This was my third cruise with Princess, sixth cruise in total. This trip was with my parents. I'm a 23 year old woman. This review will be a bit...personal, and honest.
I'll try to keep it as short as I can; starting with our flight. We didn't book the flights through Princess. It was my first (and last) time with Spirit airlines. A red eye. The tickets may have been cheap, but they make up for it by charging for everything in the plane during the flight. My parents' luggage also arrived the next morning. I got mine, (but I admit it was a little funny when we got to the airport at 6am and my parents were notified that their luggage went a different route.) My father had already made plans to buy new clothes, as there was very little hope they would get their luggage. Better late than never, right? We stayed at the Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale beach hotel a day before, which we had booked with Princess. There was a karate competition, so it was overcrowded at times, but hey, that's More
not in my control. The hotel had upgraded us to a suite for some reason, so I enjoyed the remarkable sunrise that morning, then headed down to breakfast.
We had gotten the transfer package from the hotel to the ship the next day. The bus came around 12pm, we were at the embarkation spot at 12:30. The line was huge, I was actually terrified that the earliest we'd be on the ship was like 4pm. We stood in line for about fifteen minutes, I guess the doors were still closed. But once they opened, it went so fast, the process took maybe ten minutes. We were inside the ship by 1:30, enjoying lunch.
Look, I read so many reviews about the ship, saying how it was old and so on. Well, I couldn't tell. It looked great to me. When I go on vacation, I am not about to start critiquing everything and become a nitpick. I'm just thankful to get away from the hassle of everyday life and the stress of my job and everything else going on. The ship was in excellent condition. The carpets were clean, the paint was new. I was on vacation, and wasn't about to start looking at everything with a microscope and hate on the ship if there was a little paint chip in the tiniest corner.
Oh, and I must mention that they upgraded us to a mini suite. We had gotten a regular balcony room, so I would have had to climb that ladder to get to the bunk bed. So...it was really nice to hear that we had been upgraded especially since we did board on the day of my birthday. My parents received a dinner for two at Sabatini's, which is one of the ships specialty restaurants ($25 per person.) And they gave a discount on three of the excursions I had reserved.
The cabin was great. I only wish they made those darn sofa beds a little more comfortable, and had a little more variety in fruits for room service (maybe berries, blood oranges, mangoes, nectarines, etc.) Then again I don't know if you can call and actually ask for those. On the room service paper all it said was apple, kiwi and (I think) banana. This isn't like a problem though. Just a suggestion from me. The space in the room is fine for three people, and the bathroom did have a bathtub, so it was comfortable.
I read a few reviews about the food and that it wasn't good, or it was cold, or bland, or any other negative adjective. So being a food fanatic I was curious how it was actually going to be. The food was wonderful. In the buffet, and the dining rooms. And Sabatini's as well. Every waiter I came across went out of their way to please us. We had requested a table for four in our dining room; which was the Palms dining room and thankfully we got it. Our head and assistant waiters were great. I always give them some $$ on the first day, on every cruise; including our cabin steward. I know I'm not obligated to. I know their service would have been good even if I didn't give it. But I did, because I wanted to. One thing I did notice was the bread; it wasn't warm, like it was on our previous cruises. Of course that didn't stop me from eating two or three rolls every night. We didn't have to wait an hour for our meals or drinks or anything like that. Our waiters were very attentive and quick, and learned our preferences. The soups and salads and main courses and desserts were marvelous. Absolutely delicious.
The people working at the front desk. We annoyed them every day with questions. My mother has a habit of asking the same question numerous times, and my assurance means nothing. There was not one person that gave us attitude, or the we'll-take-care-of-it-but-do-nothing-once-you-leave answer.
The pizza was AMAZING. Didn't try the burgers because I had pizza every day.
The Lotus spa... it's heaven. I had two massages. My father had one as well, my mother had a facial. My hair iron stopped working on the day of the second formal night, so I made an appointment to straighten my hair. I conversed with the girl who was doing my hair, it was lovely talking to her. My hair looked beautiful that night, straight and smooth and shiny.
Let's not forget the International Cafe. That became our spot. We were there every day, after breakfast, before dinner, after dinner, or for lunch. The pastries and light food served here is fantastic. Sitting by the window looking at the ocean, sipping on a cappuccino and eating watermelon with feta cheese... It's paradise, really.
The afternoon tea from 3 (or 3:30) to 4:30, is also very mind calming and the mini sandwiches are yummy and it's perfect.
The excursions: We stayed in the ship at Princess Cays. I knew we needed to get to the port with tender boats. I was fine with staying inside and enjoying the view. St Thomas was good, we took the tour that had the cable cars taking you to the top of the mountain. There was a city tour as well before that. The view from the top was divine. San Juan, Puerto Rico was my favorite. It was a tour of the old and new San Juan, the tour included visiting a fortress which I loved. I walked around the entire place. I'm a fan of historic places so visiting this place was a good experience for me. Nassau was gorgeous. We had a submarine tour, which was shorter than our boat ride trip to actually get to the spot. Now that, I did not like. It felt like forever getting to the place, all for ten minutes of looking at a few tiny fish. It was my fault for choosing this particular excursion, I did think it would have been a funner time than it was.
Disembarkation was as smooth as butter. Our color was light blue, and our call time at 8:10am. We got down at 8am. My parents were about to get some coffee, when I heard that the light blues were already getting off the ship. And that process took maybe three minutes.
To be honest I would have went to Alaska again, for the fourth time. I like the crowd better, plus Alaska is beautiful. Being 23 years old, I am not a fan of the crowd in my age range, and I knew going to the Caribbean would include a young crowd, unlike Alaska. But being in this ship was worth it.
There's just something about cruising. Starting from the moment the ship sets sail and people wave goodbye, to the most breathtaking views you'll ever see, to watching the most exquisite sunrises and sunsets in the middle of the ocean. It's like a little floating country where people from everywhere come to visit.
Princess is just different for me. The service, the food, the entertainment. I'd choose it over any other cruise line. I booked next year's cruise three days after I came back from this one. It will be with the Regal Princess. It sounds silly, but it's like my dream to sail with Regal. And I am also *extremely* excited for Princess's new ship, coming in 2017.
If you're still reading this, thank you. My apologies if it bored you. Less
Caribbean Princess Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean