Background Information: We are a couple in our forties…this is our 10th cruise with Princess…and we have cruised once with RCCL. I love to travel and have been traveling in many situations...all-inclusive to tour groups to independent travel since I was 15 years old.
Hotel Info (if any): We stayed at the Conrad San Juan Condado. It was approximately 10 minutes from the port, the airport and from Old San Juan. It was very nice…a bit pricey…but it had everything we were looking for. The pools were fantastic and it had it’s own beach. There were plenty of places to eat in the hotel as well as just a few blocks away. Since we were there for three days, we wanted to be able to relax, get some sun and relax!! This hotel was PERFECT for that...we had everything we needed...including a Starbucks across the street!
Ship Info: The Caribbean Princess looks great. We have cruised on her before and she is lovely. We loved the international café! It is a great place to grab a muffin or donut before leaving the ship for excursions. We traveled with a group, so we usually met there in the morning prior to getting off the ship. It is an easy ship to navigate around! Her upgrades made her even more special.
Activities: As has probably been said before, the entertainment is not great. We loved the hypnotist…all three shows…and the MUTS was also wonderful. I wasn’t wowed by the CD and his staff….they were pretty low key and a bit boring. We’ve had some really enthusiastic CD’s before and that really made a huge difference. That being said…we made our own fun. Our group was really up for anything so we kind of did our own thing. Service: We had the best room steward of all time this trip. His name is Romeo and he was assigned to us in D 409. He did everything he could to make our stay special. We asked for some extra ice one night….from that point on, there was a huge bucket of ice for us…one in the morning and one in the afternoon!
Port & Shore Excursions: St. Thomas: We did the swim with the sea lions at Coral World. We booked it through the ship. We had a great time. The sea lions were amazing as was the staff. We had an open air taxi over to coral world, had about 45 minutes to walk around and see the sea turtles, birds and sharks, then swam with the sea lions. Afterwards, we told our taxi we would not be returning with her. We then went to the beach right beside Coral World. We had our snorkel equipment with us and had an amazing time there…I think it is Coki Beach. The snorkel was pretty good. There is a huge shadow to the left of the beach. Someone told me it was fish….and crazy as it sounds there were millions of little fish…with some huge fish swimming underneath. Fantastic!!! Antigua: We booked our own Segways and had a great time. We did the fort trip…but really it isn’t about seeing anything…it is about the Segways. So, if you have done Segways before, then don’t bother. If you haven’t done Segways, it was a blast….we had a great time! Barbados: We did a catamaran trip through Shasa tours…and had a great day…it rained and was a little cold but the crew made the trip amazing. We snorkeled with Sea Turtles….I have seen sea turtles before but never that close…and they were so close you could touch their shells….AMAZING!! Tortolla: We took a boat to the baths. We were told we would be able to go right up to the beach and avoid walking the “treacherous” caves…but alas the water was too rough…and we did the caves…and it was not a problem…it wasn’t really easy but unless you really have trouble walking….it should be fine. I am really glad we went through the caves…it was the best part!!! At the end, we climbed the path back up and enjoyed a great lunch at the top…by the pool!!!! St. Lucia: We took a water taxi to see the Pitons, a van to the drive thru volcano, then to a waterfall (it wasn’t diamond falls…we had a choice…next time I would go to Diamond falls as the one we went to was just OK), the we had a creole lunch …in a hole in the wall….really, a hole in this big concrete wall…and then we were taken to Jalousie Beach where we snorkeled…pretty good snorkeling. Then we took the water taxi back. I had heard that the drive by van was not so great…and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in a van.
Summary: I can’t say it enough…we had a FANTASTIC trip. We love Princess. I don’t understand when people write bad reviews about Princess. I have never had a crew member not go the extra mile. In fact, we had a situation that I was a little bit annoyed at….but the staff went way above anything I would have expected to make things really perfect…and I wasn’t really that annoyed! OH…by the way…I DO NOT WORK FOR PRINCESS! I am a teacher. I have just been so spoiled by the treatment I have received on Princess that the other cruise line I went on …just didn’t meet my Princess expectations!
Travel To Port of Embarkation: Since we spent three days in PR before the trip, we took a taxi from our hotel to the ship. It was easy and we had no problems.
Embarkation: So fast and easy….we were there by noon and got on the ship right away….our room was perfect when we got there!!! Within minutes we met our room steward and he started taking great care of us!!! I love that you can get right into your room…rather than waiting for an hour or more …like some other cruise lines…and I have read in other reviews or threads that their room was not ready….NEVER experienced that on any PRINCESS cruise.
Stateroom: We love the Lido deck and we almost always get a balcony room. We like being up by the pool…this time we were upgraded to a Dolphin mini suite. I was really hesitant to take the upgrade. I didn’t want to be 5 floors down but our friends wanted the upgrade…so we moved to be by them….and it was wonderful! The mini suites are very nice!!!!
Dining: All the food we had was wonderful. I tried some new things that I didn’t particularly love but it wasn’t because it was prepared poorly. I know this because someone else who likes caviar got it and said it was very good. Even the food at the buffet was good. Our dining room choices were outstanding. We love the escargot, lobster, chili, filets, fettuccine alfredo, well…pretty much all of it!!
Entertainment: Our cruise director was pretty boring. We always watch the morning show….for the information but also to enjoy the humor….there was really only information. His lack of enthusiasm also seemed to rub off on his staff. This was the weakest part of the cruise…but alas …our group had a blast anyway…as we made fun where ever we went! The hypnotist was a riot though! We went to all of his shows and they were very good.
Disembarkation: EASY…we were actually delayed a few minutes…but we were in the airport…through security by 9:10 and we didn’t walk off with our luggage. It was very easy and very fast!!! Our friends had a 10:20 am knowing that they may miss it….but they had over an hour of extra time.