The Crown Princess is a new ship and is well maintained. The cabins and public spaces were immaculate and the dining room service was top-notch.
The main problem we encountered was that the ship is just not designed properly for 3,200 passengers. The Princess Theater holds 800 cruisers and there are two to three shows a night. You can do the math. Many patrons arrived at the theater, armed with reading material, 45 or more minutes early to stake out a seat. At the end of the show, the line of incoming passengers has already formed! The situation in the Explorers Lounge, a smaller venue that also features shows, was even more chaotic with seat-hungry passengers lingering in the aisle long before the early show is over.
Elevator riding could be a listed event as well. Younger travelers can get their work-out by climbing up and down 8 or 9 flights in less time then it will take to find a elevator. Staking out deck chairs, of course, is another activity not recommended for the timid.
If you enjoy bingo, trivia contests, napkin folding lessons and zumba you will not be disappointed. If you prefer a quiet time near a pool you can try the Sanctuary- for a fee of course.
Passengers should note that the ship has a set-back on decks 10 and 11 so that your balcony will not only include the ocean, but the balcony of the cabins below your deck as well. The cabin itself was bit smaller then most with no room for the petite couch that usually finds a place in such cabins. Instead you will have a small chair. One good feature is that the closet area is perpendicular to the sleeping area affording a bit of privacy to your cabin-mate when using the dressing area.
As we did not book a cruise line tour we were quite delighted to find buses ready to take us on an island joint for just $20 a person! If you want an air-conditioned, luxury bus this is not for you. Instead we found ourselves in a converted school bus that had all the windows removed!
The tour lasted about 2.5 hours and covered the highlights of Aruba. At the end of the tour we had plenty of time to explore the downtown. Don't miss the new Anthropology Museum. Its free, and its quite interesting.
Its a lighthouse. Great vistas.
Visiting the ostrich farm was the highlight of our cruise! Its unique and interesting and we enjoyed our time with these unique animals. After we had some time to cross the famous floating bridge and walk around the downtown area.
Princess Cay, on the island of Eleuthera and only 30 miles from Nassau, is a beach, pure and simple. Unfortunately the Bahamas are not dependably warm during the month of January and when we arrived the high for the day was about 65 degrees. Not exactly beach weather.
Tendering is always required as the beach is surrounded by shallow reefs and depending on winds the ride in and out can be the highlight of the day- or your worse nightmare if you are prone to motion sickness.
Lunch was served on the island and the crew does a great job of having everything available-almost as if you were on the ship. No complaints here.
We were glad we did not spend $200 for a beach-side cabin with air conditioning where we could have sat in a blanket and looked rather foolish.