Generally, we had a good cruise, enjoyed meeting new friends and re-visiting old ports of call. The stewards, waiters, and all other staff were unfailingly polite and pleasant. Even in the face of some idiot passengers who felt obligated to vent over some problem, and even after it was fixed. The Captain made a probably difficult decision to bypass Princess Cays due to high seas and winds. The staff hustled to come up with more onboard activities.
The public spaces were all beautiful and well maintained. Musical intertainment in the atrium was varied and quite professional. There was one area which is not public, the Sanctuary, an extra cost area which looked quite nice, but not hugely attended. This idea may appeal to others but went against my grain in light of a similar area on some Royal Caribbean ships that is open to the public.
Our mini-suite cabin was well worth the additional cost, which was not very much. Our steward was delightful and did a great job. We had an onboard celebration which Princess nicely acknowledged. One caveat about the Dolphin mini-suite balcony. It sticks out further than any others above, hence no roof and good viewing of you from those above.
We opted for the EZcheck service where your luggage is taken from the ship for you and sent to your destination airport. No more going through the rows of luggage upon disembarkation, no more check-in at the airport, as your airline boarding passes are delivered to your stateroom on the last night. It worked.
Just a few points where it was less than perfect.
1. The ship seems to have more "jiggle" than I remeber on other ships. Not talking about wave action, but mechanical pulsing as if some equipment is out of balance. It varied by location, but was generally pervasive. One ceiling panel in the atrium had a continuous fairly loud rattle.
2. The ship was comissioned in 2008, and some of the carpeting is starting to show it's age. Mostly spots that perhaps will be cleaned up.
3. My pillow was lumpy. (OK, no big deal, but that's me)
4. We generally thought the food was not very exciting. Many of the dishes in both the Lido and dining rooms seemed quite bland. We were told that Princess is cutting down on the salt content.
Enough blather. This was our seventh cruise on Princess, but will we book Princess again? Too soon to tell, but certainly thoughts of other lines are floating around in our heads.
Charlotte Amalie is older and a bit less pretty, but has the same high-end shops as the other Caribbean islands, selling watches cameras and electronics, liquor, perfume, jewelery, and other tourist stuff. Tours abound. From scenic island to diving, snorkling, beachs, and shopping. St. Johns is a beautiful small island close by and available either by ferry from Red Hook or one of the catamarans available. Beach fun or some hiking and exploration is the goal there.