Thirty eight years ago we boarded Royal Caribbeans Sun Viking for the first of 46 cruises.. On this January 16, 2020 we see the lights of Ft Lauderdale as we sail up the Stranahan channel on this warm Florida morning. The reality of the moment is here. We are now in our 80's and the rigors of travel have finally caught up. This is our " LAST CRUISE." We chose our favorite ship, Crown Princess. She fits us like a glove. This is a review of the trip.
On Jan 6 we boarded our Delta jet for our flight to Fort Lauderdale. Weather in Detroit was 33 degrees. Upon arrival in Fort Lauderdale it was 72 degrees. We arrived at the terminal, picked up our Elete Medallons and were quickly in our stateroom, B632 aft. Our room was very pretty with new carpets and soothing colors. Our Steward left much to be desired. Lets leave it at that
Special note: On Jan 6, prior to sailing, we were advised due to mechanical issues that Princess Cay would be cancelled and we would have 2 sea days enroute to St Thomas. On Jan 9 we were again advised due to 40mph gale force winds that the Port of Antiqua is cancelled. On Jan 13 the Port of St Lucia is cancelled due to 50mph gale force winds and we would be sailing 3 days back to Port Everglades. The end result was on this 10 day cruise, we would have 6 days at sea. We did encounter very rough seas and would proceed to Barbados. We were ok from Barbados to St Lucia. Enroute to ST Kitts we were advised due to 50mph gale force winds the port is cancelled and we would sail 3 days back to Port Everglades. On this 10 day cruise, 6 days were spent at sea. We tried to explain to the first time cruisers that this does happen but it was unusual for this time of year.
The Crown. This was our 5th time on the ship. She was refurbed in 2016 but we did notice she was wearing a bit around the edges. Some carpet was showing wear in spots. A few carpet seams we coming apart. We did notice the overhead on our balcony was showing a lot of rust, something we had not seen before. We did have problems with our balcony door and a television that kept turning it's self off. We learned the meaning of the term "Reboot." Overall she is in excellent condition.
There was a much to do if you wanted to participate. Bingo and many trivia games through out the day. In the beautiful Atriun there was always something going on both day and in the evening. The computer room was always busy. Movies Under the Stars was popular. Do a lot or do little. Thats the beauty of cruising.
Service on board was 5 star +. Dining rooms, Horizion Court, The Main Desk including the entire Crew. Princess has the best service of any cruise line on which we have sailed.
This being our cruise #46 we have visited these ports on many occasions. St Thomas for example, 21 times. We did not take any tours but visited the port side shops. The early days of cruising all Eastern Caribbean cruises visited Nassau, San Juan and St Thomas. Times certainly have changed !
Food is subjective. We would rate it good but not great. We only ate in the Da Vinci dining a few nights. One night service was very slow. The menu included soups, salads and a nice variety of Entrees The Horizon Court was a different story, breakfast was not the greatest. Easy over eggs always cold. Link sausage cold half the time.However there was always a good variety of food. Breakfast in the dining room was always good, nice selection and food was always hot. Lunch and dinner in the Horizon offered many choices, mostley good. There was always a different theme each night. I lived at "Slice" the best pizza at sea. The Salty Dog pub offered great hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and chicken sandwiches etc, This is just our opinion and we are sure other passengers saw it different. Service was A+ in the Horizon. Princess also had two Pub Lunches. Real British food.
Princess entertainment has always been tremendous. They had a couple of great comedians, two excellent girl singers and of course the big Production Shows,Magic to Do and Blame it on the Boogie. We would like to mention A J Clark. He played the piano and sang. He packed the Princess Theater and the Explorer Lounge when he appeared. He also gave two lectures on the "American Songbook." Outstanding ! British Pub Night in then Explorer Lounge was great fun for all. Princess knows the entertainment business.
We did a few kids around the ship but beyond that we are unable to comment.
It is difficult to say "last" cruise but there comes a time when you must face reality. The reality of aging. We stand on deck this warm morning having faced this reality. Are we sad ? Heavens no ! My bride of 62 years and I have been blessed to sail on so many cruise ships. Psalms 107 says, "They that go down to sea on ships see God's works and the wonders of the deep" We have witnesses these wonders 46 times. How many people can say that ?
For Embarkation we tried Princess" EZ Check." For $25 pp we filled out a form and turned it in at the Main Desk. The final night we received printed Boarding Passes along with special Luggage Tags. Our luggage was picked up outside our stateroom and the next time we saw it was at Detroit Metro This also allows you to disembark anytime you choose, first, last or in between. When we arrived at Ft Lauderdale Airport, we showed our boarding passes and Passports to TSA and went directly to the Security check point then to our boarding gate
It has been our pleasure to share our cruise