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SuzieQ521

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Everything posted by SuzieQ521

  1. The Crown did have lots of kids life vests, yes. My son is 5 (although big for his age) but I believe they did have smaller sizes too.
  2. When you check in, you place your wearable Medallion device on their device and that is how you are scanned in. That's also how you always exit the ship for a Port and get back on the ship.
  3. I was on this cruise; Ensenada was first, then San Diego; hence why we had to do immigration on the ship in San Diego. The only reason I can think of is as to why these Ports were not reversed was because they did not want to do San Diego on Thanksgiving with things being closed (which is the day we did Ensenada and Mexico of course does not celebrate it).
  4. Just an update here since we just returned from our Crown cruise: There was no splash pool and no one knew what I was talking about when I asked. I may have completely missed it but I walked everywhere on deck 17 and did not see it. 😞 Behind the kids club, there is a deeper small pool (that was closed the whole time) but no splash pool. Not sure if it was taken out recently or what. Fortunately, they did provide life vests so my son was able to swim in the regular pool.
  5. I wanted to give a quick synopsis on my first ever holiday cruise and first time on the Crown. Overall, our group of 15 had a wonderful time and the crew went above and beyond to give my grandfather an (early) 99th birthday celebration. Given that it was a holiday cruise, I expected it to be crowded and we did have over 3,000 passengers but I never really felt the crowds much (except sometimes in the specialty ice cream dessert line!). This was a 5 day cruise with stops in Ensenada and San Diego. SF Port: This was my first time leaving out of SF and I was pleasantly surprised with the organization and flow. Our minibus for our big group dropped us off around 10:15 am; there was a line starting to form outside but it moved quickly. Once inside, my immediate family had the green lane since we already had medallions and it probably was about an hour or so of sitting inside before our boarding group was called. We lucked out with some amazing clear and sunny SF weather and the sail away just before sunset under the Golden Gate bridge was magical. Ship itself: Before going on the cruise, I had read different things about the Crown and while she was showing her age at times (with rusty room finishes, rundown hallways, etc.), overall she seemed to be in good shape although there were consistent plumbing issues (at the last night, my parents toliet had issues and some of the public stalls also had problems). But the crew was always quick to assist. Speaking of the crew, the Crown's staff was some of the best, especially our room steward Geronimo and Kimberly in dining who helped our group of 15 have the same 2 tables every night which was wonderful (among others). In addition, on the last night, Elliot, who is the dining room GM, had a big cake made for my grandfather and some of the crew came to our table to wish him a happy birthday (they had met him during sailaway on the first day; shoutout to David, Nikola and Jody--cruise director). They really made his 99th birthday so special and everyone was great. Mattresses: This was a concern going in after reading about some of the saggy mattresses on the Crown--we were on the Emerald deck (on the Royal in May, we had wonderful mattresses). We had three in our room so while the bunk bed seemed to have a newer mattress, unfortunately, the twins had very very saggy ones. Fortunately, I had read a post here that said to flip the mattress; I asked the steward to do so for me and it helped quite a bit. Hopefully they change all the Crown mattresses soon but I recommend flipping the mattress if you have a saggy one. Dining: The food in the MDR was pretty good and we had some terrific meals, including on Thanksgiving. We all thought the turkey was quite juicy and the presentation was excellent. Buffet: That was a different story; lunch was better than dinner (only had dinner once) but the buffet overall left much to be desired. I thought the Royal's buffet was much better plus the seating area is also a lot bigger. *** There is a hidden gem in the back of the buffet in the Caribe area--outside seating area right at the back of the ship, with its own bar and pool and very quiet. Entertainment: Didn't get to see the production shows but we attended karaoke and trivia which was good. My 5 year old had fun at the kids club although there were a ton of kids (as expected). I had a terrific massage at the spa that I received with a good port special. They did play the 3 NFL games on the big screen on Thanksgiving, although there were occasional satellite issues. Ports: Didn't go down to Ensenada as we took advantage of the one warm-ish day to use the pool; for San Diego, we did the ferry to Coronado Island and walked around Seaport Village. It was the day after Thanksgiving and also the Celebrity ship was in port so it was somewhat crowded. All in all, I liked the layout of the Crown better than the Royal Princess (except for the buffet); I enjoyed the Promenade deck and Skywalkers. The Crew was wonderful. Let me know if anyone has any specific questions.
  6. I was on this very cruise, arriving back yesterday. I actually did not experience the crowding aspect and it seemed to flow nicely. We were given a sheet the day before that gave us a time to come down to immigration (we were in the Princess theater); the line moved pretty fast and they just did facial recognition (no need to bring passports). As noted above, Our first port was in Ensenada, Mexico, which is why we had to do customs before departing off the ship for our second port, San Diego.
  7. Hello: We have a Thanksgiving cruise next week and one of the stops is Ensenada. We were on another cruise earlier this year and chose to not get off at Ensenada but are debating visiting it this time around. *** Our day in Ensenada will actually be on Thanksgiving Day but I imagine most everything will be open? We will be a big family group that includes one child (age 5), a couple teens and some elderly/physically challenged folks. Therefore, if we visit, it would just be in the close local town for sightseeing. Is there anything more to do there other than shopping? Also, is there a charge for the shuttle from the port to town? Thanks!
  8. We sail on the Crown next week for a 5 day Thanksgiving cruise. Our patter may be different than a longer Hawaii cruise but I can try to post.
  9. Hello: We are set to sail on our Thanksgiving cruise next week and have a family party of 15 people (including a young child and elderly folks). I had tried to do a few dining reservations with the hope that we could at least sit next to each other, but most of those times are after 7 pm. which is too late for some of our group. From all I read, it would probably make the most sense to do 3 tables of 6 because even if a table of 15 was offered, it would take too long to have dinner (since the wait staff won't serve the next course until everyone in the party is finished) and would be easier on the wait staff also. If we are able to do 3 tables of 6 near each other, then we probably would just rotate seats every night. My idea was to maybe touch base with the host/hostess during lunch on embarkation day (probably the Botticelli dining room) and see if they would help us out with 5 p.m. reservations--3 tables of 6, or at least an earlier time. Do you think this would work? If we cannot be seated near each other every night, I was hoping at least for the Thanksgiving dinner. Anyone have any experience with big group dining? Thanks!
  10. Thank you. Do you know if the splash pool is something that's open outside of the kids club hours (i.e. is it accessible via a different entrance?)
  11. Hello: I read that Crown Princess has a wading-type pool (maybe 1 foot or so deep) on the same deck as the kids club but I am unable to locate any photos. I just wanted to make sure it is truly shallow where my son can walk through it, so I won't have to bring any floatation devices. (It's for our Thanksgiving cruise coming up and it appears that the Ensenada weather will be close to 80 degrees so I assume it would be fine to use it that day). Thanks!
  12. Thank you! Yes I guess as long as we aren't waiting too long outside, 10:30-ish to go inside the terminal should be ok. Our shuttle bus is with Bay Star Shuttle. Enjoy the cruise!
  13. Posted in West Coast Departures but someone said it was more Princess-specific... We have a Thanksgiving cruise on the Crown Princess (leaves the Tuesday before Thanksgiving). First time taking a cruise out of SF. My family thinks that I reserved our transportation bus too early--9 am from the Peninsula (Redwood City). By the time we all board (15 of us) and with potential traffic, I estimate we would be at the Pier around 10 am. My idea was that we could get wheelchairs from the Port for the elderly few in our group (how quick would be we able to get those?) and am hoping we wouldn't be lined up too long outside before they open the doors. Most of us are in the green lane so ideally will be a quick processing time for us once inside. I prefer to be onboard on the early end and be able to do dining room lunch (this worked out for us in Seattle a few months ago) but do you think this is too early of a timeline in SF and we would be waiting outside for too long (we have elderly and a young child in our group)? Thanks~
  14. We have a Thanksgiving cruise on the Crown Princess (leaves the Tuesday before Thanksgiving). My family thinks that I reserved our transportation bus too early--9 am from the Peninsula (Redwood City). By the time we all board (15 of us) and with potential traffic, I estimate we would be at the Pier around 10 am. My idea was that we could get wheelchairs from the Port for the elderly few in our group (how quick would be we able to get those?) and am hoping we wouldn't be lined up too long outside before they open the doors. Most of us are in the green lane so ideally will be a quick processing time for us once inside. I prefer to be onboard on the early end and be able to do dining room lunch (this worked out for us in Seattle a few months ago) but do you think this is too early of a timeline in SF and we would be waiting outside for too long (we have elderly and a young child in our group)? Thanks~
  15. Yes, on embarkation day they usually have family hour where you sign up your kids and then they can play for a bit (with parents there). They should be able to allow you to peek in then since the door will be open.
  16. SEE ANSWERS UNDERLINED. 1) We have the Premier package for both adults (Premier comes with 2x each and unlimited casual dining); Will we have to pay additional for the kids at the casual or specialty restaurants? Kids are probably going to eat at the buffet beforehand since they wont eat much if at all, eg. sushi restaurant/steak. I don't believe you have to pay extra for kids but the premier package is new since we sailed. 2) Can and should we bring a stroller? Especially tendering to Cabo. Ideally--bring one of those portable/foldable strollers. My 4 year old was pretty much at the max weight limit for that but he got really tired walking so glad we brought it. The Tender area is a bit of a hike from the Marina/central part of town. 3) How is the weather typically at sea going to Cabo in February? Been trying to research but getting conflicting answers. It really depends; we went this past January (late January) and were able to have a beach day as it was in the 70s. I would say plan it being in the late 60s at coldest although maybe some rain. 4) Places to visit and avoid in Cabo? With our 4 year old, we didn't want to venture too far. We stayed around the Marina, there's a mall right there and hung out on Medano beach, had lunch on one of the beachfront restaurants there. 5) Any recommended excursions in Cabo (with a 2yr and 4yr old)? If you do an excursion, those Pirate ships are supposed to be fun (timing didn't work out for us).; whale watching also but I recommend a catamaran versus a speedboat. We weren't comfortable taking a water taxi or speed boat because not all of them seemed to have life vests for kids. 6) On the last day, the itinerary says ship arrive back at the port at 615am, realistically what time does everyone have to be off the ship? Do we have to wake up before 615am to get breakfast? You are given disembarkation times to get off; if you self disembark, you can get off on your own but it usually is before 10 am for sure; must leave the cabin by 8 am usually. Have fun!
  17. I cannot locate the actual Vines menu but here is what you get for the fixed menu: A casual wine bar found on most Princess cruise ships, Vines offers an extensive wine menu and a variety of antipasti and tapas dishes. Previously complimentary with a glass of wine purchase, the food items are now an extra cost. Vines costs $14.99 USD for the fixed-price menu including 1 x Crudités, 1 x Charcuterie Board, and 1 x Chocolate Truffles of your choice. You can also pay per item, with Crudités at $3, Charcuterie Boards at $12, and Chocolate Truffles at $3.
  18. I believe Salty Dog Gastropub as well is one (we are going on the Crown for the first time soon as well). I don't think the Crown has an Alfredo's like Royal does. https://www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/food-and-dining/specialty-restaurants/the-salty-dog-gastropub/salty-dog-menu.pdf
  19. Thank you! Is that something you need to request prior to embarkation?
  20. Hello: I have some onboard cruise credit and was wondering if people recommend the Sanctuary or Thermal Suite on the Crown (I did the Enclave on the Royal Princess so I know the thermal suite is not quite the same). Does anyone know the half day/full day/week pass for the Sanctuary and cost for the Thermal Suite? Is it better to purchase ahead of time? Also--this is a Thanksgiving cruise out of SF so it will not be warm but I am ok just sitting out with a blanket in the Sanctuary and relaxing. Thanks!
  21. Agree--My son loved the Discovery Kids club when we sailed this past May. Lots of structured activities--if you google, you can find a sample itinerary, but I don't think they push the kids to do them as there are other things as well. Lots of different theme days also, even a pajama party one night. My son was in the younger group but it was the same for the other age groups as well. He loved it so much! They also have a play structure, legos, video games, etc.
  22. Thank you. And can all family members go along with the wheelchair-assisted person?
  23. Hello: A few elderly family members will need wheelchairs for embarkation and disembarkation--do we just request these upon arrival at Pier 27 or is there a way to reserve ahead of time? Thanks!
  24. Thank you. Do you know about what time you arrived and saw the large line?
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