13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We have been traveling since 1995 by Princess cruise line only except one time in 2001 we took a celebrity cruise . We hated celebrity cruise experience that year so we only use Princess for over 16 cruises now. We chose this cruise ... Read More
We have been traveling since 1995 by Princess cruise line only except one time in 2001 we took a celebrity cruise . We hated celebrity cruise experience that year so we only use Princess for over 16 cruises now. We chose this cruise because of the ports visited . The embarkation process was the best this time . As soon as we got into our Balcony cabin on 14th floor, we wanted to get out because we noticed stains in the toilet and some leak between the tiles in the bathroom floor from the grout. We told the steward at once . Next morning we both had severe back pain-being 75 & 79 year old- because of sagging bed. We told that to our steward too. We used to get very efficient hardworking steward except in the celebrity cruise(who was not even changing sheet everyday), but this time we were not lucky in Princess in this matter too. Of course ships started getting bigger and getting more passengers -good for bottom line- but service had become less . Last two cruises in Ruby Princess and in Royal princess we were spoiled by their friendliness , and service with smile . As we expected after seeing the conditions , there was "norvo virus " infection in this cruise. First time after taking so many memorable cruises we were counting the days to get out of this ship. Usually we used to feel sad towards the end of cruise. There was not enough help in the Horizon buffet once the self service was discontinued due to Infectious diarrhea-which was a good attempt to control the spread of infection. We always love "Princess cruises" until this time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this view as it was a repositioning with an excellent itinerary and the ports of call were better than expected. We loved Quebec and arrived 2 days early so we were able to explore more, but we will be back here probably earlier ... Read More
We chose this view as it was a repositioning with an excellent itinerary and the ports of call were better than expected. We loved Quebec and arrived 2 days early so we were able to explore more, but we will be back here probably earlier in the year this time to get longer days and possibly better weather. We took most of the tour with the cruise line and we were not disappointed. The New York one to the Statue of Liberty and Stanton Island was very overpriced, but as we docked in Brooklyn and not to long a stay, it was the best choice. We took an independent tour in Bar Harbor, with Ollies Trolley it worked out to be excellent and good value for money. I would definitely recommend this company and go on the same tour again. The only disappointment was that we were unable to visit Saint John's New Brunswick due to Tropical storm Phillippe as the captain made the decision for the safety of all. The Captain of the ship The Crown Princess, Captain Justin Lawes was exceptional and possibly the best on the cruise line. The entertainment was very good and the production shows with the singers and dancers was excellent. The cruise director was really good and very entertaining and skilled. This was an excellent cruise and would do it again but earlier this time Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose this cruise because of the timing and the itinerary - Quebec City to Ft. Lauderdale. I'm not sure what the issue was exactly but it seemed like we had to stand in line or wait in a dining room for so many events and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the timing and the itinerary - Quebec City to Ft. Lauderdale. I'm not sure what the issue was exactly but it seemed like we had to stand in line or wait in a dining room for so many events and facilities. Our previous cruise was on Regal Princess with more passengers onboard and we never had that issue. We are on a gluten-free regimen (allergy for me, my wife is a team player). This is new for me and I expected this to be an awkward and difficult process. Daniel, our head waiter, made this very easy to deal with and the gluten-free versions of most dishes were exceptionally good. I applaud Daniel and the Princess SOP for special diets. The entertainment was good to excellent. The song and dance team onboard was very good. The guest entertainers were good to excellent with the Elton John Tribute Show by Jeffrey Allen as the very best. There was a bizarre show by a couple who called themselves Kamikaze Firefly. It was funny but brought out my sixth grade boy self. Service in the Michelangelo Dining Room was usually excellent. Service around the ship was really very mixed. From poor to excellent. There were a number of crew who seemed ready to be off of the ship for awhile. We didn't do any shore excursions this time. Usually we do them at most ports. We had been to most of these ports and nothing really jumped out. We enjoyed the cruise and will do another Princess cruise soon. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Took this cruise to see what was left of the Fall Colors along the Eastern seaboard plus the Canadian ports which were new to us. Enjoyed Quebec City even in the rain and wind. Ship was docked right at Old Town. Other ports were fine. ... Read More
Took this cruise to see what was left of the Fall Colors along the Eastern seaboard plus the Canadian ports which were new to us. Enjoyed Quebec City even in the rain and wind. Ship was docked right at Old Town. Other ports were fine. We missed St. Johns, Newfoundland because of very bad weather. That's just one of the chances one takes while cruising. Enjoyed Boston and NY, NY. The ship, itself, is badly in need of renovation. On the outside, it's rusty and beat-up. Inside, there were lots of problems starting the minute we walked into our mini-suite. The smell of sewage was obvious and the room steward told us to be sure to run the water in the bathroom faucet before we used it as the water had debris in it. That was obvious when you opened the toilet and saw all the black particles that had accumulated. The sewage smell emanated from the toilet and even the closed lid did not keep it out. The bed center looked like a sink hole. It was many cruises and perhaps years since it should have been trashed. I tried it the first night and didn't sleep. Talking to our steward the next morning he said he'd turn it over and put a board under it. That worked for one night and then I never slept well again. Even tried the couch but it was no better. Food was OK but nothing special and service was sloooooow. Horizon Court food was cold and the variety was limited. And then the Norovirus hit. It was all over the ship and the trip wasn't quite the same after it became prevalent. Two at our table got it and were "isolated" in their cabins for one to three days. As we disembarked some poor fellow began puking right in the middle of the floor of the Wheelhouse Lounge which was our assembly point. Not a good ending but an exclamation point on the problem. We are elite with Princess and have two additional cruises already booked with them--a BtoB to Europe and cruise around the British Isles plus a 60 day Pacific Circle. Our last ten cruises have been on Princess. We did not experience anything like this on our last cruise and hope this is not a trend. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Very good accommodations and excellent food service and choices. Officers and crew were professional and personable. Program Director fun and outgoing. Crown Princess orchestra, dancers and singers first rate. Many other show headliners ... Read More
Very good accommodations and excellent food service and choices. Officers and crew were professional and personable. Program Director fun and outgoing. Crown Princess orchestra, dancers and singers first rate. Many other show headliners were second class and disappointing. Wish they had better program content and presenters for the three at sea days. Good tour variety but significant variation in quality of the four guides and destinations. Really enjoyed The Wake Show with Paul and Chrissy every morning. Most tours ended with delays because an individual or a couple neglected to return to the bus or prearranged meeting location by the assigned time. There needs to be very clear direction and consequences explained for delaying a whole tour group because of inconsiderate people. Wish the at sea days had some professionals making presentations for personal enrichment. Early seating dinners are often served so slowly that you can’t get to the theatre in time to get a seat for the 7:00pm Show. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Have always wanted to see Quebec and New England States. Next time I will choose a smaller vessel, and earlier time of the year to travel. The ship needed a lot of updating, especially the bathroom in the rooms. Much too old, too worn and ... Read More
Have always wanted to see Quebec and New England States. Next time I will choose a smaller vessel, and earlier time of the year to travel. The ship needed a lot of updating, especially the bathroom in the rooms. Much too old, too worn and too small. The dining in the restaurants were outstanding, the buffet was just okay and your choices were limited as far as main dishes and desserts (except cookies) all tasted store bought. Fruit was not ripe and the help was very nice. Entertainment was poor. Elton John was horrid. Comic had poor taste in jokes. The quartets about the ship were great. Our service was always top notch. Port excursion expensive. Getting off the ship was terrible--very steep, with no one to help you down.Lines very long to leave the ship. Again, thought the staff was amazing. Would not travel this large of a ship again and this old of a ship. . Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Itinerary was the determining factor. Quebec was VERY nice but rain was a factor. Rest of cruise OK but a hurricane interrupted a port call. We spent an extra day in Halifax, NS which was finne. Other ports nice. A balanced trip with port ... Read More
Itinerary was the determining factor. Quebec was VERY nice but rain was a factor. Rest of cruise OK but a hurricane interrupted a port call. We spent an extra day in Halifax, NS which was finne. Other ports nice. A balanced trip with port and sea days. The Canadian ports were friendly and mostly walkable. The ISA ports were OK but we have visited most of them before. Newport RI was scenic with their huge estates. New York was OK, but we prefer venues less crowder. We visited the Statue of Liberty which i consider a tourist trap. You can just walk around the statue because there is a two year wait to visit inside. Ellis Island was more memorable. Entertainment was sub par and the quality has been declining for years. Food was exceptional. Great variety, well prepared and nicely presented. Wait staff was efficient and gracious. The ship operational crew was excellent. Handled weather situation very professionally. Only used one shore excursion. It was OK, nothing outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We are a semi-retired couple from Toronto, Canada. This was our 25th cruise, only 3rd on Princess. We chose this based on itinerary, price, and our available time frame. We enjoyed a relaxing cruise, visiting new Canadian and U.S. ports ... Read More
We are a semi-retired couple from Toronto, Canada. This was our 25th cruise, only 3rd on Princess. We chose this based on itinerary, price, and our available time frame. We enjoyed a relaxing cruise, visiting new Canadian and U.S. ports (some for the first time), and the weather was warming up as we made our way southbound. We opted to travel by train from Toronto to Québec City on the embarkation day. We did not worry about missing the ship, since it stayed overnight in Québec. On the train ride we connected with 3 other couples joining the cruise. Upon arrival we bought wine at the nearby SAQ store and walked about 15 minutes to the terminal, where processing went smoothly. The terminal is modern, with free wi-fi, but the ramps to the gangway were too steep. Perhaps some equipment was not working properly and they had to resort to alternative methods. We met Alyson, our cabin steward, who was friendly, efficient, and took care of whatever we needed. He didn’t do towel animals, but left two chocolates on our pillow every night. The cabin E312 had obstructed Oceanview in midship. The lifeboat and overhang blocked 50% of the view, but it was not a big issue for us. The shower is tiny with an awkward curtain, the cabinetry is older and scratched up, but the bed and linens were wonderful and the blackout drapes let us sleep in. On occasion we were able to hear muffled conversation from the adjoining cabin or the hallway. The lighting was adequate (no night light in the bathroom) and storage ample and easily accessible. The ship offered an excellent app for our cell phones called “Princess @ Sea”. You connect with the ship’s wi-fi network for free and can access the daily activities, check account balance and transactions, send messages to other members of your party and more. All food and beverage services were very good. Service was attentive and anytime dining around 7:00 pm with table sharing worked well for us. We purchased one Coffee Card with onboard credits, and it lasted us for the entire cruise. The food was plentiful, ranging from average to very good. Breakfast at the Lido was more awkward, especially if you order an omelette. You place the order, get a slip with a number, then when you find a table to sit down you give one of the waiters your slip and he goes back to collect your omelette and bring it back to your table. There were many servers around at all times and tables were quickly cleaned up after use. Princess offered two “Happy Hour” events. 3:00-4:00pm at the Wheelhouse bar, and 10:00-11:00pm at the Skywalkers Lounge. You buy one drink and get a second one for $1.00, plus 15% gratuity. Prices were affordable, with most wines in the $7-$8 range, and most beers at $6. The nightly entertainment was also very good, as was the music throughout the ship. Production show “Encore” and the soul singer Teacake deserve special recognition. The crew was friendly, polite and did not push hard to spend more on drinks or bingo like on other cruise ships. On the negative side, we missed an indoor or covered adult pool area especially during the initial cold and rainy days. Also there were two unfortunate events which need to be addressed. Tropical storm Philip forced an overnight stay in Halifax and skip St. John, New Brunswick. And a Norovirus outbreak made it challenging for passengers and crew. Both issues were handled professionally and with transparency by the Captain and his officers. The daily activities would wind down every evening around 11pm, attesting to the guests demographic sector which was mostly retired people, many in the 70’s and 80’s. While the Cruise Director was just average, there were enough activities to keep us busy during sea days – movies, wine tasting, shopping, etc. but there was no excitement and exuberance. Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was well organized, and there were ample taxis and vans outside. We shared a metered taxi to the airport ($15 plus tip). In summary, a nice cruise and thankfully we managed to avert any Norovirus symptoms. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Chose this cruise because of the length and ports. Cabin was great (inside). Food was good in the Horizon Court with variety - [compared to the Caribbean Princess' Marketplace (which was horrible)]. The pastry chef did a ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the length and ports. Cabin was great (inside). Food was good in the Horizon Court with variety - [compared to the Caribbean Princess' Marketplace (which was horrible)]. The pastry chef did a fabulous job - the pastries not only looked fabulous but had flavor. Anthony, our assistant buffet steward - was an absolute gem. Our Captain Justin Lawes, was terrific as usual, as we had sailed with him before (unlike other captains that you never see or can't understand the announcements due to their broken English or not using the microphone properly), he goes around and talks to people, did an interview in the International Cafe, and keeps the guests informed. The Captain took care of everyone, as we had to miss a port (St. John's) due to a hurricane and stayed overnight in Halifax in order to stay out of the wind and rain. For a repositioning cruise, this was good in all aspects, as we have been on several and the atmosphere or how staff treat you or the food or all of them have played a part in previous repositioning cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I/we have been on a dozen cruises, 3 or 4 with Princess. I choose cruises based on location and value, not loyalty programs Value does not usually mean least expensive. Crown Princess:  Staff all very friendly, helpful, efficient  ... Read More
I/we have been on a dozen cruises, 3 or 4 with Princess. I choose cruises based on location and value, not loyalty programs Value does not usually mean least expensive. Crown Princess:  Staff all very friendly, helpful, efficient  Good things: Food variety and prep Fresh baked chocolate donuts at International cafe were great. Tendering operations Bar Harbor were as smooth as I've seen. Ship was clean and well maintained. Bad: All cakes and cake components were dry- reminded me of freeze dried food. No hot chocolate packets on ship. All ice cream - soft serve and in dining rooms tasted like ice milk. No cream. The Crown Princess is not good for chilly weather cruises. The open decks were almost unused resulting in severe overcrowding below. We got a window table just once in  many meals at Horizon/Caribe areas and could not find a lounge with seats for a pre-dinner drink. I've been on bigger and smaller ships, with many more people and many less. Only one other Celebrity cruise felt this crowded. Some good, some bad: Entertainment - two production shows were good though magic one seemed a little over the heads of this ship's guests. It's ludricous to have to be in place an hour in advance (to get a seat) for a 35 minute show. Late show just as crowded. Also the theater seating is almost flat so short people only can see between the heads of others. Other entertainers in the theater were average to poor. Walked out of 2.  Never attracted by the sound of any of the lounge singers. Excursions. Did several more ship excursions than usual and they were handled as well as possible considering there were probably 250 people signed up for each one. Ship activities. Not much to do. There was no enrichment program at all. Staff games were of little interest. Miniature golf is a joke - one large patch of green carpet with some holes. Gym was nice and not used much by this crowd. Overall, it was a good cruise with a great itinerary. Worthwhile? Definitely. Do it again on this ship? Unlikely after enjoying better ships.  Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Overall the cruise was wonderful, but the ship itself shows a lot of wear. Carpets need to be replaced and the theater where all the shows are can barely handle this size ship. Needed to get ther 45” early just to get a seat. ... Read More
Overall the cruise was wonderful, but the ship itself shows a lot of wear. Carpets need to be replaced and the theater where all the shows are can barely handle this size ship. Needed to get ther 45” early just to get a seat. Entertainment wasn’t that great either. Food was good, not great but plenty of choices. Shrimp cocktail is very small. Average food quality but for Princess I would say below average. We hadn’t taken Princess in 20yrs and decided to try it again, can’t compete with the higher end lines at all. Can’t stand the constant picture taking and then they are all printed and exposed. Embarkation went very well and was extremely organized. Getting off the ship was super easy too...we just walked off with our luggage. We had the beverage package and that was the best deal onboard. Also liked that the server greeted us by name both at the bar and at the dining table. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Enjoyed the cruise with 40 friends and neighbors from our Del Webb 55+ community. Were interested in visiting Quebec, other Canadian ports, and Maine during fall foliage season. Don't know we would have chosen it otherwise as we ... Read More
Enjoyed the cruise with 40 friends and neighbors from our Del Webb 55+ community. Were interested in visiting Quebec, other Canadian ports, and Maine during fall foliage season. Don't know we would have chosen it otherwise as we much prefer smaller ships, e.g. Oceania and Viking Oceans. Best meal of the trip was in the Crown Grill - a really tasty ribeye. Nothing at all special about Horizons buffet, main dining room (Botticelli), or Sabatinis. We ate at 5:30 most evenings and felt rushed as they needed to make room for second seating. Also no wine steward so our drinks were often late arriving. When we were back from excursions early enough, we went to Crooners Bar for drink before dinner and then just ordered one glass of wine as soon as possible when we sat down for our meal. Seemed to help when we didn't order more than one drink. Often arrange our own excursions, but did take advantage of several offered by Princess. Enjoyed the Sugar Shack the first night on ship; Lulu Lobster Boat in Bar Harbor; and Kennedy Library and John Adams House/Library in Boston. Tendered in just one port - Bar Harbor - and that went very smoothly. Can't really comment on the entertainment. Our days were so full, we were in bed fairly early. Those in our group who had been on other Princess ships, however, said the Crown productions/shows were disappointing. On the 2 at-sea days, they scheduled cards and Mah Jongg early afternoon in the Botticelli Dining Room. The Princess had sets available, but it took a bit at the start to find a complete set. Would also have been nice to have a waiter bring us drinks but we were on our own until they finally set up a water cooler with cups. Were very comfortable in our cabin (see below). Starboard, we had a fabulous view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Manhattan from our balcony the morning we disembarked. Really looking forward to being back on Oceania Riviera next May. Will also definitely visit Nova Scotia and Maine again, but on a driving trip where we can spend more time in each area. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
we chose this cruise as we wanted to expirience the canadian ports. We loved all the ports we made it to. we had been to a couple before so we just did our own thing but it was still a blast. wish we had more time in some of the ports ... Read More
we chose this cruise as we wanted to expirience the canadian ports. We loved all the ports we made it to. we had been to a couple before so we just did our own thing but it was still a blast. wish we had more time in some of the ports as we did some tours and felt a bit rushed through the area, but i guess that means we will just have to go back again! our waiter in the early mdr was awful and we said so in our survey. he seemed as if he didnt want to be there, spilled water on us several times and huffed if we asked for something, cheese on the pasta etc. we ran into a couple of staff like that, and we had seen some reviews where people were saying the staff were hit and miss and had attitudes. This may be because of management but i would say it has not changed. There were a couple oustanding workers whom we recognized and then the rest just seemed to be doing bare minuimum to do their job which is not the princess expeirience i am used to. i said all of this in my survey to princess as well. overall we didnt let the staff that sucked ruin our cruise, but was it as great as it could have been, no. but we still had a blast and loved our trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise to see the fall colours and we were rewarded even though the season is late this year. The places we visited were all fantastic and we would visit them again. The down side of this was visiting so many ports without a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the fall colours and we were rewarded even though the season is late this year. The places we visited were all fantastic and we would visit them again. The down side of this was visiting so many ports without a break left us very tired. The ship was kept a lot cleaner and in better condition than Star Princess. The restaurant was great and the food excellent. The buffet was inadequate and needs to be reconfigured so that food is served behind glass. At present it is a health hazard. The organisation of excursions varied from disastrous to excellent. A few were 'meet on the docks' along with twenty other excursions in a small space with hardly any seating or standing room and a race for the buses when announced. A lot of pushing in was allowed causing upset. Overbooking led to people being excluded from the excursion. With so many ports there was little time to be involved with the ship's activities. The theatre was too small and the times for performances were ridiculous. The first performance should be during the first sitting for dinner, not after. result was an overlap of people from first and anytime diners going to dinner later al,l vying for seats at the same time. The second performance at 10 o'clock was not full. We were only able to see one show. The room attendants and the restaurant staff were excellent and work very hard. The passenger service staff were not very friendly and had problems UNDERSTANDING and speaking English resulting in poor service. In general, the cruise was great and I could thoroughly recommend it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We are avid cruisers and have cruised on Princess before, enjoying our trips, not so much this time around. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, no complaints there. Our balcony cabin was mid-ship on deck 10, a favorite of ... Read More
We are avid cruisers and have cruised on Princess before, enjoying our trips, not so much this time around. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, no complaints there. Our balcony cabin was mid-ship on deck 10, a favorite of ours. There was plenty of storage space for both all of our clothes and toiletries. The cabin, especially the bathroom could stand updating. We couldn’t believe the small dingy shower that still uses the awful plastic clinging shower curtain. My husband and I are not large people, and we still had a hard time showering without the banging of our elbows and girls forget about shaving your legs in that cramped space. One morning at 1:30 AM, we were awakened by the strongest odor of bacon grease filling our cabin ! It was coming through the ventilation system. I called down to customer service and was told that they would send a maintenance person up to see what the issue was. I replied that it was a ship ventilation problem and not something that some maintenance person could fix in our cabin. The next day I went to talk to customer service and asked if we had been the only cabin to complain of this smell and they said no, there were a few of us. The other issue was that for the entire week a strong mildew smell was present in the hallway by the laundromat. Their answer was to run a fan 24/7! This did not help and we felt badly for those staying in the cabins near by. We ate at both specialty restaurants, not worth the up charge. A table of 8 that sat by us at Chops Grill sent 1/2 of their steaks back because they were so tough that the steak knives could hardly do the job! Most nights in the main dining room we had a very hard time ordering something that sounded appealing- most ships you wAnted to try 2 or 3 entrees. Disappointing to say the least. The entertainment was mediocre, think high school quality. We will think twice before going on another Princess cruise unless they make some changes to improve on a number of these issues. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our 5th cruise on Princess DH and I are in our early 60s and were on the lower half of the age group demographic present on the ship. Our cruise was wonderful, but like all cruises (and all land trips), there are things that were ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on Princess DH and I are in our early 60s and were on the lower half of the age group demographic present on the ship. Our cruise was wonderful, but like all cruises (and all land trips), there are things that were great and things that were not so great. The not so great things we shrugged off and enjoyed ourselves! We had anticipated cool, rainy weather due to the time of year. We were very surprised and delighted with very little rain and sunny and warmer than average temperatures for Autumn. We made good use of our balcony. We flew to Quebec City on 10/3, rented a car at the airport and stayed at the Quebec City Marriott Courtyard. It is a newer hotel outside of the main tourist area of Quebec City so has a cheaper rate and free parking. Bars and Entertainment: We didn’t go to any of the production shows in the Princess Theater. Since this was a very port-intensive cruise, our time on the ship was spent in the bars or the Piazza enjoying whatever entertainment was going on. For whatever reason, on previous cruises, we had never been to Vines. This trip (especially since we had the AIBP from a Sip and Sail booking), we made up for that and it was our favorite place for a pre-dinner glass of wine. The unexpected thing was that apparently the Canadian government only allows one bar per deck to be open while in port. Since we often had late port times, Vines and the Outrigger (another favorite), among others were only open after sail away from Canadian ports. Not a big deal, but it is nice having the Outrigger open for its convenience from our stateroom. Our favorite band was “The Main Offenders” which featured a lead singer whose voice reminded us of Cher. Due to the age demographics on this cruise and the many ports, we often found ourselves among only about a dozen people in the bars after 10 P.M. This seemed kind of too bad for the musicians often playing to an empty room. There was also a pianist /entertainer Kory Simon in Crooners several evenings who ‘packed’ the bar as he was very good at getting his audience to participate. There was a BOGO $1 generally twice a day at 3 PM and 10 PM., but since we had the AIBP, we avoided those….On Sea Days, we enjoyed the quiet and comfortable chairs in Adagio (the bar wasn’t open), for reading, etc. Dining: Since we had decided on this cruise we just wanted to eat at tables for 2 in Anytime Dining and that seemed almost impossible on our last cruise, I decided to try the reservation route. It worked great! I called each morning at about 8 when the Dine Line opened…which wasn’t always promptly and sometimes I was On Hold for 5 minutes or so. It seemed like the people letting us into the dining room each night were trying to convince people they preferred people to make reservations. It just turned out that we found 7 PM to be our ideal dining time this cruise. This was mainly due to busy port days, enjoying sail aways from ports and enjoying Vines before dinner. I was always able to make a reservation around that time. When we went to the Dining Room, we only waited a couple of minutes to be seated. Only one time did they give us a beeper and even then, I think we waited about 10 minutes. Dining service started out being quite slow, but seemed to get more efficient the farther into the cruise we got. I don’t know if that was due to different wait staff or really late port times causing the dining room to not even seem full some nights Before going on this cruise, I had read a bunch of bad reviews about the Crown. I guess everyone has different viewpoints. Each to their own…There were many crew members who were so friendly and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. I don’t know if it was because this cruise was so port-intensive or why, but we almost always felt like it wasn’t crowded at all. We began to wonder if people were either in port or napping when they were on the ship! The Horizon Buffet was one of the few places sometimes crowded, but since we had such nice weather, we generally brought our plates to the tables by the Pool. We loved the Crown and are really happy that our cruise in the Mediterranean next summer is also on her! She is now my new favorite Princess ship! Ports: When we cruise, we like to DIY the ports when possible. However, we have also been on some wonderful Princess excursions and sometimes they are easier since you know they will get you back to the ship on time. Since our ports this time were all in Canada and the U.S., it made it easier for us to DIY most of them. Saguenay, Quebec- This is a fun port on arrival. I think half of the town turns out to welcome ships. We were able to watch from our balcony as the people sang and danced and were dressed in period costumes, sawing logs and shouting to people to come down and join them. They were also giving out blueberry pie. Our excursion wasn’t until later in the morning and they were done with all their festivities by the time we left the ship. If we would have known this, we would have gone down there prior to our excursion time. This was the only port that we took a Princess excursion. The excursion we took was a Hike in Saguenay Fjord National Park. We took a school bus about an hour’s drive to the Park. Once we got to the Park, there were restrooms that could be used before the hike. Unfortunately, there were so few restrooms, that this took much of our very precious time for the hike. There were about 40 people on the bus and they split us into 2 groups of 20 for the hike. The verbiage of the hike indicated that it was an “Intermediate” hike though it was marked as “Strenuous” by the markings Princess uses for its excursions. Our guide was a younger man who had been doing the hike all summer. (I think it is the same hike regardless of the cruise line.) He went quite quickly, which was too much for many people in our group, so many ended up just stopping and waiting for everyone to come back down. The views we did see were nice, but we needed to move so quickly it seemed like our focus was on the hike and not the views. We didn’t get as far as the highest point where we would be able to view the Notre-Dame-du-Saguenay statue, as indicated in the description. In fact, according to our guide, ‘everything’ has to go really well and they have to go really fast to make it to that point! What? So…why is the description written as it is? I am glad we went on the hike, but I think there needs to be more time allowed to do it since this cruise has a lot of older people, many of whom would be able to do the hike if there was more time available (and more restrooms so time isn’t wasted). It was a good hike….but could use some improvements Charlottetown, PEI- Unfortunately, this port was a Sunday and the only car rental agencies open are at the airport. It was easy to get a cab from the port (though the cab driver would have preferred we just book him for the day) and about a 15 minute ride. We would have had to call for a cab when we returned the car as they normally aren’t just sitting at the airport. However, we got lucky and one was there dropping off someone, so we got to take it. We had a longer port time of 9 AM to 7 PM which was nice so we didn’t have to rush to get back. I am not a big Anne of Green Gables fan and DH had never heard of her, so our focus was really PEI National Park and the Central Coast drive. We didn’t drive the whole thing, we headed north from the airport and around to the middle of the island where we looped back to Charlottetown. We enjoyed getting out and doing a little walking on the beaches at several points. Sydney, Nova Scotia-It was Canada Thanksgiving Day---which proved to be a bigger issue than anticipated. There were very few cab drivers at the port willing to take people to the airport. They all wanted people who would book them for the day. We finally got a cab driver willing to take a group, so we shared a cab with another couple and one single person. When we returned the car and tried to get back to the port, it was even worse, calling the cab company 3 times and finally sharing with another couple who had been waiting for 45 minutes. One might want to consider this if porting on Thanksgiving…. We drove to Baddeck, stopping at a couple of beautiful scenic overlooks on the way. We made a brief visit to the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site (though one could spend hours there). Most of our time was spent on a hike to Uisge Ban Falls. It was located about 15 km from Baddeck. It was a nice hike, not a lot of elevation, but the trail had lots of rocks and tree roots in it. At the end, to see the falls, you had to scramble up some rocks. The falls were nice, though there wasn’t a lot of water going over them at the time. Halifax, Nova Scotia- Finally, a port where we could walk for 10 minutes to get to our rental car. There were rental cars really close to the port, but we rented from Budget which was a bit longer walk, but I got a better rate. We drove to Peggy’s Cove which was a pleasant drive and a nice place to visit. Our port time was only until 5, so we then drove back to Halifax and walked on the Harbor walk after dropping off the car. Saint John, New Brunswick-It was a 15 minute walk to our rental car. The port time matched nicely with low tide in St. Martin where we drove to see the Sea Caves. There was a small ‘stream’ we had to walk across to get to the caves. Fortunately, we had worn our waterproof hiking shoes. We then drove on to the Fundy Parkway which turned out to be our favorite DIY excursion. Technically, it closed after Thanksgiving, but I had read online that it might be open due to the cruise ships in port. I contacted them via email from their website and fortunately they were going to be open! There were very nice views and one could take as many hikes as time allowed. It was also very quiet. Often, we were the only car at many of the parking spots. Bar Harbor, Maine-The 2 cruises prior to ours had missed this port due to rough waters since it is a tender port. We had a lovely sunny day. Our port time coincided well with the tides, so we were able to walk out to Bar Island (only accessible by foot at low tide). Once on Bar Island, we hiked up the hill to the wonderful view of Bar Harbor. Once back from there, we followed the path along the waterfront which got us to a nice view of our ship. We then wandered around town a while and then went back to the ship. Boston, Massachusetts-Our port times were 7:00 AM – 9:00 PM which is nice to allow people to do what they want without feeling rushed. We decided to avoid the rush and slept in a bit, getting off the ship a little after 9. We walked to the “Design Center’ bus stop for Silver Line 2 to South Center. We paid our bus fare of $2.75 on the bus to the driver. It was a little more confusing coming back (though we managed) as we had to use the machines in the station to get the Charlie ticket in order to pass through the turnstile. We had a great bus driver who asked if we (us and one other couple) were all going to the ship. When we told him yes, he let us off closer than the stop we had used in the morning. We spent our day walking on the Freedom Trail, starting near Boston Commons and going as far as the North Church. We shopped and had a bite to eat in Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because Princess offered two new ports in Canada we had not yet visited, and we loved every port, especially Quebec. In Saguenay don't miss the Fabuleuse cultural show. An amazing experience. We took ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Princess offered two new ports in Canada we had not yet visited, and we loved every port, especially Quebec. In Saguenay don't miss the Fabuleuse cultural show. An amazing experience. We took independent excursions with locals in Charlottetown and Sydney and really enjoyed being able to stop and take photos whenever we wanted. We also enjoyed three of the four Princess excursions we booked. In Bar Harbor we booked a van tour of the SE Harbor area since we'd been to this port twice before. However, the local van driver the ship used should only have taken 8 not 10 people, as my 6' tall husband and I spent the day climbing in and out of the back seat over a wheel well that was a foot high! Not good. Princess gave us a partial refund for our trouble but I would NOT recommend a small van tour anywhere--period. The other van used on this excursion had the same issues in its back seat. We enjoyed open seating dining and after the first day or so it was easy to walk up and not have to wait too long for a table. Our cabin steward, Grace, did an excellent job and was so very sweet and helpful. Overall the food was quite good in the dining room. The buffet was also surprisingly good. The entertainment was pure Princess-style Broadway show, but I LIKE that kind of entertainment! Dancing and singing were wonderful. The individual performers, like the ventriloquist/singer, were also excellent. I would definitely sail on Princess again but we decided 3,000+ people are a little too many for us and we would chose a smaller ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
As we were doing a big trip we decided to get an inside cabin in order to economise. It was very dark in morning unless we left the TV on with ship cam. An interior cabin is OK if you want to sleep in. We couldn't tell whether it ... Read More
As we were doing a big trip we decided to get an inside cabin in order to economise. It was very dark in morning unless we left the TV on with ship cam. An interior cabin is OK if you want to sleep in. We couldn't tell whether it was night or day. We could also hear pool chairs being dragged across the deck above at certain times of the day. Our next cruise is from Barcelona in May. We are in a balcony again. The food in Horizon Court is always nice. We much prefer eating breakfast there (very good selection) and sometimes lunch rather than dining room. Pizza outlet great. Also outlet which serves burgers and hot dogs. We usually attended the dining rooms for dinner. We don't attend formal nights as they don't really make a special occasion of the meals in the restaurants. The gym was usually pretty crowded and not many bikes available. We always use the self serve laundromat on board. Boticelli restaurant has lovely afternoon tea. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose the cruise for the itinery, which was great, although very tiring! But the ship was not so good, in need of refit, standards dropped, become very casual in fact. I think I was the only solo traveller, therefore no way of meeting ... Read More
I chose the cruise for the itinery, which was great, although very tiring! But the ship was not so good, in need of refit, standards dropped, become very casual in fact. I think I was the only solo traveller, therefore no way of meeting like minded people. Princess only put a get together for 'independent' travellers on at 9am, to go in port together, but I attended, but no one else, as people tended to have arranged tours. I did find on last day groups of ladies on the cruise, & some x 2 ladies , but travelling together. On a previous princess cruise it was not a problem. Not many Brits on the ship either. Food quality not as good, in fact it was better in the buffet. Entertainment was poor quality, no special artists, like you get with other cruise lines. I won't be going with princess again, I was very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Great cruise, beautiful places and super weather. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The Crown needs a little TLC but not much to complain about. The crew was outstanding, very friendly and always asked if we needed anything. We had an ... Read More
Great cruise, beautiful places and super weather. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The Crown needs a little TLC but not much to complain about. The crew was outstanding, very friendly and always asked if we needed anything. We had an outside room, very nice but the bed was hard. All I had to do was tell our room steward, Grace, and she put a pillow top on the mattress. She did a great job taking care of our room and also if we saw her she would make sure we were taken care of if we needed anything. We had a set dining time and our waiter, Pepe, was fun and made sure our dinners were special. Our other waiter, Putu, knew exactly what and when we needed our drink choice. Both of them were outstanding. The excursions were for the most part good, just felt a little rushed at times. The Entertainment was average, most of the evening shows were good. But it can be very hard to find a seat in the theater unless you go early. Embarkation went smoothly. We got there midafternoon so the rush was over and we got right on. Disembarkation was the best we have ever experienced. Very organized and no crowding getting off or getting your luggage to take to the airport. I would do this cruise again. We started with an overnight in Quebec and spent 11 days sailing toward New York. So many beautiful places. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2011
Let me start by giving you a little background. We have sailed over 25 times on all mass marketed lines and though we do have our favorite line or lines, we normally choose a cruise by the itinerary and the price. This particular cruise ... Read More
Let me start by giving you a little background. We have sailed over 25 times on all mass marketed lines and though we do have our favorite line or lines, we normally choose a cruise by the itinerary and the price. This particular cruise was one we had our hearts set on for many years and I think our expectations were a little too high. Is this saying,"we didn't enjoy our cruise?" Absolutely not, but there were aspects that were not positive. I guess nothing is or can be perfect. We flew from Northwest Arkansas to Dallas and then to Montreal for a couple of days prior to taking the rail to Quebec City. Our flight was delayed and we had several gate changes, thus the trip didn't start out on a positive note, but we arrived safe and sound, checked into our hotel about 11 p.m. and had glasses of wine to unwind before going to sleep. To our amazement, the phone rang about 20 minutes after we got to our room. Either the walls were very thin or we talk really loud cause we were asked to quiet down a little. That was a first for us and we have traveled a lot. We decided maybe it was time to turn out the lights and call it an evening. The next day we did a little walking around, visited Chinatown, checked out the local grocery stores and mainly people-watched. That night we chose a french restaurant the front desk attendant recommended. I can honestly say he has very good tastes. After eating maybe 5000 calories of cream and butter, we left the restaurant full and quite satisfied. The service, typical for Canada we were told, was very good but not particularly friendly. The next morning we boarded the rail for a 3+hour ride to Quebec. The entire train pretty much consisted of people heading for the Crown Princess. One little peice of information: we were told there was a very strict max size for luggage and there would be nowhere it could be stored other than above the seat or under. Well, I wouldn't suggest arriving with a steam trunk, but they were not measuring the size and they had storage shelves at the front of each car. I mention this because I actually bought one new piece of luggage, believing my duffle bag was about 2 inches too long. I could have saved a few bucks had I known they were not going to measure anything and had a porter at the train station to convey our bags aboard. I think our main complaints, which I will explain in detail as I go along, were: 1-There were actually too many ports, even though we chose the cruise thinking we would love how port-intensive it would be, and 2-We have decided we are just not megaship people. Third issue was there were too many ships in port at almost every stop. This was not something Princess could contol, but it did make touring somewhat hectic. THE SHIP: From the minute we entered the Crown we were swept away by her elegenace and beauty. It was hard to imagine what more they could do to make her better when she went into dry dock at the end of our cruise. The fresh flowers we saw so many places, including public restrooms, added to the decor and the overall feel of the ship. Getting around the ship was relatively easy. After a few days there always seemed to be something exciting going on in the Piazza area (Deck 5 in the Atrium). The only problem, as I have mentioned, was the size of the ship; 3500 people seeming more like a small town than a ship. Just getting on and off on port days was a hassle, especially coming back on ship at ports that normally were embarkation ports such as Quebec, Boston and NYC. EMBARKATION: We had priority embarkation, so we were on the ship and in our cabins not more than 15 minutes or so after arriving at the ship in Quebec. There were no porters at the pier, so each of us loaded our bags onto large movable "crates." Seeing this, I was a bit nervous, but everything arrived intact, outside our cabin, in good time. CABIN: As we had decided on the trip at the last minute (for us, last minute, is about 2 months out) we chose an inside cabin - only done one other time. The location was perfect for us. We were only a few cabins from the pool area and not far from the outdoor grill, which was just before entering the Horizon Court(buffet)area. We were reasonably near elevators and couldn't have been more satisfied. As for the cabin, it was almost identical to our last Princess cabin on The Golden, even though last time we had an outside cabin. Sizewise, I would say Princess is pretty similar to other lines (NCL, RCI and Celebrity), the only difference is with bathrooms and the large dressing room/closet area. The bathroom was so small it appeared the toilet was in the shower. As for the closet/dressing room area, this is a matter of opinion as I prefer to have more cabin space, whereas others like added closet space. The cabin was clean and there was plenty of storage. It appeared there would not be enough, except for the closet, but as we unpacked, we realized just how much space there was. Admittedly, we did travel little lighter than some because we had free laundry availability and took full advantage of it. The worst part of the cabin was the bed. I do hope they are being replaced in dry dock. The best part of the cabin was the flat screen and program selections. While there was not a lot of up-to-date programming, if one wants to go on a vacation just to watch TV, then check into the nearest hotel and watch it all day. ENTERTAINMENT: This was very hit and miss; once again a matter of opinion. The positives: a lot to choose among most nights, but the negatives: most wasn't that great and some entertainers were often repeats (one night they would be in the main showroom, the next in the Explorers Lounge). Of course, there was music throughout the ship, which was a positive and the Piazza, as mentioned previously, had entertainment both during the days and at night. Activities were also hit and miss. There were some port talks, but the lecturers left a lot to be desired. Of course, there was daily bridge (well attended, I might add) and the usual trivia contests plus other activities on the fewcsea days we had. One could choose to stay busy if they wanted, but the cool weather did interfere. We have discovered that those who choose port-intensive cruises are not sailing to be entertained every minute by the staff . DINING: Here, of course, is the most talked-about subject on any cruise and cruise line, I think, creating the most debates. Yes, food is very subjective, as we found out in talking to other cruisers. Overall, our opinion was: like many other lines, Princess has cut back. It was our goal to try something in every dining establishment and we did. Starting with the MDRs, the entrees were always good, cooked perfectly. Serving sizes were generous without over-doing it. There were enough choices that I can't imaging anyone having trouble finding something to enjoy. The biggest problem was a lack of spices making bland almost everything we tasted. The best thing I had were cauliflower fritters for lunch one day. The other truly enjoyable food in the MDRs was, as I mentioned, the entrees - specifically the meats. I had steak in some form two or three nights, always cooked just the way I like it; hubby said the same. The worst were breakfasts. I can't think of one positive thing to say about MDR breakfasts. We enjoyed meeting lots of nice people the nights we ate in the MDR, but wish Princess would have more tables for 2 or 4 instead of so many that seat 6 or 8. How many times can you ask or answer the same questions: where are you from, how many times have you cruised, are you enjoying yourself, what did you do today? I think this is what we get for choosing personal dining, but we like the flexibility. We also tried both specialty dining rooms. Sabatini's was wonderful until I got my lobster: how many people enjoy lobster that looks more like a raw shrimp? We talked to 4 or 5 other people who varified theirs also was not cooked. Yes, I could have sent it back; but, by this time, we had been eating for almost 2 hours, were getting a little tired and were pretty full. So we let it slide. Hubby's steak was perfect. We enjoyed the Crown Grill, but I am not sure we would spend $25 each again, as we didn't find it that much better than the main dining rooms. Because we chose to go completely casual, we didn't eat in the MDrs on formal nights, but chose the buffet. We also ate there 3 or 4 mornings and for a couple of lunches. Overall, I honestly would not recommend it to anyone. The outdoor pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream were what one would expect. They served their purpose, so I can't imagine anyone complaining about them. The last but not least place to grab a bite was the international cafe in the Piazza area. Though we only ate there a couple of times for lunch, it was quick, you could people-watch and the food, though not a huge selection, was very satisfactory and some people would get it and take it back to the cabin. SERVICE: This was another mixed bag for us: our cabin steward was the best we have had in years. I think he stood in the corner, watched us leave, and then cleaned in 10 minutes, never missing a thing. No matter how short a time we would be gone, we would return and the "please clean" sign would be down, the cabin spotless and, if we saw him, he would always smile and call us by name. In fact, all the housekeeping staff seemed friendly. The dining room servers were usually good, but certainly appeared to be over-worked and not as friendly as on some cruise lines. This isn't to be taken as a real downer, as we only had one or two meals where the service might have been considered below par. Our other opinion of the overall service was good, maybe not as personal as some lines, but certainly acceptable in every way. Some people do not care about the crew being too friendly, so they would be very happy. EXCURSIONS AND PORTS: I could write a book about this because we did so many, a couple with the cruise line and the rest on our own. We certainly had favorite ports, as do most. For us the best ports were Halifax, Bar Harbor and Charleston. Some people thought Boston was their favorite, but we blew it and saw only Quincy Market in the rain. Of course, Quebec is always at the top of people's list for good reason. We did a hop-on, hop-off bus trip there, which gave us a wonderful, overall view of that beautiful city. In Sydney, we took a private tour with 2 other couples we met after getting off the ship. We had a really funny taxi driver who talked more than I do, knew his way around, took us to the fascinating Alexander Bell Museum and then dropped us off at a great little restaurant to enjoy a genuine seafood meal. Some had lobster, others clam chowder, fish and chips or mussles. On the way back we stopped at a state liquor store to pick up some wine. The tour price was right, the liquor expensive and it was one of the best tours we had. Halifax was our next port. We did the very touristy thing: Peggy's Cove and the cemetery where some of the Titanic victims are buried. The tour was set up by one of the gals on our roll call for about 20 of us and our delightful guide. The only negative: there were 4 large ships in port that day and the area is not equipped for so many. Peggy's Cove was a "zoo" because of the limited parking for so many tour buses and cabs. Bar Harbor was another wonderful experience. We chose a private tour that was short, but we managed to see what we wanted and were not disappointed. Boston, already mentioned, was a screw-up on our part. Again, too many ships in port. This was not the fault of anyone but us. In Newport, we chose to do our own thing as we had been there before. We walked around town, had lunch at the oldest tavern (1673) in the country, paying too much for a lobster sandwhich that I think was fake lobster, but we did buy 4 wine glasses with the logo on them and it was worth the price just to say we had been there. In NY City we took a wonderful tour of lower Manhattan with a couple stops, including one at the seaport where we ate rueben sandwiches - complete (nothing on them except for the meat and the cost, $16.00). Oh well, we can say we walked along the boardwalk and ate while watching the seagulls fly around. We did do some great souvenir shopping. Charleston was all one would expect to find in a city with so much of the Civil War history at their finger tips. We did the open carrige tour. Then we headed back to the ship. Of course,again, we took time to do some shopping. Our family will get a lot of cruise stuff in their stocking this year. All in all it was a great cruise and what a way to see Europe without really leaving the western hemisphere. From there one can travel to the oldest lighthouses in the Americas, see the wonderful old churches, both large and small, learn the history or our country, see the amazing color-changing of the leaves, walk where Paul Reverve rode, visit the largest city in America, and then head to the wonderful south, with all its hospitality and great cooking. A fall cruise out of Canada offers everything anyone could want (we even had some sunny, warm days) without packing and unpacking constantly. Would we do it again, maybe; would we recommend the Crown to others? Definitely yes, depending on their idea of cruising, would we cruise that itinerary again? I don't know, but we would do Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
The Quebec to NYC 10 day cruise is one of the most wonderful routes we have taken. We previously had done a 7 day Montreal to Boston cruise 5 years ago and wanted to do this route again with additional time spent in Quebec City which has ... Read More
The Quebec to NYC 10 day cruise is one of the most wonderful routes we have taken. We previously had done a 7 day Montreal to Boston cruise 5 years ago and wanted to do this route again with additional time spent in Quebec City which has to be one of the most wonderful cities to visit in the world. As always we travel to the embarcation city a day early and stayed at Le Chateau Frontenac which overlooks both the walled city and the new city. We walked around Quebec and drove around the city to many places. We boarded the Crown Princess on Friday. We booked a rear Penthouse Suite for a change in scenery. We previously had Suites mid-ship on both sides. What a grand view with less wind than a side location. The ship was wonderful. The food was superb with one exception in one of the dining rooms we had cold potatoes and corn on the cob. The specialty dining rooms were exceptional and well worth the small extra cover charge. The many bars were top notch. We did several excursions and had two cancelled. One because of rain and fog, and the other for low bookings. When they do the Champaign tower in the Atrium, do go up and pour some champaign. It is not a problem to stand there in front of 500 people, smile and get your picture taken. The only issue we had was on the WIFI system. With a Suite it was free. However, Princess blocks Cruise Critic. You can go surf anywhere you want except Cruise Critic. I told Princess in my review to them. We also hosted a Meet and Greet for 30 of our Roll Call members on our cruise. What a neat way to meet folks who come from around the world to cruise at the same time. This was one of our best high lights of the cruise. All in all almost a 10! Recommended to do in the Fall. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
My wife and I are experienced cruisers and have lost track of the number of sailings. We have never been on a cruise we didn't enjoy, no matter what the line. With that said, we have some lines we enjoy more than others and ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers and have lost track of the number of sailings. We have never been on a cruise we didn't enjoy, no matter what the line. With that said, we have some lines we enjoy more than others and recognize each has its niche. We booked Crown Princess as it was sailing during the week when we had the time to travel and was preferred by our traveling companions due to its length. We had some misgivings about the ship and line. The reviews from 2010 for this itinerary were lukewarm, at best, and we had been a bit disappointed with the food on our previous Princess trip. That cruise had taken place shortly after its merger with Sitmar, a line we really liked. We were hoping to have a Sitmar food experience on Princess, but found Princess to be lacking in that area. After that cruise, we tried various lines and settled on Celebrity as our favorite for most situations. I am pleased to report that we were much more impressed with this cruise than our previous Princess sailing. The food and service were excellent. Our fellow passengers were very friendly. We enjoyed every aspect of the cruise and would certainly sail Princess again. (It turned out the captain, head chef, and maitre d' were all from the Sitmar system!) Be sure to use tripadvisor for port and tour recommendations. Just google it with the port name and either attractions or restaurants as key words. You will find information on Roy Flowers and Earth Expeditions (following) when you do that. Fall Colors Canada/New England Cruises are often billed as 'fall color' cruises. Don't go with the idea that you will see fall colors. Vivid colors are climate dependent. We didn't see much as our sailing was a bit early for this. If you do experience great color, consider it an unexpected bonus. Weather Weather in this area is a bit unpredictable, so don't expect ideal conditions. Our weather was outstanding, except in Bar Harbor, so we considered ourselves to be very fortunate. Embarking from Quebec City Seriously consider taking a cab from the airport. The fare is $35 for the cab, not per person. This makes the fare generally cheaper than a pier transfer. Our friends used pier transfers due to some miscommunication. They arrived almost two hours after we were on board ship despite having arrived in Quebec on the same flight at about 2:00 p.m. We had our luggage in the cabin within 20 minutes of our arrival on board. Theirs arrived around 11:00 p.m. on the first night. It is always a good idea to research the cab vs. pier transfer issue before you book. We find cabs are generally a superior service. The embarkation in Quebec was very fast. Crown Princess This is a very attractive ship in an understated way. It has a very smooth ride. It is also enormous. It had wi-fi throughout with the best internet system we have seen on a ship. It was quick and reliable, which most are not. Like all ships, it has a few drawbacks but they did not detract from the overall experience: ' Deck 7 is the thoroughfare of the ship and can become somewhat congested. This problem is magnified by the age of the passengers, as some move slowly. Walking the deck outside speeds travel. ' The atrium is probably too small for the number of passengers. Some good advice would be to use your cabin phone to ask questions rather than going to the atrium to ask a question personally. The ship's staff provided excellent service via the phone. ' The first seating in the showroom is overcrowded, once again due to the age of the passengers. It is expected to serve the entire first seating as well as the majority of those choosing free style dining. This caused the showroom to be completely full within half an hour of show time. Arrive early. ' The ship does not have a forward looking viewing area as it is reserved for their spa. ' The cruise is very port intensive with only one day at sea. This can be exhausting and is more expensive due to costs incurred while ashore. ' The mattresses need replacing, which will probably occur at during a soon to occur drydocking. ' Young families and young couples may feel lonely on this cruise. Quebec City This is a magnificent city. To enjoy it to its fullest, consider doing the following: ' Although the citizens are almost all bilingual, try to use bonjour, merci, etc. It is a sign of respect and is appreciated. We found the citizens of Quebec to be exceptionally welcoming. ' Understand that this city wakes up at noon and goes to the wee hours of the morning. Splurge a little and eat out on the first night. I can highly recommend the Toast restaurant, but make reservations well in advance. Remember that French dining is at a leisurely pace. ' Be sure and visit the Chateau Frontenac and the Basilique de Notre Dame nearby. They are must sees! ' Also, be on deck when you sail. The town turns out and the people cheer and wave. What a sight! ' We took the wine tour through the ship and enjoyed it very much. Prince Edward Island/Charlottetown We generally like to book private tours, which tend to be more personal and often cheaper. Occasionally, you make a mistake and we did here. We wanted to take the horse drawn trolley through town. Don't believe their website. This tour will not be available as the owner sells out to the cruise line. Quite frankly, there is not much to see in this small town in a drive by mode. What is nice is the walking tour. Be sure to visit the two major churches and the nearby Confederation building. There is a great little seafood place kitty corner to Founders Hall, which sounds old but is a new building about a block to the left of where the ship docks. There is also a nice native craft place in the shopping area another block to the left of Founders Hall as well as some nice shops near the churches mentioned earlier. Sydney, Nova Scotia We rented a van and toured Fortress Louisbourg. Renting a van for a group (six of us) is a very economical way to tour. Make your reservation months in advance. The drive there is quite nice and the Fortress is well worth seeing. We stopped at the lobster restaurant on the cove in the nearby town and had a very good meal in a lovely location. Halifax ,Nova Scotia There is much to see and do here, too much for one day, so be happy with what you choose! We booked a tour through Ryan Barry's Earth Expeditions. Ryan gave us a brief tour of Halifax in his van and then took us to the Peggy's Cove area. Part of the group was dropped at the village and the rest of us went on a hike through the nearby Barrens and then returned to visit Peggy's Cove to join with the other people on the tour. Both parts of the groups enjoyed themselves very much. Peggy's Cove can be overwhelmed with tourists. Ryan structured the tour to avoid most of the tour buses. St. John, New Brunswick We booked a private tour with Roy Flowers. Roy gave us a great tour, eventually taking us to the caves, a nearby seafood restaurant, and the Fundy Trail. This area is very beautiful. Roy is quite a character. You will enjoy him. His van is really for five, not six unless you have kids. Concerning the Reversing Falls, you may or may not get to see this due to alterations in the ship's schedule. A one hour unexplained delay in arriving here nixed the chance to see the changing of the tides. (Oh, by the way, the Canadians love to talk about their affection for their national health care system. Ask them about this. The truth is what it is. They love their system, it works extremely well, and they resent American politicians bad mouthing their system. We had two tour guides in two different ports spontaneously bring this up to their groups. They did it very tactfully) Bar Harbor, Maine Tendering here was handled quite well under trying weather conditions. We had heavy rain and fog so we didn't see much. We still went on the green bus national park tour bus and were glad we did. Roger, the driver, entertained us throughout. Try the Route 66 restaurant in the center of town and have the seafood pie. Yummy! Boston, MA We took the jump on and jump off trolley. You would really need a full week in downtown Boston to take it all in, so choose your stops carefully. The harbor cruise thing is a nice thought, but you will not really have time for it. The entire route is longer than you would expect, so pay attention to the time, enjoy a few stops to their fullest and then stay on the trolley to the end. You will have to transfer at stop 1 to get back to the ship. Don't get off near the end of the route or you may not be able to get back on due to all the people making their way back to the many cruise ships. Newport, RI Tendering was very efficient. Go to the visitor center a couple of blocks to the left of the tender dock. Take the shuttle bus to the Breakers, a must see. Take the tour. Walk the Cliff Walk and head back to the ship on a shuttle. This is a great port. Touring multiple mansions sounds possible, but why exhaust yourself? New York Disembarkation is fairly slow here. Cab fare is expensive, so plan accordingly. If staying in Manhattan, consider The Distrikt Hotel on 40th near Times Square. It is relatively inexpensive for New York and is highly recommended. Ride the subways, visit Central Park, go to the Top of the Rock, get tickets online for the 911 memorial. A great restaurant choice is Basso 56 on 56th west, just a block off Central Park South. So many choices, so little time. Princess vs Celebrity or Royal Caribbean Princess and Celebrity are very close in quality and provide an excellent cruise experience in the mid-price range. With that said, I would still have a slight preference for Celebrity. First, on similar routes they seem to provide a somewhat longer cruise for a slightly lower total price, using the extra days as sea days. This is much more relaxing. Also, they provide educational experiences with guest lecturers from the Smithsonian, etc. This is a very nice feature. In any case, I wouldn't hesitate to book Princess and highly recommend this particular cruise. Regarding Royal Caribbean, we have found their target audience to be those who are enjoy mega ships with unusual amenities such as ice rinks and atriums designed to look like shopping malls, but are not necessarily concerned with high quality meals or a classic cruise experience. Due to the dining quality on board, we would rank this line significantly lower than the other two. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
• Background Information We are a 59 and 60 year old couple. We began cruising back in 1986 on Royal Caribbean's Nordic Prince which is still our benchmark cruise experience. This was our first Princess cruise, the first cruise ... Read More
• Background Information We are a 59 and 60 year old couple. We began cruising back in 1986 on Royal Caribbean's Nordic Prince which is still our benchmark cruise experience. This was our first Princess cruise, the first cruise where we knew someone before setting foot on the ship, and the largest ship to date that we have sailed on. • Hotel Info (if any) Holiday Inn Express Ste Foy. We stayed 2 nights pre-cruise. We explored Old Quebec City using three walking tours. Very tired by the time we returned to the hotel late Saturday night. The hotel's location was at least 15 to 20 minute drive each way by car. We relied on taxis but mass transit was available if one cared to spend the extra time walking to bus stops. The hotel was very clean, quiet and offered complimentary breakfast service. I recommend it if you have a car available. • Ship Info Crown Princess was very clean and excellently maintained. I liked the lounge choices throughout the ship which was critical since the cold weather forced many of the older passengers inside. It could be difficult finding an occupied chair. Weather warmed up by the Boston stop. • Activities Since this was a cold weather cruise especially the first week, not much was happening on the Lido deck. MUTS proceeded anyway with a lot of empty seats. There was an onboard couple presenting port information on the ship's television channels but nothing live. They were available during the cruise to answer questions. I wish there were more history narratives since this cruise's theme was also about Colonial American. Our Australian friends would have enjoyed the cruise even more, but we filled them in with plenty of American history trivia. • Service Our room steward Donna did an excellent job keeping the cabin clean. She handled working around our daily schedules like the professional that she was. She was the best steward we ever experienced. Dining Room waitress and her assistant made sure they remembered our names, and did an excellent job serving us. We did get tired of hearing the evening sales pitch for the specialty coffee. Bartenders were good although I have had better mixed cocktails on Holland America ships. The Horizon Court attendants, well lets say we had to question why with so many 'hand sanitizer monitors', the table wait staff for the most part NEVER properly wiped down and disinfected table tops between diners. The Purser's Desk was average. It is interesting to me that whenever a passenger has a problem, communications becomes very difficult. Both the wife and I used the Spa facilities. The staff was professional and proficient. Overall, I liked the International crew on this ship. • Port & Shore Excursions See Excursion summaries section below. General comment: the Boston port stop was horrendous: getting the tour groups off of the ship was disorganized and slow. My opinion is that ship-sponsored tours should have priority in leaving the ship especially when there is only one exit. As others have stated before, the Shore Excursion desk is understaffed with limited hours. • Travel To Port of Embarkation Quebec City. Embarkation was a nightmare with passengers arriving from hotel checkouts in order to sit in a large room waiting to be called by rows. The bottleneck was the Xray and metal detector security station. It took us an easy hour to get aboard the ship. Even Elite customers waited in the same room with the less frequent Princess customers. • Stateroom R204 is an Inside Cabin which was well laid out and organized. It was on a high deck (Riviera) and well forward (I could hear announcements to the crew from the Bridge). Despite the location, there was very little ship movement and it was quiet for the most part. • Dining We ate breakfasts and most lunches in the Horizon Court. We did the Pub Lunch twice which was good. We had a couple lunches using the grill fare on Lido deck with hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza. Traditional Late seating at 8:15 pm. There were evenings we wished we asked for Early Traditional seating but we stayed with our decision. We used Crown Grill twice (bring an appetite) and Sabatini once (bring a larger appetite!) for dinners. I was very impressed with Sabatini: for the $20 surcharge one was well fed. The International Cafe was a nice surprise with it pastries and sandwich selections. The adjoining Coffee bar was excellent and yes, purchase a Coffee card! The syrup based coffee served in Horizon Court, and most likely in the Dining rooms was substandard quality. • Entertainment We attended only one production show - Cole Porter Average singers, only 1 female singer stood out. Dancers looked very tired. All pre-recorded music, no live orchestra accompaniment. The wife commented that some of the songs were not even Cole Porter's material. Music entertainment in other venues was good. The Tango themed group was annoying at dinner time while they wandered about the main dining room asking for requests. • Disembarkation Port Everglades - well organized departure, next to last group to leave the ship. Collected luggage and took taxi to Airport with the usual long lines. • Summary For a first time Princess Cruiser, I was impressed with the layout of the ship although I agree with other posters that the extra Riviera deck doesn't help with public room accommodations. The lack of a covered pool area hurts this ship with cold weather itineraries. Depending on future itineraries and pricing, we may return to Princess. We are finding out that with the major mass market cruise lines, service and expectations are beginning to meld together. Excursions: Countryside Of Quebec - fair to good experience. Discovery Of New France - disappointed with recreated 'Quebec'. This was the end of their season and we had only 2 recreators. I assumed a larger cast of characters would be available to interact with. Not recommended. Lunenburg Getaway - a major surprise. A coach drive through countryside, then a walking tour of Lunenburg, time for a lunch and then drive to neighboring cove for free time. Highly Recommended. Best Of Both Worlds - fair experience. The Lobster Museum was lame. The cottage we visited was a bed and breakfast. Cadillac Mountain was the last stop for this afternoon tour and was cold. Boston Highlights, Historic Marblehead & Salem With Lunch - Major disappointment. The Captain said that we would arrive at Boston late in the morning due to whales transiting our ship's course. We were all surprised that at 7 am, we were docking in Boston! Captain said that he could not safely sail the ship at the slower speed so he increased speed. There was no time to readjust the tours. So we missed Marblehead stop and had a poor example of a lunch in Salem. The Salem Witch museum experience was low tech and amateurish. On top of all that, this stop was the Saturday before Halloween. Imagine all the costumed witches roaming the streets of Salem! Not Recommended. Newport Cliff Walk & The Breakers - Very well done with a self-guided tour of the Breakers and an escorted walking tour of the 'backyards' of Newport. I wish we had more time in the mansion. Recommended. Manhattan - no tour planned. I did the Intrepid Air-Space museum. Excellent presentations and aircraft displays. Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center - Major disappointment again. Self guided tour at the recreated Jamestown Settlement. Tour guide suggests we return to bus at certain time (early) which we all did. Then we sat for another 10 minutes in bus, I guess because that was what tour guide's schedule told him to do. Yorktown battlefield again a self-tour and again tour guide suggests we meet half hour earlier than planned to see the battleground. "We are in a rush to get you all back to the ship" was the excuse why we didn't stop at two major spots. Yet the other tour bus from our ship stopped to let the groups out to take pictures. And the rush back to Norfolk? The bus group that stopped was right behind us at the pier! Not recommended. Boone Hall Plantation Visit - Excellent tour. Recommended. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
We started our cruise in Quebec on Crown Princess bound for Ft. Lauderdale. We've done this cruise on Holland America a few years before and enjoyed it so much we wanted to do it again. We were traveling with a party of 8 friends and ... Read More
We started our cruise in Quebec on Crown Princess bound for Ft. Lauderdale. We've done this cruise on Holland America a few years before and enjoyed it so much we wanted to do it again. We were traveling with a party of 8 friends and family. We had a fairly smooth embarkation and went directly to our rooms...they had my sister-in-law and I in one room and our husbands in another..we let them know that wasn't going to work. It took a couple of days to get our account and room keys straight. The people at the desk were bombarded with similar complaints but handled it well enough. We had charges on our account that weren't accurate, food was not too good the first week but got better, our friends room had water in it from flooding above them, cabin wasn't very clean and other minor problems. We were about a week late to see the best colors in Canada but got better as we went south. It was dark when we went through the St. Lawrence river so I can't really give a good report on that. All our ports were great but my favorite was Newport, R.I. We took a bus tour around the city and saw beautiful mansions and scenery. I also enjoyed Norfolk. We took an interesting excursion to Williamsburg. It took about an hour from the ship but we enjoyed the gorgeous view and didn't mind the trip. Charleston was interesting and hot.Ninties the day we were there.We ate in the dining room most of the time because of our group size. Our wait staff was friendly but it usually took 2-3 hours for dinner. I've always thought Princess' food was some of the best but this time the menu wasn't very good nor was the food. The International Cafe is one of the highlights on Princess ships. We especially enjoyed the chicken salad. Downside...it's always crowded. Although we had a few bad experiences, we're always ready to go again. Read Less
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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