My husband and I are in our mid-forties and traveled on the Caribbean Princess with our kids aged 11 and 14. Our kids signed up for the kids' clubs right away and met great kids and had a blast the entire cruise. We got them the stickers for their cruise cards so they could get soda/mocktails all week. $50 each.
Although my husband and I enjoyed ourselves, I felt that this ship catered to a much older crowd. We are not big partiers but we like to have fun. We were always seated at dinner or breakfast with much older people. Not a problem, just a continuing occurrence...kind of hard to find some people to connect with and maybe hang out with. In addition, the nightlife was lacking. The karaoke was short (45 minutes) and it was always the same people every night. We felt we always had to move on to the next thing....nothing lasted very long. The piano player had a huge crowd every night, but he played songs for the older crowd. The piano bar on Carnival was far superior. The shows in the Princess Theater were ok, nothing special...and again..very short. The Comedian on the last night was excellent. Skywalkers night club was fun, but didn't open til 10. Even the band on the pool deck during the day played stale songs as well as the band in the Piazza. There was a dj on the pool sometimes, but he just played songs and sat there and didn't do anything to get the crowd excited. And there were not very many pool games like we had seen on Carnival. . We thought Carnival was much more fun for our age group.
PORTS: Princess Cays, nice beach with lots of chairs but not much else. I didn't really feel like I was visiting the Bahama's since the island was owned by Princess. The BBQ lunch was absolutely HORRIBLE. I can't even describe...cafeteria style with hockey puck hamburgers that had been sitting around, corn on the cob that had been sitting in water so long it turned color. We decided to head back to the ship around noon for a better meal.
Curacao was very hot. We did some shopping and a 2 hour bus tour ($12 per person we found in town). Was interesting but not that exciting.
Aruba. Very pretty island. We took a taxi to a good snorkeling beach (Arashi) for the morning. Got chairs on beach for $5 each. But no bathrooms or food/beverage. Went back to the boat to shower and came back to town for some shopping. NOthing great unless you want perfume or jewelry or tourist junk.
FOOD: we found the food good and bad. The beginning of the cruise I felt the food was horrible (wilted salads, overcooked seafood) Kind of like those buffet restaurants. HOwever, as the week went on, I felt the food improved. Interesting choices. We ate at Sabattinis' one night...not worth the extra $. So many better Italian restaurants at home. Just stick with the food in the dining room. Pizza was excellent. Also the desserts at the International Cafe were delicious!
One last funny/disturbing incident: On Thanksgiving lots of people put towels on chairs at pool really early. Started raining hard mid-morning and towels were soaked. Cleared up and people arrived to watch a movie around 10:30, including us. About 2 hours later the kids in front of us got up to get a snack (gone maybe 10 min). A guy and his family and took the towels off the chairs and sat down. The kids came back and said they were sitting there. The guy actually said that he reserved the chairs with his towels at 7am so they were his and he wasn't moving. The kids dad even came over and said that it was not right, but the guy was adamant and stayed. I guess he didn't see anything wrong with leaving a towel on a chair for 5 hours. Really??