82 Seattle Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews

A good cruise; not a great cruise. Ship - This particular ship had really bad vibrations. I was in the Navy so I know the difference between motion due to the sea and the unusual. This was unusual. It was so bad we couldn't sit ... Read More
A good cruise; not a great cruise. Ship - This particular ship had really bad vibrations. I was in the Navy so I know the difference between motion due to the sea and the unusual. This was unusual. It was so bad we couldn't sit at the back of the ship and relax. Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly & quickly. I particularly like that there are no porters - you just give your bag to Princess and away it goes. Cabin - The cabin was nice - we knew exactly the cabin we were getting from a previous cruise. Service was consistently great. Dining - While not a five star dining experience at a high end restaurant, they do a really good job - especially considering they are feeding 3100+ everyday. We use the set dining time (late dining) - and had really good meals everyday. They includes prime rib, filet, lobster tails - all were cooked as desired and tasted great. Service was good - but the typical lengthy time is needed to complete a meal. Entertainment and Activities - Another thing that struck me on this cruise was that Princess is a warm weather cruise line. Meaning much of the activities they rely on are topside. So when you go on a late season cruise and it is cold and rainy, that get impacted. They were not (are not) able to effectively deal with that and transform the excellent warm weather cruise atmosphere below decks. Most of the below decks activities were the same whether it was nice outside or not - so when the weather is bad, you have a lot of people searching for something to do. Service - Good except the bar service. I'd get a mixed drink at one bar - it would be great. Same drink different bar - bad. Ports and Shore excursions - Skagway was cancelled because of weather. I thought they did a really poor job of staying ahead of it. You could tell we weren't going there. There was a gale warning for two days. Instead they kept insisting that we were until the morning came and we were tying up in Haines instead. So everyone is running around confused about what is going on. They could have made that decision sooner and come up with a better plan B. Missing a port is disappointing, but better planning could have minimized it. Would I go again? Yes, but I would have gone in August instead of September. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see Glacier Bay and hoped to spend time in Skagway. We departed Seattle on time Saturday afternoon. We arrived in Juneau per our schedule Monday morning. Weather was usual Southeast/Juneau ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see Glacier Bay and hoped to spend time in Skagway. We departed Seattle on time Saturday afternoon. We arrived in Juneau per our schedule Monday morning. Weather was usual Southeast/Juneau rain and cloudy. Overall our day on the beach in Juneau was a good experience. We did plan to stop for King Crab at the Crab Shack, however their prices we out of this world high, so we elected to have our crab on board that evening since it was a scheduled menu item on board. King crab on board the Crown was way overdone, dry, pretty much tasteless. We asked for melted butter to dip the crab in, but the wait staff advised the company was cutting back on expenses so there was none available, however they did have a buttery mix to pour on our crab. Have you ever tried to eat king crab while it was all slimy? Not good. We departed Juneau on time that evening and were due to make our port call in Skagway the next morning. Our captain did advise us on departure the weather in Skagway was forecast to be very rainy and windy. Next morning I looked out from our balcony and observed we were making our way into Haines, not Skagway. Captain finally come over the PA system to announce we were not able to port in Skagway due to high winds preventing our the ship's ability to dock without a tug. The city of Haines was not expecting a cruise ship that day, so normal arrangements for tours etc, had not been made, making for limited opportunities for passengers wishing to go ashore. Next day we were in Glacier Bay. Again we had normal Southeast Alaska fall weather, i.e. rain/drizzle, a little sun, and fog. Overall our visit was enjoyable. Better weather would have been appreciated from the sun gods, but didn't really happen. The following morning we arrived on schedule in Ketchican. Port call was nice, weather was again drizzle and a little sun, although a very short port call considering we had been unable to get into Skagway. Passengers were to be back to the ship NLT 12:30PM. For some reason it was almost 2PM before we finally departed. That night was formal night enroute back toward Seattle. Lobster was the prime fish choice for our special dinner. Again the lobster, like the king crab, was very dry, pretty much institutional food. I really had expected much more from Princess. We had done the Panama Canal aboard the Island Princess and had a great time. The Crown just didn't show me/us much on this cruise. Just makes me wonder if I would bother with taking another of their cruises. Our next port of call is Victoria, B.C. We didn't arrive at Victoria until 7PM, and passengers were to be back to the ship by 11PM. Who wants to bother trying to see a special city like Victoria in the dark. Not this person. We arrived back at the pier in Seattle at our scheduled time the following morning. Off loading went as programmed. Very efficient. People seemed to be off in plenty of time for the ship's crew to prepare the ship for its's departure by 5PM. We chose a mini-suite for our cruise, and were very pleased with our cabin. Our room stewart, Ryan, did a great job taking care of us. We did have a special request after our stop in Juneau. We had purchased some reindeer sausage while ashore and needed to keep the meat frozen until our arrival back in Seattle. Ryan was able to have our meat stored as requested and returned it to us in time for me to pack it for our travels home. Evening entertainment was usually overly loud. I wear hearing aids, so I needed to remove the hearing aids and also had to plug my ears with my fingers due to the excessive noise. For me most of the musical presentations, including the music in the Wheelhouse Bar during Happy Hour ruined any attempt at a relaxing evening. Would I go again on an Alaskan cruise? Not on a cruise ship anyway. I would seriously consider taking a car, and doing the "Poor Man's Alaskan Cruise" on the Alaska Ferry. That might not be as plush as a cruise ship, but I could get off at my desired ports and spend as much time ashore as I chose, prior to catching the next ferry and going to another port. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I always do a lot of research before any vacation. I found that Princess (Crown) goes through Glacier Bay - which many do not. It was our first cruise, and I had read many not-so-positive reviews about the wear and tear of the Crown, the ... Read More
I always do a lot of research before any vacation. I found that Princess (Crown) goes through Glacier Bay - which many do not. It was our first cruise, and I had read many not-so-positive reviews about the wear and tear of the Crown, the poor buffet food, the rude crew...I was a bit apprehensive. However, from embarkation to disembarkation, it was wonderful! EVERY crew member I passed smiled and wished me a good day. Our steward and dining waiters went out of their way to serve us what we wanted...even got an absolutely wonderful spaghetti carbonara...which was not on the menu. I went so often to the dining room because the food in the buffet had so much variety and tasted so delish, that my plate was almost too heavy to handle. The entertainment was wonderful, and was great fun, our mini suite had a great space; and it and the balcony were extremely clean. The four of us (two adjoining balconies) had a super time and could not think of anything we would have changed. The only surprise for us was how much emphasis was placed on selling things: photographs, diamonds, etc. etc. It didn't hurt the cruise, but was somewhat awkward that we were consistently pushed to buy something. I was also surprised at the ease and speed of both embarkation and disembarkation. Well planned with no long waits! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Background My spouse booked this cruise in celebration of our 45th anniversary. We have cruised with Princess before and our last time was in 2011 on the Diamond Princess, also to Alaska. This was my 4th and my spouse’s 3rd cruise to ... Read More
Background My spouse booked this cruise in celebration of our 45th anniversary. We have cruised with Princess before and our last time was in 2011 on the Diamond Princess, also to Alaska. This was my 4th and my spouse’s 3rd cruise to Alaska. This was also our first cruise from Seattle and it was round trip; our other Alaska cruises have always been northbound from Vancouver to either Seward or Whittier. Pre-Cruise Hotel We had accumulated a lot of credit card reward points, so we decided to book our air and hotel to use them up. We selected the Hampton Inn & Suites, 700 5th Avenue North, in Seattle. See my review on TripAdvisor for details. Travel to Embarkation Port We pre-booked Shuttle Express, a Seattle-based operator, to get us from SEA-TAC airport to our pre-cruise hotel as well as from the hotel to the pier. This company is great to deal with, fares are reasonable and the drivers are very personable and helpful. We used a shared van which means that it is loaded to capacity with passengers and luggage before departing for the booked destination; we were on the van for about an hour after leaving SEA-TAC. Our hotel to pier pickup on embarkation day was right on time and everyone was heading to the same pier (91); we arrived in about 15 minutes. Embarkation PCL uses Pier 91 for the Crown. We arrived about 11:15 via Shuttle Express and were dropped about 50 metres from the terminal. A porter took our bags (do tip these guys, they work their butts off) and we entered the left door into a large reception area. We were directed to tables to fill out health questionnaires and then to escalators to the 2nd level for check-in (make sure you have both your passport and boarding pass out for security before going through the scanners). We had preferred check-in due to my Platinum status so that part was straightforward and very quick. We were seated in a preferred guest check-in area and enjoyed coffee and pastries while we waited to board. We barely finished these when we were called to board about 11:45. We entered the ship and were ushered for the customary boarding photo. We went to the Crown Grill and Sabatini’s to make dining reservations and then went to our room. We had ordered an Anniversary Celebration Package through Princess and this arrived shortly afterwards, and our luggage arrived about 1 p.m. At 3:15, we went to the theatre for our muster, in advance of the 3:45 “General Emergency Stations.” This was nothing we had not experienced before but noticed a very large group of Asian guests seated around and below us who apparently did not speak or understand much English. When safety instructions were being provided, they did not follow the direction of the crew running the drill which caused the crew to start shouting at them and confusion reigned. We thought about what would happen in the event of a real emergency. We learned later that a large group of Chinese guests were sailing on this cruise. We did not attend the sail away party as we had early dining. Ship Information I will not get into ship information as this is well documented on Cruise Critic and the Princess Cruise Lines web sites. As far as I am aware, this 10-year-old ship has not undergone a refurbishment. Our only observation is that several common areas appeared to need a refresh: for example, we noticed carpets were worn, elevator panels were scratched and dented, and the cushions on theatre seats were canted forward to the point where one almost slipped out. Stateroom Our room was a basic balcony stateroom, A215, on the Aloha deck. It is small, however, well laid out for the space. It consists of a compact three-piece washroom on the left with a tiny (and we do mean tiny) shower stall (dark when the curtain was drawn). Just outside is a closet housing shelves and the room safe, and opposite is a large open closet with top shelf. The bed was configured to queen and was OK, but not particularly comfortable; apparently it will be a few years before this ship receives the new Princess Luxury Bed. There are bedside tables with fixed lamps, a desk/drawer unit and mirror with two 110-v outlets and a hair dryer, a corner unit with a flat screen TV on top, an open shelf area below, and a mini-fridge in an enclosed cabinet. The fridge never did cool very well and the top of the cabinet became very warm – don’t place anything on top that you do not want to get warm, like Godiva chocolates! There is a sliding door onto a small balcony equipped with two lounge chairs and a small table. The balcony overlooks all the other balconies below. Environmental control was very good and easy to use. Numerous light switches are located throughout the room. Activities We did not do much in the way of activities onboard, preferring to just relax, watch the magnificent scenery in Alaska or do shore excursions. During the day, we spent time in the Skywalker’s Night Club at the rear of the ship, Deck 18, as it was usually quiet and the views were spectacular. We did do a wine tasting (“Maitre d’Hotel Wine Club – kind of a misnomer) one afternoon. We also went to a martini demonstration in the Piazza; we would have preferred a martini tasting, however, as we have done on other cruises. The Captain’s Welcome Aboard Party and Champagne Waterfall was held on the first formal night, however, as our Crown Grill reservation was a bit later than our regular dining time, we missed most of it. We attended the afternoon tea (my spouse is English by birth) one afternoon; it was nice, and tea was served correctly, although the order of food service was opposite to what it should be. We changed our dining time at Sabatini’s in order to attend the Captain’s Circle reception on the second formal night. Apparently there were only 326 Ruby, Platinum and Elite members onboard out of a guest population of 3,357. There was a nice choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and hors d/oeuvres. Oddly, after speaking to the members, the Captain only stayed for a very short time; at least we got some dancing in! Dining We opted for early dining at 5:15 p.m. in the Da Vinci dining room, on Deck 6 midships. We were at a table for six, near the starboard side and next to a window – very nice. Our servers, Leonil and Aurelio, were fantastic and took very good care of us. Food quality was average, nothing special. Portions, at times, were quite small. Our meal was usually over by 7 p.m. so it left time to attend the evening’s activities, although we missed the nightly Captain’s Circle Elite/Platinum reception as it ran from 5-7 each day. We usually ate in the same dining room for breakfast. Again, the menu was nothing special. Unfortunately, the galley does not know how to toast bread or bacon and we finally gave up ordering them. (think cold toast, hard as leather and then a server plunking a cold tab of butter on your plate or bacon that was burned beyond recognition – what???). On the mornings of our shore excursions, we opted for room service – it was delivered on time and everything was correct, as ordered. We also dined in two specialty restaurants: Crown Grill and Sabatini’s. Crown Grill was the occasion of our anniversary. Service was attentive but, unfortunately, we were seated at a window table for four near the galley – too much noise and traffic – in retrospect, we should have asked to be seated away from this. The entrées were nice, although portions were very small. Food quality was excellent overall and we were given a small chocolate cake in celebration of our anniversary. Sabatini’s was a much more enjoyable experience, with a table for two at a window seat at the rear of the restaurant and absolutely wonderful service. The antipasti, starters and main courses were excellent and generous. The tiramisu was to die for. We had lunch only once at the Pizzeria. The Margherita pizza we ate was thin, droopy and tasteless; we do not how PCL was awarded ‘best pizza at sea’ – not on this ship, anyway. We did not try the Trident Grill. We bought one coffee card and used it quite a bit at the International Café. Specialty coffees (hot) were very good, pastries and sandwiches were exquisite; the iced coffee was tasteless. There was usually a long wait time to get served. Entertainment We attended most of the evening shows in the Princess Theatre and some shows in the lounges. The ship’s company was excellent in their performances, such as “Disco-Blame it on the Boogie, ”Magic To Do,” and “Motor City.” In one of the lounges, they did a “Ye Olde London Pub Night,” which was just OK but they redeemed themselves in a Beatles trivia contest. Carlos Oscar, a comedian, was also very good. Lounge entertainers were generally good, especially Slava, a Russian trio that played the most amazing classical music. Shore Excursions Skagway – we did the Yukon Suspension Bridge tour which also involves travel through British Columbia into the Yukon Territory. This is an all-day tour and a passport is required as you are entering Canada (or re-entering, as was the case for us). We were taken by coach by Charlie, our excellent driver, up the Klondike Highway, who provided a very entertaining narration all day. We stopped at the Canada Border Services Agency station before entering British Columbia then proceeded to the Suspension Bridge for an hour. It was a breathtaking sight and we really enjoyed our time, crossing the bridge and taking a lot of video and photos. We were then on our way into the Yukon. Our first stop was the desert at Carcross (yes there is a desert composed of glacial silt), arriving at our lunch stop, the Caribou Crossing Trading Post, just north of Carcross. We enjoyed a great chicken BBQ, toured the various shops and petting zoo and also visited with two of our nieces who live in Whitehorse and had driven to Caribou Crossing to meet us for a short visit. We then stopped at Emerald Lake, a favourite beach for locals, and then drove back to Carcross for an hour’s visit, just touring the town, again with our nieces. After 45 minutes, we bid our nieces farewell and were on the road again, stopping only at the Welcome to Yukon and Welcome to Alaska signs (this is a narrow highway so we could only stop when safe to do so). We had an enjoyable ride back to the pier, arriving about 4:30 p.m. Highly recommended. Ketchikan – we did the “Lighthouse, Totems & Eagles” excursion and totem pole tour by small boat. This was a highly rated tour so it was an easy decision for us. We were taken by coach to Air Marine Harbour, north of Ketchikan and boarded the “Totem Princess.” The captain and crew got us settled and we were quickly on our way and at our first eagle viewing stop, with many more to come. We then approached the Totem Bight State Park and viewed several totem poles. Unfortunately, it was difficult to see much without a zoom lens or binoculars (provided), and the bobbing of the ship just made things worse to locate the wildlife. Our last visit was to the Guard Island Lighthouse and more wildlife and eagle viewing. An excellent buffet of salmon spread (recipe provided), vegetables, cookies, and beverages was available in the inside cabin; there are two washrooms onboard as well. There are souvenirs for sale. After about three hours, we returned to shore and returned to the pier. It was almost time to go leave port so we just did some quick shopping and then boarded ship. Highly recommended. Juneau – we opted to just explore the city on our own but did take the Mount Roberts tramway. The tram takes visitors from the dock area near the piers up 1800 feet to Mount Roberts. There is gift shop, restaurant, theatre, and a raptor exhibit, in addition to several walking and hiking trails. Unfortunately, this was a typically rainy gloomy day and we could not see much from Mt. Roberts due to the heavy fog. Victoria – the stop here is only a few hours so we opted to stay on board and finish packing. Service Our dinner servers were fantastic. In the Da Vinci dining room, I think we saw the headwaiter once. Breakfast service in the Da Vinci was hit and miss for understanding what we wanted; the staff appeared tired. The servers, Maître D’ and Head Chef in each specialty restaurant were very attentive and ensured we were completely satisfied. Boutique staff were cordial. We only dealt with one Customer Services agent; she was very difficult to understand so our query was never really answered. Staff in Crooners, Wheelhouse and the Explorers lounges, and the International Café were either pleasant, standoffish or just bizarre; in one case, a Crooners’ server could not or would not make my spouse a “Paralyzer” [known in the U.S. as a “Colorado Bulldog”] with vodka instead of tequila – what? We also dealt with the Future Cruise Consultant for a Future Cruise Credit (Kyler Mann, a fellow Canadian) and the Captains Circle Hostess (Tiffany Zhao) – both very nice. Our room steward was cordial but seemed very tired; his room care was fine but a repeated request to replace our faulty blow dryer was never actioned, and he threw out our anniversary cake which we had planned to take to dinner one night for our tablemates. He also said we had not ordered robes through our Cruise Personalizer – yes we did, but we had to wait until the following day to get them – why? Disembarkation We were given tags for luggage and leaving instructions, based on our flight time. As Platinum members, we were able to wait in the Da Vinci dining room where we enjoyed a continental breakfast. At 9:00 a.m. our colour was called, we proceeded off ship and started the fun of finding our luggage! After about ten minutes, we found our bags, were through US Customs & Border Protection quickly and made our way onto the pier and boarded a very full Princess bus. We were at the SEATAC airport by 1015. There was a Delta check-in area curbside, and in retrospect, we should have taken advantage of it. It is simply too long a walk with luggage in tow (yes, we should have used a porter) to find the Delta check-in area at this airport. Summary Princess has a tag line of “Come Back New.” We’re not sure if they really met our expectations but came fairly close. Princess generally delivers a good to excellent overall experience for us. We would rank this cruise somewhere in between. The cruise itself was smooth, the ship was in generally good condition, amenities were easy to find and enjoyable (except as noted) and my spouse even earned her Platinum status with this cruise. The ports were reached on time and were generally enjoyable and the highlight of the cruise, Glacier Bay, was an unbelievable experience. Unfortunately, there was a constant hard sell for the $199 photo package and a confusing system of finding photo prints from the previous days’ activities; this continued with the promotion of beverage packages, top shelf liquor (make sure you specify which spirits [i.e. the brand] you want in your drink), spas, shore excursions, boutiques (sales) and off-ship tie-ins to stores in the Alaska and Victoria ports. At times, Deck 7 midships resembled a flea market with guests trying to maneuver around “sale” tables and photographers set up for portraits. Dining was OK but nothing as good as what we have experienced on our last three cruises (Disney and HAL), nor our last Princess cruise in 2011. The crew were polite but not friendly (except as noted) and rarely made eye contact; even the officers riding in elevators seemed buried in their phones or paperwork and never said hello. The large group of Chinese guests was also challenging for us and other guests to deal with. During the cruise. Their behaviour was often just rude. There were obvious language barrier issues. To their credit, PCL provided announcements in English and Mandarin, however, it just was not enough. The round trip itinerary is fine for a quick exposure to Alaska. However, we would recommend a north or south bound cruise from Seattle or Vancouver, bookended by a land tour. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We are long time Princess cruisers, with Platinum Captain's Circle status. This is going to sound like a negative review, and I don't mean for it to. If I were brand new to cruising, I would have had only glowing things to say ... Read More
We are long time Princess cruisers, with Platinum Captain's Circle status. This is going to sound like a negative review, and I don't mean for it to. If I were brand new to cruising, I would have had only glowing things to say about our trip, but seen through the lens of past cruises with Princess and aboard this same ship, I was disappointed. We traveled with a group of 16 friends, many of us cruised together three years ago on the Oasis of the Seas. We chose this cruise because of Princess' reputation in Alaska, and because of my previous positive experiences. Let me start with the good things: embarkation was a breeze. Our status meant we (and the friends traveling with us) got to skip the line. From curb to onboard took about ten minutes. I've always liked the layout of this ship, it's logical and easy to navigate. Our Caribe level room had an enormous (by ship standards) balcony. There were many exceptional crew members. Our cabin steward was a gem, and we had several waiters and servers who went above and beyond and were engaging, informative, and truly pampered us. The food in the main dining rooms was great. Our excursions were fabulous, and the scenery on this itinerary was breathtaking. Now, the bad. The ship just feels a little tired. It's dark and a bit dated, and I think it's time for Princess to invest in a dry dock to breathe some new life into it. The ship is over ten years old, and while it seems to have been well maintained overall, it is showing it's age. One of the friends we traveled with had a suite, and the same "painting" was hanging over the bed and the couch, within site of each other. It was a lack of detail and care that we felt was pervasive. There were many instances where cost cutting was obvious, and little touches we had come to love on past cruises were missing here. Examples: there was never butter on the tables. That sounds like a ridiculous complaint, but meal after meal having to wait for the staff to drop a pat of butter on our bread plates like they were doling out gold grew tiresome. Our beds did not have top sheets. They didn't bring around the cart of specialty coffees or circulate the piazza with milk and cookies like they did on other Princess cruises. We felt that the ship was 10-20 percent under-staffed, and perhaps because they had too much on their plates, much of the staff lacked enthusiasm or a commitment to showing us a good time. More than once, we were seated in one of the lounges and had to get up and seek out a server after waiting 10-15 minutes for one to make their way around to us. Several times during meals, we would order a second glass of wine when the main course arrived, and not have it until dessert (and once it just never arrived!) As another example, one of our group ordered a cocktail FROM THE MENU and was told the bartender in that lounge didn't know how to make it. We all enjoyed an Alaska signature drink called the "Molten Glacier" which was hot chocolate mixed with a number of libations. Inexplicably, it was twice delivered as a frozen drink. And once made with coffee instead of hot chocolate. Minor things, but points to the general lack of attention to detail that marked our experience. We took most of our meals in the main dining rooms, but on a few occasions grabbed lunch or breakfast in the Horizon Court of Cafe Caribe buffets. What an utter let down those were. More suited to a hospital cafeteria than an upscale ship, the "flow" of the buffet lines was a disaster, the presentation of the food non existent, the selection poor, and the quality sub-par. There was not enough staff on hand to keep drink refills flowing or replenish the buffet during peak times. The shows and onboard entertainment were good, but times could have been better. We ate at 7:30 most nights, and it seemed that most of the activities we were interested in started at 8 or 9, so we missed them. They "rolled up the street" at 10 or 11, and even the Skywalkers nightclub closed at midnight. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Alaska was the destination of choice...so cruising seemed the best way to do it. We live near the port and found arrangements to be very easy. I had no idea we were going to love rising the way we do now. The cabin was much roomier ... Read More
Alaska was the destination of choice...so cruising seemed the best way to do it. We live near the port and found arrangements to be very easy. I had no idea we were going to love rising the way we do now. The cabin was much roomier than anticipated, the service was phenominal, and amenities were fabulous. Every port was wonderful and we could not wait to book our next cruise. We enjoyed Wine tastings, an art exhibit, gambling, balcony dining (which is the best value) and wonderful shore excursions. The spa experience was the most relaxing for both my husband and myself. We loved the tranquility area! The ship was beautiful and the staff saw to every detail. They knew our names and preferences by the second day. It was truly more luxurious than we anticipated. We met lovely people and enjoyed the company of people from MA you countries. Everything was great! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose Princess after reading good reviews, and because they are known for their Alaska cruises. Unfortunately we won't be travelling with Princess again. We were very disappointed in the level of service. We have travelled ... Read More
We chose Princess after reading good reviews, and because they are known for their Alaska cruises. Unfortunately we won't be travelling with Princess again. We were very disappointed in the level of service. We have travelled with other cruise lines in the past, and this was by far the worst level of service we have ever received. Crew were not overly friendly, and sometimes downright rude. I can honestly say that in my past 6 cruises, I've never experienced a truly rude crew member like I did on this cruise on at least 4 occasions. I'm used to being smiled at, greeted, moved over in the hallway if possible (not cut off) and just helpful. This was not the case on the Crown Princess. Our only consistent good service was our dinner servers. They were always very friendly and attentive. Here are some of my specific complaints: Room set-up. HORRIBLE. We had a verandah room on the Caribe deck and it had 2 floor beds with 2 beds that dropped out of the ceiling. My children hit their heads HARD on these overhead beds at least 10 times. What a bad design these rooms are. You can barely get to the balcony if the beds are down and you are always at risk of hitting your head. Also, when the 4th bed is down, NO ONE in the room can watch TV. Room cleaning. Barely saw our housekeeper. Sometimes had to find him in the afternoon just to get towels, TP etc. Sit Down Dinner: Had to ask for butter every night. When we asked the server he told us he was instructed to only give butter on request...but yet there are buns on the table when you arrive to dinner?? Buffet: Logistically a really bad set up. You sometimes had to wait 20+ minutes to get into the part where you could start getting your food. On other cruises the have different sections that are open and accessible, and you don't have to wait in line. Also, not a lot of variety from day to day. Kids Program: I was told there would be plenty to do for our kids...not the case. The kids program only operates at specific times and there is no drop in. So if you kids didn't like what was going on, then they didn't go. On other cruises, my kids would practically live at the program, but they hated the Princess kids programs. It's also not available on Port days unless you want to sign them into the little kids program (my kids are tween and teen). So if you are on the ship at all during port days then the kids are bored to tears. Ship: Our ship was constantly shaking for the first few days...not rocking like with the sea, this was a fast/hard shake that rattled things in our room. I spoke to other seasoned cruisers and they were upset about it as well. First Day: We were asked a total of 10 times if we wanted to buy the drink package. Why can't they just ask you once as you enter the ship, and if you say no, then leave you alone! Other than those complaints, the ship was nice and clean and food was OK. But I won't be taking a Princess cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Why did we take this cruise? 1. Window cabin was only about $40 more than the cheapest interior. 2. Wanted to see the glaciers, 3. Needed to burn some leave, and 4. Crown was a decent ship the last time we sailed on her. Boarding and ... Read More
Why did we take this cruise? 1. Window cabin was only about $40 more than the cheapest interior. 2. Wanted to see the glaciers, 3. Needed to burn some leave, and 4. Crown was a decent ship the last time we sailed on her. Boarding and Disembarking - Only have Los Angeles and Seattle to compare with, but while LA was a shorter drive from the airport, Seattle was a much smoother boarding experience and the customs was much faster leaving. And the two (Princess contract) bus drivers we had acted like tour guides, made for a very fun experience. Ship good - Very friendly staff, one example - drink server asks if I want a drink, I say no, they ask "Would you like some water", I say please, and with a smile they say OK, and I get the clean cold water just like I had ordered a drink (Note: they do not make any money off of water, so that is just being nice for them). I have been on cruises where that is not what happens. Ship maybe - One caveat, I am retired Navy, so I notice some things others may not. I noted a lot of corrosion on the outside and inside that should have been taken care of. The staff does clean, but it is more of the "White Glove" type cleaning, not deck hand stuff. Ship bad - I like the bow, good view at night. This ship closes the bow (and a few other areas) for "safety" (at 7PM with another hour of sun left?). Turns out those are crew cabin windows and the tourists bother them, so they close some of the best viewing areas. Dining - The buffet is ok, but it is very crowded and has poor flow. You come in one side, and there are two islands in the middle, and stuff around the edges. You try to get a scan of what is available and you have a hard time getting around people, then you have to get into different lines with people bypassing some lines and getting in front for the next line. Normal sit down dining was mixed (we had anytime dinner). Some good service (Arnel at dinner was great), and some that had a hard time doing the job. Overall the food was good, but some things were not as good as last time. It was surprising that at the grill they had fresh halibut sandwiches one day, and the halibut there was MUCH better than that served at dinner. Entertainment - In April we had good entertainment, but this trip there seemed to be less in the piazza. We liked most of the music, but this trip they focused more on shows like juggling and had more dead time there. There were good things still going on, but usually in the clubs. We only did one shore excursion, the Skagway town and play tour. We enjoyed our driver and the play. The Glacier Bay was one of the best days, cool and windy but mostly clear and sunny. A good view of the glaciers and some distant wild life. Unless I knew that the ship went into dry dock, I doubt if I would take the Crown again anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first time on the Crown Princess. Our destination was Alaska - the Inside Passage. We flew into Seattle on embarkation day and utilized the transfer from the airport to the ship. It was somewhat chaotic with all the buses ... Read More
This was our first time on the Crown Princess. Our destination was Alaska - the Inside Passage. We flew into Seattle on embarkation day and utilized the transfer from the airport to the ship. It was somewhat chaotic with all the buses that needed to be loaded but we were glad that we didn't have to handle the luggage. Check in was easy at the Port considering the number of people that were cruising. Our luggage arrived to the room earlier than anticipated as we were told not to expect it before 7 PM. That wasn't the case at all. Our mini-suite was comfortable and spacious compared to other cruise line staterooms. I liked the combination bath-shower; it didn't make me feel claustrophobic. I don't see the point of two television sets; one facing the bed; the other facing the couch. It seems to me that one television could have been put on a swivel base. When we booked our cruise, we requested a specific dining time and a table for 6. We were sat a table for 2 but the adjacent table for 2 was so close, we became friends with the other couple and enjoyed our dinners together. If they cannot accommodate a request, it should be communicated prior to embarkation. The buffet lines were long and finding a table was difficult. Fortunately, everyone was kind and willing to share their tables. It was a great way to meet other cruisers. Dinner was mediocre at best although my husband disagrees. The portions were ridiculously large, I would have preferred smaller portions and better quality. Our preferences were remembered by the waiters and junior waiters. They went out of their way to make our anniversary special with a wonderful dessert. Magic To Do was a great show and the highlight of the entertainment. Definitely Broadway style. The entertainment in the Piazza was thoroughly enjoyable. Anytime, we went to the service desk we were greeted with smiles. The lines were not long and they helped each time. We managed to demagnetize our key card a couple of times and they promptly provided us with new keys. The Spa was good. We both had massages and I used the medi-spa for acupuncture because my back was in spasms and I could hardly walk. It was expensive but worth it. My only issue is they push you to "purchase" more and more. I went three times but it was suggested that I go twice a day, everyday or it might not be beneficial. Products are recommended and they really encourage you to buy them. I know this is a business but with the shear number of guests, do they really have to be that aggressive? We went on three excursions. In Juneau, we went Whale Watching on a Catamaran and were supposed to go to a Salmon Bake at a lodge. The water was very rough so we couldn't dock at the lodge but we did get to see whales. Safety first - which is important. They refunded us the majority of the amount of the excursion price. In Skagway, we took the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. The views were spectacular. From there we went to the Yukon for a BBQ lunch at Carabou Crossing Trading Post. There was a lot to see and do. We took the bus back to the ship with stops for photo opportunities where there was a view of a one-sided suspension bridge, an engineering marvel. In Ketchikan, we went to the rain forest to see bears feast on salmon and then went to Mendenhall Glacier National Park. Not too many salmon were running there at the end of August however when we took a tour in Seattle after the cruise and went to the Locks where we saw so many salmon that it made up for it. In Victoria, BC we took a pedicab around the city and explored on our own. I wish we had more time there. We stayed in Seattle for two days after we disembarked. The highlight of the cruise was the Inside Passage and Glacier National Park. The park rangers boarded the vessel and provided a wealth of information. We saw the glaciers calving, whales moving about, bears on the glaciers. There are no words to adequately describe the magnificence and beauty of the glaciers. During the cruise, we had a Naturalist, Mike M. onboard to share his knowledge of Alaska, its' people and culture, wildlife and so much more. Disembarkation went smoothly. We located our luggage easily and passed through customs without any issues. You must go to the Chihuly museum in Seattle and we enjoyed Anthony's Pier 66 for a sunset dinner. Although expensive, the view was priceless. Looking forward to returning to Alaska and will cruise with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I choose this particular cruise line based on reviews. My destination was to Alaska, regardless of which boat to take. However, after having sailed on Norwegian and Carnival, I opted to go with Princess based on the grander scale everyone ... Read More
I choose this particular cruise line based on reviews. My destination was to Alaska, regardless of which boat to take. However, after having sailed on Norwegian and Carnival, I opted to go with Princess based on the grander scale everyone was raving about. Unfortunately, I more than likely won't be choosing Princess again. More than once from several employees we received rude and obnoxious treatment from the staff. I gave the bartender at the International Cafe the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe he had a bad day. When his behavior occurred on more than one occasion. That's when I decided never again, will I go on a Princess cruise. He even made a comment to another employee I guess she can't see the menu up on the wall and she needs a menu. I am 39 years old and yes I can't see very well. I asked for a menu because I literally could not see and left my glasses in the room. Plus it seemed like Princess was basically all about getting more money from you. We were scammed into purchasing these coupon books, to go on a scavenger hunt and get free so called items. We purchased three, $75.00 and one store owner had the audacity to say it was one per state room. I was like no we purchased 3 booklets. Then when we did not purchase more merchandise, we were looked at like cheap-skates. The food, was bland and not always available. Breads, and pastries were stale and old, to the point of hardened. Sorry Princess, but this is a thumbs down! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have sailed a number of times with PRINCESS and found the trips very enjoyable BUT this recent trip to ALASKA was very disappointing.. I will start with the + and then list the - of the trips. CHECK IN - In Seattle was great, no ... Read More
We have sailed a number of times with PRINCESS and found the trips very enjoyable BUT this recent trip to ALASKA was very disappointing.. I will start with the + and then list the - of the trips. CHECK IN - In Seattle was great, no issues, PRINCESS' policy of allowing passengers to bring aboard their own Wines is a great plus. Each passenger gets (1) one 750ml bottle without corkage fee, and then as many 750ml bottles that you want to carry to your cabin for a $15.00/ea corking fee, which beats the cost of the different wines you would buy at dinner. Yes if the bottle is stamped that the corkage has been paid you can bring the bottle to dinner. We found our cabin with no GREAT ISSUES, but here is the 1st negative; My brother is confined to a wheel chair so I located, AFTER WEEKS of looking for a Veranda handicapped cabin with an adjacent standard veranda. I booked handicap cabin A301 for my brother and the "right next door" veranda cabin A 259, BUT when we checked in our cabin had been moved from the starboard side cabin A259 to the port side cabin A258. The point of the cabin selection was so WE could share common sights from our adjacent balconies, This happened in the beginning of the cruise and I was not a happy cruiser. The muster drill was a bit upsetting for my WHEELCHAIR BOUND BROTHER, After the drill, NO PASSENGER WOULD ALLOW HIM ON THE ELEVATORS, AFTER 30+ minutes his wife FORCED the other passengers to let him on. I complained to the cruise desk about the "could be very bad" lack of access to wheelchair folks, in case of an emergency. I was told "IT WAS ONLY A DRILL" and if it had been a real emergency, a CREW elevator would be made available to handicap folks. What a laugh that was, since in a real emergency, able bodied passengers would stampede all elavators and my brother would NEVER be allowed to escape the danger. ROOM SERVICE - BREAKFAST, only offered a semi-hot McMuffin type thing wrapped in foil, nothing else. Ths was not good for my brother & wife who were 1st time cruisers, and looked forward to a nice in-room breakfast on their veranda. EXCURSIONS - In SKAYWAY, AK We booked a WHITE PASS RAILROAD TRIP with a 15 mile downhill bike ride via a non-PRINCESS tour operator. What a fun EXCURSION this was, down hill back to SKAYWAY on a mountain bike with disk brakes at speeds up to 27 mph, crossed from Canada back to the US on a bike. What a thrilling adventure. PRINCESS only Allowed 1/2 of a day in both KETCHIKAN, AK & Victoria, BC, the cruise line did not allow a lot of time to explore either city. SUGGESTION... Before you book ANY CRUISE check actually how much time there will be in the port. We all felt ripped off by PRINCESS telling us in the advertisements we would enjoy x number of ports, only to find out that the port of call was actually not productive for touring. VICTORIA, BC we arrived in late late afternoon, we had booked a $60.00/ea tour of BUTCHARD GARDENS, which we were told were beautiful BUT we arrived at the gardens via the tour bus AFTER DARK, and the beauty of the place was not visible to anyone.. Very disappointing and a rip off of many people. The only reason that PRINCESS CRUISES stopped in Victoria, BC, was to have a FOREIGN PORT OF CALL within the Alaskan trip, so the cruise line could utilize non- American crew members, to reduce the trips costs. What this did was improve the bottom line and turn off frequent cruiser to PRINCESS CRUISES. Finally, the dining experience for WHEELCHAIR BOUND passengers really is demeaning in the handicapped on the LIDO DECK RESTAURANTS. crew members place obstructions o piled plastic glasses and plates on racks that block ANY access to wheelchairs into the tabled areas, We would have to search high and low to find ANY way into the tabled areas, with the blocked eating areas. In one particular occasion, I forcible pushed a rack of glasses out of the way, spilling all the glasses to the floor in a effort to cause a bit of a scene to draw attention to the disregard PRINCESS has for those confined to wheelchairs. Princess also allows SMOKING in the casinos, so the smoke permeates to other areas of the ship, Could this be that the smoking is allows to GRAB the CRUISERS who smoke a lot to enjoy their cancer sticks ? then go into the elevators smelling of smoke to trap the 90% of the passengers who do not smoke in those elevators... Beware of the new type CRUISE PASSENGERS who is rude and self absorbed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I had always heard the Alaska cruise was wonderful and wanted to experience the raw beauty of Alaska. It is gorgeous and pristine. I traveled with a friend as our husband's did not want to go. We decided to spend two days in Seattle ... Read More
I had always heard the Alaska cruise was wonderful and wanted to experience the raw beauty of Alaska. It is gorgeous and pristine. I traveled with a friend as our husband's did not want to go. We decided to spend two days in Seattle previous to the cruise and glad we did. Seattle is a gorgeous city. The Chihuly Glass Garden was amazing which is a must next to the Space Needle. The restaurant in the garden area was very good, expensive but good. A great way to start day #1 of our vacation. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel which was arranged by Princess. It was expensive as all Seattle hotels are. The hotel was lovely however it is right next to a freeway so very hard to sleep. Next time I would prefer to be closer to the water as walking up those Seattle hills was brutal! We took a ferry to Bainbridge Island and would recommend this. It was only $4.20 (senior rate) and gave you a lovely perspective of Seattle and the area around it. Walked the island to art galleries, shops, etc. and had a healthy lunch at Fork and Spoon. I really would suggest spending time in Seattle before or after the cruise. Pikes Marketplace was so-so for us. First of all, it was a record 92 degrees and very crowded. The shops are expensive and a lot of flea market type of stuff. Some shops were nice and we bought our wine for the ship there. The fish throwing area was fun and the flowers were stunning! It was fun to do but would not do it again. The Crown is the sister ship of the Ruby which I have been on twice so very familiar with the layout. We had a balcony cabin on Carib deck which I always ask for because the balcony is large. I have been on 6 Princess cruises mostly to the Caribbean and Mexico. I have to say the food on the Crown was exceptional. We were going to do specialty dining but didn't because the meal selection was so good including the Horizon Court buffet. The entertainment was the best I have seen on all my Princess cruises, make sure you go to the shows including The Voice competition. Everyone on the ship was friendly and helpful and the passengers were very nice. Lots of diversity. Alaska is really God's country. It is very windy so be prepared for that. And cold especially in Glacier Bay and Juneau on the glaciers. We did the glacier helicopter to Mendenhal and it was freezing on the glacier where you are walking around for about 30 minutes. I did bring layers but I really needed my down coat. A vest is not enough. They supply you with glacier boots over your shoes and I also wore boots so my feet were warm. You need a warm hat, gloves and lots of warm layers when you go outside. Be prepared for cold wind even on a sunny day. We had no rain even thought it was predicted. The weather was gorgeous. Because it is the end of the season you can buy all these clothing items at very good prices on the ship (lots of sales) and on shore shops. I wish we needed more of this but in San Diego it doesn't get that cold. We did the Ketchikan duck tour which was so much fun. The 4 hour train ride was great but maybe one hour too long. The bus tour in Victoria was a total waste of time and money, it was dark and you could not see anything. The town however is beautiful so I would suggest just getting off the ship and walking around and having a nice meal there. The gardens (if you go in the daytime) are stunning. We stayed in cabin C602 it was the standard cabin however the bed was awful and the room steward Roland did a great job in making it comfortable. They need new beds in that cabin. I booked a Christmas cruise to Mexico for this December on the Ruby the same layout as the Crown. We are looking forward to it. I also went to the casino every night and play blackjack. I didn't win but look at it as entertainment and met some very nice interesting people. I did get a casino credit for the next trip so was happy about that! We do Anytime Dining for flexibility and meeting new friends. Pack layers for windy cold days and you will be fine. People did sit by the pool in the beginning and end of the cruise, it was too cold for me. Enjoy your trip! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have cruised many cruise lines but by far Princess is my favorite. Adam the cruise director was not as outgoing as I would have preferred but he did an adequate job. The musical group, was outstanding. I say that even though I ... Read More
We have cruised many cruise lines but by far Princess is my favorite. Adam the cruise director was not as outgoing as I would have preferred but he did an adequate job. The musical group, was outstanding. I say that even though I can't remember the name of the group. I think it was Static, but nonetheless they were very entertaining. We actually departed on the 13th, and we arrived two days before and explored Seattle, WA. Seattle is a great place to visit and if you go you must visit the Public Market. We have actually done this cruise twice, this time with the whole family. Our adult children loved it as well. The cruise was great but the buffet has changed since our last cruise, to the extent that I prefer the dining room for my meals. The never ending pizza is wonderful, as well as the hamburgers, hotdogs, and fries. You are never at a lack for food. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise - a little pricey but this was Alaska. Stayed in a mini suite allowing us more room with a full size tub. Our Steward [Ricky] was excellent and attentive. The food in the main dining room was excellent ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise - a little pricey but this was Alaska. Stayed in a mini suite allowing us more room with a full size tub. Our Steward [Ricky] was excellent and attentive. The food in the main dining room was excellent and service was exceptional [not so much the buffet – not too many choices there]. Also dined in the “extra pay” steak house – disappointing, - Service was slow and steak was overdone. Food was much better in the main dining room and you don’t have to pay extra. The comedians were excellent and with “G” rated shows this was a plus. Our shore excursions were great – had fun on the River float and Dog Mushing was truly an experience. Both took approx. 30-45 minutes to get to the area allowing time to see the countryside – this was a plus in our book. We had a baggage issue when boarding [this was our error] and Laurel at check did an outstanding job getting things together and saving our vacation. All in all we had a great time and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We took our 7-yr-old granddaughter on her first cruise. She loved it and we loved it through her eyes! (This was my 4th trip to Alaska.) She loved the Pelican Group activities. Michael, the naturalist was great. It was an enjoyable ... Read More
We took our 7-yr-old granddaughter on her first cruise. She loved it and we loved it through her eyes! (This was my 4th trip to Alaska.) She loved the Pelican Group activities. Michael, the naturalist was great. It was an enjoyable trip. The ship was well-kept. There were workers painting, polishing, etc. The cabin was adequate for the 3 of us and our steward was very good. We always enjoy the production shows with the Princess singers and dancers, however the shows on this cruise were not quite up to par. Too much smoke burning our eyes on the Magic show. The sets and props were not as spectacular as usual. Carlos Oscar is the best comedian of the century, and totally rated G for all audiences! Please get a better recipe for the "dressing" in the "turkey and dressing" entree. That sweet dressing was gross, disgusting, and not suitable for diabetics! Same for the sweet potatoes. A nice, unadulterated sweet potato would have been delicious. Ketchikan was shortchanged. There needs to be more time there. It is unfair to the city and to the passengers to be there for such a short time! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We Cruised with our 16 year old Grandson who has life threatening allergies and found Princess Cruises to be very accommodating for his needs. My wife and I are Vegan and our Head Waiter Jose in any time dining did an excellent job of ... Read More
We Cruised with our 16 year old Grandson who has life threatening allergies and found Princess Cruises to be very accommodating for his needs. My wife and I are Vegan and our Head Waiter Jose in any time dining did an excellent job of directing the three of us and getting us safe and tasty meals! We found the wait staff in the anytime dinning friendly and remembered our needs like hot water with lemon wedges, no ice water or wine. Our Grandson especially enjoyed and went back several times to the Pizza and Ice cream out on deck near the pool. He had a great time on the Cruise and spent very little time in the teen center. We had an inside cabin and our Stateroom Stewart was always johnny on the spot for preparing our room with the bunk that pulls down from the wall. The Ship Captain was out and about on deck often and with a warm and friendly smile. Alaska was Great with the views and the Glaciers. Most of the entertainment was enjoyable and our favorite was comedian Carlos Oscar and recommend if he is on your cruise take in his show. Clean fun! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We took this cruise during 13th - 20th. I had my family including 2 teen boys with me. The itinerary was good. Your Room and Comfort: However the cabins smelled muggy/wet, and the bathrooms smelled like public restrooms. Beds were ... Read More
We took this cruise during 13th - 20th. I had my family including 2 teen boys with me. The itinerary was good. Your Room and Comfort: However the cabins smelled muggy/wet, and the bathrooms smelled like public restrooms. Beds were sagging and uncomfortable. Not good to get relaxing sleep. Entertainment: The company clearly focused it's energy on selling (goods on ship via their stores, or shows or auctions or drinks if you did not purchase their drink plan) but had less focus on making your stay enjoyable. Other than mostly shops, there were some entertainment like movies but it got real boring when it was whole day at sea. The temperatures get cold and rains are common in Alaska, hence you can't really enjoy Lido deck as much. I expected the ship to have lot more fun activities inside but sadly it was mostly either shopping or casino. Music been played in the areas where even coffee is not free so better shove out money if you want to listen to relaxing live piano being played. Dining Service: Staff was okay if you were to go to formal dining rooms. Casual buffet staff was plain out careless in most cases. Language barrier with staff made it even more challenging to explain what you need - ask for water and you may get coffee. The food choices where pretty much limited - pizza, burger, ice cream, casual buffet or formal dining. Fitness Centers: Fitness center was small, specially when you have 3000 guests, 10 trade mils and 5-6 machines for strength workout was way too little. Center was always packed with waiting lines, very little room to move around. I have seen twice the size on other ships. I had more expectations from Princess but sadly disappointed. The whole point seemed like "Aha, now that you are on my ship, I am going to suck and shake every penny off you!!! Where will you go even if you don't like me huh?" Overall, I would say, stay away from Princess. Only other cruise line I had sailed was Carnival and they were much better at treating you like they cared. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The cruise ships was fine but two things let it down, poor food and pushy sales tactics. The food in the buffet restaurants looked good and had a good variety of choice but was pretty tasteless. The breakfast toast and bagels were kept ... Read More
The cruise ships was fine but two things let it down, poor food and pushy sales tactics. The food in the buffet restaurants looked good and had a good variety of choice but was pretty tasteless. The breakfast toast and bagels were kept under hot lights so that they were hard and dry by the time you got them. We were told they catered for vegans but this was not the case and we often ended up having bread and salad. There were no vegan dishes as such. It almost seemed as if the food was deliberately bland so that you would pay to go to the restaurants that required a cover change, sabatinis was a good Italian but we had to pay $29 USD per person. Every day there was a promotion by the sales manager for Jewlllery and Juneau town was just row after row of Jewlllery shops. Clearly this man was on commission as all he talked about was Jewlllery and bargains. Efforts jewellery was pushed all the time. Similarly the spa team were always offering talks on how to look more youthful I order to push spa treatments, at the end of which you got the hard wall for expensive products. One good thing about the cruise we're the naturalist speakers, and when travelling through area of interest we were provided with great wildlife talks and shouts,out when whales or Dolphins were spotted. The captain was very friendly and chatted in restaurants etc. The shore excursions were very pricey and often disappointing. We booked a whale watching and glacier tour. The whale watching was excellent. It the glacier was miles away and just a few ins to take photos. The bear sanctuary was very pricey and it turns out they only have 17 bears there! It's really small too. I did see a shop sign saying to come on in becaus they don't give kick backs to cruise companies ... I enjoyed the cruise destinations but the crew weren't overly friendly or helpful and seemed on a bit of a downer, maybe because the season was coming to a close? But it was the constant excuse to squeeze money out of you that irritated me. Constantly pushing the gastro pub food, which of course you have to pay a cover charge for. The internet was very expensive and poor, but gain they offered specials on this. The jewellery shop co tstanly had raffles or specials to entice people in. Disappointing... Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We choose this cruise at the last minute, well only 6 weeks prior to cruising. We were on the Crown Princess because there were 2 cabins, a balcony and an interior across the hall from each other which was a requirement since we were ... Read More
We choose this cruise at the last minute, well only 6 weeks prior to cruising. We were on the Crown Princess because there were 2 cabins, a balcony and an interior across the hall from each other which was a requirement since we were taking our grandsons on their graduation cruise. This was our 4th cruise on Princess and did not meet the standard of our previous experience on the line. Dining room for breakfast was not good. We ate at the Horizon Court, which is very unusual for my wife, most days. Crown Grill was not worth the premium, Sabbatinis was. Lunch and dinner in the dining rooms was okay, but not quite up to what we remembered from previous cruises. My grandsons enjoyed all the food options and were rarely disappointed with what they ordered. The Tradewinds cafe in the plaza is a great place for a quick snack. Pizza and burgers on the Lido deck were as expected. Didn't go to any any shows, grandsons went to Movie Under the Stars every night raining or not. Cabin steward was great, all other service seemed to lack enthusiasm. Whale watching in Juneau with Gastineau Guiding was exceptional. We followed a group of 12 humpbacks that bubble fed, triple breached, and swam under our small boat. Boys and I loved the zipline in Skagway, not as restrictive as the one in Ketchikan. If I cruise to Alaska again it probably won't be on Princess, but I would go in August and be sure to book the same company for a whale watch. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was my "test drive" cruise to decide if I want to cruise back2back for the next 20 years. I cruised in the distant past, but not for 15 years or so. I was looking for a clean, classy, calm ship, and the Crown fit this ... Read More
This was my "test drive" cruise to decide if I want to cruise back2back for the next 20 years. I cruised in the distant past, but not for 15 years or so. I was looking for a clean, classy, calm ship, and the Crown fit this description. I selected an inside cabin, to keep my costs in check. With the beds split, there is plenty of space. The cabin has enough room to store everything I will need to take. Since I will be using the ship as my "house", the stateroom will function on,y as my bedroom. The TV tuned to the bridge cam gave me a widow to outside. I searched the ship for a comfortable location to use as my "home office". I found three suitable locations. Explorer's Lounge has comfortable seats with tables at desk height. When it is not available, I can go to Skywalker's, which not only has dozens of tables and chairs, but panorama windows as well. The third place is the desk in my cabin, but I would only use it for this purpose if the others are too busy or noisy. I enjoyed several of the activities, Zumba, trivia games, The Voice competition, evening music in the Piazza and some of the enrichment programs. The service was better than expected. I have digestive issues (lactose intolerant with several allergies). Staff prepared meals off the menu to suit my needs when leaving out an ingredient or two was not enough to keep me safe. I cannot say enough about the EZcheck program. They took my luggage at night and put it on my flight the next morning. I did not see it until I arrived at my final destination. My group was one of the first to disembark the ship. I was given a boarding pass for my flight with a TSA pre check designation. This was simple, easy and stress free. It was well worth the $25 it cost. Not only will cruising my retirement for me, but I have booked the Crown Princess as my home base. I'll be writing all about it on CrusingMyRetirement.com soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I love the Alaska cruise especially the Tracy Arm Fjord. This trip we went thru Glacier Bay. It was just okay. Tracy Arm Fjord on the other hand is absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend that cruise aboard Princess lines. I highly ... Read More
I love the Alaska cruise especially the Tracy Arm Fjord. This trip we went thru Glacier Bay. It was just okay. Tracy Arm Fjord on the other hand is absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend that cruise aboard Princess lines. I highly recommend anytime dining. We were banned from the Botachelli dining room by a very snooty matre'd. The same food is available at the other two dining rooms. Several of the restaurants aboard are now charging. Best buffets aboard at the Horizon and Caribe'. Excellent salmon in the dining room and wonderful desserts. Wait staff are wonderful and fun. The gentleman who cleaned our room was fantastic, funny, playful and lovable. My favorite excursion was the Animal Planet recommended dog sledding and musher camp. I was surprised to see smaller, heavily muscled dogs rather than burly huskies. These little fellas and gals love to run and are surprisingly loving. The loved being petted and told how brave and beautiful they are. The ride down the mountain was invigorating and beautiful, although much shorter than I would have liked. The lecture after was really informative and entertaining. We got to see the teenage dogs practice running in their huge exercise wheel. These dogs love to, and are bred to, run. Then we held and loved the puppies. Our bus guide was very entertaining and helpful. The best excursion ever. I would go again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We went on the 7-night cruise to Alaska on Princess Crown at end of July 2016 and I must give credit where credit is due! We had a great experience overall. We were alarmed and on high alert about everything given several of the ... Read More
We went on the 7-night cruise to Alaska on Princess Crown at end of July 2016 and I must give credit where credit is due! We had a great experience overall. We were alarmed and on high alert about everything given several of the negative reviews online about this ship. It is certainly true that there have been norovirus outbreaks on ships and that buffets almost inevitably pose health risks in any environment. However, we didn’t encounter any of the issues described in the negative reviews and really want to emphasize all of the positives of this cruise and recognize all of the hard work and effort put forth by the staff on this ship in particular. We want to give kudos to the amazing staff. They all work so hard and aim to please. The reps at check in were very efficient; our cabin attendant Tito on Emerald Deck worked hard to keep our cabins tidy and clean; our head waiter Jose Fernandez catered to our 11 year old son who has several food allergies and was able to deliver gourmet meals three times per day that made our son incredibly happy and never sick; the Supervisor of the restaurants Michelangelo and Da Vinci, Francesco from Italy, went out of his way to make sure that we were happy at every meal in the dining room. Honestly, all of the servers were fantastic, patient and attentive. The food in the two main dining rooms where we ate ALL of our meals (avoided the buffet) was very good and several dinners were outstanding (king crab legs, lobster tail, jumbo prawns/shrimp, halibut in curry sauce with bokchoy). We have been on a prior Celebrity cruise and have very high standards when it comes to food as we are from Italy (living in the USA) and we are hard to please. There were a few entrees that are sub par, but we have to say that the waiters do a great job of pointing out the dishes that they highly recommend when asked specifically – so make sure to ask them for input! We enjoyed every dinner and never missed one! We enjoyed the afternoon tea and scones and the 24/7 International Café. There is absolutely no need to eat at the ports. The two formal nights are a lot of fun as we love to dress up! For people who are lazy to get dressed, the buffet is the other option, but this will tend to disappoint – per several of the negative reviews online. Regarding other highlights of the cruise - the shows and activities on board were great. We truly enjoyed the art auctions, Magic show and comedian. We did excursions privately in the ports of Alaska. In Juneau, we opted to just walk around Mendenhall Glacier and the visitor center and town. At every port, we kept going back to the ship for our dining room meals and we were never disappointed! We rented a car in Skagway and drove up to Emerald Lake in Yukon. The views are spectacular and it is a lovely experience. We should have gone on the whale watching excursion as we did not see any whales at all on the ship or around – so this was certainly a disappointment! The only wildlife that we saw was sea otters and sea lions. We went on a private salmon fishing trip in Ketchikan and we highly recommend Svenson Sportfishing – Axel is the contact – svensonsportfishing@gmail.com website www.svenso nsportfishing.com. We fished 15 pink salmons in a few hours and he is affiliated with a company at the port that cleans/filets and smoked the fish and shipped it all to us in a few days - all frozen and for a very reasonable price. We enjoyed walking around town in Victoria and we had icecream at great place (Chocolats Favoris) in town where the soft serve icecream on a cone is dipped into dark chocolate and other great flavors. Problem with the stop in Victoria is that it is way too short and we couldn’t make it to the gardens. Hoping this review is helpful to those considering this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My daughter, granddaughter, and I cruised to Alaska from Seattle on Crown Princess. We chose Princess because I have cruised with Princess 5 times previously, so I had inducements to stay with Princess. We have cruised Panama Canal, ... Read More
My daughter, granddaughter, and I cruised to Alaska from Seattle on Crown Princess. We chose Princess because I have cruised with Princess 5 times previously, so I had inducements to stay with Princess. We have cruised Panama Canal, Alaska, and the Caribbean with Princess in the past and have enjoyed the ships and the itineraries. Perhaps it is because I have cruised with Princess previously, including two previous cruises to Alaska, that I was more aware of some of the negative aspects of cruising this time. First--the public areas of the ship are too crowded and noisy! It seemed like there was a "dull roar" everywhere, to the point that conversation was difficult. When we went in our cabin and shut the door, we had blessed silence! Our cabin became our refuge, and most of the time on board we spent there. The shipboard activities were pretty much the same as every cruise we have ever been on with Princess. Same "games," same kinds of shows, same shopping, same old same old. Not real interesting. Not enticing enough to want to be out in the noise and the crowds. Second-- constant selling!! Everything on board involves selling. You can eat in the dining room, but the "really good" food is in the specialty restaurants--which involves a fee. You can look at the glaciers--and the ship kindly offers drink carts to sell more drinks. You can use the spa--for high fees. You can go to "art auctions," where "art" is sold. Every day there is some "special" -- clothes, jewelry, watches, etc.--taking up room in the public areas for more selling. Pictures for sale constantly. As you get off the ship, employees are selling water. As you walk into port, you go through a gauntlet of jewelry stores, souvenir stores, etc. --all exactly the same from port to port!!--all owned by or sponsored by the cruise lines--for more selling. Constant selling of the excursions, most of which include stops at various venues for shopping. Sell, sell, sell. Pretty crass and annoying. Of course, if one does want to be out of the noise and crowds for some peace and quiet ourside your room, they will sell you time in "The Sanctuary" where evidently you purchase the cruising experience you assumed you had already purchased by cruising with Princess!! Thirdly, I was treated incredibly rudely by the staff. I drink a lot of water--60oz a day or so. I asked every day for a pitcher of iced tap water in my room, to keep in my refrigerator, to use during the day. Every day I would receive 5 or 6 little glasses of water on my tray-- not 12oz glasses, but more like juice glasses. They were too small for the bars in the refrig, so they would spill easily and take up space. I would ask again for a pitcher of water. I was told the ship "didn't have enough pitchers" for me to have one in my room. Finally, I went to the buffet and got a pitcher for myself. As I was leaving the buffet, I was accosted by a waiter who told me I couldn't have the pitcher of water! He insisted that I give it back to him! It was an unpleasant, embarrassing, and infuriating exchange. All I wanted was a pitcher of water!!!!! How difficult is that?!?!? However, they kindly provided bottled water--for sale--in my room. The three of us had, overall, an good time on the cruise because we were together, and we enjoyed the scenery and the independent excursions we took on our own. The cruise line was secondary. In fact, we three are going on another Princess cruise in 2017. We treat the ship as a hotel where we don't have to unpack every day and schlep our suitcases, and where we, as three women traveling without male accompaniment, feel safe. We have past cruise status with Princess, so we will go with Princess again when we cruise. Princess is certainly organized and experienced; all the processes and experiences on the ship are smoothly choreographed. After 5 cruises, I don't have to think about the schedule on Princess; I pretty much know what will happen at any given time during the day. Princess is predictably efficient, middle class, and safe. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Just got off Crown Princess to Alaska July/August. Overall, it did not meet my expectations. But first, what I liked: Room: Was in Mini Suite w/Balcony: Very spacious. Plenty of storage, legroom and large balcony Food: In terms of ... Read More
Just got off Crown Princess to Alaska July/August. Overall, it did not meet my expectations. But first, what I liked: Room: Was in Mini Suite w/Balcony: Very spacious. Plenty of storage, legroom and large balcony Food: In terms of taste, everything I had was extremely delicious. Safety: They took every measure, including mandatory hand washing with Purell in dining, and other areas. Photographs: Amazing, energetic, and talented group of photographers. Not just that, Princess has $199 unlimited package. Just buy it and let them snap away. Best deal. Coffee Card: For $31 you get 15 punches. Each punch is a specialty coffee. Extra shots are extra punch. Unlimited brewed coffee and hot chocolate. Good coffee, albeit long lines to grab one. Plus limited space to sit, esp if there is a show going on there. That's pretty much it. As you can imagine for this time of the year, the ship was packed. With some three thousand passengers. Long lines galore. Anywhere you go. Even at places you pay extra. Like the coffee shop. Princess already knew it was packed ship, why not add more staff? Talking about staff...to be honest, most of the staff (in particular, waiters) seemed very tired, overworked, and barely smiled. I found that very strange. You could be sitting on the table, and no one would come to ask for drinks or coffee. This was not consistent, but the consistency I was expecting was not evident. On more than one occasion, I had to walk up to the coffee station to get coffee. Or even water. They all just seemed half asleep, if I am allowed to exaggerate here. Entertainment: What entertainment? Other than a Magic show, or something, there was not much to boast in terms of 'stage shows'. They featured a stand up 'Carlos Oscar' who performed many times, first in the Princess Theater, which has a very large capacity. And it was packed. Total success. Then for next showing they figured, hmmm lets make some money here. So they moved him to 'Explorer' lounge which is basically a sit in bar. Seriously. Very limited seats. It was overcrowded. People were standing. Even outside the lounge. Mind you, this is a clean standup, so kids attended too. Of course, Princess was happy to serve drinks to happy audience. Back to entertainment. There was daily 'quick entertainment' happening at the Piazza on Deck 5, which involves live music, acrobats and what not. I attended those as well, but guess what? No place to sit there as well. People stood all over the two story stairway. I thought you are supposed to sit back and relax during a cruise, not to ever 'lift a finger' and not to rush 30 minutes ahead of showtime just so you can get a seat. Lastly, I thought in the main dining area, they would put a small show last day. No such thing. Dining: We were assigned Da Vinci for our dinner dining. Very elegant room with lots of paintings. But again, waiters with zero energy. Normally, you would get to know your waiter really well by the end of cruise. Too busy. No small talk. I wonder if they have had a break in between cruise runs. Felt sorry for staff. Lido Deck: Always crowded. Obviously at peak times, its hard to find a place. Needless to say, long lines here too. Once you exit and forgot your yogurt...dont bother. It would take you another long run. Very limited vegetarian choices. Dining area did not seem very clean. There was a place where water leaked from top, so they had to close that down during entire cruise. Talk about a sold out ship and block a section off. Gym: To me it sounds crazy to have limited time for gym to open. It should be 24 hours. Especially with three thousand on board. Here's why. People like me prefer to work out first thing in the morning. First day, I was up early and headed to gym around 6am. I should have read everything before I boarded I guess. Went back around 0715. And wow! Entire gym was packed. And its a huge area with plenty of machines. Every one of them were taken. Not just that, there were people standing behind machines for their turn. Suddenly the rowing machine was vacant. I had never touched a rowing machine in my life. I gave it a shot. I liked it. After a bit, I paused to check for messages on 'Princess At Sea' App (Yes, you have to actively check periodically). And someone taps on my shoulder, 'are you done'? I could not believe it! I brought in 'Princess At Sea' App on purpose, because that's the final part of my review. The good thing about the app is that it gives you details of events of the day, share event with others, and access to your account, and any excursions booked via Princess. However, it fails miserably where it should really shine: Messaging. First, there is NO notification on phone. Periodically you have to login and check if you have messages. Its impossible to communicate with your party in real time. Finally, the internet. You can buy satellite internet and they have reasonable plans. Internet worked without any flaws and was considerably fast. Consider Google Phone or equivalent if you want to make phone calls via internet. All this was about the journey. The destination on the other hand? Absolutely amazing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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