Number of Cruises: 8
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Dawn Princess
Sailing Date: n/a
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
I have entered a commentary on every ship I have been on through this site. This was our 8th cruise. We have been on the Premier-SS Atlantic, Norwegian Norway and Leeward,Celebrity Zenith,Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Sea, Carnival Imagination, Holland America Ryndam, and now the Princess Dawn Princess. Lord willing we will do a cruise every year, so we are trying different companies to find where to place our loyalties to in the future. Holland America stills ranks highest, but Princess now runs a close second. The only place they did not measure up was the food. The breakfast was horrible (mostly). Much in quantity- but much less on quality. However- all other food- lunch and dinner were great.
The Ship- Unbelievable. It is advertised to be that Princess makes a huge ship feel small. They do indeed fulfill their promise. A large ship- 77,000 tons, designed and laid out as good as I have ever seen. They make wonderful use of the Atrium area- at which is truly the "gathering place" for all. It (the ship) is beautiful and is so clean that it looks as if it just set sail last week. Having 4 pools, and 5 hot tubs- their is never a time when you cannot find a perfect seat for anything to do on a 'sea day'. Again, the layout was most impressive and this was the most stable while cruising shop we have ever been on. If you get Seasick easy- this is your ship.
The Embarkation/Disembarkation- The best ever. It was unbelievable how quick from the time we got off the plane that we made it on the Ship. We were on at 12 or a little before. No long lines, and no harassing dock people. Unbelievably pleasant.
The Entertainment- The Best we have ever had at sea. All clean, and much variety. Yes, you can choose from 1 of 2 shows every night- which lets you fit your own fancy for the evening. Whatever you did not go to one night would typically be available the next. 3 comedians, a juggler, singers, and the best dance "Broadway" performances I have seen. Kudos to Princess and the Cruise Director for assembling fantastic entertainment.
The Itinerary- St. Thomas- Had been there 2 other times but this time took a trip to Koki Beach. Having snorkeled all over the world and thinking that the best yet was in Cozumel at the "State Park"- I was wrong. The best snorkeling I have ever seen is at this beach. Don't book it through the ship- get off and get a taxi to bring you- you will save BUNCHES of monies. As far as that goes- having been on 8 cruises- I advise everyone to book your land tour when you get off the ship. The ships prices are grossly overpriced and we passed all the 'ship folk' on every tour we did, with the exception of the places we were brought that no one else got to go to. Koki Beach was hit!
St. Kitts- Take the land tour with a resident taxi tour. there are 2 tours one to each side of the island. If you have to choose 1- pick going to see and feed the wild monkeys at Turtle Bay- the drive there contains the -prettiest scenery I have EVER seen. truly picturesque. However, the other side of the Island has much to offer with the beautiful gardens. If you speak nicely to your taxi guide- he will give you both for a 'deal'. Not expecting much- St. Kitts is my favorite port I have ever visited.
Martinique- Dirty- but taking a taxi land tour becoming beautiful. Much shopping available if you went snorkeling instead of shop in St. Thomas- but I hear the prices are steep. Not near as pretty as it is built up to be- but filled with history that makes the land tour (again booked off the ship- the ship will make you feel like it will be extra expensive if you don't use theirs- hogwash- we went for $30 cheaper, a piece, by meeting the guy on the street to take us).
Isla Marguerita- did not book land tour- should have- the beach they tell you is right beside you dock is smelly, nasty, and full of jelly fish. Those who did the tour came back saying this was their favorite port of call. Unbelievable. Best 'Island Shopping' on the whole cruise. Here are the DEALS!
Curacao- Beautiful. Modernized. Much shopping and a decent land tour. For the busy shopper- will probably be your favorite port of call. I thought the people here were the least friendliest however.
Service- Not as good as Celebrity and Holland America- but not bad either. Only problem we had was we were stuck without toilet paper 3 times from our room steward. That is unheard of for a cruise. Otherwise- the people were kind, most helpful, and probably the friendliest cruise staff we have sailed with.
Intangibles- You can tip on your shipboard credit card which is nice and allows you to get those frequent flyer miles. They do not promote a lot of the activities via the speakers on the ship at all (Bingo, poolside games, etc). This is a positive for some- while others hate it. If you want to stay informed- you must keep up with your 'Princess Patter' daily guide, or the tremendous What's up TV station in your room. Speaking of TV. You don't have many channels, and although they show movies on the ship in the ship theatres they show B movies in the room. So that was a downside if you like to stay up late flipping the channels. Lastly, they don't push anything on you. You do what you want- or don't. there was never any hard sell or pressure put on.
You should love this cruise staff, this ship, and if given the opportunity- these ports. We sailed out of San Juan. Airport chaos- but with these ports it was worth it.