This was our 12th cruise with Princess and 18th overall. After a long MN winter my wife and I needed to be warm. We booked the trip through Princess in January with a pre-cruise 2 night stay in NYC.
New York - Times Square Intercontinental Hotel - 2 night pre-cruise package: This was well worth the cost. We were meet at the airport right by baggage claim and within 10 minutes in a limo to the hotel. The hotel was beautiful as it just opened a year ago. It was a block off Times Square and a block off Hells Kitchen. We purchased hop off / on tickets and Statue of Liberty tickets on line prior to arriving. It was a great value to by on line. We did the Central Park tour the first afternoon, dinner in Hells Kitchen that night, subway early the next morning to Battery Park to get the Stature of Liberty Ferry, then hopped on for Wall Street, the new World Trade Center (wow), Little Italy and Rockefeller Center. Another great restaurant in Hells kitchen and before you knew it, it was 11:30 in the morning and we were boarding our bus to the ship.
It took all of 15 minutes once our bus arrived at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
Caribbean Princess was in good shape, but was the first time I thought a Princess ship needed some TLC. Outside, rust was very visible which is unusual for Princess. Inside, she was in good to great shape. A few pieces of astroturf were curling up on the edges near the pools and some trim was missing. Other then that she look to be in good condition.
We had a BE balcony on Baja deck, it was very clean but the shower had a few cracks near the ceiling that was poorly patched. The balcony furniture was a tad dirty and the toilet had a mold problem. Our stateroom steward was fantastic a took care of all the issues within the first 24 hours!
We were full including over 800 kids. Most people were from NY or NJ. We were an exception being from MN. Overall, people were very nice, loud, but nice. My only complaint was that Princess had to reinforce where kids should and shouldn't be (which they did a good job of) and I wish they would better enforce the dress code in the dinning room. I know jeans are okay, but T-shirts? And if it's formal night, keep the people without jackets or ties our of the lounges.
We reserved the Sanctuary right when we got on board, but only two morning on port days were left! They were fortunately our PR and GT days so we didn't arrive until after 12 noon, so like a sea day. Best to head up there first thing if you want to get space, it is WELL worth the $10 fee.
Food and service were both very good. Sabittini's and Crown Grill were fantastic! International Cafe' (please Princess but this on ALL ships) was the perfect morning breakfast hang out. Had most lunches and dinners in the MDR and did a few trips to Horizon Court. 3 different comedians were very funny and I usually don't like them. The 3 production shows I have seen at least twice on other Princess cruises so let the 2,000 first timers go. Lotus Spa hot rock treatment was also wonderful, in fact the best I have had in several years.
Bermuda was fantastic, did the 1/2 day island Taxi and had a great driver. Learned a lot about the island. The rest of the day we were on our own.
San Juan PR was quite the adventure. We walked Old San Juan in the afternoon, and then went zip lining in the evening. We were wait listed for zip line, so instead of the daytime, we went at night! Wild experience jump in the dark, not knowing where your going with only a helmet light to guide you. What an experience!
St. Thomas we took the boat to St. Johns and did some shopping downtown and Grand Turk we laid on the beach and relaxed.
Delta had moved up our flight by almost an hours so we cancelled our transfer (which Princess refunded for us without us asking - Thank You!) and walked off with our bags. We were group 2, and were off at 7:25, through customs by 7:35 and in a limo to LGA by 7:40! The limo to the airport are the same as the transfer for two people, so in the future I will do the walk off. We actually got the the airport by 8:30 so we took the 10:15 flight verses the 11:20.
It was a great trip. My only improvements would be to stress the dress code a little more, and paint the outside of the ship! Everything else was perfect including the weather sunny 75 - 87 everyday.
It was a great trip. Let me know if you have any specific questions. Oh and yes we did put our $100 down for next year. . .