When We Cruised: June 23, 2006
Itinerary: Nine-day Eastern Caribbean from New York’s Brooklyn terminal. Ports of call on the roundtrip voyage include Bermuda (West End), San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk.
New For Princess: Fifth in the Grand-class series, the 113,000-ton, 3,110-passenger Crown Princess boasts several design changes and new features:
- Sabatini’s now incorporates a new bar, Adagio, adjacent to the restaurant, which has been relocated to the aft end of the ship on deck 16 to feature sweeping ocean views in an intimate setting. The reservations-only Sabatini’s carries a $20 per person charge.
- Piazza-style atrium featuring the International Café, and Vines Seafood and Wine Bar. The atrium features daytime caberet-style entertainment, which helps create a lively atmosphere in this popular gathering spot. On the port side of the atrium is the International Café, an expanded patisserie/bistro open around the clock. Mornings feature coffee and freshly baked croissants or beignets; lunch features panini, salads, crepes and other items; afternoons, tea, pastries and gelato are served; evenings, guests return for late-night snacks or dessert such as chocolate fondue. There are charges, from $1.50 to $3 for some items. Vines Seafood and Wine Bar, situated across from the International Cafe, features premium sushi and sashimi ($3 for three items) to accompany wine pairings. Also offered are wine flights ($8 for up to three different wines).
- Brooklyn Balcony Nosh — Served on the day of departure for $7 per person, the Brooklyn Balcony Nosh features Nathan’s Ballpark Hot Dogs with traditional trimming, sauerkraut, Brooklyn Brewery Lager and Junior’s Cheesecake.
- The Sanctuary. Situated forward, above the spa, the adults-only retreat is ideal for those seeking solitude and shade. Princess charges for use of the area ($15 for half-day), but the service includes extras such as being greeted by “serenity stewards” who present you with chilled face towels, escort you to one of 72 comfortable lounge chairs and chaises and present you with MP3 players loaded with a variety of music.
- Crown Grill. The 160-seat upscale steak house features a bar, where diners can pull up to a bar stool and order a full meal (ideal for those traveling alone).
- Skywalkers, the disco that debuted on Grand Princess, has been scaled down. There is no ramped escalator as on the other Grand-class ships.
- Other new amenities include new mattresses and duvets, with a new pillow menu in suites and minisuites.