Crown Princess Western Caribbean 12/10/11: Crown Princess Cruise Review by Rocky Mtn Mustang

Crown Princess 5
Rocky Mtn Mustang
Member Since 2009
9 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Crown Princess Western Caribbean 12/10/11

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We got into Ft. Lauderdale early afternoon the day before our cruise. Stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Conv. Center/Cruise Port (cashed in points so it was free). Hotel was 3 blocks from the cruise port. Had a nice dinner on the deck of the Bimini Boat House - on the water and a 2 block walk from the hotel. Good food and friendly service.
Took the Ace Charters bus to the ship the next day - $8.00 person. You literally could walk to the Princess Terminal if you didn't have too much luggage, but worth it for us to take the bus. We arrived before they opened for boarding, so had to wait a while. Once they stared checking in people, it went pretty fast, maybe a little over 1/2 hour to get on the ship. Went to our cabin and dropped off our carry ons, then went down to the International Cafe for a quick bite to eat. Then we went on the Treasure Hunt where you went to various locations and got a stamp on your card which you dropped in the entry bucket at the Sail Away party for a chance More to win prizes. A good way to explore the ship. Our card was actually drawn and we one a free dinner at Sabbatinis!
The next day (at sea)we spent loafing around the pool and on our balcony. That night we went to our free dinner at Sabbatinis. This is the second time we have eaten at Sabbatinis. The atmosphere is nice & quiet and the service is great, but we were not impressed with the food.
We opted for the traditional dining in the DaVinci Dining room for the rest of our meals. The food was generally very good and the service was excellent. We were lucky enough to have pleasant dining companions. My wife is on a low salt diet and the Head Waiter, Alberto, went out of his way to make sure that she was accommodated. If you let them know of any special requirements they will do their best to accommodate you the whole trip. We also ate breakfast in the DaVinci Dining Room on days that we didn't have an early shore excursion.
On the second full day of the cruise, they warned us of a possible outbreak of Norovirus. They instituted special sanitation steps to control it and asked everyone to wash their hands frequently. They also eliminated self service at the Buffet and had people serving you as you went through the various stations.
We tried to avoid the crowded elevators and followed good hygiene procedures and never got sick.
The weather was pretty windy the whole trip and kicked up the seas a bit. You could definitely feel some motion and it made snorkeling difficult on our shore excursions.
We didn't do a lot for entertainment at night. Went to Movies under the stars one night and went to the comedy shows two other nights. Michael Wilson was very funny and did some great impressions! The other show we saw was Alfred & Seymour, they were hilarious. A warning - don't come to their show late!
The last day at sea was spent loafing around again. It was my wife's birthday that day. I had brought a present for her but was browsing through the jewelry store and spotted a nice necklace and a pair of earrings at a reasonable price. They were Larimar - the gemstone of the Caribbean. She loved them! That night we had Dinner at the Crown Grill. The atmosphere again was quiet and the service very good. They have a good selection of steaks and seafood. We ordered The filet mignon and also lobster. The steaks were cooked perfectly. The lobsters were little 4 oz. tails, but they brought us each four tails. So it was plenty. The only thing that was weird was when I ordered a glass of wine, the waiter asked me how many glasses I thought that I might have. I told him I would probably have two. He brought them both to me at the same time. Overall, I would recommend the Crown Grill.
The debarkation process the next day went very smoothly. We got off at the scheduled time, our bags were waiting at the baggage claim, and we breezed through customs in less than 1/2 hour total. We got a cab to take us back to the Holiday Inn Express. The cab driver didn't seem to happy that he was only taking us 3 blocks. I know those guys wait in line at least an hour to get a fare. The fare was only $5.00 but I gave him a $15.00 tip.
Since it was only 10:00 AM, we couldn't check in to the hotel, so we stored our bags and walked down to the waterfront and picked up the Water Taxi. It was $20.00/person for an all day pass. The Water Taxi takes you up and down the Intercoastal Waterway and stops at 10 different stops. If you want to sight-see, make sure you get on the big double decker boat. It has snacks and beer. We stopped at the Las Olas Blvd. stop and had lunch at Mangos. Excellent food.
We had a good time on our cruise in spite of the windy weather and extra sanitation procedures. Less

Published 12/28/11

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Port and Shore Excursions

We booked a trip to Chacchoben ruins through a company called Native Choice. Abus picked us up at the cruise port and took us into town to the Native Choice office. There we boarded nice, new air conditioned Toyota vans. It was a 45 minute ride to the ruins. Our guide was very knowledgeable and spoke good English. The ruins were very interesting but a lot of the site is still unexcavated. After about an hour we got back in the vans for the trip to the Palancar(?)Freshwater lagoon. We had a very good lunch of chicken fajitas and all the beer, margaritas, & tequila you could drink. The beach was very nice and they had kayaks that you could use. After about 1-1/2 hours we boarded the vans and headed back to the ship. I would recommend this trip.

We got off the ship and took a $10.00 cab ride to Chankanaab Marine Park. The admission to the park was $20 per person We settled into some nice shaded beach chairs and snorkeled right frome shore. This was the best snorkeling we did the whole trip!. We had lunch at one of the beachfront restaurants. The fish fajitas and the fish sandwich were great! After lunch, we walked around the gardens and went on saw the sea lion show. The show was very good and after the show you could get your picture taken with a sea lion. I would recommend doing this trip on your own. Very easy and inexpensive.

We went on the Stingray Encounter, Reef, Snorkle, Beach & Lunch. The weather was quite windy, and the seas were pretty rough. We stopped briefly at the stingray sandbar and got in the water and swam with stingrays. It was a pretty neat encounter. Because of the rough water, we skipped the reef and went directly to the beach at Rum Point. Beach was very nice with picnic tables in the shade. Lunch was included and you ordered what you wanted off the menu. Food was excellent! Great drinks. Beach was uncrowded and very relaxing. I would suggest bringing your own bottled water and not drink the water they provide on the boat. It tasted like tap water that they put in a used plastic jug. The crew was very friendly and professional. I would recommend this trip.

We did the Deluxe Catamaran Coastal Sail, Snorkel & Lunch, booked through the ship. We got off the ship and walked into the cruise port plaza to meet our tour. We were the first ones in line, however, they ended up running out of room at the end of the line, so they ended up sticking a dozen latecomers in front of us. We walked about a 1/4 mile down a path to the departure dock and boarded the catamaran. I thought that the "luxurious catamaran" description in the brochure was a little exaggerated. The boat seemed a little overcrowded but I am sure it was within the capacity regulations. We took about a 45 minute ride down the coast to the snorkeling spot. Again, the weather was windy and the water was rough. I thought that snorkeling at this location was a little disappointing, not a lot to see and there was a lot of trash floating around. After we were all back on the boat, lunch was served. The food was good and you got all the beer & rum you could drink on the return trip. A good boat trip.
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Rocky Mtn Mustang
Member Since 2009
9 Forum Posts
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