If you’ve been paying attention then you know I was recently lucky enough to team up with Princess Cruises for the second time. Having already completed a 7-day Caribbean tour with the company and loved every second of it (despite the fact that I ended up going alone – thanks Ted!) I was super psyched to be spending ten days exploring incredible destinations like Cartagena and Costa Rica with this equally incredible team.
Given the impressive list of countries, cities and islands we had the chance to experience, I can understand why some might consider this crazy but honestly? I probably enjoyed my time on-board The Coral Princess as much as my time on land. What can I say, with excursions as adventurous and tiring as the ones we consistently chose, it was nice breaking things up with a little R&R. Not only that but I’m the type of gal who could (and would) very happily spend an entire vacation poolside so having a few of those lazier days on-board to soak up the sun really made me feel as if I was getting the very best of both worlds.
Of course, it’s not like working on your tan is all you can do while on board. Princess has something for everyone including movie buffs, Shuffleboard enthusiasts and even amateur photographers looking to develop their skills. Traveling for ten days meant I got to sample a little bit of everything on offer. Read through below for a few of my favorite to-dos . . .
** I loved planning a couple of my mornings and evenings around both the sunrise and sunset – particularly when docked. Typically I’d organize something very low-key by myself (think sipping coffee on the little balcony attached to our suite and heading up to one of the top decks with a glass of rose) but we opted to have a very special breakfast delivered to our room the morning we arrived in Panama. I’m pretty sure the only thing that would have made sipping mimosas on a private balcony while slowly cruising through the Panama Canal even better would have been having my hubby with me.
** Like I said, I love my time by the pool – so much so, in fact, that I genuinely thought there was very little that could ever improve upon a few hours spent poolside. As such, I never went out of my way to visit The Sanctuary. All I have to say to that now? Silly rabbit! A little piece of heaven here on earth (or should that be sea?) this private adults-only retreat boasts ridiculously comfortable (and chic) cabanas, five-star service and menus offering everything from fresh juice to afternoon tea – think cucumber sandwiches and shortbread cookies. In short, I’m still dreaming about this place.
** I’ve got four words for you; Movies. Under. The. Stars. (Ted, can we please, please, do a freakin’ cruise together already?)
** If you’re a foodie then you’re seriously going to love your time with Princess. I tried every single restaurant on-board The Coral Princess, ate everything from gumbo to tuna carpaccio and never once had so much as a bad bite – I’m now pretty sure that’s entirely impossible. If there’s one treat anyone who likes to eat (for the good of my sanity I’m going to assume this is every human ever) shouldn’t miss then I’d have to say it’s The Chef’s Table. More than a meal, this is an experience and you’d be wise to save room for it. You’ll start the night with a tour of the Galley Kitchen plus a champagne soaked “meet and greet” with everyone from the Executive Chef (Jeremy Snowden) to the Maitre D’Hotel (Carlos Da Rosa) which is 1. way more interesting and 2. way more fun than you think it’s going to be. After that, you’ll eat a selection of treats made just for you (this is the Chef’s chance to go wild and he does) before sitting down to approximately eight courses boasting lobster, filet mignon and wine pairings. Truly, I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this level of pampering – nor do I want to.
** Speaking of a good pampering-sesh, you have to visit the Lotus Spa while on board. Everyone in our group raved about their individual experiences and personally, I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible my two-hour Swedish massage felt – it’s quite possible I floated out of that room. (Tip: Wanting to return home as relaxed as humanly possible, I saved my massage until the end of our trip but if you’re a little less on top of the whole SPF thing then you may want to do this first – no one wants sunburned skin oiled up and rubbed down)
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