We arrived on Saturday in San Juan for a Sunday sailing. Although we did not purchase Princess transfers or a pre-cruise package, the Princess representative at the Sheraton went out of her way to work with the airlines on our lost luggage. She was incredibly helpful.
Embarkation was beautifully done. We arrived at the terminal at 12:50, and were on the ship by 1:15. When we boarded the ship, it was immaculate, and ready to receive guests. Our stateroom was ready, and our trip began immediately. Our overall impressions of the ship were good. The layout is somewhat confusing, but not a big enough problem to ruin a vacation...
We had requested a complimentary upgrade, and received one. The fax was not sent until the day before sailing, so we were unaware until we arrived at the port. The only downside to this was that the room was on the very front of the ship. Because we stopped at ports on every morning of the cruise but one, the sound of the anchor and chains awaked us every morning very early. It was extremely loud, and vibrated the entire cabin. Also, it is time to upgrade the beds and linens. Our beds were very uncomfortable, and we were sore by the end of the week from the worn mattresses. Last but not least, our cabin was on the Emerald Deck 8, and there was a walking track outside of our window, and a set of stairs. That created some noise very early in the morning, and late at night.
The ports were definitely interesting, and the shore excursions offered were well organized to suit anyone's taste.
Our teenager enjoyed himself.. There were great activities and a group of them spent time together all week.
Dining was good in the main dining room- traditional seating. Better than most cruise ships. The pizza and burgers by the pool were fresh and the quality was good. The soda cards were less expensive than other cruise lines, and it was easy for us to get a beverage when we wanted one. The cafeteria was marginal, and ill-designed for traffic flow. We ate two nights in the Crown Grill, and felt that we received a great meal with great service for the value paid. We were pleased to see that the ice cream was not "self serve". It seemed to create a mess on other lines...
The service level on the cruise in general was good. There was a noticeable lack of overall communication, and some things such as the muster drill, and the disembarkation were confusing. Other lines provide more passenger instruction in terms of disembarkation at ports, carrying off luggage, etc... We were disappointed that we were not allowed to carry off our luggage, as we have on other lines.. There is not a lot of communication from the Captain or the Cruise Director. I couldn't pick the Cruise Director out in the crowd until around Day 6.
Entertainment is minimal. We attended a few shows, and they were decent. However, there were some enjoyable parties on the deck, in which all ages seemed to have a great time. The staff that led the activities had lots of energy!! Also, the Movies Under the Stars concept was a draw for us. That is one of the highlights of the Caribbean Princess...
Accepting the minimal complaints, we had a wonderful time on this boat! We will go again on Princess- without hesitation!!