Cool Down the Pase ~ By Pirate Captain Mike
had fun on Cruise 12 on the Crown Princess. We
had never been on Princess before and didn’t know
what to expect. Overall, it was a good cruise. It was
not as action packed as other cruises. We picked it because
we had never been to Grenada or Bonaire.
The food was good but not great. Princess offers freestyle
dining, which means you can go anytime during dinner hours.
We ate dinner around 6:30 every night. You do not get the
same table or the same waiter every night. We started to
like a waitress named “Patricia” from Brazil,
so we asked for her a few nights towards the end of the
cruise. The menu had a lot of seafood on it. I would say
that some of the other cruises had better food. Room service
was very quick but offered a very limited menu, only a few
sandwiches. Every morning we had OJ and cereal delivered
to the room. At night we ordered sandwiches and fries.
buffet by the pool seemed to have convenient hours. The
food was good but still limited. Throughout the ship there
were many little stations of food that were good to try.
One of the things we enjoyed most was a little bar and sandwich
area called the International Café that was on Deck
5. It was very convenient to hit after coming back on to
the ship before we went back to the room. The pizza by the
pool was good also.
pools were crowded. Princess has a several pools, and one
of them shows movies all day on a giant TV screen. They
call it “Movies under the Stars.” It reminded
me of a drive-in-movie. The other big pool had activities
and a band that didn’t play enough. The scenery around
the pool was not very good. If you like string bikinis and
thongs, go on Carnival.
smoking area around the pool was very small. It was impossible
for us to get a beach chair seat in this little area. All
the seats around every bar were also nonsmoking.
was an adult pool towards the back of the ship. It was quieter
than the other pools. It did have a nice bar with a friendly
bartender. We didn’t spend much time there.
excursions offered by Princess were also limited and expensive.
The Excursion Desk was not open when we wanted to book excursions.
We didn’t get all of the excursions that we wanted.
On other cruises we booked excursions through the TV. Princess
does not offer this.
don’t think that Princess is for the thrill
seeker. The crowd was a little older but still around
our age. The staff wasn’t as friendly as other
cruises. A lot of the staff was Philippine men.
Other cruises have more variety. It is interesting
to meet people from different places.
shows were lame. We saw a few of them, but often didn’t
stay long. Mostly they were musical reviews that didn’t
interest us, like Motown and Country/Western. The comedian
was funny. We have seen much better shows on Royal Caribbean.
Actually, you can’t even compare the two.
also lacks the fun of Carnival Cruises. Carnival ships are
known as the fun ships. Princess ships are not fun ships.
The ship was kind of quiet and didn’t have much pizzazz.
The waiters and waitresses didn’t sing even one night.
This cruise did not live up to my expectations, and I think
I would have been happier on Royal Caribbean or Carnival.
had great weather all week. We both got a lot of
sun. We did not stay up for the late night activities
because we were all tired out from being on islands
all day. The ship also didn’t seem to have
any nighttime activities that interested us.
We went Helmet Diving at Coral World. This was probably
one of the most fun things we did on this cruise even though
we have been Helmet Diving in Aruba and Bermuda before.
It was really fun again. There was also a cool observatory
that you can watch the Helmet Divers from. We went under
water and had to come right back up because of some alarm.
We actually got more time out of it, and it was kind of
funny. We spent time walking around Coral World, which was
got to feed some Lorikeets. They were very pretty and started
to get aggressive. The birds were biting her hair and bathing
suit top. It was funny. We walked around Coki Beach, which
was small but nice.
tried to eat at Cuzzin’s again, but it was closed.
AGAIN! We keep trying to eat there, and it’s always
closed. It was some St. Thomas holiday, and a lot of stuff
was closed. This seemed to be a theme for the entire week.
Even on other islands. There were a lot of holidays going
on all week. Traveling to the Caribbean at the end of April
may be a bad idea.
We went on Catamaran sail to Nevis. It was way over priced
and not great. Nevis was dirty, and the beach sucked. We
were provided a poor lunch with flies. The sail was nice,
and the snorkeling was good. The crew was friendly. After
we got back, we did a little shopping. Everything was over
priced in St. Kitts. We have been to St. Kitts a few times
before so we wanted to do something different. Don’t
waste your time going to Nevis. It sucked! If you want to
do a good sail-away, go to St. John’s off the coast
of St. Thomas.
Pickle and Sylvia joined us for a taxi ride around
the island. It was $20 per person, and the ride was
around two and a half hours. The people were pushy
in Grenada and wanted handouts. The island was very
green and beautiful.
went to a spice shop. We learned about all the different uses
of nutmeg. I bought some nutmeg jam that I am going to try to
use on some chicken.
that, we stopped at Annandale Falls and took many good pictures.
There was a team of people that had t-shirts and jumped off the
top of the falls for donations. They wouldn’t let me jump.
They said that some white tourist got hurt, and now they don’t
let outsiders jump.
bought three CDs from a local vender. I used some of this music
with the movies. We did a little shopping and went back to the
I was really looking forward to visiting Bonaire. I live in a
subdivision called Bon Air in Richmond, Virginia. I just thought
the name coincidence was funny. It was our second favorite stop
after Aruba. The beach that we took a taxi to was really beautiful.
The water was calm and shallow. There were many windsurfers, surfing
around. I would have liked to try it, but the Fun Police stopped
was quiet. The beach we went to was far from the ship. It looked
like the taxi driver was going to take us out to nowhere and kill
us. We didn’t pass many cars. Everything turned out to be
is not very commercial. There aren’t a lot of souvenir stores.
I wanted to buy a t-shirt and didn’t find one I liked. It
was also some kind of holiday, so not all the stores were open.
Aruba was my favorite stop, not just because we saw topless women
lying on the beach. OK, maybe that was the reason. I just really
like it there and would like to go back for a longer visit.
Pickles, and I took a taxi to Palm Beach. Kimmy argued with the
taxi driver about Natalie Holloway. He seemed really sensitive
about it. Kimmy has been following the case for a long time. Palm
Beach was beautiful. The water was really nice, and there was
beautiful scenery. A lot of beautiful scenery! The beach was public,
but we had to walk through an awesome hotel to get to it.
the beach, we took a taxi to the California Lighthouse. There
is a nice view there of Aruba. After that, we went into town for
some shopping, which was good. I bought some stuff for people
at work. Carlos ‘n Charlie’s is closed. I was very
disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing a Pirate
sticker that I had left there on Cruise 8. We went to Senor Frogs.
It was expensive. $4.50 a coke! We split a chicken dinner and
some nachos. It had the same kind of atmosphere Carlos ‘n
Charlie’s. It would have been cooler if we could have gone
there at night. A few of the cruises we have been on left Aruba
late at night. It would have been better if Princess let us have
some nightlife in Aruba.
went back to our room and changed clothes. We went back on Aruba
to film Kimmy singing “Me and you and a dog named Boo.”
We tried to feed some fish but didn’t really see any.
The cruise was fun. The service was very good. The food was OK,
but plenty of it. I would recommend Princess to women but not
After Cruise 11, I swapped out my old Olympus camera for a new
Olympus Stylus 740. This camera was fun to use. It goes underwater
up to 10 feet. I used it to take photos and video underwater:
helmet diving, snorkeling, and in the pool. It felt very sturdy
and easy to use. The screen is sometimes hard to see in bright
sunlight. Every night I downloaded the pictures from my camera
to my laptop. I take around 250 pictures and movies a day. I have
never run out of room on my memory card, but I have to carry around
an extra rechargeable battery.
think the pictures come out good, not great. I run all my pictures
through Adobe Photoshop to resize, crop, adjust the colors, and
sharpen them. It takes me a good amount of time just to go through
all the pictures and pick out the ones I like.
movies download to my computer in an .AVI format. These files
don’t work in Adobe Premiere. I had to open them all in
QuickTime Pro and convert them to .MOVs. What a pain in the ass
this was! I’m thinking about trying to change cameras again.
The sound on the camera works but isn’t very good. The camera
is a cool orange.
I started with the movies again. I like to get them up on YouTube.
We really enjoy reading the comments. The recent cruise websites
have been taking around two months for me to create. This one
took five. I was lazy. Sometime I wonder why I bother. On the
first night of the cruise, we met a bunch of CruiseCritic.com
people. One of them recognized me and said, “Hey, you’re
the ones with the cool website. I really enjoyed it.” Comments
like that make it all worthwhile.
comes over and sits and flips through all the pictures and movies
over and over again. She says things like, “Do you remember
this soup?” Making the website really helps me remember
all the things we did.
other thing that is funny is that at my work Christmas party,
everyone comes up to Kim and says, “Oh, I love your cruise
pictures.” Yea, like she’s the one that does all the
work. I used to get mad, but now I think it’s funny.
I just like to look back and see how tan I was.
April 26 - May 3, 2008
Juan, Puerto Rico
to our Mustard Station
Depart 6 pm
Depart 3 pm
ride around the island
Depart 3 pm
Depart 7 pm
Depart 5 pm
Juan, Puerto Rico
longest possible time before the next cruise