This was my first time cruising on the Crown Princess and it started just 48 hours after I returned from an 17 day China adventure ending in San Francisco. I boarded the ship in Ft. Lauderdale and met my wife on board. She had been on the previous week for the last Caribbean cruise of the season. From the time we boarded the ship we met wonderful fellow travelers who we are remaining in touch with, we had extremely helpful wait staff and cabin attendents, and the food was outstanding. On our way out of Ft. Lauderdale someone thought they saw a person in the water and so we backtracked to see if we could find the person.
After two face to face roll calls it was determined that all were on board and that no one, at least not from our ship, was missing. So we continued on. Then the next day, east of Bermuda, someone on board was determined to need surgery that could not be performed on board and there were no long range helicopters available to evacuate that person. So the captain turned the ship around and we sailed for Bermuda. After almost a full day of sailing in the wrong direction we reached Bermuda and offloaded the patient to a pilot boat and the trip to the hospital.
From that point on the trip was uneventful. Smooth seas, warm temperatures, excellent entertainment, and the meeting of even more wonderful fellow passengers. We have just started doing traditional dining and it was not a disappointment. We really got to know our table mates and we will be sure to stay in touch with them in the future.
The shore excursions in Florence and Rome were all day affairs, lots of walking over cobble stones and uneven pavement and it was raining. But who cared. The places we went and the things we saw made it all worth it.
We liked the Crown Princess so much that we have now booked another 29 days on her around the UK and then the Atlantic crossing from Southhampton to NYC via Iceland and Greenland.
Out ownly complaint on this trip was that our next door neighbors smoked cigars and the smoke drifted across to oour balcony and into our room. All ships should be non smoking except in designated on deck areas.
Wonderful sightseeing, a tour guide that walked slowly and many picture opportunities.
Very interesting tour of Aix en Provience and a local lunch on our own. It was on this tour that we learned that most ports now have a hop on, hop off bus with narration in English and other languages that is really the best way to explore a city for the first time.