15 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Transatlantic

Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the ... Read More
Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the cabin price is worth it. We've never complained about quality of food on our many Princess cruises and this one was no exception. In fact, we thought food on this trip was particulary good. Club Class dining each night had a special tableside dish that was delicious each time. We visited the Crown Grill and Sabatini's for diner twice each during the trip and enjoyed truly exceptional meals and service.The crew we encountered was all top notch--friendly, cheerful, attentive and professional. I would have like to have ticked five stars above but we were very disappointed about having two of six ports cancelled. The culprit was the weather which of course is out of Princess's control but the complaint is how missing these ports was handled. We happened to be on a Princess cruise in the maritime provinces of Canada during Hurricane Sandy that caused several of the eastern seaboard stops to be cancelled. Rather than just bob about until it was clear to sail south, Princess found a couple of places for us to visit while we waited. In the current case, Crown Princess merely changed course and aimed to the next stop after a cursory announcement from the captain. It seemed to us that in the case of cancelling the Azores call, we could have remained at Lisbon to have the advantage of a full weekday ashore or stopping at Madeira. Surely the captain knew before we left Lisbon that Hurricane Lorenzo would keep us from the Azores, so we could have stayed at the dock. If we couldn't, an explanation of why not would have been the courteous thing to do. Likewise, an explanation of why Madeira couldn't be a substitute would have been appreciated, especially since we got close enough to that destination to transfer a medical patient from Crown Princess to a boat sent out from Madeira. We think the passengers deserved more than silence. One other minor gripe. Our coffee card from an earlier cruise was refused as having expired. At sale, the cards are advertised as being good on later cruises for specialty coffees and there's no mention of expiration. Pretty cheap on the part of Princess to declare one has expired. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We will have to laugh about this cruise, but want to let others know that a repositioning cruise might not be for everyone. It was unfortunate that we didn't have a better idea about what to expect, and what we want is to let others ... Read More
We will have to laugh about this cruise, but want to let others know that a repositioning cruise might not be for everyone. It was unfortunate that we didn't have a better idea about what to expect, and what we want is to let others know, and perhaps avoid disappointment for them. We left from Southampton on Sept. 22, and sailed to Brugge/Belgium, where we had a great shore excursion. Then on to Isle of Portland, England. We were not able to dock there due to unsafe weather conditions. This is a great cruise for folks who enjoy staying onboard even during the stops at the ports, and just enjoy being on the ocean for many days at a time. My husband and I like a little more variety, and look forward to the shore excursions and learning about the people who live in the different ports.That just put us on the sea too many long days. We would suggest that the end of Sept. is too late to be in those parts. Also an older crowd on this ship. On to Burgundy, France, which was just not a great stop. The winery tour just didn't do it for us. Our next stop was Bilbao, Spain. We did dock, and had plans for a great shore excursion, but when we looked at our actual tickets, it was just too strenuous for us, compared to what we had read in the description. Other excursions were sold out, so, oh well...stuff happens. Now, on to Lisbon, Portugal, and that was a wonderful excursion, and a great day. The Azores Islands were our last scheduled port, and the one that we most looked forward to. Nope! Hurricane Lorenzo was headed there too, so we turned tail and sailed away. The captain made a great decision that time too, so we had 8 more days on the ocean. Ugh...don't take this cruise during hurricane season! Lucky for us, we met some great new friends, and had partners for Rummy 500 every day. Trivia is always fun. Performances at Princess Theatre were just a little too opera-like for our taste. We also had some nice, warm days on the deck in the shade. As you will see from my scoring, we were very happy with the crew, room steward and all of the great wait staff who were right there for us. The food was great, as usual... Some unfortunate events, which started with the fact that we boarded a ship full of sick folks in Southampton. They were carrying over from earlier cruises. Bad chest cold...everyone had the same horrible cough...others had some kind of flu, and had to be quarantined to their cabins. We got sick, yes, as careful as we were, but we got over it in a few days. Even had a couple of unfortunate folks who had to be evacuated from the ship due to illness. Our most huge mistake was not getting a balcony cabin. Our inside cabin was plenty roomy, but we needed fresh air in our cabin! The best item that we brought onboard was a fan! I am posting cabin photos. R515 interior cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We took this cruise from Rome to Ft Lauderdale because it was a great price and I liked the stops. I wanted to see Barcelona. I was on my bucket list. It was quick and easy to get on but very slow getting off. I walk with a cane so ... Read More
We took this cruise from Rome to Ft Lauderdale because it was a great price and I liked the stops. I wanted to see Barcelona. I was on my bucket list. It was quick and easy to get on but very slow getting off. I walk with a cane so I took a wheelchair which sped up the process. Our cabin E623 was obstructed view. It had plenty of space for 2.womens clothes. We took anytime dining and took a shared table. The service was sometimes slow but we always met interesting people. The night entertainment was outstanding with a show in the Explorers Lounge at 9 and the theater at 10. Daytime did not have as many discovery talks. Mostly sales for jewelry and art. We started in Rome and went to Pisa/Florence ,Barcelona and Ponte Delgado. We were suppose to stop at Toulon but the water was rough. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My husband and I travel quiet often. Love cruises but this one was the worse. We booked the 25 days, Ft. Lauderdale - Rome. Bad from the start. We were notified to be at the terminal at 2 PM., so we did. They had us sitting on very ... Read More
My husband and I travel quiet often. Love cruises but this one was the worse. We booked the 25 days, Ft. Lauderdale - Rome. Bad from the start. We were notified to be at the terminal at 2 PM., so we did. They had us sitting on very uncomfortable chairs until 6 PM. Had no idea why, never a reason, never an apology. The next day, the Captain offered us a free glass of wine (cheap one) for the inconvenience. The story continues: Will not get on a Princess ever again. Except for 3 days, the food at the main restaurant was "cafeteria quality". Juice and regular coffee only free during breakfast hours. After that, $$$$. We had a mini-suite D202, and for one whole week, we kept reporting that the bathtub was clogged. It took one week to repair it. The quality of the soap, shampoo,etc, provided was terrible. We had to buy toiletries at the first port we touched. They had the worse entertainment ever and on booked excursions, on each one, they made us wait on the designated meeting place for one and a half hour before moving on. They even played some video clips (advertisement) to keep us calm. You get up at 6 AM to be there on time and then, they waste 2 hours of our time with no explanation. We purchased the maximum Internet plan. I believe is 600 minutes, well, we consumed all of them TRYING to connect to the system. The worse Internet system I have experienced on a ship. We feel that they had no respect for the passengers. NEVER AGAIN. By the way, we paid for a balcony mini suite. D202. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The ship was brought into service, directly from a week of dry dock repairs, and it was pressed into service before the repairs were completed. We waited two hours in the terminal for embarkation to commence while last minute, crucial ... Read More
The ship was brought into service, directly from a week of dry dock repairs, and it was pressed into service before the repairs were completed. We waited two hours in the terminal for embarkation to commence while last minute, crucial repairs were conducted. In addition, there were engineers and technicians all over the ship running cables, installing carpet, grinding metal, painting, and making repairs throughout the cruise. None of the repairs interfered with our cruise experience, but we're not accustomed to seeing back-of-the-house services in plain view of the guests. Disembarkation was extremely quick and easy. The new Salty Dog Grille, which replaced the Trident Grill on Lido Deck, has a fabulously updated menu. The newly designed Coffee & Cones counter shares space with the Pizzaria, also on the Lido Deck. It features espresso coffee but doesn't serve other specialty coffees or even regular coffee. It's a nice addition. The Coffee Bar, located on the Plaza Deck, serves a wide variety of specialty coffees and is a terrific option for those who choose to purchase the coffee package as we did. The seating area around International Cafe and the Coffee Bar can become congested during peak serving times and during times when there is an entertainment feature in the Piazza. The wait time for the Anytime Dining option has improved significantly. We arrived for dinner at 7:30pm each night and we were seated almost immediately. The quality and presentation of food is exceptionally good. Sabatini's new menu was a welcome change. Horizon Court has a wide variety of buffet food which doesn't appeal to my family and friends. The congestion of passengers in this cramped area is uncomfortable. But many of the passengers enjoyed the easy access and casual dress environment. The entertainment, which is always subjective, didn't appeal to our family. There were several acts which were enjoyed by the younger families. The activities are designed for younger groups and are often loud, noisy and exciting. They are excellent options for outdoor decks. The Piazza is a perfect location for piano, guitar, strings and subdued presentations. We were extremely disappointed in the overall condition of the ship and our room steward was not very good on this cruise. But the rest of the staff and crew, including the captain, were helpful and even apologetic whenever needed. The ports of call were extremely important because it was our first visit to these ports. We were not disappointed. There is a level of comfort and security associated with Princess excursions, even though the cost is pretty high. We were able to book tours with outside vendors for much lower costs. The subject of the Enrichment Presentation was interesting but the presenter was somewhat boring. The powerpoint slides were dull and were not exciting for the audience or the presenter. In summary, the ship was put back into service too quickly but overall this cruise was a good value because we were excited to visit these particular ports of call. We plan to sail with Princess again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We were very disappointed in this ship. It is the 6th Princess ship we have been on, and it looked ragged in many respects. We thoroughly enjoyed our 7-week cruise on the Majestic, and, so far, that's our favorite ship so the others ... Read More
We were very disappointed in this ship. It is the 6th Princess ship we have been on, and it looked ragged in many respects. We thoroughly enjoyed our 7-week cruise on the Majestic, and, so far, that's our favorite ship so the others pale in comparison. The technology is dated, along with the decor. We didn't realize we were spoiled on the Royal, Regal and Majestic that had movies-on-demand the day after they were shown on MUTS. Those three ships also have a lot of other options that we like. We had fun meeting several couples who we hope to keep in touch with and see again on other cruises. We also had great waiters who catered to our diets so they helped make the cruise enjoyable; however, we doubt if we will ever choose the Crown again. We can't wait to book the new ship that is supposed to be out in 2019. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because we've never been on a transatlantic cruise, really wanted to see Iceland, and thought this would be a wonderful way to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We have taken about 20 cruises with almost all big ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we've never been on a transatlantic cruise, really wanted to see Iceland, and thought this would be a wonderful way to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We have taken about 20 cruises with almost all big ship cruise companies, but the most with Princess. We are Platinum members. We found the evening shows and daily activities to be very limited and not very interesting, especially for a cruise with 9 of it's 16 days at sea. The dining room menus often didn't have anything on them that sounded appetizing, even though I'm not picky! Although our dining room waiter, Napoleon, was EXCELLENT, I was hearing a LOT of comments that Princess appears to have severely cut the wait staff as they each seemed to have too many assigned tables to serve and service was extremely slow. We definitely agreed. Our mid-ship balcony cabin smelled weird (like old shoes or dirty clothes or something). Other cruises we've been on, not always on Princess, it seemed like EVERY time you left your room, you would find the room and towels refreshed every time you came back to the cabin. Not on this cruise. Several times our room was only made up once a day, WHILE WE WERE AT DINNER, which was definitely not up to snuff. Also, the power on the wall outlets and to the TV went out TWICE while we were on our cruise and was not fixed until the next DAY. Not awful...just really disappointing. I can't say we hated the cruise or anything, but it this one was definitely a let down, including the excursions which we felt were not properly described. For instance, on the excursion to Vigur Island, we looked forward to seeing the 8,000 puffins on the island, whales and seals, and all the other wildlife as described. They say "sighting of wildlife not guaranteed" on such excursions, but to get to the island to find absolutely no wildlife on it and be told by the tour guide that the puffins ALWAYS leave in early to mid-August and are NEVER there in September, we felt we were really mislead. "Sightings not guaranteed" is a lot different from "you are GUARANTEED absolutely no sightings" are two entirely different situations. On another excursion, we knew there would be walking involved but did not know there would not be an option to stay on the bus. Instead, all of the mostly 60 and over folks were let off in one parking lot and told to meet the bus in "parking lot 2," only to find out later that the walking involved at least two kilometers of walking on steep, rocky path to get to the other parking lot whether you were fit, slower, using a cane, a walker, or even being pushed in a wheelchair. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose the transatlantic cruise that included Iceland because we wanted to take a transatlantic cruise that didn't have just straight sea days but included some stops. After reading some discouraging reviews, I would like to say we ... Read More
We chose the transatlantic cruise that included Iceland because we wanted to take a transatlantic cruise that didn't have just straight sea days but included some stops. After reading some discouraging reviews, I would like to say we found the ship to be fun, clean, and still up-to-date. The ship does have a very few dents and dings, but certainly nothing you would notice unless you were looking hard for something which I was after reading the reviews. I didn't see worn carpet or stains or other unsightly things. I would say the food was fine--it wasn't extraordinary, but there was certainly plenty of it. The cookies and breads are outstanding. I did talk to the buffet manager about why we needed a boar's head on the buffet two nights in a row. That kind of ruined my dinner. He said it was European custom and we would get more westernized as we moved toward Canada. I felt like the dining room food was a tad better than the buffet. I want to make clear that both sides of the Horizon Court and Caribe Café were open for both breakfast and lunch. The buffet does seem a bit small for the amount of people and the layout seems confusing, but, like I said, no one went away hungry. During dinner only one side was open because people were in the dining room. The Trident Grill moved inside due to weather for most of the cruise and was very busy. There were lines for that. Through no fault of Princess, we didn't get much use of the outside decks due to fog and wind. Only two or three days were sunny. Captain Stenzel was a delight. He had a commentary every day at noon. It was very interesting. He also did a question and answer one afternoon. There were many activities during the sea days--lectures, crafts, games, bingo(way too expensive--$15 for one card), art auctions, demonstrations, the usual. The music (orchestra) and entertainment were wonderful. The comedian thought he was a little too funny and wanted constant approval as did the cruise director, Paul. The entertainment was varied with several different entertainers on board for a good variety. The theater is very small for a ship with 3500 people on it. The service was super although we didn't see our steward very often. But the room was well taken care of. Servers were quick with the drinks and clean up. But that being said, many times we shared tables because seating was limited depending on whether or not you wanted to share. We like sharing and talking to people, so that was ok with us. I think some people wanted the table to themselves no matter if it was two people at a table for 6 or 8. I do wish Princess had made us aware of the Northern Lights the night they were able to be seen. I had asked them each of two nights previously. The desk said predictions weren't good for us to see them. Then, lo and behold, the third night someone made the announcement at 10:30 p.m. that we could see the lights. Well, most people were in their cabins and were unaware that they had been visible since 9:00 p.m. That was disappointing. I'm not sure why Princess couldn't have notified all of us by an announcement. The shore excursion desk was very helpful. I had booked our excursions pre cruise, but I had some questions on a couple of days. On a couple of the tours, we gathered in the theater. A guide led us down two flights of stairs and maybe 1/4 mile to buses. I kept up, but the guide from the excursion desk moved very quickly and many people got left behind because of the stairs and distance. Eventually they caught up, but I'm thinking there's got to be a better way to get people to the buses. Southampton--There's a mall very close to the port. There's a medieval wall just next to it for a sort of strange juxtaposition to all the modern buildings. Premier Inn West Quay ws affordable and right by the mall. Five minutes to the port. Lerwick--Unfortunately, the sea didn't cooperate so we missed this port. There were some passengers on board who had tried it before on a cruise and had missed it then too. So I wouldn't count on Lerwick as something you will definitely get to see. Akureyri--We walked around town. It 's a lovely small town that's easily walkable. Post cards and stamps--over $10. Tasty places for lunch. Restaurants had menus posted outside. Isafjordjur--This is a tender port. Again, we walked around. Very picturesque town. The town is close to 1/2 mile I think from the port. There is a grocery store and a liquor store both within a ten minute walk from port. The information center is nice and is a free Wi-Fi spot. Where the tender dropped us was largely industrial, so you need to walk into the actual town. The port talk said city buses would be available, but I didn't see any. Reykyavik--If you can only do one tour in Iceland, save it for this stop. We did the 8 hour tour and were very happy with it. A delicious salmon lunch was included. Of course, lots of people going the same place on other buses, so be prepared for that. $2 to go to the bathroom at Gulfoss Falls. St. John's Newfoundland--Taxis were available at the port. Ship docks literally right in town, but streets are uphill except for the first street. To me, there wasn't a lot to see in town. Halifax--I've been here three times. I love Halifax. This time we saw the Titanic cemetery. It was a very interesting tour. The port is very walkable with lots of shops and restaurants and a very large waterfront. Peggy's Cove is so colorful and beautiful, but you won't get pictures of the lighthouse without people in them. New York City-- Disembarkation was a bit confusing from the time of booking. It said Manhattan or Brooklyn. Then itinerary finally said Manhattan so that's what people had prepared for and were expecting. There was still confusion the day before we disembarked with no word from the captain or Princess information. We ended up in Brooklyn Disembarkation was slow, but not too bad. We were 30 minutes later than our scheduled time. We left ship at 8:30 a.m. in Brooklyn and there were plenty of taxis and for hire cars. That part ran very smoothly. There was a man with the taxis and cars making sure how much we would be charged. Prices were almost identical for both means of transportation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Itinerary included Iceland and Halifax! Loved our ports and excursions. Not fond of the escargot served to me....totally messed up! There were some nights the dining room menu did not offer beef.... Princess Pop choir had 52 ... Read More
Itinerary included Iceland and Halifax! Loved our ports and excursions. Not fond of the escargot served to me....totally messed up! There were some nights the dining room menu did not offer beef.... Princess Pop choir had 52 passengers. Thanks to our Princess Pop choir leader Melanie from England! It was alot of fun meeting other choir members, becoming friends and singing with them! Our free Elite wine tasting and the Pop choir champagne celebrating party we missed because they were scheduled during Bingo! :( Embarkation and Disembarkation was smooth and effortless. Round trip air price through Princess EZ air SFO - London and NYC to SFO totaled $672. After landing in Heathrow airport we gathered our luggage, bought a coach ticket to Southampton for an overnight stay before board the ship 9/2/2017. Highly recommend the coach! Would love returning to Iceland again to explore more on a future Princess cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise line because 9 years ago we had a lovely cruise on Sea Princess to the same ports we were visiting on this one. OMG how Princess Cruises have gone downhill. Crown Princess had the most awful sewage smell on our cabin ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because 9 years ago we had a lovely cruise on Sea Princess to the same ports we were visiting on this one. OMG how Princess Cruises have gone downhill. Crown Princess had the most awful sewage smell on our cabin deck (deck 9) that was quite putrid and it was also smelt on the Promenade deck (deck 7). We reported it numerous times to no avail - in fact the smell worsened as the week went on. There was clearly a problem because on disembarking in Southampton, a working boat pulled alongside the ship with pumping equipment. In the 14 cruises that we have done, we have never ever had to serve our buffet restaurant food onto cold PLASTIC plates, nor have we ever had wine with the meal in plastic glasses! Tea and coffee was in plastic mugs and no teaspoons whatsoever - you had to stir your beverage with wooden sticks! We thought we were at a children's tea party! The food was warm at best and greasy - there was no presentation. Entertainment????? Mmmmmmmm if you like art auctions, then this is for you - we had 3 in a week which had a duration of 3 to 4 hours. You couldn't escape them as 2 of them were in the 'Explorers Bar' where we used to like to sit for a quiet drink and read. There was no guest speaker apart from Edwina Currie of all people - no idea what she may have had to say. We upgraded to a Mini Suite as I actually fancied using a bath as opposed to showering (we only have a shower at home). The bath was unusable as it had a horrible yellow tide line round it. The shower curtain was filthy. The mattress was very lumpy and needed replacing and the sheets and towels were never replaced in the week. How the cabin was classed as a Mini Suite I do not know as it was no different to a balcony cabin on other cruise lines. On our return home, we have written to complain and we have received a reply back - the reply was a lengthy 2 page waffle but not aimed at our complaint but to another passengers complaint who had been on board ROYAL PRINCESS. Just highlights the incompetency of the cruise line! We will stick to Celebrity Cruises in future and if anything goes downhill with them, we will hang our passports up and go UK cruising!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We have always taken transatlantic cruise on other Princess ships and had great experiences. However on this cruise there were numerous issues. -The first night in the dining room we were given 3 pats of butter at a table with four ... Read More
We have always taken transatlantic cruise on other Princess ships and had great experiences. However on this cruise there were numerous issues. -The first night in the dining room we were given 3 pats of butter at a table with four people. the assistant waiter said he could not give us more because the supervisor was watching him. -The service in the dining room was extremely slow. After ordering an appetizer it took 45 min. to arrive. By the end of the cruise we were eating at the buffet. -The quality of the food has been down graded. We have been on 3 princess cruises since last Aug and could see a big difference. -We always go to the Crown Grill on each cruise. However we were surprise to see that not only was the food of lesser quality, there was an additional charge over and above the $29 for any extras on the main menu of $10. -For breakfast I always look forward to the corn-beef hash. This trip they changed the recipe and you could not recognize it as corn- beef it was more like creamed potatoes. -Ice cream machine broken -ran out of bacon -ran out of cream for coffee -Major rug installing all away across. Had an allergy to the material being used and needed medication and mask to wear. -In-Room bathroom had an odor. We Left the door opened but this did not help. -No place to play card with 7 days at sea. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Enjoyed this cruise in spite of some times bad weather. Mother Nature will do what she will do, no matter how much you may wish otherwise. We were expecting warmer weather than we got in the Mediterranean, but we soldiered on. The ... Read More
Enjoyed this cruise in spite of some times bad weather. Mother Nature will do what she will do, no matter how much you may wish otherwise. We were expecting warmer weather than we got in the Mediterranean, but we soldiered on. The ship was an older lady than some and not always the easiest to maneuver, but the staff was nice and helpful and the Captain kept us apprised of any upcoming bad weather as best he could. The 2nd half of the cruise had the Brits in the majority and the Horizon Menu was very much attuned to that. Lots of chips, (Fries to us US folk) lamb etc.Things on the breakfast menu like fried bread and beans and calves liver and blood sausage, but there was enough other food available that no one starved. If I had any complaint about the food was that it was pretty repetitious at times.. The Library was pitiful. I have NEVER been on a ship with such a small library. Little choice there as well,not even an Atlas to look at. I loved the Cruise director and his side kick Lydia, she was too cute and his wit was great. There were many ports that were new to us on this trip and we did different things in the ports we had previously visited. I heard many complaints about the ship from other passengers, but we found it as good as most others. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was the "Cruise from Hell". My husband and one of our traveling companions were infected with the Norovirus on the ship. They sent medicine which they charges us for! The newspaper article I read said that the rooms were ... Read More
This was the "Cruise from Hell". My husband and one of our traveling companions were infected with the Norovirus on the ship. They sent medicine which they charges us for! The newspaper article I read said that the rooms were disinfected 3 times a day. NOT TRUE. Our room was "passed through" one time only. We heard many different stories about prior infected guests on many other Crown Princess Cruises. Most of the guests are elderly people and cannot handle the stress from sicknesses. We were given many different stories on what was really going on on board this cruise. No one was honest with us. We were also evacuated from our room because Life Flight had to remove a guest and were treated horribly. We were shuffled all over the ship. Told to go to the Princess Theater. We couldn't get in there because they were shootinga commercial. One gentleman was removed from his room while doing a breathing treatment and was left in the hall outside of the Princess Theater and was in need of medical help. Upon disembakation we were literally dumped in the terminal by the staff. We are both handicapped and were left in the galveston terminal by ourselves to retrieve our own luggage and get to a bus. Once we were off the ship no one cared. We have thoroughly enjoyed sailing with Princess in the past, but will have to seriously reconcider future cruises. We will NOT, however, EVER cruise on the Crown Princees again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Let me say first that Crown Princess is simply a beautiful ship, and very comfortable, too. On the other hand, I'm not in love with the floating hotels all the cruise lines offer now. Most of our previous cruises were on ships of ... Read More
Let me say first that Crown Princess is simply a beautiful ship, and very comfortable, too. On the other hand, I'm not in love with the floating hotels all the cruise lines offer now. Most of our previous cruises were on ships of half this size, and the largest ship we'd been only previously was around 2,000 still much smaller than Crown, which accommodates 3,000 (although there were only 2,650 on board for this Atlantic crossing). It is a long way from one end of the ship to the other, and everything we did seemed to require making that hike. The things I really liked: Dining options. It was nice to have a choice of dining room, buffets, burger and do bar, pizza. Exceptionally efficient cabin steward. Great debarkation, very quick and so easy to find bags. Lectures by author John Maxtone-Graham. Very informative, very entertaining. The band Accent. Great for dancing, or just listening. Male and female vocalists backed by keyboard, bass, drums (and the drummer also offered a vocal or two in each set). They played everything from country to disco to Glenn Miller, all of it done exceptionally well. By far the best musical group on any of our 12 cruises. The cruise director. Samantha "Sam" Hawker-Thomas was our all-time best. Things I didn't particularly like: Strange schedule. Lots going on from mid-morning until around 2:30 p.m., then almost nothing until around 7:30 p.m. Entertainment. There were some good things. Vocalist Sonja Sorbie was outstanding (and a very friendly person; I think she talked to just about everyone on the ship). There was a hypnotist who put on two very entertaining shows, a comedic juggler who kept everyone roaring with laughter, and a good stand-up comic. Other shows were pretty much yawners, and the major production shows were a big disappointment. The singers and and dancers seemed talented enough, but the choreography was rather pedestrian, not up to the standards of our other Princess Cruises. $8 (one way) shuttle bus in Barcelona. Considering that we had unlmited access to public transaportation in Rome for three days for 11 Euros, this struck me as a major rip-off. Formal nights. I wonder why they don't just abolish these? I don't think half of the men even put on a tie, and a fairly large minority walked around in denim pants and T-shirts. This included one couple selected by the cruise staff to participate in a passenger Newlywed Game. This really bugged me. If they're going to have formal nights, it seems the staff should encourage people to dress appropriately and not reward slovenly dressers by giving them a spot in a game show.(And is wasn't that they didn't have a choice. About 20 couples had signed up for three spots). Not bad, but not particularly good, either: Anytime dining. Our first experience with this, and I found it to be a mixed bag. Nice to eat when you wanted to, and never a problem being seated even without a reservation. But I missed having a waiter who learned your preferences (like having coffee with your meal, not just after). The food. I actually thought the buffets were better than the dinners in the dining room. Very good selection, and there were some things that were consistently excellent: soups, breads, fresh fruit, anything made with veal, salmon, desserts. But pasta, always outstanding on previous Princess Cruises, was rather ordinary. And unfortunately, there was a minor norovirus outbreak about three days out, and the eliminated self-service. You couldn't even pick up a packet of salt. This meant they had to divert many servers from table service to serving plates, and for a few days service really went to pot. It was often difficult to get a drink, and you had a choice of unseasoned food or food that grew cold waiting for someone to bring salt and pepper. They started to get things together after a few days, but service was never as good as before. Cabin. Nice, but quite small. Smaller than any previous ship. We don't spend much time in cabin, but I would like to be able to put on shoes without hitting my head. To sum up: I'm not sure TA cruises are for me. Seas were glassy-smooth, and Crown Princess is so stable you hardly realized you were on the ocean; but it was cool enough and windy enough that sitting on deck was rarely comfortable. I'd prefer a smaller ship, but alas, they've just about disappeared. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Crown Princess Is Better Than Queen Mary! We departed Ft. Lauderdale on May 1, 2010 on Crown Princess for a 53-day cruise to ten countries arriving Southampton, UK on June 23rd. We boarded the Queen Mary 2 on June 25th for a 6-day crossing ... Read More
Crown Princess Is Better Than Queen Mary! We departed Ft. Lauderdale on May 1, 2010 on Crown Princess for a 53-day cruise to ten countries arriving Southampton, UK on June 23rd. We boarded the Queen Mary 2 on June 25th for a 6-day crossing to New York. Crown Princess is an excellent ship with great food, service, and entertainment. Our expectations were high that the Queen Mary 2 would be even better. We discovered Crown Princess is better than QM2!! Food: QM2 food was poor to fair. The maitre D confirmed one entree was an "inedible rubber fish". Also, Venison had no flavor nor texture. Side dishes were strange, e. g. guacamole filled twice-baked potato with re-fried beans. Food was rarely served at the right temperature - entrees were often cool; ice cream arrived half-melted. The QM2 menu was very small making it difficult to find something I wanted. Buffets served "cafeteria quality food" with extremely limited choices. I tried a cookie and almost broke my teeth. Food was consistently great/excellent on the Crown Princess. The menu was very large. Food was served at the right temperature and it had great flavor and texture. Compared to QM2's puny buffets, Crown Princess has huge buffets with lots of choices of freshly-prepared, delicious food! Princess also has well-stocked areas such as the International Cafe with lite fare meals, great snacks, deserts, and an excellent choice of flavored coffees. If you like frozen coffee, Princess serves about six flavors vs. one flavor on QM2. Likewise, there are four types of cookies, freshly baked throughout the day, on Princess vs. one type of cookie (baked weekly?) on Queen Mary. The QM2 buffet has "fake ice cream" from a machine. Princess has "real ice cream" and for $ 1.50 you can buy three scoops of delicious gelato. A passenger explained, "Of course food is better on Princess, but that's an unfair comparison. Princess has Italian chefs. They're passionate about food and world-renowned as the best. The priority on Princess is food taste/quality. Chefs offer freshly cooked food when passengers want it. Guess where the chefs are from on Queen Mary? They're Indians. Who ever heard of a world famous Indian chef? On QM2, the priority is cooking schedule. All food is prepared at once and much of it is frozen and reheated with a sauce poured on top. That's why entrees don't have natural juices, just toppings." At the cooking demonstration, the head Indian chef fried a steak and asked his assistant to taste it. The assistant answered, "I don't eat meat." OMG! The chefs don't taste food as a quality control measure. That's why my venison was tasteless with no texture. Food Service: Princess food service combines great service and having fun. Waiters are friendly and outgoing. They proudly announce which county they're from, engage passengers, and we become friends sharing stories and laughing together. Waiters are extremely attentive and personally committed to anticipate and immediately respond to passenger needs at the table. Queen Mary waiters are formal and reserved, limiting their conversation to "good afternoon". Waiters are not involved nor aware of passenger needs at the table. We had to ask, multiple times, for more water, coffee, bread, etc. Food would arrive and waiters didn't know who had ordered it - lots of mistakes and confusion. Queen Mary only had a few waiters (I think three) at the pub lunch. They couldn't keep up with orders nor bus tables. Princess has the number of waiters needed for quick, efficient service and busing of tables for pub lunch at the Wheelhouse Bar. Public Area Appearance, Cleanliness, Design, & Layout: Princess is beautiful. Queen Mary is both beautiful and elegant. Both ships have attractive, clean public areas. QM2 even has an automatic wash system to clean dining room windows at sea. Really slick! Design and layout of public areas on Crown Princess are excellent - thoughtful, practical, and good for mobility-challenged passengers. Facilities are organized logically and centralized at the Piazza with entertainment, the computer center, future cruise booking, lite fare food, a bar, a great coffee shop, wine tasting, deserts, etc. Public spaces are open with lots of seating so it never seems crowded even with 3200 passengers. Designers of the Queen Mary failed interior design school. Public area design ranges from impractical to just plain stupid. There is no central hub with access to everything. Facilities are scattered all over the ship. You would think this helter-skelter layout would reduce crowding, but the Queen Mary public areas feel crowded with no place to sit even though it has 700 fewer passengers than the Crown Princess. Bad layout on QM2 is further complicated by different ceiling heights. To achieve a "luxurious feel", designers used 20-foot high ceilings (two-decks) in some areas which connect to two 10-foot ceilings/decks. When you exit the main elevator, you see two sets of stairs. One goes up/down 20-feet, the other goes ten feet. Queen Mary has manually controlled, tiny wheelchair elevators to go a single-story. They're the width of a wheelchair and deep enough for the chair and a person to push it. I pushed a wheelchair into the elevator. We went up one-story and discovered the manual door was at the other end. I couldn't reach over the person in the chair and couldn't walk beside her to reach the door. A passenger saw our predicament and opened the door. Another problem ramp-type floor to adjust from a 2-story deck to the adjacent single-story decks. I found it difficult to push a wheelchair up the carpeted ramp. Queen Mary poses a problem for all passengers trying to find their way around the ship and a special problem for mobility-challenged. Design of the Crown Princess is better because it is simple and intuitive to find your way around the ship and it's handicap-friendly. Queen Mary has two theaters; both pose problems. The Royal theater has twelve pillars about a foot and a half in diameter that block the view to the stage. Passengers see empty seats from the aisle, walk past seated passengers to the empty seats to discover they can't see anything. Then, they get up, walk past seated passengers again to the aisle. One man started to shout to passengers entering the Royal theater, "You can't see anything from these seats, that's why they're empty". By comparison, Princess has an excellent theater design with no pillars and good viewing from all seats. Acoustics are also better in the Crown Princess theater. The second theater on Queen Mary is Illusions. It's also the planetarium. A dome in the ceiling is lowered about 10 feet over 150 red color seats. The seats recline by pushing a button, but many are broken so you have to standup, push it back and jump on it quickly to keep it in the reclined position. All lights are turned off so you can watch a 23-minute video projected on the dome. There are only two, 23-minute computer generated videos using NASA images. The video is slightly blurry. If you like this kind of video, tune your TV to the History channel. They have much better and clearer videos with more information and cover more subjects. QM2 "hypes" this as the "only planetarium at sea". Other cruise companies are smarter about how they spend money. "Movies under the stars" on Crown Princess is a much better offering that QM2's planetarium. Embarkation on Queen Mary 2 in Southampton UK vs. Crown Princess in Ft. Lauderdale: Embarkation on Crown Princess ship was efficient and fast. We arrived at 2:00 PM at QM2 to avoid the early boarding crowds while comfortably in time for the 4:30 PM deadline. The terminal was very crowded and lines were NOT moving. I asked a Cunard employee how long she thought it would take for me to get onto the ship. She said, "Princess Anne was here today and that delayed everything." I said "Ma'am, Princess Anne is not in this terminal, I'm just trying to get past the six couples in front of me to the check-in lady." She said the problem is that passengers don't have all their documents ready for check-in. I said, "Ma'am, I've timed the process. It takes 15-20 seconds for a passenger to hand documents to the check-in lady and she takes 9 minutes and 45 seconds to complete the check-in. I think there's something wrong with your systems or procedures. It's not like Cunard didn't know my wife and I were coming to board this ship today." After check-in, I was told I had to wait until number 15 was called and that I should sit down in the terminal which was dirty, hot, crowded and had no air conditioning. The reason was "the gangway is full". I said, "Ma,am I can see the gangway all the way to the top at the ship entrance and there are only a couple of people on it. Why can't I just walk up the gangway to the air conditioned ship?" She said the gangway is not designed to handle a lot of people. I said, "Ma,am there are only a dozen or so people on that gangway. Princess ships load 3200 passengers and I've seen continuous lines of people on the gangway." She said, "You're in the UK now and this is the way we do it." I sat down and waited till number 15 was called. There was NO line on the gangway nor at the entrance to the ship. Later, passengers told me the delay in boarding was to give photographers more time to photograph passengers. That's amazing; Princess photographers quickly take photos so as not to inconvenience passengers. Summary - Why Crown Princess Is a Better Cruise Experience than Queen Mary 2: For Princess, it's all about the passengers. Their ships are beautiful and well-designed with all the creature comforts, services, entertainment, etc. I may want. The entertainment, food, and services are truly exceptional. Our cruise experience on Crown Princess was excellent because their culture of employee commitment involves everyone in a relentless effort to improve customer satisfaction. For Cunard, it's all about their "regal", $ 800 million ship. They don't realize the interior ship design/layout is impractical because they're pre-occupied with hull design, powerful engines, and ability of QM2 to crash through huge waves at very high speed so all passengers can throw up in a storm. Fortunately, we didn't encounter a storm. Cunard believes passengers are privileged to travel on the Queen Mary and the ship is exempt from critique. They assume I don't know what great food and service are. Rather than involve employees in a continuous improvement program, Cunard allows employees to distance themselves from customer satisfaction creating an employee culture of excuses explaining away and diminishing passenger problems rather than improving service to fix them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
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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