I have read so many bad state room reviews that I was simply stunned by the beauty and comfort of our room. I expected sewage smell in the bathroom, too cramped to move, rust stains and defective grout, beds sagging in the middle. Instead, we got a gorgeous room, with first-rate bedding, a highly functional bathroom, ample storage, lots of mirrors, plenty of light, a full closet, mini-fridge, an infinity of fresh air, powerful temperature controls, and giant glass doors onto a private balcony 10 stories above the water.
What you are seeing is R-230, Deck 14 (Riviera), 231 square feet, which is a balcony stateroom close to the front of the ship.
The view from the balcony is so staggering that it would make up for any deficiencies in the room, but there aren’t many deficiencies.
The shower is tight even for one person. There aren’t many electric outlets, but we brought a power strip so we had no shortage. There is enough room around the bed to be comfortable, but just barely enough extra space for a desk and two chairs. The toilet looks normal, but makes the strange sucking sound that we associate with airplanes – only not so violent.
The ventilation is outstanding. It could be the best-ventilated bathroom I have ever had in my life. And there is positive air pressure in the center of the ship, so if you open both doors – to the hallway and to the balcony – a strong wind pours through the room from hallway to balcony, until you close one of the doors.
The cooling system is robust, and you can make your room as cold as you want, which is a great relief when you return sweaty from a hiking excursion. Presumably in the winter the system heats as effectively as it cools, but we don’t know about that.
We brought door decorations from home -- 3D Butterflies and a whimsical cat cling -- because we read a suggestion that it made it easier to find the right door in a hallway a thousand feet long.
That turned out to be true, and we were glad we had done it -- sometimes you are a little tired or dizzy heading down the halls, and R432 blends too easily into R342.
Most staterooms did not have decals, which made ours even more effective and useful. You can get butterflies, cats, and more cheap on amazon.
We were glad for the door decorations, and they were very inexpensive. The stateroom door is made of some kind of high quality resin, so the decals peeled right off on the last day. Cat clings. 3D butterfly clings.
Stateroom is very plush. Check out the overhead lighting. I have had many, many hotel rooms worse than this.
Two chairs and a mini-table on the balcony. It's pretty tight, but does the job. The crazy blue of the water is because it's the Mediterranean; your sea may vary.
Balcony view from inside the stateroom.
2. The State Room
The Horizon Buffet
The Dining Halls
9. The Scams
Fine Art Auction
See also our review of the MSC Grandiosa
These flat-screen TVs are new on the Crown Princess since last April. One of the 50 channels is a dynamic map that shows the ship's heading, speed, position, and the wind. Unfortunately, this display flips to safety information half the time, so the usability is poor. Another channel has the bridge cam -- almost always open-water. A third channel has the sound of waves, in case you need some white noise but don't have a balcony door or can't open it due to inclement weather. Interestingly, the sound of the water hitting the bow is not a steady roar, but is a periodic noise -- crashing waves generated by the ship's motion.
9 Things I Wish I Had Brought On Board
5. Door Decals
This small bedside desk has the only electric outlets other than in the bathroom -- American and European are both supported. We brought a 6-outlet power strip with NO surge protector (because surge protectors are not allowed on the ship), so we had no problem. The phone is convenient for calling ship services or calling family/friends in other staterooms. There is an onboard text-messaging service for free that works in your phone's browser using the ship's WiFi, but it's not great. It doesn't refresh and notify, like normal texting does, so you can miss messages.
Mini-fridge under the cabinet under the television. Your cabin steward will bring ice; best to bring your own diet sodas, because the ship's selection is spare and pricy.
More storage next to the closet, and a safe.
Efficient shelving in the bathroom. Most hotels could learn a thing or two from this.
Bathroom sink. This is not granite or marble -- it's some kind of durable resin, but certainly clean, and plenty of water pressure.
Bathroom electric outlet -- only for shavers!
Toilet seat stays down because you have to lower the seat to reach the flush button -- pretty smart!
Even though it sounds like an airplane vacuum toilet, the stateroom toilet looks and functions in a familiar way.
There's only room for one in the shower, but plenty of water pressure and the showerhead doesn't cramp tall people. That's shampoo and bath gel in the containers. Suites are said to offer better toiletries, but I don't know anything about that.
The top knob controls pressure, the bottom controls temperature.
Back out on the balcony.
Stunning view from the balcony, even if it's a view of nothing. This is Deck 14 (Riviera), so about ten stories above the water, but it doesn't feel like ten stories; the water feels close enough. Do you see those two decks that seem to be cantilevered out over the water?
See also our review of the MSC Grandiosa