Caribbean Princess Jan 29 - Feb 7, 2010 B2B

  • Caribbean Cruise
  • First Week of a Back 2 Back
  • January 29Th - Feb 7Th, 2010
  • Caribbean Princess
Jan 31 - Feb 14Th, 2010
(this blog will be for the first week though)
San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, VI; Dominica; Grenada; Bonaire; Aruba and back to San Juan
After a full day of flying (first class though - which never happens. lol) We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A quick cab to our hotel, Caribe Hilton, and checked in. Our room was very nice, free internet in the lobby with your laptop and all for $90 per night via After a day of traveling, we always look forward to a good night of sleep.

After a good night of sleep, we headed out for a fun day. A walk to El Hamburger for our favorite burgers (and the locals favorite) and then a walk back to the hotel via the beach. We got a view of St Christobal's Fort and walked through the National Park, very close to the hotel. Since we had never done this walk on the beach - we found it to be very nice. Even did a quick stop at the remnants of another fort.

For a very nice dinner it was off to Mortons Steakhouse. OK, we don't frequent these types of places so lets just say we were SHOCKED. The prices were extremely high. Thank goodness we had been given a $100 gift certificate. But, table for two, no alcohol, and we were still over the $100. ;) OH my. I will say it was extremely good food.
Finally it was off to the ship. The Caribbean Princess is our favorite Princess ship and we were excited to be back on her. This time though, it was an inside cabin. That's OK, I can take any cabin for 14 days of fun in the sun.
First port of Call - St. Thomas. This is one of our least favorite stops so we were not excited about this port. Plus, our ship was parked in Crown Bay versus normally at Havensight Dock. So a good 30 minute walk to town for us. We did head to town but our favorite internet shop was now $9-$10 an hour (Beans and Bytes) So we did the "vendor" shopping and then walked back to the ship. Since we would be back here on the next week of the cruise, we just hung out at our pool on board.

Next stop - Dominica. Another disappointment as we were again away from the main dock. But for the first time we were in port at the same time as the luxury liner "Oceania" was. We walked into town and used the internet but found that being out of the town - we saw a lot we had never seen before. Like the horrible sewage problems they have. And how it all drains right down to the port we were docked at and into the ocean. Disgusting. I didn't post the photos as to keep anyone from getting sick. lol But our cruise critic group did bring many collected school supplies for the local schools. I really think this island suffers. If you did not book a ship tour - lots of vendors at the dock trying to sell you their "island" tour.

Next to Port of Grenada. We had not been here in years. A shopping Mall is right at the dock so we hit up the internet there after walking around. There is also a fort called Fort George very close to the dock. It has many steps that you can climb to get to it. (see below photos) We were hit with a rain shower so we passed. But next time it will be on our "to do" list.

Next port - our highlight of the week. Yes - Bonaire. A lot like our favorite island of Aruba. Our plans were to scuba dive but we found out you had to have a course for diving at this island ($25) on top of the diving cost. But no one could get to us that day. So this will be saved for a land trip here. This island is stunning with beautiful beaches, a lot of history and amazing things to see and do. Since we now had nothing planned, we rented a vehicle and drove around the island. Very easy drive and so much to see. The salt ponds were amazing. And the history of the slaves, the places they were kept as they worked the ponds. Shocking. Then on to the beaches with wind surfing and on around the island they offered land surfing. (need 1 1/2 hours and cost $50 - 1/2 hour of training) Then on to the National Park which we found out had some awesome snorkeling that we missed out on. (again next time) and finally back in town. I do want to point out that the first photos are in town and in one Bob is standing by a time capsule that has been sealed.

Next Aruba. I have written many times on this port as it is our favorite Caribbean Island. So I will not go into as much details with all you see. But we again rented ATVs. This time I took a photo of the atv shop so everyone can take part in this awesome adventure. With George's ATVs you go on your own for the day. The cost isn't cheap at $120 per ATV plus return with full tank but worth every penny. It is about a 15 minute walk from the dock. George will give you a map, mark the highlights and let you know that off roading is just as fun as being on the main road. lol We did our normal California Light House, took the gravel/dirt roads, by the old Gold Mine, Natural Pool, Natural Bridge, Vista Church, in and out of town, National Park, sand dunes, and for the first time saw the new windmills they have put up in the National Park. Wow are they huge. See if you can find me next to the windmill in the photo. lol Then it was off for a photo stop at the red anchor (always) and then on the main road, thru town and off to Eagle Beach for a COLD dip in the ocean and then back to the ship. After a swim we drove by the Hard Rock (have to get my pin for the collection) and by the OLD Windmill that use to be a restaurant years ago when we first went there and now is part of a hotel. (time sharing) Awesome day as it is always in Aruba

With all the ports of call now accounted for (on the first week of our back 2 back cruise) now some random photos from the ship. In this first photo is just a few of the Cruise Critic group that was on the ship the first week. They were just a small part of the big school supply collection that was done for Dominica.
And of course photos from our first week of tablemates for early Traditional Dining. We shared dinner every night with Esther and Kathy (bottom photo) but the others were delayed due to weather and didn't make the dinner until Dominica. They were Jeanne, Phil, Ann and Cliff from North Carolina. Snow caused many to miss flights to the ship. (exactly why we fly in to the embarkation dock early during winter months) Well, even though most people will leave the ship, we will be staying on. So here we are back in San Juan, Puerto Rico as we drop off passengers and pick up a new group.

As always, here are many photos from around the ship. As you can see - it is awesome. Of course, being a caribbean cruise - we weren't running around to much on the inside. Other than the night entertainment in the theatre (bottom photo) we were either at the pools or at the Movie under the Stars. I was disappointed that the mini golf was taken out when they ded some remodeling of the ship. :(

And as always - the entertainment was spectacular. We did see the "broadway" type shows even though we have pretty much seen them all. (this cruise all of them from the front row lol) The first production show was "Do You Wanna Dance!" High energy and great singing and dancing. A couple days later it was Caribbean Calienta production show. Also awesome. And the last production show was "Piano Man!" All three shows were well done, great dancing and singing and very entertaining.

Princess is also known for their Champagne Fountain Party. It has always been at around midnight on a formal night so you can do a make believe "new years" party. This time it was done during dining hours. So we missed most of it. (Not that we participate anyway) But, they have the passengers pour champagne on the pyramid of glasses. Another way to sell photos. lol All good things come to an end - but not for us. We are only at the half way point. Yippee. So come back and join us as we will take you thru the second week of the trip. It is also filled with special events (Superbowl Sunday), another cruise critic group, more dining room tablemates, and great ports of call.
So not really the end - but the end of this blog!!! ;)

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