We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary to the Baltics and because Crown Princess was our first cruise ship just after her Launch in 2006. We sailed in Jan 2007.
Sadly the Crown has slipped badly. The ship is in desperate need of a major refit and has seemingly hardly been touched since we set sail on her, and what few things have been changed are for the worse. For example our favourite bar - The Wheelhouse Bar has been partly transformed into a so called English Gastro Pub and it is a shambles. They have effectively destroyed the Wheelhouse bar in a quest for more money.
The Theatre, Explorers, Club Fusion are all desperately in need of a major makeover.
We ate in Bottocelli Dining Room on Fixed dining. Here food was good and well presented, hot and tasty, although service was at times slow owing to an apparent lack of staff with different second waiters being deployed to our table on a regular basis.
The Horizon Buffet is to put it mildly a shambles. Cold plastic plates often issued out and at both breakfast and lunch food was often tepid. Even on sea days some server outlets were not open putting pressure on other server points.
Entertainment was distinctly average. Only one guest speaker - James Cosmo of Games of Thrones Fame, a comedian, magician, female comedienne - Joe Little who sometimes struggled to keep her audience, a Superb Freddie Mercury Tribute from Steve Larkin, a female singer - Leanne Mitchell - first winner of The Voice and the Theatre Company singers and Dancers who were very good, however remember this was dispersed over 14 days. Other than quizzes it was more or less up to passengers to entertain crew with Karaoke.
Bar prices were very high and then to add insult to injury a 15% surcharge was automatically added to all bar purchases. A disgrace.
We purchased 2 photographs and were astonished to be charged $50 for 2 medium sixed portraits.
We only did one ship tour - 2 days in St Petersburg. The tour was excellent but heavy going with lots of Churches, Museums, Palaces visited.
On more than one occasion the port adviser gave out misleading and in fact incorrect information, presumably to get more people on ships tours. This was Gdynia for Gdansk. She stated that their were few taxis, no shuttle bus and no hop on hop off bus and also intimated that Gdynia was a boring town with little to recommend, We exited the port on foot to be met by a barrage of taxi drivers, Hop on bus Ticket Sellers and a Shuttle Bus service to town. We decided to walk into town which we accomplished in 30 minutes to be met by a delightfully pretty promenade with old ship including a Navy Destroyer, Spanish Type Galleon as well as other pleasure boats, a parade of Souvenir shops, a delightful beach, Big Wheel, an Aquarium as well as bars, cafeterias, restaurants and a host of shops.
To sum up - a good cruise and a good ship that needs a lot of TLC and money to bring it back to her best - seats are in many areas dirty and worn.
The Cabin was very dated and poorly equipped with older TV, very few power sockets, sticky drawers, filthy balcony with scraped paint over the floor and paint drips on handrail. The chairs were dirty as was the floor on the balcony. We had a power outage and it took several telephone calls to reception to get it fixed. This took 3 hours before an electrician flicked over the breaker switch on the cabin power board. The Cabin Steward Efrain Flores, tried his best to keep the cabin spotless but you cant shine what is worn out
Stayed in Zeebrugge - Sunday - Been to Brugge many tiimes
used Hop on/Off Bus - Pretty City - easy to navigate
Visited Abba Museum, Old Town and Royal Palace by Hop on Bus
Walked in to town in 20 minutes. Old Town with pretty main square and very cheap
Very bad weather meant we did not go into city
We visited the much maligned Gdynia instead of Gdansk. It was very pretty and enjoyable, instead of a 1 hour coach journey to Gdansk