Overall Rating: Very Good
|Destination:||Caribbean - Southern|
|Departed From:||Ft. Lauderdale|
|# of Nights:||7 Nights|
|Overall Value:||Very Good|
|Overall Rating:||Very Good|
Overall this was a very very nice cruise. The Crown Princess is a beautiful ship. The layout took a little getting used to - we found ourselves in a no-man's land several times - but once we figured it out it was fine. We particularly love the pool areas and the atrium on this ship.
Boarding was delayed by about an hour but once it began, it went quickly and was very well organized. We checked out our cabin on Baja Deck 11 and then went up for a bite of lunch. Never got near the hot food - the line was out the door so had a salad and array of frresh fruit. After that first day the buffet crowds evened out and seating was readily available.
Our cabin was a normal Princess balcony cabin - a bit small, but plenty of storage and closet space. A few little annoyances such as: the keypad on the safe worked sporadically, making for an adventure every time we tried to put something in or take something out. The cabin door stuck - Ed could not get it open; I had more luck; on the other hand, our balcony door also stuck and I could not get it open, but Ed had more luck. So between the two of us we could get in and out of our cabin and onto and off of our balcony!
Our cabin attendant was very friendly and kept our ice bucket filled, which is important to us. He did a good job cleaning - except for the day he forgot to clean our cabin... We had vacated it about 9:30 in the morning on a sea day and did not return until about 4:00 when we were going to get ready for formal night (shower, nap, etc.) When we discovered it had not been cleaned or replenished with towels, etc. we called hotel services right away and they promised to send someone up immediately....but no one ever came. We finally got ready without fresh towels, etc. and as we were leaving for the cocktail party we saw our attendant in the hall. He was quite apologetic and we understand that mistakes happen; we were more perturbed at the lack of response by hotel services.
Normally we give our cruises a lot of excellent ratings. On this one - some things just weren't up to the standard we usually encounter on Princess.
Lunch buffets were not as varied and the lettuce was quite wilted and brown most days. The pizza is still very good; the carved meats, not so much.
The dining room was quite good and I love their signature dish of fettucini alfredo so was quite happy with that. Service there was always very attentive and friendly.
The entertainment was a little disappointing this time - three production shows, two of which we have seen before, were ok but the sound system seemed off - fuzzy and with an echo. The crew show is always great. The hypnotist and comedian were just so-so. On the last night the pianist from the Crooners Bar performed and he was the best act of the cruise.
Our ports, Aruba, Curacao and Princess Cays were wonderful. We rented a clam shell at Princess Cays and had a nice, relaxing day. At Curacao we did the distillery and aquarium excursion; in Aruba we saw the lighthouse, toured the resort zones and ended up at Palm Beach for the afternoon . I don't think we sat down in our lounge chairs at all - went from the water to the bar and back to the water - perfect! Getting on and off the ship was fine - never overcrowded and always well-organized.
I have no complaints with the crew and their services in all areas - they were always friendly and obliging. We did book another cruise on a sister ship - the Emerald for February 2013. The Future Cruise Rep is quite helpful and nice to deal with.
One thing we did appreciate on this cruise was the low-key announcements and sales attempts. We never felt bothered, disturbed or inundated by loud announcements or attempts to sell us things. It all was available, of course, but very low-key.
Very Good - my overall rating.