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Caribbean Princess Cruise Review by jtmalt

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Caribbean Princess
Caribbean Princess
Member Name: jtmalt
Cruise Date: May 2009
Embarkation: San Juan
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Cabin Category: BD
Cabin Number: A255
Booking Method: Internet Agency
See More About: Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews | Southern Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Princess Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 2.0
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Caribbean Princess Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Caribbean Princess Deck Plans
A Nearly Perfect Week
Embarkation: We arrived at the Pan American Pier at around 12:30. Boarding was pretty smooth, the line moved in batches to an indoor seating area, then row by row to the check-in line. Very smooth, no hassles. Duty free after check-in offered wine, liquor, soda, and water, I didn't see any beer. We were in our rooms by about 1:15, so only 45 minutes from drop off. I think that qualifies as a pretty quick check-in procedure.

Ship condition: The public areas are in very good condition, comparable to the Crown. International Cafe was great, although it lacks the freezer case and equipment for gelato, and doesn't offer the various candy apples and such that were available on the crown. Stateroom was equipped with a flat screen tv, but I didn't see video inputs available.

Stateroom was a little worn, particularly with regards to the carpeting and the shower enclosure (which was cracked in a number of places). Beds were very firm, but an egg crate quickly remedied that. Air conditioning in the stateroom worked properly and kept the room cool even in port. Some public areas were quite warm at times.

Food and dining: Food is subjective, but we found the food to be varied and well prepared. We ate in the Horizon Court for breakfast and lunch, and in the Coral and Island dining rooms, as well as the Cafe Caribe for dinners. While breakfast service was fine, dinner service in the dining rooms and the Cafe Caribe left a lot to be desired.

In the dining room, the waiters almost seemed annoyed, and service was very slow. In the Cafe Caribe, dirty plates were allowed to pile up and beverage service was ignored, but as soon as you left your seat to retrieve a salad or dessert, your table was immediately cleared, even if you left personal items on it. I don't know if a better system is needed, or if the personnel are just not attentive to their sections.

Staff were frequently discussing their schedules with their supervisors, and I got the impression that they were understaffed and unhappy. Again, we felt like we were an annoyance, and frequently saw staff making faces at diners behind their backs. If there was any negative at all on this cruise, the attitude of the dining staff was it.

Other staff: In contrast to the dining staff, all other staff we encountered were friendly and helpful. This is especially true for the International Cafe, and our room steward.

Theater: We attended only one comedy show in the Princess Theater, but didn't have any trouble finding seating. We didn't go to any of the production shows.

Sanctuary: We didn't use the sanctuary at all.

Lotus Spa: We signed up for a week pass to the thermal suite. My wife found it to be absolutely lovely. The Lotus Pool was deserted during port days.

We were in a forward cabin on Aloha deck (12). We didn't find the ship to move any more or less than any other ship we've been on, big or small. There is, however, a definite vibration in the stern section. I guess motion is a subjective thing, because we ran into someone who complained about how this was the worst ship she'd ever been on for motion. Honestly, we didn't feel it.

Our group was called promptly at the expected time (8 am). Down to the terminal to collect our luggage, then a short pause at customs, and immediate access to a taxi. We arrived at the airport, went through USDA and security at terminal A and were at our gate by 9:00. I had expected a madhouse with Adventure of the Seas and Caribbean Princess unloading at the same time, but it wasn't really a big deal.

Overall, the trip was fabulous, and we enjoyed the ship very much.

Publication Date: 05/20/09
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