Caribbean Princess Review, Part 11
Friday, June 2, Princess Cays, continued...
It's lunchtime on Princess Cays, and we are ready! The Grill Crazy BBQ grill buffet is located a short walk from the beach, in a huge, high-roofed, but open air building, with several rows of food lines. It also houses and shades, a large area of picnic tables for you to enjoy your meal, if you don't mind sharing a table with others.
View of Grill area
Upon arriving at the grill, we were surprised to see no line-ups, no waiting, just a steady stream of hungry passengers filling their plates with delicious BBQ chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, salads, drinks and desserts. We ate so much, we never went back for dessert! There were also tables of fresh fruit available, and large water coolers offering cold drinking water, both at the grill and posted at intermittent points across the island.
At lunch, we ran into the couple we had dinner with earlier in the week, who had gotten married the day beofre on the ship, so they were celebrating their honeymoon that day on Princess Cays. I can't think of a better place!
After lunch, we headed back into the water for some more swimming, floating, and relaxing. These moments of pure bliss and relaxation are the memories you take home with you, and will remember in times of stress and aggravation, when you need to go to your "happy place". I will certainly remember this day!
Of course all good things must come to an end, and this day was no different. James headed back to the ship to start packing, but I waited until the last half hour on the beach before I dragged myself out of the water, returned my float, and lined up for about 25 minutes for the last tender back to the ship, but the day itself was worth the wait!
Back onboard the ship, I was ready for a hot cup of tea. (I was wet and chilled). Of course, while passing through the Horizon Court buffet to get my tea, I couldn't resist sampling a chocolate-cream stuffed chocolate eclair (or 2!) I sat out by the Calypso pool for the sail away, enjoying one last hour of beautiful warmth and sunshine. Stretching it out till the last possible moment, I watched the end of a movie on the outdoor movie screen, and had a few last dips in the pool. It was very hard to drag myself away from the pool area to go back to the cabin to pack. I could not believe that this wonderful week was coming to an end.
By 6 p.m. we were both cleaned up, dressed, packed, and ready for one last tour around the Caribbean Princess; James to videotape, and me with my camera, taking pictures for CruiseMates.
By the kiddie pool
Overlooking Calypso Pool and MUTS
My favourite ship
James' favourite spot
At 7 p.m. we met our new friends Tracie and John at the Coral Dining Room, and were disappointed and frustrated not to be able to get our requested table with our preferred waiters. Although James had called the concierge earleir to book, he was told no reservations after 4:30, and we would just have to take our chances. This was our one major quibble with "anytime dining"; we always seemed to get conflicting information about whether you could reserve or not, whether our table was available or not, and whether or not we would be allowed 2 at a table for 4, or in this case, 4 at a table for 6! At 7 p.m. on this last night of the cruise, with no tables available in the area served by Rodel and Edgar, we were given a "pager" which we could carry with us wherever we chose to wait (we headed for the Crooner's Lounge for drinks), and which would light up with flashing lights to announce when our table was ready. We were just finishing our drinks about a half hour later when it went off.
The 4 of us thoroughly enjoyed our final dinner together. I had turkey (always a favourite), James had Tiger Prawns, and everything from the appetizers to the salads to the entrees to the desserts were absolutely wonderful. In fact we really had no complaints about the meals in the dining room all week, we were very happy to dine there all 7 nights of the cruise. I wanted to mention this , because there are two "specialty" restaurants on board that we did not try; Sabatini's Trattoria, an Italian eatery offering a 16 course Italian meal featuring many seafood dishes, and Sterling Steakhouse featuring delicious steaks on the grill. The reason we did not try them was, at Sabatinis, we didn't think we could handle a 16 course meal, especially since neither of us are big on seafood, and at 3 hours, it would cut into our evening entertainment time, and as for the Sterling Stekahouse, we did inquire early in the week, but were told it was booked solid for the whole week. No matter, we quite enjoyed our wonderful meals and teriffic waiters in the Coral dining room.
Rodel and Edgar, Best Waiters!
By the time we were finishing dinner this last evening, our waiters Edgar and Rodel were not terribly busy with other tables having already left, so they stayed with us and bantered and joked, posed for photos, and at one point, Rodel commandeered James' video camera and he filmed us eating the last of our dinner, making hilarious comments throughout. It is one of the best memories on our video! Before we left the dining room that evening, both our waiters were rewarded appreciately with nice tips from all 4 of us. We will really miss their friendly professional service, and congenial manners.
After dinner we dragged our stuffed selves upstairs to the Crooner's Lounge once again to see Bert's last show. The night before he had promised me a Bee Gees "two-fer", his expression for 2 songs from the same artist. Once he saw James and I standing in the audience, he acknowledged us and told us he's do "our song" if he could find it.. He proceeded to shuffle through reems of papers, notes and songbooks on top of his piano, interrupting his own show while he looked for the lyrics, insisting they were there, even assigning his own family members seated nearby, to search through more songbooks to find that elusive sheet of folded paper containing the lyrics to "Words" that I had e-mailed to him last week! Bert continued singing and playing other songs, all the while leafing through papers. He finally sent his daughter to his cabin to look for it, and she returned triumphantly 10 minutes later with the paper in her hand. Bert then made a very special dedication to James and Donna, and proceeded to sing "Words" so beautifully I wanted to cry. He followed that with his signature "two-fer", singing "To Love Somebody" while everyone sang along. It was just one of those magical moments of a lifetime, and I got a picture of him looking straight at me singing "Words".
Another beautiful moment in this particular set was a duet that Bert shared with his Down Syndrome sister Sarah, who had sat all week by his side, watching every show. He invited Sarah up to share the John Denver classic, â€śSunshine On My Shouldersâ€?, and while Bert played and sang, Sarah signed all the lyrics. It was a truly touching and inspiring moment.
Bert's first set went about 45 minutes overtime, as he took so many requests from the audience. When he finally took a break, James couldn't stay awake any longer, and he headed off to bed, but I was not going to miss Bert's last set, no matter how tired I was, and I did not regret that decision. By the time Bert came back for his last set, it was after midnight, and he sang until almost 1:30 a.m.. There was only a small lounge-ful of die hard fans left until the end, and all of Bert's family members who had surprised him on this cruise. I was fortunate to be able to sit and talk with one of his sisters, brother-in-law and daughters, and we were treated to the most amazingly intimate, all-request set I have ever had the privilege to enjoy. It was like sitting in Bert's living room, with all his family and friends, singing along to old favourites and really connecting musically. He dedicated songs to each of his kids, family and friends, and there was not a dry eye in the house, including Bert's! It was a completely magical evening in my eyes, and definately the highlight of my cruise!