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

We've been on Princess before and had wonderful experiences. And this cruise was on many ways no different. It would have been at least 4 stars but for the dreaded Medallion and its app's. The medallion gets you on and off ship, ... Read More
We've been on Princess before and had wonderful experiences. And this cruise was on many ways no different. It would have been at least 4 stars but for the dreaded Medallion and its app's. The medallion gets you on and off ship, pays shipboard Bill's, and opens cabin doors. It works. But it is also supposed to work with the Ocean Compass app which is supposed to locate friends, order drinks etc etc. That doesnt work. At one point on a sea day it indicated that I was off ship? Where? No clue. Sometimes it simply doesnt load making it totally worthless. As a person who is pretty tech savvy, I suspect that it wasnt tested properly or under sufficiently rigorous conditions or maybe it just plain doesnt work. In any event, I would warn folks to not rely on it for any serious communication. Part of the problem is also that the folks at the Medallion desk are not IT people. They are dancers. Probably very good dancers but dancers nonetheless. There should be at least an IT person on the desk supervising the dancers. Somehow, the cruise didn't gel. Most staff were personable and appropriate. But others were uncaring and rude. The general sense I had was that everyone was new, had never been on a ship before and didnt want to be on this one. There some serious safety issues in the spa area. Drinks were served in glass around the pool and steam rooms. I have never been at a pool were drinks or food were served in glass. The shore excursions were generally good. The one poor trip was to the White House. Supposed to be a beach excursion with lunch. Problem is there is no beach in the expected sense. There was an open deck over the water from which you had to climb down a ladder to enter the rocky water. Not an easy task. The pool area was nice except the pool needed a good scrubbing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our 14th time on Princess and 4th on Caribbean Princess. We took the cruise because we hadn't been to the Panama Canal for several years. Everything met our expectations, except for the implementation of the new Medallion ... Read More
This was our 14th time on Princess and 4th on Caribbean Princess. We took the cruise because we hadn't been to the Panama Canal for several years. Everything met our expectations, except for the implementation of the new Medallion Class Technology. Before saying what was wrong with the implementation, I must say it is great technoloy if the users are able to understand how to use it. It was the fastest boarding we've ever had on a cruise. It's neat to be able to find your friends around the ship, buy stuff with the tap on the phone, see what's going on around the ship at a particular time, and have the cabin door unlock as you approach. That said, the implementation suffered on several levels. First, there were serious problems with the smart phone apps. We couldn't download the Ocean app once on the ship. (While sitting in the theater at 1:45 PM on Boarding day listening to the Cruise Director tell us how wonderful the technology was, most of us with iPhones were still trying to download that app. We all had the same error message, "Can't connect to iTunes store". I don't remember a thing the cruise director said. I do remember thinking, "Does he know what a fool this technology is making him appear to be!") I finally figured out a solution which involved uninstalling the Medallion Class app I'd loaded before coming onboard and then reinstalling it by downloading it from the system on the ship. Then I was able to download the Medallion app and get things set up. It was well after dinner before I was able to get that done; because thousands of my fellow travelers were also trying to download apps. No cruise line has a big enough pipe to support that simultaneous Internet demand. My guess about how that could have happened is that a new update to the Medallion Class and Ocean apps had been developed before we left for the cruise. I'm guessing Apple hadn't cleared that app for the iTunes store because of bugs, but Princess had pushed the apps to the ship. The new Ocean app certainly wouldn't handshake with the old Medallion Class app. As to what the bugs that kept Apple from putting it up might be, an obvious one is that geographic location wasn't displayed on any of the photos we took both on ship and on shore excursions. My phone didn't start displaying that photo information again until I'd uninstalled the apps after the cruise. One other technical bug is that the whole system seems to have been designed for 24/7 Internet access from the Medallion system through purchase of 24 hour or cruise long Internet packages. It seems that somebody finally realized that the frequent travelers have free Internet minutes. The solution to that was access through a screen on a web browser that is separate from the apps. It was really easy to run out your free minutes by mistake the way it's set up. That happened to my wife. We gripped, and the minutes were restored. The second problem is marketing gobbledygook. When you finally get the Ocean app installed, there are six or seven parts all called "Ocean" something. I still can't remember what each individual one is called. (While the designers are probably too young to understand "Age Related Memory Loss", the guests certainly aren't. I'm surprised Princess hasn't changed the title of the person in charge of the ship to "Ocean Captain"). The company did mess with another bridge position. "Navigator" is the jargon term for "help desk employee". The physical location of the help desk is "Ocean Front". (Great oxymoron. It has nothing to do with the ocean the ship sails on and is located at the back of the ship.) Yet another terminology problem is that the Internet is called "MedallionNet". That wouldn't be so bad were the Wifi system on the ship not also called "MedallionNet". That renaming of common terms was a contributing factor to my wife losing her 250 free minutes of Internet. It happened when whe wanted to go from Internet on the browser screen to the Wifi system. She might have hit the "Medallion Net" button in the center of the screen instead of closing the browser and going to the app. One last note is that in deploying a system that requires hand held devices, Princess seems to have forgotten they need to be recharged. There is still just a single two plug outlet in a stateroom. The cost of adding another outlet plus a couple USB ports would have been no more than a rounding error in the cost of the new hardware that's been installed throughout the ship. (Didn't bother us. Thanks to something I read on Cruise Critic five or six years ago, I always back a small power strip when leaving for a cruise.) A note not related to IT is that the theater is too small. It takes three shows for all the passengers to fit. On our three prior cruises on Caribbean Princess, they did three shows a night. Now they've gone to two. We had 5 PM traditional dining - the earliest sit down dining offered. We got to the theater at 6:45 PM and couldn't get seats together for two people for the 7:15 show two times. When we were able to get in, the shows were good - worth waiting in line for. Some comments about dining. I have Celiac Disease and thus must eat gluten free. In the evening, I take advantage of formal dining where I have the same waiters every night. They learn about the food allergy the first night and then accommodate me the rest of the cruise. (It doesn't work that way in anytime dining. New waiters every night.) On this cruise, in 5 PM traditional dining, our waiter Richard Rodriguez did an outstanding job meeting my need. I was able to pre-order for the next night, he would have things specially made gluten free for me, and he generally kept me out of trouble. That all happened while providing excellent service. I can only give a mixed review about dining at breakfast and lunch in the buffet. There is plenty of food that's gluten free. With the exception of a couple of desserts at lunch, none of it was labeled gluten free. On the first day, kitchen staff persons were available at lunch to show us what was gluten free in some areas of the buffet. I remember the man that gave me the tour showed me lots of things. All I remember out of that is, "the soups are always gluten free". The other stuff was intermixed among non gluten free items, and then there's the fact that the fare on the buffet changes every day. I played safe. What I had was good, but I'm sure I missed a lot of great stuff; because it isn't labeled. One last comment - my "Platinum" benefits as a frequent cruiser on Princess aren't worth much in light of Celiac Disease and the new technology. The three main benefits have long been 1) expedited checkin, 2) Special receptions at 5 PM, and 3) Free Internet minutes. As I noted above, everybody blows through checkin at the pier with the new technology. I need to eat at traditional dining because of Celiac, and since I'm not a night owl, I don't want to sit down to dinner at 7:30 PM. That leaves me in 5 PM traditonal dining when all the platinum activities happen. Finally, the cruise line is obviously moving towards Internet packages and wishes the free minutes thing would go away. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have done several Caribbean cruises but had never visited the Panama Canal or Costa Rica. Princess is supposed to be a premium brand of Carnival but we were disappointed with the level of service in the dining rooms and the quality of ... Read More
We have done several Caribbean cruises but had never visited the Panama Canal or Costa Rica. Princess is supposed to be a premium brand of Carnival but we were disappointed with the level of service in the dining rooms and the quality of food overall. Wait staff were not fluent in English and we had difficulty conversing with them. The ship was built in 2004 and it looked tired, even though it had recently been refreshed. We prevously cruised on Celebrity Summit and Infinity which are comparable in age and we found them to be much better overall. We had difficulty conversing with staff in the restaurants because their English was very poor. We expected Princess to be on a par with Celebrity but this was not the case. The dining staff on Celebrity were easier to understand and there were 3 people assigned to each table while there were 2 on Princess. Each Celebrity table had a wine sommalier to help with wine selection. They poured drinks at the table from a bottle shortly after you arrived while Princess staff (not sommalier) had to get each drink from the back, increasing wait times considerably. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess to Alaska and had a very enjoyable experience. This cruise was slightly different. Our cabin steward was MIA for the 1st 2 days, apparently he was ill, but there was no one we could ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess to Alaska and had a very enjoyable experience. This cruise was slightly different. Our cabin steward was MIA for the 1st 2 days, apparently he was ill, but there was no one we could directly contact with issues. This was a 10 day cruise, 4 of which were at sea. Additionally, because of bad weather, we were unable to dock in one of our scheduled ports, making it 5 days at sea. The ship seemed crowded. Guests spent a lot of time inside because of the weather. Many people don't remove their used towels from the chairs and it leaves others wandering around wondering what is available. The deck crews should be on top of that more. The spa was okay. I had a facial and my husband and I had a couples massage. The massage was much better than the facial. The fitness center was a disappointment. While it is large and there are several treadmills, they are not available until 9:00 AM. Very disappointing. The entertainment was good, but when it is in a small venue, it is crowded and hard to get a seat. Back to back activities in these small venues creates a problem because people don't leave between activities. The food was good, our server, Victoria was wonderful. As a suite guest we were able to have breakfast in Sabatini's in the morning. The staff there was also great. Room service was average. Excursions: Cayman Island - we took a coast to coast bus tour. It was okay, didn't care for our driver and her uppity attitude. Cartagena - toured the old city and the San Felipe Fortress. It gets hot, make sure your tour is in the morning. Good tour guide, crappy bus, many many peddlers in the streets! Panama - canal locks were amazing. Domed car train ride not worth the money. Jamaica - toured the Rose Hall Great House - it was fine, finished with a short shopping trip to shops. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We loved this itinerary and we were excited to sail on Princess because it has a nice reputation. We loved the Medallion class and the technology and convenience that the ocean medallion offers passengers. The idea is that it will ... Read More
We loved this itinerary and we were excited to sail on Princess because it has a nice reputation. We loved the Medallion class and the technology and convenience that the ocean medallion offers passengers. The idea is that it will personalize the service for passengers in the future. However, I think that Princess still has a very long ways to go before they do that. In fact, I feel that the personalization of the service has diminished since we last sailed on Princess 10 years ago. We liked the excursions offered by Princess and we loved how streamlined the excursions were with the cruise. The biggest disappointment for me was the food - as well as the state of the staterooms (old carpet, old furnishings). The food in the main dining room was very poor. The grill and pizza was even worse, with non-fresh vegetables, non fresh bread, etc. One night, I orderdered the featured mussels with toast. The mussels tasted very fish, the broth had hardly any flavor, and the toast was literally amazingly stale. Like it had to have been just out for days. I liked the food better on NCL and Carnival - and that's disappointing considering the premium price. I was also not impressed with the entertainment. It's hard to get great entertainment each night on a 10-day cruise - I get it. But the 'singer comedy act' that they had was just so amateur. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Food in restaurant was very disappointing (eg. 1 got a seafood entree that only had 1shrimp,4 mussels, 0 scallops and one bite of Sea Bass. All served on a bunch of scallop shells in a broth. It shouldn’t even have been sent up from the ... Read More
Food in restaurant was very disappointing (eg. 1 got a seafood entree that only had 1shrimp,4 mussels, 0 scallops and one bite of Sea Bass. All served on a bunch of scallop shells in a broth. It shouldn’t even have been sent up from the kitchen or served ) (eg.2. Got served a bowl of broth with a piece of fish dropped in it. This was supposed to be a “chowder”. Inedible!) (eg. 3 requested rye toast in restaurant for breakfast and got 2 pieces of warm, untoasted, brown bread). Enough said re restaurant fare. We ended up just eating at the World Fresh Market. ie buffet. This buffet food was very good! The production shows were disappointing. The performers were very talented but the shows were not exactly toe tappers or sing alongs. Most of the staff were friendly especially in the all night International Cafe. When we could not go into Limon Costa Rica ,due to bad weather , the company was very fast at refunding our prepaid excursion costs. Alcoholic drink costs were atrocious so we only indulged once. We ordered 2 glasses of wine on the formal dinner night that ended up costing us almost 30 dollars Canadian. We enjoyed the ports and the people. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The service in the dining room was excellent with good menu choices. Try the Curtis Stone pork belly, it’s wonderful! The food and service in the buffet were very sub par. The food was not up tp Princess’s usual standards and the ... Read More
The service in the dining room was excellent with good menu choices. Try the Curtis Stone pork belly, it’s wonderful! The food and service in the buffet were very sub par. The food was not up tp Princess’s usual standards and the service was extremely lacking. Most meals we had to get our own beverages. Very disappointing. The entertainment was very good. There were two dance bands, a Latin based band BA Quartet and a Jamaican band Project 5. Both were very talented but Project 5 tended to talk way too much especially with black patrons. It really just used up time others could have been dancing. The guest Entertainers were very good, especially comedian Bengt Washburn and singer Claude-Eric. This was our second time on the Caribbean Princess and will probably not cruise on it again. We prefer the Regal Princess but will try the Royal, Sky, or Majestic. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise for the Itinerary, Panama Canal. Wait staff and cabin steward was excellent, as usual on Princess. While the production shows were good they were repeated multiple nights. Was supposed to get coupon books, ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the Itinerary, Panama Canal. Wait staff and cabin steward was excellent, as usual on Princess. While the production shows were good they were repeated multiple nights. Was supposed to get coupon books, despite repeated promises from guest relations that never happened. The new medallion app did not work on my iPhone 10. Several trouble reports supposedly issued but no follow up. The 17 year old ship was supposedly updated in 2018 but other than the medallion system and new TVs the stateroom was original. Was disappointed that their evening dress code for the dining room was not enforced. Most lines have relaxed the dress code and Tuxes are now history on formal nights. But allowing shorts, flip flops and T shirts, even on formal nights is not right. Made Platinum status on this cruise, but Princess's loyalty rewards pale compare to Royal and Celebrity. While we cruise 3 times a year we do not see anymore Princess Cruises in our future. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
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
I chose this cruise as I wanted to experience the Panama Canal but we just went through the locks. I had hoped we would have done more of the canal before we got to the locks. The ship was ok just the same as other Princess ships I guess ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I wanted to experience the Panama Canal but we just went through the locks. I had hoped we would have done more of the canal before we got to the locks. The ship was ok just the same as other Princess ships I guess I had a mini suite with a balcony not sure what was extra other than a bath tub? Lots of cruise lines have seating areas in a balcony cabin I feel this was Princess's way of extracting more money from the guest. The food was average I had a chicken and leek pie one night and the chicken was not cooked there was still blood on the chicken apparently there were others that night who send this dish back. Not what you would expect on this type of ship. The night we had Lobster not that I had this but there was one small piece on the plate by the time they had de boned it there wasn't much Lobster. I had issues with the announcements I couldn't hear them in the cabin and being deaf I struggled with this I had to ring down to reception but of course they didn't always answer the phone. They told me that all announcements came through the web cam channel on the TV but of course this was a lie as they didn't. I was told by them that I could get Music through channel 47 but of course another lie as there is no channel 47 on guest TV's just the crews. They cancelled a trip I had booked on in Costa Rica what a mess that was they did't let the guests know I just noticed a credit on my account so I asked the question we got letters much later some people didn't get them until the next day. In the bathroom I had tiles off the floor, there was a step into the bathroom which was stainless steel no yellow markings to warn you about the step especially is you were using the bathroom through the night very dangerous. They allowed smoking in the Casino on the right hand side and this is in front of the Cashier's desk so if you were stood there the smell of smoke was awful I was surprised that smoking was allowed but it's another way of extracting more money from people allowing them to smoke in there. Positives: the cabin was clean and the guy was lovely and helpful, the restaurant staff were lovely very helpful and kind nothing too much trouble. It was just the tours desk and customer service or reception whatever they call themselves. Embarkation and disembarking was fine fairly easy really, I carried my own case off so I was off in the first wave of people/ I will not be using Princess again I can't cope with the drama Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship was very difficult to navigate, we had dinner on the 6th floor, most elevators do not go to the 6th floor, so we had to go down to deck 7, then take stairs down to 6. This was an issue for my husband who uses a cane. Only 2 ... Read More
The ship was very difficult to navigate, we had dinner on the 6th floor, most elevators do not go to the 6th floor, so we had to go down to deck 7, then take stairs down to 6. This was an issue for my husband who uses a cane. Only 2 elevators went all the way down, but most of the time they went right past us. The cabin C-238 had problems with the a/c, we had to call 3 times, and they finally got it right. Very disappointed. The balcony was larger than most, however, I would rather have a smaller balcony and have a love seat sofa to put our luggage on to pack to come home. Our room was only vacuumed 2 times in 11 days and we kept sneezing. The curtains out to the balcony were very dirty at the bottom. In the shower where you pulled the curtain closed there was black mold in the ceiling. My husband is allergic to mold, he was coughing something terrible! The grout in the tiles behind the sink was all pulling away from the wall. Breakfast was good at both the dining room, and the marketplace, however, lunch was such a problem. Everything was spicy, or had sauces which we don't eat. We were stuck eating pizza a lot, which I will say was very good, but when spending so much money, I would have like better choices for lunch, by the way other people were complaining as well. The chefs have to learn that not everyone's insides can handle spices. Dinner was good and Rui in charge of the dining room was excellent. They had the Baked Alaska parade, but when we received our piece, it was about 2 inches by 3 inches, very small. My husband cannot have certain things, and Rui always came to our table with the following night's menu, so he could pre-order. That was wonderful, thank you Rui! The Crown Grill was awesome! The food was outstanding, as was the service. The blonde women in charge at the front desk was fabulous! Sorry I can't find the paper she wrote her name on, but she was extremely wonderful! The entertainment was just ok. There was one show that we really liked, and one of the comedians was good. Other than that, not as good as MSC. Shore excursions were pretty good. We did the Scenic Drive of Cartagena & San Pedro Claver church. That was good, but terribly hot in the church. It was not air conditioned so very uncomfortable in the court yard area. We went to see a show and that was very good. We really enjoyed it. We also did the Scenic Drive & Folkloric show, this was good as well. Very talented performers. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed ourselves. They had fresh fruits cut up for us as well as water. We also did the Trolley Roger Train Scenic Tour of Georgetown. This was nice, but very hot. The gym on the ship was ok, we used the treadmill, the recumbent bikes, and a couple of other machines. It was on the warm side there as well. I will say that getting on the ship was very confusing. We were told to wait in one area, then told we should not be there. We were the first all Medallion class ship to go out. So I guess they have to work out the bugs in the system. I did think it was neat how the medallion would recognize you and unlock your door for you. Disembarkation was a night mare as well. Again, we were told to wait in one area, then we were told to go somewhere else. We kept getting wrong information. I will stick with Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose princess this time to try what we thought would be a higher quality experience. We had a good time on the cruise as we chose to enjoy ourselves even if our expectations were not met. It was not a waste of money but it would have ... Read More
We chose princess this time to try what we thought would be a higher quality experience. We had a good time on the cruise as we chose to enjoy ourselves even if our expectations were not met. It was not a waste of money but it would have been better spent on another cruise line. The cabin was standard and comfortable. The problem we had was a smell coming up through the shower drain. After three calls to get it fixed we had to wet a towel and cover the drain. Unfortunately the cabin steward kept removing the towel even after we told him why we did it. At one port day the ship stunk like a sewer you had to go to the top decks to get away from the smell.They said they were doing some kind of cleaning that day. I thought they needed to choose a better time and place. That was an experience we had never had on any of our other cruises. The food in the buffet was average to below average but still tasty enough to enjoy. The dining room food was off and on. Several times the meat was dry and tough and the seasoning bland on the vegetables. Other meals were very good. It was inconsistent. The servers rarely smiled. Evening entertainment around the ship was okay but not up to par with what we experienced on other ships. We ate at a special pub lunch one day, the food was great the service was laughable. We set at the table with two other strangers and we joked about if the waitress was going to come back and scold us. We did not complain to her or grumble about anything she just had an attitude. We asked her if they had a dessert she said all they had was an alcoholic beverage. A few minutes later I saw a waiter walk by with a dessert like looking dish. I stopped and asked him what it was and "surprise" it was a dessert. He said, "Would you like one?" to which we responded, "Yes". He quickly got us one and also refilled our water which our other server had neglected to do for the past half hour. We went into the future cruise sales office to ask some questions. As we walked in the gentleman there looked up from his computer and said something along the effect of, "What do you want?" We obviously were interrupting his day and he was not happy about it. We asked a question he went to typing on his computer with no more interaction until several minutes later he briefly answered our question and then stared at us. We quickly got up and made our escape laughing at the bizarre encounter. Overall the attitudes of the staff was non-friendly and cold. When you went to get something at the pizza shop, ice cream place, etc. the staff rarely smiled or greeted you warmly. You felt like you were putting them out by asking for something. Having been a business owner for years this tells me that something is wrong in management. The lower level staff tend to treat customers the way they are treated. We really enjoyed the shows at night they did an excellent job with that. They also did an excellent job on getting you on and off the ship. That went quickly and smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I took the Panama Canal cruise in April 2018, 10 days and 5 ports. The good: weather was excellent; cruise staff was courteous and helpful; stateroom well kept; food choices generally excellent, although I missed fruits ... Read More
My wife and I took the Panama Canal cruise in April 2018, 10 days and 5 ports. The good: weather was excellent; cruise staff was courteous and helpful; stateroom well kept; food choices generally excellent, although I missed fruits like papaya; exercise room well kept, ample equipment; a good variety of music, and dance classes; free on demand movies. My wife spent some time at the spa, which she enjoyed on those days at sea. We did not have time to take part with any of the enrichment programs on board, but we were entertained by the dance lessons and the evening music in the various launches. The not so good: we arrived at Fort Lauderdale on Easter Sunday. We found a church close to the ship terminal. Before the trip, we were told that we would have plenty of time to go to church. It took more than 2 hours to go from the airport to the ship terminal. The Princess cruise agent that we talked to did not pass our request to their people at the airport, and we received no help at all in our attempt to reach the church. We flew in to the Lauderdale airport, but flew out from Miami to catch an earlier flight. All were arranged with Princess; we even had to pay extra to transfer to Miami. However, when we got on board, we were given the wrong transfer tickets to Lauderdale. It took us three trips to the service desk to straighten thing out because the ship's computer could not access our account information at Princess headquarter. Eventually, it was sorted out, with no additional charge to us. The on-board evening shows on the first night and the second last night were very good. The rest were one person comedian, magic, or singing performances that last about an hour. The below expectations: the land excursions were mostly disappointing. There were insufficient information about the excursions themselves, or what to bring for the trips. We took the outdoor adventure in Jamaica, which included zip lining and tubing down a river. We were told that there would be a changing room, and a locker for storing our stuffs. It turned out that we had to rent a locker, but we did not bring any cash or credit card. We did not know that we need to wear close toe shoes for zip lining, and we had no money to rent the shoes. It took an hour on a bus to get to the place, and an hour back, leaving a little over 2 hours to do what we wanted to do. The cruise itinerary did not explain clearly that the ship would sail through three of the canal locks. We thought that the ship would stop at two ports in Panama, but not going through the canal, so we took the excursion which sailed through the locks in a smaller boat. The smaller boat went through three other locks of the Canal, ending in the Pacific side of Panama. The trip was uneventful, and it took more than an hour of bus drive to get to the smaller boat, and another hour and a half to get back to cruise ship. In Costa Rica, we took the excursion to the rain forest, which was quite interesting, and the local guide was knowledgeable, However, it took 2 hours bus drive to get to the park, and 2 and 1/2 hour to get back (traffic jam). We only had a little over 2 hours at the park, including lunch. All the traveling times on the buses were not clearly stated in the excursions page of the Princess web site. For all the land excursions, we were given tickets which showed clearly where and when to gather in the ship, after that we were taken to the gangway and left by ourselves to find the correct bus for the trips. The excursions were managed by local tour companies which had minimal communication with Princess cruise. The first thing we noticed when we boarded most of the buses was a big sign that said "Tips are welcome". The stingray tour on Cayman Island was a worthwhile experience, but we had only 45 minutes in the sea, although our ship was in the port for more than 6 hours. Overall, the land excursions were not well organized, not well explained, and/or took too much time traveling to and from the activity locations. My advice: Princes cruise should send their staff to join these excursions, then they would know how to improve them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I chose this cruise because I had never been to the Panama canal and thought it would be good to see. It was disappointing at best. I have cruised about 9 times with many different ships and by far this was the best embark and debark one ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had never been to the Panama canal and thought it would be good to see. It was disappointing at best. I have cruised about 9 times with many different ships and by far this was the best embark and debark one I had every been on. We choose to take a ksa tours bus $10 each from the ship to the airport. It was easy. Next time I would just take a taxi for $14. The cabin was big compared to other ships. I cannot say enough about the new mattresses, we did not want to get out of bed due to the comfort of it. We choose to do buffet every meal and we were not disappointed. We ate when, what and how much we wanted. Next time I would choose an early anytime dining. The comedians/magician were good the production shows were awful except Bravo. The service was good everywhere. The problems for me on this cruise were: the average age was 75 and up, not enough activities (except trivia 3x a day) for me to completely engage, many people travelled in groups of up to 10 and would take all the extra chairs, block walkways etc., a little bit of Zumba and diy pickleball, the gym was good but could not get on the treadmills until 8 am. We travelled with no children and there were a total of 7 on board so that was nice for a change. They had the biggest freshwater pools I have every seen with lots of room. Excursions: Hop on Hop off bus Cartenga but there was no hop, we were stuck on the bus for the whole hour to the old walled city. We had a walking tour which was good but the VENDORS were horrible! oh my word they were like fleas on a dog's back you would think you had gotten rid of 4 of them and then walk 15 to 20 feet or turn a corner and boom you would walk into a wall of them selling the same wares as the previous ones. If the bus stopped they would ring a bell to make you look down and start the spiel. I understand proverty but annoying was the word of the day for me. At one point I raised my voice to fend off yet another vendor wanting to put a hat on my head or offer me a necklace etc. Vergura Rainforest: Not worth the money to go. Two hour drive. It was mid afternoon by the time we got onto the tram and we all know what animals do in the warmth. Sleep! But no mosquitos or flies at this time of year. apparently there were propulsion issues with the ship not sure if that was true or not. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because of the Panama Canal itinerary. We were part of a big group of friends/family. I believe most if not all of us were first timers on Princess. We thought Princess was supposed to be a step up from Carnival or ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Panama Canal itinerary. We were part of a big group of friends/family. I believe most if not all of us were first timers on Princess. We thought Princess was supposed to be a step up from Carnival or Norwegian, but we failed to see why Princess is supposed to be better. We had heard of the big 2017 refurishment. The ship was beautiful and the staff couldn't have been nicer from the cabin stewards, to waiters, to bar tenders. However, it did seem the refurbishment of the buffet was a huge failure. There were several stations, but that just seemed to block the flow of people. There was lots of back tracking and the food wasn't that great most of the time. Breakfast is always good, but its hard to mess that up. The nighttime choices were not that great. The dining room seemed to have much better food. We were notified prior to sailing about a mechanical issue and some time changes for the ports. We were given $50 credit per person for the inconvenience. However it wasn't enough for the issues we had. When you are on a ship for 10 days and already have 4 at sea, some shore time is important and we certainly got shortchanged in that department. They could have skipped Princess Cays (no reduction in time there). It is just a beach and some cheesy shops. Next we had two days at sea that we were all looking forward to. We spent most of the days near the pool, but were sadly disappointed that there was no entertainment poolside. For about an hour a day(not every day) , there was a band playing or a DJ. That hour was good. They played 'elevator' music sometimes, and sometimes nothing at all around the pool. Some good music would have been great. It seemed the pool areas were left out of any planned entertainment. Most of our group is in their early 60s and we were definitely the young crowd. This was a cruise of mostly older people. I don't think we saw more than a dozen or so kids. Thank goodness, because kids would have been totally bored on this ship. The 60 year olds were somewhat bored. It was a good thing we had our friends with us, we were our own entertainment. Our first stop was Cartagena. We had booked a Hop on Hop off tour. It took forever to get going once we got on the bus and then we were told we couldn't get off the bus because there wasn't time. Our port time had been cut by 2 hours. We rode around the city a little then were dumped off in the shop and had to be back on the bus in about 20 minutes. If there wasn't time for this excursion, they shouldn't offer it or at least shouldn't call in Hop On Hop Off. Very disappointing. Going thru the Panama Canal was awesome. We took an excursion that took us through all the locks to the Pacific Ocean. That is what we came for and we weren't disappointed. The next stop was supposed to be Limon, Costa Rica, but the water was very choppy and we didn't get into port there. This also was very disappointing as this was one of the stops we wanted to see. . This meant we would have 3 days in a row at sea. There was no compensation for missing this port except a refund of $3.59 in taxes. We expected some added activities to pass the time, but that didn't happen either. The ship just didn't seem to be interested in pleasing the passengers at all. In fact we barely saw the cruise director at all. On other cruises we've experienced, he/she was all over the ship everyday. Due to a medical emergency, we made our way to Grand Cayman early, arriving in the middle of the night. The passenger was taken off, but even thought we were there, no time was added to our stop. It seemed strange that some stops got cut short due the ship not being about to go any faster, but when an emergency arose, we could go faster. We just weren't sure we could believe everything we were told. Our last stop was Grand Cayman. We were also rushed at this port missing a couple hours. We went to see he Stingrays and would have liked at least an hour to do a little shopping but instead we were herded back on the ship and before our tender even got there, they were raising the anchor. Most of the passengers felt cheated on these stops. As I said, we thought it would have been better to cut time off their island and add it to the other stops. This shipload of passengers didn't have time to spend leisurely seeing the ports or shopping. I can't imagine the ports would be very happy about that either. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the evening shows, even though we had to get there quite early to get seats. Everything considered, it was a good cruise, but we sure didn't see much for a 10 day cruise. If we had to rate Princess, it would definitely be below both Carnival and Norwegian. If Carnival is the 'party' ship, then I guess we are 'party' people. We like being entertained even if it is something goofy like a hairy chest contest. Maybe we just are old enough for Princess. The only way we would choose Princess again is if it were the only line that had the itinerary we wanted. Just not impressed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We are Ruby After this cruise.We are not sure we will continue after this with this cruise line. We are not convinced Princess wants long term relationships with customers. Understand, before I start, that on our last cruise (Dec ... Read More
We are Ruby After this cruise.We are not sure we will continue after this with this cruise line. We are not convinced Princess wants long term relationships with customers. Understand, before I start, that on our last cruise (Dec 2016) we were on the ill-fated Grand where the cruise was cut short by 2 days at the last minute due to the tender door issue. Princess, to their credit made things as right as they could, with a generous discount on our next cruise, putting us up in a nice hotel in SF for the extra two days (and we live here so it was really unnecessary but a nice treat), and giving us generous OBC for our next cruise. Fine, we figure, these things happen. We book the Caribbean Princess for the Panama Canal. Now on to this cruise: as many of you know, the itinerary changed. They swapped out Ocho Rios for Grand Cayman. I had been to Grand Cayman before but my husband hadn't, so it wasn't a major hardship. They also reported the ship was traveling "slower"-which didn't seem to be a major issue. Also, the Cartegena port stop was vastly shortened, but again we were eager to get out of town. (in hindsight) the measly $50 in OBC granted for all this was really not something we should have accepted, but I digress). Here's what went well: 1. Early embarkation. We got to FLL early, (like 10 am) and we were onboard and at lunch by 12:30. Our stateroom steward was a rockstar - the best we've ever had on Princess. 2. Crown Grill: easily one of the best steaks we have ever had on land or sea; we frankly can't understand how anyone could be disappointed with the food quality or quantity. We are food snobs, especially when it comes to beef; and I've paid triple the amount for lower quality steak in very famous steakhouses. We also loved the "black and blue" french onion soup. We tried this at the recommendation of a fellow pax and that alone is a reason to go to Crown Grill. 3. The sanctuary. Based on CC users (thank you) I scooted up early to get a reservation on Cartegena day to try it out and boy did we regret not booking for every sea day. We were able to snag a morning spot later in the cruise, and even during a small squall, it was so relaxing, quiet and fun. (that said service really wasn't what they promised, the real relief is an escape from the crowds and chair squatters, as well as the ever-present blaring music). 4. The new TVs in the room are large and while we didn't really watch any movies, we have been on some cold weather cruises where we really would have loved it. We used the tv mostly to watch destination presentations, the ship's log, and some of the princess only filmed travel stuff. (we tried very hard to stay off the news and other stuff for what we think are obvious reasons: it's a vacation!) 5. The salty dog and pizza counters are amazing, and yes, the Ernesto burger is absolutely worth it. The deck staff were attentive, friendly and ever-present. When I ordered the Ernesto burger to eat at movies under the stars, the deck staff brought it to me! (it's a 25 min wait for it). 6. I have a professional theater degree and the "Bravo" show, as well as the comedians and musical entertainment on the ship, was fantastic. We had our second cruise with David Juneau as a pianist and we've come to call him our friend now, which we love. There was also a great jazz band who did a super long set in the wheelhouse bar (3 sets) and please Princess, more of this! 7. As always we continue to believe the food is excellent value for the money especially in the international cafe (we are coffee card users and love the unique pastries there). 8. When we had to accelerate the trip to Cartegena to get several pax to emergency help, we sincerely appreciated being allowed to disembark at 9 pm and go to Cartegena at night!. The port is very hot during the day. This may not be for everyone, but my husband speaks fluent Spanish so we were well equipped to handle this and had a ball. We were so happy to have that time there as much of what's cool about Cartegena is at night. 9. Disembarkation. As walk on/walk off cruisers, we have learned something this trip. We got up at 6 am, and left the room with all our bags. then we went to the international cafe for our last coffee and waited until the dining room opened about 7ish. We were off the boat at 7:30 am. Yes, you have to leave the ship early, but with the early boarding, and beating the hassle of crowds in elevators and whatnot, we felt it a fair trade. Also easier to get a taxi! NOW YOU ARE WONDERING HOW ON EARTH WE COULD BE MADE SO UNHAPPY? READ ON. 1. Panama Canal/Cristobal. The major incident here was that 1700 pax were left in the Cristobal terminal with almost no services for hours awaiting a delayed ship. we were told there was a natural gas ship that required a six-hour delay. We do not believe this as canal crossings are scheduled a year or more in advance and cruise ships pay far more. When our bus arrived (and we were some of the lucky ones as we were on the all-day transit so we only were stuck there 90 mins or so, and bless their hearts the tour operators let us stay on the air-conditioned bus, and thankfully we'd all hit the restrooms before leaving). there were 4 portapotties in Panama with 1700 pax waiting for the ship to return. NO FOOD NO WATER Finally, the ship arrives, and ONE gangway is open. I have photo and video of the lines waiting to board 1700 people simultaneously. As we're waiting to board, the head of shore excursions, Luis, tells us how they're going to "let" us go to dinner in casual dining clothes, and not enforce the dress code. OH REALLY? thanks, dude. Imagine if you'd taken a short tour and planned to be on the ship by 4, but didn't board til 9 pm? Imagine how you'd feel! They tell you to eat a hearty breakfast, but they don't arrange for sandwiches or other things. We just went to the buffet and got rolls with meat and cheese (those ziplocks we packed came in handy!) - or you could order the sandwiches the night before and pack them up, which is also a good recommendation. The all-day tour did have a nice lunch, and plenty of free sodas and water, which we appreciated-but it was a surprise. 2. Limon So the next morning we're supposed to go on our all day tour to the rainforest and for me, this was the port I was most looking forward to. We were a bit delayed, about 2 hours, we were told, due to "engine issues" (and after speeding into Cartegena we really didn't get this), and frankly, we did have a nice morning on the Promenade where birds were at eye level and we saw a pod of dolphins. But then suddenly we were delayed again. And our all day tour was canceled. At first they told us the shore excursion couldn't be rebooked at all! I was furious: if I had had time to research in advance I'd have been ok, but with now limited time in port we were hosed. The lines and frustration at the excursions desk, well you can imagine. Finally, my husband notices one of the shore excursions people is rebooking folks and we manage to get on a greatly shortened tour (which was only $20 cheaper than our original tour so ***). Perhaps the delicious irony is that we were delayed by traffic so we didn't get back until 6:30 pm and they had to hold the ship for us. 3. Grand Cayman I was so excited as a diver to take my non diver husband to snorkel with stingrays. We'd booked an all-day tour on valentine's day that was also to include lunch and drinks on a private beach. WE got up super early to be on the tour and AS WE WERE WALKING ONTO THE TENDER THEY CANCELLED THE TOUR. We had little money (it was to be an all-day thing, remember?) and no credit cards and had to tender back then tender out again. We ran into some friendly fellow pax who got us out of our funk and went with us to seven-mile beach for an hour an half; but with no snorkel gear and no chair available, it was really, really disappointing. Princess is terrible when something goes wrong. Surely this can't be the first time tours are canceled for weather? Why wasn't someone there to say, "wait right here, we'll work on an alternative for you?" The fact is I pay for Princess tours not just because of the guaranteed return but because I'm very busy and I don't have time to do all the planning I'd need to do the tour on my own. 4. How princess handled it all: I was willing to let Cristobal go. But after Limon, I started a daily trip to the service desk to explain our situation. My husband's parents are elite and frankly, we were looking forward to that day when we became elite cruisers. I explained to the desk that this wasn't about money per se; it was about trust. I looked forward to this trip all year, particularly because of those two shore days and neither met my expectations. Half of our tours were not fulfilled. I said after what had happened last year and now this that we really didn't know if we wanted to continue. They basically played nice, hoping we'd go away. They kept telling us to come back the next day, and some "manager" basically promised us they'd send us a letter to our stateroom with how to resolve this once we are off the ship; Well you can imagine how that went. Everyone on the cruise got the same letter and felt pretty disappointed. I'll answer any questions you want about stuff I may have left out because it's tiring writing all this up! We were so disappointed and frustrated and while we really, really love cruising; and overall felt princess was good value for money; these disappointments coupled with their "so what" attitude have left us considering other cruise lines. I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We have never sailed with Princess before. The staffs on the ship seemed very happy and were always at your side to offer assistance. Excellent service at every level in every interaction was standard. We dine at the Palm restaurant every ... Read More
We have never sailed with Princess before. The staffs on the ship seemed very happy and were always at your side to offer assistance. Excellent service at every level in every interaction was standard. We dine at the Palm restaurant every night the food and service was at its best. The Canal experience was wonderful, especially because we had been told to reserve space on deck 17 in the Sanctuary... We were however disappointed with the sensation of pressure to spend and the hidden gratuity fee on many services. It seems Princess now nickels and dimes the passengers on each and every detail while onboard. Although smoking is restricted in all but the starboard side and casino, we did observe vaping (electronic cigarettes) and regular cigarettes in the Crooner's bar and the promenade deck 7. While on 15th deck for a relaxing day at the pool the man washroom was clog and the maintenance crew started chipping the washroom floor with jackhammer. Meanwhile the painting crew started vanishing a wooden deck ceiling having a strong vanish epoxy smell. We had to move. We don’t need that. Our cabin (E-328) had a very nice king sized bed and adequate shower, closet space. However, we were somewhat disappointed when we found a sandal under the bed which seems has been left there for some time. This gave us the chill feeling that carpet cleaning of the cabin between cruises is done quickly or not at all. My wife has allergy and she found it hard to breed while in the cabin throughout the entire cruise. We don’t need that. We always dream of cursing with Princess Line. Probably the Love Boat Episode. We must admit we expected more from Princess. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this particular cruise because of the itenary -to go through the new locks of the Panama Canal. This was our first cruise with Princess. We were not overly impressed with the ship. Our balcony cabin was smaller than the balcony ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because of the itenary -to go through the new locks of the Panama Canal. This was our first cruise with Princess. We were not overly impressed with the ship. Our balcony cabin was smaller than the balcony cabin we have had on Carnival. For the price, we expected more. Everything was just OK, but not as fancy as we had expected. There were only two big stage productions on a ten day cruise. You had to get to the theater minimum of one hour early to get a seat. The two buffet food lines had the same food in each line. The pizza and burgers were good. Service was good. A toilet problem in our bathroom was fixed in a timely manner and our cabin steward was very helpful. The ship was super clean - I saw a cleaning woman scrubbing a public bathroom floor on her hands and knees! Embarkation and disembarkment were especially efficient. The Panama Canal is not to be missed! For us, the days at sea were very boring, but we aren’t interested in the pool activity. Perhaps the activity level was geared to the age of the passengers, most of whom were 75+. Definitely an older crowd! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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
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 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
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 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
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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