Since 2003 we have taken a Caribbean Cruise in late January or early February of each year. The past 7 years were on Princess and we decided this year to go with Celebrity for a change and to explore 2 additional ports. While I could go on and on about the small differences between each cruise line and what little things Princess does better and what little things Celebrity does better, suffice it to say that we view both lines favorably and would not hesitate to choose either in the future and both do a good job at what they do.
Our embarkation and debarkation both went smoothly, quickly and without incident. All of the crew members we came in contact with were friendly and helpful Our waiter Rinaldo knew our wants and desires by our second night and used us as guinea pigs for his magic tricks. Celebrity is in the process of adding anytime dining over the next month or two and for a change we had fixed dining. The food was good, but not spectacular. Some of the food Celebrity does better than Princess and vice versa.
As for the ports we explore them ourselves as we have learned long ago that that is the greater value than those provided by the ship. For St. Maartan we explored Orient Beach for at least the 5th time and notwithstanding the man (or woman) made scenery this is a beautiful beach. By the time we got to Granada we were a little tired and after exploring downtown St George by foot spent the rest of the day by the pool. Dominica was new to us and we had our own tour of the rainforest and Trafalger Falls for much less than through the ship. While Dominica is no Yellowstone it does have its own guysers, sulfur pools and steam vents from an inactive volcano. We enjoyed this island very much and were comfortable walking thru the town for a few hours in the morning. On Tobago we took a rest day only briefly venturing in to the town during the morning. On Barbados we went to I believe Paytons Bay where several classy vessels were a 100 or so yards offshore for what we learned was swimming with the turles. For $25 several of us paid for our own swimming with the turtles off one of the local's boats that clearly did not meet Coast Guard standards. So what. We still had fun and swam with the same turtles as the others on excursions thru Summit or the Royal Caribbean ship in port that day. All in all we had another great Southern Caribbean Cruise.