Crown Princess Cruise Review by wilson
- Sail Date: November 2008
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: We arrived at the cruise terminal around noon. There was a very long line that stretched down the entire length of the building. It took us about 1 hour to reach the front of the line. Upon arriving at the front of the line we discovered that this was the security check line. The line split into 3 separate security lines. It seemed to me that the security people were overwhelmed as on officer was looking after 2 metal detector lines as well as the handicap line, so when someone 'beeped', or a wheelchair went through the line everything came to a screeching halt. After finally clearing security we had our cruise cards and we on the ship within 5 minutes.
The cabin: We went directly to our cabin , which was a standard balcony. It was fairly similar to he cabins we have had on RCCL. Notable differences (all be it small differences) we did not like the decking on the balcony. It was a hard pebbly plastic that kind of hurt your feet. It did keep the balcony clean as dirt fell through the holes. The RCCL ships have a shower door instead of the curtain which is nicer. The layout on the Crown was slightly different and there is a hallway outside the bathroom. We preferred this as it gave the cabin a roomier feel than on RCCL. Considering the pettiness of the items mentioned the cabins were essentially the same and we were quite comfortable. One note: we were three decks above the 'suite' decks, all of which had larger balconies. These balconies all stuck out further than the balconies above them. The result is if you are in one of these cabins and wanted to stand or sit next to the railing everyone above you could see you. Small thing for some but we would not feel comfortable with the lack of privacy.
The Ship: Very nice. Clean, well maintained. The Piazza was very elegant and comfy. Lounges and bars were well placed so you never had to travel far to get a drink. We did not like the chopped up feeling of the ship. It seemed that getting from point A to point B sometimes meant going up or down a deck. I think that is part of the small ship feel that Princess is going for but it was a bit of a pain. We also usually like to go on deck up to the bow which is covered on this ship. Again small thing.
The Staff: Our cabin steward was very friendly and efficient as were our waiter and asst waiter. I don't think we ran into anyone all week who was rude or unfriendly. There were a few times when we had trouble seeing a display or entertainment in the piazza because the staff were watching also. Not really a big thing but it did get a little bothersome a couple of times.
The Guests: We did find the average age of the passengers to be older than we are normally used to. I am not sure if it was the time of year or if this is a Princess thing. As a result we found the entertainment and activities geared more to an older crowd(more about that later). Everyone was well behaved as far as we were concerned with no obnoxious events taking place.
The entertainment: We actually only attended one show which was the illusionist. I had read that he was amazing and was the best show on the ship. He was okay at best. Nothing spectacular. While the illusions were pretty good they were nothing new and we had seen them tons of times by other illusionists. We were really tired the night the comedian was on but I heard he was fantastic. As stated earlier the entertainment seemed to be directed at an older demographic. The second last show was a 'tongue in cheek look at the Cole Porter era'. The name that tune kind of activities we 50's, 60's and Disco era tunes. And the activities during the day included bridge lessons, connect four tournaments etc. We are used to things like ice skating, rock climbing and dodge ball tournaments so this was a bit of culture shock for us.
The Food; A big sticking point for us.
The buffet- very crowded and difficult to navigate. The food was just okay. If you got to the buffet early enough if was fine as you could move around as you wanted to.
The Pizza - was okay, nothing to rave about, nothing to complain about
The Trident grill - I thought the burgers, fries and hot dogs were good. I had read multiple complaints but they tasted okay. The only complaint was the length of the line. They seemed understaffed. The guys working there were the hardest working members of the crew. They did a great job they were just understaffed.
Room Service - We only had it once. We usually have it each port day but the selections were very limited.
International Cafe - Breakfast was just pastries, lunch there were salads and sandwiches. The sandwiches were delicious and we enjoyed them very much. Dinner was weird stuff.
Ice Cream - you have to pay for the ice cream on this ship and it's not great. Not worth the money. On RCCL they have low fat yogurt machines , and I usually eat my weight in it before the end of the week, so I really missed this.
The Dining Room - Great service. Food was fair at best. We are not seafood eaters nor are we very adventurous. This is our problem not Princess' but it severely limited our choices. The salads were good. The Prime ribs was just okay as were most of the beef selections. Most of the beef came covered in a brown gravy that my wife did not care for. The accompanying vegetables were quite often unusual. We are dessert people, and the desserts ( to be blunt) sucked. The only halfway decent dessert was the Baked Alaska (which was pretty good). The rest were just yucky. Not very sweet.
Food is such a subjective topic. We did not really enjoy the meals although the fettucine alfredo was delicious. The food may have been fabulous but just not our kind of food. My advice, you can't really decide about the food unless you try it yourself.
Princess Cays - We rented a clamshell, sat in the sun, ate the BBQ lunch, swam and snorkeled. IT was a very relaxing and enjoyable day. Loved Princess' tender process, it was well run.
St Martin - it rained all day but we had planned on shopping anyway. This was our 3rd trip here in as many years. Despite the rain we managed to spend lots of money and exhaust ourselves in the process.
St Thomas - Also our 3rd visit. This year we took a ship excursion. It was the champagne sail to St John. I can't say enough nice things about this trip. The crew of the cat was fabulous, the scenery was gorgeous and the snorkeling was stunning. Best excursion we have ever taken. Highly recommended.
Grand Turk - again we rented a clamshell and crashed on the beach. Surprisingly the snorkeling here was pretty good right near the ship. The reef is not very pretty but the numbers and variety of fish were impressive. I almost did not take the snorkel gear because I did not expect much.
Disembarkation: Best I have ever seen. It is very organized and efficient, very well done by Princess, much better than RCCL.
That's it. We had a good trip. I think we are just RCCL kind of people. Would I travel with Princess again, probably yes, we did did put a deposit down on a future cruise, but it would have to be an itinerary that RCCL did not offer or be one fabulous deal
250,000+ people have entered their email