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We were two couples traveling together ages from 57 to 63. This was our first cruise on Princess. We have been on 4 previous cruises - Celebrity to Alaska, RCI to Caribbean two times, and HAL to the Mexican Riviera. I only saw about 6 children on this cruise, and we thought the average age seemed to be about 70. I was very impressed with the workers on the ship - everyone seemed helpful and tried their best to help you. We did not go to any of the shows in the theater. The casino was very busy every night and lots of smokers. There seemed to be only a few places on the ship that people were allowed to smoke so we were not bothered by the smoke. On our last HAL cruise, there seemed to be smoking in many more places. We flew into LaGuardia on Friday and took a cab to the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge for about $30. There were minivan cabs outside the airport so there was no problem with all of our luggage. I was worried about not being able to get all of our luggage into a cab, but they will get a mini van for you if you need one. I would stay at the Marriott again. We requested a quiet upper level room and paid $195 with taxes. After checking in to the hotel, we took the subway to Times Square. The subway station is a couple of blocks away. Ask at the desk at the hotel and they will give you good directions to the closest subway station. There is an attendant at the station who will answer your questions and tell you where to get off. We have used the subways in many cities and have been to New York several times. But this is easy even if you haven't taken subways before. There was a man on the subway who told us that there was a campaign in New York to be tourist friendly. He told us how many stops before we got off. We took a cab back to the hotel with a terrible driver so I would much rather ride the subway. We had tickets to MaMa Mia which we had purchased earlier on Playbill.com for $69 each. After the play, we had a mixture of hot appetizers at Carmines Restaurant just a short walk from the theater. The next morning we walked a couple of blocks to a diner for breakfast. Our friend got up early, took a walk and found the diner. About noon, we went downstairs and there was a car service outside - a towncar with a big trunk. He took us to the pier for $15. It is just a short ride to the boat from the Marriott. Boarding was quick and easy, and our rooms were ready when we got on the boat. I would not worry about making prior arrangements for transportation because it was very easy, and you can leave at your convenience. The room was nice, the bed was hard but comfortable with 4 pillows. There was a duvet covering a comforter, but no top sheet. We thought it was too hot, so we asked for a top sheet the next day. We kept the thermostat down as low as it would go most of the time, and the room was comfortable. I can see why there were complaints of a hot room in the Caribbean, but since it was cool outside the room temperature was fine. The bath is small as is the shower, but it was fine for us. I really liked the large closet to hang up your clothes. We had a balcony room on the Aloha deck at the front of the ship on the starboard side which turned out to be great since we could see the Statue of Liberty from our balcony in NY, and the cities at almost all the ports. The boat was very smooth the entire trip. Food -We had anytime dining which was a first for us. We have always had the traditional dining, but we really liked the anytime dining. We never had to wait for a table, and we thought that dining with a different group of people every night was interesting. We always sat at a table for 8 or 10 people. We ate about 7pm every night which was so much better that eating at 5:30 which is too early or 8:30 which is too late. We thought that the food was good. I am amazed at the complaints regarding the food considering that they are feeding 3000 people. Also consider the price that you are paying for cruising and eating 4 or 5 course dinners every night that would easily cost $100 or more at a restaurant. We ate prime rib two times, and it was great. We also had the salmon, scallops, ribeye steaks, and my friend raved about the veal chop. I usually have my steaks medium but have learned to ask for medium rare on cruises to get it medium. We also ate at Sabatini's and the Crown Grill. The Crown Gill was very good. The service was really good as were the steaks. I had a filet and a lobster tail and for dessert, he suggested we try one of everything. We did not really care for Sabatini's and would not do it again. It was too much food, and we did not think that it was that good. I do not think that we will do either again, the food was not that much better. If we did one of the specialty restaurants it would be because it did seem more upscale or more of a fine dining experience than eating in one of the dining rooms. There were not very many people eating at the special restaurants either night that we were there. The first couple of days we ate in the dining room for breakfast. We really do not care for buffets. However we tried the buffet for breakfast the third day and really liked it better than the dining room. We thought the breakfast buffets were really good and so many choices. We ate at the International Cafe for lunch on our last day. The chicken salad is wonderful as are the marinated mushrooms, mediterranean salad with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese, and panini sandwiches. There is no cost for the food, but the coffee is $1, and cappuccino is $2. The desserts are also great; we tried the carrot cake. My husband also had ice cream there one day - $1.50 for three big scoops of gelato. We never ate in the dining room for lunch since we were always off the boat at lunch. Dress - We thought that on this cruise the people did not dress up as much as they did on other ships. My husband took his tuxedo as did our friend. There were a few other men in a tuxedo, with others in suits and lots of sport coats. My husband said that next time he is just going to take his sports coat! Most of the women just had on nice dresses. On our last cruise in the spring on Holland America, there were lots of men wearing a tuxedo which is why my husband took his on the trip. I know that there is a lot of discussion about formal night, but I do think it is slowly becoming a thing of the past. I like to dress up, but I think most people don't want to have to take the clothes or don't have the really dressy clothes. We could travel with a carry on if we didn't have to take the clothes and shoes for formal night. I think on our first cruise in 2000, my husband wore a suit or sports coat to dinner every night. I just thought that it was less dressy on this ship. There were lots of bars with good music for dancing. We especially enjoyed the Crooners bar before dinner and the Wheelhouse Bar after dinner for dancing. We went to Vines for a wine tasting one evening before dinner. Ports - The first port was Newport and was that a DISASTER. The brochure said that we would be in Newport until 4 pm. However they announced that the last tender would leave shore at 1pm. We were ready to leave the ship at 9:15. We picked up our tender ticket and waited until 10:30 before we were called to get on the tender. We arrived in Newport about 11 am. We got on a trolley at the visitors information center. Actually, there were so many people in line to get on the trolleys, that they had a big bus pick us up for $1.50 and drive us around town. The bus driver tried to give us a narrated tour of the town which I thought was really nice. She was trying to do the best that she could. We got off at the Breakers, but there was a line to get in. and we knew that we would not have enough time to see it. We walked behind the mansion along the Cliff Walk for a short distance, got back on a trolley back to town and got in line at 12:30 to get back on the ship. We waited in line for 30 minutes, but you would not have believed the length of the line to get on the ship. It looked like it was a mile long behind us. We were back on the boat about 1:30, but we watched them bringing people on the tender for a couple of hours. I cannot imagine how long some people stood in line to get back on the ship. We met a lady on the trolley who told us that she had purchased a tour of the mansions and after waiting to tender for an hour, they told them that their tour was cancelled. So basically we spent almost 3 hours trying to get on and off the ship and 1.5 hours in Newport. All I can say is try to get off the boat as soon as you can and maybe they will fix the problem before you sail. Due the the apparent difficulty in tendering in Newport, a 3000 passenger ship may not make it a realistic port of call. But Newport is a beautiful city, and we are happy that we saw what we were able to see. It is a place that we would like to visit again. Thankfully there we no more problems at the other ports!! Boston - We had been to Boston several times before. We took a cab from the boat to Fanueil Hall. There we purchased tickets to ride the trolley on a narrated trip around the town. We did not get off the trolley, and I think that the trip was about 1 hour. Then we rode the subway to Fenway Park for a tour of the park. After Fenway, we took a cab and the driver suggested No Name Seafood when we asked him for a casual place for seafood. The seafood chowder was great, the food servings were huge. The food was fried and just OK. We went back to the ship and watched a movie outside on the deck. They had blankets to cover up with and came around with warm cookies and milk. Bar Harbor - This time the tendering was great. We went down to get our tender ticket and walked right on to the tender. We went on the Ollies Trollies tour of the town and Acadia National Park that lasted about and hour. Afterward we went to Stewman's Lobster Pound on Eden for lunch. We sat out on the deck. The weather was beautiful. We had lobster rolls and the Lobster experience which was a lobster, corn, red potato, clams and a piece of blueberry pie. We thought it was delicious. The lobster roll was about $13 and the lobster dinner was $33. Then we walked to see the church with the beautiful stained glass windows, shopped in town and returned to the ship - again no wait for the tender. Saint John, New Brunswick - When we left the ship, we checked on a tour which was $39 for 1.25 hours. We thought that was too much for 4 people ($176) so we asked about cabs. We were told that the cab drivers would take us on a tour for $45 per hour. We thought that was a much better deal. We got into a cab with a wonderful driver who was very knowledgeable about the town and the sites. He drove us all over town to the reversing falls and let us stop and take pictures everywhere. We then asked him if he could take us to Saint Martin. He drove us there where we ate at a small restaurant. We had lobster rolls, fish sandwiches and chowder. Then he drove us back to town and dropped us off at the city market for shopping. We had a wonderful day. We were with the driver about 4.5 hours. Halifax - Our friend did not feel well that day so we had a cab driver take us to the Citadel for the noon sounding of the cannon, we watched a film, and listened to a group play the bag pipes. Then we walked down to the harbor to Murphys on the water but there was a long wait. We then walked to Salty's for a beer and a snack. I would just eat at a smaller place on the water or at the food court next time. Then we walked to Alexander Keith's Brewery and on to Garrison's by the ship's pier to try their beers. We would like to have seen more of Halifax, but we were tired by this port. I would like to visit Halifax again. We had a really good time and felt that it was a good value for the money that we spent. The weather was wonderful all week. We would cruise Princess again. The only negative was just being on a ship with 3,000 other people occasionally was inconvenient.

Crown Princess - Canada/New England

Crown Princess Cruise Review by tctravelgirl

Trip Details
We were two couples traveling together ages from 57 to 63. This was our first cruise on Princess. We have been on 4 previous cruises - Celebrity to Alaska, RCI to Caribbean two times, and HAL to the Mexican Riviera. I only saw about 6 children on this cruise, and we thought the average age seemed to be about 70. I was very impressed with the workers on the ship - everyone seemed helpful and tried their best to help you. We did not go to any of the shows in the theater. The casino was very busy every night and lots of smokers. There seemed to be only a few places on the ship that people were allowed to smoke so we were not bothered by the smoke. On our last HAL cruise, there seemed to be smoking in many more places.
We flew into LaGuardia on Friday and took a cab to the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge for about $30. There were minivan cabs outside the airport so there was no problem with all of our luggage. I was worried about not being able to get all of our luggage into a cab, but they will get a mini van for you if you need one. I would stay at the Marriott again. We requested a quiet upper level room and paid $195 with taxes.
After checking in to the hotel, we took the subway to Times Square. The subway station is a couple of blocks away. Ask at the desk at the hotel and they will give you good directions to the closest subway station. There is an attendant at the station who will answer your questions and tell you where to get off. We have used the subways in many cities and have been to New York several times. But this is easy even if you haven't taken subways before. There was a man on the subway who told us that there was a campaign in New York to be tourist friendly. He told us how many stops before we got off. We took a cab back to the hotel with a terrible driver so I would much rather ride the subway. We had tickets to MaMa Mia which we had purchased earlier on Playbill.com for $69 each. After the play, we had a mixture of hot appetizers at Carmines Restaurant just a short walk from the theater.
The next morning we walked a couple of blocks to a diner for breakfast. Our friend got up early, took a walk and found the diner. About noon, we went downstairs and there was a car service outside - a towncar with a big trunk. He took us to the pier for $15. It is just a short ride to the boat from the Marriott. Boarding was quick and easy, and our rooms were ready when we got on the boat. I would not worry about making prior arrangements for transportation because it was very easy, and you can leave at your convenience.
The room was nice, the bed was hard but comfortable with 4 pillows. There was a duvet covering a comforter, but no top sheet. We thought it was too hot, so we asked for a top sheet the next day. We kept the thermostat down as low as it would go most of the time, and the room was comfortable. I can see why there were complaints of a hot room in the Caribbean, but since it was cool outside the room temperature was fine. The bath is small as is the shower, but it was fine for us. I really liked the large closet to hang up your clothes. We had a balcony room on the Aloha deck at the front of the ship on the starboard side which turned out to be great since we could see the Statue of Liberty from our balcony in NY, and the cities at almost all the ports. The boat was very smooth the entire trip.
Food -We had anytime dining which was a first for us. We have always had the traditional dining, but we really liked the anytime dining. We never had to wait for a table, and we thought that dining with a different group of people every night was interesting. We always sat at a table for 8 or 10 people. We ate about 7pm every night which was so much better that eating at 5:30 which is too early or 8:30 which is too late. We thought that the food was good. I am amazed at the complaints regarding the food considering that they are feeding 3000 people. Also consider the price that you are paying for cruising and eating 4 or 5 course dinners every night that would easily cost $100 or more at a restaurant. We ate prime rib two times, and it was great. We also had the salmon, scallops, ribeye steaks, and my friend raved about the veal chop. I usually have my steaks medium but have learned to ask for medium rare on cruises to get it medium. We also ate at Sabatini's and the Crown Grill. The Crown Gill was very good. The service was really good as were the steaks. I had a filet and a lobster tail and for dessert, he suggested we try one of everything. We did not really care for Sabatini's and would not do it again. It was too much food, and we did not think that it was that good. I do not think that we will do either again, the food was not that much better. If we did one of the specialty restaurants it would be because it did seem more upscale or more of a fine dining experience than eating in one of the dining rooms. There were not very many people eating at the special restaurants either night that we were there. The first couple of days we ate in the dining room for breakfast. We really do not care for buffets. However we tried the buffet for breakfast the third day and really liked it better than the dining room. We thought the breakfast buffets were really good and so many choices. We ate at the International Cafe for lunch on our last day. The chicken salad is wonderful as are the marinated mushrooms, mediterranean salad with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese, and panini sandwiches. There is no cost for the food, but the coffee is $1, and cappuccino is $2. The desserts are also great; we tried the carrot cake. My husband also had ice cream there one day - $1.50 for three big scoops of gelato. We never ate in the dining room for lunch since we were always off the boat at lunch.
Dress - We thought that on this cruise the people did not dress up as much as they did on other ships. My husband took his tuxedo as did our friend. There were a few other men in a tuxedo, with others in suits and lots of sport coats. My husband said that next time he is just going to take his sports coat! Most of the women just had on nice dresses. On our last cruise in the spring on Holland America, there were lots of men wearing a tuxedo which is why my husband took his on the trip. I know that there is a lot of discussion about formal night, but I do think it is slowly becoming a thing of the past. I like to dress up, but I think most people don't want to have to take the clothes or don't have the really dressy clothes. We could travel with a carry on if we didn't have to take the clothes and shoes for formal night. I think on our first cruise in 2000, my husband wore a suit or sports coat to dinner every night. I just thought that it was less dressy on this ship.
There were lots of bars with good music for dancing. We especially enjoyed the Crooners bar before dinner and the Wheelhouse Bar after dinner for dancing. We went to Vines for a wine tasting one evening before dinner.
Ports - The first port was Newport and was that a DISASTER. The brochure said that we would be in Newport until 4 pm. However they announced that the last tender would leave shore at 1pm. We were ready to leave the ship at 9:15. We picked up our tender ticket and waited until 10:30 before we were called to get on the tender. We arrived in Newport about 11 am. We got on a trolley at the visitors information center. Actually, there were so many people in line to get on the trolleys, that they had a big bus pick us up for $1.50 and drive us around town. The bus driver tried to give us a narrated tour of the town which I thought was really nice. She was trying to do the best that she could. We got off at the Breakers, but there was a line to get in. and we knew that we would not have enough time to see it. We walked behind the mansion along the Cliff Walk for a short distance, got back on a trolley back to town and got in line at 12:30 to get back on the ship. We waited in line for 30 minutes, but you would not have believed the length of the line to get on the ship. It looked like it was a mile long behind us. We were back on the boat about 1:30, but we watched them bringing people on the tender for a couple of hours. I cannot imagine how long some people stood in line to get back on the ship. We met a lady on the trolley who told us that she had purchased a tour of the mansions and after waiting to tender for an hour, they told them that their tour was cancelled. So basically we spent almost 3 hours trying to get on and off the ship and 1.5 hours in Newport. All I can say is try to get off the boat as soon as you can and maybe they will fix the problem before you sail. Due the the apparent difficulty in tendering in Newport, a 3000 passenger ship may not make it a realistic port of call. But Newport is a beautiful city, and we are happy that we saw what we were able to see. It is a place that we would like to visit again. Thankfully there we no more problems at the other ports!!
Boston - We had been to Boston several times before. We took a cab from the boat to Fanueil Hall. There we purchased tickets to ride the trolley on a narrated trip around the town. We did not get off the trolley, and I think that the trip was about 1 hour. Then we rode the subway to Fenway Park for a tour of the park. After Fenway, we took a cab and the driver suggested No Name Seafood when we asked him for a casual place for seafood. The seafood chowder was great, the food servings were huge. The food was fried and just OK. We went back to the ship and watched a movie outside on the deck. They had blankets to cover up with and came around with warm cookies and milk.
Bar Harbor - This time the tendering was great. We went down to get our tender ticket and walked right on to the tender. We went on the Ollies Trollies tour of the town and Acadia National Park that lasted about and hour. Afterward we went to Stewman's Lobster Pound on Eden for lunch. We sat out on the deck. The weather was beautiful. We had lobster rolls and the Lobster experience which was a lobster, corn, red potato, clams and a piece of blueberry pie. We thought it was delicious. The lobster roll was about $13 and the lobster dinner was $33. Then we walked to see the church with the beautiful stained glass windows, shopped in town and returned to the ship - again no wait for the tender.
Saint John, New Brunswick - When we left the ship, we checked on a tour which was $39 for 1.25 hours. We thought that was too much for 4 people ($176) so we asked about cabs. We were told that the cab drivers would take us on a tour for $45 per hour. We thought that was a much better deal. We got into a cab with a wonderful driver who was very knowledgeable about the town and the sites. He drove us all over town to the reversing falls and let us stop and take pictures everywhere. We then asked him if he could take us to Saint Martin. He drove us there where we ate at a small restaurant. We had lobster rolls, fish sandwiches and chowder. Then he drove us back to town and dropped us off at the city market for shopping. We had a wonderful day. We were with the driver about 4.5 hours.
Halifax - Our friend did not feel well that day so we had a cab driver take us to the Citadel for the noon sounding of the cannon, we watched a film, and listened to a group play the bag pipes. Then we walked down to the harbor to Murphys on the water but there was a long wait. We then walked to Salty's for a beer and a snack. I would just eat at a smaller place on the water or at the food court next time. Then we walked to Alexander Keith's Brewery and on to Garrison's by the ship's pier to try their beers. We would like to have seen more of Halifax, but we were tired by this port. I would like to visit Halifax again.
We had a really good time and felt that it was a good value for the money that we spent. The weather was wonderful all week. We would cruise Princess again. The only negative was just being on a ship with 3,000 other people occasionally was inconvenient.
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