Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by jazzbot: It was OK
Overall Member Rating
It was OK
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
First, cruising is the best vacation value out there if one can drive to the embarkation port. This was our third cruise with the prior two on RCL. Conclusion: Not Impressed due to lack of a wow but we did score a great last minute price. Would we book Princess again? Sure, if you give us a new ship and a great price.
Ship: Dated. Eating in the main dining room felt like going to a nice local cafeteria with a touch of a Titanic motif thrown in. We loved sleeping during our last two cruise and it took a very determined effort to roll out of the “oh so comfy & cushy” beds on RLC. These beds were not “oh so comfy & cushy”, even after asking the cabin steward to adjust. One side of the bed was always lower or higher than the other side and never once did it sing its siren songs of "Forever Sleep". The room felt better organized and functional than RLC’s but Princess’s public areas were much less impressive.
Food: Food quality More was quite good with props for their prime rib on the first night. On the 2nd formal night they had lobster and tiger shrimp with the shrimp out shining the lobster. We took our meals in the main dining room in the back of the ship with the traditional 1st seating option.
Overall Service: Very good.
Onboard Entertainment: Mediocre.
Onboard Activity: Take the free galley tour at the end of the Chef's show in the main theater. Just follow the crowd after the show to the atrium.
Port-of-calls: Cozumel, Roatan & Belize
Tips & Notes:
A) Embarkation Day from Texas: Wine drinkers - If you have 1st seating you will only be able to buy wine by the glass as the ship will not be out of Texas jurisdiction yet. Highly recommend you bring your own bottle onboard to have with your first nights meal. This limitation may apply to 2nd seating also.
B) Embarkation Day: Find someone in Houston and pay their $40 to take them on Princess's "Bon Voyage Experience". This gets your buddy and your party a tour of the ship and lunch onboard but more importantly it get your party on board the boat at 10:30 AM with your friend. As a side benefit, if you are driving, have your buddy also drop your party off and not only will this offer of "Bon Voyage Experience" kindness pays for itself but save you in parking fees. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Nothing in the official cruise terminal area to get excited about and with 5 ships in port very, very crowded. Spend 15 minutes on shore then when back to the ship.
Always a great self-guided destination. Ate at Ernesto’s with is right along the shore, a short 10-15 minute walk from the ship. Recommended, but stick with the chicken or steak fajitas and skip the shrimp. Free wi-fi, $2 beers, free snorkeling access from the Aquaworld business next door and free margarita coupon available from their website (http://www.restaurantelaveranda.com.mx/ernestos.shtml). (Note: Location on Google maps is way wrong)
Maya Key Excursion, excellent snorkeling for beginners or otherwise as it is right off the end of a shallow 50 yard pier, at least until the trash arrive (See below). There is a nice size pool for lounging, ¼ size Maya temple with an small museum, beach, a caged wildlife refuge and other stuff to keep one occupied if snorkeling is not your thing. The provided lunch was also very good.
At about 1 PM, while snorkeling at Maya Key, a wall of trash above and below water, hit this area and proceed to float down the entire cost of this side of Roatan, the same side where the ship docks. Very, very sad to have seen these occur. We are talking about many 40’ x 40’ floating islands of trash floating on top of the water at the beginning of this event. Literally it went from crystal clear water to murky in under a minute. I poked my head out of the water to see a Cheetos bag floating inched from my face amongst what look liked other processed debris. This was not localized issue as other ship passengers’ miles down shore form us confirmed the same thing and the litter could be seen along the Mahogany Bay when we got back, where there was none when we left in the morning.
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