1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Crown Princess
We have cruised several times and usually go Norwegian. We are a couple in our 40s, with 18 yo and 11 yo sons. We love NCL for the food and all the activities they have on board. We decided to try out Princess because we loved the 10 day holiday itinerary of this cruise. I knew it was a bit of an older demographic, but honestly said to myself "how bad can it be?" We travel a lot and always are able to make the best of any situation so I thought we could do without some of the amenities that other ships offer since we would be at port most days anyways... We just got home yesterday and I can say confidently that we will NEVER go Princess again. I have a whole list of issues with this cruise line, but to summarize: 1. Food was not good. We are used to knock-your-socks-off food with lots of dining options, specialty restaurants, etc... The buffet food was better than main dining room on most days. But the buffet was random, small and not great. For example... here is what the lineup was on one day for lunch and in this order: Black beans, indian butter chicken, steamed cauliflower, grilled zucchini, mashed potatoes, crock pot stew, creamed corn, steamed fish of some sort.... there were a few more items, but you get the idea... I wish they would have done something that made sense- a day of Indian, for example, with 3-5 Indian dishes followed by the mashed potatoes and regular American food options. Or how about a day of Chinese food, Mexican food, etc? It was like they pulled out whatever was in the fridge closest to them, warmed it up and slapped it down on the buffet line. Weirdest thing ever. And the buffet was TINY. My 11 year old lived off of grilled Hamburgers from the poolside grill for 10 days. The breakfast buffet was worse. The most watery scrambled eggs you've ever seen- reminded us of the free breakfast you would get at a Holiday Inn. No omelet station unless you found a crew member and specially requested it. Then it took 15-20 min to make (they prepared it in the back). Microwave bacon. Yuck. I ended up eating an English muffin with mystery jelly (it was never labeled on what flavor it was) and a bruised banana most days. They also only had two specialty dining restaurants and it was impossible to book a rez once on board. I luckily booked one night of specialty in advance, but once we were on board and realized the regular dining was not very good, we wanted to book more nights of specialty but couldn't. Oh and once on board, they advertised a one-night-only Crab Shack night (Which was extra $$ but we were willing to pay just to have something GOOD) but only had enough slots for about 30 reservations so they were booked by the time we called to get a reservation. Really crappy planning, in my opinion. 2. We were bored out of our minds. No water slides, no rock climbing wall, no ropes course, etc... we knew this cruise line catered to an older crowd and that these amenities were not on the boat, to be fair. However, I expected they would have some of the normal staples at least: Pool table, mini bowling alley, miniature golf, kids arcade, etc... Nope! They had a tiny golf putting green, but it is NOT a mini golf course. And the basketball court we were looking forward to was like a quarter court. Smallest one we have ever seen! And there was no dueling piano bar or any sort of entertainment like that. The comedian they had was mediocre. The best act they had was the vocal impressionist singer they had on one night. I've never seen more people sitting around a cruise playing board games and cards. It seems that everyone was bored! And we have never done more Bingo or did more trivia- we had to just to keep ourselves from dying of boredom. Also watched more movies on this cruise than ever before in my life. I don't think we have ever watched a movie on a cruise ship, actually. 3. They had a generator problem on the ship on the cruise prior to ours, so they couldn't go full speed and canceled one of our port days. So yes- we had to spend ANOTHER day on the dang ship with the same lame food and dying of boredom. They also trimmed time off of our St Thomas port, which interfered with our plans for that day. 4. They were an hour late into one our ports and the shore excursion we booked through Princess on Grand Turk sucked. It was a true cattle call type of experience. We usually book our excursions outside of the cruise lines and this was a good reminder of why. **The one positive thing about Princess is the service is really good. All of the staff we encountered were helpful, friendly and worked very hard. We do think in that respect, the service on Princess is a bit above the rest we have previously sailed on. Perhaps we have been spoiled by previous cruises or perhaps we just aren't the right demographic for this cruise line, but either way... we won't be back. We talked to other people our age on the ship and it seemed to be the same consensus. I felt bad for the families with children younger than ours- they were having a hard time it seemed. I just called and canceled the Alaska cruise we had for the 2020 summer that I booked a year ago. I am relieved! Never again!

Will never go Princess again

Crown Princess Cruise Review by darialynne

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We have cruised several times and usually go Norwegian. We are a couple in our 40s, with 18 yo and 11 yo sons. We love NCL for the food and all the activities they have on board. We decided to try out Princess because we loved the 10 day holiday itinerary of this cruise. I knew it was a bit of an older demographic, but honestly said to myself "how bad can it be?" We travel a lot and always are able to make the best of any situation so I thought we could do without some of the amenities that other ships offer since we would be at port most days anyways... We just got home yesterday and I can say confidently that we will NEVER go Princess again.

I have a whole list of issues with this cruise line, but to summarize:

1. Food was not good. We are used to knock-your-socks-off food with lots of dining options, specialty restaurants, etc... The buffet food was better than main dining room on most days. But the buffet was random, small and not great. For example... here is what the lineup was on one day for lunch and in this order: Black beans, indian butter chicken, steamed cauliflower, grilled zucchini, mashed potatoes, crock pot stew, creamed corn, steamed fish of some sort.... there were a few more items, but you get the idea... I wish they would have done something that made sense- a day of Indian, for example, with 3-5 Indian dishes followed by the mashed potatoes and regular American food options. Or how about a day of Chinese food, Mexican food, etc? It was like they pulled out whatever was in the fridge closest to them, warmed it up and slapped it down on the buffet line. Weirdest thing ever. And the buffet was TINY. My 11 year old lived off of grilled Hamburgers from the poolside grill for 10 days. The breakfast buffet was worse. The most watery scrambled eggs you've ever seen- reminded us of the free breakfast you would get at a Holiday Inn. No omelet station unless you found a crew member and specially requested it. Then it took 15-20 min to make (they prepared it in the back). Microwave bacon. Yuck. I ended up eating an English muffin with mystery jelly (it was never labeled on what flavor it was) and a bruised banana most days.

They also only had two specialty dining restaurants and it was impossible to book a rez once on board. I luckily booked one night of specialty in advance, but once we were on board and realized the regular dining was not very good, we wanted to book more nights of specialty but couldn't. Oh and once on board, they advertised a one-night-only Crab Shack night (Which was extra $$ but we were willing to pay just to have something GOOD) but only had enough slots for about 30 reservations so they were booked by the time we called to get a reservation. Really crappy planning, in my opinion.

2. We were bored out of our minds. No water slides, no rock climbing wall, no ropes course, etc... we knew this cruise line catered to an older crowd and that these amenities were not on the boat, to be fair. However, I expected they would have some of the normal staples at least: Pool table, mini bowling alley, miniature golf, kids arcade, etc... Nope! They had a tiny golf putting green, but it is NOT a mini golf course. And the basketball court we were looking forward to was like a quarter court. Smallest one we have ever seen! And there was no dueling piano bar or any sort of entertainment like that. The comedian they had was mediocre. The best act they had was the vocal impressionist singer they had on one night. I've never seen more people sitting around a cruise playing board games and cards. It seems that everyone was bored! And we have never done more Bingo or did more trivia- we had to just to keep ourselves from dying of boredom. Also watched more movies on this cruise than ever before in my life. I don't think we have ever watched a movie on a cruise ship, actually.

3. They had a generator problem on the ship on the cruise prior to ours, so they couldn't go full speed and canceled one of our port days. So yes- we had to spend ANOTHER day on the dang ship with the same lame food and dying of boredom. They also trimmed time off of our St Thomas port, which interfered with our plans for that day.

4. They were an hour late into one our ports and the shore excursion we booked through Princess on Grand Turk sucked. It was a true cattle call type of experience. We usually book our excursions outside of the cruise lines and this was a good reminder of why.

**The one positive thing about Princess is the service is really good. All of the staff we encountered were helpful, friendly and worked very hard. We do think in that respect, the service on Princess is a bit above the rest we have previously sailed on.

Perhaps we have been spoiled by previous cruises or perhaps we just aren't the right demographic for this cruise line, but either way... we won't be back. We talked to other people our age on the ship and it seemed to be the same consensus. I felt bad for the families with children younger than ours- they were having a hard time it seemed.

I just called and canceled the Alaska cruise we had for the 2020 summer that I booked a year ago. I am relieved! Never again!
darialynne’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Crown Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BA
Bed and pillows were actually very comfortable. Nice sized balcony. Room and ship overall, though, could stand an upgrade in furnishings/decor.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aruba
    Water was beautiful and company representatives were very friendly and accomodating.
    View All 13,797 Aruba Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Aruba Cruise Port Review
  • Curacao
    SUCH a fun excursion! We got to jet ski to the residential channels where we got to see all the beautiful, luxruious homes and boats. Snorkeling was mediocre as it was a cloudy day and there were other groups from different tour groups around, but would still highly recommend and would do it again!
    View All 13,797 Curacao Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Curacao Cruise Port Review
  • River Tubing
    So awesome! It was like tubing down the river in Jurassic Park. Super lush jungle and beautiful views. Tour guides were amazing. They kept everyone moving and would stage ahead of us to make sure nobody went down a rapid area the wrong way. LOVED IT!!!
    View All 32 River Tubing Reviews
  • Catamaran tour
    Would not recommend. They were an hour late getting us onto the boat, which meant we stood around for an hour in the sun waiting. The captain of the boat spent more time going over rules and talking than we did snorkeling. And they spent 15+ minutes going over how to use snorkel equipment, which ate into more snorkeling time. They take you to one snorkel spot and then drop you off at some empty little beach so you can sit on the sand or stand in the water for 30 minutes. They constantly tell you where you can and can't go (on the beach for example, we weren't allowed to walk more than about 100 feet away from the boat)... it's a true cattle call type of experience and we would not do it again.
    View All 34 Catamaran tour Reviews
  • Ziplining
    Great experience (And I am afraid of heights!)! Would highly recommend. They are very safety conscious and we never felt rushed. Exhilarating and the views are priceless!
    View All 51 Ziplining Reviews