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

The food was very disappointing on this cruise. The dining room food was so bland that we just stopped going halfway through the cruise. I remember the disappointment on everyone's face when one meal in particular arrived. I still ... Read More
The food was very disappointing on this cruise. The dining room food was so bland that we just stopped going halfway through the cruise. I remember the disappointment on everyone's face when one meal in particular arrived. I still find it hard to believe that they had the nerve to serve such a meal. The buffet (World Market) was okay for breakfast and lunch, and some of the specialty restaurants were good, but for the price of this cruise, you shouldn't have to pay extra to get decent food. I mostly found the decor of Caribbean Princess pretty uninspiring, although the World Market looked updated and tasteful, and the back of the ship was nice. Other complaints are that they were always blaring movies at one of the main pools, so you couldn't just sit and relax. Often you could hear two different music sources at the same time. And the hot tubs weren't hot – just warm. You also had to keep a close eye on your bill – even after buying the drink package I was charged for a couple drinks. (I pointed it out and they removed them, but the reason they gave for one of them is that I used their app and the drink came from room service rather than a bar.) And to top things off, there was sickness and coughing all over the ship. We were all perfectly healthy when we left on the cruise, but four out of six of us got the flu during the cruise and two developed pneumonia. This was my third and most expensive cruise – my first with Princess – and was definitely the worst. After this experience, I probably won't go on another cruise, but if I ever do, it won't be with Princess. Believe it or not, I really don't like to complain – we're so privileged to be able to have a vacation like this – but our entire group was quite disappointed with this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose Princess for the first time mainly for the ports of call. The trip overall was wonderful as far as the stops and the excursions we did, some we booked through the ship and others we chose once we got off at each port. The ship was ... Read More
We chose Princess for the first time mainly for the ports of call. The trip overall was wonderful as far as the stops and the excursions we did, some we booked through the ship and others we chose once we got off at each port. The ship was a beautiful ship overall. The staff every where on the ship were exceptionally friendly, always greeting you with a smile as they passed by. Our stateroom steward was amazing, friendly and very accommodating. The entire casino staff were wonderful, the only downfall were the hours the casino was open. I have never been on a ship where the casino closed at midnight at the very latest, that was very disappointing. The food in the dining room was satisfactory, I definitely like Carnival's common dining menu much, much better. The dining staff again were amazing. The shows were disappointing overall, we only attended two, the remainder were not of interest to us. Our room was quite noisy most of the nights. This cruise as far as being on the ship just did not fit our age group, not exciting for the most part, music variety was terrible. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Area that we did not like Safety Issue, Saw a passenger fall down two steps, I witness no action from thecrew to come to assist. No medical response team NOTHING Room attendant- Never saw him. He attempt to shine my shoes ... Read More
Area that we did not like Safety Issue, Saw a passenger fall down two steps, I witness no action from thecrew to come to assist. No medical response team NOTHING Room attendant- Never saw him. He attempt to shine my shoes Look like he did with peanut butter! When a attempt to talk to customer service, they would not listen to anything said. Main food did not have a good selection so we ate at buffet the whole time Great getting on and off the boat was great. Very effective and time saving. The last stop waste of money! Drove 30 mile down the beach, turn around drove 30 miles the other way Stop at outlet for 45 minutes which was not enough time Complete waste of $50.00 per person. Also did not like the LGBQ theme on the boat. I would not recommend this cruise to anyone, family friends even my dog Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Caribbean Princess 12/9 to 12/19 Panama Canal Cruise Pros: Embarkation was fairly smooth and quick with the new electronic Medallion system. Cruise terminal staff were friendly and helpful. Staterooms were ready for guests upon ... Read More
Caribbean Princess 12/9 to 12/19 Panama Canal Cruise Pros: Embarkation was fairly smooth and quick with the new electronic Medallion system. Cruise terminal staff were friendly and helpful. Staterooms were ready for guests upon boarding the ship. Our stateroom door usually “recognized” our electronic Medallions upon our approach and unlocked the door for us. The ship was decorated for Christmas. Staterooms have extra large closets. The stateroom was fairly clean and relatively quiet. Our stateroom steward was accommodating, providing lighter bedding, extra pillows, robes and ice. Getting off and back on the ship at ports of call was fairly quick with the Medallion system, greatly reducing lines. Most staff in all the dining venues were friendly and helpful. Afternoon tea was done nicely and not to excess. Ship personnel decorated stateroom doors with a sign and balloons for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. Final disembarkation went fairly well. Cons: Elevators are small, fill quickly, and skip decks if any other elevator is stopping there, leading to long waits, particularly for the disabled who have mobility aids such as walkers, scooters, wheelchairs. Buffets in the “World Marketplace” casual dining area on the aft Lido deck have been renovated to be somewhat island style, but the islands are crammed into too small of an area and not well separated, causing long lines and difficulty getting through. There is no requirement on this ship for passengers to exercise proper hand sanitation prior to entering the restaurant venues. Thus most guests skipped this step completely. The simple precaution of washing hands and using hand sanitizers might have prevented devastating illnesses from being spread by thousands of guests handling the same serving tongs and spoons. Tables in the buffet areas of the Lido deck are in short supply at meal times, especially near a window where most four person tables were often occupied by just one person or by guests playing cards. Frustrating. Finding a staff member to clean a table was often difficult, too, as was obtaining beverage service. Not all staff carried through with fulfilling requests. Staff was not evenly distributed in the Lido dining areas. The ship is not easy to navigate due to a split center restaurant & galley section that cannot be accessed, so guests must get to the middle elevators (the most popular ones) from other decks and then go up or down to detour around the inaccessible areas. This was a much bigger problem for guests with mobility problems than for those who could use the stairs, especially since most non-disabled guests avoided using the stairs, creating an even larger demand for elevators. Service carts take up so much space in the very narrow stateroom hallways during the daytime that wheelchairs and other mobility devices cannot get around them. All of the passengers had to wait an extra hour at the required muster drill held in SRO (standing room only) lounges because of a group of latecomers instead of just having the late guests wait an extra 30 minutes to attend the already scheduled latecomer muster. The drill itself was a loud and lame video featuring old actors from the 1970’s Loveboat television series that caused guests to either cover their ears or otherwise tune out. Afterward, of course, there was the usual battle for elevator space. The latter ongoing issue is especially frustrating for disabled guests who cannot get on the elevators due to faster passengers rushing ahead of them to fill the space. The stateroom televisions will not allow access to any other programming until the same tedious safety briefing video that is shown at the muster drill has been viewed again. Stateroom televisions are not interactive and do not show restaurant menus, ship schedules or the status of stateroom accounts. The electronic Medallion system has some advantages, but is not without down sides. With the new system, casino kiosks have been installed in several places around the ship, enabling gamblers to play electronic bingo, slot machines and other betting games at any time the main casino is open. During our 11 day cruise these kiosks were not popular with cruisers and were very rarely approached. For one thing, they are in busy public areas where everything the guest does is in full public view but the guest is simultaneously isolated from the “gambling community” and social but anonymous atmosphere of the main casino. For some unknown reason, the Medallion system also automatically displays the photos of nearby guests on large brightly lit panels outside of some elevators, creating a loss of privacy. Guests can also be tracked by their Medallion signals, giving a feeling of being stalked by Big Brother. For those who take advantage of the full Medallion app, tracking may be handy for those searching the ship for family members or stateroom mates, but the loss of privacy can be a price some might not want to pay. Guests are repeatedly told to wear their Medallions at all times, leading to feelings of being shackled. Many staterooms have only one electrical outlet and that is located at the desk, making it difficult to recharge electronic devices, phone batteries, mobility scooters, etc. Surge protected power strips that would provide multiple outlets are not allowed on this ship. The long stateroom closet has its own hallway, which greatly reduces the size of the stateroom and bathroom. Because the ship has few handicapped accessible rooms, those using mobility devices (which cannot be stored in the narrow deck corridors) are forced to store the device in places inside the stateroom that create a trip hazard and also block features such as the desk and refrigerator. Changing the size and location of the closet would eliminate the extra unusable interior hallway and potentially alleviate some of these problems. The stateroom shower was the tiniest we have encountered in 12 years of frequent cruising (6 cruises in 2018 alone) on several cruise lines. A guest cannot even bend over in the shower to reach their feet in that shower. Even worse, the shower head is fixed with no capability of being hand held, making it very challenging to thoroughly wash and rinse every body part. And the single knob temperature control does not work when the water is running, forcing the user to turn off the water for temperature alteration. The provided shampoo and shower gel are dispensed literally one tiny droplet at a time, making the user really work to get enough. Talk about chintzy. There are no grab bars near the toilet, which would be helpful on such a rocking ship or in high seas conditions. Some parts of the stateroom are apparently rarely cleaned, leading to thick amounts of dust on shelving and under furniture as well as doors, walls and door handles that really should be wiped down and sanitized between guests. Unfortunately, we have encountered this problem (and worse) on other Princess ships, as well. Stateroom twin beds are small, not that much bigger than a baby’s crib mattress, leading to problems for tall passengers who end up with their their feet dangling off the end of the bed. Air circulation in the staterooms is poor, leading to high humidity and damp bedding that makes sleeping difficult. The Caribbean Princess is definitely feeling its age, especially in regard to the inefficient design of the staterooms and inner deck access. The open slatted metal gangways were also difficult to manage for those using walkers, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. The absolute worst aspect of this cruise was the food. We and many other guests studied the generally unappealing daily menus that were posted outside the main dining rooms. In our attempts to find good food, we tried every dining venue on the ship, including the main dining rooms, buffets, casual spots such as the pizzeria and burger/hot dog grill, as well as the specialty restaurants, and they all came up wanting. Mediocre meals and selections were the norm, with very few items one might call good. Dried out meats were covered with spicy sauces. Fruits and vegetables, in particular, were generally bad. Moldy fruits were sometimes found on the buffets and old sprouted potatoes with actual LEAVES emerging from them were baked as is and added to main dining room meals. Entrees and side dishes that had clearly been prepared several days before and then reheated were served in a couple of the very unpopular specialty for-fee restaurants. (“Planks” was especially bad.) Entertainment on the 11 day cruise had a few bright moments but they were greatly outweighed by mediocrity to non-existence. Most passengers resorted to playing private games of cards or reading because there was nothing better to do, although finding a lounge that wasn’t hosting an art auction, staff meeting, trivia contest or spa “seminar” was often a challenge. In addition, the few empty lounges usually blasted guests with perpetual loops of bad Christmas music or, in one case (the Skywalker Lounge,) shook so badly when the ship was moving that guests literally became nauseated. After not being able to shower adequately in their staterooms, most guests avoided getting into the pools and hot tubs with other semi-clean people. Outside of pricey options such as gambling, spa treatments, art auctions and shopping, the main daytime entertainment consisted of occasional trivia contests, art/craft or music “classes” limited to just a few participants, older movies shown outdoors in the hot sun for a few dozen loungers near the pool, and watching the news or a few old television programs in the stateroom. Evenings sometimes included an outdoor movie, a few musicians at various crowded bars and an occasional production show of singers and dancers at the inadequately sized main theater. (Most shows were SRO for those who didn’t arrive very early.) Independent entertainers got onboard the ship a couple of times, but their entertainment value was highly variable, with some audience members leaving after only a few minutes. And a few scheduled entertainment events were canceled due to the ship shaking too much. One event of interest (Voyage to the Stars Planetarium) could only be accessed by signing up during a single 15 minute window early in the morning several days beforehand. Why something so popular would only be offered once to a small percentage of guests was never explained. The Caribbean Princess has some major engine problems that even in calm seas caused a great deal of shaking and noise, reduced the ship’s speed, and created thick black smoke billowing from the stacks. Sleeping at night (under clammy sheets) through the noise and frequent jolts was very difficult and many guests complained about it. One port of call was cancelled when we arrived due to ocean swells we could not see and that clearly did not prevent other cruise ships nearby from tendering at that port. Another port of call was reduced to less than an hour’s stay and was restricted to visiting a vendor tent on the adjacent industrial pier. The cancellations of port calls and entertainment were disappointing, to say the least. Internet service onboard the ship was so bad that many people waited in line for half an hour or more to complain about it and get a refund. Connection with the “special features” of the Medallion app was especially confusing and never did work for us and others, so after a couple of days we simply gave up trying in order to save our sanity. At the Panama Canal, which was the main reason many guests had booked this cruise, instead of cruising Gatun Lake as is traditional, after exiting the initial locks the ship merely turned around and anchored in place next to the locks to await permission to go through the locks again in late afternoon, giving guests nothing new to see and wasting much of the day for those onboard. And after going through the locks again those same guests were not allowed to get off the ship as scheduled at the port of Cristobol (where the guests who had been on excursions all met up with the ship) until less than an hour remained before the ship’s scheduled departure time. The excuse given was that the captain was afraid the excursion guests would not board the ship in a timely manner to depart on time, which they actually did with about an hour to spare. We believe the captain eventually allowed the non-excursion guests to leave the ship for that short while because otherwise the cruise line would have been obligated to refund the Cristobol port fees for many of the guests. Regardless, by the time the initial decision was reversed, many guests had gotten ready for bed and didn’t want to bother to re-dress just to spend such a brief time in a vendor’s tent. Talk about frustrating. At most extremely hot ports of call the ship staff didn’t set up cold drink stations near the gangways for returning guests even though they were very much needed. On the deck of the ship an elderly woman even fainted from the heat but ship’s medics would not allow her to be carried or walk to an air conditioned indoor area less than 5 feet away, but instead brought her a chair to sit in on the hot deck and had her husband fan her with a paper. This made zero sense to us. Summary: For the record, we are very experienced cruisers who went on 6 cruises in 2018 alone. Over the past 12 years we have cruised many times on each of 4 different popular cruise lines but we have no financial or other connection with any of them. Our reviews are as objective and fair minded as we can make them. While there were several significant positive aspects of this particular cruise, the overall deficits were serious enough that, despite our high loyalty status level, we will never book another Princess cruise again. Instead of “coming back new,” we came back stressed, disappointed, and so ill that a week later we were forced to cancel our long awaited holiday travel plans to be with family. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This ship caters to elders. If your looking for variety of options from activities, entertainment, shopping, dining DO NOT choose this ship. Store hours were short. Everything expect the casino and a couple bars closed by 10 pm. I found ... Read More
This ship caters to elders. If your looking for variety of options from activities, entertainment, shopping, dining DO NOT choose this ship. Store hours were short. Everything expect the casino and a couple bars closed by 10 pm. I found information was misleading or lacking for a couple excursions so once paid and on them it wasn't what a person thought. It'll be a headache to fight for a refund so lesson learnt. This was my honeymoon and we did make the best out of our days and really did enjoy most of the ports. We found the ship though in the evenings and sea days boring. Unless you showed up a hour early for entertainment don't count on getting a seat. One theater and it filled fast. Many many rude passengers which isn't the cruise lines fault however elders have great ability to lack feelings and thoughtfulness of others and the average age had to of been min 65. This was Not like any experiences I've had on other ships. The boarding was fast, prompt which was nice. There was little waiting. My husband and I wouldn't choose this ship again unless your a elder. This Cruise line/ship Wasn't for us at all. It was stated the ship had been renovated but still alot of older touches to it but clean. Staff work hard and non stop. Our balcony was awesome. I wouldn't cruise without one. Really do research when booking your next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The constant banging from maintenance which we have video, foul smell of sewage, problems with air conditioning being turned off and the front desk response to all the above was enough to never want to sail on the Caribbean princess again. ... Read More
The constant banging from maintenance which we have video, foul smell of sewage, problems with air conditioning being turned off and the front desk response to all the above was enough to never want to sail on the Caribbean princess again. We will do several more cruises, but not with them! Our close friend who is like family recommended princess so we took his advice but we were all disappointed with the results of this cruise. The one and only exceptionall experience was dinner service. The wait staff would go above and beyond to please everyone at the table! We never missed dinner due to the great experience with service and food every evening. Disembarkation went smoothly and the ease of finding our luggage off the ship did as well. The entertainment was average and ports were not as expected due to the change in itinerary which really made a difference in the cruise. As mentioned, not what we expected by far. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Firstly was a 10 day eastern carribean not 20 day Panama as stated above., the cruise in itself was an enjoyable holiday but only because I made it that, the food was pretty good on board the staff are all hard working and very pleasant , ... Read More
Firstly was a 10 day eastern carribean not 20 day Panama as stated above., the cruise in itself was an enjoyable holiday but only because I made it that, the food was pretty good on board the staff are all hard working and very pleasant , although storm Florence dictated the itinerary and we ended going to places I wouldn't have considered prior to booking but at least we all arrived home safely. My main gripe is that we had a change to itinerary because of the storm probably a good choice by the crew but surely offering 20% discount for future cruises is a form of piracy by ensuring if I want to cash In I MUST book a princess cruise (not going to happen) , offers of on board benefits may have softened the blow like maybe free access to the Internet to at least allow us to let family and friends know we are safe and to lighten the disappointment of not going where we thought you were. The captains circle get free access to this as well as free everything else it seems and from my experience seeing circle members at work you must first dump your manners and treat the staff like slaves and look down your nose at fellow passengers. 13 dollars 50 cents per person per day surcharge should be made a lot clearer that this can be removed on request as I didn't hear about it until departure time and managed to rectify before I got off. Paying for water whilst in your room or leaving the ship on port days is a nightmare and surcharges added to all on board purchases makes this a very expensive way to spend your holiday when you would expect the cost of the holiday to cover this on board stuff. The on board entertainment was very limited and can't say it inspired me to look forward to night time mostly posh captains circle type classical and stuff one end of the ship and and common cinema type evening the other end really do need to look at your passengers and maybe don't run boring , acupuncture classes or muscle relaxation entertain us not medicate us. I could go on, as a holiday I enjoyed it but when on board I was actually boredstiff waiting to ports I could get off and have fun. And before you all jump on my back I am a very late 50s person not an energetic a youngster incase you all get me wrong. Princess Cruises I probably won't ever be back on board anytime soon and you will probably be pleased that it is another 20% refund you will save but please get the itinerary and the costs on a par with the performance of your crew and maybe just maybe you might get me to change my mind. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise for the Panama Canal. I didn’t want to go on holland because of the age of most guests. I made a huge mistake. The refit of 8 mil. Didn’t change the feel of a old ship. The rooms are tiny. I’m a single and I still ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the Panama Canal. I didn’t want to go on holland because of the age of most guests. I made a huge mistake. The refit of 8 mil. Didn’t change the feel of a old ship. The rooms are tiny. I’m a single and I still feel cramped. No bathtub tiny tiny shower. Loads of staff but not very friendly. Like they are doing you a favor. Food in lido is horrible. Unimaginative not very good selections. Cheap on the cheeses and meats,Desserts stink. Presentation blah. Smell of sewage at night in my hallway. I guess going from a suite on celebrity to a balcony on Princess should never be done unless it’s a long time in between. BTW Room service menu is a joke.my plane was delayed so embarkation was the best part of the cruise. I was so late nobody else was there. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO CRUISING. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I will not Cruise princess again. Despite the merger of Princess and Carnival, Princess does not measure up. This trip, planned for 2 years as a family trip of 9 passengers did not go well at all. We used a Travel Agent, and she was ... Read More
I will not Cruise princess again. Despite the merger of Princess and Carnival, Princess does not measure up. This trip, planned for 2 years as a family trip of 9 passengers did not go well at all. We used a Travel Agent, and she was great she did her best to fix the issues however Princess Customer Service, and the manager of customer service were useless. The Princess refused to admit the error, and a letter to corporate did not make any difference. my letter wasn't even acknowledged. We sailed out of Ft Lauderdale, Embarkation was disorganized, and difficult. it took 2 hours just to get on the ship. The ship was clean and updated, however it was difficult to get to dining rooms. A very confusing layout. Our dining room was on deck 6 but we couldn't walk from forward to aft on deck 6, I sailed princess once before for my honeymoon and was given a cabin with twin beds. My husband and I pulled the mattresses off the beds and slept on the floor each night. My complaints then went on deaf ears. That was 20 Years ago. I assumed there was improvement but I was wrong. I requested a cabin for 3, with a full/Queen bed, and again we were given twin beds set up as bunk beds. Requests to correct it were met with different reasons the online planner was not showing the configuration I wanted. 3 months before we were to sail we were told the cabin we chose could not be converted for 3 people and a queen be. If we wanted a queen bed, we would need to move to a Mini Suite. We lost all the perks of the original package, and again my travel agent tried to fix this, but ended out giving us a cash credit to replace what we lost. The cabin had two TV's, however they were back to back, and you could only use one at a time unless you use head phones, and we didn't bring headphones with a 20 Ft wire. That said, it was an adequate room, and the deck was nice. This was only one of the problems we had. We purchased a drink package, but every day I had to go down to the customer service desk and get our drink charges fixed. I was charged for a reservation to the Serenity deck that O did not request and when the ticket was pulled, it was not my signature, or name, but my cabin. Very poor accounting methods. We paid for everything up front so I wouldn't have to check things every day. Don't bother with the internet package, it is awful, and doesn't work well at all. the App for on board messaging is useless, use the Cabin phones. Staff is about the only thing I would say was good, but again it depended on the place on the ship you were, Housekeeping was very good. Our Waiter and assistant waiter were great, the rest of the staff while helpful, where not very happy The food was adequate, but not what I would call top of the line. The Restaurants, and we tried all three, were OK. the best of the 3 was Sabatini's. The steak house was disappointing, the quality of the steak was supermarket discount. Only interesting thing in the Steak house was the different salts, which if you like salt, would have been great, but only if you like salt. We did a shore excursion at each port, all were interesting, and fun, but caution should be used when visiting outside the sponsored cruise tours. We were delay getting to our first location in Columbia, and so the rest of the tour was rushed. I would have like to spend more time at some of the sites, so rather than trying to get multiple sites in Next time I visit I will choose one site to see when port of call time is so short. We weren’t in port for a long time. Bottom line. Princess is not up to the task Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
a few months before the sail we were informed that the ports of call were changed due to a malfunctioning motor. Compensation was $50 per person. We chose this cruise because we had spent a week at Caymen Islands and wanted to stop at ... Read More
a few months before the sail we were informed that the ports of call were changed due to a malfunctioning motor. Compensation was $50 per person. We chose this cruise because we had spent a week at Caymen Islands and wanted to stop at Jamaica. The change also meant about 7 hours less in the ports of call. On the trip a generator malfunctions and that resulted in 4 hours less in Costa Rica and our 7 hour had to be changed. We did get a 40% credit. However, the tour was change and it included a banana plantation tour which turned out to be a stop, get off the bus and take a picture from the road as due to a fungus, no one could go into the plantations. Fourtunely the guide was great. Other tours went from ok to pretty bad. The real cl No her for this title is that our block of rooms by us (about 7-8 cabins that we knew of) had a sewer smell on and off that was horrible. The stewards said it would go away when underway and it did. But it returned many more times and we weren’t in our rooms that often. We reported many times and they never got back to us. At one point someone was sent down and there were about 20 of us in the hall and we really lit into the poor guy they sent down. Each time we reported we asked that they get back to us, that only happened after the 3 rd formal complaint and by the time he came down, it was gone. This smell was also in very speciic places on the boat but the staff were clearly told to ignore us. This boat needs to be dry docked and issues fixed. Don’t book on it. On the other side of this the food, staff and boat activities were fabulous. We have sailed Princess before and loved those cruises. Beware of this ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We had a specific time frame that we wanted to travel to the Panama Canal and this cruise was the only one that fit. We had never travelled on Princess cruises but have tried several others and wanted to give it a try. We have never been ... Read More
We had a specific time frame that we wanted to travel to the Panama Canal and this cruise was the only one that fit. We had never travelled on Princess cruises but have tried several others and wanted to give it a try. We have never been on a cruise that was as rough as this one was even though the seas weren't excessively high. The ship vibrated SO bad ALL the TIME it was ridiculous. Anything metal in our rooms vibrated and rattled constantly. Many other passengers complained also so I know it wasn't just us. We were not able to go into Limon and were not refunded the port fees although they did refund the TAXES on those port fees! We were not impressed with the food either. While there were some good choices many times it was a repeat over and over or else it was a variety of very specific ethnic dishes I am not a big fan of spicy food and I doubt most of the largely senior diners were either. I actually just got a hot dog on two different nights rather than have the main buffet. The best thing was the oatmeal raisin cookies! We only went to the formal dining room one night as we weren't interested in going on the nights formal wear was required and didn't want the choices offered on the other nights. The onboard entertainment was lacking also and we had many at sea days and apart from the movies on deck we didn't have much that interested us! The stop at Cristobal was a joke! If you didn't purchase a Panama excursion you weren't allowed to leave the ship at Cristobal and we were basically sitting next to freighters all day waiting for those that did purchase excursions. Seriously this was the worst cruise we have ever been on and it was our 9th cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Chose this cruise to finally visit Costa Rica but missed port due to weather. Had not heard of this ever being a problem at Limon and very disappointing. Cartagena was cut short and Grand Cayman stop seemed short as well. Panama Canal ... Read More
Chose this cruise to finally visit Costa Rica but missed port due to weather. Had not heard of this ever being a problem at Limon and very disappointing. Cartagena was cut short and Grand Cayman stop seemed short as well. Panama Canal locks were interesting but should not have been only highlight of trip. We felt there should have been an alternate port in lieu of Limon otherwise seemed like a cruise with sea days only. To top off the experience our PRINCESS shore excursion (Old City Walking Tour and Las Bovedas) included a stop at Ada's Jewelry in Centro Historico where guide told us was a great place to buy emerald jewelry and a Princess approved store. Neither was true as one of the emeralds fell out of the ring 2 days later while on board ship. No response from store or any help from Princess. Wish we had missed that port as well. Only positives were a great room steward Liezel Castro and our dining staff of Danielle Albertyn and Nemanja who took very good care of us. Lots of time in the Casino with all the sea days-staff there was great and helped ease the pain of losing! Food was adequate but not many choices in the Horizon court. Food quality though did seem better than our last trip with Royal Caribbean. Salty Dog and pizza place were very good for a quick bite. Getting on and off ship went very well. We used mobile pass app which was great to get through customs easily and quickly. We walked off with our luggage at 7:45 and went right off ship into taxi. Cruise was not what we expected and making us rethink using Princess in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our 20+ cruise & the 3rd with Princess. The ship had a mechanical problem & was running at reduced power which made each stop shorter than we had booked. Admittedly Princess gave us a Cabin Credit but it did not make up ... Read More
This was our 20+ cruise & the 3rd with Princess. The ship had a mechanical problem & was running at reduced power which made each stop shorter than we had booked. Admittedly Princess gave us a Cabin Credit but it did not make up for what we lost. The main reason was taking this Cruise was the partial transit of the Panama Canal which was disappointing as all the ship did was go through the 3 New Locks & stop & go back. At the Cayman Islands which was Tendered along with 3 other Cruise ships we only had two hours ashore before we had to queue up to Tender back to the ship. Onboard we had Anytime Dining which Princess have completely miscalculated we queued up for 3/4 hr to the be given a Pager which we then waited a further 1/2 before being seated. This queuing was all we seemed to do. The second to last night on board we wanted to see the passengers 'The Voice' at 8.10pm, as we knew one of the contestants. We arrived at the Anytime dining at 6.30pm & at 8.25pm we had not given our Desert Menu we left the restaurant to go to the Theatre which was now completely full. The food on board I am afraid has gone down I am a meat eater, my wife's fish dishes were OK but I had 3 meat meals which I either could not cut & was extremely fatty & inedible. Admittedly the Staff suggested other meals as they were very good but I declined. All in all a very disappointing Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We originally booked this cruise because we wanted to experience the Panama Canal, and there were several stops we had never seen. Several months before, Princess changed the itinerary and changed one of the stops from Ocho Rios to Grand ... Read More
We originally booked this cruise because we wanted to experience the Panama Canal, and there were several stops we had never seen. Several months before, Princess changed the itinerary and changed one of the stops from Ocho Rios to Grand Cayman and shortened the time in Cartagena. We were disappointed but still wanted to do the cruise. Tthere has been a propulsion issue on this ship for several months. Princess Cays was our first stop, and it was nice and not crowded since it was a Wednesday. Cartagena was our next stop, and we had a nice tour of the city through a private tour we set up previously. Our Panama Canal excursion was very good, but it was definitely a long day. We got back to Cristobal around 8:00 p.m., and the ship was not there yet. We understand this is out of the ship's control, since the Panama Canal Authority dictates when they can transit back through the canal, but this was really a bad situation. Some of the shorter tours had been at the port for several hours. There were a few local vender tents and 3 porta potties, but there is absolutely nothing at Cristobal...no food, drinks or facilities at all. If you're on a shorter tour, and the ship is supposed to meet back at Cristobal, beware. It may be a long, frustrating wait for the ship. We finally got on the ship about 9:15 p.m, and we were able to eat dinner since they kept the restaurants open late. Due to our late departure from Cristobal, we were arrived in Costa Rica a little late, but it looked like we would still be able to go on our excursion. As the morning progressed, they informed us they had a technical issue with one of the diesel engines, so we would be arriving even later. They cancelled our excursion because there wouldn't be enough time. We were only in port a few hours. We were really looking forward to Costa Rica and had hoped to see a lot of wildlife in the rain forest, so we were very disappointed. On the pier, we signed up with a local vender, thinking we were getting a guided tour of a national park about 45 minutes away, but he ended up passing us off to a non-English speaking driver, so it ended up being a very expensive 45 minute cab ride to a National Park. If confronted with a similar situation, I'd recommend getting past all the venders on the port and hiring an English-speaking cab driver for the day. On the bright side, we did get to see some sloths, monkeys, and lizards. We have been on 3 Princess cruises, and engine problems have resulted in port scheduling problems on 2 of them. I don't know if it's just bad luck, or if Princess has worse maintenance programs, but we're done. As for the ship itself, our room was clean and very nice, the food was very good in the dining room. The service in the dining room was hit and miss. We had anytime dining, so we didn't ever have the same wait staff, and some were better than others. One issue we had was trying to make reservations in the dining room. You can only make reservations the day of, and if you don't make them pretty early, they fill up quickly. Also, we could only make reservations for 5:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m....nothing in between. Shows were also a problem. We tried to go to a show early on, but all that was left was standing room only. Apparently you have to get there about an hour in advance to get a seat. We finally just gave up. Since the ship's theater is obviously too small, I wish they would take reservations for the shows. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
cruised this ship in the past. Food choices, taste, presentation, quality & quantity disappointing. Extremely long lines for dinner. staff handing out pagers. What?? first time for that. Waiters almost running from table to table. ... Read More
cruised this ship in the past. Food choices, taste, presentation, quality & quantity disappointing. Extremely long lines for dinner. staff handing out pagers. What?? first time for that. Waiters almost running from table to table. Dining room very short staffed. First time I ordered from standard options. Food did not excite as in the past. Lobster and trout dishes horrible. No butter with tiny lobster (incorporated with risotto) ?? fish tough. Don't know what Princess is attempting to accomplish with these strange dishes but certainly did not work for us. Undercurrent of apathy & sarcasm by staff. reported crew member who was very short & sarcastic to elderly passengers. other passengers noticed this as well. I was purchasing gourmet coffee & Crew member short & sarcastic to me. over all short staffed. very nice comfortable upscale bed linens. Enjoyed new robes. EXCELLENT ROOM SERVICE. room steward lack luster at best. did not replace some of the daily items. (body lotion, etc) did not address by name., quick wave if that. I know these issues seem small but this is first time overall experience was disappointing. ship face lift very nice but inside problems exist. EXTREMELY small shower. floor creaked & unsteady, bathroom door in need of repair. Problems with toilet, balcony divider banging due to loose attachments, @ 2a very disruptive. If we cruise again will not be on this ship. more pay venues than before. weary of staff trolling pay items. Big changes since we last cruised. Being platinum level cruisers we have come to expect a certain level of service from Princess. This time they dropped the ball big time. Appears to me Princess is having issues with their bottom line thus the short staffing, pay items etc. What happened to Princess service!? Not certain if & when we will return. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Took the 10 day Panama Canal cruise as it was one of my bucket list destinations and the timing was good as i had just retired. There were a few positive but unfortunately a lot of negatives. However overall i enjoyed the cruise. Had ... Read More
Took the 10 day Panama Canal cruise as it was one of my bucket list destinations and the timing was good as i had just retired. There were a few positive but unfortunately a lot of negatives. However overall i enjoyed the cruise. Had taken 2 previous cruises with Princess and 4 cruises with other companies. Positives - For the most part i found any staff i encountered to be friendly and helpful. - In general found the ship clean - did not see glasses, plates etc lying around - i had some trouble figuring out the way the internet worked at first but the internet cafe people were very helpful. - lots of lounge chairs available even on sea days - I found the food good in both the buffet, dining room and specialty restaurant. - i enjoyed the Zumba and Line Dancing sessions. - Room size and bathroom size was what i expected from previous cruises. Lots of space for clothes. Now for the negatives - played Discoveries at Sea on Movies under the Stars screen and they looked really interesting but there was no sound or commentary which made it difficult to understand what you were watching - Poor speakers on deck 16 near the pool areas so couldn't understand the announcements especially when the captain spoke - Arrivals and departures from ports were rarely on time - sail aways not as much fun as no band playing by the time the ship finally left port. - Internet was good but confusing at first to figure out. Not great reception on balconies - Lineups at anytime dining - opening times kept changing, and they staggered opening time at 2 restaurants - not sure why - if both Coral and island had been open there wouldn't have been lineups. Never experienced this on other cruises. - Also if you wanted to reserve a time in the Anytime dining rooms (ie you wanted a specific table) then you had to call that day but between 8-5. Some days the excursions left before 8 so you couldn't make the reservation. Don't know why with todays technology there had to be a specific time to call. - Alot of the issues i think are result of cutbacks in staff (understaffed and lack of training). Example was wait times to purchase items such as the jewelry by the inch, and tshirts in the piazza had very long wait times. - Disembarkation was delayed due to late arrival in FL (not ships fault as there had been a medical emergency requiring ship to return to Grand Cayman) but was very disorganized - not enough people helping to direct guests and advise them of disembarkation timing and status. Many people had issues with potentially missing flights. - Coffee machines in market place where broken on 2 different mornings. - Alot of the fitness/enrichment events were good but at the end there was a sales pitch for selling other services - not high pressure - but would have preferred no sales pitch at all. - Was suprised there is still smoking allowed in Casino Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our 12th cruise and first time on princess. As the old saying goes you can only make a first impression once. Well they did, and it was terrible. Cabin: We had a balcony cabin which pretty small but the worse thing was ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise and first time on princess. As the old saying goes you can only make a first impression once. Well they did, and it was terrible. Cabin: We had a balcony cabin which pretty small but the worse thing was the shower. I am 5ft 10 and and average build, and I barely fit in the shower, I felt sorry for people who were on the large side. Food: We did anytime dining for the first time, which was a good experience because you sat at a different table each night and with different passengers. The food was never served hot. We would get it warm or on a hot plate to keep "hot". Service was very slow I think it might have been the galley, because this wait staff were very professional, courteous, and did the best they could. The buffet food also for the most part was warm. The only food that was hot was when you went to the omelet station. Formal night majority of people were dressed tuxedo, suits, sports jackets, however they let some people in with shorts, jeans, no jackets. I questioned it and was told we cannot turn them away. Then my question is why have a formal night? There were no trash cans on the ship in the common areas. If you had an ice cream and the cone came in with a napkin around or cup and when finished there was no place to throw it away. Crew: The personnel in the buffet area many seemed unhappy and it was like an effort for them to get them to clean off a table. Personnel in the casino and eating areas some of the supervisors were dressed just like the passengers and if you could see the pin they were wearing then you knew they could help you. Entertainment: 2 nights entertainment the light opera and the tribute to Whitney Houston was outstanding. The other shows were horrible. The ship leaving Gran Cayman about 20 miles off shore lost all power and propulsion and we drifted for about 30 minutes. This ship has a reputation of having engine problems and it appears the problem has not been addressed. I believed this is why the ships itinerary had been changed. Excursions: Panama Canal dome train was good except too long. There was no reason to stop along the way back to the ship to stop for 45 minutes for shopping. Banana plantation train waste of money. train has no A/C just open windows and each time we stopped to see an animal in the rain forest the mosquitoes came out. They should have had us bring insect repellent or supplied some. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I have to say the ship was the worst that i have been on and i paid the most. i have been on at least 13 cruises over the past 10 years and would never recommend this ship. The improvements they made were pretty much undetected. The ... Read More
I have to say the ship was the worst that i have been on and i paid the most. i have been on at least 13 cruises over the past 10 years and would never recommend this ship. The improvements they made were pretty much undetected. The cabin, which was a balcony was extremely small. 2 of us in the room and very little space for anything. The shower was ridiculously small. I am only 5'2" and can't imagine if i was taller or larger. There was very little to no space to put shampoo/conditioner or anything else needed in that shower. I had to bend down to get off the floor which was not a comfortable thing to do. the bathroom itself had very little space to put anything. The food left much to be desired. I ate in specialty restaurants just to get away from the dining room which was so freakin slow and the food in the buffet or market as they call it left much to be desired. I have never had to eat in specialty dining on any previous cruises. the ship had lots of problems, lost power, had to stop in the ocean with no movement, and the air conditioning was almost non existent. Would never recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I chose this cruise because Royal Caribbean didn't go to the Panama Canal this year. This was our first and last time on a Princess ship. The trip started out just fine and was until the day we reached the Panama Canal. The pass ... Read More
I chose this cruise because Royal Caribbean didn't go to the Panama Canal this year. This was our first and last time on a Princess ship. The trip started out just fine and was until the day we reached the Panama Canal. The pass through the new Agua Clara locks was great!! Then the trouble started. We were on an excursion that involved a 1.5 hour bus ride to the Pacific side of Panama so we could go through the old locks leading to the Pacific on a small ferry boat. The bus ride ended up 4.5 hours with a traffic accident caused by our driver. The ferry boat hadn't even iced down the soft drinks and water, even though we were some 3 hours behind schedule. The narrator babbled on for nearly 4 hours, the food was terrible, and the heads were filthy. The other excursions were nearly as bad...the guide ran off from the group several times in Cartagena, and the "jungle cruise" on Eco tours was right next to a highway and under a large bridge under construction in Costa Rica. Princess had obviously not vetted these tour providers!!! On board the ship we found most, not all, of the employees to be rude and surly most of the time; especially the people at the "Customer Service Desk". The employees are overworked and understaffed, which might lead to the attitudes. The only saving grace was the food was pretty good, however the kitchen for the dining rooms was extremely slow. Dinner regularly took about two hours. Read Less
Sail Date October 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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