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About us: We are a family of five: my husband (52), me (49), our daughters (18 and 16) and my mother (70-ish). This was our 2nd Princess cruise; we sailed the Canada/NE itinerary on the same ship in August 2008. Our cruise history consists of 8 additional cruises: 4 on Royal Caribbean Voyager-class ships, and one each on Carnival, Costa, Home Lines and Cunard. Another family of five traveled with us; our friends and their three children aged 20, 17 and 12. They were first-time cruisers.

We selected this cruise because of the convenience of departing from Red Hook, Brooklyn. Although Royal Caribbean is our preferred cruise line, their equivalent cruise on Explorer of the Seas was significantly more expensive (about $500 pp). Additionally, the Princess itinerary was slightly more attractive because it included a new-to-us port (Grand Turk). We are quite weary of visiting the same old ports each time we cruise, and it's increasingly hard to find refreshingly different Caribbean itineraries, especially during the summertime! With children still attending school, we unfortunately cannot sail at other times of the year when there are more options available.

Some background info: The five of us were originally planning to take this cruise last summer (July 26, 2009). Three days before that sailing date, Princess contacted us regarding a move-over offer. They wanted our 3 balcony cabins in exchange for 3 mini-suite cabins on any future sailing, plus a full reimbursement of our cruise fare ($7800) issued as refundable onboard credit (OBC). We accepted the offer, essentially receiving this cruise for free by agreeing to postpone it for one year.

Ironically, we received another phone call from Princess about 18 hours before our departure. They were oversold again and wanted two of our mini-suite cabins in exchange for one full-suite, plus an additional $1000 refundable OBC. We turned down this offer because it wasn't convenient for us to separate our family into cabins that were several decks, and half the ship's length, apart. Nor did we wish to combine family members from two cabins into one, even though the latter was larger and came with suite perks.

Embarkation: We left our house on Long Island at 10:30am, and after an easy drive on the Southern State/Belt Parkways to the BQE, we arrived at the pier at 11:15am. Surprisingly, there was serious lack of security personnel directing the arriving vehicles. It wasn't a problem for us because at this early hour, there were only a few cars in the drop off lane. We pulled up curbside to unload our suitcases. Contrary to our previous experience with this port, there were no porters to assist us. We wheeled two luggage carts over from where they were corralled and loaded our suitcases onto them ourselves. Eventually, a porter appeared and took the carts from us. We tipped him $10 for handling our cart and we received our luggage within two hours of boarding. However, our friends forgot to tip (the husband thought the wife gave the porter the $10 and visa versa), and their luggage did not arrive in their cabin until almost 9pm. It's impossible to determine if the tip made the difference, but it's worth considering.

After parking the car in the secure lot about 100 yards away, we walked into the terminal, checked in and were on the ship all within 10 minutes. There were no lines and no waiting. What a pleasure!!!

The first we heard about any issues with embarkation was when an announcement was made that the muster drill would be postponed by 45 minutes due to delays resulting from a shortage of stevedores provided by the port to assist with loading the vessel. We were already seated at our station "F" in Club Fusion at 4pm. We looked out the window and saw the heavy traffic, the chaos of people waiting to board, and the huge backlog of luggage still on the pier.

While we expected to watch sailaway before dinner and then attend the early show in the theatre, we didn't get underway until 7:45pm. Instead, we watched sailaway atop the bridge (via the Lido deck forward passageway) after dinner and then caught the later show. The following day, a letter from the captain was delivered to our stateroom apologizing for the inconvenience, and providing a detailed explanation of the situation, and assuring that steps were being taken to prevent the problem from occurring again with our disembarkation and with future sailings.

Onboard: Princess allows immediate access to our cabin to drop off our carry-ons before exploring the ship and eating lunch. While many cruisers consider this a significant advantage over the other cruiselines that restrict access to the cabin until after 1pm, we have a different point of view. As with our last Princess cruise, the cabins weren't fully prepared to receive new guests when we arrived. All the doors were propped open to the passageways, and the stewards were all still hard at work. Although the stewards were courteous and gracious to us, we felt that our presence, even in quickly dropping off our hand-luggage, was an imposition on them, hindering their ability to complete their job in a timely fashion. So, in our opinion, we'd rather have the "inconvenience" of waiting until 1pm, after the steward has finished his job, to enter a cabin that's completely cleaned and freshly supplied, without traces of the previous occupants.

Cabins: The ship only offers 12 mini-suites with balconies that are totally covered, and we selected three of these: E721, E723 and E725, on the 8th (Emerald) deck. We needed protection from the sun, and we prefer to be as low to the sea as possible to have a closer view of the water. We had the balcony divider doors opened so we could pass between all three cabins.

We were surprised at the smallish size of these cabins; we expected from the designation "mini-suite" that they would be comparable to a "junior suite" on Royal Caribbean, but instead they were approximately the same as RCI's "D" category of regular balcony cabins.

We also have mixed feelings about the wall that separates the sleeping area from the closet/bathroom. While it's nice to have the two distinct areas (especially a semi-private dressing area), it cuts into the actual living space of the cabin. On other cruiselines, this wall is opened up, making their cabins feel larger and less claustrophobic. Although the closet was huge, we didn't have so many clothes to hang up, which made some of the precious space underutilized.

There was significant build up of salt from the sea on the sliding glass doors to the balcony, and on the balcony glass itself, which was not cleaned for the entire cruise. This is an issue with balcony cabins on all the cruiselines, and it seems like it would be such an easy fix with a squeegee.

Our friends had cabin E717, which is an obstructed oceanview. The obstruction was minimal; just some cables and small barrels. They were very happy with the view. Unfortunately, their cabin reeked heavily of cigarette smoke. They brought the issue to the attention of the cabin steward and the odor gradually faded, but never fully dissipated, throughout the duration of the cruise. As first-timers, they were reluctant to complain further or make a huge fuss. If this had been my cabin, I would have been so bothered by the smell that it would have been an unacceptable situation that required further attention, and I wouldn't have been satisfied until the cabin was totally deodorized. Their children were across the hall in E715.

Even though all of these cabins are above Club Fusion, there was absolutely NO issue with noise, music, or bass vibrations, in our cabins.

We have never given the cabin steward an upfront tip (in addition to the autotips), but we made an exception this time because we had many special requests for our 5 cabins. Among other things, we moved some of our people from one cabin to another, which changed the headcount in some cabins and required different configurations of their beds. We handled this by writing all our requests on the outside of an envelope and slipping the tip inside. When we originally booked the cruise, there were residency and past passenger discounts being offered. In order to receive the discounted price, we had to make the reservations with one person who qualified for the discount in each cabin. We went to the purser's desk immediately after dropping our luggage off and advised them that several people in our group were switching cabins. No questions asked. They simply wrote down the information and asked us to return the next afternoon to pick up new cruise cards. It was absolutely no problem; the accounts followed the individuals who moved, and they received the correct key to the room that they were sleeping in.

Regarding the complementary glass of champaign given upon arrival to mini-suite guests, our cabin steward delivered a whole bottle to our room along with 5 fluted glasses, for the 5 adults in our party even though only 3 of then were actually staying in mini-suites. We brought the bottle to the main Dining Room on the second formal night and had it served with our dinner (no uncorking fee was charged).

Beds: In advance of the cruise, we FAXed a request for egg crates and top sheets on all the beds. (Special Services Department; Fax # 661-284-4885) We were pleased to find them in already place upon boarding. The beds are very hard which aggravated my sciatica, preventing me from sleeping well. (Usually I sleep like a baby on a cruise because the rocking motion is so soothing.)

Cabin Doors: I purchased a package of assorted summer decorations at Party City ($3) and affixed magnet strips ($2 at Michaels) to the back of them. Each person in our group selected a decoration to write their first name on with a Sharpie and affix to their doors. It was a fun and festive way to locate our cabins in the passageway. And, they are re-usable on future cruises!

Anniversary: My husband and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on July 31. That morning, we awoke to find three balloons affixed to the wall above our mailbox. At dinner, we were presented with a congratulations card from the captain, a chocolate cake and a Happy Anniversary song.

We didn't have any problems with kids popping the celebration balloons, removing door decorations, reversing the Privacy Please tags to read Service Please, knocking on doors and phone calls from stairwell house phones in the middle of the night, etc. If I hadn't read about it on Cruise Critic afterwards, I wouldn't have been aware that went on at all during our cruise.

A/C: When we first boarded the ship, it was uncomfortably hot throughout. Once the ship started sailing, the A/C system seemed to kick on as though it had been shut down all day. During the cruise, the Horizon buffet area was much too warm almost all of the time, but the rest of the public areas on the ship were always at a comfortable temperature. The thermometer on my travel alarm clock recorded average temperatures of 67 degrees in E721, 69 degrees in E723 and an uncomfortable 75 degrees in E725 (my mom's cabin...fortunately she brought along a small portable fan because besides liking it cool, she likes the white noise for sleeping).

Ship: The Caribbean Princess is rather bland and plainly appointed. The dEcor is very tasteful, but it lacks visual punch or WOW factor (I'm not talking Carnival-gaudy here (yuck!); just more pizzazz-y elegance). Nice things that stood out to us: the stunning main atrium, the gorgeous artwork in the elevator/stair lobbies, the twinkling ceiling lights in the dining venues, and the Terrace Pool.

For the most part, the ship is in very good condition and well-maintained, however if one is looking very closely with a critical eye, one might see minor issues such as soiled carpeting in need of refreshing. It's reasonable, and understandable, wear-and-tear.

Movement: For the first time ever, my children needed to take Meclizine (anti-vertigo medication). The ship's movement was felt more strongly than ever before on this cruise. I'm not talking about the typical rolling motion. This was a heavy staccato vibration, particularly in the forward and aft portions of the ship. It wasn't constant, but when it occurred, it caused a very strange and disconcerting feeling. At times, it was difficult to walk without holding onto both sides of the passageways, and we had the sensation of being drunk without having consumed alcohol.

Crowding: This ship is not large enough for the number of passengers onboard, and does not have as favorable space-to-passenger ratio compared to RCI's Voyager-class ships, which have a similar passenger load and are 20% larger. In particular, it was extremely difficult to find a seat in the Horizon buffet area. Upon arrival, one or two members of our group would scout for a table while the others were getting their food. The largest tables in the Horizon only seat 6-8 people comfortably, so we often divided our group between two tables. Halfway through the cruise, we realized that there are larger tables for 10-12 in the Cafe Caribe, which had the bonus of being less crowded especially towards the rear. There were better food choices in Horizon, so we'd select our meal there and then walk over to the Caribe to eat.

On our previous Caribbean Princess cruise, if we didn't arrive at the theatre 20-30 minutes before showtime, it was standing room only. On this cruise, it was much better, and we were able to find decent seats in the front section by arriving a reasonable 5-10 minutes early. It seems that the shows are repeated on subsequent evenings, thus alleviating the crowding at the first night's showings. Tip: the least crowded route to the theatre is to take the forward elevators down to deck 6 and use the lower entrances/exits near the cigar bar. The majority of the theatre traffic utilizes the upper doors on deck 7 by walking through the casino, and it gets very congested and bottlenecked.

Pools: The Terrace Pool is breathtakingly beautiful, comfortably shaded and pleasantly breezy, and provides a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere for adults to relax. It is my very favorite place on the ship!!! Because it received no direct sun, the water temperature was always on the cool side. Pity it wasn't heated, as it was on our Canada/NE sailing. The jacuzzis up on the Sun Deck were very quiet, and the one closest to the aft was the perfect temperature (not scalding hot). We sat out by the Terrace Pool nearly every night, snacking on cheese and grapes, chips with salsa and guacamole, or dessert from the Cafe Caribe.

On the first two days, there were young children using the Terrace Pool, ignoring the "adults only" and "no jumping or diving" signs. The only members of the crew who were patrolling the area were the bar servers. Since they are not appropriate people to enforce the rules, they were approached to call someone with that authority. They refused and insisted that the pool was open to everyone, and that the signs were wrong. A call to the front desk was put on hold until we gave up and hung up. Eventually, the annoyed and splashed upon passengers in the pool took matters into their own hands and pointed out the rules directly to the kids/families. They promptly left and the issue did not reoccur for the rest of the cruise.

Another problem at the Terrace pool is people moving the loungers to block the walkways and staircases. This created a very hazardous situation for walking around the area, especially for the elderly people. (Many of us suggested on our Let Us Know comment card that the Terrace pool needs a deck attendant to prevent these two issues from occurring).

At the two main pool areas, it was nearly impossible to find vacant loungers unless you arrived before 9am, or you were willing to go up to the levels above the pool. (This is not always practical if you plan to swim, or are watching a child who is in the pool. Plus, it is uncomfortably hotter and windier up on the higher open levels). Most of the chairs were reserved with towels or books on them for HOURS. Deck attendants were non-existent until about 4 or 5pm when they swiftly breezed through to collect all the abandoned towels. (Our friends, who used this pool because they had a 12 year old, mentioned this on their Let Us Know comment card)

Unfortunately, the pool band only played for very short time on just 2-3 days during the cruise. I'm afraid live poolside music is a casualty of the economy on most cruiselines, and a sign of the times. Somehow, recorded music doesn't inspire the same festive atmosphere and is a poor substitute.

MUTS: In theory, it's a great innovation to be able to watch movies outdoors on a large screen, like a modern day drive-in. In reality, we were usually doing something else more exciting, so going to MUTS wasn't on our priority list. Additionally, the acoustics weren't always ideal outdoors, so it was hard to hear and follow the dialogue.

To our delight, the best of the MUTS movies were also shown several times on the stateroom TV. We caught most of them while we were getting ready in the morning and before dinner, or at bedtime. Some delightful golden oldies were also aired, for example, An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Summertime with Katharine Hepburn. It wasn't until Day 5 or 6 that we discovered the TV guide in our cabin, which came in handy when we had to watch a movie in segments around our other activities.

Day 1: Christina Aguilera concert, Stevie Wonder concert, U2 Vertigo concert, Tina Turner Concert. Day 2: How To Train Your Dragon, The Proposal, Up, Did You Hear About the Morgans, The Blind Side. Day 3: Alice in Wonderland, Valentines Day, Clash of the Titans, Mystique of the Baltic, Date Night. Day 4: Up, Nine, When In Rome, The Wonder of It All, The Back Up Plan. Day 5: Julie and Julia, Sherlock Holmes, The Ghost Writer, Did You Hear About the Morgans, Valentines Day. Day 6: The Back Up Plan, When In Rome, The Wonder of It All, Invictus, Tom Jones concert, Tina Turner concert. Day 7: Invictus, The Princess and the Frog, The Invention of Lying, Avatar, When In Rome. Day 8: Cirque du Soleil, Valentines Day, Date Night, Clash of the Titans, Avatar. Day 9: The Ghost Writer, The Wonder of It All, Alice in Wonderland, Did You Hear About the Morgans.

Entertainment: Being entertained on a cruise is extremely important to us. And, living in New York, we are rather spoiled by having access to high quality entertainment, so our standard regarding shows is very high. All I can say is WOW - Princess did not disappoint!!! First and foremost, I must commend an entertainer who made a substantial impression on us. Crescenzo Verde, the classical pianist in the main piazza, was spectacular! We had the pleasure of meeting him on the second formal night, conversing in his native language (Italian) as well as ours (English). He is as delightfully charming in personality as he is a gifted performer!

All three Production shows were fun, energetic, vibrantly colorful, and highly entertaining! The sets and costumes were gorgeous. The lead singers were wonderful, particularly Carola Ericksson who exhibited brilliant charisma and stage-presence. Individually, the dancers were highly talented, and my only criticism is that they sometimes seemed out of synchronization with each other. It seems that this troupe only recently started performing together, so they probably just need more time to gel with each other and to become more seasoned.

The Latin-inspired dance show, Caribbean Caliente, was new-to-us and we thought it was smoking hot! Do You Wanna Dance, a tribute to various dance styles throughout the decades and around the world, was very nicely done! Piano Man is a wonderful tribute to the music of Billy Joel, Elton John, Neil Sedaka, Barry Manilow and Liberace. We saw both of these on our Canada/NE sailing, and noticed some subtle changes that kept them feeling new and fresh.

The three comedians, Tom Briscoe, Carl Strong and Phil Tag, were outstanding! Our friends ran into Carl in the buffet, and the husband kidded Carl by tossing back at him one of his jokes about holding up a buffet line. Carl invited our friends to join his table for lunch, and they had a lot of fun with him.

Tim Triplett, a comedy hypnotist, called about 20 people on the stage, including 4 "victims" from our group. My youngest daughter truly went under his spell, running up on stage after being told, "The Price Is Right" style, that she won a car! It was an interesting experience, one which she honestly doesn't recall afterwards.

Juan Carlos, a Spanish guitarist, came aboard in Puerto Rico to perform a traditional Latin show. It was a lot more exciting and entertaining than we anticipated!! He's incredibly talented, had a humorous delivery, and was supported by two beautiful Flamenco dancers.

For those who are concerned that the ship is sleepy and there's nothing to do at night, NOT TRUE, Princess has lots of quality entertainment in alternate smaller venues around the ship. There was always someplace to go after the main show! Music, Trivia, Game Shows, Dancing, etc. Consult the Patters when planning your evenings, though, because some of these are encore performances of previous night's shows. (This is a positive thing because it's impossible to do it all each night, so it's nice to have the opportunity on another night to "make-up" some of what was missed).

A don't-miss activity is the Cooking Demonstration and Galley Tour! Executive Chef Antonio Cerada and Maitre d'Hotel Giorgio Pisano were hilarious as they prepared for us a 3-course meal in 20 minutes - Caesar Salad, Pesto Pasta and Tiramisu. Our only comment is that these dishes are ones that many people already know how to make, and recipes for them abound online. It would have been more interesting if they had showed us how to make more unique dishes from their cookbook, which they were selling and autographing afterwards.

Cruise Director: I'm sorry to report that Neil Roberts was the most uninspired, most invisible, most dull CD we've ever sailed with. He spoke way too fast as he ran off a list of the evening's activities, and his jokes simply weren't funny. His reports on the cabin TV were delivered in monotone, and read from notes with a glaring lack of enthusiasm. It was really difficult to remain attentive enough to glean the necessary information from him. The assistant CD's, Ceri and James, while very nice individuals, weren't much more lively or inspiring. However, they did schedule an abundance of interesting activities that were not listed in Patters for earlier cruises that had a different CD and staff. So, they must be doing something right!

Meet and Greet: Our roll call had become quite friendly, and we were really looking forward to getting together onboard. We had decided on a meeting time, and emailed the Princess representative, Elizabeth Williamson, to set it up. Liz replied that there is a new policy concerning meet and greets. Instead of the roll call members setting the time and date, Princess would now handle all the arrangements and inform us of the meeting details through an announcement in the Patters. Unfortunately, Princess never followed through. There was no mention in the Patters, and the staff onboard knew nothing about our Meet and Greet despite us having the confirmation email from Liz.

We had also arranged an informal get-together on our own in Crooners at 10pm on the first night, but due to the confusion caused by the late sailaway, a lot of us just missed meeting up with each other. Sadly, the best of intentions didn't work out for us.

Gray Zone (18-20) and Club 18-25: This was our first time cruising with young adults who no longer qualified for the teen club. A common concern expressed on Cruise Critic is that most cruiselines do not adequately address the social needs of the 18-20 crowd. It was a wonderful surprise to see Gray Zone get-togethers for ages 18-20 listed in each day's Patter! As well, there were daily events (basketball, Jenga, ping-pong, Game show fun, Wii@Sea, etc) organized for 18-25 year olds. Kudos to Princess for the attention they've provided to this often overlooked segment of the cruising population.

Ironically, because we were traveling with another family, the 5 kids in our group were very happy hanging out with each other. Since they spanned different age categories, our 18 and 20 year olds never got around to attending any of these get-together or events. They didn't want to leave their younger friends/siblings behind. Likewise, the teens in our group signed up for the Teen Club/Remix, but did not attend. So, unfortunately, I cannot report how well these events are working out, but surely they are a step in the right direction!

Dining: Our preference is Early Traditional Dining because it's a comfort to know that we have an assigned table, with a dedicated wait team, at a regular time each night. We like eating early so we don't go to sleep on a full stomach. Also, the level of service is much more efficient when all the tables that a wait team is serving is consistently at the same stage of the meal.

It's important to note that on the Caribbean Princess, reservations are hard to come by in the anytime dining room, and requests for a particular table or waiter are not always accepted. This was a cause of intense frustration for us on our previous cruise on this ship, when we were forced into anytime dining because we hadn't cleared the waiting list for traditional. According to fellow passengers we spoke with on this sailing, the situation hadn't changed from our experience two years ago. Don't count on being able to simulate a traditional experience if you are assigned the Anytime Dining option, since the ability to make reservations is very inconstant.

To alleviate the demand for Early Traditional Dining, which often has long waiting lists that exceed 500 or 600, Princess has added a 5:30pm traditional seating utilizing a small portion of each anytime dining room. When these tables turn over, they revert back to the anytime format. It seemed to work favorably!! It's a positive gesture of goodwill that Princess has found a way to accommodate the passengers who want the early traditional dining option by adjusting the allotment of dining space to meet the demand on each sailing.

Our assignment was an oval table for 10, located midship, just inside the entrance to the Palm Dining room, around the backside of the entrance lobby wall. The noise level in this location was very loud and intrusive compared to our last cruise on this ship, when we were assigned a more quiet corner table near the window in the same dining room. It was difficult to hear conversations amongst our tablemates, and to communicate with our waiter.

General dining room service was not as stellar as it had been on all of our previous cruises, including the one on this same ship. I want to emphatically stress that our waiters were wonderful, and very hardworking, and we do not feel that this decline had anything to do with their efforts or lack thereof. Perhaps it's a result of the economy? Little things which had always been routine on other cruises were glaringly absent this time around. For example: bringing both dishes when one is undecided between two menu items; bringing an extra dessert for the table to sample; bringing the chef's recommendation to sample when we made other choices; having things they know we like "magically" appear on the table.

The handling of simple special requests, which had never been a problem on any cruise in the past, now seemed to be a big inconvenience and created an embarrassing fuss. I'm talking basic things, like ordering an entrEe without the sauce, or ordering a plate of whatever vegetables where available that evening, or ordering plain pasta with marinara sauce, or ordering fresh fruit alongside our ice cream. I remember waiters responding eagerly to fulfill such requests in the past, and even offering them without being asked.

Some might argue that our expectations were too high, but this is the type of service cruiseships are famous for, and the type of service we've experienced in the past, including on the same ship. Others might argue that we should have placed these special requests the evening before, however it wasn't always so easy to anticipate them in advance. On the positive side, I'm pleased to say that it got significantly better as the cruise went on and the waiters became more familiar with our desires and our ordering trends.

The headwaiter was very accommodating in other ways. For example, we asked if pesto pasta was going to be on any future menu, and he made it "always available" for us throughout the cruise. As well, three people at our table placed the same soda orders each night. These took an unreasonable 20-30 minutes to be delivered from the bar, arriving when we were already several courses into the meal. The headwaiter arranged it so that those who regularly ordered soda subsequently received them within a few minutes of being seated.

Food: There's always a lot of negative talk about the quality of the food aboard mass market cruise ships these days, but we found the food to be excellent all-around! Every single dish we ordered was delicious! My husband loved the much maligned homestyle entrEes! My mom and I loved the variety of ice creams available at dinner (Hazelnut, Tiramisu, Stracciatella, Nutella, Zabaglione, etc.) and my older daughter loved the sorbets (Honeydew, Pink Grapefruit, Blueberry, Limoncello, Champagne, Dark Cherry, Mandarin Orange). And, Princess has the BEST pizza on the high seas!!!

There were nights when we had a hard time deciding between the many choices on the menu. On other nights, there was nothing on the menu that appealed to us. I would have liked to see better nightly pasta selections (in addition to the Fettuccini Alfredo) available, as I'm not a huge meat eater (hence the head waiter's offer to make pesto pasta always available to us). I appreciated the abundant shellfish choices, but missed the Alaskan Crab Legs that were on the menu the last time we sailed on this ship. The Sailaway Seafood Buffet was also pared down, and only included shrimp and cracked lobster claws, and no crab legs.

We usually ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet, and always found an extensive selection of good food. We would have liked to eat these meals in the dining room more often, however the limited hours didn't always coincide with when we were ready to eat.

The International Cafe is a lovely addition to the ship! Unfortunately, we only used it a handful of times, when spending time in the piazza area. During the course of our days, it was generally closer and more convenient to go to the buffet, where almost all of the same pastries and sandwiches were also served.

Soda Card/Ultimate Drink Card/Coffee card: One of my daughters purchased the Ultimate Drink Card for $93, and totally got her money's worth of mocktails, shakes and soda! She loved being able to walk up to any bar, flash her card, and order whatever she wanted. Bar service was equal to the pay-as-you-go patrons, and to those ordering alcohol.

The reason we didn't purchase a coffee card is the limited number of places where we could use it to obtain fresh brewed coffee. The syrupy coffee served throughout the ship was awful, indeed, but our assistant waiter let us in on his secret. He diluted the coffee in his carafe with hot water, and it tasted significantly better! So, we successfully used the same dilution when preparing coffee for ourselves in the buffet, and we became satisfied with the house coffee.

Dress code: It was very nice to see that everyone observed the dress code in the MDR. We saw the Head Waiters turn away people coming to dinner in shorts, as well as a man in a sleeveless shirt at breakfast time. (Our friends had to attend dinner in shorts on the first night, as their luggage hadn't arrived yet, and this was not a problem). On Formal Nights, everyone was dressed nicely. That's not to say that everyone was in tuxes/suits and gowns, but I didn't see any men without jackets and ties, and all the women had on (at the very least) dressy slacks with a sparkly top. My daughters wore their Sweet 16 dresses for the first formal night, and their prom gowns for the second one.

Ports: An advantage of traveling with a large group is the ability to book private tours for just our party, without having strangers join us on the bus. This gave us the luxury of doing exactly what we wanted without considering the wishes of others. We made reservations in advance for all the ports except Bermuda. Note: my mother stayed on the ship at all ports and enjoyed having the Terrace Pool, and the rest of the ship, almost all to herself while we were ashore.

On the first night of the cruise, we were instructed to advance our clocks one hour forward so that we would be synchronized with the time in Bermuda (Atlantic Daylight Time). On the evening before we were scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico, we reset our clocks back one hour, to synchronize with the local time there and in St. Thomas and Grand Turk (Atlantic Standard Time).

Bermuda 7/31/10: It was a mostly sunny morning when we docked at 8am, and we were off the ship at 9am, after eating a hearty breakfast. We had no set plans. We had wanted to reserve a Blue Flag (government regulated) taxi tour guide in advance, but I couldn't find one online that would accommodate more than 6 people. We were thinking of buying a bus and ferry day-pass and creating our own tour, or dividing ourselves up into two Blue Flag taxi tours at the pier.

As we stepped outside the terminal, the first thing we noticed was a long line Blue Flag taxis waiting curbside. Port Security had everything under control in the neatest and most organized fashion I've ever seen! We approached the security guard who was coordinating the taxis and inquired if there was a larger vehicle available to give our party of 9 a private tour. He consulted with the other guards, and within 2-3 minutes, a mini-bus pulled up. We were quoted the government regulated rate of $10 per person per hour, and off we went.

I wish I could remember our tour guide's name because he was awesome and I wish I could recommend him to others. His two young daughters (ages 9 and 4) were on the bus with us. They were charming little girls, eager to share tidbits about their school and their life in Bermuda. We started the tour by stopping at a convenience shop to get coffee and beverages for the ride. It was non-touristy and we were able to buy nice local items at reasonable prices there. Then, our guide drove us through Somerset, over the smallest drawbridge in the world, to Gibbs Hill lighthouse, through various resort hotel grounds, to the perfume factory, and finally to the city of Hamilton. We opted not to get off the bus to walk around and shop in Hamilton, so he drove around and pointed out all the highlights. Afterwards, we took a 20 minute break at Shelley Bay Park, on the north shore, which is a lovely calm beach that our guide said is popular with the locals. On the way to St. George, we could see a storm approaching quickly, even though it was very sunny where we were. We drove into the heavy rain, and by the time we arrived at St. George, the skies had cleared again. We saw St. Catherine's Fort and St. David's lighthouse, among other highlights, before stopping at King's Square to walk around a bit. We attended a re-enactment of the Dunking of the Nag by locals dressed in period costumes. Then, we hopped back on the bus for a scenic drive to Horseshoe Bay beach, where we stopped for an hour to swim. The sand was truly pink, and the waves were coming in at a perfect roll. Despite a warning posted about riptides, we did not experience an undertow or dangerous currents. Back on the bus, it started to rain again. Our friends wanted to be dropped off at Snorkle Park, and we asked to be brought back to the ship to have a late lunch with my mom. For $50 per person for a 5 hour comprehensive and informative tour, we got way more than our money's worth! The only thing I would do differently next time is an hour less of riding around and an hour more of beach time.

By the time our friends were back on the ship, the skies had opened up and windblown rain was pouring down. We had fun on the balcony watching all the people run towards the ship, including those on a late-returning ferry who nearly missed sailaway.

One striking observation about Bermuda: the abundance of tents and makeshift campsites on the undeveloped land. Our guide explained that because of the World Cup Cricket tournament, Friday and Monday were declared national holidays, so most of the locals were camping out for the long weekend. I have to be honest, if I were a local camping for the weekend in such torrential outbursts of rain and wind, I'd say "honey, forget this tent, we're going home where it's warm and dry".

Leaving Bermuda was very picturesque, as we sailed along the north shore and around the east coast towards the Caribbean. It was raining very heavily, with thunder and lightning. For a couple of hours, movement on the ship was the strongest we felt throughout the cruise.

San Juan 8/2/10: We had pre-arranged a 2 hour van tour of Old and New San Juan with Victor Balbin of Countryside Tours, at the government regulated rate of $20 per person payable at the end of the tour in cash. Victor had an unexpected emergency at the last moment, so he sent another guide instead. I mention this substitution to commend Victor for handling the situation in a very professional and communicative manner, making for a seamless transition of service. Even though we didn't tour with him personally, I can still highly recommend him!

Our new guide, Edwin Santos of AdvenTours of Puerto Rico (adventourspr@gmail.com, 787 223-2126), is also government certified and a member of the Puerto Rican Tour Guide Society. He met us at the terminal exit at 2pm. We agreed upon sightseeing for a little over an hour, followed by 45 minutes of beach time. He gave us a comprehensive tour of Old San Juan, including the Government Building and the two forts. Edwin is well-versed in the history of the area, and provided very educational commentary about all the sites, the architecture, the education and government of the region, etc. The tour contained a lot of interesting, and off-the-beaten path, local flavor. For example, our van was halted at a crosswalk between the two forts to allow an elaborate funeral procession to pass in front of us on foot.

In New San Juan, we stopped at Condado Plaza for outlet shopping and beach time. The beach was empty except for a handful of local families, and the sea was wonderful for swimming! At the end of the tour, our friends asked to be dropped off in Old San Juan with directions for on-their-own shopping. We returned to the ship in time for dinner with my mom. I cannot praise Edwin enough for showing us a wonderful time in Puerto Rico, and for sharing his vast knowledge with us! He was the perfect tour guide!

The 18 and 20 year old young ladies in our group were thrilled to have their first legal drinks while still under 21. Inside the cruise terminal, there were 3 stations serving free samples of flavored rum!

Sailaway was at 10:30pm, and we made our way atop the bridge to watch the city's lights and the forts fade away from our sight.

St. Thomas 8/3/10: I was delighted to look out our cabin window to see that we were docked in Havensight instead of Crown Bay (Oasis of the Seas was docked there)!!! We had reserved a half-day private tour with Armitage Allembert (aka Papa Bear) of Air Force 1 Fun Tours (www.havefunwithus.com) for $285, payable one week in advance via PayPal. Papa Bear met us outside the cruise terminal at 9am, and away we went! We've been to St. Thomas numerous times, yet this tour took us to places we had never seen before. As we headed up Crown Mountain Road, we passed right in front of the Oasis. We stopped at the Crown Mountain overlook and our guide provided interesting historical info of Lindbergh Bay and the airport. Our next stop was overlooking of Dorothea Bay. It was a hazy morning, but that didn't impede our view of the western side of St. Thomas and the little islands scattered across the sea. As we continued on the tour, Papa Bear pointed out native foliage growing wild on the side of the road, including herbs and fruits that are used as medicine. (As a pharmacist, I was fascinated!) We stopped at Pablo's Farmhouse to see his medicinal herbal and fruit gardens, and to taste some freshly brewed herbal teas. We purchased a soursop smoothie, which was delicious! At the Solberg overlook, we had a birdseye view of Charlotte Amalie, Water Island and our ship. We spent about 45 minutes at St. Peter's Great House and Botanical Gardens, with overlooks of Magan's Bay, St. John and the British Virgin Islands. We wondered through its nature trails, passing by many waterfalls, gorgeous flowers and colorful parrots. The gift shop was awesome, and so were the Banana Daiquiris! Our next stop was Sapphire Beach, where the view was stunning and the sea was refreshing. After a 90 minute beach break, we took South Road back to Havensight Mall, where we did some shopping and sampled more rum, before reboarding the ship. Once again, we had a wonderful day, seeing a large portion of the island, learning about its history and culture, and relaxing on a gorgeous beach. Papa Bear has our full endorsement as an informative guide, who is passionate about his island, and shows visitors a unique prospective of St. Thomas!!!

Grand Turk 8/4/10: Well, this was the hottest day of our cruise, and the sun was beating down strongly. We docked at 1pm, and quickly walked through the Margaritaville complex to Nathan's Golf Cart rental, located just outside the gate. We had pre-reserved 3 carts for $70 each. Our kids really had a blast driving the carts (on the left side of the street)! Traffic was very light, and the cars/taxis/busses were very patient and courteous about us sharing the road with them. We rode all the way up to the lighthouse and back, passing wild horses and donkeys grazing in the fieldw, and wild flamingos wading in the ponds. The views from the lighthouse cliffs were spectacular! Otherwise, there's not much else to see on the island. We passed groups of homes still recovering from hurricane damage suffered a few years ago surrounded by a lot of new construction. We thought that it would be cool for our kids to return in 20-30 years, when the island is all built up and its property costs a fortune, and be able to say that they experienced it back in 2010 in its undeveloped and unspoiled natural beauty. Our only comment is that we wish we had a more detailed map of the island, which would have helped us navigate our way around more easily. In particular, we would have liked to find some of the more secluded beaches on the island. We returned the golf carts after 2 hours. Although the kids wanted to keep them longer, we were hot and bothered, and ready for a swim. Because of the heat, we didn't even take the time to browse through the shops in the cruise complex. We had no problems finding empty loungers on the beach, in the shade. This was a great place for swimming! There was amazing buoyancy and I appreciated that we could stay afloat in water well over our heads while exerting minimal effort or energy. We stayed in for hours without tiring ourselves out. While golf carts were a fun way to explore the whole island, and we're glad we took advantage of this opportunity, if we visit Grand Turk again in the near future, we'd probably treat it like the cruiseline's private island. It is more than sufficient to spend the entire day at the beach and Margaritaville without venturing outside the complex's gate. Disembarkation: We forgot to submit the forms specifying our disembarkation requirement by the Day 5 deadline. As luck would have it, we were given luggage tags that would be the very last ones called at 10:15am. The family traveling with us had a noontime wedding to attend on Long Island, so we pleaded with the Purser's Desk for an earlier time, and after some hesitation, they found a way to accommodate us. We vacated our cabin before 8am, had breakfast in the buffet, and waited in the assigned lounge until our new color was called promptly at 9am. Upon exiting the ship, an alarm sounded when I inserted my cruise card, and I was directed to customer service to "settle" my account. Now, we had been told by corporate office when the move-over offer was arranged that a check would be mailed to us for the unused portion of our OBC about 4-6 weeks after the cruise. When we checked our accounts onboard during the cruise, the pursers told us that the refund would be issued to our credit card and this was indicated on the final bill that was sent to our cabin. Well, neither of those were the case! We were not permitted to leave the ship until our account was zeroed out with a cash refund. The agent did not have enough cash on hand to give us, so a supervisor had to be called over, and money had to be retrieved from another location in "the back". Then, the money was counted and recounted several times. The entire process was repeated for my mother's account. It delayed our disembarkation by about a half-hour. I was a bit uneasy carrying so much money through the terminal and through customs, but it's nice to have the cash in hand rather than await the refund check in the mail. Our friends went through ahead of us, found our luggage and had it all loaded up onto a cart, with a porter standing by to breeze us through customs and immigration, and escort us to the parking lot. We were on our way home by 9:45am, and arrived at our house by 10:30am. Interesting tidbit: Towards the end of our cruise, we overheard some of the crew discussing the impending visit of Princess CEO Alan Buckelew, who was scheduled to board the ship at the end of our cruise for the following sailing. This created a lot of nervous buzz and frantic preparations! Summary: My observations are meant for informative purposes presented through detailed sharing our experience, and not as criticisms of Princess or of this ship. We truly enjoyed our cruise, and highly recommend it to everyone!!! We would absolutely love to cruise with Princess, and on this ship, again. However, we have already done both itineraries, and sadly, Princess has no other options for the Caribbean during the summer.

A great cruise on a great ship!

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by DonnaK

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Trip Details
About us: We are a family of five: my husband (52), me (49), our daughters (18 and 16) and my mother (70-ish). This was our 2nd Princess cruise; we sailed the Canada/NE itinerary on the same ship in August 2008. Our cruise history consists of 8 additional cruises: 4 on Royal Caribbean Voyager-class ships, and one each on Carnival, Costa, Home Lines and Cunard. Another family of five traveled with us; our friends and their three children aged 20, 17 and 12. They were first-time cruisers.

We selected this cruise because of the convenience of departing from Red Hook, Brooklyn. Although Royal Caribbean is our preferred cruise line, their equivalent cruise on Explorer of the Seas was significantly more expensive (about $500 pp). Additionally, the Princess itinerary was slightly more attractive because it included a new-to-us port (Grand Turk). We are quite weary of visiting the same old ports each time we cruise, and it's increasingly hard to find refreshingly different Caribbean itineraries, especially during the summertime! With children still attending school, we unfortunately cannot sail at other times of the year when there are more options available.

Some background info: The five of us were originally planning to take this cruise last summer (July 26, 2009). Three days before that sailing date, Princess contacted us regarding a move-over offer. They wanted our 3 balcony cabins in exchange for 3 mini-suite cabins on any future sailing, plus a full reimbursement of our cruise fare ($7800) issued as refundable onboard credit (OBC). We accepted the offer, essentially receiving this cruise for free by agreeing to postpone it for one year.

Ironically, we received another phone call from Princess about 18 hours before our departure. They were oversold again and wanted two of our mini-suite cabins in exchange for one full-suite, plus an additional $1000 refundable OBC. We turned down this offer because it wasn't convenient for us to separate our family into cabins that were several decks, and half the ship's length, apart. Nor did we wish to combine family members from two cabins into one, even though the latter was larger and came with suite perks.

Embarkation: We left our house on Long Island at 10:30am, and after an easy drive on the Southern State/Belt Parkways to the BQE, we arrived at the pier at 11:15am. Surprisingly, there was serious lack of security personnel directing the arriving vehicles. It wasn't a problem for us because at this early hour, there were only a few cars in the drop off lane. We pulled up curbside to unload our suitcases. Contrary to our previous experience with this port, there were no porters to assist us. We wheeled two luggage carts over from where they were corralled and loaded our suitcases onto them ourselves. Eventually, a porter appeared and took the carts from us. We tipped him $10 for handling our cart and we received our luggage within two hours of boarding. However, our friends forgot to tip (the husband thought the wife gave the porter the $10 and visa versa), and their luggage did not arrive in their cabin until almost 9pm. It's impossible to determine if the tip made the difference, but it's worth considering.

After parking the car in the secure lot about 100 yards away, we walked into the terminal, checked in and were on the ship all within 10 minutes. There were no lines and no waiting. What a pleasure!!!

The first we heard about any issues with embarkation was when an announcement was made that the muster drill would be postponed by 45 minutes due to delays resulting from a shortage of stevedores provided by the port to assist with loading the vessel. We were already seated at our station "F" in Club Fusion at 4pm. We looked out the window and saw the heavy traffic, the chaos of people waiting to board, and the huge backlog of luggage still on the pier.

While we expected to watch sailaway before dinner and then attend the early show in the theatre, we didn't get underway until 7:45pm. Instead, we watched sailaway atop the bridge (via the Lido deck forward passageway) after dinner and then caught the later show. The following day, a letter from the captain was delivered to our stateroom apologizing for the inconvenience, and providing a detailed explanation of the situation, and assuring that steps were being taken to prevent the problem from occurring again with our disembarkation and with future sailings.

Onboard: Princess allows immediate access to our cabin to drop off our carry-ons before exploring the ship and eating lunch. While many cruisers consider this a significant advantage over the other cruiselines that restrict access to the cabin until after 1pm, we have a different point of view. As with our last Princess cruise, the cabins weren't fully prepared to receive new guests when we arrived. All the doors were propped open to the passageways, and the stewards were all still hard at work. Although the stewards were courteous and gracious to us, we felt that our presence, even in quickly dropping off our hand-luggage, was an imposition on them, hindering their ability to complete their job in a timely fashion. So, in our opinion, we'd rather have the "inconvenience" of waiting until 1pm, after the steward has finished his job, to enter a cabin that's completely cleaned and freshly supplied, without traces of the previous occupants.

Cabins: The ship only offers 12 mini-suites with balconies that are totally covered, and we selected three of these: E721, E723 and E725, on the 8th (Emerald) deck. We needed protection from the sun, and we prefer to be as low to the sea as possible to have a closer view of the water. We had the balcony divider doors opened so we could pass between all three cabins.

We were surprised at the smallish size of these cabins; we expected from the designation "mini-suite" that they would be comparable to a "junior suite" on Royal Caribbean, but instead they were approximately the same as RCI's "D" category of regular balcony cabins.

We also have mixed feelings about the wall that separates the sleeping area from the closet/bathroom. While it's nice to have the two distinct areas (especially a semi-private dressing area), it cuts into the actual living space of the cabin. On other cruiselines, this wall is opened up, making their cabins feel larger and less claustrophobic. Although the closet was huge, we didn't have so many clothes to hang up, which made some of the precious space underutilized.

There was significant build up of salt from the sea on the sliding glass doors to the balcony, and on the balcony glass itself, which was not cleaned for the entire cruise. This is an issue with balcony cabins on all the cruiselines, and it seems like it would be such an easy fix with a squeegee.

Our friends had cabin E717, which is an obstructed oceanview. The obstruction was minimal; just some cables and small barrels. They were very happy with the view. Unfortunately, their cabin reeked heavily of cigarette smoke. They brought the issue to the attention of the cabin steward and the odor gradually faded, but never fully dissipated, throughout the duration of the cruise. As first-timers, they were reluctant to complain further or make a huge fuss. If this had been my cabin, I would have been so bothered by the smell that it would have been an unacceptable situation that required further attention, and I wouldn't have been satisfied until the cabin was totally deodorized. Their children were across the hall in E715.

Even though all of these cabins are above Club Fusion, there was absolutely NO issue with noise, music, or bass vibrations, in our cabins.

We have never given the cabin steward an upfront tip (in addition to the autotips), but we made an exception this time because we had many special requests for our 5 cabins. Among other things, we moved some of our people from one cabin to another, which changed the headcount in some cabins and required different configurations of their beds. We handled this by writing all our requests on the outside of an envelope and slipping the tip inside. When we originally booked the cruise, there were residency and past passenger discounts being offered. In order to receive the discounted price, we had to make the reservations with one person who qualified for the discount in each cabin. We went to the purser's desk immediately after dropping our luggage off and advised them that several people in our group were switching cabins. No questions asked. They simply wrote down the information and asked us to return the next afternoon to pick up new cruise cards. It was absolutely no problem; the accounts followed the individuals who moved, and they received the correct key to the room that they were sleeping in.

Regarding the complementary glass of champaign given upon arrival to mini-suite guests, our cabin steward delivered a whole bottle to our room along with 5 fluted glasses, for the 5 adults in our party even though only 3 of then were actually staying in mini-suites. We brought the bottle to the main Dining Room on the second formal night and had it served with our dinner (no uncorking fee was charged).

Beds: In advance of the cruise, we FAXed a request for egg crates and top sheets on all the beds. (Special Services Department; Fax # 661-284-4885) We were pleased to find them in already place upon boarding. The beds are very hard which aggravated my sciatica, preventing me from sleeping well. (Usually I sleep like a baby on a cruise because the rocking motion is so soothing.)

Cabin Doors: I purchased a package of assorted summer decorations at Party City ($3) and affixed magnet strips ($2 at Michaels) to the back of them. Each person in our group selected a decoration to write their first name on with a Sharpie and affix to their doors. It was a fun and festive way to locate our cabins in the passageway. And, they are re-usable on future cruises!

Anniversary: My husband and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on July 31. That morning, we awoke to find three balloons affixed to the wall above our mailbox. At dinner, we were presented with a congratulations card from the captain, a chocolate cake and a Happy Anniversary song.

We didn't have any problems with kids popping the celebration balloons, removing door decorations, reversing the Privacy Please tags to read Service Please, knocking on doors and phone calls from stairwell house phones in the middle of the night, etc. If I hadn't read about it on Cruise Critic afterwards, I wouldn't have been aware that went on at all during our cruise.

A/C: When we first boarded the ship, it was uncomfortably hot throughout. Once the ship started sailing, the A/C system seemed to kick on as though it had been shut down all day. During the cruise, the Horizon buffet area was much too warm almost all of the time, but the rest of the public areas on the ship were always at a comfortable temperature. The thermometer on my travel alarm clock recorded average temperatures of 67 degrees in E721, 69 degrees in E723 and an uncomfortable 75 degrees in E725 (my mom's cabin...fortunately she brought along a small portable fan because besides liking it cool, she likes the white noise for sleeping).

Ship: The Caribbean Princess is rather bland and plainly appointed. The dEcor is very tasteful, but it lacks visual punch or WOW factor (I'm not talking Carnival-gaudy here (yuck!); just more pizzazz-y elegance). Nice things that stood out to us: the stunning main atrium, the gorgeous artwork in the elevator/stair lobbies, the twinkling ceiling lights in the dining venues, and the Terrace Pool.

For the most part, the ship is in very good condition and well-maintained, however if one is looking very closely with a critical eye, one might see minor issues such as soiled carpeting in need of refreshing. It's reasonable, and understandable, wear-and-tear.

Movement: For the first time ever, my children needed to take Meclizine (anti-vertigo medication). The ship's movement was felt more strongly than ever before on this cruise. I'm not talking about the typical rolling motion. This was a heavy staccato vibration, particularly in the forward and aft portions of the ship. It wasn't constant, but when it occurred, it caused a very strange and disconcerting feeling. At times, it was difficult to walk without holding onto both sides of the passageways, and we had the sensation of being drunk without having consumed alcohol.

Crowding: This ship is not large enough for the number of passengers onboard, and does not have as favorable space-to-passenger ratio compared to RCI's Voyager-class ships, which have a similar passenger load and are 20% larger. In particular, it was extremely difficult to find a seat in the Horizon buffet area. Upon arrival, one or two members of our group would scout for a table while the others were getting their food. The largest tables in the Horizon only seat 6-8 people comfortably, so we often divided our group between two tables. Halfway through the cruise, we realized that there are larger tables for 10-12 in the Cafe Caribe, which had the bonus of being less crowded especially towards the rear. There were better food choices in Horizon, so we'd select our meal there and then walk over to the Caribe to eat.

On our previous Caribbean Princess cruise, if we didn't arrive at the theatre 20-30 minutes before showtime, it was standing room only. On this cruise, it was much better, and we were able to find decent seats in the front section by arriving a reasonable 5-10 minutes early. It seems that the shows are repeated on subsequent evenings, thus alleviating the crowding at the first night's showings. Tip: the least crowded route to the theatre is to take the forward elevators down to deck 6 and use the lower entrances/exits near the cigar bar. The majority of the theatre traffic utilizes the upper doors on deck 7 by walking through the casino, and it gets very congested and bottlenecked.

Pools: The Terrace Pool is breathtakingly beautiful, comfortably shaded and pleasantly breezy, and provides a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere for adults to relax. It is my very favorite place on the ship!!! Because it received no direct sun, the water temperature was always on the cool side. Pity it wasn't heated, as it was on our Canada/NE sailing. The jacuzzis up on the Sun Deck were very quiet, and the one closest to the aft was the perfect temperature (not scalding hot). We sat out by the Terrace Pool nearly every night, snacking on cheese and grapes, chips with salsa and guacamole, or dessert from the Cafe Caribe.

On the first two days, there were young children using the Terrace Pool, ignoring the "adults only" and "no jumping or diving" signs. The only members of the crew who were patrolling the area were the bar servers. Since they are not appropriate people to enforce the rules, they were approached to call someone with that authority. They refused and insisted that the pool was open to everyone, and that the signs were wrong. A call to the front desk was put on hold until we gave up and hung up. Eventually, the annoyed and splashed upon passengers in the pool took matters into their own hands and pointed out the rules directly to the kids/families. They promptly left and the issue did not reoccur for the rest of the cruise.

Another problem at the Terrace pool is people moving the loungers to block the walkways and staircases. This created a very hazardous situation for walking around the area, especially for the elderly people. (Many of us suggested on our Let Us Know comment card that the Terrace pool needs a deck attendant to prevent these two issues from occurring).

At the two main pool areas, it was nearly impossible to find vacant loungers unless you arrived before 9am, or you were willing to go up to the levels above the pool. (This is not always practical if you plan to swim, or are watching a child who is in the pool. Plus, it is uncomfortably hotter and windier up on the higher open levels). Most of the chairs were reserved with towels or books on them for HOURS. Deck attendants were non-existent until about 4 or 5pm when they swiftly breezed through to collect all the abandoned towels. (Our friends, who used this pool because they had a 12 year old, mentioned this on their Let Us Know comment card)

Unfortunately, the pool band only played for very short time on just 2-3 days during the cruise. I'm afraid live poolside music is a casualty of the economy on most cruiselines, and a sign of the times. Somehow, recorded music doesn't inspire the same festive atmosphere and is a poor substitute.

MUTS: In theory, it's a great innovation to be able to watch movies outdoors on a large screen, like a modern day drive-in. In reality, we were usually doing something else more exciting, so going to MUTS wasn't on our priority list. Additionally, the acoustics weren't always ideal outdoors, so it was hard to hear and follow the dialogue.

To our delight, the best of the MUTS movies were also shown several times on the stateroom TV. We caught most of them while we were getting ready in the morning and before dinner, or at bedtime. Some delightful golden oldies were also aired, for example, An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Summertime with Katharine Hepburn. It wasn't until Day 5 or 6 that we discovered the TV guide in our cabin, which came in handy when we had to watch a movie in segments around our other activities.

Day 1: Christina Aguilera concert, Stevie Wonder concert, U2 Vertigo concert, Tina Turner Concert. Day 2: How To Train Your Dragon, The Proposal, Up, Did You Hear About the Morgans, The Blind Side. Day 3: Alice in Wonderland, Valentines Day, Clash of the Titans, Mystique of the Baltic, Date Night. Day 4: Up, Nine, When In Rome, The Wonder of It All, The Back Up Plan. Day 5: Julie and Julia, Sherlock Holmes, The Ghost Writer, Did You Hear About the Morgans, Valentines Day. Day 6: The Back Up Plan, When In Rome, The Wonder of It All, Invictus, Tom Jones concert, Tina Turner concert. Day 7: Invictus, The Princess and the Frog, The Invention of Lying, Avatar, When In Rome. Day 8: Cirque du Soleil, Valentines Day, Date Night, Clash of the Titans, Avatar. Day 9: The Ghost Writer, The Wonder of It All, Alice in Wonderland, Did You Hear About the Morgans.

Entertainment: Being entertained on a cruise is extremely important to us. And, living in New York, we are rather spoiled by having access to high quality entertainment, so our standard regarding shows is very high. All I can say is WOW - Princess did not disappoint!!! First and foremost, I must commend an entertainer who made a substantial impression on us. Crescenzo Verde, the classical pianist in the main piazza, was spectacular! We had the pleasure of meeting him on the second formal night, conversing in his native language (Italian) as well as ours (English). He is as delightfully charming in personality as he is a gifted performer!

All three Production shows were fun, energetic, vibrantly colorful, and highly entertaining! The sets and costumes were gorgeous. The lead singers were wonderful, particularly Carola Ericksson who exhibited brilliant charisma and stage-presence. Individually, the dancers were highly talented, and my only criticism is that they sometimes seemed out of synchronization with each other. It seems that this troupe only recently started performing together, so they probably just need more time to gel with each other and to become more seasoned.

The Latin-inspired dance show, Caribbean Caliente, was new-to-us and we thought it was smoking hot! Do You Wanna Dance, a tribute to various dance styles throughout the decades and around the world, was very nicely done! Piano Man is a wonderful tribute to the music of Billy Joel, Elton John, Neil Sedaka, Barry Manilow and Liberace. We saw both of these on our Canada/NE sailing, and noticed some subtle changes that kept them feeling new and fresh.

The three comedians, Tom Briscoe, Carl Strong and Phil Tag, were outstanding! Our friends ran into Carl in the buffet, and the husband kidded Carl by tossing back at him one of his jokes about holding up a buffet line. Carl invited our friends to join his table for lunch, and they had a lot of fun with him.

Tim Triplett, a comedy hypnotist, called about 20 people on the stage, including 4 "victims" from our group. My youngest daughter truly went under his spell, running up on stage after being told, "The Price Is Right" style, that she won a car! It was an interesting experience, one which she honestly doesn't recall afterwards.

Juan Carlos, a Spanish guitarist, came aboard in Puerto Rico to perform a traditional Latin show. It was a lot more exciting and entertaining than we anticipated!! He's incredibly talented, had a humorous delivery, and was supported by two beautiful Flamenco dancers.

For those who are concerned that the ship is sleepy and there's nothing to do at night, NOT TRUE, Princess has lots of quality entertainment in alternate smaller venues around the ship. There was always someplace to go after the main show! Music, Trivia, Game Shows, Dancing, etc. Consult the Patters when planning your evenings, though, because some of these are encore performances of previous night's shows. (This is a positive thing because it's impossible to do it all each night, so it's nice to have the opportunity on another night to "make-up" some of what was missed).

A don't-miss activity is the Cooking Demonstration and Galley Tour! Executive Chef Antonio Cerada and Maitre d'Hotel Giorgio Pisano were hilarious as they prepared for us a 3-course meal in 20 minutes - Caesar Salad, Pesto Pasta and Tiramisu. Our only comment is that these dishes are ones that many people already know how to make, and recipes for them abound online. It would have been more interesting if they had showed us how to make more unique dishes from their cookbook, which they were selling and autographing afterwards.

Cruise Director: I'm sorry to report that Neil Roberts was the most uninspired, most invisible, most dull CD we've ever sailed with. He spoke way too fast as he ran off a list of the evening's activities, and his jokes simply weren't funny. His reports on the cabin TV were delivered in monotone, and read from notes with a glaring lack of enthusiasm. It was really difficult to remain attentive enough to glean the necessary information from him. The assistant CD's, Ceri and James, while very nice individuals, weren't much more lively or inspiring. However, they did schedule an abundance of interesting activities that were not listed in Patters for earlier cruises that had a different CD and staff. So, they must be doing something right!

Meet and Greet: Our roll call had become quite friendly, and we were really looking forward to getting together onboard. We had decided on a meeting time, and emailed the Princess representative, Elizabeth Williamson, to set it up. Liz replied that there is a new policy concerning meet and greets. Instead of the roll call members setting the time and date, Princess would now handle all the arrangements and inform us of the meeting details through an announcement in the Patters. Unfortunately, Princess never followed through. There was no mention in the Patters, and the staff onboard knew nothing about our Meet and Greet despite us having the confirmation email from Liz.

We had also arranged an informal get-together on our own in Crooners at 10pm on the first night, but due to the confusion caused by the late sailaway, a lot of us just missed meeting up with each other. Sadly, the best of intentions didn't work out for us.

Gray Zone (18-20) and Club 18-25: This was our first time cruising with young adults who no longer qualified for the teen club. A common concern expressed on Cruise Critic is that most cruiselines do not adequately address the social needs of the 18-20 crowd. It was a wonderful surprise to see Gray Zone get-togethers for ages 18-20 listed in each day's Patter! As well, there were daily events (basketball, Jenga, ping-pong, Game show fun, Wii@Sea, etc) organized for 18-25 year olds. Kudos to Princess for the attention they've provided to this often overlooked segment of the cruising population.

Ironically, because we were traveling with another family, the 5 kids in our group were very happy hanging out with each other. Since they spanned different age categories, our 18 and 20 year olds never got around to attending any of these get-together or events. They didn't want to leave their younger friends/siblings behind. Likewise, the teens in our group signed up for the Teen Club/Remix, but did not attend. So, unfortunately, I cannot report how well these events are working out, but surely they are a step in the right direction!

Dining: Our preference is Early Traditional Dining because it's a comfort to know that we have an assigned table, with a dedicated wait team, at a regular time each night. We like eating early so we don't go to sleep on a full stomach. Also, the level of service is much more efficient when all the tables that a wait team is serving is consistently at the same stage of the meal.

It's important to note that on the Caribbean Princess, reservations are hard to come by in the anytime dining room, and requests for a particular table or waiter are not always accepted. This was a cause of intense frustration for us on our previous cruise on this ship, when we were forced into anytime dining because we hadn't cleared the waiting list for traditional. According to fellow passengers we spoke with on this sailing, the situation hadn't changed from our experience two years ago. Don't count on being able to simulate a traditional experience if you are assigned the Anytime Dining option, since the ability to make reservations is very inconstant.

To alleviate the demand for Early Traditional Dining, which often has long waiting lists that exceed 500 or 600, Princess has added a 5:30pm traditional seating utilizing a small portion of each anytime dining room. When these tables turn over, they revert back to the anytime format. It seemed to work favorably!! It's a positive gesture of goodwill that Princess has found a way to accommodate the passengers who want the early traditional dining option by adjusting the allotment of dining space to meet the demand on each sailing.

Our assignment was an oval table for 10, located midship, just inside the entrance to the Palm Dining room, around the backside of the entrance lobby wall. The noise level in this location was very loud and intrusive compared to our last cruise on this ship, when we were assigned a more quiet corner table near the window in the same dining room. It was difficult to hear conversations amongst our tablemates, and to communicate with our waiter.

General dining room service was not as stellar as it had been on all of our previous cruises, including the one on this same ship. I want to emphatically stress that our waiters were wonderful, and very hardworking, and we do not feel that this decline had anything to do with their efforts or lack thereof. Perhaps it's a result of the economy? Little things which had always been routine on other cruises were glaringly absent this time around. For example: bringing both dishes when one is undecided between two menu items; bringing an extra dessert for the table to sample; bringing the chef's recommendation to sample when we made other choices; having things they know we like "magically" appear on the table.

The handling of simple special requests, which had never been a problem on any cruise in the past, now seemed to be a big inconvenience and created an embarrassing fuss. I'm talking basic things, like ordering an entrEe without the sauce, or ordering a plate of whatever vegetables where available that evening, or ordering plain pasta with marinara sauce, or ordering fresh fruit alongside our ice cream. I remember waiters responding eagerly to fulfill such requests in the past, and even offering them without being asked.

Some might argue that our expectations were too high, but this is the type of service cruiseships are famous for, and the type of service we've experienced in the past, including on the same ship. Others might argue that we should have placed these special requests the evening before, however it wasn't always so easy to anticipate them in advance. On the positive side, I'm pleased to say that it got significantly better as the cruise went on and the waiters became more familiar with our desires and our ordering trends.

The headwaiter was very accommodating in other ways. For example, we asked if pesto pasta was going to be on any future menu, and he made it "always available" for us throughout the cruise. As well, three people at our table placed the same soda orders each night. These took an unreasonable 20-30 minutes to be delivered from the bar, arriving when we were already several courses into the meal. The headwaiter arranged it so that those who regularly ordered soda subsequently received them within a few minutes of being seated.

Food: There's always a lot of negative talk about the quality of the food aboard mass market cruise ships these days, but we found the food to be excellent all-around! Every single dish we ordered was delicious! My husband loved the much maligned homestyle entrEes! My mom and I loved the variety of ice creams available at dinner (Hazelnut, Tiramisu, Stracciatella, Nutella, Zabaglione, etc.) and my older daughter loved the sorbets (Honeydew, Pink Grapefruit, Blueberry, Limoncello, Champagne, Dark Cherry, Mandarin Orange). And, Princess has the BEST pizza on the high seas!!!

There were nights when we had a hard time deciding between the many choices on the menu. On other nights, there was nothing on the menu that appealed to us. I would have liked to see better nightly pasta selections (in addition to the Fettuccini Alfredo) available, as I'm not a huge meat eater (hence the head waiter's offer to make pesto pasta always available to us). I appreciated the abundant shellfish choices, but missed the Alaskan Crab Legs that were on the menu the last time we sailed on this ship. The Sailaway Seafood Buffet was also pared down, and only included shrimp and cracked lobster claws, and no crab legs.

We usually ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet, and always found an extensive selection of good food. We would have liked to eat these meals in the dining room more often, however the limited hours didn't always coincide with when we were ready to eat.

The International Cafe is a lovely addition to the ship! Unfortunately, we only used it a handful of times, when spending time in the piazza area. During the course of our days, it was generally closer and more convenient to go to the buffet, where almost all of the same pastries and sandwiches were also served.

Soda Card/Ultimate Drink Card/Coffee card: One of my daughters purchased the Ultimate Drink Card for $93, and totally got her money's worth of mocktails, shakes and soda! She loved being able to walk up to any bar, flash her card, and order whatever she wanted. Bar service was equal to the pay-as-you-go patrons, and to those ordering alcohol.

The reason we didn't purchase a coffee card is the limited number of places where we could use it to obtain fresh brewed coffee. The syrupy coffee served throughout the ship was awful, indeed, but our assistant waiter let us in on his secret. He diluted the coffee in his carafe with hot water, and it tasted significantly better! So, we successfully used the same dilution when preparing coffee for ourselves in the buffet, and we became satisfied with the house coffee.

Dress code: It was very nice to see that everyone observed the dress code in the MDR. We saw the Head Waiters turn away people coming to dinner in shorts, as well as a man in a sleeveless shirt at breakfast time. (Our friends had to attend dinner in shorts on the first night, as their luggage hadn't arrived yet, and this was not a problem). On Formal Nights, everyone was dressed nicely. That's not to say that everyone was in tuxes/suits and gowns, but I didn't see any men without jackets and ties, and all the women had on (at the very least) dressy slacks with a sparkly top. My daughters wore their Sweet 16 dresses for the first formal night, and their prom gowns for the second one.

Ports: An advantage of traveling with a large group is the ability to book private tours for just our party, without having strangers join us on the bus. This gave us the luxury of doing exactly what we wanted without considering the wishes of others. We made reservations in advance for all the ports except Bermuda. Note: my mother stayed on the ship at all ports and enjoyed having the Terrace Pool, and the rest of the ship, almost all to herself while we were ashore.

On the first night of the cruise, we were instructed to advance our clocks one hour forward so that we would be synchronized with the time in Bermuda (Atlantic Daylight Time). On the evening before we were scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico, we reset our clocks back one hour, to synchronize with the local time there and in St. Thomas and Grand Turk (Atlantic Standard Time).

Bermuda 7/31/10: It was a mostly sunny morning when we docked at 8am, and we were off the ship at 9am, after eating a hearty breakfast. We had no set plans. We had wanted to reserve a Blue Flag (government regulated) taxi tour guide in advance, but I couldn't find one online that would accommodate more than 6 people. We were thinking of buying a bus and ferry day-pass and creating our own tour, or dividing ourselves up into two Blue Flag taxi tours at the pier.

As we stepped outside the terminal, the first thing we noticed was a long line Blue Flag taxis waiting curbside. Port Security had everything under control in the neatest and most organized fashion I've ever seen! We approached the security guard who was coordinating the taxis and inquired if there was a larger vehicle available to give our party of 9 a private tour. He consulted with the other guards, and within 2-3 minutes, a mini-bus pulled up. We were quoted the government regulated rate of $10 per person per hour, and off we went.

I wish I could remember our tour guide's name because he was awesome and I wish I could recommend him to others. His two young daughters (ages 9 and 4) were on the bus with us. They were charming little girls, eager to share tidbits about their school and their life in Bermuda. We started the tour by stopping at a convenience shop to get coffee and beverages for the ride. It was non-touristy and we were able to buy nice local items at reasonable prices there. Then, our guide drove us through Somerset, over the smallest drawbridge in the world, to Gibbs Hill lighthouse, through various resort hotel grounds, to the perfume factory, and finally to the city of Hamilton. We opted not to get off the bus to walk around and shop in Hamilton, so he drove around and pointed out all the highlights. Afterwards, we took a 20 minute break at Shelley Bay Park, on the north shore, which is a lovely calm beach that our guide said is popular with the locals. On the way to St. George, we could see a storm approaching quickly, even though it was very sunny where we were. We drove into the heavy rain, and by the time we arrived at St. George, the skies had cleared again. We saw St. Catherine's Fort and St. David's lighthouse, among other highlights, before stopping at King's Square to walk around a bit. We attended a re-enactment of the Dunking of the Nag by locals dressed in period costumes. Then, we hopped back on the bus for a scenic drive to Horseshoe Bay beach, where we stopped for an hour to swim. The sand was truly pink, and the waves were coming in at a perfect roll. Despite a warning posted about riptides, we did not experience an undertow or dangerous currents. Back on the bus, it started to rain again. Our friends wanted to be dropped off at Snorkle Park, and we asked to be brought back to the ship to have a late lunch with my mom. For $50 per person for a 5 hour comprehensive and informative tour, we got way more than our money's worth! The only thing I would do differently next time is an hour less of riding around and an hour more of beach time.

By the time our friends were back on the ship, the skies had opened up and windblown rain was pouring down. We had fun on the balcony watching all the people run towards the ship, including those on a late-returning ferry who nearly missed sailaway.

One striking observation about Bermuda: the abundance of tents and makeshift campsites on the undeveloped land. Our guide explained that because of the World Cup Cricket tournament, Friday and Monday were declared national holidays, so most of the locals were camping out for the long weekend. I have to be honest, if I were a local camping for the weekend in such torrential outbursts of rain and wind, I'd say "honey, forget this tent, we're going home where it's warm and dry".

Leaving Bermuda was very picturesque, as we sailed along the north shore and around the east coast towards the Caribbean. It was raining very heavily, with thunder and lightning. For a couple of hours, movement on the ship was the strongest we felt throughout the cruise.

San Juan 8/2/10: We had pre-arranged a 2 hour van tour of Old and New San Juan with Victor Balbin of Countryside Tours, at the government regulated rate of $20 per person payable at the end of the tour in cash. Victor had an unexpected emergency at the last moment, so he sent another guide instead. I mention this substitution to commend Victor for handling the situation in a very professional and communicative manner, making for a seamless transition of service. Even though we didn't tour with him personally, I can still highly recommend him!

Our new guide, Edwin Santos of AdvenTours of Puerto Rico (adventourspr@gmail.com, 787 223-2126), is also government certified and a member of the Puerto Rican Tour Guide Society. He met us at the terminal exit at 2pm. We agreed upon sightseeing for a little over an hour, followed by 45 minutes of beach time. He gave us a comprehensive tour of Old San Juan, including the Government Building and the two forts. Edwin is well-versed in the history of the area, and provided very educational commentary about all the sites, the architecture, the education and government of the region, etc. The tour contained a lot of interesting, and off-the-beaten path, local flavor. For example, our van was halted at a crosswalk between the two forts to allow an elaborate funeral procession to pass in front of us on foot.

In New San Juan, we stopped at Condado Plaza for outlet shopping and beach time. The beach was empty except for a handful of local families, and the sea was wonderful for swimming! At the end of the tour, our friends asked to be dropped off in Old San Juan with directions for on-their-own shopping. We returned to the ship in time for dinner with my mom. I cannot praise Edwin enough for showing us a wonderful time in Puerto Rico, and for sharing his vast knowledge with us! He was the perfect tour guide!

The 18 and 20 year old young ladies in our group were thrilled to have their first legal drinks while still under 21. Inside the cruise terminal, there were 3 stations serving free samples of flavored rum!

Sailaway was at 10:30pm, and we made our way atop the bridge to watch the city's lights and the forts fade away from our sight.

St. Thomas 8/3/10: I was delighted to look out our cabin window to see that we were docked in Havensight instead of Crown Bay (Oasis of the Seas was docked there)!!! We had reserved a half-day private tour with Armitage Allembert (aka Papa Bear) of Air Force 1 Fun Tours (www.havefunwithus.com) for $285, payable one week in advance via PayPal. Papa Bear met us outside the cruise terminal at 9am, and away we went! We've been to St. Thomas numerous times, yet this tour took us to places we had never seen before. As we headed up Crown Mountain Road, we passed right in front of the Oasis. We stopped at the Crown Mountain overlook and our guide provided interesting historical info of Lindbergh Bay and the airport. Our next stop was overlooking of Dorothea Bay. It was a hazy morning, but that didn't impede our view of the western side of St. Thomas and the little islands scattered across the sea. As we continued on the tour, Papa Bear pointed out native foliage growing wild on the side of the road, including herbs and fruits that are used as medicine. (As a pharmacist, I was fascinated!) We stopped at Pablo's Farmhouse to see his medicinal herbal and fruit gardens, and to taste some freshly brewed herbal teas. We purchased a soursop smoothie, which was delicious! At the Solberg overlook, we had a birdseye view of Charlotte Amalie, Water Island and our ship. We spent about 45 minutes at St. Peter's Great House and Botanical Gardens, with overlooks of Magan's Bay, St. John and the British Virgin Islands. We wondered through its nature trails, passing by many waterfalls, gorgeous flowers and colorful parrots. The gift shop was awesome, and so were the Banana Daiquiris! Our next stop was Sapphire Beach, where the view was stunning and the sea was refreshing. After a 90 minute beach break, we took South Road back to Havensight Mall, where we did some shopping and sampled more rum, before reboarding the ship. Once again, we had a wonderful day, seeing a large portion of the island, learning about its history and culture, and relaxing on a gorgeous beach. Papa Bear has our full endorsement as an informative guide, who is passionate about his island, and shows visitors a unique prospective of St. Thomas!!!

Grand Turk 8/4/10: Well, this was the hottest day of our cruise, and the sun was beating down strongly. We docked at 1pm, and quickly walked through the Margaritaville complex to Nathan's Golf Cart rental, located just outside the gate. We had pre-reserved 3 carts for $70 each. Our kids really had a blast driving the carts (on the left side of the street)! Traffic was very light, and the cars/taxis/busses were very patient and courteous about us sharing the road with them. We rode all the way up to the lighthouse and back, passing wild horses and donkeys grazing in the fieldw, and wild flamingos wading in the ponds. The views from the lighthouse cliffs were spectacular! Otherwise, there's not much else to see on the island. We passed groups of homes still recovering from hurricane damage suffered a few years ago surrounded by a lot of new construction. We thought that it would be cool for our kids to return in 20-30 years, when the island is all built up and its property costs a fortune, and be able to say that they experienced it back in 2010 in its undeveloped and unspoiled natural beauty. Our only comment is that we wish we had a more detailed map of the island, which would have helped us navigate our way around more easily. In particular, we would have liked to find some of the more secluded beaches on the island. We returned the golf carts after 2 hours. Although the kids wanted to keep them longer, we were hot and bothered, and ready for a swim. Because of the heat, we didn't even take the time to browse through the shops in the cruise complex. We had no problems finding empty loungers on the beach, in the shade. This was a great place for swimming! There was amazing buoyancy and I appreciated that we could stay afloat in water well over our heads while exerting minimal effort or energy. We stayed in for hours without tiring ourselves out. While golf carts were a fun way to explore the whole island, and we're glad we took advantage of this opportunity, if we visit Grand Turk again in the near future, we'd probably treat it like the cruiseline's private island. It is more than sufficient to spend the entire day at the beach and Margaritaville without venturing outside the complex's gate. Disembarkation: We forgot to submit the forms specifying our disembarkation requirement by the Day 5 deadline. As luck would have it, we were given luggage tags that would be the very last ones called at 10:15am. The family traveling with us had a noontime wedding to attend on Long Island, so we pleaded with the Purser's Desk for an earlier time, and after some hesitation, they found a way to accommodate us. We vacated our cabin before 8am, had breakfast in the buffet, and waited in the assigned lounge until our new color was called promptly at 9am. Upon exiting the ship, an alarm sounded when I inserted my cruise card, and I was directed to customer service to "settle" my account. Now, we had been told by corporate office when the move-over offer was arranged that a check would be mailed to us for the unused portion of our OBC about 4-6 weeks after the cruise. When we checked our accounts onboard during the cruise, the pursers told us that the refund would be issued to our credit card and this was indicated on the final bill that was sent to our cabin. Well, neither of those were the case! We were not permitted to leave the ship until our account was zeroed out with a cash refund. The agent did not have enough cash on hand to give us, so a supervisor had to be called over, and money had to be retrieved from another location in "the back". Then, the money was counted and recounted several times. The entire process was repeated for my mother's account. It delayed our disembarkation by about a half-hour. I was a bit uneasy carrying so much money through the terminal and through customs, but it's nice to have the cash in hand rather than await the refund check in the mail. Our friends went through ahead of us, found our luggage and had it all loaded up onto a cart, with a porter standing by to breeze us through customs and immigration, and escort us to the parking lot. We were on our way home by 9:45am, and arrived at our house by 10:30am. Interesting tidbit: Towards the end of our cruise, we overheard some of the crew discussing the impending visit of Princess CEO Alan Buckelew, who was scheduled to board the ship at the end of our cruise for the following sailing. This created a lot of nervous buzz and frantic preparations! Summary: My observations are meant for informative purposes presented through detailed sharing our experience, and not as criticisms of Princess or of this ship. We truly enjoyed our cruise, and highly recommend it to everyone!!! We would absolutely love to cruise with Princess, and on this ship, again. However, we have already done both itineraries, and sadly, Princess has no other options for the Caribbean during the summer.


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