Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by SapphireGinGimlet: Great Experience
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This was our first cruise with Princess, and my husband and I had a much better time than we had expected. We thought we might be bored on the two sea days, but found that those were some of our favorites!
The food was pretty good. We ate in Sabatini's for breakfast, the main dining room for dinner, and lunch in a variety of places: poolside, the Horizon Court buffet, and the Coral dining room. Our least favorite was the buffet, but that is entirely personal preference, since neither of us enjoy the buffet experience in general. Other people in our party frequently ate in the buffet and enjoyed it.
The service was stellar. Our room steward, the Sabatini's staff, the main dining room staff and the front desk staff were amazing at all times, as were all the other staff we encountered. Everything in the ship was perfectly clean at all times.
The other passengers were very friendly. This contributed to the trip experience because being More surrounded with other polite people who were having a good time and not being rude to passengers and staff made the trip pleasant and relaxing. We only encountered two rude passengers the whole trip: one in the buffet, and one at departure.
Drink package discussion - We did not buy the drink package, and calculated at the end of the trip that we broke even, spending the same on purchasing individual drinks as we would have spent on the package. We both agreed that there were times we didn't have a drink (by the pool, etc) that we would have if we hadn't been buying them individually though, so in the future we will purchase the drink package. I would call us moderate drinkers - we drank every day, but not to excess.
The spa has a hard sell for buying products. The scrub/massage was great though, and otherwise relaxing.
Embarkation was slow (apparently there was a delay in disembarkation). We were told by two employees that there was not an area for suite passengers to wait, although then we saw on the way on board that this was incorrect - there is a suite/elite lounge.
Accessibility - my husband is in a manual wheelchair. There are several areas on the ship that are inaccessible, including both adults-only pools. The halls near the rooms are frequently crowded with room cleaning carts. This would not be a problem at all for people who are not in a wheelchair, and the staff will move the carts out of the way promptly, but it is an inconvenience for them and for us. We learned to always take the elevator nearest our room and it was manageable. Several public area doors are either too heavy and/or too narrow for the wheelchair, and include large lips and steep ramps that were difficult, but usually not impossible to navigate in the chair. Disembarkation at the ports was limited to one exit for wheelchairs, but we could not hear the ship announcements in our room in the morning, so finding the correct exit for us on port days was sometimes aggravating. I would have rather been able to hear all the announcements in the stateroom.
Neither Pro nor Con: We didn't buy Princess excursions, so I can't comment on those. I wouldn't go back to Nassau, but it was worth one trip, and the other ports were great! We didn't attempt to tender the wheelchair at Princess Cays, but enjoyed a fantastic and relaxing day on board by the pool. Less
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Cabin review: R417
Our suite was wonderful. I had read complaints that the balcony was not large enough, but we thought it was great and at one point had 6 people on it comfortably. I would definitely book a suite again. The only two negatives were the door width and the noise from the deck above. My husband is in a manual wheelchair, and I had to partially break it down to fit it through the door. (I was aware that this was a possibility before the trip, so this is less of a complaint and more of sharing information. Caribbean Princess does not have an accessible suite with a balcony, so this was a concession we made to have a suite with balcony.)I had read that this room had noise from the public deck above, and for the first 4 nights we had no problems at all. However, on the 5th day, children on the ship apparently discovered the ping pong table. There was loud pounding and running above us until after 2 in the morning that made sleep almost impossible. The last two nights the pounding/running stopped at midnight, so that was ok. I probably wouldn't book a suite again under a public floor when school is not in session. :)
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