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This was my first Princess cruise and my last. I have sailed HAL 6 times, RCCL twice, NCL 4 times, Carnival once, Celebrity once, and Premier (formerly Disney's line) twice. I've sailed on everything from NCL's former S.S. Norway to the Radiance of the Sea and Noordam and everything in between. The Crown Princess only made me extremely eager to return to HAL or Carnival! I booked an outside unobstructed view and a friend I had met on the Volendam years ago booked an outside with an obstructed view. Obviously my cabin was more expensive than hers, yet it was smaller. And I mean tiny. The only seat was the desk chair. To watch TV (on a shelf over the desk)you had to get into bed. There was an occasional table located directly in your path on entering the cabin and over the wastebasket. I put the table on the floor in the closet area so you wouldn't have to walk past it sideways on entering the cabin. My friend at least had a chair near this table to allow you to relax without crawling into bed. Her cabin was slightly larger, but cost less money because of looking at a life boat outside the window. To top this off I was awoken every morning at 6:10 AM by noise above my cabin. The front desk manager said it was probably a galley area for the Lido and to call them should it happen again. On leaving San Juan we stayed up to watch the fort as we sailed past it at midnight. We went to the casino after that and didn't turn in until around 2 AM. You guessed it, the same noise 4 hours later. I jumped out of bed and called the front desk. When awoken like this I can't fall back to sleep. This was our day in St. Thomas. I had wanted to go into Charlotte Amalie and then to a beach in the afternoon. With 4 hours sleep and the heat I came back to the ship and took a 2 hour nap instead of the beach after going into town. Nice way to spend a day in one of my favorite ports! I was awoken by the same noise at the same time on the day we disembarked the ship. I find it hard to believe that the management of the ship has no clue as to which members of their staff are working in certain areas of their ship at any given time. If they did, then why wouldn't they restrict this work when a passenger reports it is disturbing their sleep? Back to the bad joke - How tiny was it? I'm 6'1" and to wash my feet in the shower I had to push my head into the shower curtain and lean out into the bathroom. How tiny was it? I had to bend over to get my hair under the showerhead! Oh for the bathtubs on HAL! Management failed again with "management" of their "Personal Choice" dining rooms. We requested the traditional Botticelli dining room but were 242nd on the wait list. An obvious indication that people prefer this arrangement. Our travel agent recommended calling for reservations in the personal choice dining rooms when we had some idea of when we would like to dine that day. Fortunately we did this on the 3 days we did try either the Michelangelo or Da Vinci dining rooms. Unfortunately we went! The first formal night we waited between 30 and 40 minutes for the main course after the salad course. Fortunately we met some nice people and were having a good conversation to make this delay less noticeable. On another night we decided to forgo desert and coffee to see the show. We heard that Princess had added another deck to this ship but didn't increase the size of the public spaces to accommodate these additional passengers. This was evident when we went to the Princess Theater and there wasn't a seat to be had. I suggested we return the the dining room and talk to a couple we had met from England. They were still there, so I told the waiter we missed him so much that we came back. His comment was "That's why we're here - to serve you." Not thinking quickly enough I should have said "That's why we're here - to pay your salary!". The second formal night we were told there was a one hour wait to get in if you didn't have a reservation. It was very uncomfortable walking around all of these fellow passengers standing in line waiting to be seated. This is never an issue with traditional seating. For whatever reason that evening, there wasn't a member of the bar staff to take our drink order at our table that evening. I wanted a Tom Collins. Our waiter was from a country in Eastern Europe, apparently didn't understand this, and asked me to write it down for her. How could she take a correct dinner order if she couldn't understand something as simple as this? This was also the evening for surf and turf. They were listed as 2 individual entrees on the menu. I indicated I would like the lobster and beef wellington to make a true surf and turf. The following was placed in front of me - a plate with the lobster and sides, a plate with the beef and sides, and another plate with beef and sides. After reviewing her notes the 3rd plate was given to a gentleman across the table. She then took the lobster off the first plate and put it onto the one with the beef. Nothing like having food plated right in front of you while you're wearing a tuxedo! Now I made the mistake of wanting pepper for some of the side dishes. Fresh ground pepper was never offered at any of the 3 times in either of these dining rooms. Trouble was, there wasn't a salt and pepper shaker on the table for self service. I do believe this was to be a formal dining experience? Or McDonald's as the above indicates? Again, 2 dining rooms, 3 different tables and servers, all with issues. It comes back to the management or lack thereof. McDonald's always knows to provide salt and pepper, but Princess doesn't! The Horizon Court Buffet had good food, but a horrendous layout. There wasn't enough room to pass between the various stations if there happened to be a person at each station. There also wasn't a clearly marked entrance or exit. This resulted in people entering the stations from opposing ends and clashing in the middle. There wasn't one station allocated to condiments. A case in point was the morning I wanted pancakes. The butter was 30 feet from where the pancakes were. Now where's the syrup? On a tray 2 feet prior to where you pick up the pancakes? Whatever the designers of this mess were drinking, I want some! I enjoyed all of the islands except Grand Turk. Again this was Princess' fault! Since this was my first time here I decided to try the Grand Turk Hop On/Hop Off Island Tour to get an overview of the island. I enjoy lighthouses and thought this would be a good way to see theirs at the opposite end of the island from where we docked. Wrong! There were 3 stops to get on or off. One was the lighthouse. Another was a prison. Why you would want to see this on an island vacation escapes me. The last was "the town shopping area". The only thing visible at the bus stop were trees and vegetation on the opposite side of the street. There wasn't so much as a t-shirt shop and no indication by either of the bus drivers coming or going as to where the town or shops were located. I believe Princess charged about $36 for this fiasco. That's the first and last time they'll be getting the same from me. I'm guessing it would have been about a $10 cab ride for the 6 mile trip to the lighthouse. Other people complained about taking a horse and carriage ride where the driver took them to a run down area to point out where they played basketball as children. Why? To fill Princess' pockets, thats why. I should have stayed at Margaritaville. I think I will on my next Carnival cruise. The other major events that lacked forethought were on the 2 formal nights. The captain spoke in the 3 story atrium. Since he spoke twice that evening that would mean about 1,500 people would be there each time. Many were. If you had x-ray vision you could see him through the 3 or 4 people crowding the railing in front of you. The same went for the second formal night when they poured champagne down a tower of champagne glasses. Logic would indicate having these events in the Princess Theatre. Oops I forgot, that space wasn't large enough for everyone onboard either! The bus ride home was another disaster. We waited 40 minutes for 2 people, who as it turns out, were already on the bus. Once headed home, I had to get up and tell the driver to turn around to get us to the next stop. By then he had to get onto an interstate highway and drive 15 minutes to the next exit to turn around. Then he couldn't get a ticket to get into the airport to drop us off because the bus wasn't pulled far enough forward for the ticket dispenser to work. Nothing else worked on this cruise, so why should that? I have never put so many negative comments on a comment card before. The public areas of the ship were beautiful, but all of the above certainly negated anything positive I could get out of this cruise or ship. We heard similar comments from many other passengers. As you can see from my cruising experience I am fairly well versed on cruising. From this experience I must officially dethrone Princess and stomp on her crown.

Crown Princess - Eastern Caribbean

Crown Princess Cruise Review by Frogger

Trip Details
This was my first Princess cruise and my last.
I have sailed HAL 6 times, RCCL twice, NCL 4 times, Carnival once, Celebrity once, and Premier (formerly Disney's line) twice. I've sailed on everything from NCL's former S.S. Norway to the Radiance of the Sea and Noordam and everything in between.
The Crown Princess only made me extremely eager to return to HAL or Carnival!
I booked an outside unobstructed view and a friend I had met on the Volendam years ago booked an outside with an obstructed view. Obviously my cabin was more expensive than hers, yet it was smaller. And I mean tiny.
The only seat was the desk chair. To watch TV (on a shelf over the desk)you had to get into bed. There was an occasional table located directly in your path on entering the cabin and over the wastebasket. I put the table on the floor in the closet area so you wouldn't have to walk past it sideways on entering the cabin. My friend at least had a chair near this table to allow you to relax without crawling into bed. Her cabin was slightly larger, but cost less money because of looking at a life boat outside the window.
To top this off I was awoken every morning at 6:10 AM by noise above my cabin. The front desk manager said it was probably a galley area for the Lido and to call them should it happen again.
On leaving San Juan we stayed up to watch the fort as we sailed past it at midnight. We went to the casino after that and didn't turn in until around 2 AM. You guessed it, the same noise 4 hours later. I jumped out of bed and called the front desk. When awoken like this I can't fall back to sleep. This was our day in St. Thomas. I had wanted to go into Charlotte Amalie and then to a beach in the afternoon. With 4 hours sleep and the heat I came back to the ship and took a 2 hour nap instead of the beach after going into town. Nice way to spend a day in one of my favorite ports!
I was awoken by the same noise at the same time on the day we disembarked the ship.
I find it hard to believe that the management of the ship has no clue as to which members of their staff are working in certain areas of their ship at any given time. If they did, then why wouldn't they restrict this work when a passenger reports it is disturbing their sleep?
Back to the bad joke - How tiny was it? I'm 6'1" and to wash my feet in the shower I had to push my head into the shower curtain and lean out into the bathroom. How tiny was it? I had to bend over to get my hair under the showerhead! Oh for the bathtubs on HAL! Management failed again with "management" of their "Personal Choice" dining rooms.
We requested the traditional Botticelli dining room but were 242nd on the wait list. An obvious indication that people prefer this arrangement. Our travel agent recommended calling for reservations in the personal choice dining rooms when we had some idea of when we would like to dine that day. Fortunately we did this on the 3 days we did try either the Michelangelo or Da Vinci dining rooms. Unfortunately we went!
The first formal night we waited between 30 and 40 minutes for the main course after the salad course. Fortunately we met some nice people and were having a good conversation to make this delay less noticeable.
On another night we decided to forgo desert and coffee to see the show. We heard that Princess had added another deck to this ship but didn't increase the size of the public spaces to accommodate these additional passengers. This was evident when we went to the Princess Theater and there wasn't a seat to be had. I suggested we return the the dining room and talk to a couple we had met from England. They were still there, so I told the waiter we missed him so much that we came back. His comment was "That's why we're here - to serve you." Not thinking quickly enough I should have said "That's why we're here - to pay your salary!".
The second formal night we were told there was a one hour wait to get in if you didn't have a reservation. It was very uncomfortable walking around all of these fellow passengers standing in line waiting to be seated. This is never an issue with traditional seating.
For whatever reason that evening, there wasn't a member of the bar staff to take our drink order at our table that evening. I wanted a Tom Collins. Our waiter was from a country in Eastern Europe, apparently didn't understand this, and asked me to write it down for her. How could she take a correct dinner order if she couldn't understand something as simple as this?
This was also the evening for surf and turf. They were listed as 2 individual entrees on the menu. I indicated I would like the lobster and beef wellington to make a true surf and turf. The following was placed in front of me - a plate with the lobster and sides, a plate with the beef and sides, and another plate with beef and sides. After reviewing her notes the 3rd plate was given to a gentleman across the table. She then took the lobster off the first plate and put it onto the one with the beef. Nothing like having food plated right in front of you while you're wearing a tuxedo!
Now I made the mistake of wanting pepper for some of the side dishes. Fresh ground pepper was never offered at any of the 3 times in either of these dining rooms. Trouble was, there wasn't a salt and pepper shaker on the table for self service. I do believe this was to be a formal dining experience?
Or McDonald's as the above indicates?
Again, 2 dining rooms, 3 different tables and servers, all with issues. It comes back to the management or lack thereof. McDonald's always knows to provide salt and pepper, but Princess doesn't! The Horizon Court Buffet had good food, but a horrendous layout. There wasn't enough room to pass between the various stations if there happened to be a person at each station. There also wasn't a clearly marked entrance or exit. This resulted in people entering the stations from opposing ends and clashing in the middle. There wasn't one station allocated to condiments. A case in point was the morning I wanted pancakes. The butter was 30 feet from where the pancakes were. Now where's the syrup? On a tray 2 feet prior to where you pick up the pancakes? Whatever the designers of this mess were drinking, I want some!
I enjoyed all of the islands except Grand Turk. Again this was Princess' fault! Since this was my first time here I decided to try the Grand Turk Hop On/Hop Off Island Tour to get an overview of the island. I enjoy lighthouses and thought this would be a good way to see theirs at the opposite end of the island from where we docked. Wrong! There were 3 stops to get on or off. One was the lighthouse. Another was a prison. Why you would want to see this on an island vacation escapes me. The last was "the town shopping area". The only thing visible at the bus stop were trees and vegetation on the opposite side of the street. There wasn't so much as a t-shirt shop and no indication by either of the bus drivers coming or going as to where the town or shops were located. I believe Princess charged about $36 for this fiasco. That's the first and last time they'll be getting the same from me. I'm guessing it would have been about a $10 cab ride for the 6 mile trip to the lighthouse.
Other people complained about taking a horse and carriage ride where the driver took them to a run down area to point out where they played basketball as children. Why? To fill Princess' pockets, thats why.
I should have stayed at Margaritaville. I think I will on my next Carnival cruise.
The other major events that lacked forethought were on the 2 formal nights. The captain spoke in the 3 story atrium. Since he spoke twice that evening that would mean about 1,500 people would be there each time. Many were. If you had x-ray vision you could see him through the 3 or 4 people crowding the railing in front of you. The same went for the second formal night when they poured champagne down a tower of champagne glasses.
Logic would indicate having these events in the Princess Theatre. Oops I forgot, that space wasn't large enough for everyone onboard either!
The bus ride home was another disaster. We waited 40 minutes for 2 people, who as it turns out, were already on the bus. Once headed home, I had to get up and tell the driver to turn around to get us to the next stop. By then he had to get onto an interstate highway and drive 15 minutes to the next exit to turn around. Then he couldn't get a ticket to get into the airport to drop us off because the bus wasn't pulled far enough forward for the ticket dispenser to work.
Nothing else worked on this cruise, so why should that?
I have never put so many negative comments on a comment card before. The public areas of the ship were beautiful, but all of the above certainly negated anything positive I could get out of this cruise or ship. We heard similar comments from many other passengers.
As you can see from my cruising experience I am fairly well versed on cruising. From this experience I must officially dethrone Princess and stomp on her crown.
Frogger’s Full Rating Summary
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