This was our 32nd cruise, 11th time on Princess. We traveled with some family members, one of whom was cruising for the first time, another member celebrating a milestone birthday. We had 2 cabins on Plaza level and a couple on Baja. Plaza level was very convenient for the seniors in our group and also for getting on and off the ship at various ports. I had an outside P301, nice window but cabins are small on Princess although storage was adequate.
The bathrooms are tiny and shower is cramped but we had a great cabin steward Noel who was very attentive.
We stayed one night precruise at the Embassy Suites, pretty basic place
but conveniently located for Publix, Total Wine and restaurants. It was sold out as there were many ships arriving and departing that weekend. The concierge managed to get us in to Bimini Boatyard, party of 5 which was jammed. We bought several bottles of wine and had no issue taking them onboard in our carry on. I also got a small plastic bottle of Malibu Rum which I put in my checked luggage.
We took a cab and boarded around 11:30. The line was long but luckily we had Platinum status and were able to get our keys without any wait. Our luggage arrived by 2:00. We ate lunch in the dining room and waited to see the Maitre D about reserving a table for Anytime Dining. We needed one for
9 people and ended up with a 5:30 seating which was annoying but we had a great server Andreea Kiss who was very patient with our tardy party.
We also brought wine into the dining room every night without any issue.
I dropped a note off to the Cruise Director asking her to announce my Father in Law's 90th birthday on the morning show which she did, he enjoyed it very much. They also sent him a bottle of Champagne and put balloons and a note on his door which we had also decorated for the occasion.
Surprisingly many people dressed up for formal night, very few slackers.
Seating at the pools was okay, I prefer the upper decks and there were not as many seat savers as I have seen in the past. Plenty of movies are shown during the week either on the screen or in the theatre. Some in my party were dismayed there was no sports bar to watch March Madness. In Grand Turk the other ship docked there had it on their big screen and Princess cruisers had to watch it from across the way. The casino was very smokey despite 2 smoke free evenings.
The first few days were windy and the ship had a lot of movement but the
weather was warm and sunny. We enjoyed every port and did beach days and some snorkeling. St Martin had 6 or 7 ships, I have never seen it that crowded. We went to Orient Beach. On St Thomas we went to Sapphire.
The day at Grand Turk we were the second ship arriving at 1pm. There was still seating and the sunset was wonderful there.
The negatives of the cruise were the food and entertainment. We ate at
Sabatini's which was just okay also. Drinks like ice tea and lemonade are
available in the buffet if you can find someone to serve them (no longer self serve maybe due to recent outbreaks of virus). Ours was a healthy cruise thankfully! We self disembarked at 7:30 for a 10am flight. There was some delay with the cabs arriving, but we still made it to FLL by 8:00.
We were lucky to have fabulous weather no rain at all, warm in the ports and very swimmable for March. Princess Cruises are getting a bit tiresome though, we will be sailing other lines in the near future.