Crown Princess Cruise Review by NorCalifs: Enjoyed our first Princess cruise
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Enjoyed our first Princess cruise
This was our second 7-day cruise...first being on Royal Caribbean to Alaska last summer with a total of 8 family members. Wanted to try a warm weather cruise and decided on this cruise/line due to itinerary and price.
We drove to Ft. Lauderdale/Port Everglades from Naples after being there for a conference the week prior to the cruise. We dropped our luggage off at the ship (very easy) took the rental car back to Ft. Lauderdale airport (also very easy) and got on the shuttle going back to the port. Shuttle was packed with Oasis of the Seas passengers so they were dropped off first and the traffic getting into the Oasis shuttle/bus drop off was horrible! Took us 45 minutes to get through the traffic, getting us back to the Crown almost 1-1/2 hours after we dropped off our luggage. Took about 30 minutes to get on our ship as we arrived in the rush hour (~1:30).
Once on the ship we were glad to see most of our luggage was already in our stateroom...last bag arrived More about an hour later. We partook in the scavenger hunt to become familiar with the ship which was a fun way to learn the layout of the ship. We were last ship to sail away after a Holland ship and the Oasis...glad we were the only 3 ships in port as when we returned a week later there were 5 ships in port!! I'm sure sail away was much later that day!
The Crown Princess is very beautiful with an Italian theme, which suited us just fine as my husband is Italian. The crew was wonderful, the food fabulous.
Cafe Caribe, when we found it open, actually had the best buffet food but a smaller selection than Horizon. Horizon Court buffet is good for the basics such as fruit, cheeses, breads, some eggs (fried and hard boiled were good), but most of the cooked food wasn't very flavorful or even under/overcooked. It was really a gamble.
We chose anytime dining which is the only way to cruise unless you're with a big group when a fixed dinner time is probably easier to get everyone together at the same time. We always sat at a table for 2 but the tables are close enough we met and talked with other people at each dinner and didn't if we weren't up to it. Good selection on the menu and all the food was delicious!
International Cafe was our favorite...they make excellent cappuccinos and have fabulous pastries/sandwiches/salads for a quick breakfast, snack, or lunch. And the gelato is good too, although mislabeled the one day we tried it (it said limoncello and it tasted more like banana).
Vines was a nice peaceful place to have a glass of wine and offers sushi or tapas with your wine but the one night we sat there (last night of our cruise) we were kind of ignored as another couple who obviously frequented Vines all week kept the waiters attention.
Stateroom on Caribe deck (10) was nice...lots of closet space, bathroom a little small, but deck is nice and large (double deck)...took many naps out there!
The average age of the passenger was probably in the mid to late-50s and the entertainment reflected that. Although there was a great 5-piece Italian music band, most of the "dance" bands played big band music or country music. Hubby and I are children of the 70s so we like classic rock. We saw one show in the theater that was entertaining but didn't see any other shows.
MUTS is great...watched the World Series outside under the stars, even sitting in the jacuzzi one night. Nice movies during the day too while sitting around the pool, but if you're not into the "noise" the MUTS can be a little disturbing during the day while sitting around the pool, but there are 2 other pools on the ship. Popcorn served at night and blankets available if it gets a little chilly.
Fitness center is well equipped and offers various classes. Running track is short and kind of awkwardly configured but we didn't use it. I had a massage in the spa which was enjoyable and used the steam room. Very nice. Less
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