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Age: 48

Occupation:real estate

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Crown Princess

Sailing Date: 2011-01-23

Itinerary: Cozumel

We had a wonderful time with few exceptions. We had gone on two previous Carnival cruises (last 2 years), Norwegian (about 10 years ago) and Princess out of Boston (15 years ago) this cruise was better than those.

Better than the two previous Carnival cruises we'd been on but only "good". The deserts were not very good and the main courses are good but not the 5* dining they seem to like to portray it as. The quality of the food seemed to diminish with the number of days onboard and the deserts (other than the cookies) were not up to par. The buffet lines were very manageable, we only had one night where we waited 10 minutes to get to the food.

We had a balcony stateroom (R623) on the Riviera deck (directly below the food court and we were concerned about noise). It was very quiet but small. The beds are too hard for my taste but not so bad that I couldn't get used to it. The shower is particularly small and we wondered how some of the larger passengers made do (I'm 5'10", 200 lbs and I had trouble turning around). We chose a balcony but for the first time, we picked the lowest category and let the cruise line pick the room for us. This turned out very good and I would take the chance again to save the $. We did have a chance to look at a suite before we left. It was huge and had a soaking tub and good size marbled stand-up shower. Worth the extra $, maybe if it's a special occasion.

They had plenty to do. The dance/singing shows are geared to a much older crowd but they had 2 comedians and a comic magician who were all very good. They also had the usual fare like game shows, bingo, ice carving and the like. The party scene is subdued compared to Carnival but this was a pleasant change for us. They had a few deck parties but most nights were "movies under the stars" at the main pool. The crowd, in general, was older so I think the lack of pool side parties was appropriate and there is a nightclub for the younger crowd.

We did a turtle farm in the Caymans and Gumbalimba park in Honduras. The turtle farm was ok, the part we liked the best was a freshwater pool with waterfall that most people didn't seem to take notice of so it was quiet and very nice place to relax and swim. What they didn't tell us was you can go across the street and watch people swimming with the Dolphins. It's free to get in and $20p.p. if you want to join them. Also, you can walk to the right of the dolphin encounter to the rum cake factory. We had missed out on the more expensive excursion to the Dolphins and rum cake but the turtle farm alone was still available. Turned out we could easily do all three with just a ride to the turtles. Gumbalimba Park in Honduras was our favorite excursion. The tour guide we had was wonderful and she gave us plenty of time with the monkeys along with island information. The park has birds, lizards, and monkeys that you can hold and has lush forest areas to explore as well as a beach. Princess Cays Island is just a large beach. There were plenty of chairs but you can reserve (or purchase once on the island .... there were plenty empty ones) a shaded lounge (for 2) if you like. Our main problem with this port is that the tenders took forever. They use the lifeboats to get you to shore and it took us an hour (most waiting in a hot room) to get off the ship. We also tendered in Honduras but they used larger ferries that made the process much smoother. They do serve an included lunch which was nice.

We arrived for embarkation at 1:45 and breezed onto the ship with no lines. I had requested a few things for the cabin, none were done and it took me awhile to track down the steward but by bedtime they had it all right. We went for the "anytime" dining option which worked out well for us but if you want a particular table size, you can call to make reservations instead of waiting (we only waited 15 minutes at the most). All of the staff were good but we didn't get that outstanding person that we normally find on cruises. Our steward did his job but was not as attentive as those we have encountered on Carnival. The room was very small but we liked being on the Riviera deck because coffee was close by in the morning. The Riviera deck balconies are shaded by the deck above so sun bunnies would not like this but it worked for us. We also found the room to be very quiet with no toilet flushing noises or noise from above. We also didn't hear slamming doors all night which has been a problem for me on other cruises. I assume this was due to the older crowd and people understanding that others are trying to sleep. After reading my review, I see I am being very picky. The truth is, we had a great time and will do a Princess cruise again (sans Princess Cay). They don't pay as much attention to detail as in the past but the overall experience was excellent. Next year will either be another Princess or a Holand cruise

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