Crown Princess Cruise Review by Croozr2
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Embarkation went well but the tour to Windsor Castle as part of our Disembarkation was far too rushed for the time that was allowed. Did not even get to see the village of Windsor or eat lunch as promised. Made it a very over priced transfer to the airport. Most of us in the group were not happy. The guide apologized but Princess knew well ahead of time that all tour groups into the Castle have to go through a special admission gate and the line up for this was 6 - 8 blocks long. We waited over 1 1/2 hours just to get to the security checkpoint. That left us with about 45 minutes to see what we could. None of this was spoken about when we booked the tour or as we travelled to the Castle. Princess notified us that due to a royal function some parts of the castle would not be open as advertised. Why would you even offer such a tour before hand? The cruise line would have known that it was Royal Ascot race time and the royal family would be in residence so part of the castle would not be available. We, as pre booked tour passengers, were not notified about this until 4 days before the tour. With the internet not working we had no choice but to take the tour to get to the airport. In retrospect, we should have cancelled and taken the direct connection or made them pay for a phone call to another taxi service for transport. Good thing was we at least got to see some of the castle, St. Georges Chapel and sample the wonderful ice cream they sell there.
We didn't go on a tour to Versailles from Le Havre because of the length of the tour, (8 - 10 hours) but this is another situation that Princess knows about but does not communicate very well. For the most part France closes on Monday. We were in port Monday and even the town of Le Havre had very little open. Our research ahead of time showed that Versailles, which I would truly love to visit again, is always closed on Monday. I wonder when those who booked this tour found that out?
Another disappointment was not being able to see Guernsey Island. The seas were so rough they didn't even take on the pilot to try to go ashore. It was the right move by the Captain as this is a tender port, however we learned after that this cruise itinerary is rarely able to dock here. Over half of the time the weather or seas are so bad they cannot tender passengers to shore. Why do they continue to make this a stop??
Very rough seas and high winds on this day at sea also meant that we got bounced around a bit. Depending on which way you were going you had to walk up or down hill as the ship was listing so badly. Next problem once they got the ballast water shuffled around so we were more upright we were told that the front thrusters had been damaged. The next day it was a diesel generator, then it was an electrical problem where the elevators stopped for a bit, kind of a domino effect of once one thing was close to being corrected something else went wrong. Yes they did give each of us $100 on our accounts to try to cover our concerns and disappointment so I guess that is a plus for them.
Then there was the internet. This is not a reasonably priced or reliable function on this ship from other reviews I have read. We did purchase the 1 hour package before we sailed and were trying to be very careful how we used it. Very frustrated when something that would normally take less than 1 minute at home took over 15 minutes on the ship to download. When we checked with the IT guy downstairs he let slip something about damage due to a fire then corrected himself very quickly and referred back to the mechanical problems with the thrusters and such. After one more try to use the service we finally asked for a refund and the IT tech quickly credited our account.
My cousin and I both having English and Scottish ancestry wanted to try the afternoon English tea on board. My recommendation is don't bother, wait until you go ashore on your own and find a nice bakery in town and enjoy a tea and scone there. On the ship, everything was rushed. The pastry server came around before we even had time to select our tea and didn't come back. They have a tray and you pick the item(s) you think you want, serve it and then run away to someone else. The same with the sandwiches, which for us came after the pastries. The scones we were served were dry and crumbly even with cream and jam added. Neither my cousin or I enjoyed the experience.
The ship is still in the throws of reconstruction. This Medallion Class stuff was being installed as we were sailing. From other reviews it has been this way for a long time. Several of the public areas were boarded off with lots of hammering and sawing noises going on. When you pay lots of money not just for your trip but for just about everything else while on board you don't expect to have to avoid power cables and construction sites. (My husband thought he heard that it even cost to vote during the contest for the Voice of the Ocean competition finale. Don't know if this is true though as we were only outside of the theatre reading when this was going on). They probably would have been able to accomplish so much more by letting the ship stay in port or dry dock for a week, do the upgrades then set off all shinny and new.
I always try to look for positives and I have mentioned a couple here. Another one was how the Captain handled the multiple problems that occurred. He tried very hard to keep everyone informed and made sure passenger and crew safety came first. Others we spoke to felt the same way. He was trying to make things better. I think all these mechanical problems indicate that Princess needs to look at getting this ship refurbished properly and not on the fly.
I did get to set foot in Scotland though so that goal for this trip was accomplished. I doubt either one of us in our group will make Princess our first choice for our next cruise.
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