First cruise and now hooked: Crown Princess Cruise Review by Twinmum

Crown Princess 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

First cruise and now hooked

Sail Date: May 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
This was our first cruise and apparently we had jumped in head first according to the many other passengers we spoke to on the cruise who had all completed a number of cruises prior to this one. After reading much online about cruising in general and specific reviews of the Crown we still were apprehensive about whether we had chosen wisely for our first taste of cruising. My husband and I have quite differing interests and tastes so we did not know which of us, if either, would really get the most out of this experience but it turned out that we found enough aspects to keep us both happy. We opted for a more port intensive intinerary as that was our main reason for choosing a cruise holiday and as much as we generally found things to occupy our time on the sea days we found that 4 days at sea was more than enough for us.
CABIN:We were both impressed with our balcony cabin from the start. Yes the bathroom is tiny as I have read numerous complaints about, but hey, it's a ship! The More small space was so well designed that we were always very happy with it anyway. The large wardrobe area was fabulous and we never had any issues with where to store anything. Our steward 'Mar' was wonderful and always did a fabulous job of keeping our room beautiful without ever intruding on our privacy. Mar even took my shoe to be mended when I had problems. Nothing was too much trouble for him. Also we slept so well on the incredibly comfortable bed that we would love to have taken it home with us!
The ship as a whole is very impressive, it really is beautiful. After reading some reviews about the ship looking tired I was surprised to find nothing at all in that area that disappointed us.
DINING: We chose to have room service breakfast every morning which was simple but adequate for us even though it proved pretty much impossible to ever get hot water for our tea.Eventually we realised it was better to just walk downstairs to the cafe and get boiling water in a take out cup. The menu is extremely basic and limited but that was enough. We tried the buffet one morning but did not enjoy the 'Battle' to find food and decided to stick to having it in our room.
Lunches we generally enjoyed from the International cafe as we really liked the simple soups and sandwiches on offer there as well as the best quiche I have ever had. We tried some of the little cakes and pastries and enjoyed a few of the yummy cookies each day.
Dinner was enjoyed in the main dining rooms each night except for one when we were too tired after a long day onshore. THe service was generally without fault and the food superb. I loved that the servings were usually small enough that I could try something from each course and still be able to fit into my clothes at the end of the cruise. I found the variety of the nightly menus to be exceptional too and could not fault our enjoyable nightly dining experiences.We met so many interesting people at dinner each night by opting to share a table rather than request a table for two as I would usually prefer on a holiday.
ENTERTAINMENT: We enjoyed a couple of the comedians on board and tried the stage shows but really found them a little too outdated for our tastes. We LOVED Michael Minor , the comedian/ventrilloquist/singer - he was simply the highlight of the entertainment for our entire trip. There really was not as much to keep us entertained as we had expected so we were very glad we had our comfortable balcony stateroom to relax and enjoy the television if we felt like it.
SHORE TOURS: We did all ships tours, except for Mykonos where we wandered in the rain on our own, as this was our first cruise and we were worried about running late back to the ship so this seemed the safest way to go. These were generally pretty good although some had guides that left a little to be desired.One thing that tended to irritate us like crazy was the ships photographers trying to take our photos every time we stepped on and off the ship - it was like trying to avoid the annoying vendors in Egypt. We have a camera, Thank you!!
We had a blast learning to do the Merengue one sea day but that was the only time any ball room dancing lessons were offered over the entire cruise. That really disappointed us as it was one thing we had both been looking forward too.
The seminars on offer were interesting until the 'hard sell' began and I always had to quietly sneak out at that stage.
Overall this was the most amazing experience and we really did relax as well as enjoying the sights. Less

Published 06/16/12

Cabin review: BDB330 Balcony

Our Cabin B330 on deck 11 was a wonderful position. Generally quiet except when selfish people stand in the hallway outside their rooms talking very loudly when most other people have already retired. It's not too far from the stairs and elevators but far enough away and has staterooms both above and below it so that also prevents a lot of noise The bed was very comfortable and plenty of room on the balcony. If you are in this room on a trip with Venice as a port you won't see San Marco square from your balcony when sailing into port so go over to the other side of the ship to watch.

Read All Balcony (BD) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Cairo Day Tour

THis was our main reason for booking the cruise and we were just happy that it was not cancelled due to the political climate. We had a great guide however the horrible, intimidating vendors at the Sphynx and Pyramids almost ruined our whole experience. Even trying to ignore these rude and deceitful people was impossible. Best thing to do is not utter a word and do not let them know what language you speak. We tried to take a photo with us standing next to a camel which they were walking around offering for one dollar. That was a lie and a ruse to get you in, like all of their other tricks. We were then pushed and man handled by two men when they said we had to pay them fifty dollars. We had to yell at them that we would call the police over. If the vendors were honest and gave a price for their items with out trying to con everyone I would have bought a lot of things. We were still thrilled to see the Pyramids and take in the atmosphere before we literally had to run to the bus to get away from all of the people hassling us. Lunch was a tasty buffet at the absolutely beautiful Mena Oberoi hotel. That was wonderful. The Cairo museum was also amazing although would love to see the new one to be built in it's place. Really could not believe how filthy Egypt is even though we had been warned. So glad I have been but would never ever be tempted to return


This tour was to take us to the Acropolis and then time on our own at the Plaka. I would have preferred to do the hop on hop off bus as I had a hard time understanding our guide and he then spent most of the Acropolis tour standing in the same spot next to the Parthenon and talking about a lot of technichal details that were interesting for about ten minutes. I then got a little bored and wandered off on my own to just soak up the atmosphere of this ancient spectacle.The Plaka was nice to stop and have a leisurely greek lunch of Souvalaki and appreciate being in this beautiful. We did a little shopping but it was like shopping in any city.

Blue Mosque

This was a good tour to try to gain a small understanding of Turkish culture. The Mosque is beautiful and well worth the visit.

Grand Bazaar

We booked a tour that really gave us a taste of Istanbul and some of it's culture, which was great because it was a port we would never have thought to go to ourselves. The bazaar is unbelievably huge with 4,000 shops and stalls and we would have loved many more hours to peruse and bargain here.

Hagia Sofia

This is also a beautiful place and with the right guide is very interesting as well.


This was the most amazing place and we had the perfect guide to tell us all of the wonderful history. We actually were more in awe of this ancient city than we were of Pompeii. The scenery on the bus trip here was spectacular too, which made it a very enjoyable trip all up. So So glad we came here. We finished up with a trip to the bazaar that had lots of good quality leather at good prices and beautiful scarves that I wish I'd bought many more of for gifts at home.
Read 231 Ephesus Reviews

House of the Virgin Mary

This is such a special place with so much meaning to so many people. Such beautiful country side surrounding this amazing sight makes it that much more spectacular. This was a real highlight of our trip.

Mykonos is soo beautiful and I squealed with delight when I woke up and went out on to our balcony for our very first glimpse of this magical island. Unfortunately it poured with rain for most of the few precious hours we had here but we still enjoyed just wandering around and taking in the whole atmosphere. Would return here in a heart beat. Really glad we did not book a tour as I think it would have been a real waste of money.
Read 838 Mykonos Reviews

Rome was our embarkation port so we arrived 4 days earlier to see as much as we could. Really happy we had more than just one day to explore it all. We had prebooked our own tours to Pompeii and the Vatican and then we walked to the Colisseum where we picked up an English speaking tour really easily outside the entrance.

We took the ships shuttle which I think cost us about $17 each and just explored the streets and sights of this spectacular city. I didn't see the need for any organised tours but we did want to track down our hotel that we would be staying in after disembarkation. So glad we did that before the added weight of all of our hand luggage. The ship did deliver our main luggage to our hotel the next day however we still had a number of things as hand luggage. Venice really is a maze of winding alleyways and canals and it is way too easy to get lost without a really good map which was not what the shuttle people gave us. I had read that Venice is smelly and expensive yet although there was the odd unpleasant odour it was not an issue and as for expensive, that's only if you shopped and ate in San Marco Piazza. I actually found this the least expensive place to shop for quality leather goods and genuine Murano jewellery and figurines, amongst many other things. I'm not usually a keen shopper but at the shops around the Rialto bridge I could have spent days and days both admiring and purchasing so many wonderful things . Would return to Venice in a heartbeat. LOVED It!!
Read 1149 Venice Reviews

Compare Prices on Crown Princess Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Read more Crown Princess cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Crown Princess Review >>

Compare Prices on Crown Princess Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Member Since 2012
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Crown Princess deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Crown Princess 68% Loved It

11 Night Classic Canada & New England
See all Crown Princess Deals >>