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Old June 15th, 2006, 01:28 AM
rollerdonna's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Caribou River, Nova Scotia
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Default Caribbean Princess review, Part 9

Caribbean Princess
Thursday, June 1st, Sea Day

Is it June already?
On this last Sea Day, we woke up to a dull, overcast, but extremely hot and humid day. Our only goal for the day was to sunbathe, and relax, which we managed to do, and I enjoyed hours of listening to Bert's CD in my walkman. I even convinced James to give it a listen, and a few songs brought him to tears. Aside from being a fantastic entertainer, Bert is also a very talented songwriter.
We did do one activity later this morning. We attended a Cooking Show in the Princess Theatre, with Executive Chef Marco Goetz, and Maitre d’Hotel Nicolas Furlan, part of Princess's ScholarShip@Sea program.

It was informative and entertaining, with alot of good humoured bantering back and forth while they prepared a few simple meals. Afterwards, we were treated to a tour of the galley behind the Coral Dining Room. We saw very large, spotlessly clean, preparation, clean-up, storage and cooking areas, as well as informative “Did You Know? type signs posted at regular intervals to make the kitchen tour more interesting. We also saw some of the decorative food carvings featured in the Horizon Court and Café Caribe Buffets.

Cook at work


Food Carvings

I'd like to say a word here about Princess's wealth of activities. Despite the fact we mostly laid around doing nothing in the sun, it was not for lack of choices! Each day's Princess Patters was chock full of events and activities, classes, meetings, movies, fun and games. Sometimes there were so many we wanted to do, there just wasn't time!
This particular morning we tried to play Trivia outdoors at one of the pools, but by the time we woke up and realized what time it was and found our way there, they were already on Question # 5, so we went back to sleep in the sun!
It was the same for evening activities; there were theatre shows, Movies Under the Stars, comedians, a great British comedy act we missed, lounges, karaoke, disco, theme parties (50's and 60's), quiet bars for drinks, a cigar and sports bar, and of course, Bert Stratton in the main Promenade. We spent so much time at Bert's shows we missed almost everything else, but we actually felt like part of his family by the end of the week!
I know there were also wild and crazy pool games and contests during the day at the main pools, because I saw them on the cabin tv each evening and on the week's video we bought to take home, but we never went to watch or participate, because we just prefer the quieter areas.
I didn't want anyone to get the impression that Princess cruises were dull and boring, with nothing to do but lie by the pool during the day and listen to the same lounge singer every night! This was our choice, and we were more than happy to do it!
I also wanted to mention kids' activities. Although there did not seem to be as many kids onboard as we have seen on Carnival, the groups I saw were well supervised, doing fun group activities, and the kids' play area looked like fun. I also accidentally wandered into the teens' club Off Limits one day when I was lost, and it looked like a cool place to hang out. I'm sure my son would have enjoyed it. Another thing I noticed on Princess was the strong presence of Security, both uniformed officers and T-shirted Youth Security. I suppose it was due to their presence that I never once saw an argument, a shouting match, a brawl, or gangs of kids and teens commandeering the elevators.
Kudos must be awarded to Princess for all of the above.

Well, this long lazy day eventually came to an end. While James went back to the cabin to get ready for formal night, I decided to visit the Calypso Pool area for one last drink and to experience watching a movie from the comfort of a warm swimming pool. It was strange floating around in a quiet pool, surrounded by people all craning their necks up to the big screen, transfixed by the action movie onscreen.

While I was enjoying the pool, James had tried calling the Concierge to "reserve" our table for the formal night dinner we planned to share with John and Tracie. He was again given the arguement that "you can't reserve a table", then when James asked "then what was the purpose of the concierge and Maitre "D service?", he was told, well yes, you could reserve, but only before 4:30 p.m. As it was already after 4:30 p.m. we had to take our chances and just show up. Once again, conflicting information with the "anytime dining" concept. We called John and Tracie and planned to meet at the Explorer's Lounge for a pre-dinner drink, and when we arrived at the Coral Dining Room, we were immediately ushered in to our table, no problem at all! We were just happy to have our table and our waiters once again! Rodel and Edgar were dressed in their formal vests this evening , looking very smart!

Edgar and Rodel

Being the Captain's Gala Dinner, Lobster and Beef Wellington were on the menu this night. James and John couldn't decide which to have, so of course our friend Rodel brought them one of each! John shared with Tracie, and I finally tried some of James' lobster for the first time. I can take it or leave it, I am not a big seafood fan, but the guys said it was just delicious. I have to admit, so was the Beef Wellington! Dessert was also fabulous; I had double chocolate mousse (white and dark chocolate) that was to die for, and James had a strawberry mousee with whipped cream. I finished my meal with a Bailey's in another collectible glass.
Since it was formal night, of course the ship's photographer was working the dining room, so the 4 of us had our picture taken together. It is a wonderful souvenir of a wonderful meal with wonderful new friends!

After dinner, we all headed up to the Crooner's Lounge to see Bert again. We just could not get enough of him! This evening he was doing a series of show tunes, everything from Phantom of the Opera, to Oklahoma, to The Wizard of Oz. They were just wonderful, and even had James singing along.
We also wanted to see a comedy show this evening, so at 10:30 we headed to the Explorer's Lounge to see Steve Smith, a pretty funny comedian who had Tracie and I in stitches. At 11:30, if you had read your daily Princess Patters, there was a very special Champagne Waterfall in the atrium area. We were still on Promenade Deck 7, looking down the winding staircase to Deck 5 where 750 champagne glasses had been carefully formed into a pyramid. With music, fanfare, and a bubble machine throwing bubbles our over 3 decks, the Maitre d'Hotel climbed up and started pouring bottle after bottle of champagne down from the top of the pyramid. Various passengers, mostly carefully selected pretty young women, also climbed up in turn to pour champagne onto the waterfall. All of this was surrounded by 3 decks full of passengers packed around the railings and down the stairways, music, dancing, cruise staff doing line dancing, and bubbles floating everywhere! It was quite the sight!

Once most of the glasses were filled, the Champagne Waterfall was carefully dismantled onto trays, and waiters and waitresses circulated the crowds on all decks, offering champagne and hor d'oeuvres to passengers.
During this time, Bert was on a break, greeting well wishers at his piano just behind us. James went over to tell him how much we'd been enjoying his shows, and how much we'd loved his CD of his own tunes. Bert was shocked and truly touched when James admitted that some of his songs had brought him to tears! We talked to him for quite awhile, asking him about his background, his family, etc. When Tracie and John came over to join us, Bert insisted on a group hug - he's truly a wonderful human being!

When the Champagne Waterfall hoopla died down after midnight, the 4 of us decided to check out the action in the Skywalker's nightlclub, where we'd heard that the "Village People" were to make an appearance. We don't normally do discos or dance clubs due to the noise and the especially the smoke, but in this case, I'm glad we made an exception. Skywalkers is an elevated area at the very back of the ship, accessible only by an elevated moving sidewalk inside a glassed in, neon-decorated tunnel. It's truly different! When we got there, the place was hopping , and soon after, the "Village People" arrived in all their costumed glory!

I recognized a couple of the cruise staff, and was surprised to realize that even our cruise director, David Cole, was one of the Village People! They were performing a well-choreographed version of YMCA and In the Navy, and it was hilarious and better choreographed than the "professional" dancers we had seen in the theatre shows!
I wish I had pictures of them, but it was just too hard to see through the crowd! Afterwards, when they'd finished dancing, they posed for photos with many of the passengers, especially the young women! Skywalkers was a fun place and everyone was having a good time, but by 1 a.m. we'd had enough of the noise and the smoke, and we headed back to our cabin. It never ceased to amaze us how much fun we had on the Caribbean Princess!

to be continued....

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Old June 15th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Palmer, Massachusetts
Posts: 12,716

I new you would love Princess. Your review is bringing back very fond memories of our previous Princess cruise, thank you so much for that. We loved the Champagne Waterfall and the party. Skywalker's is a great place. Its a great quiet place to read and take in the view during the day.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 11:44 PM
CruzNut's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Tampa Bay area
Posts: 2,011

Enjoying your reviews very much. You mentioned the champagne waterfall and selecting pretty young ladies to help pour it ... actually any woman could stand in the line and pour it - so maybe next time you're on Princess, you'll try it cuz everyone of the ships does it on the last formal night.

I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
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