My wife and I both retired and in our early 60's booked this cruise because we enjoyed it so much the first time five years ago. We were not disappointed! The itinerary was wonderful with stops in Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John and Halifax. We couldn't had ask for better weather. Except for a little rain in the morning at Boston, the weather was sunny with pleasant temperatures each day.
We flew in the day of the cruise (Saturday Sept. 14th) on a direct flight with Delta Airlines from Milwaukee to LaGuardia, arriving at 10:30 AM. From the airport we caught a cab to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal at a cost of $45.00 which included tip. After checking in, we had to wait about an hour before boarding the ship at 12:30 PM. Our group was one of the first to board. We then headed to our cabin (E209) to drop off our carry on bag and to fresh'en up a bit. Then it was down to the International Cafe for a bite to eat. Afterwards, we did some ship exploring. Our last time being on the Caribbean Princess was five years ago doing this same cruise. A few years back, the Caribbean Princess had a redo, adding the International Cafe and Movies Under The Stars. The ship looked good, nothing to complain about from us. We had plenty of time to roam around as the muster drill did not take place till 4:15 and the sailaway at 5:00 PM. At that time we were excited to be cruising again!
Our week was busy with port stops during the day and activities galore at night. Movies Under The Stars had NFL games showing on Sunday afternoon & evening and on Monday and Thursday nights. Many movies were also shown during the week, including Star Trek Into Darkness, Iron Man 3, Now You See Me, The Great Gatsby and Obilivion. The entertainment was top notch with the Caribbean Princess singers & dancers, comedians Steve White, John Ferrentino and the Tribute Act "Horizon" performing motown hits. We also attended many triva challenges in Club Fusion and Explorers Lounge and we always enjoy the Marriage Game Show, always interesting answers from the participants! The casino was going strong every night, a few times it was impossible to find a open slot machine. The cruise consisted mostly of people in their 50's, 60's and 70's, hardly any children onboard. We did meet many folks from all over the US and Canada. I think all 50 states were represented onboard.
We ate every night in the Horizon Court Buffet or Cafe Caribe. We always enjoy Bavarian night and the Italian night at the buffet. We like the food and you can't go wrong with the many choices you have available. Then to top it off, the desserts are plentiful and delicious. Every morning we would order omelets to our liking in the buffet, hot off the grill and good. Princess feed you well, no matter where you eat.
Our port stops were excellent. In Newport we toured the Vanderbilt Mansions, The Breakers and the Marble House. Both were built in the late 1890's with money being no option. They said if the Breakers were built today it would cost over two hundred and seventy million to build. The funny thing was they were built as summer cottages and only used during 2 months of the summer. The mansions are magnificent and are worth seeing, but it's hard to imagine people living in them for short periods of time and then heading back to the cities the rest of the year to live. In Boston we shuttled down to the Faneuil Hall & Quincy Marketplace area. It turned out to be a nice day, we ejoyed some clam chowder and had a few drinks at Cheers. Bar Harbor, Maine was our favorite port stop. We toured Acadia National Park and went to the top of Cadillac Mountain. The views up there were incredible, so scenic! You could see for miles and miles. Seeing all the small islands out in the sea and the shore line was so beautiful. A must do tour. We booked the tour with Oli's Trolley, not the cruise line. The 2 and half hour trip cost $29.00 per person and was so worth it, our driver and quide was very entertaining and great about explaining and telling the history of the area. In 1947 a big forrest fire burned down Bar Harbor and many resorts of the time. The town had to completely rebuild and is now more of a tourist destination than a summer retreat for the rich before 1947. Bar Harbor is a lovely little town with so many shops and restarants to explore. I enjoyed visiting the Bar Harbor Brewing Co (tasting room) for a few cold ones. If you go there it's located on 8 Mount Desert Street in town. My wife and I split a lobster roll at the Side Street Cafe, yummy. Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia were nice. We just walked around when getting off the ship. Saint john has a nice downtown area, we visited the Old City Market which I recommend. Halifax was the nicer of the two, it has a beautiful waterfront that you can stroll up and down for over a mile. Many nice shops & restaurants along the waterfront. They have a casino on one end if anyone is interested. They also have several breweries and brewpubs in the area to venture into. One of the highlites for us in Halifax was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pipe Band boarded our ship for a 4:00 PM performance in the Pincess Theater. It was a delight to see them in their uniforms and play. I highly recommend you see this show if ever doing this cruise to Halifax. It was awsome!!!
Our last day (Friday) was a sea day, the only one we had. We enjoyed a English Style Pub Lunch that day in the Crown Grill. We also played bingo and took in the production show "Piano Man" that night. Later on we finished the night in the Explorers Lounge for the game show "Jeopardized". It was a fun day at sea, very relaxing and you never felt hurried to do anything.
Our captain was Giorgio Pomata who we met at the captains cocktail event on Thursday night. It's always interesting to see who the most traveled passengers are at these events. A couple from New Jersey had sailed 1,304 days with Princess. The Cruise Director was Neil roberts hailing from Astralia. He did a good job, but we really liked Corey the Deputy Cruise Director much better with his personnality.
Disembarkation was a breeze. We left the ship at 10:15 AM due to a later flight out of La Guardia. Coming out of the cruise terminal we caught a cab across the street back to the airport. It was very easy and no waiting for a cab. It was funny because our cab driver asked me if I was paying by credit or cash. I told him cash and he said he would only charge $35.00 to the airport and he then turned his meter off. I didn't mind as he got us there pretty fast and it only cost me $40.00 with tip. I recommend a taxi, the Princess transfers cost $34.00 per person one way. You do the math?
We really enjoyed our cruise. Were even thinking about doing it again next fall, but instead it would be nice to do the 10 day cruise from Quebec to New York or the other way around. A nice finishing touch to our cruise was jumping to elite status from platinum in the Princess Cruises Captain Circle Club. I can't wait to start enjoying those membership benefits on our next cruise.
Cheers and Happy Cruising