We're experienced Cruisers (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, etc.) and we've done the "Caribbean" thing many times, so I wasn't expecting much more 'Pleasure' from this cruise other than ... Read More
We're experienced Cruisers (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, etc.) and we've done the "Caribbean" thing many times, so I wasn't expecting much more 'Pleasure' from this cruise other than "watching my Wife enjoy the Cruise" (She can make "waking up every morning" into an event ;) I was wrong, WE - HAD - A - BLAST!!!!
We like to "Get off the Tourist Track" whenever Possible... When we travel, We take the Train System while in Europe, Visit Friends in Europe and in the Caribbean, etc. We didn't see any Princess Excursions that looked "Like Us", So we did our Shore Excursions online, not through Princess... We booked a Scuba Diving Trip on St. Thomas from my favorite little Dive Shop there (Been hitting it for 20 years or so?), and it was AWESOME! The Reefs are making a comeback pretty quickly! Christine and Chris did an EXCELLENT job of herding the divers through the tour.. Being experienced Divers, We had a little over 2K PSI of air left in our tanks when the other members of the Excursion (Beginners without Dive Licenses) were pushing their tanks down around 800-500 PSI, so Christine just told us, "You know your way around, Come back to the beach when you're ready"
In St. Maarten we had pre-booked the "ATV Island Tour" through "Blue Bubbles Dive Shop"... AWESOME Folks to deal with!!! Dwight and Joshua are FANTASTIC Tour Guides!!! Up Front, you really need to have "Some" experience with an ATV to take this tour, or at least have "An Adventurous Spirit".. They run UPHILL, Up STEEP, Rocky, Dirt Trails, and then suddenly you're running "Wide Open, Throttle To The Stops" FAST, out on the main paved roads, on BOTH sides of the Island! We had several people that obviously didn't know what they were getting into with this tour, and had never ridden an ATV. They immediately began lagging WAY behind... Dwight asked them if they'd be more comfortable going back to the ATV Shop, and those folks took the Van ride back to the shop. After that, the rest of the group was WIDE OPEN again. Joshua played "Tail End Charlie" on the group, then he sped ahead and blocked roundabouts and intersections so the group wouldn't get separated by other traffic, then he'd pull in behind the group again... Lots of great stops for Pictures and "Rest Breaks", Including watching the Jets Land and Take-Off at Maho Beach and from the Sunset Bar. Hit "Confidence Nude Beach" on the French Side after Dwight CAREFULLY got the OK from the ENTIRE group... Just "Lots of Cool Stuff"! Blue Bubble Dive Shop is HIGHLY recommended for their ATV Island Tour, and for Dive Excursions!
About the Ship... Our Children are "grown and gone and Producing Grandchildren", so we didn't have them with us. We booked a "Near Aft, Port-Side, Balcony Stateroom" (Back near the last Aft Elevators near the Adult's Pool and Bar). The Room was CLEAN and Pretty Quiet. We spent most of our "Room Time" out on the Balcony. We LOVED the "Movies Under The Stars" HUGE TV Theater out by the pools, Restaurants ("Sabatini's": AWESOME with STARS! 'Nuff Said ;). Pools, etc. Children on the Ship musta been having fun SOMEWHERE, because we didn't see or hear very many, except while trying to Snorkel on Princess Cay... Princess Cay is Highly Sculpted, like a Theme Park, and just wasn't to our tastes.
I could go ON AND ON AND ON... Suffice it to say, I'm an Electrical Engineer and Retired U.S. Army.. My Wife is a Doctor Of Regenerative Medicine.. We own a secluded Mountain-Top Ranch.. We can (and DO) go "Anywhere we want to go".
We "ALMOST" just stayed on the Ship to do a Western Caribbean Cruise! We had *THAT MUCH* FUN! The Staff was AWESOME (Without "staying up in our faces all the time"), the Ship was GREAT, The Medallion Services functioned Flawlessly, Internet was ACTUALLY Broadband, etc etc...
We've decided that this was our Favorite Cruise EVER, and *THAT* is saying something!
Few last things: Princess treats Military Veterans *RIGHT*! That was unexpected and GREATLY appreciated!
We signed up for Early Debarkation (We carry our own Baggage), We had "Mobile Passport" on our Phones for Customs, etc,.. We left the Stateroom PROMPTLY at 7;30AM, and we were SITTING IN A TAXI by 7:52AM!!! That was an UNUSUAL Experience for us, so don't book Air-Flights around that information, but it happened!
FANTASTIC, MUCH NEEDED, Vacation! Read Less