Sail Date: November 2014
The disclaimers first: I have only done three cruises so I'm not a seasoned traveler and my first cruise was on Crystal Cruises and I have found nothing to compare yet. I left Tucson driving early to spend a few days in California ... Read More
The disclaimers first: I have only done three cruises so I'm not a seasoned traveler and my first cruise was on Crystal Cruises and I have found nothing to compare yet. I left Tucson driving early to spend a few days in California before my cruise and was about half way to LA when a got and email telling me that my cruise was being shortened be a day and now would not leave until the Sunday after the original departure time. They made sure to tell me in the email that I couldn't cancel and that I had no recourse against them. By the time we got to LA we had another email telling us that the departure was moved out another four hours. We learned that the original lost day was due to a crew member illness and the additional four hours was due to norovirus on the ship and because they had to disinfect the ship twice. We didn't get all of our luggage until we had already spent a night. And the bag we didn't get had our medications in it. We were told several times that our only option was to wait for the bag. We had several experiences with employees telling us this was their first trip on the ship and wondered why. An employee finally told us that they had to replace a number of employes on the ship due to norovirus. About the third day we had an announcement that there was norovirus on the ship. The Captain finally announced that a number of people had asked how many cases were on the ship (Well Duh! Really?) so he disclosed that, at the time, there 39 cases including five staff members. We frequently had cold food at the venue we dined at most often. We had constant concerns about norovirus and limited our exposure to the public. It seemed that the activities on ship either cost the passenger money or didn't cost the cruise line much. When you are constantly concerned about norovirus (we are both old people) you can't really enjoy your trip. The trip was ruined. I suppose a seasoned traveler would say don't buy travel insurance but our travel agent suggested buying, not the coverage from the cruise line, because "it wasn't much good", and buy something called "Travel Guard". We bought what they call a "Gold Policy" and I can't imagine it being more useless! Princess gave us a pathetic credit for the disasters which included a 20% discount on a future cruise which we will never use. The insurance company (AIG) said that because the cruise line compensated us for the losses they would only pay the expenses for food and lodging for the lost day. Never mind that the cruise line gave us something of no value, AIG decided it was suitable. I paid $186 for the travel insurance and they gave me $199 - $13 more than I paid them. I like my travel agent but I wont use her again for recommending useless insurance. I think I am through cruising (thank you Princess) unless I decide to save a little longer and go back to Crystal Cruises. This was a horrible experience. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This is my first review but not my first cruise. I am always pleased with the cruises I take on Princess. We flew in day before departure as we always enjoy a pre-cruise night. This time we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in FLL. I ... Read More
This is my first review but not my first cruise. I am always pleased with the cruises I take on Princess. We flew in day before departure as we always enjoy a pre-cruise night. This time we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in FLL. I booked the room through Expedia which was an ocean view in the Tower. Upon arrival we were not given that type of room. The room had a view of a gravel roof top with palm trees in the distance. Not a drop of ocean water to be seen! We documented this with photos and I have my confirmation that states ocean view and will be disputing with my credit card company. I called Expedia who had seen the photos and they put me on hold to call the hotel. They wouldn't make any adjustment and my request for a partial refund was declined by both Expedia and Hyatt Regency Pier 66. They stated that ocean view rooms are not guaranteed and it depends on availability upon check in. I've never heard of this. I've booked plenty of ocean view rooms for land and cruise vacations. It was disappointing to have a vacation start this way. Please be aware when booking with Expedia and/or the Hyatt Regency Pier 66. Last year we stayed at the Hilton Marina and will definitely go their again. They were booked which is why we opted for Pier 66 plus I had read so many great reviews. We won't recommend the Hyatt Pier 66 or stay there ever again. We do love Princess Cruises! Embarkation was easy and when we arrived and went through check in, they had already started allowing guests to board. We went to our room first and dropped off our carry on bags. We have cruised on the Crown before. We love that class of their ships. I was able to forget about the bad experience with the hotel once I got to the pier. The staff is friendly and accommodating. They work so hard to make my vacation so enjoyable. We really do go for the relaxation. We don't partake in a lot of activities. We enjoy the Crown Grill and had dinner there twice. We enjoyed a couple of the shows. I thought the Mentalist was great! We always enjoy the different dining options such as the Trident Grill, pizza and, of course, International Café. I do think the food isn't what it use to be but no one ever goes hungry. I enjoy the dining room experience most nights and the Crown Grill made for a delicious option. We did enjoy a tour with Bernard Tours in St. Maarten. It was a great tour of both the island and a beach stop. We went to Maho beach and saw a couple of small planes take off. That beach is very busy and rather narrow so it was crowded but I wouldn't have missed the experience. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
My first view of the Crown Princess was awesome and totally took my breath away! Embarkation went smoothly especially as I use a wheelchair and I was very impressed with the car parking arrangements and the care the attendants took to take ... Read More
My first view of the Crown Princess was awesome and totally took my breath away! Embarkation went smoothly especially as I use a wheelchair and I was very impressed with the car parking arrangements and the care the attendants took to take down the mileage and photograph the car all round to stop any disputes when getting back to it later. My balcony cabin was very spacious and well adapted for a disabled person. Food was excellent and far too much of it! If you were not careful you could go home having put on several pounds...and the room service was always quick and the food, if it was meant to be hot, it arrived hot.The speciality restaurants were wonderful but the cover price a bit steep at $25 per person. There was plenty to do on board on sea days and my friends and I especially loved the port lectures done in the main theatre. All praise given to the lecturer. Entertainment? It's always difficult to find entertainers that will suit everyone's taste but it was always of a great, professional standard and was always well attended so you had to get to the venue to get your seat well before start time. The ship was always clean and tidy and the staff always friendly and polite. I cannot review the shore excursions as we organised private tours that would cope with a wheelchair, but they always looked very interesting, taking in all the main sites and interests of the nearby area that could be fitted in with the time constraints, always bearing in mind the time you had to get back on board without security looking at his watch and tutting at you! The only negative point I want to add is that the ship did not accept debit cards and this is all I possess. I do not own a credit card and it was very fortunate that my friend did so all my expensives went on her credit card for me to pay for on return later. I was REALLY upset about this as I have seen nothing in the literature to warn me of this eventuality. Forgive me if I am wrong. However, it was a wonderful experience especially as it was my first cruise. I have been to places I would not have otherwise been able to visit and been waited on hand and foot...thanks to my wonderful stateroom steward who did a grand job every day. What more can I say ? Thank you Princess Cruises!   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
I'll start by saying we had a great time. We were a large group so that made it even better. The weather was 72 almost every day. We left on Oct. 15. The food was very good throughout the ship and the service was outstanding - ... Read More
I'll start by saying we had a great time. We were a large group so that made it even better. The weather was 72 almost every day. We left on Oct. 15. The food was very good throughout the ship and the service was outstanding - absolutely first class. We had a mini-suite on Dolphin Deck. Loved the extra room and two televisions, not to mention the bathtub. However, I would never recommend the Dolphin Deck as there is no privacy, no shade, no protection from the elements and everyone peers down at you. I really hated it. So, if you can, get a mini-suite, just don't get Dolphin Deck, you'll be very happy you did. We had starboard side (right side of ship)which we really enjoyed, as we seemed to be in the shade a lot when we docked. Alcohol - what a pleasant surprise. You can buy alcohol right in the Venice terminal after you get your number and go through security. They have a small store. The Proseco (Italian Champagne) was delicious and only cost $10. The Baccardi Dark Reserve Rum and Black Label Scotch were cheap too. Then you pay for it and carry it on the boat with you. No problem. They really did not seem to have an issue with passengers bringing alcohol on from port stops either. In many cases, you did not even have to go through the security machines upon return. There are many white haired seniors on this cruise, so that took some getting used to. Everything, in my opinion, was geared toward seniors. The house band "Lots of Fun" was the biggest disappointment for me as they just were not that good and they had a lead singer with a Eastern European accent which just grated an on nerves. So I avoided them whenever I could. They basically played 50's, 60's and 70's music. The rest of the music throughout the ship was just too old for me. The Atrium entertainment was especially bad. I never sat there at all. We went to a few shows and especially loved Diane Cousins who has a fantastic voice and is also hysterically funny. We saw both of her shows and I suggest not missing her. Another great performer was Lenny Windsor - he was really funny too. The audience participation shows were very entertaining, try not to miss them. Bingo was fun and the special Fish-N-Chips lunch was worth the line to get in. Loved our cruise Director Sam, she really was adorable and sweet. She's doing a great job. Colin, her side-kick, has such a heavy Scottish accent I basically never understood him and for the life of us, could not figure out why Princess would put someone with such a heavy accent in this position. Ports - loved them. Please keep in mind, this is a rigorous trip. There are many, many steps everywhere and lots of climbing involved in different areas. So, if you have bad knees or hips this cruise is going to be a problem. We had someone with us who "had not yet gotten around" to having her knees done and wound up in tears on a few day trips just trying to keep up. So please be aware of this as I am not exaggerating this point. We did our own tours. We shared a taxi with my sister and brother-in-law at each port and saved a fortune. Venice - we got to Venice two days before the cruise and purchased the three day water taxi pass and took those things everywhere. The taxi stands are bright yellow and are all along the grand canal. You can't miss them. A great and easy way to travel around. I can't tell you how beautiful Venice is. We only encountered flooding in the square. It was actually fun. We purchased these silly yellow plastic boots and waded through the water. We learned the flooding got really bad after we left so we were very lucky. Dubrovnik - beautiful walled city. We walked the wall. It took about and hour and a half and was exhausting. We were sorry we did it, because once you're up, you're stuck. But the views were spectacular. We came down and had a wonderful lunch in one of the alleyways hawking lunch specials. The floor of this city is white marble - quite a sight, but very slippery, so be careful. We walked to the waterfront and sat in the sun. What a special place. Corfu - went to one of the fortresses then walked the city and had our feet cleaned by tiny fishes in some new store. You sit above fish tanks, put your feet in for fifteen minutes and they nibble on your toes. Weird. Sorry we did not do Ceci's Mansion. I heard it was beautiful. We ate at one of the seaside restaurants. The Greek salad was delicious and the fried calamari was fresh as could be. The gigantic beers were only 3 Euros. A real bargain. Olympia - Went to the ruins of the Olympics. Enjoyed it. Also went to the museum right next door. Great statuary rooms. Enjoyed it. Athens - if he'll agree, get your taxi driver to take you to the top where you buy the tickets. There was no line when we got there in the morning. Lots and lots of uneven stairs here. The ground is very slippery. Be prepared to climb and hold on tight. The Acropolis is something to behold. Make sure your camera is fully charged as you will be taking a lot of pictures here. Mykonos - pretty white town with narrow streets. We ate at the restaurant on the water near the windmills. Had a great day. Kusadasi - Ephesus - Spectacular. Go for the extra few Euros once inside and visit the newly excavated Terrace Houses - well worth it, but again lots and lots of staircases. This was the most crowded of all sites because of tour groups. Santorini - a no-brainer here. We took the little boat that you see as soon as the tender docks at the shoreline. It literally is face to face with the tender, so you can't miss it. You buy the tickets right there. The boat takes about 15 minutes. You get off and get into an air conditioned van to the top. This is the town of Oia - it's GORGEOUS. Here is where the honeymooners go. The view is breathtaking. This is also where all the brochure pictures come from. Then you get back on a big air-conditioned bus and they take you into town. (There are three departure times 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 PM) In town you'll find one after the other of great cliff restaurants to choose from. If you happen to come across it, stop into the church, it's so tiny and pretty. Naples - we took the ferry to Ishca. Had a great lunch and walked around. A fun day. Rome - got our hotel to send a van (180 Euros for two couples and he met us right at the cruise terminal exit door). Spent two nights in Rome. Got to see the Colosseum, Forum, Palantine Hill, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Loyola Church and National Museum of Rome. We also saw the Pope in the Vatican square. What an incredible experience - one We'll never forget. Anyway, back to the cruise. The boat is the prettiest of any we've sailed on. We never did get used to the layout. We got lost every day, but so what. The elevators were slow. The shops didn't have much to offer. But the casino was terrific. We especially liked the "Smoke Free" nights. It was never crowded and our friend won $1,000 on the machine where you have to maneuver the arm just right to "grab" it. Strongly suggest buying an Email package from the boat to communicate with loved ones via the internet. Wi-fi service throughout Europe was a joke. Spent hours and hours trying to connect with our smart phones. It was really terrible. The cheapest package on the boat was $99. Believe me, it would be worth it. In retrospect we were very sorry we didn't take advantage of it. That's it for now...until next time. Enjoy your trip.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Just returned from the 12 day sailing and it was a fabulous time. Travelled with my husband and 2 daughters aged 10 and 13. I had done a lot of research on the ports in advance and I wanted to ensure we saw as much as possible on a budget. ... Read More
Just returned from the 12 day sailing and it was a fabulous time. Travelled with my husband and 2 daughters aged 10 and 13. I had done a lot of research on the ports in advance and I wanted to ensure we saw as much as possible on a budget. I found the cruiselines tours to be very expensive for a family of 4 ad I was hoping we could save some money doing things on our own. Mission accomplished, we saved a ton and probably saw just as much on our own. Booked our transfers to Civatavecchia and return to Venice through airportstaxitransfers.com , they were on time and very reliable no complaints here. It was about 135 Euro for the Rome Transfer and 70 Euro for Venice and they picked us up at 4am no problem as we had a very early flight back home. In Livorno we took the cruise lines transfer to the train station and then bought out own train tickets into Florence. It was about a hour or so and no problems getting off at Santa Maria Novella and finding our way. Just look for the Duomo and start walking. On the return we gave ourselves plenty of time , checked the boards at the station and got on the train that said Livorno. Unfortunately, they decided to change the route to Pisa and we stopped at every little town which made us miss our connection in Pisa so we had to spend 50 Euro to take a taxi back to the ship. It was a bit hairy, so make sure you ask lots of people and the train worker if you are on the right train. In Naples we took the Hydrofoil over to Capri , it was about 17 Euro per person , kids 15 Euro each way to Capri. It was a bit of a cattled prod to get on and off, but once we were on we got seats and it was comfortable enough. While you are buying your tickets for the ferry , to the left of the Molo Belvedere is a snack bar, you can save time by buying your funicular ticket there if you have time, otherwise you need to wait in line when you arrive in Capri to buy your ticket. In Santorini we took the cable car up to Fira and quickly walked about 5 minutes to the local bus stop and took the bus up to OIA. The ride is about 25 minutes and cost 1.6 Euro each way. Oia was the highlight of our trip ,it was so beautiful and peaceful.After taking the bus back down to Fira we found a great restaurant on a side street called the Olive Tree and had a great meal for 4 for only 50 Euro. Next stop was Athens and we decided once again to go it alone. We walked to the train station from the port which was about 25minutes and took the train to Monistraki train station . From there it was a few minutes walk up to the Acropolis. The kids got in free so it only cost 24 Euro for all of us to get in. We walked around , it was stinking hot that day so once we headed down we walked around the Plaka and had another great lunch at an outdoor cafe , once again about 50 Euro for the 4 of us to have a great meal of Tzatiki, souvlaki, pasta with mussels and pizza. The cruise line wanted about $129 US per person and we ended up doing everything including the train and entrance fee for about 40 Euro, you can't beat that In Mykonos we just walked around and did shome shopping and found a great bakery for some baklava . We also shopped at Sephora for perfume and cologne as it was cheaper than on the ship In Katakalon, we walked into town and caught the bus Geo Travel was offering to Olympia. It was 10 Euro roundtrip for adults and 5 Euros for kids. Once we got there we paid 9 Euro for a combo ticket per adult and once again the kids were free , so this is a cheaper way of seeing Olympia than the cruise lines tour. Back in town we had a meal at one of the seaside cafes, this was a bit more of a tourist trap and the food was a bit more expensive and not as good as other ports in Greece We arrived in Corfu on a Sunday and most stores were closed. We decided to take a cab to Glyfada beach which was about 30 minutes away. The taxi cost 40 Euros each way, but the driver would pick you up at any time you requested. What a beautiful beach, don't miss it. Nice sand , no pebbles and the water was calm, shallow and crystal clear. We rented chairs for about 3 Euro each and they were vey comfy, don't miss this beach. In Split we walked from the port to Bacvice Beach about 5 minutes away, although it was said to be a popular beach, we found it crowded and not very clean. If we had time I would have taken a cab to a beach further away. We did some souvenir shopping on the Riva and saw the palace and headed back to the ship, another really really hot day Lsst day in Venice and we gave back the water taxi transfers the ship charges you for and went on our own. For 1 Euro we took the people mover to Piazzale Roma and from there we bought an unlmited 12 hour Vapporetto pass for 18Euro, still cheaper than the cruiseline and you get un limited trips on all the canals. Once in St Mark's square we walked around and found a grocery store calLed COPP. We bought water and lunch at their snack bar for less than 10 Euro. If you want lunch in Venice, if you wander off into the side streets you can find restaurants offering a 3 course meal for about 13 Euro a great bargain. All in all we had a fantastic time, we made sure we got back to the ship by mid afternoon every day sp the kids could swim in the pool and we caught the 3 pm Movies under the Stars show. Food was awesome, balcony cabin was great and the staff was great, no complaints at all. The cruisers were over 50% from Europe, that was a bit different as rules for standing in queue seem to be a bit different from North America for them, but I didn't let it bother my trip to paradise. Hope to do this again some day Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
This cruise was a gift from my children for my birthday. We were looking forward to some warm weather as we had a horrific winter in the Pacific Northwest. This was our eighth cruise with Princess. The prepaid transfers from MIA to Ft. ... Read More
This cruise was a gift from my children for my birthday. We were looking forward to some warm weather as we had a horrific winter in the Pacific Northwest. This was our eighth cruise with Princess. The prepaid transfers from MIA to Ft. Lauderdale were very poorly organised. We arrived at 6:15 AM and missed the first bus as we were given the wrong information by Princess agent. We flagged down the first shuttle we saw instead of waiting another hour for next coach...we'd already been there for 6 hours......waiting. Cabin: Embarkation as usual was very good, and we were settled in our cabin by 1PM and our luggage arrived promptly. Three weeks prior to our cruise we were assigned an "upgrade" ocean view cabin and discovered that we were given a quad cabin. I was very concerned about the bunk bed location so I phoned head office right away. They assured me that the beds would not be in our way as they were tucked up into the ceiling. Having had wrong info from head office before, I phoned them again 3 days later and this time I was told the beds were tucked away in the side walls and would not get in our way. Hmmm! Three days before we left home for this cruise, I phoned again and this time I was told the bunks stick out 3". I asked to be moved to another cabin and I was told "full ship".....too late to be asking. I emailed my travel agent and she called head office and they replied to her by email that the bunks are "flush to the side walls". At this point I had been given four different answers and it was now much too late for another cabin assignment. When we entered the cabin, we found that the beds stick out TWELVE inches and the only way you could get into bed is to walk "sideways". I did the usual visit to the front desk and requested ANY cabin with a window and we offered to PAY for an upgrade....any upgrade. Within 24 hours we were advised that nothing was available, so we had to make the best of it. Ship: This was our second time on the Crown and we found it very clean as usual. The staff was also the usual...tired looking but friendly. Dining: We were confirmed early dining, 6PM,in the Botticelli Dining Room. I got this info in writing from my Travel Summary before we left home. Our cruise card showed that we were 5:30PM in the DaVinci. No one told us of this change. Our waiter was very experienced, had lots of professional smiles,and always remembered the first names of everyone at our table of 9. Dinners were always very "rushed". The food was the usual fare, not fabulous but better than what we would get at our local dining spots. We ate there 3 times. Shore Excursions: We did not arrange any organised excursions through the cruise line. Princess Cays was a total disaster. Tender lines were very long...1 1/2 hrs....not all boats were running? We were ashore less than 2 hours. Nothing there. Boring. We got off in Aruba for only 2 hours as I was throwing up with upset stomach from pills I was prescribed by ship's doctor because I crashed into one of the bunks in our cabin and ended up with encapsulated bursitis. Things went downhill from here. We spent the next 4 days in our cabin, I had to sleep sitting up in the desk chair as pain was too severe to lie down. My husband had to blow dry my hair and help me get dressed. Ship's doctor could not help me. He gave me pills that made me throw up, then he wanted me to take another pill.....anti nausea....I don't think so.!!! He did not know how to give a cortisone shot. He referred me to a clinic in Ft. Lauderdale half way through the 14 night cruise. $6345.00 for a cortisone shot. We have always loved cruising and we have always had a very high opinion of Princess Cruises and we have referred them to many friends and family. I am not a sickly person. I am very very active for my age. Longevity runs in my family. My father is still alive as is my mother. They are 97 yr & 96 yrs old. We are quite disappointed in Princess for not acknowledging the fact that there is a design problem with these beds, or that there is no hazard warning and that there is no padding along the steel edges. They say to me "An ordinary person would have "perceived" these obstructions". Unbelievable! Anyway, that is my story and I am so sad that we will not be cruising anymore. All is well if one is well!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
this cruise was to the southern Carribbean Embarkation was quick and well organized. Our cabin was ready at noon and our luggage arrived shortly afterwards. The ship was clean and very well maintained. Service throughout the ship was ... Read More
this cruise was to the southern Carribbean Embarkation was quick and well organized. Our cabin was ready at noon and our luggage arrived shortly afterwards. The ship was clean and very well maintained. Service throughout the ship was excellent. The entire crew actually were anxious to please. Upon arrival, we ate lunch at the buffet. Not only did the staff offer to carry our plates to our table, they served us our ice tea and constantly checked to see if we wanted a refill. The quality of the food at the buffet was surprisingly good. Our room steward was also wonderful. We tried the optional restaurant Sabitini's and found it to be disappointing. I ordered a veal chop and it was dry and tasteless. The staff was anxious to please but the food just wasn't up to par. On the other hand, the food in the dining room was excellent. The menu had many good choices each night. Our Head Waiter, Alfonso was marvelous. His attention to detail made dining an enjoyable experience. The ports of Aruba and Curacao were interesting. The 3 production shows were terrific. The singers and dancers were very talented.The scenery was not to be believed. The other shows were just so-so. The hypnotist, Ed Fernandez and the comedians were only fair. The cruise director, Lisa, did an excellent job. This cruise had 4 sea days and she made sure that there was entertainment throughout the ship during the sea days. It is a nice touch to listen to music in the Piazza and be able to dance during the daytime. Debarkation was also quick and well organized. A great time was had by all! I highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We had an overall great time on the Crown. I would have to say that for a 34 & 36 year old (female and male), we found the Sanctuary to be worth every penny for the week reservation. We used it 5 of the 7 days. You can enjoy delivered ... Read More
We had an overall great time on the Crown. I would have to say that for a 34 & 36 year old (female and male), we found the Sanctuary to be worth every penny for the week reservation. We used it 5 of the 7 days. You can enjoy delivered food, but wait for the sample trays that come on sea days. We got mini sandwiches, quiches, tortillas, etc. Absolutely amazing. They bring you chilled fruit infused water and cold, damp wash clothes to help you enjoy the hot sun. We also decided to enjoy a couples hot stone massage in a private cabana. AMAZING!! I think we both walked out of the spa ready for a nap!! At almost $500 I still think I got my $$ worth. If you are looking for a fun evening (and you are in our age range) don't hold your breath. We went to the piano bar, Wheelhouse bar (with live band), casino (we aren't big gamblers), hypnotist, Broadway inspired show, and MUTS. We had to search for something to do after dinner each evening. We weren't looking for a party, but we wanted fresh entertainment each evening. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. This ship is geared towards the retirement age bracket. The food was pretty good. We dined in the MDR, Wheelhouse bar (fish and chips), and buffets. We did not indulge in the premium restaurants. The staff was attentive and the food was as expected. The only exception I would give is on formal nights in the MDR. The food was restaurant quality on those evenings. I was impressed! I would be remiss if I didn't recognize the room stewards. Ours was beyond fabulous! She was always there, but her presence was never intrusive. She had such attention to detail. She saw our bottle of wine and left a corkscrew and wine glasses. I know that may seem insignificant, but that was just one small example of her awareness and ability to anticipate our needs. She was a true highlight in our trip! Bottom line...we enjoyed ourselves, it was vacation after all! We just will look to a different cruise line next time. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
This is only our Second Cruise - having Cruised with Royal Caribbean on the Navigator of the Seas the first time. (keeping that in mind that's what I am comparing this experience to) Arriving at FLL we were sent to the Convention ... Read More
This is only our Second Cruise - having Cruised with Royal Caribbean on the Navigator of the Seas the first time. (keeping that in mind that's what I am comparing this experience to) Arriving at FLL we were sent to the Convention Center to wait for the CDC to allow us to board the Crown upon inspection due to the Norovirus outbreak on the previous sailing. (I had read as far back as the Christmas sailing that the ship had been infected) We waited in the Convention Center from 1:30pm til 8pm when we were finally called to board. We ate in the buffet of the Horizon's Court. Due to the virus, we were not allowed to help ourselves which is what it is but it just made for a longer wait in line. No pepper or salt on the table, had to ask for packets and never could reach to get them - it was handed to you. The Muster Drill was at 10 pm, we were exhausted so after the drill, back to the cabin to chill out on the deck. Our balcony room was a little smaller than on RC but it was OK. The bed.. not so comfortable as the one on RC. Pillows were Down pillows - very nice. Our attendant was lovely - her name was "Joy". We have no complaints at all - she was very attentive. We learned that evening that the port of call to the Bahamas was cancelled due to leaving so late. That didn't disappointed me too terribly but I was looking forward to going to Curacao and Aruba. Breakfast in the MDR - always a wait in line. They were short staffed, crew was over worked. One day in the Internet Cafe, a crew member was helping or trying to help people but was apologetic when she couldn't answer a question and told someone she was a Dancer on the ship. In my opinion, Princess did the best they could but the staff had to be just totally overworked and tired. There were many that were just as attentive and kind as they could be and then I we saw some that really just waited on you - no "WOW" factor, just did what was asked and moved on. I am not knocking them for this at all - understand totally. Our other ports of call were cancelled and we had to return to FLL so no Curacao or Aruba ports. We saw NO land at all and returned two days early. Princess is making it right and giving us a full refund, arranged transfers to the airport and new flights home - paid for it. They are giving us 25% off a future cruise but I'd never sail again with them and it's not because of the Norovirus. I believe many ships have this virus, it's not just the Crown. It's rampant right now in America - all these people sitting in the Convention Center, the Airport - you never know what you may get with people travelling all over. Plus the crew is infected so all the cleaning in the world isn't going to change that crew members have it and are still on the ship. Now, comparing to RC here's why I preferred RC. The layout of the ship - preferred the Navigator. Loved the Promenade on the Navigator - you could walk straight through plus I liked what the ships had to offer for sale on RC. Just seemed more 'high end' on the Crown. The Food - everyone is concerned with the food, right? lol well..we learned Princess has to throw away all their food at dock and get a new supply due to the virus. I don't know if this had to do with what we ate or not but just liked RC's dinner menu much better. Everyone likes something different so many would prefer the Crown's selection and menu. They had Fish that was tasty but I'm not going to eat Quail or Lamb. The Beef Medallions I had were tough and dry. Tried the Fettucine Alfredo and it was very good. RC would have had more chicken and beef selections. Stopped at the International Cafe for the Shrimp salad and the Chicken Salad. Shrimp salad was different than I imagined it would have been but good. The chicken salad.. very good. Princess is taking care of us which I commend them for. Just taking our refund and putting it toward the Oasis or the Allure and taking our girls. :) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Embarktation...Horrible. We arrived at a little after 1pm, checked in as told, hen reported to the Convention Center at the Port. There we, with 2,000 + other people sat. Free tiny cups of lemonade or coffee. No Food, unless one bought the ... Read More
Embarktation...Horrible. We arrived at a little after 1pm, checked in as told, hen reported to the Convention Center at the Port. There we, with 2,000 + other people sat. Free tiny cups of lemonade or coffee. No Food, unless one bought the concession stand food at concession stand prices...which was over five dollars for a hot dog. Children who had flown in with their parents sat there until four o'clock in the afternoon. There is NO excuse that could be given for the mess that was for people who had paid good money to cruise. ON SHIP..luggage was late. Everyone at dinner was dressed...not casual cool...just casual tired and hungry. We ate Anytime Dining..we arrived and were seated at six, then left at eight after no dessert menu..no sugar for coffee..no salt ..not pepper. Next Day...still hit and miss. Still impossible to get more than one tiny screw of salt or pepper. Everything was served by staff..in the buffet, every where. Butter was doled out bit by bit..and you were looked at oddly if you requested two bits of butter. Jelly was slapped on your plate..often on the eggs at breakfast. I kept wondering..Am I on Princess? Surely not. We had cruised Princes before..even the cruised the Crown before. Dinner..served well..still the embargo on salt..pepper..sugar..sweetner...EVER had dinner with no salt? Next day...Monday...sea was more than rough. Water was coming out of the pools. My DH and I were on the Lido Deck..and could hardly walk against the wind. That night I was ill. I called the Med. Office, they came and then I was in 'lock Down" for the next two days. The menu for sick folks...Horrible. Cold everything. Chicken..no salt no pepper. Good Bran Muffins. Good Jello.Good Hot Tea. Husband was allowed to eat in MDR...but he was humiliated by having a VIP approach him as to if he was ...an escaped quarantine person. He was upset..but naturally sn easy going man..so he said nothing..but pointed out they had him confused with me. He ever ate in the MDR again. Since the buffet was served ...we could eat there..so we dined in the Lido Cafe Caribe after that. Still no salt. no pepper. Jelly slapped anywhere. Butter doled out like was gold. Summary..The folks who came in cleaned my room ..after I was ill, behind those masks and gloves were sweet and kind people. I tipped them extra for two days..cost me $50 dollars and they were worth every cent of it. The sweet lady on the Phone for Sick Room Service. Sweet. Kind. The Nurse..sweet. Competent. The folks at the Main Staff Desk on Ship..very helpful. One young man from Russia...helped us get the charges for the shore trip we did not make..and for which we had been told had been cancelled...really cancelled. Princess should promote him. The Activities Staff..sadly missing Ron Goodman in my opinion...did a great job with the few Trivia's I was able to attend. Shout out to them for keeping morale..not so low. Did I mention that we sailed through a gale? Did I mention that of the two main ports Aruba and Cureso...I was under quarantine for both? But it rained in both places..and it never rains there..That is the kind of cruise e experienced. And..they lost my nightgown when I gave it to the Med. Techs to launder. It was not expensive..but still. they should have tagged the stuff they took away. Embartation....great. They let us off early to get a sick dog out of the Vets. Shout out to the young lady on the Service Desk who arranged that...earliest we have ever left a ship. Maybe they were glad to get rid of us. I am usually a cruise cheerleader..not a picky, snobby foodie...but this Cruise...I mean...it was bad. We had already booked another cruise on Carnival for next month...I am hoping it is much better. I am really IRRITATED. at Princess. Why sail through a gale? Why not put someone in charge so folks knew who to call about questions when "locked" down? It makes me mad all over to think about it. One thing I know..I will make it my business to see if norvo has hit a ship before I cruise. If this is typical..then you don't really have a cruise. You are just in the way of people cleaning the ship. you are a nuisance. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Hi, my husband and I are both in our low 30's and upper 20's respectively and are teachers. My husbands school/afterschool schedule keeps him so busy, we rarely get to vacation together so this was a first since our honeymoon.I ... Read More
Hi, my husband and I are both in our low 30's and upper 20's respectively and are teachers. My husbands school/afterschool schedule keeps him so busy, we rarely get to vacation together so this was a first since our honeymoon.I had originally planned to just copy and paste my travel journal into this space, but then as I was re-reading it I decided that you all dont REALLY want to read about when I sat on the promenade, when and what I ate, and how many times I actually napped... Besides, that document was six pages long!! Yikes, I guess I was a little long winded about my naps... :)I first sailed with Princess on October 31, 2010 on the Ruby--Eastern Caribbean. Although we missed Grand Turk due to Hurricane Tomas (thats another story for another day) I came home INSISTING that Jim (DH) and I had to go on a cruise together. And so, as it is my role/duty/obligation as the wife and woman in his life, the pestering began.... Once booked I was ecstatic and begin reading up on the excursions and booked us on the Pirate Ship Encounter for Grand Cayman, a hike for Roatan, Coba Ruins for Cozumel and snorkelling for Princess Cays. Each week as we got closer to the cruise Jim decided he didnt want to do the Pirate Ship, all the excursions (save my hike) and quietly (ha) kept my disappointment to myself! ;)Okay... back to the stuff that matters... Due to the SKYROCKETING airfare prices and poor selection in times offered through sites such as expedia etc, we booked our airfare through Princess. I was pleasantly surprised that their fares were equivalent, if not a hair cheaper, than what was offered through online sources. Jim, the constant worry wart, was thrilled that princess would get us to the next port if something were to happen to our flight.Upon arrival at Fort Lauderdale on Saturday morning we were greeted by uniformed Princess reps who were there to direct us to the bus which would take us to the ship. Unfortunately, the Coast Guard decided to do an inspection on the ship which "apparently" held up our ability to get on the bus... As the delay continued for over an hour the reps became more and more irritable....When we were finally transferred to the cruise port, we waited in line outside for no more than five minutes and inside we waited for no more than two minutes before being issued our cards and directed towards the gangways. I keep reminding myself I need to be brief...Ship:The ship was beautiful, much like the Ruby, our room was great and our luggage arrived about an hour or two after we boarded. (2-3 pm) We did have a minor issue with our safe not working (after our things were in it) but both times when we called the front desk someone was there to fix it and after the second attempt, all was well.People:We met up with other cruise critic folks (desiro, shawley23, mysticfalcon, and vtlibrarian to name a few) at the Outrigger for sail away and had a marvelous time. In fact, several of us kept running into eachother on the ship and ended up spending quite a bit of time together which was great. Excursions: We ended up taking a cab to 7 mile beach (thanks to Adam, DH of desiro, for the suggestion) first thing in the morning. It cost each of us $5 US and we were able to do as we pleased. After about two hours we started to walk back to the ship...i do not recommend this to ANYONE.... again, another story for another day.We missed Roatan due to high winds so I missed my hike...At Cozumel we had cancelled our Coba Ruins excursion and were waitlisted for Playa Maya Beach Break with Lunch... At the last minute my husband checked with the shore excursion desk and switched us to the Pasion Island Beach with Lunch. Apparently this is the beach where the Corona commercials are filmed... either way it was a fabulous day. Soft sandy beaches, ergonomic lounges perfectly situated underneath some palm trees, and all the food and drink one could want. After the excursion we enjoyed some more drinks with a few other couples from the cruise at Fat Tuesdays... got ourselves some really remarkable balloon hats and headed back to the ship.At Princess Cay, we were able to hang out with a Belgian couple from our section at dinner; Kirby and I on the beach and Sijn and Jim in the water. Dining:Our waiter had to be the fastest most efficient man on the boat. He literally ran from the galley with our food, hardly allowing the junior waiter to do anything but pour water and wine. The food was wonderful, as always, I am quite impressed with the quality and quantity those galleys are able to turn out on a daily basis. Most days Jim and I ate our breakfast in the Piazza, breakfast sandwiches and yogurt from the international cafe. However, we did get buffet breakfast once or twice and enjoyed that out at the Terrace Pool. The Pub lunch at the Wheelhouse Bar was good as was the lunch offered in the dining room.Disembarkation:We were held up with disembarkation, I am guessing it was to keep the customs lines from getting more ridiculous than they already were... but after an additionally half hour or so in the Casino, we were allowed to disembark.Okay so I hope this isnt ridiculously long and I hope I havent forgotten to talk about anything major... but please feel free to leave questions! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Just returned from our 7 day cruise on the Crown Princess. As with most vacations, there were great memories and some ok memories. However, the great experiences outweighed the ok ones. Great memories: 1. Alchohol: We asked the ... Read More
Just returned from our 7 day cruise on the Crown Princess. As with most vacations, there were great memories and some ok memories. However, the great experiences outweighed the ok ones. Great memories: 1. Alchohol: We asked the taxi driver to stop at a liquor store en-route from the airport to the ship. We purchased four bottles of wine to take on board with us. We carried on two and placed two in our luggage and got them onto the ship with no problems. Also, ship had "happy hour" drink prices from 8-12 p.m. for well drinks, some beer choices and a few specialty drinks. 2. Embarkation: We arrived mid-morning to the port and were prepared to sit outside until 1pm to board the ship when a staff member came by announcing that anyone wishing to enter the ship should go inside. So, we went in, passed their security check point and then received a card telling us which group we were in for boarding. We were in group 1 so boarded around 11:30 am. 3. Service: I thought we had an attentive and personable room steward. He brought us wine glasses for our wine and kept our room tidy. We met some very courteous and friendly bartenders and servers as well. Our waiters and waitresses were all very efficient. 4. Dining: Loved the anytime dining arrangement. We sometimes made reservations and we sometimes just showed up. We ate at larger tables so met other cruisers too. We ate our breakfasts and lunches in the Horizon Court. 5. Excursions: Loved our day at the Santee Wellness Center on Roatan. Booked this independently of the ship. Had a soak in their hot tub which was right on the water's edge, had a deep-tissue massage and relaxed and read on their lounge chairs. Only saw one other couple. Enjoyed the personalized service and quiet time away from the crowds on the ship. The half day city tour of Grand Cayman was good too. Left us with time to catch a drink at Margaritaville before returning to the ship. Loved the beach stop on the Tulum and beach tour on cozumel with the white sand, mattresses and chairs to relax on with the shade of palm trees. 6. Entertainment: was entertaining! OK experiences: 1. Food choices: Wish they would have had some asian dishes...some stir-fry veggies and noodles with chicken, or some specialty salads like bbq chopped chicken salad, Chinese chicken salad and cobb salads. 2. My mattress had seen many a cruises...There was a soft indent where many a body has laid before me. 3. Ports: I thought Princess Cay was crowded, food was ok, and the overall experience was not relaxing at all. Maybe a clamshell or bungalow would have been a much better experience. Also, I could have done without the shopping stop on the Tulum tour and beach day excursion, (but our guide was great). 4. I was disappointed to see that passengers would place their dirty dishes and cups anywhere on the ship...hallways after room service, on the ashtrays by the elevators. I wish passengers would have been a little more conscientious about where they left their empty cups and plates. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
Background: Third Spring Break Cruise in a row to the Caribbean for my wife and I. Previously cruised on the Crown Princess in 2008 and on the Caribbean Princess in 2009. Pre-Embarkation: We traveled to Fort Lauderdale via the Cruise ... Read More
Background: Third Spring Break Cruise in a row to the Caribbean for my wife and I. Previously cruised on the Crown Princess in 2008 and on the Caribbean Princess in 2009. Pre-Embarkation: We traveled to Fort Lauderdale via the Cruise Connection Bus Service from Clearwater. We arranged this service at a discount through Princess and were very satisfied with all aspects including timeliness, cleanliness, and comfort. This was a large tourist type bus with a restroom and movie screens. We stopped in Fort Myers for a break at a local McDonald's. Embarkation: We arrived at Port Everglades Pier around 12:15 P.M. and within a half hour were on the ship. We had about a ten minute wait outside the terminal and about a ten minute wait in chairs inside before we were called for check-in. I would rate the overall procedure as excellent. Ship: We had previously been on the Crown Princess out of San Juan and found it to once again be in great shape. We enjoy the layout of the ship with activities centered around Decks 5-7 and 15-17. Stateroom: Our cabin was on the Emerald Deck 8 center ship. The room was a obstructed view outside cabin. When looking out our window the view was partially blocked by a lifeboat. We had a similar cabin two years ago on the Crown and the only noticeable difference was a flat screen television. We did have some noise problems from the Explorer's Lounge which was directly below us. When any bands were playing you definitely could hear the bass sounds. It was fine at all other times. Dining: We signed up for anytime dining and divided our time between Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe and the table service restaurants. We also ate at the International Cafe, Hamburger Grill and Pizza Grill. We also went to the Wheel House Bar for English Pub Lunch on one of the sea days and did afternoon tea at the DaVinci Dining Room. On this cruise dined in the main dining rooms on formal night. In comparing the food quality over the last three years we thought that the buffets have gone down in quality while the main dining rooms seemed to be better this year. The International Cafe and both the Hamburger and Pizza Grills continue to be very good. One thing we found very interesting was that the prawns on the last formal night were much better that the lobster tails. Service: We received good service from our cabin steward. I asked for ice to be kept in the bucket in the refrigerator at all times and it was throughout the whole cruise. Each night you received turn down service with chocolates left on the bed. Our room was always clean. The only complaint I had was that for the first time since we began cruising they ran out of pool towels. Clean towels have always been put in the cabin at the end of the day. One night we were told that no more pool towels were available and that we would have to get our own around the pools. When we tried, it took about five people to find any towels. Dining room service was the best we've had on our three cruises. Entertainment: This is where things start going downhill from our past cruises. We enjoy taking in as much of the shipboard entertainment as possible. In past years we have never had a problem with finding something to see in the evenings. This year many shows were repeated. While we would find one show to go to, in the past we have always been able to go to two or three different things each night. Princess has obviously cut back in this area. There were three production shows, one hypnotist, and two comedians that we saw. The three shows were Motor City, What a Swell Party, and Destination Anywhere. Hypnotist was Joshua Seth. Comedians were Rollin Jay Moore and Troy Thirdgill. We did enjoy them all but wish there was more entertainment in the lounges besides house bands and Bert Stratton. Bert is good once but you can't go see him every night. Itinerary: This was our least favorite of the three Caribbean routes we have taken. The four Western Ports were not as enjoyable as the Southern Ports we have traveled to before. The long winter had a major effect on this route and even though we stopped at all four ports, water temperatures in general were much cooler that what we experienced before. What is more remarkable is that the crew said our week was the best weather week since Thanksgiving! The Crown has missed ports numerous times through the season. Ports: See the Ports Review Section. Princess Cays was a disappointment with cold water, too many people, and not enough loungers. Disembarkation: We had signed up for the Cruise Connection bus back to Clearwater. We got off of the ship last along with the few back to back cruisers. We left at about 10 AM, picked up our luggage in the terminal, went through customs, and were able to load right onto our bus. Again, as with Embarkation the whole procedure was very efficient and we would give it an excellent rating. In summary, we did enjoy the Crown and this cruise but in no way did it compare to our last two spring break experiences. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
This was the first leg of our 2 leg Caribbean Cruise. We will do the Eastern on the Emerald after this cruise. Took the red-eye from SF and arrived in FLL the morning of cruise. After cleaning up and having a barfy breakfast sandwich at ... Read More
This was the first leg of our 2 leg Caribbean Cruise. We will do the Eastern on the Emerald after this cruise. Took the red-eye from SF and arrived in FLL the morning of cruise. After cleaning up and having a barfy breakfast sandwich at the airport, we took a taxi to Total Wine to purchase our vital fluids. Bought several bottles of wine,a six packof soda, tonic water and a bottle each of rum and vodka. The nice clerk packed it all up in an empty wine box and we were on our way to the port. Arrived approx. 11am and dropped our luggage and above mentioned box of supplies with the porter. Also carried a 6 pack of Coronas thru security. Waited in the Platinum/Elite lounge for 30 minutes. When boarding was started it took less that 10 minutes to get to our room. Did all the first day stuff; signed up for the Chef's Table, ate delicious hamburgers at the pool, signed up for Internet and met some wonderful college students in the hot tub from UCONN. (Shout out to Nikki and the Pharm boys). We skipped dinner in the dining room the 1st nite and enjoyed complimentary sushi and sashimi in Vines. Had dessert and coffee in the International Cafe, retired to bed and slept very soundly. The sea days were uneventful except for Trivia where we hooked up with a delightful extended family from Easton, PA (shout-out to the Hunts, especially Liz) and they adopted us for the rest of the trivia games on the cruise. We found the food very good, I don't remember any disappointments in the dining room. Loved the International Cafe, Vines, poolside grill and the Cafe Caribe. I liked the pizza but husband didn't. He likes lots of toppings smothering the crust.I like little cheese and little toppings. Must recommend the pub lunch in the Wheelhouse Bar on sea days. Excellent fish and chips. Service was par for Princess. Nothing outstanding or below standards. The day we tendered in Grand Cayman we had a Stingray City/Snorkeling tour pre-booked on the Internet with Moby Dick ($40 payable @ check-in). The weather was overcast and windy. The snorkeling was difficult as the waves pushed us back toward the boat every time we swam toward the reef. Didn't see many fish but lots of sea fans and coral. Next stop was the stingrays. Wow, what an awesome experience. So many rays came to meet us, they know the boat, and Captain Mark and his crew, Michael, Nicholas and sorry I can't remember the young lady from Dallas's name, handled them beautifully. We were all offered numerous opportunities to kiss hold and feed the rays. Our group had about 25 passengers so there was no crowding. Moby Dick's tour is highly recommended. They offered to drop us off at the 7 Mile Beach, but we were too hungry so we went back to the ship for more delicious hamburgers by the pool. The next day we missed Roatan as it was too windy to get into Mahogany Bay. Spent most of the day at the pool. Ho Hum. Get there early to claim your spot! Cozemul we were only able to see part of the city as husband developed a migraine late morning so we went back to the ship. We were chosen for the Chef's Table that nite that we had to cancel as he still had his migraine. Turned in early that nite after a lite dinner at Cafe Caribe. The next port day was Princess Cays which we missed due to windy conditions. Very disappointing again as husband was feeling better and we wanted to do some serious beach and snorkeling time. Didn't see any production shows, have seen them all before, but I really enjoyed the comics and the Hula Hoop girl that performed in the Piazza. Disembarkation was easy. Chose schlep yourself and was off the ship by 9 am and in the taxi by 9:15. All in all a good cruise, not excellent. We feel like we missed out on half of our cruise but you can't control the weather and half a cruise is better than no cruise. (And we are doing the Eastern Carib the next day, remember).. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
My wife and I booked for a 7 night St Valentine's cruise out of Fort Lauderdale. It was everything we hoped for and more. The staff on the Crown were engaging and I took the time to smile and say hello to just about any crew member I ... Read More
My wife and I booked for a 7 night St Valentine's cruise out of Fort Lauderdale. It was everything we hoped for and more. The staff on the Crown were engaging and I took the time to smile and say hello to just about any crew member I came across. The old say about honey versus vinegar certainly was true in this case. Getting on and off the cruise ship was a breeze. The only problem was at the end of the cruise when I did not want to leave the Crown. I was so relaxed. Meals were average to excellent. Trying to please over 3000 people is a no-win situation, but I think Princess does as good a job as any other cruise line. I read that some people were not impressed with the Horizon Court, no carving stations, no personal omelettes, etc. Not true. You could ask for an omelette and they made in the kitchen. There were roasts that could be cut to your desire, you just had to look. As far as peanut butter was concern, just ask and they brought it to you in a bowl. The only thing they didn't have for me in Horizon Court was black strap molasses for my pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. I barely shed a tear as I poured syrup on my stack. Anytime dining was great, no problem making a reservation each day for that evening and the meals were delicious. My idea of surf and turf was a nicely done, rare, strip-loin and lobster tails. Soups were good, main courses were numerous and we often skipped deserts because our lily had been thoroughly gilded during the meal. We tried the Crown Grill one evening and for $50, we had a meal that might run you anywhere from $100 to $200 on shore. Again, I had my surf and turf with Maine lobster this time. Yummy! Only problem, we walked by the open kitchen just as a chef was dispatching said lobster with a large butcher knife between it's eyes, apparently a more humane method than boiling alive. Our activities on the ship could be as numerous and we could be as busy as the proverbial cat on a marble floor or the one handed paper hanger. We could also be a fast as a snail going uphill on a cold day in February. We would read the Princess Patter and say; "Pitter, patter, let's get at 'er" Loved the Movies under the stars, with real heavenly stars. It was at this activity that I experienced my only bad meal; air popped popcorn. Like eating cardboard. I could have gone to Horizon Court, made a nice snack tray and brought it out to our comfy loungers to watch the show. Next time! Ports of calls were as followed, Grand Cayman - Took public transit to 7 Mile Beach, $5 for two one way. Altogether lovely. Roatan - Showers chased us off the beach and onto the ship. The island looks nice so a return visit may be in order. Cozumel - rough surf kept us from snorkeling but we did enjoy the visit. Seems to have matured since our last visit in 1997. Princess Cay - great beach day. The southern part of the beach was quieter and the snorkeling was surprisingly decent. Lots of fish around the man-made beach and harbour. A few tips to cut down on the cost. I'll probably be banned from Princess for this. Bring your own booze onto the ship. You are allowed two bottles of wine, however, I put some Chivas and vodka in my checked luggage and it made it through to my room. I also had some small bottles of booze and some mix to make a drink for alongside the pool. As long as you are not walking the decks with your own rum bottle, you are not harassed. I took a nice drink to the dining room every night without any problem. I brought a 12 pack of soda onto the ship, got ice from the cabin steward and did not buy any soda on the ship. I also brought some nuts, cashews and peanuts, onto the boat because they do not serve then on board. At the end of the cruise, our cabin bill was less than $250 and that was with auto tips, a night at the Crown Grill and a large helping of the best gelato I've had in a long time. Allin all, a great time. Thanks to the people at Princess and to all of those naysayers out there writing negative blogs, chill-ax! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
EMBARKATION: The fastest that I've ever experienced. I stayed at a friend's in Fort Lauderdale the night before after flying from Pittsburgh. He drove us to Port Everglades around noon Saturday. Not only were there no lines, ... Read More
EMBARKATION: The fastest that I've ever experienced. I stayed at a friend's in Fort Lauderdale the night before after flying from Pittsburgh. He drove us to Port Everglades around noon Saturday. Not only were there no lines, I had to hurry to get all my documents in order. The whole process from the moment we walked into the building until we boarded was no longer that 15 minutes. Princess has this down to a science. THE SHIP: The Crown Princess is gorgeous. It's very tasteful & elegant. It is very large & somewhat confusing getting around until you get used to it. One complaint would be the elevators. There was a lot of waiting & one near the end where our room was, was out of order. Luckily I'm still young enough & in decent shape to take the stairs. STATEROOM: We had a balcony on the Aloha deck near aft, starboard. It was surprisingly a nice size room. The balcony seemed bigger than on the NCL Dawn; however, it may have been my imagination. The bed was comfortable, a little firm but comfortable. The bathroom while small was adequate. The shower was kinda cramped but was fine. One of the best features of this room & I guess other Princess ships as well was the walk-in type closed...the largest I've ever had on a cruise. We were able to put all of our stuff in there which kept our room clutter free. On a final note was the room temperature....perfect! I was concerned about temperature from other reviews but had no problem keeping the room cool. In fact, sometimes I had to turn the temp up because it got too cold but no way was I complaining about that. FOOD: Very good in most regards. There were some items that were kinda odd, but with the selection, I can't complain. The breakfast items were good also. The scrambled eggs weren't the best, but were ok. The waffles were the best! They looked like little stars & tasted awesome. I had them every morning. There also seemed to be a lot of seafood on this cruise. There was plenty of shrimp every night. Oh & by the way, there was plenty of seafood at the sail away buffet including scallops, shrimp & crab claws. We ate so much there that we skipped the dining room that night. The food in the dining room was good as well. We did have lobster along with prawns one night (both in one meal). I also ordered the Beef Wellington that night as well....totally stuffed! I'm not sure why so many people on here complain about the food on Princess. We had little complaints. This was my fourth cruise & none were totally perfect. This cruise was definitely at the top! ENTERTAINMENT: The performers in the theater were awesome. We saw two shows that were both outstanding. We also saw a comedian/magician....very funny & talented & also a comedian on the welcome aboard show who was very funny as well. THE PORTS: First I have to say that Princess was the fasted at tendering that I've ever experienced. They also have this down to a science. Cayman Islands (tender): We just went to the beach & relaxed so I really can't say much of great or bad about the island. It seemed that many of the other passengers we spoke to did the stingray tour & seemed to like it. Roatan (dock): Beautiful Island! Mahogany Bay is stunning! Whoever is going in the future is in for a real treat! We booked the Clear Kayak/Snorkel Tour. The driver there was long, approx 40 minutes but very scenic. Roatan is a very green, lush island. When we returned back to Mahogany Bay, we had enough time to do the Clip & Zip ziplining which is located in the back of where the shops are. We only did the 3 lines which is only $15.00 (the don't advertise that one & try to sell the $40.00 zip which is 11 lines). After we did that, my friend hung out at Fat Tuesday's & had a tall tropical fruity drink while I walked over to the beach. There is the ski lift that can carry you but it's not far to walk at all. The beach is beautiful. It's like another private island. In fact, I think it's nicer than most. Plenty of lounge chairs & the water was beautiful. There's also a beach bar & snack area which I didn't explore but seemed very fun. Cozumel (dock): We booked the tour to Tulum. Tulum is on the main land in Mexico. We took a ferry over there (approx 40 min) & then a tour bus (close to an hour). The ruins are incredible! Iguanas everywhere, turquoise waters from the cliffs & a nice refreshing beach. It was nice to take a dip after touring since it was so hot! If you go, bring a hat & sunscreen. Our tour guide was Armando & did an excellent job. Princess Cays (tender): Another beautiful island. We just relaxed, walked around, took pictures, had lunch at the buffet & swam. We spent most of the afternoon in the water because it was very warm that day. On our second day at sea, we picked up the man lost at sea from Cuba. The ship stopped dead in the water & a rescue craft was sent out to retrieve him. CONCLUSION: Princess is an excellent line & the CrownPrincess/Western Caribbean itinerary was definitely a good choice. I will definitely consider them in the future again. The weather was beautiful the entire trip, the staff including the wait staff, room attendant, cruise director & activities staff all do an excellent job. We met so many nice people that we hung out with & hope to keep in touch with them. You know who you all are! ? If any of you are considering this ship/itinerary or Princess in general, you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We're onboard the Crown Princess, Quebec City to New York City. This is our 26th cruise, the first since 2006. We usually cruise Princess, Royal Caribbean and/or Celebrity. We've never split hairs as to which is ... Read More
We're onboard the Crown Princess, Quebec City to New York City. This is our 26th cruise, the first since 2006. We usually cruise Princess, Royal Caribbean and/or Celebrity. We've never split hairs as to which is "better". They serve the same market and in our view any differences are slight. Some general comments that cruisers may find helpful: 1. The on-board internet access is very good, perhaps 75% of the speed of our broadband service at home. We access using a laptop from our cabin. Wireless connectivity from our aft-balcony cabin is also very good. Cost if ~ 70 cents/minute, but they have packages available. a $100 package gives you 250 minutes, or 40 cents / minute. We are Platinum frequent cruisers, so my wife an I each get a $100 package for free. We haven't tried the internet cafe because getting online from our cabin works so well. 2) The Crown Princess weighs 113,000 tons and carries more than 3100 passengers. As far as I know, this cruise is close to a sellout. Most of the passengers are quite old (as am I): about 60 at a minimum and ranging upward from there. There are exceptions of course. No school-age children at this time of year. 3) You really notice the crowds, unlike previous cruises we've taken on somewhat smaller ships. Princess does a good job dispersing people throughout this big ship, but there's only so much they can do with so many people. Embarkation in Quebec City was a disaster. Hundreds of people there around noon (checkout time at most city hotels) and waiting for well over an hour. Even with preferred boarding because of our Platinum status, it took an hour and a half to get on board. 4) The food service is very good. Each meal, while not the best you'll ever have, is at least as good as what you would get when going out at home to celebrate a special event. The dining room menu is fine and varied. The Horizon Court buffet, while crowded, is also quite good in the choices available. Not a cafeteria arrangement, but food court islands, which we prefer. They have a lot of places to sit down, but you have to wander around for a few minutes to find an empty table. They no longer use trays, but have a large oval plate instead. Beverages, including water, are served to you after you sit down. 5) Getting a reservation in the two upscale restaurants aren't difficult, but arrangements should be made as soon as possible after boarding. Sabatini's has a $20 PP cover charge, and the Crown Grill is $25 PP. The Grill also has a further $9 PP lobster charge if you choose to go that route. 6) Two formal nights on this 10-day cruise. As on other ships, the formal nights are on the first (and only) sea day and on the next-to-last night on-board the ship. It has been our experience that while many people dress in formal clothes, doing this is far less commonplace than it used to be years ago. Otherwise, people dress nicely, and that's good enough. We decided to go to the upscale restaurants on the two formal nights. They don't require formal dress even though the main dining room does ask for it. 7) Cocktails are quite inexpensive. A premium beverage (I like Crown Royal) costs $5.75. A mixed drink (my wife likes a sour apple martini) costs $6.50. A 15% gratuity is added to any drink order. A beer is ~ $4. 8) The cruise lines are getting evermore aggressive in trying to sell you things. The picture they take when you board the ship used to be a 4" x 6" print that cost less than $5. Then it went to a 5" x 7" which cost a little more. Now, it's sold only as an 8" x 10" and it costs $20. They used to let you tour the bridge or the galley for free. That stopped years ago, supposedly in the interest of security. Now they let you do it again as part of a $150 package that takes you into all the nooks and crannies of the ship. They offer classes on computers, ceramics, scrap-booking, and a myriad of other things. A 50 minute class costs $25 and more. 9) The big ship rides in the water very well. We sailed through 35 knot seas last night. There was a little motion, but not much. There's no reason anyone should get seasick, because the motion is less than what one would experience onboard an airplane is light turbulence and no one gets airsick anymore. 10) The newer ships just going into service are built with many aft cabins, because they are very popular and sell out quickly. We've come to prefer an aft cabin whenever we can get one. The view is more expansive and there never is any wind. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
Great ship, our second time on her in a year in half. Last year we did the Baltic on her. General tips. We used National Express Bus to get from Heathrow to Southampton. We booked the tickets ahead of time and it worked out fine. We also ... Read More
Great ship, our second time on her in a year in half. Last year we did the Baltic on her. General tips. We used National Express Bus to get from Heathrow to Southampton. We booked the tickets ahead of time and it worked out fine. We also reserved thru Priceline the Southampton Hilton that included a great breakfast. Only problem with Hilton is its way out of town. 10 pounds to get into town to the ship or for a meal. Still with the cheap rate we had at hotel we were happy with our selection. Booked a number of tours thru cruisecritic with other passengers. That worked out well. We were on our own in Guernsey, Dublin and Edinburough. Did not go to LaHavre where had another tour booked due to bad weather in the Channel. It was okay for us; it gave us another sea day, our last day of the cruse on this stop intensive cruise. The Grand Princess was stuck in the English Channel which we avoided and arrived late to Southampton. I wonder what happened with those passengers air fares. We made sandwiches every day while on the cruise for lunches so we did not spend any money while off the ship for food. In Dublin and Edinburough we did the HoHo bus. That was fine but if I had to do it over again I think I would have taken a cab to the new town in Edinborough after spending a lot of time at the Castle area. We booked our tickets for the castle ahead of time and that was great for avoiding the line there. Also we screwed up on our return to the ship in Edinburough. We shared a cab into town but then we weren't sure where the ships bus was to take people back or the time it was going to be there. Princess could have done a better job of making this stop known. Still I realize it was our screw up. Ended up costing 20 pounds for our return. Loved Irelands and Scotlands National Gallerys. We spent a lot of time on buses this trip. More than I typically like and all tours were fairly pricey. Still much less than Princess. Ecoach in Cork very good deal. Walk the grounds of Blarney Castle as opposed to kissing the stone. The grounds are very impressive. I don't recommend the Book of Kells in Dublin, too many rude visitors and they haven't figured out how to do crowed control. I posted a review at tripadvisor.com. The Causeway and the rope bridge out of Belfast were worthwhile. The history and culture experience particularly in Northern Ireland was eyeopening. Loved the tour audio by Monty Python Cast at Doune Castle. We even saw salmon jumping on our Cyd tour at Falls of Shinn, 55 pounds per person for Cyds tour out of Invegordon. Dunrobin Castle Falconry Display was very impressive. And the grounds. We had a lot of rain but it seemed to cooperate at most of our stops. Bring water proof shoes and umbrellas. I thought the entertainment was improved from the last time on the Crown. Movies Under The Stars seems like a dumb idea in cold climate but that minor minor comment. Met some great people on the cruise. We ate in the buffet more often than we planned and when it was full we simply asked to share a table. Food was very good in general. Dining room service was simply too slow. A couple time we left before even getting the desert menus. Maiterde did not even care in my opinion. They may of asked how everything was but if they looked at our table they would have seen our dinner plates had not been cleared, ie no desert. No more free cafe lattes in the dining room. Princess is no charging for them everywhere. Regarding our flight on Virgin Airline in economy I am 6foot 3. There economy class simply is not designed for someone my height. Short people who have not business doing so reserve the bulk head seats. You cant see the video screen like you should when the person in front of you reclines their seat. My legs did not fit under the seat;the only way I had even of chance of fitting was taking off my shoes. I had flipflops handy for our return flight and that was better. I wrote Virgin and did get any type of direct response other than some bs form letter. Sign of the times with airline travel. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
Our adventure got off to a rocky start. We utilized Princess air. They routed us from Dallas at 5:45am to Atlanta for a (4hr lay-over). We went to Miami and were bused to Ft. Lauderdale. Total travel time ten hours for a flight form DFW ... Read More
Our adventure got off to a rocky start. We utilized Princess air. They routed us from Dallas at 5:45am to Atlanta for a (4hr lay-over). We went to Miami and were bused to Ft. Lauderdale. Total travel time ten hours for a flight form DFW that would have taken less than three. We were some of the last passengers to embark at 4pm.  We got to our cabin C243 just in time for the muster drill.Once on board, the Crown,however,  I must say ...she's a beauty ! My wife & I sailed the Celebrity Summit, last fall for 14 days in the Med. Trust me the Crown was superior to the Summit in every way! Cabins, cleanliness, Pools, public areas, MUTS, gym, atrium, pool food, shops etc...Cabin: We selected a forward veranda and the room was very well appointed, clean and functional. My only complaint would be the size of the shower. It was small. One tip on the 10th deck the balcony areas are larger than on the 11th.Another thing, I was under the impression that all the Crown's cabins were refited with the plush bedding. Not, so.It must be the cabins above veranda class. Ask for a waffle pad for your bed on arrival. They go fast.Only drawback is that about 50% is exposed to the deck above. Entertainment: typical  cruise production, good comics and bands, atrium entertainment was great.Food: Make no mistake, food on the Crown is excelent! Executive Chef, Giuseppe Pollara, has won 'best in fleet' for five years and it shows.Didn't eat at the premium Sabatini's or Crown Grill, ( no need food was that good in the dining room) but, others told me that they were execeptional. Much superior dining experience compared to the Summit offeringCrew: Staff was efficient & motivated. Under the direction of veteran Captain, Andy Proctor and the best hotel Director I've ever encounted, Mr. James Deering.Cabin stewart was very accomodating to our requests.Ports: We completed a back-to-back so the real action was on the 2nd leg.Ponta Delgada : Nice and small  Lisbon delighful , friendly, good food.. Seville-R. Alcazar & the church stunninly beautiful. Casalanca-Forgetaboutit Only thing of beauty is the Grand Mosque. Gibraltar-Great English fun-Don't miss the caves and apes. Barcelona - One of the finest stops in Europe, don't miss the Monstrat monestary. Amazing!Marseille- a real gem and gateway to Provence. Livorno-Cinque Terre fabulous! Malta-terrific, old port and finally Naples-Had private van tour of the Almalfi coast including stops in Positano & Ravella. Magnificent.The Crown Princess reputation as being unstable at sea is unjustified. We experienced 2 rough days at sea on the crossing and she was fine. Complaints stem from passengers who have never been on Transatlantic nor in the North Sea. I highly recommend the Crown Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
We arranged our own air and always opt to go in a day early in the event of delays due to weather etc. We were able to get a straight through flight from Cleveland to Ft Lauderdale a feat not easily accomplished these days. We were able ... Read More
We arranged our own air and always opt to go in a day early in the event of delays due to weather etc. We were able to get a straight through flight from Cleveland to Ft Lauderdale a feat not easily accomplished these days. We were able to get a hotel through Hotwire around 60% less than the hotels own site. We ended up staying at Sheraton Suites- Plantation. Very nice hotel accommodations. We had rented a vehicle for the day and therefore did not require transportation to the port. I do believe they have transportation but at a charge. Getting on the ship was a very easy process. In a matter of minutes we were in our cabins. The cabins were very clean and provided ample closet space. Drawer space was at a minimum but adequate with the shelves that were provided. Our cabin had a nice balcony which my husband likes as he smokes and enjoys going out there and having a cu of coffee. Me I can take any cabin as we spend very little time in the room. Our Cabin steward Henry always had the room made up we saw him very little but he did his job well and when he did see us in the hallway he called us by name. Of course he was rewarded with a little extra tip. We always opt for late seating dining in the traditional sense. Don't like having to make reservations or waiting. Our dining room was assigned to traditional dinners only and was not conveniently located. It was on 6th floor and you had to go to 7th floor and then walk or take elevator down to 6th floor. We were met each evening by our wait staff Urm from South Africa and Omar her assistant. They were great. Always a smile and willing to get whatever we needed. Often just bringing something to the table to just try. Dinners were wonderful. Served hot and if someone did get something they didn't care for it was quickly replaced with another entrEe. With 6 people it is always hard to get everyone to agree on things but in the case all of us thought the service and food in the dining room was great. The buffet was another story. The breakfast was the normal fair however the lines were long and disorganized. Finding seating another problem. The food was always cold and most of the time we ended up eating very little and waited to hit the hamburger & hot dog stand or the Pizza stand. We did on two occasions try the lunch buffet and again cold food that should have been hot and food that should have been cold, warm. We were just to lazy to get up to eat in the dining room as breakfast is served from 7 to 9. We did eat there the last morning and food was hot and good and no lines to wait in. It would be advisable to try and get there for breakfast and lunch if at all possible. We don't drink but the drink prices are average for cruise ships...expensive as far as I am concerned. I am sure some people got a surprise when they got their final bill for the week. One person in our party bought the soda card which was reasonable at $29.00 plus tip for the week. The only problem she could not get anyone to bring her a soda and had to go to a bar to get it herself. At one time she had asked the same waiter 4 times to get her one and only did so after she asked for his name. As we have been on many cruises and to many islands we did not take any of the ships excursions. In Princess Cay we did rent the clam shell with two chairs and a float. The water was cold but we made the plunge, We didn't need the clam shell as there was a nice breeze but if it would have been hot it would have been nice to have. Next stop was St Marteen. We went to a resort and used their facilities for the day. We were allowed to do this as my cousin is a travel agent and they OK'd us to use their chairs and pool. Next St. Thomas. We elected to stay on the ship as we have been there several times and really didn't need to purchase anything. Cab fare to town is $4.00 per person each way. My cousin and her husband like to shop at Grand Jewelers so they opted for down town and came back sporting more new jewelry. Felt they got great prices. The other couple hit the flea marked and picked up a few little gifts for grandkids. We hit the pool and enjoyed the sun. Ohio is cold you know so took advantage of the nice weather. First time to visit Grand Turk. What a nice surprise. It didn't cost us anything except for a cool drink. Nice beach,, chairs provided, nice pool with swim up bar and chairs, and music. Few shops picked up a couple of trinkets for the grandkids. Cant forget them. The shows on the ship were good. I don't know what people expect but the costumes were absolutely wonderful. The Cole Porter show was our least favorite but nice just the same. Great scenery We were busy every night. A show at 7 dinner at 8:15 and show at 10:30 a little dancing and then on to the casino to make my donation. There were many sessions of Trivia where you can find out how little you know and then there are those that know everything, I refer to it as a enlightening experience. The had games to play , Taboo, Pictionary, Outburst etc. Poolside games and more. This ship had more activities than any we have taken over the last few years. In fact I sometimes have gotten bored on other ships but there were so many things going on we couldn't get them all in. Getting off the ship could not have been any easier. Went to breakfast, then to our assigned room to await departure and was told to go ahead and disembark. Walked right off retrieved luggage handed card to customs agent, Walked up and got a taxi immediately to go to Ft Lauderdale Airport. $16.00 with tip per cab not person. I would highly recommend this ship just skip the buffet. Read Less
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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