Pre-cruise: Stayed at Super 8 Dania Beach, great for a one-night pre-cruise stay. 5 minute wait for shuttle after arriving at FLL. Cruise terminal shuttle doesn't leave until 11:00 AM, so we took a cab to the terminal. Staff was very friendly. Room was clean and bed was very comfy. Room also had a fridge/microwave and a sitting area. Breakfast was cereal, juices, pastries, etc. Breakfast area is VERY small, so hubby took a tray down to load up on food to bring back to the room. Had dinner at Jaxson's (Great!). There is also a Walgreen's nearby.
Embarkation: Arrived at terminal around 9:45 AM and were in Boarding Group #1. Boarding began right at noon. On our last cruise boarding began at 11:00 AM since the ship was ready for us. It varies obviously. Cabins are ready by boarding time, so after we dropped off our luggage we headed for the Lido Deck.
Princess Cays, This is one of our favorite ports since it's an easy beach day. (Well, actually the easy part begins AFTER the tendering process. Our ticket numbers for tendering were #257/#258 and we were called at 10:15 AM. I saw some people with tickets in the 900s. I heard they didn't get off the ship until noon!) Anyway, the beach is clean, there's plenty of seats in the shade, bar service continues just like on the ship, and lunch is ready by 11:00 AM (burgers, hot dogs, BBQ and all the trimmings; fresh fruit and desserts are also served). The next day we were in the elevator with a couple who did nothing but gripe about PC. "Why in the world would Princess take us to such an awful place! There are huge rocks everywhere, even under the water! My husband has a huge cut on his leg! We are going to file a major complaint! I guess some people are never satisfied. Wear water shoes here if you plan to get in the water.
Curacao: We used Irie Tours. Absolutely wonderful!! We just wish we would have had more time at Sea Aquarium Beach, only 1 hour. The driver and "bartender" were just great! It was obvious they loved showing visitors their island, and they didn't make you feel like it was a burden to drive you around. Note: PCL uses a disembarkation numbering system here, even though it is NOT a tendering port. No one seemed to understand why, nor was any explanation ever given.
Aruba: We used Sonny Binns, another winner!! Sonny is also very proud to show everyone around. Great day!!
Debarkation: Our meeting time was 8:25 AM in the Coral Dining Room. When we arrived at 8:10 AM we were told to find another area since the CDR was still full of self-assist passengers waiting to leave. We came back around 8:30. Our color was finally called around 9:15 AM. Once it was called the line through customs moved very quickly. Didn't have to wait for a cab either.
PROS for Caribbean Princess:
Skywalker's Lounge, nice, quiet place during the day to just read or relax. Has a great aft view as well!!
International Cafe', can't say enough about it! Soups, sandwiches and sweets were always fresh and tasty! We ate there probably as much as we did at the Horizon Court buffet.
Entertainment, Bobbie Brooks Wilson, production shows and comedian were all great!
Staff is very friendly!
Horizon Court Buffet staff were the best! They were always prompt at providing/refilling drinks and clearing off dishes. One of the guys noticed me getting my own water. He said "Oh, please let me get that". I said "Oh, it's not a big deal, I don't mind. He said "but it is a VERY big deal to us.
MUTS, popcorn and cookies/milk are served shortly after the movie begins, along with blankets. Pizza Ice Cream
Welcome Back Captain's Circle Party, you're given a ticket for a free drink (up to $7.95) to use whenever you want.
Muster Drill, inside and you don't have to put on the life vest. We've noticed more lines are going to this method.
Ship is well-maintained.
We only ate in the dining room 3 nights, but food was good to great.
Horizon Court Buffet food was good, nice selection. Pineapple was great!
CONS for Caribbean Princess:
Beds are VERY hard! This is our only complaint about PCL. This was our 4th PCL cruise, and all of the beds have been too firm. Our cabin steward said 300+ requests had been made on the first day for mattress toppers. We requested ours when we boarded, and they were already gone. He placed another comforter on top of our mattress which only made a minor difference. When we were leaving the ship on Saturday, we noticed a few new mattresses in the hallway that were about to be put in place.
Theater seating, get there early or there will be few or no seats for the evening shows.
Crown Grill, Wouldn't recommend. My husband had the New York Strip and he said it was very good. I had the filet, and it was probably the worst one I've ever had. Not worth the extra $$. Staff wasn't very friendly there either.
No towel animals. This may not be a big deal to others, but I miss it. I like seeing what critter will be in our room after dinner!
No robes in the room unless you request them.
We had a fantastic cruise on the Caribbean Princess!