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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Everything was incredible!! They make you feel like family and you never want to leave the ship! The food was world class and the service on the ship was otherworldly, the drinks on board were incredible and allowed you to venture into a ... Read More
Everything was incredible!! They make you feel like family and you never want to leave the ship! The food was world class and the service on the ship was otherworldly, the drinks on board were incredible and allowed you to venture into a whole other culture and a whole other world of excitement! It is a wonderful mix of people and every passenger on board was so fun and excited and so sweet to everyone else. The stage shows that they put on our like a broadway musical and the performers can sing with the best of them! They have a full range of things for you to do whether it’s hanging by the 5 pools and jacuzzi’s they have, learning about the many secrets of pirate treasure, world class shopping with incredible deals, or anything else you can think of, there is never ever a dull moment. Everything was so smooth especially with their new medallion you use for everything!! It is the best thing out there!! 100% recommend!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
they clean your room everyday, Varieties of food, Dining experience is really awesome. service is great, Ice cream bar was great, international cafe, Karaoke bar, fitness room, Art auction, love the idea of formal night and going to a fine ... Read More
they clean your room everyday, Varieties of food, Dining experience is really awesome. service is great, Ice cream bar was great, international cafe, Karaoke bar, fitness room, Art auction, love the idea of formal night and going to a fine dining after having pictures from the photographers and you will your pictures that same day...you can watch live shows everyday with their funny Cruise director & his staff, lots of entertainment and things to do, love all this fun games with the staff especially with the cruise director Matt, foods is great, enough restaurants to choose, great service, smooth sailing and they are organized, i will plan a next cruise this year again and i will convince some of my relatives and friends to join me and my wife for the next cruise before end of 2019, and hoping they will come out a promotion to back up my plan Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The Bad : Ship shakes under sail and unbelievably worse in port, especially annoying when you are dining. Common areas good condition but we had hit and miss cabins this fall and winter, some ok and some awful condition. Ship staff said ... Read More
The Bad : Ship shakes under sail and unbelievably worse in port, especially annoying when you are dining. Common areas good condition but we had hit and miss cabins this fall and winter, some ok and some awful condition. Ship staff said they can’t update the rooms without a dry dock and the company keeps putting that off. Personally had and witnessed some negative interactions with the Guest Services Staff. As typical of the brand no built in activies for active adults and children. Just off a Christmas cruise on another ship of the brand, many families cruising and the young people were bored out of their minds. Royal Caribbean, Carnival or Norwegian would have been a better choice for a family vacation. The Good: The company has invested in Internet upgrades for this ship. Room and Dining staff generally excellent as is usual throughout the brand. Food quality and selection was on par with the brand and far superior to Royal Caribbean. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was my first cruise with Princess and as a result of my experience, it will definitely be my last. Prior to booking, I had this impression that Princess was an elite cruising brand. I expected more of them than I would a Carnival, ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Princess and as a result of my experience, it will definitely be my last. Prior to booking, I had this impression that Princess was an elite cruising brand. I expected more of them than I would a Carnival, Norwegian or Royal Caribbean cruise line. I could not have been more wrong. Let's start with the PROS since its a short list. PROS: Embarkation - Princess is very organized. I was on the ship in less than 20 minutes from my arrival to the pier. I have NEVER gotten on a ship that fast before. There was no haggling to buy onboard packages and no pressure to take pictures. It was the most quickest, easiest embarkation I have ever experienced. Shore Excursions - I really liked that while the Excursions desk was not always manned that they had iPads at the desk so I could book excursions during their non-operating hours. I struggled whether to add this to the CONS list really, because the Excursions desk was closed before and during our sail away period, but I do like that I had this as an option. I like to book my excursions as soon as I get on the ship. I later learned I could have booked them in my room via the TV. Entertainment - I really enjoyed some of the musical talent on this ship. I learned of some new artistic gems like George Thursting that I now follow through social media. Love them. Folks, that's where my PROS list ends. Let's dive into everything that made this cruise horrible and left me vowing to NEVER cruise with Princess again. CONS: Bed Bug (in Room B249) - I usually don't sleep much, if at all, the night before a cruise, because I am busy packing and getting my house (and life) prepared for my extensive departure, so I usually make up for that sleep the first night on the ship. This cruise was no exception. I grabbed a bite to eat and booked my excursions once I got on board and I headed straight to my room to snooze. After we set sailed, I got up to grab something out of my bag and when I returned to the bed I noticed what looked like a bed bug crawling over the duvet cover. I screamed! I ran outside where the cabin steward was. He came in looking embarrassed, but not surprised, and scooped the bug into a glass jar. I was mortified. All I could think was how grateful I was that I had not unpacked yet. I did NOT want to take any of these critters home with me. I hear bed bugs are horrible to get rid of. I went straight to the reception desk to report it. Its the first night, so there's a long line. I patiently wait. When I get to the line, the service desk rep (Ignacio and Aracelli) said there was not much they could do besides send someone to investigate and clean the room since the ship was sold out. They did not offer me some place to sit or rest at during this 2-hour investigation. They did not offer me a complimentary beverage or meal. They did not apologize for the inconvenience. They did nothing, but "investigate." I stood on the side of the reception desk for 2 hours exhausted. I finally got back in line to see if there was an update, since NO ONE spoke to me during those 2 hours and only after I got back in line did someone call to check on the "investigation" and that's when I was told they were done and they did not find anything else (meaning another bug). For all I know, the investigation could have been completed an hour earlier. I return to my room alone. Visibly shaken, they did not offer to escort me to my room to reassure me and show me their findings. No one was there when I arrived. It was hours later when the cabin steward supervisor and my cabin steward returned to tell me the supervisor found nothing. I asked if I would be able to get checked by medical - something the front desk rep said I would be able to get as a courtesy to check for bed bug bites - and the supervisor told me NO. He said the ship doctor is not like a doctor on land, they're expensive, so I would have to pay for this myself. Um... OK! I was done after this. Done. He treated me like I was an inconvenience. Very hostile. I never unpacked my bag. I kept it closed the entire cruise and I checked my room for bed bugs each and every day. I tried not to let this ruin my trip cuz then I would definitely be on the losing end. I tried to make the best of it. Ship - Its old. Real old. Very dated. There's rust, mildew and mold everywhere. While I stood in line at the guest desk, I noticed there were multiple leaks from the ceiling. Also, the layout makes no sense. They give each deck a name. For example: Deck # 11 is named Baja and Deck # 15 is named Lido. Instead of referring to the deck number, you had to learn the deck names, because that is how they were referenced. It was so cooky. Then there were only so many elevator banks. I believe there were three or four for the entire ship and one or two of those only went to a few floors. There were no machines for people to add money to their room card/key. Everything went through the very incompetent guest desk. And they had to escalate everything. No one at the desk could make a decision at their level. No one was empowered to just do common sense things for guests. While I waited for my bed bug investigation, I heard a man with Platinum Level Status get upset over his beverage package and how someone screwed it up. I stood there thinking: If this guy is a loyal Princess cruiser and they treat him like that, how should I expect them to treat me? Not good, folks. Not good. Dining - I actually like the seating in the buffet dining areas. I liked that there were pub seating that looked directly out the window, so if you're a party of one you're only taking one seat and not an entire table. That's where my likes end. The food options were very limited and buffet small. It was about one-third of the size of the buffet area on the average Norwegian ship. Horrible! I made due, but I was just shocked. In Conclusion: The pros definitely did not outweigh the cons. I cannot justify the cost of the average Princess cruise for me to try the brand again. Outside of wanting to experience the Princess brand, I really chose this sailing because it was going to the ABC islands and it was full of smart at sea days. Heed my warnings. If nothing else, stay away from this ship unless you've cruised it before and know what to expect. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My experience with princess was one of the worst travel experiences i have ever had. It was my first experience with princess, and i will never patronize them again, and i will vociferously encourage others to avoid princess at all ... Read More
My experience with princess was one of the worst travel experiences i have ever had. It was my first experience with princess, and i will never patronize them again, and i will vociferously encourage others to avoid princess at all costs. I will be publishing this report to every relevant travel portal. Starting with the Ports visited: The ports were not bad choices, however port days were far too short except for curação. there wasn't enough time in each port to have a chance to walk around and have a chance to get to know the place. Excursions offered by princess were extremely limited and obscenely overpriced. i did not purchase any of princess' excursions. Trinidad was a hazard. i attempted to walk out into trinidad, as i had done with every other port, just to spend some time getting to know a little of the place. shortly into my walk i was stopped by a secret service police officer, who showed me her badge, and begged me to please turn around and go back to the ship and not continue walking, as i was walking into a death trap. i learned that a day or two prior to our arrival in trinidad, someone had been shot to death in the street of the city proper - near the port where we docked. Essentially, by running on only one engine and stopping in a port that was already known to be highly dangerous, princess was putting everyone at extreme risk. no warnings were announced at any time regarding these conditions in trinidad. It rained at every port, yet princess refused to provide umbrellas. The ship: We were running on only one engine for the entire journey. this caused the ship to suffer imbalance in the water. This fact was not shared with passengers. this was a fact that should have been shared with passengers as it is a hazard to run the ship on only one engine. princess is legally required to run ships and any equipment under the most stringent requirements of safety. running a 14 day journey on only one engine in international waters was extreme negligence on the part of the princess cruise company. We experienced extreme turbulence on the ship throughout journey, to the point that a man was thrown down and hit his head against a wall because of the rocking of the boat. Crew moved him into a seated position, which i understand was just an effort to try to help, but i have always been taught that in an emergency situation, never ever move an injured person before emts arrive to assess the injuries and proceed to treat the person. he had to be airlifted out by helicopter because of the injury. I am a pretty surefooted person and have very good balance as i am a dancer, and i was thrown so violently by the turbulence that i often tripped. In one such situation, i hit a banister hard enough with my hip to bruise it. Regarding running on one engine, if that one engine had failed, we would have been stranded at sea for an unspecified period of time before being located and towed to the nearest landing port. in addition to that unacceptable risk, with no engine power, the ballast pumps would have stopped working, and without that constant balancing of weight, the ship would list to one side, eventually capsizing. The staff: I experienced rudeness and disrespect most of the time. the front desk staff (except for a very few individuals), was an abomination to the phrase "customer service". my concerns and requests were consistently ignored, dismissed, or flat out refused. I commented to one front desk agent during a phone call that i had had enough of the attitude, and her response was that she wasn't "going to take attitude from me either". incredible. I was charged for things that i had never requested and never approved. I disputed these charges on disembarkation day. I was threatened with having security called on me. I was aghast. I have disputed the charges on my credit card. I could not believe how horribly i was treated. I even spoke with the agent, (named robyn), with whom i had had the original conversation about the charges. She threw me under the bus. She kept repeating that i "had signed it". She insisted that i said things that i did not say. She insisted that i knew things that i did not know. I could not believe that i was being treated with such reckless cruelty and disregard. I wrote at least 4 letters to the general hotel services manager during the voyage. no compensation was offered. no reply was made to me. i informed the general hotel services manager that i would be writing a full report, and that it was the responsibility of princess' staff to convince me not to. no action was taken. The food: Princess has the worst food i have ever had on any cruise line. holland is far better, ncl is far better, celebrity embarrasses princess by comparison. princess' food is absolutely piss poor in every sense. i heard this from many many many guests. Every papaya i asked for was rock hard. raspberries were never available. strawberries were clearly frozen and defrosted before being served - hence most of the time, they were inedible. I had to fight every time i asked for blueberries. cateloupe, honeydew, and watermelon were all consistently rotted/past ripeness, mushy, inedible. The "variety" of dishes offered was pathetically limited. again, ncl, celebrity, and holland all embarass princess on food quality and variety. Most food was obviously frozen and defrosted. all of the seafood was frozen and defrosted before serving, which made it all rubbery, dry, cardboardy, and flavourless. the selection was ridiculously inadequate. in a phrase, the food was absurdly bad. At sabatini's i had to send two dishes back because they were flavourless and insanely oversalted. I could teach the chef how to cook, and i am self-taught. most of the food on the ship was insanely oversalted, or insanely too sweet. I cook better when i am sick enough to be bedridden. Popcorn was not available except at only one hour during the day, and not accessible at any other time, no matter how many requests i made. The soft ice cream was grainy, watery, in a word, disgustingly poor in quality. the only flavours offered were vanilla and chocolate in soft ice cream. no frozen yoghurt was available. for an additional fee, there was hard ice cream available in vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. ridiculous. unacceptable. Drinks were inconsistent all over the ship. General: On embarkation day, the steward for my section barged into my room without knocking. i spent the day on lines 30 - 60 minutes waiting on each line, correcting screw-ups of the crew. Cabin: My bathroom was not working on embarkation day, and i was forced to walk out and use ship public bathrooms. my steward, after having barged into my room without knocking, offered only excuses about how he could not get my bathroom fixed because he was not the plumber. Cabin furnishings were outdated and dingy. I had been sent a message from princess before sailing, stating that i had been upgraded to a better cabin. I can't imagine what the worse cabin looked like. In my "new" cabin, the carpet was worn & stained. It was obviously very old. considering claims that the ship had been refurbished recently, it is obvious that absolutely nothing had been done with the cabin i occupied. The bathroom was filthy & had hair in it from the previous occupant. The balcony & deck furniture were filthy. There were stains on the bedside tables. There were pieces of small trash on the floor. the carpet did not appear to have been vacuumed. The shower had cracks & rust. my bed at home is way more comfortable than the bed in the princess cabin. Any time that i opened the balcony door, a panel in the ceiling howled. It was impossible to enjoy having fresh air in the room. I had to request extra blankets & the ones provided looked like they had been taken from a homeless shelter. One of the blankets had a hole in it. My bathroom did not work for a second time during the cruise. During the cruise the one single insufficient outlet in my cabin stopped working, which meant that i could not charge devices upon which i am dependent to run my life. i had to make numerous phone calls to the front desk to get this addressed. two (2) days after my phone calls to the front desk, i heard someone banging on my cabin door in the middle of day, claiming to be maintenance, and enquiring about my non-working outlet. Two days????!!!!!?? two days???!!!!!?? I told the maintenance person that i could not have him enter the cabin at that time, i needed privacy. i left my cabin shortly after that, and the steward for my section removed the privacy tag that i had placed into my door lock, and entered my room against my express wishes for privacy. things were removed from my cabin that i needed, and other things in my cabin were re-arranged against my wishes. i reported this to the general hotel services manager. No compensation was offered. Internet Access: It was obsecenely overpriced - - morally reprehensible pricing for an essential basic need for everyone. everyone must have regular simple easy internet now no matter where one may be. it is that simple. the price gauging for this is as morally reprehensible as price gauging for water and food. The internet barely worked. when it did, it would take copious amounts of time to get anything done, thereby eating up precious obscenely price-gauged minutes. Internet access is a basic need for everyone now, as are water and food, and should be available at no added cost for the entire ship. period. Entertainment/Gym/Fitness: There were not enough zumba classes. There should have been 2 (two) zumba classes per day (morning and afternoon/evening) - on every day - sea and port. There should have been more classes offered every day - not with extra charges - they should have been included. The gym should have been bigger. Club fusion was freezing cold all of the time. It was impossible to be there without wearing a coat. I wrote to the the cruise director, requesting more zumba classes. he disregarded my request about classes and did so in a quite indifferent unfriendly manner. One of the people who hosted karaoke was snotty and sarcastic with me. I don't remember his name. He hosted the voice as well. The karaoke library of music was extremely limited. None of the songs i looked for were in the library. It is one of the worst collections i have ever seen. The karaoke library had zero tina turner songs (and only one obscure ike and tina track, so what), it had no eurythmics, no pat benetar. The gym should have been bigger. Norwegian's, holland's, and celebrity's gym and spa areas are all much larger and put princess' dingy broken down jacked up "gym" and "spa" to shame. Because there were not enough classes, i needed the area where the mirrors were located to do my own series every day. but there were constant scheduling problems for me to do that, because that space was occupied throughout the day by princess' staff hosting money-bilking snake-oil-selling seminars. staff could have arranged to utilize other space for these "seminars" rather than constantly monopolizing space needed by those of us who really needed that space to maintain our fitness regimens. Spa: There were only 5 stone thermal beds for all of the guests who had spa access. i often could not get a bed, or had to wait for one. the spa, locker area, and salon were dingy and outdated. The aromatherapy steam room could only hold one person comfortably. Two people in that room would mean one would have to sit on the lap of the other. The sauna constantly stank of rotten eggs. I was in the sauna every day. It stank of rotten eggs every day. it was disgusting, but because i really needed the heat, i had to tolerate it by putting a towel over my mouth and having to breathe through the towel. the other steam/spa rooms were old, dingy, outdated, unappealing, and basically useless. The locker area was old, dingy, depressing. Folded towels on the shelves were frequently wet - - not fully dry. the spa robes were old, threadbare, and dingy. I was appalled at just how old, dingy, depressing, and totally unappealing or comfortable the entire spa was. Norwegian's, holland's, and celebrity's spas put princess to shame. It is embarrassing how gross princess' spa is. This is what princess calls a multi-million dollar refurbishment ?????!! Photographers: I tried to take some nice photos on nyeve, but the photographer could not have been less interested in helping me to get a good shot - - that i would actually be willing to buy. I did not buy any photos because they all sucked because the photographer did not care at all to help me get good shots, even though i asked and tried to get a few interesting looks. The photographer just rushed me to pose in the same stupid way that everyone poses. He would not help me to take photos that were uniquely expressing me, and would have been worth my money to buy. if princess wants to sell photos, photographers need to actually care about what people want, and take time to take photos that are genuinely desired. Casino: Scratch off games were entitled to a second chance via raffle on the ship. I bought several scratch off games, but the first time i bought them, the cashier did not bother to tell me that they had a second chance if i did not win anything in the scratch-off. i threw away tickets that i could have entered in the raffle. The second time i bought scratch off games, the cashier told me about the raffle. i returned to the first cashier to call him out on not telling me that i had a second chance to win something with non-paying scratch-offs, and he just gave me some dumb indifferent look. He did not care at all. i lost a second chance at the raffle for those scratch-offs because of his total indifference and lack of attention to customer care. I cannot believe that the majority of your employees on the ship are just like this. it is truly unfathomable. If that cashier had been in my shoes, he would have been extremely disappointed and upset. "Art" Gallery: "fine arts" ???? it was all trash. not a shred of "art" to be found. Medical: As with the internet, medical care is price-gauged, and minimal in scope. morally reprehensible. Disembarkation Day: As i stated above, i was charged for things that i had never requested and never approved. I was on the phone fighting about it starting at 5:30 am on disembarkation day. the ship was so extremely turbulent with only one engine, that i did not sleep at all during the previous night. I had to go down to the front desk to dispute these charges on disembarkation day. I was threatened with having security called on me. I was aghast. I had to make dispute and fraud reporting phone calls throughout the day to my credit card and other financial institutions. As i stated above, i even spoke with the agent, (named robyn), with whom i had had the original conversation about the charges. She threw me under the bus. She kept repeating that i "had signed it". She insisted that i said things that i did not say. She insisted that i knew things that i did not know. Even during my dispute with them over the charges, robyn took the things i was saying during that conversation and twisted them on me as i was speaking. my statements were completely disregarded. I could not believe that it was happening. Customs: There was a very long line to wait to pass through customs. Negative surprises: Everything from day 1 until walking off of the ship was a negative surprise. This is my report on princess' failure to deliver value for the fortune of money they charged me, on every level. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Cruising IS the right way to travel. You dont have to move and you see such a vast selection of ports and sights! shopping was great in Aruba and Curacao. Bonaire is a tourist stop many sights and local color. A much quiter and ... Read More
Cruising IS the right way to travel. You dont have to move and you see such a vast selection of ports and sights! shopping was great in Aruba and Curacao. Bonaire is a tourist stop many sights and local color. A much quiter and relaxed port. A nice balance to the other two. Princess is the answer to a great balance of high end and leisure cruising. You never feel out of place and the activities are top of the line. The dinning was most tasty and the waiter was way above and beyond. He learned in the first night ALL of our little quirks and made sure each dinner was special. The Marte 'd took extra care of us as we had allegeries. He review each meal to ensure no foods that would cause problems were included. If there was any question he personally went to the kitchen and watched to ensure the proper preparations of our meals! Makes you feel special to know that your meal is overseen in this manner! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
Chose this cruise because it was short enough...8 days, but 3 days were week-end, so meant only 5 days off work on vacation. Plus it offered 4 Sea days and those are always so relaxing with an opportunity to enjoy all the on-board ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was short enough...8 days, but 3 days were week-end, so meant only 5 days off work on vacation. Plus it offered 4 Sea days and those are always so relaxing with an opportunity to enjoy all the on-board activities and entertainment. And better still, it visited 3 caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (ABC), with about 12 hours in port on each island! In Curacao and Aruba we had to be back on board at 9.30pm...giving us the opportunity to enjoy the warm evening breezes and cocktails on the island. Residents spoke English clearly and were all friendly. It also had great feed back from other Cruise Critic members who had done this cruise previously. The price was right, the itinerary was great and the cruise line (Princess Cruises) is one of my favourites. Travelling 'solo' I chose an inside cabin in the IB category...on Deck 11 (Baja), so I could take the stairs to the Horizon Buffett (Deck 15) for breakfast and take the stairs to the Piazza and Promenade Deck (Deck 7) for all other activities. The inside cabin for sufficient space for me...not sure if it would be if I was travelling with my husband. The Horizon Buffet offered a variety of food so there was lots to choose from even if you were i picky eater. The service and food in the Coral Dining Room was very good. Our server was friendly and efficient and our food was always hot. I did not go to the specialty restaurants. Entertainment in Princess Theatre was top notch! Lots of improvement since my last cruise on Caribbean Princess some 5 years ago. It was nice that the staff were not pushing the sales on us at every corner. We could actually sit and relax and enjoy the music, activities, etc. The internet cafe was often crowded...but we all want to be connected to our world at home even when we are on the beautiful seas...I'm in that category too, so can't complain. The International Cafe is often my 'go to place' right near the piazza...it was often packed with all the seats occupied. I thoroughly enjoyed walking on the Promenade deck around the ship....2.7 laps = 1 mile. I'd challenge my self to increase my daily walk by 10% and by the 7th morning, I was up to 15 laps!!! and catch the sunrise. Now that is totally worth walking for. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
6 port days in a row! It was exhausting. I definitely needed a vacation from this vacation. But I feel like I got a good overview of Ireland and Scotland. I do not feel the need to hurry back to either now. So I feel like it helped check ... Read More
6 port days in a row! It was exhausting. I definitely needed a vacation from this vacation. But I feel like I got a good overview of Ireland and Scotland. I do not feel the need to hurry back to either now. So I feel like it helped check off some boxes vs. the Baltics cruise was just the tip of the iceberg for every place. As far as the Caribbean Princess - not my favorite. Not terrible by any means, but I saw some cleanliness issues - again nothing major, but just stuff that made me go 'hmmmm' - especially compared to my other cruises (Regal, Celeb Silhouette, Celeb Reflection). I loved loved loved the Serenity pool (we dubbed it the Buddha pool b/c of the statue). It was great to have that w/ the cooler temps. The Dining room was nice - but I still prefer the grandeur of the 2 story. Same with the Piazza area - I prefer the open nature of the Celebrity ships I have sailed. Ship: The Caribbean Princess. I liked the ship – I knew it was older and it looked more worn than the Regal but not in a bad/unkempt way. Just not as shiny. The only thing I didn't love were counter and wall stains (I wiped all our room surfaces, and the fact I removed so many stains w/o scrubbing just tells me they never bother to wipe the surfaces). I also wiped away one too many curly hairs on the surfaces. I travel > 50% of the year, so it's not as if I never see stuff like this, but I took exception to the number of times I saw this in our stateroom. I also didn't think the bathrooms were as spotless compared to Regal and Celebrity - I would just see random stains in places that should be wiped (toilet seat, by the main door handle). Would I consider it dirty? No. But I feel like I had high, if not unreasonable expectations coming from 4 other ships. Embarkation: easiest thing ever. Took the train from London Waterloo to Southampton. 1h30m. Easy. Arrived around 1130a. No security and check-in line. On board shortly after noon. We grabbed lunch at the buffet - ate outside. Our luggage arrived so we settled in/unpacked. Dining: MDR/Coral – 8p seating. We were seated in anytime, but had an 8p seating - since they botched out 815p confirmed dining. The solution was to give up a set table in anytime which worked fine. One the whole I enjoyed almost all of the meals - which I couldn't say on the past couple cruises. Buffet/Horizon Bistro/Court: not bad at all. Never a fan of the crowded buffet. Didn’t seem each table had a designated server so 2-3 different people would keep asking if you wanted drinks - which as a bit annoying. All the port times were shifted by about 15 minutes from the itinerary listed when booking. Ports are in order of arrival. Guernsey / Channel Islands 715a - 3p. Last tender 2p. * On our own. Smooth tender process. 10min ride max. * Most sights don't even open until 930a/10a. * We hiked to Ferman Bay. Lovely views. * Castle Cornet was nice.. * Lunch back on the ship * Formal Night Cobh 815a-6p * Paddywagon tour * Docked at Ringaskiddy - a container port - different than intended. Princess provide a shuttle. * Blarney Castle * Cobh Market * Kinsale photo stop and lunch Dublin 115p-11p * On our own. * Docked Ocean Pier. Princess offered paid shuttle. We took a 20 euro cab to St. Patrick's. Bit of traffic. * St. Patrick's * Dublin Castle * Trinity College * Guinness Storehouse * Arthur's Pub for dinner * Temple Bar Liverpool 815a-9p: * Did on our own. Walked off the ship * Beatles Story * Liverpool Cathedral * Merseyside Maritime Museum. Free. * Beatles Celebration show on board. Belfast 1145a-930p: * On our own. Took a cab to Titanic exhibit. 7 pounds. Paid shuttle too. * Belfast Castle - 10 pounds cab there and back. * Fibber Magee pub for music. Greenock 715p-6p: * Discover Scotland tour. * Loch Lomond/Luss * Trossachs drive through * Callander for lunch * Doune Castle stop * Stirling Castle * Glasgow drive through Next was a sea day - we sailed by the Isle of Skye. Invergordon 715a-6p: * Invergordon Tours * Cruise on Loch Ness * Urquhart Castle * Culloden Battlefield * Clava Carins * Cawdor Castle Edinburgh 715a-6p: * On our own. Breakfast at 6a. First in line for tender at 630a. 725a pushed off from ship on tender. 740a arrival. 5 GBP for local shuttle each way. Last departure 430p. * Edinburgh Castle * Scotch Whiskey Experience * Calton HIll * Palace of Holyroodhouse * Top deck - nice sail away. Le Havre 7a-8p * Princess D-Day tour * Drove by Juno Beach * Arromanches for Museum and artifical port * Lunch at La Ferme de la Ranconniere * La Pointe du Hoc * Omaha Beach * American Cemetery Activities/Entertainment: everything was really nice. Strong ship singers and dancers. The production shows were ok - some better than others - I feel like these are hit or miss. Regardless the talent was there. The acts they brought on were good - Chris Hamilton the piano player, Singer Alan Kavanaugh, Jo Little, a Whitney Houston tribute show, ventriloquist Kieran Powell. Even acts I thought there was no way were fabulous. Spa/Fitness Center: did not use spa. Used the large room in fitness center when classes/seminars not in session. Disembarkation: smooth. 945a disembark. No immigration. just grabbed luggage. Cab to Southampton Central. Took a train to Salisbury, stored our bags at Cat Tavern, and took cab (30 GBP) to Stonehenge. Took 10 GBP shuttle back to Salisbury. Walked around. Nice cathedral. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We actually flew in the previous night to Houston, late; all went very smoothly getting on the ship the next morning, light drizzle... Our cabin facilities were outstanding, and the surprise gift was there with beautiful tropical ... Read More
We actually flew in the previous night to Houston, late; all went very smoothly getting on the ship the next morning, light drizzle... Our cabin facilities were outstanding, and the surprise gift was there with beautiful tropical flowers from my husband with our surprise breakfast the next morning when we were underway with a full wait staff to our cabin on the balcony! Food delivered was fresh, hot, and delicious as well as the service! Throughout our voyage facilities on the ship were like no other we'd been on. Clean, respectful service, and once in a great while a waiter would ask us if we wanted a coctail on deck, but not pestered every 5 minutes!!! We are a gay couple of 12 years now, and felt respected, and no discrimination whatsoever, myself I am 56 now, and Rich is 57, and we love cruises, have never really had a bad experience, also there were a group of Bears aboard we befriended, and hung out with on occasion...; except.....When we were scheduled for Belize POC, we teathered for awhile; but the weather was to bad to stay, so we were redirected to Costa Mya(exuse spelling) but it was a nice little short 5 hr stop before we headed to Cozumel, with a day at sea, we still had a wonderful time in Costa Mya, rented a funky little car and drove all over the area, went swimming in a small village with the locals, and had some of the best grilled fish tacos I think I ever had! All other POC's were great, and ship's crew and captain took our safety first in concern about the weather. We would recomend Princess Cruises to everyone looking for an outstanding cruise experience. Our next cruise is coming up Dec 18th 2016 Carribean once again... Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
We've cruised quite a bit on many popular cruise lines depending on ports, timing and cost. Sailed Princess for the first time since price was too good to pass up and wanted to get away. We will sail Princess again based on other ... Read More
We've cruised quite a bit on many popular cruise lines depending on ports, timing and cost. Sailed Princess for the first time since price was too good to pass up and wanted to get away. We will sail Princess again based on other criteria. Drove to Ft. Lauderdale night before and roomed at a wonderful stay and park free hotel with free shuttles to and from the airport, nice pool, modern, clean rooms. THE POSITIVES: Embarkation was fast and efficient. At terminal 11:15am, on ship w/room ready at noon, luggage came shortly thereafter. We had to settle for a guarantee Oceanview Room on low, Plaza deck due to last minute availability. Was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a decent size with large window viewing sea, lots of storage, close to Piazza with entertainment, International Cafe, Vines Bar, etc. No odors in cabin. Only noise we encountered was during embarkation and morning of debarkation from floor underneath. Bathroom was small although plenty of space for storage. Shower was SO TINY...Can't imagine how an "over the average" size person could shower there. Don't drop the soap...hard to shave legs also! MIssed a balcony since we enjoy relaxing on our own inbetween activities. Just not the same in Oceanview Room. Food and Service was the best we've ever had on any cruise. We chose Anytime Dining and just showed up to eat around 6 or so at a "shared" table. Got right in and met some very nice people. Waiters were superb. No problem with last minute requests such as horseradish, red pepper flakes, extra shrimp cocktail, etc. Requested prime rib or other main course instead of menu items one night, but could not be done. Also asked for escargot...Could not get. Was on menu one night though. Buffet was excellent with lots of choices. Plenty of seating in back section (Cafe Caribe). As soon as we put our food on table, waiters were right there with water, ice tea, lemonade, coffee, etc. Our room steward, Ronaldo, kept our ice bucket full, wine glasses available, gave us a top sheet since we don't like heavy covers, got robes for us and in general, was always there for us when needed. Crooners was nice though very small, and the bar near the Piazza and International Cafe was fun...Thanks Mikey and Frankie! Disappointed at no formal martini bar or martini tastings. Two of the four nights in theater featured comedians...One night a duo and the other a single...both were great! Good piano players, steel drum player, Passion Band, acrobat demo...Trio was pretty boring. Night Deck party, ice sculpture demo, different games poolside - fun. Line dance lessons during the day also. Loved the 7' deep pool with poolside entertainment. Didn't do the large screen movie thing, but looked like fun! Received balloons and a nice sign on door wishing me a Happy Birthday...cute touch! No smoking night in casino was a good idea. Smoking only apparent on back of Deck 15, one side. The negatives: Main complaint - It was freezing cold in 3 of the lounges...Actually felt like a cold breeze coming out of Explorers when we passed by. Looked like nice places to hang out in, but not many people, which I believe was due to the cold since many people commented on this. Way too much "selling" of wine packages, tastings, etc. No zumba - free or paid...Love zumba and was disappointed at this....Fitness Room was fine w/good equipment, but only yoga and a few other paid exercise activities. Also had quite a few seminars which were informative, but aimed at selling products afterward. The Caribbean Princess dancers in the main theater (2 nights - different themes) were pretty poor with only a few good dancers/singers. No big production numbers as on other ships. Perhaps this was due to it being only a Monday - Thursday night cruise. People told me things are better on a longer cruise. Pre-Galley Tour/American Idol Contest during the day featured some restaurant personnel who sang much better than the show performers. Thoroughly enjoyed these singers, but disappointed since it was more of a variety show than cooking demo. After the show the line to tour the Galley was extremely long so we passed on this. Regular coffee in restaurants and even at International Cafe was awful. Cappucino and espresso at Int'l Cafe were fine. (Charge for coffees there with assorted free pastries and "fancy" sandwiches. Had to get to theater no less than 15 minutes before show or no seats. Activities staff didn't mix with crowd as much as on other ships though. For example, at deck party, they danced by themselves and didn't encourage guests to dance as much as on other ships. We didn't do trivia so things may be different if you met the staff at such events. Signed up to walk off w/our bags at 8:10am. Got to restaurant and found a long line. Customs apparently was backed up. Delay not Princess' fault. We waited awhile and once the line moved, we got off pretty quickly. We decided that we would like to try a newer, larger, Princess ship in the future if the timing and ports were good for us, mainly due to their excellent food and service.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
We’re a working professional couple in our mid to late 50’s. We’ve taken about 25 cruises and this was our 3rd with Princess. We sailed on this ship during its inaugural year. Plus we’ve been on the Coral Princess for the Panama ... Read More
We’re a working professional couple in our mid to late 50’s. We’ve taken about 25 cruises and this was our 3rd with Princess. We sailed on this ship during its inaugural year. Plus we’ve been on the Coral Princess for the Panama Canal. Loved that ship. We have sailed the other major cruise lines except Holland America. About 10 cruises have been with NCL as they have the BEST suite perks at sea (private dining room for breakfast and lunch, espresso makers in room, priority for various activities, etc…). Found a good deal for this cruise about a month out and needed a quick get-away. This fit the bill. Something to consider is that the crew was up all night before we sailed getting the carpeting replaced in many of the public areas. Another passenger told us this was the first cruise coming out of refurbishment. The ship was two hours late leaving port, allegedly due to weather and thus having to wait for cruisers arriving late to the ship. There were also lots of non-Princess workers on board trying to finish the re-carpeting job before sailing. I mention this because we found some of the staff those first days a little less tolerant and friendly than expected. This may have also been the case with the Crown Grill maître d (see review below). He did comment on his lack of sleep due to the re-carpeting. Embarkation - A Easy and fast! Princess nailed this. We were in our cabin about 20 minutes after being dropped off at the terminal. Embarkation staff was courteous and efficient. Since this was a short cruise, we packed light and had small wheeled luggage that we took to the cabin and unpacked right away. It was great not having to wait for luggage to be delivered. Tip: Princess has laundry rooms so we ironed several items after unpacking and got that out of the way before the lifeboat drill. Cabin – B Had a mini suite on 9th deck towards rear of ship. Very spacious and in pretty good condition. Bathroom had a tub. Cabin had two TV’s, one facing the bed and the other facing the large couch in the spacious sitting area by the balcony. Two high-back reclining chairs with separate foot rests plus a round table were on balcony. This way you can use the chairs with the table to eat on the balcony. That wouldn’t work with lounge chairs. Some of the cabin-related issues were found were as follows. There was a really squeaky picture fastened to the wall. The first night we crammed folded paper between frame and wall which helped immensely. The two TV’s are controlled by one remote. Problem is that when you are lying in bed and turn off that one, the other one facing the couch comes on. That means getting out of bed and going into the sitting area to turn it off. Crazy. We had to ask steward for robes although we requested them when we completed the on-line registration prior to cruise. He gave us the impression it would be difficult but he would try. He got them. Robes are well-used, light, waffled cotton, no big whoop but I didn’t pack a robe expecting one to be in the room. Beds in suites supposedly have a plusher mattress with an extra layer of padding but if still not to your liking, the steward can add an egg crate layer to help make the bed softer. We did that as we felt it needed a little extra padding. One drawer stuck so bad I couldn’t open it (of course after I put some stuff in it). After yanking it with all my might, it opened but I didn’t close it for rest of cruise. Evidently, the balcony had not been cleaned during refurbishment. The Plexiglas panel below the railing was dirty the whole time of the cruise. Also, there was some work to the ship above our balcony. Result was no balcony light, small pieces of cut off bolts, metal shards and chipped-off paint strewn across the balcony. This wasn’t cleaned up the whole cruise. Tip: Electrical outlets – All electrical outlets, except one right by the front door (probably for a vacuum) were U.S. 110 volt. Bring an extension cord if you want power to items on both sides of bed. There are two 110 outlets on one side of the bed and one 110/220 conversion outlet in bathroom (plus a couple hidden – see below). Outlets by bed are close to each other so could not insert a cell phone adaptor and a plug together but could insert two normal plugs. Two adaptors would definitely not fit side by side. There is an unused outlet behind each TV we discovered the last day of the cruise. Oh well… Good place to charge electronics and they have enough space to accept bulky adaptors. Good luck figuring out the TV movie schedule. They give you a guide for Day 1, Day 2, etc…but it doesn’t sync up with what’s playing on the TV. (Day 1 turned out to be the second full cruise day and Day 4 was the day we got off the ship in the early AM.) The layout of the guide makes it very hard to figure out when movies start. It is not a “TV guide” like people see in newspapers. It is just a word list, separated only by commas, for each channel. The movie guide scrolling on the TV is accurate but confusing and slow. Not that I like to sit in my cabin on a cruise and watch movies on a so-so TV screen but it would have been a nice option for our partially rainy day at sea. Also, the TV’s were newish flat screens, but the cabin was obviously built for older CRTs. As a result the TV’s sat far back against the wall and a shelf railing at the front partially interfered with the bottom of the picture. Picture quality was analog, not digital. We did not see any hookups for external equipment, but did not look hard for them either. We got an early wake-up call we didn’t request. Kind of a rude awakening as we were up pretty late. First time that’s happened to us. The room steward suggested it was a prank call. Sure sounded official to us, complete with the eastern European accent. The room steward was a really nice and personable young man whose service was lacking. My husband felt the service was pretty bad, especially for a mini suite, (not that it’s that much, but you do pay more in gratuities for mini-suites and up). Trash not emptied one day, even when full, towels were randomly dispensed (no hand towels one day, only one bath towel another day). Asked if he could bring us wine glasses every day so we could have some wine before dinner (we brought a few special bottles) and it only happened twice and once it was brought after 9pm (and after dinner). Water glasses on ice bucket tray were not replenished. We did ask for them to be replenished and were really surprised when the room steward said this wasn’t something he kept in supply. Wow. Really?!? I can’t remember a previous cruise where the glasses accompanying the ice bucket were not replenished after being used. He never came through with the water glasses so we would grab some from the dining areas as needed. Not sure if Princess does this, but we did not get any towel animals which we enjoy. Mini suite amenities, besides robes, I guess is only one larger tube of Locus (spa) lotion. That’s it. We were offered fruit in the room via a card we were asked to fill out the second day. We had to select specific fruit from a short list and then request refills. In previous cruises, once you asked for something it came every day. In some cases you don’t have to ask for it. On Princess, I guess they make the passengers specifically ask for it every day. If you forget, to bad, so sad. My husband would have eaten a few pieces of fruit, but by the time he felt for them it was too late to order. Strange and definitely a step down in “make you feel special” category. Island Dining Room – A for service, B for food Service - Really attentive and helpful. Never felt rushed and all staff was courteous. Nice job Princess. Food – Some of it was outstanding, some of it just OK. Nothing was bad. Food is a matter of personal taste so will not comment on individual items but will say hot items came out hot and cold items were well chilled. Stuff I really enjoyed were the pastas and sorbets. Excellent. Horizons – Buffet – A for service, B+ for food Only ate breakfast here and everything was good. As usual, waffles and pancakes were premade and not great, as is the case on all the ships I’ve sailed. Coffee (decaf) was actually OK but at times, was not hot when I got it out of the dispensers. My husband’s coffee was always hot. He thought the coffee was much better than standard cruise coffee. Really nice assortment of breakfast items and with four food stations, never felt crowded and rarely were there lines. Of course at peak breakfast hours, finding a place to sit took a few moments. Fruit was really good, best I can remember having at sea in a long time. Fresh, firm, juicy and sweet (melons, papaya, pineapple). Tip: Also discovered on last day, let the coffee run out of the dispenser for a few seconds before filling your cup for hotter coffee. International Café – A Really nice place to grab something small. I LOVED the tiramisu (better than in the dining room) and the chocolate/vanilla moose. Wow, those were terrific splurges. Did not have the specialty coffees there but there was always folks getting it. The Crown Grill – D Really was looking forward to enjoying a nice steak in an upscale setting with attentive staff but this was not the case. Tip: the restaurant reservations phone line closes at 5pm and if you want to try to get into the Crown or Sabitini’s after hours, you go by that particular restaurant. You can also make reservations before boarding the ship, which we got the impression most people did. We went by the Crown around 6pm after “sail away” asking if there were any reservations. What we have found on other cruise lines is the sailing day usually has light attendance at specialty restaurants. When we went to the Crown, the plethora of empty tables jived with our expectations. We were told that eating there is by reservation-only and the earliest available reservation for the entire cruise was 9:30. I asked about cancellations and was told to check back throughout the cruise. Problem is, if you make a reservation and don’t show up, no big whoop, no charge. So folks might be making multiple reservations and just pick when they want to go. Anyway, after we cleaned up and went back down, he said he could squeeze us in despite seeing many unoccupied tables and booths in there. He also “jokingly” said if he gets into trouble for squeezing us in, it’s our fault. His attitude was he was doing us a great favor. Crew should never try to make passengers feel bad. He sat us at a small table for two that was in the middle of everything but we didn’t ask to switch as were told other tables were being held for those with reservations. Many of those tables went unoccupied throughout our meal. Service was not that attentive for an “upscale” experience. The main dining room staff much more attentive, courteous and accommodating. Salads and soup were very good. Scallops were pretty good. Had to ask for iced-tea twice and it came about 45 minutes into meal. Husband ordered the rib-eye medium to medium well and I ordered a filet mignon the same way. It took about 35 minutes after we finished our appetizers to get our steaks and they were not hot. Mine was dry and well done, his was undercooked and not that tender. He sent his back and at least it was hot when returned. Asparagus side dish was no big whoop, grilled, tough (undercooked?) and somewhat bitter. Mashed potatoes were OK but had an unusually sweet taste. The specialty salt is really good and fun to try. My husband said it really made the steak taste much better, and he hardly ever adds salt to a meal. Molten lava cake dessert was very good according to my husband. Bottom line, I’ve had much better steaks at Outback (and worse). I remember the steakhouse on the Coral Princess (or maybe this ship – can’t remember) being absolutely outstanding with the best steaks we’ve had at sea. Not so now. When the maître d came by our table to ask how everything was and we mentioned the steaks being over and undercooked, he said he would tell the kitchen staff. He then changed the subject to the cruise in general and I guess they’re trained to deflect attention away from negative comments. Kind of had a slimy feel to the exchange. Entertainment – A We only saw the comedy act, the Mariachi Band and the piano bar singer. Comedy - The two young AA men from LA were a riot. They did some racial stereotype humor (all colors and ilk’s) that was well received by the mostly white audiences. Kind of like a modern vaudeville type act with dancing, comedy sketches and audience participation. They could get some seemingly up tight white men to really “shake their thang”. They were great and Princess should do everything to keep them. They said they are in an upcoming movie with Ice-T so I guess they’re headed to bigger and $$$ pastures. Well deserved. Mariachi Band – Wow, they were really good and we’ve heard some great ones in Mexico, Texas and California. One especially memorable experience was watching a cruising couple, most likely in their 80’s do Latin dances to their music. She was incredible (great posture and footwork, very elegant). Turns out the couple had been Arthur Murray dance instructors in their 20’s and 30’s. Everyone was in awe. Very, very cool. The band seemed to especially enjoy playing for this couple. Piano Bar – This guy was incredible and always had the piano bar packed. On the last night of the cruise, he did a Motown Review in the main theater and although we did not go, we heard it was packed with folks dancing in the aisles. Sorry we missed it. Another keeper for Princess. Theater Under the Stars – D Wow, what happened here?!? We loved this on previous Princess cruises but they obviously have some glitches to work out. Folks who were watching the 2nd Hunger Games movie were highly disappointed when it stopped mid-way and then travel stuff started playing on the screen while, I assume, they unsuccessfully attempted to fix it. Plus, the booming base they broadcast with concerts made it actually hard to hear the music. Made it especially difficult to enjoy the Beyonce concert (and others). Pools – A: availability and variety Pool Entertainment - F I counted 5 pools with 1 dedicated to children and 2 dedicated to adults. The one at the rear of the ship is high up and has an incredible view plus a bar. The one by the spa is peaceful but a little too quiet for my taste. It also is a shallow wave pool for swimming but we never saw the wave machine running. However, I never heard a band at the main pool. Or any other pool. I was out and about the ship at various times looking specifically for this experience. My dream experience on a cruise is to sit by the pool with a Pina Colada listening to a good Caribbean band. Didn’t happen. What gives? Did I just not get there at the right times? There should be a band(s) playing a lot with 2 sea days and this was definitely not the case. It did rain part of the second sea day but still nothing before or afterwards from what I saw. I guess you could repeatedly watch 25 year-old Tom Cruise movies (Top Gun) or a poorly broadcast concert… Or if you’re into pool games, you see watch fellow passengers do “synchronized” water ballet or watch an ice carving demo. OK activities if you’re a first time cruiser, but poor if you are not. Gym – A Set up well with lots of equipment. In front of the ship with a view forward. Could be busy in mornings but afternoons had light usage. Had to practice a dance routine for an upcoming competition and I used the mirrors on one end of the main area during non-scheduled activities (spinning class, posture improvement presentations, etc…). Staff was fine with this as I checked with them beforehand. Of course I used my earbuds so no one heard the song. There were other folks practicing yoga moves solo, lifting weights and doing balancing exercises. There was lots of room for everyone to do their own thing. Overall – B-/C+ Experience was uneven. Would I sail Princess again? Probably not. This cruise was an adequate experience. A few nice memories (and desserts) but overall, no big whoop. Spoke to folks who felt the same way, many seasoned Princess cruisers. I also spoke to two folks (not together) new to cruising who said they would not cruise again (one of them had soaked carpeting in their cabin and towels were thrown down and they were given slippers. The next day, they replaced the carpeting but the cruisers had to evacuate the room as it had to be totally emptied for the carpet install which took half the day. They were compensated with $25 shipboard credit each. I guess the ship was sailing full as I wondered why they were not given another cabin.) That’s unusual as first time cruisers often love the experience. Too bad for them as cruising is usually a really nice vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
This was our 3rd cruise, 2nd with Princess. We had read some reviews of the Caribbean Princess, some of which were a little negative, so we didn't have the highest of expectations. It exceeded our expectations though! If we could ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise, 2nd with Princess. We had read some reviews of the Caribbean Princess, some of which were a little negative, so we didn't have the highest of expectations. It exceeded our expectations though! If we could design our own cruise ships, it would have a combination of the 2 cruise lines we've sailed on: Princess and Royal Caribbean. We've had enough experience now to make comparisons. First off, we love the "Movies Under the Stars" that the Princess has offers. There's nothing like hanging out on the lounge chairs under the stars while watching a movie. I enjoy the International Cafe on Princess where you always have access to small finger foods and some yummy desserts. We also took advantage of eating out on the back deck of the Princess. The Coral Dining Room has doors right out to the back area where you can eat outdoors (Deck 15) right above the back pool area. We enjoyed the fitness center every day, then would go into the locker rooms and spend a little time in the steam room and sauna. It's the best. The entertainment has been good. Always enjoyed the comedians! Singers and dancers do a great job and the poolside live music has always been great. The food on board was great! This was one of the best times, with desserts exceeding out expectations. If you can't decided what appetizer or dessert to get, they'll bring you both. Wished we'd gotten a second round of the lobster & shrimp meal...so divine. As always, the service all around was great. Overall we enjoyed our ports: Cozumel, Roatan Honduras and Belize City. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2013
This was our sixth Princess Cruise. Booking last minute we found an incredible bargain ($1329 for a $3799 balcony; interior cabins were sold for $599). We are Platinum members, and hence boarding was very easy, as was disembarkation. Our ... Read More
This was our sixth Princess Cruise. Booking last minute we found an incredible bargain ($1329 for a $3799 balcony; interior cabins were sold for $599). We are Platinum members, and hence boarding was very easy, as was disembarkation. Our Cabin was R718, aft on the ship, but perfectly comfortable and convenient. Good things: We've always had pleasant experiences with crew, dining hall staff, stewards, and this was true on this cruise as well. Crew worked to be very attentive and helpful, with only one invisible exception I'll mention later. Always found if we are courteous and respectful of crew, they'll be likewise to us. We have liked Princess for social dancing, more floors and venues, space in general for dancing than we have found on Carnival or Royal C. That said, often live bands played very short sets (30 to 45 minutes) and then were wisked off to another venue. The ship has four dance venues. They make generally poor use of the Skywalker Club at the top of the ship, and the objective there didn't seem to be dance but selling drinks.. They kept a band in Wheelhouse Bar regularly most evenings capable of a wide selection of music. Only problem there was length of time between selections, waiting for computers to pull up their music. Explorer's Lounge was underutilized for dancing, bands starting late and leaving early so one of the over-done cruse staff games could be shuffled through, and those well worn performances were eternal, never ending. Club Fusion was mostly DJ music,and often slow without much being offered for dance, just an empty room. It is used some, but could be used much more effectively without huge overhead. I've read some downer reviews on food. In regular dining rooms, two things helped for anytime dining. First, don't ask for a table for two or you will wait a long time. Be willing to mix with others, and you are seated quickly. This cruise was very international, and we always enjoyed meeting others, Brits, Israeli's South Africans, many Asians, Aussies and New Zealanders. One of the great aspects of the trip was only about half of of the guests were American. The second thing that helped was to ask the waiter for a recommendation. A couple of times I went on my own, a steak, or a seafood item I had attraction too. Usually, if it was an every night available or if it was beef, it tended to be a bit ordinary. When I followed wait staff recommendations, I always got a good entree. On desserts, creme bulee is always a good choice. We found food to generally be a bump better than Carnival or RC. Some of the Excursions on this cruise were a mistake. Getting the more expensive excursion where you depart in the morning and meet the ship at Geiranger was a mistake. . Lots of down and wasted time, and the best sites can generally be seen from the Geirnanger side. We opted for a rental car in Bergen, a mistake (use Hop On Hop Off bus). For Flaam, buy railway tickets in Bergen the day before and save a few bucks. Stavenger is a walk on your own city, everything in good proximity of the ship; called that one right. Use public transportation in Tromso (we walked too much).. We were generally disappointed in the shows. Couple of weak entertainers, a magician and comic who brought no energy to the show and the audience was unable to generate any either. Because there were 3 shows each night (limitation of seating in theatre), shows were short, about 45 minutes. On this cruise, four or five times 45 minutes was actually enough. Sameness about them, lack of creative choreography. If not for midriff and sexual inuendo, there wasn't much else to carry them. Nice string group that was used in very limited capacity. A good group where most of the band was from Barbados, but again they were under utilized. My disappointment came in the Admin officers and his staff to help correct an error I made. I use a CPAP machine at night. In packing it, I had inadvertently left the silicone portion of the mask behind, the piece that sits directly upon one's face. I realized my error on the plane before landing at LHR. As soon as I boarded ship, I went to the Purser's desk and asked for an address to have the missing portion of the mask shipped too. We were in Bergen, Norway's second largest city following a day at sea, and I was told that if it were shipped there it would be delivered to the ship. I was provided an address, we called home and my daughter was off to the UPS Store with the address provided within the hour. She paid UPS Global $140+, had them box the item ship it out on overnight delivery. Upon returning to ship, an hour and a half ahead of departure, I asked if the package had arrived. At second request, a call was made to the port agent, who said he hadn't received the package. I was told there would be an effort to get the package traced, and they were certain it would be delivered possibly at North Cape, but certainly by either Tromso or Stavenger. I went by the Medical Office. Staff there was wonderful. We tried to take a regular oxygen mask, which cost about $200, and amend it to work. Good effort, but unfortunately it was $200 down the drain. Doctor there and staff were very responsive and polite. We checked in every couple of days to see if Admin officer had located the package, and answer varied as to whether the mask was in Oslo or Bergen. It never showed up. Six days into the cruise, UPS called my home phone in the states and left a message that they didn't have a deliverable address. UPS offered to ship the package back to my home address for another $170. Upon returning to the states, and running tracking info, there had only been one inquiry with UPS (other than the two I made by internet), and outside of about three crew packages, I don't think any other packages shipped to passengers could have ever happened given the lack of address, and the poor communication between crew and the largest American shipper. I tended to be more angry about this problem with UPS. My wife was more upset with Princess, as she felt there was no link or possibility for success put in place by Princess. With 1300 Americans on the ship as passengers, it seems to me that Princess should have in place a probablilty for successful delivery of a package from the states on a twelve day trip. They clearly did not. I would still recommend this cruise, and taking it with Princess. Holland America typically runs the same route, perhaps a day longer every summer. While a Princess fan for most of the past 20 years, I'll tell you we have generally had good cruises with Carnival, one great cruise on Pride of America in Hawaii, and we are giving RC Liberty of the Seas a shot next month. Our only terribly disappointing experience in cruising was with RC ten years ago, and their fumble made me reluctant to return and had Princess not been screwing up pricing and mismanaging their website this February, my wife would still not be open to returning to RC. Our view is for the money, Carnival offers a good cruise; Food not quite as good, unless one uses pay dining. The ships are gaudy, but crew nice and a fun experience. RC likes big ships, tends to herd passengers around like cattle, lots of unique on ship activity sometimes difficult to access and good shows, but from mid management up service is terribly lacking. Norwegian tends to have fewer frills, but good service; lots of not bad on NCL from my conversations with their cruisers. Hear very good reports on Disney and Cunard, but neither have offered a cruise to the right place and the right price for me. All the older people I know love Holland America, one couples' comment the hubby says "they have the nicest suites and most comfortable beds on the seas," but wife commented, "yeah, but you always walk around the ship feeling like you are going to trip on somebody's oxygen line." In short, if one goes with a good attitude, not aiming to be critical, and makes no mistakes on their end, you can have a good cruise at a reasonable price with a half dozen companies. Each has a target niche. . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2013
We took our grandchildren they were on different floor enjoyed being together This was the last cruise i took with my husband He became ill and has passed away i am going on a cruise FEB 18 2017 WITH my FRIEND WHO'S ... Read More
We took our grandchildren they were on different floor enjoyed being together This was the last cruise i took with my husband He became ill and has passed away i am going on a cruise FEB 18 2017 WITH my FRIEND WHO'S HUSBAND ALSO HAS PASSED AWAY BOTH OF US LOOKING FORWARD JUST TO GET AWAY AND CHILL OUT I CHOSE THE PRINCESS MY HUSBAND AND I ALWAYS ENJOYED OURSELIES VERY MUCH We always got a balcony which my husband loved so much to sit out on ,and just watched the ocean . we were lucky to have beautiful weather. Which added to our sailing great sailing. Along with the service food entertainment everything went very well. I can honestly say i cannot remember anything not going smooth . My son and my two grandchildren do reminisce being on the ship with grandpa and fun we had with him . Beautiful memories. LOOKING FORWARD GOING AWAY AND HOPE MY FRIEND AND I GET UPGRADED TO A SUTIE Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
While a cruise experience matters highly, so also does the value In addition, I've found that most everyone has a different objective for cruising. I like to cruise for the entertainment, the experience, the ability to meet other ... Read More
While a cruise experience matters highly, so also does the value In addition, I've found that most everyone has a different objective for cruising. I like to cruise for the entertainment, the experience, the ability to meet other people, the better weather, and the service. Having cruised 24 times on Carnival, 2 on Royal, and my second time on Princess, I have found that all lines offer similar amenities and differ only slightly in overall experience, and of course the time of year, originating port, and destination can impact the entire cruise. First, I found that traveling solo with Princess, one pays 150% for the cabin, whereas it's 200% on others Embarkation at 2 pm was a breeze, although I was issued a cabin upgrade which was not reflected with my luggage tags, therefore leading to delay in receiving my bags until 6 pm. My room steward greeted me and welcomed me aboard, but did not ask if there was anything extra or special he could do (as others have) The muster drill was identical to others The cabin was a bit smaller than I was used to, not my opinion, Carnival has larger cabins Sailaway: pretty standard. We did have a group that gathered to "pose" for the webcam Took a short tour of the ship to re familiarize myself, and noted there were less places to smoke than other ships. Open deck Lido aft and fore, the Churchill lounge (deck 6,cigars and pipes allowed), casino areas, and a small area in Skywalkers (the night club) Princess does not allow smoking on balconies Staff throughout the cruise were exemplary, as usual Food: Good to great, just as most all are Drinks: I think they were a bit "stingy" with the wine in Vino's (wine and sushi bar) but overall a bit less pricey than Carnival Entertainment: Good quality, highly recommend Bert Stratton the piano player, but the venue "Crooners" is not set up to accommodate the large number of people he draws, one night he appeared in the Wheelhouse lounge, larger and more comfortable. The shows were pretty much the same as I've seen elsewhere (there's a reason they say on American Idol to the non winners "you might be OK for a cruise ship), if you don't have anything to compare to, they may strike you as fantastic Princess does not offer a turn down service nor do they do the towel animals every night like Carnival, and more than once my cabin was not refreshed if I didn't put the card "please refresh" on the door Galley tour: having taken a number of tours on a number of Carnival ships, it astounded me the vast number of folks that wanted to tour on this ship, huge lines Movies under the stars: well done, current run movies and a couple standards (Ferris Buellers Day Off) Dining: seldom had to wait for more than a few minutes with anytime dining but did not make special requests, such as window, not by a door, etc The waiters cut the lobster out of the shell, a new one for me onboard any ship The dining room was especially warm as was most of the ship compared to others I'd been on, and upon mentioning to a few officers was informed that the "older" crowd likes it a bit warmer Overall, a tamer crowd than I'm used to, and many of the folks I'd met I seldom saw "out and about" the duration of the trip Had I traveled with someone special, this would have been a much more enjoyable trip, as it was, it was simply a cruise with a low key vibe. I observed many first timers both by card rank and with talking to them, very few children, would estimate the average age to be early 60's, and most not very extensively traveled Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Personally, I would like a little more action on my cruise! Embarkation was by far the smoothest I have ever experienced. On sea days there wasn't much to do. My fiance actually proposed to me on the first formal night at the ... Read More
Personally, I would like a little more action on my cruise! Embarkation was by far the smoothest I have ever experienced. On sea days there wasn't much to do. My fiance actually proposed to me on the first formal night at the captains party. It was a fantastic experience! We also got to pour the first bottle of champagne on the champagne waterfall! Our stateroom attendant, Dennis, was absolutely wonderful! He catered to our every need, no matter how ridiculous. Dennis was absolutely amazing. The dining room staff were very personable, but to be honest, they were slow. Everybody in their section had to be there before they would even take your order, which meant sitting there with only water and bread for up to thirty minutes, at times. The food was just average. There was nothing on the cruise that was particularly tasty. The overall food experience was less than satisfactory. We sat in the Palm dining room, which is located at the back of the ship by the engines. As somebody that has been on well over 20 cruises, I can assure that I do not get sea sick, but on three separate occasions I had to leave the dining room before dinner was over because I felt sick to my stomach. The dining room was hot and for being on such a low deck, surprisingly rocky. Our room was relatively outdated, although we had a huge balcony. The only problem with the balcony was that everybody above you could look down and see what you were doing. The entertainment was, to be honest, not very entertaining. They had a pretty good selection of art, although relatively over priced. The day after our engagement, my fiance booked a couples massage. The massage was wonderful, but interestingly enough, they charged each of our accounts separately. It would have been fine, but we were using to separate accounts and it was something that he wanted to do for me as a treat. The policy of the ship is apparently to book couples treatments separately, which is a bit disappointing. Oh, and then there was the pianist who was singing a song titled "My Ding-a-ling". Classy, right? Overall, the cruise was a bit disappointing. My fiance and I had a wonderful time being together, but it wasn't the cruise we were expecting. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
I know I'm really late in getting this posted, but I've recently returned from the Caribbean Princess 12 day cruise of Norway and Iceland, and thought I'd submit a review of both the ship and the itinerary. I'm fairly ... Read More
I know I'm really late in getting this posted, but I've recently returned from the Caribbean Princess 12 day cruise of Norway and Iceland, and thought I'd submit a review of both the ship and the itinerary. I'm fairly new to this board as well; I joined to get information about Princess and this cruise. So many folks here were so helpful, that I thought I might 'pay it forward' by writing this review. I hope it will help someone else looking for answers, as I was a few weeks ago. Let me first put my review in context by giving you a bit of information about myself. I think that's important because we all view a cruise through our own lens. This was my 10th cruise, but my first with Princess. I'm a middle-aged (ouch; that hurt to write) woman who was traveling with a friend. (also a woman) So I really can't speak to the quality of programs for kids or how lively the DJ was at 2:45 AM or any of the other things we didn't do or weren't interested in. Neither of us purchased much of anything extra on board. We're not drinkers, we can live without the pricy specialty coffees or tea, and we don't see the logic of paying for food when there's great food in huge quantities being offered 24 hours a day for free. (well, you've already paid for it, but you know what I mean) Other than a little shopping on board ($10 for an evening bag--c'mon, who can resist??), my final bill had nothing extra except the excursions and the tips. And I realize that's not the same for everyone. But I can only write about the things that impacted myself or my friend, and I'm including the kind of information I was looking for myself when I joined this message board. We were on the Caribbean Princess, but I guess much of this would applicable to all the ships in the same classification. We flew into Heathrow from JFK, and though the Princess folks were waiting for us, the transfer to the ship was long (just doing all the pickups in Heathrow took over an hour) but well-organized, and eventually we arrived at Southhampton. Our bags were taken from us in the airport and we didn't see them again until they were delivered to our room. The embarkation was smooth and very quick; I would say within 30 minutes of arriving at the ship terminal, we were processed, given all our documents, and in our staterooms. That gave us nearly all of the afternoon to explore the ship. My friend got her luggage around 4:00 PM; mine was delivered sometime between 5:00 and 7:00 P.M. Unfortunately, my suitcase had been damaged in transit from the airport, so that became the first test for Princess Customer Service. I went to Passenger Services and I'm pleased to say that it all worked out great. They offered to try and fix the suitcase on board, and in fact, that's just what they did. I got it back a couple of days before the cruise ended and it was completely repaired. I didn't have to navigate home with a broken suitcase, or fill out forms and wait for a check after the cruise. No muss, no fuss--and it made a great first impression on me. Overall, I had a wonderful time, as did my friend. As a first-timer on Princess, I was generally impressed with the quality of service, activities, and food--and of course, the boat itself. We were in a standard balcony room, and while not luxurious, even with the beds separated into twins there was still room to maneuver around without tripping over each other. The bathroom was a bit small, particularly the shower, but I've had smaller on other cruises. (though it did have those 'magnet' shower curtains where water somehow always manage to leak onto the surrounding floor) We were on the Caribe deck, and as I found out, those balconies have the advantage of being a bit bigger and having half open to the sun (and other passengers) and half covered (and private). From what I could see, other decks had balconies that were either completely open or completely covered. So if you can, you should opt for the Caribe deck. This was the first time either my friend or I had ever had a balcony room (always opting for the standard Oceanview), but Princess was offering a deal when we booked and it cost us the same money to get the balcony, so we grabbed it. I can see now the point of that sale. It's kind of like when a drug-dealer gives a free sample the first couple of times hoping to get you hooked and make you a full-time customer. Because that's what happened to us--we're hooked! Knowing we always had this private space to sit and just enjoy the water and the glorious views were wonderful, and changed the nature of the cruise for us. I was always one of 'those people' who insisted it doesn't matter about the room because you're rarely in it. Well, that might be true when you don't have a balcony, but I can't imagine cruising now without one--though the extra cost might have something to say about that! Anyhow, if you can afford it, or if they're offering a deal for balconies, grab it. The population of the ship seemed a bit on the older side. (and remember, I'm middle-aged myself, so that's saying something). There were young couples, and even some teenagers and young children, but I would say the average age was mid to late 60's, with a number even older. (not HAL old, but older nonetheless) That in no way affected my enjoyment of the cruise, and the older crowd may have been more a manifestation of the itinerary and not the ship or cruise line itself, but as this was my first cruise with Princess, I have nothing to compare it with. This crowd was also predominantly British, obviously a result of the Southampton embarkation. For me, it was fun being in the minority and my friend and I really enjoyed being the only Americans at our table nearly every day--it made for lively and interesting conversations. (the Olympics and the US elections were the two popular topics) But it must have been odd for all those Brits, being on a ship out of England where everything was American-based; the money, the voltage, etc. As for the cleanliness and upkeep of the ship, I did read on one of the other threads about some 'sanitary mishaps' that another passenger experienced, but that certainly didn't happen to us, or to anyone else we spoke to on the cruise. All public areas were tidy and shipshape (pun intended) and we never noticed anything amiss during the cruise. Our room itself was clean and well-maintained throughout the cruise. We requested, and received, without any problem, extra pillows, towels, and toiletries. (c'mon--2 women with only 2 bath towels a day?? Pleeeze....) We did need to remind our cabin steward to replace the ice daily, but that was minor. There were even beach towels in the room as well, and those were replaced when used. Our cabin steward Sonia even learned our names and greeted us whenever we met in the halls. The cynic in me figures that was part of the game to get extra tips, but I don't deny it was nice not to be anonymous, whatever the reason. The mini-fridge in our room had plenty of room for our stuff as well. (fruit, chilling water bottles or a sandwich overnight for tomorrow's day-long excursions, etc.) There was a phone system to reach your steward if there was a problem. Overall, I'd rate the room experience fairly highly, especially relative to other cruises I've been on. I really liked the boat as well. I admit I'm a 'big-ship' person. My first priority in choosing a cruise is itinerary, but if given the choice, I'll always go with the hustle and bustle of a big ship. I like the idea that there are always new nooks and crannies to explore, and that there are lots of things to do all the time. Yes, there were sometimes lots of people at different events, and it could occasionally be tough to find a seat, but it was no big deal. (perhaps being from NYC has inured me to large crowds, but it just didn't seem a problem to me) So while not a 'mega-ship' by any means, the Caribbean Princess was certainly big enough to satisfy me. (Wait...that sounded vaguely dirty, didn't it??) But if you prefer a more intimate setting, this class of ship might not be for you. The facilities were quite good. There was a large and well-equipped fitness room, a hairdressing salon and barber shop, and a full-service spa. (only one of which--the gym--I used, so that's the only one I can personally vouch for) I did miss having a running track on one of the decks; here you had to use the Promenade Deck, which did not go completely around the ship. (you had to go up to the next deck and then cross around) It was fine, but you had to dart around strolling passengers. Either that, use the treadmills inside; there are certainly plenty of them. The fitness center offered some free exercise classes, some that required a fee, and a number of 'lectures' on health and fitness. Best of all, there was a certified Zumba instructor on board, and those 8 sessions were free! There seemed to be plenty of pools and hot tubs, but as this was a cruise to Norway and Iceland, the weather was certainly not summer-like. So while there always hardy souls in the hot-tub and even the pool (I was not one of them!), there certainly wasn't the crush you would expect on a warm weather cruise. No need to worry about 'chair-hogs' here. But it also means I can't give an accurate read on whether or not the pools get overcrowded or if there's enough chairs for the crowds that come when the weather is warm. The food was generally very good. Our habit was to eat breakfast and dinner in the dining room, and lunch at the Horizon Buffet, or at the pizza or hot dog/hamburger stand. Unless you have kids or another reason to need to be on a fairly strict eating schedule, I definitely recommend 'Anytime' dining; it makes scheduling the day's activities so much easier. (large parties might find it easier to do traditional dining, for seating purposes) We were told that you can make nightly reservations if you're eating very early or very late, but not otherwise, you just had to come and wait, if necessary. (they give you a vibrating thingy, like restaurants) We always got there between 7:15 and 7:30 and only one time in the entire cruise did we need to wait for a table. (we were always willing to share a larger table) I like the dining room because it's a more leisurely and relaxing experience and it's really nice sitting there and having someone else do the serving. Plus, it gave us a chance to meet lots of other people. I found the food to be excellent, and the wait staff was always willing to 'mix and match' the menu selections (or bring more if you asked--lobster tails, yum!) if you asked. And my friend needed a low-sodium diet and every night the head waiter came and sat with her to choose selections for the next day. With 'Anytime' dining, it was rare to get the same wait staff twice, and some were better than others, but there no one who was bad. The buffet was fine, and the selections were varied and quite tasty. But it suffers from the same problem that every buffet in the world has; you often end up eating cold food. Even if it's hot going onto your plate (which it sometimes wasn't), it wouldn't be by the time you finished wandering around the buffet making all your choices, and then would be really cold by the time you found a seat. (this cruise was sold out and it really showed in the crush at the buffet) I guess this is where the 'salad' folks had it easier; that stuff doesn't get cold like the pasta or meat dishes. Yet, there are folks who ate all or most of their meals there, so maybe there's a secret strategy of keeping food hot while you wander around that I haven't figured out yet. There were lots of wait staff in the buffet who kept things clean, and brought you tea, coffee, etc. The other food venues (hot dogs/hamburgers, pizza, ice cream, and the International Cafe) were all quite good as well. (not NYC pizza or hot dog good, but good nonetheless...) The Cafe was a bit disappointing only in that it was made to seem huge, and it's just 2 small display cases and a coffee/tea facility (with some very long lines at meal times), but they have great salads, really nice little sandwiches, and good pastries. And they're open 24 hours a day, which nothing else (besides room service) is. In fact, one of my few complaints is that the 'snack-food' stands closed at 10:00 and 11:00 PM, which is when we were in the Princess Theater. So if you eat late and go to the last show, and then want a little ice cream cone or a slice of pizza after that, you're out of luck. (yes, I know you can order room service, but that's not the same thing...) I liked the entertainment on board. The Princess Theater ensemble shows (there were 4 different ones on this cruise, plus the first night 'intro' and the last night talent show) were pretty good; not Broadway caliber of course, but as good as most and better than many other cruise ships. (obviously, this was my first time seeing any of them--for repeat cruisers, they may wear with age...). I had read on this board that some people on the Caribbean Princess had problems getting seats for the show, or with the scheduling of the shows versus dinner. I can only say that on this cruise there were 3 show times, and even if you ate dinner as late as 8:00 in the dining room, you could eat without rushing and find a seat for the show without a problem. We normally got to the theater somewhere between 9:50 and 10:00 (for a 10:15 curtain), and we always got good seats. The other nights had featured entertainers; a couple of comics, a musician, a magician, etc. We tended to skip those, so I can't really offer a review. The various clubs had some really fun things going on; there were bands and/or DJs doing 50's/60's/70's/80's/90's nights, with lots of dancing and sometimes with accompanying themed trivia contests. There was a lounge pianist doing show tunes and standards every night, and that was nice and mellow. Plus the music in the Piazza, which was a lovely touch. And the casino always seemed busy. (and they had a couple of 'non-smoking' nights, which I found interesting) We started with a sea day, had one in the middle of the trip and then 3 more to end it. That many sea days are either relaxing or boring, depending on your point of view. Personally, I really enjoyed them, which surprised me because normally I like a port intensive itinerary. But it was really nice to have this time to just unwind and relax. (and having the balcony made that easier) Plus, the ship had a tremendous amount of activities going all day. The activities staff was quite good. Dan Styne was the CD, and if you're looking for Julie McCoy personally greeting everyone, and then running bingo while simultaneously fixing you up with the guy in the cabin next door, it's just not happening. I saw Dan every morning on the 'Wake-Up' show, and from afar as he made his way into the theater and onto the stage. Other than that, I never saw him once in person on the ship. (except when the entire Cruise staff was outside the theater on the last night; I did get to shake his hand then....) I'm sure other people did see him; perhaps he even led an activity or two---I don't think he was hiding in his room. But I never saw him 'in real life' as my students would say. But, having said that, he was very funny and charming on the morning show and on stage, he organized a large number of activities, and ran a very professional and competent staff--which is, I guess, what the job of a modern cruise director is now. All these activities gave me the chance to do some things I never have onboard a ship. There was the Zumba of course, and I took a tap class, and line-dancing, did lots of trivia (I'm the proud owner of two first place fridge magnets!), went to a couple of the 'Scholarship at Sea' lectures, watched a cooking demo, took a backstage tour of the Princess Theater, worked out in the fitness center, watched a 'movie under the stars' (and froze while doing it!), and even got crafty! (hands up everyone who still has their salmon magnet or bead necklace!!). And of course, I spent a lot of time on my balcony reading, or just watching the water and the glorious views. And then there was the time spent eating. And then eating some more. And then, maybe going to the lovely afternoon tea--but just to 'try it'. And wait--there's warm cookies and milk every afternoon. Well, milk is healthy and what harm could a cookie (or 2, or 5) do??? (now you know why I spent so much time at Zumba and the gym!) Some odds and ends: most of you are aware that nearly all cruise lines have gone to 'automatic tipping', charging your account $11.50 (or $12.00 in a suite) every day. The truth is, it works outs to be no more than you would have tipped your cabin steward and waiters anyway, if you used the standard guidelines. And of course, you can tip extra to anyone you feel deserves it. Or you can have the charges removed and do the whole thing yourself, giving cash at the end of the cruise. I didn't mind the system, because everyone I would have tipped gave good service, but if you find that you've gotten poor service (especially in traditional dining, or the cabin),then I can understand that you would rather do it yourself. But be aware; I heard from someone on another cruise, that the computer printouts of the names and cabins of those who opted out of the tipping program have been known to be copied and given to the wait staff and/or cabin stewards. I was surprised how many folks on the ship got really dressed up for the formal nights (and even for some of the informal ones). About half the men wore tuxedos, and the same percentage of women wore gowns. Don't worry, there were plenty of folks (like me) who wore a cocktail dress or even dressy pants or a suit and tie, but after number of cruises with Carnival, where people wore jeans into the dining room on formal night, it was an real difference. And since I like the idea of getting dressed up once in a while, I didn't mind at all! IF that's not your thing, there's always the Horizon Court on those nights. Other than those 2 nights, people generally dressed typically 'vacation casual'. As to Wi-Fi, that was a pet peeve of mine. There is wi-fi on the ship, and computers in the 'Internet Library' for those that didn't bring their own devices. But they charge a ridiculous amount of money for it (as least from the point of view of someone on a teacher's salary for whom the cruise itself was a big splurge), and from what I've heard, a lot of your minutes (and money) is wasted on slow downloading times. I know there are many people for whom going 'off the grid' for 12 days (or even one day!) is like telling them to cut off an arm, and if that's you, then there are plenty of 'internet minutes' packages available. But I'm definitely not one of those folks. I had my cell phone in case of emergencies (mine or my family's back home) and sending and getting texts cost a fraction of what the internet packages did and kept me connected to home just as well. Plus, there was CNN to keep track of any crises. I did send out a few of those 'free e-postcards' that are on the Princess site, but other than that, I was fine without the internet. (though a couple of the tourist centers at the docks had free wi-fi, as did some local McDonald's and Starbucks, so if you really feel yourself jonesing for a fix, there is that...) But if you feel you can't go without, then be ready to shell out some big bucks for the privilege. BTW, speaking of money, my friend and I both went the entire cruise without changing anything into local currency. The ship doesn't take cash and nearly every place on land that we went to, took either credit cards, or had an equivalent price in US dollars (or English pounds). Not having to change from US to Norwegian to Icelandic back to US made life so much easier, and is a real benefit of this type of travel. One word of advice; if you have a nut allergy, Princess didn't seem very responsive to that problem. They don't even ask about it on the Personalizer form; it's not listed with the other food problems. My friend has a mild nut allergy, and while no one could reasonably expect the ship to be 'nut-free', there were some simple fixes they could have instituted but didn't. For example, despite the fact that my friend spoke to Passenger Services about it and they promised to do something, from the first day of the cruise to the last day, in the Horizon, the peanut butter cookies were mixed together on the same tray with the other cookies, making it impossible for her to have any at all. (which was really too bad, since the chocolate-chocolate chip was to die for!) Now how hard would it have been to just separate the peanut-butter cookies (also very good--I wasn't a very sympathetic friend, was I??) onto a separate tray? Especially after a passenger has brought it to your attention? As I've said, I'm not a big shopper, but there was plenty of that on board. Not just in the shops, but sales being held along the Piazza and in the dining room on the last couple of days. There were also wine sales, and chocolate, and of course, the ever present art auctions. There were 3 famous (not that I'd ever heard of them) artists on the cruise, and they were like rock stars on board, moving through the ship with their own entourages. (including the requisite leggy model types trailing behind) Besides selling their work, 2 gave sessions where they demonstrated their technique, and those were always popular. (one 'could not expose his process publically', but he brought along an assistant to do it for him) Frankly, I'm not into buying art on cruise ships, but if you are, there was plenty of it on the Caribbean Princess. (the art gallery that was set up, consisting of their works before the sales was kind of cool though...) Disembarkation was the smoothest of any cruise I've ever been on. We finished breakfast and went to the meeting place for our group, ready for the usual long wait. Instead, we didn't even have a chance to put our bags down. We were able to leave the ship immediately, find our luggage, and get on our bus. We left for the airport within 20 minutes of having finished eating. It was only at the airport that the real wait began. (Heathrow--you need more comfortable chairs!) Now, as to this particular itinerary, Norway and Iceland were both stark, fascinating, and beautiful. It poured in Bergen, which obviously affected the day's outing. I would recommend taking the Hop-on/Hop-off bus; it's located just across a park from where the ship shuttle (free) lets you off and you can pay with a credit card on board. It's goes to everyplace the ship's official tour does and for a lot cheaper. It even has a recorded 'tour guide', so you're not missing anything. Even with a separate charge for the Funicular (a highlight--even in the rain), the entire thing was only about $38--half of what Princess was charging for the same basic trip) We did take the Princess tour in Olden. It was listed as a bus tour and a scenic cruise. It cost $99 and would have been a complete waste of money even if it had cost a third of that. There was no bus 'tour', only a ride to the boat. The commentary by the guide was sparse to say the least. And once on the boat, the guide said absolutely nothing at all; no commentary whatsoever. To charge $99 for that was really outrageous. I would say try to find a local operator who does that same boat ride (there were lots located right where the boat docked) and go with them. The stop in Geiranger was a source of great angst for me. I wanted to do a boat tour AND go to the top of Mt. Dalsnibba (both highlights of that port), but you couldn't do that with Princess, as the two tours overlapped. Some reading this may remember my posting questions about when the last tender leaves for the ship as the tour ended at 5:00 PM, and I tried to get that answer from Princess as well. Eventually, I decided to take a chance and booked (from home) the two separate tours from a reputable tour operator, and then kept my fingers crossed. In the end, everything worked out wonderfully. The scenic bus ride was spectacular (and cost $40, compared to the $129 Princess wanted for the same basic trip), and the RIB tour of the waterfalls was a real rush, and we got to see everything in a way we couldn't from up above. That was about $72 compared to $139 for the Princess version. And, as it turned out, there was no problem with time. In fact, we docked early, and the company (Geiranger Fjordservice) very kindly swapped our start times, putting us on an earlier tour. BUT, even if we had taken the later tour, we would still have been back in plenty of time (5:00 PM), as the Princess trips didn't return until 5:30 and we watched a long-line of people waiting for tenders until after 6:00 PM. Do not misunderstand; I'm not advocating assuming the boat will leave late, because that's a recipe for disaster (and waving goodbye to your ship), BUT, as long as you leave some cushion in your schedule, it's smart and will save you money to do some research about local companies doing tours similar or identical to Princess. The last two stops were Akureyri and Reykjavik, Iceland. These were both highlights of the trip. In Akureyri, we took a Princess excursion to the Godafoss Waterfall and Lake Myvatn. Even overpriced, this was a great trip, especially the visit to the lake where we got about 90 minutes to bath in the geothermic pools. It was really wonderful, and our guide for this was incredibly informative. BTW, despite what the trip description says, you didn't have to shower without your bathing suit before going in the lake. I for one was VERY relieved.( the trauma of high school gym class having made a return appearance in my psyche) And don't laugh, I'm including this little tidbit because at least 5 women I met on the cruise told me they decided NOT to do that trip because they thought they'd have to shower naked! (ah....us women and our body issues....) In Reykjavik, we once again opted for a local tour, doing the Golden Circle with BusTravel. It was the same as the Princess excursion (in fact, we kept meeting the Princess buses at all of the stops), but it was $137 cheaper than the one Princess offered! Our guide's English was a bit rusty, but otherwise she was great.To be honest, we got a late start and the trip ran a bit long, giving me a few palpitations. But in reality, we never came close to missing the 7:30 'be on board' deadline, and in fact, when I expressed my concerns to the tour guide, she made sure the cruise folks were the first to be dropped off, even though that was out of the order the tour had intended. We were back by 7:00 PM (normally, the trip would have ended 30-45 minutes earlier), and folks were still coming on board until nearly 8:15. (again, not recommending being late, just stating what happened) As I said, with some research and making sure to always leave a safe cushion of time, using local operators can really save you a great deal of money AND be just as good. Overall, I really considered this trip a great success, as did the friend I was traveling with. There were problems of course; there always are, on any vacation. But, as a first-time Princess cruiser; I have to say I was pretty satisfied; both the ship and the itinerary met my expectations and I can definitely see myself being a repeat Princess customer. Despite the absurd length of this entry (and thanks to anyone still reading!!!), I'm sure I left things out. If anyone has any questions about the ship or itinerary that I didn't cover, please don't hesitate to ask! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We have cruised the Carib three times, the Horn, the Med, the Baltics and Alaska once each. Cruised with 4 different lines. This time, we were originally in the back of the ship and requested a mid ship cabin if available. Princess met ... Read More
We have cruised the Carib three times, the Horn, the Med, the Baltics and Alaska once each. Cruised with 4 different lines. This time, we were originally in the back of the ship and requested a mid ship cabin if available. Princess met our request and that was much appreciated. The Princess staff were very helpful and accomodating. This itinerary is fantastic - two weeks with only two days at sea. All of the islands are interesting - some more than others. I can never complain about cruise food - and lots of variety on this cruise as well. The food was fine. As an aside, I can never understand people complaining about food on a major cruise -what are you eating at home ? The selection is incredible on every cruise I have been on. Dining varies cruise ship to cruise ship - just like restaurant to restaurant. Nora was a fantastic room attendant, second room attendent could use some work (ety trash, replace shampoo, replace water, replace ice, clean shower drain. Ryan and Kenny and ?(sorry)? were great at the wine and tapa bar. Christopher is a fine barista. Buffet staff were hit and miss - right up the to the maitre d's. We totally avoided the dining rooms this time - don't ask me why. We enjoyed the pizza - very good, like our favorite in Rome (Via Nazionale East). Entertainment was mid line. Not much into the review shows. Bars were good. Bar staff were good. Ship shows its age to some degree but no serious complaints. All the lounge chair claiming is a bit tiresome - throw a towel at 8am and claim the chair all day. The new No Smoking enforcement needs lots of work. Smokers forced to the walking deck - the walking deck on the major lounging deck - it all doesn't work if you want to do laps. All in All --- 3.5 out of 5 --- Very Good. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We left Montreal on US air to head for San Juan the day before our cruise As usual I booked a "blind"hotel on Hotwire I asked for a 4 star and got thre RIO Mar hotel in Rio Grande Only AFTER I got it did I realize we were WAY ... Read More
We left Montreal on US air to head for San Juan the day before our cruise As usual I booked a "blind"hotel on Hotwire I asked for a 4 star and got thre RIO Mar hotel in Rio Grande Only AFTER I got it did I realize we were WAY out of town. The Hotel is close to EL YUNQUE and so we needed hotel transfers which did cost $$$$ Also the next day to port was 75$ Ifound a 1-800 number to request it They were very nice and gave us an Ocean view room ...lovely under the full moon !!! The Hotel ,a WYNDHAM ,was very nice ,beautiful grounds friendly staff but far from everything so we had to eat there. WE did enjoy the Casino and an early night .I would not return there just because of convenience ...too far from port but for a longer stay very nice place We arrived at port .landed in the wrong place with our Taxi and had to finangle a porter to help us out with loads of luggage ...my Spanish helped ..plus a generous tip ..THey do ask for it A LOT!!!! Checking in was easy WE were in our cabin within a short while Having been on CB many times It was easy to find our way Once again we were on CARIBE DECK aft Cabin 718 Nicely located towards the back of the ship I loved our balcony which we used a lot PLEASE RETURN OUR BIG TABLE They removed them to donate them in Dominica The little one they left behind is too small and USELESS!!!!I like breakfast on the balcony Little table holds NOTHING All in all WE loved all the ports we visited The ship looked fine to me Service was top Knotch as usual I must salute GIANNI in the dining room . Branko at Internet cafe, Joaquin ,Winston Jeffrey and Dragon Who served us in Dining room and buffet I always sat at the back of the ship and was promptly given my morning serving of papaya and cranapple juice...without asking NOW THATS SERVICE!!!!! THANK YOU BOYS Branko lent me a lap top and mouse for my 14 days He was most helpful The few shows we managed to see were repeats for me but very nice otherwise I think its time to change the dance programs PRINCESS WE need new shows Although food was GREAT Not fair for Pax on 2 week stretch to have no variety in menus If you sell the cruise as 2 weeks then cater to it as 2 weeks Loads of repetition in food, entertainment movies etc ...a big no- no Gianni made special meals for me as a result GIANNI WAS THE BEST!!!!!Thank You The islands we visited were wonderful Although please switch St Lucia for CURACAO IMO the 3 ABC islands are not to be missed ...so skip St Lucia WE were with Pepper in Dominica Amazing day LOved the snorkeling at Champagne REEF I highly recommend getting the Guide HE was wonderful ...DONNY thanks Mr Nice's fruit stand was a GREAT treat He is so nice The Chestnuts were out of this world Please do stop to see Mr Nice In Barbados the BLUE MONKEY is where turtles gather Such a hoot !!!to be so close Our tablemates from Michigan Ed and Paul were very enjoyable company at dinner and on different excursions We shared spices and a lovely tour thanks to Alban GRENADA was absolutely lovely WE met GREAT people Ellen Marty, Marc and Pnina and Yvonne and Coutney whom we salute We are sorry CB will not be returning to SJU but I understand local authorities give Princess a hard time But truthfully SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN has the BEST ports I now need to find someone else ie cruise line who does this journey For us from the GREAT WHITE NORTH ...we need HEAT in winter and truthfully you do not get it until you are really south So Princess send back a ship to Southern Caribbean PLEASE PUT IN PITCHERS OF WATER IN CABINS I was always so thirsty on board Celebrity does so please do also Thank you for your new smoking policy I alppreciate it esp when I sit on my balcony Now get rid of smoking in CASINO!!!! Disembarcation was a bit of a wait but doable The best thing is to get a porter It just goes faster WE opted for Princess transfer It was fine All in all LOVED the Southern Caribbean Looking forward to doing it again soon Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
I am a Royal Caribbean Frequent Cruiser and this was my second time on Princess (against 10+ from RCCL and 1 in Carnival) and I have to say that I would describe Princess as a reasonable facsimile for RCCL. The ship itself is ... Read More
I am a Royal Caribbean Frequent Cruiser and this was my second time on Princess (against 10+ from RCCL and 1 in Carnival) and I have to say that I would describe Princess as a reasonable facsimile for RCCL. The ship itself is beautiful and well maintained altough the layout was sometimes confusing (at the end of the week, I was kind of lost when moving around the ship) and the signs were misleading sometimes (example: If you go all the way down to deck 5, you can't go all the way from back to front because you ran into CREW only passages, you have to go up one deck then to do that). The embark/disembark process were smooth, I don't complain with that. There are minor issues that were annoying (nothing serious just personal preferences): - RCCL offers an interactive system from your stateroom's TV to see your account charges, order services, etc. In Caribbean Princess you don't have that. You have to go to the Purser's Desk and ask for a printout. You can imagine the large lines at the end of the cruise just asking for this. - I missed the Towels Animals on my stateroom. Nevertheless, the service in our room was excellent. - I found that the Buffet area on deck 15 was small and not so well organized when compared to RCCL. Again, those are personal preferences. Nothing bad with the food or the variety on it. - In the buffet, they don't give you silverware because they are on the table and if not, they bring it to you. That's seems fine until you have the room fool of people and few employees for all of them. I prefer to receive the silverware at the entrance like in RCCL. The entertainment on board is very good and in this cruise in particular they have a lot of Spanish shows for the Latin guests. That was good. The Piazza (on Mid Ship on Deck 5) was always bursting with activities and I enjoy everyone of them. It's the place to be (in-between shows and other activities) at every night. I tried the Anytime Dining and the experience was excellent. They always meet our expectations and gave us the table for two every night. Food quality and presentation was outstanding. Specialty restaurants: YOU MUST GO, I REPEAT, YOU MUST GO TO SABATINI'S Italian Restaurant. For $20/person you get to try every appetizer (including pizza), soups, salads, pasta, the main dish and dessert !!! (Definitively, you must go with an empty stomach). The service we receive there in the hands of Sandro (from Portugal) was out of this world. Another specialty restaurant is the Crown Grill. In this one, you will have an succulent stake (they even have a Porterhouse of 22 ounces!). Excellent choice also, $25/per person charge. The cabin was fine for the two of us, and the space for luggage is HUGE (at last, better that RCCL) that in fact, we didn't end putting the luggage under the bed like we usually do in RCCL in cabins of this type. In conclusion, I enjoyed very much the experience on this cruise ship. I would definitively recommend it. Despite the minor setbacks described above (I am guilty of charge for being an RCCL fan), I would say that Princess did good and satisfied our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
Our Perspective CB New England/Canada 8/22-8/29 General Information: We are 'active seniors' in our early 60's. We exercise daily, enjoy each other's company, meeting people, and cruising. When given lemons we always ... Read More
Our Perspective CB New England/Canada 8/22-8/29 General Information: We are 'active seniors' in our early 60's. We exercise daily, enjoy each other's company, meeting people, and cruising. When given lemons we always make lemonade! Embark/ Disembark: This is our 7th cruise with Princess; we are Platinum so it was an easy 5min, no wait process to embark . (We boarded at 1:20pm). Disembarkation was also easy. Off the ship via Platinum Lounge and used Princess transfer to JFK. Reasonable $ and they handle the luggage. Dining: We had Anytime Dining. We have had anytime for 5 other cruises and traditional one time when we were traveling with a group of 8. We prefer the flexibility that this style dining affords us. Everything you have read from other posters was true for the CB. We had sailed on CB during her first season. We were well aware that this sailing was full -3500 passengers (500 children). Long waits for seating, difficulties getting a reservation, phone not answered after an hour of trying and once seated less then efficient table service. (food arrived cold twice and DH sent it back also spoke to Maitre'd without much response . The worst was the Deck 6 dining room- Deck 5 was a much better experience short wait times and we tried all different times, Not just Prime Time -5:45-about 8pm) There seems to be a basic problem with the amount of people, and flow through the dining room as well as slow serving for the larger tables 6-8 or more. We commented on our experiences on the evaluation and via e-mail. We have never had these issues on the other Princess ships with less passengers. We are not buffet fans. I did check out the sail away buffet to see if there was the seafood buffet.... There were seafood entrees but no seafood buffet. Probably a victim of corporate cutbacks? We loved the International Cafe offerings and the Tapas and Sushi at Vines (no charge for these) We had the Champagne Balcony breakfast... Our waiter made us mimosas and served a Fabulous Fruit selection, great Blue Berry Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, Assorted Pastries coffee and herb tea Afternoon tea - it was good but sequence out of order...we had to ask for scones.... Crown Grill - fabulous!!!! Worth the additional charge. Over all the food was good - we enjoyed and there is Always the "always available" standard items that are consistently good. Pastas were wonderful! Ports: Newport was cancelled by Hurricane Bill. We enjoyed the sea day... Boston: Arrived at 8am instead of 10am. We had reservations for HOHO Old Town Trolley. Saw all the highlights of the city. Toured Fenway. Walked the entire Freedom Trail. Had fabulous lunch in No Name Eatery. Went to Mike's Parterres for treats and espresso in the North End. On way back to ship Thunderstorm hit. . We had a great day. Bar Harbor: We did the ship's excursion- Biking Arcadia NP. It was a good work out and the park was serene and very beautiful. Had a great lobster lunch at Testa's on Main Street. When to Bill's for Ice Cream after visiting some shops and DH had the lobster ice cream, I had the blueberry... (THE BEST) St John's NB. Lots of Fog!!! Took trolley tour then walked to City Market. Sampled yummy seafood chowder and some local beers. Saw the Bay and Reversing rapids. We opted not to go kayaking, as the weather was damp and overcast... Halifax: We had wonderful weather . We went to the Maritime Museum, took a carriage ride around the city, toured the Citadel, and loved the Public Gardens. We walked the entire boardwalk, stopped into the Casino. DH won $50 on the slots better than he did in the ship's casino. Had great Fish and Chips at Murphy's on the water. On return to ship: We saw the RCMP Bagpipe and Drum Corp perform in the Princess Theater. They played traditional Scotch tunes and also had a Scotch folk dance. Very nice! Entertainment: We went to all 3 Production shows: Do You Want to Dance?, Caribbean Caliente and Piano Man. High energy dancers lots of glitz and costume changes. Wheelhouse.Bar Ashley Clarke Quartet & Elements-great for dancing Crooner Lounge Bert Stratton, Piano entertainer. He has 'groupies' and we did not care for him. Explorer's Lounge Comedian Jay Moore (1st part of the week) &James Michael - majic act and comedy. Skywalkers's had a DJ nightly . We enjoyed the 50's and 60's dance party. (Our music) MUTS was fun showing recent releases such as Star Trek, Ironman and BrideWars. Monsters vs Aliens, Marley and Me and Bedtimes Stories for kids and families. Concerts included Beyonce, U2 and Christine Aquilera The Crew Talent show was great, especially the skit by Dan Styne (CD) and Co - halarious Other comments: Our cabin - balcony on Lido deck forward near the door to the deck above the bridge. The cabin was kept immaculate by Resty our steward who attended to our every need. He was personable and made us feel pampered. There were crew cleaning and maintaining the ship everyday. (They were out polishing the brass and varnishing the handrails. We did not use the Sanctuary (weather and short itinerary.) but for a warm weather cruise it looks very nice. Overall we had a very enjoyable cruise but have decided that this ship is too big for us and we will definitely consider size when making our next cruise choice.... Bigger isn't always better. We are booked on the Golden to Hawaii next and have sailed on her before with 1970 passengers we never felt crowded nor did we encounter the Anytime dining issues. Thanks you for reading this review - our perspective! Dot and Paul Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
This was my 2nd cruise on princess, the first being an alaskan cruise which I went on with my parents. I took this cruise with my partner and it was her first time cruising.We flew into San Juan a day early. We had no problem getting ... Read More
This was my 2nd cruise on princess, the first being an alaskan cruise which I went on with my parents. I took this cruise with my partner and it was her first time cruising.We flew into San Juan a day early. We had no problem getting around the city. Taxis were very clearly priced. We had a hotel close to the airport and beach and took a taxi into downtown. We went to both of the forts, they were beautiful, but we really only needed to see one. Walked down 'calle del sol' which is just a quaint little street lined with colorful houses. We did alot of walking around and enjoying the weather. We enjoyed the beach that was about 2 blocks from the hotel, and also the hotels pool and swim up bar :)On the morning of embarkation we took a taxi to the pier... it was not in downtown san juan, so we didn't get a chance to walk around any more as we had hoped. But we got on the ship rather quickly and started finding our way around. We purchased two bottles of wine at the duty free shop and brought them on board to our room.We had booked an inside cabin, but had been upgraded to a balcony a few weeks before the cruise!!! We were so psyched! Our travel agent said that hardly ever happens, so we were pretty lucky!The islands:St. Thomas-We took a champagne catamaran excursion over to St. John. I believe it was called Honeymoon Beach. It was an awesome boat ride. Our tour guides were great. Snorkeling was awesome. Everyone really spread out and we got really close to some sea turtles. We tried to call over the rest of the group, but literally no one was around. It was a great experience. wine, mimosas or rum punch on the way back, and there was plenty to go around!Dominica-we did the wacky rollers ziplining excursion. It was fantastic. Although they gave very little guidance, it was great and very safe. A great challenge-and we were pretty sore the next day! Grenada-we stayed on the ship. enjoyed the pool and some ice carving.Bonaire-we decided to do another snorkeling tour, which we hadn't signed up for in advance. Turned out to be great. It was an older wooden boat which sailed us over to Klein Bonaire. Again, it was beautiful, swimming among the fish and coral. They took 'advanced' snorkelers out a bit farther and then we swam back to the boat. We are not 'advanced' nor did we need to be! We are athletic and were able to swim the distance without being tired. With fins and an inflatable vest, it's pretty easy. Our tour guide was slightly pushy and kept telling us to keep up with the group. I would've liked to be able to take my time and enjoy what I wanted to see. But it was nice that we knew that they weren't going to leave without us!Aruba-we did not do an excursion. We walked a couple of blocks to the bus depot and paid a few dollars to go down to lines of hotels. We didn't really know the lay of the land, so just hoped off at a hotel and walked out to the beach. We ended up renting a chair from the hotel and enjoyed the day! it was great, clear blue water as we had imagined! Back in PR-disembarkation was quick and we ended up at the airport way too early for our flight. We convinced our driver to bring us back to the beach that we had been to before-across from the hotel. We spent a couple of hours there and then took a cab back into the airport.On the ship-activities were plentiful! We took many dance classes, went on the behind the scenes tour, got a spa treatment. The entertainment was good, not great. It's not broadway or anything, but it's entertaining.Overall a great time! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
We Liked:) * Most dinners (lamb chops, prime rib, chicken topped with shrooms & Fontina, king crab legs). * Most lunches aside from the burgers (low-grade). * Cabin steward was the BEST! Guy was like a ninja. * Comedian/juggler ... Read More
We Liked:) * Most dinners (lamb chops, prime rib, chicken topped with shrooms & Fontina, king crab legs). * Most lunches aside from the burgers (low-grade). * Cabin steward was the BEST! Guy was like a ninja. * Comedian/juggler was very funny and entertaining. * Availability of food. Prego's pizza & grill was going at 1:30 AM for MUTS. * Skywalkers is still the coolest club at sea. * Freshwater swimming pools. * Cold towels when getting back onboard from port days. * Most bands were good. * Champagne party even though more difficult to get a glass this time. * Disembarkation was smooth aside from the sheer mayhem that goes on outside of terminal trying to get a taxi, but that is Puerto Rico's fault. * Muster is as painless as they can make it. Much better than other lines. * Wife enjoyed 2 spa treatments, well sort of - see last bullet under "We did not like." We did not like(: * Lack of A/C in common areas. * Water fountains (hot water) and cardio equipment (old) in gym. * Most waiters were not properly trained and lacked motivation, in our opinion. Example, one guy tried to test a 2nd bottle of wine by pouring the test sip into a 1/2 full glass from 1st bottle. Also would not know to always take ladies orders first. * WORST breakfast in the world and HORRIBLE coffee, even by cruise line standards. * Some dinner items were embarrassingly bad inc. filet mignon (leather) and scallop & shrimp appetizer; Think $0.10 shrimp cocktail in Vegas quality. * Always a line at pursers which wasted our time when needed to check on our account; we had lots of credit to be used. * Comedian/magician put us to sleep. * Location of embarkation is away from the action of Old San Juan where Carnival and others dock. * Hard-sell of products in spa while wife still naked under sheet at end of her treatment left a bad taste in her mouth and ruined the whole experience. She left frustrated rather than relaxed. Okay, that's it! We had a terrific time with a few blemishes. Princess CB has room for improvement. Still, we booked an FCC and probably will go through with it. They changed the rules a bit because they are currently offering double OBC's. Only thing is that if you cancel you will get your $200 deposit back but lose the OBC. In other words, we had to pick an itinerary to get the 2x credits. If we change our mind, we lose the credits and can't switch itineraries. Rumors are true, Crown Grill still a work in progress. Lots of painting going on around the ship still, even at sea. You NEED to play the chair game when at sea if you want a decent spot. We hated that, but it is a part of life so keep it in mind when you go. There are signs about holding chairs for more than 30 minutes but guests would assist their friends, family, and new shipmates by speaking on the violator's behalf when inquiries were made. If you booked, you'll have fun but you will need to know it will not be a flawless cruise. The staff said the sailing prior to ours - 1st out of drydock - was a disaster. Maybe in a few months all will be back to normal. Many of the staff did not even know there way around the ship yet. Happy travels to all and hope this helps! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2007
A LITTLE ABOUT US We are in our late 30's and this was our first cruise. We were traveling with a group of 11 people, including our parents. At the time of cruising we were together for about 5 years and living happily. We were ... Read More
A LITTLE ABOUT US We are in our late 30's and this was our first cruise. We were traveling with a group of 11 people, including our parents. At the time of cruising we were together for about 5 years and living happily. We were not the only new cruisers in our group, in fact the only members of our group who had sailed before were my parents who had sailed with Princess on 5 other cruises. SHIP Caribbean Princess is an amazing ship. Since this was our first cruise we have nothing to compare it to, however, this ship was well beyond our expectations. Rooms were exceptionally clean, as were the public areas. This ship is huge so be prepared to walk-a lot !! EMBARKATION Swift and painless!! It was with great excitement that we made our way through this very simple process. Princess staff members are well trained and moved cruisers along with ease. It was great to have so many staffers around to assist us. One recommendation- have a few single bills on hand as there seemed to be a lot of tipping from the hotel to embarkation. OUR ROOM Amazing-fabulous-exceptional-perfect!! We had a stateroom with a balcony and it was marvelous. The bathroom is a bit small but this is the norm so it was ok with us. We were happy to have a safe in our room to hold our valuables and important documents. Our bed was very comfortable and the balcony was phenomenal-we REALLY recommend the balcony suites. We loved sitting out during the morning and evening hours. I would have liked to have had bottled water complimentary in our rooms. We drink a lot of water and luckily we brought some on board with us, however, we would really like to have had some chilled water provided in the rooms. Our steward was amazing!!! Our room was kept impeccably clean and she was super nice. She was always smiling, like most of the staff, and she seemed genuinely happy to be working for Princess. FOOD AND DINING Delicious- we ate most meals in the buffet and it was unbelievably good. We also enjoyed three dinners in the restaurants and they were sooooooo good. We ate so much food-luckily, like I said earlier, we did a lot of walking !! We were slated for "anytime dining" and it was perfect. On the evenings we decided to dine in the restaurants, we simply phoned for reservations and it worked out perfectly. Some people enjoy the traditional dining but we like the ability to dine when we wanted to as opposed to having a set time. PRINCESS SERVICE Exceptional!! Everyone, everywhere-exceptional. ENTERTAINMENT Incredible! The entertainment is second to none. It is quite varied and was wonderfully entertaining. We laughed, we sang, we danced, we jumped, we clapped, we listened ! All day everyday, there is something happening on this ship. From dance lessons, to ice carving, fruit and veggie carving, pool contests, deck contests, movies, bands, bingo, horse races, theme parties, sports, golf lessons, golf demos, scavenger hunts, etc.......... RELAXATION We really loved the fact that even with all this entertainment happening, we could still find quiet spaces to relax and read, or enjoy a cold drink and the hot sun. Again the service on the sun deck was terrific. EXCURSIONS Super fun!! We went into the ports of Saint Maarten, St. Thomas and Princess Cays and we loved all three. We didn't particularly enjoy the street vendors constantly begging for a sale, however, the ports were beautiful. We did some shopping and enjoyed the beaches. My hunny enjoyed a fabulous day of golfing in St. Thomas. This was an organized excursion and although it seemed a bit hectic when they were heading out, it turned out to be a great day and worth the money. We really enjoyed our relaxing day on Princess Cays. We did some snorkeling and some swimming and just totally relaxed and enjoyed the day. We really liked the BBQ on the beach; it was a lot of fun. Our group really had a good day! FAVORITE MEMORY AND FUTURE CRUISING PLANS Our favorite memory of the trip was our excursion in Saint Maarten as this is where WE GOT ENGAGED!! We had both decided we would not get married (again) however, after being together for 5 years, the romance and excitement of this trip swept us both off of our feet and the next thing we knew, we were buying a ring and announcing our engagement. It was incredible. We are going to be married "At Sea" aboard the Crown Princess in November 2009. Our children, our parents and 43 of our friends and family are also joining us for our wedding cruise!! If you can't tell, we highly recommend Princess Cruise Line ? Read Less
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 3.9
Family 3.5 3.9
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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