Sail Date: February 2013
Just returned this past weekend from a great week aboard the Crown Princess. We have previously done this itinerary from Galveston but I could not remember too much about it so we decided to give it a go since it was a change of pace from ... Read More
Just returned this past weekend from a great week aboard the Crown Princess. We have previously done this itinerary from Galveston but I could not remember too much about it so we decided to give it a go since it was a change of pace from the eastern cruises we typically do in the winter. We arrived in Galveston the day before and used Super Shuttle for our transportation from Hobby airport. I spent a lot of time looking at different options and this seemed the most reasonable. We were a group of 4 adults and chose to book a private SUV at $35 per person. When we arrived there was a slight snafu, I received a voicemail from the company and they told me that it looked as though our flight was now arriving at 10pm instead of 10am. Not sure where they got that from so I called them back and it ended up being their mistake. Now the problem was that because they thought we were delayed they did not have a driver available to take us. I was not very happy and a bit testy from traveling since 3am and after a bit of a back and forth they had the super shuttle van take us by ourselves to Galveston for the same price. The van was perfectly fine and the driver was very nice. We stayed at the Hotel Galvez which we all thought was very nice. I really love historical hotels and the location was right on the beach with great views from the rooms. I only wish it had been warm enough to actually hang out on the beach, it was pretty chilly. There were restaurants within walking distance and a town car that would take you into town and pick you back up for no cost. It was really easy to call them and get picked up when we were ready to go back to the hotel. My husband was excited to stay at the Galvez since it is said to be haunted, he even called months in advance to request the "haunted room". To his disappoint nothing out of the ordinary happened during our stay. The rooms are clean and slightly updated but very small which we expected since the hotel is so old. Our rooms were fine for 2 adults but if we were looking to get 3 or 4 in a room it would be very tight. Check in is at 4pm but we arrived by 12pm and only had to wait about 30 minutes for our room to be ready and the others in our party could check in right away which was really nice. If you stay at the Galvez they do have a complimentary shuttle to the pier but you need to make sure you sign up right away as it does fill up quickly. We ended up getting in the 12pm slot and it worked out great. When we arrived at the pier there was really no wait at all. Dropped our bags off and were on board within about 20 minutes. I thought the check in was very organized, we have preferred check in but the rest of our group without boarded very shortly after us and were very complimentary of the whole process. Once on board we dropped our things off at the room and headed up to the buffet for lunch. The weather in Galveston was sunny but cool so since we would not be hitting the pool we ended up getting back off the ship and walked around the historical strand which is right across from the pier. We made it back on board just in time the muster drill and then we were off! Dining I have to say that we thought the food was very good on this cruise but we were not overly thrilled with the selections on the new menus. Maybe it was because some of our old favorites were missing but I had a harder time choosing something in the MDR at night because not a lot seemed to appeal to me. I did enjoy all of my food, except for what they were calling a filet in the MDR, it tasted almost gamey to me both times I tried it. I always love the fettuccine and we had that as a third main dish to share every night. Loved the ice creams and sorbet selection each night and usually added a scoop to whatever dessert I had. We went to Sabatini's on our first night and Crown grill on our last night and both were excellent and definitely our favorite meals for the week. These are so worth the extra cost! We love to start and end our trips in the specialty restaurants. Afternoon tea was really nice (this was the first time I have gone), a good selection of sandwiches, cookies and pastry. I thought there was supposed to be live music but the occasions we were there is was just music over the speaker system. All in all a very nice experience in the afternoon when there was not a lot going on. We tried to make it to pub lunch but both times the line was HUGE and we didn't feel like waiting an hour plus so we have yet to give that a try. Enjoyed lunches in the MDR and the buffet and found both to have really nice selections during this time. Wish they had more available late night, the cafe caribe was open until midnight but it just seemed to have old left over looking options from dinner that night and nothing great for a little late night snack. Pizza always works though, very yummy. Entertainment We love to do Movies Under the Stars and enjoyed the movies even though most we have already seen. They played Bourne Legacy, Pitch Perfect, Robot and Frank and Premium Rush. My only issue was that the first and last night they replayed the same movie which usually does not happen. The comedians on board were a lot of fun and we enjoyed seeing Lincoln and Argo in the Princess Theater. We didn't attend any of the other shows as they don't usually interest us. We also enjoyed the entertainment in the Piazza throughout the day and evening when we were waiting around for this and that. Ports Belize- We did a princess excursion, the river cruise, Altun Ha ruins and lunch. I really enjoyed this tour but the rest of the group I was with did not. Their biggest complaint was that the river cruise portion was way too long for the type of boat they put you in. I can agree with that, the boat was small and had everyone facing inwards so you always had to turn or stand up to see anything they were pointing out. We did see a lot of wildlife which was great but it did drag on a bit. The lunch was nothing special, you pull up to a building on the side of the river (they called it a resort, I'm not sure why). There was a food line inside for chicken, rice and salad and a soda. It was ok, and by that time we were starving. It's not a lot of food but enough to hold you over until the tour is over. I thought the ruins were wonderful but it was so hot and no shade to be had so definitely wear a hat or bring your sunscreen! We got to climb up some of the structures and get some great pictures but you need to be very careful as the steps can be steep and very uneven. Roatan- This was my first time at this port and we knew it would basically be a beach day. I was expecting something like Princess Cays but I was pleasantly surprised. Mahogany bay was a very nice beach and the water was wonderful! We had a lot of fun and really loved the chair lift that you could take to get to the beach, its $2 cheaper to get the tickets on board the ship. Next time I would love to head out to one of the other beaches and see more of the island. A very pretty port. Cozumel- We had planned to head to one of the beach clubs for the day but the weather was cloudy and it rained off and on most of the day. We took it as a nice break from the sun and decided to walk around town and do a little shopping. We also stopped at Pancho's backyard for lunch which was decent but nothing to write home about. Sea Days- We had three on this cruise since one of our ports got canceled shortly after we booked. I don't love sea days, I find them to be a little boring but I tried to get to some new things and keep busy. We loved the Thermal Suite and used it every afternoon, I don't think it's worth the price they charge but we still tend to purchase the weeks pass. I did feel like there were a lot more people than usual just walking in without having the pass which was annoying since we actually paid for it. People were also just really sloppy leaving towels all over the floor and on the loungers after they left. Our final sea day was cold and rainy, a bust weather wise. This was my only issue with leaving from Galveston, it's not very warm this time of year so your first and last days can be iffy weather wise. We still found a lot to do but it was a little disappointing. Just some other things... This was the first time for us that there was a kiosk near the purser's desk where you could print out your statement without having to wait in line, that was really nice. I did actually find a mistake, a bottle of wine was charged to us in error. The staff at the desk were very helpful and cleared up the charge right away. I thought all of the staff was wonderful and always very helpful. One of the members of our party got a horrible sunburn (her own fault for not wearing any sunscreen) and the buffet staff could see how uncomfortable she was and told her to put plain yogurt on her burns, they even brought her a bunch to put in her cabin fridge. Good to know for the future. We were in cabin R737 and loved our room steward Romel. This is always our favorite location when we do not get a balcony room; we are steps from the aft pool which is really nice. All in all this was a great cruise; I really enjoyed the itinerary and look forward to sailing on the Crown again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We flew into Fll on December 23rd and stayed at the Fairfield Inn. We knew that the Crown was suffering from the NORO Virus and would delay embarkation while they disinfected the ship. My husband, my daughter and my 15 year old grandson ... Read More
We flew into Fll on December 23rd and stayed at the Fairfield Inn. We knew that the Crown was suffering from the NORO Virus and would delay embarkation while they disinfected the ship. My husband, my daughter and my 15 year old grandson had a leisurely breakfast and sat out by the pool until about 12:15 when we took the shuttle to the port. We arrive around 1:15, went to the head of the line (we are Platinum) and walked right up to the check in counter. We waited about 5 minutes until they called our number and boarded quickly. We were slightly hungry by that time and since we were on a lower level went straight to the International Cafe where we partook of chicken salad and gelato - yummy. We took our time before checking out our balcony cabins. We had a beautiful sail away view right from our staterooms on the Lido Deck. Had never stayed on the Lido before but really enjoyed it. The weather in FLL was the best we have encountered. Christmas Eve we went to the Princess Theater and enjoyed a short program and met Lisa Ball, CD, again! Midnight services were held for those that wanted to attend I wanted to but unfortunately I was in bed asleep! We enjoyed the band elements and got to talk to Marlon Webster (Malo) on several nights - a friendly energetic guy! His music added a lot to the carribean atmosphere. We also got to know Laura of Chile who worked the International Cafe and Coffee Bar area. Nice and friendly. All the staff was working extra hours and disinfecting constantly. I liked the restroom doors (public) propped open so you didn't have to touch them going in and out. We only went to Horizon Court twice and though there wasn't a lot of food out, it was plenty. The food servers were in front of every station and were gloved. We never touched the silverware, plates, food, etc. Everything was handed to us. That was okay with me. We enjoyed dinner in Michangelo in the evening. Christmas Day was special for the children with Santa visiting and all the children receiving gifts. The only thing we didn't enjoy that we have in the past was the karaoke. In the past we heard good to great singers. This time Princess should have had a GONG to hit!! Our weather was wonderful everyday and the seas were calm. We ziplined in Honduras with Victor Bodden and had a great time. It took a little courage to make the first step off the platform but after a couple times we were okay. The monkeys and macaws are fun to see and play with. The beach at the port was small but nice and the restaurants (open air) had a lunch special of jerk chicken, rice and beans which was very tasty. In Grand Cayman we were the only ship in that day and it was quiet and uncrowded. Nice. We had lunch by the ocean in an open air restaurant called Breezes. We stayed aboard at Belize and Cozumel. Been to Cozumel before and don't care for the armed military everywhere. Anyway, it was great to relax by the uncrowded pool those days. We really have to commend Princess for all their hard work trying to keep the ship sterile and contend with sooo many passengers. The staff was all so friendly and nice even though they were overworked. It wasn't until Thursday that we went from Code Red to Code Yellow. On Saturday the ship was back to Code Green for the New Years Eve passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Grand Cayman, Cozumel and their own beach resort - Honduras was missed as weather too rough to dock. All three ports just a tourist nightmare...we felt we were in an Airport Duty Free Mall. No charm and all geared for tourists. Had ... Read More
Grand Cayman, Cozumel and their own beach resort - Honduras was missed as weather too rough to dock. All three ports just a tourist nightmare...we felt we were in an Airport Duty Free Mall. No charm and all geared for tourists. Had we known we would never have gone. Had Pricness been more forthright in their decriptions we would have realised it did not suit us! Yes the water was reasonably nice albeit extremely crowded everywhere, but one does not need to travel 7 days to get a nice 2 hour swim. The onboard pricess shopping guru leacturing in the princess must have been on commission as she was selling the duty free shops as if there was nothing better in the world...and trust me there is! We walked out pretty disgusted at the high activity sales pitch. The ship OK but getting old. Service oh-hum with staff not as good as other princess cruises we went on other than the Maitre D and the Head Chef who were stand-outs. In other deparpments like the sommelier - they were selling the heck out of their wine tastings and then giving pretty ordinary and cheap wines, with the sommelier actually getting quite a bit of his lecture wrong. Dissapointing and waste of time...why do things at all if badly? This was really the story of all the ship other vthan the Dining and kitchen area...the staff were harried, not overly knowleadgeable and missing depth of service. Ie the Spa had dirty glasses all over, was not overly clean and had more showers not working than actually working! The room (in our case the best level of mini-suite) was basically dirty and needing repair accross a lot of areas. Also the steward albeit polite was not attentive at all. Story of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
I had always heard that Princess was a premier cruise line, but what we experienced on our Christmas cruise was nothing short of bottom of the line. We were one of the 113 cabins that had their LUGGAGE DELIVERED TO THE CABIN SOAKING WET! ... Read More
I had always heard that Princess was a premier cruise line, but what we experienced on our Christmas cruise was nothing short of bottom of the line. We were one of the 113 cabins that had their LUGGAGE DELIVERED TO THE CABIN SOAKING WET! Everything in our luggage was wet or damp and my formal silk dress was ruined! The cabin steward was slow to respond to our calls about the situation and after 3 calls to Passenger Services, he arrived to stand with his mouth open offering no advice or help. No one from passenger service or corporate ever contacted us about making amends! During the trip every call to Passenger Services took at least 6 rings before someone answered if anyone answered at all! Two of the 5 nights we ate in the dining room we had to get up from our table and hunt down our waitstaff as they would disappear during the meal. In addition to these huge problems, there were other small things that made their lack of customer service glaringly obvious: from the port security check to get on the ship took over an hour. The Princess employee checking in passengers was extremely slow and they held everyone up for id photos before boarding, but they only had 2 cameras for over 3000 passengers! The staff at the counter service areas, like the coffee bar, were rude and often would not say one word during serving us. Maybe a "Can I help you?" or a "Thank you"? Nope, just frowning. The food was average, the kids programs were nothing special, the elevators were slow and the pools were small, but I wouldn't have thought twice about things like this if only the customer service was there. It's the main feature I look for in any vacation. Next time I will use my money on a disney cruise where I have always found the employee to be stellar and the service to be top notch. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Our family of four decided to take a Christmas cruise. We went a down a day ahead of time and spent the night at the Embassy Suites. Transportation was available from there for seven dollars a person. Check out time was noon, and by the ... Read More
Our family of four decided to take a Christmas cruise. We went a down a day ahead of time and spent the night at the Embassy Suites. Transportation was available from there for seven dollars a person. Check out time was noon, and by the time we left and arrived at the ship, they were already allowing embarkations. I was last on the Crown in March 2007 and I was pleasantly surprised that the ship was looking as good as new. Despite being one of the first ones on board, our bags were ones of the last ones delivered. If I had not seen them personally put on board I would have gotten a little worried. Our room steward, Ryan, was excellent. He went over the Muster drill information, then directed us to the luncheon buffet. There was time after lunch to reacquaint ourselves to the ship, then the mandatory Muster drill, and then we set sail. Our week had to be rearranged a bit as I think they realized that most stores would be closed if we were in port on Christmas. So the first place we went to was Princess Cays. I actually like it better than I thought I would. We rented a couple of clam shells and they were located to the right of the tender dock. It was a nice sandy beach. They had a lunch serving line and a bathroom located right there and we were spoiled as the lunch lines were quite short. The sandy beach extended quite a ways and was not crowded. If you walked around the bend, you could not be seen by any of the other beach goers. As I found out as I rounded that corner, there were a few couples who were taking advantage of that seclusion. I figured it was time to turn around and check out the other end of the beach. As we walked north and crossed the pier area, the beach became much more crowded. I was amazed at how long the lunch lines were. Nothing was stopping these people from coming to the south lunch area. There were shops on this side, and you could walk off of Princess property and check out the shopping booths there too. As you walked down past the bungalows, the beach became less sandy and more rocky. By the time you got to the Sanctuary bungalows, the beach was all rocky. They said the last tender would be leaving the island at 4 pm. I saw them still bringing people over at 4:50 pm. The second day was spent at sea, steaming towards Cayman Islands. The ship was all decked out in Christmas decorations. There were crew carolers in the Piazza. Even Captain Proctor participated. Christmas Day, Santa arrived and set up court in the Piazza. There were presents for everyone 17 years and younger. Santa had two female elves helping him. More than one father was wishing they could sit on the elves lap. Christmas evening was the first formal night. There were picture taking opportunities galore. Ten 8X10 with one 16X24 and the digital disk package price was $289. Cayman Islands still do not have a deep water port which requires you to be tendered in. the ship uses its tenders, and they send some larger ones from shore, so the process goes faster. The dock area has changed from 20 years ago. Many hotels have different names now. We took the Turtle Farm/Hell/Sting Ray City trip. It was fine. Many stores were not open since it was Sunday and the day after Christmas. The next day, we arrived at Mahogany Bay, Roatan Island, Honduras. Everything there is relatively new. Quite fresh and clean. Do not use the telephones there though. I did and found out the call would have cost less if I had stayed on ship. My wife and younger son went to swim with the dolphins and I and my older son decided to go out and negotiate a tour around the island with one of the taxi drivers. We did and the charges for both of us was 20 dollars a piece for about a 4 hour tour.. Our final port day was in Cozumel. We did the Mayan/East Beaches tour. Our tour guide was Mike. The tour was long and he was full of information. Definitely worth the price. Dining. We were assigned the late seating in the Botticelli dining room at the rear of the ship. They do not open the doors until after 8:15 pm and there is no place to wait for all the people unless you enjoy standing on stairs in rough seas. I only saw the actual Maitre d'Hotel once in the rear dining room the entire week. We had roast turkey on the menu twice for dinner. I was kind of surprised by that. Having that much turkey on board meant that the Horizon Court was serving turkey coquettes, turkey Manhattan's, turkey soup, and turkey sandwiches for the entire week. Our waiter and assistant waiter did not get along well and one night got into an actual argument with each other. I think our service suffered due to the lack of teamwork. If you like lobster, do not miss the sail away buffet on the first day. The lobster claws were superb. The shells were so thin, you did not need crackers. you just ripped them open and got to the meat. I don't even particularly like lobster as I figure any food I have to work at to eat probably isn't worth my time. If all lobster was like this though, I could learn to like it real quick like. We did the Chef's Table thing. It was kind of interesting in that they have to meet with you and decide, I guess, if you are worthy of the experience. My wife must have impressed them, as they let us do it. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was the best meal I have ever had and probably always will be. A lot of flaming stuff, the waiters and waitresses were superb and must have been especially picked. Even the next day, other waiters were asking how we enjoyed the experience. It was expensive, but I would do it again given the chance. Debarkation: We did the EZ Check thing. For 20 dollars a person, they would check your bags through to your home destination. You left them outside your door and never saw them again until you got to your home airport baggage claim. It worked exactly like they said it would. The only strange thing was is that they gave you your first boarding pass, but if you had any connecting flights you still had to go to the a counter or kiosk and get the rest of your boarding passes. Still it worked amazingly well and I would definitely use that service again! We flew Southwest, so we did not have to pay any baggage charges. I don't know how it would work for the airlines that charge a bag fee. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
New Year Celebration was fun, but other than that.......so so on this ship. The rooms were kept clean and comfortable and the staff were courteous. The food was very salty and undercooked on more than one occasion. We had to ... Read More
New Year Celebration was fun, but other than that.......so so on this ship. The rooms were kept clean and comfortable and the staff were courteous. The food was very salty and undercooked on more than one occasion. We had to return ours (which they were fine with) but what a waste of time, not to mention not getting what we now had our palate set on. THE ENTERTAINMENT SIMPLY PUT...TANKED! They had a great comedian (Carl) and another one, however they did the exact same show for a few nights so that was disappointing. Not to mention that you don't know it will be the same show, so you go early to get a seat --YES, there is not enough room for everybody who wants to see the show in the small lounge they use--and then after waiting for 40 minutes you hear the exact show you heard a night previous. Lucky Carl improvised much of his show- so that was good for us. The comedy shows are PG13 in the guide, however children as young as 7, 8, 9 etc.years old are permitted to attend and even in the very front row! The cruise director and his assistant see the children there, but use a blind eye. The comedian brings the kids up on stage to basically tell the audience there are kids present and therefore his show will be adjusted! Just not fare. Most cruises have a late "R" rated comedy show but not this ship. In fact, at midnight the entire ship seems to go to bed! We were in one of the bars listening and dancing to a great live band called Rhapsody. At midnight with a full house and people having a great time, the band must leave the stage! Just wrong! Many chanted for an encore and we did get one song! The lounge that does go past midnight is a DJ with many of the younger crowd who all seem to be smokers.....so not quite an enjoyable place to be. For us in our 50's the entertainment was just not there! The shows catered to the people in their 70's- which I must say was a large part of the passenger load. So when they went to bed at 11 pm, so it seemed did the live bands etc. The casino is a smoking environment (except one night) so that too is a stinky -pardon the pun- place to be as well. If you want to lay out on the deck, you will need to get there by 9:30am or you will not get a lounge chair...there are simply not enough to go around. Plus they are not monitored in any way....so they may have a towel on them for the entire day but never used, as clearly those people found a "better" place and did not return to remove their towels placed to save the spot. All in all for a cheap get a way with no expectations this would be ok. But if you are looking for a fun time with a night life.....not on this ship! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
This is our third Princess Cruise and we noticed considerably, how the attitude of the staff and service has dramatically dropped. We read reviews before booking our Christmas Cruise and dismissed critics that noted poor food as we had not ... Read More
This is our third Princess Cruise and we noticed considerably, how the attitude of the staff and service has dramatically dropped. We read reviews before booking our Christmas Cruise and dismissed critics that noted poor food as we had not experienced this previously. The level of service and quality of food is a corner that Princess seems to be cutting. Fish on the menu was very poor, over cooked, dry. Nothing was said when we were leaving plates of food uneaten. This has not been the case on Princess in the past, if something was not eaten on other trips, some concern was shown and other choices offered. Our plates were whisked away with no questions asked. The Maitre'd overseeing the dining room had an arrogant attitude and was very condescending when we asked him to change our table to one that was clearly not being used. Our waiter had given us the table number to request, we were told that he shouldn't have given us that information and that he would be in trouble for that!.... What!!! Great Service!!! We also heard him arguing with another passenger regarding her table selection. We chose to book a table at the Crown Room for a better meal, we were messed around by the reservation people at the restaurant and told we could only get a table at 9:30PM. On reflection of the late time, we decided to cancel and called from our room to reschedule for another day. We were told that they were booked, the reservationist was quite rude. Every time we walked by the restaurant there were many table empty of guests. We decided to pop in at 7:30 on a day that was supposedly booked and were seated immediately. The meal and service was fantastic, please note the restaurant was only a third full and subsequent nights not more than half full. Our room was serviced twice daily and our steward was working hard, although, he seemed very tired and burned out. We did use the spa and gym. The spa was over the top expensive for the experience and somewhat dirty in the common areas. The ship as a whole seems to be getting tired. To sum it up. We feel the $4,000 that we spent on this trip would be better spent on another liner. Our next vacation will be a Resort or back to Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Just returned from a New Year's Eve cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Crown Princess. I traveled with my fiancee and her 13-year-old daughter. We had a mini suite on the Dolphin Deck. It was my second cruise and the first for the ... Read More
Just returned from a New Year's Eve cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Crown Princess. I traveled with my fiancee and her 13-year-old daughter. We had a mini suite on the Dolphin Deck. It was my second cruise and the first for the girls. I don't have the experience of many reviewers on CC with multiple cruises but I have stayed at many resorts and nice hotels over the years so I have some concept of what to expect for my vacation dollar. I can report that my two first time cruisers loved their vacation and a finicky 13 year old was ready to sign up for another cruise vacation onboard. The cabin was fine. Anyone who's ever stayed at a nice resort knows the room is usually not the draw to any particular property. It's the public areas, the general ambiance and the scenery. That is certainly true with the cabin we had. It was perfectly comfortable for three but nothing special. While I appreciated the extra space in the mini-suite, I didn't care for the totally exposed balcony. The bathroom was smallish but manageable. The ceiling in the tub/shower was very low (I'm about 5'10"). I recommend bringing a power strip if you have electronics that will require recharging. Our cabin steward, Albert, was excellent and very responsive to our requests. He always had a smile on his face and was eager to serve us in any way he could. Overall, the food was good. There were some things that were excellent and others that weren't so good. I found the food in the dining rooms better that the food in the buffets. We chose anytime dining and ate most of our dinners in one of the main dining rooms. We felt there was plenty of variety and the quality was good. One night my fiancee didn't feel well (gale force winds buffeting the ship) so her daughter and I ate in the buffet. It was pretty good. The food in the Crown Grill was excellent. We felt it was worth the up-charge. In our opinion, the service was best in the MDRs. Breakfasts in the buffet or MDR were just average. I was hoping for a better selection of fresh fruit. The coffee in the buffet was awful (if you can even call it that). My fiancee felt the bread and rolls in the buffet were not as good as they should have been (not fresh). In my opinion, the prepared to order omelets/eggs were about the only good thing to eat in the buffet. We purchased the coffee card and used it daily for fresh brewed coffee and coffee drinks on Deck 5. For us it was well worth the money. We particularly liked the International Cafe (coffee drinks/nibbles/good salads) and Vines (wine bar with sushi/tapas) on Deck 5. We also enjoyed the afternoon tea (the tea and scones were delicious). The pizza and burger grill on Deck 15 were both good (excellent fries). The ice cream and gelato got the teenager stamp of approval. The entertainment was good (not great). We saw a comedian who was pretty funny. You could tell he was struggling to keep his show PG-13. We enjoyed the Motown revue. The house band (Phoenix Rising) was pretty good. We liked the band Temperature a lot (outstanding range...Reggae/Calypso to country). There was a comedian/magician that the 13 year old liked but her mom and I were not impressed. I got to watch some football games under the stars which was enjoyable. The movie selections on board were basically fairly recent DVD releases (Julie & Julia, The Hangover, Star Trek). Grand Cayman and Cozumel are established cruise destinations. They are capable of handling the influx of multiple cruise ships smoothly. They were both enjoyable ports of call. Roatan is a relatively new stop on cruise itineraries. The island is very depressed with poor infrastructure (i.e.- roads). The poverty is out there for anyone to see who leaves the comfort of Carnival's new pier compound (Mahogany Bay). We did venture out on a private tour with Victor Bodden that was basically a glorified taxi ride. We did the extreme zip line that was very fun. Seeing how less fortunate people exist was a good lesson for a 13 year old who sometimes loses sight of how good we have it in the US. We were unable to visit Princess Cays as the seas were too rough for tendering. Our overall impressions of the Crown Princess were positive. We enjoyed the shipboard experience. The crew was extremely friendly and eager to please. We had a happy and occupied 13 year old that made for two relaxed and happy adults. As our cruise took place over Christmas break, the boat was sold out with over 500 kids on board. All things considered, Princess did an admirable job dealing with the throngs during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
This was our 3rd Princess cruise and our first Christmas Cruise. Our family are "seasoned" cruisers and believers that the best vacation is a CRUISE. This was our 9th cruise others on NCL, RCL, Celebrity and Premier. We flew into ... Read More
This was our 3rd Princess cruise and our first Christmas Cruise. Our family are "seasoned" cruisers and believers that the best vacation is a CRUISE. This was our 9th cruise others on NCL, RCL, Celebrity and Premier. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale just missing the snow that hit the northeast. We were very greatful to have made it on schedule especially after finding out about the 5 passengers that had to fly to Grand Cayman because they missed the boat! Embarking was simple, probably the easiest ever. Passing the annoying photo people we entered the atrium and saw Santa, who was a really "nice one" and the decorations. We so looked forward to Christmas on a cruise. we expected lots of decorations. We were a bit dissapointed. Most of the decor was centered in this area. A tree here and there and some nice garland on the banister. There was a Christmas pick on our cabin door but that was quickly stolen by someone the first night. Our cabin, a balcony room was just as we had expected. In fact, everything about the ship was as if you were on another Princess. They all look relatively the same. But that's OK. Our cabin steward was nice but we didn't see much of hime. In the past I remember seeing them more. They were stranging not around...alot. Especially on the last day. We couldn't find him. Our daughter, 16, joined the teen club and had a ball. She met some really nice families and is keeping in touch with them. Thanks to all the Canadians! We had so many on our cruise! The Food- Well it's the same cruise food. I think it's getting worst. The ethnic food is really strange. There seemed to be lots of ethnic food and they mixed everything up at the buffets. You had to circle the buffet to get an idea of what meal you were going to put together. I think the quality of the food on the buffet is not as good as the restaurants, especially the premium restaurants. I don't think that you should HAVE to go to the premium restaurants for better food and service. The two dining room (we ate there twice) were OK. Not as good as in the past. Mostly a service issue. Most of the staff didn't seem happy. Maybe they were homesick...but I really don't want to see that. I think the breakfast buffet is the best. Pizza always seemed available but it will never compare to NY/NJ pizza. The grill was especially busy, guess everyone was freaked by the strange food at the buffets. The Entertainment was OK. We enjoyed the comics the best. Carlos Oscar(we saw two different shows) and James Michael. We played trivia and watched Princess Pop Star, lined danced and Kareoke. All were what we expected and fun. The shows were a bit disappointing since we had seen two of them on out last cruise almost three yeasr ago! Princess should would on that. We still enjoyed them. Days at sea seemed long since all the outdoor games and event were either canceled or it was not nice enoght to be out to watch them. Princess should have more plans in place when you are cooped up at sea. We found ourselves a bit bored this time around but with all the rain and clouds I guess this will happen. Wish there was more shopping! Our last port on Christmas day was Princess Cays. We have been here before and wanted to do the Eleuthera tour. Princess Cays is just about sun and water and if the weather does not cooperate don't bother getting off the ship. We opted to bail on our excursion since the waters seemed more rough than Grand Cayman and we would have to be tossled around in the tender. It was a beautiful, sunny day until about noon when the clouds rolled in and the rain started. so glad we did not have to get on the tender in that. We watched the tenders come back with soaked passengers while we made gingerbread houses in the Atrium. Lost three hundred dollars from our excursion but we were dry and not seasick and it was Christmas! So this cruise was a bit disappointing for a few reasons. We will not travel away from home on Christmas again. As bad as it is at home with family it just didn't feel like Christmas on The Crown. We will still cruise again even with the weather problems. You will never get the perfect vacation weather wise. We will look at other lines. Sorry Princess, we really didn't feel that special this time around. Next time we'll have to check out NCL or maybe even Carnival! Oh, by the way, RCL went to the eastern Carb the same week and they had sun and hot weather all week! Go figure! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
We arrived in Ft. Launderdale on Christmas Afternoon and took a cab ($14) to our hotel (Embassy Suites)near Pt. Everglades. It was a nice hotel, albeit a bit run down, but clean and the staff was polite. They had a buffet for Christmas, ... Read More
We arrived in Ft. Launderdale on Christmas Afternoon and took a cab ($14) to our hotel (Embassy Suites)near Pt. Everglades. It was a nice hotel, albeit a bit run down, but clean and the staff was polite. They had a buffet for Christmas, but there were several places open withing walking distance, so we did take a walk for lunch and dinner and enjoyed the sunny warm day! The next day, we took the hotel shuttle to port, it was already to go so we just hopped on and left. We got to the port at 11 am and there was what seemed a long line, but it disapated quickly and soon we were inside and sitting down. We had a small wait maybe 20 min,but checked in and went right inside the ship. We were able to drop our luggage in our cabin right away and then went to lunch in the Windjammer. Lunch was very good, it fact that first day, was the best food we saw all during the cruise in the windjammer except for the midnight buffet on New Year's Eve. Our cabin was nice, a bit worn, but had a large balcony, we were mid ship forward right by the forward elevators, it was very convenient for us. We did My Time Dining for the very first time and loved it! It was very convenient, we were able to eat and leave and not wait while other tables were served, that was very pleasant. The shows that we saw were good in the evening. We enjoyed the cooking show one morning in the theater, it was informative and funny! The comendian Marino was great we saw him in the Explorer's Lounge on New Year's Eve. We're waiting to see his new TV show this spring. Disembarktion went without a hitch, we missed deadline for the valet luggage service, and were worried, but we had no problems and sailed right through the lines and off the ship. We took the Everglades Airboat Excursion due to a mid afternoon flight. It would have really been fun, if it hadn't been so cold (a record 35) and in summer clothes!!!! It was the longest and coldest 30 minute boat ride we ever had! One afternoon, hubby was tired and just wanted to chill in the cabin. So I left and went to the Gem Show/Talk in the WheelHouse Lounge. I stayed for the drawing afterwards, and luckily they drew my ticket number. I won the Mexican Fire Opal! I was really surprised, that was first time I had ever won anything!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2009
This was our 5th cruise on Princess, first on the Crown, and out first over Christmas cruise. We had sailed over Thanksgiving before so felt we knew a little bit of what to expect. We live in Florida so embarkation was just 3 hours down ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on Princess, first on the Crown, and out first over Christmas cruise. We had sailed over Thanksgiving before so felt we knew a little bit of what to expect. We live in Florida so embarkation was just 3 hours down the turnpike and parking the car at Port Everglades. FYI parking is up to $15 per day now. No big deal, we were through the terminal in no time. Very efficient. If you haven't parked there before drive through the drop off area first and leave your luggage then go park. Makes things much easier. The ship was totally decked out for Christmas. Extensively and tastefully done. We were concerned about the trip not being "Christmasy" enough...but that was not an issue. Santa was there for pictures and Carolers sang as we came on board. Very Nice. I figure that many reading this have done Princess before so I thought I would focus on holiday things that might be different or stuff we saw or experienced or learned for the first time. The Holiday: First there were a ton of families on board and I heard there were over 500 kids. Christmas was well represented. The had Carolers, and Christmas cookies at the international cafe. The had Christmas trivia (I won) :), holiday religious services, and a special production show(featuring the singers and dancers doing Christmas songs). They had holiday themed backdrops for formal pictures. They played Christmas movies on the in cabin channel and Movies under the stars. They even had a channel in the cabin with the "Yule Log" so you could have Christmas music playing in your room. The Gingerbread house building contest was a blast to watch and those who participated seemed to have a great time. The even read the "Night before Christmas" in the atrium and made it "snow"! Our concerns about it not being "Christmasy" enough were definitely put to rest. Other stuff: The rest of the cruise was what we always experience on Princess. Good food. Good Service, and a well maintained and clean ship. We did have dinner at the Crown Grill and it was fantastic. Quick tip...ask for the fillet encrusted with blue cheese...its not on the menu but they will do it, and it was awesome. Also you can order anything on the menu that you want in any combination. I got the fillet AND the lobster tail. Also don't miss the Smore dessert thing, I forgot the actual name but I loved it. We chose anytime dining which we like but had the longest wait times for a table for 2 that we ever had. About 20 minutes each night...No worries, lots of big families on board. But I do think this system of allowing for reservations in the anytime dining room is weird. As soon as people make reservations its no longer "anytime". Id like to see them use one dining room for reservations and keep one truly "anytime" The food in the dining room was very good. Up to par with what we have come to expect. Strangely, they did not have the crab legs any night, but did have lobster/beef wellington night on Christmas eve. (I got both :)) The horizon court and Cafe Caribe were both very good. We liked the Seafood buffet on the very first night...the cold crab claws were very good. On Christmas day we chose to eat in Cafe Caribe and it was very good. Although this was the last night of the cruise and we growing tired of stuffing ourselves I had one more round in me and the carved turkey and trimmings were awesome. (although they didn't have stuffing which I thought was odd.) We were also surprised as friends of ours sent us the Champagne balcony breakfast...it was very nice. It would be nicer if they let you select some of the items. For instance my wife wont eat the smoked salmon so it was kind of a waste. oh and lastly on food, don't miss the pub lunch at the wheelhouse on sea days...very good fish and chips. Ports: We skipped Grand Cayman due to weather...a little disappointed but no big deal really. In Roatan we docked at Mahogany bay, which is new shopping village and beach area. It wasn't overly impressive but clean and safe. We didn't do anything in Roatan as my wife wasn't feeling well and weather wasn't great. Cozumel: We've been many times but this was the best ever. First it was the only really nice sunny day we had...and good thing as we booked a private beach excursion at Nachi Cocom. If you want a quite beach day, all inclusive...this is the place to go. I had read a million great reviews of it here on CC and let me add my voice to the choir...terrific. Princess Cay was Christmas day and the weather was less than perfect and we had been so we skipped it this time. Normally we go and do enjoy it. Sorry so long, hopefully my review will help some on here as others reviews helped me. Happy Holidays Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Crown Princess Caribbean - Dec 12-19, 2009 We were on the December 12 -19th sailing of the Crown Princess for a 7 day Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale. We had sailed on the Crown in February 2008 on a 14 day Caribbean B2B but what ... Read More
Crown Princess Caribbean - Dec 12-19, 2009 We were on the December 12 -19th sailing of the Crown Princess for a 7 day Caribbean Cruise from Fort Lauderdale. We had sailed on the Crown in February 2008 on a 14 day Caribbean B2B but what attracted us to this itinerary was four new locations not visited and a very attractive price. We booked in July and looked forward to the December departure. We were pleased to be accompanied by two friends who were on their first cruise. Not taking any chances with winter weather, we left Halifax on Dec 11th and had no problems reaching Florida on an Air Canada flight via Toronto. We had chosen the Comfort Inn near Sawgrass Mills for an overnight which gave us an opportunity to do some pre-cruise and Christmas shopping. We rented a car at the Hollywood airport and were at our Hotel by 2:30 p.m. Off to Sawgrass until 7:00 p.m., then dinner at Cheddars which was a block from the Comfort Inn. After a complimentary breakfast on Saturday we re-packed the car and made our way to the beach at Lauderdale-by-the Sea for a stroll and to enjoy the quiet ambiance of this quaint area just north of Lauderdale Beach. The town square was nicely decorated for Christmas. We visited a few shops before heading to Port Everglades at noon to drop off our luggage. There were five ships including RCL's Oasis of the Seas departing that day. Traffic was heavy but we managed to rid ourselves of the luggage not to be seen again until we arrived in our cabin. We made a quick trip back to the Airport to return the car intending to take a shuttle back to Everglades. We were disappointed to learn that Avis didn't provide a shuttle to Everglades so we hopped a cab ($20 for 4) and were at the Crown in less than fifteen minutes. The weather was quite nice (partly sunny and low 80's) through most of the day. As afternoon progressed, the skies began to get increasingly cloudy. The embarkation was very quick and smooth. In all of fifteen minutes, we were in the Piazza of the Crown. Of course, the first thing we noticed was the decorative and festive Christmas dEcor. Even before heading to our room on Baja, we decided to head to Horizon/Caribe for lunch and embark on a walk to re-familiarize ourselves with the Ship. It's amazing how much you forget from cruise to cruise. We met our room steward, Edgar, who worked with quiet efficiency throughout the cruise. We unpacked. I tried to make a connection for a Chef's Table reservation but no luck. The call for the muster drill came and off to the Wheelhouse Bar we went. Upon returning to the cabin, back to the telephone and this time we managed to get our name on the Chef's Table reservation list. Never having done a Chef's Table but having read so much about it, it was a goal to be part of this experience on this cruise. We no sooner arrived on Deck 15 for the Sail Away, the Captain made an announcement that festivities were being moved inside because of heavy wind and rain. We were sailing away in darkness anyway, so we were not too disappointed. After a bit more ship exploration, a visit to the Sail Away Buffet in Horizon, we were off to the DaVinci Dining Room for our first dinner. Prime rib and pork luau were two of the main choices. The Princess Theatre beckoned at 10:15 pm for the first show with magician James Michael. There was a pleasant surprise on getting back to our Cabin. The mailbox contained a note that we had been chosen to be interviewed tomorrow at noon for the Chef's Table. Day 2 - Sunday - At Sea Each day started with a visit to the International Cafe on Deck 5 for a brewed coffee. I had purchased a coffee card on last years cruise on the Coral. Princess recognizes the punches not used on the card for future cruises. I enjoyed at least two large coffees each morning on the Cruise, used up two punches for specialty coffees and have five more punches for a future cruise. Not a bad deal at all. Cruise Critic Friends www.cruisecritic.com http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1004584 We joined the Crown December 12 Western thread in late July. A group of forty or more participants had become cyber friends by the time sailing day rolled around. We were a diverse group ranging in age from 30's - 70's from US, Canada, Germany and Wales. We had agreed to meet on the first sea day for a chat and some participated in a gift exchange. Sissy, our MC and organizer had printed badges and arranged for the Captain to drop by. In many ways, these meetings are like getting reacquainted with old friends. Captain Fortezze arrived at 11:45 a.m. He made some welcoming comments, answered questions and posed for pictures. The hour sped by too quickly but already we had become cruise friends for the next six days and hopefully some for the future. About thirty of a potential fifty CC friends made the gathering. We had to leave at noon to make our Chef's Table Interview. The interview was conducted by the maitre d'hotel. He informed us that there would be two Chef's Tables on this cruise and we were in line for the second one. Our friends and travel companions from Nova Scotia were also selected and we were informed we would be joining six other folks on Wednesday evening. I found out later that Marlene & Shannon, tow other CC friends made the first chef's table. Our first lunch was in the dining room and table mates included Ken from Vancouver, Mike from Chicago and the same couple from Knoxville, Tennessee we had met at muster drill. We have had so many pleasant dining experiences with folks from all over the world. There is an interesting thread here on the message boards where many dining room horror stories are told. Some of our fellow cc'ers do have some rather unpleasant table mates we've learned. It would be interesting to know if cruisers are trending away from "traditional dining" and doing anytime dining now. Many cruisers seldom come to the main dining room and prefer a "buffet experience". To each his/her own. Tonight is the first of two formal nights for this cruise. We had pictures taken prior to Dinner at 8 in DaVinci. Halibut and twin tenderloins were our main choices this evening. A wonderful couple from New Jersey were our table mates. "What a Swell Party" in the Princess Theatre followed dinner. Day 3 - Monday - Grand Cayman: Monday was a sunny day for arrival at 7:00 a.m. at Georgetown. If you wish to go ashore you must tender here. We arrived on shore at 9:30 a.m. Not having any planned excursions, we simply walked out to the Main Street and made contact with Edgar Brown Tours for a two hour excursion for $10 pp. We were in a very comfortable small bus with about 12 others. We toured the capital, visited the Rum Factory for rum samples and cake, the dolphins, a place called HELL, a beach walk for 15 minutes and delivered back near the terminal by 1:00 p.m. After lunch and drinks at Margaritaville, some shopping, we caught a tender back to the Ship at 3:00 p.m. A stop at the International Cafe for the famous plate of three different gelatos hit the spot. There are at least seven different gelatos to choose from. Three scoops are only $1.50. What a way to cool off after a hot day on a Caribbean island! Mama Mia (the movie) was playing on the Deck 15 while the ship sailed away. Dinner choices in the DaVinci were turbot, shrimp diavolo and slow cooked roast beef and gravy (this is part of the new Princess Menu which features a different comfort food each day). Much to our surprise, two of our table mates this evening were two fellow cruise critics who hadn't made the initial Sunday gathering. We recognized each other immediately proving once again what a small world we live in. Day 4 - Tuesday- Roatan, Honduras: Clocks went back an hour today so we welcomed the extra hour of sleep. The Crown was supposed to dock at Mahogany Bay, the new cruise terminal but didn't. It was another day to tender. In hindsight, we would not have seen the Downtown area had we not tendered. Poverty is rampant here and in full view to experience. Always one of the saddest aspects of visiting and experiencing local culture, the sights you see and information you receive on local life makes one most thankful for one's life opportunities. We hooked up with a local tour operator for $20 pp. There were 10 of us in a van. On the ride to Parrot Bay Resort, Percy our driver, told us of the local culture, his family and local personalities. We relaxed for two hours at a very quiet, private beach. Admission, chairs, a drink, and shade were included in our tour. Lunch (fresh fish & chips) on the beach was tasty and very reasonable. We were back on the Crown at 3:00 p.m. Reservations tonight were in the Crown Grill. One of two alternate dining choices for $25 a person, this is an experience not to be missed. I'm sure there were at least ten courses in all. Scallops and fois gras, shrimp bisque, onion soup, giant prawns, an array of veggies, filet mignon, ribeye, New York striploin, lobster tails, and a multitude of desserts. Wow! We brought our own white and red wine to accompany the meal. Cecilly was our waitress. She was great and even enjoyed a taste of our wine. We have been to Sabatini's on other cruises but I prefer the Crown Grill. There is still that rack of lamb I have not tried. The Deck Party planned for tonight was brought inside because of rain. Day 5 - Wednesday - Cozumel: Finally we would dock (International Pier) after tendering for the previous two stops. Cozumel would have eight ships in port today. Three from Carnival, the Aida, Disney Magic, RCL Independence and Norwegian Dawn. Cruisers were evident everywhere. The first folks we met when we arrived ashore was a couple we recognized from our neighbourhood who were on the Carnival. The terminal had lots of shopping, attractions and picture opportunities. We found a taxi for 6 of us ($5 pp) which brought us to Paradise Beach. There was no extra charge for chairs and shade on the beach. It was crowded and you were expected to buy drinks and have food from the bar. We shared a bucket of five cold beer. Lots to do and great water temps. We stayed for two hours and caught a taxi from the beach to the downtown for $10 pp. Did some shopping and found an internet cafe before getting a taxi back to the International Terminal. For the amount of time we had, shopping was every bit as good at the International Terminal as it was downtown. We had been warned to eat very sparingly today because we would be doing the Chef's Table tonight at 7:00 p.m. Reflecting on last night at the Crown, we really had no need for much food anyway. I'm not sure if other cruise lines have an equivalent of the Chef's Table but I'm positive the experience could not be any better. There are a number of very good postings on this site about this experience. There is one review that is a classic. It captured every small detail, and flavour in a humorous but informative presentation. I have posted a link to it at the end of my review. Every Chef's Table has the same format and essentially is the same menu so it is tried and true. You meet at the International Cafe for a short gathering before being led through the Main Dining Room in uniform to the delight and astonishment of fellow diners. Once in the Kitchen you can watch meal prep, ask questions of the maitre d'Hotel and Executive Chef who are with you for the whole evening. Mssrs. Ferat and Pollara were delightful hosts. While in the kitchen, you are taken to a special area for canapEs and champagne (blue crab margarita, a pate with apple chutney, mini pizzettes with goat cheese and roasted new potatoes with sour cream and caviar). The Captain and other senior staff also joined us for champagne. Can you blame them! We then lost our uniforms and were taken to a corner of the DaVinci Dining Room to a large table of ten set with a huge floral centerpiece, wine crystal, china breadsticks and menus. A specially selected white and red wine flowed freely throughout the meal. Brandy and ice wine followed dessert. The first course was a lobster and asparagus risotto followed by a raspberry-lemon sorbet drenched with a flavored vodka. Roasted veal shank and veal tenderloin carved tableside with lobster tails was the main course. This was accompanied by a tray of vegetables. Baked camembert with pine nuts and port reduction and walnut bread was served. This was followed by a dessert tray of chocolates and berries. Not to be outdone, there was a second dessert course of an iced amaretto parfait, vanilla plume and brandy snap tuile served in a bowl of well words cannot describe this presentation so we'll leave the surprise ending! There was more but you do get the idea. We were then pictured as couples with our hosts and then as a group, each couple was given the Princess Cookbook (which was autographed) and the other a long stemmed rose. Needless to say, we closed the dining room that evening. We also lost an hour on the clock. Day 6 - Thursday - At Sea: On Thursday morning we noticed there had been heavy rain and wind overnight, however we awoke to sunshine, 80 plus and sun most of the day. Had a relaxing day in the sun, broken at noon for the English pub menu in the Wheelhouse Bar. This is new and a popular feature. I think it might be available on sea days only. We had to wait until past 1:00 pm to get in. English-style fish and chips, a ploughman's pie, bangers and mash are three of four selections. Served casually with beer available, I recommend you do this at least once on the cruise This was our second formal night of the cruise. Lobster, king prawns, Cornish game hen, New York Strip were a few menu choices. After Dinner we enjoyed comedian Carlos Oscar in Princess Theatre and visited the Casino. Day 7 - Friday - Princess Cays: We had never visited Princess Cays (Bahamas) before and would have been sorely disappointed to have missed this stop. High winds often prevent a stop here and today was no different. It was past 9:00 a.m. before the Captain determined he would allow tenders ashore. We were the first passengers (behind crew) to step foot on the beach. It was a rough tender ashore but the destination was worth it. We had our pick of chairs/location on the beach. Less than one third of the passengers came ashore that day. The day can be as busy or as relaxing as you wish. We chose to stay close to our chairs on the beach, enjoy a sumptuous buffet at noon and have a few beach strolls. Staff come ashore with food including salads, ribs, hotdogs, burgers, fresh fruit. We wore our "Santa" hats on the beach to add to the festive atmosphere and get some great souvenir Christmas pictures. A storm was predicted and moving in on us so the Captain decided to call us back to the ship for 2:00 pm rather than 3:30 p.m. We managed to get a final hour of sun on Deck 15 before it was time to go pack our luggage. Dinner (Landfall Theme) in DaVinci that evening featured the traditional Tom Turkey, NY Strip, barramundi and other goodies. We enjoyed the company of a couple from Boca, Florida. During dinner there was a most spectacular display of lighting that is not often seen. High winds and rain whipped the ship most of the night. What a way to remember a most delightful Crown cruise. Other notes: The disembarkation went very smoothly. Princess has a dining room breakfast service which is a nice touch for the final day. We were off the Crown by 9:30 am and at the Airport by taxi 15 minutes later. Check-in was quick and our flight to Halifax via Montreal was on time and uneventful. Many other cruisers were caught in a northeaster snow storm and flights to New York/Washington and other points were cancelled. Some of our cruise critic friends didn't get back home until Tuesday. This was our first cruise in a month other than February/March. We lucked in with great weather for traveling and on the cruise. We had not been at any of the destinations before. We find a 10 day cruise to be a good length but in this case (Christmas season) the seven day itinerary was perfect. Cruises are great vacation travel value. Looking forward to a Mediterranean cruise next. Here's the link to the Chef's table Review by Theora (Feb 22/09) and posted on March 27, 2009 - It's a great read. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=956179&page=4 Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
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 ... Read More
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! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
We cruised the Western Caribbean on Crown Princess over Thanksgiving, 2009. This was our fourth cruise after three previous cruises on Royal Caribbean. The ship is newer than others in their and other cruise lines' fleets - and very ... Read More
We cruised the Western Caribbean on Crown Princess over Thanksgiving, 2009. This was our fourth cruise after three previous cruises on Royal Caribbean. The ship is newer than others in their and other cruise lines' fleets - and very comfortable, both in and out of the staterooms. Almost every crewmember could not do enough for us - a friendly and helpful bunch, although the staff in the retail shops could have used some training in customer service. The main dining room is tastefully decorated, furnished, and very comfortable - I can say that the food and the service on this ship was top notch! They had a fantastic kids program, which our boys (ages 9 and 6) loved, and they wanted us to take them there everyday - which gave us a nice break to lounge by the pool or grab a meal for some adult time. My experience on Princess leads me to believe that their target demographic is a slightly older crowd; and although the kids program was great, it was an afterthought to keep up with the demand for families. Additionally, the deck staff did not monitor the kids by the pools like Royal Caribbean did for both safety and the enjoyment of the pool area by others. I was a bit disappointed in the on-board entertainment options as the shows and daytime activities were targeted to older adults. I am 42 years old and am not a fan of Cole Porter, nor do I have an interest in attending seminars on arthritis, acupuncture, or personal computers for the beginner. This was my parent's first cruise and they loved it! I can't wait to go on another cruise with them and the kids- it was a great family vacation. Read Less
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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