What can I say. It was a tremendous cruise from start to finish. There seems to be some grumbling going around about our cruise and the next one. I think this is very natural because of the abrupt changes that everyone had to endure. After all they changed our intinerary from East to West and mid-cruise cut out Nassau as our 3rd stop and then added 2 days that thru a lot of people into a frenzy quite naturally as plans had to be changed in less than optimal conditions. We were lucky as we had plans to stay in Fla for the week after so the changes for us were great as we a nine day glorious cruise. So here goes:
Embarkation: Stayed per-cruise one night at Wyndham A/P ($50/Priceline) which was very nice and after 5/10 min cab arrived @11:20 and got on line. 11:35 doors opened and line started to move. We were in cabin @12:05. Very very smooth. Only line was for security.
Room: Dolphin mini suite. Incredible cabin. So much space and big balcony with 2 reclining chairs with cushions, 2 regular chairs, a table and a small table/drink stand. The bathroom was great size with tub and shower. The extra area in the cabin had a very big couch, a comfortable chair, extra TV, and extra counter space under the TV. The mini-suite is a must if you can spend the extra bucks. Even it you can't afford it, it's worth it.
The Ship: It's gorgeous. Very elegant. We thought the 2 main decks (6 and 7) were pretty hard to negotiate and are set up strangely but we figured it out after a while.
Dining: Our 1st foray into PC dining and did not know what to expect. We loved it to death. The 1st 2 nights we sat with other people and met some really nice people of all ages (we are 40ish). When we asked to sit alone we were sat right away with no wait. There were always plenty of open tables for 2 on each night which was great in the Palm. We thought the food was excellent and the service the same and we never had the same waiter. My wife is a chef, so she knows a little about food and agreed with me that almost everything tasted great. A couple misses here or there, but you are gonna get that anywhere.
Ports: Again, all plans went south with the Hurricane, but that's the risk you take. No big deal. In Cozumel we went to the new Paradise Beach which would have been fine except it poured for an hour so we went back to pier which of course was dry as a bone. In 9 days we figured it rained during the day for approx 2-3 hours which it pretty incredible but we know they know how to get you away from it if they can. We were not looking forward to Ocho Rios. We went to the new shopping/beach area right off the pier and had a blast. Margaritaville was great. Small but nice beach. Swim up bar in their pool which had a big slide in it and plenty of tables for lunch. Lots of people from the ship went here and the partying was plentiful.
Pools: Pools are plentiful and well spaced out. We never once had a problem getting a lounger and went to the pool each day. I laughed more than once thinking about the hysteria on the board way back when about the worry of the space ratios etc.
Nightlife: We thought it was a pretty quiet ship at night compared to our Carnival cruises (what a shock). The lounges were very nice we thought. The entertainment was very lame though. 2 shows pretty much sucked (Caliente was so bad). They had a crew talent show which we think might have been added on the next to last night that was absolutely hysterical. Club Fusion is great and they have many diverse things going on here each night. It's truly a multi-purpose joint. After 12 the only real place to go is Skywalkers. We think they should keep Club Fusion open really late so there is a choice but it closes after the last event, so Skywalkers it is. We went there almost every night and had a great time. Nice waiters who you get to know and the service is great. We met some great people up there too.
I know I forgot lots of stuff so ask away. I got a lot of help from this board and I'd like to give some back. After a week or so I plan to disappear from this board and try to get a life back. It was fun while it lasted. I think all the not so great reviews have to taken with a grain of salt. There were many people in a grumpy mood because of all the changes. Most had a great time and I know you will too.
Caribbean Princess 9/18
This is Lynne. I agree that we had a great time. Trevor and I enjoyed meeting you at the Horse Race after me posting with you all those months. We tend to do our own thing during the day and sometimes in the Evening but it was wonderful to have our Board group around for the hellos and occasional dinners/activities.
Our entrance into the Terminal was fine, too. After a brief wait in line, in we went and the process was very smooth.We went to our inside cabin right away and were very pleased-bigger than on the Grand, and then headed for the Horizon Buffet, where we did most of our meals there and at the Caribe Cafe during the week.We even did our own formal night there the first time and had excellent one on one service in an informal atmosphere but still with class.
Trevor is not one for shows but I think we saw the first one where the cruise staff was introduced and Scott Wyler did his first bit. He had some funny lines.I also saw the Rock n Roll Show, and later in the week caught part of Don Ware, from outside the Explorer Lounge and later, the Princess Theater. He was pretty decent.
I spent a lot of leisure time up by the Calypso Pool, where the movies were showing and there was lots of activity between there and the pool next to it. I'm not a pool person but I like to write and people watch and that was a good station.I even saw , and heard, some movies that I wouldn't have caught otherwise.Uma was a good server up there who asked what I was doing, and I told him I was writing my thoughts about the cruise. I then showed him that I'd include him in my review. He happened to be up on the 16th deck the last night during the football game so said hello again. He serves a great glass of water!
Our disappointment in the switch of itinerary wasn't as bad, as we knew about it on the Board a couple of nights in advance.Our group's mission was just to make it onto the ship and then go from there--anywhere! It was the 4th time in 5 years that Trevor and I have gone west, so we're ready to go somewhere else now--Alaska? Newfoundland??
Overall, we had a great week, with great friends, and we have no overwhelming complaints. Take care. Lynne