Kenhel Posted November 7, 2006 #1 Share Posted November 7, 2006 Just returned from Caribbean Princess Oct 29 to Nov 5th. We booked last minute (about 5 weeks ago). This was our 3rd cruise. Royal Caribbean in early 1990s and Costa Magica March 2006. We selected the cruise based on itinerary (wanted to visit St. Maarten) and great price. We are a family of four with 15 year and 12 year old. Hope this review is helpful for first time cruisers or anyone considering Princess. Cabin: As this was our 2nd cruise this year we cruised on a budget and booked an inside quad on Deck 10. The cabin was adequate size, good layout and good storage space. The bathroom was a little small but functional. Our cabin stewardess Sonia was great. She kept the cabin very clean, replenished towels twice daily. Bathroom was stocked with good quality shampoo, conditioner, soaps and lotion so I would not bother packing those toiletries. My daughter and I have long hair and the hair dryer is OK but I am glad we brought our own. There are limited electrical outlets so consider bringing an outlet bar. Food: What can I say? Collectively my husband and I brought back 12 extra pounds of weight (not our luggage but around our waists!). We made a decision at the beginning of the cruise that we would NOT take the elevators. So we climbed 6 flights up to the buffet and walked around deck 7 and on the walking track everyday. We found the quality of the food good and always hot. We had Personal/Anytime Dining and we loved the freedom. We ate early every evening (between 6 and 6:30) and never had to wait for a table for four. We had different waiters every night and found they were all very good. Service was equally good in the Palm and the Coral Dinning rooms. My husband had the Love Boat dessert several times and he said it was very decadent and delicious. The cold seafood buffet, Lobster Night, Beef Wellington were the highlights. Out of 7 dinners, we only had one meal we did not enjoy (eggplant parmaggiana). We ate at the Horizons or Caribe Buffets for breakfast and lunch and late night snacking. Our favourites were the brownies and cookies. Don’t miss afternoon tea (3:30 to 4:30) in the Coral Dinning Room. This was the highlight of our Sea Days. Hot tea, warm scones, clotted cream and jam and delicious little sandwiches and cookies! Entertainment: Amazing!! We loved ALL the comedians on board – Carl Strong, Phil Tag, Adam Ace and Kamika :p :) . We also enjoyed Millionaire, The Newlywed Game and the Cooking Demonstration/Galley Tour. In total our family watched about 6 movies (in the Princess Theatre or on the MUTS screen). Especially loved MUTS. I agree with some past reviewers, that the area surrounding MUTS can get a noisy but there are many quiet areas to find a lounge chair. We loved the area around near the LOTUS spa and the aft pool. Also, don’t miss the life size chess set. Our son participated in Off Limits (the teen centre). There were a small group of teens on board (~50) but he enjoyed the activities. Ports of Call: St. Marrten: Husband and Son booked the 12 metre Racing Boat challenge and really enjoyed it. My daughter and I took the water taxi to the downtown Phillsburg area and walked around the shops and spent some time on the beach (Great Bay). The beach was nice and 2 chairs and umbrellas were rented for $ 10. We ate at the Barefoot Grill and enjoyed a good lunch for $25 (with tip). I tried my hand at casino with little luck. St. Thomas: Docked at Crown Bay that is west of the downtown area and shops. No shops open at Crown Bay. I think taxi fares in St. Thomas are outrageous (example: a family of 4 to get to and from Crown Bay to Coki Beach is $ 80 !!):eek: We decided to stay near Crown Bay so we took a water taxi to Water Island. The Water Taxi leaves at 10:30 am from the Crown Bay Marina. Walk out of the pier gate; the marina is across the street. The water taxi is in front of Tickels restaurant. The return rate is $32 for 4 people. The ride is less than 10 minutes to Water Island. We spent the day on Honeymoon beach – very nice, quiet. Heidi (a local) caters a bbq on beach with fabulous burgers, drinks etc… Be forewarned – there are no facilities on Honeymoon Beach at this time:( :( . There is a restaurant that is being renovated – when it reopens there will be more food options and washrooms! Princess Cays: This port was cancelled due to high seas. Had a nice sea day although I did get a little sick from the high waves. Money Saving Tips: As I mentioned we were on a budget so I hope this helps others in similar situation. It is hard to resist buying things on board. We brought our own soda and water to take on shore with us. We bought the coke package for kids and we did not drink any alcohol. We limited ourselves to 3 pictures taken by the photographers ($66). Avoided taxis while in port (see St. Thomas) Enjoyed the free entertainment Avoid Art Auctions Stay out of the Spa and the gift stores Stay out of Casino (we limited ourselves to about $40) Did not eat in any specialty restaurant Have ice-cream in the buffet (in the afternoon) instead of at Scoops OVERALL IMPRESSSION: Great cruise, great customer service, hot meals, and great entertainment. We would cruise with Princess again. If you can stay on a budget, a cruise is great value for a family vacation. We are booked on Norwegian Dawn in March 2007(from NY city). Would like some feedback comparing Caribbean Princess to Norwegian Dawn. We enjoyed our Princess cruise so much and are considering switching our March cruise from NCL to Princess. We are thinking of Grand Princess out of Galveston Texas instead?? Any comments or opinions?? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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