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: 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: 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: 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: May 2012
My friend and I booked our first cruise with Princess because we had heard good reports about them. All started well but then we were informed by other passengers that the trip to Rhodes had been cancelled, no information from Princess. ... Read More
My friend and I booked our first cruise with Princess because we had heard good reports about them. All started well but then we were informed by other passengers that the trip to Rhodes had been cancelled, no information from Princess. Rhodes and Santorini were the two most important islands which made us book this trip. The trip to Santorini was a total waste of $55 dollars, my advice to future passengers on this cruise is do your own thing, you will see far more of the island, we saw nothing. You are more than encouraged to buy a 'coffee card', if you want what they call speciality coffees you have to pay for them, the card costs $33 and then you can get a cappacino or latte, great. The food in the main restaurants was excellent but there are two restaurants on board that have a cover charge if you use them, one of $25 and one $20. At the end of the cruise we were supposed to have a tour of Rome with time for lunch and shopping before going to the airport, this did not happen we were taken to the airport at 10 a.m. for our flight out at 17.20 p.m. 7 hours to wait with luggage in the airport, NOT GOOD PRINCESS. I have written twice to the company about these items but they have not had the decency to even write and say they are looking into our concerns. TWO PEOPLE WHO WILL NOT BE TAKING ANOTHER PRINCESS CRUISE. 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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