551 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews

We wanted to go to Ireland so we went a few days early to do a short tour of Ireland & then were able to see countries as we made our way to do the transatlantic crossing. The ship is old but everything worked. The cruise staff was ... Read More
We wanted to go to Ireland so we went a few days early to do a short tour of Ireland & then were able to see countries as we made our way to do the transatlantic crossing. The ship is old but everything worked. The cruise staff was great. Would have liked to hear more updates from the captain. We had to divert around hurricane so we missed 2 ports but better to be safe. Food was good. They provided a lobster & oyster buffet one day and a prawn buffet on another sea day. All you can East ice cream & pizza. Always food available. Not impressed with the shore excursions. I need more excitement than riding around in a bus. Had an issue where the excursion was on a Sunday & nothing was open. Great ports on this itinerary. This was the easiest embarkation I've experienced. The new medallion is great. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise based on itinerary. We have been on the Crown and this was our 15th cruise on Princess. We were on the 28 days version of the British Isles cruise with the transatlantic. I felt for a older ship it was in well ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on itinerary. We have been on the Crown and this was our 15th cruise on Princess. We were on the 28 days version of the British Isles cruise with the transatlantic. I felt for a older ship it was in well maintained condition. They were replacing carpet in many rooms while we were about. Saw little rust and wood railings were well varnished not oxidized. I felt the food was as good as we have had in the past. We were fixed , late seating. Lamb shanks, escargot , good fish selection, pasta etc. Portions seemed larger than I have seen on other ships. Though we rarely eat in the Horizon buffet, they had oysters on the 1/2 shell a couple of times, I have never seen this. They also had large prawns a couple of times. These can be tough but were not. They also had 1/2 cold lobster one day. Again never have seen this before. Overall I would rate the food as excellent. We frequented Vines and the International café. Both were very nice, the seating area could be larger, but I believe at least Vines was added after the ship was built. The room was fine, small but did have a lager closet if you can call it that. Service was excellent, from waiters, room steward etc. Internet speed seemed Ok. I am not a big user so not one to judge. One negative was that the transatlantic turned into 8 days when we missed the Azores due to a hurricane. I like lectures on sea days and there were not as many as I would have expected on a transatlantic. Lots of lectures on someone trying to sell a service but few others. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our group of 7 had a fantastic 2 weeks in Ireland and on the Crown Princess. From embarking to disembarking, we were always busy doing something. This cruise had 9 ports in 12 days with only 2 split days at sea. It's a cruise for ... Read More
Our group of 7 had a fantastic 2 weeks in Ireland and on the Crown Princess. From embarking to disembarking, we were always busy doing something. This cruise had 9 ports in 12 days with only 2 split days at sea. It's a cruise for active individuals. All the ports were wonderful in their own way. The lone exception was Southampton. The bus ride to London and the time able to be spent their wasnt worth it as you always felt rushed. We took advantage of all the ports that offered hop on hop off buses and just used them as city tours. We saved so much money doing this and saw the same sites, and if we wanted to get off to explore extra we could and then jump right back on the next bus....never had a problem. Food on the ship was good with lots of choices off the buffets and the main dining room was very nice. The pizza and the Salty Dog grill were also very good as always. The service on this cruise was also excellent. All the staff attendants and servers were extremely accommodating, friendly, and always warm and genuine. If there was one disappointment it was the specialty restaurants. We paid for one and had one given to us. The Crown Grill was awful and unfortunately the one we paid for. Nothing about it was good from the bread on the table to the water in the glass. No flavor in anything, presentation was extremely lacking and the service was horrible. What made it worse was that they weren't even close to being half full during a prime time dinner hour. Sabatini's was a couple notches above with the lone saving feature being the service. Our server was "right on it". She was always around without being over your shoulder. The food was good, not spectacular but light years above the Crown Grill. I wouldnt pay again for either, but I would go back to Sabatini's if offered as a perk......the Crown Grill is yours to keep. Entertainment was fine, the shows were entertaining. They were cruise ship productions but done very well. Comedy was pretty good and always packed. The entertainment in the piazza was also very good with either a group band or violinist's. We were so busy off the ship we honestly didn't spend a whole lot of time in any one venue on the ship. What we experienced was pretty good. The ship itself was fine. You can see the 13 years (2006?) of cruises building up on it and they have done some renovations in 2018. Overall it's a solid ship maybe with some touch ups or extra carpeted areas, or LED lighting needed to perk it up a bit more needed around the public areas. Everything worked, or turned on/off, or drained, opened/closed, went up or down, that was supposed to, so that's about all you can ask. Overall it was a great 2 weeks and have nothing but good things to say about the majority of our Princess manner of services. Cant wait for our next one in about 6 months on the Regal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this ship and itinerary because we wanted to go to the Normandy landing beaches. The cruise also included many ports we had not previously visited, so we were looking forward to it! The cabin was the smallest we've ever ... Read More
We chose this ship and itinerary because we wanted to go to the Normandy landing beaches. The cruise also included many ports we had not previously visited, so we were looking forward to it! The cabin was the smallest we've ever had. One chair and one tiny table, so there was no possibility of dining in the room. The bed was great and man was the shower good and hot!!! The ship was relatively easy to navigate. We enjoyed meals in the Horizon Court, Crown Grill, Salty Dog, and International Cafe. The food was fine, but was exceptional in the Crown Grill. Now let's talk about coffee. The coffee in the Horizon Court and Dining Rooms is hot brown water with a sort of nutty taste. I purchased a coffee card and was pretty happy with the specialty coffees, but had to resort to Starbuck's Instant packets and hot water in Horizon. Also the "cream" in Horizon is actually "milk." They have REAL cream in the coffee station at the International Cafe. Here's an example of the crew going above and beyond:one morning I wanted a grapefruit, but there was no grapefruit in the buffet. I asked a member of the kitchen crew and he went and found a grapefruit for me. One afternoon we wanted cookies. No cookies. I asked someone for cookies and he brought me five fresh oatmeal raisin cookies!!! The Princess excursions were hard to pick from. Many of them were either all day for about $150 or half-day for about $110. Some of the half-day tours seemed an exorbitant amount to pay just to be driven around the city. The medallions worked pretty well! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this itinerary for the destinations. They were all good. Unfortunately there were some disappointing areas that need improvement. The shore excursions were well organized and mostly interesting but quite expensive. The ... Read More
We chose this itinerary for the destinations. They were all good. Unfortunately there were some disappointing areas that need improvement. The shore excursions were well organized and mostly interesting but quite expensive. The Horizon Court dining venue was always overcrowded caused in part by guests hogging tables to read etc. also they utilize plastic dishes and glasses. Difficult to get dinner seating in the main dining rooms without sharing a table. Overall the staff were very good. We found everyone to be friendly, courteous and professional with very rare exceptions. The food we experienced was also very good with just one or two minor exceptions. There was lots of activities to engage in on board and we found most of the entertainment venues to be good. The Princess Theatre entertainment was largely disappointing but other acts around the ship caught our attention in a positive manner. The new Princess beds are very comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Choose this cruise as I wanted to to the British Isles specifically for Ireland and Scotland. First time on Princess cruised various lines prior, Norwegian RCI, celebrity, carnival. The ship is in good shape - enjoyed the various ... Read More
Choose this cruise as I wanted to to the British Isles specifically for Ireland and Scotland. First time on Princess cruised various lines prior, Norwegian RCI, celebrity, carnival. The ship is in good shape - enjoyed the various lounges around the ship. Main dinning room was average - the steak house was Good as you'd expect for an up charge restaurant. The buffet was above average in terms of selection and variety each day had theme. I was surprised that there was a large number of table staff in the buffet and that there was free beverage service - water, tea, coffee etc all brought to your table. Haven't experienced that on other lines. No line ups for omelettes they brought those to your table as well. Service was good all round the only item I noticed is that staff were selective as to whom they asked to use the hand sanitizer, I'd rather everyone be asked to do so in the buffet. The Ports were all good. we did the bus trip to Paris that was more than 5 hours on a bus for roughly 5 hours in Paris glad we did it but in hindsight would rather leave Paris to a longer land trip (pre / post) Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
After reading all of the negative Reviews about the Crown Princess, British Isles itinerary, my expectations of the ship and cruise line were not high. But, my group was pleasantly surprised and we really enjoyed our trip leaving from Le ... Read More
After reading all of the negative Reviews about the Crown Princess, British Isles itinerary, my expectations of the ship and cruise line were not high. But, my group was pleasantly surprised and we really enjoyed our trip leaving from Le Havre at the end of August. The interior room, for the price, was better than expected, the bed was very comfortable and the cabin fit our needs for three just fine. Sure it was tight but that's what you would expect for an interior room on a cruise ship. Overall, I found the food quite good, particularly in the sit-down restaurants and the Crown Grill. Sabatini's was nothing special (don't waste your money) and the buffet Horizon Court closed serving sections even at the busiest times which was inefficient when serving large numbers of people. The coffee was terrible (you have to pay for better coffee) and the internet purchase was very expensive. Both of these should be included in the price. The entertainment, overall, was quite good. The Irish comedian was very funny and the musicians (band and string ensemble) were excellent. Angela the cruise director is very personable and entertaining and the staff provides stellar service and always with a smile. I can't speak to the shore excursions as I arranged all excursions myself beforehand knowing that cruise lines overcharging for excursions. For the price, I would definitely recommend this itinerary and ship. You cover a lot of ground. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We took the British Isles cruise on Crown Princess, August, 2019. We had a really good time and enjoyed ourselves. Ship: Although not the fanciest ship around, the Crown Princess was very clean, had everything we needed and was easy to ... Read More
We took the British Isles cruise on Crown Princess, August, 2019. We had a really good time and enjoyed ourselves. Ship: Although not the fanciest ship around, the Crown Princess was very clean, had everything we needed and was easy to find our way around. Embarkation: We boarded in Dublin and were given our medallions and were on board in under two minutes. Excellent. Stateroom: We had an ocean view, which was very clean (Thank you, Belman) and comfortable. We pre-ordered bottled water which was waiting for us upon arrival. Excellent Dining: The food in the Horizon Court buffet was quite good, lots of variety and the service was great. The dining room food was hit and miss with some dishes being prepared perfectly and others not so much. We were tired of the menu by the end. The service was excellent. Shows: I really enjoyed the shows, especially the Irish Dreams show in Dublin port. Good fun and a departure from my everyday life. Service: This is the one area where Princess shines. The beautiful men and women from around the globe who took care of us are simply the best. They work long hours but somehow manage to do their jobs in the most competent way and do so with professionalism and a SMILE. TOP MARKS for the crew! Ports: this cruise had an excellent itinerary and I enjoyed the ports very much. Ireland, Scotland and the Normandy coast are stunning. LOCAL SHORE EXCURSIONS: We took three tours with small, local companies and they were all excellent, at a fraction of the cost of the Princess excursions....Irish Tours Tickets from Belfast, EXCELLENT, Timberbush Tours from Greenock, VERY GOOD and Wow Scotland Tours from Invergordon, SUPER EXCELLENT! Princess shore excursions were REALLY OVERPRICED and everyone was complaining about this. That having been said, I really enjoyed the excursion to the Canadian WW2 beaches and also the Edinburgh Castle and time on our own. However, the excursion called 'Best of Cork and Countryside' from Cobb was pretty bad and a terrible waste of money. What happened was that we had to shorten our time in port due to tidal concerns for Dublin the next day. No problem, this happens. The problem is that instead of changing the itinerary, they kept it the same with less time in certain spots. This resulted in 6 minutes at Charles Fort for a photo and 23 minutes in KInsale where the driver had to park a 12-minute walk from the main street which meant that we did not have time to even walk up to the main street to look around and then walk back to the meeting spot. All we had time to do was wait in a long queue for the loo. They should have just skipped this altogether and given us some time in Cork City. It just doesn't make any sense. Next our drive through Cork was basically three turns around a motorway with the guide pointing to a street saying that's where the shopping area is. Useless.... Next we were taken to lunch in a hotel in what looked like an industrial area and were taken in to a big, white, conference-like room which could have been any Best Western Hotel in any American city. No ambiance at all. They did have two guys playing some music and they brought in two kids who danced for us, which was nice but you didn't feel like you were in Ireland at all. The meal was so-so. On top of everything else, we had paid extra to be part of a small group only to have two Princess coaches with 45 people each join us at every stop, no effort was made to stagger the groups. Finally, we were taken to Blarney Castle and this saved the day. The castle and grounds are gorgeous. Princess offered us a 15% reduction on this tour because it was shortened but even with that, we paid $600 CAD for the two of us for this excursion. But most of all, it robbed us of the opportunity to properly see some of what this area has to offer. Princess needs to take a good look at their shore excursion program and fix wait ails. We DID have a great trip and for this I am grateful. I will not let one bad excursion colour my experience. Hey Princess, fix your shore excursion program and all will be well! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary. The ports were fantastic! We did not use any princess excursions. I found independent tour companies on line. I highly recommend Butler's in Ireland, Uniquely Scotland (ask for ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the itinerary. The ports were fantastic! We did not use any princess excursions. I found independent tour companies on line. I highly recommend Butler's in Ireland, Uniquely Scotland (ask for Mark) and Spearhead tours at Le Havre (Florin is incredibly knowledgeable about D Day) . The time on the ship was disappointing. Crown Princess looked old and shabby. There was no drink served when we got on the ship. No towel animals on the bed at night. The activities on board were repetitive and not exciting. Even the entertainment was so-so. Nothing was terrible, but nothing stellar either. Food in the main dining room was hit or miss. Some meals were wonderful others not good at all. The buffet was awful. We worked hard to not eat there since it was so bad. We had one dinner at the Crown Grill which again was just OK. The one excellent thing on the ship was the staff. Our cabin steward Norman was awesome! Our waiter, JP, was excellent when we ate at our assigned time. The nights we had to go to anytime dining the staff was not great. It tended to be slow. In conclusion, our cruise was not bad. However I have been on better cruises on other lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first time oversees and we wanted to visit Ireland, Scotland and France. We flew into Heathrow, Airport and after getting through customs we found the Princess cruise personnel. Then we took a princess connection (bus ride) ... Read More
This was our first time oversees and we wanted to visit Ireland, Scotland and France. We flew into Heathrow, Airport and after getting through customs we found the Princess cruise personnel. Then we took a princess connection (bus ride) to Southampton. From there we checked in and received our medallions. The Crown could use some refurnishing, however the ships crew was top notch. Especially in the main dining and night clubs. Food was good in the main dining always something different was added each night. The buffet was average (but always available). The princess excursions were really good especially the Cork Sea Safari at Cork, Ireland. We also enjoyed the carriage ride at Stark, Island. Our favorite castle was Glamis in Scotland. We also took the excursion to the Louvre Museum in France well worth it. The medallions worked great! There was four of us the youngest 19. We had a balcony room. We would definitely cruise again with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My daughter and I cruised in late July 2019 on Crown Princess in the British Isles and had a wonderful time. We have never cruised with Princess, and we were a bit worried about what to expect after having read several negative reviews ... Read More
My daughter and I cruised in late July 2019 on Crown Princess in the British Isles and had a wonderful time. We have never cruised with Princess, and we were a bit worried about what to expect after having read several negative reviews about this ship. I am happy to say that we had a lovely experience! There were only a couple of negatives. First, when we arrived at the port in South Hampton, we had difficulty finding where we should drop our bags prior to checking in. Simple signage would have been very helpful. Food was good, but not excellent, but we don't expect 5 Star dining on a cruise. I feel like there was adequate variety in the main dining room, and we always found something on the menu to our liking. The excursions we booked through Princess were good, but some guides were better than others in offering information. In Liverpool, our guide was exceptional and made our Beatles excursion particularly enjoyable and informative. The ship was in excellent shape, contrary to what we read in reviews posted on Cruise Critic. I saw no evidence of worn carpeting, rust, or improperly working toilets. Our mini suite on the Dolphin Deck was spacious, had great storage, and above all clean! The only thing we found a little frustrating was a lack of outlets for our electronics and hair tools. The crew, especially our steward, Freddie, were helpful, eager to please, and always pleasant. If you are considering sailing on the Crown Princess, I think you will be pleased with this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive ... Read More
We are Elite Members with Princess and this was our 2nd cruise around the BI. Our previous cruise of the BI was 5 years ago. We have also sailed multiple times with Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. Let me give you a comprehensive review of our experience. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Both went smoothly. We purchased EZ Air, took a transfer from Heathrow to Southampton and were in our cabin by 11:30 am. However, unless you're at sea for a couple of days and you can rest up, I'd recommend staying overnight in London for a night or two; otherwise you miss the first day or so while catching up on sleep, because the sea/ocean air will make you relax anyway. Cabins: We upgraded this cruise and have stayed mostly in balcony and mini-suite cabins. They appear to be larger than other cruise line cabins. I agree with some comments they could do with a face lift, but beds are comfy and otherwise ok.If you are not used to Princess cabins, they have US outlets and it's a good idea to bring an outlet strip. Dining: My favorite place for breakfast is Horizon Court because of variety and quality. My husband likes Int'l Cafe because that's where they have the best coffee. Lunch is good in HC, too. Dinner we had in MDR. Agree, some of the choices are not the best - and too much beef, but we always found something on the menu we liked. I tried the Regional choices many days. Chocolate Journey desserts were yummy. Didn't try the specialty restaurants this time. Room service was good and quick, but menu needs an update. Activities & Entertainment: Kevin Tugwell was CD. He's ok, as are his staff, but the multiple (sometimes back-to-back) evening trivia and game shows became soooooo annoying and frustrating because that was often the only so-called entertainment that evening. The worst was when they attempted some amateur dramatics - we walked out. The cruise staff shouldn't be your entertainment in the Explorers Lounge. We did enjoy Voice of the Ocean/Karaoke - great talent on this cruise. Princess Orchestra is fantastic. Guest entertainers we liked were Michael Harrison (ventriloquist) - had the audience in stitches; George Casey and Ricky Jay (comedians); Jasson Allen (singer) and Johan Andersoon (singer). Ella also did a great job of Irish singing one evening in Princess Theater. Princess Singers and Dancers were ok. Liked the first two shows, had seen Encore before and walked out of Magic To Do - so boring. The local Folklore Dancers and Singers were mediocre - have seen and heard much better. XCite was a new band that boarded our ship and played most evenings in the Piazza - really enjoyed them. Because of cooler weather, didn't see any MUTS movies, nor were there any deck parties. Couple of piazza/balloon efforts. They had a few Zumba classes (free), but at odd times of the day. Service & Staff: We found the staff to be mostly friendly and helpful. They had a few issues with TVs on this cruise, partly because of the introduction of the Medallion. Both were competing for the internet, but they had an expert board the ship in Dublin and the issues seemed to improve after that. Medallion Class: This was new to the ship and there were a few hiccups, but generally it was quite well accepted. We've used it on other ships and it's fine when it's operating smoothly. Other Passengers: Typically, majority of passengers were from the US, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, and the UK/Ireland. We also had a tour of passengers from Mexico City. However, all communications are in English, so you really need to have someone fluent in English in your party; otherwise you'll miss a lot. Not sure how many people really read the daily Princess Patter, as the Captain got quite annoyed with the bad behavior of a few passengers. Ports & Tours: The selection of ports was great. At 2-3 ports, reps from the local Tourist Office were available in the Piazza to answer questions and provide maps/directions. I did a couple of self-directed tours on this trip. For example, in Cobh (pronounced Cove), I visited St. Colman's Cathedral. It was on a steep hill, but well worth the visit. Absolutely gorgeous and a couple of our passengers had written in the Visitors Book that they had emigrated to the US from Cobh over 60 years ago. In Liverpool, it was pouring down, but I dressed warmly and visited the two cathedrals there. While at the Catholic cathedral, I witnessed a christening. Most people had the sense to take the Hop On Hop Off buses, but I walked all the way. The Easy Loch Tour was a bit disappointing. It was a bus ride around the lakes and mountains. We did stop at Luss by Loch Lomond and saw a bride. In general, I think it's time to change up some of the tours offered and they are expensive, but guarantee you won't miss the ship - that is, unless you miss the deadline to get back to your bus. That happened on two of my tours. We had to leave without one couple and on the other one we waited longer than we should and the tour guide was really annoyed with them. More people are going for independent tours, but I noticed a lot of people were very late embarking the ship at Invergordon and they were on independent, not ship's tours. The Captain also made it clear in Edinburgh that we wouldn't wait for any late comers. Weather/What to Wear: Even for end of July/early August, the weather was a little cool. It was best to wear 3 layers - Tshirt, thin sweater or sweatshirt and a jacket - during the day. Evenings, they request passengers wear "smart casual" clothes and 2-3 evenings we had formal wear. Unfortunately, some people don't/won't understand the meaning of smart. We enjoyed this cruise overall, but maybe we have an advantage because we have sailed so many times with Princess, we know what to expect and how to get around any issues that arise. We did complete the survey after the end of the cruise and we know the corporate staff at Princess read Cruise Critics. I try to be honest, but fair. We've booked our next cruise on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked this cruise to see the British Isles. I travelled with my parents (72 and 73 respectively). Have been to some of the cities before but wanted to see more of Scotland. Stayed at the Leonardo Tower Bridge Hotel (Princess hotel ... Read More
Booked this cruise to see the British Isles. I travelled with my parents (72 and 73 respectively). Have been to some of the cities before but wanted to see more of Scotland. Stayed at the Leonardo Tower Bridge Hotel (Princess hotel near the Tower of London) for 2 days prior to sailing. Great hotel with buffet breakfast included but on the outskirts of London. Took the hop on hop off bus which was great. Got to see everything without leaving the bus. Have been to London a few times before so the bus was perfect for us without having to do all the walking. After a three hour ride to Southampton, embarkation was very quick, easy and efficient, as was disembarkation. Got onboard around 2:30 and cabin was ready with luggage already there. Cabin was nice. Always clean and everything replenished. Cabin steward Marlon was very attentive to our needs. Bed was absolutely terrific. Best sleep I have had in years. Not much of a balcony person so I can't really comment on it but it was clean the few times I was on it. We had Anytime Dining and went to both dining rooms. We made a reservation each night to avoid the line-ups. The food was excellent with different selections each night. Portions just right. Never went away hungry. Also had one meal in the Crown Grill. Again, food was excellent. I highly recommend the lobster. Had breakfast in the Horizon Court every morning. There were times that we had trouble finding a table but that depended on what time you went to eat. Food was good. Mostly the same thing every morning but that didn't bother us. My only complainant would be that now and then it was a bit on the cool side. My parents had room service twice for breakfast and both times it showed up before they were expecting it. We went to all four shows in the Princess theater and they were fantastic. The house band played in the Piazza every night and they were great. Did not go to any of the singers in the lounges or the piano player in Crooners. A highland dance troupe played one night but I did not go. I heard they were excellent. Never went to any trivia, art auctions, talks or bingo. The service was good for the main part. Service in the dining room was excellent. Very attentive to your needs. Service in the Horizon Court was also good. We did all Princess shore excursions. Well worth the money. Had excellent tours with excellent tour guides and bus drivers. Saw everything we wanted to see and do. Little Chapel in Guernsey, two hours in the Blarney Woolen Mills stores (shopping heaven), Dublin, all Beatles things in Liverpool, the sad history in Belfast, Kelvingrove Gallery in Glasgow, Urquhart and Nessie in invergordon, Royal Mile and Princess Street in Edinburgh and Juno Beach in Normandy. The weather was fine for me (low 20's Celsius). The only day with rain was in Liverpool. The Crown is an older ship but still looked great. Overall, I had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Left from Le Havre France. Did not get a very good send-off from the crew as only 300 passengers got on here (vs. Southampton - 2300 & Dublin - 300). Kinda surprising - would have expected more attention, but embarkation seemed like an ... Read More
Left from Le Havre France. Did not get a very good send-off from the crew as only 300 passengers got on here (vs. Southampton - 2300 & Dublin - 300). Kinda surprising - would have expected more attention, but embarkation seemed like an afterthought. Loved the ship, the dining, the service & the shore excursions. Great variety of food. We ate mostly at the buffet but did have a couple of dinners in the specialty restaurants. Also ate a couple of meals in the main dining room. All the food was consistently very good. Entertainment wasn't of a very high caliber in my book - didn't really enjoy any acts. My wife and I actually walked out on the first comedian show - he was terrible. Stale old jokes & then he made fun of little people. That was too much for me though others I spoke with liked him. No accounting for taste! The cabin was fine except that my mattress had a HUGE dip in it. Steward turned it over, but still uncomfortable. Very nice cruise for my wife & I. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney ... Read More
This was the first Princess cruise we'd sailed that offered the new Medallion class experience; had seen on other reviews that people loved it so were looking forward to it. Essentially, the medallion is a version of the Disney MagicBand and has all of the same functions like opening your cabin door, registering your entrances/exits from the ship, charging expenses, etc.; it also includes operations like being able to order drinks and have them delivered to wherever you are onboard ship, tracking other people in your party onboard ship, playing various games, etc. We were told that eventually it will replace all paper on the ship including the daily Princess Patter newsletter, which lists all shipboard activities. All this sound may sound nice enough, but what we also discovered is that some of the personal information encoded into the medallion doesn't really stay personal; in fact, every waiter and even entertainer with whom we interacted had ready access to our names, cabin numbers, and even birth dates (which, incidentally, is all that's required to access your Medallion Internet account). What a surprise it was to have ship staff we did not even know call us by our names and then show us how our photos and other personal info showed up on their devices when we were within a certain distance of them. Don't know exactly how much information they have access to, but as one waiter put it, "We know everything about you!" Other than this issue of personal data exposure, the cruise went well although the food offerings and quality seemed to have diminished in quality—it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t up to what we had come to expect from prior Princess cruises. We were disappointed especially in the food court as it was so tiny for such a large ship! And on some mornings, it was so very crowded that getting to food was difficult and time-consuming---it really needs to be larger. Dinner offerings in the main restaurants were usually okay, though I can't say any were fantastic (though I did love that chocolate ice cream!); on the other hand, all the wait staff were always very competent, efficient, professional, and friendly and the kitchen really does take food allergies seriously: Thanks to all the wonderful kitchen and waitstaff! Entertainment was so-so: the duo in the Wheelhouse Bar (Jezzebel) were quite good though I'd suggest that broadening their dance music to include a few traditional types of ballroom dance might be beneficial to their audiences; e.g., a typical old-time waltz, a foxtrot or two, a rumba, cha cha, etc. The party band (The Drop), however... music was actually fine but their volume was painful, and we could never remain in their venues without ear pain so never did get to dance to them. As far as itinerary, there are quite a few ports included (and we could have used more at-sea days to relax!), but each port was of value. We tend to like to visit cities using the "on your own" option and we did this in Cork (Blarney), Dublin, Glasgow, Paris, and also London, sometimes using the cities' hop-on, hop-off bus system to visit museums and other sights. And in each city, I'd recommend the "Big Bus" hop-on, hop-off system over the other companies as Big Bus always seemed to have the most buses and the best schedules; routes were pretty much equivalent.. Prior to the cruise, we arrived in England a day early and stayed at the Heathrow Renaissance Hotel; after the cruise we remained in London another few days and stayed at The Windermere Hotel, near Victoria Station and not far from Buckingham Palace. Both of those places are highly recommended, although they are quite different in that the Renaissance is a huge chain hotel and the Windermere is very small boutique hotel, but both provided excellent service, very friendly and helpful staff, clean rooms, a safe environment, and good food. The Windermere's Pimlico Brasserie was excellent: the chef is a master at cooking dishes to perfection and then serving them in very attractive ways---he's as good at food presentation as preparation. Both were wonderful places to stay. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable and I would recommend it for its diversity of ports and what they all have to offer; I just have great reservations about how our personal information is being used. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our family of three mostly enjoyed our British Isles cruise out of Southampton. We had cruised with Princess 5 years ago on a land/sea adventure to Alaska which was outstanding so we chose Princess again based mostly on this itinerary. ... Read More
Our family of three mostly enjoyed our British Isles cruise out of Southampton. We had cruised with Princess 5 years ago on a land/sea adventure to Alaska which was outstanding so we chose Princess again based mostly on this itinerary. We flew from the US to London 3 days early so we could get over our jet lag and see some of the sights of London prior to the cruise. Our balcony cabin was fine. Our steward made up the bunk for our 12-year-old daughter every evening which worked great for her. The beds were amazingly comfortable! We loved having a balcony to see the passing scenery and the ports. I can't imagine not having a balcony cabin for this itinerary as there is so much beautiful scenery throughout the cruise. Our cabin was maintained very well by our steward. The TV froze a few times but once we figured out that unplugging and plugging it back in resolved the issue, it was fine. We learned on our last cruise that scheduling our own excursions is much less expensive and a much better experience than purchasing excursions through Princess. I scheduled private or small group tours at every port and saved a fortune over what Princess charged. Most of the tour companies guarantee on-time return to the ship and we have never had any issues with timing. Two members of our extended family did purchase an excursion through Princess in Dublin to Powerscourt and said the entire experience paled in comparison to our private tours throughout the rest of the cruise. We thought the food on the cruise was good. We ate breakfast at the Horizon buffet every day and the taste, variety and quality were all very good. We ate most of our lunches off the ship as most days we were at port. For dinner we ate at Michelangelo and loved our table the first night so we continued to request the same table. Our servers, Pong and Sunshine, were outstanding and we enjoyed the more relaxed pace of the dining room after a full day of touring. We also enjoyed the gelato at the international café and coffee every morning at Coffee and Cones. We thought the entertainment was very poor. Our last cruise was on Holland America and we thought the entertainment on that cruise was extremely good. During this cruise we found it difficult to find something interesting to see or do most evenings. We did enjoy the karaoke and Voice of the Ocean competition but most of the other entertainment at the theater was not very enjoyable. We did seek out Jezebel which was an Irish duo and enjoyed their music. One great experience was the finals of Wimbledon being shown on the Movies under the Stars screen. The servers were passing out popcorn and it was a very lively crowd since we had just left Southampton/London 2 days before. Some of the other reviews mention the ship as showing its age but we didn't notice that. The common areas and our cabin all appeared to be in good condition. Our 12-year-old daughter attended the kids' club at the start of the cruise but once she made a group of friends, they tended to hang out by the pool or go eat together rather than go to the club. She did enjoy the kids club the times she attended and it appeared to be very well run. I see that some people are complaining about the tracking aspect of the medallions but it made it very easy to find our daughter on the ship and we were thankful for that ability. Embarkation and disembarkation were both fine. We chose to disembark on our own which comes with the bonus that we could keep our luggage in our room the last night. We scheduled our own transport to and from the ship which was half the cost of the Princess transfer. All in all we did enjoy the cruise but I'm not sure I would choose Princess again after an all-around better experience on Holland-America. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Ship: Crown Princess is showing its age but was well maintained. Laundry facilities are located on most floors but are heavily used. Must use tokens available in the laundry rooms but the machines were out of tokens quite often so I ... Read More
Ship: Crown Princess is showing its age but was well maintained. Laundry facilities are located on most floors but are heavily used. Must use tokens available in the laundry rooms but the machines were out of tokens quite often so I recommend you get tokens ahead of time. 3 dollars per wash or dry but some machines were broken. $1.50 for detergent and softener. Itinerary: London (Southhampton); Guernsey (St. Peter Port) ; Cork (Cobh); Dublin; Belfast ; Glaskow (Greenock); Orkney Islands (Kirkwall); Inverness (Invergordon); Edinburgh (South Queensferry); Paris/Normandy (La Havre). If you take ships tour to Normandy sit on left side of bus for best view. Be prepared for change as arrival and departure times will change and in some cases the ship will not enter the port if tides, currents, and winds do not allow. Stayed over two day in London and got last minute tickets to lion king play which was terrific. Visited British Museum which was free and saw Rosetta Stone and Cleopatra’s Sarcophagus. Currency: Five different currencies; British Pound, Guernsey Pound, Orkney Pound, Euro, North Ireland Pound which are not easily or interchangeable at all. Didn’t need a lot of local currency but it was convenient at times. Credit cards can be used everywhere but make sure you ask before you sit for a meal or drink because some don’t. Use cards that don’t have foreign transaction fee. When asked whether to charge in dollars or pounds choose dollars because the store will charge a transaction fee if you chose dollars. Test debit cards in U.S. to make sure they work and advise all credit card companies that you will be traveling to Europe. Food and Beverage: Plentiful but average. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages must be purchased unless you get beverage package. Own time seating allows you to show up at any time. Can request couples only table or may opt to join others at larger tables. Able to talk with others adjacent to you even if seated at couples table. Ship had special wine – Mondavi 3 75 milliliter bottle for $5 – enough for two glasses each. Can purchase soft drinks on shore and bring back to ship. Some even purchased wine and got it onboard. Excursions: Ships excursions are very expensive but you will get lunch and pre-paid admission to sites. Met with one couple who arranged private tours at all ports and used Trip Advisor to find others to join them. Price was $85 per person per day (8 people per van) – much cheaper than ship. Private tour guide followed them to Glasgow, Inverness, and Edinburgh. Could tailor excursions to specific sites they wanted to see. Start as early as you can on your own time tours to avoid queues and lines at sites. London Heathrow Airport: Convoluted terminals with long walkways. Will take 15-20 minutes to walk to or from gates plus customs and security checks. Use oyster card for subways and buses in London. Can purchase on line or in airport and get remaining balance reimbursed before you return. Port Information: Every port had information booth on shore or set up on ship. Sometimes the walk from the port to the train was 30 minutes. May have long wait for transportation from port if you wait on the ship for your number to be called for the shuttle to the shore, wait for the tender to be fully loaded before leaving, get on the bus and wait for it to be fully loaded, and then drive for 30 -45 minutes into the town. Hotel Information: London Heathrow Hilton Terminal 5 not close to terminal. An old but very nice hotel but no shops close if you need or want to purchase anything. Heathrow Hilton Express Terminal 2 was terrific and had only been open one week when we stayed there. Can push trolley from terminal 2 through car park into hotel without going outside or using shuttles. Free trolleys are everywhere for luggage. Miscellaneous: Many people on the ship boarded at one of three ports. That allowed them to stay longer in cities they were interested in and to seek cheaper airfares. Needed at least two days in Belfast and Edinburgh and less in other ports. Edinburgh and Glasgow are about 50 miles apart so you could arrange tours if you get on board the ship at other ports. Cobblestone streets are brutal to walk on. Take hair dryer that automatically adjusts to 110V or 220V current. Ship uses 110V outlets so you only need adapters on shore. Having two adapters is helpful if you are using the hair dryer and charging your phone at the same time. Don’t need a transformer if you have dual voltage hair dryer. Most late model cell phones can automatically adjust to 110v or 220V so you only need adapter. Global Entry approval greatly speeded passage through customs on return to U.S. Travel guides for Scotland and Ireland were helpful for general information but they are not written for cruises so have little to no port information. Layered clothing is essential. May be hot one minute, raining and cold the next. Water bottle large enough for ice was very helpful. Ice is difficult to find off the ship. To prevent noro virus outbreak, ship recommends you wash hands after meals. Hand sanitizer not effective against noro virus. Believe that is closing the barn door after the horse has left. We gathered our food with the tongs provided in the buffet and then went to the washroom to wash out hands before we sat to eat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Been on over 25 cruises, various lines from Carnival in early days to crystal. Princess is not Crystal or Cunard of course. For a large ship, it was a good cruise. First the crew and service staff did their jobs well and were very friendly ... Read More
Been on over 25 cruises, various lines from Carnival in early days to crystal. Princess is not Crystal or Cunard of course. For a large ship, it was a good cruise. First the crew and service staff did their jobs well and were very friendly and organized and good at what they do. The food was excellent, including on the Lido deck. The ship was clean and well kept and had the feeling it was "new". At ports the ship was efficient at getting the passengers off and back on board. I have no complaints at all. If you tour in Edinburgh, remember that there is a long walk UPHILL to the top of the castle, and it is tiring. And a long walk back down. I have travled to over 125 nations in my business years and as a tourist as well. This included trips to Scotland, England, and Ireland. I did not find the cities on the cruise of great interest, but one did get a good feel of what Ireland was like and ENgland, and scotland. There is a reason that the british isles are characterized as a nation of pubs and shopkeepers, and it was ok and a good time could be had. I would recommend this cruise. For a summer cruise that took a risk of being in the north atlantic area, the seas were quiet and not much rolling of the ship at all. I didnot see any ill passengers at all, which i have seen in other oceans and cruises. This cruise is cold, wet, and windy. Recommend wool socks heavy, rain hat, and waterproof coat with hood. Layer up. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose the British Isles cruise through Princess due to the ports. It is a very port intensive cruise but you see a lot and each port has a lot to offer. Embarkation and disembarkation out of Southampton was so easy. We took a private ... Read More
We chose the British Isles cruise through Princess due to the ports. It is a very port intensive cruise but you see a lot and each port has a lot to offer. Embarkation and disembarkation out of Southampton was so easy. We took a private taxi to the Southampton for embarkation and drop off could not have been easier. For disembarkation, we used Princess to get us to the airport. Though we had to be up early, they got us to London Heathrow in an hour and a half. Activities and Cruise director staff was wonderful. We had two sea days and there was lots of activities to keep people busy or movies in the stateroom to watch. Food in the dining room left a lot to be desired but if you do go for breakfast get the french toast, super yummy. The buffet had lots of options and the food was pretty good in the buffet. We did some shore excursions through the cruise but the majority with third party companies. Overall, the cruise was very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I wanted to cruise the British Isles. We embarked in Le Havre which I did not feel was a comfortable port to embark or disembark. It is 3:30 hours from Paris. It is a long trek back and forth. I found that the staff on the Crown Princess ... Read More
I wanted to cruise the British Isles. We embarked in Le Havre which I did not feel was a comfortable port to embark or disembark. It is 3:30 hours from Paris. It is a long trek back and forth. I found that the staff on the Crown Princess was fantastic. The ship does not look like it has been refurbished. The entertainment is boring and geared to an older crowd. There is no sail off entertainment or parties. I found the that when I was on the ship I was simply bored. The food in the dining room was fantastic and the service was amazing. We had anytime dining through out the 12 days and we were always seated almost immediately when we arrived. The homemade ice creams for dessert were simply unforgettable. I was disappointed at the fact that there was only one side of the buffet set up for breakfast. I got tired of walking around with my food in my hands to find a table to sit I didn't understand why only one side if they have at least 3 that I could see. Our stateroom was dark. Very poor lighting but the beds were very comfortable and I was able to slee very well. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Attracted by the itinerary, we have chosen this cruise. Initially, we were unware that Liverpool was not there and replaced by 2 days at Dublin. It ended up this gave us a chance to visit the famous Cliff of Moher. We arrived London ... Read More
Attracted by the itinerary, we have chosen this cruise. Initially, we were unware that Liverpool was not there and replaced by 2 days at Dublin. It ended up this gave us a chance to visit the famous Cliff of Moher. We arrived London few days earlier to give us a chance to explore this famous city before jumping into our cruise ship. Embarkment was simple, easy and quick as we arrived the pier around 1pm. In the beginning, we were a bit concerned about some of the negative comments on Crown Princess but they were gone after on board. We don't see any major signs of rusting or worn out within the ship. Cabin was nice and clean as usual. Service was good especially in Michelangelo dining room. We met Marius, the Head Waiter, who always gave us warm welcome as well as Pong who served us dinner with professional standard. In view of the high food cost these days, we were satisfied with most of the food quality. We even have lobster tails one night. The Horizon buffet restaurant was another surprise to us as services were excellent as the waiter kept on asking us if we need drinks or refill and managed to clean up the table as fast as they can. We even have fresh oysters for at least 2 times (not even offered in the dining room). Negative points, they have. Soups were a bit salty (even though oldies might have poor taste buds - bad for health). Beef products were a bit tough not because of the wrong cooking skill but due to meat quality. We found better one last time at Ruby 6 months ago. Though bread and buns were good, the cake quality needed to be improved. Stateroom service was good. We have nice and clean toilet and comfortable bed to sleep all nights. Entertainment was a bit insufficient as they have too many comedian shows (maybe due to cost cutting). We didn't join their shore excursions (except for shuttle bus services from ports to city) as they were too expensive. We used outsiders that cost almost 40% cheaper. Princess has introduced the medallion device that helped a lot to open the door of our stateroom and shopping (for identification). Overall, it is a good value for money vacation. Princess is Princess and you can't compare the standard in the past to the present as the purchase value of $$ are no longer the same. Have purchased future cruise credit in the ship and will definitely looking for another amazing journey in the near future with Princess. The only really negative comment is that disembarkation was a bit messy. They should separate the line of passengers of port visit only from the passengers who have finished their cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Overall this was a very nice cruise. Ship and cabin were lovely, dining room food and company were very good. We had weather and mechanical issues that caused several cancellations of tours. They were missed on our part, especially the ... Read More
Overall this was a very nice cruise. Ship and cabin were lovely, dining room food and company were very good. We had weather and mechanical issues that caused several cancellations of tours. They were missed on our part, especially the Lake District, but overall it didn't diminish our enjoyment of the trip too much. Weather was cool and mostly cloudy, but rain held off for the most part when we were out and about. The food court was, as expected, noisy, very crowded, with mediocre food. I never understand how people can sit in there all day. The pizza was pretty good, and the tacos, burgers, and hot dogs at Salty Dog Grill were very good. Ice cream is always a treat. We did anytime dining, with shared tables, and had a delightful dinner every night. Food was very good, company and service excellent. We also went to tea most days which was delightful. Entertainment was mediocre, and it seemed there were fewer big shows than we've had in the past. We were hoping for some big sporting events on the big screen outside (women's world cup and the Stanley Cup was on), but no dice. Couldn't find any films that interested us - some we watched on our TV, but nothing in the big venues. Ship configuration was a bit strange, had trouble on a couple of decks finding our way to certain venues - lots of dead ends. Shore excursions were all very good, at least those that didn't get cancelled. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
May 9 - Travel day. We flew Delta One overnight from Atlanta to Heathrow. We landed around 7 am and had the fast pass for immigration so we were out of immigration within 15 minutes. We took the Heathrow Express to Paddington (£25 for 2 ... Read More
May 9 - Travel day. We flew Delta One overnight from Atlanta to Heathrow. We landed around 7 am and had the fast pass for immigration so we were out of immigration within 15 minutes. We took the Heathrow Express to Paddington (£25 for 2 people since we arrived on a weekday and bought the tickets 90 days in advance), then a taxi (£8) to the Doubletree Hilton Hyde Park across from Kensington Palace. My sister arrived on Saturday morning so she only paid £11 for two people on the Heathrow Express 90 days in advance. The Doubletree Hilton Hyde Park hotel was located in a nice, walkable neighborhood with plenty of restaurants, groceries, and shopping nearby and easy access to the tube and most important to us, the hop on hop off bus picks up right outside the hotel. If we go back to London, I would definitely stay there again. May 10 - London - I was excited to see London and we met up with friends who had arrived earlier in the week and did the hop on hop off bus. We were told the total HOHO loop was 90 minutes but we were surprised at how slow traffic affected the tour and ended up not seeing as much as we planned. Have a plan for what to see in London but be ready to adjust on the fly if you are affected by weather, traffic, tube issues or protesters. May 11 - London - Day 2, we took an Uber from the hotel straight to the Tower of London around 9:30 am because the tube line near us was closed for the weekend due to maintenance and we had read to get there as early as possible. We took the Beefeater tour and it was entertaining and informative. We had lunch at the café at the Tower of London and it was delicious. The Tower of London was much more crowded when we left around 1 pm. We jumped on the hop on hop off at the Tower and once again had difficulty with traffic and seeing the sights. I wondered what the HOHO bus would be like in high season (summer). Less than 1/2 way thru the loop we were told we could not get any closer to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abby and surrounding sites because police had closed many streets due to protesters. We were disappointed but got as close as possible then walked the remainder of the way to Buckingham Palace. You could only see from the gate since you cannot tour until later in the summer. . If I go back to London, I will try the HOHO bus mid-week and see if that helps. It may be like any major city, crazy all the time. We got some decent pictures of Buckingham Palace but it started raining pretty hard so we grabbed a cab and headed to Kensington Palace which was unaffected by protesters. We toured Kensington Palace and walked around Kensington Gardens then joined our friends for dinner at the Goat pub at Kensington High Street. Food and drink were both great. May 12 - London to Southampton - Windsor Day Tours. We knew we had to get to Southampton from London and wanted to see the English countryside along the way and had read the great reviews for Windsor Day Tours. Jill was able to pick us up at our hotel in London because it was Sunday. Her tours can also originate from Heathrow. We had a photo stop at Eton College, then on to Windsor castle and the town of Windsor. Windsor Castle as wonderful; there was a slight wait for security. Buy your tickets in advance. We then had a lovely lunch at the White Lion in a tiny village called Wherwell. We saw thatched roof cottages and lovely scenery. After lunch we visited Winchester Cathedral and the town of Winchester where we grabbed our 2 bottles of carry on wine and then Jill took us on to the Room2 suites in Southampton. The cost of the tour was just a little more than the princess transfer but we wanted to see the English countryside and Windsor Castle and Jill worked with us to customize our tour. She was a great tour guide and very knowledgeable. We highly recommend Windsor Day Tours. Southampton - Room2 Suites is a new hotel that was clean, walking distance to Oxford Street restaurants and 3 minutes by car from Ocean Cruise terminal. We paid Uber £7 pounds instead of walking because we had 3 suitcases and the road across to the terminal was multi lane. May 13 – Crown Princess Embarkation - Our suggested arrival time was 1:30 for Dolphin Deck and as we weren’t sure of lines we arrived a few minutes after 1 pm. Very short wait for check in and we were in our cabin by 1:50. Our bags were already at our door – off to a great start. My sister was on Deck 10 and got her bags by 4 pm. Princess had very organized embarkation at that time of day. May 14 - Guernsey - Our plan for Guernsey was to take it easy and just wander around since we knew we had future days with all day plans. If you want to see things in Guernsey do your research and get a good map, Signage is available but not very intuitive. There is more than one museum and signage just pointed to museum without specifying. We arrived via tender around 9 am to find that most of the places to visit opened around 10 am, even the tourist center, (perhaps they open earlier In June and July later in the season?) but we could have left the ship later. We were worried about tender lines so we got up early. We wandered a bit then headed back early around 1 pm which worked in our favor. Tendering later in the afternoon was a nightmare with a 90 minute wait and was hampered by high winds. May 15 - Cork/Cobh – We had a great day with Craig @ Munster Bus Tours and we saw Cork, Kinsale & the Jameson Distillery. We had 6 people and were able to see so many things that we would never have seen on a big tour. Craig drove us around the city of Cork, we visited a local sweet shop/candy company where they were hand making candy, got great pictures at the beautiful St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral and then headed to Kinsale. Before we enjoyed a lovely lunch in coastal Kinsale, Craig took us to a small memorial garden honoring the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. The memorial garden was an unexpected, touching spot that we never would have seen on a large tour. Craig had secured a lunch reservation for us in Kinsale. After Kinsale we toured Charles Fort. Craig was engaging and entertaining and gave us great personal insight into the area. His pride in his home country was evident and the scenery was spectacular, exactly what we imagined Ireland to be. One note about the Jameson Distillery – it was an interesting tour but we thought we would see a working distillery and instead toured their old factory and did not actually see any actual whiskey production. We did enjoy the tasting! May 16 - Dublin – A free shuttle was provided into Dublin since we docked at a different place than originally planned – this created a bit of a headache for those just going into Dublin. My sister booked a private tour that left Dublin at 11 am and she needed to meet the tour in Dublin. She was waiting for the ticket for the Dublin shuttle at 9:30 am but it took forever and she finally arrived at the meeting spot in Dublin 15 minutes late so she lost her money on the excursion. If you plan a private tour in Dublin and have to get into Dublin, I would allow at least 2 hours to get off the ship and shuttle to your meeting place. Dublin patter is attached and explains Dublin shuttle and private arrangements. We didn’t properly read the description for the Princess excursion for Powerscourt Estate and didn’t realize it was just gardens only. I thought you toured the house as well, but the house was damaged by fire years ago and was only restored as a gift shop with a small room showing a film about the history of the estate. If gardens are your thing, this is a great place to visit. There was beautiful landscaping, acres of flowers, and a Japanese garden but I was a little disappointed. We were dropped off back in Dublin and wandered around Trinity College and had a lovely pub lunch. May 17 - Belfast – This day was at the top of my bucket list and it was a wonderful day. We booked a private Antrim Coast and Giants Causeway Tour with Alister at City and Causeway tours and it didn’t disappoint. The Torr road was a fun, curvy drive and the scenery was spectacular. Northern Ireland is such a lush, green beautiful place. As with all of our private tours, we were mostly able to beat the large coaches since we only had 6 people. Our goal for this trip was to go as far inland as we could with the time we had and concentrate less on the cities and that worked out well. The Giants Causeway was surreal but very crowded. We walked down to the causeway and had planned to take the shuttle back but they closed the shuttle service so that a VIP tour could use the shuttle. I felt sorry for the folks who had mobility issues and had to walk back up the hill, it was over a mile each way. We did not pay to go to the visitor’s center. Alister took 2 couples back to the ship and then drove us 1 ½ miles to TEC Belfast to see the Game of Thrones Tour Exhibition. This was an added bonus for us since we are GOT fans and it was fantastic. If you are a GOT fan and in Belfast this summer, it is worth the money. May 18 - Glasgow – This was our second bucket list day and it was remarkable. We booked a private tour with Tom at Photowalk Scotland. Although the day was cold and rainy we got to see some lovely places including Glencoe, Stalker Castle and Kilchurn Castle. We even stopped at a beautiful small church and got amazing picture of blue bonnets in full bloom. Tom gave us the flexibility to change our plans when the rain didn’t let up for a while and took us to the castles instead of another Glen. He also was kind enough to share some sunny day pics with us since it was so rainy. Despite the weather it was one of our favorite days of the trip. May 19 - Sea Day – After 9 full days of travel, a sea day was much needed so we took it easy and just relaxed. We don’t have a lot to review on the Crown Princess but will say that it is a lovely ship. This was our 4th cruise and all ships we have been on could be improved slightly but the Crown Princess was great for what we wanted, a nice way to see the British Isles. We did not see any shows or comedians but my sister took in a few and said they were fine. May 20 - Kirkwall - This was our 2nd Princess Tour - West Mainland Sightseeing and it was OK but it reminded us why we choose private tours. The tour guide was very nice but it was her first day on the job and she neglected to tell the bus driver to even slow down for the Standing Stones of Stenness. We just rode right past it with not photo stop. We were able to tour the Ring of Brodgar and see a bit of Kirkwall as we were whizzing by the sights. For us, Guernsey and Kirkwall were just bonus days so that was Ok. Private tours at Kirkwall were limited and booked up quickly. Plan far ahead if you want a private tour in Kirkwall. May 21 – Invergordon - We booked a private tour with Invergordon tours and saw Castle Leod, Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield, and Clava Cairns. The scenery was lovely. May 22 - Edinburgh - previous reviews had suggested the Princess Excursion “Edinburgh on your own” to maximize your time in the city since ship tours got tender priority. This was a great in theory but didn’t necessarily work for us. I think our Princess meeting time in the theatre was 8:15 am. Our plan was thwarted because we had to wait over 30 minutes in the Princess theatre for our total group to gather to go to the tender and then another 20 minutes on the bus in South Queensferry for four people who never showed up. The ship was in Edinburgh from 7 am to 7 pm but we didn’t get to the city until well after 10 am and got picked back up at 3:15 pm. Not nearly enough time to see such a great city. You could find your own transportation back you just needed to tell the driver. We walked straight to the Edinburgh Castle; we printed our tickets which we bought online from a kiosk. The lines were long. If you are going to the castle, buy your tickets in advance. Edinburgh was the best city we visited (compared to Dublin and London) and the only city we think we would revisit. Looking back at the patter for Edinburgh, you could get in line for a tender ticket in the Michelangelo dining room starting at 7 am. I would set an early alarm, take my chances on my own, grab the earliest tender ticket and take the X99 bus into town. It is a 45 minute ride from South Queensferry to Edinburgh. May 23 - Sea Day – we spent the day repacking. I did go to afternoon tea in the dining room which was just Ok and crowded. May 24 Le Havre - The ship docked in Le Havre on schedule and we easily got off the ship for our tour. We had 12 hours before we had to be back on the ship. We booked a private excursion with Overlord Tours to go to the D Day beaches. The cost was €980 for up to eight people. We had 6 and our group and the van was comfortable. Eight people in the van would have been tight. Our guide for the day was Thierry, we were very impressed with his passion and knowledge of the Allied landing on June 6, 1944. It was an hour and a half drive to Omaha Beach which went by quick due to Thierry’s narration. We toured the American cemetery, Omaha and Utah beaches, Pointe Du Hoc and stopped for a delicious lunch in Saint Mere Eglise where we saw the church where Paratrooper John Steele got caught on the steeple when he was trying to land in the town square to fight the Germans. Thierry was a great guide and we had no trouble understanding his English. May 25 Southampton to Heathrow – Princess Disembarkation was the easiest we ever experienced. We put our bags out the night before and found all three easily the next morning. We did leave fairly early so not sure if this was a factor. We chose private arrangements on the form and had passenger services change us to 6:55 am disembarkation for our 7:30 pickup. It was fast and efficient. We used Smiths for Airports for transfer for four back to Heathrow for £163 pounds. We were waiting on our driver by 7:05 am. Wait under the signs not on the sidewalk in the lanes. The driver must come in and confirm that you are there before bringing the car into the lanes to pick you up. We left at 7:45 am and arrived at Heathrow at 9:20 am for a 12:50 pm flight. Had business class for two of us. Checked in and through security in 20 minutes. Our fellow travelers had to wait in security for approximately an hour before clearing. The departure gate was cramped and hot but we timed it so we only had to wait for 15 minutes to board. At Heathrow you wait in the giant shopping area until your gate is called ~30 minutes before your flight. Crown Princess British Isles Notes: Crown Princess Mini Suite D618 – we had plenty of storage space and loved the extra room in the bathroom with the real tub and shower and the clothesline which we used a lot. We had planned to ask for hangers but found an adequate supply in the closet. We did take 4 pants hangers which was great when we had to hang dry our clothes. The balcony had two chairs with ottomans and a small table. We enjoyed the extra cabin space in the mini suite and the sofa; our friends often came to our room for a drink before dinner or to hang out in the evening. One note about cabin D618, we were startled early on the first tender day as the tender that lived just below our balcony was deployed and the gears were quite loud as it moved away from the ship and then was lowered down – it was fun to watch it deploy, you just need to know that if you are on Deck 9 in a mini suite, you may hear and see tender boats on tender days. PRIVATE VS SHIP TOURS – For the first time, we did a mix of private vs. ship tours and were very happy with the private tours. We are cautious travelers and only chose private tours with 5 star ratings and they all lived up to their reviews. When we had a private tour for a non-tender port, we just blended in with departing Princess tour groups, got off the ship and found our guides. We will definitely book private tours for future cruises. Private arrangements do require some extra time and planning for the tender ports. TENDERING - For tender ports, Guernsey, Kirkwall and Edinburgh allow extra time if you have private tours. There were tender delays even for the Princess tours due to high winds at Guernsey and Kirkwall. At one point during the Kirkwall day, waves were so rough that a crew member was hurt and tendering was suspended for an hour. There was a 90 minute wait to get a tender at Guernsey later in the day. LAUNDRY - Laundry was a crap shoot and as expected impossible on a sea day. If you are a super early riser or late nighter your chances are better. My sister started her laundry at 5 am and had company while she was there. Deck 9 had 2 working washers and only 1 dryer so we ended up hang drying a lot of clothes which was not a problem, it just takes extra time if you are out of clean clothes. We used the bathroom clothesline quite a bit. Deck 10 had 1 working washer and 2 working dryers. If you intend to do multiple loads buy your tokens early. You swiped your cruise card and it is $3 per wash and $3 per dry and $1.50 for detergent. I should have brought Woolite or similar as I did hand wash a bit but I managed with body wash and shampoo. I did bring tide pods and dryer sheets with me. Later in the trip, we checked and finally found an open dryer and ran our hang drying clothes down while it was free. BRITISH ISLE CLOTHING - With such long port days, I easily could have gotten away with only 1 or 2 pair of dress pants and rotated shirts. Since this was our 3rd cruise, we don’t always want a huge meal every night. We only ate randomly in the dining room and even then only 5 out of the 12 nights. We grabbed pizza, a hamburger/hotdog or ate at the buffet when we didn’t want to change for dinner after a really long tour day. Nice jeans or khakis and collared shirt or polo worked for most nights in the dining room for my husband. I should have brought more jeans/casual pants since we did have a few days of wearing jeans for 3rd or 4th time as I was trying to find an open washer/dryer in the very busy of laundry room. We only did one formal night and my husband did fine with a long sleeve collared shirt and khakis and I wore a blouse with black pants. We saw plenty of people who looked lovely in tuxedos and formal gowns but we were not wasting precious suitcase space on fancy clothes on our 16 day vacation. WEATHER – I believe Scotland is having the hottest summer on record for June but for May all previous advice was accurate, layers, layers, and more layers. We took a warm coat and a rain jacket and alternated them or wore both at the same time depending on wind and rain. We really only had one very rainy day although we expected more. Lots of partly sunny days. I was happy to have a scarf and hat most days. Long sleeve shirts were a good base layer and I wore a sweater 3 days. I expected the weather to be in the 50s and 60s but the wind made it feel much cooler. My sister bought a warm hat in Kinsale because it was colder than she expected. FOOD - we weren’t sure what to expect with Princess and British Isles food but we were happy overall. We cruise specifically by itinerary and find cruising to be the best solution for us budget wise with meals/hotel/transportation all rolled into one, especially in places where we would never drive. We had been warned to expect bland, simple food in Scotland and Ireland and were pleasantly surprised at the delicious food at every stop. We had all sorts of yummy comfort food including cottage pies, fish and chips and hearty soups with sandwiches. We did not have one bad meal in port. Crown Princess food was as expected, a few stand out dishes but mostly average. As mentioned before, we don’t cruise for the food or ship entertainment just for the travel and transportation. Formal nights were the day of Guernsey and the first sea day. We only did one formal night and my husband did fine with a long sleeve collared shirt and khakis and I wore a blouse with black pants. We saw plenty of people in tuxedos and formal gowns but we were not wasting precious suitcase space on fancy clothes. We had anytime dining and turned up between 6 pm and 7:15 pm for each night in the Dining Room – we only ate there 5 out of 12 nights and Formal nights were more crowded. If the wait was going to be more than a few minutes they gave you a pager so we grabbed a drink at the International Café while we waited. We had less wait when we went at 6:15 or 6:45 vs. 6:30. On our last dining room night the night before Le Havre, we were moved to one of the fixed dining rooms and had better service than in the Michelangelo Dining Room. TIPPING - We haven’t cruised in 5 years so this may now be the norm but Princess automatically adds 18% for alcohol. On past cruises with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean we were able to add tip and decide how much to charge. Princess also doesn’t give you a receipt, you just have to hope the bill is right and check your bill periodically. They do have a self-serve kiosk where you scan your cruise card and get a print out or use the Princess @ Sea app. PRINCESS @ Sea app: The app was good for checking your stateroom balance by day and the total spent. Each person sees what they spent and the cardholder on file sees all cardholders. The messenger part was somewhat disappointing since it didn’t notify you when you received a message which made it difficult to make arrangements if you were traveling with other people. You had to occasionally check to see if you had received a message. Hopefully this will change when the Ocean Medallion service is finally rolled out. There were Carnival employees on board working on the service but about all we saw was the TV system was updated some to support on demand programming. Not sure how ocean medallion rollout will change this. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose our first Princess Cruise because we were celebrating my husband’s retirement - and we always wanted to visit Scotland and Ireland. We arrived in London 5 days early and visited the major tourist attractions. A Princess bus ... Read More
We chose our first Princess Cruise because we were celebrating my husband’s retirement - and we always wanted to visit Scotland and Ireland. We arrived in London 5 days early and visited the major tourist attractions. A Princess bus picked us up at Victoria Station and drove us to Southampton. Embarkation was very organized. We had to wait awhile, but chairs were provided and we were called in groups, so not too much standing in line. Our balcony stateroom was located on Deck 15 forward. It was clean and nice, and we loved the location. Our room steward was efficient, for the most part. We only saw him on check-in day. We asked that ice be provided each day, and he took good care of us for most of the cruise. However, the last few days, he took the ice bucket away and never brought ice again. There was an awful smell in one section our hallway, that never went away. It smelled like the carpet might have molded. We had to walk through that area coming and going to our room. It was disgusting. The people on this cruise were almost entirely quite old. We are 60ish - and were some of the youngest. I did see a couple of teenagers - who were probably bored to tears. This meant a lot of canes and scooters and slow walkers. They held up lines and elevators, and much patience was required on excursions as they took forever to load and unload buses. Many were very rude as well - cutting in line and ignoring instructions. The excursions were good, for the most part. We enjoyed the places we visited. Often, however, our play time was cut short - we would gather in a designated area on the ship and wait for our group to be called - then follow the leader up and down stairs to get off the ship and to our tour busses. Alternatively, we would follow that procedure to get on tenders - nightmare! There were not enough tenders, which meant long waits to get ashore and load the busses. All of this meant that the excursions sometimes got a late start - and we had very little time to shop or see anything on our own. If I had it to do over, I would definitely explore booking excursions through local companies - rather than Princess. We could have been off the ship earlier, had more time on shore, and saved money. The food was okay - but the choices were limited and became quite boring. If you want steak, visit the premium steak house onboard - do not order steak in the main dining room. I tried it twice and was thoroughly disappointed both times. The steaks were tough, tasteless, and full of gristle. I do highly recommend the creme brûlée, however. Room Service is still free - some cruise lines are charging a fee. But, the menu is extremely limited. Nothing memorable about the food at all. Entertainment on the ship was just boring. They definitely played to the older crowd - big band music, bingo, crafting get togethers, boring stage shows. I looked forward to the outdoor movies on deck. However, it was too cold on deck in the evenings and you couldn’t clearly see the screen during the day. We spent most of our ship time resting, watching tv, and eating. There wasn’t much else interesting to do. Staff was mostly efficient, but not too friendly. Unlike other cruises I’ve been on, the staff did not seem to enjoy their jobs, and were not particularly interested in the cruisers. They did their jobs, but gave nothing extra. Disembarkation was very smooth and quick. We had breakfast, met at our assigned location, and were quickly off the ship. The luggage was organized, and we met our driver in very short order. Overall, we enjoyed our trip because of the wonderful people in England, Ireland, Scotland, and France. We saw wonderful buildings and exhibits. I’ve always loved cruising, but this particular ship, with its boring entertainment, ho-hum staff, and limited food selection, was nothing special. I need to add - we were hot the entire time we were onboard. We lowered the temperature in our room as much as possible, but had to open our balcony door for cool air. All of the public rooms were hot, and we sweated through every meal. For that reason alone, I would not repeat this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Enjoyed a pre-cruise day in London sightseeing. Independent transportation to the pier via Stonehenge. Great couple days. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Luggage arrived in cabin in less than 30 mins after boarding. ... Read More
Enjoyed a pre-cruise day in London sightseeing. Independent transportation to the pier via Stonehenge. Great couple days. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Luggage arrived in cabin in less than 30 mins after boarding. First time our cabin steward didn't make it a point to come and introduce himself to us. He did an adequate job. I had balcony cabin B701. Good location. I have sailed on Crown many times and prefer the Baja deck. Had 7:15 traditional dining in MDR. Since this was a port intensive cruise we were not able to dine there every night. Menu was fine. Same entrees as always with the exclusion of escargot. Enjoyed the Crown Grill one evening. It was delicious as always but price continues to go up. Enjoyed the buffet each morning. Selection was good. Disappointed the fitness center didn't allow passengers to use the treadmills until 8 am although I did understand. Difficult to use with early ports almost everyday. Love MUTS but too cold on this cruise to enjoy. However, I did ask for movie popcorn every night! You had to go hunt for it but I was able to get some. Ports were wonderful!!! My biggest surprise was the chaos getting on and off the ship at almost every port. Long queues, people upset, trouble getting gangways up, steep gangways, passengers getting on and off with luggage, etc. It was really a pain. I understand delays when it is a tender port but simply walking off should never be an issue. Overall great cruise. I would highly recommend. The layout and the size of the Crown works well for me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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