Crown Princess Cruise Review by em6
- Sail Date: July 2006
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
I was afraid I was going to see damage and my kids 1st experience would somehow be tainted. This was a waste of my mental energy. The ship was truly beautiful, not a magnificent breathtaking kind but more of a quiet, intimate beauty. There are many nooks and crannies. I suppose if I was in poor health the layout may have been a bit tiresome because until you got the hang of it it seemed we hit a lot of dead ends. We were the people still checking the ship diagram for dummies on the last day. Oh well!
Embarkation.... This was breeze! We arrived early 11ish and were in our clean room by noon. Or rooms were a bit small compared to a similar category on the Jewel, but still lovely and comfortable. We all loved the bedding. We then went off exploring. We made salon appointments, hair and nails, checked out the kids programing. This was a disappointment to me. My 12 year old was going to be separate from her older siblings and the staff stood firm. Oh well, they all decided they wouldn't be missing much and opted for trying activities with us and solo. I truly wish there had been more family activities. We tend to like to spend time together and the kids couldn't do the Jeopardy or Bee at Sea for example.
I am not going to do a day to day itinerary here because I'm too lazy. I will however focus on our highlights.
Food....The Horizon Buffet was a typical buffet a mix of yummy, good, boring and bland. All a matter of personal taste. I will say the fresh donuts with cream or jelly filling were awesome. They were moist and yeasty...it brought many childhood memories of mom's donuts. We ate breakfast there 5 out of 7 days and the main dining room twice. The main dining room was very good but we only went when the special of the day was intriguing because we are not huge breakfast eaters. The first 2 nights we ate in the Michelangelo dining room and the first waiter was okay. The second night the service was horrible. We asked for coffee 4 times. It took 30 minutes to get our entrees after our salads. The next 5 nights we had the pleasure of belong waited on by Thorn and Edward at the Da Vinci dining room. What an awesome team. They had all our drinks lined up and waiting, never had to ask for refills, made origami stuff for us all, magic for the kids, extra food and always a smile. My 4 year old ate 5 shrimp cocktail appetizers one night. He was in heaven!
As for the quality of food, most was very good, some just okay and none excellent. The desserts were just good but that is because I live with chocoholics and The Love Boat got tiring by night 6. My husband and I tried Sabatini's one night and loved it. What a great idea all those appetizers, a nice pace, attentive service. The main course was a bit small but I didn't need any more food! The creme brulee was awesome!
The Trident Grill was a happy lunch place for me because I love cheeseburgers and they were very tasty. My oldest son, the two youngest sons and I loved the pizza but the rest of the family thought it was too salty. I'd say try it you can always throw it out if you don't like it. The International Cafe was a happy spot for us cookie, shrimp, and chicken Waldorf lovers.
Activities...My kids loved the dance classes and the clubs at night. I mean truly loved it! My 2 and 4 year old asked to dance everyday. They also enjoyed watching the adults trivia type games, swimming, hot tubing, mini golf and the MUTS. I did not find Muts to be too loud and at times it was too low. We all saw Sarge twice and my husband and I went a third time, we saw Motor City and a Swell Dance Party. They were entertaining not fabulous but very good. My teens all bought the same Sarge CD. He was at times truly side splitting. We also went to most of the live bands and enjoyed them all. The Piazza entertainers were unique and something to look forward to.
Excursions...We did Stingray and snorkeling in Grand Turk. I am spoiled by Grand Cayman and Antigua so was not overly impressed but it was an awesome intro for those a bit nervous because there were only three sting rays and the snorkeling was calm and there were no big fish. My first time snorkeling in Hawaii was with a Moray Eel..a bit of ewww factor but... I'm digressing sorry. We then spent the rest of the time going between the beach and Margaritaville pool. This was relaxing and fun. Would I have been as impressed if I didn't have children...probably not but it was fun. In Bermuda we did the ultimate catamaran and snorkel. What an amazing crew. They were so friendly and informative. I actually retained her fish educational lecture as did my four oldest children. The actual snorkeling was just okay but only because I discovered I am a bit sensitive to Jelly fish bites...OUCH. Three of my six kids and my husband also got stung. This is not anyone's faulty just bad luck. This amazing crew let us stay on after the excursion and ferried us to Hamilton. How cool is that? We then shopped and had lunch at one of my favorite spots in Hamilton, The Pickled Onion. A couple of cabs were then hailed and was time sail away.
Disembarking...This was truly a breeze. On RCI we felt crowded, stuck in one room. On the Crown any public area was fine to wait in. We played cards until our time which was about 9ish. A quick walk through customs and clear;y labeled luggage pick up and we were very sadly on our way. A beautiful ship, some beautiful seas, a couple of pretty ports of call..what more can you ask for?
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