Crown Princess - Bermuda: Crown Princess Cruise Review by Dave
Overall Member Rating
Crown Princess - Bermuda
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
If you have a choice, get a cabin on the starboard side of the ship. In New York, Bermuda and leaving Grand Turk it was the better side to be on. We had a mini-suite for the first time in our 5 cruises with Princess. As a plus the bathroom had a full tub and was much larger. This alone was worth the price to upgrade. The stateroom itself had a few extra feet of space, and two TVs. The balcony was actually smaller than those found one deck More up on Caribe. If you plan to spend a lot of time on your balcony, Id recommend an Oceanview Double on Caribe instead of upgrading to a mini-suite on Dolphin. The best thing about our cabin was the bed. It was the most comfortable Ive ever been in.
Everything on the ship still looks brand new, and there was no evidence of the tilt accident from July. Maintenance crews were visible painting and varnishing, but were not in the way. One surprise was that while in San Juan, a crew replaced our balcony dividers. The Star Princess had a major fire and plastic balcony dividers were to blame. Princess has the most plastic dividers of any fleet. To their credit they are going to great expense to replace the dividers with aluminum to fix the problem. It was a slight inconvenience, but we were informed well in advance and the job was done professionally. It was a hot, humid day for a hard job, but the crew did a great job. The only other maintenance issue was the loss of the main generator for several minutes. The whole ship went dark, which surprised me. Emergency lights, and the backup generator were somewhat slow to come on. But everything got fixed and there were no further problems. One other thing. They cant get the clocks on deck to work, so dont depend on them. I have a picture showing one clock ten minutes fast and the other ten minutes slow.
We like anytime dining, which gives greater flexibility to see evening entertainment or a late return to the ship. Most nights we arrived around 7:30 and had no more than a 15 minute wait. Both the DaVinci and Michelangelo dining room serve anytime dining. After eating in both, Id go to Michelangelo on deck 5. It seemed less crowded. Also the hostess, (cant remember her name) was the most pleasant crew member we encountered. It may be an unfair statement, but there seems to be a higher percentage of Asian wait staff on the Crown compared to other Princess ships weve sailed. Ive concluded European waiters offer better service and have a better sense of humor. Not a bad experience, but weve had better. The food was quite good, though the Princess menu doesnt seem to change much. We ate at Horizon Court one night because we wanted to see a Movie Under the Stars. That buffet was also good.
Entertainment was a little disappointing. Other Cruise Critics raved about comedian Sarge, but I was not overly impressed. It seems every comedian on a cruise ship has to make light of the small showers and sucking toilets. Gets to be an old joke after awhile. The MUTS selection was also disappointing, though if you can find one you like, its a great way to see a movie. The Cruise Director Omar looked new to the position and was just OK. The Assistant Director had much more personality. She also gave the ballroom dancing lessons and was quite a good teacher.
We rented scooters in Bermuda from Oleander who has a location right at the West End pier. Go online before you sail and you can save $5.00. Be warned that a $30.00 insurance charge is in the fine print. A scooter gives you great freedom to explore. The best beaches were on the southern side of the island. Plan on an excursion on Grand Turk. There is not much to do at the dock. We did a kayak and snorkeling trip which worked out nicely.
The days at sea are a nice change of pace. If you want to get away from the crowds, the sun deck near the front of the ship on the Sports deck always had space. Princess is pushing The Sanctuary as a $15.00 per half day option. I just dont get it. I didnt see more than 6 people use the space. Ill be interested to see if Princess continues this option. One other nice place to avoid the crowds for an evening drink is the Adagio lounge. Their specialty is martinis and they offer a large selection of tasty olives to accompany the drinks. I cant overstate how much we enjoyed this lounge. There were several wonderful musicians for entertainment. Adagio is on Deck 16 all the way aft. Many people just dont venture that far, so it was never busy, but well worth the walk. On a ship with 3400 passengers, it is surprising how many quite places can be found if you are willing to look around.
When arriving back in New York, do yourself a favor and wake up early to see the morning sunrise over the city. I went to the front of the Promenade deck. It was just beautiful. Disembarkation did not go well, though the blame goes to US customs. Due to 6 cruise ships arriving in New York on the same day, only 5 custom agents were available to clear 3400 passengers. It went on forever. And getting a taxi was difficult. We should have used a Princess arranged transfer. Those folks got to disembark much earlier.
Overall a great cruise. Im guessing in the summer there are many kids which if you have children would make for a fun time. Our September trip was more adult oriented which was just fine for us. Cruises remain the best travel value and we look forward to another cruise on Princess. Less