We selected the itinerary as we had not been in these ports and wanted to try Princess as friends had recommended the line. The ship was in excellent shape in all areas.
Embarkation was made painless by taking Cruise Critic advice to come a little later. Walked right up to get our ship creds, boarded the ship and went to our cabin.
We choose a mini-suite on Dolphin Deck which turned out to be just right for us. The cabin was clean and in good shape, exactly as pictured. We were on the starboard side and wished we had chosen a port side cabin so we could see the ports from our veranda.
The food was excellent and much better than our experience on Celebrity last year. We signed up for anytime dining and according to the information provided prior to the cruise we understood that we could make a dinner reservation for a time of our choosing that may be different each night of the cruise. Upon arrival on the ship I contacted the dining reservations and was told that......
"due to the high number of anytime dining guests no reservations would be given!"
The Anytime Dining Experience-
Night 1-We stood in line +30 minutes and were offered a table that boardered the dining room exit door which we rejected and were then seated at an acceptable table
Night 2-Tried to go earlier but still waited 15 minutes in line
We gave up on Anytime dining in favor of a table at the late seating which transitioned our dining experience from terrible to excellent.
We ate all our dinners in the main rooms and the food was consistently good. New items on the menu every night and something for everyone.
The service was attentive and very professional. The dining area captain visited our table each evening.
Our other meals were in the Horizon or the grill. The food was very good with continuing variety of dishes offered. The service was good outdoors but spotty indoors as we frequently had to wave down a waiter for drinks. It seemed
they were more interested in clearing tables than serving guests.
We found the entertainment options good. We saw 3-current movies we had planned to see previously but had not and one Movie Under the Stars was lot s of fun even if it was a bit windy. The others were in the Princess Theater which is as good as being in a theater.
The live entertainment throughout the ship was enjoyable and we would definitely see again. Lots of variety to meet everyone's needs.
Beyond the "Company Island" stop our ports were Curacao which was new to us and a return to Aruba after +15 years.
Curacao-was very interesting with the colorful Dutch buildings and swinging bridge. The port city is easy to walk around and is all you need to see what it is all about on your own.
Aruba- this island has really developed since we last visited. There are shops, restaurants and diversions to attract anyone. You don't need a tour here either as they have an excellent public bus system(with A/C!) for $2.30 pp to get you around and private buses(vans with Bus sign on top) for $2.00 pp. We went to Malmok Beach to get some local flavor and the to Palm Beach to spend time for lunch and the afternoon in rented chases ($5 ea) under a thatched umbrella. Enjoyed the frozen cocktails and all the diversions of this very popular beach destination.
We used the "carry your own luggage" disembarkation option and this was great. We made it from our cabin off the ship and thru customs in 15-minutes!