Her Majesty, the Crown Princess
Our family of four enjoyed a 15-day cruise from Los Angeles to Hawaiian Islands. There were a couple of days with the ship rocking, but as we got closer to the Hawaiian Islands the seas got calmer. We were just on a short cruise on Royal Caribbean Navigator, there was plenty of things to do on the Royal Promenade, rock-climbing wall, watching people surfing. The weather was a lot sunnier as well. On this ship, we were having a hard time finding activities to keep us occupied- trivia, lectures, mahjong games, or playing pickleball because the sun was not out and shining.
The trip was overall a good experience for the kids to enjoy and spend time together as a family which is the most important thing. Next time, for a longer cruise, it will need to be fewer sea days and more port days for the kids.
Boarding was scheduled for 2 pm as we were on the Dolphin deck. Got to the cruise terminal around 1 pm and where we finally found parking, it was far away from where the ship was docked. Luckily, there was a shuttle that arrived to help us out. Dropped our luggage with our tags already on. Tipped the shuttle driver and porters. There was a long line for those who did not print luggage tags. Not many people were in line to check-check in on time, which made the process go faster. Handed over our passports with vaccine cards and three of the four family members had to retake the photos. Picked up the medallion devices and we were off to board the ship. It took 5 minutes at most.
Setting up the Princess Wi-Fi
Of all things, technology seems to be a constant tug of war. On the Princess instructions, some steps are left out otherwise there would be a full page dedicated to this.
Before activating Medallion Net (Wi-Fi) onboard, you need to have the first two things done. 1. Turn on Airplane Mode. 2. For newer Android Devices, Go into Settings under Privacy, set it to use MAC only. Older Android Devices, it is already automatically set as default. For Apple devices, go to Privacy and set Private Wi-Fi. If you bypass this step, the same device will take up all the spots if you upgraded to 4 devices. 3. Go to MedallionClass.com on your internet browser. It will ask for your cabin number and cabin number. 4. If you are sharing plans, please go Princess app, go to Medallion Net, scroll down at the bottom to connect to other plans. Put in the room number you are sharing and their DOB.
5. If you still have problems, go to the Internet Cafe to set it up on the first day, but expect long lines.
Internet is slow that you can't stream very well nor play multi-player game- War Thunder, World of Warcraft, DOTA, etc.
TIP: The carpet with green dots is port side - odd numbered staterooms and carpet with red dot is starboards side- even numbered staterooms.
Cabin D723 Aft Mini-Suite
Nice and large room with queen bed and living room with 2 TVs (up high, one facing the sofa bed & one facing the bed). USB connections or power outlets is minimal (bed closest to the vanity and one at TV). The bedding is soft and plush but warm. Had to keep the temperature lower so we wouldn't overheat.
Suggestions of items to bring along. Bring an adapter with multiple ports for USB and USB-C.
Magnetic hooks- decorate your room or hang your medallion lanyard
Blanket to enjoy on the balcony or Movies under the stars
Pre-download your movies ahead of time- Netflix,
Extra Storage space for your devices to offload videos and pictures.
Snacks- $10 per M&M shareable bag onboard
Cards to play- the game/library ran out of them.
Freshener for the room/bathroom
D721 Aft Inside Cabin On the small side, but great for two kids in the room. Similar layout to the Mini-Suite except for the living room area. Closet is spacious enough to put suitcase or underneath the bed.
Here are some of the highlights of the ship we took advantage of.
Horizon Court- Deck 15 Aft 6 am- 10 pm Hand sanitizers everywhere and staff encourage passengers to use it. Buffet lunch was easy to navigate and busy even at 1:30-2pm. Many veggies, seafood, burgers, fruits, prime rib/ham etc. to try out. A couple items like the Szechuan chicken or the pork loin was a little dry.
Princess Theater- Deck 7 Forward - 7:30 pm or 9:30 pm Showtime: Welcome Aboard with Comedian Patrick Maliha- The show was lacking and intermittently funny with some people leaving. There was also microphone issues as well.
Production Show: Encore-I personally liked this show better with dancing and singing in different language with an orchestra- opera, jazz, and slow pop. The setting was in a garden with a balcony set at nighttime.
Atrium- Deck 5 Mid-ship Many types of live music were playing- jazz, piano, pop, rock & roll. During Christmas day, many of the holiday classics were playing and with a small dance floor for people to dance.
Wheelhouse Bar- Deck 7 Midship 9 am to late
Passing by this bar/lounge and heard entertainers singing or playing the piano. There were people enjoying with a drink. There are two ships on display with impressive details.
Main Dining Room
You can see on the Medallion app what the menu items are. Would recommend checking it out before heading down there.
Breakfast - Food was delish, but eggs benedict is not on the menu every night.
Lunch - Never tried it. Always went to the buffet area or Salty Dog or Slice.
Dinner - Great dishes, but not all dishes are catered to the same taste. The Princess Classics are there every night. The specials were wonderful with it catering to the destination- pineapples desserts or drinks, kalua pig, and tropical flavors.
Sanctuary With a little rough seas and weather being cloudy, the Sanctuary at the front of the ship was empty. The forecast was expected to rain, so the loungers were expected to be turned over, so they don't get wet. Otherwise, it is a nice spot to hangout under some shade if the weather was a little sunnier.
Explorer's Lounge- Deck 7 Mid-ship
The beautiful lounge has different activities going on - trivia, art auctions, wine tasting, lectures like Thomas Kincade artwork biography, etc. The lounge is decorated in browns and blues with mosaic decorated ceilings. A nice vibe just to hang out and read, play cards, or knit.
Christmas Day onboard
The ship of course was decked out with trees, garlands on the atrium stairs, poinsettias, and Christmas music could be heard around the ship to make it festive. Even the staff was donned on Santa hats or wearing lit up necklaces. Christmas greetings were said by the staff as you pass by. Cabins were also decorated with garlands, trees, lights or tinsels.
Christmas dinner was available with turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings. Or you can have Beef Medallions with Madiera sauce and asparagus or the Lobster Thermidor.
New Year's onboard
The celebration continued for the New Years as well with a reminder to order your New Year's bubbly. The party continued through the night with singing and dancing Hawaiian style. During dinner, the table had New Year hats available for the party to wear and enjoy.
International Cafe- Deck 5 Mid-ship - Open 24 hours
This is a go to spot for snacks throughout the day but especially at night. The BLT, Cubano, quiches, pies, fresh fruit, or cakes and cookies are some of the selections. Next door, there is a coffee, teas, or late-night cap.
Crown Grill- Deck 7 Aft - 5:30- 9:30 pm
Reservations-only specialty restaurant- $29 and $14.50 for kids. Food was wonderfully prepared but the two that stood out was the scallops with caviar and butter garlic sauce were so yummy even a teenage would like seconds. Creme brulee cheesecake was also outstanding! The service was good and was not crowded at 6:30 pm. Going there for a second night! Breakfast is served as well, according to the app, but have not been able to find out when it does.
Movie Under the Stars- Deck 16 Mid-ship Only Christmas movies were showing on the screen- White Christmas, The Grinch, The Polar Express, etc. Red and black flannel blankets were available to use.
Salty Dog Grill - Deck 15 Forward
The teen kids spent most of their second lunches or snacks here. The burgers, hot dogs, fries with toppings were wonderful. The street tacos were even great!