Are you dreaming of a Caribbean cruise vacation? A trip on the Caribbean Princess may be just what your family needs. Whether your trip includes everyone from grandparents and extended family to just you and a kid or two, a Princess Caribbean cruise has all of the amenities for a great family-friendly cruise vacation. What makes it stand out? Here are five ways Caribbean Princess is a great cruise for your crowd.
1. Caribbean Princess is the Perfect Sized Ship
Nothing is more intimidating or limiting than a ship that’s the wrong size for your group. Caribbean Princess can house over 3600 people. This Princess ship is the perfect size to keep your crew entertained without being so small it’s boring. I spent time on board with two older teen boys. We were all able to walk around the ship and find places and activities that entertained us very easily. A great thing about taking teens on a cruise is the ability to let them freely wander the ship. You know they are safe on board and they appreciate some freedom from mom and dad.
2. A Princess Caribbean Cruise Includes a Variety Of Scenic Stops
Part of the fun of cruising is the stops you make. During my family’s trip, the Caribbean Princess stopped in Princess Cays Bahamas, St.Thomas, and St. Maarten. One of the excursions also allowed a visit to St. John, so passenger options were varied. Between the excursions and several days at sea, we had an array of scenery to enjoy throughout the voyage. It was nice to experience some time on the ship as well as off, so no one got cabin fever or felt like they had no time to enjoy the ship’s offerings.
This ship leaves out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturdays, and offers two different itineraries on alternating weeks. The first, is the one my family experienced- Princess Cays Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. The second goes to Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. Both itineraries are a week long.
You can select the itinerary that you’re most interested in for your crew, and then personalize it further with great activities and excursions that suit your personalities. We liked the fun and relaxing options on the itinerary we chose and would highly recommend those islands for families. Sun, sand, and entertaining water activities? Yes, please!
Found a Caribbean Island that you love and looking for a place to stay? Check out our picks for the best baby-friendly all-inclusive resorts for families.
3. The Ship Offers Excursions For All Abilities and Interests
Stopping at a Caribbean Island is fun! If you choose to get off and explore, it’s nice to have a variety of excursion options to pick from. Caribbean Princess offers options for all levels of abilities and interests. Families can choose to stay together the whole time or some split off and tackle thrilling adventures or slow down and even take in some education. Interesting choices included:
- An afternoon at the beach
- Air conditioned island tours
- Zip lining and adventure courses
- Catamaran and snorkeling trips
- Pirate’s Treasure Museum visit
A Caribbean Princess cruise offers options that fit both your interest and ability levels, as well as your budget. You’re also free to stay on the ship or get off to shop or explore on your own. We chose activities that kept us together at each stop and we were well entertained until it was time to reboard.
Is this your first cruise? Read these cruise tips before you book your trip.
4. Luxurious and Fun Amenities on Caribbean Princess
The amenities on all Princess Cruise ships are comparable to those you’d find at a luxury resort. The good thing about being on Caribbean Princess rather than at a resort is that you’re not trapped at one destination. You get to explore a little bit of a whole bunch of places. This is a great way to get a sampling of the Caribbean and discover which places you want to visit at a later date. Some of the onboard activities and amenities include:
- A courteous and attentive ship staff
- Well-appointed rooms with a variety of floor plans
- Plenty of dining and drinking options with attention to special diets
- Top shelf entertainment
- A variety of pools, slides and splash choices
- Kid and teen camp
- Kid’s pool & new splash zone water play area
- Table tennis
- Huge lawn games
- A skydeck basketball court
- A casino
- A luxurious spa
Bottom line: There are plenty of ways to occupy your day on a Caribbean Princess Cruise. My boys especially liked the basketball court, where you can also play dodge ball or other games. They spent a lot of time shooting the ball around by themselves or with others when they got the chance.
Need help packing? Check out our tips for carry-on only travel with kids.
5. Top Notch Dining and Drinks
The dining and drinking options on board are also nothing to sneeze at. No one on the Caribbean Princess should go to bed hungry. There are food and drink choices on board to satisfy you whether you’re in the mood for a little treat or you’re starving and ready for a big meal.
One of the best things about vacationing on a large cruise ship is the ease of dining, and sheer variety of options. You can choose to have a designated time and seating selection in one of their dining rooms for dinner if you want – or not. Some people prefer to sit with the same folks each night for dinner, and eat at the same time each night. Others like flexibility. It’s great to have options.
Besides the main dining rooms where you can get a formal dinner complete with cocktails, wine, and beer, you may also reserve time to eat at one of the on-board specialty restaurants for a small cover charge. These venues are smaller with specific cuisine offerings. The Crown Grill is the ship’s popular (and tasty) American steakhouse, while Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria will make you feel like you’ve run off to Italy for a night. Planks BBQ and Steamers Seafood deliver a more casual experience yet still break up the dining choices and add a little fun to the mix.
We loved the food in the dining room, and the service was impeccable. Even my teen boys were impressed and enjoyed having some upscale cuisine for a change. It was nice to see them dressed up and I really enjoyed dining out with them.
Rest assured the ship also comes through with quick and easy options where you can grab a slice of pizza, try their burgers, enjoy a variety of coffee options, pick a treat, or get an ice cream cone. You can even enjoy 24-hour complimentary in-room dining if you prefer a night in. Food on board the ship is plentiful and delicious!
6. Medallion Class Sailing on Princess Cruises
Princess Cruise Line offers Medallion Class ships. These ships offer passengers a complimentary medallion before boarding which delivers the ultimate in convenience throughout your entire voyage.
This allows you to do incredibly helpful things like:
- Check on and off of the ship quickly and easily when in port.
- Unlock your room by simply approaching the door.
- Order drinks right from your mobile device to be delivered to your exact location onboard.
- Play fun and interactive games on your device or on the screens located around the ship
- Locate your shipmates on the boat when you need to or chat with your shipmates (“Mom said come back to the room to get ready”, or “Let’s meet at the pool” for example).
- Special programming on your stateroom TV or other locations on board.
- Play casino games from the comfort of anywhere on the boat
- Get directions to any destination on the ship.
One of the best perks of the Medallion Class is their on-board Wi-Fi. Teens rejoice when you can instantly Instagram that photo or Snapchat your best bud when you want to. Adults can keep up with folks back home and ensure emails are up to date. As much as it’s great to unplug for a while on vacation, it’s also nice to have the option to connect if you truly want to.
With all the great things going for it, it’s no wonder Caribbean Princess is a super choice for families looking to try a cruise for the first time. Are you ready to book an adventure for your crowd?
Disclosure: I was hosted on the Caribbean Princess with my sons as part of a press trip to facilitate this article. No other compensation was offered and the opinions are my own.
Lead image by: Sharon Rigney