I had been reading recent reviews of the Caribbean Princess, many bad or even worse. I wonder what these people were expecting. This is 2014 not the golden age of the Transatlantic Liners. That off my chest here goes. About me. I do cruise quite a bit. This was number 50. and I have never been on a cruise of less than one week. Plus I count back to back cruises as a single cruise. This was my first experience on the Caribbean Princess and my seventh Princess cruise.
We live in Fort Lauderdale and arrived by a ten minute taxi ride to the ship about 2:00 PM. We followed Princess' advise and quickly boarded. Our stateroom balcony cabin 306 on Caribe deck is one of those with a very large outdoor space, even larger than the mini-suite verandas on the older HAL ships. Our cabin was spotless, and Freddy, our steward, kept it that way throughout our seven days on board. The ship is in great shape. I could see a little rust when I looked for it, but this ship sails 365 in salt water. Cut Princess a little slack especially since the ship was being continually maintained throughout our cruise. Had drinks and Pizza at the bar at the big pool. Interestingly while the ship was full with lots of kids the only time that we couldn't find lounge chairs that we wanted (at first anyway) was on the final day, a sea day. It was quite hot so we waited until about four and found great space in the shade at the rear pool. Also our huge balcony was a big plus.
We had 8:00PM dining in the Palm Dining Room which was terrific. Our servers were very attentive and the food was the best that I have had on a cruise. We ate there six nights after drinks at the Wheelhouse Bar. The last night we tried the Cafe Caribe behind the Horizon court and the food was excellent as well.
Breakfasts and lunch and snacks at the Horizon Court were very good. The variety was outstanding and the fresh fruit was incredible! The service at the Horizon Court was really outstanding. Lots of staff to pour beverages and clear tables.
I have read recent reviews criticizing the lack of music on the ship. The writers must have been deaf or in their own worlds. There was music in many venues before and after dinner -- and singing by the head waiters in the Palm.
There were lots of kids on board so having a port intensive cruise kept their interest. Actually most of the kids from five or six to 16/17 were either so enthralled with the ship or satisfied with the ship's programs for kids, that we did not find anything to complain about. In fact it was fun watching many of the kids especially tables of 13 year olds interacting with eachother.
Speaking of the ports. We finally tried Princess Cays which most people loved. We had a few drinks and enjoyed talking with people but were happy to return to our almost empty Princess. However, if you enjoy these private isles, you will not be disappointed. We had lots of time in St. Thomas and San Juan, my favorite spots on this cruise. Grand Turk is another matter. We had been there before and done some exploring. We didn't find much to see so this time we went to the beach in the Margarittaville complex near the dock. With the poor man made beach in need of sand and the piped in music, the place is as loud as it is sad. Talk about manufactured fun!! This complex is not run (I believe) by Carnival and it shows. It is the worst of the new "manufactured" ports that I have seen in the Caribbean. This is the only real criticism of the cruise. I will definitely cruise again on a Princess but will stay on board if we dock at Grand Turk.
All in all this was a great cruise, five plus stars!!