I'm so happy to have found this forum; it's been a fantastic source of information for me in both selecting as well as preparing for our cruise. I have a few lingering questions that I hope you more experienced cruisers will be able to give me some insights on:
1. I love water. I'm happiest drinking water for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and most of the day and rarely have a problem with tap water. How is the quality of water in the cabins? Would I be OK just filling my water bottle(s) from the tap and adding ice or am I going to be paying through the nose for bottled water all day every day?
2. Has anybody been on a ship that was infected by the Norwalk or a Norwalk-type virus? What can I do to protect myself on board? Are there medications I should bring with me and things to avoid? One thing that everyone tells me is to avoid buffets but it seems to me like that's sort of a difficult thing to avoid on a ship.
3. While I think that some of the excursions offered by Princess look quite reasonable, I'm interested in seeing what else might be available that is a bit more fun and adult oriented, like rum boats and booze cruises, beach parties on topless beaches, etc. Could someone point me in the direction of tour companies on St. Thomas and St. Maarten that might be a little more akin to a fun-loving child-free married couple?
4. Is there an adults-only (like 18 and over) pool on the CP?
1) yes, you can drink the water out of the tap. It amazes me how people spend money on bottled water at the dinner table. The filtration system on the ship is about 1000 times better. I would suggest packing about 24 of the smaller water bottles in the 10oz size in your suit case. If you like that stuff. That way you can take off the boat or to the workout room. I bring rum, drink mix and my blender and bottles of wine. i always book a larger suite and invite folks to my room. I always ask two girls to come and sometimes both will. So the extra room in the cabin works well for the party.
2) Norwalk infection is yuck. I have never had it but it seems to be on Holland and Carnival only. I may be wrong though.
3) yea your hunch is right on for the idea of on your own. I always go to orient beach. That is the optional clothing beach. The ship usually stops there on the 4th day or so. By then I have figured out who is game for the fun in the Sun. You can take a Taxi to orient beach. They have many hotels with activities and such. I always look for the vollyball courts. They have a game called strip volleyball that becomes really interesting. About 20 people play and they use a large bounce ball and the court is huge. 20 people sounds like a lot but not really in this situation. They do have booze cruise when you get off at the pier about 5 different catamarans go out for about 25 a person all day with all the booze you can use.
4) At the back of the boat is the adult pool. Very nice area and NO children. Nice jacuzzis and conversation. A great area to spend time. Very little noise and did I mention no KIDS.
1. ships water from the tap is very good, but its lukewarm. We bring a few sports bottles, fill them up from the tap and put them in the fridge.
2. Have been lucky and not encountered any virus while on board. The best prevention is to wash your hands. There are hand sanitizers at the entrance to the buffet, and when we cruised, there was a crew member stationed there to make sure you used the hand santizer before he/she would hand you your plate & silverware.
3. Look into the Jolly Roger if you are looking for a "booze cruise." St Maarten has a clothing optional section on Orient Beach. Princess does not have any topless decks.
4. They do have an adults only pool that is very nice.
water on board is good, but very warm. Ice or refrigerat and you should be ok
princess has hand cleaners, some sort of chemical dispensed all over the ship. people seem to sue them
in st thomas, take a cab to megans bay. $6 to the beach and $3 to get in. One of the ten ebst ebaches in the world! Things to rent once there, chair, boats, food...
in st marten. Orient bay if adults only. clothing optional. great local foods and alcohol. Go to Pedros!
However, if kids are with you, stay in phillipsburg. take the water ferry over to the beach, on the outskirts of the city. plenty of beach chairs, jet ski rental food, whatever, beats the shock of kids and nudity!
We came back in March and always drink the water from the Tap with no problems. Princess ships have an excellent filtering system. Never been sick (Knock on wood), but always take some pepto tabs just in case. We always eat in the buffet and main dining rooms. Best advise to stay well. WASH HANDS OFTEN, KEEP HANDS AWAY FROM MOUTH. We always use the airborne over the counter remedy before the plane trip to assist the immune system. I firmly belive that the Norwalk is brought on the ship by travelers that caught it somewhere before the cruise. Just my thoughts on this. Have fun!!!