Crown Princess Cruise Review by tarzanterri
- Sail Date: August 2006
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Previously, we traveled to Alaska, Panama Canal and other Caribbean destinations with Princess. We love all the Princess ships we've traveled on, and feel that they are a cut above NCL and Celebrity. This ship was no exception.
It was absolutely beautiful, especially the Atrium area. The ship was quite expensive and you could tell from the fine appointments, cut marble, tile mosaics and overall grandness of the space.
Our cabin was a mini-suite with balcony and it was spacious. My mother had the mini suite next door, so we opened the spacer between the two balconies to make one large outdoor space. The linens on the bed were high quality, as were the pillows and fluffy cover. The towels were rough, which might not be to everyone's liking.
Our cabin steward was careful and our room was always kept in good order.
Overall, we were somewhat disappointed with the cruise on many levels, but especially the food.
Firstly, the food was definitely not up to the usual Princess quality. The buffets served unappetizing foods, congealed sauces and the like. The quality just wasn't there - salads were iceberg lettuce, that kind of thing. While the food in the dining room was better, there was a big problem with oversalting, and the service in Michelangelo was terrible. We were left to find our own table almost every night and we often sat down to tables that weren't set.
I lost weight on this cruise, if that tells you anything. Poolside, the pizza was always fresh and delicious with different varieties daily, and the hot dogs and hamburgers were pretty good too. There was a coffee bar in the Atrium that served excellent cappuccino, but you had to pay for that. If you bought a coffee card, you paid a nominal amount per cup and weren't bothered signing for each one. When the Horizon buffet closed, the little cafe in the Atrium served sandwiches, fruit, and other light snacks.
They had fresh cookies 24/7 which were excellent, and in the morning the cafe served warm donuts, croissants and rolls. While I'm saying how mediocre the food was, I should say that the bakers supplied travelers with superior baked goods, from rolls to desserts. Enough about this.
While the ports of call were good ones, I find that Princess ships are usually the last ones in port and the first ones out, giving you little time to do anything. They also seem to dock at ports furthest away from the actual towns. (This may be a result of the size of their new ships.) We were especially disappointed in arriving in Bermuda on a Sunday, when nothing at all was open. It was the beach or nothing. We were in Grand Turk for only 5 hours and it was such a beautiful place.
On a more positive note, we took our open water dive certification class and that was a blast, though very hard work for a vacation. We dove in Grand Turk and St. Thomas which boast clear waters and coral gardens. Grand Turk has a 7,000 foot shelf that we hovered above and looked down into deep blue endlessness.
There was a problem with sewage smell on this ship. When we embarked in NY the smell was right in our cabin corridor. It seemed to rove the ship, though. We never had a problem after the first day, but when walking around, we sometimes caught an unpleasant whiff.
Our 6 year old son enjoyed the kids club and camp hours were extensive. They were always open on port days and also at night from 7-10pm. My son loved it. Though there were tons of older kids on the ship, they never seemed to congregate outside the teen center as I have seen on other cruise lines.
We've taken a cruise each year since my 6 year old was born, and I think we're ready to give it a rest. While, I liked this cruise and was sorry to leave the ship, I didn't love it the way I usually do, and certainly think it was below Princess' usual standards.
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