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We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which we enjoyed. We chose Princess because of the previous good experiences my sister and her husband had, and they joined us on this cruise. They were as disappointed with the service and food as we were. Some staff seemed irritated with requests, and sometimes were actually surly. There were instances of drawers slammed to show displeasure. (2 of our previous cruises were on Celebrity where staff attitude and morale was far superior--everyone smiled and seemed genuinely caring.) Front desk staff here were unhelpful whether it was on the phone or in person. A singsong "Sorry" was the frequent response. Food in the main dining rooms was very good, and service was okay. Nice choices of starters and desserts. The exception was the one Afternoon Tea we tried. It was a joke. Waiters brought tea before there was milk or sugar, so it got cold. There were many waiters with trays of sandwiches, scones and cakes which they passed out and loaded onto tiny plates with no order whatsoever. They did not give you time to eat anything, just wanted to dump each item. No traditional tea tray towers with choices for each table as restaurants and Holland America do. The food in the buffet was of low quality and did not look appetizing. It was OK for breakfast, but not dinner. We normally like to eat room service breakfast to save time, and on our past cruises the choices and food were very good. We only tried it once on Princess. The only hot food choice was a greasy fried egg sandwich in a foil pouch. We didn't want to try again. The coffee both in room service and restaurants was horrible. The waiter told us it was frozen liquid Nescafe. We ended up buying Starbucks instant packets in port and ordering hot water. Signage and directions on the ship were terrible. Lots of "you can't get there from here" places needing to go up or down before proceeding. Ship schematics near elevators were too small and did not have "You are here" dots. After 12 days on board we were often still confused. Others commented the same thing. Security screening machines were often placed just inside the door when you came up the gangway, leaving long lines standing in the rain and no way to get items ready to scan. Staff stood with hands in pockets and most plastic tubs were out of reach for passengers. Annoying and frustrating! Security coming back on board was at times lax. Example was scanning card without verifying photo. The decor of the ship was lovely and traditional, which we enjoyed. Entertainment was disappointing. Twice we tried to see a show, but all seats were taken. The times we got in were just okay. Nothing was a wow. The Swedish male singer was horrible, but seemed quite taken with himself. We arranged all but one of our own excursions (it’s easy and safe to do and MUCH cheaper). The one excursion we did through the ship was to Mont Saint Michel from Le Havre. It was a long bus ride (3 hrs) and the tour itself was very good, but too long. Chris our guide gave good information about the abbey, but if we hadn’t left the group 30 minutes before she finished we wouldn’t have had time for lunch. The bus company that they used did not allow food or drink on the bus, and although it had a bathroom on board, it was locked. The return trip was 2.5 hrs with no stop. Because the bathroom was locked the driver did stop at a roadside disgusting toilet for those with emergency needs. Not acceptable! I can't say this was a terrible cruise because we enjoyed the ports very much. I think our expectations were too high because of our previous experience with Celebrity and Holland America and my sister's previous experience with Princess. I thought Princess was of the same caliber, but apparently not anymore.

Great itinerary, but disappointing staff and food

Crown Princess Cruise Review by wemauid

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which we enjoyed. We chose Princess because of the previous good experiences my sister and her husband had, and they joined us on this cruise. They were as disappointed with the service and food as we were. Some staff seemed irritated with requests, and sometimes were actually surly. There were instances of drawers slammed to show displeasure. (2 of our previous cruises were on Celebrity where staff attitude and morale was far superior--everyone smiled and seemed genuinely caring.) Front desk staff here were unhelpful whether it was on the phone or in person. A singsong "Sorry" was the frequent response.

Food in the main dining rooms was very good, and service was okay. Nice choices of starters and desserts. The exception was the one Afternoon Tea we tried. It was a joke. Waiters brought tea before there was milk or sugar, so it got cold. There were many waiters with trays of sandwiches, scones and cakes which they passed out and loaded onto tiny plates with no order whatsoever. They did not give you time to eat anything, just wanted to dump each item. No traditional tea tray towers with choices for each table as restaurants and Holland America do.

The food in the buffet was of low quality and did not look appetizing. It was OK for breakfast, but not dinner. We normally like to eat room service breakfast to save time, and on our past cruises the choices and food were very good. We only tried it once on Princess. The only hot food choice was a greasy fried egg sandwich in a foil pouch. We didn't want to try again. The coffee both in room service and restaurants was horrible. The waiter told us it was frozen liquid Nescafe. We ended up buying Starbucks instant packets in port and ordering hot water.

Signage and directions on the ship were terrible. Lots of "you can't get there from here" places needing to go up or down before proceeding. Ship schematics near elevators were too small and did not have "You are here" dots. After 12 days on board we were often still confused. Others commented the same thing.

Security screening machines were often placed just inside the door when you came up the gangway, leaving long lines standing in the rain and no way to get items ready to scan. Staff stood with hands in pockets and most plastic tubs were out of reach for passengers. Annoying and frustrating! Security coming back on board was at times lax. Example was scanning card without verifying photo.

The decor of the ship was lovely and traditional, which we enjoyed.

Entertainment was disappointing. Twice we tried to see a show, but all seats were taken. The times we got in were just okay. Nothing was a wow. The Swedish male singer was horrible, but seemed quite taken with himself.

We arranged all but one of our own excursions (it’s easy and safe to do and MUCH cheaper). The one excursion we did through the ship was to Mont Saint Michel from Le Havre. It was a long bus ride (3 hrs) and the tour itself was very good, but too long. Chris our guide gave good information about the abbey, but if we hadn’t left the group 30 minutes before she finished we wouldn’t have had time for lunch. The bus company that they used did not allow food or drink on the bus, and although it had a bathroom on board, it was locked. The return trip was 2.5 hrs with no stop. Because the bathroom was locked the driver did stop at a roadside disgusting toilet for those with emergency needs. Not acceptable!

I can't say this was a terrible cruise because we enjoyed the ports very much. I think our expectations were too high because of our previous experience with Celebrity and Holland America and my sister's previous experience with Princess. I thought Princess was of the same caliber, but apparently not anymore.
wemauid’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BF R338
Shower (as in all in this category) was the size of a phone booth. Water pressure was fine but water temp constantly fluctuated between very hot and cool. Bathroom counter could use a good cleaning. Only two outlets on the desk and were too close together to use at the same time. NO USB ports. Balcony furniture needed a good scrubbing. Deck above was pool deck. Noise of moving chairs above every night at 10:30 (only for about 10 minutes), so don't choose this room if you go to bed early. Bed was comfortable. Plenty of open closet space, but only shelf space in cupboard, no drawers. They stored extra comforters under the bed so it was difficult to get our luggage under there. Generally roomy enough, except for shower.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews