15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Getting on the ship - We flew into Seattle early Saturday and took Princess shuttle to port. Shuttle was easy to find, lots of Princess employees to take bags and give directions. Waited about 1 hour at port before we were able to board, ... Read More
Getting on the ship - We flew into Seattle early Saturday and took Princess shuttle to port. Shuttle was easy to find, lots of Princess employees to take bags and give directions. Waited about 1 hour at port before we were able to board, so not too long. Ship Cabin - I was expecting a very small room but was happy as it was almost the size of hotel room (I had a balcony, maybe that helped.) There was enough storage to unpack everything. The shower was small but plenty big for one person to use. The bathroom was large enough for me to get ready in the bathroom while the wife showered and vice versa. Ship - The ship had a pool for families in back, 2 pools and 4 hot tubs for everyone's use mid-ship and (for a small fee) an adults only pool and hot tub up front. I had planned on using the hot tub, especially during the nights, but with children playing in the pool and tubs there wasn't a nice quiet time to use them other than before breakfast unless you paid for the adult only area. They had a bar and casino which we never used. Movies outside almost every night, recent releases like The Martian and Star Wars, so if you were willing to put up with the wind and cold it was good. Food - We mostly ate at the buffet due to our schedule. Large selection so you could always get something you wanted. Fruit was very good and fresh while the rest of the menu was ok, good but not great. We did pay extra, $29 each, to eat at the steakhouse for dinner, this was very good and well worth the extra as we had shipboard credits to use. Pizza was open for lunch until 9 or 10 at night and was good. They also had soft serve ice cream and a hamburger/hot dog grill but I didn't try those. I did pay for the all inclusive beverage package. On the days at sea it was good to have but for 4 of our 7 days we were in ports so it wound up being a loss of money for me as you need 6 or 7 drinks per day to break even. If I do this again I will stick to the soda package and pay for any alcohol I drink. Ship decks were plenty big so we could move side to side without being too crowded to view the glaciers or whales as we went back. Activities - Lots of entertainment, especially at night but being early we go to bed early and get up around 4 so I missed most of the music and bar scene. They did have a speaker give 4 sessions about the wildlife and native people of the area which was very informative and worth the hour per session. They had a photography class which was a refresher for me but could be useful depending on your knowledge of your camera. Staff - All the staff were great, courteous at all times despite my first time cruiser 'stupid' questions. The room was always kept clean and lots of staff at the buffet to take your dirty plates and get drinks for you. Excursions - We stopped at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria, pretty standard among all cruise it seems. At Juneau we took a helicopter to Mendenhall glacier and ran a dog sled. It was great and highly recommended with one caveat - $$$. At night we went whale watching and saw many whales in the inlet. Skagway was a railroad ride and visit to Liarsville. Salmon bake at Liarsville was a very good lunch with a little show and gold panning. Ketchikan was a wildlife viewing cruise, no bear sightings but eagles, deer and seals made it a good trip. Victoria was orca viewing in Juan de Fuca strait, couple of people thought it was rough but tour guides said we were lucky as it was calm. I guess if you aren't used to the water it could bother you. Summary - I enjoyed the ports and want to go to Denali sometime so I will probably cruise to Anchorage and visit these same ports to do that but I don't see myself cruising the caribbean or down to Mexico. Lots of people were in the bar watching tv or in the casino but I can do that at home so the non-port days weren't the best. I did have a good time and if I do cruise again it will be with Princess. As a first timer I don't have anything to compare to but everything was good and I would hate to switch to try to find something better and wind up being disappointed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This extended family of 8 cruise was my mother's wish to celebrate her 80th birthday. As first time cruisers, my husband and I were already wanting to do it again before we disembarked! We can't say enough about the ... Read More
This extended family of 8 cruise was my mother's wish to celebrate her 80th birthday. As first time cruisers, my husband and I were already wanting to do it again before we disembarked! We can't say enough about the Discovery/Animal Planet Whale Watching excursion with Gastineau Guiding. Amazing! The room steward, Edgar, was so pleasant and always around even though we are not high maintenance guests. The ship was clean and the crew polite. The dining menu was a little too fancy for our 10 year old. I would have rated this a 5 except for a couple things. There was one server in the Da Vinci Dining room that was trying to hurry us out. We had anytime dining and were not able to arrive until 9pm due to a unanticipated late 8:00 return from an excursion scheduled through Princess. We were also not pleased with the kids programming at Shock Waves. We registered my 10 year old upon booking. We received a schedule of events the 1st night. We signed her in 3 different times on different days for scheduled events. Upon signing her out, none of the 3 scheduled events actually occurred. The kids were just allowed "free play". We purchased a photo package on the ship that included a flash drive. Upon returning home, 6 of the 10 photo files were corrupted. BUT, we called Princess explained our situation, the photo department contacted us right away. We emailed them the required information and got a new flash drive in the mail 3 days later! Now that is customer service done right! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first cruise and we really, really enjoyed it. The Crown Princess is definitely showing some age, but they keep everything clean and tidy. Embarkation was smooth and we got there early enough to be near the front of the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we really, really enjoyed it. The Crown Princess is definitely showing some age, but they keep everything clean and tidy. Embarkation was smooth and we got there early enough to be near the front of the line, even though our cruise was almost 3 hours late to set sail due to over 500 late arrivals! It ended up being a gorgeous sail away, the sun was setting across Vancouver as we left the port, those pictures are some of my favorites. The food left something to be desired in my opinion, the buffet food was almost inedible, we tried it twice and just didn't bother to go again, it tasted like cheap cafeteria food that's been sitting under heat lamps for hours. We ended up paying to eat at the steakhouse and Italian restaurant more often because the food quality was FAR superior to the buffet and dining rooms. We splurged for the gourmet coffee stamp card, we used almost all the stamps and looked forward to a delicious, fancy hot coffee to enjoy on the deck everyday. We didn't catch any on board entertainment because the BEST show was happening outside!! The views were jaw-dropping and I just couldn't tear myself away to see a cheesy cruise ship show... Maybe next time i'll try one? Movies under the stars was just too cold to endure at night, even with the blankets and hot cocoa. The ports were fantastic, we were like kids on Christmas morning every time we got to a new port, we couldn't wait to explore. We did the train ride in Skagway (WOW!!) and Zip-lining in Ketchikan.. so fun! We also did the tram ride up the mountain in Juneau and did a little hike when we got to the top. We would 100% do this cruise again (and we plan on it!) Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
My parents treated me to my 1st ever cruise...a 7 day Mexican Riveria cruise from L.A. We had a mini-suite (Dolphin Deck - deck 9, and mid-ship) so it was a great location for a cabin. I was so not sure of what to expect, I expected to ... Read More
My parents treated me to my 1st ever cruise...a 7 day Mexican Riveria cruise from L.A. We had a mini-suite (Dolphin Deck - deck 9, and mid-ship) so it was a great location for a cabin. I was so not sure of what to expect, I expected to feel the motion of the ship way more than I did. Anyway, the ship was really nice, the cabin was great, big enough for 3 people, but would have been better for just 2, but anyway, the ship was nice, the food was amazing and the crew was friendly, attentive, helpful and always eager to please. Here are the negatives, at least for me: first, we went on Presidents Day weekend, AND it was also Valentines Day, so as a single, it was all families and couples - so BOO to that, nothing for a single girl to do. Second, the first 2.5 days we were at sea, that was brutal, there was nothing fun to do in the way of things I like, like there was no pool table, bowling alley, karoke bar, not even a big slide for the pool. What there was however, was a art auction (snooze), movies under the starts (played almost ALL kids movies), bingo, line dancing, knitting group meet up, etc, all stuff for old people (and I am 47), but c'mon. The casino was the only saving grace, but they allowed people to SMOKE in there ! Ew - really ? The shows were not really interesting enough to even go see, except the comedian, but he was only on for like 40 minutes. Overall, the boat was nice, the crew was great, our cabin was pretty big, but if you are a single person, this is probably not the cruise line for you. I will most likely not cruise again, or maybe go with friends and not for 7 days. ***Side Note*** for those of you who do not know, cruise ship employees work about 91 hours a WEEK! I have a friend who is a Cruise Ship Director and that is what she has told me, so if you go - please try to remember that and treat them nicely. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2016
My first cruise, just wanted a short, relaxing getaway to see if I would enjoy it. Used EZAir and Princess Transfer, which were very smooth despite my flight getting cancelled and replaced by another. I was on the ship within 90 minutes ... Read More
My first cruise, just wanted a short, relaxing getaway to see if I would enjoy it. Used EZAir and Princess Transfer, which were very smooth despite my flight getting cancelled and replaced by another. I was on the ship within 90 minutes of landing at LAX. There were plenty of helpful staff at the airport and the cruise terminal and almost no lines anywhere. In general the ship was very nice, clean, did not feel crowded (except for maybe the Piazza), and easy to navigate. There were plenty of friendly and helpful crew around. The other passengers were to my liking: friendly and not too rowdy. Entertainment was okay: a comedian whom I found hilarious and a nice dance show, but the comedy/juggling act one night (called Team Rootberry) was shockingly bad. Food was good and plentiful. I am a vegetarian and ate well for the most part, though I think my head waiter could have been more helpful with dinner choices (I've written a separate review with pictures here http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=49150111). Pizza was good, but I don't know why it's been called "the best pizza at sea" unless pizza on other cruise lines is just bad. Room service was good, though I wish they had more vegetarian choices, and the room service breakfast, while simple, was prompt and nice to be able to eat on the balcony. I didn't participate in many excursions as I just wanted to relax on the boat. The tour to La Bufadora in Ensenada was nice. I also didn't attend many enrichment activities onboard, except one health seminar that was more an advertisement for a detox program offered by the spa. I had a nice massage, but probably not worth the cost just to have it on a boat. Disembarkation was good, although less smooth than embarkation. Again, I was at the airport within 90 minutes of my disembarkation time. Princess requests that passengers not arrive at their assigned meeting place for disembarkation early, so I arrived two minutes early only to find that my group had already left. For some reason crew is scant during disembarkation and I couldn't find anyone to ask where I should go. Not a big deal but a little frustrating. Overall, a relaxing cruise with good service for a reasonable price. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
The ship overall was very nice, some what dated but clean and very large. I did not even feel like I was on a ship. I took a lot of medication just in case because I can get car sick but did not need it one time. The service was awesome, ... Read More
The ship overall was very nice, some what dated but clean and very large. I did not even feel like I was on a ship. I took a lot of medication just in case because I can get car sick but did not need it one time. The service was awesome, loved all the staff. We chose anytime dining because we were not sure what time we wanted to eat every day. We were happy with this choice and came and went as we wanted. We joke that we ate our way through Alaska. Room service was great and we used it the day of Glacier Bay because we did not want to leave our room or balcony and miss a moment. I went to my first art auction and loved it everyone should for sure go once. We were so tired from the shore excursions that we would come back to the ship eat and go to the balcony and fall asleep , than move to the bed. I was also not to excited about being on a ship with so many people and loading and unloading but the process they have down and it is quite efficient and it did not bother me at all. I would for sure go on another Princess Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
We have cruised several times, although I think this is the first review we have written. This was however the first time we have ever cruised in a suite. (We were given a last minute upgrade purchase option that made it all worth it). The ... Read More
We have cruised several times, although I think this is the first review we have written. This was however the first time we have ever cruised in a suite. (We were given a last minute upgrade purchase option that made it all worth it). The other important thing to know is that our entire family are vegetarians. Embarkation went smoothly. Smoother than we have had in the past, but we have never been in a suite before, so we were nicely moved along to a separate room, where we were the 2nd group to board the ship. (B2B-ers went first). They had the normal ship coffee and pastries. The room was nosier than we expected, being right next the metal detectors, you could hear a lot of what was going on there. The cabin was really amazing. Again, being the first time in a suite, we were surprised at the overall size of the cabin, although it is still smaller then you think it should be based on the photos and floor plan. The floor plan was the same as the one they show online, but the balcony (being an aft cabin) was really large. There was more than enough room for the two lounge chairs and the table and chairs they had out there. The bed was comfortable, slightly better than we have had on previous Princess cruises. The extra pillows were also nice. The bathroom was very nice, having a full sized whirlpool bathtub and separate shower. The sink area had ample storage for our short cruise, but the closet was small, fine for our 4 day or even a 7 day, but you would need to rely on the free laundry that comes as a perk of the suite to do much over 7 days with that closet. We visited the Lotus Spa on the first day and had a look at the thermal suite (something you can use for free as a suite passenger) but never found the time to go back and actually use it while at sea. The staff was knowledgeable, but as usual it’s a pretty hard sell. We did not see any shows while on board, as we had our 18 month old who preferred to go to bed after dinner, but we did enjoy the various groups they have around the ship. The shows were heavy on comedy, not toddler friendly. The events that we viewed Pool, board and trivia games all looked very well organized and people were having a lot of fun. We did not go to either Sabatini’s or the Crown Grill, primarily because they don’t have a lot of offerings to vegetarians and it seems silly to get the same food they would prepare in the dining room for a $25 surcharge (Although for longer voyages, Suites do get the first night at a specialty restaurant comp’d). The few times we ate at the Horizon Court Buffet, there was a reasonable selection of food, most of the people knew what was in the food when asked (is there meat in this?). The food was hot and fairly fresh. As usual, the desserts found at the Buffet were dry, too sweet or overall just not high quality. They were quick to find a high chair each time we needed. We had traditional early dining at Botticelli’s (Deck 6 –Aft) and were pleasantly surprised each evening. The head waiter visited us and made sure there was something on the menu each night for us. The 50th anniversary dinner was very poorly planned for vegetarians, so the head chef made us a pasta primavera that evening and our daughter had a very fancy grilled cheese sandwich. It was excellent. We had tea in our suite several times. (Another suite perk) Because a lot of the sandwiches contain meat, and the rest of the desserts they serve are very like those from the buffet, we focus our tea time on the scones, cream and jam. They delivered large quantities of the scones, jam and cream- so much so that where we actually kept the jam for the next day. In addition, they delivered fresh canapés to our room and for vegetarians this meant chocolate dipped strawberries- in our room, every day. Amazing. Because we were in a suite, we were able to have breakfast each morning in Sabatini’s. This was a great experience, although one of the days all of the timings were off. I am not sure if someone was missing or what was going on, but almost everything took forever and food was not as fresh as the other mornings. The food was for the most part excellent, and they will go and get almost anything for you – but they don’t have some things on hand that I would have expected (like berries). The service was great, with one exception. We were inquiring about the “Private portrait sitting with onboard photographer” as we had our 18 month old we were interested in getting a family portrait. On the typical flyer, there is no mention of cost, but when looking at the list of services in the room, it noted a “nominal fee” would be charged. When we asked down in the photo gallery about what it was, and how much it cost, we were told that a portrait sitting was free. So we asked the front desk, and this caused massive confusion, with no less than 6 calls/messages and emails back to corporate to figure out what we were asking about (because somewhere along the line we were asking for something for free, and they were not sure how to do that) In the end they said they could not do it for free, (even though we are fairly sure it is free for everyone else) we just gave up. The room steward was great, cleaning up after us and my 18 month old and making sure we had DVDs in our room as requested through-out the cruise. Disembarkation is the one thing that Princess just can’t get right. We have been part of relatively smooth ones and disasters. It started with them sending us luggage tags that put is in “Pink 6”, which nicely had us off the ship fairly early in the morning. (Scheduled to meet at 8:45). There was a small note on the bottom of the instructions that basically said “We gave you luggage tags, but we expect you to deal with all of your own luggage” I confirmed with the services desk we were currently in the self-disembark group. This surprised us a little, as we have never asked for it, and last Princess Cruise we were on (4 months earlier) we were told we could NOT self-disembark because we had 3 pieces of luggage and only two adults. In the morning, around 8:30 we headed down to the Da Vinci Dining Room with our luggage. This was not exactly easy, having to use multiple sets of elevators (as we had our luggage) only to finally arrive on the 6th floor to be told, we could get off the ship already just go back up the stairs to the 7th floor and get off the ship. We finally got an elevator (about 10 seconds before deciding to make multiple trips up the stairs) made it back to the 7th floor to find complete chaos. There were no instructions or directions to how to get off the ship. We finally asked someone, and were taken down a back way to get off the ship (as we left, we heard him use the radio asking why no one was escorting people to the correct doors). Overall, we had a great cruise, and enjoyed the perks of a suite. We would definitely take them up on an offer to upgrade again, but not sure we could justify the full price cost, although we have decided that for our 25th anniversary we go to Hawaii 14-day in an aft suite. Pictures of the ship and our cabin can be found here: https://plus.google.com/photos/112661749207210693534/albums/6115849031021612785/6115849057770445170?pid=6115849057770445170&oid=112661749207210693534   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
It is our first cruise, and while we had a good time my husband and me, we must say that it was almost impossible to forget the two thousand + passengers onboard. Acitivities on the boat were full or crowded, dining was always an issue ... Read More
It is our first cruise, and while we had a good time my husband and me, we must say that it was almost impossible to forget the two thousand + passengers onboard. Acitivities on the boat were full or crowded, dining was always an issue between 6 & 8pm. We were told by an employee that it was difficult to manage so many people, and that we had to make reservations by 8am sharp. Hum...so much for the relaxing atmosphere. Overall, the service was very friendly when provided by kind, humble staff. Yet, the Eastern staff (Ukrainian, serbians...)was not as friendly, and definitively not humble. Food was very good, but stay away from any "so called" French food. The chefs are not up to the task, beside very good quiches and fresh fruit tarts. As for the meals, mistakes were corrected, apologies stated, yet two of our evenings were spoiled, and no reparation was done! The room was very small, yet we spent a lot of time in it, as we do not like crowded places. We strongly recommand the "Zipline in the Jungle" in Puerto Vallarta. Soooo much fun!!!!!! Although their picture packages are very expensive compare to other excursions along the trip. Overall, a good experience, but not as relaxing as expected.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
Things to keep in mind as you read this: 1. First time cruisers. 2. Spouse is out of her comfort zone and is not adventurous. 3. 75 year old mother is in cabin right across hall. 4. Ship is huge with 3000+ people. 5. Expectation is ... Read More
Things to keep in mind as you read this: 1. First time cruisers. 2. Spouse is out of her comfort zone and is not adventurous. 3. 75 year old mother is in cabin right across hall. 4. Ship is huge with 3000+ people. 5. Expectation is that everything is paid for. 6. Not expecting a medium to hard sell to buy extras (Think time share presentation!!) 7. Weather was horrible with two days at sea that were very rough. 8. Two out of the three of us ended up getting sick 4-5 days into the cruise. On July 4th 2014 three people embarked upon their first cruise. The cruise included a land tour immediately following the water portion. Three celebrations would occur on this cruise: A 30 year anniversary; A 75th Birthday; 32 year retirement. We arrived in Vancouver and stayed overnight at the Quality Hotel in Richmond. I would highly recommend this hotel as an alternative to the higher priced downtown hotels. Saturday morning we took a taxi to the docks. The taxi cost $35 and delivered us right to the cruise entry area. I would highly recommend this mode of transportation. Porters then took all of our luggage which eventually showed up in our rooms. More on this later. We entered into a line that moved right along through customs and security. We had arrived at this area around 11:00. We then entered an area with chairs and this is where the cruise line took over. Someone made the decision to start boarding early and off we went. We were immediately stopped to take the embarkation photos. Let me stop right here and say that unbeknownst to us this was the first of what we found to be very intrusive picture taking. We also did not know that these pictures would be displayed for all to see and of course would be available to purchase for $20 per page. Each "page" consisted of either one 8x10 or a collage of three photos. Every time we turned around it seemed the cruise line wanted to take another photo. We started to say no very quickly. I'm talking about every port you stop at, every time you sit down to dine, as you walk through the picture gallery, etc... After stepping on board there were plenty of Princess employees to help us find our cabins. My wife and I had a balcony room and right across from us my mom had her room. (See description of cabin.) We found that Princess placed employees that spoke and understood english at strategic locations. However many, many, employees seemed to neither understand or speak english. We found this to be a problem when we would ask someone for directions or a general question about the cruise. As a matter of fact the only people who knew anything about our specific cruise was the people at the 800 number. You really, really need to know your own personal itinerary!!! The employees on the ship know only about their own area or specialty. Don't get me wrong every single employee we met tried to help us. Our head waiter for our dining room visited our table every evening. Our room steward was fantastic. Our server was also fantastic. Everyone had a job to do and did it well. As I said earlier every time we turned around it seemed that Princess was trying to sell us something or there was an extra fee. From the pictures to the bingo to the markers for the bingo cards to the so called auction to the drink programs to the specialty dining to the exorbitant fees for the Lotus Spa and the hard pressure sale of their products to the cost for the Sanctuary to the tour of the kitchen and then have to squeeze by the table where they are selling cookbooks and then at the end of the tour going into a room where they are selling leftover items from previous cruises. It all got to be to much and frankly turned us off on future cruises. Now let's talk about the tipping. Princess charges $11.50 per day per person for tips. Other then your tour director if you take a land tour there are no other tips you HAVE to give. Tips are also automatically added onto any bar tab. When you break it down this is really not to bad. However it does make you stop and think how much are the people who are personally serving you getting?!? As soon as possible after boarding I would highly recommend going to the main desk and opting out of this tipping charge. Then give your room steward a good tip right from the start as well as your server and assistant server. In other words tip those people who actually serve you. With regards to #4 above. Anytime you stick 3000+ people in an enclosed area there will be problems. If you try to go to a show or any event for that matter GET THERE EARLY!!!! I don't care how big the ship is, if you do not like a lot of people around you don't go on a cruise. Also it is impossible to sanitize a ship this big when you only have 4 hours to do so. By the time we disembarked I would unscientifically estimate that half the ship had some sort of cold or ailment. My mom ended up almost having to go to the hospital and did go to the ER after getting home. She was diagnosed with bronchitis. I am still getting over whatever I had. Cold like symptoms. If you can I would recommend taking antibiotics right when the cruise starts. Now the food and dining. Immediately after boarding the ship the buffet's were open for lunch. It was fantastic. As a matter of fact we found the buffet's to be better then the traditional dining. They seemed to have almost the exact same choices as we were given. We did a traditional seating for dinner at 6PM. First of all breakfast. You go to the buffets for breakfast. I kid you not. They have everything you could possibly think of for breakfast. Lunches are a different matter. When we were at port we wanted to dine at a local restaurant which we did. We even had dinner at Skagway. there was always a buffet open on the ship. The first dinner was a bit hectic for everyone passengers and servers. It settled down after that. The way the traditional dinners work is that you are given a menu. This menu will have 6 or 7 appetizer choices, a couple of soup choices, a couple of salad choices and 7 or 8 entree choices. Every night there are special choices in each category. You really can order whatever you want off of this menu. You want one of each appetizer...go for it. Let me make one thing clear. Except for lobster night there are no "high priced" choices. All of the prime steaks are at the Crown Grill. All of the specialty seafood is at the Crown Grill or Sabatini's. The food was good but I still think the buffet is the better value. SIGN UP FOR TRADITIONAL DINING but other then the formal nights and/or lobster night go to the buffet. And you can go to any of the dining rooms and view that nights choices and make your decision then. One more thing...If you do decide not to attend your traditional dining seating please let the dining room know. In addition to these there was also an ice cream bar, a poolside grill (great hamburgers), a pizza area, and the international cafe. All of these areas had free food. There was a charge for milkshakes. Specialty dining......We did two specialty dining options that I would like to mention. As part of a promotion we received a voucher to attend one specialty restaurant. We choose Crown Grill. Hands down probably one of the best porterhouse steaks I have ever had. If we ever go on another Princess cruise I would definitely pay an extra $25 and do this again. Another "specialty dining" we did was an in room champagne breakfast. You can pick the time you want this served. We choose the day and about the time we were going to get to the glaciers. It was fantastic. More food then we could ever have eaten. And high quality food. I would highly recommend this option. Drink programs. We did not purchase a program. Frankly I don't see how this is a good value. You have a fridge in your room. No you cannot bring alcohol onto the ship. But unless you are an alcoholic there is no way one person is going to drink $56 worth of booze in one day. You can bring pop and water onto the ship. So at the first port buy some! Or just get your pop fix at the port itself. The cost for a bottle or can of pop on-board is not that bad either. I don't see how the cruise lines are making money off of this unless people are just clueless or filthy rich. NOTE...I did purchase the coffee card. This is the only beverage option that you can share if you like and if you don't use all of the punches you can take it on the next cruise or give it to someone else. Excursions.....The one Princess excursion we went on was very well organized and the tour guides were well spoken and informed. The decision to book tours ahead of time is a personal one. KEEP IN MIND that you have until 6PM I believe to cancel any tours for Monday morning (our cruise started on Saturday). After that any pre-booked tours have to be canceled at least 48 hours prior or you will forfeit your money. No negotiating. When we got sick, which we had no control over, we tried to appeal to many people to no avail. We ended up paying for an excursion we were to ill to go on. Based on the lines I saw many people wait to book their tours on-board. i will say this...We were offered the same tour that we had to cancel later that same day with an extra thrown in. We also heard of tours that were canceled due to lack of enough people signing up. So good luck with the excursions. On Board Activities...On board activities were plentiful. Of course the obligatory casino. We attended dance classes, bingo, cooking demonstration and kitchen tour, comedian, art auction, band performances, stopped to watch some movie under the stars, and went to the Sanctuary pool and hot tub (Free). The minerature golf course and basketball courts were in sad shape. The fitness center looked pretty nice. My wife and mom got some things done at the Lotus Spa on the very first day. They ran some specials. Princess Patter....The Princess Patter is a "newspaper" that shows up in your mailbox which is just outside of your cabin, later in the evening. This paper will list all the events upcoming for the next day. Weird things to take with you.....take a highlighter with you to highlight those things in the Princess Patter you are interested in...take some regular tape with you to tape those things you will need for the next day on the obligatory big picture in your room or the mirror...maybe take some packing tape with you to send stuff in priority mail boxes back home...get a pair of comfortable water proof shoes to take the place of maybe two pairs...extension cord...don't forget chargers...binoculars...camera(s)...For women-Take at least 1 dressy sweater and a pashmina/extra large scarf for your shoulders. Some of the areas of the ship are rather chilly. Do Not Take....A LOT OF CLOTHES....Believe it or not at the very first port there were nice jackets for sale at numerous shops for only $20...t-shirts $10...sweaters and hoodies $15...hats 3 for $10....These prices were consistent at every port we stopped in...Both men and womens items. And you need souveniers! Men...Take one pair of dress shoes...one or two pair of dress pants..and 3 or 4 shirts to match them. Any more then that would be overkill. I wore shorts on the ship and jeans on land. The weather was chilly on our cruise. Debarkation...I don't care what the Patter says...Get to your debarkation point at least 10 minutes early. This like everything else was well organized. That's about it. We did take a land tour in conjunction with the cruise through Princess. Two days at Princess Denali and two days at Princess McKinley. By the way Mt McKinley and Mt. Denali are the same mountain! We had a fantastic tour guide and except for being sick had a great time. I would highly recommend this add on. HOWEVER...The train ride was horrible. 10 1/2 hours on a slow moving train looking at the same scenery over and over. Even though it is included in the price I would skip the train and find alternate transportation to the lodge. After further consideration if it hadn't been for getting sick we would have had a very good time. There are many things that I wish I would have known beforehand and I have tried to convey these in this review.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
General comments: We are in our late 20s and this was our first cruise. We chose to do a cruise as a low stress way to fit in several destinations over a short period of time, and it was a great decision. We stopped in several beautiful ... Read More
General comments: We are in our late 20s and this was our first cruise. We chose to do a cruise as a low stress way to fit in several destinations over a short period of time, and it was a great decision. We stopped in several beautiful ports (Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Katakolon, Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Santorini, Naples, Rome), more than we would have been able to cover on our own over 12 days. After a busy day it was great to be able to come back to the ship to relax. I did feel a bit trapped on the two sea days and found some areas of the ship quite noisy. It was much easier to find a quite spot to relax near the front of the ship just outside the sanctuary. Room: We had a balcony cabin on the caribe deck (deck 10). Balconies on this deck seemed to be the largest, and were half covered, half exposed. Because we booked a balcony and not a mini suite, we only had two rather uncomfortable chairs and a small side table. I had read some reviews saying the chairs were uncomfortable and was surprised that it was as noticeable as it was (I thought people may have been exaggerating). We asked for stools thinking that it might help and were provided smaller side tables to use as stools (real stools are apparently only for the minisuites). Anyways, fairly minor issue but did impact the amount of time we spent on the balcony. Because of this, I would probably look at another cruise line that offered more spacious rooms (i.e. with a couch or living space) and better balcony furniture before sailing with Princess again. The room otherwise was great. Flat screen tv, efficient bathroom, large closet with room to store everything. Our room steward Jerry was excellent and refreshed our room several times a day. Restaurants: Buffet was good with new items daily. Most things were pretty good and only a few misses. I enjoyed the smoked salmon for breakfast and the different scrambled egg combinations each morning. Pizza was very good and we often had it as an afternoon snack. Dinner in the main dinning room was also quite good. I really enjoyed the clam linguini as well as the lobster tail on the second formal night. They had some really creative soups as well. Cheesecake and princess love boat dream desserts were delicious. Portions are small enough that you can order all 3 courses. Wine selection was good and reasonably priced, especially coming from Canada. We got a seven bottle wine card that cost around $140 (I don't remember the exact cost). On one of the sea days, there was a free cooking demonstration led by the chef and the head maitre D, followed by a tour of one of the kitchens. Highly recommend. We didn't pay to try the specialty restaurants, as we were very satisfied with the main dinning rooms. Coffee, tea, iced tea, lemonade, and juices at breakfast all free. The sushi at the vines wine bar was decent (complementary with wine order), about what I expected on a cruise ship. Public spaces/entertainment: The restaurants, buffet, etc were all very clean and nice spaces. The main atrium area was also very nice, as were the lounges on flours 5-7. I didn't really think they were dated. There were hardly ever any people in the lounges or bars after dinner, but maybe because it was a port intensive cruise and there weren't that many younger people. As mentioned, I found the areas around the pools very noisy with loud music and movies going all day. Pools were always very crowded on sea days. The best spot we found to read and relax was at the front of the ship, just outside the sanctuary (anyone can use the pool outside of the spa, which was generally much less busy, especially at the beginning of the cruise before people discovered it). The bars we enjoyed most were tradewinds and the aft bar (great place to watch the sunset). We also enjoyed walking around the promenade deck. It looked like a nice place to read during the day if you wanted to avoid the sun. Other: We didn't do any princess tours, because once we did a bit of research, we found better options with private tours or using public transit. Highly recommend rick steves book for do-it yourselfers. Note that Princess sometimes omitted info or provided false info to sell their transfers. In particular, they advised people that there were 50 stairs and no escalators if they decided to take the train to Rome instead of paying for a transfer, and we didn't encounter any stairs at all after a quick 10 min walk from the port terminal. Also, there was a public bus for I think $1.60 euro in Mykonos, but they were pushing people to buy bus tickets for a shuttle to town for $15 dollars to avoid a dangerous walk along the road. On a positive note, the crew was flexible in terms of what you could bring on board at each port. Overall, it was a great experience and a great way to see a lot of different places in a short period of time. We came home feeling relaxed, which may not have been the case if we had tried to visit the same places in the same period of time on our own Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
This was my 3rd cruise, but first with Princess. Also on this cruise was my boyfriend, and this was his first ever cruise, and my parents, who have a few cruises under their belts to say the least! Getting to the port from Fort ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise, but first with Princess. Also on this cruise was my boyfriend, and this was his first ever cruise, and my parents, who have a few cruises under their belts to say the least! Getting to the port from Fort Lauderdale Airport was a bit of a mess ... the layout and traffic flow leaves a lot to be desired, but we eventually got in there! We paid for a transfer through Princess from the Airport to the port, but I don't think a cab would have cost any more money. We made independent arrangements coming home because we were going to a hotel for a night before our flight home. Getting on the ship was easy enough, no big lines and our luggage got to our room just after dinner (we had the early seating). Overall impression was good. We had a fantastic time. Our room could not have been better, we were right need the elevators, had a fabulous balcony room on the 14th deck and just loved the view! My parents also had a balcony room a few decks down midship (but we liked ours better). Our Room Steward was very pleasant and always greeted us by name when he saw us and would stop and chat for a few minutes, we really enjoyed him. He took great care of our room and we never had any problems. I would suggest to future cruisers that if you know what shore excursions you want to do, you book them even before getting on the ship. Virtually ALL of the shore excursions in ALL of the ports were Sold Out before we got on the ship, which was disappointing because there were some that we would have done if they had been available, so Princess lost out there in my books. The entertainment on the ship was also pretty good. We didn't get to all the shows but did enjoy the ones we did go see. Our favourite was the comedian, Rollin' Jay Moore ... he had us laughing and crying from almost start to finish! We enjoyed the Casino (really liked the Smoke Free Nights), would have liked to see the Texas Hold'Em on a real table with a live dealer, we don't play video poker. We took a few of the beginning dance classes and watched a few. All of the entertainment in the Piazza was wonderful and you would stop to watch or listen. There were a lot of choices for watching movies which was really nice, we did watch War Horse under the stars, but couldn't really hear the movie and we watched the Descendants in the Princess Theatre and it was quite good. The food was a plenty to say the least. We had a formal dining room reservation, but didn't go that much, I would say only 3 of the nights. We just found the menu to be too over the top for us, maybe we are more simple, but we couldn't pronounce half the stuff on there, let alone know what it was. They only had a steak one night (last cruise I went on it was on the menu 90% of the time). We also thought there would have been more seafood offered, and they did have fish almost every night, but it was just so "fufu fancy" that it didn't appeal to us. We ate most of our meals in the Horizon Court or Caribe where it was simplified and buffet style and it was quite good. All the food was good, don't get me wrong, but a lot of the dining room items were just over our head and not appealing to us and what we are used to. Our Ports were fantastic! We went to Princess Cays and tendered in and didn't have any issues. We bought a soda package and were disappointed that we could not use it on the Princess Cays, which stuck us as odd, since it was owned and operated by Princess, but that was our only real "complaint" about our experience there. The water was a tad on the chilly side, but I don't think Princess had any control over that .. LOL! The beach was beautiful and people seemed to enjoy themselves. Curacao was my favourite place I have ever cruised to ... we just fell in love with it! The people were super friendly. We didn't book any tours or excursions in any of the ports, instead we just got off the ship and walked around, finding very quickly a 2 hour tour in an A/C van that hit all the tourist attractions and then dropped us off at the beach for the afternoon. Our guide was good, gave us a lot of information about the Island, its history, its current way of life and we had lots of time after the tour to go to the beach and then hit the town and check out the local vendors. This is definitely a place we will return to! Aruba was our final destination, and it was also a beautiful Island. We did the same thing as we did in Curacao and got a 2 hour tour with a beach drop off ... both of which were only $20 per person .. which we found very economical for the 2 of us and really gave us a chance to "see it all". The beaches were gorgeous and the water was warm. We wanted to buy some of their coin currency before getting back on the ship from the local vendors, but none of them would sell us any which we found as odd and disappointing and by that time the bank was closed. Overall, Aruba was beautiful and all of the Islands were hard to say goodbye to! The ship itself was very nice. Our only complaint is that we tried to go up to play the mini putt a few times and there were never any balls to play with, but overall it was a very nice ship, easy to get around. We went on a kitchen galley tour which was pretty cool and their kitchen was in impeccable shape and very, very clean. We also tried to watch one of the movies "Under the Stars" but we could not hear the movie, so we only tried that once, but they had plenty of movies running throughout the day for entertainment. We did not travel with any children this cruise, but there were plenty of them on the ship! Getting off the ship was pretty easy, we had one of the later times to get off, but it was a pretty good process and the only hiccup was actually getting transportation out of the port. There was a big lack of taxis (cars and vans) getting off and we had to wait quite a while to actually get a taxi that we could fit into. Cost about $40 to get to our hotel (which I found a bit steep) and from there we flew out the next day to Tennessee. So, overall we had a great vacation. We really enjoyed ourselves, had plenty to eat and drink. We LOVED our room and the ship was great. We didn't care for the formal dining room menus, had too much on it that we didn't know what it was and the menu just wasn't that appealing to our tastes in food. The staff in the dining room were good, just not very personable, friendly yes, personable no. We just felt they came off stiff, they didn't talk to us much other then to get our orders and deliver our food. My boyfriend expected to see more seafood options on the menu then there was and I would have liked to see steak, more then the 1 time it was offered. I do have to say that I had the very best Cheese Ravioli on the dinner buffet that I have ever had! It was also a nice treat to see Biscuits and Gravy on the breakfast buffet 2 mornings, made my boyfriend feel a little more at home. Our overall impression of the crew was ok. Alina in the Casino was very good with the customers and was the most interactive with the passengers. Our Room Steward, Richard, was also very enjoyable and friendly. Outside of that, the crew was there, but just "stuffy" ... I just didn't get a real "fun atmosphere" feel from them ... I just didn't get a real vacation vibe from the crew in general. I have previously cruised with Carnival and Royal Caribbean before and the general vibe or feel on those ships were just very different ... Princess just seemed to lack the "fun feel". Would have liked to see an Alcohol Drink Package offered and a Drink of the Day ... would have made it feel more like a vacation. Their unlimited Soda package for $49.00 (unlimited sodas, juice and mocktails) was a great value. The coffee on the ship was awful ... no matter how much sugar and cream I put in it, I still couldn't choke it down, however we did have a few fancy coffees and they were quite good! So, would we sail with Princess again? Probably .. would they be my first choice? Not for our next cruise probably. We are looking to book Alaska for 2013, so I am starting my research now. My parents who were on the cruise with us have sailed with Princess previously and had the same thoughts as we did, especially about the food and coffee. I believe they will be sending Princess a personal review. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
This was my first cruise and my partner's 3'rd (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity)Just like everybody else the delays at the Embarkation was a setback and caused some inconvenience. There was no food at all except for the concession ... Read More
This was my first cruise and my partner's 3'rd (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity)Just like everybody else the delays at the Embarkation was a setback and caused some inconvenience. There was no food at all except for the concession which was expensive. I would take the delay rather then going on the ship with no cleanup done at all. Once we boarded and got our room everything was good and embarked at 5pm with no delays going to Princess Cays. Restaurants On the evening of the embarkation we had Assigned dining at 5:30 but never made it because of the delays so we went to the Horizon Court buffet for diner which was a big mistake. The food was mediocre to say the least. After that we switched to anytime dining for the rest of the cruise. We went to Michael Angelo's and Da Vinci's for dinner on Sunday and Monday evening and thoroughly enjoyed every Entree from the appetizers to the wonderful desserts. The waiters were very friendly and courteous. Sabatini's was not what we expected the seas were rough on the night we were there but not to the point where glasses were sliding off the tables. I thought the service was slow and the food was not up to par from even revamping the menu didn't appeal to us. I had the triple lobster and was missing something ( butter I would assume) and was dry. My partner had the duck and it was tough and chewy. We both liked the International Cafe for the pastries and the salads. The shrimp and chicken salads I would recommend trying them out. The coffee was ok but not worth $2.00 for a 16oz cup of java. The pizzeria on the deck was good and liked the free ice cream as well. One last this regarding the MDR and Formal nights the dress code is very relaxed we seen people wearing shorts and Hawaiian shirts and still let them in. I know the ship was in Red Alert and had to comply with the policy from management but some people still complained about it and such as why can't I pour my own milk and I need more sugar!!! This goes to the lady who complained about the slow service and not being able to touch the milk or handle the sugar all her DH did was sit there and do nothing!! Grow a pair!! Entertainment We enjoyed the shows at the theater, Motown, Princess Anywhere Anytime, Swell Time. Comedian Phil Tag was hilarious and had the crowd laughing all the time. The Karaoke challenges and trivia games were a great way to entertain and enjoy the evening even with the rough seas. Movies under the starts is a good idea but can be a bit too loud when relaxing during the day but well worth it in the evening. Excursions Princess Cays After waiting at Michael Angelo's for our tender ( 2 were out of service)arriving at Princess Cays we walked around took some pictures and and got some sun tanning. The only disappointment was the buffet closed early and had to wait to go back the the ship for lunch. If they new they were short 2 tenders wouldn't they figure something out or at least have the buffet stay open longer?? Curacao Is very colorful with the buildings on each side of the port. We took the ferry over although it was crowded it didn't take very long. You can walk around and be done in about an hour. We stopped and had a cocktail and Iguana bar what ever its called. The drinks were good and and more alcohol then some of the watered down ones on the ship. Aruba What can I say other then it rained but didn't dampen our spirits. The excursions on the ship are expensive and you can get a better deal at one of the buses that will take you around the north end of the island for a 2 hour tour for $20.00. You'll see the Aloe Vera plant, Eagle and Palm beach and a small chapel on the way as well. Hopefully next time there wont be rain and more sun to enjoy it but you cant control the weather. Service ETC.. In all the service from the stewards was excellent considering they were under a lot of pressure to ensure the ship was kept in good condition. As for the Noro virus we had to issues at all as long as you wash your hands frequently and don`t do anything stupid you`ll be fine. We met and talked to a lot of people from all over the world. The rough seas and the gale warning form the captain didn't bother me I enjoyed the tossing and turning and have been on worse seas in a speedboat in the Dominican. In all it was a great cruise even with the minor setbacks I would go on Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We booked a Southern Caribbean New Years nine day cruise on the Crown Princess. This was our first experience in cruising, so we really did not know what to expect. We were not real sure if we would like it. But it was better then what we ... Read More
We booked a Southern Caribbean New Years nine day cruise on the Crown Princess. This was our first experience in cruising, so we really did not know what to expect. We were not real sure if we would like it. But it was better then what we expected. We were totally taken back by the size of the ship and it's decor that included beautiful paintings and murals throughout the ship and a gorgeous foyer and it's amenities that include multiple dining venues (Traditional Dining, Anytime Dining, Specialty Dining or Casual Dining), four outdoor deck areas, multiple sports facilities, four pools, and nine hot tubs (one was not working), An indoor theater and a huge outdoor flat panel screen for movies under the stars, a casino, a spa, and duty free shops to name a few. Even though, at the time of the cruise, the Crown Princess was full to capacity, it did not seem overly crowded because of it's size and there was so much to do. The only time I felt it, were the days we were at sea and everyone wanted a chaise lounge, we needed to go early to secure one. The weather did not always cooperate and we had days at sea where it was only in the upper 70's and cloudy with sprinkles at times. So it made those chairs a little more desirable when the weather was good. When we entered our room, it was average, clean and very small (285 Sq Ft), the shower too was very small. My husband who is 6'3" complained about it's size with good reason. We had a decent size balcony that I enjoyed, especially as we were approaching the islands and I loved watching the sunset. I felt the staff was always very pleasant and seemed to always want you to not so much as get your own coffee. The ship had many activities, we did not do much during the day, but we went to shows that included dancing, comedians, comedians/magicians,and hypnotist. Our Cruise included ports of call at Dominica, Barbados, Antigua, St Thomas, and Princess Cuys. Our First stop was Dominica, we signed up in advance for the "Dominica River Float Excursion" for $59. It took some time to get there (90 minutes) and the island itself is really not too picturesque, so the ride was not really entertaining. But once we got to the area to tube it was a lot of fun. For those of you who would love to try this, you should have your swimsuit on and a pair of waterproof shoes because you will need to walk down to the river and there are sharp rocks in that area and in the river. We left our belongings on the truck while tubing. They will supply you with a safety vest. It was very enjoyable and I would highly recommend it. Our next stop was Barbados where we signed up for the "Five-Star Sail & Turtles with Lunch" for $79. We sailed aboard a Catamaran and snorkeled in Payne's Bay where we saw many turtles, and many other types of fish and spied a few baby stingrays. After snorkeling, we enjoyed lunch, an open bar and a swim to a very pristine beach. The weather cooperated and it was a beautiful and enjoyable day and I would highly recommend it. Our next stop was Antigua where we just planned to swim on one of their many pristine beaches (they have 365 of them), but the weather was very cool in the morning with a threat of rain. Therefore, we decided to take a island tour with one of the locals for $25. We stopped of at their National Museum, it cost an additional $7 and was not worth it. All in all the day was just ok. Our next stop was St Thomas where we decided on the excursion "Views of St. Thomas" for $39. St Thomas was the most beautiful Island we had been on, so it was breathtaking. Our tour was a 3 hours long and included a skyride to the top of Paradise Point and other observation decks throughout the island. I felt it was a good way of seeing the island as a whole. Our next stop was supposed to be the Princess Cays, but the weather did not cooperate and the captain made the announcement early in the day, that due to the rough waters we would not be able to stop at the island. Due to the size of the ship, we were to be tendered to the island in small boats, but the captain felt it was too unsafe. Our excursion was to take a ride on a glass bottom boat. This was a disappointment to me. But non the less, we spent the day at Sea. Our final day, We had a late flight 8:30 PM. We were supposed to vacate our staterooms by 8:00 am Luckily, Princess made it easy for us. They had an excursion for passengers in our situation. Since we Disembarked at Port Everglades, Fl in Ft Lauderdale, our excursion was an "Everglades Airboat ride & Flamingo Gardens Wildlife Sanctuary" for $64. I did enjoy the Flamingo Garden and Wildlife, but I can't say I enjoyed the airboat ride we saw very little wildlife in it's natural habitat. Our tour guide for this excursion was very knowledgeable and interesting and that in itself made it enjoyable. Overall, I felt that the cruise exceeded our expectations and my husband who was not so sure of going on a cruise at all has since been searching the web for another one. I felt that Princess has thought of everything, from keeping the passengers informed with the Princess Patter they distribute daily to keep all of us informed of the daily activities and gave background and a map of each island we visited The food and entertainment was good. The cruise line took pictures all throughout the cruise for you to purchase at the end. I felt they were very organized with both the embarkation and disembarkation. The only time we had any complaints would be our first port Dominica we went down early and we were waiting to get off the boat and it was very crowded and then finally they opened up the gate to let us out, what a relief. And my second complaint would be the not going to Princess Cays but of course that would not be the cruise line's fault. I would highly recommend a cruise for anyone thinking about it, I really liked Princess, but this was our first cruise so I have nothing else to compare it to. I cannot wait to do it again! 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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