10 New York (Manhattan) to Caribbean - Western Princess Crown Princess Cruise Reviews

We are 67 and 55 and were on the Crown Oct 18 - 27 and are still suffering PCD! The ship is beautiful, the staff extremely friendly and overall the trip was fantastic! Embarkation and Room: We arrived via van a little after noon with 6 ... Read More
We are 67 and 55 and were on the Crown Oct 18 - 27 and are still suffering PCD! The ship is beautiful, the staff extremely friendly and overall the trip was fantastic! Embarkation and Room: We arrived via van a little after noon with 6 friends, embarkation was a breeze and we were in our rooms in under a half hour. First order of business was to reserve the Ultimate Balcony Dinner for our anniversary on Saturday. With that done, it was off to the buffet for a bite to eat. We went back to our room (C752) to meet our room steward Vicente so we could request an egg crate for our bed and just relax on our aft balcony. The room is a Cat BB and had plenty of room and storage for two people. The balcony was completely covered and we enjoyed relaxing and listening to the wake. Vicente was an excellent steward and took wonderful care of us. And we did give him a challenge with frequent before dinner wine gatherings, the UBD and doing the balcony breakfast for 5 one morning! We were sure to give him extra tips for all of his wonderful service. Dining: We had anytime dining and since we all did our own thing during the day, our group of 8 decided to have dinner together most evenings, we made a standing reservation for 8pm with Nicolae and Adrian as our wait staff. They are an excellent team, very professional and very friendly. Sergio the head waiter took extra special care of us and offered us a number of special treats during the week. I caught a cold the next to last day of the cruise, and Nicolae brought me extra soup and Adrian brought me lemon tea in an effort to help me feel better. DH and I prefer breakfast in the dining room over the buffet. We had excellent service every morning except for once, guess not everyone is perfect. I didn't do lunch most days, but would get a late afternoon snack at the International Cafe on deck 5. I usually had one of their great pannini's (tuna, mozzarella with proscutto and mozzarella with tomato and basil) with a glass of wine. They also had shrimp, mushroom salad, quiche and a number of other items at no charge. I never got to try the gelate or other desserts, but they did look great. DH usually hit the Horizon court since he hung out at the pool. Activities: We met our cc group in Skywalker's on the first sea day and had a great turnout and get together. It was fun to see familiar faces all during the cruise. Based upon the raves, we were sure to catch Sarge and he lived up to his billing. Didn't see the other production shows as DH and I prefer the casino. Just wish the casino had better ventilation. As an ex-smoker I was able to tolerate the smoke, but some of our group avoided the casino because of it. It's the only area of the ship that I feel needs improvement. I enjoyed trivia, spelling bee, jeopardy and was part of a pathetic team at the scavenger hunt. I also enjoyed my hot stone massage at the spa. Ports: Grand Turk - We went to the beach at the pier. There was a strong undertow that day making getting out of the water a bit difficult. Thankfully lots of friendly folks around to lend a hand. Definitely need water shoes as there are lots of coral and rocks in the water. Ocho Rios - We went swimming with the Dolphins. We had done this 3 years ago and they have since changed the routine. It was great but definitely better the first time around. We also did a little bit of shopping. We found that the liquor prices were better in Grand Turk. Grand Cayman - DH went to the seven mile beach with some friends and I and another friend walked downtown and did a bit of gift shopping. Port Canaveral - We didn't get off the ship since it was a short stop. Also, this was the day my cold started so was happy to kick back and do nothing. All in all it was a great cruise with a good mix of port and sea days. Even though the ship was full, it never felt crowded. We did put down deposits for two future cruises. Just have to decide where and when. Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
Crown Princess Cruise Oct 18 - Oct 27, 2006 Brooklyn-Gr.Turk-Ocho Rios-Gr.Cayman-Port Canaveral Background - Married, retired, 50's, cruising since 1984, cruise two or three times a year, various lines. Usually cruise with good ... Read More
Crown Princess Cruise Oct 18 - Oct 27, 2006 Brooklyn-Gr.Turk-Ocho Rios-Gr.Cayman-Port Canaveral Background - Married, retired, 50's, cruising since 1984, cruise two or three times a year, various lines. Usually cruise with good friends in tow. Couple traveling with us 40's working couple who we originally met on 1992 cruise of Celebrity Zenith. They were married during that cruise and we had pleasure of standing up for them. We cruise at least once per year with them since. Have sailed Carnival, Celebrity, NCL, Royal Viking, Princess, RCCL all multiple times. EMBARKATION: Upon entry to the pier area itself it becomes obvious that the embarkation area is much more expansive than the Manhattan pier simply because they have lots of room to spread it out. We were greeted by multiple drop off lanes unlike Manhattan's single one. Dropping luggage off with porters the long term parking was within a couple hundred feet. Unlike Manhattan where payment is required upon entry, Brooklyn parking is done by receiving a ticket and then self parking. Payment is made upon your return. Pay your ticket before getting car to exit! Next we entered a spacious terminal where we passed through airport type security. Yes they noted both my laptop and a bottle ( Chivas Regal ) in my carryon. I was asked to open my bag for inspection, more for the bottle I am sure. Having anticipated that only wine was allowed to be carried on I sneakily gift wrapped my sole bottle of scotch and declared it to be wine. I was allowed to pass without disturbing the gift wrap but that could be a hit and miss proposition. Since Princess offers 3.75 mil bottles of some alcohol too be purchased for in cabin use at a reasonable price ( see web page ) that might be acceptable instead of the sneak aboard method. A personal choice. I note that this is the first time any security screening has ever stopped me for a bottle so rumors of more stringent booze checking that I have read about would seem accurate. Next we passed to ticket line and were handed a paper to sign swearing that we were of good health, not coughing or suffering from diarrhea and the like. That strikes me as strange since who, having paid, traveled, and anticipated their cruise, is going to own up to being ill knowing that they might be barred from boarding the ship? Being of current good health we signed the form, of course I would have signed it if I was dying. So like I said, what's the sense? Processing was quick and line moved well. Before you knew it we were posing for our onboard photo and walking up the gangway. CABIN: Both couples had selected Mini-Suites Cat AB on Dolphin Deck side by side, D624 and D626. It was spacious with plenty of closet space and hangars, plenty of shelving and a decent sized bathroom with a tub. The balcony was large enough to accommodate two lounge back type chairs, two metal chairs and a table. Having friends next door we elected to have our cabin steward open the door between balconies allowing them to adjoin. Within the area of shelves was an electronic safe. The cabin also had a small refrigerator that worked very well. There were no complaints concerning the cabin but the wall safe operated differently than prior ones we have seen. A simple operation, press enter and a 4 digit code you devise and enter again to program. Where it differed was that when left open for more than a moment of so it starts to emit an annoying chirping. This is to remind you that it is open, but also geared to deprogram after s fairly short span of time. Our travel mates also had problems with it not opening on command. Similar problems were noted with others as well requiring a ships staff member to come and open the safe. Response to such a request is quick and I would bet because this happens a lot. That was the only problem noted. Our Cabin Steward, Lawrence, was fantastic. Greeted us early on arrival and handled every request without hesitation. He made it a point to greet us by name everyday and to ask us if there was anything he could do to make our cruise more enjoyable. He wasn't into towels animals and being a frequent cruiser I can live with that. He was into great service and again being very congenial. You could ask no more from a steward. SHIP: Not much you can say bout the ship other than she is gorgeous. We were all very impressed with all the areas though it takes some getting used to finding your way around. If you are in the Bottichelli dining room ( traditional dining ) this is located aft Deck 6. However, you can only get to it via the aft staircase on Deck 7. So if you were mid-ship on 6 you would have to climb up a deck, walk aft, and then descend a deck. The Explorers Lounge which serves as a second show lounge as well had a great night club type feel to it. Plenty of bars and lounges all pretty much with some sort of music of entertainment in the evening. The main lobby or Piazza contains the coffee bar and others with shops on higher decks. There is often a piano player in residence or street acts happening, magician, acrobatic act and so forth. We were happy enough with the show quality and variety. One of the comedians, a rather large gentleman called Sarge was highlight of the cruise. A black/Jew ( self described ) is a very funny comedian and also a talented singer/musician. He has been favorably noted in several reviews and we certainly concur, he was great. Pool area's divided up but were comfortable and for most part well fitted with seating. This was the first time I saw the huge screen ( MUTS  Movies Under The Stars ) and it was actually kind of astonishing. Can't say we ever spent a lot of time watching it yet I enjoyed the times I did. It does make that pool area pretty noisy however. Seeking peace and quiet we generally proceeded to the adjacent pool. The fact that the next area contained the excellent pizza stand and also the great hamburger stand didn't hurt either. My wife's favorite pool location was the small aft pool area for a nice more intimate quiet pool spot. There is limited seating there though. The much spoke of new concept Sanctuary area for which you must pay for by half day segments, well honestly I didn't even go see it. There were plenty of comfortable locations to spend some relaxing time in so paying a fee to have a separate experience seemed a total waste to me. The bottom line for us was that the ship itself provides just about anything you could look for in a resort/ship experience. DINING: We choose traditional dining with an assigned time and table. We had a great waiter in Dan and assistant waiter in Michael at table 118 Bottichelli dining room. You could not have asked for better service and congeniality. Bar and wine service is provided by the assistant waiter, normally something I am unhappy with in that it often interferes with service. In this case either Michael was one fast dude or he had a hidden bar around the corner. He was prompt with everything be it wine or a cocktail, yet water was still refilled quickly and course arrived promptly and so forth. The Head Waiter passed by daily and spent much time ensuring our needs were being met. The dining experience was superb! Food was excellent and Princess also has always available items like steak and pasta on the menu as well should a particular evening fare not be of your taste. It is our habit to request a cheese and fruit tray at our table at the start of dinner. After making the request it was provided each evening unasked for and the head waiter asked us if there was any particular cheeses we liked and provided same. Although we were at a table of eight there were but the four of us. The other two couples never showed during the cruise ( a shame since we enjoy meeting other cruisers ) though our waiter assured us that there were people assigned to the table. Maybe they saw us and ran? More likely they decided to use personal choice dining. The beauty of Princess over NCL is that you at least have an option between the two. Princess seems to be able to maintain the  do it your way attitude for the passenger which is great and is found less and less on board ships lately. Room service was prompt and accurate and menu was better than many found on ships lately. We generally only use room service for coffee, Danish and the like in morning and a pot of tea and cookies in afternoon. However I was surprised to see that you could order a cheeseburger from room service if desired. There was a wait at times in afternoon to get room service on the phone but once they answered the delivery was fast. I did find it unusual that room service presents you a check like paper to sign ( no charge for room service of course ). I would guess that some tracking check and balance system for them. There is also a space for a gratuity where you sign. We customarily hand the server $2 on delivery anyway so continued with our normal mode instead of writing in a tip. Service was always provided with a pleasant greeting and pleasant attitude. Buffet area, I found that to be as satisfactory as any I have seen. A little confusing as most are with little islands of salads or desserts that cause people to wander a bit and bump into each other. Plates were large and plentiful, food was varied enough and desserts decadent enough to please me. Fruits were plentiful for those that like to eat healthier than I. Seating usually available without tremendous difficulty and outside pool area has tables and chairs as well for those that prefer eating outside. The Pizza is excellent for non-NY shipboard pizza. Heard many people comment about how good it was. Burger and fries also very good but I found hotdogs to be more of knockwurst type tube. My personal taste run more towards a nice slim dog but what the heck, can't have everything. The ice cream stand is next to the pizza stand, I will mention that in my nickel and dime section. CASINO: Some different things here hadn't seen before. They have .01 cent and .02 cent machines, .25/.50 cent machines and $1 / $2 machine and $5/$10 machines. Some machine can be changed between denominations so have to pay attention to the initial setting when you sit. In example a dollar machine can be played for 1 dollar or two dollar a credit setting in addition to number of credits played. These machines have been seen more and more in casinos on land lately. What is really new, I have never seen it on land or sea, is the ability to collect your credits on your room key card. Also get more wagering cash right at machine via cabin key. Also collect points and receive instant $10 credit at machine for every 1000 points. I played 9000 points plus so received $90 cash during week for play. Okay here is how it works. Your cabin key/boarding pass/onboard credit card is now also your gaming card. Besides accumulating points for play like land casinos it also allows for transfer of monies machine to machine. The first time you place card in a slot machines game card slot you are prompted for your birth date. Entering date of birth date correctly the next step prompts you to establish a 4 digit pin number. So now you put say a twenty into the slot machine and play. Maybe you hit or lose but you decide after some play to go to another machine. You can either cash out normally and coins drop OR you can transfer your remaining credits directly onto your card. Move to next machine and transfer credits in desired amount to new machine for play. For the most part this works well, however, there can be glitches. On one occasion I was transferring $98 back to the card when the computer server apparently glitched for a moment. No money on machine or card. That can give rise to a moment of hyper ventilating. Casino staff responded to my machine and could tell that the amount in question was $98 and completed the transfer to my card. I was told that this does happen from time to time when the server goes down or is overtaxed, usually towards the end of the cruise. Finally yet another ability of using card in machines is to get money credited to card for further gambler from onboard credit account. This could be a problem for someone with a gambling habit, makes it a little too easy, never have to leave machine to get more money. NOTE there is also a 3 percent charge on these onboard account transactions. No charge for the transfer of amounts from or to machines. This is all something I have never seen before either on land or sea casino. Machines appeared tighter than even usual for ships. I can't say that there were no hits but can say very limited. NICKLE & DIME department: I am now in a habit of looking at how much the N&D is utilized on each ship since onboard revenue became the big things on ships. Ice cream, not only the Haagen Daas but also the machine soft and extra for each topping. No more punch out bingo cards, now use marker, price $1. Embarkation photo $29.95, no I am not kidding! No where do they have sign with prices for photos either now, let it be a surprise Bingo grand prize limited $2,500 no longer based on amount of play. Normally you would expect a ship with this many passengers to have final bingo of upward 3 to 4 grand. BARGAIN: Coffee card if you are a big brewed coffee drinker. You get card, unlimited regular brewed coffee and something like 11 lattes or espresso. Instant still free at buffet of course. You may email any questions to georgeny@verizon.net please put Crown Review in subject since I delete many thinking they are spam. Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
If this ship was my car, I'd bring it back to the dealer. What a bummer. Princess was the first cruiseline I used a few years ago, pre-Carnival, and the incredible service, atmosphere & food were the benchmarks for all my cruising ... Read More
If this ship was my car, I'd bring it back to the dealer. What a bummer. Princess was the first cruiseline I used a few years ago, pre-Carnival, and the incredible service, atmosphere & food were the benchmarks for all my cruising since, though I hadn't rebooked Princess til now. Embarkation itself was easy, though the drive to Brooklyn is a little sketchy. The minisuite was smaller than the one I had on the Grand Princess, and thanks to notes from past posters,I switched my room & was not open to the elements. In the suite itself, drawers would not open, the safe needed to be pried open with a knife, and the tub never drained. Our sheets were not changed for 4 days(my sister had gotten chocolate on hers, so we counted. The bathrobes were never changed regardless of how much coffee was spilled on them. Much has been written about the poor design of the ship, so I will just concur on that, but what drove me nuts was the dropped ceilings in the piazza area that obscured the elevator signals. Formal night dinner was a big bust. On the grand princess, our italian headwater & waiter created a culinary dining experience nightly, here we were rushed through dinner by a group of Malaysian waiters who were hard to understand, totally forgot our order, generally made us feel like a nuisance because we didn't order wine. We didn't go back, used the buffets the other nites. We are not big eaters, but I do like my food hot, and that was rare. Also, who thought German nite & Indian nite were good ideas? Bratwurst on a boat. The store was always almost sold out of pepto & imodium. Pizza was good though, as were the fruit tarts & cookies. Bummer no free lemonade like on RC, I don't drink soda, but had gotten a coffee card (thanks again CC posters for the tip). We did have a couple of drinks by the pool, 1 with 1 without alcohol, both separated almost immediately, and were undrinkable. Signed up for the Thermal suite in the spa ($130 for 2), It was nice when everything was working . The first day, 2 of the 8 weren't, I spoke to manager, and things were a bit better the next day, but some were never up to par. Also, found out after I paid that the ladies locker has a sauna & steamroom, so I really could have saved the money. Massage was nice, and not too pushy to sell products, but maybe because right up front I told them I could buy the products at the Elemis spa here at Mohegan Sun in CT using my points, so don't bother. The staff on this boat seem depressed. Shows were high school level, except for the French juggler, who couldn't even rise to that. MUTS was loud. This boat had the worst vibrations in the aft section I have ever experienced on a ship. Almost like a propeller was bent. And the superstructure made these really weird creaks. I felt like my cubicle was gonna pop out the side of the ship. I would get rid of Ocho Rios & Port Canaveral on this itinerary. Ocho Rios has gotten even more dirty & the natives more aggressive. We could only swim one at a time in Dunns Falls, so the other one could watch our belongings. Even with police patrolling I didn't feel too safe. An they should do Princess Cay instead of Port Canaveral, extend the tropical feel one more day. Course I won't get back to Princess Cay, because Princess just lost another customer. Disembarkation was the worst I've ever experienced. 2 porters for 3000 people. Enough said. Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
We cruised on the Crown Princess October 18-27th, 2006. Embarkation at the Red Hook terminal in Brooklyn was the easiest embarkation we've ever done. We arrived at 11:15, were quickly checked in and handed a ticket with a group ... Read More
We cruised on the Crown Princess October 18-27th, 2006. Embarkation at the Red Hook terminal in Brooklyn was the easiest embarkation we've ever done. We arrived at 11:15, were quickly checked in and handed a ticket with a group number. They began boarding groups by calling numbers at around 11:45; by 11:55 we were on board ship. We were on the Baja deck in cabin B219. It was certainly big enough for 2 people. There was plenty of storage in the roomy closet area - tons of wooden hangers. There were shelves in a storage alcove where the safe was located. Above the sink in the bathroom there were three very small shelves, and one long shelf under the sink. The night tables had two drawers and a cubby area, and the desk had a door that opened up to two shelves. The empty luggage fit easily under the bed. Our balcony was covered and looked down onto two levels of balcony below. Bad for them but good for any peeping toms out there! Underneath the shelf where the TV was there were sodas and bottled water, and the refrigerator was in the cabinet below. We always had a filled ice bucket and it stayed nice and cold. The ship is 110,000 tons, which is a large ship, yet it never really felt crowded. The week we went there were barely any kids on board, although there were a lot of elderly, many in wheelchairs and scooters. We walked rather than take elevators when we could, as there was always someone with a scooter in an elevator. We had the best service on this ship! Everyone from our cabin steward Roberto, to our waiter Miguel and his assistant Alex, and even our head waiter Antonio, were WONDERFUL. Our headwaiter brought me goodies a few times that week - once a delicious seafood risotto that was NOT on the menu, and once spaghetti and meatballs. All the food was delicious - when you ordered a steak cooked a certain way, you got it exactly as you asked for. There was an array of seafood that pleased me as I'm a seafood lover, yet enough other things for my husband who dislikes seafood. We never went hungry. The pizza on the ship is the best I've had in years. I'm originally from Brooklyn, and I have to tell you it was a joy to have real, Brooklyn pizza! Yum! The burgers and hot dogs were pretty good too. The entertainment was also some of the best we've ever seen on a ship. The production shows were great, Destination Anywhere is not to be missed. There was a wonderful comedian on board named Sarge - don't miss him! He's hysterical. Our first stop was Grand Turk. There's a beach at the end of the pier with free lounge chairs, and right behind there was Margaritaville. You could use the pool at Margaritaville for free also. The water at Grand Turk was some of the clearest I've ever seen, and the fact that I could snorkel and see tons of fish, even that near the ship, was awesome. This is a great stop, I wish we'd have been able to stay there longer. The next stop was Jamaica. Been there, done that, many times. Went to the beach near the port - we had to pay to get on and pay for the loungers. Next time we'll stay on the ship. Jamaica has never thrilled me. Grand Cayman was next. We've been there a number of times before, so we shopped and walked along the oceanfront. We ran across an area with tons of fish swimming right near the shore, and men at a table nearby cutting up the fish and selling filets. We questioned them and it turned out to be tarpon. They let us feed the tarpon with the excess pieces they were discarding. It was great. The last stop was Port Canaveral. We've also been there before, so we stayed on the ship and enjoyed ourselves watching MUTS (Movies Under The Stars). My husband really enjoyed watching football games on MUTS on Sunday and Monday night, and the World Series games, too. I enjoyed the Barry Manilow concert they showed one night after the baseball game too. In all, I would have to say that the ship, service, food and entertainment were outstanding, and it was one of the best cruises we've ever been on. That being said, we did have a few complaints: the layout of the ship. To get to the dining room in the back of deck six, you had to walk to the back of deck seven and walk down. You could not get there directly from deck six. I don't understand that design at all. The rest rooms were few and hard to find - there were some that were located in alcoves near doors that went out to the deck. If you didn't enter the alcove, you'd never know the bathrooms were there. They were also smaller than they should have been - the bathroom near the pool, dining room and theater only had 2 booths. For a ladies room, that equals long lines. Also, we found the beds very hard. The linens are beautiful, the pillows great, and the comforter a welcome change from the layers of sheets we always get tangled up in. But the bed was harder than we're used to or comfortable with. Otherwise, I would highly recommend the Crown Princess. We had a blast and will definitely sail her again. Sharon H. Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
CROWN PRINCESS REVIEW OCTOBER 18-27, 2006 Overall impression - AWESOME cruise. Cruising from Red Hook was so easy & painless, cannot wait to do it again. EMBARKATION: fastest ever. Within 5 minutes I was on the ship. No line for ... Read More
CROWN PRINCESS REVIEW OCTOBER 18-27, 2006 Overall impression - AWESOME cruise. Cruising from Red Hook was so easy & painless, cannot wait to do it again. EMBARKATION: fastest ever. Within 5 minutes I was on the ship. No line for Elite. There was a line for other pax when we arrived, seemed to move quickly. Luggage arrived promptly. SHIP : The Crown is a beauty. For as large as she is you never felt crowded. Many cozy, intimate areas. The ship was clean - no smells that I noticed. Crew very attentive and friendly. I had many friends onboard working & was treated like one of the Princess family. I used both the stairs & elevators. I did hear other pax complain about the slowness of the elevators. My impression that Sanctuary did not get used much at all. Too much shade for me personally. But, it is a lovely area. CABIN: I had an AFT inside cabin on Riviera Deck. Quite comfortable & roomy for me as a single. Loved the location off the Terrace Pool. Noise was minimal. The new pillows & bed linens are comfy & lush. My first experience with an eggcrate mattress - loved it. I faxed in my request and it was on my bed when I arrived. Did find it kept the 2 twin beds together nicely. My cabin steward Sak was excellent. DINING: Generoso Mazzone is one of the finest Maitre Ds in the fleet. I am proud to call him my friend. He greets return pax with a warm welcome, providing royal treatment. I chose Alternative Dining and was in the Michelangelo Dining Room with Godwin. He selected a perfect table for us, which we had a standing 8:30 reservation. Our waiter & Jr. waiter - both George - from Romania, were phenomenal. From Day 1 we hit it off with them. Every night we had specially prepared items served to us by Chris our HW (thanks to Generoso). The new menu design had us confused at first. We dined in Sabatini (on Italian Night) to celebrate a birthday. We were not disappointed. The have made some subtle changes to how they serve the courses, but, the food remains excellent. The staff were comedians along with their excellent service. We had a very special meal. Godwin arranged a beautiful & delicious birthday cake. Breakfast was always in Horizon Court. Never any problems with lines or food. Tried both the Trident Grill and Prego Pizzeria for lunch - excellent food & service. Found myself skipping many lunches this cruise. PORTS OF CALL: Having been to these ports before I was not crazed to book tours, just relax & enjoy. Having 4 sea days was fabulous (much needed after our port intensive Greek Isles cruise) GRAND TURK: Beautiful sunny day. Did not venture downtown. Instead stayed near the pier area. Our 1st Margaritaville. There is a decent beach within walking distance. Free chair use, umbrellas available for rent. Seemed like some of the shops with in the area were not yet opened. But, was able to make my needed purchases. OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA: Another lovely sunny, hot day. We all did different activities. Bamboo Beach Day - relaxing, good food, nice beach area. Dunns River Falls - at least once you have to visit/climb the falls. Lovely. For me, I ventured out to Island Village. 2nd Margaritaville. Got my Blue Mountain Coffee & jerk sauces. Met up with my band friends & spent the afternoon sipping Corona & Red Stripe. GRAND CAYMAN: Our only tender port. Another beautiful hot/sunny day. Major shopping day. We waited to avoid the early morning rush for tenders. By 10am no lines at all. 3rd Margaritaville. We did get hit with a brief thunderstorm upon leaving Cayman, followed by a colorful rainbow. PORT CANAVERAL: Hot/sunny day spent onboard. I was surprised how many pax did stay onboard. Non-US citizens did have to go thru US Immigration Inspection today. ENTERTAINMENT: Within our group of 5 we all did attend many onboard events. The production shows & Sarge among new cruiser favorites. I found my favorite spot this cruise to be Crooners. This was our before & after dinner cocktail stop. Singer Brett Cave was stellar. We bonded with our Crooner Boys (Pavlin, Cristian, Bo, Dragos, Rafael) immediately. Every night was fun-filled. Soon enough we had regulars join us. Poolside Melodies with Robert Smith & Epithani always excellent. I was sad to see Robert leave early in Port Canaveral. Both Robert & Brett did shows in Explorers that were super excellent. We did venture up to Skywalkers (after closing Crooners) for late night dancing. My suitcases too heavy to try Express Walk-Off. Although many did use this option. DISEMBARKATION: Again, a painless, easy process. My suitcases too heavy to try Express Walk-Off. Although many did use this option. We were called to disembark approx. 9:30am. Fast moving line for US Customs. Found our luggage without any problem. Being home by 11:30am was an absolute pleasure. Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
This was my eighth cruise, first one on Princess. Im partial to Celebrity after two excellent trips (15 and 10 days) with them. Embarkation  very quick. We arrived about 11:30 and were on the ship just after 12:00. Cabin  C437 (Cat ... Read More
This was my eighth cruise, first one on Princess. Im partial to Celebrity after two excellent trips (15 and 10 days) with them. Embarkation  very quick. We arrived about 11:30 and were on the ship just after 12:00. Cabin  C437 (Cat BA balcony); huge balcony  Should have used it more than we did. Regular size room  hate those small showers. Was disappointed when the cabin was a little dirty when we got on  last passenger left all of his hunting magazines in one of the cabinets and the were crumbs and a toothpick on the chair. Told the steward and he apologized. He was fine for the rest of the cruise. Location of the cabin could have been better  always seemed to be woken up by the stewards in the supply room across the hall at 7am; maybe Im just a light sleeper. Sabatinis  Excellent food and service. We had Sebastian from Romania serve us the first time so we requested him again a second time. Hes top notch and we rewarded him for it. He even took down our email addresses to add us to his buddy list. Crown Grill  Disappointing. Maybe it was not the place to go on the first night. Brazilian Lobster ($9 extra charge) was completely ammonia (ie. bad), filet mignon was the most tasteless weve ever had, lamb was just okay. Lobster charge was taken off the bill. Service was poor  an example, I dropped my steak knife and the waiter picked it up but never came back with a new one. At least dessert was excellent. Anytime Dining  First time for us and we loved the freedom of going whenever we wanted. All the wait staff was very good. Food tended to be good to very good. Only one night was really excellent. I wasnt impressed with the choices though  very few things that stood out. Buffets  Only adequate. Usually ate there for breakfast and a few lunches. Pizza  wow! Real pizza outside of NY. It was great. Cruise Staff  Best at sea. Everyone was personable, fun, energetic, and funny. They were just funny enough to not be over the top and they werent corny or slapstick. They really made the cruise memorable. Jacinta, one of the assistant CDs was the best of all. Always found time to stop and chat for a few minutes and not just how is the cruise going or come to the show tonight. I cant say enough about her. James Lay was the best CD Ive had in 8 cruises. He really knows what hes doing. Daniel was a great Bingo caller. Shows  Production shows were very good. Always a little cheesy, but not like a high school production, like Ive seen on other ships. A few comedians, but only Sarge stood out. He wasnt as funny as Id hoped but that may be because theres so much hype on these boards about him. Casino  I actually won at both the tables and slot machines. I just seemed to have a lot of luck there. Won enough to pay for the price of the cruise. Would have had more if I stayed away on the last day, but it was fun losing their money. Dealers were great; especially Gillian, Tatiyana, Laslo, and Ilyana. Spa  Had two massages by Mo. He did a great job and didnt try to sell me anything except to go back to my chiropractor because he noticed my legs werent even. Next time I wont pay extra for the thermal spa  only used it a couple times. Skywalkers Nightclub  Usual fare for a cruise ship nightclub. Some nights were crowded, some nights dead. Great music after 11. Crooners piano bar  Only so many times you can hear Billy Joel from the piano player. Lots of martinis on the menu but the waiters kept messing up our orders. Piazza  Love the layout. Didnt sit there as much as I wanted to; which is probably good or else I would have eaten dozens of the delicious cookies from the International Cafe. Internet cafe  Checked email only a few times and seemed to have lots of problems. I found it to be slow always. One time I typed a long email and before I could hit send, SIGNAL LOST and the computer rebooted. Another time, the computer locked up and wouldnt do anything except run up the minutes. It was late so no one was around to help out. Racked up an extra 20 minutes before it corrected itself. Told the night purser and all the charges were taken off for the session. Grand Turk  Quite a small island. Beautiful but not much to do. We went on the Kayak and beach snorkel tour. Kayak was interesting - very sedate. Honestly, theres nothing to see if you do go snorkeling on the beach they take you to. I dont think I even saw one fish. Margaritaville was hopping when we got back to the dock. Waited about 15 minutes just to get one overpriced margarita. Shopping was expensive at the dock. I saw cheap looking t-shirts that were marked $25! I almost fell over. Ocho Rios  Been there twice before. Went on the Trimaran tour that went to the Falls and to a nice beach for about 2 hours. Climbed the falls again even though Ive done it before. Still surprises me just how dangerous it really is but the tour guides dont discourage some people who really shouldnt do it. I skinned my knee and I heard some woman broke her ankle and was in an air cast the rest of the cruise. I would have rather taken the Catamaran instead  the Trimaran was very small. I like to stretch out on the front of a catamaran but that wasnt possible on the trimaran. Grand Cayman  Beautiful. Wish we had more time there and that it wasnt on a Sunday when most shops were closed. Took a boat trip to snorkel at the reef and then to Stingray sandbar. It was fun, but almost half of us were stung by jellyfish. It would have been nice if the tour guides told us that its jellyfish season. I was stung 5 times and some woman had a bad reaction and had to be taken off the boat to get medical attention. That part wasnt fun  pain went away by the next day. Port Canaveral  Just went to Coco Beach for a couple hours. Nothing exciting. Heard that the Space Center tour was too rushed and really not worth it. Disembarkation  Never a good time. We had car service picking us up and the driver was stuck in traffic forever trying to get into Red Hook. Problem is that its one road in and one road out. And the pick-up area is way too small for everyone to stand in with luggage  a riot waiting to happen. Good thing it wasnt raining. All in all, this was a very good cruise - a solid A-. If the itinerary was better and the food was as good as Ive had on Celebrity, I would have given it an A+. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
My family and I had a wonderful time on this beautiful ship. DH and I are 50 and this is our 25th cruise. DS is 7 and this is his 8th cruise (if you were on board, he was the kid mentioned on the Morning Show!) We are elite level cruisers ... Read More
My family and I had a wonderful time on this beautiful ship. DH and I are 50 and this is our 25th cruise. DS is 7 and this is his 8th cruise (if you were on board, he was the kid mentioned on the Morning Show!) We are elite level cruisers on Princess. (17 cruises) We drove to the ship from CT. If you are driving please leave extra time! There were so many delays due to traffic and construction! We arrived at 3:10. We walked right up to a check in window and right onto the ship. I am glad that we didn't come on the early side. I was told that although the check in was quick at 11:30, no one was allowed on until 12:30-1 pm. Parking was a breeze. Not even half the lot was full even at that late time. We pulled up and a porter took our bags and we parked and walked back in 2 minutes. On the way home, we paid in the terminal so we were able to drive right out. It cost $162. We were in D220 in a mini suite. First I was a little put off that we did not meet our cabin steward until the next night. But, she turned out to be great. Her name is Gina and she was out for a couple of days with a bad back. But, she was very attentive. She even made my son 2 wonderful towel animals for his birthday. I did ask for these and she had no problem doing them for us. We loved our minisuite. The bedding is wonderful and very comfy. We had air conditioning problems the first night, but the engineer came promptly. The room was never cold, but it was comfortable. You have to make sure the door is shut for it to work properly though. Mostly I did not mind the open balcony. I liked being open to the stars. Although we were in view of everyone above us! And, it could not be used in the rain. but, it was a nice large size. It was never too hot out there. We started in Anytime Dining but were switched in time for the 3rd night to early traditional. I think there is a real difference in the attention you are given by the waitstaff if you have traditional vs anytime. Unless you make a point of reserving your own waiter in Anytime, the wait staff does not get to know you and your preferences. We had a wonderful team. Nikko and Johnathan were fabulous waiters and after the first night knew what we liked. And, it was nice to get to know them too! Food: We are not food snobs, but we do like good food! We usually make allowances that cruise food is NOT fine dining. It is very nice dining but for 3,000 people! I have to say that in 25 cruises, the food in the DINING ROOM was probably consistently the WORST FOOD I have ever eaten on a cruise ship on any line! It was all extremely salty and did not taste good to me. Mostly it looked pretty, but the red snapper fingers looked like a plate of eels and was rubbery. One bite and I couldn't eat any more! Even the crab legs tasted like they had been dunked in salt and the lobster was rubbery. I usually have 2-3 plates of lobster on the 2nd formal and I barely made my way through one! The starters were passable though and some were good. Desserts were delicious. I love the Love Boat Dream and also the souffles. One nigh tin anytime, the waiter served me a FLAT souffle which tasted awful. I sent it back and the new one was very tasty. Breakfast was good in the dining room. the one lunch I had there was terrible though. For breakfast, you can order crunchy french toast or eggs benedict either the evening before or wait 20 minutes for them in the morning. They were also able to make a special order of chocolate chip pancakes for my son. But, the food I ate everywhere else was wonderful! We fully enjoyed our 2 dinners in Cafe Caribe. The Provencale night and the Indonesian Rijstaffel were both excellent. The pizza and the grill were yummy too. Sabatini's was fabulous (the lobster there was perfect!) I loved the International cafe. The marinated shrimp, the paninis and the spinach and mushroom salad were fabulous! And, the COOKIES!!! They no longer serve them piping hot because someone got burned. But sometimes you would get one that was a little warm. Cool they are very good cookies. Warm, they are amazing! One of the workers gave me some hot ones from the back after I begged and they were the best cookies I have ever eaten! They put the chocolate chip cookies out at 11. If you go there at 10:45, and ask politely someone might bring them to you to from the back (when they are still warm!) Sabatini's was just lovely. The food was perfect there! We had Valentin as our waiter. And, we had our dessert in Adagio. I loved the drinks menu in Adagio too. We loved the acts in the Piazza area. A great new Princess innovation! All of the demos were here too. Always something going on here and we loved it. Especially the first two days of the trip that were rainy! Entertainment: Sarge was hilarious! He was very funny and his life story is very inspirational. I know he is having a one man show in Lincoln Center as part of a comedy series and he will be in a movie too. Here's one of his jokes about the ship "the Crown Princess is the first in the fleet where there are no gratuities needed. The ship already tips for you!" Uber Rossi did amazing physical comedy (although his jokes fell short) We enjoyed Kenny Cabral the juggler and also The Cool Magic Dude in both the atrium area and at their shows. Kenny Byrd is a great ventriloquist although I thought his jokes to be a little off color for a family show. There were a few other people we did not get to see. I was so glad to see the level of entertainment on Princess ships raised for this voyage. No octogenarian harmonica players! All the entertainers were very enjoyable! Production shows: the singers and dancers are incredibly talented and worked their hearts out. I was glad to see the dancers were more mature than usual (meaning they did not look like they were 16!) the singers were great! Very high energy from everyone on stage! I did not love "What a Swell Party" though. That was the one with the Cole Porter songs. I liked Motor City. They had everyone singing along. They did a great job with Destination Anywhere. (Although for me no show has ever been as good as Mystique -the one with the Chinese acrobats!) Don't bother buying the Savvy Traveler on board the ship. These are not big shopping ports. The "freebies" are pretty junky. i had a book from my last cruise and there wasn't much to get in these ports. On the Dawn last year they gave a spa discount with the book, but not on the Crown. The stores on the ship sold the same old stuff. The Crown shirts were poor quality for tee shirts. I prefer to find a nice deck chair away from the crowds and read my book. I never had a problem finding a nice place to sit. The chair hogs congregate around the pool area. We tried the ballroom dancing once and it was a lot of fun. Very well attended. They have the Ceramics at Sea set up in a nice area on Deck 15 between the 2 pools. It was very popular. I had been looking forward to scrapbook classes but I was told they ran out of supplies after the 2nd cruise. We LOVED Movies Under the Stars. I didn't see anything during the day. If you did, you could purchase a headset for $2.50. It is yours for the entire cruise (and I have heard you can keep it for your next cruise too) Some day time movies had subtitles too. At night, MUTS is transformed. They put covers on the deck chairs and give you a cozy blanket. There is free popcorn and the buffet, pizza and grill are all close by and of course the bar is open. The sound was good and it was such a fun and relaxing thing to do! We had a couples massage in a cabana in the Sanctuary. It was heavenly. You can sit in the Sanctuary for an hour after at no charge. I also went back to the Sanctuary for an afternoon. I paid the $15 without complaint. It was worth it to me. It was very quiet, the seats are very comfortable and the service was excellent. You can get several menu items up there that are not available elsewhere also. My son spent a lot of time in the Pelicans room (ages 3-7) He had a great time. Always something to do. Lots of children on board and they were all very well behaved. The hours of the kids club are 9-12, 2-5 and 7-10. After 10 you can pay for babysitting ($5 an hour) There were 2 kids dinners while we were on board. Port days the center was open 9-5, by appointment. The older group were the shockwaves (8-12) and the teens were Off Limits. I felt the staff in the kids room was very professional and they took very good care of the children. My son had his 7th birthday on board. The staff made a nice fuss over him. He loved it. The staff on this ship is excellent. A little excitement on our trip: A false Man Overboard report was called in. They spent 2 hours searching the water. All activities on board were ceased and everyone had to go back to their cabins for a roll call. Luckily, no one was missing. The prankster was caught and he and his family were off the ship the next day. A comment on the "Brownie" video. I didn't even know it happened until I read about it on CC. Here's what we did in the ports: Grand Turk: Nice sunny weather. We were going to take a cab to a beach. But, once we saw the nice beach right there at the pier we stayed. We swam in the Margarita pool too. Being there at Margaritaville almost felt like it was a private island stop (where you had to pay if you wanted food!) There were a few stalls of Island type merchandise, a few jewelry stores and a duty free store. We had to be on board at 1:30 so it was too short of a day! Ocho Rios: We used Trevor Hudlin for a private tour. He had a family emergency, so he said a substitute (we knew this in advance) A very nice gentleman. We shared out tour with another family from CC. We went tubing. It was so much fun! And, we were there before the crowds. I highly recommend this activity. He then took us to the Wassi pottery factory. It was interesting. We got a pottery demo. My son was allowed to make his own little pot on the wheel. We also went to the Taj Mahal shopping area which I didn't care for and for a scenic ride. WE WERE NEVER SOLICITED TO BUY DRUGS or bothered in any way by people looking for tips. Warning! The reports from past cruisers is really true. People buy drugs and then the officials know exactly who purchased it. A teenager was pulled out of the line and he had drugs on him. Clearly he was pointed out. He was arrested and he had to stay overnight. Supposedly he was having a hearing the next day and was going to fly home. I heard from a friend of his that his family did NOT leave the ship. He was 19 and they continued on their cruise and left him there to take care of things himself! The teen who told me this also said he knew of one other person who was pulled out of line but did not know if he was arrested and was off the ship. It really looks like a scam where the drug dealers tell the officials who has bought from them! Grand Cayman: We did the catamaran with Capt Bryan to the stingrays and then 2 snorkel stops. We loved it (even though it rained on the way back) I highly recommend this independent tour! It was reasonably priced and there were only 20 of us onboard. A note to all: Write your name on your waterproof camera! mine got mixed up with someone else's and I don't know if I came off with the right one! I have to get it developed later today. Port Canaveral: We went on the Kennedy Space Center tour. It was quick and we would have liked more time but it is sufficient to get a good overview. Here are some tips! Get up just a few minutes earlier and get in the first 2 rows in the meeting area (Princess theater) This will put you in the front of the line. We were the very first people through customs (the computers weren't even on yet) and we were on the first bus to the space center. We had a wonderful guide on the bus. BTW, make sure you don't have any nail files or knives because they will be confiscated! We got to KSC first and had time to look at the exhibits before we went into the IMAX movie (and early show just for our group) In the IMAX, sit all the way to the right so you are first out and do not have a long wait for the buses that take you all around the center and around the launch pads. Then, you will be the first to the exhibit center and will have much more time there to look around! It was a pricey tour, but we had no crowds and I am glad we went! Disembarkation: We had a later color. Since we drove we were in no hurry. We had breakfast in the Davinci on the later side. When we did get off, it was quick and easy. You can wait in a line and either get a blue cart that you can take yourself or an orange cart with a porter. You can prepay the parking before you leave the terminal. Driving out of the terminal area was the longest part! Overall, we loved the cruise! I prefer a smaller ship though. Everyone on board was wonderful, but in my opinion the level of service and the amenities are even better on a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2006
Now that I have returned home, took a nice long shower in a normal-sized tub,and visited my chiropractor I would like to give my impressions of my Crown Princess experience. First, I want to praise the crew and the passengers both with and ... Read More
Now that I have returned home, took a nice long shower in a normal-sized tub,and visited my chiropractor I would like to give my impressions of my Crown Princess experience. First, I want to praise the crew and the passengers both with and with out medical training for working together to make sure everyone was okay. Many of the passengers knocked on cabin doors to make sure everyone was all right or to find out if they needed medical attention. When the need arose everybody worked as a team. The Crown is a beautiful ship, not glitzy but elegant. All the entertainment, shops and service restaurants are located on decks 5,6 and 7. The layout of the ship was good and convenient. There was good traffic flow. Due to the newness of the ship, many of the staff / crew were not familiar with the layout and amenities of the ship. The two production shows we saw were good. We also enjoyed the piano player in the Crooners Bar (along with 52 types of Martinis) as well as the one in Adagio. The country night was very disappointing,and the disco was ok. The entertainment around the pool was limited. The best entertainment we found was the Movies Under the Stars around one of the main pools. You could watch movies all day, while swimming. In the evening they covered the lounges, put out blankets and served popcorn. It was great fun to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show under the stars at midnight. Make sure you get to the pools early. Many people were hogging the better chair locations and then disappeared for hours. Some even took chairs in two locations and never used the chairs at all. Even though there was a 30 minute limit regarding unused chairs, it was not enforced. Children, for the most part, were well behaved and controlled by their parents. There are several pools and hot tubs around the ship. Santuary, which is a child free area charges $15:00 for each half day or around 4 hours. The food both in the dining room and the buffets were excellent. We also found that the dining staff were extremely friendly and accommodating. We did not eat in the two premium restaurants, Sabbitini's (Fine Italian)or Crown Grill (steaks and chops). We were thoroughly satisfied with the anytime dining in the Da Vinci and Michelangelo Dining Rooms. The charges in the premium restaurants ranged from $20.00 to $25.00 with an extra $7.00 if you want lobster. There was a wine and sushi bar (Vines). The sushi was limited in what was pre-made so you could not be sure how long it was sitting out. There was a $1.00 a piece charge. The international cafe served great cookies, sandwiches and certain desserts free of charge. There was a charge for gelato, ice cream and coffee/tea, unless you had it with dinner or during the buffet. Pizza was made fresh and tasted great. They had a grill that made fresh hot dogs(ok) and hamburgers(overcooked and tasted like hockey pucks). We took a cabin with a Balcony for the 1st time after 10 previous cruises. We were was very satisfied with the cabin. The exception was the shower. Who ever designed the shower should be shot, it was so tiny, that you had to be a contortionist or very creative to get clean. It was surprising that a cabin with so many comforts and amenities should have such a poorly designed shower. Excursions: We took the semisub/snorkeling in Grand Turk. Forget about it. Go have a drink and a Cheeseburger in Paradise at Margaritaville and have it while sitting in the pool. Ocho Rios, even though the excursion was poorly organized, the Dolphin Encounter/Dunns Falls are not to be missed. Just be careful of all the pushy locals and the drug pushers. Two teens from our cruise, got busted. At Grand Cayman don't miss the turtle farm and stingray swim. It was great hands on experience. All in all, other than an exciting end to the cruise, charging for some things that should have been included and little inconveniences here and there, it was a most enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
Here it is. My Tilted Ship Review. The tilted part will be at the end, so dont expect it earlier. I will not highlight every detail, because it would take DAYS to read. Overall. Until the tilting this was, hands down, one of the best ... Read More
Here it is. My Tilted Ship Review. The tilted part will be at the end, so dont expect it earlier. I will not highlight every detail, because it would take DAYS to read. Overall. Until the tilting this was, hands down, one of the best cruises I have ever had. Just outstanding in every single way, in large part due to the company I was with. The ship was stunning in every way. Background: My friend from Cruise Critic planned a trip for her family. Her children are 18 and 20 and did not want to spend their summer with mom, when they could have their friends hanging around so she brought me along! A chance to leave my darling husband, two toddlers and the older two boys for nine days? How fast can I sign up? Im a writer, so can work anywhere. I figured I could make this a working vacation. Note to self, 5,000 words in seven days does not work make. Next time leave the work at home and just have fun. 7/10: Flew down to Philly and met my roommate in real life for the very first time. Felt a little odd, but Ive been posting to Carols stuff for years and felt like I knew her already. We are both funny and flexible travelers who dont put up with malarkey. In other words, good traveling companions. We had a lovely dinner with my Ironman training partner, Rhonda and I went to bed early. This was going to be a theme for the cruise for me. 7/11:N Woke up at the hind-end crack of dawn. Another theme for me. I dont sleep well on vacation. I get the feeling I am missing something good and cant sleep. An Ambien helps. Showered and transferred my luggage tags to the luggage. This is my first stupid, Nancy-ism. I left my cruise documents in Carols house! Its not a problem, but I felt like a moron. We drove to a hotel where we boarded a shuttle bus for Brooklyns Red Hook Pier. We wended our way around Eastern Pennsylvania for a couple hours picking up other folks, who just happened to be Cruise Critic Members in part! Delightful to chat with them on our way. I was the only non easterner so people enjoyed pointing out the sights to me and telling me where we were. I still need to dig out a map and figure it all out. We arrived at the Verazanno Narrows Bridge about 10:50 or so and proceeded to the pier. The day was hazy so the Statue of Liberty was a tad hard to make out, but then THERE SHE WAS! I was moved to tears looking at her. Stunning and a real sense of& I just cannot explain came over me. We got to the terminal about 11:15 or so and dealt with my lack of documents easily. This was the easiest, most together boarding I have ever experienced. Two minutes and I was through security and up at the counter. The ladies there were nice and efficient. I waited to meet, rude New Yorkers and it was in vain. I consistently had the stereotype destroyed all cruise! Delightful people. Not harsh or rude or demanding in any way. The boarding began by a number they handed you at noon. We were in the third group and were boarding the ship by 12:15 in the afternoon. Carol and I went right to the cabin, which was clean and neat and ready to go. Our robes were not there, but this was not a surprise. They were delivered later. I know I have the timeline wrong here, so bare with me. At some point we met Vicente, our steward. He is outstanding. He consistently remembered our extra towels and the gigantic bucket o ice we requested. Delightful too. I called home and gloated a bit, then headed toward the food. Now the days run together and if I try to do it by day, until the last day, it will be wrong. Individual reviews to follow. The Food: Overall I am going to give a nod to RCI here. The food was very good, but RCI is just a shade better. This is a subjective area, so hear me out. I was disappointed by the Horizon Court. Please NOTE: the different areas have different food. If you dont see an area you like please proceed to another at any meal BUT breakfast (when all are the same). The food is good and the service very good, but not stellar in any way. Its a Las Vegas style buffet and more along the lines of Luxor and Mandalay Bay than Bellagio. Most people would be pleased with it. Im a foodie so you get that perspective. International Cafe: People have been griping about the charge there. I found VERY few things charged (ice cream) and there is a list. Its dead in the middle, but in general things in the middle round case and the Ice Cream case are charged items. Everything else is included and very good. They have Strawberry Shortcake Torte thats TO DIE FOR! Thank God they only served it one day or I would have gained weight and not lost it. Excellent sandwiches there too. I did not have sushi in the wine bar (additional charge), but was told, by several passengers, it was outstanding. Dining Rooms: I am going to lump them together. They are all excellent and the service level is consistently high. A couple nights we got so-so servers. Good, but missing that special something you cruise for. Most of the time the servers were engaging, smart, funny and matched our needs for more or less attention and time in the dining room to perfection. I prefer breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room. When traveling with my family I always do that. This time I was with others, so bowed to their wishes (and they to mine as well). The food. Memorable nights food wise, included the second formal night (the last night of our abbreviate cruise). I detest lobster onboard a ship, normally. This lobster was outstanding, both in presentation and taste. I cannot complain one bit. The Beef Wellington was delicious. Ive looked online for the menus to trip my memory, but cannot find them. Rats! Most nights I had fruit for dessert and it was outstanding. Just fresh and ripe, presented beautifully. Afternoon Tea: It was outstanding. Do not miss this at all. Lovely music, delightful waiters, white gloves. Stateroom: Lovely. Not enough drawer space for me, but the closet was HUGE! I will never again sail without a balcony. I had one for the very first time and it was wonderful. We had the AFT C752 on the Caribe deck. WONDERFUL! The Entertainment/Activities: The entertainment was delightful. The Cruise Directors friendly and engaging, remembering my name (I did win a Semi Final Round for Princess Pop Star. Was not able to attend the finals because of the, tilt.). The first and third night Comedian, Richard Harris, was very funny with no blue notes. The production show did lack some of the flashy sets RCI is famous for, but that would have detracted from the singers and dancers, who were great. There was a singer I was not so fond of, but most of my party loved her, so I will not mention it again. I am going to chalk that up to me alone. Trivia contests and poolside games were a hoot. Someone told me that they dont have, Those type of games on Princess, go to Carnival with what I thought was a disdaining sniff. That person was wrong, they sure do! If you want to avoid them avoid the Neptune Pool. Princess Pop Star: I won! The second night I tried. There were no finals because of the abrupt end to the cruise. MUTS: Too loud, too loud, too loud. Overall I do not like MUTS. Some LOVE it. I think its quite a distraction during the day. Chair Hogging: Well I thought Id seen it all on a cruise, but no. Even jaded little ole me was shocked. One group had a stuffed Rhinoceros named Charlotte (we played trivia with them) who got her own lounge chair by the pool. Another man had a bikinid blow up doll that got her own lounge chair, right by the pool. I worked out several mornings at six am and the loungers were already mostly full of crap. I was horrified. The cake was taken by a family of stuffed bears holding chairs, complete with drinks and books to read. I wanted to hurl the lot of them overboard. Nickel and Diming I read a lot of complaints about it and was prepared ahead of time. I did NOT feel dunned for money at every turn. I was careful about the things I selected. There was a lot of ice cream available for free at lunch and dinner in the dining room so no need to buy it elsewhere. I thought the prices were right in line with other cruise lines. Ports: Grand Turk: Small and unspoiled. There is not a lot to do there if youre a shopper. If you like to hit lovely beaches or snorkel, or better yet dive, then this is your place. Margaritaville is nice for some people, with a swim up bar in the pool. We did the clear bottom kayaking and the snorkel. Gorgeous reef structure right off the beach. Rocky bottoms so wear water shoes. Cant say enough good about the clear bottom kayak. Ocho Rios: As always some bozos were arrested in Ocho for buying drugs. Just dont do it. We went with Peat Taylor and despite the shock of a flat tire (fixed in no time) it was wonderful. Did the Dunns River Falls climb. Its a nice thing to do and I loved it. I was not hassled, but I must have an off-putting look. Others in our party were. Still no one came back hating Jamaica from my group. The difference? They took my advice and booked a tour. DO NOT just wander in Jamaica. This is not the US and one of the poorest islands. Its lush and gorgeous and NOT for everyone. Grand Cayman: Are we back in the US? I see Pizza Hut. Sigh. I hate that. Must we Americanize everywhere we go? We went with Captain Marvin. Some people in our party thought there were too many people on the boat, that is until they saw the other boats at Sting-ray City! They really pack em in. We did the half day tour that included snorkeling in Coral Gardens and the edge of the wall. I saw what looked like a black tipped shark and a moray eel peeking out of a crack in the rocks (I detest eels). Saw many sting-rays, until we got to Stingray City. So superb! Just heaven on earth to be with these creatures in the water, almost a hundred of them. I draw the line at smooching on a sting-ray, but my roommate had no compunction about it and macked on hers twice! Back to Georgetown and we shopped for ten minutes, before heading back to the ship. Our tender had an engine go out, so it was an interesting journey back. Turns out this was foreshadowing! Port Canaveral: The Space Center. What can I say? It was one of those, Proud to be an American moments that leaves you breathless. I did think they herded us like sheep (bah) and was not happy with that, but we had little time there. Everyone needs to see it once. The Thing with the Tilt and the Screaming: Lots of people have read my account. Dont know what more to say. Crew? Outstanding. Perfect? No, but they kept us informed. My little group of people hung out and consoled one another. CNN called me. YES CALLED MY CELL looking for video. Sharks. Even if I had it, Debbie, at, Anderson Cooper 360 as not going to get it. I found her insincere and snarky. I did grant local interviews, but its over. Was it terrifying? Yes, absolutely. Did I think I was going to die? Yes, yes I did. Thank god my husband and children were together at home, because if I had been hit by that TV I would not be here and they would have a wonderful parent to love them. Am I okay? You betcha. Still not sleeping, but I suspect that many of us are not. This too shall pass. To the man on the Caribe deck asking me how much I thought he could get in a lawsuit, five minutes after it happened, shame on you! To the lady crewmember in the suit asking me if anyone was missing from our party. Thank you. I hope your wrist is okay. To do your job in such pain and try to brush people off so you could help others -- What a wonderful and dedicated young woman. I wish I caught your name. To the members of Cruise Critic who are Doctors and Nurses and I personally know went to help in the dining room with triage, you are my heroes. To the staff that got no rest and cleaned up THEN served us a lobster dinner. Bless you! To the passengers who put on their formalwear and decided to look good in the face of adversity. You made me smile on a bad day. To the people who offered me cell phones and a shoulder and smiled while they were scared to reassure others. Wow. What an honor to have met you. This was a bad end to a lovely cruise, but I booked her again for next year and I am taking the family. Id just like to thank anyone and everyone who made this one of the best cruises of my life until the last day and then who shone like diamonds when the chips were down. I am a dedicated Princess sailor now. Yes, I will still sail RCI, but Princess youve won my heart. Does this sound all. Ra-Ra for Princess? Maybe it does. Still, the food was good, the entertainment excellent and except for one bad Cosmo (someone needs to re-train a bartender) I really cant complain. The last day was atypical so I will not dwell. Quick Note about the Casino. Some have complained it was too small. For what? Vegas? It was plenty large for me and yes, I gamble. Fitness and Recreation: I worked out a lot. The swim against the current pool is great. You do need to be a strong swimmer though. I do triathlons and 20 minutes tired me out. Had problems finding a treadmill most days. A little patience fixed that though. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
First off let me start by saying this is an incredible cruise and ship!!! We went on the 23rd of June one sailing after the inaugural sailing and it was brand new. Before you go make sure to stay in NYC a couple days. We stayed at the ... Read More
First off let me start by saying this is an incredible cruise and ship!!! We went on the 23rd of June one sailing after the inaugural sailing and it was brand new. Before you go make sure to stay in NYC a couple days. We stayed at the Marriott Marquis for 2 nights. This was a great hotel very modern. We had a view of Times Square and Carnivals port in Manhattan. While there we went to American Museum of Natural History, CNN studio tour, and saw a Broadway show. We saw Mamma Mia it exceeded expectations and in all was fabulous. After this we headed to our ship. Embarkation was smooth and went quickly. The sooner you get there the quicker. When we stepped aboard we realized its beauty. We had been on the Caribbean Princess before so we knew the ship. Once aboard we went to our room it was on deck 10 with a balcony it was very nice. Our steward Leopold was good but forgot to do a few things daily. Afterward we explored and of course ate at the Windjammer cafe and Trident grill. That night we went to eat in the Botticelli dinning room we had Jose and Daniel as our waiters. They were great Jose was everywhere getting all our meals drinks and working with other tables. Daniel was hilarious with his Indian voice and was a hard worker too. Our dinner partners were good and funny. Fun to be with. The dinner was pork I think which was good but a tad bit old. That night we saw Ralph Harris he was okay nothing great compared to the others. After that we headed back to our room and slept. This was just the first day and the next days Ill break down into sections. Ports of call---- BERMUDA- Was beautiful and very wealthy. Our glass bottom kayak tour was cancelled so we took a ferry to Hamilton and went to Elbow Beach. Before this we tried mopeds -- it didn't turn out good for us and some people were hospitalized because of them. Elbow Beach was beautiful very few people and pink sand accompanied by clear water. It was great. GRAND TURK- We went snorkeling and this was brilliant -- we snorkeled at two different stops. Although 20 feet from the ship is a beach with a Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville with a huge pool and walk up bar. The four us were the last ones on at this port. SAN JUAN-We went to the rainforest and walked some trails. Before this we waited an hour to get off the boat cause we left the country and people had to check I.D. The tour was great and very pretty. We drove through the country for about 40 minutes to get there and it is very poor of course. ST. THOMAS-We took a cab to Sapphire Beach that was nice and lacked the locals trying to sell things to us, which was really good. There we saw some of the crew at the beach. This beach was quiet clean and really nice. Afterward we shopped a bit and walked back to the boat. The production shows were awesome especially destination anywhere. There was also the international crew show it was great the cruise staff sang a song and the cruise director James Lay came out with a dress on and about five crew members sang. This was standing room only before the show the crowd threw around balloons for some odd reason. The entertainment is awesome and the best on any cruise line. Plus the put people in the atrium (piazza) to perform and their one archipelago group spank that was incredible. Rooms- Clean with comfy beds and pretty spacious. The balcony is a great place to sit and chill and is good to have. Public rooms-Many lounges to sit in and are beautifully decorated. They put comedians in lounges and other entertainers in them and dot just use the theater. Activities- We played bingo a lot and didnt win anything. We hung out by the pool watched the world cup and many movies. We did a lot of things that we found in the Princess Patter to do and believe me there are plenty of things to do. You must go to Movies Under the Stars cause we saw Titanic and it was a great experience. All in all this was an incredible cruise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
Crown Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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