Relaxing cruise...pedestrian entertainment and enrichment
STATEROOM: Ours was an obstructed view outside cabin. We got what we paid for. No view, but at least we knew whether it was day or night. Rather small, but perfectly adequate and comfortable. Lots of storage space.
DINING: Dinner in one of the main dining rooms was always excellent. I usually ordered fish or seafood. Delicious appetizers and desserts! Buffet on the Lido Deck was sometimes a bit crowded at breakfast or lunch. Our ship was full.
SERVICE: Superb. Uniformly pleasant, helpful, and courteous.
PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS: On this cruise, I mostly explored independently at the ports. On a previous cruise on the Crown, I took the $84.00 St John Eco-Hike (from St Thomas). One could also do this independently for far less if you do your homework and plan. I did take the Hurricane Ike tour of Grand Turk this time. For $19, it was a great introduction to the island scenery, history, and culture. One thing about port stops on the Crown Princess: they are sometimes rather brief. You have to be back on the ship at St Thomas by 3:30 pm, making for a short visit on an island where there is a lot one can do. You don't arrive at Grand Turk until 1:00 pm. Our stop at Princess Cays was cancelled because of high winds. Our stop at Grand Turk was almost cancelled for the same reason. I was told that cancellations of these ports are not infrequent, as there is no protected harbor for the ship at either island.
ACTIVITIES and ENTERTAINMENT: If you like sophisticated entertainment and activities, there isn't much on the Crown Princess. The fitness center is a pleasure, as are the fore and aft pools. On sea days, it can be very relaxing to sunbathe on the deck, as long as you can get away from the noisy commotion of games, contests, and activities surrounding the main pools. Entertainment was not very entertaining for me. Without criticizing anyone else's tastes, I am not much interested in contests and games; Vegas-style shows; stand-up comedians; magicians; disco clubs; and so-called "art" auctions, etc. Perhaps my tastes are not mainstream, but it nevertheless would have been nice to have a *few* other options. I would have enjoyed a couple of classical music performances; lectures on current events, finance, the arts,history, etc; solo musical performers. There were none of these. Luckily, I am very content to relax, walk around the ship, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the sun, and read. One very nice touch was the warm welcome given by a crew member at a daily LGBT reception that the ship posted every day.
SUMMARY: This was my second cruise on the Crown Princess. Both experiences were a pleasure. My main criticism is the lack of sophisticated entertainment or enrichment.