We’d cruised on the Crown Princess four years previously (photos from the ship here: Crown Princess Cruise Ship) so taking pictures of the ship again wasn’t a high priority as we expected that very little would have changed. In that we were right but you also can’t really stop me from snapping away when I’m on vacation so on our first sea day, after breakfast, I decided to take a wander around the top deck of the cruise ship with camera in hand to fill up a percentage of another memory card.

I am a sucker for photos of massive industrialisation especially where they appear in a location as contrasting as the wide ocean under soothing skies.

Sea day activities on Princess Cruises ships are generally pretty laid-back affairs – cruising with Princess is about relaxation and returning refreshed and invigorated from your trip, not over-excited because of marginal interest gimmicks like racing tracks or zip lines – and we stumbled upon a putting competition taking place on the top of the ship. We watched for a couple of minutes but the location was a bit of a sun trap and it was surprisingly hot and we’re delicate little flowers both with genetic heritages that includes the gene that only permits pasty white and fire engine red skin tones.

Although this was a Baltic Heritage cruise, with this being the first sea day we were travelling northwards from Belgium up to and around Denmark so at this point any views of the water are showing the North Sea.

Around the swimming pools it was fairly crowded with practically no spare loungers to be had. This is always a bone of contention for many people and it’s a little annoying for me too.

A brief interlude for another classic Mark’s Grumble™:

My biggest wish is that some of the loungers nearest the pools were reserved for those who actually want to swim in the pools. We frequently see people spread out on the beds right by the pool who clearly haven’t swum nor look like they have any intention of doing so. What is so important about being beside the pool? And why does it irritate me? Well, my wife and I like to swim, get out and read and drink for a bit, go back in for a swim, etc. Having to leave our bags and books up two flights of steps and around a corner completely out of view because every single chair within a 20-metre radius of the pool is taken up by people who don’t appear to like swimming always plays on my mind, affecting the swim (what if someone thinks we’re just hogging a lounger ourselves?) and if I’ve got my camera with me then it completely stops dead any planned swimming activities anyway.

One of the strong plus points of our cruise aboard Royal Princess was the adults only pool where availability of spaces close to the pool was far, far better. The Sanctuary area does have a small pool on the Grand-class ships but the shallow depth and small size make this barely adequate if you like to swim. On the plus side it is usually devoid of anyone else other than a few couples using the hot tubs. On this particular day wandering around the Crown Princess it was also devoid of water.

From the top deck we then descended the stairs to take in a stroll around the promenade deck, another feature we like on this class of ship.

Is there anything nicer than a wake view on a cruise ship with barely another object to be seen from horizon to horizon? Yes, as it turns out; plenty. However, it’s still a nice view and it’s not the sort of thing you will find on a land-based holiday unless something has gone catastrophically wrong.

Before returning to our cabin to drop off the camera and head off to one of the day’s attempts at winning the trivia (a regular event for us whether it’s a sea day or not, and we do pretty well on Princess cruises having won at least one quiz on every cruise we’ve taken with them) we finished off by hovering around the piazza for a few minutes to soak up some of the air-conditioned atmosphere out of the glare of the sun and to see what everyone else was doing with no port to distract them: drinking (we approve!) and queueing at the customer services desk (each to their own!) seemed to be the main things.


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