Crown Princess Cruise Review by hill6
- Sail Date: July 2006
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We left our home in Central Jersey at 10:40 a.m. and were at the terminal before 11:30 a.m. The baggage handlers came right over to take our bags, we filled out the Norvo virus form, stood in line for maybe two minutes before going up to the counter. There were many check-in stations with specific areas for the Platinum and Elite members and those with mobility problems. We showed our paperwork and signed the credit card forms and had our room keys made within minutes. It was 11:40 and we were walking towards the ship. After stopping to take the boarding photo we were on board. We stopped to buy our soda cards as soon as we boarded (they had an area setup near the elevators). We deposited our carry on bags in our room shortly before noon. Embarkation was definitely much smoother since there was no debarkation that morning.
After checking out our room, D-503, a mini-suite located midship on the starboard side, it was off to explore the ship. One of the first stops we made was to book the Crown Grill for that evening since it was a perk for booking through American Express Platinum Travel. The food in the buffet was not too bad for buffet food. (We are not big on buffets but the food (especially the carved turkey) was quite tasty. The weather was inclement and it rained on and off all afternoon. We headed back to our room after a while to discover our bags were there. The bag that had all our clothes on hangers was soaked from the rain.
We met our wonderful cabin steward, Ricky, who brought us our glasses of champagne. Ricky did a phenomenal job all week keeping our room spotless and supplied with ice when I hurt my foot later in the week (more later). The room has a huge closet (lots of hangers) and a mirrored storage area with seven shelves. The safe is located in the storage area. There were also a few drawers for storage and open shelves by the two TVs. The two LCD TVs were nice in the room but sometimes you turned on the other TV with the remote.
There was still some visible damage from the incident: a broken balcony divider being replaced, two elevators out of service all week, and a number of broken display cases in a gift shop. The carpeting in the buffet area had shrunk from being wet and had a musty smell.
We had quite a gathering of fellow Cruise Critic members on board. We had a get together in Skywalker's our first day at sea with quite a large turn out. It was great to see everyone during the week throughout the ship. Felt like I was running into old friends all week long.
We hit some rough seas the first and last day at sea. The seas were so rough the first night at sea that they cancelled the scheduled show for that evening. The last day I was almost tossed into the side of the Horizon pool. The rest of the days at sea were very nice and smooth.
The staff was very professional and took care of our every need. Our soda cards were greeted with smiles all week long. The barstaff in the casino were very attentive. The casino dealers were personable and made small talk all week long.
The public areas were sparkling clean and well maintained. The atrium seating area is a nice change of pace to relax and people watch.
Entertainment: Sarge, the comedian, had his show two nights in a row. Make sure you take the time to see him before he leaves at the end of the year. The other comedian/impersonator was not as funny as Sarge. Those were the only two shows we seen. The entertainment in the Atrium was entertaining during the day and a great way to pass the time. Le Monte is a magician who is funny and an overall great guy (we met him in the casino).
The food on the ship ranged from good to excellent with two items that were poor. I am an extremely picky eater (no red meat and only white meat chicken). We thought the soup choices could have been broader and the appetizers were too fancy for our tastes. We ate lots of shrimp cocktail appetizers. The desserts were excellent. The lobster was wonderful. DH really enjoyed the sirloin and beef tenderloin from the always available menu. The chicken from there was excellent too.
I was disappointed with two items we had for lunch. I had the broccoli and potato pancake and it was very dry. Another day I had the chicken tacos and they were inedible. They contained an entire jalapeno pepper (seeds and all) in very large pieces mixed throughout. I was also a bit let down by the Greek Salad at the International Cafe as it did not fit my idea for a Greek Salad (I do work for Greeks in the food service industry so I am a bit spoiled with their salad).
We had table 84, early seating in the Botticelli Dining Room. It was a table for two which was a surprise since we requested a table for eight. The arrangement worked out well since the two couples around us were nice. Our servers were Arpi and Daczo from Hungary. They were great. We ordered Cokes the first night and we were served it each night after that within two minutes after being seated.
The Crown Grill has excellent food and the service was impeccable. We ate here our first evening and had the place all to ourselves until dessert. DH had a steak and I had the garlic grilled lobster tail (Extra $9 charge). I cannot say enough about the food and service. Perfect from start to finish.
Grand Turk is an absolutely beautiful port. We were there from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. which was a big change from our original itinerary (1 p.m. - 6 p.m.) DH booked the Salt Water Flats fishing tour. He loved it. Two of them went on each boat. They originally went for bonefish but they were not running and moved to another location. I went to Margaritaville and sat at the edge of the glorious pool for a few hours. After getting cleaned up we headed back to Margaritaville for lunch. Service was a bit slow but the atmosphere was great and food was yummy. There are a few places to shop but more are being built. I can't wait to go back in about a year to see the progress.
Bermuda is enchanting. We docked at West End and took a ship's tour to the aquarium and Crystal Caves. Our tour got off to a late start due to the ferry leaving late. Our driver got us extra time at the aquarium so we were not rushed. Nice grounds around there to walk around and some scenic views that are postcard perfect. The Crystal Caves are beautiful. They were discovered over 100 years ago by kids playing. They continue to grow by the water that drips down. The driver explained a lot of Bermuda history to us and answered any questions we had. After a leisurely lunch at a café and some shopping we took the ferry back over to West End.
Disembarkation in New York took quite a while. They called by color and we were four from the end. We got off the ship after 10:30. We found our easily found our luggage and cleared customs quickly and were on our way. We were home about 11:45 a.m.
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