200 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews

We consider ourselves fairly experienced cruisers with sophisticated palates and appreciation for good music. Our experiences with Princess have always been good although an 11-day Panama Canal Crossing on the Coral Princess was amazing. ... Read More
We consider ourselves fairly experienced cruisers with sophisticated palates and appreciation for good music. Our experiences with Princess have always been good although an 11-day Panama Canal Crossing on the Coral Princess was amazing. This was a disappointing 7-day trip on several counts. First the ship. Crown Princess has lost its luster. The ship gets heavy use and it shows. The balcony cabin on Riviera was clean and comfortable but the outside windows were soiled and the corners and the outdoor carpet on the balcony we grungy. The cabin steward was polite and efficient and kept the cabin neat and clean. On other ships, we always see the staff cleaning, polishing, and touching up throughout the trip - not Crown Princess. The staff actually looked tired and over-worked. An example of failure to pay attention to detail was a black grand piano at one of the venues - it's side was filthy as if someone applied polish but forgot to come back. Beverage service was excellent and fairly priced. The food was ... OK but totally inconsistent. How chef John Convery allowed overcooked fish and other poorly prepared dishes to leave the kitchen was telling. The meat didn't taste right and was of poor quality. They said it was American beef that was previously frozen. A meal at Sabatini's was very nice though and overall they did a nice job on pasta. One of the dining rooms lost our bottle of wine (they save what was left of your bottle for a future meal). The entertainment was ... OK. Our crooner was excellent but went hoarse and a musical production written by the illustrious Oscar, Toni, and Grammy winner Stephen Schwarts - Magic To Do, was a total flop, just awful. How he could have put his name on that production is beyond me. Tea was nice but waiters went in circles and only one scone guy for dozens of passengers. Lots of good activities for LGBT. The Lotus Spa pool was an oasis. All said and done, you get what you pay for and we certainly made the most of our time together. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our 12th cruise (all prior with Royal and Norwegian) and first with Princess. We won’t be booking Princess again. First, the good. The interior stateroom was well laid out with plenty of space for storage and moving ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise (all prior with Royal and Norwegian) and first with Princess. We won’t be booking Princess again. First, the good. The interior stateroom was well laid out with plenty of space for storage and moving around. I particularly liked the way the closet area separates the bathroom and living areas. Also, the food, when it finally arrived, was generally of decent quality and variety in the main dining room. The fitness center was never too crowded that we couldn’t find the equipment we desired often without any waiting. The equipment was in generally good condition and most, if not all treadmills and cycles appeared to be operational. The ship is fast, relatively clean and the itinerary was fun for the most part. Now, for the bad. Who doesn’t put a top sheet (flat sheet) on a bed? Our first night, we go to get in bed after being out and about on the ship at around 9:30 and discover first, that our cabin has not been attended to AND second, our bed has simply a fitted sheet and our duvet – that’s it. I seek our cabin steward (still roaming the halls) and ask what’s up? He says it is Princess Policy to not use a top sheet but roots through his cart and offers me one. At first I thought he was lying to me but we did ask others who confirmed the absence of a top sheet on their beds. Really? The first night at dinner (seated around 5:30) we were seated promptly at a table for two and handed menus. We talked and watched as others around us were seated. At one point, one party of the couple seated next to us (they were seated before we arrived) got up, went over to the serving station and returned with two menus. Yes, they had been seated and never given menus 30 minutes later! A couple three tables down from us (with a different server) was getting all kinds of attention to include the head waiter stopping by and was enjoying drinks and their salads before our order was even taken. Yes, they were seated at least 10 minutes AFTER we were. Oh, that couple next to us? Yeah, within 1 minute of them going to get their own menus, the server shows up and asks to take their order. First time either of us had seen her or knew who she was. So, yeah, they had to ask her to come back since they had just opened the menus. Long story short, we were finally served our entrees approximately 70-80 minutes after having being seated. Meantime, all of the tables that were seated near us who were seated AFTER us were now completing their desserts and excusing themselves to head out. We skipped dessert and headed out after approximately 95 minutes in the main dining room. Breakfast the next morning in the MDR was marginally better. I think it took us 30 minutes before we placed our order and we were eating at just under 60 minutes after sitting down. And the coffee! Horrible! In the MDR, the buffet, everywhere. We tried numerous locations and it was awful all the time. My wife was forced to have to pay at the coffee bar for a decent cup of coffee. You could see the line every morning as the folks lined up to have to pay for a decent cup. Both Royal and Norwegian have at least acceptable coffee available for free in the MDR and the buffet. The service seemed to improve marginally as the week wore on (and, no, the crew wasn’t all new!) but never really measured up to what we are used to on cruises. For this next one, I may not get sympathy from some of the diehard cruises who believe in the sanctity of formal night. In my opinion, the only reason for formal night is for the cruise line to sell overpriced pictures with fake backgrounds. On previous cruises I have seen people with t-shirts and jeans in the MDR on formal night. I was in line with a nice golf shirt on with a jacket and was prevented from entering the MDR on formal night. I have never been so embarrassed in my life. Of all rules to enforce, they insisted that I wear a fully button down shirt to eat in the MDR on formal night. Unbelievable. We were forced to eat in the petri dish, I mean the buffet. Speaking of that, lobster was served in the MDR ONLY on formal night and NOWHERE else on the ship. Usually, the buffet will have some kind of lobster dish as well but not here. If you wanted lobster, you HAD to dress up and HAD to go the MDR on formal night. Speaking of the buffet, the selection was extremely limited and disappointing most times. The stuff that was available was generally of decent quality, just not much variety. The Asian bistro area seemed very popular but we couldn’t ever get in there with the long lines. A good thing about the buffet was that they enforced using sanitizer prior to entry to the food service areas and handed out silverware and plates. Entertainment – high school caliber. I was really excited about “Magic to Do” as Wicked is my favorite musical. The story was very hard to follow (although I must say the magic was pretty good for a cruise line show) and really seemed thrown together in order to make it all work. It seems they picked what songs they wanted to use and then tried to tie a story around them that really made no sense. The male and female lead vocalists were barely average. The variety shows were about what you’d expect at a local high school production in terms of vocals and dancing ability with few exceptions. The vocal impersonator was pretty good. He was spot on with some of his impressions but really missed on others. Still I went to see him a second time for his other show. Speaking of shows, don’t cruise lines usually serve drinks in the theater? Servers appeared at only one of the shows and only 30 minutes before show time. If you wanted a drink at any other show you were on your own to go out to a bar and bring it back in with you. (A long walk in the rolling seas we were experiencing late in the cruise). Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty smooth (although the ship was late arriving due to heavy fog when we were leaving LA – not Princess’ fault). Fundamentally, I was expecting so much more “stepping up” to Princess. We didn’t see anything here to justify this as a mid-level or higher brand. We are sticking with Royal and Norwegian for the foreseeable future. We read disparaging reviews about Crown Princess prior to our going but kept an open mind (same thing happened with Quantum of the Seas but we thoroughly enjoyed that one!) and we left extremely disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We are experienced cruisers with more that 25 on various ships of various lines. Succinctly, we have in our 20 plus years on cruise ships seen a major decline in service, in food quality, and general crew attitude. After this ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers with more that 25 on various ships of various lines. Succinctly, we have in our 20 plus years on cruise ships seen a major decline in service, in food quality, and general crew attitude. After this experience, we are seriously considering other ways to spend our vacation time and money. That said, I will attempt to detail the four days on the Crown. Prior to boarding, we drove from our home in Mesa, AZ to spend the night at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel. This is a very nice facility with excellent service and the added advantage of a shuttle to and from the pier while the car stayed in the parking lot at no charge. There is a very nice restaurant but be aware the pricing is a bit high. There are no nearby restaurants to give an alternative. We arrived at the pier at about noon and proceeded though the check-in with no problem. However, after that we were ushered into a bullpen to await a group call. This lasted about half and hour. The walk to the ship is fairly long and includes some uphill ramps. People with impaired mobility will have some difficulty with this. Once on board, we were on our own to find our cabin. We dropped our carry on luggage and proceeded to our first experience in the Horizon buffet. It was crowded, and the food was ar best average. This was the same experience for the entire four days. Because of a poor layout, crowding, and long waits to move through the lines, civility frequently was not observed. While on the subject of food, we found the sit down restaurants to be about average or below. The food was generally less than we have experienced ovr the years. The servers made a valient effort to keep up, but it appeared they were seriously understaffed. Food and service in the specialty rooms was better, but not up to the quality one would expect for the price. The ship is huge. To this end, it seemed that no matter where I was, whatever I wanted was a long way off. Especially difficult was accessing the Botticelli room due to the route one had to take form the stern area of the ship. Despite its large size, it felt crowed to me. (I admit I am crowd adverse) Our cabin D631, was comfortable with plenty of storage space. The only problem was the layout of the closets and door to the bathroom. This was quite tight. Minor problem, we had two TV's but only one controller. The problem is obvious. The bed was too soft for our taste and the pillows tended to collapse when we laid down. Since we were on the ship to rest and get some relaxation, we did not partake of the many activities that were available with the exception of the wine tasting which was not particularly informative since the presenters wiere more comedian that somaliers. We did leave the ship in San Diego to tour the USS Midway. I recommend this but be aware there is a lot of walking and stairs. (Ladders for all es navy) Finally, we come to disembarkation. We chose Express system which required we take our own luggage off the ship. OK, one would expect this would get us off quickly. Not so!. We found ourselves assigned to a group that was scheduled to leave at 10:30. Hardly a early departure. Since we had a long drive home, I did not want to wait that long so when I found that no one was checking our group I joined another and was off by 9:00. All in all, I found this to be a disappointing experience topped off by a 12:25 AM announcement by the captain that the fire was out and there was no further danger. What Fire? There had been no announcement of a problem. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our 8th cruise, and our first on Princess. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, as well as a desire to try Princess out. Our previous 4 cruises have been on Celebrity. We're going back to Celebrty. We found the ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise, and our first on Princess. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, as well as a desire to try Princess out. Our previous 4 cruises have been on Celebrity. We're going back to Celebrty. We found the service to be subpar - mostly because the workers were stretched way too thin. We encountered several employees with really bad attitides in both the International cafe and the 7th floor martini bar - the bartender who gave us attitude when we ordered coffee - she curtly informed us that coffee is to be ordered in the 5th floor international cafe - even though she had a huge espresso machine behind the bar. I think the rude service was due to the employees just being tired, and stretched too thin. That is more the fault of management in my opinion. We got no beach towels with our balcony room, even though instructions on what to do with our beach towels was included in our daily program - a daily reminder of penny-pinching by Princess. Food at the Crown Grill was great. All other food venues (we tried them all) was mediorcre at best. Most things on the room setvice menu come at additional cost. If you want a pizza in your room from the pizza restaurant, the pizza is supposedly free, but they charge a $3 delivery fee (and no, you can't just pick it up yourself - not allowed). Pizza in the restaurant was quite good though, as was the service. Service in the wine bar Vines was great, even though the poor guy working there was running his fanny off most times. The "santuary" comes at a cost of $20 per half-day. It's an area that is just a cordoned off section of common area - more nickle and diming. We refused to pay for it. Food was the most mediorcre we've ever experienced on a cruise line - no doubt the result of a tight budget being placed on the chef. The layout of the ship is terrible - elevators that don't go to all floors, and elevator banks with no stairs nearby. I hope whoever designed this ship changed jobs. There was more rust than I've seen on any ship. And our cabin balcony B744 had lots of rust around the entire balcony - really ugly and clearly indicative of a penny-pinching company. Princess is owned now by Carnival corp - and it shows. This was the last cruise we'll take on any cruise line owned by Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Firstly let me introduce myself. This having been my 54th cruise (none less than seven days) I am no chicken, but not a complainer either. This was our tenth Princess cruise and our second on the Crown. We were on the Crown about two ... Read More
Firstly let me introduce myself. This having been my 54th cruise (none less than seven days) I am no chicken, but not a complainer either. This was our tenth Princess cruise and our second on the Crown. We were on the Crown about two months ago and would not have repeated, but we had some expiring credit from the Princess insurance (which is very good) and did not want to get in a plane for such a short cruise. Many things were fine. Embarkation and its reverse were smooth and professional. The ship seemed to be in fine shape. No complaints there. The crew was warm and wonderful. We saw lots of staff that we knew from our previous cruise and even had the same room steward who also remembered us. The food was fine especially in Horizon Court, and the Crabshak looked beyond great. Unfortunately we just past through Cafe Caribe on Crabshak evening, but if we ever cruise with Princess (which seems doubtful - read on) we will definitely try it. Now for my three big beefs. Firstly, the itinerary. I enjoy each of the three ports. Unfortunately for its passengers the stop in Cabo from 7:30 AM until last tender at !:00 is a cruel joke. Cabo is known for its carousing not its culture. Who wants to pop a lot of Margaritas before noon. Why do I say this is cruel, because Princess makes this the last port and apparently must leave early in order to return to L A. If the first port were Cabo and the final port were Puerta Vallarta each port could be enjoyed by the guests for a full day. I know that this is correct because it is the itinerary on cruise of two months ago did just that! Secondly, the music in the bars was not wonderful to say the least. Example, on the first night the Princess orchestra of six or seven with lots of brass played in the Wheelhouse with its low ceilings. This was way too loud. This much noise is not appropriate during the cocktail hours. Then came the Mariachis. Night after night, hour after hour it was Mariachis in the Atrium and elsewhere. Enough already! Princess spend some money and get some variety. Finally, the beds. They were bad on the last cruise (we were in a different cabin). The beds are just too soft. I wondered why and did a bit of investigating. The mattresses are only about seven inches thick, but this is not the problem. I took a picture from underneath the bed, easy with my tablet. What did I find? Supporting the mattress is a web-like grid of plastic coated wires similar to the construction of a folding cot ones offers to the guest's kids. I don't think that this setup can support a board. Conclusion, before booking on the Crown find out out the construction of your bed. If ;you can't get a satisfactory answer, don't go. I am not sure if this is the same on all the Princess, but its the second time that it has bothered me (and I'm not that old that I need a hospital bed). Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our fourth cruise on the Crown Princess this year 2015, and what a disappointment it was. We were disappointed with the staff. The cabin, had several Chinese papers in it. A set of 3 pound bar bells under the bed, and something ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on the Crown Princess this year 2015, and what a disappointment it was. We were disappointed with the staff. The cabin, had several Chinese papers in it. A set of 3 pound bar bells under the bed, and something spilled on the nightstands (coffee or tea). We had to clean up our own room, got out the wipes and went to work. Disinfected the bathroom too. Great way to start a cruise. Where were limited activities on the ship and most of seminars were to get you to purchase a service, spa, hair, art. We had fixed dinning and while the table was great, the food was not. We ate there once. We ate two nights at the Crown Grill, the first was good and service was nice. Second time two days later, the food was interested. Half cooked fish was serviced and service was so slow, that we didn't send it back. Oh, the Grill was less crowded this night. We ate a Salty Dogs- and I won't give that a comment, other than to say, for the price the quality was bad. The Italian Restaurant had a lovely view and again the food was just okay, service was better though. One night we ate at the Lido, it was very crowded, but most food was okay. We took a trip to a mountain village, lovely ride though the countryside, food was excellent, the little town was cute, the coffee plantation only had two plants. Mazatlán we followed the blue line in to the centre. There were guides in blue shirt along the way to answer any questions, nice touch. We went to the opera house and the church. Also visited the market place, and walked down Constitution to the boardwalk. Walked along the olas alass to golden zone a good distance passing the cliff divers and the fish restaurants along the beach front. Was a lovely day, not too hot. Enjoyed the city and the walk. Cabo, we have been here several times before and wanted to spend a relaxing morning walking around the city, Did use several streets to get us up high and give us a good overview as well as seeing some nice homes. Overall, we got what we paid for a cheap cruise, that wasn't really that bad, but certainly was not good. We cruise often, but will rethink plans on this ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our 13th cruise since 2008. We have sailed on various Princess ships six times; Celebrity six times and once on Royal Caribbean. It has been five years since we were on a Princess cruise, so we were looking forward to our ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise since 2008. We have sailed on various Princess ships six times; Celebrity six times and once on Royal Caribbean. It has been five years since we were on a Princess cruise, so we were looking forward to our 11/28/15 seven day cruise of the Mexican Riviera. Embarkation and Disembarkation: Princess shined on both counts. We arrived at the port at 11:30 on November 28th and were in our stateroom (a mini-suite on Dolphin Deck) by 12:15. Grade for embarkation: A+ General impressions of the condition of the ship: The ship appeared to be in fairly good repair. They were painting exterior surfaces during the cruise and while in every port. Carpets look fairly new. Patio furniture is in sad shape and needs replacing (especially on balconies). Also, we noted several fountains were not functioning (one half the foundation in the Piazza; the fountains behind Sabatini, etc.) Also, the children play area at the back of the ship is in terrible condition (we walked through it once and noted this). The public rooms were well maintained (bathrooms, etc.) Ship condition grade: B Stateroom: We were in a mini-suite mid-ship on the Dolphin deck. This was an excellent location, since it provided easy access to elevators and stairs. The stateroom was well-maintained and as always, the extra space in a mini-suite is very nice. The downside was the terrible condition of the balcony furniture----it has seen better days and hopefully will be replaced soon. The bed was comfortable. Since the last time on Princess I did notice that individual bars of soap and shampoo have been replaced with shower gel and shampoo dispensers mounted in the bathtub. (They still have small individual hand soap). Our stateroom attendant was rarely seen, but kept the room in good condition. The only negative comment about our stateroom service was on the morning of disembarkation. We were told to vacate cabins by 9:00 a.m., which was not an issue for us since we had a 9:00 a.m. disembarkation time. We got up very early and went to breakfast at 6:30 a.m. When we left our stateroom we left the "privacy please" tag in the door lock since we still had some minor personal items to pack before vacating. When we returned from breakfast at 7:45 we found that the stateroom attendant had entered our cabin (obviously having to remove the "Privacy Please" tag to enter) and had stripped and remade the bed for the next guests. Also, our personal items were moved to a different spot in the cabin so he could clean the counter. I feel this was an invasion of our privacy, especially since we planned on being out of our cabin by 8:00 a.m----long before the required 9:00 a.m. One other minor item: When returning from dinner or a late night show, all cabin lights were turned off by the stateroom attendant. Usually, after evening stateroom service, we have found one light left on. Stateroom grade: B- Cruise Director The Cruise Director, Dan Appleby, was by far the best we have ever had. He was everywhere and participated in far more events than we have come to expect from a Cruise Director (Bingo, game shows, etc.) He was engaging, humorous and his staff seems to genuinely like working with him. Cruise Director grade: A++ Entertainment: Entertainment (shows, bands, etc.) were all excellent---no complaints whatsoever. Everything from the evening shows in the Princess Theatre to the games shows, bands, etc., were excellent. If everything had been to the standard of the entertainment, it would have been a GREAT cruise. Entertainment grade: A+ Bar Service With the exception of two servers in Crooners (Ping, in particular) we found bar staff on this cruise to be very surly----in some cases, downright rude. Case in point---On several occasions I went to a bar to order a drink. Drink was prepared, bar tab run and not one word of greeting, thanks, etc., offered by the bartender. Other passengers also mentioned this to me Bar Service Grade: D Food (Horizon Court, Main Dining room) In one word----awful. This was the worst cruise food I have ever encountered. Dishes were uninspired and often arrived lukewarm, at best. Some examples: Caesar salads were served warm and covered with way too much dressing. On embarkation day, a hamburger in the main dining room was inedible---it was cooked to the point of being unrecognizable. French fries that accompanied it were of a temperature that it appeared they were prepared several hours before and left to cool. Evening dining service was no better. Why they asked how you wanted a steak done is beyond me since everything arrived WELL DONE---not just a little but a lot. When pointed out to the waiter, they would take it back to the kitchen and return with another just as well done. On the last night, I thought I would have the Turkey dinner. After all, how much damage can they do to turkey, potatoes and dressing. Well, the turkey was surrounded by pieces of turkey fact, the stuffing was mushed something with a bit of sage, and the sweet potatoes (slices) were uncooked and inedible. Service was not up to the usual standards, either. Some nights we went for twenty minutes with dishes not being removed after we had finished eating. A simple request for Iced Tea was usually ignored until you asked at least three or four times. On the positive side, breakfast service in the main dining room was good and food acceptable. The Horizon Court buffet was abysmal. There was no creativity in the offerings and things that they offered were often inedible. For example, the beef brisket was tough and lacked any flavor. The only good thing at the Horizon Court were salads----there isn't much you can do to ruin a "make it your self" salad of greens. Servers in the Horizon Court were not friendly --- at least those we encountered. Often times we felt ignored and as though we were an intrusion. Main Dining room and Horizon Court grade: D- Crown Grill This was the one good dinner --- at a $25.00 per person cover charge. The appetizers were excellent and the steaks prepared very well. Server was also very good. I would definitely recommend the Crown Grill Crown Grill Grade: A Sabatini We have been to Sabatini on several other Princess Cruises, including last time we were on the Crown. The services was good, but food was marginal, with appetizers being the highlight. I ordered Veal Osso Bucco as my entree and it was not edible. It was simply a plate of fat (one small piece of tough meat) and gelatinous mashes potatoes. I took one bite and was done. The waiter asked if I wanted a different entree and if we hadn't already spent two hours in the restaurant I probably would have ordered something different. I am at a loss to understand how the kitchen could have put out something so disgusting in one of the specialty restaurants. Also, we were seated in an area of the restaurant directly below the basketball court and got to enjoy a constant "thumping" sound throughout most of the dinner. The basketball court should not be open when diners are directly below. Sabatini Grade: F International Cafe: A great place for a quick bite to eat, dessert, etc. Grade: A Casino I always enjoy spending a couple hours a day in the casino while cruising---until this trip. The casino hosts were rude and the general atmosphere in the casino was not conducive to having a good time. The casino has basically become a place for non-casino playing smokers to congregate near a few ashtrays. On past cruises we always found the casinos to be busy during sea days and after formal night shows/dinners. That was not the case on this sailing---the casino was deserted. Whatever Princess has done to the Casino since we last sailed a Princess ship has definitely taken a toll. Gone are the fun times in the Princess Casino (at least on the Crown) Port: Puerto Vallarta: We have been to PV several times and alway enjoy our visit. Mazatlan: Do yourself a favor and stay on the ship if a future cruises finds you in Mazatlan. We had a terrible Princess excursion experience which took us into unsafe areas of the city. The Pacifico Brewery plant tour was terrible----the tour guide went "off script" since it was sold as a tour of the Brewery and then Shopping in the Gold Zone. (leave at 10:00 return at 1:30). Instead, the tour guide took us to an out of the way restaurant for lunch (which we were expected to pay for). We were taken through areas of the city that were not safe---including one area where we saw a drug raid in progress (machine guns, armored vehicles, etc.). We are told to always schedule excursions through the cruise line to avoid just this type of extortion. At the first opportunity, we bolted out of the bus and caught a cab back to the ship----I refused to be held hostage any longer by a Princess endorsed Tour operator obviously on the take with this unplanned restaurant stop owner. (A formal complaint has been filed with Princess regarding this incident) Cabo San Lucas EXCELLENT stop, just wish it was longer. My suggestion: drop Mazatlan and spend an overnight in Cabo. Final Impressions: This is not the "Princess" we remembered from our prior cruises. The brand has been diminished as evidenced by the quality of the food, inconsistent service and lack of oversight of Princess endorsed excursions. The only saving grace of this cruise was the cruise director and his staff and the excellent entertainment offerings. Bottom-line: It will be a long while before we give Princess another try. Celebrity will definitely be our cruise line of choice going forward. Overall Grade: C- Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
What a disappointment this cruise was due to the lack of hospitality from the service staff and the low food quality. We really wanted to enjoy Princess and while the decor of the public spaces charmed us the overall vibe given off by the ... Read More
What a disappointment this cruise was due to the lack of hospitality from the service staff and the low food quality. We really wanted to enjoy Princess and while the decor of the public spaces charmed us the overall vibe given off by the staff was a major turn off. We were ignored by staff as we walked the decks and companionways throughout the vessel. The crew appeared glum while others gave the impression they were too good to work in the hospitality industry. The food was no better than what we receive on other mainstream lines. The new show in the main theater: "Magic To Do" was shown only on one night and both performances were SRO and guests were turned away. People began to line up for the 10:15 PM performance at 9:00 PM when learning that the 8:15 PM show turned people away. Why not present the new show on two nights of the 7 night cruise or would that double the licensing fees to the show's creator for Princess? The other evening's entertainment was poor and we walked out with many others after listening to singing impressionist Tyler Bryce for 12 minutes. Seeing the masses heading for the doors the performer stopped his act to ask us " was it something I said folks?" The Princess Dancers were on a par with a good high school production but the two "sets" for the Motor City show were pathetically laughable with one merely being a single banner that spelled out Motor City. We didn't "Come Back New" Princess, we came back looking for another cruise line for our next sea vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Not only were there multiple unsatisfactory experiences on the ship, others and we found complaining to shipboard staff and cruise line management on board were ineffective; although contact with Princess home office was achieved, it sadly ... Read More
Not only were there multiple unsatisfactory experiences on the ship, others and we found complaining to shipboard staff and cruise line management on board were ineffective; although contact with Princess home office was achieved, it sadly was met with disappointment (if you complain, don't be surprised if they think you are doing so to obtain a "credit" rather than appreciate the challenges you experienced as you should expect from a customer friendly business). The best description we heard from several other guests (some of whom had never been on a cruise before) while waiting in lines, standing at elevators, while dining or in other venues was "shameful." Unfortunately, the major deficiencies in the Crown Princess included the often long lines, limited seating, as well as a limited variety and selection of food in the buffet (for example, do not expect a large section to choose from, such as Mexican, Asian, America and Italian, as well as salads and desserts, etc.). Also,there were very limited locations on the ship for a variety of food and snacks you desire during the cruise (before and after eating in the dining room, buffet or extra price restaurants). If you have not cruised before, you might be happy, but there also was a limited variety of food for those who are weight conscious, on diets and/or diabetic. If you ask for lemon with your water or tea, make sure you say it very slowly and repeat it because you might get lemonade instead. And, don't expect to easily find someone in your group or family if you leave your table or want to meet them - because the buffet seating sections are unmarked. Notably, Princess Crown has a "WiFi app" for free text on your smart phone but only to reach another guest who also has a smart phone. Unfortunately, Princess forgot to create a "beep" so do not expect a response since the caller or the person being called would not otherwise know there is a text message waiting to be read. Many guests we met on the cruise complained about inadequate signage in the stateroom halls and corridors to determine whether you were on the port side, aft, front, etc. Even several of the staff (who had challenges communicating in English) gave the wrong directions. Crown Princess was still using the old type of directory sign that does not allow one to quickly identify and select a destination and be automatically provided with directions to reach the desired location. Elevators were not timed and particularly with no chairs or benches available. waiting became quite frustrating; elevators were often filled so we had to again wait for another elevator or be tired standing any longer so we had to climb up several floors (walking down was less problematic but at times inconvenient). Although balcony cabins are small, they are still pricey, and evidently the time for updating has been ignored since our bed and pillows were really uncomfortable to sleep (heard that complaint as well from others). The Crown Princess has the smaller desk size 32" TV for their balcony rooms, yet placed for the wall or on a shelf. TV has very limited stations being aired. Try and be extra alert for messages as soon as you hear anything since we were unable to hear announcements inside our cabin. Sanitary dispensers were not available at the top and bottom of stairwells when guests obviously have to use the hand rails going up and down the steps. Although we noted a sanitary dispenser and towels were available in the gym, there were no visible staff on duty actively wiping down (at the very least) the handles and seats of equipment from excessive sweat after being used by previous guests. Entertainment was somewhat varied and gets a satisfactory rating, but at times it was difficult to get a good seat unless we came 30- 45 minutes early. Disembarkation was not well organized and really inefficient; the elevators were very crowded with those taking luggage on their own. In addition, if customs gets backed up, expect to sit in an area with possibly limited seating and even as long as 60 to 90 minutes, without any drinks and snacks. Sadly, this was a bigger disappointment to us than words could describe Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was my 14th cruise and 4th Princess Cruise. My last 3 were with Princess and in a period of approximately 1 year. I had previously seen a review about the ship looking worn and stains etc. in some of the rooms. I checked with ... Read More
This was my 14th cruise and 4th Princess Cruise. My last 3 were with Princess and in a period of approximately 1 year. I had previously seen a review about the ship looking worn and stains etc. in some of the rooms. I checked with Princess prior to my booking and asked them about the condition of the ship. I was told that it was going to be refurbished in May and was referred to someone who confirmed it. They refurbished only the public areas not the rooms. To shorten this up a bit, I ended up with the exact room that had been reviewed on this site stating the stains were there. Well the stains were still there and the bed was all sunken in. Unfortunately I didn't have the presence of mind to have them switch the bunk above my bed and I slept very uncomfortably instead. I love to cruise when I can afford to especially for the food and the service. Big letdown. I need to eat Gluten free and this ship did a very poor job of that. Buffet foods were slathered with some unmentionable glop all over them or breaded. It was difficult to find edible foods. Dinner in the main dining room was okay but definitely not up to standard with service or available selections for me. My bread was only brought when I asked if they were going to bring it and not until just before the main course. I had been use to (on other Princess ships) getting my bread when everyone else got theirs and getting wonderful deserts. It was always an imposition or it felt that way. If I hadn't received such wonderful service before, maybe I wouldn't have been so disappointed. This was my 3rd Alaskan Cruise. Unfortunately the Glaciers have melted a lot and there are smaller ones than before but the ship gave us excellent close up views of the 2 that we went to. We took one excursion to see the whales and that was good. The company provided binoculars but it is hard to focus before the whale dives again. I was able to get some pictures. As one other reviewer stated the ship is not in port long enough in Victoria to do much and trying to go see the gardens at night seems a bit counter intuitive. It is really too bad that they can't stop there at a time when it can be enjoyed. We went to a museum for about an hour and it was time to go back. It was a good thing that we had been to Alaska before and taken excursions as the prices of most of the excursions were between $150 and $600 plus. It was nice to get away but not restful or satisfying for me. For other people who are maybe going on their 1st cruise, it would probably be okay. I can't help but compare quality and service if you are going to spend that much money. Maybe without special diet needs and being younger, this ship would be okay. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I'm confined to a wheelchair since age 12. I can use my arms in my manual chair. I've been on other ships, but the crown princess was not friendly. The people were all nice and the food was great. But could i get in any adult ... Read More
I'm confined to a wheelchair since age 12. I can use my arms in my manual chair. I've been on other ships, but the crown princess was not friendly. The people were all nice and the food was great. But could i get in any adult areas.. Like the pool or sancuary, no. Had to sit in back of last row of seats at theater (only 4 on each side allowed) and no getting in front of ship - steps again. On the celebrity solstice i played basketball and golf with my husband, but not on princess- steps! All the humps and heavy awkward doors to everywhere wete impossible to go anywhere myself. Hope those in chairs get this information, because princess did not volunteer to tell us till aft e we paid $5000 to get on that ship! After expressing my concerns, their response was.... " oh sorry". Please spread the word to those like me. Thanks! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We heard wonderful things about Princess Cruises. We were seeking a birthday celebration close to home and decided on Crown Princess before it dry docked. Big mistake. Embarkation was postponed. Room was slightly larger but mattress felt ... Read More
We heard wonderful things about Princess Cruises. We were seeking a birthday celebration close to home and decided on Crown Princess before it dry docked. Big mistake. Embarkation was postponed. Room was slightly larger but mattress felt like sleep on a sleeping bag, hard and lumpy. Air conditioning on emerald deck was lacking as was refrigeration temp on our empty refrigerator. Dining was by far worse than RCL, NCL, and Carnival. Anytime fining was a joke. Waiting was the norm and the food was on par with hospital quality. Five times we were served under cooked ( raw ) hamburgers, kielbasa, and omelettes , while eggs over easy and eggs Benedict were over cooked. I'm sure it's hard to serve so many but NCL has anytime dining down to a science. The Wheelhouse Bar where we drank served drinks that frankly didn't deliver. When we ordered AT the bar we learned that happy you drinks ( had to be the same 2 drinks) had the alcohol of one drink with the mixer of two drinks. Unacceptable especially when we rung up a bar tab nearing $400 in 7 days. The fellow cruisers were exceedingly "seasoned". April must be when old people travel, we ignored this warning when we booked. Because the ship was going into dry dock the crew had an attitude of "counting down the days to vacation". It seemed like those final days of school before vacation; lousy attitudes with curt, " mentally checked out" employees. I always like to try new things, but this was a bad bad choice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Ship,was in bad shape. A/C in cabin not working. Took complaining manyntimes for someone,to come check issues. No air would come out of vent, turned out the duct and vent was filled with a five gallon bucket of lint and dirt. Food was sub ... Read More
Ship,was in bad shape. A/C in cabin not working. Took complaining manyntimes for someone,to come check issues. No air would come out of vent, turned out the duct and vent was filled with a five gallon bucket of lint and dirt. Food was sub par many days. Some of the crew was rude and careless. One instance of crew being careless was when two crew members carrying a table forced their way through the line at international cafe and hit me in the shoulder. The crew member next to where the table hit me, knew it had hit and he told me to get out of the way. I got his name and reported the incident but like other issues, nothing done. The front desk manager would not speak to me or my wifeand used the clerk at the desk as a yo yo to communicate with us and the manager would run and hide whne she saw us and would not return calls. Two years away from Princess Cruises and just st hope our upcoming cruise in June is better than the last. Hearing reports that the dry dock work done on Grand Princess was only superficial. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Because we there was the only cruise from chile to come back home at the time, the buffet are is way too small, I never had to make a long line to eat at any other cruise company. We did not like it at all to go to the buffet, and the food ... Read More
Because we there was the only cruise from chile to come back home at the time, the buffet are is way too small, I never had to make a long line to eat at any other cruise company. We did not like it at all to go to the buffet, and the food was nothing to talk about, we do not like rosemary spice and the chef used it almost in every dish, we had a talk with him and he said that the recipe call for so that was that. Our waiter at dinner time, we eat around 6 pm, at set down dinner, was more interested in serving the tables that order lots of wine and drinks than us that we were only two and only order wine, so we had to way a very long time to get any thing the service was terrible. The people at the crap table in the casino were very nice. Our thoughts about the cruise is that they need to train there people the way celebrity cruises does, in celebrity you feel special but in princess you do not. The only good thing about this cruise is that we meet some great new friends that are from chile and were coming on vacation to Los Angeles , Vegas and San Francisco . Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Don't use Princess if you plan a conference! First start with the lack of transportation of your conference materials to your conference rooms. Don't pay a porter - they can only take you to the front door of TSA! The, plan on ... Read More
Don't use Princess if you plan a conference! First start with the lack of transportation of your conference materials to your conference rooms. Don't pay a porter - they can only take you to the front door of TSA! The, plan on having a minimum of 3 people - one to stay with the boxes at the front door, one to stay with the ones upstairs where you can check-in, and one to shuttle everything by hand! Once you get checked in - you have to shuttle manually thru TSA scanning. Then you have to decide if you want to wait in line and one box at a time bring them onto the ship, or wait for a luggage cart to become available (thanks Francesca!) - we only had to wait 45 minutes - but we were able to get them to wheel our stuff to the conference room. The fun doesn't stop there! We had 2 real conference rooms - and had to use a dining room at the OTHER end of the ship for our third conference room! This really inhibited networking amongst conference members. Conference Day 1 - we had to provide breaks to our attendees to go out to a bar to get water. Day 2 (at sea day) the rolling of the ship was so bad - that we took many breaks - and then at 3:45 people came into our session that were not part of our group! By 4 - we were cleaning up - and the group after us was hustling us out! Princess should NEVER have booked 2 different groups with no break in between! Our hosted parties were very nice, but there was no "security" at the door to ensure that only our party was in the event. The food for lunch was mediocre - dinner was nicer, but the wait staff was not up to par (perhaps because we already pre-paid for gratuities) - we definitely won't be doing another conference on a ship anytime soon! I have to think other cruise lines are more accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
There is almost always going to be something that happens on a cruise ship that won't meet your expectations but it takes a great effort on a cruise lines part to make sure they fail to do so in each and every possible area. So much ... Read More
There is almost always going to be something that happens on a cruise ship that won't meet your expectations but it takes a great effort on a cruise lines part to make sure they fail to do so in each and every possible area. So much so that I'm not sure I'll ever have the opportunity (thankfully) to experience this again. I'm sure it wasn't because they charged significantly more for a "holiday" voyage, but more that they must have felt compelled to reward many of their employees with time off over this very same period. So, what did we get by having mostly new, inexperienced people around the ship? I'm sure this is something you want to know about because it makes you appreciate how qualified an experienced server is in relation to this bunch. Mass confusion in the dining room. How often do you get the pleasure of seeing the head waiter and section heads busing and putting tablecloths out? If you said "every time", you'd be right! Zero - The number of times there was butter available at the same time you received your toast or dinner rolls. It was still zero if you did not explicitly ask for it. I'm going out on a limb to say that when training all these new people, they incorrectly assumed everyone knows that butter and/or jam is usually a good idea when people order certain foods. Cruise director, what cruise director? I guess if you have director in your title you can direct the rest of your staff to attend all those events so you don't have to bother attending everything. This was my first time seeing the assistant cruise director hosting every single event, even one's that have historically been taken care of by the cruise director. If you had started reading this review and thought to yourself, "I bet she's going to say the cruise director took his own vacation from passengers", you'd be right again. Cabins - If you were wondering how many days a stain can sit unattended on the front of a side table, I'll confess the only thing I can offer up is seven as that's the number of days I saw it. I'd venture a guess the dust on the second and top shelf in the bathroom has been there for a lot longer. Guess that's why I'm not too surprised they haven't been able to eradicate noro yet. I did not complain to guest relations about him because I wanted to save that action for something truly worthy. Despite my putting the thermostat down as far as it would go, it was always warm in my cabin. In fact, it was pretty warm on the entire ship. Maybe dry dock repairs will fix that for the next group. Buffet - It was great to see them serving the food for you. Makes a change from the last time I was on a princess ship when I saw someone reach over to a slice of pizza and pick off the pepperoni while leaving the slice where it was. Downside to this was that if you arrived at a station and was unsure what you wanted you'd be responsible for holding up the line. I only went when it was less crowded so did not have that pleasure, but there were plenty of others. Returning to the dining room, since there are no bar stewards or sommelier's don't be surprised when you ask your assistant waiter if they can recommend a wine that the response you get is "yes". They are much too "rushed" to really be able to give more than that one word answer but even if they did, they are very new and may have not been taught anything other than white is white and red is red. It is the lack of a bar steward that leads to a huge backlog of servers who are no doubt standing around waiting their turn in the bar line to get your drinks. Very likely the reason why, the minute you get your food the next time you'll see the waiter/assistant is when they are taking your plate away with one hand and handing you the dessert menu with the other because they want you OUT of the dining room as fast as possible. That's Princesses way of rewarding you with 5:30 dining because seven months out there wasn't a way to find room for three women at a larger table at any other time. The head waiter - If you send your food back as I did one night (the last night as a matter of fact we ate in the dining room) and he/she is forced to bring you hot food, don't expect they'll have salt, pepper or butter handy, they've probably only been trained to "carry" the new food over to you. Very likely too, that by the time your assistant waiter comes back from getting drinks for another table and the waiter emerges from somewhere else that your food has gone cold again. Entertainment - It did just that, entertain us. I guess it doesn't cost them anything to recycle the same questions during the marriage show, but hearing it with a sometimes hard to understand accent was entertainment in and of itself. Bar staff - One in particular was downright nasty. If you've been on crown princess you could probably guess who I'm referring to. If you were going to guess what they would show at movies under the stars on New Year's eve would the yule log be at the top of your list or would you have thought maybe they'd show something more entertaining like the NYC ball drop? Or maybe another time zone's ball drop? Well, if you said the yule log is your ultimate form of entertainment right up until the countdown, you're really on top of things. I should add the service in the dining room for afternoon tea was good and when you got a scone they did offer you jam and whipped cream (probably because they had one server who walked around with that). The things that were good - The mini panini's at the international cafe! Just delectible. Pork and avocado, cuban one's were the best. The sandwiches at afternoon tea were yummy as well. Even though I had an obstructed view cabin, it wasn't bad. Since it was rather warm in my cabin any time I wanted to relax and read I would choose to do that somewhere else on the ship. While the view in skywalkers is nice it sure reeks of stale smoke. Saving the best for last. Naturally when you tell anyone in the service industry that you have a flight and offer them the proof of it, they will make sure you get to the airport in plenty of time. Not princess though, they will hold you hostage and tell you point blank you can't leave until the 2000+ other self debarkation passengers get off, even if it means you'll miss your flight. These people will even lie to you, maybe it's because this was their first time on a cruise ship just like the dining staff? While they thought there were only 1,200 of them, the jokes on us as everyone got in line to get off, even if these people had nowhere to go. I'm sure at least 500 people who were walking off with their own luggage wore the same thing every day as they didn't have a single piece of luggage with them! Despite their attempts to make us miss our flights, we were able to get on the bus along with anyone who wanted to go because they didn't care if people had a transfer or not. You could probably save your money and gamble that they will have a group of new people reading from comment cards so they know to ask you which terminal at LAX you are going to and won't know to ask you for your transfers. I was all prepared to put down a deposit for a future cruise but there isn't an OBC I could possibly get that would make me want the corporate office to reward the Crown Princess for what I had to deal with. I will sail again but it will not be on Princess. Maybe the come back new is come back with a new realization that Princess took a lot of my money and delivered a really awful experience. Thankfully was on the ship with good friends and we were able to have an amazing time despite the attempts of the cruise line to wreck it. Oh and I'm not surprised in the least they have failed to eradicate Noro, but I hope that for those who cruise on them while it's still present that you don't have to hear about other passengers bathroom habits while eating lunch. In case you were wondering there were at least half a dozen servers in our dining room who admitted to being on the ship three or less weeks. One even said when I said "we asked for two teas", "Sorry ma'am this is my first time on a ship".   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My husband and I took the 28 day cruise on the Crown Princess to Hawaii, Samoa and Tahiti. Our room was a balcony on the 14th floor. This was our 13th cruise with Princess, so we were very familiar with the room, ship, dining rooms, etc. ... Read More
My husband and I took the 28 day cruise on the Crown Princess to Hawaii, Samoa and Tahiti. Our room was a balcony on the 14th floor. This was our 13th cruise with Princess, so we were very familiar with the room, ship, dining rooms, etc. etc. The room defnitely needed some TLC, especially the carpet, which was stained in quite a few places and the plumbing also needed attention. The food was the usual menu they have on all the Princess ships and was pretty much OK. The entertainment was very good and we went to the theatre every night. All in all it was a nice cruise (a bit long, but we knew that going in...just confirmed we would not want to take one that long again) On the last week of the cruise, their was a breakout of the Norovirus and at about 200 passengers became ill from it. My husband got it 2 days before disembarkation. He was violently ill with diarrhea and vomiting, all night long. We notified the medical dept and a nurse came to the cabin and gave him an injection for the vomiting about 3 hours after he first got sick. It did absolutely nothing and he was up and down every 20 minutes all night until about 5AM. Of course, I was so worried that I was going to get it too, but fortunately did not. When we got to port, Princess informed us that we should stay in our cabin until they contacted us. They indicated that all the people that were sick, WOULD BE THE FIRST TO DISEMBARK...NOT!!! A Princess attendant came to our cabin on the 14th floor and told us we needed to follow him to the 8th floor. There, they put us in a room that you could tell had already been cleaned for the next cruise. We were told to stay there until they said we could disembark. This was a 10AM. Eventually, they said we would be able to disembark around noon. Meanwhile, my sister and her husband who we were traveling with, had left the ship at 8am and we had a van scheduled to pick us all up, which we had to call and re-schedule. At this point, I would say there were about 15 couples...all of us being held against our wills and not allowed to disembark. Never did they inform us that now, WE WERE GOING TO BE THE LAST ONES OFF THE SHIP! One lady thought she heard an annoucement that we could leave and went down to get off and they sent her back. We felt like lepers!! We kept asking and just kept being told that we would be notified when we could get off. NEVER, DURING THIS TIME WERE WE OFFERED ANY FOOD, WATER OR ANYTHING ELSE!! FINALLY, AT ABOUT 2:15, we were told we could disembark! We picked up our stuff and just walked off the ship, through immigration, TO REALIZE THAT WE WERE THE VERY LAST PASSENGERS disembarking the ship! PRINCESS AND IMMIGRATION SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES for treating their guests in this manner! You probably saw the whole thing on the news, as it was quite a deal that there were so many sick people on the ship. We came to find out later, that the Crown Princess had 4 different cruises in a year where passengers had gotten the Norovirus, including the same cruise in April, 2014. Even though we are now Elite with Princess, we are seriously considering never cruising with them again, due to the being treated so poorly and as you can tell, very unhappy and insulted by the way we were treated! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We are not new to cruising, we have sailed on over 35 cruises; this was one of the worst. PRINCESS “CROWN” - Balcony Cabin: R-710 on Deck 14 - Our Review of the October 18, 2014 a 28 day Cruise to Hawaii and South Sea Islands, ENDED UP ... Read More
We are not new to cruising, we have sailed on over 35 cruises; this was one of the worst. PRINCESS “CROWN” - Balcony Cabin: R-710 on Deck 14 - Our Review of the October 18, 2014 a 28 day Cruise to Hawaii and South Sea Islands, ENDED UP BEING 29 DAYS- a crew member’s medical emergency at sea. The Good the Bad, and the Ugly We booked this cruise to celebrate our 53rd Wedding Anniversary. We will start from the very positive ratings and go on to many poor and very poor ratings- OVERALL RATING OF CRUISE: MEDICORE AT BEST TO POOR- see quality: of food and cabin DISENBARKING Procedure – RATING – EXCELLENT- Fifteen minutes early! ENTERTAINMENT: RATING –OVERALL VERY GOOD - Overall the very best of entertainment was brought in at ports along the way, the best of any cruise we have ever taken. The cruise director himself could have done his own 30 minute or so show, he was very entertaining not only in the Princess theatre but in other shows. Our only negative comment would be about the singers of Princess as they do not enunciate their words. On the last show in the Princess Theatre even the ship’s personnel talent show singers were much better enunciating their words than the Princess singers. The only show we did not particularly enjoy was the Children Hulu show in Honolulu Hawaii; we would have much preferred an Adult Hula performance. While the children are somewhat cute, we expect something better than an elementary school performance. INTERNATIONAL CAFÉ- DECK #5: RATING- EXCELLENT - Has an Excellent staff of servers and in particular “Tetiana” very friendly and happy, a bundle of energy that went way beyond to serve you and with the best attitude we experienced on the ship. In particular, we enjoyed the Shrimp Salad, the Greek Salad, the Oatmeal and Chocolate chip cookies. Behind the counter the young black man with the big hat and the little girl with glasses and the hat were very helpful and charming as they worked to serve their customers with a wonderful attitude throughout their shifts. Whoever manages the International Café personnel could teach many of the servers on Deck 15 about what good attitude is all about and teach them to provide excellent service to Princess’s customers. BOTTICELLI DINING ROOM – RATING- POOR– 8 PM seating – Dining room approximately 50% empty. Our table of 8 consisted of two sisters and a brother, a single gentleman proud of the fact that he purchased your all the liquor you could drink for $50. per day, and a English couple and my wife and me. The first night we order the prime rib, medium rare it was tender but tasteless. The 2nd night we tried the Salmon, it was over cooked and dry. The 3rd night we tried the shanks, they were dry and over cooked. While the server (female) was efficient she was without any personality, not like the other tables in the area where the servers were in tune with their guest. It was like eating in the last booth in an empty diner late at night. While we checked the Botticelli Dining Room menu for their evening meal, nothing really sounded very good so we ate on Deck 15 or had a bite in the International Café. We then avoided the Botticelli Dining Room as it was not worth the effort to dress for dinner until the last formal night; and we did enjoy the Lobster tail and Beef Wellington; we ate in the dining room a total of four (4) dinners.’ The server was so efficient that evening that the meal was completed in 55 minutes flat; the waiter had only one table to take care of. On the final night of the cruise while we did not eat in the dining room, we brought an envelope for the Waiter and Ass’t Waiter (TIP); the assistant waiter was not around so we gave both envelopes to the Female waiter; while she said, “thank you;: the next thing she said abruptly was, “what is your room #?” I told her the envelope was a gift and I was not paying a bill. She repeated herself, “what is your room #?” I told her if she didn’t want the envelope, she could just give it back to me; and then she hurriedly walked away. HORIZON CAFÉ – Deck 15- RATING-MEDICORE AT BEST- We found the best meal of the day was at breakfast; with lunch being largely yesterday’s left overs made into some kind of a casserole. Consistently, the best item at lunch and dinner in the Horizon Café was the different soups. The gravies were always salty. We would recommend that prime rib, lobster tails. Escargot, and Beef Wellington and other main dishes that are occasionally offered in the dining rooms are also offered in the Horizon Café. The best deserts were the cookies, and once they had Apple Strudel that was excellent. Many times the cream based deserts were warm and therefore disgusting resulting in waste. The Horizon Café needs a refrigerated set up for stacks of dishes for salads and cold deserts as hot plates and bowls do not for cold salads and cream based deserts. During last week of the cruise, Norovirus in full bloom on the ship– Just a note- While having a late snack in the Horizon Café, we noticed when the serving lines were closed, and the sanitizing gel was locked up in the serving line area. I spoke to one of the supervisors and suggested that he speak to his boss and suggest leaving the sanitizing gel available for the guest. Rudely, he said there is a bathroom and pointed towards its location. I’m sure 95% of the guest by-pass the bathrooms on their way. Incidentally, the Captain asked passengers to avoid using the public bathrooms doing this outbreak of the Norovirus. However, if a sanitizing gel stand was made available when leaving the restaurant many would use it. Hamburger Stand on deck - Much improvement can be made for the pre- cooked hamburgers on deck that are tossed on the grill to be warmed up and put on a cold bun, YUCK. CROWN GRILL- RATING- STEAK WAS TOUGH- One evening to celebrate our 53rd wedding Anniversary we made a reservation; the Lobster was excellent; but the filet mignon was tough as a cheap sirloin. When I told the waiter, his reply was “sorry, but the Captain enjoyed his steak.” So much for our $50. at a specialty restaurant on “Crown” Princess.” OVERALL FOOD SUMMARY- RATING-- MEDICORE TO POOR -It appears that Princess is now cutting corners big tine on the kitchen BUDGET, cheaper grades of meat; with only Lobster served twice on a 28 day cruise; on all prior cruises it generally has been served once for every 7 days on a cruise along with escargot etc. Cheaper lunches, mainly made from left overs are being offered and food temperatures are generally Luke warm. Princess is now charging for Hot Chocolate. Princess no longer offers a Seafood Extravaganza’s , another thing of the past was Big time Brunches in the dining room and Chicken and Beef barbecue’s on deck normally provided on long cruises that are filled with many sea days. EMBARKING – RATING- POOR - The absolute worst experience ever in over 35 cruises. On October 18, 2014 at the Marriott Hotel we were told by a Princess Representative to be at the Los Angeles Airport “Delta” arrival by 10:30AM for transfer to the “Crown” Princess cruise ship. At 10:30AM we were with the Princess’s representative at the airport along with a large group waiting to be transferred to the ship. Later, we were told we would be taken by bus to the Radisson Hotel for coffee and sweet rolls where we were to sign up for the transfer to the ship and register for the boarding of the cruise; we stood in line for approximately 35 minutes, no chairs available for the handicapped. Then we waited and waited, until at 1:30PM, by then there were no Princess Representatives remaining to guide us to the bus, we finally found and boarded the bus to the cruise docks; and made good time to the cruise docks. But then there was a long line of buses at the cruise docks so we waited over an hour on the bus, we were the last bus exiting and there was no Princess Representative to guide us handicapped folks into the terminal with our carry-on luggage and canes. Once in the terminal, there was a sign posted “WAITING AREA FOR HANDICAPPED; we waited, then we were told we had to take the escalator and we said we could not use the escalator as we are handicapped and use a cane to steady ourselves with the carryon luggage. Then we were told to use the elevator to the 2nd floor and there would be wheel chairs waiting. Guess what, no wheel chairs waiting and no Princess Representative around. We waited; finally we were greeted by a gentlemen with a broken wheel chair. Then there were plenty of Princess Personnel around however no one seemed to know what to do; just a horrible mess. We were taken to get our cabin key and were required to show our passports for the 3rd time. We finally arrived at our cabin R-710 at 3:45pm just as the announcement to go to the required Ship’s Onboard Drill was being announced. It took us from 10:30am in the company of Princess Personnel’s direction until 3:45pm to arrive at our cabin R-710. This was absolutely the worst transfer in over 35 cruises that we have ever encountered on any cruise ship. Many of the Princess’s representatives were untrained and had no idea as to what they were supposed to do, so they stood around and talked amongst themselves. Cabin Steward – RATING- VERY POOR-- 1st day - October 18th pleasant and accommodating; at which time I told if you take good care of us, we will take very good care of you; and smiled and said he would take good care of us. On the first day, my wife called guest services and told them the carpet in the cabin was filthy and asked for it to be shampooed; someone came and shampooed the carpet with in thirty minutes. Beginning, from 2md day, October 19th through November 4, 2014 never smiled or greeted us, he was in another world. On the 5th day my wife called “Guest Services” inquiring when the sheets were supposed to be changed as she had noticed a hole in the sheet on the first day; they replied on the 3rd day. The seas were somewhat rough; we had removed Princess’s bottle of water and the cans of soda from the inside of the refrigerator and placed them on top of the refrigerator so we could keep our items in the refrigerator. During the night, the bottle of water and the cans of soda rolled off the top of the refrigerator and lodged themselves behind and at the side of the refrigerator. During the following days, we asked several times to remove these items that were lodged at the side and rear of the refrigerator as we did not want to be charged for them; however never did anything about it, subsequently we called “Guest Services” to resolve this matter. We told the light was out over the mirror and later the light over the bed was out, and ask him to have maintenance dept. replace them; he did nothing and we subsequently called “Guest Services to have the lights replaced. For about two weeks we asked to put extra soap and Kleenex in the cabin, it was about two weeks before he got the message; in the meantime we asked the lady nearby for items when needed. She was getting annoyed with  deficiencies. Often would not put the open Kleenex in its holder just leave them on the sink. The only toiletries in the head were a hand lotion that was seldom replaced. Does the absolute minimum as a Room Steward like a bad maid in a hotel. We would rate as the worst Cabin Steward we have ever had in over 35 cruises. Princess apparently has cut its toiletries to hand lotion; no shampoo or conditioners etc. Shampoo is now offered in a dispenser in the shower; no good for us. Kleenex offer by Princess is of a very poor quality. PLUMBING: We had to call for the plumber nine (9) times as the toilet would not flush and twice because the toilet was leaking and the water had gone over the lip in the bathroom and flooded onto our cabin floor; what a mess. CONDITION OF SHIP – it needs to go into dry dock and be thoroughly cleaned and updated; many plumbing issues on this ship exist, well-worn mattresses and carpet in cabins need to be replaced as well as the carpet in hallways. Seats in Princess Theatre are showing their wear. Chairs in clubs and all around the ship need to have their cushions replaced. The library needs to be remodeled and have more space. The ship needs a good size card playing room and should provide playing cards for free like they use to. The Internet Café needs to be relocated to a quieter location and the Internet Café manager, a real jerk needs to be replaced with someone who is more helpful and has a pleasant personality and does not act like a criminal attorney. He is no asset to your company and is often away during his stated position during posted business hours. He won’t bring Princess business and will chase away a lot of customers. MANAGEMENT IN MEDICAL EMERGENCY SITUTATION - RATING POOR –Training at the handling the problems of passengers needs to be addressed which were caused from a crew member’s medical emergency at sea. Management is Often untrained, Rude and demonstrates uncaring management on the Princess “Crown” existed. By now Princess must have received hundreds of letters on how poorly management of Crown Princess handled the effects of the one day delay in returning to Los Angles, about 3,000 passengers trying to adjust their airplane reservations, hotel reservations, people expecting to pick up passengers at the cruise dock, etc. Management could not have done a poorer job if they tried. At one point during the ship’s problem over several days while waiting in line by the purser’s desk on deck #6 to use the telephone, my wife asked a passing officer for his help, he was in full dress uniform (no mistake that he was an officer). My wife pointed out the deafening noise coming from the ongoing events on deck #5 below which was making it almost impossible to hear on the telephone. She pointed out that the conference room on deck #5 was empty and it was locked up today, but it was available yesterday; perhaps the conference room could be utilized today.” The officer threw up his hands in the air and said, “That’s not my problem” and walked swiftly away. Now that’s only one example of lacking quality management that we experienced! Our feelings now that the cruise is over and we are back home: We didn’t get a quality cruise for the reasons noted above. We didn’t get the 28 day cruise that we paid for; what we got was a 21 day cruise followed by 7 days beginning on November 9, 2014 of confusion to November 16, 2014 of rude uncaring management of Princess “Crown;” as a result of a crew member’s medical emergency. Previously, I was of the understanding of how well trained the management of Princess Cruises were trained to handle emergencies. From this experience, it points out just how poorly trained management is in handling the logistical problems of passengers that are caused from a ship emergency of this nature. Overall this Princess cruise left a sour taste in our mouth for Princess, previously we were a big cheerleader for Princess. It appears to us that Princess finances is not doing as well as it would like or they are pressing for larger returns. So it is doing what any other greedy business tries to do; a definite mistake; management trims the quality of its product in an attempt to raise the gross profit while trimming expenses by cutting labor expense to increase profits. A short time solution that will cause bigger problems in the near future as the loss of Princess seasoned travelers won’t be far behind. Since arriving home, in the past two weeks we have received numerous Princess marketing emails and several pieces of marketing via regular mail. As a result of this cruise, most likely we will not go with Princess any time in the foreseeable future, but instead spend our travel dollars on a River Cruise or a Land tour or perhaps just take a trip somewhere for a couple of weeks for our next several vacations utilizing recommended recent trips of our friends. We recommend to anyone planning a cruise to pass on Princess Cruises and look elsewhere; Princess is nothing like it used to be; now it’s a low grade cruise by comparison to its former self. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We have done a majority of our cruises with Princess and this was our 4th AK cruise with them. It was our second time on the Crown Princess. We did a Caribbean cruise on her in 2011 and still consider it one of the best values we've ... Read More
We have done a majority of our cruises with Princess and this was our 4th AK cruise with them. It was our second time on the Crown Princess. We did a Caribbean cruise on her in 2011 and still consider it one of the best values we've had cruising. So, we booked the Crown again for 2014. It was a totally different experience and disappointing. First, the good. The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. The weather was good, and the captain/pilot got us up close to Hubbard Glacier and the glaciers in Glacier Bay. We saw more wildlife from the ship than on three other AK cruises combined. The photo opportunities were abundant and we took full advantage. There were no rough seas the entire voyage. Other than the fact that we got lucky with the weather, the general shipboard experience was not good. The staff was perfunctorily polite and "welcome aboard" and "how are you today" are not substitutes for service. Our room steward was friendly, but did the minimum or less. Written forms that we could leave for him or take to the customer service desk were left in the "mailbox" and I had to take them down myself. The ice was not replenished unless my wife put an empty ice bucket outside our room. He seemed to manage to show up when we had the privacy sign in the lock and not when we were out and left the sign indicating the room was empty and ready to be cleaned, which was most of the day. Except for a few items the food was beyond poor. I could not finish anything I tried on the buffet and I am not a picky eater. It was evident that the food was not prepared meal to meal but prepared ahead of time and placed in cold storage to be reheated before each meal. Too often they didn't succeed in getting the food to a proper serving temperature. Where I live, the health department would shut them down for serving food that cold. These are only a few examples of what was wrong. Scrambled eggs were barely warm on the edge of the serving pan, and cold once you got beyond the first inch or so. On the German theme night the sausage was warm on the outside and cold in the middle. The hot German Potato Salad was so undercooked that the potatoes had a raw taste. The grits with cheese and bacon had no flavor indicating cheese or bacon. The fresh pineapple was only cored and sliced and the knives provided were barely could separate them from the peel. The anytime dining wasn't much better. One of our party got a piece of off tasting fish and became ill. The scallops had so much sand in them I could only eat 3 of the 6. The tenderloin was anything but tender. The lobster was undercooked and the king prawns cooked to leather. I could only eat a couple of bites of my NY Strip steak as it was so tough I couldn't cut it with the provided steak knife. The scoop ice cream appeared to be their soft serve dessert mix (lots of large ice crystals) that was placed in container and hardened. I know that a lot of people like the pizza but to me it can't compare to what we were served on the Celebrity Century. The pool side hamburgers were big but flavorless, and the available toppings were very basic. The best food on the ship was the pastries in the International Cafe. The coffee there was good too. Maybe the food would have been acceptable if my expectations hadn't been raised by my previous experience on the ship. But overall it was beyond disappointing. Because of our excursions we could only get into anytime dining venues at later hours and that limited our opportunities to take in the ship's entertainment unless we wanted to be up very late, which we didn't. We did make it a priority to see the comedian who was in the theater and not a small venue. He was OK until a couple of families arrived late and had to find seating in the front row. They tried to be polite and discreet and not interrupt the performance, but he seized on the opportunity to heckle them. It might have been OK if they had been native speakers of English, but the comedian kept pushing the issue and made it personal to the point where the father of the family got up and started shouting at the performer. This response was to tell the man that, "If you don't like it write Princess a letter. They'll show it to me and your address will be on it so I'll know where you live and can come burn your house down." Totally unacceptable and really ruined the mood for the evening after a great day of scenic cruising. By the end of the cruise I couldn't wait to get off the ship. The previous cruise on the Crown I wanted to stay forever. It is really a shame about the deterioration of food, entertainment, and service that has taken place since I last sailed on the Crown It was a cruise of extremes. Extremely good weather, itinerary, and opportunities to see things we have always wanted to see. Extremely bad food and entertainment that left a very poor impression of Princess Cruise lines. I was surprise to have read so many negative reviews of the ship before my cruise because of my prior experience. Now I know why. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
The ship and the crew were not 100 % prepared for one of their first Cruises in Alaska. We took the land tour first, seeing Mt. McKinley and Denali. For the most part that was fine, except when our luggage was unloaded from being ... Read More
The ship and the crew were not 100 % prepared for one of their first Cruises in Alaska. We took the land tour first, seeing Mt. McKinley and Denali. For the most part that was fine, except when our luggage was unloaded from being transported from Mt. McKinley Lodge to the Denali Princess Lodge, the luggage was covered in fine dust / dirt and damaged. Apparently no one had the foresight to clean out the luggage carts from last season. This happened to other travelers as well. When we arrived at Whittier on the train from Denali, we had to wait for our room keys to be handed out on the train car, even though they had been promised to us, when our passports were scanned on the Train by Princess representatives.. The stairway was at the rear of the car, but they started handing out room keys from the front of the railcar. This was a really bonehead move, somewhat like deplaning an airplane from the rear then working up to the front to First Class. Upon arrival to our cabin on the ship, we found only 2 sets of towels and a broken refrigerator . Upon calling Guest services to get a new one, they asked me to wait until the next day. Also, some elevators were reserved for transporting luggage that arrived late. In fact one Mid-Ship elevator was broken for the first 3 days. There were many questions we posed to various crew members and soon learned they didn't have many correct answers. We finally had to resort to ask the same question of multiple cruise personnel and use the consensus answer which was not always correct. The second day we needed to do laundry on deck 14. We found out the hard way that two of the four dryers would take your money, but not generate heat to dry the clothes. I reported this to guest services, who sent up TWO repair people, who put their hands in the dryer to feel if there was heat, and concluded that yes, they needed maintenance. They only had one Out of Order sign with them, so they removed an out of order sign from a broken detergent dispenser and placed it on the dryer. When I inquired as to why they didn't fix the dryer, they said they had to get an electrician. That afternoon, the ship visited the Hubbard Glacier and there was a Naturalist who was describing the sights of the Glacier. However, for anyone trying to watch the view from the Web Cam on their television sets, they were out of luck as the Webcam was covered with water and ice droplets and was totally useless. For many late risers breakfast was a journey to the Horizon food buffet. The food selection was good, but the seating inadequate. Princess had an adjoin buffet area called Caribe, but would let anyone sit there after getting their food from the Horizon buffet. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
The good: The St. Thomas suite is rather roomy and could easily accommodate six people for cocktails canapés and even dinner. The main atrium was generally well-done, and the offerings (vines) above average. Our itinerary voyage of the ... Read More
The good: The St. Thomas suite is rather roomy and could easily accommodate six people for cocktails canapés and even dinner. The main atrium was generally well-done, and the offerings (vines) above average. Our itinerary voyage of the glaciers southbound seemed to be superior to the itinerary of a number of other cruise passengers we met throughout the week at the pair of overlapping ports. Embarkation for passengers traveling in suites could not have been better- dedicated line and expedited handling. Complementary use of the thermal suites and access to the spa gym was a very nice touch reserved for suite passengers. Similarly the expanded room service affording complete menu offerings for suite passengers also proved to be valuable, as the quality of the food received from room service was superior to hash being slung in the main dining rooms. The food and service at the Crowne Grill and wheelhouse pub (although only open for lunch two of the seven days) was generally very good, the breakfast in Sabatini's for suite passengers also a very nice touch. The bad: Despite throwing the cabin steward an extra hundred beginning of the trip service was average at best. While the room was clean and well refreshed daily and ice was omnipresent, getting the correct daily menus was a challenge. Speaking of menus, food in the main dining rooms could best be described as a bland version of bland. Why in the hell a suite contains two twin beds smashed together to create a queen is beyond me. How often has a passenger(s) booked a suite and specifically requested two twin beds? Several of the other public areas of the ship or downright pathetic and included the mini golf course, arcade, boards that contained a map of the voyage were 25% map and 75% exposed plywood. The evening canapés were pathetic and when specific items were ordered (chocolate covered strawberries) and claim to have been delivered only to realize they had not the excuse became "We must of been out of those." The ugly: The spa and associated services go well beyond being a bad joke and border on the criminal. After specifically declining a number of product's my wife was still charged almost $400 for said product's. After objecting she was told that the transaction had already been completed and it was suggested she just take the product's and try to return them at a later when a "Supervisor" was on duty. This was obviously an attempt to extract as much "additional income" as humanly possible and a source of great aggravation for my wife and by extension me. On the first day of the cruise we were told that the specialty restaurants could be booked the day of and not in advance, as suite passengers we had preferred reservations and not overly concerned. Halfway through the cruise we found out that the specialty restaurants were completely booked for the remainder of the voyage, and could not accommodate any any additional reservations. Given the lackluster food options, this was particularly infuriating because in addition to the preferred reservations for suite passengers not being applicable, at no point were any of the specialty restaurants more than half full on nights that were supposedly "Sold out." Summary: Most of the other reviews about the Princess line slipping into and below mediocrity are by in large accurate. This is particularly disappointing given that we popped for a suite, as we were traveling with a group of 16 people. Our group consisted of a suite, a family suite, a mini suite, a premium balcony, and two premium Oceanview cabins. At the end of the day if you're looking for a bargain, sale with Norwegian, Carnival, or Princess. If you're looking for a better boat, service, and overall experience sail with Celebrity or Holland America. Full disclosure I am a carnival cruise stockholder Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
DH and I are seasoned cruisers with nearly 30 of them either completed or scheduled. The majority of them have been with Norwegian Cruise Line but we have cruised with Princess and Carnival, too. Our last Princess cruise was nearly 6 years ... Read More
DH and I are seasoned cruisers with nearly 30 of them either completed or scheduled. The majority of them have been with Norwegian Cruise Line but we have cruised with Princess and Carnival, too. Our last Princess cruise was nearly 6 years ago and when we saw they were offering a Pacific Coastal cruise we decided to book one. We wanted to "come back new". We originally booked an interior stateroom but as the cruise date came closer, it was apparent there were many, many balcony cabins still available. I placed a call to Princess and was able to upgrade to a balcony on the Caribe deck, scoring one of the partially covered, large balcony cabins. The price for this cruise was substantially less what we had paid for previous 7 day cruises. As the time came closer, it appeared Princess was cutting corners. Our embarkation time was moved back to beween 2PM-4PM. In other words, lunch would not be served. We took a flight which arrived at LAX by 1:30. Luggage pick up was quick and we went to the Super Shuttle pick up zone. Apparently their computer system was down as the dispatchers had no idea when the next shuttle to San Pedro would arrive. Finally, after waiting more than an hour, our van arrived. I wish I could say he whisked us to the ship but as this was a shared van, he attempted to circle the airport for more passengers. DH was livid at this point and demanded the driver take us directly to the port as it was nearing 4PM. Long story short, we arrived at the port in plenty of time (and won't take Super Shuttle again). At the port, we were greeted with an extremely long line stretching the entire length of the building, along one side and then snaking back and forth a few times. There was no place to sit and most of the line was in the sun. Rumors were that the ship was undergoing a thorough Customs search but then we heard about the norovirus. At one point, a security guard came through with bottled water. Approximately 5PM, the line began to move very rapidly and we were on board by 5:30. One thing we noticed was the lack of hand sanitizers when boarding the ship. On Norwegian, they are at every gangway and elevator. Waiting for us in our cabin was the letter from the medical officer confirming the norovirus was, indeed, on board the ship. Our stateroom was very nice and the closet area was great but the seating choices - other than the chair and bed - were minimal. The balcony was large with 2 reclining chairs and ottomans and a nice sized dining table. The cabin was large enough (barely) that one afternoon DH dragged one of the recliners and ottoman into our cabin so he could elevate his feet. I wish the weather would've been better so we could've enjoyed that balcony a little more but it was nice to have a door to open for fresh air. Our cabin appeared clean but when DH ran an extension cord under the bed, he discovered several cans of soda and bottled water (along with lots of dust bunnies). The room steward apparently uses this space under the beds for storage as the sodas and water were gone on the last day. Our room steward never changed the bedding on our bed. He said he'd added an eggcrate foam topper to the mattress but it still wasn't very comfy. I only had to ask once for extra washcloths and he brought them everyday. He reluctantly gave us a fresh bar of soap on day 5. One day we came back to no glasses in our cabin. He told us they were being sanitized. After that, the tray and ice tongs were gone completely. I missed my towel animals, too. I was not impressed with our steward's attitude - I doubt he knew our names even at the end of the cruise. On Norwegian, we've always been greeted by our stewards calling us by our first names. He barely looked at us. Muster drill was held (ours was in the Fusion Lounge - again no hand sanitizers) and we all learned how to put our life jackets on. Afterwards, we returned our jackets to our cabin and went directly to the Anytime Dining location (Yay! Purell was available when entering the dining room.). We were among the first group being seated. We shared the table with 3 other couples. I expected service to be slow, but 2 hours? Nothing was served at the proper temperature. Not at this meal or any others throughout the week. After dinner, it was nice to unpack and stow everything for the next week. We had ample storage and even had empty spaces. Luggage fit nicely under the bed but it could have easily gone into the closet area. We went to the show that evening and thought the Princess singers and dancers were good. We were not impressed with the comedy duo - it seemed they would be better suited for a Carnival cruise. Food is always subjective but on this cruise it was not good. Maybe it was the noro precautions. Maybe the food is always served cold and flavorless. We ate in the main dining room 5 out of 7 nights. One night we asked for a table for 2 and we shared tables the other evenings. The best meal I had was a scallop dish. It was the one time my main course was hot. The scallops were served in a cream sauce and a piece of crusty bread would have been nice but alas, the bread was only offered at the beginning of the meals. DH said the salmon he ordered twice was very good. We tried the buffet a few times. I like to look over the selections and then make my choices. The only hot thing was my plate and by the time my selections were made it, too, was cold. I thought the buffet was set up in a very confusing manner. Why not have the salads and soups at the beginning of the line? The salad bar selections were very limited. And what was up with the one warm dessert in the hot food line? Talk about cross-contamination! I love desserts but this was one cruise that nothing appealed to me. All of the cakes seemed to be from Pepperidge Farm. And it's hard for me to admit, the ice cream bomb was too sweet even for me! Also, we did not like the fact they only had one buffet line open when most passengers tried to eat there on Ensenada day. The lines were long and tables were hard to find. Also, the buffet area was congested and having the servers there to dole out food just added to the congestion. The pizza was very good with a nice crispy crust and slightly spiced sauce. In fact, we had pizza on the second formal night as we didn't feel like dressing up for dinner. Breakfast in the dining room was okay. Again, we shared our table. One morning they offered Muselix as the specialty. Now, this is one of my favorite menu items on Norwegian. It was so disappointing! It was nothing like that served on NCL! My bowl of cold glop contained one tiny sliver of apple and 3 raisins in the tasteless of oatmeal. I doubt anyone in the kitchen even tasted their "recipe". At another breakfast, toast was so hard it could've broken a tooth. I did enjoy the fruit and bran muffins and most mornings, DH had a mushroom omelet. I truly enjoyed my coffee card. DH and I shared the card and I used all but one punch. The coffee in the International Cafe was much better than that served in the dining room and/or buffet. From what I understand, the punch on my card will be accepted on our next Princess cruise and it never expires. They served heavy - very heavy - cream at the International Cafe. Also, the cashew chicken salad was very good as were the sweets (all complimentary). I haven't really mentioned the norovirus which was an on-going battle during this cruise. While it did not affect us, some 150+ passengers and 30+ crew members were down for the count. Every noon, the Captain would make an announcement about the numbers and how they were increasing by the day. The mantra during this cruise was "wash your hands". One night, I could not sleep so I decided to go for a walk around the decks. It was 1:45 and it was quiet! The only thing open was the International Café. Even the casino was closed. This would have been the ideal time to deep clean but the only person I saw cleaning was wiping down a railing. It wasn't exactly what I'd call deep cleaning! We took our normal precautions but were surprised Princess did not have the hand sanitizers when boarding the ship. I know it does not kill the norovirus, but it helps with other bacterial infections. We have cruised with NCL many, many times and they have someone stationed at the gangway when boarding the ship to spray your hands, the globes at the elevators, casinos, theater, etc. Princess really dropped the ball here. I also asked why the announcements were made only in English. There was a very large group of non-English speaking passengers. What good does it do make announcements when passengers don't understand them? We enjoyed most the entertainment - the Princess singers and dancers were excellent! Too bad the shows were down to 30 minutes. But since they put on 3 shows per night, it makes sense. Dan (the Deputy Cruise Director) was funny! Not sure what the Cruise Director does, but the Deputy was out and about and is a great talent. We heard Dan was great during the Liars Club; sad we missed it! We also enjoyed La Paire - the body balancing act. They put on mini shows in La Piazza throughout the cruise. And Doug Funk was hilarious! DH - who says he doesn't like improv - wanted to go to 2 shows the same night. I agreed! The crew and staff on the Crown did not go out of their collective ways to be friendly. It was rare to see a smile or hear a "hello". Maybe they were all tired and overworked. Maybe they were all sick. Or just sick and tired. And, unlike Norwegian, we never did we see any officers out and about. Overall the ports we visited were wonderful! We enjoyed San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Diego. We stayed on board the ship when it docked in Ensenada. We'd been there before and it isn't our favorite stop. One thing that makes Norwegian extra special, is the “welcome back” you receive when returning from a port of call. Sometimes it’s a cool cup of water, a damp face cloth or just a greeting. What did we get from Princess? Absolutely nothing. To be fair, there were a few things I thought that Princess/Carnival does better than Norwegian. For one thing, there is no separate card for the casino. You could download money directly from your on board account to the casino (could be dangerous to some). Another thing was the theater seating which was much more comfy than what we've experienced on Norwegian ships. The fold away tables for beverages was a nice touch. And I thought there was more legroom in the theater. Disembarkation - Well, it could've been better. We received a letter the night before saying everyone had to be out of their cabins by 8AM. That wasn't going to happen - especially since our flight wasn't until mid-afternoon. We went to one last breakfast and shared the table with a couple we'd met on the ship. We then went back to our cabin, collected the last of our belongings and went to our assigned location to wait for our color/number to be called. We waited there maybe 45 minutes. On Norwegian, we can wait anywhere on board and debark when we're ready. Once we were through Customs and Immigration, we waited just a few minutes for our shuttle to LAX. That airport is such a mess. It took close to an hour just to get to bag check. We had lots of time though and enjoyed people watching. This was the first time in a long time we went without a computer. I had my smartphone and used that for emails when we were in port. I don't have an international plan but had a signal much of the time. We did log in to the internet for their 10 minute last day special so we could print out our boarding passes. Come to think of it, I could have checked in using my phone and saved a few pennies. Our on board charges were for our gratuities, internet/printing, one soda and the coffee card. We each had a drink the last night but it was complimentary from the Captain's Club. So, you ask, did we “come back new”? Not exactly. We were actually anxious to get off the ship and away from the norovirus, the tasteless lukewarm food and the unhappy crew. Overall, it was a good cruise. Not a great cruise. Will we cruise with Princess again? It may be another 6 years before we return.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Our family was on the April 5, 2014 California Coastal cruise with the norovirus outbreak that made national news. We occupied three mini suites aboard the Crown Princess. One of us contracted norovirus. The previous cruise also had a ... Read More
Our family was on the April 5, 2014 California Coastal cruise with the norovirus outbreak that made national news. We occupied three mini suites aboard the Crown Princess. One of us contracted norovirus. The previous cruise also had a norovirus outbreak and embarkation was delayed several hours to sanitize the ship so there was a long line and no lunch. Once the cruise began, the staff seemed slow to respond to the new norovirus outbreak. It wasn't until nearly half way through the cruise before handrails and elevator buttons were being regularly cleaned. Infected passengers were confined to their cabins with their non-infected cabin-mates. Normal cabin-cleaning service stopped, and a slower less-reliable sanitizing teams came. Fresh linens and towels became scarce, beds were unmade, room service slow and inaccurate, plumbing clogged, and it took many calls and trips to the front desk to get the simplest tasks done. For those uninfected, the food was bland and flavorless. Not necessarily low quality, although certainly not high quality, but reminiscent of tasteless hospital food. Several steps below Las Vegas buffet food. There were no salt and pepper on the table because of norovirus outbreak. I bought my own seasoning in San Francisco and brought it to the dining room. In the main dining room or buffet, the hot entrees were cold. Amazingly, frozen desserts were served cold. The itinerary had two sea days in a one week cruise. There should have been port stops in Catalina and/or Monterey, especially considering the banal activities and bad food. Our dinner server worked extremely hard and efficiently. She had only one helper and she was obviously overworked. Through no fault of hers, we didn't have enough time to look at our menus and felt rushed by the frantic atmosphere. Dinner was not a relaxing experience. I've been on many cruises, and have never had this issue. In most of the dining rooms and especially the buffet, beverage service was slow or never came. My water glass was empty more often than partially full. During some meals we had no beverages. I have been on about ten cruises from the low end to Oceania, including a Princess cruise in the past. I thought Princess was a decent cruise line before this cruise. Even the few Carnival cruises I've taken were better. I realize that because of the norovirus outbreak, it is unfair to judge Princess by this cruise. That said, when faced with challenges, does an organization rise to the occasion or flounder? Taking everything into account, this cruise was unbelievably bad. It really had a low-budget / bargain feel and I'll not travel with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We have sailed with Princess on 8 cruises over the past year and a half, this was our first on the Crown Princess. We were very disappointed in the overall experience. Certainly not up to the usual friendly Princess style on the other ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess on 8 cruises over the past year and a half, this was our first on the Crown Princess. We were very disappointed in the overall experience. Certainly not up to the usual friendly Princess style on the other ships we have enjoyed (Island, Golden, Sapphire and Coral). The entire crew was more or less not there, only going through the motions. Extremely poor service. Can't say as we saw many of the crew members smile. Actually, they all seemed rather unhappy to be there. One bright spot was our steward who was attentive and friendly. Unfortunately, there was little to no interaction with crew members. They were very aloof and distant, with one exception, our waitress in the Crown Grill. She was simply superb, professional and very friendly. She was the highlight of the entire week. Plus, this was the very best food on the entire ship. Most of the food choices elsewhere were bland, boring and pretty much uninviting. The poor service from the dining staff didn't help any. Overall, this was by far our worst cruise with Princess. We currently have 2 more bookings on the Crown Princess this year. We are meeting with our travel agent this coming week to discuss cancelling these cruises. Do not wish to waste our travel dollars on a ship with a poorly managed and unfriendly crew. Our other complaint with the Crown Princess on this cruise was how much the ship vibrated. Of course we know ships creek and groan, but the vibration throughout our cabin was excessive in our opinion and very annoying. The noise level on this ship, especially music in public areas, was also excessive. There was never a comfortable location where one could find much peace and quiet. All of these things we found distressing and not something we have experienced on other ships. It is obvious the Crown Princess must be crossed off our list of potential future cruise opportunities. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We took the 7 night California Coastal cruise leaving LA on April 5. We have cruised with Princess before and have come expect a certain level of service and accommodations - The cruise ship is beautiful and the food is better than ... Read More
We took the 7 night California Coastal cruise leaving LA on April 5. We have cruised with Princess before and have come expect a certain level of service and accommodations - The cruise ship is beautiful and the food is better than average, Other than that this cruise was a disappointment. Embarkation - We were asked to fill out the standard health questionnaire when we arrived at the terminal. Nobody gave us the opportunity to ask if the ship was healthy --- it was not. We were told that boarding would be delayed so the crew could complete a deep cleaning of the ship due to novovirus. So the passengers were held in the terminal for an extended period of time (over 2 hours). It was crowded and disorganized and the line made an announcement that the fire marshall determined that too many people were in the building ... they suggested that we take a walk and have lunch in the local restaurants. Like someone is going to walk nearly a mile to the nearest restaurant with their carry on bags. Novovirus - We found that the buffet was no longer self serve, in the interest of stopping the virus all stations were manned by staff members to serve the food. Buffet service was inefficient and just clumsy the whole week. Staff was stretched very thin -- we noted significant decline in all levels of service throughout the ship for the entire week. Passengers were not allowed to touch salt and pepper shakers, sugar packets or coffee creamer ..... everything had to be served by the staff leading to poor service in other areas. Spa - I paid to use the thermal suite in the spa, thinking I would enjoy day use of the facilities. I was wrong. The Lotus Spa should be renamed the Lotus Treatment Suite. There are plenty of treatment rooms for paid services but very little in the way of spa amenities. In the ladies locker room there is insufficent space for dressing and only the handicapped shower provides adequate modesty - why would they use glass shower doors with large stripes of clear glass in a shared shower area? The spa has one weak water fountain, not appealing on a ship with live novovirus - no provision for ice water (a standard at every other spa I have visited). I overheard a lady ask if there was any lotion available - nope, they only provided hand soap with shower gel and shampoo in the shower stalls. If you do go to the spa, bring the pool towel from your cabin, the towels in the spa are not large. The thermal suite is nice, but they don't have robe hooks near the specialty showers -- you have to leave your robe on the floor as you step into the shower (wearing a bathing suit since the thermal suite is co-ed)....doesn't seem very sanitary does it? Duty free - I bought a bottle of cologne from the Duty Free shop. Due to the novovirus there were no testers available either on a self serve basis or behind the counter...so I bought something I know I like. I certainly felt foolish when I checked on line - in less than 2 minutes I found 3 websites where I could have bought the same product for less than $39 .... I paid Princess $62. So, buyer beware when trading with the duty free shop -- they will take advantage of you. Disembarkation -- Same as the boarding in reverse. My group was held a full hour after our appointed departure time and when we arrived at the customs area we found that there was absolutely nobody there. It felt like someone forgot to tell the passengers it was time to leave. I'm fairly certain that if I had reported recent illness on my health questionnaire they could have denied me access to the cruise --- it would have been nice if the passengers were given the facts and offered the opportunity to reschedule to another date or another ship. The whole cruise was just "off".....service in the restaurants was not up to par, we never saw our cabin steward, bar service was very slow and every call to room service resulted a cautionary message that it would take at least 90 minutes for delivery. Combine the poor service with my feeling of being ripped off by the fee for the spa access and duty free overcharges --- I'm not sure I will be cruising with Princess again.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
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 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
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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