This was our first cruise based in America. we have cruised around 30 times in the past, mostly the South Pacific with 3 line voyages and a couple of European cruises. We cruised on the Diamond :Princess in January 09 (New Zealand) and as far as I can see, the Caribbean Princess is almost the same except for having an extra deck of cabins and Sky-walkers nightclub was located at the stern. This didn't mean that the ship was crowded. We only came across crowds at showtime, when people were vacating the theatre. This cruise attracted a younger crowd that we expected but at 50ish we were among the youngest. Definitely not a cruise to take children on. Although the ship had plenty of facilities to cater for them, the itinerary would not hold their attention.
We found the ports of call on the whole very good. we Particularly enjoyed Boston. We were a little disappointed that Mother Nature had not put on the spectacular colours the region is noted for. Maybe it might become a thing of the past if the world warms up too much.Anyway this is what I thought of the voyage.
the Cabin was an inside. we always book an inside as we like the dark and the money we save we spend more on other things such as tours. The room was clean however the linen was showing signs of wear and was not changed daily. The toiletries were rationed and I had to ask several times for more supplies. The same for ice. I asked the steward on the first day to please fill the bucket so we had ice for the afternoon. This was rarely done and I would have to ask him almost daily. He was friendly and polite and never rude but seemed to ignore requests. The cabin itself was small but sufficient as we don't spend much time in it. The small table is a waste of time, it is in the way most of the time. the bathroom was similar to all ship bathrooms. Small. Hanging space is plentiful with more than enough space. The wardrobe was an open space and might be an issue for those who don't want others to see their clothing.
The Ship was in good order and showed that maintenance was a priority. There were some internal trims and glass that needed to be replaced but most would not notice. the furnishings in the public rooms were in very good order and the overall ambiance of the ship was similar to all the Princess ships We have travelled on. Nothing outlandish, quite muted timber and neutral colours. there are many areas to be alone in as there are many places to be amongst a crowd. I like the way Princess ships are laid out and if you have been on 1 you can easily find your way around them all.
With this itinerary the ships facilities were vastly underutilised and we had no problem with getting a spa, deckchair, seat at the buffet. the evening shows were different. If you weren't there half an hour before the show, forget it. Entertainment, was similar to the usual fare we get in OZ but of a higher standard. One of the comedians was a riot and the other a flop but it could be a matter of taste.
Food was a disappointment. We have mentioned it many times to Princess that the menu needs to change. The food (menu)is the same on every princess & P&O Australia ship we've been on. Albeit minor differences. The food at the Buffet is generally bland, over cooked and not hot enough. The Dining room is better however the dishes sound exotic in the menu they turn out to be meat and two veg. Princess really need to lift their game here. The only place you could get a meal that was hot and tasty was the Pizza Restaurant. The grill and pizza bar on deck were nowhere near as good as on the Diamond. we ate at the Chef's Table and it was the best meal we had on board ($75 per person)but it wasn't as good as the Clam chowder and lobster roll in St John!
Overall we had a wonderful time on the ship and in port. I would recommend this cruise, however don't think that it will be a relaxing time as there is only one sea day and the rest of the time you'll be exploring the rich history, nature and food of this beautiful part of North America.