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Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by goodnightprincess

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Caribbean Princess
Caribbean Princess
Member Name: goodnightprincess
Cruise Date: November 2013
Embarkation: Houston
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number:
Booking Method:
See More About: Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews | Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Princess Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5+
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5.0
Embarkation 5+
Service 4.0
Value-for-Money 3.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Caribbean Princess Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Caribbean Princess Deck Plans
Western Caribbean D736 Nice Cruise

GENERAL: My husband and I, both in our early 50’s booked a full aft suite (D736) to the Western Caribbean Nov. 16-23, 2013 (Honduras, Belize, Cozumel). Due to fog there was a considerable delay at the Bayport Cruise Terminal and we couldn’t board until after 3:30 p.m. There is absolutely nothing to do at the port and I don’t know how those people waited in those plastic chairs for hours. Thankfully due to having a full suite we could wait in the lounge with free coffee and pastries. This was only our second cruise on Princess and you have to realize this is a cruise line for older people. If you are younger this cruise line may not be for you. Lots of old people (no offense as I am older too but I am talking 60-80 years old; maybe 10% 40 yrs or under.)

FOOD/SERVICE: They claim to have an extended room service menu for full suites but when I asked they firmly told me no. The complimentary one time bar/fridge in the suite was appreciated. Contrary to what others have said, the coffee was absolutely fine. My husband is a coffee aholic and we both found the coffee good everywhere we went. We had an early seating in the main dining room and the food was okay. Not the same quality I remember on our previous voyage. At times it was lukewarm and just not as tasty as I was expecting. I got sick one night after eating the mushroom soup. The quiche cold, crab dip cold and the fettuccine bland even though the chef was Italian. The fish was dry but my husband enjoyed the escargot and the filet mignon was good, lobster just okay and sort of chewy. Our waiter, Ben was nice but way overworked. I think Princess has cut back on the wait staff and it was a bit disconcerting seeing him run from table to table taking orders and dropping plates off with hardly time to ask how the meal was. I don’t blame him. I just think Princess is cutting corners and this "rush” took away from the elegant atmosphere they are trying to present. My husband loved the burgers from room service and said they were fantastic. We ate a few times in the Horizon and I thought it was pretty good maybe even better than the main dining room. The battered shrimp was very good and the selection is wonderful. The waiters there seemed more relaxed and it was definitely more comfortable than the main dining room.

ROOM: This is a great room at the very back of the ship with no foot traffic. The suite was beautiful but there was considerable vibration at times and an annoying rattling in the headboard and/or lamp (the Captain was full speed ahead to try to make up lost time). The bed felt like it had its own heartbeat. Our steward, Salvador, was very nice and worked very hard. He was out morning noon and night cleaning rooms. He took care of our needs but we didn’t really ask for much. Several days we told him not to worry about cleaning our room as we kept it pretty clean ourselves and he was so busy sometimes we just asked for clean towels or to pick up trays. He cleans the rooms twice a day and once was always enough for us. We had breakfast on our balcony a few mornings and this was wonderful until the sun rose through the horizon and then you would bake. This suite doesn’t get sun all day but you do get it off and on depending on the time of day and position of the ship. It was perfect for us. We had two padded lounge chairs and a table with four chairs with plenty of room. The beam obstruction didn’t bother us at all. It is a large balcony with plenty of room.

TIPS: One thing I didn’t like was the feeling you constantly need to tip everyone. We were already being charged $12.50 per person per day and we did tip our steward and our main waiter extra during and at the end of our cruise. We took several excursions and the need to tip everyone from the bus driver, tour guides, waitresses, etc. gets to be a bit much. We got room service mostly for coffee in the morning and had different staff bringing it each time. On the day before we left the man whom I hadn’t seen before brought our coffee and was really hinting for a tip telling me "you know this is the last day you will see me”, "I won’t be back here again”. I felt pressured that he wanted a tip.

ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was spotty. We had fun with the egg drop, airplane making contest and watching the fruit carving, etc. The art auction was interesting and the magician Hawley (seen on America’s Got Talent) was good but as Howard Stern said "how many times can you watch a woman appear in a box?” Some of the singers sounded horrible and my husband actually thought they were doing karaoke. Bingo is expensive but fun. We spent $60 for about ½ hour of fun. Princess does need to cut back on the pushy jewelry sales (constant advertisements) and they need more shops on board that sell souvenirs reflecting the trip/ports of call instead of expensive jewelry and art.

TOURS: We went horseback riding in Belize and it was fantastic. It had been raining a lot and they took us through about four feet of water here and there next to the Belize river. Be prepared to get dirty and bring bug repellant. The guides were informative and so friendly. The jungle was beautiful but very hot. The buffet lunch provided was bland and mediocre but we expected that. The people at Bacab Eco Park were great. We heard some older couples complaining about going through the water or not being able to hear the guides. They had 4 or 5 guides riding up and down the group asking if you had questions or giving info so I don’t know why they complained when they could have just asked. With 50 people on the ride of course you can’t hear everything they are saying but they were trying really hard to make sure everyone had a good time and going through the water was a blast except for the horse poop floating! We went to Gumbalimba Park in Honduras and that was also very fun with the monkeys and birds and the guide was again fantastic. A stop by the Tabyana beach was very short but beautiful and again lunch mediocre. We were late getting into Cozumel so our tour as well as many others were cancelled. We just went to the pier and did some shopping and had lunch. Again, everyone there especially at Three Amigos restaurant right there on the pier great food and very friendly.

TRANSPORTATION: The Princess transfers worked flawlessly. Definitely worth the minimal amount you pay. We flew into IAH and about a 45 minute drive to the port. We flew out from HOU and only about a 20 minute drive from the port. Trips both ways for two people just under $100.

All in all we had a great trip. I hope the above comments don’t discourage anyone from taking this cruise as we had a great time just very expensive and the food a bit disappointing but plentiful. I don't know how to attach pictures here so if you want any of the suite please feel free to ask. I took plenty.

GENERAL: My husband and I, both in our early 50’s booked a full aft suite (D736) to the Western Caribbean Nov. 16-23, 2013 (Honduras, Belize, Cozumel). Due to fog there was a considerable delay at the Bayport Cruise Terminal and we couldn’t board until after 3:30 p.m. There is absolutely nothing to do at the port and I don’t know how those people waited in those plastic chairs for hours. Thankfully due to having a full suite we could wait in the lounge with free coffee and pastries. This was only our second cruise on Princess and you have to realize this is a cruise line for older people. If you are younger this cruise line may not be for you. Lots of old people (no offense as I am older too but I am talking 60-80 years old; maybe 10% 40 yrs or under.)

FOOD/SERVICE: They claim to have an extended room service menu for full suites but when I asked they firmly told me no. The complimentary one time bar/fridge in the suite was appreciated. Contrary to what others have said, the coffee was absolutely fine. My husband is a coffee aholic and we both found the coffee good everywhere we went. We had an early seating in the main dining room and the food was okay. Not the same quality I remember on our previous voyage. At times it was lukewarm and just not as tasty as I was expecting. I got sick one night after eating the mushroom soup. The quiche cold, crab dip cold and the fettuccine bland even though the chef was Italian. The fish was dry but my husband enjoyed the escargot and the filet mignon was good, lobster just okay and sort of chewy. Our waiter, Ben was nice but way overworked. I think Princess has cut back on the wait staff and it was a bit disconcerting seeing him run from table to table taking orders and dropping plates off with hardly time to ask how the meal was. I don’t blame him. I just think Princess is cutting corners and this "rush” took away from the elegant atmosphere they are trying to present. My husband loved the burgers from room service and said they were fantastic. We ate a few times in the Horizon and I thought it was pretty good maybe even better than the main dining room. The battered shrimp was very good and the selection is wonderful. The waiters there seemed more relaxed and it was definitely more comfortable than the main dining room.

ROOM: This is a great room at the very back of the ship with no foot traffic. The suite was beautiful but there was considerable vibration at times and an annoying rattling in the headboard and/or lamp (the Captain was full speed ahead to try to make up lost time). The bed felt like it had its own heartbeat. Our steward, Salvador, was very nice and worked very hard. He was out morning noon and night cleaning rooms. He took care of our needs but we didn’t really ask for much. Several days we told him not to worry about cleaning our room as we kept it pretty clean ourselves and he was so busy sometimes we just asked for clean towels or to pick up trays. He cleans the rooms twice a day and once was always enough for us. We had breakfast on our balcony a few mornings and this was wonderful until the sun rose through the horizon and then you would bake. This suite doesn’t get sun all day but you do get it off and on depending on the time of day and position of the ship. It was perfect for us. We had two padded lounge chairs and a table with four chairs with plenty of room. The beam obstruction didn’t bother us at all. It is a large balcony with plenty of room.

TIPS: One thing I didn’t like was the feeling you constantly need to tip everyone. We were already being charged $12.50 per person per day and we did tip our steward and our main waiter extra during and at the end of our cruise. We took several excursions and the need to tip everyone from the bus driver, tour guides, waitresses, etc. gets to be a bit much. We got room service mostly for coffee in the morning and had different staff bringing it each time. On the day before we left the man whom I hadn’t seen before brought our coffee and was really hinting for a tip telling me "you know this is the last day you will see me”, "I won’t be back here again”. I felt pressured that he wanted a tip.

ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was spotty. We had fun with the egg drop, airplane making contest and watching the fruit carving, etc. The art auction was interesting and the magician Hawley (seen on America’s Got Talent) was good but as Howard Stern said "how many times can you watch a woman appear in a box?” Some of the singers sounded horrible and my husband actually thought they were doing karaoke. Bingo is expensive but fun. We spent $60 for about ½ hour of fun. Princess does need to cut back on the pushy jewelry sales (constant advertisements) and they need more shops on board that sell souvenirs reflecting the trip/ports of call instead of expensive jewelry and art.

TOURS: We went horseback riding in Belize and it was fantastic. It had been raining a lot and they took us through about four feet of water here and there next to the Belize river. Be prepared to get dirty and bring bug repellant. The guides were informative and so friendly. The jungle was beautiful but very hot. The buffet lunch provided was bland and mediocre but we expected that. The people at Bacab Eco Park were great. We heard some older couples complaining about going through the water or not being able to hear the guides. They had 4 or 5 guides riding up and down the group asking if you had questions or giving info so I don’t know why they complained when they could have just asked. With 50 people on the ride of course you can’t hear everything they are saying but they were trying really hard to make sure everyone had a good time and going through the water was a blast except for the horse poop floating! We went to Gumbalimba Park in Honduras and that was also very fun with the monkeys and birds and the guide was again fantastic. A stop by the Tabyana beach was very short but beautiful and again lunch mediocre. We were late getting into Cozumel so our tour as well as many others were cancelled. We just went to the pier and did some shopping and had lunch. Again, everyone there especially at Three Amigos restaurant right there on the pier great food and very friendly.

TRANSPORTATION: The Princess transfers worked flawlessly. Definitely worth the minimal amount you pay. We flew into IAH and about a 45 minute drive to the port. We flew out from HOU and only about a 20 minute drive from the port. Trips both ways for two people just under $100.

All in all we had a great trip. I hope the above comments don’t discourage anyone from taking this cruise as we had a great time just very expensive and the food a bit disappointing but plentiful.

 


Publication Date: 11/30/13
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