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Cruise Ratings
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Having traveled a number of years ago on Emerald Princess, I was keen to try out this much larger ship. It is interesting that from the outside, it does look a bit like a multi-storey car park, but once inside it is very easy to navigate ... Read More
Having traveled a number of years ago on Emerald Princess, I was keen to try out this much larger ship. It is interesting that from the outside, it does look a bit like a multi-storey car park, but once inside it is very easy to navigate and it takes no time at all to become familiar with the public spaces. We had deluxe balcony cabin M510 on deck 15. Well appointed and spacious, excellent functional bathroom and plenty of storage space. Cabin sound insulation excellent too. What I enjoy most about Princess are the informality and easiness, but the excellent quality of service and food & wine.All of the staff we came into contact with were delightful, very polite and helpful. Food in all areas was exceptional, especially the Crown Grill which is WELL worth the 29 dollar supplement.The enclave in the Lotus Spa is a wonderful place to relax and was certainly worth the 199 dollars for ten days. All in all, a lovely ship, with a lovely relaxed vibe and excellent customer service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Having sailed with several other cruise lines, I have to say that the service we received from every single member of the Princess team was first class. Better than we have ever experienced from any other company. That said, there are a ... Read More
Having sailed with several other cruise lines, I have to say that the service we received from every single member of the Princess team was first class. Better than we have ever experienced from any other company. That said, there are a few areas where Princess really let themselves down on this trip. The Sapphire is due for a complete refurbishment in the next couple of months so it was no surprise that it is looking a little tired. However, I didn't like the fact that they started doing maintenance work during our trip. There were a couple of areas of the buffet restaurant roped off while something was being done to some large cabinets, right by the entrance. They also did some painting on the top deck without putting any 'wet paint' signs up. We found this out when my wife happened to get paint on a brand new top she was wearing. Although an attempt to dry clean (free of charge) was made, the top was ruined and came back in worse condition. Sanding and varnishing work was also being done on some hand rails around the swimming pool, with guests in very close proximity. Other things that were not so good - The Captain was almost anonymous. The only time we saw him was when he made a very brief welcome speech. He was not seen by any of our party walking the decks or otherwise socialising with the guests. The only time we heard from him was when he announced an itinerary change caused by bad weather. None of the bars stocked slim line tonic water and the Horizon buffet restaurant was perhaps the poorest of its type that I have experienced in a dozen cruises. Apart from Horizon (the buffet restaurant), the restaurant food was of a good standard with plenty of choice most nights. We did try both the speciality restaurants during the cruise, with very different results. Sabatinis was excellent throughout. Great service and fantastic food. The Steakhouse however turned out to be a curtained off section of the Horizon Buffet. The curtains did not stop other guests walking through throughout the meal. We even had one person walk through in their pyjamas! This totally destroyed any ambiance, it was difficult to relax and worst of all, of the six main courses our party had, we had to send two of them back. I would mention two members of the entertainment staff. Ted, the Cruise Director and Amy, the Assistant Cruise Director. Ted is a lovely guy and clearly very intelligent, however, he is in need of a new script. His repertoire when speaking on stage is very unimpressive. "Give me an oooh" and Give me an aaah" does not go down well with a mainly adult audience, a significant percentage of which do not have English as their first language. And as for his jokes - I have never witnessed so many tumbleweed moments. On the other hand, Amy Alderson was a pleasure to know. She made every effort to get to know our group and was absolutely charming. A credit to Princess, I am sure a promotion will not be too far away, she deserves it and I am willing to bet that she tells a better joke than Ted. There were two very talented violinists playing each evening in the atrium. We certainly enjoyed their music, but would it have hurt them to smile occasionally? All performances in the theatre were of a very high standard. The dance troupe were excellent and the visiting artists all very entertaining. Especially David Knight, the Hypnotist. Our stateroom with balcony was comfortable, although I am sure that the shower was shrinking throughout the trip. There was certainly less room in it at the end than there was at the beginning. Perhaps it was me getting bigger!! Adrian, our Stateroom attendant was excellent, very helpful, always smiling and always in the background if we needed him. I did like the idea of the ship holding onto our passports throughout the cruise. They looked after most of the immigration issues, which made getting on and off the boat at all the different locations much easier. However, the issue with Cambodia and visa requirements was very poorly communicated prior to the cruise. This resulted in us spending more on a visa than we needed to, because we had unnecessarily sorted it out before leaving the UK. We only went on one excursion organised by Princess and that was in Borneo, to the Mari Mari museum. Excellent and would recommend. All the other excursions were organised by the company we booked the cruise through. The gym was very busy most mornings, so you need to pick your timings. There was a lack of cycle machines compared to cross trainers, but all equipment was in good condition All in all, a terrific holiday in which the staff of Princess contributed significantly to our enjoyment, for which I thank them. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We took our 12 year old grand daughter on this, our 3 rd trip around New Zealand. She had a wonderful time in the kids club and had a very special birthday there and at dinner. We do prefer the smaller ship size with easier access to all ... Read More
We took our 12 year old grand daughter on this, our 3 rd trip around New Zealand. She had a wonderful time in the kids club and had a very special birthday there and at dinner. We do prefer the smaller ship size with easier access to all decks and facilities. The change in itinerary was annoying and the shorter day in Auckland was disappointing especially with the long wait to get off. The first tender port organisation was terrible and our tour group should not have been told to meet on the wharf. We were included in the very long queue, even as Elite, and the bus had to wait for people to come on the next tender. I know of one inexperienced family missed their tour completely as they did not realise the time it would take. The return trip was no better with a very long wait in the sun. The next tender port was much better organised. When disembarking we had great difficulty finding our luggage. There were no signs for each group and ours turned out to be at the far end, past all the groups leaving later. The entertainment and the food was as good as ever on Princess with the waiting staff and room steward doing a great job. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told ... Read More
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told us that they sent Princess a list of our dietary requirements including the various foods items required. At our first dinner sitting there were no Vegan options on the menu and in speaking with the service staff we were informed that the only vegan protein they had available was Tofu. One of my biggest concerns in arranging the booking was that Vegan meals would be provided and there would be a variety of choice, I was extremely dismayed to find that there were no vegan options on any of the menus including the dining room. Further, the only protein source they had available on the ship was Tofu. It is my expectation that when I make a specific request for a Vegan Menu that this be provided. The Anytime Dining and the Buffet did not provide the ingredient list for their prepared items and there was no indication if the various dishes were Vegan or not. I would expect to have available meals that are prepared using organics, healthy oils, no refined sugars, etc. Vegan ingredients for the most part are easy to find and not expensive, alternative protein sources include Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Quinoa, Kale, Hemp Seed, and Chickpeas. As a result of the limited menu, I ended up with essentially the same meals each day, not what I was expecting. Why are there no Vegan dishes on the menu? Quinoa Salad, Chickpea salads, Kale Salads, Bean Salads, Lentil dishes, Chia Pudding, is often available in most restaurants as entrées, why would Princess not also have these available? Customer service by the staff on board the ship was exceptional, if Princess educated their chef and kitchen staff on how to prepare tofu entrées with flavor, quinoa salads, bean & lentil entrees they would open doors to customers that have special need diets as well as ones that choose to eat clean. Vegan entrees should be included on the menu. As well, this could enhance the wonderful vegetable & fruit salads in the buffet. I also would like to comment on the excessive number of sales pitches onboard the Princess, so many talks etc. were just there to sell a product and this was especially true of the fitness center. As an example one of the trainers presented on how to get flatter abs, with the comment that 50% is from Diet and Exercise and the other 50% from a detox product which they would be happy to have you purchase on a monthly subscription. They also stated that we all know about diet and exercise so he would not comment on this. I found this presentation particularly offensive as this information is just not true. There are absolutely no scientific studies that have shown a detox product to specifically result in a flatter abs. Flatter abs will come from diet and exercise alone and the assumption that everyone knows about diet and exercise is also wrong. I am very well educated in diet and fitness and yet know I still have much to learn and any information on this is always welcome. I also booked the Chileno Bay Sail and Snorkel in Cabo San Lucas and was under the impression that we would have 40 minutes of snorkeling time, at best only 15 minutes of snorkeling time was provided. The host were very good, but quite disappointing to have booked a snorkeling adventure and then only have such a limited time in the water. Much of the time was spent watching whales, which is fantastic, but this was a snorkeling excursion not a whale watching one. This was my first time on a cruise ship and I have to say I was quite disappointed with the level of food service provided. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because experiencing the Panama Canal was high on our list of travel, the timing was right with the winter break and we like Princess. There is a big difference between a full passage from Pacific to Atlantic or visa ... Read More
We chose this cruise because experiencing the Panama Canal was high on our list of travel, the timing was right with the winter break and we like Princess. There is a big difference between a full passage from Pacific to Atlantic or visa versa, with the interest in mind. Not only did we go through the locks, but we had narration almost the entire time. The old locks are amazing. Princess got a reduced price for passage and paid more to be the first ship to transit for the day and refunded everyone $67 each because of the savings. Ship was in decent shape. Food was good. Entertainment was good. The production were good and 3 of the 5 main entertainers were excellent. The lecturers were outstanding as well. Best part was that we met really nice people by participating in assigned dining and also used roll call to join groups that were planning non Princess shore excursions. The two things that kept me from giving an excellent rating on the cruise was sink water that did not get very warm (shower did) and my wife had a shoreline excursion that was not as advertised. The other excursion that we did together in Cartegena was great. Best of all, we dodged the December freezes. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience South America and Cape Horn. There were wonderful excusions on offer. Glaciers, lakes, penquins, guanacos, cormorants, dolphins, extinct volcanos, Ushuia, the southernmost city in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience South America and Cape Horn. There were wonderful excusions on offer. Glaciers, lakes, penquins, guanacos, cormorants, dolphins, extinct volcanos, Ushuia, the southernmost city in the world, Cape Horn, Faukland Islands, etc etc The food was excellent. Our outside obstructed view cabin was spacious and bright. The obstruction was a life boat that hardly obstructed our window. The special dining was great. The crew was perfect! Everyone bent over backwards to make us feels well cared for. We celebrated Christmas and New Year on board. There were Christmas decorations everywhere. We loved Agagio where we could sit quietly contemplating the sea while having a drink. Perfect Mojito there! We loved the music on deck 5 as well as the Tango Show. Share served great food. We had wonderful steak at Curtis Stone. We were sad to leave. The debarkation was surprisingly easy and well organized. We can’t wait to go back! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My experience with princess was one of the worst travel experiences i have ever had. It was my first experience with princess, and i will never patronize them again, and i will vociferously encourage others to avoid princess at all ... Read More
My experience with princess was one of the worst travel experiences i have ever had. It was my first experience with princess, and i will never patronize them again, and i will vociferously encourage others to avoid princess at all costs. I will be publishing this report to every relevant travel portal. Starting with the Ports visited: The ports were not bad choices, however port days were far too short except for curação. there wasn't enough time in each port to have a chance to walk around and have a chance to get to know the place. Excursions offered by princess were extremely limited and obscenely overpriced. i did not purchase any of princess' excursions. Trinidad was a hazard. i attempted to walk out into trinidad, as i had done with every other port, just to spend some time getting to know a little of the place. shortly into my walk i was stopped by a secret service police officer, who showed me her badge, and begged me to please turn around and go back to the ship and not continue walking, as i was walking into a death trap. i learned that a day or two prior to our arrival in trinidad, someone had been shot to death in the street of the city proper - near the port where we docked. Essentially, by running on only one engine and stopping in a port that was already known to be highly dangerous, princess was putting everyone at extreme risk. no warnings were announced at any time regarding these conditions in trinidad. It rained at every port, yet princess refused to provide umbrellas. The ship: We were running on only one engine for the entire journey. this caused the ship to suffer imbalance in the water. This fact was not shared with passengers. this was a fact that should have been shared with passengers as it is a hazard to run the ship on only one engine. princess is legally required to run ships and any equipment under the most stringent requirements of safety. running a 14 day journey on only one engine in international waters was extreme negligence on the part of the princess cruise company. We experienced extreme turbulence on the ship throughout journey, to the point that a man was thrown down and hit his head against a wall because of the rocking of the boat. Crew moved him into a seated position, which i understand was just an effort to try to help, but i have always been taught that in an emergency situation, never ever move an injured person before emts arrive to assess the injuries and proceed to treat the person. he had to be airlifted out by helicopter because of the injury. I am a pretty surefooted person and have very good balance as i am a dancer, and i was thrown so violently by the turbulence that i often tripped. In one such situation, i hit a banister hard enough with my hip to bruise it. Regarding running on one engine, if that one engine had failed, we would have been stranded at sea for an unspecified period of time before being located and towed to the nearest landing port. in addition to that unacceptable risk, with no engine power, the ballast pumps would have stopped working, and without that constant balancing of weight, the ship would list to one side, eventually capsizing. The staff: I experienced rudeness and disrespect most of the time. the front desk staff (except for a very few individuals), was an abomination to the phrase "customer service". my concerns and requests were consistently ignored, dismissed, or flat out refused. I commented to one front desk agent during a phone call that i had had enough of the attitude, and her response was that she wasn't "going to take attitude from me either". incredible. I was charged for things that i had never requested and never approved. I disputed these charges on disembarkation day. I was threatened with having security called on me. I was aghast. I have disputed the charges on my credit card. I could not believe how horribly i was treated. I even spoke with the agent, (named robyn), with whom i had had the original conversation about the charges. She threw me under the bus. She kept repeating that i "had signed it". She insisted that i said things that i did not say. She insisted that i knew things that i did not know. I could not believe that i was being treated with such reckless cruelty and disregard. I wrote at least 4 letters to the general hotel services manager during the voyage. no compensation was offered. no reply was made to me. i informed the general hotel services manager that i would be writing a full report, and that it was the responsibility of princess' staff to convince me not to. no action was taken. The food: Princess has the worst food i have ever had on any cruise line. holland is far better, ncl is far better, celebrity embarrasses princess by comparison. princess' food is absolutely piss poor in every sense. i heard this from many many many guests. Every papaya i asked for was rock hard. raspberries were never available. strawberries were clearly frozen and defrosted before being served - hence most of the time, they were inedible. I had to fight every time i asked for blueberries. cateloupe, honeydew, and watermelon were all consistently rotted/past ripeness, mushy, inedible. The "variety" of dishes offered was pathetically limited. again, ncl, celebrity, and holland all embarass princess on food quality and variety. Most food was obviously frozen and defrosted. all of the seafood was frozen and defrosted before serving, which made it all rubbery, dry, cardboardy, and flavourless. the selection was ridiculously inadequate. in a phrase, the food was absurdly bad. At sabatini's i had to send two dishes back because they were flavourless and insanely oversalted. I could teach the chef how to cook, and i am self-taught. most of the food on the ship was insanely oversalted, or insanely too sweet. I cook better when i am sick enough to be bedridden. Popcorn was not available except at only one hour during the day, and not accessible at any other time, no matter how many requests i made. The soft ice cream was grainy, watery, in a word, disgustingly poor in quality. the only flavours offered were vanilla and chocolate in soft ice cream. no frozen yoghurt was available. for an additional fee, there was hard ice cream available in vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. ridiculous. unacceptable. Drinks were inconsistent all over the ship. General: On embarkation day, the steward for my section barged into my room without knocking. i spent the day on lines 30 - 60 minutes waiting on each line, correcting screw-ups of the crew. Cabin: My bathroom was not working on embarkation day, and i was forced to walk out and use ship public bathrooms. my steward, after having barged into my room without knocking, offered only excuses about how he could not get my bathroom fixed because he was not the plumber. Cabin furnishings were outdated and dingy. I had been sent a message from princess before sailing, stating that i had been upgraded to a better cabin. I can't imagine what the worse cabin looked like. In my "new" cabin, the carpet was worn & stained. It was obviously very old. considering claims that the ship had been refurbished recently, it is obvious that absolutely nothing had been done with the cabin i occupied. The bathroom was filthy & had hair in it from the previous occupant. The balcony & deck furniture were filthy. There were stains on the bedside tables. There were pieces of small trash on the floor. the carpet did not appear to have been vacuumed. The shower had cracks & rust. my bed at home is way more comfortable than the bed in the princess cabin. Any time that i opened the balcony door, a panel in the ceiling howled. It was impossible to enjoy having fresh air in the room. I had to request extra blankets & the ones provided looked like they had been taken from a homeless shelter. One of the blankets had a hole in it. My bathroom did not work for a second time during the cruise. During the cruise the one single insufficient outlet in my cabin stopped working, which meant that i could not charge devices upon which i am dependent to run my life. i had to make numerous phone calls to the front desk to get this addressed. two (2) days after my phone calls to the front desk, i heard someone banging on my cabin door in the middle of day, claiming to be maintenance, and enquiring about my non-working outlet. Two days????!!!!!?? two days???!!!!!?? I told the maintenance person that i could not have him enter the cabin at that time, i needed privacy. i left my cabin shortly after that, and the steward for my section removed the privacy tag that i had placed into my door lock, and entered my room against my express wishes for privacy. things were removed from my cabin that i needed, and other things in my cabin were re-arranged against my wishes. i reported this to the general hotel services manager. No compensation was offered. Internet Access: It was obsecenely overpriced - - morally reprehensible pricing for an essential basic need for everyone. everyone must have regular simple easy internet now no matter where one may be. it is that simple. the price gauging for this is as morally reprehensible as price gauging for water and food. The internet barely worked. when it did, it would take copious amounts of time to get anything done, thereby eating up precious obscenely price-gauged minutes. Internet access is a basic need for everyone now, as are water and food, and should be available at no added cost for the entire ship. period. Entertainment/Gym/Fitness: There were not enough zumba classes. There should have been 2 (two) zumba classes per day (morning and afternoon/evening) - on every day - sea and port. There should have been more classes offered every day - not with extra charges - they should have been included. The gym should have been bigger. Club fusion was freezing cold all of the time. It was impossible to be there without wearing a coat. I wrote to the the cruise director, requesting more zumba classes. he disregarded my request about classes and did so in a quite indifferent unfriendly manner. One of the people who hosted karaoke was snotty and sarcastic with me. I don't remember his name. He hosted the voice as well. The karaoke library of music was extremely limited. None of the songs i looked for were in the library. It is one of the worst collections i have ever seen. The karaoke library had zero tina turner songs (and only one obscure ike and tina track, so what), it had no eurythmics, no pat benetar. The gym should have been bigger. Norwegian's, holland's, and celebrity's gym and spa areas are all much larger and put princess' dingy broken down jacked up "gym" and "spa" to shame. Because there were not enough classes, i needed the area where the mirrors were located to do my own series every day. but there were constant scheduling problems for me to do that, because that space was occupied throughout the day by princess' staff hosting money-bilking snake-oil-selling seminars. staff could have arranged to utilize other space for these "seminars" rather than constantly monopolizing space needed by those of us who really needed that space to maintain our fitness regimens. Spa: There were only 5 stone thermal beds for all of the guests who had spa access. i often could not get a bed, or had to wait for one. the spa, locker area, and salon were dingy and outdated. The aromatherapy steam room could only hold one person comfortably. Two people in that room would mean one would have to sit on the lap of the other. The sauna constantly stank of rotten eggs. I was in the sauna every day. It stank of rotten eggs every day. it was disgusting, but because i really needed the heat, i had to tolerate it by putting a towel over my mouth and having to breathe through the towel. the other steam/spa rooms were old, dingy, outdated, unappealing, and basically useless. The locker area was old, dingy, depressing. Folded towels on the shelves were frequently wet - - not fully dry. the spa robes were old, threadbare, and dingy. I was appalled at just how old, dingy, depressing, and totally unappealing or comfortable the entire spa was. Norwegian's, holland's, and celebrity's spas put princess to shame. It is embarrassing how gross princess' spa is. This is what princess calls a multi-million dollar refurbishment ?????!! Photographers: I tried to take some nice photos on nyeve, but the photographer could not have been less interested in helping me to get a good shot - - that i would actually be willing to buy. I did not buy any photos because they all sucked because the photographer did not care at all to help me get good shots, even though i asked and tried to get a few interesting looks. The photographer just rushed me to pose in the same stupid way that everyone poses. He would not help me to take photos that were uniquely expressing me, and would have been worth my money to buy. if princess wants to sell photos, photographers need to actually care about what people want, and take time to take photos that are genuinely desired. Casino: Scratch off games were entitled to a second chance via raffle on the ship. I bought several scratch off games, but the first time i bought them, the cashier did not bother to tell me that they had a second chance if i did not win anything in the scratch-off. i threw away tickets that i could have entered in the raffle. The second time i bought scratch off games, the cashier told me about the raffle. i returned to the first cashier to call him out on not telling me that i had a second chance to win something with non-paying scratch-offs, and he just gave me some dumb indifferent look. He did not care at all. i lost a second chance at the raffle for those scratch-offs because of his total indifference and lack of attention to customer care. I cannot believe that the majority of your employees on the ship are just like this. it is truly unfathomable. If that cashier had been in my shoes, he would have been extremely disappointed and upset. "Art" Gallery: "fine arts" ???? it was all trash. not a shred of "art" to be found. Medical: As with the internet, medical care is price-gauged, and minimal in scope. morally reprehensible. Disembarkation Day: As i stated above, i was charged for things that i had never requested and never approved. I was on the phone fighting about it starting at 5:30 am on disembarkation day. the ship was so extremely turbulent with only one engine, that i did not sleep at all during the previous night. I had to go down to the front desk to dispute these charges on disembarkation day. I was threatened with having security called on me. I was aghast. I had to make dispute and fraud reporting phone calls throughout the day to my credit card and other financial institutions. As i stated above, i even spoke with the agent, (named robyn), with whom i had had the original conversation about the charges. She threw me under the bus. She kept repeating that i "had signed it". She insisted that i said things that i did not say. She insisted that i knew things that i did not know. Even during my dispute with them over the charges, robyn took the things i was saying during that conversation and twisted them on me as i was speaking. my statements were completely disregarded. I could not believe that it was happening. Customs: There was a very long line to wait to pass through customs. Negative surprises: Everything from day 1 until walking off of the ship was a negative surprise. This is my report on princess' failure to deliver value for the fortune of money they charged me, on every level. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I was a little skeptical about this ship after reading a so so review by some people on cruise critic. Princess is Princess, so I had to think it would still be good. The Crown Princess is a little older, but still a fantastic ship. ... Read More
I was a little skeptical about this ship after reading a so so review by some people on cruise critic. Princess is Princess, so I had to think it would still be good. The Crown Princess is a little older, but still a fantastic ship. The service provided by the very friendly crew was wonderful. The food in the main dining room was great. The surprise was the food in the buffet, which provided wide choices and the quality of dishes some of which that you would find in a five star restaurant. I am sure that it is not easy to cook for thousands of people for a buffet, The food and the pastries were amazing. There was always a good choice of entertainment day or night. I love the Princess experience, because they spoil you and let you have your vacation as busy and fun as you want at your own speed. We have been on many cruise ships and cruise lines over the years. The Crown Princess was so much fun that we have decide to take another cruise on the ship in a few months. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This sea day intensive 8 day cruise was very relaxing. We chose this cruise because we have not been to Bon Aire before and were looking for something warm during our home state’s cold months. We set sail from Fort Lauderdale. I ... Read More
This sea day intensive 8 day cruise was very relaxing. We chose this cruise because we have not been to Bon Aire before and were looking for something warm during our home state’s cold months. We set sail from Fort Lauderdale. I will be as honest as I can. With that being said this is not our first time on The Crown and we are also Elite cruisers. We have noted a number of things have changed both prior and during the cruise. Our last cruise was just seven months ago to Alaska. We flew Delta Air going down and it was very easy and getting our luggage was very smooth. We could not get into the hotel we prefer to stay in so we were at Hilton on 17th just outside the marina. This was our first (and our last) time in this hotel. As you know there are many hotels that are quite expensive in the immediate area. We like just outside the port for many reasons. Everything is in walking distance and very convenient. Currently Carabbas has “happy hour” from 3-6 if you sit in the bar area and this includes drinks and appetizers for half price. You can easily eat your fill very inexpensively. Walgreens, Publix, Winn Dixie and a Ross is just minutes away so if you forget something you can get whatever you need. One of the best reasons to stay so close is that you can walk onto the ship yourself rather than pay for another taxi ride. If you aren’t taking a ton of luggage walking on will save you easily 20 plus dollars. We have in the past had a hotel tell us you could not walk on and wanted 20 dollars pp to ride to the port. Not true and a good way to save yourself a few dollars to spend elsewhere. Hilton was much more inexpensive than where we normally stay but we wanted to keep in the area. We saved more than 150 dollars per night, however, this hotel is showing its wear and Is lacking a bit of elbow grease. Staff were very effective but even the mini fridge in our hotel was not even working. In fairness, they did give us free cold drinks at the bar to compensate. There is Einsteins Bagels within a few minutes walking distance for breakfast and Starbucks next door. After walking up to the pier we were able to hand over our bags to the porter. They will ask you for a tip but will tell you it isn’t required. I asked a Princess Employee and they said a dollar a bag is pretty typical. Getting on the ship was super easy and dropping off your carry on’s is simple once onboard. Usually boarding after 1 pm your wait times are reduced. Once onboard employees will ask you if you would like one of the drink packages. From our own personal experience the coffee card is worth the thirty dollars you pay for it. We do not typically pay for the soda card because part of being Elite does set up a mini wet bar in your room and we don’t drink a ton of soda. The Adult Beverage package is almost 70 dollars per day and covers drinks I believe up to 12 dollars per drink. Do the math and decide how much alcohol you will drink per day as it may not be worth it for you to buy the package. The International Cafe always has wonderful fare and you can get a quick sandwich (warm or cold) along with soup or salad. Remember this location as i think you will visit it often. It is always open so if you are up late it may be the place to go. We had an obstructed outside cabin an it was wonderfully positioned on Emerald deck in the middle of the ship. Everything was super handy to get to. Crown Princess is a very classically appointed ship and doesn’t have a lot of the newer bells and whistles so it may not be perfect for young active kids. It is a very quiet, relaxing ship for us it has just the right amount of amenities. We choose to do the late traditional seating. The benefit of this is that your wait staff gets to know your needs and your likes and they strive to make you comfortable and satisfied. We have done “anytime” before and did not care for the constant reintroducing yourself to passengers and staff. Late seating gives you enough time to get back from the islands and prepare for dinner without rushing. Dining is pretty steadily good fare. We believe it is good enough not to pay the surcharge to go to the speciality restaurants. They have a wide variety of foods and a “standard” menu so if you don’t like what is on that night you can have steak or chicken or pasta instead. I am a vegetarian and cruise after cruise you know what is being served. It would be nice if they had a variety or changed up the menu. Some of the dishes are better than the others. My husband’s favorite night is the 2nd Formal Night where they offer escargot, lobster and prawns and Beef Wellington. They have removed things that I think were a bit spendy like soufflés. They only offer that once during an eight day cruise. Rolls are half the size of what they once were and rather than put out butter they sort of dole it out on an as needed basis. What we do enjoy about Princess is they are not afraid to employ comedians for their shows. We have seen some of the best comedians on these ships. Movies Under the Stars (MUTS) sadly is not what it once was. They used to have pretty close to first run movies every night but that is not the case anymore. We are not fans of the musicals and broadway productions. Sea days have many fun activities. We enjoy the trivia. There are plenty of pools and hot tubs. There are movies either outside at MUTS or in the Princess Theater. The cruise staff are quite interactive and put on different demonstrations. We enjoy the Martini demonstrations. But they also do food carving and have wine tastings. Whatever your pleasure. The choice of islands are usually very enjoyable. This cruise was Curacao, Aruba and Bon Aire. All of which were excellent. We did the Dune Buggies, Hato Caves and “Ostrich Farm”. The off road vehicles were wonderful and Princes caught the fact that we bought 2 tickets and you only needed one ticket for two people on this excursion which was very refreshing. The hike to the caves were absolutely worth it but arrival at the Ostrich Farm supposedly the tour “did not include tix to the farm” so we went to the souvenir shop at the Ostrich Farm and waited for the tour bus. This was very disappointing and telling the tour desk the fact that we were “there for 20 minutes” and no one else complained I guess means nothing. I guess when you advertise specifically for the farm if no one else says anything then it did not happen. Aruba had a beautiful tour that was on the Mi Duschi and included 3 snorkel stops, snorkeling over the WWII Antilla ship wreck, a hot lunch and a ship “swing” was more than fun. And finally at Bon Aire we did the glass bottom Kayaking to the marine “reef” was super fun. If you do this please have sand shoes or water sandals the shore is very rocky and sharp. You do about a 3/4 mile kayak up then swim an then back. It isn’t hard but you can’t be a total couch potato. The reef snorkel was amazing. I am not sure I have EVER seen so many fish and so many different types. All islands are very clean and the locals are wonderful. Our cabin steward was not up to par as they have been in the past. We like to tip upfront to ensure prompt and service that excels but this time that did not work. It was probably the most disappointed in service we have ever had. But dining service was above and beyond. We did eat at Sabatnni’s Italian this time. Service was great. But for the surcharge the food was not worth it. We would have had better food in the dining room. We ate at the Italian restaurant when they first opened these speciality dining rooms and the fun of it initially was that you would get a little bite of all the antipasta’s and got to taste more of what they offered. Now you order like you do at a regular restaurant and food was not impressive at all. Maybe the Crown Grill (Steak) would be different. The Pub Lunch they offer on two different sea days with British flair has always been good and I would recommend trying it. There is no cost on Pub Lunch days. There is now “Salty Dog” Gastro Pub in the evening for a couple of hours that has a surcharge but we did not try it. The fee was minimal (12 dollars I believe) so I would give it a try maybe next time. It was a great cruise. Very relaxing and worth every penny we paid. Knowing this I’d recommend this itinerary and ship. I would also like to recommend really sticking to a particular line for loyalty benefits. Elite (15 cruises) you get free mini bar set up, certain amount of free internet minutes, free dry cleaning, no waiting in lines, captains parties, free special hor devoures every night prior to dinner so something to strive for whichever line you choose. My husband and I enjoy Princess and we find it a very relaxing line. We can do as much or as little as we like but there isn’t pushing and shoving, small amount of children, you don’t see a lot of drunks it is just relaxing. Makes for nice memories and a great vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because we took a 5 star cruise on Princess two years ago. This cruise was especially important, because destinations Bonaire & Curacao are where we spent our honeymoon diving, 20 years ago. NEGATIVES: A ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we took a 5 star cruise on Princess two years ago. This cruise was especially important, because destinations Bonaire & Curacao are where we spent our honeymoon diving, 20 years ago. NEGATIVES: A cruise ship is a floating hotel. This review is one star, because the mattresses on this ship are SHOT. We paid $3,200 for a suite. Look at the images of our bed, and you will agree that this 'hotel' deserves this one star rating. Regardless how 4-5 star other features on the ship are, if you are sleeping in a 'boat-shaped' bed, tossing and turning all night, back aching, knees aching, it is a ONE STAR experience! The ship is to go in dry dock in March, and all mattresses are set to be changed. That just made us angry! BEWARE, if you have booked Crown Princess between now & March, you will be sleeping on shot mattresses. The ONLY thing Princess can do, to satisfy us at this point, is to give us an anniversary RE-DO, because we deserve it! AGE DISCRIMINATION: My husband & I are avid divers. We booked Princess dive shore excursions on this trip to 'recreate' our 3 week honeymoon in Bonaire & Curacao. We carried 70 pounds of dive gear on this trip, everything we needed except for weights & tanks, for four planned dives, two in Aruba, and two in Bonaire. Princess description of the Bonaire dives stated age 15-70. My husband is a very fit 64 year old Orthopedic surgeon. 36 hours prior to our planned dives in Bonaire, we found a letter on our door stating that Mike's dive had been cancelled because "as stated on our paperwork, 60 is the cutoff age." SO not only was our dive cancelled, they blamed US! Throughout the trip, I checked on Princess' description of the Bonaire Certified Dive Excursion, and it STILL read 15-70! Princess stated that the dive partner's insurance is the reason our dives cancelled. We dive all over the world. I do not believe this is true. Never have I ever seen on any dive liability form, an age limit. Divers fill out a detailed medical questionnaire. That, and fitness to handle your heavy gear are used to determine whether you are fit to dive. Princess has partnered with an excursion that practices gross age discrimination in Bonaire. SIXTY is especially crazy! Really? I would suggest that Princess find a different excursion partner in Bonaire, and I would also suggest that an additional criteria for certified divers, is that they submit proof of DAN insurance, a divers insurance that any avid diver carries. We pre-paid beverages. There is a 15 drink limit, which was not disclosed, but we never came close to that anyway!! In our case, we would have been better off just paying our bar tab. Once we figured out that we would need about 7 drinks a day to break even, we realized that in our case, this was not a good deal! SALES hits: The first two hours on the ship, I believe SEVEN Princess employees hit us up for a wine tasting. Once or twice was fine, but this was highly annoying. I was ready to put a sicker on my forehead that stated "I am not interested in your wine tasting"! Overall, we felt bombarded by staff hitting us up for sales features. INTERNET GRIND: We purchased 100 minutes (110) for $69. The band width is WAY too narrow to accommodate the number of passengers using the internet. The only reason I accessed the internet was to check on my elderly father every couple of days. I needed the entire 110 minutes to accomplish that. The minutes begin when you "connect" but you are NOT connected at that time! It grinds, and grinds, and grinds. It took me 15-20 minutes to access FB and check on my dad, and send him a little note that we were safe, each time I did so. POSITIVES: The Ship: Aside from the mattresses, we were very pleased with this ship & its amenities. I would be rating this a 4 star. 'MUTS' (Movies Under The Stars) is fantastic! One night mid-ship, they had a fabulous 70's style disco night and incorporated Love Boat theme. SUPER FUN! The bar areas are great, we especially frequented the aft bar and greatly enjoyed it! The gym is incredible, with a large selection of equipment, and all cardio-type machines are high and up front, providing majestic views of the sea. The ship has enough pool/bar areas that we never felt crowded. STAFF was just wonderful. From the front desk, to the excursion crew, to bar tenders, wait staff, our main dining staff. Just incredible. 5 Star all the way. Our cabin attendant was SUPERB. Her name is Maria, and we wanted to bring her home! She did her best to resolve the mattress issue, but the images below are AFTER her efforts! NOT Maria's fault. Aruba Certified Diving Excursion was AMAZING. We weren't taken to the beautiful, fragile reefs, and we did not expect to be. Having observed the lack of buoyancy control by many of the other ship divers, I understand fully why! BUT, they took us to two shipwrecks and both were VERY interesting and teeming with life. We actually saw THE biggest Green Moray we have ever seen on the second dive. It was at least 8' long, and just behind it's head top to bottom was two FEET thick! We also saw an octopus on that dive, a rarity in the daytime. I plan to review the operator separately from this. Big KUDO's! Once our dive trip in Bonaire was canceled, we did not book another excursion through the ship. We easily hailed a cab and took the scenic route past the salt flats & flamingos to Jibe City, a world famous windsurfing destination. We sat with our feet in the water drinking a beer, and had a fabulous time. All 3 ports were nice. Bonaire had the best shopping for gifts, really classy, not so much typical "souvenir" items. Port vendors in Aruba & Curacao will warn you that you won't find much in Bonaire. DON'T believe them! Read Less
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