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142 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Panama Canal & Central America Princess Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews

Wanted to see how the Panama canals worked. It was really awesome to watch it and later learn the history of its construction from our tour guide of Colon. Felt bad for the French people who started the construction because many died from ... Read More
Wanted to see how the Panama canals worked. It was really awesome to watch it and later learn the history of its construction from our tour guide of Colon. Felt bad for the French people who started the construction because many died from malaria and yellow fever. As Americans, we are proud that US finished the job, and eventually the Panamanians are managing it. We were satisfied with Caribbean Princess. The shows really surprised and impressed our group. The ship as a whole is really nice. The decor of the main lobby is tasteful. The waitstaff in the dining rooms were friendly, well-trained, efficient and accommodating. This applies to the maitreD at the Coral dining room. The tour excursions Were well-organized, and the tour guides were all knowledgeable of the history and the important information of their respective cities. Wish we had more shopping opportunities. Our group enjoyed the food in the marketplace, Planks and Coral dining room. Services were extraordinary anywhere on the ship. Need I say more! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
So glad we chose to do the partial Panama Canal cruise with the excursion through the rest of the locks. Much more to experience when transiting the locks in a smaller vessel. Food in the dining rooms was done very well with a good ... Read More
So glad we chose to do the partial Panama Canal cruise with the excursion through the rest of the locks. Much more to experience when transiting the locks in a smaller vessel. Food in the dining rooms was done very well with a good selection. We were very pleased with the maitre de at anytime dining, who after the first couple of nights realized we preferred a quiet (if possible) table for two. Servers were a bit rushed and mostly attentive with the exception of a couple of nights. Overall the cruise was nice, nothing exceptional. This was our first Princess cruise and was expecting a little more for our $$s. We did love the large open closet in the cabin which was well supplied with hangers and our room Steward did a great job. Unfortunately we had a terrible mattress. The center in had a large "hill" with troughs on either side. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to cruise to the Panama Canal. We selected Caribbean Princess because we had cruised with them 6 times before (on this same ship), but had not been aboard since 2012. Living in Orlando, it was a 3 1/2 hour drive. Embarkation was ... Read More
We wanted to cruise to the Panama Canal. We selected Caribbean Princess because we had cruised with them 6 times before (on this same ship), but had not been aboard since 2012. Living in Orlando, it was a 3 1/2 hour drive. Embarkation was very fast. Smiling employees show that they are happy to work for Princess, very important to observe. Our cabin was C328 on deck 10 Caribe. Excellent location and great service. Room was clean and great smelling. My wife and I are 70 so location was important to us, and we were quite happy. Princess has a peculiar design and it is very easy to get around without getting lost. Decor was first class as always. This was our first time using the medallion and we loved it. Being connected to the ship was fun, even while waiting for an elevator because there was always a large screen to do things while waiting. Dining was excellent. I was glad that they turned back guests not properly dressed. Service was a 10. Entertainment was a 10. Employees were great and many remembered our names.The ports are well worth visiting. Enjoyed Cartagena Colombia, Panama Canal. Lido deck food was great and varied. The Piazza enjoyable to sit and enjoy. We will definitely travel again. Debarkation was fast, zero problems. Would recommend to anyone looking for a beautiful ship, great food and entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this trip for the Panama Canal experience and it did not disappoint. Outstanding service. My only complaint was the food at the Marketplace (buffet). A little too much international for my tastes. The dining room food and service ... Read More
Chose this trip for the Panama Canal experience and it did not disappoint. Outstanding service. My only complaint was the food at the Marketplace (buffet). A little too much international for my tastes. The dining room food and service were exceptional. Spa treatments were heavenly. Exceptionally clean ship. Lots of entertainment options. Shore excursions were as promoted...no surprises. This is our 5th cruise, 2nd on Princess. Carnival was horrible, Holland America and Celebrity were great. The Caribbean Orincess has the Medallion program which was very cool. The medallion replaces the key card and has many functions. Especially liked being able to access room account on my iPad. No internet required for the Medallion services. Husband had internet service for his device and it worked great. Fast connections, fast internet feed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Took Caribbean Princess on Jan 2, 2018 Panama Canal Cruise. 5th cruise on Princess, 9th overall. Everything as expected except condition of ship. Expected better as ship was 8 million revitalization in 2017. Excessive engine vibration ... Read More
Took Caribbean Princess on Jan 2, 2018 Panama Canal Cruise. 5th cruise on Princess, 9th overall. Everything as expected except condition of ship. Expected better as ship was 8 million revitalization in 2017. Excessive engine vibration noticeable throughout ship. Never felt a ship vibrate so much before. Very bad in Palm dining room.Was informed ship due for dry dock in April 2019 to fix. If they had a proper condition assessment program vibration problem might have been known at time of 2017 revitalization. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND SHIP TO ANYONE BEFORE VIBRATION PROBLEM FIXED. Also seems to impact power available for air conditioning at times. Guests who paid $4,000 for canine could not sleep because of vibration and lack of air conditioning in room. Were told that they should have spent more on a better cabin if they expected to be moved. Another cabin was flooded and were reimbursed for destroyed clothing and offered free cleaning. Hallway nearby (on port side of deck 8, wet for almost entire trip, squishy sound when you walked through. It smelled moldy for a couple of days There were faint sewerage smells in our cabin, hallway and in one of the elevators. Not all the time, but enough to notice, and we weren't the only ones with problem. Were told to call when it occurred and had to wait over half hour for someone to come. Elevator with smell was eventually shut down. Iced tea undrinkable and coffee dispensers and ice machines out of service. There was a band aid on smoke detector in room holding it together? Rug on steps to Princess Theater fairly new but not at right height, lower than rest of step (two height levels in each step, front part higher than carpet) seem easy to trip on if not careful. Should not have been allowed unsafe. Similar issue in other areas, rugs lower than surfaces they abut to. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Great trip to Panama Canal, but cabin location (see below) proved far too noisy. The embarkation was fantastic, less than 1/2 hour with Ocean Medallion. We pre-entered all our information which helped expedite the process. ... Read More
Great trip to Panama Canal, but cabin location (see below) proved far too noisy. The embarkation was fantastic, less than 1/2 hour with Ocean Medallion. We pre-entered all our information which helped expedite the process. Disembarkation was equally smooth and highly recommend the option to have your luggage checked through to your final destination, it worked great! Good balance of sea days and port days. Pleased with food options, both in the MDR and buffet. Entertainment in the Princess Theater was average, kind of cheesy. Several times the first performance was full half hour before the show time. Had to stand in line for the next show to ensure that we would get in. Enjoyed Trivia contests, and the Trivia hosts were a lot of fun. Service in the buffet was very good, lots of wait staff to bring drinks, clear plates, etc. Ship was in good condition and crew was seen doing ongoing maintenance. National Aviary in Cartagena and “Meet the Sloths” in Limon excursions were good, but sea turtle/stingray excursion in Grand Cayman was very disappointing, too rushed, crowded because there were 5+ cruise ships in port that day. I enjoy Princess because it is geared to a more mature demographic, is not a “party/booze” cruise line and there were not a lot of children on board. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the new locks at the Panama Canal and also some Caribbean ports. I traveled to Panama in 1985 and experienced the old locks at Miraflores and lived in Panama City for a week. Looked forward to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the new locks at the Panama Canal and also some Caribbean ports. I traveled to Panama in 1985 and experienced the old locks at Miraflores and lived in Panama City for a week. Looked forward to seeing how things have changed in 35 years. We chose Princess because we had a great experience last summer on the Ruby Princess in Alaska and the CP is a similar ship in size and layout to the Ruby. We took a train from Ohio to Fort Lauderdale, stayed at the Hampton Inn North Airport overnight and then boarded the CP the next late morning. Hotel is showing some age but the staff was excellent, breakfast was filling and a shuttle took us to the port around 11:30am. Port was very crowded with several ships boarding that same day. Entrance was a bit chaotic with taxis, shuttles and private vehicles creating long lines to the embarkation area. We eventually made it to the offload point. Most of the passengers left their large bags with the porters who put the luggage on large carts to later be loaded on the ship. We walked up and through the entry building. Long lines but they moved quickly, through several checkpoints for passports, luggage screening and then to the desk to get our Medallion and other information. Some passengers had downloaded their Medallion info before boarding and they moved through without as many delays. We picked ours up at the desk, a small metallic pin worn around your neck which opens your doors and provides information when making purchases on board much like the old keycards. We moved to the elevators and found our room on Baja Deck 300 section to be a match to the same room we had on the Ruby. Adequate space, lots of storage in the area outside the bathroom. Twin beds with table in the middle, large TV, refrigerator, lots of drawers to store things, a safe for valuables and mirrors all around to enhance the size perspective of the room. Bathroom and room were very clean and our cabin steward Joseph, took care of us with a friendly and courteous manner throughout our trip. He welcomed us to the ship, asked if we had any questions and said he would bring up the water we had pre-ordered. Our large bags had not arrived yet so we decided to go up to the buffet and have lunch. The Fresh Market Buffet was a bit crowded but we found seats and proceeded to have some grilled fish, potatoes and vegetables. We shared a table with a couple from Alabama, one of the things we enjoy when riding Amtrak is to meet new people from all over the country. Our muster drill was in the Casino so at 3:15 we followed the crowds to that venue to get our safety information. One thing that was very evident was the large % of seniors on this trip. We are in our mid 60s but with all the motorized carts, walkers, etc, it sometimes seemed like a nursing home cruise. Only a few children on board, which made for a quiet voyage but reminded us that we should enjoy life while you can. After muster we went out on the Promenade deck, watched as our ship left the harbor at Fort Lauderdale under a nice sunset. Several other ships leaving as well. A large party up on the Lido Deck, dancing, celebrating, etc. but we prefer a quieter bon voyage. After watching a brilliant sunset, we went back for dinner and prepared for the evening show in the theatre. Gary Delena was a comedian and guitarist and his show was generally funny and entertaining. After experiencing the large crowds that attend these shows on the Ruby we were at the theatre for good seats by 7 pm. Many people waited until half hour before the show and had difficulty finding seats together. The show was over by 9 and we walked through the casino to watch people spend their money and then to the Explorers Lounge to see Symphone, an excellent couple with a backup band that was the best act we saw on the ship. Great voices, personality with the crowd. We stayed until 10:30 , stopped at the another bar to hear female singer and couple Ryan 7, good voice but not the same crowd rapport as Symphone. Back to the International Cafe for a sweet snack (great place open all night and free goodies). Back to room, the Medallion opens the door and a good nights sleep after a very long day.. Joseph had made beds, cleaned bathroom, left a nice chocolate on the pillow, and left our Patter newsletter on the bed with the next day's activities. An enjoyable first day on the CP. Second day was a sea day so we looked to find things to do on board. Breakfast was eggs, toast, fruit. Sat with two sisters from Florida and Virginia and an engaging conversation. We are 500 miles from our next stop in Jamaica and can barely see the Cuban coast off the starboard size of the ship. Sit on the Promenade Deck 7 and watch the ocean pass by, and enjoy the passengers jogging, walking and talking as they move along. Lunch today was the free fish & chips dinner at the Crown Grill. A nice addition that we also experienced on the Ruby. Sat with a couple from Texas who had traveled extensively on cruises in both US & Europe. After lunch was a film in the theatre on the Panama Canal that was very good. Spent some time at the excursion desk checking out a possible train trip in Panama. An excellent pair of young women named Duo Encanto were playing violins in the Piazza, Watched someone pay $35000 for a painting at the art auction. Symphone was playing on the Lido deck for a pool party so we enjoyed more of their music during the afternoon on a nice sunny day about 75 outside. Basketball shooting contest on the sports deck so watched a young woman sink some 15 footers against a middle aged guy who also could shoot. Before dinner we went to the Piazza to hear a steel drum entertainer. Dinner was fish, pasta, chicken and mango cheesecake with a couple from California. Back to our room to change and head to the theatre for the stageshow BRAVO. Ship dancers and singers put on a nice show of Broadway tunes. A special singer soprano from Chicago was a hit during the performance. This was the first Formal Night so many were decked out in their tuxes and evening gowns. Went to Wheelhouse Bar after the show to hear Ryan 7 again. Went out on the Prom Deck to see lights in the distance.. ?Cuba, stop for a late night snack at International Cafe and off to bed for a long day tomorrow in Jamaica. A nice sea day with plenty of activities. Next day we are up and ready for an afternoon in Jamaica. Breakfast with a couple from Kansas City. Omelet, toast, cheese danish, yogurt. Many many choices, food was prepared well, usually hot and areas kept clean. I find the criticisms of the buffet to be overblown. Not everything is perfect in life, but being on this ship is better than the snow and ice back home right now. Enjoy and be mellow. Back to the room to prepare for disembarkation at the Falmouth Jamaica port. We docked a little before noon, a little foggy but warm. This is an "artificial port" created by the cruise line to allow people to roam the area with shops, restaurants, etc but not really see Jamaica. We arranged for a private tour with Patrice Bailey Tours to take us to two of the Great Houses, a tour of Montego Bay and Falmouth. An excellent choice for those of us who do not want to climb up Dunn River Falls or swim with the dolphins. We walked outside the gated port area and found the white tent where private tours are located. We were taken to a meeting location where we met our guide for the day Maurice. We had a nice van to ourselves and Maurice related the history of Jamaica, a trip around Falmouth and then out on the modern highway west of Falmouth. We first stopped at Greenwood Greathouse, a huge estate once owned by the prominent English family named Barrett. A relative of famed poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Entry fee is $20 but an excellent tour of the large house and grounds. A great view of the sea and coast from the porch. Lots of original antique furniture and special apparatus used in the day. Our next stop was further up the highway to the Rose Hall Greathouse. This was the infamous home of Annie Palmer, the White Witch who murdered several lovers and is a ghost roaming the grounds. An excellent guide who led us throughout the house and told of the fantastic stories of its owners. Admission was $25 and well worth the fare. Our tour then took us to Montego Bay, a crowded port on a Friday afternoon. We were unable to stop at some of the sites there since parking was non existent but we did travel throughout the city, saw the historic square and thousands of people on the streets and byways. We then traveled to a third mansion home at Bellefield for a great view of the bay and city. It was getting dark so Maurice took us back to Falmouth, dropped us right inside the gate and we strolled back to the ship after a great day of history and sites in Jamaica. Dinner was pasta, beef stew, scalloped potatoes, some jerk chicken (a bit too spicy for my stomach) and a wonderful chocolate dessert. We got out on Promenade deck to watch the running passengers barely making back to the ship after their tour to Ocho Rios was delayed in returning. Show in the theatre was Yaniv Zarit, who spoke 32 different languages, sang and told stories. He was talented but not as entertaining as other programs. Back to room for some TV news, a movie (of which there were several good choices) and bed. Another sea day tomorrow as we head for Cartegena. Saturday we lounge around as the seas are a bit high today closing the Promenade deck and the pools due to shifting waves. Ship is moving some but since we are used to riding trains, it is really nothing for us to experience shifting floors. Did some shopping in the stores, Had lunch with a nice couple from Washington state. A special program on the Panama Canal in the theatre in the afternoon. Dinner with family from Idaho and California. Lots of good stories. Watch some NFL football on the big screen and then down to the theatre for the show "Born to Be Wild". Ship dancers and singers put on a nice show 60s and 70s rock. Watch some more football and off to bed for a long day tomorrow in Cartegena. Up early as our ship has docked around 6:30. Breakfast with two ladies from Florida. I am off alone for the tour as wife is staying aboard today with a cold. Embarkation is in Casino this morning and then to Deck 4, Our bus is waiting at the pier with our guide Dailys, who is an enthusiastic promoter of her city. We drive through a residential area near the pier and then to the old Fort Castillo de San Felipe for a brief photo stop. Not time to tour the fort, many steps and large facility. Lots of venders who are interesting to me but do hassle some people. Man with donkey to solicit photos was a hoot. Back on the tour bus across the inlet and out to the former residence of Colombia President Rafael Nunez. A nice folkloric dance show there and a tour of the house and the great historic events of the 19th century. Well worth the visit. Then we traveled along the coast wall to the old city. We walked inside the walls and to the square of San Pedro Claver Church where we toured the building, saw many historic items in the museum and experience a service since it was Sunday morning. Walked up another street to the Naval Museum, which had great displays of Columbian maritime history. All exhibits are in Spanish so brush up on your language skills. Very interesting. Walk back through the streets to our bus which then took us on a tour of the beaches and the modern city skyscrapers. Back to the ship via the Boca Grande and Manga residential areas. We were back to the ship by 11:45 for a 12:30 departure. A nice three and half hour tour but could have spent the whole day here. Wish the cruise would schedule more time at this port. Lunch at the buffet and watch some more football on the wide screen. A nice day as we leave port. Sit on Promenade deck and watch the city fade into the distance. Dinner was pulled pork, chicken, squash & peppers, potatoes and some nice mango desserts. Theatre entertainment was Michael Barron, an excellent magician. Some entertainment in the Piazza afterward. International cafe for a treat and then back to room for some football, a movie and then to bed. Early arrival tomorrow at 5:30am for Panama Canal. We are up early, buffet for omelets, and then out on Lido deck to see the lights of the Panama Canal come into view. It is still dark as we enter the bay area waiting to proceed to the Aqua Clara Locks, the new lock system that now allows huge ships to use the canal. As the dawn arises, we enter the first lock and large gates close behind allowing water from storage areas to enter and raise us to the next level. Nearly everyone on the ship is on the deck watching and we found better viewing from the rear of the ship. Another larger freighter is waiting behind us and it is fascinating to watch the process as we proceed from one lock to another. It took about two hours to move to Gatun Lake where our CP dropped anchor. My excursion today would involve a boat transit to shore, where we boarded a bus for a trip along the old Gatun Locks and across a bridge to the new locks visitor center high on a hill overlooking the Aqua Clara Locks. Wife decided to stay on the ship which would eventually return through the locks and dock back in Cristobal where it would await the tour groups to return later in the day. Our tour spent an hour at the visitor center where we could observe our ship in the lake and others as they passed through the locks. A film was shown in the theatre and a small cafe served sandwiches, drinks, etc. There was also a nature trail which I walked approx a mile through some interesting flora. Heard some scattered animal sounds, saw a sloth and then walked back to the awaiting bus. As we left the site the driver stopped along the road as a family of monkeys was passing by. Photo shoot was just in time. We then traveled into Colon and then down a modern highway that crossed through some rainforest areas, the Chagras River, and then into the modern Panama City. An hour long ride but interesting scenery along the way. We eventually passed through the area near Balboa and the old Fort Clayton, where American forces were stationed during the Panama Canal Zone days. Nice memories of my trip here in 1985 but many changes since then. The bus stopped while Subway sandwiches were delivered for our lunch meal. We passed Miraflores Locks and out onto the Amador peninsula where we stopped for a shopping event. Not much there and really was a waste of time except for the good ice cream shop. Would rather have spent some time in the old city but that was not on our agenda. We then moved to the train station where we boarded the Panama Railroad train. A very modern station with some souvenirs. Railroad is operated by Kansas City Southern RR and their locomotives reflect the orange and yellow paint scheme of that line. Coaches were nicely decorated and seating was nice. I sat with a friend Rita who I had met on the ship and a couple from Michigan as we moved along slowly by the canal and industrial areas. Saw lots of birds, a family of iguanas and some monkeys as our train moved toward Colon. The cost of the entire tour was $200 and although a bit expensive, it was worth it for the views of the canal and the train ride. There is a dome car for $40 more on the train but I found the seating in the nice coaches and the opportunity to stand in the vestibule area to see the sites and take photos to be adequate for my needs. We were able to see some parts of the canal and ships moving across the lake. We arrived back in Colon before dark. We received a nice box with the railroad logo and full of snacks which I think were supposed to be handed out at the beginning of the train ride but we got as we left the train. Oh well, a nice souvenir of the train.. Colon is not a town you want to roam around in and the dock area was a pleasant site as we said goodbye to our guides and boarded the ship. Met my wife and we had dinner of pork roast, potatoes, veggies and dessert. Too tired for the show this evening so just watched National Championship game as Clemson beat the Crimson Tide. Rest for another long day tomorrow in Costa Rica. Tuesday morning we arose and prepared to take our excursion at Limon Costa Rica. A large German ship is docked next to us as we walk up the dock area to our bus. Our guide is Porfirio, a nice gentleman who had a sense of humor and spoke excellent English. He told us about his family and life in Costa Rica. We first drove around Limon to see some of the historic buildings and then up a rather narrow and bumpy road to the canal where we boarded a boat to cruise the canal. Lots of birds, iguanas, monkeys in the trees, sloths everywhere, no crocodiles today. A nice tour and our guide moved the boat so that all sides could get photos. A little shower ensued but did not last long and it was a good day in the rainforest. After we left the boat we were treated to lots of fruit, bananas, pineapple, juices and a nice display of native arts and crafts. Good restroom break as well. Back on the bus as we traveled to a siding where we boarded an old train for a short trip back to Limon. I enjoyed speaking with the engineer and conductor at the front of the train as my Spanish was good enough for a lively conversation. The train was pulled by an old switcher engine and two coaches full passengers hoping to see some exotic scenery. But most of the rails pass through an industrial area and except for a few monkeys and a sloth, there was little to view. If you like train rides, it was a nice ride but not overly exciting. We left the train and reboarded the bus for a nice trip in the countryside around rural provinces. Banana plantations and a stop to see more sloths. Our guide Porfirio was excellent and he related Costa Rica history, government and economics as we traveled back to Limon. We arrived back to the port around 12:30 and did some shopping at the large craft market nearby before heading back to the ship for a late lunch. After lunch we went down to the laundry room on the 10th Floor and did a few loads of clothes. A bit of a waiting line but was nice to have some washers close to our room. Met some gents from Alaska, a young man from Toronto and an Englishman from near London as we dried and folded... We decided to hit the pizza place for dinner and then have a dessert in the buffet. Back to the room for the evening show at the theatre. Cheaza, a Whitney Houston reflections singer from Las Vegas was the musical program and was excellent. She went out into the theatre to sing and perform a greatest hits melody. Another great day on our cruise. The following day was another sea day. There was a talk in the theatre on the Cayman Islands that we attended. Both of us are suffering from head colds so we just hung around the room, watched some movies, had lunch in the buffet and then sat out on Deck 7, did some reading, saw some rainbows in the distance as a storm headed away from us. Another formal night on the ship with a program in the theatre but we decided to rest this evening and prepare for a full day in Cayman Islands tomorrow. Sometimes its nice to just enjoy a day of rest and relaxation on a sea day. Thursday morning we are up and feeling better. Breakfast for omelets and fresh fruit. We met in the Island Dining Room for disembarking for our shuttle boat to the shore. All ships must use tenders and there are now six ships in port so it will be a busy day in Georgetown. Our tender is one from the shore and not one of the ship boats so there is more room and not quite as crowded. We land about 8am and talk to a policeman who directs us to the bus terminal about two blocks from the port area. We stop at Fort to read some Cayman history and then arrive at the bus terminal where a group of small van type vehicles are lined up. We decided to take Bus 7B Green bus our own excursion which charged only $10 for a trip around the entire island. Our bus driver Tonyito actually acted like a guide and with one other man on the bus, (who reminded me of the late Anthony Bourdain), we enjoyed a private tour complete with history and scenic views. Stopped in Bodden Town, Wreck of the 10 Sails park and discussion of blue iguanas. Picked up some interesting passengers on the return trip as Tonyito welcomed them on board. An enjoyable ride and much cheaper than the ship excursions. A couple hours later we were back downtown and took another bus that went to Seven Mile Beach, Hell and other quaint places for another $5 each. We returned to downtown, stopped for lunch and then walked to the port for some clean restrooms and treats before walking down to the Cayman National Museum. Nice displays, a good film on history, hands on displays for kids. Back to port and decided to return to ship as it looked like a storm was heading toward the island. Long line for the tender but moved quickly and we sailed past the mass of ships and tenders in the bay. Got back just as the rain came so timing was perfect. Back to the ship by 2 pm as our ship was scheduled to leave at 3:30. Go to Deck 7 to watch tenders returning with passengers. Late comers but we leave by 4pm. Dinner was a cod dinner with a couple from Nebraska. Down to the theatre for the show with Duncan Tuck, classical guitar and humorist. Was o.k. Sailing around Cuba overnight as we rest from another long day of exploring. Friday was another sea day. Pancakes and eggs for breakfast. Ate with a couple from Michigan who have cruised many times. He is from the island of Malta and they have done many Mediterranean cruises. We are now sailing along the Cuban coastline and we sit on Lido deck enjoying the view. Cheeseburgers from Salty Dog Grill and some Pizza from Slice for lunch. Enjoy sitting around the pool and enjoying the warm weather. Do some packing in the afternoon and preparing for disembarkation in FTL tomorrow morning. Staff at customer service very friendly and answered several questions we had about the process. We talked with Joseph about his future plans. He had one more cruise on CP and then he would return home to India for three months. He was an excellent cabin steward and we tipped accordingly. We found all the staff in the dining and buffet to be efficient and friendly. The ship is showing some age and there was a lot of painting and polishing going on while we were sailing. We did not feel any engine vibration in our room and our neighbors were pretty quiet so no problem with noise. Like the new Medallion system even though we did not use it for phone or location purposes. Like that there is still a paper Patter that provides information about ship events. On Saturday morning we ate a quick breakfast in the buffet and then moved our luggage to the Coral Dining Room where our disembarkation meeting was to take place. We chose the self checkout and thus did not put any luggage out the night before. We moved quickly through the port area and only took 10-15 minutes to go through customs and we were on our way. We walked to the taxi loading area and were in a cab in a few minutes to the Hilton Marina Hotel where we got our Enterprise Rental Car for the remainder of our Florida vacation. Enjoyed the cruise and highly recommend this ship, crew, and itinerary if you have never been to the Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Overall, the vacation was as close to perfect as could be. Even having cruised a few times recently, including one on Princess last year, we were still impressed by the service - we were treated like royalty at every step. Other than one ... Read More
Overall, the vacation was as close to perfect as could be. Even having cruised a few times recently, including one on Princess last year, we were still impressed by the service - we were treated like royalty at every step. Other than one VERY minor negative, absolutely everything was top notch. Details: - SHIP: The ship was clean, well run, and not very crowded even though it was full. Of course, central walkways, pool decks and (very rarely) elevators reflect the amount of crowd, but Princess does a great job of having enough to do around the ship that rarely are spaces crowded. Almost always, we could get a seat at all bars/lounges, shows, and deck chairs (except, of course, those right next to the pool on sea days). We didn't enjoy the late muster drill start, which was delayed by 20 minutes waiting for people to arrive, especially since they offered a second muster drill for folks boarding later. But there was plenty to do, inside and out, and some fun games hosted by the cruise staff. It was easy to maintain cleanliness since there were sinks with soap at the entrance to the buffet and all public restrooms suggested opening the door with a paper towel, and had a receptacle by the door. There were also hand sanitizers around the ship, and there was a discussion on personal cleanliness at the muster drill. Still, you'd occasionally see someone sneezing into their hand or whatever, but you can't control every single person's every move. We didn't get sick, didn't see anyone sick, and didn't hear of anyone getting sick. - ENTERTAINMENT: The production shows were good and the performers extremely talented, but there were no "big name" shows such as on other ships. The one show that seemed to be great was "sold out" for both performances, as early as 45 minutes before showtime, so we missed that. That was the only small disappointment in entertainment. We thoroughly enjoyed the bar/lounge entertainment everywhere - a violin duo that played contemporary songs, a guitar player/singer, an amazing piano player, and a classic/soft rock/country duo. We wished we could have gotten to more of them more often! - DINING: We splurged on Club Class and LOVED the dining portion of that benefit. Our dining room staff was top notch and we enjoyed being able to eat at any time with no waiting, while being treated like royalty. There are other perks to Club Class that may or may not appeal to many people, but this by far makes it worthwhile to us. We enjoyed the Crown Grill and Sabatini's and they were both excellent, including service. We availed ourselves of the embarkation day special (BOGO) at Crown Grill; it wasn't full which is why they are promoting it. We tried room service the first day but it wasn't a good choice for us, so we stuck with the MDR on most days. - PORT STOPS: We aren't much into the excursions, but did do a Segway tour of Grand Cayman. That was cool, but mostly because of the Segways. Honestly, we didn't see or learn all that much about Grand Cayman. We stepped off the ship at Falmouth, Jamaica without a planned tour, but it was just a new port district full of jewelry stores and souvenir stops. It's great - clean and safe - if that's the type of stores you're looking for. We didn't get off the ship at Cartegena, Columbia or Limon, Costa Rica. Our view from the ship wasn't very picturesque. - PANAMA CANAL: This is the biggest reason we went, and it did not disappoint. The ship had a destination specialist who gave a talk beforehand that was available on stateroom TVs. The specialist also narrated the entrance to the first lock, which was broadcast outside the ship and on the "ship camera" channel on the TV. There was plenty of time throughout the day to get views from everywhere on the ship, since the transit takes 2.5 hours each way, plus there were a few hours at anchor in Gatun Lake. Besides our balcony, the best spot on the ship to view the passage was the Skywalkers Bar on Deck 18, aft. It was practically empty but had windows all the way around. - FITNESS: The fitness center is small but not too bad. Only one day it was crowded, but of course we avoided it on sea days. I took one exercise class and didn't like it at all - I won't clog up this space explaining why, but if anyone is interested, contact me for details. I didn't like that the walking deck does not go around the entire ship; you have to climb to the next deck. I swam mostly every day, but you can only swim laps in the 2 main pools - the 2 adult pools aren't big enough. However, as soon as you get a few people in the pool, or a couple of kids, swimming laps is tough. - CHILDREN: Please don't skewer me, but we are in the group of people who don't enjoy small kids on cruise ships. There weren't that many kids on this sailing, but to be honest, I wouldn't want to take kids on a Princess ship. It didn't look like there was a lot to do other than go in pools, etc., but I did hear later from someone else that there is a kids' program. Every now and then they got in the way or made noise at the restaurants, but it was way better than the other lines that cater to families. - CLIENTELE: We enjoyed everyone we met; there were LOTS of friendly people. In our 50's, I'd estimate that we are at the young end of the age range, but we enjoyed the group very much. Our favorite thing was to just chat with folks at a bar or restaurant, and we invited another couple to join us for dinner one night later in the trip. Definitely crossed this one off the bucket list. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in seeing the Panama Canal but who doesn't want to spend 2 weeks transiting the entire canal. This trip was a 10-day round trip from Ft. Lauderdale. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we want to see the new locks, and also for the sail date. This was our ninth cruise with Princess. Princess has always delivered first rate service. This was our first cruise using Princess new Ocean ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we want to see the new locks, and also for the sail date. This was our ninth cruise with Princess. Princess has always delivered first rate service. This was our first cruise using Princess new Ocean Medallion service. The Medallion really enhanced our cruise experience started with check-in. We were on board the ship with in five minuets of arriving at the port. The new internet service was supper fast and a pleasure to use. The staff in the dinning ventures and on board shops were helpful and went out of their way to provide excellent customer service. We did feel the Dome car railroad car excursion in Panama was was a big disappointment and very over priced for what we got. The long bus ride to get to the train was terrible and the Dome car it's self cramped and uncomfortable. The box snack was offered at the end of the tour when we are on our way back to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose the cruise for the destinations. Ended up with some nice bonus experiences, and some underwhelming ones that didn't meet expectations. The Good Soymilk & milk readily available from buffet area all day, washing ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the destinations. Ended up with some nice bonus experiences, and some underwhelming ones that didn't meet expectations. The Good Soymilk & milk readily available from buffet area all day, washing stations at buffet area, medallion class ship features, what appeared to be free Budweiser beer at Crooner's Bar. Sabatini's wait staff waived the additional entree item charge for the additional item I ordered, and good food from Sabatini's. That was a nice guesture of the wait staff. The medallion class ship features were a bonus I did not come to expect. I also didn't expect the washing stations assuming we had to use hand sanitizer. Nor did I expect ready access to milk all day. The Bad Some shore excursion descriptions were not very clear, and we were a bit disappointed as result. For example, the Discover Jamaica tour, we didn't actually get to see the ferns described on the ride to the tropical forest park because the ferns that were there don't really exist anymore. And shopping in downtown on that same tour that was not as expected, it was actually just to shop inside a single shop with a bathroom. I feel the tour descriptions should be updated to be more accurate and realistic about the actual tour experience. The OceanNow app indicated free Budweiser beer at Crooner's Bar. However, we were actually billed for the beer. Fortunately, we were able to get that resolved and removed from our bill at customer service counter before departing the ship. This seems to be a mismatch in the system. Either there's a bug in the billing system for improperly charging for free beer ordered through the OceanNow app, or the OceanNow app has a bug that mistakenly offers Budweiser beer as free in Crooner's Bar. It's interesting that the free beer listing is only at Crooner's Bar, and it appears so before placing order, and after placing order (in the view that lists past orders). If it is a bug, maybe worth taking note, and making it free as a compliment for usage of the OceanNow app/system. Don't like how Planks BBQ (the real BBQ) is only available at night and with a cover charge. Liked how it was on our previous Mexico cruise where it was available on the deck outside where we got burgers w/o charge. Don't like how the chili available for fries and hot dog is not the same chili offered at the buffet for nachos. I like the nacho style chili for use with fries and hot dogs. The design of the ship's local wifi based concierge portal access wasn't very clear whether I would be charged to use the concierge portal, which web address that was, and especially to view my stateroom account which required creating an account that needed to accept terms which seem like I might be charged. Better to provide different terms of service agreement UI indicators for the paid services vs the complimentary services to not confuse your customers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted to do the partial transit of the Panama Canal and the only other cruise line was Holland America and I didn't like their itinerary. I travel solo and I prefer to eat in the buffet. I was very ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to do the partial transit of the Panama Canal and the only other cruise line was Holland America and I didn't like their itinerary. I travel solo and I prefer to eat in the buffet. I was very disappointed compared to other cruise lines I have been on. The buffet was small, the evening food selection was mediocre. The buffet floor in the dining area looked dirty and that's because the servers wipe the crumbs off the table onto the floor. At breakfast the omelet was thin, brown and crunchy, not soft and fluffy. They did have very good oatmeal, there were pre-fried eggs and the bacon, on most days, was just right. If you get the Unlimited Soda and More Package note that at least on the Caribbean Princess, it does not include any caffeine free diet soda. Those will cost you $2.50 a can. There were too many "specialize speakers" who were nothing more than a sales pitch. Walking in Comfort with Good Feet, A Life Changing Introduction to Acupuncture, How to Increase Your Metabolism, How to Look 10 Years Younger, Arthritis and Back Pain Solutions with Acupuncture, Detox for Health & Weight Loss, Free Footprint and Posture Analysis, Relieving Back Pain & Walking in Comfort, Sunglow Mineral Make-up, Burn Fat Faster, Pain Management, Learn How To Prevent Hair Loss, Secrets to a Flatter Stomach, Ladies Pamper Party (Get Educated on the latest skincare and weight loss therapies). Getting on and off the ship was uneventful. The entertainment was good. I always enjoy trivia. I primarily went on this itinerary to go to Cartagena and the partial transit of the Panama Canal. We could have used more time in Caragena. The ship arrived at 6:30AM and all aboard was 12:00. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Recently completed 10 day partial transit of Panama canal on the Caribbean Princess. Embarkation and disembarkation were both excellent, literally just walked through. Very mature crowd with lots of cruisers with mobility issues and very ... Read More
Recently completed 10 day partial transit of Panama canal on the Caribbean Princess. Embarkation and disembarkation were both excellent, literally just walked through. Very mature crowd with lots of cruisers with mobility issues and very few children. The ship was in good condition and our mini suite was very comfortable. We had good weather but two days of rough seas(7-12ft) but the ship handled them well. Our favourite thing on the cruise were, the Sanctuary($20/4hrs, books up fast), Sabatini's($25 charge), Steamers($12), afternoon tea, front view from the Lido deck(great place during canal crossing),the rear area around terrace pool(breakfast, lunch, or suntanning), Meals in the dining rooms were excellent, meals in the World Fresh Marketplace were hit and miss.Entertainment was varied, I preferred the musicians and comedians to the production shows. Excursion varied in quality, Falmouth Good Hope Express(unorganised, didn't have time to see anything but the plantation house), Catagena Old .City and Historical Museum(excellent, very interesting city, good guide named Gerson, beware persistent street vendors in Old City), Panama Canal and Transit by Boat(interesting tour to see canals from large and small boat perspective but on ferry boat ride through to the Pacific the boat is packed with 400 people and only about 250 seats have shade, the rest have to ride inside or stand, still the tour is worth it), Limon Train Ride, Tortuguero Canal and Countryside(not much countryside as most of tour is in town of Limon, on train ride you can see industrial area most of the way, and on canal lots of dilapidated houses and junk, best part was when guide Julio picked up some banana's as we drove by plantation. Excursion was kind of lame but Julio was excellent), Grand Cayman Turtle Centre, Hell, Tortuga Rum Cake (turtle centre excellent, Hell and Tortuga a little touristy, but guide Kent was very good) Overall it was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I had the Panama Canal on my bucket list. This cruise satisfied my goal. Not the greatest cruise I've ever taken, however. The ship is older and in need of a complete redo. Engine vibration was so loud that we were using sign language ... Read More
I had the Panama Canal on my bucket list. This cruise satisfied my goal. Not the greatest cruise I've ever taken, however. The ship is older and in need of a complete redo. Engine vibration was so loud that we were using sign language to communicate with our tablemates in the Palm Diningroom. Cracked tiles in the public bathrooms, stained toilets, lumpy couches--you get the picture. May have been a beautiful ship in it's day--not anymore. Food was just so-so. Buffet was loaded with dishes full of mayonnaise. I stuck to salads and fruit. Omelette station in the morning was our only option. No grits!! Instead they make what looks like grits but smells like chicken fat and it sits right next to the oatmeal! Hard to take so early in the morning. The good news is that I came home 2 lbs thinner! That NEVER happens to me when I cruise. The production shows were top quality, the music was excellent throughout the ship, and the Crooner Bar was my go to spot. Best bar service on the ship. The casino was horrible. My husband and I are Video Poker players. They have machines set with 10 coin play and a progressive jackpot. We play 5 coins and a Royal Flush would only give you 1500 coins. Rotten odds, but no worry. We could barely get 4 of a kind. I hit on a random slot machine and played on their money all week. They weren't getting another dime from me! No comps for play, either. No one ever offered us so much as a diet coke! I've been on 50+ cruises--this was my first Princess cruise and probably my last. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Caribbean Princess 12/9 to 12/19 Panama Canal Cruise Pros: Embarkation was fairly smooth and quick with the new electronic Medallion system. Cruise terminal staff were friendly and helpful. Staterooms were ready for guests upon ... Read More
Caribbean Princess 12/9 to 12/19 Panama Canal Cruise Pros: Embarkation was fairly smooth and quick with the new electronic Medallion system. Cruise terminal staff were friendly and helpful. Staterooms were ready for guests upon boarding the ship. Our stateroom door usually “recognized” our electronic Medallions upon our approach and unlocked the door for us. The ship was decorated for Christmas. Staterooms have extra large closets. The stateroom was fairly clean and relatively quiet. Our stateroom steward was accommodating, providing lighter bedding, extra pillows, robes and ice. Getting off and back on the ship at ports of call was fairly quick with the Medallion system, greatly reducing lines. Most staff in all the dining venues were friendly and helpful. Afternoon tea was done nicely and not to excess. Ship personnel decorated stateroom doors with a sign and balloons for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. Final disembarkation went fairly well. Cons: Elevators are small, fill quickly, and skip decks if any other elevator is stopping there, leading to long waits, particularly for the disabled who have mobility aids such as walkers, scooters, wheelchairs. Buffets in the “World Marketplace” casual dining area on the aft Lido deck have been renovated to be somewhat island style, but the islands are crammed into too small of an area and not well separated, causing long lines and difficulty getting through. There is no requirement on this ship for passengers to exercise proper hand sanitation prior to entering the restaurant venues. Thus most guests skipped this step completely. The simple precaution of washing hands and using hand sanitizers might have prevented devastating illnesses from being spread by thousands of guests handling the same serving tongs and spoons. Tables in the buffet areas of the Lido deck are in short supply at meal times, especially near a window where most four person tables were often occupied by just one person or by guests playing cards. Frustrating. Finding a staff member to clean a table was often difficult, too, as was obtaining beverage service. Not all staff carried through with fulfilling requests. Staff was not evenly distributed in the Lido dining areas. The ship is not easy to navigate due to a split center restaurant & galley section that cannot be accessed, so guests must get to the middle elevators (the most popular ones) from other decks and then go up or down to detour around the inaccessible areas. This was a much bigger problem for guests with mobility problems than for those who could use the stairs, especially since most non-disabled guests avoided using the stairs, creating an even larger demand for elevators. Service carts take up so much space in the very narrow stateroom hallways during the daytime that wheelchairs and other mobility devices cannot get around them. All of the passengers had to wait an extra hour at the required muster drill held in SRO (standing room only) lounges because of a group of latecomers instead of just having the late guests wait an extra 30 minutes to attend the already scheduled latecomer muster. The drill itself was a loud and lame video featuring old actors from the 1970’s Loveboat television series that caused guests to either cover their ears or otherwise tune out. Afterward, of course, there was the usual battle for elevator space. The latter ongoing issue is especially frustrating for disabled guests who cannot get on the elevators due to faster passengers rushing ahead of them to fill the space. The stateroom televisions will not allow access to any other programming until the same tedious safety briefing video that is shown at the muster drill has been viewed again. Stateroom televisions are not interactive and do not show restaurant menus, ship schedules or the status of stateroom accounts. The electronic Medallion system has some advantages, but is not without down sides. With the new system, casino kiosks have been installed in several places around the ship, enabling gamblers to play electronic bingo, slot machines and other betting games at any time the main casino is open. During our 11 day cruise these kiosks were not popular with cruisers and were very rarely approached. For one thing, they are in busy public areas where everything the guest does is in full public view but the guest is simultaneously isolated from the “gambling community” and social but anonymous atmosphere of the main casino. For some unknown reason, the Medallion system also automatically displays the photos of nearby guests on large brightly lit panels outside of some elevators, creating a loss of privacy. Guests can also be tracked by their Medallion signals, giving a feeling of being stalked by Big Brother. For those who take advantage of the full Medallion app, tracking may be handy for those searching the ship for family members or stateroom mates, but the loss of privacy can be a price some might not want to pay. Guests are repeatedly told to wear their Medallions at all times, leading to feelings of being shackled. Many staterooms have only one electrical outlet and that is located at the desk, making it difficult to recharge electronic devices, phone batteries, mobility scooters, etc. Surge protected power strips that would provide multiple outlets are not allowed on this ship. The long stateroom closet has its own hallway, which greatly reduces the size of the stateroom and bathroom. Because the ship has few handicapped accessible rooms, those using mobility devices (which cannot be stored in the narrow deck corridors) are forced to store the device in places inside the stateroom that create a trip hazard and also block features such as the desk and refrigerator. Changing the size and location of the closet would eliminate the extra unusable interior hallway and potentially alleviate some of these problems. The stateroom shower was the tiniest we have encountered in 12 years of frequent cruising (6 cruises in 2018 alone) on several cruise lines. A guest cannot even bend over in the shower to reach their feet in that shower. Even worse, the shower head is fixed with no capability of being hand held, making it very challenging to thoroughly wash and rinse every body part. And the single knob temperature control does not work when the water is running, forcing the user to turn off the water for temperature alteration. The provided shampoo and shower gel are dispensed literally one tiny droplet at a time, making the user really work to get enough. Talk about chintzy. There are no grab bars near the toilet, which would be helpful on such a rocking ship or in high seas conditions. Some parts of the stateroom are apparently rarely cleaned, leading to thick amounts of dust on shelving and under furniture as well as doors, walls and door handles that really should be wiped down and sanitized between guests. Unfortunately, we have encountered this problem (and worse) on other Princess ships, as well. Stateroom twin beds are small, not that much bigger than a baby’s crib mattress, leading to problems for tall passengers who end up with their their feet dangling off the end of the bed. Air circulation in the staterooms is poor, leading to high humidity and damp bedding that makes sleeping difficult. The Caribbean Princess is definitely feeling its age, especially in regard to the inefficient design of the staterooms and inner deck access. The open slatted metal gangways were also difficult to manage for those using walkers, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. The absolute worst aspect of this cruise was the food. We and many other guests studied the generally unappealing daily menus that were posted outside the main dining rooms. In our attempts to find good food, we tried every dining venue on the ship, including the main dining rooms, buffets, casual spots such as the pizzeria and burger/hot dog grill, as well as the specialty restaurants, and they all came up wanting. Mediocre meals and selections were the norm, with very few items one might call good. Dried out meats were covered with spicy sauces. Fruits and vegetables, in particular, were generally bad. Moldy fruits were sometimes found on the buffets and old sprouted potatoes with actual LEAVES emerging from them were baked as is and added to main dining room meals. Entrees and side dishes that had clearly been prepared several days before and then reheated were served in a couple of the very unpopular specialty for-fee restaurants. (“Planks” was especially bad.) Entertainment on the 11 day cruise had a few bright moments but they were greatly outweighed by mediocrity to non-existence. Most passengers resorted to playing private games of cards or reading because there was nothing better to do, although finding a lounge that wasn’t hosting an art auction, staff meeting, trivia contest or spa “seminar” was often a challenge. In addition, the few empty lounges usually blasted guests with perpetual loops of bad Christmas music or, in one case (the Skywalker Lounge,) shook so badly when the ship was moving that guests literally became nauseated. After not being able to shower adequately in their staterooms, most guests avoided getting into the pools and hot tubs with other semi-clean people. Outside of pricey options such as gambling, spa treatments, art auctions and shopping, the main daytime entertainment consisted of occasional trivia contests, art/craft or music “classes” limited to just a few participants, older movies shown outdoors in the hot sun for a few dozen loungers near the pool, and watching the news or a few old television programs in the stateroom. Evenings sometimes included an outdoor movie, a few musicians at various crowded bars and an occasional production show of singers and dancers at the inadequately sized main theater. (Most shows were SRO for those who didn’t arrive very early.) Independent entertainers got onboard the ship a couple of times, but their entertainment value was highly variable, with some audience members leaving after only a few minutes. And a few scheduled entertainment events were canceled due to the ship shaking too much. One event of interest (Voyage to the Stars Planetarium) could only be accessed by signing up during a single 15 minute window early in the morning several days beforehand. Why something so popular would only be offered once to a small percentage of guests was never explained. The Caribbean Princess has some major engine problems that even in calm seas caused a great deal of shaking and noise, reduced the ship’s speed, and created thick black smoke billowing from the stacks. Sleeping at night (under clammy sheets) through the noise and frequent jolts was very difficult and many guests complained about it. One port of call was cancelled when we arrived due to ocean swells we could not see and that clearly did not prevent other cruise ships nearby from tendering at that port. Another port of call was reduced to less than an hour’s stay and was restricted to visiting a vendor tent on the adjacent industrial pier. The cancellations of port calls and entertainment were disappointing, to say the least. Internet service onboard the ship was so bad that many people waited in line for half an hour or more to complain about it and get a refund. Connection with the “special features” of the Medallion app was especially confusing and never did work for us and others, so after a couple of days we simply gave up trying in order to save our sanity. At the Panama Canal, which was the main reason many guests had booked this cruise, instead of cruising Gatun Lake as is traditional, after exiting the initial locks the ship merely turned around and anchored in place next to the locks to await permission to go through the locks again in late afternoon, giving guests nothing new to see and wasting much of the day for those onboard. And after going through the locks again those same guests were not allowed to get off the ship as scheduled at the port of Cristobol (where the guests who had been on excursions all met up with the ship) until less than an hour remained before the ship’s scheduled departure time. The excuse given was that the captain was afraid the excursion guests would not board the ship in a timely manner to depart on time, which they actually did with about an hour to spare. We believe the captain eventually allowed the non-excursion guests to leave the ship for that short while because otherwise the cruise line would have been obligated to refund the Cristobol port fees for many of the guests. Regardless, by the time the initial decision was reversed, many guests had gotten ready for bed and didn’t want to bother to re-dress just to spend such a brief time in a vendor’s tent. Talk about frustrating. At most extremely hot ports of call the ship staff didn’t set up cold drink stations near the gangways for returning guests even though they were very much needed. On the deck of the ship an elderly woman even fainted from the heat but ship’s medics would not allow her to be carried or walk to an air conditioned indoor area less than 5 feet away, but instead brought her a chair to sit in on the hot deck and had her husband fan her with a paper. This made zero sense to us. Summary: For the record, we are very experienced cruisers who went on 6 cruises in 2018 alone. Over the past 12 years we have cruised many times on each of 4 different popular cruise lines but we have no financial or other connection with any of them. Our reviews are as objective and fair minded as we can make them. While there were several significant positive aspects of this particular cruise, the overall deficits were serious enough that, despite our high loyalty status level, we will never book another Princess cruise again. Instead of “coming back new,” we came back stressed, disappointed, and so ill that a week later we were forced to cancel our long awaited holiday travel plans to be with family. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
While concerned about the ship's size, large in comparison to our prefered cruise lines,we choose this Caribbean Princess cruise primarily for the itinerary, Panama Canal and Caymans, timing and the cost. Within days we were ... Read More
While concerned about the ship's size, large in comparison to our prefered cruise lines,we choose this Caribbean Princess cruise primarily for the itinerary, Panama Canal and Caymans, timing and the cost. Within days we were commenting how much we were enjoying the ship, the great service, food and entertainment! Definitely did not seem like a bigger ship and very impressed with our Vista suite. Since we were in a suite, we could enjoy dining in the Club dining room where the staff and menu were outstanding. We actually, canceled some reservations in the specialty dining rooms because we enjoyed Club dining and found that the additional cost of a suite was well worth enjoying this dining area. The new Medallion program with internet access to daily activities, purchasing of excursions, and room acess was convenient and very useful for keeping up with entertainment options. Also since some reviews had downplayed onboard entertainment, surprised by the quality of the production show, lounge entertainers. While we did not engage in various games, or use the pool areas, as active retirees, we did play pickle ball, dance, play blackjack and listen to the great music. Overall, with 5 days @ sea and 5 days in port, we were able to do as much or as little as we wanted. Only disappointment was the full day, expensive excursion in Panama Canal. Since this was only a partial transit, elected to purchase this so we could transit to the Pacific via a smaller boat. The long bus ride from Gatun Lake to the ferry was very uncomfortable and had a guide who was hard to understand & promoted local "junk". Then herded 200 of us onto the ferry with even worse seats, poor sound system so couldn't hear comments during the 3-hr transit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise for the destinations and because it was Princess. Everything from the ship to the crew service was phenomenal. The stateroom was a good size - not too small. The meal choices were great in the dining room. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations and because it was Princess. Everything from the ship to the crew service was phenomenal. The stateroom was a good size - not too small. The meal choices were great in the dining room. Everything about the cruise was pleasant and relaxing. The ports were enjoyable. We didn't take any of the shore excursions, but did our own relaxing walk-about on shore. The Panama Canal experience was fun and since we had a balcony, we were able to enjoy the transit without leaving our stateroom. Our stateroom steward was fantastic - anticipated what we needed even before we asked. For example, we had brought a bottle of wine with us and the next thing we knew, there were two wine glasses in our stateroom for us. Embarkation and debarkation were smooth and easy. The staff seemed to work very well together and communicate on all issues. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Loved the cruise, but I am 23, and this ship is great for those of the older crowd, as there was only 4 children on board. The ports were amazing, the service staff was amazing, made some amazing friends with the staff and I had a really ... Read More
Loved the cruise, but I am 23, and this ship is great for those of the older crowd, as there was only 4 children on board. The ports were amazing, the service staff was amazing, made some amazing friends with the staff and I had a really good trip. The cabin was clean, and made up every single day at least twice a day and he always came at a good time, The medallion class ship was also worthwhile as I only had to walk up to the door and it unlocked for me automatically. I also purchased the drink package for the first time and made the most out of it, as I drinked 15 drinks for 10 days. Laughable yes, but very much true. The Bar staff was excellent, and funny, and also always offered water! I wish the columbian port was longer because we only had 4 hours there. The staff was fantastic, as many were young and hip and even the older ones were fantastic, I will never forget my bar experience and how they treated like I was special. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Princess put in a lot of time, effort, and money to produce some high quality and high tech performances. The best we've seen to date. The cabin was another matter. We like the interior cabins (no light, sleep in). We ended up ... Read More
Princess put in a lot of time, effort, and money to produce some high quality and high tech performances. The best we've seen to date. The cabin was another matter. We like the interior cabins (no light, sleep in). We ended up booked in an interior cabin with bunk beds. We didn't know it had the additional berths for two people, and made an already cramped cabin almost unbearable. With the main bed together in a queen configurations vs. twin bed configuration, made it almost impossible to get into bed without a half limbo/contortion move. Those are better left to games on deck, not in a cabin. The last time we were on Princess, they still had the Horizon Court buffet setup, complete with iron gates. We were pleasantly surprised to find the buffet area overhauled with completely new and modern decor. They've also added some specialty dinner dining to the aft of deck 15, with a BBQ specialty on one side and seafood on the other. We were disappointed that "Crab Shack" had been discontinued. The other disappointment was that happy-hour (they had previously offered two a day, one at 3 pm-ish and one at 11 pm-ish) has been abolished. We were apparently the 4th sailing with their new Medallion RFID access tokens, and they were still working the bugs out. So, we were issued the Medallion and a RFID enabled standard type cruise card. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
1st time sailing with Princess, and it is the last. They said we were the inaugural sailing with the medallions, which in my opinion are a bother and did not work well - AT ALL. Ours broke mid-cruise and they asked for it and didn't ... Read More
1st time sailing with Princess, and it is the last. They said we were the inaugural sailing with the medallions, which in my opinion are a bother and did not work well - AT ALL. Ours broke mid-cruise and they asked for it and didn't return it for a day and a half. You can still use your card, and call out a four digit number (and yes everyone can hear it) to a waiter/waitress, who sometimes would take our card, and not give it back unless you go and find them, and it. The room was average, (Dolphin Deck) and not kept as clean as I would like. The cabin steward was impersonal an not friendly, and was borderline creepy. We think the steward took my wife's meds from our room, and the thumb drive I had, had been copied as we immediately got tons of new kinds of spam as soon as we got home. Should have kept that on my person. The food was ok (really, just ok, everywhere) Although we didn't try the Crown Grill steak house. We did try the Steamers Seafood (average at best) and Planks BBQ where the service was the best on the ship. Regular dining was a joke, and the service was below average. We checked our bill at guest services the last night before arrival into home part and it was about $350.00, which was about right, on the last day we left the cabin, a paper was rolled up, and places outside our cabin in the handle. It stated that we owed the cruise line over $985.00, mostly for drinks (my wife and I do drink, and did drink, but nowhere close to that much), the cruise line dismissed our dispute stating the medallion could not have made any mistakes (we only used the medallion once at the bar to purchase drinks) and the rest of the time we used our key card by stating (out loud) our 4 digit number on the card. Bad trip, bad experiences, sub-standard, unclean room and swindled on the high seas too. I am a cruise veteran and know what I am talking about. Stay far away form ANY Carnival cruise line ship, they have certainly have lowered the overall cruising standards and give little or no quality or decent service anymore. I was made to feel I was trying to take advantage of the cruise line, and as an executive for another travel provider (yes, you know who) - I was aghast at the service, food and subsequent treatment by Carnival Cruise lines. And - never, ever again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our destination to the Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise. Princess delivered a wonderful vacation. The stateroom and ship were in excellent condition. The food was wonderfully prepared and presented at each meal. We selected ... Read More
Our destination to the Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise. Princess delivered a wonderful vacation. The stateroom and ship were in excellent condition. The food was wonderfully prepared and presented at each meal. We selected anytime dining and enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. The World Market was our breakfast location of choice. The selection and caliber of food was good. I was able to find something new every day. The Medallion connection and online information provided the itinerary and activities at my finger tips. The availability of excursions at each port was good. As we left the ship we were given maps and brochures for the location. These were terrific for navigating and finding things to enjoy. We did exploring safely and now have a desire to return to some locations for a longer stay. All the crew and staff treated us with care and made us feel welcome. We will be Princess cruisers again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chosen for the itinerary, this cruise did not disappoint! We booked a mini suite (MD) class cabin which we thought came we certain privileges only to discover that they really didn't. It is nothing more than a balcony cabin. Our cabin ... Read More
Chosen for the itinerary, this cruise did not disappoint! We booked a mini suite (MD) class cabin which we thought came we certain privileges only to discover that they really didn't. It is nothing more than a balcony cabin. Our cabin steward, known as Nono, has been fantastic, as frankly, have the rest of the staff throughout our cruise. A notable exception, strangely, is the "customer service" staff at the desk. They really have a "couldn't care less" attitude even when I was trying to compliment the crew! The food has overall been good. Exceptional at the Crown Grill and Plank's. Just good most other venues with a few examples of not very good, usually at the buffet. They have tea, coffee, water, and lemonade available most of the day. Service is better in the buffet area than we've seen on other cruises where the staff is more interested in your enjoyment than in selling you something, which is a nice change. They do a great job bringing your drinks and clearing the tables quickly, always with a smile. The International Cafe has delicious soup, sandwich, and dessert choices at no charge while there is a charge for their coffees. We found the pizza spot, Slice, and their burger bar, Salty Dog, to be okay. This ship must have a world renowned "Fry Captain" on board as the french fries throughout the ship are universally fantastic! We found the entertainment to be a little bit lacking for our tastes. The Princess Theater is a bit uncomfortable to sit in for more than about 45 minutes as the seats are a bit too close by row. We enjoyed several of the smaller gathering options nice such as Laura Callaghan in the Wheelhouse bar in the evenings. You will find great service in all the bars without exception. One drawback to the Medallion Net option is that it seems to actually slow the process of buying drinks currently but maybe that will change over time as I believe the concept will work similarly to your door unlocking and recognize the wearer from a distance. Who knows? This ship has a nice variety of pool options to choose from with a total of 5 pools and many hot tubs throughout. I enjoyed the gym though it is a bit limited in equipment options compared to other ships we've sailed. It has a good selection of weight machines and a nice dumbbell area. They open at 6 am though you're asked not to use the treadmills prior to 8 am, presumably so as not to disturb sleeping passengers in the cabins below. You can, however, use the other cardio equipment including eliptical machines. They have a nice spa area but don't try to constantly force treatments on you. They offer an unusually great sauna and steam area for all clients with no charge. These actually get hot as opposed to many others you might find on other cruise lines and even most resorts where they have them but they don't really become very hot. Our favorite ports were Cartegena, Costa Rica, and Grand Cayman and the Panama Canal piece was very interesting. One of the greatest benefits we found on this ship was the internet. For very affordable price, we had unlimited internet which allowed almost seamless usage of our phones and other electronics throughout the cruise. Many may not like this as they may prefer to unplug while cruising, which I get. I was essentially able to continue working as though I were in my office without interruption while enjoying a fantastic cruise at the same time, which gave me a sense of comfort. Cudos to Princess for investing in this technology and for getting it right! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The ship has been refurbished and the buffet has been cut down to a third of standard because Princess has two (2) new specialty restaurants (of course additional fee). The buffet has a picnic theme, subs and ready for this...at ... Read More
The ship has been refurbished and the buffet has been cut down to a third of standard because Princess has two (2) new specialty restaurants (of course additional fee). The buffet has a picnic theme, subs and ready for this...at dinner...PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY SANDWICHES...unbelievable! One guest we met onboard is a professional chef in Las Vegas and he said he will never sail with Princess again. Let’s talk about the dining room experiences, the staff are so busy serving multiple tables that it takes hours (and we timed it on 2 separate occasions) to order, receive your dinner and dessert, needless to say if you wanted to catch the show in the Princess theatre you were forced to exit early. The shows were mediocre with the EXCEPTION of BRAVO, that presentation was what Princess theatre productions were 10 years ago. The comedian one night was so pathetic, my husband and I felt sorry for him and he was the talk of the guests for days. In summary the consensus amongst the guests we met in various locations and my husband and I are a huge disappointing 10 day experience. A number of guests we met this is their first cruise and they traveled from the UK and hugely disappointed, they won’t be back... Rey sad. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our 4th Cruise with Princess . Food and Staff were Outstanding, ship needs some up dates and better cleaning of carpets on deck 15 open dinning area ( steam clean dirt and stains were ... Read More
This was our 4th Cruise with Princess . Food and Staff were Outstanding, ship needs some up dates and better cleaning of carpets on deck 15 open dinning area ( steam clean dirt and stains were needed) Islands are still recovering from hurricanes last year. First time to St Kitts ( of the 5 Island traveled) ...great place to visit. Had a issue with a recent surgery to my foot and doing dressing changes on board, they took my medical kit for my own care ...scissors ( Both Wife and I are American RN's with extensive training), Medical staff provided scissors as mine were taken before boarding ( 6 inch length). Issue resolved... ridiculous rules. Great entertainment BUT standing room only, arrive 30 min early to find a seat. I ended up buying a quality watch on the islands as the ship no longer carries Omega or other high quality watches. Wife celebrated her 66th Birthday at sea...and BTW...we were the "Kids" of the ship.... if your looking for a more active group to hang with this aint it. Had a Good Gym which I used daily as I ate way too much. Over all Good...But next time were Cruising the Med. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Wanted to try this line because it has so many avid followers. Now we know why. This is a very relaxing environment, without constant announcements and loud music. There are always areas where one can sit and enjoy the view, with or ... Read More
Wanted to try this line because it has so many avid followers. Now we know why. This is a very relaxing environment, without constant announcements and loud music. There are always areas where one can sit and enjoy the view, with or without entertainment. Plenty of choices to keep as busy as one wants. Great service at all of the bars, and especially recommend Vines which has complementary tapas and sushi. Everything is well thought out to avoid lines. Painless tender experience to Princess Cays and a very organized disembarkation. Not many kids on board and no teens, which is good because I am sure they would be bored to tears. But Princess knows its customer base and provides just what we want. The right mix of formality and tradition with happy, friendly, well trained staff. Although we have sail the Caribbean many times, we had some new ports of call which we enjoyed. Overall, a really great cruising experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I cruised exclusively on Princess for many years and stayed on cruise ships months at a time. Needless to say we reached the Elite level some time ago. One of my favorite cruise ships was the old Caribbean Princess (before ... Read More
My wife and I cruised exclusively on Princess for many years and stayed on cruise ships months at a time. Needless to say we reached the Elite level some time ago. One of my favorite cruise ships was the old Caribbean Princess (before renovation) ugly ice cream cone and all. The food on that ship was very good. We recently took a 10 day cruise and were pleasantly surprised by the new renovation. The crew and service were terrific as usual. The new layout, decor and amenities of the Caribbean Princess were a joy to see. The cabin spacious and spotless and there are no shortage of entertainment day and night. However when we reached the buffet we were dismayed at the selection and quality of food time and again. It was by far the worst eating experience on a Princess cruise ever. Most of the meat was served stuffed with something, MeatLoaf, stuffed pork, stuffed lamb and even stuffed chicken. Sandwiches are plentiful if you want one for lunch or dinner. Cold stuffed lamb was served in a cheap gray paper plate, meatless spaghetti sauce in a jar and self service wine and beer machines. You get the drift. It is all about cutting cost and in this case to a fault. As a stock holder of CCL and frequent cruiser, I hope the food offering on the Caribbean does not become the norm on other Princess ships since I heard plenty of complaints from fellow passengers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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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