After a busy week hosting a conference, I needed a quick and relaxing get-away.
After all of the negative press about the Carnival Corporations ships, I was a little nervous. We arrived on Miami Beach the day prior to sailing and enjoyed a tasty Southern meal at The Yard Bird. The blackberry tea, shrimp and grits , and fried chicken were a culinary delight.
We arrived at The Port of Everglades around 12:30 a.m. It took us over an hour to get checked in and drop our bags off at our cabin. We found the cabin very clean and comfortable. Our room steward, Atilla did an excellent job keeping us supplied with fresh towels, ice, and anything else that we requested. The towels were so hard that they irritated my skin. I guess I will have to bring my own towels and wash cloth the next time. We had lunch in the Horizon Buffet. The food wasn't that tasty, but it was just okay. We did eat there on a port day and found the lasaga very good.
Crown Grill- The $25 charge per person was okay to spend some time alone together or celebrate a special event. Our waiter was Riol. We order surf and turf and enjoyed the meal. We met Riol earlier at the Buffett, where he answered many questions. We had him as a waiter at Alfredo's for lunch. The Pizza at Alredos was tasty. Riol gave good service and did it with a smile and a tune.
Pub Lunch- The fish and chips and shrimp in the Crown Grill for lunch was another tasty option. The International Cafe is another quick option for breakfast, lunch, or coffee. You must be in line at 12:00 noon on sea days to get a seat for two. We joined another cruise critic couple the second time and we were seated quickly with a great view.
Michagelo Dining Room- Since we were on any time dining, we arrived early for dinner and quickly found a table for two. IF you have reservations, it is also a quick seating.
The service was great and the food was tasty. On the last port day, we enjoyed an orange roughy and scallps dinner. On the second formal night lobster was on the menu. We joined two other couples and had a delightful dinner where we all shared double portions of lobster and prawns. This was the best meal that I had on the ship.
When we arrived for a 5:30 seating, we were seated quickly and we were able to finish in time for the shows. If you are willing to share a table, the additonal guests might slow down the process.
DaVinci Dining Room-We ate lunch one afternoon and three mornings. The service was great and the food was tasty.
International Cafe- We didn't eat anything there. They had an array of sandwiches, pastries, cookies, and specialty coffees. They were always busy, so the food must have been okay.
Alfredo's Pizzeria-The pizza was great. If you want a salad to go with the pizza, you can visit the Internationall Cafe for salads, as well.
Room Service: We pre-ordered breakfast for port days. The egg McMuffin was always cold and not very tasty. I didn't try any of the other food.
Activities and Entertainment
The first winetasting event was complimentary to Princes Captains Circle Guests. The second one paired the premium wines to food. Both were well-attended and everyone enjoyed the tasting. There was a $25.00 charge for the second one.
SHows: We enjoyed Opus band where they played 50's music, country, and little bit of the great hits of the past. It is a great place to dance and enjoy a cocktail.
The Princess Singers and Dancers put on the best show that I have seen at Sea.
The British Invasion, Stardust , and Motown. We missed a couple of the shows because we were making a small donation to the Casino. No winnings in there!
Catain's reception entertained over 1600 repeat cruisers. The music, cocktails,
and appetizers were a big hit. We did go to the Elite Lounge one afternoon before dinner. There's drink specials and appetizers available. Elite members had fruit an a stocked bar in the refrigerator.
Bingo and Trivia- We skipped the Bingo. We did get a big kick one night over how serious people could get over 50's Musica Trivia.
We did sightseeing and beach excursions in the two ports. Curacao was quite interesting as the drive, John Paul gave us his views on education and child rearing on their island. We went to the National Park and to various vocanic rock sites. The Museum at the plantation was interesting.
Arubu-we toured the Island. We were toured the Chicago Light House, THe Natural Bridge and ended up at the beach.(Eagles Beach)
Princess CAy- After a rocky tender to the Island we enjoyed a barbecue lunch and returned to the ship.
All in All, after the slow boarding, the cruise exceeded my expectations. The service
was better than any of the 10 previous cruises. We met a lot of great people, who invited you to share a table if you couldn't find one or just to share a story. We had lunch with an elderly couple from California. She snorkled during the cruise and had such a zest for living that I am going to try it on my next cruise. Everyone seemed to be happy and enjoying the cruise(crew included). The only negative remarks that I heard was from the same passenger, who he claimed had bad experience with a member of the crew. Each member of the crew that I encountered provided excellent service and did it with a smile. After irritating my skin with the hard towels, I found that the pool towels made better bath towels. My husband prefers the larger ships, but Grand was
my kind of ship.