want to shop for jewelry in particular, this is the port to do it. I lost count of how many jewelry stores there were. We went to the shows almost every night and enjoyed them all. It seems that experienced cruisers may be irked by reappearances of shows they had seen before, but everything was new to us and we were impressed by the singing, dancing and staging/sets of the production shows (Motor City, Destination Anywhere and a couple of others). The magician did a great show at the Explorer's lounge and we are still puzzling over how he did some of the tricks. It's helpful to get to the Explorer's venue at least 15 minutes before show-time, because there are limited seats and they fill up early. We also enjoyed the piano music at one of the bars in the evening. Movies Under the Stars was a bit less successful because seats were often at a premium and the screen was hard to see from some angles and the soundtrack often hard to hear. And of course, if it was cold or windy or too sunny, that made it less pleasant to stay put for the duration of the movie. Saw a couple of movies in the theater too. Enjoyed the various trivia contests and other game-type activities, especially the Newlywed and Not-So-Newlywed game. Daily puzzlers at the library were also fun. Also a lot of fun was a "cook-off" between the Executive Chef and the Maitre D'. The former demonstrated some really delicious looking dishes and the latter was over-the-top goofy. New Year's was fun out by the pool on the Lido deck. Lively music, a nice vibe, confetti, and champagne (although you had to buy your own). There was a balloon drop inside for those who didn't want to brave the elements. Most of the shows and many of the activities were introduced by the Cruise Director Ron Goodman and the Deputy Cruise Director Stuart Mac. They were warm, and funny and had a great rapport with each other. They genuinely seemed to enjoy their jobs and the passengers and added a lot to the cruise. Disembarkation was easy. Labels were distributed to cabins identifying which disembarkation group each person was in (which seemed to depend on flight time, and other factors. We were asked to put our main bags in the hallway outside our cabin around dinner time the night before disembarkation with our group's labels, and we reclaimed them the following morning at the ship terminal. Overall, we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
We are loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers. Prices seemed to be a bit high on their ships this fall so we booked on Princess where the pricing was much more affordable. We normally cruise at least twice a year. We had some apprehensions ... Read More
We are loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers. Prices seemed to be a bit high on their ships this fall so we booked on Princess where the pricing was much more affordable. We normally cruise at least twice a year. We had some apprehensions about booking the Crown Princess because two of the couples we sailed with are in their mid twenties and love RCCL for the Royal Promenade, the flow rider and the pub style bar. While on vacation we really vacation. We have theme nights like 80's nights, toga parties and crazy hat nights. Generally we do not do the formalities. Formal night means long pants, unfortunately, with open shirts, crazy hats and lighted jewelry. Other passengers either think we are trashy yet most love to party with us. When entering a dining room for dinner, we get applause. I don't get the whole formal, snooty thing people have about cruising, but I respect it. I wish some passengers would mind their own business. We are not lewd, loud or obnoxious. We basically stick to ourselves unless you want to party with us then you are graciously accepted into the partying. Now that you know where we are coming from I would like to say that we all were very pleased we booked on the Crown. Princess and this ship lived up to most of our expectations. Our only gripe is that the pools and hot tubs are not open all night. We are kind of used to that. Normally w are the last ones up. The nightclub, Skywalkers was great! DJ Emotion was fabulous! Being 57 I am not crazy about listening to techno dance remixes but dancing to it was a riot. We enjoyed his mixes very much. Abi, one of the bar servers, was really attentive and a partier. We drink a lot and he was there whenever we needed him. He is also a great guy. The rooms are larger than on RCCL. This is a plus. The beds were very comfortable although I was not in it much. Our porter was great. We had an inside room, as usual, as again we are very seldom in the room and like th darkness it provides in the morning. The Crown has a beautiful Atrium where you can get great coffees, chai and teas, along with finger sandwiches and pastries. The food in the dining rooms was very good. We had everything from great tenderloin filets, lobster and beef wellington to fried calamari, french fries and watermelon soup. The food all rally is of high quality for a cruise ship. The buffet on the lido deck wa also very good. They had everything from crab and lobster claws to reuben sandwiches. Again, all of high quality for a buffet. Pools were great as were the hot tubs. Clean and never overly crowded. Just wished they stayed open longer. Pools games were th same they have on every other ship. They are always fun. The outdoor movie screen is a great idea. We watched a Monday night Football game and a couple of late night movies. Better than the rock wall on RCCL, in my opinion. Some of the bars were stuffy but we avoided them. The large theater was very warm and the seating was tight so we did not frequent it much. There were many other comedians, bands and entertainment in other venues on board. There as always something to do or you could make your own party in the nightclubs or on deck. Embarkation and and debarkation went smooth and tidy. We really loved the ship. We really loved the itinerary. We do a day pass at the Wyndham Cozumel resort. Really fun times there. All the food and drink you can ingest plus swim up bar and a fabulous beach. Princess Cay is a bunch of fun and very pretty, a great stop. We were all a bit concerned about Roatan, as none of us have been there before and none of us really enjoy Costa Maya which is a similar port. Roatan is beautiful and has fantastic beaches and amenities. We only went to the beach, so I can't comment on the rest of the island. Clean and really a lot of fun. 7 mile beach in Grand Cayman is a must do if you are in to sun and sand. Overall this was a terrific cruise. The Crown Princess should be a ship to consider if you are planning a cruise. We highly recommend it, just keep the darn pools open later. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Wanting a break from flying & with my Wife pestering me to go on a cruise for some time,in a moment of weakness I relnted & back in January I booked a cruise to Iceland & Norway aboard the Crown Princess for July 29th. My ... Read More
Wanting a break from flying & with my Wife pestering me to go on a cruise for some time,in a moment of weakness I relnted & back in January I booked a cruise to Iceland & Norway aboard the Crown Princess for July 29th. My reluctance has nothing to do with sailing,I love it & where possible would much rather use a ferry than a plane but more than a couple of days on board did not appeal. My enthusiasm did not alter as cruise time approached,this was costing me serious money,I suddenly had to buy a suit,proper slacks,proper shirts(neck size-don't ask me I haven't bought one in 20+ years!),a final last minute shopping spree sorted them just in time to pack. By this time my Wife was also having 2nd thoughts,we had found out about the $10+ tipping per person per day,the 15% on drinks,the price of the drinks,no tea & coffee facilities,$10 each for half a day in the Sanctuary,only 1 bottle of wine each to be taken on board,we could buy a Half bottle of Vodka from the Steward for £10.63(no doubt plus 15%),some items on the buffet may incur an extra charge,$20/$25 each extra to eat in the 'proper' restaurants,her claim that all was included was well & truly coming back to haunt her as we wondered how much flushing the loo would cost! So Thursday July 29th found us at Chester Station to catch an Eavesway Coach(an exellent service,it cost us £148,probably as much as petrol would have cost,no parking fees,really good) to Southampton arriving about 1315hrs,the luggage was removed from the coach & then we alighted. We waited our turn to be sent up an escalator in groups to arrive in what looked like Hell,take a ticket & a seat we were told,easier said than done with so many people in there,but we found one,eventually our turn came & we headed for a check in desk,tried to squeeze in between the 4 at the desk to our left & a similar number on the right & tried to listen to what the Lady was saying above the racket before heading off for the expected pre boarding photo shoot(although little did we suspect at this point how many of these there would be!) & boarded the relative peace & quiet of the vessel. The next part worked surprisingly well,finding the customer services desk to be quiet we changed the auto tipping to a figure we were happy with,deposited an amount of cash for our on board account(my Wife was happier doing it that way) & headed for our cabin. Finding the cabin was easy,slightly mixed feelings as we entered,the bathroom is disapointingly small,we've had bigger on overnight ferries,it looked like somebody had been writing on the walls in a number of places & this wall covering had been scraped off to remove it leaving unsightly patches,overall though,the room was spotless,there was loads of storage space,it was well equipped & quite roomy but the clincher was the balcony which was probably as big as the room,quite superb,one observation being that we at first took to be 'farewell messages' from the seagulls on the balcony furniture turned out to be paint,in fact all over the vessel there were paint splashes & just general iffy paint jobs(looked like I'd done it!),I guess the mark of a hard working vessel. We set sail on time in glorious sunshine,with us sat on our balcony enjoying a lovely sunny summers evening,sipping the Champagne we had bought with us,how could I have had any doubts?........ Dinner time saw us head for the Da Vinci room,seeking a table for 2 but persuaded to share a table with 6 others,all really nice people,but we both had a feeling that it wouldn't always be that way,how right we were! Then followed 3 days at sea,during which some of our worst nightmares came true,the Crown Princess is beautiful but spends most of her year roaming the Carrib. where her large outside spaces come into their own,but as we sailed up through the Irish Sea(where a large number of passengers were already wearing coats,hats,scarves,gloves,etc while we were still in t shirts & shorts) & up toward the Arctic Circle the decks became vast empty spaces,wherever you went inside so,it seems,did the other 3000+ passengers,making for cramped & overcrowded conditions.Breakfast,lunch or dinner in the buffet became a battle to get a table,certainly a table for 2 became impossible,some of the sharing was not a nice experience! Normally when away if things got this crowded we would retire to our room where would would share a bottle or two of wine while my Wife knitted & I listened to music,here the price of drink made this a big no,no! Ok for reference,2 large Jamesons Irish Whiskey came in at $22+,2 bottles of Grolsch $13+,2 pints of Stella $15+,cocktails were $6.95,the cheapest bottle of wine $24,both + 15%,it was going to be a sober trip! We settled into a routine,early rise for breakfast(not what we had planned) in the Da Vinci(occasionally in the buffet although the food there was sometimes cold) & we booked a table for 2 each evening in the Da Vinci,apart from the 3 nights(the 2 formal nights & the last night) in The Crown Grill.The food was superb,service excellent although the Da Vinci did resemble a mad house at busy times,the staff were magnificent. My Wife found herself a cosy seat in the Explorers Lounge on sea days for knitting,while I strolled the decks,exploring every nook & cranny,this was heaven to me,many years ago I was a regular sea traveller to the Isle Of Man,many times just for day trips & just standing on deck watching the world go by was wonderful to me,so I was quite happy. We loved the Crooners Lounge where three Mexican guys,Goce,Jose & Oswaldo were the life & soul of the party,quite brilliant,along with Doreen in the Wheelhouse Bar & our Steward,Phong,were the people we were really sorry to say goodbye to at the end of our cruise.I think a special mention also to the Phillipino guy at the Calypso Bar,the outside bar below the movie screen,no matter what the weather or temperature he kept smiling,no doubt while dreaming of the return to the Carrib! Having said that we didn't get to enjoy these areas as much as we might want,too often the Crooners Lounge would be full with people reading books from the nearby Library & the Wheelhouse Bar would be full with people doing quizzes,even when you wanted to pay those prices sometimes you couldn't! So we really loved the Crown Princess,warts & all,it's a beautiful ship,a wonderful crew,she is big & it was so impressive how the crew manouvered her in what seemed impossibly tight locations. So now the really irritating thing is the way Princess have turned her into a cash cow,leaving us with the impression that the only ultimate escape they are interested in is your escape from your cash! Having already mentioned the welcome aboard photo shoot & the lack of room to move inside at times,well it got much worse,the area between Crooners & the Wheelhouse is a pretty busy area,add a photo shoot area one side & tables outside the shops on the other & not only have you got lines of people trying to get through this area but now having to battle past crowds which have gathered there to be photographed(photos were $29.95 each) or to shop,this was a regular occurance,indeed table & phot opportunities kept springing up everywhere making getting around a real pain,just to amplify the problem there was the art auctions where every chair,table,pillar,wall,set of steps,etc in the Explorers area had at least one piece leaning against it making it ineveitable that they would be knocked over or people would trip over them,& making seating in the area difficult. The photos were the biggest problem for most people tho',the photographers seemed to be everywhere,they tried to get everybody as they got off the vessel at each port,all around the vessel in the evenings,out on deck when cruising the Fjords,even when we were trying to have a peaceful meal in the Crown grill where we thought we would have peace & quiet. As for the shore excursions,we had a manic run up to the cruise & had decided to forget the organised tours(they seemed very expensive) & just have leisurly strolls at our stops,the first of which was Rekjavik,bad planning,not only did we disembark in gale force winds & driving rain but it was a Bank Holiday,not only that but a shop workers bank holiday so pretty much everywhere was shut,we took a shuttle bus into what was pretty much a ghost town,visited the very impressive church,took the lift up the tower for wonderful views before taking the shuttle bus back to the ship for the best piece of entertainment of the cruise(the intended entertainment seemed pretty poor but it wasn't my kind of thing so it could just be me!),there were 2 gangways out,one was closed,the other,a steep & narrow wooden one being in use,one member of crew kept shouting at the long line of people waiting to form 2 lines,totally ignoring the fact that people were also trying to get down the gangway followed by pure farce,some poor souls in wheelchairs having to be physically,carried,dragged,whatever up this gangway,what year is it,how can they not have a better system than this,meanwhile we in the lengthening line watched the ever darkening sky! Second stop in Iceland,Akureyri,a very pretty little town where did some strolling,photo taking & then some people watching outside a very busy & pleasant cafe while downing a few beers,before returning to the ship,a good day. Another day at sea followed before our first Norway stop,Aalesund,high level pics I had seen made the place look unbelievably pretty so after exploring the harbour & town area we headed up the 418 steps(my knees haven't recovered yet!) for the view,wow,absolutely breathtaking,we headed back down & because of my Irish roots we headed the Dirty Nelly's Irish Bar only to find it shut,we went downstairs next door & enjoyed some superb beers while chatting to the owner,returned to the ship for a wonderful send off,another great day. The next day saw us cruising the Fjords,quite magnificent,stopping at Geiranger on a very hot day,another impossibly beautiful place,strolling up to the waterfall & church before returning dockside for the customary people watching & beers at Cafe Ole,taking the frequent tender back to the ship. Olden was next,another misty start as we again cruised up Fjords to reach another beautiful place,by now we had decided that we must return to Norway,the people & scenery made a huge impression on us,usual routine of exploring,people watching & beer before probably the biggest send off of the trip so far in brilliant sunshine! The last stop was Bergen,it had long bugged me how they had worked out the schedule on this trip,Bergen seemed to have more to see but here we were arriving at 0700 on a Sunday morning & leaving at 1400hrs,what would be open,well the Tourist Info was & we headed there for tickets for the Funicular,a good move avoiding the long lines at the station itself,getting up there just before the weather closed in & ruined the view,this was to become one of their 300 rainy days in a year it seemed,we took shelter at the Fish Market where the seats were nearly all soaking,they didn't seem well prepared for all the rain they apparently get!To add insult to injury instead of berthing at the Bryggen as we had expected at the last minute we were told that we would be at the Container terminal as the CP was too big,sounds a poor excuse,she has been here before,more likely a reason being that there were 2 other Cruise Ships there!All this meant shuttle buses again from the Museums,the last one being at 1245,making the chance of getting a last beer in Norway unlikely as Sunday laws phorbid sales of alcohol until noon,an Oriental lady on one of the fish market stalls did sell bottled beer though,couldn't understand a word on the label so it probably was alcohol free but it looked & tasted right & was selling well!A poor finish to what had been a great time in Norway,not surprisingly there were not too many people to see us off in such a remote spot! A few days previously I had checked our online account,surprised at how much was left,a message on the bottom told me that we were cleared for automatic check out & did not need to visit Customer Services again,luckily I did,asking how long it would take for the remaining funds to be credited to the card I had registered I was rather surprised to be told that it wouldn't,I had to go to Customer Services to collect it or lose it,so much for not having to go there again! So began the jouney back to Southampton where we arrived at 0500hrs on the Tuesday morning,a wet welcome,we had breakfast before heading for our designated departure point,clutching the tiny coloured tear off bits from the luggage tags which we were told to guard with our lives as they are required to leave the vessel & collect your luggage,I've still not been asked for them so I guess it's OK to throw them away now! Entering the baggage hall we located the line of luggage marked Purple which was our colour,only to find our suitcases in the neighbouring Orange line,far easier than expected,we had heard some horror stories about this part,exiting the terminal we duly found our Eavesway bus waiting to whisk us back to Chester. Overall we enjoyed it,a beautiful ship with great crew,a great pity that Princess left us with an overall money grabbing feeling,would we do it again,our hearts say yes,our minds are less certain,looks like back to the USA next year! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
I won't repeat what the last reviewer said about this trip to Iceland and NOrway from Southhampton. Pretty much I agree with this report: here are some different comments > Although I didn't particularly love the places we ... Read More
I won't repeat what the last reviewer said about this trip to Iceland and NOrway from Southhampton. Pretty much I agree with this report: here are some different comments > Although I didn't particularly love the places we visited, I did love this cruise, it was my first, and I am not a cruise type person...... I travel a lot, and since I travel alone generally.. cruises don't work financially. I am 55, and single. As for this trip... 2/3 of the boat was 70-80 yrs old... or appeared to be, and were couples. Most passangers were British. we opted for anytime dining and shared tables. 10 out of the 12 nights, the dinner conversation consisted of the others comparing their ( very numerous) cruises and experiences. Sometimes, they seemed to be in competition.This was a vey affluent group . 9these are all things that prospective travelers should know0 the formal dinners were amazing and have spoiled me for local restaurants. I have nothing but praise for the Princess staff, the kitchen, the dining room personell and the menus. I am almost sorry that this was my first cruise as I believe it will be a hard act to follow.......... Iceland/Norway... expensive ! the forays into town can be cheaper with a sandwich from the boat..and also, there is little time to visit so this saves the cafe time. The excursions from the boat cost double what you'd pay if you book from a local port travel service or online before you go. many times tours around town on a bus etc.... are avail right there as you get off the boat.. for even less than 1/2 . If money is no issue, just book through boat..why not. I did bring two large bottles of wine with me in my suitcase..kept them in the in room refrig..... it is within the princess guidelines.. I asked my steward for a corkscrew as mine broke..and wine glasses..There is a tip structure of $ 10.50 per day charged to your onboard credit card for service. We gave our steward another tip as well. Drinks were mostly $ 6.50 or so... you can save money with a wine card/or a coffee card... I ordered room service often for breakfast..it is continental but it is nice to have coffee in the room as you get ready for the day with a balcony.. it was too chilly to enjoy the balcony for about half the trip. each room has a hairdryer.. nice bathroom, I was happy with my room size and storage and safe. And, now..although " I am not a cruise persoN" I find myself surfing the net looking for more of these 'ESCAPES" Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Booked the Rodeway Airport/Cruiseport for the night prior to embarkation. Decent facility at a very fair price - $85/night included shuttle from airport and to cruiseport plus a very nice breakfast. Embarkation was very efficient - we ... Read More
Booked the Rodeway Airport/Cruiseport for the night prior to embarkation. Decent facility at a very fair price - $85/night included shuttle from airport and to cruiseport plus a very nice breakfast. Embarkation was very efficient - we were in our stateroom in under an hour from the time we arrived at the port. Baggage was slow to be delivered but with 3000 guests and therefore 6000+ bags, I can't complain. Food - we opted for anytime dining and LOVED it. The folks we met each lunch/dinner were friendly & talkative, from a variety of places and walks of life. I can't recall a single bad meal. Service was excellent. Breakfasts served in the dining room were a real treat. The International Cafe on the Plaza deck, just down from our stateroom was fabulous. The donuts, exp. the chocolate dipped, in the morning were heavenly. The $1.50 three-scoop gelato would have been a bargain at twice the price!! Service - our room steward Robert was attentive and efficient. Our favorite staff in the International Cafe - Nadiia and Roderick - were a joy. Entertainment - loved the comedians, esp. Troy Thirdgill, and Berte the piano man. Attended two of the main theatre shows and enjoyed them. The Movies Under The Stars were enjoyable - saw The Blind Side and Sherlock Holmes. Not so keen on the band Straight Up. Cabin - our outside cabin on port side of Deck 5 fully met our needs. Small but very functional. Great closet space. Great to have the mini-fridge. Had carried 2 bottles of white wine on board without problem and so was able to keep them chilled. Fitness Centre - made good use of the treadmills throughout the trip and my wife participated in several of the free classes - circuit training, morning stretch, etc. Disappointed that they charge $10 per for spin classes, yoga and pilates. IMHO these should be without charge. Formal nights - both my wife and I enjoy dressing for formal occassions so came prepared with tux, long gown, etc. Pleasantly surprised that there were so many like minded souls. My wife enjoyed the pouring the champagne pyramid on night 1 and the balloon drop/dancing on night 2 was great. Disembarkation - a very well run operation. Less than 1/2 hour from the time we showed up at our meeting spot until the time we were on shore with suitcases in hand. Shuttle to airport - pre purchased a shuttle coupon through the Rodeway Inn. Called the shuttle from a coutesy phone outside the terminal, it arrived in less than 15 minutes. One further stop to pick up folks disembarking from the Oasis of the Seas and then a short drive to the airport. Read Less
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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