On the 6th of January 2012 we flew to miami and boarded the coral princess the following day in fort lauderdale to do a back to back cruise for 2 weeks in the western carribean. We have cruised this region twice before with Thomson also on back to back cruises. I have cruised before on the Golden Princess to hawaii. As usual the ship was excellent the food wonderful and the entertainment of west end standard. I could not fault any of the facilities
However we had one major dissappointment on the 2nd day we were informed by another British couple who had been there a week already that we were going to get the same entertainment itinerary and the same menues in the restaurant the 2nd week as we would have the 1st week. True to this on our 2nd week of the cruise we did indeed have the same entertainment everynight except for the visiting comedians who changed. Also the menue in the retuarants was exactly the same as the week before. We were sold this in the uk as a 14 day holiday. Now we knew this was a back to back, but other cruise lines we have been with on back to back cruising always make a point of rotating the entertainment and menues on a 3 week rotation so that people who are stopping longer than a week have a better experience.
This took the shine off our cruise as you can imagine, one night there was nothing for us to do but sit in a bar, and the food I was deciding what to have from the menue before I got there. Part of the excitement of a cruise is to look forward to the entertainment and to wonder what you will have to choose from for dinner.
This should be made clear in Princess advertising that if you book this as a back to back cruise you will get exactly the same the second week. The only difference was the ports of call.
Also princess what has happened to your standards it is only 18 months since we went to Hawaii, and these other points came to our attention
People were allowed in the restaurant wearing shorts.
The deck attendants are suppossed to remove towells of sunbeds if they are reserved for a certain amount of time. This did not happen, some seemed to be reserved all day with no one in them.
also we found on this trip that the on board photographers were, more in your face, all the time they seemed to mobbing you for photos, but worse than that princess prices have got extortionate I had 4 x A4 photos taken on my ruby wedding night and they wanted $100 unframed just in one carboard frame!
The waiter service in the restaurant was not up to par they seemed to have a lot who didnt quite know what they were doing, and one night we spent over 45 minuites between courses and missed the evening entertainment completly and had to ask where the wine was and what was happening to the food we were one of the last tables in the retaurant with people on it and yet we got there at 7.30pm
I will be going with princess again as once again I must reiterate the ships are great the staff friendly and the service on the whole is good,but not on another back to back cruise.They must review this back to back cruising, come on princess us brits., travel a long way for a 2 week cruise to have the 2nd week the same as the first!, you must tell us at booking also you must let 2 weekers know that on the change over day in the middle you really must leave the ship as immigration has to have the ship declared empty know one told us luckily we went on an excurion, but those on board had to muster in one of the lounges to be inspected by immigration , great in the middle of your cruise.