January 30th, 2024


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Written by: rscott

A Warm Review

We recently returned from a 7-day adventure on the Caribbean Princess. The ship and the excursions were exceptional – and I will get to that in a moment, but what really made a difference in our experience were the people. Princess takes customer service seriously. “Princess takes pride in offering family-friendly vacations, with an array of experiences that offer something for everyone while also enjoying special moments that offer quality time together,” said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. “We eliminate the need to pack and unpack multiple times, check into multiple hotels and make other arrangements, providing a stress-free vacation – all at an excellent value compared to land-based vacations.

From the moment we entered the Ft. Lauderdale cruise port, we were greeted with genuine welcome and enthusiasm. Even while going through the check-in process and waiting for our group number to be called to enter the ship, the employees were all smiles and made us feel comfortable. This is important because the cruise check-in process can be busy and overwhelming for those cruising for the first time or with a large family in tow. I felt like it was a well-organized process and while it was busy, it was not stressful. Important for a start to a relaxing vacation!

After entering the ship, we were off to find lunch and our staterooms. The rooms were ready by the promised time, and we found our luggage there and ready to unpack for the voyage. Our room steward, Rodney, was a tremendous help and made an enormous difference in the week. Whenever we returned from our room, he had quickly managed to transform it back into picture perfect shape. Our room had a balcony and we spent much of our in-room time enjoying the ocean views. While you may be tempted to save money and opt for a non-balcony room, I don’t advise it. If possible, get a balcony. You have already spent the money for the cruise. A little more will upgrade you to the balcony and unlimited peaceful views of the sea and surroundings. It’s your own personal space. When we woke up, the first thing we would do is head to the balcony to take in the sunrise and view.

As a mom of boys, I’m used to the constant question of “what do we have to eat?”. Let me assure you, you do not hear that on a cruise ship. Unlike a traditional vacation on land where you still need to cook or go out for food, on a cruise, food is literally available all the time There are several restaurants and bars available throughout the ship. We were not disappointed in the food selections. Executive Chef, Daniel Tanchev and Oscar Perego, Director of Restaurant Operations, have done an outstanding job of ensuring that the food selections and service are both incredible. While there are burgers and pizza available ala carte, a buffet is also available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Throughout the day, you can also enjoy drinks, coffee and gelato throughout the ship. At dinner, most opt for one of the three main dining rooms where waitstaff not only know your names but by day number two, they also anticipate what you would like to drink and often have it ready before you even sit down. Our waitstaff Ciltroy and Cedrick were fun and friendly and made our evening meals even more special. Princess additionally offers other specialty dining experiences such as the Chef’s table and the Crown Grille.

On the ship, my family enjoyed the pools and movies on the outdoor screen, along with basking in the warm sunshine (Ohio can be downright dreary this time of year!). My teen had to be convinced to check out the teen hangout area, but he was happy that he did. He ended up meeting a whole new group of friends and when on board, he and his new friends were always together. It’s one of the highlights of the trip for my son. I find meeting new friends one of the most special things about traveling.

While the family was enjoying the activities on board, I found my way to the Lotus Spa for a relaxing massage. It was an incredible experience and a special treat. The spa has a vast number of experiences available from hair salon to a variety of health and wellness services. If you are wanting to use your cruise to jump-start or continue your own health and wellness journey, then you will want to check out the many options the spa offers.

Our itinerary included four ports – Princess Cays, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. If you asked my family for a favorite, we can’t give you one. What I can say is that we equally loved each one. They were wonderfully different and unique and offered their own flair. We chose a different type of excursion in each port which allowed us to experience that area’s uniqueness.

Princess Cays, Bahamas

The beach was impeccably clean and relaxing. Set on 40 acres, our port of call offered over a half-mile of fine-sand beaches. It was perfect for swimming and, as in our case, an afternoon of snorkeling. I spent much of my time with my toes in the water as I enjoyed the gentle splashing of the waves as I took in the beautiful scenery.

Ochos Rios, Jamaica

After boarding our bus, we headed to a botanical garden where we enjoyed the beautiful plants and trees native to Jamaica, then we were off to a shopping area before arriving at the main attraction – Dunn’s River Falls. We donned our swim shoes and climbed these famous beautiful falls. It was a fun and full afternoon and was an amazing experience.

Grand Cayman

The port at Grand Cayman is clean and beautiful with enough shops and restaurants to keep you busy! We enjoyed a great morning there exploring before heading off on our excursion to snorkel the USS Kittiwake. She is an ex-US Navy Submarine Rescue Vessel and was sunk on January 5th, 2011 in Grand Cayman. We then went to a coral reef and snorkeled where we saw a variety of colorful fish and even a couple of barracudas! Definitely a must for those who enjoy snorkeling. A side note, Grand Cayman is wealthy and the area reflets it; however, it was a fun sight to see a random mama hen tooling about town with her little ones following.


Colorful and fun, Cozumel was an exciting destination. We loved the many shops, restaurants, street entertainment and more. We could have spent an entire day just visiting all the port had to offer; however, we headed off to a private island excursion, Isla Passion, where I could have stayed forever. Even the catamaran ride was an experience in of itself. The island lived up to its name paradise – fine powder sand and coconut trees. It featured a few island shops, along with an authentic Mexican buffet and an open bar featuring rum punch and margaritas. There was even a fun tequila tasting area.

Our excursions were through Princess and the guides were exceptional. Getting an excursion through the cruise line offers peace of mind as you don’t have to worry about returning before the boat sails. I appreciated being able to simply enjoy and not have to worry about anything. I did not want to worry about something as important as being back before the ship sailed. You will want to pick out excursions that you and your own family are interested in; however, I wanted to give you a sneak peak at our experiences simply to help you gain insight as to why excursions can be an important part of your cruise experience.

If you are thinking of a cruise, I encourage you to consider Princess. Time is precious, they will help you make the most of your vacation – something that most of us don’t get enough of.

Visit princess.com for a full list of itineraries.

Happy Sailing!

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