3 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Caribbean - Western

Crown Princess November 2017 We booked this cruise as a 5 night get away before the holidays. We are seasoned cruisers and this was our 52nd cruise over all and 18th with Princess. I am sorry to say that it probably was our last ... Read More
Crown Princess November 2017 We booked this cruise as a 5 night get away before the holidays. We are seasoned cruisers and this was our 52nd cruise over all and 18th with Princess. I am sorry to say that it probably was our last cruise. We are a retired couple from Florida me 72 and my husband 82. We began cruising in 1987 and have loved it. We started on Commodore then to NCL, RCCL, Dolphin, Carnival(once never again), Costa, MSC, HAL, Celebrity, and Princess. We are Elite on both Celebrity and Princess and have cruised with mostly those lines for the past 10 years. We have always loved the Grand Class ships of Princess. The layout of the ships is very livable for us. Over the years my husband's mobility has decreased and these ships are very manageable for him. This was our second time on the Crown – last time was in November of 2009. Because of my husband's mobility issues, we do not get off the ship in ports anymore. They are just too difficult for him to manage and we have been to every port in the Caribbean many times over the years. But this puts a different slant on our cruising experience. Let me take you through the cruise. We embarked in terminal 21 at Port Everglades. This is the older part of the port. Getting checked in was easy and quick. But the line to get on the ship seemed interminable. A suggestion to Princess – have a NO PICTURE line for those of us who do not want or need another embarkation photo. Once on board, we went to our stateroom which was ready for us. These days we book an inside or outside on Plaza Deck (5). We were in P314 – an outside cabin port side. It was a typical cabin and in very good shape. The ship had had a Noro outbreak two cruises prior, so I took my noro killer wipes and wiped the cabin down. Our stateroom attendent, Wilson, was very good and saw to our needs. He exchanged our Elite liquor allotment to what we wanted and saw to it that we had robes in the cabin. He kept us stocked with ice – we really have no other needs from a cabin steward. The cabin is conveniently located behind the Art Gallery and was very quiet. Time for lunch!!! We went up one deck to the DaVinci dining room for lunch. In the past we had no trouble having a nice table for 2 for lunch to begin our cruise. This time they insisted that they didn't have tables for 2 and we would have to share – not our first choice – but it worked out well enough. We do not eat in the buffet at all anymore – and especially want to avoid it for the embarkation lunch – way too much confusion for us! We settled down in the International Cafe and I went back to the cabin to unpack and get our lifejackets for the Safety Drill. Afterwards we went to Crooners during the sail-away. Enjoyed a Pina Colada (prices have gone up since last year – it was $9.50). Dinner for us was in the Botticelli dining room around 7:30pm – we had to wait a short time for a table for two and enjoyed dinner there. We had dinner every night there at various times and always had to wait – a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes. They seated us a number of times at a larger table but set it for 2. I think that they underestimate the number of passengers who want to have dinner alone. We are fine with sharing for breakfast and lunch – but enjoy dinner with each other. The food was good – always something to enjoy – the desserts were especially good. Because of the Noro outbreak, butter was pre-packaged until the last night. The DaVinci dining room is open for breakfast every day and for lunch on sea days but not port days – we had lunch those days (2) once at the Grill at the pool and once in the International Cafe. We had breakfast in the International Cafe twice – the last being debarkation day. They have a delicious yogurt parfait and, of course, wonderful pastry. The menu is not as good as it once was – on a 5 day no lobster – no rack of lamb – there was prime rib – pretty good – but the filet was a joke – we certainly didn't go hungry and most of what we had to eat was good to very good – but it just isn't what it once was. I always get a coffee card – think it is a bargain for those of us who are coffee-holics – we particularly enjoy the specialty coffees – those are a real treat. Gelato is no longer included on the coffee card. The cost was $31.00. Our ports were Cozumel and Costa Maya – we enjoyed the ship while everyone got off – the piers at both ports are too hard for my husband to navigate and we spent time in the Piazza at the International Cafe and on the deck. There were silly games and musical entertainment in the Piazza. There was one formal night – I doubt that even 50% of the ship “dressed”. The rules for dressing in the dining room were totally ignored – we don't do formal anymore but we certainly do Smart Casual every night. There were many that didn't even do that. Jeans, ripped shirts and jeans, shorts, dirty t shirts were in abundance. There were two Captains Circle parties – we went to the later one and I doubt that I have ever seen so many Elite and Platinum members at one time. I actually won a bottle of Korbel Champagne – brought it home. We had great weather – didn't use the spa or gym but did use the forward pool by the Sanctuary. Brought my water aerobics workout on my phone and had bluetooth earphones so went up each morning and did that there. It was particularly a challenge when the ship was moving but most enjoyable. The pool is 4'7” deep and worked well for me. I had read that the ship looked worn and tired – I would have to disagree with that – there, of course, were spots that could have used a freshening, but all in all the ship was extremely clean and looked good to us. I did use the free wi-fi that we get – the speed has improved over the years. Princess has their own wi-fi once you embark. Just put your phone or tablet into “airplane” mode and then log on the the ship wi-fi. You can keep in touch with others that you are traveling with and stay current on what is happening around the ship. Personally we like to disengage as much as possible so didn't really use this much. Great for families or couples traveling together though. All in all it was a good cruise – but we were ready to be home. In the future our travels will be more land based. We live in a beautiful part of Florida in a boating community and are very close to the beach. The changes that we have seen in 30 years of cruising are many and some not to our liking. It is still a great value for money. The larger and larger ships are not something that makes sense to us and the islands, over the years, have become somewhat homogenized. We were able to see them all in an earlier time when they each had their own identity. Please don't read our assessment as a “downer” - we have LOVED cruising and thought we would never stop. However, one cannot always predict the future. If there is anything I did not address, or if you have questions, please do not hesitate to email me at melkaz1758@gmail.com. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I feel obligated to let you all know my experience on the Crown Princess the week of Feb 12, 2011. As a travel agent, I escorted a small group of eight cabins with people of various ages, cruising experiences, and disabilities. I am ... Read More
I feel obligated to let you all know my experience on the Crown Princess the week of Feb 12, 2011. As a travel agent, I escorted a small group of eight cabins with people of various ages, cruising experiences, and disabilities. I am very disappointed with the experience we had on the Crown Princess. I read many reviews prior to our cruise. I was hoping all along that our experience would be different. It was not. This was very disappointing. I have never wrote a review before and I am a new member. I feel very obligated to tell our experience with this ship and cruise line. I will divide the review by sections. Dining - We chose Anytime Dining. I was advised that we could make reservations for the week for my group only to find out that you can only make reservations one day at a time the day before and because of the size of my group I was given either very early or after 7:00 PM reservations not the 6:30 PM my group wanted. This was very frustrating. There did seem to be a line if you just arrived and requested a table. The food selections were limited. The menu that they had available everyday included fillet medallions which were very low end. Normally we look forward to dinner. There was only a few nights (mainly formal nights) that dinner was worth looking forward to. The lobster was very good. The pork tenderloin was awful. Desserts were just ok. The service in the dining room was hit and miss. The first couple of nights we had terrible service. The wait staff did not understand English very well. They seemed preoccupied with what was going on around the dining room and did not seem to focus on the guests at their table. When we did find a waiter and asst. waiter that we liked, we requested them the remaining nights. This is not how it should be. Everyone should experience good service in the dining room. I don't expect 5 star at budget prices however I expect good service. It was very confusing to figure out who was suppose to take your drink orders etc. because other wait staff would show up at your table other than the traditional waiter and asst. waiter. It would take so long to get drinks refilled that you would end up asking two different people for a drink refill just to hope that one would respond to your request. We enjoyed the Pub Lunch on sea days, it was very good. We also visited the Crown Grill. The food was very good. My fillet was excellent as was the other steak and lobster meals that my party ordered. The main complaint we had about the Crown Grill was it took 3 hours. We did not plan on spending that much time but it seemed that we had to wait 20 minutes for our coffee/tea and then we waited a long time for our check to come at the end of dinner. It was not very crowded that night either so we don't understand what the hold up was. They do tell you in the beginning that everything is freshly prepared so we were patient waiting for appetizers however, there was too much time wasted between the other courses. International Cafe was very nice. I wish they had complimentary beverages available there but the food is very good. The cookies are great and the pastries/donuts/etc. in the AM are very good also. Breakfast buffet was very limited and we found the eggs to be cold. Overall the buffet seemed limited even for lunch. The tables were preset with silverware. Drink service at the tables was okay. There were a few times we had to hunt staff down to clean off table or to retrieve drink orders. We visited the buffet for dinner one night only to find a very long line, only one section open and it was single file. There were no stations. There were pre made salads, the selection was awful, and people were complaining like crazy about the single file line. If you wanted seconds, forget it you had to stand in line another half hour. There really was nothing you would want seconds of. We opted for a late night pizza snack because we left the buffet hungry. I thought the pizza was good, I would have to say better than the other cruise lines we have experienced. Room Stewards - None of my group had any complaints about the room stewards. Most did their job. Nothing outstanding. No towel figures which the children and my first time cruisers would probably have enjoyed. Gratuities - The automatic gratuities are a problem. There is no incentive for good service. We opted to have our gratuities removed so we could reward personally for good service which was few and far between in the dining room. Disappointingly, we eventually found out that even though you personally hand an envelope of money to these people they must turn that in to be put in a pool and divided among everyone. Again, there is NO incentive for good service. The staff that perform poorly get the same amount that the outstanding staff receive. Casino - There were no $5 blackjack tables. This was very disappointing. I asked why and was told that passengers do not want them. I don't believe this. I think that they should have a few available. By the way, it is possible to get $200 from the slot machines without paying a fee. I read a previous post regarding this and I think some people thought you were getting $200 just free period. Free means no 3% surcharge or transaction fee that you would normally pay with ATM or using your card at one of the gaming tables. Shows - The comedians were good and the hypnotist was entertaining. The other shows were not impressive. Wheelchair request - One of my guests requested a wheelchair two days in advance to use in Cozumel. The request was lost by passenger services and the wheelchair was never delivered. I had a meeting with the Maitre D and the Manager of Passenger Services for 45 minutes regarding all of the disappointments we experienced on this sailing. I told them I am embarrassed to have invited my guests on the Princess Crown and I feel I need to apologize to my guests. I should not have to do this. Princess was always rated close to Royal Caribbean in my opinion. Not anymore. I will be personally be sailing Royal Caribbean and will strongly hesitate to recommend Princess to my customers. I hope that my recommendations and complaints were heard at my meeting. That is all I can do. I also thought it was important to write this review. It is harder writing a review than I thought. I hope it is helpful to you all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
* Background Information Only cruised once before (Feb. 2010) in the Celebrity Solstice. * Ship Info Crown Princess is only 4 years old but obviously 4 years in "sea time" are like 8 or 12 years in "land ... Read More
* Background Information Only cruised once before (Feb. 2010) in the Celebrity Solstice. * Ship Info Crown Princess is only 4 years old but obviously 4 years in "sea time" are like 8 or 12 years in "land time"... The ship is beginning to lack in some areas. Age begins to show. * Activities Plenty of choices. Better than Celebrity in this area only! * Service Good, but does not compare with the Solstice. * Port & Shore Excursions Good and bad experiences. 7 mile beach in Grand Cayman was very satisfactory as was also the Tabyana beach tour in Roatan. The Tulum ruins tour in Cozumel lacked in three areas: =Tour schedule was dictated by local company and was not up to par. Stopped for shopping at an authentic "tourist trap"... =AC in the bus was insufficient. =Misleading brochure advertised time for shopping or sightseeing in "city" (?) and there was never time for that which was the reason I picked this tour as I wanted to get to visit Playa del Carmen. * Summary Disappointed. Not planning to use Princess again. * Stateroom Shows age. Very small. Plenty of closet space. * Dining Food not up to Solstice standards, Sabatini and Crown Grill overrated... * Children's Clubs n/a * Entertainment Plenty of choices. To me this is the only area where Crown Princess beats Solstice hands down. Needless to say Princess is a better choice for younger crowds (under 40) or party animals... * Disembarkation Very poor crowd control (in all areas). Lacking greatly. Missing Port of Call: Princess Cays in Eleuthera Island, The Bahamas. Ship tenders need to be used, bad! I picked this ship precisely to be able to visit a private beach/island. Ship tenders are slow and uncomfortable. Long lines to get to the tenders due to poor crowd management. First and last private beach I will be visiting, unless there is a dock like in Mahogany Bay, Roatan. Read Less
Sail Date November 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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