2nd Time on the Crown Princess: Crown Princess Cruise Review by Sassy's Mom

Crown Princess 5
Sassy's Mom
Member Since 2012
247 Forum Posts

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2nd Time on the Crown Princess

Sail Date: March 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
After sailing the Crown for our anniversary last year, I chose the Crown again for our second cruise with a similar itinerary (Western Caribbean) as it had changed somewhat and we had only visited two of the four ports the first time around.

Due to work schedules, we flew from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale the morning of embarkation. It was a non-stop flight and we utilized the Princess transfer. We were very fortunate in the timing of our flight and were able to board the transfer coach within 15 minutes of claiming our checked luggage. Due to the Grand and Crown both sailing that day, our Princess transfer was for both ships and the process was very smooth with visiting two different piers at Port Everglades.

We arrived at our pier at approximately 12:45 and were able to proceed directly to an agent to check in and obtain our cruise cards. We only had a wait of 5-10 minutes to get onboard (due to all of the Bon Voyage photos being taken).

We were able to More proceed directly to our stateroom to deliver our carry on bags. The stateroom was clean and ready for us and our steward arrived within minutes of us and introduced himself. At that first meeting, he asked my husband about our preferences for the room (i.e., ice daily, extra pillows, etc.). He was very personable and was always available for anything we might want.

We chose Anytime Dining as it worked well for us the first sailing. I called ahead and made reservations for the first evening in the MDR. We were willing to share a table and were able to get a seating at exactly the time we requested. This ended up being the only meal we ate in the MDR as we chose the casual atmosphere of the buffet most evenings. Our meal in the MDR was very good and it was nice to meet fellow passengers. The buffet food was average buffet food and we felt the choices were not as plentiful as they were last year. We made reservations for the Crown Grill for the last night aboard and it was magnificent! Well worth every penny!!!

As far as activities on board (when not visiting a port), we mainly relaxed on our balcony, the decks for sunbathing and attempted MUTS (Movies Under The Stars). Unfortunately, we had rain several evenings and the movie options on the clear nights weren't movies we would care to watch. (Yes, we were VERY lazy on this trip!)

We elected to utilize the EZ check program again and found it to be worth the $20/person fee instead of lugging those checked bags along with us on disembarkation day. Because we bought very few souvenirs this year, customs was a breeze and the Princess transfer back to the airport was very smooth. Less

Published 03/18/12

Cabin review: BDB330 Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

We chose a Princess sponsored excursion for this port....a speed boat ride to a private island on the barrier reef for snorkeling. Unfortunately, there were strong winds and rain in the area which made for too rough of waters for snorkeling. The crew on the speed boat did their best in the situation but unfortunately the winds/waves were too strong to get very far away from land to see much. The advertisement for the excursion boasted bathrooms and freshwater showers....we never did see the showers. As for the Tourist Village, there were several shops with knock-off purses and clothing, the pharmacies selling medications and a TON of t-shirts and trinkets. The village was dirty and very crowded (four ships in port that day). There were several tents set up in a flea-market type atmosphere also. The biggest shock was the tall concrete wall topped by a fence where the locals were hanging through the openings and heckling the tourists to come on a tour with them. One of the tourists I saw in the shops mentioned that they had two armed guards on motorcycles traveling with her tour bus to guard against hijacking. I did notice that all workers within the village had either permanent ID cards or visitor stickers attached to their clothing (as if the authorities were only allowing certain people into the village). If Belize City was a port on my next ship, I think I'd opt to stay onboard for the day.

Having visited Tulum previously, we opted to walk around Puerta Maya just to see the sights. Lots of shopping at all price levels. Nothing really struck our fancy so we went back onboard and enjoyed a mostly deserted pool deck and a few drinks.
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Having visited Grand Cayman previously, we opted to walk around on our own. Other than window shopping, we only made two stops. We visited Cafe Del Sol for their free WiFi, shaded outdoor seating and reasonably priced bottled water (which was VERY cold). We had lunch at Breeze's. The food was average, drinks were great but it was a little pricy for the two of us - three alcohol-based mixed drinks and a shared burger cost just under $50 PRE-tip (US Dollars).

Having missed Roatan previously, we were very excited to *finally* make it to the island. It was beautiful and very lush due to it being the tail-end of their rainy season. We opted for a private tour through Bodden Tours. It was very reasonably priced and our tour guide was wonderful. We learned a lot about life on the island, their relationship with the mainland and their immense gratitude for the USA for their assistance (medical supplies and volunteers, etc.). While on the island, we visited Arch's Iguana Park and Victor's Monkey Business. Both were well-maintained and we loved visiting both attractions. We also had lunch at a local restaurant. One member of our group ordered the King Crab soup and said it was delicious. The rest of us played it "safe" and ordered burgers but wish we had been more adventurous. All in all, I would love to visit Roatan again and see more of the island that we missed due to the rain.
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Sassy's Mom
Member Since 2012
247 Forum Posts
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