February 11, 2012 - Noro the Aftermath: Crown Princess Cruise Review by mojitoman
Overall Member Rating
February 11, 2012 - Noro the Aftermath
Destination: Cruise to Nowhere
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Embarkation - We arrived the night before the cruise and stayed at the Embassy Suites near Port Everglades. Ended up with free transportation from the hotel to the Port, arriving at the Terminal at approximately 1:00 p.m. Hotel has a great location, only needs a near by Starbucks to better! Room was clean and ready. However, price was a little on the high side.
Although we were forewarned via a phone call from Princess that we would need to report to the convention center, when we arrived at the Terminal it was operating as normal. So, no convention center waiting for us! Being Platinum members we made use of the Preferred Member entrance and were through the embarkation process and on board within fifteen minutes.
Stateroom - We were in a category AA mini-suite and found it More to be clean and ready for occupancy. It provided plenty of storage space with a large bathroom and tub. The balcony was appointed with a table, two chairs and two footrests, which were very nice additions.
Our cabin attendant was exceptional in looking after us, bringing us champagne and our pre-purchased excursion tickets within an hour. Throughout the cruise he was attentive without being obtrusive and very pleasant to converse with, constantly asking if we needing anything to make our vacation more enjoyable. (Considering what the crew went through the weeks before with the Noro virus, he exceeded our expectations in every way)
Food - We ate all but one of our dinners in the Main Dining Room, having selected traditional late dinner. The other dinner was at Sabatini's.
The food in the Main Dining Room was very good with no real complaints. The only bump in the road was the first night dinner service. Service was slow and they seemed to be short staffed for the first hour of service. However, to be fair, when we arrived at 8:15 for dinner several tables from the earlier dinner service were full and still eating. This created a snow ball effect into the late dinner service.
Waiter and assistant were very attentive, personable and tried their best to make us comfortable.
The International Cafe was highly enjoyable for those quick lunches and mid-day snacks. (Loved the fresh chocolate chip cookies and wife loved the Gelato!)
This was the first time we tried Sabatini's since it switched to a la carte ordering. While the food was very good we missed the non stop parade of food that epitomized Sabatini's and made it different from the other dining options on board.
Excursions - First stop was Grand Cayman's - a simple day at the beach with a Tiki Bar! When we first arrived the beach had quite a few beach goers. However, within 45 minutes the place became mostly deserted. So, private beach party!
Next stop was Roatan. We did the Eco-Hike Tour and Pirates Bay with "Big Mike." After eating for a few days it felt great to be outside and exercising. The hike was moderately difficult but certainly doable provided that you are in reasonable shape.
Belize equalled the Lamanai Ruins Tour. Long day as it took approximately one hour to arrive at the location where we were to pick up the boats for the trip to the ruins, then another hour or so by boat to arrive at the ruins. However, the trip was worth the commute! The ruins were highly enjoyable and stunning. The view at the top of the Main Temple was spectacular!
The final stop was in Cozumel Mexico. Here we went to the X-Caret Eco Park. Options for everybody abounded! Was there in time to see the release of turtles back into the wild. Simply a relaxing and enjoyable way to end our excursions and turn to sail back home.
Disembarkation - There was a slight delay in disembarkation. We were suppose to be off the ship at 9:30 but didn't disembark to after 10:30. However, we were lucky enough to find a seat in the lounge.
All in all the cruise was very relaxing and enjoyable. There were, of course, some issues and difficulties. However, I believe that a vacation is what you make of it and what you put into it. Given the fact that the crew had two weeks of Noro outbreaks before our cruise, they were all pleasant, attentive and tried their best to make things enjoyable for the passengers. Unfortunately, I cannot say that all the passengers were as accompadating! Less
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