We left the arctic vortex just in time! 7 nights on the Crown Princess was just the ticket. We are a small group of 6 adults that travel together on cruises. Our previous 8 cruises have been on Royal Caribbean. As the men in the group are cigar smokers, they were dismayed that they would not be allowed to smoke on the balcony of the staterooms on RCCL..That left the door open to try a new to us cruise line.
Embarkation- It was not as organized as I had wished. There was no que, just many positions with many people in each line. Once we were in the right line our agent processed us very quickly. I noticed, that Suite guests,Platinum and Elite members were in the same lines as everyone else. Apparently there were so many that the agent directed them to the shortest lines. So much for being "special". The one difference in RCCL's embarkation is that there are specific lines for specific decks,and Loyalty levels.I have never had to wait more than 10 minutes to be processed as a Diamond member.
On Board-the ship is lovely. Where is she worn? Maybe the teak on the hand rails? maybe a chip here or there or a not as clean as it should be piece of furniture? What do you expect,folks. 3000K+ people everyweek,,,come on! The Crown is very,very nicely kept! No worries there! Lots of glass, marble,woods.
International Café was our stop for a quick bite on embarkation day then off to inspect the ship and go to our staterooms.
Stateroom- Mid Forward Baja deck. Our stateroom gal, Elizabeth was always available. She opened our balcony dividers so that we had one long balcony for the 3 staterooms. The balconies are VERY small, but just fine for an afternoon glass of wine or book reading. And we could watch the folks below and wish we had a bigger balcony! LOL
Drawer space is fine,closet space was perfect. Enough hangers for all the clothes.
Bathroom is the size to be expected. We had plenty of shelf space below the sink and on the wall for all the cosmetics,shampoos etc. Shower had a curtain ( not the tube like RCCL) I brought clips to weigh is down some so it wouldn't stick to me,but it was actually fine without. Water pressure was very good and the water got nice and hot quickly. Shampoo/conditioner was very nice as was the shower gel. could have had more towels, but I could have asked too!
A/C was a little iffy at times but one call and it was taken care of. Just make sure you keep the balcony door closed and locked to keep the air running.
Dining-We ate in DaVinci anytime dining at 730pm each night we were in the Dining room. We had the nicest waiter Zoran from Serbia. He found out that we are of the same religion as he and wished us all Merry Christmas on January 7th. He treated us like family in his own home. Service was great! On time, hot food, good recommendations.
The first night in the dining room ( sans Zorn) the food was just ok.The other nights in the Dining room the food was fine! We also ate in the Crown Grille and Sabatini's. Both specialty dining venues are worth the extra money. The meals and the service were amazing. We also ate one night in the Horizon buffet and had a great meal there as well. If your are searching for gourmet, then a cruise is not the place.Imagine preparing meals for 3000guests and crew....
Pizza , hamburgers and hot dogs on deck were a great treat. you could watch the pizzas being hand tossed! No frozen pies on this ship!!
Entertainment- Something for everyone! Productions shows, comedy shows, musical shows, trivia games, Piazza entertainment and casino gaming and shopping.
Pools- There were 4 pools available to all. Not sure if it was because this sailing had quite a few older folks,but never did we have to save or search for sun chairs/loungers.
Didn't get to use the Sanctuary,but was on deck nearby and it seemed very nice, especially if you are not a huge sunworshiper,but still want to be outside to read or just rest. Staff seemed very attentive. It's a great value for $10.00 for the morning or afternoon sessions.
movies under the stars was a great hit on Sat and Sun for the NFL playoff games and then later on in the week with the movies and concerts.
Smoking- many of you who are smokers ask where can we smoke outside. On deck 15 at the Tradewinds bar, there is an area with tables and chairs. Some are even in the sun!
On the aft deck outside Adagio's is another place with seats.
Promenade deck starboard side, just near the wall mounted ashtrays though.
Debarkation- If your airline participates in the program that Princess has where for 20.00 per person and any airline bag fees, they will check you in, issue your boarding passes and luggage tags do it!. you can claim your bags at your home city and NEVER have to see it once you put it out on the last night! Well worth it with 6 huge ships in port on debarkation day and everyone heading to the airports!!
The debarkation system is great. you are assigned an area and a time. Go there, have a coffee or juice, wait to be called and debark in a civilized organized manner!
Service- WOW The service on board the Crown was 5star. Everyone with the exception of 3 staff members, were always smiling, asking how they can help, asking if you are having a great time etc. Bartenders Benji, Inna, Alan in Crooners and Adajio made the trip! Bar server Jasmin, on her first contract, went over and above everytime she saw us!
Wait staff-Zoran,Rodney, Anthony, Maria..AMAZING.
Cant wait to go on our next Princess cruise!