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Celebrity Cruisers Sail the Crown Princess We are enthusiastic Celebrity (X) cruisers with a 7 year old son. We have cruised X four times and were disappointed that they do not offer any summer Caribbean sailings and also are not happy with the decision to use the new Journey for Bermuda (more expensive, smaller ship, no kids venue) and so we were forced to look elsewhere. I did some research and we decided that Princess would be the closest experience to X and they had a new ship with a great itinerary and so we booked the Crown. Embarkation: We drove two hours to the Red Hook, Brooklyn port and arrived around 12:30 p.m. We were in our room by 1:00 p.m. so that tells you how quick the process was. The terminal was clean and easy to navigate. They asked us about alcohol and my dh said we had wine and we went through with no problem (we had 4 bottles). I liked that we boarded the ship through a sort of "jet-way" as on an airplane. At Bayonne we had to take a bus to the ship and climb some steep stairs and with a child and luggage it was difficult to navigate. Edge here to Red Hook Terminal. Our Stateroom: We had a balcony cabin and loved it. The room was a nice size and very clean. We had two chairs, two tables (one small) and two loungers on our balcony. We asked our cabin steward for an egg-crate mattress which he supplied immediately and the bed was heavenly. Nice linens too. He also supplied us with the standard waffle type Princess robes. Word of warning here...ladies if you are larger than a size 12 you will not be able to close these robes! These were skimpier than the standard X robes. We had no air-conditioner issues. In fact, at night we turned it down because it got too cool... and we slept with the duvet as well. We kept our balcony door closed at all times and also closed the curtains during the day if we were out of the room. I think this helped. We had an issue with a broken balcony door lock and maintenance fixed it in an hour or two of our call. We had enough storage with the open closet and the shelving, although X had more drawer space. I found myself hanging many more clothes than I would have due to small drawers. BTW, Princess supplies lots of nice wooden hangers. Never had any problems with the safe operation and found it easy. We stored our luggage under the bed and a few smaller pieces in the closet area. Bathroom was small! Especially the shower but we managed. There was plenty of storage space for the 3 of us. Would have like a larger shower but not a problem. My 7 year old slept in the pull down bed. We had debated using a rollaway bed because he is a restless sleeper but there would simply be no room to walk and so we put him in the pull down and tucked the ladder in next to him as an added barrier. (Someone on the Princess Board suggested this and I thank them.) He loved it up there and slept well. Our cabin steward, David, was very good and we tipped him extra at the end. It was nice to have a fridge in the room (Zenith didn't have this) and our steward stocked it with ice. You can purchase a large bottle of mineral water for $3 which we did a few times. We had planned to bring some water with us but we just didn't have the room to lug it. I did bring a few juice boxes for my son. Princess does not have the free lemonade or punch that X does. I brought the Crystal Light packets of lemonade and made my own. Did I mention that I LOVED the balcony?! I am now officially spoiled and would not want to sail without one again. Especially to the Caribbean. It was great to get up and wander outside to see the ship arrive in port. We saw some awesome sunrises and sunsets out there as well as some dolphins. +++ to Princess for affordable balcony cabins. Entertainment: The production shows were good but not great. I think X has more professional and polished production shows with better staging. But we did enjoy them. Zenith had a much better theater. The seats in the Crown Theater were very tight. We absolutely loved the crew show put on the next to last night. There are some very talented Princess crew members on the Crown. They sang and danced for us and the finale was hysterical. They put on their rendition of "If I Were Not Upon the Sea". I never laughed so hard on a cruise. Don't miss it. We also enjoyed the mentalist/magician, Karaoke, the comedian and the music in the Piazza. They had a few bands playing around the ship that we would stop and listen to while having a drink. All very pleasant and entertaining. I think Princess had more variety and more venues for entertainment than X... at least on the Crown. We were usually back in our cabin by midnight (7 year old) but there was still lots going on at that time. My only regret is that we never made it to MUTS at night. We did see a movie by the pool one day. Dining: We had traditional late dinner in the Botticelli. The service here, while good, was not excellent and not up to the standards I've been used to on X. Our waiter was just okay, never learned our names (on the next to last night we celebrated my birthday and before singing the waiter asked me my name!!) On X our waiters always knew who we were and always called us Miss (first name) or Mr. (first name). Little things we noticed were things like never crumbing the table before dessert, getting orders mixed up, setting the wrong plates down in front of the wrong people, saying no to any special request, when you would order an extra entrEe (which our tablemates did) they brought both at the same time. On X they would keep the second one hot under cover. They also use plastic covers on Princess for the food and the waiters do not carry the trays over their shoulder, they just sort of lug them in any old way. No white glove service on formal night and the baked Alaska parade was no big deal. On baked Alaska night we were not offered any other dessert. We just never developed the personal connection or rapport we did with our X waiters. We could have just as easily been at the anytime dining room although we would have missed our great tablemates (hi Lisa, Angelo, John and Stephanie). The six/seven of us had a wonderful time together. Another thing was the waiters basically ignored my son which was sooo opposite of what our X waiters did. They would cut his meat for him and bring him treats or surprises or play with him. Like I said nothing special about the service here. Lastly, there is no sommelier on Princess. We missed this greatly as wine service was hit or miss and sloppy. They need to train the staff better about wines. They broke two of our corks in the bottle and did not refill our glasses, nor decant anything. One night the head waiter told our waiter to give us better glasses. But the next night it was back to the cheap ones. Celebrity gets the ++ here for excellent sommelier service. On the other hand, the food was excellent. All the beef was very good as was the rack of lamb, beef Wellington and the veal (I'm not a fish/seafood eater). I loved the fettucine alfredo (always available) and the other pastas were excellent as well. You could see that Princess has Italian roots and they did the Italian food very well. The pasta on X is basically tasteless. I also enjoyed some of the soups and appetizers such as the goat cheese soufflE. For dessert I mostly had gelato or the Love Boat Dream dessert which is chocolate mousse with a crunchy bottom shaped like a heart. I did miss X's delicious chocolate cakes. Princess did not have much of a selection of cake. I'd like to mention here that we did not see anyone not complying with the evening dress code in the dining room. Men were in suits and Tuxes (more suits) on formal night and women were in gowns and cocktail dresses with some pants and sparkly tops. I was surprised to see so many dresses and nice skirts and tops even on casual nights. Many men wore dockers and polo type shirts as well as those new flowered type button down shirts on casual nights. This was a nicely dressed crowd. Other dining venues: Trident Grill which is where you can get burgers and hot dogs was great! They have X beat here. The French fries are just wonderful. Pizza: Princess Pizza was excellent. Loved it. MUCH better than X pizza, which in my opinion, is like cardboard. My son loved it too. Cafe Caribe: My dh would take my son here in the evenings for dinner before dropping him at the kids club. My dh said the food selection was wonderful and he tasted some as well and my son always ate well. They had lobster on occasion there and lamb, turkey, beef, salads, pasta etc. Very well done according to dh. Horizon Cafe: I don't like buffets in general and avoided the one on X if I could. This was a different layout but you get used to it. The food was very good. I ate a few breakfasts here as well as lunch. At breakfast they would have things like spinach frittata (eggs), ham and cheddar frittata, and a wonderful array of breads/rolls. The usual bacon, ham, sausage, pancakes, cereals and lots of fruit choices. At lunch they had a very varied selection and it was all very good. Much better than X. daVinci dining room: We mostly had our breakfasts and lunches here at open seating. Usually they found us a table for 3 but sometimes we shared. It didn't matter to us as we like meeting people. Lunches on Princess have Celebrity beat hands down. The menu was much more varied. They always had 2 pastas which were excellent. Three or four main courses and dessert. My son said to tell everyone that the kids spaghetti and meatballs were really, really good. Oddly enough we found the service here to be far better than in our dining room at night. We met some friendly waiters who entertained my son and did some little extras for us. Eating here was a very pleasant experience and I let the maitre'd know this. They are only open from 12 to l:30 pm. Sabatini's: We ate here one night. The room is spectacular in dEcor. The tables are well spaced and comfy. The food was very good, especially all the appetizers and the ravioli with truffles. It is a two hour dinner but it did not feel like it to us. We enjoyed everything and the service, again, while good, was nothing special. They did not even decant our old Barbaresco. For the extra charge they need to ramp up the service here. The Ship: The Crown is a stunning ship. The dEcor is tasteful and classy. Mostly done in woods, brass, marble, and granite. The colors and artwork are soothing and easy on the eye. While there were 3300 people on this sold out voyage you really would never know it. We found lots of quiet places to be alone and relax. The public rooms are comfortable and nicely decorated. Loved Skywalkers during the day for great views and quiet. The kids' room (3-7) was well stocked with toys and activities and spacious. Loved hanging out in the Piazza where something was always going on. The grand staircase was just lovely and there were plenty of shops around it to entice me. The two main pools were very active and lively but we could find little nooks or crannies at the aft of the ship to lounge. The aft pool is adults only as is the forward pool. Positive mention here to the Crown's public restrooms. They were so clean you could eat off the floor. I usually avoid the public restrooms but on Crown this was not a problem. I liked that you did not have to touch anything...both water and soap were on auto-sensors and the door was always open. They also had pretty bowls filled with potpourri on the sink tops. Ports: Grand Turk was a beautiful stop. We spent the entire time at Margaritaville (from 9 am to 1:30 pm). They have a huge pool (3 feet deep) with a bar and bridges going over the pool. Lots of loungers with umbrellas and cabannas. It was a perfect day weather wise and my dh and ds spent some time on the beach as well. Did some shopping here too. Everything is a few feet from the ship. Wish we had more time here. San Juan: You can keep it. We did not like it at all. Too hot, humid, congested and dirty. Our longest stop and wish it was the shortest. We took the Old San Juan/New San Juan tour and it was not worth it. We sat in traffic and had a lousy tour guide. We visited San Cristobal Fort, the Casa Blanca and did a tiny bit of shopping. It was just too hot. St. Thomas: Did a nice tour. Scenic drive, some shopping and a stop at Black Beards Tower. We did some swimming here. They have 3 pools you can use. It was a beautiful day, hot but not as humid as San Juan. Wish we stayed longer here. Ship left at 3. Next time we will just take a taxi to the beach. Bermuda: By far our favorite stop. We love Bermuda and have been here six times. This was our first time to dock at the West End. We grabbed a taxi for nearby Nine Beaches Resort and got chairs and an umbrella by 9:30 a.m. DH and son rented a paddle boat and paddled to all nice beaches and around a small island nearby. They had food and music here too. Later we shopped around the West End shops. Being Sunday we knew everything was closed in Hamilton and St. George is pretty far away so we planned on a lazy beach day. We did our shopping in St. Thomas instead. A small thing that I found very nice was that Princess delivered to our stateroom on the last day a packet for the Princess Captain's Circle Club. We had membership cards, two Captain's Circle pins, a booklet to record our cruises in and some information. They enrolled us, we did not have to actively do this like on X. They also gave us a copy of the ship's log for the voyage. All in all this was a wonderful cruise. The weather was picture perfect for 10 days. Not a drop of rain and calm seas. On our last day we had a rescue at sea of a single man on a small boat with sharks circling. That caused some excitement. We enjoyed the ship, the food, our room, our balcony, the other pax, our tablemates, and the general atmosphere of this ship. I admit I was worried about sailing such a huge ship but the Crown Princess is really a big ship with a small ship feel to it. I would not hesitate to sail with Princess again and we are looking into the Caribbean Princess for next summer! Until Celebrity begins to offer us the itineraries that suit our needs we will be Princess Cruisers.

Crown Princess - Eastern Caribbean

Crown Princess Cruise Review by BrooklynGirl2

Trip Details
Celebrity Cruisers Sail the Crown Princess
We are enthusiastic Celebrity (X) cruisers with a 7 year old son. We have cruised X four times and were disappointed that they do not offer any summer Caribbean sailings and also are not happy with the decision to use the new Journey for Bermuda (more expensive, smaller ship, no kids venue) and so we were forced to look elsewhere. I did some research and we decided that Princess would be the closest experience to X and they had a new ship with a great itinerary and so we booked the Crown.
Embarkation: We drove two hours to the Red Hook, Brooklyn port and arrived around 12:30 p.m. We were in our room by 1:00 p.m. so that tells you how quick the process was. The terminal was clean and easy to navigate. They asked us about alcohol and my dh said we had wine and we went through with no problem (we had 4 bottles). I liked that we boarded the ship through a sort of "jet-way" as on an airplane. At Bayonne we had to take a bus to the ship and climb some steep stairs and with a child and luggage it was difficult to navigate. Edge here to Red Hook Terminal.
Our Stateroom: We had a balcony cabin and loved it. The room was a nice size and very clean. We had two chairs, two tables (one small) and two loungers on our balcony. We asked our cabin steward for an egg-crate mattress which he supplied immediately and the bed was heavenly. Nice linens too. He also supplied us with the standard waffle type Princess robes. Word of warning here...ladies if you are larger than a size 12 you will not be able to close these robes! These were skimpier than the standard X robes.
We had no air-conditioner issues. In fact, at night we turned it down because it got too cool... and we slept with the duvet as well. We kept our balcony door closed at all times and also closed the curtains during the day if we were out of the room. I think this helped. We had an issue with a broken balcony door lock and maintenance fixed it in an hour or two of our call. We had enough storage with the open closet and the shelving, although X had more drawer space. I found myself hanging many more clothes than I would have due to small drawers. BTW, Princess supplies lots of nice wooden hangers. Never had any problems with the safe operation and found it easy. We stored our luggage under the bed and a few smaller pieces in the closet area.
Bathroom was small! Especially the shower but we managed. There was plenty of storage space for the 3 of us. Would have like a larger shower but not a problem.
My 7 year old slept in the pull down bed. We had debated using a rollaway bed because he is a restless sleeper but there would simply be no room to walk and so we put him in the pull down and tucked the ladder in next to him as an added barrier. (Someone on the Princess Board suggested this and I thank them.) He loved it up there and slept well. Our cabin steward, David, was very good and we tipped him extra at the end.
It was nice to have a fridge in the room (Zenith didn't have this) and our steward stocked it with ice. You can purchase a large bottle of mineral water for $3 which we did a few times. We had planned to bring some water with us but we just didn't have the room to lug it. I did bring a few juice boxes for my son. Princess does not have the free lemonade or punch that X does. I brought the Crystal Light packets of lemonade and made my own.
Did I mention that I LOVED the balcony?! I am now officially spoiled and would not want to sail without one again. Especially to the Caribbean. It was great to get up and wander outside to see the ship arrive in port. We saw some awesome sunrises and sunsets out there as well as some dolphins. +++ to Princess for affordable balcony cabins.
Entertainment: The production shows were good but not great. I think X has more professional and polished production shows with better staging. But we did enjoy them. Zenith had a much better theater. The seats in the Crown Theater were very tight. We absolutely loved the crew show put on the next to last night. There are some very talented Princess crew members on the Crown. They sang and danced for us and the finale was hysterical. They put on their rendition of "If I Were Not Upon the Sea". I never laughed so hard on a cruise. Don't miss it. We also enjoyed the mentalist/magician, Karaoke, the comedian and the music in the Piazza. They had a few bands playing around the ship that we would stop and listen to while having a drink. All very pleasant and entertaining. I think Princess had more variety and more venues for entertainment than X... at least on the Crown. We were usually back in our cabin by midnight (7 year old) but there was still lots going on at that time. My only regret is that we never made it to MUTS at night. We did see a movie by the pool one day.
Dining: We had traditional late dinner in the Botticelli. The service here, while good, was not excellent and not up to the standards I've been used to on X. Our waiter was just okay, never learned our names (on the next to last night we celebrated my birthday and before singing the waiter asked me my name!!) On X our waiters always knew who we were and always called us Miss (first name) or Mr. (first name). Little things we noticed were things like never crumbing the table before dessert, getting orders mixed up, setting the wrong plates down in front of the wrong people, saying no to any special request, when you would order an extra entrEe (which our tablemates did) they brought both at the same time. On X they would keep the second one hot under cover. They also use plastic covers on Princess for the food and the waiters do not carry the trays over their shoulder, they just sort of lug them in any old way. No white glove service on formal night and the baked Alaska parade was no big deal. On baked Alaska night we were not offered any other dessert. We just never developed the personal connection or rapport we did with our X waiters. We could have just as easily been at the anytime dining room although we would have missed our great tablemates (hi Lisa, Angelo, John and Stephanie). The six/seven of us had a wonderful time together. Another thing was the waiters basically ignored my son which was sooo opposite of what our X waiters did. They would cut his meat for him and bring him treats or surprises or play with him. Like I said nothing special about the service here.
Lastly, there is no sommelier on Princess. We missed this greatly as wine service was hit or miss and sloppy. They need to train the staff better about wines. They broke two of our corks in the bottle and did not refill our glasses, nor decant anything. One night the head waiter told our waiter to give us better glasses. But the next night it was back to the cheap ones. Celebrity gets the ++ here for excellent sommelier service.
On the other hand, the food was excellent. All the beef was very good as was the rack of lamb, beef Wellington and the veal (I'm not a fish/seafood eater). I loved the fettucine alfredo (always available) and the other pastas were excellent as well. You could see that Princess has Italian roots and they did the Italian food very well. The pasta on X is basically tasteless. I also enjoyed some of the soups and appetizers such as the goat cheese soufflE. For dessert I mostly had gelato or the Love Boat Dream dessert which is chocolate mousse with a crunchy bottom shaped like a heart. I did miss X's delicious chocolate cakes. Princess did not have much of a selection of cake.
I'd like to mention here that we did not see anyone not complying with the evening dress code in the dining room. Men were in suits and Tuxes (more suits) on formal night and women were in gowns and cocktail dresses with some pants and sparkly tops. I was surprised to see so many dresses and nice skirts and tops even on casual nights. Many men wore dockers and polo type shirts as well as those new flowered type button down shirts on casual nights. This was a nicely dressed crowd.
Other dining venues: Trident Grill which is where you can get burgers and hot dogs was great! They have X beat here. The French fries are just wonderful. Pizza: Princess Pizza was excellent. Loved it. MUCH better than X pizza, which in my opinion, is like cardboard. My son loved it too. Cafe Caribe: My dh would take my son here in the evenings for dinner before dropping him at the kids club. My dh said the food selection was wonderful and he tasted some as well and my son always ate well. They had lobster on occasion there and lamb, turkey, beef, salads, pasta etc. Very well done according to dh. Horizon Cafe: I don't like buffets in general and avoided the one on X if I could. This was a different layout but you get used to it. The food was very good. I ate a few breakfasts here as well as lunch. At breakfast they would have things like spinach frittata (eggs), ham and cheddar frittata, and a wonderful array of breads/rolls. The usual bacon, ham, sausage, pancakes, cereals and lots of fruit choices. At lunch they had a very varied selection and it was all very good. Much better than X. daVinci dining room: We mostly had our breakfasts and lunches here at open seating. Usually they found us a table for 3 but sometimes we shared. It didn't matter to us as we like meeting people. Lunches on Princess have Celebrity beat hands down. The menu was much more varied. They always had 2 pastas which were excellent. Three or four main courses and dessert. My son said to tell everyone that the kids spaghetti and meatballs were really, really good. Oddly enough we found the service here to be far better than in our dining room at night. We met some friendly waiters who entertained my son and did some little extras for us. Eating here was a very pleasant experience and I let the maitre'd know this. They are only open from 12 to l:30 pm.
Sabatini's: We ate here one night. The room is spectacular in dEcor. The tables are well spaced and comfy. The food was very good, especially all the appetizers and the ravioli with truffles. It is a two hour dinner but it did not feel like it to us. We enjoyed everything and the service, again, while good, was nothing special. They did not even decant our old Barbaresco. For the extra charge they need to ramp up the service here.
The Ship: The Crown is a stunning ship. The dEcor is tasteful and classy. Mostly done in woods, brass, marble, and granite. The colors and artwork are soothing and easy on the eye. While there were 3300 people on this sold out voyage you really would never know it. We found lots of quiet places to be alone and relax. The public rooms are comfortable and nicely decorated. Loved Skywalkers during the day for great views and quiet. The kids' room (3-7) was well stocked with toys and activities and spacious. Loved hanging out in the Piazza where something was always going on. The grand staircase was just lovely and there were plenty of shops around it to entice me. The two main pools were very active and lively but we could find little nooks or crannies at the aft of the ship to lounge. The aft pool is adults only as is the forward pool.
Positive mention here to the Crown's public restrooms. They were so clean you could eat off the floor. I usually avoid the public restrooms but on Crown this was not a problem. I liked that you did not have to touch anything...both water and soap were on auto-sensors and the door was always open. They also had pretty bowls filled with potpourri on the sink tops.
Ports: Grand Turk was a beautiful stop. We spent the entire time at Margaritaville (from 9 am to 1:30 pm). They have a huge pool (3 feet deep) with a bar and bridges going over the pool. Lots of loungers with umbrellas and cabannas. It was a perfect day weather wise and my dh and ds spent some time on the beach as well. Did some shopping here too. Everything is a few feet from the ship. Wish we had more time here.
San Juan: You can keep it. We did not like it at all. Too hot, humid, congested and dirty. Our longest stop and wish it was the shortest. We took the Old San Juan/New San Juan tour and it was not worth it. We sat in traffic and had a lousy tour guide. We visited San Cristobal Fort, the Casa Blanca and did a tiny bit of shopping. It was just too hot.
St. Thomas: Did a nice tour. Scenic drive, some shopping and a stop at Black Beards Tower. We did some swimming here. They have 3 pools you can use. It was a beautiful day, hot but not as humid as San Juan. Wish we stayed longer here. Ship left at 3. Next time we will just take a taxi to the beach.
Bermuda: By far our favorite stop. We love Bermuda and have been here six times. This was our first time to dock at the West End. We grabbed a taxi for nearby Nine Beaches Resort and got chairs and an umbrella by 9:30 a.m. DH and son rented a paddle boat and paddled to all nice beaches and around a small island nearby. They had food and music here too. Later we shopped around the West End shops. Being Sunday we knew everything was closed in Hamilton and St. George is pretty far away so we planned on a lazy beach day. We did our shopping in St. Thomas instead.
A small thing that I found very nice was that Princess delivered to our stateroom on the last day a packet for the Princess Captain's Circle Club. We had membership cards, two Captain's Circle pins, a booklet to record our cruises in and some information. They enrolled us, we did not have to actively do this like on X. They also gave us a copy of the ship's log for the voyage.
All in all this was a wonderful cruise. The weather was picture perfect for 10 days. Not a drop of rain and calm seas. On our last day we had a rescue at sea of a single man on a small boat with sharks circling. That caused some excitement. We enjoyed the ship, the food, our room, our balcony, the other pax, our tablemates, and the general atmosphere of this ship. I admit I was worried about sailing such a huge ship but the Crown Princess is really a big ship with a small ship feel to it. I would not hesitate to sail with Princess again and we are looking into the Caribbean Princess for next summer! Until Celebrity begins to offer us the itineraries that suit our needs we will be Princess Cruisers.
BrooklynGirl2’s Full Rating Summary
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