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7 Night Baltic Sea Cruise from Southampton

7 Night Baltic Sea Cruise from Southampton

Exterior shot of Crown Princess docked in port
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Crown Princess

Crown Princess - Princess Cruises


Great layout for minimizing crowds; recent refresh makes the ship feel new


Fewer specialty dining options and bells and whistles than on new mega-ships

Bottom Line

A simple yet elegant cruise option for adults looking for relaxation or romance

Cruise Reviews

Crown princess an awkward ship. Tiered cabins horrible for those on lower balconies. But having a balcony is the only way to go if you like fresh air and a private space. Dining rooms were mediocre so stayed with the buffets which were ... Read More
Crown princess an awkward ship. Tiered cabins horrible for those on lower balconies. But having a balcony is the only way to go if you like fresh air and a private space. Dining rooms were mediocre so stayed with the buffets which were amazing. Average BMI 50 so be forewarned. But good incentive to back away from the buffet. Difficult cruise to be on for seniors who are active and fit. Exceptional staff who for the most part were pleasant and helpful. Will bow out of automatic room gratuity in future and pay our steward and others directly. We payed full price which we knew we were doing but wanted a specific date itinerary and cabin so sucked it up. The whole cruise was nickel and dime you to death which can make you paranoid to spend after a while. Passenger policies not enforced so makes it awkward for those who are trying to play by the rules. Maybe we’re just not princess cruise people Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose the cruise for the ports and these ports of call because we had not been there before. We had cruised on Princess line before and gone on more than 20 cruises in the past, but this time had an exceptional 10 days and the vacation ... Read More
I chose the cruise for the ports and these ports of call because we had not been there before. We had cruised on Princess line before and gone on more than 20 cruises in the past, but this time had an exceptional 10 days and the vacation exceeded my expectations. This trip was great for the value we received. Yes, the decor was a little "tired" but the crew and their energy far made up for the old decor. We laughed, we played, we learned new things, we had a great week. I loved the crew and their hard work at keeping the ship clean. The food was exceptional in the dining room. The singers and dancers were excellent. They have a 24 hour International cafe were you can pick up cookies or pastries or desserts or even a light lunch. The medallion made the embarking process super fast. The cooking show with the gallery tour is something not to be missed. Very entertaining and enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Weeks before the cruise I spent hours setting up the Medallion Class and Ocean Ready applications on four cell phones so that my parents (in D514), my husband and I could communicate and utilize the newest technology during the cruise. The ... Read More
Weeks before the cruise I spent hours setting up the Medallion Class and Ocean Ready applications on four cell phones so that my parents (in D514), my husband and I could communicate and utilize the newest technology during the cruise. The application never worked for either of my parents or my husband. I was only able to view the stateroom charges the first 3 days of the cruise and then nothing worked on either app. The weeks leading up to the cruise, when logged into the Princess website it stated that we could get on the ship at 10:00AM. When we checked in, we were told that we would have to wait until 11:15AM. When we boarded the ship we were told that the rooms would not be ready until 1:00PM. Therefore, we did not leave the public areas until 1:00PM. We later asked the stateroom attendant when he had to have the rooms ready during turnover and we were informed that staterooms are ready at 11:00AM. We had been awake since 12:30AM for travel that day to Fort Lauderdale and getting to the room for a nap would have been nice when we boarded. Upon entering our room D518 there were dirty towels on the balcony which I had to get housekeeping to remove. When we met our housekeeper for the first time I tipped him $20 as I enjoy the towel animals and requested them in our stateroom. When we did not receive an animal the first couple of nights, my husband tipped the stateroom attendant another $20 in order to get nightly towel animals in the room. During the entire 10 night cruise we received two towel animals for the $40. Although the towel animals were very detailed and we enjoyed them, we do not tip that kind of money for 2/10 nights for something we enjoy so much when cruising. Missing from our room when we arrived was the dining assignments card. The first night of the cruise, we had no idea where to go for anytime dining until other guests mentioned the card that was in their room. We returned to our room, asked my parents (D514) to check their room and neither of us received it. We had to go to customer service to get the information on where to eat. Later we noticed that our shower drain would start backing up after a few minutes of showering. The issue became worse so we had to have maintenance come in and fix the issue. Half way through the cruise our showerhead wouldn’t stay upright no matter what we did so we ended up wrapping the emergency pull cord around it to get it to stay up. The D514 stateroom on the morning of 10 November had to take a cold shower during the 7:00AM hour because there was not hot water available in the shower or sink. My parents stated that several mornings they were subjected to cold showers early in the morning, as they did not have hot water in their shower or in their sink. Prior to booking the cruise, we contacted Princess about their staterooms and amenities as we were comparing cruise ships and staterooms. We were never informed that the Crown Princess had tiered balconies. We paid a lot of money for a mini-suite, we could have purchased a balcony on Celebrity with the same square footage, that would have cost us less money and provided us with more perks. We never would have booked such a room had we of been informed. Our balcony had zero privacy, deck ten could look down and see the entire balcony. The balconies were also very unsafe as the handles to the balcony staterooms do no prevent a lock out. If one guest were on the balcony and another is in the stateroom and turns the handle ever so slightly the door is locked and the guest on the balcony is stranded. The bathroom plugs would not support any American electronics, not an electronic toothbrush charger, not a hair dryer, not a phone charge or even an extension cord for these items. The only thing that it would support was a nightlight. During the evacuation drill we were sitting in the lounge area where the employees were directing people into the lounge and failed to continually warn them about the steps up into the lounge area. There were four guests that fell just during the short time we were sitting there. The employees would yell muster station 7, watch your step and then another 30 people would walk in before they warned them to watch their step again, another person would fall. Someone could have been seriously injured. After the drill, we went to the customer service desk to check on a significant football game and whether it would be available somewhere, anywhere on the ship. I told the gentlemen that the game was being broadcasted on CBS at 3:30PM on Saturday 9 November and that it was LSU ranked #1 and Alabama ranked #3. The employee did some research and stated that if it was a big game like we mentioned than they would be showing it somewhere on the ship possibly the casino or available in our stateroom. Saturday (day at sea) arrived, dozens of guests were wondering if the ship was going to play the game. I went to the customer service desk that morning and asked. The employee stated that they do not get CBS and handed me the NFL game schedule that they would be broadcasting on Sunday. I argued with her that we were told Thursday the game would be available somewhere on the ship. She claimed to have contacted headquarters and claimed that she emailed the cruise director. She stated that if I returned at 1:30PM she would have an answer for me. When I returned she stated that it would not be available. After being lied to by Princess yet again, I had to pay $20 for Wi-Fi to stream the game on my phone. The first cocktail that I ordered at the bar on deck 16 next to the smoking section I asked the waiter for a straw and what the charge would be for the drink. The waiter disappeared and never returned. We enjoy the typical fruity cruise drinks like Pina Coladas, when ordering these drinks they were given in cocktail glasses with paper straws. The straws were not even long enough to reach the bottom two inches of the drink. We eventually had to order them in juice cups so that we could finish our $10 cocktails. The smoking section on deck 16 should state that there are no children allowed. There was a couple that had a 5-year-old sitting in the smoking section and eating breakfast every morning. The ashtrays in the smoking section on deck 16 are the cheapest thing on the market, other cruise lines have windproof ashtrays so that non-smoking guests are not subjected to unwanted ash and smoke that are inexpensive. We attended the Horizons for lunch after boarding the ship for lunch and again later the first day of the cruise for dinner. On two separate occasions on the first day of the cruise the dining room ran out of silverware and cups. On that note, why is the silverware wrapped and on tables, what if you want to take food to your room, you are expected to eat with your hands? The silverware set up is absurd, we have never seen this before and it was a huge inconvenience the entire cruise not just for us but we witnessed other passengers having the same issue. We were looking forward to the juice selection at the buffet in the morning as we do every cruise and it was terrible. There were two options, orange or apple, the orange juice was disgusting it was filled with so much pulp. The juice was handed out in glasses not much bigger than shot glasses so you had to continue to flag waiters down for a refill. In addition, the juice was only available at breakfast so you only had water and tea to drink the rest of the day. The milk was only available in a spout instead of small cartons like other cruise lines, so if you wanted cold milk it was hit or miss. If you wanted to take milk out onto the pool deck or in your room, you had your hands full trying not to spill it. When entering the Horizon buffet from the pizza café, the first drink station you see on the right, the ice/water machine was broken the entire cruise and water and ice were available in jars, which ran out all the time. The omelet station was another ridiculous system that Princess needs to revamp. The first time it took 20 minutes to get the omelet, we could not pick the omelet up a waiter had to continually check on the status, and the order was never correct. One morning the omelet station ran out of all cheese except Swiss, who in the world has Swiss on an omelet. Just outside of Horizons buffet, we were eating lunch by the pizza place when two employees with white button down shirts started to reprimand a female waitress employee in front of guests. The two male employees kept going back and forth lecturing the girl who looked like she was going to break out in tears at any moment in front of dozens of guests. It was utterly unprofessional, I’ve never seen anything like it before on vacation. We dined often in the Da Vinci dining room when we did not have a late excursion. The Da Vinci dining room requires pants, a nice shirt, and if jeans are worn they cannot have holes. The second night a gentlemen came in with jeans torn up and down and an Affliction t-shirt on like he was attending a night club. But I guess since his female companion was in a dress they allowed them to dine in Da Vinci. Another night we noticed the couple in their 20’s occupying table 471 in Da Vinci were in lounge clothes. The male had sneakers, basketball socks pulled up to his knees, basketball shorts on and a t-shirt. It was so shocking I couldn’t even remember what the female was wearing. Why have dining room attire standards if you aren’t going to hold guests accountable. Movies under the stars were a huge disappointment. This was the ONLY reason we decided to give Princess a try as friends and family had bragged about watching movies in the loungers with blankets, cookies and milk, and popcorn. There were no cookies and milk provided. There was popcorn made but it was not handed out, it was placed in bags in a basket next to the bar. Had I have not gone to the bar for a beverage I would have never known about it. The popcorn was barely edible as it was old and stale. Movies being played at prime times on the big screen by Calypso Pool were for children and families. Does Princess even take into consideration the age of those booked in their staterooms? Families possibly totaled 5% of the entire ship on this sailing, why weren’t adult movies that were on the demand stateroom system played on the big screen. Extremely disappointed. During the two days at sea that the four of us spent by the Neptune pool there were ZERO waiters/waitresses walking around to order a drink from. We had to continually go to the bar for service. At least the third day at sea we sat at Calypso pool and there was service there. When entering the elevator area from the stairs on deck 9 and making a left to hit up or down on that elevator, the buttons do not work. Then, the fact that the far two elevators are on separate operating systems where you have to hit the up or down button on both is ridiculous. The elevator that takes you to deck 16 by the pool bar was broken the entire cruise. The sliding doors by the Neptune pool were in and out of service the whole cruise. Public area restroom by the casino had a sink out of order. I felt like I was on a low-budget cruise line like Carnival but with an older, less-rowdy crowd. This was the first cruise in 14 years of cruising (my parents have been cruising 34 years) that we did not attend an evening show. There were several times we went by to see if it would peak our interest but each time after reading the description and other guests talking about it we were not interested. Our last cruise on the Celebrity Equinox we attended 8 shows on a 10 night cruise and all were excellent. While the ship was in port, the air conditioning throughout the ship in public areas was turned off. It was horrible when returning to the ship expecting to cool off and it is just as hot walking around the ship public areas as outdoors. I understand trying to save money but this was ridiculous. Princess should be embarrassed by all the corners they cut and embarrassed by the outside appearance of the ship. There was so much rust we noticed when walking alongside the ship when in port. There was also rust on the tile by the hot tubs, around the balconies, it seems that every ship we saw in port that was not ours look brand new compared to the condition of the Crown. So many other guests were pointing out how nice the Celebrity, Viking, Disney and Princess ship next to us looked when in port. I have never experienced a ship that was rocking so out of control. It took my husband and I a week after returning home for the feeling that we were moving to end. The two days at sea returning the ship rocking was out of control. The stabilizers either need to be updated, maintenance performed, be replaced or something else done. Nowhere is the ships location within the Caribbean displayed on the ship so we could not understand why the ship was going so fast and putting guest’s health safety at risk. I have cruised a dozen times and never had this issue before. When doing laundry on ninth deck had issues with the coins. When we called customer service via the phone button labeled as such which routed to a guests personal room. The pool activities were canceled for the entire second day at sea. There should be a backup for entertainment when the ship is rocking too much for scheduled activities. There was not even music being played on the speakers. You have hundreds of people by the pool for entertainment, and no entertainment. I guess when the cruise gets past the halfway point Princess has told their stateroom attendants to only provide clean towels and linens to save money because neither D514 nor D518 received toilet paper or tissues napkins in stateroom. The last night of the cruise, we had to search for assistance to get some. There are usually refills supplied in the rooms. Every single port we visited we were late arriving and leaving the port early. Why are we paying so much money for these stops to be cut short. There were times when we were 30-45 minutes late getting off the ship (first wave) and we were told we had to be back at the ship 30-45 minutes prior to the ship departing. Completely ludicrous. Princess website: “We selected only the most reputable companies available to provide your excursions. The companies providing your excursions are selected by Princess based on their excellent reputation for service and safety.” The tender process at Princess Cay seemed as though a brand new cruise line, with brand new employees were implementing a brand new system by how terrible the process went. With no exaggeration it took us an hour from getting off the elevator to get to Princess Cay. Then our trip was cut short as we were told we had to be back on the ship at 4:15PM when the ship was not leaving until 5:00PM. So two hours of our day was wasted. Then when we got off the tender there was no one directing us on where we could go, whether one side or the other was open, what amenities were provided, it was unreal. At the cookout lunch they ran out of food and didn’t care that guests were still coming by to eat. The bars closed hours before departure and guests were stuck without beverages. It was a horrible first stop. In St Lucia we purchased two tickets for SLU-320B for $69.95 each to participate in the volcanic island experience and mud bath. This by far out of numerous cruises over 14 years has been the worst excursion I have ever booked and we book an excursion at every port. In the description it says the scenic drive goes through two traditional fishing villages. This tour does not as it ends up at some point where the drivers buddy can try to get money from guests in their little shops that overlook from afar these villages. Description on Princess website states we descend into Soufriere which is deceiving since we really wanted to stop and see the black sand beach of Soufriere and we got nowhere close to it. Princess says the mineral baths are oozing with mud which was a lie as we applied mud from a 5 gallon bucket. Website says we will stop briefly at Marigot Bay and we stopped a mile from it at an overlook in which I can provide my photographs to prove such. Nowhere in the notes or medical restrictions does it mention the aggressive and terribly long drive it is for this excursion. We were in a vehicle for 4 hours making “hair pin turns” every 50 yards with 40 mph in between. This tour was the first time in 36 years on the earth that we have ever gotten carsick. After the first stop I had to ride in the front. My husband had to take anti-nausea medication. Another guest on the same bus had the driver pull over to vomit. Had we of known that we would be in the vehicle for 4 hours of a 5 hour tour we would have never considered it. We stopped by the excursion desk to receive a refund and of course, no one was there on every occasion. In Barbados we purchased two tickets for BGI-820A for $64.95 to snorkel with turtles and enjoy the beach. This was a good excursion, Barbados was beautiful. However, Princess claims that the companies providing these excursions are selected for their safety reputation which was not the case on this excursion. The Captain of the boat allowed a guest to drive the boat who had no boating experience. The Captain then left the helm and went downstairs. The guest sitting in the Captain’s chair started freaking out as the boat veered out to sea. I promptly grabbed the wheel and steered it back towards land and the Captain came back up after she realized the boat was going astray. The Captain also admitted that she did not know how to dock the boat after I asked what slip she was pulling into. She pulled the boat alongside another tour boat and the ropes were tied together to unload passengers. We had to climb onto another boat in order to then climb onto the dock to depart. In Antiqua we purchased two tickets for ANU-880A for $74.95 each to kayak, observe Bird Island, snorkel, visit the beach and hike. The excursion was listed as 4.5 hours in which it lasted over 5 hours and we were late getting back to the port. Kayaking was listed as 45 minutes and nowhere does it state on Princess website that the kayak portion is guided. The guide took us about 100 yards through the water, not the mangroves, looked for sea creatures to show guests, didn’t find anything and had us return. Kayaking did not even last 30 minutes and a portion of that was wasted while the guide assisted unsuitable guests back in their kayaking after falling out. Guide didn’t even take us by the mangroves until the last 50 feet when returning. If Princess lists this excursion as strenuous and suitable for the most active passengers in excellent physical condition then why is the excursion desk allowing people to book this tour to those clearly obese and elderly. Princess states that the companies providing the tour have an excellent reputation for safety, well I had to say something to the driver of the boat because it was a very small boat of maybe 22 feet filled to capacity with guests and he drove the overloaded boat into large waves that were not safe. This is coming from two people who own a boat, have attended the United States Coast Guard boating safety course and have obtained a boating license. The guide then turned the boat around, and decided that 50 yards away was the spot to snorkel. It was so unsafe that I didn’t even get out of the boat. The waves were so intense that guests were being pushed against the boat. Then the boat transporting the other passengers was tied to the same buoy. As guests were getting off one of the boats came untied and started drifting into snorkeling guests. They couldn’t start the engine and create further risks and continued to jeopardize the safety of guests. Also, on the ticket for the excursion it stated that water shoes were required, not recommended as it states on Princess’ website. So when we pulled into port we had to go purchase water shoes to prevent being turned away from the tour. When we arrived no one had water shoes and our money was wasted. Princess should refund us not only for the tour but also the water shoes that we did not need as we have a pair back home. When we received the final bill it stated that we could not receive any money back after we left the ship. So we went to shore excursion desk again to complain about our deceitful excursions again and no one was there to provide assistance. Customer service stated that it is not something that they can address and has to be handled by shore excursions representative. We paid for this cruise and received less. Last cruise was also a 10 day cruise, we paid less than the Crown, and we received the drink package, free Wi-Fi, pre-paid gratuities and room credit. For us to pay $3868 for the cruise and $789 for excursion for the gigantic list of issues we encountered, we should receive a refund of some sort. It is sad to say that there were only three good things to say about the Crown Princess. The food was good, the beds were nice, and our Da Vinci dining staff were excellent. Jeanette the junior waitress, Francis the assistant waiter, Stanford the waiter, Puja the hostess, and Rui the head waiter were all amazing. Francis went above and beyond and always had our ice tea waiting for us without having to order right after we were seated. Stanford had a great sense of humor always helping us pronounce entrees correctly and made great recommendations. The service at Da Vinci was the only good thing we looked forward to each day. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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