Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Caribbean Princess
Sailing Date: n/a
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
My boyfriend and I just returned from our 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Caribbean Princess. I used this site extensively when researching possible cruises, and wanted to repay the favor with this review.
First of all, I have to say that the trip exceeded both of our expectations. We had a fantastic time, and we hated for it to end.
Being young, first time cruisers, we had no idea what to expect. We had heard all the stereotypes about cruising, but decided to try it anyway. We chose Caribbean Princess because we wanted a nice ship (more than 3 stars) that was large and fairly new. Being just over a year old, and holding approx. 3,200 passangers, Caribbean Princess met all of the above.
Embarkation was super easy - we showed up about 11:30am and were on the ship by 12:30pm. We were both amazed at how easy Princess makes the whole process - the logistics of the whole thing were amazing, but the process was easy and the line moved very quickly.
We booked a balcony stateroom on the port side, and I have to say that it was definitely worth shelling out a little extra dough for the balcony. We spent many wonderful evenings pulling out of port and having a cocktail on the balcony.
The ship is amazing! It really seems they have thought of everything, and seem to have every amenity (bars, restaurants, clubs, pools, gyms, etc). Even with so many passengers, we could always find a quiet area on the ship and never felt crowded.
We chose anytime dining (table for 2)because we were more interested in spending time with each other than meeting new friends. We did notice a good number of younger couples, although the majority of passengers were in their 30s-50s. We only ate in the dining room a few times, as the menu was somewhat limited and we could get more options elsewhere. The buffets were really quite good (especially the lobster!) and we also ate at Sterling's Steakhouse, which is also recommended. We weren't expecting the food to be that great, so were pleasantly surprised when we had good meals. I would say not to expect gourmet cuisine, but there is plenty of good food. And if you don't like a particular dinner, you can always order something else from room service or check out the buffet.
The course had us stopping in St. Thomas, St. Martin, and Princess Cays. I think the intinerary could be improved with one more port (instead of having back-to-back at sea days in the beginning of the week), but we enjoyed all of our ports. We did not book any excursions with the cruise, as we wanted to do our own thing. We also ended up saving some money this way, since cheap taxis are plentiful right by the port. We mainly visited the beaches, which were excellent, and had some of our most relaxing days swimming in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean.
The onboard entertainment is also plentiful - we saw several really funny comedians, and there is always something going on. Princess has two formal nights - we did not want to dress up on our vacation, so we opted for the more casual route and had no problem.
I can't really think of anything negative about the cruise - we were impressed with everything (logistics, crew, food, facilities, ports) and we had a great cruise. We are already looking forward to our next one, and would highly recommend the Caribbean Princess for your next vacation.