We traveled on this cruise with our daughter (5), and my parents. My parents, and us have all cruised Princess before, but never with kids. We had spent months trying to teach our daughter how to "cruise". More specifically, how to swim, sit through dinners, etc. She was very excited to go, as this was her first trip to the ocean and to another country. Our cruise was from 11/7/09 to 11/14/09. Our itinerary was the Western Caribbean with stops at Grand Cayman, Roatan, Cozumel, & Princess Cay.
We flew down to MIA the night before and stayed at the Embassy Suites near the MIA airport. Nothing special, but close and fit our needs. We had SAS transportation take us to Port Everglades the morning of our cruise. Great service, very timely. Would not hesitate to use them again. Embarkation was a breeze. There was a long line to get in, but since we were Platinum, we did not have to wait in line and were let right in and proceeded to get our cruise cards and board. I think we boarded in less than 20 minutes from arriving at the pier. Got to hand it to Princess for the Platinum boarding process. Without it, probably would have taken an hour or more.
Once aboard, we went straight to our cabin. We were in a mini-suit on the Dolphin deck. This was our first time in a mini-suite and we found it to be very nice. Plenty of space for the 3 of us. Bathroom was much larger than a balcony cabin that we had been in before. Balcony was uncovered, but it was no big deal to us. Our Cabin steward was Albert and he did a decent job. Made towel animals a few times for my daughter, got our eggcrate, etc. Only down side was that we asked for fresh wine glasses everyday and after a few days, he left a note to call room service to get them. No big deal.
We had anytime dinning and our waiters, John & Jeffery, were outstanding. We went back to the same table every night. They brought our daughter her bowl of barriers and chocolate milk each night without us being asked. Had one problem with the reservation line when we called to get this table, so we spoke with the head waiter and he had us all taken care of the rest of the week. Food was up to par with what we expect for Princess.
Since this was our first time with a kid, we were curious about how well she would do with the kids club and just being on a cruise. She loved the kids club. When we asked her what she liked best she said "swimming and going to the kids club" They always had activities for them to do and kept the kids occupied. We did late night baby-sitting one night. For $5 an hour, you cannot beat that. Our daughter did the kids dinning one night (while we went to the Crown Grill) and she loved it. My wife is a director of a day care and she was very impressed with the staff, policies, and procedures they had in place at the kids club. Would definitely take our daughter back on Princess again. I think Princess gets under rated for their kids programs.
The entertainment was decent. The production shows seem to be the same ones we have seen on other Princess ships. Would be nice if the changed them up a bit. We saw one comedian who was pretty good. Once complaint about the shows in the Explores lounge is that it can be difficult to get a seat, particularly at the earlier shows.
We really enjoyed the cruise and our daughter had a blast.