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Just off the Crown - 3/22-3/29 - Some Rockin and Rolling


mabell2

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Just got back from a week on the Crown Princess and I wanted to post my review while everything is still fresh.

 

I want to start by saying that the Crown is a beautiful ship. This was our first time on the Crown and we were very impressed with the décor and felt the colors and the dark woods made the ship very rich looking.

 

We are in our early 50’s and were traveling with good friends who are in the same age group. It seemed like most of the passengers were in our age group or older. There were some younger people and some kids. Considering it is probably Spring Break somewhere I did not feel the ship had that many on it and the kids on it and the kids there were there seemed to be doing their own thing and were never a problem.

 

We had a Balcony Cabin on the Caribe deck and loved the size of the balcony. I was surprised that is was really much larger than the balconies on the other decks. It was very comfortable and we spend many afternoons reading and falling asleep on the balcony. We have traveled on Royal Caribbean many times and feel the Crown’s cabins were more comfortable as far as the bed and the linens go. The only thing that I missed was having a sofa in the room. Every RCI ship that I have sailed had a sofa in the room. We got used to not having it pretty quickly because the balcony really became an addition to the room. The bathroom was TINY. I spent a little time in my friend’s cabin which was a mini suite on the Dolphin Deck and their bathroom seemed huge compared to ours. I felt the closest and storage space was great and we had plenty of room for everything. The beds were on the harder side but I had no problem sleeping and found the lines and comforter very comfortable. I did ask the room steward, Lucinda for a top sheet for the bed because I really do not like sleeping with the blanket on top of me.

 

The first 2 nights were very very Windy and the ship was Rockin and Rollin. After the first night I was nervous that we were going to have bad weather and might not be able to dock at Princess Cay. I have read so many reviews over the past few months from people that were not able to go to Princess Cay or Grand Turk but we docked at Princess Cay and spent most of the day on the beach. A few rain clouds came in throughout the day and we had some rain while on the island but it blew over pretty quickly.

 

Back to the rocking ship, I have been reading these boards for months and many people have said they feel this ship has a lot of motion and maybe more than other ships. I do not agree. Although we had a few rough nights, I feel that the problem was with the weather and not the ship. On the days where it was not windy the ship did NOT rock and roll or make noises. Out of 7 nights we had 3 nights that were rough. All those nights were extremely windy. After returning from St. Thomas on Thurs we were sitting by the pool when the captain came on the loud speaker to give the daily information about the weather and traveling time, etc. He said that the winds were going to be about 25mph that night and we knew it was going to be rock and roll time and it was. The next day we were able to dock in Grand Turk and had beautiful weather. On the nights that the weather was good the ship did not rock at all, in fact on those nights we hardly felt any movement at all. I really do not think this ship rocks any more than any other ship depending on the weather conditions.

 

We are pretty laid back and very happy doing “nothing” during our vacations. Therefore, we really didn’t plan any excursions or tours while on the islands. In St. Martin we took a cab into Phillipsburg and walked around for a few hours. We didn’t buy much but did a bunch of window shopping because we knew we were going to do some major shopping in St. Thomas, and that we did. In St. Thomas we basically shopped until we dropped! We had a great time doing it. First we walked around the downtown area and went to see the St. Thomas Synagogue. The weather was beautiful. It was in the mid 70’s and was great for doing a lot of waking. Since we live in Florida we really did not find it necessary to go to the beach because we are lucky enough to have the beaches within a few miles all year around. We bought perfumes, tee shirts, liquor, Movado watches and I bought a David Yurman bracelet. Oh, I forgot to mention that this trip was to celebrate my 50th birthday and my DH was very generous with the gifts on this trip. I was a very happy girl!! Around lunch time our husbands went back to the ship for lunch and my friend and I hit the outdoor flea market. There were dozens of tents set up with knock off handbags and silver jewelry and other stuff. It was fun to browse and I was surprised that most of the vendors were not overly aggressive and when we said no they backed off. We ate lunch at a little café because we just didn’t feel like eating the ships food that day and it was a nice change, although the food on St. Thomas was overpriced. One place where we stopped to check out the menu, a hamburger was $15.00.

 

On the 2 Sea days we did have a hard time getting chairs by the pool. The first sea day was a little easier and we were able to get 4 chairs by the Neptune Pool. I think this was because it was very windy out and so some people probably opted to do other things indoors, BUT on the 2nd sea day (Saturday) it was nearly impossible to find a chair by any pool. The weather was beautiful, the seas were smooth and it seemed like all 3500 passengers were at the pool. After walking around all the pools several times, we were finally able to grab a few chairs by the Movie Under the Stars Pool. Unfortunately, it was so noisy that we had to leave after about ½ hours. We ended up going to the cabins an sitting on the balcony. It was very quiet and relaxing.

 

We found the food on the Crown to range from good to very good. The only meal I can say was EXCELLENT was dinner at the Crown Grille. We had a fabulous dinner. It was worth every penny. My only complaint was that I was so full when we finished that I could hardly move. We had traditional late seating and were very happy to have the same waiters greet us every night. Paul and Victor gave us excellent service and I don’t think there was anything they could have done better. They met our every need. Speaking of service, I have read so much on the boards about people who were not happy with some of the service on the Crown, especially in the Horizon court. I do not agree. We ate at the horizon and café caribe several times, especially for breakfast. We love eating in the dining room for breakfast but could never seem to get there before 9:00 AM when they stopped serving. Therefore, we found ourselves eating in the horizon and café caribe almost every morning. The waiters served us coffee and took away the dirty plates almost immediately. We were very pleased with the breakfast foods and the service in the both horizon and caribe. The lunches were just OK, but the service was still good.

 

The pizza and burgers by the pool were very good. It was hard to stay away from the pizza in the afternoons. One of my favorite things was the Cookie Lady who came around the pool area at 4:00 every day. The warm cookies were just DELISH!! We made sure to be on deck every afternoon to find the cookie lady. That was a nice treat.

Of course, we also hit the International Café several times. My Husband was hooked on the shrimp salad and marinated mushrooms.

 

Another thing I have to comment on is all the “Coffee” Talk on these boards. I have to tell you that after reading about the coffee I was expecting the coffee to be horrible and that I would have to spend 25.00 for a coffee card but, I really did not feel that way at all. When we first boarded and went to our first lunch I had to have a cup of coffee so I could decide if I needed to go purchase the coffee card. I actually liked the coffee throughout the entire ship. Later that day I went to the international café to try their “fresh brewed” coffee and to be honest I did not see the need to drop another 25.00 plus tip because their coffee was nothing really special. I am not a coffee connoisseur but in everyday life, I drink one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I did not feel the coffee in the International café was that great that it was worth the extra cost.

 

In the evenings, after dinner we mostly hit the casino. We did see 2 different comedians and they were both very funny. We did catch the Princess Pop Star contest that was like a cross between karaoke and American Idol. For 3 nights there were 10 people who sang and the audience picked 2 who went on to the finals on Saturday night. It was very funny because some of the people were really great singers and some were really bad. We got a kick out of it and loved the bartenders in Club Fusion where the contest was held. We were not really into the production shows and found the Princess Theater to be very cramped and uncomfortable. So we didn’t really want to spend much time there.

Our favorite bar was Crooners, the Martini Bar. The Martinis were great and with 52 kinds to choose from we had to try a different one every night, and sometimes more than one!

 

One thing we really liked about Princess is that the embarkation, muster drill and disembarkation were all so easy. Getting on the ship was a breeze and getting off was really the best experience we have had on cruise ships. We were asked to be at the Michelangelo dining room at 9:00 and we were off the boat in our car and driving out of the port by 9:35. We were on RCI last May and it took an hour of waiting with people all over the halls and staircases, only to wait in a really long time to go through customs and then another long wait to get the luggage. Princess has great organization when it comes to this process that other cruise lines could learn from them.

So, all in all we had a great, well needed and relaxing vacation. I will definitely travel on Princess again. Unfortunately, we did have rough seas for a few days but Princess cannot do anything about Mother Nature. Overall I think it was a great trip and can’t wait to start planning the next one. :):):)

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Great review! We're going on the Crown Princess on 4/26 (less than 3 weeks:D) and can hardly wait! The Crown Grille is on our list of things to try and Crooners sounds fabulous.

Where in St. Thomas did you get your David Yurman? DH promised me one on this cruise if I lost 10 lbs. before the trip? I have 2 more to go so I'm thinking I'm gonna get that bracelet. Thought about getting it in St. Maarten since we'll be there first. Is the shopping better in St. Thomas?

Again, thanks for the great review - we're really looking forward to this as it's our first time on a cruise other than on Carnival.

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I got my Yurman in a store called Jewels in the RH Riser Mall. It is in downtown St. Thomas on the main strip. There are only 2 stores in St. Thomas that sell Yurman. And in St. Martin there were also 2 stores. The price of the Yurman was actually better in St. Thomas but I didn't know that until I got there. I was told that Yurman actually controls the discount they give. In St. Martin they discounted 10% of USA Prices and in St. Thomas they discounted 15%. All the vendors in St. Thomas tell you to shop there because you are putting money back into the U.S. economy since they are in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I think the prices of liquor were a little better in St. Martin but only by a dollar or two. We waited to do most of the shopping in St. Thomas and took a chance that the prices would be good and for the most part they were.

 

That's funny that you said you your DH promised the bracelet if you lost 10lbs. I lost 20 before the trip and gained back 3 on the trip. I was hopping to only gain 2 but it could have been much worse, especially after the outrageous dinner at the Crown Grille. I started working on taking it off this morning.

 

Have fun on your cruise! I can't wait to go again. :):):)

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That was a great review,glad you had a good time,and were able to enjoy yourselves,not much you can do about weather,except roll with it,as you guys did,hope your next cruise goes just as good:)):D

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We were also on the same cruise, yes I will say the ship did rock. We found it not to be a problem. The crown is a beautiful ship. The crew was outstsanding. International cafe is great along with the coffee shop. We will cruise again with princess.

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We were on the same cruise also. The ship was beautiful. Yes, the ship did rock some but we thought it was fun. The ship was beautiful. And yes, boarding and disembarkation was sooooooo easy. Of course, just being the port is so close to the airport makes it very easy.

 

We were very happy with the food and almost all the service. Only our poor service a few nights in the dining room was the only thing you could classify as displeasing. And that got to be almost humorous watching the waiter and asst waiter not get along. Everything else was super.

 

I too was happy we stopped at Princess Cay as we had been there once before and thought it was nice. And I was especially happy that we stopped at Grand Turk. Such a pretty spot. We loved our snorkle/stingray excursion.

 

I heard a passenger complaining it did not meet up to Crystal or Radisson cruises they had been on before. I think maybe they compare different caliber lines and then think the service/food is worse. Kind of like comparing apples and oranges. Both are good, but if you like one thing better, it makes the other not as good.

 

Simply put: I was extremely happy with what we got for the money we paid. And: Any day on the ship is a whole lot more funthan being at work or at home doing chores.......

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Could you please make the print size smaller next time, because I have a new microscope I've been dying to try out . . . ! Seriously, thank you for the review. That MUTS is awfully noisy, isn't it? So glad you enjoyed your cruise and it sounds like you found my favourite things: shrimp salad, Crooners' martinis, and the Cookie Lady!

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