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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Default Crown Princess - Brooklyn - just got off

We just returned Saturday from our 9 day cruise. Cruise itself was fantastic great weather. Staff on board the crown princess - excellent. We had a balcony room mid-ship on the riviera deck. Room 601. Our balcony room was one of the smallest we've ever been in. Ample room for the two of us. Balcony sufficient size. Understand those complaints about having people seeing you in your balcony room and we could see right into the balconies of two floors below us. It was the lido deck, our deck and the deck below us that there was privacy. Those below that were not private yet they were bigger balconies, go figure. Knowing what I know now, I would have had our room forward under the lido deck or more towards the rear of the ship. We were right below the food court and heard banging and chairs moving half the night. Bed was very comfortable, would love to have had a lounge chair on the balcony like we did on one carnival cruise. Shower was tight, but they all are.

Food - unbelievable. Some type of seafood every night. Fussy eaters LOOK OUT - my husband is fussy as hell and there was one night when there was absolutely nothing on the menu or buffet that he would eat. He wound up eating pizza. They had things on the menu like duck, frogs legs, rabbit, and that's YUCK for me and I pretty much like all foods. They had sushi one day for lunch, one time for dinner. Captain's dinner night they had king crab, lobster claws and steamed clams (nice small ones) and mussels. Bring lobster crackers though -they didn't give you any, I had to break open with my hands. They continually have a station with hot dogs, burgers, brats, fries and another with pizza. Ice cream yes was extra but only $1.50 for soft serve in a cup. We guessed this happened from carnival cruises where ice cream was THEN they bring you samples of EVERY appetizer, salad and pasta. You needed to loosen your pants by the time you were done with dessert. I had lobster tail which was delicious and my fussy husband ate a stuffed chicken breast which surprisingly he liked. Make sure you reserve early in your cruise and I'm sure it was booked solid towards the end as word got around how great it was. My mom and aunt spoke with a woman who went into the crown grill ($25 charge) and she was not happy with it at all. Said very little seafood choices yet it bragged about being steak and seafood joint and lobster was an extra $9 charge. She said the lobster was terrible.

Embarkation at Brooklyn --- it took us longer to use the restroom from our 2 hour ride to the pier than it did to get on board. We filled out one form that they required you sign to say you were not boarding sick then to the desk with our boarding passes and boom we were on board. This was around noon. We were allowed to immediately go to our cabins and five minutes after we were in the cabin our luggage came. Same said for leaving the ship when we came home. We took our own luggage and we were off before 8 a.m. My limo company did not believe me to be at the pier before 9 a.m. so they wound up being late and we wound up standing on a chilly pier for almost 2 hours. They will be getting a phone call. They were boarding new passengers at 9 a.m. while we were waiting to be picked up.

Alcohol--- the only buy 4 get one free beer deals they had were on dos equis and bud light ( I think bud too) The bud light was in 160z aluminum cans and I want to sayit was around 19/20 for 5. Nothing on coors light, miller, miller lite, etc. Drinks were all 8.25, yet a martini was only 6.25. Didn't make sense to me that an all booze drink was cheaper than one with mixers in it. Watch where you order drinks too!!!! When we first boarded we sat on deck 15 near the pools. I asked for a promegranate martini. I don't know what the hell it was that they gave me but it wasn't what I wanted. It tasted like vodka and lime juice. Another time I asked for a frozen peach margarita. Don't know what the hell that was either. I complained to the bartender and she told me they just put some peach schnapps in it not real peach. It was awful. My mom had asked for a regular margarita that was awful too. Bartender in outriggers bar seemed to know what she was making though. I saw a few frozed margaritas go out that actually looked like one. Martini bar (crooners) had a list of over 56 martinis and one I chose there was good. Found that they and Juliet at Outriggers could make a fantastic raspberry martini. It had absolute raspberry, chambord (raspberry liquer) and fresh raspberries.

Getting stuff on board --- my mom had a bottle of wine in her carry on. They asked her to open the bag, saw the wine and said "move on". I put 4 bottles of wine, bubble wrapped, in my checked in luggage. I also put vodka in a 1L water bottle and just put it in a vacuum sealer bag to keep spills away. THey never took wine out of my luggage. When we got to puerto rico I asked them how much beer I could bring back on, they told me one six-pack a piece. There's a bar near the pier that has Michelob Ultra signs hanging up over it - they were selling coors light for $3 and mich ultra for $1 a can, that's right $1 a can. Brought a sixpack of both back on board no problem. We also went to Don Q's to sample rum and i bought a bottle of rum back on board too, they never took it from me. Look for a guy by the name of "hillbilly" right at the pier. He'll give you a great tour of san juan for $10 a piece. The cruise line charges $49. He also said he does tours of the rain forest for cheap too. When we got to st thomas we took a cab to Charlotte Amalie for shopping ($4 a piece), then we took a cab to the havensight mall area (another $4 a piece). We were looking for a particular watch for our neice and needed to check out two stores there. There's a bar there called Shipwreck tavern that does a happy hour after 4 - Beer was $2 a bottle last year, we were there around lunch time so beer (coors light) was $4. There's a liquor store two stores away that sells beer. We bought a case of Coors Light for $20 and I took two and my husband took 2 and we got them on board no problem. They were charging $4.15 a can on the ship. We used the AH RIISE store in Charlotte Amalie for our booze purchases as they deliver right to the ship. Same said as always, great bargains on liquor. On St Thomas you're allowed 5 bottles per person as long as one is local product. I bought a puerto rican rum already so that counted as one and we one a bottle of rum on the ship so I counted that as the second for our customs paperwork. Customs officer asked me where my customs stuff was and I explained to the man how a princess employee separated us though I tried to explain to her we were together. He said "point out your husband" He waved him out of the line and right over to me. He took care of their imcompetence with that.

With all this now said - I hope this gives enough info for anyone considering princess. THe Crown is now doing Canada/new england cruises for 5 itineraries, then going to San Juan. After that it is being repositioned to europe and the caribbean princess is being relocated to New York - so check posts on this ship.

Hope this has been helpful
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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Thanks for the review, KMailer. Just curious, did you happen to do any drinking on your trip?

(ust kidding!! - I don't think I have ever seen such a complete roundup on where to get beer, etc, on a cruise).
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:57 PM
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Thank you. That was very helpful. Now I know where to get a good drink and where not to go. I know one other poster on here raved about the crown grill. So I had that on my list of places to go, but now I dont' think so anymore.

This has all been especially helpful to me because I've never been on a cruise before so I wasn't sure of what you could buy and bring on board or what liqour you could bring. I know my cousin snuck rum onboard because he put it in large lotion bottles. lol. He gave me 3 to use but I'm way to petrified of getting caught with it.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Crown Princess - Brooklyn - just got off

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmailler
Food - unbelievable. Some type of seafood every night. Fussy eaters LOOK OUT - my husband is fussy as hell and there was one night when there was absolutely nothing on the menu or buffet that he would eat. He wound up eating pizza. They had things on the menu like duck, frogs legs, rabbit, and that's YUCK for me and I pretty much like all foods.
I know its too late now but there are "always available" items on the menu that can be ordered (steak, chicken, etc.) in lieu of the featured entrees.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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These folks are more than accomodating for alternate food choices - in Sabbatini's my husband asked for Spaghetti and meatballs which was not on the menu. They said they had that as a choice on the children's menu. The happily gave it to him. I was referring to the buffets in Horizon and Calypso courts where there are quite a bunch of varieties to choose from. We just weren't into getting dressed up other than sabbatini's so we didn't go to the dining rooms.

Our prior cruises have been 2 NCL's and 2 Carnival's. On carnival, they set up their buffets at night with several stations ranging from sandwiches to gourmet delights from various countries. I think that helps the fussy ones (my husband) find food more readily. Princess served Duck, Frog Legs, Rabbit, and Goat stew. I'm not a fussy eater, but those 4 things make me nauseous

As for the post about fearing being caught with the rum - so what the most they're going to do is take it from you. Rum is clear put it in a 1L water bottle and put it in a large ziploc bag or in a vacuum sealer bag if you're worried about leaks. I put mine in my carry on where I had our cameras so I sealed the bag to not worry about the vodka leaking out of the top. Family members that went with us were happy, they got drinks all week on it.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Embarkation at Brooklyn --- it took us longer to use the restroom from our 2 hour ride to the pier than it did to get on board. We filled out one form that they required you sign to say you were not boarding sick then to the desk with our boarding passes and boom we were on board. This was around noon. We were allowed to immediately go to our cabins and five minutes after we were in the cabin our luggage came. Same said for leaving the ship when we came home. We took our own luggage and we were off before 8 a.m. My limo company did not believe me to be at the pier before 9 a.m. so they wound up being late and we wound up standing on a chilly pier for almost 2 hours. They will be getting a phone call. They were boarding new passengers at 9 a.m. while we were waiting to be picked up.

Great review, kmailler,
Did you reserve your car to pick you up upon disembarkation? Have gotten mixed messages about this. Some say that the car services don't take reservations for disembarking passengers and some say they do. How did you handle this since you would not know what time you would be off of the ship in advance? Which car service did you use? Thanks, in advance, for the info.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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We live upstate NY, so I used a limo service near us as there were 6 of us traveling. I don't know about car services down in Brooklyn area, but I do remember reading something in the Princess patter that they could arrange transfers to the airports, etc for $40. Hope this helps.

Unfortunately, what I know about NYC you can put on the end of a pencil
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Old September 19th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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We just did this same cruise and got off 9/6/07. We used a car service and I would be happy to share Maurice's number if anyone is interested. Click on my name and email me for the info. He picked us up within 5 minutes of us calling because he was waiting in the limo area. He was on time the next day at our hotel to take us to the airport too! Great guy and service.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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One further thought on this itinerary ---grand turk is simply awful. It's a 5 mile long island with nothing on it but Margaritaville at the pier. The place is very expensive $11 for a burger and fries. They push the beach right there and my family went to it and said all they did was hurt their feet in the water as it was very little sand and mostly rocks. We did the hop on hop off tour $32 a piece, what a rip off. Then I read in our princess patter that night a warning about being offered drugs on the island

SKIP THIS PLACE
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Old October 9th, 2007, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmailler
One further thought on this itinerary ---grand turk is simply awful. It's a 5 mile long island with nothing on it but Margaritaville at the pier. The place is very expensive $11 for a burger and fries. They push the beach right there and my family went to it and said all they did was hurt their feet in the water as it was very little sand and mostly rocks. We did the hop on hop off tour $32 a piece, what a rip off. Then I read in our princess patter that night a warning about being offered drugs on the island

SKIP THIS PLACE
I am curious ---- How does one skip a port of call?
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Old October 9th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim130
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmailler
One further thought on this itinerary ---grand turk is simply awful. It's a 5 mile long island with nothing on it but Margaritaville at the pier. The place is very expensive $11 for a burger and fries. They push the beach right there and my family went to it and said all they did was hurt their feet in the water as it was very little sand and mostly rocks. We did the hop on hop off tour $32 a piece, what a rip off. Then I read in our princess patter that night a warning about being offered drugs on the island

SKIP THIS PLACE
I am curious ---- How does one skip a port of call?
I think OP is of the opinion that Princess should drop this port of call. Otherwise it is easy....simply stay on board that day.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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Doug R

I see you did the Caribbean princess last year and show the crown for this year. If you have already been on your crown cruise of 2007 what is your comparisons between ships? If you haven't gone yet, please post after you get back.

Princess (according to ship's employees) is going overseas after completing an itinerary out of San Juan. They are relocating the Caribbean Princess to New York to do the itinerary we were just on. We're looking at cruises for next year out of New York for our 25th wedding anniversary and we've done 2 Carnival, 2 NCL, and now 1 Princess. Last year we spoke to two couples that were on the Caribbean Princess docked next to us. They were NOT happy with the ship, employees, entertainment, etc. So I'd love to have a comparison.

Thanks
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Old October 9th, 2007, 11:47 PM
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Default Crown Princess Doors?

Since you just got off maybe you could answer a question for me: Are the stateroom doors metallic that you could stick a magnet to them? I was thinking about surprising someone with a little celebratory decoration and wondered how I could stick it to their door. I guess I could use sticky tack, too.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmailler
Doug R

I see you did the Caribbean princess last year and show the crown for this year. If you have already been on your crown cruise of 2007 what is your comparisons between ships? If you haven't gone yet, please post after you get back.

Princess (according to ship's employees) is going overseas after completing an itinerary out of San Juan. They are relocating the Caribbean Princess to New York to do the itinerary we were just on. We're looking at cruises for next year out of New York for our 25th wedding anniversary and we've done 2 Carnival, 2 NCL, and now 1 Princess. Last year we spoke to two couples that were on the Caribbean Princess docked next to us. They were NOT happy with the ship, employees, entertainment, etc. So I'd love to have a comparison.

Thanks
We were quite happy with the Caribbean Princess here is a link to my review:

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...aribbean34.cfm

We will sail the Crown on November 3rd out of San Juan and I will post a review shortly thereafter.

Just remember about the people you met...some folks thrive on complaining. I cannot imagine how anyone would have a horrible cruise on the CB.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Great review of the Caribbean Princess!!!!! This ship sounds exactly like the Crown. Only difference is names of restaurants. I believe you'll find the layout of the Crown exactly the same as the Caribbean so you should not be disappointed at all. A lot of the servers in the horizon and caribe courts are from Poland and Ukraine areas and I suspect are new to working on cruise ships. Be very specific if you need something as they are difficult to understand and they have a bit of a hard time understanding you. Our room steward was Polish but clearly he had been on the line for a while as he understood us clearly and we the same with him. Just a heads up no real complaint for us. Juliet at the outrigger bar is an excellent bartender and great to chat with.

As for the post about the door being metal, I can't 100 percent say Yes, but they're darn heavy so they have to be. They put our patters, ads, etc in a mail slot attached to the wall by the door and the baloons they put up for retirements, honeymooners, anniversary, etc were taped well to the ceiling over the doors. I would say bring goodies to do either magnet or no metal. They may have a coating on the doors that a magnet won't go through to attach itself.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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KM
Loved your post concerning the liquor. Curious about how you get your drinks out to the pool. Do you just buy a very large insulated mug and mix it in your room.

We don't mind paying for drinks, but being the very large drinkers that we are it can get expensive so we are just looking to supplement ()
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Old October 11th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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I very often times went to the outrigger bar for my soda mixer for my vodka and went to our balcony room for afternoon cocktails out on the balcony. I put my vodka in a 1L water bottle and if I wanted to sit at a table anywhere on the ship with it, no one bothered me. With the soda card they tend to give you your soda in a glass but, when I purchased the soda card, they gave me an insulated coca cola mug (maybe about 10 - 12 oz container). You could carry that with you on the side and ask for your mixer then just put it into this container. I brought wine as well and I "relocated" a wine glass from the wine and seafood bar where I had some sushi and kept that in our cabin so I could enjoy wine on the balcony as well. My husband likes bloody marys so I went to outriggers as well and paid $1.75 for a good sized glass of tomato juice. I once again "relocated" some tobasco sauce from the horizon food court and kept that in our cabin. Be aware though that your soda card does not entitle you to the sodas they leave in your cabin. You use them and they're 1.75 a piece. When we first boarded I asked for diet sprite near one of the pools and was told they didn't have any. I wound up using tonic water for my mixer. I'm a diet soda drinker so settled for that. When we got to bermuda we stopped at a store and I brought a six pack of diet sprite back on board to only see our favorite bartender at Outriggers giving someone a can of diet sprite. Of course this was near the end of our cruise. We don't mind paying for drinks, but we don't appreciate being taken advantage of either. They were sticking my husband over $4 for a can of coors light (with gratuity). That's outrageous. They only had the pay for 4 get 5 on dos equis and bud and bud light. Still wound up being close to 20 bucks for 5 beers. They told us we could bring one six pack a piece back on board from port, so when we got to Puerto Rico we found a bar and bought a six pack of coors lite (was almost $12 but still cheaper than the ship) and I got a six pack of mich ultra which they were selling for $6. I also bought a bottle of Don Q rum (they're right on the main strip near the ship and offer free samples) and they did not take it from me when we returned to the ship. When we got to st thomas we got our booze to take home from AH Riise in Charlotte Amalie as they sent the bottles directly to hem back to the ship for you. You're allowed 5 per person as long as it includes a local rum. Since I had the PR rum, I bought 5 of other boozes. We then took a cab over to the havensight mall area because we were looking for a citizen watch for our neice. At the back of that mall on the main street that goes back to the ship there is a liquor store by the shipwreck tavern. By the way this tavern has a happy hour after 4 pm but we left the island at 5. In this liquor store you could purchase a bottle and transfer it into a water bottle for yourself. In this store we bought a case of coors lite for $20. I took two six packs and my husband took two six packs. They did not bother us about bringing them back on board.

We do our fair share of drinking but $24 for a six pack of coors lite is ridiculous. If the cruise lines would keep drink prices reasonable they'd make a ton of money in volume sales. We always got six pack deals on Carnival and NCL (about $19). Still that's a bit pricey too.

DON'T ask for a martini near the pools. They can't make one to save their lives. If you want a great martini, go to crooners. They have a list of 56 or so. I've become a fan of pomegranate martinis but they do not make a good one on this ship at all. They also cannot make a margarita in the bars near the pool. My mom and sister in law ordered one and they said it was absolutely terrible.

We got a postcard from Liberty travel in our room giving us a free bottle of wine ($20 value). The only place they would let you redeem it is in the dining rooms. My mom tried to redeem hers in horizon court and they wouldn't do it. She dilly dallied around and waited until the last night to use it and they started to give her a hard time about redeeming it ("this is the last night I don't know if we can honor it") but she did get it.

Hope this helps and enjoy your cruise - we had a fantastic time
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Old October 11th, 2007, 09:21 PM
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Thanks so much. I am with you - I don't mind paying for drinks, but why should they be twice as much on a cruise ship as they are on a bar back here at home?

Did you buy the soda card ahead of time thru the Cruise Personalizer, or did you buy it on the ship?

Are soda and mixers free at the bars? I would only be using the soda card for drink mixers so I don't know if I would get my money's worth from it.
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Old October 12th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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yes, soda free at bars, and I think in restaurants. I believe I got a diet coke from server in calypso court one night. I bought the soda card 1st day we were on. It was $34 for 9 days so probably around $39 with the gratuity added in. So if you divide that by $1.75 you'd have to have 22 sodas to break even. If you're both drinking, a good deal. All you have to do is make the trips yourself for the soda/mixer. What I was doing was going from our cabin to the outrigger bar and asking for a large tonic water. Then I would bring back to cabin. I made my mom, aunt and myself vodka tonics and I think I still had one more drinks worth left in the glass. We did this in the afternoons after having been out at port walking around, excursions, etc. We were on the Riviera deck mid-ship so was short walk to the back of the ship, up six or so stairs and the bar is right there. I would say bring some type of insulated container so you can keep ordering soda so both of you can have drinks at the same time. I know they generally won't bring you two sodas at a time, figuring you might be sharing.

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Old October 12th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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One afterthought - if you plan on hanging out poolside: the outrigger bar is by the adults only pool in the back of the ship. Not a far walk to pop up there get your mixers and back to a lounge chair by the pool. When it's busy back there they've got 2 or more bartenders, so easy to get multiple sodas without a problem. And--- I saw the one bartender handing a can of soda to one person so if you do that - you'll get at least two drinks out of one can
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Old October 12th, 2007, 10:25 PM
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Thanks. You have been a big help!!
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Old October 19th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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As a now retired distillery employee, I can attest to the fact that a passenger ship purchases a 750 ml bottle of whisky for far less than the price they charge for one drink being pour from it. Shocking? Maybe not!

Consider if you will what would happen if every person from every stateroom were drawn to the public bar areas offering low drink prices. Not only would you not get a seat in the bar, the chances of ever successfully ordering a drink would be next to nil. Supply and demand must be well balanced in designing a ship's amenities. The ship company is well aware of personal drinking in the staterooms and the balconies of same. Utilizing the staff at hand, they operate and offer the public bar areas to those who so choose and at prices that will control the number of passengers doing so.

As to my preference, I do both, at times the economical pouring in the stateroom or on the balcony sometimes with friends but then in the public bar areas in the fun of people watching. The combination of both makes the shocking bar prices more tolerant. Perhaps that is what the ship company intended.
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