I am writing this review related to my trip on the Crown Princess with Princess Cruises between July 1st-July 12th of 2019, which sailed from Southampton, England to the British Aisles. I went with my whole family and spent two weeks at sea. The experience was very mixed, including both good and bad aspects, and I would like to share some thoughts below for those who are considering this cruise:
-The best part of the experience was visiting the countries. We visited London, Dublin, Cobh, Belfast, Kirkwall, Glasgow, Invergordon, Edinburgh, and Normandy. The countries are absolutely beautiful, with great historical sites to visit and amazing historical sites. Our favorite was driving to Mont St. Michel and visiting different castles.
-The cruise staff for the most part is very nice. We were particularly impressed with the staff in the dining rooms and the Lido Deck (particularly Bernardo in the Botticelli dining room and Donacio in the Lido’s Deck). The staff at the Lotus Spa was also great, especially Neahm from Ireland.
-The evening shows and the music overall in the ship was great. The Vivace String Duo – who play the violin every night – is beautiful. The DJ at the 18th floor nightclub was great as well.
-The Crown Grill Steak House is wonderful. We had out last meal there. You have pay additionally to dine there, but it was well worth it. The Crab Shack was worth doing as well.
-The beds in the cabins were comfortable. The bathrooms are tiny though. The cleaning service of the room was good as well.
-You are always running in this cruise. Many times you do not feel you are on vacation. Most of the best sites are far from the ports, requiring taking tenders and multiple buses to get to the best locations. Excursions can get very expensive as well. In some locations like Guernsey, the wait to deboard was very lengthy. The cruise was not very good about providing information in advance of how to best manage the available transportation options. There is a great deal of information that we had to find out on our own.
-The Crown Princess is a very daunting ship. It is huge and had 4,000 people on board. It was very difficult to find most places in the ship. The elevators were also very slow.
-The Tree House option for little kids was very deficient. I have a 6-year-old. They advertise this cruise as kids-friendly, but we did not find that to be the case. They have this fairly large playground for kids between the ages of 3 and 6, but you need to leave your child with the cruise care takers. The cruise care takers were very rigid and formed very quickly a negative opinion of our child. Every time we tried leaving him under their care, they were not very happy and indicated he was too hyperactive. We did not feel welcomed there. When we asked the cruise caretakers to let our child run and play more, they said that they prefer to have kids sit down and do arts and crafts. The sad part is that I wish they would have had an open playground that all kids could use under parental supervision, which was not the case. My child loves running and playing and he could not do this in the ship. This was very important since it was very cold outside for most of the cruise, which impeded my son from playing in the outdoors areas of the cruise or using the pool.
-The food in the cruise was very average. Our favorite was the Lido’s Deck. We did not particularly like the food in our assigned dining room, the Botticelli.
-The Laundromats were a disaster. The cruise advertises that it has laundromat services, but then there are washers and dryers in every floor that are broken. It is very complicated to find token machines as well. I had to dry my clothing three times in the same dryer. It is a clear strategy from Princess to encourage you to purchase their very expensive laundry services.
-We have all spent the week after the cruise sick with a respiratory virus and fever. My husband became ill in the ship and the rest of us became ill towards the end of the cruise. Even though the cruise takes measures to avoid the spread of diseases, it is very easy to come back ill.
Overall, we enjoyed our trip, but we want to make sure future travelers are aware of these negative aspects.