189 Princess Crown Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

This is my 7th Cruise, 2nd time with Princess who I did rate my favourite. However, not anymore. This cruise has been my worst experience ever. Very embarrassing when we have brought our friends with us and it’s there first cruise! ... Read More
This is my 7th Cruise, 2nd time with Princess who I did rate my favourite. However, not anymore. This cruise has been my worst experience ever. Very embarrassing when we have brought our friends with us and it’s there first cruise! The food in the main restaurant Bottecelli is absolutely disgusting. The presentation is the lowest I’ve ever seen. There seems to be a selection of 2-3 soups on the starter menu every night. This is a choice out of 5-6 starter choices so this leaves you with practically no choice. My friend ordered the chicken pie it was presented in a pot on a plate, no veg nothing just pastry over what you can only describe as a bowl of soup! There is a steward operating the pool bar on 16th deck by the smoking area who refused us straws for our cocktails said it was management/company policy that straws were only allowed with blended drinks! Very rude argumentative Asian guy. The ports apart from St Thomas have been very poor. We docked in Dominica and expected some nice shops but instead we had a run down shanty town with nothing to do and this was our longest stop. Today in Grenada it’s a Sunday and all is closed up. What a waste of time! A very poor cruise iTunes U and shockingly disgusting tough badly presented food! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our group of 7 had a fantastic 2 weeks in Ireland and on the Crown Princess. From embarking to disembarking, we were always busy doing something. This cruise had 9 ports in 12 days with only 2 split days at sea. It's a cruise for ... Read More
Our group of 7 had a fantastic 2 weeks in Ireland and on the Crown Princess. From embarking to disembarking, we were always busy doing something. This cruise had 9 ports in 12 days with only 2 split days at sea. It's a cruise for active individuals. All the ports were wonderful in their own way. The lone exception was Southampton. The bus ride to London and the time able to be spent their wasnt worth it as you always felt rushed. We took advantage of all the ports that offered hop on hop off buses and just used them as city tours. We saved so much money doing this and saw the same sites, and if we wanted to get off to explore extra we could and then jump right back on the next bus....never had a problem. Food on the ship was good with lots of choices off the buffets and the main dining room was very nice. The pizza and the Salty Dog grill were also very good as always. The service on this cruise was also excellent. All the staff attendants and servers were extremely accommodating, friendly, and always warm and genuine. If there was one disappointment it was the specialty restaurants. We paid for one and had one given to us. The Crown Grill was awful and unfortunately the one we paid for. Nothing about it was good from the bread on the table to the water in the glass. No flavor in anything, presentation was extremely lacking and the service was horrible. What made it worse was that they weren't even close to being half full during a prime time dinner hour. Sabatini's was a couple notches above with the lone saving feature being the service. Our server was "right on it". She was always around without being over your shoulder. The food was good, not spectacular but light years above the Crown Grill. I wouldnt pay again for either, but I would go back to Sabatini's if offered as a perk......the Crown Grill is yours to keep. Entertainment was fine, the shows were entertaining. They were cruise ship productions but done very well. Comedy was pretty good and always packed. The entertainment in the piazza was also very good with either a group band or violinist's. We were so busy off the ship we honestly didn't spend a whole lot of time in any one venue on the ship. What we experienced was pretty good. The ship itself was fine. You can see the 13 years (2006?) of cruises building up on it and they have done some renovations in 2018. Overall it's a solid ship maybe with some touch ups or extra carpeted areas, or LED lighting needed to perk it up a bit more needed around the public areas. Everything worked, or turned on/off, or drained, opened/closed, went up or down, that was supposed to, so that's about all you can ask. Overall it was a great 2 weeks and have nothing but good things to say about the majority of our Princess manner of services. Cant wait for our next one in about 6 months on the Regal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this itinerary primarily for the itinerary. We were in a mini-suite on the 9th deck - the Dolphin deck. This was a "Medallion" cruise which uses a small electronic device similar to a keyless car key for all ... Read More
We chose this itinerary primarily for the itinerary. We were in a mini-suite on the 9th deck - the Dolphin deck. This was a "Medallion" cruise which uses a small electronic device similar to a keyless car key for all transactions including opening the door of your cabin as you approach - nice if you're carrying something. Embarkation was a little tedious because our pre-ordered medallions did not arrive before we left and were not available to the second day of our cruise. Cabin was a little care-worn but not offensive - like staying in a Holiday Inn Express vs a 4 star hotel. The bed was comfortable enough although visible concavity on both sides reflective of prolonged use. Bath was adequate with motel level toiletries. Shower - tub combo was essentially a shower as the drain could not be closed - not an issue for us. Closet space was adequate. Electrical outlets were few in number reflecting the age of this ship. The trick is to use the outlets for one of the two TV's in this suite. Our cabin steward was superb in keeping our room clean. Any-time dining requires a strategy to keep from waiting - make a reservation if you want dining for two! On balance food in main dining was good - sometimes excellent but with some misses. No problem changing your order if you didn't care for the dish. Using the buffet particularly for breakfast also requires a strategy which a peak times makes finding a table problematic. Find your table first and then get your breakfast. The ports of call and the size of the ship places you either at anchorage or some distance from the named destination - not unusual for any large ship. In Guernsey, the water taxi on return to the ship required a 40 MINUTE wait - UNACCEPTABLE! In Dublin the dock was at an industrial area with no foot traffic allowed and no taxis available. The only option for getting to town was to use the ship shuttle at $16 a person additional unless you were on a ship-sponsored excursion. Based on our prior cruising experience, we did private hires and guides at most ports which were competitive with or even cheaper than ship excursions. We are not prone toward attending the ship-sponsored events including art auctions or clothing sales and the pressure to do so was minimal. Evening entertainment in theater required 30 minute prior arrival time to gain a seat for a 45 minute show so skipped a few but those attended were good. As far as food quality goes, breakfast buffet offered lots of choices including several healthy alternative including remarkably good fresh fruit. Lunch rarely taken onboard while in port. Dining room menu was varied with good options. Preparation and taste had wide variability but wait staff were happy to exchange the course if you desired. Wait staff mostly attentive but clearly rushed. Most all of the negatives were related to having to move 3000 people around efficiently and comfortably - successful some of the time but tedious at other times. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have been on about a dozen cruises, yet this was our first with Princess. The cruise began well enough. We embarked in Dublin and were literally in our cabin five minutes after arriving at the port. Unfortunately, it was all downhill ... Read More
We have been on about a dozen cruises, yet this was our first with Princess. The cruise began well enough. We embarked in Dublin and were literally in our cabin five minutes after arriving at the port. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. The room was an unobstructed Oceanview in a quiet area of the ship. The shower consistently flooded, the faucet water rarely produced anything but piping hot water, and exhaust while in port was potent throughout most cabins. The food in the main dining room was really mediocre when compared with every cruise line we've taken, and our waiter was...also for the first time...less than friendly. We ate at the buffet a few times...the food was kept lukewarm, they were always out of several dishes, and the spread is so small we couldn't believe it. Pizza also wasn't anywhere near as good as its been on any other cruise line. I had a milkshake at the ice cream vendor...it was so bad...depressing. The ports were the highlight of the cruise. There are many...only a few sea days on this cruise. Unfortunately, the ship remains in port very late, which means the shops and casino are closed often. In addition, there aren't many activities going on except on sea days. The result was more time spent without entertainment in the evenings or those days we didn't go ashore. I know this sounds bad, and I've read and dismissed my share of these...please heed my advice and book a different cruise. We ended up changing our flight and disembarking a few days early because we had such a poor time. I am writing this as we sit...and have been sitting...onboard waiting to disembark. We've sat here for over an hour already with our disembarkation group. This will be our last Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney ... Read More
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney MagicBand and has all of the same functions like opening your cabin door, registering your entrances/exits from the ship, charging expenses, etc.; it also includes operations like being able to order drinks and have them delivered to wherever you are onboard ship, tracking other people in your party onboard ship, playing various games, etc. We were told that eventually it will replace all paper on the ship including the daily Princess Patter newsletter, which lists all shipboard activities. All this sound may sound nice enough, but what we also discovered is that some of the personal information encoded into the medallion doesn't really stay personal; in fact, every waiter and even entertainer with whom we interacted had ready access to our names, cabin numbers, and even birth dates (which, incidentally, is all that's required to access your Medallion Internet account). What a surprise it was to have ship staff we did not even know call us by our names and then show us how our photos and other personal info showed up on their devices when we were within a certain distance of them. Don't know exactly how much information they have access to, but as one waiter put it, "We know everything about you!" Other than this issue of personal data exposure, the cruise went well although the food offerings and quality seemed to have diminished in quality—it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t up to what we had come to expect from prior Princess cruises. We were disappointed especially in the food court as it was so tiny for such a large ship! And on some mornings, it was so very crowded that getting to food was difficult and time-consuming---it really needs to be larger. Dinner offerings in the main restaurants were usually okay, though I can't say any were fantastic (though I did love that chocolate ice cream!); on the other hand, all the wait staff were always very competent, efficient, professional, and friendly and the kitchen really does take food allergies seriously: Thanks to all the wonderful kitchen and waitstaff! Entertainment was so-so: the duo in the Wheelhouse Bar (Jezzebel) were quite good though I'd suggest that broadening their dance music to include a few traditional types of ballroom dance might be beneficial to their audiences; e.g., a typical old-time waltz, a foxtrot or two, a rumba, cha cha, etc. The party band (The Drop), however... music was actually fine but their volume was painful, and we could never remain in their venues without ear pain so never did get to dance to them. As far as itinerary, there are quite a few ports included (and we could have used more at-sea days to relax!), but each port was of value. We tend to like to visit cities using the "on your own" option and we did this in Cork (Blarney), Dublin, Glasgow, Paris, and also London, sometimes using the cities' hop-on, hop-off bus system to visit museums and other sights. And in each city, I'd recommend the "Big Bus" hop-on, hop-off system over the other companies as Big Bus always seemed to have the most buses and the best schedules; routes were pretty much equivalent.. Prior to the cruise, we arrived in England a day early and stayed at the Heathrow Renaissance Hotel; after the cruise we remained in London another few days and stayed at The Windermere Hotel, near Victoria Station and not far from Buckingham Palace. Both of those places are highly recommended, although they are quite different in that the Renaissance is a huge chain hotel and the Windermere is very small boutique hotel, but both provided excellent service, very friendly and helpful staff, clean rooms, a safe environment, and good food. The Windermere's Pimlico Brasserie was excellent: the chef is a master at cooking dishes to perfection and then serving them in very attractive ways---he's as good at food presentation as preparation. Both were wonderful places to stay. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable and I would recommend it for its diversity of ports and what they all have to offer; I just have great reservations about how our personal information is being used. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had cruised with Princess before and enjoyed our previous cruises very much. Both cruises were on newer ships within the last two years. This was our 25th cruise so we are not new to cruising. We booked this cruise primarily for ... Read More
We had cruised with Princess before and enjoyed our previous cruises very much. Both cruises were on newer ships within the last two years. This was our 25th cruise so we are not new to cruising. We booked this cruise primarily for the interesting itinerary. Upon reviewing the ship before booking we observed it to be an older ship. We then researched to see when it was last refurbished. It had been refurbished within the year. Upon embarking ship we could see it was showing its age. It looked to be an older ship in need of being fully refurbished. Our cabin's carpet was dirty and looked shabby. The cabin very much showed its age. The food was average but did not compare to the food on the Royal and Regal Princess. The service was good with the exception of the Shore Excursion Desk. Some of the Excursions were way overpriced. ie: The Edinburgh on Your Own - charged $69.95 per person for a short ride to the center of Edinburgh. The South Queensferry Bus Service to Edinburgh on the other hand only charged 9 Pounds Roundtrip per person for the exact same service. What we paid for was not an excursion but a Shuttle bus ride to Edinburgh. This was published in the Princess Patter the night before - too late to cancel as Princess has a 48-hour cancellation policy. When this was brought to the attention of the Shore Excursion Desk they dismissed it that a lecture also gave the same information. Poor customer service. We will book future cruises on Princess but only on newer ships as the experience on older ships is less than desirable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The itinerary is great and one would think that it would be perfect. THINK AGAIN. First, this is the first time I have ever had my passport confiscated on arrival. I have cruised all over the world and this has never happened. IF this is ... Read More
The itinerary is great and one would think that it would be perfect. THINK AGAIN. First, this is the first time I have ever had my passport confiscated on arrival. I have cruised all over the world and this has never happened. IF this is necessary, tell people before they board the ship because when you get of the ship at a port WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO USE AS IDENTIFICATION???? Second: the food is poor. Simply put tasteless and odorless. It is a telling indication when the MAIN DINING room menu has "upgrades" on it. In other words, you want good food pay extra. We did have dinner in Sabatini's which was NOT bad, but not great either. Second; who is the captain of the ship?? GILLIGAN and the Skipper. We disembarked from two ports late allegedly for low tide issues. Last time I checked, Tide tables are well know to ships masters. Schedule accordingly. And of course getting to the Orkney Island on a Sunday when HALF OF THE ISLAND is closed must make a lot of sense to the Princess People. But the ultimate indignity was the last stop in LeHavre. We book a Normany tour four months ago with PRINCESS only to find out three days INTO THE CRUISE that they were cancelling it on us because we were disembarking in LeHavre. THEY DID NOT KNOW THIS before I boarded the ship???? [Purportedly the reason is that we could not get off the boat in time to make the tour, I guess making sure that we COULD would have been too tough????] It caused hotel/train expenses for us in the hundreds. But truthfully I was glad to get off of this boat. I have cruised Royal Carib, Norweigian, Carnival, and Holland, and WILL NEVER set foot on a princess boat again. In FAIRNESS: Cabin was clean and the staff in the dining room was nice . And on the ten days, three days on entertainment were professional. The rest of it was like a HS talent show. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Tracking passengers with a medallion, not cool at all. You have to have this device on you to get in your room, and do anything else on the ship. Including getting on and off in ports. I work for a company that makes these devices for ... Read More
Tracking passengers with a medallion, not cool at all. You have to have this device on you to get in your room, and do anything else on the ship. Including getting on and off in ports. I work for a company that makes these devices for Amazon I know exactly what they are for. The buffet lines were awkward. The cruise wasn't bad,we have been on many. There were just more things I didn't like than I liked with Princess. The crusie director was almost invisible. Other cruise lines we have been on, they (cruise directors) have been much more involved with guests. Food was good, and they had lots of vegan options for those who eat that way. Entertainment was so so, again we have seen better much on other lines. We met a lot of very nice people on the ship. Almost always fun to talk with and learn from their point of view. Itinerary was very good, It would be a great trip for anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
“Winter with Leaves” A May Cruise around the British Isles “Call me Ismael” - Herman Melville; we wander when we can as there is so much world, and so little time. This time, for our May 1st cruise, we packed for cool/cold ... Read More
“Winter with Leaves” A May Cruise around the British Isles “Call me Ismael” - Herman Melville; we wander when we can as there is so much world, and so little time. This time, for our May 1st cruise, we packed for cool/cold weather and guessed correctly, as the temps never got above the mid-40s to low 50. We, Gene & Susan, left Houston Hobby, with a slight delay, (they had to reboot the plane?) April 29th to DFW, and on to an over-night flight to London Heathrow, landing about midday the 30th. Heathrow to Soho at the “Sticky Wicket” We decided to cut to the chase, jet lag being what it is, and had booked Heathrow Taxis (good value) down to the Hilton at Ageas Stadium, getting there early afternoon. The hotel is actually built into a Cricket Stadium surrounded by a Golf course. If you don’t know the game of Cricket, I wouldn’t encourage you to explore it too closely, and just assume that it resembles a cross between baseball and croquet!! We did get to watch a Cricket practice out our room window with bowling to the batsman on a Cricket pitch and wickets of course. “And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” John Masefield We taxied to the Crown Princess, May 1st (about 5 miles), arriving around noon, and had a very quick and easy embarkation with priority boarding. One of the main dining rooms was open where we had a leisurely lunch, avoiding the frantic crowds at the Lido. Our cabin, a balcony on Caribe deck, was ready and we relaxed until Muster Drill. I had hosted a Cruise Critic roll call, so we followed Muster with a Sail Away Party in the Wheelhouse Lounge, as outside was a bit chill. It was well attended, as a number of CC people were there and introduced themselves. Guernsey Where getting there is half the fun!! Guernsey is a tender port so all the ship tenders were used. They loaded the usual 75 or so on tender 21 and set out for shore. Sadly, it’s steering was broke that day and it water bugged us in circles and didoes all over the ocean. It finally got back to the ship, loaded three mechanics and set out again, with the same outcome, more circles and didoes. By this time passengers were turning green from ocean motion, and were considering holding a Muster Drill. They finally wallowed back to the ship and off loaded us on to another tender which worked. Some of the people in the lines behind us missed their tour due to the delay as it caused delays to the whole process. Guernsey = Blue Bell ice cream The original Texas Blue Bell was made using only milk from the Guernsey cow. The Guernsey and the Jersey, on the next isle over, have the highest butterfat content of all the dairy cattle (took Ag in HS). There are few cattle left on the island, as it’s about 90% developed, and is considered an off-shore banking and financial center much like the Caymans. Immigration is limited to those who can prove that they have a job when they arrive, or enough money to sustain them. We joined about 6 others on an island tour with “1st call Taxies” that circled the island. Those who read or watched “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” might be somewhat disappointed at the island’s modern development as there is little wild sea coast left. There are still a number of German observation posts and gun emplacements, however. Besides driving around the island, our guide took us into a 4,000-year-old barrow from ancient people on the island and a unique chapel built of cut glass. We had an excellent lunch at a local pub, fish and chips with panko bread crumbs, picked up some wine for the cabin, and it was time to get back to the ship, but not on tender 21 I’ll tell you! Cobh/Cork Our goal today was Blarney Castle and the Irish countryside with Ecoach (Butler tours). We wound our way through Cobh & Cork out to Blarney Castle, which almost resembles a theme park as you arrive at a woolen mill which advertises the most Irish souvenirs in Ireland. Also, there were a couple of Pub/restaurants, and ticket purchase (we had skip the line) with public rest rooms. You next stroll through forest gardens and streams to the castle, and it is beautiful; set on a hilltop surrounded by battlements and some discreetly hidden gift shops. Since there was a long line to kiss the Blarney Stone, I asked the wife if I needed to get in it. She replied that the Stone ought to be kissing me?? We roamed for about an hour with the wife taking pictures and then back to the visitor’s center where I enjoyed a pint of Irelands best while the wife visited the woolen mill. My son says that drinking Guinness is like eating a loaf of bread, and he might be right. We explored the Irish Countryside, had a pub lunch in a historic port town, picked up some wine for the cabin and returned to the ship about 5. Dublin We ported two days in Dublin which is about right, as will be explained. The ship didn’t dock until 11 AM but there was no rush as we planned a leisurely day riding the HoHos and had an evening event. We taxied into the city to the Hop-On Hop-Off office where we purchased tickets and also “jump the line” entrance to the Guinness brewery. Dublin is a city of young people. It was a Saturday, and young families were everywhere pushing babies in strollers and doing what they needed to do. Our first stop was Dublin Castle where the wife got some shots of the building as it is now used as Govt. offices. The next “God help me” was Guinness!! In retrospect, you should find a local pub have a pint and salute Guinness at a distance. The Guinness Store House is a 7-story exhibit with stairs, little A/C, and 1,000 of your closest friends!! It is a very nice history of the Stout with grains and a water fall, the brewing process, and a free pint at the end. When we reached the top of the tallest building in Dublin (I could have used a Sherpa), the wife took pictures when she could get near a window, as a Fire Marshall would have a coronary with the crowds in that building. They were mostly young Irish who must consider it a pilgrimage or some such, children and all. When we finally fought our way out of the building it was getting late afternoon so we hopped the HoHo, so to speak, and got off near our evening adventure, Irish Nights at the Belvidere Hotel. It was wonderful with Irish folk music and step dancing, a good dinner and wine by the glass with cruise friends. Dublin Day II “I don’t think my heart can stand another ewe!!” Sheep Herders lament Do you ever tire of cities?? Same ole public buildings, cathedrals, and museums?? We have, so it was time to see the country side, the Emerald Isle, and it didn’t disappoint. This time with two other cruise friends Susan and I taxied into Paddywagon Tours for a trip out to Kilkenny and the Wicklow Mountains. It was a wonderful day with emerald green pastures full of sheep with Grose hedges. Our first stop was Glendough, the ruins of a monastery from the 1100s. It was wonderful to walk and see it in the crisp cold air. You could spend a day here hiking as there were three lakes in the glen and numerous trails. There were also very good facilities (hotel etc) as well. Off to Kilkenny, or almost, as our bus blew a tire. But, no problem, there was a 2nd behind us on the same route with 30 empty seats. Cruise passengers had priority. The first bus limped into Dublin about two hours later than ours. Kilkenny was the ancient capital and featured quite a nice castle, a lunch at a good restaurant, and two bottles of wine for the cabin. It was close to 2 hours back to the ship, but it was a beautiful day in the country. Belfast Northern Ireland This one was a bit difficult; less than 5 miles from Belfast our 14-passenger bus, a Mercedes, blew an engine. But once again no problem as they had a replacement there shortly, and it was on to the Giant’s Causeway, a unique headland of Columnar Basalts that cooled into hexagonal crystals. We saw the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and had a good pub lunch before returning to Belfast. We completed the tour with a visit to the Titanic dry dock, interesting, but a barn where the cows are gone, then back to the ship after 7 in the evening. Greenock/Glasgow It was a rainy morning with a grey mist falling over Greenock on the Firth of Clyde, the port for Glasgow, as we set out with Discover Scotland tours on another wonderful adventure. The first stop, the rain was very slight, was at Loch Lomond, a beautiful lake where we walked a village and down to a dock to the calm waters and the silence of nature. Have you ever wondered about the term “Skyfall” the title from a Bond film? It means that when the waters are so calm that they mirror the sky above and this we found reflected in the Loch. This was a good start, as our next destination was Stirling Castle, one of the most famous in Scotland and most visited, where we rejoined tourism as we know it. Susan bravely shot the castle with her camera as there were heights and voids that were out of her comfort zone. We then visited the village of Callander where we lunched in a “Tea Room” favored by the locals, small, with shared Formica tables. I had a steak and haggis pie served in a pastry, as this was also a bakery for scones. Haggis, dear reader, is when you stuff a sheep’s stomach with mutton and oatmeal, and boil it until it turns to mush. The steak and gravy in the pie, (remember Marie Callender?), provided the flavor. We picked up some wine for the cabin while there, and set out for Glasgow. It is the third largest city in the UK but we didn’t spend much time there as we were due to get back to the ship. Invergordon/Inverness My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My heart’s in the Highlands a chasing the deer, Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, My heart’s in the Highlands where ever I go. -Robert Burns- In Invergordon, on the Firth of Cromarty, we were picked up by Highland tours at the ship for a trip through the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Our first stop shortly after viewing the ruins of Urquhart Castle was Loch Ness where my wife wanted me to dabble my fingers in the water to tell her how cold it was while taking pictures. (She gets double indemnity if I’m eaten by a Sea Monster!!) The Highlands are beautiful but still in their winter colors of brown heather and pale brown grasses on all the hills and mountains, some of which are snow capped in the distance. The Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most photographed in Scotland, was our next stop on a crisp cold day in a land where they see the Northern Lights. While winding through the glens of Scotland, we turned into a road that said Single Trac, you guessed it, a one lane road going to the ferry on the Isle of Skye. There was some backing and pulling over in a dance with on coming traffic, not that there was much. Here I should perhaps mention that the highways of Ireland and Scotland are not wide, as most two-lanes don’t have room for a stripe in the middle. But they get you there with the occasional four-lane to take you back to a city. Scotland’s are marginally better. The ferry to the Isle of Skye is the last “Turn Table” ferry in the world. It is a motorized barge with a parking platform on top which rotates to turn the cars in the opposite direction from which they boarded, in order to offload. It is only a short distance to the Isle itself. We drove through the hills of Skye to a small village for a pub lunch (sound familiar); it was actually more of a café with an order line and shared tables. Following lunch, we saw a little more of the Isle and returned to the mainland via a modern bridge and eventually back to the ship. Our First Sea Day Thank you, Jesus, as we’re running on empty and need the rest. Rest did come with responsibility, however, as it is time for our Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle. I had sent invitations once we were on board, and had rented a mic for the event. The ship provided Skywalkers and a cash bar. It went well with probably 60 in attendance. The officers introduced themselves and spoke about their area of responsibility. We finished with the attendees getting to say who they were, where they were from and what was their favorite port. A good time was had by all. The rest was a sea day as we try to avoid the Lido for meals, and we don't do the shows, but some wine and dancing in the evenings. Edinburgh We awoke anchored off South Queensferry on the Firth of Forth, the port for Edinburgh. Our tour for the day was with Go Scotland but first we had to tender ashore. Oh My God, they were shoving us on to Tender 21, but surely, they had got it fixed. Oh no they didn’t, as the pilot used the two engines to steer and we wallowed like a sick hog under a famous railroad bridge which was trying not to get hit, and finally to shore. In every case, we were met promptly by our tour guide, and today was no exception. We begin by driving out in the country to Roslyn Chapel founded in 1446. This is beautiful with gothic design and elaborate stone carving throughout. The Knights Templar came here to fight alongside the Scots. It is said that they buried both the Arc of the Covenant and the Holly Grail under this chapel. While you are down there, you might find Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Erhard as well!! Traveling through Edinburgh on the way to the castle, we saw many famous sites as Trinity College one of the world’s oldest. Why did they always stick castles on hill tops? Yeah, yeah, I know, as they didn’t trust their neighbors and probably had some pretty good reasons not to. We trudged up the hill from our small bus, and quite a hill it was, where we had jump-the-line tickets as there were 1,000 of our closest friends taking selfies and trying not to fall off the battlements!! The castle is still an active military base and fires a 1 O’clock gun, much to the consternation of the pigeons, and the benefit of the hundreds of tourists gathered to watch it. A fine time was had by all as Susan shutter bugged the edifice and we moved down hill (thank God) to where the tour group met for an hour and forty-five-minute walking tour. Something my walking ability told me not to do, as I got a new hip last Fall. So, I bought two bottles of wine for the cabin, and retired to a convenient pub/restaurant for lunch and relaxation. Those of you of the culinary nature would enjoy exploring “Toad in the Hole”, a shell of Yorkshire pudding layered with mashed potatoes, with three “bangers” pork & Haggis sausages, topped with caramelized onions and a brown gravy!! It was a hearty dish although hardly heart healthy, and in the States, subject to a Surgeon General’s warning!! Susan joined the walking tour, taking in historically significant sites as well as the Greyfriars Bobby statue, a haunted cemetery and Harry Potter points of interest. We regrouped, boarded the bus and circled Arthur’s Seat, a small mountain that hung over the city. We stopped by Holyrood Palace where Elizabeth stays when in Edinburgh, before returning to the tender port. As luck would have it, a commercial tender seating more than a hundred was a comfortable ride back to the ship. I did keep a wary eye out for “Sea Cow 21” as I had vowed to sacrifice my place in line, and it was long, if offered another ride with her. The Second Sea Day I really don’t recall much about this day as there was no agenda and no pressing need to have anything but three meals in the MDR as for once on a cruise, we never visited the Lido. We did attend the Capt.’s party as it was the last formal night, and did book a future cruise at a discount while on board as we are thinking a Northern Alaska visit with seeing Denali this next time with perhaps a night in a Princess lodge. Le Havre France Paris and Normandy are the two attractions here but, as I’m a Marine from a Marine family, Normandy wasn’t our war. We declined seeing Paris about 300 miles away as I felt that the French needed no help turning over cars and setting them on fire. We opted to visit a local mall, Docks Vauban, where Susan did her last gift shopping and we enjoyed a three-star grill where the French did what they do best, cook!! The Longest Day We had opted for a Princess transfer from SOHO as we had an early 12:15 flight. No one wants you off the ship more than the cruise line, so we met to disembark @ 6:30. As the traffic was interesting, we made Heathrow by around 9. After check in and airport security, I can confirm they are even more intense than our own, as I lost a can of shave gel. We had a leisurely brunch and boarded for our 91/2 hr flight to DFW, which arrived on time. After the ordeal of Customs and Security all that was left was the short hop to Houston, right? They loaded us on the small plane on time and then sat there in a sweat box for close to an hour waiting for them to get more fuel that they might run the air conditioners among other delays. Even with that amount of time my luggage missed the flight and was delivered the next day. Thus, from the ship’s cabin to home made about 21 hrs of travel. I’ve mentioned a few mechanical problems that occurred on this vacation, and have visited with God about them from time to time, but none posed a serious threat to us or our travels so let the cow chips fall where they may as it was a wonderful cruise. We hope that this has been informative and helpful for those of you traveling to this part of the world and until I write again. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind at yer back not be yer own. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Gene & Susan Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have never cruised with Princess but we liked the itinerary to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We were not disappointed! This is a fantastic cruise line. The embarkation was flawless. Our stateroom was ready upon arrival. ... Read More
We have never cruised with Princess but we liked the itinerary to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We were not disappointed! This is a fantastic cruise line. The embarkation was flawless. Our stateroom was ready upon arrival. Everything around the ship was clean always. The entertainment was fantastic. We kept busy going from one venue to the next, not to miss anything. Our favorite was Project 5. They interacted with the crowd and were great musicians. They dedicated a song to us for our anniversary. We were so impressed with the buffet line! So clean and not crowded. Never have seen that on any other ship. We like the any time dining and was seated with a fabulous server, Hardika. He made certain that our dining experience was over the top. The food was good but not fabulous in the Michelangelo. But we were never hungry! We met some of the nicest people on the cruise. The clientele was great. We tried to participate in as much as we could but there was plenty that we just couldn't do. Our room was always clean and in order. The food areas were always clean. The Salty Dog had great food, great pizza. Plenty of pools so there was plenty of shade and room in the hot tub and pool. Easy to get around the ship. Drinks were good. Ports were fantastic! It was so much fun. We will definitely go on another Princess Cruise. Disembarkation was a breeze. Very well organized by all. We were very impressed with all of it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We arrived the day before, choosing a hotel with free transferts from airport and to port. But, they changed the rules before we gat there, so now they charge 10$/pers to port... a taxi cost 25$. We were 4 adults, so we chose the taxi. ... Read More
We arrived the day before, choosing a hotel with free transferts from airport and to port. But, they changed the rules before we gat there, so now they charge 10$/pers to port... a taxi cost 25$. We were 4 adults, so we chose the taxi. Embarcation was fast (we are Platinium) and they offer cake and coffe while we wait in a private lounge. The ship, our cabin, dining venues and especialy the service was wonderful! Entertainment was good when the dancers and singers were giving the show, but stand-ups were skeaking too fast for those who were not english speaking (native). Ports : we had been to most of them before, so we just walked around in the neighbourhood, except for Dominica, where we took a tour by Princess (good idea, since it was late and they waited for us!). We were surprised by 2 other family members who joined us for the cruise! They managed to find out our cabin number and booked the cabin just beside us! We then opened the balcony doors to have a 3 cabin balcony... very nice! (for confidentiality... that is another story!) We did the same cruise last year and truly enjoyed both cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose this cruise because it was sailing to certain Islands we have not visited yet. As we did not like to idea of having to get off the ship on the first ten days, it did not disrupt our plans. We made the best of it and walked into ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was sailing to certain Islands we have not visited yet. As we did not like to idea of having to get off the ship on the first ten days, it did not disrupt our plans. We made the best of it and walked into town and did some shopping. The crew was amazing and directed us on how to check out and return without a hitch. The intertaiment crew were great and the shows were excellent. The daily actives were also great to get involved with and get to meet other passengers to play with. The bartenders were amazing and always remembered your names and your drinks. We had a great time and will be cursing back on Crown Princess in January 2020. The cruise director and his staff were great and always willing to get you involve with the game and trivia and we look forward to getting involved. The waiter and assistant waiter were out of this world in taking care of our dining needs and what we like to eat. They always made sure our drinks were at our table for dinner. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Overall great experience. As usual, the crew was excellent, itinerary was great, room excellent, food above average in dinner room. Crown Grill the best ever. Ship recently undated and looks great. Cabin upgrade outstanding. Customer ... Read More
Overall great experience. As usual, the crew was excellent, itinerary was great, room excellent, food above average in dinner room. Crown Grill the best ever. Ship recently undated and looks great. Cabin upgrade outstanding. Customer service in Vines was excellent. Cabin steward excellent. Did not do any shore excursions or attend any shows, expect the Rock and Roll Show, which was excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth. Shore staff and ship staff were very well organized and ready to help guests, if necessary. The only disappointment was the selection of wines in Vines Wine Bar. Some are available in places like Walmart and grocery stores and sell for 6 or 7 dollars a bottle and sell on the ship for 9 to 10 dollars per glass. Over the last few cruises the selection of wine in Vines had gotten less and less and become more and more expensive. Looking forward to new wine list on next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My husband and I decided to take a 10 day Caribbean cruise for our 20 year anniversary. From the moment we stepped on the Crown Princess it was magical. All the guest are treated like VIPs with some of the best service I have ever ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a 10 day Caribbean cruise for our 20 year anniversary. From the moment we stepped on the Crown Princess it was magical. All the guest are treated like VIPs with some of the best service I have ever experienced. Fernando and Sergi in the Michelangelo dinning room were the best Waite staff I have ever had. They were knowledgeable about the courses, made recommendations and in general gave us a perfect time. Jasmine in the Crooners Lounge is a “Joy, joy, happy, happy” very funny and attentive. I really enjoyed my time with her. We loved the chance to visit multiple ports and see other cultures and cuisines. All of the ports we visited had wonderful friendly people who genuinely liked having visitors. Truly a memorable cruise. The only problem we had is trying to figure out when we can take another cruise. Princess has hooked us for life! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was an anniversary celebration cruise with friends. We had excellent embarkation and disembarkation experiences...Princess does it right! Dining: We ate many meals at the Michelangelo Dining Room. I can't pin it down ... Read More
This was an anniversary celebration cruise with friends. We had excellent embarkation and disembarkation experiences...Princess does it right! Dining: We ate many meals at the Michelangelo Dining Room. I can't pin it down exactly, but felt the quality and selections were less than previous Princess cruises. On the other hand, we felt the Horizon buffet was much better than previous cruises. We enjoyed the International Cafe very much, using it for our specialty coffee orders, the outstanding apple donuts and the ability to just sit and relax and enjoy the entertainment provided...especially the Violin duo! Was not impressed with the Salty Dog but wife enjoyed it. Didn't have pizza this time but noted that many seemed to enjoy it. Crown Grill was outstanding but we went at end of cruise and it was just too much food! We booked an inside cabin and had no issues at all with it. Cabin steward did a great job with freshening. Entertainment was very, very good! The production shows were outstanding and the musicianship of the cast and band were excellent. Comedian was great and ventriloquist was good! Movies on deck were great! New screens are now visible even in full sunlight! We went on shore at every stop and enjoyed the Princess Cay water bikes and the Heritage excursion in Antigua. Wi-fi was lousy...but didn't expect much improvement. Only "complaint" was miscommunication on our anniversary package. Still not sure what happened but we were supposed to have two specialty nights. On first day, customer service said it may have been our Princess travel agent, but they didn't make any effort to make it right. On settling our account, the desk found that we should have had two specialty meals. Would suggest that Princess provide additional training in this area. Because of that, I didn't give this enjoyable, relaxing cruise five stars. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this ship for ports or call and length of trip. We loved all the tucked away areas on the ship. The Sanctuary was quiet and enjoyable, we booked it for three half days. The restaurants were fantastic and the service provided by ... Read More
We chose this ship for ports or call and length of trip. We loved all the tucked away areas on the ship. The Sanctuary was quiet and enjoyable, we booked it for three half days. The restaurants were fantastic and the service provided by Antonio and Anthony was five star. We never visited any specialty restaurant because the food in the main dinning room was so delicious. Behind the fitness center is a free unisex sauna and steam room that can be used free of charge. The TRX classes lead by Dan were outstanding. We enjoyed the outside jogging track on 18 as long as people walking didn't get in the way. The shows were very good and we enjoyed all of them. The ports of call were our favorite. We went to Pirates Cove in Barbados, The Marriott in St. Kitts and in St. Lucia we did the "Joy Tour Excursion". They took us to the mud baths, waterfalls and finished up with a delicious local meal. Our tour guys Captain Phil, Nano and Jonathan were polite, informative and fun. Our least favorite excursion was in Antigua. We visited Church Valley Beach which was disappointing because the bar service and food were horrible and way overpriced. The steep slope to enter and exit the water was challenging for the ederly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We asked to be seated with table of 4. We were traveling with two other guests. They really didn't want to accomodate us. They did several nights. We had anytime dining but prefered to be with our friends at dinner. The Cabin and ... Read More
We asked to be seated with table of 4. We were traveling with two other guests. They really didn't want to accomodate us. They did several nights. We had anytime dining but prefered to be with our friends at dinner. The Cabin and service was exceptional. The Piano Bar was not available (perfomer was not there) until the last night (9 out of 10) no piano music which is one of the most enjoyable to us. The games took too long to get set up and organized. You lost interest in waiting for "it to start" the staff stood around as tho they were uncertain what to do. Dining experience was good. Bar tenders great. Cabins were good. Pools were good. The movies and TV shows were terrible. The ship had so many seniors very very few children if any. The movies selection was not good. The Pizza was to die for! #lovethatpizza. The games shows were to slow in getting started and it seemed they were just unorganized. The Theater performances were pretty good. The excursions were geared to "shopping" when they were "Beach" excursions. Too much time wasted on shopping. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
CROWN PRINCESS: Dec 27, 2018 ~ Jan 6, 2019 “New Year’s” Eastern Caribbean Voyager 10-days 6 ports Cruise: Fort Lauderdale-Princess Cays Bahamas-St. Thomas-Antigua-St.Lucia-Barbados-St.Kitts-Fort Lauderdale Day 0: Stay-Park-Cruise ... Read More
CROWN PRINCESS: Dec 27, 2018 ~ Jan 6, 2019 “New Year’s” Eastern Caribbean Voyager 10-days 6 ports Cruise: Fort Lauderdale-Princess Cays Bahamas-St. Thomas-Antigua-St.Lucia-Barbados-St.Kitts-Fort Lauderdale Day 0: Stay-Park-Cruise Rodeway Inn & Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port. Price of lodging and long-term parking just under the cost to park car at port terminal ($15 per day). Free shuttle to port provided with quick stop at a drug store. Planning this comes with a warning: when you return the Rodeway shuttle may keep you waiting hours to pick you up to take you back to your car – many exasperated dawgs hired a taxi (4.3 miles/13 minutes travel via I-95, tax and tip: estimated $16.25 per dawg) back to Rodeway. Day 1: Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale. We arrived at the port at about 11:15 a.m. Salty dawgs who packed only carry-ons can navigate around the luggage hounds asking for your luggage and a $10 tip. Just prepare that you may be one of the unlucky dawgs whose luggage arrives to their stateroom after dinner. Our check-in was among the quickest and most efficient we have experienced. We are a couple, no pups in tow. Yes, we had our travel docs, checked in online, presented the same credit card as we had booked and printed our boarding passes. We were given our cruise card: check name, ship, dates, cabin and dining for accuracy. Safeguard your cruise card: dawgs will have bar code scanned whenever they depart and re-board the ship and it is the onboard cash card. Be certain to obtain and sign an accurate receipt for expenses. By-pass the souvenir camera pointers (photos are not free nor mandatory) and trot across the gangway. Present cruise card and take ID mut shot. Our stateroom was ready to occupy when we boarded. Study the hallway carpet for a helpful navigational aid: our deck had red “berries” port side (even numbered staterooms) and blue “berries” starboard side. Our cabin E322 midship obstructed ocean view was an upgrade from inside cabin. Only the lower portion of our window was blocked by a lifeboat. We concluded we had an acceptable view of the ocean and sky. A midship location is not as susceptible to up and down motion as cabins forward and aft. This small cabin required some choreography for two to navigate simultaneously. Exercise caution when opening the lavatory door because partner dawg could be pinned against the closet. Our closet contained 32 wooden hangers. Even at the coolest setting, our cabin felt warm. An inevitable topic of conversation among fellow sea dawgs became the old ship felt too warm, an issue the ventilation officer was unable or unwilling to rectify. We should be grateful it wasn’t summer! Incidentally, our cabin fridge stayed too warm, too. It helped to keep a bucket of ice in the fridge. The venerable Crown Princess (2006) has limited electrical outlets that accommodate U.S. plugs, so I recommend packing a multiple outlet surge strip for multiple devices and chargers. We had a 40-inch flat screen TV, but major U.S. networks were not televised. Prepare to be saturated with “The Love Boat”. Our shower was tight; most will not be able to squat to grasp dropped soap. I recommend packing your own favorite soap and shampoo. Pooches insisting on a bath tub should book a suite or investigate the Lotus Spa thermal suite day pass costs. The Princess Patter publishes important information, the daily onboard activity schedules and evening events. Weather permitting, make time to snuggle under a blanket with a bag of popcorn and enjoy a Movie Under the Stars. Once unpacked we went to lunch at the Horizon Court buffet. Food offerings were plentiful, international and seemed to meet most dietary choices and requirements. Gone are the drink stations. Unless dawgs purchased a soda card, the drink choices were coffee, tea, water and lemonade. It seems Princess has made things more inconvenient for dawgs who do not purchase a soda or drink package. Those dawgs might do well to pack single serve powdered drink mixes to add to their complimentary ice water. Long gone are the self-serve ice-cream dispensers. Pampered pedigrees will probably discern enough to whine about with this mostly self-serve buffet. Paw sanitizers were at chow entrances, but guard dawgs weren’t monitoring use. Contrary to persistent rumor, the buffet dinner menu differs from the usually superior restaurant dinner menu. Seven short followed by one long horn blasts signals report to the muster station. Our dawgs only had to bring their ship card which crew dawgs scanned. Muts who miss this Coast Guard required muster earn a more thorough private muster later. The weather was deteriorating as we departed. Strong winds and moderately rough seas kept dawgs off the upper decks, limited “Enchanted Evening” events and closed the pools and promenade deck. Crown Princess does not have an all-weather enclosed pool area. As the conditions worsened, a moderate rise and fall, lurch and list began. Interior creaks and groans, some sounding like loose carts rolling across the deck, made sound snoozing difficult. I recommend packing ear plugs. For queasy dawgs, obtain prescription anti-motion sickness patches before boarding. DAY 2: Princess Cays, Eleuthera, Bahamas. Few were surprised when the captain announced the wind and sea conditions were deemed too rough to tender to the island. This port stop was cancelled. Top Dawg might have charted a more sheltered course west of the Bahamas, instead he sailed into the open ocean east of the Bahamas and we enjoyed a day and night of rock ‘n’ roll. The cruise log published rough seas and wind gusting to 45 mph. I would categorize the motion more a nuisance than severe, but landlubbers were becoming nauseous and bags were distributed. Entertainment scheduled a few more onboard activities, most profitable ventures for the cruise line. Coffee and Cones (Ice Cream) and adjacent Slice (Pizza) port side between the main Neptune and Calypso pools offers a limited complimentary and a fee menu. The Salty Dog (formerly Trident) by the Neptune pool serves up hot dogs, burgers and fries in complimentary and fee menus. Adults should accompany their pups to these venues because it is easy to order from the fee menu. Day 3: At Sea. Continuing wind and sea conditions kept the pools closed and limited on-deck activities. By now it was obvious the ventilation system could not adequately recirculate the air or keep the sealed interior space comfortably cool. Motion sickness bags and medicines became available. To enhance our onboard experience, that night the hot water throughout the ship was turned off to permit scheduled maintenance. Decisions such as this one cause me to question how much priority Princess places on passenger comfort. On select sea days, the Crown Grill puts out their Union Jacks and serves a complimentary British-style pub lunch such as Fish and Chips, but no complimentary drinks. Be warned to double check which lunches are complimentary and which are not before ordering. Day 4: Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI. Most welcomed docking and stepping onto terra firma in the warm sunshine. But what are cruise itinerary planners thinking? Crown Princess, Norwegian Gem, Crystal Symphony, Celebrity Infinity and Queen Mary were all in port! Reminiscent of Santorini, downtown was wall-to-wall dawg packs. Shore excursions and destinations were generally hosting more dawgs than ideal or customary. The ship offered a welcomed sanctuary even though a lot of maintenance was in progress. Some high-end shops await dawgs at the end of the pier. Left and past the tourist shops, dawgs may catch a $4 taxi to down town Charlotte Amalie. It is possible for fit dawgs to hike to downtown following a curvy and busy highway. My advice to bargain hounds is check the price online before purchasing. Most Caribbean ports are saturated with retailers like Diamonds International, Columbia Emeralds and Effy’s. Better prices are generally found further from the tourist enclave. Dawgs will receive a fairly sketchy map of the tourist enclave from the cruise line. Smart dawgs know to search for a free, complete and accurate map from Tourist Information, usually located near the port entrance. For dawgs considering booking a shore excursion through the cruise line; most are overpriced. The premium purchases insurance that the ship will wait for dawgs tardy due to their late returning shore excursion. Generally, the safety and quality of the cruise line excursion has earned the recommendation of the cruise line. Excursions offered by independents will beat the cruise line price because they aren’t paying a kickback to the cruise line. Savvy dawgs who do a little pre-cruise research should be able to sniff out reliable and less costly shore excursion operators that are used by other cruise lines, but not Princess. Regardless of the island, most Caribbean shore excursions are snorkeling, diving, beach break lunches, coastal sailing, taxi/bus scenic island tour, historical site tour, swim with sea life and explore geological sites. Day 5: St. John’s, Antigua. The tourist enclave here is Heritage Quay. Just inside the gate, a pack of assertive dawgs thrust their island tour deals into our faces. My most effective response was to say (truthfully) that I had been to Antigua before. A glance at the street ahead revealed loaded tour wagons crawling through snarled traffic. Further up the street and to the right is a large indoor consignment stall market where some bargain souvenirs may be found and negotiated. My experience is often the best deal is offered when you turn and walk away. Day 6: Castries, St. Lucia. This island is a lush, mountainous paradise reminiscent of a South Seas island. We booked a well recommended day excursion with Joy’s Adventures and went by speedboat from Castries south along the scenic beaches and cliffs of the west coast to Soufriere. We took a van to the sulphur springs and mineral baths where totally sane muts took a mud bath. The water is hot, the mud is thick, and the area reeks of sulphur. Off to Toraille Falls for a chilly, high-pressured “power shower”. I guess most dawgs were finally presentable enough to have an authentic Caribbean lunch in a spacious basement of the tour owner’s home not far from Rainbow Falls. I found the meal Caribbean and delicious. I ate a small spoonful of everything, and I’m still here to tell the tale. Lo Mein was available for the less adventurous. We were driven back to our speedboat and went further south for a beach break and snorkeling in the Coral Gardens located between the majestic Petit and Gros Pitons. The bar opened as we headed north along the west coast. We gawked at the yachts and homes of Marigot Bay and our boat was small enough and the seas calm enough to motor through a natural sea arch. All too soon, but well before departure time, we were back aboard the ship. Day 7: Bridgetown, Barbados. The Carnival Fascination and Norwegian Dawn docked shortly after Crown Princess arrived. Barbados is a contrast to the lush, mountainous St. Lucia. This seems a good island to book a sailing or beach excursion. The crew runs drills in the morning. The busy port complex and concrete dock is large. The cruise line provided complimentary shuttles to the terminal though fit dawgs had no trouble hiking there. Familiar cruise line shops await in the terminal stores. Taxi drivers who have paid cruise lines for terminal access and tour operators are just outside the terminal stores building. Taxi vans into Bridgetown are about $2. DIY beach day dawgs might discover it is much easier to get a taxi to a beach than from the beach back to the port. Warning: today the ship departs earlier than usual: at 3:30 p.m. Waiting just outside the port entrance gate are more tour operators and taxi drivers who do not have access to the port area. Many of these taxis are unmetered, some are even unlicensed, so exercise due caution and agree on the fare before hopping into the cab. Dawgs are advised to know their limitations and risk exposure well before starting the mile long walk into Bridgetown. I advise dawgs research and determine where they are going in Bridgetown and why before they pound the streets. Day 8: Basseterre, St. Kitts. This and Nevis are beautiful lush, mountainous islands. Crown Princess docked next to a similarly sized MSC Prezioso. We booked the Cruise to Nevis, Pinney’s Beach, Snorkel and Lunch 6-hour cruise line excursion. It proved a popular excursion. Though advertised for 40, about 70 dawgs were onboard the motor catamaran; seating was tight. We went through some rain squalls forcing dawgs to stand under the little canopy awhile. The crew unfurled the foresail, but only for show because we slowly motored the entire journey. We cruised from Basseterre about 3 miles along the Southeast Peninsula of St. Kitts and anchored near Buggs Hole for snorkeling. Getting mask, fins and vest was an exercise in patience, probably because so many were aboard. After snorkeling the bar was opened and lunch was served. We found the drinks strong and the lunch surprisingly good. Then we motored two miles across the straight to Nevis Island and the catamaran beached on Pinney’s Beach. We lounged in chairs and the crew brought a cooler from the boat. Then we climbed aboard and slowly motored back to the port. Smart dawgs brought towels, sunglasses, secure head covering and sunscreen. I believe the most comfortable spot on the catamaran is the trampoline, just know a wave may splash you there. Day 9: At sea. Many dawgs have learned to wait to the end of a cruise to take advantage of Princess shop sales events. Savvy dawgs know to check the onboard sales price of items with what can be purchased on the internet. For some, a unique item or an item’s “souvenir” value is worth the premium. Today is a good day to check and settle shipboard accounts. An unexplained charge from Crown Grill appeared on our account. A visit to the customer service desk did not resolve the issue because no one in authority from the Crown Grill was available. Day 10: At Sea. A series of announcements herald the Princess campaign for dawgs’ final vacation dollars: up to 75% off onboard outlet sale; Effy blow-out sale up to 60% off; big bingo jackpot will be awarded today; don’t miss the huge art auction; pay for a future cruise; etc. It is possible to escape the distracting crass commercialism to experience reasons you booked this cruise for one final day. Day 11: Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale. Again, what are cruise line itinerary planners thinking? Seven large ships docked (Crown Princess, Royal Princess, Celebrity Edge, RCCL Harmony o/t Seas, HAL Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam and Zuiderdam) and disgorged 25,000 cruise dawgs at the same time overtaxing transportation and security systems. Entering and exiting Port Everglades is increasingly stressful and difficult. Crown Princess has three main dining rooms: Boticelli, Da Vinci and Michaelangelo. On this voyage, the main dining menu offered a left side fixed menu and a right side changing menu. The “Princess favorites” left side menu offered shrimp cocktail, ceasar salad, potato soup, fettucini, salmon, chicken and a burger. The changing “right side” menu featured, among others, Prime rib, salmon, lamb, red snapper, trout, shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, lobster tail, pheasant, duck, jerk chicken, turkey, pork and chateaubriand just to start an impressive list. Disappointed dawgs who couldn’t get a reservation at the premium ($29 cover charge) Crown Grill may find consolation in the main dining room. Their menus list steak offerings for a price. With a little menu comparison, savvy dawgs can order a steak for $19 in the main dining room that dawgs pay $29 to eat in the premium Crown Grill. Surf and Turf ordered for $29 comes out of the same galley that dawgs pay $10 in addition to Crown Grill’s $29 cover charge. There were two formal nights, but I saw more dress shirt and ties than suits or tuxes; more dresses than gowns. Face it, better entertainers have more lucrative performance opportunities than a venerable cruise ship during the holidays. Princess Theater shows were enjoyable and impressive. Crown Princess booked a variety of live musicians to perform in venues on deck. Those live musicians attentive to the preferences of their audience enjoyed popularity; the clueless generally performed to nearly empty venues. There were some opportunities to dance, but often held on the small dance floor in the Wheelhouse Bar. For $20 half day/$40 full day/$200 full cruise, dawgs can access the extra padded lounges and tranquility of the Sanctuary. Located far forward, the sail cloth awning provides little protection from less favorable weather and wind. For the Princess VIP treatment, book a full suite. Pedigrees will be treated to a host of extras such as luxury bedding, complimentary laundry service, exclusive Club Class dining, complimentary Lotus Spa thermal suite access and priority services. Sea Dawg Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our 2nd trip on the Crown over a New Years Eve. Last year was the best, no champagne on NYE this year was disappointing. The food on this years cruise was much better taste wise and choices. Having the formal night confusion due to ... Read More
Our 2nd trip on the Crown over a New Years Eve. Last year was the best, no champagne on NYE this year was disappointing. The food on this years cruise was much better taste wise and choices. Having the formal night confusion due to changing the night was a bit confusing but many people wanted formal night to be on New Years Eve. It would be better to have an earlier departure from port on New Years Eve and a later arrival to port on New Years Day. We are booked for next years New Years Eve Cruise and both NEW Years Eve and New Years Day are port days but the arrival and departure times are much better. We dined In Sabatini Restaurant this year and we loved the atmosphere and the food and service was excellent. We had the worst cabin steward we have ever had! He did not make the bed well, forgot our ice twice, did not bring extra towels each day that we requested, argued with us about whether or not we put our “refresh room” sign on door and all of this after we gave him a $20.00 tip to start the cruise!! First time we have ever had a bad experience with a cabin steward. Overall we enjoyed the cruise despite some minor issues. We are booked again next year, so that should tell you how much we enjoyed ourselves! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Its vacation made better! The opputunites that arise are not some you would see often so its like the saying goes. Travel while You can as your money will always return! Its about the expierence and what it does for you. This how ever was ... Read More
Its vacation made better! The opputunites that arise are not some you would see often so its like the saying goes. Travel while You can as your money will always return! Its about the expierence and what it does for you. This how ever was my third cruise and again!! Some how! it was made even better then the first two but they were still amazing experiences and thats simply because princess strides for nothing but the best! My first ever cruise was this year as well so it just shows how life changing it can be or has been for Me anyways. The photos speak for them selves. It just goes to show any princess cruise is well worth every penny as no one else can provide such an unforgettable time! (Dolphins,Stingrays,Sea lions,) with nice calm relaxing travelling to the Caribbeans Islands and so much more! I thank you once again princess cruises! You are the Top Cruise Line in my books! Its something i will be able to share and remember for the rest of my Life. But that also means i will be back! N thats what counts the most! Providing such a great time that everyone want ones to keep coming back, heck id live on one of the ships if it was possible! In good Time I will be back! Last but not least I Highly recommend princess cruises if you never have before! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first Crown Princess Cruise. Our friends cruise with Princess on a regular basis and referred this ship. We we couldn’t have been more pleased with everything from checking in to disembarking. Every person that we came in ... Read More
This was our first Crown Princess Cruise. Our friends cruise with Princess on a regular basis and referred this ship. We we couldn’t have been more pleased with everything from checking in to disembarking. Every person that we came in contact with was more than helpful. Our room steward, Igor...Bartenders, Bruce, Viktor, William and Dragana. Every employee we passed in the hallway were smiling and friendly. There was so much entertainment on this ship and we loved it all! Just to name a few, Movies under the stars, the voice, ice carvings, fruit and Vegetable carvings. The buffet was excellent as well as all the other restaurants. We have cruised with other cruise lines and found this one to be far better. I thought there were very few children on this ship, however, when I stopped up on the sports deck 17, I saw the youth center & kids area! Very nice! We look forward to another trip soon on the Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose it for the itinerary, price, and wanted to try something new. Loved Princess !!! Flew in same day and were transported by Princess transfer to the ship. Embarkation was quick and easy and they are organized. We had balloons ... Read More
We chose it for the itinerary, price, and wanted to try something new. Loved Princess !!! Flew in same day and were transported by Princess transfer to the ship. Embarkation was quick and easy and they are organized. We had balloons and a cute sign on our cabin door as we were both celebrating our 60th birthdays this cruise. The Guest Safety Assembly (Muster Drill) is mandatory, and scheduled shortly after embarkation, we met in one of the dining rooms, fast and done. Then Sail~Away...loved being on deck for that, sailing by Ft Lauderdale beach as it appeared and disappeared before us. The Sail~away Party was fun, then a fantastic sunset. Meanwhile, many things are going on inside the ship... from EFFY store, shopping at the Caribbean Cove, Piazza entertainment, spa raffles, music in Club Fusion, Wheelhouse Bar, and Crooners, photo gallery meet, trivia in Explorers Lounge Movies Under the Stars, Bingo...the list is almost endless what goes on at once. You really need to look over (the Princess Patter, delivered to your stateroom every evening) the evening before and check off what you want to do so you don't miss something you look forward to. We had a great itinerary, loved all the ports of call... Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St Thomas, and Princess Cays, Bahamas. We were lucky with great weather, even light misty rain early morning in Bonaire didn't deter us from going out and enjoying the port areas. We had two fun filled Sea days to begin the cruise. Found alot to do after we looked over the Patter the evenings before and checked off what we didnt want to miss out on. We had our first time cruisers welcome meet and that was fun with raffles and information. 1st seaday enjoyed The Crown Grill (Specialty restaurant... extra cost) had a special (free) lunch that day so we went to that had had the fish/chips special. It was called the Brit Pub Lunch event. Later, at 3pm we enjoyed the daily Princess event of the "Afternoon Tea", and it was really a special time. Met some nice people there to visit with. 4pm: Casino time.. won some quarters from the 'sweeping quarter machine'...don't think you will get them all to drop just because they are hanging on the edge...lol. Again many things going on all day. 7pm Comedy Show with Eric Lyden was hilarious. In the Piazza, Festivals of the World was nice to watch. 2nd seaday they had some $10 sales set up in a dining room that had some great stuff, got a shawl to match my formal dress, the color matched exactly. Later, enjoyed the Captains Welcome Aboard Party & Champagne Waterfall event, and later "Encore" a musical in the Princess Theater. Every day/evening, I went out to capture the sunrise and sunset in photos and video. First port of call: Aruba !!! We always had Bfast in the Horizon cafe or the dining room before leaving the ship for the port days. Aruba, was the most gorgeous place ever. Beautiful and colorful. Stayed in the port areas, and had a long day there from 8 am - 7 pm...so amazing, walked all over the place and found a few beaches (Surfside beach) to relax at before we were off on more explorations. Don't miss a photo op by the "I >> a lady positioned her lounge chair right in front of people nearby us so she could get the sun directly on her (obstructing their beach view), and there was a close call when the blind crippled man came by again as he nearly toppled right over on top her. Please, just some simple manners people !!! Event that night was "DISCO...Blame it on the Boogie"...very entertaining in the Princess Theater. There was a Yes/No Gameshow we missed tht people said was funny. We had to go have dinner sometime...lol. Have to prioritize the hours, cant do it all, no matter how hard you try. Later, up to the Movies Under the Stars on deck 15 for the football game on the huge deck TV, snuggled under red plaid blankets with popcorn/beer (and my coffee card special coffee treat)...Purchased this prior to sailing...its a card good for 15 specialty coffees (and or treats) from several locations on the ship. Fantastic experience we enjoyed several times for movies too. Day 6 Fourth port of call: Dominica !!! 7am-3:30pm. Arrived at a shipping dock, because the ship is too large for the regular port. Nothing much to see there, but walked around a little there. A local man with a sign (Gordon) caught our attention offering a half price ($25.pp) excursion to see waterfalls, sulphur pits, a stop at the Water Bar way up in the mountains, and beautiful mountainous scenery. He had roped in 3 other couples with the same offer, so aboard we all piled into his air conditioned van. The waterfalls were a distance away, but the sulphur pits were bubbling right under our feet on the viewing planks. He also brought us to the Water Bar where a very strong concoction served from a gallon jug, and an array of exotic fruits and spices were sampled by all. The bar owner had a cat who sat on top of the housed water spout roof and everyone loved her. Beautiful views He also brought us to a beautiful park with many beautiful flowers and trees, He explained them all to us. Back on the ship later that evening was the Love Boat Deck Party, where we danced like kids. After icing my feet and ankles we decided to skip supper in the dining room and grabbed some food at the Horizon cafe and took it to our cabin. Vacation is hard work. Day 7 Fifth port of call: St Thomas !!! We walked around Havensight Port, found a Crocs Shop and got a pair of elastic strap Crocs...heaven for my feet. Stopped by the P{ortside Bar for banana daqueris and beer. Texted my daughter as it was her Birthday (in the USVI so can text for free)... Later that evening enjoyed The Magic Show also saw Bobby Brooks Wilson (son of Jackie Wilson, singer) He was fabulous...he stayed on a few days and took our tender boat with us to the Princess Cays a day later...exciting) Next day finally a Sea~day !!! Day 8 Seaday!!! (By this day, I was taking Diurex pills a few days already...lol every time I'm in the tropics, i swell up....very helpful for those who think they might need that) The evening was Formal dress night too. Enjoyed the ship activities.Bobby Brooks Wilson performed again with Erik Bryan. Very good. Marriage Match game show, saw part of that. After dinner, we had the Balloon Drop Party in the Piazza. So much fun, took pictures of each other on the stairways since we were all dressed up. Also we had many photos taken when on the ship, going off the ship at ports, and embarkation, but didnt purchase them. We took our own and they are almost as nice, I think. We went to the photo gallery to look at them all though. Still in our formal dress strolling on deck, enjoying the balmy Caribbean breeze, we found the ping pong table on the sport deck and had a few games with no one else around. You never know when you will find something unexpected to do.My new jade shawl/scarf ($10 sale on the ship), took off in one of those breezes and landed in a corner of the ship, fortunately, not out to sea. Good memories. Day 9 port of call: Princess Cays !!! Princess's private island of beauty and fun. We finally relaxed the whole day there. Good BBQ, walked around, took photos. Watched fish and snorkelers at the pier. Fantastic. Back on ship headed for the International Cafe for lunch and had 3 desserts...(starting to feel like we aren't going to beon the ship for long anymore...lol). Last dinner that evening and said almost tearful good-byes to our waiters we saw the last 10 evenings...John Paul, Pete. Hugs. Day 10 Disembarkation day. Went fast and we were off to 2 more days in Ft Lauderdale extended vacation time. I could go on and on about all the things we did, or could have done, on the ship and off the ship. We usually do excursions off the ship on our cruises we have gone on. This cruise, excursions weren't a priority, we just wanted to relax for a couple weeks away from wintry Minnesota before Christmas rush. Totally enjoyed this cruise, it was mainly an adult (mostly elderly) oriented cruise, only 4 children aboard. The ship was 75% filled at sailaway. We will go on another Princess cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
10 day Southern Caribbean. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, Ft. Lauderdale We’re 52 years old, married 22 years. For cuisine, I eat everything and my wife is a pescatarian ... Read More
10 day Southern Caribbean. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, Ft. Lauderdale We’re 52 years old, married 22 years. For cuisine, I eat everything and my wife is a pescatarian (vegetables and seafood). This is our 12th cruise overall and fourth on Princess. After our first three cruises (Caribbean, Sapphire and Island Princesses) we have not sailed this line in over 8 years. In those years we’ve sailed Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Holland America and NCL. After those ships and experiences, it honestly felt like a little bit of a throwback when we got onboard Crown Princess. We’ve gotten so used to the wide expanses and features of the more modern ships, the Crown feels more like an oversized yacht than cruise ship. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. As you read through this you might think some areas are negative, but you’re paying good money to go on your cruise so I like to give a true sense of what everything was like for us. Honestly it’s very VERY difficult to have a “bad cruise” because after all, you’re on a cruise ship being pampered day and night by the crew. The main difference between cruises is the level of service from the crew and the quality of the food as you compare ships. I’m arranging this review by topic such as Embarkation, Ship, Dining, Stops / Excursions instead of by day so you can read everything about a topic at once. EMBARKATION (And lack of Princess Communication) Embarkation was a bit of a cluster as the Crown had to go through a full annual Coast Guard inspection. Boarding was not scheduled to begin until 2 – 2:30pm instead of the normal 10:30 / 11am. Princess knew this days (maybe weeks) in advance of the ship arriving to Port Everglades. Problem was, Princess did a very poor job of notifying the passengers. Princess relied on travel agents to notify the passengers instead of direct email. Princess had our email addresses and had no problems offering us upsells and specials in the months leading up to the cruise. But no communication in the week leading up to the cruise about the inspection and late boarding. Fortunately, we heard about it here on CC so we were prepared and arrived later than normal. But most passengers did not get the word and when 2:00pm rolled around, it seemed like the entire ship was waiting in Terminal 4. Communication was poor in the Terminal as was crowd management. With plenty of time to prepare it seemed Princess did nothing out of the ordinary to handle that many people being in the Terminal at one time other than having water bottles and some snacks available. Once we got onboard everything was fine, but Princess did a less than stellar job managing the situation before arrival and in the Terminal. THE SHIP Boarding the ship, the first re-impression of Princess was the Crown felt dated. Tighter spaces, lower ceilings, lots of wood and older style decor and much more intimate than the more modern ships. The Atrium / Piazza is a rather intimate space compared to the mega atriums of other ships. The overall impression of the public spaces is dark and stuffy vs. light and airy. At first it was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe I was expecting more because the ship recently came out of a refurbishment and I thought more modern touches would be added. But as we sailed, I came to re-appreciate how the layout spreads people around the ship so other than the Muster Drill, we had no issues with large crowds clogging the walkways or public spaces. The public spaces are well spread out across multiple decks, fore, midship and aft. None of the spaces is a ‘showstopper / must congregate in this space’ so the crowds are spread out. The longer we sailed, the more we felt like we were cruising along with a few hundred of our best friends instead of the 3000+ passengers this ship can hold. After 10 days onboard, the Crown felt more like a mega-yacht than a cruise ship. I’ll add that I absolutely LOVE that Princess has embraced The Love Boat again. Yes the show was kitschy even when it was a new series, but it’s just so much fun. You can have photos made with yourself in the iconic Love Boat circle icon, the safety video features the original cast and you can even order “The Isaac” drink at the bar. The show put Princess Cruises on the map and it’s fun to see it so fully embraced again. CABIN: CLUB CLASS MINI SUITE. Our cabin was on Dolphin, Deck 9, D432. This particular cabin is very convenient to the mid-ship elevators and stairs, literally walking directly into the room from the stairs. Prior to boarding we were concerned the proximity to the elevators/stairs might be an issue with noise, but that never materialized. The cabin itself is a bit dated in its appearance, but as a mini-suite, Club Class, it’s perfectly functional. It has the mini-fridge and dual TVs so you could, in theory, watch two different programs. Being on the Dolphin deck our balcony was on the deck that sticks out the furthest on the ship, so we could look directly down into the water, rather than down into other balconies. That also means the balcony is fully exposed to everyone above you, but it wasn’t a problem during our cruise. One effect of the balconies being exposed is that they are full sun when the sun is on that side of the ship. There is no overhang. There was plenty of space in the closet for both of our clothes for a 10 day sail along with lots of shelving both in the closet area and the ‘living room’ area cabinets. We had no problems storing all our ‘stuff’ for the 10 days. There are two American style power outlets above the desk. They’re pretty close together so using a power tap for one of them will block the other. If you want to create additional power outlets, get a power strip that does not have a circuit breaker on it. The added space in the cabin is nice to allow for spreading out stuff or even just sitting to enjoy the 2nd TV in the ‘living room’ portion of the cabin. Could easily entertain a few friends in there. The shower has a step over tub so if you have any issues stepping up and over a tub lip, something to keep in mind when choosing cabins. My wife enjoyed the bed but I found it somewhat stiff. For me it feels like a classic futon and I woke up with my shoulders sore each morning. Room steward was Francisco and he was great. We hardly saw him but whenever we needed something, we’d just leave a note on the bed and he took care of it. Club Class got us a few perks like free wine in the room and a special dining area in the main dining room which turned out to be one of our favorite perks of the entire trip. More on that later in the Dining section. POOLS Crown Princess features 4 pools with two of them being adult only. In keeping with the same theme from earlier, these four pools really spread the crowds out so you could actually find a pool to enjoy. If you want something a bit louder and fun, choose the two middle pools featuring the Movies Under the Stars or the live entertainment. If you want something quieter, choose the Terrace Pool in the back or the Sanctuary Pool in the front. A couple of the pools go beyond 7 feet deep while most are in the 5-foot deep range. Contrary to what many people believe, the Sanctuary Pool up front is a public pool, open to any adult. You do NOT need to pay any sort of Spa or Sanctuary fee to use that pool. I met quite a few folks on board who were under the impression the Spa / Sanctuary Pool was reserved for spa guests only. The Terrace Pool aft is one of my favorite pools of any ship allowing you to enjoy the water while looking straight out the back of the ship. The Movies Under the Stars pool is the closest to the Horizon Court with a lot of outdoor dining seating. COCKTAILS & COFFEE Honestly the cocktails were one of the most disappointing things about the trip. I don’t recall them being so poor the first three times we sailed, but then we didn’t have any other cruise lines to compare Princess to at that time. The problems with the drinks were numerous. Some cocktails tasted watered down, like we were having a soft drink, not alcohol. Some cocktails didn’t taste correct. My litmus test is an Old Fashioned because it’s a classic and quite easy cocktail to make. Simply horrible on the Crown Princess, tasted like I was drinking rubbing alcohol. The server tried to tell me it was because I like my Old Fashioned with whiskey and they make theirs with Rye. I make them with both and they never taste like rubbing alcohol. The drinks that were decent, were served very inconsistently across the many bars. I started drinking both the Chairman of the Board and Washington’s Apple. Even in the same bar the drink would be good one time and off the second time. On ever other ship we’ve sailed over the past 5 years there’s at least one craft bar where the bartenders appear to be more highly trained than the rest of the bartenders on board and they make the drinks more slowly than the mass production of most bars. Those are the bars we tend to gravitate towards because while the drinks might cost $1 or $5 more than the other bars, the drinks are really really good and consistent. The World Class Bars on the Celebrity ships are hands down the best bars at sea. Crown Princess is really missing something like that. The Mix near the Movies Under the Stars pool was the most consistent bar I found. I would not recommend the Drink Package for anyone who really enjoys good cocktails because you probably won’t come close to using up your package unless you choose to drink a lot of beer instead. Don’t bother with “The Isaac,” poor drink. My wife’s favorite drink was “The Jamaican Stormy,” but we felt the one made on Mariner of the Seas was much better. For Coffee, Crown Princess still features that awful, and I do mean awful, coffee syrup in the Horizon Court buffet. That syrup never has, and never will be, coffee. The only thing you can do with it is make iced coffee. Fill one of the plastic cups with ice, add some creamer, some sugar if you’re inclined, then fill it up with that “coffee.” For real coffee you need to go to the International Café on Deck 5 or the Coffee and Cones on Deck 15. I much preferred the coffee and service at Coffee and Cones. The servers at the International Café always made me feel like I was bothering them by asking them to make me coffee. Up at Coffee and Cones it was always service with a smile and honestly they were making better cappuccinos and espressos than the crew at the International Café. Coffee and Cones is open at 6am so you can get a good cup of coffee before you walk into the Horizon Court for breakfast. DINING The food was quite good and the Crown showed us that Princess still has the most consistent Main Dining Room experience in terms of food quality and service. Disney is the only line we’ve sailed that has a better Main Dining Room experience. First let me say that if you plan to eat at the Horizon Court / Caribe Café buffet area, always get a seat in the Caribe Café area. Regardless of whether that section is open or not, just sit there. It’s much cooler because the Horizon Court has a large kitchen area in the center that ends up heating up that entire Horizon Court seating area, both sides. The Horizon Court / Caribe Café food selections are miniscule compared to just about any other cruise line we’ve sailed. The Caribe Café was basically wasted space because it just repeated what was in the Horizon Court (when it was open). I would have expected that section to have more global selections like Asian, Indian, maybe German, etc… But it was just more of the same. The selection was ok, uninspiring but probably enough choices for you to get something decent for breakfast / lunch / dinner. The breakfast omelets at the Horizon Court were weird. They had a spongy texture from whatever egg product they use. I ordered one and then never again. The salad bar for lunch was decent, that was usually my go-to for lunch so I could more enjoy my dinner. Overall the buffet was functional, we’ve found much more inspiring and better buffets on other cruise lines. We did have breakfast one time in the main dining room and it was quite good. I will say that the orange juice served in the main dining room was much better than the juice served in the buffet. One of the perks of having a Club Class cabin was a special dining section in the DaVinci Dining Room. Each evening there was one special not on the menu that was prepared by the manager in the dining room. Most evenings we walked into the dining room to the wonderful aroma of sautéed garlic. He made penne dishes, shrimp dishes, steak dishes and honestly the best veal chops I’ve ever had. On most cruise lines we’ve sailed of late, we’ve only had a few meals in the dining room because they’re usually not that great, pushing you into the specialty dining venues. On the Crown, we ate in the dining room 9 of the 10 evenings of the cruise and ordered the Manager’s special every evening. I would book a Club Class cabin again on a Princess ship just for this experience. The one night we ate outside the dining room we went to the Crown Grill. It was good, but not so spectacular that I felt like I got what I paid for in a premium meal. I went with the mussel pot, and while the mussels were quite good and the portion was huge, the broth was just ok. I would have expected much more garlic infusion in the broth, but it was almost like a pot roast broth with the mussels. My wife really enjoyed her shrimp dish. But because our Club Dining experience was so good, I wouldn’t bother with the Crown Grill on a future cruise. The Crown Grill featured a free British Pub lunch with fish and chips one day at sea and that was fun. The fish portions are small, but we ended up meeting two lovely couples at the shared table dining, with one of them being from England. So we can had a great time picking on the ‘fish sticks.’ I’d recommend that lunch as something different to do. On Deck 15, I only tried the fries at the Salty Dog Grill on Deck 15 and they were just ok. We had some slices of pizza at Slice and the flavors were not bad at all. The crust could have been cooked another minute, but overall, the sauce was pretty good and the flavor was good. The Stromboli was too dry and didn’t have a whole lot of flavor. People who compare the pizza in Slice to pizza on land are just nuts. Of course this pizza is not as good as NYC pizza or many other pizza joints on land, but it’s fresh pizza made right there in front of you. Enjoy it for what it is, free pizza at sea. The service in the Main Dining Room was among the best at sea. Since we had anytime dining we rotated among three different crews of servers and they were all outstanding. So incredibly friendly, so accommodating to any request. More than happy to turn entrees into appetizer portions so we could try two entrees without wasting half a portion. We didn’t eat at Sabatini’s because the menu was uninspiring for us and the Crab Shack concept didn’t appeal to us because it’s just in the buffet. If we’re going to pay extra for ‘specialty dining’ then we want to actually have an experience we can’t have any other way. Paying extra to sit in the same buffet just because you’re going to serve me crab is not a special experience. THE SANCTUARY My wife booked The Sanctuary for the entire week as we didn’t have a lot of excursions planned over the 10 days. I will say The Sanctuary has the most comfortable deck chairs I have experienced at sea. So comfy. Most of the area is covered by mesh sails so while it may not be 100% shade, the sun is knocked down significantly making the air temperatures very comfortable. There are two areas with complete shade in the very front under the steel structure and also under the radar tower depending which way the ship is facing. When the ship is moving it can be quite windy because you’re right at the front of the ship. But when the ship is in port, there’s usually still a nice breeze across the entire area making this space really comfortable even when the ship is docked. The staff here is extremely friendly and makes sure you have plenty of water. They also serve afternoon tea at 3 with all the trimmings, sandwiches, cakes and desserts. If you want to book The Sanctuary, proceed directly up to Deck 16 the moment you board the ship. Don’t go anywhere else, just go directly up there because the Sea Days fill up quickly. You can book ½ days, full individual days or the entire cruise. Sea days fill up first. My wife was probably the 20th person in line and was able to book two loungers for the entire cruise. At the time we sailed costs were $20 for ½ day, $40 for a full day, $30/day if you booked the entire cruise. These costs are per person / lounger. The only thing I question is placing the ‘quiet sanctuary’ directly below the ship’s horn. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was my 18th cruise. Never had a favorite (they’ve all been fun) until now. The beautiful unspoiled Atlantic Ocean is a sight to behold. 3 sea days from Barcelona to the Azores and 6 more to Ft. Lauderdale. Nowhere else can you ... Read More
This was my 18th cruise. Never had a favorite (they’ve all been fun) until now. The beautiful unspoiled Atlantic Ocean is a sight to behold. 3 sea days from Barcelona to the Azores and 6 more to Ft. Lauderdale. Nowhere else can you see the world so unspoiled. Venus was so bright it reflected off the ocean. We traveled with another couple and took advantage of many dining options. We opted for anytime dining and were happy except for a few minor quibbles with the food. I always prefer Horizon Court for breakfast but my wife likes the dining room for breakfast so we ate their a couple times. Wait staff was in good cheer as usual. My wife and I celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary at the Crown Grill for a memorable occasion. Crown Princess and crew were a delight. Entertainment was typical high energy Princess product. We traveled to Italy a few days early via Princess EzAir. Great airfare! Venice was fabulous as expected. View from St. Mark’s bell Tower was epic. Trip from Venice Airport to the vicinity of our hotel (Canal Grande) via water taxi was a unique treat. Train to Rome was a smooth comfy ride and ended too soon! A couple days in Rome at Albergo del Senato (wonderful location) for a little shopping and sightseeing and we were ready to sail. Such fun! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The food is uninspired. With a small number of offerings at the Horizon Buffet that changed only slightly from day to day. Food from venue to venue tasted pretty much the same. Except for one dinner at the Crab Shack. That was ... Read More
The food is uninspired. With a small number of offerings at the Horizon Buffet that changed only slightly from day to day. Food from venue to venue tasted pretty much the same. Except for one dinner at the Crab Shack. That was marvelous. And one dinner at Sabatini's. Sabatini's was excellent with superb attention and care from the waiter. The Salty Dog... pass on that. The worst hamburger at sea. Ditto with the pizza. And the coffee? You could see through it most days. Sat down on a chair in Michelangelos dining room, the first night, which immediately broke. The ship overall, leans to the opulent. But the ship feels cramped, and closed in. To gain access to the outer decks was often a chicane of elevators, hallways and stairs. More so, than any other ship we have cruised on. The staff, mostly, appeared robotic. Not that there weren't clear exceptions to this. Our cabin Steward was superb with an engaging personality. A couple of specialty dining occasions offered excellent table service. One in particular at Sabatini's was the epitome of professional, and attentive waiting. We also received timely assistance from one of the officers and plenty of help with the bags on and off the boat.. Music in the atrium was too loud and encouraged us to avoid that section of the ship. Forget about the internet. IMPOSSIBLY slow. Click...wait 10 seconds, Click....wait 10 more seconds. AND EXPENSIVE. Strangely, a few days after our great experience with a waiter in Sabatini's, I found that waiter in regular Princess blue and khaki, busing tables at the pool. The shore excursions were nothing to rave about. Mostly, just ok. But, one excursion at Kotor completely fell apart. The excursion guide lost control of the tour. Leaving two tourists behind at the end of the first half of the tour. Half the tourists went ahead of the guide, while others were at public washrooms, after the guide took us to a public washroom that was closed, and she had to backtrack to another washroom that we had past on our way. She didn't appear to know the history of the port that well. Eventually, we bailed and went back to the bus to await the return of the tourists. Princess deserves credit for offering credit for a significant portion of this tour. The tour to the statue of David in Florence went off as planned and access to the museum was reasonably quick. In spite of it all, we made it a great time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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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