December 2016 - Crown Princess to Panama Canal, Central America
The Princess experience has been going downhill for the past couple of cruises that we have done with them and the Crown Princess was no exception. Embarkation was disorganized and slow, even though we didn't arrive early at all. We were upgraded from an ocean view to a balcony stateroom, which was nice but it caused confusion with our luggage and key cards. Those things were resolved fairly quickly.
The entertainment model that Princess has adopted leaves much to be desired. Honestly, it was more entertaining watching the passengers fight over seats in the Princess Theater than watching the shows. The bars are empty, there is no music or action to be found anywhere before 9 o'clock except in the Atrium. About once a day, their will be music or something else entertaining around the pool. Otherwise, the Princess Patter is filled with sale opportunities at the spa/fitness center, reminders about getting your portraits done, art auctions. Just for good measure there is a slot tournament, bingo, trivia and possibly a poker tournament once a day. So, if you expect to be entertained, sail with someone else.
The food was good in the dining room, marginal in the buffet. There was never anyplace to sit in the buffet area at breakfast or lunch but there were lots of folks taking up tables to play cards or other games. I don't know if they need to be gently nudged to one of the bar areas that are empty or what the answer might be, but it is difficult to appreciate your food when you spend a great deal of time fighting to get it (third buffet wasn't opened after the first or second day) and then have to fight to get a seat.
The service was also marginal in almost all of the bar areas. Most of the time, the areas would be listed in the Patter as being open, but there was no staff anywhere to serve you a drink or a bartender to make one. I did notice that some of the staff seemed to be covering more than one venue.
Anyway, Princess you need to take a hard look at the cuts your making. I think I'm a Platinum that may not be coming back anytime soon.