My Mom and I got took the 1/7 Crown Princess sailing to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. We had a great experience, we are past Princess cruisers and were very pleased with this cruise. Mom has some health problems, so we spent the week enjoying the ship and didn't really "do" the ports. So I'm going to focus on the ship, the service, and the food.
Embarkation and Sail-away:
My Mom and I are usually early arrivers to avoid the long lines, but not this time. There was alot of traffic heading into Port Everglades @ 1:30pm, but once out of the cab we had no issues quickly leaving our bags with a porter and getting into the building to check-in. We got a wheelchair right at the door and were whisked up to the check-in desks. The line was really short, both for us with the wheelchair and for everyone else. From the time we left our bags with the porter and got through check-in, we were on the ship within 15 minutes. Excellent embarkation, Princess really made it quick and easy. Very organized.
We made our way to our stateroom, C504, left out things and then headed up to Horizon Court for a bite to eat. Then back to our stateroom to pickup our life jackets and make our way to Muster Station D (this was to make sure my Mom was able to get a seat). As it turned out there were tons of seats, and the muster drill was a breeze.
We were one of 7 ships in port that day, so we waited our turn before getting out just ahead of the Oasis. Beautiful sail-away weather.
In one word, BEAUTIFUL. This was our first time on the Crown, but she's really beautiful. The layout was very similar to the Caribbean Princess we sailed on last time, so the layout was very familiar and we found it easy to navigate. Everything was clean and well-maintained.
Fantastic. We had an amazing room steward, she was always there if we needed anything. A few of the days my Mom wasn't up for leaving the room and spent time on our balcony, but she came by to see if there was anything we needed and would ask later on how my Mom was doing which was SO nice and considerate. We did anytime dining, so our waiters changed every night, but the service was always great. We tried both Da Vinci and Michealangelo dining rooms. We did find that 6:30-7pm was a very popular time to eat. But the Maitre D was really good about opening new tables up, or sending some of us up to Da Vinci (which generally was open only after the first traditional Early Seating was over) so that we didn't have to wait more then a minute or two at most.
Bar service was great. And Anna in the Horizon Court helped my Mom with her plate at the buffet a few times. Then went with my Mom to the table to make sure she had everything she needed, helpful and sweet.
Reading some of the past reviews I was a little curious what our experience would be, but we found everyone incredibly helpful and got excellent service no matter where we were.
Excellent, just as we have always had on Princess. As I mentioned, we choose Anytime Dining and we were always happy with the quality of food. We ate in the dining every night but one and enjoyed everything. The menus were well thought out, and the quality of food was great. No complaints.
I also ate in the Caribe Cafe one night. Food was good, hot, and fresh. Drink service was really good, my glass never went empty. I also would recommend the Pub lunches in the Wheelhouse Bar. They run this every sea day, and I went both times. Fish and Chips was good. Service was fast and I enjoyed the break from the buffet.
As in the past with Princess, we felt this was handled really well. They now offer a baggage check service that will send your bags all the way to your home airport (course there are rules on airline, flight, etc). It was $20/pp and I initially thought it was too much and didn't see the point. But in retrospect we'll be taking advantage of it next time because I forgot just how crazy FLL can be on the days when many ships are in port. So this is an excellent offering, for sure one we'll be using in the future.
My Mom disembarked by wheelchair, so we met in Crooner's Bar at 8:15 and waited for our color to be called. Claiming our luggage was easy, customs was super fast (the wheelchair did save us some line waiting here), and we were on a bus heading to FLL within 15 mins. We had purchased our transfers from Princess ahead of time, so this made things smoother than waiting for a private shuttle or waiting in the taxi line.
All things considered, this was a great cruise. I had the chance to attend the format CC meetup during the first sea day and was pleased to see quite a few officers came and met with us. The hotel general mgr, the Maitre D, Lisa (cruise director) and the Captain himself (Nick Nash) came up. The Captain was incredibly personable and funny. My only wish was that I'd been able to take the Ultimate Ships Tour. Sadly it proved very popular and people were chosen by lottery to take the tour. Oh well, next time I guess :)