Crown Princess - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Crown Princess


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 372 out of 500

Accommodation: 145 out of 200

Food: 251 out of 400

Service: 289 out of 400

Entertainment: 78 out of 100

Cruise: 292 out of 400

Overall Score: 1427 out of 2000

Crown Princess Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 116,000

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Princess Cruises

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9293399

Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)

Original Cost: $500 million

Entered Service: May 2006

Registry: Bermuda

Length (ft/m): 951.4/290.0

Beam (ft/m): 118.1/36.0

Draft (ft/m): 26.2/8.0

Propulsion/Propellers: gas turbine (25,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods

Passenger Decks: 15

Total Crew: 1,163

Passengers (lower beds): 3,114

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 37.2

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.6

Cabins (total): 1,557

Size Range (sq ft/m): 163-1,279/15.1-118.8

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 881

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 25

Wheelchair accessibility: Best

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 14

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 3

Hot Tubs (on deck): 9

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


A large ship with sedate decor, for mature-age cruisers

Overview. Crown Princess is a grand resort playground, and Princess Cruises delivers a consistently fine, well-packaged product, always with a good degree of style, at a competitive price. With many choices and ‘small’ rooms (a relative term) to enjoy, the ship has been extremely well designed, and the odds are that you’ll have an enjoyable vacation.

The Ship. If you are not used to large ships, it’ll take you some time to find your way around, despite the company’s claim that it offers passengers a ‘small ship feel, big ship choice.’ One nice feature is The Sanctuary, an extra-cost adults-only retreat located forward on the uppermost deck.

There is a good sheltered teakwood promenade deck, which almost wraps around, and a walkway that leads to the enclosed bow of the ship. The outdoor pools have various beach-like surroundings. Movies Under the Skies and major sporting events are shown on a 300-sq-ft (28-sq-m) movie screen located at the pool in front of the large funnel.

Atop the stern is a ship-wide glass-walled disco, Skywalkers, with spectacular views from the extreme port and starboard side windows.

The interior decor is attractive, with lots of earth tones. An extensive collection of artworks complements the interior design and colors well.

Crown Princess also includes a Wedding Chapel with a live web-cam relaying ceremonies via the Internet. The ship’s captain can legally marry American couples, thanks to the ship’s Bermuda registry and a special dispensation.

A large casino has with more than 260 slot machines, and blackjack, craps, and roulette tables, plus games such as Let It Ride Bonus, Spanish 21, and Caribbean Draw Progressive.

Other facilities include a decent library/computer room. Ship lovers should enjoy the wood-paneled Wheelhouse Bar, finely decorated with memorabilia and ship models tracing part of parent company P&O’s history.

Families. There is a two-deck-high playroom, teen room, and a host of trained counselors. Children have their own pools, hot tubs, and open deck area at the stern, thankfully away from adult areas. There are good netted-in areas; one section has a dip pool, while another has a mini-basketball court. There’s a video games arcade, too.

Two family suites consist of two suites with an interconnecting door, plus a large balcony. These sleep up to 10 (if at least four are children) or up to eight adults.

Accommodation. There are six principal types of cabins and configurations: (a) grand suite, (b) suite, (c) mini-suite, (d) outside-view double cabins with balcony, (e) outside-view double cabins, and (f) interior double cabins. These come in a bewildering choice of 35 different brochure price categories.

(a) The Grand Suite has a large bedroom with queen-size bed, huge walk-in closets, two bathrooms, a lounge with fireplace, sofa bed, wet bar, and refrigerator, and a large private balcony on the port side with hot tub that can be accessed from both balcony and bedroom.

(b/c) Suites have a separate living room (with sofa bed) and bedroom, with a TV set in each. The bathroom is quite large and has both a tub and shower stall. The mini-suites also have a private balcony, and a separate living and sleeping area (with a TV set in each). The differences between the suites and mini-suites are basically in the size and appointments. All suite occupants receive greater attention, including priority embarkation and disembarkation, but what’s not good is that the most expensive accommodation has only semi-private balconies.

(d/e/f) Both interior and outside-view cabins are functional, although almost no drawers are provided. They are quite attractive, with warm, pleasing decor and fine soft furnishing fabrics; 80 percent of outside-view cabins have a private balcony. Interior cabins measure 163 sq ft (15 sq m).

The 28 wheelchair-accessible cabins measure 250-385 sq ft (23.2-35.7 sq m); surprisingly, there is no mirror for dressing, and no full-length hanging space for long dresses (yes, some passengers in wheelchairs do also use mirrors and full-length clothing).

Cabin bath towels are small, and drawer space is very limited. There are no butlers, even for top-grade suites. Cabin attendants have too many cabins to look after (typically 20), which does not translate to fine personal service. All cabins receive toiletry kits and have a hairdryer.

Most outside-view cabins on Emerald Deck have views obstructed by lifeboats. There are no cabins for singles. There is 24-hour room service, but some items on the room service menu are not available during early morning hours.

Some cabins can accommodate a third and fourth person in upper berths. However, in some cabins, the lower beds cannot then be pushed together to make a queen-size bed.

Almost all balcony suites and cabins can be overlooked both from the navigation bridge wing, as well as from the port and starboard sections of the ship’s discotheque - high above the ship at the stern. Cabins with balconies on Dolphin, Caribe, and Baja decks can also be overlooked.

Perhaps the least desirable balcony cabins are eight located forward on Emerald Deck, as the balconies do not extend to the side of the ship and can be passed by walkers and gawkers on the adjacent Upper Promenade walkway so occupants need to keep their curtains closed most of the time. Passengers occupying some the most expensive suites with balconies at the ship’s stern may experience considerable vibration during certain maneuvers.

Dining. Of the three principal formal dining rooms, one has traditional two-seating dining, while the other two offer ‘anytime dining.’ All are no-smoking and split into multi-tier sections in a non-symmetrical design that breaks what are quite large spaces into smaller sections. While six elevators go to Fiesta Deck, where two of the restaurants are located, only four go to Plaza Deck 5, where the Michelangelo Restaurant is located - this can lengthen waits at peak times, particularly for those in wheelchairs.

Other dining options. Sabatini’s and Crown Grill are both are open for dinner on days at sea. Sabatini’s has Italian-style pizzas and pastas, with a variety of sauces, as well as Italian-style entrées including tiger prawns and lobster tail - all provided with flair and entertainment from by the staff of waiters. Reservations are needed and there’s a cover charge for lunch or dinner.

The 160-seat Crown Grill (a steakhouse, for premium-quality steaks, grilled meat and seafood items), also with cover charge, is in a wide promenade area, to tempt you as you pass by - it’s worth the extra cost to get food cooked to order.

Casual eateries include a poolside hamburger grill and pizzeria. Some items cost extra at the International Café coffee bar/patisserie in the atrium lobby.

Vines, in the atrium lobby, features sushi and cheese at no extra charge, and extra-cost wine. Other casual meals can be taken in the Horizon Court, open 24 hours a day, with ocean views.

For something different, however, you could try a private dinner on your balcony (‘Ultimate Balcony Dinner’), an all-inclusive evening featuring cocktails, fresh flowers, Champagne, and a deluxe four-course meal including Caribbean lobster tail; or an ‘Ultimate Balcony Breakfast.’

Entertainment. The Princess Theater spans two decks and has comfortable seating on both main and balcony levels. It has $3 million worth of sound and light equipment, plus a nine-piece orchestra. The ship carries a resident troupe of almost 20 singers and dancers.

Club Fusion, a second entertainment lounge located aft, features cabaret acts at night, and lectures, bingo, and horse racing by day. Explorers, a third entertainment lounge, can also host cabaret acts and dance bands. A variety of other lounges and bars have live music, and a number of male dance hosts act as partners for women traveling alone.

Spa/Fitness. The Lotus Spa has separate facilities for men and women include a sauna, steam room, and changing rooms; common facilities include a relaxation/waiting zone, body-pampering treatment rooms, and a gymnasium with great ocean views and the latest high-tech equipment. Some fitness classes are free, others cost extra.