Crown Princess back to back after a Holland America 11 day: Crown Princess Cruise Review by cbhimself
Overall Member Rating
Crown Princess back to back after a Holland America 11 day
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We also visited, by tender, Princess Cays, the company's port on Eleuthera in the Bahamas. It is a lovely place, with beaches and water sports. The swimming and snorkeling, with many and varied fish, are distinctly better than HALs Half Moon Cay.
I have some qualms about the cruise life in general. The ships exploit third world labor, though the workers seem happy and are making better wages than they could in their own countries. Carnival owns most of the cruise companies, including HAL and Princess. They tend to build million dollar ports and docks on many of the islands, where they peddle the same expensive, posh merchandise in the same stores: Diamonds-, Tanzanite-, and Colombian Emeralds-International, plus Swiss and Little Swiss watches and some liquor stores. They employ cheap local labor and export the profits to the foreign companies. They try to confine passengers to these business by lectures, TV specials, and maps that show the stores but not much of the cities. I never patronize them and escape the port area ASAP; I can't understand how the stores survive in port after port. But they seem to thrive. We sailed Jan. 2-13 on HAL Maasdam, and on Jan. 14-28 back to back on Crown Princess. This is my evaluation of HAL with some comparisons with Princess. HAL gets a plus for a large, excellent library, with open shelves, a real librarian available most days 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and magazines. It also has a selection of over 1000 DVDs with a player in every room. Every evening an excellent string quartet plays in a quite lounge. The other entertainment is varied. The clientele is older with more walkers, scooters, and wheel chairs that can slow things down (but I'm getting there myself). The comparatively small ship means almost no waiting in line. On the other hand, the perks for HAL (I have over 100 days, 3 stars) are negligible compared to Princess where, with 50 days (Platinum) we get preferred boarding and 250 free minutes on the Internet. The decor on the Maasdam is OK, but inferior to most HAL ships. Decor on Princess, so-so. Food and service on both I consider excellent, though the dining experience on HAL is better. Less
Cabin review: B1C422 Balcony
Paid for "obstructed" view. have had cruises where "obstructed" meant we'd look at a lifeboat all day long. On this "obstructed" we looked over a life boat and could see the ocean all day through the upper half of the large window. That is, there are "obstructed" and "obstructed." Had a Cabin Crawl courtesy of a Cruise Critic meeting (attended by the Captain) and also found we could see many staterooms in the morning of our day in FLL between two cruises. Our cabin also had bunks hung on the wall for 2 more passengers, where we could bump our heads on the way to bed. Some "obstructed" did not have the extra bunks. It would be possible to reserve better ones.Read All Balcony (B1) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
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We warmed to the ship but neve...
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