Crown Princess Cruise Review by billandjean
- Sail Date: April 2012
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We like Princess because of its consistency. We also like Princess because their staff almost always makes a great effort to deliver the services promised.
The Princess Crown staff was very easy to deal with. A good example was our scheduled shore excursion in Belize during our first week. We had experienced a little difficulty with some sea sickness at the very start of that week, but had overcome it early on and already enjoyed stops at Grand Cayman and Roatan by the time Belize presented itself. We knew there was a lengthy tender ride there, followed by a 2 hour river boat ride. We decided we didn't want to risk another bout with seasickness, so we went to the tour desk to see if we could obtain a refund. We were past the point in time where a cancellation would be accepted, but the very gracious staff person working the Tour Desk offered to attempt to re-sell our tickets for us, and was successful. We certainly appreciated her effort.
And as far as the stops went, except for stormy weather foiling the ship's attempt to anchor at Princess Cays and the above mentioned problem with Belize, all of our shore visits were fun. And Princess responded very well to the loss of the Princess Cays stop by adding a few hours to our port time in Curacao. We put that to good advantage by hiring a taxi to the local Breezes and purchasing a day pass. This was our first visit to Curacao, and what we saw of it was visually striking. The Breezes itself was a fun place with a beautiful beach. We had a great day.
Our shore stops were all enjoyable. We booked two other shore excursions through Princess, one to Tabyana Beach (I think it may also be known as West Beach) in Roatan and another to De Palm Island in Aruba. We had never been to Roatan before and were entranced by its natural beauty. We had been to Aruba previously, but never to De Palm Island. This was a lot of fun, with very nice snorkeling featuring tons of many varieties of beautiful parrot fish.
We also lucked out, with advice from a local taxi driver, in Cozumel. We had been there previously and had not particularly enjoyed our beach excursion. This time, we struck out on our own, following the driver's suggestion to spend the afternoon at Playa Uvas. It was a very nice place with a family atmosphere and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
As far as on board experience, the two most important elements to us, the quality of our daily room upkeep and the quality and tastiness of the food, were both excellent. We especially enjoyed the 24 hour International Cafe, and we appreciated our room steward's work so much that we recommended him to the Princess employee recognition program.
When we are on vacation, we are not usually energetic participants in the nightlife or entertainment offerings, but this time we did check out them out a little more than usual. We were not disappointed. We caught one musical variety show in the main theater, and it was very entertaining. There was a two man comedy act, Alfred and Seymour, that was so hilarious we attended two shows, and an act by a hypnotist named Fernandez that was so interesting we also went to see him twice, as well as purchasing two of his CD's. Princess also usually has ongoing performances in their ships' central atriums, and the one that we most enjoyed was an exciting knife and sword juggling act by a young man named Aaron Bonk.
We also made extensive use of the fitness facility, and my wife enjoyed a massage at the Spa. All was well with both experiences. The equipment in the Princess gym is high quality and well maintained, and the place is very clean. One small suggestion - most exercisers are early birds, and we were lined up at the gym doors chomping at the bit for the gym's scheduled 7:00 am opening. 6:30, or even 6:00 am would be a much better opening time.
We have only one other suggestion to improve future Princess cruises - eliminate smoking. Smoking is allowed around the pool at the back end, which pretty much eliminates it from our use, and it's also allowed in the casino most nights, which can make the casino very uncomfortable for non-smokers.
This was a great cruise. We have always felt well treated by Princess, and this cruise was no exception. We'll be back.
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