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11/10 Ocean Princess-first impressions!
      #65567 - 11/27/01 02:23 PM (

Our first cruise was a success! We had no travel problems, luckily! We had 10 days of georgeous, warm, sunny weather! Michelle had been long gone. We did go to Nassau instead of Princess Cays, which apparently was heavily damaged from the storm. We did not get off there since it was only 4hrs and we slept late. The ship was beautiful, immaculate, and easy to get around! We had a balcony cabin which was very comfortable, slept well at night and no seasickness.
We had booked our hotel/air with Princess since it was a late booking-advantages were- check-in for ship at hotel in am, so bypassed the check-in line on ship and went directly through security and on board. On return they had a special check-in area, again bypassing main check-in at airport, which looked to be a very long line. The security line at Ft Lauderdale very long and slow.
We also booked excursions through Princess- enjoyed them all. the 5 star beach and snorkel to St John was on a large boat, crew was friendly, rum punch was tastey. Water was really warm and visibilty was unusually good! We did the Champagne reef snorkel in Dominica, which was really unique. Our favorite was the 5 star Catamaran snorkel trip in Barbados- this was 5 hrs, included open bar, a delicious lunch, and snorkeling at two different stops. They also sailed up and back down the coast. The Coche Island Tour in Margarita was average. It was 4.5hrs, but did not have food included, so we were really hungry when we got back at 2:30. The water was not very clear there, and it was really hot, but they had beach chairs and umbrellas. Then we did the Curacao snorkeling- the water was
a little rocky due to wind, but there was a sunken boat there and more fish than we have ever seen in one area before. The days at sea were really relaxing, since we may have tried to do so much.
We thought the food was excellent, especially the dinner menus. We did the PC dining, and ended up making standing reservations for 6:30pm with two couples we met from the Cruise Critic board. The breakfasts and lunch were average to good depending on where you ate. The salads in the Horizon court were great. The pizza place everyone raves about, I thought was OK. We thought the drinks were good, more reasonable than we expected. The wine-comparable to what you would pay for a bottle at a good restaurant. Our impression of the service was good, but not exceptional. Our cabin steward was probably the best. The wait staff was variable- for lunch and breakfast, they were ok, but not friendly. Our dinner waiter, Alin from Romania, was really good.
We did try to see most of the shows, though slept through a few. The comedy ones were hysterical! Lost some money in the casino. Had a great facial/massage in the spa. Bought some art. Bought our formal pictures. Renting tux on cruiselineformals was very convenient.
Overall, had a pretty perfect vacation. Definitely will cruise again. It is 16 degrees and snowy in Denver this am. I want to go Back! 22 weeks until our sailing charter back to BVI!!!

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