Princess Cruises - Cruisemates Reader's Cruise Reviews
CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews
Princess Cruises

Crown Princess
by Terry Newport
Eastern Caribbean
August 28, 2007

We like Princess and can recommend the line; we cannot recommend the Crown Princess. It's not that The Crown Princess is too large. It's too small. The Island Princess carries fewer than 2,000 passengers, the Crown Princess over 3,000. That's an over 50% increase in passenger load. The ship and, especially, the public areas on the Crown Princess are not 50% larger than those on the Island Princess. Many appear to be about the same size. Same two pools, just a 1,000 more passengers to use them.

It also appears to be understaffed. Dinner was an hour and a half to two hours. Half, or more, of this time was spent waiting for service. We had to ask for items more than we should have -- no bread, dining implements missing, wrong food, courses missed.

Contrary to what the CruiseMates review says, the Horizon Food court is not open 24 hours. It closes at 5:30. There is a very small auxiliary buffet just aft of the Horizon Food court that is open after 5:30. It would be too small on a 1,000 passenger ship. The lines to get in were long. The food was certainly above average. Being forced to dine in the very slow service main eateries or stand in a Disney theme park length line to enjoy it did not enhance the dinning experience.

There are lots of activities. There's a line I was told about St Martin, "There's everything to do and nothing to do". On the Crown Princess the "Everything to do" part is true. Finding a place, other than your cabin, to do nothing is a task.

We liked the two days at sea going and coming. Our take on the Caribbean is it's like pizza and there's no such thing as bad pizza. There is always something new and different to try. An exception to this might be Grand Turk. When the Crown Princess arrived we more than doubled the population -- Grand Turk has 3,800 inhabitants, the Crown Princess a crew and passenger compliment of over 4,200. There is very little there. There were un-crowed beaches, good snorkeling, a great Margareta Ville and, of course, trinket and duty free shopping. Certainly worth one trip.