In the summer of 2013, nearly five years after our first cruise on the Diamond Princess, we received an email offering us a late deal on the Crown Princess leaving Southampton on a round trip to the Norwegian Fjords with the bonus that if we booked an inside cabin we’d get a free upgrade to an ocean view. Our first cruise had been inside so with this offer and the great price we checked our finances and booked up.

We weren’t assigned a room until embarkation so had no idea where we would be on the ship. We therefore were incredibly surprised and pleased to discover we hadn’t just got an ocean view but a balcony room! Room R209 to be exact. As the trip went on and we got talking to other passengers we realised just how lucky we’d been as one couple who were elite-level passengers had paid a lot more than us for an inside and had not been upgraded at all.

As is nearly compulsory we went on an explore of the ship’s deck areas, finding it to be very familiar to us. The small, adults-only Sanctuary Pool turned out to be one of our favourite outside areas providing a reasonably decent location for a quiet swim on most days on account of its current machine.

Walking around the promenade deck became a regular event too.

In terms of inside areas we spent a lot of time in the Explorers Lounge thanks to quizzes and art auctions, and a lot of time in Crooners because of the ambiance and great cocktails. Late in the evening we would retire to Skywalkers to dance, drink, and people-watch. We did notice a little bit of vibration from time to time but found it quite entertaining.


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