My husband and I (both in our early 30s) were on the January 18th cruise. This was my 10th cruise and 5th on Princess.
We booked this cruise because it was such a good deal. We live in Fort Worth, so it was a five hour drive—when we arrived at the port we were sent to a staging area until they began boarding. (Boarding was delayed two hours so they could deep clean the ship from Norovirus, but we were notified of the delay in advance.) The staging area was a bit disorganized and when they opened the exit gate it was a free-for-all with a hundred cars driving toward the exit all at once. But once we were out of the staging area, the baggage drop off and parking went smoothly. Embarkation went well and we were on the ship after a short wait in the boarding area. We’d read about the many delays because of fog but we lucked out and did not have any fog issues on departure or arrival. (And I have to say, the workers at the Houston Port—from security to customs to porters—were by far the friendliest of any we’ve encountered. When we got off the ship they actually smiled and asked how our vacation was!)
We’d sailed on the Caribbean Princess before and this time we did notice it is aging a bit, but nothing major and it’s still a lovely ship. There were a LOT of Texans like us on the ship—definitely a different crowd than we’ve encountered sailing out of Fort Lauderdale. We enjoyed all the things we usually do on Princess—fun entertainment, good service, Movies Under the Stars, great food. We went to the afternoon tea for the first time and liked it—delicious sandwiches and cookies and it’s a nice time to socialize with other cruisers. And of course, don’t miss the pizza at Prego’s by the pool! Having a late night slice of pizza while we watch a movie under the stars is one of our favorite Princess experiences. As a side note--Princess has converted to combined shampoo/conditioner bottles so if you're like me and need regular conditioner, don't forget to bring it along with you! I wish I'd known that our last cruise.
All the ports were nice, though I was little let down by Roatan since I’d heard so much hype about West Bay Beach. But Belize and Cozumel were wonderful. We booked all our excursions independently and were happy with each. We’ve realized with cruising, you win some and you lose some when it comes to weather—this one was a winner with sunshine and no significant rain on port days. The last sea day was blustery and cold, but that’s to be expected when sailing to/from a cold weather port like Houston in January. Apparently the day before we arrived back, there was an ice storm in Houston which thankfully had melted by the time we arrived.
Overall, a very nice cruise and I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a deal. I’ve posted some pics of the cruise and ports at www.goingplaceswithcamille.wordpress.com if you’d like to check them out.