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56 Princess Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Western

Caribbean Princess is a lovely and clean ship. Embarkation went quickly and smoothly with the new medallions. We enjoyed the shore excursions, a private beach in Roatan and Mayan Ruins in Belize City. The staff was pleasant. Our room ... Read More
Caribbean Princess is a lovely and clean ship. Embarkation went quickly and smoothly with the new medallions. We enjoyed the shore excursions, a private beach in Roatan and Mayan Ruins in Belize City. The staff was pleasant. Our room steward and waiters in the dining room were very friendly and did a nice job. Our 2 children loved the kids club and the nightly shows in the princess theatre. However they were disappointed they could not swim because the pools were overrun with people, mostly adults drinking (even in the "family" pool). People would "claim" all the pool lounge chairs by 9:00AM by putting towels on them leaving them for hours at a time preventing others from using them. I never once saw staff removing towels from these chairs even though the policy said they would after 20 minutes of non-use. Our biggest problem was the noise in our cabin at night. Our cabin was located directly above a night club where a band played until midnight. It was so loud, we could have been inside the club! I take responsibility for not studying the ship plans better before selecting this cabin. However choices are limited for a cabin that sleeps 4. So if you are booking and have children that need sleep use caution! The biggest problem was the people in the cabin next to us. Every night they had parties n their room until 3:00AM. I have cruised before and never heard neighbors so I know rooms are sound proofed. These people were so loud, screaming, slamming doors, blasting music and even trying to open the locked adjoining door into our room. We complained to guest services on the second night when we realized it wasn't a one time thing. Their response was an apology and a security guard that came by 30 minutes later (of course, after the party had ended so they didn't believe us), and a bouquet of flowers that aggravated my allergies for the rest of the week! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Good, but not stellar for our first large ship cruise. While we were impressed with friendliness of the staff, general professionalism it had shortcomings in terms of a party boat and lacking the expected amenities and relaxing ambience ... Read More
Good, but not stellar for our first large ship cruise. While we were impressed with friendliness of the staff, general professionalism it had shortcomings in terms of a party boat and lacking the expected amenities and relaxing ambience for adults. Also a number of experienced cruisers commented that this did not rank highly in the Princess ship lineup or comparing to some of the other lines. But we now have a baseline for future comparison. The pool seen was generally way too crowded that generated into a party atmosphere some evenings. Lounge chairs were occasionally hard to find especially in a shady area as baking in the sun was not possible. Food service and quality was sometimes inconsistent in quality, although the presentations were very nice and attractive. The ships organization of activities overlapped not giving the opportunity to attend more than one. The desk services was sometime undermanned causing queues where we did not want to wait. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Princess has been a step above Carnival, but over the last few years, the gap is shrinking. All announcements and especially the music were of such volume that it was physically demanding to tollerate. When asked to lower the volume, ... Read More
Princess has been a step above Carnival, but over the last few years, the gap is shrinking. All announcements and especially the music were of such volume that it was physically demanding to tollerate. When asked to lower the volume, ship’s staff responded that it was necessary to be loud to create a party atmosphere. Food was below par, and service was simply average. I was served Cream Bule! That had obviously been sittyng long enough for the carmelization to melt and the pudding to decompose at the bottom. Ships dancers and singers were the absolute best! Every show was like a broadway performance. Bravos to them. Ship condition was really bad. Paint peeling off the ship, hand railings varnish was crinkling. Several sharp ends exposed. Electrical closets left open in passage ways. No water to rooms between 3 and 5 pm two days due to replacing water lines. Our safehad low batteries on second day. Key pad was also malfunctioning. Replaced batteries. Next day, replaced key pad with key pad with low batteries. Had to come back a third time to change batteries in the replacement key pad. Necessitated us having to stir our valuables in a friend’s room safe for a day. The new Medallion program might be fine in the future, but because of poor training of the ship’s crew, they were learning the system as were the passengers. I spent the entire first day of the cruise trying to figure it out. I should have been given a discount for having to do the work of the crew and loosing nearly an entire day of relaxation on the cruise. Suggest avoiding the Medallion cruises untill Princess rolls it out in a more user friendly manner. The last thing was that this cruise ship appeared to be a crew training ship. Supervision of staff was slim to none. Our sendoff was cold coffee in the zHorizons on the morning of departure. We asked for hot coffee and were told by the server that the coffee machine was broken and there was no hot coffee. Appropriate ending to a very disappointing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my 11th sailing with "Princess" and I have enjoyed there service , amenities entertainment and food at all the venues. I have sailed with other lines but found "Princess" to be my favorite . This line is ... Read More
This was my 11th sailing with "Princess" and I have enjoyed there service , amenities entertainment and food at all the venues. I have sailed with other lines but found "Princess" to be my favorite . This line is consistent and I know what to expect when I book my next cruise. I am now enjoying many different perks and comps at the level of loyalty I have reached and will enjoy even more when I reach the next loyalty level. I intend to book many more cruises with this line . Everything I have experienced on board was up to the standard I expected each time I sailed. I enjoyed the on board amenities and the ports that were visited, Many of the ports have been built to make sightseeing and shopping a pleasure . I'm looking forward to my next cruise and a great time on board. I have found the service and the crew to be excellent , they go out of their way to make your onboard experience a pleasure . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My family chose this cruise due to the itinerary (we'd never been to Belize or Honduras prior) and we'd never cruised Princess (we've sailed Royal Caribbean 5 times, Carnival 5 times, Celebrity 1 time). Embarkation was ... Read More
My family chose this cruise due to the itinerary (we'd never been to Belize or Honduras prior) and we'd never cruised Princess (we've sailed Royal Caribbean 5 times, Carnival 5 times, Celebrity 1 time). Embarkation was a breeze! We were dropped off by our hotel shuttle right at the curb where our bags were retrieved quickly by porters. We then went through security and then to check-in. Check-in was very quick and efficient, the entire process probably took 15 minutes and we were off to the ship. Once on board, my first impression of the ship was yes, it's older, but in very good shape. The public areas were well-maintained. Dining was a huge letdown I'm sorry to report. We dined in the Coral Dining room (table 109). Table service was somewhat slow as most nights we only had our main waiter with no assistant. Our table of 4 seemed to take much longer for food arrival than the other much larger tables surrounding us. The food quality and taste were very sub-par in my opinion. Most nights I ordered beef, and it seemed every beef plate was the same, each having what I describe as an 'institutional' flavor (what you'd expect in a hospital or school cafeteria). In Princess' defense, I've noticed this on other lines as well over time, it just seems the better food experience is saved for the premium fee-based restaurants onboard. (One night we dined at Sabbatini's, which my family all liked except myself. But in Princess' defense, I'm not much on traditional Italian cuisine.) Entertainment options were fair. Had this itinerary only consisted of 3 stops instead of 4 I personally would have gotten bored with the entertainment options. We attended 2 Broadway-style shows, a magic show, and a comedy show. Nothing exceptional in my opinion. The karaoke show we attended in one of the smaller ship venues was actually my favorite shows, watching and listening to fellow guests sing really badly lol! On at-sea days I typically enjoy sitting by the pool and relaxing in a shaded hot tub. Unfortunately, on the Caribbean Princess, doing this was next-to-impossible for me due to the fact that I'm a late riser and by the time I'd gotten to the pool area practically every lounge chair was taken. As for a shaded hot tub, there was only one I found which was located in the spa area which incidentally was restricted to guests 18 and older (which left my 15-year old daughter out). The hot tubs on this ship seemed very small (tiny compared to the Oasis-class ships on RC). None had full shade. As for excursions we purchased the Belize Lamanai Mayan & New River excursion from the ship which was fun, although very hot and humid. In Grand Cayman, we purchased a tour of Grand Cayman through the ship that was sub-par. The trip to Hell was a HUGE tourist trap, the best part of the tour was spending 3-hours on a private beach. One tip I'd give would be to purchase your excursions through the cruise line for Belize and Grand Cayman due to the fact that you get off of the ship first if you have purchased an excursion via the ship. Since these 2 ports are tendered you'll be assured you won't miss your excursion. In Honduras and Cozumel we purchased our own excursion which was MUCH less expensive than the cruise lines prices. The service at the pizzaria and burger joint on Deck 15 was sub-par on most days I visited. The pizzeria had a very long line of guests waiting for pizza and only 2 cooks staffing. It was quite obvious many guests were extremely irritated by the wait time. The burger joint experienced the same problem, except here you're handed a beeper and made to wait. My plain burger took over 15-minutes! I couldn't understand why they simply didn't serve burgers 'cafeteria-style', where you order as you walk through the line (like on Oasis-class ships)? These 2 venues seemed extremely understaffed and ill-managed. Overall, even with my somewhat negative remarks, we did have a very nice trip. The balcony cabins were great if you like to spend a lot of time just relaxing watching the ocean waves as I do. If you like a lot of different type ship activities (rock-wall climbing, bumper cars, ice skating, etc.) then this definitely isn't your ship. For me, I prefer larger, newer ships with many different activities (like RC's Oasis-class); however, if you've been to St Thomas, San Juan, and the Bahamas over and over you'll eventually will want to try something different which requires a smaller ship to get into off-the-beaten-path ports. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Great ship, David Clark, Cruise DIrector was fun and personable and a great entertainer too!! Matt 54 was on the cruise we took 2 yrs. ago and is a wonderful guy!! My sister & I were happy to see him again, and as an Asst. Cruise Dir. ... Read More
Great ship, David Clark, Cruise DIrector was fun and personable and a great entertainer too!! Matt 54 was on the cruise we took 2 yrs. ago and is a wonderful guy!! My sister & I were happy to see him again, and as an Asst. Cruise Dir. He is sooo much fun, tells great stories and had a ball at the line dance lessons and country dance night....he mixes all ages 16-80 in his lounge games and is just a HOOT!! The food was good, service impeccable and we enjoyed the NE lobster better than 2 yrs. ago. The desserts were great and a good variety. We love the Intl'. Cafe, but wish they had more salads available. Room Service for a light breakfast was good, as was Horizon 2 mornings. We ate 2 breakfasts in the dining rooms and they were quick and delicious, especially disembarkation day. We appreciated that as we were up very early. We loved the entertainment, Piano Man show great and Nathan Foley was wonderful and enjoyed his 2 shows. Voice of the Ocean was fun and loved all the judges....there were a good variety of acts and the theatre was packed....a Win, Win evening!! Disappointed we missed the variety show at 9 due to a staff members injury earlier, but we visited the casino and had fun. The Motown DJ Night in Skywalkers was fun and we got to dance some. What can we say..."we love the Sanctuary"!! We went right upstairs after checking into our cabin and reserved 2 afternoons during the sea days and felt sooo pampered! It is nice and relaxing and loved the English tea and scones, etc. Only downfall is you can't make a reservation ahead of time...that would be a plus. Has Princess ever thought of offering 10 minutes free internet the last night so passengers can print out their boarding passes? It would sure mean a lot to us and be good customer service. Front Passenger desk employees get an A+ for friendliness and ability to help, all with a smile. We did some snorkeling and swimming in Roatan and Cozumel with other tour companies and had fun. Disappointing we could not swim in Belize and tours offered from Princess were very pricey. Some events on ship were to sell things.....Effy, shopping services, etc. and spa services, so we didn't like that. Photographer was rude and then we had two pics with our eyes closed...not very professional. Embarkation and disembarkation all very smooth. Thank you again Princess!! The negative reviews are not true!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We went to Western Caribbean since we hadn't done those ports before. Been to eastern and southern. Something for everyone on Western - beaches, history (Mayan ruins), good on-ship entertainment, relaxation! We went to Roatan, ... Read More
We went to Western Caribbean since we hadn't done those ports before. Been to eastern and southern. Something for everyone on Western - beaches, history (Mayan ruins), good on-ship entertainment, relaxation! We went to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. Arrived in Roatan and rain started pouring down. We'd planned to take a taxi to West end beach, but because of the rain, opted for local Mahogany Beach. It was a five-ten minute walk from the cruise ship and the beach was fine! Not sure if it would win for someone who travels the caribbean a lot, but for a winter break getaway, just the fact that there was warm water to swim in, and humid warm air to bask in was enough. Water not perfectly clear and not too much to see snorkeling by the pier, but good enough. THe rain stopped early and didn't return, so we could have tried another beach, but we were already settled in at this beach. So can't say anything else about the rest of the island. Local shops near cruise terminal had some interesting things. Nice carved wood (mahogany!) and local cocoa powder to bring home. On Belize we opted for the ruins since the day was not so sunny and I prefer beach snorkeling to getting on a boat anyway. THis would have been great had we just gotten a taxi there. The cruise excursion was too much traveling and barely no time at the ruins (like 45 minutes!!). We did the river one way and bus back but in my opinion the river trip was TOO LONG and not enough to see. After five minutes looking at jungle and muddy water, that was enough for me. We did get to see and hear some howler monkeys up in the trees, but I would have preferred just more time at ruins. I also think they slowed the boat trip down to coordinate timing with the bus meeting us at the lunch spot. We spent a crazy amount of time "looking for manatees". The ruins were pretty cool and tour guides were good. If I went again, I'd skip the river part. There were some wildlife along the way, but not that visible. Stop for lunch was nice - great chicken! Around Belize day I started getting a sore throat (day 3 of cruise). I wonder if something in water in Hondurus, or something from the ship. Our steward got sick and disappeared for half the cruise and I got two different versions of what was wrong with him. Cozumel was beach day - we would have liked to try going to Tulum but looked at the itinerary and it was about 5 hours traveling with 45 minutes at the ruins, so no thanks! We took a taxi to Paradise beach and it was fine, again, not great for snorkeling, but for escaping winter weather, perfect. The man at the kiosk directed us to Aquarium beach, but I had not heard of that one, actually wanted to go to Chanukaab park but he told me there was "no beach" there. Luckily on the way to Aquarium I sussed out from taxi driver that it was not a great place, and he took us to Paradise instead. Nice way to spend the day! Good taxis everywhere, no worries to be stranded. So excursions were nice. I didn't see water as nice as on St. Johns or Barbados, but not to say it's not there if you know where to go! On ship - entertainment was great and plentiful as usual. Two little things that I look forward to on Princess and missed on this cruise were the fresh baked cookies passed out during movie under the stars (attendant had never heard of this!!) and the wonderful shampoo and conditioner they used to have. I applaud replacing tiny plastic bottles with larger containers, but the quality of shampoo was bad, and no conditioner provideded! I am sure there was room in the shower for three containers, and salt water damage to hair required more that a combo poor quality shampoo/conditioner. Princess bring back that wonderful shampoo and conditioner - seems petty, but it is something I remembered and looked forward to - my hair always looked and smelled amazing (some kind of mint...?). So I was disappointed in that, silly as it seems. Food as usual was so-so. Not a highlight of Princess. Clam linguini tasted like the base was Cambells soup and all the soups were super salty - with 70% of the passengers over 70, you'd think they'd consider hypertension. Anyway I enjoyed the cruise with my mom (84) and son (20) but then I got super sick. Worst sore throat, chest congestion, cough in about 20 years. We all three got sick and so far it's been over a week and still bad. I emailed Princess to find out what it could have been but got no response. So am thinking cruises might not be in the future if the end result is wasting a week afterwards not able to do anything (week before Christmas too!). Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have cruised with Princess 14 times now and each time it has been a wonderful relaxing experience. They make embarkation and disembarkation hassle free and it always goes smoothly. We have been on the Caribbean Princess before and ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess 14 times now and each time it has been a wonderful relaxing experience. They make embarkation and disembarkation hassle free and it always goes smoothly. We have been on the Caribbean Princess before and love the ship. We stayed in a mini suite and our daughter and granddaughter stayed in a room across the hall from us. We loved sitting on the balcony as we cruised the Caribbean. The food was excellent in both the dining rooms and buffet. Of course the granddaughter love the pizza - and so did I !!!!! The shows were a lot of fun and a new experience for our 8 year old granddaughter. She had never been to one before even though this was her 5 cruise with Princess. The most exciting part of the whole cruise was that our granddaughter got to swim with the dolphins on her 8th birthday!!!!! Just the expression on her face told the whole story as to how excited she was!!!!!!! Even though we just sailed we already have our next cruise with Princess booked for October. The granddaughter checks everyday how many days until we sail again. A Very Satisfied Family Thanks Princess Wally S Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was a gift from a friend. I was fine with the dinning, movies, shows, Art auction, food carvings...etc. However, our interior cabin had bunks above our queen bed on each side. They were folded into the wall and every time we got ... Read More
This was a gift from a friend. I was fine with the dinning, movies, shows, Art auction, food carvings...etc. However, our interior cabin had bunks above our queen bed on each side. They were folded into the wall and every time we got out of bed we hit our head or shoulder. The shore excursions were pre paid and planned. The first was a trip to the wildlife park and it was not told to us that we had to go up stairs, on a swinging bridge and on rocky sidewalks , as I have a bad knee and this made the tour very uncomfortable to say the least. The second was a trip to the zoo and the lady who was our guide ....well let me say we nearly needed roller skates to keep up with her. We would rather have been given the hour in the zoo to ourselves to look at what we wanted and take our photos at leisure. The third was a scooter ride with a guide. This was all about the money!! the guide had us stop so a gal could take our photo and then had us wait long enough at a diner on the beach( very very small beach) to get the photos for a fee! At the end of the tour the tour guide spend 15 minutes talking about how poor he and the others were and how much they needed our tips and that they did not get paid a salary on the tips....Wow and we had to argue with him to get us back to the ship on time for departure as he wanted us all to go to his friends shops and liquor store to buy things. I would not take this cruise again. I would not get a room without a window. I felt that $13 per day per person was too much to pay for tips. That added 26 per day to my friends tab for this cruise. This is unreasonable, as shore days we were not on board and we did not use the formal dining room we used the buffett. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Having read a couple of negative reviews I feel compelled to balance it, in favour or Princess who, in our opinion were impeccable. There is one recent review that frankly after reading the 6th sub heading I stopped, and it says to me ... Read More
Having read a couple of negative reviews I feel compelled to balance it, in favour or Princess who, in our opinion were impeccable. There is one recent review that frankly after reading the 6th sub heading I stopped, and it says to me nothing in this world would seem to please that person. For us - the service was second to none - the food was outstanding - the cabin was admittedly tiny, but then we expected that, and the sea wasn't 'knocking us from wall to wall' although it was unusually rough, but is that really Princess's fault!! The beds were incredibly comfy, and my pillow was perhaps the cosiest I have ever had in a 'hotel' style environment. Our only niggle is the 2 pools are too small for 3.5k guests, but then it is a boat!! Having said that we feared a mad scramble for sun beds, and there were enough to go around, and incredibly it wasn't crowded either. Theatre shows - amazing!! West end standard. Alcohol - a bit expensive, but we knew that, so were grateful we didn't over indulge. NEVER saw a drunken person once! We chose to eat 'anytime' dining, and apart from the first night which coincided as my 50th birthday too (where we ate in Coral), we ate in the Horizon buffet every night and we couldn't fault the choice, or quality of food. We didn't do the formal nights as frankly dressing up and trying to be something we're not wasn't our thing and some sites were to be best forgotten!! Guys from across the pond - a 'please' and 'thank you' in customer services goes a long way, and believe me, gets noticed when it's short coming!! I was astounded at the amount of times I heard a demand for food or drink with neither word at the beginning or end of the request. The waiters may be waiting, and most were from many different parts of the world, but they didn't need to constantly be made to feel servile. More so to witness hats being worn at dinner and many not making the least bit of effort to dress for dinner, even if it was just casual dress was disappointing to see. Princess actually ask that guests wear what they would do for a casual dinner - SO, a lot of you go to dinner in short shorts and scrappy T-Shirts do you??? So - in summary, where those choose to put down a company who I believe actually couldn't really have done much more than they did, perhaps if only the company could do a review about the customers, about trying their best to please people who in truth simply will moan at anything, then that would be a review worth reading!!! As they can't - I've done it for them. For the reasons above cruising isn't for us, based on being surrounded by people who want to eat and be lazy all day every day (the sites we witnessed proved that one!!). Perhaps there wasn't enough food guys! I am English - though you would have worked that out I'm sure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Compared to our first sailing with Princess, this ship did a fine job with service. The Caribbean Princess was also in better condition. On the Grand Princess (sailed 2011), the stewards and dining room staff were so overworked they ... Read More
Compared to our first sailing with Princess, this ship did a fine job with service. The Caribbean Princess was also in better condition. On the Grand Princess (sailed 2011), the stewards and dining room staff were so overworked they appeared feverish with exhaustion. While the crew certainly had to work hard on this sailing, they appeared to have been allowed time to sleep. Special kudos to Stefano at customer service, Maria at shore excursions, and our steward, Romy. Even more so for a waiter in the Lido Buffet, Andriy, who noticed I appeared dehydrated after a hot day in Grand Cayman and kept refilling my water and lemonade glasses. That may be part of his job, but I felt cared for, which isn't common. Highlights included embarkation - the smoothest we've ever experienced. Princess hit a home run with their show, Bravo, and several other shows were popular with passengers, too. With one exception, the food on the Caribbean Princess varied from not bad to pretty darn good and their chocolate specialty desserts were a big success. They had yet another home run with their coffee. Who might particularly like this ship? For cruisers who appreciate large ships with plenty to explore, the Caribbean Princess is a good choice as it rarely felt overcrowded. There are signs about not saving seats in the theater or on deck and passengers were good-natured about following the rules. If you enjoy art auctions, the Caribbean Princess is a champion. I checked with the gallery staff, and as I suspected, this vessel has more sales and a larger art gallery than other liners, even other Princess ships in the same class. According to the manager of their Effy store, the Caribbean Princess gets special consideration and greater jewelry selections as well, but that brings me to the next topic. Who might not like this ship? Enrichment gets a zero, unfortunately. Compared to lectures on Holland America, which are first rate, Princess' offerings are ridiculous. Their listed enrichment talks consisted of a jewelry seminar and another on watches. The emphasis on shopping is heavy for a deluxe liner when compared to Celebrity or Holland America. More than one fellow passenger said the pressure to buy was surprising. Overall, not a deal-breaker, but an itinerary including stops in Jamaica, Roatan, and Belize would be ideal for talks on the history of Caribbean piracy or the Garifuna people. Princess missed those opportunities and should do better. The trouble spot for me was ventilation. I'm likely a special case as I have a breathing issue (to the point I've been prescribed a CPAP machine to help me sleep though I'm unable to use one) as well as anxiety. However, I've had a particularly tough time with non-balcony rooms on Carnival and Princess while I didn't experience problems with the same kinds of cabins on Holland America or Celebrity. The fact that I had trouble with breathing a second time on Princess means I'm reluctant to sail with them again unless I have a balcony room. Honestly, I think the ventilation and AC were in good order, but keep this in mind if you also have breathing difficulties in non-balcony rooms. More on the ventilation: One more strong point for Princess was how quickly and how well they fixed a problem when a sewer gas smell seeped into the air ducts late in the cruise. No complaints there and thanks again to Stefano. However, I'll add that our temporary room up on the Caribe deck (also interior) seemed airier. There, I was able to sleep. Other than that, shore excursions went fairly well though we heard of some problems, major and minor. To their credit, Princess seemed honestly interested in passenger feedback, even the negative. The ship appeared clean, the decor pleasant if not memorable, elevators didn't take forever to arrive, and most importantly, the ship and captain provided a smooth ride, got us to every port on time, and got us home safely. Our fellow passengers were largely in good moods and seemed to be having a good time. I'm sad Princess has no plans to sail from Texas next year and hope they return soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our sixth cruise and my parents first. We took our two children, ages 5 and 7 as well. We drove from the Dallas area and my parents drove from San Antonio. We all stayed at the Best Western Suites close to the port since ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise and my parents first. We took our two children, ages 5 and 7 as well. We drove from the Dallas area and my parents drove from San Antonio. We all stayed at the Best Western Suites close to the port since they offer free breakfast and parking. The hotel was ok, but I did see moldy spots in the bathroom, very poor construction/repair work done around the hotel that looked shabby. Beds were ok. Hotel staff were very courteous and responsive. The food was decent. They were fairly organized getting us to and from port. Overall, the hotel was fine. *********************************THE CABINS**************** We had two balcony rooms. My parent's room was on the Aloha and ours was on Baja. Their bed(s) were nicer than ours. (two twins) My husband is still recovering from back pain from the awful beds. The bed was worse than some Motel 6 beds. It was really, really worn down. We even bring a tempurpedic pad with us, that is an inch and a half thick and it still didn't help. On the third day, the nearly non-existent cabin steward brought us a egg crate pad as well. It helped some, but my husband is 6'1" and 200 pounds. A non supportive bed is really hard on him. :( The room size seemed fine for my parents, but it really became frustrating with 4 of us in this room. There was not ever enough room for us to 'unpack' fully and we never got organized enough to feel comfortable. We were always looking for stuff and having to pull out a million things to get to the items we needed. We have been on Carnival Magic, Sensation, Dream, Conquest, and Disney Magic in balcony rooms. This is the smallest room we've ever had. We barely saw our room guy but at least our bed was made when we got to the room. My parents got a wonderful steward for their room. They were raving about him. The bunkbed my daughter was in was rattling ALL night long the first two nights. So, I got so frustrated that I moved the mattress to the floor and had her sleep there. It stopped the rattling! But, now we had to step over her to get to the bathroom in the night!!! ++++++++++++++++SHIP ACTIVITIES++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++KIDS CLUB We went on a ship tour as soon as we got there and were excited to check out the kids club. I was disappointed when I saw the pathetic facilities compared to some of the other ships we have been on. However, this is one of the nice surprises. The kids LOVED being in there. They had many, many activities planned and kept the kids engaged enough that they always wanted to go back! Very good job on that, Princess! +++++++++++++++++++NIGHT LIFE+++++++++++++++ We always try to go out late once or twice on a cruise, so we decided to go out one night until midnight. We walked through all the bars first, then headed to karoake. Karoake was a blast. People were being crazy. I was a little disturbed that some parents were letting their little kids hang out in there after 10... ours were in the kids club! We decided to wander up to the 'dance club', Skywalkers, around 11:30. When we got down there, it was full of cigarette smoke and they were playing a bunch of country music. (not our preference) Ugh. The smoke was the worst. So, we headed back to karoake. They were closing it down for the night when we got there and a bunch of people were leaving disappointed. :( When we walked into the other bar areas, those were shutting down as well??? There were LOTS of people still awake and walking around. I can't believe they would miss the opportunity to sell alcohol! Especially to those of us that don't smoke and didn't want to go into Skywalkers. Needless to say, we called it a night. ++++++++++Shows++++++++++++++ there were only two production shows that I saw on our agenda. Unfortunately, we missed both. But, usually there are shows every night on other ships, so I was disappointed with that. I was hoping my parents would get a full cruise experience. We were treating them for their 50th wedding anniversary. :( DINING +++++++++ROOM SERVICE+++++++++++++++++ Breakfast delivery was timely. The coffee was good. The pastries were almost always stale. :( My kids wouldn't even eat them. The cereal selection is for older people. Absolutely no cereal choices for kids. (like fruit loops, not even cheerios!) The same thing goes at the buffet as far as cereal! No smoked salmon on room service, either. :( We ordered sandwiches by room services late at night once. I requested plain, turkey sandwiches. I said "NO MAYO, NO TOMATO, NO LETTUCE.. PLAIN" three times to a guy that barely comprehended English. Sure enough, 30-40 minutes later, I get sandwiches with different combination of toppings. I try to call back and the phone rings and rings and rings. I ended up throwing away 4 sandwiches because someone couldn't understand what I said. ++++++++++++++MAIN DINING ROOM++++++++++++++++++ Me and my husband agree that the food was not great the first three nights. Dried salmon, over-cooked meats, etc. The food just wasn't what we were used to on a cruise. But, either they got a fresh shipment or a new cook, because the food seemed a lot better on day 4 on in the MDR. The lobster and prawn on formal night was fantastic. The desserts weren't as good as Carnival, though. ++++++++++BUFFET+++++++++++++++++++ There was a lot of food on the buffet that looked good, but tasted bad. We wasted a lot. :( I was happy to see smoked salmon on the buffet at least ONE morning. AND it was fabulous. On other mornings, they had other smoked fish. I wish I had tried them now. For breakfast, there was slightly disappointing corn beef hash, fried eggs on a tray to grab, egg omelets, sauteed mushrooms, etc. , and the elderly's finest selection of cereals and yogurts. Fruit was also available. The evening buffet was better than the MDR in a lot of cases, but still many dishes that need improvement. And, not to be snobby, but the presentation just didn't seem to be what we have become accustom to. I felt like I was eating at Golden Corral sometimes. One other thing about the ship that I saw in other posts--- sewer smell. Yes, I saw the reviews before and thought someone was just over-reacting. Nope. Sewer smell, especially on certain decks, and bathrooms. There are a lot of places that stink unfortunately. It wasn't in our room or in any of the areas we were staying in, so that was nice. :) We could avoid it. SHORE EXCURSIONS Playa MIA- The food was ok. Guacomole is good. Everything else is just edible. Drinks were drinks. Had a lot of alcohol. The beach water was very dirty for Cozumel. We could barely see through it. I had a drunk person fall into my back when I was on the floating water trampoline thing. It didn't feel good. I was worried for my small children when we got out there. I got them out of there as soon as I saw how stupid some of the adults were being. It would have been fun otherwise. the waterpark was nice to play in when we were done at the beach. The kids loved it. Little French Key This was not through the cruise line, so we had to leave the cruise terminal and walk up the 'hill'. We have done this before when we went on Victor Bodden's tour. It looks safer than it used to be. There is a security guard at the top of the hill. It's hot waiting. Bring WATER! We loved our day at Little French Key!! It was so beautiful. Our favorite stop. Even the food was good! I want to go back already. Goff's Cay Beautiful, but primitive. I could see some people loving this, others hating it. I was somewhere in between. The boat ride could have been better. It was so rough. 30 minutes, too! My poor mom looked terrified. I was hoping she wouldn't have a heart attack! My dad said it hurt his back. There were only two restrooms on this island that they dump about 500 people on per day apparently. There were a lot of drunks because the alcohol is strong. Be forewarned though- the rum punch is the same color as the kids punch. Bring water for your kids! The beach is really nice for the kids- it goes forever without getting very deep. The food was ok, but the smoke from the wood! That smoke burned my eyes for two hours. It was horrible. I don't have allergies of any kind, but that just about crippled me when I walked through the path of that smoke! My mom said it bothered her too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are experienced cruisers, but this is the first time we have ever cruised with Princess. 29 members of our extended family joined us over Spring Break to help celebrate our parents' 60th wedding anniversary. The staff was very ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers, but this is the first time we have ever cruised with Princess. 29 members of our extended family joined us over Spring Break to help celebrate our parents' 60th wedding anniversary. The staff was very helpful in making the celebration -- and the entire week -- special. The food in the Palms dining room was very good -- in fact, the best lobster I've ever eaten. The prime rib was a bit disappointing, but the other beef dishes were very tasty. I was not terribly impressed with the quality of the fish dishes other than the lobster, but I am very particular about my fish. My daughter-in-law, granddaughters and I are all on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet and the staff was very diligent about ensuring that we had gluten-free bread, muffins, pasta and other gluten-free choices as well as special desserts prepared without dairy or gluten. The shows in the Princess Theater was outstanding -- especially Piano Man and Bravo! We enjoyed the Voice of the Seas competition on the final night, although the way they set it up, the singer who was clearly the crowd favorite was bumped out by the three judges. There were plenty of activities to keep us busy from movies under the stars to bingo to lounging by the pool -- and the spa offered some very nice options (and great massages). Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our first time sailing with Princess and I wasn't impressed with the overall cruise. I've been on eight different ships and Princess was our fourth cruise line to sail with. For me its not about the cruise line but the ... Read More
This was our first time sailing with Princess and I wasn't impressed with the overall cruise. I've been on eight different ships and Princess was our fourth cruise line to sail with. For me its not about the cruise line but the overall ship experience as each ship is a bit different in design and what they have to offer. Embarkation was a breeze. We live in Houston and paid to park in the lot. We waited only a short time to board and that process went smoothly. What I felt strange was a lack of welcome actually boarding the ship. I'm used to seeing Ships Officers etc welcoming each passanger, not just security and a few low level staff memebers. State Room: We had a balcony room that was the smallest balcony state room we have ever had. Our other rooms on different ships all had a couch in them. The bedding was horrible. The mattresses need to be replaced. I've slept better in GI Steel beds in the service. The room was clean and Allan the steward did a great job for us. Food and Service: Simply the best service and food I've ever eaten in the main dining room. Ships vibe: Overall I felt the vibe on the ship was dead. It could be because the passenger make up was very senior passengers, I'd say 70 to 90 year old and I'm 59. I constantly had to watch were I was going to keep from knocking over other passengers who would just stop walking or waling against the traffic flow. If Princess Lines target market is the Senior Market then they are spot on, at least on this cruise. Ships Condition: The only thing I can comment on that needs to be fixed is the smell of sewage. Its not from plugged toilets but something is wrong with the venting system or the design of the system. Once in awhile you could smell it in the hall ways and certainly on deck in places. Overall the ship is in great shape. Debarkation: Princess did a great job. It went very smoothly. Overall I know that each cruise is different and each ship is different. I will not cruise on Princess again. I live a more diverse set of passengers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We can't say enough good things about this cruise on the Caribbean Princess! All of the crew were genuinely happy to help if we had questions (where to find Coral Dining Room, for example). Embarkation was a breeze, compared to ... Read More
We can't say enough good things about this cruise on the Caribbean Princess! All of the crew were genuinely happy to help if we had questions (where to find Coral Dining Room, for example). Embarkation was a breeze, compared to other cruise lines we've sailed with in the past. We had an assigned time to check in at the terminal, and once checked in we received a group number - when that number was called we went onboard... total wait of maybe 20 minutes. We were on Dolphin - Deck 9 and had a mini-suite with balcony. We will never cruise without a balcony! That little bit of extra space is a Godsend when my husband needs to be up late in the night due to restless leg syndrome. It does cost a bit more to have a balcony (whether a basic balcony stateroom, mini-suite or full suite), but for us it is worth it. Our Stateroom Steward, Ricardo, was absolutely the best! He was "Johnny on the spot" and I don't remember many times when we were in the hallway near out stateroom that he wasn't there. On our anniversary day, he placed a congratulatory placard and some balloons on our door. We did expect 'something' since we indicated we were going for our anniversary when we booked the trip, but we weren't sure what it would be. The quality of the shows in the Princess Theatre was superb. All of the dancers and singers did an excellent job and we really enjoyed the "Back Stage Tour" with the troupe lead and head of production. We didn't use the spa facilities very much on this trip, thus our "very good" rating. The only drawback to the spa was that we had purchased a couples package to use the Thermal Spa facilities and there were very few times we went in to use it when the 'hot beds' were full. I never did get to use them and my husband used them only twice. He did use the gym, though and did enjoy the equipment they had available. We did play in the casino a little, my husband did pretty well one night, but mostly we were entertained in the Theatre Under the Stars (movies, Beyoncé concert, etc.) or just walking laps on the deck. The staff in the Coral Dining Room were also very good at their jobs. They made sure we had everything we needed or wanted and were very pleasant with all the passengers. We mostly ate meals at the buffet areas, though, because we could do so in our own timing. Getting off and on the ship at the three ports was also quite seamless, from our perspective. In Roatan, Honduras, we chose the "Cultural Show, Scenic Drive And Cruise & Shopping" excursion. Unfortunately, it was rainy and wet all day but everyone made the best of it and we had a great time. The cruise portion of this excursion included boating on a local river and out to the area where the big cruise ships were docked so we could get an up-close look at a couple of shipwrecks there. After this, we got in a bus and drove in to an area where the local natives performed a dance for us and then back to our ship. In Belize City, Belize, we went on the "Lamanai Mayan Ruins, Mangrove River Cruise & Lunch" excursion. This was fabulous! I even got to check of my bucket list item of climbing to the top of a Mayan temple! The only drawback on this was our tour got back to the ship about 30 minutes late (I think), so we did not get to visit the port shops at all. However, my husband and I and a few others on the tour were able to return to the museum/gift shops site after climbing the temple, while the remainder of the group hiked a bit further inland to see another temple. Lucky for us that we did this because we did have time to purchase some souvenirs from the local Women's Group's shop while waiting for the others to rejoin us. Once everyone returned, we got back in the small boat and headed back to our launch point for lunch: local fare of beans & rice, stewed chicken in a sauce (or gravy), coleslaw and bread. All of which were quite tasty! In Cozumel, Mexico, we opted for the "Playa Mia Beach Break & Lunch" excursion. This was a very relaxing day for us as we thoroughly enjoyed the included umbrella and beach chairs. The white sand was nearly powder thin and the water varying shades of green, aqua, and of course the deep blue. This is basically a water park with some fun things to do on the water, as well as a large buffet/eating area and swimming pools and play area for the kiddos. Every one of our excursions were very memorable Disembarkation back in Houston was also very easy. Since we live in the Houston area and had our car parked at the terminal, we selected a "Walk-off" time. This meant we were responsible for all of our luggage and belongings... no crew had to touch it, and it meant we did not have to put our luggage outside our cabin the night before arriving in Houston. Once all of the walk-offs exited the ship, they started with the regular disembarkation. Going through U.S. Customs was also pretty easy for us as all of our purchases were clothing or home goods - no alcohol, or other items that would need to be declared. We highly recommend this cruise and in particular, Princess Cruises! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This review is one of my most difficult. Up front I must say that the cruise wasn’t in any way, shape, or form, bad. But neither was it particularly good. It was, I suppose, boringly average. This was our 19th cruise, but our first with ... Read More
This review is one of my most difficult. Up front I must say that the cruise wasn’t in any way, shape, or form, bad. But neither was it particularly good. It was, I suppose, boringly average. This was our 19th cruise, but our first with Princess Cruise Lines. It will, most assuredly be our last with Princess. The ship that is the subject of this review is the Caribbean Princess, sailing the week of January 3, 2016 out of the Port of Houston. Ports of call were Cozumel, Roatan, and Belize. These are all ports that we have visited many times in the past and I will not cover them in any great detail. The Port of Houston Cruise Terminal is modern, efficient, and unfortunately, doomed to failure. Its location necessitates a three hour trip up one of the busiest and most finicky ship channels in the world. It is subject to whims of nature such as fog, shifting currents, heavy traffic, and high winds. These factors combine to make its inability to compete with the Port of Galveston glaringly obvious to anyone that cruises from Texas. Fuel and Pilot costs alone assure its fate. That being said embarkation from this terminal was quick and trouble free. The Caribbean Princess is soldiering into its 12th year and it does show its age. The ship, however, does appear well maintained and the Captain makes a point of keeping his crew busy with routine maintenance and repairs. The ship simply needs a bit of sprucing up. Carpets are stained and colors are tired. The ship rides reasonably well, but does have a constant shudder that is most apparent in the aft areas of the vessel. The one shining spot about this ship is its crew. It has been many years since we have encountered a crew that was as friendly, or as pleasant as that of the Caribbean Princess. Their greetings did not seem contrived and they always seemed willing to be of assistance with a smile. This really is a big plus for this ship. I want to also note that the mandatory emergency drill prior to departure is one of the most thorough and well-presented that I have ever seen. Shopping on board is limited with very small shops located in and around a three deck atrium at the ship’s center. Princess Cruise Lines does appear to market toward an older cruise passenger, and that fact is obvious on board the Caribbean Princess. The crowd is more sedate and relaxed than many other lines. Accordingly one will not find many of the more youth oriented activities that are daily fare on other mainstream lines. This can be good or bad depending upon your preferences. Time tends to pass at a more leisurely rate on Princess. Slow-paced is the norm. The passengers aboard this vessel seemed to be most at ease while sitting in a lounge consuming mass quantities of alcohol. Be aware, however, that the drinks I purchased seemed to be very, very weak, almost to the point of having been watered down. Not an accusation, simply a personal observation. The entertainment on the Caribbean Princess is in keeping with the rest of the ship. Adequate, not outstanding. The Princess Theater is much too small for the number of passengers on board. At every showing the crowds overflow and stand along walls and sit on stairways. A potentially dangerous situation. Now to a very sore point of my review. Dining. First, the quality of food on board the Caribbean Princess is very good. Accessing this food, however, is problematic. This ship has what is undoubtedly the singularly worst designed buffet that has ever put to sea. People must guess which of two sides to enter, because one will be gated shut. Once you have deciphered this you will enter a line that will herd you into another gate into the buffet. You must then stay in line for fear of losing your place and having to start over. You then feel compelled to take items from the buffet because you have no way of knowing what items are coming up, and again, failure to pick up something will necessitate starting over in the “cattle- chute’ again. You also better grab some desert at that time, or else go through the process again. It is always crowded, and lines are the norm. Then you begin the fight to find a seat in a seating area that is too small for the ship. Upon being seated a crew member will take your drink order. Depending on what beverage you order you may then have to wait several minutes before the requested drink arrives and then you can start eating. This is the single biggest problem with this ship. If Princess really wants to observe how a cruise buffet should be handled they need only visit a Royal Caribbean ship for a lesson. The Dining Rooms are fine, and again, the food is good. They are a viable option, but be aware that on Port days the Dining Rooms are closed for lunch. The 24 hr International Cafe has small sandwiches and pastries and is another option. On the pool deck hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and hot dogs are available and they are good. Do not waste your time on the Pizza unless you are partial to soggy cardboard. Our cabin was on Deck 10 and was a standard balcony room. It was well appointed and our Cabin Steward did a first rate job of keeping the room up. The cabin was quiet and sleep was not a problem. We did have a young man on the deck below who brought an electric guitar and amplifier which he played constantly on his balcony. He was courteous enough not to play at night and at a somewhat reduced volume. Perhaps among the myriad of things cruise lines don’t allow on board, electrically amplified musical instruments should be added. Our arrival at the Port of Houston was delayed by high winds. Our ship aborted its initial 5:30 am attempt at entering the channel and turned back to sea. Even having ordered two tug boats to assist, the winds gusting to nearly 40mph were deemed too high to dock. We made a second successful attempt at 9 am and finally docked at 12:30 pm. We got off the ship a bit after 3pm. While the cruise line can’t be held responsible for adverse weather I can’t help but wonder whether a newer ship equipped with azipods may be more suitable for the Port of Houston. The Caribbean Princess being an older prop shaft ship requires tugs in tricky berthing situations. In conclusion, our trip wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as it could have been. Perhaps it’s just that we are not a good fit for Princess and their particular clientele. And that is just fine. To each his own. But we will avoid Princess in the future. Best advice. Do due diligence in your research when planning your cruise. Read reviews, watch You Tube videos, look at all your options. Each line is unique and each brings a little something different to the table. Find the one that most closely suits your personality, requirements, and expectations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This cruise was our 11 cruise we have sailed on Disney, Royal Car., NCL, Costa and Princess. This was our second new years cruise with Princess, our was out of Miami and was awesome that is why we selected this Princess cruise this time ... Read More
This cruise was our 11 cruise we have sailed on Disney, Royal Car., NCL, Costa and Princess. This was our second new years cruise with Princess, our was out of Miami and was awesome that is why we selected this Princess cruise this time around. The Ship was very outdated, our balconies were fine, but the rest of the ship was in poor condition. The layout was very similar to our previous Princess cruise, but the entertainment was terrible, the Explorers lounge had a band playing but the quality was poor like they just through together some crew members and had them perform, the bar wasn't open so the waiter had to go get drinks from another area of the ship taking up to 30 minutes to get our drinks, there was absolutely no entertainment either by a band, DJ, or the cruise director by the pool during the day (NCL always had something happening during the day at the pool areas). the show in the Princess theatre was ok by the dancers and singers, but the comedy show was terrible, and there wasn't any other shows in the other lounges. If you were 80 years old and liked to go to bed at 9:30 you would have loved this cruise, but we had 15 people ages 18-52 and all were bored after dinner. Service was generally very good, everyone was friendly and helpful. We missed our first port Costa Maya due to delay leaving Houston not the cruise lines fault. We hit our next port on time and needed to get tenders off our ship. The cruise line was unprepared for this, since we were to begin the tender process by 8am and it did not start until 9:30, so most of us could not exit until noon, which put us 2-3 hours behind for our excursion. Then we needed to get back on the ship by 5 pm and the line to get a tender back took 1 hour and 30 minutes, so in essence we only stayed on shore for 3-4 hours. Then we arrived at our next port and all went better. Our final port was Cozumel, a make-up for the missed port of Costa Maya and all went smooth. For new years eve on our last Princess cruise they had an awesome party on deck with the countdown, but this was not the case on this cruise, they moved it all inside fearing weather which never became an issue this night and it was poorly run. We had 4 sea days and the cruise director did little to keep us entertained, thank God we had a large group since we were able to have fun ourselves. The casino was very small and had limited table games and half of them were closed at peak times making it hard to play at these tables, they seemed to be short handed with dealers. Exiting the ship was very smooth as we walked off with our own luggage. In summary, it was a very disappointing experience on this ship and would make us think twice about choosing Princess again. For the money we spent we could have taken the Oasis out of Miami and had plenty to do at all hours. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This cruise was a disaster of epic proportions from the Princess service the only thing that went smoothly was the disembarkation. When we arrived at exactly 12:30 (embarkation time was noon) and reached our cabin the sheets were ... Read More
This cruise was a disaster of epic proportions from the Princess service the only thing that went smoothly was the disembarkation. When we arrived at exactly 12:30 (embarkation time was noon) and reached our cabin the sheets were dirty and we had to request robes. (We'd previously traveled on Oceania and Celebrity--so this came as a surprise to us.) Next we needed additional keys to our room since our kids were traveling with us. We had to wait in an hour long line at Guest Services. From then on the cruise service continued to go down hill. No one from dining was available to help us throughout the day and the cruise left four hours late. Due to our anytime dining we had to wait 45 minutes to eat dinner. Our room service breakfast delivery was late, the ATM was out of cash, when we finally made it to our first port of call we didn't get to the right dock and the disembarkation process via a tender was a "cluster." I never received my bonus internet minutes for purchasing ahead of time--which would have been really useful, because they added the port of Cozumel to make up for missing our first port of Costa Maya. Because I was unable to find an excursion we ended up on a crowded touristy beach "owned" by one of the chain restaurants. The worst part of all the service errors was all I really wanted from anyone to whom I complained to was an apology. I kept being told, "Fill out a comment card and someone will get back to you." Despite filling out the post-cruise survey I still haven't been contacted by anyone from Princess. We'd already booked our summer cruise with Princess and we've upgraded to a bigger cabin with concierge type service in the hopes of avoiding these mistakes. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We left Houston late due to fog and so missed Costa Maya. First night seas were "roly poly" (Captain's words) but the weather cleared once we arrived in Roatan. Due to our delay, we were unable to make Mahogany Bay in ... Read More
We left Houston late due to fog and so missed Costa Maya. First night seas were "roly poly" (Captain's words) but the weather cleared once we arrived in Roatan. Due to our delay, we were unable to make Mahogany Bay in Roatan and instead had to tender in from the other side of the island which is not as "tourist ready". Our snorkeling in Roatan with Jolly Roger was very nice, although a little overcrowded in the water. The small area accessible to those not taking excursions was evidently loud and overwhelming. Our day in Belize was fun, as my husband and daughter went SCUBA diving and my son and I went to Bacab for the horseback riding. My husband and daughter raved about the SCUBA and although my son and I had a nice time on our ride, it was a very crowded tour...too many horses/riders in too narrow a path and I narrowly missed falling from my horse due to the quick actions of one of the guides. Our last day in Cozumel was a hot one as my kids and husband when to Passion Island for a great day and I went to the shopping center at then end of the dock. I've been to Cozumel several times and was mildly disappointed, as it was a sanitized, over-commercialized Mexico/Not Mexico experience...however, I think it was a relief to my mother-in-law who was a little overwhelmed in Roatan and Belize. Ship experience was overall very positive. As always, Princess staff are courteous and friendly. Although I am social, I am adverse to crowds and when cruising, you are typically part of a crowd...so I tended to avoid the Piazza at all costs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Cruise started late because Nora virus from previous week. They "deep-cleaned" ship. Good thing, no complaints here. But since we left late, we arrived late in 1st port of Cozumel, then we left even later than planned to wait ... Read More
Cruise started late because Nora virus from previous week. They "deep-cleaned" ship. Good thing, no complaints here. But since we left late, we arrived late in 1st port of Cozumel, then we left even later than planned to wait for late shore excursions that didn't finish on time. So this caused us to arrive at 2nd port, Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras in time for heavy winds that the Cpt. was not comfortable with trying to back the ship into the dock area. By the time he decided to go and anchor off at the other pier, Coxen Hole, and get all the tender boats ready to take all ashore, it was 11am. Needless to say a lot of the excursions was canceled or cut short. Funny thing is the Carnival ship got to Mahogany Bay at 4:30am and got into the docking area with no problem. Those folks got to enjoy the private beach all to themselves. There was no beach at the town area of Coxen Hole. We still wanted to see the beach, so we paid a local tour/shuttle vendor to drive us to the other side of the island to west beach area. Belize City was our last target port, which should only take about 6 hours to reach at 20 knots. I say target, our Captain says winds too high too navigate through the narrow 15 mile strait. So we spent the day sailing northbound, back toward Houston. Then on last day of sailing, we were told that the ship would be coming in early and the casinos, half the bars, all the shops would close down at 6 pm Saturday. So we wouldn't have much to do all night, till disembarkation time at 7:30am the next morning. The ship came in to dock at around 9pm and we spent our last night cruising tied up to the dock Port of Houston, among the stink of the refineries of Pasadena, TX. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the stink. Septic smell was in a lot of places around the ship. The Explorer's lounge was the worst. It almost made you puke walking thru to look at the photos or the art work. Staff says they were doing maintenance, no other explanation given. The positives: 1. Our room steward was great. Room was kept spotless, fresh towels, etc. 2. Movies shown was current and entertaining. 3. Food was ok, there was some good and not so good. The Flank steak was great, Prime Rib was awesome, lobster was ok (one plate cooked perfect, other rubbery overcooked), New York Strip was tough as leather, shrimp/prawns were excellent. Desserts was lackluster, nothing extraordinary. 4. Staff mot too pushy on selling the extra stuff (bottle water, wine/alcohol), art auction, jewelry, etc. 5. Being a large ship, it had plenty of areas to be private. The extra paid dining rooms (steak grill and Italian restaurant) was great place to play boar games with our family during the day, they were empty, quiet, and large tables. 6. Lots of pools and hot tubs. 7. Someone posted that the staff wasn't friendly, I think they were ok under the circumstances, 20% had gotten the Nora virus and had to stay in Houston to get better. Even the entertainers were seen to help at the photos area helping customers. 8. The poolside pizza, burger grill, and soft serve & milkshake was great. The negatives: 1. Already said most of it above. 2. I'm used to seeing ice sculptures everywhere on the ships public areas on other cruise lines I've been on. Didn't see any until last day during the poolside ice carving demo. 3. No midnight Chocolate Extravaganza on this cruise, all the other cruises I've been on before had some kind of special event like this. 4. Anytime dining meant waiting for a table to open at the dining room, unless you get in line at 5pm. The wait one night was 1 hour and 15 minutes. We brought a deck of cards every night to wait for dinner. 5. Dressing for "a nice restaurant" was never enforced at the dining rooms, people wore shorts and t-shirts, just like the buffet line dining. So much for looking nice, people have no respect to guidelines. 6. No bridge or ship tours, cancelled, even though it was touted and advertised. 7. Entertainment was average, guest Magician was good, ship's singers was below avg to bad (one night was nothing but Milly Vanilly style lip sinc that was badly done). Christmas night special was ad-lib by Bob, the cruise director, and sidekick, the whole show was not that special. It's bad when my family's best time was to watch the "egg drop" contest at the main Atrium on the last day at sea. 8. No bathrobes, had reserved prior to cruise, and even asked steward, he said they were short of them since the last week's sick cruise, they left most in Houston to be laundered. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I can't agree more with the review by MyCatMischief in 12/15. I too had issues with pre-cruise ordering, Guest Services, Shore Excursions and Room Services Personnel. Yet, just as MyCatMischief stated, no one seemed to care; each ... Read More
I can't agree more with the review by MyCatMischief in 12/15. I too had issues with pre-cruise ordering, Guest Services, Shore Excursions and Room Services Personnel. Yet, just as MyCatMischief stated, no one seemed to care; each department simply said, "Sorry." Pre-ordering: Things ordered either were not delivered or were not in stock; Guest Services: After requesting robes a second time, they were never delivered to 2 of our 3 cabins; Shore Excursions personnel: The Shore Excursions manager was very rude after our excursion was canceled due to being 3 hours late to port, then I was told by another Shore Excursions person to check with someone on shore, only to be told on shore that all Shore Excursions personnel were already back on board; Room Service: Canceled morning Room Service so as not to wake up my son, yet it was delivered anyway. When I later questioned it, I was told someone from our cabin called and "re-requested" it. Once I proved that was a lie, I finally got an apology. As I got tired of simply hearing, "Sorry," I took it to the Guest Relations manager, who offered to send the same chips and guacamole to the cabin, which were served in the buffet that day. Since I was very displeased, and was requesting a partial refund at that point, I took it further and wrote to Princess Cruises "Customer Relations," who said nothing would be done, other than my letter being forwarded to the appropriate departments, in order to improve their service. As we further discussed the issues, I was offered a "$50 Welcome Back." When I again stated I was requesting a partial refund, I was told I could write to the Cruise Line's President, which I did. Ironically, in response to that letter I was contacted by the same person from "Customer Relations," who again said nothing else would be done. Princess Cruises is the LAST cruise line I would choose! It seems they absolutely don't care about their service and simply feel, "We got our money!" Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We booked this cruise (for a family of 6 adults) primarily because Princess is leaving Houston for good and it was our last opportunity to go on a Princess cruise from an easily accessible port. However, after taking this cruise, we have ... Read More
We booked this cruise (for a family of 6 adults) primarily because Princess is leaving Houston for good and it was our last opportunity to go on a Princess cruise from an easily accessible port. However, after taking this cruise, we have no regrets that Princess will no longer have a Texas connection. I can understand why Princess and NCL are pulling out of Houston. While the cruise terminal is nice, and the parking right in front of it is highly convenient, it is in a truly ugly, hard to get to location in the middle of nothing but refineries. (We had taken a cruise from Galveston in October and that port is simple and straightforward: drive south on I45 until it ends, turn left, then follow the signs to the terminal.) It took forever to get out of the Houston ship channel and there are numerous restrictions on bar service while in the channel (you cannot buy bottles of wine, even with dinner, or utilize the casino). Because we knew bar service would be largely cut off when we entered the ship channel very early on the last night of the cruise, we purchased 2 bottles of wine from the wine bar and took them to dinner in the Crown Grill where our waiter actually praised our foresight and ingenuity. As for the cruise and the botched itinerary, I agree with every observation made by hwwalden in that post. Lots of excuses. We also heard from other cruisers that other ships which had problem December 24 in Belize went back and were able to visit that port the next day. The captain blamed the “Christmas winds.” No doubt that is true, but it begs the question. If it is known that winds in December can prevent docking/tendering in certain locations, then why does the ship sail that itinerary at that time? If something about the structure of the ship (the captain mentioned the size of the boat and the raised nightclub as hampering his ability to deal with the winds) prevents docking/tendering in certain locations, then why does this particular ship sail that itinerary at that time? One aspect of the cruise for which Princess cannot be held responsible was the weather: hot, very windy and terribly humid. Not their fault. However, the ship itself was hot and humid, so much so that after waiting 10 minutes in the Piazza on formal night for a photographer we were all wringing wet and miserable. We gave up on getting a formal portrait. Many of the cabins, including ours, experienced frequent air conditioning outages. Princess prides itself on its food, but it was a mixed bag. The “upcharge” dining – Sabatini’s, the Crab Shack, the Crown Grill, the deluxe balcony breakfast – was all very good. The dining room at dinner was OK. However, the buffet for breakfast and lunch and the dining room at breakfast were uniformly horrible; I mean REALLY bad food (overcooked eggs, greasy eggs, hard stale bread, under-ripe fruit). I started going to the International in the Piazza where the food was much fresher if less plentiful. I should add that, despite all the hiccups in the cruise, we had great family time over Christmas on the ship itself. The cruise director staff (which was reduced due to the norovirus on the ship the week before) did their best to entertain us. (Assistant cruise director Ian, who was with us on a prior cruise in the Star Princess, is the greatest!) We found plenty of empty areas to play cards, scrabble and board games. Santa and the balloon drop were fun. And the staff in Vines, the wine bar, was terrific (thank you Arvin!) as was the wine selection and the free tapas. My husband and I had sailed on the Caribbean Princess in 2013 (British Isles) and had not experienced a good cruise at all. However, we had a great cruise a year later on the Star Princess (Hawaii) so we were willing to give the Caribbean Princess another chance. But Caribbean Princess just continues to disappoint. The ship is in desperate need a of a re-model, and quite probably a more alert food and beverage director. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was supposed to be a review of our Christmas Cruise to Cozumel, Rotan and Belize. As it turned out it will be a review of our 7 day cruise to Cozumel. DW and I (late 40’s) took DS (18) and DD (16). DW and I had a very nice ... Read More
This was supposed to be a review of our Christmas Cruise to Cozumel, Rotan and Belize. As it turned out it will be a review of our 7 day cruise to Cozumel. DW and I (late 40’s) took DS (18) and DD (16). DW and I had a very nice entry level balcony cabin on deck 14 and the kids were in a nearby inside on deck 12 (there is no deck 13). While we are all veteran cruisers, this was our first Princess cruise, with most of our previous cruises on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. In the review, we’ll draw a lot of comparisons with RCCL’s Voyager class as that is where most of our recent cruising history has been and the prices and age on Voyager/Freedom Class and the Princess Grand class ships have are relatively comparable. We drove up from our home on the TexMex border a day ahead of time, having received very well communicated notice of delayed embarkation due to Noro clean-up in our e-mails, text and voicemail. We were fine with the revised schedule as we had a late check-out in a very nice suite at the Clearlake Hampton and had 3D-IMAX tickets to see BB-8 and light sabers the night before. We drove up exactly when we were supposed to show up for the revised embarkation and were promptly diverted to the now infamous holding lot at Bayport. They kept us there for about an hour, which would not have been so bad except: There was no communication as to when we would be permitted to drive up, park and board. We could see buses, taxis and shuttles all proceeding directly to the terminal. They filled the holding lot left to right, every other row. We ended up on the right. Then when they ran out of room, the filled the rows in between. When it came time to empty the lot, they emptied it from left to right row by row. So even though we arrived roughly in the middle of the local Texas drivers, we ended up being last. After dropping Wife, kids and bags, I went to park, thinking I would see wife and kids in a couple of minutes. Well, the credit card machine for the lot went on the fritz and, even though I had prepaid, ended up on a line for another 45 minutes or so to get in to the parking lot. The actual check-in went fine. Almost no wait as there were still many held up in the parking lot. Only one gangway, pretty slow deal to get on board once we were told we could. So even though we were told our late check-in time would be 1:30 and that’s when we showed up, we ended up not boarding until almost 4:30. We were told our rooms were ready, but we restrained ourselves from visiting the rooms and headed to the buffet as I had a sneaking suspicion as to what would happen next: The First of many bad news announcements from Captain Knick (CK) came at about 5pm: Late departure, late boat drill, late dining (all delivered in a wonderfully British Baritone). As soon as this announcement came out, the buffet got swamped. We had finished by then and went to check out the rooms. Now here’s where the first really good thing happened: most of our bags were already waiting for us – and the rest showed up by the time we finished unpacking the ones that were there. We really like the princess cabin set-up of a sort of walk-in closet en-route to the bathroom. Much easier to unpack and more privacy on the bed when the cabin door was opened. True the cabin itself feels smaller than a comparable cabin on a Voyager class ship, but on the whole we liked the set-up. Bathroom a bit dated compared to what we’re used to. R-Deck Balcony was more private that we expected, but we did not like looking down on to other people’s balconies – but it was preferable to having them look down on us. Only downside to the cabin was it was under the Café’ Caribe. We expected some galley noise at certain times of the day – but there was a perpetual BOOM, Boom, boom, bm - that repeated itself at 2 to 5 minute intervals, 24/7. Fortunately this noise was only audible on the Balcony and within a couple days we tuned it out. The ship’s layout lacked the WOW factor we are used to, but carpets and trimmings all were in great shape. Did not see anything broken or worn as others have reported. We’ve “been there and done that” with the rock walls and water slides and appreciated that the pool decks were actually pool decks and the pools reserved for adults were actually reserved for adults. Princess was the first to slap a big screen on the Funnel – we’ve never been fans of the big screen copies on CCL and RCCL (I actually had “Just say NO to big screens on lido decks” in my Cruise Critic signature for a couple of years) – but Princess did it so much better and it was just one pool of 4 devoted to this so it ended up being one of favorite parts of the ship. There are a couple of other things that Princess does better than anyone else we’ve sailed: Pizza and Bar service. They are so much better than what we’ve experience that I don’t even think it’s a matter of opinion as empirical fact. As the bar packages have been rolled out, it sure seems like the other guys have tried to limit consumption by cutting back on servers. Not so on Princess: a server was always there, just about everywhere, but especially at the Terrance Pool and the Casino (where they were woefully lacking on our last RCCL cruise). On the rare occasions we elected to walk to the bar for a drink, we were served promptly and courteously. We also really liked that we never had to sign for any drinks especially since there’s always a spot for the not-so-optional “extra gratuity.” At one point I even asked the server to please bring me a receipt so I could give him an extra tip (I did not bring my cash in the pool) and I he told me he could not do that. With respect to the Pizza – DW and I grew up on New York pizza and the Princess product is closer to that than anything we’ve experienced on any other line. We enjoyed dinner in the MDR every night. Food was very good 6 of 7 nights. 1st formal night’s (50th anniversary) menu had very limited selection and the “available every day selections” are not that great. Our waiter was an “old pro” who did most everything right. Our assistant waiter was young and enthusiastic, lacking the street smarts to avoid overtly pitching extra fee coffees and shot glasses at every turn. One thing we did not like was that bar service duties fell to the assistant waiters rather than a dedicated bar person; But, if I had to choose between a third service person to get me drinks in the MDR or better service at the pool and the casino, I’d choose the later – and this is how Princess is set up. The Grand Class ships lack the Wow of the 2 and 3 story dining venues we’re used to, but we had a very nice table 4 for by the window, fixed late seating. There are some things that disappointed us: Show room entertainment was satisfactory, but no WOW. Obviously no Ice show which has been one of our favorite things on RCCL. But I think the biggest thing that was missing was a “Good Start” to the cruise. I realized we had a botched departure, but we’re used to a parade or a party after the boat drill. We missed the single welcome aboard show as it was during our delayed, late seating dinner so we never really felt – well - welcomed aboard. I think we were waiting for that event where we could say “That botched embarkation is behind us and now we’re on a Cruise for Christmas!” Instead we just kind of skulked out of Houston in stark contrast to the “Bon Voyage” scenes we could see on the ship’s “The Love Boat Channel” every 40 minutes or so. This cruise had a chance for a reset with us in Cozumel, but something went awry with our dock assignment. We were supposed to be bow in on a pier by ourselves, but somehow NCL ended up with that on what is “Carnival Corp Dock” so we ended up later than our promised late arrival as we had to spin and then wait for Triumph to tie up next to us and then – inexplicably - most of the Trimuph pax were off before us - so it was even later before we got through the crowds to the cabs to Chuckanabb. We were there last year where DS and I tried scuba for the first time. This time DD wanted go with us and the instructor/Guide at booth #3 is so great that we were very happy to repeat this choice. But with the late arrival and anticipated traffic back in to port, the day was way too short – we were hoping to see the included sea lion show which we missed last time – but we did not have time. And then the wheels really fell off of our planned itinerary: The captain announced we would leave even later than our promised late departure, waiting for one missing passenger “In the Spirit of Christmas.” I rather doubt that was the reason: we’re speculating that Carnival pulled rank and pimped our pilot. Whatever the reason, we ended up leaving an hour and a half later than the hour we had planned, and had to spin again to head to Rotan. These couple of hours became the reason we were not able to dock, getting to an anchorage almost 4 hrs later than promised to a dock. Tender service was extremely limited – unless you were on a princess excursion or waiting on line for a tender ticket when the tendering was announced – you did not get ashore. The Captain actually came on and essentially said "where the tenderes come in there's not much there and time will be very limitied, so, unless you're looking for a very brief experience of rural Honduras, stay on board." After the last tender/life boat came back, it took forever to get the stowed and pull, so we were late leaving Rotan and arriving in Belize. Again, too late to get to port before the sunrise winds, 3 other ships got in on time and maintained their itinerary. So we ended up with at a day at anchor where we could not get off the ship plus three at sea to get back to Houston. You’d think we’d be able to stop back at Cozumel, Progresso, Costa Maya, Cancun, or even Grand Cayman with three full days… But Nooo! Houston is the one port we are going to be early to because of the track record of closures due to fog. So the cruise ended prematurely with the shops and casinos closed by 8pm on the night before arrival and we were tied up in Houston for the last night (so much for DW and I's tradition of walking the promenade the last night at sea). We went to the MUTs Sound of music sign along before the Verizon LTE kicked in and we lost our kinds to their Iphones. DW and I really enjoyed our Balcony and the Terrance pool and the casino for 4 days straight. One of the days was Christmas, so we had stockings with the kids by the little tree we brought with us (it fit very nicely by the TV and we were able to hang stockings under the TV with a Yule log station turned on). The Christmas decorations were nice, but RCCL does this better. The Captain came on the speaker Christmas Eve to announce Santa was sighted on the Radar and would be landing on board soon. We were sure he was going to say “high winds would keep Santa from landing as scheduled” as every other time he chimed in, it was to announce something similar. But it appears Santa used the same pilot as NCL, Carnival and RCCL – all of whom made it in to our scheduled ports when we did not. Only other thing we did of note was the Princess version of the Rasual (another cruise ritual for DW &I). We were warned before we started that if we left the door open to the steam chamber (which did not close right) we might set off the Alarm. After mudding up, DW and I got in to the steam room as fast as we could – but the alarm still went off. The alarm stayed on so long that, eventually I threw my robe on over the mud to find someone. The first woman I ran in to said “it will turn itself off” and eventually it did. But that was 15 minutes of blaring alarms in a tiled room. Then, after the alarm finally went off, our attendant started banging on the outside door telling us that the bridge had noticed an alarm and that we needed to keep the steam room door closed. Of course the only way we could acknowledge her was to open the steam room door – and the whole thing started over again. I did not think it would be possible for me to characterize an hour in a private spa with my mud covered wife as unenjoyable – but Princes managed to accomplish this. And - good lord – 15 minutes for the bridge to respond to a fire alarm?? So we were on a Princess Cruise with our kids at Christmas – that in and of itself was wonderful. We had a nice time with each other and enjoyed CB and her crew. Nice meals and decorations without the work. But this cruise did not provide very many opportunities to make memories. The debark was also very slow considering we were there so early. This was only the 2nd time we were able to get off the ship, but we’d have to say there is something different about how CB does their unloading (at ports of call and debark) that is slower than other ships – even those with more passengers (such as Oasis). On our drive home, I asked DW what here favorite parts of the cruise were. Her response was “Spending time as a family in the dining rooms and spending time with my Husband on our Balcony and at the casino.” I told her I felt the same way. She said “Good ‘cause that’s pretty much all we did!” Unfortunately, we’d have to rate our CB Christmas cruise at or near the bottom of the 23 wonderful cruises we have taken. Not saying we’ll never sail Princes again, but we’ll look at every other option first. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My husband and I have been on 10+ cruises on all the major lines, from Europe to Hawaii, Alaska and all over the Caribbean. In 27 yrs of cruising this was by far the WORST vacation EVER on land air or sea. Something is seriously wrong ... Read More
My husband and I have been on 10+ cruises on all the major lines, from Europe to Hawaii, Alaska and all over the Caribbean. In 27 yrs of cruising this was by far the WORST vacation EVER on land air or sea. Something is seriously wrong on this ship. Service is overwhelmingly poor. Bad attitudes abound. Yes, you can find a nice person here and there, but overwhelmingly unhappy crew and rude officers. From the spa to the buffet, to the front desk, they all act as though you are a bother to them. To add to such a poor experience NOROVIRUS went through the ship. Yes, I was a victim. I spent 4 days in my room! You are required to not leave your room until symptom free for 24 hrs. Yes, you will receive a medical bill. Room service was slow, made mistake after mistake with my simple orders. No spoon with soup....No toast with eggs. Overall the ship is older and dirt was in every corner and carpet edge. Do not sail on this ship. Caribbean Princess . Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
There were several issues on this cruise that left us frustrated. The cabin we booked was way too small - even though we were told that four of us could fit. Even the cabin steward thought it was terrible that they book us in that cabin ... Read More
There were several issues on this cruise that left us frustrated. The cabin we booked was way too small - even though we were told that four of us could fit. Even the cabin steward thought it was terrible that they book us in that cabin due to the space issue. They should not book cabin A702 for four people! We were moved to D728 and it was much better - but it took them two days to do that. Also, two of our three excursions were cancelled and they did little to help us with other options. The food was just ok. Some of the staff was great but others looked defeated to be there. Princess did a good job of accommodating us when we were stuck in the fog when the Port of Houston closed. We had to spend an extra night at sea. This was not the relaxing vacation that I had hoped for though... Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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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