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December 16, 2009

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WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                    Crown Princess Dining

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Greetings! This week we finish up my Crown Princess Caribbean cruise with my dad. Highlights include getting a behind-the-scenes look at the ship, dining at the chef’s table, and visiting the Ritz-Carlton in Grand Cayman, the Gumbalimba Park in Roatan, Honduras, and Chankanaab in Cozumel, Mexico.

I forgot to mention last week (in Part 1) about the service onboard the Crown Princess. For the most part the crew were very friendly and attentive. The highlight was our cabin steward, who we rarely saw but was super friendly and always there when we needed him.

How crazy good is technology? I’m on a cruise in the middle of the ocean and my brother is flying 37,000 feet up and we are emailing each other.

The Crown Princess has a number of dining options. Most restaurants are included in the price of the cruise but they do have a few upscale restaurants that cost extra. Obviously, those served higher-quality food and weren’t as crowded. Here’s a list of all the restaurants my dad and I hit with our Twitter press trip gang.

The first night we dined at the Da Vinci Restaurant, which is one of the main dining rooms. (The other is Michelangelo’s, which has the same layout and is one floor directly below.) There is no extra charge for either of these restaurants and the food and service was solid. The menus changed nightly but they always kept some of the signature dishes like fettuccini Alfredo, roast chicken breast, salmon, grilled beef…. The meals were four courses with an appetizer, soup or salad, main entrée, and dessert.

TIP: If you make reservations in advance you don’t have to wait to be seated.

If you are a foodie or just plain hungry and are interested in what the food looked like, here are some pics from dinner: Trio of melon; tortellini soup with spinach; pasta with broccoli and capers; rich chocolate mousse.

Night two we joined our Twitter gang at Sabatini's on Deck 16. This is one of the specialty restaurants so it cost $20 per person but the Italian food/service was top notch and never ending. The first part of the gorging begins when the waiter comes by with a tray of antipasti, then salad, soup (my pasta fagioli was the only thing that was disappointing), more appetizers, pasta, and your entrée—the last is the only thing you order and I had stuffed chicken. You know I had to be full to pass on dessert.

The other alternative restaurant we tried was the Crown Grill. They charge $25 per person but that includes appetizers (my dad had the scallop and foie gras), then soup or salad (I had the black and blue onion soup) and main entrée (either seafood or meat—I had the filet mignon, my dad the lobster for a $9 extra surcharge). They also bring out a ton of side dishes like creamed corn, french fries, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach…. Then dessert—I caved in and ordered the sampler. Yikes it was delish.


We didn’t get room service except for having large bottles of water ($3.50 each, gratuity included) delivered. That’s because the organizer of the cruise ship sends fruit to the rooms each day and on top of that the organizer of our press trip sent additional snacks: vegetable crudités, shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers, champagne… The best were the treats they came with, usually chocolates with a little Twitter bird made from marzipan in the middle. The craziest concoction was my favorite: grapes dipped in white chocolate. Oh my.

Another reason I never ordered room service is because if I got hungry I would make my way down to the International Café on the 5th floor where they had sandwiches, salads, and desserts! Ice cream had a surcharge of a couple dollars I think but everything else was free and the chocolate pudding was insane.

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Note: This trip was sponsored by Princess Cruises.

Copyright 2009 JohnnyJet, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pictures From

The Trip


Da Vinci Restaurant










Sabatini's Table


Sabatini's Breakfast


Julie & Nicole


Menu @ Sabatini's


Sabatini's Antipasti


Sabatini's Stuffed Chicken


Int'l Cafe Dessert


Crown Grill


White Chocolate Dipped Grapes



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