Just a few weeks ago I was swimming in sparkling turquoise waters and laying on powder soft beaches in the Caribbean with a coconut mojito in both hands.
I’m currently doing laundry on a Friday night with Bridgerton Season 2 streaming in the background, so you see; a lot can change in a couple of weeks.
But let’s go back friends. Let’s go back to when I embarked on a lovely 7-Day-Western Caribbean Cruise aboard Caribbean Princess — one of the 15 ships in the Princess Fleet.
This was my second sailing with Princess Cruises since their return to service last summer. Cruising post Covid is a little different but I’m happy to update you with some health protocols that are now in play aboard Princess Ships. Definitely bookmark this post if you’re interested in booking a Princess Cruise. It’s such a quick and easy vacation package with all the heavy lifting done for you. But what I’ve come to learn is the best way to book a cruise to get your money’s worth is actually while on board a Princess Cruise. The perks of cruising are endless.
BEFORE YOU CRUISE
Before embarking I had to provide proof of vaccination which required being fully vaccinated 2 weeks prior to the sail date. I also had to provide a negative covid test within 72 hours of the sail date.
You’re also required to fill out an online health questionnaire 24 hours prior to embarking. If anyone shows symptoms or is identified as high risk is referred to additional screen ing prior to boarding. Secondary screening and health checks throughout the cruise is will be done when necessary. I was impressed also with the ability to do contact tracing if anyone were to test positive on board.
Because CDC recommendations may change, the Princess’ Health Care Protocols are subject to change due to global conditions and circumstances with the virus. It’s good to regularly check their site for updates which they do regularly.
WHILE ON BOARD
Wearing a mask while on board was an obvious and biggest change to sailing culture but so easy to adopt. Wearing a mask and physical distancing is now recommended in most areas but required when in line to embark/disembark the ship.
Hand washing and sanitizing stations are located at the entrances of venues and high trafficked areas all dining areas. It’s required to wash or sanitize your hands prior to entering any dining area and a helpful Princess Crew member stands by to monitor the flow of traffic and offer gentle reminders when necessary.
PRINCESS CAYS, BAHAMAS
The first port of this trip was to Princess Cays, Bahamas. Princess Cays, a private island resort which allows you to keep the MedallionClass treatment on-shore.
Fully equipped with MedallionNet, I could have easily stayed in touch for work if I wanted to but that was a BIG “if.” We had a full day of swimming with stingrays, riding banana boats and lounging under cabanas ahead after all.
Days at sea are meant for sleeping in, hitting the gym, eating all the food, drinking all the drinks, lounging by the pool, treatments at the spa, being entertained in the Princess Theatre and twirling the night away at SkyWalkers.
There is seriously not enough sea days to explore everything around the ship but you should definitely try.
I suggest taking one sea day to explore and one to rest and take it easy. Pace yourself, you are on vacation after all! I always enjoy getting to know the crew while on board on sea days. They are your inside scoop on the best spots on board and who makes the best Pina Coladas.
OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA
Ocho Rios has to be one of my favorite port days! We had the best time!
After disembarking we headed to our excursion that we booked through Princess Cruises at Mystic Mountain Adventure.
It’s so easy to plan out your port days with the best vacation planners. They take care of everything and you just have to show and and have an amazing time!
We took an aerial chairlift through the jungle and up a mountain where we saw the most amazing views of Caribbean Princess docked. We rode rode some fun rides like a Jamaican bobsled through the jungle and a ragamuffin. We had a quick bite to eat there before heading to Dunn River Falls where we hiked up 600 foot waterfall.
THIS WAS AMAZING! It was so thrilling and one of the best things I could have ever done. I get a little adventurous on vacation and we had the best guides helping us along the way. 10 out of 10, would recommend.
We grabbed some Jamaican beef patties on our way back to the ship where we ended up having the most amazing dining experience at the Chef’s Table. The Chef’s Table is an exclusive multi-course dinner created and hosted by the ship’s executive chef for 10 guests. It would be a perfect way to for celebrate an anniversary or milestone, or just making your cruise vacation even more amazing which I totally recommend. It was a spectacle in every sense of the word and I loved it. Limited space is available so make sure to ask for it as soon as you board on day 1.
Our time in Cozumel was jammed packed and we made the most of being in this beautiful town. Our excursion didn’t start until 1pm so we had some time to explore on our own.
We hopped off the ship with a tap of our OceanMedallion (it’s your ID, credit card and opens your stateroom sans hands) and we were off in a taxi headed to a tequila tour.
At the the tour we were welcomed with a fresh palomas, made and ate handmade chocolates and tortillas just like the ancient Mayan people did. We then got to learn the art of making tequila and sampled over 10 different organic tequilas!
Let me tell you it was the best dang tequila I ever had. No sting or burn and so so smooth. We left with 3 bottles each!
After the tour our driver drove us to a pretty beach club to snap some pictures before grabbing some authentic street tacos on our way back to the port to start our excursion. We did this all before noon!
A champagne catamaran swim and snorkel was the perfect way to end the day. Honestly, any champagne catamaran situation is going to be my favorite kind of excursion.
I opted out of snorkeling but I did have the champgafn and a swim. Jumping off a catamaran is a love language for me. I even attempted to paddle board which was so much fun and I’m determined to practice so the next time I won’t be so wobbly.
And just like that it was time to leave. Time flies when you’re having fun is a major understatement.
Please don’t hesitate on asking me any questions about my cruise of if you’re considering one for a family vacation or girls’ trip. I hope what I share shows you that you can be safe and have an awesome time aboard a Princess Cruise ship. If you want to see more of my time on this cruise head to my Instagram Story Highlight to watch it all go down.