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61 Princess Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Eastern

We are new to Princess but not to cruising. I made my plans through Princess' reservations center after the agent assured this was the best ship and itinerary for myself, wife and 2 teenagers. We booked 2 cabins on the Aloha deck. ... Read More
We are new to Princess but not to cruising. I made my plans through Princess' reservations center after the agent assured this was the best ship and itinerary for myself, wife and 2 teenagers. We booked 2 cabins on the Aloha deck. (one inside and one with a balcony) While I am not accustomed to leaving negative ship reviews, I first sent an e-mail to Princess. However, after 2 weeks of not receiving any response from her office, I decided to leave the following: Checking is was very efficient and everyone involved in this process was exceptionally friendly and helpful. We also loved our room steward as well. What we did not realize when booking on Princess was the demographic of the passengers was much older than myself and there were few other teens on this voyage. Each year we cruise during President's week when the majority of schools in the Northeast are on the mid-winter recess. Each year our girls meet new friends and come back home with great experiences. This was the first vacation we were all happy to see end. While I have no problem with an older crowd, the entertainment and activities were mostly tailored to their likes and age group. The first three nights we were closed out of the shows. The ship was at maximum capacity and despite arriving 15 min early, there were not any open seats. We ended up standing in the back of the theatre but would leave early as the shows were "cheesy." The night of the comedian and the illusionist/magician we arrived extra early, got a seat and found their performances good. The entertainment in the Atrium was basically the same each night. A performer playing steel-drums to background music. While I found him very talented, hearing the same thing every night got old fast. The cruise offered outdoor movies poolside which the girls watched and enjoyed on their own. Our first scheduled port was Princess Cay which we were very much looking forward to. After a early-morning work out, my wife and I were having breakfast discussing the activities we planned ashore. Just prior to our scheduled arrival, the Captain came across the PA and announced the 5' seas and wind would prohibit the tenders from operating. Since these conditions were expected to last throughout the day, the port would be canceled. Therefore, with little to do, we were stuck on the ship for another day. We will not second guess safety but not having a contingency plan was a real bummer. This left us on the ship for about 63 consecutive hours bored out of our minds. Due to other passengers who were less than courteous, many would reserve blocks of lounge chairs where nobody would occupying for hours, Carnival had a great system where the staff would monitor and then bag store personal items for individuals who left for more than one hour. Princess does not have the same policy and we were on our own unsuccessfully finding a decent spot for our days at sea. We found both of our rooms to be spacious enough, clean with plenty of storage. And as indicated earlier, our room steward was awesome and dis an outstanding job. The TV was newer and offered a good signal. St Maarten, St Thomas and Nassau were all awesome and we had a blast ashore. Dinner was another disappointment as we originally opted for the "anytime dining." Our first two evenings we waited in line for more than 20 minuets and then were issued a restaurant pager and waited about an additional 40 minuets. This was when we listened to the musician playing the steel drums. The Maitre D was accommodating and switched us to the 5:30 seating at Palms. Our wait staff were awesome and we really enjoyed their service. This was also the first cruise in which we were dissatisfied with the selection and taste of the food. In all fairness, my wife and I don't eat seafood which the girls said was "awesome." I would best describe it as "okay." The pizza on the ship was very good and offered a hot and fresh snack. The Trident Grill was also a nice place to grab lunch. However, the buffets was not good at all. 90% of the selections were duplicated every day which became boring after the 3rd day. With a lack of activities and shows, my wife typically went to the cabin soon after dinner and watched TV. I did play in the casino every night and met some new friends. I would have a difficult time recommending this cruise line to individuals in their 40's and/or traveling with teens or children. For retired couples, this seems like a great option with plenty of entertainment and activities for that generation.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Four of us embarked on a Valentine's Cruise. Overall, we had a Most Excellent time. The ship is lovely, the entertainment options varied, the food fantastic! Our room steward Runiel was stellar. Our wait staff in the late seating main ... Read More
Four of us embarked on a Valentine's Cruise. Overall, we had a Most Excellent time. The ship is lovely, the entertainment options varied, the food fantastic! Our room steward Runiel was stellar. Our wait staff in the late seating main dining room were fantastic (Manuel and Pharagon). The areas where we felt they fell short were in the in-room movie/TV channel options. The ship touts itself as a higher end floating hotel, and yet the in-room entertainment options were nonexistent. I would suggest that they at least make encore movie channels or an equivalent available, and also perhaps movies for purchase. Also, one port of call, Nassau, Bahamas, will NEVER be on my cruise itinerary again. I'm sure a land vacation in a resort there is lovely, but the port area is despicable. Filthy, hawkers have NO respect for personal space, and the US DOS had recently issued a travel advisory to US citizens traveling abroad of the increased incidence of crime there. Nasty, nasty stop for a cruise passenger. St. Maarten and St. Thomas were amazing, just lovely. My only advice in both, is to be firm with the taxi drivers. They are mandated to charge a certain fee to a destination, but in both places refused to take us unless we paid four times the government mandated price. This issue needs to be strongly addressed.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My wife and I usually sail from the Texas coast. We decided to try Ft Lauderdale to be able to go to Grand Turks. GREAT decision. We really enjoyed this cruise. We had great service by our room steward and the dining was ok. Not quite as ... Read More
My wife and I usually sail from the Texas coast. We decided to try Ft Lauderdale to be able to go to Grand Turks. GREAT decision. We really enjoyed this cruise. We had great service by our room steward and the dining was ok. Not quite as good as past Princess cruises but definitely not bad like I have read other cruisers say. The ship appeared to be clean and well maintained. We had a few bad staffers but over all they did not "ruin" our cruise as I have read people say before. (You meet all kinds of people in every walk of life and not all are exceptional) I do admit it did not seem to have as many staffers on board but this didn't detract from having a good time. And Grand Turks was so great. Want to go back again. Only draw back is it is only 4 days and we drove to Ft Lauderdale.. But we did stay on the next leg to the western Caribbean for 5 more days. Overall well worth the drive, time, and money!!! I recommend it. (this was my 4th and 5th cruise and my wife's 6th and 7th cruises) Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This is my first review so be gentle please. Just a little background. Im traveling with my parents, daughter,aunt, cousin and BFF. This was my 6th cruise, second with Princess. We were a little concerned about the cruise experience we ... Read More
This is my first review so be gentle please. Just a little background. Im traveling with my parents, daughter,aunt, cousin and BFF. This was my 6th cruise, second with Princess. We were a little concerned about the cruise experience we would have after reading some not so favorable reviews on this ship. As it turns out most of the bad stuff was right on. We still had fun and made some great memories. Heres my review of our week. We arrived in Ft Lauderdale Friday afternoon and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on 17th Street. It was OK for one night but wouldnt stay there again or recommend it. Needs updated and a good cleaning. Hotel offered transportation to cruise port but after a phone call we secured a taxi for a much better price. Arrived at cruise port around 11 am and we were onboard by noon. Quickest embarkation ever. We had 2 balcony staterooms and had the balconies opened which was nice and this made it one large balcony space. Be sure to bring a bungie to secure door and keep it from swinging back and forth. Cabins were kept clean by Dennis our attendant but there was always a sewer smell lingering. Food was average and nothing great stands out. Lunch in main dining room on embarkation day was relaxing and much less hectic than the buffet. Pub lunch was tasty and pizza was good. The International Cafe was a favorite stop for many people. BFF purchased the coffee card and used it daily. Cousin got the drink package and lets just say it was very worth it for her. Ha Ha!! Had Traditional seating in Palm Dining Room and we were serenaded many times by Hector. He's awesome!! As for our ports, everyone enjoyed them. We did miss out on Princess Cays due to BERTA so that was just another day to get some sun on the pool deck. The 3 days we spent by the Neptune pool were very quiet . Never had any silly games or belly flop contest except once I did see a game being played. Thought that was kind of odd I always remember a lot of action around pool on previous cruises. I chalk that up to the Cruise Director onboard.In St Thomas we did a snorkel excursion thru Princess to Turtle Cove which was enjoyable. At San Juan we shopped and took advantage of the Hop on Hop off Trolly which we just rode and never got off of. Got some nice photos from the trolly but it was just too hot for any more walking. What do you expect in August right ! Our final port was Grand Turk and it was so hot we spent most of the day in the sea with some beachcombing for sea glass and conch on our to do list.Be sure to pack water shoes. You will need them with the craters and sharp rocks. Later we did some shopping and saw the John Glenn exhibit but avoided Margarittaville . We stayed to the right side of pier where it was less crowded. Entertainment was Ok on some nights. Saw Ventriloquist Jerry Goodspeed, Comedian Scott Wyler and Illusionist Lance Swank . He was really good and was interacting with the crowd. Passed on Caribbean Princess Dancers. MUTS was too loud for us. Princess employees seemed lethargic and as if they were just going thru the motions, the likes of which Ive never seen before on a cruise. And as for our CD, we never saw him around the ship and Im sorry to say he has a big influence on setting the tone for our week onboard . The bad reviews I have read on him were unfortunately true in our case. Disembarking went very well. We only spent 30 minutes or so in our area waiting to exit ship. Overall this cruise was a bit dissapointing. Ship looking its age , unfriendly staff and an absent CD left a bad taste in our mouthes. We will most likely try another Cruise line next time.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our 5th cruise. Previously we have cruised three times with Royal Caribbean (loved all three) and once with Norwegian (decided we were not their target audience). We were celebrating our 20th anniversary, and had talked another ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise. Previously we have cruised three times with Royal Caribbean (loved all three) and once with Norwegian (decided we were not their target audience). We were celebrating our 20th anniversary, and had talked another couple into joining us for the trip. Initially I was concerned by the number of online reviews complaining about staffing and the run-down atmosphere of the ship, but my fears turned out to be baseless. The ship is clean and glistens. There is a constant hum of staff polishing and shining! All of the staff is outstanding and will go out of their way to help you. We could not have been more pleased with Princess cruises, and the Caribbean Princess. Here is a not too complete impression of our experience. Fort Lauderdale and Embarkation: We booked rooms at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66. Originally I was panning on the Hilton Marina, however I stumbled on a great rate at the Hyatt. Most reviews seem unhappy with the pool view rooms, but we found our room to be clean, and well appointed. our was a king room, with sliders to a sitting area adjacent to the pool. we did not use the pool, or the sitting area as we had plans that evening, but the amenities in the pool area would appeal to many families. We saw volleyball and badminton set up, as well as soccer goals and bocce. lots of activities if you come in early for your cruise. I will say the tree frogs were almost deafening! but we have them here in NC, so eventually I managed to tune them out. We met local friends for drinks and dinner just over the bridge at Bimini Boat House. Everyone loved the menu, however if you are not a seafood lover, you may want to choose another restaurant. I am allergic to fish and shellfish, so there was only one non-seafood appetizer option, and the usual choice of steak or roast chicken. But the company was excellent, and too soon the evening was over. Port Everglades was a let down after previously sailing out of Miami. I am hoping that Princess will be investing in their facilities at Port Everglades. Essentially you are in a giant warehouse, following queue after queue, no atmosphere or amenities to be found. I did my best to keep my spirits up, since I knew what waited at the end of the lines. We were dropped off at 11:30, and were on the ship by 1:30, much longer wait times than experienced with RCCL or NCL. However, we were able to immediately drop off our bags in our cabin, and head to the Lido deck. Ports of Call: We had decided not to book excursions. Rather we planned to hop a taxi to a local beach in St. Thomas and Grand Turk. In San Juan we were planning on walking the city in the morning, and splitting up in the afternoon, hubby and I going to the Bacardi factory on our own (no excursion) and our friends heading to the beach. well that was our initial plan :-) However after spending 4 hours in the water at Princess Cay, Hubby and I were pretty well sunburnt. And so was my girlfriend. We ended up adjusting our plans. St Thomas: We were careful on our sea day between ports, but ultimately in St Thomas, we chose to take it easy and skip Magens Bay. Our friends headed off to the beach, and Hubby and I jumped on a tour by the pier as it was about to leave for $25 pp. If I was not going to the beach, I was definitely going to take in the beautiful ocean views I had been seeing online. Our Driver was Jeff, and a very friendly and chatty guide! we learned a lot about the history of the island, some of the local plants and trees, as well as their uses. The mountain roads were steep with hairpin turns, and at times I thought my husband would fall out to the open taxi! but the views were incredible. I will say that I was quite disappointed with the Mountain Top. It is not quite what I expected from the pics I had seen, but the views from the back deck were incredible. No daiquiris for us (it was 9:30AM). At the end of our tour we could go back to the ship, be dropped off downtown, or ask to be dropped off at a beach. We opted to go downtown for shopping, and meet our friends for lunch. We had a wonderful lunch at Cuzzins which had been highly recommended. My Jerk chicken was well spiced, but not so hot that you could not taste it. Add a Painkiller, and it was a lunch to die for. After lunch my husband was a bit under the weather, and took a taxi to the ship, while my girlfriend and I searched the jewelry shops for the perfect souvenir. San Juan: I had downloaded a walking map of Old San Juan, and we walked along the waterfront following the Paseo de la Pricipesa to the old city gates. Unfortunately after we passed through the gates we ended up in the middle of road blocks. Apparently there were protests happening due to the decision regarding potential statehood, independent nation status or continuing as a US commonwealth. There were police and men in dark suits every where, and not knowing the roads very well, we kept hitting road blocks as we attempted to circle around to the landmarks on my map. Ultimately we opted to head out of the area, and trek over to Castillo San Cristobal. After exploring Cristobal, we decided to head to the air-conditioned comfort of lunch. We ate at Raices at the recommendation of several friends familiar with the area. Lunch was quite good, although we all agreed that the mofongo was a bit saltier than we liked. The filling however was wonderful! We again split up, the boys heading back to the ship, my friend still searching for that elusive perfect souvenir. after walking in incredible heat, we headed back to the ship empty handed. Grand Turk: I had every intention of checking out all the beach bars listed here on Cruise Critic, however, the lure of the loungers under the palm trees in front to Margaritaville was too strong to ignore. By now the heat was doing me in, and I needed the shade. From the ship I scanned down the beach and saw my only option for shade was at the cruise center, so the decision was made! We camped out in the shade, and at 2:30 had lunch at Margaritaville. Honestly not a good decision. Not because the food was bad, but because after lunch we all decided we were beached out, and headed back the the ship! where of course lunch and beverages were available minus the credit card! Beverage Package: For the past 4 months or so we had been discussing the beverage package amongst the 4 of us. My husband and I felt that since we were traveling with another couple, we would most likely do well with the package. Our friends were split. My husband's buddy would be drinking beer most of the day, with a few mixed drinks at dinner, so the plan was definitely a good option for him. My girlfriend however is not a heavy drinker, however she decided that factoring in bottled water, soda and specialty coffees, she should be able to about break even, so they also signed up. We made good use of the plan every day except for when we were in port in St Thomas, as we were not back on the ship until almost 6PM. Food: I was always impressed with the food on RCCL. Not so much with NCL, where I found myself wandering around the buffet at breakfast and lunch pretty much uninspired. So I was interested to see how the food was with Princess. Again the reviews were mixed. So please believe me - I cannot say enough good things about the buffet and dining room service. We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet. While there was a bit of waiting, the only time I actually had to stand in any line of consequece was for lunch on embarkation day. The set up is not the best, I will admit, but I never saw any backups that were worth complaining over. In the evening, our dining room waiter and assistant waiter were wonderful, the assistant waiter especially light hearted, and always ready to make a joke. The food was outstanding, and the portion sizes were just right - not too big after spending long days in the sun drinking and eating. On Wednesday Night (our anniversary) we opted to try the Crown Grill. Cover charge was $25 per person. The food and level of service was in my opinion higher than any high end steakhouse I have been too. The steaks were incredible! All sides are served family style on a platter, with portions large enough for 3-4 ppl easily. Both of the guys opted to add a lobster tail (for an add'l $5), and I am told they were perfection. At the end of the meal we were serenaded by the restaurant staff with a large piece of chocolate mousse cake. We girls of course still ordered the molten chocolate cake as well ;-) Vines: My husband and I enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner when we are on vacation, so I was very interested in trying the wine bar out. I cannot say enough about this venue. Our two wine stewards - Joseph and Amel - were incredible! Every night they greeted us like old friends! By the end of the week, when we passed them by, they were asking if we would be stopping in. There is an extensive list of wines by the glass to try, and our new friends made wonderful suggestions based on our likes and dislikes. they never led us astray. Only a few of the options were not available with the beverage package, but there were more than enough to sample throughout the week. After ordering your wine you will be offered either tapas or sushi to enjoy with your beverage. Due to my allergy we opted for tapas, which was usually 3-4 bites. Just enough for a before dinner snack. There was usually one shrimp in the offering, and when Joseph asked if I did not like it, and found out about my allergy, he disappeared, and re-appeared with a plate of assorted cheese! Cabin I was planning on an outside cabin, hoping maybe to find a good price on a balcony, but my girlfriend pretty much was only interested in booking an interior cabin. It was not a bad option given that we were almost never there. The room was larger than either the interiors I have been in on RCCL or NCL. the cabin layout was wonderful, and the closet size puts every other ship I have been on to shame! I will say however that if we were cruising just the 2 of us, I would have enjoyed a balcony of my own to sit in the morning with my coffee and iPad. Hubby likes to sleep in, and I am an early riser, so I ended up wandering the ship from about 6 till 8 most mornings, stopping wherever there was coffee available. Final impressions: I am 100% sold on Princess. Up until now I was pretty loyal to Royal, but can easily see more Princess cruises in my future! The service levels and ship is well above any other cruise I have been on, and I am looking forward to booking my next cruise with them! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My husband and I were looking forward to cruising with Princess. We understood it to have a 5 star rating. Previously we have cruised with Carnival and Norwegian. We paid extra to choose our cabin but discovered that we were not in the ... Read More
My husband and I were looking forward to cruising with Princess. We understood it to have a 5 star rating. Previously we have cruised with Carnival and Norwegian. We paid extra to choose our cabin but discovered that we were not in the cabin we selected. We were moved to the forward most room next to a warehouse/storage area where large carts were banged around all night. The noise was terrible and continued throughout the night. Customer service was a joke. The long line of disgruntled passengers was near constant each time we approached the desk to try to resolve our room issue. Apparently we were not the only ones unhappy with the cruise line or the accommodations. The cruise line denied any responsibility and claimed to be completely full so moving to another room was not an option. The food was alright although the wait times were long for the buffet and dining rooms. The ship appeared to be rather old and not well maintained. The entertainment was lack luster. The ship advertised a particular show but instead replaced it with a rather boring mentalist. The cruise director did nothing to encourage passengers to participate in any activities, unlike Carnival where you always know what is going on and when/where to go if you want to participate. The sea days were long and boring with little to fill the time. We were fortunate that we met another couple on board to play board games with. I left several items on board the ship and contacted customer service to report them missing when I returned home. I received a canned letter stating the items were not found, even though one of the fellow passengers emailed me that they had found the missing item and turned it into guest services for me to claim. Obviously, the guest services staff kept it for themselves. Overall, the experience with Princess was a big disappointment. We will never cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Pro's--Dinning room staff, embarkation, International Café, and entertainment (with the exception of one night...entertainment did not show up one of the evenings and the staff had to do an impromptu show of crew members hidden ... Read More
Pro's--Dinning room staff, embarkation, International Café, and entertainment (with the exception of one night...entertainment did not show up one of the evenings and the staff had to do an impromptu show of crew members hidden talents...TERRIBLE! Con's-Staff was rude and seemed angry to be on the ship working, food in the dinning room was cold, bland, and thankfully small portions. The buffet was one step above but food quality declined though the week. Our stateroom was dirty. I had a balcony that was rusted, peeling paint, and the glass had never been cleaned. Upon out arrival I found garbage under the bed (water bottle and soda cans) Our toilet remained broken a day and a half, never got fixed after reporting a problem and it was a smelly mess!!! Our steward for got my name and called my wife different names. The drinks were very overpriced (two drinks cost $24.00 with the tip and tax added) The staff hounded us to buy things the entire time and all pictures taken were washed out and had an orange color! Also on their private island I was not able to use my unlimited drink card...It's their product from the ship brought over to the island!!!!! Also coming back we waited with...and I kid you not 800+ people in the sun to get tendered back to the ship! Talk about being dehydrated and sunburned and the ship did not supply water to elderly people waiting in line. I really wanted to love this ship and cruise line! I really did! The elevators were broken daily and getting around on the choppy layout of this ship (some elevators only went to certain levels) made for a constant challenge to get around with 3000+ other people. I've taken Mexican Rivera cruises on Carnival that were a dream compared to this ship! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
The temperatures were in the 80s at all ports. It was comfortable under the shade with sea breeze. Fort Lauderdale and Miami were hotter with highs in the 90s. We toured all islands on our own and didn’t encounter any major challenges. ... Read More
The temperatures were in the 80s at all ports. It was comfortable under the shade with sea breeze. Fort Lauderdale and Miami were hotter with highs in the 90s. We toured all islands on our own and didn’t encounter any major challenges. All our taxis drivers asked us for the return pick up time and always showed up on time. We never had to worry about getting the rides back to cruise ports. Princess Cay, 9am-4pm. Passengers were tendered to the island. Cruise line provided lunch and drinks (water and ice tea). There were bars for drinks. It wasn’t necessary to rent clamshells as it was very hot inside them. There were plenty of chairs. If you like area under the shade, go early. On the west side (north beach) there were good spots for snorkeling. Water sports rentals were also available. There was no need to book excursions unless you had something specific in mind. Very nice and relax day. St. Thomas, 7am to 8pm. Our cruise docked at Crown's Bay. We got off at ~8:15 am. There were many open sided safari trucks (Taxis) waiting outside the port. The price to each destination was clearly listed at the taxi stop, ranged from $4-10/person each way. We went to Coki Beach first. The taxi picked up about ~20 passengers and dropped them off at Downtown Charlotte Amelia, Red Hook (ferry terminal to St. John), and Coki Beach (our taxi’s last drop off spot). It took quite a long time to get there (>45 minutes) because of various drop off stops (maybe quicker if going to Coki Beach directly?). The Coki Beach (free) was right next door to Coral World Ocean Park. My husband went to explore the Coral World Park and thought it was worth the $19 entrance fee. Visit the website if you are interested: http://coralworldvi.com Coki Beach is the best snorkeling beach on St Thomas. We saw more fish here than all our previous snorkel experiences. The beach was pretty with fine white sand but not very big. We were lucky because we were the only cruise at port. It could be crowded with passengers from 5-7 cruise ships arrive on the same day. The onsite bar/food venders were aggressive to sell drinks and food. We rented 4 chairs ($5 each) but no umbrella ($10) because we got there early at 9:30am and there were shaded areas under the trees. Smoothly was $8 each, fresh coconut was $5. My husband went to the next door Coral World and thought it was worth the money. Their underwater observation deck was very nice and there were a lot of marine animals and corals to see. They also offered snuba, sea trak and other activities. We spent two hours at Coki beach. That was about right and I would say 1.5 hours would be the minimum. If you like to visit the coral world, add another 1-1.5 hours or more depends on how many under water activities you plan to do. Our taxi driver came back at 12:30pm and drove us to Magens Bay (~15 minutes ride). The entrance fee was $4. We spent two hours there. This was one of the best beaches we visited, the white sand beach stretched very long and the scenery was amazing. We laid the mats on the beach under the shade. The water was extremely calm. My boys rented standup paddle board ($20/half hour/person). It was their first time, but they managed to go safely and fast. The food and drink were reasonable price and okay quality. Three cups of soft drinks, one six piece chicken tenders (so so), one onion rings and one fries were $26. The portions were quite large. At 2:30, our taxi driver came back. The ride back to port was pleasant and didn’t take very long. Total fare was $29/person for the day. We included $4/person tips on top of the taxi fares. Overall Magens bay was a nicer beach but Coki beach was best for snorkel. San Juan, Puerto Rico, 7am-5pm When cruise ship arrived, there were many tour vans waiting outside the terminal. You can ignore them and walk across the street. There was a free trolley (stop 1, Paseo Concepcion De Gracia and J.A. Corretjer St ) near pier 4 (Princess docked at pier 4). Here is the website: http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/free-trolley-old-san-juan. If your cruise docks at pier 1 to 3, there are stops alone Paseo Concepcion De Gracia. Note San Juan Puerto Rico is US territory so there are cell phone services. If you can't find the trolley stop, you can search it online. There are three free hop-on/off trolley routes circled in the old town. The one most passengers take is the open air trolley which take you to Del Morro Castle and San Cristobal Castle, then return to cruise terminal. The trolley has couple stops (25 and 26) before the El Morro del San Felipe where you can get off and take photos of the castle. Or it can take you right up to the castle entrance after stop 26. Entrance fee is $5 for both El Morro del San Felipe and Fort San Cristobal castles. Waking under the sun during summer weather is no fun. So the covered trolley is a great way to tour the old town. Highly recommended. We visited both El Morro del San Felipe and Fort San Cristobal castles and really enjoyed the visits. Besides history, the views from both forts were magnificent. If we come back again in the future, we plan to take the ferry and visit the Bacardi Distillery on our own. When the cruise leave San Juan, be sure to have your cameras ready and go up to the deck. There are a lot of photo opportunities there. Grand Turk 12-7pm There was a beach by the cruise terminal with lots of chairs. I believe they are free to use. The beach seemed nice but we didn't go there. We went to Governors beach, took a taxi ($4/person each way). Just walk to the left as if you were leaving the shopping area and there would be many taxis waiting. Price to each destination was clearly listed. Admittance was free and chairs were available at $10 each at governor's beach. We simply laid the beach towel on the beach under the shaded area. Snorkel gears were available for rental and there was also a snack shack. I didn't see other water activities there. The water was beautiful and wavy, but the sand wasn’t as fine as I expected. The beach wasn’t very clean. There were fish to see but not a lot. The entire place felt a bit run down. After two hours, our taxi driver came back. They were usually very flexible and would return at pre-arranged pick up time. Returning to the cruise, we took a shower then came out again. This time we took a taxi to the historical Cockburn town and Salt Company ($5 each person each way, 7-10 minutes from cruise terminal). The town was very small so we didn't get off. We spent about 20 minutes at the Salt Company to learn some history of Grand Turk and its salt production history. On our way back, the driver needed to pick up some passengers at Pillory beach (taxi fee: $8 each person each way) so we had about 20 minutes there for photos. There was a small resort there (http://www.bohioresort.com). The pillory beach was much nicer than government beach: clean beach, calm water and fine sands. The onsite shop or resort offered water activities: one hour snorkel on the wall at $45 (20-7000 feet of water), kayak $20/hour, snorkel rental $20/day, paddle boards $30/1.5 hours, beach lounger $10 each. If I were to do it again, I would go to Pillory beach. The ride back was short, a little over than 10 minutes. The Grand Turk wasn’t as developed as other Caribbean islands. There weren’t much traffic and at the most, there were three cruises in port (2 on our day).   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
The Caribbean Princess was launched in 2004 and the design is very similar to the Grand Princess on which we have also sailed several times. The Caribbean Princess has been maintained to excellent physical condition, and its entire staff ... Read More
The Caribbean Princess was launched in 2004 and the design is very similar to the Grand Princess on which we have also sailed several times. The Caribbean Princess has been maintained to excellent physical condition, and its entire staff has been very well trained and proved to be helpful in every instance that we experienced. The food provided in all the venues was delicious and among the best experienced among the many cruise lines we have used over the years. (our 73rd cruise) There was some delays experienced at the Breakfast Buffet each morning due to so many people delaying their meal to the last half hour of the Breakfast period, but the delays were of short duration. Of note to the passengers who are in need of mobility access, is that most of the doors leading to the outside decks must be manually opened, which does present somewhat of a problem for those in wheelchairs and scooters. The cabin doors (even the handicapped ones) are also only opened manually as opposed to many of the newer ships that have electrically operated doors. Of good news is the very good availability of the elevator system. There are many of them available throughout the ship and they are consistently kept in good operating order. I noticed only one elevator that was down for repairs that was not fixed during the entire cruise. Regarding meals; this ship offered many additional options for your culinary pleasure in the form of "Specialty Restaurants" that are available for a usual cover charge of about $20.00 PP. We did not partake of that option on this trip as the included restaurants were perfectly adequate. The stage shows were elaborate and very well done by the ships staff of performers, and the main theater was spacious enough for comfortable seating for enough passengers that there was few people that were required to stand for even the most popular shows. The Handicapped seating, and positions for wheelchairs and scooters were very adequate and easy to access on Deck 7 (Balcony). Embarkation, and Disembarkation were well managed and not at all stressful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Embarkation: First off embarkation went very smooth for us. We arrived at Port Everglades around 10:30am dropped off our luggage came back to the terminal entrance got checked in around 11:00am. They had us wait in one area since we are ... Read More
Embarkation: First off embarkation went very smooth for us. We arrived at Port Everglades around 10:30am dropped off our luggage came back to the terminal entrance got checked in around 11:00am. They had us wait in one area since we are Platinum level members. As time came close to board they moved us to another area and by noon we were on the ship. Stateroom: When we arrived at our stateroom we received our luggage shortly after arriving and we were greeted by our room steward. He was more then friendly he would do anything for us and always made sure that we had everything we needed. He always came by just to say hi when he seen us in the hallways. Food: The food on the ship was very good whether if we ate in the dining room or at the Horizon Court there was always options onboard to choose from. Of couirse, I had to stop by the international cafe for a slice of cheese cake. The lobster that they had was very good and of course the Alaska bake the last night of the cruise was very good indeed. Ports: I loved all the ports in general. First stop was in Grand Turk the ocean was very nice clear water all around and very relaxing. I later found the pool and then I moved over there where they had a tiki bar and the water was very warm. San Juan: This was my first time in San Juan I seen some historic sites that I was impressed with. The streets of San Juan which is the old San Juan were very small and reminded me very much of St. Maarten there streets are small as well. Overall, I had a fun time in San Juan. St. Thomas: Having been here before I didn't see much in change from the last time I visited two years ago. We didn't do any excursions in the ports as we wanted to explore on our own. Princess Cays: This was my third time being at Princess Cays and we did not stay on the island that long because it was way too hot. We had the free lunch that Princess offers we had lunch on the island then decided to go back to the ship and go swimming since it was hot. I will say this about Princess about getting off the ship. They have tender boats that take you to and from the island and I feel that they need to get a better system in place as this does get congested and by the time you get off the ship its time to come back. Advice if you are going to visit the island get off the ship early otherwise it will be very crowded. Entertainment: I will say this if you can't find anything to do on the ship then that is on you. This is my 5th cruise with Princess and I always found something to do whether it was watching a show a demonstration, casinos there is always something to do on the ship. Disembarkation: What can I say it was very smooth and very well organized. Since we are platinum level members we had the option to either sit in the Casino or stay in Club Fusion so we chose to stay in Club Fusion where they had tea and coffee for us. Once off the ship we were through customs within 15 minutes so very smooth indeed. Overall, great cruise as I did celebrate my birthday onboard. Hats off to Princess for making my cruise enjoyable. Would I sail with Princess again most definitely!! Thank you Princess for another great cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Embarkation: Was good except for a very loud noise shaking the floors prior and during which lasted for hours. Which was okay but not on the last day since the ship returned at 1:00 AM to Fort Lauderdale rather than 7:00 AM the following ... Read More
Embarkation: Was good except for a very loud noise shaking the floors prior and during which lasted for hours. Which was okay but not on the last day since the ship returned at 1:00 AM to Fort Lauderdale rather than 7:00 AM the following day "due to maintenance"! Public Rooms: Are very clean and organized. Cabin: Linen Service is excellent. The room gets made twice a day. However we had a horrible experience during the night EVRY Single night. The first night we were awakened by a scratching and tapping sound in the ceiling of our stateroom. We immediately requested that Customer Relations have an engineer do an inspection or move us to another room as it was very disturbing to our family. We got no place with this request and felt disrespected by the staff. It was a long week on the ship as we endured the sound in the ceiling every night (awakening us around 3:00 a.m.). Management was sarcastic and promised to move us but never did. Also, we were bitten by Bed Bugs all over our bodies, Again we complained to staff. We showed them the Bed Bugs Bites all over our bodies. Yet nothing was done about this either. Needless to say, this first cruise has deterred us from ever considering a cruise with Princess again. I would be most interested in hearing if anyone else has had such an experience with Princess. Shore Excursions: Over priced. Also the Shore Excursion Desk has limited hours. They are hardly available to inform you or to get tickets. Also they charge you for Adults rates for children over 12 years. We bought excursion tickets to go to the beach in St. Thomas. All we got was a taxi which dictated that we would spent only 2 hours at the beach, then we had to go shopping by force. We did not want to go shopping and the Taxi Driver who was appointed by the ship's Shore Excursion refused to let us stay for an extra hour only till 1:30 although the ship was suppose to leave at 5:00 PM. The driver also refused to take us back to the ship for he insisted only after we went shopping. He abandoned us downtown in the burning sun although he was supposed to take us back to the ship. We complained to the Excursion Desk Manager who refused to accommodate us in any shape or form. Dinning: Dinning Was the only good thing on this cruise: The restaurants were very clean. The food was 5 stars. The service in the restaurants were fantastic. Also the snacks counter which is available 24 hours has very nice menu. The staff was very friendly. Kids Club: The staff was very cooperative and very friendly. Except it had limited hours. Also it is not available when the ship is at a port. So if you want to spent some adult time or the children have no interest in leaving the ship, that is not an option. Photo Studio: Staff are inexperienced and rude. They lost our pictures 4 times. We had to pay for correcting the colors. Pictures were too orange. We paid extra, then they asked us to come back which we did 4 times every day for 3 days. They found them then they lost them again, The manager was so rude, he said that Americans like to be bribed ! in order to get our pictures right!. Overall we were not impressed with Princess. I think we would have been more impressed had management heard and responded to our problems.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Just a bit of background info on me and my cruising experience. I'm 44 and my wife is 39. We also traveled with our children, my son is 15 and daughter is 14. We have been on most of the major cruise lines including Carnival, Disney, ... Read More
Just a bit of background info on me and my cruising experience. I'm 44 and my wife is 39. We also traveled with our children, my son is 15 and daughter is 14. We have been on most of the major cruise lines including Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and now Princess. This was our first Princess cruise. I booked it primarily because I wanted to try a new cruise line and really didn't know much about Princess. I guess the best place to start a review is at the beginning. Keep in mind, that this review is all based on my own personal opinion and experiences. My ratings are simple. 5 star is the best and 1 the worst. EMBARKATION: 4 Stars We got to the port pretty early (around 11:30 AM). The check-in process was relatively simple. I did ask the counter guy to hole punch the cards for our lanyards. Surprisingly, he said he didn't have a hole puncher. He told me to go to the boutique once I got on board. CABIN: 2 Stars We booked a really cheap inside cabin R732. I selected it primarily because of its location to a small pool on the back of the ship called the terrace pool. When we arrived at our cabin (we were pleasantly surprised when we were told it would be ready as soon as we boarded), the room steward was in the cabin working on it. We walked in just to set our bags down and encountered the first issue of the cruise. The beds were in a twin configuration and I told her that wasn't going to work for us. I explained that we were a married couple and we slept together. She proceeded to call her supervisor. The supervisor told her he would meet us at 1:00 pm. We checked out the ship and came back at 1:00 pm. We waited for about 15 minutes and nobody showed up. At that point, I proceeded to rearrange the beds myself. We unpacked and left the cabin. A few hours later we came back to the room and the supervisor happened to see us. I asked why he wasn't there at 1:00 pm, and I was told he had an emergency (thanks for communicating that fact to me at 1:00). He said that typically Princess had its passengers sign a safety waiver before pushing the beds together, but I didn't need to worry about doing that. He explained it was no problem and left. Overall the cabin was about as tight and cramped as any cruise ship that we've ever been on. The only place to sit down was the bed. I don't expect much from an inside cabin, but this cabin was more like a closet. One other note that seemed to agitate me more as the cruise progressed....the room steward kept her cleaning trolley parked outside my room for most of the cruise, which meant having to squeeze beside it and look at it the entire time. Ships Appearance and Cleanliness: 2 Stars This might have been my biggest issue on the entire cruise. We felt the ship was just dirty. Missing end caps on rails, windows that looked like they needed to have windex, carpet that was frayed, little pieces of trash in various places on the ship. The most eye opening event was the "Ultimate Deck Party". The deck was trashed...covered in food trays, beer bottles, etc. and it STAYED that way until the next morning. I know of no cruise line that wouldn't clean up at the completed of a party event. Several other passengers were heard commenting that the ship just seemed dirty. One person even said she felt like she needed a tetanus shot. The odd thing is that the ship is only 10 years old and just came out of dry dock two weeks ago. It just doesn't make sense unless the employees aren't cleaning as they should. Outside of the cleanliness, the ship seemed very pedestrian to us. It did not have the opulence of any ship that we've sailed on. It just seemed very plain to us. FOOD AND SERVICE: 4 Stars We felt the food was very good for a cruise line. We greatly enjoyed having the buffet open until 11 pm. The servers were very friendly and would ask it you needed water or tea almost immediately. Another strange note about the bar service...we never once had a waiter ask us if we needed a cocktail. We found it very strange. We don't like Carnival's pushiness on the drinks, but we really would have liked someone to take our drink order. Perhaps the oddest food issue on the entire cruise is that chicken fingers were only available in the dining room or by special request. We had never been on a cruise line that didn't have chicken fingers available next to the hamburgers and hot dogs. Princess also pulled up all the upper deck loungers at 8 pm. It was frustrating. ENTERTAINMENT: 2 Stars Almost non-existent or very poor. Clearly this wasn't a party cruise, but it seemed the average age was around 60 and most preferred to watch the "Movies Under the Stars", which was heavily promoted. The lack of music was astounding. It was much too quiet for our tastes and several guests made the same comments to me. The performers in the main Princess theater were so bad that we didn't stay throughout the performance. On a positive note, Skywalkers was very cool. We had hoped for an 80's music night, but it didn't happen. Princess seems to cater to the older crowd and I'm sure most on the board already knew that, but I didn't. OVERALL RATING 2.5 Stars There were too many issues for us to consider a cruise with Princess for a while. Maybe in another 20 years, I'll be ready to curl up under a blanket each night for a movie, but not yet. I need to hear a little pitbull, I need to feel that cruise vibe. The buffet lines were too small, the ship was cut up in a way that made it feel small to us. We just didn't like the ship....oh and btw, where were my damn towel animals? :)   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My extended family decided on a Christmas-time cruise this year, on Princess, out of Galveston to Cozumel, Roatan and Belize. My sister, a doctor who was on call the week prior, missed her morning-of-the-cruise flight due to a patient ... Read More
My extended family decided on a Christmas-time cruise this year, on Princess, out of Galveston to Cozumel, Roatan and Belize. My sister, a doctor who was on call the week prior, missed her morning-of-the-cruise flight due to a patient complication that kept her. And, as a result, she missed the cruise. Ugh, not a great way to start. Not surprisingly, there is no refund for missed cruises. What WAS surprising is that Princess customer service said that my sister's stateroom reverted to them. So, in spite of no refund and even though my father had paid for the room and was on board with the rest of the family, we could not use the empty stateroom. I was shocked. How could they not refund anything and yet not let her family use the room? I appealed to customer service several times. We had a family member with IBS with us, who had a migraine one day, and it would have been a godsend for him to have a quiet place to retreat to. But no, customer service (Stephanie) simply repeated the party line that the room had reverted to the Princess, and that they would keep it for an emergency. (Interesting -- do they not otherwise make provision for emergencies?) In fact, the room remained empty for the duration, except for one early day when staff were in there painting it. (I guess that modest refurbishment qualified as an emergency? We in the next door staterooms didn't love the paint smell... Seems possible it might have contributed to the migraine, in fact.) I waited in line several times to review this situation. Stephanie offered to set me up for a call with her boss, but was inaccessible in person and didn't return phone calls, and I didn't want to ruin the whole cruise by waiting in line beyond the first two days. In addition, one of our pieces of luggage was not delivered the first day. Kind of stressful - imagining a week without anything for one of our party. We went and found it eventually, but courtesy of another long wait in line at customer service. UGH. Between the crazy lines to board and then the lines to try to get use of my sister's room, and then the line to try to recover our luggage and then the lines to fix mistakes on excursion vouchers, the first two days were NOT good. We were lucky that we had great weather. I thought the food was good. We loved our two waiters. (Thanks again Rei and Carlos!) Our room steward did a great job, and was really friendly when we bumped into him from time to time. The Zumba classes were really fun. My son enjoyed some time in ShockWaves, the kids' room, and the staff there were friendly and nice. We particularly liked our Cozumel snorkeling experience -- really fun and friendly staff (Latino dancing on deck was a hoot);saw a baby shark, baby turtle, the expectable fish. Really mediocre lunches on the excursions, though. The Belize river trip excursion included an un-advertised hour and half in a bus, which I wouldn't have chosen had I known about. I thought the entertainment was generally pathetic, with the notable exception of fiddler David Klinkenberg. The pool area was so loud -- with bands, piped in music, TV, amplification of inane poolside games -- it was close to unbearable. I guess the presumption is that there should be no poolside conversation?! Of course I would have gone to the quiet pool, but I had my 9 yr-old with me, so couldn't. We got on-board a week after the Princess had had an outbreak of virus. My son got sick and was vomiting for one day after we got off the ship. In short, we had a mixed experience, but generally enjoyed the cruise EXCEPT that the decision to deny us my sister's room created a huge amount of frustration and ill-will. Needlessly, it strikes me. I don't believe anyone in my family will be on any future Princess cruise. And we are spreading the word of our disappointing and unfair-feeling experience to anyone who asks about our holiday... Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We arrived in at the New York cruise terminal at about 10:30ish and check in was a breeze. Boarding started right before noon and we were the second group to be called. We were greeted with smiles and excitement from all who welcomed us. ... Read More
We arrived in at the New York cruise terminal at about 10:30ish and check in was a breeze. Boarding started right before noon and we were the second group to be called. We were greeted with smiles and excitement from all who welcomed us. Our rooms were ready when we got on and we met our steward Roger who was absolutely wonderful the entire trip. Our first thing of course was to wonder the around the ship and see as much as we could. We did have lunch at the buffet which was very good. What we liked: We had a mini suite on the dolphin deck...very nice. People above us could look down at us but we hardly ever saw people out on the balcony, so it wasn't an issue. We we not bothered any one smoking either which I was concerned about. Over all the food was good. We enjoyed the buffet, the dining rooms and the international cafe. There was always something on the menu for everyone. The deserts were wonderful no matter where you got them. The coffee.....The coffee was fine and not worth getting a coffee card. (unless of course you like the special coffee drinks.) I actually liked it better than the coffee you pay for at the international cafe. We thought the coffee at the international cafe had a funny coffee pot taste to it. We only got it once....just to see the difference, not worth paying extra for. The Entertainment was very good. The Caribbean Princess Singers and dancers were wonderful and we very much enjoyed all of there performances. The kids did as well. The outside entertainment was also very good. We especially like Juan Carlos and Alfred and Seymour. Our Cruise Director Andre and Deputy Cruise Director John were fabulous. Funny, Funny, Funny. We loved them as well as the Wake show every morning on TV, telling us all about what was happening during that day.I had read many comments about how hard the beds were. To the contrary......I thought our bed was very comfortable and we slept very well all week. The bed linens were plush and we loved the down comforters. The mattress was very comfortable and not hard like I had read. Overall the ship was very clean....you see some wear and tear showing but overall in good shape. I had overheard someone say that this ship was going in to be overhauled soon. We participated in the dance classes and many of the activities and enjoyed them all. We felt there was always something to do. My daughter (9) loved the kids club. They kept her very busy with crafts and games etc. She had a blast there. Our son also had a good time there, however he did get a little bored sometimes. I think for him it would have been nice to have more game options as well as the crafts. There was a foosball table in the room which he loved but another sporting table of some kind would have made his day. There was an air hockey table in the teen room which they visited one morning which he loved. What we didn't like:We didn't like the very early seating at 5:30. This was all that was left at time of booking. We didn't do anytime dining because of the ages of the kids and the possible waiting times for dinner. But next time we will try anytime dining. Pools were very very crowded and we thought they would be a little bigger. But we still made a lot of use of them. A minor annoyance was the chair hoarders. Seems there were very few public restrooms on board, which wasn't a problem but it did seem that there was always a stall or 2 that was out of service. Lines for the ladies room was always a bit long. The Casino opens up into the Piazza and there was always a strong odor of smoke there, especially where the tables were set up for items to be sold, like the T-shirts, jewelry, etc. Over all a wonderful cruise and we would sail Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Traveling out of Brooklyn was very easy. Leaving and arriving was a breeze. We always stay a couple of days before we sail in Manhattan and use a car service. From the cruise port to the airport to use a service like Carmel is much cheaper ... Read More
Traveling out of Brooklyn was very easy. Leaving and arriving was a breeze. We always stay a couple of days before we sail in Manhattan and use a car service. From the cruise port to the airport to use a service like Carmel is much cheaper than the cruise line transfer. The only rain was day 3 after we boarded from a day in Grand Turk. Other wise it was beautiful,sunny and warm. The pools were relatively empty till we got to Grand Turk and warmed the water temperature up. The ship was in good shape and well maintained. We never ate in the dining room so I cant comment on that but the food in the buffets was very good with a lot of variety. We ate one night in the Crown Grill and found the food and service excellent. Like any ship you have chair poachers. People who will leave towels on the chairs to come and go as they please and save them for people who may never show up. This is especially true around MUTS. The room and room steward were as expected. We didn't want for anything. The bartenders and wait staff we found to be either very friendly or very indifferent to things. Entertainment was average. The comedians were very good but the singers and dancers were mediocre. Unfortunately we had some engine problems that cost us to leave St Thomas one hour early and arrive two hours late in Bermuda ( but we did get to stay one hour later) Princess was quick to acknowledge this was going to be the case and credited every passenger $50 on their ship board account. Kudos to them for this gesture. Overall it was a cruise and ship we had been on before. It was what we wanted in several ports and a lot of sea days. Hate to see Princess change the itinerary where this cruise will not be offered in the spring and summer next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We live in NJ so the drive to Brooklyn was a breeze and we were on the ship and eating lunch by 12:30. This is the 3rd time we've sailed from the Brooklyn cruise terminal and it's by far the easiest and fastest embarkation point. ... Read More
We live in NJ so the drive to Brooklyn was a breeze and we were on the ship and eating lunch by 12:30. This is the 3rd time we've sailed from the Brooklyn cruise terminal and it's by far the easiest and fastest embarkation point. They've been consistent each time we cruised with getting us through security, checked in and boarded in no time at all. Bravo for that!Our cabin was R604, a balcony cabin on the Riviera deck. We had booked a guarantee for the first time ever, and was a little concerned that we would hear noise from the Horizon Court above, but that was never an issue. The location was great - if we walked to the end of the hall and went out the door, we were right at the adult pool in the rear of the ship. All we had to do was walk up a short set of stairs to go into the buffet. Very convenient for grabbing a quick cup of coffee! The only noise we had an issue with was one of our neighbors on the floor, who slammed their door at all hours of the day and night. This was our fourth cruise on Princess, and the ship is pretty identical to the Crown Princess, the Ruby Princess, and I'm sure other Princess ships. It's elegant and there's no garish flashing neon to be seen anywhere. Runiel was our cabin steward and he did a great job keeping everything clean for us, I have no complaints about cleanliness. The only complaint I have about our cabin was the bed. Out of ten cruises on three different cruise lines this is the first time I found the bed uncomfortable. It was lumpy and uncomfortable and hopefully during the next dry dock they'll replace it. It didn't ruin my vacation but I would have gotten a more restful sleep if not for that bed.The food was good, dinners were the highlight food wise. I was pleasantly surprised on lobster night, it was by far the best lobster I've ever had on a cruise ship. My favorite was the beef filet medallions, which are available every night as it's one of the alternative choices. Each time I had it I found it cooked perfectly and melt in your mouth tender - I enjoyed it more than the sirloin or the filet mignon, actually. I also like their Caesar salad. It's unfortunate that most nights I was too full from dinner to enjoy dessert. I didn't have the Love Boat Dream once this cruise which is out of the norm for me. I just enjoyed the rest of the food way too much to have room left for dessert!My ONLY complaint about the dining room was the rudeness of the Maitre'd, Giorgio something. We had booked a table for two, and when we got there we saw we were seated at a table for six. We were told to ask the Maitre'd about it, so we did. We WERE polite when we said "Excuse me, we thought we were going to be seated at a table for two, we're at a table for six. Is there any way we can switch tables?" That was ALL we said, before we were shouted at as he said "EVERYONE wants a table for two! There are 3,000 passengers on this ship, everyone can't have a table for two! There are 350 tables for two, that's it. 350 tables! I don't know what people are thinking!" At that he grabbed my cruise card out of my hand, pointed at the table number, and said "This is your table! That's where you sit! If you're not happy you can eat in the buffet or go to Anytime Dining!" My husband and I were floored. All we had done was ask a simple question, not asked to be lectured to, shouted at or demeaned in public. Believe me, after that tirade we did consider switching to Anytime Dining, something we would never do otherwise, just so we wouldn't have to see this guy anymore. We decided to stay where we were seated, but ONLY because we prefer sitting at the same table with the same servers at the same time every night. That's why we do traditional, late dining. We didn't let this Maitre'd ruin anything for us, but I have to tell you that he has a lot to learn about dealing with the public. By the way, the reason we had wanted a table for two was because my husband is dealing with a health issue and didn't want to have to be sociable with others - and that was also the reason we didn't make a fuss about this while on the ship, even though we saw the Cruise Director numerous times throughout the cruise. Had my husband been feeling better, we would have complained to him. The only other complaint I have about this cruise was the last day. After we vacated our room we were sitting in the back in the Caribe Court having breakfast. Suddenly we heard a loud voice. It was someone we believe to be a head waiter, ripping into one of his waiters. Whether or not the waiter needed to be chastised or not isn't the issue. The issue is that he did it loudly, for an extended amount of time, in front of customers. It was inappropriate and a man at the table next to us made it a point to get his name (Federico or Frederico), go down to Guest Services and fill out a complaint about it. We weren't the only ones who felt uncomfortable, we saw other diners and waiters, all who looked appalled at the spectacle. Other than these two negative experiences, I have to say that I would sail on the Caribbean Princess again. The rest of the staff was wonderful, our waiter Geronimo and his assistant Simo were efficient, friendly and very helpful in making recommendations for us. The entertainment was great, we enjoyed the production shows, and the band that plays by the pool is great too. We saw them a few times, at the past passenger party and in the Explorers Lounge and found them quite enjoyable. It's unfortunate that I don't see any Caribbean cruises from the Brooklyn port listed for 2012. I would have sailed this same itinerary and ship if they were going next year too. I hope Princess rethinks this and schedules it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
I have only cruised on NCL prior to this Princess sailing. I found the two very similar for our needs. We have found that traveling with our DD creates a much different vacation then when my DH & I go alone. We were delivered to the ... Read More
I have only cruised on NCL prior to this Princess sailing. I found the two very similar for our needs. We have found that traveling with our DD creates a much different vacation then when my DH & I go alone. We were delivered to the port in Brooklyn in a limo-van in the mid afternoon. It was the busiest time at the terminal. Long lines that kept moving. Had to wait maybe 30 minutes to board. We skip almost all photo opportunities with the ship photographers in an effort to get where we are going. I stopped at the Service Desk immediately to try my luck at getting a spot in the Ultimate Ship Tour. The attendant said it was already full. I was fine with that since it was so late, but was upset later when they advertised in the Patter that people should sign up before 4pm the next day in order to have a chance to go. Apparently they weren't doing the lottery system on this sailing. We then went to our cabin (dolphin deck 301) I was happy with the mini-suite. We booked this trip relatively late. The only other balcony at the time was near the nightclub and I didn't want the noise when my DD needs to be sleeping. Booking the mini was a wonderful choice. I loved the open balcony with space to relax. We enjoyed room service breakfast out on the balcony almost every day. I also like having my DD in a separate area. We brought a dark sheet, non-marking hooks and binder clips to create a separator between her sleeping area and ours. That worked great! Also brought magnet clips based on a suggestion on the CC boards... great way to keep the important papers where I could find them (on the walls). Since I've side tracked myself into the best things I brought, here are a few more: - travel mugs for morning coffee or tea that is bigger than a tiny cup. - light up alarm clock. - Dramamine - window cling for our balcony glass wall (allowed us to identify our balcony from shore) - reusable water bottle - extension cord/plug extender. This helped with all of the various chargers we used each night, plus the laptop. Food - I found the buffet food to be similar to NCL. Nothing exciting, but I can always find something I like. My 9 year old DD lived on hot dogs from the grill by the pool. I also enjoyed the burgers & pizza from these pool area eateries. The themed buffets were inconsistent. The oriental buffet was lacking, it didn't even have rice! The Mexican one was good. We had anytime dining but since we were trying to eat as a group we tended to be at either the Coral or Island dining room at 6 each night. Our group of 12-18 were seated at 2 tables each night. We really liked Rey in the Island dining room. He was very good. The food in the dining room was fine. After having the beef on the 1st formal night that tasted like liver, I stayed away from most beef main courses. I'm not a foodie and don't like seafood, so I felt limited in my dinner options in the dining room. But I did eat 3-4 courses a night and usually finished what I ordered. As I mentioned above, we had room service for breakfast most of the trip. They were always early and everything was correct on our order. I followed someone's advise to order 2 cups of tea for one person and they delivered a carafe of hot water with multiple bags. The International Cafe was all that everyone says it is. Great free treats! My DH and others in my group raved about the milkshakes from Scoops. When I tried to get one the blender was broken, which happened multiple times on the trip. Activities - - As expected on this full ship the week after school let out, the sun & pool decks were mobbed on the sunny sea days. It's disappointing to not have loungers but we found places to be or went back to our balcony. I also like to sit on the edge of the pool. No lounger needed. - We registered our DD for the kids club, but she never went. The orientation guy must have been new as he read his list to us, including the stuff about diapers and toddlers after we told him we only have the 9 year old. He didn't try to interact with my DD during the orientation so I wasn't surprised that she wasn't dying to go back. We tried to sign her up for the Jr. Chef program, but that was full, we were 1st on the wait list, but never called. - Went to 1 show "Piano Man" singing and dancing. It was fine. Nothing exciting.. - Went to the Hypnotist show with Tim Triplett- I thought it was hysterical. My DD enjoyed it too. It was clean except for the joke the CD said at the beginning. We even tried to attend a show the 2nd night, but it was in the lounge and already full by the time we arrived. - Went to 1 of the comedian shows at the lounge, he was funny. But it sounded like the 2nd comedian was funnier later in the week. But we didn't see him. - Walked around the Promenade deck multiple mornings for exercise. I enjoyed the exercise and got used to passing slower walkers or staying to the right for joggers. It'd be nice if the CB had a separate jogging track. - Formal nights - The dining attendants were inconsistent. They sent one of our pre-teen girls back to her room to change out of nice flip flops. But then we saw others later in flip flops and even jeans in the same dining room. - Photos - I had planned ahead to have a casual family photo done while on board. We did the contemporary white background and were very happy with the results. It would have been better if we could have understood the photographer better. But we had multiple prints to choose from and didn't need to do any other studio shots. I bought the cruise book package through pan-raven. We'll see how that works out. - Since the kids in our party didn't go to the kids club, they were bored quickly on the last 2 sea days, especially when it was cloudy and rainy. I created a scavenger hunt for them. That worked well. They enjoyed going in pairs to find things on the ship. We also went up to Skywalkers one afternoon. That gave 3 of the kids some space to play without bothering anyone. We enjoyed reading with the great views up there. - Internet - my DH set up our account with ease. We used the WiFi from our room. There were times when the connection died. But it was in typical busy times. Evenings and early mornings were fine. Even some dinner times on sea days worked well! - On the last sea day we attended the Chef's demo and Galley tour. It was free. The chef & Matre'd were so funny. The captain came and made salad too. It was in the theater then we all filed our way to the galley behind the Coral dining room. I couldn't believe they let us through there. There wasn't anyone telling you what was what, so you figured it out on your own. But it was neat to see some of the behind the scenes. I recommend this! Even with all the waiting to get through the galley it only took 30 minutes after the demo. Room: - We barely ever saw our cabin steward, Iggy. He did a fine job. Met our needs without needing to be tracked down. I thought our room was clean and well kept. Much like any other 6 year old hotel or cruise ship room. - Our room was very close to the elevators in the front of the ship. We could hear the ding of the arriving elevator, but I don't think we heard very much foot traffic. - This was my first balcony. I loved it. I liked that it had no roof. Although on the rainy days that sent us inside. - It was nice having the living room area for the kids to play in during the day or to watch a movie. - Plenty of closet space and shelf space for the 3 of us. We didn't actually use all of the space. The bathroom had more than enough space for all of our stuff also. Disembarking: - We were supposed to be out of our rooms by 8am. We decided to go to the buffet without our carry-on bags. So we didn't get back to our room and leave it until after 8. I was a little surprised that our steward checked in on us around 8:05. -We were scheduled to meet in the dining room at 8:15am. We arrived close to that to a standing room only dining room. We waited 5 -10 minutes then they announced our tag color/number. The lines to get off the ship and to go through customs were minimal. Found our luggage and were waiting for our ride by 8:40. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
My in-laws, my husband and me recently cruised aboard the Caribbean Princess. For my husband and me, this was our third cruise in the past two years; for my in-laws, it was their fourth. Having sailed on Sapphire Princess out of Los ... Read More
My in-laws, my husband and me recently cruised aboard the Caribbean Princess. For my husband and me, this was our third cruise in the past two years; for my in-laws, it was their fourth. Having sailed on Sapphire Princess out of Los Angeles for all of our previous cruises, we felt we knew what to expect and were excited about experiencing this new adventure on the Caribbean Princess - which is touted as the largest of the Princess Fleet. While offering some new experiences (i.e. Movies Under the Stars and "The Sanctuary") the overall experience fell far short of our expectations. Boarding in NYC, we found our balcony rooms to be extremely hot. Even after closing the drapes, setting the thermostat to its coldest setting and waiting 3 hours the room was still hot. The same was true for my in-laws room next door. We informed our cabin steward, Phillip, and the maintenance crew made three separate visits to attempt to solve the issue by increasing airflow in our room by 20% each time (at least that is what we were told). After the third visit our room was cooler but we needed to keep our drapes drawn and lights out to maintain the temperature. My in-laws room never cooled down and even the room steward complained that he couldn't clean the room because it was too hot. After speaking to other passengers during open seating meals, we discovered that this was a common issue on the ship. So, having a balcony room offered no additional enjoyment to the cruise because you couldn't enjoy the sunshine/views or use it for fear of heating up the room. During the safety drill, the Captain came over the intercom system and noted that the cruise had a "large number of children onboard and that parents would be held accountable for their children's action." While we weren't travelling with children, and took a little comfort in the announcement, this kind of "business only" attitude permeated every area of the ship. From aggressive sales people to waiters confirming our room numbers so they could make sure they were awarded the proper tips to the pools being covered with nets every evening at 8:00 sharp, it was evident that the focus was on procedures and not passenger experience. It was unfortunate. To make matters worse, the room steward had a nasty habit of popping into our cabin late in the evening unannounced to undertake random duties. On a few occassions, because of the room temperature, let's just say I wasn't dressed for company. During two of these incidents, he stood waiting, with the door open, while I tried to hide myself and dress so he could come in the cabin. We finally started bolting the privacy lock on the door to control when he entered while we were in the room. To add insult to injury, my husband and I decided to book an ocean horseback riding excursion in Grand Turks for our party as a Mother's Day gift. We hadn't engaged in shore excursions on our previous cruises so this would have been our first experience. I contacted Princess well in advance of our cruise and reserved four spots. At the time of booking the agent informed me that the excursion only had three slots open but that she would book those slots, put one of us on a waiting list, and contact the excursion operator to see what arrangements could be made to accommodate the additional guest. The Princess Rep also said that if any other party cancelled their reservation, the "wait list" person in our group would be automatically slotted into the open space. Having not heard from Princess before we embarked, we went to the tour desk to confirm our reservations. Onboard, we were informed that Princess had re-sold the three confirmed slots for the excursion to another party and wait listed all four of us. So basically, we had no shore excursions. Disappointed/embarrased by this news (my mother-in-law was there to hear her gift had been re-sold), we informed the excursion agent that we would just cancel our placeholders on the excursion. They then added to the discord by sending a note to both rooms the next day indicating that we had not cancelled the excursion and asking if we wanted to remain on the wait list. On the whole, the Caribbean Princess is all about Princess business and not about the guest experience. I say this because during all of our cruises on the Sapphire, we were never engaged in discussions regarding tips, the pools were available for late-night swims before bed, and the staff made us feel like we were the only guests they had. It was an experience that accommodated every need and felt really personal to my husband and me. When a person is treated like that, they don't mind spending the money...like when you go to Disney. I noted that the Caribbean Princess had lost the "Disney Magic" for this very reason. Disney is a business, and it's expensive, but the way things are managed behind the scenes, the all-surrounding atmosphere and the joy of the guest experience is priceless. This concept is lost on the Caribbean Princess leadership. Amidst these experiences, there were a few saving graces on the Caribbean Princess. The Sanctuary is a must do. The staff is attentive and because it is a private sunning area with extra amenities, you feel special. Our 6:00pm traditional seating waitress from Romania was very personable and often made recommendations from the menu. Lastly, of course, the Lotus Spa staff as charming as usually. Even upselling me a $125 cream was done with grace and made me feel special (sticker shock only set in later but I was not disappointed with the purchase). All this being said, we still have faith in Princess. We feel like we shouldn't let one bad ship spoil our whole perseptive of the company. We have booked to new cruises - one on the Crown and one on the Golden. However, we didn't want to leave others to discover the Caribbean Princess and think that this is the way Princess operates on the whole - because it isn't. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
This was our seventh cruise, first on Princess. Previous ships include Carnival Miracle, Carnival Legend, Carnival Victory, and NCL Spirit. Embarkation was a breeze. Arrived at Brooklyn around 11:30, we were on board starting lunch a ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise, first on Princess. Previous ships include Carnival Miracle, Carnival Legend, Carnival Victory, and NCL Spirit. Embarkation was a breeze. Arrived at Brooklyn around 11:30, we were on board starting lunch a little after noon. Apparently embarkation slowed down for later arrivals as the ships' departure was delayed one hour. It appeared that there was some delay processing luggage and getting it on board. When we arrived at our cabin after lunch our luggage was waiting for us. It is our opinion that if you stiff the porter, your luggage probably won't arrive early. Our staterooms were located on Baja deck 11. The rooms were clean. Closets were comparatively large. Steward service was very good. Balconies were great. Some small issues: 1. it took over a day to get a proper fitting life jacket for our 8 year old. (We didn't plan on using it anyway!) 2. one of our rooms on the starboard side had a/c issues and a slow draining sink. Tip...the stewards always close the drapes for a reason. The sun will heat up a room in no time. 3. sliding doors were not easy to operate. The sliding door in our room did not lock. 4. Due to layout of TV shelf, remote was difficult to operate from bed. Television had great movies showing. We would have preferred one local (American) TV station like other cruise lines offer. At least you have an idea then of what's going on news wise. Princess had CNN Int'l and CNN in Spanish. 5. Smokers on either side of our rooms, including a chain smoking cigar aficionado, spoiled otherwise perfect balcony experiences. Dining was above average. We did traditional dining at 6 p.m. every night. Service was very good. Food was good. Some meals were better than others. Wide variety of choices. We did the buffet a number of times. Again excellent variety of choices and good quality. Desserts were awesome and plentiful. Interestingly, could not get lemonade in the dining room!? Overall coffee on board was terrible. We paid for the coffee card to get better coffee. That means if you want a decent cup you had to travel to deck 5 (Int'l Cafe), carry a coffee card with you, and occasionally stand in line. This was one of our biggest disappointments. Tried the pizza once, it was pretty good. We prefer Carnival's multiple self serve ice cream stations compared to Princess' one staffed area. The ice cream left a lot to be desired anyway. Tip: Arrive early for dinner or choose anytime dining! Traditional dining only occurs at Palms, deck 6 aft. Since one person on our party needs a walker we had to use the elevators to access dining room. Only two out of four elevators in the rear gave access to deck 6. It took a lot time waiting for elevators and some late arrivals at dinner to figure the elevators out. Generally, the elevators seemed to be poorly designed. Children's Camps were good. One 8 year old and one 12 year old really enjoyed the activities. Our 13 year old really didn't blend in well with his bracket of 13 to 17 year olds. We felt this was a pretty big age swing. He found new friends and things to do anyway. Similar operation to other cruise lines Entertainment for us was good. Everything we saw we liked. Singers were good. Musicians were very good. Trivia was fun and challenging. Cruise director and assistants were entertaining. Ultimate Ship Tour. Two of us did this. Although quite expensive we felt it was worth it. As soon as we got on board, we went to the purser's desk to sign up. We really enjoyed seeing areas of the ship off limits to others. It was fascinating and the staff could not have been more gracious. The Chief Engineer and the Captain were particularly welcoming and enthusiastic. One of the highlights of our cruise. Debarkation was a little different than other cruises we had done. It actually went well and we disembarked at our assigned time of 9 a.m. Unfortunately for us our van service was over 1/2 hour late. All in all though it went great. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Travelers ranged in age from 5 to 81 and "a good time was had by all." There truly was something for everyone. I am 48, married, with an 18 year old son who sailed with his best friend. We hadn't sailed on Princess since ... Read More
Travelers ranged in age from 5 to 81 and "a good time was had by all." There truly was something for everyone. I am 48, married, with an 18 year old son who sailed with his best friend. We hadn't sailed on Princess since 2003. Our last several cruises were on Royal Caribbean, my preferred cruise line at this point. Embarkation was incredibly easy. We arrived at the port around 12:30 and were on board within 15 minutes. No waiting anywhere - none at all. We probably could have been on board even quicker if the port wasn't so huge. Two of our travelers were handicapped so navigating was a bit slow. However, the port employees were quick to bring a wheel chair for my FIL (without his asking; they approached him with the much appreciated offer) and let all of us bypass the elaborate "ropes course" lines. Cabins: Our group of four had a BA balcony and an interior cabin (naturally the kids had the interior). We were on Caribe, so our balcony was HUGE - loved it! The balcony cabin itself was narrow, leaving only about a foot at the end of the bed to walk through. The sitting area is also smaller than I had remembered, and only had one cushy chair plus a desk chair for us to sit on. Since it rained a lot on this cruise, sitting on the balcony was not always an option. The interior cabin was small but well laid out. Certainly my son and his friend had no complaints! The closet space in both cabins is much larger than most other cruise lines with more than enough space for even this clothes horse! The bathroom was as expected and the shower is the worst part of the cabin. Incredibly tiny and I hate the shower curtains - thin cloth that loves to cuddle. We also had problems with the temperature. Despite the fact that we would set the water temperature to the coolest setting, we were at times scalded. Our room steward was terrific! Nicest man and incredibly unobtrusive. Room was always in top shape. Even the boy's room, which was hard to imagine! I kept telling the steward to just skip their room and not worry about it, but he wouldn't stand for that. The second they left the room, he would drop everything to take care of their cabin. I'm sure this was a real pain for him, but it became more of a running joke than anything else. And trust me, he was well compensated for it! Food: Since we were such a large group, we made it a point of eating dinner together every night in the Dining Room. We were seating at two tables of 9 next to each other. The wait staff was different for the two tables, which made things a bit confusing for them since we changed who was at each table on a nightly basis. They handled things quite well. The wait staff couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. The food was very good to excellent. There was always something yummy offered (even if it was from the always available menu). The flavor and presentation far exceeded expectations! My mother is on a special renal diet so the head waiter came by every night to get her food selection for the next day, ensuring it could be prepared without salt and very low-fat. I was surprised, however, by the role the head waiter played. On RC, the head waiter runs around filling water, passing out rolls, cutting steaks, etc as needed. On Princess, the head waiter mostly just stood around or told jokes, sang, etc. I would have preferred the extra service. I was also surprised to find out that there were 120 waiters and only 40 assistant waiters. That explained how long it took some nights to get drinks or water refilled. Buffet had much better food than I expected and lots of variety. I loved getting lunch from the International Cafe. Perfect, light meal and rarely a line. Entertainment: I went to only one show, Do You Wanna Dance, and wasn't terribly impressed. My parents, however, loved it. They went to all the shows and thoroughly enjoyed them. I went to all the movies and enjoyed them! Especially loved MUTS! I thought that was a great way to spend an evening! Disembarkation: Piece of cake. We headed to the buffet around 8:00, the time you're asked to leave your cabin by. We stayed at the table until it was our time, and walked right off. Again, no lines at all. Our luggage was waiting and easy to find. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Notwithstanding the very long flight from Jersey (no, not New Jersey, how many times did we get fed up of saying that, but then 65% of Americans could not point out the Uk on a map), the extra flight to Dominican Republic our travel agent ... Read More
Notwithstanding the very long flight from Jersey (no, not New Jersey, how many times did we get fed up of saying that, but then 65% of Americans could not point out the Uk on a map), the extra flight to Dominican Republic our travel agent did not tell us about, the lost bag at San Juan and the overnight hotel that had not allowed for our eight year old as requested, we boarded the next day. Embarkation Pretty good. We were told that embarkation was from 2pm but when we arrived at 1.30pm it was obvious that it had already started, hence we found it very efficient and were in our cabin in no time. Signs and information around the boat are pretty poor and in some cases, you have to go up stairs to go downstairs to get where you want. Sunbeds were usually OK to find but the second week seemed to allow a lower class of passenger which affected the enjoyment of everyone else. (E.g. pool diving into a full pool, sitting for minutes on an exercise machine reading a magazine, 'reserving' a sunbed and trying to claim it five hours later, shouting 'WHOOO' repeatedly after sniffing any alcoholic bottle, issuing everyone with a hooter for New Years Eve and them blowing it from 8pm) Cabin Small but expectedly so. Clean and efficiently looked after. Eating Only found out after six days there was a buffet upstairs, probably because we don't eat every hour as some seem to do. At least that stopped us explaining why we regarded the menu as a choice rather than a tick list. Menus were a little restricted and predictable. Some good dishes some bad (could have played basketball with one piece of fish). Eastern European waiters need to know that sarcasm and sneering are not accepted on cruises like this. And wine waiters need to know how to serve wine. Sports Three table tennis tables (one broken for half the week), kids clubs that seemed shut when the boat was in harbour (i.e. most of the time) and a well kept gym although more air con was needed and a water fountain that could have dispensed water colder than tepid. Entertainment Not big fans of this, so that sways my judgement. The comedians weren't that funny and mostly had 'in' jokes about parts of America (lost). Dance routines seemed tired and the whole shebang seemed debased to the lowest common denominator of visual enjoyment, like the Princess Pop Star around the New Year. As someone aptly put it, "so they let you do your own entertainment then." Not enough for kids to do as partly explained above. We would have liked to take our child to the bridge and saw that Princess were organising a tour of that, the engine room and other parts of the boat. For $150 each !!! The giant TV either showed dumbed down movies (no more Abba, please I beg you) or sport which was either American channel ESPN or international ESPN, which was mostly American. Tipping The Princess way is to add a charge to your room bill daily. OK fair enough , but $11 each day and for each person is taking the proverbial, not forgetting that any drinks bill from the bar incurs it's own 15% tip. We learned that you could waive this, which we duly did and tipped those who deserved it. I understand that the Princess way rewards all the staff by sharing it out, but they need to make this realistic. Shops Overpriced tat mostly. Wine tasting would have been good but all the bottles were the 'cheapest' only so I didn't bother. On the whole, having heard from friends about their cruises, I may have another one, but with someone else. There were twelve ports of call but this forum only allows six so the below picks out the good and bad. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Background While we enjoyed our cruise, we will not be traveling on the Caribbean Princess again anytime soon, especially if she sails from San Juan. There are too many people on this ship for the size of the public rooms, and it ... Read More
Background While we enjoyed our cruise, we will not be traveling on the Caribbean Princess again anytime soon, especially if she sails from San Juan. There are too many people on this ship for the size of the public rooms, and it appears that Princess is heavily marketing the ship to first time cruisers, some of whom appear to be unfamiliar with normal shipboard etiquette. We were also very disappointed that Princess sold this as a 14 day cruise, but then repeated the entertainment and menu for the second week. Travel to the Port/Embarkation This was one of the two worst embarkations we have ever experienced, and by far the worst embarkation we've ever had with Princess. We took a taxi to the pier and arrived to chaos. There were one or two people with Princess uniforms, but no one was providing any instructions. It turned out that you were supposed to wait in one medium length line to drop off your bags (and be hassled for tips by the porters) and then get in a much longer line to enter the terminal building. We counted well over 400 people waiting when we got there, in a long line that snaked through the parking lot in the baking sun. We've traveled with Princess to many hot places, but there was no sign of their customary shade canopies or ice water. We waited in line for over an hour just to have our passports checked to be allowed into the building. Preferred boarding did not apply until you entered the building. We later heard speculation that blame for the long line was with US Immigration, who sent only two people to check passports in order to send a message to Princess for a problem that had occurred on the prior cruise. There were in fact only two agents checking passports at the door at first. Later, there were four, but they stood two in front and two behind, so the line did not move much faster because there was confusion about which passengers had already showed their passports to the two agents in front. In any event, after a long hot wait, we were finally allowed inside the building and preferred check-in was quick and painless. However, there was another long line at security and then we stood in another line for another passport check at the bottom of the escalators to get on the ship. Stateroom We had a balcony cabin on Riviera deck. It seemed smallish, with just adequate storage space for 2 people who are not big packers. The bathroom was small, and the shower was microscopic, with only a soap dish and no place to put any toiletries in the shower. Our steward took good care of us, but ice seemed to be available only on request. There was wireless internet access in the cabin but cell phone service was generally available only in port, contrary to the ads. Dining We had traditional second seating for dinner, where the food was good to very good and the service was excellent. We did not eat in the alternative restaurants. We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet, where the food and service were fine but the buffet layout is lousy and the seating is inadequate for the number of passengers. Sometimes one side of the buffet was closed down at 2:00, before many people had eaten lunch, resulting in very long lines on the other side. The toasters in the buffet did not actually make toast - they struggled just to heat the bread. Lemonade was only available during lunch and only if you ask someone to fetch it for you and only on sporadic days. A Mexican buffet one day at lunch in Cafe Caribe was excellent. The International Cafe had good coffee, pastries, and light lunch selections. Service One of the tickets for a pre-booked shore excursion was missing from the envelope delivered to our cabin on embarkation day - something that had never happened to us on Princess - but it was quick and easy to fix. Front desk service was excellent. The internet manager ran hot and cold. One day when we sought help with a solution to their software problem, he threatened to charge us $75 if we went even one minute (at 50 cents a minute) over our plan. In general, I thought that many of the crew members that we came across in hallways, especially the room stewards, seemed tired and unhappy. On other Princess ships, I've been impressed with the smiling greetings that you get from everyone, but not on this ship. It took a day and a half to get a fruit bowl in our cabin, also a first for us with Princess. Something that was mildly annoying was that the crew seemed to change their mind on a daily basis as to whether the line for getting off the ship was on the right or the left. We had been told that Tortola would be a tender port, which affected the plans we made for that port, but when we got there we docked instead. There also seemed to be more maintenance issues on this ship than we've experienced on other Princess ships - there were sinks, toilets, and elevators out of service for days on end. The most striking thing about this ship is the number of people on board. Although the ship is otherwise largely the same as other ships in her class, this ship has an extra deck of cabins, resulting in 500 more people than the public rooms are suited for. The photographers on this ship are especially aggressive, and portraits are taken most nights on deck 7, resulting in the hallways being half blocked off in three different locations. You will be well aware of just how many people this ship holds when you try to walk end to end on deck 7 in the evening - it is gridlock (and you will be forced to walk through the smoky casino or walk outside). Our biggest disappointment was that this cruise had been sold as a 14 day cruise, but we were treated as if we had booked the same 7 day cruise twice, even though the itinerary in the second week was different. The menu and the entertainment were repeated the second week. Getting off the ship to tour in San Juan on turnaround day was subject to a bunch of rules about when we could get off and when we would be allowed back on the ship. To get back on, we figured out how to skip the long line of embarking passengers in the parking lot (although nobody told us that was even possible) but still had to wait in a long security line. Halfway through the cruise, we were given new ship cards and instructed to make new arrangements for our table in the dining room. We received a log of the cruise that covered only the second week. Some of these were minor issues, but ones that passengers shouldn't have to face halfway through a 14 day cruise. The other issue that we experienced (a first for us in over 20 cruises) related to the behavior of other passengers. It appeared to us that Princess must have heavily marketed this cruise on a discount basis to first time cruisers, which is fine, but Princess needs to be aware that the behavior of some of the new passengers may deter some of their longtime customers from coming on this ship. People played boom boxes on their balconies and out on the open deck and yelled on cell phones on balconies. People routinely walked in and out of shows, seemingly always from the middle of one of the front rows, halfway through performances. In the hallway outside our cabin, most of the inside cabins had 4 people in them. Those passengers must have found the quarters too close for their comfort, because they seemed to spend most of their time standing in the hall talking, laughing, yelling, and running, sometimes for hours at a time and sometimes very late into the night. At times, it was difficult to get out our cabin door and down the hall. Groups of teenagers congregated in elevator lobbies and on the stairways, sometimes with boom boxes, and sometimes leaving behind empty plates and glasses and discarded food. We constantly saw kids sitting on the stairs, but never saw a crew member ask them to move. There was also a lot of smoking on the nonsmoking side of the ship. If you normally rely on the book swap in the library (or the library itself) to provide you with reading materials, forget it on this ship and bring everything you need. The library is tiny and the book swap is virtually non-existent. Entertainment The embarkation day show was a flamenco guitarist from Puerto Rico with 3 dancers. This group does not travel with the ship and plays only on the day in Puerto Rico. The show was very good, but much of it was conducted in Spanish (undoubtedly because of the high percentage of Spanish speakers on board). Carl Strong, who used to open for Gladys Knight, was funny as a comedian and a great singer. The production shows were good, with lots of energy. One show focused on Caribbean tunes and songs in Spanish. The house band, Elements, was terrific, especially when playing faster stuff. In the Wheelhouse, they seem to have been instructed to play elevator music, which was a bit of a snooze and a waste of the lead singer's energetic dancing. The steel band was good too, and the entertainment in the atrium was good. James Michael, the "bad boy" magician/cage fighter, was entertaining, but Rollin Jay Moore was only OK. Bert Stratton, a pianist who made weird faces, would have been better if he'd just played it straight instead of acting like Jim Carrey, but his sing-alongs were fun. The Geraldo Sa quartet was just so-so. The crew show was excellent. Gary DeLena was pretty good the first time but not as good during the farewell show. Ports We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, and we weren't disappointed. Shore excursions were very well run. Disembarkation We were told that we could not take our own bags off the ship because of US Customs rules. We had to be out of our cabins at 8AM. We waited a few minutes in a public lounge and then were called to get off. Finding our bags and getting through US Customs was quick and easy. Summary The itinerary was great and the accommodations, food, service, and entertainment were all fine (apart from repeating the menu and entertainment the second week), but there are simply too many people on this ship. After factoring in the disappointing behavior of many fellow passengers and the hassles of embarking in San Juan, we won't be back on the Caribbean Princess anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Review of the CB 8/4-8/13 First I would like to thank the powers that be for us not choosing the 8/13 trip instead. I don't know what my girls would have done if they missed St. Thomas. Day 1: We chose the Princess bus transfer ... Read More
Review of the CB 8/4-8/13 First I would like to thank the powers that be for us not choosing the 8/13 trip instead. I don't know what my girls would have done if they missed St. Thomas. Day 1: We chose the Princess bus transfer from Providence, RI. The bus was caught in traffic and didn't get to the bus station until 9:15am. We were supposed to leave at 8:45am. We were underway by 9:30am. We had one stop in New Haven, CT and then on through to Brooklyn. We didn't get there until 2:15pm. Terri made our reservations for Sabatinis & the Crown Grill. Once there it didn't take very long and we were through the check-in process and in our stateroom (D726) by 2:45pm. Wet met Rodrigo, our cabin steward. This was his first cruise back from a 5 month vacation. He was absolutely wonderful. We rushed up to Outriggers but there weren't too many people left at the CC get together. Or Princess organized M&G wasn't until the next morning, so I was ok with that. We rushed to grab something to eat at the Horizon Buffett. I was so hungry, I didn't even notice if it was good or bad, then on to the Safety Drill. I have to admit if I have to choose the best safety drill on the high seas, it would be Princess. You don't have to go stand out in the hot sun on the deck below the life boats, you go to your muster station and get the information there. With a bad back, standing for that long was always hard for me. Then, it was to our cabins to drop off our life vests and up to Deck 15 to view the departure from NYC. We ate lunch so late that dinner wasn't our first priority. We checked out the ship and of course we made it to the casino. The opening show in the Princess Theater was very good. We met Dan Styne, our CD (awesome guy) and he introduced some of his staff. We got a quick show from the singers & dancers and the comedian Jay Moore. Then, it was off to bed. Day 2: We set our clocks forward this am. 2 of us went to the gym and 2 of us went to breakfast and got lounge chairs at the pool. Once the other 2 made it to the pool, it was over cast, so we packed up and left. I went to the Acupuncture seminar while the other 3 went to ceramics. Our M&G was at 11am in Skywalkers. I told them I would meet them there. I made it, they didn't. It was a great group. Frank & Jeanne did a wonderful job organizing it. I then stopped by the pizza station (love their pizza) for a quick lunch and then off to the shopping demo, which I didn't make. I went to the martini demo instead and then on to the slot tournament. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as others have been. There isn't much difference except that they only use 4 machines instead of 6 which makes the wait time longer. I didn't qualify, oh well. I then made it up to the line dancing class with Terri. That was a lot of fun, except for the guy that kept stepping on my feet. I have to say they should have had Rocky (I think that was her name) on the TV screen because the people in the back couldn't see her feet. Stopped by the casino on my way to getting ready for formal night. I don't know why, but it always appears that the casinos on board the ships get the worst slot machines there are. It is almost like the junk that no one else wants. But, of course, that doesn't stop me from donating! After that I was off to the stateroom to get ready for formal night. Here I find 3 sick women. One was light headed and the other 2 were feeling the ocean. I felt the ship sway on occasion but it didn't bother me. But they were sick. So, off I go to get green apples and they started taking the ginger pills and eating the ginger snaps that we had. They were already taking Dramamine and had on their wrist bands. It finally passed and we were off to dinner. Our pictures weren't very good, but we kept hoping for the next time. We went to dinner in the Island Dining Room, which wasn't as busy as the other one. We were blessed with a dining room steward by the name of Ana Maria. She was the highlight of our meal. The food was very good, no complaints. Then, off to the show. One of my girls fell in love with the CD and one or two of the others fell in love with one of the dancers (Sam). The show was very good. People complain about the show being repeated on another night, but for a 9 day cruise, I can see why they do it. Also, the Princess Theater isn't large enough for all of the passengers to see it in the 2 offerings on the first night. We watched Princess Pop Star and one of us went to see the hypnotist/comedian. She enjoyed that show. Of course, it was blackjack for me and then to bed. Day 3: Bermuda. Having been here many times before, we chose to take a bus to Horseshoe Bay and then on to Hamilton for a few select items and then the ferry back to the dockyard. The NCL Dawn was also docked with us. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful island, but it wasn't enough time to enjoy it. We got back to the ship after a short stop at the Frog & Onion and got ready for dinner. We headed off to the Island Dining room and asked for Ana Maria again, and we got her. She was as wonderful as the night before. We also found that we enjoyed the meals in the dining room a lot more than the buffet. After this the girls went to the show (Jay Moore, comedian) and the comedian/hypnotist. I went to the black jack tournament. I didn't qualify and I am glad I didn't. They had a special table set up with no seats. I couldn't stand that long because of my back. But, I did play black jack for awhile then to bed. Day 4: I started the day with acupuncture for my back and then a massage. My back had been bothering me constantly for the last couple of days. I was hoping that this would help. The only thing that happened was instead of it being constant, it was less often. I think it was the massage, not the acupuncture. We checked out the arts and crafts (3D Hearts). I thought they were lame, but they were a little difficult to make. We had dinner in Sabatinis. It was good, but by the time I got to the main course I was done. It was country night. I made it to the trivia (obscure questions as usual). Of course I heckled Andy who was asking and he started calling me Miss Obscure. I gave him my Toby Keith bandana and we made peace!! The girls came and they line danced, while I listened and actually drank too much (there is always once on the cruise). Then it was back to the casino and then to bed. Day 5: Puerto Rico. The clocks were set back 1 hour this morning. I needed the extra sleep after last night. Luckily we didn't dock in PR until 10. We took the Rainforest drive excursion through the ship. I expected more, but the view was wonderful from the top. He dropped us off at the Plaza in Old San Juan. We snapped a few pics and then headed to Senor Frogs. That place is always a trip. We dropped off our things and changed and went back to the Sheraton for a little casino action. We were in bed early. Day 6: St. Thomas. We went on a private tour with Sunny Liston tours. Elvis was our guide. Some of the other members of CC were with us. Elvis dropped us in Charlotte Amalie for 2 hours. I got my Del Sol shirt and my black coral bracelet. After that we headed to Peter's Great House (Mountain Top burned down). The views were beautiful from there. After that Elvis said he would take us back to the ship or drop us at the beach. I was starting to come down with something, because I had an awful sore throat. Elvis dropped the girls and 4 others at Maegen's Bay and I went back to the ship. I got pizza and then back to the stateroom. It rained when I was getting off the bus. It rained again while I was on the balcony waiting for the girls to come back. When they got back they said they never got any rain. That was good since they were at the beach. After they got back and were taking showers, I offered to get them pizza and bring it back to the room. Well, in front of the ice cream stand I slipped and fell and landed flat on my back. The deck was slippery because of the rain and it hadn't been mopped up yet. I got up and got the pizza. When I got back to the room I called the front desk to file an accident report. They called the on call nurse and she met me at the Medical Center where I completed it. After that a man from security called me up and came to the cabin to ask me more questions. Other than 2 swollen thumbs, I didn't have any real problems. I wasn't up to doing much, so after dinner at the Island dining room with Ana Maria, I headed to bed. Day 7. Grand Turk. Breakfast in the cabin and then off to the casino. We played bingo and then headed to the Cafe Carib for the pasta lunch. After that we went to Grand Turk. There isn't much there except for Margarittaville, though they do have a Ron Jon's, Piranha Joe's, & a Del Sol. The girls went shopping, I went to the beach and then to the pool at Margarittaville. After that I went back to the ship and went to the Medical Center. I thought I was coming down with something yesterday and it showed up today. I had an awful head cold and cough. I wouldn't have bothered with the Medical Center except that every time I coughed my back/ribs hurt and I was afraid of more damage. They gave me pain meds, and cold stuff and sent me on my way. It was another early night for me. Day 8. Today was the On Deck for the Cure walk which Terri did. I didn't do much except bingo twice. We went up to get ready for dinner. I didn't decide until the last minute that I would go. It was formal night and I felt lousy. But, I bit the bullet since it was formal night and went. We went to the Island Dining Room, but couldn't get Ana Maria so we settled for someone else, who was fine, but not her. Our formal pictures came out a lot better than the first formal night. After dinner we went to the Production Show Piano Man and it was very good. Day 9. Well, the day was filled with getting photos of all of the people we wanted to remember. We also went to bingo twice and I went to the slot tournament. No luck again. We went to the Island Dining Room again and got seated in Ana Maria's section so we got to take pics with her. We received all of our debarkation paper work. I liked the fact that they didn't have the big meeting but Dan did the debarkation talk on the TV instead. I also received my Platinum Captain's Circle package. Day 10. Debarkation was fine until we got off the ship. We were schedule to meet in the Crown Grill at 10:30am. That is the latest I have ever been scheduled to leave. There were no porters available and we had to drag our own luggage to the bus. Well, my back finally fought back. I was miserable and still am for that matter (8/22). Our bus ride back to Providence was uneventful and we got back about 3:30. I want to say that I had a great time even though I was sick & bruised. Everyone we encountered was great. Especially Ana Maria and our room steward Rodrigo. He should receive the highest of praise after taking care of 4 women in one mini suite. He was a master at his art. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
This was our third Princess cruise and all I can say is that if tattoo's, body piercing and people with no manners or class are your style, then book this one. I certainly can not blame Princess, but apparantly this cruise runs most ... Read More
This was our third Princess cruise and all I can say is that if tattoo's, body piercing and people with no manners or class are your style, then book this one. I certainly can not blame Princess, but apparantly this cruise runs most of the summer, so by the time we got on the ship the entire crew was "fried" from the clientele from previous weeks. My husband appoached the maitre d about changing our dining table and the guy was just completely rude. The pool scene was not appropriate for our 6 year old daughter, half of the "moms" looked like they all shopped at Forever 21 and got their belly's pierced on the way to the ship, we saw a lot of implants, even with the young girls. The parents were worse than the children and were giving their kids drinks and they all overtook the pools. You could not find a lounge chair, they all got up in the morning and saved them all. The dining room was more of the same, most did not respect the dress code and were argumentative with the staff. Every night the drunks would go up and down the hallways and wake everyone up. One night a group of boys decided to take everyone's room service request off their doors, so no one got their order. We missed our tour because of it. I finally got to speak with the head of passenger services and they just apologized, there was not much they could do to control the enviornment on the ship. He said when the ship turns around and goes to New England it's a whole different clientele. I guess this is what you get when you embark in Brooklyn, many of the people looked like they just came in off the subway line. The clientele on the ship ruined the trip for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
Traveled (47) with my nephew (23) for the first time with Princess Cruises. I have previously cruised with Carnival (24 years ago) and 2 cruises with Celebrity (Zenith). My nephew had been on the Celebrity Zenith. Having read the ... Read More
Traveled (47) with my nephew (23) for the first time with Princess Cruises. I have previously cruised with Carnival (24 years ago) and 2 cruises with Celebrity (Zenith). My nephew had been on the Celebrity Zenith. Having read the reviews I was really expecting the worst. I believe you get what you want from the cruise, so if a person wants to pick things apart they will and if a person wants to enjoy it they will. We absolutely loved the cruise. The weather cooperated. The seas were like glass. Embarkation: Brooklyn Red Hook Pier 12 We arrived by noon. We went through the terminal in 15 minutes. We waited until 1:00PM to board. By 1:15 we were in our room. Our luggage was already there. This process worked well. Room: We were in a cabin that was accessible to wheelchairs which is the reason the bathroom was huge. We didn't need the accessibility but it made the room spacious. There was enough closet space and we were right across from the elevators. The A/C didn't work effectively the first day but I told the room steward and the second day it was fixed. The balcony was well worth the extra money. The Baja deck (Deck 11) balconies are covered. The Baja balconies allow you to look down on the two lower decks' balconies (Dolphin and Caribe) We received turn down service each night and whatever we needed Estefana made sure we got it. Pools: Loved the fact that there were 5 pools. 2 pools for families, and 2 adult only pools, and one other pool. Let's face it people - there are signs put up for a reason. People don't pay attention. The no jumping or diving signs were disregarded. And I hate to say it but I saw young kids and adults jumping and diving. There is only so much the ship can do. I saw people complain to the cruise officials. I saw the cruise personnel tell the jumpers to stop. The cruise personnel would walk away and the kids would jump right back in. I actually had a mother say to me she was mad that some guy told her kids to stop jumping in. She said well other kids are doing it. My thought was if someone cracked their head or dove and hit bottom, how fast could the Coast Guard get there. People are just stupid. I enjoyed the adult's only pools because people could read the signs. And one more thing, people can't read the sign about not saving any lounge chairs as a common courtesy. By 8AM all the lounge chairs were saved by people who didn't show up. All we did was walk up a level, there are plenty of lounge chairs and it's not worth getting annoyed by. Ship: This ship is huge. Ginormous would be more like it. It took like a week before we could navigate the ship. And I believe we were booked to capacity so maybe there were like 3500 people on board. Never washed my hand so much as on the cruise. We sanitized our hands every chance we could. To us this ship never seemed crowded. We didn't do the shows. But when we went through our days there never were lines (we tend to be on the early side) Yes it may have been tough in the buffet but we always found seats. The dining rooms (Coral and Island) were quite good. The lounges ( Explorers) was a nice place to sit and look at the ocean. The Promenade Deck (7) 2.7 times around was a mile. Yes you had to climb stairs during this walk but it was still enjoyable. The Sanctuary was wonderful. However if you aren't one of the first people to board the ship chances are the 20 loungers will be sold out for the week. They then sell the remaining 27 seats on a daily basis, $10 for either 8-12:30 - or I think 1-5:30. We were lucky to get in the first day at sea. There was no one else up there. We were able to relax for 2 hours but then we hit a patch of rain and we had to leave. It was well worth the $20. Entertainment: We didn't do any shows. We did do the Movie under the Stars and thoroughly enjoyed it. Again with the saving of seats and how some people could almost come to blows over this. Dining: Crowne Grill - $25 pp extra but it was well worth it. I had the Black and Blue Onion Soup, excellent. And filet mignon that absolutely was the best I have ever eaten. It more than melted in my mouth. The service was attentive and the food was superb. Sabatini's - $20pp extra and if you like to eat than this is for you. We aren't really into fish so alot of the food they served we didn't eat. But what we did eat was also excellent. We ate so much that we didn't have room for dessert. The Horizon Buffet/Cafe Carribe both served buffet style food. We could find something we liked when we wanted to stay in our shorts and not have to dress for the dining room. Prego Pizza - Pizza was good for a cruise ship. Trident Grill - Hamburgers/ fries very good. I didn't like the hot dogs. Internet Cafe - Buy the package-$55 for 100 minutes or whatever. That pay by the minutes cost me $35 for one email. Didn't realize how long it would take. Buy the package. Casino - We had the hardest time figuring out how to get the money from the card to the account to the machines. Complicated. We only went when there was the No Smoking Nights. The Spa - I had the frangiapani scalp massage and then I had the 5 treatment special. Ceilo did an excellent job and was helpful in product selection. Staff: Overall, I think the passengers were nastier than any staff I met. I think some passengers come with a certain rudeness/entitlement that rubbed me the wrong way. So if I worked on the ship it might be a stretch to be pleasant to these passengers. You get what you put out there. So I was met with nothing but warmth and smiles. Shoutouts: Our room steward Estefana was great. The Horizon Buffet 6am club -Pisces, Zlatimir and Isidro made my morning coffee enjoyable. Gabriel at the Crowne Grill and Sebastian at Sabatinis were more than accommodating and Ceilo in the spa did a great job. Disembarkation: We had to wait in the Crowne Grill longer than we had hoped but once off the ship we had to find our luggage. That was a trip. Then we loaded the luggage and waited outside for our ride. Overall: I would definitely do this cruise again. I will definitely recommend it to friends. I would book this ship and have nothing but great memories. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
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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