Caribbean Princess Review

4.0 / 5.0
2,780 reviews
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Editor Rating
4.0
Very Good
Overall
Dori Saltzman
Contributor

Caribbean Princess maintains a laid-back ambiance, allowing for laugh-out-loud fun that's never too boisterous. From baby boomers on the dance floor doing the hand jive to middle-aged cruisers competing with gusto in a paper plane competition and families guessing which silly law is real or not, people are on the 3,140-passenger ship to have some old-fashioned fun.

The Caribbean Princess Deck Plan Includes Many Cabin-Only Decks

Those familiar with Princess cruise line won’t be surprised to learn that Caribbean Princess’ deck plans are well designed and easy to navigate. With a smart layout that offers good separation between busy public spaces and cabins, nights are generally quiet in most staterooms. Even on the few decks where there’s a mix of both – i.e., decks 5, 6 and 15 – most cabins are far enough from the public areas that get most foot traffic and noise. The only exception would be Deck 6 (Fiesta), whose suites are surrounded by the theater, the shops, and Crown Grill. Those, along with cabins on Deck 14 midship and aft, may very well be the only Caribbean Princess cabins to avoid if getting a good night’s sleep is a priority for you.

Additionally, and as appealing as they may sound, beware of the Caribbean Princess’ Grand Suite, the Owner’s Suite and the Penthouse Suites on deck 12 (Aloha), as they’re right below the Terrace Pool and may experience some noise.

For a restful night, aboard Caribbean Princess your best bet is a cabin on deck 9 (Dolphin), 10 (Caribe), 11 (Baja) or 14 (Riviera).

The ship’s obstructed-view cabins are located on Deck 8 (Emerald). Lifeboats block views in all cases, but sometimes it’s only partially. Check the Caribbean Princess deck plans before choosing your stateroom.

With a length of almost 1,000 feet, and 18 decks, Caribbean Princess is a large, busy ship, but it doesn’t necessarily feel crowded. There may be waits for the elevators or lines at the buffet, but that’s to be expected on most cruise ships. Those seeking some peace and quiet can book a lounger (and a massage!) at Caribbean Princess’ Sanctuary, which is a lovely adult-only sun deck on Deck 17.

The Caribbean Princess Ship is Mellow but Fun

You won't find water slides or heart-pounding activities aboard the Caribbean Princess cruise ship, and while passengers aren't teetotalers by any means (a glass of wine being most people's poison), you won't see anyone staggering around after midnight either. What you will find are gregarious sorts who like to travel to new places, sing along with the piano guy in Crooners and have a good laugh at a guest comic's show.

It's not just all silly fun -- some of the ship's best attractions are more cultured. Trivia is standing-room-only and full of die-hard players, art lectures and auctions are well attended and the best stage show is full of operatic arias. Passengers on Caribbean Princess also eat up destination talks and enjoy participating in arts and crafts, and musical instrument lessons inspired by the locales the ship visits.

Lest you think the vessel is all about indoor pursuits, the ship has an impressive four pools and lots of sun deck space, so there's plenty of opportunity for soaking up some rays and catnapping the day away. It also features the Reef Family Splash Zone, with a kiddie pool, hot tub, whale-themed water playground, oversized games and a mocktail bar.

While it may seem at times like Caribbean Princess is trying too hard to offer something for everyone -- multiple dining venues for foodies, a splash park for families, high-tech for the young (or young at heart) -- it all manages to blend seamlessly, creating an overall feel that's refined but comfortable and easygoing as well.

Caribbean Princess’ Refurbishment Added Restaurants and Upgraded Cabins

Built in 2004, Caribbean Princess underwent extensive renovations in 2019. The refurbishment brought a wide array of upgrades to cabins and the kids’ splash area, as well as a variety of new restaurants. In addition, the ship has had much drydock work done over the years (the most recent one being in early 2022), which has kept it in good shape and feeling up to date.

Caribbean Princess is a high-tech ship, boasting the OceanMedallion system, which replaces the traditional keycard with a casino chip-sized "medallion" that enables cruisers to order food and drinks on demand from almost anywhere on the ship (using a related app on their cellphone), locate any member of their cruise party and unlock their cabin door before they step in front of it.

The tech is pretty cool (who doesn't love having a piece of pizza and a beer delivered to them poolside!) but may be wasted on some of the older passengers who aren't so tech-savvy. The remaining cruisers, a mix of ages, though mostly in the boomer set, invariably give the tech a whirl, especially those with kids in tow during the holidays and school breaks.

Princess Cruises COVID-19 Rules

For the most up-to-date testing, masking, and vaccination requirements aboard Caribbean Princess, please refer to Princess Cruises. You can also use Cruise Critic's guide to health requirements on the world’s major cruise lines as we know them.

Pros

Varied selection of dining venues, daytime activities and evening entertainment

Cons

Not a lot of active pursuits available onboard

Bottom Line

Port-intensive itineraries and regionally themed activities offer an immersive experience

About

Passengers: 3112
Crew: 1200
Passenger to Crew: 2.59:1
Launched: 2004
Shore Excursions: 1071

Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • · Meals in three main dining rooms, the World Fresh Marketplace buffet, breakfast and lunch at Planks BBQ and Steamers, plus meals and snacks at the Salty Dog Grill, Slice Pizzeria, Coffee & Cones (selected items), and International Cafe; also 24-hour room service (excluding select menu items)

  • Water, coffee, tea (including iced), and select juices in the buffet area

  • All main theater production shows

  • Most daily activities and events onboard, including games and events like the High Seas Heist

  • Movies Under the Stars, including complimentary popcorn

  • Use of the fitness center (excluding classes) and swim-against-the-current pool

  • Use of the sports court and kids’ splash park

  • Scheduled activities in the Camp Discovery Youth Center through 10 p.m.

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • · Gratuities (amounts vary depending on cabin type)

  • Most specialty dining

  • Lotus Spa and Salon services

  • Beverages outside of water, tea, basic coffee and select juices in the buffet

  • Auto-gratuities of 18 percent for beverages and spa treatments

  • Most fitness classes

  • Access to the thermal suite inside the Lotus Spa

  • Use of The Sanctuary sun deck

  • Shore excursions

  • Activities including, but not limited to bingo, casino gaming and wine tastings

  • Internet access/packages

  • OceanMedallion accessories

  • Group babysitting after 10:00 p.m. in Camp Discovery

  • Photos and art gallery purchases

Fellow Passengers

Caribbean Princess draws mostly North American passengers. Age-wise, the ship trends toward boomers and older during the school season; our mid-May sailing had less than a dozen kids on it, but crew members all expected loads of children once school let out. Along with kids come younger couples during the summer months and holidays. The rest of the year, the average age seems to be close to 65, with a smattering of younger couples.

Caribbean Princess Dress Code

Daytime: The dress code onboard Caribbean Princess is casual during the day.

Evening: Most evenings are smart casual, though depending on the length of your cruise, there will be one or two formal nights as well. Most evenings you'll see men in trousers or dark jeans and collared shirts and women in dark jeans, nice slacks or skirts with blouses or simple dresses. On Caribbean Princess formal nights, most cruisers go all-out; you'll see plenty of men in suits and even tuxedos and women in ball gowns and cocktail dresses. (You'll also see a fair number who don't dress up at all, but they go to the buffet for dinner.)

Not permitted: In the dining rooms, items such as shorts, pool wear, distressed jeans and baseball caps are not permitted; shoes must be worn at all times.

Read more about Princess Cruises dress code here.

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More about Caribbean Princess

Where does Caribbean Princess sail from?

Caribbean Princess departs from Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, Southampton, Southampton, Rome, Civitavecchia, Port Canaveral, Vancouver, Whittier, and Los Angeles

How much does it cost to go on Caribbean Princess?

Cruises on Caribbean Princess start from $268 per person.
Caribbean Princess Cruiser Reviews

Great vacation

This was our 2nd cruise with Princess. Princess Sky and Caribbean Princess cruise ships are very simmular Feb 2024 we cruised to islands we haven't been to yet.Read More
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Bethb bethb

few6-10 Cruises

Age 61s

Older ship but still has her charm.

The Caribbean Princess itself is showing a little patina but still has her charms.Read More
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Mark JF

many10+ Cruises

Age 56s

Smooth Sailing with Caribbean Princess

We embarked on the Caribbean Princess for a Western Caribbean journey on April 20th and found it to be an impressively organized experience.Read More
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geekmom62

many10+ Cruises

Age 62s

Time to reconsider Princess Cruises?

Given that I had just sailed on the Sky Princess (1/20 - 1/27/2024) which was larger than the Caribbean Princess, the latter's size didn't feel as anonymous.Read More
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Wanderlust2018

many10+ Cruises

Age 59s

Princess Cruises Fleet
Grand Princess

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