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I do have to admit a bit of bias for this one- my wife and I got married on this cruise, so we received outstanding extra treatment by the ship's staff including the Captain- Mario Ciruzzi. That said- I saw a lot of mixed reviews for this ship before we headed out. It is smaller than the Royal Class ships I had been on before, but in some ways that made it nicer. It wasn't quite as crowded and was at least slightly easier to get around. We got a mini-suite stateroom (D715) and were very surprised at how much room it had. The cabin was very comfortable with two nice flat-screen TVs and an air conditioning system that actually worked (unlike my previous cruise). Medallion Class embarkation was just as-advertised. After a quick passport check and scanning in our medallions, we went to a nice waiting lounge for the ship to start boarding. It was a lot easier and faster than the old cruise card check-in process. Once we boarded- we explored the ship to figure out where everything was. We went up to check out where our stateroom was, and our steward already had it finished (almost an hour early!). As I said in my summary above- we were very surprised at how much space it actually had. We LOVED the large bathroom and sitting area, and extra-large balcony. The furnishings and ship itself are a bit dated. While the electronic systems have all been updated, the furnishings and decor are a bit older and showing some wear. Everything was clean and in good condition though. Most of the lighting is fluorescent, which I found a bit annoying compared to the instant-on LED lighting of the newer ships. Things I loved about the ship: Lots of pools! They have a Sanctuary pool, but beside it- there are two large main pools and one adults-only pool on the aft side of the ship, along with hot tubs at all of them. This gave us a lot of options for different music and crowds while we were onboard. I think the Explorer's Lounge is an upgrade from "Princess Live" on other ships. Very nice bar area and lounge, with frequent entertainment options. Skywalkers. It has kind of a 70s vibe and I'm not really into dancing, but it is a unique feature that I thought was fun and special about this ship. Negatives: The only real negative I have, which I have complained about before, is the almost-constant marketing, in particular from Effy. Beyond that- the "usual" complaints pretty much everyone has about a cruise ship- I felt like I spent way too much time waiting for lifts, and the food choices, particularly in the buffet, weren't the greatest. The latter is really subjective though. Princess Cays: I complained a lot about this place on my last cruise. This one was better. It was actually raining pretty hard when we first got there, but it cleared up after an hour or so and we had a great time. We rented a clamshell/chairs and a paddleboat, and enjoyed a lot of beach time. The beach is rocky part-way out- so bring water shoes, but the sandy areas and water itself were wonderful. Bar service is still slow- they seem to be trying to implement medallions, but still do all of the orders on paper, which is very inefficient. The food was okay for what it was, and the service there was pretty fast. The only real feedback/complaint I have this time is they really need more showers and foot wash areas. We explored St. Thomas on our own, and overall had a great experience shopping and hanging out in the local bars and restaurants. We were supposed to go on a tour (not arranged by Princess) and the guy overbooked and took off 10 minutes before he was supposed to leave, so we missed it. Fortunately we didn't pay in advance! On St. Maarten we did the SXM Airport Adventure boat, booked through Princess. They had a great bar and food on the boat, and took us around to the bay in front of the famous Princess Juliana International Airport. We watched jets and other planes take off and land while enjoying great music, food, and drink. There was snorkeling and floating off of a platform attached to the boat, and the crew was fun and very helpful. I highly recommend that excursion. After that we explored the local shops and bars, and spent a couple of hours on the beach next to town. There are a few sections there where you can rent a beach umbrella and chairs cheap. (We paid $15 for an umbrella and two chairs for the afternoon.) Debarkation went even more smoothly, as they had "EZ-Check" to our airline (Southwest), so we checked our bags through to our destination from our cabin. I think it took less than 10 minutes from our cabin to the shuttle bus to the airport. This is a great service Princess offers if you can take advantage of it.

Another excellent Princess cruise!

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by neowolf

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
I do have to admit a bit of bias for this one- my wife and I got married on this cruise, so we received outstanding extra treatment by the ship's staff including the Captain- Mario Ciruzzi.

That said- I saw a lot of mixed reviews for this ship before we headed out. It is smaller than the Royal Class ships I had been on before, but in some ways that made it nicer. It wasn't quite as crowded and was at least slightly easier to get around. We got a mini-suite stateroom (D715) and were very surprised at how much room it had. The cabin was very comfortable with two nice flat-screen TVs and an air conditioning system that actually worked (unlike my previous cruise).

Medallion Class embarkation was just as-advertised. After a quick passport check and scanning in our medallions, we went to a nice waiting lounge for the ship to start boarding. It was a lot easier and faster than the old cruise card check-in process.

Once we boarded- we explored the ship to figure out where everything was. We went up to check out where our stateroom was, and our steward already had it finished (almost an hour early!). As I said in my summary above- we were very surprised at how much space it actually had. We LOVED the large bathroom and sitting area, and extra-large balcony.

The furnishings and ship itself are a bit dated. While the electronic systems have all been updated, the furnishings and decor are a bit older and showing some wear. Everything was clean and in good condition though. Most of the lighting is fluorescent, which I found a bit annoying compared to the instant-on LED lighting of the newer ships.

Things I loved about the ship:

Lots of pools! They have a Sanctuary pool, but beside it- there are two large main pools and one adults-only pool on the aft side of the ship, along with hot tubs at all of them. This gave us a lot of options for different music and crowds while we were onboard.

I think the Explorer's Lounge is an upgrade from "Princess Live" on other ships. Very nice bar area and lounge, with frequent entertainment options.

Skywalkers. It has kind of a 70s vibe and I'm not really into dancing, but it is a unique feature that I thought was fun and special about this ship.

Negatives:

The only real negative I have, which I have complained about before, is the almost-constant marketing, in particular from Effy. Beyond that- the "usual" complaints pretty much everyone has about a cruise ship- I felt like I spent way too much time waiting for lifts, and the food choices, particularly in the buffet, weren't the greatest. The latter is really subjective though.

Princess Cays:

I complained a lot about this place on my last cruise. This one was better. It was actually raining pretty hard when we first got there, but it cleared up after an hour or so and we had a great time. We rented a clamshell/chairs and a paddleboat, and enjoyed a lot of beach time. The beach is rocky part-way out- so bring water shoes, but the sandy areas and water itself were wonderful. Bar service is still slow- they seem to be trying to implement medallions, but still do all of the orders on paper, which is very inefficient. The food was okay for what it was, and the service there was pretty fast. The only real feedback/complaint I have this time is they really need more showers and foot wash areas.

We explored St. Thomas on our own, and overall had a great experience shopping and hanging out in the local bars and restaurants. We were supposed to go on a tour (not arranged by Princess) and the guy overbooked and took off 10 minutes before he was supposed to leave, so we missed it. Fortunately we didn't pay in advance!

On St. Maarten we did the SXM Airport Adventure boat, booked through Princess. They had a great bar and food on the boat, and took us around to the bay in front of the famous Princess Juliana International Airport. We watched jets and other planes take off and land while enjoying great music, food, and drink. There was snorkeling and floating off of a platform attached to the boat, and the crew was fun and very helpful. I highly recommend that excursion. After that we explored the local shops and bars, and spent a couple of hours on the beach next to town. There are a few sections there where you can rent a beach umbrella and chairs cheap. (We paid $15 for an umbrella and two chairs for the afternoon.)

Debarkation went even more smoothly, as they had "EZ-Check" to our airline (Southwest), so we checked our bags through to our destination from our cabin. I think it took less than 10 minutes from our cabin to the shuttle bus to the airport. This is a great service Princess offers if you can take advantage of it.
neowolf’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MD D715
We loved this cabin, although I admit my only previous experience has been with "deluxe balcony" rooms. It seemed HUGE by comparison. It has an extra-large balcony, easily twice the size of most of the regular balcony rooms. The only down side is the balconies stick out from all of the others (they are located above the lifeboats), so everyone above can see it. Not really that big of a deal- just something to be aware of if you like lounging around in your underwear (or less).
The bed was ridiculously comfortable, especially for a cruise ship bed. I would put it on-par with some of the better hotels out there. It is a huge improvement over the terrible foam beds I've encountered up to this point. For CPAP users who can struggle on cruises- there are two 110v outlets right next to the bed.
The bathroom is huge (compared to balcony rooms anyway). There is about twice as much room to shower thanks to the tub. We didn't use the tub itself, but it was nice having all that extra space for the shower. I wish it had a hand shower though! My only complaint specific to this cabin is the diverter valve is stuck, so you can't direct water to the tub spout or what appeared to be a foot wash faucet next to it. It was a minor annoyance and we didn't complain about it to the staff. The only time we wanted to use the spout was to rinse off water shoes and sandals.
I think the carpet was new. We noticed some fuzz on occasion. The decor and furniture show a bit of age but are still in great condition and functional. There is a lot of storage between the large closet, desk and nightstand drawers, and shelves in the center divider area. If you need them- there are plugs between the desk and bed, and plugs behind the flat-screen TVs that are fairly easy to get to.
We had a great time here!
Dolphin Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Princess Cays
    I'm a big guy, and had issues with the paddle boat. Not really their fault though- just not made for larger folks. We decided next time we are getting one of those 3-"wheel" trikes instead. Otherwise we had a great time here.
    View All 12,431 Princess Cays Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Princess Cays Cruise Port Review
  • St. Maartan Airport Tour
    We took the SXM Airport Adventure tour boat. It was a LOT of fun. They have a bar and food, and played great music the whole time. We anchored on the edge of Maho Bay where we could watch jets and other aircraft take off and land from the famous SXM Airport. They would tell us every time a plane was about to land so we could get great pictures. The boat has a platform and they had snorkeling and noodling, or you can just hang out and enjoy their great Rum punch! This was my favorite excursion of the trip, even though I got terribly sunburned, which was my fault- they have lots of shady spots on the boat.
    View All 94 St. Maartan Airport Tour Reviews
  • St. Thomas
    We had a great time in St. Thomas just shopping and hanging out in local bars and restaurants. There is a bazaar area (with pop-up canopies) near where the cabs drop you off downtown with a lot of very rude and pushy vendors. Shopping in the actual shop buildings was generally pleasant and we got some great deals. Remember to haggle- the marked price is rarely what you will have to pay. If anything- combine items and ask for a deal on them.
    My biggest advice is beware of cab/tour operators you will inevitably find once you go ashore. Never pay for anything in advance. We met a really nice guy who offered to take us on a 3-hour tour of the island including beach time. He was reasonably-priced and showed us a great itinerary. We agreed to take his tour and reserved with our names, and he said to come back a couple of hours later. Fortunately we didn't give him any money as we returned 10 minutes before the tour was supposed to start and he was gone. One of the other operators said he overbooked and left early with a full bus. We were mad that we missed the tour, but glad we didn't pay him anything. I suspect that happens a lot.
    View All 4,635 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Thomas Cruise Port Review