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Why did we take this cruise? 1. Window cabin was only about $40 more than the cheapest interior. 2. Wanted to see the glaciers, 3. Needed to burn some leave, and 4. Crown was a decent ship the last time we sailed on her. Boarding and Disembarking - Only have Los Angeles and Seattle to compare with, but while LA was a shorter drive from the airport, Seattle was a much smoother boarding experience and the customs was much faster leaving. And the two (Princess contract) bus drivers we had acted like tour guides, made for a very fun experience. Ship good - Very friendly staff, one example - drink server asks if I want a drink, I say no, they ask "Would you like some water", I say please, and with a smile they say OK, and I get the clean cold water just like I had ordered a drink (Note: they do not make any money off of water, so that is just being nice for them). I have been on cruises where that is not what happens. Ship maybe - One caveat, I am retired Navy, so I notice some things others may not. I noted a lot of corrosion on the outside and inside that should have been taken care of. The staff does clean, but it is more of the "White Glove" type cleaning, not deck hand stuff. Ship bad - I like the bow, good view at night. This ship closes the bow (and a few other areas) for "safety" (at 7PM with another hour of sun left?). Turns out those are crew cabin windows and the tourists bother them, so they close some of the best viewing areas. Dining - The buffet is ok, but it is very crowded and has poor flow. You come in one side, and there are two islands in the middle, and stuff around the edges. You try to get a scan of what is available and you have a hard time getting around people, then you have to get into different lines with people bypassing some lines and getting in front for the next line. Normal sit down dining was mixed (we had anytime dinner). Some good service (Arnel at dinner was great), and some that had a hard time doing the job. Overall the food was good, but some things were not as good as last time. It was surprising that at the grill they had fresh halibut sandwiches one day, and the halibut there was MUCH better than that served at dinner. Entertainment - In April we had good entertainment, but this trip there seemed to be less in the piazza. We liked most of the music, but this trip they focused more on shows like juggling and had more dead time there. There were good things still going on, but usually in the clubs. We only did one shore excursion, the Skagway town and play tour. We enjoyed our driver and the play. The Glacier Bay was one of the best days, cool and windy but mostly clear and sunny. A good view of the glaciers and some distant wild life. Unless I knew that the ship went into dry dock, I doubt if I would take the Crown again anytime soon.

Second time on Crown, only OK ship now

Crown Princess Cruise Review by RayW

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview (obstructed view)
Why did we take this cruise? 1. Window cabin was only about $40 more than the cheapest interior. 2. Wanted to see the glaciers, 3. Needed to burn some leave, and 4. Crown was a decent ship the last time we sailed on her.

Boarding and Disembarking - Only have Los Angeles and Seattle to compare with, but while LA was a shorter drive from the airport, Seattle was a much smoother boarding experience and the customs was much faster leaving. And the two (Princess contract) bus drivers we had acted like tour guides, made for a very fun experience.

Ship good - Very friendly staff, one example - drink server asks if I want a drink, I say no, they ask "Would you like some water", I say please, and with a smile they say OK, and I get the clean cold water just like I had ordered a drink (Note: they do not make any money off of water, so that is just being nice for them). I have been on cruises where that is not what happens.

Ship maybe - One caveat, I am retired Navy, so I notice some things others may not. I noted a lot of corrosion on the outside and inside that should have been taken care of. The staff does clean, but it is more of the "White Glove" type cleaning, not deck hand stuff.

Ship bad - I like the bow, good view at night. This ship closes the bow (and a few other areas) for "safety" (at 7PM with another hour of sun left?). Turns out those are crew cabin windows and the tourists bother them, so they close some of the best viewing areas.

Dining - The buffet is ok, but it is very crowded and has poor flow. You come in one side, and there are two islands in the middle, and stuff around the edges. You try to get a scan of what is available and you have a hard time getting around people, then you have to get into different lines with people bypassing some lines and getting in front for the next line. Normal sit down dining was mixed (we had anytime dinner). Some good service (Arnel at dinner was great), and some that had a hard time doing the job. Overall the food was good, but some things were not as good as last time. It was surprising that at the grill they had fresh halibut sandwiches one day, and the halibut there was MUCH better than that served at dinner.

Entertainment - In April we had good entertainment, but this trip there seemed to be less in the piazza. We liked most of the music, but this trip they focused more on shows like juggling and had more dead time there. There were good things still going on, but usually in the clubs.

We only did one shore excursion, the Skagway town and play tour. We enjoyed our driver and the play. The Glacier Bay was one of the best days, cool and windy but mostly clear and sunny. A good view of the glaciers and some distant wild life.

Unless I knew that the ship went into dry dock, I doubt if I would take the Crown again anytime soon.
RayW’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Dining
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Oceanview (obstructed view)
Cabin OZ E202
One of the better room stewards on this trip, put the bags in the room, did not have to be asked to do things like furnish robes, was much faster than average on room cleanup when the clean room sign was used, the second time I have tipped extra. This is called a fully obstructed view, but the life boat in front of us was one with a lower front that only came up to the bottom of the window, so we could look out at the water and distant scenes. The bad was the theater, the heavy duty speakers are just across the hall, and you can hear and feel them. Not bad unless you are an early to bed or daytime napping typing. One other issue, the side thrusters and the stabilizers are near here and you can hear them when they are powered, not too bad but some folks may be bothered. Mattresses are getting old, you can see the body curves when the bed is made. Still comfortable, but not for long.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Juneau
    Walked around town, bought a gallon of water at a grocery store, went to the state museum and paid $12 for about 3 hours, left when I got hungry and had some light rain to walk back to the ship in.
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  • Ketchikan
    Not enough time in port here. Walked up to the north, but it was a cloudy day.
    View All 1,784 Ketchikan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Ketchikan Cruise Port Review
  • Yukon Van Tour
    Bus driver was very good at telling us of the history of the town.
    Tour through historic district to Skagway Overlook - an old town, some good history
    Visit Skagway Overlook - Nice overlook of the town and glaciers in the distance
    Tour to City of Skagway Museum & Skagway Sculpture Garden - more history.
    Visit Skagway Museum & Sculpture Garden - Small, but need more time (can go back)
    Tour to The Days of '98 Show - more history
    Watch The Days of '98 Show - If you like community theater, this is good
    Tour back to cruise ship pier - a bit more about the town
    View All 126 Yukon Van Tour Reviews