We just got off the Crown in February after doing two 7 day back-to-back cruises. All-in-all we had a great time and we loved the ship. But as with anything, nothing is perfect.
First the bad: The buffet left a little something to be desired. For the first time I found myself looking for a burger for something to eat. The pizza was awful: Next, the cabin air conditioning was not very powerful. We turned it to the coldest setting and left it there for two weeks. At times the cabin felt cool and other times it felt quite warm.
Now the good but odd stuff: The ship is gorgeous but BIG. It takes some time to find your way around. When going to the Horizon Court from the mid-ship elevators you are confronted by two sets of doors on the top deck. Which way do you go? One set of doors is wood the other is glass. Just remember "Wood is good" and go through those doors to find the Horizon Court.
The layout is odd but workable too. For example, you cannot walk all the way around the ship on the Promenade Deck without using stairs. Also, the Botticelli Dining Room is on deck 6 aft. However, from the front of the ship you cannot walk directly there. You must go up one deck, walk aft, the go back down. Once you realize this, it's no longer confusing.
Food in the dining room was wonderful, no matter what meal. We had second seating dining. Keep in mind that with food I'm a real meat and potato kind of guy so all the fancy stuff isn't for me. Food is very subjective.
The entertainment was very good and I don't recall seeing any show that I didn't like.
We had an inside cabin (B524) and had more room than we've had in other inside cabins. The layout is very good.
I'd be happy to try to answer any specfic questions you might have.
I know I would not hesitate to sail on the Crown again, but in comparing ship sizes I think we prefer the Sun Class ships the most. We've sailed on the small (Tahitian Princess) the medium (Ocean Princess, Sea Princess) and large (Crown Princess). The mid size just seemed better in all respects.
sounds good! a couple questions for ya..... was everyone dressed truly formal on formal nights??? did any men wear dressy shorts on smart casual nights? did you try the specialty restaurants? was it a fight to get a chair on the deck during sea days? okay...maybe more than a couple questions..but thanks!!!!
you asked....did any men wear dressy shorts on smart casual nights?
Did you mean shirts? Shorts of any kind, dressy or not, are allowed in the dining room for dinner. You can wear them to breakfast and lunch and to the Horizon Court for dinner buffet. On our recent Caribbean Princess cruise, on formal nights, we saw everything from sequins to nice pants suits. Many didn't bother and just ate at the buffet.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
The bulk of the passengers did do formal night very nicely, although there were a number of people who elected not to participate. They looked odd amongst the massive group that was dressed up. Many wore tuxedos but our group of four couples didn't go that far. We all wore black suits and did not appear to be out of place, except probably to those who wore tuxedos.
For smart casual nights I wore dress slacks and either a dress shirt or a collared sport shirt and and felt comfortable with how I was dressed.
We did not try the specialty restaurants and probably never will. We find the food in the dining room to be more than acceptable so we don't find a reason to go there.
We also don't do pools so we never looked for a deck chair. We prefer to find a quiet place and read. We have never spent a minute beside a pool on our 13 cruises.
I was in the Crown Princess last December, so I'll just thought I'd share my experience. The ship is simply BEAUTIFUL and very elegant. It is very big and the layout may seem a little confusing at times, but you will not find it hard to get around. The movie screen is very good, I loved catching a movie at night. They would bring you blankets and popcorn, though I have to admit the popcorn was not good. It did not have a taste at all. The rest of the entertainment was very good as well, I never went to the broadway shows, but the stand-up comics, jugglers, magicians, etc were very funny. Some of them were hilarious. They also had kareoke, dance lessons, trivia and many game shows, so you'll always find an activity to keep yourself busy. I tried to go to everything listed on the Princess Patter, but there are so many shows each night, it just simply impossible.
The pools and all of the public areas looked very nice and well mantained. Except for the pools that were always filled with people, the rest of the ship never felt crowded. The Sanctuary area looked peaceful, but I don't think it's worth the $10-15 they charge for a half day. I was always able to find a deck chair by the pool.
My room was an inside cabin that was very well located, near the Piazza. When we arrived, there were problems with the shower. It was not draining well and it flooded the bathroom the first day, but at soon as I told the Guest Services desk, they quickly solved the problem. My stateroom attendant, Arthur, was the best! Always did a miracle with our cabin and left it spotless every day.
Regarding the food, I have to admit that I was a little disappointing. I loved the Anytime Dining option, but most of the time I couldn't really understand what was on the menu. Not to sound stupid or anything, but it was not clear at all, and they did not provide any explanations of what you were ordering. When they brought they food it was always delicious in the dining rooms. Sabatini's food was excellent, but be ready to expend almost all night there. They serve you samples from every appetizer, which was great, and after all of them the bring you your entree. But by then, it's been almost two hours there, so if you want to catch a show, forget it. We just went ahead and asked that our dessert was delivered to our stateroom, which they did, and they were very friendly and helpful. I loved the pizzas, hamburgers and the ice cream by the pool. What was dissapointing to me was the buffet. It was always very confusing to find the line that was open for every meal, and there weren't that many selections to choose from. In fact, the food was almost always the same for the whole week, and the desserts were just bland. So, if you're looking for a good meal. just head out to the dining rooms. The room service personnel was always fast with our orders, but the food selection is poor and sometimes they messed up our order. They always managed to leave something out or change some item we ordered for another.
So, summarizing, our cruise was great, and aside form some small problems with the food, I would recommend it to anyone. Hope this helps a little.