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48 Princess Caribbean Princess First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

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
Cruise ship was in poor maintenance, toilets constantly backed up, rusty and dirty balcony. Blanket had brown stains on it, the television was placed such that the remote did not work properly, the buffet was lousy, particularly the ... Read More
Cruise ship was in poor maintenance, toilets constantly backed up, rusty and dirty balcony. Blanket had brown stains on it, the television was placed such that the remote did not work properly, the buffet was lousy, particularly the breakfast selection. Two of our three destinations were cancelled, one due to engine trouble with the ship. But by far, the worst aspect of the cruise, was the customer service. Easily the worst customer staff I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing. Constantly making promises that were never met, claiming supervisors/management would be in contact with us concerning our issues. None of these things ever happened. The only compensation given for all these issues was a paltry $50.00 credit, and a credit towards a future cruise booking, which we won't be using. Apparently their idea of compensation for such a poor experience is the customer giving them more money. Company and staff refused to take ownership of any of the problems, and the story was different depending on which person you spoke to. We will be booking all of our future cruises with a different cruise line. The only positive parts of the cruise were that embarkation and disembarkation from ports of call were very easy and went quickly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Are all cruise ships this boring? This was our first cruise and we really did not know what to expect. Before we left, our friends went on and on about all of the on board activities and the food. Our travel agent assured us we would ... Read More
Are all cruise ships this boring? This was our first cruise and we really did not know what to expect. Before we left, our friends went on and on about all of the on board activities and the food. Our travel agent assured us we would not be bored—wrong! The food in the dining room was very good, and the service was excellent. We had Anytime dinning and we only had a long wait (40 minutes) on one night. Please note that we always asked to share a table. I do wish that priority was given to those who actually signed up for Anytime dinning. Many of the traditional dinners like to crash our room to the point that there were two nights that we were taken to the traditional seating dining room because it was virtually empty. Now for the activities....Were there any besides the floating infomercial about art, health, beauty, jewelry or photography, and/or activities designed for you to spend additional money like bingo or the casino? Okay, there were trivia games--good luck getting a seat near the game. There were movies under the sun/stars, and there was a nightly "show" which you needed to arrive 45 minutes before to get a decent seat. If you arrived much later you might be lucky enough to nab a single seat between two strangers. I was thankful for the shows since they provided some much needed entertainment; although, they were nothing special or memorable. Shore days seemed to be loaded with great on board activities, which made no sense since the majority of the passengers got off the ship. Out of desperation I went to a line dance class that lasted less than 20 minutes. Unfortunately, it was not very fun. We even tried to listen to a music group in one of the lounges while having a night cap. The group was actually very good, but we did not arrive at the right time since after 3 songs they took a 30 minute break. Several of the other couples we spoke to mentioned how board they were on this cruise. One man said he had already read 3 books because there was nothing else that interested him. On a positive note, I did enjoy the Theater Tour and the Kitchen Tour, but could not understand the crew member who gave the navigation talk. We loved 2 of our 3 shore tours. Rio Secreto, a tour on the Cozumel stop, was the highlight of the trip. It was worth every penny, and budget an additional $40 to $80 (depending on your negotiation skills) for the photo CD. The lunch served was very good and they offered us free shots of anise flavored liquor. This tour saved the cruise for us, and immediately changed our attitude about cruises. Our second stop was Honduras where we opted for Gumbalimba Park (bring $3 for a locker rental) and Tabyana Beach. Both were fun, and we got great photos with the monkeys and parrots, and enjoyed swimming in the warm Caribbean water. The lunch that was included was excellent, and there was ample security at the beach. If we return to Honduras, we will either do a beach day or snorkeling. Our last stop was Belize and unfortunately, we selected the wrong tour for us. We took the Altun Ha Maya Site and a River boat tour. It was a long hot day, and our guide, Marcela, did not have the energy or sense of humor of our previous guides; however, she was knowledgeable and passionate about her country. I tired quickly of her bringing in “helper” guides who wanted to be tipped but did not add anything to the tour. In all, I think there 10 people who we were asked to tip. The most glaring example of unnecessary guides, was Raquel, who repeated word for word a script Marcela had given earlier. To make matters worse, the lunch served was the worst meal we had on the entire trip; however, I did appreciate the bottled water and bottled soft drink that was included. If we return to Belize we will do the zip line and cave tubing. I was very pleased with our Baja deck 11 balcony cabin, and our steward, Richard, was very attentive. There was a constant "vibration" in the bathroom and throughout the cabin, but we got used to it. In addition, the ship did sway and list more than we thought it would. The TV in the room had 3 movies channels, a couple ESPN stations, and re-runs of the Love Boat. Our remote was hit and miss, and the reception on the TV was not consistent, but I did not take a cruise to watch hours of TV in my cabin. There was someone smoking nearby since when we would open up the balcony door, the smell would fill the room. Richard, the steward had stopped by for some reason and asked if we were smoking in the room. I invited him in and said it was a daily occurrence, but that I could not determine where the smell was coming from. He went out on the balcony, but also could not see where the smoke was coming from. He said he would report it and they would look into it further since smoking is not permitted on the balcony or in the cabin. On disembarkment day, we were delayed into the Port of Houston due to high winds—no fault of Princess or the crew. We had been told that our cruise was the first is several weeks that left the port on time, so it was not a huge surprise to be arriving back late. This meant that our 8:05 AM disembarkment group was moved to after 3:00 PM. Once the ship docked in port at 12:30 PM, we were asked to leave our stateroom which meant all of the public areas were very, very crowded. Thankfully for us, we were driving home, and not flying, as many of our new friends missed connections. If you booked your airfare through Princess, they paid for and arranged all ticket changes. If you booked airfare on your own, then you were out of luck, and Princess seemed very unsympathetic. Many complained that they were forced to buy internet minutes or incur large phone bills to try and rebook while still aboard the ship. Others lamented that the airline ticket change fee might be as much as they paid for the cruise. Lesson to the wise— book your airfare through the cruise line, buy trip insurance or refundable/changeable tickets, and/or add a day or two onto the trip to ensure a stress free flight home. Although we found the ship itself very boring and lacking in quality activities, we thought our cabin steward, dinning room staff and food were outstanding, and we enjoyed meeting new people, and the land excursions so much that we are already planning our next cruise—most likely on another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We had the absolute worst vacation experience ever. We have been unable to come to a resolution with Princess. We strongly feel that the advertising, services and the product were mi-represented to us, and we are extremely unhappy with all ... Read More
We had the absolute worst vacation experience ever. We have been unable to come to a resolution with Princess. We strongly feel that the advertising, services and the product were mi-represented to us, and we are extremely unhappy with all attempts at resolution, both on-board and after disembarkation with "customer service". Stateroom 617 1) Accommodations- Princess Cruise lines claims on their website to offer "Premium accommodations and luxurious appointments" for their balcony staterooms, which was the cabin type we purchased. On top of our accommodation being very dirty (we have pictures) there was a deep persistent rattle under our bed, which shook the entire bed, to the point we could not sleep at night. We also experienced night crews working right over our room and noise in the hallways, such as loud thumping, chaise lounges being moved, machinery being run at night etc. We tried to get our room changed, and would have even paid for an upgrade, but the only available cabin was not of similar or better accommodation. There was also a septic stench at times, as the toilet next to our room kept malfunctioning. Additionally, we had a Norovirus outbreak on our ship, meaning we were confined to this cabin under quarantine, and we could not get food delivered to our room. After we disembarked we discovered this 50 year old ship has one of the highest rates of Norovirus. 2) Service Issues- We have numerous complaints documenting the poor service from the room service to the dining staff, and multiple cases of rude employees, saying shocking statements to us like, "It doesn't matter how long your food takes, you are under quarantine". Room service was took anywhere form 1-2 hours, and our order never came to us correctly, missing items, broken coffee pots, etc. Several times when we called the phone just rang and rang. Despite claims by Princess Cruise lines that standards of dining-dressing would be enforced, they never were, adding to the over all lackluster experience. The poor service has continued since we have been off the ship with our dealings with post- cruise customer relations. 3) Product claims- We felt that we have been falsely advertised to- the entertainment was far from "world class" as claimed by Princess, and most of the activities are centered around a "sales" pitch for you to buy something. The food was billed as "gourmet" yet we received microwaved breakfast sandwiches and many other simply terrible items. Additionally, we had asked for a private dining experience, yet we were seated with another couple and served at the same time by the waiter, who treated us the entire time as if we were a "4 some". This is on top of an expensive shore excursion we took that was advertised as "very active" yet was 6 hours of driving, and simply walking at a slow pace over flat ground. Additionally, numerous times on our trip we went to use amenities, hot tubs pools, stores etc, and they were closed. This entire cruise was "oversold" to us. Ultimately, we have pages and pages documenting our entire bad experience. We are seeking a refund for our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
SATIRE: This was my first cruise and my girlfriends 4th. We booked L106 which was Suite with a front view. Let me first say that I had no expectations and that is good thing. 1. On Board Customer Service- "we can't help ... Read More
SATIRE: This was my first cruise and my girlfriends 4th. We booked L106 which was Suite with a front view. Let me first say that I had no expectations and that is good thing. 1. On Board Customer Service- "we can't help you" (meaning we don't care?) 2. Dining room service - slow and slower 3. Entertainment - boring and 3rd class 4. Activities - repeat repeat and repeat 5. Food - quality of McD including Pastry (very disappointing) 6. Employee Attitude - "I don't care--you've already paid for tips in advance" 7. Booms in the middle of the night - UNHAPPY crew members throwing things on floor above our room? These are the good things I have to say about my cruise. Here is one more example. A nice couple from Ireland, one of which was in a wheel chair booked a handicapped room. They told me Princess charged them $200 to use an ON-BOARD wheel chair AND the chair was to big for the doorway to their room. They had book a handicapped room but Princess didn't have that on record. When they complained, on board Customer service said "too bad, we can't help you". After writing via Internet to Corp. headquarters, they told me they were moved to a different room but would have to return to this room later in their cruise. Last but not least, the cost of a cruise (and it appears all cruises are this way) are the ADD ON EXPENSES YOU FIND OUT ABOUT AFTER THE SHIP SAILED. Want a coke, EXTRA. Want 3 scoops of ice cream, EXTRA. Want a better dinning experience, EXTRA. Want a cup off coffee at 6AM not in the buffet, EXTRA To be fair, there are always two sides to each story. I tried to keep an open mind. The bottom line is if you paid $500 PP or, like we did, $2500 PP, except for the room, you have add on after add on. Required fee for pre-paid tips is an insult but I knew about that in advance. It showed in most (but not all) employee attitudes. We paid for a 1st class cabin that gave us ZERO benefits for food or service. It only gave us a bigger room and a view which I would do again, maybe?? I will say our cabin attendant JOHN was GREAT!! He kept our room spotless and replaced towels as needed and supplies constantly. However, some of the other attendants were rude and never smiled. So, before you take a cruise or book on Princess, it isn't the fine print but figure the TRUE COST of and what you expect to gain from a cruise. If I didn't know better, I'd say PRINCESS WAS OWNED BY MOTEL 6. So if you want a "motel 6" experience over say a HILTON, then have at it and pay Hilton prices for a motel 6 experience. Again, just my opinion and satire. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I can't speak highly enough about Princess Cruises they went above and beyond and everything ran smoothly ,nothing was an issue and the staff were all polite and went out of their way ,especially room service and the seated dining in ... Read More
I can't speak highly enough about Princess Cruises they went above and beyond and everything ran smoothly ,nothing was an issue and the staff were all polite and went out of their way ,especially room service and the seated dining in the evening .Only thing i would have liked was a kettle in the room this isn't allowed for safety reasons.We had a top balcony room and it was perfectly situated,you couldnt hear anything at night when trying to sleep considering there were bars and shows going on ! The food was fantastic whether anytime dining or evening booked .5 star cuisine ! Loved the free tapas /sushi bar too. The ship itself was amazing and very relaxed no matter what part you were sitting in ,the classes were great we loved the zumba class and nutrition class.The huge screen by the pool was a bonus to watch a movie day or night .the day trips were brilliant although you have to see a lot in 6-8 hours so can be tiring for some.Transfers and day trips ran like clock work .I would highly recommend princess cruises ,I went with a friend but its a great way to reconnect with your loved ones also .lots of couples ,no stress ,a hotel floating with you to different countries amazzzzzing !!! So nice to wake up each morning in a different country and also nice to have days at sea to enjoy the spa.we had a seawed 2 hr wrap which was really nice .The interior of the ship is beautiful and there are several different bars/cafes etc ,the pools and jacuzzis were clean and not too busy either. Thank you Princess Cruises for a brilliant week :) Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first venture into a cruise holiday and we chose this particular route as it enabled us to sail from Southampton which meant we had the first three days at sea which was perfect to relax and settle into the holiday. Getting ... Read More
This was our first venture into a cruise holiday and we chose this particular route as it enabled us to sail from Southampton which meant we had the first three days at sea which was perfect to relax and settle into the holiday. Getting on board was very slickly handled with no queuing, clear instructions and very helpful crew. The bags are taken from your car as you pull up so no carrying of these either; we simply had our feet up in the 'stateroom' within 30 minutes of arriving - lovely. The cabin - sorry 'stateroom' - was very comofrtable, well equipped and with a neat ensuite shower room. We didn't go for a balcony but I can imagine that this would be a great feature if your budget runs to it. If you book a balcony, make sure you don't have an overhanging deck above that may take the sunshine. On board is a huge wealth of experiences to be enjoyed from several restaurants catering for every taste, many different bars with some great wines, cocktails and champagnes to spoil yourself on, a theatre with live entertainment every evening, 'movies under the stars' each night around one of the top deck pools, masses of kids entertainment, and so on.... The thing you notice above all else is that the crew, 'almost' without exception, are fantastic. They are very polite, very helpful, knowledgeable and nothing seems too much trouble - proper 5 star treatment. We had the mis-fortune to need to see the doctor whilst on board but again the service was very good and the medical centre is very well equipped - reassurring at least. But make sure you have travel insurance coz its not a cheap extra service. There are four swimming pools on different decks with the two centre ones being very much for families and children. The forward and aft pools were adults only and so this is where to head if you want a quieter expereince. TIPS FOR FIRST TIME CRUISERS WOULD BE: * You'll need an American power adapter for Princess ships but also take a European adapter is you want to use higher voltage appliances like hair straighteners, etc. * Remember to take a dinner suit/evening dress for the formal nights * If your budget is tight then you can book a cabin with an 'obstructed view' which is not a big problem and still enables a ocean outlook but much cheaper * You won't need a hair drier as one is provided * You won't need sun bed/beach towels as these are provided * If you want a sun bed on a day when the ship is at sea then get up early! Venture on deck after 9am and you've pretty much got no chance - they'll all be gone * Take you hand luggage in a wheeled suitcase as the bags are taken the night before you disembark and you'll have to carry the last items/clothes * You will automatically be charged a crew gretuity fee each day and, whilst boy they earn it, be aware you can opt out and pay this as and when you wish * Drinks range from around $4 to $10 on average (although naturally there are so expensive champagnes and wines if you wish) but this can soon mount up when on board for two weeks. So if you plan to have lots of alcaholic drinks then it may be worth considering the all inclusive deal - we did and didn't regret it - hic. They have wine deals too to choose from so will all depend on how much you will consume! Water, coffee, tea is available anyway all day. * If you really want to spoil yourself then book a place in "The Sanctuary" as soon as you can and experience luxury sun beds, pampered service and total peace and quiet whilst the ocean slips past in front of you - total bliss and at $20 p.p. per half day its not too expensive. * The organised tours where not something we wanted but if you do, then try to book early as they do get booked up. * If you simply want to wander around the port yourself then just get a shuttle bus for Marseille, Barcellona, Florence/Pisa and Rome (much too far to walk and only about $10p.p !!), just walk in when visiting Gibralter or Ajaccio (Corsica) Disembarkation was pretty smooth (although grabbing you bags was a little competitive) but you'll be off the ship within a few minutes of your allotted time. All impressive considering the 3500+ guests they have to deal with. We would throughly recommend a cruise holiday and, although this was our first trip and so we cannot directly compare to other cruiselines, Princess was absolutely excellent and more than fulfilled our expectations. From what we were told by other experienced guests and from what we saw, they seem to have struck a great balance between a family, relaxed atmosphere but with smart formal nights and child free areas to the ship. We're now going to book next years cruise - hope the above useful and do enjoy your trip too! :-) Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Before I start it’s maybe good to know that this was my first cruise ever. So I don’t know if my expectations are maybe too high. For me I compare this 5* ship with an at least 4* hotel. I travelled together with my brother who was ... Read More
Before I start it’s maybe good to know that this was my first cruise ever. So I don’t know if my expectations are maybe too high. For me I compare this 5* ship with an at least 4* hotel. I travelled together with my brother who was cruising years ago with Costa. The embarkation was very smoothly. On-board they told us that the rooms were not ready yet, but if we wanted to lunch we may use the buffet restaurant. This, I found very kind of them. For me the interior of ship was good enough, although it certainly can use some refreshments. On the eye it was clean. I found the ship itself very stable and sailed very comfortable. I was very afraid to become sea sick (as I become already sick from a canal boat), but thankfully no sick at all. The tour which we made was very wonderful. We were blessed with very good weather. All ports were very nice. And at all ports there was good transportation options for to go to the main city (hop on/off bus, shuttle bus etc.). Everywhere we met very nice and interesting people. We only booked for St. Petersburg a 2 days excursion, what was very nice and good. As most of the excursions by Princess cruises are very expensive, I found the price of those two very reasonable. The service on board was very poor. Staff was not always well willing and the security staff was very unfriendly and even sometimes rude. Customer service is a laugh, they don’t solve any problems. When you lay on the sundeck it takes a while before a waiter is coming. Even sometimes (after waiting for over more than an hour) you go by yourself. Used glasses/plates etc. stay laying there. In the buffet restaurants it also take a while before somebody came for to pick up the orders for drinks and to take the plates from the table. The buffet restaurants on the ship looks indeed like a canteen (incl. plastic plates). The diversity of food was very simple, cheap and not prepared well. Although in the evening it was much better than in afternoon. Even the canteen at my work offered much better meals than on the Caribbean Princess (they also have to prepare meals for over more than 3000 people). For us the breakfast buffet was very disappointing. If you like sausages and eggs, you will be satisfied. Positive aspect to mention: they bake the bread daily fresh and the croissants are excellent! For us it was also frustrating that you always have to walk with your food, as there was most of the time no free seats in the horizon court, from one to the other buffet. This because the assortments on both buffets was not the same. We had traditional dinning (2nd seat), the food was not always prepared well and taste was very flat. We missed the love of the Cook (finesse in the dishes). All food on board was ok but certainly not excellent (and this we expect on a 5* ship) The only menu which was excellent, was the 50th anniversary menu. Entertainment on board was to us good enough (some performing’s are wonderful and some not), but this is very personal. Pools and Fitness area are very good and in good/clean conditions. The prices of the internet on board is way too high and should be even offered for free (as extra service on a 5* ship). We had the whole time the feeling that Princess more care about making as much as possible profit from the guest on board than about giving services. To find out if my expectations are indeed too high, my next trips will be 1x by a 4* ship and 1x again on a 5* ship. My next trip will be with my 2 teens daughters, so any suggestion are welcome. For me I will definitely not going anymore with Princess cruises as they don’t care about good quality and good services. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Outstanding service and value. We couldn't have asked for a better holiday. Both embark and disembarkment were painless experiences. This was our first cruise and the organisation at Southampton was impeccable. Arriving on the ... Read More
Outstanding service and value. We couldn't have asked for a better holiday. Both embark and disembarkment were painless experiences. This was our first cruise and the organisation at Southampton was impeccable. Arriving on the ship was a pleasure and the staff couldn't be an more helpful and attentive. The ship was clean and there were staff daily clearing glasses, rubbish etc; they worked extremely hard and were all dedicated. There was plenty of space and areas to go so that it wasn't too crowded. Movies under the stars is a lovely touch and enjoyed by all. There were countless activities from early in the morning to late in the evening if you wanted to participate in them. You were never bombarded or felt pressured to join in though. The service from ALL staff was outstanding, nothing was too much bother ever, and you must ignore people that just like to moan about them. In all honesty the excursions from the ship are quite expensive but the upside is if they are running late the ship will wait for them. We however sorted our own excursions and used a company called Can't be Missed Tours for our excursion around Rome. Our cabin was plenty big enough, clean and ok for the time we spent in it. I would say that there should be free still bottled water in each room though as you had to pay for this as did you have to pay for anything you used out of the fridge even if you had the unlimited alcohol package. The dining on this ship was faultless and the food was exquisite as was the service in any restaurant we went in. There was always a good choice of food and something for everyone. In all honesty I don't know how they did it. They were also always changing the stock and kept to timings etc for the milk etc. Overall the food, cleanliness, staff and accommodation were fantastic. This is the best way to holiday in our opinion. Princess cruises are a great and reliable company to travel with! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Our first ever cruise (probably not our last). This was an overall enjoyable cruise. We are a fully able English couple in our late 50s who, in the main, like to do our own thing. I'm not particularly social whereas my wife can ... Read More
Our first ever cruise (probably not our last). This was an overall enjoyable cruise. We are a fully able English couple in our late 50s who, in the main, like to do our own thing. I'm not particularly social whereas my wife can talk to anybody. First off tips for new cruisers: Princess uses American power so bring a US to UK adapter and UK extension lead which you can use for all your chargers. We had a mini suite with a fridge which already had some drinks in. You will be charged for these if you use them so, ask the steward to remove them and use the fridge for you own water supplies. Bring a couple of water bottles, when they are empty refill them with water, put in fridge and chill for use on excursions - repeat. Bring insulated beakers for taking coffee back to the rooms. Princess makes extensive use of credit card sized "Cruise Cards" which are used to "purchase" drinks, excursions etc. Bring a lanyard an ask the Passenger Services desk to punch a hole in the card, attach the lanyard, hang it around your neck and you'll never loose it. If you want to buy jewellery/cosmetics/art etc, I would recommend you wait until Gibraltar. There is a better range and its cheaper! We bought our cruise at the "Daily Mail" cruise show where we got $550 each for use onboard. At the end of the cruise we ended up only paying an extra $25! So going to a free show paid for our excursions, drinks, photos and gratuities!! We over packed (surprise, surprise). For myself- For the (3) formal evenings I only really needed one outfit. Most guys would wear a black suit, white shirt with bowtie. I had a dark blue suit, white shirt with normal tie which was acceptable. I bought an extra two shirts which weren't used. For the remaining smart/casual evenings I wore brown chinos and one of two polo shirts. Most guys wore short sleeved shirts. All the rest of time I used shorts and t-shirts. Cold UK clothing (jacket/jeans/jumper) were handy when the 'Movies Under the Stars' proved to be a bit nippy. Dining: We opted for the "Anytime Dining" option. We generally ate breakfasts from the "Cafe Caribe" buffet at about 7:30. The buffet was quiet at this time of the morning and we could always get a window seat or sit outside. Sometimes we had breakfast in our Mini-Suite (oh the decadence of it all). Lunches could prove very busy but, if you get your buffet from "Horizon Court" there was usually plenty of seating in "Cafe Caribe" We had dinner in either the "Island Dining Room" or from "Horizon Court". These did get very busy around 8pm. So we got into the routine of eating at around 5.30 to 6.30 then going to the show. There was always plenty of room at this time and it seemed to coincide with "happy hour" by a glass of wine and get another for $1. All the food we had was excellent. Entertainment etc: Keep an eye on the "Princess Patter" daily newsletter. We missed the first "Formal" night because we failed to spot the dress code notification. The shows in the "Princess Theatre" were a mixed bag. The "shows" were good, the singers were fairly good, speciality act "String Idols" good, comedians were very poor apart from "John Martin". I got a bit tired of the Art Auctions/Effy Jewellery sales which seemed to dominate proceedings. Crew: Unfailing polite and always there when you needed them. Only good things to say. Embarkation/Disembarkation: We used CPS to park our car - Brilliant, the holiday started as soon as we handed our keys over at Southampton and we didn't see our bags until we got on board. Getting on board is a breeze - almost a pleasure. Disembarkation was just as easy. We chose to carry our own bags off and our car was waiting for us just outside the CPS office. Our only real gripes was how crowded it seemed at times (especially around the pools with the lack of sun beds) and all the pesky kids. Unfortunately my wife works in school so we are stuck with school holidays. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Having nothing to compare the Caribbean Princess with and reading some of the reviews, I wondered what I had let myself in for. All I can say l was pleasantly surprised. Sure the Ships is looking a bit tired but she goes in for a refit ... Read More
Having nothing to compare the Caribbean Princess with and reading some of the reviews, I wondered what I had let myself in for. All I can say l was pleasantly surprised. Sure the Ships is looking a bit tired but she goes in for a refit next year. From the moment of embarkation (which was very quick and efficient) to the point of disembarkation (the only let down) we could find nothing to complain about. There were queues for the Anytime Dining, as we ate early I cannot state how long people waited, only to say we did not have to queue at 6pm. The food in all dining venues was good, the Crown Grill and Sabatini's being excellent and well worth the extra $25 per head. The entertainment was good, there were trivia challenges every evening and these were well supported, dancing, music, and shows. On sea days there was plenty to keep you entertained if you so wanted during the morning/afternoon. There was a problem with sunbeds, but l did see the deck attendants removing towels. The Captain was very informative and at times funny, especially the night we encountered strong winds. The only blot was disembarkation there were delays of up 30 mins and no reason given, subsequently we disembarked as the new passengers were embarking it was a bit chaotic in the terminal. That said we would definitely cruise on the Caribbean Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our first cruise. Firstly - embarkation process very easy, simple and much easier than checking in at an airport. Cabin was ready for us on arrival and our Steward was there to welcome us aboard. He was so helpful and kept ... Read More
This was our first cruise. Firstly - embarkation process very easy, simple and much easier than checking in at an airport. Cabin was ready for us on arrival and our Steward was there to welcome us aboard. He was so helpful and kept our room spotless. Balcony was lovely and spacious and a sun trap on lots of days so we took advantage of room service (food was included and only a $3 service charge payable). Took breakfast in our room several times which was also included and saved us having to get up too early!!! I purchased the all inclusive drinks package and it was well worth it (I drank californian champagne, Grey Goose Vodka and various cocktails) I definitely had my moneys worth (It worked out approximately £33 per day). We chose anytime dining and mainly chose the Coral Restaurant. We are quite antisocial (Not really), but preferred to have a table for 2 so had to take a pager most nights, but this was not a problem as we had one or two pre meal drinks and were paged within approx 15-20 minutes. Food was exceptional, lots of choice and service was prompt and professional in the restaurants - the waiting staff work so very hard. Plenty of space for socialising and lots going on during the day - we spent a lot of our evenings in Club Fusion and had a great laugh at some of quizzes and competitions. One evening we did not fancy getting dressed for dinner so took advantage of Movies under the stars, with blankets provided, ate popcorn and cookies and snacked from the Horizon Court Buffet. All in all a great experience for our first Cruise and we would not hesitate to book with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
The embarkation was a shambles. We had booked our first ever cruise to get away from Airport waiting lounges, a joke! Went from Queen Elizabeth 2 terminal. If her Majesty knew what had occurred here she would be horrified. One & half ... Read More
The embarkation was a shambles. We had booked our first ever cruise to get away from Airport waiting lounges, a joke! Went from Queen Elizabeth 2 terminal. If her Majesty knew what had occurred here she would be horrified. One & half hours of grief in a queue!! That aside which put us off day one, the ship was our first experience & overall enjoyable. Our stateroom was really handy mid-ships for access all over the place. Food was excellent, could not find any fault here. Non stop! Entertainment was generally great, a couple of naff acts but hey ho, give them the benefit of doubt. Lectures were most enjoyable. Service in all areas was faultless, especially our cabin maid, she was a gem. Princess shore excursions were a big rip off, used another service for these. Overall give this 8/10. 0/10 for the first bit. Could well use Princess again, maybe! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
As a kid, I had cruised on the old Matson luxury liners, this was a very different experience. Our first cruise, which fulfilled expectations and a few fears. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale and spent the might in a small motel without a ... Read More
As a kid, I had cruised on the old Matson luxury liners, this was a very different experience. Our first cruise, which fulfilled expectations and a few fears. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale and spent the might in a small motel without a shuttle. Not bad, but we could not get a taxi in the morning because of the music festival. Looked on google maps, hey, luggage has wheels, we can walk. And we did, stopping for a burger and a beer along the way. Very relaxing, and because we arrived a bit later for embarkation, there was no wait to board. Had to stop for the photograph, which was annoying as we were less than daisy fresh. We put out things in the stateroom, and went up to the Outrigger Bar to watch the ship get underway. Nice. At first we had trouble figuring out breakfast, but finally settled on room service most mornings. Croissants were good, but the breakfast sandwich and pastries were dry. Took us a couple days to get the hang of the schedule on the back of the Patter. I selected Traditional seating dinner, but it was so early we often only had a very light lunch or snack. We have a weird food sensitivity; the junior waiters were ill equipped to handle requests. One tried, but the other acted like it wasn't his problem. Fortunately the head waiter stepped in after we sent plates back, and showed up the menu for the next evening. He took our pre-orders each evening, and made sure we had a lovely dining experience. The food was excellent and often innovative. Loved the formal nights too, even though that meant bringing a checked bag. Horizon Court was okay, seating was hectic, but the staff was polite and attentive. Food was passable. Honestly, Golden Corral does as well (better in some cases), which is saying a lot as I don't like GC. The brand of yogurt was just awful, they should get a better quality. Edible would be nice. International Cafe was good, although again, dry pastries. We had a coffee card and used it up. The tea was top notch. We didn't drink onboard, too expensive for mediocre cocktails. Ship tap water is perfectly drinkable, we brought our own refillable bottles. Staff was friendly and polite overall, we had no problems save for the one junior waiter. Hubby was always recognized and greeted, but that may have been his daily bowtie in his long beard. Entertainment was well done and quite good. Didn't try MUS, but it sounded great. We attended the interesting art seminar, and a few others. Enjoyable, but the point is sales of one thing or another, so be aware. Watched food demonstrations, and games, all good fun. I browsed the art gallery daily; I love art. The shopping seminar was too long, I had to leave to get some fresh air. Everything available was the same in all places, it seemed. Most annoying thing: all the photographs. Stop here, pose, pose, pose. And then they want $20~25 for each photo. Ridiculous. Ours were nice enough I wouldn't have minded a few, but the prices were far too steep. If there was a thumdrive option, the staff didn't bother to explain it. Condition of the ship was good, clean, and on-going maintenance never stops. It is a hard working ship, silly to expect it to be pristine. We didn't disembark for Princess Cays, rather we stayed on board and explored the ship. The pools were very cold, so we spent a little time in the hot tubs. We walked around St. Maarten a bit, found the tiny National Museum and enjoy that. Tip: use the public restrooms in the casino, play the penny slots. St. Thomas was lovely; we enjoyed the Blackbeard's Castle tour. We plan to return, but for a week. Nassau was too short to see much, we went to the very funky Pirate Museum. Good bar, good drinks. Disembarkation: I felt weird leaving my bags in the passageway. They were still there after our early dinner, so we were able to pack our "dressy casual" clothes. We had arranged a tour, it was very organized where to go to get off the ship. Had a moment of panic with customs, we has made an expensive purchase and were pulled out of line and taken to "the room". Ended up okay as we skipped the lines! Tour of the Everglades (open marsh, not swamp) and the Flamingo Gardens was a pleasant way to kill time before our flight. They don't tell the folks doing a BTB that they can take those tours, but they can. The bus does return to the port. Returning on American Airlines was horrific, we were diverted, they broke our luggage, and so on. Terrible ending to a lovely vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband and I are in our early thirties and neither of us had ever been a cruise before. We decided to go with the Caribbean Princess. Here are my thoughts: Embarkation: It was tedious and stuffy in the terminal, but all things ... Read More
My husband and I are in our early thirties and neither of us had ever been a cruise before. We decided to go with the Caribbean Princess. Here are my thoughts: Embarkation: It was tedious and stuffy in the terminal, but all things considered it was smooth. Security was fast and the actual process of getting on the ship was quick. Dining: We did Anytime Dining. The food in the main dining room was, on the whole, very good. We only ate three meals there though, as it happened. The first night the food was great but we ended up having to share a table and the people we were seated with were kind of a snooze. The next time we ate at the dining room we decided to wait for a table for two. We ate at each of the specialty restaurants. Sabatini's was phenomenal - well worth the $25 cover. On the other hand, the Crown Grill was NOT worth a visit. The appetizers were not that good and the steaks were very disappointing. The decor was kind of dark and drab, even by steakhouse standards. The buffet was great. The setup was maybe a little crowded, but we had expected the worst after reading reviews and didn't see any huge problems. The pizza by the pool was amazing New York style pizza. I honestly could have eaten there for every meal! The ice cream at Scoops, on the other hand, was not very good. The soft ice cream was very liquid-y and the chocolate was too rich. One problem we had was that we had the unlimited soda plan but it was actually kind of difficult to obtain sodas. The wait staff at the buffet area was not very diligent about refills, and if you order at the grill or pizzeria you have to go to a separate bar to get your sodas. Seems like something they should work on. Finally, the afternoon tea was lovely; one of the best parts of the trip! Cabin: We had a balcony on the Lido deck. We found that our room was perfectly comfortable for two people and were not bothered by noise. Entertainment: We went to three different shows. The first night we saw the comedian, Robbie Printz, for his short introductory show. He was funny, but we ended up missing his longer program because I was too tired. We saw the Caribbean Princess Singers/Dancers in two different shows. One was "Piano Man", a medley based on the music of Billy Joel and Elton John, etc. We thought it was a lot of fun! They did another show based on a cross-country road trip that was not quite as good. It was loud and kind of disjointed, but the performers were enthusiastic and I thought they sold the program pretty well. Service: Mostly good. Our room steward was fantastic and the bartenders were good. The staff at Sabatini's was the best. Disembarkation: Flawless! Quick, smooth and painless. Why can't airport security be more like this? Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The Caribbean Princess is an older ship and this is precisely why she is so amazing. I've never cruised before and one of the most important factors is finding one's way around a large floating city. From what I understand, newer ... Read More
The Caribbean Princess is an older ship and this is precisely why she is so amazing. I've never cruised before and one of the most important factors is finding one's way around a large floating city. From what I understand, newer ships are not as well appointed or marked. This ship is very well marked and we rarely got lost after the first day- the carpet on the port side of the ship (our side) had a red border (Starboard was blue) which really helped us find our way home. The staff was sincere and friendly, the activities and entertainment fun and thank goodness because we had horrible weather and rough seas. This is a really good ship for newbies. The spa is relaxing and offers many services, they are polite and capable, the food was great no matter where we ate (except on Princess Cays- the food was similar to wedding reception food.) Wine selection at the Vine bar excellent. Ask for Tatiana and Raoul! I wish we could have used our little balcony more, but the weather did not permit. I felt like the staff is all settled in and everything was easy and comfortable I loved it. I never felt like I had to "sit up too straight," although in the formal dining room, our waiter did put a napkin on my daughter's lap because she forgot. The maître de sang for us and it was all so crazy and wonderful. I wish our cruise was longer. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was my first experience cruising and as I type this I am not sure if I will ever venture on another cruise but I am sure it would not be with Princess Caribbean. The ship itself was nice. I was impressed with the size and how, even ... Read More
This was my first experience cruising and as I type this I am not sure if I will ever venture on another cruise but I am sure it would not be with Princess Caribbean. The ship itself was nice. I was impressed with the size and how, even for the amount of people on the ship, we never found a crowded room. We were upgraded to a fully obstructed view from an IR, however there was a light shining on the life boat outside our window all night long, so while we expected some nice natural light during the day, the artificial light at night really was annoying. That's fine though, we learned to close the shades. I was not prepared for ALL the activities aboard the ship to be geared towards the elderly. All day each day it was bingo, Sudoku, art auctions, karaoke, knitters club, more bingo, trivia, etc. So my DH and I had nothing to do each day but eat, drink, and sit by the pool. Normally that would be fine but the bartenders were overwhelmed at times and downright indifferent other times. The drinks were weak, and I found myself ordering a specialty drink, then ordering a shot to add to it. Both my DH and I got the all inclusive drink package, but we saw people getting lesser packages and getting free gifts (like a travel mug or cup) but there was no free gift for our drink package which I felt was ridiculous. If I'm going to spend the most why cant I have a cup too? SMH. The food was mediocre at best. The burger and pizza places were as expected. The buffet was bland and the menu was not clearly posted. The MDR was slow and stuffy and the food was hit or miss. I was served a fruit compote which was just a few slices of canned peaches, one canned fig, and one slice canned pear. I ordered a lobster bisque that was horrible and another guest at our table ordered the Rum Infused Pina Colada soup which came in a daiquiri glass with a straw and she said it was lukewarm and weird. I was also disappointed in how the shows overlapped with dinner. The only time of the day when we had something to do (go to the MDR, or see the early show) so we had to choose carefully, and being our first cruise, we missed out a lot. Also, the late show overlapped with the night club opening. And since Skywalkers was only open from 10am until about 1am, we learned to sleep in late (cause who cares if we miss bingo?) so that we could try to enjoy ourselves more at night. That being said, we were also upset that EVERYWHERE we went, they were trying to get us to spend more money. Bingo cards would cost us, watch sales, jewelry sales, souvenier sales, etc. etc. crowded the piazza. Art auctions and the casino.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We took the 5/4 Back to Back cruise (Cozumel & Costa Maya, then back to Ft. Lauderdale, then Grand Turk). As this was my first cruise, I hoped for great things. Since we are no strangers to travel (Europe, Canada, Jamaica, across the ... Read More
We took the 5/4 Back to Back cruise (Cozumel & Costa Maya, then back to Ft. Lauderdale, then Grand Turk). As this was my first cruise, I hoped for great things. Since we are no strangers to travel (Europe, Canada, Jamaica, across the US), I think I have reasonable expectations. I expected clean accommodations, friendly staff, good food with good variety and an adequate amount of entertainment. Since I booked with the cruise line that bills itself as "The Consummate Host', I crossed my fingers and hoped I was right. 1) The staterooms were clean, easy to navigate, and well maintaned (Aloha 403 and 407). The room steward (Samuel) was pleasant and other than one request for additional towels, I never needed to contact him again. I consider this a good experience with the room staff anywhere I travel. The showers leave a lot to be desired, but I've stayed in hotels in Paris where they weren't any bigger, so I wasn't surprised or put off by this - it's just a fact. If you are over 6'2" and 250 lbs (like my hubby), you WILL find this challenging to negotiate - LOL. 2) Friendly staff. Here is where Princess failed me - and in a BIG way. Other than the room steward, our best experiences were at dinner in the Palm Dining room. Charlene and Remo were very good - after the first couple of days, they began anticipating our habits and were overall very pleasant to engage with. Hector was a pleasure and added some enjoyment to dinner. Otherwise, I felt disappointed with the rest of the staff. The bartenders in the Wheelhouse Lounge were good, elsewhere, mostly rude or abrupt. The Calypso bar was the worst. After 8pm, they were doing us a favor serving us most of the time. I also do not understand why purchasing an unlimited beverage package for kids meant they could only get drinks at the bar. Once the bars closed at 11pm, I had to go to the Skywalker's Lounge (21+ only) to get soda for them or else pay room service $2 per soda. Since my kids are 15 and 17, this was a nuisance, to say the least. Why they don't put a self-serve soda machine that gets activated by swiping your room card or something, I have no idea. The morning crew in the buffet dining rooms and on the pool deck were hit & miss about bringing coffee, juice, silverware, etc. Some days, I just got it myself. If they bring you coffee, they put the cream in for you and it's not enough. If you ask for more cream, they are exasperated or rude. (Perhaps they were rationing it - LOL). Once, my daughter and husband encountered the captain and another crew member while waiting for the elevator (just the 4 of them) - they were never acknowledged. We had multiple issues with the room cards having to be re-done (no, I didn't have them with my cell phone - we left them home...just some glitch, since it was only the first 2 days), and the member services personnel got them screwed up when they re-made them so that my son's ID was no longer attached to his room card (a rude discovery when you're trying to disembark at a port of call). Someone at Member Services entered my son's CC info with the wrong expiration date when he pre-paid for his gratuities & beverage package, creating a huge issue whereby I had to call the bank, only to have them inform me it was the cruise ship personnel's error - which took 2 members of management to explain to the representative in front of me, who kept insisting he needed to switch to using my account. My husband called and made reservations for 3 of us to go to the special Crab Shack dinner; when we arrived at the time we were given, the maitre'd informed me we had no such reservation and did not want to seat us. Since we had to pay extra and the place wasn't even half full, I didn't see why it took him 10 minutes to agree to seat us. None of these issues by themselves are dealbreakers, but taken as a whole, I just felt like I spent a lot of time on minor aggravations each day, and isn't that why we go on vacation in the first place - we have enough of that already? 3) The food. Dinner was great - while I am something of a foodie and thought some dishes were a little bland, that is purely a personal preference thing. I gave the dinner menu a 10. There was great variety, and every dish was prepared well with quality food and as it should be. (Steaks ordered medium rare came that way, etc.) The desserts were excellent - in fact, one of the items is on my personal "top 5 best desserts" that I've ever eaten. The buffets had a large variety catering to a wide group of nationalities, so there was something for everyone. People IN the buffet line frequently lacked buffet etiquette (ping ponging back and forth like they were in a pinball machine), but that has nothing to do with the cruise line. They do like to take up the breakfast buffet a little early in the Horizon buffet - sometimes 25 minutes before closing you couldn't get some items refilled, but otherwise, no real complaints. The pizza place and the popcorn/milkshake stand are quite good, also. If I had to criticize, it would be the International Cafe. There is a VERY limited selection and it doesn't really change - same 4 sandwiches, same 2-3 salads, rotating desserts. Since this is your only 24-hour choice, you can get tired of these options pretty quick. Room service is fairly limited also, but prompt. Most hotels we've stayed in have larger selection, though. 4) Entertainment - We saw the comedian, he was funny and clean. The kids even enjoyed him. There were a lot of art auctions and "sales" that we weren't interested in, but there was also some cute trivia games and a couple of shows. The guy singing in the Piano bar was very good and drew a large crowd. Movies under the stars was cute, they had all the NFL games satellited in, which was great, and I didn't go to be constantly entertained, so I was totally good with relaxing a lot, reading, etc. The jacuzzis weren't hot, though - lukewarm at best, and the deck attendant mumbled his explanation to me twice so I quit asking why. The destinations were fine - we enjoyed them all -- especially Grand Turk. If you've not been to the islands before, you might be a little put off by the catcalls, sales pitches and general "pushiness" of some of the vendors hawking their wares -- just ignore them and keep walking...they're used to it.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We just got back from our first cruise celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary on the beautiful Caribbean Princess. Our initial itinerary was to leave Ft Lauderdale to Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St Thomas and Grand Turk. But Hurricane ... Read More
We just got back from our first cruise celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary on the beautiful Caribbean Princess. Our initial itinerary was to leave Ft Lauderdale to Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St Thomas and Grand Turk. But Hurricane Gonzalo changed that to Princess Cays, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We drove down to Ft Lauderdale on Friday the 10th, checked into the Best Western (old, clean, cheap) and asked the desk downstairs for a recommendation on where to eat, he suggested we drive down a couple of miles to Hollywood Blvd and check out the downtown restaurant and bar area. So we did, found a place to park and started walking. Lots of people out and about, everykind of bar and restaurant you could find. We weren't really sure what we wanted so we were just strolling. Stopped in front of a place called Whiskey Tango Bar and Grill; it was very busy, the US Men's soccer was playing on a big screen.... ok lets give it a try. Superb... highly recommend. Great food great service. A classic bar and grill in a rennovated brick building, nothing fancy but some mighty fine grub. Potato Skins, Blackened Mahi Mahi sandwich/fries and the wife had stuffed burger that was delicious. Great start to our week. We needed to turn in the rental car to the Budget rental car on 17th by 9:00am, so we get there and bam we were loaded up on the shuttle and at the port by 8:35am. We are way early,but I didn't care as I could now see the Caribbean Princess and my dream trip is about to begin. Several Princess Cruise line employees stopped and chatted with us, explaining it would be a while... no problem to us as we were first in line for standard check in. They started letting Elite passengers in at 10:15 and we were in bout 10:45 and onboard at 11:45. Went straight to our cabin, Aloha 638 Balcony. Very pleased with the room, actually a bit bigger than I imagined. Really nice. We changed into our swimsuits (that we had in our carryon bags, great suggestion as our bags weren't delievered to the room till about 4:00. Guess that happens when they are first on.) and proceeded to the aft pool area. Cindy and I got lounges right at the center rear rail.... WE ARE ONBOARD AND THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING. Relieve just sits in. We hang out the pool till Muster call ( They should have more than 1 bartender working ..... waited 40 minutes to order some drinks). Muster call went as I had read. Not reason to take life jackets with you, took about 35 minutes for the all clear message. We went back to our room and did sailaway from our balcony. Perfect. We had anytime dining, ate at the Coral Dining room. Food and service were good. Not blow me away good but good. Sunday: Princess Cays. Loved it. The tender was a peace of cake, don't know what the big deal was with some of the stories I had read on here. Found us a clamshell that I had reserved down by the snorkeling area. Just a perfect beach day. Water was wonderful.... what I had always read and dreamed about and more. Lunch buffett was good. Frozen drinks were good, again just a perfect beach day. Crown Grill: We decided to celebrate our anniversary dinner in the Crown Grill. FANTASTIC. Best dining experience of the trip. Service was top notch, food fantastic. Our service "Sam-U-El" was really good. Highly recommend spending the $25 a person for this meal. Monday: Sea Day Woke up to beautiful skies, a trip down to International Cafe for some coffees and danish/doughnuts and watch the sunrise from our balcony. This room service delivered breakfast about 8:00am. Loved sitting on the balcony. I had reserved a couples massage online 8 weeks before for 10:00am. We get to the Lotus Spa and they don't have us listed. It is on my boarding pass, it has been on my Princess for 8 weeks. Not really happy about that and was really ticked off by the Spa Mgt attitude: "Oh you did that online, that doesn't work" while we were standing there another couple came up with a reservation and were told the same thing, So we rescheduled to Friday morning. Trip change... Captain comes on the PA and announces our itinerary change... really dissappointed at first. All these hours reading, planning the perfect trip and excursions for naught. But hey we are on a beautiful vessell on a beautiful day and I am with a beautiful lady... no problem. We spend the rest of the day at the pool, tanning and watching Cuba pass by in the distance. Perfect. Formal dinner at a shared table. Met some really nice folks, very good dinner and dessert. Nice night Tuesday: Ochos Rios So with the change we did Princess Excursions. No idea of what to do so we picked out the Shaw Garden, Shaw Beach Resort and Dunn River Falls excursion. Had a great day. The tour guide Beverly was top notch, airconditioned bus. The gardens were beautiful, the beach resort was older but what a beautiful day. Bought lunch there on the beach. Then off to Dunn River Falls where we climbed the falls. Great memories. Made it back to the ship... one of the last to board. Our philsophy of "first off last on" continued. Dinner at the buffett... good food. Nothing oh wow but it was good. Wednesday: Grand Cayman Took the tender off as soon as we could after enjoying room service breakfast and sunrise. Georgetown was packed as there were 6 ships in port. Yes 6. We had scheduled with Princess the "Tiki Beach Club Excursion"; a/c ride down 7 mile beach to the "resort". Another beautiful day in Paradise. We spent about 2 and half hours there then caught the bus back to the port. We were starving so we went to Margaritaville and ordered lunch at 2:30 .... last tender at 3:15. Got worried for a few minutes but our appitizer sampler came and man it hit the spot. Got on the Tender at 3:05. "First off Last on" continues Wednesday dinner: Coral anytime with shared table. Again nice tablemates, good food. Thursday: Cozumel Scheduled the Tulum Ruins tour. A 40 minute ferry ride to Playa Del Carmen (not rough but guess it could be at times) then met our tour guide and a walk thru town to our tour bus. A hour ride to Tulum Mayan ruins. Man it was hot hot hot and pretty good walk but oh was it worth it. What a neat place and a breathtaking view. Our guide was really good. We got about an hour to walk around on our on and then headed back to the bus. Had the best Mexican food ever at a local restaurant "Mr Frosty's". I mean really good. Long ride back, long ferry ride back and we were getting on board at 5:10, all aboard scheduled 5:15 "First off last on" continues Thursday dinner: Formal night. We asked for a table for 2 but they sit us a table for 2 seperated by 4 inches of another table for 2. Kinda awkward but they were cool. Dinner was good, lobster and prawns. Friday Sea Day Room service breakfast on the balcony 8:00am Couples Massage.... my first but good lord I see why folks like massages. Rest of the day on deck by the pool... about 80 degreees blue skies with a 15mph wind. PERFECT AGAIN Spent 6 and half hours on the deck. Dinner Island table for 2 but again for 4 with the little gap between tables Saturday: Disemarkation was easy. We had to wait for us to called down but we waiting on our shuttle at 9.15. That is another story. Entertainment: Toby Reilly. Repeat Toby Relilly.... young guitarist, singer songwriter.... our favorite of the week. Saw him several times. Very talented. Must see if you like great guitar and smooth vocals. Skywalkers: went a couple of nights, my wife likes to dance and I really don't but we had fun. Doesn't get started to 10:00 and really cranked up about 11:30 (past my bed time) Shows: I watched part of the comedian but he wasn't my cup of tea so I left. Never went to see the other shows. Didn't hear anything good from those that had went and frankly we ran out of time. Bert had a big crowd listening to him but we didn't linger very long. One night we were walking by Explorers and heard singing.... thought it might be karoke but no it was the performer.... not good. Casino: we aren't gamblers but it was busy every night. Food: Food was good. Crown Grill was excellent. The other restaurants were all good and maybe my expectations were too high but they were just good and I don't mean that disrespectfully. The service in the restaurants was good, very attentive to our needs. Very enjoyable. Steward: She was wonderful, her name is May and I think the she exemplifies what great customer service should be. Sweet caring lady. Really glad we met her. Staff: Everyone (except the Spa Manager) was top notch. Ship: Was beautiful. My first cruise so what do I know? It was clean, it was beautiful. Oh the elevators had issues from time to time. But no big deal, just wait a few minutes longer. Vibration: There was a distinct vibration felt througout the week, in our cabin A638, in the restaurants, on the aft deck. Didn't bother me but the vibration was there. (seems to be a topic of discussion on here) Drink package: I don't drink alcohol so I got the unlimited soda and more package. I think I got my money's worth, I tried every mocktail they made, several times. I never actually drank a soda all week. Lot of coffee, tea and mocktails. My wife had a few drinks during the day and a bottle of wine that lasted a few nights. Coffee Card: Only has 4 punches on it... guess I will have to use it again but the coffees were good. Summary: First cruise was fantastic. Yes our trip went from Eastern to Western but it was still awesome. The weather was PERFECT all week. We laughed, we danced, we ate, we chilled and enjoyed each other's company. Just a fabulous week. I wanted to pinch myself all week, it was all so surreal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was my first cruise, although I am well-travelled on land based vacations. I traveled with my husband and 6 yo daughter. We are mid-40's and tend to be independent style travelers. We have stayed away from cruising, worried that ... Read More
This was my first cruise, although I am well-travelled on land based vacations. I traveled with my husband and 6 yo daughter. We are mid-40's and tend to be independent style travelers. We have stayed away from cruising, worried that it would be too mass-market, crowded, rowdy or just plain boring. It took me 10 years to get my husband to agree to a cruise, and now he is a complete convert! We even signed up for a future cruise while still on board. Caribbean Princess is a beautiful ship and felt just large enough to be interesting and small enough to get around easily. We booked a mini-suite, which gave us ample room for the 3 of us to spread out. The balcony showed some wear and tear, but we were not at all concerned about that. The bathroom tile could also use updating, but no big deal. There are no rock-climbing walls, or surf-riders, golf, which may be an issue for some people but not for me. I wanted to relax... I found the entire maritime experience fascinating and exciting. I especially enjoyed watching the logistics of loading the supplies, getting the gangway operational, the coast guard sail away, etc. Everything went off without a hitch. The line at the buffet was huge on embarkation day but other than that, there was never any waiting. I found the food to be quite good in the buffet. Basic staples like lox, eggs, sausage and bacon along with a nice selection of fruits and pastry for breakfast. I would have liked some fruits from our ports of call (mango, coconut water, guinep, soursop). We enjoyed the pizza by the pool and lunch buffet was also good. We ate in the main dining room for dinner which was very good- enjoyed the escargot especially. We had dinner in the Crown Grill and Sabatini's which we thoughts were both worth the extra $25pp cover charge. My filet mignon was perfectly cooked as was my husband's lobster at the Crown. Veal chop and Tuscan steak was also terrific at Sabatini's. We enjoyed a bottle of champagne at Vines- and our waiter corked it for us and held it so we could enjoy it for dinner that evening. All we had to do was ask the waiter to retrieve our bottle from Vines, and there it appeared in the main dining room. I did hear a few people complain about the food, and I honestly don't know what they were expecting. I'm a self-admitted "foodie" and although I didn't think the buffet wasn't gourmet, there were ample fresh choices and plenty of options on board. I thought Crown Grill was a bit better than Sabatini's but I'm of Italian heritage so it's hard to impress me with Italian food. Nevertheless- I thought Sabatini's was still very good. My daughter loved the kids club and couldn't wait to go every morning and after dinner. They kept the kids busy and active which allowed my husband and I to enjoy some adult time. My daughter had no interest in eating dinner with us, so I knew she was super-happy playing with the other kids at their "dinner parties". We signed up for the thermal spa for the week ($150 for two of us), and while we did use it a lot, it wasn't worth the price in my opinion. I had one session of acupuncture which was quite expensive in my opinion at $179 (after the service charge). My husband had a man's facial which he describes as "average". We didn't try the serenity lounge, since we had spent a lot of money at the spa. I might try that next time instead of the spa. Ports were lovely. We booked excursions with princess which I wouldn't do again. Too many people, and disorganized especially in Cozumel. This was a place where we would have been better off doing our own thing. This was not the fault of Princess- rather just the result of large group tours. I didn't go to any shows, as I was pretty tired at the end of the day. My husband loved movies under the stars and went most nights while I slept. Overall it was a great cruise- such a relaxing experience. We were never bored for sure- there was really something for everyone going on at all times. We already booked our New Year's vacation on Regal Princess and can't wait to set sail!!!!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This review is based upon no previous cruising experience so take it for what it is worth. We had a great time and any information below is not negative feedback, just info to help make your cruise its best During this cruise we stayed in ... Read More
This review is based upon no previous cruising experience so take it for what it is worth. We had a great time and any information below is not negative feedback, just info to help make your cruise its best During this cruise we stayed in Baja 706, a balcony room at the aft of the ship right off the elevators. The room was a good size, the closet was big, and the bathroom was functional. We never experienced any disruptive noise due to our proximity to the elevator. In fact, it was very convenient. We used the balcony for a few breakfasts, afternoon drinks, and champagne in the evening. For dinner we chose traditional dining at 8:15. We loved it. The service was fantastic and relaxed. We heard other people state that the 5:15 dinner was rushed but since there is no seating after the 8:15 people would dine until 10:00 or 10:30. In the Palm Dining Room we had dinner entertainment as the head waiter was a phenomenal singer. According to the staff, only the Palm on Caribbean Princess has this entertainment and only as long as Hector works there. We tried the buffet once but found it crowded, hot, and smokey. Cigarette smoke from the aft deck would flow directly into the buffet when the doors to the deck opened. Overall we really enjoyed the dining experience but the food was not amazing; good but not great. The pools were nice and we loved sitting in the pool on our first sea day watching a movie. There was no need to pay for seating in the sanctuary as there was plenty of seating on deck and the sanctuary pool is open for all adult passenger use. Princess heavily marketed their Ultimate Drink package at $53 per day. This package would have cost us over $700. As an alternative my wife and I purchased the Unlimited Soda and More package at $8 per day for a total of $112. Add to that four 375ml bottles of rum delivered to our room via Princess Cellars for $68 and we got our drink package for $180 total. Yes, the rules state that alcohol delivered to rooms must be consumed in the room, but not a single server cared when we pulled out a flask. We also carried our champagne on board. Beware, there is lots of confusion on board and at Princess Cays about drink packages. Some people got service at Princess Cays with their drink package and others did not The shows in Princess Theater were average but fun. However the entertainment in other venues was laughable, literally. The first night we stopped to watch karaoke in the Explorers'. The lady wasn't too bad; a little off tune and not quite with the beat--but good on her for getting up there. WAIT!! It turns out that was the band "Passion"--good grief. By the end of the cruise they were moved and the really good piano player and singer was moved from Crooners to the larger Explorers' venue. Wish there had been dancing that was not the techno thumping Skywalkers. Here are some other quick tips to help. 1. Bring water shoes to Princess Cays. Once in the water there are lots of rocks. Also, be careful as the bottom is very uneven. Finally, be careful if you go on the banana boat. Many people got hurt riding it. It was very rough when we went and people got bloody noses from flying into each other. 2. The river tubing in Ocho Rios is unbelievable. The crystal clear river and landscape must be experienced. 3. Visit Stingray City in Grand Cayman but save snorkeling for Cozumel. 4. The Salsa y Salsa excursion in Cozumel must not be missed. A raucous good time and great beach. Overall we were incredibly impressed with the service and that the ship never felt crowded. The ship was sold out and there was still lots of room to do activities or just sit and enjoy the day. We have heard other ships are fancier but this one was well kept, clean, and not ostentatious. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My mom and I went on the 7 day cruise with 4 Ports (more later) We stayed in a hotel close by with transportation to the port which was very convenient. We had an amazing lobster dinner that night at the Ruskin Inn (highly recommend ... Read More
My mom and I went on the 7 day cruise with 4 Ports (more later) We stayed in a hotel close by with transportation to the port which was very convenient. We had an amazing lobster dinner that night at the Ruskin Inn (highly recommend great value). The next morning we had a nice leisurely light breakfast at our Hotel the Fairfield Inn who also provided transportation to the port (very organized) Once we arrived at the port we stood in line for about 20 minutes but it went rather quick. Our cabin was ready once we boarded so we were excited to check it out and put away our carryon's. We loved our cabin mainly because of the nice large balcony, aft location and walk in closet! (C752). Buffet was complete with a great selection so you had your choice of pretty much anything you wanted to eat. Very well organized and service was fantastic, as the wait staff anticipated all your possible needs. We enjoyed our assigned dining experience as we enjoyed visiting with a very nice family who ate with us. We also enjoyed getting to know our Maître d' and the staff and they even got to know our tastes offering some fabulous recommendations! I think my mom had a secret crush on him. We also loved the serenades during dinner from our consummate host Hector, truly loved our dining experiences every night food and entertainment was tops! Our first port was Princess Cays and we signed up for the tour of the Island and Colleen was a very informative, kind tour guide. We enjoyed many stops including a beautiful church on the beach in Eluethera. We fed the fish at the Ocean Hole at Rock Sound. Our final stop was for lunch on the beach and was good. My mom enjoyed dancing the Junkanoo with the locals right on the white sand beach and beautiful blue waters. It was an absolutely wonderful excursion and well worth the money. We lunched at Vines where they had some delicious sushi & tapas and wine tasting. The service here was a bit slow but we're on vacation so no worries! Enjoyed the entertainment on the ship too especially the Piazza flamenco Express!! We tried out the casino and had some fun but didn't have much luck winning any jackpots! We loved the Champagne waterfalls and all the festivities in the Piazza! We thoroughly enjoyed relaxing in the Sanctuary on at sea days. We didn't leave the ship at Ochos Rios but went on an amazing excursion at Grand Cayman Islands! Our guide Native Way Watersports (booked through cruise) was by far one of the top highlights of our trip. We went snorkeling, swam and held stingrays, shopping, lunch and even got our hair braided. Very well ran tour with a small group from our cruise. Highly recommend this tour guide. Really enjoyed formal nights on the cruise, great opportunity to get dressed up!! Princess does a great job of making it a very special evening with a 6 course lobster dinner and all the best entertainment! Our last port was Cozumel and we booked the VIP Dolphin Encounter at Chankanaab which was very exciting once we were in the water. There's a lot of waiting around with this tour (2 hours) We were in the water for about and hour and got to interact with the Dolphins which made all the waiting well worth it. It was truly a magical experience learning how to interact with the Dolphins!! My mom is not a swimmer and they made sure she felt comfortable and helped her with the push, boogie board, etc..(They said she was the oldest participant so far at 78, lol) We both loved it!! We had a great lunch after at the venue La Laguna and took a taxi back to port to board the ship. easy peasy! We also did a lot of shopping here, great bargains to be found I can't say enough about how much we enjoyed Princess, if you want to relax, enjoy new sites, great food and impeccable service Princess is for you! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Just a bit of background info on me and my cruising experience. I'm 44 and my wife is 39. We also traveled with our children, my son is 15 and daughter is 14. We have been on most of the major cruise lines including Carnival, Disney, ... Read More
Just a bit of background info on me and my cruising experience. I'm 44 and my wife is 39. We also traveled with our children, my son is 15 and daughter is 14. We have been on most of the major cruise lines including Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and now Princess. This was our first Princess cruise. I booked it primarily because I wanted to try a new cruise line and really didn't know much about Princess. I guess the best place to start a review is at the beginning. Keep in mind, that this review is all based on my own personal opinion and experiences. My ratings are simple. 5 star is the best and 1 the worst. EMBARKATION: 4 Stars We got to the port pretty early (around 11:30 AM). The check-in process was relatively simple. I did ask the counter guy to hole punch the cards for our lanyards. Surprisingly, he said he didn't have a hole puncher. He told me to go to the boutique once I got on board. CABIN: 2 Stars We booked a really cheap inside cabin R732. I selected it primarily because of its location to a small pool on the back of the ship called the terrace pool. When we arrived at our cabin (we were pleasantly surprised when we were told it would be ready as soon as we boarded), the room steward was in the cabin working on it. We walked in just to set our bags down and encountered the first issue of the cruise. The beds were in a twin configuration and I told her that wasn't going to work for us. I explained that we were a married couple and we slept together. She proceeded to call her supervisor. The supervisor told her he would meet us at 1:00 pm. We checked out the ship and came back at 1:00 pm. We waited for about 15 minutes and nobody showed up. At that point, I proceeded to rearrange the beds myself. We unpacked and left the cabin. A few hours later we came back to the room and the supervisor happened to see us. I asked why he wasn't there at 1:00 pm, and I was told he had an emergency (thanks for communicating that fact to me at 1:00). He said that typically Princess had its passengers sign a safety waiver before pushing the beds together, but I didn't need to worry about doing that. He explained it was no problem and left. Overall the cabin was about as tight and cramped as any cruise ship that we've ever been on. The only place to sit down was the bed. I don't expect much from an inside cabin, but this cabin was more like a closet. One other note that seemed to agitate me more as the cruise progressed....the room steward kept her cleaning trolley parked outside my room for most of the cruise, which meant having to squeeze beside it and look at it the entire time. Ships Appearance and Cleanliness: 2 Stars This might have been my biggest issue on the entire cruise. We felt the ship was just dirty. Missing end caps on rails, windows that looked like they needed to have windex, carpet that was frayed, little pieces of trash in various places on the ship. The most eye opening event was the "Ultimate Deck Party". The deck was trashed...covered in food trays, beer bottles, etc. and it STAYED that way until the next morning. I know of no cruise line that wouldn't clean up at the completed of a party event. Several other passengers were heard commenting that the ship just seemed dirty. One person even said she felt like she needed a tetanus shot. The odd thing is that the ship is only 10 years old and just came out of dry dock two weeks ago. It just doesn't make sense unless the employees aren't cleaning as they should. Outside of the cleanliness, the ship seemed very pedestrian to us. It did not have the opulence of any ship that we've sailed on. It just seemed very plain to us. FOOD AND SERVICE: 4 Stars We felt the food was very good for a cruise line. We greatly enjoyed having the buffet open until 11 pm. The servers were very friendly and would ask it you needed water or tea almost immediately. Another strange note about the bar service...we never once had a waiter ask us if we needed a cocktail. We found it very strange. We don't like Carnival's pushiness on the drinks, but we really would have liked someone to take our drink order. Perhaps the oddest food issue on the entire cruise is that chicken fingers were only available in the dining room or by special request. We had never been on a cruise line that didn't have chicken fingers available next to the hamburgers and hot dogs. Princess also pulled up all the upper deck loungers at 8 pm. It was frustrating. ENTERTAINMENT: 2 Stars Almost non-existent or very poor. Clearly this wasn't a party cruise, but it seemed the average age was around 60 and most preferred to watch the "Movies Under the Stars", which was heavily promoted. The lack of music was astounding. It was much too quiet for our tastes and several guests made the same comments to me. The performers in the main Princess theater were so bad that we didn't stay throughout the performance. On a positive note, Skywalkers was very cool. We had hoped for an 80's music night, but it didn't happen. Princess seems to cater to the older crowd and I'm sure most on the board already knew that, but I didn't. OVERALL RATING 2.5 Stars There were too many issues for us to consider a cruise with Princess for a while. Maybe in another 20 years, I'll be ready to curl up under a blanket each night for a movie, but not yet. I need to hear a little pitbull, I need to feel that cruise vibe. The buffet lines were too small, the ship was cut up in a way that made it feel small to us. We just didn't like the ship....oh and btw, where were my damn towel animals? :)   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Sailed for cruise sites in Cosumel and Roatan and Belize we embarked on Saturday 25 Jan. A couple good days in the sun, but on Monday both of my sisters became very ill.(gastrointestinal..Captain announced that night that there was in ... Read More
Sailed for cruise sites in Cosumel and Roatan and Belize we embarked on Saturday 25 Jan. A couple good days in the sun, but on Monday both of my sisters became very ill.(gastrointestinal..Captain announced that night that there was in fact, Rotovirus on the ship. Told every one to wash hands with soap and water and we noticed that procedures changed in the buffet. Visitors were required to use hand sanitizer and food was handed to the patrons by crew members. Scuttlebut on ship said that there were in excess of 90 cases, this was Monday. Once reported the girls were quarantined to their rooms, Husbands however could come and go from that room. Some quarantine! Upon being visited by the Ship Doctor or nurses, it was never made clear, a shot and the next day a bill for $130.00. Tuesday night the captain of the ship announced that we would not visit Belize but would return to port, BECAUSE OF HEAVY FOG IN THE HARBOUR. A quick google indicated that there was no fog, port was closed on previous Tuesday and Wednesday. Medical personnel told my sister that she brought the virus from the hotel, despite the fact that there was up to 24 hours of incubation for this virus, numbers did not add up. It was apparent that Princess was taking no responsibility, were very disingenuous and that we were basically out the cost for the trip. After the announcement of turning back, the cruise was basically over. Ship personnel were serious, constantly wiping up and generally very quiet. Friday morning we were told to disembark, I did not know even at that date to which hotel I would be going and only found out after I had disembarked. They delivered us to the Sheraton Hotel in Houston where were held in a holding area until rooms were ready.(6 hours) Of course we had to buy our own food which would normally have been furnished by ship. What credit did we receive for this disruption of a much anticipated vacation, one day per diem (1/7th of cruise cost) and a promise of 20% on next cruise. They said CDC ( Center for Disease Control) would visit the ship on Friday. Must of been a quick visit, the ship sailed for the Western Caribbean on Saturday with a whole new visitor roster. They too could be collateral damage for Princess Cruises to maintain their PR Status. Houston Newspaper, indicated 176 visitors and 12 crew members infected. No one can really maintain that a trip, one stop removed and 1 day short, constant stress from not really knowing, no real information about the sickness,/status, this is not a vacation Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Terminal: wasy drive to terminal in Pasadena Texas.  The line was long at 4:00 pm but moved quickly. The ship: tastefully decorated not tacky. Showing a little wear but you really really have to look for it. Food: the food was better ... Read More
Terminal: wasy drive to terminal in Pasadena Texas.  The line was long at 4:00 pm but moved quickly. The ship: tastefully decorated not tacky. Showing a little wear but you really really have to look for it. Food: the food was better than I expected. I personally found the seafood better than the other main course options. After all. I am sure the items are frozen items( for the length of this cruise and the amount of people being served.) After the first day I always went with the waiter recomendations and was satisfied with everything. (Be adventurous, if you don't like it send back and order something different) someone told me the food in dinning room was same as specialty restaurants no this is not true for this ship. One of the best meals I had was in the crown grill. We were anytime dinning and a large group most nights 16 . I think that getting seated would have been easier had we chose either first or second seating. Keep in mind if you want to stay in port till you have to board and you like to freshen up before dinner second seating is best option for you. Service: everyone we encountered were both friendly and polite. (Unlike the fellow passenger that ridiculed my husband's dialect one morning.) We are in our 40's most passengers looked like they were older than us. The music being played in the pizza area and piano bar area seemed perfect for our age group. We were also pleased with the entertainment in the princess theater. There was a cold front during our cruise and myself and several other passengers became sick the day before we returned. (4-7.5) waves. We were in cabin A215 balcony.this was toward front on starboard side. Not sure if my location on board caused me to be sick because I did go to breakfast and walk around the ship before I became sick. My husband went to the horizon court buffet and the man in charge gave him a tray of green apples plain potato chips and crackers for lunch along with ginger ale from calypso bar. It passed in a few hours and was able to attend dinner and eat with no problems. Arrival in Port went fine everything smoothly and quickly.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
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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