Sail Date: March 2019
The staff on princess cruise made my vacation the best vacation ever!!! Everyone was so attentive kind and very helpful. Anytime I needed directions they always knew how to direct me. The steward kept my room clean and even after it was ... Read More
The staff on princess cruise made my vacation the best vacation ever!!! Everyone was so attentive kind and very helpful. Anytime I needed directions they always knew how to direct me. The steward kept my room clean and even after it was cleaned and I took a nap my bed was later remade and of course I loved the chocolate left on my bed each night. The waiters were awesome as well making sure my meal was the best. The entertainment on the ship was awesome. We got to know the staff very well and they were all so nice and friendly. We had a lot of laughs playing games and watching the different activities. I love Ed that we could grab a pizza slice late at night for a good snack. This was my first cruise and I now have fond lasting memories of the best vacation I’ve ever had. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this ship as we wanted a Mediterranean cruise in a club class cabin#D417 less expensive than offered by Regent Seven Seas. The ship was very modern with a decent size cabin and very good bed linen and balcony . Our cabin steward ... Read More
We chose this ship as we wanted a Mediterranean cruise in a club class cabin#D417 less expensive than offered by Regent Seven Seas. The ship was very modern with a decent size cabin and very good bed linen and balcony . Our cabin steward was excellent and he provided canapes every day but there was little choice. We had two large TVs to keep us amused. The ship was very quiet and smooth even in rough weather which we experienced, the Captain wisely decided to skip a couple of ports due to weather but no abatement of other onboard credit was offered for loss of Toulon and Kotor as we had found when ports were missed on other cruise lines. The Club class section of the restaurant was rather odd as people were seated always according to how they walked in the door. That is to say if you were a couple you were always seated on your own and never allowed to share unless you arranged to share outside the entrance. I seemed the privilege of space was what Club class was all about and the food was the same wherever you sat except the maître'd sometimes prepared a simple dish some pasta or ready made crepes. Waiter service was always excellent and prompt unlike in other restaurants with eight people to a table service would be slower. So the entertainment in the theatre was very good and some of the best we have seen A wonderful Billy Joe Earl act was the best. Not much in the way of enrichment programmes and the port lectures were not so good. On deck lots of noise which was hard to escape and the Sanctuary a quiet area was $40 per day and was aptly named. Public rooms were mainly focused on music and drinking and the library was poor. Films on offer in the cabin were mainly aimed at the very young or interested in catoon characters and the menu was poorly formatted. Normaly one would expect a synopsis in the daily journal on content of the TV Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
To see the best of Europe, explored Rome before embarkment, embarkment was very smooth and we were able to embark early. The cabin was excellent with a balcony that had a great view of the coastline for most of the cruise. The cabin was ... Read More
To see the best of Europe, explored Rome before embarkment, embarkment was very smooth and we were able to embark early. The cabin was excellent with a balcony that had a great view of the coastline for most of the cruise. The cabin was clean/tidy and always serviced regularly. The only fault was we were directly under the pool/bar deck and early 5.30-6 am we were woken with the setting up of the deck chairs and tables, and they would scrap them along the deck and this went on for a very long time. The shore excursion were great except on a couple we were not able to have a drink/toilet break or lunch, so at the end of the excursion everyone was thirsty and hungry. There enough pools and spas for everyone to be comfortable and the water was a comfortable temperature. There was not enough quality evening entertainment on this cruise. The service of the staff was exceptional. The shops on board appeared to have something for everyone, the pricing was reasonable. The food and service at all the dining centers was of exceptional quality. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
There were a few hidden cost that disappointed us, we booked direct with Princess paid the deposit and when we paid the final installment we were informed that there was a credit card surcharge and in the fine print it did say that, we ... Read More
There were a few hidden cost that disappointed us, we booked direct with Princess paid the deposit and when we paid the final installment we were informed that there was a credit card surcharge and in the fine print it did say that, we were informed that there was a gratuity surcharge of 15% but receiving the final bill it was 15% per person so our surcharge was 30%. Most staff deserved a gratuity payment especially our cabin attendant and the dining staff, but there were some staff members that did not. The photographer quoted us $25.00 for some portraits which in the end was $250.00 as the $25.00 applied for each photo. When we ended the voyage in Rome we picked up the bags in a big terminal and then had to find the shuttle bus, we ended up in the taxi row and after a few questions were guided to the shuttle bus line. Not much help here from Princess. A shuttle from the ship to the local rail station could be a good idea in the future. Prior to the cruise we received documents that indicated we would board at Terminal D in Barcelona and an email received the day before the cruise did not even mention our ship, when we arrived at the port our ship was not at terminal D. Information from Princess was below standard but the cruise itself was very good. We will try another cruise line for our next holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Wanted to take my son and his family on a snorkling cruise. Chose Princess because of the island choices. Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao were exactly what I wanted. This cruise did not disappoint! The ship is not a mega ship. The rooms were ... Read More
Wanted to take my son and his family on a snorkling cruise. Chose Princess because of the island choices. Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao were exactly what I wanted. This cruise did not disappoint! The ship is not a mega ship. The rooms were smaller than we expected. Crew was great. Dining room wait staff was phenomenal! Bonaire had the best snorkling ever. We took a cab to Coco Beach. Public beach with beach chair rentals. More fish than we expected. Parrot fish, angel fish and even barracuda. Eye to eye with a barracuda was an exciting experience! Aruba..we took a ship excursion to DePalm island. $99 per person but a bus from the ship to the ferry..then breakfast, drinks (alcoholic and non alcoholic) were included. Lunch..sit down with lots of sides and dessert. Also, hamburgers and fries or hot dogs at the beachside. There was ziplining, banana boat ride, bungee jumping, snorkling, water slide park for the little ones with lifeguards. Lots of sun or shade. Curacao took a cab to Mambo beach. It is at a resort. Cab was $2.50 per person. Beautiful beach. Lots of nice shops in the city of Curacao. Days at sea were relaxing. Little ones wished there was a waterslide but took advantage of the kids camp and arts and crafts. They loved the first run movies under the stars. Best food out of any cruiseline we have travelled. Beds were new. The ship is now in drydock. Had a blast! Would definitely do this trip again! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Time frame and itinerary fit our needs. First time on the Crown. Not bad for an 18 year old vessel. Some rust on the balcony. Understand she is due for dry dock for scheduled maintenance. Room steward was great. Met every request for ... Read More
Time frame and itinerary fit our needs. First time on the Crown. Not bad for an 18 year old vessel. Some rust on the balcony. Understand she is due for dry dock for scheduled maintenance. Room steward was great. Met every request for our special needs kids. Dining staff was truly outstanding. The wait staff in Sabatini's for Breakfast and the team in the CC Dining totally outdid themselves to meet the special dietary needs of our kids. The dining was the best of any of our recent cruises. Corey, the CD was very good and was able to keep the passengers engaged. Entertainment: Magic to Do was very good. Nathan Foley, headliner, was outstanding. Went to see both of his shows. The Magician and Comedian (Names escape me at the moment) were very good at keeping the attendees engaged and rolling in the aisles. Princess embarkation and disembarkation continues to rank as the best, in our book. The Crown Princess is a grand old dame. A little rusty around the edges. Still a great ship to cruise on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We picked this cruise line to experience the Princess Cruse line and so far it is one of the best cruise lines so far. We cruised to the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands the week of March 11-16, 2018. This cruise left ... Read More
We picked this cruise line to experience the Princess Cruse line and so far it is one of the best cruise lines so far. We cruised to the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands the week of March 11-16, 2018. This cruise left out of Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Both Embarkation and Debarkation went smoothly. At debarktion we were able to get our luggage from the holding area immediately without having to search the assigned holding area. They kept all of our luggage for each traveler together which made it easier to spot right away in the holding area. The ship was very clean from beginning to end and if something was dropped it was immediately picked up. In the dining areas there was hand sanitizer to use before walking into the area and if you didn't use it guests were asked to please use it now. Every one was encouraged to wash hands with soap and water before coming to the dining areas first. The food was excellent for all 3 meals as well as any snacks. We especially enjoyed tea time which was a chance to sit and meet other cruisers . Entertainment was fun and as well as engaging. Services overall was great. Our cabin steward Emmanual was especially attentive to our room and really took care of us. He kept our room spotless. We had a mini-suite with a balcony. It was nice but could use some updating. The bedside tables could be replaced as the drawers stick and was hard to pull out. The fixtures and counter top as well as the bathtub could use some updating. The sofa for the third pulls out into a comfortable bed but the sofa itself is old and could use updating or replaced. Also the chairs in the buffet dining area could also use some updating or replacement. We visited two ports, Amber Cove and Grand Turk. The shore excursion at Amber Cove was excellent. We took the VIP Lifestyle and Serenity excursion. This was an excellent experience. We were greeted with Mimosas when we got off the bus and the drinks never stopped (all- inclusive). The beach was beautiful and there was beach beds both covered and uncovered for us to use and well as a full buffet lunch. The second day we visited Grand Turk and took the Rainbow Calypso Tram around the city. I would NOT recommend this particular excursion. The tram was old and dirty and rusty and needs to be replaced. We were taken to less desirable parts of the island which was dirty to put it mildly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Had circled this cruise as a possibility when I rcvd the Princess Cruise atlas. Inquired and told all verandas were sold out and thought price was high. Then in a last minute special e-mail I get from Princess price was lowered and then 1 ... Read More
Had circled this cruise as a possibility when I rcvd the Princess Cruise atlas. Inquired and told all verandas were sold out and thought price was high. Then in a last minute special e-mail I get from Princess price was lowered and then 1 week later lowered again. Bked at a good price a partially obstructed cabin on E deck. Knew the Crown in need of work and since was round trip South Hampton would have lots of Brits on board. Out of +3,000 on board about 2,000 were Brits. Thats why I chuckle on comments about American service etc etc. All the nonproduction shows were British slanted, including both comedians(both awful) and tribute show to Robbie Wms. Cabin same size and lay out of veranda cabin without veranda - bed was not over the window as some outside cabins. Steward was good. I always tell them I want cabin serviced early, ice early evening etc. Give a small tip first day of cruise. Left a note if something was needed and he always responded. A few towels were tattered. We are Elite so bar set up was appreciated( if u do not like one of their choices ask to" trade"for your preference) Laundry ws a treat but took 3 days. Wound up washing denimsand other dark items at the $6 launderette. At one time it was free and then $2, at leastcan use cruise card and not sourge around for change. Food was good, a few were very good. We are NOT buffet persons. Ate 1 bkfst and 1 lunch in Horizon court. Both times barely acceptable. Tried pizza once - terrible!! saucetasted liked our canned tomato sauce - no spices,no garlic. It was served hot. Used roomservice for brkfts when we had early tour - chili one day for lunch - tea and cake 1 aft. Everything came as ordered, presented well and on time. We are Elite and had canapes on formal nights - same thing 3 times and nothing special. Liked Vines and International cafe. Did Tea once, nicely presented, nice variety of food. Have done anytime dining for yrs with Princess. Would go to DaVinci around 7:30 and have no wait for shared table. We ask for table for 6 - met nice passengers that way. Ate at sABATINI'S 2x and Crown Grill 1x. We celebrated husband's birthday and ouranniversary there - children sent on board credit to cover the charge. Wine is way overpriced, that's not new. We did pack 2 special bottles for our celebrations. Thought there should be more entertainment in the piazza - on Mexican cruises therewere jugglars, acrobats etc in the afternoon and evening. Such a beautiful space! Daily activities were lacking - why no destination lectureer on exploring the North Pole,or Vikings? Did not book any shore excursions with Princess - way over priced. Used NSB sight(only take PayPal for payment from USA) to book Flam RR since Flam sightwas sold out. Toured in each port independently - took private tours North Cape andSkjolden. Both ports were highlights.. Ice bar at Honning Svag was a hoot. Used Princess air for the guarantee but insisted on non stop flights I wanted not theconnections they tried to sell. Embarkation was best ever - took later time and justwalked off ship with no lining up et. book Flam RR since Flam sight was sold out. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Our second cruise to Norway but this was slightly longer than previously and visited ports we hadn't seen before. Embarkation was quick and efficient and disembarkation was a breeze. Never on any previous cruise have I ... Read More
Our second cruise to Norway but this was slightly longer than previously and visited ports we hadn't seen before. Embarkation was quick and efficient and disembarkation was a breeze. Never on any previous cruise have I experienced such a painless disembarkation. In the past there have almost been fights breaking out it was such a shambles. Not so on this occasion. Brilliant. Lofoten Islands were amazing. We chose a private excursion and our trip was fantastic. Sjkolden was a big surprise. So beautiful and the weather was glorious. Good weather although cold sometimes but , hey , we were in the Artic Circle. 24 hours of daylight and sunsets (that never actually set) were amazing. Starters and puddings in the "any time dining" were "samey" but the main course always delivered. Good choice in the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Good entertainment. Very professional. We did have to be in the theatre very early to get a seat though. Staff were exceptional. Friendly and efficient. All in all a really good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
Cabin ok disabled cabin was supposed to be a upgrade but ended up with no bath but very large room. Cabin service steward great, Ship ok but not as modern as royal princess. Food ok some good nights and some average food was often cold. ... Read More
Cabin ok disabled cabin was supposed to be a upgrade but ended up with no bath but very large room. Cabin service steward great, Ship ok but not as modern as royal princess. Food ok some good nights and some average food was often cold. But I seemed to have chosen a good choice and enjoyed my meals on the whole. The food in the horizon café was hot and a good choice but didn't like the melamine plates etc and was a bit chaotic, the Botecceli resteraunt was better especially the afternoon tea. Generally enjoyed the cruise, staff were helpful shows were ok but the Robbie Williams tribute was very good. Would we cruise again with Princess yes defo but would go on the newer ships. The Royal princess had better TVs for viewing films you could start the film whenever, and not being over interested in the shows or gambling this was a brill thing. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Our fourth time on the Crown,this time we did the 7 day cruise to La Coruna. It lived up to our expectactions.We had the opposite experience to the 1 star transatlantic review. We found the ship to be very clean, no bad smells and ... Read More
Our fourth time on the Crown,this time we did the 7 day cruise to La Coruna. It lived up to our expectactions.We had the opposite experience to the 1 star transatlantic review. We found the ship to be very clean, no bad smells and all staff without exception were extremely friendly,polite and accomodating. We had freedom to dine and only had to wait for 5 minutes for a table for two,went straight in on the other nights.Whatever table we went on the waiters were very friendly and accomodating.On a few ocassions we asked for a combination of a starter and main course eg. I had a caesar salad with grilled salmon as a starter,my wife is not a lover of veg but likes french fries and the waitewrs were very helpful. We had breakfast delivered to our cabin every day,the young steward was very friendly and helpful and most mornings we had a chat. We had lunch in the Bottecelli had again the experince and food was exceptionally good. We had a balcony cabin A314 and found it more than adequate for our needs and very comfortable. our cabin steward Joseph was first class and again ver y helpful. We did not book any tours as we have done them in the past but opted for the shuttle buses and we heard some passengers had to wait quite a while for a shuttle but we had no problem because we went down about 9 oclock and more or less straight on. Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth, in fact on the way to Southampton I had a text to say there was a delay due to the Crown getting in late due to adverse weather conditions and boarding would not start until 2 oclock.we arrived at 1.30 and were on board by 2.15pm. Must also mention Eaveswaycoaches they give a 5 star service we have used them before and will in the future. Overall we had a great cruise,excellent value for money and cannot wait for the next cruise, on the Crown going to Norway for two weeks in August this year. If it is as good as this one we wil be very pleased. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our 4th time cruising. We were excited to cruise with Princess mainly because we thought Princess is higher class than Carnival or Norwegian. I was wrong. In many ways, they were even worse. Perhaps my expectation was too ... Read More
This was our 4th time cruising. We were excited to cruise with Princess mainly because we thought Princess is higher class than Carnival or Norwegian. I was wrong. In many ways, they were even worse. Perhaps my expectation was too high. Their service was poor. Especially, the waiters and reception desk folks were pretty unfriendly. The food was mediocre at best and their room was pretty old and outdated. The ship was rusted and amenities were just old. This ship needs some refurb ASAP. We found their entertainment was not that great. The comedian was not funny, and magician was just not good. Singers were not great either. One thing I hate the most about Princess cruise is their strict policy on dress code. WTH? We cruise to relax and have fun, not to show off your clothes. I don' want to wear or pack formal clothes to the cruise. They do really enforce the dress code, so be aware. This applies to kids too. Crazy policy. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We took this cruise as part of a longer holiday in South America. Frankly I am amazed at the two earlier whinging reviews published but then again, regular cruisers will recognise the types who never seem satisfied. It must be ... Read More
We took this cruise as part of a longer holiday in South America. Frankly I am amazed at the two earlier whinging reviews published but then again, regular cruisers will recognise the types who never seem satisfied. It must be remembered that this cruise was priced mid-range and therefore one cannot expect five-seven star crushing. Nonetheless we had a great time. Embarcation and disembarkation were quick and seamless. Our cabin was exactly as it said in the brochure. Staff were unfailingly helpful. However they were under pressure to sell. I did not like the hard sell aspect of this cruise and I have not experienced such a hard-sell another cruises. We had intended to use the Crown Grill on two occasions but did not because of the quality of food in Boticelli's and the equally good service. My wife is a coeliac ( a genuine disease, unlike the pretentious gluten intolerants etc.) and she had a royal voyage, thanks to the attentiveness and availability of gluten free options. Our fellow diners were most impressed with the service offered to her. The buffet style restaurants provided very good food and very good options. Other than a limp ventriloquist, Showtime was generally good. Allowing for musical taste, the production values were very high at all times and really could not be faulted. Some were disappointed the shows were of approx. 35 minute duration, but, hey, it ain't Broadway. I used the gym every day. Very well appointed, good and knowledgeable staff. We did not use the spam s prices were swingeing. Shore excursion prices were outrageous. However most sensible cruisers will have done their homework and planned accordingly. There was one debacle only. This was at Ushuaia where the tenders didn't to run until late. We got only 1.5 hours ashore. The cause was a spat between the ship and port authorities. Despite the rumours, passengers did not know the real cause but its did little credit to ship management. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
Sabatini is still there! Had a great meal and plan to go there again on the May 31, 2016 trip on the Grand Princess. They do plan to change it to "Share" Curtis Stones new resteraunt at $50. Princess seems to be trying to ... Read More
Sabatini is still there! Had a great meal and plan to go there again on the May 31, 2016 trip on the Grand Princess. They do plan to change it to "Share" Curtis Stones new resteraunt at $50. Princess seems to be trying to cut costs. We were told that the room steward could NOT leave the light on for us after dinner!! The elite perks are fewer. No free bag on the bed nor toilet items in the bath!! The embarkation and debarkation were really fantastic!! We were off in San Pedro by 8:15 am. The ship was clean but not as sharp as the Star was in December. The shows were pretty good. The comedian was a dud!! The Barista was fantastic and knew my order. The Chocolate croissants were raw or none existent. Princess is still the best for the price. Our balcony room was very warm and lovely. The odd number rooms have the best views of San Francisco and San Diego. All the ships tours are great! We had traditional dining and were so happy with it. Many complained about how long they waited for anytime dining. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We have cruised on most of the cruise lines, this being the first time on Princess. The food in the Buffet (for breakfast and lunch) was okay but it was almost impossible to find a table to sit. We frequently asked to sit with ... Read More
We have cruised on most of the cruise lines, this being the first time on Princess. The food in the Buffet (for breakfast and lunch) was okay but it was almost impossible to find a table to sit. We frequently asked to sit with strangers because there was NO alternative. We were unable to get a set dining time, which relegated us to a long "Anytime" dining line every evening. I guess they were serious...you might eat now...or anytime...or not for a long time! This made it so we had different waiters every evening and service was very slow (not allowing us to get to shows) and indifferent. I've never had such mediocre wait staff on cruises. They are usually personable and spectacular! They said to call at 8 AM to get a reserved time in the Anytime Dining and we wouldn't have to wait. Both times we called, no one answered. Princess has a cloistered, private pool area, but you have to pay extra for it, and the perks didn't seem worth it. One thing, the entertainment was exceptional. We missed a few shows due to very long waits for service and food in the dining room, but when we got there we were entertained by this hardworking staff. Gym is very nice. I didn't hate Princess, but I have had a lot better time on Celebrity, NCL and even Carnival. The activities are more fun, too. We watched every Love Boat re-run. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
Ship was in great condition, deck 7 where I try to walk 2 miles each day had fresh blue and white paint on the walls and all the cabinets used to store life jackets and benches had fresh coats of varnish. Our room was clean and all ... Read More
Ship was in great condition, deck 7 where I try to walk 2 miles each day had fresh blue and white paint on the walls and all the cabinets used to store life jackets and benches had fresh coats of varnish. Our room was clean and all amenities in place and working. We paid extra for the Thermal Suite pass that is supposedly a VIP experience. We know that several people using this facility did not pay the fee for access and just walked in. This resulted in facilities not being available on several occasions. Princess needs to do a better job of verifying who is using these VIP facilities so those of us who paid $200 for the week actually have access to them. The running joke during breakfast and dinner in the dining room was how to have more butter on the table. They have noticeably cut back on this food staple. For the first time in our 30+ cruises on Canival/Princess people on board had their pet dogs with them. They did not appear to be service dogs since they were so small and were carried in bags. Crazy to hear dogs barking from our balcony while at sea. Our table mates who are Elite cruisers were baffled by this. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Third time on Princess-many other cruises for us on Royal Carribean, Norwegian and Crystal. Pretty good food overall-afternoon tea definitely worth it though service could be improved-not attentive at beginning then rushing diners at end. ... Read More
Third time on Princess-many other cruises for us on Royal Carribean, Norwegian and Crystal. Pretty good food overall-afternoon tea definitely worth it though service could be improved-not attentive at beginning then rushing diners at end. Friendly overall ship service, smallish casino. 7 day Mexican trip allows absurdly small amount of time in port, especially Cabo which requires long lines for tenders. Anytime dining rules are silly, you must call a day ahead for a reservation, then find out only certain hours are available to make the call which must be early in the day, then try again to find all spots already booked on literally the 3rd day in a row you try for a reservation. So you wait for a table. Surprisingly good comedian. Painfully outdated large production shows-dressing fairly attractive young performers as if on 1960's lawrence welk show without being ironic with hokey faux romantic numbers. Lots of ill fitting polyester knits on stage. Not a cutting edge spiffy ship but overall an enjoyable cruise that provides pleasant moments. LA embarcation and disembarcation process much smoother than SF. Easy longterm parking right by ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was the second trip that I had taken on the Crown Princess in three months. The first was with a friend in December. We had an interior cabin and took the set dining option. This one, with my daughter in March, we had a balcony and ... Read More
This was the second trip that I had taken on the Crown Princess in three months. The first was with a friend in December. We had an interior cabin and took the set dining option. This one, with my daughter in March, we had a balcony and anytime dining. The reason I booked the second cruise was purely economic. The cost of a balcony in March was almost $200pp less than that of the interior in December. The itinerary wasn’t anything special, but a nice way to introduce my daughter to cruising for her spring break. Embarkation in San Pedro was amazing. I will give Princess five stars for that one. Well organized, rapid and seamless. Toured the Sanctuary and decided against the $40 cover charge per person. Had there been more children on board, our decision may have been different. Biggest surprise: The Crown Grill – Dinner was wonderful. Reservations available same day on a sea day. Wait staff was attentive, food was superb and atmosphere relaxed. We dined on a formal night, but would have been just as comfortable on a casual evening. Executive Chef came to the table, introduced himself and provided an overview of other restaurants on board. Biggest disappointment: Anytime Dining – long waits, pager system for table availability. Wait staff was hit and miss. At Da Vinci, the table next to us had an amazing waiter, ours was non-existent except to take order and bring food. Water wasn’t refilled and coffee not offered at dessert. Recommend: International Café, Movies Under the Stars, Pizza and Ice Cream Bar, Trident Grill and Vines. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Crown Princess 3/5/16 Mexican Riviera We decided it was time for a family vacation and we wanted to do something different. I did some research and we decide a cruise might be a great idea. We researched different cruise lines and ... Read More
Crown Princess 3/5/16 Mexican Riviera We decided it was time for a family vacation and we wanted to do something different. I did some research and we decide a cruise might be a great idea. We researched different cruise lines and itineraries and decided the Crown Princess Mexican Rivera Cruise would work for all our needs. I started the process on the Princess website. Then I got a call from a Princess Rep the next day telling me he would personally help us through the process. He helped us find two rooms right across from each other. We got everything figured out and he put it all on hold for a day while we made our final decision. I called him back the next day and moved forward with our family vacation. We flew into Long Beach and took an Uber to the pier. We arrived at the pier and there were plenty of porters to help with all the baggage. They were helpful. They made sure the luggage tags were correct and they took your bags into the building. Of course they are working for tips and I took care of him. He was then kind enough to walk us down to where we needed to enter. We walked in and waited in line behind maybe 5 groups. Maybe a 5 minute wait. We gave them our boarding passes and passports. They gave them back and gave us our key cards and sent us to the ship. No more than 20 mins from the car to being on the ship and having the first family picture taken. We were directed to our cabins and we checked them out. My wife did her typical wipe everything down thing with Clorox wipes (TV remote, door handles, drawers – everything), and we decided to explore the ship and get something to eat. The kids could not believe how big the ship was. It was their first cruise. It was my wife and mine’s 4th cruise, third on Princess. We showed them all over the ship and we checked out the kids clubs for them. They found the basketball court and that was their favorite place to hang out when they weren’t in a pool. After exploring we headed back to the cabins to get our life vests for the Muster drill. To our surprise our bags were already delivered. We unpacked pretty quickly while waiting for the muster drill. I have to say I have read a lot of bad reviews online. I take them for what they are worth. I have to say some people are crazy. I like to get what I pay for. I work hard, and for the few vacation days I can actually take a year, I want to enjoy myself. I am in the service business, and I expect good service when paying for a nicer vacation. I understand my expectations are very high and can’t always be met. I really can’t come up with one thing that was bad on this vacation that was Princess’s fault or any of their crew. The crew were always happy, accommodating, and entertaining. The food was perfectly fine. It’s not what it used to be but was perfectly fine. There were always choices so there was always something for everyone. If you don’t like something, just tell your waiter (nicely) and they will be happy to get you something else. The one thing that we missed was an abundance of servers by the pool. On past cruises, before tipping was included in the price, we rarely had to leave to go to a bar to get a drink. On this cruise, poolside servers came up to us about 3 times during the week; the rest we had to get ourselves. Not a big deal, but just one of those small differences. We never once had to wait to get a drink either at a bar or a server. They were always happy to help. We don’t typically eat in the buffet much but it was nice to see they made you sanitize your hands before entering the food lines. *Side note* - there are sanitizing units all over the ship. The burgers and hot dogs at the pool grill were always available and hit the spot. We had anytime dining and we waiting 15-20 minutes the first night. No big deal we were given a pager and we went to get a drink while we waited. Just like going to a restaurant without a reservation. TIP: We learned you can make reservations by just calling from your room that day. Then you could show up and walk right in. You’re welcome. We did eat at the steakhouse twice. The boys enjoyed huge steaks and the little one was turned onto lobster tail for the first time and fell in love. The next night was a formal night and we went to the dining room. They had lobster on the menu and he ordered it. He polished that off in about 3 minutes. The waiter came by and asked how everything was. My little one said “it was delicious, could I have another.” The waiter was shocked, then smiled and said, “Anything you would like, sir.” That’s my boy. Ok on to the entertainment and activities. There is something for everyone to do if you want to do something. If you don’t want to do anything you lay by a pool and sleep. You did have to follow the schedule to know where and when activities were happening. They don’t come looking for you. Announcements are difficult to hear on the pool decks. We saw most of the shows. The shows were well done. Don’t expect Broadway – seriously. This is cruise ship entertainment, and you need to walk into this realizing that these young performers haven’t hit it big yet. Some shows were better than others. The dancers were great. The comedian was funny but sort of annoying with his delivery and mannerism. The magician was amazing and very funny too. The cruise director’s crew were great too. They were always around getting people involved. Dan the cruise director wasn’t the most outgoing Cruise Director I have experienced. His jokes were canned and we really never saw him walking around the ship and interacting with people. But we have had some great ones in the past so it’s hard to live up to them. But there was always something to do so I have to give him and his team credit. We did book 2 shore excursions through Princess as my wife believes it is safer that way (she worries a lot). We booked a Pirate Ship Adventure in Puerto Vallarta and boy was it an adventure. I won’t go into that right now since that part has nothing to do with Princess. All I can say is you may want to rethink that excursion. BUT I will say that Princess DID resolve the problem to my satisfaction as soon as I returned home. We also booked a Swimming with Dolphins excursion in Cabo San Lucas. All I can say is Dolphins are amazing animals. A great family experience. I highly recommend it if you get a chance. As far as the Ship, it was in fine condition. If you are going to scour the ship looking for things that are wrong, then maybe you should be an inspector instead of a vacationer. I don’t understand people who complain about a piece of rust or flaking paint on the wall or corner of your balcony. The ship gets used every day in all kinds of weather with moisture around all the time. This stuff will happen. It really shouldn’t affect your trip. The ship was always being cleaned, from the pool decks being sprayed early every morning to staff wiping hand rails all the time. I read so many reviews talking about how they got sick because of the ship. It’s not the ship making you sick, people. It is all the other people on the ship that don’t have proper hygiene practices. Nothing has opened my eyes more than being stuck on a ship with 2000+ other people who don’t cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough, don’t wash their hands after using the restroom, and don’t take advantage of the dozens of Purell sanitizers all over the ship. My 9 and 13 year old children have better handwashing practices than many of the 40-somethings on the ship. IF everyone would do this the world would be a better place to travel. Let me touch on the tipping real quickly. I prepaid all our gratuities prior to our trip. I understand the crew doesn’t make a lot of money. I realize that they need the tips to help their families. I don’t see it as a problem, it’s just part of the cost of a cruise. They work hard and deserve it. I found over the years if you take care of people they will take care of you. We got on the ship we met our cabin steward, Marcos. He welcomed us, showed us around the rooms and showed us how to reach him if he wasn’t in the hall. I gave him a little something and I can say we never needed anything. He was on top of it. He got to know our schedule and worked around it. He would wait until we went to dinner (normally late) to freshen our room. He went above and beyond. One day we needed a couple extra towels in the afternoon. I saw Marcos and he said very apologetically he didn’t have any clean ones at the moment. I said whenever he gets some could he drop some off. He said of course and was going to go get some from the laundry. Less than 5 minutes later there was a knock on the door and it was Marcos with some towels. He borrowed some from one of the suite stewards (Suites get nicer towels and linens). So of course we took care of him before we left. He even let us keep our stuff in one of the rooms while we went to breakfast on debarkation day. Well, I probably rambled on too much. But I really think we had a great experience and wanted to share that. I have written good reviews when deserved and bad reviews when deserved. It’s much easier to write positive ones. It brings back the memories of the vacation like it was yesterday. The Crown Princess is a great ship. The Crew was fantastic. We can’t wait for our next cruise. Which will actually be this summer on the Royal Princess. Stay tuned for that review… Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
I'm not a great fan of cruising, once you've seen one ship you've seen them all really, but my husband loves them so we compromise and it's an easy way to experience places you've never been to before. The ship was ... Read More
I'm not a great fan of cruising, once you've seen one ship you've seen them all really, but my husband loves them so we compromise and it's an easy way to experience places you've never been to before. The ship was a bit tired, dated and in need of a spruce up in parts, but I thought it was clean and the cleaning staff very visible although there was a Norovirus outbreak which the ship seemed to do their best to contain. Room service was awful, we all but gave up with this but I took off my gratuity and so spent it in the International Cafe instead where the coffee was marginally better than the rest of the ship. Tea everywhere was not to our English tastes for the most part it was served warm not hot, so again, we all but gave up with this. It was a shame we couldn't enjoy a drink on our balcony first thing in the morning without planning in advance or when we returned from a trip though. We complained several times and eventually we were given a unique number to call, but we were made to feel like we were just making a fuss. Obtaining unsweetened soya milk was problematic as they didn't seem to have it on board until the first port we called at and I was made to wait for long periods while it was located despite a head waiter assuring me it would be available throughout the cruise. I wish he'd told the staff where to find it! I'm British so hate the tipping system anyway so taking off my gratuity made me feel better - the lobby staff can explain why if any of the staff feel it was unfair. I expect to get good service as a given. Why don't they just charge more for the cruise instead of adding €13.95 per day? Having said all of that the rest of it was very nice and better than I was expecting. The food is good on all cruise lines, slightly better on Princess but I felt the food on this cruise was outstanding. I only had one meal I didn't enjoy and this was largely down to my taste, not the way it was cooked. We rarely go to the Horizon bar as I hate waiting to get a seat, but even there the food was good. We mainly ate in the dining room - I enjoyed Anytime dining instead of the fixed dining we normally have which meant we could enjoy dancing to Los Brilliantes, a Mexican trio who really were brilliant and played Mariachi music in the Piazza and on deck. We loved this but it meant we didn't need the other entertainment, which I understand was also good. There were very few Brits on this cruise, they were mainly Californians and Canadians but we met some lovely people and enjoyed talking to them. Apart from the disgraceful room service, and lack of decent hot drinks, the service, like that on many other cruise ships was good. I particularly liked that our cabin steward was helpful and friendly but not in our faces, some days we never even saw him but our room was always clean. He sorted out problems like the curtains in our lounge area not hanging correctly or the toilet being a bit smelly when we embarked - I can't believe that the other occupants hadn't noticed these. Embarkation and disembarkation at Los Angeles were very well organised much better than any other port we've been to. Ports excursions were largely what we'd been expecting and we enjoyed them all except La Paz which we thought was scruffy and dirty - they need to spend a lot of money on this place which I understand is a bit politically controversial. We particularly liked San Diego and Loreto. We had to be tendered in to some places but this was well organised and we had enough time in all ports not to feel rushed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We flew into Orange County Airport, which worked out very well- nice airport, and a 40 minute drive to the port, much less traffic than from LAX. We booked a private shuttle with Prime Time Shuttle and had very good experiences both to ... Read More
We flew into Orange County Airport, which worked out very well- nice airport, and a 40 minute drive to the port, much less traffic than from LAX. We booked a private shuttle with Prime Time Shuttle and had very good experiences both to and from the port. This was a spring break trip for the family, usually we do not cruise with kids. If you were not on spring break, you would have hated this trip, the boat was PACKED with families. I had one worker from the Kid's Club tell me they had 700 registered kids on board this week, from the three kids clubs. WOW. Made for a very crowded pool. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. Many hosts to direct you to one of the many open windows for check in, and got you right on the ship. The family had a very nice time and was a great break from reality which is what we all needed. Our main goal was R&R. Have not traveled this itinerary before, though we are frequent cruisers. All the ports were enjoyable, however there is not one that we feel is absolutely necessary to go back to. We did our own excursions, did not book through the ship. We had two cabins on the Aloha deck, which was a great location for the pools, but a long way from the dining rooms- we make it a rule to never take the elevator. Having been on the Crown before, and also on the Ruby, we found the boat in the beginning stages of needing repair. Cracked tiles, scratched toilet seats, spots on the walls, worn carpet, worn towels, darkened china. Even the information binders in the rooms were falling apart. The atrium is still impressive. Though the condition was noticed, it did not impact the enjoyment of our cruise. We found the entertainment on board above what we have found on recent Princess ships. A juggler in the atrium three evenings was entertaining for all the families on board. The "Blame it on the Boogie" disco show by the Princess performers was high energy and entertaining, many recognizable songs makes it fun. A comedian on the last night was OK. The magic act on the second night was good. The mariachi band that played often was good and festive for the cruise. We also enjoyed the banners hung in the atrium once we hit the Mexican border- again adding to the festive atmosphere. Now get some Mexican food in the dining room, and you'll be all set! My kids had intentions of using the Kid's Clubs, but finally gave up after the first couple days of it being crowded, boring, or the "fun" activities taking place too late. My teen went up one time for a scheduled activity to be told that they were currently closed because the previous activity was still going on. After going back twice to closed doors, that was the last time she attempted to participate. Fortunately, they get along, are happy entertaining themselves and hanging out by the pool. The older one made a few friends that she ran into on the ship frequently anyway. On previous Princess cruises, we have had pool towels in our staterooms. Not so on this cruise. All towels were in common bins on the pool deck. This meant that by 1:00 in the afternoon, all towels were gone, and those of you returning to the ship or late to the pool had no towels. While we often saw crew hauling out the used towels in big bins, we never saw anyone bringing back more than 4-6 towels at a time. Wish they would go back to having towels in the staterooms- that way everyone is assured of one! Dining was pretty good this time. I say pretty good because the last two I would rate as "average". The things I would recommend (in no order- I can't remember what was served what night) are: the deep diver scallops, the surf and turf (steak was EXCELLENT), the entire menu for the 50th anniversary dinner, the linguini with clams, and the cream of mushroom soup- especially the first night (it was served twice). Of course the lobster and King prawns is always the week's highlight. One night there is a pot roast in reduced borolo wine sauce. FANTASTIC. My husband and I both could not decide between the entree we ordered or the pot roast (I had read a different review recommending it). The waiter brought us one to split because she heard us talking about it. We had 5 different entrees on the table for 4 people, and by far, the best was the pot roast! The desserts unfortunately were underwhelming, 90% ice cream, and we would have skipped 5 out of 7 nights if it wasn't for the kids. The one dessert highly recommended is the one that comes on the 50th anniversary dinner menu. The dining room service was very slow. We had anytime dining, and usually ate after 7:30 each night. Some nights we had a small wait to get in, but not much. Two nights we waited almost an hour to get the next course, and two nights we waited about 20 minutes to get menus and water. We ate in the dining room for one breakfast, which was a waste since it offered pretty much the same food as the buffet, and for one lunch which was really good. We choose the carry off option for disembarkation. Our time was 8:30, and they called our group right on time. We got through customs and was waiting for our ride by 9:10 AM. Easily made it to our 12:40 flight out of SNA, no stress or worries. Overall, the cruise was adequate, the ship needs updating, the ports were entertaining and nice, and it gave us a much needed vacation. The value was great. Would not necessarily recommend this cruise over others, but for something different and for a get away, we would not steer anyone away. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2013
This cruise was not a bad recovery from last year. Cruised Carnival last year for the LAST time. Wouldn't cruise Carnival again if they gave the tickets away. Got to the terminal at about 10:30 but didn't get on until after ... Read More
This cruise was not a bad recovery from last year. Cruised Carnival last year for the LAST time. Wouldn't cruise Carnival again if they gave the tickets away. Got to the terminal at about 10:30 but didn't get on until after noon. Longer wait than we are used to. We booked two interior rooms as always since we have little use for balconies. We were Aloha deck all the way forward. Other than ship movement it was a perfect location to shield us from noise we are very sensitive to. It was very quiet there. Liked the staterooms and overall look of the Crown Princess. It's in pretty good shape. THE BAD: As always you can probably find others to disagree but we hated the buffet food on the Crown Princess. We have never experienced great buffet food on a cruise ship but this stuff was garbage. Really, just a bunch of slop and items that don't even go well together. The most hated part of the buffet is the herded cattle type corral system they have. There is only one entrance to the buffet and they have someone manning the gate where you go in. The employees were way overbearing demanding you use the Purell machines before entering the buffet line. We believe in clean hands but it got so annoying I had to tell these people to back off. The buffet set up creates a big line and makes you take way too much food so you don't have to wait in a long line again just for seconds. If you want to dash in quickly for a small item, forget about it. My wife accidentally left her dish of sauce on the buffet line and tried to go back to get it by stepping in the exit. She was scolded and had to wait in line all over again. Hands down, the worst buffet system ever. Food on the Crown Princess in other locations was okay. Entertainment: We have walked out on so many hokey cruise shows. Usually it is the fly in entertainment we like the best. Not the case here. We loved the Crown Princess singers and dancers and didn't care for the fly ins. Ports: We love the ports traveled to. In fact we went to the same ports on a different cruise last year. Roatan: we used Roatan Island Tours Plus. Cardy Grant is a class act. Belize: we love going out to Caye Caulker to swim with the sharks and rays on the reef. Salvador Arce with Hicaco is a dear friend and simply the best. Cozumel: We went to Mr. Sanchos, shopping and to La Mission for lunch. Overall one of the best cruises for us. The weather was great and the Crown Princess staff was very good. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We are a family of five with three teenage kids ages 19, 15 and 11 and this was our third spring break cruise in a row. Our previous two cruises were on the Norwegian Star and Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas, so we are gaining ... Read More
We are a family of five with three teenage kids ages 19, 15 and 11 and this was our third spring break cruise in a row. Our previous two cruises were on the Norwegian Star and Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas, so we are gaining a pretty well rounded perspective and experience of what each cruise line has to offer. We enjoyed our previous two cruises and enjoyed this cruise on the Crown Princess as well. Each cruise line has strengths and weaknesses, and my review of the Crown Princess will be from that comparative perspective. Port of Galveston Getting to the port of Galveston from the Houston airport was unreasonably expensive and inconvenient. If I relied on the cruise line's own transfer, it would cost $37 per person each way, which for a family of 5 would cost me $370! I spent more time trying to find a cheaper transfer option than I did planning the cruise itself. Other cruisers have had success getting one-way car rentals to/from Galveston using Enterprise but that option was no longer available. I ended up finding a cheap car rental from Houston Hobby. We arrived two days before the cruise so a nine-day full size car rental with tax was only $188. I actually paid $50 to park my rental car for the week at Park N Cruise. With gas my total cost was about $250 round trip for 5 people. Plus we had the use of a car (we went to visit NASA and shopped at Wal-Mart for pre cruise items), and we were able to depart for the airport right after disembarking without waiting for a bus. It is silly that a weekly car rental plus parking and gas is cheaper than van service to/from Galveston and the Cruise lines need to figure out a cheaper way to get their passengers to the port. Adding hundreds of dollars for an airport transfer is ridiculous and I will never cruise out of Galveston again. Embarkation/Disembarkation Smooth and orderly on both ends. We were impressed how early we were allowed to our rooms. We boarded at about 1pm and our rooms were ready, bags arrived shortly thereafter. This was way earlier than we have experienced on other ships we've sailed. It was also a welcome change to do the muster drill while seated in the Club Fusion lounge rather standing in the hot sun like on other cruise lines. We used "express walk off" for disembarking and were out of customs by 8:00 am. The Ship The Crown Princess is a large, beautiful ship, and like NCL and RCL ships it is designed to appeal to many types of cruisers. As such, the four different pool areas each have their own vibe and appeal. At the front of the ship is the Sanctuary, a fee for entry adults only retreat with private cabanas and massages. The most forward main pool area is the party pool with live bands, sexy leg contests and other fun activities. The other main pool is quieter, and has multiple levels and the Movies Under the Stars screen, which plays movies and concerts even during the day, when it is almost impossible to see the screen in the bright sunlight. My favorite is a smaller pool at the aft of the ship, which is surrounded by balconies that enjoy a great view of the ocean beyond the stern. While Royal Caribbean ships emphasize sports (rock walls, wave simulators, mini golf) and Norwegian emphasizes entertainment (Blue Man Group, Legends of Rock, etc), Princess's signature item is the Movies Under the Stars. We really enjoyed the drive in movie like experience, however on some upper levels one must view the screen through Plexiglas railings. They provide some cozy blankets because it can get pretty chilly and windy at night. The Piazza was a nice area, but nowhere near as impressive as the interior promenade "avenues" on the RCL ships. I miss hanging out in a cafe watching people walk by on the RCL promenade. On the Crown it was often difficult to find a spot to see the performances held in the Piazza as the pretty spiral staircases don't make very good bleachers. Staterooms We booked three separate staterooms for our family of five. An aft Aloha deck 12 balcony (category BD) for us, and two side-by-side ocean view staterooms (no triple cabins were left) for the kids. We had mini suites on our previous cruises and the standard balcony stateroom was fine, basically a smaller version of what we were used to. The beds were very comfortable and the bathrooms and showers were small but efficient. The flat screen TV had a large selection of movies, TV shows and other programs. The mini fridge had ample room, as it fit the entire case of Coke Zero I brought aboard with room to spare. Our balcony was relatively small, but private. It's worth noting that the balconies on decks 9 or 10 extend out wide over the tops of the lifeboats so their views are not obstructed, but this leaves those balconies fully exposed to the decks above. I personally wouldn't like this lack of privacy, and actually saw some people from higher decks dropping ice cubes on the lower balconies. Not cool! Our cabin steward (Rodgie) was excellent. Very personable and kept the room neat and clean. There were no towel animals but I never cared for that gimmick anyways. The nightly chocolates were good enough for me. The ocean view rooms were the same as ours except for the good sized windows in place of the balcony. Ours were obstructed view but still had plenty of visibility over the tops of the lifeboats. Overall the rooms were fine with no issues. Dining Room We elected anytime dining and split our dinners between the DaVinci main dining room and the buffet. Overall we ranked the food on the Crown Princess as "hit or miss" with some items excellent, some good, and some not so good. The dining room menu was mostly very good with some glaring exceptions. For example, my wife ordered a prime rib and was served a cut that was two thirds fat. She should have sent it back or gotten another one but she's not that type. I wish I had taken a picture of it to send to Princess. We were also not impressed that margarine, not butter was served with the bread. There were many very good items though, especially the lobster tail, salmon, scallops and other seafood items. The beef wellington was very good too. The desserts were OK, but seemed to have a sweetness level lower than American palettes are accustomed. We noticed that the pastry chefs were Asian, and since we travel to Asia often, we have noticed that lower sugar desserts are common there. Service in the dining room was efficient, timely and polite. At the hour we usually ate (around 7:00 pm) the waiters were so busy there seemed to be no time for them to chat with the guests. They did a great job of getting our orders of multiple courses correct and brought them out promptly and hot. Props to the maitre d who went out of his way twice to find us a table earlier than the ATD guests were supposed to be admitted to the DaVinci DR. Buffet The buffet selections were smaller than on other ships, but the quality was pretty good. Some of the MDR selections were also offered in the dinner buffet. I liked that smoked salmon was offered each breakfast, however quiches were served cold! Very strange. The buffet layout and traffic pattern is the worst I've seen. There are three separate enclosed buffet areas in which you are forced to follow through a narrow, crowded line with a specific entrance and exit. There is little opportunity to "browse" the food selections since you are trapped in the buffet line. This design also makes returning for seconds problematic, as one has to cut in line to retrieve a specific item. Other Food The New York style pizza slices served on the pool deck are very good and quite popular. People are seen eating pizza slices all over the ship, including in the buffet and at MUTS. The burgers at the Trident grill were also excellent. The specialty coffees at the International Cafe were very good and reasonably priced, however for some reason regular coffee is not offered there. Regular coffee (which was also very good) was ONLY available at the buffet on deck 15. This is a major oversight since coffee lovers like us would appreciate access to regular coffee in more than one place on such a big ship. We always enjoyed regular coffees at the cafes on RCL and NCL. Princess needs to fix this. We all got soda cards, which at $36 pp I believe are cheaper than other lines. It was nice that the wait staff was usually OK with only one of us digging the card out of our pockets, and were usually prompt at bringing the sodas despite no additional tip. We have had problems being neglected before, especially on NCL. Entertainment I will start off by saying that our cruise director Kelvin Joy was the best we have had. He was very entertaining, had a great sense of humor and was a great master of ceremonies for many of the ships events. Kelvin just returned to the Crown for our cruise and relieved the previous CD whom wasn't getting very good comments from previous CC reviews I have read. Kelvin, Colin the assistant CD, and CJ the DJ hosted most of the events on the ship and were all very funny. The staff performs a skit at the end of the crew show that is hilarious and is a must see. The main theater shows were excellent, with great singing, dancing and costumes. While the song and dance numbers were enjoyable, they were all very short, only 30 to 40 minutes long in order to fit three shows in per night. The Crown may need to do three shows due to the smaller size of its theater, which we heard only fits about a third of the ships passengers. In spite of its size, we never had to wait for a seat in the theater and it filled to capacity only on the last night of the cruise. While the dancers changed themes each performance, and a couple comedians performed on some nights, there was a surprising lack of variety of performances offered on the Crown. Other ships have also had magicians, hypnotists, acrobats, parades, and even ice dancing. On Norwegian each theater show would be almost 2 hours and have a number of different acts. Princess settles for one short act. Good performances, but too short in my opinion. There was a running joke among the staff about the lack of people up in the Skywalker's Lounge (basically the ship's disco) and it turns out it was no joke. We went a couple times and never saw more than 6 or 8 people up there. The waiters there looked very bored and we actually felt sorry for them. Skywalker's is restricted to ages 18 and older and if they opened it up to all ages they would probably fill the place. I am sure the teenagers would love to dance there. There was an ultimate deck party one night that was pretty fun but not as well attended as one would expect. In fact, it amazed me how deserted the upper decks became at night. I would take some evening walks at about 11:00 pm and would often be the ONLY passenger on the pool decks while over 3000 others were below decks. Youth Programs Being spring break, there were hordes of kids on this cruise and we met many vacationing teachers as well. Our 15-year-old son registered with the teen center and basically used it as a meeting place to get acquainted with other teens. Once the cliques were established the teens wandered around the ship in groups and crowded stairwells in chat circles. The teen center stayed open until 2:00 am, which is too late in my opinion. Most parents want and need to know their kids are back in their staterooms by the time they go to bed, and don't like to search the ship for their teen late at night (one reason for some of my late night walks). We set our own curfews but it was hard to enforce while in "vacation mode" and with no working cell phones. It would be helpful if ship's security enforced a curfew for teens by midnight at least. Wayward teens appeared to be a problem for other parents as there was more than one middle of the night announcement over the ship's PA announcing a missing person. Overall Conclusion Overall we really enjoyed this cruise on the Crown Princess. We liked the ports of call a lot, but since the Crown has already departed for the Mediterranean for the summer, I will not bother reviewing shore excursions here. We liked the ship, the food was pretty good, the entertainment was good and the staff was friendly and helpful. There are certain things we liked more on NCL and RCL but we would still enjoy cruising on Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
Just returned this past weekend from a great week aboard the Crown Princess. We have previously done this itinerary from Galveston but I could not remember too much about it so we decided to give it a go since it was a change of pace from ... Read More
Just returned this past weekend from a great week aboard the Crown Princess. We have previously done this itinerary from Galveston but I could not remember too much about it so we decided to give it a go since it was a change of pace from the eastern cruises we typically do in the winter. We arrived in Galveston the day before and used Super Shuttle for our transportation from Hobby airport. I spent a lot of time looking at different options and this seemed the most reasonable. We were a group of 4 adults and chose to book a private SUV at $35 per person. When we arrived there was a slight snafu, I received a voicemail from the company and they told me that it looked as though our flight was now arriving at 10pm instead of 10am. Not sure where they got that from so I called them back and it ended up being their mistake. Now the problem was that because they thought we were delayed they did not have a driver available to take us. I was not very happy and a bit testy from traveling since 3am and after a bit of a back and forth they had the super shuttle van take us by ourselves to Galveston for the same price. The van was perfectly fine and the driver was very nice. We stayed at the Hotel Galvez which we all thought was very nice. I really love historical hotels and the location was right on the beach with great views from the rooms. I only wish it had been warm enough to actually hang out on the beach, it was pretty chilly. There were restaurants within walking distance and a town car that would take you into town and pick you back up for no cost. It was really easy to call them and get picked up when we were ready to go back to the hotel. My husband was excited to stay at the Galvez since it is said to be haunted, he even called months in advance to request the "haunted room". To his disappoint nothing out of the ordinary happened during our stay. The rooms are clean and slightly updated but very small which we expected since the hotel is so old. Our rooms were fine for 2 adults but if we were looking to get 3 or 4 in a room it would be very tight. Check in is at 4pm but we arrived by 12pm and only had to wait about 30 minutes for our room to be ready and the others in our party could check in right away which was really nice. If you stay at the Galvez they do have a complimentary shuttle to the pier but you need to make sure you sign up right away as it does fill up quickly. We ended up getting in the 12pm slot and it worked out great. When we arrived at the pier there was really no wait at all. Dropped our bags off and were on board within about 20 minutes. I thought the check in was very organized, we have preferred check in but the rest of our group without boarded very shortly after us and were very complimentary of the whole process. Once on board we dropped our things off at the room and headed up to the buffet for lunch. The weather in Galveston was sunny but cool so since we would not be hitting the pool we ended up getting back off the ship and walked around the historical strand which is right across from the pier. We made it back on board just in time the muster drill and then we were off! Dining I have to say that we thought the food was very good on this cruise but we were not overly thrilled with the selections on the new menus. Maybe it was because some of our old favorites were missing but I had a harder time choosing something in the MDR at night because not a lot seemed to appeal to me. I did enjoy all of my food, except for what they were calling a filet in the MDR, it tasted almost gamey to me both times I tried it. I always love the fettuccine and we had that as a third main dish to share every night. Loved the ice creams and sorbet selection each night and usually added a scoop to whatever dessert I had. We went to Sabatini's on our first night and Crown grill on our last night and both were excellent and definitely our favorite meals for the week. These are so worth the extra cost! We love to start and end our trips in the specialty restaurants. Afternoon tea was really nice (this was the first time I have gone), a good selection of sandwiches, cookies and pastry. I thought there was supposed to be live music but the occasions we were there is was just music over the speaker system. All in all a very nice experience in the afternoon when there was not a lot going on. We tried to make it to pub lunch but both times the line was HUGE and we didn't feel like waiting an hour plus so we have yet to give that a try. Enjoyed lunches in the MDR and the buffet and found both to have really nice selections during this time. Wish they had more available late night, the cafe caribe was open until midnight but it just seemed to have old left over looking options from dinner that night and nothing great for a little late night snack. Pizza always works though, very yummy. Entertainment We love to do Movies Under the Stars and enjoyed the movies even though most we have already seen. They played Bourne Legacy, Pitch Perfect, Robot and Frank and Premium Rush. My only issue was that the first and last night they replayed the same movie which usually does not happen. The comedians on board were a lot of fun and we enjoyed seeing Lincoln and Argo in the Princess Theater. We didn't attend any of the other shows as they don't usually interest us. We also enjoyed the entertainment in the Piazza throughout the day and evening when we were waiting around for this and that. Ports Belize- We did a princess excursion, the river cruise, Altun Ha ruins and lunch. I really enjoyed this tour but the rest of the group I was with did not. Their biggest complaint was that the river cruise portion was way too long for the type of boat they put you in. I can agree with that, the boat was small and had everyone facing inwards so you always had to turn or stand up to see anything they were pointing out. We did see a lot of wildlife which was great but it did drag on a bit. The lunch was nothing special, you pull up to a building on the side of the river (they called it a resort, I'm not sure why). There was a food line inside for chicken, rice and salad and a soda. It was ok, and by that time we were starving. It's not a lot of food but enough to hold you over until the tour is over. I thought the ruins were wonderful but it was so hot and no shade to be had so definitely wear a hat or bring your sunscreen! We got to climb up some of the structures and get some great pictures but you need to be very careful as the steps can be steep and very uneven. Roatan- This was my first time at this port and we knew it would basically be a beach day. I was expecting something like Princess Cays but I was pleasantly surprised. Mahogany bay was a very nice beach and the water was wonderful! We had a lot of fun and really loved the chair lift that you could take to get to the beach, its $2 cheaper to get the tickets on board the ship. Next time I would love to head out to one of the other beaches and see more of the island. A very pretty port. Cozumel- We had planned to head to one of the beach clubs for the day but the weather was cloudy and it rained off and on most of the day. We took it as a nice break from the sun and decided to walk around town and do a little shopping. We also stopped at Pancho's backyard for lunch which was decent but nothing to write home about. Sea Days- We had three on this cruise since one of our ports got canceled shortly after we booked. I don't love sea days, I find them to be a little boring but I tried to get to some new things and keep busy. We loved the Thermal Suite and used it every afternoon, I don't think it's worth the price they charge but we still tend to purchase the weeks pass. I did feel like there were a lot more people than usual just walking in without having the pass which was annoying since we actually paid for it. People were also just really sloppy leaving towels all over the floor and on the loungers after they left. Our final sea day was cold and rainy, a bust weather wise. This was my only issue with leaving from Galveston, it's not very warm this time of year so your first and last days can be iffy weather wise. We still found a lot to do but it was a little disappointing. Just some other things... This was the first time for us that there was a kiosk near the purser's desk where you could print out your statement without having to wait in line, that was really nice. I did actually find a mistake, a bottle of wine was charged to us in error. The staff at the desk were very helpful and cleared up the charge right away. I thought all of the staff was wonderful and always very helpful. One of the members of our party got a horrible sunburn (her own fault for not wearing any sunscreen) and the buffet staff could see how uncomfortable she was and told her to put plain yogurt on her burns, they even brought her a bunch to put in her cabin fridge. Good to know for the future. We were in cabin R737 and loved our room steward Romel. This is always our favorite location when we do not get a balcony room; we are steps from the aft pool which is really nice. All in all this was a great cruise; I really enjoyed the itinerary and look forward to sailing on the Crown again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Pre-cruise experience: To start with I want to say that Princess surprised us a couple day's prior to our cruise to inform us that we were receiving an complimentary upgrade from an obstructed ocean view (ff) Emerald deck to a balcony ... Read More
Pre-cruise experience: To start with I want to say that Princess surprised us a couple day's prior to our cruise to inform us that we were receiving an complimentary upgrade from an obstructed ocean view (ff) Emerald deck to a balcony (BB) Dolphin deck. We were truly blessed. We left early Saturday from Reagan National on Spirit Airline. This was our first time using this airline so of course we had our concerns especially reading the reviews and looking at how they had so many different fee's but it turned out better then we thought. We checked & paid for our bags the day before; we checked in the night before and printed our boarding passes, at that time we received our seat assignments which were chosen for us automatically. At the airport, check in was quick & simple since we had our boarding passes. FYI* Spirit charges for ALL checked and carried on baggages; also for printing your boarding passes at the check-in at the airport but they have the cheapest prices around! We left on time, the flight was very pleasant, we arrived a few minutes early in Ft. Lauderdale and our bags came out first! We chose not to get the transportation to the terminal through Princess so we caught a taxi in less then 15 minutes, they have a very pleasant and organized system. The taxi driver was very personable and efficient. It only cost us $15.00 for 3. Embarkation: We got to the pier around 10am, gave our bags to the porter who efficiently stapled our luggage tags on for us and pointed us to the double doors for check-in. I have to admit the Princess representatives seemed a little disoriented to what was going on I assume it was due to people disembarking at the same time. There was maybe 75 people already in line, we waited about 10 minutes before they started checking our boarding passes and passports so we could go through security into the holding area. They separated everyone by their class (Platinum, Elite, etc.), we were there for 2 hour's waiting before they let us officially check-in. It seemed like a long time, but we were early and they recommend you wait to until around 2pm so no complaints, plus we noticed there was a long line outside in the heat to get in. There was some excitement when they started letting us in but it was personalities conflicting. Check-in: I have to admit I think Princess could improve the area they have for check-in, it seemed just very primitive compared to other cruise lines. The process was very quick and representative very nice and efficient, took less then 15 minutes to check-in and board. Boarding: As soon as we got on board we were directed by the crew to our cabin. As mentioned earlier we received an upgrade to a balcony which was a surprise for our son. We were greeted by our cabin steward Ronnie when we first arrived at our cabin, very nice person. Cabin: Our cabin (D735- Dolphin) was awesome!! Our balcony faced the rear of the ship, was covered and large enough to be another room! The bed was so comfortable, we could hardly believe it. Though being at the rear of the ship we expected it to be little bumpier but it was just fine. The second formal night we came back to a pleasant surprise, a plate of treats: chocolate covered strawberries & bruschetta wrapped treats! Don't know who sent them but it was a nice treat! Dining : We chose any time dining. We realized the first night that it was best to show up at 5:00pm to be seated immediately. I liked it better than I thought I would and it was a very pleasant experience. We had breakfast & lunch at the Horizon buffet. We enjoyed the wonderful food at the International Cafe throughout the cruise. Entertainment : First night: We went to the welcome aboard show, we weren't impressed with Comedian /Magician Tim Metivier. Before each dinner setting in the Piazza on deck 5, they had a team called 'Body Balancers Duo Push' (Rocco & Micah) They were awesome, its an act that you do not want to miss! They have wonderful personalities and work the crowd. We watched them twice because it was so good! Second night: We watched the duo again, we decided not to watch the Comedy Hypnotist Ed Fernandez. Third night, Formal night : The main show in the was called- 'Destination Anywhere' and it was sub-par at best. I think its time for Princess to stop catering to the over 60 crowd and remember there are younger people in the crowd. The shows are always based on older subjects with a few up to date songs, not good enough. Forth night : Well, the show tonight was oh so much better, don't miss 'Motor City'. It has a better theme and a lot of oldies but goodies, I highly recommend it! Fifth night: We decided to retire early and watch one of the ship board movies in our stateroom, they showed several throughout the cruise : Cars 2; Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 1; Megamind etc. Sixth night : In the Atrium, they had a juggler named Bonk, he was awesome! In the Princess Theater, we were entertained by a comedian named Rollin' Jay Moore, he was very country and extremely humorous. Last night: We packed and turned in early. Ports : Princess Cays was wonderful. The weather was beautiful! Recommend renting the Clam shell, was a nice addition to the day. Curacao: Beautiful city, wonderful people! We took the excursion from the ship: Semi-sub / distillery. It was OK, the best part was our tour guide Josela, she was very well versed about the history of her country. She made it worth the while! We left the port late due to the fact that four people decided to come back late. My understanding hearing from another passenger, they were running up the dock as we left and ended up meeting the ship in Aruba! FYI* Princess will leave! Aruba: The city is beautiful! We took an 4 hour excursion from the ship to the Depalma Resort Island and it was well worth the cost. It was all inclusive resort : free food, drinks, snorkeling, water-park, and banana boat ride. The terminal had stores with souvenirs which is very convenient. Service: The service we received while on board was excellent, we did not have a negative experience with any of the crew member's whatsoever. We were treated like royalty the entire time we were on our cruise. From our cabin steward, Ronnie, our waiter Felipe & junior waitress Tania, head waiter Alfonso (Michelangelo dining room table 251). The waitress Shar Ann will greet you with a smile every morning in the Horizon and waiter Jeffery will be there to serve you. If you want to have photos taken find Willy, his skill is awesome, you will not be disappointed. Ralph, the future cruise representative, will be happy to assist you. Food: We thought the food was superb! My wife is Filipino and our Head waiter Alfonso went out of his way to make her feel at home by having the Sous Chef Edwin make her authentic Filipino dishes for he dinner on 2 separate nights! You must treat yourself to the sandwich's, salads, and pastries at the International Cafe'. Daily activities: There was more going on then I could actually mention in this post. A few of the highlights we enjoyed were: Art auction, Culinary class /galley tour by the Ambassador Chef for Princess, Line dancing classes, 5k on the Deck for the Cure, Future cruise talk, Captain's Circle Cocktail party, Deck Party. Some others were: Bingo, Trivia, Movies Under The Stars just to share a few. Teens : They had activities for the young people all day long, my 14 year old son would join us breakfast leave at 9am and meet us for lunch at 12pm, then disappear until 5pm for dinner. He would leave us around 7:30pm and would return later in the evening. The group for the teens 13 to 18 is called Remix and we governed by a great group of adults. Sebastian is one of the leaders, this trip had 248 young people in this age group so they were busy all the time. My son totally enjoyed himself. Also the teenage area is open until 3am giving them a place to hang out when everything closes except the casino. Disembarkation: We were given luggage tags two days before our arrival to Ft. Lauderdale and ours we Gold 3 which indicated we were to meet to disembark at 9:50am, my concern was our flight going home was at 1:30pm and if we got stuck in the Customs line too long we may be late getting to the airport. I went to the pursers desk and explained my concern and they were happy to help me by giving me Pink 1 tags for 8:40am. We were able to get off the ship,get our luggage and get a taxi by 9:00am. We were pleased, EXCEPT for the fact that instead on the porters separating the luggage's by color and number, it was only by color so it was mess with everyone scrambling to get there luggage. This was the most relaxing cruise we have ever been on and we have already booked our next cruise on the Crown in October 2013!! Looking forward to our Transatlantic cruise! Take it from us, the service on-board the Crown Princess was above excellent, ignore the negative and YOU make YOUR cruise the way YOU want it to be! Happy cruisin'!! Read Less
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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