Crown Princess Cruise Review by onyourmark
- Sail Date: October 2017
- Destination: Canada & New England
- Cabin Type: Oceanview (obstructed view)
We opted to travel by train from Toronto to Québec City on the embarkation day. We did not worry about missing the ship, since it stayed overnight in Québec. On the train ride we connected with 3 other couples joining the cruise. Upon arrival we bought wine at the nearby SAQ store and walked about 15 minutes to the terminal, where processing went smoothly. The terminal is modern, with free wi-fi, but the ramps to the gangway were too steep. Perhaps some equipment was not working properly and they had to resort to alternative methods.
We met Alyson, our cabin steward, who was friendly, efficient, and took care of whatever we needed. He didn’t do towel animals, but left two chocolates on our pillow every night. The cabin E312 had obstructed Oceanview in midship. The lifeboat and overhang blocked 50% of the view, but it was not a big issue for us. The shower is tiny with an awkward curtain, the cabinetry is older and scratched up, but the bed and linens were wonderful and the blackout drapes let us sleep in. On occasion we were able to hear muffled conversation from the adjoining cabin or the hallway. The lighting was adequate (no night light in the bathroom) and storage ample and easily accessible.
The ship offered an excellent app for our cell phones called “Princess @ Sea”. You connect with the ship’s wi-fi network for free and can access the daily activities, check account balance and transactions, send messages to other members of your party and more.
All food and beverage services were very good. Service was attentive and anytime dining around 7:00 pm with table sharing worked well for us. We purchased one Coffee Card with onboard credits, and it lasted us for the entire cruise. The food was plentiful, ranging from average to very good. Breakfast at the Lido was more awkward, especially if you order an omelette. You place the order, get a slip with a number, then when you find a table to sit down you give one of the waiters your slip and he goes back to collect your omelette and bring it back to your table. There were many servers around at all times and tables were quickly cleaned up after use.
Princess offered two “Happy Hour” events. 3:00-4:00pm at the Wheelhouse bar, and 10:00-11:00pm at the Skywalkers Lounge. You buy one drink and get a second one for $1.00, plus 15% gratuity. Prices were affordable, with most wines in the $7-$8 range, and most beers at $6.
The nightly entertainment was also very good, as was the music throughout the ship. Production show “Encore” and the soul singer Teacake deserve special recognition. The crew was friendly, polite and did not push hard to spend more on drinks or bingo like on other cruise ships.
On the negative side, we missed an indoor or covered adult pool area especially during the initial cold and rainy days. Also there were two unfortunate events which need to be addressed. Tropical storm Philip forced an overnight stay in Halifax and skip St. John, New Brunswick. And a Norovirus outbreak made it challenging for passengers and crew. Both issues were handled professionally and with transparency by the Captain and his officers.
The daily activities would wind down every evening around 11pm, attesting to the guests demographic sector which was mostly retired people, many in the 70’s and 80’s.
While the Cruise Director was just average, there were enough activities to keep us busy during sea days – movies, wine tasting, shopping, etc. but there was no excitement and exuberance.
Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was well organized, and there were ample taxis and vans outside. We shared a metered taxi to the airport ($15 plus tip). In summary, a nice cruise and thankfully we managed to avert any Norovirus symptoms.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Bar HarborBar Harbor – went through the immigration process then lengthy wait for a tender (over 1 hour). Did a self-guided walking tour and spent time at the quaint public library to use the wifi service.View All 384 Bar Harbor Cruise Port Reviews
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BostonBoston – We been here several times, so we took the public bus to South Boston, then shopping at TJ Max near the Commons. Walked back to the ship on Summer Ave., about 40 minutes in the pleasant sunny afternoonView All 559 Boston Cruise Port Reviews
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HalifaxHalifax – walked the promenade along the water with strong winds from the tail end of tropical storm Philip, all the way from the Farmers Market to the Alexander Keith brewery and back. Nightlife downtown was also muted. The following day we visited Pier 21 museum, introduced Tim Hortons and Loblaws Superstore to American friends, and ended with a beer tasting at the Garrison Brewery near the port. There was free wi-fi in the terminal building.View All 648 Halifax Cruise Port Reviews
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New York (Brooklyn, Red Hook)In Brooklyn – we walked out from the port area (very boring warehouses until Atlantic Ave.) to the riverside parks leading to the Dumbo area, then over and across the Brooklyn Bridge to lower Manhattan, followed by South street to Pier 11. From there we took the IKEA Express water taxi (free on weekends) to their huge store on the Brooklyn side. It was only a 15 minute walk back to the ship.View All 59 New York (Brooklyn, Red Hook) Cruise Port Reviews
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NewportNewport, RI – another tender port, already toured on a prior cruise. This time we visited the Truro synagogue and the exhibits, walked on Thames Rd. and waited in a long line for the return tender to the ship.View All 185 Newport Cruise Port Reviews
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NorfolkNorwalk, VA – we arrived at 11am, went to Waterside complex and MacArthur Place mall. In the afternoon we took the Paddlewheeler ferry to Portsmouth and back, then the Tide light rail for some sightseeing. Be aware that ticket machines do not dispense seniors discount tickets.View All 18 Norfolk Cruise Port Reviews
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SaguenaySagueney – Locals were the most welcoming hosts waiting by the gangway with treats, buskers and dancers. After the rain eased off we took the HOHO buses at $25 (CDN) per person and covered two routes with interesting narration by local guides. There was also an afternoon folklore show on the ship with local musicians and dancers. Members of the audience were taught how to play the spoons.View All 9,463 Saguenay Cruise Port Reviews
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Sydney (Nova Scotia)Sydney – It was Sunday. There were local merchants and free wi-fi (slow) right at the cruise terminal, and strolled along the pretty boardwalk to a large monument. Then we walked to the nearest mall which opened at noon and back to the ship.View All 108 Sydney (Nova Scotia) Cruise Port Reviews
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