On our previous cruises with Princess we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. From the dining to the attentive staff, and just the overall beauty of the ships In 2009 we brought friends along for their first cruise, and although they thoroughly loved cruising, there were many things that were disappointing compared to previous voyages. When we disembarked I filled out the form voicing my opinion, and I am happy to say, the almost everything that had been annoying or a problem in 2009 was fixed in 2010. So if anybody was disappointed in 2009 regarding the "over-selling" of many things from extra after dinner drinks, specialty water, and even the cookbooks - particularly by the wait staff all of that seems to be gone now. I didn't even find they were pushing the Coke stickers this year as much. In the 2010 cruise we didn't feel pressured to buy any extras at all. They were all available if we wanted them, we just didn't feel hassled by it. Also some of the "extras" that were an extra cost such as the ice cream in Scoops or the pastries in the atrium, they are now free of charge.
Without going into a lot of detail about our 2010 Caribbean Princess cruise, let me just say, that Princess once again did not disappoint us in service, cleanliness, the attentiveness of the staff, and the meals again were lovely. For some reason we were not offered the crab legs in the dining room on this cruise, and that was sorely missed. I don't know if they have eliminated it from the menu, or if it was just this particular sailing.
Due to the fact that we chose a mini suite this time at the very back of the ship, we also enjoyed a few "extras" of our own such as cheaper cocktails in the Skywalkers lounge every night, and a free glass of champagne on arrival. The mini suite was a definite bonus, and because of the particular suite that we chose, (the very back on the port side on Emerald deck), we also had a much larger balcony. Too much room for really 2 people.
Check in was a no brainer, 30 seconds in and on the ship.
If you are a cruiser who is used to leaving port around 5:00 PM while it is still light out, you may be disappointed by this San Juan departure, as it doesn't leave until 11:00. It seems strange dressing for dinner, and going to the shows when you are still in port. We didn't really enjoy this aspect of it as we really love being able to watch sailing away on deck in daylight. You also miss the whole party atmosphere on the Lido deck when you set sail in daylight.
We always enjoy the sea days and found on this particular sailing there were too many ports of call. And since we were in a port almost every day, the boutiques were always closed until we set sail (as is usual). So since they were only open in the evening, the crowds in the boutiques and sale tables were ridiculous.
While the Caribbean Princess was starting to show it's age when we sailed in 2007 when they revamped the atrium in either 2008 or 2009, some of the aging has improved. There are still some spots that need to be refurbished up on deck, but for the most part, it is still luxurious. May of the chairs in the Horizon court need to be replaced, so hopefully that is being doing soon. And instead of there being a uniformity of deck chairs as has been our past experience, there were 3 different kinds of deck chairs throughout the ship, for no apparent reason, and it looked quite messy.
We have another Princess cruise booked, as quite frankly I'm too scared to try another cruise line. We've been told that Celebrity is comparable, but when I check out the prices it's quite a bit more expensive. Royal Caribbean is geared towards families, and I'm trying to get away from kids and teens on my vacation, and we're not old enough for Holland America (in our late 40's), and I just know the Carnival wouldn't meet our expectations. So we will stick with Princess until something bad happens, and as yet, we've never had a truly bad experience.