Princess Transatlantic London - New York City September 3-17 2010 CABIN I chose a balcony cabin for several reasons; I want a window, it is nice to let some fresh air in the cabin, I like to spend time on the balcony. To make a long story short, whenever I read on the cc roll call about the rate going down, I would call Princess & be put back in queue for an upgrade. In other words if I went from a B to a BA category and a less expensive price was mentioned on cc, I would call Princess and request to be put back to a B category. Eventually the price paid for the cruise was $3K; the original price was $7K.
Below is the dining guide available from the front desk gratis.
Venue Time Location Morning DaVinci Dining Room 7:30am-9:30am Deck 6, midship Horizon Court 6:00am-11:30am Deck 15, aft Cafe Caribe Pastries/Bev4:00am-10:00am Deck 15, aft International Cafe 6:00am-11:30am Deck 5, midship Afternoon DaVinci Dining Room Noon-1:30pm (Lunch) Deck 6, midship 3:30pm-4:30pm (Tea) Horizon Court 11:30am-3:30pm (Lunch) 3:30pm-5:30pm (Light Snack) Trident Grill 11:30am-11:00pm Deck 15, forward Pizzeria 11:30am-11:00pm Deck 15, midship Scoops Ice Cream Bar 11:30am-11:00pm Deck 15, midship with complimentary soft serve International Cafe 6:00am-11:00pm Deck 5, midship Vines 11:00am-11:00pm Deck 5, midship Evening **Michelangelo (anytime dining) 5:30pm-10:00pm Deck 5, midship DaVinci (anytime dining) 5:30pm-10:00pm Deck 6, midship Botticlli (Traditional dining) 6:00pm (1st seating) Deck 6, aft 8:15pm (2nd seating) Sabatini's-reservation's only 6:00pm-11:00pm Deck 16, aft Crown Grill-reservation's only 6:00pm-11:00pm Deck 7, midship International Cafe 6:00am-11:00pm Deck 5, midship Vines 11:00am-11:00pm Deck 5, midship Cafe Caribe 5:30pm-11pm (dinner buffet) Deck 5, midship 11pm-4am (Bistro) Trident Grill 11:30am-11:00pm Deck 15, forward Pizzeria 11:30am-11:00pm Deck 15 midship Scoops Ice Cream bar 11:30am-11:00pm Deck 15, midship
** Michelangelo and DaVinci are used for reservations only and non-reservations . EMBARKATION: This was perhaps the smoothest boarding I have been on and I have only been on about 6 cruises. As said below in Day 1.
FOOD: We actually found the food to be ok. Ok as far as I am concerned for I am used to hospital cafeteria food. The thing that spoiled it was that on Wed. 9/15/10 we ate at a specialty restaurant "Crown Grill" where the steak was not tender & the knives were not sharp. You figure that for the $25 you would get more.
Weather: Most of the weather listed below was taken around 5am from the Captain's Log on channel 47. .
Ports missed: . The Captain can't be held responsible for missed ports due to weather conditions. These are the risks we take as passengers. .
Princess Theater: Fiesta deck 6 bow & Promenade deck 7 bow This theater is used for shows and other events where large audiences are expected; like the mandatory muster drill. .
What to do: . There were plenty of activities in the Platter as well as those planned for our group of nearly 200 in the CC Roll Call.
Pre-Cruise 8/31/10 - Tue to 9/1/10 - Wed; Boston - Reykjavik - London . I flew to London on Icelandic Air business class. I got to the hotel about 3pm London time. The hotel is located right above Victoria Station. Breakfast and supper are included; my room was way in the back; the room was definitely not worth the price. The people on the other hand were very friendly. . Pre-Cruise 9/2/10 - Thu; London - sunny 60's . I took a HoHo bus in the morning of London & in the afternoon went to Stonehenge. .
Day 1 - London 9/3/10 - Friday; Cloud Cover; Pressure 1021 HPA; Temp 64.4F; Wind E 4; . I checked out of the hotel then went for breakfast & back to my room to pack. I ended up taking a cab from the hotel to the bus station (about 3 pounds) because I did not have the brains to pack light. At the terminal a porter helped me (for a fee of course) with my luggage & took them to the truck. Then I went to gate 2 where I was herded to a bus. The ride from London to Southampton was uneventful. We got to the terminal about 1330 & 1 hour later I was aboard the Crown Princess. This was the fastest boarding I have witnessed. When I got to my room I found one of my luggages outside the door waiting for me. My stateroom steward was Sonia. I asked her about the robe & slippers I requested; she said she would have to speak to her supervisor as those are reserved for suite passengers. The request I made online several weeks ago. As I unpacking my suitcase, the second one came. So before the mandatory drill I have my entire luggage unpacked. I went to the front desk, asked if they would deliver the reminders to the cc group & also made 10 invites to the ships officers. Then the necessary drill; but the Crown Princess handles it different. Rather than take you to the boats, you go not wearing your life jacket but carrying it to an inside room & you listen to a recorded lecture about how to use a life jacket. The recording was talking about safety aboard the ship & I was thinking "what happened to the drill." In the Michelangelo Dining Room I was scheduled for 5:30 pm dining table 258. We have 2 people from MD, 3 from NH, & 1 from Boston. For an appetizer I had shrimp cocktail which turned out to be smaller than what I was used to. I also had fruit, salad wedge which seemed to be cabbage, and steak. At dinner the question arose of eating in the specialty restaurants. One person said that the problem with that is that you are given too much to eat so he doubts he will try it this cruise. It was a nice enjoyable meal; too late to make the 7pm show so I opted for the 8:30pm. I purchased a coffee card which does not have an expiration date. However if you buy a $59 coke card there is one; go figure. The show featured the Crown Princess Dancers, The Crown Princess Orchestra, and comedian Kelly Montieth - he was very funny. Also featured was Cruise Director Sam Hawkins-Thomas (better known as Sam). I spoke to her after the show; she said she will be at the 1st M&G. About 9:30pm I headed for the Horizon Terrace on Lido 15 aft. The food is laid out buffet style & included lobster claws, scallops, & pate with lobster and seafood. .
Day 2 - Falmouth 9/4/10 - Sat; Wind SE 3; Overcast; Pressure 1018.5 HPA; Temp 65.3F . I got up @ 6:30am & headed for breakfast in the DaVinci Dining Room. The front desk & passenger info both said breakfast at DaVinci opens at 7am but the Maitre D said 7:30. While waiting for DaVinci to open I got some quarters for the washer and soap. At DaVinci I ended up sitting with two couples who were very interesting. It is nice to be waited on, however waiting until 7:30am is not my cup of tea but then again I am on vacation! Next I went to the Lotus Spa but they did not have anything that interested me; maybe later. Then I walked up to the fitness center; you can work out, watch TV on the equipment you are using plus the view from the fitness center is breath taking as it is above the bow. Then I meandered down to the Cafe Caribe for my 2nd breakfast of scrambled eggs with mushrooms, lox, and pate with lobster and seafood. One gentleman said jokingly if we had finished it last night we would not be eating it today! I was going to try DaVinci for lunch but was told this is open for dinner only. So I went to the Michelangelo Dining Room & sat with 5 people who would be my dinner companions for this voyage. Then I gathered my papers and went to Skywalkers for the M&G @ 3 pm. People showed up earlier than 3pm & a lot were rather late because of tender problems. It seems the dock the Crown Princess usually docks at was busy so we had to tender. This created a problem because while several tenders could be used to transport people, there was only room to dock 1 tender. In addition one could not walk the pier but had to be bused. One couple I had lunch with said they went ashore and others told them they had been waiting 1 hour for a bus, so they turned around & took the tender back. The M&G started on time but the ones that said they would be there early did not show up due to tender problems. Cruise Director Sam showed up. Momsturn & Dancelovers both arrived late but still got to sell the group buttons and give out the name tags. So all in all, it turned out to be a nice event. For supper I ate in Michelangelo again & had a nice & leisurely dinner. Entertainment was 'Motor City' performed by the Crown Princess Dancers & Orchestra; hosted by Cruise Director Sam. It was a fantastic event. After the entertainment I went to the International Cafe for chicken salad, shrimp, & hot cocoa. I had noticed various food items on display earlier but did not purchase any as I thought they had to be purchased. Someone at supper said that the food is free; and with the coffee ticket I purchased the hot cocoa was free. .
Day 3 - Dublin 9/5/10 - Sun; Wind SE 5; Overcast with rain; Pressure 1013.5 HPA; Temp 59.9F . I went down to the International Cafe only to realize I left my medication & pens in my cabin; medication in case we did not return on time & had to take a plane to Belfast. There were 3 tours, the Round and Round, Hokie Pokie, and Up and Down; all the same tour. I was on the Up and Down with 11 other people. After touring Dublin we went in the countryside where we visited Powerscourt House and Gardens, onto the village for Laragh for lunch at the Lynham's Hotel Pub where I had beef stew with beer & it was excellent. We continued on into Glendalough where we had a tour of the monastery. The tour was to take us to the mountains, however as the weather was foggy, overcast, and drizzle, the tour guide decided against going as we would not be able to see anything. The tour took us to two lakes by the monastery but no one wanted to leave the 15 passenger van. Ireland is a beautiful and historic country. At supper in the Michelangelo Dining Room the Captain announced that we would not stop in Belfast as the forecast was for gale force winds in the Irish Sea. Instead we would spend the night in Dublin & leave for Iceland @ noon tomorrow. In the Princess Theater 3 of my 5 dinner companions and I saw tonight's entertainment starring comedy vocalist Diane Cousins hosted by Cruise Director Sam; the audience gave her a standing ovation. Afterwards I stopped at the International Cafe for chicken salad, shrimp & hot cocoa. .
Day 4 - Dublin to Reykjavik 9/6/10 - Mon; Wind SE 6; Overcast with rain; Pressure 1001.1 HPA; Temp 59.9F . At 7am the Captain announced that the Harbormaster would not allow the River Pilot to board this ship sail due to weather conditions thus we could not sail. The Captain said that he agreed with this decision adding that leaving port was now out of his hands; he said we are now scheduled to leave at 7pm. I went for breakfast then met a cc couple and went for a 2nd breakfast. At lunch I ate with Mr. & Mrs. RubberCityRebel & GoBucks. I was having supper in Michelangelo & towards the end of the meal the ship moved. At first people could not believe it then when they realized the ship was moving, a round of applause. Entertainment in the Princess Theater was Variety Showtime with juggler Jaz Danion, a Parisian Comedy hosted by Cruise Director Sam. Next I stopped in Vines for some free seafood. After that I went to the casino & spent about $7 on the slots; last of the big spenders. When I got back to my cabin there was a note that passports are to be given to the front desk between 3-5pm tomorrow. .
Day 5 - Dublin to Reykjavik 9/7/10 - Tue; cloudy; rough seas 7.5 - 12 ft; winds - force 9 (gale); in the 50's; I got up at 6:30am, went to the front desk, gave them my passport and received a receipt; we are to collect them Thu 9/9. Then I went to the Cafe Caribe for breakfast. I ate with a man from Chicago, a retired insurance salesman, he retired at 55. I went to the 2nd M&G in Skywalkers; the Captain showed up & had a question & answer session. It turned out to be a nice meeting. After lunch I saw the movie Robin Hood. After supper at Michelangelo we went to Spotlight Showtime starring comedy vocalist Diane Cousins. Then I went to Cafe Caribe for a 9pm snack. Tonight we move clocks back 1 hour tonight. .
Day 6 - Reykjavik 9/8/10 - Wed; cloudy rough seas 7.5 - 12 ft; winds 47 knots (50 mph) force 7 (near gale); . I had breakfast in DaVinci with a couple from CA & a couple from TX. Then I went to Cafe Caribe for my 2nd breakfast & ate w/ a woman who talked a great deal and was very interesting. She talked about her vertigo; seemed to be bragging, said she has a walker for that. I was going to tell her that if she thinks she has problems just look at other people but I kept quiet. I met the 3 stooges I have supper with; we went to Adagio for lunch but there were no tables, so we went to DaVinci. The Captain announced all afternoon that landing in Reykjavik might be a problem due to weather; to make a long story short the port was cancelled. I would like to see Reykjavik & hope to return for a visit. The Captain also said that this time of year can be difficult navigating in these waters. From what I hear, Greenland & New Foundland might be a problem also. After dinner in Michelangelo we went to Spotlight Showtime starring singer Claude Eric; the audience gave him a standing ovation. Next I stopped in the Casino to observe other losing their money. A stop at the International Cafe for chicken salad, shrimp, & hot cocoa provided me 9pm nutrition. The waiter gave me the cocoa as he remembered me from other nights; tonight though I forgot my coffee card. I saw the weather on CNN; it showed a hurricane in the islands and several rain areas that might affect us towards the end of the cruise (my opinion). .
Day 7 - Reykjavik - Qaqortoq (Greenland) 9/9/10 - Thu; overcast; moderate seas 4 - 7.5 ft; winds 29 knots force 7 near gale; . I went down to the front desk, gave them thank you notes for the Captain & Cruise Director. At 9am I went to the Wheelhouse Bar to retrieve my passport; then I went to the future cruise desk to look at future cruises. I ate lunch with 2 other cc couples; 1 from Toronto & 1 from Vancouver. At 2:30pm in the Princess Theater the Back-up Plan with Jennifer Lopez & Alex O'Loughlin. Supper in Michelangelo followed by Comedy Showtime starring comedian Tom Biscoe hosted by Cruise Director Sam. I have developed a sore throat so had tea, shrimp, & chicken salad at International Cafe. This time I remembered to bring my coffee card. We move the clocks back 1 hour again. .
Day 8 - at sea headed for Qaqortoq (Greenland) 9/10/10 - Fri; 43 degrees; mostly sunny; moderate seas 4-7.5 ft; winds force7 . I had breakfast then went to deck 15 & looked around the Horizon Court & Cafe Caribe & the Pizza & Ice Cream Bar & Lotus Spa. I went back to the cabin because of my sore throat. After a nap, I went for lunch, had pea soup, tuna melt, & tea & sat with a couple from Southampton married 62 years. Later, after her husband left lunch, she confided that she is worried about him as she has seen his memory lapse in the past month. The Captain announced that we are in a fjord & we saw ice bergs, whales, & seals. One of the advantages of being on the Riviera deck is that I can walk to the rear of the ship to the Pool. I'm glad I took some warm clothing. As we were cruising in a fjord, the ice bergs were on the port side, & my cabin was on the port side, I spent most of the afternoon in my cabin taking pictures. Supper at Michelangelo followed by Destination Anywhere in the Princess Theater starring the Crown Princess Dancers hosted by Cruise Director Sam. After the performance I went to the Casino & had a nice chat with cc member BermudaMom. Then to the Cafe Caribe on deck 15 for a 9pm snack but I did not like the offerings so I to went back to International Cafe on deck 5 for shrimp, tea, & hot chocolate. .
Day 9 - Qaqortoq (Greenland) 9/11/10 - Sat; sunny; slight seas 1 - 5.4 ft; winds 41.4 2.3 kts. . The ship was tendered at 7am; I met Joy Caballero for the Tour Great Greenland Tannery Tour in the Vines Bar. She arranged with the front desk for us to disembark on the same tender by giving the front desk all the members in the tour. Sure enough our group of 19 was on the 2nd tender. At arrival in port, we were met by the tour leader, turns out this was a tour run by the Tourist Office & we toured a fur factory; it was a walking tour that lasted 1 hour. The tour cost 11 Euros; I gave the office 20 & only wanted 5 back as the rest would have been in change. There was a long line and eventually I got to pay; it would have been very easy not to pay for the tour & frankly easier. After the tour I walked around town (if you want to call it that - the ship of 3000 has more passengers than the town has citizens). Then I went back to the ship and had lunch with people I had eaten with before; Paul, Joan, Mary, & the couple from Southampton. I saw the movie Date Night at 2:30pm in the Princess Theater. After supper in Michelangelo we saw Destination Anywhere, the same performance as last night. Tonight I did not feel like a 9pm snack. I purchased some Nyquil which probably does not agree with Coumadin but what the heck. Now I think I will get some nasal spray. It was choppy when I went to sleep, winds were force 7, then force 8. The calm seas we have in Qaqortoq picked up to rough seas. .
Day 10 - Qaqortoq (Greenland) to St. John's 9/12/10 - Sun; pc; 46.6 degrees; NW force 7 near gale; seas rough 7.5 - 12 ft.; . These were the 5am readings & seas calmed down during the night, but not the wind. I had breakfast at DaVinci with 2 couples; one of which is in R716 & gave me antihistamine; can't see that it is doing any good & it may conflict with my Coumadin. After breakfast went to the front desk & asked if it would be possible to get a board free of charge for our cc group. They said yes. Then I went to the 10am lecture "Scholarship @ Sea: Maritime History Lecture." Lunch at noon in DaVinci then at 2:30m I saw the movie "Prince of Persia." After supper in Michelangelo the International Crew Show starring the Crown Princess crew. .
Day 11 - Qaqortoq (Greenland) to St. John's 9/13/10 - Mon; overcast; 47.8 degrees; NE force 2; slight seas 1 - 5.4 ft.; . After breakfast at DaVinci, I went down to Deck 5, midship where the cc message board was located (see 9/12/10) & wrote some events. The board was a welcome gift (if you will) but it was too late. Then I went to the 10am lecture Scholarship @ Sea "Maritime History Lecture" The Modern Struwwelpeter. After lunch we saw the movie Invictus. At supper @ Michelangelo a dinner companion mentioned that the cleanliness in the spa, gym, locker room leave a lot to be desired; he expected more from a ship built in 2006 then the 8:15pm performance of Shake, Rattle & Roll featuring the Crown Princess Dancers & the Crown Princess Orchestra hosted by Cruise Director Sam. .
Day 12 - St. John's Newfoundland 9/14/10 - Tues; pc; 52.2 degrees; NE force 4 - 14.1 kts; slight seas 1-5.4 ft.; . BarbinMich (Barbara Moorehouse) organized a van tour with Larry for $55 (US) from 8am - 1pm; the meeting area was the International Cafe on Deck 5, the number of participants 6; BarbinMich, GoVals & friend, Molokaihuakai, and Paul8. We saw Signal Hill, Cape Spear (most easterly point of land in the Western world, Petty Harbour, & Quidi Vidi Lake. Morgan123 organized a tour for $60 that included more however; all the important parts of St John's were seen. I ate at the DaVinci with 1 couple, 1 person from Scotland & 1 from NJ. At 2:30pm we saw the afternoon movie "The Bounty Hunter" in the Princess Theater. After supper in Michelangelo we saw a repeat performance of Shake, Rattle & Roll followed by the Hypnotic Showtime starring hypnotist David Night. .
Day 13 - St. John's to NYC 9/15/10 - Wed; pc; 65.5 degrees; wind West Force 5 - fresh breeze; seas moderate 4 - 7.5 ft; . I had breakfast then headed for greeting card making at 9am with Santa it was a lot of fun. I later learned that she was disappointed as she took supplies for the # of people that said they would attend but there were only 3 Tuesday and 6 today, this was not scheduled. At 10:30am I left for the Wheelhouse Bar where we were to leave @ 11am for the cabin crawl. We saw a penthouse suite which is awesome. The bath is divided in 1/2; a large toilet in one half & a shower & bath in the other. A queen size bed with a TV and in the living room a TV/VCR & couch. After lunch I went to the 1:30pm lecture Tales for Travelers in the Princess Lounge which put me to sleep. Supper tonight was in the Crown Grill accompanied by the 3 musketeers. George last night said the food at the CG was a step above the M but I did not think the food was that great. Then again I am used to hospital food; nothing fancy, just plain & simple, the ole KISS principle. After supper we went to the Princess Theater for tonight's entertainment of What a Swell Party with the Crown Princess Dancers. Tonight I packed & have more do tomorrow. .
Day 14 - St. John's to NYC 9/16/10 - Thu; pc; 61.7 degrees; moderate seas 4.7.5 ft; wind NW Force 7 near gale; . I had breakfast in DaVinci then went to reception to get a copy of my account then headed down to future cruises & made a reservation for May 4, 2011 cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco; this cruise will replace the NCL Miami - Barcelona I have already booked. I realized later that the NCL cruise might be a future cruise; I will have to check this when I get home. The thing with Princess is that I am one person occupying a 2 person cabin. As such, Princess will credit me with 2 cruises. Several years ago I took a Princess cruise which credited me with 1 cruise; about 18 months Princess changed their policy & now you are credited 2 cruises. So this cruise equals a total of 3 cruises I have taken. One more cruise & I will be Platinum & 5 cruises after that I will be Elite. After the future cruises I went to Skywalkers where I read a few chapters of Harry Bosch. After lunch I went to my cabin & finalized packing my 2 bags; they are to be put outside the cabin door at 5pm. I gave Sonia my Stateroom Steward $20 & put another $20 in an envelope for Ghana our waitress. After a leisurely supper I saw the 9pm show Farewell Showtime starring Claude Eric. I went to the Casino & cashed out my account receiving $2.21; last of the big gamblers. Then I stopped by International Cafe for Shrimp, Hot Chocolate, & Chicken salad. Next I went to my cabin and finalized packing. We arrive in NYC about 5am tomorrow. I am to go to DaVinci @ 8:45am to meet the train group. .
Day 15 - NYC; pc . We arrived in NYC about 5am. I took the Princess bus to Penn Station then Amtrak to South Station in Boston for $49. You can't beat that. It was a great end to a wonderful cruise.