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365 Princess Caribbean Princess Family Cruise Reviews

My wife and I took the Panama Canal cruise in April 2018, 10 days and 5 ports. The good: weather was excellent; cruise staff was courteous and helpful; stateroom well kept; food choices generally excellent, although I missed fruits ... Read More
My wife and I took the Panama Canal cruise in April 2018, 10 days and 5 ports. The good: weather was excellent; cruise staff was courteous and helpful; stateroom well kept; food choices generally excellent, although I missed fruits like papaya; exercise room well kept, ample equipment; a good variety of music, and dance classes; free on demand movies. My wife spent some time at the spa, which she enjoyed on those days at sea. We did not have time to take part with any of the enrichment programs on board, but we were entertained by the dance lessons and the evening music in the various launches. The not so good: we arrived at Fort Lauderdale on Easter Sunday. We found a church close to the ship terminal. Before the trip, we were told that we would have plenty of time to go to church. It took more than 2 hours to go from the airport to the ship terminal. The Princess cruise agent that we talked to did not pass our request to their people at the airport, and we received no help at all in our attempt to reach the church. We flew in to the Lauderdale airport, but flew out from Miami to catch an earlier flight. All were arranged with Princess; we even had to pay extra to transfer to Miami. However, when we got on board, we were given the wrong transfer tickets to Lauderdale. It took us three trips to the service desk to straighten thing out because the ship's computer could not access our account information at Princess headquarter. Eventually, it was sorted out, with no additional charge to us. The on-board evening shows on the first night and the second last night were very good. The rest were one person comedian, magic, or singing performances that last about an hour. The below expectations: the land excursions were mostly disappointing. There were insufficient information about the excursions themselves, or what to bring for the trips. We took the outdoor adventure in Jamaica, which included zip lining and tubing down a river. We were told that there would be a changing room, and a locker for storing our stuffs. It turned out that we had to rent a locker, but we did not bring any cash or credit card. We did not know that we need to wear close toe shoes for zip lining, and we had no money to rent the shoes. It took an hour on a bus to get to the place, and an hour back, leaving a little over 2 hours to do what we wanted to do. The cruise itinerary did not explain clearly that the ship would sail through three of the canal locks. We thought that the ship would stop at two ports in Panama, but not going through the canal, so we took the excursion which sailed through the locks in a smaller boat. The smaller boat went through three other locks of the Canal, ending in the Pacific side of Panama. The trip was uneventful, and it took more than an hour of bus drive to get to the smaller boat, and another hour and a half to get back to cruise ship. In Costa Rica, we took the excursion to the rain forest, which was quite interesting, and the local guide was knowledgeable, However, it took 2 hours bus drive to get to the park, and 2 and 1/2 hour to get back (traffic jam). We only had a little over 2 hours at the park, including lunch. All the traveling times on the buses were not clearly stated in the excursions page of the Princess web site. For all the land excursions, we were given tickets which showed clearly where and when to gather in the ship, after that we were taken to the gangway and left by ourselves to find the correct bus for the trips. The excursions were managed by local tour companies which had minimal communication with Princess cruise. The first thing we noticed when we boarded most of the buses was a big sign that said "Tips are welcome". The stingray tour on Cayman Island was a worthwhile experience, but we had only 45 minutes in the sea, although our ship was in the port for more than 6 hours. Overall, the land excursions were not well organized, not well explained, and/or took too much time traveling to and from the activity locations. My advice: Princes cruise should send their staff to join these excursions, then they would know how to improve them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise primarily as it fitted in with our daughters school holiday dates and we wanted to do a cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday. The itinary suited us perfectly as we love cruising the Caribbean but also we had never ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily as it fitted in with our daughters school holiday dates and we wanted to do a cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday. The itinary suited us perfectly as we love cruising the Caribbean but also we had never been to the Panama Canal before. In recent years we have done a couple of cruises with NCL which we have thoroughly enjoyed but on this occasion there was no suitable option with them, thus we opted for the Caribbean Princess. At this point i should point out that my wife and I are just into our 50’s, my daughter is 12 and we were also joined by my 81year old Mother-in-law and my parents both in their 70’s (elite princess members). The first thing that struck us was the average age of the passengers were considerably older than those that we had encountered on our recent NCL cruises. Although this didn’t detract from our enjoyment at all, it did mean that my daughter had fewer children to interact with as there were very few children on the ship. It also meant that the skywalkers nightclub which is a stunning venue was very sparsely populated most evenings and the relatively small casino never really got busy. As someone who enjoys the odd game of blackjack and in particular the “banter” amongst the players, i found myself on a couple of occasions sitting at the table on my own. This was a first for me on any cruise. My wife and I shared a Vista suite (C750) and my daughter and mother in law were in a club-class mini suite. Both Cabins were exceptional and suited our needs perfectly. The vista suite was very spacious and as as you would expect from Princess the bed was very comfortable. It also provided us with stunning views of the transit of the Panama canal. With our cabins, we were all able to enjoy the stunning fayre on offer at the Club-Class dining facility within the Coral Dining room. The exceptional service we received here was some of the best we have experienced on a cruise ship. The food also matched the level of service. We ended up eating here most evenings and always managed to get our party of 6 seated together. The one evening we didn’t eat in the Club Class was the evening of my wife’s birthday when we treated ourselves to a meal in the Crown Grill and we subsequently enjoyed another evening of culinary delight. After trying fresh world marketplace (buffet) a couple of times we resorted to having our breakfasts in the club class dining area, as you could order anything you wanted and it would be served with the level of exceptional service we experienced in the evenings. We did however end up eating most of our lunches at the world marketplace where there was plenty on offer. All in all we were very impressed with the food and service that was on offer on the Caribbean Princess and would probably rate the standard dining slightly higher than that which we experienced on our recent NCL cruises. However it must be pointed out that we usually opt for a number of speciality dining options on NCL which are more numerous in options compared to the Caribbean Princess. The entertainment was quite variable, with a wide selection of venues to get a pre-dinner drink and most having some form of entertainment. I would probably say the post dinner entertainment was not as extensive as the NCL options but I think this is once again is a reflection on the general age of the clientele. The only drawback of the cruise was the documented troubles the Caribbean Princess is currently experiencing with its propulsion systems. Although it in no way affected the smoothness of the voyage it did mean the port timetables were significantly changed from our original timetable, and this led to a couple of “rushed” excursions. In concluding we thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Caribbean Princess, with a lovely cabin, exceptional service, first class food and a lovely itinerary the primary ingredients of our trip were all in place. The extra’s including entertainment, lectures etc were not exactly our cup of tea but understand they were aimed at the majority of the older passengers but in no way did this impinge on our overall enjoyment. We will still probably look to NCL for our next cruise but would certainly consider another Princess cruise if there was no suitable NCL option. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Princess did an outstanding job on this itinerary from day 1 to day 10, it was perfect. The staff in the lounges, restaurants and housekeeping were a "10" cum-laude. Too bad I cannot say the same for the pay-outs at the gaming ... Read More
Princess did an outstanding job on this itinerary from day 1 to day 10, it was perfect. The staff in the lounges, restaurants and housekeeping were a "10" cum-laude. Too bad I cannot say the same for the pay-outs at the gaming tables, perhaps it was my fault not knowing when to quit. LOL My compliments to Angelo the Maitre 'D and Guido your Executive Chef who ran a great service in and out of the kitchen. We started with a group of 16 but unfortunately one of the couple after three days had to abandon the cruise for a death in the family and Princess' Staff went out of their way to book their flights from Cartagena to Miami and then onto Las Vegas, provided a transfer and refunded their pre-arranged execursions. The entire staff excelled in an outstanding way and we were all very thankful for this support. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We always wanted to try a 14 day cruise as well as see the Caribbean. The ship was clean and well appointed. Vines was a favorite meeting place for our group. The Tapas and Sushi were fresh and the Wine choices were spectacular. The ... Read More
We always wanted to try a 14 day cruise as well as see the Caribbean. The ship was clean and well appointed. Vines was a favorite meeting place for our group. The Tapas and Sushi were fresh and the Wine choices were spectacular. The service staff were awesome and always friendly and smiling. They could not have done any better to make our trip special. The food on the ship was mediocre at best. We are not foodies so we could always find other food ideas though. Most of the Ports were awesome. Martinique was a little disappointing and we are not sure why Port Of Spain was on the list but it was great pool day anyway. We had a balcony room that was very clean although a little tight. The location of our room could not be beat. It was close to everything. Overall we had a blast. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I was introduced to the cruise by a friend. The person who arranged everything has had about five cruises, and she is eager to go again. She loves cruises.Sharon was very anxious to show us the ropes. I enjoyed the shopping on the ... Read More
I was introduced to the cruise by a friend. The person who arranged everything has had about five cruises, and she is eager to go again. She loves cruises.Sharon was very anxious to show us the ropes. I enjoyed the shopping on the Princess Caribbean. Everyone was quite friendly and helpful. I dined at one of the restaurants on two ocassions. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze. The cabin was very comfortable.The steward did a great job every day to make the stay even more enjoyable. Dining was very satisfactory.Entertainment was marvelous, of those which I attended. Movies under the stars was my favourite. The Service was commendable. I am ready to go again, since cruising gives me an opportunity to see as many places as possible. What stands out most for me though, is that I left my purse with all my valuables, including my Passport on Deck 15, and some kind hearted soul returned same to the front desk. A heartfelt thank you to all concerned, since i did not get the opportunity to so do. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Cruising in style to the Southern Caribbean is perfect because Princess does it right. Comfortable, Classy, nothing over the top - high quality with maximum enjoyment. I met many very loyal cruisers who enjoy sailing all itineraries ... Read More
Cruising in style to the Southern Caribbean is perfect because Princess does it right. Comfortable, Classy, nothing over the top - high quality with maximum enjoyment. I met many very loyal cruisers who enjoy sailing all itineraries and earned perks. All restaurants were elegant, delicious cuisine and quiet. The entertainment was wonderful! Beautiful ball gowns, Broadway show tunes, great props, and clean, funny comedians. The itinerary was great with enough time in each port of call. The New Locks of the Panama Canal are truly amazing! We watched our Caribbean Princess sail through the locks from the observation deck on our shore excursion, after she turned around in Gatun Lake. Movies under the Star with popcorn & warm blanket made the 10pm movie relaxing & fun at the end of a tour day. Morning Bible Studies & Sunday Service blessed all who attended. Thank you Princess for setting the bar for elegant mainstream cruising! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this ship for the Itinerary of the Panama Canal. We enjoyed our tours in The Caymans and Costa Rica but the Panama Canal was interesting but the rest of the tour was rather long. Colombian tour was too short. Overall we were very ... Read More
We chose this ship for the Itinerary of the Panama Canal. We enjoyed our tours in The Caymans and Costa Rica but the Panama Canal was interesting but the rest of the tour was rather long. Colombian tour was too short. Overall we were very pleased with the ship. The Marketplace had a wide variety of food and the staff was very accommodating. We had any time dining but turned out we had to wait until 7 or 7:30 thus we were unable to attend any theatre. The theatre was quite small for this size ship and filled up quickly. I had read many negative reviews of this ship but found the ship in good shape, except for engine problems which will be repaired next month. There were several bars playing a variety of music which everyone seemed to enjoy as there was lots of dancing. The Pinnacle band was really great to listen to at the pool. Although the cabins are not large, we had a veranda room which helped in accommodating three in our room. The beds were super comfortable and we slept very well. There were many activities but we stayed near the pool and only attended the talks by Dr. Dean, which were very informative. We cannot say enough good things about the staff because they worked constantly to keep things in order, answer questions, and wait on everyone. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We had a specific time frame that we wanted to travel to the Panama Canal and this cruise was the only one that fit. We had never travelled on Princess cruises but have tried several others and wanted to give it a try. We have never been ... Read More
We had a specific time frame that we wanted to travel to the Panama Canal and this cruise was the only one that fit. We had never travelled on Princess cruises but have tried several others and wanted to give it a try. We have never been on a cruise that was as rough as this one was even though the seas weren't excessively high. The ship vibrated SO bad ALL the TIME it was ridiculous. Anything metal in our rooms vibrated and rattled constantly. Many other passengers complained also so I know it wasn't just us. We were not able to go into Limon and were not refunded the port fees although they did refund the TAXES on those port fees! We were not impressed with the food either. While there were some good choices many times it was a repeat over and over or else it was a variety of very specific ethnic dishes I am not a big fan of spicy food and I doubt most of the largely senior diners were either. I actually just got a hot dog on two different nights rather than have the main buffet. The best thing was the oatmeal raisin cookies! We only went to the formal dining room one night as we weren't interested in going on the nights formal wear was required and didn't want the choices offered on the other nights. The onboard entertainment was lacking also and we had many at sea days and apart from the movies on deck we didn't have much that interested us! The stop at Cristobal was a joke! If you didn't purchase a Panama excursion you weren't allowed to leave the ship at Cristobal and we were basically sitting next to freighters all day waiting for those that did purchase excursions. Seriously this was the worst cruise we have ever been on and it was our 9th cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My Mom really wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise as her last big holiday. She turned 80 this past year, so I thought we should do this before her health takes a turn for the worse. She enjoyed this so much, I think she's ready to go ... Read More
My Mom really wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise as her last big holiday. She turned 80 this past year, so I thought we should do this before her health takes a turn for the worse. She enjoyed this so much, I think she's ready to go on another. This was our first time sailing out of Port Everglades and we found embarkation was efficient with almost no standing in line. We arrived at the port about 11:20 and were on the ship shortly after 12 and cleared to go to our room. The weather wasn't great in Fort Lauderdale, but managed to mostly stay dry before boarding. After our drill and preparation for sailing, we were told that weather at Princess Cays was unsafe for tendering, so they changed the itinerary to Ocho Rios on Day 3 instead. My wife was pleased, as she was disappointed when Ocho Rios was removed from the itinerary a few months prior. However, the weather in Ocho Rios was very rainy and we got soaked. Only went to the little shop area for about 20 minutes and returned to the ship. Fortunately the weather was much better the rest of the way. Cartagena was a great place to visit. We did the Fort and Old Town tour and our tour host, "King Arthur" Arturo was very engaging, knowledgeable and clearly proud of his city and country. Unfortunately, we arrived at Las Bovedas at about 8:20am on a Sunday, so almost all shops were closed, so we didn't get to see much. Touring two of the churches was also a bit awkward as they were in the middle of services. My only real complaint about the tour was that we spent 25 minutes in a jewelry store that Arturo obviously hand-picked. Most of us just stood or sat where we could, waiting to get moving again. The Panama Canal was a great experience, and nice to be a part of a little history in being the first Princess ship, the largest cruise ship (so far) and only the second cruise ship to go through the new Agua Clara locks. We didn't do an excursion in Panama, instead staying on the ship and doing the "Escape Room." It was difficult to get into the Escape Room, but we managed to be there at the right time. This was put together by the cruise director's staff, and while not super challenging, it was not too easy, either. We enjoyed the experience and the effort put in by the staff. We also participated in the Steel Drum class put on by Dennis Smith, along with the accompanying performance. We had a lot of fun and Dennis did well with a varied level of musical talent that he had to work with. Really, these are all about having some fun and participating, so I think everyone had a good time. Costa Rica was my favourite destination. The market there was almost all authentic local stuff. We did the train tour of the banana plantation and jungle and got to see a lot you wouldn't see just in the port. It is a beautiful country and I would return. The train is a little rough because of the condition of the tracks, but I really enjoyed it. I did take a battery operated fan with me and used it a couple times when we were stopped to look at something or wait for the "Dole" train to go by the other way. Grand Cayman was my sister's favourite spot. She wanted to stay there and is contemplating how she can move there. She did the snorkeling at Stingray City and another area with a reef. She loved the warm, incredibly blue water and it made me wish I had gone along. The entertainment on board was overall pretty good. We enjoy going to the trivia games, the game shows, some live music and shows and there was no shortage of things to do. This cruise staff with Tais, Brenna, Lili, Duvall, Victoria and Micca were the best we've had to date. Tais, Brenna and Duvall were especially engaging, clearly not afraid to entertain at their own expense. I hope to see these folks on future cruises. Service was on the whole very good. A few were fantastic, a few less than fantastic, but on the whole, very good service. Our cabin steward, Joey, was perhaps a bit shy or awkward, but he got us anything we needed and served us well. The area where service really excelled was in the dining room with headwaiter Antonio. My wife has a number of food allergies that are difficult enough to accommodate at home and Antonio made sure that she had what she needed every day and went beyond by getting her a special bread every day and even desserts. Her diet has no sugar, dairy, eggs, yeast or soy, so desserts are especially difficult, but she had a special dessert every night. We were quite concerned when she was put on this diet in early December, but we were blown away at how well they did to meet her needs. The ship itself was very familiar, having cruised on it two years ago, but it's been in for upgrades since, so we were looking forward to seeing the changes. On the whole, not huge changes, except on the Lido deck with the World Fresh Marketplace replacing Horizon Court and the addition of Planks and Steamers, neither of which we tried. The Ramen bar was a nice treat, though, in Steamers at lunch time. The ship still shows it's age in a lot of places, but it still feels very much like home, having now spent 17 nights on board. I would have no hesitation sailing her again, and no doubt will. Finally, those little picky things, as a review wouldn't be complete without a few critiques. The selection process for things like the Escape Room and Steel Drum class could be done more fairly, I think. It's like the people that show up the earliest get the tickets, so if you're willing to go 30-45 minutes early, you'll likely get the tickets. The problem with that is if you say something is at 9 and you've already given the stuff away by 8:40, you get frustrated. It shouldn't be about who can get there the earliest, it should be show up at 9 and we'll do a raffle, as the lineups get mixed up and some people get offended that people "butt" in line, when they were just sitting there waiting and when the cruise staff shows up, they walk into line with the rest of their party. In the end, there is no way to make everyone happy, but I think they could do better. Another annoyance was the laundry room on Dolphin deck. Every person that tried to get a box of soap out of the dispenser couldn't, as it jammed up. You'd call customer service and they would come, "unjam" the machine, give you a box of soap, leave, then someone else would come in and the machine would be jammed. It happened to me twice and I waited 25 and 30 minutes for the person to come back and unjam the machine. Every person that came before me that day and after me while I was there had the same issue. I finally called the front desk and told them if they can't get the machine working, they should be leaving the soap out for people and sucking up the cost, which would really be very little. In future, I'm bringing my own liquid soap, as the water doesn't get hot enough to dissolve the "All" brand powder soap they use and you had white powder on your clothes afterwards. My only other "complaint" isn't really with the cruise staff, though I think they could have intervened. We were watching the movie under the stars and a group of people were sitting off to the side at the tables, talking and laughing very loudly, making it difficult to hear the movie. Is it too much to ask for a little courtesy towards your fellow cruisers? Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My family and I cruised on the Princess Caribbean. It was a 14 night cruise covering 9 ports. We had never cruised with Princess before, now I know why. So I’ll start with our staterooms. We booked 2 balcony cabins. I must say, we choose ... Read More
My family and I cruised on the Princess Caribbean. It was a 14 night cruise covering 9 ports. We had never cruised with Princess before, now I know why. So I’ll start with our staterooms. We booked 2 balcony cabins. I must say, we choose Princess because we missed out booking with Celebrity, our favorite cruise line. The staterooms smelled of urine. I mistakenly hung my night shirt on the bathroom hook, when I went to sleep in it, it reeked of piss. Piss is stronger than urine in my opinion. The sheets were barely changed. My son mistakenly spilled chili on his sheets and the sheets stayed on the bed 3 more days. My cabin was on the Caribe deck, deck 10. The laundry room must have experienced a leak because every evening the floors were wet and quite naturally it began to smell of mildew. It was very difficult to charge our devices, the outlets barely worked, at least consistently. We had 3 formal nights of dining, which meant we had to dress accordingly, so we did. All dressed up to eat what the Little Rascals referred to as mush. The food could have been feed to the malnourished animals on the islands we visited. The food on the lido deck was not much better, but at least we could manage a halfway decent breakfast. I ate Cheerios, Grape Nuts and bananas. I did manage to have a triangular shaped hash brown, egg over easy and crisp bacon on a couple of mornings,thank goodness. The third formal night we were treated to a dish referred to as “Lobster 3 ways. “ Well, what we received was lobster one way, nasty and tasteless. Seriously they didn’t even try, another way to keep overhead low. Now let’s move on to the service. Disembarking the ship when we were in port, the attendants were rude. Just to be clear, there was a noticeable difference in the way I was treated versus the way people with less melanin was treated. Take that anyway you want to. The funny thing is that the people of color that I encountered basically experienced the same treatment, coincidental, doubt it. Now let’s talk a bit about the activities and entertainment. There was BINGO, steel pan drums, ice sculpting, drink mixing, mahjong, western line dancing, do I need to go on ? There was a tribute to Whitney Houston,the height of activities for me. I heard it mentioned that Princess can offer better prices because they have less overhead. That makes sense because everything they offer is sub par. They claimed to have spent all this money when the ship was in dry dock. I believe they said 28 million. I think that was a mistake. It was probably like 28 dollars. Save your money and cruise another line. Cruising with Princess is money wasted. Quite frankly, this experience has left an indelible first impression. No Mas, No Mas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We choose this cruise because we had not been to some of the ports offered on this cruise before, and because we wanted something different to do during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Because we love the Caribbean, this was our 3rd ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we had not been to some of the ports offered on this cruise before, and because we wanted something different to do during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Because we love the Caribbean, this was our 3rd Caribbean cruise. The cruise as a whole was awesome, the weather was good, the food was good and the company was good. I have to say, this is the first time we have had such a delightful cabin stewart. She was so happy and friendly all the time. And she keep our cabin immaculate and well stocked for our needs. You will be lucky if you get her on your cruise. Her name is Hedy. Sweet girl. Entertainment on the Caribbean Princess was great. The dancers and singers of the Princess theater was very professional. We enjoyed all their performances. I have to say that not all the staff on this cruise were as friendly as we have encountered on other cruises. Maybe they were just having a bad day. Also, we felt the food at the buffet was not as good as we have had on other ships. One more thing. The balloon drop for New Year’s Eve celebration was advertised in the Patter as to start at 10:45p.m. (Which we thought was odd, but then assumed that they decided to have it early to accommodate the young children and seniors) So everyone was gathered in the Piazza anxiously waiting for the drop, when it was finally announced that the balloon drop would be at midnight. Everybody moaned and and then started to leave the Piazza and head back to their cabins. Very bad mistake by someone. Poor planning. I hate to complain, but these are things we noticed compared to our other cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose the cruise to enjoy some Winter warm sun and escape boring Christmas TV. We weren't disappointed, The ship as been refurbished since we last sailed on her,the self service looks and works a lot better. Of course like most ... Read More
We chose the cruise to enjoy some Winter warm sun and escape boring Christmas TV. We weren't disappointed, The ship as been refurbished since we last sailed on her,the self service looks and works a lot better. Of course like most ships two sections of the self service are now pay restaurants in the evening. Though most of our fellow passengers were either American or Canadian there was over 400 Brits onboard and on New Year's Eve they had a celebration at 8pm,( midnight uk time ) just for the Brits, then we got to celebrate again later. The entertainment was good and suited everyone,every other ship we have sailed on from America as been lucky if they could half fill their theatre but on here the theatre was full 30 minuets before the start most evenings. The service was good and food to the usual Princess standard. We had anytime dinning and during the cruise spoke to many Americans,we were told by quite a few of them that some America passengers received a phone call from Princess shortly before the cruise offering them the 14 day Christmas cruise for under $300 and we even spoke to a couple in the theatre who had taken the deal but had to take four nightmare flights from Seatle to Fort Lauderdale to get to the ship. We spoke to the future cruise rep on the ship and asked why we didn't get those sort of deals in the UK,she said because every ship that sails from Southampton sails full,which of course is not true,we asked about Sailings from Europe but got nowhere. We enjoyed the ship,the service,the weather so good choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because it visited three paces we especially wanted to see: Cartagena Colombia, Panama Canal and Costa Rica. Unfortunately due to weather related issues in Jamaica, the ship was unable to visit Cartagena. While I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it visited three paces we especially wanted to see: Cartagena Colombia, Panama Canal and Costa Rica. Unfortunately due to weather related issues in Jamaica, the ship was unable to visit Cartagena. While I can understand that some things that are out of the control of the ship can happen from time to time, no other cruise ship visiting Jamaica that day was stranded in port, including a ship that left only a few minutes before our scheduled departure. While the missed port was the biggest issue for us, we were somewhat disappointed by the shore excursions. They were not bad, by any means, but, perhaps we expected too much. The one shore excursion we were fully satisfied with was the Atlantis Submarine, in Cayman. That is well worth the price, even though it is only about an hour. We had several experiences that were quite positive: the food and some of the activities. I found the food to be some of the best I have had on a cruise. All the beef was cooked just as asked, and was quite tender. There was plenty of variety and afternoon tea was a nice change . The cruise had several unhosted activities which I was quite satisfied with. The gaming meetings every afternoon were lively and offered a variety of games, and, for the first time for me, the nightly LGBT group was lively, with a nice variety of people, rarely fewer than 10 attendees. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Had always wanted to do a panama canal passing, saw this itenary and decided to go for it glad i did cruise was all i expected and then some, food was excellent and plentiful, entertainment was good as well, ports of call were great and ... Read More
Had always wanted to do a panama canal passing, saw this itenary and decided to go for it glad i did cruise was all i expected and then some, food was excellent and plentiful, entertainment was good as well, ports of call were great and the canal was a work of wonder, something to behold, a sight to see and was breathtaking. Once in a lifetime event, glad we chose to take this cruise scenery was breathtaking lush green forest saw a few sloths and a few iguanas just overall a breath taking cruise, one i will never forget, may do it again if given the chance, the ships crew and staff were amazing, always ready to assist no matter what the issue may be or not be just ready to please, did a behind the scenes tour and was amazed at what all was done that you never see to make our cruise pleasant, from the kitchen to the engine rooms to the bridge got to see it all and it give a whole new insight to how the cree and staff work so hard to make the cruis enjoyable. Thanks To Princess and The Crew Of The Caribbean Princess For A Great Cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This cruise was our eleventh with the Princess Line and Princess is still our first choice. The reason that we were really thrilled about doing this one was due to the Panama Canal portion, which was exceptional in many ways. I guess if I ... Read More
This cruise was our eleventh with the Princess Line and Princess is still our first choice. The reason that we were really thrilled about doing this one was due to the Panama Canal portion, which was exceptional in many ways. I guess if I have one gripe about this cruise is that some of the ports of call were rather short in time allowed to visit and experience the local feel and traditions of each one and yes we were pressed for time in several of them. the shortness of time in certain ports made doing shore excursions a real test of endurance and patience and sadly created a bit of tension that we were not expecting. Overall the entire cruise was a worthwhile experience and the onboard portion of it was quite enjoyable especially due to the fact that we had purchased the beverage package and the bar staff was truly a wonderful and happy addition to, as I stated earlier, a very worthwhile vacation. the cabin, which was a mini suite was quite roomy and our room steward was as usual excellent, friendly and efficient. i was somewhat disappointed in the buffet area as the meals offered were basically the same day after day with very little change in the menu offerings. The main dining room was quite nice and we enjoyed the various different nationality days offered and the staff was excellent with very good attention to detail. The entertainment was typical of cruise line offerings and was acceptable with fine performances by the actors and singers involved, The staff, with average service at the pursers desk who did not seem to be fully aware of changes made by the line, was very good and that would include wait staff, Lido Deck waiters and cleanliness throughout the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I have cruised with different cruise lines before and this was my first time cruising with Princess. I chose Princess due to the itinerary, right timing for us to go and good price (it was on sale at the time). I traveled with my husband ... Read More
I have cruised with different cruise lines before and this was my first time cruising with Princess. I chose Princess due to the itinerary, right timing for us to go and good price (it was on sale at the time). I traveled with my husband (59 years old) and son (11 years old). Embarkation: the process was fairly smooth, no long lines. After going through the immigration there was about 30-45 minutes waiting time to be on-board. The ship looks impressive from the outside. It is a wide and big ship and this was the biggest ship we sailed on. Once we got inside, we surprised on the size of the public areas.. they are smaller than the other ships we have been, such as the main dining rooms, casino, library ( pretty much non existent ), promenade, stores, and sitting areas. The inside stateroom was smaller than other ships we sailed. However, there is a small refrigerator in the cabin so this is a plus for us. The ship was refurbished recently, however there are some places with uneven and teared carpets, sagging decorations, etc.. the only place that looked newer are the buffet/restaurant areas. I never really paid too much of attention to the condition of the ship.. however this one was too obvious and I did not have to look hard to notice them. Although the ship was old, it was kept clean. The ship has wide and spacious decks, multiple pools, and great back deck area. The service was so so.. our cabin attendance, Pedro, was nice and friendly, also the juice/coffee server in the buffer area (I did not catch his name) .. however other workers were not as friendly, they did not greet even smile to the guests, like we experienced in other ships. One person was even rude, when my husband tried to find an elevator and went to the dining room, the person said " what are you doing here?" instead of "how can I help you?". I found that Walmart employee was more helpful than this guy. The food in main dining room was not good enough for us to stand in line unless in the formal night (menu was a bit better). If you choose anytime dining, you have to be early there or standing in line and the line was long between 6 to 7 pm. This was because they did not accept anytime dining until 7:30 pm in coral dining room. We never had this issue in other ships. Food in buffet area were bland and lack of variety ( do not expect gourmet food here).. the hamburger joint sucks , need to pay extra if you want better burger.. however the desserts were good. Entertainment was fine, and comparable with other ships. Some events, like the voice of the ocean audition, and the steel pan drum class were disorganized. Excursions were fine, it was as organized as other cruises that we had been to. The ship was late when leaving the ports due to medical emergencies, and had engine issue (one engine quit working in Panama), but we made it back to Fort Lauderdale although it was 2 hours late. Due to late arrival, the disembarkation was a mess..too many traffic due to people got off and got in the port at the same time. Disembarked people waited in long lines to get into the airport transport buses, some were confused on which buses they need to get into. We felt that there was lack of personal touch in this ship, lack of friendliness from workers, and even the officers. We experienced more personal interaction in other ships, such as on the way out we got goodbye greetings from the cruise directors and his/her staff even some of the officers in other cruise ship. They made sure that we get good first and last impression. That being said, we enjoyed the cruise, it was a very good itinerary and price for this one. For future cruises Princess will not be on our top choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because it journeyed to new locations, for us. Plus, the chance to pass through the Panama Canal is a Bucket List experience. We wanted that for our kids, and we needed a relaxing vacation after a very stressful year. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it journeyed to new locations, for us. Plus, the chance to pass through the Panama Canal is a Bucket List experience. We wanted that for our kids, and we needed a relaxing vacation after a very stressful year. Previous cruises have been on Royal Caribbean and Carnival, and we found Princess to be superior in just about every way. With our kids, Carnival cruises out of Galveston have been a quick and easy vacation choice, but Carnival food is repetitive and boring, other than in the dining room. We really enjoyed the food on this ship. The buffet had an enormous variety of foods, although their hot selections should be expanded, fresh fruit was the same every day, and their chef should go to Salad Bar School to learn how to set up an amazing salad bar. Theirs was below Pizza Hut level, unfortunately, with store-bought salad dressings. Just by adding a larger variety of salad additions and homemade dressings (very easy), this would have been a great improvement. The dining room service was excellent, thanks to Benedict and Brigitta, but on a couple of days, there just wasn't anything that appealed to us. In fact, one night my daughter checked out the posted menu, took pics of it with her cell phone, and after we all reviewed it, we decided to eat at the buffet that night. Still, the main dining room food was very good quality. Initially, we were assigned to Anytime Dining, but after 2 nights switched to the 8 p.m. seating. One night, there were so many people in line, they were trying to see if any of us could be seated in one of the assigned dining rooms and another night we were given a pager and told it would be a 30 minute wait. I've never been sold on the Anytime Dining concept, although it sounds good in theory. One night we ate at the burger bar on the Lido deck and felt very insulted by the young man behind the counter. He didn't want to be there, he didn't want us to be there, and it showed. I ordered their signature burger, paid an extra $5 or so, and was told it would take 25 minutes to cook. I was willing to wait, and the burger was excellent, but the whole experience was very off-putting. One of the premium restaurants is Crown Grill. The Crown Grill served 2 British pub meals on sea days, and we took advantage of both. We love British pub food. The Scotch egg was amazing -- huge! The size of a softball. Fish and chips were standard, but served hot, the curry dishes were very good, and the bread and butter pudding was like eating a hot, eggy cloud. So good! We decided to take my son here to celebrate his 16th birthday. Dinner was okay, but if we had spent $120 of our own cash (we had onboard credit), I would have been disappointed. My Porterhouse steak had a massive amount of fat on it -- so much that I couldn't eat half of it. However, everyone else seemed to really enjoy their steak selections, and the steaks were very large. My baked potato was small and sad looking. The onion soup with blue cheese was probably the best thing I ate that night. Desserts were okay, visually appealing, but just didn't hit the right chords with us. The lemon tart was the only dessert we finished. Since it was my son's birthday, they brought out a huge chocolate dessert for him, with a candle, and sang the birthday song. The gesture was very sweet -- the dessert just wasn't our style. Very heavy, dark chocolate-y. It needed some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to lighten it up a bit. Service was above average, not great. About 6 days into this cruise, we took our son to the ship's doctor for a bad cold. The doctor told us that the median age on the ship was 71! Hubby and I are early 50s, our kids are 16 and 18. In spite of this, however, the experience around the other passengers was pleasant. One day, my kids went to the High Tea and sat at a table with 4 other people, and were treated so kindly! In fact, one of the women saw my daughter and I the next day and came to compliment me on having such great kids. Yes, that was a trip highlight! LOL The excursions offered on the ship are typical but, oddly, in a couple of cases, nothing really jumped out at us. Princess Cays was an absolute dream day with perfect weather, perfect water, perfect everything. Coming on Day 2, it was just what we needed to ease us into a vacation mindset. I rented an air conditioned bungalow, thinking the AC would be needed after reading reviews of this itinerary saying how hot and humid it was. Because the weather was perfect, the bungalow wasn't really needed, although it was kind of nice to have our own private place to eat and store our stuff. At $199, it was overpriced, though. In Cartagena, we just took a cab to the Old City, stopped at the fort for a photo opp, and went to an emerald factory to buy a pair of special birthstone earrings for my daughter. Traffic was bad and that slowed us down and limited what we could see, however, as this was my first time in South America, it made me realize how much I want to explore this continent! We bought coffee, Cuban cigars, lots of artisan products and in the shopping area by the ship, I bought a gorgeous leather purse. Panama Canal was...interesting. The new locks are a little on the boring side -- they are concrete, technology, sanitized. We took a rather expensive excursion that allowed us to traverse through the entire canal going through the old locks, and those were far more interesting. Unfortunately, the excursion itself took over 11 hours, the boat ride to the old locks was excruciatingly slow and there was no time for anything else. Traversing the entire canal was cool, a bucket list type of thing, but would I spend an entire day doing it again? No. In Limon, Costa Rica, we decided to not do any ship excursions but, instead, took the advice of one of the tour sellers on the dock and went ziplining at Jungle Breezes, about 20 minutes from the dock. We had a blast! At $50 per person, 11 zipline stations that are steep and fast, we had a blast. The people there were attentive, careful, and very nice. I highly recommend this experience. Finally, Grand Cayman. In the previous ports, our ship was the only one there. In Grand Cayman, there were 5 and that created very crowded conditions. We did a little shopping, ate at Margaritaville, and went back to the ship. Overall, we all really enjoyed this itinerary. Because we booked this cruise primarily for the itinerary, it met our expectations and then some. Our kids enjoyed the experience. My daughter and I loved our quiet afternoons in the atrium area, listening to live music, reading our books, and enjoying snacks and drinks from the cafe and coffee bar. The Movies Under the Stars had features during the day, too, and we enjoyed the experience. Embarkation was an absolute breeze. Debarkation was a little more complicated because the ship was behind schedule and arrived back in Fort Lauderdale a few hours late due to a medical emergency. By the way, after reading other reviews of this same ship and itinerary, medical emergencies that require backtracking happens pretty frequently. Now, for the one big negative that left us with a bad taste for Lotus Spa, an independent company that operates on the ship. If you've ever gone swimming in a pool full of piranhas and had fun, then you may very well enjoy your interactions with the staff at the Lotus Spa. I found a couple of the ladies to be very hard sell, unpleasantly so. I had planned on 1 or 2 treatments for myself but first, scheduled a lime and ginger massage for my 18 yo daughter as a treat. It was $155 for a 50 minute massage and when I scheduled at the counter, the spa manager, Margaritte, told me she would add another 15 minutes if I "schedule it for right now." She must have sold used cars in a past life. I agreed and my daughter enjoyed the experience. However, when I saw the room charge, the spa had charged me $199 for the longer massage and had added their own tip for a total bill of $240. My daughter said she was never given the chance to add a tip. I thought I had read all the fine print, so it's possible the gratuity was automatically added and if so, it was not made clear -- bad, bad form. I called the spa and left a message that we had been overcharged. I was told the manager would call me, but she never did. On the last day of the cruise, when my husband was paying our ship charges, he went to the spa to ask about the overcharge. The manager fabricated a story in which *I* had scheduled the longer massage! Since my husband hadn't been there when I scheduled it, there was NO WAY for her to possibly know or even remember the interaction, since she didn't know who his wife was. The woman refused to back down over $40 and basically accused my husband of lying!! We are both business owners and this tactic was shocking to us. Since Lotus Spa is an independent business, there is NO ONE to appeal to. A customer service person from the ship came to the spa to talk with my husband and all he could do was give my husband the business card for the corporate customer service desk! So -- my advice is to confirm what you have scheduled. Find out what the tip policy is, and don't be bullied by Mararitte, the head piranha. Total experience: UGH. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Geriatric Cruise, Average age guessing 70. The Panama Canal crossing was great. Started before dawn though and made for a long day as we went on a excursion immediately after and were stuck in traffic and did not return to the ship until ... Read More
Geriatric Cruise, Average age guessing 70. The Panama Canal crossing was great. Started before dawn though and made for a long day as we went on a excursion immediately after and were stuck in traffic and did not return to the ship until 8:00 p.m. The excursions provided by the cruiseline were average. "Hurry up and look and move on." Panama City tour needs rearranged. You end up across town in rush hour traffic. Stop and go forever. Food selections at dinner included spaghetti, meatloaf and gnochi, Food was not always hot and steaks not cooked as ordered. Desserts were awesome as was the tour of the galley. Servers in dining room were great. We were celebrating my sisters birthday and she received lots of perks. Another woman at our table who was also celebrating received nothing She inquired and was told they have a drawing of 50 from all the birthdays and they are the only ones who get perks. Recommend scheduling your own tour in Costa Rica. Negotiated with the tour scheduler and took a tour of the island and a canal boat ride for $25 a person. Driver stopped at many places and showed us paprika, cocoa, bananas, starfruit, almonds all growing along the road. His name was Gary. This was my second Princess cruise. Love the movies under the stars and the ice-cream. If you are with your partner, the dancing is amazing. Shows not so exciting. The last show made great use of the new electronics on the stage...You were on Broadway when the curtain opened. Too bad they did not use it more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The itenary started out good, but due to circumstances beyond their control we were unable to complete the tours originally booked. The traditional dining food was good, the menu unexciting and the service was disappointing. Our ... Read More
The itenary started out good, but due to circumstances beyond their control we were unable to complete the tours originally booked. The traditional dining food was good, the menu unexciting and the service was disappointing. Our CABIN(E214) was situated a floor above the Princess theatre and as a result we were bombarded with continual noise from about 11 am to 11 pm. Also the cigarette smoke from the casino seemed to permeated the floor from the stairs to the forward sections. The CABIN itself needed a lot of repairs walls with gouges, toilet repairs and the thermostat could not maintain temperature. We experienced great service at Vines, International Cafe and with our room steward. The ship needs upgrades to their internet service, the in room televisions, and the delivery system. It uses an analog cable system providing noise and distortion in the video. Our room safe locked our items with a low battery display just before debarcation to a prepaid tour. Often when we called for maintenance, they sent someone illprepared to fix the problem. I had to tell their customer service people twice that they weren't providing service and needed to escalate the issue to get resolution. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First Princess cruise and expected better. Disappointed. Very limited entertainment, the few things scheduled in the evening would be at the same time. ie: A bean bags toss-- really -- cruisers average age maybe 55. Attended by about 6 ... Read More
First Princess cruise and expected better. Disappointed. Very limited entertainment, the few things scheduled in the evening would be at the same time. ie: A bean bags toss-- really -- cruisers average age maybe 55. Attended by about 6 people, lasted ten mins. Technical problems with live musical, so cruise directors solution-- starting a balloon passing with out dropping it through audience-- two balloons... Disappointed with lack of beef on md menu. I had to ask several days for the "hot " milk for oatmeal in the buffet to be reheated. Great salad items in buffet. Tried burgers and fries horrible-- not sure what kind of meat mixture it was but not just beef, cold, greasy fries. A lot of small issues but they added up to many disappointments and delayed meals.Outdoor movie selection was very bad. several days movies geared to children. Total # of children on board 3. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
After 10 years since our last cruise, I booked a 12 night adventure with my elderly father. I am 26 and he is 78 with a walker/cane. Overall, we had a great trip and enjoyed our time together - we are not picky people. However, he ... Read More
After 10 years since our last cruise, I booked a 12 night adventure with my elderly father. I am 26 and he is 78 with a walker/cane. Overall, we had a great trip and enjoyed our time together - we are not picky people. However, he mentioned several times while on the ship, and off, that he doesn't think he will sail with Princess again; and I agree. PROS: - Service: 95% of the service we received was exceptional! The genuine care and attention from many of the crew members salvaged the other aspects of the ship. I drink, so the bar staff got to know me over the course of several days and greeted me across the decks (by name) every time they saw me with a smile; even if I was just passing by. The restaurant staff was also wonderful and very caring. Maybe I just have a memorable face but they seemed genuine each time they greeted us night after night. The spa attendants had a bit more of a spicy demeanor but were still very nice and fun. I think they get tired of seeing the same old kinds of people and will treat you well if you take the time to talk with them. I only dealt with one excursion officer for our onshore endeavors who was extra helpful. After only meeting him once, he automatically sent my father priority passes to exit the ship with disability access and reserved us front seats on each bus - something we did not even request or know about. Each time we disembarked the ship, the crew was always very helpful and swift with my father - making a normally chaotic experience a stress-free one. The staff was 10/10, overall. - Cleanliness: The entire ship was very clean, our cabins were spotless, and the newly refurbished areas were very nice. - Excursions: The ports and excursions were all fun. We choose excursions that were designed for limited mobility and were simple to get off and on. Princess exceed our expectations with several of their offerings. CONS: - Food/Dining: After the first day cruising, my father and I recalled what we noted on our last cruise with Holland America: "My God, the food on this ship is so much better than Princess!" - a realization that we had forgotten when we booked this cruise. When you are on vacation, food is a big part of the fun. I'm going to break down the dining experiences we experienced: 1. Main Dining Room: Usually decent food. We stuck with shrimp cocktails each night and had about 1-2 good dinners that we would actually order again. Everything else was just meh. Only sent food back once, something I never do, because my steak was virtually raw, not medium. The staff was great, and the food was the best that was included on the cruise, so we frequented it more than the rest. 2. Buffet: The "International Marketplace" was very bad. The salads were like a cafeteria with prepaid dressings that tasted like they were from Sysco. The bread was always bland and dry. Their Asian-style food was like tough meat and veggies with generic soy sauce. Panda Express is more authentic. The only good food I remember getting from the buffet was veal and prime rib, which was only available one day each. I am not a breakfast person, so I cannot comment on the morning options. 3. Slice: The poolside pizza was disappointingly some of the best food on the ship. I did enjoy the pizza and the California toast was pretty decent if you like avocado and a ton of bacon. 4. Salty Dog: The hamburger place was disgusting. A frozen patty with very salty cheese and basic condiments. After one bite of the cheeseburger when we first boarded the ship, I looked at my dad and knew we were in for a rough time. All of the french fries on the ship are also frozen and flavorless with no seasoning. A hamburger is a hard thing to mess up, but the burgers on Princess make Burger King seem like a special treat. I didn't try their famous "Best Burger at Sea" because it was an extra $13, and I had no hope that it would suffice. 5. Crown Grill: At $40 per person extra, we decided not to try the ship's steakhouse. It probably would have been decent, but we decided we would just eat the free food on the ship and put our money toward better things - or even our favorite restaurants back home. 6. Italian Restaurant: I forget the name, but it was the best food on the ship - not to mention a ton of it! There are many courses so don't fill up on the delicious bread. Unfortunately, we waited until the last couple of days to try this spot because we would have dinned here more often if we knew it was good. Worth the extra charge! 7. Planks: Coming from barbecue country, we have high expectations. The food wasn't bad, but it wasn't amazing. It defiantly satisfied my cravings for meat and flavor. The menu was a bit confusing. We were a party of two and thought we each got a choice of 4 meats. However, they brought the "plank" for two of us, which was a ton of food. The order was therefore a little mixed up, but we didn't have a problem with it. The tri-tip was very tough but the flavor was good. The pickles came from a jar and were way too sour. If you are craving BBQ, it is worth the extra charge. Otherwise, skip it. 8. Steamers: You'd think a cruise ship would specialize in seafood... My dad was more disappointed than I was because he loves fish. The starters were good - we loved the chowder. The crab legs and lobster were also good (all I really wanted anyway), but not enough to fill you up. The flounder was inedible. It was smothered and injected with crab meat and overpowering cheese. It was like a VERY fishy omelette more than anything. Not worth the extra charge in my opinion, but it was the only place to get crab legs or lobster on the ship unless you deal with dressing up for formal night in the main dining room. 9. Room Service: Worse than main dining room, terrible hamburger same as the poolside place, very small portions. 10. International Cafe: The ship's only 24 hour place to get food. Cold pasta salads and sandwiches with about 90% bread and 10% filler. The bite-sized desserts were good. The rest was just food for the sake of being food. Nothing worth a second bite. Also had one of the worst mochas I've ever tasted. - Extra Charges: Don't expect to get anything for free on a Princess cruise. The internet is insanely slow and expensive. I spent a lot of my paid minutes waiting for pages to load. My father was horrified that they charge extra for black coffee everywhere but in the formal dining room. This means you have to pay Starbucks prices each morning if you want any caffeine. I purchased the unlimited beverage package which was worthwhile because they strictly measure a thimble's worth of liquor in each drink. They do have a good cocktail selection, but you cannot get doubles with this package. I was disappointed that all food except for the main dining room, buffet, and pool food areas was an extra charge. Even the real ice cream at the "Coffee and Cones" was an extra cost, only the soft serve yogurt is included. I also didn't like that you had to pay for many of the onboard activities and games including bingo. - Hidden Fees: Watch out for extra gratuity charges that will be added to your bill, even if you opted out of the prepaid gratuity. We were luckily advised by another guest to print out a copy of our invoice on the last night of the cruise - THANK GOD! We were surprised to learn that a daily $13.50 housekeeping gratuity had been added to each of our cabins, even though the unfriendly service did not deserve it. We cancelled that and tipped the cabin steward what we thought was fair in cash and left it in the room. We also caught a staggering $475.00 charge that was accidentally added by the spa staff without any explanation. After we questioned the charge, it was immediately removed as an honest mistake - but it would not have been if we did not see it first. - Service: There were only two issues we encountered with certain staff members... The crew at the ship's front desk were always elsewhere. With 7 stations, it was usually staffed with 0-3 people max. This made the front desk lines very long. The only other person who was unpleasant to deal with was our main cabin steward. He was nice enough on the first day but for the next 11, he would never smile, talk, or acknowledge you unless you made the first move. A real sour puss. My dad asked if I did something to offend him; that's how cold he was toward both of us. We both kept our cabins clean but I felt unwelcome and judged by him because he gave off such negative vibes. If I trashed my room each day then I would have understood, but this was weird. Sufficed to say, he did not earn his $13.50/day cleaning gratuity from me or my father because of his unfortunate demeanor which threw off our daily routine. - Commercialized Atmosphere: At times, it felt like being in a floating mall. Everyone was trying to sell you something - either a GoPro camera, a Discovery Brand accessory, or a really bad painting. The art gallery was right outside our room, so it was unavoidable. It felt a lot like Disneyland when you see signs like "Indiana Jones - Sponsered by AT&T" . Didn't feel upscale. SUMMARY: If you are reading reviews on a site like this, it means you care about what kind of vacation you are about to put good money into. If you don't care about food quality, upscale entertainment, or aren't looking for a young person's experience, you should seriously consider a Princess cruise. However, if you want a less commercialized experience, gourmet cuisine, and upscale amenities - seek another cruise line like Holland America or higher. I talked to some other passengers who had much worse horror stories on our same cruise... One man's room was directly across from the laundry room. During the first day of very rough seas (that day's port was cancelled), the laundry machine's overflowed and water spilled into his cabin - soaking the entire carpet and the luggage/shoes/belongings of his that were on the floor. When they discovered this, the crew made them virtually stay out of their room except to sleep while they cleaned and replaced the carpet. They claimed they had absolutely no other rooms to switch them to for the inconvenience. Despite several of their belongings being ruined in the food, Princess would only compensate them $50.00. No free things, no discounts, and no upgrades. I know it was hearsay, but I cannot imagine this lack of service in the hospitality industry. The only other note I have was more of a personal bummer, not the ship's fault. I know that a 12 day cruise in September around the British Isle's isn't as sexy as a Spring Break cruise to Cabo, but I was very surprised that I was one of the youngest people on the ship. There was virtually no nightlife after 9:00 PM and the few bars that stayed open until 1:00 PM were very dead. The last Holland America ships I was on allowed the crew to enjoy the bars and nightclubs which made it a lot more social and fun. This was not allowed by Princess, so there was zero party scene. The crew told me that there are lots of parties and social events each night on the lower floors, but passengers are not allowed. There was also a number of "un-hosted" meetups advertised at various bars and lounges for singles, LGBT, etc. I tried to go to three of these but it was impossible to tell who else was there for the same reason. I only ended up meeting one other person there for the meetup because the only way to tell was to awkwardly go up to others and ask if they were there for the same thing. Just a poor system. It was not a bad cruise, but if I could do it over - I would have found another cruise line for this vacation. Overall, disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We choose this cruise as an 80th birthday celebration for my father in law. He has Scottish heritage and Scotland was on his bucket list. A cruise made the most sense since we were a family of 12-80yrs of age. The ship was tired, ... Read More
We choose this cruise as an 80th birthday celebration for my father in law. He has Scottish heritage and Scotland was on his bucket list. A cruise made the most sense since we were a family of 12-80yrs of age. The ship was tired, cabins tiny, theatre and Marketplace had limited seating. Never went to the buffet when there was a table available. We were a party of 11 but went to the buffet in small groups (2-4). the entertainment was poor. The ship's singers/dancers were very good and there was a great pianist that played in the lounges was very good. Oh, and a violinist that performed in the theatre was very good. So, 3 theatre performances out of 12 were good. Since we were a family, we decided to go for the studio portrait plan. The photo's were disappointing. No better than the photos taken on formal nights. The studio ones were unoriginal. Having said all of that, the trip was great! Our balcony was huge (carib deck), we had lots of closet space, the staff were very friendly and accommodating. the Dining room was able to seat all 11 of us together each night. The food was good. The beverage package was great! Lots of options to order within that $10 limit along with coffees/ waters. The itinerary was fantastic! Loved all of the ports. We pre booked private tours and saved tons of $. Our drivers were fantastic and went out of their way to give us good days. This is not a cruise for relaxing. Long excursion days. The dance club was lucky to have 9 people there at night. It is an older person's cruise. Again, we had a wonderful time and would recommend this cruise. This was my first time on Princess and was prepared for the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose this cruise for 2 reasons. First to celebrate my 60th birthday and secondly because of the itinerary. There were 7 people in our party. From previous reviews of this ship we were expecting to board an old, tired ship with poor ... Read More
I chose this cruise for 2 reasons. First to celebrate my 60th birthday and secondly because of the itinerary. There were 7 people in our party. From previous reviews of this ship we were expecting to board an old, tired ship with poor food. Well, my experience couldn't be further away from that and was very happy with the whole experience. My wife and I had an unobstructed ocean view cabin which was exactly as described. Plenty of storage room to unpack everything with plenty of room to move about the cabin, Shower was small however more than adequate for one person at a time, The bed was the most comfortable bed we had ever slept in. We really only spent time in the cabin to sleep as we were off the ship most days visiting ports or experiencing the activities on board. We only went to one of the specialty restaurants on one night. That was Sabatini's on the day of my birthday. The food was fantastic and well worth the $25 per head surcharge. Other nights we alternated between the buffet and the main dining room. The food and service in the dining room was top notch with a good selection of meals. The buffet was what you would expect however the selection was enough to satisfy. We ate breakfast each morning in the buffet and were more that satisfied with the quality and selection. Embarkation and disembarkation were both smooth and easy. We opted to disembark on our own as we were staying in the UK for a few more days and didn't have flights to meet. Entertainment and activities met our needs and the Cruise Director and his staff did a good job. Because of the itinerary the cruise attracted an older age group. It certainly wasn't a party cruise. Quiet often we were the only ones left to watch bands and singers as everyone else had gone to bed. 10pm was bedtime for most. The performers described there last sessions as paid rehearsals which we didn't mind and they appreciated our support. There were some great shows in the theatre which were well patronised and full at least 20 minutes before showtime, Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This is the 1st negative review I have ever written, after ~14 cruises (1st time on Princess celebrating our 15 yr wedding anniv.). This is the 1st time we were treated dishonestly & the room was represented so unethically. We paid ... Read More
This is the 1st negative review I have ever written, after ~14 cruises (1st time on Princess celebrating our 15 yr wedding anniv.). This is the 1st time we were treated dishonestly & the room was represented so unethically. We paid Princess Cruises $4,482.99 for a "Guarantee Unobstructed Oceanview" room, exact title of the purchase. Our room was obstructed by columns, railing, & a full walkway in front of it (photographed). An other cruises that meant a window with the ocean in front of it. On Princess, people constantly walked in front of our window & tried looking in! So we had to keep the curtain closed at all times making this an interior room! Upon seeing our room was not what we paid for, nor represented, we asked very nicely to Princess to exchange our room for either an interior room & refund part of our money (because we were essentially in an inner room anyway) or we would gladly pay extra for a balcony... THE ROOM WE PAID FOR WAS NOT THE ROOM WE WERE STAYING IN! Princess Cruises responded they had no other rooms & would not refund anything yet did not give us a reason why. When I said, 'You're forcing me to write my 1st bad review ever.' They didn't seem to think it would make a difference. After trying to ask Princess to remedy this, we find out at dinner that night the people at our table PAID $3600 per couple for BALCONY rooms PLUS our room was extremely outdated with old brown carpet, plastic counter-tops, & 70s style cracked blue tiles. EMBARKATION - The ports were great, but this was the most disorganized ship we've ever been on! They KNOW how many people they are going to need to disembark, yet do not provide enough transports where every stop required passengers to wait 1-2 hours for either the boat transfers or the cruise ship bus. We were left to wait in the rain or burning sun for between 1 to 2 hours at nearly every port! When there was a tender they made us wait for up to 2 hours before finally getting a tender boat. **AGAIN, THEY KNOW HOW MANY PASSENGERS THEY NEED TO DISEMBARK BUT CHOOSE TO STEAL 1 - 2 HOURS FROM OUR PORT VISIT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO HIRE ENOUGH BOATS and/or BUSES. The FOOD- I am the least picky person, but it was hard to find something I truly enjoyed eating. I said nothing, because the staff seemed like they were trying, but we only remembered one enjoyable meal. ON BOARD ACTIVITIES - roughly 80% of the "activities" on the ship were not actually activities, but sales presentations trying to get you to spend more. All the other cruises we've been on the activities were fun or at least engaging; on Caribbean Princess we left as soon as we politely could. The CLEANING STAFF - the gentleman who cleaned our room was wonderful. He seemed to always be working & looked exhausted, but was always cheerful & greeted us with a friendly smile. THE PORTS (LOVED the cities and their citizens) SOUTHAMPTON -We did an independent tour (not through the cruise) with GoldenTours Private Viewing of Stonehenge. AMAZING! It was breathtaking to be in the center of those 5,000-year-old monoliths, the tour guide was funny, informative, and organized. To stand next to the huge stones was awe-inspiring. GUERNSEY - Such a friendly and informative guide. She loves living in Guernsey and was a wealth of knowledge. The people were so kind there. Even as we waiting for nearly 2 hours for the Princess Cruise's tenders to slowly take us back the Guernsey travel board brought out water and sun block lotion to us. St. Peter Port was beautiful. CORK/COBH - FANTASTIC!!! Blarney Castle TOUR with eCoach Bus Tours from Cork/Cobh, FANTASTIC!! **** Not only did this independent tour get us there BEFORE the Princess tour buses allowing us to go up the Blarney Castle and kiss the Stone in about 15 minutes, it was a THIRD of the cost of the excursion from Princess. However, Princess kept us on the boat for an extra 40 min. so the driver had to wait for us. We still made it to the Blarney Castle before most other groups so were not only able to get up the castle fast, it gave us enough time to explore the vast storybook style gardens, eat lunch, and see the beautiful castle estate on the grounds. DUBLIN - The Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off bus allows you to ride around enjoying the city highlights with guide descriptions and then you can get off to see the Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse, etc. Another bus will pick you up when you're done. LIVERPOOL to WALES - It was nice, although a very long ride to Conwy Castle. The sweet guide tried her best, but she had such a monotone delivery it was hard to stay awake. We didn't realize it would be such a long, long drive but it wasca nice to see the countryside and the Moors. We returned so late that we didn’t have any time left to see Liverpool. BELFAST - The Giant's Causeway was a good experience and impressive, but not as impressive as the photos on-line. The Odyssey Coach Tours Shore Excursion: Giants Causeway Tour from Belfast Port was so rushed we only had about 10 - 15 minutes and had to run to get back in time. The buses took so long we beat the bus ride both down and back up the hill. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge - Odyssey Coach Tours Shore Excursion: Giants Causeway It is an amazing natural phenomenon that has made an incredible series of structures. CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE - Beautiful landscapes and huge cliffs. It's a nice long walk with picturesque views, but you need time to get there and return. They have a limited amount of tickets so buy ahead. Independent Cruise Excursion Tour from Belfast Port. Our guide did not bother reserving tickets for us to go across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the operators told everyone that EACH TOUR GUIDE GROUP KNOWS IF THEY DO NOT RESERVE TICKETS THEN THERE WILL BE NONE AVAILABLE. By a miracle we still found tickets. There was not a single ticket left and lots of people were yelling they were so disappointed. The tour guide co. which did not reserve our tickets was “ODYSSEY COACH TOURS SHORE EXCURSION: Giants Causeway Tour from Belfast Port.” We walked down anyway hoping for a miracle and a kind man standing off to the side said he was not going to use his tickets because he's been over the bridge a hundred times and gave us his tickets! Otherwise we would not have experienced it nor went over to the island. It was a great walk and beautiful view. Thank you kind stranger. GLASGOW – is a lovely and artistic city. It was very hard to get to but once we were there we did the Hop-on Hop-off and were able to tour this delightful city. Glasgow also had great shopping and more Ferrari’s than I’ve seen in a single day. The ship drops you off over 1-1/2 from Glasgow and you have to find a train station to take a 45 min ride into the city. The Scottish people on the train were very upset that Princess Cruises did not call ahead for the big train. Since they did not over half the people had to stand for nearly an hour with their purchases. The city itself was beautiful. INVERGORDON - Excellent Tour, well-organized, and with plenty of time to see Loch Ness, the castle, and explore Invergordon. Plus it was a about 30% of the cost from the cruise ship. We kept beating the ship's bus to each location so we entered with no wait and looked for the Nessie. Very informative and great guide who wore traditional Scottish kilt and was very friendly. EDINBURGH - Hop On Hop Off bus tour & tickets to ‘Skip the line’ to Edinburgh castle. Again, the bus tour guide is so informative and buying the Skip the Line tickets on Viator are well worth it if you'd like to get in without a long wait. The lines are massive if you don't have the Skip the line ticket. The castle is quite impressive as it sits upon the lava rock. Side note: The cruise ship will have you wait between 1-2 hours for a tender HOWEVER, they don't check the ticket number they give you. So we had number 1170, but could have gone with the 1st boat transfer since they don't check. Otherwise, you'll be sitting like we stupidly did waiting for our group # to be called to disembark. LE HAVRE - We took the bus in to the city and enjoyed Le Havre. (Le Havre is not close to anything and we were tired of the long rides. Every tour through the ship was a 2 - 3 hour bus ride each way.) It is a nice city with very friendly people. We enjoyed shopping, their Cathedrals, art, and museum. We've now been to 41 countries & 14 cruises (1st time on Princess). This is the FIRST time a cruise ship company (PRINCESS CRUISES) treated so dishonestly & the Cabin was represented so unethically. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I picked this cruise because of daily stops each day. Wonderful ports the whole trip! Ireland and Scotland Normandy are beautiful and safe to travel! We started in London and got to go to Wimbeldon pre cruise. Embarking was very ... Read More
I picked this cruise because of daily stops each day. Wonderful ports the whole trip! Ireland and Scotland Normandy are beautiful and safe to travel! We started in London and got to go to Wimbeldon pre cruise. Embarking was very smooth. Had private tours each day from the ship. Only place not offered was Kirkland. Only walk around this place. Do not bother with a tour. We paid for a tour from the ship was a horrible guide who we could not hear and he could not speak well at all. So we left the tour and walked around. Inverness and Belfast and Dublin, Cork, Glasgow and Edinbourg and Normandy! Wish we had 2 nights for France. Beautiful places to see and visit. The ship staff was wonderful! The food in Club Dinning was just good some nights and better in other nights. Sabatinis and Crown Grill had great Food and Staff was wonderful! Our suite was L106. My only complaint is the small bathroom, and loud speaker on our balcony, which woke us up each day at 7:00am, with daily announcements! We did not want to hear this on our vacation. We can set our own alarms. The other problem with this suite is the Gym above treadmill making noise above our bed each morning too. Bedding is nice and new. Our room steward was great! Shows were fun and many times no seats were left to sit in. Too crowded. Ship was big. Too many passengers. Be ready for this. Gym was hot and needs better A/C. Disembarkation was very easy. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Caribbean Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.2

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