by tom c
January 13, 2007
We sailed on 2 back to back seven day Crown Princess Cruises from San Juan on 2 different routes. The ship is beautiful. We had a balcony on the aloha deck. We lucked out and recieved a handicapped room. This was almost twice as large in the bedroom, bath, and balcony. At first we thought all of the cabins were like this. It turned out there were only 16 such balcony rooms on the ship. We dont know why we were assigned this. The ship is very high but it was incredibly stable at night. Very quiet. Both cruises were sold out, 3,000 pax, but the ship never seemed crowded. I often caught myself thinking "where is everyone ".
The lounges and bars were beautiful and never seemed crowded. The main theater was filled on 2 nights but on other nights there were plenty of seats. The shows and competitions were fun although maybe 4 of the 8 comedians were not funny. The dance classes were good. I thought they had an excellent cruise director the 2nd week and a very good staff. The surcharge crown grill is excellent. I can say this was the best lobster, brazilian grilled, and best fillet that I have ever eaten. Sabatinins was also good but not like the crown grill. I dont really care for the princess buffet. I thought it was even less than last year on the princess sun. The new international cafe is a good idea. Very good coffee here but its extra. Alot of interesting pastry and gourmet food that was sometimes free and sometimes at cost.
I likes the entertainment in the piazza. This was varied and made for a nice setting. Sting quartets playing tangoes is one I will remember. Skywalkers nightclub is moved forward on the sky deck on the crown compared to the other grand class ships. This is a great idea. It allows for a fantail pool , bar, and plenty of lounging areas at the rear of the ship. I thought the movies under the stars was a grotesque noise maker. They would have this on at 9 in the morning with loungers staring blankly at it.
It was ok for parts of the football games but the games were available elsewhere on the ship.
The new sanctuary area did not seem to be very popular. I thought it looked more like an assissted living area. There were some incidents of topless sunbathing in the middle of the family pool areas right next to the pool. The princess policy is that topless sun bathing is not allowed. They did put a stop to it there and also at the lotus pool. Im not against it but it should be done in the more discreet areas of which they were several on the ship. Topless bathers in those areas seemed to be left alone. Princess should just take the leap and have an official topless area. Of course this would be $10 extra or $20 if you want to sun both.
They installed sprinklers over the room balconies and replaced the furniture with a more fire resistent type. This is new since the fire on the star princess. This was good as we often found burnt matches on our balcony.
A very special thing was one of the head waiters, Francisco. He arranged for my wife's special diet dessert every night even though we dined in many different resturants. All we had to do was tell our server of this standing special order and they would be able to get it. I like the atmosphere on princess. There were many brits on 14 day cruises as princess flies charters right into San Juan for them.
Formal nights were great , many tuxes, kilts, and beautifully dressed women. Our room stewart, Rogerlio, was also a special part of the cruise. We had some good conversations and alot of laughs with him.
This was a fabulous cruise and vacation.