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Crown Princess Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,116 Reviews

This eastern Med cruise complements our previous western Med cruise

Crown Princess Cruise Review by tidetracker

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2018
  • Destination: the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony

We had previously taken an eastern Mediterranean cruise, which was highly enjoyable, and wanted to repeat the experience, this time taking in ports in the eastern end of the Med.

We chose this particular cruise based on the time of year, and also based on the advertised claim that the Crown Princess (built in 2004-2006) had been 'refurbished' in March of 2018. We found this claim not to be true... the ship was rather tired, worn, and dated. While the public areas still looked good, we were very disappointed in our cabin, which had worn and damaged furniture. It is normally our practice to pick 'new' ships only... and were seduced by the 'refurbished' claim. We were very disappointed. The public areas looked a great deal better; perhaps it was only the public areas which received a makeover.

Princess cannot be faulted, however, on service; every staff member, from the cabin steward to the dining room waiters, were outstanding.

The dining experience was 'ok'. The service was impeccable, although the dining room food was perhaps not quite up to the level of the service. The food in the Horizon Court on the Lido deck was about what you might expect from a buffet restaurant: a good variety, nothing particularly outstanding, adequate for breakfast and lunch. The one 'premium' restaurant we tried was not worth the $29/pp up-charge. They did a good job in providing gluten-free options for my wife.

Princess never misses an opportunity to make a buck, and one could spend a fair amount of money on various separately charged services... as well as all the on-board shopping. We didn't take advantage of any of that.

The internet service was separately charged; we paid $69 for 120 minutes.... the speed was understandably slow, which we didn't mind, but the requirement to log in and out of each session using a browser (while the 120 minute clock was running) made it extremely inconvenient, especially for smart phones and things like my Kindle e-reader.

One caution: using your cell phone while at sea could be outrageously expensive. My carrier, T-Mobile, provides for 25 cents/minute international roaming rates... but.... It wasn't made clear, in any of the Princess literature, but calls made while at sea are routed through the ship's own cellular service... and billed, to your regular cell phone provider, at $4.95 per minute! I only found out about this when my carrier (T-Mobile) sent me a text message warning me that I had built up over $250 in air time.

The embarkation and debarkation at each port, and at the beginning and end of the cruise, were efficiently managed.

We took only one excursion, to Gibraltar, which consisted of a bus ride to the cable car, and a ticket for the cable car (return transportation was on our own)... nothing to complain about.

The evening entertainment was meager. There was only one 'production' show, called 'Magic To Do', which featured dancing, singing, and a few magic tricks... a lot of effort, not all that good. Other nights included a comedian (awful), and a Celine Dion tribute singer (we didn't go to those shows). The only thing I can compare the evening entertainment to, was a previous cruise on the Holland America line, which featured really superb production shows... but, then again, Holland America is a more 'upscale' cruise line.

In general, we enjoyed our cruise, despite being disappointed in the condition of the ship, especially our cabin. The BEST thing about the cruise was the service staff.... in every single case, the staff was truly outstanding, from the cabin steward, to the waiters... it's one thing Princess does extremely well.


tidetracker's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB D501

Adequately sized, but worn, tired, and dated.... damaged furniture. This cabin was NOT 'refurbished', despite the claim on the website. The bathroom was in good shape, however... more than adequate water pressure and hot water. The towels were a little rough. The TV had MSNBC, Fox News, BBC, and a few others... adequate.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Gibraltar

Bus ride to the rock, and ticket for the cable car

Barcelona

We didn't tour Barcelona, because we had just arrived by air

Marseille

We took a tour bus, on our own, around the city... had an excellent lunch in Vieux Port

Genoa

We took a tour bus around the city, and then a 'hop on hop off' bus. Lovely city, although it was beastly hot

Florence (Livorno)

We stayed on the boat, because one of us had an upset stomach that morning.


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tidetracker
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