This review is my own personal experience... if you would like more information about cruising check out my Facebook Fan Page Cruising-Princess-Cruiseline-with-Vickie where knowledgeable cruisers share their experiences.
We met Fran and Curt a few years ago on the Emerald Princess and we found out thru Cruisecritic that we would be sailing together again. For sailaway from Labadee they invited us to their cabin for some wine and cheese.
We were scheduled to sailaway at 5 pm as per our itinerary and we headed to their cabin at 4:30 but as soon as we went out on the deck we were pulling away. A half hour early, I guess cause everyone is on board they left, but a half hour early?
Fran and Curt were gracious hosts, we loved the wine and cheese and we had some good laughs. Ultimately this is what cruising is all about, those gatherings with other cruisers over a glass of wine, a coffee, a meal, getting to know about them and sharing your day. Thank you both for a lovely evening.
Before dinner we went to our new favorite lounge "Schooners" it is up on deck 6 and you can look down on the Promenade and people watch. I ordered a lemon drop martini, very good but a bit too sweet for me, but somehow I managed to drink it.
Tonight we have reservations at Chops for 6:30, the key for us is to ensure we get a quieter table. When we arrive we request a table outside as it is quieter but are told it is already filled with too many tables for the waiter. I am confused as there are only two tables occupied out there and I am like okay but this is the second time we have been told "no" and I am disappointed. She does direct us to a nice table though. We are given a table for two beside the window with a two top table beside us on each side, but it is quieter. We can actually chat, but I know the tables in the middle or at the back wall are having trouble hearing each other.
The place is packed and you can see and experience how the waiters are run off their feet. We get a bottle of wine from our wine package (Castle Rock) and again they use the aerator and let us know we can buy it if we want.
I get the spicy tuna for an appetizer and Bernie gets the goat cheese souffle both were amazing a definite 10 out of 10. And both are beautifully presented. Oh I should add the bread they served was yummy too.
Then Bernie got their signature salad and I got the french onion soup, both were good but prefer Princess' french onion soup, but these were good a 7 out of 10.
For our main entree I get the petite fillet mignon and it is cooked perfectly. Bernie got the veal chop and he loved it too. The sides are served family style and we get what was recommended, the roasted potatoes, green beans and also mushrooms, all were done top notch - amazing. They also come along with sauces for the steak which I loved as I enjoy Bearnaise sauce with my steak and normally I have to ask for this extra but at Chops they come by and offer you a variety of sauces. But I do miss the different salts that are served with Steaks at the Crown grill, but certainly not a deal breaker. I felt the main dish and all the food served were the some of the best meals we have had on board.
For dessert I had the mud pie which was well damn good. Bernie got the red velvet cake. Both pieces were huge -- actually too big and neither of us could finish them. The red velvet cake was good but it taste exactly like the red velvet cupcakes served at the cupcake store right down to the icing.
We are stuffed but content - a great meal and the service was better tonight. Even though a tip is not necessary as you already tip thru your pre paid gratuities we tip extra tonight.
We then went to the Schooner Bar to play some Beatles Trivia, we joined another couple and had some fun, but didn't win. But I have to say the prizes here on RCI are much better than many we have gotten on Princess. I played the Sudoku challenge earlier and even though I didn't win I got a key chain. But we do notice there are not a lot of these games/challenges. There is only one general trivia a day and each evening a themed trivia like the Beatles one. They don't seem well attended and often it is hard to participate as the sounds elsewhere around us make it hard to hear anything. They only had one Sudoku challenge the whole cruise - sad for me as this is one of my favorites.
We head back to the cabin and we are happy as we finally had to leave a note for our steward asking for three towels every day please and some moisturizer, and we were provided with both. I am not sure if I mentioned but yesterday we got a chocolate on the pillow and a towel animal. I later find out that they only provide a chocolate and towel animal on formal nights -- odd and certainly not a deal breaker but it is all these little things that add up to make the experience better.