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Overall, my husband and I had an enjoyable time on this cruise. However, Princess Cruise lines and the Crown Princess have several areas on which they need to improve if they want to keep customers. My husband has traveled on many cruises with his family over the past 10 years, so he is able to compare his experiences. The embarkation was very easy. It was much easier than I remember on a previous Princess cruise. When we arrived to our cabin, they had our names on our neighbor's door, yet our key worked on the door we were assigned. The stewardess allowed us access to our room and fixed the problem. We had a minisuite, which was roomy and well laid out. I loved having a large bathtub, and the shower water pressure was excellent. We were very disappointed that our balcony did not have a cover, but we knew this before we boarded. Although the decor looked very dated, we were very comfortable in our cabin. Within 30 minutes of arriving at port, I was already changed into my bathing suit and in the adult pool at the back of the ship. We were very pleased that all of the pools were fresh water, which made for an enjoyable swimming experience. The pools were very well maintained and very inviting. However, there were not enough lounge chairs under shade. As expected, all shaded chairs were taken before 9am, so it is difficult to sit out on the deck in the sun all day. After our dip, we spent the afternoon exploring. The ship is large and nicely decorated. I found it difficult to navigate and was not always sure where to go. We avoided the elevators (both to same time and to work off the buffet), but people seemed to be frustrated with waiting. All of the bars and dining rooms were comfortable and nicely decorated. The stores met our needs for both souvenirs and last minute toiletry items. I wish that they had a better magazine and book selection. Overall, the food on the ship was passable. The buffet had a variety, and we were always able to find something to eat. However, all of the dishes were very, very salty. There weren't enough lighter, healthier options. All of the salad dressings were cream based, even the "balsamic vinaigrette." Unless you wanted oil and vinegar, you had no other choice. I was disappointed in the fruit selections, and sometimes it was hit or miss with freshness. They always had cantaloupe and honey dew, and often watermelon. I was hoping for sliced oranges, grapefruit, guava, papaya, etc. The cookies were excellent, but we stayed away from the rest of the desserts on the buffet. The freshly baked bread was fantastic! The buffet lines were a little hectic, and there were days when I just couldn't find basic items. As we approached the end of the cruise, it appeared that people's patience was dwindling. We had hamburgers and fries on the deck, which were decent. I enjoyed the soft serve ice cream that was available every day. My husband and I live in Manhattan, and we found the prices of the extras, including: alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, ice cream, cappuccino, etc, to be very, very reasonable. I was pleased to pay around $6.00 for a Grey Goose and tonic ($11.00 in the city). So, I was happy to be able to have a few drinks and not feel guilty about the cost. The mimosas and strawberry daiquiris were very yummy. The deck bartenders were pleasant. The food in the dining rooms was decent. We had late seating, but we decided to do anytime seating and sit by ourselves. (We usually didn't get to the dining room before 8:45pm.) It was our 2nd anniversary, and my husband travels a lot of work, so we wanted to spend time together, as opposed to talking with other people every night. We found that dinner usually felt very rushed, as we were done in less than an hour. On one night, they were particularly busy, so we had to wait for a little while during dinner. We thought this was great, yet the staff kept apologizing. Often, they would give us our 1st course, and we could see our 2nd course waiting for us on the side. Before you put your fork down, they are bringing another course. The waiters were decent, but they didn't do anything to go above and beyond for you on any level. If I had been in a NYC restaurant, I would have been disappointed with the service. Overall, we found the food in the dining room to be decent, yet limited. Like the buffet, the food was very, very salty. I found the meat dishes (steak, prime rib, turkey) to be better than the vegetarian options. The lobster and king crab legs were decent. My husband enjoyed the various fish entrees. Sometimes, we enjoyed our meals, yet often we ate just to eat and weren't thrilled about anything. The shrimp cocktail was very sad. I felt bad for the tiny, limp shrimp on my plate. We heard some people absolutely rave about the food, and then there were some who were slightly disappointed. The desserts were decent, and the ice cream was always a safe pick. I think that we may be spoiled by living in Manhattan with so many excellent dining options. During the second night of the cruise, the boat was very, very rocky. I think that we were going through the tropical depression off the coast of the Carolinas. We didn't feel great, so we stayed in our cabin and ordered room service. The menu was extremely limited, and we were very disappointed. We wanted simple, bland food like pasta or chicken noodle soup. We had to order pizza and salad, which are not the best things for a rocky stomach. It is surprising because you figure that the people who are ordering room service are most likely not feeling well and just want some plain carbs. The food came very fast, so we were pleased about that. We found our cabin steward to be less than helpful and somewhat annoying. We entered our wedding anniversary (September 10) on the online Cruise Personalizer when we booked. On the second day, she placed Just Married balloons outside our cabin. I politely told her that we did not just get married and that we were celebrating our 2nd anniversary on the 10th. She told me flatly that she got the information from the computer. We had to take the balloons down ourselves the next day. Happy Anniversary balloons appeared the day after our anniversary. Just a little annoying...how about no balloons, and we will call it even? There were times when dirty dishes weren't removed or the ice bucket didn't have fresh ice in it. It seemed like she never went to our balcony to take away used beach towels. I was pleased when she picked up on the fact that I use two towels, so that was nice. Overall, we were more annoyed by her presence than excited by it. We didn't go to any shows, but we heard that they were decent. There was always some live music going on some where in the evening, which people seemed to enjoy. It was nice to have lots of options for photography (although it was expensive) on both formal and non formal nights. There seemed to be lots of activities throughout the day as well. We enjoyed watching some of the pool games and played bingo twice. We enjoyed the casino, but we were disappointed with the automatic shufflers on the black jack tables. Overall, we did not find the general customer service feel of the ship to be that good. We became frustrated several times because people did not know when different places were open. Despite many attempts, we could never access the onboard dive shop because people kept giving us different times. People did not seem to have answers to pretty basic cruise service questions. The tour desk was decent. The library had very limited time frames, but we were pleased to be able to read some travel books about our ports of call. I think that some of the crew were new to the ship and itinerary. We enjoyed all of the ports of call. We went to Governor's Beach in Grand Turk and went snorkeling which was fun. The beach was nice, had bathrooms and showers, snorkel gear, etc. The water was very warm, crystal clear, and there were some nice snorkel spots just off the beach. We were disappointed that there weren't any food options there besides Margaritaville, which we skipped. In San Juan, we spent the day with friends who live there. Old San Juan was nice, but it was very very hot. In St. Thomas, we went to Coral World which is fun if you like to get up close and personal with fish (which we do). Coral World doesn't light a candle to aquariums in major cities, but we had such a good time there and the people were super nice. We didn't snorkel at Coki Beach (which is adjacent), but we heard that it was fantastic. We enjoyed Bermuda, yet the boat docks far away from Hamilton, which was very frustrating for people trying to get there. You had to take either a ferry which had limited service or the bus which took over an hour. We decided to stay by the ship to avoid the chaos and went snorkeling in the snorkel park. It wasn't as good as Governor's Beach, but we had a good time. There is also shopping there, basic tourist shops and a glass store. We had lunch at Beethoven's, which is in the shopping mall. We had an excellent, basic (bbq chicken wrap, salad, and soup) lunch. It was refreshing to have a light, non-salty lunch off of the cruise ship. Bermuda was expensive, but we expected that. Our most favorite part of the ship was the Sanctuary, located in the very front of the ship by the lotus spa. The Sanctuary is the most secluded outdoor area of the ship which is for people looking for rest and relaxation, as opposed to constant movies, pool games, music, etc., found at the two main pools. For $20 per person for the day ($10 for ½ day), you get a super comfy lounge chaise either in the sun or in the shade. The super nice, 4 person Sanctuary staff will move the chaise wherever you want, based upon the sun's position. You can leave the chaise for as long as you want to get food, take a break, etc., and you don't have to worry about anybody taking your spot. You paid for it; you own it. They play relaxing music and cater to your needs. You can order food from the lotus spa menu and drinks. Once we found this place, it was all over! We loved it and found it to be more than worth the cost. The Sanctuary does get booked, so it can add some stress if you really want to sit there. One day, it was booked, and we were devastated! On the last day of the cruise (at sea), we went to the Sanctuary at 6:45 am to get a seat when it opened at 8am. We were second in line (somebody got there at 6:40). By 8am, there was a decent line to get in. It was great to camp out there the rest of the last day of the cruise, soaking up the relaxation! Overall, we had an enjoyable time on this cruise with some limitations. Princess needs to improve its customer service and overall attitude of the crew in all areas. We saw very few smiles from the crew, and nobody seemed to take an extra step to please. If we cruise again, we would probably look into other cruise lines such as Celebrity.

Crown Princess - Eastern Caribbean

Crown Princess Cruise Review by Midnight

Trip Details
Overall, my husband and I had an enjoyable time on this cruise. However, Princess Cruise lines and the Crown Princess have several areas on which they need to improve if they want to keep customers. My husband has traveled on many cruises with his family over the past 10 years, so he is able to compare his experiences.
The embarkation was very easy. It was much easier than I remember on a previous Princess cruise. When we arrived to our cabin, they had our names on our neighbor's door, yet our key worked on the door we were assigned. The stewardess allowed us access to our room and fixed the problem. We had a minisuite, which was roomy and well laid out. I loved having a large bathtub, and the shower water pressure was excellent. We were very disappointed that our balcony did not have a cover, but we knew this before we boarded. Although the decor looked very dated, we were very comfortable in our cabin.
Within 30 minutes of arriving at port, I was already changed into my bathing suit and in the adult pool at the back of the ship. We were very pleased that all of the pools were fresh water, which made for an enjoyable swimming experience. The pools were very well maintained and very inviting. However, there were not enough lounge chairs under shade. As expected, all shaded chairs were taken before 9am, so it is difficult to sit out on the deck in the sun all day.
After our dip, we spent the afternoon exploring. The ship is large and nicely decorated. I found it difficult to navigate and was not always sure where to go. We avoided the elevators (both to same time and to work off the buffet), but people seemed to be frustrated with waiting. All of the bars and dining rooms were comfortable and nicely decorated. The stores met our needs for both souvenirs and last minute toiletry items. I wish that they had a better magazine and book selection.
Overall, the food on the ship was passable. The buffet had a variety, and we were always able to find something to eat. However, all of the dishes were very, very salty. There weren't enough lighter, healthier options. All of the salad dressings were cream based, even the "balsamic vinaigrette." Unless you wanted oil and vinegar, you had no other choice. I was disappointed in the fruit selections, and sometimes it was hit or miss with freshness. They always had cantaloupe and honey dew, and often watermelon. I was hoping for sliced oranges, grapefruit, guava, papaya, etc. The cookies were excellent, but we stayed away from the rest of the desserts on the buffet. The freshly baked bread was fantastic! The buffet lines were a little hectic, and there were days when I just couldn't find basic items. As we approached the end of the cruise, it appeared that people's patience was dwindling.
We had hamburgers and fries on the deck, which were decent. I enjoyed the soft serve ice cream that was available every day. My husband and I live in Manhattan, and we found the prices of the extras, including: alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, ice cream, cappuccino, etc, to be very, very reasonable. I was pleased to pay around $6.00 for a Grey Goose and tonic ($11.00 in the city). So, I was happy to be able to have a few drinks and not feel guilty about the cost. The mimosas and strawberry daiquiris were very yummy. The deck bartenders were pleasant.
The food in the dining rooms was decent. We had late seating, but we decided to do anytime seating and sit by ourselves. (We usually didn't get to the dining room before 8:45pm.) It was our 2nd anniversary, and my husband travels a lot of work, so we wanted to spend time together, as opposed to talking with other people every night. We found that dinner usually felt very rushed, as we were done in less than an hour. On one night, they were particularly busy, so we had to wait for a little while during dinner. We thought this was great, yet the staff kept apologizing. Often, they would give us our 1st course, and we could see our 2nd course waiting for us on the side. Before you put your fork down, they are bringing another course. The waiters were decent, but they didn't do anything to go above and beyond for you on any level. If I had been in a NYC restaurant, I would have been disappointed with the service.
Overall, we found the food in the dining room to be decent, yet limited. Like the buffet, the food was very, very salty. I found the meat dishes (steak, prime rib, turkey) to be better than the vegetarian options. The lobster and king crab legs were decent. My husband enjoyed the various fish entrees. Sometimes, we enjoyed our meals, yet often we ate just to eat and weren't thrilled about anything. The shrimp cocktail was very sad. I felt bad for the tiny, limp shrimp on my plate. We heard some people absolutely rave about the food, and then there were some who were slightly disappointed. The desserts were decent, and the ice cream was always a safe pick. I think that we may be spoiled by living in Manhattan with so many excellent dining options.
During the second night of the cruise, the boat was very, very rocky. I think that we were going through the tropical depression off the coast of the Carolinas. We didn't feel great, so we stayed in our cabin and ordered room service. The menu was extremely limited, and we were very disappointed. We wanted simple, bland food like pasta or chicken noodle soup. We had to order pizza and salad, which are not the best things for a rocky stomach. It is surprising because you figure that the people who are ordering room service are most likely not feeling well and just want some plain carbs. The food came very fast, so we were pleased about that.
We found our cabin steward to be less than helpful and somewhat annoying. We entered our wedding anniversary (September 10) on the online Cruise Personalizer when we booked. On the second day, she placed Just Married balloons outside our cabin. I politely told her that we did not just get married and that we were celebrating our 2nd anniversary on the 10th. She told me flatly that she got the information from the computer. We had to take the balloons down ourselves the next day. Happy Anniversary balloons appeared the day after our anniversary. Just a little annoying...how about no balloons, and we will call it even? There were times when dirty dishes weren't removed or the ice bucket didn't have fresh ice in it. It seemed like she never went to our balcony to take away used beach towels. I was pleased when she picked up on the fact that I use two towels, so that was nice. Overall, we were more annoyed by her presence than excited by it.
We didn't go to any shows, but we heard that they were decent. There was always some live music going on some where in the evening, which people seemed to enjoy. It was nice to have lots of options for photography (although it was expensive) on both formal and non formal nights. There seemed to be lots of activities throughout the day as well. We enjoyed watching some of the pool games and played bingo twice. We enjoyed the casino, but we were disappointed with the automatic shufflers on the black jack tables.
Overall, we did not find the general customer service feel of the ship to be that good. We became frustrated several times because people did not know when different places were open. Despite many attempts, we could never access the onboard dive shop because people kept giving us different times. People did not seem to have answers to pretty basic cruise service questions. The tour desk was decent. The library had very limited time frames, but we were pleased to be able to read some travel books about our ports of call. I think that some of the crew were new to the ship and itinerary.
We enjoyed all of the ports of call. We went to Governor's Beach in Grand Turk and went snorkeling which was fun. The beach was nice, had bathrooms and showers, snorkel gear, etc. The water was very warm, crystal clear, and there were some nice snorkel spots just off the beach. We were disappointed that there weren't any food options there besides Margaritaville, which we skipped. In San Juan, we spent the day with friends who live there. Old San Juan was nice, but it was very very hot. In St. Thomas, we went to Coral World which is fun if you like to get up close and personal with fish (which we do). Coral World doesn't light a candle to aquariums in major cities, but we had such a good time there and the people were super nice. We didn't snorkel at Coki Beach (which is adjacent), but we heard that it was fantastic. We enjoyed Bermuda, yet the boat docks far away from Hamilton, which was very frustrating for people trying to get there. You had to take either a ferry which had limited service or the bus which took over an hour. We decided to stay by the ship to avoid the chaos and went snorkeling in the snorkel park. It wasn't as good as Governor's Beach, but we had a good time. There is also shopping there, basic tourist shops and a glass store. We had lunch at Beethoven's, which is in the shopping mall. We had an excellent, basic (bbq chicken wrap, salad, and soup) lunch. It was refreshing to have a light, non-salty lunch off of the cruise ship. Bermuda was expensive, but we expected that.
Our most favorite part of the ship was the Sanctuary, located in the very front of the ship by the lotus spa. The Sanctuary is the most secluded outdoor area of the ship which is for people looking for rest and relaxation, as opposed to constant movies, pool games, music, etc., found at the two main pools. For $20 per person for the day ($10 for ½ day), you get a super comfy lounge chaise either in the sun or in the shade. The super nice, 4 person Sanctuary staff will move the chaise wherever you want, based upon the sun's position. You can leave the chaise for as long as you want to get food, take a break, etc., and you don't have to worry about anybody taking your spot. You paid for it; you own it. They play relaxing music and cater to your needs. You can order food from the lotus spa menu and drinks. Once we found this place, it was all over! We loved it and found it to be more than worth the cost. The Sanctuary does get booked, so it can add some stress if you really want to sit there. One day, it was booked, and we were devastated! On the last day of the cruise (at sea), we went to the Sanctuary at 6:45 am to get a seat when it opened at 8am. We were second in line (somebody got there at 6:40). By 8am, there was a decent line to get in. It was great to camp out there the rest of the last day of the cruise, soaking up the relaxation!
Overall, we had an enjoyable time on this cruise with some limitations. Princess needs to improve its customer service and overall attitude of the crew in all areas. We saw very few smiles from the crew, and nobody seemed to take an extra step to please. If we cruise again, we would probably look into other cruise lines such as Celebrity.
Midnight’s Full Rating Summary
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