San Juan is a fantastic departure point as it affords such a diversity of beautiful ports. We left our snowy Canadian homes to spend 4 days in advance of our cruise in Rincon (villa rental)and thoroughly enjoyed this unique laid back surfing capital. After dropping off rental car, DH, in-laws and I boarded the CB for a week of cruising.This is our 2nd Southern Caribbean cruise aboard the CB and we really enjoy this ship and itinerary.
Embarkation was relatively easy, arrived at 11:30am, processed and inside our cabin by 12:45pm, despite a stop at the infamous San Juan terminal duty free. (yes it is possible to bring multiple wine bottles aboard)
Caribe deck balcony cabin is ideal, with a large extended balcony and adjoining door when we wished to visit family. We really missed the furniture for our balcony this year. Only two reclining chairs and a wierd small table, despite all the space (2011 cruise had footrests, extra chairs and a large table). I actually pulled cabin furniture outside each morning for our room service breakfast. Bed was comfy and large, great flat screen tv with multiple channels including a Romance Movie channel 25 (perfect for a romantic insomniac like me)
Dining and food were very good. Princess has added a breakfast sandwich to room service which is really great. We didn't do any buffets but instead chose the exceptional offerings at International cafe and Anytime Dining. Menus were varied and we ordered salmon / steak from the stand by menu throughout the week when daily offerings didn't appeal. Special mention goes to the sushi at Vines, available with your purchased wine order and to awesome hamburgers at the Trident grill.
Entertainment was fun and sometimes terrific. The reggae music at poolside and a good comedian early in the cruise were highlights. Special mention to the very moving and sentimental Valentine's vow renewal. There were many tears in the audience as we watched couples repeat their life long vows.
A cabin steward named Sonia was great fun, adding many special touches. Cupids and hearts on our cabin doors for Valentine's day and lots of help with little things all week.
Pools on Princess are really exceptional, we thoroughly enjoyed swimming and lounging plus finding secret places on sundecks to watch the waves and read. The exclusive sanctuary was a nice respite on one particular day, though I probably wouldn't committ to purchasing an entire week as the rest of the ship has so much to offer.
We enjoyed the ports and much too quickly returned to San Juan. Our disembarkation process was very easy and well organized. We spent an enjoyable day exploring old San Juan then a relaxing evening at the Sheraton Convention Centre (great infinity pool) with a wistful view of our ship as she sailed away that night.
San Juan based Princess cruises are the absolute best, I'm so sorry that this is the last year for the CB.