23 Princess Crown Princess Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Our cruise gang chose this cruise because of the less frequently visited islands on the trip. We enjoyed the 10 day cruise with 4 adjoining balcony cabins on Caribe deck. The extra large balconies allowed the 8 of us to gather together ... Read More
Our cruise gang chose this cruise because of the less frequently visited islands on the trip. We enjoyed the 10 day cruise with 4 adjoining balcony cabins on Caribe deck. The extra large balconies allowed the 8 of us to gather together both morning for coffee from international café and evening over wine we brought along! We experienced the gambit from a day at the beach in Antiqua to our catamaran sail in St. Kitts. The crew was both entertaining and helpful in every way. The wine drinkers in our group enjoyed Vines bar and the beer drinkers liked the wheelhouse bar before dinner. We enjoyed both Crown Grill for awesome steaks and Sabatini's for delicious Italian ,as well as the dining room for excellent dinners. We found the entertainment to be varied enough for our group ,but the comedian was outstanding and we enjoyed both of his shows!! We found the crew to be fun loving and helpful in every way. We will be sailing with Princess again very soon. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It was the in-between that fell flat. This was mine and my husband's (no children with us) 7th Princess cruise, and our worst. It was a 5-day cruise on the Crown Princess to Grand Turk ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It was the in-between that fell flat. This was mine and my husband's (no children with us) 7th Princess cruise, and our worst. It was a 5-day cruise on the Crown Princess to Grand Turk and Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. Very disappointing. On the first day we discovered our favorite pool on the back of the ship was closed and remained closed all week. The pool at the estuary was being re-tiled, so it was also closed all week. That left only two pools open for over 3000 guests. The ship is going in for refurbishing, and the entire crew seemed to have a don't care attitude. The food was horrible, and the service was worse. We saw our cabin attendant when we checked into our room and not again until we were departing the ship. The very last night I got a virus and was medically escorted from the ship at departure, so we weren't given the opportunity to print out our folio of expenses. I have called Princess twice this past week to have it emailed to me. I still don't have. The worst part was we were travelling with four other couples, three of which had never cruised Princess, and one couple who had never cruised at all. That couple said they were looking for the wow factor and was very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We are long time Princess Cruisers. Wanted a nice get away and the price was very nice. The ship is scheduled for dry dock in March and could use some freshening up. Definitely needs new beds. Entertainment was good. Was hoping for a new ... Read More
We are long time Princess Cruisers. Wanted a nice get away and the price was very nice. The ship is scheduled for dry dock in March and could use some freshening up. Definitely needs new beds. Entertainment was good. Was hoping for a new Stephen Schwartz show, but some of the dancers had bee injured and they could not do the show with the remaining members. But the ones who were left were among the best we have ever seen on Princess. The show Encore was fantastic and the new deck party is a lot of fun. The islands we visited have made good progress recovering from Irma. But you can see that there was major damage. Enjoyed Antigua and we were the first Princess ship to can at St Maarten. The people in St Maarten were really glad to see us back. Just embraced the return of tourists. One of the reasons we picked this cruise was to see the Dominican Republic. This was a new port for us. The port, Amber Cove is very nice-- not much of beach, but nice pool and great hammocks. Our Tour of Porta Plata was the worst tour I have ever been on. Terrible itinerary and terrible guide. Was hoping to see some of the nice beaches, but really rode around and guide mumbled and we went to a really bad gift shop and he did not want to leave. Wanted his kick back. Just a terrible shore excursion. Some people had gotten nice independent taxi tours and others not so good. Just not a pleasant port and I felt that Princess did not do enough to make sure the tour was a good experience. Also, was very disappointed that they had changed the policy in the Crown Grill to have an extra charge for more than one entree. I hated it on Celebrity and was so sad to see it on Princess. Also, for scallop lovers the wonderful scallops are not longer there. The staff was very good and we really enjoyed the cruise, just hate to see Princess following RCCL's policy of piling on extra charges. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Staff was very friendly, rooms were clean and I found it easy to navigate around the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. I like that there is an adult pool at the back of the ship and on the main deck there was always fun ... Read More
Staff was very friendly, rooms were clean and I found it easy to navigate around the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. I like that there is an adult pool at the back of the ship and on the main deck there was always fun activities going on. Inside cabin is actually not that bad and our room was pretty quiet. There was a duvet under the bed that I used and the room had tons of closet space. The food wasn't my favorite but the presentation and service was excellent. I liked how there was a selection of bars to go to each with different things going on and I liked that it had a night club. I got the drink package and like that the limit was 15 per day, it is expensive but overall worth it if you drink more than 6 drinks per day. I would definitely cruise with Princess again, so far it is my favorite cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My AWESOME friend won this cruise through Air Miles and chose ME as her guest! It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for such a wonderful vacation, especially for two former single moms getting back on our feet and not being ... Read More
My AWESOME friend won this cruise through Air Miles and chose ME as her guest! It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for such a wonderful vacation, especially for two former single moms getting back on our feet and not being able to afford a cruise vacation. We were treated like royalty, the food was out-of-this-world and the room service (by Rey!) was incredible! The activities on board kept us so busy that we never even had time to swim in the ship pool(s) or soak in any of the hot-tubs. Our tours were phenomenal, although more time allotted at each port would have allowed for more relaxation time on the beach and/or souvenir shopping; an extra 2 hours per port would have been perfect. WHAT A FANTASTIC TRIP! We ported in Cozumel for the jeep/snorkel tour and ported in The Bahamas for the bus tour/snorkel experience. We got to try conch for the first time ever and it was delicious! We learned a lot about the Bahamian people, their culture and traditions, but especially enjoyed the little middle school children singing for us. The Princess Cays is gorgeous with the soft white sand and beautiful turquoise water. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Air Miles and the Crown Princess for ensuring that our cruise was even more AMAZING than I could ever imagine!!! Cindy Drysdale Guest of Jacquie van Leeuwen Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My first complain complain is the bed furniture need to be replaced very badly, the mattress has cave in that make us feel like sleeping in the sink hole (it also happen to friends of us on other room), otherwise the room is clean and cozy ... Read More
My first complain complain is the bed furniture need to be replaced very badly, the mattress has cave in that make us feel like sleeping in the sink hole (it also happen to friends of us on other room), otherwise the room is clean and cozy except the shower room is so tiny, it doesn't have room to turn around for a skinny person like me (I am only 140 pounds and 5 feet 7), I wonder how can I 200 pounder can take their shower. Second is the embarkation is a mess and chaos, our priority boarding is long and tiresome, other than that everything is excellent: the boarding process is somehow smooth, the food are excellent and the dinning service is excellent but the buffet service is not good (stuff are talking to each other and ignore our present, so we have to get our own drink after waiting for 30 minutes), all on board program and activities are excellent, never have a bore moment.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I'm not sure where to begin... the food or the constant Sewer smell? My husband and I have cruised to Alaska 2 years ago with Celebrity Solstice and being on this ship was hell compared to our last trip. I don't typically ... Read More
I'm not sure where to begin... the food or the constant Sewer smell? My husband and I have cruised to Alaska 2 years ago with Celebrity Solstice and being on this ship was hell compared to our last trip. I don't typically write reviews and it took me several attempts to figure out how to write a review here. It was worth the effort and time to get my words down. Upon our late arrival (have to give it to princess crew for getting us on board as we almost did not make it), we went to our cabin to be greeted by our nice steward. my husband and I immediately smelled a sewer type smelling the hallway and in our room. I asked what that smell was and he said "what smell?" throughout the entire cruise we smelled this mid ship on all floors we were at. We met up with 15 other family members for a reunion on this trip and family members were complaining about the same foul sewer smell. Like water that spills on a carpet and not dealt with and mildew sets in..you know what I'm talking about right? Anyway, this smell didn't stop there..the dining room had a horrible smell going down the entryway and hall way.. it was vile. like old food. I was more comfortable in the public restrooms honestly as they were very clean! after we had booked this trip, I started reading reviews and there were many complaints about the food. Well I have to tell you.. I should have NOT eaten their food in the buffet or dining room. I would have saved in days of illness (still recovering) among other family members. It is very very very clear that this was all food related, contaminated food perhaps. If you want cold milk, forget it... luke warm...if you want cold yogurt, forget it...luke warm, if you want cheese, forget it..sweaty wilty and warm..(every single day!). I tried to eat fruit most of the time. We ate in the dining room every night and the food was also luke warm.. I was feeling sick every night. then BAM! in and out of the restroom... couldn't go out of my room and nauseated..still sick.. past four days. Just got home yesterday. It could be that I have that Noravirus as my Dr just started me on antibiotics. After doing some research on this ship, I found they had 2 breakouts this year on their ship! this virus is caused by contaminated food. go figure.. will never set foot on this ship again. Do yourself a favor..stay away if you want to stay healthy! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Choose Princess as recommendation from our travel agent. Boarding and exiting ship was well organized. The ship is large and while they give you a map it took several days to get around comfortably. We had a mini suite and it was very ... Read More
Choose Princess as recommendation from our travel agent. Boarding and exiting ship was well organized. The ship is large and while they give you a map it took several days to get around comfortably. We had a mini suite and it was very comfortable with plenty of storage. We brought two bottles of wine and our steward provided two wine glasses and gave us clean ones each day. The buffets were just "ok" while the formal dinners were better. When going for breakfast or lunch get a table first before going through the buffet. We Did not know about the causal sit down option until day 4; while the food is the same as buffet, the sit down waiter service is much nicer. We had to adjust our food expectations and will try up charge restaurants next time. The entertainment was excellent and enjoyed the variety, especially the cruise director "Dan", he was funny, entertaining and informative. While this was our first cruise, it will not be our last, we did enjoy the balcony and excursions. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was the first of our bucket list trips and found Alaska to be wonderful and exciting. We had done the northbound 7 day cruise from Vancouver to Whittier on the Crown and then a 4 day cruise tour to Fairbanks. The ship was OK and the ... Read More
This was the first of our bucket list trips and found Alaska to be wonderful and exciting. We had done the northbound 7 day cruise from Vancouver to Whittier on the Crown and then a 4 day cruise tour to Fairbanks. The ship was OK and the food typical, but nothing to write home about. The dining rooms were very oddly placed and we found ourselves getting turned around a lot during the week. We did have a specialty dinner in the Crown Grill that was very good and had excellent service. We were very lucky as not having to experience too much rain and spent a lot of time outdoors even in the coolest of temperatures where we enjoyed the burger center and the pizza counter on the outer deck for lunch. Although I am not one for ship entertainment, my wife felt the entertainment less than good, but we totally enjoyed the comedian (Katz). The event schedule during the days were sparse and on the last day, evening events on the schedule crammed together. We also found the ships officers/upper staff to be non-existent. We have sailed on other cruise lines that the officers were always apparent and always quick to introduce themselves and chat with passengers, but not so on this ship. Our cruise tour was awesome starting in Whittier and making our way north staying at different Princess lodges with McKinley and Denali being our favorites. The train ride was informative, but we had quite a few non-English speaking people in our car who were very loud and made it difficult to hear the narration of our surroundings. Be prepared to spend a small fortune for food as you are kind of locked in to all of the lodges for eatery choices. The one thing about these lodges are that they all lack are safes, so carry your passport and most valuables with you. Embarkation was ok, the lines were a bit long. Good thing we had a terrific cab driver who got us right in to the terminal and later, disembarking pretty seamless, but very wet due to the rain. After all being briefly said, this was a wonderful experience, but with the pricing, I know now why this was a ‘PRINCESS’ cruise…..prepare to ante up…. CRUISE TOUR McKinley Lodge….After disembarking the train we motor coached to Talkeetna. We opted to get off and tour this small town and enjoy an open air restaurant for lunch. Then got a shuttle to the lodge where you can enjoy sitting around the fire pits at night having a drink and doing a meet and greet and waiting for Mt McKinley to clear enough to see it at 100%. At the Denali lodge we took an 5 hour narrated excursion into the park….wish we would have done the 8 hour trip that went deeper into the park. The Princess Lodge in Fairbanks was the final destination. Since most of the flight s back home was at night, we opted to rent a car and tour on our own starting in the interesting town of Northpole, Alaska…then on to the Falmouth Auto Museum and the University   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Embarkation- Horrendous is not an overstatement. You would think that the Port Everglades Princess staff had never had to check-in customers where visas or other special country entry docs were required. We arrived at the port about ... Read More
Embarkation- Horrendous is not an overstatement. You would think that the Port Everglades Princess staff had never had to check-in customers where visas or other special country entry docs were required. We arrived at the port about 2-hours after the check-in process had begun thinking that we would be able check-in easily and board the ship promptly as we had grown accustom to doing from past experiences. To our surprise the line was +2-hours long and even the most frequent Princess cruise customers who normally get priority treatment had similar waits. Princess blamed the wait on their need to check each passenger’s special paperwork required for entry into Brazil and Argentina. In reality Princess mismanaged the check-in process as they had options to speed up check-in but relied on their SOP which failed them. My suggestion would be to add more check-in clerks, allow check-in to start earlier and then work the passenger line sorting out those passengers who have the proper docs from those that do not. Ship Maintenance- Everything on board the ship was clean and in good working order. It was apparent that the ship’s crew works diligently to keep the ship in good condition. Cabin Steward- Absolutely the best we have ever had on any cruise including the premium cruise lines. Greeted us immediately upon entering our cabin then quickly followed with 2-glasses of “welcome to Crown Princess” champagne. My wife asked for more hangers and he immediately went and got her more than we needed. This pattern of immediate response to our needs continued for the whole cruise. I have repeated examples of these type of responses to our needs. He genuinely felt that it was his job to respond in this way. Food- In general very good with reasonable preparation and nice plate presentations in the main dining rooms. Some menu items are overstated ie; On one occasion Tiger Prawns were really just medium-large shrimp, the size you would get frozen in a bag at the grocery. Filet was something less than the actual cut of meat yet tasty. The buffets always had a nice variety of food that tasted freshly prepared which is complementary to this style meal. Main Dining Room Table Service Staff- Our main dining room waiter and assistant tried hard but it was apparent that they had little experience as illustrated by their lack of knowledge of menu item preparation and ingredients. Their skill level was to repeat what was written on the menu so we were on our own to figure out what we were ordering plus looking at the dishes served to nearby tables helped. They performed their functional duties adequately but it ended there. • On St. Patrick’s Day the main dining room had NO Irish dishes on the menu which we found surprising. I mentioned this to the Head Waiter who gave us a strange response, “We put the menu together months ahead.” to which I replied that St. Patrick’s Day date is well known years in advance, way before Princess plans it’s menu. I was amazed that he would offer up an excuse and least of all, one like this. Buffet Table Service Staff- Slow and inattentive. The staff in the buffets often lacked promptness in taking beverage requests, refills, clearing dishes, etc. SOP was to wave them down to order beverages and refills were never offered as they rarely made eye contact with the diners making it difficult to get their attention. Passengers frequently had to step out of the way to let buffet personnel and servers pass. Front Desk Personnel(Purser’s Desk)- We found all of the staff we interacted with to be friendly, courteous and helpful except the Elite/Suite desk personnel who came across as snooty. The others promptly responded to all our requests. Cabin- We were in a mini-suite center/aft on the port side which we were familiar with from a prior Princess cruise and the cabin on this ship was identical. Everything was clean, in good condition and good working order so no surprises. Any minor issues ie; plugged drain and burned out light bulbs were quickly repaired/replaced. Entertainment- The ships production performers are all very young but do an excellent job learning and performing the many shows on the ship. The orchestra is more seasoned but also do an excellent job in the production shows and supporting the guest entertainers. The other full time ship’s night club musicians do a very nice job as well. • The guest entertainers are 2nd or 3rd tier performers whom you have never heard of but do a nice job. They are varied in their acts and are onboard for just a few days when they are replaced by other performers. Magicians seem to be popular on Princess but it was ironic that the 1st two magicians that performed did the identical opening tricks in the same order. • Movies/presentations- One of the highlights on Princess is “Movies Under the Stars” which was great until they experienced technical problems which lasted the better part of a week and when they got it working again we were beginning the coldest part of the cruise which lasted for 8-9 days so unless you wanted to dress for 40-50 degree weather, “Movies Under the Stars” was out of the question. During the technical problem resolution and cold weather, Princess showed the movies in the Princess theater but that had its own technical challenges as they had to restart their projector every few minutes. The same problem occurred during port lecturers. While all these delays were very brief they were annoying and you ask yourself “Do they really know what they are doing?” • Broadcast entertainment- It seemed like 1/3 to ½ of the limited # of TV channels were devoted to selling you something on Princess. Unlike any hotel in the world, there are no broadcast network channels which seems unheard of in today’s high tech society. Our cruise was during the 2014 Winter Olympics and every country represented on the ship had teams in the games but Princess did not broadcast them at all. There are frequent announcements over the ships loud speakers; a daily update from the Captain or other ship’s officer which are informative, morning & evening announcements from the Cruise Director of the activities of the day which are a repeat of what is presented in the ship’s newspaper and on TV and the most annoying are the extremely loud ads to attend the art sales which always imply “once in a lifetime opportunities”.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
I took a group aboard the Crown and we were disappointed in how much the service has gone down in just a year (the group was on this ship last winter too.) Food was warm not hot. Service was slow. Orders were mixed up and some never got ... Read More
I took a group aboard the Crown and we were disappointed in how much the service has gone down in just a year (the group was on this ship last winter too.) Food was warm not hot. Service was slow. Orders were mixed up and some never got serving they had ordered. The first night we had a table with eight squeezed into a table for six. The chairs had arms on them so I couldn't get my chair close to the table and had to sit on the edge of the chair. After speaking with the Maitre'd we were moved the next night, after his telling me it was "impossible" The room steward wasn't much better. Whenever I asked for something, it never arrived. Much to my surprise they no longer offer dry-cleaning. I had packed lightly thinking I could have an couple of things cleaned mid-cruise and stretch my wardrobe. I was advised by the room steward to not use their "professional cleaning" as they just toss it into a hot washer and hot dryer and the clothes would be ruined. It's unfortunate that we're booked on the Royal for 28-days in April and I am hearing a lot of complaints about that ship too. Princess went "down the tubes" years ago but we had been pleasantly surprised that their level of service and quality of food had improved significantly but they seem on a downhill slide once again. Letters to Princess are ignored. Our flights on our next cruise were booked through Princess and it's been a nightmare. So far, two of the flights don't even exist! This may be our last cruise with them.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
The Norwalk Virus was alive and spreading, even unto warning signs in bathrooms to wash extra clean. Some got cabin fever throwing up for days, others upon returning home. Worst was a 60yo gal with December perfect labs having her liver ... Read More
The Norwalk Virus was alive and spreading, even unto warning signs in bathrooms to wash extra clean. Some got cabin fever throwing up for days, others upon returning home. Worst was a 60yo gal with December perfect labs having her liver fail after 2.5 weeks of Norwalk after departure. (The very next year, news carried Princess had a class action Norwalk suit against them, others having organ complications - which Princess stonewalled.) Norwalk clings to dishes & textiles like glue and even super heated water/bleach doesn't kill it all. Dancing was margin due to ship rocking fore & esp. aft, where someone intelligently placed the largest dance floor. Best dance music was found in the tightest dance floor bars = uncomfortable unless you only rock and shuffle in a bear hug. When fogged in returning to port, NO mention of staying in room w/room service, complementary this/that, save a couple of run & get it for exact cash only special drinks @ pool bar. By this time a whole day of people trashing and further polluting the Norwalk public bathrooms. The dinners were the only bright spot, once you pushed through the opening waiting lines and ignorant to Norwalk suspect dishes served. Very pleasant waiters & room clerks everywhere. Best defense: 1. AVOID THIS CRUISE LINE 2. or only use your own private bathroom, try to kill dining germs with alcohol & extra cleanliness in bathroom, touching public items as little as possible Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Young, blonde, energetic, Hungarian head waiter Kitty + her assistant Batman were the spark plugs that got this event engine up, running & eventually hilarious, not to be missed fine dining! Nothing on this ship tops this time of the ... Read More
Young, blonde, energetic, Hungarian head waiter Kitty + her assistant Batman were the spark plugs that got this event engine up, running & eventually hilarious, not to be missed fine dining! Nothing on this ship tops this time of the day. Next best feature were the workers - dedicated to serving, smiles, always making everything seem sunny - how refreshing! Better dance floors & clientele than Carnival's Conquest but entertainment was just OK. Serious Sounds judged the best for dancing but needs more music tuned for ballroom, fewer fast beats. All the bars judged good, Explorers the best but still needs a bit more searching for orders from those seated. Water is $3.50/large container, bars/dining can serve tap water for free BUT will not fill your bottles ?!?!?!?!? Another "for sale" hitch added to your $11.50/day "tips" hole in the pocket. Foot Traffic is horrible, made worse by walkers/wheelchairs, exacerbated by photo shoots and photo displays, then let's march some sales on tables out there = butt-butt traffic moving real slow. The Captain seems to drive this boat like there were no dance floors to consider, only to arrive early into a Galveston fog that delayed going home 8 hours. In fact, with no weather channel, we were dependent on his daily forecasts = always wrong. 8 hours delay due to fog after being told firmly to be out of cabins by 8am, dining closing shortly thereafter. Some smart enough to keep their rooms took naps & even got unprecedented room service (not announced); others stormed the dining areas anyway and got steak lunches (not announced). Word came (not announced) that a cash bar (with few one dollar bills) was open near the pizza place serving as well. What WAS announced were movies (rent for $1 at home), daycare, etc. Gambling - win going out, lose bigger coming back, suspicious bad luck stories .. Tips: After using your carry on bottle, simply order 1/2 bottle from room service (have to be present to sign for it - ugh). Tip well on first drink @ bars, following orders will be very satisfying. Galveston: Find another port - ANY port! Jan 2010 - bathroom frozen after looong lines Jan 2013 - 8 hour fog delay (really?) wide entry, turn left - simple Always get a porter for your bags - saves time, backache & luggage - they find your room going in and the van/bus going out pronto. $2/bag seems cheap for the stress relief. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Embarkation was amazingly fast. For anyone who sails on Princess in a Mini-Suite, please remember that any sign that says "For Elite, Captain Circle and Suite Only" refers to you. Mini-suites are not advertised on the sign, but ... Read More
Embarkation was amazingly fast. For anyone who sails on Princess in a Mini-Suite, please remember that any sign that says "For Elite, Captain Circle and Suite Only" refers to you. Mini-suites are not advertised on the sign, but they do refer to mini-suites, family suites and full size suites so do NOT pass up the opportunity to skip ahead of the lines - you will regret it. We got off the bus, filled out our form and were on the ship within 10 minutes. Our stateroom steward, Dario, was absolutely amazing. He called us by name in the halls after our first encounter and was very interested in our trip. He was friendly and always willing to help with any situation. When our bathroom light started to flicker, we asked if he could have it fixed by dinner - it was fixed within a few minutes, saying that it's not something we would put-up with at home so we shouldn't have to put-up with it until dinner on the ship. Our steward was the best steward we've had on any ship. Next we had the opportunity to actually explore the ship. Because we have been on this ship before, we got to see things we had missed the previous time. Our first sailing on this ship was 2 cruises after a huge noro-virus outbreak took over and they were stripping off paint and using bleach and other sanitizers on everything. This time, everything was immaculately clean with staff on hand to point you in the right direction and to make sure before serving yourself at the buffet that you used the hand sanitizer. Staff would assist you in finding a seat in the full dining area and tables were cleaned almost immediately after you left to prepare for the next hungry cruiser. The International cafe knew us from day 1, so he would have our regular plate of food ready for us and would always offer us fresh-out-of-the-oven food when we would walk by. The pools were usually crowded, but when it came time for the pool events, the staff would get everyone out of the pool so the participants could play. Water volleyball was extremely fun, PLAYERS BEWARE, the shallow end of the pool is 5'2", but the water runs over the top lip so it's more like 5'5", if you're like me and only 5'0" please be advised that you will be treading water for the entire game which in our case lasted between 1 hour and 1.5 hours. Our dinner waitresses were the best pair we have ever had. Usually we get 1 good and 1 so-so waiter, but this time they were both willing to talk with us, serve us professionally and joke around with our table, making the dinner twice as enjoyable. The only bad occurrence we had was the transfer to the airport. Once we disembarked the ship, we pulled out our tickets and began looking for the guide... who wasn't there. So, we had to ask about 6 different people to show us where we needed to go because the people who were suppose to be directing us were hiding behind the buses taking a smoke break. Then instead of taking us to the airport, the driver made us wait close to an hour before he would drive us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Embarkation was wonderful when we got off our bus I thought we are never going to get on and we had handicapped people that needed assistance but I have to say I was impressed, the only thing is that if the handicapped people could of ... Read More
Embarkation was wonderful when we got off our bus I thought we are never going to get on and we had handicapped people that needed assistance but I have to say I was impressed, the only thing is that if the handicapped people could of gotten off the bus nearer the terminal! When we did get in the terminal once the wheel chair came, which was very quick, they were taken away and taken completely care of. I had found out prior to cruising because of reading Cruise Critic reviews that we had a mini-suite without a covering over our balcony! I tried to change our room but it was a full ship. I felt as though our travel agent should of been aware of this and warned us. I also called Customer Service at Princess Cruise Lines and told them that in the description of the mini-suites that should be added "some mini-suites do not have a covering over them"! This was a very big dissapointment to me. The service was absolutely wonderful! WE had Na from Thailand at our table 252 in the Michaelangelo dining room and she was a delight....she steered us to the 'yummy yummy' dinner selections and she was dead on all the time! She made our dining experience a 5++++! The food was always delivered hot and anything that was needed was taken care of very quickly. We did feel as though in the entertainment area there could be improvement! But they did have entertainment we could follow every night and enjoy very much Daniel Oliver in the Crooners Lounge was amazing! It was overcast for most of our trip except when we got to our two ports....Curacao and Aruba which worked out very nicely. But did not get to sit on the balcony because of the rain, which I would have if I had a covering over it!!!! It also was too breezy because of the full exposure to the elements which I never get with a 'regular' balcony, let alone a mini-suite which was our first and was hoping for a lot more from the extra expense! Now for disembarkation with our 'handicap' couple...we were sent to the Crooners Lounge and there was a delay because of Customs...when we were cleared no one announced this....then we are sitting there (for over 40 minutes) and my daughter hears someone talking to a princess worker about a 'lightblue color' and we had Express Walkoff .... so I approach him and he says we'll get a wheelchair right away...now why weren't they asking who had what and letting us know what was happening there were at least six workers standing around and not one said a word! So off we go but guess what? We had to take care of our luggage and theirs.....that was a real challenge and I had asked prior to embarkation if we could get assistance when getting off and on with the luggage even if we were 'express' and they assured us yes...of course I don't usually hesitate to speak up and shame on me I should of at this point but was afraid we might be holding the rest of our bus group up at this point since they were all in another lounge! We did make it off but I felt as though the person helping us should of called for someone to handle the luggage its not as if we weren't willing to pay for the assistance! I've learned some lessons and just wanted to share 'lessons learned' with all of you.....don't get me wrong I loved my cruise but because of the balcony and the handicap assistance it would of been a 5!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We booked this cruise back in January and the only problem we had was waiting for the sail away date to come. Once on board, we had a wonderful week of cruising. Our trip first started off by flying in the day before from Milwaukee on ... Read More
We booked this cruise back in January and the only problem we had was waiting for the sail away date to come. Once on board, we had a wonderful week of cruising. Our trip first started off by flying in the day before from Milwaukee on AirTran Airways. We had a direct flight with no problems, arrived in Ft Lauder-dale around 11:00 AM. This gave us the rest of the day to visit downtown Holly-wood, Florida and the Hollywood Broadwalk down by the beach. We had a reserva-tion at the Holiday Inn in Hollywood. This was the second time for us staying there. I highly recommend this hotel, friendly staff, nice lobby, clean rooms and a beautiful outdoor pool area. Plus, to top it off, great complimentary shuttle service from the airport and to the Everglades Cruise Port. Once check-ed in, we headed out to visit the sites I mentioned above. Downtown Hollywood was just ok, nothing special that I could see. We did find a nice place for lunch called "Chocolada Bakery & Cafe". Good food, but great deserts! After lunch we hopped on the local trolley to take us to the Broadwalk on the ocean-front. We really enjoyed this area. It's a 2 mile long pedestrian promenade, has a path for walkers, a bicycle lane and jogging path. Beautiful beach area with many people enjoying the day. Their was lots of restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops along this promenade. We stopped at a couple places for drinks and to take pictures. One place we visited was the Organic Brewery & Restaurant. I must say they brew some good beer. I'm one of these guys that enjoy visiting brewpubs when traveling. After that we caught a taxi back to the hotel. After freshing up we walked over to the convenience store next door to stock up on some soda and wine for the cruise. After that we had a late night fish fry at the hotel and then we called it a night. The next morning we were very excited as we new it was finally cruise day! We were signed up for the 11:00 AM shuttle to the cruise terminal. We woke up early and had breakfast at a Denny's across the street from the hotel. Finally it was time to go and head over to the Crown Princess. The wait was over! We were in line by 11:30 AM and on board in our cabin by 12:30. We had an oceanview room on Plaza Deck, room P325, just a few feet from the Piazza area & International Cafe. Our cabin was ok, but some mornings when in port, we heard a lot of noise from workers on the deck below operating mechanical lifts, etc. Also one night we could hear the waves pounding up against the ship below us when sleeping. We did incur some rough weather that night. Like many other cruises, I think we will stick with Emerald Deck in the future. Anyway, back to the first day on board, after checking out our cabin we headed to the International Cafe for a light lunch. We purchased a coffee card for $29.00 plus 15% gratuity and were set for the week. We spent a lot of time at the International Cafe during the week. One of our favorite places on the ship to hang out. After walking around a bit, it was now time to attend the muster drill with our life jackets in the casino at 3:30 PM. Then it was back to the cabin to unpack our luggage which came a bit late. At 4:00 PM the Crown Princess was on it's way. Let the party begin!!! Back in February I joined cruise critic and signed up for the roll call for this cruise. I was glad I did as my wife and I met a lot of nice people at the Meet 'N Greet at the Adagio Bar on deck 16. We had this gathering the first day on board at 5:00 PM. A special thanks to Meredith & Mike from Virginia for organizing this roll call. We also had a slot pull in the casino that 25 of us got involved in on Monday afternoon (seaday). Special thanks to Fred & Lourdes (Florida) for setting this up. We had a lot of fun with tired feet even though we didn't win or maybe it was because of hunger pains (like we don't get enough to eat on a cruise ship). Anyway, we had a blast. Some of the nice people we met and ran into during the week were Rich & Sandi (Cleveland), Jerry & Kathy (California), Ron & Linda (Virginia), Rob & Kim (Green Bay), Mike & Amanda (New Jersey), Patty & Mike (Arizona), Ken & Eileen (upstate New York), Liz & Joe (Tampa Bay), Andrea & Bob (Florida) and Simon from the UK. I know I'm missing a few, but just can't match everyone up with names. We also had a nice farewell gathering on Friday, the last night of the cruise at the Adagio Bar. A great group of people, I was really glad to be a part of this roll call. That night we attended the "Welcome Aboard Show" in the Princess Theater. They had a very funny comedy duo (Alfred & Seymour) that were hilarious. We saw their show a couple times during the week. The cruise director (Sam Hawker-Thomas)and her main assitant Stu were very good hosting events during the week as were the other assitants. Through out the week we enjoyed watching movies "Under the Stars" (deck 15 pool area) and in the Princess Theater. Saw "My Week with Marilyn", "The Iron Lady", "The Artist", "Sherlock Holmes-A Game of Shadows" and "The Ides of March" with George Clooney. We also enjoyed going to the triva games, bingo and the casino during the week. We never won, but had fun trying. One of our favorite shows is "The Newlywed, Not So Newly-wed Game Show". It's always a good laugh from the answers the contestants give. Another event we always attend is the "Princess Pop Star Grand Finale" on Friday night to wrap up the cruise week. Some very talented singers performing some good songs. We didn't attend any production shows this time around with the singers and dancers. We actually saw these same shows they performed on other Princess cruise ships. (It's time for new shows). We did see "Fernandez" the comedy hypnotist, very funny show and to end it, another funny comedian the last night of the cruise "Tom Briscoe". The next day, our only let down, the captain, Andrew Proctor had to cancel our arrival to Princess Cays due to bad weather. The waves were to strong to get the tender boats into the small harbor there. I always enjoy this stop, hope-fully next cruise we will be back. We managed to find other options on board, like eat some more. We were very satisfied with our breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Then to top it off, the deserts are the best! My wife and I are easy going and like to dress casual (no dress up on the 2 formal nights). So we stay away from the main dining rooms and eat our meals at the Horizon Buffet or Cafe Caribe. We always enjoy the Bavarian Bierfest Dinner Buffet they have in Cafe Caribe which was Wed. night. They also have Italian and Mexican buffet nights. Always a good selection of food and very tasty. One true statement, you never go hungary on a Princess cruise ship. We had 4 sea days on this cruise, twice in the Wheelhouse Bar on sea days (11AM to 2PM) they served a "British Pub Lunch". My wife had fish & chips and I had bangers & mash. Both were excellent. Our two ports of call were Curacao and Aruba. In Curacao we justed walked around and did a little sight seeing & shopping. It was a very humid day. Willemstad is a charming little town with it's bright, pastel colored buildings. We were able to sample the famous Curacao Liqueur which is quite good. We ended up buying a bottle that we smuggled back on board with no problem. Aruba our next port stop was our favorite. We did the "California Lighthouse & Beach Excursion" on the banana bus. We had a very good driver that gave us the run down on everything we passed. We saw a lot of fancy homes that were worth millions of dollars, but were built along the ocean drive. After seeing the lighthouse we spent about 3 hours at MooMba Beach in the hotel zone of Palm Beach. Great place to enjoy the surroundings and just lay back in the lounge chairs, get a little tan, take a swim and enjoy a couple of drinks. The entire beach area was great with beautiful resort hotels up and down Palm Beach. We took a walk over to the Marriott Hotel & Casino, very nice grounds andpool area. We went inside the casino and actually won $15.00. Afterwards we just walked the beach back to our area and enjoyed the scenery. It was a great day, sunny and warm. Once the banana bus got us back, we boarded the ship and headed up to the gym (treadmill) to burn some calories. All the eating and drinking was catching up to us. We worked out several times during the week, but I know I gained a couple pounds when I got back home. We celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary on board (April 24th). I left a note in the Princess Library and Sam & Stu annouced it the next morning on the "Wake Up Show". Princess also put balloons and a anniversary poster on our cabin door. That evening in Cafe Caribe, several crew members came over and sang happy anniversary to us and presented us with a small cake for the occasion. It was a nice moment. During the cruise we each put down a $100.00 deposit for a future cruise and onboard credit. We always take advantage of this offer, why not have some free spending money on our next cruise. We do have our next cruise booked on the Emerald Princess. A 10 day cruise starting Nov. 7th, we picked this itinerary as we have never been to Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados and St Kitts. The only problem, we now have to wait another six months to go. Disembarkation was a breeze, we were one of the last passagers to leave the ship around 10:30 AM Saturday morning. We had a a later flight back home, so their was no rush to get off the ship. So we left our cabin at 8:00 AM and headed up to Horizon Buffet for one last Breakfast. Then we headed down to the International Cafe and killed the last hour there sitting. Finally we were on our way, cleared customs in minutes, got our luggage and were in a taxi to the airport. We had nearly 4 hours of waiting time at the airport, but it was nice to have another direct flight back to Milwaukee. We arrived there at 6:00 PM and were back home a hour later after the drive. On a closing note, just want to say hi to Bernie & Darlene (Connecticut). They weren't with the roll call, but had fun hanging out with them. We had a couple bad weather days on this cruise, but it didn't stop our enjoyment. Thanks Princess for another great cruise! And happy cruising to all you folks on cruise critic. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
I traveled with a large group of family and friends. This was my third cruise; one with Royal Caribbean and second with Princess. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale a day before the cruise and stayed at the Days Inn. The hotel was clean and ... Read More
I traveled with a large group of family and friends. This was my third cruise; one with Royal Caribbean and second with Princess. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale a day before the cruise and stayed at the Days Inn. The hotel was clean and basic. The beds were a little small, but good overall and very inexpensive. They were also very accommodating getting our group to the cruise port the next morning. Embarkation was fairly smooth. We arrived at the cruise port around 10:30am and had to wait an hour or so because the ship was late arriving in port. They did mention there were 100,000 people or so at Port Everglades that morning, so things were a little delayed. Once we boarded the ship, we went to our cabin and our luggage arrived very quickly. We had an interior cabin on deck 11. It was fairly spacious and very clean. Our room steward (Felix) was great. The ship is beautiful and spotless. The pools were nice and I found there were enough deck chairs for everyone. We did get up early to get good chairs most mornings, though. Ports: Our first port was Princess Cays. Disembarkation was fairly easy. We waited roughly 20-30 minutes for a tender. The beach is nice but a little rocky. The barbeque lunch on the beach was nice, and there seemed to be ample space and lounge chairs for everyone. We did some snorkeling as well. Our second port was Curacao. We walked right off the boat and into the main town centre. Our group took a 2.5-3 hour tour of the island for $10 per person. It was very informative and the guide was great. We stopped at the Curacao Liqueur Distillery Factory, a beach and a look-out point to take some photos. Our third port was Aruba. Again, we walked off the boat and into the town centre. We took the city bus to Palm Beach and spent the day there. (The bus was roughly $3 roundtrip). Palm Beach is very beautiful; white sand, warm water and no rocks. My only complaint was that it was a little crowded and lined with large hotels and resorts. Entertainment: The entertainment on the Crown Princess was good. We saw the comedians (Alfred Seymour) twice and they were hilarious. The best I've ever seen on a cruise ship. The comedy magician was also good and quite funny. Karaoke and the Newlywed game were fun as well. Dining: We usually went to the buffet for breakfast and lunch. There was always a good selection of food and I thought it was very tasty. The staff were always friendly and we had great service. Dinner was an early seating in the Dining Room. Our servers (Sher-Ann and Allan) were outstanding. They were friendly, hardworking and fun. We also saw them at the breakfast buffet every morning and they still gave us the same great service. Food in the dining room was good. Some meals were great and some were just OK. Overall, very good and I have no complaints. Staff: The staff on the Crown Princess were outstanding. We always had great service at the buffets and in the dining room. They were all friendly, diligent and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. We did, however, encounter quite a few miserable passengers who were rude to the staff for ridiculous and petty things. It's a shame they have to tolerate these people. Disembarkation: Getting off the ship was a breeze. We had a late disembarkation time and basically walked right off. Overall: This cruise could not have been better. It exceeded my expectations in many ways it was definitely the best vacation yet. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Returned my rental car to Sunshine Rental on Rte 84, just outside the west port road entrance- great prices on cars! $12 ride in with tip. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and painless. Muster drill now assigned to a lounge/casino ... Read More
Returned my rental car to Sunshine Rental on Rte 84, just outside the west port road entrance- great prices on cars! $12 ride in with tip. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and painless. Muster drill now assigned to a lounge/casino or other area, not outside. As Port Everglades raised their fees to accommodate Oasis (also in port), sailing time was moved up an hour to 4 pm. Note, it's always important to stay on ship's time when in port. Cabin was spacious. The ship had just come out of The Bahamas dry dock for 'freshening.' Opted for 50% surcharge to be alone. Leo, the steward was helpful. Travelled with a group of 220, so we had many of our own activities planned; but, used Princess for shore excursions. Luggage seemed to be delivered for everyone before dinner. It was unusually rocky crossing the gulf stream in both directions.... The Lido deck buffets were okay. I visit Vegas often, and it's always an issue when items are not labeled and the dish looks unusual requiring finding someone to offer an explanation. Staff attentive in helping you to a table and refreshing your drinks. Enjoyed pizza; but, mostly really enjoyed the choices at the International Cafe. Actually, preferred their mini desserts to the dining room desserts. Ordered room service breakfast twice and it arrived a bit ahead of requested time. They don't understand how to toast an English Muffin though for their breakfast sandwiches. Did not particularly care for the Crown Grille food or service. The prices had just been raised $5. Sabbatini's was more enjoyable, but, it's insane to serve all those separate side dishes in bowls to a party of four when there are also four entrees. Alas, Proseco is no longer available on the ship. As I did Chef's Table previously, chose not to cough up another $90 for the experience. I recently donated the souvenir cookbook I received. Have some great pix of the dishes served though! Main dining room service was generally very good and the food choices fine, if uninspired. Sometimes service backed up to a most leisurely pace. Some table gets served last....I'm not a big red meat eater and enjoyed mostly fish (probably frozen) and chicken, turkey, pork. Had a coffee card and it was always nice to finish with a decaf cappucino. MUTS- caught one and probably missed 35% of the dialog. Shows- These are the exact same production shows I saw three years ago. There were even a few numbers that were identical to the Carnival ship I had been on for the two previous years. Comedian was good; enjoyed music ensembles around the ship. Never got to see the hula hoop gal who got very good reviews from other cruisers. Casino- Diddled at the slots; if you find a machine that seems to have a better payout; then start playing maximum coins for some really nice jackpots. Had the 10,000 suitcase (penny machine); but made a deal at the end for 5,400. Lucky Lemmings has infectious music. Hotel Desk- Always helpful! Spa/Gym- Even though there's a sign that says lockers are for spa patrons only, you just leave your room card and get a locker key. Bring a small towel in from the gym to stand on.... Ports- As I had been travelling for over a week before getting on the Crown; I chose the first day to stay on board- eat leisurely, do laundry (bring your own detergent and softener sheets and a roll of quarters) and iron all my evening wear shirts. So, missed Princess Cay which is a tender stop. It's just a beach and last time there were flies like crazy around the buffet items. Curacao- Group walking tour and off to see some caves by bus. As humid as it was on the island, the caves were worse. Do your own thing. Dine off the ship and catch the lovely lit village. Aruba- a desert island, with little landscape that is natural, our tour bus was one of those party buses which run at night and I wasn't ready for blasting R&R at 8:30 am. Went only to Lighthouse and the chapel for a pee break amongst the cacti. The restaurant adjacent to the Lighthouse charged and fee had small bills. Then dropped at Nikki Beach Restaurant, south of town and near the airport. Calm water and pleasant, narrow beach with comfy lounge chairs and their own pool. However, the lunch sandwich that was included was meager though it did include a welcoming mimosa. Owner was genuine- but, this is no relation to Nikki Beach of South Beach, FL fame. The first K was placed backward and was missing from the "crab" salad sandwich. The smoked salmon sandwich looked to be the best bet. I'm just not impressed with Princess- found Carnival more enjoyable, even with the hokey waiter singing and dancing during dinner. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This is the third cruise that I have taken with my husband, and we chose to go with a large group. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale with little trouble and traveling with friends the Holiday inn Express Cruise Port suggested we wait until a ... Read More
This is the third cruise that I have taken with my husband, and we chose to go with a large group. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale with little trouble and traveling with friends the Holiday inn Express Cruise Port suggested we wait until a late shuttle to head to the cruiseport. It was a good suggestion, arriving at the terminal at 2 meant we missed many of the lines of other passengers who were thrown out of their hotels much earlier. Our balcony stateroom on the Baja Deck was already ready for us. After watching the gigantic Oasis of the Seas head out to sea we were off. It was our first time sailing with this group, but on previous cruises they take over the back pool. We found several of our friends there, and would find them there or in the buffet area. Since we were there most of the time, it did take a while to really explore this ship. It's a good ship with some nice surprises like the International Cafe that had great desserts and pastries. It's hard for me to judge food, but I can tell you that it was abundant, even if there was some confusion at times on exactly which of the three buffets were open, there was always something. The food in at the buffet changed from day to day, except for breakfast that was usually the same each time. Since we were a late night group, I did wish that the pizza and ice cream bar stayed open later. With our large group of almost 500, we were given the 8:15 seating in the Michelangelo dining room. With such a large group the staff had difficulty in keeping up with us. I found the staff slow and overworked. I expected that they might be able to work this out as the week went on, but even on the last night at sea any meal in the dining room was going to take more than two hours. I was impressed with the ships bar services. They staffed up the bar at the back terrace pool for us. We certainly kept them on their toes. They also kept the bar open much later than normal. I'm sure that that bar rarely stays open until 2 am. Our group stayed on the back deck late into the night, as there wasn't much else to do on the ship that late at night. Most of our group is in their 30's and 40's and we felt that a lot of the entertainment was directed to an older audience. I saw young couples wandering a ship that at 11 pm was as dead as a one-light town. They were looking for nightlife and saw little of it. Strangely the late nightclub, the Skywalker Lounge never attracted more than a couple of people and its tiny dance floor remained empty. I have never really desired to see the Caribbean, so the islands weren't a great draw, but it seemed that Princess strived to clean up the experience so much that it was about as authentic as going to a mall in Chicago and saying that you had been to Chicago. The worst of this was at Roatan Island, Honduras where Princess docks at Mahogany Bay, a new sea port that has all of the recommended shops in an outdoor shopping mall that you must walk to. Those who went on excursions experienced a very different Island, but many people stayed in the shopping mall, content. The port in Couzmel seems to be the same, on a smaller scale with the same shops, and Princess Cays is a completely controlled experience. If you wish to explore on your own, without an excursion, Princess is making that much more difficult. Grand Cayman was a port full of the same shops, but you could wander into town without having to find a local taxi. If you like to be on vacation with very little more than a moving hotel, this will be fine, but if you love travel for the exploration of new places, this would not be the cruise for you. Our stateroom was pleasant and clean with a surprising amount of storage. I wish that our balcony was a little more private but lower decks could look right up at us. The ships staff was pleasant and friendly, especially the bar staff when they knew our group would buy. We enjoyed the Movies under the Stars more than the entertainment in the theater. All in all it was a good trip full of fun when traveling with a large group. I will be happy to travel on Princess again if I'm with this group, but I'm not sure if I would want to if it was just me and my husband as I'm not sure we would have found the entertainment and ports interesting enough. The ship is good, with all the amenities you'd want, but doesn't seem to rate as being an outstanding ship, or an outstanding cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
This my 86th lifetime cruise, my 5th with Princess. Had pre-cruise stay at Days Inn in North Ft Lauderdale for 2 nights , no problems. Used United Airport Parking ( parked at Marriott Renaissance suites) for only $49.86 vs $105 at port ... Read More
This my 86th lifetime cruise, my 5th with Princess. Had pre-cruise stay at Days Inn in North Ft Lauderdale for 2 nights , no problems. Used United Airport Parking ( parked at Marriott Renaissance suites) for only $49.86 vs $105 at port garage with free courtesy car to/from ship . Check-in was easy and organized by groups. no problems. On board less than 30 minutes after arrival at pier and cabins were ready for occupancy. unpacked carry-ons and went up to Horizon Court for buffet lunch. Usual crowds and no self-serve carry trays but managed just fine. all baggage delivered before sailing so unpacked totally and missed most of sail-out except what we could see from our mini-suite balcony. met other group members at private function. Mini-suite D722 was 8ft 8 inches wide by 30 feet long plus balcony of 7 by 9. plenty of room, closet space, large bathroom with huge tub. only 4 small night stand drawers but plenty of shelves for storage of clothing. 2 flat screen tv's but only one remote. good fridge. good a/c. we also brought 2 power strips, 3 fans, 2 c-pap machines, our own 4 cup coffee maker, etc etc. we drove down so had total of 12 suitcases. Ive cruised so many times now that i bring everything i could possibly want as everything on board and in most ports is so expensive these days. Had all dinners in Boticelli dining room with group at 2015 hours. Princess food is good quality hotel banquet stuff. some "iffy" soups and they insist on serving this green hockey puck that is supposed to be creamed spinach. otherwise , no major disappointments. had one breakfast in dining room and 2 lunches, all decent. rest of meals in Horizon court or international cafe at base of atrium. my sign and sail was only 52 dollars for tips (11 per day) after 25 dollar credit applied. didnt buy anything on board or take any shore excursions. Im a self-starter and didnt need a cruise director to tell me what to do, just checked the daily program and went my own way. didnt go to any shows or nightclubs on board as have seen too many "B" lounge acts and broadway medleys on my other trips. weather was good but on the cool side for a caribbean trip. some passengers brought a head cold on board with them and by the end of the voyage 50 percent of the passengers were coughing and wheezing as it spread like wildfire despite excellent shipboard sanitation procedures (lots of hand sanitizer) Since i cant add Princess Cay (Eleuthera island) as a port suffice to say typical private island experience for those in my party who went over by tender. Im not a beach,, sun, water person as live in Florida year round so holds no allure for me. Dis-embarkation was smooth ( no announcements) and we had an early number and were off the ship with luggage and in our car driving back to Orlando by 935am. would definitely recommend Princess and travel with them again. one small complaint...no free aspirin, tylenol, alka seltzer, band-aids at pursers office. only free bonine. Carnival corp really is cost cutting these days! Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
i'm not going to write a liyany about pre and post cruise hotels because this is about the cruise, not the hotels, and, nobody cares about how wonderful or tragic a hotel stay is pre cruise, if they were, they would be reading ... Read More
i'm not going to write a liyany about pre and post cruise hotels because this is about the cruise, not the hotels, and, nobody cares about how wonderful or tragic a hotel stay is pre cruise, if they were, they would be reading "hotel reviews", anyway, here goes. Embarkation was quick and painless, walked in, checked in and was on the ship in less than 10 minutes. We found our cabin to be more than we had expected, our cabin steward was awesome. The food was exceptional, only problem was 1 night the ship lost power to the kitchens that cook for the specialty restaurants, our money was refunded and a second night was booked(free), the manager felt so bad that he gave us a bottle of wine to take back to our cabin, and sent another bottle the following morning, the food was well worth the wait. The buffets were typical buffet food, very delicious, hot foods were hot, cold foods were cold. We didn't use the gym, we never left the ship so I can't comment on those, entertainment was just that...entertainment, I wont comment because what someone thinks is great, someone else thinks is "lacking" so to speak. The ship is kept very clean and we found the crew to be very personable. We will definitely sail with Princess again. 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 November 2010
Our third cruise with friends took us to the Western Caribbean aboard the Crown Princess. This trip was booked through internet travel service which provided excellent service and a hefty discount. The weather throughout the trip was ... Read More
Our third cruise with friends took us to the Western Caribbean aboard the Crown Princess. This trip was booked through internet travel service which provided excellent service and a hefty discount. The weather throughout the trip was perfect as we had only one sprinkle or two while awake and at sea. Temperatures were in the 80's. Our trip was from December 5, 2009 through December 12, 2009. December 5 We flew AirTran to Ft. Lauderdale. Smooth flight. Cab from airport to Cruise Terminal cost about $16 with tip. Fifteen minute trip. Embarkation was very smooth. Lots of booths set up to log in travelers. Our ship is docked near Oasis of the Seas, and a massive vessel that one is. We check in to cabin P207, Plaza deck with Oceanview. Small porthole but allows a lot of light into cabin. Beds are together to form queen. The cabin has excellent storage space with fridge and small desk. Room is well laid out. Bath is typical for cruise ship with excellent hot water flow in shower. Sink has virtually no cold water out of faucet, just lukewarm. Flat screen TV in room with limited channel selection. Mostly watched cruise channels for cruise director and Navigator's Log. Our room steward, Ignacio, was very polite and accommodating. Our problem is that we don't like to spend time in our room. It's for showering, dressing and sleeping, in our minds so we are not very demanding of room stewards. I am sure that had we asked, he would have gotten us anything we wanted. I did hear from our friends and another passenger that doors had been left ajar by the stewards when they were finished. We used the safe in the room. If our door was left ajar, they could have had whatever was left in the room. We began a tour of the ship stopped at Crooners for a drink. Service a little slow. There was a ridiculous martini shaking exhibition by the servers there if you ordered one. We went to the pool deck. There are two main outdoor pools amidships. First hosts entertainment. Second has "jumbotron" television on which is shown "Movies Under the Stars" and, yes, guys, NFL football. Forward in bow is The Sanctuary for fee of 10 bucks per half day. It is a shaded area with plush chairs. It has its own pool... Below it is the Spa. We used neither of these. As to The Sanctuary, it is a nice area if you need more shade. We had no trouble finding a shady spot on the boat. Glass on port and starboard rails is UV coated to provide filtering until sun is high in the sky and then you have to move around for protection but there are lots of chairs. Stern hosts Outrigger bar and small pool for adults. Children have small pool and play area above. Top deck (19) hosts walking track (16 laps for 1 mile) and basketball court. Deck 19 is a little hard to find. Dining areas, in addition to "cover charge" restaurants which we did not use, include poolside grill with hamburgers and hot dogs. The Wheelhouse Restaurant is kind of like a brew-pub. The Michelangelo and DaVinci dining rooms are identical. However, Michelangelo has anytime dining and the seating moves around. DaVinci is used for reserved time dining and the same waiter and table are assigned to you. There is the usual Pizza area. Each day has pepperoni and plain and then a third "special" pie. There is an ice cream bar with "smoothies" available. The buffets are on Deck 15 toward the stern with one area closer amidships and the other backs up to the fantail. Our comment card indicated the buffet arrangement is confusing and crowded. One line would close without warning and open on the opposite side. Occasionally seating was hard to find. Very often, we would take food from the buffet out to the stern at Outrigger and eat out there. The food in the dining room was plentiful but was only average. The most disappointing thing about it was that it hardly ever came out hot. It was not cold, just not really hot on most occasions. Our comment card indicated this. In addition to Princess Theater there is the Explorer Lounge which hosts entertainment and the ship has a respectable size casino. The Lounge is too small for some of the shows. It fills up quickly and with the lights down the servers have a very hard time navigating the crowded aisles. We stopped often at the wine bar for Sushi. The food and service there, as well as the wine, were good. There were two "formal" nights on this cruise. Most of the older passengers got dressed up for this. My wife and I are opposed to formal nights in the Carribean. Europe is another matter. She wore a cocktail dress and I wore a dark, island themed shirt with slacks and dress sandals. And that was good enough for my buddy and me and our spouses. (There was also this ridiculous champagne pouring event which, really, with people suffering in our economy, was a little lavish and "over the top" for my taste.) The ship was beautiful. But it seemed like often some of the elevators were either not working or were taken out of service for some reason. Also, the Captain apologized twice for the fire doors closing in some areas due to a computer glitch. I am sure the people in those areas were pretty scared at that, but the Captain gave some instructions over the P.A. as to how to open the doors. December 7 Grand Cayman We spent the prior day at sea. Today we are up early. Our ship arrives at Grand Cayman. Followed closely by a Carnival ship. Catch the first tender into port. Pass on cruise ship tours. Off the tender at the dock and outside a security perimeter there are lots of people hawking tours. We meet Linda Ewbank (she has a license she shows us) of United Tours and sign up for about 40 dollars for Stingray City and the Reef and 7 Mile Beach. The deal is that they take you to Stingray City and the Reef to snorkel and then drop you off on the Beach at a public area. The public beach looked nice but nothing spectacular and no one wanted to go there at the end of the day. You have to take the bus back to the tender dock. We are told to come back at 8:55 a.m. to depart. We walk around the town. There is shopping but nothing much to speak of unless you are in the market for some high end items. Our friends have gone farther down the road to a "walk in" dive session which they loved. We go back to the tender dock for our tour. A few more tenders arrive. It's past 9:15 or so. It's obvious the hawkers are trying to fill up slots. We meet our bus driver who leads us to the parking area for tour buses. He drives us up past 7 mile beach with some nice commentary. We arrive at the marina. Our boat won't start. The driver calls for help and makes arrangements with another boater with another tour conductor to take us on. The boat is in decent shape and holds our 20 people easily. Maria is the photographer with Gordon as the mate and Howard as the captain. We leave the marina past some beautiful houses. Thirty minutes later we are at Stingray City. Our boat has snorkel stuff but we have brought our own. The boat anchors off the sandbar visited by the Rays. In the water we are immediately surrounded by Rays. Gordon is in with us and he has a name for each. We feed them. He holds them. Then we hold them. We take pictures. Gordon is great with a young man who is a little scared. The Rays are soft to the touch and very gentle. When they brush against you it's like a soft glove touching your skin. When they take food from you they suck it out of your fingers. They have no teeth. After about 45 minutes we are off to the reef. There is great snorkeling there. We see lots of colorful fish and coral. Back on board, Maria has a laptop and shows you the pictures she took in the water. I am impressed with her setup. We order all 4 pictures and she puts them on a disk for us on the boat! We return to the marina and a bus picks us up to take us to the tender dock. Once back at the tender dock we jump over to Margaritaville for a drink, right across the street. There is the typical Martgaritaville souvenir store there. We eat on the deck overlooking the street. Someone is entertaining with kind of a music-comedy thing, picking on cruisers. It's fun. The last tender is out at about 4 p.m. By 5 we are well underway. Tonight we watched the Ravens-Packers game under the stars on the ship's jumbotron. What an unforgettable experience to be at sea, in the Caribbean, and watching the game on that big screen. Even the ladies were impressed. The weather in Green Bay was awful but our weather was beautiful. (For a Ravens fan the game was awful as well!) In the evening, when not showing a football game, there may be a movie being shown. The ship provides blankets if it is cool out. So, you just sit yourself down on a chaise with a good view and curl up with a blanket if you are chilly. The bar service continues throughout and popcorn is provided, if you want some. December 8 Roatan We have arrived at the new facility at Mahogany Bay this morning. The Captain has backed the ship into dock and a security "perimeter" has been set up around the ship which is really not much more than white uniformed shore staff manning checkpoints. From our vantage point on deck 19 during our morning walk we can see the path that leads from the ship to the shopping area and also the pathway and aerial "tram" that takes you to the beach at Mahogany Bay. It looks very inviting. We disembark and make a brief stop at the stores, mainly to pick up the free charms that are offered. I suggest to the ladies that we check out the beach. The tram is 5 dollars for an all day ticket. The walk is no more than 10 minutes to the beach through a paved, lovely area. We pass on the tram and walk. On the way there is some additional shopping. But all the stores are not as yet occupied. The facility has only been open 8 days. Crossing over a bridge there is a large, beautiful beach and an area with several large bars. The facilities are brand new and the restrooms are very nice and well kept. There is plenty of shade from the palms and sun, closer to the water, if you want. A band played live music at a bar/restaurant at the far northern end of the beach area. Now, I have to admit that I had mixed emotions about staying here as I had wanted to explore a little and travel to Tabyana Beach but the vote was to stay and so we did. From pictures I saw of Tabyana, I think the snorkeling there would have been better. At this point in Mahogany Bay's life, the water was somewhat more turbid with less sea life, but there were things to see while snorkeling. I think the beach needs time to establish itself, being so new. And the Mahogany Bay beach is somewhat more compact in size, it appears, than Tabyana. There is no question that this beach, from what I have seen on the Internet, is designed to "mimic" Tabyana. Mahogany Bay's main advantages are cleanliness, security, no cost to get there, and no time wasted in getting there. I also want to remark that the cabs to take you to Tabyana are kept away from the pier. I stopped to ask one of the security people where we could find one and was told they were about a 5 min. walk from the area's exit. Travel time from the pier to Tabyana is now about 25 minutes, I was told. We spent the day on the beach, in the shade. When we had enough we retreated to Hurricane Hole, one of the bars, which had a large, shady area in which to sit. A DJ was playing great dance music and some of the entertainers from the ship were hanging out to dance and enjoy the music. It was festive, and the food and drinks were good and reasonably priced. A really fun time. At around 6 we were on the boat and ready to sail. December 9 Cozumel Today's stop is Cozumel. Our cab ride into town is $16. We shopped, and shopped some more. Finally, some of us decide to leave and visit "San Francisco Beach". From downtown to the Beach is about a 25 to 30 minute ride. The fare for the cab was about $25, I believe. Once there, there is a Carlos and Charlie's Restaurant, A large beach area with lots of activities, a fresh water pool and shower, a changing room and a large, shaded outdoor area to eat in. But there is also beach service and our waiters were very attentive, fun and pleasant. The deal here is that you have to spend some money to use the beach chairs, which have umbrellas, or you pay to use them, I think they ask you to spend at least $10 a person, but that was no trouble for us between beer, drinks and lunch. All were reasonably priced. The snorkeling off the beach here was okay but, again, the sand was stirred up by the activities which made it hard to see anything well. The stay there was very pleasant and at the end of the day the cabs are lined up in the parking lot to take you back to the pier. Leaving Cozumel was interesting. Our ship was accompanied by a high speed, small Mexican gun boat with a 50 caliber machine gun mounted in the front. That was the only time we saw anything like that on the cruise. December 10 We were at sea today but it was a dramatic day. The ship's radar spotted a craft which appeared to be adrift and spotters on the bridge saw a man waving for help. An announcement was made for the rescue boat to be mustered and the Captain went on speaker to let us know what was going on. The rescue boat was sent off to investigate. We could not even see the craft from our vantage point on deck. Later, the assistant cruise director made a remark that the fellow waving for help was clinging to some Styrofoam in the water, but that was never confirmed by me. The Captain put the ship into what I perceived to be a 360 degree turn and brought the ship starboard side to the returning high speed rescue craft. An announcement was made that the sailor was recovered and in decent shape and would be taken to the ship's medical center to some loud cheers and applause. We found out he would be turned over to authorities in Ft. Lauderdale. We also later learned that the Crown Princess has had several rescues at sea - a penchant for being in the right place at the right time. Under Maritime Law the ship must render assistance to any sailor in distress. It was a good job, and very impressive, to say the least. My compliments to Captain Fortezze who turned an 113,000 ton boat like it was an offshore fishing boat. December 11 Princess Cays This was our last stop on our itinerary. The ship anchored offshore and we tendered in. It was a beautiful day. We made prior arrangements for a "bungalow" for $200 through the ship. The bungalow was well worth the cost. We split the cost 6 ways, with a $20 tip for our server, and everyone loved having it. (The bungalow next door had an infant and it was godsend for them, as it provided a cool, shady area to nap in.) The bungalows have 4 lounge chairs with 2 umbrellas in front, in the sun. There are 2 plastic upright chairs on the "deck" in front of the bungalow. There is a table and 4 chairs inside. The bungalow had double doors to enter, air conditioning, and a fresh water shower outside. It also had bug spray, tissues and a couple of other sundries on its shelves. A golf cart that sat all six of us whisked us from the pier to the "Oleander" bungalow (pink!!) - they all have different names. From there we set up and could go into the water with some great, great snorkeling. The snorkeling here was terrific (my buddy said it was perhaps he had ever seen at a developed beach) with all kinds of fish, including two Barracuda, one bigger and one smaller. There was great reef life there as well. The best thing about the bungalow is that there is a buffet lunch included for all on the ship but with the bungalow you don't have to stand in line for food and the line was very long. The food was brought to our bungalow by a server and included delicious chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, salad and deserts, including fresh fruit and cookies. The bungalow can seat 4 if you want to eat inside but it was such a beautiful day that we just used the table as a buffet and ate outside on the beach and deck. The servers kept plenty of ice water on hand in the hut and were very attentive on the drinks. ALL of bungalows appeared to be occupied or at least almost all of them. So, I would advise that if you are interested you sign up early. There is also some shopping here from local artists, not much to speak of, but interesting. There is also a nice, kids play area and little pool here. At the end of a delightful day we could have been picked up by the golf cart driver and taken to the tender dock but the relatively short walk was very pleasant and we were soon back aboard without incident. That night we made our last visit to the Adagio Martini Bar across from Sabatini's Restaurant. This is probably the most secret place on the entire ship. (A warning to all that the lounge singer here was awful for our taste.) He was an older gentleman named Ludvicho or something like that. Some of the older patrons seemed to love him but he was pretty bad to our thinking. But our server, Lloyd, who had been so gracious to us on our visit up there in the past more than made up for the singing. We loved him and got to know him quite well and nominated him for "employee of the cruise". One last remark on this bar is that of any place on the ship, this one shows vibration the most when under way. Given the fact its on Deck 16, I could not understand that but it was there, nonetheless. December 12 Disembarkation at Port Everglades. We arrive early. Our bags were put out the night before. Disembarkation was very, very smooth. The cab service at Port is perfect. We were on our way very quickly after a wonderful trip on Crown Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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