This was our 6th cruise, 4th on Princess. We arrived the day before the cruise and stayed at the Rodeway Inn primarily because of its free shuttle service from the airport and to the cruise port. This was a decent enough place for a reasonable cost for one night. Embarkation was slow but that was partly because we arrived shortly after 11:00 and had a lengthy wait. At least there were chairs in the waiting area after we got through security and check in. For the hotel shuttle service we had to be in the lobby at 10:30 and they loaded the shuttles by ship and as they had room so we knew we would have to wait, knowing that they wouldn't let us on the ship until at least noon.
The ship was very nice. We were pleased with our cabin and cabin attendant. The food was excellent. We did anytime dining in the Michelangelo dining room for the first time and it worked out well. Noel was the best waiter we have had in 6 cruises and after the first night we reserved the same table for the rest of the cruise. We never had a bad meal. I am on a gluten free diet and they took very good care of me. Every night they would show me the next day's menu and I would make my selections and they would prepare them for me gluten free for the following night. We generally ate lunch at the buffet and the food there was also very good. They also had 2 gluten free desserts at the buffet every day and they were excellent and very much appreciated.
The entertainment was also quite good. The Princess singers and dancers put on the best shows of any ship's group that we have seen yet. Excellent productions. The comedian Miquel Washington and illusionist David Katz were also excellent--we went to see both of them perform a second time later in the cruise in one of the lounges.
We didn't do anything too exciting on shore, mostly island tours. At Princess Cay we just hit the beach for a bit. On St. Maarten we took a Bernard's tour For $40 each that gave us a nice overview of the entire island. Then we walked along the main street in Philipsburg and the beach and enjoyed that as well. In St. Thomas we took a tour of St. John that included a 45 minute ferry ride and then a ride around the beautiful island. On Grand Turk we took an island tour with Island Trams for $20 with stops for a few minutes each in Cockburn town and at the lighthouse. The tour was very interesting and informative.