1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Caribbean Princess Review
  5. Caribbean Princess Cruise Reviews

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

My Mom really wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise as her last big holiday. She turned 80 this past year, so I thought we should do this before her health takes a turn for the worse. She enjoyed this so much, I think she's ready to go ... Read More
My Mom really wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise as her last big holiday. She turned 80 this past year, so I thought we should do this before her health takes a turn for the worse. She enjoyed this so much, I think she's ready to go on another. This was our first time sailing out of Port Everglades and we found embarkation was efficient with almost no standing in line. We arrived at the port about 11:20 and were on the ship shortly after 12 and cleared to go to our room. The weather wasn't great in Fort Lauderdale, but managed to mostly stay dry before boarding. After our drill and preparation for sailing, we were told that weather at Princess Cays was unsafe for tendering, so they changed the itinerary to Ocho Rios on Day 3 instead. My wife was pleased, as she was disappointed when Ocho Rios was removed from the itinerary a few months prior. However, the weather in Ocho Rios was very rainy and we got soaked. Only went to the little shop area for about 20 minutes and returned to the ship. Fortunately the weather was much better the rest of the way. Cartagena was a great place to visit. We did the Fort and Old Town tour and our tour host, "King Arthur" Arturo was very engaging, knowledgeable and clearly proud of his city and country. Unfortunately, we arrived at Las Bovedas at about 8:20am on a Sunday, so almost all shops were closed, so we didn't get to see much. Touring two of the churches was also a bit awkward as they were in the middle of services. My only real complaint about the tour was that we spent 25 minutes in a jewelry store that Arturo obviously hand-picked. Most of us just stood or sat where we could, waiting to get moving again. The Panama Canal was a great experience, and nice to be a part of a little history in being the first Princess ship, the largest cruise ship (so far) and only the second cruise ship to go through the new Agua Clara locks. We didn't do an excursion in Panama, instead staying on the ship and doing the "Escape Room." It was difficult to get into the Escape Room, but we managed to be there at the right time. This was put together by the cruise director's staff, and while not super challenging, it was not too easy, either. We enjoyed the experience and the effort put in by the staff. We also participated in the Steel Drum class put on by Dennis Smith, along with the accompanying performance. We had a lot of fun and Dennis did well with a varied level of musical talent that he had to work with. Really, these are all about having some fun and participating, so I think everyone had a good time. Costa Rica was my favourite destination. The market there was almost all authentic local stuff. We did the train tour of the banana plantation and jungle and got to see a lot you wouldn't see just in the port. It is a beautiful country and I would return. The train is a little rough because of the condition of the tracks, but I really enjoyed it. I did take a battery operated fan with me and used it a couple times when we were stopped to look at something or wait for the "Dole" train to go by the other way. Grand Cayman was my sister's favourite spot. She wanted to stay there and is contemplating how she can move there. She did the snorkeling at Stingray City and another area with a reef. She loved the warm, incredibly blue water and it made me wish I had gone along. The entertainment on board was overall pretty good. We enjoy going to the trivia games, the game shows, some live music and shows and there was no shortage of things to do. This cruise staff with Tais, Brenna, Lili, Duvall, Victoria and Micca were the best we've had to date. Tais, Brenna and Duvall were especially engaging, clearly not afraid to entertain at their own expense. I hope to see these folks on future cruises. Service was on the whole very good. A few were fantastic, a few less than fantastic, but on the whole, very good service. Our cabin steward, Joey, was perhaps a bit shy or awkward, but he got us anything we needed and served us well. The area where service really excelled was in the dining room with headwaiter Antonio. My wife has a number of food allergies that are difficult enough to accommodate at home and Antonio made sure that she had what she needed every day and went beyond by getting her a special bread every day and even desserts. Her diet has no sugar, dairy, eggs, yeast or soy, so desserts are especially difficult, but she had a special dessert every night. We were quite concerned when she was put on this diet in early December, but we were blown away at how well they did to meet her needs. The ship itself was very familiar, having cruised on it two years ago, but it's been in for upgrades since, so we were looking forward to seeing the changes. On the whole, not huge changes, except on the Lido deck with the World Fresh Marketplace replacing Horizon Court and the addition of Planks and Steamers, neither of which we tried. The Ramen bar was a nice treat, though, in Steamers at lunch time. The ship still shows it's age in a lot of places, but it still feels very much like home, having now spent 17 nights on board. I would have no hesitation sailing her again, and no doubt will. Finally, those little picky things, as a review wouldn't be complete without a few critiques. The selection process for things like the Escape Room and Steel Drum class could be done more fairly, I think. It's like the people that show up the earliest get the tickets, so if you're willing to go 30-45 minutes early, you'll likely get the tickets. The problem with that is if you say something is at 9 and you've already given the stuff away by 8:40, you get frustrated. It shouldn't be about who can get there the earliest, it should be show up at 9 and we'll do a raffle, as the lineups get mixed up and some people get offended that people "butt" in line, when they were just sitting there waiting and when the cruise staff shows up, they walk into line with the rest of their party. In the end, there is no way to make everyone happy, but I think they could do better. Another annoyance was the laundry room on Dolphin deck. Every person that tried to get a box of soap out of the dispenser couldn't, as it jammed up. You'd call customer service and they would come, "unjam" the machine, give you a box of soap, leave, then someone else would come in and the machine would be jammed. It happened to me twice and I waited 25 and 30 minutes for the person to come back and unjam the machine. Every person that came before me that day and after me while I was there had the same issue. I finally called the front desk and told them if they can't get the machine working, they should be leaving the soap out for people and sucking up the cost, which would really be very little. In future, I'm bringing my own liquid soap, as the water doesn't get hot enough to dissolve the "All" brand powder soap they use and you had white powder on your clothes afterwards. My only other "complaint" isn't really with the cruise staff, though I think they could have intervened. We were watching the movie under the stars and a group of people were sitting off to the side at the tables, talking and laughing very loudly, making it difficult to hear the movie. Is it too much to ask for a little courtesy towards your fellow cruisers? Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We arrived at the port at noon and got on board within 30-60 minutes. We rolled our own bags off so we disembarked within 30 minutes. We had interior room A404 which was perfectly acceptable; we would stay in an interior room with ... Read More
We arrived at the port at noon and got on board within 30-60 minutes. We rolled our own bags off so we disembarked within 30 minutes. We had interior room A404 which was perfectly acceptable; we would stay in an interior room with Princess again. Interior rooms are a great value because no one stays in their cabin during the cruise anyway. The food and restaurants, entertainment and service were above average. (Comedian was below average). We bought only one shore excursion from Princess in Limon Costa Rica to see a rain forest which was worthwhile. The excursions to see the sloths were sold out so buy those asap. In Georgetown Grand Cayman we bought a van tour from a local vendor. If you have not gone through a canal and locks before, the journey through the Panama Canal was amazing engineering. The main reason we selected this itinerary was to visit Cartagena Colombia. We were very disappointed the ship skipped this stop. The captain claimed high winds prevented us from sailing from Jamaica but a Royal Caribbean ship next to us was able to sail. Some passengers say the ship had engine problems but the captain did not admit this until 24 hours had elapsed which prevented us from seeking a refund. If we had visited Cartagena, I would have rated this cruise 5 stars excellent. Because of doubts about Princess' reliability, we may select Celebrity next time if the prices and itineraries are comparable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise for the Panama Canal experience. It was really quite interesting learning about this engineering marvel and the recent improvements. We also were interested in Costa Rica which was also very nice. But, the Cartegena ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Panama Canal experience. It was really quite interesting learning about this engineering marvel and the recent improvements. We also were interested in Costa Rica which was also very nice. But, the Cartegena port was not accessible because of high winds. That was very disappointing. All of the staff were very friendly and extremely helpful! The dining staff worked especially hard to make our experience very enjoyable. They were clearly willing to make every customer feel special. The daily menus were diverse each night and the food was excellent! The entertainment was really first class. The ship's singers and dancers were awesome and the production shows were excellent. The other nightly entertainers were also quite good. We especially liked that a classical trio was booked for our entertainment as well. There was also a wide variety of on-board activities for everyone to partake in. The embarkation and disembarkation was went very smoothly as well. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Princess did a good job on the food. Our room had a very nice king sized bed and adequate shower, closet space, safe and balcony. The Production shows at night were excellent. The Art Auction speaker who also gave a couple of lectures ... Read More
Princess did a good job on the food. Our room had a very nice king sized bed and adequate shower, closet space, safe and balcony. The Production shows at night were excellent. The Art Auction speaker who also gave a couple of lectures was very good. We thoroughly enjoyed him and the auctions. But there were 5 days at sea due to missing one of the ports-Cartagena. We missed it supposedly due to rough seas, although a ship parked next to us left at the time we were supposed to leave in those same rough seas. There was not enough to do to spend that many days at sea unfortunately. Our shore excursion in Jamaica bought through Princess turned out to be a disaster. It was sprinkling when we left to go on the river rafting. These were wooden rafts that had 2 chairs on them and one person "poled" down the river. We arrived on our bus for the rafting and were told we would need to wait 30-45 minutes. There was no place to sit so we stood under a tree and then another shelter. We were outside the whole time during the light rain. 2 HOURS later, we were still standing in the rain and waiting. Finally they said we could go or go back to the ship. By that time, the river was quite rapid and supposedly, two rafts had collided. We watched the raft drivers struggle to not run into the sides of the river. 16 of the 20 or so people left decided to go back. A few younger people stayed. We and all the 16, I believe, reported this to the shore excursion people. They kept putting us off each day on what they would do about it. We had paid $150 total for this excursion. Finally on the last day, they refunded $18 each, saying that is all they could refund by policy. It ruined an otherwise nice cruise. We didn't buy our last excursions through Princess. We believed a decent corporation should stand behind their products. We will not go on another Princess cruise for this reason. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was a spur of the moment, want to get away from the holiday madness, decision to go on this cruise. We are retired and can do things last minute, this offer came to us in email, we researched the ship and said let’s go and we did. ... Read More
This was a spur of the moment, want to get away from the holiday madness, decision to go on this cruise. We are retired and can do things last minute, this offer came to us in email, we researched the ship and said let’s go and we did. When we got on the ship we discovered it had a propulsion problem and will go into dry dock March of 2019, this explained the shorter times in ports. We did not mind the shorter days in port but if this is important to you you might want to look at another ship. We had some rainy weather to start with but we live in Arizona and we love rain. It was warm so you could sit on the covered decks and enjoy being outside and there were plenty of activities going on inside if you so desired. We did have to miss a port, Cartagena, Columbia, because the winds in the channel at Falmouth were elevated and it was felt the ship could not travel safely. We stayed overnight and left at about 5am to head to the Panama Canal. I wish we would have skipped Falmouth, not at all impressed, and our shore excursion was a beach break, which should have been cancelled before we got on the bus to take us there. It was raining, the beach was piled high with seaweed, it was awful, even the guides said it should have been cancelled, we did receive a 50% refund as onboard credit, because the guides complained, it should have been 100%, because it should have been cancelled. Going through the lock was amazing and there is a great view from the Sky Walker lounge. We had watched a documentary about the building of the canal on you tube before the cruise and it made it much more meaningful to us. Costa Rica was ok, they was actually great shopping right on the dock. Grand Cayman the beaches were beautiful, pretty sure there were not too many bargains there if you are a shopper. The ship is very nice, very clean everywhere and the service personnel are wonderful. We loved that they had self serve laundromats on each deck. They had two washers and two dryers and an iron and ironing board, use your cruise card to purchase tokens to use in the washer and dryer. They also had detergents, dryer sheets, and fabric softeners to purchase. The water on the ship was great, we did purchase cases of bottled water for our cabin and kept it in the refrigerator. When going on an excursion the ship will sell you bottled water for either $2 or $3 per 16 oz. the case was $6.50 plus gratuity for 12 bottles, or you could bring your on container and fill it up. Alcoholic drinks were expensive, we do not drink enough to make the drink package worthwhile. The food was marginal, nothing really great, we ate at Planks, the barbecue was not great, we had anytime dining and were pleased with that, it was nice to meet different people or even sit alone for dinner a couple of times. We had lunch at the Crown Grill, they serve English Pub food,complementary, we had the fish and chips, a little greasy. The buffet food was never hot, there definitely were plenty of choices, but nothing was great. We thought the dining room food was better than the buffet, at least it was hot. The afternoon teas were nice. The tea sandwiches and the pastries were good, the music was nice. Slice, did have good pizza and the burgers from the Salty Dog were good if you were hanging out by the pool at lunchtime. The soft serve ice cream from cones was great. The international cafe was good and we did purchase a coffee card to purchase specialty coffees, regular coffee and tea is complementary. There was always something to do on the ship, game shows, dance lessons, the theater shows were super crowded and you needed to get there 30-45 minutes to get a seat, there was music all over the ship but most of the times the music played over the speakers, not live, on the Lido deck was hip hop, annoying, most of the time. I would think for most of the age group on this cruise, I would say the majority were 55+. The movies under the stars, football games, were great., they served you popcorn, it was fun. They did try to sell jewelry and art We definitely will go again actually are looking right now for our next cruise, perhaps Alaska? Or a trans Atlantic? Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Cruising the Panama Canal has always been an item on our bucket list. My wife and I travel extensively and have recently used Princess primarily based on the varied itineraries. We have always been fascinated with history and wanted to see ... Read More
Cruising the Panama Canal has always been an item on our bucket list. My wife and I travel extensively and have recently used Princess primarily based on the varied itineraries. We have always been fascinated with history and wanted to see the Panama Canal for ourselves. This trip provided us the opportunity to traverse the new locks with the Princess ship and the original American locks on the Pacific side on a smaller vessel. Excursion provided extensive discussion of the canal construction and review of the mechanisms. This is a definite must for anyone interested in the history of the canal We have always found Princess to be a good value to us as customers. I have found the service and dining options comparable to more expensive lines which we have also sailed. Many of the staff we encountered in dining and bar service were some of the best on the Caribbean Princess compared to other cruises. The itinerary for this particular cruise was mostly focused on Costa Rico and the Panama Canal. Unfortunately due to weather issues, we were unable to visit the port in Columbia. We selected this trip to the Panama Canal based on that and not as much concerned with other Caribbean destinations. We opted for a suite and had an incredible room with large balcony. This option also gave us other amenities and privileges which were greatly appreciated including private dining room with dedicated staff. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We always have wanted to do this cruise...price and timing right. We had never sailed with Princess before and cannot tell you how pleased we were. Cruised with several lines over last 20 cruises, most recently with Cunard and Oceania. ... Read More
We always have wanted to do this cruise...price and timing right. We had never sailed with Princess before and cannot tell you how pleased we were. Cruised with several lines over last 20 cruises, most recently with Cunard and Oceania. We honest felt the level,of service on Princess exceeded that ofmthose two lines. Exceptional service at every level in every interaction was standard. Some food leaving a little to be desired, but overall very good. The Canal experience was wonderful, especially because we had been told to reserve space on deck 17 in the Sanctuary...$60 per person additional well worth it! We’ll be back to do,the entire Panama Canal transit because this was partial. Thank you Princess. Several,pluses...the wine bar was very special and Laurentia, the wine expert was indeed that! Being assigned tomAnyrime dining was perfect because we could make a reservation and the maitre d Giovanni and our waiter, Abel, were superb at their jobs Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The destination ports were delightful, but we had several issues: 1- Our stateroom (Caribbean Princess E104) was loud and noisy. My mother became ill with a "head cold", and was not able to rest as needed. Complains to the ... Read More
The destination ports were delightful, but we had several issues: 1- Our stateroom (Caribbean Princess E104) was loud and noisy. My mother became ill with a "head cold", and was not able to rest as needed. Complains to the front desk went unanswered with just a simple "required maintenance is on-going"... 2- When we reached the Panama Canal, we walked to the front of the ship at 6am to view the channel. At that time, my family, and myself were denied entrance to "The Sanctuary" because an additional $60/person fee was required. I was surprised and embarrassed in front of my 74 year old mother and my daughter 3- The Dolphin Cove excursion in Falmouth, Jamaica was not as described in the brochure. Guest were just to observed the Dolphins from far. Additional monies were requested to either swim, take a picture or kissing the dolphins. In addition, the lunch offered was not adequate. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Chose Princess because we had never been on it before. It was just "FAIR"... Cruise staff was not that engaging; food was just okay, nothing special; stateroom shower is so small that if you happen to be a big person you ... Read More
Chose Princess because we had never been on it before. It was just "FAIR"... Cruise staff was not that engaging; food was just okay, nothing special; stateroom shower is so small that if you happen to be a big person you would find it impossible to find the room to wash your hair as your arms would hit the sides of the shower wall. Tiniest shower I've ever been in and I'm a small person. Also on the last night of dining, I found a dead bug in my Caesarr salad. I reported it to the waiter and he reported it to the "white coat" bosses in the dining room and they assured me that someone would get back to me on this incident but noone ever did.... Apalling that this could be written off as not important. The next day I went to customer service and they didn't receive any info on this incident either. Really? a dead bug in the ship's dining room deserves a whole lot of attention.... Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We have cruised with princess about 8 times and the last two have been wonderful except the dining room. We choose anytime dining and we have had slow service and cold food. We use to love the quality of food. Maybe princess is just not ... Read More
We have cruised with princess about 8 times and the last two have been wonderful except the dining room. We choose anytime dining and we have had slow service and cold food. We use to love the quality of food. Maybe princess is just not able to accommodate anytime dining? We loved the crown grill and also sabbatini’s but we really miss the good dining room food. Maybe we just have to go back to scheduled eatingtimes? The broadway production shows were excellent but I wish they were longer than 30 minutes. The comedian on this ship was mediocre at best and I did not enjoy the guest singer. It just wasn’t my kind of music. Our cabin was very nice. We usually just get a balcony but this time we splurged since it was our 25th wedding anniversary. And princess did go out of their way to help us celebrate it. We were serenaded three different times and we received complimentary meals twice at the crown grill. We really do love cruising with princess so I just hope we can get the dining service figured out! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise as we had never crossed the Panama canal, or visited Cartagena or Costa Rica. We could not do more than a 10 day cruise due to limited vacation time. The Caribbean Princess cruise thus fit the bill. Positives: ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had never crossed the Panama canal, or visited Cartagena or Costa Rica. We could not do more than a 10 day cruise due to limited vacation time. The Caribbean Princess cruise thus fit the bill. Positives: 1. Our experience in the main dining room, 8 pm traditional late sitting, was great. Wonderful table mates made the cruise for us. We were randomly (? I still wonder) seated with 2 other couples that we had met on the roll call, and we hit it off so well that we often closed the dining room down. Food was very good for the most part in the dining room, and the waiter and busboy were great- never a problem giving us pieces and parts of different selections, more than one appetizer or dessert, etc. We often had breakfast and lunch in the main dining room and the food and service there were generally good as well. However, the staff seemed somewhat pushed to the limit at those times, and food was often slow to come out. 2. International Cafe has very good coffee and mostly very good pastries. Their breakfast sandwich was good and we had that for breakfast a couple of times on port days. 3. We thought pizza was good and the hamburger and hot dogs good on deck. Afternoon tea was fun one time but it wasn't good enough to repeat (we just did the free one). We did one wine tasting which was fun. 3. Entertainment was often good- production shows and the comedian/magician, as well as the non-comedian male singer (forget his name but he reminded me of Michael Buble) 4. Ship was very clean. Main areas had been redecorated and looked good. 5. Embarkation was very smooth and we were on the ship by around noon- and we were new to Princess with no status whatsoever. 6. Loved the Trivia contests- lots of fun. 7. DH birthday was mid cruise and besides the door decorations and the cake with singing in the dining room, he got a $50 spa credit for use on port days as well as a $25 credit for any of the shops aboard. A very nice touch 8. Front desk was very efficient at remagnetizing my room card (which demagnetized x 2) 9. Meet and Greet was a success- attended by several officers and staff (Thanks Steve and Shari! -Canadianburger and his wife- one of our great table mate couples) as well as a good turnout of the roll call, several of whom became friends during the cruise. 10. Hanukkah candlelighting ceremony was a nightly thing during the cruise and was respectfully attended every night by one of the cruise directors staff. Nicely done. 11. Panama Canal excursion (Embera Indians and the cruise and visit to the new locks center) was good, and loved Costa Rica (did a private tour of the Tortuguerra canal, banana plantation, beach and Limon). Negatives: 1. There has to be more than just a propulsion issue with this ship. I realize that the weather wasn't good, but this ship rocked and rolled a lot more than it should have. I have been on much smaller ships (think 100 passengers in the Galapagos or 700 in the Mediterranean) in stormy seas that have not felt as rocky as this one. And when the engines churned the main dining room vibrated incredibly. 2. We didn't make it out of Falmouth in time to get to Cartagena, and so missed Cartagena entirely. Again, I realize that there was a storm, but the Horizon of the Seas was docked there at the same time and made it out of Falmouth. Something is wrong. 3. Our AC in the cabin was not working when we embarked. Supposedly was fixed the first night (engineering never left a note) but we had to crank it on high most of the cruise. The next to last night it died completely, again supposedly was fixed but not really. Had to call repeatedly until finally a supervisor came down, agreed it was hot in the room, and the engineer finally came down on the last afternoon of the cruise and fixed it somewhat- still had to keep it on almost the lowest setting. No compensation on board. Guest services gave my husband the wrong number to call after the cruise (he got the precruise issues desk). Finally we were told that the issue would go to corporate and we would hear in several weeks what the result is. Really, all we wanted was a comfortable cabin during the cruise. 4. Last evening of cruise we heard a loud pop in the cabin, smelled a little wiff of smoke and then found that the lights in the bathroom and above the vanity didn't work . Told the cabin steward and he said that the cabin next door had the same issue. Went to dinner and it was fixed after we came back that night. Then we found that the bedside lamp didn't work but since it was the last night, we just let it go. 5. Food in the buffet was not good, except for the fresh fruit and salad and the eggrolls one lunch time. Oh, and the ramen station at Steamers was OK. Otherwise not hot, not tasty. We avoided it when possible. 6. Pool in the sanctuary was covered with netting, empty and closed, even when the weather was decent on the last sea day. No reason why. Other pools were intermittently closed but that might have partially been due to lousy weather and the rocking ship. 7. Other than trivia, there weren't a lot of daytime activities that were not bingo or art auction related. There were a few lame arts and crafts things. 8. We did self debarkation as we had an early flight, and it wasn't handled very well. Groups A-D were all together in a dining room, people were crammed by the door, and tickets were not checked on the way out, so no way to know how many D's got off before A's. Once off however, everything went really smoothly in customs and immigration. If we were to cruise Princess again, it would not be on this ship unless we knew for sure that it had gone through dry dock and was all fixed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Had always wanted to do a panama canal passing, saw this itenary and decided to go for it glad i did cruise was all i expected and then some, food was excellent and plentiful, entertainment was good as well, ports of call were great and ... Read More
Had always wanted to do a panama canal passing, saw this itenary and decided to go for it glad i did cruise was all i expected and then some, food was excellent and plentiful, entertainment was good as well, ports of call were great and the canal was a work of wonder, something to behold, a sight to see and was breathtaking. Once in a lifetime event, glad we chose to take this cruise scenery was breathtaking lush green forest saw a few sloths and a few iguanas just overall a breath taking cruise, one i will never forget, may do it again if given the chance, the ships crew and staff were amazing, always ready to assist no matter what the issue may be or not be just ready to please, did a behind the scenes tour and was amazed at what all was done that you never see to make our cruise pleasant, from the kitchen to the engine rooms to the bridge got to see it all and it give a whole new insight to how the cree and staff work so hard to make the cruis enjoyable. Thanks To Princess and The Crew Of The Caribbean Princess For A Great Cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because it visited three paces we especially wanted to see: Cartagena Colombia, Panama Canal and Costa Rica. Unfortunately due to weather related issues in Jamaica, the ship was unable to visit Cartagena. While I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it visited three paces we especially wanted to see: Cartagena Colombia, Panama Canal and Costa Rica. Unfortunately due to weather related issues in Jamaica, the ship was unable to visit Cartagena. While I can understand that some things that are out of the control of the ship can happen from time to time, no other cruise ship visiting Jamaica that day was stranded in port, including a ship that left only a few minutes before our scheduled departure. While the missed port was the biggest issue for us, we were somewhat disappointed by the shore excursions. They were not bad, by any means, but, perhaps we expected too much. The one shore excursion we were fully satisfied with was the Atlantis Submarine, in Cayman. That is well worth the price, even though it is only about an hour. We had several experiences that were quite positive: the food and some of the activities. I found the food to be some of the best I have had on a cruise. All the beef was cooked just as asked, and was quite tender. There was plenty of variety and afternoon tea was a nice change . The cruise had several unhosted activities which I was quite satisfied with. The gaming meetings every afternoon were lively and offered a variety of games, and, for the first time for me, the nightly LGBT group was lively, with a nice variety of people, rarely fewer than 10 attendees. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our second time on the Caribbean Princess. We did the transatlantic crossing in April of 2017. I did a Cruise Critic review at that time. Unfortunately, on this cruise our ship was delayed getting into Fort Lauderdale and this ... Read More
This was our second time on the Caribbean Princess. We did the transatlantic crossing in April of 2017. I did a Cruise Critic review at that time. Unfortunately, on this cruise our ship was delayed getting into Fort Lauderdale and this caused a delay of more than an hour in embarkation. Fortunately, there was no delay at the end of the cruise and getting off the ship was a good experience. We stayed in a mini suite on Dolphin deck and the cabin was in good shape and our steward, Rodrigo was terrific. You will be fortunate to get him. He kept the cabin clean, asked several times if we needed anything, and was friendly and efficient. Your cabin and your steward are key components to a successful cruise and Princess delivered on these items. I read a number of reviews about the ship being in poor shape. I did not find this to be the case. The ship appears to be clean and well maintained. There was no evidence of engine issues although the itinerary had been changed because the ship does not operate at full speed. The change in port times was a negative as several times in port began at or before 7:00 A.M. and sailing times were often at 3:30 or 4:00 P.M. A few helpful hints about the ship: -There is a pool and two hot tubs located right outside the Sanctuary at the front of the ship that are free to use. Because they seem to be in the Sanctuary which is fee based, few people use them. -Inside the spa area, look for the free sauna and steam room in the men's changing room. There are also free full size showers there so if your cabin's shower is too small for your liking, this is a good alternative. There is the same set up in the women's changing room. -On embarkation day, consider the Coral Dining Room (sit down dining), Salty Dog (mostly hamburgers or hot dogs), or Slice (pizza) instead of the World Marketplace (buffet) as the buffet is very crowded. -There are several laundry rooms on the ship and they are really handy. Each room includes irons and ironing boards for those wrinkled clothes. We chose the first seating traditional dining in the Palm dining room. Overall, the food was very good and we had no complaints. Our waiter (Luminetta) and assistant waiter (Pavlo) were top notch. Our experience in the World Marketplace was not so good. We are not fans of the buffet and the hot food was often not hot or even warm. We had ice cream on the pool deck almost every day and this was a welcome treat although it didn't seem to be real ice cream. The ice cream in the restaurant was better and you could make it a sundae. We attended a few shows after dinner. You had to be in the theater 30 minutes or more before the show to get a good seat. Princess needs to work on this. The comedian, Rollin' Jay Moore and the magician, Trigg Watson were very enjoyable. We skipped the shows featuring the Princess singers and dancers. We sailed the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas in October and the entertainment was far superior to include a full length Broadway play (ABBA), an ice skating show, comedians, a diving show and a Blue Planet show. We stopped first at Falmouth. The enclosed port area is quite nice and there are a lot of shops. There is a kiosk for a trolley ride through Falmouth for $25 per person and we liked this excursion. It lasted about 2 hours and cost less than the ship's excursions. Our group stopped at Margaritaville which is inside the port area for a bucket of Red Stripe beer prior to boarding. In Cartegena, we hired a taxi for 3 hours to see the La Popa Monastery, old fort and the walled city. This was an enjoyable outing. The taxi driver waited for us in between stops. We hired the taxi from one of the guides right outside the terminal. We bargained for half the original quoted price, be ready to walk away. We took the Princess excursion in Panama, The New Locks and Former Panama Canal Zone. Stay away from this excursion. We spent one hour riding on a bus aimlessly before getting to the observation area. The highlight of the area was a 12 minute film on the new locks and looking at ships entering the locks from afar. We rode back to the ship in Cristobal, a commercial port next to an impoverished area that had little to no amenities. The Princess excursion in Limon was better, one to the Veragua rainforest. The tour was informative, we had a good guide, there was a nice gondola ride, and our sandwich and fruit for lunch was good. In Grand Cayman, we went to the beach. We tendered to shore without delay or problems. Princess did a good job with this. There is shopping inside and outside the port area and there is no high pressure selling. The taxi to the beach costs $4 per person. We went to Royal Palms Beach and paid $2 each for admission which gives access to the beach, restrooms and changing area. We paid $12 for a chaise lounge primarily to have a place to put our stuff. There is a bar to purchase food and drinks. The swimming was great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I chose Princess because I never sailed with them before. I went on my birthday and thought it would be something special and to my surprise it was very dissapointing. I suggest that more interactive activities be provided for the ... Read More
I chose Princess because I never sailed with them before. I went on my birthday and thought it would be something special and to my surprise it was very dissapointing. I suggest that more interactive activities be provided for the passengers that stay on board while in a port. The dining menu was good and the steff was great, they were very proficent and professional and was very attentive to your needs.The cabin staff was very good and provided whatever you needed. There is a lot of needed improvement in there entertainment. It would be nice if they provided more venues instead of the same two or three they schedule they just move from one place to another. I feel that Princess provides their activities for the oldest passengers when some of us are still young at heart and would like more then just flying paper airplanes, knitting and art auctions. I don't think I will be sailing with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This is my first cruise critic review and it is negative. I have had plenty of wonderful vacations on the sea but never choose to share, I should have, now knowing what a bad experience feels like. My girlfriends and I travel once a year ... Read More
This is my first cruise critic review and it is negative. I have had plenty of wonderful vacations on the sea but never choose to share, I should have, now knowing what a bad experience feels like. My girlfriends and I travel once a year and this vacation was the partial Panama locks transit. there are so many things that upset me it is hard to know where to start so I will just list them. 1.) Had a suite and did not receive priority boarding, they would not move us to the front of the line because they were behind because of a medical emergency. Emergency was over, they should have moved the passengers who paid for suites and the priority boarding to the front no matter how late they were. 2.) One of our travelers had an accident day before embarkation, she needed wheelchair assistance. We phoned prior to leaving on our trip and were assured we could reserve a wheelchair on board. Waited for assistance for 2.5 hours!!! Then when she arrived on board all wheelchairs were taken. there was not one to rent, after we already phoned!! BTW, wheelchair rental $25 per day. So our friend was cabin bound for the first few days. 3.) Family suite, the room was old, dated, furniture worn, bare minimum on toiletries. We booked this specific suite, a year in advance because of the extended balcony on the front of the ship for when we went through the locks but the balcony was obstructed, not clear, it was a balcony but not glass! The part we could see through was the same size as any standard balcony yet the brochure never stated the balcony was obstructed! You know I could go on and on because this cruise really went from bad to worse, seriously there is so, so, so much more that no one would read it but let me just tell you. Avoid this cruise at all costs, save your money and find a line that treats guests better. About 20 more truly disturbing things happened such as changing my excursion form and issuing tickets to an excursion that I didn't sign up for but I didn't notice until tour day because they put the tickets in an envelope. I went back to the desk and asked to see my form, thinking wow, I made a mistake but no, the tour number had been crossed out and changed and the tour person said oh, the one you wanted was full!! Unacceptable. We went to the manager and they offered me a bottle of wine for my trouble. Wine!! I had the unlimited drink package, not to mention all of the women traveling are in the service industry. We came with cash as well as pre-paying our gratuities and tipped everyone that served us because that's how we live. I even gave the jackass that issued the tickets $5. Again, just the tip of the iceberg. Never again Princess, Harmony of the Seas here we come! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Chose this cruise because we wanted to see the new canal and Princess was the only one that would guarantee the new canal. This was 3rd trip to the Panama Canal for us. We are seasoned cruisers - 30+ and Princess is our favourite cruise ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to see the new canal and Princess was the only one that would guarantee the new canal. This was 3rd trip to the Panama Canal for us. We are seasoned cruisers - 30+ and Princess is our favourite cruise line. The highlight, of course, was the new canal, apart from that the cruise was good but not great. The ship is old and even after a do-over a couple of years ago it's showing it's age. We had a mini suite which was OK, the furniture was tired and bathroom need to be upgraded i.e. floor tile dirty, toilet cleaned so often the finish was worn off. We had early fixed seating dinner and had a wonderful Head Waiter and Assistant. The food here was quite good and selection was varied with something for everybody. The food in the rest of the ship, particularly the buffet was terrible. The buffet was so poor that we after two tries we gave up. Very unusual as past cruises the buffet has been quite good. The outside grill and pizza were just OK if you wanted something fast or by the pool. Our room steward did his job, for the most part but was not very friendly. On more than one occasion we had to request him to bring ice and one night he did not leave any at all. Entertainment was the usual singers and dancers performing Broadway type shows and the caliber of talent was very good. The balance was a mixture of poor comedy and some guy playing his horn and trying to sing. This is typical of Princess as they don't seem to really have much of a priority on entertainment. The most disappointing and a down right rip off was our tour in the Panama Canal. This tour was supposed to give be a combination of the Embera Indian tribe, the rainforest and the new locks observation platform and a guided tour of the new lock up. The only part of the tour that was as promised was the Embera Indian village. There was no rainforest tour. The observation center was closed when we got there! After we walked around for a while they did open the theater and show the 12 min film which showed the building of the new canal. There was no guided tour and the shopping stop that was promised on the way back to the ship was "cancelled" because we had to get back to the ship right away. No explanation was offered and we were back at the ship 2 1/2 hrs before sailing time. A total RIP OFF!!!! Anyway, we met some great people, had great dinner companions and a lot of laughs. We will probably sail with Princess again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This is my 2nd Princess cruise. I was not impressed with either one. It was okay, but the other cruise companies seem to do a better job taking care of the passengers to earn repeat business. This one seemed to be more about upsales than ... Read More
This is my 2nd Princess cruise. I was not impressed with either one. It was okay, but the other cruise companies seem to do a better job taking care of the passengers to earn repeat business. This one seemed to be more about upsales than customer service. Examples: Instead of allowing you to enjoy your massage, they wanted to sell you what they used and if you didn't purchase it, all of the niceties came to an end. Then.. they asked for an additional tip on top of the 20% that was already added. EFFEY double charged me for an inexpensive item. I went back THREE times to get this corrected and they just wanted to give me the item again instead of correct their mistake. Management FINALLY came and corrected it after I let them know I was about finished with trying to handle it nicely. Coffee card for the premium coffee was returned as the premium coffee was terrible. As was the coffee in the buffet. However room service and main dining coffee was fabulous. The steward was wonderful.... evening shows were fantastic. Food was okay. Specialty dining Sabitini's (sp?) was wonderful. Ports for Panama Canal cruise were okay. Grand Cayman was the best port. Cartegena and Cristobal were just filler ports. Costa Rica is good if you do an excursion. We went rafting and it was awesome. Stopped at local restaurant for lunch and it was very good. Tortuga was not really part of the excursions as indicated. Just a store at the port but the rum cakes are wonderful and that is all that mattered! :) To sum it all up, anyone can have a great time on any cruise if they want to. But Princess Cruise Lines leaves a lot to be desired in their food and customer service. The very best thing that I could say about Princess is that they offered a daily bible study and a Sunday service which was super cool. Thank you for that, Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise for the date and the itinerary...and we needed to take it this fall as my father's dementia was rapidly progressing. So, in terms of age and ability (and the kindness of other older passengers), it was perfect. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the date and the itinerary...and we needed to take it this fall as my father's dementia was rapidly progressing. So, in terms of age and ability (and the kindness of other older passengers), it was perfect. The re-furbished ship and wonderful new beds were amazing...and there are just no words to describe the excitement of going through the new locks! We had been to Alaska on Princess and loved it. Logistically, it was the perfect trip. This one was not. First problem, the ship docked late and 2,000 people were trying to get off and on at the same time. This caused confusion and we never saw any luggage porters So we lugged our big bags (and my parents'!) all the way to the check-in desk inside the terminal and they chastised us for not checking them in. Sigh--we stood in line for an hour, you'd think ONE staff person from Princess who passed us would have mentioned that we need to check our bags. Other passengers had the same problem. Our premium aft balconies (B748 and B754) on the Baja deck (11) were awesome, as was our room steward, William. However, there was crowding for meals and we had to go an hour early to see the Broadway-like shows in the Princess Theater. Really, they need to do is add a 6:15 show. The 8:15 show was tremendously crowded and I heard 10:15 was the same. The food just wasn't what we experienced on our Alaska cruise--too much repetition. Dinner the first night in Sabatini’s was amazing, but the Crown Grill the last night was not and the service was terribly slow. We had to "search and save" most mornings to get a breakfast table for four at the World Marketplace...However, let me be clear that the staff were wonderful, welcoming and excellent. And although the ports of call were great, the excursions really did NOT live up to their descriptions. A "submarine ride" in Grand Cayman was more like a glass-bottom boat with fifty people trying to see out the windows. I went to the excursions desk and complained about the "adventure park" my husband and I went to in Jamaica with three other guests. We were told when to do the offered activities instead of being given a choice and thus did not get to go tubing on the river because we waited for 30 minutes and gave up (we were told we could not go because we did not wait longer—it was 3:00 and we had not eaten lunch). A "snorkeling and scenic cruise" trip was great for snorkeling but the "cruise" was going about 100 yards offshore, which is where the reef was; but I was glad no one came along just for the ride! We also never received our room robes we requested (I never complained though) and we were also surprised because we did not understand that when we sent our bags all the way through to Dallas for our Southwest flight, which has no baggage fees, we were charged $25.00 a person for Princess to handle them. It was unpleasant that this fee was not clarified in the three-page "embarkation document" we were asked to read and complete. All in all, we loved the drinks (the bars were attractive almost always had room to sit and the bartenders were great), the Movies Under the Stars, the dancers/singers in the Princess Theater and the wonderful aft cabins. But would I go on the ship again...never! It just wasn’t’ the “wow” experience we had on Princess in Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We've cruised more that 45 times and keep returning to Princess...this was #38. We picked this cruise to go through the new Panama Canal locks, having done the old locks 5 times, the last time this past Feb. (before the Caribbean ... Read More
We've cruised more that 45 times and keep returning to Princess...this was #38. We picked this cruise to go through the new Panama Canal locks, having done the old locks 5 times, the last time this past Feb. (before the Caribbean Princess went into drydock) The biggest change in the ship is in the buffet. The food pickup area has been made larger, so it's easier to get around. The dining are now has a nice carpet and lovely decorations with new tables and chairs. The entrances to the buffet area now have easy hand washing stations, not the little enclave like the Royal and Regal. Another nice touch is a station before the serving area that includes two different gluten free cold cereal boxes, soy milk, and organic regular milk (my wife is gluten and dairy sensitive). There is a lot of variety in the offerings for breakfast and lunch with omelets made to order if desired. The service was great. Tables are cleaned right away to be made available for new diners, servers are always around to take drink orders, though I started passing their coffee as it's quality was inconsistent. One new feature is self serve beer and wine stations. You swipe your cruise card and help yourself. We always have dinner in the MDR where one of the head waiters makes sure that all of my wife's dietary restrictions are met, sometimes with special orders. As usual, the quality of our dinners were topnotch. Our waiter Desmond Dragon is fantastic...friendly, outgoing, and quick. We were fortunate to have him on this cruise as we had him on the Feb. one and he remembered all our special needs, and all of my jokes. You can recognize Dragon by his many gold teeth. Our cabin is a typical cabin....nothing special or outstanding other than the new mattresses. Our cabin steward was efficient and accommodating. The entertainment was pretty good....the production shows excellent as usual. We enjoy them even after seeing them multiple times. The first comedian and comedian/magician were not..mediocre at best. The 2nd comedian and singer/trumpeter were both very entertaining. We took one excursion...in Jamaica. visiting Rose Hill Hall and shopping center. The description of Rose Hill Hall did not accurately describe the number of steps involved. One of our travel mates returned to the bus after several minutes as he had trouble with all the steps. another in our group had a walker, and she soon gave up also. One disappointment was when returning to the ship in one of the ports....the first time ever where staff did not have cold cloths and water available for returning passengers. It was a hot day and would have really been appreciated. The Rose Hill Shopping Center was also a big disappointment. Another disappointment was the length of stay in Grand Cayman. We arrived at 7 am and the last tender back to the ship was at 2 pm. One more disappointment....the Patter for the day at the canal said we would stop in Cristobel where a Radisson Hotel, supermarket, and local stores were within walking distance of the pier. Not so....there was a large tent on the pier with locals selling their wares...very crowded, hard to get around...but compliments to the Panamanians...they were giving out cold bottles of water -- FOR FREE!!!! Overall, we were once again greatly satisfied with our Princess Cruise..and are looking forward to the next one on 1/7/18 Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise was our eleventh with the Princess Line and Princess is still our first choice. The reason that we were really thrilled about doing this one was due to the Panama Canal portion, which was exceptional in many ways. I guess if I ... Read More
This cruise was our eleventh with the Princess Line and Princess is still our first choice. The reason that we were really thrilled about doing this one was due to the Panama Canal portion, which was exceptional in many ways. I guess if I have one gripe about this cruise is that some of the ports of call were rather short in time allowed to visit and experience the local feel and traditions of each one and yes we were pressed for time in several of them. the shortness of time in certain ports made doing shore excursions a real test of endurance and patience and sadly created a bit of tension that we were not expecting. Overall the entire cruise was a worthwhile experience and the onboard portion of it was quite enjoyable especially due to the fact that we had purchased the beverage package and the bar staff was truly a wonderful and happy addition to, as I stated earlier, a very worthwhile vacation. the cabin, which was a mini suite was quite roomy and our room steward was as usual excellent, friendly and efficient. i was somewhat disappointed in the buffet area as the meals offered were basically the same day after day with very little change in the menu offerings. The main dining room was quite nice and we enjoyed the various different nationality days offered and the staff was excellent with very good attention to detail. The entertainment was typical of cruise line offerings and was acceptable with fine performances by the actors and singers involved, The staff, with average service at the pursers desk who did not seem to be fully aware of changes made by the line, was very good and that would include wait staff, Lido Deck waiters and cleanliness throughout the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise because it journeyed to new locations, for us. Plus, the chance to pass through the Panama Canal is a Bucket List experience. We wanted that for our kids, and we needed a relaxing vacation after a very stressful year. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it journeyed to new locations, for us. Plus, the chance to pass through the Panama Canal is a Bucket List experience. We wanted that for our kids, and we needed a relaxing vacation after a very stressful year. Previous cruises have been on Royal Caribbean and Carnival, and we found Princess to be superior in just about every way. With our kids, Carnival cruises out of Galveston have been a quick and easy vacation choice, but Carnival food is repetitive and boring, other than in the dining room. We really enjoyed the food on this ship. The buffet had an enormous variety of foods, although their hot selections should be expanded, fresh fruit was the same every day, and their chef should go to Salad Bar School to learn how to set up an amazing salad bar. Theirs was below Pizza Hut level, unfortunately, with store-bought salad dressings. Just by adding a larger variety of salad additions and homemade dressings (very easy), this would have been a great improvement. The dining room service was excellent, thanks to Benedict and Brigitta, but on a couple of days, there just wasn't anything that appealed to us. In fact, one night my daughter checked out the posted menu, took pics of it with her cell phone, and after we all reviewed it, we decided to eat at the buffet that night. Still, the main dining room food was very good quality. Initially, we were assigned to Anytime Dining, but after 2 nights switched to the 8 p.m. seating. One night, there were so many people in line, they were trying to see if any of us could be seated in one of the assigned dining rooms and another night we were given a pager and told it would be a 30 minute wait. I've never been sold on the Anytime Dining concept, although it sounds good in theory. One night we ate at the burger bar on the Lido deck and felt very insulted by the young man behind the counter. He didn't want to be there, he didn't want us to be there, and it showed. I ordered their signature burger, paid an extra $5 or so, and was told it would take 25 minutes to cook. I was willing to wait, and the burger was excellent, but the whole experience was very off-putting. One of the premium restaurants is Crown Grill. The Crown Grill served 2 British pub meals on sea days, and we took advantage of both. We love British pub food. The Scotch egg was amazing -- huge! The size of a softball. Fish and chips were standard, but served hot, the curry dishes were very good, and the bread and butter pudding was like eating a hot, eggy cloud. So good! We decided to take my son here to celebrate his 16th birthday. Dinner was okay, but if we had spent $120 of our own cash (we had onboard credit), I would have been disappointed. My Porterhouse steak had a massive amount of fat on it -- so much that I couldn't eat half of it. However, everyone else seemed to really enjoy their steak selections, and the steaks were very large. My baked potato was small and sad looking. The onion soup with blue cheese was probably the best thing I ate that night. Desserts were okay, visually appealing, but just didn't hit the right chords with us. The lemon tart was the only dessert we finished. Since it was my son's birthday, they brought out a huge chocolate dessert for him, with a candle, and sang the birthday song. The gesture was very sweet -- the dessert just wasn't our style. Very heavy, dark chocolate-y. It needed some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to lighten it up a bit. Service was above average, not great. About 6 days into this cruise, we took our son to the ship's doctor for a bad cold. The doctor told us that the median age on the ship was 71! Hubby and I are early 50s, our kids are 16 and 18. In spite of this, however, the experience around the other passengers was pleasant. One day, my kids went to the High Tea and sat at a table with 4 other people, and were treated so kindly! In fact, one of the women saw my daughter and I the next day and came to compliment me on having such great kids. Yes, that was a trip highlight! LOL The excursions offered on the ship are typical but, oddly, in a couple of cases, nothing really jumped out at us. Princess Cays was an absolute dream day with perfect weather, perfect water, perfect everything. Coming on Day 2, it was just what we needed to ease us into a vacation mindset. I rented an air conditioned bungalow, thinking the AC would be needed after reading reviews of this itinerary saying how hot and humid it was. Because the weather was perfect, the bungalow wasn't really needed, although it was kind of nice to have our own private place to eat and store our stuff. At $199, it was overpriced, though. In Cartagena, we just took a cab to the Old City, stopped at the fort for a photo opp, and went to an emerald factory to buy a pair of special birthstone earrings for my daughter. Traffic was bad and that slowed us down and limited what we could see, however, as this was my first time in South America, it made me realize how much I want to explore this continent! We bought coffee, Cuban cigars, lots of artisan products and in the shopping area by the ship, I bought a gorgeous leather purse. Panama Canal was...interesting. The new locks are a little on the boring side -- they are concrete, technology, sanitized. We took a rather expensive excursion that allowed us to traverse through the entire canal going through the old locks, and those were far more interesting. Unfortunately, the excursion itself took over 11 hours, the boat ride to the old locks was excruciatingly slow and there was no time for anything else. Traversing the entire canal was cool, a bucket list type of thing, but would I spend an entire day doing it again? No. In Limon, Costa Rica, we decided to not do any ship excursions but, instead, took the advice of one of the tour sellers on the dock and went ziplining at Jungle Breezes, about 20 minutes from the dock. We had a blast! At $50 per person, 11 zipline stations that are steep and fast, we had a blast. The people there were attentive, careful, and very nice. I highly recommend this experience. Finally, Grand Cayman. In the previous ports, our ship was the only one there. In Grand Cayman, there were 5 and that created very crowded conditions. We did a little shopping, ate at Margaritaville, and went back to the ship. Overall, we all really enjoyed this itinerary. Because we booked this cruise primarily for the itinerary, it met our expectations and then some. Our kids enjoyed the experience. My daughter and I loved our quiet afternoons in the atrium area, listening to live music, reading our books, and enjoying snacks and drinks from the cafe and coffee bar. The Movies Under the Stars had features during the day, too, and we enjoyed the experience. Embarkation was an absolute breeze. Debarkation was a little more complicated because the ship was behind schedule and arrived back in Fort Lauderdale a few hours late due to a medical emergency. By the way, after reading other reviews of this same ship and itinerary, medical emergencies that require backtracking happens pretty frequently. Now, for the one big negative that left us with a bad taste for Lotus Spa, an independent company that operates on the ship. If you've ever gone swimming in a pool full of piranhas and had fun, then you may very well enjoy your interactions with the staff at the Lotus Spa. I found a couple of the ladies to be very hard sell, unpleasantly so. I had planned on 1 or 2 treatments for myself but first, scheduled a lime and ginger massage for my 18 yo daughter as a treat. It was $155 for a 50 minute massage and when I scheduled at the counter, the spa manager, Margaritte, told me she would add another 15 minutes if I "schedule it for right now." She must have sold used cars in a past life. I agreed and my daughter enjoyed the experience. However, when I saw the room charge, the spa had charged me $199 for the longer massage and had added their own tip for a total bill of $240. My daughter said she was never given the chance to add a tip. I thought I had read all the fine print, so it's possible the gratuity was automatically added and if so, it was not made clear -- bad, bad form. I called the spa and left a message that we had been overcharged. I was told the manager would call me, but she never did. On the last day of the cruise, when my husband was paying our ship charges, he went to the spa to ask about the overcharge. The manager fabricated a story in which *I* had scheduled the longer massage! Since my husband hadn't been there when I scheduled it, there was NO WAY for her to possibly know or even remember the interaction, since she didn't know who his wife was. The woman refused to back down over $40 and basically accused my husband of lying!! We are both business owners and this tactic was shocking to us. Since Lotus Spa is an independent business, there is NO ONE to appeal to. A customer service person from the ship came to the spa to talk with my husband and all he could do was give my husband the business card for the corporate customer service desk! So -- my advice is to confirm what you have scheduled. Find out what the tip policy is, and don't be bullied by Mararitte, the head piranha. Total experience: UGH. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Price and time of the year of the cruise were reason for cruising Caribbean Princess. Food servers were above expectations. The food servers would serve drinks when passengers would sit done for a meal on the Lido deck. They paid ... Read More
Price and time of the year of the cruise were reason for cruising Caribbean Princess. Food servers were above expectations. The food servers would serve drinks when passengers would sit done for a meal on the Lido deck. They paid attention to detail and were generally friendly. Room was adequate--shower smaller than showers on CCL ships. However, public bathrooms, although limited throughout the ship, were spacious. Learned to be patient because there was a large of elderly on the cruise and some were physically disabled and did not move as fast as I am used to. Patience is needed when going on excursions, especially the panama transit excursion. Mika, cruise director, was engaging.. DuVaul, entertainment staff, was very good at his job of entertaining cruisers. The magician, Trigg Wattson, and Noodles Levenstein(sp?) were good and entertaining. Sometimes had to enter theater 1 1/2 hour ahead of scheduled show to get a seat. However, the overflow passengers were directed to another lounge as some of the shows were simulcasted. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Booked one week before cruise for a good value. Used Princess EZ Air for flights Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale (big mistake). We each were assigned middle seats on opposite sides of the aisle for the longest flight legs each way (on line ... Read More
Booked one week before cruise for a good value. Used Princess EZ Air for flights Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale (big mistake). We each were assigned middle seats on opposite sides of the aisle for the longest flight legs each way (on line check in 21 and 24 hours before departure). Flight to cruise got us into Fort Lauderdale at 5:30 AM. To retrieve our baggage we had to exit secure area. Starbucks and a merchandise store were the only services. No restaurants. No luggage check. No pay phones or cell phone merchandiser. Prepaid transfer was after 11AM. Broward Sheriff vehicles and officers were constant. I was rushed by an unrestrained security dog upon exiting the washroom (scared much?) Seat assignment is not the fault of Princess (blamed the airline). I did receive a verbal "sincerest apology" to email complaint. Whooppee! One tour participant quit our group without telling anyone. We had to wait while tour leader tried to find the quitter. Excursion desk wouldn't acknowledge the glitch and we had to wait til the cruise was over (or waste valuable onboard internet minutes) to complain. Again "sincerest apologies". Disembarkation was a GONG show. We were late into port due to a medical emergency the night before. This caused a crossover of us leaving and new cruisers arriving. No signs or separation stands with ribbons. Buses showed no sign of their destination. There was a total lack of central communications or control. Princess people shouting conflicting orders. One woman stationed at the exit door of the building just kept calling "keep moving" even though we were jammed up against other exiting passengers. Not exactly helpful. If there is a next time, I resolve to actively dawdle if I have a later disembarkation. We had a memorable anniversary cruise for all the wrong reasons. Thank you for nothing Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our 16th cruise and our 6th with Princess. This was our first cruise as Platinum. We appreciated the priority boarding and the 250 minutes of free internet. We never visited the Platinum lounge for the before dinner treats because ... Read More
This was our 16th cruise and our 6th with Princess. This was our first cruise as Platinum. We appreciated the priority boarding and the 250 minutes of free internet. We never visited the Platinum lounge for the before dinner treats because our dining time was 5:30pm so we didn't have time. We chose this cruise for several reasons. First, we wanted to experience the new locks. We had taken the same cruise on the Coral through the old locks in 2008. Second, the Caribbean had the new beds. (We left Princess back in 2009 because the beds were so uncomfortable.) Third, we enjoy cruising over Thanksgiving. Fourth, this was the biggest ship that we had ever cruised on. The Caribbean Princess has nothing to distinguish it from other Princess ships that we have sailed on. We have sailed on the Coral, Sea, Diamond, and Ruby and except for size they are pretty much the same in decor. The ship is showing her age a bit, particularly the sofas, chairs, etc. It was very clean and you could always see crew members wiping down handrails and such. Our cabin steward, Sax, was great. He always had a smile for us and asked us about our day. He kept our cabin immaculate. We had fixed seating for dinner at a table for 8. Although the couples had little in common, we all bonded and had a great time together. We laughed so much that I thought they might throw us out of the dining room. I thought the food was very good. A few things were outstanding and a few were not so good but on the whole we were happy with the selection and presentation. Our wait staff was efficient but boring. There was no interaction at all between the waiters and the 8 of us at the table. That was a big disappointment since in the past we have had some great waiters. If it fit our schedule, we ate our meals in the dining room. We had a couple of breakfasts and lunches in the World Marketplace. It was OK but nothing special (I generally don't like buffets). We also ate a couple of times at the International Cafe. The food there was fine, nothing outstanding, but my biggest complaint is the the only beverages available were coffee or coffee drinks which cost extra. There was no juice or free coffee at breakfast and nothing at other times. We had to ask for water at the bar. I didn't like the pizza at all. We went to most of the shows in the evening. The 8:15 time worked best for us but you had to get there at least 30 minutes to find a seat. The singers, dancers, and musicians were very good. We enjoyed the comedian and the magician was entertaining but it was hard to see his tricks since most of them were slight of hand. We played trivia with mixed results. As usual, the prizes weren't much but then it is the honor of the win not what you win. :-) The cruise director, Micca, was the best that we have had on any of our 16 cruises and his staff was great. Our favorite was Victoria but they were all good. The activity that was the most fun for us on this cruise was the Pop Choir. Victoria was the director and she was GREAT! She was as good or better than many professional directors that I have had in the many choirs that I have sung in. She motivated us and kept everything positive and upbeat. I think it showed in the performance which the crowd seemed to love. Except for our wait staff in fixed dining and a couple of disinterested waiters in the Marketplace, the staff was very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. Everyone had a smile or greeting when we passed them on the ship. We only took 2 excursions and both were very good. In Cartagena we went to the National Aviary. It was a fairly new facility which opened in early 2016. The layout was great and the birds were spectacular. The excursion was long and took up most of our time in Cartagena. We took the tour of Grand Cayman which included the turtle farm, the rum cake factory, Hell, and swimming with the stingrays. I really enjoyed swimming with the rays. This was also a long excursion so we had no time for shopping in either port. We got off the ship at Princess Cays. It is a nice facility but it was crowded and hot so we didn't stay long, just long enough for me to take a swim. We stayed on the ship on canal day and didn't get off the ship in Limon. There were many, many accidents and medical emergencies on this cruise which caused us to leave Ft. Lauderdale, Cartagena, and Grand Cayman late. Almost 3 hours out of Cartagena the captain had to return to port because of a medical emergency. That delayed us about 8 hours and although the captain pushed the ship to its max speed we still arrived in Ft. Lauderdale more than 2 hours late. Disembarkation was chaotic because it was delayed and many people were concerned about making their flights. It was almost 10am before the first pax could get off the ship. I was stressed because I was afraid that we would miss our 11:50 flight. I was finally able to print our boarding passes in the Internet Cafe the morning of disembarkation (the website was down the day before and no one could print their boarding passes). Once we were off the ship, immigration and customs went smoothly and we got a taxi within 15 minutes. Security was fairly quick and we made it to our gate with about 20 minutes to spare before boarding. All in all, we enjoyed the cruise. It was not anywhere near our favorite cruise but I would still recommend it to anyone who wants to see the Panama Canal and doesn't have the time (or money) to do the full transit. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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

Find a Caribbean Princess Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click