Having a seven cruise experience behind us over the past 9 years (two on Disney, two on Royal Caribbean, two on Celebrity and one on Norwegian) and the fact that we really enjoy the southern Caribbean itineraries, we wanted to get the Princess Cruise Line a try. We are active "Fifty-Somethings" and value a happy clean ship, stage entertainment, crowd management, clear instructions, and fun table mates. The food is always a plus, but isn't a top priority for us. The itinerary plays a big role in our decision.
We had a great time. We stayed as we typically do in old San Juan the night before relieving all the stress on getting to the pier on time. Although we thought that we were leaving from the OSJ pier (and with that in mind booked the Sheraton), we discovered that we were in fact leaving from the International Pier. This didn't matter as the stay at the Sheraton always makes for a great start! A short taxi ride to the Pier on Sunday by typically wonderful San Juan drivers got us there just fine.
The PCL greeters at the curbside directed us to the correct baggage check area and we swiftly processed through all the embarkation details. I really liked that we were able to access our stateroom right away. Our luggage arrived a bit later. After getting our soft drink sticker (which I still think is a necessity), we discovered a similar plan for a specialty coffee (espresso) and purchased that as well. This was good because our routine visits to the coffee bar brought us to the adjacent specialty sandwich and dessert counter at the International Cafe. This very nice area was one example of quality touches that were similar to and at times better than other high end cruise amenities experience.
Simple basic decor was a bit boring. Lots of room for hanging up clothes. Very quite in spite of being close to the elevator lobby and just below the buffet area. Bathroom was older design and the sink need caulk, but overall the cabin was clean. The balcony offered great view and the handrail was nicely varnished. No sign of rust in the exterior paint work around the balcony area.