Just off the Ruby Princess. Here is what I can share with you. My 6th cruise, but first with Princess. We are casual people and have been mostly on Carnival because of that but we wanted to try and avoid kids on this trip. We over-corrected, this was definitely an older crowd. We are not overly social or heavy partiers so it didn't really bother us, though. But we did the Anytime dining and frequently sat with senior citizens which definitely had an impact on conversation. Again, nothing went awry, just not the best match.
We stayed in Aloha 243 balcony. Typical balcony room with good service. Nothing out of the ordinary. My first time on the front of the ship and did not find that to be a big difference in movement.
LOVED the Entertainment staff. Top notch and too much fun. Cruise Director Sam is a winner and hired good people. DO NOT MISS the yes/no game and the Liar's Club game in the Explorer's lounge. Hysterical. The International Crew show on the last night is a must-do as well.
Would say the food was slightly better than Carnival. The buffet is confusing at first but you will get used to it. They need to work out some kinks in the Anytime Dining. If you were the first 2 people to an 8-top, expect to be there at least 2 hours. They won't take your order until the table fills up.
We spent a lot of time in the Sanctuary. We showed up first thing on Sunday and picked out our chairs for the week. Worth every penny of $105 to know that your specific chair is waiting just for you. Great service there. Tea time every day at 3:30 which was a nice little surprise. They also have 2 cabanas up there for couples massages. We were lucky enough to grab one of the last open spots. Apparently you can book those pre-trip via the site. I recommend doing that in order to get an afternoon at sea time slot. We did ours in the morning and it was slightly chilly.
Vines was quite popular, but didn't make it there with my 18yo. And she didn't appreciate me wanting to watch reruns of The Love Boat in the room as well!! Very fun, campy idea.
Incredibly impressed with the movie selection: Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Flight.
Did not think much of the embarkation process. Not enough Princess people to check you in. On the return, only 3 customs agents to check everyone in. They blamed it on the sequester. I would add an extra 45 minutes to your schedule for that.
Power snorkeling. Highly recommend. Very safe and easy to do. Beautiful waters, clear and lots of fish. Got to swim with a barracuda. Snorkled out over the 7,000 foot drop off which was interesting as well. Would do again and again.
Somewhat fun, description is rather generous.
Drove a scoot coupe around the island for about 30 minutes. Which was fun and a little scary with the speed and curves. Too fast to really enjoy the scenery. The "short photo stop at Lame Shores, where your guide will introduce you to many of the marine animals that swim in the warm Atlantic waters" - is a stop at a run down little beach where we got to hold a sea urchin. Meh.
Then we drove to Orient beach where we got to hang out for about 90 minutes. Had I know it was Orient beach I would have skipped it. Beautiful beach, waaaayyyy too crowded. So - okay excursion, no need to repeat it.
Magen's Bay beach break. Beautiful beach, no complaints.