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My husband and I are sampling all the "mass market" lines. The Crown was our first Princess cruise. We picked it because it was a new ship and had a lot of sea days (We're in it for the ship board experience. Cruising is no way to experience another country, no matter how small.). We had a great time. We always have a great time as long as we're together. However, we'll only do Princess again if an itinerary attracts us. This cruise did not set Princess apart. The Ship: While the Crown is a beautiful ship, the public areas show a lot of bad human engineering. Start with the ship layout. It is full of dead ends. The only public decks that go from one end to the other are 7 and 15. You often have to go up a floor and then down again later to get where you want to go on a single deck. The only interior space with a good forward-facing view is the gym. All the treadmills are lined up facing the ocean - each one with a TV screen mounted at eye level. What a waste of view! The buffet has food stations but is so tightly designed there is no room for people to move about at random. The result is chaos. The main theater is far too small. The pools have inadequate deck space for the number of people on board; even with little evidence of chair hogs there was seldom an open chaise. While this is the largest ship we've been on, the elevators are the smallest and seem poorly programmed. A lot of things just aren't right design-wise in the public areas. On the other hand, the layout of our balcony stateroom was great. We much preferred having the seating area adjacent to the balcony. We actually used it! The closet placement created a private dressing area. We loved the generous supply of wooden hangers. The bath was also well organized, though the shower was so small I don't see how more robust passengers could use it. The bedding had a bottom sheet and a duvet. The fluffy duvet was quite toasty -- too toasty for us. Only after our wonderful room steward added a top sheet to our bed could we really sleep, with the duvet neatly placed on a chair. The Service: There were a few bad apples on the cruise director's staff who thought it entertaining to make jokes at the expense of passengers. We were never the target, but it really burned me up. That was the biggest complaint on my comment card. Otherwise, the service on this ship was the best we've experienced. We're pretty low maintenance -- no room service, no special requests (except for that top sheet) -- so we never missed not having interaction with our room steward on previous cruises. This guy was always around and smiling. And our wait staff in the dining room was the perfect balance of efficiency and friendliness. Bartenders remembered what I ordered before and always smiled. The Entertainment: The production stages shows were nicely produced, with better than usual talent. The Motor City show was disturbing, however. It was odd enough having an almost entirely white cast singing all those r&b hits. However, at one point they brought out a bunch of large puppets that looked like black caricatures. That moved the show into offensive. There were several comics on our cruise and all of them were quite good. The house band was exceptional. The small entertainment in the Piazza were a nice addition. The audience participation games were very poor -- a combination of poor sound and hosts that were rather rude to contestants. The Food: We had some of the worst and some of the best meals on this cruise. A dinner order of Moroccan Vegetarian Stew was basically a plate of chick peas sloshed with a thin and tasteless tomato sauce. Absolutely terrible. However, on another evening we were served veal chops to die for. Food is such a subjective thing. We heard guests at the same table complain about salt on their food - one said too much and the other said too little. Except for breakfast, we always ate in a dining room, so no real opinion on the food in the Horizon Court buffet. We eyeballed Cafe Caribe most nights but it never looked appealing enough to draw us in. The Ports: Grand Turk: Trust me on this -- book a water-based excursion, stay on the ship, or just go to Margaritaville. We know Grand Turk well. It's small, sleepy, utterly boring. But the surrounding reefs are amazing. Dive if you can (we've spent two weeks there doing just that). We did the Ultimate Snorkel this trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. St. Thomas: We'd never seen any of St. Thomas beyond Charlotte Amalia and didn't care for that. This time we took a cab to Coki Beach and were completely wow'd. Unbelievably beautiful and awesome snorkeling. Don't be put off by the ramshackled look of the place when the taxi drops you off, just walk right past the various buildings to the glorious beach. And, it's not even supposed to be the nicest beach on St. Thomas! San Juan and Bermuda: Didn't visit either. Bermuda was really hot and we knew we would be back in November. Hurricane Florence went to Bermuda instead of us. Those things happen. This was our third cruise (all in one year) and third line. We already tried Carnival (Miracle) and Royal Caribbean (Brilliance of the Seas). Next up is Holland America (Ryndam). You might want to check our other reviews to see how our sampling is going.

Crown Princess - Eastern Caribbean

Crown Princess Cruise Review by SeaBunny

Trip Details
My husband and I are sampling all the "mass market" lines. The Crown was our first Princess cruise. We picked it because it was a new ship and had a lot of sea days (We're in it for the ship board experience. Cruising is no way to experience another country, no matter how small.).
We had a great time. We always have a great time as long as we're together. However, we'll only do Princess again if an itinerary attracts us. This cruise did not set Princess apart.
The Ship:
While the Crown is a beautiful ship, the public areas show a lot of bad human engineering.
Start with the ship layout. It is full of dead ends. The only public decks that go from one end to the other are 7 and 15. You often have to go up a floor and then down again later to get where you want to go on a single deck.
The only interior space with a good forward-facing view is the gym. All the treadmills are lined up facing the ocean - each one with a TV screen mounted at eye level. What a waste of view!
The buffet has food stations but is so tightly designed there is no room for people to move about at random. The result is chaos. The main theater is far too small. The pools have inadequate deck space for the number of people on board; even with little evidence of chair hogs there was seldom an open chaise. While this is the largest ship we've been on, the elevators are the smallest and seem poorly programmed. A lot of things just aren't right design-wise in the public areas.
On the other hand, the layout of our balcony stateroom was great. We much preferred having the seating area adjacent to the balcony. We actually used it! The closet placement created a private dressing area. We loved the generous supply of wooden hangers. The bath was also well organized, though the shower was so small I don't see how more robust passengers could use it.
The bedding had a bottom sheet and a duvet. The fluffy duvet was quite toasty -- too toasty for us. Only after our wonderful room steward added a top sheet to our bed could we really sleep, with the duvet neatly placed on a chair.
The Service:
There were a few bad apples on the cruise director's staff who thought it entertaining to make jokes at the expense of passengers. We were never the target, but it really burned me up. That was the biggest complaint on my comment card.
Otherwise, the service on this ship was the best we've experienced. We're pretty low maintenance -- no room service, no special requests (except for that top sheet) -- so we never missed not having interaction with our room steward on previous cruises. This guy was always around and smiling. And our wait staff in the dining room was the perfect balance of efficiency and friendliness. Bartenders remembered what I ordered before and always smiled.
The Entertainment:
The production stages shows were nicely produced, with better than usual talent. The Motor City show was disturbing, however. It was odd enough having an almost entirely white cast singing all those r&b hits. However, at one point they brought out a bunch of large puppets that looked like black caricatures. That moved the show into offensive.
There were several comics on our cruise and all of them were quite good. The house band was exceptional. The small entertainment in the Piazza were a nice addition. The audience participation games were very poor -- a combination of poor sound and hosts that were rather rude to contestants.
The Food:
We had some of the worst and some of the best meals on this cruise. A dinner order of Moroccan Vegetarian Stew was basically a plate of chick peas sloshed with a thin and tasteless tomato sauce. Absolutely terrible. However, on another evening we were served veal chops to die for. Food is such a subjective thing. We heard guests at the same table complain about salt on their food - one said too much and the other said too little.
Except for breakfast, we always ate in a dining room, so no real opinion on the food in the Horizon Court buffet. We eyeballed Cafe Caribe most nights but it never looked appealing enough to draw us in.
The Ports:
Grand Turk: Trust me on this -- book a water-based excursion, stay on the ship, or just go to Margaritaville. We know Grand Turk well. It's small, sleepy, utterly boring. But the surrounding reefs are amazing. Dive if you can (we've spent two weeks there doing just that). We did the Ultimate Snorkel this trip and thoroughly enjoyed it.
St. Thomas: We'd never seen any of St. Thomas beyond Charlotte Amalia and didn't care for that. This time we took a cab to Coki Beach and were completely wow'd. Unbelievably beautiful and awesome snorkeling. Don't be put off by the ramshackled look of the place when the taxi drops you off, just walk right past the various buildings to the glorious beach. And, it's not even supposed to be the nicest beach on St. Thomas!
San Juan and Bermuda: Didn't visit either. Bermuda was really hot and we knew we would be back in November. Hurricane Florence went to Bermuda instead of us. Those things happen.
This was our third cruise (all in one year) and third line. We already tried Carnival (Miracle) and Royal Caribbean (Brilliance of the Seas). Next up is Holland America (Ryndam). You might want to check our other reviews to see how our sampling is going.
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