Crown Princess November 21-28, 2009
Captain: Marco Fortezze Cruise Director: Ron Goodman Maitre d'hôtel: Jean-Francois Ferat Executive Chef: Giuseppe Pollara
Our journey started early on Saturday morning from Charlotte to Fort Lauderdale. We arrived on time in FLL around 10:00. We grabbed a taxi and headed to the ship. We got there around 10:30, filled out the health form, got our group number and waited. The embarkation process started around noon and since we were in group 2 we were on board shortly after.
We found our cabin, grabbed some lunch and then explored the ship a little. We had initially requested first seating, but were given Anytime since first was full. We did meet with the Maitre d' and we were able to change to first seating. As it turned out, our table mates were not that great so we went back to Anytime.
Cruise Critic Meet and Greet At 2:00 we headed up to Skywalker's for our Roll Call meet and greet. We had quite a few people show up and we met Marlene and Steve (nanapapa23) and Marianne and Bob (bmdlover). We found out we were all going to Nachi Cocum in Cozumel so we decided to share a cab.
The Ship The Crown is very beautiful and clean. The dEcor is not any particular style, but is elegant. All public areas, lounges, and passage ways were always clean. Nothing looked "old or worn". Restrooms were all very clean.
Our Cabin We had a balcony cabin on Rivera Deck, 611. Our cabin was nice, our beds were put together to make a queen size and it was very comfortable. Our balcony was a nice size and had two chairs and a small round table. The shower is quite a bit smaller than the showers on Carnival and it took some getting used to. I checked out the showers in the spa, but they weren't much bigger so I opted to use the one in the cabin. Towels are a little rough.
I had requested the egg crate mattress and feather pillows before we left and they were already on the bed. Our Cabin Steward, Samuel, was wonderful! When we met him I asked for a top sheet under the comforter and extra towels. When we came back from dinner, we had them!
Our only complaint is that the cabin temp stayed between 75-80 degrees, which made sleeping difficult. We bring a small fan because all ships have decreased the air flow to cabins, but it was so hot we had to get another fan from housekeeping, after much complaining.
Our cabin was very close to the adult pool and the Outrigger Bar so we used that pool most times. We just had to walk to the end of the hallway and out the door and there we were. There was a boy in the pool on the first day, but after that I didn't see anymore kids in it. There are several pools around the ship which is nice. We found the pool from the spa which is under the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is very nice and relaxing. It's an area above the Spa Deck and is covered. Has very nice lounge chairs and very quiet. It costs $10 for a half day.
Entertainment There were two comedians, Rollin' Jay Moore and Phil Tag. Both were funny, but Phil Tag was a lot funnier than Jay Moore.
They also had a hypnotist, Michelle Van Ree, who was pretty good. The first night they had her in the Explorer's Lounge which was way too small for her act. The lounge was full and people were sitting in the aisles and on the floor all the way up to the stage. It was quite a safety hazard. The bar waiters couldn't walk through and at one point, because the stage is so small, Michelle was walking to the edge and teenage boy sitting on the floor at the stage stood up at the same time and she almost fell over him.
The last day they had her give a 4:00 performance in the Princess Theatre which is where she should have been the first two times. It was a much better performance.
Another act was Lianna Hay who did an act with hula hoops...very good. I don't remember ever being able to things with my hula hoops that she could do!
The production shows were What a Swell Party, Destination Anywhere, and Motor City. We saw the first two and they were okay; we missed Motor City because we wanted to see Phil Tag's first performance which was at the same time. They did have the production shows on two different days so you still see it if you missed it the first time around, which I thought was nice. These shows were also not your typical cruise shows like the Broadway medleys and '60s or '70s shows, which was a nice change.
They also had an International Crew Show which we enjoyed. They had some of the crew from around the ship, a bartender, a bar waiter, the Captain's Circle Hostess, and others who sang, played the drums, etc. all of them were very good.
The Food The food selection in the dining rooms was not very good in our opinion. Breakfast was not very good and one morning my scrambled eggs were burned. How do you burn scrambled eggs! After that we ate our breakfasts in the buffet. Lunch selection in the dining room was not up to what we were used to either, so back to the buffet for that.
The two buffets served different items so you had a great selection to choose from. The only problem with the buffets is the way they are laid out...it gets very confusing as to which side to start from and it gets very congested at times.
Thanksgiving Day was our second formal night and although a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner was on the menu, it was also lobster tail night. As much as I wanted turkey for Thanksgiving, I really wanted lobster so that's what I got. It was a small lobster and came with prawn. I ordered two lobster tails and that was enough. It was very good. I don't particularly like desserts on the ships, but the soufflEs are good as well as the crème brulee. I had a sorbet two different nights and they were both good. The prime rib was very good, and I got the broiled chicken breast one night which was also good.
While in Cozumel, we and our new Cruise Critic friends decided that we would have a "family" Thanksgiving dinner together, so we all met at the International Cafe around 7:00 and shared Thanksgiving dinner together at DaVinci's Restaurant -- another great thing about Anytime dining. We really enjoyed our dinner and time with them.
We never got around to the grill for hamburgers or hot dogs or the pizza, but those items looked good. We did get ice cream a couple of times and it is next to the pizza near the pool.
Grand Cayman Our first port was Grand Cayman and we didn't leave the ship this day because we have been there several times and have done everything there is to do. It was a beautiful day, however, and we enjoyed the quite and having the pool to ourselves.
Roatan, Honduras Roatan was our second port and we've been here a couple of other times, too, but this time we went to Mayan Princess. We were able to get a taxi for $20 per person round trip and then it costs $10pp for a day pass. This place is gorgeous! We got there very early and since it took a while for others to begin showing up, we pretty much had the pools to ourselves for a while. For your $10 you have use of all the pools, the showers, restrooms and the beach. Food and drinks are not included.
We swam around in the pools most of the day and just enjoyed the calming beauty of the place. We had asked our driver to pick us up around 1:00 which worked out perfectly since that's when everyone began coming in and the quiet and calmness was gone.
Cozumel, Mexico We and our new found friends, Marlene & Steve, and Marianne & Bob, met right after we docked and grabbed a cab to Nachi Cocum. We had the best time. We were among some of the first there and got chairs and umbrellas along the beach to begin. Just at the horizon was a very dark sky and we knew the storm was heading our way. We hung out on the bead a while and then gradually we all ended up in the pool and hot tub. We had all brought our things into the dining area just before the storm hit. And I do mean storm. That was one of the worst storms I've seen a long time. Very strong winds blew the rain into the dining area and the staff at Nachi Cocum herded us all into a room and gave us dry towels and water to drink. Once it began to slack off a little, we went back to the dining area and the staff began bringing out guacamole, salsa, and chips - and of course all the drinks we could handle! We ordered lunch and more drinks and we had a wonderful time with our new friends. I couldn't think of a better way to wait out a storm.
I'm just sorry for all those whose first time it was there because Nachi Cocum can be so much fun when the sun is out. It's a beautiful place and usually a very relaxing day. There were quite a few kids there and they eventually ended up the small hot tub despite the sign that reads "Adults Only" in both Spanish and English. Nevertheless, we had a great time with our friends and the staff did a great job of making it enjoyable.
Princess Cays I had been looking forward to Princess Cays since the last time we were supposed to stop there; Hurricane Wilma rearranged our itinerary and we missed this island. Well, I guess it' just not meant for us to see it, because this time the winds were at 25-30 knots and the water was too rough for us to tender. So we had an extra sea day that was too windy to lay around the pool. We hung out for a while and decided to begin our packing. Good thing...the zipper on our large suitcase was broken! Oh my gosh, I frantically started trying to get everything into our two carry-ons and trying to decide what could be left behind when Mike had a great idea. I always lock the luggage with cable ties and fortunately had some with us. He punched holes in the edge of the bottom and the edge of the top of the suitcase and threaded the cable times through. They held up through the ship's handlers and the airport handlers so cable ties make great redneck locks for your suitcase!
Disembarkation This process was one of the easiest we've had in 20 cruises. You were given a location to meet on the last day, for example, we were to meet in the Wheelhouse Bar at 8:30. There were other colors and numbers there, too, and when our color and number were called a staff person walked our group down to the exit. We were off very easily and all the luggage was grouped together by color and number and very easy to find. We got a cab and headed to the airport and were there by 10:30. Our flight back to Charlotte left at 1:00 so we had some time at the airport. Our flight was a tad early and we had a smooth flight home and got in about 10 minutes early.
All in all this was a great cruise. We loved the ports and the ship; and our new CC friends!