PERSONAL My wife and I are 56 and 63 respectively. However, we are more active than people 10-20 years younger. We had previously been on 3 RCI large ships and the Celebrity Summit. We sailed with another couple who are old friends and who had sailed with us twice before out of San Juan.
TRAVEL TO PORT OF EMBARKATION We drove from Atlanta the day before sailing and arrived early evening.
HOTEL INFO We stayed at the LaQuinta/Airport. It was the perfect place for our needs. It was near the Oakwood Mall which had everything we could have possibly wanted. The room was nice, clean and ready when we arrived. We asked for a room with a water(lake)/pool view which was nice. The hotel had a decent breakfast the next morning at no charge. A real plus for us was the hotel provided a free shuttle to the port only and allowed us to leave our car there at no charge for the week. We drove down to Billys Stone Crab on Ocean Drive in Hollywood for a delightful dinner upstairs with a great view of the inland waterway. It's a very good restaurant and surprising nice considering the understated outside appearance.
EMBARKATION Boarding went very smooth. We arrived about 200PM and were quickly through the boarding process.
STATEROOM Our room was ready when we arrived. It provided lots of closet storage and the most comfortable bed we have ever had on a cruise. Our steward was attentive and brought us extra towels and robes as requested.
SHIP INFO The ship was very nice and we found it very clean. However, we found it confusing to get around. The design is strange and it seemed we often were lost. In this we were not alone as others on the elevators also commented the same sentiment.
DINING The location of the main dining room was on the back side of anytime dining so if you were on that floor you had to go up, across and then back down to get to the main dining room. It was nice but fairly ordinary and came up short compared to the stately dining rooms on RCI's large ships. The food was satisfactory on the whole in the main dining room. However, the buffet was just okay. The morning buffets were lacking. No one seemed to want the scrambled powdered eggs and often there was a line waiting for them to bring out a single half-cooked fried egg at a time. Finally the morning we got off the ship the buffet was outstanding with a delicious variety of quiches and even eggs florentine.
ACTIVITIES We really didn't do much except veg out. The MUTS was great for the playoff football games but otherwise was annoying to us. Fortunately there was another pool that had an occasional single steel drum guy. We enjoyed him.
STAFF AND SERVICE We found the staff attentive. Strangely our head waiter apologized to us in advance the first night that he had a lot of tables to cover. But all in all he and the assistant did a good job. We were not satisfied with several entrees and they were quickly replaced without question.
ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment was the best part of the cruise. The song and dance group was Broadway level talent. We saw several excellent comedians and a terrific impressionist. Anyone going on this ship should not miss the entertainment. It was the best of any cruise we have taken.
SHORE EXCURSIONS OCHO RIOS We were disappointed that our snorkel/catamaran trip was cancelled. As far as we are concerned there is nothing to do there other than go to Margaritaville which is always fun. There is way too much hype on Dunns River Falls. We have been there and it's much ado about nothing. We heard there is talk of dropping this port. We even received a note the night before telling us to be careful ashore and put our money in several pockets. That says it all.
CAYMANS Going to Stingray City is a must. We had been before. This time we went with Moby Dick. It was fun and included a short snorkel stop which was worth getting wet.
COZUMEL We normally like to go down to Chakanaab but the weather was windy and not a good beach day so we rented a cab to take us around the island, stopping at Planacar for lunch/drinks and then around to the back side for drinks at Coconuts. Both fun places. We finished up downtown at Palmeras which is a favorite of mine for drinking and people watching on the corner. It is near shopping for the ladies.
PRINCESS CAYS This stop was a pleasant surprise. We enjoyed the beach day. The food provided ashore was awful. But the beach and all was nicer than RCI's Labadee when we were there 4 years ago.
DISEMBARKATION We elected to do the carry our on bags program and it worked well for us. We were off early and on our way since we had a long drive to Atlanta in front of us.
SUMMARY We would definitely go on Princess again but given the same itinerary would prefer RCI. RCI's food/dining was preferably in ambience as well as food selection over all. We also like the SkyBars on the RCI ships and the sailaways were more fun. It was a lot of fun and would recommend the trip for someone who hasn't done the Westere Caribbean.