This was a Southern Caribbean Cruise. Ports of call were. San Juan,St. Thomas, St.Kitts,Grenada,Bonnaire & Aruba.
EMBARKATION & THE SHIP
We stayed overnight at the Old San Juan Sheraton. This hotel was very nice, clean and comfortable. We had no idea that it was so close to the ship terminal which was very convenient on embarkation day as we waited for the long line to die down around 3:00 and got right in and on. We booked this through Princess which was well worth it since they took care of our luggage so that we didn't have to lug it around at all. The only thing we carried with us was our one carry on bag. Embarkation was a breeze and went very smoothly. Our cabin class was a mini-suite AB category. We were very pleased with the roominess of the cabin and bathroom. The balcony while small was still roomy enough for us to sit out on every morning with our coffee and every night with our cocktails. Our cabin steward was very courteous and attentive and fulfilled all our requests. At first this ship was so big that the floor plan was very confusing, but once you get the hang of the fact that only the fore and aft deck elevators stop on all floors you get around quite easily.
The ship is absolutely beautiful in its appointments and cleanliness. We only had one problem where a bathroom in a public area was not so clean the rest was fantastic. The only comment I have is that when the decks of this ship get wet they are quite slippery. We had rain the day of our sail and most of the day in St. Thomas and we say a few people slip and fall on the open air decks due to the fact that some of them were quite flooded.
PORTS OF CALL
St. Thomas: We really didn't get a chance to do much here. We took the Skyride up to the tallest peak for $20.00 we thought it kind of a rip off but the view was beautiful. Once it started to pour we just headed back to the ship.
St. Kitts: We thought this island was beautiful once you got out of the downtown area where the ship docked. We rented a cab for 1/2 a day and buddied up with some other people so there was about 8 of us all together which cost $10.00 each. Our cab driver was very knowledgeable and stopped at all the popular sites along the way while giving us history.
Grenada: We also rented a cab here with other people as well. We didn't like this island as much due to the begging and obvious poverty throughout the whole island. This island is known for its spices and is quite lush and green. Overall this was our least favorite port.
Bonnaire: This was by far our favorite stop. This is a dutch island and very clean. People were very friendly and the water is unbelievable!! We did a Discover Scuba excursion here and it was well worth the money.
Aruba: We rented a car on our own in Aruba and it was a blast. The car was a piece of junk but we didn't care. The rental agent was very friendly and the car only cost $40.00 vs $80.00 for a jeep and we went jeepin in it anyway. We drove all around the island and stopped at all the spots at our leisure which was definitely the way to go. The rental car booths are right as you get off the ship so it is nice and convenient.
San Juan: We had been to PR before and this really is a beautiful island. Because we had a lot of time to kill on the day we disembarked we booked a rain forest excursion through the ship. This was a very nice way to end our trip.
A FEW COMMENTS
There were only a couple of things that we thought could have been better on this cruise. The food was mediocre at best, we did a balcony dinner which was really excellent and also ate at one of the up charge restaurants and that food was really excellent as well. The bottom line is the food you paid extra for was worth it, the quality of the food that you paid for as part of the cruise was just so-so. Not terrible but I expected it to be better. The one thing we thought was really bad was disembarkation. We were one of the first groups off and had to search through hundreds of bags in our color tag area before we found them all. All the while we were tripping over bags and banging into other people doing the same thing because they didn't leave room between the color tag areas and our bags were not grouped all together even though they were all picked up together the night before. Once we collected all of our bags, because we were going on an excursion we through our bags in the back of a truck and when we got dropped off at the airport all the bags were sitting outside on the curb where anyone could have taken them. No security checks or anything, and once again we had to hunt through a bunch of bags to find ours before checking them in at the airline ticket counter.
The only other thing was the pool in the center where the big screen TV was and all activities. I liked the pool area the best but once they started to play the games it got a little too loud for relaxing. We eventually settled on the aft pool, but you had to get there very early because it is a small area and very limited or the adult only layout lounge area. The work out facility was excellent until about the middle of the cruise then a majority of the fitness equipment like elipticals and treadmills went "Out of Order". We did a couple's massage at the Lotus Spa this was very nice and entitled you to use the spa facilities which were very nice and clean. I did feel that the massage was over priced but since it was vacation I guess that is to be expected. Lastly, the entertainment was fantastic and no up charge. They had a lot going on all over the ship all the time. The night clubs were really great, but a little loud for middle agers like us.
Over all I would highly recommend Princess and this cruise in particular.