My first time sailing Princess (previous Carnival cruiser) in January of 06. Lots of questions. We booked a balcony cabin on the Caribe deck (C609 and C611) about mid-ship. Anyone know if these balconies are covered or uncovered? Also, on Carnival you can remove the divider between the balcony next to you. Can you do that on the Star?
My husband is really concerned that it won't be warm enough in January to go in the water. It looks to me like average temps are about 75. Will the water be warm enought to swim.
Also need a hotel recommendation for Ft. Lauderdale for at least one night before, maybe two.
Has any one done Dunns Falls that is not in the best of shape. I really want to climb the falls but do get out of breath going up more than a couple sets of stairs. Trying to lose some weight before January, but just wondering if the average out of shape person could do it.
Really appreciate everyone's help. I am very nervous about switching to Princess. We are going with two friends and I pretty much picked the line so it's my head if all is not well. Any other info you can help with regarding the ship or any execursions you can recommend for (4) adults very late forties would be great. We are going to Princess Cays (which I am really excited about), Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios.
I remembered this board from my last Carnival cruise about 3 years ago and it was so helpful. Thank you all in advance and I am sorry this is so long.
I can't answer your question about the balcony on Star Princess. I think you will find the water warm enough to swim. I have done the Western Caribbean in January and February and it was great for swiming for snorkeling and swiming. Then again, I'm from Minnesota. <VBG>
Dunn's River Falls can be slippery and if you do get out of breath climbing a couple of stairs it may be hard for you unless you really take it very slow. People are usually in a single file line so it moves at a regular pace. I'm not sure how you would handle it.
In Fort Lauderdale, Marriott Marina, Embassy Suites, Renaissance Hotel and Amerisuites are on 17th Street and close to Port Everglades. These usually come up on Priceline at a reasonable rate. (Embassy Suites hasn't come up lately)
Take care and enjoy Princess. I think you will enjoy it. It's a bit more laid back than Carnival but I don't think you will regret it.
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Your friends will owe you for choosing this line and this ship!
Your choice of cabins is the best - the balconies on Carib are twice as large as the others, with half covered and half open to the blue sky.
Your cabin steward will open the door between balconies if you ask.
The water is definitely warm enough for swimming.
You'll have a wonderful time!
Oh- and try Sabatini's for dinner one night. Food and service are superb!
We were on the Star going on the almost the same track you are in November 2004. The water was a little chilly to me but then again I am from FL and anything below 80 even in the water is chilly! HAHA
We had a balcony on the Aloha Deck and absolutely loved it!!! We are going on the Carribean Princess this October and would have nothing else other than a balcony or to sail on Princess. I sailed on Carnival for a 3 day cruise and was not happy at all, but with Princess I was hooked.
In Cozumel, we rented a jeep and toured on our own, that was the best time. We made the mistake of taking a taxi to Dzul Ha and then back when we should have just rented the jeep to begin with. It cost $75 to rent the jeep for the day. The car rental is outside of the market where the taxis are.
Grand Cayman was kind of a whim day. We walked around town and then decided to take a tour we saw someone holding a sign for a tour to goto Hell, the Turtle farm and a general tour of the island area for $20 a person CHEAP and a good tour. They are right there where the tenders drop you off at.
We had planned on using Peat Taylor in Ocho Rios going to Dunn River Falls, but we had to goto Montego Bay instead. We hated it, but made the best of it on a kind of pushed local taxi driver. The tour was interesting and cheap, but we were back on the ship by 10 am enjoying the ship. Hope this helped.
Chopper, We are sailing on the Star 1/15/06. This will be our 22 Princess cruise with 32 cruises overall. Your balcony will be very large on Caribe but it is uncovered. I like it that way but others do not. I agree about the Dunn River Falls. IT may be too much for you, but it is very pretty just to see it. Please let me know if you are sailing on the 15th. If you have any Princess questions just email me, glad to help.
Hubby and I are 40ish and from Maryland.
Chopper - Caribe deck cabins with balcony are my favorite, you will love it.
There is a door between the cabins, your cabin seward will have to unlock it for you, you will need something to keep it open (bungee cord!) it will swing closed at the slightest breeze.
January in the Western Caribbean can be hot! We swam at all of our ports. Cozumel was the warmest of all the ports, it was hot in the city.
Book an independant tour in Grand Caymen - StingRays - awesome
Cozumel - many beaches to choose from. Mayan Ruins are very interesting. IF you snorkel or want to give it a try Cozumel is the place, book a ships tour out to the Palencaar Reef - the snorkeling is sooo easy, the current gently pushes you along, you hardly have to swim at all, and the snorkeling is amazing. We had an amazing dive master on our tour - he would spot something - drag us all over to the see it, tell us what we were looking at, at one point, he dove down and brought up a sea turtle for us to look at and take pictures of.
We love the Embassy Suites Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale. Its beautiful, great pool area, gorgeous soaring atrium, and you get a complimentary cocktail hour with munchies, a full breakfast buffet, shuttle service from airport to hotel and from hotel to pier. Book onto the shuttle from the hotel to the pier when you check in, as it fills up fast. Its also within walking distance of the grocery store, strip mall and some really nice restaurants. Another top pick would be the Marriott Marina - right on the waterway - huge yachts dock at the pier, very nice pool area with a great little bar that sits on the edge of the waterway, very interesting.
You don't have to climb Dunns River Falls to enjoy it. There is a walkway and stairs all alongside the falls, there is one great big viewing area where you get a good look at the falls and all the folks climbing! The falls are very pretty, and the water is nice and refreshing.
Princess is a great line - there is a casual elegance about her. Not stiff, or snooty, laid back, but still plenty of goings on. Princess ships remind me of a fine resort based hotel.