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13 Princess Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Transatlantic

We sailed the Caribbean Princess from Southampton 9/22/17 to Ft Lauderdale 10/7/17. It was our 45th cruise, but first transatlantic. We used Princess’ EZ Air for Virgin Atlantic BOS to LHR and enjoyed a day in London pre-cruise. ... Read More
We sailed the Caribbean Princess from Southampton 9/22/17 to Ft Lauderdale 10/7/17. It was our 45th cruise, but first transatlantic. We used Princess’ EZ Air for Virgin Atlantic BOS to LHR and enjoyed a day in London pre-cruise. Overall we had a very good, relaxing time. We love sea days; the first two were very cool, but the other eight were fantastic. We relaxed on a Lido Deck chaise alternating between napping and reading. Deck crew did an amazing job removing debris left on unoccupied chaises! We have sailed the Caribbean Princess a couple other times, so readily acclimated to the layout. Our stateroom was obstructed view E515; the location was fantastic with quick access to mid-ship elevators and a short walk to the aft elevators. We went forward only for the evening shows in the theater. Our stateroom view was only slightly obstructed nicely positioned between lifeboats. The first day’s Patter advised us that we would enjoy FOUR production shows over the course of our 15 night cruise; our cruise director “Gary” echoed that information at the Welcome Aboard Show. Unfortunately we actually got to see only three production shows: Bravo, Born to be Wild and Broadway Ballroom. My husband loved the first and actually went to two showings of it. I strongly preferred the last one, but we both enjoyed them all. We were very disappointed that, although told we’d also see “Piano Man” it was never performed and we did not receive any explanation. Fly on entertainment included vocalist Todd Adamson and violinist Chris Walker, both of whom did a great job. We also had a magician whose show consisted of only sleight of hand tricks, mostly performed and displayed by overhead projector…in a theater that seats more than a thousand guests. We also had a musician who played a couple unusual instruments for 30 minutes…on a formal night. “Voice of the Ocean” is essentially the karaoke finals presented as the evening’s entertainment. We really enjoyed about half of the shows, but were seriously unimpressed by some of the others. Many evenings the group “Nexus” performed in the Explorer’s bar and they were wonderful for listening and dancing. Passenger demographics on this sailing was predominantly retirees; we love Movies Under the Stars and expected movies would be planned accordingly. Not so. We were treated to flicks like "Lego: the Batman Movie." There were a few that we really enjoyed but our cruise had only a half dozen kids and the movies presented were absolutely not tailored to the primary demographic on board. We booked all of our shore excursions with Princess so we didn’t have to plan, think or worry. The motor coaches and narrators all did fine jobs. We enjoyed the cobblestone streets and canal of Brugges, absolutely loved Paris and our dinner cruise, Lisbon was OK. Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda was beautiful. I’m certain we didn’t lose weight on board. We had breakfast in the dining room only once; the buffet breakfast was exactly the same thing day after day. But the omelette station (far aft) was very good, bacon was crispy and Princess has the absolute best ever (raisin free) bran muffins. We bought the coffee card and enjoyed a lot of fresh brewed coffee from the International Café. We had lunch in the dining room three times, but the menu wasn’t anything special, so we grazed on the Lido Deck most of the time. This cruise is the first time (of 45 cruises) that we left feeling rather disappointed in the food. There were always some odd casserole concoctions, pre-made sandwiches, very repetitive mediocre soups and too often we ended up having pizza. I tried the burger place twice, but the “American cheese” is actually the wrapped slices of processed cheese food (51% cheese, 49% oil,) NO, thank you. The “ice cream” is actually some artificial frozen dessert mix that is neither rich nor creamy; I tried it once and hubby tried it twice – very disappointing. The MDR for dinner was much better. Service was very good and we never had to wait more than a few minutes to be seated. Although we did have to choose from the Princess favorites too many times (salmon or fettucine alfredo) the food was well prepared and well presented. I left a 15 night cruise seriously impressed by ONE meal…the chicken pot pie. Neither of us usually eat dark meat, but this was absolutely delicious. I had dessert only two times – once just ice cream, but the texture had ice crystals and the other time was supposed to be New York Cheesecake, but the texture was too soft, not firm as that item should be. My husband had and enjoyed dessert almost every night. Our biggest food-related disappointments were the quality of Lido Deck options and that the aft section is now set up as extra charge dining outlets. On prior cruises, we loved having dinner with table linens, but casual Lido atmosphere with some MDR selections on the buffet. We are booked on our next Princess cruise to Hawaii (for the third time.) But cancellation is an option due to our disappointment in the casual dining food. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Pricing: Princess originally offered this 5-port transatlantic voyage at $2k each for midship balcony cabins. Upon eliminating 2 ports and substituting 1 port, the balcony price reduced to $1,500. We were told the skipped ports were ... Read More
Pricing: Princess originally offered this 5-port transatlantic voyage at $2k each for midship balcony cabins. Upon eliminating 2 ports and substituting 1 port, the balcony price reduced to $1,500. We were told the skipped ports were because the ship was operating on only one engine instead of two, and could achieve only 18 knots instead of the normal 20-something.Onboard we learned that some people received phone calls offering $399 for balcony cabins. I telephoned Princess weekly, asking for the lowest price, but my $1,500 was never reduced. Princess engages in oddly discriminatory and capricious pricing. Onboard: Onboard activities are thin: same old trivia; "the wake show" up-selling liquor & up-selling costly onboard restaurants; bad movies suitable for teenage boys, Princess Players trying to update their offerings but failing; huge casino and bingo push, art auctions and sales, fakey raffles for overpriced jewelry, hard sell for onboard "boutique" and jewelry stores; "specials" for overpriced liquor drinks; constant daily "blowout sales" of crappy t-shirts and poor quality clothing and junk jewelry; just awful offerings. No port history/culture lectures at all, few documentary in-person presentations, with gawdawful screen projector slides, no innovative activities at all. Every square inch of the Caribbean Princess is a profit center, to be exploited in addition to the fare for the voyage. Renovated Caribbean Princess: Princess touts a multi-million-dollar so-called renovation of the Caribbean Princess. Reality: the Horizon cafeteria on Deck 15 was renamed Marketplace Fresh with no menu changes; the cafeteria seating area has new window coverings and white walls, and the floor covering was changed. Hand washing stations were added to each end at the cafeteria entrances, but the soap dispensers did not work. If any cabins were renovated, it's a well-kept secret. My midship Aloha Deck cabin had the same old carpet, furniture, and accessories as my previous three Caribbean voyages, other than the new mattress which was quite a good improvement. Paint throughout the ship has breakthrough rust, varnished railings on my balcony were peeled and worn down to bare wood, the blue plastic balcony floor pad was splattered with white paint and indistinguishable stains, the tiny shower shelf was missing the bar that keeps things from falling, the shampoo/conditioner on-wall shower dispenser plungers did not work well and the products were positively abysmal. Bar soap is now a wafer thin round which came packaged in paper, much smaller than is easily handled. Planned maintenance was ongoing. Hot tubs were shut down one by one for installation of new parts, service people were repairing various components on outside decks, and it was clear that Princess was undergoing maintenance at sea that appropriately should be undertaken between voyages, all at inconvenience to customers. Cabin: The cabin felt like an inexpensive hotel; not luxurious, not furnished with upscale thoughtfulness; it was just plain old and tired and depressing. The television had a screen too small to be viewed nicely from the only place to watch, the bed. And it didn't work well; much of the time the audio worked but not the video, and the remote worked with difficulty even after two attempts by maintenance to fix it. No replacement was offered. Excursions: Bruges, Belgium canal cruise excursion was wonderful. Lisbon's trip to Sintra and Cascais produced a 4 hour bus ride with 35 minutes in Sintra and 1 hour in Cascais. Clearly not worth the pain. LeHavre's trip to Honfleur, France was unremarkable, as the small town is primarily dozens and dozens of restaurants at the river, with a semi-interesting old wooden church and a couple blocks of "old town" viewed by walking down the street but not actually going into or experiencing anything along the way. Worth skipping. We entertained ourselves in Bermuda. Overall, excursions were a huge disapppointment, as it seems Princess is offering reduced experiences for greater cost. The bottom line is worshipped by Princess. Employees: They are uniformly well trained, unctuous, and courteous. It is, however, interesting to note that employees in the public areas of the ship are expressionless, unengaged, and trained to be unflappable in the face of unhappy passengers. I found that stultifying. Room stewards were more happy with their jobs, perhaps because they have much less face time with customers, and because they can nearly always accommodate requests by customers. The front desk employees have but a thin veneer of knowledge, being wholly unable to appropriately respond to a gigantic flap that ensued when "transfers" to the airport and hotels in Ft Lauderdale at the end of the cruise proved to be a significant ordeal. I paid Princess in advance for a transfer from the ship to the Ft. Lauderdale airport to make my Princess E-ZAir flight. The front desk invalidated my transfer, telling me they could not get me to my flight on time. They told me to arrive at the onboard transfer location at the appointed time, even without a transfer ticket, to be led off the ship with the group, and to get a taxi on my own and hope for the best. The front desk woman advised me Princess of course would not try to change my flight, as this would be "very expensive". Wow. The transatlantic crossing was uneventful during October, no storms. I'd like to see Princess return to its old upscale status, but it appears they are headed to the basement. I am wholly disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary but then it was changed to eliminate 3 ports we had wanted to visit. We considered cancelling but decided against it and am glad we did. We really enjoyed the weather as it was very warm every day. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary but then it was changed to eliminate 3 ports we had wanted to visit. We considered cancelling but decided against it and am glad we did. We really enjoyed the weather as it was very warm every day. We were given an upgrade to a balcony and it was nice but needs to be refreshed. The bed was very comfortable but the rug had stains. The crew were very friendly and attentive whether we were in the buffet or the dining room. Our room steward was also excellent. We found the food to be somewhat repetitive but could always find something to satisfy our appetites. The ports were Brugge, Belgium, Le Havre, France, Lisbon Portugal and West End, Bermuda. We enjoyed every one as we had not been to any of them before. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and without any problems. I would do this itinerary again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The only reason we decided to do this cruise was because it was such a fabulous bargain. I mean $398 for a balcony on a 15-night cruise ... How do you pass that up? Add in to the calculations the $250 OBC for being a veteran, and the deal ... Read More
The only reason we decided to do this cruise was because it was such a fabulous bargain. I mean $398 for a balcony on a 15-night cruise ... How do you pass that up? Add in to the calculations the $250 OBC for being a veteran, and the deal got even juicier. Finally, as an extra, extra bonus, they gave us each $100 OBC for the change in itinerary. We seriously debated whether or not to do such a long cruise all by ourselves. We were concerned we would be bored. That NEVER happened! The activities were fabulous all day long ... excellent Enrichment Lecturer (a former CBS and CNN News Producer), fun game shows (even though they weren't new to us, the team made them so much fun), ballroom dance classes that were both fun AND beneficial that were taught by the best Cruise Director (Gary Golding) that we have had with ANY cruise line. We got home today and are still smiling from the wonderful 15-day experience. We enjoyed the ports we went to, even though there were only 4 of them. However, our onboard experiences and our new cruise buddies made this one of our very best cruises ever! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Well over all the cruise was just ok. Security peaples dont even say hello ( if the personnal have a job it's because of peaple like us (customers) that takes a cruise) on formal knight diner guess could come in the dining room ... Read More
Well over all the cruise was just ok. Security peaples dont even say hello ( if the personnal have a job it's because of peaple like us (customers) that takes a cruise) on formal knight diner guess could come in the dining room just with a shirt no jacket? never seen that before with the other companie Shows where exept 2 very ordinary embarkation was very long firs knight at diner was very rushing everybody tries to sell you something (even the waiters) we did more then 15 cruises yet and I dont think we will cruise again with Princess. I am sorry about my conclusion but we are keeping a sad experience in or mind. The connection with the buses where very good They had to cancell 2 places The ship had some king of problem each time we where leaving a port this ship was shaking alot The buffet was very repetitious Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose this cruise to get to Ireland. We have sailed about 18 times with Princess. The newly refurbished updated Horizon Court was very nicely appointed. The problem was the food at lunch was not very good. There was not much variety and it ... Read More
Chose this cruise to get to Ireland. We have sailed about 18 times with Princess. The newly refurbished updated Horizon Court was very nicely appointed. The problem was the food at lunch was not very good. There was not much variety and it didn't seem fresh. Everything seemed tired and had that leftover feeling.the space felt small as much of the room was taken up by two new pay to play restaurants for evening time. The entrainment on board was very average and lacked any imagination or appeal. Very average talent and quite old feeling. The passenger games were very crowded because there were not enough scheduled and people were searching for something to do. There were no sports broadcasts for much of the journey. The ship was fresh out of drydock but the women's public restrooms were mostly broken the entire trip. Always had to scramble to find a working public restroom when attending shows, activities or bars & restaurants. This was below average of all the Princess cruises we have been on. With about 18 cruises, we were disappointed and will not be sailing on the Caribbean Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were on the CP for the transatlantic after it came out of drydock. We have been on the CP twice before, and thought I'd post my opinion of some of the changes, good and bad. Hits - New beds very comfortable, new layout for ... Read More
We were on the CP for the transatlantic after it came out of drydock. We have been on the CP twice before, and thought I'd post my opinion of some of the changes, good and bad. Hits - New beds very comfortable, new layout for buffet area and it's much easier to get around, better wifi coverage on ship (although it's still not very fast), movie screen by pool much brighter and clearer picture, Misses - main dining room menus I found disappointing many nights, steak is no longer available on everyday menu, and some nights no steak was available. Planks and Steamers are two new restaurants that replaced Caribe Cafe. They have free breakfast and lunch, but charge $12 for dinner. Breakfast was good, lunch was very very disappointing, same couple items everyday. Did not try dinner, but never saw more than a handful of people there. But if you ate in the regular buffet for dinner, you could not eat in the Planks or Steamers portion of the area, so it limited available seating. I missed Cafe Caribe. I will also add that in February we were on a Carnival ship that had just put in a free BBQ restaurant that had great beef brisket and pulled pork. I do not see the need to spend $12 to eat BBQ. Steamers didn't appeal to us as they had no crab or lobster. Sushi was available in Vines, but only if you bought wine. I'm not much of a wine drinker, but like sushi. It was available on the buffet everyday at lunch on HAL. The Princess@Sea app worked pretty well, but there is no option to see what the dinner menus are. Disapponting. As usual, they never get everything done during dry dock, so carpet was still being installed, etc. But more disappointing was the normal maintenance that didn't get resolved. When there are 3 toilets in the public restroom by the restaurant, but only 1 is working. Really? And there were several people who had no hot water the 1st day or two. But guess that is normal because they concentrated on the new restaurants, etc. getting finished. We had a good time on the cruise, and still like the CP layout. Never felt really crowded, which we like. But found food many days disappointing. Entertainment was good. Last big production show was I think called Bravo or Brava, and was one of the best shows we have ever seen at sea on 35+ cruises. But I would like to see Cafe Caribe back, and a steak option back on the everyday menu. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
50th Anniversary Celebration and the excellent itinerary! We booked this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary and husband's birthday! We loved the itinerary because we were able to see ports never visited before! We love sea ... Read More
50th Anniversary Celebration and the excellent itinerary! We booked this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary and husband's birthday! We loved the itinerary because we were able to see ports never visited before! We love sea days and this cruise gave us lots of relaxing, unhurried days to do whatever we wanted....or to do nothing at all. The food was very good but the staff makes any cruise good or bad! Our waiter and Jr. waiter were excellent. They did everything and more to make sure our dining experience was memorable! Our cabin steward was so efficient. He cleaned when we were away and turned our covers down while we dined at night. We love cruising and feel it's the best value for our money. We always meet new friends from all over the world and this diversity adds to the enjoyment of our cruise. Princess is committed to making each cruise special and this one was special for us! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Not sure of the exact date of sailing? We enjoy Princess. The only Problem is that this class of ship does not have a enclosed swimming area and on a crossing it was way too cold to use the pool area. Also Princess should really ... Read More
Not sure of the exact date of sailing? We enjoy Princess. The only Problem is that this class of ship does not have a enclosed swimming area and on a crossing it was way too cold to use the pool area. Also Princess should really have COLD WEATHER gear for the staff in open areas when the temp is in the 50's with a cold wind! I felt sorry for them. The entertainment was OK not to the level of Celebrity which we cruise more on. We were diverted from Halifax due to a Storm but we went to the Azores instead. I did enjoy the Azores but had wanted to see the Halifax area because we had friends meeting us there to give us a tour! We are currently booked on a ten day deep Caribbean Cruise in April 2017 to Celebrate my 70th, Birthday so we will se you all on the high sea's in Aruba or points South! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise, as we wished to do a transatlantic sailing, on a large ship. We also liked the ports of call. We stayed on the Baja floor, interior room. The room felt wider than other cruise lines, but it had depressions in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise, as we wished to do a transatlantic sailing, on a large ship. We also liked the ports of call. We stayed on the Baja floor, interior room. The room felt wider than other cruise lines, but it had depressions in the floor. Also some other areas of ship/ elevators had same. We had never experienced this on MSC, Holland America or Royal Caribbean & Vantage. We ate most meals in the Horizon Buffet, as service too slow in DR to make 1st show. The shows were excellent, but first show very crowded, not enough seats. We have been on 10+ cruises, all over the world & this was our first sail on Princess Cruiseline. There were approximately 3,000 passengers onboard & I feel the empathy level is lower on these larger ships, as seen in the competition for seats in Theater, lines/ seats in Horizon Room & Laundry facilities...I saw more conflict than on any other cruise line. Our room steward Romy & all service staff were superior to any cruise ship of my experience. Express the slightest wish & you are fully accommodated. This is what sets Princess apart-the service staff is wonderful. I really enjoyed singing in the 3 shows of the Pop Choir. There was 1 emergency with Princess Food Inspector, heart attack? being airlifted via chopper to Azores, mid atlantic, with Portugueese Air Force Circling. Our room was below chopper site so we were evacuated in case of a chopper crash. British Isles were great! We did back to back & made France, Normandy. On second leg, due to strike, went to Brugge Belgium instead of France. Brugge was great. Those onboard for 1 leg only were very disappointed to miss France. We missed Wales due to weather. Seas 12 ft. We did ship excursions & Hop on Hop on bus for self tours. All ship tours worth every penny, excellent guides & nice busses with BR - ask & will unlock. This ship is an old sturdy lady, needs some serious revamping. However, due to size, even in 12 foot+ seas felt smooth & sturdy, with no sea sickness for me. In Guernsey( tendered) large storm front & blackout on island, so we all tried to leave @ once. Thousands in lines, in pouring rain, for tenders. Princess hired a ferry to take people off faster. The only deficit to me is, in these severe conditions, they should have helped handicapped to leave faster, ahead of elite passengers. We are able bodied, but as a retired RN sad to see frail in wc in long lines. We both caught severe Upper Respiratory Infections, requiring UC on return. Had never had this on any previous sailings, but this happens frequently on cruises. Our absolure favorite cruise was our 2014 Vantage River Cruise- Holland to Black Sea. Fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Mainly chose this cruise for the number of sea days, knowing it would be an older crowd. Also chose Princess, having cruised 20+times on a variety of ships and companies. The seas were excellent, the food was the best we have ever ... Read More
Mainly chose this cruise for the number of sea days, knowing it would be an older crowd. Also chose Princess, having cruised 20+times on a variety of ships and companies. The seas were excellent, the food was the best we have ever had on a ship, and no cruise company trains their people as well as Princess. Our room was immaculate, had VERY comfortable beds and small issues were addressed (burnt out lightbulb, requested bathrobes,) immediately by our great cabin steward, Henry. We loved the heated panini sandwiches at the international cafe. The Crown room meal was worthy of Five stars! And those hot dogs! And milk shakes ( Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
To make this review more useful, I'll try to write in sections. OVERVIEW: I love cruising, in general. My room is cleaned 3 times a day, my groceries bought, meals planned, cooked, and cleaned-up, entertainment choices laid out, etc. ... Read More
To make this review more useful, I'll try to write in sections. OVERVIEW: I love cruising, in general. My room is cleaned 3 times a day, my groceries bought, meals planned, cooked, and cleaned-up, entertainment choices laid out, etc. What's not to like? Well, several things. Too many passengers means that entertainment/lectures are not available to everyone wanting to see them. Getting on and off the ship requires extra time, which shortened every port day by 90 minutes on average. But a large ship also has more offerings than is possible on a small one. FOOD: The dining options were plentiful, and you could eat 24 hours a day, if you wanted. The quality varied. On Deck 15 are the Horizon Court and Cafe Caribe. For breakfast, they typically offered similar fare, although CC is smaller, so cannot offer as much. But they are adjacent, so if one was lacking, it was easy to go to the other. During lunch, the options were a bit different. For example, one day CC offered a sushi bar while HC had the usual variety of salads, fruit, sandwiches, hot foods, and the ever-present desserts. We had "anytime dining", which was in the Islands restaurant. The Maitre d' was difficult to deal with until the absolute last day, when he was suddenly pleasant and accommodating (looking to improve his reviews or tips??). We only had dinners in the restaurant, so I cannot comment on breakfast or lunch there. Quality was variable, but overall was like a moderately-priced chain restaurant. Steaks were sometimes good, sometimes tough and flavorless. Fish was the same, and often overcooked. We expected the pasta dishes to be outstanding, since the head chef is from Italy, but I suppose "corporate food" cannot be expected to be special, and it wasn't. Not that it was bad, it was just ordinary. Desserts required translation from the menu! What we expected to see, from the description, was often not even close to what arrived. The creme brulee, however, was quite good, as were the ice creams. The PIZZA bar was actually very good. I had only had pizza on a different line (Celebrity) and was not impressed, but this pizza was good! The crust was thin and crisp (despite the poor cook having to stand out in freezing weather to cook/serve it), and the toppings were tasty and not overdone. We didn't try the burger/hotdog bar. The ice cream spot served mostly soft serve, but had 1 or 2 flavors each day (like strawberry and vanilla) of regular ice cream. The offerings at dinner were much better. COFFEE/DRINKS: The coffee is awful. The special "coffee card" you can buy gets you the same coffee without having to go to Deck 15, plus some "fancy" coffees. Our friends bought the coffee card, and seemed happy with it. I drank water or iced tea, which were free, but required going to Deck 15 (except for water). Wine was priced at about double the price of a similar bottle on shore, and ranged from about $26 up. I did not find the mark-up amount surprising (the lower end bottles seemed to have a higher mark-up, but I cannot confirm this). Beers were about $5.75-$6.75, and all bar drinks have an automatic 15% added on. We did not purchase mixed drinks or soft drinks. SERVICE: This is one area where the Caribbean Princess did truly shine. Nearly every staff person we saw appeared to be happy and friendly. Most greeted us with a "good morning" or at least a smile. Our cabin steward was less cheerful initially, but brightened up once things got underway. In the dining room, no request was too great, and there was never a "no, you can't" from the wait staff. They even went out of their way to secure a recipe about which I had inquired. One of the bartenders went to the other side of the ship to find the answer to a question I'd asked, and then brought another wine steward back to further answer the question. Service gets a 5-star from me! ENTERTAINMENT/VENUES: The Princess Theater is a very nice venue, but can only hold a fraction of the people on board. For evening shows, which are repeated 3 times, this was not a big problem. Most people tended to prefer the earlier times, and they were more crowded, but it was possible to attend the 10:00 performance and have a choice of seats. The size of the theater was a huge problem at other times, though. Some of the lectures were taped and available on the ship's TV (channel 49, I believe) during the day, but other presentations were not available at all unless you arrived at least 30 minutes early to secure a seat (and no saving seat!). At one point, a brawl erupted when 3 men were saving seats for their wives who were in the restroom (probably in a long line), and another man wanted 2 of those seats! This is not high-class behavior guys. Toward the end of the cruise, the kitchen/restaurant staff put on a show with comedy, cooking demos and a galley tour, but the theater was packed beyond capacity more than 30 minutes early. I had another event beforehand, so I was completely out of luck to see that one. One complaint I have about the theater is the shining of searchlights/strobe lights onto the audience. It is annoying, potentially harmful, and does not add to the show, so please stop, Princess! The other complaint is that it is too loud. The cruise director (Neil) is the loudest. Bring your earplugs. OTHER VENUES - the other lounges and performance venues seem to work well. Entertainment in the Piazza was visible/audible from 3 levels, and most people who wanted to see could. If you wanted to sit, however, it would be a problem. The lounges were comfortable, and pretty much identical to every other Princess ship, so if you've sailed on one, you know what it's like. The actual ENTERTAINMENT was also variable, which is probably a good thing. I especially enjoyed the Princess singers and dancers and their production numbers. This team had apparently just boarded with us at Southampton, and initially seemed a little stiff. But as the cruise went on, they got smoother and better. There were a variety of other entertainers, from a violinist to a ventriloquist, with comedians and jugglers and other acts mixed in. One of the house bands, Retrospect, was excellent. They mainly performed in the Explorers Lounge, and were a very danceable band with music from the 50s to the present. One thing that impressed me was that Erin, the lead singer, said if there was a request she didn't know, she would do her best to learn it before the next night, and she was good to her word. They were a highlight for us. There were other venues with recorded music and DJs, but once we found Retrospect, we stuck with them. The other ENRICHMENT options were generally excellent. A very good lecturer was Dr. Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer, who gave talks every sea day. There was another speaker who told wonderful tales of the older ships (like the Titanic) and their sailings. His wife was a great foil as they occasionally acted out passenger stories - hilarious! There was also a watercolor artist who taught sold-out classes (actually, they were free, but people were turned away because it was so popular and they had only brought enough supplies for 60!). The PHOTOGRAPHERS were well-mannered and accepted "no" for what it was. We liked several of the formal night portraits and had trouble deciding which to buy. There was also an option for a private photo session with an excellent B&W photographer. Although we loved the results, we were not prepared to pay $575 for five 8x10 prints! If that's something you're looking for, bring your wallet because she's good. STATEROOM: We were in C250, a balcony on Deck 10, the port side near the front. (TIP: if you're going westbound to the North Atlantic and hope to see the northern lights, they'll be on the STARBOARD side - odd numbered rooms!) The cabin was comfortable for hanging out, with a desk, desk chair, and sitting chair. There was adequate open closet space, plenty of drawers (2 side-tables with 2 drawers each and 5 more in the desk, plus the closet shelves). BATHROOM - tiny! but aren't they usually? We had the mini-shower (called that because I think it was only about 2.5 x 2.5 feet with the corners cut off). The mini-suites and up have actual bathtubs and longer vanity/sink areas. Our bathroom worked fine, but only 1 person at a time could be there (unless one was fully in the shower). There was adequate storage in the bathroom when you used the shelf near the floor. TIP: if you want a nightlight, take one of those battery-operated tea lights. It stays on the shelf and at least you can find the toilet without turning on the light. TOILETRIES - I had been told that Princess had changed to wall-mounted soap, shampoo, etc., but that was not the case. We had bar soap and little bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. Very nice! I had also been told the hairdryer was good - it was not. It was one of those ancient ones that are attached to the wall and produce more noise than air (but they do get very hot). I begged, pleaded, demanded, and complained until I got another, more modern one. Since the original one kept pulling clumps of my very fine hair out, I was quite happy to have one that didn't. There are only 2 OUTLETS, next to each other by the desk on the outside wall. I brought a 4-outlet extension, and we tended to use at least 2-3 nightly (charging electronics, hair dryers, curling irons, etc.). There is an outlet in the bathroom for a shaver, but we did not use it. BED/PILLOWS - not a highlight. The bed was very hard, except where people sat on the edge, and then it was totally broken down and slumped. The 2 types of pillows were 1) a large case with a dozen or so feathers, and 2) a folded up beach towel which had served as a seat cushion before being put into a case. Not really, but that's what they felt like. TIP: buy the large Eagle Creek compression bags and pack your own standard size pillow and case. I did and it saved my neck. PORTS: We had been scheduled to visit 2 ports that were removed from the itinerary due to predicted bad weather. I later learned that, had we gone to Shetland and Faroe Island, we could probably have gotten in without trouble. But the forecast was for rough seas, and the captain decided to take a different route. So we spent 2 days in Bergen, Norway (where the exchange rate was much against our favor), had an extra sea day, and then 3 ports in Iceland, and one each in Greenland and Newfoundland. After our first port, apparently the cruise staff learned that 3000 people take a long time to board, so the "be back on" time listed in the Princess Patter was 90 minutes later than the official one given daily as we left the ship. So the scheduled stop that was to go until 5:30 was changed to needing to be on board by 4. I scheduled several tours with non-Princess companies, so I cannot comment on the shore excursions offered by the ship. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: We received the email that told us we should arrive at noon, as our deck was the first to board. We arrived about 10 minutes early, and found the waiting area was already half-full. Elite passengers were called first and had very short lines to board. It took us 2 hours to finally arrive at our room. That, I think, is another downside of such a huge ship. Getting off the ship was equally disorganized. We had booked a Princess transfer to Newark airport, but our travel agent alerted us (only 3 days before sailing) that Princess had changed, and would not transfer anyone with a flight early than 1:30 (ours was at 1). Thank goodness she checked, as I would have assumed they would actually notify us of a change that significant! So our TA booked us a private transfer which was to pick us up at 9. We had the choice of walking off early, taking our own luggage, and that's what we should have done. Unfortunately, it seemed from the ship's questionnaire, that there was plenty of time to take the other option. We received our luggage and "get off" tags for 8:20, which seemed perfect. But No. I have no idea why, but our group was not called until nearly 9:30 to get off the ship. Then we had to claim our 2 suitcases (from the 6000 in the warehouse), get in the customs-immigration line, and get through. And we got the chattiest customs agent in history (very nice, but we were ready to leave already!!). Fortunately, other passengers seemed to have alerted the transfer company of the issue and they did not leave us. Another big negative for Princess! SUMMARY: I am happy to have visited Iceland and Greenland, and to have seen the incredible Aurora Borealis. I will never sail on a ship this big again. In fact, my new goal is 1500 or fewer passengers, and preferably 800 or less. The ship is not built for the number of passengers, meaning long wait times for meals and shows (if you can even get in) and to get on and off the ship. Service was excellent. Food was mediocre, room was fine, except the uncomfortable bed and pillows, and entertainment was generally good.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This is our 11th cruise on Princess Ships. We were thinking about this cruise itinerary for the past 2 years. We made a reservation about 6 months ago for a guaranteed balcony and we got an upgrade 2 months after we reserved. We made our ... Read More
This is our 11th cruise on Princess Ships. We were thinking about this cruise itinerary for the past 2 years. We made a reservation about 6 months ago for a guaranteed balcony and we got an upgrade 2 months after we reserved. We made our own air arrangement and flew on British Airways on 23rd of August arriving London Heathrow on 24th morning. Custom and immigration was a breeze. We made arrangements with Smith Airport service. The driver met us at the exit gate and drove us to Southampton Premier inn at West Quay, not too far from Cruise terminal. The hotel is a 3 star budget hotel with a restaurant and next to a Mall with comfortable accommodation. On 25th we took a taxi to the Princess terminal. Being platinum members we got the priority boarding and within 30 minutes we were in our state room on Deck 10 starboard side mid-ship ideally located between the mid elevators and AFT elevators. To our surprise our luggage was there even before we reached our room. The room itself was very spacious with separate closet space for clothes and storage of luggage away from sleeping area. Balcony was very spacious too. Once on board we found the new atrium/piazza to be a pleasant space beautifully decorated. We enjoyed the many spaces to find a place to sit and enjoy a drink or read a book. We did enjoy the food on board. The fact that each dining room has its own kitchen meant the food was always piping hot. Most of the wait staff was very friendly. We ate at the Palm dining room, we had two other couple shared the table with us. Our waiter and Asst. waiters were great. Being a Vegetarian the head waiter came every day and offered me alternative menus for the next day. Still Princess Vegetarian Menu choices are limited. My wife and our table mates said their food choices were great. Every day we had room service for breakfast consisted of tea or Coffee, Juice, Croissants and Danishes. Later around 8:30 AM we had some light breakfast at the Horizon with some fruits and eggs. We also had our noon lunch at Horizon or @ International Cafe in Piazza Deck. We enjoyed movies that Princess offered the best movies we have ever experienced on a cruise. The live entertainment on board was generally good. I did enjoy the port lecturer and I think other cruise lines could benefit from following Princess' lead in this area. She wasn't there to direct you to shops; she was there to help you make the most of your cruise itinerary. The Ports we were on are Falmouth, Greenock Scotland, Reykjavik Iceland, Qaqortoq Greenland, and St. Johns Newfoundland, Canada. We are also supposed to be in Dublin Ireland, due to coastal storm, Caribbean Princess couldn't enter harbor though a narrow passage, so this port was cancelled. After Falmouth we had Sea days to relax in between the ports. We didn't take any ship tours and we took 2 private tours in 2 ports and Greenock, Qaqortoq we just walked to the local area and did our own sightseeing. Our ship delayed her departure from Reykjavik by 12 h due to high wind and rough seas, thus we were late arriving Qaqortoq by 3 h. The Blue Ice boat tours for the day was cancelled due to late arrival and we were disappointed. In St. Johns Newfoundland we hired a taxi for 1h to go to Signal Hill and Quidi Vidi. The Museum, the church and downtown we did by walking. Overall it is pleasant cruise. Disembarkation was very smooth and we got off the ship by 8:40 AM, then took a taxi to LIRR terminal at the Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn and reached home by noon time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Caribbean Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.2

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