All new, she's
not your parents' Crown Princess
by New York fireboats, Crown Princess arrives at her Brooklyn
June 2006, Brooklyn,
Cruises has done it again with the introduction of the new Crown Princess, an
evolution in Grand-class ship style with an all new vibe.
say that Crown Princess has always been one of my favorite vessels,
you might wonder, "how can that be?" Simple. The Princess
ship I fondly remember was christened in 1990. At 70,000 tons, she
was as sleek as her dolphin profile suggested and was the largest
cruise ship in the world at the time. Cruise Diva reviewed the
Princess in 2000.
not the world's largest ship by any stretch of the imagination these
days, at 113,000 tons the new Crown Princess continues the regal
tradition of her namesake, as well as introduces some Princess
Ocean view with balcony on Caribe Deck
One of the first things most
people notice is the abundance of balconies on any Princess ship.
Naturally, Crown Princess has plenty—a
whopping 80% of all outside accommodations feature a balcony. These balconies are huge and have come a long way since the former Crown
Princess, when my balcony was encased in solid metal, with no view
when seated. It felt somewhat like sitting in a crock pot in the
steamy tropics. My
standard stateroom's balcony on the new Crown Princess featured
clear panels beneath the railing and was deep enough for two chairs
with adjustable backs,
a small side table, and a metal dining table with two matching chairs.
For safety purposes, there are now sprinklers overhead on all
cabins featured amenities that were uncommon on ships launched in
the early 1990s, and the line continues to provide Crown Princess
passengers with standards such as hairdryers, small refrigerators,
television, telephone with voice mail, personal safe, large walk-in
closet, and robes for use throughout the cruise. Beds are dressed in
European-style duvets and linens and have posh fluffy pillows.
space and comforts are available to mini-suite and suite occupants,
including separate sitting areas, luxury bedding and towels, a
choice of pillow styles, and bathtubs in mini-suites. Suites
additionally have a DVD/CD player, magnifying vanity mirror,
massaging shower head, robes and slippers, and a complimentary
mini-bar (one time set up).
wheelchair accessible cabins are available in a variety of
categories, including 16 with balcony, 4 ocean view, and 5 inside.
Oddly, there are only two interconnecting 'family' cabins.
Grill, premium seafood & chops
If I had to pick the one
thing I like best about a Princess cruise, it would be the Personal
Choice Dining concept. I prefer the idea of eating when I'm hungry and
not planning my day around a set schedule. Tailoring a cruise
vacation to my lifestyle is high on my list of priorities.
Crown Princess still
offers set seating dining for those traditionalists who prefer it,
but also takes choices to a new level for those of us who are a bit
and Botticelli dining rooms (one traditional seating, two
for personal choice) are elegant and intimate. Each features
artwork in the masters' styles.
is the casual buffet restaurant with sea views from floor to
adjacent to the Horizon Court is also a buffet, but with
Caribbean themed menus and an open kitchen where diners can
order their meal.
Cafe is an expansion of the patisserie found on other
Princess ships. Open 24-hours, it features specialty coffees,
pastries, salads, panini sandwiches, and tapas. Except for some
specialty items, there is no charge.
and seafood bar serves fine wines accompanied by chilled seafood
appetizers, available for a modest charge.
Princess' signature Italian trattoria now has a top-deck
location with sweeping views and an outdoor area for al
fresco dining. Cover charge is $20 and well worth it for the
tasting courses alone, not to mention the entrees and desserts.
expands upon the Sterling Steakhouse concept in a warm, paneled,
knights-of-old-England atmosphere. In addition to steaks and
chops, seafood items such as a whole lobster are available.
Passengers can watch their dinner being prepared at the eat-up
counter, although I recommend sitting at one of the comfortable
banquettes instead of the counter. Cover charge is $25; order
lobster for an additional $9.
In addition to dining
rooms and restaurants, the Trident Grill is a handy poolside
spot to get a burger and fries for lunch. Nearby is the Pizza
& Ice Cream Bar, where premium gelato is $1.50 and toppings
and 25 cents each (or unlimited toppings for $1.00). Complimentary
ice cream is also
served in the Horizon Court for a short time every afternoon.
Diva meets Captain Stubing
dining choices for passengers with balcony accommodations are the Champagne
Balcony Breakfast ($30 per couple) and the Ultimate Balcony
Dinner, served course-by-course with lobster tails ($50 per
new, and only available to passengers embarking in New York, is the Brooklyn
Balcony Nosh. For $7, and only on embarkation day, room service
delivers local favorites—an
authentic Nathan's Hot Dog, which you can wash down with Brooklyn
Brewery's Premium Lager Beer, and Junior's Cheesecake. Born-and-bred
Brooklynites noticed that sauerkraut was missing from the trimmings
(but that omission is being corrected) and the buns weren't
local (they are baked fresh on board). Otherwise, the snack is a
true taste of Brooklyn. Trust me, it's worth $7 just to try the
More --> Crown
Princess Preview - Part Two
Cruises - Cruise Line Profile
Image Courtesy of Princess Cruises
Photos © Linda Coffman