Princess Cruises Caribbean Princess by F.R. Lewis Eastern Caribbean September 23, 2007
We have been on 2 Royal Caribbean and 5 Carnival Cruises; this was our 1st Princess Cruise. We drove to Ft. Lauderdale and took the Park and Drive package at the Ramada Inn Airport/Cruise port, which worked out very well. Our cruise was Eastern Caribbean on 09/23/07.
Embarkation We arrived at the port at 11:15 and got on line at 11:25. While waiting on line they provided cold drinking water and there were benches along the wall. We arrived at our cabin at 12:25 and received our luggage at 2 P.M.
Cabin We had cabin L306, a balcony cabin on the Lido Deck. This had to be the smallest cabin we ever had. The location was great. There was enough storage space for the clothes and the luggage. The bathroom was a typical cruise ship bathroom. Since we were on the Lido Deck we had a covered balcony, the balconies on the Dolphin and Emerald Decks are open (not covered). The décor is plain and somewhat practical. Our cabin steward Vicki was friendly and very efficient.
Muster Drill I have to mention this, though necessary it is a royal pain in the lower extremities. On the Caribbean Princess it was amazing, our muster station was in the main theater, comfortable, air conditioned, and we were able to sit. WOW!
Dining We liked the option that we can either do traditional or anytime dining; as long as you do not reserve a table for anytime dining you do not lose your traditional seating. We only did anytime once, we had table 270, 1st seating at the Island Restaurant. David and his assistant were superb and friendly. Our tablemates were fun and great to be with. The food was ok, some days better than others. The buffet restaurants were better than some, always crowded, usually shared a table, which we liked, we met many different people and enjoyed the conversations we had. One problem, though, if you wanted to go from one side of the restaurant to the other, you had to leave the restaurant to cross over. The Caribe restaurant had a buffet from 11 P.M. to 4 A.M. for those who "craved" more food.
Room Service A free service, you just tip the room service steward. Just be careful, you don't always get exactly what you ordered.
Specialty Restaurants We booked Sabatini's on Sunday for Tuesday evening. Our waiter was Allesandro, very friendly, funny, and an excellent waiter. You get small portions, BUT many different appetizers, thankfully they were small or we would have been in big trouble. We were there from 6:15 P.M. to 8:45 P.M. The cost was $20 P.P. and well worth it. This is a must do "event." We met people who ate at Sterling's and were not impressed.
Ice Cream I mention this because people complained that it is not free. In the Horizon Court, at both ends on one side you can make your own, free sundae, from 3:30 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. OK, happy now?
Entertainment Though no Carnival, the shows were good. There were two production shows, the first "Piano Man" was good. The second was so-so. The main problem was the evening shows and entertainment was scheduled so that you had to choose one. The dance bands were continuous, but the comedians, game shows, were scheduled poorly. MUTS, Movies under the Stars, looked great, but we did not see this at night. During the day while we were swimming we watched the movies, which was interesting.
Islands The only thing I want to talk about is Princess Cays, their private island. This was reached by tender. Again Princess proved up to the task. We met in the main theater where you sit and wait to be escorted to the tender, quick and painless. The island is beautiful, we snorkeled and had a great time.
Disembarkation We were in no hurry so we let them take our luggage for us. We were scheduled to meet at the Wheelhouse Bar at 8:30 A.M. At 8:32 they came for us, by the time we left the ship, found our luggage and went through immigration, it was 8:50 A.M. Barely 20 minutes, fantastic.
Overall The ship is sedate, quiet and laid back. Not for everyone, but the service was very good, our fellow passengers were friendly and fun to be with. My main complaint is that you CANNOT review your account on your TV; you must go to Passenger Services. The food could have been better and a bit more selections. I might try another Princess ship in the future. We did enjoy the cruise and do recommend this ship.