I wanted to review Princess in general, but I will also review this ship in particular. The past two cruises we have been on were the Caribbean and the Grand Princess ships. They are both almost identical ships. The one bonus with the Caribbean though is that they still have the skywalkers lounge in the back. It is an awesome lounge!
Princess Cons in general
Over the past 2 cruises in 2012 and 2013, I have realized that Princess does not do the little extras that other ships do. For example, there are no folded towel animals in your room, there are no singing shows in the main dining rooms, there are no drinks available in the buffet other than tea, water, and coffee. Lemonade if you ask, but everything else costs money. The ships that we were on also felt a bit congested. The Atrium in the middle was pretty small compared to most other ships I have been on (Royal Carib, Carnival). Which is ok if you like the cozier feel of ships, but we spent 90% of our time on the top More
deck, main dining room, buffet, or on our balcony.
Caribbean Princess specifically
Ok, so this ship in particular is pretty well maintained. I dont think we had any issues with cleanliness or areas that were in need of repair. Its a good sized ship but get to the theater early, because it fills up really fast, even if there are 3 shows!
The Caribe balconies are great. You can lay out and still use the shade as reprieve if it gets too hot. I was worried that the caribe deck is too low on the ship since I like to be high up... but no worries, it is still very high up and you get great scenic shots of the ports.
Food in the main dining room was OK. The Lobster was great and the prime Rib was also pretty good, but overall it was just ok. For Italian night, there was nothing that I really wanted to eat. There was no Lasagna and only one pasta dish (linguine). I am Italian and was really looking forward to this night, but it dissapointed.
The disembarkation process was great. We did the express walk off and got off the ship in 20 mins. It was great.
We were told by our PRincess agent that the princess ships do not always dock on the PORT side of the ship... but our last two cruises almost always docked on the port side OR offered the best view to the port side, like in ST Thomas. Port side got the view of the harbor. Keep this in mind when booking.
Also... on the Caribbean Princess, and most princess ships I imagine, take advantage of the two pools that are for adults only. There is one that is by the Lotus Spa that appears to be for Spa customers only, but it isnt. Anyone can use it.
Finally, make sure to spend a trip up to Skywalkers lounge in the back of the ship way up high. It offers great views but also is a very cool, well-designed lounge. The Grand does not have this lounge anymore, but the Caribbean does and it is very neat! Less
Caribbean Princess Cruises to the Southern Caribbean
We stopped at California Light House, Calibri(?) Rock Formations, Baby Natural Bridge and then to Palm beach for an hour.
The tour guide was really funny and nice, but there just isnt really much to see on the island. The best part of Aruba are the beaches! Go there! The other areas are mildly interesting, but not that great.
Curacao is under heavy construction everywhere and there really isnt much unique there. One recommendation though is to cross the pontoon bridge and go to the row of restaurants that are in the old fort wall right on the ocean front. Great views and great food. Dont get a full meal, just go and get a drink and appetizer.
Love this place for relaxing and sitting on the beach. There isnt much to see here as far as sites, but it is a nice private island for sunbathing and relaxing. Walk down to the right on the beach after you get off the tenders because this side is far less busy and there is a graveyard you can see that is right next to the beach.