Our third Princess cruise was the best so far! The Crown Princess is a magnificent ship, inside and out. Embarkation was a major ordeal being that the Coast Guard had to do an inspection since the Crown had just come from Europe. We used late check out at our hotel in Ft Lauderdale but still, we waited several hours along with several thousand other passengers. Not the fault of Princess. Once embarkation began, it was only a matter of 30 minutes to get all passengers onboard. Everyone we talked to said they had received an email or letter from Princess (we received both) saying embarkation would be delayed so I don't exactly believe those who said they were never notified. Regardless, we went straight to our stateroom on Caribe deck and that huge balcony was there waiting for us! Loved it! I will say, the water pressure in the shower was fabulous -- like a fire hose and HOT! The only negatives on our stateroom were the 'dips' in the center of the mattresses of the 'queen bed' - time for new mattresses and those danged duvets with the sheets that cover them. What a mess to sleep with. I also thought the carpeting in the stateroom had seen better days and the hairdryer should have been replaced a long time ago - it quit working on day 4. But that's all.
We opted for early (5pm) traditional seating for dinners and it worked out perfectly with our table for two in the Botticelli MDR. The food in the MDR and the Horizon Court was absolutely some of the best of the 35 or so cruises we've been on. We saw one lady in the Horizon Court take 2 huge plates of food, taste each item then told the busboy to take the plates away, that the food was 'awful'. I had the same thing she did but on only one plate and I thought it was 'awesome'. Some people. The shrimp cocktails and 'everyday' Fettucini Alfredo in the MDR was yummy and I had crème brulee for dessert every night. What a treat! We ate at Sabatini's one night, it was okay and at Crown Grille one night (the lobster tails were huge and tender!). We didn't like the ice cream at Coffee and Cones (too sweet and with a strange taste). The ice cream in the MDR was delicious. It's hard to come home to having to cook our own meals now after having 10 days of wonderful meals. One more thing about food: the mashed potatoes next to the carving stations in the Horizon Court were awesome! Better than my mom's homemade. I had some for lunch every day. My only negative reaction to food and drinks were the weak mixed bar drinks but the homemade rum punch we bought on one of our Princess sponsored show excursions more than made up for those even though we had to wait until we disembarked to enjoy it.
The entertainment was surprisingly good. We usually avoid the theater shows but I was impressed with the Princess singers, dancers and musicians, especially the Sweet Soul Music production show. I'm still humming 'River Deep Moutain High' 4 days later.
Mattresses had big 'dips' in the center -needed to be replaced. Duvets on bed were difficult to sleep with. Hair dryer quit on day 4. Carpet is dull and needs to be replaced. Balcony was huge and made all my 'negatives' about the stateroom into a huge positive.
Ronnie Carrington is an island native and knows Barbados inside and out.
The Rainbow Calypso Tram tour was cancelled due to mechanical problems. Seems the same thing happened last year after the hurricane. Not dependable at all. Made up for it at Margaritaville with huge pina coladas in souvenir glasses that were excellent!