After a long flight from the UK we landed in Miami and were picked up by Terry, a kind member of Cruise Critic who kindly offered to pick us up from the airport and drop us at our hotel and to "pay it forward". Boy were we pleased to see him after a nearly ten hour flight and about a ninety minute wait at immigration where the lines were horrendous. Even with our ESTA's in hand, fingerprints and iris scans it still took forever.
We arrived at the Renaissance hotel and check in was swift, we had a rollaway for our daughter. The beds were sooooooo comfortable and we slept well. Breakfast was not included and we treated ourselves to the buffet in the morning. Very good. Checkout was smooth and the van to take us to the ship was waiting at the front of the hotel. Cost was 6 dollars each.
Check in was chaos at the terminal. The lines were huge. Luckily, we had fast check in or whatever they call it so we were soon on board after filling in paperwork to say we weren't I'll etc.
L106 is a nice cabin although I am not sure where they hide all that square footage unless they include the balcony in the 500 plus square feet. This balcony looks over part of the bridge and you do not get a balcony light making sitting out in the evening a little difficult. We did find the balcony windy although we did have some pretty rough and windy days. People walking on deck can see you on your balcony, there is an a door leading out to the external walkway, when it bangs the whole cabin shakes!
The bathroom is right next to the bed, this makes night time or early bathroom trips a bit of a nuisance as the loo is only about 6ft from the bed, albeit behind the door!
We met other Cruise Critic cruisers at the sail away and kept meeting up with people though out the trip too. Hi to the two Shanes and Penny!
We went to Orient Beach, the water was rough so next time we would choose the Caribbean side. Mavens Bay was beautiful. Princess Cays was lovely, no complaints. At Grand Turk we went to the cruise centre and the snorkelling was FAB! The organized trips we went on were professional and we were happy with them.
Our son is 15 and our daughter 11. We didn't see either of them for most of the week, shows how much fun they had! Unfortunately it was not US school holidays so there weren't many kids on board.
We enjoyed all the food and all the restaurants. You could have as much or as little as you wanted 24 hours a day. Unfortunately we were too late to get a booking in the Crown Grill.
One complaint was the poor English of some staff in 'passenger services' when you rang them. I had several frustrating calls with them. "How do I remove the plug in the sink in the bathroom" was one question I never got an answer to!
Sabatini's for breakfast was a suite perk. It was wonderful and well staffed by some Romanian ladies.
The Sanctuary!!!! Fantastic. You get to book a sun bed which has a really thick mattress and you get pampered with staff bringing towels, cold flannels and drinks. Cost was 10 dollars per chair for an AM or PM session. The only drawback is you may feel you are in a TB hospital - try and think pas this! You need to book in person and there are no KIDS.
As I said earlier we had some REALLY rough weather, the pools were emptied as they were slopping everywhere and creating brilliant 'in pool waves'. I did feel a bit rough but it never stopped us eating!
My husband enjoyed Bobby Collins the comedian, one show was a bit uncoordinated and the other was excellent. Won't spoil it for you. Megan Evans sang beautifully.
We had some superb photos taken, far less expensive than a professional sitting and lovely to have the whole family dressed up. We enjoyed the formal nights and got dressed up as did the majority of people. Free Champagne flowed for an hour or so after the Champagne fountain was started, lots of pomp and it was great fun. Do dress up on formal nights if you can and have your photo taken!
We had a few perks with the suite, corsages on the first formal night were a nice touch. The free laundry was helpful. We did not get the invites for drinks and freebies that our suite info said we would get but we survived.
In all we had a wonderful relaxing 5 star time, we were so relaxed and kept falling asleep. Will definitely cruise with Princess again and we are now cruise addicts!