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It was our first time with Princess Cruises, having previously been with Ocean Village and Island Escape, (the cheaper end of the cruising scene) we were expecting Crown Princess to be a step up in quality. We were however, disappointed. Princess cruises seem to market themselves as being mid range quality in my opinion, but as far as I could tell, they were no better than the cheaper ships like Ocean Village or Island Escape. The ship itself was larger than any ship we have been on previously. The decor was ok, but a bit ostentatious, but it was clean and ok. It did look a bit tired though, with some peeling paint, rusty metalwork, fading fabrics, etc. In our cabin two bedside drawers had loose handles, one bedside lamp was very loose, and the shower curtain looked old and faded. The balcony handrail was peeling varnish and was starting to splinter, the balcony chairs looked old and were not clean. Service from the general waiting and bar staff was slow, they often seemed to be more interested in talking amongst themselves rather than serving customers. The service from our cabin steward was fantastic, he was great, very happy always smiling, enthusiastic and helpful, he could not do enough for us, it was a shame the other staff were not as dedicated as him. The staff in the two "premium" restaurants (Crown Grill and Sabatinis) were also much more attentive and cheerful than the general waiting and bar staff. On this ship there seemed to be lots of staff from Eastern Europe rather than the more usual Philipines staff, and maybe this is why the service was poorer? We witnessed members of staff actually arguing with passengers on several occasions over very minor things in the main buffet restaurant, slow service, the wrong beverage being brought, etc which I have never seen before. There was (apparently) a suspected outbreak of the Nova Virus on board after about the fourth day of this cruise starting, and the ship was in my opinion very good at dealing with this, they immediately increased the use of the alcohol hand cleaners, stopped passengers from serving themselves, (all serving done by staff), constantly reminded people (via announcements and the on board paper) to wash hands and this seemed to stop the spread. Food was disappointing. The choice of food was limited, with perhaps only six choices of main course, dessert, etc. In the two premium restaurants, the menu did not change at all for the whol 12 days! On our previous cruises (7 days duration) the premium restaurants changed there menus every couple of days. For a ship that markets itself as mid range I thought the lack of variety and the quality of the food was very average. Drinks were very expensive, premium lagers (Becks, Grolsh, etc) were well over $5 each, whereas on previous cruises I found drinks prices to be roughly equivelant to normal bar /pub prices. Entertainment on board was in my opinion lacking, the theatre style shows looked a bit jaded, were not very original and didn't seem to last long. These were often over subscribed, we had to get to most locations at least 15 to 30 minutes before the start date to be sure of a seat. The on board musicins were good, comedians were good, and there was also a hypnotist who was good (although he did do a rather hard sell of his DVD / merchandise also) which was a bit of a put off. Our cabin was a double with balcony, it had a safe, en-suite, plenty of storage, fridge, etc, but the lack of in cabin tea and coffee making facilities was disappointed (although room service was available). The ports of call were ok, but I think there are a lot of places this cruise could have stopped at in the UK which it didn't. The excursions were in my opinion very expensive and clearly aimed at the US market, despite the fact there was a large contingent of UK passengers, as well as German and Japanese. The one excursion we did go on was well organised but short and limited in content (Belfast). Generally we left the ship and did our own thing at most ports and ona couple of stops we arranged to hire a car ourselves to drive the local area. Eg: Greenock, (Glasgow), we hired a car for £35 and drove to Loch Lomond, Luss and Inverary Castle, and at Invergordon (Inverness) we hired a car for £50 and drove to Inverness, Loch Ness, Urquart Castle). this was much cheaper than the available excursions and we got see lots more in our time. Despire having some less than perfect weather and sailing some notoriously choppy waters (Irish Sea, North Sea, English Channel) the ship was fine, with very little movement. The ship is staberlised and most of the time you didn't realise we were moving. Overall, we were disappointed with this cruise. Don't get me wrong, it was ok and we had a good time. But, having been on previous cheap cruises, we were expecting this mid range cruise to be better in every way, (accommodation, service, food, etc) but in fact it was not better at all. Would I recommend Princess Cruise to friends and family? No. In future I would probably go back to the cheap cruises as I cannot really see what we are paying the extra for on this type of cruise?

Crown Princess UK cruise May & June 2011 not very impressed

Crown Princess Cruise Review by pjgtech

Trip Details
It was our first time with Princess Cruises, having previously been with Ocean Village and Island Escape, (the cheaper end of the cruising scene) we were expecting Crown Princess to be a step up in quality.



We were however, disappointed.



Princess cruises seem to market themselves as being mid range quality in my opinion, but as far as I could tell, they were no better than the cheaper ships like Ocean Village or Island Escape.



The ship itself was larger than any ship we have been on previously. The decor was ok, but a bit ostentatious, but it was clean and ok. It did look a bit tired though, with some peeling paint, rusty metalwork, fading fabrics, etc. In our cabin two bedside drawers had loose handles, one bedside lamp was very loose, and the shower curtain looked old and faded. The balcony handrail was peeling varnish and was starting to splinter, the balcony chairs looked old and were not clean.



Service from the general waiting and bar staff was slow, they often seemed to be more interested in talking amongst themselves rather than serving customers. The service from our cabin steward was fantastic, he was great, very happy always smiling, enthusiastic and helpful, he could not do enough for us, it was a shame the other staff were not as dedicated as him. The staff in the two "premium" restaurants (Crown Grill and Sabatinis) were also much more attentive and cheerful than the general waiting and bar staff.



On this ship there seemed to be lots of staff from Eastern Europe rather than the more usual Philipines staff, and maybe this is why the service was poorer? We witnessed members of staff actually arguing with passengers on several occasions over very minor things in the main buffet restaurant, slow service, the wrong beverage being brought, etc which I have never seen before. There was (apparently) a suspected outbreak of the Nova Virus on board after about the fourth day of this cruise starting, and the ship was in my opinion very good at dealing with this, they immediately increased the use of the alcohol hand cleaners, stopped passengers from serving themselves, (all serving done by staff), constantly reminded people (via announcements and the on board paper) to wash hands and this seemed to stop the spread.



Food was disappointing. The choice of food was limited, with perhaps only six choices of main course, dessert, etc. In the two premium restaurants, the menu did not change at all for the whol 12 days! On our previous cruises (7 days duration) the premium restaurants changed there menus every couple of days. For a ship that markets itself as mid range I thought the lack of variety and the quality of the food was very average.



Drinks were very expensive, premium lagers (Becks, Grolsh, etc) were well over $5 each, whereas on previous cruises I found drinks prices to be roughly equivelant to normal bar /pub prices.



Entertainment on board was in my opinion lacking, the theatre style shows looked a bit jaded, were not very original and didn't seem to last long. These were often over subscribed, we had to get to most locations at least 15 to 30 minutes before the start date to be sure of a seat. The on board musicins were good, comedians were good, and there was also a hypnotist who was good (although he did do a rather hard sell of his DVD / merchandise also) which was a bit of a put off.



Our cabin was a double with balcony, it had a safe, en-suite, plenty of storage, fridge, etc, but the lack of in cabin tea and coffee making facilities was disappointed (although room service was available).



The ports of call were ok, but I think there are a lot of places this cruise could have stopped at in the UK which it didn't. The excursions were in my opinion very expensive and clearly aimed at the US market, despite the fact there was a large contingent of UK passengers, as well as German and Japanese. The one excursion we did go on was well organised but short and limited in content (Belfast). Generally we left the ship and did our own thing at most ports and ona couple of stops we arranged to hire a car ourselves to drive the local area.



Eg: Greenock, (Glasgow), we hired a car for £35 and drove to Loch Lomond, Luss and Inverary Castle, and at Invergordon (Inverness) we hired a car for £50 and drove to Inverness, Loch Ness, Urquart Castle). this was much cheaper than the available excursions and we got see lots more in our time.



Despire having some less than perfect weather and sailing some notoriously choppy waters (Irish Sea, North Sea, English Channel) the ship was fine, with very little movement. The ship is staberlised and most of the time you didn't realise we were moving.



Overall, we were disappointed with this cruise. Don't get me wrong, it was ok and we had a good time. But, having been on previous cheap cruises, we were expecting this mid range cruise to be better in every way, (accommodation, service, food, etc) but in fact it was not better at all. Would I recommend Princess Cruise to friends and family? No.



In future I would probably go back to the cheap cruises as I cannot really see what we are paying the extra for on this type of cruise?
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