431 Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews

We have always taken transatlantic cruise on other Princess ships and had great experiences. However on this cruise there were numerous issues. -The first night in the dining room we were given 3 pats of butter at a table with four ... Read More
We have always taken transatlantic cruise on other Princess ships and had great experiences. However on this cruise there were numerous issues. -The first night in the dining room we were given 3 pats of butter at a table with four people. the assistant waiter said he could not give us more because the supervisor was watching him. -The service in the dining room was extremely slow. After ordering an appetizer it took 45 min. to arrive. By the end of the cruise we were eating at the buffet. -The quality of the food has been down graded. We have been on 3 princess cruises since last Aug and could see a big difference. -We always go to the Crown Grill on each cruise. However we were surprise to see that not only was the food of lesser quality, there was an additional charge over and above the $29 for any extras on the main menu of $10. -For breakfast I always look forward to the corn-beef hash. This trip they changed the recipe and you could not recognize it as corn- beef it was more like creamed potatoes. -Ice cream machine broken -ran out of bacon -ran out of cream for coffee -Major rug installing all away across. Had an allergy to the material being used and needed medication and mask to wear. -In-Room bathroom had an odor. We Left the door opened but this did not help. -No place to play card with 7 days at sea. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were primarily interested in visiting St. Petersburg andit was the highlight of the trip..The other ports were less interesting...The stop in Poland was good and suprissing and again the weather was beautiful...The other ports were ... Read More
We were primarily interested in visiting St. Petersburg andit was the highlight of the trip..The other ports were less interesting...The stop in Poland was good and suprissing and again the weather was beautiful...The other ports were primarily time fillers...The crew was absolutely excellent...The food was mediocre to say the best and there was a lot of discussion by the passengers about the disappointment...We were permitted to upgrade to the steak or hamburger restaurants but the steaks were nothing extra and that was after the excessive fee to be able to eat there and also pay for the steaks.......The hamburger restaurant charged an entry fee of 12.00 per person and then one had to buy the hamburgers...Noticed not a lot of passengers took to the hamburger restaurant... The entire crew appeared to be well trained and every individual was always cordial and tried to please . The boarding and departure was timely and well done. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have taken at least 50 cruises on many different ships and were always happy with our choice. We went on the Crown Princess on Mach 25 with a group of 17 friends. Upon arrival in our cabin (B605) we noticed a terrible banging coming ... Read More
We have taken at least 50 cruises on many different ships and were always happy with our choice. We went on the Crown Princess on Mach 25 with a group of 17 friends. Upon arrival in our cabin (B605) we noticed a terrible banging coming from the hallway, We immediately went to the passenger service desk and were told there were no available cabins and they would try to look into the problem, Two sleepless nights later (earplugs and two pillows over my head did not diminish to banging enough to sleep) my husband said we were getting off as soon as we arrived in Antigua and flying home. The noise was that bad! Luckily for us, although not for someone else, someone was taken off the ship in an ambulance in Antigua and I again ran to the passenger services and we got that cabin (C616). That was very quiet, but whenever we passed cabin 606 we heard the same banging and were very sorry for those unfortunate guests. That meant the banging was on two decks and on both sides of the ship! This lasted for the entire 8 days of the cruise. Our new cabin's balcony was covered with rust and the chairs stained with paint and very dirty. Our friends had a toilet that only flushed once in a while for the entire cruise. Others also complained about the rust on balconies and the dirty condition. Friends who are elite were disappointed with their amenities compared with other cruise lines. The ship needs a major overhaul. This is not sold as a second tier cruise ship and it should be rust free and refurbished to reflect its first class status. On the plus side, the food and service was very good as was the on board entertainment. Cabin steward was wonderful and waiter tried very hard, which I know is difficult with a table for 10, We were mostly happy with the dining experience and did not try any special restaurants. Horizon Court was adequate for lundh and we were always able to find seats there. We always enjoy the trivia and games and those were plentiful. I think we will now consider the age of the ship when we pick a cruise Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose this cruise because the embarkation port for within driving distance from my home and easier for my senior parents. Overall I was satisfied with my experience. The food was fine. I actually thought the buffet was better than ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the embarkation port for within driving distance from my home and easier for my senior parents. Overall I was satisfied with my experience. The food was fine. I actually thought the buffet was better than normal. The usual cost cutting portions were evident in the MDR. I think most cruisers have become aware of those changes. MUTS was nice. I enjoyed it but I must say it was crowded and you had to get there early to find a seat. Blankets were also in shortage. Missed cookies and milk but the popcorn was still good. Always enjoy a pre-dinner drink at SkyWalkers. It was good as usual. Pool area was fine. I prefer the fantail. Normal complaints, people saving loungers, etc. You know the drill. Exiting the ship was quick and efficient. Great job on organization. My only real complaint was the entertainment. It was the poorest I think I have ever experienced. Didn't really matter since the theatre was so crowded you had to get there an hour early. We made the best of it and enjoyed the MUTS. Just find something else to enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
was thrilled with Princess on this one. I've done them many times and, probably give them another chance but, this cruise ship really need to go into dry dock to be redone. Bed were poor and, the condition of ship wasn't in great ... Read More
was thrilled with Princess on this one. I've done them many times and, probably give them another chance but, this cruise ship really need to go into dry dock to be redone. Bed were poor and, the condition of ship wasn't in great shape. We had to wait for 2 hours to disembark the ship in Rio because of immigration which was terrible people standing and, waiting in line for hours . On the other hand the food was the best I ever had on Princess but, they ran out of banana's and, Lemonade and, cream for the coffee in the main dinning room. Also the servers weren't as good as I remember them to be. You had to look for them breakfast in the Horizon Dinning room never a place to sit there either had to walk around for ten minutes until I found a table Enterainment was also no great and Salvador was a pit . We got off the ship and, got right back on. They really could of done a better stop then that. Every time I stepped off the bed there was a soft spot in the carpet that felt like I was sinking ship is really in bad shade. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Enjoy quiet days at sea and the cruise visited some Caribbean island new to us. Itinerary up the Brazilian coast was interesting and included many days at sea. Good fellow passengers being a healthy mix - lots of British, Australians ... Read More
Enjoy quiet days at sea and the cruise visited some Caribbean island new to us. Itinerary up the Brazilian coast was interesting and included many days at sea. Good fellow passengers being a healthy mix - lots of British, Australians and Canadians. The crew were, as always it seems, excellent, cheerful, friendly and always willing to help. Entertainment was quite good overall. The destinations speaker was excellent, humorous and informative. There was no other speaker/s which left a gap. Our cabin near the center of the ship had a marked vibration on some days and sometimes even in port! On the negative side, (1) the ship is tired as noted by several other passengers - the cabin was tired, etc. (2) Appears they were running inventory down - example: poor wine selection resulted in complaints we were told so no wine package - go figure, poor selection so higher prices!! (3) Prices - seems everything is now more expensive - example $13:50 per day gratuities - heard several passengers say they had decided to decline the charge - sad for the staff. (4) the main theater is too small - to get a seat for early show required arriving half an hour early - recommend three (shorter) shows each evening - one before dinner for the late sitting? Princess standards seem to be slipping and meanwhile onboard prices are up and sales activity sometimes seems to take priority. This may have improved the CCL share price and profitability but not the enjoyment of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary and a long history with Princess. This ship really needs to be dry docked for R&R (remove and replace) things like, beds, toilets, carpets, railings and a few modern updates. Our Caribe ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary and a long history with Princess. This ship really needs to be dry docked for R&R (remove and replace) things like, beds, toilets, carpets, railings and a few modern updates. Our Caribe balcony needed cleaning, new carpets and the balcony table, chairs, rails and windows never were cleaned unless we asked the steward to do it daily. What is it about the rude waiters and assistant waiters in the dining rooms? They think nothing about interrupting conversations to push pastries, alcoholic drink cards, speciality dining, photos and other stuff. Most dining requests get lost in translation? For example, I ask for a large glass of tomato juice and I receive two small glasses. It's not like there aren't large glasses already on the table. I have witnessed people requesting decaf coffee being served from the same pot filling caffeinated coffee cups. A request for a slice of tomato for a delivered sandwich and it arrives with the center missing; so primarily it's just a ring of tomato skin. A request for Cheese, comes back shreaded and not sliced. It's almost like you have to have a picture of the food item you want, prepared like you want, to get it the way you want. Kinda like having the menus dfrom Japan. I've noticed trends that the quality of items in the dining room has declined overall with items you order when received are not what you expected. An example, you order a fillet mignon and get some other cut of beef, hidden under a Béarnaise sauce. I have argued with more section waiters about the false claims on the cuts of meat than I care to remember. Only to be told that, "This is all we have" is insulting when you can get the correct cut of beef in a specialty dining room for 29 dollars more per meal. You might order a fancy dish like bouillabaisse and find that it is missing the saffron or even the fish. When you inquire about the difference, you're told that, "this is chef's interpretation of the dish." I wonder if I pay the onboard stateroom charges with my interpretation of money, would they be as pacified as they expect us to be. After nine days on a 19 day cruise, we continually received over cooked fish on the initial order and pre-orders. Of course we send it back and tell them we do not want dry fish, and the plate is returned much better but seldom perfect. When I asked the section waiter what does it take to have fish prepared so that is not over cooked and moist on the initial request we were told that we needed to sign a waiver for under cooked food. Never in my 14 cruses with Princess have I had to sign any such thing, no would any reasonable cruiser think that moist is raw. The Entertainment was about average for Princess; however we noticed that the entertainment was centered on English speaking patrons, while European and South American patrons were clueless when it came to jokes and stories. Half of the princess theatre was empty during a comedian/juggler or a comedian/magic act. Service was overall O.K.; there are always bright spots at your favorite bar (that is why it's your favorite). We found that Vines, Crooners and most likely your room steward were the highlights. I noticed that if we ordered a drink from anywhere else than your favorite bar, it was watered down. In those times, order beer or wine from splits. Also they stopped giving you receipts, you have to ask for them. Many people find errors on their stateroom accounts, it is good to have records. Princess should just forget about going to Brazil until they clean up their act, it is too crime ridden, dirty and difficult to get in and out of. Would I choose Princess again, yes. The industry has been declining over the years hiding the additional expense with add-on charges for just about everything. They are not different from their competitors in that regard, so when you compare them they are all pretty close to being the same with subtle differences. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this trip when it went on sale in December. We had done the Valparaiso - Buenos Aires three years ago. We booked as we like long cruises with sea days. BUT not this time. We like sea days because Princesses has always had ... Read More
We chose this trip when it went on sale in December. We had done the Valparaiso - Buenos Aires three years ago. We booked as we like long cruises with sea days. BUT not this time. We like sea days because Princesses has always had outstanding enrichment lectures on sea days. There were none on this trip. We tried to find out what happened and could not get an answer even after writing a note to Mattias who was in charge of entertainment. Needless to say we were very disappointed. We eat most of our dinners in the dining room. We had great table mates. BUT princess needs some new menus. Too much repeat for a 20 day cruise. While the chocolate Journeys desserts were interesting they were not a knock out. I have never felt that Princess does well with dessert in the dining room. Horizon court and International Cafe have better desserts. There needs to be more than 1 location to use the coffee card. It would also be nice if the coffee card could be used in the dining room and on the Horizon court. The "disappearing trays" in the theater should be cleaned more often. This ship is over ten years old and is tired. The furniture outside the Explorers Lounge desperately needs reupholstering. There was an ongoing problem on deck 7 with the drainage in the rear of the ship. We walked in puddles of water several times. There was always a sewer odor on deck 7 mid ship on the side of the Explorers Lounge. I understand tthe ship will be refurbished soon. Not soon enough? Disembakrment went fine as we were "carry your own bag" walk offs. To us the highlight of the trip was seeing Christ the Redeemer in Rio We are not into the beach scene so the islands did not impress us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Have traveled on Princess 33 times....the Crown Princess 3 times. Overall the food was quite good, hover Sabratini"s resturant was a big disapointment this time. The bed linnen was rairly changed and the cabin was not very clean. The ... Read More
Have traveled on Princess 33 times....the Crown Princess 3 times. Overall the food was quite good, hover Sabratini"s resturant was a big disapointment this time. The bed linnen was rairly changed and the cabin was not very clean. The ship is very "shop worn", it needs a complete referb.!, I will still go on Princess as I enjoy the "perks" one gets with ELITE statis. The ports were good, especially Rio! We enjoyed the cruise director, port lectures and the great entertainment. The workers in the coffee bar were very friendly. Embarkation and disembarkation were a nightmare.....custom agents took their old sweet time with the paperwork so we were all sitting around for hours. In rio we got up early to go on our tour.....however the agents took their time in clearing the ship....so our 8am tour didn't start until 11:30.....big disapointment! We were still our on tour at 8pm [instead of 4:30}....so we wern't able to have dinner until 9pm! TO LATE!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Itinerary round Horn was the attraction and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Good fellow passengers being a healthy mix - lots of British, Australians and Canadians. The crew were, as always it seems, excellent, cheerful, friendly and ... Read More
Itinerary round Horn was the attraction and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Good fellow passengers being a healthy mix - lots of British, Australians and Canadians. The crew were, as always it seems, excellent, cheerful, friendly and always willing to help. Entertainment was quite good overall. The destinations speaker was excellent, humorous and informative. Cannot say the same for the other speaker on security et al. Embarkation was a disaster - due to a strike of the port workers. Chile needs tourism and strikes cannot help promote the country. Some passengers were unable to get off the ship until after noon - wondered how many missed flights? On the negative side, (1) the ship is tired as noted by several other passengers - the cabin was tired, etc. (2) Appears they were running inventory down - example: poor wine selection resulted in complaints we were told so no wine package - go figure, poor selection so higher prices!! (3) Prices - seems everything is now more expensive - example $13:50 per day gratuities - heard several passengers say they had decided to decline the charge - sad for the staff. (4) the main theater is too small - to get a seat for early show required arriving half an hour early - recommend three (shorter) shows an evening - one before dinner for the late sitting? Princess standards seem to be slipping. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The cruise itinerary is pretty unique, starting at Valparaiso , then around the Cape ,into Buenos Aires and Rio, Salvador and onto the Caribbean. We spent 2 days in Santiago before we embarked, embarkation was an unorganised Shambles, a ... Read More
The cruise itinerary is pretty unique, starting at Valparaiso , then around the Cape ,into Buenos Aires and Rio, Salvador and onto the Caribbean. We spent 2 days in Santiago before we embarked, embarkation was an unorganised Shambles, a strike by Chilean dock staff delayed passengers getting off and passengers getting on - no input from Princess just very poorly organised chaos, and the chaos was repeated in Fort Lauderdale [ but more later]. The ship is a bit tired , but our cabin was fine and the cabin staff were great. Dining was anytime for us and most nights was wait and trouble free, food standard was ok, not as good as Celebrity but similar to other Princess cruises, average variety [ almost poor variety, and lots of repetition in the Horizon Court Buffet] The specialty restaurants were poorly patronised, we ate once at the Salty Dog [ very average] and once in Sabitinis [ great food, excellent service, but only 12 patrons] Entertainment was mixed, production shows were excellent, but if you wanted to go to the 8pm show be there an half hour early , the theatre holds just over 700 and their were 2800 passengers ? Staff were great everywhere, the coffee shop, restaurants, cabin staff and cruise directors team. The officers were rarely seen and the Captain rarely heard -- most unusual Ports were generally good, although the Chileans were on strike again at Puerto Montt and tours were cancelled, all the rest were great, Stanly, Punta Arenas, Montevideo and Rio were all excellent. Rio De Janeiro immigration held the ship up for over an hour before allowing disembarkation. Disembarkation at Fort lauderdale was also chaotic, long lines and 2 hour delays, and then the ships bus transits to airports was very poorly organised, we have done this type of transit from ports before, it has always been poor, lots missed flights. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We choose this cruise based on the itinerary. Never having been to South America we enjoyed the ports. We chose Princess excursions and for the most part they delivered what they promised. Before boarding we were driven around Santiago ... Read More
We choose this cruise based on the itinerary. Never having been to South America we enjoyed the ports. We chose Princess excursions and for the most part they delivered what they promised. Before boarding we were driven around Santiago and Valparaiso for an hour to our distress; only later as we arrived at the port terminal did we learn the port workers were on strike and the embarkation delayed. An hour and a half later after milling around amongst 2,000+ passengers we were able to board the ship. The lack of information at the terminal was distressing; Princess could have remidied this situation by having someone in charge to inform us of what was happening and see that lines were properly cordoned off, so we at least knew where to wait. I was told to wait in line #3 but where to go as there were no lines. What a disastrous start to our trip. The ship is older and in great need of some TLC; dirty worn carpets, walls in need of repainting, some repair of glass doors and safes as well (ours did not open unless we used a nail file to pry it). The food was average ship fare; nothing outstanding but nothing bad, although we did have two table-mates return fish which was spoiled and smelt beyond fresh. They could do with a little more originality in choosing their menus and not so much repetition of choices: how many times do we want to see pork on the menu in so many permutations as in recycled leftovers. The dining room wait staff was badly trained or not at all as when my entire was about to be removed twice without a question as to if I was finished or not. They were either novices with no direction or poorly trained and the dining room captains were not helpful in guiding these persons but were rather pompous in their demeanor. At one breakfast we waited 45 minutes for our food, cornflakes with sliced banana and for my husband a bagel with salmon and cream cheese; then were told our order was being prepared. Really! The wait teams need to be taught how to work efficiently together. An amusing anecdote is in order: On one occasion when ordering the bagel cream cheese and salmon, my husband referred to the order as bagel lox and cream cheese and lo and behold he received a lot of cream cheese (get it? lox and cream cheese). We ate in Sabatini’s one evening and what a disappointment the experience turned out to be with just your average fare borrowed from the dining room menus; an empty restaurant except for two other tables and perhaps the absentees knew more than we did. I could not then imagine paying 29.00 per person for such food when it was ours at the dining room or even Horizon. The coffee, well an improvement with the coffee card enabling a real cup of perked coffee instead of the dreadful instant swill that is served. However, I think since purchasing this card one should have been able to enjoy a cup of perked coffee in the dining rooms also and not just the International Cafe. The Horizon is as always a jungle of humanity trying with not so quiet desperation to grab a table, anywhere anywhere at all not just a window, forget the window. And with no trays to carry our food we must return for our entree after our salad and then a return for dessert. Breakfast there is a joke on us, carry your fruit, return for the entree which could be eggs bacon toast and then wait for the juice and coffee service (the eggs are cold by now). This is not cruising at its best, as I eat like this at home with only one or two trips to place food on my table. The entertainment was what one might expect of a ship, poor mediocre or worse acts with two exceptions, the production shows, one of which Magic To Do was excellent. The venues are too small to accommodate the number of persons on this page ship and lines were always present at the Crooners Bar, International Cafe (of course the writing on the wall says the ship would rather we eat at Horizon), dining rooms and Explorers. The library can hardly be called that. It needs an update with comfortable chairs and a friendlier atmosphere. The Pacific Princess which is a quarter of the size of this ship has a library that is both welcoming and comfortable. Our cabin was alright but somewhat shabby with at times almost threadbare towels. We did have a stellar steward though who was pleasant and accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Our cruise was from Santiago (Valparaiso) to Buenos Aires via Cape Horn and the Falkland Islands in late February. It provided a break between land trips to Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Iguassu Falls on the Argentine / Brazil border, ... Read More
Our cruise was from Santiago (Valparaiso) to Buenos Aires via Cape Horn and the Falkland Islands in late February. It provided a break between land trips to Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Iguassu Falls on the Argentine / Brazil border, which were the main reasons for visiting South America. Having mentioned the reason for us taking the cruise, it would be remiss not to mention Machu Picchu and the Iguassu Falls. The cruise itself was certainly not a “trip of a life-time” but we were really glad that we had these two highlights on our “bucket list”. Machu Picchu Machu Picchu is amazing and even better than you might have imagined from any pictures. We had no problems with the altitude but drank plenty of water, avoided alcohol and coffee. Cusco and the Sacred Valley are also very interesting. It is best to stay in Cusco and also stay a night in Machu Picchu, ideally at the Inkaterra Hotel. The Inca trail would have been quite a challenge (although it is closed in February) so we took the easier train option. Expect some rain but you might be lucky, like we were. Iguassu Falls The Iguassu Falls are even more spectacular than Machu Picchu. Whilst it is possible to visit the falls from both the Argentinian side and Brazilian side in a single day, as we did, spreading this over two days would be better. We did not have time for either a helicopter trip or the very wet boat trip but managed to pick a day when the weather was perfect. Crown Princess is basically the same as her sister ships, Emerald and Ruby Princess, but lacks the new bedding found on the Emerald princess. Embarkation was delayed by several hours because the Valparaiso port stevedores were on strike. The Priority Boarding queue turned out to be the slowest line for boarding, so Princess's loyal passengers were inevitably upset. Loading of provisions was also curtailed, which was thought to account for the limited availability of wines on board. Having gone through the usual passenger safety drill on arrival, we could not see why it was necessary to pipe the crew's own emergency drill, and other messages, through to all cabins, in English then Spanish, the following morning. Safety is important but was unnecessarily intrusive. FOOD AND DRINK All food was of a consistently good quality but Princess menus are now so predictable that they are boring. Some items, like chicken and leek pie seemed to appear several times, there were few fresh vegetables and hardly any seasonal fruit besides strawberries. We soon discovered that the choice of wines, especially white wine, was very limited and they had abandoned the wine cards that normally give a discount package. On the first night, we opted for a bottle of basic Californian chardonnay (29 USD + 15% service) as there was very little Chilean wine available. After that, most passengers would return on board with a couple of bottles of very good Chilean wine, purchased locally for a few USD, and pay 15 USD corkage in the restaurant. Service in the Botticelli restaurant was generally very good, except at breakfast time, which was often frustratingly slow. Choice of food at the busy Horizon Court was often better than the restaurants but you never knew when they had specials, like an Indian buffet, and had to search for each course. Afternoon tea should be a leisurely event, so we refused to be rushed when the waiters descended. The International café, in the foyer, worked well on sea days but was otherwise over-crowded. The cruise was advertised as having three formal nights but there were only two until they squeezed in another towards the end of the voyage. This might sound picky, but annoyed the ladies who had extra evening wear in their over weight luggage and those who enjoy lobster. In the end we had two lobster nights and everybody was satisfied. LECTURES The theatre was always packed to overflowing, so it was necessary to arrive at least 30 minutes early to find seats. In warmer locations, more passengers would probably have been out on the sun decks instead. A Spanish guide, named Julio Delgardo, presented information about each port and kept the packed theatre amused with his whimsical, yet informative, style. He was not concerned with selling trips and was of great help to independent travellers (like us). Princess has discovered that talks on forensics and security can be very popular, so Peter LaSorsa gave several talks on email security and identity theft. He also gave a good talk on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, although it was a little misplaced and would have been more relevant when cruising in the opposite direction. ENTERTAINMENT The resident singers and dancers performed really well on a stage that was constantly moving in the choppy seas. One show was cancelled, just as it was about to start, because a band member was, unfortunately, taken ill. We found the evening entertainment in the theatre rather disappointing, so maybe we are just getting hard to please as the theatre was packed for most of the shows. We enjoyed the numerous trivia quiz sessions and even won several, only to find that Princess had run out of their usual prizes. The cruise directors need to give more thought to the timing of activities, as it takes time to empty a theatre and get from one location to another. Activities seemed to clash throughout the morning then there was little to do in the afternoon whilst at sea. EXCURSIONS We generally avoid organised excursions and find we can do more as independent travellers. Excursions on offer were either very easy to do ourselves or involved lengthy and costly trips to see penguins etc. The Elite priority boarding on tenders saves time but does not apply to excursions. WEATHER Along the Chile coast, we experienced 5 metre swells for around six hours, which was not much fun. Around Cape Horn it was mainly calm and sunny and the weather in the Falklands was really good, albeit with a cold wind at 9 am around Gypsy Cove, rising to about 17 degrees. From Puerto Madryn onwards it was mid 20s rising to 32 in Buenos Aires. Apart from the first port, we hardly saw any rain. After reading earlier reviews, reporting lengthy waits for tenders, we realise how lucky we were with the weather in late February. CONCLUSIONS If, like us, you are mainly visiting South America to see Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Iguassu Falls, on the border between Argentina and Brazil, you might find it easier to skip this cruise and fly from Lima to Buenos Aires. Santiago is fine, but maybe not worth a detour, and the Falkland Islands is much like England to the Brits. Most of the port stops are not particularly interesting, unless you are keen to join a long excursion to see penguins of various types. We preferred to explore independently and thought that most of the Princess excursions were very over priced. The Tango Show in Buenos Aires is certainly worthwhile, if it is not included elsewhere on your travel plans. Our cruise was competitively priced but the cost of excursions, drinks and gratuities seems excessive – so exercise your options! We have cruised with Princess many times but would not rate this trip or Crown Princess very highly, as the entertainment was mediocre and the ship was very crowded. The staff and service were, however, up to Princess's high standards. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Review of the Crown Princess We travelled around South America on the Crown Princess in February 2017, starting from Valparaiso and finishing in Buenos Aires. The itinerary was the biggest attraction for us. We had only travelled once ... Read More
Review of the Crown Princess We travelled around South America on the Crown Princess in February 2017, starting from Valparaiso and finishing in Buenos Aires. The itinerary was the biggest attraction for us. We had only travelled once on Princess before and that was a sailing out of Sydney. I was soon to discover that there is a huge difference in the way Princess cater for Australian passengers and the way they cater for American passengers. Apart from Princess, our previous cruises have mainly been with P&O on the Ventura and the Azura. Those two ships are the same size as the Crown Princess, they have roughly the same number of crew and passengers, the quality of service we received and the quality and choice of food was pretty much the same. So, why are all the onboard prices so much more expensive on the Crown Princess? The auto-gratuity on P&O is £5.50 per day or approximately $6.60 but on the Crown it is $13.50 per day. A 500ml bottle of beer on P&O costs £3.75 or about £4.25 per pint. On Crown a 355ml bottle of beer costs $6.00 plus an automatic 15% gratuity which works out at a staggering £9.20 per pint. The cheapest glass of red wine costs $8.00 plus 15% which works out at approximately £46.00 per bottle. There are no automatic bar gratuities on P&O but there is 15% added to virtually everything on Princess, but NOT when sailing out of Australia as the Australians presumably don’t stand for it. The other big difference was in the constant sell, sell, sell on board. I kept my copies of the Princess Patter, the daily newspaper on board which lists the day’s events. Approximately one third of everything advertised was a selling pitch. Here are just some of the examples on our second sea day. Complimentary consultations on board for the men’s barber; $10 gift event; medi-spa seminar: non surgical face lift; The art of collecting seminar; complimentary walk-in acupuncture consultation; diamond seminar. If you think that is a lot for one day, that is only the morning’s list, there was at least the same again in the second half of the day. So, to sum up, the cruise was really enjoyable, we had a once in a lifetime experience with the itinerary, seeing lots of wildlife and some fantastic scenery, the Falklands and the Amelia Glacier in particular were great. The staff were very friendly, the food was pretty good. The fact that we were in a region famous for its beef probably contributed to some of the excellent beef dishes we had on several nights. One of the biggest let-downs for us, apart from the prices, was the entertainment. We had a couple of good Canadian comedians but most of the theatre shows were not very good. The other big complaint we had, and where P&O could teach Princess something, was in the timing of events. There was simply not enough time between events for people to get from one venue to another and, more importantly, for the previous event to empty out before another one started. On a number of occasions there was a talk in the two storey theatre at 10.00am which did not finish until about 10.50 and another presentation at 11.00. This resulted in several hundred people trying to push into the theatre while those from the first event were trying to leave. The health and safety risks involved in this manoeuvre, considering the age range of many of the passengers and the fact that we were on board a moving ship, could have been quite severe. So, would I travel with Princess again? As I said at the beginning, the itinerary was great. The one big area in which Princess scores over P&O is their destinations. If the right itinerary came up I would consider Princess again, but I must say that apart from that I don’t think there is anything in Princess’s favour which makes them any better than P&O to justify their considerably more expensive on board costs. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We picked this cruise for the chance to go to Antarctica and unfortunetly the weather was perfect everyday except that one. so that excursion was cancelled. The Captain was new to this ship and he inherited a mess. We were late for every ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the chance to go to Antarctica and unfortunetly the weather was perfect everyday except that one. so that excursion was cancelled. The Captain was new to this ship and he inherited a mess. We were late for every port except the disembarkation port in Santiago. Not sure why we had to tender in some ports but they were not setup for it. In Ushuaia they did not even have a safe dock for the tenders so the had thousands of passengers walk thru the inside of a catamaran come out the other side and load onto the tenders. We are not new to Princess by any means. 22 cruises with Princess and this is 3rd on Crown. Never ever had the problems that we did on this itinerary. Food was above average but not especially noteworthy. Bar and table service was slow at best other than the times we were in a captive closed door event for a group we were with. I will say that the nickel and diming has hit a new level with Princess. no such thing as inclusive any longer. We also heard from staff that it is the local ports that were to blame for all the delays and there may be some truth to that. However Princess and the rest of the Carnival family should have enough pull to get berth space arranged months in advance. we were running 3 tenders in some ports which is half of what we needed. 3 hour wait on 2 different days and of course we left 3 hours late meaning we were late for the next port. We had a medical evac which happened on a sea day and it did not affect times at all. Cabin was typical small balcony room for Princess and honestly this ship holds too many people. very crowded and hard to maneuver around at times. Excursions were very expensive on the trip and always late to return. I was last one on the ship 2 different days because the Princess excursion teams insisted that because the ship was late to port that they would extend our times. They obviously did but they were not supposed to. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Took a once-in-a-lifetime 14-night cruise around South America on the Crown Princess — and it was fabulous! Here’s a review of the ship: The ship’s decor is beautiful. The design has a heavy Italian influence with lots of ... Read More
Took a once-in-a-lifetime 14-night cruise around South America on the Crown Princess — and it was fabulous! Here’s a review of the ship: The ship’s decor is beautiful. The design has a heavy Italian influence with lots of gold.Crown Princess review I’d guess that the average age of guests on this particular cruise was 70-75 and I bet I was about the only person who had to go back to work when the cruise was over! Passengers on this trip were serious cruisers, too — most have taken 10+ cruises to everywhere under the sun and are very well traveled! Only met one first-time cruiser during the whole trip. There’s a wide variety of onboard entertainment – one of the things I love best about Princess cruise lines – including professional Tango dancers (wow!), a ventriloquist, a comedian, singers — including a semi-finalist from American Idol, a magician, singing and dancing production shows, Movies Under the Stars (recent movies shown nightly on the 15th deck; unfortunately, it was too cold most of the trip to watch them, even bundled up in the blankets provided!), and indoor movies every afternoon. Crown Princess review: movies under the stars There are lots of fun onboard activities – free Zumba classes, line dancing classes, a paper plane contest, an egg drop from the 3rd floor atrium, informational lectures (about the destinations and general cybersecurity tips), bingo, arts and crafts, for-fee yoga and spinning classes, art auctions, a style show, digital electronics classes and more. A seasonal event we got to witness was the Valentines Day balloon drop. Hundreds of pink and red balloons were suspended by a net over the central atrium all day on Feb. 14, and in the evening, they were released with great fanfare to float dramatically to the floor below. An onboard book club is available; interested passengers can check a copy of the pre-selected book out from the ship’s library, then meet at the end of the cruise to discuss it. An onboard guest chorus is also formed (no try-outs necessary); the group performs four or five selections on one of the last cruise days. (I participated in the chorus on a previous cruise and it was a lot of fun.)Crown Princess Review: chorus A free phone app for ship activities and info is available. This can be used in place of or in addition to the daily printed Princess Patter activities list. Food in the formal dining room is good, but the menu doesn’t include steak or beef every night, which is a change from previous cruises — and it disappointed me. Food in the informal dining room is so-so. The layout of the informal dining room’s cafeteria is absolutely horrible. All the food is displayed in a ridiculously small area and must be accessed from a single buffet line; a much larger space and separate buffet stations for various food categories would be a huge improvement. The line moves at a snail’s pace, with people hopping in and out of it randomly and people going both directions at once. Choosing food there is very chaotic!Crown Princess review: information dining room cafeteria line A “hidden” second cafeteria line located a short distance away — and generally open only for breakfast — eliminates having to use the super-crammed, slow informal food line described above. Tip: find it and use it! The ship has a number of self-service laundromats, which is great for a long trip. However, the machines in them don’t all work — causing confusion and frustration, and the vending machine selling small packets of detergent is horribly designed; every single purchase requires the user to insert a stick-like object to pry the box off of a shelf it gets stuck on inside! Shore excursions are varied and interesting. Since this trip wasn’t a “beach cruise” like trips to the Caribbean and Mediterranean, the shore excursions were unique and included tours to ranches and penguin rookeries in addition to guided bus tours of major cities. When the weather is warm and you’re returning from a shore excursion, a crew member waits outside the ship to hand you an icy cold towel. It’s heavenly. The most interesting — and expensive! — shore excursion on this cruise is a one-day helicopter trip to Antarctica, which costs $3,500! We met two people who’d signed up for it, but they didn’t get to go due to inclement weather. They ended up going to a nature preserve in South America instead, but were only receiving a partial refund since a tour guide was flown over from Antarctica before the trip was determined to be a “no go” and that person and her transportation had to be covered. Princess has always been my favorite cruise line, but there were several problems on this trip with tender boats that were very frustrating. At one port where we expected to dock at the port, we were notified at the last minute that tenders must be used instead. And there weren’t nearly enough tenders to accommodate all the passengers, which resulted in lengthy waits — and the cancellation of the shore excursion “Drive to the End of the World” which was the one I wanted to do most of all! I got up at 5:45 a.m. (earlier than a work day!) for it, sat in the waiting area for 3+ hours, and then was told the excursion was cancelled. Not good. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This cruise was part of a longer trip with tours at the beginning and the end "organised" by Wendy Wu and booked through Cruise.co.uk. The tour parts of the trip were a disappointing shambles so the cruise became a very ... Read More
This cruise was part of a longer trip with tours at the beginning and the end "organised" by Wendy Wu and booked through Cruise.co.uk. The tour parts of the trip were a disappointing shambles so the cruise became a very important aspect of the trip. We sailed from Valpraiso around the Horn and up to Buenos Aires. Luckily for us the weather was reasonable most of the time so we were able to make all of the scheduled ports including the Falklands. As going around the Horn was quite chilly the majority of the over 3000 guests chose to stay inside the ship most of the time. This led to the ship feeling very crowded at times. Getting a seat in Horizon Court and in the bars was very difficult at times. Some of the ports of call were more interesting than others, but at most taxis were available at the quay, although many of the drivers only spoke Spanish. The entertainment on the ship was not to a very high standard. Music played in the bars was very good but the main entertainment was very hit and miss .... sadly mostly miss. There were an awful lot of "shopping opportunities" available. Food was mainly good but I found that any time I chose chicken, however it was cooked apart from in a sauce, it was always very dry. Our cabin was ok although very rocky at times as we were at the top and at the back of the ship. Luckily we soon got used to it. As the trip was around South America there were lots of Spanish speaking guests, so a lot of time was spent on translations. In conclusion I would say that entertainment has definitely deteriorated on Princess as has the food slightly, but on the whole the trip was good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I have been on 14 cruises the majority with princess, they have decided to do what the airlines do now and have numerous add on charges that make it difficult to say its a good value. The Crown Princess holds over 3100 passengers and seems ... Read More
I have been on 14 cruises the majority with princess, they have decided to do what the airlines do now and have numerous add on charges that make it difficult to say its a good value. The Crown Princess holds over 3100 passengers and seems quite crowded in the public spaces especially the buffet, international café , princess theatre and most sitting area's. I know that Princess has announced they are putting in new beds which is long overdue, because the last 3 cruises the beds have been really bad. The towels also need to be improved, the one's they use know are small and thin. The last few cruises the ships seem to be needing to be dry docked for plumbing repairs and other mechanical and maintenance items maybe they are stretching out the maintenance schedules? The food in the dinning rooms was up and down, good on the formal nights and mixed on the other evenings. The buffet is over crowded and the food is average or worse. Sabatini's as usual is very good. Salty dog was pathetic and offerings were strange and not very good. The bread and deserts were very good as usual. The tours for the most part were good and well organized. The balcony cabin we had was small but adequate except the shower could be improved as they have done on the Regal and Royal princess. The ports and for the most part were interesting and both Montevideo and Buenos Aires are grand cities with much to offer. Princess needs to come into the 21st century with the numerous formal nights where they have posted dress requirements at the dinning room entrances and have better menus on those nights. One dinning room should be for people who don't want to dress formally. It is a burden for most people to pack extra clothes with the airline weight restrictions. Formal dress should be optional, a lot of other cruise lines have done this or eliminated them altogether including the more upscale cruise lines. Overall I would rate this cruise average and I will surely check on my next princess cruise whether the ship has updated the beds and how recently it has gone in for overhaul. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We are avid cruisers that have been on more than 45 cruises and chose this cruise due to the pre Machu Picchu excursion which was a few days longer than offered on other major lines. This was our first time cruising on a ship that carries ... Read More
We are avid cruisers that have been on more than 45 cruises and chose this cruise due to the pre Machu Picchu excursion which was a few days longer than offered on other major lines. This was our first time cruising on a ship that carries more than 3,000 people and although many times the crowds were not too noticeable, when they were, it was annoying. The Horizon grill was so crowded, your food could get cold before you found a seat inside. Being cold and windy outside, the tables offered were not a viable option. Having tenders in several ports, passengers with excursions whether private or through Princess had no choice but to eat during busy times. Room service did not start until 6:30 and it was a shot in the dark as to when your food might come. We had a mini-suite which wasn't worth the additional price. In fact, the size reminded me of many Holland America's regular balcony rooms. The bed was comfortable and we had enough space for our things. The bathroom was showing it's age but was fully functional. The pre excursion to Machu Picchu was long. Sometimes 20-23 hour days. The food on the pre arranged buffets were average at best. The stops were interesting and while we enjoyed going to all of the stops, I might reconsider how I would recommend this in the future. The Princess staff that were with our guides were good. A bit rigid,but good. The shore excursion staff did not have experience on specifics of the excursions they offered and could only read what they were told the excursion would be like. That was disappointing as we have always held the cruise lines experience in high regard while making choices. We decided to do three Princess excursions and then took 4 private excursions for less money and found out we saw the same things as others that were on bigger buses with longer lines and wait times. We ate at both the Crab Shack and the Crowne Grill while on this cruise. Unfortunately, although we had superb service, the food in the Crab Shack was overlooked. The steak and sides in the Crowne Grill were excellent and so was the service but after trying to get ne warm baked potato. I gave up. Even the waiter was surprised that the kitchen couldn't produce one hot potato! There was a lot of entertainment and a variety. We did not participate in many of the activities but others we were with enjoyed the choices each night. Overall, We have sailed on Princess three times before but will be more selective in cabin choice and ship before we come back to Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My husband and I chose this cruise for New Years Eve and the fact that it was sailing to the ABC islands- which all three were very nice. A breath of fresh air compared to the other carribean destinations. The Crown Princess is old but ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise for New Years Eve and the fact that it was sailing to the ABC islands- which all three were very nice. A breath of fresh air compared to the other carribean destinations. The Crown Princess is old but grand in size. Not oversized, but it is large. It was a sold out cruise which makes the trip somewhat of a struggle. Our balcony cabin was fine. Nothing spectacular but typical of Princess. We like it up in the bow so we routinely choose a cabin up there to be close to the gym and spa. We paid extra for the thermal spa which a few things did not work to our disappointment. They have no hair dryers in any of the gym or spa areas so be prepared to go back to your cabin with your hair dripping wet. (We experienced this on the Emerald as well.) I asked the hair salon which is attached if I could use a dollup of hair conditioner as my hair morphed into brillo pad status and it WAS new Years Eve! I was in panic mode. I got a snotty reply from one of the hairdressers telling me I should have booked an appointment but they were full up. He was of no help. I was not happy about the lack of assistance I received. No kindness there. I am now supposed to be Elite status but Princess lost 10 of my sail days from 1994 and want me to prove I actually was in that cabin with my husband way back then! They have another woman named Carol Ball in that cabin with him! LOL. Never heard of her. So, I have to go through my past pictures and prove I was in fact on that ship. I find this to be alittle upsetting. I went around the entire world with princess 5- 6 years ago! ( I have no idea just what my accrued days will get me but even if its just a key chain, I want the correct status. ) The Princess staff of assorted people seem to be totally bored with this issue. My husband is so disgusted, he wants to scrap Princess altogether. I'm not that upset. I had not been on Princess for 4 years maybe 5. I've been on several of the ships and always have been satisfied. I am willing to give them a break. Nothing is perfect. I noticed the anytime dining was a pretty good wait either standing with a beeper or sitting with strangers waiting 2 hours for the entire meal to be delivered. Eating alone with my husband took time to get a table but they did move right along in serving us. The meals were sparse and very few choices. This is a change compared to what they have been before. The food was adequate. It used to be outstanding. They combined the appetizers and the salads as starters. The entrée was small with few vegetables and more potatoes. Service was just okay. Desert was very small portion wise. It's a good weight loss ship! I was a little disappointed in their regular entertainment. The dancers work so hard but they pale in comparison to years ago and certainly cannot compete with lets say the Norwegian line which has absolutely the best entertainment ever- but you pay al la carte for it. Norwegian also has an over the top pay for spa but its well worth it. I guess they all nickel and dime us on all ships these days. The ports at the ABC islands were the best of the caribbean and this itinerary had nice sea days. I was happy to get out on the ocean, I really needed a vacation so I can't complain. The ship had a nice class of people. I am from Florida so the Port was not new to me. It is a lovely area and has good parking. 8 days cost approx. $120.00 to park. If you want cheaper, you can find it but must go thru more hoops to get there via bus, taxi or shuttle. Travel is not for the weak and weary. Each time I travel, I am exhausted but a day or so later upon coming home, I'm looking forward to my next trip! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Choose Princess as embarking in Rio. Spent 4 great days there before cruise. Embarkation was the start of the nightmare. Arrived at our assigned time of 4 PM to find a huge room full of people who had been there all day. Did not appear ... Read More
Choose Princess as embarking in Rio. Spent 4 great days there before cruise. Embarkation was the start of the nightmare. Arrived at our assigned time of 4 PM to find a huge room full of people who had been there all day. Did not appear to be Princess staff on hand to help except for one really rude guy with a mike who kept shouting at people. Late leaving. Sadly one of the passengers became ill the next day and had to be evacuated. Had to turn around and go to a port in Brazil. Not sure why there isn't a helicopter pad on this boat. Now we have lost a day. Then we can't get into Buenos Aries because the water is too shallow after some north wind issue. Arrived during the night. People frantically trying to rebook shore excursions. We just did our own thing. Next port is Montevideo where we need to refuel and replenish supplies. Can't get in because we're a day late and there's no room. Had booked a bike tour on our own. Brought a boat out to refuel us. Got in around 8 PM to load supplies. Could get off for a few hours, but everything is closed and they're having a huge thunderstorm. Now we find out there is no stop in the Falkland Islands as again we're late and NCL is there and has booked everything up. We had booked our own tour (same as the ship) but half the price. Not seeing the penguins was the final straw for a lot of the passengers. Everyone was cranky and the staff were very subdued. At this point compensation offers started. And we were informed that Punta Arenas might also be removed. Last place to see any penguins! We did the Cape Horn scenic cruising, as well as a little side trip to see some lovely glaciers. Got into Ushuaia and Punta Arenas as well. Just hired a local to drive us around. Disembarking at Valparaiso was very smooth. The food in the dining room was very disappointing. If the Chef Curtis Stone truly provided these recipes he might want to check what they're doing with them. The International Food Court had much better food. The buffet was a typical buffet. Ate at the Salty Dog and it lived up to it's name. Heard the steak house was good, but the Italian not so much. Enjoyed the entertainment in the bars. Went to one show, did not enjoy it. Others did, so maybe just not our thing. Service ranged from mediocre to spectacular. Cabin was fine. Needs an update to provide a small sitting area. Because we received some compensation we will book another Princess cruise. Hopefully things will be better, My final point is that if missing ports is a common occurrence on South American cruises they need to let you know that before you book. That way you're making an informed decision. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
An old saying says, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." Princess's first impression in Rio De Janeiro was a disaster. We flew into Rio on flights arranged by Princess. We purchased a transfer to the ... Read More
An old saying says, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." Princess's first impression in Rio De Janeiro was a disaster. We flew into Rio on flights arranged by Princess. We purchased a transfer to the ship. The airport greeting was fine, but when we arrived at the terminal, the bus dropped us off on the street outside the terminal. We were reunited with our luggage and needed to negotiate the area to the baggage drop off. There were no signs and little Princess presence. A porter did transport our luggage to the drop off point. We followed to be sure that our luggage got to where it belonged. It did. We were then pointed toward the terminal building. Again no signs and little sign of assistance. Anyone with mobility issues would have been in trouble. After a short walk in 95 degree heat to the terminal, we joined 2000 fellow travelers in the non-air-conditioned terminal building. Again no signage. There were a number of people with Princess labels on them that were supposed to help. They had no information and really could not help at all. We did manage to find seats. When boarding started, someone yelled instructions. No one could hear them so everything was in confusion. Finally, after an hour or more, a Princess Officer took control of the situation and used a microphone. Things improved after that. We boarded the ship after about 4 hours. We got on board early. Some passengers did not get boarded until 7:00 PM. Once on board, we found our cabin, had dinner and started the rather normal process of getting used to ship board life. Our room steward and our dinner staff were friendly, and provided us with quality service. After a rocky start, the Cruise continued with a series of problems. There was a medical emergency on the ship. The culmination of the medical emergency was a detour to a Brazilian port so the patient could be taken ashore. The Captain did his best to take care of the seriously ill passenger. Due to the detour, it was announced that we would arrive in Buenos Aires 12 hours late. For some reason (never addressed) the ships speed decreased by about 1/3. Then, a storm at night caused the water level to drop in the Rio De Plata. We, therefore, had to anchor in the River and actually did not get into Buenos Aires until after 1:00AM. We were able to stay in Buenos Aires for the next day, but that put a day behind. The ship needed to stop at Montevideo for fuel and supplies, but no berth was available so we anchored off shore, fueled the ship, and then sailed into Montevideo about 8:00 PM to load on supplies. We were allowed off the ship for a few hours, but a rain storm spoiled that opportunity. The next itinerary problem was we could not go to the Falkland Islands because there was no room in port. So the Falkland stop was scrapped. From that point on, we were on schedule and did visit the other ports as scheduled. The ship continued to have problems. It was announced that one of the electric motors had burned out (not a problem, we had back-up), 2 announcements that fire emergencies had been contained, and we kept arriving late. If you have made it this far, please be aware that Princess did recognize that this trip was not going as they or the passengers wanted. Princess announced they were giving passengers on board spending money and a credit on future cruises. Although compensation did not take care of all the problems, it did make us feel better about the experience. Now, to the normal review items. The Crown Princess is getting older. It seemed clean and upkeep was mostly done. There did appear to be some deferred maintenance, but it did not affect our enjoyment. Our balcony cabin was comfortable. The balcony was extra large. 4 people could be on the balcony at one time which was very nice when the weather was good. We requested traditional dining at 5:30. Our waiter and assistant waiter were awesome. They served us quickly and efficiently. The food was nicely prepared. After fourteen days the menus seemed to be limited. I was especially impressed with the beef which was served on this cruise. Much better than sometimes. When we requested special handling of a dish, the waiter was able to accommodate. We were at a large table, which we requested. We enjoyed our dining companions. The other meals were usually eaten in the Horizon Court. We tried breakfast one day in a dining room and found the service to be slow and confused. The menu at the Horizon Court became boring. There was little variety and many of the dishes were not prepared as we liked. Scrambled eggs in the morning seemed to be under cooked most of the time. Made to order omelets were available each day. A nice touch was that they were delivered to my table by a waiter. Horizon staff was attentive, brought drinks, and cleaned tables. It did seem that the area was better staffed early in the Cruise. Service seemed to drop as the Cruise progressed. The ships activities and entertainment was normal. Some of the shows were excellent and some were very average. At least two times, comedians told jokes that had already been told by another comedian. Trivia seemed to be the number one activity. I enjoyed and was pleased that a "Service Club Meeting" was hosted. It was nice to get together with people in service clubs from all over the world. The ports we managed to make it to were interesting and enjoyable. Ushuaia is a neat town and has a beautiful setting. The Tierra Del Fuego National Park was a great choice. Punta Arenas was a nice stop, but having to be tendered into the dock was slow and a hassle. Once on land, Punta Arenas was a pleasant stop. Valparaiso, Chile, is a great debarkation port. It is a two hour drive to the Santiago airport, but flight schedules make a day exploring Valparaiso a great way to end the cruise. We were disappointed in Rio. In order to fly into Rio and board the ship, we had to obtain Brazilian Visas. They cost us $300 a piece. If you can find an itinerary that skips Brazil, I would recommend it. In summary, this cruise had some issues, but many of the problems were out of the control of Princess. Medical emergencies and weather issues are not Princess problems. Communication and port problems are Princess issues. It may be that some of the port problems are not Princess problems, but if Princess can not get local authorities to improve facilities and procedures, they may need to skip those ports. On board we had a pleasant vacation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Along with our good friends, we planned this trip for almost a year. Our extended vacation would start by spending four days, including New Years Eve on Copacabana Beach prior to boarding the cruise. This cruise did not start well. ... Read More
Along with our good friends, we planned this trip for almost a year. Our extended vacation would start by spending four days, including New Years Eve on Copacabana Beach prior to boarding the cruise. This cruise did not start well. The embarkation process in Rio de Janeiro was an organizational disaster that reaffirms our perception that Princess, while a cruise industry leader in many categories, lacks competence in the basic tasks of embarking and disembarking guests. The delay in Rio de Janeiro may well have been exacerbated by ANVISA authorities arriving late for work and delaying the disembarkation of the arriving passengers but the flawed embarkation process falls solely on the shoulders of Princess. The disorganization started with the written communication from Princess announcing a “Progressive Check-in Schedule”. This ill-conceived idea failed to recognize that hotel guests have check-out times and they should not be expected to sit waiting with their luggage in the hot sun of Rio. The check-out for our accommodation was 11:00 AM so, on the advice of our travel agent, we headed to the departure terminal considerably earlier than the time dictated for our Riviera deck. We supposedly have preferential boarding based on our platinum status…supposedly. Upon arrival it was apparent that another boarding procedure was now in place and departure staff were handing out stickers with letters and numbers presumably based on a guest’s status (although that was never made clear). Once inside the departure area it was total pandemonium with no leadership from Princess staff, no signs and no indication of where to enter or how to navigate a poorly designed queue. This is yet another example of Princess Cruise Line’s lack of respect for their customers and, in particular, their returning guests. First time cruisers were being boarded prior to platinum, elite and suite customers and the number and letter “system” was being ignored by both departure staff (a contractor) and cruisers alike. Asked by us what was supposed to happen and what we should do….the supervisor indicated that he and his co-worker were trying to figure that out! Obviously it was a little late in the game to try to formulate a plan. It must be noted that no Princess staff were offering direction or assistance to the guests or to the ground contractor’s staff. Princess staff were only at the final station where they were collecting passports. Princess can blame ANVISA and the ground contractor but the ultimate responsibility to embark and disembark passengers is theirs and they do not do it well. That said, Princess and other cruise companies would do well to bypass Rio (and Brazil) until they do a better job in welcoming tourists. You cannot have a cruise terminal that lacks in basic air conditioning, available food and beverage and, most important, competent and reliable staff and officials. An employee of mine was planning a cruise trip out of Rio with herself and five friends and promptly changed destinations when she heard about the onerous visa procedures to enter Brazil and our frustrations at the terminal. We were not overly disappointed with the Crown Princess but do share the opinions of many guests that she is due for a significant re-fit and a re-thinking about the available public spaces when the ship is at full capacity. It was difficult to find places to sit and relax and would often have to retreat to our room. We tend to avoid the buffet for most meals but, when we had the need to go there; it was a challenge to find seating. Perhaps they should consider keeping tables free for diners at peak times rather than permitting many tables to be occupied with passengers playing a variety of table games. Princess (and not just the Crown) has gone way overboard hawking merchandise. We do enjoy browsing the stores but do not appreciate the public areas being filled with tables that constrict traffic flows. We, along with many other passengers, were disappointed with the itinerary changes, the much abbreviated port call in Montevideo and the missed stop in The Falkland Islands. At the same time we do appreciate that it was a medical emergency that precipitated these cruise complications and we do not fault the Captain and crew for the actions that were taken on behalf of that passenger. In fact we do have considerable respect for the ship’s Captain in the way he kept the passengers fully informed throughout this ordeal. He was highly professional and you could feel his empathy for patient and the entire compliment of passengers in every announcement. Certainly the financial impact on Princess Cruise Lines was extensive both in terms of operational costs and then the size of the compensation package offered to the entire compliment of passengers. As much as the Captain is to be commended for his communications to the passengers, the same cannot be said of the excursion staff. Our tour in Buenos Aires was cancelled for “operational” reasons but we did not discover this until returning to our stateroom just prior to dinner. A ship’s announcement should have been made so that we could look at alternate tours prior to them being sold out. Although we did manage to book a replacement tour, it should be standard practise to hold spots on an alternative itinerary for guests already booked on a cancelled tour. We would have been extremely disappointed if we had been unable to book this alternate tour because it had been sold-out before we even had knowledge of ours being cancelled. The excursion staff, other than the female officer in charge, were totally rude and unhelpful. The one positive to come out of this was that our guide was outstanding and perhaps the best we have ever had. The four of us on this trip find ourselves torn when it comes to the Princess brand. On the one hand we have earned a platinum loyalty (and near Elite) status that is hard to turn away from but the flip side of that is our continued frustration with incompetent embarkation, disembarkation and a sub-standard internet service. Their internet speed is only marginally better than dial-up. Last September we sailed on the Celebrity Infinity so as to do a comparison with Princess and we experienced great staff, comparable food, an efficient and organized embarkation/disembarkation process and an internet that actually was high speed. It is difficult to recommend the Princess brand to family or friends when we know other companies can do it better. Obviously the technology to deliver proper high speed internet exists since Celebrity has it on their ships….the question is why Princess does not when it is part of Carnival Corporation who should be an industry leader. We also see in Princess a company where a blind eye is turned about rules being broken. Customers ignore their boarding priority and the staff permit it to happen. The dress code (particularly on formal nights) is not enforced and one of the differences on Celebrity that we did not appreciate was the much more casual attire at dinner. We enjoy the tradition of formal nights and smart casual and do not think shorts are appropriate in the dining rooms at dinner. The majority of guests on formal night are properly attired and it is an insult to them when Princess staff do not enforce the stated policy and permit jeans and sport shirts rather than turning them away. As noted, there was a compensation package offered to all guests that did seem to appease the majority of the very disgruntled passengers on board. This package did replace an earlier offer that left many guests fuming and clearly Princess’s head office recognized that they were about to lose many customers forever were it not revised. Again, full credit should go to the Captain for his willingness to directly engage with the passengers (many angry and rude) on this issue. Our previous experience with the Captain of the Grand Princess was completely opposite when he literally disappeared after some operational difficulties during a Pacific coastal cruise. Compared to other reviews, we must have gotten lucky when it came to our dealings with the front-line staff who most immediately impact our on-board experience and we were thoroughly pleased with our outstanding evening dining room servers….Gaby and Carolina (both from Peru). They were upbeat, happy, and knowledgeable about the menu and knew our names and preferences from the outset. They brought a smile to our sometimes frustrated faces every night and always kept us laughing. They are head and shoulders above any other food servers we have ever had…on any ship/on any cruise line. Every Princess waiter and assistant should spend time with this incredible team to learn how to deliver such a delightful customer experience. These two over-deliver night after night. We saw the same professionalism and friendly greeting from Kathrizz in Crooner’s Lounge and, like Gaby and Carolina; she greeted us by name every night and remembered our preferences as well. We can tell that she has a great rapport with many of the customers in that lounge. We have cruised with Princess for many years and, like others, are seeing that brand decline in quality. The on board entertainment (other than the singer/pianist in Crooner’s and a couple of comedians) is sliding badly and the Princess Theatre was always packed as it lacks the capacity to support the number of passengers when the ship is full. Carnival Corporation would do well to look at the demographics of their Princess cliental and recognize that they are not the twenty-something’s on board a Carnival Party ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We choose this cruise for the itinerary. Couldn't wait to go to Buenos Aires, the Falklands and see penguins. Wow how awesome of a cruise would that be! NOT!! I'll start at embarkation out of Rio De Janeiro. At port there were ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary. Couldn't wait to go to Buenos Aires, the Falklands and see penguins. Wow how awesome of a cruise would that be! NOT!! I'll start at embarkation out of Rio De Janeiro. At port there were no signs where to drop off luggage and check in. It was total confusion with everyone not just me. When we finally got to the ck in part you are in a big warehouse with no air conditioning, unless you have the local currency there is no water. There were already hundreds of people sitting standing waiting on the ck in to begin. We were there for quit a while in the heat before the line started moving. Ok, this is the worst embarkation I ever experienced. We had to be bused to the ship. Found out later the ship docked in the wrong spot. We were told later that there was a report of a rock in the way where it would normally dock. Imagine that.. The ship itself is a bit dated. Our cabin smelled musty, had to have the steward spray freshener in room. It evaporated the next day and smelled bad again. We had a set dinning time and loved our waiter. The food was again mediocre. We did eat at the Grill and it was fabulous. Entertainment was just so so, they did have a comedian that was pretty funny. This was my 18th cruise and have been on other cruise lines and have experienced different degrees of entertainment shows. This was by far my least favorite as far as entertainment goes. And I am not hard to please. A passenger had a medical emergency and had to be transferred to a hospital. Due to having to actually stop the ship and wait for boat transfer we didn't not get to Buenos Aires on the scheduled day. We got there the next day only to pick up more passengers, we were not allowed to get of ship. Next port was Montevideo which we didn't get in till 7:00pm only to pick up fuel and more supplies. We were only there a few hours and you could get off only if you wanted to walk in the pouring rain. Due to all the people wanted to get back on board and dry off they were clogging up the gangway. There was a announcement no one else was allowed of ship. Ugg. Because of all the delays we were skipping the Falklands all together. NO Penguins. Cape Horn was just a drive by. That was cool to see the glaciers. We did stop at Ushuaia and Punta Arenas. Due to all the missed ports, the cruise line decided to give everyone a disruption refund. It was 50% off this cruise and 50% off of a future cruise with Princess. I'm sure this is not the normal for this itinerary, hopefully if you go you will have a much better experience. I would do this itinerary again. I still want to go to the Falklands and see the Penguins. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise around South America because it visited a number of places on our bucket list and because our previous cruise through the Panama Canal on the Island Princess in 2014 was superb. However where as everything about our ... Read More
We chose this cruise around South America because it visited a number of places on our bucket list and because our previous cruise through the Panama Canal on the Island Princess in 2014 was superb. However where as everything about our time on the Island Princess was faultless, this one on the Crown was quite the opposite mainly I think due to extreme penny pinching by Princess or what the Americans call Nickle and Dimming. This was evident in the food which was average at best and downright poor at worst and the constant and very wearing attempts at upselling. The only good food we had was at the speciality restaurants, Sabatinis and the Crown Grill. However the cover charge for these has increased from $20.00 to $29.00 and there was still obvious signs of cost cutting. There is another speciality 'gastro pub' called the Salty Dog, where the cover charge was originally $19.00 but had recently been cut to $12.00. I can tell you it was not worth $12.00 let alone $19.00. The burger I had was dry and much smaller than the one pictured in the promotional literature. There was hardly ever was anyone in the Salty Dog so that tells you all you need to know. The bean counters at Carnival really have excelled now in dragging Princess down market. Again the service levels in the bars and restaurants was not as good as we have experienced on previous Princess cruises, the exception being our cabin steward who was superb but who seemed very over worked. The entertainment was OK with one exception which was the new 'Magic to do' show which was excellent and extremely well staged. The ship seemed to be quite well kept and clean although there were often rest rooms or lifts out of order. While the embarkation process was swift and easy the disembarkation at Rio was a complete debacle. We had booked an all day tour to see the sites of Rio and had a tour time of 7.30am. We arrived in the Princess theatre on time and sat there for over 2 hours while we waited and waited for the ship to be cleared. This was especially galling given that the ship had arrived in Rio at about 4.30am!!! The ship blamed the local authorities but I am not convinced that was true. When we finally disembarked we had to queue in the blazing hot sun in 35C temperatures with no shade for the best part of three quarters of an hour to reach the cruise terminal and retrieve our luggage. We finally reached the tour bus about 10.30am. It was just as well that our flight was not until 11.00pm. I know other people who had to cut short their tours to head to the airport becuase we were so delayed in disembarking. Absolutely disgraceful Princess, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Despite all of this we made the most of our time and enjoyed the itinerary but it is unlikely we will cruise with Princess in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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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