Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Caribbean Princess
Sailing Date: November 5, 2006
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
We had just come off a Panama Canal transit cruise in early May and the trip to the Eastern Caribbean was for rest and relaxation only. We planned no shore excursions and during days in port had the pools and sports venue facilities almost to ourselves. We did disembark at Princess Cays and it was well worth our time for another relaxing day sitting in the sun and snorkeling.
We arrived at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale at about 11:30 a.m. We stood in line for about 45 minutes before entering the embarkation building due to our illustrious U.S. Customs Immigration officials that couldn't quite get all of their people in place for check in. They are the first people you see in the building and in my view are the most over paid people I've ever seen. Security was a hair above going in to a movie theater, basically zero.
The Princess check in is done by decks with a couple of reps checking you in took no more than 10 minutes with about 7 of that waiting for the family in front of us in line. Then we entered the ship and proceeded to our room on the the Caribe Deck. We had a stateroom with a balcony. The balconies on the Caribe deck are the largest on the ship other than a master suite. About 5-6 feet extra length that is used to cover the mini suites below. The only minor disadvantage is that the people above can look down on about half of your balcony. We found this to be no problem at all and in fact when we encountered a brief shower while at sea moved back a few feet on the balcony and we were covered from the floor of the balcony above.
We ate in the Palm dinning room each night and the second night we had Svetan and Angelica as our servers which we kept for the rest of the cruise. We absolutely prefer anytime dining and by simply calling the concierge we had table for four, #126, at 7:30 each evening with them, but if we wanted to go to a specialty restaurant that table and servers were still ours for the following evening. and the remainder of the cruise. In fact, the last formal night there were two lines of about 10-15 people each waiting for a table, but we went right in and to our table by passing the wait. The food by the way was excellent and our servers were two of the best we've had in our cruising experiences.
The casino has the new slots that are computer linked to your on file credit card for an instant withdrawal to be played in the machine. My wife took ample advantage of my American Express card. Each transaction cost $1.50. I had many! (LOL) I don't smoke and she does - that might explain why I really didn't notice any smoke problems in the casino.
Can't comment on the entertainment or activities because that was not on our agenda for the trip. Our day consisted of a continental breakfast on the balcony that was always there within ten minutes of calling. Hanging our at the adult pool aft on sea days and the middle pool during port days. Taking a nice power nap after lunch at either the Island Dining Room or the burger and piazza area by the main pool. Snacks from the buffet around 4-5. In the evening a drink or two before dinner and after dinner drinks in the lobby bar. R & R at it's finest.
The ship of course is huge even bigger than the Star Princess we sailed on to Alaska. Even with the 3k plus people on board the only times we felt their presence was embarking and disembarking. Found we think an answer to the disembarking chaos. We waited for baggage colored tickets past ours to be called and when we went to get our luggage had no problem whatsoever finding it. We also had a pick up van service scheduled and with one call they were their within a few minutes picking us up in the assigned area.
In conclusion, highly recommend this trip at least for our purpose.