We have been on Disney cruises and decided to try Princess.
1. The food being no better than a mess hall (and yes I have eaten in one). The menu offered the same items night after night. The serving size is geared for someone over 70. The desserts were plain and very small. Who wants ice cream every night???
2. The lack of customer service in all departments of servers and room cleaners. The few that were excellent were sadly outnumbered by the rest that did not care as they were going to get a gratuity regardless of their service.
3. This Princess cruise we got a balcony for the cruise which was nice. The Princess had a very very tiny bathroom / shower. Our stateroom on the Disney ship the bathroom had a tub / shower with sink and a separate toilet with sink and a pull out couch! The rooms are 1/2 the size of Disney (inside state room).
4. We were amazed at the mandatory fire drill it was careless... with everyone carrying their life jackets into the theater. On Disney you actually put it on the life jacket and went to the boat station where your life boat was located.
5. Other Princess guests shared that since Carnival had taken over Princess that everything had been going downhill...Had we known it was owned by Carnival we would have chosen a different cruise line!
We loved Aruba. We walked around all day and enjoyed the Iguanas on the beach and the FREE double decker trolley in town! The shopping was interesting and stores were not all the same. The weather was perfect. Can't wait to go back!
We did not use the ship’s excursions but our own. We did a tour offered by a local on air conditioned bus at $10.00 a person. There was 30 of us on the bus. It took us to La Popa which had amazing views of the city and the cruise ships in port. Stopped at the Palacio de la Inquisicíon. Then we went to an Emerald factory but we went to the local market around the corner instead and enjoyed that very much. Then a very (way to short) stop at Las Bóvedas, once dungeons, now home to boutiques and tourist shops. On our way back to the ship we drove by the walled city and the clock tower and city ocean views. We really enjoyed the terminal with all the parrots and other animals for up close pictures...
We were so disappointed in the tour for the money we spent. The tour guide knew nothing of value to share and kept saying "My dear people", the pa system was too loud. The butterfly area had injured butterflies and only a few different kinds. The reptile cages were 1/2 empty. There very several different orchids :) The tram ride and the walk up to the top of the tower was really good. But the price was too much for only 20 minutes worth of tram ride and 1/2 empty displays.
We decided that we just wanted to walk into town and look around. The people here are very aggressive. The shopping was located in one area of shops that were the same. We were glad that it was one of our stops as we really wanted to see it, and now that we have we know we don't want to return.
Really very interesting to see a Del Monte banana plantation from the time the bananas are pulled in the assembly line. From the sorting to the washing and labeling of the banana. Our bus driver even stopped and picked up small 3 inch bananas for us to peel and try.
We really enjoyed this tour. The guide was very knowledgeable. The boat driver went out of his way to turn the boat so everyone could see.