Our lives had been a little more than chaotic recently, so our motivation for cruising on the Caribbean Princess was to relax, a task easily accomplished. We chose a five night cruise because it fit perfectly into our schedules. We would be spending a lot of time in our stateroom, so we selected a mini suite with a balcony which turned out to be a perfect choice.
Our stateroom had a larger than average balcony with unobstructed views. It was the perfect venue for watching the world go by. We also had a 385 square foot stateroom with separate living room, two televisions and a bathroom with a full sized tub. It was well appointed and very quiet. Our room steward took very good care of us, bringing requested extra towels and bathrobes within minutes of our asking.
There are a number of dining options onboard and it’s impossible to try them all in five days, though we did our best. In the main dining rooms, there was a wide variety of appetizers and entrees to choose from. I loved that I could order the Caesar’s Salad and have the option of adding anchovies. Its special extra touches like this that separates Princess from its cruising counterparts. Presentation is everything and each plate is a work of art. It’s as nice to look at as it is to eat.
The Crown Grill, which includes selections from land and sea, and Sabatini’s, featuring Italian specialties, are the onboard eateries requiring an additional fee. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to sample Sabatini’s, but we did get have a nice evening at the Crown Grill where we both ordered New York Strip steaks and a variety of appetizers and desserts.
I also missed the Ultimate Balcony Experience which, for an additional fee, promises a champagne breakfast or gourmet dinner on your balcony. With private wait staff, and fine china and linens it can’t be beat. Only a limited number are available, so be sure to book as soon as you board. This is a wonderful option if you seek an intimate dining experience for a special occasion. You can’t beat the view!
The Horizon Court offered a variety of selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual atmosphere. The area tends to be crowded which led us to discover some of the best burgers and hotdogs you’ll find on any ship and mouthwatering pizza. We found lots of covered table’s poolside to enjoy our lunchtime treats.
If nothing else works for you, try the room service. I was amazed at the variety of selections offered – from grilled cheese sandwiches to lasagna. We ordered tuna sandwiches and fries and were surprised that everything was freshly made.
We were thrilled to see that Princess understands that you don’t always want to sit with a half dozen strangers at mealtime. For dinner, we selected the anytime dining option and getting a table for two was never problematic. We were also thrilled that tables were far enough apart that we didn’t have to listen to the conversations of everyone around us. Remember, our goal on this cruise was to relax and that didn’t include the challenge of making small talk at dinner.
One of the things that have remained the same on Princess is the high level of service and that’s a good thing. So many ships have cut staff it was a pleasure to ask for something and get it almost immediately and always with a smile.
The adult’s only pool area is a wonderful respite from the families with children in the main pool area. Need a little pampering? You can get lots of it at the oversized, onboard spa. And you can stay in shape at the large fitness center.
When the sun goes down, enjoy shows and music all around the ship.
Our experience aboard the Caribbean Princess was an absolute pleasure. I don’t think we’ll be waiting a decade before taking another Princess Cruise.