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Crown Princess ABC islands Jan 12 to 20, 2018

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Here we go again with another short (Ha!) review of a Princess Cruise taken by myself and Carol (Deck Chair Queen). We arrived home to Chicago in a London "Pea-Souper" Fog just an hour ago and with the cruise now under our belts (with an awful lot of good Princess cooking keeping it company) and fresh (ish) in my memory I can begin yet another...

 

GENTLEMAN'S SEAFARING JOURNAL TM

HERE IS THE ITINERARY

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More....

Norris

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Welcome back to the Midwest, I am from Kenosha and we are socked in with the pea soup as well. I so enjoyed reading your CC posts from your fall cruise. You have a way with words and I look forward to reading more from you.

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Going in February. We are debating the drink packages. Do you know what the prices of beer and drinks were? Thanks

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Welcome back to the Midwest, I am from Kenosha and we are socked in with the pea soup as well. I so enjoyed reading your CC posts from your fall cruise. You have a way with words and I look forward to reading more from you.

 

Welcome and thanks for reading my Regal review and for the compliments!

The fog was so dense on the way in from the airport that the skyline was invisible. I would have liked to go out and take photos as it is so severe to be unusual. I am too tired to go out, alas.

I have 1300 or so photos to tap into for the review...

Stay tuned!

Norris

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I look forward to this one, Norris, 'cause I just got off the Crown on 30 December. Sadly, I haven't had time to write a review. So the short version: I had a blast, as did my brother, who was joining me for his first-ever cruise. It was also a cruise of firsts for me, too: first back-to-back; first visits to Sabatini's (went 3 times over the 13 days!) and to Crown Grill; first cruise as Elite; first time doing the Ultimate Ship Tour (amazing, and Officer Raffaelle was quite the hottie *swoon*). Everything was wonderful . . . except the ridiculously early times for afternoon trivia, conflicting with prime suntanning hours. I hope you and Carol had an equally fantastic time on your voyage, and I look forward to reliving my trip through reading about yours.

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Going in February. We are debating the drink packages. Do you know what the prices of beer and drinks were? Thanks

 

I have my onboard bill to refer to.

My first beer (Guinness) was $7.76 but had a 41cent Ft. Lauderdale tax added as we were in port. On some sunny days I also drank Stella Artois @ 6.90

The only mixed drink I had was a double rum and coke in Club Fusion one night and that was $18.40 and still didn't have enough rum in the glass to overpower the coke.

A Sambuca in the MDR etc was $9.20 incl 15% gratuity which all drinks have slapped on.

I didn't get a beverage package as I don't drink enough to warrant it.

Hope this helps!

Norris

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Yeeesss, it's begun! Looking forward to reading along Norris. This should well and truly tide me over until my next cruise this coming March.

 

Sue

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Bimmer - What was the weather like on your first sea day? Was it warm enough to lay out? Thanks.

 

Hello again and thanks for being a regular reader and for the question. I had to check the Captain's Log of the Cruise and it says that our first sea day was 81degF (it was 72 when we left Ft Lauderdale) with cloud cover and occasional rain showers.

Norris

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Looking forward to another wonderful review! The ABC islands are on my bucket list, but first a cruise on Celebrity Eqinox in March, Eastern Caribbean.

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I look forward to this one, Norris, 'cause I just got off the Crown on 30 December. Sadly, I haven't had time to write a review. So the short version: I had a blast, as did my brother, who was joining me for his first-ever cruise. It was also a cruise of firsts for me, too: first back-to-back; first visits to Sabatini's (went 3 times over the 13 days!) and to Crown Grill; first cruise as Elite; first time doing the Ultimate Ship Tour (amazing, and Officer Raffaelle was quite the hottie *swoon*). Everything was wonderful . . . except the ridiculously early times for afternoon trivia, conflicting with prime suntanning hours. I hope you and Carol had an equally fantastic time on your voyage, and I look forward to reliving my trip through reading about yours.

 

Annie, welcome! This is the earliest I have seen you join one of my reviews and I didn't have to tempt you with FOOD PORN and I am sitting on a motherlode of great dishes. We even had our best ever meal in Ft. Lauderdale last night. All will be revealed as this unfolds. MDR, Sabatini's, Crown Grill, International Cafe, Buffet and International Cafe were all sampled as well as 3 meals ashore in the ports. Afternoon tea in the Sanctuary also.

Was it as good for me, as it was for you?

Read on....

Norris

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I have my onboard bill to refer to.

My first beer (Guinness) was $7.76 but had a 41cent Ft. Lauderdale tax added as we were in port. On some sunny days I also drank Stella Artois @ 6.90

The only mixed drink I had was a double rum and coke in Club Fusion one night and that was $18.40 and still didn't have enough rum in the glass to overpower the coke.

A Sambuca in the MDR etc was $9.20 incl 15% gratuity which all drinks have slapped on.

I didn't get a beverage package as I don't drink enough to warrant it.

Hope this helps!

Norris

Great thanks very helpful!!! Looking forward to the rest of your pictures.

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Yeeesss, it's begun! Looking forward to reading along Norris. This should well and truly tide me over until my next cruise this coming March.

Sue

 

Sue, nice to see you joining in during the early stages. This will be my last Princess review for about 2 years as we don't have any Princess cruises booked through 2019. We have Celebrity and Azamara bookings to get to first. I worked on some of my photos on the plane home today and am excited to show them to you. I haven't seen any of the video I shot.

Norris

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Crown questions.. When did they have Zumba??? Knitters and Natters???? Bible Study???? Thanks... Ann

 

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Ann, welcome and thanks for joining us. I will have to look through the Patters for the answers to your questions and that will have to wait until tomorrow as we are catching up on our TV shows that we missed while we were gone for 10 days. Top Chef and the Colbert Show lead the list.

Norris

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Looking forward to another wonderful review! The ABC islands are on my bucket list, but first a cruise on Celebrity Eqinox in March, Eastern Caribbean.

 

ABC islands I think you will love when you see them coming up in this review but as I write chronologically it will take a while to get to them. Equinox is a fine ship indeed. I am a big fan of the S Class design.

Norris

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Checking in....looking forward to your review and pictures!

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Hello again and thanks for being a regular reader and for the question. I had to check the Captain's Log of the Cruise and it says that our first sea day was 81degF (it was 72 when we left Ft Lauderdale) with cloud cover and occasional rain showers.

 

Norris

 

That's exactly what I needed. Thanks! :)

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Checking in....looking forward to your review and pictures!

 

Chris! Welcome and I wish I could bang away on the keyboard tonight and get this thing truly underway but I will have to dive in headfirst early tomorrow morning. I have been used to getting up at 5.15 on the Crown. I will tackle the "story" first thing tomorrow as I have all my Lauderdale photos prepped and Carol's notes will be emailed to me any minute now.

It's a cruise I am dying to share when I am fresh and rested.

Norris

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So excited about your review... looking forward to it!

 

You and me both! So many memories flitting through what is left of my brain. I am glad you are joining us to see what comes next. For us it's food delivered by Chicago's excellent Big Bowl Asian restaurant and catching up with Top Chef via Tivo.

Thanks for the enthusiastic comment!

Norris

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Following

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Thank you and welcome!!

Norris

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I was on the Crown last month for an 8 Day Eastern Caribbean, so I’m excited to see your take on her.

We really think Corey Moir and his crew did a terrific job.

 

 

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We were cruise mates on this cruise! Can’t wait to compare your experience to ours. We had been to Aruba and Bonaire several times on previous cruises, but this was our first time in Curaçao. We are driving home to Missouri after a stop in Jacksonville so I’m jealous that you are already home! Lol!!

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I’m coming out of the shadows to check in early for a change, Norris:D Looking forward to your review. We’re headed to some of these islands for the first time in December. Is Crown Princess your favorite of the line? Cheers, Michelle

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So looking forward to all your pictures and reading about your travels on the Crown!

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Norris, I was so disappointed that I had just finished Season 2 of "The Crown" and wouldn't have that extra something to look forward to in the evening and then I see your name and ABC cruise pop up!!

I enjoyed reading your previous review, (reading one for the first time) ....beautifully framed pictures, entertaining commentary ( with humor and song) and an upbeat outlook on life. Will be delightful reading at the end of a long day .. Thank you!

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Ann, welcome and thanks for joining us. I will have to look through the Patters for the answers to your questions and that will have to wait until tomorrow as we are catching up on our TV shows that we missed while we were gone for 10 days. Top Chef and the Colbert Show lead the list.

Norris

Thanks.... Just watched the two playoff games...we are on the Crown ...departing a week from today...hence the questions...any input to my questions will be helpful... Your itinerary looked great ...I LOVE Bonaire....Welcome Home👓👓👓👙👙👙 Ann

 

Ann, welcome and thanks for joining us. I will have to look through the Patters for the answers to your questions and that will have to wait until tomorrow as we are catching up on our TV shows that we missed while we were gone for 10 days. Top Chef and the Colbert Show lead the list.

Norris

 

 

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My DH and I are going to the ABC islands in May on the Caribbean Princess. I’m looking forward to getting some hints and ideas from you. This is my first review from you and I have a feeling it will be fun! Thank you for sharing!

 

 

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Ah!! So excited to have found this review while you are just getting started so I can follow along!

Looking forward to hearing all about it. We have not done the ABC Islands yet.

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You always write such great reviews Norris and have such fantastic pictures.

 

Not been on cc much lately but will stick around now I’ve found your thread.

 

 

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Welcome home, Norris. This is a real treat, getting two of your wonderful reviews within a few months of each other. I've been to two of the three ABC islands. I really love wandering around downtown Willemstad. Can't wait to get immersed in your review.

John

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Raises hand with glass of rum in it of course standing on the barrel to toast you Norris and Carol for this stellar review. Cheers my friend and welcome home

 

 

Scott

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WHY THIS CRUISE?

Good question and thanks for asking it.

We always take a cruise in January to escape the Chicago weather for a week and this year that was particularly appropriate as we were experiencing bitter cold weather with temperatures in the Minus. Last year, which, if my math is correct was 2017 we sailed Celebrity on the wonderful Reflection to the Western Caribbean in January followed by a bucket-list sailing on the beautiful Regal Princess to New England and Canada in mid October. That was port-intensive which always gets a loud YIPPEE!! from me (Gangway Norris) and a sigh from (Sea Day in the Sanctuary) Carol.

This cruise offered 4 sea days (mixed cries of Hooray! and Yikes!) on a ship which we had sailed to Princess Cays (didn't get off) Aruba and Curacao-the AC islands in January 2012. We boarded the ship the day after Costa Concordia ran aground and capsized. We loved the ship-our first love at first sight Grand Class sailing.

When I booked this cruise all the aft cabins-both suites and balconies were sold bar one.

E 734 is the one directly above Club Fusion so there was a possibility of noise from the bands at bedtime. It also has a balcony with a metal beam obstruction. There were some other cabins NEAR the stern and I debated with myself choosing one of those. The debate got rather overheated and ended with me slapping myself on the face and pouring a pitcher of iced water over my head. I don't support using violence to resolve an issue and felt bad and stopped talking to myself for a few days. I won the debate and booked E734 for we must have a wake view!!

The timing was such that after getting off the Regal we were faced with another cruise to be paid for a week later and while I recounted our Regal adventures on CC for two months of writing everyday (how I roll) the Crown cruise quietly sneaked up on us until I looked at my phone one day....

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I had just finished the Regal review so now could focus on the Crown. Then this happened....

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I worked until 11 pm just an hour before my phone told me this...

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We were already packed and our favorite cat sitter Chris was booked to visit our cat who goes by the name of Little Snowy. All we had to do was sleep for 5 hours and get up fresh (ish) for the drive to O'Hare airport to take our seats on a flight to FLL. It was January 11th, a Thursday.

Well my bags are packed, I'm ready to go.....

 

Carol called a Lyft car and at 7.30 a.m we were out on the street. The driver had a car with some dents in the bodywork and when he opened the trunk for our luggage it was already filled with what is technically called "crap"-baby blankets, shopping bags, polystyrene take-out containers et al. Really sir? I had to put some of my carryons in the front seat and held my camera bag (weighing 13 pounds) on my lap. With morning traffic in stop and go mode it took 50 minutes to travel the 18 miles to O'Hare. We always allow a generous cushion of time so no sweat. We had TSA Pre and the United Lounge waiting for us.

At TSA Pre they pulled me aside (The Nerve!!) for a random check which involved taking my MacBook out to see if it really was a computer . Turned out it was!

We relaxed in the United Lounge, nibbling on snacks and drinking espresso by Illy until it was time to board....

Well, that's the end of my review and I hope you enjoyed it!

Norris

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