Just returned from Grand Princess/Western Caribbean 7/29 sailing. Here are the highlights. If you want details, please e.mail me at email@example.com
My wife and I are in late 40's; this was our 5th cruise. Others on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Accompanied by 15 year old daughter and her friend. Had 2 inside cabins.
Overall, our most enjoyable cruise! The ship is beautiful and always gives you a feeling of luxury. It is big, but manageable. The service staff is extremely well trained and always trying to satisfy. The food was on par with Celebrity, both in the dining room and the Horizon Court Buffet. Most meals were excellent. We did Personal Choice and would do it again. Just put our name in for dinner, went to the bar for a drink, and came back 20-30 minutes later.
We enjoyed all the ports..Princess Cay (great beach, water sports), Grand Cayman (don't miss the stingrays), Cozamel (great snorkling, charming town) and Playa Del Carmen (a taste of "old" Mexico..swim with the dophins if you can).
The entertainment was on par of other cruises. Enjoyable--especially the comedians, but not great. The cruise director is a riot!
Minor..and I emphasize minor disappointments--The teen program was disorganized, although my daughter did meet other teens and had a great time; hard to get chairs at the pool on sea days; hard to get into the Vista Lounge on some shows.
I think you gave a good evaluation. However, it should be known that there are tons of lounge chairs on the upper deck that extends practically the length of the ship. Most of these areas were unoccupied. Since I prefer to listen to my discman when I'm getting sun this worked fine for me. Carnival had music playing all over the sun deck. You had to go down to the outside deck under the lifeboats to get a lounge chair in a quiet space.
We have cruised Carnival alot, and always wanted not to hear the music....for peace purposes....the main pool in the center of the ship always had the music, but if you go to the rear of the ship where the pool is, we always found chaise lounges and no music was ever playing there. Nice spot, right at the end, watching the sea.