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59 Princess Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

This was my first cruise with Princess and as a result of my experience, it will definitely be my last. Prior to booking, I had this impression that Princess was an elite cruising brand. I expected more of them than I would a Carnival, ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Princess and as a result of my experience, it will definitely be my last. Prior to booking, I had this impression that Princess was an elite cruising brand. I expected more of them than I would a Carnival, Norwegian or Royal Caribbean cruise line. I could not have been more wrong. Let's start with the PROS since its a short list. PROS: Embarkation - Princess is very organized. I was on the ship in less than 20 minutes from my arrival to the pier. I have NEVER gotten on a ship that fast before. There was no haggling to buy onboard packages and no pressure to take pictures. It was the most quickest, easiest embarkation I have ever experienced. Shore Excursions - I really liked that while the Excursions desk was not always manned that they had iPads at the desk so I could book excursions during their non-operating hours. I struggled whether to add this to the CONS list really, because the Excursions desk was closed before and during our sail away period, but I do like that I had this as an option. I like to book my excursions as soon as I get on the ship. I later learned I could have booked them in my room via the TV. Entertainment - I really enjoyed some of the musical talent on this ship. I learned of some new artistic gems like George Thursting that I now follow through social media. Love them. Folks, that's where my PROS list ends. Let's dive into everything that made this cruise horrible and left me vowing to NEVER cruise with Princess again. CONS: Bed Bug (in Room B249) - I usually don't sleep much, if at all, the night before a cruise, because I am busy packing and getting my house (and life) prepared for my extensive departure, so I usually make up for that sleep the first night on the ship. This cruise was no exception. I grabbed a bite to eat and booked my excursions once I got on board and I headed straight to my room to snooze. After we set sailed, I got up to grab something out of my bag and when I returned to the bed I noticed what looked like a bed bug crawling over the duvet cover. I screamed! I ran outside where the cabin steward was. He came in looking embarrassed, but not surprised, and scooped the bug into a glass jar. I was mortified. All I could think was how grateful I was that I had not unpacked yet. I did NOT want to take any of these critters home with me. I hear bed bugs are horrible to get rid of. I went straight to the reception desk to report it. Its the first night, so there's a long line. I patiently wait. When I get to the line, the service desk rep (Ignacio and Aracelli) said there was not much they could do besides send someone to investigate and clean the room since the ship was sold out. They did not offer me some place to sit or rest at during this 2-hour investigation. They did not offer me a complimentary beverage or meal. They did not apologize for the inconvenience. They did nothing, but "investigate." I stood on the side of the reception desk for 2 hours exhausted. I finally got back in line to see if there was an update, since NO ONE spoke to me during those 2 hours and only after I got back in line did someone call to check on the "investigation" and that's when I was told they were done and they did not find anything else (meaning another bug). For all I know, the investigation could have been completed an hour earlier. I return to my room alone. Visibly shaken, they did not offer to escort me to my room to reassure me and show me their findings. No one was there when I arrived. It was hours later when the cabin steward supervisor and my cabin steward returned to tell me the supervisor found nothing. I asked if I would be able to get checked by medical - something the front desk rep said I would be able to get as a courtesy to check for bed bug bites - and the supervisor told me NO. He said the ship doctor is not like a doctor on land, they're expensive, so I would have to pay for this myself. Um... OK! I was done after this. Done. He treated me like I was an inconvenience. Very hostile. I never unpacked my bag. I kept it closed the entire cruise and I checked my room for bed bugs each and every day. I tried not to let this ruin my trip cuz then I would definitely be on the losing end. I tried to make the best of it. Ship - Its old. Real old. Very dated. There's rust, mildew and mold everywhere. While I stood in line at the guest desk, I noticed there were multiple leaks from the ceiling. Also, the layout makes no sense. They give each deck a name. For example: Deck # 11 is named Baja and Deck # 15 is named Lido. Instead of referring to the deck number, you had to learn the deck names, because that is how they were referenced. It was so cooky. Then there were only so many elevator banks. I believe there were three or four for the entire ship and one or two of those only went to a few floors. There were no machines for people to add money to their room card/key. Everything went through the very incompetent guest desk. And they had to escalate everything. No one at the desk could make a decision at their level. No one was empowered to just do common sense things for guests. While I waited for my bed bug investigation, I heard a man with Platinum Level Status get upset over his beverage package and how someone screwed it up. I stood there thinking: If this guy is a loyal Princess cruiser and they treat him like that, how should I expect them to treat me? Not good, folks. Not good. Dining - I actually like the seating in the buffet dining areas. I liked that there were pub seating that looked directly out the window, so if you're a party of one you're only taking one seat and not an entire table. That's where my likes end. The food options were very limited and buffet small. It was about one-third of the size of the buffet area on the average Norwegian ship. Horrible! I made due, but I was just shocked. In Conclusion: The pros definitely did not outweigh the cons. I cannot justify the cost of the average Princess cruise for me to try the brand again. Outside of wanting to experience the Princess brand, I really chose this sailing because it was going to the ABC islands and it was full of smart at sea days. Heed my warnings. If nothing else, stay away from this ship unless you've cruised it before and know what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Overview: We have sailed several different cruise lines in the past, and when our friends whom are loyal Princess cruisers invited us along, we agreed it would be fun to try a new line. I'm personally surprised by the negative ... Read More
Overview: We have sailed several different cruise lines in the past, and when our friends whom are loyal Princess cruisers invited us along, we agreed it would be fun to try a new line. I'm personally surprised by the negative reviews because we had such a fantastic experience! yes, the ship is older, but I found it to be well maintained. The only thing that I truly did not like was the size of the cabin. We had a balcony on the Baja deck and it was probably the smallest balcony room I've ever sailed with. Thankfully, we didn't let that spoil our cruise! We traveled with friends, which made it extra special. Our friends have two kids and we have one daughter age 11. I will say that we had some interesting experiences with other passengers. Some were downright rude towards my daughter and our friends children. They acted as if kids shouldn't have been on this cruise. We did meet others that were very sweet towards the kids, so that gave me hope. This ship is definitely not a 'kid's' ship like Disney, but I will say that the kid's programs were excellent and my daughter loved the Junior Chef at Sea program. All in all, a very fun cruise! Great Ports of Call in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao! Embarkation: We were one of the first people to be checked in due to our friends Elite status. The coast guard was doing an inspection, which meant we didn't get onboard until around 1:00 P.M. We were told not to go to our cabins, so we headed to the buffet for lunch. Dining: I loved our server in the Dining Room! We did Traditional Dining at 5:30 P.M. I don't know if I just picked the right things, but everything was delicious! We were a large table of 9 and the wait staff attended to our every need. Night two they already had my chosen beverage on the table. We ate lunch at the buffet a few times. It wasn't the best buffet I've ever eaten at, but it was clean and attractive. My husband and daughter raved about the pizza! The highlight meal was definitely Crown Grill. I cannot recommend this experience enough! The Filet and Lobster tails were outstanding and the dessert (Crown Decadence) was not only beautiful, but delicious! Service was outstanding and rivaled any five star restaurant. I also enjoyed Afternoon Tea most days. I consider myself a tea connoisseur and the white glove service did not disappoint. Entertainment and Activities: You could never be bored on this ship! We enjoyed the Steam Room in the spa, the pools, hot tubs, Bingo, etc. My favorite experience, however, was the Voice of the Ocean! I auditioned and got on the show. What an experience! If anyone in your party sings, please make sure that they audition. Once you become a finalist, you work with a band and the vocal mentors from the ship. The final night of the cruise is the big finale in the Princess Theater with the judges. Great fun!!!! Ports and Excursions: In Curacao, we did Sea Aquarium Beach (Mambo Beach) Break. We are avid snorkelers and took our own equipment. I was surprised by how much marine life we saw out at the rocks! The water was gorgeous, nice chaise loungers to relax in. Great time! You could do this on your own, but we went with the cruise line since it was our first time to this port. In Aruba, we did the Jolly Pirates (schooner, shipwreck, snorkel) and had a blast! The shipwreck was pretty deep, but it was eerily cool! The snorkeling wasn't anything to write home about, but it was decent. The highlight of this trip is the rope swing! I was too chicken to try it, but my daughter and our friend's loved it! It was so much fun watching! They offered 'Pirate's Poison", juices, and soft drinks while onboard. Bonaire was our favorite! We did the Marine Park Snorkel, which takes you to the Plaza Resort. Very nice because only a few people went and we practically had the resort to ourselves! Snorkeling was amazing! Some of the best I've ever experienced! Then, we chilled by the pool in the cushioned loungers and cabanas. Summary: I would definitely cruise on this ship again! She's going into Dry Dock soon and that will make her an even better ship! Princess exceeded my expectations and I may have found a new favorite cruise line! The staff was so friendly and helpful! I loved the Assistant Cruise Director Matt! He's a ball of energy and fun! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This cruise was selected by group consensus primarily based on port locations and cost. As I never had been on a Princess Cruise, we did not know what to really expect. I have been on other cruises with Carnival (Tropicale, Liberty), ... Read More
This cruise was selected by group consensus primarily based on port locations and cost. As I never had been on a Princess Cruise, we did not know what to really expect. I have been on other cruises with Carnival (Tropicale, Liberty), Celebrity (Eclipse), and Royal Caribbean, (Independence of the Seas) we found many things about Princess (Caribbean Princess), which was very good and some things not so good. I will say that this particular's ship's staff was very friendly and professional and based great emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. The ship itself was clean and well maintained. The Horizon Buffet's food was very good as compared to other cruises for both breakfast and lunch. Our evening dining at 5:45 in the Palm Dining room featured excellent service and varied food choices. As I discovered, the appetizers, salads, soups, together with the fish and pasta main courses and desserts were excellent, but the meat dishes, specifically the Beef Wellington and Sirloin Steak, were tough with little taste. The head maître'd Giovanni was excellent and attentive. He made the overall dining experience very special. I recommend breakfast and 3pm Tea in the Coral Dining room. The International cafe's food, drink selections, and atmosphere was quite enjoyable. Entertainment/Activities: Overall there was too much emphasis on raffles, promotions, and so-called special sales which started as soon as we got to buffet on the first day. The continuous attention to up-selling specific products such as liquors, clothing, sunglasses, jewelry, etc was annoying. They had a (2) hour show in the theater to discuss the ports and excursions, but in reality, it was a sales pitch on jewelry, clothing, and other products with little or no information on the islands we were visiting or excursions. The ships own band and production staff, (singers and dancers), were excellent and provided better shows in the evening than the entertainers brought onto the ship with the exception of the comedian. I felt that the logistics associated with entertainment schedules in the evening were not well planned. We usually encountered lounges with very little seating availability. The theatre seats always filled up quickly. Ship was not designed to handle greater capacity cruises. Casino area was small and not happy to see that they allowed smoking !! Princess sponsored excursion filled up quickly and there was very little staff on the ship to assist with exclusion questions, they basically wanted guests to book online. Ports were good, enjoyed Curacao and Aruba the best, our snorkeling excursion on Bonaire, which was off a boat, was cancelled at the last minute which left us without any similar snorkeling options. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
WHILE the newest debuting Princess ships certainly have their sparklingly innovative features, it was quite a restorative pleasure sailing on a ship which has become a good familiar friend over the years, the CARIBBEAN PRINCESS. ... Read More
WHILE the newest debuting Princess ships certainly have their sparklingly innovative features, it was quite a restorative pleasure sailing on a ship which has become a good familiar friend over the years, the CARIBBEAN PRINCESS. Actually, I remember sailing her right after her 2011 refit, when she was first decked out with her dolphin-themed Piazza area with with iridescent columns and its tiled walkways leading to the different shops. It was fun to see that central area still looking bright and shiny, Mediterranean and inviting. Additionally, she's actually had several small face-lifts since then, including fresh jewel-toned carpet medallions in front of the elevators, and the public areas are being beautifully kept up. And on our cruise, the Ice Cream Shop was just about to be ripped out and put in again in a updated style. Don't you love how Princess cabins have a wonderful familiarity to them? So, as you unpack, you find yourself putting things easily in the same places in the cabin and bath as you have for years, as if you had done it just last week. One advantage to a familiar older ship was a little more space---we enjoyed small gratuitous expanses hither and yon in the public areas, which have now been re-deployed into snugger designs in later ships---and we found the Caribbean Princess has slightly more spacious hallways leading from the public areas. OUR CABIN was a familiar one from a previous sailing, with a lovely view in Fort Lauderdale across the shimmering river to the Causeway where we would turn and enter the ocean. Gentle Reader --this sailing reminded us of such an important Cruise Lesson---it's a good idea to come in the day before. As we transferred over from another year's wonderfully relaxing stay at the Embassy Suites, we realized that tragedy had struck the Fort Lauderdale Airport---a crazy man had pulled a gun out of his checked baggage, killing 5 people, injuring 8 others. At our scheduled Sail-Away time, we were missing 121 people. The ship continued to wait at the dock, hoping for them to arrive until after 9:30 p.m. Even then, we departed with 37 missing and dozens without their luggage. Many passengers and much luggage arrived at the first port. PRINCESS handled the crisis beautifully and, because the Captain kept us abreast in announcements, we could surround our fellow passengers in good cheer and heartfelt prayer. Being at sea was a particularly beautiful experience this year, with the ship sailing south and entering the warm waters of the West Indies. ANTIGUA was a new port-stop for us, and we enjoyed a ship's excursion to orient us to the highlights of the island, including the historic Nelson's British Naval Dockyards National Museum ,which has a hotel inside it we would like to visit again. Another stop, at Shirley Heights, provided an opportunity to photograph the Georgian dockyards from high above in the local hills. We could also see an impressive compound built by Eric Clapton, who also built for the island a rehab hospital. ST. KITTS has a relatively new dock with a bright raspberry-colored roof and much re-building since the last hurricane damage they sustained. We enjoyed large white migratory birds which were filling the trees, as they rested on the island on the island for a few days in transit. While friends at our dining table tried out a Zip-Lining adventure, we took a leisurely ship's excursion up into the cool, breezy hills to visit the historical Fairview Great House and Botanical Gardens. The lay of the land with ocean waves coming into natural inlets was beautiful to behold from a photo stop on our panoramic drive. ST. THOMAS was beautiful as ever, such a lovely marina. And GRAND TURK, with its multi-faceted cruise venue, where it feels like the ship pulls right up and docks at a Caribbean beach with a nearby Margaritaville & pool, was one of the reasons we chose this sailing. Days at sea watching the ocean tumble out the back of the ship as we lounged in chaises around the Aft Adult Pool were particularly restorative and appreciated this year. The last few sunrises enjoyed there were exquisite as well---and it was good to be able to book for next year and know we are coming back. Planning for a cruise is half the fun. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Cruising IS the right way to travel. You dont have to move and you see such a vast selection of ports and sights! shopping was great in Aruba and Curacao. Bonaire is a tourist stop many sights and local color. A much quiter and ... Read More
Cruising IS the right way to travel. You dont have to move and you see such a vast selection of ports and sights! shopping was great in Aruba and Curacao. Bonaire is a tourist stop many sights and local color. A much quiter and relaxed port. A nice balance to the other two. Princess is the answer to a great balance of high end and leisure cruising. You never feel out of place and the activities are top of the line. The dinning was most tasty and the waiter was way above and beyond. He learned in the first night ALL of our little quirks and made sure each dinner was special. The Marte 'd took extra care of us as we had allegeries. He review each meal to ensure no foods that would cause problems were included. If there was any question he personally went to the kitchen and watched to ensure the proper preparations of our meals! Makes you feel special to know that your meal is overseen in this manner! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
this is our second cruise with princess. /could not get walker through doorway/dining room staff excellent, michael & alejandro very attentive to our needs/ churchill lounge bartender excellent customer relations/ also deck attendant ... Read More
this is our second cruise with princess. /could not get walker through doorway/dining room staff excellent, michael & alejandro very attentive to our needs/ churchill lounge bartender excellent customer relations/ also deck attendant 17 hard worker/,Gemma room steward was very helpful and pleasant/. trivia challenges were good, some more difficult than others/port tours were good/ last day sales were good/art auctions and classes very interesting/our cabin had a balcony do not know what category/ December is not a good month as sea was rough/ princess theater shows were all of good quality / show Ocean Voice gave passengers a chance to participate and contestants all did well/hello i have few words /other passengers were quite nice/ lots of people from other countries talking sharing tables/ getting off and on were ok/ most meals were excellent accept veal was noit/ salmon was excellent/ princess love boat brownie was delicous/thank you /merry christmas Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I had work on this cruise, which is how my family ended up on this particular one. But we are now hooked on Princess, and we would recommend this cruise to others. The islands we visited were incredible, the cruise ship was fun with an ... Read More
I had work on this cruise, which is how my family ended up on this particular one. But we are now hooked on Princess, and we would recommend this cruise to others. The islands we visited were incredible, the cruise ship was fun with an amazing staff, and we enjoyed ourselves! The food could be better in the main dining rooms... it's not exciting enough for our palettes but the "pay extra" restaurants were absolutely incredible and worth every dime. Our cabin stewart went out of his way for us every day. And the people we met on the ship were so nice. The entertainment staff and events were really fun. The ship was clean, comfortable and we wished for nothing while we were at sea. The band on board was great (Evolution) and the mood was festive. We loved Curocao and Bonaire islands. We heard this ship was being "updated with a facelift" soon, which seems like a good idea to modernize it. But it's a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We wanted to go on a long cruise after doing many7 day cruises. ( Saint Marten, Saint Thomas, Bonaire, that area) Food was good, service was good ,everything was better than expected. Ship and cabin was beautiful. We traveled with ... Read More
We wanted to go on a long cruise after doing many7 day cruises. ( Saint Marten, Saint Thomas, Bonaire, that area) Food was good, service was good ,everything was better than expected. Ship and cabin was beautiful. We traveled with friends. Getting on and off the ship easy. My only suggestion for Princess is to stop gouging customers for WiFi. I understand the profit margin need and you seem to do very well on the alcohol. Any motel or hotel has free WiFi now. Justify it with the increased benefit of social media exposure. We would do agin with Princess in fact we have a 15 day to Hawaii and a 14 day to Denali and Alaska in 2017, so we do love cruising. We have cruised almost all of the popular destinations The majority have been on Princes, however we have done 3 other cruise lines in our 10 plus cruises. Again we will not be signing up for WiFi . Perhaps include to Ruby and above levels as a thanks for the loyality If Princess does correct the WiFi issue we will stay loyal. If not we may look at other lines that do. I am sure I am not alone on this. It is very much like the luggage fee on Air Transportation now. We all resent it but must go along with it or drive. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We just returned from our trip, traveling on the Caribbean Princess. This was our first time sailing with Princess and we were not disappointed. There were 4 of us in our party, my husband and I and his parents. We chose to eat dinner ... Read More
We just returned from our trip, traveling on the Caribbean Princess. This was our first time sailing with Princess and we were not disappointed. There were 4 of us in our party, my husband and I and his parents. We chose to eat dinner during the early seating and requested a table for 6 or more. We were at a table for 8. We enjoyed getting to know the other 2 couples that we shared the table with. Our waiter was Ion and we loved him. After the first night, he already knew what we liked to drink and was ready to serve it as soon as we were seated. His assistant was Gilberto and he was great too. Even the head waiter, Marcin was great. He introduced himself the first night and came to our table every night and even brought drink refills if Ion and Gilberto were busy. Not like the typical head waiter that only comes around at the end of the cruise to get his tip. We had pre-paid our gratuities but were so happy with the service from our wait-staff that we gave them a little extra the last night to show them our appreciation. The activities staff was awesome. Each one went out of their way to make sure that everyone was having fun. A few game shows that stood out were "Spot the Cuckoo", where you had to figure out which cruise staff member was lying about their previous jobs (Chris, Pool Boy, Del Sol, Indonesia Jones and Taxi Driver were crazy and kept us laughing!) and "The Marriage Game"...AKA: The Newlywed Game. I think the only person that we were not impressed with was the actual cruise director, Neil. We never saw him except when he introduced that acts in the Princess theater but, that definitely did not ruin our trip. All in all, we had a great time. The only small damper to the week was that a passenger had to be evacuated from the ship due to a medical condition (heart attack or stroke). The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter had to come pick him up. We are praying for him and hoping that he will have a full recovery. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
First of all I would like to say we have travelled a few times on other Princess ships and all though we had a good time I just wanted to warn disabled travellers that the Caribbean Princess on the Southern route to Aruba doesn't have ... Read More
First of all I would like to say we have travelled a few times on other Princess ships and all though we had a good time I just wanted to warn disabled travellers that the Caribbean Princess on the Southern route to Aruba doesn't have the same facilities as it's sister ships. 1. We have a beautiful wheelchair cabin on Caribe deck 10 which as the bigger balcony. A couple of days towards the end of the ship we were unable to use the balcony because of the sewage smell. Don't know if the ship was dumping its sewage or not. 3 ship personal told me three different stories. 2. The doors going on the pool deck don't open automatically from the forward end of the ship so my mum couldn't go up there by herself and I had to be with her most of the time on the ship to open various doors. Other Princess ships all have auto doors in the pool deck area. 3. There are only 6 spots for wheelchair or scooters in the theatre right at the back. There must have been at least 40 people with either wheelchair or scooters on board. One night we were unable to see the show. 4. There are no excursions on the Southern route for people in scooters. Princess Cay is a tender and Curacao and Aruba don't have any transportation either Princess or private. If you are in a wheelchair and climb steps they can accommodate you. Princess excursions before you travel always say to check when you are on board which is too late when you are already on the ship. 5. The gang way in Aruba was totally unsuitable for wheelchairs or scooters. Mum had to be transferred into a wheelchair and two guys almost had to carry her down and the scooter had to be taken down separately. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We have cruised for the 3rd time now. Once with Holland America on the Oosterdam, the second time with Carnival on the Valor and now with the Caribbean Princess. I must say that Holland America set the level very high. With Carnival we had ... Read More
We have cruised for the 3rd time now. Once with Holland America on the Oosterdam, the second time with Carnival on the Valor and now with the Caribbean Princess. I must say that Holland America set the level very high. With Carnival we had lower expectations but where still positively surprised. Now with Princess we knew what to expect - something between Holland America and Carnival - but we think that both Carnival and Holland America were a tad better in most areas. The Valor had more for families to offer, i.e. mini golf. The Caribbean Princess had only a putting green. The Valor had a running track, the Caribbean Princess not. We experienced more lines than on the other ships. It seemed that the number of passengers didn't match the capacity of the ship. The Horizon Grill was very narrow. It was difficult to turn around without bumping into other passengers. We never experienced that on the two other ships. The gym was always packed in the mornings and difficult to get a machine to work out. The biggest indicator of the mismatch between number of passengers and the ship capacity is that they offer three shows every night. On the other two ships two shows gave every passenger an opportunity to see the show. The good thing here is that the shows are shorter. Around 45 minutes or so. State Room -- Princess offered a better layout than on the two other ships. They pulled down a bunk bed from the ceiling for our son. This did not make the room smaller. Very smart concept. On the Oosterdam, they brought a portable bed into the state room every night, which made it impossible to put a foot down on the carpet. The ship is in a good shape. Fully met our expectations. Some wear and tear but that's what we expected. But it is always clean and they are constantly cleaning it. They also did some paintwork here and there which my wife didn't like. The paint smell was unfortunately pretty strong sometimes. The staff is very friendly as we expected, however we believe that the staff on the two other ships we sailed was a little better. Example: I brought a bottle of wine into the stateroom of the Oosterdam and without asking the Steward brought two red wine glasses. That is perfect service. This didn't happen on Carnival and neither on Princess. The Stewards on HA and Carnival folded every night little towel animals, which the kids enjoy. They also nicely arranged the stuffed animals from our son. On the Princess Caribbean they were just on a pile on the bed. No big deal, but those small things make a difference. One day our room was not made. No big problem, can happen, we asked them to do that later and they did, but this didn't happen on the two other ships. Pools -- the Caribbean Princess has four pools. Two for adults only and two for all passengers including kids. Fresh water, which is nice. The family pools were very crowded on the sea days. Food -- we always liked the meals. We didn't find anything bad. Service was as always excellent. Kids club -- good program and this time our son actually stayed a few times there. Sales pitches -- now here they can be a little hard on you. A simple "No thank you, I am not interested" does not suffice. They wanted to sell me a ticket to a wine tasting event for $25 and I had to say "No" five times in various forms until the waiter gave up. His attitude seemed to change. It seems that they get commissioned for every extra sale. They also tried to sell their 'coffee card' in the first days a little too much for our taste. My wife went to a free seminar for "the 15minute facelift". At the end of the presentation the Doctor who held the seminar was a little to forceful signing people up for a free consultation. My wife signed up and she was able to see the Doctor immediately. The Doctor gave her a mirror to hold and examined her face. The end result was the Doctor could really do a lot of work to improve her appearance. When my wife asked the price the Doctor said $2,000. The Doctor then asked if she were interested and my wife replied not for $2,000. The Doctor asked how much was she willing to spend? Seemed to be a haggling situation, which she was not prepared for. The Dr. then said she could do some injections around the eyes for $300.00 my wife replied 'no thanks'. The doctor became very quiet and my wife then left. Just a very uncomfortable situation. The pressure to buy additional things was a little too forceful in our opinion. We spent a lot of money for the cruise and don't want to be nickel and dimed for other things. However overall it was a great trip that we enjoyed a lot. Our expectations were probably a little too high for Princess. We would give it 3.5 stars out of 5. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Arrived at the ship about 1 pm. Embarkation on March 30 was ok, but there seemed to be no control of the waiting lines and it seemed like a bit of a free for all. Once on board, cabin was easy to find and was ready for us when we ... Read More
Arrived at the ship about 1 pm. Embarkation on March 30 was ok, but there seemed to be no control of the waiting lines and it seemed like a bit of a free for all. Once on board, cabin was easy to find and was ready for us when we boarded. The location was excellent right between two major elevator banks. I must say I was bit disappointed by the appointments in the cabin. There was no real use of color and it seemed kind of drab, but it was very comfortable. Space was good but not great. Other cruise lines have about the same space in their standard balcony cabins. Impression of the ship is average. The atrium while very nice, was not the towering version you will find on other ships. The ship is mostly done in earth tones. All in all pretty underwhelming. Do not misunderstand, it is a beautiful ship, but they could have done more with it. The staff is outstanding. Everyone is very friendly and they all said hello and were quick to help or serve you. They really provided a brilliant level of service. Food in the main dining rooms is among the best I've had on a cruise and the dining room staff was just outstanding. The entertainment was average at best. The Magician they had one night was really good, but the in-house shows lacked compared to other cruise lines. Another issue I had is they pretty much rolled up the sidewalks at 11 PM. Not much going on besides the dance club which may or may not be your thing. On days in port, on two occasions they had you go to a central locations to get a number to get off, then never used them. Didn't make a lot of sense unless it was just to control the volume of people getting off at a given time. First time I've seen that. The ports of call were excellent and the first stop was Princess Cays for a beach day. It is a very nice place and a great first stop to really relax. In Curacao we were there till almost 9 PM giving you a real feel for the place as you had enough time to explore and enjoy dinner off the ship if you wanted. The last stop was Aruba which is just beautiful. Wish we had more time there. Love to go back there. Disembarking was a bit confusing. Could not always here the announcements, but it was easy enough and very organized. Biggest issue was getting a taxi after. Took 45 min to get one and it seemed not a lot of them were stopping, but that's not a cruise line issue. The staff and food were excellent. The ports of call were great. I think the ship, activities and entertainment missed the mark as compared to other lines, but overall I would say it was a great time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Overall, this was a wonderful cruise, and I would recommend it to anyone. We typically get a lower priced inside cabin since we would rather take a couple of cruises per year than spend twice the money on an higher grade cabin. Our ... Read More
Overall, this was a wonderful cruise, and I would recommend it to anyone. We typically get a lower priced inside cabin since we would rather take a couple of cruises per year than spend twice the money on an higher grade cabin. Our cabin was on the Aloha Deck (A732). While we believe it was a little smaller than some inside cabins on other cruise lines, the cabin was very nice and the layout was very nice and efficient. We never felt crowded. Our cabin attendant was fantastic and kept the cabin clean and in order constantly. It seemed that he was always around. I would give the inside cabin and the cabin service a five star rating (on a scale of one to five). We are not drinkers or gamblers, so we have no experience with the bar services or the casino. However, I did purchase a soda card and my wife purchased a specialty coffee card. The bar attendants were always very helpful and willing to get me a soda every time I asked. The ship's common areas are beautiful. There was always quality entertainment in several areas of the ship. We enjoyed sitting around different places, listening to music, and reading. It was a relaxing cruise. I would have to rate the helpfulness and enthusiasm of the staff five stars. The service throughout was amazing. We were always greeted with friendly smiles and a "good morning" or "good afternoon". Now for the food. While the service in the main dining room (early dinner seating) was outstanding, we did not think the tastiness of the food was quite up to that experienced on other recent cruises. When people ask me how the food was, my reply is simply "okay". The buffet upstairs was very good. The service upstairs was also outstanding. An advantage of the buffet was that you could go back and make another selection if you didn't care for the first one. In summary, the ship is beautiful, service was outstanding throughout, our cabin was great, and the food was "okay". I definitely would recommend the Caribbean Princess since our overall experience was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
On March 23rd, I took my mother on a cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess to celebrate her birthday. We eagerly anticipated the cruise for months prior and expected to enjoy ourselves. We have taken several cruises in the past and have ... Read More
On March 23rd, I took my mother on a cruise aboard the Caribbean Princess to celebrate her birthday. We eagerly anticipated the cruise for months prior and expected to enjoy ourselves. We have taken several cruises in the past and have heard positive feedback about Princess from other passengers. My mother has talked about wanting to go on Princess for the past few years, and I surprised her last year when I told her that I booked it for her birthday. We did not expect that the cruise, which took place March 23rd to the 30th, would have been a costly mistake demonstrated by repeated poor service every day (and several times throughout the day). The service was so poor that, at this time, I would not consider booking with Princess again. As you will come to read, you will find that the staff was extremely rude, disrespectful, and inconsiderate throughout the ship in various departments. There were problems every day---in the morning, afternoon, and evening. On day one we were treated poorly. We departed Fort Lauderdale in the afternoon and wanted the balcony door to open in our cabin, R301. We attempted to open the door, though were unsuccessful. We called the front desk staff, which sent up two people who did not know how to open the door, and by the time the door was opened, it was two hours later (at nearly midnight). Two hours to open a balcony door is unacceptable. We had to call the front desk several times and were repeatedly told "10 minutes" or "soon." Early in the cruise, we saw the GoSmile advertisement. We were interested and made a consultation. The young woman provided us with consent forms, and I go through them meticulously. I can not help that, considering I am a critical care nurse. Consent forms are given for a reason; they are given so the client knows the risks/benefits of a procedure. I noticed that there were some areas of concern for my mother (who has veneers, crowns, and a denture) and for me (asthma and a history of melanoma). We asked her questions about these, which were cautioned in the consent form. She was getting impatient with the questions and said that the forms are "old" and "you will be fine." She could not show us pictures and was upset that we would ask. I asked about the light and if it emits radiation; she responded with "of course not!" I said that I thought it would be a good idea "if we hold off." We were walking out of the room and she tore apart the papers. I could not imagine talking down to people like that prior to a procedure if they had questions. It is unethical to degrade people in such a manner, and I would (rightfully) lose my job. Each night, we went to the Princess Theater for entertainment. The wait staff would scan the room for people in the theater for whom they would offer a drink too (people they saw were formally dressed up and thus they would get a larger tip). We were never offered anything to drink; yet, they would make eye contact with us. It was as though we were treated as second-class citizens and only the people they considered "VIP" were offered any kind of drink. We were ignored. One of the evenings, I called out to one of the servers and asked for something to drink. They said that they could not get us iced tea, since they do not have that at the bar. We asked for water, and he returned 20 minutes later with water. My mother asked for two straws (one for her and for me), and he yelled at her saying, "the straws are only for the soda or drinks. If you wanted a straw, you should have asked for it with the water." Well, when we go to restaurants, the servers carry extra straws in their pocket...so, this came to us as a surprise. He came back with several straws, handed them to my mother, and we realized that on this boat we have to carry our own straws in our pockets. The following night, we asked for water but forgot the straws...we got the straws, 30 minutes later, after asking three servers. Unbelievable! So, my mother made it a priority to keep a straw in her jacket pocket while walking throughout the ship. I am shocked by this; I spent nearly $2,100 so my mother can walk around a cruise boat with poor service and a straw in her pocket? However, the lack of offering liquids went throughout the ship. On the 15th floor or in the cafes, we would ask for iced tea and the staff would say that they could not get it for us, though mostly they would not offer us anything. We asked a server (who just put iced tea on the table for four men) if we could have iced tea too, and she said that we would have to go to the dining room (this was the night of the Ultimate Deck Party, so the 26th--my mother's birthday). The staff would say that iced tea can only be given in the main dining rooms. The same story applied to lemonade or iced coffee. We have been on different cruise lines before and iced tea was available everywhere, even if you poured the iced tea from a pitcher into a glass yourself. This was an everyday problem...obtaining hydration was so difficult that we would bring the drinks back to our stateroom. When you would ask for something to drink, such as iced tea, the staff member would give you a funny look and a reason why they could not get it for you: this was everywhere. We would hang out on the 15th floor outside a lot, and the workers would offer everyone else but us something to drink. Throughout the dining areas, though especially the various buffets, the workers continued to be incredibly rude. We would be eating food (with our mouths full and food still on the plate) and the workers would just take the plate. They did not even ask if we were finished or still working on it! This was an everyday problem. I have had better dining experiences at Denny's. We would ask questions to staff workers throughout the ship, and they would talk down to you or belittle you as to how you could ask such a question. It was as if it has become so common knowledge to them that they expected the guests on-board to know where places were, if the food was included in the meal plan, and the times to get back on the boat. One of the many examples of this would be when we asked the gentleman outside the Palm Dining Room if the food was included in our package. We did not know if the food would cost extra or if it was part of the standard package. He yelled at us to "look at the menu! Look at your card! It says "anytime dining!" You need to read the menus!" Unfortunately, him yelling at us occurred on my mother's birthday. We asked him about the card as it said to present the card during dinner for a "festive treat." We did not know what that entailed (considering this was our first time on Princess) and we thought he said "steak." So, we repeated the word "steak" to him and he said, "No, I said cake! Cake, not steak!" I was flabbergasted by how rude this man was outside the dining room, especially knowing it was her birthday with the card. I wanted her to have a memorable and enjoyable birthday; this was far from what occurred. He did not apologize for his rude behavior but had an exasperated sigh. From here, we went to the Island Dining Room. We had gone to the Island Dining Room for my mother's birthday. We presented the card and happily told them it was her birthday. There was an open table for two available---no signs showing a reservation. The hostess continued to insist that we sit with others at a larger table. I asked her four times if we could sit at the table for two, considering it was a special occasion, the table was clean, and nobody was sitting there. She finally gave in, though why should I have had to ask four times? Why should I feel like I have to continue to ask people for basic service? I looked around the room to see who was sitting at the tables for two; all the people sitting at the tables for two were dressed up with wine bottles in hand. We do not drink alcohol and thus it appeared that they were trying to save the tables for those dressed up and whom they thought would be purchasing liquor. This judgmental attitude on my mother's birthday struck a huge chord with me. After dinner, I wanted to speak to a supervisor. I spoke to Sanjay at the front desk. This gentleman was a true gem. He would follow up with our complaints to management. He had Andre Markovskyy call us, which was a very poor experience. Mr. Markovskyy was rude and insisted that everyone treats everyone the same. I explained to him that he could not speak about everybody; he could only speak about himself. This made him irate, to which he said, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I could see that we were not getting anywhere in this conversation besides him becoming argumentative and I requested to speak with someone else, which is how I spoke with Leigh-Anne Davis (the customer relations manager). We spoke face-to-face with Ms. Davis, who understood that our problems were related to service and that the solutions should be simple. We only asked for simple things that were not out of the ordinary. We were asking for hydration and respect. She was very concerned, listened, and responded courteously. Ms. Davis followed up with various department managers about what we were saying. She said that if things did not get better to let her know; we called her the next day to let her know how things were going. After speaking to Ms. Davis, things seemed like they were improving a bit. We were offered water in the Princess Theater, though brought our own straws (since we have learned that they come at a premium on the ship). However, when we asked for water in the International Cafe, the waitress never came back with it; so, after 20 minutes of watching her serve others, we went on a hunt for water. We went to the 15th floor for pizza on that Friday the 29th just a few minutes before 11am. We saw that the pizza was ready and asked for a slice. Again, we did not know that they opened at 11am. Ernesto yelled at us, "11am! We open at 11am! Look at the clock!" He had an angry scowl on his face and pointed to the clock. We patiently waited as did another man who pointed out to Ernesto, "Well on my watch, it is perfectly 11:00." I would have been happy if he just said, "we are just finishing setting things up. Can you give us a few more minutes?" The attitude was so poor. We knew that we would be leaving early on Saturday morning to get to the airport. We filled out the room service card for fruit, danishes, and yogurt. We selected the time for 6:30am for everything to come. We got off the boat at 8am and the food we requested never arrived to the room. Never have we packed so soon to fly back from a vacation, and we found ourselves packing up on Friday the 29th and asking the front desk if we could "check out." We were so excited to get off the boat and go home. If I treated anyone like this at work (as a registered nurse), I would be fired. In public service, there is no room for awful attitudes, unkind tones, and poor service. Besides our experience with Ms. Davis and Sanjay, we found that workers on the ship to have an argumentative attitude and a poor attitude. Most of the workers seem burnt out from the job, not even smiling, even walking in what looked like a daze at times. I worked very hard to pay for this cruise, thinking that it would be well-worth the 12-16 hour days. The boat got us from point A to point B, similar to a taxi cab. I am requesting for a 50% refund of what I paid, considering the boat had acted as a taxi cab and got us to the places, and thus this is what I believe is fair to the cruise line and to myself. I am hoping to work this out with this Department. This trip was a huge disappointment. Furthermore, I have never paid this much for a cruise before and have had better service on other cruise lines. The saying is that you "get what you pay for." I expected that by paying more money to go on Princess that the payback would be superb service. As my mother told Ms. Davis, "I thought we would be treated like princesses." Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
I honestly must say we were disappointed with our first Princess Cruise, we were expecting it to be better than Carnival but we were wrong. Our cabin was very small, dirty carpet, dirty walls, broken fixtures, squeaks and rattles ... Read More
I honestly must say we were disappointed with our first Princess Cruise, we were expecting it to be better than Carnival but we were wrong. Our cabin was very small, dirty carpet, dirty walls, broken fixtures, squeaks and rattles everywhere, dirty glass that was never cleaned on our balcony door and balcony glass below the railing, railing needed to be varnished, balcony flooring also very dirty, bathroom missing grout and significant mold and dirt visible. entertainment- not great... actually boring, again expected way better. Movies under the stars- not a great selection of movies (we had a 14 year old with us and the movies for the most part were not appropriate or entertaining even for us!) So many choices of movies you could watch but Princess selected garbage! Food- presentation was good, taste and selection for dinner was disappointing. we ate in the dinning room and buffet. Breakfast was good in the buffet and room service. Generally had burgers and pizza for a afternoon snack and that also was very good! Ports of call were good, would of liked to spend some shopping time in Curacao thou but we got in late and everything closed before our tour ended. Holidays are a special time for us (and for everybody) when family can relax and have fun together; its unfortunate when your holiday is a disappointment! "ESCAPE COMPLETELY" I can only wish!!! I most likely will not be be back to travel with Princess! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Our first Princess cruise, we'd do it again if the price were right. Service was impeccable, the room steward, Blesilda Castranero, was awesome and made our stay very enjoyable. The wait staff is very friendly and accommodating, one ... Read More
Our first Princess cruise, we'd do it again if the price were right. Service was impeccable, the room steward, Blesilda Castranero, was awesome and made our stay very enjoyable. The wait staff is very friendly and accommodating, one is made to feel like royalty. We especially enjoyed the International Cafe, Andrew Gonsalves the bartender (do not call him a barista) was especially adept with the caffeine, the blended drinks are outstanding not to mention the dessert offerings. The ship is in good condition overall but I was taken by how dark many of the public areas were with the wood paneling and dark colors. Very reminiscent of New York chop restaurants and bars. The gym is state of the art and fairly roomy. The stateroom (Interior) was beginning to show wear, the mattresses in particular could use replacing. The space its self was compact but efficiently appointed as was the bathroom and closet/dressing area. The staff from top to bottom was amazing, this is the hardest working group I've ever had the pleasure of coming across. The service was above and beyond, there is nothing they will not do, create or invent to make your stay more pleasurable. Anything negative; rough seas, mediocre meal, late arrival in port can all be forgiven when this staff is brought to mind. The food was good, interestingly enough we found the buffet at the Horizon Court and Caribe Cafe tastier than that which was served in the dining room. Princess does an outstanding job with desserts; the Princess Love Cake, their fresh sorbet which changed daily to other delights are well worth the extra calories or taking the stairs. The pizza, as everyone has already said, is outstanding and the Trident grill is terrific, nothing like a fresh hamburger or bratwurst to tied you over until dinner. And don't forget those amazing chocolate croissants at the International Cafe, WOW! Entertainment was terrific; Dan Styne the cruise director and his staff work tirelessly to entertain us and they do a great job. We had the pleasure of a comedian "SARGE", illusionist "HAWLEY MAGIC" and "THE UNEXPECTED BOYS" all of which were terrific. The Princess signers and dancers also put their best foot forward and we enjoyed their themed performances. The cruise directors staff however was the most fun and entertaining from hosting bingo to teaching line dancing, salsa and making us move our buns in Zumba class. There was always something to do... The enrichment class/seminars were interesting, I personally would like to have seen more. Wine tastings were made available for a small fee and were well worth it, the Sommelier was very informative and knowledgeable. The ports were okay, but the ship and experience on it is what made the trip for us even with rough seas. Princess Cays is lovely, the FOC BBQ tasty and if you like hanging out at the beach this port is for you. Got my prettiest pictures here. Curacao I was most interested in seeing for it's architecture and history, it did not disappoint and was easy to navigate on our own. Aruba was hot, sunny, pretty and had lots of shopping. Princess does a good job of pampering you, we truly "escaped"... Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We were a party of 8 (4 brothers and wives/SO) and just returned from the January 19th sailing of the Caribbean Princess. This was our 14th cruise but first on Princess. Last 3 cruises were on Celebrity Solstice, HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam ... Read More
We were a party of 8 (4 brothers and wives/SO) and just returned from the January 19th sailing of the Caribbean Princess. This was our 14th cruise but first on Princess. Last 3 cruises were on Celebrity Solstice, HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam and Celebrity Eclipse so there will be comparisons. We arrived at the port around 10:30. Easy check-in but they were late boarding and it was 12:30 before they began embarkation. We were onboard by 12:50 and eating by 1:00. CABINS The 4 couples were in the Emerald Mini-Suites on deck 8. My wife and I were in E731...the last cabin aft on the starboard side. As others have said, this is a great cabin with extra large balcony (which was great for the 8 of us to have the Ultimate Balcony Dinner on). These were the largest and best designed cabins we have ever had. We loved the large bathroom, closet area away from the door, and full size sofa. I was concerned that the cabin might be showing its age but it was in great shape. The bed was not the most comfortable I have had on a ship but it was not as bad as some people have said. I don't like the blue plastic flooring on the balcony as much as the cover on other ships. After our UBD there were crumbs (yep...we are pigs) on the balcony that got down in the little holes in the flooring and would be hard to get out unless they pulled up the flooring. Also, we like to open up our balconies to make one big balcony but it is very confining on the CB with the little doors being the only thing to open. I much prefer the Celebrity and HAL balcony where a large partition actually swings back in toward the cabin and opens up everything around the railing. In the future I would ONLY want these mini-suites on Emerald Deck as the Dolphin deck mini's have the uncovered balcony that can be viewed by everyone above. SHIP OVERALL We really thought the ship was beautiful and well maintained. Very attractive colors and decorating. Some of the clubs and areas are dark but still pretty. The only real area we saw that needed attention was on the balconies down under the glass railing. It was rusted and needed some work. While we loved the look of the ship, we did not really like the design and flow. There are so many "dead-ends" where you "can't get there from here". While walking, the best way was just to go the piazza via deck 7 and find what you needed from there. The elevators were also somewhat confusing as some went only to certain decks. While the CB was really beautiful, we liked the overall design flow of the Celebrity Solstice class better and the more open feeling with higher ceilings. The top decks on the CB seemed really cut up and not much flow. SERVICE Excellent and friendly all around the ship. Our cabin steward was Aries from the Philippines...did not talk much but very efficient. We had anytime dining so did not really get to know waiters but one made a great impression...Steve in the Crown Grill from Hungary. He was one of the best waiters we have ever had. Everyone we had contact with was helpful, friendly and always said hello. We said it must be difficult to always appear cheerful when everyday is "Groundhog Day" to the staff. ENTERTAINMENT We did not go to every theatre show but here are some we saw and our impressions of overall entertainment: Hawley Magic -- A married couple that apparently had gone far on America's Got Talent. While they were good it seemed every illusion was a woman in a box disappearing and reappearing. Little interaction with the audience. Okay...not great. Walk Like a Man -- Tribute to the music of the Four Seasons and they were excellent...one of the best shows we have seen on our many cruises. If they are on your sailing be sure to see them. Born to be Wild -- Production show featuring popular music from the past several decades. Okay but the male vocalists were not that strong. But fortunately it was just singing and dancing and none of the dialogue that is so corny. Comedian Scott Wyler -- Had a real dry sense of humor and a lot of one-liners. Okay but have seen better on cruises. Epithani -- Party band that seemed to play everywhere. Pretty good, especially on Motown and soul songs. Dan Styne CD -- One of the best cruise directors we have had. Really had good rapport with the audience and was funny and unscripted. Tempo Quatro -- Unfortunately did not discover them until the last evening but they were excellent. Played a lot in the Wheelhouse Bar. Sugarcane -- Two piece Caribbean music and were good. Other -- We did not attend any of the game shows, bingo, art auctions, or MUTS. We attended one karaoke. Unfortunately most were good singers because we go to hear the really bad ones that THINK they are good. We found that the seminars were always about a subject like weight loss, teeth whitening, back pain, etc. where they could get a captive audience and then try to sell you something. FOOD As we all know this is subjective. Overall food was good but I did not think it was as good as our last 2 Celebrity cruises or our HAL cruise. Some thoughts. Dining Rooms -- We had anytime dining with good service and for the most part food was good...not spectacular but we don't expect that. The last evening was one of the worst menus I have ever seen and it was hard to find anything that looked good. I don't know why they pack the menu on some nights with great choices and then have nights with meatloaf and hamburger. Crown Grill -- Excellent...one of the best specialty experiences we have had. Steaks were very good and service from Steve was top-notch. I wish we had gone the last night after seeing the dining room menu. Sabatini's -- Good but not as good as Crown Grill and service a notch below also. I had a very large veal chop that looked delicious but was full of fat and kind of tough. Ultimate Balcony Dinner -- All 8 of us had paid in advance and did this on our large balcony the evening in Curacao and finished up as we were leaving port with the moon on the water. Service from Ariel and his team was superb. He met with us early in the cruise to finalize the menu. We received a cocktail of choice, canapes, champagne, crab in puff pastry appetizer, large salad, surf and turf, a beautiful and tasty selection of mousses with fresh berries, special cookies and coffee. They also included a very nice arrangement of flowers for each cabin and an 8x10 photo...a $25 value. It was really a nice experience and worth the money with all that is included. Since they have to deliver the food it is not quite as hot and fresh as the dining room but we would definitely do it again. Chef's Dinner -- Two couples were selected to do this but my brother and I with spouses elected not to sign up. We were honestly shocked that the other brothers were selected since 38 cabins signed up and it is limited to 10 people. And this was our first Princess cruise. Perhaps they were selected to give a real "Wow" impression to take home. I believe the other couples selected had done it before on other Princess ships. My brothers said it was one of best experiences they ever had on a cruise and would not stop talking about it. It as funny that the 4 of us who elected not to do it ended up at a table next to them in the dining room. Once the maitre d' found out that we were not participating he brought our table two very large plates of the main course of meats...delicious. And, very nice of Mr. Florencio to do. Horizon Court / Caribe Cafe -- This is one area we felt Princess really needs to improve on. The selection leaves a lot to be desired and the quality is hit or miss. Also, the serving set up is horrendous and much too small and confined for a ship of almost 3,500 passengers. It was mass confusion trying to get to the food. And the seating area is also too small for a ship this size. Most of the time trying to find a seat here was like trying to find a seat on a lifeboat on the Titanic. Celebrity has by far the best buffet set up with numerous serving stations rather than lines. And HAL, while not as good a set up as Celebrity, is much better than Princess in our opinion. Hopefully they are correcting this on Royal Princess. International Cafe -- What a gem. We found the desserts here much better than the dining room or buffet. And the soups, salads and sandwiches were fresh and tasty. The specialty coffees were also good. Trident Grill / Pizzeria / Ice Cream Bar -- Visited each...pizza is the best at sea. Burgers and dogs pretty good too. Wish they had more scooped ice cream like Celebrity rather than soft serve. Pub Lunch in Crown Grill - Served several times during sea days. Fish and Chips a little greasy but still a nice experience and change of pace...and we did not have to fight the crowd in Horizon. BARS / CLUBS / LOUNGES We really liked Vines...and they have some great complimentary tapas when you get wine. Spent some time in the Club Fusion, Explorers, Wheelhouse and Skywalkers. We found them all to be nice venues. We discovered Skywalkers is a great place during the day to find a quiet seat to relax and read. Crooners is really part of the Piazza and always seemed to be full. POOLS Really did not spend much time at the pools but they always seemed crowded. With such a nice balcony we found we spent more time there than on deck. We did like to lie out around the aft pool, especially the "wings" that were large enough for two loungers on the deck above. PORTS Selected this itinerary because it went to Aruba and Curacao, which are hard to visit on a 7-day cruise from south Florida. Stayed on the ship in Princess Cay. Just walked around Curacao. On Aruba, we booked the Sonny Binn's tour on the internet. It was an entire island tour that lasted over 4 hours for only $30pp. We had 4 to 5 stops in a new, very well air-conditioned mini-bus. Well worth the money and Sonny was one of the best tours we have done on any island. PARTING THOUGHTS We really enjoyed the Caribbean Princess and will most definitely consider Princess in our future cruises based on itinerary and pricing. I personally slightly prefer the overall Celebrity (Solstice class) experience due to a lower number of passengers and higher space ratio. It seemed hard to find a quiet place to sit on the CB because every place seemed crowded. But, I was very impressed with the Princess product. I kept reading how Princess was not the same as the past and nothing was as good as it used to be. Well, all I can say is it was a wonderful cruise with a great staff that goes out of it's way to serve you. There are always going to be little things that you like better on one ship or cruise line but the overall Princess experience was all that we had hoped for. The Royal Princess may be in our future as it looks amazing. Thanks for reading this long-winded review. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
This was our 6th cruise, the last 4 being aboard Royal Caribbean ships. We opted for the Caribbean Princess because of a great price on the balcony staterooms that were offered (balcony for outside cabin price) and the Southern Caribbean ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise, the last 4 being aboard Royal Caribbean ships. We opted for the Caribbean Princess because of a great price on the balcony staterooms that were offered (balcony for outside cabin price) and the Southern Caribbean itinerary. We were also interested in a comparison to the Royal Caribbean cruises that we have enjoyed (Mariner, Legend, Freedom and Oasis). So, let me first say, the Caribbean Princess and Princess Cruise Lines measured up to our expectations for the most part. Embarkation is an area that was a little bit of an issue. I don't know if this is a usual occurrence or if there was a ship issue. We arrived at the Park & Ride shuttle at 11am and were promptly transported to the ship terminal. Unfortunately, boarding didn't begin until about noon so we waited in line at the terminal. Once boarding began, we were processed onto the ship within 15 minutes. Other passengers related that they arrived around 1pm and had a 2 hour wait to check in and board the ship. Now about the ship...we were in a balcony cabin, #A314. Aloha deck 12 about a third of the way aft in the ship near the forward elevators. Port side. For this cruise, the port side was dock side at both Curasao and Aruba (island view) and harbor view at Port Everglades. It was a very nice room layout. We particularly liked the dressing area outside the bath. The bath accommodations are typical cruise ship, functional and compact. The balcony had two chairs and a small side table. The beds were firm but comfortable. A flat screen TV and a mini fridge with ample room for the wine and water we brought on board. We felt the ship had a "chopped up" feel to it. There were few routes that seemed to flow from the front to the rear of the ship without going up or down a level or passing from one side to the other. The Piazza is a round area that rises three decks and is the centerpiece of the ship. It seemed a bit cramped compared to the Promenades on the Royal Caribbean ships. For a ship with over 3000 passengers, there were many "small" areas that didn't accommodate the crowds real well but overall it was only a minor issue. Entertainment played in the Piazza daily but there were few available seats in that area to sit and enjoy the music. The "Sanctuary" area is adults only and accessible at an extra fee. That it is only available at an extra charge irritated me, but I'm sure there are those that gladly pay for the "quiet" experience. That's probably not too much to concede to give everyone something to enjoy. The casino was small but I usually found a place to play although it looked like there was a lot of competition for the slots. There were 4 pool areas and all were busy, but I always saw available space in those areas. The pool outside the Sanctuary and the one on the aft deck seemed to be the least used. If you're looking for a quiet nook to relax and read, the Skywalker lounge (aft deck 18) is a real hideaway during the day. The food was good. I had a seafood dish each night and from my observation of other dishes at the table, I'd say Princess does the best with the seafood dishes. Beef and poultry selections didn't seem to be quite as well prepared. There were 3 to 4 unique entrees each evening and a few entrees that were offered every evening. Escargot was the best I've had. Lobster was perfectly prepared. They used a mango salsa on a couple dishes (maybe mahi-mahi?) that was a hit. Service was perfect. I think this is where Princess excels. Their service staff is very well trained. We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet. They were quite good and served the need. Be aware the two buffets offer a little different menu. Horizon Court was American cuisine and Cafe Caribe had a more international flair. One last comment on the dining is that the dining rooms are excessively noisy. I'm guessing it's the low hard ceiling surface, but conversation is difficult at times across a table. The professional entertainment was very nicely done. The Princess Singers and Dancers did 3 different shows and all were entertaining. We saw a magician (not really my cup of tea, but well done), a Jersey Boys type show ("Walk Like a Man") was excellent, and a comedian "Sarge". I didn't think the comedian had the best material. Now for cruise director Dan Styne and deputy cruise director Chris. These guys weren't quite as polished or prepared as the cruise directors we've encountered on Royal Caribbean. Events and shows they hosted were entertaining but lacked something that would have put the shows over the top. For example, they did a show that played off the Family Feud concept. It was almost like they had just dreamed up the concept an hour earlier. I had that same feeling at other events. The ports of call were enjoyable. Princess Cays was a very nice stop. The shore lunch was decent. It was much better than our lunch experience at Royal Caribbean's Labadie beach. It's not what you'd expect on the ship maybe, but for a "picnic" meal, it was nicely done. Curacao is kind of a quick stop. Any adverse sea conditions while crossing the Caribbean Sea will delay that arrival. We arrived an hour or two behind schedule due to heavy seas but still enjoyed a short tour of the town and a little browsing in the market near the pier. The main stores there close around 6pm so shopping after an excursion is limited at the stores typical to cruise locations. Aruba is a full day event with time to enjoy the activity of your choice. We booked a Snorkel/Sail excursion that was enjoyable with a sail along a lengthy stretch of the Aruba resort coast. We took advantage of the express "walk-off" disembarkation. I stepped out of my cabin at 7:05am and was driving out of the "Park & Go" lot at 8:05am, one hour cabin to car. Our experience with Park & Go was excellent and I would recommend it if you want to save some money and park away from the chaos near the terminal. Our reserved, prepaid parking fee was less than $60 for the week, including taxes. We arrived early and departed the ship early so they are perhaps not as efficient at other times, that I don't know, but for us, the arrangement worked well. So my overall evaluation is that Princess does a real nice job in providing a quality cruise experience. There was really nothing that made me think I MUST cruise with Princess again, but also nothing occurred that would cause me to avoid booking another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We traveled with our daughter and her family, 2 children 7 & 11. We have been on Princess 9 times and this ship did not disappoint! Food was great in comparison to other ships who boasted "2nd best food on Ocean". Plenty ... Read More
We traveled with our daughter and her family, 2 children 7 & 11. We have been on Princess 9 times and this ship did not disappoint! Food was great in comparison to other ships who boasted "2nd best food on Ocean". Plenty of choices while not going overboard. Steaks and Lobster done to perfection and 2nds if you asked. Staff in dining room was wonderful, friendly and would go over and above to make your dining experience wonderful. Entertainment was top notch and each evening it was a pleasure to go see what they had for you. It kept you coming back night after night. We found the early show to be a wonderful addition (they used to only have 2 shows a night, now 3). We would then go to anytime dining after the show and always walked right in. We had an inside room, knew what we were buying and it too did not disappoint. All the rooms on Princess ships are basically the same. Our daughter's room had the upper berths, big enough for the 4 of them, not large by any sense of the word but plenty of storage and they could still manage to move around for the little time they were in the room, Kids club was great, and safe. They have a good program to make you feel safe. Not a lot of children on board as we took our out of school for the week but there were plenty for our Grandchildren to engage with. Drink prices were good, much better than Celebrity. Buy the "Beer Package" prior to sailing. A good value (we each bought 2 of those). Also don't forget Princess lets you bring 1 bottle of wine per person per port back with you which was nice for a before dinner drink each evening. Dollar for dollar, Princess is the way to travel and gives excellent perks to their loyal return guests. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We were a party of 6 sailing out of Ft Lauderdale, to Southern Caribbean (Princess Cays, Curacao and Aruba). This was Christmas week, and the ship was full. Having cruised before with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and also Princess, I must ... Read More
We were a party of 6 sailing out of Ft Lauderdale, to Southern Caribbean (Princess Cays, Curacao and Aruba). This was Christmas week, and the ship was full. Having cruised before with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and also Princess, I must now say that Princess is now my favorite cruise line. The service was great, the ship was big with lots going on - but not too big; the wait staff in the dining room was excellent, as was the food in the dining room. We were also very happy with our mini-suite, and the others in my party who were in inside cabins were pleased with their staterooms and felt they got a lot for the $. The ship did not feel crowded, even during this busy holiday time. The shows were very good too - even my 22 year old daughter and her boyfriend like them (when last year, Celebrity catered to an older crowd). My only complaint is that the buffet food was not great, so we tried to eat most meals in the dining room. Also I liked the Southern Caribbean itinerary - good to get plenty south for that warm Caribbean Sea and bright sunshine! Overall, I highly recommend Princess! Even my 19 year old has a blast - he met lots of people in his age group, thanks to the fact that they listed some meet and greets for 18+ 20 somethings (something Celebrity did not do last year). Compared to Royal Caribbean, Princess seems a lot more organized. Never a crowd - even the tendering process was a breeze - you got a number and relaxed at a table in the dining room until they called your group. In summary, go with Princess! This was our 7th cruise (in total) and definitely won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
FOOD: I am going to begin with food because it was where I encountered the most issues. BUFFET: The buffet food was terrible to me. The food was often cold and bland. The options were not great, it seemed like the food tasted the same ... Read More
FOOD: I am going to begin with food because it was where I encountered the most issues. BUFFET: The buffet food was terrible to me. The food was often cold and bland. The options were not great, it seemed like the food tasted the same every day. Some items on the menu were way too salty and inedible. Breakfast consisted of the usual foods; the omlets at the omlet bar were terrible, very bland. The French toast and waffles were very good as well as the pastries. The breakfast potatoes were salty most of the time and I asked for an English muffin with egg and cheese without the ham and the server told me it couldn't be done because they were pre assembled. The dinner buffet was much of the same bland food and over salted. The best part of the buffet was the sweets and cakes. The complimentary drinks lacked options. Some of the buffet items were also not labelled correctly, some meat ingredients were not listed which would not be great for people who have allergies or other food preferences. SERVICE: The servers on Lido were excellent with regards to coming around to get us drinks and to find out if there was anything we needed. Ignacio who was our server a few times was so polite and friendly. ANYTINE DINING: We opted for anytime dining. The wait time was never very long which was great. The dining room was small and nothing spectacular in terms of decor but it was okay. The options on the menu were limited, there were pork options, lots of beef and seafood and one day there was lamb. I don't eat sea food so there weren't many things on the menu that I found appetizing. I do eat meat but I'm not a fan of things like tripe and scallops or even shrimp. Some of the food was very salty and most of the items I had were not very tasty. The pad Thai I had one night had to be sent back it was overly salty and tasted nothing like Pad Thai at all. I missed flavour on this cruise! SERVICE: For the most part our dining staff was pleasant. We did have a few waiters who delivered service that was less that friendly but the head waiter Alejandro was great. He had the kitchen customize our meals since we didn't care for the menu and he was always around to make sure everything was great. The customized meals weren't great either but they were edible. I was celebrating my birthday and the staff sang happy birthday and brought me a cake. We also had a band playing to us which was very nice. I also got a birthday card in my room which was a nice personal touch. THE CAFE: The international cafe was great. I liked that they had bands playing and different entertainment. The food was okay, the salads were a tad salty but the sandwiches and cookies were good. AFTERNOON TEA: I really enjoyed afternoon tea. The tea was good, the coffee was a bit watery tasting, not very flavourful at all but the pastries and sandwiches were good and the hot scones were fantastic! PREGGO PIZZARIA: Excellent pizza! The slices were large and tasty. This is the best pizza I have had on a cruise thus far. SCOUPS ICE CREAM: basic ice cream flavours but you have the option of some toppings, over all the ice cream was good. MOVIES UNDER THE STARS: I love movies but the deck was not made well for watching movies under the stars. The only seats that were unobstructed were around the pool and when the wind was strong pool water sprayed us. The other seats on the higher deck were obstructed with plastic barricades so you had to watch the movie through them. The chairs were not always covered like they were supposed to be and many of the chairs were wet. We were supposed to be provided with warm blankets and popcorn but the staff did not come around with them instead we had to go looking for them which was a hassle. They did however play some very good movies on TV, they were all recent releases which was great. The deck chairs were old, flimsy and uncomfortable. STATEROOM: We had an inside stateroom and it was a standard size. The only fault I had was the bathroom shower was very small. Even for a small person the shower was small in size and if you tried to bend down you could hit your head on the wall! The bunk beds that were in the wall of our room and which we did not need to use stuck out of the wall obstructively. Someone in our party actually got hurt getting out of bed and hit her head rather hard. We had to shimmy our way down the bed to get out of it we could not just stand up at the side of the bed because we would hit our heads on the bunk beds coming out of the wall. I like that all documents were delivered on the door in a mailbox and that they decorated my door with a poster and balloons for my birthday. SERVICE: our stateroom steward Blesilda was warm and friendly, the bathroom could have been a tad cleaner and the beach towels were thin and a bit worn but she was a great person. SCHEDULE AND ITINERARY: The only issue I had with the schedule was that on the day we went to Curacao until ten pm they scheduled some great shows and entertainment that we missed while the day before on our at sea day they scheduled less desirable events. PRINCESS CAYS: Princess Cays was beautiful. There were many chairs to lounge on and the beach was well maintained. The area of beach we were on was rather rocky in the water and had holes between the rocks which wasn't pleasant or very safe. The Barbeque on the island wasn't good; the food was bland for the most part unless you enjoy bland burgers, overcooked corn and terrible corn salad. The only good part for me was the grilled chicken breast. CURACAO: Curacao was beautiful, so much to see and do. I would love to go back and spend more time in Curacao. The downside was the ship got into port late and by the time we got tickets to get off the ship we had missed out on some valuable time. ARUBA: Beautiful stop, great town would definitely go back. The ship should arrange to stay here longer it was not enough time. TECHNICAL ISSUES: It seemed like the ship was having technical issues the entire time. We were late arriving in Curacao due to technical issues that caused the ship to slow down. Members of our family lost power in their room until after noon and were left sitting in the dark unable to get ready. And the ship was late arriving back in Fort Lauderdale which was worrying because we had a very early flight. THE DECK: The deck layout was nice, it was separated into 3 or 4 smaller deck areas so there seemed to be a lot of space. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was good. The dancers were great and the shows were well done. The music could have been a bit more modern I am a bit tired of hearing music from the 60's and the Jersey boys but overall it was a good experience. The illusion show was rather simple as far as illusions go but still enjoyable. The comedian wasn't funny in my opinion...he made the audience sing and then he proceeded to sing nursery rhymes in various impressions...I wasn't impressed. The bands on the ship were really good!! They had some great parties and dancing in the Atrium outside of the International Cafe. The Trivia was fun and so were the game shows and balloon drop party. SKY WALKERS NIGHT CLUB: This club is really nice but the music was terrible and it was absolutely dead every night. I also did not like the smoking in the club. ATMOSPHERE/DECOR: The atmosphere on this ship was relaxed. I found that people did not dress very accordingly in the dining room apart from the fromal nights and no dress code was enforced. Afternoon tea did not adhere to the dress code mentioned in the Princess Patter schedule and people arrived in lounge wear. The ship's decor was nice, no harsh colors but rather a neutral palate. The atrium was beautifully decorated for Christmas. The population aboard was mostly elderly we were among the youngest aboard but the ship never seemed crowded despite the 3,000 people aboard. Overall I expected a lot more from Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We signed up for this cruise less than a month before the cruise left Fort Lauderdale. Our travel agent, Avoya, (the first time we have used them) did not give us the correct information & therefore we had some surprises when we ... Read More
We signed up for this cruise less than a month before the cruise left Fort Lauderdale. Our travel agent, Avoya, (the first time we have used them) did not give us the correct information & therefore we had some surprises when we boarded. We had a guaranteed balcony cabin rate rather than specifying a cabin when we booked because it saved us a couple of hundred dollars. I don't think I'll do that again! We had what I considered the worst cabin location in the class, the cabin closest to the bow of the ship. That meant long walks(this is a huge ship) every time we had to go to or leave our cabin. It also meant that our balcony was only partially covered. The food was not spectacular. It was not even as good as the best ships on which we sailed previously. It was OK. The pizza was excellent, the burgers were very good. The specialty restaurants were sold out before we could make our reservations. OK that's it on the bad part of the cruise! We had visited Curacao & Aruba before so we knew what we wanted to do ashore. We did it & enjoyed it. From the time we embarked to the time we disembarked we had the finest service we have ever had on any of our 11 previous cruises. From the staff that emptied the trash to the Captain, everyone went out of their way to be sure we had a great experience. Our cabin steward was there every time we needed him. The cabin was made up promptly every day. We asked for extra towels when we saw him for the first time & never had to ask again. On the Lido Deck, the waiters went out of their way to get my wife the special tea from the specialty area by the dining room. The Maitre 'D in the dining room made sure that I had my food prepared so that it did not create allergy problems for me. Our bartenders (yes we had one particular bar that we really enjoyed)had fabulous senses of humor & prepared our drinks just as we enjoyed them. To me, this service is much more important than having food that is only OK. That's what made this cruise so wonderful. We had superb service, met nice people & thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I am planning our next cruise - probably for our anniversary - & it will be on Princess again in all likelihood. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We cruised on the Princess Caribbean to Princess Cays, Curacao, and Aruba. I have to say that this particular cruise was one of the best we have had in a while. I have seen reviews of food being poor, but I have to disagree there. ... Read More
We cruised on the Princess Caribbean to Princess Cays, Curacao, and Aruba. I have to say that this particular cruise was one of the best we have had in a while. I have seen reviews of food being poor, but I have to disagree there. We ate at the Coral dining room every night with anytime dining and were seated within a few minutes (Sunny is a GREAT matrodie that took great care in making us happy). Each night, the menu was different with the exception of a few staple foods (sirloin hamburger, fettuccine, cocktail shrimp for example). We loved the food at dinner. The fillet Mignon, NY strips, lobster, prawn shrimp, and especially their desserts were to die for....get the creme brulee (I had that almost every night since it's something I don't get at home). Anyway, the food had great flavor, and guess what? If you think it needs salt, feel free to use the salt that's provided to you on the table. The breakfast buffet was great. We got the omelets, french toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and mostly fruits each morning. The french toast was EXCELLENT! No complaints there at all other than having to wait a little bit sometimes to get my glass refilled at dinner, but that's not too bad. The service aboard the ship (no matter where you were...cabin, theater, pool, restaurants, etc) was great. Dan the cruise director was splendid! Mark was our cabin steward, and he was great! He took meticulous care of our cabin and even did a rush order on our laundry on the second to last night of the cruise...he literally ran once we gave him the laundry so they could do it....he never complained or had a frown on his face. We loved the shows in the evening. EVERY night was a different show including one night with the Hawley Magic who performed on the most recent season of America's Got Talent. I sat on the 2nd row and still couldn't figure out how they did their tricks. On the last night, a former supporting member of the Beach Boys, Alabama, Huey Lewis, and many others performed a comedy set and acoustic set....that was the perfect end to the cruise. The Movies Under the Stars was fine. The lcd screen wasn't hd but it still looked OK. I thought it was nice and relaxing to recline with a blanket and eat popcorn with my family. Shockwaves for my son (9 years old) was something he wanted to go to every waking second of the day. He's very shy, so we were surprised he wanted to go all week. The crew members that were at Shockwaves were great and interacted 1 on 1 with the kids, but that might be due to only about a dozen kids being there since it was in between holidays. There is no ship out there that is perfect...Even the QM2 with Cunard. However, Princess exceeded my expectations and kept a smile on my wife, son, and my face the entire cruise. It was truly sad to have to disembark to go home. We will definitely be cruising with Princess again, and it wouldn't be a problem for me to cruise on the Princess Caribbean in the future. It was a "Home Away From Home". Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My husband and I are in our mid-forties and traveled on the Caribbean Princess with our kids aged 11 and 14. Our kids signed up for the kids' clubs right away and met great kids and had a blast the entire cruise. We got them the ... Read More
My husband and I are in our mid-forties and traveled on the Caribbean Princess with our kids aged 11 and 14. Our kids signed up for the kids' clubs right away and met great kids and had a blast the entire cruise. We got them the stickers for their cruise cards so they could get soda/mocktails all week. $50 each. Although my husband and I enjoyed ourselves, I felt that this ship catered to a much older crowd. We are not big partiers but we like to have fun. We were always seated at dinner or breakfast with much older people. Not a problem, just a continuing occurrence...kind of hard to find some people to connect with and maybe hang out with. In addition, the nightlife was lacking. The karaoke was short (45 minutes) and it was always the same people every night. We felt we always had to move on to the next thing....nothing lasted very long. The piano player had a huge crowd every night, but he played songs for the older crowd. The piano bar on Carnival was far superior. The shows in the Princess Theater were ok, nothing special...and again..very short. The Comedian on the last night was excellent. Skywalkers night club was fun, but didn't open til 10. Even the band on the pool deck during the day played stale songs as well as the band in the Piazza. There was a dj on the pool sometimes, but he just played songs and sat there and didn't do anything to get the crowd excited. And there were not very many pool games like we had seen on Carnival. . We thought Carnival was much more fun for our age group. PORTS: Princess Cays, nice beach with lots of chairs but not much else. I didn't really feel like I was visiting the Bahama's since the island was owned by Princess. The BBQ lunch was absolutely HORRIBLE. I can't even describe...cafeteria style with hockey puck hamburgers that had been sitting around, corn on the cob that had been sitting in water so long it turned color. We decided to head back to the ship around noon for a better meal. Curacao was very hot. We did some shopping and a 2 hour bus tour ($12 per person we found in town). Was interesting but not that exciting. Aruba. Very pretty island. We took a taxi to a good snorkeling beach (Arashi) for the morning. Got chairs on beach for $5 each. But no bathrooms or food/beverage. Went back to the boat to shower and came back to town for some shopping. NOthing great unless you want perfume or jewelry or tourist junk. FOOD: we found the food good and bad. The beginning of the cruise I felt the food was horrible (wilted salads, overcooked seafood) Kind of like those buffet restaurants. HOwever, as the week went on, I felt the food improved. Interesting choices. We ate at Sabattinis' one night...not worth the extra $. So many better Italian restaurants at home. Just stick with the food in the dining room. Pizza was excellent. Also the desserts at the International Cafe were delicious! One last funny/disturbing incident: On Thanksgiving lots of people put towels on chairs at pool really early. Started raining hard mid-morning and towels were soaked. Cleared up and people arrived to watch a movie around 10:30, including us. About 2 hours later the kids in front of us got up to get a snack (gone maybe 10 min). A guy and his family and took the towels off the chairs and sat down. The kids came back and said they were sitting there. The guy actually said that he reserved the chairs with his towels at 7am so they were his and he wasn't moving. The kids dad even came over and said that it was not right, but the guy was adamant and stayed. I guess he didn't see anything wrong with leaving a towel on a chair for 5 hours. Really?? Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We had a mixed time with our Southern Caribbean cruise. Of the three cruises with Princess this one has not met our expectations. But let me start with the positives. The shows were some of the best we have seen on a cruise ship. Our room ... Read More
We had a mixed time with our Southern Caribbean cruise. Of the three cruises with Princess this one has not met our expectations. But let me start with the positives. The shows were some of the best we have seen on a cruise ship. Our room steward Garry was great and waitress Patchee and her assistant Jorge in the Island Dining room were a pleasure when we could get them. I'll explain that later. The Head Waiter Alejandro was terrific and always smiling and the Maitre D' Jose handled our issues with class and style. Snorkling in Aruba was amazing and full of colorful fish and beautiful coral. Curacao was nice but we only had 5 hours of sunlight. The food in the Island Dining room was amazing as was the food in Sabatini's. They have changed some things at Sabatini's as the appetizers were full size not small portions. DON'T ORDER MORE THAN ONE! We didn't follow that rule expecting sampler sized appetizers and left some as we didn't want to ruin our meal. I can say the Buratta alla Panna con Carpaccio di Pomodori (Caprese Salad) for most of us was absolutely AMAZING! Also the pasta dish Penne with Braised Beef was the best I've ever had. Excursions This was our first negative experience with this cruise. Princess Cays -- Unless you are off the ship early don't waste your money on Snorkel, Clam Shell and Paddle Bike excursion. We thought let's wait until 10:30 to go to the island only to find out there was a ticketing system happening. This is the first time we ever experienced this. In general a good idea, except when nobody checks that you are holding a ticket in the group being loaded onto the tender or in case of some folks holding a ticket at all. However since a tender broke down our experience waiting to get on the island was a mess. TWO hours later we were on Princess Cays and walking over the bridge to get to our Clam Shell only to be told we need to go over to the other side of the island. When we get there we are told this is the wrong section and we needed to go back to the side of the island we came from to get our package. Needless to say we got our package where we were standing. Now it's 1:15 and with lunch closing at 2:00 we all looked at each other and decided to eat. The food was average at best, there was nothing to drink except water, the iced tea and other drinks were out. We heard the bar was running out of drinks as well. We snorkeled, yes I know don't swim on a full belly, the snorkeling was good, getting in the water was an experience since it is fairly rocky. We decided to not do the Paddle Bike since it poured rain for 15 minutes instead we decided to go to the bar and sit on the beach. Guess what, the bars closed at 2:00 so we sat from 2:15 -- 3:30 with nothing to drink as we were NOT going to stand in line for an hour or more waiting to get on a tender. All in all Princess Cays was a disappointment. When we complained to the excursion desk we were told in a letter that the ship is not responsible for the quality of the excursions and acts only as an agent for the tour company. Hmmmm, Princess Cays sounds like it's run by Princess, the employees on the island had Princess name badges I'm just confused as to who runs Princess Cays. Curacao -- I can say I've been there and I won't return. However all we did was walkaround the shops so there was really nothing here that I have never seen before. I wasn't excited for any of the excursions so maybe if we had tried a taxi tour we would have been more satisfied. Funny thing is the cheese shop and the Blue Curacao at the dock were the best priced of the places we visited. Aruba -- Love, Love, Love this place! Here is an island that I can and will return to. Clean, fun and friendly is how I would describe things. We went on the Pirate Snorkling Cruise booked through the cruise. This is a "booze" cruise with snorkeling. No alcohol was served until the snorkeling was over. We snorkeled at the Antilla Shipwreck and two other stops. I was first or second off the boat each time, you don't have to tell me twice to get in the water. I tried the rope swing and failed miserably, FYI, it's not for fat guys. The crew was happy and fun and I would recommend this for anyone wanting a fun time. More on the Island Dining Room The young lady (hostess) taking our room number at the restaurant door was just plain rude when we asked her to sit us in Patchee's section for dinner on night 3. When we then made the same request to the gentleman sitting us he didn't acknowledge our request and started to take us to another section of the restaurant. When we explained we wanted to sit in our requested section the response was there are no open tables. Only to find out a table for 4 was being cleared as we were being escorted to a table in another section. We then stopped and told the gentleman we will wait for the table to be cleared. Once again we were met with an attitude that we were inconveniencing him. The next evening we requested the same and were once again not seated in the section we wanted. When we were seated I was able to see that within 10 minutes a table for 4 was open. I just don't understand why when we requested a section we were not given the option of waiting until a table was available. At this new table the Head Waiter Alejandro suggested we put in a reservation and request Patchee's section which we did. Well guess what happened the next night. There was no record of our request and we were once again NOT seated in the section we requested. Only this time we were treated even worse by the gentleman at the door (same man I just forget his name) who when questioned why we cannot wait asked with a brusque tone, "Do you want a table for 4?" and promptly seated us at the table he was taking us to ignoring our request once again. We have never been talked to by an employee as we were by this man on any cruise regardless of the cruise line. We did complain to Alejandro when he asked why we were not in our requested section. He was appalled that our request wasn't honored. To close the Maitre D took care of our issues but it was too little too late. Buffets The buffets were good and bad. We ate all breakfasts and some lunches on the buffets and some days we were happy and others very disappointed. For the most part the food was good. Some days I would say the food ran warm to cold and when we returned for a new plate things weren't much better. However when the food was hot it was pretty good. We were disappointed that the theme based buffet disappeared. What is with the rationing of cream? My dining partners enjoy some coffee with their cream and if they received a splash of cream in their coffee they were lucky and had to ask for more on far too many occasions. They also on more than one occasion were served "clumpy" cream. The funny thing is when we asked about the cream rationing we were told that it is because every two hours the cream must be replaced and to give a cream boat to a table keeps them from monitoring how long cream has been out and that it becomes wasteful. I guess the clumpy cream just "spoiled" faster than the two hour limit. I would say the layout of the buffet needs some work. Princess would do well to go to a Vegas style buffet and see how they manage traffic. The Coup De Grace of rudeness While in line to get Bingo tickets we observed the woman selling tickets treat another customer rudely as this person wasn't sure what option to purchase and was told to make a choice as they are starting to call numbers. We were just dumbfounded as to why anyone would talk to a paying customer in such a manner. When told by this behavior the person we told was not surprised. Obviously this person has a reputation. It makes you wonder why Princess would put a person with an attitude in this position. Cruise Director Dan Styne Loved him! He was witty, always ready with a good joke and able to make us smile. He was a wonderful host to the cruise activities and Sean his Assistant was a good match they really played off of each other. Princess Shows The productions shows were great! We loved the comedian Steve Moris with his sing alongs and his "dumb" jokes. The Magic of Hawley Magic was very enjoyable. The Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Tribute band was not good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
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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