Fifth cruise, first on Princess and we were celebrating our honeymoon. We were looking for a Grand-class ship on a 10-day eastern itinerary. We are in the 40-50 age group and previously sailed Carnival. All of the fellow cruisers we spoke to were very friendly, courteous, and seasoned cruisers/travelers. We did not have any negative experiences on this cruise. Very few children and teenagers and those we did see were extremely well behaved.Hotel: Arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. Stayed at Riverside Hotel for $90 off Priceline. This hotel does not have an airport transfer but we had family in town who were transporting us from the airport and to the cruise terminal Sunday.Embarkation: Arrived around noon and in our cabin by 12:30pm. Easiest boarding processing I have experienced. First time cruising out of Fort Lauderdale. Previously out of Miami and Tampa.Cabin: Thanks to Cruise Critic members for recommending aft BB cabin C752. Had an aft on prior Carnival Legend cruise and we are hooked. Cabin is very private with a separate hallway. The balcony is unbelievable. Did not hear anything from suite next door or cabins above or below. There is a speaker on the balcony but it was not an issue. You could feel vibration of thrusters as you entered port but that is part of the experience.Ship: Star is beautiful and the flow seemed to work very well. Very clean as well. Having an aft balcony, it was convenient to use the rear elevator bank to quickly access the Horizon Buffet and aft pool. Loved the Piazza and the flow of entertainment areas on decks 5, 6 and 7. I understand the ship was not at full capacity but it never felt crowded. Sea days you did need to get a spot at the pool early but we liked to wait until lunch time and had no problem finding a spot. The pools were large, clean, and nicely layed out.Dining: This is subjective but I found the selections on Princess to be very appealing and plentiful compared to Carnival. We had Anytime Dining and only one night (2nd formal night) did we wait five minutes for a table for two, eating around 6:30-7:30pm in Capri. The selections in the dining room were attractive, service was quick, and I don't think we were ever in there over an hour. Did not utilize room service or the specialty restaurants. The English pub lunch in Crown Grill on the two sea days was very good. Overall Princess does offer more seafood selections on the buffet as well as in the dining room. My DH did miss the deli that Carnival offers but there were similar options on the buffet a few days. And the International Cafe offers pre-made sandwiches which looked enticing as well as side salads and incredible desserts. We loved the grill as well as the pizza. Princess pizza is better than Carnival.Entertainment: We enjoyed the entertainment in the Piazza as well as Explorer's Lounge. We also saw the Stardust show and comedian in the theatre. Yes, the theatre is small so we followed everyone else there at least 30-40 minutes early to get a seat. Carnival does have more impressive shows with an abundance of dancers,more talented singers, and more seating. But it was enjoyable. The pop star karaoke in the Explorer's Lounge was a big hit and there were some very talented fellow cruisers. Did not watch any MUTS but it always seemed to be full and folks were enjoying the popcorn and nearby pizza.Service: Best service, hands down. Cannot say enough positive remarks about our cabin steward, Billy. Every Princess associate at the bars, dining room, lounge, etc. was positive, helpful, and seem to enjoy their job. Many commented on their co-workers as "family" and that was impressive.Ports/Excursions: Visited St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. We loved Antigua (nicest, friendliest people) and Barbados. On Barbados, we took the Sunbury Plantation tour, visiting Gun Hill Signal Station, Orchid World, and Sunbury Plantation. If you like rum, there are some heavy-handed drinks offered at the plantation portion. This was a very good tour, as we normally take catamaran/snorkel trips. Lots of walking and uneven surfaces, though. In St. Thomas we took the St. John Catamaran Champagne Cruise/Snorkel. The snorkeling was okay; crew was very good and it was enjoyable. The views were amazing and St. John is beautiful. Not impressed with St. Lucia as it pertains to the terminal and the immediate downtown area. Princess Cays - a perfect 10. What a beautiful facility and beach with food, shopping, shaded area, water sports. I wish we had more time to stay there.Disembarkation: Had a leisurely breakfast in the Horizon Buffet. Very easy, off the ship by 8:40am, flight at 12:30pm. No announcements, very smooth, easiest disembarkation I have experienced.***few differences we liked on Carnival over Princess but were not deal breakers: deli, coffee, beds, internet service, and using your cabin tv to watch your onboard account and purchase shore excursions.***Summary: This was our honeymoon and it was perfect! We are already looking at another Princess cruise next year. The 10-day cruise was just the right amount of time so we will try to do 10-days again, either Caribbean or Panama Canal.
Private hallway, very quiet, best balcony in the BB category. Only one neighbor which is a suite. Some noise/vibration from thrusters as you enter port.