We are a couple in our 40's. This was our 5th cruise, 2nd with Princess. Embarkation was a breeze. We were there early, they started the process at noon, by the time we signed up for the ultimate ship tour, dropped our carry ons in our cabin, we were in the buffet by 12:30. I felt that even though this is the largest ship in the Princess fleet, it was very easy to navigate your way around. Many of the places were in the same general area as they were on the other Princess ship that we were on prior. The only place that seemed crowded, was in the casino in the evenings. Other than that, it seemed as though there was ample space. Even at pool side, there were many people there, but didn't have any difficulty finding a lounger the staff was very attentive and plesant. Not once did I run into a rude worker. They were all very attentive and polite. Our room steward, Raymondo, was wonderful!! Our cabin was always clean and tidy, and was able to do this without any interuption to us while we were in our cabin. We spent alot of time there as we would rest and sometimes take naps between shore time and the evening meal. We were in cabin C7523! Amazing! The corner aft balcony was a dream! Relaxing on the large balcony with a drink was sooo relaxing! And listening to the wake in the evening as we were sailing was awesome! The cabin itself was nice by ship standards. Of course the bathroom/shower was small, but adequate. There was normal wear and tear to the carpeting. The bed was actually pretty comfortable. We (for the first time) actually were barely able to notice the seam where the 2 beds were pushed together. And no, we did not have an egg crate. I have read postings in the past where people complain about having difficulty with their cabin being too warm. Well, we must have had a very compliant group on board, at least in our area and they didn't leave their balcony doors open, because in my opinion, the room temperature was fine. I was a little chilly at times, but my husband was always comfortable. (but I'm always the cold one)
Dining was another great experience! Frank, our waiter, and Jamie our assitant waiter were very professional, and entertaining. Jamie was quite an outgoing young man. Singing as he came to the table, and always a smile on his face. I Love the cheesecake they serve for dessert! I had it every night except for the night that they had teramasu (sp). The last night of course, they had the baked alaska, not a big fan of that. Frank, knowing my eating habits, brought me a piece of cheesecake without even asking. I had never seen anybody not seated in the dinning room because of how they were dressed until this cruise. As we were walking into the dinning room, a young man, in his early 20's maybe, that was dressed in long kaki shorts, was leaving and saying, "I didn't know the dinning room was formal!" I found that to be entertaining in and of itself, to think that dockers and a polo shirt would be "formal" to him! We packed some alcohol in our checked luggage and it arrived in our room without difficulty. We had even bought some beer at port in Tortola and brought it back on the ship without a problem in our carry on. Though we did notice a table set up by the elevator when you got back on board, and they were actually taking the alcohol from the people that were getting back on the ship. It was mainly liquor, I didn't notice any 6 packs of beer sitting there. We didn't go to any of the shows. One of the comedians, and one of the productions was the same as the ones we had when we were in Alaska last summer. We took part in the Ultimate Ship Tour!! That was a very worthwhile experience. There were 10 people on our tour. We started backstage of the shows, went to the galley, including the area where they prepare they vegetables and meats, medical center, laundry, printers, photography area, engineer control area, funnels, and ended on the bridge where we had champagne as we talked with the captain. I may have left out some areas, but its hard to remember them all. We were treated to personalized stationery, a plush bathrobe, chefs jacket, and pictures. All included in the tour.
We thought it would be nice to do the EZ check for our return flights! This was really the only glitch in our trip though it all worked out well. Made us a little nervous though. When we received our paper work and luggage tags for this process it only had our boarding pass for boarding in San Juan, not for our connecting flight in Atlanta. They also had my husband and I separated on the airplane. Didn't quite understand that either since the booking was together. I called the desk and they said we needed to come down. Of course the line was fairly long, but they went through it at a pretty good pace. They told us that this is normal, and we would have to get our boarding passes for our connecting flight when we arrived in Atlanta and that maybe the airline would be able to fix the seating arrangement when we arrived at the airport in San Juan. I didn't understand why they wouldn't give you the boarding pass for the whole trip. I thought the whole idea of it was to avoid the lines at the airport and to have them handle your luggage. That was a bit of an irritant to us. They said our luggage tags were correct, and that they would arrive in Kansas City. We weren't to sure about that since the boarding passes only got us to Atlanta. Luckily, when you do the EZ check, you disembark the ship fairly early. We were off of the ship by 8:30, found our luggage without difficulty, went through the long customs line that moved very quickly, which by the way when we handed the agent our passport, he stated he didn't need it. We then found a taxi, which was not difficult since they are lined up waiting for you when you get off the ship. I don't know how the Princess transfers are, but I can only assume that it would take you a little longer to get to the airport since they wait to fill the bus. Anyway...since we arrived at the airport early, there weren't any lines at all! Amazingly! No waiting for the USDA inspection, or at the airline counter, which, they were able to fix our seating arrangements, and print our boarding passes for us for the connecting flight in Atlanta. We had a semi-long line to go through the security area at that point, but it moved along well. Our flight didn't leave San Juan until 3:20, so we still at this point had a little less than a 5 hour wait. But I am very glad we arrived early! I would say by 11:00, there wasn't anymore seating available. The terminal was very crowded with people sitting on the floor and standing in the walk way. VERY CONGESTED! People were frustrated with the situation and one lady was downright rude when she was told a seat was taken. (the person that was sitting there next to her husband had just gotten up use the restroom.) The lady that was going to take the spot said, well that's just too bad! At least by the time the other lady returned, they began to board their flight. In the end, our luggage DID arrive at our final destination just as they stated it would.
All in all, it was an amazing trip. If you expect nothing but perfection, then you will be disappointed. There are always going to be little issues, but most can be resolved quickly and easily. If you go with the flow, then you will have an amazing trip aboard the Caribbean Princess.