205 Princess Crown Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

WE wanted to take this Cruise as it went into Deep southern Caribbean to Bonaire & Aruba. Beautiful places to visit. The cruise was perfect in every way - ship, food, entertainments, games & rooms.. Very relaxing with lots of ... Read More
WE wanted to take this Cruise as it went into Deep southern Caribbean to Bonaire & Aruba. Beautiful places to visit. The cruise was perfect in every way - ship, food, entertainments, games & rooms.. Very relaxing with lots of Canadians to get away from the Snow..We are 78 & 82 and enjoyed it!! The ship decor & shopping & guest & excursions desks were perfect. Princess gave us all a shopping bonus for a minor problem. The weather was beautiful (75 to 89) each day - great for swim & sun.. The friends on board were very cordial to talk with.. Crown Princess is a smaller cruise ship with 2500 passengers or so Not 7000 as some Mega ships are now. We are planning to cruise again with Princess again as they have a well kept ship with health for all most important! If you have never been on a cruise ship, you are really missing a great relaxing trip! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The Southern Caribbean itinerary was very attractive, but we should have done more research on the ship, which was launched in 2006 and badly needs a complete overhaul and refurbishing. The engines are seriously in need of repair, as other ... Read More
The Southern Caribbean itinerary was very attractive, but we should have done more research on the ship, which was launched in 2006 and badly needs a complete overhaul and refurbishing. The engines are seriously in need of repair, as other reviewers have noted. The engines' poor performance slowed the ship so that one scheduled stop was cancelled, and we have been late in arriving at others, although the Captain prevaricates by repeatedly blaming the problems on the high winds and choppy seas, which really aren't bad at all. The water on our deck was shut off for 150 minutes one afternoon "due to urgent maintenance" that we were told about in a notice put in our stateroom the night before. The cabins are filthy in places (mold in the shower, soiled headboards above bed, stained sheets, etc.), and white paint splatters or bird poop cover both balcony chairs. We have taken more than 20 cruises and have sailed on Princess more than five times since 1996, but this is our worst cruise ever in terms of food and service. Many servers in the buffet are rude and unhelpful, cutting in front of passengers and saying nothing. Others working on the ship show very little concern for passengers and have no common courtesy. They need to be fired or retrained. For example, roughly one hundred passengers were kept standing outside the ship for 5-7 minutes in a sudden rainstorm as the crew blocked the entrance and fumbled around, doing nothing that we could observe before letting us board the ship and offering absolutely no apologies or excuses. The coin changer in the laundry room was out of order, forcing us to go to the Customer Service Desk, where some working there are ill-informed and have acted as if they didn't want to be disturbed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We choose this trip because it was going to our favorite stops with Curacao and Grenada being the top of our list. Several weeks prior to our trip we were notified that Grenada had been deleted from our travels due to engine mechanical ... Read More
We choose this trip because it was going to our favorite stops with Curacao and Grenada being the top of our list. Several weeks prior to our trip we were notified that Grenada had been deleted from our travels due to engine mechanical problems. When we tried to call Princess (twice) to inquire why Grenada was deleted we gave up waiting to talk to someone after waiting for over an hour the first time. The second time we called was just shy of an hour wait to talk to a human. The representative told us the ship was running at half speed and could not make all the stops advertised and that we could not get a refund because their contract states they can change the itinerary any time they want.Frustrated at the length of time to talk with a customer service representative we did a test - We called back to Princess main number where you choose to book a new cruise or if you already have a reservation to talk to someone and we chose the "Book a Cruise" option this time and were greeted by a life person within 2 minutes.This person told us they only handle new bookings and transferred us to the "Already Booked" option and that is when we waited for almost an hour. This tells us that Princess has plenty of help to book your trip and take your money however after you have booked you don't matter. Once we were on the trip we talked to several other guests that had been on this ship last spring and they stated that this same ship was having the same problems last spring. My question to Princess is: Why do you continue to operate a ship that isn't running properly and why are you advertising a trip you know you can't provide the customer? This not only caused us to not get to see all the islands we wanted to see but our scheduled stops were cut short due to late arrivals and early departures. Guest that had paid for shore excursions were told that they could not get refunds because the ship was late which is not right if it is due to your failure to repair your ships in a timely manner. On our second day of our cruise we found a bedbug on our bed. We were impressed that the room steward immediately changed the linen and reported this problem to his supervisior. His supervisor told us a team would fully inspect the room the next day. Close to 11PM after we had already gone to bed we were called and offered a room (for the night) until the team could inspect the room completely. We turned down the offer since we had already gone to bed and it sounded like it would only be for one night. If the room had been offered right away hours earlier when we first reported the incident we would have taken them up on the offer. What I did ask for at that time was a letter acknowledging that this incident with the bedbug had happened to protect us incase we took home some of their shipmates (bedbugs) and had to treat our home to get rid of them. After several days had gone by and we had not received a letter we asked to talk to the hotel manager. We then found a canned (white washed ) letter stating that Princess was sorry for the problem we experienced in our stateroom. It also stated that we could pursue the matter further after we left the ship by contacting Princess customer service shoreside. Not once did the letter mention that a bedbug was found in our room! We still insisted on meeting with the hotel manager which we got later on a sea day. We didn't get any more information from him, than the letter offered, other than he assured us that customer service would take care of us should we have a problem. For the reasons mentioned above we will choose another cruise line to sail with in the future. Yes we know these problems could happen with any cruise line however it is how the cruise line chooses to handle the situation that frustrates us. We have been loyal customers with Princess for almost 20 years now but feel like our loyalty doesn't matter. Our suggestions to them is the following: #1, treat your "Already booked customers" with the same respect as the "New Customers" and have enough staff on hand to answer phone questions in the same timely manner. #2, Don't sell a trip you know you can't provide. This is false advertising in our book. Fix your ships in a timely manner and don't impact other travelers over a long period of time due to your failure to repair your ship. #3, If a incident happens: Own up to it! A simple letter from hotel management would have satisfied us, just knowing Princess would take care of us if we had needed their support later. The lack of response and white washed letter not stating the issue told us we were on our own and Princess was only concerned about themselves. Also having spent 10 days in a room that we found a bedbug in creeped us out on the whole trip. We should have been moved for the remainder of the trip so that we didn't have to deal with the thought of bedbugs joining us on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The itinerary, 10 days southern Caribbean, but we had to skip one port of call, because of the generator the ship couldn't go full speed and two other port of calls the times where shortened. All in all it was a nice cruise, friendly ... Read More
The itinerary, 10 days southern Caribbean, but we had to skip one port of call, because of the generator the ship couldn't go full speed and two other port of calls the times where shortened. All in all it was a nice cruise, friendly staff, good food, the entertainment had a lot to be desired. The cruise Director was great. the pizza and ice cream were good. We were always able to find chairs at the pool. We really enjoyed the movies under the stars, except they played too many children movies and I bet there were 20 kids on the entire ship. We stopped at Curacco Bonaire Dominica Saint Thomas, Turks n Caicos all nice ports of call. Embarkation was easy, we just walked on. Getting off and going thru customs was a nightmare huge lines. The medallion was good, except ordering drinks it always said not available. We always enjoy the Caribbean but will cruise on a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Great anytime dining experience, the 'Vines' wine bar was a great way to socialize before dinner. Piazza entertainment each night while having a glass before dinner. Stateroom was clean and well kept by our able steward. The ... Read More
Great anytime dining experience, the 'Vines' wine bar was a great way to socialize before dinner. Piazza entertainment each night while having a glass before dinner. Stateroom was clean and well kept by our able steward. The ports were all interesting in their own way, Dominica was still suffering the effects of a past hurricane, organization was lacking here. Movies under the Stars was a little hit or miss, sometimes the sound was just bad. Theatre productions were all top notch, the comedians were both very entertaining and kept it clean, thanks for that. The Medallion experience is very convenient, allowing you to access your drink package anywhere, anytime. Every beer on their menu was covered by the package and very few cocktails were excluded based on the $12 cap. You just pay the extra buck or two on your folio if your drink cost more than the cap. I tried mixed cocktails I would never otherwise pay for in real life! Fabulous coffee bars, I suggest going to the Coffee & Cones for your morning 'Americano', no line up. Usually a short line at the International Cafe coffee bar. Liquor bars everywhere! Wheelhouse was a great spot for a pre-dinner drink, often had a singer, guitarist performing. Read a travel guide and figure out what YOU want to see on the island and then walk ashore and hire a taxi yourself, negotiate a fair price and you will have a great experience. Don't worry about being back on time, nothing is that far away! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We always enjoy our Princess cruises. The captain felt that 3 of our ports on our southern 10 day were not safe due to weather conditions. They gave us 35% of our cost back to use toward our next booking! We also got a 75.00 credit per ... Read More
We always enjoy our Princess cruises. The captain felt that 3 of our ports on our southern 10 day were not safe due to weather conditions. They gave us 35% of our cost back to use toward our next booking! We also got a 75.00 credit per person for missing Princess Cayes. That was a wonderful gesture they were not obligated to make! The medallion is a great addition, although signal was weak in some parts of the ship. Cabin with balcony was wonderful! Crown Grill was fantastic. If I had any suggestions where improvements could be made, it would be nice if somehow they could monitor people saving chairs at the pool. Out of 6 sea days, there was only one day we got a chair! People put towels on them in the morning, and leave to do other things. Also medallion didn't always work due to weak wifi signal. Expanded room service menu would be great. Have more entertainment venues. We got tired of not getting in to see what we wanted, or having to stand in line for everything. I feel Royal Caribbean has much better entertainment and shows. More variety and more show times make for less lines. Getting a seat anywhere in the piazza was impossible, too. They need to make bigger efforts to have all elevators operating! Waiting long, and having them open to find them full got frustrating. All in all, it was a wonderful experience. Princess tries VERY hard to make sure their passengers are happy. We are ready to book another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We went down on the 10 day To Barbados as a nice warm area there. We liked the time of year in January to escape the snows at home. Princess has good reviews and the cruise and food was great! We ate one night in the steak house and ... Read More
We went down on the 10 day To Barbados as a nice warm area there. We liked the time of year in January to escape the snows at home. Princess has good reviews and the cruise and food was great! We ate one night in the steak house and it was great and only cost an extra $28. Apiece and an excellent meal! All of the dinners in the main dining room were great every night! A good menu with a wide variety of selections and every night a new menu was very nice! The dining service was superb by our waiter Joel! Don’t buy the bar drink package it is overpriced at $700. Apiece and you can’t share it. No way could we have drank the 15 drink a days it offered! Our whole bar bill for 2 of us was less than that! And do bring on your own case of water and 2 bottles of wine for your room. I don’t like paying $2. Plus for bottles of water 5x a day! The spa was great I had several massages and Mildred the masseuse is the best! The daily lectures were very good to by staff. The fitness center was great and Igor the trainer was great! Very few come to the classes and it was really worth buying the class card as you get individual attention and training! The fitness center and spa are very clean to! The stateroom was very clean and twice daily service was very nice! Our steward Joel on the Emerald deck was great and the best ever! Since our cruise could not stop at 3 ports due to bad weather then Princess gave everyone a 35 percent credit off next cruise to use within a year. I thought this was very nice of them! I will definitely cruise with Princess again the service and food was superb! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because of the dates it went out. We forgot that it was school vacation and that there would be so many children on board. Most of the children, the parents took very good care of them, but there were a few ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the dates it went out. We forgot that it was school vacation and that there would be so many children on board. Most of the children, the parents took very good care of them, but there were a few that the kids, especially two little girls kept running around the halls and bar area, dragging on the floor. The bartenders had to keep telling them to please not to do that, it was very annoying. Our cabin steward was very good and always there when we needed him. The food, however, was not our choice of food. At the buffet the food was cold and dry, the carving station, the meat had been cut ahead of time and it was dry or not the cut we liked. We only went to the dining room a few times, they didn't have enough tables for two and it took too long to get waited on. The first comedian was very boring, other than that the rest was good. Service was always very good. Ports and shore excursions good. Sad that we couldn't go to Grenada due to a problem with the ship. Always a problem with this ship. last time it was the thrusters and this time it was the generator. As far as going to Dominica, to me it's a waste of time, the dock is terrible and the downtown is like a third world country. We stayed on board. the other ports were fine. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
used Princess Crown for British Isles cruise in August 2019 and found it very enjoyable. In our December 2019 cruise to the Virgin Islands aboard same ship we found maintenance issues on several days in two different assigned rooms. ... Read More
used Princess Crown for British Isles cruise in August 2019 and found it very enjoyable. In our December 2019 cruise to the Virgin Islands aboard same ship we found maintenance issues on several days in two different assigned rooms. Leaking ceilings on two occasions, our clothing was soiled from leaking directly into our closet; repairs by on board plumbers failed twice. TV needed repair, thermostat refused to function needing repair. In the course of all these issues we began to believe we were certainly not aboard a Princess cruise ship and certainly not the same Crown Princess we had sailed just a few months past in August 2019. Ocean view room requested resulted in room fully obstructed by lifeboat that prevented seeing the island or any of the area beauty; we did see the interior of the lifeboat. The Production Shows and the Anytime Dining in the Michael Angelo Room were outstanding in every respect, and the ship's decorations for the Christmas celebration were memorable! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our first cruise and our honeymoon at that. I’ll start with the positives because it wasn’t a terrible experience: - food was always good: we did the buffet every night except for the last. We didn’t know you could make ... Read More
This was our first cruise and our honeymoon at that. I’ll start with the positives because it wasn’t a terrible experience: - food was always good: we did the buffet every night except for the last. We didn’t know you could make reservations for the traditional dining restaurants. Wish we would have known sooner because the waitstaff and food were magnificent there. -our room steward was amazing. The room was always impeccable and he even folded the clothes we had on the floor. He was too good to us -loved the hot tubs, wish they had more -liked the medallion app for finding my husband when he wandered off to explore (lol!) and for ordering drinks at my chair on the sun deck -the movie under the stars was cool, but the speakers were crackly or muffled for Ad Astra which was disappointing -one excursion was absolutely amazing, being the five star sail and turtle encounter in Barbados. The beach was lovely, we saw so many turtles, and even got to see a shipwreck. So very cool. The beach break in Antigua was nice, nothing overly notable beyond the beach being pretty. The bad: -all our other excursions were either cancelled or severely lacking. It was considered too wavy to do any paddle boarding at princess cays. I probably will never get off on this island again because it’s honestly just boring. The excursion staff booked us on the wrong tour for St. Kitts and Nevis and we were so disappointed once we realized no catamaran was coming for us and we were going on a Nevis tour instead. Pinneys beach looks like a Canadian East Coast beach so not worth spending the extra money to go to Nevis. Our tour guide was also insane. He couldn’t talk and drive at the same time so he would park himself in the middle of roundabouts to talk or perform original songs he wrote. Not only is this mildly annoying because I’m not a music producer looking to discover a tour guide, it’s dangerous because he’s causing traffic jams for no reason, and some cars would get sick of it and try squeezing past. He also tried convincing us to buy his Nevis TShirts so his “girlfriend” or whatever will go on a date with him if he sells so many. It was such a cringe experience let alone being on the wrong tour. -the most disappointing experience was Coral World at the USVI. The description that Princess has mentions nothing more than seeing coral, fish, etc. When we were taken to a dolphin and then sea lion show I was so incredibly angry. I don’t support dolphins or mammals in captivity for entertainment purposes. Under no circumstances are handstands an “enriching” or “mentally stimulating” exercise. Their excuses for what they were doing was flawed. Canada banned having dolphins in captivity for entertainment purposes and I’m sure there are similar laws in Europe. Princess should ideally get it together and stop supporting such harmful excursions, but at the very least be transparent about what their excursions include. Even the controversial parts. When I brought this up with the excursion staff they didn’t care in the least. So I didn’t bother going to complain to excursion staff again about them booking me on the wrong tour in Nevis. -the ship was obviously dated and only had 2 outlets in the whole room. It made it difficult to charge electronics or do my hair at the same time -activities for 25-35 year olds mostly lacking. While we met some really nice people who were 80+, it would have been nice to have opportunities to meet people our age -when ordering room service on the medallion app, the staff would mark it delivered and not show up EVERY TIME. And I ordered 5+ times to see if it was a one off. I had to call to ask them to deliver my order. But was always sensible enough to wait 20+ minutes after the delivered time stamp to make sure I wasn’t unreasonable. It was beyond annoying. We’ll probably ask for a refund for our future cruise deposit. The experience wasn’t remarkable enough to try again. I suggest offering a military / veteran discount instead of onboard credit. The form of ID requested from Canadian military is strange. I suggest looking into real ID requests because CFOne is a program anyone who works at National Defence can sign up for (even civilians) and its not policed in the sense that when they quit or move on they give their cards up. Canadian military do get military ID too ;) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our anniversary. We've had good experiences with Princess in the past, and we liked the itinerary for this cruise. This was our second Christmas cruise, the other one being a couple of years ago ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our anniversary. We've had good experiences with Princess in the past, and we liked the itinerary for this cruise. This was our second Christmas cruise, the other one being a couple of years ago on Celebrity Silhouette. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise (we always do), and I will try to give a brief rundown of what we found to be the pros and cons of this particular cruise. Pros: Although the Crown is showing her age, it was still quite well maintained. We had a mini-suite on the Dolphin deck (9), which was quite spacious, and the extended balcony provided space for foot rests. Also had a 3-cushion sofa, as opposed to the old love seats. The cabin steward was great, and the rest of the staff was extremely friendly and eager to please. We had a favorite bartender (William) on our Royal TransAtlantic 2017 cruise, and he was on this cruise as well. Great to catch up with him. The fridge was ice cold, compared to those on previous cruises (all the lines we have been on, including Princess). The Medallion worked great for us. Embarkation seemed well organized, and we boarded in a fairly short time. A HUGE highlight of our cruise was the Chef's Table. It was SPECTACULAR, and well worth the $190/couple uncharge. Now for the cons: My mattress was severely broken down, and I slept not a wink the first night. On the second day, they stuck a piece of plywood under it, but that didn't improve it much. They finally replaced it on the 3rd day. The TV in the sit-in area (where we preferred to watch it) worked sporadically. Our cabin steward rebooted it several times, but it still wasn't right by the end of the cruise. We had a free perk of a Balcony Champagne Breakfast, which looked lovely and plentiful, but was not hot and not especially good. We were grateful for it, but we wouldn't have paid the $45 uncharge had it not been a free perk. We were disappointed that there was no religious service (ANY Christian denomination would have been OK for us). We were told that the Cruise Director was doing something, or we could watch the Pope on TV at 1:00 PM. Maybe I'm being too picky, but we found the Christmas decorations lacking; probably because we were expecting something similar to what we had on the Celebrity Silhouette Xmas cruise (They did it up to the NINES). Disembarkation was a nightmare, because people opted to do as they pleased instead of proceeding as they had been assigned. Since we live near the port, and had left our car in Park 'n Go, we were stupid not to just wait until everyone was off and then just make our way off leisurely and drive home. We signed up for two Princess tours. The one to the Mount Gay Rum plantation, Signal Hill and the orchid garden was very enjoyable. The other one was St. John on Your Own", and it was basically a ferry from the ship over to St. John and back. The bad part was that we were lined up next to the ship in the hot sun for 1/2 hour, and then marched a long distance to an old tub of a boat (the name on the stern was half worn off, and it looked like a death trap to me). They were packing this mob into it. By then, we were the last ones in line (we are 74 & 78 years old), except for two elderly ladies behind us. We opted to drop out, rather than spend 45 minutes each way, packed into that enclosed boat. In fairness to Princess, they did refund our money, assuring me the "Nobody died today" (LOL). By far the biggest gripe we had about this cruise was the decline in the quality of the food since we started cruising with Princess in 2012. As I said earlier, the Chef's Table was magnificent. We also ate twice in the Crown Grill. The first time, my husband found his fillet (ordered medium) to quite dry, while my lobster tail was very good. The second time, his steak was good, but I was unable to cut up my bone-in sirloin. The big strong Maitre's saw my predicament, and cut up my meat for me, for which I was happy to tip him. Must say it was very tasty. However, my point is that we found the quality of the food has declined across the board. The MDR was the worst. The first night, the prime rib was very good, but one night I ordered a Cornish Hen that was not even browned, and was completely inedible. The turkey on Christmas Day was dry and tough. The pizza by the pool was still good, but the outside grill is nowhere near what it used to be. This overall opinion was shared by many passengers we spoke with. I will be the first to admit that I am a food snob. We like to cook, and it doesn't always have to be high-end, but we would rather stay home than eat sub-par food. We now have 47 days on Princess, and have pretty much decided not to progress to Platinum. We're booked on a Celebrity cruise in March, so we'll see how that works out. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I had a fabulous experience on the Crown Princess. The itinerary was amazing, visiting Princess Cays, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Thomas and St. Kitts. The service on board, including our stateroom steward, the staff at ... Read More
My wife and I had a fabulous experience on the Crown Princess. The itinerary was amazing, visiting Princess Cays, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Thomas and St. Kitts. The service on board, including our stateroom steward, the staff at the International Cafe and the staff in the Michelangelo Dinning Room was excellent. The food was amazing, although the food in the Salty Dog Gastropub was disappointing. We enjoyed the Crab Shack experience. We thought the International Cafe was a great place to grab breakfast and lunch. The morning pastries were amazing! We appreciated all of the things we got to do on board including the two lectures about sharks, the gingerbread making contest and the comedy shows. We took the Ultimate Ship Tour on the final day, which was a great tour, although a little overpriced. The embarkation process was extremely fast. Although there were 3,000 passengers on board we never felt like it was crowded. I will note that the morning fitness center hours were a little limited. It didn’t open until 7 am and you could not use the treadmills until 8 am. That meant that there was a crowd for the other cardio equipment in the morning. I will also add that the drinks seemed watered down. I had straight bourbon, so it was not an issue for me, but my wife had cocktails, which seemed weak. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was an amazing and refreshing time for us! We were truly able to unwind and enjoy some time away together. The kids club allowed us to have 'adult only' time as well. I highly recommend Princess Cruises and this ... Read More
This cruise was an amazing and refreshing time for us! We were truly able to unwind and enjoy some time away together. The kids club allowed us to have 'adult only' time as well. I highly recommend Princess Cruises and this ship for traveling with a family. CABINS: Are well thought out and comfortable. Our boys stayed in an interior room and I was able to get them organized for the whole week on day one. It was great! DINING: The food was FANTASTIC. The bread and rolls were soft and warm. The buffets were plentiful and delicious. The deck options were delicious and easy grabs for the kids during the day. (pizza/burgers/ice cream) DRINK PACKAGES: My kiddos loves getting the mocktails and feeling a little special the whole week. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Easy peasy! On the ship in maybe 10 minutes, including needing to get a medallion for my 3 year old. Disembarkation was just as easy, they said 9am, and we were getting off the ship at 9am. I love punctual! KIDS THOUGHTS: I traveled with a 3, 10, and 17 year old. All of them had a blast and are already talking about wanting to go again. They LOVED it. The staff were incredibly gracious with them. When my 3 year old fell asleep at dinner...more than once ha!...they brought 2 dining chairs to put together as a bed. Brought and extra tablecloth and covered him up - caring for him like he was their own. I absolutely can not say enough about the staff when it came to helping with my kiddos. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose the cruise for the ports and these ports of call because we had not been there before. We had cruised on Princess line before and gone on more than 20 cruises in the past, but this time had an exceptional 10 days and the vacation ... Read More
I chose the cruise for the ports and these ports of call because we had not been there before. We had cruised on Princess line before and gone on more than 20 cruises in the past, but this time had an exceptional 10 days and the vacation exceeded my expectations. This trip was great for the value we received. Yes, the decor was a little "tired" but the crew and their energy far made up for the old decor. We laughed, we played, we learned new things, we had a great week. I loved the crew and their hard work at keeping the ship clean. The food was exceptional in the dining room. The singers and dancers were excellent. They have a 24 hour International cafe were you can pick up cookies or pastries or desserts or even a light lunch. The medallion made the embarking process super fast. The cooking show with the gallery tour is something not to be missed. Very entertaining and enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
he sofa was worn out. cushions slanted downward and hard as a rock from over use. the bed topper was very lumpy and had areas that had completely collapsed again from over use..needs to be replaced..the service and friendliness of the the ... Read More
he sofa was worn out. cushions slanted downward and hard as a rock from over use. the bed topper was very lumpy and had areas that had completely collapsed again from over use..needs to be replaced..the service and friendliness of the the staff was excellent. the food experience was not as good as the past..their cutting back and it was obvious..the same menu for breakfast for the entire cruise. the portions on the evening menu were tiny.. upgrade dining at both Sabatinis and crown grill were worth it and were a highlight of our dining experience on the cruise with Princess Southern Caribbean out of Fort Lauderdale on the Crown Princess. our excisions again were less appealing then the past cruises. i recommend using cruise critic and find your own ,better and less expensive. the food selection and quality and quantity has been cut back since being purchased by carnival..not a surprise Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose this cruise because my wife and I wanted to get away and since we haven't been to St Lucia for some time, wanted to go back to see this lovely island. The embarkation was quick and easy. It took approximately 30 minutes ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my wife and I wanted to get away and since we haven't been to St Lucia for some time, wanted to go back to see this lovely island. The embarkation was quick and easy. It took approximately 30 minutes from getting out of the cab until we were in the dining room having lunch. The ship is abit older but in tip top shape as the crew is always polishing and painting.. The balcony cabin was comfortable, bed amazing to sleep in, and our room steward extremely efficient! The dining room food was extremely good for breakfast,dinner and lunch on sea days! Nice variety, well presented, always warm. As for the buffet, it was good,but tried to stay away from it as it tends to get crowded . Much appreciated the better service and quietness in the dining room. The production shows varied from good to outstanding. Comedians from ok to hilarious! Service in all areas was outstanding! Had fun in all the ports! Went to the beach in Princess Cay and got into the water. St Thomas, got in a cab and went to beautiful Megan's Bay, St Kitts went Kayaking, St Lucia went on an all day tour that included a volcano, catamaran,lunch and plantation. Barbados,orchid garden and plantation and Antigua,bird island,snorkeling ,beach and kayaking! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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
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 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
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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