Exterior shot of Caribbean Princess in port with palm trees

A massive overhaul of Caribbean Princess in early 2017 saw several additions to this 2,670-passenger cruise ship, as well as renovations to favorite spots. Whether you're onboard for a one-week cruise in the Caribbean or an almost two-weeker in Europe, these tips can help you make the most of your Caribbean Princess cruise.

Tip 1: Don't Skip the International Cafe

Tucked into a corner on Deck 5 is one of Caribbean Princess' most popular spots, the 24-hour International Cafe. Whether you need a caffeine fix, which you can get for free (or for a fee if you want a premium option), want a quick bite before your morning excursion or a snack in between meals, the International Cafe has you covered. In the early morning hours, you'll find yogurt parfait, muesli and a tantalizing display of breakfast pastries. The rest of the day, the display case is full of pre-made salads, sandwiches, steak and kidney pie, and a quiche and soup of the day. Plus, it's got the most delicious cakes, cookies and brownies for when your sweet tooth starts acting up (no matter what time of day that might be)! Most of the items are complimentary.

Tip 2: Get to Bravo Early

Bravo is Caribbean Princess' most popular show, mostly because word-of-mouth gets around quickly from crew members to passengers about just how good it is. It's a combination of some of opera's greatest hits with popular radio tunes done in operatic style -- think Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling" and Tom Jones' "Thunderball." Many of the songs are accompanied by high-production-value dance routines, and the performances are some of the best you'll find at sea. Most impressive, on each British Isles sailing Princess flies out a guest soprano from London for an evening to do the more impressive arias.

Noodle bowl on Princess Cruises

Tip 3: Don't Miss the Lunchtime Ramen Noodle Bar or Wake View Lounge in the Evening

One of Caribbean Princess' best-kept secrets is the lunchtime-only choose-your-fixings ramen noodle bar located in Steamers Seafood restaurant, a shellfish lover's paradise added to the back of Deck 15 during Caribbean Princess' 2017 dry dock. On the menu are a selection of noodles, rice, broths, meats and vegetables, which the chef will cook up for you after you've made your selections. Though Steamers carries a cover charge at dinner, the ramen noodle bar at lunchtime is free.

Another well-kept secret is the Wake View lounge, located at the very back of both Steamers and Planks BBQ on Deck 15. Situated just behind sliding-glass doors on the other side of the aft-view Outrigger Bar, the lounge offers a quiet place for intimate conversation as well as evening bar snacks for a tiny upcharge -- the most expensive item on the menu are the $5 lobster tacos; other items include clam chowder nuggets, beef burger sliders, chipotle barbecue pork turnovers and smoked Gouda and onion jam quesadillas, all for $2.50 each. There's also a Bahamian martini with scallop and shrimp ceviche for $3.50.

Tip 4: Enjoy a Movie Under the Stars

There's just something about watching a movie alfresco with a blanket tucked around you and the smell of popcorn in the air. Maybe it brings back memories of going to the drive-in as a kid, or maybe it's just because Princess knows how to do it right. With the brand-new HD Movies Under the Stars screen that was added during the 2017 renovation, on Caribbean Princess this Princess Cruises staple is better than most -- clearer, brighter and just perfect for watching big-budget Hollywood blockbusters on.

Tip 5: Indulge in an Ice-creamy Treat at Coffee & Cones

In the mood for some ice cream, but want something more exciting than soft service vanilla or chocolate? How does an ice cream sandwich with chocolate chip cookies and mint ice cream or snickerdoodle cookies with cinnamon ice cream sound. Go for a creamy black and white shake, or get that soft serve and add sprinkles, chocolate syrup and whipped cream to it! Want to drink your indulgence? You can also get frappes like "Nuts for Caffeine," with espresso, hazelnut syrup, whipped cream and a chocolate caramel sauce; or "Mocha Milkshake" with espresso, cocoa, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and the chocolate caramel sauce. Though there is an upcharge here ($3 per ice cream sandwich, $4 or $5 for a frappe) -- the soft serve is free -- it's a small price to pay for such deliciousness.