I was recently lucky enough to travel on my first Princess Cruise. Princess constantly win awards for the quality of their service, food and their overall product, so I was really excited to try it for myself.
We joined Crown Princess in Southampton for a 4-night cruise exploring Ireland and the British Isles. Not only was I excited to experience Princess, but also many of the places on our journey I’d never visited. On top of this, I was really thrilled to try out Ocean Medallion. Read all about my experience of it here.
So, let’s get into it.
Look and feel
Crown Princess debuted in 2006, though walking around the ship you wouldn’t know this. In 2018, she went through an extensive refurbishment which added a number of new venues and the now signature Seawitch on the bow of the ship.
When you walk onto the ship and as you make your way through it, it feels airy and inviting. I find different lines and ships have specific feels, and I find this class of ship always has a distinctive feel to it. This is due to the specific dark woods that are used, the carpets and lighting. It’s a very rich and warm tapestry.
The heart of the ship is the signature Piazza on board. There’s something to be said about atriums and places which are designed to bring people together in a positive way, and the Piazza does this. It was always buzzing whatever the time of day with the various shops, bars and cafes around it.
Firstly, there is International Café, the perfect spot to grab a coffee and people watch on Deck 5. You’ll also find the shore excursions desk and internet café here. Adjacent to this you’ll find the art gallery on board as well as Vines bar. Not only did it serve some really delicious wine, but what I found interesting (and fun!) was that you could choose to enjoy this with some delicious freshly-made sushi, finger food and cheeses. It’s such a great idea while enjoying a nice glass of vino.
Heading upstairs you’ll find a number of shops and guest services, together with Gatsby’s casino. Flanking the top of the Piazza is Crooners, the lines signature cocktail lounge which comes alive with live music through the course of the day and serves some really good cocktails.
Heading forward you’ll pass the on-board library and find yourself in the Wheelhouse Bar, a cute pub style environment that also doubles as the Salty Dog Gastropub (more on that in a later blog). Finally, right at the front of the ship you’ll find the two-deck Princess Theatre, which offers daily shows and events on board.
Going back from the Piazza you come to the Explorers Lounge. You’ll find many talks and events taking place here throughout your cruise. It has a really cool nightclub vibe, with cosy seating and atmospheric lighting.
Going further aft you’ll pass the Crown Grill, the Photo Gallery and Ocean Front, an area to learn all about and use your Ocean Medallion. Finally, at the rear of the ship you’ll find Club Fusion. You’ll always find something going on in this eclectic venue, which has a theme that evokes a fusion of the Wild West and today. From late night dancing, to game shows, such as the Voice of the Ocean and other parties – there’s something on for everyone across the cruise.
Something that stands out with this class of ship has to be the wraparound promenade. It’s a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by or get in some steps. I particularly like how you can go right up to both the bow and wake of the ship.
Time to head upstairs.
With four pools, there’s plenty of space to stretch-out and enjoy the sun on board Crown Princess. Even on what I would call a colder weather itinerary such as the British Isles, there were people still enjoying the sun. The Neptune and Calypso pools are the main pools on board. What I like about them is that they both feel quite cosy, despite being quite large spaces. You’ll also find another Ocean Front station to assist you with all your Ocean Medallion needs. However, my favourite pool is found at the back of the ship. The Terrace Pool on the Horizon Terrace overlooks the wake and tends to be really quiet during the day. Just look at that view!
You’ll also find Movies Under the Stars at the Calypso Pool. Throughout the day this big sea-screen features a variety of shows, including broadcasting live sports and events. In the evening the pool transforms with comfy seating, popcorn and the latest movies on show under the stars. It’s a great way to enjoy great movies.
At the front of the ship you’ll also find the adults-only Lotus pool which also adjoins the onboard Spa. There is also The Sanctuary. This for-fee lounge area features plush seating within an outdoor spa-inspired setting. It also features private cabanas where you can enjoy spa treatments.
Speaking of the Spa. At the onboard Lotus Spa where you can choose from a variety of treatments, or why not enjoy the on-board salon. The fitness centre is also located here, featuring amazing ocean views from the front of the ship and a variety of classes.
I’m actually a big fan of this venue given its unique location overlooking not only the wake of the ship, but overhanging the sides as well – affording amazing 270-degree views. Not only that, but the lovely bartenders produce great cocktails. See you there at sunset?
Part two of this blog series will explore the service and entertainment on board our Crown Princess British Isles and Ireland cruise with Princess Cruises. Coming soon.
For more information about Princess Cruises, visit here.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Princess Cruises or this trip. All views and opinions are my own and I retain editorial control. I was not paid to attend this trip.