Number of Cruises: 12
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Sun Princess
Sailing Date: October 2nd, 2003
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
We flew into Fort
Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Amerisuites, we got this hotel
thru Priceline for $35.00 - a real bargain as the offer shuttles to the
airport and port. Plus a continental breakfast!
Check was dreadful - long lines and no seating available. Plus after reaching the counter had to fill in even more paperwork- despite filling out everything online previously. About 90 mins total.
Our cabin was an o/s on emerald (a very convenient deck) but was the smallest cabin we have ever had, the bathroom was even worse, with only 3 small shelves for storage. It did have a nice refrigerator though and complimentary bath robes. Our cabin steward was Roger and he was the best!
We had signed up for traditional seating at a large table but the first night we were in a small room off the main dining room with only 2 other people at our table for 10. Our waiters never introduced themselves, nor was there any communication other than taking our orders. We asked to be seated in the main dining room and were accommodated, but if there had not been a sign on the table with there names on it, we again would not have known their names. Then we tried personal choice dining and finally found a wait team who were personable and friendly. The rest of the cruise we requested their table .At breakfast one morning we had a waiter who was surly and actually rude to a passenger who asked for skim milk instead of tea or coffee. It too 4 requests before her daughter stepped in and insisted they bring it. After that we had breakfast in the buffet. We can only assume that this state of affairs is brought about by Princess new policy on tipping. Everything is now pooled so there is no incentive to give good service, bad waiters get the same as good.
The food in the dining room is quite good, the rack of lamb is to die for, the best I have ever had, but the lobster was lacking in taste and tough. The steaks were OK but the prime rib was great. The desserts were very good - I had read reviews that said Princess desserts were not good, but I have 5lbs extra to say otherwise! The buffet was OK - the food was good but limited in variety and the traffic pattern totally congested. Again the waiters were slow in clearing plates. It seems Princess must read some of these reviews - there is now ice cream available free of charge in the afternoon. They have cut out one of the cocktail parties though, the farewell party is no more, instead a champagne waterfall at 11.30pm. Also no formal receiving line or long introductions of the crew and staff, which was a good idea.
The cruise director and his staff were only visible introducing the shows or at the various activities of which there were very few. The shows were mostly singing and dancing, not my thing but most people seemed to enjoy them. By far the best was Michael "the kid" James, don't miss him, he had us crying with laughter at his crazy sense of humor. The juggler and the comic were both awful. Paul Burton entertained us in the evening on the piano.
Halfmoon Cay was very nice, the tenders were very efficient with no waiting. There were lots of loungers and shade huts, and plenty of cold water available. Be sure to bring plenty of bug spray!
In St Thomas we took a taxi to Magens Bay a beautiful beach. $6.00 pp ew. $3.00 admission. Only picnic tables to sit on, but plenty of shade trees, watch out for the iguanos in the trees! Buy your liquor here but cigarettes are much cheaper on St Maarten.
St Vincente is a good day to do laundry, no charge for the machines, $1.00 for detergent.
On Barbados we toured with
a taxi, no problems with the drivers at all.
Antigua it poured all day so just went into the town and casino, which were right at the dock.
Sea days there was not much to do and what activities were planned overlapped, so you could only catch a couple. Again lots of time with no activities planned. Lots of deck loungers available at poolside, but constant loud music. If you want a good spot to read, go topside on the front of the ship.
All in all it was good value for the money, but RCCL does it better!