Fortune smiled on our cruise from Houston: Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by MTdreaming
Overall Member Rating
Fortune smiled on our cruise from Houston
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation at Houston was very quick and efficient, we showed up at the requested time by Princess - for us 2pm, parked in a very close spot just across the drop off lanes, pulled our luggage to the quite short line and were onboard in no time - maybe 20 minutes max. I will note that when we disembarked at the end of the cruise folks showing up early for the following cruise were being made to park further away, not bad but not as close as we were allowed to do, probably to avoid cross traffic of those leaving and arriving.
This cruise had 3 ports and 3 full sea days, would prefer perhaps 4 ports and 2 sea days but it was fine, plenty to do. There were lots of activities on sea days, although I would have enjoyed some talks/videos pertinent to the ports themselves (NOT shopping at the ports). Suggested topics would be Mayan history, current More archeological work, and perhaps Caribbean piracy history etc. We did enjoy the trivia games, mad gab , ice carving demo, art talk (well one of them was good, one was awful). Movies under the Stars is fun, but this cruise it was always very crowded and you had to be quite early to get a spot. The special entertainer Zack W was one of the best I have seen on a cruise, the magician was entertaining, the dancers - yikes, possibly talented but the sexualized dancing really put us off, would not recommend them. It is too bad as especially the Born to be Wild show was a great set and concept, but the songs for the most part were obscure and the dancing had nothing to do with period depicted. Noticed several folks walking out of the show, we probably would have but didn't want to crawl over others during the show.
I would take this cruise again just to relax during the doldrums of February in a warm sunny climate. The ship's crew were friendly, accommodating and helpful. I would like to study up some more on the history of these ports, and try other excursions next time. I can see me doing this again. Less
Cabin review: A427
Cabin was nice, close to elevators, but no noise. Did not use the balcony as much as we intended, but throughly enjoyed it when we did. The cabins are smallish, but very well organized, plenty of storage, bathrooms are adequate.
Port and Shore Excursions
Belize, we took the ship's excursion - River Wallace and Altun Ha. Due to the tender situation and timing we felt the extra premium you pay for the ship's excursions in this instance was worth it. Actually finding the tour guide, getting on the river boat could have been a bit more efficient and organized, but not too bad. We were very lucky in getting a covered boat. You cross part of the Caribbean sea (essentially the bay I believe) before entering the river itself. We saw a few dolphins swimming and showing off, jumping and just having a high old time - I am becoming slightly dolphin obsessed at this point. We did not see any Manatees, apparently when you do they just show their noses. Once on the river, we did see large termite nests, huge iguanas, howler monkeys, a crocodile or two, several bird species etc. Our boat captain was very sharp eyed and good at slowing down and then turning the boat around so that both sides could view whatever he spotted. During the two hour ride our guide commented on flora and fauna and was quite interesting. We stopped for lunch, red beans and rice (cooked in coconut milk - which I could not taste) and chicken with a soda. The chicken was quite good and it was a refreshing stop. Then we were off on the bus to the ruins. The roads in Belize are typical third world country - not good, but again we had some interesting commentary along the way. Altun Ha is quite open and a pretty site in my opinion. We were given some facts and history and allowed to wander around or climb the ruins as we chose. The ride back to the boat was about 1 hour and 20 minutes, along mostly the same route, slow going due to the roads. We made it back with about 15 minutes to spare before the last tender..which we were able to immediately board. Enjoyed the ride back to the ship, took pictures and relaxed. Another nice day.
Cozumel, been before, nice easy relaxing port, just so nice to have sunshine and warm weather. Yeah very developed and touristy but hey we were on a cruise and that is just part of the deal. We just took a taxi to the Museum, wandered around and walked back to the ship (3 1/2 miles - but easy and safe).
Swimming with Dolphins
Roatan, we did Anthony's Cay and the dolphin encounter, yes very kitschy thing to do, but oh what fun. We did learn a lot about dolphins and thoroughly enjoyed having 30 minutes of close up time with "Bailey". I liked that they let the dolphins swim out with dive boats so they get out of the cove periodically, also each dolphin only has a small group of folks (6 in ours). They really are like puppies of the sea, the experience made me want to learn more about these amazing animals. Everyone in our group of very mixed background and ages seemed to really enjoy this excursion. We spent some time after the excursion just chilling at Mahogany Bay, good day altogether.