Following is our review of our April 18, 1993 sailing of the Crown Jewel from West Palm Beach to Nassau, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. With apologies to all, both for the length of this report and for the delay in posting it, here goes! Overall, we give very high ratings to the physical ship (which rating was helped in no small part by the fact that we had a suite for the first time, complete with a LARGE balcony), good ratings to the entertainment (based mostly on other passenger comments), good ratings for general overall organizational ability and good ratings to dining room food and good to fair ratings for buffet meals. For comparison, we have sailed on the following other ships in the past five years--NCL Seaward, NCL Sunward II, Carnival Celebration and Fantasy, Dolphin SeaBreeze and OceanBreeze, Regent Star and Regent Sun, Crown Princess and Costa Classica.
Overall view of the ship, for those who don't have a brochure--800 passengers, 340 crew, 20,000 gross tons, 537 feet in length, all Filipino service staff, maiden voyage August, 1992. Deck 2 is passenger cabins, the gangway and the doctor's office. Deck three is passenger cabins. Deck 4 is passenger cabins, plus the Bon Vivant Dining Room and the photo gallery right outside the dining room. Deck 5 is where most of the public rooms are, including the main show lounge (Scheherazade Lounge), Harry's Bar, the Golden Court Casino, Worth Avenue (most of the shops), Crown Plaza (purser's and shore excursion desk), and Reflections Lounge. Deck 6 has cabins, plus the Palm Court Cafe, the buffet restaurant. Deck 7 has cabins, the suites, the library, and the Chameleon Club (the disco). Deck 8 has the exercise room, with the saunas and spa, the beauty salon, the sundry and logo shop, the pool, the band stand for the caribbean band, 2 outside jacuzzis, PB's bar, the children's room and the video arcade. There is a five story glass-walled atrium which runs all the way from deck 4 to deck 8. This provides great views of the sea while sailing along at 19 knots. Miscellaneous comments regarding the physical ship--the Library was open 24 hours for checkout of books and had lots of books. The dining room, located all the way aft on Deck 4, provided a full wall of windows on three sides of the dining room. The chairs had a wonderful tapestry type design, which matched the carpeting. Very tasteful and elegant. Curtains were left open for views of the sea, even for second seating dinner. The dining room was probably our favorite of all the ships we have sailed, because of the physical configuration of the room and the color scheme. On Deck 5, the promenade deck goes all the way around with great deck chairs on each side, with a wide deck and open rails about 1 foot up from the deck. Also, on deck 5, one can go ALL the way forward (to the very POINTY front end of the ship) and ALL the way aft. We thought that was neat. Throughout the ship, the emphasis is on views of the sea, light, glass and brass and plants. There were lots of plants throughout the ship. Unfortunately they were all silk plants. I don't think there is a prohibition against live plants on a ship, as I remember there being live ficus trees in the atrium in the Dome on the Crown Princess. The color scheme throughout the ship was all pastel colors. No neon or tacky plastic in evidence anywhere.
We should warn you up front that we do not attend shows, for the most part. We also did not attend ANY of the midnight buffets, so we have no information whatsoever on that subject. We also do not book ship shore excursions, for the most part, although we will try to answer any shore excursion questions posted.
We had booked our trip over six months ago, booking suite number 7015, and booked our own air. We paid approximately 50 % of the brochure rate.
One of the amenities associated with booking a suite on Crown (we will see what happens to this once Crown moves the ships to Lauderdale and then when Cunard takes over marketing), BUT one of the amenities currently offered from the airport in Palm Beach, is a limo from the airport to the ship. Upon arriving at the gate at West Palm, we were met by our driver, holding a sign "Limousine reservation for Mr. and Mrs. Hill". Things were starting out well!!! Anyway, our driver took us to the baggage claim area and once we pointed out our bags, retrieved them for us and carried them to the limo. Speaking of which, it was a S-T-R-E-T-C-H L-I-M-O and I was suitably impressed, especially considering I had purchased a new pantsuit just for the trip in the limo!!
While claiming our luggage at the airport, we noted the Crown Cruise Line greeters who hooked up with several passengers. Bags were placed on a large cart and transported to busses, where, apparently, passengers needed to make sure they were on the same bus as their luggage. Don't know about that part of it, as we were whisked away by our driver. As has been reported on the BB this week, Crown is moving the Jewel and Monarch from West Palm, so it was interesting cruising from there. The port is approximately 15 minutes from the airport by limo.
One pretty odd thing was that there was no sign up in the terminal area which said "Crown Cruise Line". The same terminal is used for a one day cruise to Nassau and the sign up on the wall behind the check-in counters was for the one day cruise, not Crown. Kind of disconcerting. We heard at least a couple of people asking others which cruise they were going on.
Upon arrival at the pier around 12:45, we waited in a short line, which I am not positively sure we had to wait in. When we got to the front of the line, the guy just made sure that we had filled out our Bahamas immigration forms, plus the forms for the onboard charge card and one other form, whose purpose escapes me at the moment, before allowing us through to go stand in one of the 6-8 lines to check in. The Bahamas immigration form is now provided in the packet you get with your tickets, along with the forms to fill out for the onboard charge. Apparently the Bahamas immigration form was not provided in the ticket packets before, so people had to fill it out at the pier. There was no logic to which line to stand in, just whichever one was shorter. In any event, we were about the fourth couple in line, once we got to that point, and it probably took about 20 minutes from when we got in that line. Once we got to the check-in counter, literally ALL lines for the week were eliminated. We handed the check-in person our tickets, Bahamas immigration, passports, etc. At that time, an imprint was taken of our charge card for the onboard purchases. Everything to be purchased on board ship--drinks, pictures, shore excursions, gift shop purchases, beauty salon, casino cash advances (????), etc., etc., etc., could be charged to your onboard ship charge. Our plastic laminated ship ID card had, already printed on it, our dinner seating (second) and table number (36), non-smoking. By the way, the dining room on the Crown Jewel is totally non-smoking. The line actually began boarding of the ship at 1 P.M. Initially, there was a fairly long line for the security check to go onboard, but by the time we were ready to board (around 1:20), the line for the security screening was very short.
On the subject of lines, shore excursions and photo ordering were handled particularly well. I'm not sure why all ships don't handle it the same way. Whenever you wanted to order shore excursions, you filled out the form, dropped it in the box by the purser's desk and the tickets were delivered to your cabin later, having been charged to your shipboard account. We knew, upon boarding the ship, that we wanted to book the Stingray City snorkeling trip. Therefore, upon boarding, we filled out the form for that shore excursion and dropped it in the box before we even sailed from West Palm. Pictures were ordered similarly--you filled out the order form, listing the number of the picture that you wanted, and dropped it in the order box by where the pictures were displayed right outside the dining room, as opposed to taking the picture up to the desk to pay for it. The pictures were delivered to your cabin on Friday. Additional pictures that were ordered after Friday I think that you had to stand in line to turn in the form, but am not sure.
There are several amenities which are given to all passengers on Crown, regardless of which category cabin you book. All passengers receive a complementary bottle of champagne in the cabin upon boarding (NOT cold, but easily remedied by placing in the ice bucket), fruit basket, and complementary slippers with Crown Cruise Line imprinted. Bathrobes with Crown Cruise Line were provided for use onboard ship and suite dwellers received complimentary robes upon disembarking, along with the previously mentioned limousine service and fresh flowers in the cabins.
Upon arrival onboard, around 1:20 P.M., we were met by a line of stewards to show us to our cabin. The steward we had apparently had not been on the ship for more than a week or so and initially had trouble finding the cabin, although it was fairly understandable. Particularly on decks 6 and 7, the hallways are not straight and the cabin numbers, do not seem to go in order. Cabins aft (on the left side of the ship) have cabin numbers whose second number is a 0, if it's an outside cabin. Cabin on the starboard (right) side of the ship, have cabins whose second numbers are 3, if it's an outside cabin. Inside cabins have second numbers of either 1 or 2. Confusing as you first board, but not a major hassle, after one had been onboard for a couple of days, especially on a smaller ship, such as this one.
Except for the lower couple of decks, which appeared to be fairly standard, there is a fairly wide diversity of cabins on the Crown Jewel within the same price category. The bottom two decks of cabins had portholes, with everything above that having picture windows. Most, if not all, the lower deck cabins had two portholes. Cabins within the same price category through deck 5 appeared to be fairly standard--a fairly decent size, bigger than NCL Seaward and the new RCCL ships, but nothing to write home about.
With regard to the suites, in particular, we were booked in cabin number 7015. Of the suites, only three others were set up the same as ours, numbers 7016, 7315 and 7316. After having looked at all the other suite configurations, we decided that we had made the correct choice in choosing the suite with the long balcony. Our suite ran lengthwise on the side of the ship, and was fairly narrow. As one entered from the hallway, you were looking at a wall of windows, plus the door to the balcony. There were two windows of around 4 feet each, plus the door to the balcony. Straight ahead, as one entered the room, there was a couch, with a small round glass table in front, and a small armchair, centered under one of the windows. The couch and chair were movable, so we did move them slightly to give a better traffic flow to the room. Off to the right hand side of our suite and against the wall of the adjoining cabin, was a built-in unit containing the refrigerator with mini bar, safe, and storage. The safe was a key affair, not a combination, which meant that you had to carry the key with you (a definite disadvantage over a combination) and VERY small, as compared to some other ships we have sailed. For example, the safe on the Costa Classica (combination) was large enough that I put my WHOLE purse (not just my wallet) inside. On the Crown Jewel, the safe was BARELY big enough to hold my wallet, Eric's wallet, my jewelry roll, some casino chips and our airline tickets. Turning left, as one entered the suite, was the bed, which was two twin beds placed together against the wall to the adjoining cabins. As one faced the bed, from the foot, closets and a desk were to the left and a wall of windows to the right. There was a small bedside table with two VERY small drawers in it to the right of the bed and against the outside wall.
Hanging up space, plus drawers, etc., were different, depending on which suite you booked. In fact, we saw some regular cabins on deck six which had more hanging space than our cabin, even though there were "regular" cabins, and not suites. Hanging space in our suite was one full length closet, plus one other closet with two half-length rods. Above each closet were two shelves, which held additional pillows and blankets, which could be removed and placed under the bed to provide additional storage space. Life preservers were also originally placed in the bottom of the closet, then removed by us to provide additional storage space. Hanging space was satisfactory, although it initially looked inadequate. Drawer space was light. On the side cabin wall, there were four decent sized drawers in the console with the safe and refrigerator. Then, to the left of the beds (as one faced them from the FOOT), there was a long desk type counter, with one shallow drawer in the counter and two small drawers on the floor under the counter to the right with some storage on top of the drawers and three drawers to the left. Drawer space in our cabin appeared kind of light, but was better in some of the other suite configurations. There were many lights in the suite (at one point I counted 19 different lights and I'm fairly certain that I did not count all of them), and we had a hard time figuring out which switches controlled which lights. By the end of the week, we were still guessing which switch controlled the fluorescent light over the picture windows.
The bathroom (shower only, no bathtub) was off to the right (as one entered the room) and backing up to the hallway. The shower was larger than the standard shower on the ship and afforded room to actually stoop down and pick up the dropped bar of soap. The shower mechanism was unusual to us, with one lever to adjust the flow of water and another mechanism to control the temperature of the water, with a button which must be pushed to change the temperature of the water. Very nice size to the shower, with ample built in shelves in the shower for shampoo, soap, etc. Very good supply of hot water and no problems with water pressure, etc. Shower curtain seemed to stay put around the shower with little trouble and the lip on the shower stall was generally adequate to contain the flow of water within the shower stall, as opposed to out on the floor. No clothesline in the shower stall for wet bathing suits, unfortunately, although there were two hooks on the back of the bathroom door. We generally used these for the storage of our Crown Cruise Line bathrobes, which our cabin steward always arranged in a wonderful fashion each night. The bathroom also contained a wonderful medicine cabinet, which basically ran from the floor to the ceiling. The first time I used the "loo", I noticed there was a mirror arranged at an angle behind the toilet. I thought this kind of odd, until I looked closer and realized that it was a medicine cabinet. Since it ran virtually from floor to ceiling, with around 5 shelves, it provided plenty of space for storage of bath items. Suites were provided wonderful beige colored bath sheets, hand towels, washcloths, and bathmats. Regular cabins had fairly standard white "cruise ship issue" towels. Provided in the cabin, and replenished as necessary, were shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, and talcum powder, along with a shower cap. I do not remember talcum powder being provided by a ship previously. What was NOT provided was an in-cabin hair dryer, which, for some reason, I had thought was the case.
One thing which proved to be a surprise was the electrical outlets. In the bathroom, there was a 110/220 outlet. However, in the cabin, outlets were ONLY 220. Kind of strange in a new ship. We used the outlet in the bathroom to plug in our battery charger for the camcorder, but even this required an adapter plug. Keys were the standard plastic cards being used in newer ships. One nice feature was three keys, along with a holder right by the cabin door. However, the holder was not QUITE wide enough to also hold the shipboard charge cards, which would have been a nice idea.
The suites had a (good sized) refrigerator with mini-bar. Prices for the mini-bar items were around $1.50 for cokes, $2.00-$2.50 for beer, $3.50 to $3.75 for hard liquor--no wine at all. If you took something from the mini-bar, you needed to sign a slip for the cabin steward, and leave that so they could charge you for it, plus re-supply the frig.
The major reason that we had booked the particular cabin that we did and not one of the others was because of the larger balcony. We were not sorry that we booked that suite. Our balcony was approximately 6 1/2 feet by 24 feet long. On the first day, we took quite a bit of glee at the fact that we fairly had to shout to make ourselves heard to each other, as Eric was sitting at one end of the balcony and I at the other. Seating on the balcony consisted of two chaise lounges, plus a fairly large round table and two chairs. All the chairs and lounges had wonderful padded cushions, which added to their comfort. Even with all that furniture, there was still plenty of additional standing room on the balcony. The floor was teak decking (not plastic fake carpet, like we had on our (VERY SMALL) balcony on the Crown Princess), plus there was a little mat outside the door to wipe our feet on. There was a solid wall about 1 and 1/2 feet tall, then open railings from there on up. Between the cabin balconies there was a metal wall, which had around a 1 inch clearance between it and the wall, so that if one wanted to get REAL nosey, one could look over to the neighbor's balcony to see what was going on. With our balcony, in particular, and the two in back of us (and this would be true on the other side of the ship also), there was an overhang from the deck above which served to block out a portion of the sun. We had really nice sun on our balcony on the first day at sea, but only intermittently after that. All the balconies had a porch light, so that one could turn on the light at night, which I got a real giggle out of, on the first night.
Additionally, cabins 7015 and 7315 have an extra added attraction. If you look at the picture of the ship, there is a sign on the side of the ship, "Crown Jewel". The sign is approximately the same width as the balcony for cabins 7015 and 7315, being only about 6 inches longer on each side than the balcony. The top of this sign sticks out about an extra four inches from the side of the ship in cabins 7015 and 7315, making an extra wide place to prop up your feet while sitting on the balcony. We made use of this extra space to prop up our feet on several occasions.
Another configuration of suites is the one illustrated in the brochure, which represents cabin numbers 7013, 7014, 7313 and 7314. Our next door neighbors (cabin 7014) had this configuration and we (AND THEY) did not like it nearly as well as ours. The picture in the brochure makes that cabin appear much larger than it is. None of them are very large, but we much preferred the larger balcony of our cabin. The picture in the brochure made us anticipate a much larger cabin than what we actually received, but after one got over the initial discomfort, our cabin was absolutely wonderful. A third configuration of the suites (cabins 7017 and 7317) appeared to have the most interior room to us, especially considering the way the beds were really set up to make a virtually separate room. The only problem with this suite for us is that the balcony looked out over the lifeboats and therefore was not totally private, in that there was no wall on the side where the lifeboat is. The other suites, located midships, we didn't get that much an opportunity to inspect, but they were not that much larger than our suite and had no balcony. For us, they would not be worth the money without the balcony.
We had arrived on board ship around 1:20 and promptly headed on off to the buffet, since our bags had not yet arrived. We had carried on a change of clothes, which was a good thing, as our bags did not arrive until around 3 P.M. and one bag did not arrive until almost 3:30. Welcome aboard buffet on the Jewel is located over three decks aft of the ship. Selections included stuffed shells (MARVELOUS!!), roast beef, barbeque chicken, rice, desserts and salads. The welcome aboard buffet was the only time when there was food served outside. There was scheduled a night under the stars one night, but unfortunately, we had some rain, so the party was moved indoors. Which brings me to a gripe about the ship, which I am not sure where to place, so will place it here. There were no facilities for grilling hamburgers and hotdogs on deck, One day at sea, I particularly wanted a hamburger and was disappointed that none was available. I do not remember another ship on which I could NOT get a hamburger or hotdog on deck.
The lifeboat drill was conducted at 4:30 and was relatively more thorough than some, with the crew calling the numbers of individual cabins and asking passengers to call out the number of passengers per cabin.
The ship sailed from West Palm about right on time at 5 P.M., although we were already on "Caribbean time" and were not locked into clock watching at this point. We had placed our bottle of Korbel in our ice bucket to cool prior to heading up for the buffet, so it was appropriately cool for sailing. It was a wonderful experience, sailing out while sitting on our balcony and imbibing free champagne. There are no other ships home ported in West Palm, so the view was mostly of some old rusty freighters, but the champagne did wonders to improve the view. In the cabin was provided two champagne glasses and two wine glasses, along with the water glasses in the bathroom. Later on in the week, we had a party and requested additional glasses in the room, which were provided with no trouble by our cabin steward, then whisked away after the party. I know that the other cabins had the champagne glasses provided in the rooms, and would assume that the additional wine glasses were provided to all cabins also, but do not know. This was the first ship that I remember having provided any glasses in the cabins except for the water glasses in the bathroom.
We had requested through our travel agent a dinner seating for eight, second seating. Once we received our onboard charge cards and saw that we were assigned second seating, we did not worry further about the dinner assignment. One could go to the Reflections Lounge and request different dinner arrangements if desired. We went through the lounge and noted around a half dozen people in line waiting to change dinner arrangements. As it turned out, we received a dinner seating for four, which, if we had gone to check the number of people at our table, we probably would have changed, as a seating for four could be deadly if you don't like your dinner partners. As luck would have it, we were very compatible with our dinner partners, even though they were in their 60's, and had a wonderful time with them all week. Both had been in the entertainment field, and the husband was a saxophonist who had played at Reagan's inaugural, and well as having toured with Frank Sinatra, so there were many interesting stories exchanged. Being previously "in the business", we respected their opinion that the Ray Kennedy Dancers were very good entertainers, "Smitty", a lady soloist, not so good.
We were seated at table 36, which was a round table for four, basically midships and right in front of the long tables immediately aft against the wall of windows. The table was really a little small for four people, by the time that one placed flowers, china, breadplates, glasses, etc., etc. on the table. One night our busboy (Philip, who was French) dumped over the cream on the table, as he was bringing it for coffee. The major reason, I thought, was that the table was just a little too tight. Plates and cups were embossed with "Crown Cruise Line" in gold and very attractive. One wonders whether one could purchase a plate setting come October??? As has been previously mentioned on the BB, the array of silverware was impressive, with soup, dessert and teaspoons, salad, fish and dinner forks, and two knives.
Service the first night out was, to be blunt, awful. Our waiter (Jerry) and busboy (Philip) seemed to ignore our table, taking forever to take our order, not re-filling the water glasses, etc, etc., etc. We had a great deal of trepidation regarding service after the first night, but the quality of the service improved by quantum leaps after the first night. We noted that the casino manager and some other cruise line exec's who left the ship for home in Grand Cayman were sometimes seated at the table just to the left of us, so that may have accounted for the waiter and bus boy's discomforture the first night, I don't know. Also the waiter and busboy did not introduce themselves to us the first night, which we considered very strange. We noted thereafter that whenever there was open seating in the dining room, that there were name cards on the tables, giving the waiter's and busboy's names. We wondered if perhaps their namecards had been left off our table by mistake on the first night and therefore they did not think to introduce themselves. Perhaps in no small part because of the service problems, dinner Sunday evening was rather unmemorable. Since we had arisen around 5 A.M. (a time which SURELY does not exist in civilized society), it was off to bed early around 10:30 on Sunday.
The published itinerary for the Crown Jewel includes a stop at Labadee, to which no ship has gone for some time, considering it is located on Haiti. Therefore, on Monday we went to Nassau, to which idyllic (????) spot we had traversed many times. We arose fairly early, around 7:30, and partook of a light breakfast buffet menu. Breakfast buffet aboard the Crown Jewel was kind of disappointing, in that the menu apparently never changed. There were several kinds of cereals, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage links, oatmeal and hash browns. One good thing, though, was there were omelettes and eggs cooked to order every day. There were also, of course, several kinds of fruits, including watermelon, pineapple, grapefruits, (canned) peaches, grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, along with about three different kinds of juices, However, we did not see ANY pancakes, waffles, or french toast for the buffet any morning of the four we attended the buffet, so we were disappointed with that.
Since I partake of a Step Reebock exercise class here at home three times a week, I thought it would be appropo to go to a class while onboard ship. There was a class scheduled the first morning at 9 A,M., which I attended. This was a one hour workout and was a good workout and lots of fun. Since I was on vacation, somehow I had not expected it to be much of a workout and was pleasantly surprised. The instructor was an English woman named Hillary. She worked fast but I had no problems following her instructions since I am taking a class here at home. Those partaking of their first classes were fairly lost, however. I attended another class the next day, which was the first day at sea, and the experience of stepping on the bench while the ship was in motion was interesting, to say the least!
The exercise room on the Crown Jewel is located almost all the way forward and is fairly small. Facing forward, in the center is located the aerobics area, which has a nice padded type floor. To the left is the weight cycle equipment. To the right there are two rowing machines, a couple of bicycles, and around four steppers. There was a juice bar, but I never saw anyone manning it, although I was only in the room for those two hours, both of which were in the morning. There was a jacuzzi right behind the exercise floor area, but I never saw any water in it. The jacuzzi here could only be entered, for all practical purposes, from the saunas, just to the rear of the jacuzzi.
Since we had been to Nassau numerous times, we were in no hurry to get off the ship, a fact which was slightly disconcerting to our poor cabin steward. We docked in Nassau around 8 A.M., but my exercise class ran from 9:00 to 10:00. Eric stayed in the cabin until I returned from class and surprised the poor cabin steward around 9:45, when he came sailing in, thinking that all good passengers should have gone ashore by now.
The one saving grace of the stop in Nassau was that, since it was the first day out from West Palm, and since we had a refrigerator, we would use the stop to procure liquor (and mixers -- and wine -- and cokes -- and some munchies), at a reasonable price. There is a grocery store on the waterfront down a little to the right from the main part of town. We purchased six packs of Pepsi (cans) there for $1.99 (on sale, apparently) and took them back to the ship, along with some Fritos. By contrast, the liquor stores were selling cokes to unsuspecting tourists for $.75 a can! We drank all the Pepsi's except one, but barely cracked open the Fritos. We got two six packs of Pepsi, plus two bottles of wine in our refrigerator without any problem. We also bought rum and gin and a couple of bottles of wine (Sutter Home White Zinfandel--$8) for consumption in our room. Sutter Home was $13 in the dining room. Which brings me to the subject of the wine list--fairly extensive and a reasonable price, as compared to stateside restaurants. Certainly a larger selection than available on many ships. Also, the wine selection by the glass was decent. Around $3.50 for some decent wines, and a relatively good sized glass.
After having made our "liquid" purchases, plus some Chanel for me, it was back to the ship for a luncheon buffet and some sun on deck, listening to the steel band. Luncheon buffets were on the order of the breakfast buffets--OK for one on the run, but unsatisfactory for anyone who had previously sailed on a ship featuring Apollo catering. Lunch buffet generally consisted of one carved meat, two other hot entrees, rice, one hot vegetable, one soup, cold cuts, and a lettuce salad, plus one other salad, desserts and fruits. What was odd was that the buffet seemed to be set up backwards--as you first approached the buffet, you picked up your plate and silverware. On the very end of the buffet was the carved meat. The very next thing you came to was the desserts, then the salad, then the hot dishes. It was not really an inconvenience, just odd. I heard several people wondering aloud whether they were starting at the wrong end or not. We never really had anything at the buffet that was in any way unacceptable. However, we just felt that the number of selections, particularly of main dishes and salads, was not varied enough.
One item which we appreciated which many may not have noticed, was that there were NO paper plates, cups, etc, at the buffets except at the 4 o'clock ice cream bar up on deck. Particularly when carrying your plate outside, it was nice not having to worry about your plate blowing away. I would assume, also, that part of the reason also stems from the fact that there is much less waste. Coffee, tea, orange juice, water and fruit punch, as well as fruits, were available 24 hours at the buffet restaurant, known as the Palm Court Cafe. This was a particularly attractive room with rattan chairs, marble topped tables and windows surrounding the room. There was a TV in one corner, which was generally tuned in CNN in the morning. This room was so attractive, we saw several people there playing cards during the middle of the day. This was facilitated, I'm sure, by the fact of the beverage service available 24 hours there.
Monday night was the Captain's welcome aboard cocktail party. There was a huge line to get into the main showroom for this party, mostly because the showroom has only one entrance. The Scheherazade Lounge is a really attractive room, with good sight lines throughout, although it has an odd appearance initially, as it sits sideways on the ship. Upon first entering, the lounge looks too small to accommodate the number of passengers, but on the two occasions we were there, we had no problem finding a seat, even though we did end up having to travel to the opposite side of the lounge (which was the smoking side) to do so. Since there is only one entrance to the lounge (even though there are several emergency exits which go directly out on deck), you HAD to get your picture taken, not ONCE, but TWICE, in order to get into the cocktail party. Pictures were taken once before reaching the captain, then another picture taken with the captain. The only drinks available were the standard "cheapie" drinks, along with a few hot appetizers. We got to the party late, partly by design and partly because of the long line for pictures, so we had not too much time for free booze drinking.
For what it's worth, which is not a lot to me, but kind of nice, I guess, is that the captain was fairly visible during shows, up on deck while the ship was at sea and otherwise. Our next door neighbors actually had a "close encounter" with the captain. They had managed to leave their suite without a key and were sitting waiting on the stairs for our cabin steward (Gilbert) to appear with a key to let them in. The captain appeared from somewhere and asked if he could help. They replied that the cabin steward had been sent for. The captain offered to help them, since supposedly he had keys which fit every cabin. Unfortunately, his key did not open their door, of course. Then, as they were standing there, their (and our) poor cabin steward Gilbert, showed up and presumed that he was in trouble, as the captain was there. Our next door neighbors were travelling with their parents and their mother had complained (jokingly) the day before that their bed had not been made up early enough, so he thought he was really in for it. Our next door neighbors described how it was possible for a Philippino to turn white!
Gilbert deserves a few words of praise here. He did an absolutely fantastic job of replacing towels, making the bed, etc., plus a bunch of extra little things that we had not had before. He arranged my nightgown on the pillow each night. He made a fan out of the extra blanket on the bed. He always turned the edges of the toilet paper and the towels to make designs with them. Most important of all, he did it all seemingly by magic, whenever we left the room for five minutes. He was truly a great room steward and we tipped accordingly.
Dinner on Monday evening was shrimp cocktail, New England clam chowder, a SUCCULENT filet mignon and apple pie ala mode. This was supposed to be baked alaska night. Thankfully for us, anyway, there was no "parade". After you have seen 10 parades, you have seen enough for your whole lifetime! First time cruisers might have been disappointed, but we weren't. There have been so many times when we have waited 10-15 minutes after we had finished our main course for baked alaska, which we didn't want anyway. We were also pleasantly surprised when our waiter brought over the baked alaska, I just told him pleasantly "We hate to hurt your feelings about the baked alaska, but we all just want the pie ala mode". Which is what all four of us had, and it was great. Dinner Monday evening was probably the best of the week, taking into consideration all the courses. After dinner, our waiter made a flower out of a paper napkin for both me and the other lady at our table. I brought it home and have it here to remind me of the great time we had that evening.
The dinner menus for the week generally consisted of one hot appetizer, one or two cold appetizers, 2 salads (with the SAME three dressings all week!), 2-3 soups and generally 4 main courses. For some reason, the chicken and fish dishes never appeared too appetizing to Eric or I, as they seemed to lack imagination. We ate a lot of beef, which was generally excellent. There was a complete light menu listed every night, including salad, entree and dessert, all of which listed fat, sodium, calories and cholesterol, which was good. There were four head waiters. Our head waiter fixed cherries jubilee for us one night, and offered cherries jubilee and crepes suzette on two other occasions, but we had all ordered a different dessert from the menu the other nights. Coffee was hot and good, and served in cups with holes big enough to get your fingers through! My personal opinion is that the square tables for four by the windows on the sides of the dining room (if one likes a smaller table), or the long tables all the way aft (which seated 8-12) were the best places in the dining room. The tables on the interior of the dining room, while raised above the level of the outside tables, would not be very desirable.
After dinner Monday evening, we went to the casino to lose a few quarters in the slot machines and a couple of bucks at roulette and caribbean stud. A special note to all you "big time" gamblers--they have removed the nickel slot machines, so the minimum is now 25 cents. The casino has one roulette, one craps table, one caribbean stud table, and about six blackjack tables. There is a decent selection of slots, quarter and dollar, but none seemed to pay off particularly well for the week, with the exception of one lady that I saw win 5,000 quarters. The casino is laid out much different than on many other ships, being basically in the middle of a promenade on deck 5. It's not enclosed within a room, as most casino's are. I liked the basic design, but even so, there is not enough room between the tables and the slots when the casino is busy. Harry's Bar, right by the casino, we thought was a great bar and we spent many hours there talking (and imbibing). A fact which wasn't publicized too much is that on several evenings, there were hot hors d'oeuvres served there from around 7:30 till dinner time. We met a bartender there named Ernie. (Bartenders rotate their stations from week to week, so he may not be at Harry's for any of you future cruisers.) I began talking to him on Monday night and discovered he had been on the Regent Sun a couple of months after we sailed her in 1991 and he was good friends with the bartender we had made friends with on the Sun. It kind of shows what a small world the cruise ship business is. We also met Michael Slattery, the bar manager, on this evening. We spent several enjoyable hours over the course of the week talking to Michael. Other than the disco, Harry's Bar was always the last bar to close up, and Michael was often there in the evening, checking to make sure there were no problems. Before retiring on Monday we watched a poor lady who had had much too much to drink trying to drink the bowl of cocktail peanuts in front of her. She was helped off to her cabin (eventually) by some complete strangers, after several people had tried to convince her to "go home". We found out later from Michael that she was the mother of one of the entertainers. Oh well! Off to bed around 2.
Tuesday was a day at sea. Each evening the cabin steward placed the breakfast room service menu on our pillow, along with our mint. We ordered breakfast in the room on Tuesday for 9:00-9:30 time slot. It arrived right around 9:15. We had ordered coffee and muffins. The coffee was hot and delivered in a small pot which held around 3 cups. The muffins were blueberry, very good, but there was no butter. We had noted on the room service menu that the choices were "marmalade, honey and jelly". We thought, wrongly, that they would bring butter automatically. Moral of that story is, if you want butter with your muffins (or anything else for the whole week!!!), just tell them and they will bring it. Room service menu for breakfast was only continental breakfast--cereal, danish, croissant, muffins, juice, coffee, etc. However, we had heard of some others who had wanted hot breakfast in the cabin. They had just written in their eggs, etc., and it had arrived. We had wonderful sunshine on our balcony this morning and we thoroughly enjoyed our muffins and coffee and some fruit from our fruit basket, while sailing through calm, beautiful waters. After seeing several dolphins sailing by in the opposite direction, we contemplated, with much longing, having this same cabin and balcony on a longer trip with much more at sea time and agreed that the prospect would be wonderful.
Which brings me to an interesting point--we have seldom had such calm waters for the major portion of a cruise. We had almost dead calm waters from Sunday all the way until Saturday, when we had some stiff (around 20 knots) winds and around 10 foot seas. I went to a step Reebock exercise class while at sea on Monday, and even though the seas were very calm, it was an interesting experience, trying to find that step while the ship rolled ever so slightly!
On Tuesday we had our first experience with brunch while at sea. The IDEA of having brunch, especially for at sea days, is great! Brunch was served in the dining room from 8:30 to 2:00 on Tuesday, plus (at the same times) on Friday and Saturday. This made for an especially UN-rushed dining experience, since passengers came and went as they pleased, and sat wherever they pleased. Which brings me to an especially important point--ALL BREAKFAST AND LUNCH seatings were open seatings. There were place cards on the tables which indicated the name of the particular waiter that was serving you at that table. I was impressed with the quality of the service we got for those open seating meals. On most ships, open seating is an excuse to provide poor service. On the Crown Jewel, except for one waiter who was miffed because we sat at a dirty table, we had excellent service at the open seating meals.
As I said, the IDEA of the brunch is a good one. The execution needs to be a little improved, I thought. The selections that were available for the brunch, with the exception of quiche and carved ham, were not much in addition to the regular breakfast buffet. HOWEVER, the secret of the brunch on the Crown Jewel is as follows--if you want something from the regular breakfast menu which they don't have, for example, pancakes, waffles or french toast, just tell your waiter that's what you want! Unfortunately, we didn't discover that secret until the Saturday brunch, so we "made do" with the selections available from the steam table on Tuesday and Friday, plus the made to order omelettes..
After brunch it was time to head out for some sun. There appear to be plenty of deck chairs available for sunning on the Crown Jewel, although not necessarily all by the pool. There are several smaller sunning areas forward of the main pool deck which provide plenty of sunning opportunities. The chairs are all adjustable and have nice comfy striped cushions. There are several arm chairs also, particularly in the far forward areas, which have seat and back cushions, and also a little cushion for your head. A nice touch. Also, on the promenade deck (deck 5), there are nice lounge chairs lining both sides of the deck. Beach towels were provided on those chairs, which was a nice touch, so passengers did not have to travel all the way to the pool deck to obtain beach towels.
Aft of the ship there are no chaise lounges for sunning, but many tables and chairs over three decks of the ship, on a series of terraced balconies. These small balconies served as the outdoor seating for the buffet restaurant. These small terraces served as one of my more favorite spots on a ship that I thought particularly well-designed to keep one in touch with the sea.
We had not had a room service menu in the room upon embarkation and had called room service to ask them to send up a menu, but none ever arrived. Despite this, we knew what we wanted. Monday afternoon we ordered room service for some cheese and crackers for an afternoon snack. Room service wanted to know how many people we wanted cheese and crackers for and I replied "two". I would find out later in the week why they had asked how many people I wanted it for. In any event, a nice selection of cheese arrived about 20 minutes later, along with several packages (still in the wrappers!!!) of saltine crackers. We had quite a lovely time with our cheese and a bottle of the wine we had purchased in Nassau. seated on our balcony watching the lovely seas go past.
We had quite a few chuckles over the course of the week, along with our dinner table mates, Pat and Sid, over the subject of saltine crackers. While eating lunch at the buffet one afternoon, Pat had requested some crackers to go with her soup and after much searching, they finally came up with a couple of packages of saltines. We were convinced that saltines in plastic wrap were the only crackers onboard ship. In fact, Pat and her husband Sid were so sick of saltines, they bought some Ritz crackers in Grand Cayman for an outrageous price.
Dinner Tuesday night was unmemorable except for our head waiter fixing cherries jubilee and the aftermath of dinner. Our waiter, who turned out to be a real comedian, started trying to do a trick after dinner, to try to flip a spoon into a glass on the table. Well, he suckered me in to the deal, promising that if I could do the trick, there would be a free bottle of wine for me. Of course, he ended up tricking me into slapping my hand into a pat of butter. Also, one of the neighboring tables got really rowdy during dinner and a woman's shoe came flying over the table and hit Pat in the head. I thought that Sid was going to go over and defend Pat's honor, but fortunately he did not. We found out--much to our surprise--the next night, that Sid had had quite a bit too much the night before prior to dinner. We had not suspected it, considering he was a perfect gentleman. However, he didn't remember either his wife getting hit over the head with the shoe or my hand getting placed in the butter, so I would say that he had had quite enough!
On Tuesday night, we attended our one and only performance in the show lounge, which was the comedian, Kenny Smiles. We arrived after the show began, but were able to find seats by travelling all the way around the rear of the room to the smoking section. Kenny Smiles is kind of a "kinder, gentler" Don Rickels, who also sings. We had seen him before, in 1989, when he was on the SeaBreeze. It was funny, but the material was kind of the same as on the SeaBreeze and entertaining only the first time around.
On to the casino and won around $100.00, so we retired happy to bed around 2, after some more conversation with Michael, the bar manager. We talked about the Crown Dynasty--due to be delivered in June--which he indicated is to have a Victorian type decor (as opposed to the Art Deco look of the Crown Jewel) with lots of wood panelling. We asked Michael whether he thought that his bar operations would change any with Cunard's arrangement and he seemed to think they would not. Casino staff indicated that they did not believe much would change with them either, as the casino on the CJ belongs to the ship, it's not a concession. Tuesday and Thursday nights we saw the casino manager sweating some bullets, as a large group of (people from) India, who were pretty high rollers, were just learning how to pay craps and were having a tremendous streak of luck. The casino manager seemed to close down the casino early Tuesday night, as there were lots of people still in the casino around 2 and they closed it down, presumably to keep from losing any MORE money.
Wednesday was Ocho Rios Jamaica. We had previously climbed Dunn's River Falls and did not appreciate the fact that we were hurried from place to place by our tour guide, so we decided to go to Dunn's River on our own this trip. A wise choice, both from a financial standpoint and from a satisfaction standpoint. Taxi to the Falls was $20 round-trip for the two of us, plus $5 tip. Of course, payment was made when we were deposited back at the ship, not before. It's approximately a 5 minute taxi ride from the ship to the Falls. Admission to the Falls is $3 per person. The ship tours of the Ocho Rios area (not much to see) was $35 per person, so we saved quite a bit of money.
Dunn's River is apparently a national park of some nature. There are no vendors allowed inside the park itself, so you need not worry about people trying to braid your hair, sell you stuff you don't need, etc., etc. If you are not going to climb the falls, allow yourself around 1 and 1/2 hours. Underwater cameras were available at the park ($19)--(same price onboard the ship) and the water socks were available for rent. Sorry, we didn't check to see how much they were. If you are going to climb the falls, which you should have a guide for, you have to have something on your feet, as you are climbing over rocks, etc. There is a beach at the bottom of the falls, with changing rooms and lockers, plus restrooms. There are also places to get something to eat and drink there within the falls area, so one could make a whole day trip, including spending a couple of hours there on the beach. Even if you don't intend on actually climbing the falls themselves, you might well want to wear or bring your swimming suit, as there are many places to climb out into the water without actually climbing. The area is very warm and humid, if you are not cooled off by climbing in the water. The best views of the area are standing in the water and you can get some great pictures in the water also.
We headed back to the ship around noon to grab some lunch and had intended to head back to the beach in the afternoon, but it came up a drippy rain for most of the afternoon, so we stayed onboard ship. Eric found somebody to talk to for a couple of hours and I read a book in the cabin. I also had several drinks from my bottle of Bacardi that I had purchased in Nassau, and therefore don't remember too much of Wednesday evening.
Thursday morning found us at an unknown island, well, sort of. Apparently the weather had been very rough early in the morning on the side of Grand Cayman where the ships normally tender. Therefore the Crown Jewel (and Seaward, which was in port at the same time in Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel) was anchored on the opposite side of the island. Having never anchored on that side of the island before, the shoreline did not look familiar. The water was very calm and we had no rain at all while in Cayman, so we were surprised that the move had been made to the other side of the island. Some passengers joked that all the taxi drivers got together about once a month and demanded that the ships have to anchor on the other side of the island so that they could make additional fares! In any event, taxi fare to town from the new tendering spot was $3 per person. The ride was approximately 10 minutes. Not a major investment of money. We minded more the extra time needed for the trip than the money.
We took our only ship shore excursion on Grand Cayman, to Stingray City. This was an absolutely unforgettable experience. Cost was around $35 per person and worth every penny. I don't know whether one could have booked it on your own or not. However, we knew that we wanted to go to Stingray City for certain, and did not want to miss it by messing around trying to find a trip cheaper. The total trip from where the ship tendered (especially this time, since the ship did not anchor in the normal place), to Stingray City took a long time, around an hour and 15 minutes. We were bussed across the island to where the boat leaves, then the trip on the boat was around 35 minutes.
Stingray City is a fairly recent phenomenon, as far as boat trips there. Included in our excursion was the transportation to the reef, snorkeling equipment and water and lemonade to drink, and squid for feeding to the stingrays. For someone who has not experienced this place, it is hard to describe, but there were probably 40 or so stingrays, in all sizes, who congregated in this very shallow reef area. The reef area was all sandy bottom, about 1/2 to 3/4 mile offshore. The water was a maximum of 6 feet deep, with most of the area around 3 feet deep. The stingrays swam all around the swimmers and would take the squid right from your hand. We were in the water around 45 minutes with the stingrays. Take along the video camera and get some really good shots from the boat of other swimmers in the water. Also bring one of the underwater ones and get some fabulous shots. The underwater cameras were available on the boat for $20, plus some great t-shirts, also for $20. The trip took close to 4 hours altogether. Normally it is about a 3 1/2 hour trip, if the ship is anchored over in town.
We had not taken our wallets along for the trip to Stingray City, since we had anticipated coming back to the ship and showering before heading out to do some shopping. We wished afterward that we had, as we wasted a lot of shopping time having to come back to the ship, but it was nice to have a shower before heading back out. Eric had been wanting an authentic old coin to wear on a chain for some time, and after a quick shower and lunch, we headed back out to town and he spent (quite a bit of) money for a really lovely authentic coin. Of course all the shopkeepers had signs in the windows, welcoming Crown Jewel, Seaward and Nieuw Amsterdam. We had kind of expected the Nieuw Amsterdam to be following us throughout the trip, along with Seaward and were surprised when she did not appear in Grand Cayman (or later in Cozumel). Our friend, Michael, the bar manager, told us that the NA had developed engine problems and had had to fly some people home. After finishing our shopping, it was back to the ship for OUR PARTY!!
Earlier in the week when we had recounted to Sid and Pat about our little private party with wine and cheese on Tuesday, they asked why they had not been invited! Well, it got me to thinking that this would probably be the one and only time when I would have a cabin in which I COULD have a party, without someone having to sit in the shower. In any event, on Tuesday night, I called room service about what I could order for a party, since I had no room service menu. I asked for hot hors d'oeuvres and a cheese plate for 8 people. Not trusting the person I talked to on the phone, I went down to the purser's desk the next day and had them re-confirm the order. I didn't ask how much it was supposed to cost and didn't (foolishly) particularly care. We had ordered the food for 3:45 on Thursday and I got fairly upset when 4:00 came and still no food. (Fortunately, everyone was fashionably late, so I still didn't have any guests yet, but it's hard to throw a party without food.) Eric called room service and announced "This is Mr. Hill in cabin 7015--(like they were going to care!!) and before he could get anything else out, the fellow on the other end says "Yes, Mr. Hill, we are working on your order now. It will be up very shortly." Anyway, around 4:15 two HUGE trays of hot hors d'oeuvres (which were GREAT, by the way!) showed up, but no cheese. Considering we had only invited 7 people besides ourselves and not an army, I considered before griping that there was no cheese tray, but decided, what the heck, and demanded to know where our cheese tray was. I wonder whether it had been already made up, as the fellow scurried off and came back with the cheese tray very quickly. This was also a huge tray, complete with regular crackers (NOT saltines in the wrappers), and a carved swan and some fruit. Very nice. They didn't have us sign anything when they brought it, which I thought was slightly odd, but I was just happy to have everything since our guests were now starting to arrive. After the party had been underway for a while, we ran short of ice and called room service for some more ice and it was delivered within 5 minutes. We had an absolutely wonderful time, with the passengers from the suite next door, their parents, our tablemates and one other fellow that Eric invited up. The best part was that we were not charged ANYTHING for the party, although my suspicion is that this was because they were late, or possibly because we had booked a suite. We certainly didn't complain that we were not charged! (We did finally see a room service menu in our neighbor's cabin. It didn't list hot hors d'oeuvres at all, but did list a cheese tray for 10-12 people, for $20.00. It listed a kind of ominous "check with the front desk" about arrangements for private parties.)
Since we had to do justice to that huge amount of food that we had for the party in our room (as well as the large amount of liquor we had consumed), we were in no mood for dinner Thursday night, especially not for the second formal evening of the cruise. We did manage to put on our bib and tucker for dinner and ate a little bit for dinner, but were, for the most part, just being sociable. One interesting thing, the ship's photographers took formal portraits in the library that evening. Several of them turned out very well, especially with the backdrop of the library, which made a different picture than on most ships. I just have to throw this in here. The photographers didn't do nearly so good a job in Grand Cayman. They set up their standard picture of people leaving the tender and arriving in Grand Cayman, so that Seaward was in the background. I can just hear the people at home now--"Oh, is that YOUR ship??" Answer, "No, that's just a ship that got in the road of the picture."
Friday was Cozumel, docking at noon, right beside our larger buddy, M/S Seaward. We had brunch around 10:30. Forewarned with the knowledge from our discussion after dinner the night before with our head waiter that, if we wanted waffles for brunch, just ASK for them, we DID. Because we knew we were going to make an extra request, we looked to sit at our regular dining room table, but it was full. However, we found our waiter and asked him where we could sit for him to wait on us, which he did. We asked for our waffles, which were GREAT, and I got a glass of champagne to celebrate.
We had been to Cozumel before, but never docked where we were now, and we thought it was a great improvement over the previous tender situation. The dock is just north of town. Taxis are $3 for the TAXI each way to town. There is some shopping right by the dock, but the best shopping for silver, blankets, etc., is over in town.
The ship has a hand-out sheet with prices for taxis to various places and suggestions of things to do in Cozumel. We went to one of the best places I ever remember for snorkeling, which is Chankaanab Lagoon. Chankaanab is a national park and quite a lovely site. It is a fairly long area from which one can snorkel along with the shore (maybe about 1/4 mile). There are huts to protect you from the sun all along that area, plus equipment rental places, a restaurant, a soda stand (buy soda in the BOTTLE @ $1.50, just to make sure!), a small museum, showers and changing rooms. The entire area was clean and neat and nice. Taxi fare is $5 for the TAXI each way, entrance fee to the park is $4 per person and snorkeling gear (mask, fins, and snorkel) is $5. I kind of like a life preserver for snorkeling also. This was $3 additional, and I thought, worth the money as the water was fairly choppy. There were huge numbers of fish and many colorful fish that practically brushed up against you from time to time, there were so many of them.
By the time that we had our fill of Chankaanab, it was around 3:30. The equipment rental place where we had rented our equipment closed at 4. I presume that the others closed at a similar time, as the prices at all were virtually the same. We turned our gear back in and headed back to the ship and grabbed a quick shower. By that time, it was around 4:30 and time for the ice cream up on deck, since we had missed lunch. There were about four different kinds of ice cream, plus cookies and/or brownies, each day, plus some small sandwiches (turkey, egg salad, etc.). That hit the spot prior to heading off to town to procure some silver jewelry and some trinkets. Back to the ship right around dusk to grab the cameras and take some evening shots of the ship in port. All aboard was at 7:30 and we sailed at 8:00. Sailing in the evening, especially while seated on one's balcony, is a great experience.
Saturday was a day at sea, at which the ship raced to make it back to Palm Beach by Sunday morning. We kept up a fairly constant speed of 19 knots, into a very heavy wind of around 20 knots, which produced around 10 foot seas. Being up on deck was uncomfortable, except in the extreme aft and right by the pool, because it was so windy. I spent a good deal of Saturday afternoon by the pool listening to the steel band, then later on sitting at one of the tables in the aft of the ship, soaking up some sun. Eric, being a much more hardy soul than I, spent much time forward that day, trying to get a sun burn. We did some of the awful task of packing before heading up for some sun, then finished the rest before dinner, except for last minute items which we stowed at the last minute. Suitcases were supposed to be out by midnight. We closed up Harry's Bar (the last bar still open on Saturday night) around 3 A.M., with our favorite bartender, Ernie. My last two drinks were paid for by my friend Michael, the bar manager. I'm sure, after receiving our bill outside our cabin Sunday morning, that Michael certainly did not lose any money on us for the week!
Full breakfast was served in the dining room Sunday morning at 7:30 for second seating. There was apparently danish available at the Palm Court that morning, but I don't know. Customs were called by luggage tag colors, and, according to the cruise director, the customs officials in Palm Beach apparently do it differently every week. In any event, they wanted to see ANYONE who had purchased ANY alcohol, as well as anyone who had gone over the dollar limit (which they said was $400.00, but I was fairly sure was $600.00 per person. Oh well.) Presumably because we were in a suite, our bag color was called first, even though our flight was not due till 12:30. As we waited for the ship to be cleared for disembarkation, we noticed the line of limos waiting for passengers to disembark. Upon disembarkation, we were met by a driver with a sign with our names on it, who directed us to his (slightly disappointing) Lincoln Town Car. Fine in most circumstances, but NOT a stretch limo. Anyway, he had a book of pictures in the car from when he used to be a driver for Ted Aronson (President of Carnival), so that was interesting, talking to him about those experiences.
I cannot imagine that there is anything at all which I didn't discuss, but feel free to post any questions that you can think of (if anyone is still reading this!). We had an absolutely fabulous time and would sail the Crown Jewel again any day.
Carol & Eric in Virginia
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