This was the 50th Anniversary cruise for Princess Cruise Lines and, as a result, somewhat different from a regular Princess cruise. To begin with, there were over 400 Elite members on board a ship for around 600 passengers. There were also TV celebrities on board for the entire cruise, and this was certainly different from the norm on a typical Princess cruise. These differences made the experience more significant, in my view, than the usual Princess cruises I take. The cruise was sold out almost from the first day it appeared on the schedule, and there was reportedly a long waiting list. I felt very fortunate to be on the cruise in the first place.
First, the good: the food in the dining room was outstanding, the best I've ever had on a Princess cruise. Even dishes I have avoided over the years because of declining quality (particularly the prime rib) I ordered on this cruise and found them perfect. Our cabin was very nice, with a little love seat in addition to the bed where it was nice to sit and read in comfort. The balcony was small, but it was certainly adequate. An advantage of the smaller ships is that getting from one place to another is faster and easier. The stairs saw more traffic on this ship than others, and the four elevators (fore and aft) were amazingly quick.
The entertainment was special, with the cast of the Love Boat on board giving interviews and generally mixing with the passengers, and all the winners of the Princess Entertainer of the Year contest took a turn doing the shows. There was hearty praise all over the ship about the shows. My husband had a great time playing bridge on all the sea days. The service was top-notch both in the bars and in the dining room. Our waiters, Nelvin and Mauro, turned out to be maybe the best we've ever experienced. (The entire ship was fixed seating, so we had the same waiters every night.) The MaitreD' Oscar was Mr. Personality and visited every table more than once. Our room steward, Marias, was personable and efficient. The bar staff in the Pacific Lounge was good, and the bartender would make the rounds of the tables when he wasn't busy to see how we liked the drinks. We went on three Princess excursions and had an outstanding time on each. Embarkation was a breeze, and disembarkation was less of a nightmare than usual. Sammi Baker, the CD, was amazing, and I think she is easily the best CD Princess has.
Very nice, with a little love seat near the window. The showers on the small ships are larger than those on the Grand ships. Small but adequate balcony.
Fascinating boat ride into the estuaries with wonderful bird watching. This tour is not easy for anyone with mobility issues.
We went into town and walked around. It was Sunday and not much was happening.
This port is scarcely worth the tender ride to the dock. Nothing but beer and souvenirs.
We got off the ship to go to Wal Mart. It was too hot and humid to do much else.
Wonderful tour of the 2000 year old ruins and a nice lunch in a mountain village.