Sail Date: January 2018
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It was the in-between that fell flat. This was mine and my husband's (no children with us) 7th Princess cruise, and our worst. It was a 5-day cruise on the Crown Princess to Grand Turk and ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It was the in-between that fell flat. This was mine and my husband's (no children with us) 7th Princess cruise, and our worst. It was a 5-day cruise on the Crown Princess to Grand Turk and Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. Very disappointing. On the first day we discovered our favorite pool on the back of the ship was closed and remained closed all week. The pool at the estuary was being re-tiled, so it was also closed all week. That left only two pools open for over 3000 guests. The ship is going in for refurbishing, and the entire crew seemed to have a don't care attitude. The food was horrible, and the service was worse. We saw our cabin attendant when we checked into our room and not again until we were departing the ship. The very last night I got a virus and was medically escorted from the ship at departure, so we weren't given the opportunity to print out our folio of expenses. I have called Princess twice this past week to have it emailed to me. I still don't have. The worst part was we were travelling with four other couples, three of which had never cruised Princess, and one couple who had never cruised at all. That couple said they were looking for the wow factor and was very disappointed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We enjoy the Princess Cruise line. This was our 13th cruise with them. We have sailed on the Crown Princess twice before, once on a repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Rome and another time, from Galveston, Texas to Roatan, ... Read More
We enjoy the Princess Cruise line. This was our 13th cruise with them. We have sailed on the Crown Princess twice before, once on a repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Rome and another time, from Galveston, Texas to Roatan, Honduras and Belize. We enjoyed the International Cafe in the atrium for a light lunch or a snack following a day in the port. Staff made the best tasting (and artistic) cappuccinos! One of my specialty coffees displayed the adorable face of a cat and another one, a beautiful flower. It is the little things in life that make a difference. We dined every evening in the Botticelli dining room on deck 6. We chose traditional dining (first seating at 5:30 pm) and sat with an older couple and their son and daughter-in-law. It was their first cruise. We were very happy to share some of our past experiences with them and answer their questions as best we could. I was surprised that lobster was not on the menu the last night of the cruise. Perhaps this was because it was only a five day cruise? I don’t know, however, I sure missed it. We liked spending time on the promenade deck 7 where one can either walk, just sit and relax, read, watch and listen to the waves and nap. We were pleasantly surprised that the movies onboard were current Academy Award nominated movies. We saw “Wonder” (Movies under the Stars) and “Three Billboards...” in the Princess theatre. We stayed close to the ship in both ports. Next time, we plan on taking in some tours. We found the locals were very friendly and seemed happy and carefree. Everyone in the DR loves our Blue Jays! The weather was perfect and a welcome relief from the frigid north. I found that a five-day cruise is not nearly long enough for us “retired” folk. However, it was a nice break and we enjoyed it very much. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
What follows is purely opinion. Nothing should be construed as a statement of fact. This was our first ever cruise. We wanted a short cruise to see if we liked cruising at all and if we would get seasick. It was freezing in NJ so we ... Read More
What follows is purely opinion. Nothing should be construed as a statement of fact. This was our first ever cruise. We wanted a short cruise to see if we liked cruising at all and if we would get seasick. It was freezing in NJ so we did this last minute to get warm, booked everything including air travel less than about 30 days before the sail. First, I had always heard that on today's modern cruise ships you don't feel the ocean. Lies, damn lies. From Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Turk there were waves. They had to close all the pools because of the water sloshing back and forth in the pools, 2-3 foot pool waves anyone, and sometimes it would escape the pool and splash on the deck. I and my wife were generally OK however we heard from various people that their roommate was laid up with seasickness. Because of what I learned about ship movement I would get the lowest cabin mid-ship. Also, there are 3 main dining rooms, same menu in each however, one is in the stern (aft). I would try to get into one of the midsection main dining rooms, less rocking while eating. FYI, my wife was getting her hair done for the formal night and there was a swell. She told me some of the staff fell down. FYI, on this particular cruise there was a nice mix of ages from 20 somethings to 80 year olds. A few preschoolers. Very few teenagers and school age children. We liked this. Overall I liked the ship. Decent number of pools and hot tubs, nice promenade that circled the ship however there were stairs to get to the front part of the promenade this might be a problem for some (except in bad weather they closed the stairs to the front), nicely decorated dining rooms, nice interior, ship not too large, nice number of entertainment venues (i.e. bars with musical entertainment or trivia contests), theatre was OK, there was also a disco in the top aft section. However, some of the activities like learning to play a steel drum were in an interior conference room. Dinning in the main dining room was OK. The food was OK and the service was really great. I did not have any out and out misses. Some days I liked the food better than others. I thought the equivalent was Ruby Tuesdays maybe a little better, my wife thought it was a definitely a step up from that. Again, not 5 star New York restaurant but definitely reasonable, especially for what we paid (got a last minute dal for about $100 per person per day that included port fees, taxes and gratuities). Did not particularly care for the buffet. Generally we ate in a MDR for breakfast and dinner when we could and embarkation day we also made it on in time for lunch in the MDR. We scored a great table for 2 (table 132 in Botticelli MDR). The only problem is that because we booked so late we only got a 5:30 seating which was just a tiny bit early. One last thing about the Botticelli, it can get noisy from the conversations at dinner, I think there may be too many hard reflecting surfaces. We dressed up for formal night (I did a Tux, most of the men did dark suits or similar). In general the wait staff wore different outfits each day. There were fresh flowers on the table. Our wait staff remembered our drinks. The head waiter stopped by our table once or twice during the cruise. Generally nice little touches that made dining in the MDR an experience. Also ate pizza near one of the pools. Pizza was decent. I prefer ultra-thin crust NY style however the pizza on board was definitely acceptable. On the pool level they also have a place for burgers, bratwurst, BBQ, grilled chicken. The burgers were good, so was the grilled chicken, I did not think the BBQ brisket was up to snuff. There was also an international cafe on deck 5 that is supposedly open 24 hours (was never up in the wee hours to test that). They had Paninis, salads, deserts, in the morning they had donuts (here you had to pay for coffee, did not try it). I generally liked the food at the international cafe. In general the coffee on the ship was mediocre, but I drank it, I will pretty much drink anything although I would prefer Jamaican Blue or good pure Hawaii Kona. There is a coffee card you can buy, on such a short trip (5 days) it was not worth it. Might give it a try on 7 days or longer. We did not try the pay for dining rooms. We pre-bought water which I thought was a good idea. We bought the soda package, I think we broke even, probably would do that again. We're not drinkers so it was cheaper to buy drinks and wine by the piece. They also had buy one drink get one for a dollar at select times of the day. The only true miss on the whole cruise was a basic margarita in the Wheel House bar, really bad, and they overcharged me a dollar or two. The entertainment was generally good. We went to two of the shows in the theatre. Something called Encore and another about the 70s. Liked those two shows. Not sure younger people would like the 70s show because they would not get it without living through the time period. There was a disco party up on the pool deck one night. That was fun, not sure what they would do if the weather was bad. They also had live musical entertainment in many of the bars/lounges and in the piazza. Really liked the string duo (woman playing cello and one playing violin). The steel drum guy was pretty good (he also taught the steel drum lesson) as well as the band that played at the various things like the disco party and last night balloon drop. The movie under the stars was also fun. I was disappointed in the Mardi Gras event. It could have been much better and should have been held in club fusion and not the piazza. The enrichment stuff was a little lacking. However we did like the steel drum lesson (will probably buy the same steel drum for our granddaughter that they use in class) and I liked the talk on how the ship operates that was given by a third mate. The star gazing was not great because it was a full moon so the stars were washed out. Can't really blame that on Princess, luck of the draw. FYI, they use a pre-recorded tape for part of the star gazing. I did not object to that but others might mind. Stumbled on a lawn bowls contest one day. I am sure it was in the daily newspaper (a must read) however did not see it. It was run by a very nice young woman from the cruise staff. She had an English (or maybe Australian) accent. I didn't win. Overall the service was great, dinning staff was excellent. Cruise director was a lot of fun. Port excursions. There is not that much to do on Grand Turk. I did do one of the snorkeling excursions, Horseshoe Reef and Round Cay. I hadn't gone snorkeling in a while so this was fun. FYI, the water was chilly, just not cold. The group that actually ran the excursion was I believe Chukka Caribbean Adventures. Very nice, I was very happy with it. However, I think you can find better snorkeling off the Florida Keys. The diving is probably wonderful because of the "wall" but I did not try that. We also did a bus excursion, The Grand Turk Experience. I thought it was interesting, some people might not. Again it is a very small Island. I believe that most tourists to Turks and Caicos go to the bigger island in the chain. We also walked up the beach to Jack's Shack for a drink. The Dominican Republic is bigger. Puerto Plata, is main the city near where the ship docked. Puerto Plata and vicinity is probably worth two days. We did the Heritage Puerto Plata with lunch excursion. It was OK. I don't like just sitting around the cruise port so this was a reasonable choice. You get to do a rum tasting at one of the distilleries (they call it a tour of the distillery but I think of it as really just a tasting and buying opportunity in comparison to what Wild Turkey does for a tour in Kentucky), we saw the fort, a small local museum, the town plaza. You get a taste of the local environment. If I were younger and in good shape I would have done the waterfall swim excursion, sounded great but a little too strenuous for me. Some of the other activities sounded nice but not enough time. They try to get you off the ship early on disembarkation day (i.e., by 8 or 9 AM) and our flight was not until 7 PM. We had a lot of time to kill. By the time we decided to do an excursion most of the tours were filled up. The one available was a short tour of Fort Lauderdale and a boat ride on the intercostal. It was fun. We started early so we had extra time on the bus so they did an impromptu stop near the beach so we could stretch our legs, walk on the beach, or pay a small fee and walk out on the fishing pier. I have been to Fort Lauderdale, I like the city and if our travel plans had worked out I would have stayed an extra night either before or after at the beach area. I thought the sales staff in the onboard jewelry stores were a little pushy. However, that is easy to avoid, just don't go in. Locally we stayed at the Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale/Plantation the night before sailing. They have a free shuttle from the airport and to the port. YOU NEED TO BOOK THE SHUTTLE TO THE PORT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, THE TIME SLOTS FILL UP FAST. Nice little hotel. Nice little outdoor pool and hot tub in the back. Walking distance to two shopping areas. The shopping areas have restaurants and one has a liquor store with a good wine selection if you want to buy wine for the cruise. We brought on two bottles. Embarkation and disembarkation went OK Overall I would go again, assuming food and service did not decline. I would just try to get a mid-section cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
A very good cruise where just about everything went very well. The staff was friendly and very helpful and the entertainment was one of the best scheduled. The Crown is stating to show its age of about 12 years; however, it is still ... Read More
A very good cruise where just about everything went very well. The staff was friendly and very helpful and the entertainment was one of the best scheduled. The Crown is stating to show its age of about 12 years; however, it is still one of the best looking. The ports of call were most of the ones we had been to before and Amber Cove was the first visit for us. Phillipsburg and St. Thomas are very much showing the effects from hurricane Irma and will take several months to be completely restored. The visit to Phillipsburg was the first Princess ship to pull in after the hurricane. The number of shops open was about 50% and many people stayed on the ship vice walking about. We had an excursion on Amber Cove so we did not spend any time in the shopping port area. One bad thing concerning Amber Cove is a very long walk from the ship to the shopping area; however, there were opportunities to ride the pier. I wouild have liked to know what pier we pulled into when returning to Port Everglades before getting off the ship and if it was announced then we missed it. This was also a concerts at sea cruise and we were not impacted by any of the events associated with the cruisers attending the concerts. This was a last minute booking for us after finding out that MSC had booked over 60% of their ship to a group that would be forcing us to use second seating and closing of public areas for them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We've sailed with Princess once before and decided to try it again after sailing Carnival and Holland. I prefer the service on Princess. The staff always are truly friendly, helpful and we don't get the up-selling we've experienced on ... Read More
We've sailed with Princess once before and decided to try it again after sailing Carnival and Holland. I prefer the service on Princess. The staff always are truly friendly, helpful and we don't get the up-selling we've experienced on other lines. The Crown Princess is showing her age, and is scheduled for a refurbishment in March, I think. The beds were comfortable, but sagging. The entertainment was good and the house band "Static" was terrific. Whatever we requested we got in a timely manner. Really, no complaints--except the WiFi is very slow during peak periods and the Princess@Sea app that they use for messengering is useless. On Princess when you buy the soda package it includes mocktails; a nice plus. In Antigua we rented a taxi at the dock. He took us to the Nelson Shipyards, Shirley Heights and then we spent a few hours at Long Beach we paid him $35/person plus tip (there were 4 of us) and stayed with us the whole day (we had to pay our admission to the dockyards also). In St Maarten we just rented the beach chairs at Great Bay by the dock 10$ for a chair and umbrella and 10$ for a bucket of ice and 5 beers/soda. The people in St. Maarten and St Thomas were really hit hard by the hurricane and are very appreciative of the tourism dollars. We bought the ship excursion for St. Johns/Trunk Bay Snorkel trip. A good value. We caught the Island Girl ferry at the dock and took the 45 min ride to St. Johns. The Island Girl crew are great and the guide told us some great history and commentary that made it an entertaining trip. We then rode in an open air taxi to Trunk Bay where snorkel equipment was provided. The snorkeling was close in and easy to navigate, but as far as fish and coral -- well, I've seen better. The beach is just gorgeous and a really breathtaking venue. In the Dominican Republic we took a taxi from Amber Cove and did the Damayagua Waterfalls. That's quite an adventure and really fun; but strenuous. Loved the cruise-and I would recommend it highly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We are long time Princess Cruisers. Wanted a nice get away and the price was very nice. The ship is scheduled for dry dock in March and could use some freshening up. Definitely needs new beds. Entertainment was good. Was hoping for a new ... Read More
We are long time Princess Cruisers. Wanted a nice get away and the price was very nice. The ship is scheduled for dry dock in March and could use some freshening up. Definitely needs new beds. Entertainment was good. Was hoping for a new Stephen Schwartz show, but some of the dancers had bee injured and they could not do the show with the remaining members. But the ones who were left were among the best we have ever seen on Princess. The show Encore was fantastic and the new deck party is a lot of fun. The islands we visited have made good progress recovering from Irma. But you can see that there was major damage. Enjoyed Antigua and we were the first Princess ship to can at St Maarten. The people in St Maarten were really glad to see us back. Just embraced the return of tourists. One of the reasons we picked this cruise was to see the Dominican Republic. This was a new port for us. The port, Amber Cove is very nice-- not much of beach, but nice pool and great hammocks. Our Tour of Porta Plata was the worst tour I have ever been on. Terrible itinerary and terrible guide. Was hoping to see some of the nice beaches, but really rode around and guide mumbled and we went to a really bad gift shop and he did not want to leave. Wanted his kick back. Just a terrible shore excursion. Some people had gotten nice independent taxi tours and others not so good. Just not a pleasant port and I felt that Princess did not do enough to make sure the tour was a good experience. Also, was very disappointed that they had changed the policy in the Crown Grill to have an extra charge for more than one entree. I hated it on Celebrity and was so sad to see it on Princess. Also, for scallop lovers the wonderful scallops are not longer there. The staff was very good and we really enjoyed the cruise, just hate to see Princess following RCCL's policy of piling on extra charges. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We are experienced cruisers with 27 previous cruises on various cruise lines. On this cruise, we were part of a large "special group" of 800 music fans. Due to our special activities, we did not have time to experience a lot of ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers with 27 previous cruises on various cruise lines. On this cruise, we were part of a large "special group" of 800 music fans. Due to our special activities, we did not have time to experience a lot of the extra Princess offerings like the spa, gym, bingo, etc. Embarkation went smoothly, especially since our whole group had priority boarding. We were on the ship around noon, they told us rooms would be ready by 2:00 pm, but they were actually ready shortly after 1:00 pm. Luggage arrived later, but in plenty of time to unpack and change before dinner. Disembarkation was smooth until you got to the terminal. It was a zoo there and some of the agents in the terminal were downright surly. We have Global Entry and, even though Ft. Lauderdale does not have Global Entry kiosks, they do have a special line for Global Entry and Mobile Passport. If you do not have Global Entry, get the Mobile Passport App for your phone and use it. We must have by-passed 300 people and ended up with only one couple ahead of us at the Customs booth. The ship is lovely. Seems that maybe the on-board shopping has been decreased, but not sure. Not as many "atrium" sales on inexpensive items as some other ships. We had anytime dining and always asked for a table for two. We ate late (around 9:00 pm) and never had to wait for a table more than a minute or two. One server in the DaVinci Dining Room was the best we've ever had on any cruise, in any venue. He was just top-notch. (Ask for Milan, table #450, DaVinci Dining Room). Other servers were a bit hit or miss. All were pleasant, but many of them did things that just weren't right, like reaching from the wrong side to serve or clear plates or reaching all the way across the table instead of walking to the other side. Not awful, just not the top-notch service we expected and it happened at most every dining room meal other than those where Milan served us. Food was excellent. No complaints at all. Buffet desserts were fairly ordinary, but the cookies were yummy ;-) We had one meal in the Crown Grill ($29 upcharge). My lamb chops were perfect, but my husband's filet has a lot of gristle and sinew and was pretty chewy in places. Try the garlic fries! Of all the ships we've been on, I think the ancillary entertainers were the very best! The productions shows were very good, but not outstanding. However, the lounge piano player (AJ Clarke) was excellent as were all the other ship entertainers. Our cabin (D323) is a mini-suite and was adequately spacious. No complaints at all. However, our cabin attendant was the worst we've ever had. When we first entered the cabin, we found a hat on the top shelf, left by the previous occupants and, as we unpacked, we found a laundry ticket on a closet shelf, a white pill on the floor, along with a toothpick and a pen from Residence Inns. Also, hair on the balcony table, obviously hadn't been cleaned, and mold in the shower grout until the second to the last day of the cruise when she finally bleached it out. As Ruby level, we were supposed to get complimentary champagne on embarkation. She left 1 glass of champagne on the counter, although there were two of us. We had no ice bucket or ice for the first two days, kept asking for that and robes. Finally got them late the next day. One thing we did notice was that the crew was not as friendly as on other ships and, if they were going somewhere (or pushing a cart), you'd better get out of their way because they were not going to divert their path to accommodate you. Also, all public restrooms had brass plaques that said to prevent the spread of illness to use a paper towel to open the door and throw the paper into the receptacle provided, except most rest rooms did not have a receptacle, so there was no way to do what they suggested. We did no shore excursions. Amber Cove was a new port to us. It is lovely. We would definitely be happy to see it on our itinerary in the future. All in all, a very nice cruise, with just a little slippage in the dining room service from other cruises and a definite problem with the room attendant. She was polite and nice, just needs more training and needs to pay attention to details. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
At the cruise critic meeting management said they would like to hear any complaints during the cruise, so I did write many notes to customer service but not one thing changed. Cruise companies spend billions of dollars of advertising ... Read More
At the cruise critic meeting management said they would like to hear any complaints during the cruise, so I did write many notes to customer service but not one thing changed. Cruise companies spend billions of dollars of advertising but a small issue with an employee can leave a bad taste. I'm talking about the Chef at Horizon Court and the Internet Manager. It comes down to training and customer service. The bad: Not enough seating for the size of ship and yes passengers saving seats. This did happen every night and Cruise Director trying to solve this. You need to arrive at least half hour ahead of show. No top sheet? Couldn't really understand but after a few requests received one. This is yucky since the duvets are not cleaned weekly. Extras: $29 is too steep for specialty restaurant and only one entree allowed. Way cheaper on competitors. How about a promotion. Hot dog restaurant..extra..ice cream some extra.. Sanctuary way extra.. The good: Food and service for the most part was excellent. The bacon raw the whole week and the eggs left under the lights became hard. One night my filet was tough but for the most part way better than other lines. Entertainment: When you could find a seat most shows excellent. Trisha Kelly and the Love Boat party were fun. The Voice was also great. Fitness: Enjoyed the stretch class but on the last day I was the only person. Could be the 15 minute lecture to sell. Spa: Appeared to be great..took advantage of free promo. Cruise Director Cory: Hysterical, wonderful sense of humor. I think needed is some way for passengers to print out the boarding pass without paying .79 per minute. Since we had an early flight and government shut down this was a concern. The good is I finally learned how to use the app. Taxis in Aruba and Florida were a rip off. Read the paperwork and do not go to the left where it will cost more; go straight. We stayed pre cruise at the Pelican Resort in FLL and it was perfect. Did Uber everywhere and at least in Florida it worked out great..Saved the rental fee..gas..and $33 night parking. Princess please go back to French Polynesia. Our Pacific Princess was the best in our history cruising. I understand it is because of flights and the sale of the Ocean,but we need a lower price cruise in that region. Read Less
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 3.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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