Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by cruisinkc: CARIBBEAN PRINCESS - LOVED IT!
Overall Member Rating
CARIBBEAN PRINCESS - LOVED IT!
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
We were a group of ten women and one 11 year old girl travelling on this cruise. For the majority of us, this was our first time to the Caribbean. We were definitely a mixed group as far as cruising goes, one first-timer, with the rest of us having at least one cruise under our belt and several others being seasoned cruisers (many with Princess).
All of us came from California and some of our group arrived a few days early to see San Juan, others of us actually arrived the morning of sailing. For those of us that arrived at 9:00 a.m. the day of sailing, I set up a tour with Countryside Tours. Our driver was Victor (I think he owns Countryside Tours) and he showed us a little bit of San Juan and then took us on a tour of Old San Juan where we had lunch at a place Victor recommended. It was nice and full of locals and we were able to sample a little bit of local cuisine. We then had a little time to shop before it was time to More head for the ship. Victor was a great tour guide and we enjoyed our brief tour with him.
We were at the ship about 1:00 and there were no lines whatsoever for boarding. We checked in and went over to the duty free store where we all picked up wine, water and some hard liquor as well. We stuck the hard liquor in our carry-on bags, but took the wine and water on in plain sight. Not a problem with any of it. We were in our rooms midship on the Baja deck by 1:30 and in most cases our luggage was already there. We found everyone we encountered as far as ship personnel to be extremely friendly and polite on embarking. Maybe it had something to do with a large group of women yakking away and obviously having a great time. I don't know, but everyone was joking with us and made us feel very welcome! Our room Steward was Carmen and she took exceptionally good care of us. Our room was immaculate all the time (I did miss the towel animals though - I guess this Princess ship doesn't do that - sad!). And she was always so helpful with any of our requests. Our room had an ice bucket replenished several times a day when she knew we were on board. She was great.
Our whole group met up at the Neptune Pool at 4:30 to get our vacation started. We had all had a few drinks in our balcony rooms (all four balconies were opened to each other). Sorry if we were a little loud for our neighbors but we enjoyed this room feature tremendously! We had a few more drinks by the pool and then went and checked out the ship. I agree with many people about the elevators. After seven days, I never did figure them out and was always going up or down one or more set of stairs to get where I wanted to go! Very confusing.
The ship was very pretty and I wish we could have spent more sea days on her. Our sea day was spent recuperating after a long red-eye flight from California and most of us were pretty wiped out. We did get to enjoy some pool time and really never had a problem finding at least a couple of lounge chairs together where some of us would take turns justing sitting and relaxing and listening to the great music being played by various bands. Unfortunately on port days, we were so busy with excursions that this was the only time we really got to fully enjoy the ship.
We did enjoy a few of the shows. Those in our group that went said "The Piano Man" was their favorite. We enjoyed comedian as well. Another person we all really enjoyed was the comedian/singer who played most nights in the lounge area by the boutiques.
We had two tables for dinner in the Palm Dining room. Our wait staff, Martin and Christy, were fantastic. Within a few days they knew without asking what each of us wanted to drink. They were great!
I really can't think of anything to complain about other than the elevators. There was no rhyme or reason to them and they would skip your floor completely when you were trying to get on. Very strange. I know people have complained about the air conditioning in some rooms, but none of us had a problem at all. The hallways could be a bit noisy in the middle of the night, but so can any hotel you stay in too. It was a great cruise and I would definitely do it again with Princess! Less
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Cabin review: B622
Our room was fine. My mom and I have only been on one other Royal Caribbean cruise, which we had an inside cabin. So this was huge compared to that since we had a room with a balcony. The closet space was definitely big enough for us. We were never running over each other at all in this room and thoroughly enjoyed the balcony even if it was on the small side. Definitely a tight squeeze to get three people sitting on the balcony.
Port and Shore Excursions
Next Quame took us on an island tour where we saw some beautiful scenery. He arranged lunch for us and then took us to the Wildlife Reserve where we saw the Green Monkeys and hundreds of tortoises! It was very pretty and we all thoroughly enjoyed it . On our way back to the ship, Quame stopped and bought us sugar cane and chestnuts and gave us a few Rum Punches as well. It was a great day and I highly recommend Quame as a guide!
Maybe we were all just tired, but our driver just rubbed us the wrong way. We didn't appreciate his commentaries on his polital views, but he we did get to see some of the beautiful island.
And it wasn't true - there was shopping on the island - The entire island was NOT shut down as the ship had us believe! We found shopping at the highest point of St. Thomas and even fantastic prices. The only down side was that our driver only gave us 10 minutes to shop after he had kept us in a group talking for 30 minutes. Oh well, we were able to come away with some goodies in the little time we had.
Our three hour tour took us past the carnival that was going on and that truly looked like a lot of fun. But we weren't close enough to walk back and didn't want to take our chances of getting back to the ship late. We were dropped back at our ship and we grabbed lunch on the ship then did some shopping in the cruise terminal shops and enjoyed listening to some live music that was being played there. All in all it was a good day.
Our excursion this day was spent with Gary of Kuralu Catamaran. This is a "must" in my book. Gary, Christen, and Acadia, the shipboard dog, were all awesome. There were eight from our group that went and then four more from the ship that we had previously arranged to meet up with and share a taxi to go to the marina. It was about a 25 minute ride to the marina so we got to see a little bit of the island along the way. This island is definitely one I'm taking my husband back to! Gary and crew met us at the boat and we were on our way shortly thereafter. Once we got underway, refreshments were offered and filled frequently throughout the day. We sailed over to a beautiful beach and snorkeled for a bit then we were whisked off to Jost Van Dyke where we dropped anchor off the beach of The Soggy Dollar Bar. A gourmet lunch was provided for us on the boat, which Gary's wife had made for us. His instructions were to set it out and make it look pretty! And he did just that. It was an awesome lunch.
After we got our fill of food, we jumped off of the catamaran and swam for our destination, The Soggy Dollar Bar. The only way to get there is by boat and there is no dock, so you swim to shore. It is a very kicked back place. We loved it. Then Gary signaled us back to the catamaran and it was back to the marina. It was definitely the highlight of our trip. Go with Kuralu and Gary will treat you right!!!!
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