Crown Princess Cruise Review by Jonathan Alder
- Sail Date: April 2008
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Porthole Oceanview
We arrived into San Juan on time, unfortunately 2 of our 3 bags didn't, along with approximately 100 other peoples bags from our flight (US Airways A330 from PHL.). After filing a report with them, we headed off to the pier, with the promise from the airline that they would deliver the bags to the ship. The Cab cost $19.50 (2 Passengers and 1 Bag), about a 20 min drive basically traffic free drive. We arrived at the pier at 3pm and after the most enjoyable boarding I have ever had (including lots of fun drink samples) were on board within 30 min without even one line once in the outside gate of the pier.
Inside the ship is drop dead gorgeous. The Piazza is simply stunning, done all in marble and brass, never over the top, just very classy. Through out the evening there is always live music, with all top notch entertainers (Rubin Ruiz was my favorite). The Ship is kept up meticulously, it showed no signs of ware and tare anywhere. Also, there was never even the slightest feel of a crowd. After reading other reviews, I was ready to have lines for everything, but never once did I have to wait or have a delay (this was a sold out sailing with many children as well being NYC spring recess), including getting on and off the ship while in port. My last cruise was on the Statendam, which with 1/3 of the people felt packed in. Service was fantastic, from all staff members, better than other cruises I have sailed on by far, including luxury lines. What ever you needed was always there, sometimes before you knew you needed it. Everyone was always warm and friendly going out of their way to make your day better. We had anytime dining, which made life very easy, like a small ship, though we kept the same waitress. Diana is fantastic, I cherished her advice, keeping me away from the dishes that should be avoided. The one week spot on the whole cruise was dining. The chef loved to use salt to a level unseen before. Mostly tasted very good otherwise and was well presented. The buffets showed the sings of a ship trying to prevent Norovirus, with hand sanitizers placed everywhere. Selection was very good and refreshed frequently. Service within the Horizon court and Carib Cafe was top notch with silverware placed in front on you before you could finish sitting down. Our room steward, kept everything as perfect as possible at all times, filing all request immediately. The cruise staff kept up so many activities that within a week you could not possibly do all of the ones you wanted to. Everything I did attend was well arranged and went off very smoothly. Entertainment was fantastic in the 3 main rooms and all the bars, best I have ever seen on a ship. The shore excursion desk, though it had limited hours, was very well run.
The ports were great. In Barbados we did 2 excursions. The Turtle and shipwreck snorkel was the highlight of the whole week. I was within 1 foot of a giant sea turtle. Afterwards we went to the monkey reserve, great experience with the monkeys running all around us.
Next was St. Lucia. We did Cosol's tour, which was as good as everyone said it would be. I can't recommend it highly enough.
In Antigua we did the Stingray snorkel. Wonderful experience, well run with a very friendly staff. Once we got back, we walked out of the pier and around the corner to a nice little restaurant for lunch and ice cream.
In Tortola we took Smith's Ferry to Virgin Gorda for the baths. Great place, just too crowded, but stunningly beautiful.
Our last port was St. Thomas, where we went to the tramway and had a nice day and hike at the top of the mountain. Carnival was on so most stores were closed.
This was simply the best cruise I have ever been on. I am already booking a 3 week cruise on Princess for later in the year.
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