1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Crown Princess
I chose this cruise because I love visiting the UK and could visit some new places as well as revisit others and catch more of the sights. It was port intensive with only 2 sea days. I took the NEX bus from Heathrow to Southampton, cost £26 and spent a few days prior to the cruise exploring Southampton and visiting the Isle of Wight. Embarkation went smoothly with no waiting, luggage promptly delivered. My passport was taken from me on embarkation, but unlike other times when my passport was taken, I was not given a photocopy to carry as ID. I had to wait in line at passenger services and then another 10 mins while the staff member hunted for my passport and copied it. Just use your drivers license he says. Yeh right, as if you bring unnecessary documentation half way round the world. My passport was given back after leaving Edinburgh. The fun started at dinner time. Four of the people sitting at my table had got on in Dublin and were almost at the end of their cruise. Their dinner was disrupted by lots of new guests arriving as well as new wait staff as staff were rotated through dining rooms. The captain was new as well. On this cruise you can get on in Dublin, Le Havre as well as Southampton where the bulk of people seemed to get on. I also met a group of 10 who got on in Southampton and were getting off in Le Havre. The “hop-on, hop-off” nature of the cruise led to perceived disorganisation and subsequent lack of enjoyment by quite a few passengers. It must work for Princess but I could see why people were unhappy although I’m not fussed who I have dinner with and which crew I interact with, people getting on and off and so on. The thing that annoyed me the most was all the tendering and wasting of time that goes with it. Even if everything is running smoothly it still takes an hour from ship to port even though the tender ride may only be 15 minutes. Guernsey was the worst. The tenders stopped running for about an hour due to rough seas so I arrived back at the wharf at around 2.20, the last tender being 3pm to find at least half the ship waiting in queues snaking around the wharf. Sometime after 4pm I got on the tender…..and it was formal night too! Forget it. The lines were also long in Kirkwall but not quite as bad and in South Queensferry, the port had put on some extra boats of its own that carried more people. The crew helping people on and off the tenders were great and I felt I was firmly held onto by the arm/hand as the tender bobbed around at times. Needless to say, on my next cruise in November there are no tenders. The ports of call and getting into town included- Guernsey – tender to pier a few minutes walk from town. Cobh – terminal is adjacent to the train station if you want to go to Cork and a few minutes walk to town. Heritage Centre adjacent to wharf has lots of souvenirs and a café with free wifi. Dublin – is a working pier so you are not allowed walk in the area. Free shuttle bus to town which drops you at Merrion Square opposite the Oscar Wilde statue. My excursion stopped here for those who wanted to stay in town before returning to the ship. Belfast – Shuttle available to town. Drops off near the City Hall US$16 return. Greenoch – terminal is about 5 mins walk to town. Lots of souvenirs and free wifi available in the terminal. Bus station and train station about 10-15 mins walk. Free bus tours around Greenoch fill fast – 3 available. Kirkwall – tender to pier, a few minutes walk to town. Invergordon – 5 minute walk to town. Souvenir shop on wharf. Edinburgh – tender to pier near Forth Bridge then X99 Lothian bus to central Edinburgh. Cost £9 return. Ticket good for the local buses as well. Drops off at St Andrews Square. Staff there to help with questions. Le Havre – shuttle bus to town centre US$20 return. As usual, the staff are cheerful, helpful and professional. I enjoyed the selections in the dining room and also the buffet has plenty of choice. The buffet didn’t have many tables for 2 or 4, mainly larger tables but they did open up both sides and Café Caribe for seating. I love the shows and talks I went to. Way too cold for Movie under the Stars and indeed rare to see people sitting outside. As always there are plenty of onboard activities and shopping. The TV system was antiquated. The Menu gave starting times for some programs but others eg. Port talk watch Ch 21. Could be watching for ages until it came on. Nothing on demand so I gave up. A few days before the end of the cruise the tech man came in and changed the TV over to the new on demand viewing which I had on my last cruise 7 months ago. Fabulous. Better late than never. The ship is in the process of updating to Ocean Medallion. The laundry was also a disappointment. There were only 2 washers and 2 dryers per laundry sitting side by side unlike the 4 washers and 4 dryers above they have on other Princess ships. I finally got my washing done just before 10pm one evening with others still waiting. I’d checked a few laundries a few times earlier, long queues. Disembarkation was another time waster. I was on a bus to Victoria Station. Despite the written and verbal instructions and crew waving people to their luggage in the terminal, two ladies living in their own bubble just got on the bus without collecting their luggage. Sometime later it occurred to the crew to look on the bus for them. So off they get to retrieve their luggage. While they are doing that a man who had time to dress in all the latest spiffy sportswear, gets off saying he has left his wallet and passport in the safe! So eventually we leave 45 mins later which stretches out to over an hour because we hit the Sat morning London traffic. That gives me less time do what I had planned. NEX doesn’t hold up paying customers and at US$59 for the transfer those people choosing not to follow instructions should just have been put on the next bus. I did enjoy the cruise- the ports, excursions, shows and dining and those comfy beds, but the peripheral things that give you the carefree experience were lacking and as this was the most expensive cruise ($ per day wise) I’d been on then I can only rate it as average.

Great ports, ordinary ship experience.

Crown Princess Cruise Review by Yaya_in_Oz

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I chose this cruise because I love visiting the UK and could visit some new places as well as revisit others and catch more of the sights. It was port intensive with only 2 sea days.

I took the NEX bus from Heathrow to Southampton, cost £26 and spent a few days prior to the cruise exploring Southampton and visiting the Isle of Wight.

Embarkation went smoothly with no waiting, luggage promptly delivered.

My passport was taken from me on embarkation, but unlike other times when my passport was taken, I was not given a photocopy to carry as ID. I had to wait in line at passenger services and then another 10 mins while the staff member hunted for my passport and copied it. Just use your drivers license he says. Yeh right, as if you bring unnecessary documentation half way round the world. My passport was given back after leaving Edinburgh.

The fun started at dinner time. Four of the people sitting at my table had got on in Dublin and were almost at the end of their cruise. Their dinner was disrupted by lots of new guests arriving as well as new wait staff as staff were rotated through dining rooms. The captain was new as well.

On this cruise you can get on in Dublin, Le Havre as well as Southampton where the bulk of people seemed to get on. I also met a group of 10 who got on in Southampton and were getting off in Le Havre. The “hop-on, hop-off” nature of the cruise led to perceived disorganisation and subsequent lack of enjoyment by quite a few passengers. It must work for Princess but I could see why people were unhappy although I’m not fussed who I have dinner with and which crew I interact with, people getting on and off and so on.

The thing that annoyed me the most was all the tendering and wasting of time that goes with it. Even if everything is running smoothly it still takes an hour from ship to port even though the tender ride may only be 15 minutes. Guernsey was the worst. The tenders stopped running for about an hour due to rough seas so I arrived back at the wharf at around 2.20, the last tender being 3pm to find at least half the ship waiting in queues snaking around the wharf. Sometime after 4pm I got on the tender…..and it was formal night too! Forget it. The lines were also long in Kirkwall but not quite as bad and in South Queensferry, the port had put on some extra boats of its own that carried more people. The crew helping people on and off the tenders were great and I felt I was firmly held onto by the arm/hand as the tender bobbed around at times. Needless to say, on my next cruise in November there are no tenders.

The ports of call and getting into town included-

Guernsey – tender to pier a few minutes walk from town.

Cobh – terminal is adjacent to the train station if you want to go to Cork and a few minutes walk to town. Heritage Centre adjacent to wharf has lots of souvenirs and a café with free wifi.

Dublin – is a working pier so you are not allowed walk in the area. Free shuttle bus to town which drops you at Merrion Square opposite the Oscar Wilde statue. My excursion stopped here for those who wanted to stay in town before returning to the ship.

Belfast – Shuttle available to town. Drops off near the City Hall US$16 return.

Greenoch – terminal is about 5 mins walk to town. Lots of souvenirs and free wifi available in the terminal. Bus station and train station about 10-15 mins walk. Free bus tours around Greenoch fill fast – 3 available.

Kirkwall – tender to pier, a few minutes walk to town.

Invergordon – 5 minute walk to town. Souvenir shop on wharf.

Edinburgh – tender to pier near Forth Bridge then X99 Lothian bus to central Edinburgh. Cost £9 return. Ticket good for the local buses as well. Drops off at St Andrews Square. Staff there to help with questions.

Le Havre – shuttle bus to town centre US$20 return.

As usual, the staff are cheerful, helpful and professional. I enjoyed the selections in the dining room and also the buffet has plenty of choice. The buffet didn’t have many tables for 2 or 4, mainly larger tables but they did open up both sides and Café Caribe for seating. I love the shows and talks I went to. Way too cold for Movie under the Stars and indeed rare to see people sitting outside. As always there are plenty of onboard activities and shopping.

The TV system was antiquated. The Menu gave starting times for some programs but others eg. Port talk watch Ch 21. Could be watching for ages until it came on. Nothing on demand so I gave up. A few days before the end of the cruise the tech man came in and changed the TV over to the new on demand viewing which I had on my last cruise 7 months ago. Fabulous. Better late than never. The ship is in the process of updating to Ocean Medallion.

The laundry was also a disappointment. There were only 2 washers and 2 dryers per laundry sitting side by side unlike the 4 washers and 4 dryers above they have on other Princess ships. I finally got my washing done just before 10pm one evening with others still waiting. I’d checked a few laundries a few times earlier, long queues.

Disembarkation was another time waster. I was on a bus to Victoria Station. Despite the written and verbal instructions and crew waving people to their luggage in the terminal, two ladies living in their own bubble just got on the bus without collecting their luggage. Sometime later it occurred to the crew to look on the bus for them. So off they get to retrieve their luggage. While they are doing that a man who had time to dress in all the latest spiffy sportswear, gets off saying he has left his wallet and passport in the safe! So eventually we leave 45 mins later which stretches out to over an hour because we hit the Sat morning London traffic. That gives me less time do what I had planned. NEX doesn’t hold up paying customers and at US$59 for the transfer those people choosing not to follow instructions should just have been put on the next bus.

I did enjoy the cruise- the ports, excursions, shows and dining and those comfy beds, but the peripheral things that give you the carefree experience were lacking and as this was the most expensive cruise ($ per day wise) I’d been on then I can only rate it as average.
Yaya_in_Oz’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Crown Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin ID B717
Standard interior cabin with lovely comfy bed, like sleeping on a cloud. Right up there with the best bed I've slept on. Walls on the Crown are quite thin. This was my fifth cruise and the first time I could sit in my room and clearly hear every word from the adjacent room's TV. The layout of the next room would have had its TV near my adjoining wall. I didn't hear anything from the other side. I didn't have a small table and was told they are no longer provided for interior cabins. I like to put my breakfast tray on that rather than the floor. It was suggested I move things off the desk area but in the end they bought me a small table from the pool deck. Whether this is a cost saving measure or they have found with 2 occupants the table gets in the way I'm not sure. As a solo, I have plenty of room for a table. All good with the rest of the room and I like the location near the back lifts.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Giant's Causeway
    Nice drive through the countryside to a photo stop at the rope bridge and coastline. Simply not enough time at the Giants Causeway and quite crowded. The guide gave us many ideas of what we could do but in reality you didn't have time to do much at all except have a look. Quite spectacular the extent of it. There is a bus to take you down and back. A lot of people walk down and take the bus back. I'd knocked my knee the day before and could hardly bend my leg so had no choice but to take the bus back. After a look at the Causeway I got in line and waited over half an hour to get a bus back. They have 2 smaller buses going up and back, not nearly enough for all the visitors. Of course the doors were shut when I was second in line and had to wait for the buses to return making me about 5-10 mins late for my tour bus. We also stopped at Dunluce Castle ruins for a photo before returning to the ship.
    View All 81 Giant's Causeway Reviews
  • Cobh (Cork)
    A nice little town. I walked around and up to the Cathedral. It was grandads funeral and it was packed but they let you stand at the back and have a look. Going on the ferry out to Spike Island seemed popular. The train to Cork is just adjacent to the pier.
    View All 334 Cobh (Cork) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cobh (Cork) Cruise Port Review
  • Glendalough Walking Tour
    Lovely drive through the Irish countryside to Glendalough followed by a guided tour of the monastic site. No free time. Stopped at the shuttle bus drop off point on return to Dublin so those who wanted could spend time in the city centre.
    View All 12 Glendalough Walking Tour Reviews
  • Edinburgh (South Queensferry)
    I love Edinburgh. I've been about 6 times. This time I used my Lothian bus ticket I'd purchased at the pier for £9 to go to the Ocean Terminal. No 22 or No 11 go down there and run very regularly not far from St Andrews Square drop off point. I went on the Britannia. Entry was £16 and you are given a handset which explains everything. I also had coffee and scone in the café on board which cost £8. They do light lunches as well. Thoroughly enjoyed going through what I'd seen so often on TV when it was in use.
    On return to the city I walked along Princes Street for a bit of shopping and sights.
    View All 175 Edinburgh (South Queensferry) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Edinburgh (South Queensferry) Cruise Port Review
  • Greenock (Glasgow)
    The terminal at the port has info for visitors, a large selection of souvenirs, free wifi. Free bus tours also but they fill up quick. It was raining so I didn't particularly want to go anywhere but I headed out to the Fire Engine museum. I'd never been in a museum like that before. The old engines (including horsedrawn) were on display and a short film to watch. I loved Wallace, a stuffed dog, who when he was alive used to lead the fire engine to the fire and they'd even made him leather boots for his paws!
    The bus station and train station are about 10-15 mins walk from the terminal.
    View All 211 Greenock (Glasgow) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Greenock (Glasgow) Cruise Port Review
  • Invergordon (Inverness)
    Scenic rive and then visited the delightful Cawdor Castle. The gardens were lovely and they had a maze. Inside the castle is tastefully furnished but its more modern than some. It has a duckpond, golf course and a piper to greet you.
    On the return, a brief stop is made at Culloden. Again there is a piper and I had time to walk to the observation point, take photos and spend a few mins in the Visitor Centre. There wasn't time to go out to the cairn and clan markers which I'd seen before.
    View All 12,614 Invergordon (Inverness) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Invergordon (Inverness) Cruise Port Review
  • Kirkwall
    I'd previously visited the Neolithic Orkney sites which is a must. I wandered around town, in and out of the shops. Visited the magnificent Cathedral, Bishop and Earls Palace, the Museum. The Tourist Info Centre had free wifi. I sat down in the adjacent bus station and did my postcards and got stamps across the road from the PO. The day just went.
    View All 168 Kirkwall Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Kirkwall Cruise Port Review
  • Le Havre
    Delightful town with lovely old buildings. We had a walking tour starting from the square when Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake up to the Notre Dame Cathederal with a guided inside visit. We then had about an hour free time to shop or further sightsee.
    View All 12,614 Le Havre Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Le Havre Cruise Port Review
  • Southampton
    I had some extra time prior to the cruise to look around Southampton itself with its old city walls and Tudor House, plenty of shops. I also went over to the Isle of Wight on the car ferry to East Cowes. Takes I hour. There is a bus just near the terminal which I caught to Osborne House. I spent over 4 h there and then returned. Buses go all over the island.
    View All 959 Southampton Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Southampton Cruise Port Review
  • St. Peter Port (Guernsey)
    I got the tender early and looked around the town. Then took the bus to the German underground hospital. Cost £1 and £4 entry. I sat with a local who lived in the street and she pointed me in the direction of the Last Post where I had coffee and cake and then walked on for about 10-15 minutes to the Little Chapel. Free entry and I caught the bus back. Buses only run about once an hour and were quite crowded near the pier. The tourist bureau has info on anything you want and free wifi.
    View All 263 St. Peter Port (Guernsey) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Peter Port (Guernsey) Cruise Port Review