Having been on several other cruise lines with quite a few cruises under our belt my wife and I decided to try the Caribbean Princess because of it's outdoor movie theatre called "Movie under the Stars". Let me tell you, Princess got it right. My wife says I'm brutal on cruise lines but I say if you take the time to research cruise lines and pay your hard earned money you should get what you expect. Other cruise lines were not as clean as we wanted and one time we had room service bring us the strangest looking example of a "hot dog" that we have ever seen. Wouldn't do that ship again on a dare. Another ship we were on could have been it's own episode of "Fear Factor". The Caribbean Princess however, actually lived up to the hype. We stayed in a hotel near the ship the night before and took the shuttle to the ship (trick we learned early on). Getting a hotel the night before is usually cheaper than that cruise insurance and eliminates the chance of missing the sailing time. The check-in was so smooth and took about an hour. After braving those annoying mandatory photo people we embarked about noon-ish and had all afternoon to unpack, unwind and gorge ourselves. We had a balcony room - about midship (best place for the seasick crowd - less motion). The room was immaculate and at a nice ambient temperature (non arctic). Our cabin person had to be a cousin of radar-O Riley from MASH because they knew what we wanted/needed just about the same time we did. At first this ship looked like the city of Las Vegas with a Bow and a stern. As the week progressed it became more cosey (I hope thats a word) and you learned to find it's nooks and crannys. Technology is my livelyhood so I really wanted to escape it for a while and this ship allowed me to feed my relaxation deprived side while if I still needed a technology "fix" the internet room was there like an old friend. You can eat everthing you can carry (actually flavorful food - not that bland stuff). One night the waiter brought me so many crab legs I had to tell him not to bring any more. I'm 6'2" over 250 lbs and an avid scuba diver and I love good food. OK enough about the food. The show was great, especially when you think about the people dancing and jumping around on a MOVING ship. They say these shows are Las Vegas or broadway type shows. These are more Broadway than Vegas. I thought some of the Vegas shows I saw in Vegas were sorta cheesy anyway. Now we come to the thing that sets the Caribbean Princess apart from most (if not all) of the others - Movies under the stars. My wife and I called to make reservations and laid on beach chairs on the deck (the jacuzzi was open too) to watch an outdoor movie literally "Under the Stars". If you remember the Vegas billboards made of lights that can be seen day or night you have seen the technology behind this theatre. The cool air, waiters coming around with popcorn (free) and candy (not free) made it really romantic until the ladies removed their clothes in Calendar Girls. Yikes! When my eyesight returned I enjoyed the rest of the movie.
Finally! Exceeds my expectations.
Sail Date: February 01, 2006
Overall this particular ship will see my wife and me on many more cruises.
Pros: The outdoor movie theatre, the service & the fooooood.
Cons: Those annoying photo people everywhere. Take your picture???