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About creativegenius

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Ft. Lauderdale area.
  • Interests
    Photography, Cooking, Videography, Christmas, Movies
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity, Royal
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

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  1. creativegenius

    Crown Princess REVIEW: 11-17-18 Southern Caribbean

    Should be a fleet wide thing. We met a few people who said "oh we didn't book any spa time so we're not able to use that pool" on the cruise. Absolutely you can use that pool. You can even use the bathrooms and changing rooms in the spa right next door. You just can't use any of The Sanctuary loungers or services unless you pay. But enjoy the pool!
  2. creativegenius

    Crown Princess REVIEW: 11-17-18 Southern Caribbean

    I like different cruise lines for different reasons honestly. I think the absolute best value at the moment is Celebrity. Best drinks at sea, decent main dining room, exception specialty dining, the worst theater shows, excellent overall experience with that white glove treatment without the stuffy attitude. Cabins are very nicely designed. We've sailed the Solstice class ships so far and will consider the Edge once the 'brand new prices' have come down. The absolute overall best entertainment at sea is NCL. While the Getaway was not our favorite ship overall, we LOVED the Waterfront concept and spent much of our time relaxing in this area. Having two true ocean side meals outside on the Waterfront at sunset were awesome. The shows were the best we've seen at sea and the Mojito bar was outstanding. The overall vibe of those ships is young and fun which we enjoy. The best food and service at sea that we've experienced is Disney. Weird, right? The dining experience was exceptional, the service was jut over the top incredibly friendly and they completely know you after the first night. Hotel manager personally came to every table each evening to say hello. The ship itself is gorgeous inside and out, we sailed the Fantasy, and the drinks were the most consistent across all the bars of any ship we've sailed. The Fantasy has one of the best movie theaters I've ever been in, showing new and classic films from 10am to 10pm. That was a cool attraction. Royal Caribbean is the best of all worlds. Overall food is good, drinks can be inconsistent, but you can find craft bars now like the new Bamboo Room on the Mariner of the Seas. They pack a LOT of entertainment into every day, not all of it good, but there's a lot of it. So many things to do on those ships with the only real downside being that it can be difficult to move sometimes in the Promenade when events are going on. If you have kids between 10 and 18 I would take them on Royal over Disney just because of the more 'cool things' to do like the FlowRiders and rope courses. If you want to visit Alaska, Princess is your choice. They have all their own hotels and lodges for the land portion of the cruise tours, they handle all your luggage from the get go, their ships are well suited for the Alaska itinerary and from our experience and hearing experiences of others, Princess just does Alaska well. Holland America is classic cruising. String quartets at lunch, ships that would be at home in the days of classic cruising as they are today. You really feel like "this is what it must have felt like back in the day." I'm not saying their old, they're quite beautiful inside with all the modern touches. But there's not a whole lot to do other than relax, eat and drink when on board, and that can be a wonderful thing these days. We choose the cruise line based on the itinerary we're looking for and then which ship appeals to us the most in that space. We are REALLY looking forward to seeing more about the Virgin Scarlet Lady. We love what they are doing and are looking forward to sailing her in the next few years.
  3. creativegenius

    Crown Princess REVIEW: 11-17-18 Southern Caribbean

    I hope you're having a great time onboard!!
  4. creativegenius

    Crown Princess REVIEW: 11-17-18 Southern Caribbean

    Hope you're having an amazing time!
  5. creativegenius

    Crown Princess REVIEW: 11-17-18 Southern Caribbean

    Thanks for the input. I'm never a fan of paying more to eat in an 'experience' in the buffet. Holland America did something like that too and we passed. As for the pub lunch, since I have recently returned from London and had overflowing fish and chips, plus we had the couple with us from England, the fish sticks were pretty funny. Nobody was complaining cause it was included, but it's more like fish sticks and chips. 🙂
  6. creativegenius

    Crown Princess - Onboard Quick Review 11-20-2018

    thanks so much!
  7. creativegenius

    Scarlet Lady bookings

    Really excited to see what Virgin has to offer. We already know the cabin pricing will be higher than 'standard cruises' because of pretty much everything but the alcohol and excursions being included. We're expecting pricing along the lines of Disney at peak cruising times which are usually double to triple 'normal cruising rates.
  8. creativegenius

    Going to have to add a Virgin Voyages Forum

    For those who have not noticed, the Virgin Voyages forum is up and very active. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/826-virgin-voyages/
  9. creativegenius

    Crown Princess - Onboard Quick Review 11-20-2018

    For those following this thread, I've posed the full review in this forum. CC has not posted it in the Reviews section yet, but here it is.
  10. CROWN PRINCESS REVIEW. Nov. 17, 2017. 10 day Southern Caribbean. 3 out of 5 Stars. Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Grand Turk, Ft. Lauderdale We’re 52 years old, married 22 years. For cuisine, I eat everything and my wife is a pescatarian (vegetables and seafood). This is our 12th cruise overall and fourth on Princess. After our first three cruises (Caribbean, Sapphire and Island Princesses) we have not sailed this line in over 8 years. In those years we’ve sailed Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Holland America and NCL. After those ships and experiences, it honestly felt like a little bit of a throwback when we got onboard Crown Princess. We’ve gotten so used to the wide expanses and features of the more modern ships, the Crown feels more like an oversized yacht than cruise ship. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. As you read through this you might think some areas are negative, but you’re paying good money to go on your cruise so I like to give a true sense of what everything was like for us. Honestly it’s very VERY difficult to have a “bad cruise” because after all, you’re on a cruise ship being pampered day and night by the crew. The main difference between cruises is the level of service from the crew and the quality of the food as you compare ships. I’m arranging this review by topic such as Embarkation, Ship, Dining, Stops / Excursions instead of by day so you can read everything about a topic at once. EMBARKATION (And lack of Princess Communication) Embarkation was a bit of a cluster as the Crown had to go through a full annual Coast Guard inspection. Boarding was not scheduled to begin until 2 – 2:30pm instead of the normal 10:30 / 11am. Princess knew this days (maybe weeks) in advance of the ship arriving to Port Everglades. Problem was, Princess did a very poor job of notifying the passengers. Princess relied on travel agents to notify the passengers instead of direct email. Princess had our email addresses and had no problems offering us upsells and specials in the months leading up to the cruise. But no communication in the week leading up to the cruise about the inspection and late boarding. Fortunately, we heard about it here on CC so we were prepared and arrived later than normal. But most passengers did not get the word and when 2:00pm rolled around, it seemed like the entire ship was waiting in Terminal 4. Communication was poor in the Terminal as was crowd management. With plenty of time to prepare it seemed Princess did nothing out of the ordinary to handle that many people being in the Terminal at one time other than having water bottles and some snacks available. Once we got onboard everything was fine, but Princess did a less than stellar job managing the situation before arrival and in the Terminal. THE SHIP Boarding the ship, the first re-impression of Princess was the Crown felt dated. Tighter spaces, lower ceilings, lots of wood and older style decor and much more intimate than the more modern ships. The Atrium / Piazza is a rather intimate space compared to the mega atriums of other ships. The overall impression of the public spaces is dark and stuffy vs. light and airy. At first it was a bit of a disappointment. Maybe I was expecting more because the ship recently came out of a refurbishment and I thought more modern touches would be added. But as we sailed, I came to re-appreciate how the layout spreads people around the ship so other than the Muster Drill, we had no issues with large crowds clogging the walkways or public spaces. The public spaces are well spread out across multiple decks, fore, midship and aft. None of the spaces is a ‘showstopper / must congregate in this space’ so the crowds are spread out. The longer we sailed, the more we felt like we were cruising along with a few hundred of our best friends instead of the 3000+ passengers this ship can hold. After 10 days onboard, the Crown felt more like a mega-yacht than a cruise ship. I’ll add that I absolutely LOVE that Princess has embraced The Love Boat again. Yes the show was kitschy even when it was a new series, but it’s just so much fun. You can have photos made with yourself in the iconic Love Boat circle icon, the safety video features the original cast and you can even order “The Isaac” drink at the bar. The show put Princess Cruises on the map and it’s fun to see it so fully embraced again. CABIN: CLUB CLASS MINI SUITE. Our cabin was on Dolphin, Deck 9, D432. This particular cabin is very convenient to the mid-ship elevators and stairs, literally walking directly into the room from the stairs. Prior to boarding we were concerned the proximity to the elevators/stairs might be an issue with noise, but that never materialized. The cabin itself is a bit dated in its appearance, but as a mini-suite, Club Class, it’s perfectly functional. It has the mini-fridge and dual TVs so you could, in theory, watch two different programs. Being on the Dolphin deck our balcony was on the deck that sticks out the furthest on the ship, so we could look directly down into the water, rather than down into other balconies. That also means the balcony is fully exposed to everyone above you, but it wasn’t a problem during our cruise. One effect of the balconies being exposed is that they are full sun when the sun is on that side of the ship. There is no overhang. There was plenty of space in the closet for both of our clothes for a 10 day sail along with lots of shelving both in the closet area and the ‘living room’ area cabinets. We had no problems storing all our ‘stuff’ for the 10 days. There are two American style power outlets above the desk. They’re pretty close together so using a power tap for one of them will block the other. If you want to create additional power outlets, get a power strip that does not have a circuit breaker on it. The added space in the cabin is nice to allow for spreading out stuff or even just sitting to enjoy the 2nd TV in the ‘living room’ portion of the cabin. Could easily entertain a few friends in there. The shower has a step over tub so if you have any issues stepping up and over a tub lip, something to keep in mind when choosing cabins. My wife enjoyed the bed but I found it somewhat stiff. For me it feels like a classic futon and I woke up with my shoulders sore each morning. Room steward was Francisco and he was great. We hardly saw him but whenever we needed something, we’d just leave a note on the bed and he took care of it. Club Class got us a few perks like free wine in the room and a special dining area in the main dining room which turned out to be one of our favorite perks of the entire trip. More on that later in the Dining section. POOLS Crown Princess features 4 pools with two of them being adult only. In keeping with the same theme from earlier, these four pools really spread the crowds out so you could actually find a pool to enjoy. If you want something a bit louder and fun, choose the two middle pools featuring the Movies Under the Stars or the live entertainment. If you want something quieter, choose the Terrace Pool in the back or the Sanctuary Pool in the front. A couple of the pools go beyond 7 feet deep while most are in the 5-foot deep range. Contrary to what many people believe, the Sanctuary Pool up front is a public pool, open to any adult. You do NOT need to pay any sort of Spa or Sanctuary fee to use that pool. I met quite a few folks on board who were under the impression the Spa / Sanctuary Pool was reserved for spa guests only. The Terrace Pool aft is one of my favorite pools of any ship allowing you to enjoy the water while looking straight out the back of the ship. The Movies Under the Stars pool is the closest to the Horizon Court with a lot of outdoor dining seating. COCKTAILS & COFFEE Honestly the cocktails were one of the most disappointing things about the trip. I don’t recall them being so poor the first three times we sailed, but then we didn’t have any other cruise lines to compare Princess to at that time. The problems with the drinks were numerous. Some cocktails tasted watered down, like we were having a soft drink, not alcohol. Some cocktails didn’t taste correct. My litmus test is an Old Fashioned because it’s a classic and quite easy cocktail to make. Simply horrible on the Crown Princess, tasted like I was drinking rubbing alcohol. The server tried to tell me it was because I like my Old Fashioned with whiskey and they make theirs with Rye. I make them with both and they never taste like rubbing alcohol. The drinks that were decent, were served very inconsistently across the many bars. I started drinking both the Chairman of the Board and Washington’s Apple. Even in the same bar the drink would be good one time and off the second time. On ever other ship we’ve sailed over the past 5 years there’s at least one craft bar where the bartenders appear to be more highly trained than the rest of the bartenders on board and they make the drinks more slowly than the mass production of most bars. Those are the bars we tend to gravitate towards because while the drinks might cost $1 or $5 more than the other bars, the drinks are really really good and consistent. The World Class Bars on the Celebrity ships are hands down the best bars at sea. Crown Princess is really missing something like that. The Mix near the Movies Under the Stars pool was the most consistent bar I found. I would not recommend the Drink Package for anyone who really enjoys good cocktails because you probably won’t come close to using up your package unless you choose to drink a lot of beer instead. Don’t bother with “The Isaac,” poor drink. My wife’s favorite drink was “The Jamaican Stormy,” but we felt the one made on Mariner of the Seas was much better. For Coffee, Crown Princess still features that awful, and I do mean awful, coffee syrup in the Horizon Court buffet. That syrup never has, and never will be, coffee. The only thing you can do with it is make iced coffee. Fill one of the plastic cups with ice, add some creamer, some sugar if you’re inclined, then fill it up with that “coffee.” For real coffee you need to go to the International Café on Deck 5 or the Coffee and Cones on Deck 15. I much preferred the coffee and service at Coffee and Cones. The servers at the International Café always made me feel like I was bothering them by asking them to make me coffee. Up at Coffee and Cones it was always service with a smile and honestly they were making better cappuccinos and espressos than the crew at the International Café. Coffee and Cones is open at 6am so you can get a good cup of coffee before you walk into the Horizon Court for breakfast. DINING The food was quite good and the Crown showed us that Princess still has the most consistent Main Dining Room experience in terms of food quality and service. Disney is the only line we’ve sailed that has a better Main Dining Room experience. First let me say that if you plan to eat at the Horizon Court / Caribe Café buffet area, always get a seat in the Caribe Café area. Regardless of whether that section is open or not, just sit there. It’s much cooler because the Horizon Court has a large kitchen area in the center that ends up heating up that entire Horizon Court seating area, both sides. The Caribe Café is a much cooler space to sit because it doesn’t have all that heat from the kitchen. The Horizon Court / Caribe Café food selections are miniscule compared to just about any other cruise line we’ve sailed. The Caribe Café was basically wasted space because it just repeated what was in the Horizon Court (when it was open). I would have expected that section to have more global selections like Asian, Indian, maybe German, etc… But it was just more of the same. The selection was ok, uninspiring but probably enough choices for you to get something decent for breakfast / lunch / dinner. The breakfast omelets at the Horizon Court were weird. They had a spongy texture from whatever egg product they use. I ordered one and then never again. The salad bar for lunch was decent, that was usually my go-to for lunch so I could more enjoy my dinner. Overall the buffet was functional, we’ve found much more inspiring and better buffets on other cruise lines. One of the perks of having a Club Class cabin was a special dining section in the DaVinci Dining Room. Each evening there was one special not on the menu that was prepared by the manager in the dining room. Most evenings we walked into the dining room to the wonderful aroma of sautéed garlic. He made penne dishes, shrimp dishes, steak dishes and honestly the best veal chops I’ve ever had. On most cruise lines we’ve sailed of late, we’ve only had a few meals in the dining room because they’re usually not that great, pushing you into the specialty dining venues. On the Crown, we ate in the dining room 9 of the 10 evenings of the cruise and ordered the Manager’s special every evening. I would book a Club Class cabin again on a Princess ship just for this experience. The one night we ate outside the dining room we went to the Crown Grill. It was good, but not so spectacular that I felt like I got what I paid for in a premium meal. I went with the mussel pot, and while the mussels were quite good and the portion was huge, the broth was just ok. I would have expected much more garlic infusion in the broth, but it was almost like a pot roast broth with the mussels. My wife really enjoyed her shrimp dish. But because our Club Dining experience was so good, I wouldn’t bother with the Crown Grill on a future cruise. The Crown Grill featured a free British Pub lunch with fish and chips one day at sea and that was fun. The fish portions are small, but we ended up meeting two lovely couples at the shared table dining, with one of them being from England. So we can had a great time picking on the ‘fish sticks.’ I’d recommend that lunch as something different to do. On Deck 15, I only tried the fries at the Salty Dog Grill on Deck 15 and they were just ok. We had some slices of pizza at Slice and the flavors were not bad at all. The crust could have been cooked another minute, but overall, the sauce was pretty good and the flavor was good. The Stromboli was too dry and didn’t have a whole lot of flavor. People who compare the pizza in Slice to pizza on land are just nuts. Of course this pizza is not as good as NYC pizza or many other pizza joints on land, but it’s fresh pizza made right there in front of you. Enjoy it for what it is, free pizza at sea. The service in the Main Dining Room was among the best at sea. Since we had anytime dining we rotated among three different crews of servers and they were all outstanding. So incredibly friendly, so accommodating to any request. More than happy to turn entrees into appetizer portions so we could try two entrees without wasting half a portion. We didn’t eat at Sabatini’s because the menu was uninspiring for us and the Crab Shack concept didn’t appeal to us because it’s just in the buffet. If we’re going to pay extra for ‘specialty dining’ then we want to actually have an experience we can’t have any other way. Paying extra to sit in the same buffet just because you’re going to serve me crab is not a special experience. THE SANCTUARY My wife booked The Sanctuary for the entire week as we didn’t have a lot of excursions planned over the 10 days. I will say The Sanctuary has the most comfortable deck chairs I have experienced at sea. So comfy. Most of the area is covered by mesh sails so while it may not be 100% shade, the sun is knocked down significantly making the air temperatures very comfortable. There are two areas with complete shade in the very front under the steel structure and also under the radar tower depending which way the ship is facing. When the ship is moving it can be quite windy because you’re right at the front of the ship. But when the ship is in port, there’s usually still a nice breeze across the entire area making this space really comfortable even when the ship is docked. The staff here is extremely friendly and makes sure you have plenty of water. They also serve afternoon tea at 3 with all the trimmings, sandwiches, cakes and desserts. If you want to book The Sanctuary, proceed directly up to Deck 16 the moment you board the ship. Don’t go anywhere else, just go directly up there because the Sea Days fill up quickly. You can book ½ days, full individual days or the entire cruise. Sea days fill up first. My wife was probably the 20th person in line and was able to book two loungers for the entire cruise. At the time we sailed costs were $20 for ½ day, $40 for a full day, $30/day if you booked the entire cruise. These costs are per person / lounger. The only thing I question is placing the ‘quiet sanctuary’ directly below the ship’s horn. 😊 Be aware of that if you happen to be sitting up there when the ship is pulling out of port as she usually gives three horn blasts as it pushes away from the dock. If she gets into a ‘horn war’ with another ship, you’ll get many more blasts. INTERNET In a word, ‘poor.’ Especially compared to the other cruise lines we’ve sailed. Princess is rolling out a faster internet service, but it wasn’t on the ship when we sailed. First off, if you have an automated Cloud Backup service on your device, turn it off. Also turn off any automatic updates on your device. The internet service on the Crown Princess cannot handle simultaneous upload / download. As soon as I tried to log into the WiFi with my laptop, the internet would stall. It took me 6 days to figure out it was my Cloud Backup service trying to login and backup my system. As soon as I turned that off, my laptop worked normally on the WiFi. WiFi signal was only showing 1 – 2 bars around most of the ship including the buffet, pools, our cabin and the Sanctuary. The best signal, 5 bars was on Deck 5 in or near the Internet Café. I ended up setting up my laptop in the Vines area sitting up on the hi-boy chairs kind of like setting up in a coffee house. The Princess@Sea service works pretty much everywhere on the ship, but actual internet, not so much. Speaking of which the Princess@Sea app does work quite well, though you can’t look up anything beyond today. If you try to use “Itinerary” to see what the events and shows will be in the upcoming days, you’ll just see the same schedule from today repeated. But the app does feature a direct messaging function which is great for contacting family and friends anywhere on the ship. Use of the Princess@Sea is free and does NOT require an internet package so take advantage of that just for the messaging feature. ENTERTAINMENT Entertainment was quite good and up to the standards we expected from Princess. I love that Princess original shows don’t try to be overly dramatic or delve into deep stories that make no sense (I’m looking at you Celebrity Cruises). The shows are just 45 minutes of pure fun with the always energetic Princess Dancers and the awesome House Band. Princess Theater made great use of a video wall at the back of stage to enhance the staging. “Magic To Do” was an entertaining show. Designed with the composer of “Wicked” the show featured some great songs, costumes and staging along with clever magic tricks. For once, the warning about strobe lights and pyrotechnics given before every show on a cruise ship was accurate. Yes, real pyro on stage. DISCO: Blame It On the Boogie was a 45 minutes of pure fun, despite the annoying “DJ” on screen. He wasn’t necessary but the staging the dancing was really fun. Sweet Soul Music was right up there with DISCO:. Another 45 minutes of great music and dancing that was just toe tapping fun. The one thing that really impressed me was how much energy the dancers were able to keep going with despite a rather tepid audience. My wife and I kept looking around and literally everyone was just sitting in their chairs staring at the stage. We were dancing in our seats and could tell there were old people all around us trying to stare us down. It was quite amusing. We’re 52 and I think we were among the young’uns on the cruise grooving to the music. The Love Boat Disco Party up on the pool deck was an absolute blast. The Princess Dancers were there in full retro / Village People worthy costumes and did a repertoire of dance numbers both up on the stage above the pool and down on the pool deck with the crowd. The addition of the original Love Boat cast on the screen was a nice touch, as was “The Isaac” dance number. Singing along to the original Love Boat theme with about 500 of your new best friends was a lot of fun too. Tommy McPhee in the Crooner’s Lounge / Explorer’s lounge was a good singer but a little too ‘Vegas piano bar’ for our tastes. We missed Bert Stratton who was a piano fixture on Princess for many years. Mentalist Wayne Hoffman was fun both in the Princess Theater and his smaller venue show in the Explorer’s Lounge. The Voice of the Ocean was interesting, some surprising talent onboard. Our favorite gameshow is always the Love and Marriage game and this one did not disappoint. The Cruise Director, Angela, was one of the best hosts of this show we’ve experienced along with her cohort, Emily. Maybe it’s because it was two women running the show, but it was wickedly funny. But the game that was the most fun to watch and participate in was the Next Lyric game. The host would play part of a song, stop the song and then put up three choices as to what was the next lyric. What was so fun is you didn’t necessarily HAVE to know the song. It was multiple choice so you had a chance on each answer. HUGE shout out to the best Cruise Director staff we have met at sea. Angela, Emily, Lorenz and Alex. Truly friendly, welcoming, funny, and always seemed genuinely happy to stop and chat. Alex was quietly hysterical both hosting the Karaoke and Dance classes. Collectively our favorite cruise director staff we’ve had at sea. DISEMBARKATION Thankfully, nothing like embarkation. We met in our assigned place (the Casino) at the assigned time and were off the ship 15 minutes later. Cruised right through the customs agents and were out to our ride share car in 10 minutes. WRAP-UP (Excursions below) So this ship does not have all the modern features of many of the ships we’ve sailed recently or even of her sisters the Royal, Regal and Majestic. It was a bit of surprise for me when we first boarded and yes, I was a little disappointed at first. Some of it is a bit worse for wear, the internet is meh and the drinks are so-so. But honestly, I warmed up to the old gal and in the end, I enjoyed the incredibly relaxed atmosphere on board. The Crown Princess is a ship for those who want to relax while on board, enjoy good food and have your adventures in port. EXCURSIONS We booked excursions in Bridgetown, Bardados; Basseterre, St Kitts; and Grand Turks. In Martinique we simply walked off the ship to explore the town. Fort De France, Martinique. If you are a photographer, this is a great port to simply exit the ship and stroll the local town. There’s a great harbor area, small shopping district near the ship and then the main city is literally one block away from the pier. Lots of great buildings, people, colors and textures for photographers to simply stroll. I spent about two hours wandering and taking photos. Be sure not to miss the inside of the church. You’ll know which one, it’s the really tall one you can see as you walk towards the city. Bridgetown, Barbados. We privately booked the Silver Moon Catamaran for a day of sailing and snorkeling with turtles. Just a gorgeous catamaran and only 10 people on board. They served drinks and food the entire ride along with a fully prepared lunch. Lunch was freshly grilled tuna, chicken and salads. Simply delicious and the drinks were great. The snorkeling was decent, though the turtles decided to stay down near the bottom. But the water was gorgeous and the guides were fabulous. Silver Moon has a fleet of three boats and we sailed on the original Silver Moon. HIGHLY recommend this tour company, they got us back to the ship hours before sail away. https://silvermoonbarbados.com/ Basseterre, St. Kitts. We privately booked the Mad Max Dune Buggy Tours for 3 hours of off roading fun. We did have a little confusion at the pier on where to meet them. The instructions were to meet at the “Smoke and Booze” store in the pier. Immediately as you walk into the pier, there’s a huge duty free store selling tobacco and alcohol products so we thought that was the place. Then we realized there’s a store with the name “Smoke and Booze”, so if you take this tour, walk directly past all the local tour hawkers and you’ll find the store on your left. The tour itself was a lot of fun, the buggies are pretty powerful, well maintained and really fun to drive. They do provide face masks to keep the dust out of your mouth. A few notes about the experience. You will smell gasoline the entire time you’re driving / riding because of a vent in the top of the gas tank, this is normal. The engine exhausts heat into the cockpit in the direction of the passenger’s right arm. My wife’s arm was getting a bit toasty by the end of the excursion because of the heat blowing directly on her, she was doing her best to keep it out in front of her. The engines are quite loud and after about an hour of driving I was thinking that ear plugs would have been nice to cut down on the drone of the engine. But I would totally recommend this experience and will do it again the next time we’re in St. Kitts. https://madmaxdunebuggystkitts.com/ Grand Turks. After the fun of the dune buggies in St. Kitts, I made a last-minute decision to book the ATV Off Road Experience through Princess. The actual driving was even more fun than the dune buggies because it felt like we were going even faster. Probably because the ATVs are more exposed than sitting down in the dune buggy. My only two complaints is that we spent a little too long ‘testing out the ATVs’ in the parking lot. And after we made our stop to take pictures and learn some history on the island, we drove directly back to the ship along the main roads. There was no more off roading after the stop. So the excursion was a lot of fun to do once and the price was not as exorbitant as many ship based excursions are.
  11. creativegenius

    Crown Princess - Onboard Quick Review 11-20-2018

    With that Taste of St. Kitts how was that? Was it primarily seafoods? My wife only eats fish and veggies so I was wondering if that's something we should look into next time. Thanks!
  12. creativegenius

    Electronic Devices settings on board and in port

    My biggest advice is to turn off any automated cloud backup services you may have and turn off any auto updates. On Crown Princess the internet simply would not work for the first 6 days of my 10 day cruise. It would log in and then stall. Finally realized my automatic Cloud Backup service was running and it was trying to backup my files as soon as I got on the WiFi. Turned that off and everything was great the rest of the cruise. The onboard internet was too slow to upload and download files at the same time. While the ship is at Sea, turn on Airplane Mode. If you stay in cellular mode, your phone may try to use the ship's satellite cellular service which costs at minimum $6/minute. It's easy enough to turn off Airplane Mode while at a port if you wish to do so. Our TMobile plan allows us free data service in 150 countries and only 25 cents per minute for calls, so we always turn off Airplane Mode in port.
  13. creativegenius

    Is Princess turning off their customer base?

    Having just got off the Crown Princess after a 10 day Southern Caribbean tour, the 'core base' doesn't have anything to worry about. After having not sailed Princess in 8 years after sailing 5 other cruise lines and it felt like 'throwback cruising' stepping onto the Crown. At 52 we were among the younger crowd on this ship. I'm not sure what you're referencing in "techie" because the ship is as low tech as anything we've sailed. The Ocean Medallion is just a wireless way to open your door and pay for you items onboard. Hopefully it's better than the card keys which seem to demagnetize if you even think about putting it near your phone. I went through three card keys and my wife went through two. As others have said, all cruise lines need to broaden their bases and Princess is no exception. With no rock climbing walls, no rope courses, no body surfing and not even a mini golf course on this ship, you don't really have a lot to worry about in terms of 'younger generation taking over.' This is purely a relaxation line and those who want to just get on board and relax will sail. Those who want more adventure on the ship itself will sail Royal, NCL, MSC and Disney.
  14. creativegenius

    Crown Princess - Onboard Quick Review 11-20-2018

    Most tasted watered down, didn't have much flavor, didn't taste right for the type of drink it was and wildly inconsistent. Such as the Old Fashioned is one of the worst I've ever tasted at sea. The Chairman of the Board was good in the Crooners Lounge one night, then terrible the next. We only have 1 or 2 cocktails per day and really like to enjoy them when we have them. They were not enjoyable. Celebrity, NCL and Royal have much better drinks at sea. It's better to get the premium coffees on Crown Princess than the drinks.
  15. creativegenius

    Crown Princess - Onboard Quick Review 11-20-2018

    Barbados we sailed on the Silver Moon catamaran. https://silvermoonbarbados.com/ We sailed on the original Silver Moon, outstanding boat, incredible food and service, great snorkeling. St. Kitts we did the Mad Max Dune Buggy Tour. Lots of fun. https://madmaxdunebuggystkitts.com/ Grand Turks we did the Princess ATV Off Road Adventure. Again, lots of fun. The other ports we either walked around a bit to the local shops or hung out in The Sanctuary onboard.