On Sunday, July 15, we woke up at
about 3:00am to catch a 6:00am flight at O'Hare Airport.
Our flight was wonderful with no problems, and we really
enjoyed the MD-80 we flew on. We
arrived at Fort Lauderdale right on time, and met with the
Princess airport transfer person. While
waiting just a short time to get on the bus for Port Everglades,
we overheard a couple talking to the Princess transfer person.
All 3 of their checked bags were lost by the airlines!
We felt so bad for them! Unfortunately,
we don't know what happened to them or their bags.
That is always a terrible fear for all of us!
We arrived at Port Everglades
around noon. Waited in a
quick line, and embarked the ship within an hour.
We walked passed the first photo opportunity on the
gangway. I didn't feel like
it because I was hot and had been through it before.
(That wouldn't be a pic I would want to purchase.
By then, all makeup was worn off anyway.)
We dropped off our carry-on
luggage in our room on the Dolphin Deck.
Our room number was D218. It
was nice, just as we expected. We
had the same room last year. We
were greeted by our room steward, Restituto, or Rusty, as he liked
to be called. I don't think
he ever slept. He was great
and welcomed us back on board after checking our cruise card and
noticing it was gold. (I
felt so special!) He gave
us our champagne and we checked out the room.
I noticed that our itinerary had COMPLETELY changed.
It really was not a big deal, but I was only expecting one port
change. Had to make some adjustments to my own schedule that I
brought with. Like to write down the ports, places to shop, things
to see, etc. I am an organizational freak. Mike, my hubby, has
learned to ignore my OCD. After a few changes to the schedule, we
went off to eat lunch. We had our lunch at the buffet. Not totally
impressive, but I love their soups!
lunch, we stopped back at the room, to check our luggage. It was
all there! We unpacked some items, and got ready for the muster
drill. Our muster station was in the Caribbean Princess Theatre.
It was a lot of fun watching the entire theatre turn orange while
trying on our lifejackets. After the drill, we partied on the
deck and enjoyed the sail away party. We went to dinner at our
traditional dining time, 6:00pm in the Palm dining room. If you
have never been on the ship before, you could have been confused
about how to get to this dining room. You have to walk to the end
of the ship and take ONLY the far left or right elevator. After
this navigation, the dining room is right off of the elevator.
was great. Our waiter Alex was very professional, and we hoped to
loosen him up by the end of the week. We sat next to a great
couple the whole cruise! Nate and Angie were on their honeymoon
and booked the 14 day itinerary. This was their 8th day on the
ship, and we really enjoyed their company. Coincidentally, they
are from Illinois as well! But it gets better! We hung out
together every night. They ended up taking the same flight home
with us! We couldn't have planned better coincidences. Anyway,
we went back to our room after dinner, and went to bed. We
July 16th. We woke up early for a 7am breakfast. One of our only
breakfasts in the dining room during the whole cruise. We couldn't
wake up in time and had to eat at the morning buffet. I had an
8:00am pedicure appointment at the Lotus Spa. I love how I am
treated there. I felt like a queen after my foot massage, and
bought some oil for my feet. I guess I got sucked into it, but it
was the only thing I bought at the Spa. We took care of odds and
ends this day. We booked our next cruise through the future cruise
booking center. We will sail July 19, 2008 on the Caribbean
Princess out of New York, and enjoy the Caribbean. It is a 9 day
cruise, and we would like to stay a few days to enjoy New York. We
are so excited, and can't wait to spend our shipboard credits! We
also visited the Captain's Circle Membership desk, and didn't find
the woman to be that friendly. There was a long line behind us and
she seemed preoccupied by it. I took my new Caribbean stamp to put
in my Princess Passport book, and we were off. Sorry to have
bothered her during a busy time.
visited Princess Cays today, and enjoyed one of our only sunny
days. I laid in the sun, and Mike played a ton of beach
volleyball. If you have never visited Princess Cays there are many
tips I could give:
you plan on swimming, bring water shoes. The rocks/coral could
cut up your feet in a second.
can NOT use your Coke card on the island. You must pay for all
drinks except water and iced tea.
you rented a beach cabana, DO NOT wait in the rental line. You
could wait up to 20 minutes and they will just tell you what
I'm about to say: Walk around the beach, and simply choose a
cabana that hasn't been put together yet. Find a staff member
to assemble it for you. They wear Princess Cays shirts. I
believe they are yellow. You simply hand him your beach cabana
ticket, and they are off to help others.
you are interested in playing basketball on the island, you
will be disappointed. When we visited the island last year,
the basketball and the net were stolen by the locals. This
year, they had a net! My husband got really excited. However,
the ball was deflated and no one had a pump. He was stuck
playing sand volleyball.
the end of the day, there's no more water in the coolers
around the island. Solution: Flip the top of the cooler open,
and take a cup full of ice. It melts in no time, and is just
you want to be a cheap skate, take this advice: Bring your
camera on the island. You will not be sorry you did. When you
pass over the bridge for the rental station, stop and have
someone take a picture with you and the ship in the
background. You are being a cheap skate, because early in the
day, Princess photographers offer to take the same picture
that you would pay big bucks for on the ship. Take this
picture at the end of the day when the Princess photographer
is gone. This way, you will not be wasting their time. This
picture is one of my favorites from our trip!
July 17. Today begins our first few days of rain, rain, and more
rain. Today was not a good day for me. The storms, 8 foot waves,
and choppiness contributed to my terrible bout of sea sickness. I
visited the doctor today to get medicine. I didn't eat all day,
and slept almost all day and night. I was dead to the world.
July 18. St. Thomas, USVI--I was so excited today because I felt
much better when I woke up. After going through customs, and
watching someone get grilled about their credentials, we decided
to check out St. Thomas. I thought I would enjoy this island more,
but I didn't. The shopping deals were not as great as everyone
boasted about. I tossed around buying either a Coach purse, a
Tiffany bracelet, or a Cache dress. I picked the Coach purse and
did not regret it. After pushy salespersons, and observing poverty
stricken people and buildings, I was ready to get back on the
ship. However, all I was looking forward to was Magens Bay Beach.
We really enjoyed the softness of the sand. This beach is now on
National Registry. I thought it was gorgeous and will return to it
when our ship stops in St. Thomas next year. However, I have many
cons about this beach. These are:
pay for admission into the beach. Where does this money go
towards? The bathrooms are atrocious. I was disgusted,
but when you have to go...
the line for food was approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes
long. I am not exaggerating!
waited in line for food for about 15 minutes when a family in
front of us started talking to us. We laughed and discussed what
we would change if we worked there. They were so nice. You won't
believe what they did! They gave us their food! They told us that
a couple who had to catch a bus to their cruise ship didn't have
time to eat their food, so they gave their gyros to this family.
The kids had never eaten gyros before, and would rather wait in
the long line then eat food they'd never tried before. Voila! FREE
FOOD! We were so thankful! On the way back to the ship, we took
some really great pictures.
July 19. St. Maarten--Rain, rain, and more rain! It rained, so we
slept in late hoping it would pass. It didn't, so we ventured out.
We loved this island. The people were friendly, and it was
beautiful. Wish it wasn't raining. We were hoping to go to the
beach. We went back to the ship for a late lunch. We were nervous
about eating out and after our food experience yesterday, we
didn't want to take any chances. After dinner and shows, we
ventured up to Skywalkers Nightclub. This is the place that gets
me through hard days at work. I think about the entrance to the
club. This includes a moving walkway with amazing views of
the ocean and ship on each side. Once you are up there, the dance
floor is always hopping, and the views of the ocean are amazing.
While sitting at a table, you look straight down into the wake the
ship is leaving behind. Truly amazing. Anyway, we met a lot of
great friends that we saw and partied with each night.
July 20. At sea--More and more and more RAIN! UGH! We made the
best of these rain days, but it did not bode well for my fading,
beautiful tan. Mike played in the basketball shootout, but did not
place for a medal. He had fun anyway. It was nerve racking up
there, though. The court is at the very top of the ship. It was
getting more and more windy as the shootout was still going on. I
thought I was going to get blown off the ship by the gusty winds
and occasional rain. By the end of the shootout, I was ready to go
back to the room to hold onto something sturdy. Tonight was formal
night, and we enjoyed the Princess Circle Captain's cocktail
party. We really enjoyed ourselves. They announced the most
traveled person on Princess Cruise lines. The winner actually
surpassed the captain by 8 days at sea. He didn't want to admit it
because of his pride. However, we knew we were in good hands with
Captain Giuseppe Romano. We made our 6:00 dinner seating with our
favorite couple and saw some great shows together. We saw Carl
Strong, a funny comedian who made up some of his acts as he went
along. But, you couldn't tell. He had us rolling on the floor! We
also enjoyed the hypnotist act. It definitely didn't look like it
was staged. We really laughed our butts off with him. We also saw
Bert Stratton. He's entertaining, but I can only sit through one
full show. The Elvis impersonation is annoying, since I'm not a
huge fan. We partied the night away at the nightclub this night as
July 21. At sea--A partly sunny day? We were feeling pretty
excited when we woke up this day. Finally, good weather! We got up
mid morning to search for deck loungers. After a terrible argument
with an entire family, we finally settled into our stolen deck
chairs. Oh, come on! Their family told us they were eating lunch.
How dare we steal their chairs? Oh well, we were just at the
buffet, and it took us 45 minutes to get through the line and sit
down to eat. Did I do the wrong thing? Who knows. Saving a deck
lounger for someone who doesn't come back is a little weird. After
making this family mad for 1 hour, we got up and left. They were
glad to see us go. Today was also the final Survivor challenge.
Mike seemed to have made his way into this competition. I was
hoping for some awesome prizes in the end. After beating out a
bunch of people, he finished number 5 out of six final people. He
won a Princess reversible bag, a bracelet, a hat, a lanyard, and a
bottle of champagne! I love my husband! He knows how to make me
happy. Free stuff! We split the bottle of champagne with Angie and
Nate at dinner that night. We saw the final show in the Princess
Theatre. The juggler was a disappointment, and Ms. Fox, the
singer, seemed a little too full of herself to perform to an
audience. The ending act was Carl Strong, and he was worth waiting
for. He was a knee-slapper all night. He went out in the audience
and made jokes about/with the people. It was great! Our awesome
cruise was coming to an end, but we were looking forward to
spending time with Angie and Nate at t he airport. I really
dislike packing my luggage before dinner the last night of the
cruise. How sad.
July 22. Disembarkation at Port Everglades, Florida was a breeze
and we were at the airport around 11:30. Our flight was at 5:25pm.
We sat at the airport all day, and had lunch with Angie and Nate
at Chili's. If they weren't there, I think Mike and I would have
been so bored! Could you believe while we were waiting for our
flight, a terrible thunder/lightning storm came through and
delayed some flights? This weather was following us! Our flight
was only 20 minutes late even after the storm.
really love the Caribbean Princess and will be taking our 3rd
cruise on this same ship next year. We are counting down the days
until the next cruise. There are some changes that could be done
on the ship. A few things I would like to see change on the
bathroom tiles in our room show a lot of wear. I think the
clothesline above the tub causes this to happen. Perhaps they
could move this line directly over the shower.
other free drinks besides water and iced tea. Perhaps
lemonade, or even sodas. I don't think they would go bankrupt
if they gave away soda at meal times. They made a pretty penny
off our bar bill, and it didn't even include soda.
the buffet time on Princess Cays Island. I know they bring
everything off the ship, but they should extend this time.
Also, they should refill the water containers on the island as
well. The bars close at an early time, so you can't even get a
water if you wanted.
they could fix the basketball situation on Princess Cays as
were doing some work 2 decks below us at 8:00 one morning. They
were hammering and drilling, and no one warned us of this
situation. The front desk was VERY apologetic. They were pretty
embarrassed by the maintenance crew and assured us it wouldn't
happen again. I told them a simple warning would have been just
fine with me. If I was expecting the ruckus, I would have been
more accepting of the situation. I do like seeing the upkeep of
the ship. They were constantly fixing and cleaning things. I
like seeing that.
in all, we had an absolutely wonderful time.
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