We sailed for a get a way to the warm. The weather was good. But having sailed on multiple lines before (we were looking to see if Princess would be the line of choice for Alaska), we were very let down. Here is the whole story.
Sailed from Ft Lauderdale. Very efficient embarkation (as was disembarkation). We spent a night at the Crown Plaza just up the street from the ship. Nice pool and view of the port. Ft Lauderdale is well laid out with the airport just a few minutes from the ships. The ship is well kept.
We went with a balcony stateroom – it’s worth the extra $$. On these ships though, go for a stateroom on the lower decks. You get a larger balcony. Ours was fine for two people (deck 12).
We had the late dining in Botechelli. The waiter was nice, the food, OK. Nothing wrong with it, but there was something lacking in the quality and presentation that we remembered from Carnival. The waiter’s assistant was very hard to understand and by the third nite had remembered our tea and coffee preferences.
There was just something amiss and It all got summed up when I was playing poker in the casino and the dealer was very friendly, and I joked that her job was to make sure the guests had a great time, she replied, “Oh no sir, the company has made it quite clear to me that my job is to take as much of your money as possible.’ Then it dawned on me, the company is not run by people providing a service, it is run by the bean counters. The food was OK, never great until you paid for the better meal, the room service was almost OK (I had to ask for the promised robes 3 times, had to ask for shampoo). We sat on one deck above the pool for 2 hours and never once saw a waiter. When you automatically add the tip for the cabin steward and all the drinks (and BTW, charging me for coffee as really inexcusable – not a latte – just a freakn’ coffee), where is the urge to please? It’s gone, and so are we.
There were only two shows that were worth staying for – a magician and then the cooking show by the head chef and head waiter. The other shows we went to had a few singers and dancers and the sound of the music was so loud you could not hear the singers.
St Marten’s new port and the new port in St. Thomas are very nice. The people on those islands appreciate and cater to tourists. The Segway tour on St. Marten was a blast, very different, as well as the jerk chicken at the Pirate restaurant. Excellent.
The Grand Turk stop is well done all very clean and run by a large enterprise. We took the out-island snorkel tour to a sisal plantation – most excellent.
In summary, we had a good time, but Princess won’t see us again.