Sorry this took, so long.
Review Crown Princess 10 Day Eastern Caribbean Dec 27-Jan 6, 2019
My first time on the Crown Princess.
Embarkation at Port Everglades from Berth#2 was quick and smooth. No wait to drop off luggage, smooth check-in and a very short wait to board the ship.
We went up to the Lotus Spa and Sanctuary to see about massages, fitness classes and hanging at the Sanctuary for the week. After waiting for roughly an hour to see about Sanctuary spaces (we booked our massages while we waited and looked over the gym amenities). The booking process is very inefficient IMO. We were unsuccessful in getting a spot in the Sanctuary for the whole cruise. They had not spots available on the sea days even though we wanted to book for the whole cruise. It’s been a while since I’ve done a Princess Cruise but the last time I cruised, you could only book sea days in the Sanctuary the day prior to the sea day and folks wanting to book for the whole trip had priority booking the Sanctuary. So that was a waste of our time. (PS It didn’t matter if you were elite or a first timer it was the order you were in line).
It was beginning to be a little stormy has we departed Port Everglades, the Crown had to take a hard thrust starboard out of the Channel with a two tug assist because of winds blowing 30 to 35 knots. Made the sail away party on Deck 15 a little more interesting. Our luggage was waiting for us by 3pm. The Muster Drill is basically a 20 minute safety talk, no need to drag the live vests with you to your muster station. You will tire quickly after seeing the Love Boat safety video on your cabin TV after the 3 time, you see while unpacking.
Sail Away beverage followed by Tacos at the Salty Grill for a snack. More exploring and a martini at Crooners before exploring the shops on board. We elected to dine at the Salt Dog Gastropub our first night. It’s $12 per person and you get to choose 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and a dessert. We split all the entrees and the desserts. The chocolate mousse was amazing. We did name that tune trivia and retired to our cabin. It was rough seas with Capt. Justin Lewis cruising at 18 knots toward Princess Cay.
We had 4-5 meter swells and Gale Force winds which prevented Crown Princess from anchoring off Princess Cay. It was so rough the Lotus Pool flooded a section of the Lotus Spa and forced closer of the gym and all the ships pools. They recommended caution to passengers with balcony cabins on the starboard side of the ship. No Princess Cay means a surprise sea day and a revision of the Princess Platter with Bingo, Dance Lessons, etc. I enjoyed my 65 minute Swedish Massage. Relaxed and ready for whatever activity. Enjoyed Pub Lunch in the Crown Grill lunch, since I missed breakfast. The Cruise Director is currently Kevin Tugwell (who just came over from the Coral Princess). We had our first Anytime Dining experience in the dining room and we met some nice folks but the service was so slow(2 hours) but the food was good. We enjoyed the Comedian Eric Lyden and lost money in the casino.
This is a no tour stop for our group. The plan is jewelry shopping with lunch at Greengos. They have excellent margaritas and delicious food. We walked up the 99 steps to Blackbeard’s Castle (which is under reconstruction until further notice), so the entire property is closed. But the views are nice. Speaking of nice views, We walked from jewelry row to paradise point to take the cable up for the views and to enjoy a Bushwacker beverage. I could sit up there for hours staring at that view.
We had an excellent meal in the Crown Grill.
My first visit to this island. We did the Princess tour Eco-Kayak, Bird island Snorkel & Hike excursion. This excursion leaves from the Sting Ray City area after a brief safety briefing. We took a boat to the Kayak dock and double kayaked thru the Mangroves to the Atlantic and back, while seeing starfish, cucumbers and jellyfish. We rebounded the boat and wet landed on Bird island. We enjoyed a Rum Punch and Banana Bread snack before hiking to the top of Bird Island. It’s a short but steep hike. We saw many birds-Pelicans, Red Footed Boobies, Tropicals and Frigates. You have nice views of Antigua and the Devil’s Bridge. Plus, there were 100s of butterflies. Then, we reboard the boat and snorkeled for about an hour between Bird and Pelican Islands. We returned to Sting Ray City to enjoy a beverage and use the facilities before the ride back to the ship. We did a little shopping and enjoyed a nice Jerk Chicken Salad and Couch Fritters at Hemingway’s.
Back on the Ship for the departure to St. Lucia and New Year’s Eve fesitvies. NYE was the first formal night of the cruise. The dinning rooms were packed with dinners and Anytime dining was a 45 minute wait. We had a delicious 3 way lobster meal complete with noise makers and hats. The atrium was packed with revelers getting spots for the balloon drop. We were on Atlantic Time(so an hour ahead of Eastern Time/Times Square Ball Drop). They had a fun party on Deck 15 with Project 5 providing the dance music while folks jumped in the pool in their formal wear. Happy 2019!
Hello 2019. Another new island for me. We did the Princess tour to the Diamond Falls Mineral Baths & lunch in Soufiere. This was a nice tour with stops to see Anse Le Raye and the Two Pitons before arriving at the Botanical Gardens. We had a nice walk through the gardens to the Diamond Waterfall. Because, we had a couple of late arrivers to the tour, we left late and only had about 30 minutes at the Mineral Baths which were cement tubs not what i envisioned. We had a delicious lunch at the Old Sugar Mill with a cold Pitons beer. We had a a quicker trip back tot he ship and enjoyed a beverage on the water.
Back on the ship, We enjoyed the sounds of “The Duchess of Soul” Teacake Ferguson, who is a very powerful singer featuring the songs of Aretha and Whitney.
New island#3 for me. We did the Shipwreck, Turtle Encounter Snorkel & Beach. We snorkeled at Carlise Bay. Our guide elected to begin snorkeling on the two shipwrecks first because it was less crowded. The snorkeling was nice but there were to many other groups in a small area. Our boat hand a water slide for when we were done with snorkeling. Next stop, was to search for turtles. We spotted 3 turtles which was very cool expect for when your fellow snorkelers run into while chasing a turtle. We had about 30 minutes of beach time before we headed back to the ship. We strolled Bridgetown to check it out and to enjoy some Mount Gay Rum.
We did the Ship tour of Caribelle Batik, Romney Manor and Rainforest Hike. We had a very scenic drive to the Caribelle Batik and we were given 30 minutes to wander the Romney Manor and browse the Batik shop before the hike. We walked to the Old Sugar Cane Mill and toured the ruins. Further into the rainforest by the zip lining and enjoyed the flora & fauna. Our hike ended at the Railroad restaurant. It was a nice tour and St. Kitts is very beautiful.
We had 2 Sea Days for returning to FL. The 2nd Formal Day was the sea day following St. Kitts. The Crown offered the Pub Lunch on the sea days in the Crown Grill.
We had excellent entertainment.
Comedians: Eric Lyden & Mike Wilson
Musicians: Teacake Ferguson, Cassie Matthews
Bands: Project 5 & Prestige
Movies under the Stars:
Ant-Man & the Wasp
Crazy Rich Asians
I Feel Pretty
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Mission Impossible: Fallout!
Tea with the Dames
I have most of the Platters from the trip, so I’m happy to answer any questions.