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An old saying says, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." Princess's first impression in Rio De Janeiro was a disaster. We flew into Rio on flights arranged by Princess. We purchased a transfer to the ship. The airport greeting was fine, but when we arrived at the terminal, the bus dropped us off on the street outside the terminal. We were reunited with our luggage and needed to negotiate the area to the baggage drop off. There were no signs and little Princess presence. A porter did transport our luggage to the drop off point. We followed to be sure that our luggage got to where it belonged. It did. We were then pointed toward the terminal building. Again no signs and little sign of assistance. Anyone with mobility issues would have been in trouble. After a short walk in 95 degree heat to the terminal, we joined 2000 fellow travelers in the non-air-conditioned terminal building. Again no signage. There were a number of people with Princess labels on them that were supposed to help. They had no information and really could not help at all. We did manage to find seats. When boarding started, someone yelled instructions. No one could hear them so everything was in confusion. Finally, after an hour or more, a Princess Officer took control of the situation and used a microphone. Things improved after that. We boarded the ship after about 4 hours. We got on board early. Some passengers did not get boarded until 7:00 PM. Once on board, we found our cabin, had dinner and started the rather normal process of getting used to ship board life. Our room steward and our dinner staff were friendly, and provided us with quality service. After a rocky start, the Cruise continued with a series of problems. There was a medical emergency on the ship. The culmination of the medical emergency was a detour to a Brazilian port so the patient could be taken ashore. The Captain did his best to take care of the seriously ill passenger. Due to the detour, it was announced that we would arrive in Buenos Aires 12 hours late. For some reason (never addressed) the ships speed decreased by about 1/3. Then, a storm at night caused the water level to drop in the Rio De Plata. We, therefore, had to anchor in the River and actually did not get into Buenos Aires until after 1:00AM. We were able to stay in Buenos Aires for the next day, but that put a day behind. The ship needed to stop at Montevideo for fuel and supplies, but no berth was available so we anchored off shore, fueled the ship, and then sailed into Montevideo about 8:00 PM to load on supplies. We were allowed off the ship for a few hours, but a rain storm spoiled that opportunity. The next itinerary problem was we could not go to the Falkland Islands because there was no room in port. So the Falkland stop was scrapped. From that point on, we were on schedule and did visit the other ports as scheduled. The ship continued to have problems. It was announced that one of the electric motors had burned out (not a problem, we had back-up), 2 announcements that fire emergencies had been contained, and we kept arriving late. If you have made it this far, please be aware that Princess did recognize that this trip was not going as they or the passengers wanted. Princess announced they were giving passengers on board spending money and a credit on future cruises. Although compensation did not take care of all the problems, it did make us feel better about the experience. Now, to the normal review items. The Crown Princess is getting older. It seemed clean and upkeep was mostly done. There did appear to be some deferred maintenance, but it did not affect our enjoyment. Our balcony cabin was comfortable. The balcony was extra large. 4 people could be on the balcony at one time which was very nice when the weather was good. We requested traditional dining at 5:30. Our waiter and assistant waiter were awesome. They served us quickly and efficiently. The food was nicely prepared. After fourteen days the menus seemed to be limited. I was especially impressed with the beef which was served on this cruise. Much better than sometimes. When we requested special handling of a dish, the waiter was able to accommodate. We were at a large table, which we requested. We enjoyed our dining companions. The other meals were usually eaten in the Horizon Court. We tried breakfast one day in a dining room and found the service to be slow and confused. The menu at the Horizon Court became boring. There was little variety and many of the dishes were not prepared as we liked. Scrambled eggs in the morning seemed to be under cooked most of the time. Made to order omelets were available each day. A nice touch was that they were delivered to my table by a waiter. Horizon staff was attentive, brought drinks, and cleaned tables. It did seem that the area was better staffed early in the Cruise. Service seemed to drop as the Cruise progressed. The ships activities and entertainment was normal. Some of the shows were excellent and some were very average. At least two times, comedians told jokes that had already been told by another comedian. Trivia seemed to be the number one activity. I enjoyed and was pleased that a "Service Club Meeting" was hosted. It was nice to get together with people in service clubs from all over the world. The ports we managed to make it to were interesting and enjoyable. Ushuaia is a neat town and has a beautiful setting. The Tierra Del Fuego National Park was a great choice. Punta Arenas was a nice stop, but having to be tendered into the dock was slow and a hassle. Once on land, Punta Arenas was a pleasant stop. Valparaiso, Chile, is a great debarkation port. It is a two hour drive to the Santiago airport, but flight schedules make a day exploring Valparaiso a great way to end the cruise. We were disappointed in Rio. In order to fly into Rio and board the ship, we had to obtain Brazilian Visas. They cost us $300 a piece. If you can find an itinerary that skips Brazil, I would recommend it. In summary, this cruise had some issues, but many of the problems were out of the control of Princess. Medical emergencies and weather issues are not Princess problems. Communication and port problems are Princess issues. It may be that some of the port problems are not Princess problems, but if Princess can not get local authorities to improve facilities and procedures, they may need to skip those ports. On board we had a pleasant vacation.

Great adventure tarnished by multiple problems.

Crown Princess Cruise Review by kednad2ela

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
An old saying says, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." Princess's first impression in Rio De Janeiro was a disaster. We flew into Rio on flights arranged by Princess. We purchased a transfer to the ship. The airport greeting was fine, but when we arrived at the terminal, the bus dropped us off on the street outside the terminal. We were reunited with our luggage and needed to negotiate the area to the baggage drop off. There were no signs and little Princess presence. A porter did transport our luggage to the drop off point. We followed to be sure that our luggage got to where it belonged. It did. We were then pointed toward the terminal building. Again no signs and little sign of assistance. Anyone with mobility issues would have been in trouble.

After a short walk in 95 degree heat to the terminal, we joined 2000 fellow travelers in the non-air-conditioned terminal building. Again no signage. There were a number of people with Princess labels on them that were supposed to help. They had no information and really could not help at all. We did manage to find seats. When boarding started, someone yelled instructions. No one could hear them so everything was in confusion. Finally, after an hour or more, a Princess Officer took control of the situation and used a microphone. Things improved after that. We boarded the ship after about 4 hours. We got on board early. Some passengers did not get boarded until 7:00 PM.

Once on board, we found our cabin, had dinner and started the rather normal process of getting used to ship board life. Our room steward and our dinner staff were friendly, and provided us with quality service.

After a rocky start, the Cruise continued with a series of problems. There was a medical emergency on the ship. The culmination of the medical emergency was a detour to a Brazilian port so the patient could be taken ashore. The Captain did his best to take care of the seriously ill passenger. Due to the detour, it was announced that we would arrive in Buenos Aires 12 hours late. For some reason (never addressed) the ships speed decreased by about 1/3. Then, a storm at night caused the water level to drop in the Rio De Plata. We, therefore, had to anchor in the River and actually did not get into Buenos Aires until after 1:00AM. We were able to stay in Buenos Aires for the next day, but that put a day behind. The ship needed to stop at Montevideo for fuel and supplies, but no berth was available so we anchored off shore, fueled the ship, and then sailed into Montevideo about 8:00 PM to load on supplies. We were allowed off the ship for a few hours, but a rain storm spoiled that opportunity.

The next itinerary problem was we could not go to the Falkland Islands because there was no room in port. So the Falkland stop was scrapped. From that point on, we were on schedule and did visit the other ports as scheduled. The ship continued to have problems. It was announced that one of the electric motors had burned out (not a problem, we had back-up), 2 announcements that fire emergencies had been contained, and we kept arriving late.

If you have made it this far, please be aware that Princess did recognize that this trip was not going as they or the passengers wanted. Princess announced they were giving passengers on board spending money and a credit on future cruises. Although compensation did not take care of all the problems, it did make us feel better about the experience.

Now, to the normal review items. The Crown Princess is getting older. It seemed clean and upkeep was mostly done. There did appear to be some deferred maintenance, but it did not affect our enjoyment. Our balcony cabin was comfortable. The balcony was extra large. 4 people could be on the balcony at one time which was very nice when the weather was good.

We requested traditional dining at 5:30. Our waiter and assistant waiter were awesome. They served us quickly and efficiently. The food was nicely prepared. After fourteen days the menus seemed to be limited. I was especially impressed with the beef which was served on this cruise. Much better than sometimes. When we requested special handling of a dish, the waiter was able to accommodate. We were at a large table, which we requested. We enjoyed our dining companions.

The other meals were usually eaten in the Horizon Court. We tried breakfast one day in a dining room and found the service to be slow and confused. The menu at the Horizon Court became boring. There was little variety and many of the dishes were not prepared as we liked. Scrambled eggs in the morning seemed to be under cooked most of the time. Made to order omelets were available each day. A nice touch was that they were delivered to my table by a waiter. Horizon staff was attentive, brought drinks, and cleaned tables. It did seem that the area was better staffed early in the Cruise. Service seemed to drop as the Cruise progressed.

The ships activities and entertainment was normal. Some of the shows were excellent and some were very average. At least two times, comedians told jokes that had already been told by another comedian. Trivia seemed to be the number one activity. I enjoyed and was pleased that a "Service Club Meeting" was hosted. It was nice to get together with people in service clubs from all over the world.

The ports we managed to make it to were interesting and enjoyable. Ushuaia is a neat town and has a beautiful setting. The Tierra Del Fuego National Park was a great choice. Punta Arenas was a nice stop, but having to be tendered into the dock was slow and a hassle. Once on land, Punta Arenas was a pleasant stop. Valparaiso, Chile, is a great debarkation port. It is a two hour drive to the Santiago airport, but flight schedules make a day exploring Valparaiso a great way to end the cruise.

We were disappointed in Rio. In order to fly into Rio and board the ship, we had to obtain Brazilian Visas. They cost us $300 a piece. If you can find an itinerary that skips Brazil, I would recommend it.

In summary, this cruise had some issues, but many of the problems were out of the control of Princess. Medical emergencies and weather issues are not Princess problems. Communication and port problems are Princess issues. It may be that some of the port problems are not Princess problems, but if Princess can not get local authorities to improve facilities and procedures, they may need to skip those ports. On board we had a pleasant vacation.
kednad2ela’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC C730
This cabin provided an extra large balcony. 4 people could easily sit on it. The rest of the cabin was normal size.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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