We have just got off the Crown Princess after 15 nights cruising from Southampton to New York via Lerwick in the Shetland Islands then three stops in Iceland Akureyri Isafjordur & Reykjavik before a couple of stops in Canada one in St John’s Newfoundland then Halifax Nova Scotia.
This is where I will tell you all about the cruise and our experiences of this first time with the Princess cruise line.
I made plenty of notes during the cruise and now that I’m on land with rapid internet I can re-live the entire cruise and write up this post.
Day 1280 – September 2nd, 2017
Embarkation day for Crown Princess
The boarding process in Southampton was very quick and painless. A short taxi ride from our AirBnB accommodation to the terminal.
A quick note here, the Ocean Terminal is the closest one to the Red Funnel ferry and you can probably walk to here from the Isle of Wight ferry or close by. The Queen Elizabeth terminal is a bit further and might not be so comfortable to walk.
We handed our luggage off to the porter with a couple of quid tip, then entered the terminal. We joined the line of early arrivals which by this time it was 11.40am and not long found ourselves at a check-in counter.
Passports checked and ESTA paperwork which is required for USA entry. Cruise cards received and a ship plan we took seats upstairs and waited to board.
Boarding started with suites and Elite class passengers and then proceeded with a number system. It was very organised and hassle free and after about 25 minutes we were making our way through security and on to the ship.
The dock was busy with fresh supplies and all the passengers luggage being loaded.
The announcement said that the cabins were not yet ready but passengers could make use of all facilities and enjoy an early lunch in the Horizon court.
Moni & I thought we’d give the cabin a chance encounter and to our luck it was all ready and waiting for us. We dumped our carry on bags and made our way to explore the ship. All up from leaving the apartment in Southampton till accessing our cabin was 1 hour and 15 minutes, the quickest ever. You can check out the photos of the cabin E625 on Emerald deck 8 here.
Each evening we received the Princess Patter which is the daily program or schedule of events happening around the ship.
Our luggage was delivered to the cabin before the drill which was at 4.15pm.
Normally I book a balcony cabin and after 16 cruises this will be only our 2nd obstructed view cabin, the first was with Holland America in Alaska. I chose this for a couple of reasons;
a) it is probably going to be rather cold at this time of year for this particular cruise to enjoy a balcony.
b) the balcony prices were much more expensive and this was actually a very good deal.
c) I had to save some dollars for the next cruise in less than two weeks time on Celebrity Solstice for 18 nights Honolulu to Sydney and here we have a balcony.
Lunch in Horizon Court
First place we stopped at was the buffet in Horizon Court on deck 15 aft.
Lunch was very nice and the service even better. We really loved the set-up of the buffet and work flow. One entrance in and a couple of exits. This is the same at each of the buffets both sides and the back. Once you have a table, the waiters will come along and ask for your drinks, water, tea or coffee or even a beverage from the bar.
A quick note here about drinks packages. The crew are very polite and not pushy at all with regards to up selling these packages. This can be said for the photos as well.
Let the tour of the Crown Princess begin
After lunch we explored some of the ship. First impressions are great, she looks in good condition and the flow for getting around seems easy.
Deck 19 Crown Princess
Here you will find the Putting course, Jogging track, Center court or Paddle tennis. Also here is the Platinum photo studio, all aft.
Center Court Sports area on Crown Princess
Deck 18 Crown Princess
Only has the Skywalkers Nightclub (aft).
Skywalkers Nightclub on Crown Princess
Deck 17 Crown Princess
The Youth & Teen centers (aft) and The Sanctuary (forward)
Youth & teen area on Crown Princess
The Sanctuary on Crown Princess
I’ll add photos each day of the cruise updates so as not to make this one post far too long, so stick around please. Tomorrow we will look at Deck 16.
I decided to have a swim in one of the pools as the weather was great this afternoon. Plus, I’m not expecting to get much sun this cruise and it might be my only opportunity.
A quick check to see the loading of stores for the cruise. Pallets of potatoes and carrots plus lots of other goodies.
Drill followed by sail away
Next up was the compulsory drill which was easy. You do need to carry your life vest with you here. The explanation was clear and it was over quickly. Time for sail-away…
We perched ourselves at the rear of the ship and sipped on drinks as we manoeuvred out of Southampton docks past the Isle of Wight and on our way towards the Shetland Islands.
The Red Funnel ferry past us as did a Royal Caribbean ship.
Dinner on Crown Princess in Botticelli Dining Room
I had requested early sitting fixed dining on a table of 6 when booking the cruise, and the sun was still up as dinner time approached.
Our allocated dining room was Botticelli and dinner was at 5.45pm. We joined our table companions and experienced our first dinner on Princess. The meals were fine and the service ok, but our fellow guests left us, shall I say, wanting more.
I had the spring rolls followed by fettuccine then roast pork for main meal. Moni had grilled salmon with extra vegetables.
For dessert I had the chocolate soufflé and Moni the creme brullee.
As we didn’t eat every night in the dining room I don’t have the entire cruise menus, but I will include the ones that I do have along with our meals.
After dinner we had our first Movie Under The Stars experience up on deck. The movie was ‘Founder’ about the start up of the burger chain McDonald’s.
That was it for embarkation day on the Crown Princess.