2,032 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews

Overall this was a very nice cruise. Ship and cabin were lovely, dining room food and company were very good. We had weather and mechanical issues that caused several cancellations of tours. They were missed on our part, especially the ... Read More
Overall this was a very nice cruise. Ship and cabin were lovely, dining room food and company were very good. We had weather and mechanical issues that caused several cancellations of tours. They were missed on our part, especially the Lake District, but overall it didn't diminish our enjoyment of the trip too much. Weather was cool and mostly cloudy, but rain held off for the most part when we were out and about. The food court was, as expected, noisy, very crowded, with mediocre food. I never understand how people can sit in there all day. The pizza was pretty good, and the tacos, burgers, and hot dogs at Salty Dog Grill were very good. Ice cream is always a treat. We did anytime dining, with shared tables, and had a delightful dinner every night. Food was very good, company and service excellent. We also went to tea most days which was delightful. Entertainment was mediocre, and it seemed there were fewer big shows than we've had in the past. We were hoping for some big sporting events on the big screen outside (women's world cup and the Stanley Cup was on), but no dice. Couldn't find any films that interested us - some we watched on our TV, but nothing in the big venues. Ship configuration was a bit strange, had trouble on a couple of decks finding our way to certain venues - lots of dead ends. Shore excursions were all very good, at least those that didn't get cancelled. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Chose cruise to visit places we had not been before. For most part enjoyed our trip but: Buffet - hot food was cold - cold food was warm - salad bar was good. Dining room meals good Shops - lots of booze, candy, jewelry, clothes, ... Read More
Chose cruise to visit places we had not been before. For most part enjoyed our trip but: Buffet - hot food was cold - cold food was warm - salad bar was good. Dining room meals good Shops - lots of booze, candy, jewelry, clothes, souvenirs, etc. - first night someone asked for halls candy for sore throat - not available - week later heard same question and same response. Entertainment was good. Excursions very expensive and not accurately described. Travel time for excursions did not leave enough time to actually see what you went to see. Ship breakdowns frustrating, onboard construction and refurbishing interfered with trip. Captain kept us informed of problems but $100.00 rebate was a joke. Missing Guernsey was a highlight for us and we missed it because of ship breakdown and bad weather. Appreciate safety concern BUT. Understand Guernsey is quite often missed as it is to rough for Tenders so why continue to include it as a stop? Noticed immediately upon getting on ship a lot of people with terrible deep cough, some wearing masks. We took all precautions to wash hands regularly and avoid sick people BUT on Thursday June 13 we started with sore throat and by Saturday the cough. Where able to do Edinburgh but glad Sunday was sea day. 18 Hour travel time home on Monday was horrendous. Emergency Room Tuesday morning - we both have pneumonia and still recovering three weeks later. How many other people from this Cruise are experiencing the Will never travel with Princess ever again and will not recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was to be a graduation cruise for my granddaughter. from day 1, the ship had trouble. toilets on my deck didn't work - had to call the front desk each time we needed to flush!! also, ship had issues with electrical or ... Read More
This was to be a graduation cruise for my granddaughter. from day 1, the ship had trouble. toilets on my deck didn't work - had to call the front desk each time we needed to flush!! also, ship had issues with electrical or something so it put us behind to where tours had to be cancelled for 3 ports so it could get fixed! Very, very disappointed as these were important ports for my granddaughter. The excursion we booked w princess to go to paris on our own left us off at a location that we either had to walk a long distance to see sights or find a hop on hop off bus. tour ran late leaving the port so our time in paris was cut short - awful experience and didn't see much of anything. Extremely disappointed!! Lights in dinning room were either out or flickered the entire cruise - no one cared to fix/replace them. dinning time was moved from 6pm to 5pm which was way too early if taking excursions in port. We were put into a dinning room that was an overflow for 1st seating and for anytime dinning. at 5pm, this dinning room was empty except for a few other couples. not fun and did not promote the dinnertime excitement it would normally have - especially on formal nights. The entertainment on board was horrible. princess singers couldn't hold a tune. they had low budget commedians that were awful. the only entertainment in the lounges were game shows that the cruise staff put on and were so dumb. no live bands in the lounges nor magicians, hypnotists, etc. EXTREMELY LOW BUDGET - Overall, this trip wasn't worth the money on princess. The cruise experience was awful as were the staff at the front desk. Extremely rude and uncaring for all the problems the ship had. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED PRINCESS CRUISES AND AM 1 CRUISE AWAY FROM ELITE, BUT AM DEFINITELY GOING TO RETHINK MY NEXT CRUISE AS THE PERKS OF STATUS DO NOT COMPENSATE FOR THE CONDITION OF THE SHIP Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have been on 10 cruises with Princess and this one will not have us looking at Princess in the future. There are just too many other options out there to spend our vacation dollars. Earlier this year we booked a Princess Australia/New ... Read More
We have been on 10 cruises with Princess and this one will not have us looking at Princess in the future. There are just too many other options out there to spend our vacation dollars. Earlier this year we booked a Princess Australia/New Zealand cruise for 2020....that will be cancelled when we get home. I think we are now seeing the full negative affect of Carnival’s takeover of Princess. PROS: Cabin steward was great Staff at Vines (wine bar) was great until Princess management screwed them up with the construction mess (so this explained below). Entertainment staff was great. Entertainment was marginal. When you pay for a 12 day cruise they should not be repeating the same shows. We selected this cruise for the itinerary and the great experience we have had with Princess in the past. The people of Scotland and Ireland are fabulous! Ditto for the one port each in France and Great Britain. CONS: Piazza, deck 5, turned into a construction zone during the last few days of our cruise. This was the final negative issue that put us over the edge to write this review. The popular coffee bar was boarded up and moved to the tranquil Vines wine bar....now the wine bar is noisy and not enough seating....great move by Princess executives. Makes the ships focal gathering place look like a inner city construction zone. The construction will take around 4 weeks so the next 2+ cruises will be affected. I’m sure they, like us, will not be notified ahead of time....we would have cancelled if told. I have a suggestion for Princess executives. Instead of ruining the piazza for passengers paying large sums of money, redo the vacant Future Cruise area on deck 5 of the piazza. We never saw anyone using it. Might have something to do with the terrible cruise experience they were having. Princess is now having passengers subjected to their refurbishment projects (Medalion class,etc) so they don’t loose any revenue. These are projects that should be done in dry dock. I am sure the bean counters don’t care about our cruise experience...they had our money already. ALL elevators went down one morning. In the port of Cobh, Ireland the ship experienced propulsion failure. This required the ship to use tugboats to dock the ship and the ship needed to be pulled off the port by the tugs. The ship then limped towards Dublin at reduced speed since the propulsion problem was not resolved. Dublin wasn’t reached until 3pm the next day (9 hours late) which meant another port of call lost.....one due to weather (Guernsey) and one due to a non seaworthy ship (Dublin). The port for Edinburgh, Scotland was a tender port. We boarded a tender from a port side tender company to get off the ship and all went well. For the return, we boarded a Princess tender and the engines failed. After the fully loaded tender was banged around by the waves and pier for over 10 minutes we had to get off the Princess tender. We were moved to the independent company tender and thankfully it was operational. The stateroom hallways look like a battle zone. With dented panels up and down the corridors ...assume from the luggage. Can see significant staff reductions throughout the ship....another Princess corporate screw up. Now that they have expensive beverage packages available, there is no one that knows about the wine in the main dining rooms...no wine stewards or sommeliers! On several occasions drinks would take 20+ minutes in the dining room. Observed at an adjacent table to ours a lady get up, leave the dining room, and return with drinks. She smiled at us and said “we have to fend for ourselves”. She then proceeded to quietly start clearing some dishes from their table. Yikes! One night our waiter would give us updates every 5 minutes or so on our drink order status.....”the bar is backed up”. Bulletin, it’s dinner time on a cruise ship! More staff reductions by Princess and I am certain that the Princess executives will take this out on the poor staff when it is not their fault....100% I blame Princess corporate for the staff reductions throughout the ship. Oh, by the way, when my wife’s wine arrived over 20 minutes after ordering it was the wrong wine. We did not say anything. Internet and tv were down for two days. In a stroke of genius, Princess gave us 60 minutes of free internet to compensate for all the travel delays their non seaworthy ship caused. Such a nice gesture because the internet had been down for the last 2 days! Update...when the internet did start working, sporadically, the two voucher codes Princess provided to our stateroom for 60 complimentary minutes each....Did Not Work! I could continue and add several more issues with this ship but I think the point is made. Adios Princess....I hope this helps others anticipate what you are getting into with a company now at rock bottom. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Everything was great - itinerary, food, the ship, and service. We picked the cruise up in Le Havre, spending 3 days prior in Normandy and 5 nights in Paris. There is a free shuttle from the train station in Le Havre to the ship or take a ... Read More
Everything was great - itinerary, food, the ship, and service. We picked the cruise up in Le Havre, spending 3 days prior in Normandy and 5 nights in Paris. There is a free shuttle from the train station in Le Havre to the ship or take a taxi. We did traditional dining for most nights and had great table mates. We used anytime dining for some late excursion days. Ate at the Crown Grill specialty restaurants and enjoyed the Crab Shack night for King Crab. Service was exceptional. The Horizon Court was our go-to breakfast and service there was great including my husband’s special requests. The cruise director and staff did an excellent job. There was so much to do aboard ship we didn’t even scratch the surface. Entertainment was very good to excellent with some definite standouts. The music and dancing options were all enjoyable. We did all but one excursion from Princess. Most were excellent. The ports and overall itinerary was great. Lots of options for excursions and we did a lot of full day excursions. Would highly recommend this cruise for the British Isles unless you like bus touring. You see so many great ports and places. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have cruised 18 times with Princess and with the exception of this last cruise, it has always been excellent. This cruise was a bargain basement boat ride. It was a costly, disorganized, irritating disaster. The Versailles tour was an ... Read More
We have cruised 18 times with Princess and with the exception of this last cruise, it has always been excellent. This cruise was a bargain basement boat ride. It was a costly, disorganized, irritating disaster. The Versailles tour was an aggravating nightmare, depriving us of the opportunity of a lifetime. Princess was responsible for a 45 minute late start. The tour category of moderate should have been strenuous. Our tour guide was preoccupied with participants, including wheelchair and walkers who needed assistance. Consequently, we got an expensive bus ride and a quick look at the palace. No time for the grounds, musical presentation or gift shop. Do not pay for the useless Dublin shuttle service. It is much less expensive and more convenient to taxi. Our balcony looked like a leftover garage sale. On the plus side; the staff was courteous and helpful. The service and food at the dining room was very good. Sabatini's was better than ever and the Crown Grill was first class. The production shows were fun, lively and entertaining . We did not "Come Back New", we came back angry. Princess WAS "Where We Belong". We hope they fix it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which we enjoyed. We chose Princess because of the previous good experiences my sister and her husband had, and they joined us on this cruise. They were as disappointed with the service and food as ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which we enjoyed. We chose Princess because of the previous good experiences my sister and her husband had, and they joined us on this cruise. They were as disappointed with the service and food as we were. Some staff seemed irritated with requests, and sometimes were actually surly. There were instances of drawers slammed to show displeasure. (2 of our previous cruises were on Celebrity where staff attitude and morale was far superior--everyone smiled and seemed genuinely caring.) Front desk staff here were unhelpful whether it was on the phone or in person. A singsong "Sorry" was the frequent response. Food in the main dining rooms was very good, and service was okay. Nice choices of starters and desserts. The exception was the one Afternoon Tea we tried. It was a joke. Waiters brought tea before there was milk or sugar, so it got cold. There were many waiters with trays of sandwiches, scones and cakes which they passed out and loaded onto tiny plates with no order whatsoever. They did not give you time to eat anything, just wanted to dump each item. No traditional tea tray towers with choices for each table as restaurants and Holland America do. The food in the buffet was of low quality and did not look appetizing. It was OK for breakfast, but not dinner. We normally like to eat room service breakfast to save time, and on our past cruises the choices and food were very good. We only tried it once on Princess. The only hot food choice was a greasy fried egg sandwich in a foil pouch. We didn't want to try again. The coffee both in room service and restaurants was horrible. The waiter told us it was frozen liquid Nescafe. We ended up buying Starbucks instant packets in port and ordering hot water. Signage and directions on the ship were terrible. Lots of "you can't get there from here" places needing to go up or down before proceeding. Ship schematics near elevators were too small and did not have "You are here" dots. After 12 days on board we were often still confused. Others commented the same thing. Security screening machines were often placed just inside the door when you came up the gangway, leaving long lines standing in the rain and no way to get items ready to scan. Staff stood with hands in pockets and most plastic tubs were out of reach for passengers. Annoying and frustrating! Security coming back on board was at times lax. Example was scanning card without verifying photo. The decor of the ship was lovely and traditional, which we enjoyed. Entertainment was disappointing. Twice we tried to see a show, but all seats were taken. The times we got in were just okay. Nothing was a wow. The Swedish male singer was horrible, but seemed quite taken with himself. We arranged all but one of our own excursions (it’s easy and safe to do and MUCH cheaper). The one excursion we did through the ship was to Mont Saint Michel from Le Havre. It was a long bus ride (3 hrs) and the tour itself was very good, but too long. Chris our guide gave good information about the abbey, but if we hadn’t left the group 30 minutes before she finished we wouldn’t have had time for lunch. The bus company that they used did not allow food or drink on the bus, and although it had a bathroom on board, it was locked. The return trip was 2.5 hrs with no stop. Because the bathroom was locked the driver did stop at a roadside disgusting toilet for those with emergency needs. Not acceptable! I can't say this was a terrible cruise because we enjoyed the ports very much. I think our expectations were too high because of our previous experience with Celebrity and Holland America and my sister's previous experience with Princess. I thought Princess was of the same caliber, but apparently not anymore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took the 12 night British Isles trip in June. This is probably my eighth cruise and first on Princess. The good is that the ship was nice, the staff was hard working, the food was always decent to very good with a large and changing ... Read More
We took the 12 night British Isles trip in June. This is probably my eighth cruise and first on Princess. The good is that the ship was nice, the staff was hard working, the food was always decent to very good with a large and changing selection on the buffet. The pre-destination talks were informative and we caught a couple of art lectures that were very interesting. That said, the activities and entertainment were all but non-existent. This was the British Isles so, no surprise, it was overcast or raining literally 100% of our trip. Because of the weather, the pools were permanently closed and the decks were windy and cold so, unlike other cruises, you couldn't just go sit by the pool. Seriously, there was almost nothing to do on the ship but eat and watch TV in our rooms which made for a boring vacation. Rarely did we see something we were interested in on the schedule (lots of sales pitches masquerading as entertainment). The three dancing/singing shows we saw were good but there were only three, hour long shows in twelve nights. My teens and I went to the Teen Club and the person running it made it clear they were there for baby sitting and there was zero actual activities for teens. It was the "Not Fun" Ship. For example, we expected to see the White Cliffs of Dover on this trip since we were going by them anyway (like we saw the Ne Pali coast on our Hawaii cruise). But if we did sail by them, nobody told us and we never saw them. In fact, we sailed by interesting looking coastlines regularly but, unlike other cruises, we were never told what we were seeing and couldn't even find out if we wanted to as the Internet fees were astronomical and the ship board map on the TV in the rooms showing where the ship was at that time didn't work. This would have been so easy for Princess to do, cost them nothing extra, and would have been a big enhancement to this dull cruise. Even the bars were not good as the terribly expensive drinks were incredibly weak. Want to know how to make a Princess Long Island Ice Tea? First, pack the glass to the brim full of ice, only fill each jigger of liquor three-quarters full, then fill it up with lemon juice and coke instead of just a splash. Princess, you charged me an premium high price of $10 for each drink plus a forced ~$2 tip so why not at least make them good? Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the stop in "Paris" which we'd expected to be a trip highlight. The truth is that the port of Le Havre is at least 2.5 hours one way to anything in Paris you'd want to see (3 to Normandy Beach) so you're actually getting a full day on a bus with a couple of hours at a venue that would really deserve a full day. We'd planned on seeing the Lourve on our own but when we found out it was going to be over five hours on the bus, we went to the excursion desk to specifically book anything with less travel time as we especially didn't want to spend all day on a bus the day before we spent all day on a plane flying home. The woman at the Princess Excursion desk either purposefully misled us to sell the trip or was ignorant when she said the trip to Versailles was only 1.5 hours each way . As soon as we got on the bus, they said it was actually a 2.5 hour bus trip but then because of traffic and weather, ended up being a 4 hour bus trip there and a three hour bus trip back. We literally ran through Versailles in only 40 minutes before we had to be back on the bus. I called the excursion desk to speak to the manager and was never called back. My family of 4 paid almost $1100 for a little more than thirty minutes at the venue so it was the most expensive bus trip of my life and a terrible missed opportunity in our lifetimes. Needless to say, I would not take this cruise again and will stay away from Princess altogether. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
May 9 - Travel day. We flew Delta One overnight from Atlanta to Heathrow. We landed around 7 am and had the fast pass for immigration so we were out of immigration within 15 minutes. We took the Heathrow Express to Paddington (£25 for 2 ... Read More
May 9 - Travel day. We flew Delta One overnight from Atlanta to Heathrow. We landed around 7 am and had the fast pass for immigration so we were out of immigration within 15 minutes. We took the Heathrow Express to Paddington (£25 for 2 people since we arrived on a weekday and bought the tickets 90 days in advance), then a taxi (£8) to the Doubletree Hilton Hyde Park across from Kensington Palace. My sister arrived on Saturday morning so she only paid £11 for two people on the Heathrow Express 90 days in advance. The Doubletree Hilton Hyde Park hotel was located in a nice, walkable neighborhood with plenty of restaurants, groceries, and shopping nearby and easy access to the tube and most important to us, the hop on hop off bus picks up right outside the hotel. If we go back to London, I would definitely stay there again. May 10 - London - I was excited to see London and we met up with friends who had arrived earlier in the week and did the hop on hop off bus. We were told the total HOHO loop was 90 minutes but we were surprised at how slow traffic affected the tour and ended up not seeing as much as we planned. Have a plan for what to see in London but be ready to adjust on the fly if you are affected by weather, traffic, tube issues or protesters. May 11 - London - Day 2, we took an Uber from the hotel straight to the Tower of London around 9:30 am because the tube line near us was closed for the weekend due to maintenance and we had read to get there as early as possible. We took the Beefeater tour and it was entertaining and informative. We had lunch at the café at the Tower of London and it was delicious. The Tower of London was much more crowded when we left around 1 pm. We jumped on the hop on hop off at the Tower and once again had difficulty with traffic and seeing the sights. I wondered what the HOHO bus would be like in high season (summer). Less than 1/2 way thru the loop we were told we could not get any closer to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abby and surrounding sites because police had closed many streets due to protesters. We were disappointed but got as close as possible then walked the remainder of the way to Buckingham Palace. You could only see from the gate since you cannot tour until later in the summer. . If I go back to London, I will try the HOHO bus mid-week and see if that helps. It may be like any major city, crazy all the time. We got some decent pictures of Buckingham Palace but it started raining pretty hard so we grabbed a cab and headed to Kensington Palace which was unaffected by protesters. We toured Kensington Palace and walked around Kensington Gardens then joined our friends for dinner at the Goat pub at Kensington High Street. Food and drink were both great. May 12 - London to Southampton - Windsor Day Tours. We knew we had to get to Southampton from London and wanted to see the English countryside along the way and had read the great reviews for Windsor Day Tours. Jill was able to pick us up at our hotel in London because it was Sunday. Her tours can also originate from Heathrow. We had a photo stop at Eton College, then on to Windsor castle and the town of Windsor. Windsor Castle as wonderful; there was a slight wait for security. Buy your tickets in advance. We then had a lovely lunch at the White Lion in a tiny village called Wherwell. We saw thatched roof cottages and lovely scenery. After lunch we visited Winchester Cathedral and the town of Winchester where we grabbed our 2 bottles of carry on wine and then Jill took us on to the Room2 suites in Southampton. The cost of the tour was just a little more than the princess transfer but we wanted to see the English countryside and Windsor Castle and Jill worked with us to customize our tour. She was a great tour guide and very knowledgeable. We highly recommend Windsor Day Tours. Southampton - Room2 Suites is a new hotel that was clean, walking distance to Oxford Street restaurants and 3 minutes by car from Ocean Cruise terminal. We paid Uber £7 pounds instead of walking because we had 3 suitcases and the road across to the terminal was multi lane. May 13 – Crown Princess Embarkation - Our suggested arrival time was 1:30 for Dolphin Deck and as we weren’t sure of lines we arrived a few minutes after 1 pm. Very short wait for check in and we were in our cabin by 1:50. Our bags were already at our door – off to a great start. My sister was on Deck 10 and got her bags by 4 pm. Princess had very organized embarkation at that time of day. May 14 - Guernsey - Our plan for Guernsey was to take it easy and just wander around since we knew we had future days with all day plans. If you want to see things in Guernsey do your research and get a good map, Signage is available but not very intuitive. There is more than one museum and signage just pointed to museum without specifying. We arrived via tender around 9 am to find that most of the places to visit opened around 10 am, even the tourist center, (perhaps they open earlier In June and July later in the season?) but we could have left the ship later. We were worried about tender lines so we got up early. We wandered a bit then headed back early around 1 pm which worked in our favor. Tendering later in the afternoon was a nightmare with a 90 minute wait and was hampered by high winds. May 15 - Cork/Cobh – We had a great day with Craig @ Munster Bus Tours and we saw Cork, Kinsale & the Jameson Distillery. We had 6 people and were able to see so many things that we would never have seen on a big tour. Craig drove us around the city of Cork, we visited a local sweet shop/candy company where they were hand making candy, got great pictures at the beautiful St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral and then headed to Kinsale. Before we enjoyed a lovely lunch in coastal Kinsale, Craig took us to a small memorial garden honoring the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. The memorial garden was an unexpected, touching spot that we never would have seen on a large tour. Craig had secured a lunch reservation for us in Kinsale. After Kinsale we toured Charles Fort. Craig was engaging and entertaining and gave us great personal insight into the area. His pride in his home country was evident and the scenery was spectacular, exactly what we imagined Ireland to be. One note about the Jameson Distillery – it was an interesting tour but we thought we would see a working distillery and instead toured their old factory and did not actually see any actual whiskey production. We did enjoy the tasting! May 16 - Dublin – A free shuttle was provided into Dublin since we docked at a different place than originally planned – this created a bit of a headache for those just going into Dublin. My sister booked a private tour that left Dublin at 11 am and she needed to meet the tour in Dublin. She was waiting for the ticket for the Dublin shuttle at 9:30 am but it took forever and she finally arrived at the meeting spot in Dublin 15 minutes late so she lost her money on the excursion. If you plan a private tour in Dublin and have to get into Dublin, I would allow at least 2 hours to get off the ship and shuttle to your meeting place. Dublin patter is attached and explains Dublin shuttle and private arrangements. We didn’t properly read the description for the Princess excursion for Powerscourt Estate and didn’t realize it was just gardens only. I thought you toured the house as well, but the house was damaged by fire years ago and was only restored as a gift shop with a small room showing a film about the history of the estate. If gardens are your thing, this is a great place to visit. There was beautiful landscaping, acres of flowers, and a Japanese garden but I was a little disappointed. We were dropped off back in Dublin and wandered around Trinity College and had a lovely pub lunch. May 17 - Belfast – This day was at the top of my bucket list and it was a wonderful day. We booked a private Antrim Coast and Giants Causeway Tour with Alister at City and Causeway tours and it didn’t disappoint. The Torr road was a fun, curvy drive and the scenery was spectacular. Northern Ireland is such a lush, green beautiful place. As with all of our private tours, we were mostly able to beat the large coaches since we only had 6 people. Our goal for this trip was to go as far inland as we could with the time we had and concentrate less on the cities and that worked out well. The Giants Causeway was surreal but very crowded. We walked down to the causeway and had planned to take the shuttle back but they closed the shuttle service so that a VIP tour could use the shuttle. I felt sorry for the folks who had mobility issues and had to walk back up the hill, it was over a mile each way. We did not pay to go to the visitor’s center. Alister took 2 couples back to the ship and then drove us 1 ½ miles to TEC Belfast to see the Game of Thrones Tour Exhibition. This was an added bonus for us since we are GOT fans and it was fantastic. If you are a GOT fan and in Belfast this summer, it is worth the money. May 18 - Glasgow – This was our second bucket list day and it was remarkable. We booked a private tour with Tom at Photowalk Scotland. Although the day was cold and rainy we got to see some lovely places including Glencoe, Stalker Castle and Kilchurn Castle. We even stopped at a beautiful small church and got amazing picture of blue bonnets in full bloom. Tom gave us the flexibility to change our plans when the rain didn’t let up for a while and took us to the castles instead of another Glen. He also was kind enough to share some sunny day pics with us since it was so rainy. Despite the weather it was one of our favorite days of the trip. May 19 - Sea Day – After 9 full days of travel, a sea day was much needed so we took it easy and just relaxed. We don’t have a lot to review on the Crown Princess but will say that it is a lovely ship. This was our 4th cruise and all ships we have been on could be improved slightly but the Crown Princess was great for what we wanted, a nice way to see the British Isles. We did not see any shows or comedians but my sister took in a few and said they were fine. May 20 - Kirkwall - This was our 2nd Princess Tour - West Mainland Sightseeing and it was OK but it reminded us why we choose private tours. The tour guide was very nice but it was her first day on the job and she neglected to tell the bus driver to even slow down for the Standing Stones of Stenness. We just rode right past it with not photo stop. We were able to tour the Ring of Brodgar and see a bit of Kirkwall as we were whizzing by the sights. For us, Guernsey and Kirkwall were just bonus days so that was Ok. Private tours at Kirkwall were limited and booked up quickly. Plan far ahead if you want a private tour in Kirkwall. May 21 – Invergordon - We booked a private tour with Invergordon tours and saw Castle Leod, Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield, and Clava Cairns. The scenery was lovely. May 22 - Edinburgh - previous reviews had suggested the Princess Excursion “Edinburgh on your own” to maximize your time in the city since ship tours got tender priority. This was a great in theory but didn’t necessarily work for us. I think our Princess meeting time in the theatre was 8:15 am. Our plan was thwarted because we had to wait over 30 minutes in the Princess theatre for our total group to gather to go to the tender and then another 20 minutes on the bus in South Queensferry for four people who never showed up. The ship was in Edinburgh from 7 am to 7 pm but we didn’t get to the city until well after 10 am and got picked back up at 3:15 pm. Not nearly enough time to see such a great city. You could find your own transportation back you just needed to tell the driver. We walked straight to the Edinburgh Castle; we printed our tickets which we bought online from a kiosk. The lines were long. If you are going to the castle, buy your tickets in advance. Edinburgh was the best city we visited (compared to Dublin and London) and the only city we think we would revisit. Looking back at the patter for Edinburgh, you could get in line for a tender ticket in the Michelangelo dining room starting at 7 am. I would set an early alarm, take my chances on my own, grab the earliest tender ticket and take the X99 bus into town. It is a 45 minute ride from South Queensferry to Edinburgh. May 23 - Sea Day – we spent the day repacking. I did go to afternoon tea in the dining room which was just Ok and crowded. May 24 Le Havre - The ship docked in Le Havre on schedule and we easily got off the ship for our tour. We had 12 hours before we had to be back on the ship. We booked a private excursion with Overlord Tours to go to the D Day beaches. The cost was €980 for up to eight people. We had 6 and our group and the van was comfortable. Eight people in the van would have been tight. Our guide for the day was Thierry, we were very impressed with his passion and knowledge of the Allied landing on June 6, 1944. It was an hour and a half drive to Omaha Beach which went by quick due to Thierry’s narration. We toured the American cemetery, Omaha and Utah beaches, Pointe Du Hoc and stopped for a delicious lunch in Saint Mere Eglise where we saw the church where Paratrooper John Steele got caught on the steeple when he was trying to land in the town square to fight the Germans. Thierry was a great guide and we had no trouble understanding his English. May 25 Southampton to Heathrow – Princess Disembarkation was the easiest we ever experienced. We put our bags out the night before and found all three easily the next morning. We did leave fairly early so not sure if this was a factor. We chose private arrangements on the form and had passenger services change us to 6:55 am disembarkation for our 7:30 pickup. It was fast and efficient. We used Smiths for Airports for transfer for four back to Heathrow for £163 pounds. We were waiting on our driver by 7:05 am. Wait under the signs not on the sidewalk in the lanes. The driver must come in and confirm that you are there before bringing the car into the lanes to pick you up. We left at 7:45 am and arrived at Heathrow at 9:20 am for a 12:50 pm flight. Had business class for two of us. Checked in and through security in 20 minutes. Our fellow travelers had to wait in security for approximately an hour before clearing. The departure gate was cramped and hot but we timed it so we only had to wait for 15 minutes to board. At Heathrow you wait in the giant shopping area until your gate is called ~30 minutes before your flight. Crown Princess British Isles Notes: Crown Princess Mini Suite D618 – we had plenty of storage space and loved the extra room in the bathroom with the real tub and shower and the clothesline which we used a lot. We had planned to ask for hangers but found an adequate supply in the closet. We did take 4 pants hangers which was great when we had to hang dry our clothes. The balcony had two chairs with ottomans and a small table. We enjoyed the extra cabin space in the mini suite and the sofa; our friends often came to our room for a drink before dinner or to hang out in the evening. One note about cabin D618, we were startled early on the first tender day as the tender that lived just below our balcony was deployed and the gears were quite loud as it moved away from the ship and then was lowered down – it was fun to watch it deploy, you just need to know that if you are on Deck 9 in a mini suite, you may hear and see tender boats on tender days. PRIVATE VS SHIP TOURS – For the first time, we did a mix of private vs. ship tours and were very happy with the private tours. We are cautious travelers and only chose private tours with 5 star ratings and they all lived up to their reviews. When we had a private tour for a non-tender port, we just blended in with departing Princess tour groups, got off the ship and found our guides. We will definitely book private tours for future cruises. Private arrangements do require some extra time and planning for the tender ports. TENDERING - For tender ports, Guernsey, Kirkwall and Edinburgh allow extra time if you have private tours. There were tender delays even for the Princess tours due to high winds at Guernsey and Kirkwall. At one point during the Kirkwall day, waves were so rough that a crew member was hurt and tendering was suspended for an hour. There was a 90 minute wait to get a tender at Guernsey later in the day. LAUNDRY - Laundry was a crap shoot and as expected impossible on a sea day. If you are a super early riser or late nighter your chances are better. My sister started her laundry at 5 am and had company while she was there. Deck 9 had 2 working washers and only 1 dryer so we ended up hang drying a lot of clothes which was not a problem, it just takes extra time if you are out of clean clothes. We used the bathroom clothesline quite a bit. Deck 10 had 1 working washer and 2 working dryers. If you intend to do multiple loads buy your tokens early. You swiped your cruise card and it is $3 per wash and $3 per dry and $1.50 for detergent. I should have brought Woolite or similar as I did hand wash a bit but I managed with body wash and shampoo. I did bring tide pods and dryer sheets with me. Later in the trip, we checked and finally found an open dryer and ran our hang drying clothes down while it was free. BRITISH ISLE CLOTHING - With such long port days, I easily could have gotten away with only 1 or 2 pair of dress pants and rotated shirts. Since this was our 3rd cruise, we don’t always want a huge meal every night. We only ate randomly in the dining room and even then only 5 out of the 12 nights. We grabbed pizza, a hamburger/hotdog or ate at the buffet when we didn’t want to change for dinner after a really long tour day. Nice jeans or khakis and collared shirt or polo worked for most nights in the dining room for my husband. I should have brought more jeans/casual pants since we did have a few days of wearing jeans for 3rd or 4th time as I was trying to find an open washer/dryer in the very busy of laundry room. We only did one formal night and my husband did fine with a long sleeve collared shirt and khakis and I wore a blouse with black pants. We saw plenty of people who looked lovely in tuxedos and formal gowns but we were not wasting precious suitcase space on fancy clothes on our 16 day vacation. WEATHER – I believe Scotland is having the hottest summer on record for June but for May all previous advice was accurate, layers, layers, and more layers. We took a warm coat and a rain jacket and alternated them or wore both at the same time depending on wind and rain. We really only had one very rainy day although we expected more. Lots of partly sunny days. I was happy to have a scarf and hat most days. Long sleeve shirts were a good base layer and I wore a sweater 3 days. I expected the weather to be in the 50s and 60s but the wind made it feel much cooler. My sister bought a warm hat in Kinsale because it was colder than she expected. FOOD - we weren’t sure what to expect with Princess and British Isles food but we were happy overall. We cruise specifically by itinerary and find cruising to be the best solution for us budget wise with meals/hotel/transportation all rolled into one, especially in places where we would never drive. We had been warned to expect bland, simple food in Scotland and Ireland and were pleasantly surprised at the delicious food at every stop. We had all sorts of yummy comfort food including cottage pies, fish and chips and hearty soups with sandwiches. We did not have one bad meal in port. Crown Princess food was as expected, a few stand out dishes but mostly average. As mentioned before, we don’t cruise for the food or ship entertainment just for the travel and transportation. Formal nights were the day of Guernsey and the first sea day. We only did one formal night and my husband did fine with a long sleeve collared shirt and khakis and I wore a blouse with black pants. We saw plenty of people in tuxedos and formal gowns but we were not wasting precious suitcase space on fancy clothes. We had anytime dining and turned up between 6 pm and 7:15 pm for each night in the Dining Room – we only ate there 5 out of 12 nights and Formal nights were more crowded. If the wait was going to be more than a few minutes they gave you a pager so we grabbed a drink at the International Café while we waited. We had less wait when we went at 6:15 or 6:45 vs. 6:30. On our last dining room night the night before Le Havre, we were moved to one of the fixed dining rooms and had better service than in the Michelangelo Dining Room. TIPPING - We haven’t cruised in 5 years so this may now be the norm but Princess automatically adds 18% for alcohol. On past cruises with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean we were able to add tip and decide how much to charge. Princess also doesn’t give you a receipt, you just have to hope the bill is right and check your bill periodically. They do have a self-serve kiosk where you scan your cruise card and get a print out or use the Princess @ Sea app. PRINCESS @ Sea app: The app was good for checking your stateroom balance by day and the total spent. Each person sees what they spent and the cardholder on file sees all cardholders. The messenger part was somewhat disappointing since it didn’t notify you when you received a message which made it difficult to make arrangements if you were traveling with other people. You had to occasionally check to see if you had received a message. Hopefully this will change when the Ocean Medallion service is finally rolled out. There were Carnival employees on board working on the service but about all we saw was the TV system was updated some to support on demand programming. Not sure how ocean medallion rollout will change this. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise because I love visiting the UK and could visit some new places as well as revisit others and catch more of the sights. It was port intensive with only 2 sea days. I took the NEX bus from Heathrow to Southampton, cost ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I love visiting the UK and could visit some new places as well as revisit others and catch more of the sights. It was port intensive with only 2 sea days. I took the NEX bus from Heathrow to Southampton, cost £26 and spent a few days prior to the cruise exploring Southampton and visiting the Isle of Wight. Embarkation went smoothly with no waiting, luggage promptly delivered. My passport was taken from me on embarkation, but unlike other times when my passport was taken, I was not given a photocopy to carry as ID. I had to wait in line at passenger services and then another 10 mins while the staff member hunted for my passport and copied it. Just use your drivers license he says. Yeh right, as if you bring unnecessary documentation half way round the world. My passport was given back after leaving Edinburgh. The fun started at dinner time. Four of the people sitting at my table had got on in Dublin and were almost at the end of their cruise. Their dinner was disrupted by lots of new guests arriving as well as new wait staff as staff were rotated through dining rooms. The captain was new as well. On this cruise you can get on in Dublin, Le Havre as well as Southampton where the bulk of people seemed to get on. I also met a group of 10 who got on in Southampton and were getting off in Le Havre. The “hop-on, hop-off” nature of the cruise led to perceived disorganisation and subsequent lack of enjoyment by quite a few passengers. It must work for Princess but I could see why people were unhappy although I’m not fussed who I have dinner with and which crew I interact with, people getting on and off and so on. The thing that annoyed me the most was all the tendering and wasting of time that goes with it. Even if everything is running smoothly it still takes an hour from ship to port even though the tender ride may only be 15 minutes. Guernsey was the worst. The tenders stopped running for about an hour due to rough seas so I arrived back at the wharf at around 2.20, the last tender being 3pm to find at least half the ship waiting in queues snaking around the wharf. Sometime after 4pm I got on the tender…..and it was formal night too! Forget it. The lines were also long in Kirkwall but not quite as bad and in South Queensferry, the port had put on some extra boats of its own that carried more people. The crew helping people on and off the tenders were great and I felt I was firmly held onto by the arm/hand as the tender bobbed around at times. Needless to say, on my next cruise in November there are no tenders. The ports of call and getting into town included- Guernsey – tender to pier a few minutes walk from town. Cobh – terminal is adjacent to the train station if you want to go to Cork and a few minutes walk to town. Heritage Centre adjacent to wharf has lots of souvenirs and a café with free wifi. Dublin – is a working pier so you are not allowed walk in the area. Free shuttle bus to town which drops you at Merrion Square opposite the Oscar Wilde statue. My excursion stopped here for those who wanted to stay in town before returning to the ship. Belfast – Shuttle available to town. Drops off near the City Hall US$16 return. Greenoch – terminal is about 5 mins walk to town. Lots of souvenirs and free wifi available in the terminal. Bus station and train station about 10-15 mins walk. Free bus tours around Greenoch fill fast – 3 available. Kirkwall – tender to pier, a few minutes walk to town. Invergordon – 5 minute walk to town. Souvenir shop on wharf. Edinburgh – tender to pier near Forth Bridge then X99 Lothian bus to central Edinburgh. Cost £9 return. Ticket good for the local buses as well. Drops off at St Andrews Square. Staff there to help with questions. Le Havre – shuttle bus to town centre US$20 return. As usual, the staff are cheerful, helpful and professional. I enjoyed the selections in the dining room and also the buffet has plenty of choice. The buffet didn’t have many tables for 2 or 4, mainly larger tables but they did open up both sides and Café Caribe for seating. I love the shows and talks I went to. Way too cold for Movie under the Stars and indeed rare to see people sitting outside. As always there are plenty of onboard activities and shopping. The TV system was antiquated. The Menu gave starting times for some programs but others eg. Port talk watch Ch 21. Could be watching for ages until it came on. Nothing on demand so I gave up. A few days before the end of the cruise the tech man came in and changed the TV over to the new on demand viewing which I had on my last cruise 7 months ago. Fabulous. Better late than never. The ship is in the process of updating to Ocean Medallion. The laundry was also a disappointment. There were only 2 washers and 2 dryers per laundry sitting side by side unlike the 4 washers and 4 dryers above they have on other Princess ships. I finally got my washing done just before 10pm one evening with others still waiting. I’d checked a few laundries a few times earlier, long queues. Disembarkation was another time waster. I was on a bus to Victoria Station. Despite the written and verbal instructions and crew waving people to their luggage in the terminal, two ladies living in their own bubble just got on the bus without collecting their luggage. Sometime later it occurred to the crew to look on the bus for them. So off they get to retrieve their luggage. While they are doing that a man who had time to dress in all the latest spiffy sportswear, gets off saying he has left his wallet and passport in the safe! So eventually we leave 45 mins later which stretches out to over an hour because we hit the Sat morning London traffic. That gives me less time do what I had planned. NEX doesn’t hold up paying customers and at US$59 for the transfer those people choosing not to follow instructions should just have been put on the next bus. I did enjoy the cruise- the ports, excursions, shows and dining and those comfy beds, but the peripheral things that give you the carefree experience were lacking and as this was the most expensive cruise ($ per day wise) I’d been on then I can only rate it as average. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to see Ireland and Scotland and felt this was a great way to see both. Left the USA a day early and spent the night in London. Picked up and taken to the port on Monday ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to see Ireland and Scotland and felt this was a great way to see both. Left the USA a day early and spent the night in London. Picked up and taken to the port on Monday after visiting Stonehenge. Embarkation was simple although a bit disorganized. I had "priority boarding" but was told to wait only for my wife to speak to another representative and then allowed to board! The welcome aboard was friendly and nice. We were in a balcony cabin, C206. This cabin is in the forward section of the ship on the Caribe deck. Except for the last night (when some people boarded in France), it was quiet and serene. Our last night (their first night) had the noises of their arrival and some complaining by the passengers. I think the next door rooms were empty before their arrival (at least we never saw anyone or heard anything). Cabin was nice and the room steward was wonderful in keeping the room clean and fresh. Had a problem with the bathroom sink twice (the stopper wouldn't open) but was quickly fixed both times. I'm always amazed at what some people observe. Yes, the ship is "older" and yeah, I saw a bit of rust here and there. That did not hinder my enjoyment of the cruise at all. Never smelled anything "bad" and didn't have any of the problems some other reviews reported. We found the crew to be efficient, friendly and welcoming. Almost everyone had a smile and if u asked a question, they were quick with an answer. I had no real contact with guest services, however, but with everyone we interacted with, we were treated with respect and friendliness. Our trip was in May, so we observed very few children during the cruise. Since passengers were boarding and disembarking during the cruise, we did see a few children. It was too cold to do much swimming. My wife braved the swimming pool a few time. And while the weather was nice (only rained one day during the trip!), it was cool. Temps were about 45 degrees (7 degrees c) in the morning, warming to about 65 degrees (18 degrees c) during the day. We spent time in the Serenity (adult) section of the ship both sea days and had to bundle up (but the afternoon tea was wonderful!). We pretty much had the section to ourselves both times. I would guess the average age on this particular cruise was about 65-70. We had the late dining and sat with 6 other people (that Princess grouped with us). We looked forward to the meals and to our new found friends each night. Food was plentiful and if we wanted more/less of something, they would provide it. Other than the first night, service was outstanding. First night there was some confusion with the early seating getting out late, but even then, it wasn't bad. Service was a bit slow that first night, but every other night was fine. When we wanted to leave earlier to attend a show, we simply informed our waiter and he accommodated our request. The quality of the food is "not bad." While I guess it's normal to complain about the food, I think it was good, but not really worth complaining about. Service and food in the buffet area was also decent. Service was good for us during breakfast and when we chose to eat lunch there. We had no problems with getting a drink within moments of sitting down. Staff was usually quick to clean the tables when someone left to provide for additional seating. I wasn't always pleased with the selection of food at lunch, but I could always find something I liked to eat. Breakfast was easier to choose selections and delicious. Pizza was good, I think among the best on the ocean. Hamburgers were fine and enjoyed by me (along with french fries, of course!). Each port was unique and enjoyed. We had three ship excursions. Orkney Islands, Edinburgh and Le Harve. We visited the town of Honfleur, France for our excursion in Le Harve. That trip was wonderful! We went by bus to the center of town in Edinburgh and in Orkney, we took the tour to see the prehistoric sites. At the other ports, we used other tour companies and had no problems with any of them (some were better than others, however). Only in Guernsey did we just "do our own thing" when we arrived. Well, overall this was a wonderful trip. Princess helped make it that way. We enjoyed our meals and had nothing but good service and friendliness each day. When it came time to disembark, that was also smooth. We took a bus (Princess provided) to Victoria Coach Station in London. Other than waiting around while on the bus, that trip was good also. And of course, Princess provided does not mean "free." We worked out that detail when we booked the cruise. And while not everything was "perfect," it was a nice vacation. This was our second Princess cruise. Our first was aboard the Caribbean Princess and it wasn't as nice as this ship was (although they are sister ships). Bottom line: I paid a deposit for the next cruise so I know we'll return. I wouldn't mind a return to the Crown Princess, but I would like to check-out other ships in the Princess fleet. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose our first Princess Cruise because we were celebrating my husband’s retirement - and we always wanted to visit Scotland and Ireland. We arrived in London 5 days early and visited the major tourist attractions. A Princess bus ... Read More
We chose our first Princess Cruise because we were celebrating my husband’s retirement - and we always wanted to visit Scotland and Ireland. We arrived in London 5 days early and visited the major tourist attractions. A Princess bus picked us up at Victoria Station and drove us to Southampton. Embarkation was very organized. We had to wait awhile, but chairs were provided and we were called in groups, so not too much standing in line. Our balcony stateroom was located on Deck 15 forward. It was clean and nice, and we loved the location. Our room steward was efficient, for the most part. We only saw him on check-in day. We asked that ice be provided each day, and he took good care of us for most of the cruise. However, the last few days, he took the ice bucket away and never brought ice again. There was an awful smell in one section our hallway, that never went away. It smelled like the carpet might have molded. We had to walk through that area coming and going to our room. It was disgusting. The people on this cruise were almost entirely quite old. We are 60ish - and were some of the youngest. I did see a couple of teenagers - who were probably bored to tears. This meant a lot of canes and scooters and slow walkers. They held up lines and elevators, and much patience was required on excursions as they took forever to load and unload buses. Many were very rude as well - cutting in line and ignoring instructions. The excursions were good, for the most part. We enjoyed the places we visited. Often, however, our play time was cut short - we would gather in a designated area on the ship and wait for our group to be called - then follow the leader up and down stairs to get off the ship and to our tour busses. Alternatively, we would follow that procedure to get on tenders - nightmare! There were not enough tenders, which meant long waits to get ashore and load the busses. All of this meant that the excursions sometimes got a late start - and we had very little time to shop or see anything on our own. If I had it to do over, I would definitely explore booking excursions through local companies - rather than Princess. We could have been off the ship earlier, had more time on shore, and saved money. The food was okay - but the choices were limited and became quite boring. If you want steak, visit the premium steak house onboard - do not order steak in the main dining room. I tried it twice and was thoroughly disappointed both times. The steaks were tough, tasteless, and full of gristle. I do highly recommend the creme brûlée, however. Room Service is still free - some cruise lines are charging a fee. But, the menu is extremely limited. Nothing memorable about the food at all. Entertainment on the ship was just boring. They definitely played to the older crowd - big band music, bingo, crafting get togethers, boring stage shows. I looked forward to the outdoor movies on deck. However, it was too cold on deck in the evenings and you couldn’t clearly see the screen during the day. We spent most of our ship time resting, watching tv, and eating. There wasn’t much else interesting to do. Staff was mostly efficient, but not too friendly. Unlike other cruises I’ve been on, the staff did not seem to enjoy their jobs, and were not particularly interested in the cruisers. They did their jobs, but gave nothing extra. Disembarkation was very smooth and quick. We had breakfast, met at our assigned location, and were quickly off the ship. The luggage was organized, and we met our driver in very short order. Overall, we enjoyed our trip because of the wonderful people in England, Ireland, Scotland, and France. We saw wonderful buildings and exhibits. I’ve always loved cruising, but this particular ship, with its boring entertainment, ho-hum staff, and limited food selection, was nothing special. I need to add - we were hot the entire time we were onboard. We lowered the temperature in our room as much as possible, but had to open our balcony door for cool air. All of the public rooms were hot, and we sweated through every meal. For that reason alone, I would not repeat this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have been on Princess for 9 cruises. The 11 day itinerary for Paris and the British Isles drew us to this cruise. It was a good choice although with 2 busy pre-cruise days in Paris, and 11 days with 9 ports it was extremely active and ... Read More
We have been on Princess for 9 cruises. The 11 day itinerary for Paris and the British Isles drew us to this cruise. It was a good choice although with 2 busy pre-cruise days in Paris, and 11 days with 9 ports it was extremely active and probably not for people who are looking for a R&R vacation Embarkation at Le Harve was remarkably fast due to so few people starting the cruise there. We had no wait, took maybe 10 minutes. There are two other embarkation ports. People seem to be getting on and off constantly which does effect some of the usual rhythm of the time on the ship. The ship was clean, staff everywhere were friendly and helpful. The waitstaff exceptional in every dinning option. The MDR food good but we thought it has changed over our 15 years of cruises. Some recipes and dishes were a bit off, such as pasta sauce that was just too sweet for Italian Hubby. Entertainment, when we could stay up, was good, 3 very funny comedians especially. One thing we didn't like on this cruise was 3 tender ports, with slow access to the tenders and very long lines, more than 1 1/2 hrs standing in lines with hundreds of people trying to get back to ship. It was also very stressful to get off the ship, lining up for tender tickets at least 1 hr ahead of the start time in order to meet up with the private tours we booked. The ports of call: Guernsey, a beautiful English island with a fascinating past, both ancient and WWll with the German occupation. We had to take the tenders there, and got off in St. Peter Port a lovely, friendly little town with nice shops. There are pretty cottages and ocean views all around the island. In a private taxi you can do it in 3 hrs nicely. The locals are warm and welcoming and seem to be happy to share their special little island with us. London, no real option except bus tour which was long, never got off except lunch. Drive by of the big sights very unsatisfactory, $179 pp. Wehad expected photo stops at least and there were none. Ireland, Cobb/Cork , we took a private taxi tour of the Kinsale coast . The lush green of the countryside is lovely. Dublin and Belfast, all beautiful stops. We took Paddywagon tours in Dublin and Belfast to Giants Causeway. A fantastic value, Tiernan our driver-guide for both trips was fantastic, fun and a fountain of Irish knowledge. The Antrim coast is beautiful. The Museum in Belfast is free to see the "Bog people" and definately find your way to get a pint at The Crown-an iconic Irish pub. I think Scotland stole my heart, so beautiful , so much history. Get into the highlands! Taxi George Dunoon took us all around lochs chapels, Inverary castle and beautiful vistas from Grenoch. In the Orkney Islands, Kirkwall, The Standing stones of the Ring of Brogdar and ancient Neolithic age ruins of Skara Brae were facinating. In Invergordon, our best day, with a private guided tour. A kilted, very tall Scotsman , Gavin Nicholson of Invergordon tours, showed us the Highlands and included a scotch and chocolate tasting, a falconry display at Dunrobin castle , and a gorgeous highland drive. Edinburgh,was a day in town on our own. Edinburgh Castle and the Royal mile will take up all your time in port. Its easy to fill up your time on your own. We took a $25 taxi each way- they line up just off the pier. Disembarkation was very smooth. And transfer to Charles DeGaul airport took about 3 hrs. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Overall loved our trip just not the cruise portion. Princess dropped the ball on organization. Embarkation was smooth and done well. Then it went sideways. The front desk staff was so disorganized and customer service seemed unimportant. ... Read More
Overall loved our trip just not the cruise portion. Princess dropped the ball on organization. Embarkation was smooth and done well. Then it went sideways. The front desk staff was so disorganized and customer service seemed unimportant. They would make a mistake on paperwork or requests and just say it was our fault. Disembarkation was terrible because of yet another series of mistakes they made and has running all over the ship for customs by there direction in a letter sent to our room. Only to find out oh you don’t need to do this. 2 hours of our morning. The food was mediocre at best. No real variety on Buffett and quality was low and seating very difficult. The dining room staff and bartender we had still understood cruising but princess has turned into a traveling flea market. They took up valuable seating space for art auctions on sea days. We struggled to find somewhere to sit and enjoy a cocktail or play a game. The off hours dining options were good but liked to close early. The ports were amazing and I highly recommend the destination but possibly choose another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
At the completion of this cruise my wife and myself have taken 4 cruises with 2 cruise lines and have 26 nights at sea with Princess. The on board part of the cruise were very good but all performance with respect to excursions and ... Read More
At the completion of this cruise my wife and myself have taken 4 cruises with 2 cruise lines and have 26 nights at sea with Princess. The on board part of the cruise were very good but all performance with respect to excursions and departing the ship in part ranged from average to totally unacceptable. With respect to our shore excursions that were 100% purchased thru Princess we found the excursions were misrepresented by the description. The worst was the GCI210A German Military Occupation in Guernsey. The German Military Hospital was a series of empty tunnels that were equivalent to walking thru a sewer system. The other stop was a small museum. This excursion cost $140.00 per person. When I talked to the excursion staff on board the Crown Princess and Princess Cruises I was blown off. Most of the other excursions did not allow sufficient time at a location to see the points of interest. When at Blarney Castle the line to get to the Blarney Stone was longer than the total time on site. Forget seeing the gardens or Woolen Mill. We also had our all day tour of Dublin cancelled while on the cruise. This really opened my eyes as we did Dublin on our own and saw more that an expensive all day excursion would have offered. Getting off the ship in port was so very poor. We meet several people at dinner that missed 3rd party all day excursions to Paris because they could not get off the ship. Based on my experiences and the being treating very poorly by Princess Cruises personnel we no longer view Princess Cruises as our preferred cruise supplier.We will only use them on an exception basis. If we book a future Princess Cruise we will not book any excursion thru Princess Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Enjoyed a pre-cruise day in London sightseeing. Independent transportation to the pier via Stonehenge. Great couple days. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Luggage arrived in cabin in less than 30 mins after boarding. ... Read More
Enjoyed a pre-cruise day in London sightseeing. Independent transportation to the pier via Stonehenge. Great couple days. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Luggage arrived in cabin in less than 30 mins after boarding. First time our cabin steward didn't make it a point to come and introduce himself to us. He did an adequate job. I had balcony cabin B701. Good location. I have sailed on Crown many times and prefer the Baja deck. Had 7:15 traditional dining in MDR. Since this was a port intensive cruise we were not able to dine there every night. Menu was fine. Same entrees as always with the exclusion of escargot. Enjoyed the Crown Grill one evening. It was delicious as always but price continues to go up. Enjoyed the buffet each morning. Selection was good. Disappointed the fitness center didn't allow passengers to use the treadmills until 8 am although I did understand. Difficult to use with early ports almost everyday. Love MUTS but too cold on this cruise to enjoy. However, I did ask for movie popcorn every night! You had to go hunt for it but I was able to get some. Ports were wonderful!!! My biggest surprise was the chaos getting on and off the ship at almost every port. Long queues, people upset, trouble getting gangways up, steep gangways, passengers getting on and off with luggage, etc. It was really a pain. I understand delays when it is a tender port but simply walking off should never be an issue. Overall great cruise. I would highly recommend. The layout and the size of the Crown works well for me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose the British Isles! Great ports, short on time, but we did so much I don't know where they would have found more time. Overall experience was great. All of the ports were fun and had loads of things to do. Perhaps one ... Read More
We chose the British Isles! Great ports, short on time, but we did so much I don't know where they would have found more time. Overall experience was great. All of the ports were fun and had loads of things to do. Perhaps one change would be stay one day in Doublin and two days in Edinburgh! We chose outside tours and were thrilled with them. Saved a considerable amount of money on them, too. The tours are smaller, personalized and just more fun than those offered by Princess. We had big problems with the assistance at the Front Service Desk. A JOKE! Fortunately everything went pretty smoothly, but the one hiccup was a major deal. Unfortunately, the Service Desk agents gave a different answer for the same question. Even asking to speak with the manager didn't get much help. Promised to call back and never did. Unacceptable. Apparently getting off the ship for a few days is something no one has ever done before (hah)! Our friends got approval from Princess before making reservations. The Crown Princess did everything to make this a terrible expereince for them. On the departure date they were told to go to immigration at 6:40am. They did. They were sent to three different places and no one was there. Nice way to end the cruise. The dinners were fine. Quality a little less than it used to be. We had an outstanding waiter at dinner who made the entire trip worthwhile. Hermanie was excellent! We never saw the Captain (except at the Platinum and Above Cocktail Awards event). Saw very few of the 'suits' walking around. Usually they are a lot more present than that. The Crown Princess is getting worn. It needs updating. The public bathrooms were terrible, tile falling off the wall, etc. Carpeting in the buffet was worn out. It has always been such a beautiful ship it's a shame to see it in such a state of disrepair. But the beauty of the British Isles is worth the trip. Such a lovely area to enjoy. The peace, beauty and history are worth the trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
“Winter with Leaves” A May Cruise around the British Isles “Call me Ismael” - Herman Melville; we wander when we can as there is so much world, and so little time. This time, for our May 1st cruise, we packed for cool/cold ... Read More
“Winter with Leaves” A May Cruise around the British Isles “Call me Ismael” - Herman Melville; we wander when we can as there is so much world, and so little time. This time, for our May 1st cruise, we packed for cool/cold weather and guessed correctly, as the temps never got above the mid-40s to low 50. We, Gene & Susan, left Houston Hobby, with a slight delay, (they had to reboot the plane?) April 29th to DFW, and on to an over-night flight to London Heathrow, landing about midday the 30th. Heathrow to Soho at the “Sticky Wicket” We decided to cut to the chase, jet lag being what it is, and had booked Heathrow Taxis (good value) down to the Hilton at Ageas Stadium, getting there early afternoon. The hotel is actually built into a Cricket Stadium surrounded by a Golf course. If you don’t know the game of Cricket, I wouldn’t encourage you to explore it too closely, and just assume that it resembles a cross between baseball and croquet!! We did get to watch a Cricket practice out our room window with bowling to the batsman on a Cricket pitch and wickets of course. “And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by” John Masefield We taxied to the Crown Princess, May 1st (about 5 miles), arriving around noon, and had a very quick and easy embarkation with priority boarding. One of the main dining rooms was open where we had a leisurely lunch, avoiding the frantic crowds at the Lido. Our cabin, a balcony on Caribe deck, was ready and we relaxed until Muster Drill. I had hosted a Cruise Critic roll call, so we followed Muster with a Sail Away Party in the Wheelhouse Lounge, as outside was a bit chill. It was well attended, as a number of CC people were there and introduced themselves. Guernsey Where getting there is half the fun!! Guernsey is a tender port so all the ship tenders were used. They loaded the usual 75 or so on tender 21 and set out for shore. Sadly, it’s steering was broke that day and it water bugged us in circles and didoes all over the ocean. It finally got back to the ship, loaded three mechanics and set out again, with the same outcome, more circles and didoes. By this time passengers were turning green from ocean motion, and were considering holding a Muster Drill. They finally wallowed back to the ship and off loaded us on to another tender which worked. Some of the people in the lines behind us missed their tour due to the delay as it caused delays to the whole process. Guernsey = Blue Bell ice cream The original Texas Blue Bell was made using only milk from the Guernsey cow. The Guernsey and the Jersey, on the next isle over, have the highest butterfat content of all the dairy cattle (took Ag in HS). There are few cattle left on the island, as it’s about 90% developed, and is considered an off-shore banking and financial center much like the Caymans. Immigration is limited to those who can prove that they have a job when they arrive, or enough money to sustain them. We joined about 6 others on an island tour with “1st call Taxies” that circled the island. Those who read or watched “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” might be somewhat disappointed at the island’s modern development as there is little wild sea coast left. There are still a number of German observation posts and gun emplacements, however. Besides driving around the island, our guide took us into a 4,000-year-old barrow from ancient people on the island and a unique chapel built of cut glass. We had an excellent lunch at a local pub, fish and chips with panko bread crumbs, picked up some wine for the cabin, and it was time to get back to the ship, but not on tender 21 I’ll tell you! Cobh/Cork Our goal today was Blarney Castle and the Irish countryside with Ecoach (Butler tours). We wound our way through Cobh & Cork out to Blarney Castle, which almost resembles a theme park as you arrive at a woolen mill which advertises the most Irish souvenirs in Ireland. Also, there were a couple of Pub/restaurants, and ticket purchase (we had skip the line) with public rest rooms. You next stroll through forest gardens and streams to the castle, and it is beautiful; set on a hilltop surrounded by battlements and some discreetly hidden gift shops. Since there was a long line to kiss the Blarney Stone, I asked the wife if I needed to get in it. She replied that the Stone ought to be kissing me?? We roamed for about an hour with the wife taking pictures and then back to the visitor’s center where I enjoyed a pint of Irelands best while the wife visited the woolen mill. My son says that drinking Guinness is like eating a loaf of bread, and he might be right. We explored the Irish Countryside, had a pub lunch in a historic port town, picked up some wine for the cabin and returned to the ship about 5. Dublin We ported two days in Dublin which is about right, as will be explained. The ship didn’t dock until 11 AM but there was no rush as we planned a leisurely day riding the HoHos and had an evening event. We taxied into the city to the Hop-On Hop-Off office where we purchased tickets and also “jump the line” entrance to the Guinness brewery. Dublin is a city of young people. It was a Saturday, and young families were everywhere pushing babies in strollers and doing what they needed to do. Our first stop was Dublin Castle where the wife got some shots of the building as it is now used as Govt. offices. The next “God help me” was Guinness!! In retrospect, you should find a local pub have a pint and salute Guinness at a distance. The Guinness Store House is a 7-story exhibit with stairs, little A/C, and 1,000 of your closest friends!! It is a very nice history of the Stout with grains and a water fall, the brewing process, and a free pint at the end. When we reached the top of the tallest building in Dublin (I could have used a Sherpa), the wife took pictures when she could get near a window, as a Fire Marshall would have a coronary with the crowds in that building. They were mostly young Irish who must consider it a pilgrimage or some such, children and all. When we finally fought our way out of the building it was getting late afternoon so we hopped the HoHo, so to speak, and got off near our evening adventure, Irish Nights at the Belvidere Hotel. It was wonderful with Irish folk music and step dancing, a good dinner and wine by the glass with cruise friends. Dublin Day II “I don’t think my heart can stand another ewe!!” Sheep Herders lament Do you ever tire of cities?? Same ole public buildings, cathedrals, and museums?? We have, so it was time to see the country side, the Emerald Isle, and it didn’t disappoint. This time with two other cruise friends Susan and I taxied into Paddywagon Tours for a trip out to Kilkenny and the Wicklow Mountains. It was a wonderful day with emerald green pastures full of sheep with Grose hedges. Our first stop was Glendough, the ruins of a monastery from the 1100s. It was wonderful to walk and see it in the crisp cold air. You could spend a day here hiking as there were three lakes in the glen and numerous trails. There were also very good facilities (hotel etc) as well. Off to Kilkenny, or almost, as our bus blew a tire. But, no problem, there was a 2nd behind us on the same route with 30 empty seats. Cruise passengers had priority. The first bus limped into Dublin about two hours later than ours. Kilkenny was the ancient capital and featured quite a nice castle, a lunch at a good restaurant, and two bottles of wine for the cabin. It was close to 2 hours back to the ship, but it was a beautiful day in the country. Belfast Northern Ireland This one was a bit difficult; less than 5 miles from Belfast our 14-passenger bus, a Mercedes, blew an engine. But once again no problem as they had a replacement there shortly, and it was on to the Giant’s Causeway, a unique headland of Columnar Basalts that cooled into hexagonal crystals. We saw the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and had a good pub lunch before returning to Belfast. We completed the tour with a visit to the Titanic dry dock, interesting, but a barn where the cows are gone, then back to the ship after 7 in the evening. Greenock/Glasgow It was a rainy morning with a grey mist falling over Greenock on the Firth of Clyde, the port for Glasgow, as we set out with Discover Scotland tours on another wonderful adventure. The first stop, the rain was very slight, was at Loch Lomond, a beautiful lake where we walked a village and down to a dock to the calm waters and the silence of nature. Have you ever wondered about the term “Skyfall” the title from a Bond film? It means that when the waters are so calm that they mirror the sky above and this we found reflected in the Loch. This was a good start, as our next destination was Stirling Castle, one of the most famous in Scotland and most visited, where we rejoined tourism as we know it. Susan bravely shot the castle with her camera as there were heights and voids that were out of her comfort zone. We then visited the village of Callander where we lunched in a “Tea Room” favored by the locals, small, with shared Formica tables. I had a steak and haggis pie served in a pastry, as this was also a bakery for scones. Haggis, dear reader, is when you stuff a sheep’s stomach with mutton and oatmeal, and boil it until it turns to mush. The steak and gravy in the pie, (remember Marie Callender?), provided the flavor. We picked up some wine for the cabin while there, and set out for Glasgow. It is the third largest city in the UK but we didn’t spend much time there as we were due to get back to the ship. Invergordon/Inverness My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My heart’s in the Highlands a chasing the deer, Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, My heart’s in the Highlands where ever I go. -Robert Burns- In Invergordon, on the Firth of Cromarty, we were picked up by Highland tours at the ship for a trip through the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Our first stop shortly after viewing the ruins of Urquhart Castle was Loch Ness where my wife wanted me to dabble my fingers in the water to tell her how cold it was while taking pictures. (She gets double indemnity if I’m eaten by a Sea Monster!!) The Highlands are beautiful but still in their winter colors of brown heather and pale brown grasses on all the hills and mountains, some of which are snow capped in the distance. The Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most photographed in Scotland, was our next stop on a crisp cold day in a land where they see the Northern Lights. While winding through the glens of Scotland, we turned into a road that said Single Trac, you guessed it, a one lane road going to the ferry on the Isle of Skye. There was some backing and pulling over in a dance with on coming traffic, not that there was much. Here I should perhaps mention that the highways of Ireland and Scotland are not wide, as most two-lanes don’t have room for a stripe in the middle. But they get you there with the occasional four-lane to take you back to a city. Scotland’s are marginally better. The ferry to the Isle of Skye is the last “Turn Table” ferry in the world. It is a motorized barge with a parking platform on top which rotates to turn the cars in the opposite direction from which they boarded, in order to offload. It is only a short distance to the Isle itself. We drove through the hills of Skye to a small village for a pub lunch (sound familiar); it was actually more of a café with an order line and shared tables. Following lunch, we saw a little more of the Isle and returned to the mainland via a modern bridge and eventually back to the ship. Our First Sea Day Thank you, Jesus, as we’re running on empty and need the rest. Rest did come with responsibility, however, as it is time for our Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle. I had sent invitations once we were on board, and had rented a mic for the event. The ship provided Skywalkers and a cash bar. It went well with probably 60 in attendance. The officers introduced themselves and spoke about their area of responsibility. We finished with the attendees getting to say who they were, where they were from and what was their favorite port. A good time was had by all. The rest was a sea day as we try to avoid the Lido for meals, and we don't do the shows, but some wine and dancing in the evenings. Edinburgh We awoke anchored off South Queensferry on the Firth of Forth, the port for Edinburgh. Our tour for the day was with Go Scotland but first we had to tender ashore. Oh My God, they were shoving us on to Tender 21, but surely, they had got it fixed. Oh no they didn’t, as the pilot used the two engines to steer and we wallowed like a sick hog under a famous railroad bridge which was trying not to get hit, and finally to shore. In every case, we were met promptly by our tour guide, and today was no exception. We begin by driving out in the country to Roslyn Chapel founded in 1446. This is beautiful with gothic design and elaborate stone carving throughout. The Knights Templar came here to fight alongside the Scots. It is said that they buried both the Arc of the Covenant and the Holly Grail under this chapel. While you are down there, you might find Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Erhard as well!! Traveling through Edinburgh on the way to the castle, we saw many famous sites as Trinity College one of the world’s oldest. Why did they always stick castles on hill tops? Yeah, yeah, I know, as they didn’t trust their neighbors and probably had some pretty good reasons not to. We trudged up the hill from our small bus, and quite a hill it was, where we had jump-the-line tickets as there were 1,000 of our closest friends taking selfies and trying not to fall off the battlements!! The castle is still an active military base and fires a 1 O’clock gun, much to the consternation of the pigeons, and the benefit of the hundreds of tourists gathered to watch it. A fine time was had by all as Susan shutter bugged the edifice and we moved down hill (thank God) to where the tour group met for an hour and forty-five-minute walking tour. Something my walking ability told me not to do, as I got a new hip last Fall. So, I bought two bottles of wine for the cabin, and retired to a convenient pub/restaurant for lunch and relaxation. Those of you of the culinary nature would enjoy exploring “Toad in the Hole”, a shell of Yorkshire pudding layered with mashed potatoes, with three “bangers” pork & Haggis sausages, topped with caramelized onions and a brown gravy!! It was a hearty dish although hardly heart healthy, and in the States, subject to a Surgeon General’s warning!! Susan joined the walking tour, taking in historically significant sites as well as the Greyfriars Bobby statue, a haunted cemetery and Harry Potter points of interest. We regrouped, boarded the bus and circled Arthur’s Seat, a small mountain that hung over the city. We stopped by Holyrood Palace where Elizabeth stays when in Edinburgh, before returning to the tender port. As luck would have it, a commercial tender seating more than a hundred was a comfortable ride back to the ship. I did keep a wary eye out for “Sea Cow 21” as I had vowed to sacrifice my place in line, and it was long, if offered another ride with her. The Second Sea Day I really don’t recall much about this day as there was no agenda and no pressing need to have anything but three meals in the MDR as for once on a cruise, we never visited the Lido. We did attend the Capt.’s party as it was the last formal night, and did book a future cruise at a discount while on board as we are thinking a Northern Alaska visit with seeing Denali this next time with perhaps a night in a Princess lodge. Le Havre France Paris and Normandy are the two attractions here but, as I’m a Marine from a Marine family, Normandy wasn’t our war. We declined seeing Paris about 300 miles away as I felt that the French needed no help turning over cars and setting them on fire. We opted to visit a local mall, Docks Vauban, where Susan did her last gift shopping and we enjoyed a three-star grill where the French did what they do best, cook!! The Longest Day We had opted for a Princess transfer from SOHO as we had an early 12:15 flight. No one wants you off the ship more than the cruise line, so we met to disembark @ 6:30. As the traffic was interesting, we made Heathrow by around 9. After check in and airport security, I can confirm they are even more intense than our own, as I lost a can of shave gel. We had a leisurely brunch and boarded for our 91/2 hr flight to DFW, which arrived on time. After the ordeal of Customs and Security all that was left was the short hop to Houston, right? They loaded us on the small plane on time and then sat there in a sweat box for close to an hour waiting for them to get more fuel that they might run the air conditioners among other delays. Even with that amount of time my luggage missed the flight and was delivered the next day. Thus, from the ship’s cabin to home made about 21 hrs of travel. I’ve mentioned a few mechanical problems that occurred on this vacation, and have visited with God about them from time to time, but none posed a serious threat to us or our travels so let the cow chips fall where they may as it was a wonderful cruise. We hope that this has been informative and helpful for those of you traveling to this part of the world and until I write again. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind at yer back not be yer own. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. Gene & Susan Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The only thing I would change would be to tell Princess that when they travel to Europe in April and May they choose a ship with a retractable roof so people can enjoy the beautiful swimming pools and hot tubs. They should also have a non ... Read More
The only thing I would change would be to tell Princess that when they travel to Europe in April and May they choose a ship with a retractable roof so people can enjoy the beautiful swimming pools and hot tubs. They should also have a non alcoholic option for their gifts and prizes not everyone consumes alcohol. We loved the food but found there were too many seafood options and too much spinach done in variety of ways. The food in the Horizon restaurant was fabulous great variety. Another area they need to improve on is the shore excursions and how they handled the groups getting off the ship. We stood everyday in ridiculous lines to have a sticker with a number slapped on our person. They didn’t have enough people working that process. They should have the groups gather in an area and as a group is called they exit through a door where someone is waiting to provide them with a number sticker. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise for the British Isles Itinerary and a ton of research pointed me to Princess. The dates worked for the Princess, right after her Trans-Atlantic from FLL. We really enjoyed our aft mini-suite and our steward was ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the British Isles Itinerary and a ton of research pointed me to Princess. The dates worked for the Princess, right after her Trans-Atlantic from FLL. We really enjoyed our aft mini-suite and our steward was amazing! This was a very port intense itinerary so we only ate in the MDR one time. I did look at the menu's and wasn't disappointed at all. The Horizon Buffet was delish for the most part, although very crowded (they need to open both sides for breakfast). We liked the feel and the ship so we've booked 2 more! Yes, the Crown is older but she's in good shape. I loved the size too. Not too many people but just right. My only disappointment was that bingo is too dang expensive! I was really looking forward to it but was only able to play 2 days due to cost. The shuttles to town were a bit pricey but they ran consistently and were always there when we needed them. If you want a taste of the British Isles, I highly recommend this cruise and the line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was my 4th Princess cruise and may be my last. The cruise started in Southampton England. It just came from transitioning over from Fort Lauderdale and a good number of guests stayed on board for the second part of the cruise. The ... Read More
This was my 4th Princess cruise and may be my last. The cruise started in Southampton England. It just came from transitioning over from Fort Lauderdale and a good number of guests stayed on board for the second part of the cruise. The ship holds approximately 3,000 guests. Day 1. Upon arrival, our room was available enabling us immediate access. The room looked like it hadn't been thoroughly cleaned for a while. There was dust on the tables, headboards and lamp bases. The rug was stained and needed a good vacuuming, it probably should be replaced. The bed was made but not to the standard we experienced on prior Princess cruises. There was no ice in ice bucket, and when our steward finally filled it after asking him to do so. He never checked it again to see if it needed to be refilled. Day 3. We decided to eat breakfast in the main dining room vs the buffet. Being a party of 6 it was difficult finding a place to eat in the buffet. People would just sit there after they finished eating, taking up space for other guests to eat. The service in the main dining room was horrendous. We never experienced such a disorganized crew. It took approximately 30 minutes to get juice and coffee. When the food finally came, it was cold, and bagel I ordered was as hard as a rock. I didn’t have the time to wait to send it back since I was going on an excursion. The ship’s procedure for returning passports they had retrieved from us when first checked in, definitely needs to be reviewed and fixed. We were first told our passports would be delivered to our room. It turned out, some were delivered to their rooms and others were not. Some people were told their passports were missing when they were at the customer service desk. Some passengers were told their passports were lost, upsetting many passengers. We never received our passports so we had to go to customer service waiting in long lines to retrieve them. Another couple we sailed with said their steward knocked on their door and said he only had one passport. He said they lost the other passport. He told them to go to the customer service to see about the missing passport. The first time they went to customer service they were told their passport would be delivered to their room later in day. After waiting a half a day for their passport, they went back to customer service again and were told their passports were at the Irish Immigration terminal and would arrive the next day. They were so upset. They went back again and customer service asked if they changed rooms. On their fourth visit to customer service, the staff member finally went in back and returned with their missing passports. All they did was make up stories to try to appease the situation. They tried to dismiss my friends saying they didn’t need the passports anyway. This is totally unacceptable. My excursion in Ireland that day started off good. Then during a stop at Trinity College, the tour guide sped to the entrance leaving behind half the guests on the coach. It was impossible trying to find her, she just disappeared. We never found her until we re-boarded the bus to return to the ship. We were pretty much on our own, which was upsetting since we paid for a guided tour which we never received. Upon returning to the ship after the excursion, the line to get back on the ship was about 600 people deep. The crew kept reversing the lines, people were bumping into each other, and they actually stopped the entry onto the ship for no apparent reason. The entire crew was disorganized and need to be retrained on how to deal with crowd control. In the past Princess never charged for hot chocolate at the buffet. This was the first time we had to pay for hot chocolate while on the cruise. I cannot drink coffee or tea so I was upset to discover this new charge. Also, if you want a coffee or tea at the International Cafe, Princess now charges their guest, where in the past they did not. This is absurd. They appear to be looking for new ways to rip off the consumer. Day 9. My excursion today was in Edinburgh. The excursion was delayed by 1/2 hour due to the disorganization of the staff. Day 10. As the cruise continued, staff had finally worked out some of the kinks with the shore excursion and the food selection had improved. By the end of the cruise it appeared everyone on the cruise was either sick or getting sick. I myself got sick on the last day of the cruise. Since the cruise transitioned from Fort Lauderdale, and there were still approximately 1,200 guests on-board, I do not think staff had adequate time to fully sanitize the ship. Additionally, guests were getting off and on at different ports along the cruise. Plus waiting in long lines at the ports in the cold did not help the situation. Our room steward did not properly put our disembarkation tags where we could find them. When we finally did, we noticed they were not for the time was asked customer service to exit the ship. We had to go back to customer service again to get the correct tags for disembarkation. Day 11. We took an excursion to Paris which was definitely not long enough; three hours each way on the bus, leaving only four hours to see Paris. It would have been great while in ports such as Paris and Edinburgh they had overnight stays. Plus they should offer face masks to their guests for the bus ride to avoid getting sick. Day 12. The night before the end of the cruise, we noticed the tag was missing off the water they offered for sale, that we never used. When we looked at our bill we noticed a charge for the water. We asked our steward about the charge and he said the bottle was opened which was an outright lie. We went to customer service and they reversed the charge. Seriously, it’s going to take a lot for me to cruise again on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We selected this trip to the British Isles because the itinerary looked great and the price was a good deal. We were accompanied by another couple we've cruised with many times. The embarkation went smoothly when we arrived at the ... Read More
We selected this trip to the British Isles because the itinerary looked great and the price was a good deal. We were accompanied by another couple we've cruised with many times. The embarkation went smoothly when we arrived at the port. A porter was there4 immediately to take care of our luggage so we were all set to go check in. There was no waiting line. The check-in staff was friendly and efficient. We were onboard in less than 20 minutes and able to go directly to our cabin! From the time we arrived at the port to sitting down for some lunch took 30 minutes! Impressive!! The ship is showing a bit of age, with some dings and dents along corridors, but overall is still a nice ship. The itinerary for this cruise was very port intensive and although we enjoyed all the ports and excursions we did, it was not a relaxing trip, so just be prepared for a busy trip if you intend to partake of all the many places to be seen on this trip. Many of the city centers are located a distance from the port, necessitating some type of transportation to get from the ship port to town to see or do anything. Princess did not advise us prior to the cruise that they provide a bus from the pier to city in Dublin, as well as 2 other ports. Once aboard for a couple of days, we received a flyer in our cabin, with prices of $8 each way, $16 round trip from city center and back to port. They will also provide a free bus to the port gate in Dublin, just because it is a working commercial port and the authorities do not allow guests to walk around in the port area for safety reasons. However, the free ride to the port gate then requires you to get some type of transportation to the city, so might as well sign up for an excursion or taxi to get you into town. It's quite a walk to get into the city center to see most things that guests go to Dublin to see. The ports were all wonderful and each held it's own excitement of different things to experience. Had the BEST fish and chips at a bar/restaurant across the street from Christ Church in Dublin. There was another famous...very recommended fish and chips place but it was carryout only and after walking for miles that day, we had to have a place to sit down and the bar across the street from Christ Church was perfect! I tried fish and chips in 3 other places during the trip and none compared to this place. My receipt doesn't have the name of the bar, just address 19 Fishamble Street, Christchurch, Dublin. The portion was large enough that we split just 1 order and it was plenty!! We had purchased the London Pass since our flight arrived at 5 Am and we planned on taking all that day and the next morning to see London before heading to Southampton to spend the night before boarding the ship on May 1. There are many things included in the London Pass, but I'm not sure we got our money's worth because did not use the Hop on Hop off bus to get around because they were too slow to come back around. Taxied to several places but still were just not able to see many places we had in our Passbook. We did enjoy the Churchill War rooms, which were included in the London Pass....very interesting and insightful visit. Took a 90-minute coach tour around the island of Guernsey...only 10 pounds each and was a great way to see the island without walking and still had a bit of time to see some of the port area after we returned. The residents there were so lovely and friendly! Did the typical tourist things in Dublin...Christ Church, Dublin Castle, Trinity College (the books of Kell and library close right at 5 so unable to get in to see them) Guinness Storehouse. Unless you are a fan of beer/ale, I found the $25 Euro to tour Guinness very steep to tour a distillery. They do provide you with 3 nice sized samples at the end of the tour, but since neither my husband or I drink beer, it was a bit pricey for us.....went because our other couple wanted to tour it. Went to a great dinner and celtic dancing and music at Belvedere hotel 44 Euros per person. Excellent show and we enjoyed it immensely, but heard from others on the cruise that there are many pubs that have free music and dancing, pub crawls with music and dancing, so that could be a different option for those that enjoy beer. Our final tour was from LeHavre to Normandy D Day beaches and sites. Excellent tour with 8 guests and a driver. He was very informative and animated during the tour....owner and operator of Spearhead tours. Disembarkation was bit slower than embarkation as they had passengers winding around various areas and took quite some time. Once off the ship though, claiming luggage was fairly easy....self service carts for no charge. There were porters, but they did not seem interested in helping passengers get luggage...unlike in the US! Had a private taxi back to Heathrow, 1.5 hours of relaxation. I believe the transfer for Princess is $69 per person for the bus. We paid 119 pounds for all 4 of us. It was a wonderful trip and I would highly recommend the ship and the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Whilst we've had good experiences on former Princess cruises, we've never been on a Crown-class ship. We selected the cruise entirely for the itinerary & we loved all the ports visited but I'm afraid we were rather ... Read More
Whilst we've had good experiences on former Princess cruises, we've never been on a Crown-class ship. We selected the cruise entirely for the itinerary & we loved all the ports visited but I'm afraid we were rather disappointed with the ship & its services (except for the dining rooms that had great waiters as always). 1. The first day tendering was horrendous, waited more than 2 hours to get on a tender boat cutting our time on shore & we didn't get to see much. But what made it worse was the constant blaming on others by the Crown staff - "we don't operate the tender boat; we have no say etc etc" Then in the evening the cruise director said "at 6 am there were no one & what can we do when 2000 people showed up all at once at 9 ? Hope you know what to do on our next tender port " Although she said it half jokingly but it left a really sour note with us !! Wouldn't they had anticipated it ? Couldn't they at least made passengers feel better by talking to us nicely ? 2. The cabin rooms: showing aging signs everywhere. Wood stains on the balcony were chipped & faded; shower curtain stained & smelly; no luggage mat to pack or unpack. 3. Went on 1 ship's excursion only & again the organization was terrible. We were told to wait at one area but it really was another. We were herded around & we paid almost $200 each for the experience! Its such poor management & unfriendly customer handling, you would think they had never done excursions before! 4. Entertainment was so-so except for the great final performance by the ship's ensemble. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my mothers 80th birthday and because of the the Ports of call.The best part of this ship was the bed other than that the entertainment on board,food quality,friendliness of staff,and the organization of ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my mothers 80th birthday and because of the the Ports of call.The best part of this ship was the bed other than that the entertainment on board,food quality,friendliness of staff,and the organization of disembarking the ship at ports of call was terrible.Our room at 7am ran out of hot water to have a shower so did everyone on our deck and the cabin attendant response to us was we didn't know how to use the shower.This was day 3 of the Cruise. In the dining room the menu was very limited but if you wanted to pay a additional $20 you could get a steak etc.The wine list was way over priced and nothing we would pay over $40 a bottle for. They also forgot my mothers Birthday and apologized they got to busy but would do the next day.We told them not to bother we will do it somewhere else.The buffet was like going to a upscale cafeteria very bland food and no imagination and the worst tasting coffee ever, glad I paid extra for the coffee card.Disembarking by tender to Guernsey took 2 hours and another 1 hour to get back to the ship.Shore excursions where almost double what I paid for the same thing and in Dublin,Belfast and Le Havre if you wanted to just go to town and wonder around you had to pay from $16 to $20 per person for a shuttle to leave the port.There is a free shuttle in Dublin but they didn't tell you that we found out by asking the taxi driver we hired that was cheaper than the shuttle.We have been on many cruises and this Princess cruise has put us off cruises for awhile.Even at the end of the cruise after paying to have them take to Heathrow to go home there was no staff around to assist us to finding our coach to take us to the airport.Our Group of 7 with another 10 plus guests eventually found our ride to the airport no thanks to the Crown Princess staff.If you like boring entertainment,activities,bad service,overpriced excursions and being nickled and dimed then this is the ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our 6th. cruise with Princess, and it will be our last. The ship is in need of repairs. The varnish on the balcony railings was peeling off. The sliding glass door in our room would only open part way in the morning, but once ... Read More
This was our 6th. cruise with Princess, and it will be our last. The ship is in need of repairs. The varnish on the balcony railings was peeling off. The sliding glass door in our room would only open part way in the morning, but once it got warm it would open all the way. Hot water in the shower was hit or miss. The toilet malfunctioned twice. The couch in the room looked like one you would find in a second hand store (lumpy, stained, ect.). The desk and chair should have been replaced. Our room attendant was one of the best we had on any cruise. I found that the bar staff, the wait staff in the main dining were also excellent. The people responsible for shore excursions really need help. We were misdirected by the staff on two excursions. We were give the wrong tour packet once. We had one tendered port and the wait time to get off the ship was over an hour. I really don"t know what the problem was, but I never experienced these long wait times on my 6 previous cruises. We cancelled a scheduled future with Princess when we got home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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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