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We'd never sailed with Princess before but we chose this cruise because of the itinerary - we started in Barcelona, went to Gibraltar and ended in Rome...the places we wanted to go, with Marseille, Genoa and Livorno thrown in as bonus ports. On the day we embarked, we spent the day sightseeing in Barcelona and arrived at the port at 5pm, to walk thru check-in and we were in our lovely cabin within 20 minutes, with our luggage arriving 30 minutes later. We learned that the Crown had recently been refurbished and found it to be clean and very nice throughout. We enjoyed the music periodically played in the Atrium by the X-Trio and a talented pianist. Our room steward, Ruby, was stellar throughout the entire week! Every crew member we passed said hello with a smile. Dining in the main dining rooms was slow and frustrating but it often is with several courses being served. We didn't expect the slow service in the Crown Grill but found it there too. Perhaps I'm impatient but I don't like spending 2-3 hours for a meal. It's hard to complain about the vast selection of food in the Horizon Buffet...it was good but most of it was just ordinary. They always had a good variety of fresh fruit and we loved that. We didn't find any of the entertainment offerings very interesting...maybe we've just seen too many tributes/Disco productions/etc. Before we got to Marseille, we got flyer about a $16 per person RT shuttle to get to the city and I questioned this at Guest Services. I was told that unless we hire a taxi or take an excursion it's the only way to get to the city so we decided to book a Princess excursion to take us around Marseille. Later, some friends told us they took the FREE shuttle into the city, from the pickup/drop off area a 10-minute walk from the ship, so I wasn't happy about being lied to. I did appreciate the early morning coffee set-up on Deck 16 at Tradewinds Bar, which is also a smoking area. It was nice to go there instead of the buffet to enjoy coffee and watch the sunrises. I loved that the pools are freshwater (not salt) and enjoyed the Lotus Spa (adult only) pool except for the LOUD sucking noise made every few minutes by the drains along the lip of the pool. It totally ruined the peacefulness and surely something could be done to prevent it from making that horrible noise. I've always said there's no such thing as a bad cruise and it wasn't bad, despite my complaints. Maybe it's not right to compare Princess to other cruise lines but I expected it to be a notch above other lines like Carnival and NCL, and found that not to be the case, but it was still a great cruise and we had a wonderful time.

First cruise with Princess

Crown Princess Cruise Review by ZuzusPetals

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview (obstructed view)
We'd never sailed with Princess before but we chose this cruise because of the itinerary - we started in Barcelona, went to Gibraltar and ended in Rome...the places we wanted to go, with Marseille, Genoa and Livorno thrown in as bonus ports. On the day we embarked, we spent the day sightseeing in Barcelona and arrived at the port at 5pm, to walk thru check-in and we were in our lovely cabin within 20 minutes, with our luggage arriving 30 minutes later. We learned that the Crown had recently been refurbished and found it to be clean and very nice throughout. We enjoyed the music periodically played in the Atrium by the X-Trio and a talented pianist. Our room steward, Ruby, was stellar throughout the entire week! Every crew member we passed said hello with a smile. Dining in the main dining rooms was slow and frustrating but it often is with several courses being served. We didn't expect the slow service in the Crown Grill but found it there too. Perhaps I'm impatient but I don't like spending 2-3 hours for a meal. It's hard to complain about the vast selection of food in the Horizon Buffet...it was good but most of it was just ordinary. They always had a good variety of fresh fruit and we loved that. We didn't find any of the entertainment offerings very interesting...maybe we've just seen too many tributes/Disco productions/etc. Before we got to Marseille, we got flyer about a $16 per person RT shuttle to get to the city and I questioned this at Guest Services. I was told that unless we hire a taxi or take an excursion it's the only way to get to the city so we decided to book a Princess excursion to take us around Marseille. Later, some friends told us they took the FREE shuttle into the city, from the pickup/drop off area a 10-minute walk from the ship, so I wasn't happy about being lied to. I did appreciate the early morning coffee set-up on Deck 16 at Tradewinds Bar, which is also a smoking area. It was nice to go there instead of the buffet to enjoy coffee and watch the sunrises. I loved that the pools are freshwater (not salt) and enjoyed the Lotus Spa (adult only) pool except for the LOUD sucking noise made every few minutes by the drains along the lip of the pool. It totally ruined the peacefulness and surely something could be done to prevent it from making that horrible noise. I've always said there's no such thing as a bad cruise and it wasn't bad, despite my complaints. Maybe it's not right to compare Princess to other cruise lines but I expected it to be a notch above other lines like Carnival and NCL, and found that not to be the case, but it was still a great cruise and we had a wonderful time.
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Cabin Review

Oceanview (obstructed view)
Cabin OW E317
We were upgraded from an interior room to an oceanview with an obstructed view. We were pleasantly surprise to see only a small portion of the lifeboat at the bottom of the window. The room was spacious and clean and we felt very much at home there.
Emerald Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barcelona
    We flew into Barcelona the day before and toured the city on our own before boarding the cruise ship. The metro was easy to maneuver for distant sights. We walked up and down La Rambla, up Mountain Montjuic and through the Gothic Quarter and had a wonderful visit.
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  • Florence (Livorno)
    We went on our own to Pisa via 5 Euro shuttle to Livorno, took a bus to the train station, and then a 20 minute train ride to Pisa which cost 5.20 Euro each. We walked up the main street to the Field of Miracles, enjoying the sights along the mile walk. We spent the majority of the day touring the Tower, the Duomo, the Baptistry, the museum (not that great) and the Cemetery which we hadn't known about but loved! We stopped at a fantastic little pizza place (counter service) with little tables and free wifi. It's behind the statue in the Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi by the Ponte di Mezzo (bridge over the Arno). We got the most wonderful pizza EVER for 2E a slice and I discovered Desperatos Beer, which is DIVINE. We wandered back to the train station and back to Livorno where we walked around for a while before returning to the ship. Pisa was SO easy and inexpensive to do on our own and we were so glad we didn't take a group excursion.
    View All 1,114 Florence (Livorno) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Genoa
    The "coastal drive" (which was part of the appeal of this excursion) turned out to be a fast paced ride on the freeway that ran parallel to the coast, about a mile away. Very disappointed. There were numerous tunnels and although we could see the coast in the distance we were so far away and going so fast we couldn't enjoy the snatches of views. We went to Sestri Levante first (which wasn't the agenda) and although it was nice, it wasn't the "peaceful fishing village" we'd imagined. We walked around, by a small beach and through a portion of the town, which wasn't as hectic as the bigger cities but still greatly tourist oriented. We got some gelato on our way back to met the bus. We then drove to Rapallo and spent a long time stuck in the lunch time traffic, which caused me to wonder if we'd gone there first, as scheduled, we might have avoided that. The guide led the group to a café and we were treated to drinks and snacks, which was nice. By the time we finished, we had only an hour to spend on our own due to the time spent in traffic, which was enough time to walk around the immediate area so we didn't get to see the 16th century castle or the Roman bridge which were highlighted in the description of the excursion. The guide was kind and knowledgeable about the area but we felt like we spent more time on the bus than we did in the two towns.
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  • Gibraltar
    Gibraltar was wonderful! We bought cable car/nature reserve tickets in advance and avoided the long lines. We spent all day walking the top of the Rock and had to rush back to the ship which left at 5. It would have been nice if the ship could have left a few hours later.
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  • Marseille Tour
    We were deceived by Guest Services about the shuttle service into Marseille. We were told that the only way into the city was by taxi, excursion or the shuttle which cost $16 pp. We booked "Marseille's Four Main Highlights and Free Time" tour which provided transportation to several key sights in the city and it was nice.
    View All 67 Marseille Tour Reviews
  • Rome (Civitavecchia)
    We disembarked the ship at 7:10am as "walk off" and the shuttle quickly took us to the port entrance/bus stop. For 2Euro pp we took the bus to the train station and for 5Euro pp we got the train to Roma Termini. It made numerous stops and took about 1.5 hours but it was wonderful and we wondered why people pay so much to get to Rome from Civitavecchia when the public transportation is so easy and cheap! We picked a hotel near the Termini (Hotel Columbia) which was fabulous and spent the next two days touring Rome. It was very hot and crowded in July but we LOVED it.
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