MV Crown Princes
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Operator: Princess Cruise Lines
Year Built / Last Refurbished: 2004 / 2004
Length / Tonnage: 951 / 114,000
Number of Cabins / Passengers: 1,292 / 2,592
Officers / Crew: International / International
Operating Area: Eastern Caribbean
At 115,000 she is too wide to fit through the Panama Canal but her size allows her to offer passengers an unmatched number of outside cabins with balconies.
A tour of the public areas of the Crown Princess begins on Star Deck (Deck 19). Facilities here include, the Center Court, which is a sports court with space for spectator seating. There is also a jogging track which is one-eighth of a mile track for joggers and walkers. Princess Links, the golf center featuring a nine-hole putting course is also located on Star Deck.
One deck down, on Sky Deck (Deck 18) is where you will find Skywalkers Nightclub which is "suspended" above the stern of the ship. By day, an observation lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows. After dark, it is transformed into a lively nightclub with state-of-the-art lighting, sound and video effects.
On the Crown Princess, the Sports Deck ( Deck 17) actually provides more opportunity for relaxation than athletics. The Sanctuary, is a relaxing adults-only outdoor deck area above Lotus Spa pool. Staffed by Serenity Stewards, the Sanctuary offers a "pocket of tranquility" with signature beverages, light meals, massages and relaxing personal entertainment. The Sun Terrace is a secluded top deck area for sunbathing.
The Youth and Teen Center is also located on this deck and featuers outdoor and indoor play areas, toys, video games, splash pool, teen disco and a complete schedule of activities.
One deck down, all the way forward on Sun Deck (Deck 16) the Asian designed and inspired Lotus Spa offers a full range of spa, salon, fitness and retail amenities and services. Facilities include 14 massage therapy rooms, a thermal relaxation suite, steam and sauna. Fitness center includes 35 cardiovascular stations, 17 weight-strength training stations, 17 personal LCD flat screens, 12 spinning cycles, outdoor jogging track, "swim-against-the-current" adult fitness pool and sun deck.
The Hearts and Minds Wedding Chapel is also located on this deck. It is an intimate wedding chapel used for Princess' wedding-at-sea program and for renewal-of-vows ceremonies, and features Internet "wedding cam" capabilities. The space can also convert to a meeting room.
Moving aft you come to the Tradewinds Bar which is a relaxing outside area, perfect for unwinding high above the ocean. Behind the Tradewinds Bar is an outdoor area overlooking the Calypso pool, which is perfect for daytime relaxing and has a bird's eye view of the 300-square-foot "Movies Under the Stars" LED screen.
Just aft of the Tradewinds Bar is the Trattoria Sabatini which is an upscale Italian alternative restaurant featuring an eight-course menu of seafood specialties and other Italian favorites.
Adagio Lounge occupies the very aft portion of this deck. This is a New York-style piano bar with stunning views. The perfect place to gather before and after a feast at the adjacent Sabatini's trattoria. Seats 68
The forward portion of the Lido Deck (Deck 15) consists of passenge Mermaid's Tail, which is a casual outdoor midship bar adjacent to Neptune's Reef and Pool. The poolside pizzeria is also located here along with the Trident Grill which serves up hot dogs, hamburgers and other lunch favorites.
There are also two pools on this deck. Neptune's Reef and Pool is a spacious pool which features colorful mosaics, whirlpool spas and abundant deck space for sunning and relaxing. Scoops, the poolside ice cream bar serving custom-mixed frozen treats is located here as well.
Further aft is the Calypso Reef and Pool which is perfect for watching "Movies Under the Stars" on a 300-square-foot Times Square-style LED screen above the pool. Just past the pool is the small Calypso Bar
Next is the Horizon Court restaurant which provides twenty-four hour dining with breakfast, lunch and dinner served buffet style; and a full-service bistro menu offered from 10:30 pm to 4:30 am. The Horizon Court shares space with Cafi Caribe, a themed buffet that captures the tastes of the Caribbean with a changing menu of Caribbean themes, colorful Caribbean decor, live music, and an open kitchen where passengers can order their meals cooked to their specifications.
The very aft portion of this deck features the Outrigger Bar which overlooks the Terrace Pool on the Riviera Deck (Deck 14). The remainder of the Riviera, Aloha (Deck 12), Baja (Deck 11), Caribe (Deck 10), Dolphin (Deck 9) and Emerald (Deck 8) Decks consist of passenger staterooms.
The Princess Theater (Upper Level) occupies the forward portion of the Promenade Deck (Deck 7). This 746 seat, Broadway-style theater with 36-foot proscenium arch stage is the venue for Princess' production shows.
Continuing aft from the theatre brings you to the Wheelhouse Bar which features a private club atmosphere filled with the company's maritime history and nautical memorabilia. A great spot for music, dancing or cocktails.
There are a number of other shops surrounding the Promenade Galleria including: Essence, a boutique specializing in branded fragrances and cosmetics at duty- and tax-free prices and Facets, a duty- and tax-free boutique featuring fine jewelry and gifts.
Crooners is located on the starboard side of the Galleria and is designed to look like a classic 1960s-style martini bar based on the Las Vegas "Rat Pack" era. It serves a specialty drink menu of more than 50 martini varieties.
The Explorers Lounge is located aft of the Galleria. It is a lounge where Indiana Jones might feel at home, and is designed to evoke the wonders of the Far East and Africa. Entertainment includes cabaret acts, singers, magicians and comedians. It seats 292.
Just aft of the Explorers Lounge is the Crown Grill, a showplace eatery serving a menu of seafood as well as traditional steakhouse fare. An open, theater-style kitchen enables passengers to watch while chefs custom-prepare steamed shellfish -- such as lobster, scallops, clams and mussels -- and cooked-to-order steaks and chops. Passengers can choose to sit at the kitchen's eat-up counter and watch the show as they dine.
The forward portion of the Fiesta Deck (Deck 6) is occupied by the lower level of the Princess Theater which seats 746. Just outside the doors of the theatre is the Churchill Lounge which is a cigar lounge and sports bar featuring broadcasts of various sporting events and a collection of sports memorabilia.
Continuing aft brings you to the Gatsbys Casino which features the latest in Las Vegas-style casino games, including popular table games and more than 260 slot machines.
Just past the Casino are a number of shops and boutiques including: Meridian Bay, which is one of five duty- and tax-free boutiques onboard, offering brand-name fashion jewelry, watches and accessories; and Calypso Cove, a boutique featuring tax- and duty-free liquor, tobacco, snacks, sundries, Princess logo apparel and souvenirs.
Two of the ships's three main dining rooms occupy the remainder of this deck. The Da Vinci Dining Room seats 486 and features intimate seating arrangements and elegant decor while the slightly larger Botticelli Dining Room seats 582 and features elegant artwork, and warm furnishings.
The forward portion of the next deck Plaza Deck (Deck 5) is occupied by passenger accommodations. This middle portion features the Crown Plaza which acts as the heart of the ship The three-story Crown Plaza atrium featuring a spacious foyer, warmly lit marble and glass-sided marble staircases, panoramic glass elevators, specially created artwork and separate reception facilities on two different levels. Wireless Internet access is also available in the atrium area for passengers with their own laptops.
The Passenger Services Desk, Shore Excursion Desk, Princess Fine Arts Gallery, and Lobby Bar are located adjacent to the atrium. The Library, Writing Room and Joker's Card Room are also located nearby.
The third main dining room, the Michelangelo Dining Room occupies the aft portion of this deck and seats 486.
The ship offers a variety of dining options with three main dining rooms that seat around 500 passengers at a time. With the introduction of Personal Choice dining the service has dropped off a bit as most passengers are served by different personnel each evening. Food on board is good, not great. It seems more and more of the staff are working for tips nowadays so at times the service can become intrusive and it becomes difficult to just enjoy your meal.
There is a 24-hour dining restaurant the Horizon Court which has beautiful floor to ceiling windows with the gorgeous view of the ocean. The overall service here is very good.
Of the 1,557 cabins on board, 1,105 are outside and 881 of those have balconies. In a typical outside cabin with a balcony you will find a nice use of wood, mirrors, fabrics and soft colors give it a homey feeling. Using every nook and cranny, there is just enough storage space for a 7 night cruise. There’s also some wasted space under the TV, between the TV and refrigerator, which could accommodate a good size shelf or small cabinets. The Sony TV’s have front cable plug-ins to make it easy to view videos you tape and/or pictures taken from a digital camera.
Don’t pack a hair dryer, it’s provided, and the beds are just high enough off the floor to slide your luggage (soft sided) underneath. Standard inside and outside cabins aboard Princess ships are not spacious, until you get into a mini-suite, or better, category. But if you pack (and unpack) right, you will have ample room. Our balcony was GREAT!! - again, second time around. We spent a lot of time on it and it was one of the larger ones we’ve had. The balconies on the Aloha and Baja decks have 4 chairs and a 30”X 30” table and were totally private. The balconies on Dolphin deck were the same as Aloha and Baja, but had absolutely no privacy. Our balcony, on Caribe deck, was twice the size as the others, offered 50% privacy. We lived out here. For all you sun worshipers, choose the starboard side, shade lovers, port side - at least on this itinerary.
You'll meet all kinds here....multi repeaters, partiers, families, the young and old, the wealthy and the not so.
During the summer season for Crown Princess will feature nine-day roundtrip voyages to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean, and will mark the return of Princess visits to Bermuda, as well as the line's first-ever regular calls to Grand Turk. In the fall the ship will reposition to San Juan for winter Caribbean sailings.
In general, Princess offers a good product for a reasonable price. On most itineraries you will be traveling with a good mix of fellow passengers who tend to be slightly older than you might find on Carnival or Royal Caribbean. While aspiring to be a premium category cruise line, we feel that Princess should remain in the mass market category because while the service and amenities on board are good, they are comparable to what you can find on many other ships for a similar price. If the ship is sailing on an interesting itinerary at a convenient time you should certainly give Priness a try, just do not expect anything extraordinary.
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