Terry and Dan Brown
Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Caribbean Princess
Sailing Date: January 14, 2007
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Fort Lauderdale: We stayed at the AmeriSuites on 17th the night before the cruise. Shuttle service provided to the pier the day of the cruise, although everyone sailing had to sign up for shuttle service at 2:30pm, not a minute before. Once all seats were signed for, sorry about your luck....you had to get a cab. Given the low cost of a cab, we'll probably go that route next time rather than fight for our place in the 'Sign-up' line. Breakfast was included with our hotel, eggs, pastries, waffles, cereals, etc... Price of the hotel very reasonable. Good restaurants and shopping within walking distance of the hotel. We purchased some Pepsi products to carry on-board (learned from our 1st cruise that Princess only carries Coke products, I'm not a fan of Coke)
Embarkation: Arrived at the pier at 11:00 am, started embarkation at 11:25 am, in our stateroom at 11:40 am. Princess has to be the best at this process, went very smoothly. Carried our Diet Pepsi on board without a problem. (I've seen people do this on other cruises, but it still made me nervous). We met our room stewardess, Celia, very nice. She asked us to come into our room because she had to talk with us about something, I thought, “oh no, there goes our Diet Pepsi!”. She just wanted to let us know to call her anytime, that she was there for our every need.
Ship: Huge, beautiful, never felt crowded. I had been worried that it would feel crowded given the number of passengers sailing. The ship was immaculate and beautiful, very sophisticated, but still very comfortable.
Stateroom: Caribe deck, balcony stateroom. LOVED it! Very spacious, huge closet, small bathroom, shower only. Do not bend over in the shower, small pipe protrudes from the side, nailing you in the wrong place if you know what I mean. Balcony was lovely, and very large, partially covered. Two comfortable high-back chairs and a dining table.
1st day: Had a scheduled appointment for manicure/pedicure the morning of our first sea day. Manicure was great, although the Spa is run by Steiner and they expect their employees to do a “hard sell”. Pedicure didn't go as well as the manicure. The gal use a body brush to exfoliate my legs and proceeded to grab my thigh and tell me that I had too much fat on my thighs and the brush would cure this problem (I”m 5'6” and 130 lbs and pretty well toned). Needless to say, no tip, no products purchased. Given the “hard sell” nature of Steiner, I probably won't be doing any more Spas with Princess or any other line that contracts with Steiner.
Formal night: Very nice. Women dressed in everything from cocktail dresses to long gowns. Men in tuxedos to very nice suits.
Smart-casual nights – sun dresses to Capri's, nice slacks for women, no shorts or jeans in the dining rooms. Men in Dockers and open neck shirts, in the dining rooms. We did eat some of our meals in the Horizon Court, good food – not gourmet great, but good. I've got to say I'm not a fan of the Caribe Cafe'- small and served the same food as Horizon Court, got kind of congested at times.
Deck food – loved Princess pizza! Had to limit myself to 2 slices or I would have eaten this EVERDAY. My husband said the burger and fries were good as well.
M.U.T.S. (Movies Under The Stars) – I really liked this feature during the evening. We usually sunned on the Aft Pool, didn't do M.U.T.S. during the day. But the night movies were fantastic- probably saw 3 movies at night.
Entertainment – great shows, comedians, Piano Man. Can't say enough. Club Fusion always had something fun going on. We took dance lessons a couple of times...a few Latin dances, good times!
St. Maarten: We didn't do any excursions this trip, just some shopping and a few drinks and lunch on the beach. This is a beautiful island, friendly people. Great deals on jewelry. Some folks say St. Thomas is better, but I think both St. Maarten and St. Thomas are pretty equal. Snorkeling is very good on this island, although we didn't do it this trip.
St. Thomas: Princess has built their own pier, not sure I like it. You must get a cab or shuttle to go shopping or downtown. Previous pier, you could actually walk to town. We went shopping, bought some jewelry, Coach bag, souvenirs, etc... Then we took a shuttle to Magan's Bay beach. It was very pretty, but expensive to get there, pay your way in, rent a chair, etc.. Very crowded, not what I expected. Given the reputation of its beauty, I couldn't see it for the crowds, I'd pass this excursion next time.
Princess Cays: Gorgeous island, lots to do. Snorkel, swim, boating, paddle boats, volleyball, walking and of course -eating. It was a beautiful day on the island, very relaxing.
Disembarkation: Again, Princess is King.....went very smoothly. We waited approximately 30 minutes to disembark. Were at the airport by 9:30 am for our 10:55 flight.
Overall, great cruise. We booked a 10 day Southern Caribbean with the Emerald Princess next February, can't wait.