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  Cruise Ship Reviews : Princess Cruises Reviews

Crown Princess reviews


Crown Princess reviews

Average customer rating:
    3.81 / 5

Average Rating based on 16 Reviews:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 3.563.56
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 3.813.81
EntertainmentEntertainment = 3.733.73
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 3.673.67
Food QualityFood Quality = 3.693.69
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 3.693.69
SpaSpa = 3.863.86
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 5.005.00
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 4.134.13




Crown Princess itineraries and information



jeffkelleher saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 11
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
"You have to pay for quiet', January 6, 2017
Reviewer: jeffkelleher

Pros: Ocean vistas, communion with other passengers

Cons: Crowding, regimentation, add-on charges

Date of cruise: December 4, 2016

Departure port: Los Angeles

Region visited: South America

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: A210

Embarked on MV Crown Princess on a 27-day cruise from Los Angeles to Montevideo, I had been driven away from poolside by the thumping music so I found a deck chair in a quiet region, stretched out happily and opened my book. Presently, a cruise line goombah appeared and demanded $40 to use the chair for the day.

“You’re kidding.”
“This is a quiet area.”
“I know. That’s why I sat here.”
“You have to pay for quiet.”

That last statement should be featured on every Princess Cruises brochure.

This ship is a floating gouge machine. It is also a jam-packed cattle car, whose passengers are relentlessly herded and prodded into servility.

I had been eager to make this voyage around Cape Horn ever since I read “Two Years Before the Mast” when a boy. As a former seagoing Naval officer, and having read every one of the 25 or so Hornblower and Aubrey and Maturin novels, I was churning with excitement. What a shattering disappointment.

The debacle began with embarkation in L.A., a grueling two-hour exercise that killed all festive spirit. You are interrogated, searched, photographed, and admonished as you pass through no fewer than five checkpoints. This suggests nothing else so much as the booking-in process at Terminal Island Federal Prison.

You are issued an ID card linked to your personal data and photo, and told it is “required” that you carry it with you “at all times.” This suggests nothing else so much as the ID cards that German Jews were “required” to carry with them “at all times.”

You are advised that your luggage is subject to search for “contraband.” Guns? Bombs? Drugs? No. Jack Daniels and Cotes du Rhone. The company forbids passengers to possess alcohol, even in their own cabins. This is further enforced by “alcohol checkpoints” when you embark.

For our good health, right? Of course not. We understand immediately that this is to shelter the monopoly on alcohol. This is soon manifested in the excessive prices for drinks and wine. I estimate 400-500% markup.

A 50-minute massage is $134, including the mandatory tip. Internet access is $200 to $400, depending on which plan you choose. The service is glacial.

As the ship enters the tropical ports, a steward circulates around the decks distributing half-liter bottles of water “to beat the heat ashore.” “Thanks very much.” “That will be two dollars.”

The standard (i.e., “free”) restaurants offer food of variable quality ranging from four-star to hog slop. Oddly, they serve a superb Beef Wellington but the hamburger has the flavor and consistency of week-old oatmeal.

Breakfast is especially dismal: bins of tired bacon marinating in grease, eggs congealing under heat lamps, soggy pancakes, truck-stop coffee. If you don’t fancy dishwater coffee, you can get the “special” variety for $2.95 per cup.

The meals are contended for in bump-and-shove buffet lines or delivered in noisy crowded restaurants by harried waiters. The service staff are willing and friendly, but are so frenzied in contending with the mass of humanity that they lack care.

For example, rushing around the restaurant the waiter will pour water in your wine. Yes, this happened. He apologized and carried away the diluted wine, saying he would “bring another.” It turned out that he meant “another water,” not “another wine.” The replacement wine had to be paid for. Waiters are forbidden to dispense “free” wine.

Similarly, in the rush to keep the herd moving, waiters will snatch away your half-finished plate when you get up to refill your coffee. The buffet restaurant is in such frantic chaos that it is impossible to know who “your” waiter is. So I asked the nearest one to please not take the untouched meal away while I went for iced tea. I returned after a minute and a half. Gone.

At dinner one evening, I was captivated by the narrative of an 84-year-old Korean lady to my left who had lived through the Japanese occupation. A waiter positioned behind my right shoulder interposed, in the middle of her sentence, “May I take your order?” Deeming that I was not quick enough to break off this communion and turn to his business, he poked me in the shoulder repeatedly and barked “sir, sir, sir.” This particular form of rudeness is a regular thing.

Not all the wait staff are so rude. A minority are more thoughtful. But this proceeds from their innate politeness rather than correct training.

If you want the good food and soft ambience, you must attend one of the “specialty” restaurants at $29 extra per meal. Ka-ching once again.

Be prepared for LOTS of lines, swarming and teeming, for meals, for shows, for excursions. Be also prepared for the “dash for the seat/bar stool/deck chair” competition. You will be ordered to vacate if another passenger believes he has a better claim. You could stand your ground and battle for your rights, but you didn’t buy an expensive cruise for that. So you shrug and amble off, irritated less at the other passenger than at Princess Cruises for packing you in this way.

SHORE EXCURSIONS. I could write a separate essay of similar length, but will just say this: NEVER book a Princess shore excursion unless you desire further experience with mass-herded tours at exorbitant cost. Instead, make independent arrangements in advance, more customized and at a third the price. Alternatively, it is almost always possible to make arrangements on the spot.

The harm of all this is not only out-of-pocket. You might just set aside a few thousand extra, say the hell with it, and relax. But it wouldn’t work. You are repeatedly irritated as you are dinged, gouged, squeezed, and fleeced; you are endlessly on edge as you worry that you might have crossed some line or entered some space or consumed some comestible that will trigger an extra charge or a “not allowed” reproach; you are always conscious that this cruise line will exploit your captivity to the maximum.

In time, I developed a grim admiration for the efficiency with which the passengers are processed. The word “processed” is carefully chosen. That’s what you will be.

The Rule of Five Percent holds that every experience entails at least five percent that is fun and enriching. I made it my mission to find the five percent, and managed to do so: the sea air, the ocean vistas, the communion with other passengers, some stunning views at the bottom of the world. So I attained part of what I came for. But by the end of the cruise I was half screaming inside to get off of this hog-wallow vessel.


Xarata saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 22
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 22
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 22
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 11
Dirty, rude staff, just awful experience, October 13, 2016
Reviewer: Xarata

Pros: The ports were lovely

Cons: The staff and overall attitude, cleanliness and ship condition

Departure port: Vancouver

Region visited: Pacific Northwest

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: C256

Good for children: No

This was bad on so many levels. We were travelling as a group of 9 and had 4 cabins. This was not a first cruise for any of us and several members of the group were travel agents. For myself, it was my 16th cruise. I am 30.
 
Overall: The ports were lovely, traditional dining food was reasonably good, and spending time with our families salvaged an abysmal cruise experience. I have been cruising since I was a little girl. One of the most notable reasons for choosing a cruise is that everyone on a ship treats you like you're special and offers a luxury experience. Princess does not make you feel special. We came back needing a vacation from our vacation.
 
Staterooms:
There was hair in our towels, bedding, and showers. We had a crib (which wasn't there when we arrived though it had been requested) and no offer was made to change the twin bed configuration. I pushed the beds together myself, but they retained twin sheets and twin blankets for the duration of our stay.

The bathroom door was very difficult to close. My father-in-law's bag had been held for inspection, but no one notified him. At dinner, when he had no bag and no clothes to change into he inquired after it and it was resolved, but otherwise they would have just left him in limbo. There were no channel guides. The room book said consult your Princess Patter and the Princess Patter said "consult your Princess Patter" but there were no channel guides. Though the room guide stated that there would be pool towels in room, there were not. We both found the beds to be super uncomfortable. Also, our family has short hair and we know cruises provide bath products so we didn't bring our own. Princess' "Lotus Spa" products were very heavily perfumed in a department store way (not in a lightly scented relaxing spa way).
 
Dining:
We did a little a bit of everything.
-Traditional dining was pretty on par and we were happy with it overall. I have had better cruise meals and received lukewarm French onion soup. Such is life. The staff here was friendly and accommodating and great with our 1 year old. 
-The buffet was just awful, it's all closed in, poorly organized, exactly the same everyday, the sanitizer Nazis won't let you have a plate without sanitizer. Every day we had to bus a dirty table for seating and suffered most of our meals without beverages. If you tried to get your own beverages, you were told to go back to your seat. Ice cream was attached to the pizza station which meant you could only get it when the pizza station was open.
-For Specialty Dining we ate at Sabatinis and The Salty Dog/Wheelhouse. Both were very good though we found it odd that you couldn't really order at the barstools in The Wheelhouse.
-We also did an open seating lunch at the Crown Grill with a pre-set pubfare menu. It was so so bad. The servers all seemed lost, we watched food go to the wrong table and get retrieved, none of it came to the table at the same time, none of it was particularly yummy, and for dessert, there was hair baked into my bread and butter pudding. YUCK!
 
Activities:
-Movies Under The Stars fell very short of expectations. It had rained and furniture was left wet even though the unpadded deck chairs dried faster and were stacked and bound. The deck was left wet. No one passed out popcorn like the pictures. The ship doesn't have many drink stations which you were discouraged from helping yourself at and no one offered to get non-alcoholic beverages for you. It was cold and wet, but no one was passing out towels or trying to make it more comfortable.
-The casino was average though my husband (who works in a casino) did note that the rakes were higher than normal.
-We did one comedy show, there was no seating and I sat on the floor while my husband and father-in-law stood. The show was very PG (as opposed to the early and late shows offered on most cruise lines where the content differs) and there was just the one comedian.
-We did the less formal wine tasting. VIPs were invited, others were told they had to wait to be seated until right before the tasting. I had a broken glass and the presentation was awful. It was 10 minutes per wine where the staff told jokes rather than talking about the wine, sometimes forgot which wine they were supposed to be talking about, and suggested pairings for wine that weren't provided (I'm not talking fancy things, I mean like "try this wine with chocolate" but there was no chocolate. (They put chocolate on your pillow every night but can't put a piece of chocolate on the table at your wine tasting?) You received a pack of two crackers and a toothpick with 2 pieces of cheese and a grape.
-We normally do the tours of all the amenities and watch the ship take off. The tours occurred before our boarding time and the ship took off during dinner.
 
Boutiques:
-There were shop sales and they all felt like a flea market.
-Smallest liquor selection I have ever seen in a ship boutique
 
Communication:
Most ships announce port calls and times over the loudspeaker and in the rooms. Princess did not broadcast into the rooms with the exception of the lifeboat drill. Figuring out exactly what time and what deck to get off of each day was a guessing game.
The Princess Patter was a joke. It had the same event in the itinerary and featured at the bottom with the times 30 minutes different. And we went. There was no event- certainly not something that warranted a feature on the bottom of the page. It literally printed in the Princess Patter "please see your Princess Patter for channels and times".
I discovered their "Princess@Sea" app by accident on the second or third day. It wasn't mentioned in any of the room literature until the 4th or 5th day. Also, this phone app was the only place I could find to view my stateroom account. They did not have a television function for this.
 
Photography:
Overall the photographers were friendly, proactive, and pleasant. There were almost never lines for photos and I do wish they had spent some time getting our child to smile, but such is life. They did not give out picture number cards, so when you did the photo package at the end, you got the pictures you could find. There were pictures we couldn't find.

We did the Platinum Studio and while strawberries and champagne were advertised and we saw them in a corner, they weren't served to us. The photographer was great and the pictures very nice BUT they charge $150/image (digital). Despite the fact that I think that is way exorbitant and a bit of a hustle not to be upfront about the pricing, we did purchase 3 images. We received them on a CD. We're of the modern age of tablets and don't actually have a CD reader in our house so I have yet to retrieve. We paid $450 for 3 photos on a CD. The rest of our cruise photos came on a jump drive, but the ones I paid $150/image for came on a CD. Our kids probably won't even know what CDs are, but for $450 I can get 3 images on a CD. Great.
 
Travelling with a child:
I will be brief in saying that I didn't find this child friendly. Everywhere except traditional dining I had to find my own highchair (which may or may not have a safety belt), he was never offered a place setting, and I frequently had to reiterate a request for a plate at the buffet. In the Crown Grill, because he wasn't offered a highchair and was instead in someone's arms, he knocked over a water glass. No one noticed and no one offered to assist in cleaning up a drenched table and a drenched mom. We paid full 3rd person fare for our child, but he didn't even get his own chocolate at bedtime (and let me tell you, one-year-olds love chocolate). He's 1. He eats real food. He feeds himself. I didn't appreciate that he really wasn't offered any accommodations outside traditional dining (where staff was great with him). Some cruise lines understand that happy children make for happy parents, but Princess is not one of them.
 
The Tours:
We did two tours with the ship. Both left late and were poorly organized. The first did not meet where it said it would meet and was mislabeled. The second did not include narration on a 30-40-minute bus ride each way and left 5 hours after getting into port, leaving only 90 minutes at the tour destination.
 
Staff:
No one greets you in the halls or even smiles. On our final port, I was actually smacked on the hand by an attendant while retrieving my bags. When I complained at the front desk a few hours later, I was treated like I was just someone who wanted something for free. I didn't ask for compensation of any kind and certainly wasn't given any. I was told that it was the end of my trip and there's no point in complaining and maybe the hair we found everywhere was my (pixie cut) hair and being slapped was just a misunderstanding. At no point did Luciana apologize, just offered a lot of hostility.

I did speak with customer service a few weeks later. They did apologize and offered us $75 onboard credit for each adult (not the 3rd person) if we cruise in the next year. Har har. We won't be cruising with them EVER EVER again. I'm not sure we would give them a second chance even if it was free, let alone pay another $4,000 to repeat the experience.

The only quick response we received to our complaints was from the Princess twitter account. Everyone else was either unresponsive or slow to respond. We spent $4,000 for the worst vacation experience of our lives and came back feeling like we needed a vacation to recover from our vacation.

I can only make sure that I tell as many people as possible that there ARE fabulous and beautiful cruising experiences out there, but they aren't offered by Princess.


opto88 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 22
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 11
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 11
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 22
Crown rapidly going downhill, October 22, 2015
Reviewer: opto88

Pros: The new shows and their talented singers and dancers

Cons: The ship's condition, food and the staff's pride in their jobs.

Date of cruise: October 10, 2015

Departure port: San Pedro, CA

Cabin category: Outside

Cabin number: E305

Good for children: No

Good for teenagers: No

We are Elite passengers and had loved every cruise with Princess until this one on the Crown. The ship is in need of a major rehab as everything appears to be old andworn. Our cabin's rugs were stained and in need of replacement. The cabin steward was out for herself and us secondarily. Multiple times she rushed us out of our cabin so she could go ashore sooner.

The food selection in the main dining room was poor and limited. It also was excessively salty. It appears Princess has removed steak from the every day alternative menu, at least on this ship. With a very limited choice on the night's menu, we had always opted for the steak. So much for that.

Most of the ship's personnel seem to be just going through the motions. There does not appear to be much pride in this staff.
We have a 21-day Transatlantic cruise on Princess in April. If the experience is similar to this recent cruise, it will be goodbye Princess, hello Celebrity.

Sad situation when cost cutting becomes so obvious.


gr8gil saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 22
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 22
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 11
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Shabby cabin excellent service, December 25, 2014
Reviewer: gr8gil

Pros: Service

Cons: Failure to help in- transit passengers

Date of cruise: October 18, 2017

Departure port: los angeles

Region visited: South Pacific/Australia

Cabin category: Jr. Suite

Cabin number: d704

Good for children: No

Good for teenagers: No

We are Elite passengers with Princess Cruises with a total of 67 cruises. We traveled on back-to-back cruises to Tahiti and then Mexico from October 18 to November 22, 2014, aboard the Crown Princess.

First, we were disappointed with the condition of our veranda in mini-suite D704. The metal under the glass barrier was completely rusted, the all weather rubber flooring was dirty and stained, the lounge chairs were also stained and unusable without beach toweling, which also arrived stained. The sides of the veranda were rusted, scratched and marred. The area needed work, paint and new furniture.

Inside the cabin proper, a large tired, faded and worn sofa bed occupied the right wall. The middle cushion sagged and provided no defense against the metal superstructure of the bed inside.

The ship's food was generally mediocre and bland. The carving station in Horizon Court, which traditionally sliced beef, lamb and pork on occasion, offered lower cost chicken parts and meat loaf. Service in the Botticelli dining room was slow and early diners did not leave the table until 7:30 p.m.

Finally, we reach the most tragic episodes of our experience. During the middle of our 28-day Tahitian voyage, the captain began a daily process of reportage concerning the existence of norovirus and ways of preventing its spread. Day by day, along with talk about dolphin sightings and ports of call, the captain offered a countdown of new victims(estimated at over 100 according to later press reports) and said that when the ship docked in San Pedro, it would be decontaminated over a five hour period, before departing on the next cruise for Mexico.

Along with 30 other passengers we were expected to be in-transit guests for the Mexican trip. Ordinarily such guests must temporarily leave the ship after the Tahitian cruise, retire to a special section in the San Pedro terminal and then reboard ahead of all other passengers going to Mexico. But that never happened. Although my wife was wheelchaired off the ship, when we sought entrance to the terminal and relief from a hot sunny day, we were officiously turned away and informed that the terminal was being decontaminated and once the ship was ready, in five hours, the terminal would reopen.

There was no prearranged place for in-transit people to go. As a result we will never place ourselves in an in-transit position again. No more back-to-back cruises in U.S. ports. European cruise ships do not require in-transits to leave the ship. We took a cab to nearby Ports of Call, but it was crowded and hot so we went back to the ship where we found a line stretching the full length of the terminal with thousands of people waiting hours to board for Mexico. That's when my wife became ill with norovirus.

Incidentally, no one told us that in-transit passengers could go to the the head of the line for terminal entry and despite my wife's condition, we had to wait our turn.

Two days later on the way to Mexico, the captain reported the illness had struck new passengers with a body count of about 40. And that was after the five hour decontamination exercise in San Pedro.

Two weeks after our return, we wrote a letter informing Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, of our experience and within a week we received a phone call from Andy (no last name) a customer relations specialist, who apologized and expressed sympathy along with reassurance that the highest management offices were considering our plight and how our pitfalls could be avoided in the future.

Not content with lip service, we requested something in writing and was told "we have letter writers," and a week later a letter arrived from Katie Olson, specialist, Customer Relations, echoing Andy's remarks with a form letter type preface to my anguished complaints which read, "I was concerned to note that you have returned home less than satisfied with several aspects of your time aboard Crown Princess."

The entire affair and its handling by Princess leads me to suspect that P.T. Barnum, though erroneously credited with the phrase, may have been right in assessing future voyages on the Crown.


Scottyb saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 22
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 22
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 11
SpaSpa = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 22
Beware of The Crown Princess. VERY UNSAFE! LACK OF CARE!, November 28, 2014
Reviewer: Scottyb

Pros: None

Cons: Condition of this ship and the lack of care for the guests.

Date of cruise: October 4, 2017

Departure port: San Pedro, California

Cabin category: Jr. Suite

Cabin number: D206

Good for children: No

Good for teenagers: No

We sailed on this ship from October 4-11, 2014 out of San Pedro port in California. We sailed last year on Princess from San Pedro to Hawaii. That cruise ship as well as the cruise was excellent across the board.

However, we were shocked beyond belief at our recent cruise on the Crown Princess. How poorly maintained this boat is was totally shocking. Our mini suite (Dolphin Deck D206) was way below standards, with serious and very “dangerous" conditions. There is no excuse for Princess Cruise line to have so much neglect in the condition of this particular boat as well as lack of follow through

The bottom of the mini suite balcony railing had much rust that was not only extremely unsightly but also very dangerous. The metal/steel was worn away across the whole patio deck that parts of it were razor sharp. Chucks of ridged sharp pieces of rusted metal laid exposed that could easily cut or slice a person's foot. Also, the rubber blue mat was also heavy stained with unsightly rust spots.

We brought this to the attention of the main desk. After five days of sailing we brought it to their attention again and later that day the room steward came to look at it. This appears to be several years of neglect.

Also, our cabin had many paint and scrap marks along the walls that again not only made this cabin look extremely rundown but reflected overall lack and general care of the stateroom.

Lastly, the second day out to sea I tripped at the entrance to the casino. When I looked down on the floor part of a metal stripping on the floor was bent up about a quarter inch, which not only caused me to stumble but several other passengers. I pointed it out to several casino floor men during our cruise and through our time aboard this still was not repaired.

My wife and I are extremely disappointed in the poor condition the Crown Princess was in and it did in fact take away from our cruising experiences with Princess Cruise line. There is no excuse for the lack of care in this ship and it is really sad that a guest has to bring it to the attention several times of the cruise line that there are serious problems.

After calling and writing Princess about these important issues it took over a month for someone to reply that they would look into it. Still no answers for the poor conditions of this ship.

We had bought two future cruise packages on Princess for the rest of the year and now we are canceling them.

Two weeks after we returned the Crown Princess made the news of how over 200 passengers were sick as well as some of the poor conditions the boat had.

Still waiting to hear from Princess on any of these issues.

Trust me by picking another cruise line.


MadameR saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Can't wait to go again!, May 9, 2014
Reviewer: MadameR

Pros: Treated like royalty

Cons: Nothing we can think of

Date of cruise: April 26, 2014

Departure port: San Pedro, CA

Region visited: Pacific Northwest

Cabin category: Outside

Cabin number: E408

This was our first cruise and the best vacation we have ever had. We have already begun planning our next cruise on Princess. Have no desire to even check out another cruise line. Food, staff, room...everything was perfect!


ayanna saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Like a 4-star hotel, July 4, 2012
Reviewer: ayanna

Pros: Beautiful ship

Cons: Slow dinner service

Date of cruise: June 16, 2012

Departure port: Venice

Region visited: Mediterranean

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: R215

Good for children: No

LOVED this ship! We had always done Carnival (with our children) and this was our first Princess (and first cruise without our children). We got upgraded (still don't know why) from an ocean view to a balcony room a week before sailing. It was beautiful.

Everything from the hallways to the front desk area looked like a 4-star hotel. Large rooms with much better layout than Carnival. Although Carnival is bigger, Carnival's "seating area" usually just becomes a catch all for our junk and clothes, so it's really wasted space for us. This had much more usable space.

LOVED the smoke-free balcony!! Did a balcony once before on Carnival and Never Again after smelling cigarette and cigar smoke every time I went outside. Not here! Able to sit outside and enjoy the ocean breeze with CLEAN air. Spent more time "in our room" than we ever have on any other ship due to the fabulous balcony. As usual, we had a wonderful room steward.

Great staff on the boat and the usual entertainment although one of the singer/comediennes was amazing, so much so that we went to both of her shows the first night. This was not a ship if you want a whole lot to "do" while on board, but if you want a wonderful, relaxing time, this is it.

Dining room was beautiful and very adult. No Carnival cheekiness here. Our waiters were really slow, but surrounding waiters were much more efficient. We shut down the dining room every single night because we never got our entrees until an hour after the beginning of dinner service. I enjoyed the table conversation, but good grief!

They could have more variety of books in the gift shop, but the library was well stocked with a lot of variety.

Loved the embarkation process at each port. We were met with cold washcloths at each port after sweating like crazy at the sites, we came "home" to bliss. Getting back on ship never involved lines, even after a busload let off from an excursion.

Debarkation was a dream. Best EVER. They put you in many different lounges based on criteria like cruise-based air transportation, independent, times and so when we walked off the ship, we had our luggage and were at the cab area in LESS THAN 10 MINUTES!! It was unbelievable! I was used to sitting in the huge auditorium and being called by tag color one at a time. They had us in one of the mid-ship lounges. We were allowed to leave a couple of minutes before our designated debarkation time and we waltzed right off the boat.

I will absolutely do Princess again and a balcony (who knew I'd actually love it?). I wouldn't recommend it if you want a lot of kids, but would definitely recommend it if you don't want a lot of kids. It was a great experience.


sonolam saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Top notch all the way, nice ship, outstanding staff., December 8, 2011
Reviewer: sonolam

Pros: Service was great, lots to do.

Cons: Small seats in theatre, elevators sometimes a bit slow.

Departure port: Ft. Lauderdale

Region visited: Caribbean - Southern

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: L202

All in all and awesome ship and experience. Very little to
"complain" about, only the theatre seats, a bit narrow and
uncomfortable and the elevators, they were a bit slow
and tricky to catch a lot of times, especially after a show or
port, when lots of people looking for elevators...

Should have dedicated one or two for people in chairs or scooters, they take lots of space and limit access for others waiting just as long.

Also, smoking area... our cabin happened to be on side
where smokers gathered and we had to walk through them
every time.....or go all the way around......that was awful.


drtombellows saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 33
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 33
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
The inside public space is too small for cold weather cruising, September 20, 2011
Reviewer: drtombellows

Pros: The captain was very informative about cruise conditions and funny, too

Cons: Not enough indoor public space for cold weather cruising, too crowded

Date of cruise: August 28, 2011

Departure port: South Hampton

Region visited: Transoceanic

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: L202

Good for teenagers: No

The ship was designed for warm weather cruises when the upper pool decks can be used for watching the movie and other activities, but in cold weather, these areas are useless and all of the passangers have to gather in public areas designed for a 2,000-passanger ship. This is a 3,000 passanger ship so it makes these areas very crowded.

The International Cafe is an excellent addition to the eating areas, which are limited in space and availability.

The Horizon Court is useless for passengers in wheelchairs because it is too crowded to move around even though the staff assists the passengers.

There is no policing of the handicapped seating to reserve it for passangers who are truly handicapped. Able-bodied passengers sit in the theater's handicapped seating and refuse to move which leaves handicapped passengers with no seats.


MCP saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 22
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 22
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 22
SpaSpa = 22
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Good and not so Good, July 4, 2011
Reviewer: MCP

Pros: Great itinerary and entertainment

Cons: So-so food and bad logistics going and returning from shore excusions

Date of cruise: June 15, 2011

Departure port: Southampton

Region visited: Europe

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: R233

We recently took a cruise around the British Isles (plus one stop in France) on the Crown Princess. Our ports of of call were Le Havre, Edinbrough, Inverness, Kirkwall and Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Holyhead (Wales) and St Peters Port (Guernsey). We also added a two-day post excursion stay in London.

We’ve taken many cruises, but this is the first time we cruised Princess. So, here is the good, the bad and the ugly based on our experiences.

The Good

The itinerary was great. We thoroughly enjoyed each port of call and (with the exception of Dublin) had exceptional tour guides. The entertainment was first rate. We saw three excellent musical shows, a hilarious comedian, an amazing mentalist, and three superb musical acts-- a group that sang Irish songs and did a tribute to the Beatles, a singer who used to work with Frank Sinatra, and a saxophone player.

The food in the cafe surpassed our expectations. We were surprised to see items such as lamb, duck, prime rib, shrimp, crab and lobster offered as well as desserts such as Cherries Jubilee and Peach Melba since these are usually only served in the dining room. We also liked the “Anytime Dining” arrangement since we had the opportunity to eat with different people each night.

We also appreciated the professionalism of the cruise staff. After a few cruises, stupid contests and corny jokes from the cruise director get old. So, we appreciated not having to deal with that.

The Bad
We had an inside cabin, and agreed the room layout wasn’t very efficient compared to other ships we’ve been on. The desk/closet configuration dissected the room. So, when you add a queen size bed, it was hard to move around if both of us were in the room at the same time.

The logistics of getting on and off the ship for shore excursions were terrible -- especially getting back on the ship. Princess REALLY needs to improve this! There were long lines to get back on the ship in just about every port. We really noticed it in Dublin because it was cold, windy and rainy.

There was also some confusion with our transfers. We had no problem with our transfer from Heathrow to the ship or the ship to the hotel, but our transfer from the hotel to Gatwick was a mess. We checked TWICE with the Princess reps at our hotel to confirm when we should be in the lobby ready to leave and were told everything was OK. However, that morning, one rep had no record of us leaving that day and the other had us listed as a family of four (there were two of us). There was additional confusion and delays because other people were on the list who weren’t scheduled to leave that day.

The food in the dining room was ordinary, which surprised us because we’d heard good reviews about the quality of the food on Princess cruises. It wasn’t inedible. There just wasn’t any “wow” factor. The service was also slower than we’d have liked. My husband had to ask three times to get a cup of coffee and we had to leave before dinner was over a couple times to avoid missing the first show. One big thing we noticed was no lobster or Baked Alaska on the second formal night as we’d seen on other cruises.

On the subject of formal night, we think Princess should abolish them, and spoke with many other passengers who felt the same way. The airlines charge for extra luggage, and sport coats, cocktail dresses and dress shoes take up a lot of space. Many cruise lines have abolished formal nights and specify dress “country club casual” for all meals in the dining room. We think Princess should follow suit.

The Ugly
In general, it seemed that a lot of things on the ship needed repair. Some of the whirlpool spas out by the pools were stained and had big cracks. The steam room in the ladies locker room in the fitness center was out of order, and many things in the thermal spa area (which cost extra) were broken. The aromatherapy steam room had no aroma and another spa was out of order. The third spa was working, but a few of the faucets for the individual shower sprayers didn’t work. One of the two exterior rain forest showers was also broken. When I tried to adjust the water temperature, the knob fell off in my hand.

There’s a pool/spa area called “The Sanctuary” for adults only. I decided against paying extra to use it after all the problems I saw in the thermal spa area (which I DID pay extra to use).

On that subject, why is there a charge? We’ve been on other cruise ships that have adults-only areas that are available at no charge.

Would we cruise Princess again? Sure. However, we look more at the itinerary and dates than we do at the cruise line. If we do, I’d hope to see an improvement in some of the problems we experienced.


missgord saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 22
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 22
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Good for the money, probably wouldn't do it again, January 20, 2011
Reviewer: missgord

Pros: Newer ship

Cons: Poor design, no A/C, breakfast made me sick

Date of cruise: January 8, 2010

Departure port: Fort Lauderdale

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: A536

Good for children: No

Good for teenagers: No

We tried our first Princess cruise this January after finding a great deal online. While it was probably worth it for the money, I would spend a little more next time for a better experience.

My biggest complaint would be the temperature in the cabin. I called to complain and went to the front desk over five times to complain about how hot it was in our room. They simply responded by telling us that the room was set at 71 degrees and met their AC standards. 71 degrees is NOT that cold, especially when the only blanket on the bed was a heavy winter blanket. Every time I complained, no one even was smart enough to tell me that there was a folded sheet on top of our closet for us to use instead.

In addition, they would turn down the AC in the middle of the night, assuming that everyone was sleeping and wouldn't wake up from how hot it was. I was literally having night sweats - and I'm 23 years old and in good shape! We were so cranky because we barely got any sleep. When you're spending a lot of money, you should at the very least be able to expect to sleep comfortably.

Tendering to the shore took a good amount of time and the lines were very long. The breakfast regularly made me sick every day. The options at lunch weren't that good - except for the amazing pizza and burger bars. However, they were located on the opposite side of the ship from where the dining was, which was just annoying. Sushi was NOT free - it required the purchase of a glass of wine every single time.

Charging for the Serenity Deck was ridiculous. And we had a late dinner which started at 8:15 - most of the evening activities started at 9:30 or earlier, so it was almost impossible to enjoy your dinner and still make it to the shows! We missed almost all of the shows which was such a disappointment.

We also had bad weather, which might be half of the reason I'm so salty. We had an okay time, I just would have expected more for my money. And keep in mind, I have a student's mindset where I would much rather save some money and forgo some of the extravagances just to have a good time and be on vacation. This was my seventh cruise, first with Princess, and I wouldn't do it again.


kbnaperville saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 33
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
SpaSpa = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Great value without taking the upcharges, September 9, 2010
Reviewer: kbnaperville

Pros: Easy, safe choice for a quality experience

Cons: Upcharges are fact of life today

Departure port: seattle

Region visited: Pacific Northwest

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Princess cruise lines does not disappoint! They are not the lowest cost but you have no "surprises" on your cruise, only consistent high quality every day!

A risk-free vacation of relaxation and great food. Entertainment is okay but it is difficult to satisfy everyone.

Wish the rooms were larger at the low end...but that keeps you out on deck taking in the other pleasures of the boat.


bntcarter saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Excellent ship, crew, and services, September 7, 2010
Reviewer: bntcarter

Pros: Friendly service, clean sparkling ship

Cons: Too large of ship

Date of cruise: May 1, 2009

Departure port: Venice Italy

Region visited: Mediterranean

Cabin category: Outside

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

The Crown Princess was a wonderful ship with an excellent staff. Despite being a super large size, it never felt crowded or understaffed. It felt magnificent sailing out of Venice with the perfect music to enhance the experience floating over the decks in the sunshine. We were very satisfied with the entire cruise experience on the Crown.


tlwcpa saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Great cruise on the Crown Princess, August 27, 2010
Reviewer: tlwcpa

Pros: Good shipboard experience

Cons: Entertainment inconsistent

Date of cruise: August 1, 2010

Departure port: Southampton, UK

Region visited: Europe

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: A255

My wife and I arrived at the Southampton cruise terminal at about 10:30 a.m. after a four-night stay in London. We had taken the National Express bus from London Victoria Coach Station to Southampton for 7 pounds total and a taxi from the bus station in Southampton to the cruise terminal for 5 pounds. Princess check-in was efficient, and we were on the ship by 12:30 p.m.

This was our fifth Princess cruise and our second on the Crown Princess. (We had previously been on the Crown Princess in April 2010 in the Western Caribbean.)

Our room, a balcony cabin on the Aloha deck, was comfortable. Clothes storage is generous with ample closet space, hangers and drawer and shelf space. An LCD TV is provided. TV offerings consist of CNN World, BBC News and various other channels of Princess information and movies which seem to rotate through the day. Bathroom space is tight, but adequate. Basic soap and shampoo items are provided.

Our room steward provided cleaning in the morning and early evening and turned down the bed at night. Bath robes were provided on request. We also requested fruit delivered to the room, but this was never provided - not a big deal because fruit may be removed from the buffet. A small refrigerator is provided and is stocked with soda and bottled water for $1.95/each, but there is some other refrigerator space for other cold storage in the room. Room temperature was easily set at the thermostat. he bed was not luxurious but was comfortable.

Food choices are numerous. (While the food was not always outstanding, I think it silly to complain about it because there is always something satisfying to eat - if you don't like something on this cruise, get something else.) We had "Anytime Dining" for dinner, but sometimes, after consulting the posted dining room menu, chose the buffet for dinner. In the dining room, we usually ate fairly early when there is no wait, but even when we arrived later in the evening, there was not wait as long as we were willing to share a table, usually a good experience.

Dining room food was generally very good, but I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the beef served this trip. I especially liked the fish dishes. I find Princess desserts to be disappointing, but the vanilla ice cream served in the dining room and sometimes at the buffet to be about the best I have ever had. We had breakfasts at the Horizon Food Court (the buffet) where there are always ample selections. We ate lunch once in the dining room (very good) and split the rest among the buffet, the pizza bar (good - serving a thin crust cheese, pepperoni and/or special variety of the day) and the poolside grill which serves tasty burgers, hot dogs and fries.

I tried the soft serve ice cream next to the pizza bar once and found it disappointing. I am addicted to Diet Coke, so upon boarding, I bought an unlimited soda sticker for $4.50/day. My wife purchased a prepaid specialty coffee card for use at the International Cafe on deck 5. We did not eat at additional cost Crown Grill or Sabatini's on this trip, but Sabatini's on our April cruise was very nice.

Entertainment on ship is inconsistent. We are not fans of Princess production shows and generally skip them. A fine magician, Andy James, provided two enjoyable shows early in the cruise and a female singer/comedian provided two enjoyable shows late in the cruise. In contrast, there was a dreadful ventriloquist/magician who performed midway in the trip - just awful. We enjoyed various trivia challenges.

Temperatures in the British Isles are generally cool, so the pools weren't used a lot and those areas were usually not crowded. We did not watch the Movies Under the Stars this trip because evenings were too cold. Where were the deck blankets which had been provided on our April trip?

The promenade deck, outside, was closed for all of the day we travelled between Edinburgh and Le Havre, probably because the ship was travelling at top speed creating its own wind. It was unfortunate to not be able to enjoy the open deck on a beautiful sea day. The weather on our trip was better than could be expected, cool, often overcast, but only a touch of rain on a couple of days.


tamfam saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 44
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
An excellent value and service that was over the top, August 27, 2010
Reviewer: tamfam

Pros: The dining room was incredible, very accomodating to special requests.

Cons: Cabins were very nice but could use some imagination in decor

Date of cruise: December 26, 2009

Departure port: Fort Lauderdale

Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: don't remember

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

The Crown Princess was our third ship and stacked up quite well versus other cruises. We never waited in a line and the service was over the top. My morning latte was prepared just "as I like it," the dining room prepared special gluten-free pasta alfredo (still not sure how they pulled that off) and by special order, gluten-free pizza was available on the pool deck.

Nighttime entertainment was quality and met the needs for our group very well. Not easy to please 14-year-olds, young adults and retired folks in one show! They managed to pull it off over and over. Lots of laughs, time to be with old friends, meet new ones and even spend quality alone time for all. We loved this cruise!


Flrose saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Ship is large, yet even at capacity, we didn't feel crowded anywhere., August 19, 2010
Reviewer: Flrose

Pros: Beautiful public spaces, especially the International Cafe.

Cons: Nothing worth reporting...nothing is ever perfect.

Date of cruise: May 15, 2010

Departure port: Civitavecchia, Italy

Region visited: Europe

Cabin category: Outside

Cabin number: E605

We had an obstructed outside cabin with a lifeboat outside our window, but for what we paid and the fact we were on a very port-intensive cruise, it was just fine. We could see right through the lifeboat and could tell if it was day or night. The ship is laid out similar to the Emerald Princess, which made it feel just like home.

The ports we visited were: Cannes, Livorno, Naples, Santorini, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Athens, Katakalon, Corfu and Venice. Two days at sea allowed us to do some laundry and relax after very busy shore trips. We arranged private tours except for Santorini and Mykonos. The ship tours were okay, but they always have too many people, and it is sometimes difficult to get all the explanations from the guides.

We had a situation in Mykonos where the weather was awful and Princess didn't cancel the tour. The guide had a particularly difficult accent which was frustrating. We suggested to the Tour Desk that they should have canceled the tour because the ruins were dangerous to navigate in a rainstorm, which made the terrain muddy and sloppy. There were lots of older people on the tour which we felt was an unnecessary liability. Princess did resolve the issue with us once we returned home, and were very understanding.

The ship was clean, the staff highly accommodating and cheerful, the food was good and the Crown Grill was outstanding. I still don't like the up-charge for an outstanding meal, but that's not going to change.

Being on a beautiful ship cruising Italy and the Greek Isles is the perfect vacation. We love cruising with Princess...in fact we have two more cruises booked!

 
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