9 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
5th princess cruise and like many, probably our last. Pro: good enrichment, nice crew. Cons: Princess is showing its age - from all the old ploys (endless pictures, shopping galore,cheaper and cheaper food and toiletries, etc) to the ... Read More
5th princess cruise and like many, probably our last. Pro: good enrichment, nice crew. Cons: Princess is showing its age - from all the old ploys (endless pictures, shopping galore,cheaper and cheaper food and toiletries, etc) to the endless “clubs’. Ice cream, cokes, coffee, water, wine. There’s the absurd charge for internet (99% profit - costs the same for 300 folks as it does for 400). Food was the worst it’s ever been. Never sat at so many tables where folks simply took one bite and left. One lunch 5 / 8 left and we stayed only because I was starved. Bread was universally panned - pardon the pun. (So hard it actually hurt.) Irritating “specialty dining”. We ate once in Crown Grill - quite good but the $29.95 / person plus $10 “fee” plus 15% add on for wine made it our last. I never saw anyone in there the entire time. Many complaints over unhealthy practice of coughing folks ‘ nosecwipers, etc serving themselves. All those who could serve are too busy hawking binoculars, pictures, spa, videos, bingo, junk t-shirts, jewelry, etc. one lady said it was like a mid eastern bizarre. Organization problems as a well as lack of knowledge of ship. Lost count of the number of times we were sent in the wrong direction / floor. Entertainment was hit and miss - good individual, very poor group routines (all these comments are repeats of others by the way). The passport check was a disaster. Excursions were so-so. Hard to hear on 2 of the 3 we took. After paying thousands we are then asked to pay more for “good” coffee or food or ice cream. I will not offer my solution since obviously there is a core who lives all the silly games and clubs and tricks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise combined a 15 day transatlantic with a 12 day around the British Isles cruise. We are not brand loyal cruisers (15 cruises on 5 lines) selecting the cruises by the itinerary. This particularly appealed to us because of stops ... Read More
This cruise combined a 15 day transatlantic with a 12 day around the British Isles cruise. We are not brand loyal cruisers (15 cruises on 5 lines) selecting the cruises by the itinerary. This particularly appealed to us because of stops in the Azores and Lisbon on the transatlantic while ticking off all our desires on the round the British Isles leg. It was our first time on Princess. The cruise met our expectations for the itinerary. We had beautiful weather almost everywhere at stops in the Azores, Portugal, Belgium, England, Ireland Scotland and Northern Ireland. We got to a lot of places that would have been difficult to get to any other way. With a great itinerary but a poor ship I gave this cruise an average score overall. I would tell others to try to find the itinerary on some other ship. Although there were some bright spots, the Crown Princess was a disappointment. First, the positive. • The main dining room food and service (late seating Botticelli) were mostly outstanding. • We had lower expectations for the cabin because we knew going in that the balcony cabins have no couch (and the easy chairs shown on the room diagrams had been removed) leaving you only the bed or desk chair to sit in. We were also prepared for the small bathroom though the shower was not quite as tiny as we expected. • The cabin service provided by our room attendant was excellent. • If you do book a balcony go for one on the Caribe deck which is larger and partially covered. • The room service was very good and most important very prompt. We used it for breakfast on many of the port days on this itinerary to get an early start. • The Magic production show was outstanding as were the comedians. • Getting on the ship in Fort Lauderdale was easy and our room was ready. This may be because we tend to arrive later in the boarding cycle to avoid the crowds. • The crew was delightful - friendly and efficient. Then, the bad. I don’t know if this ship was badly managed, badly designed or both. There are many examples. • Theater - The Crown has a theater that only covers 2 desks with something like 700 seats for 3200 passengers. Do the math, with a full ship half the passengers aren’t going to the show. We noticed that passengers went to get seats ½ hour or more, cutting short there dinners to get a seat. Once in the theater the sight lines were bad from the upper level. Irish dancers aren’t nearly as interesting when you can only see them from the waste up. Even daytime enrichment and port talks were full houses in the theater. We gave up trying to go to the theater on the transatlantic cruise. • Tendering – Tendering was a nightmare. We quickly learned you had to get off early or it might be hours to disembark the ship. In Guernsey we talked to people that waited more than two hours to get off the ship and ended up with no time to do anything. When it was time to return there was a massive line. We sat at a bar overlooking the line for an hour and when it got close to last call went down and still waited ½ hour. After that experience we got off early in the other tender ports. • Customs check in Portland - On the next to last stop on the transatlantic leg UK officials came aboard in Portland before anyone could disembark the ship. They assigned us times to come. This quickly fell apart. They had 4 agents to see 3200 passengers one or two at a time. Needless to say this took a long time. We had an 8:30 time and finally joined a line that went the length of the ship around 11. This may be due to the UK authorities but the ship needs to do the math and set expectations realistically. • Getting on the ship – I heard one passenger day that the people running the gangways must have worked previously at the DMV or post office. In many ports there were large lines to board the ship. This large ship never had more than two gangways and one was often closed even though the security stations were manned. • Disembarkation in Southampton – Like most cruises, the Crown assigned disembarkation times. We arrived at our disembarkation station in one of the restaurants 10 minutes early and were told our group had already gone. We went to get off and joined another line the length of the ship to disembark. We discovered no one was enforcing the disembarkation times. Fortunately it was fast once we were off the ship. • Laundry – For a ship doing long cruises there were only 2 washers and dryers on the floors that had them (some of which were broken for 27 days). There were large lines and crowds hanging out waiting on the machines. Unlike other cruise lines, Princess had no laundry specials during the 27 day cruise. • Captain’s party - Not enough waiters for the size of the crowd. People swarmed the one door that the waiters emerged from with trays of drinks – feeding frenzy! Although we couldn’t get a glass of champagne, they had plenty for Princess’s ridiculous champagne fountain where what I assume are high rollers get their picture taken pouring champagne into a glass tower that gets nowhere close to full. The officers made a brief appearance on a balcony where you could not see them. The farewell party was much the same. • Programming – The cruise director staff did not have any idea about how to spread out the crowd. The theater was packed along with the Explorers lounge where the main stage acts often did a second show. There was rarely anyone in the large Fusion venue or the bars at the aft of the ship up top. Better planning would have made better use of the larger Fusion venue. They seemed to be rolling out the same plan that they used on their Caribbean cruises with a younger crowd. After days of lines and crowds I heard passenger say ‘Now I know why they call it an ocean liner”. The management of the ship seemed to have a “maybe they won’t notice” attitude. Princess loyalists seemed to be conditioned to all this with comments like “everyone know you have to go to the theater a half hour early”. For me going on cruises is to relax and have things be easy. On the Crown I felt like we were treated like cattle and had to work around limitations and issues with the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
First let me say, we are avid Celebrity Cruisers, or at least used to be. When they introduced the Edge we were excited about something new, BUT they have priced themselves out of the market with the new ships, and they go to awful ports. ... Read More
First let me say, we are avid Celebrity Cruisers, or at least used to be. When they introduced the Edge we were excited about something new, BUT they have priced themselves out of the market with the new ships, and they go to awful ports. So we decided to try and find a new cruise line. We researched and thought Princess would be closest. I guess if you start at the top, its hard to come down. The good things: We had a suite (for our anniversary) which was one of the best layouts we've ever seen. So spacious, and well organized. Our room steward was exceptional...better than any steward OR butler we ever had on Celebrity! The premium dining experience in Sabitinis was worth every penny and more! The staff truly made us feel welcome, and the food was outstanding. The Zumba instructor was one of the best I've ever experienced at sea. The itinerary was great. Its really nice to have the international café open 24 hrs a day. The food is not bad and if you get hungry at 3:30 pm ….you don't have to wait for the buffet to open at 5... The bad things: Priority boarding for suite guests is supposed to exist but it doesn't. You are grouped in with about 300 other guests who are Elite. And if I hadn't caught the mistake the boarding agent made, we wouldn't have even been with Elite people. Same thing happens with "priority debarkation"...it doesn't exist. The buffet was awful...totally cramped with an unworkable layout, bad food, and hardly no selection. The main dining room is hit or miss. The first night we waited almost an hour for our appetizer to be brought to us. Dinner took a total of 1.45 hrs....and we didn't stay for dessert because we were so frustrated. After much debate we decided to give it one more chance. I'm glad we did because the service was much better. The food is edible but not anything to write home about. Again.....some good nights and some bad. Chops Grill was awful. We had veal chops that were tough and tasted like cheap beef. Service was slow and disinterested. The spa (on my trip) was very bad. The $200 facial I received was a joke. Definitely not worth the money. I knew it would be overpriced but I atleast expected a $100 facial for $200. The staff member who did mine, squeezed my head so hard (her idea of a scalp massage) it felt bruised for 3 days after. I did mention it to a manager and she offered a redo the next day, which I canceled because my head hurt so much. The service desk does not speak good English so if you have an issue....good luck. I had purchased a $50 Spa credit (with Credit Card points) before ever boarding. It was never applied to the booking, so I went to the desk to see about it. They had delivered a $50 spa Gift card good ONLY on port days and a $25 OBC to use in ship store, to our room on our anniversary (which was a very nice touch and I should have listed above). But they kept insisting the $50 credit that I purchased was that one. It took me an hour and getting so upset I was in tears, to get them to understand. I kept pointing to the words "a GIFT from Princess Cruises on your special days" imprinted on the card, and the fact that it was only good on Port days. The credit I purchased was good any day. Finally I got through to them, but it still took another day and 5 phone calls to get it fixed. If it had been Celebrity, they would never had argued over a $50 credit with a suite guest.....or any other guest for that matter. I don't know if they just don't understand English very well, or they just didn't care...hard to say. Before that happened we were thinking of giving Princess another chance with a different ship, and went to the future cruise desk. They have ONE person working so its always a wait, but we waited only to get treated like she just could care less. We wanted some recommendations on Alaska...ship size, ports, ect. EVERY question we asked, we were given the response "it just depends on what you want" I wouldn't have asked if I knew what I wanted...duh. We needed some guidance, and she just wanted to rush us out. Needless to say, we didn't book anything, and probably wont. I was so hopeful we would like Princess, but we will just have to try another line. I miss Celebrity but wont pay the inflated prices for the new ships. Love the older ships, but they do the same itinerary's every year, and we just got bored with that. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
we were looking for a 10 day cruise with good hot weather, which we did get. We have been on this ship before and it has since been refurbished but I'm not sure what parts. It seemed exactly the same as 10 years ago. Maybe the ... Read More
we were looking for a 10 day cruise with good hot weather, which we did get. We have been on this ship before and it has since been refurbished but I'm not sure what parts. It seemed exactly the same as 10 years ago. Maybe the specialty restaurants which we did not go to. The cabins were exactly the same but with very mushy beds. We chose twin beds which were extremely small and too soft. They had very heavy duvets on the beds which might have ok on a trans ocean crossing but far too hot for the caribbean. The ports we went to were just ok. Bonair was very interesting. We took a ship excursion in Grenada but the driver just took us to each stop and opened the door to the van and told us nothing. I complained at the ship but they just apologized. At St.Thomas we would have had to take a taxi to town which was charging $5. per person for approx.2miles. We didn't bother. The Princess Cays was very nice. A nice time to swim in the ocean. Entertainment is very good on the Princess which is one of the reasons we keep coming back, but I would go on a newer ship if we do it again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Have been aboard the Crown Princess a few times. She seems a tired old tub with an increasingly uninterested service crew. Paint fumes sent allergies into overdrive and I spent the entirety of cruise coughing, choking, and feeling ill. ... Read More
Have been aboard the Crown Princess a few times. She seems a tired old tub with an increasingly uninterested service crew. Paint fumes sent allergies into overdrive and I spent the entirety of cruise coughing, choking, and feeling ill. Do not spend US$40 on the "Magen's Bay Scenic drive". Grab a taxi and save your money for the gouging you will take when you get to the concession at Magens's Bay. Chair and umbrella rental are DYI, unless you provide a compulsory "tip" of US$5 to the shysters standing by the equipment. Driver dropped us off with no instruction and nowhere near chair concession. Entertainment is also tired! When a fresh talent, such as a comedian, come aboard, it's SRO! Sanctuary? Lotus Thermal Spa? Forget that if you have mobility issues! Elevators to these places are out of order. I am seriously thinking of canceling my Transatlantic in September after this experience Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary to the southern Caribbean. Hadn't been to Martinique in years, and although we've been to Aruba, we had never gone to Bonaire. As expected the embarkation was fast and efficient. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary to the southern Caribbean. Hadn't been to Martinique in years, and although we've been to Aruba, we had never gone to Bonaire. As expected the embarkation was fast and efficient. Our cabin on Dolphin Deck was a mini-suite and Club Level. We have stayed in mini-suites before, and the room was more than adequate for our needs. The balcony on Princess ships are open to the sky, and do not offer the privacy you enjoy on Royal Caribbean, or Celebrity. It had been awhile since we cruised Princess, and while we are Platinum Level on Princess, I had forgotten about this arrangement. It was an unwelcome remembrance. The staff on board were lovely and most accommodating. We ate dinner in the special area reserved for Club/Suite guests. Again the service was excellent. the menu was uninspired, the food portions on the small side, and the food was mediocre. Breakfast and lunch at the buffet were very disappointing. Very hard to find a table, few options, and food quality that should have embarrassed Princess. The other lunch dining option at the pizza place, and the pool grill were pretty good. This may sound funny, but the lounge chairs were just terribly uncomfortable. They have no cushions, and the mesh fabric is like lying on a slab of cement. Entertainment in the Princess Theatre was good. We saw a few production shows, and a few individual performers there as well. Getting back to food, we ate one meal in Sabatini's, which was pretty good. Had another meal in the Crown Grill, which was about as good as going to a chain joint like Longhorn. Not worth the money. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have cruised with Princess twice before and were happy with our experiences. This time we noticed all the cost cutting measures that have been taken. Ship was very crowded and priced were lowered closer to sailing. However, club class ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess twice before and were happy with our experiences. This time we noticed all the cost cutting measures that have been taken. Ship was very crowded and priced were lowered closer to sailing. However, club class mini suite pricing was not lowered. Embarkation was great however next time I would not board until after noon. Disappointed with quality of toiletries, tissue, toilet paper and paper towels. Service was good and room was kept clean. Cabin was as expected but sofa bed was not comfortable and looked like it had seen better days. Club Class dining appears to be no different from regular dining as menus are the same with the exception of a chef cooking an entre, dessert or appetizer in the area (not at your table as advertised). Quality and types of main dishes is much lower. Few American dishes. Hamburgers are even compressed into a hard pattie. Club class dining is separate but not partitioned off so people from dining room were exiting our area. Service in CC dining was very good. Princess Theatre Troup entertainment used to be better; special entertainers were very good. No seating is set aside for suite class. Theaters are always crowded. No information is given about which entertainers will appear more than once until the day of appearance. Ports are good. Guest lecturers poor. Service, staff and baristas in International Cafe are exceptional. We received no forms for EZ Check or information until the deadline expired and customer service argued with us about receipt of those forms. No answer when calling room service when we did. There was no butler for minisuites. Staffing has been cut so these service personnel are really working extremely hard. Not enough waiter assistants. Bar service slow in dining room likely due to all the staffing cuts.. Back to Celebrity Cruiseline. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We are Platinum cruisers on Princess and chose this trip because of the usual quality we expect on Princess. However this cruise was somewhat a disappointment. Food quality was below the usual standard and the food selections in the dining ... Read More
We are Platinum cruisers on Princess and chose this trip because of the usual quality we expect on Princess. However this cruise was somewhat a disappointment. Food quality was below the usual standard and the food selections in the dining room not as expected.The ship is a little older and the cabins have a slight worn look. The beds are too soft and should be replaced. The service was very good. I do not know what has happened to the coffee but it comes out of as a slightly thick liquid Not Like a Brewed cup and is VERY Strong, first time I ever switched to Hot Tea. The ports we visited were very Good and had a great time on all, especially Aruba our favorite port and beach. We are hopeful that Princes win make some changes to get back to the way it used to be as recently as last February 2018 on Royal Princess Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was only a 10 day cruise, not 20. The service is great; people serving on board are some of the best. Entertainment was excellent. The musicians, singers and dancers were very entertaining. Comedians were actually funny. ... Read More
This was only a 10 day cruise, not 20. The service is great; people serving on board are some of the best. Entertainment was excellent. The musicians, singers and dancers were very entertaining. Comedians were actually funny. Disappointed in some of the excursions and total confusion when exiting the ship to locate where the excursion is to meet. One stop had us walking about 1/2 mile just to get to the cruise terminal which we walked thru past a lot of shops to go outside to find our bus. Crown Grill serves plenty of food and it is excellent. We took this cruise because it had ports of call we had not visited on other cruises, but were disappointed in the products for sale. They all had the same merchandise and so little made locally. It was 90% made in Taiwan, China or elsewhere. Merchandise on board was not that appealing and heard comments from other guests that it looked like stuff that wouldn't sell on other ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of itinerary and saves on airfare out of fort lauderdale. We have done over 30 cruises and know which islands we like and where to go on them. We were on ruby princess in sept out west and enjoyed the ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of itinerary and saves on airfare out of fort lauderdale. We have done over 30 cruises and know which islands we like and where to go on them. We were on ruby princess in sept out west and enjoyed the ship. Crown was identical. We knew where everything was when we boarded even thou we have never been on the ship before. We spent our sea days in the spa pool section. Quiet and not busy. Evenings after dinner in the casino. We always do open seating for dinner. Never waited more than 5 mins to be seated. We never dress up for formal night so we go to buffet for dinner. Dining room food was very good! Buffet was ok. The light food at the coffee cafe on deck 5 was excellent. We were there everyday. Its open 24 hours. We got a coffee card to get better coffee. The coffee on the ship is awful in dining rooms and buffet but the americano etc is good! The service on the ship was excellent!!!!! The ship is well looked after!! Our biggest complaint was the smoking in the casino!!!! They need to eliminate smoking in an enclosed space. Celebrity doesnt allow it. Weve been to all those islands before the hurricane of last year that hit st thomas and dominica direct. Wont do itinerary with dominica again. Its going to take years to fix that island. We had men coming up to us asking for money. The stops on curacao and grenada were too short. Generally it was a great cruise!!!. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Chemical/scent directive: I am chemical and scent sensitive; the chemical/scent instructions which were provided to Princess were not forwarded to the ship and were not acted on. (Neither was the bed configuration information that is ... Read More
Chemical/scent directive: I am chemical and scent sensitive; the chemical/scent instructions which were provided to Princess were not forwarded to the ship and were not acted on. (Neither was the bed configuration information that is always on my bookings.) If Princess does not respond to my letter to the president with some very positive assurances about this not happening again, then I will not be able to sail with Princess again. Since I had a verandah, I was able to air out my cabin. And I had an excellent room steward who immediately wiped down all the surfaces and used no chemicals after that. Ship: The ship had been to dry dock last year. It looked good with all new carpets, deck coverings and upholstery. It is set up to hold between 3000 and 3500 passengers; there were approximately 3000 onboard. It was not well-configured and it felt crowded everywhere. If I cruised Princess again, I would not want to be on this class of ship. The library was beyond pitiful. The ship does not give receipts for purchases. Itinerary: Even though it was slightly more expensive, I chose this ship because of the good itinerary. There was only one duplicate stop in the back to back. Although I had been to all the islands before, they had chosen ones that were very interesting and ones that I would return to again and again. They provided two information documents for each port; each provided excellent information and maps. There was definitely something wrong with the scheduling of stops; we did not arrive at many ports until later in the day and, in some, we were there for very short periods of time. No mention was ever made that we were arriving in Barbados on a major national holiday and nothing would be operational. These islands are so close together that I am sure they could have rearranged things to be more convenient. FYI: Beni Iguana Sushi Bar in Havensight Mall, St. Thomas, has the best mussels and the sauce is addicting. Cabin: The cabin was very nice. There was plenty of room and storage. It had a walk-in closet that was wonderful. The mini-frig, which was not stocked with for sale items, was cold enough. The bathroom was about right for one person. I really liked having a shower and no bathtub. But the shower was very small. I could barely wash my hair without bruising my elbows. I did ask one lady whose husband was taller and wider how he was doing in the shower; she said he went to the spa every day for his shower. Service: Since this was a back to back, I had two room stewards, two waiters and two assistant waiters. The service in the cabin and in the main dining room was excellent. The Guest Relations desk was not so good; they were not able to problem solve at their level nor did they respond to requests for information or forms. Food: The food was quite good in the main dining room. They did an excellent job of preparing fish and shellfish; it is amazing they were able to not overcook them when feeding so many people. The vegetables and desserts were very good. They made their own ice creams, gelatos and sorbets – yum! The garlic shipment must not have made it onto the ship; every menu item which said it had garlic did not. They repeated the same menus and menu items too frequently. Usually ships have two week rotations; theirs was less than ten days. The International Café, a sort of snack place open 24 hours, had food that looked enticing but was not. The buffet, Horizon Court, had a good salad bar, good service, and a very nice curry dish each day. It was a little hectic for nice eating; I went to the main dining room for breakfast and lunch whenever possible. I ate at two specialty restaurants – Crown Grill and Sabatini’s. Both had excellent service and nice ambiance; I ate at both several times just for the pleasure of the experience. The Crown Grill was supposed to be the high end steak house. Unfortunately, they did not use grass fed beef. The steak and lamb were both blah. But the appetizers and shellfish were excellent. Sabatini’s had wonderful appetizers and desserts. And both were willing to do half portions of anything. The only thing I did not like about the dining was the times of the fixed seatings. They were far too early and it was not really necessary since the ship had three main dining rooms. Entertainment: Undoubtedly, the production singers and dancers were some of the best I have ever heard. They were extremely talented, had great choreography and beautiful costumes. The house bands were all very good. Most of the guest entertainers were good, some much better than I expected. Shore Excursions: Of the eight ship’s shore excursions I took, all had different components than what was in the online shore excursion descriptions. And there was no notification onboard that what I had bought was not what I was going to get. Only two of the excursions were completely acceptable. The Shore Excursion staff was not responsive to comments or requests; they appeared to not be able to issue refunds onboard. The shore excursion prices onboard were higher than those online. FYI: One of the best shore excursions I have ever taken was on Dominica – Caribbean Culinary Adventure. In general, those who create shore excursions for the Caribbean have done a good job of creating new ones for those who travel there frequently; there were historical walking tours and foodie tours. Overall, for a mass market line, I thought Princess did a good job with their product. I bought a $100 future cruise deposit while onboard. Whether I will use it is going to depend on how they handle my personal issues, including the sensitivity instructions and the refunds. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Crown Princess is a nice ship with great staff. Except for the production shows, the on-board activities and entertainment was excellent. The cabin was nice. We had a mini-suite and the balcony was a good size. There was plenty of ... Read More
The Crown Princess is a nice ship with great staff. Except for the production shows, the on-board activities and entertainment was excellent. The cabin was nice. We had a mini-suite and the balcony was a good size. There was plenty of storage space. There were two televisions which made the kids happy. We brought out 11 and 18-year old kids. They did not take advantage of any of the kids activities. They had fun just running around the ship on their own, eating all the time and attending the multitude of activities. Food was very good overall throughout the ship. Although it was easy to get food in the buffet, finding a table in the casual dining room was almost impossible. I would NOT recommend Anytime Dining. In the past I have always chosen the traditional seating time - your table is guaranteed and it is nice to build a rapport with the waiter. Each night we had to wait approximately 30-45 minutes for a table - with a different waiter each night. Ports were great. We were unable to go to the first scheduled port because of weather. I would have liked to have laid by the pool on sea days but the chairs were never available - reserved by people early in the morning who then seldom used them. The fitness room had plenty of equipment and a great view while you worked out. Fitness room never seemed overly crowded. Plenty of room to stretch, do free weights, yoga, etc. The class offerings were also good. They also had Zumba out on deck - I didn't try it but I wanted to. They had personal trainers and staff available in the fitness room as well. Something that struck me as odd - no garnishes on the expensive drinks. My kids liked ordering the $6+ virgin daiquiris, but they had no garnishment that you come to expect on an expensive drink (if you're going to charge $6 for a virgin drink, maybe add a piece of pineapple and a cherry to make it feel special). The spa was an AWFUL experience for both my husband and I. The staff all seemed more focused on selling products and additional services than actually providing good service. The services were so expensive. I should add that they spent some of our overpriced service time for both facials AND massages trying to sell us additional services and products! In general I feel that people should be aware that there is A LOT of upselling on the ship. The cruise alone is expensive, but you have to be prepared to spend MUCH more once you get on board. I feel that clientele for Princess may be an older crowd. We had a great time but in the future we would probably choose a cruise line geared more to younger, more active people. This was a 10-day cruise to the Caribbean, not 20 days as mentioned in the heading. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We understand that it is a different demographic and we chose Princess again (sailed last year to the UK). We are beyond the 'party until you are stupid' crowd but still want some fun and nightlife. It was as if the ship's ... Read More
We understand that it is a different demographic and we chose Princess again (sailed last year to the UK). We are beyond the 'party until you are stupid' crowd but still want some fun and nightlife. It was as if the ship's activities were purposefully funneling you to either the buffet or bed by midnight. The Patter had numerous errors regarding activities and timing (i.e. who schedules the NYE Balloon Drop for 10:30 pm?). We are a family of 3 and chose Anytime Dining in the hopes of meeting people - I would say half the time we sat by ourselves and felt pressured to do so to 'move things along'. The last night we ate in the Michelangelo, my husband and I waited an hour and a half to be seated (2 people, requested sharing) and then dinner took two hours. We were offered a wine list two of the 10 nights. We brought a bottle we brought on board (allowed 1/pp wo corkage) and wound up being charged corkage after a near argument. One night they had a Pinot they recommended to be paired with dinner on the menu - ordered that and was told a half hour later that the dining room did not have it, but maybe the others did if we wanted to try there. Not - 'we'll send someone to see if a bottle we are advertising is one deck away'. Wow. Food was 'meh' at best. I feel the boat was very understaffed. They worked hard, but there just weren't enough people. In 10 days, we were asked if we wanted a drink/coffee/ice tea twice. People were constantly walking to other tables for silverware/salt/pepper etc.. The shows were good. I suggest that they get some peppier in between acts - not so 'lull you to sleep'. What saved the trip was the itinerary and weather - both were fantastic. For our next trip I think we'll entertain other lines - an itinerary would have to be outstanding to outweigh what might be a mediocre cruising experience - especially if the weather were bad. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my eleventh cruise but my first on a Princess ship. I'd heard very good things about Princess, so despite the higher cost I'd decided to try them. However, my family's experience on board certainly did not justify ... Read More
This was my eleventh cruise but my first on a Princess ship. I'd heard very good things about Princess, so despite the higher cost I'd decided to try them. However, my family's experience on board certainly did not justify the higher ticket price and our experience overall ranked as less enjoyable than the vast majority of our previous cruising experiences. These are some of the issues that contributed to our dissatisfaction. Aggressive AC in common areas of the ship. The very low temperatures made it too cold for us to sit for long in the dining rooms, theatre or other common areas even though we wore long pants, sweaters and jackets. Our stateroom was a really bad joke. It was meant to be ocean view but in fact was lifeboat view. This was despite booking 11 months ahead at full cost and being promised a cabin upgrade. The pillows were all feather and gave me no support, thus preventing me from getting comfortable and stopping me from falling asleep. I'd asked for foam pillows as soon as I checked in but none were available. The duvet/comforther was a heavyweight winter tog made of some synthetic material, but the AC in the bedroom was weak and I kept overheating. These bed issues prevented me falling asleep or staying asleep thus making me chronically tired. In addition the bedside cabinet drawers were so stiff that I could not use them. The food was significantly below average for cruise ships. I am far from a fussy eater but could barely stomach some of the food that I tasted. However, this was a blessing for me since I lost around two pounds over the ten days cruise, despite drinking alcohol. The entertainment was frankly boring. The evening performances were mostly singing, there was no dancing, circus or magic. The movies under the stars were very badly selected. On the last evening there was such a boring documentary about 4 dames, that not a single person was left watching after 30 minutes. The teens club had such a nasty Ukrainian woman as counsellor, that my kids decided on the first day that they would no longer attend. In any event there were no decent teens activities scheduled. All in all, a lacklustre experience for which I significantly overpaid. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Our 5th cruise on Princess, thru the Southern Caribbean stops this time. As usual, the boarding went quickly and smoothly. All of the ship's staff and were always friendly and professional, each and every day. So why only 3 stars? ... Read More
Our 5th cruise on Princess, thru the Southern Caribbean stops this time. As usual, the boarding went quickly and smoothly. All of the ship's staff and were always friendly and professional, each and every day. So why only 3 stars? As noted on several other reviews..... the ship was UNDERSTAFFED. It should not take 20 minutes to have a waiter come and take your order in a "five star" restaurant. I don't blame the wait staff -- they were working their butts off, and trying their best! But there were not enough help! Same with the 'Internet Cafe'. Only one man on the help desk! There was often a line of 12-15 people and a 45 minute wait, to get your cellphone connected! The Chrismas decorations around the ship were lovely. There was the singing of Christmas carols in the piazza, which is always nice to see and hear. However, the variety of food was not as great in the Horizon Court this time -- which was a disappointment. Also, the evening theater shows were not as good as on earlier cruises. An energetic British singer named Sonia Selbie belted out tunes that no one ever heard of. She was a no-show for her second act, no explanation given. There was a ventriloquist with a puppet; great to see that Princess is still supporting this 1930's form of entertainment. At a lecture at the spa on "How to Lose Belly Fat" we learned that drinking diet soda was the same as drinking battery acid, and that your genetic makeup only accounts for 5% of who you are -- the other 95% is up to you! Shame on Princess for promoting such unscientific blather. There are new deck chairs on the promenade deck -- very stiff, very uncomfortable! More real reclining deck chairs would be nice. So all in all, the experience was not as nice as on previous Princess cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this sailing because of the excellent itinerary. Often times it is hard to find a sailing that visits these ports. The Crown Princess was a huge disappointment. The negatives first. We have sailed Princess numerous times in the ... Read More
We chose this sailing because of the excellent itinerary. Often times it is hard to find a sailing that visits these ports. The Crown Princess was a huge disappointment. The negatives first. We have sailed Princess numerous times in the past, but this was our first experience on the Crown and most likely our last. Our biggest complaint was the food temperatures. Food particularly at buffets on Lido were consistently cold for the entire 10 days. We found that we needed things heated up, which some of the staff were reluctant to do. I am not spoiled I can eat warm food, but I worry about food borne illness that can occur from foods not being kept at the right temperatures. We even watched a cook adding milk to mash potatoes on the buffet while passenger were trying to get some. He stated to the passenger that he needed to add the milk as the potatoes were dried out. Personally I would think new fresh potatoes would be in order. Thankfully, there was pizza, tacos and hamburgers available during the day as they were prepared to order and always hot. Sadly though I do not eat a lot of that type of food but this trip found it necessary. The main dining room was not much better than Lido buffets. Service was poor and slow. Our wait staff were not engaged with any passengers and appeared to be overworked. Menu selection was ok, not great. Got undercooked fish one night, pasta that was just warm another night. As far as the bedding in the cabin, they seem to have gone way too soft or my bed was just out of shape. They put a board under it, but did not help as you sunk in the middle as if it were an old worn out mattress. They said it was all new bedding, funny we were on the Caribbean Princess a few months earlier and that bedding was new too and had no problems. Our complaints to cabin steward, food service and front desk were only recognized by the front desk, but never resolved. The positives: Itinerary was great. Captain even extended time in one port which was a plus. Casino staff some of the best. They were friendly, pit bosses were engaged and made for a great time. Shops on board staff were excellent and friendly. The Crab Shack was great in every way including hot food. We will sail Princess again, but it will take a lot for us to try the Crown again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it was over Christmas and we wanted to be in a warm climate and it was reasonably priced and we have cruised on Princess many times before... Overall it was a good cruise, entertainment was good, the cabin ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was over Christmas and we wanted to be in a warm climate and it was reasonably priced and we have cruised on Princess many times before... Overall it was a good cruise, entertainment was good, the cabin was good, the ship staff were all pleasant but it was all average and the food was average. There wasn't anything outstanding except twice in the dining room we had desserts that were called Chocolate Journeys. They were both different and excellent. This is my only "wow" for the entire cruise. I have nothing to complain about but I think Princess has gone downhill from past cruises. There now are too many things that are charged for. An example would be a "special" hamburger at the pool grill. I don't think we should br charged $8 and $10 extra for a burger. Also in the main dining room they now have a list of steaks that you can get from their steak house for a price. If I wanted that I would have gone to the steakhouse. Also near the end of your dinner they have the waiters roll around a cart with special after dinner drinks that have a price attached. I know the waiters must hate doing that. My main complaint would the "Anytime Dining Room" not having enough tables for two. Just about every night we had to take a pager and wait for a table and it didn't help to have a reservations. Even when we were at the dining room prior to their scheduled opening we were told all "two" tables were gone. Not everyone wants to eat with strangers and make small talk.. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was a new itinerary for us. Never cruised with Princess before. Reviews were all over the place. Took a chance because of the itinerary. Would not do the Crown Princess again. Ship is dated. This was a Christmas cruise and the ... Read More
This was a new itinerary for us. Never cruised with Princess before. Reviews were all over the place. Took a chance because of the itinerary. Would not do the Crown Princess again. Ship is dated. This was a Christmas cruise and the holiday decorations were truly underwhelming. The food was excellent. Breakfast and lunch were at the Horizon Cafe and everything was great. Evening were early dining and that was switched from 5:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. just before the cruise. 5:00 is a bit too early and interferes with some of the activity times which were not changed when the dining time was changed. The evening wait staff was great. Really wanted to please. Great menu most nights. Did find some things too salty for our taste. Our cabin steward was very attentive and kept things in perfect order. Tendering to Princess Cay was very convenient. The Princess tour to St. John's from St. Thomas was great. Port visits on your own were convenient at all other ports. Easy to get on and off the ship. Much like every other cruise you might take. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
10 day Southern Caribbean. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, Ft. Lauderdale We’re 52 years old, married 22 years. For cuisine, I eat everything and my wife is a pescatarian ... Read More
10 day Southern Caribbean. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, Ft. Lauderdale We’re 52 years old, married 22 years. For cuisine, I eat everything and my wife is a pescatarian (vegetables and seafood). This is our 12th cruise overall and fourth on Princess. After our first three cruises (Caribbean, Sapphire and Island Princesses) we have not sailed this line in over 8 years. In those years we’ve sailed Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Holland America and NCL. After those ships and experiences, it honestly felt like a little bit of a throwback when we got onboard Crown Princess. We’ve gotten so used to the wide expanses and features of the more modern ships, the Crown feels more like an oversized yacht than cruise ship. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. As you read through this you might think some areas are negative, but you’re paying good money to go on your cruise so I like to give a true sense of what everything was like for us. Honestly it’s very VERY difficult to have a “bad cruise” because after all, you’re on a cruise ship being pampered day and night by the crew. The main difference between cruises is the level of service from the crew and the quality of the food as you compare ships. I’m arranging this review by topic such as Embarkation, Ship, Dining, Stops / Excursions instead of by day so you can read everything about a topic at once. EMBARKATION (And lack of Princess Communication) Embarkation was a bit of a cluster as the Crown had to go through a full annual Coast Guard inspection. Boarding was not scheduled to begin until 2 – 2:30pm instead of the normal 10:30 / 11am. Princess knew this days (maybe weeks) in advance of the ship arriving to Port Everglades. Problem was, Princess did a very poor job of notifying the passengers. Princess relied on travel agents to notify the passengers instead of direct email. Princess had our email addresses and had no problems offering us upsells and specials in the months leading up to the cruise. But no communication in the week leading up to the cruise about the inspection and late boarding. Fortunately, we heard about it here on CC so we were prepared and arrived later than normal. But most passengers did not get the word and when 2:00pm rolled around, it seemed like the entire ship was waiting in Terminal 4. Communication was poor in the Terminal as was crowd management. With plenty of time to prepare it seemed Princess did nothing out of the ordinary to handle that many people being in the Terminal at one time other than having water bottles and some snacks available. Once we got onboard everything was fine, but Princess did a less than stellar job managing the situation before arrival and in the Terminal. THE SHIP Boarding the ship, the first re-impression of Princess was the Crown felt dated. Tighter spaces, lower ceilings, lots of wood and older style decor and much more intimate than the more modern ships. The Atrium / Piazza is a rather intimate space compared to the mega atriums of other ships. The overall impression of the public spaces is dark and stuffy vs. light and airy. At first it was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe I was expecting more because the ship recently came out of a refurbishment and I thought more modern touches would be added. But as we sailed, I came to re-appreciate how the layout spreads people around the ship so other than the Muster Drill, we had no issues with large crowds clogging the walkways or public spaces. The public spaces are well spread out across multiple decks, fore, midship and aft. None of the spaces is a ‘showstopper / must congregate in this space’ so the crowds are spread out. The longer we sailed, the more we felt like we were cruising along with a few hundred of our best friends instead of the 3000+ passengers this ship can hold. After 10 days onboard, the Crown felt more like a mega-yacht than a cruise ship. I’ll add that I absolutely LOVE that Princess has embraced The Love Boat again. Yes the show was kitschy even when it was a new series, but it’s just so much fun. You can have photos made with yourself in the iconic Love Boat circle icon, the safety video features the original cast and you can even order “The Isaac” drink at the bar. The show put Princess Cruises on the map and it’s fun to see it so fully embraced again. CABIN: CLUB CLASS MINI SUITE. Our cabin was on Dolphin, Deck 9, D432. This particular cabin is very convenient to the mid-ship elevators and stairs, literally walking directly into the room from the stairs. Prior to boarding we were concerned the proximity to the elevators/stairs might be an issue with noise, but that never materialized. The cabin itself is a bit dated in its appearance, but as a mini-suite, Club Class, it’s perfectly functional. It has the mini-fridge and dual TVs so you could, in theory, watch two different programs. Being on the Dolphin deck our balcony was on the deck that sticks out the furthest on the ship, so we could look directly down into the water, rather than down into other balconies. That also means the balcony is fully exposed to everyone above you, but it wasn’t a problem during our cruise. One effect of the balconies being exposed is that they are full sun when the sun is on that side of the ship. There is no overhang. There was plenty of space in the closet for both of our clothes for a 10 day sail along with lots of shelving both in the closet area and the ‘living room’ area cabinets. We had no problems storing all our ‘stuff’ for the 10 days. There are two American style power outlets above the desk. They’re pretty close together so using a power tap for one of them will block the other. If you want to create additional power outlets, get a power strip that does not have a circuit breaker on it. The added space in the cabin is nice to allow for spreading out stuff or even just sitting to enjoy the 2nd TV in the ‘living room’ portion of the cabin. Could easily entertain a few friends in there. The shower has a step over tub so if you have any issues stepping up and over a tub lip, something to keep in mind when choosing cabins. My wife enjoyed the bed but I found it somewhat stiff. For me it feels like a classic futon and I woke up with my shoulders sore each morning. Room steward was Francisco and he was great. We hardly saw him but whenever we needed something, we’d just leave a note on the bed and he took care of it. Club Class got us a few perks like free wine in the room and a special dining area in the main dining room which turned out to be one of our favorite perks of the entire trip. More on that later in the Dining section. POOLS Crown Princess features 4 pools with two of them being adult only. In keeping with the same theme from earlier, these four pools really spread the crowds out so you could actually find a pool to enjoy. If you want something a bit louder and fun, choose the two middle pools featuring the Movies Under the Stars or the live entertainment. If you want something quieter, choose the Terrace Pool in the back or the Sanctuary Pool in the front. A couple of the pools go beyond 7 feet deep while most are in the 5-foot deep range. Contrary to what many people believe, the Sanctuary Pool up front is a public pool, open to any adult. You do NOT need to pay any sort of Spa or Sanctuary fee to use that pool. I met quite a few folks on board who were under the impression the Spa / Sanctuary Pool was reserved for spa guests only. The Terrace Pool aft is one of my favorite pools of any ship allowing you to enjoy the water while looking straight out the back of the ship. The Movies Under the Stars pool is the closest to the Horizon Court with a lot of outdoor dining seating. COCKTAILS & COFFEE Honestly the cocktails were one of the most disappointing things about the trip. I don’t recall them being so poor the first three times we sailed, but then we didn’t have any other cruise lines to compare Princess to at that time. The problems with the drinks were numerous. Some cocktails tasted watered down, like we were having a soft drink, not alcohol. Some cocktails didn’t taste correct. My litmus test is an Old Fashioned because it’s a classic and quite easy cocktail to make. Simply horrible on the Crown Princess, tasted like I was drinking rubbing alcohol. The server tried to tell me it was because I like my Old Fashioned with whiskey and they make theirs with Rye. I make them with both and they never taste like rubbing alcohol. The drinks that were decent, were served very inconsistently across the many bars. I started drinking both the Chairman of the Board and Washington’s Apple. Even in the same bar the drink would be good one time and off the second time. On ever other ship we’ve sailed over the past 5 years there’s at least one craft bar where the bartenders appear to be more highly trained than the rest of the bartenders on board and they make the drinks more slowly than the mass production of most bars. Those are the bars we tend to gravitate towards because while the drinks might cost $1 or $5 more than the other bars, the drinks are really really good and consistent. The World Class Bars on the Celebrity ships are hands down the best bars at sea. Crown Princess is really missing something like that. The Mix near the Movies Under the Stars pool was the most consistent bar I found. I would not recommend the Drink Package for anyone who really enjoys good cocktails because you probably won’t come close to using up your package unless you choose to drink a lot of beer instead. Don’t bother with “The Isaac,” poor drink. My wife’s favorite drink was “The Jamaican Stormy,” but we felt the one made on Mariner of the Seas was much better. For Coffee, Crown Princess still features that awful, and I do mean awful, coffee syrup in the Horizon Court buffet. That syrup never has, and never will be, coffee. The only thing you can do with it is make iced coffee. Fill one of the plastic cups with ice, add some creamer, some sugar if you’re inclined, then fill it up with that “coffee.” For real coffee you need to go to the International Café on Deck 5 or the Coffee and Cones on Deck 15. I much preferred the coffee and service at Coffee and Cones. The servers at the International Café always made me feel like I was bothering them by asking them to make me coffee. Up at Coffee and Cones it was always service with a smile and honestly they were making better cappuccinos and espressos than the crew at the International Café. Coffee and Cones is open at 6am so you can get a good cup of coffee before you walk into the Horizon Court for breakfast. DINING The food was quite good and the Crown showed us that Princess still has the most consistent Main Dining Room experience in terms of food quality and service. Disney is the only line we’ve sailed that has a better Main Dining Room experience. First let me say that if you plan to eat at the Horizon Court / Caribe Café buffet area, always get a seat in the Caribe Café area. Regardless of whether that section is open or not, just sit there. It’s much cooler because the Horizon Court has a large kitchen area in the center that ends up heating up that entire Horizon Court seating area, both sides. The Horizon Court / Caribe Café food selections are miniscule compared to just about any other cruise line we’ve sailed. The Caribe Café was basically wasted space because it just repeated what was in the Horizon Court (when it was open). I would have expected that section to have more global selections like Asian, Indian, maybe German, etc… But it was just more of the same. The selection was ok, uninspiring but probably enough choices for you to get something decent for breakfast / lunch / dinner. The breakfast omelets at the Horizon Court were weird. They had a spongy texture from whatever egg product they use. I ordered one and then never again. The salad bar for lunch was decent, that was usually my go-to for lunch so I could more enjoy my dinner. Overall the buffet was functional, we’ve found much more inspiring and better buffets on other cruise lines. We did have breakfast one time in the main dining room and it was quite good. I will say that the orange juice served in the main dining room was much better than the juice served in the buffet. One of the perks of having a Club Class cabin was a special dining section in the DaVinci Dining Room. Each evening there was one special not on the menu that was prepared by the manager in the dining room. Most evenings we walked into the dining room to the wonderful aroma of sautéed garlic. He made penne dishes, shrimp dishes, steak dishes and honestly the best veal chops I’ve ever had. On most cruise lines we’ve sailed of late, we’ve only had a few meals in the dining room because they’re usually not that great, pushing you into the specialty dining venues. On the Crown, we ate in the dining room 9 of the 10 evenings of the cruise and ordered the Manager’s special every evening. I would book a Club Class cabin again on a Princess ship just for this experience. The one night we ate outside the dining room we went to the Crown Grill. It was good, but not so spectacular that I felt like I got what I paid for in a premium meal. I went with the mussel pot, and while the mussels were quite good and the portion was huge, the broth was just ok. I would have expected much more garlic infusion in the broth, but it was almost like a pot roast broth with the mussels. My wife really enjoyed her shrimp dish. But because our Club Dining experience was so good, I wouldn’t bother with the Crown Grill on a future cruise. The Crown Grill featured a free British Pub lunch with fish and chips one day at sea and that was fun. The fish portions are small, but we ended up meeting two lovely couples at the shared table dining, with one of them being from England. So we can had a great time picking on the ‘fish sticks.’ I’d recommend that lunch as something different to do. On Deck 15, I only tried the fries at the Salty Dog Grill on Deck 15 and they were just ok. We had some slices of pizza at Slice and the flavors were not bad at all. The crust could have been cooked another minute, but overall, the sauce was pretty good and the flavor was good. The Stromboli was too dry and didn’t have a whole lot of flavor. People who compare the pizza in Slice to pizza on land are just nuts. Of course this pizza is not as good as NYC pizza or many other pizza joints on land, but it’s fresh pizza made right there in front of you. Enjoy it for what it is, free pizza at sea. The service in the Main Dining Room was among the best at sea. Since we had anytime dining we rotated among three different crews of servers and they were all outstanding. So incredibly friendly, so accommodating to any request. More than happy to turn entrees into appetizer portions so we could try two entrees without wasting half a portion. We didn’t eat at Sabatini’s because the menu was uninspiring for us and the Crab Shack concept didn’t appeal to us because it’s just in the buffet. If we’re going to pay extra for ‘specialty dining’ then we want to actually have an experience we can’t have any other way. Paying extra to sit in the same buffet just because you’re going to serve me crab is not a special experience. THE SANCTUARY My wife booked The Sanctuary for the entire week as we didn’t have a lot of excursions planned over the 10 days. I will say The Sanctuary has the most comfortable deck chairs I have experienced at sea. So comfy. Most of the area is covered by mesh sails so while it may not be 100% shade, the sun is knocked down significantly making the air temperatures very comfortable. There are two areas with complete shade in the very front under the steel structure and also under the radar tower depending which way the ship is facing. When the ship is moving it can be quite windy because you’re right at the front of the ship. But when the ship is in port, there’s usually still a nice breeze across the entire area making this space really comfortable even when the ship is docked. The staff here is extremely friendly and makes sure you have plenty of water. They also serve afternoon tea at 3 with all the trimmings, sandwiches, cakes and desserts. If you want to book The Sanctuary, proceed directly up to Deck 16 the moment you board the ship. Don’t go anywhere else, just go directly up there because the Sea Days fill up quickly. You can book ½ days, full individual days or the entire cruise. Sea days fill up first. My wife was probably the 20th person in line and was able to book two loungers for the entire cruise. At the time we sailed costs were $20 for ½ day, $40 for a full day, $30/day if you booked the entire cruise. These costs are per person / lounger. The only thing I question is placing the ‘quiet sanctuary’ directly below the ship’s horn. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Because I went on Princess Two years ago and it was great. The Crown Princess should have been buried at sea. Mildew in the ceiling on 15 and tile missing showing pipes. Balcony table should have been thrown away and replaced with new one. ... Read More
Because I went on Princess Two years ago and it was great. The Crown Princess should have been buried at sea. Mildew in the ceiling on 15 and tile missing showing pipes. Balcony table should have been thrown away and replaced with new one. Drawers in cabin stucked everyday. My cabin steward was polite but not any good st all. My waiter , asst. waiter and head waiter were excellent. The food was good. The staff on 15 were great also. Someone found my water bottle on the ship and either threw it away or kept it. Coffee on 15 and formal dining was horrible. Embarkation was long and unorganized. It took a very long time. Guess service was great. This survey is time consuming and unnecessary. I feel that nothing will be done about my conserns. If the Crown Princess had been my first time using Princess it would have been my last time. The disembarkment was great. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Selected this cruise because of the date and location. We were very interested in seeing the various stops as we had not yet been to some of them. Getting on the ship was really easy and we had our card and boarded without waiting in any ... Read More
Selected this cruise because of the date and location. We were very interested in seeing the various stops as we had not yet been to some of them. Getting on the ship was really easy and we had our card and boarded without waiting in any lines. The priority boarding arranged by the agency we used was great. Unfortunately, the stop in Florence was a disaster. We paid $110 each to Princess for a comprehensive three-hour walking tour of Florence. The group was about 50 people and one person decided he did not like the narration being provided by the extremely knowledgeable tour guide so he got vocal and rude telling the tour guide this was not what he signed up for and was going to leave the group if she did not speed up the pace. He did, in fact, leave the group and invited others to go with him. We ended up with a much smaller group, about 20 people, however, at this point, the guide thought she needed to speed things up or risk losing everyone. The three-hour tour was reduced to one hour so missed out on a lot of information we paid to receive. Not a good result. We did talk to someone on board the ship about our experience but she simply talked about what a positive experience it must have been to be able to see what we did see in Florence! No empathy at all. So, for the remainder of the trip, we booked tours ourselves off the ship with private cars and drivers. We paid much less money and had a custom tour each time seeing only what we wanted to see and taking as much time as we wanted. The dining experience was pretty average. The Horizon Lounge was what you would expect in any buffet line. The food was usually okay, however, the staff serving drinks and clearing tables were hit or miss. Usually, we had to get our own drinks unless we got lucky and were able to find a table being served by staff we had gotten friendly with. The premium dining experience was better. We ate a Sabatini's using a certificate from the agency that booked the tickets for us. It was what you would expect from a more upscale place though certainly not worth the $60 it would have cost dine there if we had to pay out of pocket. It was interesting that Princess sent us lots of emails about making reservations at the upscale pay-to-dine places on the ship as they were filling up fast. During the cruise, we did not see once any of the upscale places even close to being full. In fact, many times they appeared to be empty. The evening shows in the theater we sometimes better than expected. Most of the cast was pretty good and at least one cast member (the only Asian in the group) was being underutilized with the talent she has. The house band was relly good. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted a transatlantic cruise, and Rome was an attractive port in which to spend pre-cruise days. Genoa, Toulon, Barcelona, and especially Azores, were all interesting ports. Genoa was dropped, and replaced with Livorno about 12 days ... Read More
We wanted a transatlantic cruise, and Rome was an attractive port in which to spend pre-cruise days. Genoa, Toulon, Barcelona, and especially Azores, were all interesting ports. Genoa was dropped, and replaced with Livorno about 12 days before sailing. We couldn’t stop in Toulon due to rough seas and high winds. Barcelona and Azores were wonderful, but at least 4 of our 9 sea days were very rough. We’ve investigated the fall crossings for several years. They normally set sail by the third week in October, so I’m not sure if the later sailing contributed to the rough seas. The last theee days, we had lovely, warm weather and smooth seas. This is a good value cruise, but it is not the typical mix of Princess passengers. Entertainment was not quite up to the standards of other Princess cruises, but Magic To Do is a very well-done, professional show. The food was good, and service is overall very good, especially in the staterooms. One issue we had was that we both came down with colds. My husband’s symptoms occurred immediately upon entering our stateroom. Mine developed 4 days later. We both noticed that we felt much better when we were out of our rooms, especially when we were in fresh air. Not sure if the feather bedding contributed to the symptoms/seriousness of the colds, but the stateroom sure didn’t help. 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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