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Princess & UK Cruisers

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Looking at the Crown Princess for 2020 Baltic out of Southampton, have had a look at Princess boards and Princess website and i know its a very US based lined and wondered how UK cruisers found Princess in general. What do you like? What do you hate? I realise its subjective and everyone has a different opinion but the prices are quite good for the time of year i'm looking at. I thought  would ask here rather than the Princess board itself. 😉

Thanks in advance.

 

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Hi, Yorkshire 2BA,

 

We've cruised Princess a few times, but not Crown Princess.

 

Nearest UK equiv is P&O  - Princess was a UK cruise line, it was bought by P&O, who eventually joined the Carnival consortium.

Princess ships still fly the Red Duster, though they're more American than Brit.

 

For us, an almost -perfect trans-Atlantic blend - not as "brassy" or in-your-face as most US ships, but not as bland as P&O.

 

Buffets far better - and in nicer surroundings - than P&O altho the bacon is brittle & over-cooked , very American .

Food in the MDR as good as P&O (unlike some folk I don't mark P&O down for including pub-grub in the choices). International dishes, much as you'd get in a selection of UK restaurants.

Perfect lunchtime fish-and-chips in ship's pub, best I've tasted. But the chefs clearly make mushy peas as per recipe, then decide that they look messy, so whack them in the blender and serve as a puree. Philistines :classic_biggrin:

 

Pretty average theatre shows, but good musicians in the bars.

Nothing in the way of adult toys* like on RCI ships. 

But movies-under-the-stars, with rugs & popcorn.

 

Mainly US / UK cruisers (probably more Brits cos a lot of Americans sail the Baltic from Copenhagen, Amsterdam, etc))

Never felt crowded.

On-board currency is USD

As with all US ships, high on-board costs (daily grats, heavy drinks prices, grats on pretty-well all services)

Like most cruise lines,  you can take on-board two bottles of wine at embarkation - but on Princess you can also take as much more wine as you like & at registration pay a fee of $15 per bottle (check if that's up-to-date).

When we sailed Princess out of Sydney we saved a chunk by taking aboard a dozen bottles at Sydney bottle-shop prices - even with the $15 per bottle charge it was cheaper than their cheapest wine and a wine that we knew we liked.  Take it to dinner or wherever, corkage is included in the $15.

So check the price of your favourites at ASDA etc. Then check the current Princess offerings & prices, add the (still?) $15 & do the maths.

 

The Baltic is a great place to cruise - at most ports DIY is easy, so spend the bulk of your shore money on a St Petersburg tour with a local operator (not thro the ship)

 

JB :classic_smile:

* that bit doesn't quite read as intended :classic_biggrin:

 

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Enhlish bacon is normally at the buffet,if it's not on show,just ask.They always have it,especially from Southampton.We did the Baltic on the Emerald in 2015,sister ship to Crown.It was in a heatwave and I remember laying on a sunbed aft and watching Stockholm disappear in the distance as we sailed out thru the archipeligo.Hopefully you will sail in and out that route.Some ships now bypass that and dock in an industrial area.There wasn't tea making in cabins then,so we booked a high up aft cabin and took 2 thermos mugs,just running up 1 floor and grabbing tea at the buffet.YMMV.

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There are a lot of things Princess does well, most things like service, food and entertainment are very similar to a few other lines, like X or P&O UK.

The one stand out for me is their Pizza, the best at sea. 

The bad things are their cabin sizes are smaller than most other lines I have been on and they have shower curtains rather than screens.

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The Crown Princess is a Super Grand Class ship. They modified the excellent Grand Class ships, starting with Caribbean they added an extra full deck of cabins (500 pax) to the same hull and public spaces. We only sailed on the sister ship - Emerald and never returned to another Super Grand, as they were way too crowded.

 

When I worked for them in the 70/80's, Princess was a quality cruise line. Unfortunately, since being purchased by Carnival in 2003, in our opinion, it has been all down hill and they are now mass-market.

 

Have noted a steady reduction in food quality and menu selections and a huge increase in nickle & diming. Entertainment on our last Princess cruise can best be described as rubbish, as they sub-contacted the shows to a 3rd party. Our last Princess cruise was a World Cruise, during which we received cold food most days and many days the meats were so tough they were inedible. Remember 1-night where most lamb chops were returned, as you couldn't even cut into them.

 

The last ship was Sea Princess, which resembled a Greek tramp ship. Most common sight around the accommodation was buckets and small carpet squares catching leaks. Most Princess ships have white hulls, this one was predominantly rust coloured.

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Nothing wrong with Greek tramps,they're nice people,lol.Our very first cruise was on Sea Princess in 2007.We being ignorant were quite happy with it even though the pool grill was burnt out and unusable for 2 weeks.There were people traipsing around the buffet in their swimwear.Having done a few cruises since then we realise,yes,it is pants.It now belongs to Princess Australia.We were very happy with Emerald and didn't really find it that overcrowded.As I said YMMV.

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23 hours ago, brian1 said:

YMMV.

 

Had to google that.

 

 

9 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

MMWMLV

 

Had to google that. 

Didn't tell me the acronym, but showed me pics of Pulao Biryani fusion.

Had to google Pulao (a rice dish).

Mic - can you really use Luncheon Vouchers in Princess' speciality dining rooms? 

 

IGRPOWBA :classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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1 hour ago, John Bull said:

 

Had to google that.

 

 

 

Had to google that. 

Didn't tell me the acronym, but showed me pics of Pulao Biryani fusion.

Had to google Pulao (a rice dish).

Mic - can you really use Luncheon Vouchers in Princess' speciality dining rooms? 

 

IGRPOWBA :classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

LOL.I had to google that myself on this forum a year ago,just sounded trendy.Pulao rice,I love a Ruby.We have 30 Indian restaurants in our Essex town.Mick must be on a windup,I can't find it either.

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Thanks all. We're not big ship people hence not wanting to go on Iona I noticed Arcadia is also doing a baltic 2020 so might look at that too. All depends on dates we have to work with so Princess very much remains in running. Now to go talk to DH and prize his wallet open. Lol. Thanx 😝

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We have cruise the Baltics with P&O and Princess, we found most things were similar, both great cruises, we were on Crown princess 2 years ago to Baltic, price was the deciding factor, although drinks are more expensive on Princess, made worse by weak sterling. There were more non brits on Princess, the entertainment was more geared up for brits as you would expect from Southampton.

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We have sailed Princess the last couple of years & they put kettles & tea/coffee making facilities in the cabins when sailing from Southampton. And if you have previously sailed P&O your past Cruises may count towards Captains Circle level. Love Princess & the mix of nationalities onboard makes for a great cruise.

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