Flawless cruise during Spring Break! and yes with 600 kids. The ship is so large, you can find serenity somewhere.
Be patient with embarkation as Princess is remodeling their current terminal.
I have been on the Crown Princess 2 yrs ago. and still enjoy the ship. We were upgraded to a mini-suite, which was nice. Room Steward Paul was nice and greeted us EVERYDAY. Thx for the cookies, Paul. The International Cafe' is priceless, and a very best kept secret. We frequented EVERY afternoon(chicken salad, warm choc chip cookies, and mini cheesecakes) yum!
I totally agree with all hand sanitizer required areas, they should be mandatory on all ships. Some public restroom entrance doors were propped open, but who cares, you still could close your stall door. I noticed some reviews previous that people were complaining. Geez, really. Your on vacation, why complain if your preventing illnesses. Entertainment was OK. Ventriloquist was a little boring, I almost fell asleep. We just ate at the buffet every night, never used our Anytime dining.
My one complaint is the ports. I will definitely stick to the Eastern Caribbean itineraries that I love!
Besides one night into the early morning, out of the whole week, the boat was rocking. We were going thru the Windward Passage which was very windy and rough. (I was awaken to the Chapstick rolling back and forth on the counter in the middle of the night). In the morning, the TV said we were at "Near Gale" force winds and seas were 7ft. 7 ft ain't much to these ships but I know the middle of the night the sea was much more than 7 foot waves.
Took public transportation bus to Palm Beach for $2.30 round trip pp. Getting on the bus was easy at the terminal, which was within walking distance of cruiseship BUT return trip from beach took along time for a bus to come along. Waited about 40 mins. for bus to pick us up at Palm Beach stop in front of the Riu. Beach was beautiful and had lots of watersport activities. Beware there are several vendors to rent chairs, umbrellas and watersports from, compare prices, cuz they're all different. They do not work for the hotels. Water was a little chilly but very clear and refreshing once it got later in the day.
Again, people didn't seem friendly. Definitely is NOT "One Happy Island". I shopped briefly, but almost every store I went in, I was the only person in there. Shopped at the Royal Plaza Mall at around 3pm, and it was dead. Paid $5.35 for a Corona at some bar. $5.35 for a beer is ridiculous. St Martin, St Thomas, Cozumel, you can beer from street vendors for a buck($1). Thought I could get a few cheap drinks while in port, but that's not the case. Pretty much everyone spoke a foreign language, which made it overwhelming and uncomfortable. I've decided to stick to the Eastern Caribbean itineraries.
I gave Aruba a 3 star only because of the beach, which was beautiful, pretty calm and a tad bit windy. If I had to go back it would only be for the beaches. Eagle Beach looked nice to, as we drove by in the bus.
People not friendly, tried to get a cab and 4 guys were standing around until I said "can someone take us to Seaquarium". Usually cabbies are hounding you once you get off a ship, but these guys just didn't seem to care. Seaquarium was so not worth the $20adult admission. And Seaquarium Beach was so not worth the $3 adult admission. Too much construction, no tiki bars or restaurants and no island music. The beach itself was nice but thats it.
I was in Curacao about 15 yrs ago. I don't remember much but I do remember the floating pontoon bridge. When it opens, it can be open for more than an hour, because the cargo ships are lined up out at sea just waiting to get into the harbor. It can strand 1000+ people at a time which means your stuck taking the free ferry or hailing a cab back to the ship. You will be stranded if you dont plan ahead.