18 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to South America

We chose this trip when it went on sale in December. We had done the Valparaiso - Buenos Aires three years ago. We booked as we like long cruises with sea days. BUT not this time. We like sea days because Princesses has always had ... Read More
We chose this trip when it went on sale in December. We had done the Valparaiso - Buenos Aires three years ago. We booked as we like long cruises with sea days. BUT not this time. We like sea days because Princesses has always had outstanding enrichment lectures on sea days. There were none on this trip. We tried to find out what happened and could not get an answer even after writing a note to Mattias who was in charge of entertainment. Needless to say we were very disappointed. We eat most of our dinners in the dining room. We had great table mates. BUT princess needs some new menus. Too much repeat for a 20 day cruise. While the chocolate Journeys desserts were interesting they were not a knock out. I have never felt that Princess does well with dessert in the dining room. Horizon court and International Cafe have better desserts. There needs to be more than 1 location to use the coffee card. It would also be nice if the coffee card could be used in the dining room and on the Horizon court. The "disappearing trays" in the theater should be cleaned more often. This ship is over ten years old and is tired. The furniture outside the Explorers Lounge desperately needs reupholstering. There was an ongoing problem on deck 7 with the drainage in the rear of the ship. We walked in puddles of water several times. There was always a sewer odor on deck 7 mid ship on the side of the Explorers Lounge. I understand tthe ship will be refurbished soon. Not soon enough? Disembakrment went fine as we were "carry your own bag" walk offs. To us the highlight of the trip was seeing Christ the Redeemer in Rio We are not into the beach scene so the islands did not impress us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise on the basis of itinerary and were not disappointed. We embarked in Buenos Aires and disembarked in Port Everglades. Both went very smoothly and quickly but we have Global Entry with let us pass the mass of people ... Read More
We chose this cruise on the basis of itinerary and were not disappointed. We embarked in Buenos Aires and disembarked in Port Everglades. Both went very smoothly and quickly but we have Global Entry with let us pass the mass of people waiting to clear immigration. Be sure to have your card as they don't have a fingerprint reader. We ate every dinner and most breakfasts in the MDR and found the food to be quite good. Some days we used room service when we had to leave the ship for an excursion early. The food was prompt but the menu very limited. The food was always on time and the order was correct. We did go to a few production shows server of which we had seen before and enjoyed them. The onboard service was excellent and we had the greatest room steward we have ever had. He did a superb job of keeping our room clean. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, ticking off our bucket list. The embankment was quick and we were on board and in our cabin in no time, although princess did text us before the cruise saying there maybe long waits but this ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, ticking off our bucket list. The embankment was quick and we were on board and in our cabin in no time, although princess did text us before the cruise saying there maybe long waits but this was not the case for us. A very relaxing cruise with lots of sea days. Argentina and Brazil were well worth seeing we took princess organised trips which were excellent and very informative. Salvador was somewhat scary which princess warned us about. Several passengers were robbed of cameras and phones but we were told not to go off the ship with these things exposed, so we went off ship In simple clothes and a small bag with no phones or cameras out in the open. So we were fine. Sailing across the equator was good and the ship made it a special, which was fun. We had 5 days sailing until we reached the Carribean. Going round the islands is always fun and of course the weather was great. The crown princess was fantastic although several other reviews say it was showing its age but I disagree, yes it's getting old but it still is a beautiful ship. The staff were all very helpful and the food was also great. The only problem I would say, on sea days there was a shortage of chairs around the pool. I believe this was because people save a chair and go off for hours before they return. We had a balcony cabin on caribe 718 towards the end of the ship, port side. It was in a good position for lifts to get to the horizon. My husband is a smoker so it was easy for him to go up to floor 16 above horizon to have a smoke outside. If you are a smoker there are also areas on the 7th deck stair board side aft. You can smoke on deck 16 forward by the 'outrigger' bar. There is also a smokers lounge on deck 7 at the speakeasy beside the casino. We travelled as a couple and the age of most travellers were between 45-80s with a few young people. I would recommend this cruise if you enjoy sea days. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Our cruise was from Santiago (Valparaiso) to Buenos Aires via Cape Horn and the Falkland Islands in late February. It provided a break between land trips to Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Iguassu Falls on the Argentine / Brazil border, ... Read More
Our cruise was from Santiago (Valparaiso) to Buenos Aires via Cape Horn and the Falkland Islands in late February. It provided a break between land trips to Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Iguassu Falls on the Argentine / Brazil border, which were the main reasons for visiting South America. Having mentioned the reason for us taking the cruise, it would be remiss not to mention Machu Picchu and the Iguassu Falls. The cruise itself was certainly not a “trip of a life-time” but we were really glad that we had these two highlights on our “bucket list”. Machu Picchu Machu Picchu is amazing and even better than you might have imagined from any pictures. We had no problems with the altitude but drank plenty of water, avoided alcohol and coffee. Cusco and the Sacred Valley are also very interesting. It is best to stay in Cusco and also stay a night in Machu Picchu, ideally at the Inkaterra Hotel. The Inca trail would have been quite a challenge (although it is closed in February) so we took the easier train option. Expect some rain but you might be lucky, like we were. Iguassu Falls The Iguassu Falls are even more spectacular than Machu Picchu. Whilst it is possible to visit the falls from both the Argentinian side and Brazilian side in a single day, as we did, spreading this over two days would be better. We did not have time for either a helicopter trip or the very wet boat trip but managed to pick a day when the weather was perfect. Crown Princess is basically the same as her sister ships, Emerald and Ruby Princess, but lacks the new bedding found on the Emerald princess. Embarkation was delayed by several hours because the Valparaiso port stevedores were on strike. The Priority Boarding queue turned out to be the slowest line for boarding, so Princess's loyal passengers were inevitably upset. Loading of provisions was also curtailed, which was thought to account for the limited availability of wines on board. Having gone through the usual passenger safety drill on arrival, we could not see why it was necessary to pipe the crew's own emergency drill, and other messages, through to all cabins, in English then Spanish, the following morning. Safety is important but was unnecessarily intrusive. FOOD AND DRINK All food was of a consistently good quality but Princess menus are now so predictable that they are boring. Some items, like chicken and leek pie seemed to appear several times, there were few fresh vegetables and hardly any seasonal fruit besides strawberries. We soon discovered that the choice of wines, especially white wine, was very limited and they had abandoned the wine cards that normally give a discount package. On the first night, we opted for a bottle of basic Californian chardonnay (29 USD + 15% service) as there was very little Chilean wine available. After that, most passengers would return on board with a couple of bottles of very good Chilean wine, purchased locally for a few USD, and pay 15 USD corkage in the restaurant. Service in the Botticelli restaurant was generally very good, except at breakfast time, which was often frustratingly slow. Choice of food at the busy Horizon Court was often better than the restaurants but you never knew when they had specials, like an Indian buffet, and had to search for each course. Afternoon tea should be a leisurely event, so we refused to be rushed when the waiters descended. The International café, in the foyer, worked well on sea days but was otherwise over-crowded. The cruise was advertised as having three formal nights but there were only two until they squeezed in another towards the end of the voyage. This might sound picky, but annoyed the ladies who had extra evening wear in their over weight luggage and those who enjoy lobster. In the end we had two lobster nights and everybody was satisfied. LECTURES The theatre was always packed to overflowing, so it was necessary to arrive at least 30 minutes early to find seats. In warmer locations, more passengers would probably have been out on the sun decks instead. A Spanish guide, named Julio Delgardo, presented information about each port and kept the packed theatre amused with his whimsical, yet informative, style. He was not concerned with selling trips and was of great help to independent travellers (like us). Princess has discovered that talks on forensics and security can be very popular, so Peter LaSorsa gave several talks on email security and identity theft. He also gave a good talk on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, although it was a little misplaced and would have been more relevant when cruising in the opposite direction. ENTERTAINMENT The resident singers and dancers performed really well on a stage that was constantly moving in the choppy seas. One show was cancelled, just as it was about to start, because a band member was, unfortunately, taken ill. We found the evening entertainment in the theatre rather disappointing, so maybe we are just getting hard to please as the theatre was packed for most of the shows. We enjoyed the numerous trivia quiz sessions and even won several, only to find that Princess had run out of their usual prizes. The cruise directors need to give more thought to the timing of activities, as it takes time to empty a theatre and get from one location to another. Activities seemed to clash throughout the morning then there was little to do in the afternoon whilst at sea. EXCURSIONS We generally avoid organised excursions and find we can do more as independent travellers. Excursions on offer were either very easy to do ourselves or involved lengthy and costly trips to see penguins etc. The Elite priority boarding on tenders saves time but does not apply to excursions. WEATHER Along the Chile coast, we experienced 5 metre swells for around six hours, which was not much fun. Around Cape Horn it was mainly calm and sunny and the weather in the Falklands was really good, albeit with a cold wind at 9 am around Gypsy Cove, rising to about 17 degrees. From Puerto Madryn onwards it was mid 20s rising to 32 in Buenos Aires. Apart from the first port, we hardly saw any rain. After reading earlier reviews, reporting lengthy waits for tenders, we realise how lucky we were with the weather in late February. CONCLUSIONS If, like us, you are mainly visiting South America to see Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Iguassu Falls, on the border between Argentina and Brazil, you might find it easier to skip this cruise and fly from Lima to Buenos Aires. Santiago is fine, but maybe not worth a detour, and the Falkland Islands is much like England to the Brits. Most of the port stops are not particularly interesting, unless you are keen to join a long excursion to see penguins of various types. We preferred to explore independently and thought that most of the Princess excursions were very over priced. The Tango Show in Buenos Aires is certainly worthwhile, if it is not included elsewhere on your travel plans. Our cruise was competitively priced but the cost of excursions, drinks and gratuities seems excessive – so exercise your options! We have cruised with Princess many times but would not rate this trip or Crown Princess very highly, as the entertainment was mediocre and the ship was very crowded. The staff and service were, however, up to Princess's high standards. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The cruise itinerary is pretty unique, starting at Valparaiso , then around the Cape ,into Buenos Aires and Rio, Salvador and onto the Caribbean. We spent 2 days in Santiago before we embarked, embarkation was an unorganised Shambles, a ... Read More
The cruise itinerary is pretty unique, starting at Valparaiso , then around the Cape ,into Buenos Aires and Rio, Salvador and onto the Caribbean. We spent 2 days in Santiago before we embarked, embarkation was an unorganised Shambles, a strike by Chilean dock staff delayed passengers getting off and passengers getting on - no input from Princess just very poorly organised chaos, and the chaos was repeated in Fort Lauderdale [ but more later]. The ship is a bit tired , but our cabin was fine and the cabin staff were great. Dining was anytime for us and most nights was wait and trouble free, food standard was ok, not as good as Celebrity but similar to other Princess cruises, average variety [ almost poor variety, and lots of repetition in the Horizon Court Buffet] The specialty restaurants were poorly patronised, we ate once at the Salty Dog [ very average] and once in Sabitinis [ great food, excellent service, but only 12 patrons] Entertainment was mixed, production shows were excellent, but if you wanted to go to the 8pm show be there an half hour early , the theatre holds just over 700 and their were 2800 passengers ? Staff were great everywhere, the coffee shop, restaurants, cabin staff and cruise directors team. The officers were rarely seen and the Captain rarely heard -- most unusual Ports were generally good, although the Chileans were on strike again at Puerto Montt and tours were cancelled, all the rest were great, Stanly, Punta Arenas, Montevideo and Rio were all excellent. Rio De Janeiro immigration held the ship up for over an hour before allowing disembarkation. Disembarkation at Fort lauderdale was also chaotic, long lines and 2 hour delays, and then the ships bus transits to airports was very poorly organised, we have done this type of transit from ports before, it has always been poor, lots missed flights. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our 16th cruise, 9th on Princess. We sailed from Valparaiso, Chile around Cape Horn to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We flew into Santiago Chile and spent one night in Valparaiso before boarding the ship. Embarkation was very ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise, 9th on Princess. We sailed from Valparaiso, Chile around Cape Horn to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We flew into Santiago Chile and spent one night in Valparaiso before boarding the ship. Embarkation was very chaotic. A strike by port workers that day prevented taxis from entering the port so we were dropped at stop where a shuttle bus would take us into the port, which was all a little confusing. Once in the terminal building confusion reigned. It was unclear where to leave your bags. Lines were not well defined and there weren't many staff available to clear things up. There was one other ship in port and I think both ships were delayed disembarking because of the strike and that was affecting our boarding process. After getting checked in, we then had to wait for another shuttle bus to take us to the ship. Overall it took us about 2 hours from arriving at the terminal to board the ship. The Pacific was fairly rough when we were out in the open sea. The first 2 days were probably the worst. When we were in channels protected by islands it was fine, and the Atlantic side of the cruise was very smooth. Our first port was Puerto Montt and there was another unannounced strike at this port as well. Picketers were blocking vehicles from leaving the port area. Eventually they did start letting 2 or 3 buses go at a time. We sat on our bus for over 2 hours before we were able to get out, and our excursion was cut short a bit as a result. After the initial rough seas and strikes, everything went quite well. We had generally very good weather and we were able to make all the ports, which doesn't always happen in the part of the world. The Crown is starting to show its age somewhat. Our cabin had a very slow shower drain (which was quickly repaired by staff) and drawers that stuck in the cabinets and were difficult to open, but all in all we were comfortable in our cabin and service was excellent. Food and service in the Botticelli dining room were very good. There was a nice selection at dinner and we were very satisfied with everything we had to eat. The buffet was ok, nothing to shout about but it wasn't terrible either. I require a gluten free diet and Princess always takes very good care of me in the MDR and they always have a gluten free dessert in the buffet. Entertainment was generally good. The magic and music show in the main theater was outstanding. Onboard activities were generally well run and enjoyable. Trivia was very popular. The port lecturer, Julio, was very informative and entertaining. His presentations were a big hit, always with standing room only in the Princess theater, so much so that they should have scheduled him twice for each of his presentations so everyone could have had a seat. The ports were all great. The Falkland Islands was the best. We had a beautiful day and the Bluff Cove Penguin excursion was one of the best we have ever taken. It included an entertaining 4 mile off road ride to get to the cove and then time to spend with some King and Gentoo penguins. And the town of Stanley was very enjoyable. Puerto Madryn was the least enjoyable port. We did not take an excursion there and there isn't a whole lot to see or do in the town. Temperatures ranged from the low 50s at the southern end of the continent and close to 100 in Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Disembarkation was a breeze--fastest we ever had--about 5 minutes. Well organized, easy to find luggage, and we were out of there. We stayed in Buenos Aires for 3 days following the cruise and enjoyed that. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I was offered onboard credit for being a veteran. The security was not handled properly and my wife's bag was lifted. It was not returned until we had occured over a thousand dollars is bills from the ship medical staff and 16 day ... Read More
I was offered onboard credit for being a veteran. The security was not handled properly and my wife's bag was lifted. It was not returned until we had occured over a thousand dollars is bills from the ship medical staff and 16 day from departure. Several request were made to look for the bag at customer service, but after being told the bag was aboard I signed for it. The ship's officer said it had been on board since embarkcation. When I asked that they recind the charges I met the rude Mr Steven. When I contacted Princess after the cruise, I got the 'WE DON'T CARE ATTITUDE!'' Embarkation was held up for hours in Valpariso. Going ashore was held up for three hours in Rio. Food on board had the frozen portion control taste, not at all what I have previously experinced on other cruises. This lenthly cruise was definatly marketed for older people , due to the fact that only retired persons could be away for a longer time. to matters even worse I was server tainted food and had symptoms of food posioning for a week. THen the ships medical service charged me 365 dollars for a single visit. When I told the doctor that the fumes from the midship elevator shaft made my eyes water and my throat to constrict, that was nothing and I had a cold. They chargred me 26 dollars for a flu test that I did not have any flu like symptoms for. I will not be traveling with Princess again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was a bucket list trip around South America. Boarding was total disorganized and took over 4 1/2 hours. No one in the terminal had any answers as to why the delays. The ship is old and outdated. stains in carpeting, ratty mats and ... Read More
This was a bucket list trip around South America. Boarding was total disorganized and took over 4 1/2 hours. No one in the terminal had any answers as to why the delays. The ship is old and outdated. stains in carpeting, ratty mats and flooring in the gym, no nets on basketball courts, broken machines in the casino. When I spoke to a supervisor about the condition of the ship I was told" Sir, you have to understand that the ship will be going into dry dock so we're not bothering now with those things." Could not believe a crew member would say that to a recently boarded passenger. Got sick first night. Went to medical center second day but could not be seen then due to emergency. went next day and received a bill for $600. Due to critically ill patient we had to turn around and as a result of the delays we missed two of 5 ports- Montevideo and Falkland Islands. Cabin next door to us flooded and at 5:30 AM we had to move ourselves into another cabin. No help from crew as they were "busy" cleaning up. Two small fires during cruise- one in engine room and one in incinerator room. Food was very mediocre in buffet and dining room. The food in Sabatini's was very good. So many problems that the line finally offered passengers a credit on the cruise and on a future cruise. That was well received but as for this cruise, we spent 11 of 14 days at sea on a somewhat run down ship. Very disappointing and a waste of a lot of money. Front desk staff were great as was Cruise Director, trying to be helpful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
As part of my wife’s and my 50th wedding anniversary celebration, we planned a “bucket list” cruise around South America. We planned and reserved the trip in September 2015, while aboard an Alaskan cruise on the Pacific Princess. We ... Read More
As part of my wife’s and my 50th wedding anniversary celebration, we planned a “bucket list” cruise around South America. We planned and reserved the trip in September 2015, while aboard an Alaskan cruise on the Pacific Princess. We sailed on a 14-day cruise on the Crown Princess leaving out of Rio de Janeiro on 04 January 2017, ending up in Valparaiso / Santiago, Chile. The first half of our cruise was like the “cruise from hell”! The second half turned out very nice. Some of the problems we encountered were particular to us, while some affected everyone on the cruise. Some were not the fault of Princess, while some I totally attribute to Princess. Some were due to weather and some due to an unexpected medical emergency. However, others were due to what I consider poor maintenance on the Crown Princess; some due to poor attitude of some, but not all of, the Princess staff; and some due to what I consider poor planning and execution by Princess Management. Problems started before we boarded the ship. The Embarkation process in Rio was a disaster. It was not a process at all, but rather total chaos! There was no organization and the subcontractor hired by Princess to manage the embarkation was untrained, unknowledgeable on what was going on or supposed to be going on, and totally rude to some passengers, notably handicapped ones. There was a very noticeable total lack of Princess staff present until very late in the boarding experience. Once a Princess staff member did come out and try to make announcements, they were audible only in about the northern 1/3 of the building. There were far too few chairs for the number of folks there (about 1/3 had to stand the entire time) and the air-conditioning was woefully inadequate. There was no water or cold drinks available except for purchase from one vendor which had a 30-minute line to check out. Priority boarding was non-existent. Platinum, Elite and Suite passengers were given “boarding numbers” just like everyone else, (seemingly at random) based upon when they arrived. Everyone should have boarded by 5 PM and sailed at 6 PM. We, along with two other couples traveling with us arrived at 1:30 PM. We finally boarded around 5:45 PM and our traveling companions did not get aboard until around 7:15 PM, and they were by no means the last to board. We sailed about 3 hours late, missing our scheduled dinner assignment and unable to see Rio de Janeiro’s harbor sights in daylight. It was the worst embarkation, by far, we have experienced in some 16 cruises in numerous North American and European ports, and with six different cruise lines. A couple next to us in the Rio embarkation warehouse said it was the worst embarkation they had experienced in 35 years of cruising! During our first day at sea, an announcement was made asking for any blood donors with AB+ or O- blood and a donor card to please report for the ship’s medical center since a passenger had a medical emergency and was in need of a transfusion. He was stabilized, but needed to be transported to a hospital onshore for further treatment. The ship diverted course and sailed back to the Brazilian mainland and the patient was transferred to a smaller vessel near shore and thence to a hospital. Unfortunately we learned the next morning he had undergone an emergency procedure there, but had not survived. This necessary diversion caused us to be another 8-10 hours late. After another day of cruising we had entered the Rio de la Plata river / estuary between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where we dropped anchor! The Captain explained that 24-36 hours of very strong Northwest winds had caused an unusually low tide in the estuary and there was insufficient draft for us to proceed to Buenos Aires. We stayed at anchor for maybe 6-10 hours while the winds abated and the tides returned sufficient water for the required draft of the Crown Princess. The next morning we were docked at Buenos Aires, albeit a full day late. We awoke to find that out of some 8 or so planned shore excursions in Buenos Aires, the one we had signed up for was the only excursion cancelled. The reason given was equipment or technical issues. The same exact tours, but with German and Spanish speaking guides, proceeded as planned. It was too late to schedule another tour. We and one of the other couples traveling with us took a taxi into the Plaza de Mayo. From there we walked 2 blocks and took a “Hop-On-Hop-Off” bus tour of Buenos Aires. After several hours on the bus, and consulting the guide, we got off the bus and walked 3 blocks to the Recoleta Cemetery to see Evita’s grave. This had been one of the major stops on the Princess shore excursion that was cancelled. While walking the three blocks through a very nice park, we were “scammed” and I had my pocket picked and lost my new iPhone! Someone threw some foul-smelling stuff on all our backs and while we were distracted, thinking a flock of birds had pooped on us, their accomplice, seeming to help point out the stuff on our backs, picked my pocket. Apparently it is a favorite ploy of gangs in the city. The guide in Recoleta saw our soiled pants and shirts and said “Oh, you have been scammed”. He said we were not the first that day. When I reported it to two nearby policemen, they simply said that’s the way the gangs operate. Guest Services said when we reported it back aboard ship that we were not the only Crown Princess passengers to fall for the same scam that day. We told the staff member working there that future passengers should be warned about this scam. Indeed, the excursion speaker did then warn of exactly this type of scam before we arrived in Santiago. We went to our stateroom, took off our clothes, showered and left quickly for our scheduled early dinner seating. We planned to wash our soiled clothes the next morning in the self-laundry on our deck. The next morning we “learned” that because we are a day late, we had lost our docking spot in Montevideo and thus would not dock there during the day but only a short time in the evening to take on supplies and food. All shore excursions in Montevideo are thus cancelled. We are also told that we “must take on fuel” and because we have lost our docking slot in Montevideo, we again sat at anchor for 6-8 hours in the Rio de la Plata while a small tanker and pump barge tied up alongside and loaded bunker fuel. Also when we awoke that morning we found some of the carpet in our stateroom wet. We learned that the toilet in the adjacent stateroom had overflowed and somehow seeped through the bulkhead and into our stateroom. We also found that all the laundries were closed for “water rationing”? We complained to the head steward who was on the hall overseeing carpet clean-up, asking when the laundries would be open because we had the fouled clothes for our Buenos Aires scam. He offered to take our clothes and have them cleaned complementary with the crew’s laundry. We thanked him and then went to eat breakfast. We had to stay out of our cabin most of the day while the carpets were vacuumed, shampooed, and dried (or at least partially dried). We had a very noisy blower in the room for two days. It seems strange to me that a ship capable of extended cruising and making trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific crossings of 7-10 straight days at sea should have to refuel only 4 days after leaving the beginning of the cruise in Rio de Janeiro! I am guessing that since this ship for the remainder of the season cruises alternatively between Buenos Aires and Valparaiso that they have attractive bunker fuel contracts in both areas. However, with only one stop per season in Rio, I suspect that Princess had to purchase fuel at a more expensive “spot market price”, and thus Princess management chose to sail from Rio with only partially full bunker tanks. Then after unexpected weather and unforeseen medical situations, we must sit anchored in the muddy Rio de la Plata and refuel for 6-8 hours. In retrospect I think this may also be the reason for the “water rationing” since I doubt if that the reverse osmosis water-makers could properly handle the very muddy water being taken in from the Plata while we sat at anchor. I had noticed water from our tap the night before being somewhat cloudy or brown! We finally docked at Montevideo just at dusk and passengers are allowed ashore for about 3 hours and told to “enjoy the nearby shops, bars, and restaurants” since no tours weree offered. My wife and I disembarked and got just to the end of the pier before a major thunderstorm unleashed torrential rains. We quickly re-boarded, being some of the lucky ones to get only slightly wet instead of thoroughly drenched. People who did stay ashore later complained that all the shops and many restaurants and bars were shuttered for the night (or the rain?). We just got to “set foot” in Montevideo and Uruguay, and had no excursions or tours! The next morning we were informed that we would totally bypass the Falkland Islands in order to get back on schedule for the remainder of the cruise. All shore excursions in the Falklands, including the one we had booked to go and see the penguins, were of course cancelled. Seeing the penguins had been one of the anticipated highlights of our cruise! We went to the Shore Excursion Desk to see if there were any options to change, or add, excursions in Ushuaia to see penguins there. We were told they were all already full with “very long waiting lists”! People were really getting upset by now. After waiting in line for quite a while at the Shore Excursion Desk, two men cut in from the side and went directly up to the desk. Several people behind us yelled at them to “wait their turn and get in line like everyone else!” When we then approached the staff member (we were next in line before the men attempted to cut), my wife told the staff member working there that in addition to helping with shore excursions, he should also help maintain order and ensure that folks kept in line and did not cut. He, almost indigently, told her that he had been there several days and nobody had ever cut before! He also said that we should not anticipate on getting on any excursions to see penguins as they were all much too full. As new Captain’s Circle Platinum members, my wife and I were disappointed in the lack of attention that was paid to the “claimed Platinum Benefits”. First there was absolutely no priority or preferred boarding in Rio for us as Platinum members. There was a “Happy Hour” for Platinum, Elite and Suite passengers held in the Skywalker’s Lounge every night. We received no notice of this initially. We only learned about it after 3-4 days at sea from a fellow Platinum passenger. My wife called the Guest Services desk and inquired about these functions and about an invitation. She was told we should have received an invitation in our stateroom (which we didn’t). My wife requested one and was told it would be sent to our room shortly. Late the next day after still not receiving one, I finally went to the Guest Services desk and asked for one. After a lengthy “verification” that we were indeed Platinum, I was given a copy. We did utilize the special disembarkation lounge for Platinum, Elite and Suite guests in the Explorer’s Lounge and that was nice. There were also a number of smaller instances which all pointed to the age of the Crown Princess and what I consider poor condition and maintenance. There were numerous plumbing problems. In addition to the overflowing toilet next door, our toilet overflowed once but thankfully was contained on the tile bathroom floor. Over the remainder of the cruise, we heard of several other “overflowing toilet issues”. The tub in our mini-suite was VERY slow draining for the entire voyage. Initially there was no Wi-Fi service in our stateroom. I called and complained and was told that the “router would be tweaked and it should be better”. It was never consistently available. Occasionally I could get a weak Wi-Fi signal in one or two spots in our stateroom, but if my phone or iPad shifted more than a few inches, I lost the signal. I resolved myself to going to the ship’s common areas to text, and send and receive email. One day we were both in our stateroom, my wife in the bathroom and I on the couch reading. There was a loud thump or bang. I thought my wife had fallen and she thought I had fallen. Instead a large fabric-coated wooden panel had fallen off the wall beside the bed between us and bounced over the lamp and onto the floor. It probably weighed 20 pounds. I informed our steward and it was promptly reattached. I know we experienced some rough seas both in the Atlantic as we approached Cape Horn and also in the Pacific as we came out of the Strait of Magellan and the ship rolled and pitched. However, all the attached wooden furniture (desk, cabinets, etc.,) in our stateroom (D515) creaked and popped so loudly that on several nights my wife could only get to sleep after putting in earplugs and taking some melatonin. As a football fan I was also disappointed in the choices of Princess as to how games were presented on television. We watched all the pre-game hype and interviews for the NCAA championship game on our stateroom TV. Just as the game was about to begin, however, the screen went blank and then a message was displayed that “this presentation is blacked out on this station”! The first weekend of the NFL playoffs, games were shown on the large poolside screen and on the TV’s in Gatsby’s Casino, but not in the staterooms. The next weekend of the NFL Division Playoffs the same arrangement was initially started. There was so much interest in the Dallas – Green Bay game that Gatsby’s was standing room only. The Blackjack Dealers could not even get chairs around their tables and no one came to the tables to play in spite of the dealers trying to set up. Finally the head man or Pit Boss came out and told the dealers to just give up and wait until after the game. At the end of the Dallas – Green Bay game, they made an announcement that the next game between the Steelers and the Patriots would instead be shown on the stateroom TV’s! I’m not sure of Princess’s arrangements with satellite television but when the business in the casino suffered, they certainly found a way quickly to broadcast the games in the staterooms! Why didn’t they do it earlier for the NFL and for the NCAA game? Although there was clearly a bad attitude among some of the Crown Princess staff, especially the staff manning the Shore Excursion and Guest Services desks and some of the shops, not all were of this same attitude. Our stateroom steward was very attentive and efficient and very promptly attended to every issue raised with him. The Botticelli formal dining room wait staff and the staff at Vines Wine Bar deserve special praise. They were excellent. We were also somewhat disappointed in the overall quality of the entertainment. The specialty venue musicians were all very good and the comedian in the Explorer’s Lounge was very good. The Princess Production crews (singers and dancers) were very talented, but the production shows themselves seemed “dated” and unimaginative. Nathan Foley, whom we had seen win Princess’ Entertainer of the Year on the Caribbean Princess last year, was great as usual. The audience response to all shows, however, even including Foley’s, seemed to lack the enthusiasm we have experienced on other recent cruises. The food in the main dining rooms (Botticelli and da Vinci) where we ate and the Horizon Court buffet were adequate. The food in the International Café, which we frequented for lunch, was very good. Our two meals in Crown Grill and Sabatini’s specialty restaurants were probably the best dining experiences and meals we have had on any cruise. The second half of the cruise was much better; making all ports and having no shore excursions cancelled. Cruising around Cape Horn and the glaciers around Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan were spectacular. Ushuaia was beautiful and fun to visit. Our Wildlife Watching excursion there was excellent. Punta Arenas was interesting also. Disembarkation went very smoothly in Valparaiso. One last personal problem did arise related to disembarkation, however. We had dutifully placed all our large bags outside our stateroom the night before so that they could be transported to a lower deck for offloading into the passenger terminal. We kept only our small carry-on bags and one set of clothes to wear ashore and on the full-day tour of Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, and a wine tasting and lunch en route to our hotel in Santiago. I had saved the hiking pants that had been taken and cleaned by the chief steward for us after they were severely soiled in our earlier scamming incident. I had checked that all of the odorous substance had come out of the trouser legs and that they had not been stained. Much to my chagrin, however, I discovered as I put on the trousers that last morning, that in the washing, drying or ironing that the entire zipper pull was missing! Luckily I had also left out a pullover golf shirt with an extra-long shirttail that I could constantly pull down to cover my open zipper! I did fill out a Damage Report at the Guest Services desk, but it was still an uncomfortable, embarrassing day until I could get to the hotel in Santiago and get another pair of pants from my suitcase! I have yet to hear from Princess or receive any reimbursement for the ruined pants. I know this was not the experience or quality cruise that I, nor other passengers, nor Princess was expecting. Obviously Princess realized this since they offered each passenger ½ of that they had paid for the cruise in a “Future Cruise Credit” and another ½ of that they had paid for the cruise as a credit in their “Onboard Spending Account”. I am grateful for that, but still do not think that this particular cruise and ship was anywhere near the quality on prior Princess cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My husband booked this cruise because going around the Horn was on his bucket list. I just went along for the ride. I was looking forward to getting away and thought seeing Penguins in the Falkland Islands would be a hoot. Little did I ... Read More
My husband booked this cruise because going around the Horn was on his bucket list. I just went along for the ride. I was looking forward to getting away and thought seeing Penguins in the Falkland Islands would be a hoot. Little did I know how wonderful this cruise would be. There were rocky seas, wild rides to see the penguins, a walk to the end of the earth, Nathan Foley, cooking class, wine tasting, card playing, dancing, movies under the stars, pizza, hamburgers on the grill, fine dining. The crew was happy, even with grumpy passengers. The captain and crew made sure we were safe, despite the fact they had to deal with the weather. The weather made us late and kept us from cruising around the Horn. The South American authorities also caused disembarking in Rio to be longer than it needed to be. You plan, God laughs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Let me start by saying, my husband and I are not frequent ocean cruisers. We did a lot of ocean cruising when we were younger. In the last few years, we travelled with Norwegian and Celebrity and were very pleased with those voyages. We ... Read More
Let me start by saying, my husband and I are not frequent ocean cruisers. We did a lot of ocean cruising when we were younger. In the last few years, we travelled with Norwegian and Celebrity and were very pleased with those voyages. We took a 31 day cruise of South America, December 4, 2016 to January 4, 2017. We booked a mini suite, mid ship D 701. Unfortunately, the Crown Princess has serious technical problems and the decor is worn and dated. I will outline the Pros and Cons to make it easier for you to understand why our cruise was not a stellar experience for first time cruisers with Princess. Pros: -The most outstanding thing about this ship is their staff. In a word: Outstanding! -Organization of routines and tours were well done with very attentive care to individuals with mobility issues. -Educational seminars and port talks were informative, entertaining and helpful. -Boutique Outlet shopping was a lot of fun. -Traditional dining room meals were varied, hot and delicious, a special thank you to the staff: Alex, Noni and Anthony-they are the best!. -International Cafe in the Piazza was excellent with dedicated over the top friendly staff: Thank you to the following people for making our vacation: Cecelia, Anna, Victoria, Iris, Jason, Faye and Reynaldo. -Access to our billing account via kiosk was an excellent idea. We did avoid any problems at the end of the voyage by tackling the problems beforehand. -Cabin steward, Dax, was so helpful when our suite flooded and made sure all our needs with toiletries were fulfilled, not to forget to mention a friendly, outgoing personality. -Itinerary was appreciated, the main reason we chose Princess, and we experienced the essence of many countries we had never seen before. Cons: -Mini suite was not what I expected. A few days in, the tap water was dark brown all night and into the morning. Unfortunately, I drank the water throughout the night (glass on night table was brown the next morning) as I get up often to do this and my husband showered the morning after and came out dirtier than before he started. We went down to the front desk to report the problem but their manner was very unsympathetic to our problem. They said they clear the pipes all the time and this will happen. Shouldn't this procedure be announced or caution signs placed on drinking their water. New Year's Eve our suite was flooded from the bathroom. My husband called to report the "emergency." No one came for the longest time and when they did they were surprised it was an "emergency." Then a plumber had to be found to turn the water off. By this time, half the suite was full of water and the laundry bag on the floor in the closet was soaked, suitcases under the bed drenched. Happy New Year! A bottle of champagne for our nightmare would have been nice touch. We just got a phone call asking if everything was all right. Technically, "yes", but "no," if you consider a noisy machine blowing it dry all day and for the next day. Also, the smell was putrid but there were only a few days left in our voyage and we were too sick to argue about changing rooms anyways. -Needless to say I got sick on the voyage and so did my husband with the mystery flu/ cough. This necessitated visits to the doctor and medications. We bought Princess travel insurance but I have a feeling this will not go well either when we try to claim those expenses. I will write another review to share these results good or bad. -Entertainment was not up to par especially in the Piazza where we spent most of our evenings at the International Cafe. Every night, for 31 days we listened to tango music which three couples danced to every night.This did not leave much room on the floor for others to partake with a slow dance. Also, more seating is needed in this area. -Buffet was not hot or tasty; unrecognizable spices in the food. When we got sick, we opted for meals at the buffet so we could choose soup or salad and leave without the long social aspect of Traditional dining. As usual, the staff was outstanding but the meals were not appetizing. The buffet selection area is too confining and needs to be organized better. The intense vibration during the meal was annoying. -The worse thing, that I could not get used to, was the constant, intense vibration all over the ship, especially my bed at night. It rattled my teeth, it was so strong. Also it did not add to our dining experience in the Buffet Restaurant. This mystery vibration that I have "never" experienced on any ship I have ever sailed on made me worrisome for the whole voyage. -The Passenger Service's desk was not a friendly place to visit. They reluctantly solved our problems. We went there three times: bill dispute the first few days, dirty water in the suite, flooding of our suite and charging for laundry from the flooding in our suite. Don't bother with their boss, she was just as unsympathetic. -Daily activities were juvenile. More educational seminars about future ports would have been appreciated more. TV movies in the room were repetitious and dated. News networks should incorporate more international, unbiased outlets. -Tours arranged by Princess were very expensive and not worth it. The buses for our first 3 destinations were so cramped, we cancelled all our tours we had pre-booked on line beforehand. At future ports, we got off the ship with another couple we hooked up with, negotiated with local taxi drivers and had a very rewarding experience on each tour we took. -Disembarkation was a nightmare! To end, I realize a cruise this long will have issues but we will not take one this long again and we will have to think long and hard about the Princess Cruise Line ships. The problems that arose, I felt, were not dealt with satisfactorily. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My first complain complain is the bed furniture need to be replaced very badly, the mattress has cave in that make us feel like sleeping in the sink hole (it also happen to friends of us on other room), otherwise the room is clean and cozy ... Read More
My first complain complain is the bed furniture need to be replaced very badly, the mattress has cave in that make us feel like sleeping in the sink hole (it also happen to friends of us on other room), otherwise the room is clean and cozy except the shower room is so tiny, it doesn't have room to turn around for a skinny person like me (I am only 140 pounds and 5 feet 7), I wonder how can I 200 pounder can take their shower. Second is the embarkation is a mess and chaos, our priority boarding is long and tiresome, other than that everything is excellent: the boarding process is somehow smooth, the food are excellent and the dinning service is excellent but the buffet service is not good (stuff are talking to each other and ignore our present, so we have to get our own drink after waiting for 30 minutes), all on board program and activities are excellent, never have a bore moment.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We flew to LA and spent a few days touring before the cruise. When Sunday arrived we returned to LAX for our transfer to the Crown. Much to our surprise, instead of having to wait in long lines at the terminal we were taken to the Sheraton ... Read More
We flew to LA and spent a few days touring before the cruise. When Sunday arrived we returned to LAX for our transfer to the Crown. Much to our surprise, instead of having to wait in long lines at the terminal we were taken to the Sheraton Hotel where we filled out our paperwork while enjoying coffee and rolls. The large group was subdivided into groups the size of bus capacity and one-by-one our group was summoned to board a bus and transferred to the terminal where we walked in, picked up our key-card, and boarded the Crown. It was the best embarkation I have ever had. We went to our cabin and dropped off our hand luggage. The Horizon Court was open for lunch and the fare was what we have come to expect from the buffet. The mandatory safety drill seemed rather slow to get started as everyone waited in their muster station for instructions to be given over the PA system -- much better than standing out on the deck and being deafened by the loud speakers. We chose to eat in the main dining hall instead of the Horizon Court. We were assigned a table, but it was not the table size we had requested. We spoke with the head waiter, a very personable fellow, who agreed to speak to the Maitre d'. We were given a temporary assignment to another table, but we had to wait until 5:30 to make sure the people originally assigned to that table did not show up. No problem. A few days later we had our own permanent table. The waiters and assistant waiters were very polite and prompt with their service. Even recommending what they determined we would like. Beverages were waiting for us as we arrived for each meal. We felt the food was much better than what was offered in the buffet, but some of the highly touted selections of Chef Stone we did not find all that exceptional. Special chocolate desserts developed especially for Princess were also hit and miss -- sometimes worth eating, other times worth skipping. On this cruise there did not seem to be much optional entertainment in the Explorers' Lounge. Most entertainment took place in the Princess theater. There were two comedians, one juggler, one gaucho, and one magician. The remainder of the 31 nights featured some form of musical fare from the 3 musicals the singers and dancers put on to various individual or small group acts all building up to the Voice of the Ocean finale on the last night. No mater where you went there was some form of musical performance from the atrium to the crooners lounge to the Wheelhouse bar to the Explorers' Lounge to the Princess Theater to Club Fusion to Skywalker's Nightclub, and even on the deck over the huge MUTS Jumbotron on decks 15 & 16. They did achieve a sense or reality, however, one night the Packers were playing with the game televised on the Jumbotron, and the outdoor temp made it seem like you were right there in Lambeau Field. The Tango band in the atrium played loud enough that you could hardly hear the people speaking to you at the customer service desk. There was a handful of episodes of the Love Boat TV program and a few select movies, but honestly I had a much better selection of movies on my return flight home. I suppose if you are into various types of trivia, line dancing, kareoke, and zumba you would have been more than happy with the entertainment. I am not into any of those, so I found the entertainment basically lackluster and disappointing. Actually the best entertainment on the ship was the Port Authority -- Julio Delgado Corredor, who was knowledgeable and informative. If a place was worth saying, he would tell you. If it was a waste of time, he would tell you that too -- Example: "There is a garden there. I think there are 3 flowers. It shouldn't take you no more than a minute to see it." Or, "There are only 3 streets in this city. You can't possibly get lost. If you do, sit down and start to cry. Someone will come and help you." The lecturer was a retired archaeology professor, Dr. Kus, who told us more than the average person wants to know about the Inka people. Our cruise did have some weather problems. In Ushuaya, Argentina, we were docked but an afternoon wind came up and pinned us to the dock until 4 am. The next day we were supposed to go to Cape Horn, but the winds were over 80 mph and for the sake of the safety of the ship and people on board the visit was aborted as the ship listed heavily to the port side. The timing of the cruise left something to be desired as we arrived in Punta Areanas, Chile on Christmas Day and in Montevideo, Uruguay on New Year's Day -- both being holidays, of course, almost everything was closed. Princess could have started the cruise a day earlier or a day later to avoid this. Or, they could have added an extra stop, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and upped the price a couple of hundred dollars so we would have been at sea on the holidays. There were some children on the cruise as this was a holiday time of the year. For the most part they were well behaved. Some teenagers, however, took it upon themselves to chase up and down the hallways and play in the elevators. I took a similar cruise on another line 15 years ago. It, actually, was much better than this one. I have cruised a number of times with Princess and it seems the quality is beginning to slip. There are photographers everywhere. There are too many dress-up nights so that the photographers can take pictures, If you are that desperate for a photo, people, go to a studio in your home town. The boutiques are not so bad, except when they wheel their display cases out into the hallways and make it difficult to pass by. It's like going to KMart but on a ship. The spas are offering daily seminars and specials. Cruising is becoming too commercial and it is getting more and more difficult for people to do what the cruise is supposed to help them do -- relax and come back "new." I think I will have to do more comparative shopping before my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Crown Princess 31- Day South America (December 4th, 2016 – January 4, 2017) Total disclosure mandates that I reveal the following about my husband and myself: We do not like big ships, and he (especially) loathes crowds. The Crown ... Read More
Crown Princess 31- Day South America (December 4th, 2016 – January 4, 2017) Total disclosure mandates that I reveal the following about my husband and myself: We do not like big ships, and he (especially) loathes crowds. The Crown Princess is a big ship and it was full to capacity on both legs of the cruise (Los Angeles to Valparaiso and Valparaiso to Rio de Janeiro). The relatively low fares attracted a wide range of passengers, and many of them, resulting in very crowded main dining rooms ( although the alternative restaurants were often almost empty), wall to wall bodies around the pools on sunny sea days, and some rude passengers. The elevators compounded the problem: there were four across the width of the ship on each floor, and one never knew until the last second which car would stop (though more often than not, it was the one furthest from you ). The doors also closed quickly and seemed ready to remove your hand, should you try to block them. This resulted in crowds of people shoving to get into an elevator before other passengers could exit the car. SMOKING – My husband is a smoker and found the arrangements for smoking not the best he’s experienced on board, but not the worst. I was annoyed that they closed the bar beside the main outdoor smoking lounge very early in the evening. The cigar lounge in the casino was also a convenient place for meeting one another, and there was a bar nearby. FOOD -- We’ve been disappointed in Sabatini’s on every Princess ship we’ve been on, and I’m sorry to say that the Crown was no exception. On the other hand, the food in the main dining room(s) was better than expected and generally quite good, as was that at the buffet (though I dislike buffets, where crowds are at their worst on any ship). The Crown Grill was exceptionally good, and we ate there several times, for the excellent food and service, to avoid the crowds in the dining room, and to have a table for two with no argument. We had an ongoing “thing” with the maitre d’ in one dining room. We would request a table for two, and he would attempt to have us seated at a long banquette, with tables so close together one could hardly squeeze through and a bad vibration (literally). We would politely decline, and he would then send us to the worst possible two-top in the dining room, such as one next to a large family with screaming kids. I remarked to my husband that he could have earned a nice tip if he’d been more accommodating, and my husband replied that he didn’t expect tips from this group of passengers. EXCURSIONS -- Machu Picchu was the star attraction of the cruise, but my pre-Columbian aficionado husband decided to skip it. It was very expensive, but more importantly, it took up the entire three days that the ship was in Lima and Pisco, Peru, thus precluding visits to some fantastic museums. We did these by independent private tours, so as not to be rushed and were not disappointed. Our guide was so good that my husband plans to return and do a land tour of Peru with him. We always prefer independent, private tours, though these were not always easy to arrange successfully in South America. (We were stood up by the guides of two private, independent tours we’d booked and paid for.) Many of the ports of call have no dedicated cruise ship dock. In Lima, for example, the ship docked at a large commercial facility, and due to the distance and regulations, one could not walk anywhere. Those on private tours, or those just wanting to go ashore independently, were told to take a bus (provided) to one of two shopping centers. Having used the bus to return to the ship once, I would have despaired trying to hook up with a guide there. Those of us who had arranged with our tour company to pick us up at the entrance to the port facility were told to board the bus at the ship and ask to be let off at the entrance to the port. Great, but there were two entrances, which we did not know, and the bus used a different one on each day. Had we not had a cell phone, the number of the tour agency, and the help of two very nice policewomen on patrol, two of our best days would have been a disaster. It is also worth noting that many Lima attractions simply cannot be booked as independent shore excursions, because the tour companies have to allow an additional two hours, at least, for passengers to be bussed round-trip to the shopping center in order to connect with a guide or group. I am generally not a fan of ships’ tours, but a Princess excursion allowed me to see the Peruvian Paso horses and two additional sights, whereas an independent tour could not be arranged. The same situation occurred with a gaucho visit and barbeque from Buenos Aires; I despaired of finding an independent tour, and my husband and I ended up seeing Recoleta Cemetery, and having a nice shopping stop on a Princess tour, in addition to our time at the finca, with no sacrifice in quality or time in our visit to the latter. I was pleasantly surprised that the ship’s tour included everything – such as the opportunity to ride horseback – that was offered by the unavailable independent tour. Finally, some secret tour tips for anyone going on this cruise: a wine tour from Valparaiso , Chile; a cab “for the monkeys” in Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and a Ballestas Island tour from Pisco, Peru. CABIN – We greatly enjoyed our balcony cabin (A202), and I had guessed correctly that port side was preferable on this itinerary. I had waited in vain for an upgrade to come through and was very disappointed when I first saw the size of the cabin. There was a place for everything, however, and by the time we reached Valparaiso and the second leg of the cruise, we had decided not to change cabins, even if the opportunity arose. We do not fall into the “all-you-do-is-sleep-there” camp. We love reading and napping on sea days, and seeing/hearing the water is very important to us, as are chance viewings of spinner dolphins, for example. In addition, we are not “joiners” and “doers” – we’d enjoyed playing Trivia on a smaller ship, but it was chaos on the Crown – and we often just escape to our cabin for peace and quiet. SANCTUARY –For a fee of $40/day ($20/half day) Princess provides you with access to The Sanctuary, a serene and well appointed area for relaxing. I finally succumbed to temptation on one of the last days, when there was no room in or around any pool, and loved it. It was windy and cool, and an attendant brought me a blanket. The next thing I knew, he woke me for tea, which included a nicer assortment of goodies than we’d been offered in the crowded “tea room” by the only surly waiter we encountered on The Crown. WEATHER – We cruised in fall to winter in the Northern Hemispheres and spring to summer in the Southern. The temperatures were pleasantly warm throughout the first segment of the cruise, but after Valparaiso, it was quite cool. We were never in freezing temperatures, but the next 10 days required a sweater on board and an added jacket for excursions. That was a third of the cruise (more than I’d anticipated in wardrobe planning), after which the heat of Buenos Aires was nearly overwhelming. OVERALL VIEW OF CRUISE – Final confession: we have been spoiled by two, small-ship luxury cruises in the last few years, but we still think that Princess ranks far above most mass-market carriers. The fare for this 31-day cruise was amazingly reasonable, but we rued the fact that we didn’t book while they were offering free beverage cards. We enjoy cocktails and wine, and it was easy to accrue a total cruise cost approaching that of more “luxurious” lines. Throw in the cost of The Santuary, for sanity (if we’d used it more), and you’re really getting there. Add the very high cost of the ship’s excursions, and you’re flirting with an “all-inclusive” fare. We were glad we went, in any case. My husband discovered he could survive 31 days at sea (there was never any doubt about me), and we saw and did a lot, in great part due to a few private guides who were eager to share their country and related to us in a manner not possible with a larger group. Each country was unique and fascinating, and the people warm and friendly. If you don’t mind large ships and crowds, this cruise is highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
1. We had never been to So. America. 2. It departed from LA Harbor Any problems we had on this cruise were not the fault of Princess. Two problems with the room were fixed promptly and efficiently. Our room steward, Esperanza, was ... Read More
1. We had never been to So. America. 2. It departed from LA Harbor Any problems we had on this cruise were not the fault of Princess. Two problems with the room were fixed promptly and efficiently. Our room steward, Esperanza, was terrific, caring, helpful, cheerful and kind. We did find the service, particularly in the Horizon buffet slower than we recall on past cruises. However, the food was very good. I especially appreciate the sugar-free deserts. The wait people in the Michaelangelo Dining Room were very helpful to my 91 year old, World War 2 veteran husband. Our age and physical condition made this cruise more difficult than we anticipated. The trip home was stressful although Lantan airlines and their employees were excellent. Very much appreciate the assistance for handicapped travelers. Did not rate entertainment because we were unable to get to the shows. Perhaps you could make a better selection of movies. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The Crown Princess needs some work. IE: Paint, repairs etc. That being said the crew (nearly everyone) we came in contact with were fabulous, friendly, helpful, informative, polite, & accommodating. Food overall was the best we have ... Read More
The Crown Princess needs some work. IE: Paint, repairs etc. That being said the crew (nearly everyone) we came in contact with were fabulous, friendly, helpful, informative, polite, & accommodating. Food overall was the best we have ever had with Princess on a longer than 7 day cruise. Local entertainment that joined us in several ports were great. Though the music was very good we need more on deck during the sea days. The exercise room should & needs to be open at 6:00 not 7:00. We were there everyday & there was always a large group waiting to get in at 7:00. We are Casino players & the staff was on the most part very friendly though we could have used more BJ tables. Only 2 were open most of the time. We seldom ate in Horizon court as we opt for a light healthy breakfast from room service. Lunch mostly was the Lido grill or Pizza; always good as per normal. We ate at Crown grill twice & it was great. Dinner was always fun (great wait staff) & mostly VERY good & if we did not like something we sent it back & opted & received another choice cheerfully. We originally signed up for the 31 day cruise but cut back to 17; though the other ports coming up next probably would have been just as exciting as ours were. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
It started out all wrong with a 3 hour line for checkin. No water, seating or apologies. We were 1.5 hours late in sailing. I've never been on a cruise where the luggage arrived at your cabin before you did. The dining room menus were ... Read More
It started out all wrong with a 3 hour line for checkin. No water, seating or apologies. We were 1.5 hours late in sailing. I've never been on a cruise where the luggage arrived at your cabin before you did. The dining room menus were pretty routine. Portions were small. They even counted the pats of butter. Average of 6 pieces of fruit for a starter dish of seasonal fruit. Cabin was standard Princess cabin, but showing its age, as was the entire ship. Cabin staff was good. There were signs of maintenance issues, like splattered paint all over the balcony furniture, and several nights the water and sewage systems were shut down for emergency repairs. There were also frequent sewage smells thru the ship. We thought it was going to be warmer, but many nights people watching Movies under the Stars were wrapped up in several blankets. The excursions were the best part of the trip. Nice tours in Nicaragua and Costa Rica (recommend the rainforest aerial tram and river cruise). We did Lima on our own with a private 2-day tour. All in all, the worst of our 5 Princess/Carnival cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have cruised with Princess enough times to get to Elite status which indicates we have been very pleased with the cruise line. This one gave us the opportunity to see several cities and country for the first time. We were blessed ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess enough times to get to Elite status which indicates we have been very pleased with the cruise line. This one gave us the opportunity to see several cities and country for the first time. We were blessed with good weather aside from a few windy days. We had traditional dinning times and very impressed with the 2 fellows looking after us, Oliver and Jeffery. The food was up to our expectations and offered a great selection. The high light of all the ports we visited was the Falkland Islands. Our trip to see the penguins was well worth the time and cost. The driver that took us cross country to to bay was most interesting and "colorful" The only surprise was when we got home and read the Dec. 19/25 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine article on Park West and their auctions. The article was written by a fellow that did cruise on Carnival Lines and took in the auctions. After reading can't help but wonder why Park West is till doing the auctions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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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